You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics, new home listings, home values, real estate market happenings home design, and community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!
Templeton Real Estate Group presents TWO FABULOUS HOMES for sale in desirable Harris Ranch. Visit our TWO OPEN HOUSES on SUNDAY, APRIL 22 | 1:00 – 3:00 PM and be entered to win a $250 Visa Gift Card as well as other giveaways!
For more information and directions, click on the addresses:
Harris Ranch has become an increasingly sought-after area to live in Southeast Boise. The saying, “there’s something for everyone” is really applicable. With a diverse range of homes, from smaller, single-level ‘patio’ style to larger two-stories with yards to expansive homes with views to a state-of-the-art senior living facility, the area appeals to young couples, growing families as well as retirees.
We’d love to see you at our Open Houses this weekend! Or, if you would like a private tour of either of these homes / if we can help with your buying or selling needs, please call today (we offer a FREE comparative analysis of your home) - 208.473.2203.
Check out the latest market activity in Harris Ranch Here
By Bonnie Way Snider, Licensed Realtor® and Blogger
While doing a little research, I came across a (financial guru) Dave Ramsey blog on buying a home in a seller’s market – which is what we are experiencing here in the Boise area right now. It reads as though it could have been written for our local buyers, so I thought I would share much of it here:
If you’re on the hunt for your next home, you’ve likely hit a few obstacles. Maybe every home you like is already under contract. Or you keep running into bidding wars and losing.
Whatever your trouble, one thing’s for sure: The prices keep going up. We’ve all seen the news stories about rising home prices all across the Treasure Valley.
Yep. It’s a hard-knock life for home buyers these days.
So we thought we’d share a bit of encouragement—and advice—from folks who survived the home-buying frenzy and lived to tell it.
Get a Financial Leg Up
In a seller’s market, cash is definitely king. Sarah M. just bought her first home with cash and admits it gave her an advantage over other buyers.
Of course, an all-cash offer may not be an option for you. If that’s the case, then do the next best thing: “Get pre-approved with a lender that offers legitimate, credit-underwritten pre-approvals,” Steve B. suggests.
Mortgage pre-approval goes further than prequalification because you submit all the required paperwork up front. The bank then verifies the amount you can afford to pay for your next home. It takes the guesswork out of your home search and shows sellers you can back your offer up with real money.
Steve says that puts you in a much more competitive position as a buyer. “You can close faster, with less loan-oriented stress,” he adds.
Don’t Let Impatience Wreck Your Budget
If one pain point topped the list, it was this: “Finding exactly what we wanted in our price range,” Salina R. says.
Kathy S. wrestled with the temptation to bite off a bigger chunk of mortgage debt just to land a home. She bid on a home that was $10,000 over budget and lost to another buyer. “We know it wasn’t meant to be,” she says.
As fate would have it, they found—and successfully offered on—a home that was $10,000 under their budget! “We just made our first house payment, and knowing it isn't a stretch to our pocketbook is a great feeling,” Kathy says.
Patience can be hard to come by when you feel pressure to beat buyers to the punch. But try not to get so carried away you forget the financial goals you’re working toward. Remember, Dave recommends keeping your mortgage payment to no more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage.
Keep Your Options Open
Dave always says if you keep doing the same thing you’ll keep getting the same results. So why not shake things up a bit?
If existing homes aren’t working out for you, give new construction a try! That’s what Debby G. did. “We were able to get into new construction for much cheaper with a one-year warranty and no worries of major system failures,” she says.
Derek D. kept running into roadblocks, so he adjusted his expectations. “We ran into our right place by accident by broadening our search,” he says.
Katie N. realized she would have to offer over asking price to get a home in her area. Sound familiar? Then limit your search to homes with a healthy margin between list price and your max budget. That way you can up the ante without breaking the bank. “We were blessed to get a good deal on a foreclosure,” Katie says.
Selling a Home? Prepare a Backup Plan
In many markets today, buyers with a home to sell are running into an interesting problem. “We close on our sale Monday,” Shea S. says. “However, we do not have a place to call our own yet.”
That’s why it’s smart to research temporary living options before listing your home. That way, if your home goes quickly, you’re not stuck with no place to land.
Here are a few ideas to consider:
Rent your home back from your buyers until you find a new place.
Move into an apartment or other short-term rental.
Crash with family (and save extra money in the process!).
Moving twice may be no fun. But it’s better than rushing into a home purchase you (and your budget) will regret down the road.
Though it can be frustrating to be out-bid on homes, just know that you are not alone, and that by having a little patience and using some of the tips above, you will find your perfect home soon!
Zillow CEO On Housing: It's A Seller's Market | CNBC
We’d love to help if we can. Call Templeton Real Estate Group today – whether buying or selling. We offer free consultations and would be happy to talk with you about your wants and needs and offer strategies to achieve them – 208.473.2203.
By Bonnie Way Snider, Licensed Realtor® and Blogger
Buying a home can be both overwhelming and exciting, but especially so for first-time buyers. There are so many things to think about and consider. A professional and knowledgeable Realtor® can help navigate everything with you and guide you along the entire process.
So, of course, if you are thinking about buying a home in the Boise area, we hope you will give us a call! We promise to help you with every step of the home buying process and beyond. But, in the meantime, enjoy the story below with tips from first-time home buyers:
Realtor.com® has teamed up with one of BuzzFeed’s most popular couples, Ned and Ariel Fulmer, as they take the leap and become homeowners for the first time. In a three-episode video series, you can follow the couple and their dog, Bean, as they navigate the hilarious, yet challenging twists and turns of buying their first home.
Like any first-time home buyer, Ned and Ariel learned a lot along the way.
“Home means family. It means a space that you can call your own and customize to your needs,” said Ariel. “Lots of factors can affect the investment value but at the end of the day it is a space that is ours, that we actually own and we are incredibly proud of that.”
Ned and Ariel found their perfect home, and they recently shared five key tips for all of you first-time home buyers out there looking to go from home dreamer to homeowner.
Get the latest tech and explore. The latest in real estate technology allows you to explore potential homes in new, unique ways. Realtor.com® offers 3D tours through Matterport, Sign Snap that allows you to take a picture of a for-sale sign and instantly see a home’s listing details, and Ned and Ariel’s favorite feature, Street Peek, which is available on Android. Realtor.com® has a very cool augmented reality feature called ‘Street Peek,’” said Ned. “You hover your phone over houses in your neighborhood and the price, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms pops up. We had a lot of fun driving through different neighborhoods to see if we liked the vibe of each street and checking out how much each house cost.”
Check in with the professionals. Knowing how much home you can afford is always the first step when starting the journey toward home ownership. Mortgage brokers and real estate agents can provide you with professional insights on what you can likely afford based on your requirements and preferred neighborhood. “We went into our search without a clear sense of what our budget was, which was a huge mistake,” said Ariel. “If we had spoken with a loan officer or a real estate agent from the very beginning of the process we could have narrowed the scope of our search and potentially saved a lot of time and heartache. There were more than a few houses that we fell in love with, but couldn’t make a strong offer because we didn’t have a pre-qualification letter yet.” Realtor.com® also has a helpful mortgage calculator that can help you gauge what your estimated payment would be for the home you’re dreaming about.
Be open to compromises. We all dream of that perfect home with the huge walk-in closets, real hardwood floors and an open kitchen, but sometimes the reality of your budget, commute and other factors come into play. Compromising is always key when buying a home, especially with a significant other. “We had to make some pretty major compromises. I work from home as an interior designer and Ned commutes to the BuzzFeed Studio in Hollywood. We had a real ‘space vs. commute’ debate,” said Ariel. “If we moved farther away, we could suddenly afford space for an office and a guest room and a nursery, but then I would never see my husband because he would be sitting in traffic for two hours a day. It was tough but I think we ultimately found a compromise.” Realtor.com® can help with this through tools like our Commute Time calculator that shows you how long it would take you to get to work from the home you’re interested on the listing detail page and plenty of tips on how to maximize space and make improvements. “We really had to settle on a middle ground because there was nothing we saw that was absolutely perfect from the get-go,” Ned added. “In the house that we ended up buying (no spoilers!), Ariel got her home office and we managed to keep my commute under 30 minutes (which, in L.A. seems like a miracle).”
Let your imagination run wild. Home dreaming is half of the fun and at realtor.com®, we encourage it. It’s okay to be imaginative and look at houses that are out of your price range for inspiration. “Even when we couldn’t afford something, it was fun just to browse and imagine being fancy. Sometimes we would put on a slight British accent and pretend we were foreign investors,” Ned said. “Let your imagination run wild and visualize every space as if it’s your own house. You’ll ultimately find the right one for you!” When you find a house that’s within your budget and has major potential, start thinking about simple improvements that will make it your very own. Once you get those keys, you can claim your home on realtor.com®’s My Home to help you manage your home and get inspiration for future remodeling projects. “As an interior designer who loves to DIY, the thought of being able to knock down walls is a dream come true for me. When you buy, there is a potential to make the space whatever you want instead of having to work within the parameters of a rental,” Ariel said. “We also have a baby on the way, so having more space and setting down roots were important to us.”
Patience pays off. Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life, so try to be patient and enjoy the process. It can be a long one, but keep your eye on the prize. “It takes a long time to buy a house! Not only do you have to actually find the house of your dreams, but especially in the L.A. real estate market, you don’t always get the first house that you make an offer on,” said Ned. [This is happening sometimes in Boise right now with more buyers than available inventory.] “We were looking for over two years and found that we had the best luck when we finally agreed with each other that it was the location that mattered the most.” Once you are ready to make a commitment to a home, it can be scary but Ned and Ariel say don’t sweat it too much and jump right in. “Actually committing to putting in an offer was a HUGE step for us. We definitely agonized over which house to choose,” said Ariel. “Once you realize that no house is going to be 100 percent perfect, it gets a lot easier because every house can become perfect if you make it your own.” There’s no better feeling than getting those keys and stepping into a home that’s finally yours. Explore, have fun with it like Ned and Ariel did, and don’t forget you’re not just buying a property, you’re making a home. And here at realtor.com®, we understand that home means everything because it means everything to us, too!
Moving up Is MORE Affordable Now Than Almost Any Other Time in 40 Years
If you are considering selling your current home, to either move up to a larger home or into a home in an area that better suits your current family needs, great news was just revealed.
Last week, Trulia posted a blog, Not Your Father’s Housing Market, which examined home affordability over the last 40+ years (1975-2016). Their research revealed that:
“Nationally, homes are just about the most affordable they’ve been in the last 40 years… the median household could afford a home 1.5 times more expensive than the median home price. In 1980, the median household could only afford about 3/4 of the median home price.
Despite relatively stagnant incomes, affordability has grown due to the sharp drop in mortgage rates over the last 30 years – from a high of over 16% in the 1980s to under 4% by 2016.
Of the nation’s 100 largest metros, only Miami became unaffordable between 1990 and 2016. Meanwhile, 22 metros have flipped from being unaffordable to becoming affordable in that same time frame.”
Here is a graph showing the Affordability Index compared to the 40-year average:
The graph shows that housing affordability is better now than at any other time in the last forty years, except during the housing crash last decade.
(Remember that during the crash you could purchase distressed properties – foreclosures and short sales – at 20-50% discounts.)
There is no doubt that with home prices and mortgage rates on the rise, the affordability index will continue to fall. That is why if you are thinking of moving up, you probably shouldn’t wait.
If you have held off on moving up to your family’s dream home because you were hoping to time the market, that time has come. Call the Templeton Real Estate Group today to get started! 208-473-2203 Info@TempletonRealEstateGroup.com
Recently, we blogged about Boise Hunter Homes and their new development in East Boise, Harris North, part of the expansive Harris Ranch development. Continuing our look at what’s hot in the Boise real estate market, we’ll take a look this week at Brighton Corporation and the great work and beautiful homes they are building around the Treasure Valley.
Brighton Corporation is an Idaho real estate developer, that covers a full range of real estate development disciplines and includes some of Idaho’s premier residential communities, business parks and shopping centers.Brighton’s residential and mixed-use communities are the result of thorough, thoughtful planning. Each community is designed around a unique theme that is carried throughout. Of note, Brighton Corp is responsible for the development of East Boise’s thriving Barber Valley, which is in our neck of the woods.
One of the things we love about Brighton is that they take a proactive approach to protect, respect and live harmoniously with the area’s wildlife and works to educate its residents. And, in keeping with building smart, they also pride themselves on building green. They promise a commitment to healthy and efficient homes. Below is how they describe what they do:
Brighton Homes, was organized in 1994 to add a construction team to its well-established land development company. The founder’s desire for the type of company that Brighton Homes would become was reflected in the corporate motto “skillfully designed and masterfully crafted.”
The stock market crash of 2008 dealt a crippling blow to the housing industry nationally and in our local market. Like other builders, Brighton Homes was faced with a need to reinvent itself as it prepared to navigate a very uncertain future for residential construction.
Brighton Homes sought a clear mission that would provide guidance through the challenges that were certainly to come. It was decided that 100% participation in the EnergyStar program would be the best way to convey to our buyers, trade partners and competitors that Brighton Homes was going to focus more than ever on building the best quality homes possible. This is a difference you can see and feel in your new home. Brighton Homes is a two-time national recipient of the National EnergyStar Partner of the Year award for 2014 and 2015. All of Brighton Homes are EnergyStar and HERS rated, so you have the assurance that these environmentally-friendly homes are built to deliver energy efficiency year in and year out.
From Brighton’s website, they offer information on what green building and energy efficiency means in their culture:
What Exactly Makes A Home Green?
Green building means improving the way that homes and homebuilding sites use energy, water, and materials to reduce impacts on human health and the environment. Building a green home means making environmentally-preferable and sustainable decisions throughout the building process-decisions that will minimize the environmental impact of the home while it is being built and over the many years it will be lived in.
Brighton Homes Energy Star Awards
Brighton Homes, an ENERGY STAR partner since 2009, is being honored for its work in building homes built to ENERGY STAR standards for greater energy efficiency. In 2017, Brighton Homes also made the 100% EnergyStar Commitment becoming the only new home builder in the Treasure Valley committed to building 100% EnergyStar Certified homes.
Would you like to visit one of Brighton’s beautiful homes? Call us and we’ll take you for a tour. Brighton has new homes in several great communities around the Treasure Valley, including:
The Spring selling season is upon us and the Boise real estate market is HOT! Check out our 20 best tips for preparing your home for a quick and profitable sale
20 Tips for Preparing Your House for Sale This Spring [INFOGRAPHIC]
When listing your house for sale your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible!
There are many small projects that you can do to ensure this happens!
The agents at Templeton Real Estate Group will have a list of specific suggestions for getting your house ready for the market and is a great resource for finding local contractors who can help! Call us today at 208-473-2203
Community. That’s what most of us are looking for. Connection to others and, this is especially important when you are moving to a new city or state. Well, look no more! East Boise has it.
With work, school or our social lives, we as a society have our faces buried in one device or another for hours a day. When we come up for air, we find ourselves searching for face-to-face connectivity. It’s been proven that we humans are happier and healthier when we have human interaction. And, one of the things I love about East Boise is that at every turn, you can find that contact.
As our city expands with continued growth, developers are mindful of creating spaces where neighbors can gather. We’re seeing pocket neighborhood coffee shops, pubs and restaurants. Here in East Boise, Bown Crossing has all of those businesses, with sidewalk patios further engaging people. I am guilty of imbibing at a neighborhood patio and reaching out to pet a dog being walked by its owner. And, guess what happened? The owner and I ended up in a 30-minute conversation. (Oh, and I loved the dog breed so much, I ended up getting one of my own!) People here are so friendly and open to meeting one another.
On any morning of the week, but especially on a sunny weekend morning, you will find every sidewalk throughout East Boise filled with joggers, dog-walkers, cyclists, and people/families of all ages and sizes, all with a smile on their face and an easy hello to pass along to those who they pass. (Side note: if you think you can run into the local supermarket, make-up-less or unshaven and hide under your baseball cap, guess again. Add 5-minutes to your trip and get rid of the bags under your eyes, ‘cuz you’re gonna see someone you know and you’re gonna stop and chat for 5-minutes. :)
Also, the 25-mile Boise River Greenbelt is one of Boise's most beloved parks and is a gem in East Boise. The riverside footpaths are great for a nature walk, bird watching or just getting away from it all. The tree-lined pathway follows the river through the heart of the city and provides scenic views, wildlife habitat and pedestrian access to many of the city's popular riverside parks. The Greenbelt also serves as an alternative transportation route for commuters. East Boise’s Barber Park is the ‘put in’ site for the countless river rafters who gather there during the summer months to cool off and beat the Boise heat.
Add to that, the Shakespeare Festival, the Botanical Gardens and outdoor concert venue Outlaw Field, Ridge-to-Rivers trailheads, Luck Peak reservoir, Warm Springs golf course, a fantastic new Library, views for miles, and easy access to both downtown and the mountains northward, you see why we are a little smitten with this part of town.
Strategies for when you need to buy a home and sell the one you’ve got.
All buyers have their work cut out for them, between finding a home they like in a neighborhood they love and running the gauntlet of offers, counter-offers, and inspections. And, the Boise and Meridian housing market is hot right now, adding to the equation.
But for many buyers, that’s not even the half of it. They have a house to sell as well. So, the question is, do they buy a new home first? (If so, where will the money come from for a down payment?) Or sell the one they’ve got before buying? (If so, where will they live till they buy?)
There are challenges either way, but sometimes the best path is clear. The route you choose depends on your finances, local housing market, and whether you can stomach letting go of your home without knowing exactly where you’ll land. Here’s a closer look that may help clarify the right strategy.
You’re in a hot market where it can take a year to buy a house.
The strategy: Sell first.
Yes, of course it’s a pain to move twice, first into a rental, and eventually into a new home. But in a city with low inventory and multiple bidders for every house, you have little hope of having a contingency offer accepted. Your best bet? Rather than rush a decision you may regret, simply accept that you’ll be making two moves and play the long game.
“This way, because you have already sold your home, you can make a clean offer on the next place, with no contingency,” says San Francisco realtor Danielle Lazier. “In hot markets, making an offer ‘subject to the sale of your current home’ places you at a major disadvantage against other buyers.”
Another advantage to the sell-first approach, Lazier adds, is that “there’s no deadline to buy. You can shop confidently and be ready to jump when the right listing comes along.”
Making the Timing Work
Step 1: Find a rental with a month-to-month lease. If your rental is on the small side, put the bulk of your stuff in storage.
Step 2: With the home you’re selling now empty, you can stage it properly and sell it for the best price.
Step 3: When the house sells, get your financing in order, putting the proceeds from the sale into a liquid account so you’ll have a down payment ready when you make an offer on a new house.
You have enough funds available to make an offer now.
The strategy: Buy first.
For most people, buying first is a nonstarter because the down payment on their new home will come from the sale of the previous one. For those who can swing it, though, there are plenty of upsides to buying before selling.
First of all, “you only have to move once,” Lazier says. “Whether the home you buy is move-in ready or needs some work, you can coordinate the timing.”
Also, because you can move all your things to your new home before showing the home you’re selling, she adds, “you can maximize the price you get for your current home by marketing it vacant and staged.”
Another benefit? “The security of knowing where you are moving to,” Lazier says. “Some clients worry that they won’t be able to find a good home if they sell first. By buying first, you avoid having to take that leap of faith.”
Making the Timing Work
Step 1: Identify your sources of cash and make plans to liquidate what you need to make a solid offer. Gather the documentation as proof of funds.
Step 2: Make an offer.
Step 3: Once you’ve closed and moved in, prep your previous home for sale and put it on the market.
Step 4: When the home sells, use the proceeds to replenish the accounts you tapped to buy your new home.
You’ve found a job in a new city and start work in three months.
The strategy: Sell first.
“This isn’t an unusual situation,” says Gordon Stephenson, a Seattle-based broker. “Typically, buyers need the equity out of their existing home in order to make the new purchase. This means selling first.”
And there’s another reason not to rush a purchase, he adds: “If you’re moving to a new city, it’s probably smart to rent for a bit while you get the lay of the land and determine which neighborhoods best suit your needs, rather than buying right away.”
All this means that your existing home will likely be put on the market while you’re still living in it. While not ideal, selling a home you’re living in can be done successfully if you clear out anything you won’t need in the short term—off-season clothing, sports equipment, knick knacks—to declutter your home. Stephenson recommends hiring a stager to help sort out what should be removed to show the house at its best.
Making the Timing Work
Step 1: Prep your home and put it on the market.
Step 2: If it sells quickly, be upfront about your need to stick around until you move and negotiate a longer period until closing or a short-term rent-back to allow you to stay in the home until you’re ready to move to your new city.
Step 4: Find a month-to-month rental in your new city to be your home base while you get settled and begin your home search.
You’re selling in a hot market and moving to where the market is slow.
The strategy: Buy first.
The thought of carrying two mortgages keeps most buyers from attempting to buy before selling, but this is a rare situation where it actually makes sense. In a slow market, you’ll likely have an offer accepted quickly, even a contingency offer, and can then turn around and quickly sell the home you’re moving from.
Lazier says when she has clients in this situation, “I start working with them weeks or even months before their home is listed to get all of their ducks in a row to minimize the amount of time they’re holding two mortgages.
“We can usually prep a home for sale in two to three weeks, sell it within two weeks, and have a 21- to 30-day escrow,” she explains. “So all in all, their time with two mortgages can be as short as two months. I like to have the client budget for three months of two mortgages, to have some buffer for unexpected circumstances, but it usually ends up closer to two months.”
Those who can’t stomach the chance of carrying two mortgages at the same time may consider a contingency offer. “In this scenario,” says Stephenson, “making an offer contingent on the sale of the home in the hot seller’s market wouldn’t be unusual and would be the safest way for a buyer to make the move without any risk of having to carry both homes’ mortgages for any length of time.”
Making the Timing Work
Step 1: Work on improvements to the home you’re living in, so it’s ready to sell quickly when the time comes.
Step 2: Make an offer on a house in your new city. If you choose to make a contingency offer, ask for at least 60 days of contingency period.
Step 3: Once you close on a house in your new city and move out of your current home, put that house on the market.
Step 4: In the unlikely event you can’t find a buyer quickly, consider a bridge loan or a HELOC to maintain expenses until you can sell.
If you are thinking about buying and/or selling, please give Templeton Real Estate Group a call. We can help you navigate the process of buying and selling and alleviate your stress. We will help and guide you each step of the way, and we are always available to answer your questions. Call 208.473.2203 today! Our office is located in SE Boise's beautiful Bown Crossing.
Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their most recent Existing Home Sales Report. According to the report:
“The median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $240,500, up 5.8 percent from January 2017 ($227,300). January’s price increase marks the 71st straight month of year-over-year gains.”
Seventy-one consecutive months of price increases may have some concerned that current home values may be overinflated.
However, at the same time, Zillow issued a press release which revealed:
“If the housing bubble and bust had not happened, and home values had instead appreciated at a steady pace, the median home value would be higher than its current value.”
Here are two graphs that help show why home prices are exactly where they should be.
The first graph shows actual median home sales prices from 2000 through 2017.
By itself, this graph could heighten concerns as it shows home values rose in the early 2000s, came tumbling down and are now headed up again. It gives the feel of a rollercoaster ride that is about to take another turn downward.
However, if we also include where prices would naturally be, had there not been a boom & bust, we see a different story.
The blue bars on this graph represent where prices would be if they had increased by the normal annual appreciation rate (3.6%). By adding 3.6% to the actual 2000 price and repeating that for each subsequent year, we can see that prices were overvalued during the boom, undervalued during the bust, and a little bit LOWER than where they should be right now.
Based on historic appreciation levels, we should be very comfortable that current home values are not overinflated.
Ready to Buy or Sell in Boise, Idaho? Cal the Templeton Real Estate Group today! 208-473-2203