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.


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:

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!


Apr 10 2017
Spring is officially here and we're actually experiencing weather more typical for Idaho. The mountains are seeing a bit more snow, and we're getting some rain showers down in the valley. 
The start of a new season can be so refreshing! Watching everything come to life after winter, the hustle and bustle of people out and about enjoying the nice weather, and people deciding on new directions for the year.
We've helped quite a few families buy and sell this year and we've enjoyed each and every one of them! It's hard to believe we're already 1/4 of the way through 2017! 
The spring market in Boise is starting to see a few more listings come on the market. Overall we still have a low number of homes for sale in Ada County and are working with many buyers who need homes!
If you're thinking about making a change this year - buying or selling, we'd love to chat with you. Buyers can take advantage of low interest rates, while sellers can benefit from low competition and high buyer foot traffic. 
Whatever your plans are for this spring, we hope you enjoy it to the max! 
Cheers to nice weather and long days ahead! 
Apr 04 2017
April is just around the corner, and with that comes the deadline to apply for the 2017 homeowner exemption. Don't miss this opportunity to save money on your property taxes for your primary residence in Idaho! Homeowners save 50% of the assessed taxed value up to $100,000. Below is the information from the Ada County Assessor's Office.
Ada County State of IdahoEach owner-occupied primary residence (house or manufactured home) and up to one acre of land is eligible for a homeowner's exemption. To qualify, you must own and occupy your home before April 15th; you must file an application with the Ada County office by April 18th for the 2017 tax year. Once you apply and qualify for this exemption, you only have to reapply if you move or if the ownership changes. 
You must complete an application for Homeowner's Exemption. You can get an application by emailing us or calling our office at (208) 287-7200. A form can also be downloaded from our Documents and Forms page or try our online Homeowner's Exemption application

Applications for Homeowner's Exemption must be received no later than April 18th at 5:00pm. If the application is mailed the postmark must read April 18th or before in order to qualify for the exemption in the current year. However, your best bet is to go down to the office and turn it in in person and get a receipt. Find out more information here or call our office at (208) 327-2127 if you have any questions!
Mar 31 2017

There's a turning point in every buyer transaction where the buyer's emotions go from nervous and scared to overjoyed with excitement. We love hearing the excitement and future plans the buyers have for their new home. It's actually one of the most satisfying conversations for us to have, knowing we're assisting them with a major life transition and helping shape their future. 

In the midst of your excitement there are a few things you need to know. Below is a list of things you definitely should NOT do when buying a home.

  • Do not change jobs, become self-employed, decrease your income, or quit your job
  • Do not buy a car, truck, van, or trailer unless you plan to live in it
  • Do not excessively charge items to your credit card or fall behind on any debt payments
  • Do not spend your money set aside for closing
  • Do not leave out debts or liabilities from your loan application
  • Do not have your credit pulled for future purchases 
  • Do not make large deposits into your bank account without checking with your loan officer first
  • Do not change bank accounts
  • Do not co-sign on a loan with anyone
  • Do not delay in giving information to your lender (even if you think you've already given them the information)
We've seen clients experience heartache by mistakenly doing one of these things. We're very fortunate to work with great lenders who are happy to answer any questions about what you should and should not do when purchasing a home. 
Mar 29 2017
It's raining, it's pouring! Spring is officially here and with the rain comes beautiful green grass, blooming flowers, and leafy trees.  
There is a slight increase in the inventory availability over January's historic lows. This is excellent news for buyers waiting for homes to come on the market. And yet we're still very, very low! 

We have several houses coming soon in various areas of town and we're excited to help the sellers accomplish their goals in a timely manner. We have one hitting the market tomorrow in North East Meridian and three coming early next week! All of them are great properties with unique characteristics that may make one of them the perfect home for you or someone you know! Check out our 'Coming Soon' section at the bottom of the newsletter to read up on each of these homes that are coming soon to an area near you.
Before you can list your home, remember there is work to be done! If you want to net the most money possible, you'll want to make your home shine. This includes handling any deferred maintenance that might effect your sales price, cleaning, and much more! If you're considering selling later this spring, it's time to get started!
Does that sound overwhelming? Not to worry! When you list with us, we'll walk you through the process and help you along the way. We work differently than a lot of realtors and we'll advise you what items to fix that might effect your home selling at the highest price possible. We want you to net the most money possible!
Mar 24 2017

You've decided to list your home and many of your neighbors start to ask why? What do you tell them? 

Your home is on the market and you receive a call for your first showing. You're excited and the buyer's agent starts asking you some questions. What should you say?

ShhhIn both of these cases could have negative consequences for the sale of your home. Telling everyone why you're moving, the bottom price you would accept, and many other conversational items about the sale of your home seem innocent. Remember, Boise is very small and word about why you're moving and what you'll accept could quickly get out!

If potential buyers know you need to sell your home by a certain date and what your bottom price is, your negotiating position is weakened.

 Below is a short list of items not to discuss with potential buyers or their agents:

1. Why you are selling your home?

2. How urgent it is that you sell your home?

3. What items you are willing to include with the sale of your home

4. Confidential information that may disclose your negotiating strategy 

5. Terms under which you'd be willing to sell

6. Your bottom line and the price you'd accept for your home

Some questions may seem harmless, but it's best to refer any questions you may receive from potential buyers or their agent to your real estate agent. Remember, we are representing your best interest and will provide great answers on your behalf while protecting your confidential information. 

Mar 22 2017
If one of your plans for the springtime is to spruce up your yard with decks, outbuildings, fences, and other structural improvements, make sure you know what kind of work requires a building permit and what you can do without one.
In general, you need a building permit if you want to:
  • Build any kind of dwelling
  • Finish an attic, garage, or basement to add living space
  • Add a shed, garage, carport, or other structure if it is ATTACHED to the home
  • Add a shed, garage, carport, or other structure if it is greater than 200 square feet
  • Re-roof an existing building
  • Build a retaining wall that is measured 4 feet high or more from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall
  • Add any attached patio cover, carport, or porch
  • Build a deck more than 12 inches high or put in a fence more than 6 feet high
If you're not sure if you need a permit, err on the side of caution and give the City of Boise a call at (208) 608-7070 or check out pds.cityofboise.org/building.