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2016 Ankeny Holiday Event Round-Up

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 really 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.

 

December 2 – 18

Ankeny Community Theatre’s production of The Very Merry Xmas Carol Holiday Adventure Show

 

Ankeny Community Theatre • 1932 SW 3rd Street • Ankeny, IA 50023 • (515) 964-5007

A narrator’s retelling of Christmas tales quickly unravels into an action-packed adventure when the Xmas, a malicious force of holiday ruination, sweeps in to destroy all things red and green. Classic holiday characters are the only hope to stop it: reluctant Ebenezer Scrooge, intrepid Frosty the Snowman, and timid Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer among them. This dream team embarks on a journey to restore the Spirit of Christmas to the mysterious Ice Palace — but can they do it before the Xmas demolishes every last candy cane, sugar plum, and shred of Christmas cheer?

When: December 2-18, 2016; Friday & Saturday at 7:30 pm; Sunday at 2:00 pm

Cost: Adult $15, Senior (60+) $12, Child (grades K-12) $10

 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Ankeny Historical Society Christmas Cookie Sale

Need Christmas cookies, but don’t feel like doing the baking?

Christmas in Uptown Ankeny - Santa’s Treasure Hunt

Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, get your picture taken and receive your token to hunt for your Treasure in participating Uptown Businesses. Start at the Ankeny Historical Barn then Hunt for your treasure in Uptown. There will be a cookie and candy sale, cocoa and other goodies. 

Belgian waffle breakfast– 7:30–11:00 am

Treasure Hunt for children– 12:00–3:00 pm

Horse Drawn Wagon Rides– 12:00–3:00 pm

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ankeny Community Chamber Luncheon

This event is open to the public and requires tickets in advance. Click {here} to register.

 

Monday, December 12, 2016

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 from 6:00-7:30pm

 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Holiday Crafts and Cocoa

Join Ankeny Parks and Recreation for a night jam-packed with crafts, cocoa and fun!

Kids aged Kindergarten through 5th grade will be able to complete a variety of holiday-themed crafts at their own pace to celebrate the holiday.

K - 2nd: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

3rd - 5th: 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Fee is $15 for residents, $18 for non-residents.

Pre-registration is required. Space is limited. Registration deadline is December 4. 

To register online, please visit {this link}.


Tips for Hosting a Thanksgiving Celebration

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Hosting a Thanksgiving celebration doesn’t have to be as stressful as it sounds! With the right amount of planning and preparation, you can host a great gathering to remember and still have sanity when it’s all over. Follow our top TIPS FOR HOSTING A THANKSGIVING CELEBRATION and you’ll stress less, so you can enjoy more!

1. Make a list. Or ten. Knowing what you have to do and when it needs to be done will help you not only keep on schedule, but delegate tasks to people who offer to help.

2. Keep Dishes simple and traditional. Big gatherings with family and friends is NOT the time to experiment in the kitchen. Most guests come with a particular palate for Thanksgiving dinner. As the saying goes, “work smarter, not harder,” and stick to what you know.

3. Ask guests to bring a side, appetizer, dessert, or drinks. Don't bare the burden of buying, preparing, making, and serving everything! Almost all guest will very gladly bring a dish or two to share! Trust us -- they're THANKFUL that you've opened up your home...so they didn't have to!

4. Make what you can ahead of time. Casseroles, vegetables and desserts can be prepared and cooked a couple of days ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Don’t save it all the big day when you can knock some of those dishes off of your to-do list ahead of time.

5. Consider buying v. making! Not all dishes need to be made from scratch! It’s OK to purchase items from a bakery or deli if it will save you time and sanity. If you struggle with making gravy or stuffing, go ahead and purchase it premade and save yourself from the stress. Chances are, if you pretty it in a pretty serving dish, your guests won’t even know! And we won’t tell!

6. Purchase disposable storage containers, so that you can send leftovers home with your guests. They'll appreciate it and then you won't be stuck storing/eating leftovers for weeks!

7. Set the table the day before. You know you’ll be busy cooking the meal on the big day, so go ahead and set the dinner table the evening before. It’ll be one less thing to do on Thanksgiving Day!

8. Enjoy the day that it is a blessing to be able to prepare and share a meal with loved ones. Your guests are there to spend time with you and not be entertained. Don’t stay confined to the kitchen and miss out on all the fun! Relax, enjoy the day and be grateful for the time you have together.

From all of us at Ankeny Real Estate Service, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving full of family, friends, AND FOOD!

Santa's North Pole Village 2016

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 250 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 35th Annual Santa’s North Pole Village is taking place this Saturday, November 5, 2016, so get it on your calendars and make plans now!  With between 5,000-10,000 visitors expected, 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!

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:

35th Annual Santa's North Pole Village Craft Show

Saturday, November 5, 2016.    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 features an array of food vendors.

Halloween in Uptown Ankeny 2016

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Holidays in our awesome community are often celebrated with amazing events put on by generous groups – and Halloween is no different! Next Thursday, October 27 from 5 – 7 pm, many of your favorite Uptown Ankeny Merchants will be offering Trick or Treating for the whole family.  Dress the kids in their costumes and look for the lighted Jack-O-Lanterns to mark participating merchants.  Halloween games, activities and balloon animals will be in the American Legion Hall.  Also in the American Legion Hall, there will be a pumpkin decorating or carving contest. 

 

 

Come join the fun at this FREE family event!

 

When you're out and about, don't forget to stop by Jamison Studios to have free pictures of your kids taken in their costumes.

 

Directions:
Uptown Ankeny along SW 3rd Street between SW Pleasant & SW Maple 

 

For more details, visit the Uptown Ankeny Halloween in Uptown event page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/175598319510820/

Fall Fire Pit Safety

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Our warm summer nights have quickly turned to crisp fall evenings and the appeal of a cozy fire pit, surrounded by friend and family snacking on s'mores, has increased exponentially. In recent years, Americans have jumped on the outdoor fire pit/fireplace/fire bowl bandwagon enthusiastically and with little reservation.  And who can blame us? A warm fire, golden flames, and friendly crackles signal camaraderie and security to us all.  But maximum fire pit enjoyment requires some forethought and plenty of preventative measures. To ensure continued safety and utmost enjoyment, we encourage you to consider these six friendly fire tips.

1. Pick a proper location. When installing an outdoor fire pit, it is essential that you choose a position in which the pit or bowl will be on a steady surface.  The location should provide for proper ventilation and should be away from homes, trees, and anything potentially flammable.  We also strongly advise you to consult the owner’s manual and manufacturer's instructions.  Should any questions arise, a professional should be called.

2. Keep a fire extinguisher.  This should be accessible to the fire pit and, of course, in good working order. It is also wise to keep a bucket of sand and a garden hose handy just in case things get too hot to handle. 


3. Start small.  When the fire pit is correctly set-up, dousers are nearby, the manufacturer's instructions have been read, and you’re ready for fire, proceed by using a recommended fire starter.  Gasoline should never, under any circumstances, be used to fuel fire pit flames.  It is especially important to be mindful of strong winds that could lead to flying sparks, and wood stacked too high that can result in fire-y pellets spilling out.

4. Keep children at a distance.  Seems like a no-brainer, right?  Of course!  BUT, it is well worth the nagging reminder if it means that kids remain safe and unharmed by your “cozy” fire.  Children should never be unattended and it is a wise idea to establish a line a few feet from the pit that children are not allowed to cross.

5. Utilize large, stainless steel cooking accessories. If you intend to cook over a lit fire pit, your utensils should be long enough to reach over the flame. Stainless steel will not rust and can withstand the elements.


6. Snuff out flames.  Although your fire pit is a safe place to have a fire, that doesn’t mean that you can just leave it alone to extinguish on its own.  A fire should be put out completely by using an extinguisher or by pouring water over the fire and hot coals or wood soak, until there is no steam.  When all is said and done, coals or wood can be stored in a metal ash bucket until completely put out, and the fire pit should be covered with a lid.

Preparing Your Home For Fall

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

October is the perfect time to say hello to all things fall -- cooler temps, college football, apple orchards, pumpkin spice lattes, and FALL HOME MAINTENANCE.  Considering the minimal time investment and ease of the projects listed below, I’d say that our 5 steps for Preparing Your Home For Fall are well worth your efforts before the cooler weather is here to stay!

1. Clean out the gutters.

It is the job of your roof’s drainage system to shunt rainwater and debris away from your home’s foundation and exterior. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance to keep this system draining smoothly. Clogged gutters can lead to costly damage and a little fall-time forethought can ensure peace of mind and a well-functioning drainage system.  Take the time to remove leaves and other debris from drain pipes and gutters in an effort to prevent clogging.  This is also a wise time to invest in gutter mesh guards to prevent future accumulation. 

2. Turn up the heat!

Start with making an appointment for an annual heating system check-up.  It is extremely important that your heating system is working correctly and safely! Be sure to take the time to make sure all of your heating vents are free of furniture, carpet, or curtains. This is also the time of year to replace your heater filters and continue to do so as the cool temperatures continue.

3. Freshen up the fireplace!

Even if your fireplace isn’t used on a regular basis, you should still always inspect it annually for damage or hazards. Be sure to look for flue blockages (no one wants burning birds!), chimney damage (loose or broken joints on a brick fireplace), and don’t forget to clear out ash and charred wood.  OR, if you’re like me, save yourself the trouble and call in a professional! But don’t forget to remind your chimney cleaner to check the damper for a tight close.

4. Check for drafts!

Seal Cracks and gaps around windows and doors with caulk and weather-stripping.  This is an extremely cost-effective way to keep those heating bills in check.

5. Remove and store air conditioners.

Any window air conditioners should be unplugged and removed during the cooler seasons.  Go the extra mile and dust and clean them before covering and storing.  You’ll thank yourself in the springtime!

Emergency Preparedness: Important Documents

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Call us superstitious, but you know what they say -- if you're prepared for something to happen, it never will, and when you're the most unprepared, that's when it does! Print off our list of all the Important Documents you might need in the event of an immediate home evacuation, gather them, then thank us -- because {hopefully} now, it'll never happen. 

(But if it does? You're READY!)

And, you're welcome!

Cy/Hawk Series: Tips for At-Home Tailgating

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Saturday is THE BIG GAME here in the great state of I-O-W-A. 

Iowa v. Iowa State. Hawks v. Cyclones. Black and gold v. cardinal and gold. Friends v. friends. Neighbor v. neighbor. 

 

On game day, fans from across the state will be tailgating in preparation for the match-up.  And while, the lucky (or unlucky??) fans will be celebrating in Iowa City, the majority of us will be tailgating from the comfort of our homes.  We want to help you make the most of your at-home celebration!  Aside from hosting our own, sharing tips for your tailgate is the next best thing.  So, let’s get started! 

 

We believe that hosting an at-home-tailgate, starts with focus on the 4 F’s: Friends. Fans. Fun. Food (duh!).

 

Friends. Invite them. Family, neighbors, co-workers, college buddies, and childhood pals -- anyone that enjoys a little healthy competition AND has even an ounce of team spirit.  After all, what’s a party without people?


Fans. Encourage your guests to support their team in any way possible.  This means team apparel, face painting, car decorating, and flags.  When it comes to showing your support, we firmly believe that there’s no such thing as going overboard!  And don’t forget to decorate.  Use your team colors and do it up right!

Fun. Not everyone will be glued to the television for each play of the game, and even those who are, will need something to keep them entertained during halftime.  From cornhole and ladders, to a pick-up game of backyard ball or fantasy football trivia, have a little something for everyone. Look at it this way -- at least one team’s fans will need the distraction.

Food (& drinks!). While this one might be a no-brainer, it is {in our opinion} the most important part of your tailgate get-together! You must feed your team! But we suggest keeping it simple! Win over your guests by combining appetizers and desserts with grill favorites.  Asking your guests to bring some grub to share ensures that there will be something for everyone AND it makes the meal planning that much easier.  It is also a good idea to be mindful of the weather -- no one wants to be sipping on hot soup on a 90 degree day.  Likewise, soups, hot chocolate, cider, and baked potatoes are all good ideas for tailgating in frigid temps. No matter the weather, be sure to plan ahead and keep it simple.  When it’s up to you to tackle the task of game day food, the last thing you want to be doing is fumbling around the kitchen at the time of kick off.

Besides being a good excuse for a party, tailgating is a great way to bond with your friends and enjoy the game together. These four tips can help you throw a pre-game party that will be the next best thing to being there in person.  And, take it from us, being prepared, is the best way to ensure that all fans have fun, regardless of the outcome of the game.

Best of luck to both the Hawkeyes and Cyclones.  We are proud to live in a state with such a rich, albeit competitive, football history. 

Garage Organization

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Don’t let your garage become a dumping ground for misplaced objects and miscellaneous outdoor items.  Learn how to ORGANIZE YOUR GARAGE and reclaim that space in these 4 easy steps.

 


 

Step 1: Clear Out.

Begin by removing everything from the garage in order to give yourself a blank canvas.  With an empty area, you’ll be able to think more clearly and make better decisions about which items should go where.

Things to consider: Chance are, you’ll need to empty your garage on to a driveway or yard.  Therefore, common sense says -- get to work when the weather is cooperating. 

 

Step 2:  Clean Out.

Much like the inside of your home, sorting of the garage should begin with designating piles to keep, donate/sell, and toss.  The “keepers” can then, in turn, be designated into categories such as: toys, sports equipment, tools, etc.  An empty garage is the perfect time to sweep and/or power wash the floor and paint the walls.
Things to consider: Some homeowners prefer the look and benefits of an epoxied floor.  This is the time to do it.

 

Step 3:  Draft a plan.

Whether you plan on investing in a garage-organizing system or developing your own solution, we encourage you to take down the dimensions of the garage, paying particular attention to doors, windows, switches, and even how much space the parking of your cars requires.  Then take some time to think about how you how each area of the garage will be used. 

Things to consider: Keep like items together -- sports equipment stays summoned to one area, tools to another, and so on.  This just makes good, logical sense and you’ll thank yourself later on when you avoid the hassle of searching for stuff.

 

Step 4: Get to work!

Things to consider:

  • Work vertically and get items off the floor.  Even if your garage is lacking in square footage, chances are, there is plenty of wall space.  Use it to your advantage.
  • Use overhead space.
  • Frequently used items should be put in a convenient location.
  • Seasonal items can be stored in the hardest to reach spots.

 

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!

Displaying blog entries 21-30 of 172