The Hillcrest Spring Fling

The Hillcrest Spring Fling

It’s finally here, The first annual, Hillcrest Spring Fling.  This year the neighborhood event will be held in Owyhee Park, on May 14, 2022, from 12-4 PM.  All Hillcrest neighbors are invited and are welcome to bring their friends and family who would also enjoy the event.

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 will be 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).  Still hungry? The trucks have 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.  Have a sweet tooth?  Don’t worry, we have you covered!  There will be a cotton candy spinner spinning non-stop during the event and everyone is welcome to try one.

Photos

We are 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 will be there to capture this special day, but also to take family, couple, and friend photos over at her booth.  She’ll have all the info so you can download and purchase a photo or two of you and your loved ones after the event.  So bring your matchy matchy shirts and best park clothes and don’t forget to smile.

Music

Lauren and the Nostalgics will be playing from 12:30 – 3:30 their blend of pop/rock/blues/r&b covers to get you movin’ and groovin’!!!  Bring your chair or blankets, and possibly an umbrella (it is Idaho after all), and sprawl out and enjoy the music.

Games

Grab your potato sack and hop over to the finish line for a chance to show off your skills to your neighbors and win some fun prizes from local companies.  We will have races at 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM an adult version (over 10 years old) and a kid version (under 10 years old).  There will also be a table with hula hoops and other fun and games.  

Prizes

We have some amazing sponsors at our event from the neighborhood and they will be raffling off prizes that you won’t want to miss.  Make sure to stop by each of their tables to sign up for the raffle.  Raffle winners will be announced just before each Potatoe Sack Race.

Fun

You won’t be able to miss the 50′ inflatable obstacle course, smack in the middle of the park.  There will be event staff there to help you or your kiddos through the course, and only two at a time, so there could be a line.  Also, don’t miss the talented Andrea who will be offering face painting for the young and less young as well as a balloon twister, twisting up your favorite animals, and well, whatever strikes your fancy.  Need to relax, but still have a good time?  Check out the reading corner set up at The Library! at Hillcrest’s tent.

Program

12 PM – Opening – Hillcrest Spring Fling – Get your green event band and register at the Welcome to Boise and Beyond tent.

12:30-3:30 PM – Lauren and the Nostalgics Band

1:30 – Raffle Winners Announced First Round

1:30 PM – Potato Sack Race kids

1:40 PM Potato Sack Race Adults

3:30 – Raffle Winners Announced Second Round

3:30 PM – Potato Sack Race Kids

3:40 PM Potato Sack Race Adults

4 PM – That’s it, see you next year.

Still need to RSVP?  Call/text 208-509-9122 or email jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com

Sponsors

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.

The Best French Quiche in Idaho

The Best French Quiche in Idaho

What does Quiche have to do with real estate or Idaho?  Well, nothing really, other than I work in real estate and it’s one of my favorite dishes to make for my family on those cold winter evenings.

As some of you may know I lived in France for many years and quiche is the French equivalent of an American stew.  In other words, when you don’t know what to make for dinner, you just throw all the yummy, good things in your fridge into a pan, cook, or in this case, bake and Voila!, a delicious meal. 

There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of variations you can make with quiche.  The essentials are eggs, crème Fraiche (or heavy cream), and pie crust or puff pastry.  Throw in whatever cheese, vegetable or meat you love, and if you’re in Idaho, why not add in some potatoes?  It takes less than 20 minutes to put together and let the oven do the rest.  I typically pair my quiche with a green butter lettuce salad made with a homemade vinaigrette (email me for the recipe and never buy store-bought salad dressing again).  Serve with a glass of French wine, Bourgogne is a good one or dry white.  

For many Americans, quiche may seem a bit challenging to make, but here is my failproof recipe to wow your family and guests this winter season.

 

Jenn’s Easy & Delicious French Quiche

 

Pronunciation Guide For Boiseans – Live Like a Local in Idaho

Pronunciation Guide For Boiseans – Live Like a Local in Idaho

Welcome to Boise and Beyond’s blog series focusing on living like a local in Idaho.  If you are one of the many who have recently relocated to Boise and the Treasure Valley here are some of the best ways to fit in and acclimate to your new home.

 

How to Pronunciate Places and Streets in Idaho

If you haven’t already noticed Idaho is particular about how things are pronounced around town.  It’s pretty obvious you are from out of town if you say you live in Boise and pronounce it “boy-ZEE” like the majority of the country, but if you want to sound like a local here’s a pronunciation guide to help you get going.

Boise – BOY-see

 

Kuna – Q–nuh

 

Owyhee – oh-WHY-hee

 

Nez Perce – Nezz-PURSE

 

Kootenai – KOO-tuh-nee

 

Ustick – YOU– Stick

 

Chinden – CHIN-den

 

​Curious about the unusual way of pronouncing these cities and streets?  You’re not alone, but if you dig a little the history is quite interesting.  Take Owyhee for example.  The street is actually named after the Owyhee Mountains, but Owyhee is actually an older English way of pronouncing Hawaii.  Yes, the islands.  Some of the original explorers of this part of the country were Hawaiians. The Owyhee mountain range located in the southwest corner of Idaho and parts of eastern Oregon was named after a group of trappers from the Hawaiian islands who disappeared while on an exploratory trapping expedition.

Boise, or should we say BOY-see is also a name with an interesting background.  Boise is actually French for “wooded”.  The legend has it that French-Canadian fur trappers in the 19th century spotted the tree lined valley along the Boise River and shouted, “Les Bois.  Les Bois!”, French for “The Woods, The Woods!” Relieved to have found what they considered an oasis from their desert trek, they called the area Les Bois, which eventually became pronounced, Boise.  On a side note, my husband is French and all his relatives still continue to call our home, Boise as is pronounced in French, (BOIZE) or Bois, as in French.

For more history and ways to pronounce local streets, cities, and names around town check out these two articles.

 

Boise Real Estate Professional

Follow Jennifer Louis, Boise Metro Real Estate Expert and local relocation guide.  (208) 509-9122 or jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com

Buyer Burnout is Real in Boise’s Hot Market

Buyer Burnout is Real in Boise’s Hot Market

As Boise continues on as one of the hottest real estate markets in the US it’s to be expected that there will be buyers that will start to tire of playing the game.  Bidding wars, homes flying off the market, and dramatic price increases have pushed many potential buyers from finding their home in the Treasure Valley and giving up on real estate here altogether.

The recent NYTimes article:

Burned by Hot Housing Market, Some Buyers Back Off

discusses this issue and what’s behind it.  I was featured in this article along with my new clients and although the subject can be depressing, it’s also eye-opening for those looking to buy a home in the area.

My experience working with Buyers in this market is that if they are realistic, reactive, and properly prepared they can avoid buyer burnout and succeed in finding a home relatively quickly.  This is why hiring the right real estate agent is so important.  In a competitive market like Boise, a good agent will know how to navigate a multiple offer situation and make their client’s offer stand out.

Over the past several years I have helped numerous buyers successfully find their first home or next home on their first and or second attempt.  Thoroughly researching the home and comparables, communicating with the listing agent, and coming up with creative terms to make an offer stand out against the competition are some of the ways my clients have beat out other offers, even those that had higher-priced offers than my clients. Don’t take my word for it, read what some of my clients, many with challenging circumstances said about their experience working with me in this market. 

If you would like to learn how to succeed in buying a home in Boise’s hot market please contact Jennifer Louis, Real Estate Expert for the Boise Metro Area for a free buyer consultation. (208) 509-9122 or jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com

The Truth About Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia in Idaho

The Truth About Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia in Idaho

One of the first things homeowners do when they consider selling their home is going to Realtor.com, Trulia, or  Zillow to get their Zestimate or their estimated home value in the current market.  These mega data-based websites access public and user-submitted data and plug this information into an algorithm to compute an estimate.  There’s just one problem, Idaho is a non-disclosure state.

So, what does a non-disclosure state mean?  It means that sale prices in a real estate transaction are not disclosed, recorded, or published as public records.  However, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) website states that non-disclosure states “cannot withhold sold data from Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data feeds.” The restrictions on disclosing this data relate only to the public display of that information.  So, if you want to know the true sales price of a home, you will need to ask the seller directly or work with a real estate professional with access to the MLS.

How does this affect you if you are selling or buying a home?  Well, as long as you are working with a professional with access to the MLS you can find the most accurate pricing to buy or sell a home based on recent home sales in the area.  However, it can become confusing when you rely solely on online websites like Zillow to price a home.  This is why many For Sale By Owners are unsuccessful, even in our hot market, because without accurate sales comparables, their homes are typically grossly under or overpriced.

Since these online platforms count on public county records as their primary data source driving their price algorithms without the correct/up-to-date sales price their price for homes in the state of Idaho are often WAY OFF.  On Zillow.com they disclose the following regarding their price estimates, “Since we rely on public county records as our primary data source driving our Zestimate algorithms (which take comparable sales prices into account), it poses a challenge to calculate accurate Zestimates when sale prices are not available.”

These real estate websites can access a sales price when it is listed on the MLS, but they can’t see how much it sold for.  Take two homes that recently sold in Boise last month, one sold for $70K over the asking price, and the other sold for $30K.  Since Zillow can’t access the final sales price, it uses the listing price which is substantially less than the final price and hence is unable to come with an accurate sales price estimate. Here’s an example: I went to several online sites like Zillow and plugged in the street where I live in the Bench in Boise.  Zillow’s estimated price range for almost every home on the street, including my own was incorrectly priced by $20K-$100K.   When selling a home, incorrectly pricing from the start can make a big difference in the final price.

Even Zillow acknowledges their Zestimates are limited and has a rating system for their accuracy per county.  4 stars is Best Accuracy, 3 stars is Good Accuracy, 2 stars are Fair Accuracy and 1 star is Tax Assessor Value or Unable to Compute Zestimate Accuracy.  All counties in Idaho including, Ada, Gem, and Canyon County only had 1 star.   According to Zillow.com, a Zestimate, “is not an appraisal and it should be used as a starting point. We encourage buyers, sellers, and homeowners to supplement the Zestimate with other research such as visiting the home, getting a professional appraisal of the home, or requesting a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent.”

Does the lack of accuracy for Idaho on Realtor.com, Trulia, or  Zillow.com mean it’s no longer a good source when considering selling a property?  No, there is still a lot of good information that can be found on these websites, and their platforms are often easy to use and enjoyable to look at, but even Zillow acknowledges that even with their most accurate Zestimates it does not substitute working with a trained professional to find the true value of your home in the current market.

If you would like to know the true value of your home in the current market please contact Jennifer Louis, Real Estate Expert for the Boise Metro Area for a free home value analysis. (208) 509-9122 or jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com

January 2021 – Boise Metro Market Update

January 2021 – Boise Metro Market Update

As buyers in the Boise Metro area snap up what little housing inventory exists many are hopeful that Spring will bring an increase in homes for sale, but will it? 

Traditionally, Spring is when the Boise Metro Area housing market really opens up.  As temperatures rise and days are longer many homeowners on the cusp of selling start the preparations of getting their home ready to sell, but this year may not bring as many homes to the market as some may hope.  Mainly due to the pandemic situation dragging on and the fear of moving in such uncertain times has made many put an indefinite hold on selling their home.  

Yet, as sellers put the brakes on selling their homes, the Boise Metro area is seeing a huge influx of buyers moving to the area looking to escape crowded higher-priced cities for Boise’s more affordable housing and outdoor draw.  So what can we expect as we approach Spring?  Pretty much the same as we’ve been seeing since Winter, low inventory, high demand and rapidly increasing pricing.  

Here’s a snapshot of the Boise Metro Market Trends in January this year compared to one year prior:

Home prices have risen in Ada County by over 20% and in Canyon County by 33% annually.  Here are some other interesting trends we saw in January:

In Ada County of the 355 existing, single-family homes that sold in January 56% of them sold over the asking price, and 24% of those homes sold with cash financing.  In Canyon County of the 185 existing, single-family homes that sold 56% sold over asking price and 23% sold with cash financing.

Boise’s market and trends could be considered good news or bad news depending on your role in this market.  

For sellers, it’s good, if they are ready to sell now while the market sizzles.  We’re seeing more homes for sale include terms in their listing such as “selling as-is”, “seller to make no repairs”, etc.  Many buyers are agreeing to buy the home while removing their inspection contingency and also removing their appraisal contingency to make their offers more appealing.  In the end, it seems price is the ultimate deciding factor.  In homes that are priced under Fair Market Value, we can see up to 25 offers on a home and offers up to 30% over asking price.  This is why it’s imperative that sellers price their home correctly to draw this kind of interest on a home and ultimately get the best offer.  

The above stats can be disheartening for buyers looking to purchase a home in the area, but the reality is that homes are out there, and with a good strategy, the right agent and patience, buyers do eventually get the right home.  My blog article lays out proven tips for buyers looking to buy into this market.  The trends are showing that while inventory remains low home prices will continue to rise making it a good time to invest in a home and start building equity.  Additionally, interest rates remain incredibly low making rising home prices more affordable in the long-term.  Since the majority of homes sold are still be financed via a lender it’s a great time for buyers to see if they qualify for the low-interest rate and start their home search.


Here is the median price breakdown for single-family existing & new homes in the Treasure Valley for January 2021:

Boise: $432,750
Meridian: $433,000
Eagle:  $746,442
Star: $460,000
Kuna: $430,000
Nampa: $343,000
Caldwell: $307,000

For more details on the market and trends in the Boise Metro Area please contact Boise Area Real Estate Expert, Jennifer Louis at (208) 509-9122 or jennlouis@welcometoboiseandbeyond.com