Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

Home Swimming Pool Safety

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

In the midst of these sweltering summer days, we believe that it is especially important to be mindful of SWIMMING POOL SAFETY.  And while Iowa isn’t necessarily known for it’s home swimming pool popularity, it is certainly a trend on the rise from the real estate perspective.  For this reason, it is crucial that homeowners remain diligent when it comes to maintaining a safe environment around their swimming pool.

 

 

We have put together a list of home swimming pool safety steps for homeowners in hopes to inform and educate, thus preventing a potential drowning tragedy. 

 

● Invest in and make use of a lockable safety cover for your pool.

● Secure pool area using a four-foot or taller fence, with self-closing and self-latching gates.

● Consider the use of pool and gate alarms that sounds when children go near the pool.

● Drain and suction covers should be checked on a frequent and regular basis. Defective equipment can lead to accidental entrapment and drowning.

● Pool and hot tub water should be kept clean and clear by maintaining proper chemical levels, circulation, and filtration. Water should be tested regularly to avoid spreading of disease.

● Keep life-saving floatation devices on a pool hook close-by to aid in emergency rescue situations.

● A first-aid kit (including scissors for cutting hair or clothing that may be caught in a drain, a charged portable phone for calling 911, and a floatation device), should be accessible and well-labeled. 

● Clearly mark water depths and have “no diving” signs visible.

● It may seem like it goes without saying, but children should always, always, always be under active supervision if they are in or near the pool.

● Additionally, children and adults should be taught basic water safety.

● Learn to perform adult and child CPR and keep those skills updated regularly.

● Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear life vests.

 

Nothing brings pool fun to a screeching halt faster than a water emergency. At Ankeny Real Estate Service, we take the safety of you and your family very seriously.  Therefore, we encourage you to go the extra mile this summer by implementing all of these steps to ensure a safer pool experience.  

Do It For The Dogs: Unique Ideas For Your Canine Companion

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Just like humans, we believe man’s best friend deserves a place to call their own in any home. If you are a dog lover, then why not set aside a space for your pet to enjoy? Either indoors or out, dog houses and other canine luxuries can add a bit of fun and practicality for pets and owners alike. There are plenty of kennels and dog houses that you can purchase, but we’ve put together collection of contemporary, out-of-the-box ideas and designs that are more suited to fitting in with a more modern home design.  Take a look and give ‘em try!  We’d love to hear what your canine companion takes to his/her new digs!

 

 

If your pet dog spends longer periods in the home, rather than outside, why not provide the perfect pooch palace as part of your interior design?  Bring the bed inside by building it into the wall, a desk, a bedside table, or another piece of furniture!

 

{source}

 

{source}

 

{source}

 


{source unknown}

 

For convenience sake, try out some of these supremely awesome indoor ideas that can take the headache out of feeding, watering, and pet ownership, in general!

 

{source}

 


{source}

 


{source unknown}

 

{source}

 

 


{source}

 


{source}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping Your Home Safe While You're Away On Vacation

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Tis the season for getaways and summer vacations.  What do you have planned?  Maybe it’s a weekend adventure to a neighboring state or a 2-week-long holiday overseas.  No matter the kind of trip that awaits you, we want to help you maintain safety of the home you’re leaving behind!  Here are some tips to KEEP YOUR HOUSE SAFE while you’re away enjoying a stress-free vacation!

 

 

● Lock all doors and windows.  Duh.  But seriously.  It’s worth double checking.

 

● Enlist the help of trustworthy friends or neighbors to “watch” your house while you’re gone.  Leave them a key, your emergency contact information, and specific instructions on your expectations for them.  Of note, we highly recommend the persuasive technique of bribery with food.  The promise of a free meal or yummy cupcakes is a commonly recognized form of reimbursement!

 

● If you don’t have them already, it is a wise idea to invest in timers for both interior and exterior lights.  At night, a well lit home can deter would-be thieves, while keeping lights on during the day is unnecessary and wasteful.  Timers are a simple solution for making an unoccupied home look lived in even while you’re away.

 

● Make arrangements for your yard work to be done if you are planning on vacationing for a long period of time.  If your lawns is always trimmed and perfectly manicured, then long grass can be a sign for potential burglars that you aren’t home. 

 

● Avoid social media.  Today’s society thrives on the use of social media and, all too often, vast amounts of “over-sharing” are happening on places like Facebook and Twitter -- especially when it comes to posting vacation plans, updates, and pictures.  Thieves are smart and will often rely on social media to tell them when you are away from home.  Be mindful of the information you’re giving and pictures you’re posting.  And, at the very least, change your social media privacy settings so that only your most trusted friends and family can see what you’re up to (at least until you’ve returned from your vacay!).

 

● Prevent power surges and potential fires by unplugging computers, TVs, stereos, coffee makers, toaster ovens, and other electronics -- or ensure that they are plugged into surge protectors.

 

● Alert the alarm company.  This, too, may seem like another no-brainer, but it can often be forgotten.  If you have an alarm system in place, take the time to notify the company of your plans AND if you will be having friends or family check on your house.  Likewise, your “house watcher” should also be briefed on the ins-and-outs of your alarm system.

 

● Nothing says “I’m away on vacation, please burglarize my house” like a pile of newpapers on the front step or an overflowing mailbox.  Place a “stop” order on mail and newspaper deliveries or enlist the help of a trustworthy neighbor to pick them up daily. The USPS will hold your mail for up to 30 days, as a free courtesy.  This can be done in person or online https://holdmail.usps.com/duns/HoldMail.jsp.

 

● Secure valuables in a safety deposit box.  Say all of your preventative measures fail and an intruder happens to make his or her way into your home?  Well, then, ensure that you’re not leaving them anything of great monetary or personal value!  Take the time before your vacation to deposit jewelry, essential documents, and other important belongings into a safety deposit box.

 

At Ankeny Real Estate Service, not only are we in the business of buying and selling homes, but it is also our greatest desire to help you enjoy your home and life (vacations, included!) to the fullest.  It’s no secret that eliminating simple worries such as the safety of your home while away can greatly decrease stress AND increase your happiness.  So, what do you say?  Get out there and enjoy your summer!  Hit the road...but not until you secure the safety of the home you’re leaving behind.

 

Ankeny SummerFest 2014 (Part II)

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Welcome back to part II in our series highlighting ANKENY SUMMERFEST and some of our favorite/we-think-you-ought-to-know-about events!  As we mentioned last time, not only do we pride ourselves on being the “Ankeny Specialists” when it comes to real estate, but we’d like to think we know a little something about our community and it’s happenings, too.  So, without further ado, here are just a few of the, what we consider to be, can’t-miss events from SummerFest days 3 and 4 (July 12 and 13).

 

Read Part I {here}.

 

Saturday, July 12, is a day jam-packed with fun and activities for all ages and citizens with a wide variety of interests. 

 

● The day begins with a bang as the SummerFest Grand Parade takes to the streets of Ankeny at 9:00 am.  As long-time patrons, we encourage parade-goers to find a spot along the route early, come prepared, and be ready to be entertained!

{source}

 

●In its 16th year, the Cardboard Boat Regatta is among the most popular of SummerFest events!  The challenge to, “design and build a person-powered corrugated cardboard boat that is capable of racing, or at least floating,“ is not only exciting for participants, but is also highly entertaining (read: hilarious!) to watch.

{source}

 

●Once again, no SummerFest evening is complete without a stop by the Leisure Garden where the band, Standing Hamptons, will be performing on Saturday.

●Among much, much more, don’t forget to check out other Saturday events, such as: The Miss 16 Contest; Kiwanis Pancake Fest; Sand Volleyball, Slowpitch Softball, and Kickball Tournaments.

 

Even on it’s final day, SummerFest doesn’t let up on fun!  The events schedule is full, but a few of our Sunday favorites are:

 

Ankeny Optimist SummerFest 5k/1 mile run.  This is the perfect way to work off some of that fantastic fried food from the midway that you’ve been consuming all weekend!  Even better?  It’s for a great cause!

Corks & Caps: Iowa Wine and Craft Beer Festival.  A perfect opportunity to check out wineries and breweries from all over Iowa!  Tickets are available at the door!

Fireworks!  The finale!  It’s a spectacular show...especially for those that choose to be up close and personal, viewing the fireworks from the Leisure Garden or Prairie Ridge Sports Complex!  These fireworks are the perfect way to celebrate another successful year of SummerFest!

 

And there you have it!  Our complete list of must-see/must-do 2014 SummerFest activities!  For the full schedule of events, details, and other general information, visit www.ankenysummerfest.org.

 

Now, we want to know, are YOU planning a trip to SummerFest this year?  If so, what’s on your list of can’t-miss events?

Ankeny SummerFest 2014

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

At Ankeny Real Estate Service, we like to refer to ourselves as the Ankeny Specialists when it comes to Ankeny homes.  BUT, that doesn’t mean that our expertise ends with the real estate market. Nope! We are proud to be a long-time, Ankeny-based business, which means our community ties are strong and we are well-versed on all things Ankeny...including local events. 

 

This year’s ANKENY SUMMERFEST is right around the corner and we think you need to know about it!  However, this 4 day event (July 10 - 13) is just too BIG for us to cram into just one blog, which is why we’ve decided to make this a 2-post series.  Today we’re excited to share with you some of our favorite Summerfest activities, beginning with the events of the first 2 days (July 10 & 11), then finishing up with the final 2 days (July 12 & 13) in our blog post tomorrow.  So, hang onto your hats, this is going to be fun!

 

{source}

 

Summerfest 2014 begins with a Thursday evening chock-full of fun!  Here’s the rundown on what Day One has to offer:

 

Summerfest on-site carnival and vendors.  Runs Thursday, July 10 thru Sunday, July 13.  There are games, rides, and lots of attractions for the kids (or kids a heart!), as well as, plenty of foods, drinks, and vendors for those less interested in the Midway shenanigans. 

●The ever-popular Leisure Garden will be playing host (yet again!) to the band, Decoy on Thursday, July 11, from 7:30-12:00 pm.  As always, entrance to the Leisure Garden is free.

●This year’s 3-On-3 Youth Basketball Tournament gets its start on opening day.  What an awesome opportunity to grab a couple buddies, lace up those sneakers, and begin your quest for 5th-8th grade total basketball domination! 

 

The Summerfest fun continues on into Friday with a full day of activities offered.  Some of our favorites include:

 

●The Ankeny Alumni Association will be hosting it’s 11th Annual Golf Tournament at Otter Creek Golf Course.  This is a 4 person best shot tourney, with a $70 registration fee that includes a cart, lunch, and plenty of swag!  Details can be found {here}

●Ankeny Voice Karaoke Contest, presented at Prairie Ridge School Stadium.  Be there at 7:00 pm and be prepared to be wowed by some of Ankeny’s wicked-awesome talent!

●This year’s Kiddie Parade is fully embracing the Summerfest theme of “Blast Off” and we have no doubt that it’ll be full of fun and LOTS of kids! Kids (and parents) should meet in Uptown Ankeny at 6:00 pm.  Judging begins at 6:15, with the parade to start soon after at 6:30.


{source}

 

●Friday night’s Leisure Garden band line-up continues with the band, Pie In The Sky, from 7:30-12:00 am. 

 

And there you have it -- just a FEW of our Summerfest favorites from Days 1 & 2.  To view a complete schedule of events and to learn more about all that Summerfest has to offer, visit their website at www.ankenysummerfest.org.  Plus, don’t forget to stay tuned tomorrow, when we highlight more of event favorites from Saturday and Sunday in our blog: Summerfest, Part II.

Last Minute 4th of July Party Ideas!

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Wanting to celebrate the Independence Day in a BIG way, but feel like there just isn’t enough time plan a party?  No worries!  We’ve got you covered!  Here are our top, QUICK ideas for fun and festive decor, food, and fun for the Fourth!

 

Let’s talk FOOD!

 

It doesn’t get much easier than just cutting up fruit! 

 

{source}

 

Rice Krispie Treats are always a favorite!  Add a little food coloring to make them fun and festive!

 

{source}

 

Easy as 1-2-3...dip, roll, and eat these red white and blue covered pretzels! 

 

 

{source}

 

Once snacks are set, you can focus your attention on these easy-peasy decor ideas and entertainment!

 

These 4th of July Parade Wands are sure to be a kid crowd-pleaser!

 

{source}

 

Looking for an easy centerpiece that uses items you already have from around the house?  Work smarter, not harder, and put together this baseball/summer/freedom themed look!

 

{source}

 

Light up the night with these mason jar luminaries!

 


{source}

 

Your front door will never look as festive as it does with this DIY ribbon wreath!

 

 


{source}

 

Kids will love these large yard stars!  Just use a star-shaped cut out and some flour to transform your lawn into a serious celebration!

 


{Source unknown}

 

Entertain your party-goers (both big AND small!) with a good old-fashioned 3-legged race!

 


{source}

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, whether it be big or small, we at Ankeny Real Estate Service want to wish you a very happy and FUN 4th of July!

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6