Aug 12 2016
The recent announcement from the The Associated General Contractors of America naming the Boise metro area the second fastest construction market will come as no surprise to locals from Boise - especially those who live near or frequent the downtown area. Our beloved City of Trees has been looking more like the City of Cranes.
 
Although it can be a bit noisy and interrupt the flow of traffic, the recent growth has added 3,600 new construction jobs between June 2015 and June 2016. A massive 19% year-over-year increase!
 
This rapid growth has seen many companies short on workers. There is much more work than there are workers to do the job! 
 
We look forward to seeing the transformations come to life as downtown Boise alone will see the completion of several hotels and other projects in the next 6-12 months and beyond.
Mar 16 2016

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. house on money

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.

1. Do not change jobs, become self-employed, decrease your income, or quit your job
2. Do not buy a car, truck, van, or trailer unless you plan to live in it
3. Do not excessively charge items to your credit card or fall behind on any debt payments
4. Do not spend your money set aside for closing
5. Do not leave out debts or liabilities from your loan application
6. Do not have your credit pulled for future purchases 
7. Do not make large deposits into your bank account without checking with your loan office first
8. Do not change bank accounts
9. Do not co-sign on a loan with anyone
10. 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 09 2016

We see a lot of inspection reports every year. Sometimes we'll see some unique issues, but a lot of times it's the same issues that come up time and time again.

Whether you're selling now, or just want to take great care of your home to prevent future problems, here is a great list to cover every year when checking your home's condition.

Water or mold in the crawlspace 

Moisture in the crawlspace is a problem we come across throughout the Treasure Valley. We see it more in some areas than others, but any crawlspace can be susceptible to moisture. Common causes include downspouts not installed properly causing water runoff to go into the crawlspace, missing vapor barrier, over-watering lawns, and grading toward the foundation instead of away. If you notice moisture in your crawlspace, it's important to take action right away to avoid having to remediate mold in the future.

HVAC system needs servicing

Most homeowners don't keep records of servicing their furnace and AC system. Even worse, some owners go years and years without servicing their furnace at all. If you've been neglecting to get your furnace serviced, start now, and keep records. This is probably one of the most common requests from buyers on a new home purchase. A new HVAC system is a big expense, and if you don't have any records of servicing it, they'll want to know it's working properly. 

Remove debris from roof and gutters

It's easy to let leaves and debris stay in the gutters. It's not easy for many people to get on their roof or crawl up a ladder to clean the gutters. Leaves and debris clogging gutters can cause water to run off where it isn't supposed to and lead to a variety of other problems. If you don't want to clean this yourself, it won't be too costly to hire it out. To avoid water damage make this a priority!

Stay tuned for next week's issue with more common inspection issues we see, so you can stay on top of your home maintenance! 

Feb 25 2016
Did you know that 2 out of 5 homes in Idaho test high for radon? You can protect your family today by ordering and testing for high radon levels in your home.
 
Facts about radon:
  • You cannot smell, see, or taste radon
  • Radon exists in every county in Idaho
  • Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers
  • Winter is the best time to test for radon
Visit www.radonidaho.org for more information about radon and radon testing. You can purchase a testing kit for as little as $9.95 to make sure your home is safe!
Feb 08 2016

We often have clients giving us estimates of their home's value based on what they've found on Zillow's Zestimate. While this is a great tool, it's not always accurate! Here's why!

The Zestimate home valuation accuracy will vary greatly by location. Home data is compiled to generate a Zestimate, but not all states and counties provide the information Zillow needs to create the home valuation. The more data Zillow can access, the better and more accurate the Zestimate is. 

Looking at the graphic to the right, you can see that Zillow does not have the greatest accuracy in Idaho, with only a 1 star rating, similar to the tax assessor's value. Not sure the difference between tax assessed value and market value - clickhere for our past blog regarding the difference.

A reputable real estate team is the best tool you could ever use to learn your home's value!

If you're curious about your home's value, talk with a professional who studies the market and can show you an accurate range of what your home's value would be in the current real estate market. Remember, market conditions are always changing based on a lot of factors!

Call us and we're happy to help determine your home's current market value!

Feb 03 2016
Heating Your Home
 
During the winter a comfortable temperature for adults is between 65º and 70º. If you are away from your home for more than a few hours at a time, lower the thermostat to 58º. Having a programmable thermostat is a great investment in homes with forced-air systems. To make sure your furnace is efficient and can "breathe" easily, change your filter once per month during the heating season.
 
Keep The Cold Out

 
Heating systems essentially are replacing heat that is escaping. To keep the costs down, focus on places where air escapes.
  • Floors, walls, ceilings
  • Electrical outlets
  • Plumbing penetrations
  • Ducts, fans, and vents
Be careful not to block heating registers. Move furniture away to allow heat to circulate better. Avoid closing too many registers or doors to unused rooms. This can cause restrictions of air movement and cause your furnace to run inefficiently.
  • Doors
Seal leaks around doors and windows with weather stripping to keep cool air from entering your home.
  • Windows 
Open drapes and shades during the day to let sun in and close them at night to keep the cold out. If you can afford to install storm, thermal, or double-pane glass windows, you will feel a great difference in comfort and efficiency.
  • Fireplaces
Consider fireplaces that have tempered glass and a heat-air exchange system that blows warm air back into the room. Open fireplaces are not efficient and most of the heat will go up the flue and out the chimney. Keep the damper closed when the fireplace is not in use! 
Dec 08 2015

Merdian, Idaho has recently been dubbed 'America's Best City To Live In' by247wallst.com.

The Boise suburb of 87,000 people scored high in safety, jobs, and housing affordability.



Meridian has experienced fast growth since late 2000, jumping from around 30,000 residents to more than 87,000. With a growth rate of 28%, Meridian has grown at more than four times the national average of 6.5%!

Residents love the new schools, parks, and Village at Meridian shopping mall with loads of shopping and dining options. With an unemployment rate at 4.1%, Meridian is well below the national rate.

We help a lot of clients buy, sell, and invest in real estate in Meridian. If you'd like more information about the housing market in Meridian, call us at 208-327-2127!

Nov 30 2015

Ok, it's time to wrap up this saga! The last two weeks we discussed reasons why we love Boise. I'm not sure we'll have everything covered, even after Part III, but we covered a lot of the many great aspects about Boise!

 
Weather
 
There can be a lot to love and hate about any city in relation to weather and, in Boise, I think we tend to have great weather! With a plethora of sunshine each year, most residents don't even check the forecast when planning camping trips. You can almost always plan on it being sunny and warm - or even hot! Summers can get quite hot and their are plenty of places to cool down between the Boise River, various ponds, and reservoirs. Spring and fall are also very enjoyable seasons in Boise. Top that off with a mild winter and you have a city with great weather! 
 
Cycling city
 
Boise has good infrastructure in place for commuting by bike and is continuing to add more bike lanes every year. The community also has an avid mountain and road biking community. Boise boasts over 180 miles of trails for mountain bikers! Every year around 20,000 spectators line the street of downtown boise for the annual Twilight Criterium - it's quite the site!
 
 
 
Location
 
Boise's location in the eastern part of the Pacific Northwest give us great access to the west and keeps us within driving distance to many great destinations to the east. Salt Lake City, UT and Portland, OR are each about a 6-hour drive from Boise. A couple additional hours gets you to Seattle, WA. Our wonderful interstate access brings us great entertainment options including great live music acts.
 
Safety
 
Boise is part of the third-largest metropolitan area in the Pacific Northwest and boasts the lowest crime rate by far. It's a wonderful city in which to raise a family and frequently sits on top of many "top 10" lists regarding safety, raising a family, and communities in which to retire. It's great peace of mind! 
 
We're moving on from our reasons we love Boise and know we haven't covered them all. It's a great community for a wide variety of people to love. In Boise, there is no shortage of things to do, it is very affordable, and it feels like home!
Nov 23 2015

After starting on a list of things we love about Boise, we quickly realized there is a lot to love. In order to keep the articles short, we decided we'd need to split it into at least a couple parts so we don't have one article bigger than our entire newsletter.

So, following up our last article as promised, here we are back for Part II of why we love Boise.


Bogus Basin 

 

Located sixteen very twisting and winding miles from Boise, it's hard not to love and appreciate Bogus Basin - even with the lack of snowfall as of late. Affordable ski passes, night skiing, close proximity, and tubing are a few of the many things to love about Bogus Basin. Bogus is also a great escape from the inversion to get a reliable source of vitamin D. In the summer months locals get a reprieve from the heat to enjoy miles of singletrack for hiking and biking, frisbee golf, picnics, and live music at the lodge.
 
 
Boise River & Greenbelt
 
These two lovely aspects about Boise could easily be lumped into their own categories, but since the greenbelt follows the river, we're putting them together. The Boise River Greenbelt is one of the most popular places for walkers, bikers, and runners. The 25-mile tree-lined path follows the Boise River through the heart of the city. Wonderful scenic views may be had as you pass through parks and along secluded areas of the river. The Boise River has long been a great escape for Treasure Valley residents as summertime temps in July and August heat things up. Whether it's floating the river, relaxing in the shade, or swimming, it's a great escape during warmer months. 
 
Access to Public Land
 
Boise's location along the edge of multiple national forests is an amazing opportunity for those who love outdoor recreation. Biking, running, kayaking, camping, hunting, fishing, on and on and on. Within 2-1/2 hours of downtown Boise you can be in the Sawtooth National Forest, Payette National Forest, or the Boise National forest with world-class white water rafting, mountain biking, fly fishing, etc. As a matter of fact, 60% of the land in Idaho is public land. This is no secret to Idahoans, and it's something many of us treasure.

 

I think we've covered some great reasons, but we're going to do one final part to why we love Boise. Stay tuned next week for our final part III!

Nov 13 2015

It's that time of year when many start to reflect and show gratitude for things in their life. Fortunately as a team we reflect weekly on aspects on business and our personal lives for which we are grateful.

However, 'tis the season for gratitude and reflections, so we thought we'd highlight our lovely city we call home!

Boise falls under the category of a 'big town' more than it does a city. That may seem weird to many, but locals who live in the many distinct and unique neighborhoods will relate to this message.

There are so many things to love about Boise. This list is sure to be missing some, but here is a brief list of things we're grateful for about Boise.

 

Open space  

 

Boise residents love access to open space and area for recreation. Starting at various trailheads across north Boise you can access over 180 miles of trails. There aren't many excuses to not exercise around here! The city of Boise just passed another levy which will raise $10 million over 2 years to acquire more land for recreation and protect the Boise river and wildlife habitats. 

 

Local-centric  

 

Artists, restaurants, musicians, farmer's market, and the local Boise Bicycle Project. The list goes on and on. Boise has loads of local businesses, artists, musicians, etc and is keen on supporting local. It's easy to feel at home in your favorite establishments, and it's likely you'll bump into a lot of the same people on a regular basis. It's also quite easy to volunteer and get involved in this community, which is full of pride for the local movement. 

 

Downtown Boise

 

A great place to see and be seen. Downtown Boise is a lively and fun place to dine, shop, and stroll. Check out Freak Alley for local artwork on buildings, eat at any number of local restaurants, and shop at boutique shops. There is so much fun to be had in downtown Boise. The city is not afraid to shut streets down either for our Farmer's Market, running events, and the popular Alive After Five in The Grove.

 

This list is barely the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned next week for Part II of why we love Boise!