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Looking for something new?

A new home = a clean slate. The kitchen is new, the windows are bare and the garage is empty. The basement is ready for a family room, an extra bedroom or a "man cave".

HCS Builders Inc. is offering you up to $7500 for upgrades any way you want. Maybe it is a new fridge for the kitchen or custom blinds for the windows. Maybe you want to add a screened-in deck or add a basement bar for the man cave. The choice is yours.

This offer is available on any of these HCS spec homes currently under construction or completed.

4304 Aldrin Ave.


4013 Aldrin Ave.


2822 Aberdeen Dr.

2819 Weston Dr.


404 Hawthorne St.


4110 Aldrin Dr.


2810 Danbury Rd.


4116 Aldrin Ave.


305 Hawthorne St.


2738 Harrison Dr.


4115 Aldrin Dr.


4229 Aldrin Dr.


Ames Named Quarterfinalist for "America's Main Streets" Contest

The national small business movement, Independent We Stand, announces the quarterfinalists, including Ames Main Street Cultural District (MSCD), of the 2016 Independent We Stand "America's Main Streets" contest. As the lifeblood of our cities and towns, Main Streets play an important role in the long-term success of communities and help build a sense of place. Independent We Stand invites the public to vote for their favorite quarterfinalist and move a deserving Main Street one step closer to the grand prize of $25,000.

The MSCD is a nationally-accredited Main Street program which has logged over 30,000 hours in volunteer time since it became a Main Street community in 2009. Since that time, nearly $5 million dollars of private money has been invested in this vibrant downtown district.

"The MSCD volunteers and the downtown business owners, with the help of local investors and city leaders, work hard every day to make our community a vibrant place to work, live, play and visit," said Cindy Hicks, Executive Director of MSCD. "They have done this while striving to preserve the historic character of the heart of Ames for generations to come."

The America's Main Streets contest started in March with 253 nominees. With more than 150,000 votes cast, Ames is the only community in Iowa to make the top 25 and become a quarterfinalist.

"The goal of this inaugural Independent We Stand "America's Main Street" contest is to promote the importance and strong economic benefits of Main Streets and the small businesses that help them thrive," said Independent We Stand co-founder Bill Brunelle. "We are so pleased to see how passionate people are about their Main Streets."

Please click the link and vote for Ames Main Street Cultural District every day.

Tips for Organizing your Garage

If your car is out on the street because there's no room for it in the garage, it may be time to get organized.

Use the Vertical Space VerticalGarageStorage.png
  • Install a slat wall or peg board.
  • Use hooks and baskets to arrange items.
  • Hang magnetic strips to small tools like screwdrivers and scissors.
Hang from the Ceiling BikeFromCeiling.png
  • Install hooks and hang bikes.
  • Utilize the space above your garage door with mounted shelving.
  • Hang fishing poles from a ceiling rack to keep them safe
Shelves, shelves and more shelves. GarageMudroom.png
  • Install hooks and shelves in a corner to create a mudroom in the garage.
  • Use a set of old school lockers for each family member.
  • Store shoes on racks or stacked crates.

Start with a Clean Slate Declutter.png
  • Take everything out of the garage.
  • Recycle or throw away items that haven't been used in the last year.
  • Store like items together. Paint can be stored in mason jars to save space.
  • Put items frequently used close to the entrance for easy access.
Fun Ideas BungeeCordStorage.png
  • Use a paper towel holder for garbage bag dispenser
  • Hang tin cans on a peg board to store small items.
  • Save jars and use them to store nails and screws. Mount the lids to the bottom of a shelf to save space.
  • Bungee cord ball storage.
  • Window boxes/planters make great wall storage for cleaning supplies.

Mark Your Calendars

The Ames Home Builders Association is pleased to present the 2016 Parade of Homes. The show will be held at various sites on June 8 - 12. Six area builders with nine homes will participate in this year's show.

Show home locations can be found on the AHBA website:

May Area Events

Food Truck Showdown
May 7 from 8am - 12:30pm
Main Street, Ames

Comedian Hypnotist Rick Bultez
May 7 at 7pm
The Talent Factory, Nevada

Gilbert City Wide Garage Sale
May 7 from 8am - 4pm

Reiman Gardens' Plant Sale Extravaganza
May 7 from 9am - 6pm
May 8 from 10am - 3pm
Reiman Gardens, ISU, Ames

KitesGreen.png Kites on the Green Festival
May 7 from 10am - 7pm
Public Library, Johnston

Tractor Day at Living History Farms
May 7 from 10am - 3:30pm
Living History Farms, Urbandale

Cinco de Mayo Festival
May 7 from 12pm - 10pm
Valley Junction, Des Moines

2nd Annual Food Truck Showdown
May 7 from 2pm - 10pm
Des Moines Social Club, Des Moines

Star Party by the Science Center of Iowa
May 7 at 9:30pm
Ewing Park, Des Moines

Wizard World Comic Con
May 13-15
Iowa Events Center, Des Moines

Johnston Hazardous Waste Drop-off Event
May 14 from 8am - 12pm
4105 SE Beisser Dr., Johnston

Iowa Able Run
May 14 at 8:30am
Ada Hayden Park, Ames

Dog Jog & Fido Fest
May 14 from 3pm - 6pm
Downtown, Des Moines

MovieNight2016.png Movie Night at Jack Trice presents Star Wars: The Force Awakens
May 14 at 7pm
Jack Trice Stadium, ISU, Ames

Gladiator Assault Challenge
May 14 & 15
Seven Oaks Recreation, Boone

Spring Yard Waste Free Day
May 14 8am - 4pm
Chamness Technology, Ames

Vintage and Made Fair
May 14 from 9am - 5pm
May 15 from 10am - 4pm
2251 Fuller Rd., West Des Moines

Bike to Work Week Breakfast at City Hall
May 16 from 7am - 9am
City Hall, Ames

Nevada's Bike Sale, Rodeo and Pet Licensing Event
May 21 from 8am - 4pm
City Hall, Nevada

Market Day
May 21
Capital Square Atrium, Downtown Des Moines

Dancing with the Story County Stars
May 21-22 from 10am - 8pm
Iowa State Fair Grounds, Des Moines

Valley Junction Arts Festival
May 22 from 11am - 4pm
Valley Junction, Des Moines

Huxley Farmers Market
May 26 from 4pm - 7pm
Railroad Park in Huxley

Evening Prairie Walk
May 26 at 7pm
Doolittle Prairie, Story City


Interpreting the Numbers

Pricing a home correctly is a critical factor in the home selling, and the right price depends, in large part, on the current absorption rate in your market.

Absorption rate is the number of months it would take to sell the currently listed homes on the market. That sounds simple, and the math is for the most part. However, it's an important concept, and it's used by a great many real estate related businesses to attempt to predict home prices and sales activity going forward.

Six months' supply is considered a balanced market - when the number of listings roughly equals the number of buyers. Numbers over six months represent a buyers' market and those below a sellers' market. The current absorption rate for the Ames Residential market is 2.3 months, while the national absorption rate is 4.5 months.

Market Numbers

Ames 2016 2015
5/2/2016 Active listings 97 104
Homes SOLD YTD 162 157
Average Sale Price $214,686 $205,592
Average Days on Market 55 47
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 96.4% 96.4%
Story County 2016 2015
5/2/2016 Active listings 70 89
Homes SOLD YTD 67 80
Average Sale Price $152,697 $161,358
Average Days on Market 94 86
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 95.0% 93.8%
Based on Sales information as reported to the Central Iowa Multiple Listing Service as of 5/1/2016
Ames - Ames Residential and Rural Subdivisions
Story County - Residential, excluding Ames Residential and Ames Rural Subdivisions

Market Numbers

Ankeny Single Family 2016 2015
5/2/2016 Active listings 287 336
Homes SOLD YTD 312 362
Average Sale Price $272,044 $248,562
Average Days on Market 98 78
Ankeny Condo/TH 2016 2015
5/2/2016 Active listings 75 117
Condo/TH SOLD YTD 108 101
Average Sale Price $135,471 $133,755
Average Days on Market 106 64
Based on Sales information as reported to the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors as of 5/1/2016

Market Numbers

Nevada 2016 2015
5/2/2016 Active listings 70 89
Homes SOLD YTD 67 80
Average Sale Price $152,697 $161,358
Average Days on Market 94 86
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 95.0% 91.0%
Story County 2016 2015
5/2/2016 Active listings 70 89
Homes SOLD YTD 67 80
Average Sale Price $152,697 $161,358
Average Days on Market 94 86
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 95.0% 93.8%
Based on Sales information as reported to the Central Iowa Multiple Listing Service as of 5/1/2016
Nevada - includes communities of Nevada, Maxwell, Colo, Cambridge, Collins, McCallsburg and Zearing.
Story County - Residential, excluding Ames Residential and Ames Rural Subdivisions