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! 

Nov 11 2015
 
Once again the Boise fall colors did not disappoint this year! The weather has been extraordinary as well! 
 
There's still time to get out and see the gorgeous colors! We hope you're all enjoying fall to the max! 
 
Sep 29 2015

It's been another strong year of sales in the Treasure Valley. Homes in good condition and priced accurately have been selling quite quickly all year. Many buyers have come across multiple offer situations, while others were the only party interested in a certain home. 

But some sellers haven't experienced a sellers' market. What's happening?

Our market is shifting.

We're 2-years-removed from the 2013 real estate 'party' that started with historically low interest rates, extremely enthusiastic buyers, and very low inventory. Multiple offers were commonplace.  

The Boise real estate market is still very healthy and is also experiencing some leveling off combined with a seasonal slowdown. We still have low inventory, but we have quite a few more listings now than we started the year with. We started 2015 with just over 1,900 listings and have been hovering around 2,500 listings since the end of June.

So what does this mean for buyers and sellers?

If you want to sell your home, now is still a great time. Inventory is still quite low and buyer traffic is still strong. Buyers looking for homes now are very serious.

If you're looking to buy a home, now is also a great time! Prices are up, but interest rates are incredibly low! When looking for a new home in a competitive market with low inventory, it's more crucial than ever to have a real estate team who understands your end goal and can act quickly to help you find a great home. 

If you have any questions about the Boise real estate market we're just a phone call away! Call us at 208-327-2127 if you have any questions!

Sep 21 2015

So, we've gone on and on about how now is a great time to sell your home. On the flip side of the equation, now is also a great time to buy a home. How can this be? Here are 3 reasons why now is also a great time to buy a home!

Interest rates are headed up

Interest rates are not expected to stay at historic lows for much longer. Buying a home sooner than later could save you thousands each year!  

Home values are expected to increase

While nobody has a crystal ball, experts predict home prices to continue on their upward trend. Inventory is still quite low and could dip even lower. If you combine rising interest rates and home prices, you could quickly become priced out of an area you love. 

Rent prices are increasing

Rental prices across the country are rising at a very fast rate. In many areas of the country you'll likely find yourself paying more for rent that you would for a mortgage in a similar home. Either way you're paying a mortgage, you may as well make it your own!
Aug 24 2015

There are definitely options when choosing your listing agent. Make sure you choose wisely as you sell what is likely your most valuable asset. Surely you want to net the most money possible and have the best experience with the least stress!

There's enough for you to worry about when selling your home and moving - your real estate agent should be able to take the pressure off you and swiftly navigate you through the sale of your home. professional-adults.jpg

When you select your listing agent you want to see a track record of success, systems and procedures that lead to a quick sale, and make a connection with the person. Do not pick your listing agent based on the reasons below alone:

  • They promise they have a buyer for your home
  • They show you the highest price out of the agents you interviewed
  • They are your family member and new to the business so you want to support or 'help' them
  • They promise to hold open houses
  • They won an award of some sort 
  • They negotiate their commission - what do you think they'll do with your money if they're so quick to give away their own?
  • They are a 'million dollar producer'
  • They are nice and you like their excitement 

When selecting your listing agent be sure to ask a lot of questions. Each agent should know their market statistics, know the area your home is in, and be comfortable with your questions. Remember - not all real estate agents are created equal!