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

Boise’s Home Improvement Struggle

Boise’s Home Improvement Struggle

*DUE TO A LINK ERROR ON THE NOVEMBER 2021 NEWSLETTER CLICK HERE FOR THE ARTICLE ON PRONUNCIATION IN IDAHO

Recent growth coupled with the pandemic has spurred the home improvement craze in the Boise Area.  There’s just one problem, Boise has a current home improvement struggle to locate materials and the pros to get the job done. Here’s what is behind the lag in home improvement service providers and some ways to get around it.

New Construction

The past several years the Boise Metro Area has seen tremendous growth.  It’s no secret that Boise housing is struggling with a major supply/demand issue. The counties within the Treasure Valley have put great priority on encouraging builders to build to work towards meeting the growing needs and this has created a huge demand for construction labor and materials.  Unfortunately, Boise, like many other areas in the US has a shortage of laborers due to the last economic crisis when many left the industry and the majority didn’t return.  A recent article by KTVB7 talks in detail about the challenge builders are facing to find construction laborers.   Additionally, the pandemic created a material supply issue all across the construction trades from steel, lumber to paint and cement, creating even more delays in getting homes built.

So what does new construction have to do with a Boise homeowner’s home improvement struggle?  It’s simple.  Builders can provide subcontractors with volume work,  giving them multiple homes to work on.  This saves them time in having to go out and constantly quote out new jobs or order materials for individual projects.  With so many of the trades dedicated to the builders, individual homeowners are finding already scarce construction trade pros harder to secure.

Materials in Short Supply

As the previous subheading touched on, construction materials have become hard to secure especially in 2021.  A lot of this is due to demand, but then you add in a pandemic that caused supply chain issues, closed factories, loss of laborers to make the materials and the materials dwindled even more.  Take the freeze that happened in Texas earlier this year.  The unexpected weather caused huge factory shutdowns and affected the principal ingredients needed by most major paint manufacturers in the US. If you’ve gone to Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore lately you probably noticed they were out of a lot of paint and as of the first week in October most of the major paint companies in the Treasure Valley said they had no exterior paint to sell that week leaving paint contractors scrambling to find paint from competitors or other locations.

One local company, Lucas Painting said the following in regards to the recent paint shortages they’ve encountered:

“We’ve seen paint and material shortages across most brands which has caused delays in work being completed. On many occasions, we’ve had to go to several stores before finding the product we need or stores are only offering paint in larger 5gal buckets instead of 1gal which forces businesses to buy more quantity of 1 color than they actually need.”

Ways around the shortage of construction trades.

With the recent growth, one way to get help getting those repairs or updates done is to find the materials yourself.  Once you locate and secure the materials ask your neighbors, or check local social media websites to see if you can find an experienced tradesman.   Nextdoor.com is a great resource to find a handyman, or newly relocated tradesman looking for work while they get their own business established.

If you haven’t already noticed Idaho prides itself on word of mouth and local recommendations.  With that said, a great resource is to ask your trusted real estate professional for a recommendation and maybe even ask if they would put in a call for you to get it scheduled.  Real estate professionals refer out a lot of business to various construction trades and these companies are loyal to them.  If your realtor calls on your behalf or recommends a business you have a good shot of getting on the schedule.  Once you have a subcontractor scheduled and the work is done, and paid for asking them who they recommend for your next project, and ask if they will put in a good word for you.

If you don’t know a real estate agent feel free to reach out to me, an experienced and trusted real estate professional throughout the Treasure Valley and I’ll do my best to get you in contact with the trades you need for your home repairs/improvements.

Boise Real Estate ProfessionalJennifer Louis, Real Estate Professional for the Boise Metro Area for a free home value analysis. (208) 509-9122 or jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com

What Your Front Door Says About You

What Your Front Door Says About You

We’ve all heard about a home with “curb appeal” and one of the best way to boost your home’s appeal and ultimately value is through the front door.  That’s because the front door is the focal point of most homes and the color is a powerful statement.  There is a psychology behind door colors and even some historical meaning.  So, before you grab your brush and paint find out the meaning of popular front door colors.

Traditional and Bold

Red is one of the most popular door colors across the United States. Historically, in Scotland and Ireland painting your door red could mean your mortgage is paid off. In China, a red door often signified a home with good luck, but back on this side of the Atlantic it typically symbolizes hospitality and gives off a positive, neighborly vibe. Still feeling friendly, but red isn’t your color? Well, blue is a great alternative. According to color psychologists, blue can signify an inviting home that’s trustworthy. A blue door can range from a bright sky blue to a dark navy, to a softer turquoise color. Another inviting positive and bold front door color is yellow. Yellow is linked to optimism and extraversion. Guests will expect sunny rooms and cheerful decor inside. Yellow tends to look best as an accent color on a door, rather than the entire home color and looks great against darker siding or brick.

Clean and Crisp

Boise Black and White Doors
Boise Black and White Doors
Black is becoming more popular and can make a home pop. Some may consider it a more traditional, or formal color, but it can give a home a modern look, and set against a colorful exterior can even give it a playful feel. Color psychologists say a black door gives the feeling of security and protection to those who come to visit or stay.  To play it safe and still give the front of your house a facelift consider the least neutral of the neutrals, white. This common door color can give the feeling of a fresh, organized, and clean home and looks great against brick or colored siding.

Fun and Playful

Feeling fun, adventurous and young? Orange, pink, or violet may be the right shade for you? Any of these colors can make a positive statement and make your home stand out on the street, but it’s important to make sure the rest of the home won’t clash or throw off these bold color choices.  A great place in The Treasure Valley to check out fun door colors is in many of the older neighborhoods. Take a stroll in Boise’s historic Northend or Nampa’s downtown historic area to see a range of colorful front doors or drive through Boise’s Bench with mid-century homes full of fun, colorful, and unique doors for every taste.  Here are a few of my favorites around town:
Considering selling your home and want to add curb appeal? Call Jennifer Louis for a free home value consultation to discover how to increase your home’s value in today’s market (208) 509-9122.
Genius Small Home Office Ideas

Genius Small Home Office Ideas

Many in the Boise area have joined the ranks of those working from home. Without a traditional home office, it can be challenging to tune out the distractions of others at home, daily chores, and household needs. Establishing a go-to work zone will help you regain that focus. Here are some fantastic ideas to convert unused space into a perfect workplace:

The Closet

If you happen to have an extra closet this can be fantastic, tucked away space for an office. Consider clearing out space and installing shelving and a small desk. Remove the doors for more space while you work, or keep them on and close the “office” when you’re finished for the day. These small home office ideas can also work with an armoire or TV Cabinet.

Under the Stairs

Many Boise homes from the turn of the century and mid-century era have stairs leading to a second level or a basement. Unless the space under the stairs is necessary for the structure of the home this space can often be opened up and provide a great cozy spot for an office. Make sure to install an electrical outlet and consider light fixtures. Maximize productivity by installing shelving and storage bins in the vertical space.

The Entryway

If you happen to have a large entryway into your home this can be a great workspace that is rarely used other than for the occasional visitor or Amazon deliveries. Hang a large mirror to make space feel less narrow and find a desk that blends with the rest of the decor or that can be folded up after work.

The Garage

If you are fortunate to have a large garage or one that you mostly use for storage why not set up space in it for an office? Remove old shelving or rearrange the space to give you a flexible workspace. Make sure to have it insulated and get electricity run to your work area to keep you working all year round. Ask me if converting a garage to sqft adds value to your home.

The Storage Shed

If you don’t have one already consider installing a garden shed in your yard if you have space. Make sure to get a window installed for natural light, electrical and get it insulated to keep you warm or cool depending on the time of year. This out of the house space can give you the privacy and quiet desired and keep the commute to a minimum. This is a great alternative for a small home office space when multiple family members need a home office. Here’s a fantastic, affordable local Idaho custom garden shed company.

The Laundry Room

Both small and large laundry rooms can be a great area to create a workspace. Transform a folding table into a desk during work hours and install shelving and storage bins to maximize the space. Consider changing out older, bulky machines for stackables to create more space. Dedicate a time for laundry to be done that is not during work hours to ensure a quiet, calm work area.

There are many other spaces around a home, large or small that can serve as a functional, comfortable workspace. The key is to find a spot that flows with the layout of the home but provides a dedicated spot to keep your work in one area.

One of my favorite things in taking buyers to visit homes is offering suggestions of ways to use the space to meet their needs. Whether it be an art room, home office, pantry, playroom, etc. there are so many ways to create new space even in an older home.

Stay up to date on the Boise area real estate trends and sign up to find great homes as they hit the market and those that will be arriving shortly.

Jennifer Louis, Boise Area Real Estate Expert is a relocation specialist for Boise and the Treasure Valley. Helping hundreds succeed in finding their perfect home while simultaneously assisting homeowners to prepare and sell their homes.

Boise Home Renovation on a Budget

Boise Home Renovation on a Budget

Forbes named Boise the “fastest growing city in the US”. So if you are one of the newbies, thinking of coming here, or you’ve been here for years and want out of this town and you want to fix up your house you MUST check out this great LOCAL, Non-profit, Second Chance Building Materials Center.

When we moved to Boise we were thrilled by the lower home prices, especially for mid-century homes that were built great, but needed some updating. However, we were surprised by the lack of places to buy building materials that were affordable and unique. After exhausting our supply from Home Depot and Lowes, we started really hunting for some different pieces to fix up our home. Then we discovered Second Chance Building Materials. A unique store where locals donate their used building materials i.e. doors, windows, tile, grout, light fixtures, sinks, etc., etc. and the general public can buy them for a great deal. It’s a great store, with a great history and a huge heart. Hope you enjoy it and find a special something to use in your home project.

Follow Real Estate and Relocation Professional, Jennifer Louis for Boise and The Treasure Valley as she takes you on a tour of local businesses throughout the area. For more information on Boise Real Estate and The Treasure Valley please contact: www.welcometoboiseandbeyond.com or jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com

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