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Displaying blog entries 161-170 of 183

A Few Of Our Favorite Holiday Light Displays Around The Metro

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Nothing says “Holiday Spirit” like grabbing a snack and some hot cocoa, then jumping in the car to take in the lights and sights of the season!  In and around the Des Moines metro, the choices are plenty when it comes to areas for your tour de lights.  We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight just a few of our faves! 

First up, the obvious: Jolly Holiday Lights!  Drive through Water Works Park to enjoy one of Central Iowa’s most beloved traditions!  And don’t forget a stop at Santa's Wish Shop where you can talk to Santa, get a snack or even snag some stocking stuffers! See link for admission prices and hours.

Next, be sure to plan a drive through of a few well-known Beaverdale neighborhoods!  Beaverdale Lights is a show of about 50 homes on Ashby and Wallace Avenues east and west of Beaver Avenue.  Some of these are historic homes with serious holiday cheer!

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While you’re out and about in Des Moines, see to it that your tour involves a drive to 200 North Main Street in Grimes.  This is where Bob Jordan and his family set up their elaborate indoor and outdoor display every year. And just to put this one in perspective, the Jordan’s have so many lights that they beginning the decorating process in October!  A show said to use more than 1,000 feet of drop cord, the 2010 show used 127 plastic snowmen and 74 Santa Claus statues. The family gives all proceeds to the Special Olympics – a win, win in our book!

 

Looking to stay a little closer to home, Ankeny friends?  Our town is proud to feature several well-lit neighborhoods known for their festive-ness and magnificent light displays! 

 

Perhaps the most popular is the famous Gingerbread Lane on Richland Court and the nearby Richland and Rio Circles.  This year these streets will be collecting canned goods (December 13-14, and 20-12 from 6-8pm).  These neighbors have a story to tell and do so using lights and decorations! 

 

Called the city’s best kept Christmas light secret, some homes in The Country Club division boast beautiful displays and lots of holiday spirit. 

 

Of course, the well lit and decorated homes in and around Ankeny are too numerous for us to mention all.  But we want to know?  Where have you found the best light displays and festive decorations?  We’ll be checking the comments and making sure to take your advice!

2013 Local Holiday Events You Won't Want To Miss

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

 

Tis the season to spend time with family, friends...and your community!  Lucky for you, Ankeny is a town with lots of super special Holiday events happening soon, making that quality family/friend/community time a reality!  Below you will find a list of a few of our favorite must-see and do special events.

 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

 

Ankeny Community Chamber Luncheon

 

While this event requires tickets in advance, and that deadline has passed, we feel that it is still worthy of mentioning.  That way you will remember to put it on your calendar for next year!  And if you’re one of the lucky ones headed to the luncheon today -- we’ll see you there!

 

Santa and Mrs. Claus visit the Library

 

Take your little ones for this event at our local library.  Let them visit with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, make a craft, watch a movie, and more!

 

 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

 

Past Time Treasures Holiday Open House

 

If you haven’t visited this new Uptown Ankeny store yet, make this Saturday your first trip!  Plan to shop, enjoy some goodies, and be entered in a giveaway!  Plus, you might just find the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy for person on your list!  Take it from us…this well-run, family-owned business is unique and worth the trip!

 

Holiday Tree Festival Open House at the Ankeny Fire Department Headquarters

 

See the beautifully decorated trees sponsored by areas businesses, individuals and organizations. These trees are donated to families in need from the Ankeny, Bondurant, North Polk, and Saydel areas.

 

Festivities include music, hot chocolate, cookies, popcorn, and a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus!

 

Christmas in Uptown Ankeny - Santa’s Treasure Hunt

 

First enjoy a pancake breakfast at Ankeny First United Methodist Church, next head over to meet Santa, have your picture taken with his sleigh, and then be sure to take advantage of the horse-drawn Wagon Rides!  See link for details.

 

Breakfast with Santa

 

Again, this event required pre-registration, but we found it worthy of mentioning for your future reference if you’ve already missed the deadline!

 

Saturday, December 12, 2013

 

Family Movie: The Polar Express

 

Head over to our local library to see this showing of a Christmas favorite!

Q & A with an Ankeny Educator: Meet Mrs. Lynam

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

This is the time of year where we all tend to count our many blessings.  And we think that all of us can agree that Ankeny has certainly been blessed with a LOT of outstanding teachers!  We want to take the time to recognize and get to know a few of these fabulous educators.  So, our Q & A series with Ankeny Educators continues!  Up today?  Mrs. Lynam! 

Name:  Heather Lynam

Position:  Special Education, Northview Middle School

Number of years in education:  10

Years taught in Ankeny:  This is my first.

Family:  Husband Sean, daughter Keelyn {4}, son Easton {18 months}

Hobbies:  spending time with my family, all things Pinterest

 

What is the best thing about teaching in Ankeny?

The best thing about teaching in Ankeny is the high level of understanding and support from administration and colleagues. 

 

What gets you excited about the direction that Ankeny schools are heading?

I am really excited this semester with our professional development on differentiation of teaching and learning.  Our goal is that ALL students will learn, and sometimes it takes thinking outside of the box for that learning to occur for some of our students.  I am so glad to see students with special needs integrating into the general education environments more and more.

 

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

I was an elementary teacher for nine years, so moving to an 8th & 9th grade building is quite different.  I find myself spending more time honing my skills in pre-algebra and US Studies.  I also am working on implementing the newly released Essential Elements for students with significant disabilities that align with the Iowa Core.  These Essential Elements will allow for students to receive the same core standards that the general education students are receiving in a modified way.  It will provide for more rigorous teaching and learning.

 

How would your students describe you?

Fun, loving, and serious when I need to be.

 

What motivates you?

Knowing that every student in our building deserves the chance to have the very best education they can receive.  When my students have their “a-ha” moments and generalize skills in other areas, it makes me want to push myself and them harder.

 

What is typically the best part of your day?

The moment when the kids walk in the door.  The “Hi Heather’s”, high five’s, and their overall excitement to be back for another day of learning.  

Ankeny Real Estate Service Black Friday Ad 2013!

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

There's An App For That: Top Smart Phone Apps For Moving

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

One of the main purposes of smartphone applications is to help us organize and streamline our lives.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of apps out there to assist with the moving process.  From help with packing and to-do checklists to decorating a new home and getting to know a different neighborhood, these applications can assist in every aspect of your relocation -- whether across town or across the county.

Here are 5 moving apps that will help you get and stay organized, so that the process can be as stress-free as possible.

Moving List (iPhone, $2.99)

This handy dandy application comes with 95 already developed list task items that you can edit or add to based on your specific moving needs.  All items can be organized by categories or due date.  Categories include DIY, friends & family, goodbyes, job relocation, movers, new address, packing, transport, and other.

Moving Van (iPhone, $1.99)

This app proves useful when packing and unpacking. It allows you to track, and even take pictures of, all the items you put in a box.  Think this sounds like too much work?  Just imagine how thankful you’ll be that you took the time to use this app when you’re looking for little Johnny’s nightlight on your first night in the new house and don’t have to go through 10 boxes to find it.  Another bonus?  Moving Van also has the capability to export your inventory list as either a PDF or as text in the body of an email. Sleep easy knowing where all your junk is! 

My Move (iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire)

Need a reliable moving company to assist you in your relocation, but don’t know where to start?  My Move is an app that help you search for licensed contractors by location and read reviews by other customers. There is also a free quote feature that makes this application stand out.

Moving Day (iPhone, free)

The Moving Day App is specifically designed to get you through the big day.  It has built in barcode scanning and label making functions, which allows you to create barcodes on your phone, print them out, and attach them to boxes. Then, once you’ve arrived at your new residence, you scan the boxes to make sure everything has arrived AND to see what is in each box without actually opening it.  Genius, I tell you!

Home Inspection Checklist (Android, free)

While I firmly believe that nothing can replace the know-how of an experienced, certified, professional inspector, I recommend using this app to call problem areas to the inspector’s attention beforehand.  These checklists include all aspects of a home from interior and exterior structural details, to electrical and plumbing.  Show that licensed professional that you’re prepared for his/her inspection and that you care a great deal about their findings!

Applications such as these can save you time, money, and stress that often comes with a move.  Do yourself a favor and simplify the already complex process by downloading these apps or ones like it!  Like I always say...work smarter, not harder!

Now, if only someone could come up with an app that could pack and unpack all those boxes, we’d be set!

Tips For Moving With Children

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

It’s official!  You’re moving!  Now, pack those boxes, grab the fam, and get outta town.  Piece of cake, right?

Wrong!  We only wish it was that easy!  Moving is complicated for EVERYONE, but when there are children involved, not only are you dealing with logistics, you’re dealing with emotions. And quite frankly, is there anything more important than the emotional well-being of the little ones in our lives?!?  We don’t think so!

And that’s why we took it upon ourselves to compile a list of our top Tips For Moving With Kids.  These strategies are sure to help you buffer those emotions, create a smooth transition, and make your relocation an adventure to celebrate.

1.  Have a family meeting.  Make this an open forum and explain why you’ve made the decision to move.  Share about why you’re excited for this new adventure and how it will be good for your family.  Prepare children for what to expect and let them know that you’re counting on them for their help and input as you move forward with the process.  Let them know that you value their opinion and give kids the opportunity to express their questions and concerns.

2.  House hunt as a family.  If logistics allow, take your children with you when you tour potential homes and if the search is primarily happening online, be sure to bookmark your favorites for their input. 

3.  Give them some say in their room.  Whether it be paint colors, furniture arrangement, or artwork on the wall, kids enjoy any control you’re willing to give them. 

4.  Time your move (if possible).  If circumstances are such that you are able to time your move according to YOUR schedule, try to plan it for a relatively “quiet” time of year.  Maybe when the children are out of school?  Or after any other major life events (vacations, potty training, etc.) have taken place.

5.  Tour the new location.  Become familiar with your new town or city.  Keep a list of places you want to go, restaurants to try, parks to visit, etc.  This will help to build and maintain excitement for your children.

6.  Have them help you pack & purge.  Children who are old enough should be encouraged to help you pack.  Give them a say in what gets packed and what doesn’t.  Make them a part of the process.

7.  Throw a Going Away Party.  Give kids the chance to say goodbye to friends, family, and neighbors in a FUN and meaningful way!  Host a party that they won’t soon forget.  Besides, who doesn’t love a good celebration?!?

8.  Say goodbye in a special way.  Whether it’s a special dinner where you share your favorite memories, or a custom book of photos from the house, doing something worthy of remembering.

9.  Make the new place feel like home.  Without feeling rushed to unpack, be sure to make it a priority to hang and set out some of your children’s favorite items.  Familiar thing will help make the house feel like home -- for both you AND the kids.

10.  Celebrate!  Once you’re moved into the new home, be sure to make it an occasion!  Let your kids pick a special restaurant or activity to celebrate their role in your move AND to toast the beginning of new adventures!  

Our take on the recent article from MSN: What $300,000 can get you in the metro!

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Earlier this week MSN Real Estate published {this} article on what type of home $300,000 can get you across the country.  So, we thought it would be fun to do a little comparison of our own!  Ever wonder what approximately $300,000 can get you around here?  Well, wonder no more!  Here are just a few homes that are or have been listed in this price range.  Take a look, then be sure to compare them to the article.  We think the Des Moines metro is the place to be when you want to get a lot of home for your dollar!

1.  814 NE Lakeview, Ankeny, Iowa -- $315,000

3,700 square feet of living space, 5 bedrooms & 4 bathroom areas, den, formal dining room, huge lower level family room with walk out to 1/3 acre yard. Wonderful view of Fountain View lake & recreation trail. New carpet throughout & fresh paint upper & lower levels, refinished hardwood floors. Central Vac, Children's play set and invisible fence(need collars) included. Easy access to I-35.

2.  3419 NW Rockridge, Ankeny, Iowa -- $319,900

Unique, warm and charming one of a kind walkout Ranch. 4 Bedroom, 3 Bath with distinctive craftsmanship throughout. Inviting foyer greets with dramatic Red Birch flooring, 9 ft ceilings, double closets & window seat, leading into a 32' living & entertaining area. Kitchen boasts cherry stained maple cabinetry, black granite counters, SS appliances, roll-out drawers & 3 way breakfast bar. The 16' dining area w/slider to 14' elevated deck overlooks the living room & fireplace with quality built-in bookcase, mantle & woodwork. Master bedroom suite with jet tub, double raised vanity, 9' walk-in closet & shower. Laundry situated next to MBR. A 2nd BR is in front wing off entry with full bath. Finished walkout lower level has 28' family room, slider to patio & yard & stunning 16' wall of fireplace, maple-cherry handcrafted bookcases, mantle & cabinets, two Lower Level bedrooms, a full bath & large storage utility area. Upgrades & Character throughout this home.

3. 7534 NE Berwick, Ankeny, Iowa -- $375,000

Over an acre wooded lot, wildlife galore!! Huge 2 season porch & life time decking, 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 baths, walk out lower lever with wet bar, full bath & bedroom, vaulted great room with huge windows for natural lighting, main floor master suite & full bath with jet tub and shower, double vanities, formal dining room or den with French doors, main floor mud/ laundry room with 1/2 bath, upper level with 2 bedrooms, full bath and spacious loft area over looking great room, 3 car garage, whole house intercom system & central vac.

4. 5722 SE 24th, Des Moines, Iowa -- $284,900

Unique 6BR 4BA 3852sf finished home on cul-de-sac on half acre lot! HUGE kitchen w/cherry cabinets, SS appliances, corian counters, tile floor, and eat-in area. Dining area w/oak hardwood floor and 2 story ceiling! Mudroom/Laundry off garage. Great Room features a fireplace, surround sound, and lots of windows! Rounding off the main floor are two bedrooms, full bath, and half bath. The 3-car garage is extra wide with an extra 9X10 storage room/workshop. 2nd Floor: Lovely master suite w/vaulted ceiling, walk-in closet, and HUGE bathroom w/dual sinks, toilet room, tiled shower, and lots of beautiful cabinetry. 2nd big bedroom and bonus loft area complete the upstairs. Finished basement has 2 bedrooms (one currently a home gym), family room, new carpet, and full bath. Energy efficient home w/tri-zone heating/cooling (2 furnaces/2 AC's w/separate controls). Backyard: 39X13 stone patio overlooking the expansive fenced yard, 12X10 shed.

5. 2002 NE Bel Aire, Ankeny, Iowa -- $259,900

Beautifully updated 5-bedroom ranch home in the popular Briarwood South area of Ankeny. Conveniently located near schools, parks, restaurants, and shopping. Tons of space for your family with 1776sf of finish on the main level and 1666sf of finish in the lower level per seller. The spacious kitchen has granite, lovely backsplash, stainless steel appliances, and updated nickel fixtures throughout. French doors lead to the bright 4-season sun room off the kitchen. This home has TWO gas fireplaces! Wood floor in the kitchen. New carpet and paint throughout the home. Spacious master suite w/walk-in closet and large bathroom area - dual sinks and gorgeous tiled shower. Main floor laundry. Finished lower level has two more bedrooms with egress windows, wetbar, large full bathroom, and HUGE family room! Other ammenities: fenced yard, wired for surround sound in basement, irrigation system, vaulted cilings on main floor, covered deck, high efficiency furnace/AC, updated landscaping.

32nd Annual Santa's North Pole Village!

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

With the holidays less than 2 months away, now is the time to start that sh-sh-sh-shopping. But fear not, friends! Ankeny plays host to a HUGE annual event that makes the gift getting easy.  That’s right -- EASY!  With over 300 vendors, the Santa’s North Pole Village Craft Show is sure to have something for everyone. Even those hard to buy for people in your life!

The 32nd Santa’s North Pole Village is taking place this Saturday, November 2, 2013, so get it on your calendars and make plans now!  With between 5,000-10,000 visitors expected annually, this Ankeny Art Center fundraiser, is one of Iowa’s largest craft shows.  And, of course, that many visitors calls for multiple locations!  This year’s event will be held at Northview Middle School, Parkview Middle School, and Prairie Ridge Middle School.  Bonus: there is a shuttle service available for transportation from site to site!

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From fine art crafters and “junkers,” to jewelry, candle makers, and more this is an event you do NOT want to miss!  So, here’s what you need to know:

32nd Annual Santa's North Pole Village Craft Show

Saturday, November 2, 2013.    Hours: 9am-4pm

Admission: $5.  Shuttle bus available.

Three locations: Northview  Middle School, Prairie Ridge Middle School and Parkview Middle School.

Cafeteria opens at 8 am and will feature an array of food vendors.

Q & A with an Ankeny Educator: Meet Mr. Ruff

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

We're back this week with another edition of an Ankeny teacher get-to-know-you session.  At Ankeny Real Estate Service, we feel strongly that without awesome TEACHERS, our school district can NOT produce amazing, intelligent, and well-rounded students! Nothing makes us more proud than a true professional dedicated to our students AND this community!

And with that...let us introduce you to Mr. Ruff!

Name: Aaron Ruff    

  

Position: Physical Education at Prairie Ridge Middle School

 

Number of years in education:8

 

Years taught in Ankeny:5

 

Hobbies: Coaching, Reading, Cheering for the Cyclones, Bears and Cubs

 

What is the best thing about teaching in Ankeny?

Teaching in Ankeny is a privilege. The students, families, teachers and administrators are a joy to work with. Above all else the best thing about working in the Ankeny Community School District is the mindset that whatever is best for the students is what will be done.

 

What gets you excited about the direction that Ankeny schools are heading?

As we keep growing as a community our schools keep up and are always doing good work, work that is best for the students of the community. 

 

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Balancing the time in all the extra-curricular activities that I am involved in with Ankeny Community School District. 

 

How would your students describe you?

Fun, Fair and Nice

 

What motivates you?

Seeing students and athletes achieve beyond what they thought they could do.

 

What is typically the best part of your day?

 Working with kids and seeing kids achieve their personal goals. 

Trending: Mudrooms (Make Your Own!)

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

No matter how big or small your home or family are, we can all agree that a designated place to drop our “stuff” when we walk in the door is ideal for the sake of ease and organization in today’s society.  And while a dedicated, actual mudrooms in every home would be nice, it isn’t a reality.  Although, mudrooms are certainly a trend on the rise.  So, what do you do if your home’s layout doesn’t exactly leave room for such a space?  Well, you get creative!  Use what you have and make the most of your space!  Think outside the box and utilize hooks, shelves, storage bins, and any extra wall space to create your makeshift mudroom.  Solve shoe storage issues, get the bursting with artwork backpacks up off the floor, and hang your coats for every season on hooks assigned to each family member.  Take it from us -- no matter how big or small your space, your clutter issues can be solved.  Check out these inspirational areas of order: 

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Displaying blog entries 161-170 of 183