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!
In many ways, our Boise housing market update may sound a bit like a broken record. Just as we’ve reported in previous months, prices continue to increase. August brought in a new record high median sales price of $400,000. This is up 2.6% from last month and up 12.7% from August of last year.
As has been the case for the past several months, this swift upward movement in home prices can be attributed primarily to low supply and high demand. The supply of available homes for sale in our area remains ridiculously low, hitting a new record of only 0.4 months of inventory. This means if demand remained the same and everyone stopped listing homes today, it would only take 12 DAYS for all the available inventory to be completely sold out!
Our agents, buyers, and sellers are feeling the pressure of this imbalance. We have buyers in all price ranges, even those looking for properties above $1 million, who have yet to make an offer on a home where they aren’t in competition with multiple (often upwards of 10) other offers. And, most of our sellers are having to sort through not just one or two offers, but recently as many as 18! We are seeing buyers who are willing to do almost anything, including waiving their home inspections and agreeing to pay way above appraised values, to gain a competitive edge.
We know this fast-paced, competitive market can make the idea of buying a home seem daunting to those who may be considering it. Possibly, it’s overwhelming to those looking to sell as well. And, it can be! But, we’re here to help. We are well versed in wading through difficult waters with our clients, helping buyers put together competitive offers while also maintaining important protections, and assisting sellers in navigating multiple offers and negotiating favorable terms. We’d love the opportunity to serve you and believe we can provide encouragement, peace, and wisdom throughout the process!
For a quick snapshot of the Boise housing market for August 2020, see Boise Regional REALTORS® housing market summary for Ada County below:
We all have had crossroad moments when we’re faced with decisions that hold significant implications for our lives and the lives of those we love. Should I take this job or wait for something different? Where should I send my kids to school? Is now the time to buy a house? Should we start a family? These are the pivotal moments we’re convinced could make or break us. We scour the Word for clear direction, because we genuinely want to obey! But our situation seems to fall within a doctrinal grey area. Godly counsel can encourage, but cannot rightly sway us one direction over another. So, it is easiest sometimes to stand still. Sometimes there seems like no other safe option.
The lack of forward motion doesn’t seem sinful at face value. At the heart of it is our intent to not be reckless and to heavily weigh the outcomes of big decisions before making them. It can be justified as an effort to stay within the path of God’s will; to wait on His direction and prompting. While prayer and waiting is important, sometimes we forfeit the grace He intends to show us experientially by succumbing to our own fear and indecisiveness.
Standing in that place is not as neutral as we might think. We’re wanting pushed and prodded, instead of relying on grace and exercising trust. We want a booming voice in the clouds, assuring us of each major step, but faith doesn’t look this way. In these areas not spoken to directly in His Word, He asks us to remember His faithfulness to us and to move forward in light of that. More often than not, there is no right or wrong decision. His grace will be abundant in the choice and the circumstances our decisions lead to.
Often, the worst choice is to make no choice; to remain stagnant -- particularly when it is fear that prevents us from moving. That is not the life God calls us to. There are definitely times when seeking and waiting are appropriate, and some of these times last longer than others. Prayerful consideration is wise and biblical. But, ultimately, we have to trust Him enough to move when the time comes. His grace reaches its full potential when we step into a situation where it can be lavishly applied. Paul David Tripp calls this grace in motion.
Ultimately, it is the kind and unconditional grace of God that we rest in, whether we have waited in indecision too long, chosen well, or chosen poorly. But, what a blessed experience to move forward in faith, step after step throughout a lifetime, seeing the ways God graciously works through (and sometimes despite) our imperfections. We must allow Him to move mightily in our lives, wherever we are and wherever we might soon be…relying less on the specific circumstances, and more on His unchanging power and faithfulness to us, His beloved children.
By Anne Gould, wife of Mark Gould
For more articles by Anne Gould, click HERE
I recently came across an article that caught my attention. It wasn't so much the words in the article or the title, but the image that accompanied it. The image (displayed above) shows a pastor in the center fighting a losing battle with news media on either side for the attention of his church members. The graphic made me pause and consider what voices were battling for my own attention, and what voices were winning. When it comes to masks, COVID, racial tensions, riots, politics, presidential candidates, schooling decisions, work decisions, etc.—what or who is having the most influence in forming my thoughts and opinions? I know what I want my answer to be--I want my answer to be the Word of God! Because, as Peter says to Jesus, “where else would I go, Lord? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68). “For the Lord gives wisdom and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6). I want that knowledge--that “wisdom from above that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere" (James 3:17).
So, in the many, many areas of life right now where I am faced with discouragement, confusion, uncertainty, and controversy, I have begun praying the Lord would turn my ears from all the other noise and help me to seek Him first. I am trusting Him when He says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). I know that seeking Him doesn’t mean I will have 100% clarity on these issues of concern. But, for me, I have been amazed at how even the act of seeking Him and reading His words has helped to ground me amidst the chaos and quiet my mind amidst the noise. His words remind me that even though life around me may seem out of control, He is in control. Even though knowledge of the right thing to do often eludes me, it does not elude Him, and He will accomplish His purposes. I’m thankful for the ways in which searching the vastness of His wisdom humbles me by helping me realize how little I actually do know and for the ways it entices me to keep seeking, learning, and growing in understanding.
I know not all of you share my beliefs, and you likely have your own places and people you’ve been turning to for guidance and understanding in this crazy time. I’d love to hear what areas of life or topics of controversy have been on your mind in this season, what voices have been meaningful to you, and how you’ve been growing in understanding through them. If you’re seeking for wisdom on a particular issue and have not yet considered what God has said about it, I would love to encourage you to look to His Word. Whether you consider yourself a follower of Jesus or not, I believe you will find beautiful truth, peace, and wisdom in what He says. I have experienced it in my own life, and it is clear from Psalm 119:105 that God's word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. If you want your pathway lit up a bit, I hope you’ll consider the Bible as your utmost source for illumination. On that note, if you want someone to look into God’s Word with you on a topic, I would love to do that! I always enjoy looking into the Word with others and trying to seek, learn, and grow in understanding together! Please just call or text me anytime at 208-861-5639 or email me at email@example.com.
By Katie Miller
For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE
The year 2020 will be remembered as one of the most challenging times of our lives. A worldwide pandemic, a recession causing historic unemployment, and a level of social unrest perhaps never seen before have all changed the way we live. Only the real estate market seems to be unaffected, as a new forecast projects there may be more homes purchased this year than last year.
As we come to the end of this tumultuous year, we’re preparing for perhaps the most contentious presidential election of the century. Today, it’s important to look at the impact past presidential election years have had on the real estate market.
BTIG, a research and analysis company, looked at new home sales from 1963 through 2019 in their report titled One House, Two House, Red House, Blue House. They noted that in non-presidential years, there is a -9.8% decrease in November compared to October. This is the normal seasonality of the market, with a slowdown in activity that’s usually seen in fall and winter.
However, it also revealed that in presidential election years, the typical drop increases to -15%. The report explains why: “This may indicate that potential homebuyers may become more cautious in the face of national election uncertainty.”
Are those sales lost forever? No. BTIG determined: “This caution is temporary, and ultimately results in deferred sales, as the economy, jobs, interest rates and consumer confidence all have far more meaningful roles in the home purchase decision than a Presidential election result in the months that follow.”
In a separate study done by Meyers Research & Zonda, Ali Wolf, Chief Economist, agrees that those purchases are just delayed until after the election: “History suggests that the slowdown is largely concentrated in the month of November. In fact, the year after a presidential election is the best of the four-year cycle. This suggests that demand for new housing is not lost because of election uncertainty, rather it gets pushed out to the following year.”
To some degree, but not in the overall number of home sales. As mentioned above, consumer confidence plays a significant role in a family’s desire to buy a home. How may consumer confidence impact the housing market post-election? The BTIG report covered that as well: “A change in administration might benefit trailing blue county housing dynamics. The re-election of President Trump could continue to propel red county outperformance.”
Again, overall sales should not be impacted in a significant way.
If mortgage rates remain near all-time lows, the economy continues to recover, and unemployment continues to decrease, the real estate market should remain strong up to and past the election.
July was a month for record setting in the Boise housing market!
The median sales price reached $390,000. (Up 4 % from June 2020 and 11.7% from June of last year)
Inventory dropped to only 743 available homes. (Down 31.5% from last month and 56.8% from last year)
The number of closed sales hit 1,402. (Up 22.2% from last month and 22.0% from last year)
The number of pending sales was 2,046. (This was about the same as last month but up 16.1% from last year)
And, months supply of inventory dropped to 0.6 months.(Down 66.7 % from last month and 33.3% from last year)
We are also seeing a rather large shift in the number of homes sold in the higher price ranges.One year ago, 36.8% of homes sold for prices below $300,000.Today, only 17.5% have sold in that range. The number of homes sold at prices above $600,000 has jumped 54.7%!
This decrease in the number of homes selling in the lower price ranges can be discouraging to first time home buyers, who may feel the market is getting too expensive to enter. If this is you, we’d love the opportunity to meet and discuss your concerns.There are still options available, and home ownership may be more possible for you than you’d think! We're not going to sugar coat it, the journey to home ownership in this crazy market is definitely challenging and not for the faint at heart. But, we would love the opportunity to guide you as you go and to help your hopes of home ownership become a reality!
No matter what your real estate needs, we’d love to assist. Please give us a call! Even if you're still quite a ways out from making a move, are just in the initial investigation stages, or are pretty certain a move won't be possible, meet with us. It's never a waste of our time to sit with you and help you determine the right next steps!
If you're interested in knowing more about the current state of the market, check out the full Boise Regional Realtors’ Market Report HERE.
You’ve no doubt seen it take over your social media. Soft filters on a still scene lit by warm, early-morning light: Bible open, devotional beside it, a journal and pen. Always a fresh, hot coffee. What a beautiful sight. Truth be told, these images portray the sort of set-up I fantasize about -- where real intimacy with the Lord is obtained. Where uninterrupted, cozy pondering of scripture leads to mental breakthroughs, documented in real time within a journal that can be referred to later.
I’ve experienced the sweetness of a quiet corner like this, and I’ve aimed to recreate this many a time over the last dozen years. But, I can probably count on my fingers how many times it’s worked out as I hoped. Much more often than not, as soon as my coffee is poured and I’m settling down in my carefully-arranged nook, the sound of little feet coming downstairs pierces the dream clean through. There can be a sinking feeling, then, of loss of opportunity; of a hijacked intimacy with God.
What a grace it is that many of us have some seasons in our lives where frequent alone time is possible. For me, it was high school and college. While I didn't always take full advantage, there was an abundance of opportunities to get alone with Jesus and worship, pray, read, and reflect. I chose the outdoors, usually, and would drive far enough from civilization that I could sing out loud and stay until my heart was revived from His presence. There wasn’t social media at that time, but there are hundreds of pages of journal entries from which I can still draw encouragement. Far from a wrong approach to time with God, this is a period I look back on with gratitude.
That being said, it is dangerous to consider these idealistic scenarios as necessary criteria for intimacy with God. For the vast majority of our lives, daily time with the Lord will not look this way. If we hold onto the idea that it will, we will be caught waiting for something that is not likely to occur. The result can be a failure to meet with Him at all during our busier times.
The Bible references a “prayer closet” in Matthew 6:6 and Isaiah 26:20. A place of solitude, behind closed doors, where distractions are eliminated and any of our inner desires to be seen or heard would be irrelevant. How desperately the Christian needs this focused time of prayer and meditation. How profitable it is to truly be alone with God! We should not second guess our deep desire for this uninterrupted closeness, and we should seek it wholeheartedly whenever we can. Realistically, though, there are days where this opportunity never presents itself. So, what do we do? Do we forfeit time with the Lord because we refuse to settle for less than ideal? I pray that is not the case, because we will never need Him more than when we are exhausted, distracted, or spiritually uninspired.
I often listen to sermons and podcasts in the morning as I get ready. I love to blast worshipful music as I clean and drive kids around. My prayers sometimes are one-liners, sporadically offered up as I move through the day. For me, the hardest thing by far is making time to read His Word. But, if I set the open Bible out on the counter and see it over and over, chances are I will stop and read bits and pieces as I’m able. Often, the visual reminder helps me to prioritize a deeper time with Him in His Word whenever there is a break in the action.
There are things we can do to remain in constant relationship with our Father – everyday, through any stage of life. They almost never resemble the Instagram images we often set out to duplicate. We cannot afford to wait until they do. We can each expect and hope for seasons when true quiet time is readily available. We can each determine to make more of these no matter what our schedules look like -- because let’s face it -- we are never too busy for the things we most value and prioritize. But, if today you acknowledge your need for Him wherever you are, whatever you have to do, He will bless that humble seeking. He is bigger than the demands and circumstances we find ourselves in, and He knows full well how to reach us within them.
By Anne Gould, wife of Mark Gould
For more articles by Anne Gould, click HERE
If you spend any time in our home, you will undoubtedly hear the phrase, “That’s not fair!” uttered by our children. And, if I’m honest, it’s a phrase you would often hear echoed in my heart as well. We all feel this way at times, because it’s true--life isn’t fair. And, this truth can often make us angry, frustrated, or bitter. I mean, wouldn’t it be better if everything was equal, fair, and just?
But, recently, I was listening to the song “Be My Escape” by Relient K, and one of the lines struck me—"The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair.” Wait, did they just say the “beauty” is that life’s not fair? Didn’t they mean, the “bummer” is that life’s not fair? Nope.They said “beauty,” and they were right.
You see, the Bible says we have all sinned and turned away from God.And, His law is clear that the punishment for this is death--separation from God and His goodness for eternity.Thus, the only way for God to be completely fair and just is to adhere to the law He has written and administer the required punishment when it is broken. But, thankfully, God is not only perfectly just, He is also rich in mercy and abounding in steadfast love.So, instead of giving us the punishment we deserve, He chose to suffer the punishment in our stead.Jesus, God in the flesh, the only one who was perfect, guiltless, and wholly undeserving of the punishment, chose to bear the unfairness and die in our place.“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). How amazing and wonderful is that?!?!
In light of this, I have a new response to the phrase “That’s not fair,” and that is, “PRAISE GOD!” How thankful I am that the Lord showed mercy to me. He didn’t give me what I rightly and fairly deserved, but rather He took on the punishment so justice could be accomplished. And, He bestowed upon me grace upon grace so I could be set unfairly free. Indeed, the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair…Hallelujah!
By Katie Miller
For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE
For my story this month, I thought I would share with you how I first dipped my toes in the real estate industry. For this story, you will need to imagine me back as a college student (or actually a recent grad). I've added the picture above to help you get there. I've always had a huge interest in real estate. It probably started when I was little and would spend weekends with my mom visiting as many open houses as possible. So when I was getting ready to graduate from college with a degree I knew I would never use, I began to explore how I might get involved in real estate. I was living in Seattle and wasn't quite sure where to start. Luckily a dear family friend quickly came to my rescue. She knew someone in Seattle who owned a real estate company. Perfect! She helped make the connection and I was quickly hired to start immediately at this local company. I was sure it was my quick wit, professionalism, and dashing good looks that helped me get hired so quickly. I learned soon thereafter that they would have hired just about anyone :).
Eager to learn all there was to learn about real estate, I woke up early, ate a good breakfast, dressed myself in my classiest, and drove myself downtown Seattle on a dreary June morning. First painful lesson - downtown Seattle parking would quickly eat up all my money. Second painful lesson - I wasn't about to learn anything about the real estate industry. I was walked to my desk by a very tall, intimidating man dressed in a very expensive suit. He told me to sit at this tiny desk, pointed to my phone, and told me to start making calls. I looked around the room at about 8 other employees who were already busy punching numbers on their phones. My real estate job turned out to be a cold calling sales job. I was to make cold calls to real estate agents in the Seattle area to try to sell them memberships to the company's directory. Not exactly what I had in mind. I was miserable - EVERY DAY.
I called home crying to my parents. I hated it. I wasn't cut out to make cold calls. So about two weeks in I decided that I could not do this one more day. I got home from work and emailed my boss (that very tall, intimidating man dressed in a very expensive suit) and told him that I would not be in to work the following day or really any day after that. I knew that emailing was not very professional, but I was sure if I told him person he would eat me. He responded by saying that I couldn't quit over email. In order to get my two week's pay, I would need to come in and have an exit interview with him. Nope. Wasn't going to happen. I told him I didn't need that pay and that I would not be able to come back in. So on I went with my life. Thankfully, I was able to secure another job at my beloved Alma Mater and decided that I just wasn't cut out for real estate. It would be another 10 years before I started my actual real estate career :). Oh, the best part was that when tax season came around, I received my two week's pay in the mail! All's well that ends well!
Written by Becka Marston
See more posts by Becka Marston HERE!
Lately, we have all been barraged by words. Media is no longer relegated to a few articles in a newspaper, casually glanced over during breakfast. It’s no longer objective and informative; no longer coming from a few reliable sources. It’s now as accessible and constant as the air we breathe, laced into nearly every daily activity. The current state of things only amplifies that, as there hasn’t been a slow news day for months. Everyone has been affected, and everyone has input. We’re being told silence is violence. Emotional investment is so high on every side that there seems to be no option to remain quiet. So much is on the line, and when we feel helpless or unwilling to change things through action, we resort to words. Everyone is talking, writing, yelling.
As someone who has always valued the power of words, I have found myself particularly caught up lately in the flurry of ideas and discussions. Like everyone, I feel strongly opinionated and often find myself wanting to be informed. The additional information then leads to stronger opinions or shifted opinions. Soon, the influx of information inserts itself into conversations with people or social media posts, often without passing through the filter of God’s Word or being given the time to percolate in and through truth. I’ve found myself leaving nearly every social interaction wishing I could reel back in certain things I’ve said.
This same regrettable over-speak can be seen on the small, personal level and the massive, world-wide level every single day. The more that is said, the more error is present (Proverbs 10:19). Unfortunately, retraction is never really possible. What’s been said and heard is done, and it has unavoidable, irreversible impact. Like never before, we need to value the advice of God’s Word regarding what we take in and what we put out. Communication and language are beyond important- they are God-given means of edification and information and correction- however, He has designed a process for using these tools/weapons.
The Bible has no shortage of references to the power of the tongue, to either do good or harm. It is the megaphone of the heart (Luke 6:45). We know for sure that our hearts are far from perfect, given to deception (Jeremiah 17:9) and zeal without knowledge (Proverbs 19:2). The last thing we want to do is speak freely and frequently from the heart, without first investigating its state and how it is aligning with the truth of God’s Word.
Proverbs 18:4 says, “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.” Like we see around us, the presence of opinion and information is like a giant lake: deep, wide, and plentiful. However, not at all pure. Wisdom, however, is fresh and alive like a spring bursting forth from a mountain. It’s worth taking the time to climb up to, although this requires more effort. Once there, information is worth ingesting, and worthy of sharing. The deep waters are public opinion, social media, rants, and careless conversation. The fountain is God’s Word. If we take the former in disproportionally to the latter, our minds and hearts are polluted.
We all can fall into the thinking that we are wise on a topic, and that our wisdom is worth sharing. The more we consider ourselves to be well informed, the more prone we are to speaking out. The Bible, though, argues that the truly wise person is the quieter one who knows listening and reflecting is more important than speaking, and at the very least, must serve as a precursor to words. As the saying goes, it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. Proverbs 17:28 says the same: “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” The Bible calls anyone who is unthoughtful with his words a “fool” (Prov 15:1-2; 18:2,6-8,13; 29:20). This is in complete contrast to the way we treat language today.
I enjoy and appreciate stream of consciousness in writing, and in conversation I often value this as transparency. The sharing of one’s heart can often look messy, and there’s a beauty and relatability to that kind of rawness. The creative writer in me wants to defend this practice. When viewed through the lens of scripture, though, I am reminded how careful we need to be with this. Language is a wild horse that needs to be bridled (James 1:26; Prov 18:21). Words are weapons. The Bible isn’t devaluing discourse and processing through sharing ones heart. In fact, it is valuing it much more highly than we do and reminding us to treat it with an abundance of caution.
We have to remember, amidst this trend of speaking out quickly and passionately, that a slower, measured response is almost always the wiser approach. It’s easy to jump to conclusions about others’ reluctance to speak out on something, but more often than not, this is a testament to their wisdom, not their carelessness. The words they speak in due time, or choose not to, will be through the filter of time and truth, rather than emotion.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore, put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:19-21
When it comes to what words we allow ourselves to ingest, and which we deem worth sharing, let’s keep in mind how the Bible speaks of language. It is powerful enough to satisfy and bring life (Prov 18:20); to build up, fit the occasion, provide grace (Ephesians 4:29); to be sweet, judicious, and persuasive (Prov 16:21-24). But, when used flippantly, it can be deadly, corrupting, foolish, and troublesome (Prov 21:23). With increased access to communication, there is all the more need to weigh our words carefully, to take time holding them into the light of God’s timeless truth, so we can deliver what will edify, build up, and remain beneficial through the changing tides of opinion.
By Anne Gould, wife of Mark Gould
For more articles by Anne Gould, click HERE