Archive for the ‘Current Homeowners’ Category

Fall Home Checklist

Tuesday, 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.

Hunziker Quick Tip

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Stay Cool This Summer!CeilingFan

Make sure your ceiling fans rotate in the correct direction to cool you in summer.

Most fans are reversible: One direction pushes air down, creating a nice summer breeze; the other direction sucks air up, helping you distribute heat in winter. There’s normally a switch on the motor to change the fan’s direction.

Is your fan turning in the right direction for summer?

  • Stand beneath the running fan, and if you feel a cooling breeze, it’s turning correctly.
  • If not, change directions, usually by flicking a switch on the fan’s base.

Typically, it’s counterclockwise or left for summer and clockwise for winter, but the best method is to follow the steps above.

Funny note: We read on Yahoo! that one clever person used bubbles to see which direction his fan was blowing.

Home Prices Zoom up 10.5% Over Last Year

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013




Nationally home prices in March were 10.5 percent higher than a year ago – and a bit more if distressed sales weren’t counted, says market researcher CoreLogic.

The overall change was the biggest year-over-year jump in seven years and the 13th straight month for home price gains.

Design Professional to Speak on Historic Preservation

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

OB-SX241_0511ca_HV_20120509150654From the City of Ames….

Design Professional to Speak on Historic Preservation
The Ames Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) will host a series of free public lectures to raise awareness about the importance of historic preservation in the community. Steve Wilke-Shapiro, a design professional from Des Moines, will be the first featured speaker. The lecture will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 8 in the City Council Chambers, City Hall, 515 Clark Ave. The series is sponsored by Historic Preservation Commission, Ames Smart Growth, Preservation Iowa, and Ames Historical Society…

Organization sells

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Which do you think will appeal to a buyer? Organization is important when selling a home!

Photo courtesy of Lowes®

Tune up your furnace and get a $30 rebate

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Alliant Energy customers can receive a rebate for up to $30 when they have their furnace tuned up by a professional. Use the claim form below.

Front Door Decorating for the Holidays

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Looking for a way to cheer up the entrance to your home for the holidays? Try making a popsicle stick snow flake like the one shown here. Or, find another idea from this great collection on Pinterest!


Nevada Office 5th Anniversary Open House

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Fast fix for a countertop scratch from the 99 cent store

Friday, November 9th, 2012

If you’ve ever had a scuff mark on a colored countertop, you know that it sadly becomes the room’s focal point. But we found the right supplies to save you any embarrassment.


  • Crayons, 99 cents
  • Spatula knife, 99 cents
  • A microwave-safe bowl, 99 cents (If you have one you’re willing to sacrifice to melt crayons, you just saved another 99 cents.)

Total: $2.97. $3.96 if you throw in a weak lemonade-type drink.

What you do:

  • Pick the Crayon whose color comes closest to matching your countertop. Peel off the paper and place it in the bowl.
  • Pop the crayon and bowl in the microwave.
  • Pour the hot, melted crayon onto the scuff mark and work it into the indentation with the spatula knife.
  • Scrape off the excess with the spatula knife.

The Crayon mixture will harden and dry quickly, erasing your countertop flaw.

What other inexpensive home fixes have you found or tried? What minor home repair job have you neglected because of lack of time?

Used with permission:

Free yard waste days, Saturdays in November

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

From the City of Ames

“The City of Ames has scheduled four Yard Waste Free Days beginning Saturday, Nov. 3, and continuing the following three Saturdays.

Residents wanting to dispose of yard waste may bring lawn clippings and leaves to American Professional Service Group, 407 Freel Drive, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Nov. 3, 10, 17, and 24. Leaves, as well as branches, shrubs, and brush, will be accepted on Saturday, Nov. 17 only.

Participants should follow American Professional Service Groups’ rules for proper yard waste disposal. For updated information call American Professional Service Group at (515) 232-7782 or go to Yard waste is not accepted at the Resource Recovery Plant. Participants are asked to enter American Professional Service Group from Southeast Fifth Street.”