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2016 Easter Events in Ankeny

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

By now you know that at Ankeny Real Estate Service, we are passionate about supporting our community and its amazing, family-focused events! With Easter just days away, we wanted to give you a heads-up about two BIG events happening in or near the Uptown Ankeny area.

 

First off, you won’t want to miss out on the annual “Hop Into Uptown” event held TODAY, Thursday, March 28, from 5-6:30 p.m. in Uptown Ankeny (of course!). Visit the Easter Bunny at the Holiday House, located on Southwest Third and Maple streets. Get your magic number (while supplies last!) and then find your egg at participating. Grand prize eggs include 1 bike from Kyle's Bikes and Uptown Ankeny Association and 1 stuffed bunny.

 

 

The other HUGE event happening on Saturday, March 26 at 10:30 a.m. is the Ankeny First United Methodist Church Easter Egg Hunt. You can find this huge Easter Egg Hunt at the Prairie Ridge Aquatic Center at 1220 N.W. Prairie Ridge Drive in Ankeny. The Easter Egg Hunt is free (no cost) to children ages 2 through fourth grade, who are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

 

 

Children are asked to bring their own Easter baskets. Over 8,000 candy filled eggs are scattered over two and a half acres of land adjacent to the Prairie Ridge Aquatic Center. The Easter Bunny will be on hand and parents are encouraged to bring their cameras.

 

This Easter Egg Hunt is a 20 year old tradition that began in the church’s courtyard, with only about 50 families attending. That attendance has steadily increased over the years and the event was eventually so large that is was moved to Prairie Ridge Aquatic Center.

Preparing the Inside of your Home for Spring

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Could it be?!  Is spring really finally here?  I can’t say for sure, but whether we’re ready or not, ball practices are in full-swing, the birds have reemerged, and kids are counting down the days until summer vacation.  If you’re anything like me, as the days get longer and the temperatures get warmer, you get the itch to clean and freshen up your home – both inside and out.  Today we’re going to talk a little about what kinds of things you can do to prepare your home’s interior for the change in seasons.  Then, in the next couple of weeks, we’ll follow up with ideas for freshening up your home’s exterior in time for spring.

 

 

Maintaining your home’s interior and preparing it for spring may require a bit of time, some organization, and a little work, but follow these easy steps and you’ll be ready to enjoy the sunshine in no time!

 

Spring Interior To-Do List:

  • HVAC maintenance.  Call on a professional now while the days aren’t yet scorching to ensure that your AC unit is functioning properly AND without using more energy than necessary.  Now is also the time to replace filters and make note on the calendar to continue to do so monthly.
  • Inspect caulking around windows and doors.  Often times these openings can separate ever so slightly from their frames in harsh winter temperatures.  A quick application of external silicone caulking or sealant can remedy this without much hassle.
  • Change the direction of your ceiling fans.  During the summer months, it is ideal to have your fans blowing cool air down to give the room a nice breeze and to feel cooler.  And the opposite is true in the winter.
  • Inspect and clean your clothes dryer vent to make sure it is clear of lint and functions properly.  A clogged vent can result it warm air being blown back into the laundry room, which in turn, eventually raises the temperature of the entire house.
  • Spring clean!  Now is the time to dust, mop, vacuum, organize, and purge your home of unwanted and unused items.  Wash linens, shower curtains, children’s toys, blankets, and pillows.  And don’t forget the windows, blinds, air vents, fans, and the fireplace from winter!

 

Your home goes through many changes as it ages and endures seasonal changes.  Not only is it rewarding to prepare for spring, but NECESSARY as well!  So, what are you waiting for?  Get busy!  Warmer temperatures are on the way!

The Pros & Cons of Buying an Older Home

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Tree lined streets, architecture that oozes character, and more reasonable price tags – older homes certainly have their advantages.  However, they can also come with their fair share of downfalls.  From upkeep and expenses, to layout and energy efficiency, older homes present their own challenges.  How do you decide if an older home is for you?  Let us help!  Check out our list of PROS AND CONS FOR BUYING AN OLDER HOME.

 

 

Pro: Location, location, location.  The obvious advantage of older homes is that they are often found in ideal locations, close to schools, shopping, and entertainment.  Bonus: those scenic tree lined streets that we all love so much?  They are, primarily, only an advantage of older homes in older neighborhoods.

Con: Maintenance Issues.  More years + more wear and tear = more upkeep.

Pro: Cost. It depends on location and condition, but older homes tend to have a more modest price tag, than their newer counterparts.

Con: Storage – or the lack there of!  These days, we tend to buy and have more stuff than in the past and older homes generally weren’t built to accommodate all of our present-day things.  (Tip: See this as an opportunity to be creative with your storage!)

Pro: Character.  Older homes tend to be rich in character and more unique than newer, sometimes “cookie-cutter” builds. The good news, for those that love the character of older homes, but prefer the maintenance of a new home, is that there seems to be a shift away from this “cookie-cutter” type construction. All across our community, unique homes are being built that just ooze character!

Con: These days, construction materials and trends are much more energy efficient, which means LOWER UTILITY BILLS for just-built homes vs. established ones.

Pro: Larger yards.  In an effort to conserve space and “fit more in,” new homes are being built on small lots, closer to neighbors than homes in the past.  If room to roam (Or garden!  Or play!) is important to you, older is wiser!

So, while it might seem that your dream home, rich in beautiful architecture, is the perfect choice for you, there is still a LOT to consider.  Educate yourself, figure out what is most important to you and your family, and then call us at Ankeny Real Estate Service so we can help you find that perfect place!

Ways to Deter a Potential Home Buyer

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

As real estate markets everywhere are on the upswing and buyers are out in full force, many of today’s buyers make judgments about homes within just minutes of seeing a listing online or in person. They are also more cautious than ever before. Buyers want to make sure they’re buying the best house and for the best amount of money. And, for sellers? That means giving buyers what they want. If you’re planning to put your house on the market anytime soon, here are our TOP TEN WAYS TO TURN OFF POTENTIAL BUYERS.

 


 

Dirt

 

Turn off potential homebuyers almost immediately by leaving your home dirty. Filthy floors, kitchen counters, bathrooms, and carpets should be spick-and-span! Do yourself a favor and go the extra mile when it comes to cleaning...from steam-cleaning tile and grout to replacing carpets. No one wants to have to look past the dirt to see themselves living in your home.

 

 

Odor

 

Buyers, it's said, buy with their noses. Make sure your home smells fresh and inviting. We wrote an entire post about “The Stinky Side of Real Estate” just last year and from that list, we encourage you to remember that: house odors are number one on the home selling uh-oh list. And narrowing it down, odors from cigarette smoke and pets take top billing, with mildew not far behind. Wow prospective buyers with fresh, clean scents and positive, fond memories of your home after they leave, rather than nose plug-worthy nastiness and feelings of disgust. Click {here} to read about 3 GREAT ways to ensure that your home will pass the smell test!

 

Wallpaper

 

Today's buyer doesn't want wallpaper, no matter how much your grandma liked it. Wallpaper is a pain to remove and simply adds another chore to a buyer's to-do list.

 

 

Outdated Fixtures

 

Buyers are not impressed by tarnished doorknobs, disco-era light fixtures and ancient ceiling fans. The same holds true for dated ceiling fans, light fixtures and kitchen appliances. If you want your home to show well, take the time to replace/fix these things. A little leg-work/effort on your end will almost always pay off when it comes to how your home shows.

 

Clutter

Again, this is a topic we found worthy of it’s very own blog post. Click {here} to read our top tips for Curing The Clutter! Basically, it’s important to remember: Shopping for a home is like shopping for clothes. Buyers are trying on your home to see how it fits, as if it were a pair of shoes. If personal items clutter your home, it's like the buyer is trying on those shoes while you're standing in them. A fit is unlikely. {bankrate.com}

 

Obviously, a lot of us live with clutter on a daily basis. We can get so accustomed to it that we tend to not even notice the extent to which the clutter has taken over a room or home. But homebuyers notice. Whether inside or out, less is more when it comes to clutter.

 

Poor Curb Appeal

 

Seeing a house for the first time is like meeting a person for the first time: Appearance counts. That first-glance impression of a house is called curb appeal and a positive first impression doesn’t have to be difficult. Check out our ideas for Creating Curb Appeal on a Budget!

 

Bad Lighting

 

Dark homes are a turnoff to most home buyers! Here are a few suggestions to brighten them up:

  • Replace dim light fixtures
  • Install additional light fixtures
  • Install (quality) sun tunnels or skylights
  • Remove heavy drapes to let the light stream through windows
  • Repaint some rooms with colors that reflect light
  • Trim tree limbs that shadow the house

Dirty and fogged windows are another buyer turnoff. Clean them inside and out to bring in more light. If possible, replace any double-pane windows with broken seals. You can find them by looking for a foggy residue that cannot be removed. {homebuying.about.com}

 

Pets

 

Let’s face it; family pets bring a lot of joy to the home. But, they don’t always bring the same joy to a prospective buyer. Dog’s toys, filled with saliva, dirt and dust can be a sore both for the eyes and the nose. If you have a pet, put a plan in place to move the food and water bowls as well as the toys and dog’s bed to a better location, like the garage. Homes that smell and show like animals can scare buyers off. {zillow.com}

 

 

If possible, remove pets during showings. And, if you can’t? At the very least, contain them in crates for their own safety and to show respect to the potential buyers.

 

Bugs

 

Roaches, spiders, or basically anything that will crawl or fly should NOT be in the house. Get rid of them.

 

YOU!

 

Yes, you... leave the house during showings. Home buyers feel awkward about opening closet doors and lingering for a really good look at the house if the seller is home.

 

Part of the joy of owning a home is that you can do whatever you want with it, to it, and in it. You should enjoy that freedom. HOWEVER, if you want to sell it easily and for top dollar down the road, try to picture how others might react to any renovations, additions or modifications you make. The more specific you get — such as painting a Dr. Seuss mural on your cute kid’s bedroom wall — the harder it will be to sell your home later, and the less return on investment you’ll get. When considering changes to your home, always consider resale.

 

And, if you’re just not sure where to start when ready to sell or just want a second opinion (Does my house really smell THAT bad?!?), call us! We’ll give you our honest, educated best -- always!

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4