Real Estate in Boise, Meridian, Nampa
& All of the Treasure Valley

Jennifer Louis
Residential Real Estate Expert
Welcome To Boise and Beyond Real Estate

Give me a call,
I’ll show you around!

Boise River Summer Fun

Boise River Summer Fun

BOISE RIVER SUMMER FUN

Hot temperatures are finally here and Summer in Boise is underway.  Whether you are a local or just here checking out this great city, the Boise River has great Summer fun for everyone.   Float, kayak or paddleboard down the Boise River all summer long.  Start in East Boise’s Barber Park and leisurely float an estimated two hours past city parks, downtown Boise and Boise State University and finish at Kathryn Albertson Park.  Rent a raft or tube at Barber Park or bring your own.  Alcohol is not permitted while cruising down the river, so it’s typically a fun, but more subdued experience than other towns that have rivers floating through the city.

Another great activity is to just enjoy the views and find a spot for the perfect picnic, the river is for everyone.  There are 25+miles of tree-lined greenbelt you can walk, run, or bike all along the Boise River. Boise Greenbelt Map

There are so many great spots to check out along the way.  A personal favorite is to head out early and have breakfast with our locals Jabari and Tafari as you pass by their encounter in Julia Davis Park home of the Zoo Boise.

From there head towards Eagle and stop for lunch with a riverside view at the Sandbar Patio Grill.  If you are looking for entertainment don’t miss those California Waves, check out the Boise Surf Wave in the beautiful Whitewater Park.

Whitewater Park in Boise, Idaho

 

 

 

 

Stay and play at Whitewater Park and have a picnic or take a swim at Quinn’s Pond.  Once you are back at the Greenbelt you can head over to some of Boise, Meridian and Eagle’s fantastic parks.  The activities on the Greenbelt along the Boise River are endless and there is something for everyone.

Considering a move to Boise, Idaho?  Discover this great city, the most sought-after neighborhoods, and hidden gems only the locals know about and take a tour with relocation and real estate expert, Jennifer Louis. (208) 509-9122 or jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com

June 2022 Boise Market Trends

June 2022 Boise Market Trends

For the first time in years we are seeing a shift in local real estate.  To understand what that means all you have to do is type “Boise” in any search engine and prepare to be flooded with articles and videos talking about the dark cloud hanging over Boise’s real estate market.  Take these recent headlines:

Boise May Be Center of Real Estate Collapse – 247wallst.com – May 2022

The real estate frenzy is over – Axios – May 2022

Wages Can’t Keep Up with Spike in Housing Prices – The New York Times – May 2022

Housing Market Fever Starts to Break in Boise – The Washington Post – April 2022

Boise Housing Market More Likely to Self Correct than Crash – Home Buying Institute – May 2022

It seems all eyes are on Boise and how the real estate market will respond to the continuous increase in home prices coupled with rising interest rates.  From the articles above, it doesn’t seem many are optimistic that the real estate boom we’ve experienced the past several years will continue, but is that the case?

Let’s Look At The Data

Year to Date Ada County has seen over a 16% increase in home values from one year ago.  Canyon County has experienced a nearly 13% increase since last year.  Mortgage rates are increasing, and homes are becoming unaffordable, so what is driving this increase?  It’s the same story we’ve heard over the past years and months, low inventory, and high demand.  The majority of the demand is coming from out-of-state buyers, looking to cash out on their equity and invest in “more affordable” markets.

Boise keeps making headlines as unaffordable, yet for those coming from California, the Seattle area, New York, and other large metropolitan areas across the US, Boise’s median home price of just under $600K is still appealing.  Yet, many local homeowners are holding on to their homes due to fear of what they can afford if they move, and with limited homes on the market, and builders not able to meet demand, the inventory remains low low low, driving up prices.

This trend, however, can’t continue.  As other markets around the US soften, and it becomes harder for homeowners to sell their homes, the demand here will start to die down.  We are starting to see signs of this in some areas of the market already.  Homes priced over the median price of $600,000 in Ada County have  already being impacted. The same for Canyon County.  Homes are sitting longer on the market and multiple offers and bidding wars in this price range are becoming less frequent.

Here are the charts showing how homes are selling in May 2022.

In Ada County in May, 872 single-family homes were sold, and more than half sold under or at the asking price, In Canyon County there 454 single-family homes were sold.  More homes sold under and at the asking price than over.  This is a big change from one year ago.  Additionally, the days on the market have increased in both Ada and Canyon County compared to the same time last year.

What to Expect Moving Forward

Low inventory has kept the market prices moving upwards, but as more and more people are squeezed out of the market, prices will likely begin to flatten.  Don’t expect a housing crash like in 2008/2009, but be aware that the trend of increasing prices is gradually going to slow down.

As many homeowners are worried we’ve reached the peak of the market they may start to put their homes on the market as we move towards Summer and this in turn will increase the inventory and keep prices from shooting up like in the past few years. This will most likely create what  economists refer to as a “self-correction.”

Inflation, higher mortgage rates, along with a sense of economic uncertainty could cool the real estate market as we approach the second half of 2022.

According to a recent interesting article on ZeroHedge.com, “New home sales are often viewed as a leading indicator of the state of the overall housing market.

Nationally, new single-family home sales dipped by more than 16% from March and decreased to nearly 27% from a year ago. New home sales dropped to the lowest level since the lockdown back in the Spring of 2020

The biggest drop in new home sales occurred in the under-$400k price range, indicating that high prices and rising mortgage rates are squeezing middle-class Americans out of the housing market.

WolfStreet broke down the current dynamics in housing.

Homebuyers struggle with spiking mortgage rates which make the high home prices that much more difficult to deal with. And with each increase in mortgage rates, and with each increase in home prices, entire layers of potential buyers abandon the market, and sales volume plunges.”

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) data for April 2022 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases decreased 10.6% compared to a year ago. Compared to March 2022, applications decreased by 14%.

The Federal Reserve blew up this housing bubble when it artificially suppressed interest rates and bought billions of dollars in mortgage-backed securities. Now the central bank has pricked the bubble by allowing rates to rise ever-so-slightly.”

So to sum it up we can expect demand for housing to start cooling in the second half of 2022, however, a crash is unlikely and home prices will most likely flatten and homes will sit longer on the market than in the past.

Is it a good time to buy a home in Boise?

As more homeowners rush to get their homes sold, buyers will start to see more choices when home shopping, however, they shouldn’t expect home prices to come down dramatically, if at all.   Buyers should be aware that searching for homes at the median sales price or lower is where it is the most competitive.  Buyers will need to carefully assess how to make their offers stand out against other offers.  Hiring a real estate agent that understands the market and the areas of interest is imperative to getting their offer accepted.

When should I sell my home?

We are still in a seller’s market making it an excellent time to cash out that equity while the market is still in favor of the sellers and while buyers are still looking for their next home.  Sellers should expect that their home may sit longer on the market than in previous years and that buyers paying top dollar are less likely to buy a home “as is”, meaning they will want the home in top shape before purchasing.  Pricing the home correctly is imperative to attract multiple buyers and get the best offer.  Hire a real estate agent that knows your market.

Here’s the snapshot of Median Home prices as of May 2022

Median Sold Price

Boise: 580 home sales – $580,000

Meridian: 399 home sales  $580,000

Kuna: 109 home sales –  $490,000

Eagle: 122 home sales –   $929,500

Star: 74 home sales –       $645,000

 

Median Sold Price

Nampa: 354 home sales $449,500

Middleton: 71 home sales $545,000

Caldwell: 175 home sales $420,000

If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Boise Metro Area please contact Real Estate Expert, Jennifer Louis at (208) 509-9122 or jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com

The Hillcrest Spring Fling

The Hillcrest Spring Fling

Thank you all for coming and supporting our first annual Hillcrest Spring Fling on May 14th in Owyhee Park.  We had hundreds come from all over the neighborhood to support our community and enjoy the festivities.  Here are some of the photos from the event. There were many more taken.   If you’d like a copy of any of the images please contact Jolyn Laney with Laney Photography

We hope to continue this community event next year, so keep a lookout for it in the green, Hillcrest Real Estate and Community newsletter I send out early next year.  

 

Activities and Events

For the first annual event, we went all out to make it memorable, after all, Hillcrest is a one-of-a-kind community and deserves the best.

Food

There were two food trucks at the event, The Rusty Dog, serving gourmet hot dogs, fries, and drinks and for the more mature, outdoor-loving pallet we have Smoked & Baked BBQ.  If you RSVPd you will get two free vouchers to sample the trucks per household and a free drink at the Registration booth (BBQ or Rusty Dog voucher for adults and Rusty dog for kids).   The trucks had lots of other goodies if you want to try more or get an extra plate for reasonable prices.  Click on the links above for more on their menus and prices.  There was also a cotton candy spinner spinning non-stop during the event and everyone was welcome to try one.

Photos

We were so fortunate to have a talented family photographer at the event. Not to mention her family is part of the Hillcrest Community. Jolyn Laney with Laney Photography was there to capture this special day, but also to take family, couple, and friend photos over at her booth.  If you haven’t already signed up for a private session, you can make sure to get a photo or two of you and your loved ones at the event.  Hopefully, you brought your matchy shirts and best park clothes and don’t forget to smile.

Music

Lauren and the Nostalgics played from 12:30 – 3:30 their blend of pop/rock/blues/r&b covers and got everyone movin’ and groovin’!!!  Neighbors brought their chair or blankets, and umbrellas at the start of the day and sprawled out and enjoy the music.

Games

Kids from around the park grabbed a potato sack and hopped over to the finish line for a chance to show off their skills to their family and neighbors and won some fun prizes from local companies.  Adults and kids alike enjoyed the hula hoops and other fun and games.

Prizes

Most sponsors offered a raffle or gift and we had several winners that took home great loot and swag.

Fun

The 50′ inflatable obstacle course, smack in the middle of the park was a success.  Both kids and adults climbed, slid, and tumbled down in glee.   The talented Andrea blew everyone away with her one-of-a-kind beautiful face painting and her sidekick balloon twister, twisted up some incredible balloon animals, and well, whatever struck your fancy.  For those looking to relax, but still, have a good time they checked out the reading corner set up at The Library! at Hillcrest’s tent and got a free comic book

If you are interested in volunteering, sponsoring, or just more information for next year call/text 208-509-9122 or email jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com

Sponsors

Hopefully you were able to check out our sponsor’s tables for great info that is useful for this neighborhood. Sherwin Williams on Orchard, OneTrust Home Loans, Eco Tree & Shrub, the Library at Hillcrest, Welcome to Boise and Beyond, Idaho Websites, and The Hillcrest Neighborhood Association.

Home Touring Etiquette in Boise’s Hot Market

Home Touring Etiquette in Boise’s Hot Market

One thing home buyers may overlook when buying a home in a hot market like Boise is home touring etiquette.  When multiple buyers are looking at, and offering for the same home, sellers can be picky about whom they choose.  Making sure to have good behavior while touring homes is one way to impress upon the seller that you are a serious buyer.   Here are a few dos and donts of home touring etiquette to keep in mind during your home tour.

Using the Bathroom

The general consensus among real estate professionals is to “hold it” if possible and not use the bathroom when touring a home.  If the home is owner-occupied or tenant-occupied they may be uncomfortable with strangers using their bathroom.  If the home is vacant and clean, the seller will want it to stay that way until it’s sold.

In all cases ask your agent that brought you, or if it’s an open house check with the agent on site to know if using the bathroom is ok or not.  Nothing worse than using the bathroom, going to flush, and finding out the water isn’t turned on, or even more common, no toilet paper. That could make for a very uncomfortable experience, and could taint the seller’s opinion of you as a buyer, should you decide to make an offer.

Of course, if you gotta go, you gotta go.  If it’s an emergency, let the agent know and make sure to leave the bathroom as you found it. The best way to avoid those unexpected urges when home touring is to plan ahead. Schedule into the home tour bathroom breaks in between home showings, or before going to an open house.

Opening Cupboards and Closets

It’s fine to open closets, cabinets, and cupboards during a home tour, but make sure to do so in plain view of your agent.  Your real estate agent or the open house/listing agent is responsible to the seller that the home will be in safe hands during home showings and open houses.  However, with that said, seeing how the drawers open, what shelving and space are like in closets, etc. is important to know when looking at a home to know if it will work for you.  Just remember you are shopping for a closet and storage space, not a new wardrobe or dishes.

Testing the Furniture

Remember, you are looking at the house to potentially buy, not the furniture.  The general rule of thumb is to stay off the furniture.  Additionally, many homes are staged, and often that may be a cardboard box or air mattress hidden under that designer comforter or pillows.   If you are home touring with kids, make sure they understand the rules of home visits and not jump on beds, or play with other kids’ toys.

If it’s been a long day, and you really need to sit ask your agent if there is a place you can kick your feet up for a few minutes to rest.  Often open house agents will have brought a couple of chairs and are always happy to accommodate buyers in a need of a break.

Smile, You’re on Camera

It’s common these days for homes to have security cameras set up outside the home, and often inside the home.  You may be tempted to give your two cents on how the house is decorated, the choice of paint color, or maybe even the list price, but you never know who is listening or may listen to a recorded video later.  Keep any thoughts, or opinions to yourself that could affect how you negotiate during the offer period or could affect getting your offer considered.

Once outside, back at the cars is usually a safe distance to talk with your real estate agent to let them know your thoughts on the home.

 

Boise Real Estate Professional Ready to schedule your home buyer tour in the Boise Metro Area?  Give me a call, I’d love to show you around! Jennifer Louis, Real Estate Professional for the Boise Metro Area. (208) 509-9122 or jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com

The Pros & Cons of Online Real Estate

The Pros & Cons of Online Real Estate

Only a few decades ago, many would have struggled to imagine a world where real estate and the internet are so intertwined. Back in the pre-internet age, buyers and sellers alike were limited to adverts in local newspapers or advertorial posters in real estate offices.  Today, the internet has created a much more efficient process to not only find a property but to sell one as well. However, as the online presence has grown so have the various options to buy and sell real estate.  Here is a look at the pros and cons of using online real estate services available in Boise compared to traditional services.

iBuyers

This is a real estate company that uses technology to buy and resell the property.  iBuyers have gained popularity as they can eliminate some of the hassles of selling a home on the market, and offer a guaranteed sale since no mortgage is involved.  However, what a seller may make up for in convenience often comes with a higher price tag.  An example of iBuyers would be Zillow, Opendoor, and Offerpad, however not all iBuyers are present in Idaho.  In 2021 Opendoor arrived in the Boise market.  The fees are similar to that of a real estate agent, and often higher, however, the process is handled completely online, without a physical agent.  iBuyers claim to buy at “market value” but since the homes are not listed on the MLS they don’t bring multiple offers, and typically sell substantially lower than homes sold on the MLS.

It makes sense to use this service if the timing is more important than the sale price.  For example, a homeowner may have bought another home in another area and needs to quickly sell their present home to use those funds for the new purchase.  A quick sale, with no chance of the sale falling through, is essential and outweighs selling on the market to try and get the best price.  An iBuyer can offer this to most homeowners, as they inspect the home upfront and offer the price, paid in cash, with no contingencies giving the seller peace of mind.  In Idaho’s hot real estate market, the majority of Real Estate Agents can also offer this service, especially if they already work with investors or cash buyers.

Flat Fee Real Estate Services

These companies charge sellers a set fee, and will typically offer some real estate services. For sellers that want to handle the sale themselves, this allows them to sell on their own and list their homes on the MLS.  However, a newer model that arrived in Idaho in 2021, Homie, claims to offer “full service” real estate services for a flat fee.  They charge $2500 fee, plus 2-3% of the sales price.  The services include a listing on MLS but with no in-person support.  Homie agents typically have less than one year of experience & work in a call center-type environment handling 10+ listings at a time.  It’s not the “full service” that most traditional real estate agents provide.

Homie posts billboards around town such as, “Save thousands”, however, is that truly the case?  In 2021, according to the IMLS in Ada County, 61% of the homes listed by Homie sold under the list price & took an avg 19 days to sell, 8 days longer than homes sold w/a traditional real estate agents.  Homie’s listings sold an avg of 6% less than comparable homes.  So, the “thousands saved” in real estate fees instead went to the buyers, not the sellers.  Take an example:  Homie listed a Boise home in June for $650K. With their model, the savings to the seller in fees were around $20K, however, the home ended up selling for $600K or $50K less than the list price while other comparable homes in the subdivision sold for substantially more. Any savings in fees was lost in the sales price & the seller in this case lost $30K+ compared to their neighbors’ homes sold utilizing traditional real estate services.  Incorrectly pricing the home, or not knowing the home’s true value is costing sellers “thousands”.

The most common Homie complaint is that the company overpromises and underdelivers. Homie advertises that sellers receive the same service as a traditional real estate agent, but Homie agents handle so many listings at once that they don’t have the time needed to dedicate to each transaction like a traditional agent would.

Reviews are quite mixed when it comes to Homie’s Services.  One of the common complaints is that Homie offers poor communication and the Seller ends up doing the work on their own, while still paying Homie’s flat fee.

“Working with Homie was a nightmare! We had to do everything…we had to keep up on our own deadlines and ask her to do things an agent would be doing anyways.” – Nicole R., Google Review

“We used Homie to sell our Condo.  The Agent/Team didn’t like phone calls.  Email was the only way to get things done…he never followed through on anything he was asked to do or even checking in with us…We would’ve been better off FSBO, since essentielly that’s how it worked out for us…” – B. Peterson, Google Review

The bottom line is that homeowners using these types of services need/want to sell their homes, but are looking to save on real estate fees.  Using Homie or flat fee services is really not much different from a For Sale By Owner approach, but in most cases doesn’t save the homeowner as much as they anticipated.  A homeowner is better off finding an experienced real estate professional in their area and pricing the home competitively to maximize the home’s value.  Additionally, most real estate agents will negotiate their fee if they are assisting the homeowner purchase a home as well.

Cash Buyer Flyers – As Is

Most likely you have received one of these flyers in the mail.  These buyers look online for homes that typically sell quickly.  They send out a mass mailing to all neighbors offering to buy the home for cash, as-is & close quickly.  The buyer typically buys sight unseen, and already has a price in mind, below market value to account for repairs & updating before reselling the home.  Most of these types of buyers offer anywhere from 10-20% under market value, but they do not charge a commission.  It is important to beware of scammers and make and be sure to know the true market value of your home before engaging with this type of buyer on your own.

In a Seller’s Market, like the one we currently have in the Treasure Valley, these offers are not as advantageous to the seller as it would be to list the home on the MLS or real estate market.  In slower markets or buyer’s markets, these offers may make more sense and should be kept for consideration when ready to sell.

Boise Real Estate Professional If you have questions about your home’s value and how much you could net with the sale of your home please contact me for a free home value evaluation. Jennifer Louis, Real Estate Professional for the Boise Metro Area. (208) 509-9122 or jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com