Mortgages Fall To 12 Month Low

Historical Interest Rate Curve

The average price of a fixed-rate mortgage has continued its slide; Placing it at a 12 month low.

According to a Freddie Mac Survey, mortgage rates are sitting at a 12 month low. The 30 year Fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 4.37%, down one basis point from a year earlier. The combination of slower economic growth and cooling inflation led mortgage rates to drift downward, Freddie Mac said in their primary mortgage market survey.

While hosing activity has softened in most of the United States, the Treasure Valley has not seen the same softening effect. These lower rates, coupled with the housing market going into the spring, should rekindle a booming market for the Boise area. Currently Boise sits in the top ten hottest real estate markets in the nation.

Now is the time to act and lock in mortgage rates.

Boise, Idaho In the TOP TEN Hottest Markets Again.

Boise Is On Fire!

If you have heard that the real estate market is cooling down, know this, Boise is still one of the hottest markets in the nation. Everybody is wondering what 2019 has in store for real estate in the Treasure Valley. Will frustrated home buyers be able to finally become home owners? Will sellers find profit margins shrinking? Will financial institutions begin to fail.

Well the answer is no. Not all markets are slamming into reverse. In fact Boise’s Treasure Valley will find itself in the nations top ten real estate markets in 2019. Analysts are predicting a 1.5% sales growth and a 6.9% price growth rate. Much of the Treasure Valley’s boom in the housing market is due to the out-of-staters swooping into the state. With California’s median priced home being $536,000, while the median priced home in Idaho is $326,000, it is easy for a Californian to move to the Treasure Valley and buy a home cash.

The Treasure Valley is finally big enough to have the cultural aspects and the amenities that most larger cities have. The difference is that we do not have the sky-high home prices. This will continue to be a catalysis for growth in our community. New residents from millennials to retirees have led the new construction surge and they are snapping up brand new homes in the $250,000 to $350,000 price range. The sprawling suburbs are benefiting from this influx of new home owners. Boise’s Treasure Valley will continue to be home owners haven.


How You Can Take Care of the Most Common Home Maintenance Issues

For major repairs, it’s always best to hire a professional to get the job done properly. Yet, when small things happen, we can typically fix those issues ourselves — it’s just a matter of knowing how. Before you hire someone for the smaller tasks, learn how to do them yourself.

Holes in Drywall

We have all experienced that door handle-shaped hole in the wall. And yet, many of us don’t know how to fix it. If the hole is small, like the impression of a nail, a smear of spackling will suffice. Larger holes, however, warrant more work. To begin, get fiberglass tape and drywall compound. Use a knife to clean the edges of the hole. Next, cover it completely with tape. Then, layer the drywall compound over the surface. Allow it to dry, and add more layers as needed. Once it is as thick as you require, smooth it with sandpaper and paint it to match your wall.

Repairing Drawers

Drawers can break in many different ways. Two of the most common are thehandleand the glidingtrack. To fix a handle, start by unscrewing and removing it. Place masking tape over the back of the hole, and then use wood glue to fill it. As it dries, pack the hole with toothpicks until it is full. Once they have firmed up, cut any protrusions off and then re-attach the handle by screwing it in. As for fixing a gliding track, it’s best to simply replace them altogether. Remove your drawer and see if you have a side or bottom mounted track. Then, find the same make and model, as this will allow you to line up the holes in your drawer. Match the sides and install your new gliders to restore a broken or stubborn drawer.

Unclogging Toilets and Drains

Unclogging drains is often an easy fix. Most kitchens have what you need to resolve even the toughest of messes. Take equal parts baking soda and vinegar, and pour them into the bowl to loosen your clog. Begin with the baking soda, and then introduce the vinegar. If the clog is particularly stubborn, add more in small increments; the last thing you want is an overflow. Once you’ve let the mixture sit a few minutes, pour in some boiling water to help break things up. If you find drain clots, a drain snakeis a helpful tool to pull them out. The vinegar and baking soda trick also works on drains if you misplace your snake.

Cracked Crown Molding

Sometimes, crown molding can crack as it ages. This can be due towood shrinkingas it dries out over time. If the seam of the molding has separated, resulting in a crack, use a little caulk to fill the gap. Once it’s dry, paint it to match the molding, and you should have a perfect seam again. If the crack is moreextreme, you may need to spackle and sand it down. Spackling allows more freedom to shape it, so works better for larger projects. Once it is dried and sanded, paint it to match, as with the caulk.

Filling Grout and Caulk

Nothing makes our bathrooms look worse than missing chunks of grout or old caulking. The most difficult aspect of fillinggroutis making sure your colors match. You need to clean out the grout itself using a vinegar mixture and a specialized saw. Fill in the gaps, and clean the edges. When it dries, you can use a sponge to scrape off any grout that is on the tile (you may need to set it depending on the kind you chose).Caulkingis similar. Remove old caulk, and then clean the area. Let it dry, then add strips of painters tape to create a sharp line. Use a caulk gun to line the tub. Next, smooth the caulk. Wait at least 24 hours before using your shower.

It takes work, but doing the small things around your home helps foster a sense of pride. If you feel confident, don’t give the job to a handyman — learn the little repairs yourself.


Image courtesy of Pixabay

The Home-Selling Market in Fall and Winter

 According to the traditional beliefs of the real estate world, the best time to sell a house is in the late spring and early summer. That’s when school has ended, making it easier for families to relocate; the weather is warm, keeping everyone’s spirits high; and the daylight lasts longer, providing more time for house showings.

However, what if you, as a potential home seller, need to move quickly and it’s the latter half of the year? Not to worry—there are a number of things you can do to make your house just as appealing in the colder seasons as it is in the warmth of summer.

Below are some tips and tricks to keep in mind.

Benefits of selling in the fall and winter

While the late fall and winter are generally considered the off-season for real estate, there are a number of benefits to selling your home at that time of year. For one, while you may get throngs of visitors to your open house in summer, it is not likely that all of them, or even a large percentage, are serious buyers. Warm weather and the fun of looking at different houses tend to attract a lot of window shoppers. When it’s cold, however, you know that only the serious potential buyers are out. This can even lead to a faster sale.

Similarly, since most people sell their homes when it’s warm, summer sellers have to deal with a great deal of competition—often from similarly-priced houses in the same neighborhood. In winter, you don’t have that problem, letting your listing rise to the top of the pile. This can attract more attention from those serious winter buyers, and since the real estate agents are not as busy in the off-season, they can put their full attention and energy into selling your house.

Finally, and most interestingly, aggregated studies show that homes actually sell for slightly more in the winter than they would in the peak season. This is largely due to the determination of real estate agents to price the property just right, coupled with the potential buyers’ fear of losing a good property during the time of year when there are not as many homes to choose from. Because of this, you don’t need to set your home at a lower initial price point. Always do your research into trends in your area before settling on a final initial cost. For instance, in the past month, homes in Nampa, Idaho, have sold for an average of $218,000.

Focus on brightening the home

Just because the buyers are more determined doesn’t mean that you can slack off on the traditional mainstays of selling a house, like fixing it up and staging the interior. Regardless of the season, buyers are still attracted to aesthetics. Start by following the basics: If you live in a snowy area, keep your driveway and sidewalks clear of snow, wash your windows to keep them clear looking, and add a coat of paint to make the exterior pop in the duller winter light. If you’re selling in fall, you can incorporate seasonal flair like wreaths, leaf art, and seasonal plants to make your house seem more welcoming.

Also, pay close attention to your trees and bushes. Even if they are not at the most attractive phase of their growing cycle, they should still seem maintained. Inside, brighten up each room with extra lamps and other light sources. You can make them feel more open by removing excessive furniture and clearing off knick-knacks from your tables.

Selling a home is complicated in any season, but just because it’s the latter half of the year doesn’t mean you have to have additional challenges. If you keep your exterior bright and welcoming, you will attract dedicated autumn and winter buyers, and will soon be well on the road to selling your home.

Photo Credit:

Written By Suzie Wilson of

Boise Rounds Out The Top Five Hottest Real Estate Markets

Boise State just release its list of the hottest markets in the US, and Boise rounds out the number five spot. Boise with its temperate climate, very strong labor market, and proximity to other metropolitan areas like Portland, Seattle and Salt Lake City, make Boise a prime spot for homeowners. Boise ranked in the sixth spot for May. But with the median age of inventory being only 33 days, the demand for housing being so hot, and prices continuing to increase Boise climbs one spot to number 5 in the nation.

The list was surprising with no cities in California taking any of the top five spots. This is the first time in six years that California is not in the top five hottest markets.

The top ten rankings are:
1 Midland, Texas
2 Columbus, Ohio
3 Boston, Mass.
4 Fort Wayne, Indiana
6 San Francisco/Oakland, California
7 Vallejo/Fairfield, California
8 Buffalo, New York
9 Colorado Springs, Colo.
10 Detroit/Dearborn, Mich. compiled it’s list from June Data looking at search trends, supply, demand, and prices. The sweet spot is when there is limited supply, strong demand and prices are rising. Days on market is a key indicator to the heath of a market. Looking at the top 20 spots the DOM (days on market) averaged only 34 days nationwide.

Housing Prices Aren’t the Only Thing Causing Californian’s to Relocate.

In the Bay Area alone the median price of homes recently surpassed $900,000. Not enough housing is being built and what housing exists is outrageously expensive. But the price of housing is not the only reason Californian’s are moving in droves.

So what does make Californian’s throw their hands up in the air and declare “I’m finished!” It’s the price of childcare, the traffic, dirty streets, the prospects of retirement, to name a few.
Housing Prices - Moving Californians
Many people look at the prospect of retiring and they simply cannot see a day when they can retire with the high cost of taxes, gas and even groceries.

To give you an example, in San Francisco, any income under $117,400 is now considered low income. Whereas, $73,300 is considered very low income. In other areas, like Marin County and San Mateo County low income is also considered $117,400 or less. One year ago that figure was $105,350 where only 1 year before that low income was $98,500. That is an increase of 16% in two years. Alameda and Contra Costa Counties considers low income to be $80,400 and these figures are expected to rise by 10% within the next year.

Finding employment to match those figures is hard to come by. But more importantly finding a job with an annual pay increase of 8-10% to keep up with inflation is even harder to come by. Thus the prospects of being able to retire for many is down right scary.

Even the cost of groceries in California are more expensive. San Francisco, Redwood City and South San Francisco spends 30% more for groceries than the rest of the country. A gallon of milk costs $2.59, in Boise Idaho it costs $1.77 a gallon. A loaf of bread will run you $4.97, in Boise Idaho it will run you $1.48.

Interestingly, Oakland, Berkeley and Hayward residence spend 6% more than those in San Francisco. The cost of buying a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk may not break you. But when you are filling up an entire shopping cart for a family of four to five, it really adds up fast.
Housing Prices - Bridge Toll Costs
The cost of traveling is also prohibitive. To cross a bridge in the Bay Area can cost you as much as $6 or higher. The gas tax in California is currently set at $0.42 per gallon. Add that to the fact that Californians already pay about $0.50 higher than the national average and the cost of getting too and from work is a real concern.

In the last year over 1,000,000 Californians have moved out of the state with the largest exodus coming from the Bay Area. But you cannot pin the exodus one thing. Traffic jams, child care costs, crime rates, inflation and cost of living, poor roads, and many more reasons are to blame.

Portrait of Robert Schopke
Rob Schopke
Phone: 208-402-8700

Src. SF Gate, SF Chronicle

FIVE Things to Know About Investing in Single-family Rental Homes

ONE: Know Your Investment Criteria First.

Before making any investment you need to know what your financial objectives are. Are you looking for a stable investment for retirement with little downside but provides a stable and reliable income? Looking for a more expensive single family residence in a great school district may provide added stability, a reliable income stream, with lower risk. 

Are you looking for a longer-term investment that produces the maximum income. Investing in less expensive houses and holding them for the longer-term may be the risk level you want. Often lower priced homes will be riskier with more upside return. You may get higher income for the money and experience more appreciation in the long-term. 

TWO: Separate Investing From Operations  

Just like financial brokers help manager your money, a local property management firm can assist you in renting and maintaining your investment property. Property management firms can handle the day-to-day management tasks of rent collection, repairs, maintenance and leasing. 

While some people will choose to self-manage their investment property, property management firms can save you a lot of time and money. These firms typically charge between 7-8% of the rent and they mange properties for a living. Another benefit is that property management firms may allow you to buy investment properties outside of where you live. 

THREE: Don’t Limit Your Investment Property Search to Where You Live.

If you lived in Atlanta, Georgia, you wouldn’t buy a Coca-Cola Stock just because they were headquartered near where you lived. You would make the best financial decision you could make. Say you live in an area of limited growth, but you knew that Boise Idaho was one of the fastest growing communities in the USA, would it be smart to invest in the Boise market. It would! 

You couldn’t buy an investment property for $150,000 in Seattle, Denver, or San Francisco, but you could in Boise, Idaho. Perhaps investing and hiring a property management firm in Boise would allow you to diversify your investment portfolio, take advance of the rapid market appreciation and secure a more stable income for yourself. 

FOUR: Real Estate Investing is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

You might be familiar with all the reality home flipping shows where someone buys a fixer-upper, fixes it up and sells it for a fast profit. While that may be a way make a one-time profit, real investing in single family homes is completely different. It is about building long-term wealth.

Don’t be influenced by the short-term fluctuation in your real estate portfolio. You may only own your investment property got a few months before a tenant moves out. Don’t be spooked. Your next tenant may live there for several years before moving out. If you buy a nice house in a nice area your income and asset appreciation  should be quite lucrative over time. Invest for the long term. Use your real estate investments as a wealth building engine and to diversify you overall investment portfolio.

FIVE: Finding a Great Agent

Don’t try and go it alone. Finding a great real estate agent can be extremely beneficial. Great agents study the markets both local and nationwide. They keep current on new laws and represent you in all negotiations. A great agent can mean the difference between buying an investment property or buying a GREAT investment opportunity. Building a relationship with an agent can help you regardless of where you are buying your next investment property.


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