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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.

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