Archive for December, 2010

Iowa’s Closing Costs 3rd Least Expensive

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Iowa has always been an affordable place to own a home. And now there is even one more reason to be thankful to live here. Iowa was ranked as the 3rd least expensive state for closings costs associated with getting a home loan by The image below was published in The Residential Specialist magazine, a publication for real estate agents with the Certified Residential Specialist designation.

$87 Deed Retrieval Services Unnecessary

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Several individuals at our company have received a letter at their home from a company called Deed Retrieval Services. The official looking legal size letter encourages them to order a copy of the deed to their property by submitting a check for $87.00.

This is largely unnecessary as deeds are recorded by the county as official legal record when a property is transferred and easily obtainable if you need another paper copy. The Hunziker & Associates real estate agent you worked with on your transaction can supply you with a copy of the deed at no charge. Or, simply contact the Recorder’s office at the county where you property is located for instructions on getting another paper copy.

The letter from Deed Retrieval Services states that the letter is a solicitation and they are not affiliated with any government agency.

Post by Tabitha Zesch, Relocation Director

The New Rules for Getting a Mortgage

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

The times have changed when it comes to getting a mortgage. However, just because you can’t get a loan with only a signature and no proof of income anymore, doesn’t mean it’s impossible or not a good idea. With rates hovering near 50 year lows, it’s a good time to explore your options for financing a home. Here are a few quick tips courtesy of Freddie Mac.

Video courtesy of Freddie Mac.

250 New Jobs for Ames

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Today, the Iowa Department of Economic Development approved an incentives package for WebFilings, an Ames based technology company, which will allow them to create over 250 new jobs.

WebFilings provides a cloud based program to automate SEC filing requirements for publicly traded companies. The company was started in 2008 by former leaders of Engineering Animation. Their offices are located in the ISU Research Park south of Highway 30 in Ames.

Iowa Department of Economic Development News Release

Post by Tabitha Zesch, Relocation Director

The 8 Vital Statistics You Must Know

Friday, December 10th, 2010

There are 8 statistics that are vital to understanding your local real estate market. Your Hunziker & Associates Realtor® can supply you with these statistics for your community and help you interpret what they mean for you as a seller or buyer. This is key to developing an effective pricing or negotiating strategy. The 8 vital statistics are listed below and include current stats for the Ames residential market.

Ames Residential Real Estate Market

Year to Date as of December 1st, 2010

  2009 2010 
Total Active Residential Listings 214 261
Average List Price $194,695 $190,320
Average Sales Price $186,105 $181,100
List Price vs. Sales Price Ratio 95.1% 94.7%
Average Time to Sell 95 days 84 days
Number of Sales YTD 533 450
Price change +3.5% -3.2%
Supply of Homes on the Market 10.7 months 13.6 months

Post by Tabitha Zesch, Relocation Director

Photo credit

$8,000 Tax Credit Still Available for Military Personnel

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

It’s been a long time since anyone mentioned the $8,000 tax credit for purchasing a home. However, the credit hasn’t expired for everyone; members of the military and other federal employees who served at least 90 days overseas between January 1, 2009 & April 30, 2010 have until April 30 of 2011 to purchase a home and receive the credit.

This also includes the $6,500 credit for homeowners who lived in their home at least 5 years, who buy a new primary residence. Please see the IRS website below for complete details and requirements.

Military Tax Credit Details

Photo source:

Post by Tabitha Zesch, Relocation Director

Tour 3 Des Moines Mansions this Weekend!

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

We are pleased to repost the following announcement from the Salisbury House in Des Moines; a replica of the King’s House in Salisbury, England.

Holly & Ivy Tour

Dec. 3 and 410 a.m. to 8 p.m.Tour Salisbury House, Terrace Hill and Finkbine Mansion—three grand historic homes decorated for the holidays.

Enjoy decorated rooms in holiday themes, live music, and demonstrations from Weeks and Leo (cosmetics manufacturer with historic ties to Salisbury House owner and entrepreneur Carl Weeks.

Admission: $15 adults$6 children (12 and under)$12 per person (groups of 20 or more)Advance tickets may be purchased from Dahls on Ingersoll Avenue. DAY OF tickets may be purchased from Salisbury House & Gardens or Terrace Hill. 

10 Evenings in December

Dec. 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22, 23
The House will stay open 5 to 9 p.m. for ten nights in December. Make it a special date night out, or bring the family for a charming evening filled with holiday celebration.

  • Outside Holiday lights
  • Decorated interior rooms of “Gingerbread Grandeur”
  • Pictures with Santa and the 1930s Packards
  • Wine and Holiday Treats
  • Unique Holiday Music Performances
  • Special Holiday Merchandise in the Cottage @ Salisbury

Admission: $12 adults, $3 children (ages 3-12), $25 family (2 adults + 3 children)

Announcement & photo reposted from: