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!

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.

 

 

 

Oct. 18, 2018

He is Faithful

He is Faithful

As a recommendation from a friend for a good book on leadership, I recently began reading through Exodus--the account of God helping Moses lead the people of Israel out from the bondage of slavery in Egypt and into their own land.  I have read this book several times, but as is common when I read the Bible, new fresh things stood out to me. One such thing can be found in chapter 6, verses 6-13. 

You can read it HERE, but in this section, the Lord asks Moses to share a beautiful promise with the Israelites.God promises to deliver them from the slavery of the Egyptians, to redeem them with wondrous acts, to bring them to a land of their very own, and best of all, He promises to take them as HIS people--to be with them as their mighty and loving Lord.After Moses shares this wonderful message, you would imagine the people would be encouraged, hopeful, and ready to witness God’s mighty hand bring them out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.But, their response is not so.Verse 13 states, “...but they did not listen to Moses because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.”

This verse made me sad.Here the people are being given an amazing promise from God--the only one who can actually follow through on such a promise.Yet, their spirits are so broken and hopeless that they can’t even bring themselves to listen, trust, or believe that their mighty God will save them.I then realized that I do this too.Sometimes there are situations in my life or the lives of my friends that seem hopeless.When I experience them or hear of them, my heart is downtrodden. I look to God’s promises for encouragement and strength to move forward, but I have trouble really believing them.I don’t see how His plans could be good or even how they might work out for good (Romans 8:28).I’m unsure if He really hears our cries and will deliver us out of our troubles (Psalm 34:17).I doubt His faithfulness.

But, what encourages me about this verse is that even though the Israelites were so broken that they couldn’t hope in or even listen to God’s promises for them, God remained faithful to follow through on what He said.In Joshua 21:45, as the Israelites stand free in the land God had promised them, they recount, “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”Their distrust in what God said did not keep Him from delivering them from the harsh hand of the Egyptians and bringing them into a land of their own.In the same way, I know that even when I refuse to listen or feel so broken that I can’t trust in God’s ways, He will be faithful to make good on all his beautiful promises.All shall come to pass!Praise God that it doesn’t rely on me.Praise God that even when “we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).

Are there areas in your life where you distrust God and how He is working things out, or areas where you feel so broken you don’t even care to listen to the good promises He has for you?As we walk through these places, may He give us the strength to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). For, “the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6).

 

Posted in Katie Miller
Oct. 1, 2018

History of TreeFort Music Festival

 

 

 

Tree Fort Music Festival

 

Boise has long been a regional hub for jazz, theater, and indie music, but our city seems to have “come of age” with the introduction of the Treefort Music Fest.  Taking place in late March, Treefort is a five day festival held in many venues throughout downtown Boise.    The original idea started with a small two day festival featuring 60 bands.  By the time the inaugural festival was held in 2012, it had become an eight stage event with 137 bands and over 3,000 people attending.  The next year, the initial batch of early bird wristbands sold out in 17 minutes.  Tree Fort 2013 featured a much more diverse set of 260 acts from all over the country performing on 13 stages.  The third annual festival, in 2014, booked 350 bands and rejected over 1,000 others due to the sheer volume of talent that was interested in participating. 

 

The music genres have expanded to pop, heavy metal, hip hop, electronic, folk, and classic rock.  The festival also branched out to Filmfort (a film festival), Hackfort (a tech festival), Storyfort, YogaFort, and comedy showcases.  It was described as “an extensive community and cultural event where good attitudes all but fell from the sky.”  It has grown year over year, attracting more and more recognizable talent, with higher and higher attendance numbers and recognition from the media. 

 

The 2018 Treefort Music Fest was headlined by well known singer and songwriter, George Clinton & P-Funk, and hosted 462 acts.  Newsweek reported on the wide range of activities occurring across 16 blocks of downtown Boise, with 24,000 people from around the world enjoying the festival.  Treefort was hailed this year as “the greatest music festival in the country” and truly amplifies the musical soul of Boise!

 

Posted in Boise Events
Oct. 1, 2018

What Does the Future Hold For Home Prices

 

What Does the Future Hold for Home Prices?

 

Home prices are at the top of everyone’s minds. Can they maintain their current pace of appreciation? Will rising mortgage rates negatively impact home values? Will the next economic slowdown cause prices to crash?

 

Let’s try to answer these questions based on what has happened in the past as well as what we know about the current real estate market.

 

The Impact of Rising Interest Rates

 

We explained earlier this year that rising mortgage rates have not negatively impacted home prices in the past and probably wouldn’t this time either. Freddie Mac’s comments were very direct:

 

“In the current housing market, the driving force behind the increase in prices is a low supply of both new and existing homes combined with historically low rates. As mortgage rates increase, the demand for home purchases will likely remain strong relative to the constrained supply and continue to put upward pressure on home prices.”

 

They were correct. So far this year, home values have continued to appreciate above normal historic percentages and it appears the gradual increase in rates has had little impact on prices.

 

The Impact of an Economic Slowdown

 

Many people fear that when the economy turns, we may see the same depreciation in home values as we did a decade ago.

 

However, we recently reported that the same group of economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists who predicted the next recession will occur in the next 18-24 months have also projected that house prices will continue to appreciate for the next five years, albeit at smaller percentages.

 

It Comes Down to Supply and Demand

 

As always, home prices will be determined by the demand to purchase compared to the available inventory of homes for sale. For the last six years, demand has far exceeded the available supply which has resulted in the average annual appreciation to top 6% since 2012. That is far greater than the historic norm of 3.6% annual appreciation that we saw prior to the housing boom.

 

There are currently small signs that housing inventory is slowly beginning to increase. Months supply of houses for sale matched last year’s numbers for the last two months after 37 consecutive months of decreasing inventory. New construction data has also shown positive signs that inventory will be increasing.

 

As inventory begins to meet demand, we will see appreciation return to more normal levels. We are already seeing projections coming in lower than the 6.2% annual average we have seen more recently.

 

CoreLogic is predicting that home values will appreciate by 5.1% over the next twelve months and the Home Price Expectation Survey calls for values to increase by 4.2% in 2019.

 

Bottom Line

 

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explained it best:

 

“We’re seeing the first indications that price appreciation may be slowing, but the underlying fundamental housing market conditions support a natural moderation of house prices rather than a sharp decline.”

Content from Keeping Current Matters

 

Posted in Housing Market
Oct. 1, 2018

Boise Real Estate Market Update August 2018

 

 

Boise Regional Realtors reported these three main takeaways in regard to this month’s market analysis:

 

-          The median sales price for Ada County reached a new record in August 2018, of $334,400 for existing and new homes combined. This was up 20.3% over the same month last year, and up 4.8% from July.

 

-          Local home prices are being driven by the persistent and historically low inventory of existing homes compared to demand, and more new homes selling at overall higher prices, primarily due to rising construction costs.

 

-          In August 2018, the median sales price of existing homes in Ada County reached $309,200 — a new record — up 9.0% over August 2017. This number mostly reflects homes that went under contract in June and July — when we had the fastest market times on record — indicating that many buyers offered higher prices to be competitive in the face of high demand for the persistent low inventory.

 

Though the market remains strong and swift moving, every house and every person’s situation is still unique.  If you’re considering making a move in real estate, we hope you will give us a call so we can assist you in properly navigating the waters of the current market and how it might play into your particular situation.  We have a great deal of resources and information to assist you in making the best decisions for YOU when buying and selling!

 

 

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

Existing/Resale...

 

  • Closed sales – 823 (down 8.5%) 
  • Median Sales Price - $309,200 (up 19%)
  • Days on the Market - 20 (down 23.1%) 
  • Inventory: 843 (down 17.8%)
  • Months of Supply: 1.1 (down 21.4%) 
  •  

 

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: 1.4 month
  • $160,000 - 199,999: 0.6 month
  • $200,000 - $249,499: 0.6 month
  • $250,000 - $299,999: 0.7 month
  • $300,000 - 399,999: 1.1 months
  • $400,000 - 499,999: 1.1 months
  • $500,000 - $699,999: 1.7 months
  • $700,000 - $999,999: 2.4 months
  • $1,000,000 or more: 6.2 months

 

 

New Construction...

 

  • Closed sales – 301 (up 20.9%) 
  • Median Sales Price - $386,470 (up 8.6%)
  • Days on the Market - 43 (down 23.2%)
  • Inventory: 790 (up 8.7%)
  • Months Supply of Inventory: 2.7 (down 15.6%)

 

  • $159,999 or less: 0
  • $160,000 - 199,999: 0
  • $200,000 - $249,499: 2.1 months
  • $250,000 - $299,999: 2.3 months
  • $300,000 - 399,999: 3.2 months
  • $400,000 - 499,999: 2.8 months
  • $500,000 - $699,999: 1.9 months
  • $700,000 - $999,999: 4 months
  • $1,000,000 or more: 0

 

  If you’re interested in knowing more about the current state of the market, check out this informative August 2018 Boise Regional Realtors Market Report.

 

Posted in Housing Market
Oct. 1, 2018

Smart Advice for Seniors Thinking About Downsizing

A lot of people reach retirement and realize that the home they raised a family in is now more than they need. When it’s just one or two hanging around the house, what’s the point in having multiple bedrooms and bathrooms that all require constant upkeep? When you downsize into a smaller home, you can find something that facilitates the retirement of which you’ve always dreamed. The money you save on living expenses can go toward the things you love. Furthermore, a smaller house is safer and better facilitates aging in place.

Downsizing isn’t always the best decision -- for some people, it doesn’t make financial sense. For instance, if you find that the costs associated with selling the primary home are so high, and the sellers end up not making enough of a profit to roll into their new home. Or, if the property holds sentimental value and is expected to be passed down through generations, downsizing may not be the right choice for that particular family either. There are always exceptions to the rule.

Deciding whether or not to downsize is, in the end, a personal decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. But if you do decide that downsizing is right for you, making smart choices along the way will make sure you don’t regret the decision.

Look for a Single-Story Property

In cities across America, townhomes are considered the current “it” properties everyone wants. However, if you’re looking for a house in which you can safely age in place, you’re going to want to skip the trend and look for something on a single-story instead. As we age, our bodies go through a lot of changes. For many of us, our strength and coordination are not the same. While we could bound up and down stairs in our youth, it’s considerably more difficult in our senior years. By avoiding stairs and steps altogether, we remove a considerable risk from the household. Falls are one of the most dangerous injuries for people over 65 and can lead to intracranial trauma fractures and even death.

Give Yourself Time for Downsizing Possessions

If you’re moving into a smaller home, you can’t take all your things with you. Even with all the storage solutions in the world, if you try and fit a large home’s stuff into a smaller unit, you’re just going to end up with a cluttered mess. Give yourself a few months leading up to putting your home on the market to start getting rid of stuff.

Have kids come home and take anything they want. Donate old clothes, toys and gently used items to local charities that can either sell or repurpose them for a good cause. If you want to make a little moving money, consider throwing a yard sale or listing big-ticket items including furniture on Craigslist. The longer you give yourself to do this, the less stressful it will be. Furthermore, you’ll have more time to make the best decisions regarding downsizing your possessions so you don’t end up hastily getting rid of something you end up needing.

 

Make Moving Day Easy

Another thing to consider on moving day is your precious pup. Having the home packed up and strangers coming in and out taking boxes can cause anxiety in dogs. That anxiety can lead to problematic behavior including dashing out the door. Instead of risking it, have your pup boarded on moving day so he can play and be monitored in a safe and fun environment. You can swoop him up when you’re all done like when you picked up your kids from daycare.

While being young was fun, getting older has more advantages. For instance, while you used to throw your friends a case of beer and some pizzas to help move, as an adult you now have the resources to actually hire professionals who can get the job done. When hiring movers, ask around for recommendations and pick a company that is fully insured not only for movers’ injuries, but also for broken or misplaced items.

****

 Downsizing is a great way for seniors to make life simpler in retirement. When looking for a new home, be sure to pick something on a single story to facilitate aging in place. Give yourself a few months or more to go through items and get rid of things you don’t want to bring to the new home. Finally, make moving day easier by acquiring the help you need to pack safely and soundly. 

 

Content written by Jim Vogel

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Posted in Seniors
Sept. 15, 2018

Cast Down

Cast Down

 

Last weekend, I had the joy of attending an annual women’s retreat.  The speaker used Psalm 23 to paint a picture of the many ways in which our Lord is like a Good Shepherd to us (his sheep).  The message was life giving to me. I took several pages of notes, so, I can’t share everything here.  But, I wanted to share at least one thing that really stuck with me.  It was the picture above.  This picture is of a sheep that is “cast down.”  Before this retreat, when I heard the phrase “cast down,” I associated it with being down in the dumps, sorrowful, or burdened.  It does mean those things, but the speaker shared a deeper meaning.  When a sheep is “cast down” on its back like this, it physically has no way of turning itself over on its own.  The sheep must rely completely on the shepherd to come, roll it over, and get it back on its feet.  If no human comes to its rescue, it will die.  

In American society, and quite possibly in society in general, I think we all too often hold the philosophy that no matter what the circumstances, WE can “pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.” We try desperately to do so, and we encourage our friends that they can do the same.  I actually imagine the standing sheep in this picture being much like those friends, saying to the cast down sheep, “You can do it man, roll over!”  But, this just isn’t the truth. In many cases, we are just like the cast down sheep--on our backs, trapped, vulnerable, bleating for help, and on our way to death if help doesn’t come soon.  We have no way of saving ourselves, and the other sheep around us can’t save us either.  Like the sheep on its back, we need to cry out to the shepherd for help, and if our friends want to help us, they need to cry out to the shepherd on our behalf as well.   The Good Shepherd always hears when His sheep call, and He promises to come when we do. He will rush to our side, gently turn us over, and give us His strength to help us to our feet.  

We are currently going through a situation with our adoption that makes me feel much like this cast down sheep.  I’ve tried to think of ways “I” can make things go the way I want them to but have realized I am helpless to control the outcome. I am vulnerable, bleating for help, and asking my friends and family to bleat with me as well. I know my only hope is our Good Shepherd, our Lord, who hears me calling out to him and who will come and set all things right.  Only He can get me to my feet and give me the strength to walk through whatever may come.

If you are presently going through something that has left you cast down on your back and unable to turn over, we would be honored if you would share your story with us so we could come alongside you and help in the best way we know how—by bleating to our Father along with you and trusting He will come to your rescue!  He is indeed the Good Shepherd, who promises to restore your soul!      

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 

I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

Your rod and your staff they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  ~Psalm 23  

Posted in Katie Miller
Aug. 30, 2018

Why You Should Clean Your New Home Before You Move In

It’s exciting moving into a new home. Chances are you want to get in there and unpack to start settling in as soon as possible. But before you get ahead of yourself, give your new a home a deep clean. Doing so will not only make it feel brand new when you walk in, but help make the space healthier, too.

Go Top Down

Before even you bring any boxes or furniture in, take the opportunity to get all those hard to reach places and really clean each room. Start by going top down. Dust the cobwebs out of the light fixtures and clean up the molding at the ceiling. Moving.com recommends going item by item instead of room by room. This way as the dirt falls to the floor you don't have to clean anything twice.

Be sure to clean all your appliances, too. You don’t want to be living with someone’s dirt and grime. Give the fridge a good scrub and be sure to clean your oven and other kitchen appliances as well. Do not forget about the appliances in the basement like the furnace and hot water heaters. It is a good idea to put in new filters when you move in to keep everything fresh and clean.

Create a Cleaning Schedule

Once your home is clean, you should do your best to keep it that way to prevent dirt and toxins from building up. Creating a weekly cleaning schedule is a great way to ensure you don’t fall behind and can make the task less overwhelming.

However, clean up messes like spills and mud as they occur. This will help prevent stains and make it easier to get rid of. Cordless vacuums are a great tool for fast cleanups, not to mention they tend to be lighter and easier to store. If you need to upgrade your vacuum, review this guide to choose the best cordless appliance for your home.

Purify the Air

Some of the biggest health hazards in the home are the ones you cannot see. Years of allergen, air pollutant and dust mites naturally build up in a home. If left alone, your indoor air can be more polluted than outside. To help fight this make sure your home has good ventilation and you are using high quality air filters. It is even a good idea to open the windows a few times a year, weather permitting.

Pay attention to what goes on in your home year-round to stop problems from occurring as they arise. Watch for unusual odors and smells and address them immediately as they appear. Fight mold by fixing leaks as soon as they arrive and keeping areas like the bathroom and kitchen as dry as possible. Be wary of where you store your household chemicals and cleaning supplies as well, these are often the most neglected sources of volatile organic compounds (VOC).

Reduce Allergens

If you are concerned about reducing allergens you may need to make adjustments to your home. Carpets collect allergens and dust mites fast, and sometimes vacuuming isn’t enough. Cigna goes as far to recommend replacing carpeting with wooden flooring for those with asthma.

It is also a good idea to look for often-overlooked sections of the house to clean such as drapes and furniture, where dust and pollutants can build up. You can even reduce the amount of allergens entering your home by taking your shoes off at the door and making sure your pets are groomed regularly.

Like New

Keeping your home clean will not only make it look new, but can make you feel better. Reducing the VOCs and allergens in your home will help create a healthier you. Stick to your cleaning schedule and get to work!

 

Content written by Jim Vogel

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.