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.  A few of our agents also post personal blog posts from time to time  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. 12, 2022

Boise Housing Market Update | December 2021

December 2021 and Year-End Market Report

by Boise Regional REALTORS®

When summing up the 2021 Ada County housing market, one could easily argue that this past year brought the most fast-paced market we’ve ever seen, particularly in the first half of the year. The market conditions were incredibly competitive.

The county has faced limited housing inventory for years now, a phenomenon we’ve detailed in many of our reports. This lack of supply has been insufficient compared to the persistent demand for housing, which has driven up prices and caused a home buying frenzy earlier this year. We tracked the pace of the market by a few metrics — how quickly homes went under contract, the share of sales that sold over list price, and for how much they sold over list price.

We’ll first explore the data for each of these metrics in the existing home sale segment to illustrate just how competitive the market was in 2021.

The Days on Market (DOM) metric measures the time between when a property is listed and when it has an accepted offer. Overall, DOM for existing homes trended down, reaching a historic low of just nine days in May 2021. Since then, the DOM metric has increased and normalized, reaching an average of 30 days in December 2021 — 18 days longer than in December 2020, and more in line with pre-pandemic levels from early 2020...CONTINUE READING

Posted in Housing Market
Jan. 12, 2022

Word for 2022 - PRAYER

A friend gave us the idea to  share a word that characterized 2021 and to come up with a word we hoped would characterize 2022.  It has been a fun question to ask friends and family and to hear the different words that defined their past year and those they are desiring to see exemplified in the next.  My word for 2021 was "presence" and for 2022 "prayer."  If you want to hear more on why I chose those words, you can watch this short little video.  I would love to know what word characterized your past year and also what one your hoping characterizes 2022, so please send me a note if  you're willing and have time!    

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE 

Posted in Katie Miller
Dec. 14, 2021

Boise Housing Market Update | November 2021

Although the Boise housing market is experiencing a common seasonal cooling with the close of 2021, the Months Supply Inventory (MSI) metric shows that demand for homes remains strong and consistent. As Boise Regional REALTORS® reiterates, the MSI metric is calculated by taking “the number of homes for sale divided by the average number of sales by month for the preceding 12 months. As of November 2021, Ada County was at just 0.9 months for existing homes and 1.5 months for new construction. This means, if no additional homes were listed, the supply of homes for sale would run out in less than two months. A balanced market — not favoring buyers or sellers — is typically between 4-6 months of supply.”

In addition to inventory levels, here are some other notable statistics to help you better understand our current market:  

  • Last month, existing homes were on the market an average of 25 days before going under contract, 92.3% longer than the 13 days we saw a year ago.

  • Inventory of existing homes was up 217.9% compared to November 2020.  

  • The median sales price for existing homes in November 2021 was $510,000 (19.7% higher than the same month last year).

  • The median sales prices for newly constructed homes in November 2021 was $601,301 (39.8% higher than the same month last year).  A portion of this increase is due to the increased cost of materials.  

  • Newly constructed home sales were down 32.2% year to date compared to last year. This is partially due to delays in the supply chain slowing production and partially due to buyers having an increased number of existing homes on the market to choose from.

  • There is a strong correlation between inventory of existing homes and pending sales for new construction.  The graph below looks at activity since January 2019 and shows how the number of pending new construction homes goes up as inventory of existing homes goes down and visa versa.  See graph below:

For more information on this graph and other market statistics, please read the full market report from Boise Regional REALTORS® HERE.  Or, if you’d like to visit with someone in person to learn more about the market, please give us a call!  We’d love to schedule a time to meet to talk through how our current Boise housing market may affect your future real estate decisions!  

Posted in Housing Market
Nov. 16, 2021

Boise Housing Market Update | October 2021

With the shift in weather, we’ve seen a shift in the Boise housing market too.  Though homes are still selling for near record highs, we experienced a slight 0.2% drop in the median sales price from September to October.  It’s been refreshing to see the market cool a bit.  There are still some homes that receive multiple offers within the first few days on the market and sell for over asking price.  But, for the most part, the process of buying or selling a home seems a bit less frantic than it has been in the last several months.

Much of this shift has to do with increased inventory. Last month, there were 703 available properties for sale in the Boise market.  This was an increase in inventory of more than 300% from October 2020!  In those months when inventory was at its lowest, competition was high, influencing buyers to pay over list price to get their desired home. This led to more than half of all homes that sold in October 2020 through July 2021 to sell for over list price.  Since July 2021, as more inventory has become available and competition has eased, the number of homes selling for over list price dropped significantly to 26.15% of all home sales in October 2021.    

Although the market is becoming less and less frantic as supply moves closer and closer to present demand, every house and situation is different, and there are still many steps to navigating a successful purchase or sale.  So, please give us a call!  We know the market well and are experienced in helping buyers and sellers make wise and informed real estate decisions.  We’d love the opportunity to answer your questions, share what we know, and walk alongside you in the process!

Boise Housing Market

 

Posted in Housing Market
Nov. 16, 2021

Untold Stories of a Boise Realtor: Group Effort

Untold Stories of a Boise Realtor Group Effort

Some wonderful buyers of mine just closed on an incredible homestead for their family in Emmett.  Two sisters and their families purchased 20 acres that was split into 4 5-acre lots.  The lots will be used between them and their kids to build their new and glorious Idaho life.  It’s just the very best.

Everything about this transaction was a little unique, which kept things exciting the whole way through.  Two sisters and their husbands buying land together.  Working with a small town and county to push paperwork through.  Splitting the land into smaller parcels.  Building new roads.  But with perfect cooperation between the buyers and sellers, we accomplished great things and now my buyers will be calling this piece of land their new home!

That cooperation between the buyers and sellers sure came in especially handy when the closing date was missed.  The buyers already had plans to come up and stay on the property, which now required permission from the seller.  So they chatted and made a deal that if the buyers would keep the sellers’ cows for an extra day, they could go ahead and stay on the property.  Ha!  This is the Idaho way and I love it!

Once we did close, I got to go out and meet this great family on their new property.  They couldn’t wait to tell me about their meeting the sellers the day before.  The buyers arrived to the property to see the sellers (a young, sweet couple and their four tiny kids) chasing their cows and chickens around trying to corral them to get them in the trailer to move.  So one of the buyers takes the baby and the others join in the efforts to get all the animals gathered and into the trailer.  When all was said and done, this great team had loaded 2 cows and 26 chickens into the horse trailer and off the sellers went to their new life in Wyoming towing their 5th wheel full of their belongings and behind that, their horse trailer full of their animals. 

I LOVE this story so much!  It is such a great example of how we do things a little differently in Idaho.  I see this a lot as I work with so many clients from out of state.  Here, we tend to trust each other a great deal and we usually work together to get the job done.  It’s the very best!

Written by Becka Marston

See more posts by Becka Marston HERE!

Posted in Becka Marston
Oct. 12, 2021

Being Transformed--One Degree at a Time

Being Transformed--One Degree at a Time

This past weekend, I was able to escape into the mountains with some women from our church for our first Table Rock Women’s Retreat.   Retreats like these are one of my greatest joys.  I love being out in God’s beautiful creation, developing deeper friendships, having time to rest my soul, and learning more about the love of my Savior (not to mention, having someone else make our meals and do the dishes—what an incredible blessing!)

The topic of our retreat this year was “discipleship”—a word that basically means “learning and growing in our knowledge and love of God and loving others by helping them learn and grow in their knowledge and love of God as well.”  A few women taught on the subject, some shared personal stories, and we all got to learn from each other through smaller group discussions.

After a sweet time away learning and growing like this, I often feel I’m going to return a much better friend, mother, wife, daughter, co-worker, and follower of Jesus.  However, when I return, I often slip back into my old habits and barely seem to have changed at all.  This can be incredibly discouraging.  Am I really growing and learning and being transformed into someone more like my Savior?  Or, am I just the same woman I’ve always been—stuck in the rut of my same sinful patterns?

When we started to discuss this disappointing reality in our small group, however, we were reminded of a very encouraging promise in scripture.  2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, ARE being transformed into the same image from ONE DEGREE of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”  The Bible tells us that we ARE, indeed, being changed into Christ’s likeness as we seek Him.  So, we can be encouraged by the fact that transformation IS happening.  But, that change doesn’t happen all at once.  It’s a process, and it happens one degree at a time.  Sometimes, a degree doesn’t seem like much.  But, even with the ups and downs that accompany it, one degree of change projected out into the future equates to tremendous growth over time.  

So, while I did not return from this retreat fully transformed into the friend, mother, wife, daughter, co-worker, and follower of Jesus that I want to be someday, I did return, by His grace, one degree closer to Him—one degree more like the woman He is faithfully molding me to be!  And, for that, I am incredibly thankful!  I pray that each of you, also, may not be discouraged in the place where you are, but rather, that you’d be encouraged by the work the Lord has already done in and through your life, and by the incredible significance of the one degree changes He will continue to make as you look to Him!  “And, I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).     

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE 

Posted in Katie Miller
Sept. 11, 2021

Boise Housing Market Update | August 2021

As the weather has started to cool, so has the Boise real estate market.  Our median sales price was $530,500 last month—down about $10,000 from July but still up 32.2% from the same month last year. The main reason for high appreciation over the last year is primarily a matter of supply versus demand.  The Boise area simply hasn’t had enough housing inventory to keep up with the number of buyers looking to purchase.  Fortunately, though, housing supply is on the rise.   Last month was the fifth consecutive month of inventory growth, increasing 6.5% from July and a whopping 90.8% from August 2020!!  

As stated by Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR), these inventory gains are “very encouraging—and likely prompted by higher prices—although still low compared to what they might have been had they tracked with the historical trendline.”  (See the historical trendline for Ada County HERE). 

The number of pending and closed sales remain on track with their respective trendlines, although they decreased 22.9% and 28.3% respectively from last year (see graph HERE).  As BRR reports, “Some in the national news have speculated that declines in national sales activity indicates buyers are backing off. This may be the case in some situations, especially among more price sensitive buyers, but the declines likely have more to do with seasonality and limited inventory…The past two years haven’t had that same seasonal feel with the pandemic compressing the traditional market cycles, but any additional declines in activity from now through the end of the year are not completely atypical.” 

The increase in the number of homes available and the slight cooling of the market are good news for buyers, but they aren’t completely out of the woods yet.  Inventory remains near historic lows compared to demand, meaning the market is still very competitive.  Although the number of homes receiving multiple offers and selling for over asking price has declined, 42.3% of properties still sold for an average of $22,675 more than list price last month.    

If you’re considering buying or selling, we’d love to talk with you more about the typical and atypical factors of today’s market and how we can leverage those to help you meet your real estate objectives. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for a coffee date or phone call, anytime! 

Boise Housing Market August 2021

Posted in Housing Market
Sept. 8, 2021

Losing Linus

Losing Linus

When Hadley was almost three, we decided to get a family cat.  We went to the Humane Society, visited a room with several kittens bounding around, and watched for the one we wanted to adopt.  We let Hadley pick him out, but I know I did my fair share of “encouraging” toward a particular kitten.  His features were striking and beautiful to me--deep green eyes, short fur, grayish brown and black stripes, and one thick, black stripe straight down his back.  I remember thinking then and always when I would look at him how creative our God was and what an incredible artist to design such a beautiful creature.  

With no small amount of persuasion from us, Hadley named him Linus--or as she pronounced it at the time, "Whynus."  Linus was a good cat.  He often hid out during the day, but we called him our “praying cat” because he would always come to wherever we gathered to pray as a family at night. He would lay down comfortably in the middle of us and seemingly join in the prayer.  After that, he would pick one of our beds to lay on (usually Taylor’s) and nestle between our feet as we slept.  

He was an indoor cat, only venturing out into our backyard occasionally when we were home but never exploring past our property.  However, on June 16th, when we were away on vacation, he snuck out during someone’s visit to our house and ventured too far.  He was lost.  When we returned from our trip, we started looking for him, hanging up flyers, checking with neighbors, filing missing reports, and checking sites for missing animals.  We were so appreciative of the many people in the community who cared enough about our Linus and about us to continue to keep their eyes out for him and send us tips on the best ways to find him throughout the time he was gone. 

As we looked for him, we often wondered at what could have happened to him or where he could be--could he have been hit by a car, attacked by another animal, treated cruelly by humans, hidden scared, alone, and starving somewhere, or hanging out safely in someone else’s home?  Was he dead or alive?  Should we keep looking or assume he is gone forever?  In those moments of worry and unrest, we would often find peace in the truth that God’s eyes are on all creatures, and He knew exactly where Linus was.  He could sustain Him if He willed, He could bring Him back to us, or He could determine if the number of Linus’ days had come to a close.  We prayed for his return but trusted in whatever outcome we’d face.  

We had been holding onto all of Linus’ things as we waited, but as we neared the 2 month mark of his disappearance, we decided it was probably time to pass his things on.  Before donating the items, I decided to once more check the Humane Society website before calling an end to our search.  I opened the page of lost animals, which I had visited almost everyday since his disappearance. I scrolled down, and THERE HE WAS!  I couldn’t believe it!  I cried happy tears, shared the news with the kids, and we raced to the Humane Society to pick him up.  We were not able to get any information on where he was found or who brought him in.  So, we continued to wonder at where he had been all this time and to marvel that his life had been sustained.  We celebrated!

But Linus was very, very thin, very dehydrated, and not well.  We took him into the vet, had blood work done, gave him fluids, and prayed he would turn a corner.  Yet, after a few days of working to nurse him back to health, he only continued to go downhill.  On August 16th, exactly 2 months after he had been lost, we made the difficult decision to put him down.    We all went to the vet to be with him in his last moments.  We prayed with him (since he always seemed to like that), cuddled him, pet him, and talked softly to him.  And, then we wept together as we watched him leave this world.  

We wonder at God’s purposes in all of it.  Why did Linus sneak out while we were gone and wander so far from the yard? Why weren’t we able to find him sooner?  Why would God reunite us to him, only to take him again a few days later?  We don’t know the answers to these questions, but we choose to trust that God’s purposes are good.  We choose to marvel at the miracle that Linus’ life was sustained for nearly two months out on his own and to remember God held his life and holds our lives in His capable hands.  We choose to be amazed at the kindness and compassion of neighbors and friends and strangers who rallied around us as we searched, celebrated with us when we found him, and mourned with us when we lost him.  We choose to be thankful for the handful of days we were able to have him back home with us in order to hold him, show him our love, and say goodbye.  We choose to rest in the truth that although we don’t know the answers to “Why,” we know a good God who does know and who is working it all out for good.   “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish my purpose’” (Isaiah 46: 9-10).  

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE 

 

Posted in Katie Miller
Sept. 2, 2021

Why Buyer Love Letters Are Shunned

Nearly all my clients at some point ask me whether I recommend writing a buyer “love letter” (a letter written by buyers to explain why the sellers should choose their offer; usually these letters highlight what they like about the house, and often include some personal information about the buyers as well). 

If truth be told, this is a good idea--in theory at least. People are relational, and they often make decisions based on relationships, character, and other factors relating to individuals.

But this is exactly why these letters can be problematic. The fair housing act of 1968 rightly prohibits discrimination in housing because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. In other words, sellers can’t choose to sell––or not to sell––their house to an individual because of something related to those seven protected classes.

Buyers, however, are not always keenly aware of how their love letters relate to housing laws. They often mention information that is protected under the Fair Housing Act. For example, it’s not uncommon for buyers to write something like this:

“This is a perfect house for my family. The upstairs is just right for our children, and the it’s close to the school they want to attend!”

Or this:

“The church I will be going to is just around the corner!”

If a seller were to choose a buyer’s offer because of the information above, he/she would be discriminating against other potential buyers based on familial status and religion. The seller, therefore, would be liable for breaking the law. Additionally, since the buyer provided that information, he/she could also be held accountable as an accomplice.

Because of the many problems encountered in the past, the National Association of REALTORS® has recently advised agents to tell their clients not to write love letters anymore. Many sellers' agents in Boise even explicitly say not to submit buyer letters.

Personally, I usually tell my clients to forget about writing love letters, and focus rather on making their offer as competitive as possible. And the best way to do that is to accommodate as much as possible to the seller's needs. Can you offer a rent back? Can you make up some of the difference in cash if the appraisal comes in low? Are you flexible on the closing date? Etc. These are some of the most important seller considerations anyway, so the more of those boxes you can check off, the more love letters will become a moot issue in their decision. 

By Benj Foreman

For more blog posts by Benj Foreman, click HERE  

 

Aug. 13, 2021

Boise Housing Market Update | July 2021

It’s no secret that insufficient supply of available homes for sale has been the primary driver for rapid home price increases in the Boise real estate market.  July was no exception to this with the median price for Ada County homes reaching $540,000, up 2.9% from June!

If you’re like me, you may understand some of the factors contributing to our inventory shortage, but there may be others you are unaware of or confused by.  At the Ada County Housing Summit last month, Boise Regional REALTORS® shared the following list of factors affecting existing housing supply and demand.  I thought it was helpful, so I wanted to share it with you as well: 

Although it will take quite some time for inventory to catch up with the housing needs in our area, last month boasted encouraging statistics to show we’re headed in that direction.  At the end of July, inventory in Ada County was listed at 729 available homes.  This is up 50.3% from June and up 116.3% from July of last year.

If you’d like to talk more about the current market and how it may affect your personal real estate decisions, please call us!  We’d love the opportunity to meet with you, to provide helpful information, and to process your future plans.

Boise Housing Market July 2021

See more monthly Boise housing market updates HERE!

 

Posted in Housing Market