Zestimate Guesstimate

October 22nd, 2014

MissedAccording 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.

Fall Home Checklist

October 14th, 2014

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.

Click here for a full checklist you can printFall Maintenance Checklist.
For more fall maintenance suggestions follow these links for Houselogic and HomeAdvisor.

Pie-in-the-face for the United Way

October 3rd, 2014

Our relocation director, Cindy Albin, takes a Pie-in-the-face as a part of Hunziker’s efforts to raise money for the United Way.

Video of Cindy getting a Pie-in-the-face

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Hunziker supports the Live United campaign

September 25th, 2014

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!

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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.

Fight the winter blahs with a Soup Party

February 7th, 2014

This simple, casual party provides the opportunity to gather with friends and family in a home setting without a lot of fuss. Guests enter your home to the wonderful aromas of simmering soups and mingle around the kitchen nibbling on fresh bread at this informal “come as you are” party. Follow these guidelines to host a Soup Party of your own.

  • The Soup – Have your guests bring a crockpot of their favorite soup to share or a loaf of bread for dipping.
  • The Topping – These finishing touches range from cheese and sour cream to croutons and toasted nuts.
  • The Cup – Consider using smaller cups or mugs instead of bowls so your guests can sample multiple soups.
  • The Dessert – A fondue buffet keeps with the liquid theme of the party and provides variety from fruit to marshmallows.

Follow this link from our friends at Better Homes & Gardens for great soup ideas!

January checklist for a smooth running home

January 2nd, 2014

Kitchen designs, bathroom designs, and more ∨

Whether granite countertops, a custom kitchen island, or built-in wine holders are new kitchen musts, discover thousands of kitchen designs to help make your dream come true.
Search for fun swivel stools, clocks, sectional couches and storage armoires to spice up your basement.

Ames among leaders in density of high-tech start-ups in the country

August 21st, 2013

Ames has been ranked among the top cities in the country for having a high-density of high-tech start-up companies.

A report released this week by technology policy coalition Engine and entrepreneurship research association the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation placed Ames at No. 25 in metro areas with the highest ratio of tech start-ups compared to the national average.

Boulder, Colo., was ranked No. 1.

Dane Stangler, director of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation, said several factors, including the presence of Iowa State University, likely helped push Ames to the leader board for high-tech start-up density.

He said the Ames Seed Capital LLC, which generates private capital to help fund start-ups, also could be a critical component for Ames. He said private capital investment has proven over time to be more successful than public funds.

“Ames is in the smallest metropolitan size class and it ranks highly,” Stangler said. “Ames had one of the largest increases in high-tech start-up densities between 1990 and 2010.”

He said cities that have strong research institutions, such as ISU, have a large talent pool to draw from.

“We see elsewhere in the country, a lot of these start-up hubs, the way they have such a high density is they have an anchor institution or high-growth company that spawns all these other entrepreneurs,” Stangler said.

Dan Culhane, president of the Ames Chamber of Commerce, said, “this latest ranking clearly underscores the power of Ames having the good fortune of being the host community to ISU. Make no mistake, this particular ranking points directly to the immense infrastructure we enjoy that is so important to technology starts.”

Culhane credited the Iowa State University Research Park and its leadership for Ames’ ranking on this list.

“Steve Carter and the Iowa State University Research Park are front and center responsible for a ranking like this,” Culhane said. “The Park offers a wide array of support to technology start-ups as well as an environment that is conducive to supporting such endeavors.

“Couple all of this with the Ames Seed Capital Fund, which recently announced a new $1.8 million fund and Ames is well-positioned to provide timely assistance, and capital, to new technology starts,” Culhane said.

Stangler, said the challenge for many communities is maintaining the high-tech density over time.

“It’s absolutely possible to sustain it, but it’s also true it can peter out,” Stangler said. “We don’t have a good grasp yet on those dynamics as far as what can be done public policy wise to sustain it.”

 

By Ames Tribune staff

Turn Your Smart Phone into a Home Security System

August 7th, 2013

Top Homeowner Regrets

July 23rd, 2013

HomeownerRegretsHere’s some food for thought: Homeower Regrets.  We learn by our mistakes and in this case you can learn from the mistakes of others.  The following are the Top Homeowner Regrets.

  • 34% – I wish I had chosen a larger home.
  • 27% – I wish I had done more remodeling when I bought the home.
  • 22% – I wish I had more information about the home before I decided to buy.
  • 18% – I wish I had put more money down for the down payment.
  • 16% – I wish I had been more financially secure before deciding to buy.

Having a trusted REALTOR by your side to guide you through the entire real estate process can help minimize any regrets.

Source: Trulia, March 2013

July 8th, 2013

10thAnniversaryAnkAd

Join Us in Celebrating 10 Years in Ankeny!

We are having a party on Saturday, July 13, following the Summerfest parade until 2pm. Food and drinks are provided. We appreciate the trust in us over the last 10 year from our customers and the Ankeny community.