Aug 02 2017

 

It's our favorite day of the year... it's National Cheesecake Day!
What better reason to celebrate and indulge in one of the tastiest treats available?
 
Sure it's rich, high in calories, and could increase your cholesterol, but it just tastes so good!
(Don't deny it!) Enjoy it plain or add your favorite topping. And you know summer is the perfect season for National Cheesecake Day!
 
Enjoy the day with a delicious piece of cheesecake with your favorite topping - you certainly deserve it!

 

 

 

 

Jul 26 2017
This is probably the question I get asked the most. The question I ask in response is, "Do you mean the national or the local market?" If they say the local market, I then ask, "Which city?" When they tell me, I ask, "Which neighborhood?" When they answer, I next ask, "Is it new construction or an existing home and what is the price range?" As you can tell by my questions, a lot depends on where the property is located, the type of property, and its price range.  
 
One of the physical characteristics of real estate is immobility. Because property cannot be moved around to satisfy demand in different areas, the real estate market is very local in character. Markets may differ among different parts of the country, different cities, or even different sections or neighborhoods within the same city. Because of this, each local market must be considered separately. In addition to being localized, the real estate market may be segmented. Market segmentation may occur in several different ways and some of these factors may include the type of property you're selling and its price range.
 
Ada County is different from Canyon County, Boise is different from Star, the North End is different from West Boise, and even parts of the North End are different from each other. And, if you have a house that's priced at the very low end, you're going to have better luck selling it than a property at the very high end. Because of market localization and market segmentation, the above question is not exactly easy to answer -- which is why the media often doesn't do that great of a job of it!
 
This is why it is important - if you are thinking about selling your home - to talk to an agent who will do her homework to help you determine the best price for your home in order to get it sold for the most amount of money in the least amount of time!
 
If you'd like to know how our market is, give us a call! We'd love to chat about your specific situation and provide a home valuation  208-327-2127.
Jul 26 2017
water
Believe it or not, water is undervalued in many parts of the country. In fact, about 30 percent of all water utilities operate at a loss or a deficit. So where does all your money go? The money you pay toward your water bill is stretched many different ways by utilities.
 
Water utilities, like any business, need to pay for operating expenses such as electricity, treatment chemicals, maintenance, and employee wages. On average, about 70 percent of your water bill goes to your water utility's operating expenses.
 
As they work to collect sufficient revenue to ensure the availability of clean and safe water, municipalities and water managers try to keep their rates affordable. Even so, the cost of water and wastewater varies, and the factors that ultimately set the price differ from community to community. Many private water utilities serving smaller communities lack commercial and industrial customers that help keep costs to residents low. These utilities are sometimes forced to charge residents nearly double the national average to recoup operating expenses. In these communities, investing in water efficiency makes twice as much sense.
 
That only makes up part of your water utility's financial needs. Many water utilities need money to pay for improvement projects to upgrade infrastructure or increase capacity - meaning the ability to provide water to an expanding number of customers -and they might also need to pay down debt just like the rest of us. In fact, EPA studies estimate that updating aging water and wastewater infrastructure could cost more than $500 billion over the next two decades. While many of the pipes that deliver water to American homes are relatively new, some pipes are more than 80 years old and well overdue for replacement. And this $500 billion does not include the funds that are needed to build new infrastructure to meet the demands of a growing population!
 
The good news is that there is something both utilities and consumers can do to delay these major investments and save money. WaterSense makes fiscal sense, both from a utility standpoint, and to consumers' wallets. Many water utilities are promoting WaterSense-labeled products to help their customers save on water bills and to delay the utilities' need for expensive projects to increase capacity.
 
So if you're looking for new ways to pinch pennies as a household, consider this: the average household can reduce its water bills by as much as 30 percent by installing water-efficient plumbing fixtures such as WaterSense labeled toilets and faucets and ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances. Replacing older, inefficient toilets alone could save a family of four some $90 per year. These savings, coupled with potential rebates in your area, mean your bathroom makeover could pay for itself in no time-and pay the savings forward in your community for years to come.

 

Jul 20 2017
 
This week around the office we're celebrating 'Embrace Your Geekness Day.'
 
A geek is often referred to as an individual who is highly intelligent and technically oriented. You might often find a geek associated with computers.
 
Some might use the word in a negative connotation, but most of those people would also admit they are jealous. 
 
On this day, let all your intelligence pour out and let your inner geek shine. Embrace the technical side of things and spend some of the day with your lovely computer. Maybe even take the time to polish some technical skills or learn something new. I'm sure you all have a little 'geek' within you? 
 
Remember - it's not a crime to be brilliant and gifted!
Jul 14 2017
 
JGA Sign
Some people think it doesn't matter who you hire to sell your home. All agents have to do is stick a sign in the yard or a picture in the newspaper and your home will sell itself right? Well, not exactly. Jill Giese & Associates has recently sold homes previously listed by other agents because those agents didn't sell the home within the sellers' desired time frame.
 
So what separates a great listing agent from the average agent and what difference does it make to you?
 
 
 
 
The Key Difference
The key difference is that a great agent will sell your home faster, for more money, and with fewer hassles for you than other agents! So how do we do this? We care enough about you and your goals to provide you with the very best each step of the way!
 
Perfect Pricing
First, we meet with you to determine the perfect price for your home. The key is to price it so it's listed within the range of buyers who are looking for homes like yours. If you have a 2-bedroom, 1-bath home that is 1,000 square feet and you price it in the range where all the other homes are 3-bedroom, 2-bath, and 2,000 square feet, your home is not going to be competitive and no one will come to look at it.  

Perfect pricing is critical and we do this together with you. We don't "tell you" the price - our job is to provide you the information you need for us to collaboratively decide the best price for your home! Sometimes people say, "Well I'm not in a hurry so I can price a little higher." Unfortunately, the price is the price is the price - buyers will pay what buyers will pay and that doesn't change significantly within the time frame most sellers want to sell.
 
So if that's the case, faster is better right? So either price perfectly and sell quickly, sometimes with multiple offers which can create an auction-like environment, or price high, wait several months, then reduce the price to where it should've been in the first place, and then get an offer. All the while keeping your house spotlessly clean every minute and pretending you don't live there!
 
clean 2
 
Precise Preparation
We take numerous steps up front to help you prepare your home so it's in its best possible condition so you receive the highest price it will bear.  
 
We provide you with a 1-1/2 hour consultation with a staging expert, professional and accurate measurements and a floor plan so buyers knows exactly how your home is laid out, and the best professional photographs in the business - regardless of the price of your home! We also help with recommendations for amazing professional landscapers, house cleaners, handymen, and more - all of whom work for a reasonable price.
 
We want your home to have that "TA DA!" moment when it's launched on the MLS because it's reached its version of perfection.
 
 
 
 
 
Persistent Prospecting
phone
Before your home is even listed on the MLS, we are prospecting for buyers who may be interested in your home! Every morning from 9:00-11:00, we call our vast network of past clients, potential buyers, and other realtors we've cultivated relationships with who may be interested in a home just like yours. This is how we're able to average 13 days on the market for homes we've sold within the last year! 
 
How many realtors do you know who spend this kind of energy working to sell your home? Do they call each day? Or do they put a picture in the newspaper or stick a sign in the yard and wait for someone to call them?   
 
Making an Excellent Deal!
When an offer comes in on your home, we have the confidence, knowledge, and ability to negotiate an agreement that brings you top dollar for your home - no small feat with the amount of things we evaluate to ensure it's the best offer for your goals!  
 
For example, our "top ten":
  1. What is the offer price?
  2. What is the proposed closing date? Does this fit with your goals for closing on your new home?
  3. What are the terms, who pays for what?
  4. Is the buyer really qualified to buy your home? Do they have an approval letter?
  5. Is the buyer's lender reputable? Or do they produce approval letters and then decline the buyer far along in the process?
  6. Does the buyer's agent have the experience needed to manage the transaction? Or did they write a sloppy offer which may indicate their ability to get the transaction closed?
  7. What is the inspection time frame? Does this fit with your goals and does this make the proposed closing date realistic?
  8. What are the lesser time frames within the contract and are they realistic or do they put you at jeopardy by letting more time go by before the transaction has 'firmed up'?
  9. What is the buyer's financing? How "solid" is it?
  10. Is this offer overall in your best interest? What is the big picture?  
We make sure your best interests are being served by this offer at this time - we want this to be the best opportunity for you! And if there are multiple offers, we want to ensure you can intelligently choose the best offer for you.
 
Getting to the Finish Line!
Recently I had the pleasure of working with a fellow realtor on the sale of his Boise home. Priced perfectly and looking amazing, it received a great offer quickly. 
sold 3
As we discussed his good fortune, I reminded him, "As you know, getting the offer and getting under contract is only half the battle!" And he replied with the benefit of 20+ years in real estate, "Actually, I know it's really only one-third of the battle!"

Getting to closing and getting there smoothly is not always easy. And on our team, facilitating this process is someone's full-time focus! 
 
We carefully guide your transaction from contract to close and beyond. What good does it do you to get an offer quickly if all the Ts aren't crossed and the Is aren't dotted and your transaction falls apart? Or if you spend thousands of dollars unnecessarily because a detail was missed in an addendum or on a closing statement? Our job is to ensure this doesn't happen!

The Recap
We hope this helps you understand the difference between an average agent and a great real estate team! We care enough about you and your goals to provide you the very best real estate experience.  
Jul 06 2017

 

Before you put your home on the market this summer, spend the time and money upfront to make it the best it can be.

Rather than waiting to see if a buyer or their home inspector finds something wrong, fix it up-front, and you're likely to have it done right without rushing, and it will often cost you less. Plus, you won't be negotiating with an emotional buyer in the 'heat of the moment'! 

When we work with sellers, we spend a lot of time up-front providing staging advice, finding solutions to deferred maintenance, and helping prioritize repairs so you can sell your home for the most money in the least amount of time.

This also includes the exterior of your house. Trimming and pruning bushes and trees, cleaning out gutters, weeding, sweeping patios, etc. Buyers can decide within seconds of seeing your home from the outside if they want to consider buying it. Don't set a bad tone from the beginning!

If you wish to get top dollar for your home, it's best to have it in the best condition possible. It's difficult to expect someone to pay asking price for your home if there are obvious signs that the home was not cared for. It may be natural for a buyer to assume there are other items behind the scenes that haven't been done.

Get the most money for your home by taking care of deferred maintenance items before selling. If you aren't sure what to do, give us a call and we can help advise you!

Jun 29 2017

Many people who know me know that I love toast (#yaytoast!), my dog Poppy, and picking up dog poop on the trails (slightly kidding). I've lived in the North End for most of the last 30 years and I love our community! Before becoming a Realtor, I worked in marketing communications, and as a remodeling contractor, which is where my career started in real estate. I began flipping houses and decided to get my license so I could do my own deals. Well, that part-time agent thing didn't last too long before I decided to take the plunge and be a full-time Realtor. Now I get the most joy from teaching others and creating opportunity for our team and clients!

  • What is your favorite life motto or quote? "Fortune and love favor the brave." Ovid
  • What is your favorite thing to do in Boise and why?
    Mountain bike or sit on a restaurant patio - because they're both awesome!
  • What is your favorite place in the world and why? Oh wow, too many to name just one! I love Chiang Mai in Thailand for the beauty, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam for the peaceful setting and the people, Granada in Spain because the Alhambra is there and the Moorish architecture is fabulous, Paris ... because it's Paris! St John in the Caribbean because the water is amazing and the beaches are fantastic, the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho, NYC because it's vibrant and I lived there and it's cool. :)
  • You've been given an elephant. You can't give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant? Walk it around Camel's Back park and introduce her to the North End. And teach Poppy to ride her. 
  • If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it? "She persisted and so she won."
Jun 28 2017
Our team goes on a gratitude walk in the sunshine each day to get outside and be refreshed, as well as to talk about things we're grateful for. Last week, we walked to Ada Vision Center's annual sunglasses sale. If you haven't been, we'd definitely recommend it! While there we had a good time trying on silly sunglasses and keeping ourselves amused!

 

Jun 22 2017
Many of you have started to receive your new compost bins from the Curb It program and for those who haven't and live in Boise, you will see it before the end of August! Because of this, we thought we'd give you a quick run down of what is compostable and other pertinent information about the program. 
 
Did you know, only compost participants have unlimited year-round leaf collection and finished compost is available free for residents of Boise? Awesome! Also, if you run out of room one week keep in mind that recycling and compost collections are unlimited. If you have extra material some weeks, simply fill your carts and then fill a sturdy container like a cardboard box with recyclables and lable it "Recycling" and place near your blue cart. If you have too much compost, set out additional material in paper leaf bags near your compost cart.
 

So what is compostable?
  • Leaves, branches, grass, and other yard debris
  • Fruits, veggies, coffee grounds, and filters
  • Eggshells
  • Shredded paper bags or newspaper

What is NOT compostable?

  • Pet waste
  • Dairy, fats, and grease
  • Grains like bread and pasta
  • Meat, fish, and bones
  • Anything plastic
Want more information regarding what you can and can't put in your compost bin? Check out this awesome blog article, "Composting 101"!
Jun 21 2017
 

This Friday is what we consider the best holiday of the year ... "Take Your Dog To Work Day!" While Poppy comes to work with us every day we thought we'd remind you about it! 

TYDTW Day was first celebrated in 1999 so this year will be the 19th annual event. It encourages employers to experience the joys of pets in the workplace for one day and to support their local pet community. 

At our office, it also supports our sanity! Nothing is better than petting a dog when you're having a stressful day and additionally it gets the team outside each day for a quick Poppy walk where we discuss what we're grateful for... like dog walks!

Pooches Gracias!