Sign up to get new listings emailed daily! JOIN SIGN IN
Donald Ellis
Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Instagram Icon 

Date Archives: February 2021

Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.

rss logo RSS Feed
Boise Life | 49 Posts
Buying A Home | 8 Posts
Doers of Good | 12 Posts
Family Fun | 1 Posts
Food | 5 Posts
Gardening | 1 Posts
Get Outdoors | 5 Posts
Holidays | 4 Posts
Home Improvement | 19 Posts
Moving | 5 Posts
News | 65 Posts
Sell a Home | 2 Posts
Selling A Home | 5 Posts
Spring Cleaning | 1 Posts
Technology | 16 Posts
Uncategorized | 1 Posts

Are You Tired of Spam Phone Calls?


Dealing with Phone Solicitors and Spam Calls

From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair

Did you know that even answering these types of calls puts you on a list of "live" numbers? These phone lists are sold for pennies on the dollar. It's a vicious cycle! While telecom companies are starting to ramp up protections, many spam calls get through. Our recommendations? 

  1. Try not to answer numbers you do not know. If it is important, the caller will leave a voicemail or send you a text.
  2. You can always Google the entire phone number and see where it is registered.
  3. Try not to use your phone number to sign up for anything if it's not required.
  4. Use a second-party app to help mitigate spam callers. 

The Truecaller and Hiya apps are proving to be pretty reliable in blocking these annoying calls… without ads… without tanking your battery life, and they are easy to use! If spam does come through, with a few clicks in the app, you can add the number to their ever-growing database of spammers. Find it in your phone's app store for both Apple and Android.

If you have any questions, would like help with your Mac, need help installing or uninstalling any programs, removing malware, or viruses, you can always check in with us! These things can also be done remotely. Please contact our office via phone at 208.288.4345 or email if you need immediate assistance.


Economic News from Our Lending Partners at Idaho Central Credit Union



Last Week's Labor Report Shows a Mixed Employment Picture

Overview: Over the past week, news about the pandemic, government stimulus proposals, the labor market, and inflation caused some daily volatility for mortgage markets. The net effect of these influences was minor, however, and rates ended the week with little change.

Friday's key labor market report contained mixed news, but it is clear that the pandemic has slowed the pace of hiring in recent months. In January, the economy gained 49,000 jobs, which was very close to expectations. However, revisions subtracted 159,000 jobs from the results for prior months. The unemployment rate unexpectedly plunged to 6.3%, below the consensus forecast of 6.7%. A significant portion of the decline was due to the departure of 406,000 workers from the labor force, though, which is a sign of weakness. Average hourly earnings, an indicator of wage growth, were 5.4% higher than a year ago, which was well above the consensus forecast.

The diminished economic activity resulting from the pandemic has caused inflation to fall, which is one of the factors responsible for the decline of mortgage rates to record-low levels. While investors are concerned that inflation may rise later in the year, current readings show no signs of this happening. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a widely followed monthly inflation report that looks at the price change for goods and services. In January, core CPI was just 1.4% higher than a year ago, which was lower than expected and down from an annual rate of increase of 1.6% last month.

Lawmakers continue to negotiate the details of additional coronavirus relief measures. President Biden proposed a $1.9 trillion package, and investor expectations for the final figures vary widely. Increased government spending is negative for mortgage rates since treasury bonds must be issued to fund it, which causes yields to rise.

Looking ahead, investors will continue watching COVID case counts, vaccine distribution, and negotiations on the size of additional government relief measures. In addition, the retail sales report will be released on February 17. Since consumer spending accounts for over two-thirds of all economic activity in the U.S., the retail sales data is a key indicator of growth.

For more detailed economic information, or to discuss how this affects you, please contact one of our mortgage loan officers by clicking the image below!



Our Fast-Paced Housing Market Continues in 2021

Insufficient Inventory and Low Mortgage Rates Continue 

By Breanna Vanstrom, Chief Executive Officer, Boise Regional REALTORS®


The first month of 2021 saw a continuation of 2020 trends — insufficient inventory compared to demand, faster market times than a year earlier, and persistently low mortgage rates — which combined, led to a new record median sales price of $454,000 in January.

Looking specifically at existing homes, the median sales price was at $443,500 in January, also a record, and an increase of 30.4% from last year. For many sellers, higher home prices usually mean greater equity, which can be used for another home purchase, to fund a business, send a child to college, or a variety of other opportunities.

For some buyers, the higher prices have caused affordability challenges, while others have found the low mortgage rates have increased their purchase power, helping them buy despite the rising prices. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 2.73% in January 2021 compared to 3.60% last year.

Most buyers and sellers have also experienced a competitive, fast-paced market where offers and decisions must be made quickly. To understand just how fast things have been moving, we looked at the average pace of existing home sales in Ada County over the last 15 years.

In the chart below, the gray bars show the average time between when an offer to purchase a home was accepted and when the sale officially closed. That has remained at 34 days, on average during this period, and is the stage in which the buyer and seller, with the help of their REALTOR®, lender, home inspector, and title company, work through the final mortgage approval, and any appraisals, home inspections, or repairs.

The stage that has sped up significantly is the time between when a home is listed and when an offer is accepted, as illustrated by the blue bars falling well below 30 days by 2020. This is important to point out because it is the reason sales can be higher year-over-year despite falling inventory. Here's why: Inventory is reported as a snapshot of what is available for sale on the last day of each month, so if a home were listed on the first day of the month and then when under contract on the 17th of the month, the home would show up as a pending sale in our monthly reports but never as an active listing or available inventory. While our market is experiencing low inventory, these fast turnaround times have created a misperception that there is "no inventory."

DOM graphic Jan 21

This acceleration has made the market feel frantic for many home buyers. In 2015, for example, after being listed a seller could expect to accept an offer in about 43 days, on average. Prior to then, they may have fielded multiple showings, had a few open houses and had some buyers back for a second or third showing before receiving an offer. By 2020, that timeframe dropped to just 17 days, on average, meaning, if a buyer saw a home they liked, they may only have a few days, or hours even, to decide whether to make an offer as there were likely others interested.

In January 2021, that fell even further, as the average days on market for existing homes was at just 13 days — 66.7% faster than the same month last year.

To be competitive in these situations, many buyers have offered full list price or more, which is another reason the overall median sales price rose again. In January 2021, the percent of the original list price received on existing home sales was 103.5%, compared to 97.2% in January 2020. This indicates that multiple offer situations are becoming more common, and buyers are willing to pay more to get an accepted offer. Among existing homes, the $400,000–$699,999 price range for existing homes was the most competitive, with the percent of original list price received reaching 104% or more, in January.

Also, as more buyers purchased existing homes at higher price points — with the biggest increase among homes selling for more than $700,000 — that further contributed to a higher median sales price in January. For example, in January 2021, just 5.5% of the existing homes that sold were for more than $700,000, compared to 15.8% in January 2020. This mix of homes sold had a significant impact in pushing up the overall median sales price for the county.

Existing homes by price range Jan 2021

Market statistics are helpful indicators of the housing market overall, but what does the process of buying or selling look like for the individual?

In 2021, BRR will dig deeper into the various phases of a real estate transaction, to help consumers be prepared before, during, and after a real estate transaction, showing them what their REALTOR® will be doing for them along every step, and the key data points they can look for to make sense of the market.

These two scenarios outlined above – faster market times and more off-market sales – make it imperative to work with a REALTOR®.

A REALTOR® provides buyers the advice and data needed to make informed decisions quickly and may be able to identify properties that are not yet on the market. Sellers find value in a REALTOR®'s ability to help evaluate multiple offers, oversee the negotiating process, as well as all the legal, financial, and administrative steps that come after the offer has been accepted in the pending stage. And for both groups, a REALTOR® can provide guidance in planning and preparing for a purchase or listing, long before any offers are accepted or for sale signs are put up.

To view the Treasure Valley Market Report for January, CLICK HERE.



7 Things That Can Decrease Your Property Value

Property Value BoiseEven if you're not planning to sell your home right away, it's a good idea to know how your actions affect your home's value long term. The updates you choose to do or not to do, or whether you do a repair now or put it off a while longer, can all impact how much you can sell your home for later on down the road. Here are 7 things that our real estate agents warn can decrease your property value.

  1. Poor landscaping.  
    You've probably heard how important curb appeal is when you sell your home. It's important the rest of the time, too. When you let your yard go over a long period of time, it becomes difficult and expensive to reverse the long term damage to your landscaping when it comes time to sell.

  2. Poor exterior paint.
    Curb appeal is also important when considering the exterior of your home. Specific paint colors can devalue your home by making it unappealing to buyers. Cracked and crumbling paint makes your home look run down, plus it might actually be causing damage by letting moisture get to your siding and woodwork.

  3. The wrong interior paint.
    The color you painted your walls might be your favorite color, but it's not everyone's, and bright colors especially can be a hard sell. This doesn't mean you shouldn't express your uniqueness in your own home, but unless you intend to repaint everything when it comes time to sell, choose colors that are warm and neutral.

  4. Deferred maintenance.
    Think it doesn't matter if you don't get that repair done right away? Think again. If you have a habit of putting off maintenance and repairs, the entire house will look run down, and chances are the small problems have become big ones by the time you get to them.

  5. Out-of-date or poorly updated kitchen.
    The room buyers almost universally pay the most attention to when looking at Boise homes for sale is the kitchen. Even if you don't put a lot of work into anything else, be sure to update your kitchen. Remember, the kitchen has always been thought to be the heart of the home, and buyer preferences show this to still be true.

  6. Bathrooms with bad taste.
    After the kitchen, the bathrooms are the next thing a prospective buyer tends to look at, so it's important to update them over the years. A dark bathroom with cracked tile, dirty grout, and outdated fixtures stands out like a sore thumb in today's world of bright, clean, spacious bathrooms.

  7. Garage conversions.
    Yes, it might seem like a great idea to turn that garage into more living space, but when it comes time to sell your home, prospective buyers aren't likely to think of it that way. Most buyers want garage space, or at least the ability to choose for themselves what the garage will be used for. If you're going to turn the garage into something, such as workout space, make sure it's not a permanent change.

Owning a home is just like any financial investment: Your decisions today can have an impact years or even decades down the road. For more information about how to maximize your home's value, contact us today.


National Pizza Day: Order a Pie from These Boise Shops

Pizza Boise

National Pizza Day is celebrated on February 9, but even if you missed it, we invite you to head out to a Boise-area pizzeria and enjoy a slice of pie. From New York-style to Detroit-style and from traditional toppings to more exotic ones, you'll find various crusts and ingredients to suit your tastes.

Our real estate agents suggest trying one of these Boise shops:  

  1. Flying Pie Pizzeria – 6508 W. Fairview Ave., Boise, ID 83704 (check website for additional locations)
    A beloved Boise-area institution, Flying Pie Pizzeria has been a pizza staple in the Treasure Valley since 1978. Named by USA Today as the best pizza in Idaho in 2010, Flying Pie is a leader in yummy pizza concoctions and creative marketing. Their self-titled "whirled famous" pizza includes their annual "Fire in the Mouth" double habanero pizza, which was featured on The Travel Channel's Man v. Food in 2009. Now with six locations across the valley, Flying Pie even opened a location on Overland Rd. in 2020. Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
  2. Guido's Original New York Style Pizzeria – 235 N. 5th St., Boise, ID 83702
    Boise residents have enjoyed pies from Guido's Original New York Style Pizzeria for over 25 years at its casual, old-school-style locations. Order an 18-inch or 20-inch pie with cheese, cheese, and basil, or white pizza, each served with olive oil, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, parmesan, and mozzarella. The cheese and basil variety is a particular favorite among customers, as is the garlic bread and garlic salad dressing. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
  3. Red Bench Pizza – 2826 S. Eagle Rd., Suite 100, Eagle, ID 83616
    Located just around the corner from Eagle homes for sale, Red Bench Pizza prepares everything possible in-house, from making their own Italian sausage to creating their homemade sauces. Their ingredients are sourced locally, including Ferranti Pasta, Acme Bread, Eden Creamery Goat, and Chevre cheese. Pies are baked for two minutes in the restaurant's brick oven to achieve a thin, Neapolitan-style crust. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
  4. Idaho Pizza Company (IPC) – 1312 S. Washington Ave., Emmett, ID 83617
    You'll have a wide choice of pizza sizes at IPC, located near Emmett homes for sale. From a personal 7-inch size to a large 14-inch pie, there's one perfect for everything from a single diner to the whole family. You can also choose from original, thin, or gluten-free crusts. The Idaho Supreme is a customer favorite and features the restaurant's signature pizza sauce, two kinds of cheeses, and is loaded with meat and veggies. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m., 7 days a week.
  5. Spitfire Pizza – 2450 S. Vista Ave., Boise, ID 83705  
    Spitfire Pizza serves up the only Detroit-style pizza in Idaho, so you'll be getting a rectangular pizza with a crispy, chewy, thick crust. Or, if you'd prefer, order a pie with a hand-tossed, tavern-style (which is super thin) or gluten-friendly crust. You can get cheese or pepperoni pizza in either crust or try a customer favorite like the Detroit Sweet & Spice Pizza with natural casing pepperoni, jalapenos, and pineapple. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, and noon-9 p.m. Sunday.
  6. Pie Hole – 205 N. 8th St., Boise, ID 83702
    Located in downtown Boise, Pie Hole is open late 365 days a year to satisfy your craving for late-night pizza. Order a slice with toppings such as basil and roasted bell pepper or the rotating slice of the day. If you're ordering for a group, create your own pie or try pizzas like the Piehole Supreme, which comes loaded with pepperoni, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, black olives, mushrooms, mixed bell peppers, and onions. Hours are 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Sunday-Wednesday and 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Thursday-Saturday.  
  7. Chicago Connection – 7070 Fairview Ave., Boise, ID 83704
    Founded in Boise in 1982, Chicago Connection introduced Chicago-style deep dish pizza and quickly became known for its fresh ingredients (and plenty of cheese), great salad bar, sandwiches, and pasta dishes. Chicago Connection's "Hot Oven" trucks travel over a million miles a year delivering hot and yummy meals all over the Treasure Valley. With restaurants from Boise to Nampa, Chicago Connection is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-9 p.m. on Sunday.

Contact us if you're interested in selling your home or you'd like to see Boise homes for sale. We can also give you more information about our local businesses, recreational opportunities, and other attributes that make our community a great place to live.    

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 01/30/2023. The listing information on this page last changed on 01/30/2023. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of INTERMOUNTAIN MLS (last updated Mon 01/30/2023 1:04:07 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Tomlinson may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

Privacy Policy / DMCA Notice / ADA Accessibility

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder