How’s the market?

I guess you could ask 100 Realtors this question and get 100 different answers. Even agents in the same geographic area will have varying responses. Here’s what I think based on what I have been experiencing.
In the Treasure Valley, the market is improving.  That is not to say that we don’t have our fair share of distressed properties. We do. It also doesn’t mean that home prices are soaring, but in some areas prices appear to be stabilizing and even rising slightly. The market is interesting to say the least.  According to January numbers from the Intermountain MLS for the last three years, the percentage of Active Properties (listed for sale) vs. Pending Properties (under contract and waiting to close) has significantly improved.  Also, notice that the inventory is very low. This means that quality homes that are priced right are selling more quickly.
New Construction Numbers:
Active          Pending
01/2010     1582             200           13% pending
01/2011     1298              145            11% pending
01/2012     1014             198             20% pending
Existing Home Numbers:
Active            Pending
01/2010      8362              1285          15%  pending
01/2011       7228              1190          16%  pending
01/2012      4885               1470         30% pending
The biggest complaint I hear from agents these days is about lack of inventory.  The buyers are out there, and why not? Prices are good and interest rates low.  The problem is that there isn’t much to buy.  Well qualified buyers are waiting for “the house” to come on the market. It seems sellers are holding tight. Perhaps they think that prices will increase, or maybe they are just afraid to find out what their home is worth.
As a Realtor, all I can do is spread the word that buyers are waiting – perhaps for your home! It would be nice if we could get sellers back into the game.
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Changing Values, Changing Venues (Part II – Renovating)

In part one of this blog I spoke about the exodus from the suburbs and the current thinking that makes living close to where you work and play so desirable.  Commuting adds a big expense to the monthly budget as well as adding to ones carbon footprint.


If you want to live close to downtown Boise, there is a good chance you’ll end up in an older home in one of Boise’s established core neighborhoods.  Many of the close-in neighborhoods (North End, East End, Northwest and the Bench) consist largely of homes dating from the mid 1900’s back to the turn of the century.  These homes have character that many find pleasing, but they often lack some modern conveniences that homeowners have come to expect.  This is why many people choose to remodel these older gems.


With society’s increasing emphasis on sustainability and our awareness of more eco-friendly materials, these remodels can accomplish several things.  First, they can make an older home function in a way that works for modern life.  A good remodel can increase the appeal and value of a home while, at the same time, it can make it a more efficient and healthier place to live.  Your remodel can save you money as well as help you stay healthy. 


Naturally, there are costs involved with every remodel decision you make. However, you might be surprised at how many of the choices you make can be eco-friendly for about the same price as less sustainable choices.  Energy Star appliances, low-flow faucets, sustainable floor coverings and more are priced competitively with less eco-friendly choices.  Plus, when you factor in the usage savings plus any tax benefits, I’m sure you’ll find that they are a true value.


Here are a few examples based on a 2500 sq. ft. home.


Time in



10 Year


Programmable Thermostat





Compact Fluorescent Lighting





Shower Heads





Water Efficient Toilets










Whole House Fans  






Info courtesy of  Find complete list here


During the current economic situation, home prices in these core neighborhoods have remained more stable than those in communities further from the downtown area. If you are thinking of moving to one of these neighborhoods, or if you are lucky enough to already own a home in one of them, remodeling might make sense for you. Let me know if I can help by referring you to a trusted contractor or vendor who is well qualified to help you achieve your dream.


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