Archive for March, 2011

Shadow Inventory in the Boise Real Estate Market

In today’s local newspaper they did their usual hype style headline, “Shadow Inventory could still  Haunt Treasure Valley Market”. It seems at least once a week, the local paper and national  news media feel the need to run a negative real estate story. This particular story on Shadow Inventory has been run before and it seems not that long ago.

So what is “Shadow Inventory”? These are the homes that have been foreclosed on and have not as of yet been put on the real estate market. Generally speaking these homes are owned by the lenders who have first lien position (usually the original loan).

The way the news stories are written one would think that the banks are just waiting for an orchestrated time to dump all the homes onto the market. Does that seem to make any sense? No, and banks are not in the business to lose money. If they were to put all the homes that they have  in their inventory on the market at the same time they would crash the market, forcing prices to go even lower.

Most banks are losing money as it is with homes being sold at record lows, so homes must be put onto the real estate market in a timely fashion. When they sell one, they put another one on. It is really that simple. The lending industry may have had a big hand in screwing up the housing market but they actually do understand (let’s hope so anyway) supply and demand.

And demand is getting higher as the inventory shrinks and prices have leveled off ,and in some cases has increased. I know I am not the only realtor who seems to feel that there is a certain urgency that has entered the market. I have shown several homes recently and have encountered another realtor trying to come in the door right behind me. That has not happened in several years and I will discuss that in tomorrow’s post.

If you would like to see what the current inventory in the Boise real estate market looks like right now, please go to my website (no sign up required): www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

Eagle Idaho Real Estate Listings for Under $145K!!!

While inventory may be getting smaller and prices have pretty much leveled off, there are still some great deals to be had. Yes, even in Eagle, Idaho! This small community on the outskirts of Boise still has some of the most expensive homes in Idaho but if you know where to look you can find some very well priced homes for under $145K.

$120K in Eagle

What a smokin’ deal! This property is actually $118K right now in a great subdivision. 3 bed and 2.5 bath with 1526 sq. feet. MLS# 98459893

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$125K in Eagle

3 bed/2bath, 1400 square feet in Bosanka Village in walking distance to downtown shopping. MLS# 98457078

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$140K in Eagle

This is a 3 bed/2bath home with over 1600 square feet in a great sub on large lot. MLS# 98462359

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$145K in Eagle

Now here is a really great deal! 4 bed/ 2.5 bath with almost 2000 square feet in Echo Hawk subdivision. MLS# 98463026

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Who said you can not find any good deals in Eagle?! If you would like additional information regarding any of the properties listed above or on any other homes in the Boise area real estate market, please go to my website (no sign up required): www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

Boise Real Estate Listings for Under $140K!!!

Yesterday I posted about real estate listings in Meridian for under $140K. Today I will show you some really great deals in the Boise area for under $140K. This is a great opportunity for not investors but especially renters.

If your rent is $575 -$625 you can afford a home for $100K and under, and there are quite a few to choose from.

If your rent is $640-$745 you can afford a home for $130K and under.

And if your rent is $750-$850 you can afford a home  $140k and under.

Here are some great deals:

Boise Home for $100K

This is a fantastic deal! MLS#98456873

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$110K home in Boise

 Wonderful Boise home with a three car garage! MLS#98445503

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$120k home in Boise

Another great deal in Boise for under $120K! MLS# 98461449

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$130K home in Boise

Two story home with front porch! MLS#98459588

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$140K home in Boise

Lots of square footage for the money! MLS#98432491

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Buyers, now is a great time to buy! Prices are still very reasonable and mortgage rates are still low. It is definitely cheaper to own a home than to rent, If you would like additional information on the homes listed above or any other homes in the Boise real estate market, go to my website (no sign up required) and enter the MLS number, www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

Meridan Real Estate Listings for Under $140K!!!

Home buyers looking to get a great deal in the Meridian, Idaho real estate market take a look at the following homes:

Meridian home for $100K!

This is a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom home! What a deal?!! MLS#98462722

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This one is for $110K in Meridian, Idaho! MLS#98453929

This is a great house for the money! MLS#98453929

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Home for just$120K!!! Meridian, Idaho

This is a really great deal in Meridian, ID! MLS#98459675

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Look at this!!! $130K in Meridian, Idaho

This home is absolutley gorgeous! MLS#98444593

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Can you believe it! Only $140K in Meridian, Idaho!

This is an unbelievable price at $140K! MLS#98463035

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If you are paying rent in the range of $575 – $825 a month then one of these homes could be yours! The deals are still out there and the interest rates are still low! If you want to see additional pictures and information about  these homes, please go to my website (no sign up required) : www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com and plug in the MLS #. Contact me if you would like information on any home in the Boise Multiple Listing area. Are you ready to change your address?

New Homes Sales Plunged in February,hmm…

There was yet another doom and gloom real estate story in my favorite local newspaper. Its headline was, “New-home Sales Plunged in February to Record Low”. Now the ordinary reader who is not a Realtor would read that and think,” Wow the real estate market is still really bad”.

One of those ordinary readers was my husband who read the headline and asked me, “Are things really that bad?” I told him, read the rest of the article and you will see that the story is for  the national new-home sales, and not the local Boise real estate area, which has actually been seeing a consistent upward trend.

A few things about the national picture first. Weather has been absolutely horrible in most parts of the country. Winter weather and heavy rains have delayed many new-homes from being completed, therefore, no closing.  If you look at their chart they show sales going back to 1963 till present.  Today’s national numbers are about half of what they were in 1963 but  are about what they were in the late 1960’s and again in the mid 1980’s. But if you look at the numbers from 2005 (height of the market) it looks like a heart monitor that suddenly has no beat. Anything that you compare in the real estate market from 2005 to 2011 is going to look bad. Actually I think that 2010 was the polar opposite of 2005 and as I continue to watch the statistics, 2011 is actually looking very good.

Here in the Boise area, the real estate market is looking very, very good. Existing home sales jumped in February (by 24%) and so did the pending sales which indicates that March sales are going to be even better. I know as a Realtor my phone has started to ring quite a bit from buyers who realize now is the time to buy. Talking with other Realtors in my office and around the Boise area, they are all saying the same thing, “Business is picking up and it is not the spring market yet”. We all feel the same way, this is going to be a good year!

If you are a buyer or a seller and want additional information regarding the Boise real estate market, please go to my website (no sign up needed): www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

Random Boise Idaho Factoids!

Tallest building: U.S. Bank Plaza – 20 floors

Median Age: 33

For every 100 females there are 98.1 males (hmm, not sure I want to meet the guy who is .1)

Population (City): 205,671

                         Metro:585,207

98th largest city by population

Median Income:

$42,432 (household income)

$52,014 (Family income)

$36,893 (male)

$26,173 (female)

Founded in 1863

Climate: Semi Arid with four seasons

Average rain fall: 12.14 inches per year

Temps: 113 (record high)

                 -25(record low)

The 5th most Active City (per the CDC 2010)

#1 Overall Town in Western U.S. (Outside Magazine 2010)

How to pronounce Boise: Boy-see  NOT Boy-zee. (Locals get very offended if you say it wrong!)

If you are interested in learning more about Boise Idaho, please go to my website (no sign up required): www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

Quick Tips for Homeowners

Some of the easiest solutions to everyday household problems are sitting right in your kitchen. They are convenient and relatively inexpensive and when you see the results you will be wondering why you did not think of that sooner! These are also handy for home sellers who would like inexpensive quick fixes that will not look like you went cheap to fix it.

Carpet Stains: Baby Wipes! Yes, it is that simple!

Microwave: To get rid of cooked-on spatters heat a half cup of water for two minutes on high (or long enough to create a steam. This softens the food and makes it easier to wipe off.

Cooking odors: Heat white vinegar in an uncovered pot on the stove (medium heat, do not boil). The vinegar smell will gradually dissipate and so will the odors.

Coffee Grinder: Want to sharpen the blades? Run a handful of dried rice in the grinder. (okay, this is not exactly an item you need to fix to sell your home but I thought I would throw it in any way!)

Chimney: A handful of salt thrown on the fire will help keep the chimney clean.

Nail Holes: Fill hole with a paste made from starch and water and it will work just as good as putty.

Squeaky Doors: Use petroleum jelly instead of oil for a dripless solution.

Want the whole house to smell like apple pie? (This is a great thing to do right before an open house or a scheduled showing.) Simmer a sliced apple and a couple of cinnamon sticks in water on the stove.  Gives off a wonderful homey smell!

If you would like additional ways to spruce up your home before putting it on Boise Real Estate market please contact me through my website (no sign-up required): www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

Is the American Dream Dead?

I saw an interesting article on Trulia today by Tara-Nicholle Nelson discussing two very different view points on home ownership. One view was from Suse Orman and the other was from Warren Buffet. Both had valid points  and I believe both are right in some regards.

There was one point in particular that I disagree with though and that was regarding renters. Suse Ormand states  that the American dream is dead because of jobless numbers and the difficulty in getting credit. She tells renters to “save, save, save up every penny” and eventually they may be able to buy a home. While I agree with saving up, it is nearly impossible for anyone to rent and have all the additional expenses that come with just trying to get by and still be able to save up. The rent money and all the other expenses are thrown into the wind and will never be recovered.

Rent in today’s market costs as much as a mortgage on a decent home. So wouldn’t it be smarter to purchase a home while the prices and loan rates are still low? At least your monthly mortgage payments go towards owning your home while rent payments go to the landlord who may not even be paying his/her own mortgage.

Warren Buffet had a different view and I have to say that I agree more with him. He states that now is the time to purchase due to affordability. He does caution homebuyers though to make practical choices with three simple steps: Don’t look for your “dream” home but one that you can afford, when you buy plan on holding onto your home for at least ten years, and get a mortgage that has a fixed rate with affordable payments.  If home buyer’s had been following these three simple steps a few years ago, much of this housing mess could have been avoided!

While I agree with Suse Orman in the sense that not everyone will own a home, I think it is more for the fact that not everyone should own a home. There are certain people who just do not know how to live within their means. They pay everything on credit and have no self-control when it comes to spending (sounds like our government doesn’t it?) Unfortunately, these same people were given home loans and now are the ones defaulting on their loans.

But there are those that are responsible with their money and save up for emergencies and down payments. These buyers should be rewarded with decent interest rates so that they can purchase a decent home.  If you are one of those responsible people and you live in the Boise area, I want to speak with you. Are you ready to buy and keep the American Dream alive? If you would like to see how much you can afford and what the current home prices are in the Boise real estate market,  please go to my website and then contact me (no sign-up required): www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

Is Boise There Yet?

A few weeks ago I posted the February statistics for the Boise,Idaho real estate market. All indicators showed that there is a shift going on in the market: sales are up, pendings are up and inventory is down. All signs that we are coming out of bottom.

Yesterday the Ada County Association of Realtors released their numbers which supports my thinking. In this report they show that inventory is down by almost 30% from last year and distressed inventory was also down by 4% from the previous month. They also show that the properties in the $100k-$120K price range are in short supply with only 4.2 months worth of inventory. While on the other end of that spectrum are the homes in the $500k-$700K there is a 24 months supply.

They went on to state that with inventory levels low and not likely to increase, prices should stabilize. So if you have been thinking about buying but have put it off because you need to sell your home first, now may be a good time to both.  Especially if your current home is in the $250K and under range, and if you are a “normal” sale. Many buyers weary from the distressed housing market are looking for a home that they can move into without have to gut the place or do at leat $10K worth of work just to move in, and can move into within a 30 day time period.

If you would like to know what your home may be currently worth or would like information on homes for sale in the Boise real estate market, please contact me through my website (no sign up necessary) : www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

Boise area Home Owner Exemption Status

Did you buy a home since last May? Did you apply for your home owners exemption? If you do not apply by April 15th your property taxes will be higher until next year and you will pay the same rate as if you were a non-owner occupied. This is an item that can sometimes get overlooked when purchasing a home.

The process is very simple here in Boise. You have several options: fax it, mail it, apply on-line, or walk into the Ada County Assessor’s office. If you fax it or mail it, make sure to get a receipt to prove that you did apply on time. If you apply on-line you will get an electronic receipt. If you walk it in, they will give you a copy of the paperwork with a “received” stamp on it.

You have to do this even if you are just refinancing a mortgage. I recently refinanced and I then walked my home owners exemption paper in to the Assessor’s office and as helped right away (by a very helpful clerk named Vicki). She plugged in the information, handed me the receipt and I was on my way.

To get a copy of the exemption form go online to: www.adacountyassessor.org  To fill out the form you will need the parcel number, the date the property was purchased, the date that the property was moved into, and the purchase price. The Ada County Assessor’s office is located at 190 E. Front St (right next to the court building) in Boise. Parking is free if you are there less than one hour (there is usually no waiting). 

To fax it: 208-287-7209

To mail it: Ada County Assessor’s Office, 190 e. Front St., Ste 107, Boise 83702

Online: see web address listed above

If you would like additional information regarding home owner’s exemptions or if you would like other Boise Real Estate information please feel free to contact me through my website (no sign up required): www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

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