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Boise Life | 38 Posts
Buying A Home | 9 Posts
Doers of Good | 6 Posts
Family Fun | 1 Posts
Food | 1 Posts
Gardening | 1 Posts
Get Outdoors | 5 Posts
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Home Improvement | 15 Posts
Moving | 5 Posts
News | 52 Posts
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Selling A Home | 6 Posts
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Technology | 15 Posts
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May
16

Boise Disc Golf

Think you've mastered Frisbee? Take your game up to another level. Test your aim and consistency on these enjoyable disc golf courses around Boise homes for sale

Click Here to Read More...

May
10

From our Friends at Boise Regional REALTORS®

Ada County Home Prices Set Another Record

The median sales price for homes in Ada County reached $595,000 in April 2022, an increase of 23.9% compared to the same month last year, and a new record for the county.

Higher prices in the new construction segment played a large part in the overall price jump. New home sales made up nearly a third of all sales in April with a median sales price of $645,000, up 36.7% from last year. However, home prices rose across the board, with the median sales price for existing/resale homes reaching $570,000, a gain of 16.9% over last year. These were record highs for both segments.

Mortgage rates also rose in April, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average reaching 5.1% at the end of the month, according to data from Freddie Mac. National economists have predicted that the increase in mortgage rates will eventually slow the market, but we haven't seen a price slowdown in our local sales data yet. It's important to remember that homes that closed in April likely went under contract in February and March, so we may not see the immediate impact of rates on prices for a few months. Pending sales, or those with an accepted offer that are expected to close in the next 30-60 days, may provide a better indication of how rates are affecting our market at this time.

There were 1,525 pending sales at the end of the month, a 12.1% decline from April 2021, and 815 total sales for the county in April, down 17.0% year-over-year. The existing/resale segment claimed 586 of those sales, which was a drop of 12.3% compared to last year. Higher home prices, coupled with higher mortgage rates, which results in higher monthly payments for buyers who are financing a home purchase, may be hampering sales.

Looking specifically at existing/resale sales data in April, 53.2% of buyers paid over list price, indicating that competition remained strong, particularly at the median and lower price points. While it may seem obvious, it means nearly half of all buyers did not pay over list, resulting in an average original list price received of 101.0% for existing/resale homes in April 2022, compared to 104.9% in April 2021.

Buyers may be discouraged by increasing rates and prices, but there is some good news — in April, inventory increased by 170.0% compared to the same month last year. While supply is still constrained, especially at the lower price points, more year-over-year inventory is a sign we may be seeing a shift to a more balanced market.

There is some uncertainty as to how inflation, higher mortgage rates, and other economic factors will affect the residential housing market; however, REALTORS® understand that each homeowner and buyer's situation is unique, and help their clients make decisions based on factors that are within their control.

Whether you're ready to buy today or would like to purchase within the next two, five, or even ten years, work with trusted advisors to make a plan to reach your goals. Taking important steps today, such as improving your credit, researching down payment programs, and saving for your down payment in a tax-sheltered savings account can really make a difference when you're ready to make a move.

To view the Treasure Valley homes currently for sale, CLICK HERE

May
9

How to Choose a Contractor for Your Remodel Projects

Delta Media Group

Homeownership is an exciting time — one filled with many new possibilities and experiences. One possibility that has the potential to elevate your home to the next level is a remodel. Remodeling can transform your space into something more functional by better reflecting your lifestyle and adding value to your home. However, your dreams of the perfect renovation project can turn into a nightmare if you don't do your homework. To have a successful remodel, you need the right contractor.

It's understandable to want the best person for the job but finding that person often involves a number of factors like availability, cost, and areas of expertise. The best way to choose a remodeling contractor is to do your homework and take steps to ensure that you find an ideal match for your project.

Ask around or research

If you have a friend or neighbor who has a remodel you like in a room/area you're looking to work on, too, it can be helpful to ask them who they used. You can also ask around your network of people — i.e., friends, family, business partners, or your real estate agent—to get recommendations for remodeling contractors. Once you have a list created, make your own as well by researching resources like Google, Angie, the local Better Business Bureau, and other online places that give you the names of local companies. Weed out any contractors with consistently poor reviews or contractors that don't specialize or have experience in the space you want to remodel.

Look deeper into credentials and projects

Most contractors have a website. Take the time to look at what credentials they may have and if they are current. See if they have pictures of their work as well. You can begin to get a feel for which contractors are more your taste or that have the knowledge necessary for your remodeling project.

Interview possible contractors

The next step once you have fine-tuned your list to a few favorites is to call and schedule a time to meet and talk about the project. Consider both the phone and in-person meetings an interview. It's your chance to ask about experience, find out about their knowledge and skills, and see if you mesh. Like any job interview, you'll be able to get an overall sense of who you're getting. There are also some things you'll want to ask them or have them do, including:

  • Itemize your bid
  • Ask how long they have been in business
  • Determine who their main suppliers are and who will be in charge of the site/project
  • Find out if the pricing is an estimate or a fixed price.

Check references

Even if you've done all your online research and read all the reviews, nothing is as effective as talking with someone who has worked with your prospective contractor. You may find out things you didn't think to ask, and it can give extra assurance that you're making the right choice.

Put it in writing

The last thing you'll want to do when you've made your choice is to put it in writing. This is a great way to keep all parties on the same page and safeguarded. 

Homeownership means making the decisions; it's your house, and you get to choose who remodels it. For the best remodeling experience, by taking your time and the correct steps, you're more likely to find the right person for your project. Not only will it save you time and money, but it will also get you the home of your dreams.

May
5

 

 

Mortgage Rates Steady at Long-Term Highs Ahead of Fed

MAY 3, 2022 - Mortgage rates hit their highest levels since 2009 yesterday amid the fastest spike since the early 1980s.  Today's rates were very similar on average, but the bond market left some room for mortgage lenders to offer improvements during the day.  A few of them did, but bond gains evaporated in the afternoon, resulting in rates returning back to long-term highs by the close.

As for motivations, today's volatility wasn't overtly connected to any individual root cause.  The best cases for correlation surround the big picture.  There, the obvious motivations continue to be inflation and the Fed's attempts to address it.  We'll get the latest dose of Fed strategy confirmation in tomorrow's (5/4) official policy announcement and press conference.

The Fed is widely expected to hike its policy rate by 0.50%, but it's important to understand this has nothing to do with the average mortgage.  The mortgage market adjusted for this probability long ago, and even then, mortgage rates are based on longer-term bonds whereas the Fed Funds Rate dictates loans that last less than a day.  Sometimes overnight rates and long-term rates correlate, but their performance varies so much over time that it makes no sense to infer any impact on mortgages from changes in Fed Funds.

Of more consequence will be the way the Fed implements its balance sheet normalization plans.  These are just fancy words to say the Fed will soon be buying even fewer bonds.  This bond buying has a far more direct effect on mortgage rates, but here too, the market widely expects the Fed to make this announcement tomorrow.  There are a few subtle options for the Fed to deliver the message in a way that helps or hurts rates, however.  Depending on which path the Fed chooses, rates could make bigger moves tomorrow, for better or worse.

Residential Building Continues to Dominate Construction Spending

Total construction spending continues to roar ahead of its 2021 pace, led again in March by another double-digit increase in the residential component. The U.S. Census Bureau says the investment in all types of construction was at a seasonally adjusted rate of $1.731 trillion in March, an 0.1 percent gain compared to February and up 11.7 percent year-over-year. So far in 2022, there has been a total of $376.337 billion spent, a 12.0 percent growth compared to the first three months of last year.

Spending in the private sector increased 0.2 percent from February to March at an annual rate of $1.380 trillion. The residential share of that spending rose 1.0 percent month-over-month compared to a gain of 0.7 percent in February. The annual rate in March was $88.045 billion, up 18.4 percent compared to March 2021. The non-residential component fell 1.2 percent from the prior month but is still 8.5 percent higher than in March 2021.

Na Zhao, an analyst for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said the monthly growth in residential spending came from new single-family construction at $472.6 billion a 1.3 percent increase from February and 18.5 percent year over year while multifamily spending slipped 0.5 percent. Spending on home improvements also rose 1.1 percent for the month.

Zhao says NAHB's construction spending index illustrates the solid growth in single-family construction and home improvement from the second half of 2019 to February 2020, when the pandemic hit, and the quick rebound since July 2020. New multifamily construction spending has picked up the pace after a slowdown in the second half of 2019. However, he says home building is still facing supply chain issues, which means the industry is dealing with rising material costs as well as ongoing labor shortages.

Residential spending jumped by nearly $11 billion on a non-adjusted basis in March and year-to-date spending is up 18.8 percent from last year. The gains were again disproportionally in single-family building, up 19.8 percent during the first three months of 2022 while there has been only 5.0 percent growth in multifamily construction spending.

Public sector spending slowed 0.2 percent from February to an annual rate of $350.816 billion, a 1.7 percent annual increase. YTD spending is up 0.7 percent compared to 2021.

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We understand that no two paths to buying a home are the same. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate mogul, we have a variety of products and loans designed specifically to meet your needs. We offer local underwriting and fast approvals to save you time and money. We have options for down payments and additional resources like our Finally Home! online program to help guide you through the home buying process. Contact one of our home loan specialists to discuss your options today!

 

May
2

Boise Shops

When you're looking at Boise homes for sale, there's a lot to take in. The beautiful neighborhoods, strong local economy, and terrific dining will keep your calendar full. But there's one untold story of Idaho that's only just starting to get attention: Its vibrant local wine scene.

Our real estate agents are proud to share that after many years of hard work, the Boise Valley area has recently received its wine appellation designation. This means Boise Valley joins the Napa Valley and a host of other world-famous locales in being a legally determined and protected wine region.

Click Here to Read More...

April
26

Doer of Good: Abigail Gibson

The Coldwell Banker Tomlinson #DoersOfGood program is designed to shine a light on the givers in our real estate family, and, by doing so, encourage others in our community to help wherever they can.

We were pleased to wrap up April by telling you a bit more about our #CBTDenimDay efforts to help The Women's and Children's Alliance in Boise. Throughout the month, sold #CBTDenimDay buttons to our agents and staff in an effort to raise money and awareness for the WCA.

Abigail Gibson, a Realtor® in our Meridian office, has been a volunteer at the WCA for many years and suggested we make Denim Day the focus for our April #DoersOfGood program to assist worthy organizations in our community. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Denim Day is designed as a visible means of protest against victim-blaming and sexual violence. The WCA works to both protect and assist those in abusive situations and educate the public about how to stop the cycle.

"I have had the privilege of volunteering for years," Abigail explains. This has resulted in "many memorable hours spent, showing the change I want to see in our community! The second chance that these women and children can have through the WCA...for a fresh start in life and the opportunity to raise their children with the morals, values, grace, unconditional love, kindness."

The WCA has a rich history in our valley. Since 1910, the WCA has provided safe housing for women and children. In the last 40 years, the focus has been narrowed to provide shelter and supportive services to individuals impacted by domestic violence and/or sexual assault. These services are provided at no cost and span a four-county (Ada-Canyon-Elmore-Boise) service area representing 30% of the population of the state of Idaho.

Since its founding, the WCA's crisis program has evolved into one of the most vital, unduplicated, comprehensive programs in our community and region. The WCA has been at the forefront of providing services to women, men, and their children healing from domestic abuse and sexual assault. Providing safe places for women and children to live has always been at the core of their mission.

Abigail says, "It's difficult to see such need for the resources that the WCA provide, yet incredibly rewarding to see the women share their personal stories of recovery and a fresh start through the fundraising that I have been able to assist in. I loved that they were able to open a second shelter along with dedicating a purple ribbon police car to Ada County!"

The work done by the WCA, their volunteers, and our community will, Abigail believes, "result in such positive change for our future generations."

To learn more, or to donate to the WCA, visit www.wcaboise.org.  

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Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months or tell us in the comments below about what lights your fire when it comes to making our communities better. 

April
20

 

Spam 101

From Our Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair

Technology scams are running rampant right now, whether they come by email, phone call, and now text messaging. We have had several customers reach out about texts that look to be from their bank asking to "verify information." Be vigilant when dealing with any communications via phone call, email, or text that regard any exchange of money or "verifying" any account information with a link or number to call.   

Our recommendations are as follows:

You can use your cell phone carriers' built-in number blocking on your phone to stop unwanted calls or texts from specific numbers; you can also block offending email addresses in your email account. But with any sort of fraud, scammers often use hundreds of thousands of phone numbers and emails and move very quickly onto the next.  This makes permanent blocking hard.  

To really have an impact, we recommend reporting the offending communication to the FTC.  This can be done online at: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

A few rules of thumb for spam calls, texts, and emails:

  1. Do not engage spammers.  When you answer or respond, you are showing the scammer, spammer, or robo-system that your phone number or email is "live". It is then put on a live numbers list that is sold over and over and the calls/texts/emails will continue infinitely.
  2. Do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize. This one is hard for agents, but if it is important or a legitimate call, they will leave a voicemail or text you. 
  3. Do not answer texts from numbers you do not recognize
  4. Get into the habit of regularly entering and labeling known clients, colleagues, friends, family, etc. as contacts in your phone and email.
  5. Do not answer unsolicited or out-of-the-ordinary texts from numbers you do recognize.  The number could be spoofed to fool you. Instead, call the number you have in your contacts (not from the text or email) for the person texting you and verify via phone call that they sent the text.
  6. Do not click on links in texts or emails that you are not expecting from anyone that you do or do not recognize unless you have verified with the actual sender via phone call or in person.
  7. Do not open emails, download any attachments, or click on links in emails from senders you do not recognize.
  8. Do not download any attachments or click on links in unsolicited or suspicious emails or texts from senders you do recognize. Their email may have been hacked or their number spoofed.
  9. TRUST YOUR INTUITION.  Slightest question of authenticity?  Feeling of distrust? Major red flag? Do not ignore these feelings.
  10. COMMUNICATION IS KEY. If a text or email seems weird, out of character, just a slight bit off? We recommend that you call the person/company/bank to verify the contents of an email or text, or ask a trusted professional.

If you have any questions about a suspicious email, call, or text, feel free to contact our office via phone 208.288.4345 or email info@integrityidaho.com.

April
19

 

 

Fed Guidance Indicates Rapid Plans to Reduce Their Bond Portfolio

This week, investors awaited the latest Fed guidance. With last month's surprises from the Federal Reserve, Fed officials plan to reduce their bond portfolio more quickly than expected.

This news generated a negative impact for mortgage rates. Thus, mortgage rates rose to their highest levels since late 2018.

Fed Guidance Indicates Rapid Pace

To review, the Federal Reserve loosens monetary policy to boost the economy during periods of weakness such as after the start of the pandemic. By contrast, when the economy exceeds a certain capacity, the demand for goods and services becomes so strong that prices must rise to balance supply and demand, eventually forcing the Fed to tighten. The challenge is to implement the optimal level of tightening. This restrains economic growth just the right amount to bring down inflation without causing an undesirable recession (a soft landing).

Adjusting the federal funds rate and the size of the bond portfolio are the two primary tools used by the Fed to achieve its goals. Two weeks ago, the latest Fed guidance provided fairly precise insight on the projected pace of rate hikes. This week, they revealed their bond portfolio plans. In short, officials expressed more concern about upside risks to inflation than downside risks to economic growth.

Meeting Minutes Reveal Latest Fed Guidance

On Wednesday, March 16th's Federal Reserve meeting minutes indicated that the Fed plans to allow its holdings of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) to decrease by up to $95 billion per month. Overall, this reveals a faster than anticipated pace, likely beginning in May. The split comes down to $60 billion in Treasuries and $35 billion in MBS, phased in over three months.

For months, investors awaited this Fed guidance. While these quantities are quite large on a historical basis, they must be viewed in the context of nine trillion dollars of total bond holdings, double the levels held prior to the pandemic. Since mortgage rates are largely based on MBS prices, the reduced outlook for Fed demand for mortgage-backed securities. Conclusively, mortgage rates moved higher.

ISM Shows Expanding Service Sector

Aside from the Fed guidance, the most significant economic indicator released this week stemmed from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). The latest data remained at a high level by historical standards. In fact, the national service sector index for March rose to 58.3.

Levels above 50 indicate that the sector is expanding. Readings above 60 are rare. Currently, investors watch to see how much consumer spending shifts from goods to services.

Looking Ahead After Most Recent Fed Guidance

After the most recent Fed guidance, investors look for additional Fed guidance on the pace of future rate hikes and balance sheet reduction. Also, investors continue to closely follow news on Ukraine.

Beyond that, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) released on Tuesday (4/12). Investors widely follow CPI because it looks at the price changes for a broad range of goods and services. Retail Sales come out on Thursday. Since consumer spending accounts for over two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, the retail sales data indicates growth.

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We understand that no two paths to buying a home are the same. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate mogul, we have a variety of products and loans designed specifically to meet your needs. We offer local underwriting and fast approvals to save you time and money. We have options for down payments and additional resources like our Finally Home! online program to help guide you through the home buying process. Contact one of our home loan specialists to discuss your options today. Click on the image below to connect!

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