For many college basketball fans, March means one thing: "March Madness", the annual NCAA Basketball Tournament which declares a single, national champion. As Realtors, we celebrate a similar March Madness in the form of Residential Real Estate Madness. March historically marks the beginning of a very busy four month period in real estate sales, and this year should be no different as we come off the rather robust months December, January, and February. This residential real estate season, we will likely see a greater number of new listings as home sellers realize that there is a shortage of homes for sale in our marketplace. There is good news for the home buyer as well, as interest rates for a mortgage remain very close to historically low levels-- affording greater purchasing power.
Unlike NCAA Basketball March Madness, we will not crown a single Championship winner, but we will instead celebrate the successes of many home sellers and home buyers who successfully accomplish their real estate goals. If selling or buying a home is a goal of yours, we would like to assist you and celebrate in your success.
Stroll through a home from the comfort of your couch. Hunziker & Associates, Realtors is the first in Iowa to roll out new 3D technology enabling customers to virtually walkthrough a home, view a dollhouse representation and a floor plan of the home.
The Internet has proven to be a resourceful tool to homebuyers who want to browse housing inventory from the comfort of their couch. Real estate agents can upload a smattering of still images to help give people a sense of what a house is like, before they set foot through the door. But even the best pictures cant convey the full feeling of walking through a house.
Thats why Hunziker & Associates, Realtors has introduced a new 3D Walkthrough feature thats designed to provide prospective buyers with a deeper insight into what the home actually looks like before they go and visit it. The effect is a bit like The Sims meets Google Street View: users can zoom out into a dollhouse mode and look at a homes complete floor plan in miniature, and then zoom into a first person view to move around the house.
Right now, homes listed by Hunziker & Associates agents in Central Iowa will have the option to include the new feature. Users who would rather not have a full 3D rendering of their home sitting on the internet can opt out of the new service if they choose.
The service is powered by Matterport, a company that has been working for the past three years on technology that allows people to use a special camera to map the space around them in 3D. In this instance, Hunziker & Associates' has dedicated personel to use Matterports camera to create a 3D Walkthrough of a home, and then include that in the listing.
"The ability to "walk" through a home and see how it flows from room to room is something that still photos can't give you," stated Dean Hunziker, Broker owner of Hunziker & Associates, Realtors. "Technology has come a long way from the days of little pictures in the paper."
Option 1- Free Mortgage Payments HCS Builders will pay your mortgage for the first 4 months. (Principal & interest only)
Option 2- Upgrades or Additions HCS Builders will pay your moving expenses, closing costs or rate buy down, provide additional appliances, blinds or upgrades to the home. Up to a $7500 value.
Option 3- Selling an existing home Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS will charge 0% to list your existing home for sale. (There is a buyers broker fee of 3.5%) Sale price of existing home up to $250,000.
Well, you knew this was coming. The beauty of cooler fall temperatures and leaves beginning their vibrant change brings the inevitability of family coming soon to camp out at your place. Yes, it's about to be the season of hosting.
If you, and your house, are far from ready, you don't have to worry. You've got time to make it host-ready. Follow these tips for the things you need to get your space all nice and ready.
Something warm- Out-of-town guests coming from a warmer climate to a cooler one may not come prepared for the weather shift. A few throw blankets lying around will help. You can be the best host ever by stocking up on gloves, scarves, and slipper socks for your guests.
Something cozy-A well-dressed bed is a prerequisite for a good host. If your bedding is looking a little ragged, it's time for a refresh. It doesn't have a cost a bunch either.
Something warm (2)- If you live in a cooler climate, you'll want to make sure you keep it toasty inside. Be sure to check your furnace and fireplace ahead of time to ensure they are working properly. Then, dress up your fireplace accordingly, with festive decor and an upgrade inside that you can enjoy all winter.
Something clean- About those carpets. Taken a good long look lately? You might want to do that now. Yeah, they get dirty. It's normal. But no one wants to stay in a home that has stained, filthy floors. It tends to make relatives and guests wonder what else might not be so clean. In places where the stains are so bad you can't make a dent, cover them with runners and throw rugs for a temporary fix.
Something sweet smelling- When it comes to being a good host, places like Bath & Body Works is your friend. Put together a basket of holiday-scented items including a candle, soap, and body wash and leave it in the guest baths. Your visitors will appreciate the gesture, and you can ensure everyone will smell good around the breakfast table!
Something playful- Holiday gatherings are the perfect time to break out the games and involve the whole gang in a good time. Or, buy a few packs of cards and a plastic poker chip set and start a Texas Hold 'Em tournament.
Something tasty- Yes, the holidays are time for all your favorite family recipes. But they're also time for snacks and more snacks, and don't forget the post-dessert dessert. When you think you've bought more than enough chips, grab two more bags. If you're sure no household could ever go through all that lunchmeat, grab another family-sized package. And while you're at it, don't forget to stock up on toilet paper. Lots and lots of toilet paper.
Volunteering is a great way to make a positive impact in your community, and it really does make you feel good. You may not think that your time will help others, but it will. Here is how to volunteer in your community.
Volunteer at the soup kitchen -You can either donate food items, pick up donated food, serve food, prepare food, or even offer administrative assistance.
Volunteer at the hospital -You may sit at a reception desk and greet people, or you may be asked to deliver flowers to patient rooms.
Volunteer at school - You are given fun tasks like reading to children, assisting on field trips, preparing bulletin boards, or simply helping the teacher.
Volunteer as a mentor -You can volunteer as a mentor and make an amazing difference in the life of a child. Organizations such as Big Brother or Big Sister, or even the Boys and Girls Club are excellent ways to volunteer as a mentor.
Volunteer at church -You can volunteer at church by offering to work in the day care room, teach a Sunday school class, organize a church function, clean the church, and much more.
Volunteer to deliver meals -Not only do you deliver a hot meal, but you are offering the warmth of companionship to elderly people that are sometimes very lonely individuals.
Volunteer for hospice -Things you may be asked to do include visiting patients or family, offering childcare, running to the grocery store, and so on. You will basically be doing simple tasks that wouldn't get done otherwise.
Volunteer at Coats for Kids -The goal of Coats for Kids is, "They ensure that every child who needs a winter coat receives one." If your community does not already participate in the Coats for Kids Foundation, then YOU can get it started.www.coats-for-kids.org
Volunteer at the animal shelter -They are always looking for people to walk dogs, feed the animals, clean up after the animals, and help the animals find new homes.
Now that you know the various ways to volunteer in your community, get going! Volunteering is a great way to feel good about yourself, release stress, and help others in the process. Once you see how rewarding it is to volunteer in your community, you may have a hard time deciding where to stop.
According to Zillow’s own research, Zillow’s median margin of error in Iowa is 5.8%. This doesn’t sound like much until one thinks through this statistic. The median, by definition, is that one half of the homes will sell outside the 5.8% range. What does this look like in practice? The average sales price of a home in Ames is approximately $200,000. Lets assume for example that Zilow’s Zestimate for a residential home is $200,000. According to Zillow, there is a 50% chance that the sales price will be between $188,400 and $211,600. The total range is $23,200. Conversely, Zillow acknowledges that their Zestimate has a 50% chance of being wrong by more than 5.8%. It is equally likely that the actual sales price might be outside their stated range. Therefore the actual sales price could easily be $185,000 as it might be $215,000? Who knows? We know!! What confidence can this Zestimate give a home seller or a home buyer? By Zillow’s own admission, this is precisely why a Hunziker & Associates Realtor is required. We know the market.
Beautiful, brisk fall is here which means winter is right around the corner. Autumn is the perfect time to get your home and yard prepped for the colder months ahead. Take advantage of the mild weather this season and use these maintenance tasks to ensure you and your household are ready before the snow falls.
Inspect and clean out gutters and downspouts- Clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams, which can lead to expensive repairs. After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and gunk. Make sure gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water; tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets. Replace any worn or damaged gutters and downspouts.
Seal any gaps or cracks around doors or windows with caulking or weather stripping- Sealing up cracks between trim and siding, around window and door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your house. Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is one of the least expensive and most important of your fall maintenance jobs. You’ll also seal air leaks that waste energy.
Drain all outdoor faucets and irrigation systems- Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and in the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls. If freezing temps hit, that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. Make this an early fall priority so a sudden cold snap doesn’t sneak up and cause damage. Time to drain your irrigation system. Even buried irrigation lines can freeze, leading to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads.
Have a professional inspect your furnace- Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling pro to get your heating system checked and tuned up for the coming heating season. An annual maintenance contract ensures you’re at the top of the list for checks and shaves 20% off the cost of a single visit.
Check fireplaces for soot build-up and/or hire a chimney sweep to do an inspection- To make sure your fireplace is safe, grab a flashlight and look up inside your fireplace flue to make sure the damper opens and closes properly. Open the damper and look up into the flue to make sure it’s free of birds’ nests, branches and leaves, or other obstructions. You should see daylight at the top of the chimney. Have your fireplace flue cleaned by a professional to remove creosote buildup.
Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS proudly supports the United Way. This year several of our agents and staff participated in the Day of Caring. During the Day of Caring businesses provide volunteers who help agencies complete projects around the county. From painting to landscaping to cleaning to reading, when you get that many people helping, it’s a true county-wide Day of Caring!
United Way of Story County’s LIVE UNITED Campaign is a way for businesses and individuals to invest in our county by meeting the basic human service needs of people who live or work here. Money raised will impact more than 90 core programs and three impact areas of education, income and health. These programs touch one in three people in Story County.
We're pleased to announce that the Hunziker Community Shred Day was a success! Mother Nature supplied beautiful conditions for our Ames event and enabled us to shred and recycle several thousand pounds of paper. A big thanks goes out to all those who came to the event and Terri from Secure Shred Solutions. The Shred truck from Secure Shred Solutions spent time at our office in Ankeny on April 24 and in Ames on May 3.