Sep 14 2017
Choosing home projects and updates that will enhance and transform the look of your house can be daunting.

Our next several newsletters will feature updates and easy cosmetic fixes that won't break the bank account and take months to finish. We'll focus on easy weekend projects that will help you transform every room in your house.

Change out the faucets
Changing out your kitchen or bathroom faucet is a great first-time do-it-yourself plumbing project. Just make sure you properly shut off the water valves and follow the directions carefully!

A new fixture in the kitchen or bathroom will add that extra shine you are looking for. Many new kitchen faucets have more functionality and the upgrade can be more than just aesthetic.

A Google search will yield more faucet options than you may want to view. This will be a great opportunity to add a more modern or contemporary feel to any kitchen or bathroom, or even get rid of some brass!
Sep 12 2017
 

When preparing to move, I always envision our perfectly organized boxes fitting in a small U-haul that will arrive at the new house and be unloaded in a few short hours, just in time for a quick shower and a fun BBQ at a friend's house. What actually ensues, at least in my experience, is procrastination, followed by panic, finished with chaos. 

 
Where's the packing tape? Who's brilliant idea was it to fill a jumbo box with all of our text books that we mustkeep from college? Why is this box leaking? Where's Bernie, the beloved goldfish?! Finished off with the not-so-occasional audible sigh and a pointed glare at my husband.
 
So, with the invention of Pinterest and a pending move on the horizon, I did what every millennial does in this situation. I 'pinned' all the checklists I could about a stress-free move. And do you know what happened? A relatively low-stress moving experience! Here's a list of my favorite things that made the move a little less painful.
 
Photos - not just for nostalgic purposes
It seems like you finally get your house decorated just right when it's time to move again. Before you start removing wall hangings, shelf décor, and rearranging furniture to go into the moving truck, take several pictures of each room from each angle. Grab close-ups of bookcases and shelves. When you start settling into your new home, you'll have a great guide for where you last had things placed.
 
Fuel - moving makes you hungry... lack of fuel makes you hangry

Make sure to keep healthy and protein-packed food within arms reach when moving. Stock the pantry with granola bars, nuts, and fresh fruit, while loading the refrigerator with yogurt, cheese, and veggies. Create an easy meal plan prior to the move and prepare everything that you can before you start boxing things up. Leave out any pots and pans you'll need to use and don't forget the salt and pepper! This will help keep you from running to a greasy fast-food joint because it's easy, and ensures your spouse makes it to the new house alive.
 
Prepare - the essentials are ... well ... essential
Gather your favorite cleaning products, furniture pads, hooks, and rags - anything you'll need for cleaning and organizing both your old house and your new home. Find a spot that is out of the way and leave it all in a laundry basket so the items don't accidentally get packed into a box. Nothing is more frustrating than losing the all-purpose cleaner and having to run to the store to buy more!
 
Boxes - pack it up room-by-room
We know not to pack all the books you own into a huge box, but think about packing one room at a time and resisting the urge to pack like items from one room in with items from another. Pack one room entirely and clearly label the box as such. This will help eliminate confusion when unpacking your boxes at your new home, and when your spouse asks, "Where does this go?" you can tell him to read the box ... probably 12 times until he finally gets it.
 
Purge - lightening your load one keychain flashlight at a time.
You don't need that purple shimmery eye shadow you've been carrying around since the early 2000's, because I hate to break it to you - you're not going to wear it! Get rid of all the bath bombs and shower gels you get each year for Christmas from Aunt Jan, promotional mugs from your insurance agent, and your copy of 'Hope Floats' on DVD that is still in it's original plastic packaging. You don't need it and Aunt Jan will never know!
 
Use your luggage - pack like you're going on vacation

Resist the urge to use your luggage to pack up your bedroom. Use it to make sure you have all the items you'll need to function for at least two weeks. Clothes, hair dryer, toiletries, towels, and anything else you'll need to feel human. Include any important documents you may need as well as cash for tipping any movers you may hire. Put any rings you wear on a daily basis in your luggage too, your fingers will likely swell from carrying boxes to and fro, this will help ease any discomfort caused by the swelling.
 
While this list is not all-encompassing, it's a good place to start when preparing to move.
 
I'd love to hear what has worked for you in the past! Email me at info@jillgiese.com to submit your moving tips and tricks!

 

Sep 07 2017
Choosing home projects and updates that will enhance and transform the look of your house can be daunting.
 
Our next several newsletters will feature updates and easy cosmetic fixes that won't break the bank account and take months to finish. We'll focus on easy weekend projects that will help you transform every room in your house.
 

Build a Headboard

Building a headboard will add a great look to any bedroom in the house and will definitely make your house look updated.
 
Like with our last issue of installing a new kitchen backsplash, there are so many different designs and ways to make a new headboard. You can add one to any themed room.
 

Headboards can be made out of nearly anything! 

  • Find something you're passionate about and turn it into a headboard. 
  • If you love skiing, turn the old skis into a headboard. 
  • Make a collage by decoupaging magazines or attach family photos to an old headboard. Salvaged materials like old windows, doors, fencing look great and are easy to give a distressed and hip look.
Also like our last issue, a simple Google keyword search or browsing Pinterest will give you many inspiring ideas. Here's one of our favorites!
 
Sep 06 2017
Thank you to those who have already reached out to us to see how you can help! It means a lot. 

For those who don't know, our company, Keller Williams Realty International, is headquartered in Austin, Texas. This means we have hundreds of agents in the Houston and surrounding areas that were hit by Hurricane Harvey. At present count, at least 300 of our agents, and thousands of other non-KW folks, are out of their homes and many more are severely impacted. 7,000 people will take refuge in Austin where many of us, including Dana and me, will be heading to volunteer next week. Not only have they lost their homes, their pets, and belongings - they will be impacted for months to come since their livelihood is dependent on the housing industry.

 

We have many personal friends who have been impacted and many others who have been heroes, literally pulling people out of the water. One of many stories shared yesterday: "We finally found our cat. Floating by on a mattress."

 

YOU CAN HELP.
 
Our company has an established 501(c)3 charity, KW Cares, with a long history and lots of experience in helping with disaster relief and recovery. We own multiple 18-wheelers for this purpose, the first of which arrived in Houston with supplies last week. 

Rather than collecting water, clothing, and other supplies, the best way you can help is to donate money. KW Cares is then able to buy in bulk. They are working closely with the Salvation Army & Red Cross, and will adjust what is purchased based on needs as they change day by day. 100% of all donations go to disaster relief because ALL admin costs are personally handled by our Chairman, Gary Keller, and Vice Chairman of the Board, Mo Anderson!

 

 

Please donate and choose 'Boise' or 'Other' when instructed to choose a Market Center. Designate your donation to Hurricane Harvey Relief.
 
Our company has committed to raise $20 million and so far we have raised $4 million. We have a LONG way to go. Thanks for stepping up. It's in times like this that the good in people comes out and our friends and family shine. We appreciate you. Please keep all those affected in your thoughts and in your hearts.
Aug 31 2017

Before you put your home up for sale, use the right comparable sales to find the perfect price.

A house is comparable to yours in price if it's in the same neighborhood, on a similar street, and in the same school district.

How much can you sell your home for? Probably about as much as the neighbors got, as long as the neighbors sold their house in recent memory and their home was just like your home.

Knowing how much homes similar to yours, called comparable sales (or in real estate lingo, comps), sold for gives you the best idea of the current estimated value of your home. The trick is finding sales that closely match yours.

What makes a good comparable sale?  

Your best comparable sale is the same model as your house in the same subdivision - and it closed escrow last week. If you can't find that, here are other factors that count:

Location: The closer to your house the better, but don't just use any comparable sale within a mile radius. A good comparable sale is a house in your neighborhood, your subdivision, on the same type of street as your house, and in your school district.

Home type: Try to find comparable sales that are like your home in style, construction material, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, basement (having one and whether it's finished), finishes, and yard size.

Amenities and upgrades: Is the kitchen new? Does the comparable sale house have full A/C? Is there crown molding, a deck, or a pool? Does your community have the same amenities (pool, workout room, walking trails, etc.) and homeowners association fees?

Sale sweeteners: Did the comparable sale sellers give the buyers downpayment assistance, closing costs, or a free television? You have to reduce the value of any comparable sale to account for any deal sweeteners.

Agents can help adjust price based on insider insights

Even if you live in a subdivision, your home will always be different from your neighbors'. Evaluating those differences - like the fact that your home has one more bedroom than the comparables or a basement office - is one of the ways real estate agents add value.

An active agent has been inside a lot of homes in your neighborhood and knows all sorts of details about comparable sales. She has read the comments the selling agent put into the MLS, seen the ugly wallpaper, and heard what other REALTORS®, lenders, closing agents, and appraisers said about the comparable sale.

More ways to pick a home listing price

If you're still having trouble picking out a listing price for your home, look at the current competition. Ask your real estate agent to be honest about your home and the other homes on the market (and then listen to her without taking the criticism personally).

Next, put your comparable sales into two piles: more expensive and less expensive. What makes your home more valuable than the cheaper comparable sales and less valuable than the pricier comparable sales?

Are foreclosures a good comparable?

If one or more of your comparable sales was a foreclosed home or a short sale (a home that sold for less money than the owners owed on the mortgage), ask your real estate agent how to treat those comps.

A foreclosed home is usually in poor condition because owners who can't pay their mortgage can't afford to pay for upkeep. Your home is in great shape, so the foreclosure should be priced lower than your home.

So you have to rely on your REALTOR's® knowledge of the local market to use a short sale as a comparable sale.

Visit www.Houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Aug 30 2017

This week we're celebrating 'Ride the Wind' day! Sounds liberating doesn't it? Boise has a huge love for hot air balloons and lately we've been seeing a lot of them floating along our skies. So book a flight - it's just one way to celebrate!

National 'Ride the Wind' day commemorates the anniversary of the first human-powered flight to win the Kremer prize. The Gossamer Condor 2 flew the first figure-eight course to win the prize by cruising by at a breakneck speed of 11mph. :) 
 
We all know that cooler air is right around the corner, so take advantage of these nice days and get outside as much as possible. Summer breezes allow us to fly human-powered aircrafts. In the event you lack a human-powered aircraft or a hot air balloon, flying a kite is always a good back up plan!

 

 

 

Aug 29 2017
There is often some confusion about real estate terms used to describe the different types of markets consumers will experience.

Below is an explanation of a buyers' market, sellers' market, and balanced market to help you understand what that really means.

Buyers' Market:
  • In a buyers' market the buyers have more control than the sellers.
  • This type of market occurs when there is an abundance of listing inventory available and there are more sellers than buyers.
  • Buyers often benefit from this with lower prices and seller concessions, such as more price flexibility, and seller-paid buyer closing costs.
  • A market with more than six month's supply* of listing inventory is considered a buyers' market.
Sellers' Market:
  • In a sellers' market, the sellers have more control than the buyers.
  • This type of market occurs when there is a low listing inventory, more buyers than sellers, homes are not on the market for very long, and often there are multiple offers on homes.
  • A sellers' market benefits sellers with higher prices, fewer days on markets, less seller-paid buyer closing costs, and oftentimes multiple-offer bidding wars. We experienced this market this spring.
  • A market with less than four month's listing inventory is considered a sellers' market.
Balanced Market:
  • In a balanced market, neither buyers nor sellers have the advantage.
  • A market with about four to six month's listing inventory is considered to be a balanced market.
*A six month's supply of inventory means that if no new homes were to be listed, our current supply would last six months.
 
Want to know what market your home is currently experiencing? Call us today and ask! (208) 327-2127
Aug 24 2017
Choosing home projects and updates that will enhance and transform the look of your house can be daunting.

Our next several newsletters will feature updates and easy cosmetic fixes that won't break the bank account and take months to finish. We'll focus on easy weekend projects that will help you transform every room in your house.

Illuminating Ideas

Adding new kitchen lighting or a new fixture over the dining table is a sure way to add an upgraded look and feel to any home.

It's easy to find great ideas online on any do-it-yourself website or by a Google keyword search. There are so many styles of lighting, it will be easy to match your existing decor. Or if you're looking to change the look of things, this is a great place to start!
  • Don't want to run to the store and spend a lot of money? Try one of these great ideas: 
  • Make a fabric-covered drum shade to match your decor. 
  • Install a dimmer switch to make your current lighting more versatile. 
  • Use a few cans of spray paint to give an old chandelier new life. 
  • Replace or paint the blades on a ceiling fan. 
These small changes will make a big difference!
 
Aug 16 2017
The solar eclipse is crossing Idaho Monday! So what's the big deal?

It won't occur again in Idaho for another 152 years! A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon completely blocks the solar disk. In a total solar eclipse, the narrowest part of the path, where the Sun is completely blocked and the Moon casts its darkest shadow - called the umbra - is called the "zone of totality".

Observers in this path see a darkened Sun with the glow of the solar corona extending out to space. A phenomenon called "Bailey's Beads" often appears as sunlight shines out through valleys on the lunar surface. If the Sun is active, observers can also see solar prominences, loops, and flares during totality.

 

 

Are you not sure where to go where you'll be in the path of totality? Click here to find a list of events happening across our state just for the eclipse!

 

Aug 15 2017
By Jim Vogel of ElderAction.org
 
 
For many Baby Boomers, home ownership is sacrosanct and a signal of security and success. However, when it comes time to downsize or head off to that retirement dream home, you may find yourself wondering if it makes more sense to rent, rather than buy. The answer to that question will be different for everyone, but there are some pros and cons to consider for either option.
 
Renting
The conveniences of renting a home can bring a sigh of relief to retirees who have spent decades mowing the lawn, calling the plumber, and paying for unexpected repairs. Suddenly, dealing with a leaky faucet is as simple as calling the landlord. Plus, modern apartment complexes come with a bevy of amenities from on-site gyms to club rooms, so you can keep an active lifestyle without going far.

However, living in a rental also means you won't be able to adapt your home to meet your needs. If you suffer a fall and need home modifications to get around safely, you're going to hit some roadblocks. If you have pets, your housing options will be limited and you may be faced with exorbitant pet fees.

Renting also leaves the possibility that your landlord will raise your rent, making your home suddenly unaffordable, or that the property will be sold and you'll have to find a new place to move to.
Buying
Most retirees favor buying over renting thanks to the security of knowing you'll have your home as long as you want or need it.  A home you own can be adapted to meet aging-in-place needs, and while you'll have to pay for any updates or repairs yourself, you know they'll be completed to your exact specifications.

And owning a home doesn't have to mean extensive maintenance needs. Many seniors choose condo living to minimize yard work, and paying for a landscaper or cleaning help is affordable when you opt to downsize.

However, many seniors are disappointed to discover how far the money from the sale of their previous home will go in today's market. If you've lived in your home for years without making updates, it's not going to sell for as much as your neighbor's remodeled house. So even if you're downsizing, it could be a challenge to find a home that meets your needs within your budget.

But buying a home late in life doesn't have to mean paying for it outright. While the thought of a  mortgage in retirement makes many people uneasy, it can actually be a smart financial decision. Since mortgage rates are low and you can deduct mortgage interest (along with property taxes) from your taxes, making a substantial down payment and investing the rest can leave you coming out ahead.
 
How to Decide?
The right choice between renting and buying will be different for everyone. To figure out what's best for you, weigh your priorities, finances (including cost for storage if you need to rent a unit as you downsize), and how long you plan to stay in the home.

If you hope to leave a home to your children, that's a big checkmark in the pro column. However, if you don't have the cash for a down payment and would need to tap into your retirement funds, buying may not be a wise financial decision. Moreover, if you don't expect to stay in your new home for at least seven years, or you're moving to a new state in retirement, it may be wise to rent until you're ready to settle.

No matter which way you're leaning, consider hiring a professional to help assess your finances and housing needs so you can make the decision that lets you make the most of your retirement.

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