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!

Jan. 18, 2020

My Verse for 2020

1 Colossians: 9-14  My Verse for 2020

 

I am not one to do New Year’s resolutions, set goals, or lay out life plans.  I had heard of people choosing Bible verses or other mantras to help set a focus for their year.  This sounded interesting and more doable than goals or resolutions but still not something I planned to do.  Then, during the first week of the year, I read a section of scripture which echoed many of the prayers I pray for myself.  I have read the words of this passage several times before, but this time a desire stirred in me to dwell on them longer.  So, I resolved to try the “yearly verse” concept and to set my mind on this scripture often throughout 2020.  The passage is several verses, which I originally wanted to pare down to just one or two. But each verse is so rich in meaning and truth, I couldn’t bring myself to leave any portion of it out.  The passage comes from the first chapter of Colossians, verses 9-14, “May you be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

I often feel foolish and ignorant--not knowing how to respond in certain situations, which direction to go next, how to parent well, how to love others well, how to manage my business well, or how to get out of my own selfish way in order to follow the way of my humble Lord Jesus.  Oh, how I desire, as this passage in Colossians requests, to know God’s good and perfect will for my life and to walk it out faithfully by the grace of His wisdom and understanding.  When a difficult or controversial issue arises, I want to respond as He would, with grace and truth.  When I feel stumped in how to parent (which happens often) and am prone to anger or thoughts of giving up, I desire the wisdom of my Heavenly Father, who knows the hearts of both myself and my children, forgives us, loves us, and has the ability to change and grow us more into His wonderful likeness. When I feel inadequate as a friend, wife, leader, broker, or neighbor, I want to rest in the knowledge that I am always going to come up short when I do things on my own strength.  But, because of Jesus and what He has done for me, I am a beloved daughter of a Heavenly King, who died for my sins and rose again to life so my insufficiencies would be covered by His sufficiency—my limited strength replaced by His boundless strength (2 Corinthians 3:4-5).    

I’m praying this year that I may live filled with His endurance, patience, and joy, giving thanks to Him always for the hope He has given and the love He showers on me.  For, as verse 13 says, He has indeed delivered me from darkness and transferred me into His beautiful light, through Jesus.  I want to walk in that light daily and hope reading these verses regularly will be an encouragement to me as I try to do so.  May it be an encouragement to each of you as well!  If you are focusing on a yearly verse or mantra this year, or if you’ve set some resolutions you are excited about, I’d love to hear them and pray along with you that the Lord would give you strength to see them through!  Many blessings to each of you in this New Year! 

Posted in Katie Miller
Dec. 4, 2019

Dry Creek Valley

 

Located about five miles northwest of Boise, Dry Creek is a wide valley surrounded by foothills.  Today, access to the area can be found on State Highway 55, Seaman's Gulch Road, Cartright Road, and Dry Creek Road.

 

 

 

The first person to take advantage of the agricultural opportunities offered here was Phillip Schick.  The son of German immigrants, he was born in New York but found his way to California in search of gold, then to Portland, eventually to Lewiston, and finally to Boise.  Oral tradition in his family tells of his finding the Dry Creek Valley when an ox from his team wandered off, leading him to a wide valley of waist-high grasses.  In 1863, he and George Banker took out a homestead patent for 160 acres on the eastern side of the valley.

 

 

 

By 1868, Phillip had built a house, stable, and chicken coop and planted several new trees.  He had four horses and a milk cow and grew wheat, corn, barley, potatoes, beans, and hay.  In 1870, he married Mary Yaryan, and in 1879, they built a schoolhouse on Dry Creek Road so their daughter, Clara, would have a close school to attend.  It was built on land donated by John Glenn with the condition that no dances be held there.  It was called the Schick Schoolhouse for decades, until it was later changed to Dry Creek School.  Phillip Schick was a very successful farmer, and by 1890, he had one of the most valuable ranches in the Valley.  He died in 1902 and was buried in the Pioneer section of Dry Creek Cemetery. 

 

 

 

Other homesteaders to the area included Alexander Rossi and Albert Robie, who built a lumber yard two miles west of Schick’s farm.  Also, Thomas and Elizabeth Kingsbury planted extensive orchards west of Rossi-Robie which later turned into a sprawling sheep farm.

 

 

 

Today, Phillip & Mary Schick’s former 400-acre estate is preserved as a 2-acre farmstead known as the Schick-Ostolasa Farmstead.  It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as being an outstanding example of early homesteading. The farmstead is open to the public on Saturdays, May-September, and hosts a variety of events throughout the year.  Dry Creek Valley is also home to the master-planned community of Hidden Springs which has 2,200+ residents and 800 acres of permanently preserved open space.

 

 

 

Posted in Local History
Dec. 4, 2019

#1 Reason to List in Winter

 

Many sellers believe spring is the best time to put their homes on the market because buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year. What they don’t realize is if every homeowner believes the same thing, then that’s when they’ll have the most competition.

 

So, what’s the #1 reason to list your house in the winter? Less competition.

 

Housing supply traditionally shrinks at this time of year, so the choices buyers have will be limited. The chart below was created using the month's supply of listings from the National Association of Realtors.

 

As you can see, the ‘sweet spot’ to list your house for the most exposure naturally occurs in the late fall and winter months (November – January). 

Temperatures aren’t the only thing that heats up in the spring – so do listings!

 

 

 

In 2018, listings increased from December to May. Don’t wait for these listings and the competition that comes with them to come to the market before you decide to list your house.

 

 

 

Added Bonus: Serious Buyers Are Out in the Winter

 

At this time of year, purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers.’ The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

 

 

 

 Bottom Line

 

If you’ve been debating whether or not to sell your house and are curious about market conditions in your area, talk with a local real estate professional who can help you decide the best time to list your house.

Content from Keeping Current Matters

 

Dec. 4, 2019

Boise Real Estate Market Update October 2019

 

As is often common in October, November, and December, price appreciation nearly leveled last month.  The median sales price for October 2019 came in at $352,000, just 0.6% higher than the median price for September.  We don’t anticipate prices going down, but the upward trajectory of appreciation will likely be slower or possibly even stagnant through early 2020 when rapid appreciation is once again expected.  Though price appreciation from September to October was small, year over year appreciation remains strong, rising 9.5% from October 2018 to October 2019.  It has been suggested by national market analysts that year over year housing price appreciation in 2020 may not be as impressive as 2019. But, few doubt that price appreciation will continue in a positive direction for at least the next few years.   This is especially true for Ada County, where price appreciation continues to be well above the national average (9.5% Ada County vs. 4.8% U.S. Average).  With the large number of people continuing to move into the area and with our consistently low housing inventory levels, we can expect Ada County appreciation to remain strong in 2020 and to likely come in well above the projected national average increase of 2.8%. 

 

If you are considering buying or selling and are unsure how acting now or waiting until the busier spring season could affect you, please give us a call!  We would love to share more about the market and the pros and cons of buying or selling in the slower winter season.  This time of year can be a great time to do both, but we would enjoy an opportunity to discuss whether or not it’s the right time for you!   

 

Posted in Housing Market
Nov. 21, 2019

Untold Stories of a Boise Realtor: The Tunnel

A couple of years ago I was working with a delightful couple relocating to the Boise area from Oregon.  They were looking for acreage outside of town, which took us to some more remote (and sometimes unusual) properties.  One day, we went to look at a large home on a few acres out in rural Nampa.  The agent notes said, "In the basement there is a bookcase that swings open to reveal a tunnel that goes to a underground kid size room in the backyard west of the deck. A feature I've never seen before that grandkids would love.”  We were definitely intrigued. 

As we entered the house, we could already tell that it was pretty unique.  It looked like the home had been added on to many times.  A room here.  A loft there.  A hall here.  A giant multipurpose room up there.  It was a super strange layout with a lot of DIY touches.  None the less, we looked at everything there was to see, trying to imagine the stories and experiences that filled the house. When we had seen the whole main house, we decided to venture down to the basement to check out this cool kids’ room.  We went down and the basement was super creepy - dark, empty, cold, and large.  We wound our way through each room until we finally found a room with a bookcase in the wall.  I was super creeped out at this point - we are in a huge house, on a large property out in the middle of nowhere.  Was this all a trick to trap us and murder us.  I was convinced at this point it was.  It was a perfect plan - no one would find us for days.

The TunnelSince I was so creeped out, like any good Realtor would do, I had my client pull open the bookcase.  He slowly swung it open and inside was a hand-dug, super long dirt TUNNEL.  It honestly looked like someone had been trapped underground for decades there and, out of total desperation, started digging his way through the earth toward salvation.  At this point, everything in me is screaming “RUN! RUN!”  But being the cool and collected person that I am, I didn’t.  We took out our phone flashlights and slowly and cautiously poked our heads into the tunnel to see where it led.  Basically, it led to death.  The narrow tunnel was so tiny and went so far that we could not see where it ended.  And there was no way any of us were willing to go find out.  The underground kid size room, out under the surface of this large property somewhere, dark and wet and cold, would remain a mystery for us.  Only to be realized later that night in our nightmares.  We high tailed it out of there and my clients decided to pass on this house. 

 

Written by Becka Marston

See more posts by Becka Marston HERE!

Posted in Becka Marston
Nov. 20, 2019

Thankful for My Homeland (a.k.a. Heaven)

Thankful for My Homeland (aka Heaven)

As Thanksgiving approaches, I wanted to reflect on something for which I am exceedingly grateful—my homeland (a.k.a Heaven)!! Rarely a day passes now that I don’t think to myself, “I can’t wait for heaven!” This was not always the case.  I was excited about the promise of heaven and being with Jesus for eternity, but I was also excited about what the world had to offer.  I wanted to go to college, to get married, to have kids, to own a coffee shop, to see the world, and to live to be 100. I used to say, “Jesus, I’m excited to be with you, but can you wait until after I’ve done xyz?” My “xyz’s” were all great things, and I’m thankful to have tasted a few of them (still waiting on the coffee shop, seeing the world, and that 100-year birthday celebration =-).  But, the longer I live the more I realize that the things of this earth only bring temporal pleasure. Our life and our experiences here last but a moment. And, suffering, sadness, and death are inevitably woven throughout.  Thus, while I can enjoy this world, I’m losing my taste for its treasures. Rather, I long for something far greater.   I long for the lasting treasures and eternal pleasures that are in store for me in the presence of Jesus, “where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).

This longing grows daily—whenever I’m rushed for time in talking with a friend, experience the pains of sickness in myself or in others, mourn the loss of a loved one, witness the debilitating effects of addiction or mental health struggles, see bodies break down, see destruction by natural disasters, feel disillusioned by our leaders and government, or recognize the deep rooted sense that I’m not yet where I’m supposed to be.  These things make my soul yearn for that better country, ruled by the best King--that place I was made for, where “everything sad comes untrue.’  Though I have not yet seen it with my own eyes, my Savior has prepared a place for me there (John 14:3), and my just and merciful God reigns over it.  His kingship and his country are far greater than I could imagine.  For, “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9).”  As the author C.S. Lewis puts it, “Even the common orange could not be imagined until it was tasted. How much more heaven!” 

Though I won’t be able to really know the depths of heaven’s greatness or the glory of my King until I stand in His presence, it fills my heart with joy to think on it.  Imagine a place that holds everything on this earth that is beautiful to you...loving relationships, scenic views, meaningful work, healthy bodies, grand adventures, delicious food, toe-tapping music, vast knowledge, inspiring art, contagious laughter, deep peace, sweet rest, complete security, perfect justice, noble leadership, and true freedom to be all God created you to be.  Now, take all those beautiful things and remove the things that pervert them--pride, hatred, jealousy, misunderstanding, natural disaster, sickness, decay, brokenness, time, and death.  What you get is a taste of the homeland God promises to those who love Him and a glimpse of the perfect King He will be for His people.  It is a place and a person that are in every sense of the word BETTER! In fact, it’s better than better. It’s the BEST, because there I will stand face to face with my God.  He will dwell with me and I with Him, and He will be my perfect King (Revelation 21:3).  The barriers this world creates between me and God will be gone forever. I will see Him and know Him.  In my homeland, I will, for the first time, see myself and others through God’s eyes—experiencing His breathtaking beauty in everything and everyone around me FOREVER!  Thus, this Thanksgiving, I sing out with praise and thankfulness for my homeland of heaven and for the person of Jesus, who paid the price for my unworthy self to not only go there and experience all its pleasures for eternity but to go there to enjoy it all with Him!  I pray you also would seek this homeland and this King, and that God would encourage your hearts with the fact that this promise and this place await anyone who calls upon the name of Jesus and truly desires to enter! “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4)  Thank you, Jesus!  

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE 

Posted in Katie Miller
Oct. 22, 2019

What You Need To Know About HOAs

 

When searching for a home, you may end up selecting a property in a community with a Homeowners Association (HOA). Before you buy, it’s important to know how an HOA works and what they mean for you.

 

According to a recent article on realtor.com,

 

“In a nutshell, an HOA helps ensure that your community looks its best and functions smoothly…The number of Americans living in homes with HOAs is on the rise, growing from a mere 1% in 1970 to 25% today, according to the Foundation for Community Association Research.”

 

An HOA is governed by a board nominated by those living in the neighborhood. It is designed to make sure the residents have a support structure to maintain the value of the community while abiding by a set of guidelines called Common Restrictive Covenants (CC&R),

 

“Simply put, CC&Rs are just the rules you’ll have to follow if you live in that community. Unlike zoning regulations, which are government-imposed requirements on how land can be used, restrictive covenants are established by HOAs to maintain the attractiveness and value of the property.”

 

It’s important for homeowners to understand that each HOA is a little different, and they usually have monthly or quarterly fees required for homeowners. These fees can vary based on property size, number of residents, amenities, and more. There may be additional fees charged to homeowners if the reserve fund for the HOA cannot cover a major or unexpected cost, like severe storm damage.

 

The fees, however, also help maintain common areas such as swimming pools, tennis courts, elevators (for high-rise buildings), and regular wear and tear. Although they are an added cost to the homeowner, an HOA can be a major benefit when it comes to maintaining the value of your neighborhood and your property.

 

The same article continues to say,

 

“After your offer to buy a home is accepted, you are legally entitled to receive and review the community’s CC&Rs over a certain number of days (typically between three and 10)…If you spot anything in the restrictive covenants you absolutely can’t live with, you can bring it up with the HOA board or just back out of your contract completely (and keep your deposit).”

 

Most lenders will factor your HOA fees into your loan package, ensuring the amount of the loan is appropriate for what you can truly afford.

 

There are some great benefits to having an HOA oversee your neighborhood, and it’s important to understand what fees, structures, and regulations will come into play if there is an HOA where you’d like to live.

 

Bottom Line

 

When you’re looking at a potential property to buy, be sure to work with a professional who can help you understand the neighborhood’s HOA structure and fees. This way, you’ll feel confident and fully informed when buying a home.

Content from Keeping Current Matters

Oct. 22, 2019

The Idaho Birding Trail

 

To aid in conservation efforts and to enhance appreciation for Idaho’s wildlife, the Nongame Division of Idaho Fish and Game created the Idaho Birding Trail.  The purpose of the trail is to help preserve threatened, endangered, and “at risk” species by promoting education, viewing, and photography of Idaho’s fish and wildlife habitats.  Idaho’s endangered and threatened species include the Whooping Crane, the Bald Eagle, and the Peregrine Falcon.  The Idaho Birding trail consists of viewing sites along a 2,000 mile stretch divided into four routes.  Twenty-two of these sites are designated as “blue ribbon” or “best of the best” bird watching locations.

 

 

 

The North route has 23 sites starting at the Canadian border (Pend Oreille) and goes along the Washington Border down to the Rapid River Fish Hatchery near the Payette National Forest.  The seven Blue Ribbon areas on the North route sites are around Coeur d’Alene, Creston (at the Canadian border), Bonners Ferry, and Sandpoint.

 

 

 

The Southwest Route has 40 sites, including our own Boise River Site, which runs 20 miles along the greenbelt from Discovery Park to Eagle Island Park.  Highlights of the Boise River Site include raptors, shorebirds, songbirds, upland birds, waterbirds, and waterfowl.  The Southwest Route starts at Brundage Ski Area and moves down the Oregon border to Blue Creek on the Nevada border.  The Blue Ribbon areas on the Southwest route are around Montpelier, Bruneau, Hagerman, McCall, and Kuna.

 

 

 

The Southeast Route has 12 sites starting at City of Rocks National Reserve on the Utah border and moving up to Henry’s Lake near Yellowstone National Park.  The Blue Ribbon areas on the Southeast trail are around Hamer, Harriman, Roberts, Rupert, Mud Lake, and Springfield.

 

 

 

The East Central Route has 30 sites starting at Galena Pass on the east side of Boise National Forest and follows the Montana border to Lost Trail Pass in the Bitterroot National Forest.  The Blue Ribbon areas on the East Central route are around Stanley, Salmon, and Challis.

 

 

 

For more details on the routes or for a list of bird species that can be found in Idaho, visit the Idaho Birding Trail website HERE.

 

 

Oct. 22, 2019

Boise Real Estate Market Update September 2019

 

Though fall is historically characterized by a decrease in housing inventory, this September boasted more homes for sale than were available in either July or August.  This phenomenon is in large part due to a 10.3% jump from August to September in newly constructed homes available for purchase.   New construction options have increased so much that nearly half of the total inventory for September (887 out of 1,776 homes) were new builds.   The inventory of existing homes for sale also had a surprising increase in comparison to historical statistics, rising 3.6% from August to September.  This change in market conditions has both blurred the seasonality trend and extended the home buying season. 

Despite this unexpected jump in inventory, buyer demand is still well above supply.  This tension, which may be further progressed by our incredibly low mortgage rates, will continue to put upward pressure on prices.   The median sales price for September was $349,994, up 9.7% from September 2018.  To summarize:

-          If you are looking to sell, low supply and high demand levels are still providing a prime environment for receiving a premium price on your property this year.

-          If you are looking to buy, you may want to consider taking advantage of the currently low interest rates and the higher number of homes available to choose from. 

Whether you’re on the fence about buying or selling, just curious about the market for future planning, or ready and rearing to jump in with both feet, we’d love the opportunity to meet with you!  Please call or email so we can schedule a time to talk.  We look forward to embarking on your next real estate journey together!    

Posted in Housing Market
Oct. 22, 2019

Potatoes

 

Have you ever wondered how Idaho became known for potatoes? The first-time potatoes were introduced to this state was when a Presbyterian missionary named Henry Spalding and his wife Eliza traveled here on the Oregon Trail in 1836.  The Spaldings came to the area to educate the Nez Perce Indians about Christianity, irrigation, and how to cultivate our state’s notable vegetable to provide a sustainable food source rather than hunting and gathering. The village of Spalding, Idaho, in Nez Perce County is named after these missionaries.

The famous Idaho baking potato known as the Russet Burbank (aka Netted Gem) came a little later in 1872 and was developed by Luther Burbank. It was initially created to help with the devastating potato famine in Ireland. Burbank noted, "These potatoes have a modified coat in a way that does not add to their attractiveness. It is said, however, that this particular variant is particularly resistant to blight, which gives it exceptional value." They also make excellent French fries!

The first potato fields were planted by Mormon colonists three years before the Idaho Territory was created. Between the river valley water and the volcanic ash soil, their potato crops thrived. This was the humble beginning of our Idaho farmers’ domination of the United States potato market.

 

Posted in Local History