Archive for the ‘Buying a home’ Category

Iowa home sales up 15%

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

From the Iowa Association of Realtors®…

Housing Market Going Strong in Iowa, Sales Up More Than 15 Percent

 CLIVE, IOWA (Sept. 10, 2012) – The Iowa housing market is going strong, reports the Iowa Association of Realtors® (IAR). IAR’s August 2012 Housing Trends Report shows that home sales were up by 15.5 percent from last year, and prices were up by 3.8 percent.

IAR reports that a total of 3,602 homes sold/closed in August 2012, while 3,119 homes sold/closed in August 2011. Thirty-two of Iowa’s 44 local Realtor® boards across the state reported increases in number of sales last month. Pending sales were also up by 2.4 percent. There were 3,221 pending sales in August 2012 and 3,146 pending sales in August 2011.

Median and average sale prices also increased. The median sale price in Iowa was up by 3.8 percent while the average sale price was up by 3.4 percent. The median sale price was $129,700 in August 2012 and $125,000 last year at this time. Twenty-five local Realtor® boards reported increases in median sale price.

The statewide inventory was 21,416, down 14.5 percent from last year when the inventory was 25,055. New active listings increased by 4.5 percent. There were 5,275 new active listings in August 2012 and 5,048 new active listings in August 2011.

Days on the market dropped under 100 days. The average number of days on the market in August was 98 days, down 4 days or 3.9 percent from last August. Twenty-five local Realtor® boards reported a decrease in the average number of days on the market.

“We are pleased to see continued strong sales activity in the Iowa market,” says Dale Gross, president of the Iowa Association of Realtors®. “The housing market has led the nation out of recession in the past and is paving the way to do it again. According to the National Association of Realtors®, nationally, the first half of 2012 was the strongest first half of sales in the last five years. Our data shows the same here in the Iowa – with 2012 year-to-date sales the highest since 2007.”

The information used to create the IAR August 2012 Housing Trends Report was current as of Sept. 10 at 1:30 p.m. The information is subject to change due to the dynamic nature of the IAR’s housing statistics system, which is updated hourly based on information present in local participating MLS (multiple listing service) systems. Cherokee data is now reported as part of the Storm Lake MLS.

The IAR releases a Housing Trends Report each month. Data is collected from local Realtor® boards through their multiple listing service (MLS), which tracks sales activities in the board area. The IAR compiles all of the local board data into the statewide report each month. Reports are available online to IAR members and affiliates with a login and password. Anyone is eligible to become an IAR affiliate. For membership information, visit

The term Realtor® is a registered trademark, which identifies real estate professionals who follow a strict code of ethics as members of the National Association of Realtors®. The Iowa Association of Realtors® is the state’s largest real estate professional organization representing nearly 6,200 members and affiliates.

Trulia: Buying A Home Is 45% Cheaper than Renting

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

From Trulia

“Based on asking prices and rents during the summer of 2012, buying is now 45% cheaper than renting in the 100 largest U.S. metros, on average – that’s a savings of $771 a month. If you plan to stay in a home for 7 years, which is the average time that Americans traditionally live in a home before moving again,it is more affordable to buy than to rent in ALL of the 100 largest metros in the U.S.”

View the article and interactive map

WSJ: The Incredible Disappearing Home Inventory

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

From the Wall Street Journal…

“It’s no secret to anyone who has paid attention to housing markets over the past year that the number of homes for sale has dropped sharply.

New interactive maps from Zillow help show where the inventory declines have been the most dramatic and at what price points….” Read the article

Housing Market Rebound-Quotes from the Experts

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

These recent quotes by market experts make a strong statement about the level of recovery in the U.S. housing market. They also line up with how our local markets have been performing all year, with significant increases in sales and overall reduction in inventory levels.

“Right now the market is the strongest it’s been since the start of the downturn… we expect to see this organic growth sustain and strengthen through the end of the year.”

– Clear Capital Director of Research and Analytics Dr. Alex Villacorta

“The [overall] resumption in residential activity cannot be understated.”

– Deutsche Bank housing analyst Joseph LaVorgna

“This time next year, there could be a 10% price appreciation. I would not be surprised to see that.”

– NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun at the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference in Denver

Tabitha Zesch, Relocation Director

Ames Market Changes

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Year over year stats show just how much the real estate market in Ames has changed since 2011. Questions? Contact us. We know the market and are happy to help you make informed decisions related to your home or commercial property.

Article: 4 habits of highly effective house hunters

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

From Daily Real Estate News by Inman News:

“…Habit No. 2: Put first things first. When it comes to homebuying, the very first step effective homebuyers take is the step of ensuring that they are financially ready for homeownership. That looks different for different people, but if you’ve struggled with debt or saving money, putting first things first in the context of your homebuying dream might actually involve nothing more than paying off your excessive debt, changing any dysfunctional financial habits you may have (like overspending) and creating good habits around putting money away.

For other homebuyers, it might be as simple as obtaining a loan approval before they actually start the process of house hunting in earnest….”

Read the article

First-time homebuyer stories from the Ames Tribune

Friday, August 10th, 2012
From the Ames Tribune: “Sold: First-time home buyers find rewards outweigh obstacles.
Caleb and Jennifer Grundmeier browsed listings for a year before they contacted a Realtor friend who helped them find a house in Roland that fit their wish list.

The house backs up to farmland and boasts a large backyard for their two very active dogs. It was just the right size for Caleb, 27, and Jennifer, 26, and was less than 15 years old….”

Read more stories

HomeShowExpo begins in Ankeny this weekend

Monday, July 9th, 2012


HomeShowExpo 2012 will be located at Otter Creek Development in Northeast Ankeny.

Dates & Times:

HomeShowExpo 2012 begins Saturday, July 14th and ends Sunday, July 29th.

Thursdays: 4:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.
Fridays: 1:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. — 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 15 & 22: 10:00 a.m. — 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 29: 10:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m.


Adults $10 | Children Ages 5-12: $5 | 5 and under: Free

Event information

News Headline: U.S. Housing Market Finally Reaches a Turning Point

Monday, June 18th, 2012

From RISMedia

Monday, June 11, 2012— Home valuations will start to climb again while adjacent consumer industries will capture significant new growth opportunities in 2012 and beyond as the U.S. housing market finally turns the corner, concludes a major new study recently released by The Demand Institute. The recovery of the housing market will have far-reaching impacts in the coming years across the U.S. and international markets as U.S. consumers increase their spending on buying, renovating, furnishing and maintaining their homes….

Read the article

Shortage of Homes for Sale

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Everyone is so used to hearing that it’s a buyer’s market, that they can’t seem to believe the current news on our local real estate market. Homes are selling at a fast rate, and not being replenished as quickly as they are selling.

In all price ranges in Ames last month, 1/3- 1/2 of the homes that were on the market sold! As of June 4th, there were only 212 homes on the market-a 32% reduction in inventory levels from the previous year. This represented the 3rd lowest level of homes on the market at month end since 2005.

We have a number of buyers who haven’t been able to find the home they want yet, due to the shortage of homes to choose from. The hottest market last month was the 225-300k range. If you have considered selling, now would be a good time to contact a Hunziker & Associates real estate agent.

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By Tabitha Zesch, Relocation Director