Archive for September, 2010

Hunziker Contributions to Ames Recognized

Monday, September 27th, 2010

The Ames Tribune posted a glowing article on Saturday about the many contributions the Hunziker Family and two other developers have made to the Ames community over the years. They recount interesting facts about their histories and the many projects they have created, including building residential neighborhoods, office & industrial space, and donating to many worthy causes.

We are very proud of the contributions made to our community by Erb & Marge (Founders) & Dean Hunziker (Owner, Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS & Hunziker Land Development & Partner, HCS Builders) & their entire family!

Ames Tribune Article

Post by Tabitha Zesch, Relocation Director

The Hunziker Volunteers at Work!

Friday, September 24th, 2010

We would like to say a big thank you to our Realtors® and staff who volunteered during the 2010 Day of Caring sponsored by the United Way of Story County!

Photo 1
The Hunziker volunteers included (in order of appearance):
Photo 1: Becky Barclay and Lara Hallgrimsdottir.

Photo 2
Photo 2: Kathy Thompson, Patty Grove, Lara H., Carla Sacco, Dianne Suntken, Sherri Gray, Megan Bark, and Sarah Laaser.

Photo 3
Photo 3: Barb Kennedy, Paul Livingston, Beth Skluzacek, Jill Anderson, Katie Carmer and Jon Lowman (not shown).

“Radioactive gas could be in my home?”

Friday, September 17th, 2010

It seems like health magazines, tabloids, and university studies are constantly warning us about newfound cancer-causing agents that you should be avoid. Some seem legitimate, while others initially sound like a hyped-up croc at best.

One discovery in the 1980’s that seemed a bit outrageous to many at the onset, was that uranium decaying in the soil under our homes creates a gas that can leak indoors and build up to dangerous levels. But, ongoing studies continue to support that elevated radon levels increase the risk of lung cancer. One of the largest studies ever completed was in Iowa, because we have especially high levels around the state as can be seen in the map above. Levels above 4 pCi/L (yellow-red) are considered elevated.

Radon enters the home through rocks, concrete, foundations, crawl spaces, floors, walls, and even the water supply. From there it attaches to dust particles, allowing it to be inhaled by home occupants. Once radon is in the lungs, it continues to radioactively decay, which damages sensitive lung tissue. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 7,000 to 30,000 people die each year from radon exposure.

Home testing kits for radon are inexpensive and easy to complete. They are available by mail and in hardware stores for around $12. If a home test registers elevated levels of radon, it would be wise to contact a professional. You are welcome to contact us for our current list of local certified inspectors & mitigation contractors. Home sellers in Iowa are required to disclose if they have tested for radon and if the results were elevated. More information is available from the Iowa Department of Health.

Post by Tabitha Zesch, Relocation Director & Lyndsey Van Soelen, Communications Intern

$$$ Beat the Oct 4th Deadline for Big Money $$$

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

The cost of buying a home with an FHA loan is about to get more expensive. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced last week that it will be increasing monthly mortgage insurance premiums by 63%. The move will help them raise an additional 3.6 Billion dollars annually to offset the massive foreclosure losses they covered during the nationwide housing recession that began in 2008.

Fortunately, they will also be decreasing the initial fee borrowers pay from 2.25% of the loan to only 1%. But, since most buyers roll the up front fee into their loan, most will still see a sharp increase in costs per month compared to how much it would cost to buy a home today. For example, for buyers getting a $193,000 loan, the total effect will be an increase of $59.55 per month.

Borrowers who finalize a purchase agreement and have a FHA case number assigned before October 4th will not be affected by the increase. For the example given above, swift action on the part of the would-be-buyers would save them $7,146.00 over the next 10 years. 

October 4th may not seem that far away, but there is still ample time to purchase a home before the deadline. Relocating families often select a home in just one weekend. Although the pressure of a looming deadline adds intesity during any project, it can also help spur us on to reach our goals and focus with greater clarity when we have to make decisions.  If you are in the market for a home, we would be honored to help you succeed in buying the home that’s right for you and help you enjoy the process. Just think of it as a chance to win big money playing beat-the-clock on the latest government-sponsored real estate game show.

Post by Tabitha Zesch, Relocation Director