Posts Tagged ‘ Idaho ’

Mistakes that Home Buyers Make

In a past post I listed all the steps that a buyer should take when getting ready to buy a home. Today I thought I would list some of the top mistakes a buyer can make when buying a home and suggestions on how to avoid them. Some are obvious and some are a little more subtle.

  • Choosing a Realtor that is not committed to you or their job. Hiring a real estate agent is similar (or should be) to hiring an employee. You are the boss and the agent works for you. It is a good idea to interview a few agents and when you find one that you feel you can work well with, make sure that selling homes is their only job. This economy has been tough on realtors and many have had to get a second job. You need to be priority one! You should not have to wait for them to get off their day job before they can return calls!
  • Not being pre-qualified before you go out looking at homes. This can be a painful mistake because you can fall in love with a home,  make an offer and then find out you are not qualified for that home. Speak with a lender before going out to even look at homes.
  • Getting sticker shock at the closing table. Get an estimate from your lender, or your real estate agent can get you an estimate for closing costs from a title company. Many a buyer gets to the closing table and has never even seen the settlement statement or a HUD-1 form and can not understand why they have to pay so many different fees. Seeing it beforehand helps you the buyer to be better prepared and also helps clear up any errors that may be on the closing statement. (this is where having an experienced real estate agent is important)
  • Trying to find homes on your own. Yes, I realize that today’s buyer is very tech savvy and can do home buying research on their own. So why bother getting a realtor? Because many of the listings that are found on the internet are stale listings or have other offers or contingencies on them. A realtor has access to the Multiple Listing Service and all the up to date information on all the listings in the area. Plus, as I have mentioned in a previous post, a buyer needs representation.
  • Not thinking long-term. Are you buying a home to live in for 5 years or 10 years? This does make a difference when deciding your needs and wants list. The shorter the time you plan on staying in your home the shorter you wants list should be and focus on your needs list. If you plan on staying longer, than your wants list becomes more important and you will look for a home that will come as close as possible to getting everything on both your wants and needs list.
  • Skipping the Home Inspection. Trying to save a few bucks up front can cost you with expensive repairs in the long run. A home inspector knows what to look for that the average home buyer will not. Plus they go in places that most of us hope we never have to, like the crawl space or attic rafters!

These are some of the most common mistakes that buyers make when buying a home. There are others but I think that these tend to be the most important and the most costly. If you are looking to buy Real Estate in the Boise Idaho area please go to my website (no sign in required), there you can see what homes are currently on the market and use the mortgage calculator to get a rough estimate of what you can afford. And do not forget to contact me when you are ready to buy!

Low Cost Ways to Update Your Home

This is the time of year that many (non-distressed) sellers consider putting their home on the market here in the Boise Idaho area. Many of us are feeling the effects of the economy and can not afford to do expensive updates so here are a few inexpensive ways to update your home:

  • Install a new mailbox –nothing looks worse than a mailbox that has been beaten up by the weather and the mail carrier
  • Upgrade outdoor lighting– it does not have to be expensive, just new
  • Replace old doormats – you do not want the first item before a buyer steps into your home to be a worn out or filthy doormat.
  • Plant annual flowers –this adds instant color and fills in dull spots around the yard. Putting potted annuals by the garage and front door give a warm homey feel
  • Replace torn window screens – these are so easily overlooked by a seller but when buyers look out your windows the last thing you want them to see is a big hole in the screen
  • Fix or replace outdated faucets—fix them especially if they leak and replace if they are more than 10 years old. Remember, it does not have to be expensive just new
  • Re-caulk sinks and tubes –this simple job makes a sink or tub look like new but remember to properly remove existing caulk so the job looks clean
  • Buy organizational systems to reduce clutter—having little baskets that items can be put in and put away quickly before showings keeps the house looking neat
  • Place centerpieces on large counters –like the annuals in the yard, it gives the room a pop of color and a pleasant focal point

 Always remember that a buyer likes the home to look new and you can give that perception without busting your budget.  This does not mean you have to buy the top of the line items to update but be careful not to buy the cheapest items either or you will wind up replacing them before you even close the deal!

If you would like more tips on how to sell your home in the Boise real estate market area you can look at additional posts under the “Selling Your Home” category or go to my website (no sign up required):

Real Estate Statistics for ADA County-February 2011

Today we will look at the Real Estate Statistics in ADA County for February 2011. ADA county covers all of Boise, Meridian, Kuna, Star and Eagle areas. These numbers will represent single family and single family w/ acreage.

Available Homes

# Available: 2661

# Vacant: 1451

# Short Sale: 837

# Bank Owned: 260

Median Asking Price: $165K

Number of distressed properties still dominates the market  with 41% of homes either a short sale or bank owned. The median asking price did rise by $10K over January. Inventory levels rose by almost 400 properties but is at the same level it was at in December of 2010 which was still lower year over year.

Pending Sales:

# Pending: 692

Median Asking Price: $150K

Pending sales are way up from January’s 584 and that is several months straight of increasing pending sales. The median price has remained the same from January. 

Closed Sales:

#Closed: 393

# Short Sale: 89

# Bank Owned: 145

Median Sales Price: $145,700

Median Days on Market: 70

ADA County’s sold prices increased by over $5K and should remain pretty stable since the pending prices are pretty flat.  Almost 60 % of homes sold were distressed which is a good thing/bad thing. Good being that distressed properties are moving through the system but the bad news is that they are taking the prices down with them.

Overall, ADA County showed some hopeful signs in February and this is considering that it was a shorter month. I think that spring is going to prove very interesting for real estate! If you would like additional statistics for the Boise Real Estate Market please go to the “Boise Real Estate Statistics” category menu or go to my website (no sign up required):

Real Estate Statistics for Meridian, Idaho-February 2011

Today’s post we will look at the February 2011 numbers for Real Estate in Meridian, Idaho. These numbers will cover active listings, pending, and sold with my commentary following each grouping.  Please note that the numbers are based on MLS data for single family and single family w/ acreage.

Available Homes

# Available: 688 (as of 3/5/2011)

# Vacant: 399

# Short sales: 223

# Bank Owned: 57

Median Asking Price; $167K

Number of homes on the market is down from January’s 606 and the median asking price went up very slightly from January’s $165K.

Pending Sales:

# Pending: 170

Median Asking Price: $156K

Pendings are up from January’s 152 and the median price dropped from $162,400.

Closed Sales:

# Closed: 105

# Short Sale: 27

# Bank Owned: 35

# of Days on Market: 73

Median Sold Price: $154,875

February closed sales for Meridian actually looks pretty good considering this was a shorter month. Closed sales were up from January’s 97 and the Median Sold Price was almost identical ($155K in January).  59% of the homes sold were distressed which is still way too high. Although the good news is that we are getting those properties moved through the system.

I wanted to point out that I have removed average sales prices.  They just do not reflect prices because we have too much swing in the high and low ends, making the median prices more reliable. I also have started adding in the number of distressed properties (short sale and bank owned) for the available and sold homes. This is because just listing the vacant homes does not give a full picture of what is going on. Not all vacant homes are distressed and not all occupied homes are okay. I have also added Median Days on Market because that is also an important number to watch. This helps homeowners to get a better perspective of how long it may take to move their home if it is reasonably priced. 

Tomorrow I will give the ADA county statistics which will have all of the Boise Real Estate Market as well as Meridian and Eagle. If you would like to see more statistics for the Boise Idaho area please see my posts under the Boise Real Estate Statistics category or go to my website (no sign in required);

Real Estate Statistics for Eagle, ID -February 2011

The February 2011 Real Estate Statistics for Eagle, ID  are listed below. I will add commentary for each grouping (active, sold, and closed sales). Please note that these numbers are for Single family and Single Family with acreage ending 2/28/2011.

Available Homes:

# Available: 233

# Vacant: 102

#Short Sales: 68

# Bank Owned: 14

Median Asking Price: $344K

The number of available homes is up slightly from January’s 194. The Median Asking Price has dropped a little bit from January’s $352,300

Pending Sales

# Pending: 46

Median Asking Price: $394,500

Pendings are down slightly from January’s 57 and the Median Asking Price is up from $348K

Closed Sales

# Closed: 28

Median Sold Price: $234,750

Median Days On Market: 64

The number of closed is up from January’s 21 but the Median Price has dropped drastically from $393K. My best guess is that a few more distressed properties have moved through the system and the fact that February was a shorter month.  I will be watching March’s numbers carefully to see if this trend continues. I would find that hard to believe since the Pending Median Price is up.

Tomorrow I will post Meridians February numbers and see how that part of town has faired!  If you would like additional Statistics for the Boise Real Estate Market please see my posts under “Boise Real Estate Statistics” or go to my website (no sign up required):

It is Time for Your Yard’s Spring Tune-Up

Here in Boise, Idaho the weather is doing its usual bipolar winter/spring dance. We can have several seasons within an hour and that is how we know spring is officially on its way! So during those moments when spring is calling the tune, it is time to start getting the yard ready so that summer will be a breeze!

Here are a few things that are recommended by House Logic to get you started:

  • Trim Branches – they should be cut so they are at least 10 feet away from the roof. Having branches that touch the roof can not only ruin the shingle or tiles but is also a fire hazard.
  • Inspect your Irrigation – for puddles that signal leaks. Improperly winterized sprinkler systems could crack when the ground thaws and this is where the puddles will show up. Puddles can also indicate sprinkler heads that need to be tightened.
  • Air Conditioning Unit -clear leaves and debris from the air conditioning unit. This helps the AC unit to run more efficiently. Hosing the unit washes the dust and debris that have collected over the winter months.
  • Touch Up– peeling paint. If the area is small you can do this yourself by sanding down the peeling area, putting a coat of primer on and paint that matches the existing color. For larger jobs get an estimate from a reputable painter. (If you would like referrals for Boise area painters contact me)
  • Seal Air Leaks- around doors and windows. This will help conserve on heating and cooling cost that can be lost through drafty doors and windows.

If you are like me you are tired of winter and can not wait for spring to begin. These projects are simple and are relatively inexpensive ways to help maintain the value of your home. If you would like additional tips for ways to maintain your home’s value in the Boise, Idaho area please visit my website (no sign up required):

Foreclosures Tripled in Idaho since 2008-Really?!

I love when my local newspaper gives me something to write about! The Idaho Statesman so consistently gives half a story I wonder how they get away printing them as news.

If you happened to catch the article about Foreclosure sales having tripled in Idaho, let me give you the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say.

This article compares foreclosed property sales (bank owned)  in 2008 with 2010 in Idaho. Well, duh, there was an increase in foreclosed properties!  Let me show you the numbers to better illustrate the “duh” moment:

2008 ADA County

Total Sold: 5359

Short Sale: 253

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 0


2009 ADA County

Total Sold: 5752

Short Sale: 852

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 1205


2010 ADA County

Total Sold: 6254

Short Sale: 1066

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 1866

Observe the Foreclosed number in 2008(and no, I was not making an emoticon face there!).  That’s right! It was zero! This is not a shocker because short sales were just getting started with the housing market decline that did not officially start until late 2007. Therefore foreclosed properties would not start for another 6 months at least. So to compare 2008 to 2010, the article might as well have compared 2003 with 2010 and they would have had the same outcome.

But look carefully at all the sold numbers, because this is the good news. In 2008, 5359 homes sold and in 2010, 6254 homes sold. That is a pretty significant increase. So how come the article did not highlight this aspect? 

But here are some even more interesting numbers to me that give me hope that the market truly is turning around:

January 2008- ADA County

Total Sold: 324

Short Sale: 44

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 0


January 2009 – ADA County

Total Sold: 245

Short Sale : 30

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 14


January 2010 – ADA County

Total Sold: 305

Short Sale: 60

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 101


January 2011 – ADA County

Total Sold: 381

Short Sale: 69

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 150

Look carefully at the Sold numbers.  January 2011 had 381 solds while January 2008 had 324.  Yes, more than half of the homes sold in January 2010 and 2011 are distressed properties but these two years reflect the mortgage and housing collapse of 2008.

Two sold numbers that I find promising are the total in 2010 and the January 2011.  We have increased sales and a shrinking inventory which will help lead us back to a healthy balance in the real estate market.

One more item in the article that always makes me crazy is the talk of “shadow inventory” that has not been put on the market yet. This is fear mongering plain and simple. This “shadow inventory being dumped on the market” theory has been around for a few years now.

 Two things about this theory: One, the banks are not going to dump all their inventory at one time. They are already discounting their properties well below market value so to dump them all at once would further devalue their properties. Two, you can consider all homes that are not on the market as shadow inventory. My house, your house and anyone else who has not put their house up for sale are technically “shadow inventory”!

Please note that these statistics are based on Single family and Single family with acreage in ADA County from the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service.

If you would like additional statistics for the Boise Real Estate market area please go to my website:

Article referenced: Foreclosure sales in Idaho have tripled since 2008; Joe Estrella; Idaho 2/24/2011

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