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!

Oct. 13, 2023

Beauty in the Brokenness

Beauty in the Brokenness

 

If you know me, it probably comes as no surprise that I’m a perfectionist and by extension, I’m a fixer.  If something isn’t perfect, my tendency is to want to fix it, correct it, clean it, or make it right as quickly and thoroughly as possible.  This desire is true in relationships as well.  If I sense there is brokenness or something off between me and a friend, I quickly begin working to figure out all the things that could have gone wrong and what I need to say or do to make it right again.  If I can’t make it right quickly, I start to get distressed.  In one such recent incident, a friend called me out, saying: “Katie, you’re always in such a rush to fix things that you miss the beauty of the work God is doing in the brokenness.”  

I know my desire for things to be good, fixed, and put right is from the Lord.  After all, His way is perfect and just; His word is flawless; He is good and upright; and, there is no unrighteousness in Him (Psalm 18:30, Deuteronomy 32:4, 2 Samuel 22:31, Psalm 92:15).  But, in my eagerness to see things made perfect as I, in my limited human mind, understand perfection, I miss the better work that my perfect Father is doing in the waiting.  The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promises as some count slowness but is patient toward us and purposeful in His timing (2 Peter 3:9).  Though He is the ultimate fixer—the One who, with a word, can make everything wrong right again—He has chosen, in his infinite wisdom, to let brokenness remain for a season.  The thousands of years He waited to fulfill His promise to send the Savior of the world and the 2,000+ years He is waiting to return to make all things new are no accident or unkindness or mistake, but rather His perfect way of making all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  

So, I’ve been trying to surrender my striving to fix things in my human effort and in my desired timeline, remembering a few very important truths.  First, I’m not capable of fixing them on my own, and I’m going to wear myself out trying.  Second, I have a Father who can fix them, who knows when and how best to do it, who has promised me He will, and who has proved trustworthy to keep His promises. As His child, I can simply give Him the brokenness and watch in wonder as His perfectly good and capable hands make things new in ways my finite mind could never have imagined.  May He help me to keep my eyes on Him so I don’t miss it! 

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE

Posted in Katie Miller
Oct. 13, 2023

Boise Housing Market Update | September 2023

Resale homes in the Boise housing market saw the first positive boost in median sales price since August of 2022, jumping 6% from the same time last year.   New construction prices, however, have seen a significant decline, dropping 15.8% over the same period.  A recent article from BoiseDev gives more insight into this, but the drop is largely due to builders having to slash prices to make new construction more enticing and affordable given currently high mortgage interest rates.   

Home sales were down 17.6% this month from the same month last year.  This is not an indicator of fewer people being interested in buying in the Boise area but rather a result of high interest rates and still high prices making homes less affordable for those interested. 

If you find yourself in the category above and are hoping time will bring lower prices and lower interest rates that will make homes more affordable, I’m not so sure that will happen.  As mentioned in previous market reports, a move up or down in interest rates will likely only increase the cost of homes.  A move up in rates, obviously, increases the payment.  But, a move down in rates is likely to cause pent-up buyers to make a run on the limited inventory (down 35.4% from last year), which will create hefty competition and drive housing prices up quickly. 

The best time to buy or sell real estate is unique to each person and depends greatly on one's needs, desires, and current situation.  If you’re curious to explore whether now is the right time for you to buy or sell, please give us a call.  We’d love to help you navigate the best way forward.  

For a quick snapshot of the Boise housing market for September 2023, see below:

Boise Housing Market September 2023

For more market statistics, including those for Canyon, Elmore, & Gem Counties, check out Boise Regional REALTORS® Market Report HERE

 

Posted in Housing Market
Sept. 21, 2023

Grateful for Community

Grateful for Community

This past weekend I had the joy of retreating to Donnelly, ID, with 40 other women and four babies from our growing little church.  As it should be in any church community, these women are family to me.  We come from varying backgrounds, have a wide range of personalities, preferences, and interests, and have differing views on anything from politics to parenting or pickleball to pizza.  But, we have one key thing that binds us together like sisters—we’ve been adopted into God’s family, and because of His great love for us, we love Him, desire to follow Him, and seek to love one another like He does.     

It is not always easy.  Sometimes, we get frustrated with one another or don’t understand each other.  Sometimes, we struggle to listen well, or we say the wrong thing.  We fail to “mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice” (Romans 12:15).  But, our Father teaches us to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as He has forgiven us in Christ” (Ephesians 4:31-32).  These sisters are people I can laugh with, cry with, pray with, fail with, succeed with, be vulnerable with, confess with, receive correction with, share advice with, learn with, and pursue Jesus with.  I am thankful beyond measure for them.  In a day and age when people are so quick to cancel relationships with those with whom they disagree or have conflict, I am grateful for a group of people who know from their experience with the Father what it means to be fully known, fully forgiven, and fully loved, and who seek to (albeit imperfectly) follow His lead in loving me the same. 

If you have a community like this, I pray you realize what a treasure it is and that you seek every opportunity to know and be known within it.  If you don’t have a community like this, I pray the Lord would provide one.  If you’re in Boise, you are welcome to join our community at Table Rock Church.  We aren’t perfect, but we have a Father who is, and we are trusting in Him to continue to help us grow in loving each other like He does. 

“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE

Posted in Katie Miller
Sept. 21, 2023

Boise Housing Market Update | August 2023

From our standpoint as agents, the Boise housing market has been incredibly slow in comparison to the chaos of the last three years.  In fact, when we look at the number of homes sold this past summer (June, July, and August), it’s the slowest we’ve seen since 2012.   Higher interest rates, relative to the historically low rates of the past 10 years, are a major contributing factor to the slowdown.  At the close of the 1st week of September, the mortgage rates for a 30-year, fixed-rate loan were 7.12%.  This has created mortgage payments that put home affordability out of reach for many and has caused several to push pause on their home search.  With fewer people buying due to high interest rates and low affordability, inventory levels are inching upward, and there has been some downward movement in prices.  Last month, the median sales price for our area dipped to $520,000.  As indicated by a slight increase in sales last month, this price decline seems to be helping some buyers pull the trigger.

One thing we know for sure will make many more pull the trigger is any downward movement in interest rates.  Our lender contacts have said they have a pipeline of qualified buyers just waiting for rates to drop.  And, if lower interest rates cause them all to jump back in at once, we could have a feeding frenzy of competition for the limited homes available, causing prices to rise again rapidly.  For this reason, we have been encouraging buyers to consider purchasing before that frenzy occurs.  If you are purchasing with cash, now is a great time to get a good deal on a home, especially given that current interest rates don’t affect you.  If you are getting a loan, it may be worth buying now--with lower prices and more opportunity to negotiate—and then refinancing if/when rates go down in the future. 

Of course, each buying or selling situation is unique.  So, if you’re trying to decide how and when would be best to move forward, we would love to meet, hear about your situation, and help give you the information you need to decide whether jumping in or hanging back is the best option for you right now.

For a quick snapshot of the Boise housing market for August 2023, see Boise Regional REALTORS® housing market summary for Ada County below:

Boise Housing Market August 2023

See more monthly Boise housing market updates HERE!

 

Posted in Housing Market
Aug. 18, 2023

Good Gifts

Last month, a few of our family and friends gathered in Challis, ID, to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.  We spent time doing the things they love--camping, floating the river, eating good food, drinking wine, dancing, soaking in the hot springs, and enjoying good conversation around the campfire.  Dad even got to go golfing and had one of his best games!  On the last evening, we gathered for a little party. After some toasts, Dad went around the room introducing people—sharing how he knew them and how they had touched his and Mom’s lives.  I was struck by the beauty of their community and the purposeful interweaving of the stories within that community. I loved hearing of how the Lord used my parents to touch and enrich the lives of every person in that room.  And, also how He used every person in that room to touch and enrich my parents’ lives.  We all would not be the same people without each other! 

As in any marriage, my mom and dad have had their share of challenges—school, work, job changes, buying and selling businesses, financial stress, building a home, moving, navigating differing opinions, having children, managing a household, losing a baby, losing parents, home improvement projects, depression, physical health challenges, and major life changes just to name a few.  Through the ups and downs, God has been gracious to not only help them learn to sacrifice for one another and love each other well but also to love those around them well, and to surround themselves with a community that loves them well too.  James 1:17 reminds us: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.”  So, I give praise today to God for the good gift of my parents, the good gift of 50 years of marriage, and the good gift of the incredible people He has surrounded them with for the journey.

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE

Posted in Katie Miller
July 12, 2023

Lasting Impact

Lasting Impact

Last month, we had the opportunity to travel to the East Coast to see Luke’s brother and his fiancé along with my brother and his family and to visit the sites in Washington DC.  One of the highlights was our tour of the White House.  While walking through the Visitor’s Center before the tour, we came across a display with the pictures, names, and terms of all the U.S. Presidents.  After a few attempts at racking his brain for facts learned in elementary school, my brother-in-law was able to name them all in order.  I, however, found myself to be very unfamiliar with many of the names.  And, I was struck by the fact that I knew little to nothing about the lives and accomplishments of these most well-known men of their time.  I have no doubt my current life was impacted by each of them, but to what degree and how, I am very uncertain. It brings to mind a verse, “What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14).  I remembered again that this is true for me and for all people, no matter how great they are or how memorable their accomplishments, save one—Jesus.    

In the early 1800s, Napoleon Bonaparte is quoted as saying, “I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between him and every other person in the world, there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires; but on what foundation did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded an empire upon love, and at this hour, millions of men would die for him.”   This statement was true then and remains so today.  And, not only are there still millions who would die for him, but Jesus remains recognized as the most influential man who has ever lived.  Why? 

In a short writing titled “One Solitary Life,” Fred Bock goes deeper into this question:  “Born in an obscure village, He was the child of a peasant woman. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty years old, and then for three years He traveled around the county, stopping long enough to talk and to listen to people, and help where He could.  He never wrote a book, He never had a hit record, He never went to college, He never ran for public office, He never had a family or owned a house. He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself.  But, when He was only thirty-three years old, the tide of public opinion turned against Him, and His friends rejected Him. When He was arrested, very few wanted anything to do with Him. After the trial, He was executed by the State along with admitted thieves. Only because a generous friend offered his own cemetery plot was there any place to bury Him. This all happened twenty centuries ago, and yet today, He is the leading figure of the human race and the ultimate example of love. Now, it is no exaggeration to say that all the armies that have ever marched, all the navies that have ever set sail, all the rulers that have ever ruled, all the kings that have ever reigned on this earth, all put together have not affected the life of man on earth like One Solitary Life.”  Again, we ask, “Why?”

My answer:  Because, out of His loving-kindness (which is exemplified most fully in His laying down of His life to pay the penalty we deserve for our sins), Jesus saves souls!  No one else can do that.  He saved mine, just as He has saved multitudes in centuries past and just as He will save multitudes more in the future. For this reason, it’s no wonder to me that Jesus is the most influential person in history, and there’s no question in my mind that He always will be.  Those who have experienced God’s soul-saving grace will never stop praising Him, giving their lives to follow Him, and sharing the joy they have found in Him with others so they too can experience it! And, as those who hear of Him seek Him also, the number of people whose lives are changed by Him will only grow, because no matter how ugly one’s past may be, Jesus will never turn away a person who calls on His name and trusts in Him to be saved (Romans 10:13).  Thus, His influence on the human race will only multiply, and the praises given to Him will only increase.  

For those reading this who aren’t so sure about Jesus, or your soul, or your need for a “Soul Saver,” I pray this post would encourage you to consider Him, the reasons He has been so influential in the lives of others across centuries, cultures, and countries, and the potential impact He could have on your life as well.  

For those reading this who consider themselves a child of God, saved by Christ alone, I pray the words of this post would encourage you to point others boldly and eagerly to the One who saved you—recounting all He has done and sharing His love with those around you.   We may only be remembered by a few and likely only by those few for a short amount of time this side of heaven.  But, by directing people to Jesus— the one and only “Soul-Saver” and the greatest influencer in history—you can share the gift of life that, if accepted, will send ripples into eternity and will never be forgotten!

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE

Posted in Katie Miller
June 13, 2023

Boise Housing Market Update | May 2023

This month’s market report by Boise Regional REALTORS® stated this: “According to market highlights released by NAR on June 8th, the US housing market remains shy of 300,000 affordable homes for middle-income families. Boise was listed as one of the metro areas with the fewest affordable homes available for middle-income buyers. Five years ago, the income group was able to afford half of all available homes, but that number has shrunk to 23%...Tackling supply issues will be a large factor in easing affordability concerns in our area. Builders will carry the torch for ensuring we can provide more options for middle-income families. This is echoed by National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist, Robert Dietz, who stated that the best long-term combatant to affordability concerns is to increase inventory, particularly with new construction.”

If you’re thinking about buying or selling in the coming months and are curious about how current market conditions could affect that decision—including interest rates and affordability concerns-- please give us a call.  We are always happy to meet with you!

For a quick snapshot of the Boise housing market for May 2023, see Boise Regional REALTORS® housing market summary for Ada County below:

See more monthly Boise housing market updates HERE!

 

Posted in Housing Market
June 13, 2023

Shoes

Shoes

I was recently looking through some old pictures and was instantly drawn to this one—a picture of my mom putting on my shoes.  This is a task she likely did thousands of times, but of which I don’t remember any.  With five kids in our home, I thought of the thousands upon thousands of times I had done the same task and how, like me, not one of the kids would remember. How odd and somewhat sad that such a frequent and caring act by my mom would be forgotten so easily.  I instantly felt a connection to her. I could relate to the feelings of insignificance such a task can have, and also to the frustration she had possibly just experienced over having had to wrangle me to sit down so she could put on my shoes, again. 

But, despite how mundane and insignificant those moments may seem, I was struck by how essential, meaningful, and beautiful they really are.  Each of the consistent, small, caring, sacrificial acts of my mom (and of my dad, teachers, friends, family, neighbors, strangers, and co-workers) has been like a good deposit the Lord has used to build me into the woman I am.  So, as I get ready to celebrate my 41st birthday this month, I look back with thankfulness for all the people God has placed in my life and for every forgotten, seemingly meaningless, and mundane task each of those people has done on my behalf.  As adapted from a quote I read in an article recently, “The profound influence you have had on me comes not in spite of seemingly small work in small places, but precisely because of it.”  Thank you!

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE

Posted in Katie Miller
May 13, 2023

Boise Housing Market Update | April 2023

This past month, the Boise housing market saw a 7% increase in the median home price, going from $483,450 in March to $517,500 in April.  This is the biggest monthly price increase we’ve seen since May 2021.  It is common for prices to begin to increase as we move into the spring and summer months.  However, as BRR put it, “This month’s uptick is uncharacteristically hefty for the season.”  

The jury is still out as to whether this jump was an anomaly or the beginning of a new wave of price increases.  We are certainly in a unique market, and it’s difficult to tell which way things will go. “Home sales are trying to recover and are highly sensitive to changes in mortgage rates,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR.  “Yet, at the same time, multiple offers on starter homes are quite common, implying more supply is needed to fully satisfy demand.”  

Though we can’t speak to the experience of all agents in the valley, our brokerage has definitely seen the effects of limited inventory in the “under $500,000” range resulting in very competitive situations for buyers and rapid upward pressure on prices.  Given the higher interest rates and how they affect monthly payments, it is likely this price range is the max that many buyers in our area, especially first-time home buyers, can afford. This means that, until enough homes are listed in this range to better satisfy growing demand, buyers will need to be prepared to act quickly and offer attractively to get into a home.  

This short synopsis provides a broad overview of the real estate market in our area.  However, if you are considering buying or selling at some point this year, we would love the opportunity to give you a more comprehensive view of how the conditions of the current market and possibilities for the future may affect your personal real estate decisions.  We hope you will reach out!  

For a quick snapshot of the Boise housing market for April 2023, see Boise Regional REALTORS® housing market summary for Ada County below:

Boise Housing Market April 2023

See more monthly Boise housing market updates HERE!

Posted in Housing Market
May 13, 2023

Spring's Reminder

Spring

Spring is perhaps my favorite time of year.  Watching the vibrant colors break forth from the gray of winter and the warmth of the sun push out the cold delights my soul. It’s no wonder God chose this incredible season for the backdrop of Jesus’ death and resurrection—the moment in history when God proved His love can bring forth new life where there was once only barrenness and death.   

When we look at the world around us, it can be easy to feel like we are in the dead of a brutally long “winter.”  Wars, political strife, sickness, natural disasters, abuse, famine, hatred, and corruption paint a dark and bleak road ahead.  When we consider the state of our own souls, it’s not much better.  We experience sorrow, shame, failures, hurts, fear, and brokenness that can leave us feeling hopeless.  But, it is into this bleak, dark, hopelessness that God, in His mercy and love, brings light and life.  As it says in Matthew 4:16 “The people who live in darkness have seen a great light, and for those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned.”   

Springtime is God’s annual, visual reminder of the gift of new life and restoration that He causes to spring forth from the fallow ground of a dying world and of the hard hearts of those who inhabit it.  Just as we can bank on spring coming every year, as long as the world turns, so too in greater measure, because of what Jesus accomplished through his death and resurrection, those who trust in the Lord can bank on this:  The long “winter” we are living through will one day give way to the eternal spring of new life.  Indeed, “God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away…Look, He is making everything new” (Revelation 21:4-5).  May this spring season be a sweet reminder of this promise.  May you rejoice in the gift of new life.  And, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). 

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE

 

Posted in Katie Miller