May 11 2017

If you've always pronounced Boise like "Boy-zee," you've been saying it wrong all along. Locals here say "Boy-see." And yes, they hear the difference.

If you're looking for one of the best places to live in Boise, head to the North End. This lovely neighborhood in Boise is defined by its older, historic homes, tree-lined streets, and charming character. There is also a tight, community feel here!

The Broncos are the pride of Boise State University. They play their home games at Albertsons Stadium, which is best known for its bright blue turf. Commonly referred to as the "Smurf Turf," it was the first non-green field in American football.

 As well as part of the "Treasure Valley", Boise is also "The City Of Trees". From downtown to the parks, Boise is full of beautiful trees that provide residents with shade and a generally gorgeous landscape.

The rivers are great for stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, rafting for all levels, and fly-fishing. The parks have great trails for hiking and biking. Or one can opt to go more advanced with the Race to Robie Creek, billed as the toughest half marathon in the Northwest.


Boise is on lots of top 10 rankings. Here are a few:

Boise was crowned as the "Number one Adventure City" in all of the United States by National Geographic.

Looking to make the big bucks? You might want to head to Boise, which was named on Forbes top 10 list of cities where salaries are actually increasing.

 Bike Magazine has named Boise as the top mountain biking town in the entire country.

Outside Magazine gave Boise the title of the "#1 Overall Town In The Western U.S.", which came as a surprise to exactly no one in Boise.

 

Due to the safe streets, growing economy, and vibrant community, Time Magazine named Boise as "The Number One City" in their article entitled "Solutions for America" claiming that Boise is one of the top cities "getting it right" this year.

 If we ever do get those hover boards, Boise will probably get them before most other places. The city was listed in the "Top 20 Most Innovative Cities" by Sunset Magazine.

 And some interesting tidbits:

The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise is one of only 11 sites in the country -- like the White House and the 9/11 memorial in New York City -- that was given a chestnut tree sapling from the tree that stood outside the secret annex in Amsterdam where Frank hid with her family.


Boise has a statue of Abraham Lincoln sitting in Julia Davis park. At nine feet tall, sitting on an eleven-foot long bench, and weighing about 6,500 pounds, Boise's big Abe is the third-largest seated statue of the former president in the world.

With a population of about 15,000 Basque residents and a historic Basque Block section of the city, Boise has the second largest Basque population in the United States.

If we didn't mention potatoes you'd think we weren't from Boise:

 Boise takes full advantage of their state's fame for potatoes. While other cities usually drop giant glass balls on New Year's Eve, Boise drops a giant Idaho Potato to ring in the New Year.

 

 

May 10 2017
 
Last Tuesday at the Keller Williams business meeting, Jill was awarded the Cultural Icon Award for the month of April. We're so proud of her!
 
The culture at Keller Williams Realty Boise is truly a caring culture and Jill does just that and more. She's the first to show up and the last to leave for events, leads and teaches within the Keller Williams office, and she's been doing it since 2005!
 
She exemplifies what KW stands for as a realtor and a person. She's a great coach, friend, and human who cares deeply for our team, Keller Williams Realty and the real estate industry as a whole. Way to go Jill! You deserve it!
Warmly,

Dana, Bryce, Jessi, Angie, Mackenzie & Lizzie

P.S. Our team loves to volunteer for non-profit organizations and good causes! If you're part of an organization that needs a team of outgoing realtors, please feel free to reach out to us at info@jillgiese.com or 208-327-2127. 
May 09 2017
by Dean Tucker, One Trust Home Loans

 
Debt is often treated as a dirty word. But in reality, there actually is such a thing as good debt. Surprise! 

Good Debt
  • Used to purchase items or investments that will grow in value over time
  • Has lower interest rates than other types of debt
  • Is often tax deductible*
A mortgage is generally considered the best kind of debt to have. You're purchasing an item that rises in value over time; the interest rate you're paying is pretty low; and you can write off at least a portion of the associated costs on your tax return. 

Bad Debt
  • Used to purchase items or investments that lose value, generally pretty quickly
  • Used to purchase items that do not generate income in the future
  • Has a high interest rate
  • Often considered "lifestyle debt"
Credit cards are the No. 1 generators of bad debt. You usually use them to purchase "lifestyle items," like clothes or household décor, which do not hold their value and don't make money for you down the road. If you're only paying the minimum amount on your credit card debt each month, those $100 shoes are going to end up costing you far more in the long run. Payday loans are another terrible type of debt, which can suck people into a spiral of debt from which it's difficult to recover. 

Mortgages are pretty much the opposite of bad debt: real estate value rises over time, and selling your home in the future can generate more cash than what you paid for the initial purchase. In addition, your mortgage interest rate is always going to beat your credit card interest. 

Staying on Track

So as you can see, your mortgage, while an example of debt, is actually a good debt to have. Real estate gains value over time, and you're building equity and a good credit score when you're paying down your mortgage monthly. In fact, it might be a good idea to consider investing more of your funds into a long-term growth project, such as an investment property, which carries its own special tax incentives.* 

If you're considering ways to maximize your credit and build toward your future, a rental home may be just the ticket. I can help you review your finances to see how a new home purchase could actually benefit you - let's talk about making an investment in your future! Contact me today to learn more. 

For more information, contact Dean & Shanna Tucker at (208) 388-0500 or visit homemortgageboise.com.

*We are not a tax firm. Consult your financial advisor.
May 03 2017

 
"Jill was a great advisor and offered several negotiating options for us to take when buying our house. We appreciated having her on our real estate adventure. Her experience and expertise were incredibly valuable.
 
~Sabina MacDonald
May 02 2017
Dear Excited Potential Homebuyer,
 
We're so pleased you want to purchase a home while interest rates are still low and before prices increase even more.

With homes moving quickly and few homes on the market, it's understandable you've become frustrated. So while we understand wanting to keep your options open by not signing a Buyer Representation Agreement with a realtor, unfortunately that may be why you aren't getting much attention from the agents you've been contacting.
 
Sometimes buyers feel they may get a better deal or find a better house if they work with multiple agents, believing they will have a lot of people searching the market for them. However, the way agency law in Idaho works, realtors are required to show new properties that come on the market FIRST to clients with whom they have an agency relationship - signed Buyer Representation Agreement.

So when there are a lot of buyers and not very many homes on the market, a buyer looking without representation may experience homes going from active to pending/sold before they get a crack at them.
 
The other difficulty is that a good - or great - realtor is often working with multiple buyers at one time with whom they have a client relationship and therefore they only have time to work with those folks whose agreement with them ensures they will be paid if that buyer buys a house.
 
You seem like a thoughtful, intelligent person who knows what you want - just the type of client we like to work with! We receive a notification the minute a new listing comes on the market and are constantly looking for properties that will meet our clients' needs - networking with other agents, knocking on people's doors to see if they want to sell, calling neighborhoods, etc.

We'd love to meet with you and talk more about how we can find that dream home for you! Call us today at (208) 327-2127.
Apr 28 2017
Are you thinking about remodeling or replacing a high ticket item in your home? They can definitely add value to your home, but some projects will recoup your costs better than others. According to Remodeling Magazine, small and exterior projects return the most value for your money. Below is a break down of what the magazine found!
 
A steel entry door replacement recouped 101.8% when the home was sold, and is the best overall return on investment. 

Replacing your garage door can return approximately 88.5% 
 
Replacing your home's siding can return up to 84.3%
 
Installing a wood deck will return 80.5%

Replacing wood windows earns 78.8%
 
Not sure if what you're planning on remodeling or replacing will be a good return on investment? Need a vendor to help with these home improvement projects? Contact us today at (208) 327-2127! We can help!
Apr 25 2017

Our lovely city is green! Here is a list of 5 spring-time gardening tips to help keep your landscaping in tip-top shape and gorgeous!

Divide crowded perennials - When a plant has a dead center or you noticed a lack of blooms last year, this may indicate that it needs to be divided.

Plant bare root plants - These include clematis -- my favorite is Jackmanaii, roses, and hosta. Not sure the best way to plant these? 
Here's a handy guide!
 
Aerate your lawn - If you haven't done this in the last few years, do this before fertilizing while it's still cool. This will improve air exchange between the soil and atmosphere and improve fertilizer uptake and use. 
 
Plant cold-tolerant annuals - Container gardening is a great way to add some instant cheer to your landscaping. Consider planting pansies, violas, and snapdragons now as they don't mind the chilly nights.
 
Install plant supports - Installing now will allow plants like peonies and delphiniums to grow into the circular cage, loop stages, or grow-through grids, and support them once they bloom.
Apr 21 2017
When selling your home, likely your most valuable asset, it's important to avoid these common ways buyers are scared away from homes. 

Bad photography

Bad photos are almost worse than no photos with a good description. You know the old saying "You don't get a second chance for a first impression?" Well, photographs are the first look a prospective buyers will have of your home. A successful listing agent should have a professional photographer they regularly work with to showcase your home and bring out its best.

Overpriced

The worst strategy for selling your home is to start well above market value and reduce as your timeframe becomes more and more urgent. This is a great recipe for selling your home for under market value or at least less than you could have if you started at market value. The longer your home remains on the market, the more likely it is buyers will go to your home with the notion that something is wrong with it. In order to net the most money possible it's critical to come to an educated decision with your agent to price as close to market value as possible. You do want to net the most money, right?

Dark and Dirty

The last thing you want to do is open your home to prospective buyers without it being clean - spotlessly clean would be preferred. We know it's a lot of work to live in your home and keep it this way, but it's very important! If you can afford to hire professional cleaners for a deep cleaning, even better! A clean home displays pride of ownership - something every buyer loves! Another thing to scare away buyers is to have a dark home. People like cozy and bright homes! If you have dark paint colors or burned out light bulbs, it's time to consider repainting and replacing bulbs.

Too Hot or Too Cold

If you're selling a home in the middle of summer and don't have air conditioning or don't want to have above-normal utility bills therefore leaving the home too hot, you're going to make people uncomfortable and potentially lose a buyer. Likewise, in the winter, don't make people freeze while they look at your home! It's critical for prospective buyers to be comfortable when they are looking at your home so they can focus on what your home has to offer them. We've worked with countless sellers who are selling a vacant house and originally wanted to skimp on the heat to save a few bucks. Is it worth your home not selling? Put yourself in buyers' shoes and make your home as comfortable as possible.

Lacking Curb Appeal

If the front of your home needs a little TLC, this would be excellent money well spent. This one also falls under the first impression category and is critical. If you can't afford a complete yard makeover, tidying up, pruning, and making sure things look nice as people approach the house is very important. Don't set a bad tone for a showing by not mowing the yard, pruning shrubs, etc. It is worth the money!

 

Apr 18 2017
We get a lot of questions about selling homes. Many people are curious why some homes sell quickly and others sit on the market longer than necessary. 
 
Here are a few reasons why a home won't sell quickly, or sometimes at all.

Home Is Difficult To Show 
Add a description
If your home is not convenient to show you may have already set a bad start for a prospective buyer. Buyers want to see homes when it's convenient for them. If there are very restrictive hours, buyers may pass over your home to look at the next home on their list. When it's difficult for buyers to see your home, that may send a message that you are not motivated to sell.

Your Home Doesn't Show Well

It's critical to make an amazing first impression when your home is being shown. If a potential buyer encounters bad odors, clutter, a barking dog, your house is too cold or hot, etc, they may be unable to think positively about your house. You want to always have your home in good showing condition if you want it to sell! The goal is to create a comfortable environment that the buyer can envision themselves spending a lot of time in. We make sure our sellers understand this and even pay for 1.5 hours of professional staging advice so you know what to do!

Your Home Is Overpriced

Most sellers feel their home is extra special and worth more than market value. We know you are proud of your home, but a home is only worth what a buyer will pay for it and the price at which it will appraise. Pricing your home accurately from the beginning will attract more buyers and get your home sold.

Your Home Is Timeworn

Savvy buyer's agents and buyers will look closely at the number of days the home has been on the market. Pricing your home too high to start with the idea that you'll lower it later if necessary is not the best plan. If your house sits on the market for too long, buyers and their agents will approach the house thinking it's overpriced and may think something is wrong with it before they even get there. 

If you want to sell your home quickly for the most money possible, it's critical to price it accurately from the beginning, make it easy to show, and make sure it looks its best for every showing. 
Apr 14 2017
Deciding who will sell your home is a big decision to make. After all, this is likely your most valuable asset. You'll want to feel comfortable with your agent and know their track record. Many people are unsure what questions to ask when interviewing prospective agents, so we thought we'd line you up with a few!
 
Below are some questions you should ask your realtor before listing your home with them. Any experienced agent should be prepared to answer the following:

Queston
According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical Realtor has been in the business for approximately 10 years. How long have you been in real estate? 

Are you a full-time real estate agent?

Can you provide me with copies of reference letters from previous buyers and sellers or give me their phone number so I can chat with them about their experience working with you?

Do you have other listings higher in price and lower in price that you will be able to attract buyers from?

How many listings do you currently have? How many do you typically carry?

How many homes did you sell in the last year?

How many homes do you have under contract waiting to close?

What is your average days on market for your listings?

Did your listings sell for a higher percentage of list price than the average agents?
 
Make sure you make an informed decision when choosing a professional to sell your home!