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, 2019

Unlimited Time for Relationships

Over Christmas break, I realized again a feeling I have experienced before—that time with friends and family is never quite enough. My parents visited for a few days leading up to Christmas, and with holiday events and getting kids to bed late, our nightly time to visit one-on-one was not nearly as long as I’d hoped for.  We had friends in town from other areas—some we got to see but never for enough time, and others, due to busy schedules, we weren’t able to see at all.  We visited our old church for a Christmas Eve service, and while we connected with some of our dearly beloved and missed church family, I still left with a tinge of sadness in my heart that I wasn’t able to talk with more people or have longer and deeper conversations with those with whom we did engage. We tried to be mindful of setting aside time to just be together as our family of seven.   Yet, despite planning a fair amount of family time, it just didn’t seem like enough. 

In short, our break was wonderful, relaxing, and full, but I was found wanting—wanting more time to be with, grow in relationship with, and enjoy the company of the people I love.  It is in this wanting that I am reminded how desperately I long for heaven and how sweet God’s promise is that the limited time for relationships I currently experience here on Earth will there become unlimited, eternal, and never-ending!  Better yet, He promises that even relationships that are broken here will be restored and made right.  Even better still, God himself will be there with us, living in the beauty of our restored and right relationship with Him.  “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.  He will dwell with them and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away…’Behold, I am making all things new’” (Revelation 21:3-5). 

This verse about heaven astounds me and fills me with glee!  Isn’t it amazing that God has prepared an eternal home for those who love Him where we will have limitless time to connect with Him and with each other, free from brokenness, ulterior motives, ill-intentions, hurt, jealousy, misunderstandings, tears, death, or goodbyes? I could spend weeks hiking in the mountains with a group of dear friends, going deep into conversation about their lives and all God has done through them and still have no less time and no less days to spend with other friends or family.  I could meet someone new, perhaps someone I wouldn’t have connected well with on earth, and could spend hours hearing their story and learning from their experiences.  And when I need to say goodbye to someone or close out a conversation, I will know it isn’t goodbye forever because we have endless time to meet and talk again in the future. It’s amazing and wonderful, and mind blowing to try to comprehend!

Even more amazing and mind blowing is that in heaven I will have the opportunity to not only stand face to face with my Savior but to grow in my relationship and friendship with Him. There will be endless moments for me to have real, personal, face-to-face, one-on-one time with God!  This hit me afresh while singing these lyrics at Camp Perkins over the break, “Won’t you dance with me throughout the heavens and beyond the seas and up on the mountaintops, flow with the breeze, come carry me, Lord won’t you dance with me?”  Though I must admit this song seemed corny to me in the past, it moved me to joyful tears as I closed my eyes and pictured myself talking and walking alone with Jesus through the sky, along sandy sunset beaches, on the tops of majestic mountains, and even, perhaps, amidst the curious beauty He created below the sea.  How completely perfect and awesome that will be!

I pray that if this article has found you, like me, desiring more—more deep relationships, overflowing joy, limitless time, and unending peace—that you may find hope in God’s promise of heaven—His place of endless days of joy and of no more wanting!  

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

 

Posted in Katie Miller
Jan. 1, 2019

The Future of Harris Ranch

Harris Ranch, located east of downtown Boise, has expanded quite a bit in recent years.  It serves as the primary place to find new construction in Southeast Boise and is a popular place to build. Due to the expansive growth of high density housing in the area, many people who haven't visited recently are shocked to find they don't even recognize it.  According to a recent article on BoiseDev.com, new construction is expected to continue and growth won't be slowing down anytime soon. For clients looking in Harris Ranch and Barber Valley, there are a lot of positives about the homes and neighborhoods, but one of the main negatives is the lack of nearby restaurants and other amenities.  Fortunately, future development plans to tackle that problem, increasing restaurant, shopping, and recreational options, as well as becoming home to a new elementary school for the Boise School District. Check out the entire article HERE.

Harris Ranch - Southeast Boise

Photo from BoiseDev.com article linked above.

Alta Harris Park, Courtesy of Harris Family LP

 

Dec. 24, 2018

Freak Alley

 

On the night of December 15th, 2002, a local artist named Colby Akers painted a mural on the alley doorway of the Moon’s Café in the heart of downtown Boise.  When the surrounding businesses saw this, they wanted him to paint the back of their buildings, too.  But Colby was inspired.  He collaborated with other artists to create a public art installation of graffiti, bold imagery, abstract art, and portraiture that completely covered the service alley between 8th and 9th Streets at Bannock and Idaho and Freak Alley was born.  It has become the largest outdoor gallery in the Northwest giving hundreds of talented artists a showcase for their work.   Existing murals are painted over and replaced with new ones, or new designs are incorporated into existing murals, every six weeks.  It’s free, open 24/7, kid friendly, and because the art changes regularly, a special place that can be visited often.  An indoor gallery, Freak Alley Gallery, was opened in 2011 promoting local art with all sale proceeds supporting the project.  Freak Alley operates solely on donations and volunteers and supports Boise’s thriving artistic community.  Fund raising efforts have been so successful and donations so generous that Freak Alley Gallery is working on attaining its non-profit status.  Once incorporated, its mission will be to bring back art to schools and the community through various special events as well as to provide a free forum for artists to launch their careers.  For more information on how you can get involved, go to https://freakalleygallery.org/

 

 

 

Posted in Local History
Dec. 24, 2018

Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap in 2019

 

Every year around this time, we take time to reflect and plan for next year. If you are renting your current home but have dreams of homeownership, your plan for the new year may include buying, and you wouldn’t be alone!

 

According to the 2018 Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, 74% of renters plan on buying in the next 5 years, with 38% planning to buy in the next 2 years!

 

When those same renters were asked why they disliked renting, 52% said that rising rental costs were their top reason, and 42% of renters believe that their rent will rise every year.

 

There is a long-standing rule that a household should not spend more than 28% of its income on housing expenses. With nearly half of renters (48%) surveyed already spending more than that, and with their rents likely to rise again… why are they renting?

 

When asked why they haven’t purchased a home yet, not having enough saved for a down payment (44%) came in as the top response. The report went on to reveal that nearly half of all respondents believe that “a 20% down payment is required to buy a home.”

 

If the majority of those who believe they haven’t saved a large enough down payment believe that they need 20% down to buy, that means a large number of renters may be able to buy now!

 

Bottom Line

 

If you are one of the many renters who is fed up with rising rents but may be confused about what is required to buy in today’s market, contact a local real estate professional who can help you on your path to homeownership.

Content from Keeping Current Matters

 

Posted in Buying a Home
Dec. 24, 2018

Boise Real Estate Market Update November 2018

 

 

The story of the current market remains the same as reported in previous months—the median sales price continues to rise, due largely to two major factors:

(1)    Record low levels of inventory for existing homes

(2)    And an increased number of newly constructed homes selling at higher prices due to rising costs for building materials and labor.

To dig deeper into the second factor, it may be helpful to look at trends in the market for new construction.  Nationwide over the last 5 years, new construction accounted for between 8-10% of sold homes.  In Ada County over the last 5 years, new construction has accounted for between 18-24%.  To date, new construction has made up 28% of homes sold in Ada County this year! That’s a lot!  Boise Regional Realtors reported that when the share of new construction sales goes over 25%, we can expect to see overall home prices increase an average of 12-14% over the year.  You can see this play out in the graph below, displaying a side by side view of the share of new home sales and the correlating overall median sales price increase. 

As we have said before, in order to move from this seller favored market to a more balanced one, we will either need to see a decrease in housing demand, which is unlikely given the number of people who continue to be attracted to the Boise area, or we will need to see a strong increase in the inventory of existing homes for sale.  If you are considering listing your home or would like more information about what it looks like to be a buyer in this market, please don’t hesitate to call us.  We would love to listen to your questions and share what we know.

 

Posted in Housing Market
Dec. 15, 2018

More Amazing Than Santa

One of our favorite things to do on these dark, cold winter evenings is to snuggle up for family movie night.  With Christmas approaching, my vote is usually for holiday movies—especially the classics we watch every year.  On Saturday, the kids voted for a new movie, The Christmas Chronicles.  It’s your typical, highly predictable, Santa story but was an enjoyable watch and spurred some interesting conversation in our home.  

Although we know many disagree with this, Luke and I made the decision when our oldest was 5 to share the truth about Santa with our kids from the beginning. We did this out of a desire to focus our attention during the Christmas season on Christ’s birth and the truth about who He is and what His life means for our family.  Thus, we share the true stories of St. Nick- a man who lived in the 300s AD, loved God, and obeyed Jesus’ teachings by caring for and giving of all he had to those in need. And we try to draw their attention away from their gifts under the tree to the incredible free gift they have in Jesus and in the miracle of the story of His coming.  

Despite knowing that the Santa of the books, movies, and department stores isn’t real, our kids often comment that they sometimes want to believe he is.  They are drawn to the magic of a jolly man knowing their names and what they desire, the inclusivity of being counted among the people in Santa’s book of those who believe, and the thrill of flying reindeer carrying his sleigh to every house around the world in one night to give gifts to every boy and girl.   But, what a joy it is, as we talk about how amazing it would be if Santa was really real, for me to remind them there is someone who IS real who is infinitely more amazing—and that is God.  Their Father, the Creator, not only knows details of what they desire but has written the story of every boy and girl who ever was or ever will be in this world. And, He knows and cares for every detail of their lives—every joy, every sorrow, every second.  He has a book of life where the names of those who believe are written. And, they don’t have to worry about whether they make the cut for the nice list, because they know we are all naughty.  The gift of grace, forgiveness, joy, and eternal life isn’t for those who deserve it (since none of us do) but rather a free gift from Jesus for all those who believe He is who He says He is!   There are actual historical accounts in the Bible and in other records of our Savior, Jesus, experiencing a humble birth, fulfilling every iota of ancient prophecies, knowing and caring for intimate details of people’s lives, walking on water, turning water to wine, healing the sick, bringing sight to the blind, and even raising people from the dead!  These are not fairytales of a mythical man who they will someday learn is just a myth, but true glimpses of an amazing, real, God who is with them always and who they will one day see face to face!    

Although we don’t get to experience our kids delight over sitting on Santa’s lap, there is a true and marvelous joy in getting to see their eyes light up with wonder as they discover more truths about our Savior and find their strength and comfort in His arms!  I especially love when their minds turn to the real hope we have of heaven—pondering the incredible joys and experiences we will have there and the people with whom we will be reunited and will meet. In fact, as our kids brought to our attention the other night, since St. Nicholas called Jesus his God and Savior, he will be among the many who we will greet and rejoice with one day in heaven. “We’ll get to talk to the real Santa?!” our kids exclaimed.  “How cool is that?!”  But even more cool, we will get to look into the eyes of our real Savior and delight in the joy of His presence for eternity!  

 

Posted in Katie Miller
Nov. 17, 2018

The Trust Journey

Each fall, the agents and spouses of TripleCord get together for dinner in our home.  It is one of my favorite evenings of the year—dining, laughing, crying, learning, and growing together as we reflect on what God has been doing in each of our lives.  As we went around the table and shared some of our joys and struggles over these past 12 months, TRUST was a most definite common theme.  In Proverbs 3:5-6 the Bible tells us to, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Learning to truly trust the Lord with our lives is a difficult journey—one that repeats regularly and at times can be more challenging than other times.  As people shared their experiences, we found ourselves in different stages of the “trust journey.” Some of us were in that space of “kind of” trusting, but not really trusting with “all” our hearts—expressing fears about financial need, job loss, job changes, sickness, family adjustments, friends in difficult circumstances, and role changes.  Those of us in this space confessed that although we know God has the power to take care of our fears, we still tend to lean on our own understanding of how those fears would best be relieved rather than trusting in God to relieve them in His most excellent ways.  Some of us expressed being in a space of truly trusting the Lord, and though maybe not yet seeing a straight path before us, being fully confident that God would make it so.  And, some of us, praise be to the Lord, found ourselves standing at the end of a difficult journey, looking back and rejoicing at God’s faithfulness to make our paths straight and carry us through.  

Personally, I found pieces of myself in all sections of the “trust journey.”  With the difficult trials of friends, I find my heart heavy and only “kind of” trusting how God is going to work it out.  With our adoption, by the grace of God, I am really trusting and am confident He has laid a good path before us no matter where it leads. And with my role change from agent to broker, I am looking back and rejoicing in how God took my plans, scrambled them up, and then laid before me a much more excellent way—proving again to me that He is more than worthy of my trust.  

We left our time together humbled by the fact that are stiff necked and forgetful people, who despite experiencing God’s unwavering faithfulness time and time again, will tend to distrust and doubt him. Simultaneously, we left encouraged that God does not leave us in a space of fear, anxiety, and doubt. Rather, He graciously and lovingly uses stories of His faithfulness in our own personal lives and the lives of others to affirm He is worthy to be trusted and to help us find our rest and direction in Him.  Where are you in your “trust journey” with Him today?  Could you use prayer or encouragement to trust Him more?  If so, let me know, as I would love to pray with you.   

 

TripleCord Agent Dinner

 

Posted in Katie Miller
Nov. 5, 2018

Boise Real Estate Market Update September 2018

 

 

As is common this time of year, we are experiencing a cooling off of home sale activity.  This does not mean that prices are decreasing but rather flat lining—which, when compared to the crazy price appreciation of the summer buying season, can make it feel like we are in a market downturn.  Several complex factors are affected this market change.  But, seasonality, low housing inventory, and rising interest rates likely play the biggest roles.

 

Despite this slowdown, Boise’s market remains strong and overall price appreciation, though likely to be slower than this year, is expected to continue into 2019.  This increase in home values we be driven mostly by demand, as inventory levels remain well below those of a balanced market and as the beautiful Boise area continues to attract buyers relocating from other states. 

 

The market is complex and constantly changing, but as real estate professionals, we have a variety of tools and information to help navigate these changes in order to better equip buyers and sellers to make good real estate decisions.  If you are looking to buy and/or sell within the next few years, please give us a call so we can meet with you to discuss more of the pros and cons of different timelines and strategies and to better help you prepare for the real estate path of best interest to you.   We are ALWAYS happy to meet with you, even if your plans to move may not be for several years down the road.    

 

Below are the current Ada County market statistics for September 2018 compared to September 2017:

Existing/Resale...

 

  • Closed sales – 616 (down 24%) 
  • Median Sales Price - $299,950 (up 17.7%)
  • Days on the Market - 23 (down 14.8%) 
  • Inventory: 933 (down 19.2%)
  • Months of Supply: 1.2 (down 7.7%) 

 

We also wanted to show how the number of months supply of inventory fluctuates based on the price range.  The current month’s existing supply condition in each price range is as follows: 

 

  • $159,999 or less: 0.5 month
  • $160,000 - 199,999: 0.3 month
  • $200,000 - $249,499: 0.7 month
  • $250,000 - $299,999: 1.0 month
  • $300,000 - 399,999: 1.2 months
  • $400,000 - 499,999: 1.5 months
  • $500,000 - $699,999: 1.8 months
  • $700,000 - $999,999: 2.7 months

 

Posted in Housing Market
Nov. 5, 2018

Peregrine Falcons of Idaho

 

The peregrine falcon is featured on the Idaho state quarter and has been our official state raptor since 2004.  The name “peregrine” means “wanderer” as they are known to have the longest migration of any North American bird, traveling up to as far as 15,500 miles in a year.  They mate for life and live off a diet of other medium sized birds and small mammals. 

 

In the 1960s, the use of the pesticide DDT pushed the peregrine falcon to near extinction.  As a result, the Peregrine Fund was founded by Dr. Tom Cade in 1970 with the goal of breeding peregrines in captivity and protecting the remaining population throughout North America and Europe.  The first breeding aviary was built at Cornell University.  DDT was banned in 1972, and from 1974 to 1997 almost 4,000 birds were bred in captivity and released into the wild.  Through the Peregrine Fund’s efforts, the Peregrine Falcon was removed from the endangered species list in 1999. 

 

Because their natural habitat is cliffs, peregrines are attracted to tall buildings to make their nests.  There has been a webcam on the 14th floor of a building in downtown Boise since 2008 which monitors the daily activity of peregrine life in a nesting box.  See the webcam HERE.  Today, the Peregrine Fund organization has expanded its conservation efforts to include more than 100 species in 65 countries.  The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey is located in Boise, at 5668 W Flying Hawk Lane.  Visiting hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10am-5pm March-November and 10am-4pm December to February.  If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit this great attraction, right in Boise’s own backyard, we would encourage you to check it out!

Posted in Local History
Nov. 5, 2018

The Cost of Renting Vs. Buying

 

Owning a home has great financial benefits, yet many continue to rent! Today, let’s look at the financial reasons why owning a home of your own has been a part of the American Dream for the entirety of America’s existence.

 

Realtor.com reported that:

 

“Buying remains the more attractive option in the long term – that remains the American dream, and it’s true in many markets where renting has become really the shortsighted option…as people get more savings in their pockets, buying becomes the better option.”

 

What proof exists that owning is financially better than renting?

 

1. The top 5 financial benefits of homeownership:

 

·         Homeownership is a form of forced savings.

 

·         Homeownership provides tax savings.

 

·         Homeownership allows you to lock in your monthly housing cost.

 

·         Buying a home is cheaper than renting.

 

·         No other investment lets you live inside of it.

 

2. Studies have shown that a homeowner’s net worth is 44x greater than that of a renter.

 

3. A family that purchased an average-priced home at the beginning of 2018 could build more than $49,000 in family wealth over the next five years.

 

4. Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of taxes and home repairs, but every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs are already baked into the rent payment – along with a profit margin!

 

 

 

Bottom Line

 

Owning your home has many social and financial benefits that cannot be achieved by renting.