Real Estate Information

Ankeny Real Estate Blog

Ankeny Real Estate Service

Blog

Displaying blog entries 71-80 of 205

Fall Fun: Halloween in Uptown

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!

TODAY, Thursday, October 22 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 held 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!

And while 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 Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Uptown-Ankeny/144808490880

 

Quick & Easy Halloween Decor Ideas

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

With Halloween just a couple of weeks away, now is the time to decorate your digs! Make that house festive and fun with these 10 QUICK AND EASY DIY HALLOWEEN DÉCOR IDEAS!

 

1.Glowing Eyes. {source}

 

2.DIY Spiderweb {source}


 

3.Silhouette Lamp Shade {source}


 

4.Monster Archway {source}

 

5.Lawn Ghosts {source}


 

6.Halloween Luminaries {source}


 

7.Life-size Spider {source}

 

8.Frankenstein Door {source}

 

9.Mice Silhouettes {source}


 

10.Spooky Window Decor {source}

 

Fall Fun in Central Iowa

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Around here nothing says “fall is upon us” like a festive trip to the good ol’ pumpkin patch and apple orchard.  Lucky for us, the Des Moines metro offers plenty of selection when it comes to fun fall outings! But don’t take our word for it!  Be sure to check out a few of our faves.

 

 

1. Center Grove Orchard

 

 

We’re sure you’ll gather as many happy memories as apples. Enjoy daily hayrides, corn pool, corn maze and hay maze, farm animals, pedal tractors, weekend festivals with live entertainment, and so much more. Don’t forget the jumping pillow, rubber duck races, Three Little Pigs houses, and apple sling shot. Center Grove has the best (and only) Potty Barn anywhere in the Des Moines and Ames area! Of course, you can pick your own apples and find your perfect pumpkin.  Come hungry to enjoy all the tastes of the season such as farm fresh meals & caramel apples! Open: September through Christmas, on Monday to Saturday from 9am to 7pm and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. Directions: Just north of Ankeny and south of Ames, 5 miles east of I-35 on Highway 210 (Exit 102, Cambridge). Then, north 1/8 mile on 610th Avenue. Come be part of the lively atmosphere of their beautiful Central Iowa farm! Enjoy daily hayrides, corn maze, farm animals, pedal tractors, weekend festivals with live entertainment and so much more.

 

2.  Uncle Bill’s Farm & Carroll’s Pumpkin Patch 

 

 

In September and October, you can look forward to picking pumpkins in the Pumpkin Patch, meandering through the Corn Maze, browsing the General Store, shopping the Green House, jumping on the Big Orange Pillow, enjoying Uncle Bill's Train Depot & Corn Bin, riding the Kid Kow Train, riding in the Maizie the Milk Cow, wheeling around the Wheel Barrow Course, playing in the Corn Bin, and refueling at Uncle Bill's Feed Bag restaurant. On weekends you can watch exciting Barn Loft entertainers, learn from baking demonstrations, shoot the Corn Cannon, see the Medieval Trebuchet (pumpkin catapult) in action and much more!

 

3.  Geisler Farms

 

 

Navigate your way through the Geisler Farms 10-acre corn maze. The fun zone includes swings, a tractor tire swing, rubber duck races, patio maze, table maze, pedal karts, trikes for tykes, hop-a-long ponies, corn bin and corn hole toss game. Geisler Farms features a one-of-a-kind farmer built ADA-accessible hayrack. Groups of 10 or more corn maze customers may reserve space at one of three firepits. Pumpkins, gourds, corn shocks and straw are also available for purchase.

Inside the Red Shed is admission to the corn maze and fun zone. This is where you will also find ADA-accessible restrooms, concessions, Iowa-made soy candles, homemade jams and frozen Emma Krumbee take and bake pies and apple crisp.

The Geisler pumpkin patch is conveniently located next to the parking lot on the west side of the Red Shed. There is no admission charged to visit the pumpkins.

 

4. Howell’s Pumpkin Patch

 

 

Howell's Pumpkin Patch offers fun and interesting sights and activities for the whole family, whether it be racing through the Pumpkin Patch to find the perfect pumpkins, or strolling the beautiful rolling 15 acres of flowers and touring the upper floor of the 1910 Barn, where the flowers are dried for Howell's Dried Florals. From a Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze to the Kiddie Koral and fun food and shopping, this fall attraction located in Cummings is well worth the quick 25 minute drive from Des Moines.

 

5. Wills Family Orchard

 

 

Wills Family Orchard is a family-owned orchard that was established in 1992.  Located in the rolling hills of Dallas County, this orchard is the perfect day trip.  There are many varieties of apples including Enterprise, Freedom, GoldRush, Liberty, Pristine, Jonafree, Redfree, and Williams Pride. They also offer apple butter, apple pie, honey and many other delicious products.  The U-pick pumpkin patch has become an important part of the Williamson farm.  This is where they grow the pumpkins and they can actually be cut off the vine. The on-farm store is open seasonally from the first weekend after Labor Day through October.

 

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!

Preparing Your Home for Fall

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

As we start to say goodbye to summer, it is also 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!

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 Ames, 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. 

Trending: Home Gyms

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

If you’re in to exercising, you know that the hardest part of a workout is simply showing up! Making time to go to the gym AND finding the extra cash to do so can be hard! The simple solution to the things holding us back from killer, consistent workouts? At-home gyms! Nothing beats the convenience of cardio, weight training, tabata, HIIT, yoga, or Pilates in the privacy of your own home!

Here’s what’s trending in the world of at-home gyms. As you can see, a large, dedicated space for a home gym is not always a must and a smart, well organized, functional home gym is a wonderful way to ensure that you don’t miss out on any of your workout routines.

 

{source}

 

{source}

 

{source}

 

{source}

 

{source}

 

{source}

 

{source}

 


{source}

 

Back To School Home Organization

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

If there is ever a time to get yourself, your home, and your family organized, it is the back-to-school season!  We know that organization is the key to stress-free school days.  And we want you to start the school days off right, so here are Ankeny Real Estate Service’s tips to make the back-to-school transition as easy as ABC.

 

 

1. Make a “drop-space.”  Using cubbies, hooks, and baskets, designate an area for coats, shoes, and backpacks.  Keep family member’s belongings divided, decluttered, and off the floor.  Having a space for these things means that there will never be a frantic morning search for the missing shoes or MIA backpack.

 

 

2. Adopt a system for school papers.  As a general rule, there are two types of papers that come home from school -- the ones that need immediate attention and the ones you’ll need for future reference. Both kinds need a space to land! For those that need your immediate attention, why not adopt some sort of “in” and “out” mailbox? Stacked mail sorters/desk organizers would be great for this purpose.


{Source}

 

 

3. Make use of a family calendar.  For this project, we encourage you to think big and be diligent! A large calendar, in a central location, color-coded by person, with each family member’s activities, and updated frequently is sure to keep your hectic days organized.  Whether it be a store-bought fridge-mounted variety, or a DIY/customized project (I’m thinking chalk paint, cork board, magnetic paint, or vinyl clings!) a family calendar for everyone to reference will keep you coming and going in the right direction!

 

{Source}

4. Develop a homework station for your kinds to make working on school projects painless and peaceful. As parents, we care about the kind of learning experience our children have in the classroom AND it is just as important to give them the right study environment at home, too.  A quiet, undisturbed, dedicated, and fully stocked location for studying will help kids be able to focus and be productive! Ensure that your homework station has everything your child will need to finish a project -- paper, pencils, colors, pens, erasers, markers, staplers, scissors, etc. 

 

{Source}

 

5.  Finally, consider placing a memo board or some type of message center near the door your family uses the most frequently.  This is a great place to leave messages, reminders, and kind notes. 


{Source}

 

In general, kids either love or hate going back to school, but an organized home and daily routines will benefit everyone when school schedules are tight and time is of the essence.  Getting organized now will free up time to attend activities, events or dinners and downtime with the family.  Not only do we love helping our clients find homes, but we also like seeing those homes run well, and the people who live in them enjoy life!

Get Organized in the Garage!

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

We get it – summer is coming to a close and your garage has been worked HARD! There’s a good chance it has become a dumping ground for misplaced objects and miscellaneous items, in the chaos of hot days, late nights, and lots of outdoor activities. 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. 

source

 

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.

2015 Iowa State Fair: Our Top 10 Favorite Things To Do

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

With the IOWA STATE FAIR getting underway TODAY, we can’t help but to be thinking about all the fun (& food!!) an event of this grandeur has to offer.  And while there just aren’t enough hours in the day to talk about every single event, attraction, contest, food vendor, show, and activity available at the Iowa State Fair, we’d like to share our Top 10 favorite things to do!  So, let’s get started!

 

 

10. Take a trip down the Midway.  With attractions and rides galore, the Midway is open 10 a.m. to midnight each day of the fair. Mega Passes and Play Packs are available for purchase.

 

 

9. Visit the John Deere Agricultural Building. This building is the home to the butter cow (refer to #6), as well as, the largest fruits and vegetables, exciting floral contest, interesting animal exhibits (bees and ostriches -- woo hoo!), interactive displays for kids, and the Ag/Venture Trail’s 10 stops that highlight Iowa’s agricultural commodities.

 

8. Check out the Livestock Pavillion and everything the barns have to offer. From the biggest and best boars to live baby animal births, there is nothing boring about these barns!

 

 

7. Let the little ones experience Little Hands On The Farm.  This free, hands-on attraction is open daily and teaches children the importance of agriculture by letting them become the farmer.

 

 

6. No trip to the Fair is complete without a peek at the infamous Butter Cow!  An Iowa State Fair staple since 1911, the butter cow is a life-size replica of a dairy cow sculpted from 600 pounds of butter molded over a wood and metal frame.

 

 

5. Eat!  (Something on a stick, to be specific!)  With over 60 (!!) different foods on a stick and 200+ vendors, there is no shortage of options when it comes tasty treats.

 

 

4. Be entertained by some of Iowa’s finest at the Bill Riley Talent Search!  This yearly event focuses on showcasing the many talents of young Iowans and is sure to be a good show!

 

3. Take in a concert at the Grandstand.  From Carrie Underwood and REBA to The Fray and Casting Crowns, this year’s lineup doesn’t disappoint!  Checkout the full concert schedule {here}.

 

 

2. Relax at the Iowa Craft Beer Tent.  This entire tent is devoted to Iowa based brewed beers.  More specifically, 33 beers, from 13 different breweries, plus 3 additional brews from 3 regional breweries.  And to top it off, there is even a locally brewed root beer available.  Stop by 9 a.m. to midnight daily.

 

1.  Finally, take time to people watch.  This great state is made up of all kinds -- from city-folk to farmers -- the Iowa State Fair attracts us all! And leave it to this awesome event to bring us all together!

 

 

Displaying blog entries 71-80 of 205