The purpose of our blog is to educate our readers on the current Boise Idaho real estate market, to inform potential buyers and sellers of the process of buying or selling a home in the Boise area, to provide pertinent home improvement ideas for current homeowners, and to present desired community information for Boise and the surrounding area.  We hope you enjoy the content.  If you have questions or ideas on things you would like us to write about, let us know!

Oct. 15, 2020

Healthy Competition

Healthy Competition

Humans are competitive. We all know this, and probably feel it within our own nature to some degree. We strive higher, perform better, and want more because of a tendency we have to measure up to one another. Most of us are raised to believe this is a quality -- a common trait amongst the most successful in sports, the classroom, and business. Without a doubt, there is a place for healthy competition in all of these areas and more. Competition can push us to work hard and set goals for ourselves that we might not if we were living on an island.

The key distinction between healthy competition and harmful comparison is at the heart level. Ecclesiastes 4:4-6 says, "Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man's envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind" (ESV). So, where do we base our motivation: in envy or in admiration for others?

As our family has been forced to spend more time working and learning from home, a tangible shift has happened in our collective motivation. It's easy to see how the teamwork and positive competition that results from working closely with others can be invigorating and enjoyable. We want to please, we want to stand out within a crowd of many, we enjoy recognition, and oftentimes our personal goals are formed through observing people we admire. These are natural -- even healthy -- human behaviors. I'd never hold it against my kids that they flourish best in a classroom with peers, where they're driven toward success by group challenges/assignments and awareness of others. This is the case for most of us. 

But, the element of envy within competition can easily become dominant if we aren't working to fight it. As it says in Proverbs 14:30, "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." The contrasting word to envy here is peace, and having a sense of peace within human competitiveness is clearly a work of the Holy Spirit. If we do not have peace when we observe others doing well (perhaps much better than we are), it's very likely we have envy rotting us from inside. When our response to another's success is resentment, or if we feel threatened, nobody benefits -- least of all us.

When a team loses a game, they can mope around all week or they can pick themselves up, learn from their competitor and strive to do better through emulating their hard work. When someone is flourishing in the career we desire for ourselves, we can make excuses why they made it and we couldn't, or we can follow their example. This can mean asking questions, giving compliments, and being a student of others, giving a perfect opportunity to mutually encourage. The awareness of those around us can ignite in us a selfish ambition or it can lead to our personal growth, building up another in the process. This ultimately brings glory to God, for whom and through whom any of us are anything at all. 

By Anne Gould, wife of Mark Gould

For more articles by Anne Gould, click HERE

Posted in Anne Gould
Oct. 14, 2020

Boise Housing Market Update | September 2020

The seasonal slowdown, usually common this time of year, seems non-existent as the Boise housing market continues to boom.  The median home price reached yet another new record at $409,945, up 17.2% from the same month last year.  As reported by Boise Regional Realtors, this is “a result of a competitive housing market which is being fueled by low mortgage rates and limited supply compared to demand…According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was at 2.9% in September, down 19.7% year-over-year when compared to the September 2019 mortgage rate of 3.61%. While the actual interest rate a borrower receives is based on a variety of factors, the very low rates, as well as increasing rents (as reported by BoiseDev) may be encouraging more people to consider a home purchase.”

The months supply of inventory remained at its current record low of 0.4 months.  As we described in September’s market update, this means if demand remained the same and everyone stopped listing homes today, it would take less than 2 weeks for all the available properties to be sold out!  Moreover, homes are remaining on the market fewer days.  The average days on market for existing homes (not including new construction) was only 17 days, which is a 34.6% drop from the same month last year.  Thus, buyers are continuing to have to act very quickly when it comes to deciding whether or not to put an offer on a home and how much they are willing to offer over the asking price or what contingencies they are willing to waive in order to be the winning bid.  Quick decisions like these can often lead to “cold feet” on behalf of the winning buyer, so backup offers are HIGHLY encouraged. We have had a few buyers this past month get homes as a result of being in backup position as well as a few sellers who have benefited from having good backup offers in place when their first buyer bailed due to buyers remorse.  

The fast pace of today’s market can be very stressful for both buyers and sellers, but it can definitely be made less so with an experienced and caring agent to walk you through the process.  If you are considering buying or selling in the coming months, we would love the opportunity to help prepare you and faithfully come alongside you in the journey!   Please give us a call and let’s find a time to meet!  

If you're interested in knowing more about the current state of the market, check out the full Boise Regional Realtors’ Market Report HERE. Or for a quick snapshot of the Boise housing market for September 2020, see Boise Regional REALTORS® housing market summary for Ada County below:

 

 

Posted in Housing Market
Oct. 14, 2020

There's A Better Way to Engage in Political Conversation

As I’m preparing to thoughtfully exercise my right to vote on November 3rd, I’ve found myself discouraged with the dehumanization and divisiveness of our current political climate and weary of the uncivilized discourse bred by our highly polarized system.  Since I don’t love conflict, my initial reaction is to avoid the topic.  But, the person I want to emulate most set a different example for me, and I want to follow Him.  Jesus wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty—to enter into the mess.  Afterall, He left His perfect Kingdom to come live in a broken world and be in relationship with messy, broken people.  Yet, He did it in a far different manner than we so often see today.  He knew truth, justice, mercy, and righteousness.  Moreover, He is truth, justice, mercy, and righteousness. But, He didn’t come shouting it at people, forcing their hands, or slinging mud and degrading those who opposed Him.  Rather, He waded in with people with gentleness, truth, reasonableness, humility, patience, and purity.  The God of the universe, the one who holds all power and control and could lord it over anyone to force them to do His will, chose another way. I want to follow His way, and I want to encourage those around me to do the same.       

In this season where people are prone to stand their ground, link arms only with those who agree with them, and battle with harsh words, let’s commit to doing it differently!How refreshing would it be, if we all approached political conversation with “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, graciousness, and patience, bearing with one another, and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other—as the Lord has forgiven us—and with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:12-14).

I know this isn’t easy or natural for us. And it hasn’t been modeled well for us by our leaders either. When we are offended or challenged, our first reaction is often pride over humility, judgement over mercy, anger over gentleness, and tribalism over unity.  Knowing how hard this would be for us, it is no wonder God includes so many reminders in His Word to be patient, kind, forgiving, compassionate, gentle and humble.  (Titus 3:2, 2 Timothy 2:24-26, James 3:17, Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Peter 3:13-18, Galatians 6:1, Ephesians 4:1-3, James 1:19-20, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Micah 6:8, 1 Peter 3:4, 1 Peter 2:23).   Even if you don’t share my faith in the Bible, I believe the wisdom of this approach is evident, and I’m confident that practicing gentleness, humility, and compassion in your discourse will bring greater unity, peace, and understanding with those of differing viewpoints.  For those of us who do place our trust in the Lord and His Word, I pray we take this not just as a suggestion, but as an act of obedience and as an opportunity to be salt and light in the world!  May we encourage one another to follow Jesus’ example—holding true to biblical convictions while also exercising Christ-like compassion, humility, and care.  This is our Father’s way—let’s walk in it!

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE  

 

Posted in Katie Miller
Sept. 16, 2020

Untold Stories of a Boise Realtor: Oops!


Oops
It seems there are always funny stories to tell from my time out on the job.  This one is one of my favorites.  It involves a dear dear client who I've been working with for the greater part of the year.  He is just the best and the very most respectful, kind, and honoring person.  This probably helps make the story even funnier.  Let's call this client George for the sake of anonymity. 
I was checking out a house for different clients one day.  I walked through the house to get a good feel for it and then hopped on Marco Polo to do a video tour for my clients.  This is a very normal occurrence these days with so many out of state buyers wanting to buy here.  So I was recording myself giving a tour of the house.  Talking about all the goods and bads about the house.  Walking in and out of every room and focusing on details I thought were important for my clients to see and know about.  
I probably get a hundred texts a day and they don't stop when I am recording videos for clients.  So, it's not unusual to get lots of texts while I'm recording. But, I can usually just ignore them and continue on with the tour.  
I was live on video talking to my clients about this house when up pops a text from George: "Hey baby, I miss you and can't wait to be with you!"  Knowing immediately that this text was meant for his fiancee who was still back in California, I BURST out laughing and could not contain my composure on my video.  I had to explain to my clients why I completely lost it and try to carry on with my video tour.  Then, a few seconds later, pops up the follow up text from George: "Oh my gosh, Becka.  That text was meant for my fiancee.  I AM SO SO SORRY!"   
I cannot tell you how many times I have sent a text to the wrong person.  LOTS OF TIMES!  Thankfully, those texts are usually pretty innocent.  Poor George.  I can only imagine how he felt as soon as he realized that he sent that text to me!

Written by Becka Marston

See more posts by Becka Marston HERE!

Posted in Becka Marston
Sept. 16, 2020

Boise Housing Market Update | August 2020

In many ways, our Boise housing market update may sound a bit like a broken record.  Just as we’ve reported in previous months, prices continue to increase.  August brought in a new record high median sales price of $400,000.  This is up 2.6% from last month and up 12.7% from August of last year.

As has been the case for the past several months, this swift upward movement in home prices can be attributed primarily to low supply and high demand.  The supply of available homes for sale in our area remains ridiculously low, hitting a new record of only 0.4 months of inventory.  This means if demand remained the same and everyone stopped listing homes today, it would only take 12 DAYS for all the available inventory to be completely sold out!

Our agents, buyers, and sellers are feeling the pressure of this imbalance.  We have buyers in all price ranges, even those looking for properties above $1 million, who have yet to make an offer on a home where they aren’t in competition with multiple (often upwards of 10) other offers.  And, most of our sellers are having to sort through not just one or two offers, but recently as many as 18!   We are seeing buyers who are willing to do almost anything, including waiving their home inspections and agreeing to pay way above appraised values, to gain a competitive edge. 

We know this fast-paced, competitive market can make the idea of buying a home seem daunting to those who may be considering it.  Possibly, it’s overwhelming to those looking to sell as well.  And, it can be! But, we’re here to help.  We are well versed in wading through difficult waters with our clients, helping buyers put together competitive offers while also maintaining important protections, and assisting sellers in navigating multiple offers and negotiating favorable terms.  We’d love the opportunity to serve you and believe we can provide encouragement, peace, and wisdom throughout the process! 

For a quick snapshot of the Boise housing market for August 2020, see Boise Regional REALTORS® housing market summary for Ada County below:

Posted in Housing Market
Sept. 15, 2020

Grace in Motion

We all have had crossroad moments when we’re faced with decisions that hold significant implications for our lives and the lives of those we love. Should I take this job or wait for something different? Where should I send my kids to school? Is now the time to buy a house? Should we start a family? These are the pivotal moments we’re convinced could make or break us. We scour the Word for clear direction, because we genuinely want to obey! But our situation seems to fall within a doctrinal grey area. Godly counsel can encourage, but cannot rightly sway us one direction over another. So, it is easiest sometimes to stand still. Sometimes there seems like no other safe option.

The lack of forward motion doesn’t seem sinful at face value. At the heart of it is our intent to not be reckless and to heavily weigh the outcomes of big decisions before making them. It can be justified as an effort to stay within the path of God’s will; to wait on His direction and prompting. While prayer and waiting is important, sometimes we forfeit the grace He intends to show us experientially by succumbing to our own fear and indecisiveness.

Standing in that place is not as neutral as we might think. We’re wanting pushed and prodded, instead of relying on grace and exercising trust. We want a booming voice in the clouds, assuring us of each major step, but faith doesn’t look this way. In these areas not spoken to directly in His Word, He asks us to remember His faithfulness to us and to move forward in light of that. More often than not, there is no right or wrong decision. His grace will be abundant in the choice and the circumstances our decisions lead to.

Often, the worst choice is to make no choice; to remain stagnant -- particularly when it is fear that prevents us from moving. That is not the life God calls us to. There are definitely times when seeking and waiting are appropriate, and some of these times last longer than others. Prayerful consideration is wise and biblical. But, ultimately, we have to trust Him enough to move when the time comes. His grace reaches its full potential when we step into a situation where it can be lavishly applied. Paul David Tripp calls this grace in motion.

Ultimately, it is the kind and unconditional grace of God that we rest in, whether we have waited in indecision too long, chosen well, or chosen poorly. But, what a blessed experience to move forward in faith, step after step throughout a lifetime, seeing the ways God graciously works through (and sometimes despite) our imperfections. We must allow Him to move mightily in our lives, wherever we are and wherever we might soon be…relying less on the specific circumstances, and more on His unchanging power and faithfulness to us, His beloved children.

By Anne Gould, wife of Mark Gould

For more articles by Anne Gould, click HERE

Posted in Anne Gould
Sept. 15, 2020

Where Do You Look for Wisdom?

I recently came across an article that caught my attention.  It wasn't so much the words in the article or the title, but the image that accompanied it.  The image (displayed above) shows a pastor in the center fighting a losing battle with news media on either side for the attention of his church members.  The graphic made me pause and consider what voices were battling for my own attention, and what voices were winning.   When it comes to masks, COVID, racial tensions, riots, politics, presidential candidates, schooling decisions, work decisions, etc.—what or who is having the most influence in forming my thoughts and opinions?  I know what I want my answer to be--I want my answer to be the Word of God!  Because, as Peter says to Jesus, “where else would I go, Lord?  You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68). “For the Lord gives wisdom and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6). I want that knowledge--that “wisdom from above that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere" (James 3:17).

So, in the many, many areas of life right now where I am faced with discouragement, confusion, uncertainty, and controversy, I have begun praying the Lord would turn my ears from all the other noise and help me to seek Him first.  I am trusting Him when He says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).  I know that seeking Him doesn’t mean I will have 100% clarity on these issues of concern.  But, for me, I have been amazed at how even the act of seeking Him and reading His words has helped to ground me amidst the chaos and quiet my mind amidst the noise.   His words remind me that even though life around me may seem out of control, He is in control.  Even though knowledge of the right thing to do often eludes me, it does not elude Him, and He will accomplish His purposes.  I’m thankful for the ways in which searching the vastness of His wisdom humbles me by helping me realize how little I actually do know and for the ways it entices me to keep seeking, learning, and growing in understanding.  

I know not all of you share my beliefs, and you likely have your own places and people you’ve been turning to for guidance and understanding in this crazy time. I’d love to hear what areas of life or topics of controversy have been on your mind in this season, what voices have been meaningful to you, and how you’ve been growing in understanding through them.  If you’re seeking for wisdom on a particular issue and have not yet considered what God has said about it, I would love to encourage you to look to His Word.  Whether you consider yourself a follower of Jesus or not, I believe you will find beautiful truth, peace, and wisdom in what He says.  I have experienced it in my own life, and it is clear from Psalm 119:105 that God's word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. If you want your pathway lit up a bit, I hope you’ll consider the Bible as your utmost source for illumination.  On that note, if you want someone to look into God’s Word with you on a topic, I would love to do that!  I always enjoy looking into the Word with others and trying to seek, learn, and grow in understanding together!  Please just call or text me anytime at 208-861-5639 or email me at katie@triplecordrealestate.com.

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE  

Posted in Katie Miller
Sept. 8, 2020

How Will the Presidential Election Impact Real Estate

By Keeping Current Matters

The year 2020 will be remembered as one of the most challenging times of our lives. A worldwide pandemic, a recession causing historic unemployment, and a level of social unrest perhaps never seen before have all changed the way we live. Only the real estate market seems to be unaffected, as a new forecast projects there may be more homes purchased this year than last year.

As we come to the end of this tumultuous year, we’re preparing for perhaps the most contentious presidential election of the century. Today, it’s important to look at the impact past presidential election years have had on the real estate market.

Is there a drop-off in home sales during a presidential election year?

BTIG, a research and analysis company, looked at new home sales from 1963 through 2019 in their report titled One House, Two House, Red House, Blue House. They noted that in non-presidential years, there is a -9.8% decrease in November compared to October. This is the normal seasonality of the market, with a slowdown in activity that’s usually seen in fall and winter.

However, it also revealed that in presidential election years, the typical drop increases to -15%. The report explains why: “This may indicate that potential homebuyers may become more cautious in the face of national election uncertainty.”

Are those sales lost forever?  No. BTIG determined: “This caution is temporary, and ultimately results in deferred sales, as the economy, jobs, interest rates and consumer confidence all have far more meaningful roles in the home purchase decision than a Presidential election result in the months that follow.”

In a separate study done by Meyers Research & Zonda, Ali Wolf, Chief Economist, agrees that those purchases are just delayed until after the election: “History suggests that the slowdown is largely concentrated in the month of November. In fact, the year after a presidential election is the best of the four-year cycle. This suggests that demand for new housing is not lost because of election uncertainty, rather it gets pushed out to the following year.”

Will it matter who is elected?

To some degree, but not in the overall number of home sales. As mentioned above, consumer confidence plays a significant role in a family’s desire to buy a home. How may consumer confidence impact the housing market post-election? The BTIG report covered that as well:  “A change in administration might benefit trailing blue county housing dynamics. The re-election of President Trump could continue to propel red county outperformance.”

Again, overall sales should not be impacted in a significant way.

Bottom Line

If mortgage rates remain near all-time lows, the economy continues to recover, and unemployment continues to decrease, the real estate market should remain strong up to and past the election.

 

 

Posted in Housing Market
Aug. 13, 2020

Boise Housing Market Update | July 2020

July was a month for record setting in the Boise housing market! 

  • The median sales price reached $390,000. (Up 4 % from June 2020 and 11.7% from June of last year)

  • Inventory dropped to only 743 available homes. (Down 31.5% from last month and 56.8% from last year)

  • The number of closed sales hit 1,402. (Up 22.2% from last month and 22.0% from last year)

  • The number of pending sales was 2,046. (This was about the same as last month but up 16.1% from last year)

  • And, months supply of inventory dropped to 0.6 months.(Down 66.7 % from last month and 33.3% from last year)

We are also seeing a rather large shift in the number of homes sold in the higher price ranges.One year ago, 36.8% of homes sold for prices below $300,000.Today, only 17.5% have sold in that range. The number of homes sold at prices above $600,000 has jumped 54.7%!

This decrease in the number of homes selling in the lower price ranges can be discouraging to first time home buyers, who may feel the market is getting too expensive to enter. If this is you, we’d love the opportunity to meet and discuss your concerns.There are still options available, and home ownership may be more possible for you than you’d think!  We're not going to sugar coat it, the journey to home ownership in this crazy market is definitely challenging and not for the faint at heart.  But, we would love the opportunity to guide you as you go and to help your hopes of home ownership become a reality!

No matter what your real estate needs, we’d love to assist. Please give us a call!  Even if you're still quite a ways out from making a move, are just in the initial investigation stages, or are pretty certain a move won't be possible, meet with us.  It's never a waste of our time to sit with you and help you determine the right next steps!

If you're interested in knowing more about the current state of the market, check out the full Boise Regional Realtors’ Market Report HERE.

Posted in Housing Market
Aug. 13, 2020

Valuing the Everyday Kind of Quiet Time

You’ve no doubt seen it take over your social media. Soft filters on a still scene lit by warm, early-morning light: Bible open, devotional beside it, a journal and pen. Always a fresh, hot coffee. What a beautiful sight. Truth be told, these images portray the sort of set-up I fantasize about -- where real intimacy with the Lord is obtained. Where uninterrupted, cozy pondering of scripture leads to mental breakthroughs, documented in real time within a journal that can be referred to later.

I’ve experienced the sweetness of a quiet corner like this, and I’ve aimed to recreate this many a time over the last dozen years. But, I can probably count on my fingers how many times it’s worked out as I hoped. Much more often than not, as soon as my coffee is poured and I’m settling down in my carefully-arranged nook, the sound of little feet coming downstairs pierces the dream clean through. There can be a sinking feeling, then, of loss of opportunity; of a hijacked intimacy with God.

What a grace it is that many of us have some seasons in our lives where frequent alone time is possible. For me, it was high school and college. While I didn't always take full advantage, there was an abundance of opportunities to get alone with Jesus and worship, pray, read, and reflect. I chose the outdoors, usually, and would drive far enough from civilization that I could sing out loud and stay until my heart was revived from His presence. There wasn’t social media at that time, but there are hundreds of pages of journal entries from which I can still draw encouragement. Far from a wrong approach to time with God, this is a period I look back on with gratitude.

That being said, it is dangerous to consider these idealistic scenarios as necessary criteria for intimacy with God. For the vast majority of our lives, daily time with the Lord will not look this way. If we hold onto the idea that it will, we will be caught waiting for something that is not likely to occur. The result can be a failure to meet with Him at all during our busier times.

The Bible references a “prayer closet” in Matthew 6:6 and Isaiah 26:20. A place of solitude, behind closed doors, where distractions are eliminated and any of our inner desires to be seen or heard would be irrelevant. How desperately the Christian needs this focused time of prayer and meditation. How profitable it is to truly be alone with God! We should not second guess our deep desire for this uninterrupted closeness, and we should seek it wholeheartedly whenever we can. Realistically, though, there are days where this opportunity never presents itself. So, what do we do? Do we forfeit time with the Lord because we refuse to settle for less than ideal? I pray that is not the case, because we will never need Him more than when we are exhausted, distracted, or spiritually uninspired.

I often listen to sermons and podcasts in the morning as I get ready. I love to blast worshipful music as I clean and drive kids around. My prayers sometimes are one-liners, sporadically offered up as I move through the day. For me, the hardest thing by far is making time to read His Word.  But, if I set the open Bible out on the counter and see it over and over, chances are I will stop and read bits and pieces as I’m able. Often, the visual reminder helps me to prioritize a deeper time with Him in His Word whenever there is a break in the action.

There are things we can do to remain in constant relationship with our Father – everyday, through any stage of life. They almost never resemble the Instagram images we often set out to duplicate. We cannot afford to wait until they do. We can each expect and hope for seasons when true quiet time is readily available. We can each determine to make more of these no matter what our schedules look like -- because let’s face it -- we are never too busy for the things we most value and prioritize. But, if today you acknowledge your need for Him wherever you are, whatever you have to do, He will bless that humble seeking. He is bigger than the demands and circumstances we find ourselves in, and He knows full well how to reach us within them.

By Anne Gould, wife of Mark Gould

For more articles by Anne Gould, click HERE

 

Posted in Anne Gould