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Jennifer Louis
Residential Real Estate Expert
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What to Look for in a Home Inspection

What to Look for in a Home Inspection

What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Home Inspector

Navigating today’s real estate market can be challenging with fluctuating interest rates now topping 7%, homes taking longer to sell, and the rising cost of living. For buyers, especially those who thrived in the low-interest, quick-sale market environment of recent years, setting realistic expectations is more important than ever. The desire to get more for their money is strong among today’s buyers, but it’s essential to align these expectations with the realities of homeownership.  Here is what to look for in a home inspection

Setting Realistic Expectations in Today’s Market

Updated Homes: Many buyers, especially first-timers, seek turn-key homes that don’t require immediate investment beyond the purchase price. Given the steep interest rates, accumulating enough funds for both a down payment and closing costs can be a stretch, leaving little left for unforeseen expenses. In Boise, demand for recently updated homes has driven their prices up, setting a new premium in the market. While it’s fair for buyers to expect minimal immediate repair costs when paying top dollar for a remodeled home, it’s also important to remember that maintenance is an ongoing aspect of homeownership, irrespective of the home’s current condition.

Importance of a Thorough Home Inspection

Preparation is essential to make the most out of your home inspection. Before you put an offer in on a home, it would be wise to know what type of inspections you may need i.e. sewer scope, lead based paint, well/septic, radon, etc. etc. Research any potential inspectors thoroughly now, before you are under contract, and give them a call ahead of time to discuss pricing and to ask any pertinent home inspection questions. Also, ask what the inspection process entails. Once the seller has accepted your offer you or your realtor will schedule the inspection.  A good inspector will physically crawl into the attic and crawl space instead of just taking a quick look around from the opening or doorway.

Home Inspection Insights: A thorough home inspection can reveal both minor and major issues. No house, not even a new one, is perfect. Anticipate that the inspection report will list some necessary repairs. Homeownership inherently includes maintenance costs, which should be considered when budgeting for a house. It’s wise to request repairs or credits for major issues, but expecting every small defect to be addressed can complicate negotiations, especially in a competitive market.

Key Areas to Focus During an Inspection

  1. HVAC System: Verify if it’s functioning correctly and inquire about its maintenance history.
  2. Water Heater: Check for proper operation and potential leaks.
  3. Roof: Assess the age and condition of the roof, including any visible damage.
  4. Sewer System: Consider a sewer scope for older properties to check for tree root damage or other issues.
  5. Electrical System: Ensure everything is up to code, especially in older homes.
  6. Leaks: Check all plumbing fixtures and the crawl space for dryness.
  7. Foundation and Structure: Especially in older or historical homes, be vigilant about potential foundational or structural problems.

Realistic Expectations from Negotiations

If essential repairs are identified, and the seller was previously unaware, negotiating repair credits or fixes is reasonable. However, managing expectations is key, particularly if aesthetic or non-urgent repairs are desired. It’s also worth considering a home warranty to cover future issues.  Another thing to keep in mind is the age of the house.  Older homes may have older plumbing and electrical.  If the inspection doesn’t find they are in disrepair, it would often be considered unreasonable to ask the seller to upgrade them to modern code or standards. Most likely the fact that they are original, may be factored into the sales price.

The Truth About New Construction

New homes can have their own set of problems. Even high-end new constructions can face issues like poor drywall work or electrical malfunctions. It’s crucial to engage a reputable home inspector familiar with new constructions to ensure thorough scrutiny.  It’s also more common in new construction to ask for cosmetic repairs i.e. paint touch ups, drywall scrapes, cabinet scratches, etc. Having a conversaton with your inspector before the inspection on your expectations is important so that aesthetic repairs are also caught and noted on the inspection report so that the builder can get their subs in to repair quicly, before the closing date.


Choosing the right real estate agent and home inspector is crucial. Your agent should understand local market trends, and necessary inspections, and have a reliable network of contractors to assess any issues. A competent inspector can offer invaluable insights into the home’s condition, helping you make informed decisions.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in the Boise area, it’s essential to work with a knowledgeable and experienced realtor who can guide you through the complexities of the real estate market. For expert advice and dedicated service, feel free to reach out to me for all your real estate needs.



Boise Real Estate ProfessionalFor expert guidance on preparing your home to sell or if you are considering moving to Boise, contact Jennifer Louis, a Boise real estate and relocation expert. Set up a time for a consultation here.  In the meantime, make sure to follow me,  Jennifer Louis, Boise Metro Real Estate Expert, and local relocation guide on Instagram, Facebook, or my blog for fun facts about Boise and of course a few things real estate.  (208) 509-9122 or

Top Home Design Trends in Boise, Idaho for 2024

Top Home Design Trends in Boise, Idaho for 2024

Boise’s unique blend of urban charm and outdoor spirit is echoing in its 2024 home design trends. If you’re planning to refresh your space or are moving into this vibrant city, here are the top home design trends in Boise, Idaho for 2024:

Color Choices

Interior: Soft, earthy tones are making a significant comeback, reflecting Boise’s natural landscapes. Think sandy beiges, soft greens, and warm grays that create a calming, nature-inspired palette.  Janice Trudeau, local interior designer and color consultant recommends Alpaca for a Greige and Shiitake or City Loft for Beige, off-white hues, all found at Sherwin Williams.

Exterior: Darker hues are on the rise, with navy blue, forest green, and charcoal gray being popular for their modern yet timeless appeal, complementing the rustic Idaho backdrop beautifully.  Trudeau recommends Iron Ore which is a dark charcoal from Sherwin Williams if you prefer darker hues. Dark Urbane Bronze is another darker option if you have a warmer roof color, also found at Sherwin-Williams.  Trudeau advises that although dark is trendy, it is not always advisable in Boise’s high UV index climate as it fades quickly.  She recommends Shoji for exterior which is a strong white, with no yellow hues found at Sherwin Williams.

Kitchen Trends

This year is all about blending functionality with style. Flat-panel cabinets in natural wood tones or painted in muted colors are trending. These not only add a touch of warmth but also suit the minimalist aesthetic that is becoming increasingly popular among Boise homeowners.  Here are some of the other top kitchen home design trends in Boise in 2024:

Cabinet Height to Ceiling

The trend for kitchen cabinets in Boise is leaning towards extending cabinetry to the ceiling. This design choice not only maximizes storage space but also offers a cleaner and more streamlined look that can make the kitchen appear larger and more organized. Full-height cabinets eliminate the dust-gathering space above traditional cabinets and provide a grander feel to the kitchen layout. This trend pairs well with high ceilings, amplifying vertical space and elegance in the kitchen.

Countertops are seeing two major trends:

  1. Materials: Quartz remains a top choice for its durability and minimal maintenance. However, there’s a growing interest in using natural stone such as granite and marble for those seeking unique patterns and a touch of luxury. Additionally, recycled glass and composite materials are gaining traction among environmentally conscious homeowners, offering durability and a wide range of color options.
  2. Thickness and Profiles: The trend in countertops is moving towards thicker slabs, often ranging from 2 to 3 inches, especially in kitchens with larger, open floor plans where the countertop can make a significant visual impact. In terms of profiles, simple, clean lines continue to dominate. Eased edges, where the edge is slightly rounded off, or a beveled edge, which features a more dramatic angle, are popular choices that contribute to a modern and sleek kitchen aesthetic.

Floorplan Trends

Open floor plans remain a staple, fostering a communal and inviting atmosphere. However, there’s a growing preference for defined spaces through the use of sliding doors or movable partitions, providing flexibility to switch between open and private spaces as needed.

Open Yet Defined Spaces

While open floor plans continue to be popular for their spacious feel and ease of social interaction, there’s a growing trend toward creating more defined spaces without compromising openness. This is achieved through:

  • Strategic Placements: Bookcases, glass partitions, and decorative screens are used to subtly divide areas without obstructing light or visibility.
  • Zoning Techniques: Different ceiling treatments, varied floor materials, and changes in lighting are employed to distinguish areas functionally, such as lounges, dining rooms, and kitchens.

Multi-Functional Spaces

As remote work remains prominent, homes are designed to accommodate professional and personal lifestyles:

  • Home Offices: More than just a desk in a corner, dedicated home offices are a must, often with built-in functionalities and soundproofing.
  • Flex Rooms: Spaces that can easily transition from a guest room to a workout space, hobby room, or secondary office are increasingly common, using versatile furniture and built-in storage solutions.

Emphasis on Privacy

In response to the sometimes overwhelming openness of modern floorplans, privacy is becoming a key consideration:

  • Private Nooks: Small, private areas designed for reading, meditating, or relaxing are becoming part of larger rooms.
  • Separate Kids’ and Adult Zones: Homes are designed with separate living spaces for children and adults, ensuring that both entertainment and relaxation areas can coexist without interference.

Integration of Outdoor Living

Reflecting Boise’s love for the outdoors, the integration of indoor and outdoor living spaces is crucial:

  • Transitional Spaces: Large sliding or folding glass doors that open to outdoor living areas, patios, or gardens blur the lines between inside and outside.
  • Outdoor Functionality: Complete outdoor kitchens and comfortable all-weather living areas are being designed to match the interior in comfort and style, enabling year-round enjoyment.

Bathroom Trends

Spa-like bathrooms are the rage in Boise. Large, walk-in showers with minimal frames, freestanding tubs, and the integration of natural elements like stone and wood enhance the appeal of personal retreats right at home.

Landscape Trends

With Boiseans loving the outdoors, the blend of indoor and outdoor living spaces is crucial. Native plants and sustainable gardens are favored for landscaping, reducing water usage, and attracting local wildlife. Outdoor living areas with kitchens and fire pits are also significant, extending living spaces into the natural environment.  Boise has some of the best nurseries and greenhouses in the Valley and they can offer education on which plants are native and will work best with your landscape.

Smart Homes and Connectivity

As technology advances, Boise homes are not left behind. Smart home features like advanced thermostats, automated lighting systems, and security features controlled via smartphones are becoming standard. High-speed internet connections are a must-have, ensuring homes are both smart and functional.  We are starting to see more fiber optics being installed around the Valley.  However, it’s important to note that many homes being built in more rural areas of the Valley, i.e. Caldwell, Wilder, Middleton, Star and even some very Northwest Boise areas may have spotty internet for the next few years as development continues in those parts of the Treasure Valley.

Whether you’re remodeling or buying your first home in Boise, these design trends of 2024 offer a blend of style, comfort, and technology, making your home a haven that meets the demands of modern living. If you are looking for a talented, local designer to upgrade your home or guide you in your new home contact Janice Trudeau for all your interior design needs here.


Boise Real Estate ProfessionalFor expert guidance on preparing your home to sell or if you are considering moving to Boise, contact Jennifer Louis, a Boise real estate and relocation expert. Set up a time for a consultation here.  In the meantime, make sure to follow me,  Jennifer Louis, Boise Metro Real Estate Expert, and local relocation guide on Instagram, Facebook, or my blog for fun facts about Boise and of course a few things real estate.  (208) 509-9122 or