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!

March 16, 2019

Acts of Kindness

Acts of Kindness

If you Google “acts of kindness gone viral” there’s no shortage of videos of small acts of kindness caught on film that moved swiftly through the Internet and touched millions of hearts.  I too treasure these videos—which often move me to tears and motivate me to want to show greater kindness to the world.  They inspire me to look around, actually notice people and their needs, and enter into those spaces with the compassion and kindness of a friend. 

At a conference I went to last weekend on expanding the circle of our affection, the speaker commented, “Whenever I see random acts of kindness--those beautiful moments I want to bottle up and share with the world to make it a better place--it always reminds me of Jesus.”   I couldn’t agree more!  Jesus’ relatively short life on earth was made up of continuous acts of kindness.  He noticed people and had compassion on them (Matthew 9:35-36).  The Bible is full of examples of this. He calmed a possessed man, healed the diseased, forgave and saved the life of an adulterer, dined with outcasts, lifted up the poor in spirit, humbled the proud, gave sight to the blind, allowed the lame to walk, raised people from death, and so much more.  As you read the accounts of his life, your heart is moved.  Had he lived in a time of YouTube, I have no doubt almost every action and every conversation he had would be the making of a viral YouTube video displaying kindness, truth, and compassion.  

Yet, Jesus’ kindness is compelling and moving in a way that no other act of kindness has been or every will be. His kindness has been present since before time began.  He created the world in all its beauty and created us to enjoy it in relationship with him.  When we broke that relationship and turned our backs, he made a promise to restore it.  And he did!  In his kindness, he came to us. “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.  We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish” (John 1:14 MSG). 

Jesus lived a life of kindness.  And since Jesus is God, his life revealed in a tangible way the beauty and kindness of God’s character, which beckons us into relationship with him.  This kindness culminated in his unmatchable display of sacrificial love as he--who was perfect, sinless, and undeserving of punishment--took our sins upon himself and paid the penalty we deserved on the cross.  

Lord, thank you for your kindness to humanity and for all the ways you show it.  Even more, thank you for your great kindness to me.  You came for me--a woman who had nothing to offer, who was nothing special, and who turned her back on you time and time again to follow her own way.   You pulled me from the mire, drew my face toward you, poured out your love on me, forgave me for all my failings and misdeeds, and gave your life for me so that I could dwell with you, in your kindness, forever.  May you give me your eyes to really see the people around me and may you give me your grace to show your kindness to the world for as long as you have me here!  

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Katie Miller
Feb. 19, 2019

Getting Rid of Bitterness

A friend of mine recently gave me a copy of “How to Be Free From Bitterness” by Jim Wilson. I don’t think of myself as being a bitter person, but reading the article illuminated some seeds of bitterness that may be growing in my heart and instilled urgency in uprooting them before they take over.  

In the article, the author defines bitterness as the feeling we experience when someone else—especially someone close to us—sins against us. This would explain why relational conflict with parents, siblings, spouses, co-workers, relatives, significant others, supervisors, and friends are fertile ground for bitterness to grow and where I personally have most often experienced it.  

When I am hurt, it’s easy for me to justify or rationalize the anger or frustration I have against my offender.  It seems right for me to be bitter.  The author reminded me, however, that no matter how much someone has hurt me or how many times they have hurt me, the Bible does not grant me the right to be bitter.  Ephesians 4:31-32 commands me to, “get rid of all bitterness” and to be kind and compassionate to others, forgiving others, just as in Christ God forgave me.

Bitterness has a tendency to grow quickly.  It not only impacts my relationship with the person who I am bitter against, but it also infects my own soul—turning me away from being the gracious, forgiving, joy-filled person I desire to be and more toward the vindictive, resentful, grumpy person that I don’t want to be.  It’s tempting for me to think that if the person who hurt me was out of my life or if they apologized, my bitterness would disappear.  But, I know this isn’t true because my bitterness can linger long after someone is gone.  And, even if my offender apologizes, my bitterness can reappear and compound quickly when that same person sins against me again.  Thus, my freedom from bitterness cannot depend on the actions of others, but only on a complete uprooting of my bitterness from within.  

I know this is an impossible task on my own, so I was thankful for the author’s reminder to call on our God for help.  I will only find freedom from my bitterness by confessing it to God, admitting it is my own sin, accepting my Savior’s forgiveness, asking Him to completely remove it, and learning from His great example how to replace it with true forgiveness.  I certainly haven’t mastered this process, but I’m thankful to be reminded again of the negative impact bitterness has on my life and the lives of others and of the importance of getting on my knees and asking the Lord to take it from me.   If you are interested in reading this article or other short essays on issues that come up in relationships, check out the full booklet here: http://ccmbooks.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Bitterness2010.pdf   

 

Posted in Katie Miller
Feb. 7, 2019

To Zillow or Not to Zillow

Almost every day I hear this from a client: "I saw this on Zillow...". And even though this is an ongoing discussion and everyone has their own opinion about Zillow, I wanted to point out a few of the pros and cons of using Zillow when researching real estate. These are my opinions and specific to our market, so please keep that in mind if you are not in the Boise area.

PROS

  • Zillow is a great resource when looking for a rental property! 
  • Very few Boise rentals are listed on MLS, unlike some other states. There are a few, so you should check with an agent to search MLS for rentals, but the majority of them are listed on Zillow or other sites, such as Craigslist. 
  • Zillow is the site most homeowners that choose to sell their home "For Sale by Owner" list their home. 
  • If you find a home on Zillow that is listed For Sale by Owner, contact your agent FIRST before you approach the seller. Sometimes even if sellers are listing FSBO, they are willing to work with an agent if it means they are bringing a buyer for their home. 

CONS

  • You can't always trust the Zestimate, especially in a city like Boise, where the market is changing rapidly and the tax assessment values are usually less than the market value of a property, the Zillow estimates or "zestimate" value that Zillow publishes is not always accurate. If you are interested in what your home could sell for, the best thing to do is contact an agent and ask them to prepare a comparative market analysis for you (or CMA). 
  • Not all homes listed on Zillow are actually for sale. Sometimes homes come up as a status on Zillow as "pre-foreclosure". This often brings false hope to a buyer when they are conducting their search. This status is triggered by a few different factors from the Zillow system, but it could mean something as simple as a homeowner has missed their payment and is currently in default for their mortgage. While this situation could eventually result in a foreclosure or short sale of that property, this could also mean that the owner just missed one payment and will soon get back on track and the home will not be for sale. The best thing to do if you see this status is to call your agent and see if the home is actually available to purchase. 
  • Zillow doesn't have all the homes that are for sale listed on their site.  Sellers have the right to choose to list their home on MLS only. While Zillow and other websites are a great way to advertise to the masses, some sellers are worried about putting their house on the internet, so they opt to have it listed only in MLS, making it only accessible to agents. 

Here's the bottom line, talk to an agent if you have any questions and he/she will guide you to all things real estate, including Zillow! 

 

Feb. 7, 2019

Winter--A Great Time to Update Inside Your Home

Winter is a great time to work on updating the inside of your home. As you have probably heard, there is a trend right now going around to get rid of anything that doesn't "spark joy" in your life. Does your house cause you to be joyful? Do you love the pieces that you have brought into your home? There are definitely seasons where buying the least expensive, the neutral, the practical are necessary... but maybe this winter you can think about one room in your house and decide to make it a place of joy - a place you love walking into everyday. Your living room is a great place to start, it could be as easy as swapping out some throw pillows, buying a new coffee table, or just tidying up the clutter. If you need some inspiration, HERE is a link to some fabulous living room remodels done by HGTV pros.  

Feb. 7, 2019

Residential Development at The Village

Photo from Brighton Corp. 

Currently, The Village at Meridian is strictly commercial, but that is about to change. The parking lot that was behind the building that houses the Boise Co-op, Michaels, and Nike is going to be the first residential development at The Village. Brighton is developing  the area as a 55+ active adult apartment complex with 1, 2, or 3 bedroom options. HERE is the article with the details available so far. 

 

Jan. 26, 2019

Boise Real Estate Market Update December 2018

In the way of the market, there is not much new to report from last month’s update.  As has been mentioned in several past articles, 2018 was characterized largely by record breaking numbers in the categories of both low inventory levels and high pricesThe overall median sales price for the year ended at $314,000 (January 1-December 31, 2018), an increase of 18% over the same period in 2017. This increase is attributed mostly to two factors: (1) higher building costs, which are resulting in higher prices for new construction, and (2) a very limited number of existing homes available for resale, which increases competition for those homes and leads to strong offers and bidding wars   

 

The total number of single-family homes sold in 2018 was up 2.22% from 2017 but only because of increased sales in new construction.  Due to so few existing homes being listed this year, existing home sales actually experienced a 4% decrease, which was quite significant when compared to the 22.4% increase in newly constructed homes sold.  Nearly 30% of homes purchased in 2018 were new construction as opposed to only about 23% in 2017. 

 

Inventory levels are still far from balanced and buyer demand persists, meaning that we can expect prices to continue to rise in 2019.  However, economists are predicting the rate of increase to slow as more inventories become available, bringing supply and demand closer into equilibrium.    

 

If you are looking to buy, now may be better than later, as prices tend to increase most drastically in the spring.  You are more likely to get a better deal in these slower months than you will as the market progresses.  Additionally, if you are looking to sell, now may better than later as well.  Inventory is still quite low, decreasing your competition with other sellers while simultaneously increasing the competition between buyers over your home.  This scenario often results in solid, competitive offers and in many cases bidding wars that drive up prices.  If you’d like to talk more about whether or not now might be a good time for you to move forward with your selling or buying plans, please give us a call.  We would love to hear more about your situation and help you determine the best next steps.  

Posted in Housing Market
Jan. 26, 2019

History of Eagle, Idaho

 

The city of Eagle came to be when gold was discovered there in 1862.  In 1970 there were 350 people living there.  Eagle has grown to a current population of 20,000.  The township was first farmed by Truman Catlin and Polete Mace.  Catlin built the first irrigation ditch there in 1864.  By 1903, the nine major irrigation canals were constructed to irrigate the 700 acres of Eagle.  Perhaps the most influential settler was Thomas Aikens, a surveyor from Nova Scotia.  He bought acreage on Eagle Island and on Valley Road (now State Street).  He petitioned Ada County to build a bridge joining his holdings.  He was challenged by the city of Star but emerged the victor by hiring a touring carriage to transport the voters at the Old Soldiers Home to the polls and providing them with a fancy picnic.  So the Eagle Island Bridge was built, followed by a school in 1900, a grocery store in 1902, and a high school in 1904.  The township was officially named “Eagle” by Aikens’ daughter Clara for the large number of bald eagles that made their home on Eagle Island.  In 1907, Eagle was connected to the rest of Ada County by the interurban trolley, which lead to an economic boom for the town.  In 1916, L.B. Harris opened the Eagle Drug Store and in 1920, Orville Jackson opened a general store.  Downtown Eagle was anchored by a bank (now DaVinci’s restaurant) and a 16 room mansion owned by Aikens (now commercial office space). Boise Valley Packing Company opened a food processing plant there which operated for 76 years and the Creamery of Meridian opened a cheese factory there as well.  In 1930, the state opened the Eagle Island Prison Farm and in 1937 the Fish & Game department opened a fish hatchery next door to the prison farm.  In 1963 the Eagle Public Library was opened.  Eagle was officially incorporated into Ada County as a new city in 1971 with its city council meetings held in the library.  The Eagle Historical Museum opened in 2001 and highlights the community’s grand spot on the Idaho landscape.

 

 

Posted in Local History
Jan. 26, 2019

Is the Recent Dip in Interest Rates Here to Stay?

 

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage climbed consistently throughout 2018 until the middle of November. After that point, rates returned to levels that we saw in August to close out the year at 4.55%, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

 

After the first week of 2019, rates have continued their downward trend. As Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sam Khater notes, this is great news for homebuyers. He states,

 

“Mortgage rates declined to start the new year with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipping to 4.51 percent. Low mortgage rates combined with decelerating home price growth should get prospective homebuyers excited to buy.”

 

In some areas of the country, the combination of rising interest rates and rising home prices had made some first-time buyers push pause on their home searches. But with more inventory coming to market, continued price growth, and interest rates slowing, this is a great time to get back in the market!

 

Will This Trend Continue?

According to the latest forecasts from Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors, mortgage rates will increase over the course of 2019, but not at the same pace they did in 2018.

 

Bottom Line

 

Even a small increase (or decrease) in interest rates can impact your monthly housing cost. If buying a home in 2019 is on your short list of goals to achieve, meet with a local real estate professional who can help prepare you to take action.

Content from Keeping Current Matters

 

Posted in Interest Rates
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