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!

May 17, 2019

Abundant Life

Abundant Life

Spring has sprung and the world around me is teeming with new life, new growth, flowers, sunshine, and sounds of laughter from kids and grownups alike.  As I bask in it,  Jesus’ words from John 10:10 cross my mind, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that you may have life and have it abundantly.”  I, like so many others, tend to feel like life is abundant when I’m in a happy place--I’m warm, comfortable, cared for, surrounded by people I love and who love me, have a clean and orderly house, have my financial needs met, have a nice savings buffer in case of emergencies, and have my health.  But, if these things are really the source of abundant life what happens when we never experience them or they are threatened or disappear all together, as they so easily do? Does Jesus’ promise of abundant life disappear along with them?  My answer: No, because the abundant life Jesus is talking about is not found in the things he gives or doesn’t give but rather in knowing him. 

Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6).  In this verse, He reminds us that it is only in Him that we will find joy, life, and abundance.  He is our happy place, our greatest gift.  He wants us to know him and to receive his gift of abundant life.  That’s why He came and died for us—to break the separation sin created between us and God and to make a way for us to know him and to be in relationship with him.  Moreover, when we are connected to him, he promises to produce in us “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control” (Galatians 5:22-23).  It is these gifts of himself that allow us to have abundant life that is not defined by our circumstances, but rather steadfast amidst our circumstances.    

Paul, his disciple, understood this. He suffered much, giving up his wealth and status to tell others about the abundant life found in Jesus.  His letters to the churches of the time are filled with joy, peace, contentment, and an overflowing of abundant life. Yet, many of them were penned within the confines of his cold, damp jail cell, where he suffered for sharing his faith.  Paul’s happy place was found in God and no circumstance, no matter how difficult, or person, no matter how brutal, could steal away the abundant life that He found at the feet of his Savior.  A recent comment from my son, Hutch, also makes me think that he understands this.  When talking about heaven and our happy places, Hutch said his happy place will be walking with Jesus and eating cotton candy together.  How beautiful that his picture of abundant life, his happy place, involves cotton candy (of course =-) but more importantly involves walking and talking with His Savior—experiencing  life with Jesus by his side, filling him with an abundance of peace, joy, love, and contentment that will last long after the cotton candy is gone—that will last for eternity!  May each of you also receive the gift of this abundant life, purchased for you by Jesus at a great price and stored up for you in heaven, “where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20).  

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE

Posted in Katie Miller
May 8, 2019

Have you heard of a CLUE report?

Have you ever heard of a CLUE report? It's a insurance record that is kept on every property for claims that have been filed in the past, and it helps insurance companies know what their rates should be on a specific house. You're probably wondering, "Why does this matter to me?" 

As a savvy buyer, you might be able to get a hold of the CLUE report for a house that you're interested in buying to see any claims that have been filed. The trick is that the SELLER has to request the report, so you might be able to ask that the seller shares the report with you. Whether or not they will should tell you something... 

As a seller, you might want to pull the CLUE report for your home as a "nice-to-have" to provide to potential buyers. In Idaho, we have the sellers property disclosure form that is required to be filled out by all sellers, but providing the CLUE report along with that disclosure form might give some buyers that extra reassurance that the disclosure was filled out honestly. 

Check out THIS article for more information on CLUE reports and how they can help you in your home buying process!  

May 8, 2019

The Boise Weekly

The Boise Weekly has been highlighting the people, happenings, and culture of Boise, Idaho, and the Mountain West for 27 years and counting.  It was created in 1992 by Andy Hedden-Nicely, a Boise advertising agency owner, his wife Debi, and Larry Ragan.   

 

The Boise Weekly was and still is the only alternative newspaper in the Boise area and has a weekly circulation of 35,000 at more than 1,000 locations.  It is locally focused and deliberately avoids general comprehensive news coverage—choosing, instead, to spotlight stylized reporting, unique opinion columns, investigations into edgy topics, and magazine-style feature stories.  In doing this, the publication hopes to represent an authentic voice of the community.  

 

In spring of 2000, the paper was sold to the City of Roses Newspaper Company in Portland.  A year and half later, it was sold to its current publisher, Sally Freeman. 

 

Boise Weekly also has an on-line readership in the hundreds of thousands.  You can check it out HERE. 

 

 

Posted in Local History
May 8, 2019

3 Questions You Need to Ask Before Buying a Home

 

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.  Ask yourself the following three questions to help determine if now is a good time for you to buy in today’s market.


1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?
This is truly the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home?  For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.  For example, a study by realtor.com found that “73% said buying in a good school district was “important” in their search.”  This report supports a
study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the top four reasons Americans buy a home have nothing to do with money. The actual reasons are:
·         A good place to raise children and provide them with a good education
·         A place where you and your family feel safe
·         More space for you and your family
·         Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.


2. Where are home values headed?
According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median price of homes sold in February (the latest data available) was $249,500. This is up 3.6% from last year. The increase also marks the 84th consecutive month with year-over-year gains.  Looking at home prices year over year, CoreLogic is forecasting an increase of 4.6%. In other words, a home that costs you $250,000 today will cost you an additional $11,500 if you wait until next year to buy it.  What does that mean to you?  Simply put, with prices increasing, it may cost you more if you wait until next year to buy. Your down payment will also need to be higher in order to account for the higher price of the home you wish to buy.


3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?
A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long-term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates.  Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and NAR have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months.

Bottom Line
Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

Content from Keeping Current Matters

Posted in Buying a Home
May 8, 2019

Winco

 

In 1967, two local businessmen, Ralph Ward and Bud Williams, had an idea to create a discount warehouse-style grocery store in Boise.  Thus, they founded Waremart—a no frills operation complete with flat carts, grease pencils for writing the price on each item, and a consistent focus on low prices.  In the 1970s, Ralph Ward bought out Bud Williams’ stake in the company.  He grew Waremart into a small chain of supermarkets stretching to other cities in the Pacific Northwest and becoming well-known for their low prices.  Things were going well, but when Ralph Ward passed away in 1985, the employees of Waremart were left feeling uncertain about their futures.  Because they didn’t want to lose their stores, they decided to band together and purchase controlling interest from the Ward family.  Under the direction of Bill Long, the company’s president, an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) was created, and the 17 stores in the chain became employee owned. 

 

In 1998, the company built a distribution center in Woodburn, Oregon, to service their stores and help with cost management.  Then, in 1999, a company-wide contest was held to decide on a new name.  The name that won was based on a combination of Winning and Company – WinCo.  In the 2000s, WinCo expanded into California, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Oklahoma.  Today, it is the largest ESOP company in the country and the founder of the organization “Certified Employee Owned”--a group of companies that support the values and benefits of employee ownership.  With its invested employees, good customer service, and a continued low-price focus, WinCo is certainly one of the favorite grocery stores of many of Boise shoppers, including me!

 

 

 

Posted in Local History
May 8, 2019

Boise Real Estate Market Update March 2019

Boise Regional Realtors’ Breanna Vanstrom summarized this month’s market update with the following three points: 

  • New construction sales are gaining more and more of the market share and continuing to influence the overall median sales price. 

  • In the existing home segment, the median sales price has been rising due to a persistent lack of supply, especially in the lower price points. 

  • An increased share of higher-priced existing homes has contributed to the higher median sales price reported for the existing home segment. 

Although inventory is still incredibly low, spring has always been a popular time for people to list their homes, and this year is no exception.  Over the last month, housing inventory has increased by 7%--a trend we will likely see accelerate as  we move through the next few months of the spring and early summer season.   

If you’d like to discuss more about spring market trends and how they may affect your home buying or selling plans, please don’t hesitate to call us!  We would love to meet with you to hear your hopes and questions and help you determine how best to proceed.  

 

 

 

Posted in Housing Market
April 20, 2019

Our Village by His Grace

Our Village by His Grace

The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” is certainly true. In fact, I would say it takes a village to shape and mold us throughout our lives not only in childhood.  I’m grateful for our “village”--the people our God has graciously placed in our lives to help mold and shape us into who He desires us to become.  On April 2nd, surrounded by many from our village, we rejoiced as Brooks Avery legally became a Miller! He is now officially our son, and an heir to all we have been given. As I pondered his position as an “heir” and as I looked around at the faces of those who came to support us and welcome Brooks, I felt an overwhelming gratitude for the village this little boy was inheriting and the unique impact they would have on his life! 

Each person who came to Brooks’ celebration or who expressed their love and support through distance, is a person who the Lord purposely intersected with our lives to teach, love, challenge, encourage, and grow us. Many have shaped our lives and, thus, directly or indirectly shaped the lives of our children.  I realize that, for the most part, we have had very little to do with creating our village.  It has been made up of the families we happened to be born or adopted into, neighbors we happened to move by, co-workers who happened to be hired with us, clients who happened to call us, and strangers who happened to become friends.  Yet, I know that all these “happenings” aren’t by chance.  Whether seemingly good or bad in the moment, these relationships were set into motion by a good God with a great plan and a good purpose for us and for our Brooks!  So, today, we give praise where praise is due, to our Good Father, for His kind and gracious gift of an incredible village--of which you are a part--and for the gift of our new son and village member! May we all, as members of this village, continue to be used by our Creator to mold and shape one another into the people He created us to be!

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created” (James 1:17-18)

If you’d like to see more pictures from our adoption celebration, we’d be happy to share them!  Please just email me at katie@triplecordrealestate.com, and I’ll send them your way!

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE

Posted in Katie Miller
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!  

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click 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   

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE

 

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!