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March
7

Treasures Abound in Garden City

Boise Garden City

There's no place quite like Garden City, Idaho. An independent community that's almost entirely surrounded by Boise, Garden City is a haven for artists and creatives. Our real estate agents never tire of exploring this unique place. 

Garden City is located along the Boise River, a stone's throw from many Boise homes for sale. Its main stretch, Chinden Boulevard, is lined with independent wineries, craft breweries, art galleries, studio spaces, and shops. 

Not incorporated as a city until 1967, the area has a varied past. A farming community in the late 1800s, the village was rich with lush Chinese gardens, a feature that ultimately led to the name Garden City. In fact, Chinden Boulevard is a portmanteau of "Chinese" and "garden." In 1949, county commissioners approved its incorporation so a group of Boise businessmen could build an "amusement center," a not-so-veiled wish to create gambling establishments along the Boulevard. Gambling had been banned within Boise's city limits, so moving it to Garden City seemed the perfect plan.

When gambling was declared illegal under the Idaho Constitution, Garden City's leaders relaxed building codes and welcomed new businesses, regardless of their desirability, leading to the nickname "Saturday Night Town." Fortunately, by the 1980s, efforts to develop new housing and take advantage of the beauty surrounding the Boise River began to take shape. Now, Garden City is the perfect place for a stroll along the river, stopping for coffee or a wine tasting.

Use the official Garden City Artisans' Pathway Map as your guide to this one-of-a-kind arts community, and be sure to stop in at some of these unique businesses in Garden City: 

  • Visual Arts Collective - 3638 Osage St, Garden City, ID 83714
    One of Garden City's premier art galleries and venues, Visual Arts Collective is a vibrant space where you can experience almost any genre or medium of art. From fine art exhibitions and film screenings to live music and theater performances, Visual Arts Collective is always presenting something new and exciting. 

  • Powderhaus Brewing Company - 9719 W Chinden Blvd, Garden City, ID 83714
    There are a lot of great breweries in Garden City, but few as universally acclaimed as Powderhaus Brewing Company. Perhaps best known for their Haus Session Ale and First Turns IPA, Powderhaus Brewing is constantly brewing new and creative seasonal releases inspired by the mountains. Their taproom in Garden City is a great place to sample some of their outstanding brews. Live music takes place most Friday nights, and there's a farmers market at the brewery on Saturdays. 

  • Audio Lab - 3638 Osage St, Garden City, ID 83714
    One of Idaho's most accomplished and technologically advanced recording studios, Audio Lab has a long and storied history of producing great records from big-name artists. But they also regularly host live in-studio music performances, offering the public an amazing opportunity to come and experience live music in this unique space. 

  • Push & Pour - 214 E 34th St, Garden City, ID 83714
    You'd have a hard time finding a better cup of coffee to start your day with than the one you'll get at Push & Pour. This local coffee shop roasts their own beans in-house at their Garden City location, and they make some of the most impeccably-crafted pour-overs, espresso drinks, and cold brews around. Push & Pour also offers some tasty breakfast fare, including vegan and gluten-free options. 

  • Boise River Greenbelt - 698 E 42nd St, Garden City, ID 83714
    The Boise River Greenbelt stretches 25 miles along the banks of its namesake river, providing an amazing resource for hiking and biking in the area. It cuts straight through Garden City, offering great views and a convenient walking path to and from many local businesses nearby. It also passes through several parks, including Boise Whitewater Park. If you get a little hungry on your walk, stop off at the Greenbelt Market for a bite to eat and a drink. 

  • Telaya Wine Co. - 240 E 32nd St, Garden City, ID 83714
    One of several outstanding Garden City wineries, Telaya Wine Co. is located footsteps away from the Boise River and the Boise River Greenbelt. They got started in 2008 and have grown by leaps and bounds since their first year, in which they produced their inaugural batch of 50 cases. Telaya's wines are made from grapes grown in Idaho and Washington, and you can enjoy tastings, wine by the glass, and bottles to-go from their Garden City tasting room. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Boise, Garden City, and the surrounding areas. Our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find your dream home in Idaho. 

February
14

Celebrate Valentine's Day with a Little Trivia

Test Your Valentine's Day Knowledge

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!  Today is the day for love and romance, heart-shaped chocolates and candlelit dinners.

What do you really know about Valentine's Day? Here are some fun trivia questions to test your knowledge.

  1. When was the oldest-known Valentine's Day message written, and from where? 
  2. When was February 14th first declared as Valentine's Day? 
  3. Who invented the first Valentine's Day candy box? 
  4. What is the average number of marriage proposals on Valentine's Day each year? 
  5. How much on average is spent on chocolate in America for Valentine's Day each year? 
  6. How many roses are sold on Valentine's Day each year? 
  7. How many Valentine's Day greeting cards are purchased in the U.S. each year? 
  8. How many people typically purchase Valentines for their pets? 
  9. If you send a snarky insult on Valentine's Day, what kind of "greeting" are you sending?
  10. What year were the popular "conversation Sweethearts" not available?

 

Ready for the answers?

  1. The oldest-known Valentine was in 1415, sent by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife from the Tower of London where he was imprisoned. 
  2. Valentine's Day was declared an official holiday in 1537 by King Henry VIII. 
  3. English entrepreneur and chocolate-maker Richard Cadbury created the first heart-shaped box of chocolates. 
  4. 220,000 
  5. It is estimated that over $1 billion is spent in the U.S. each year for Valentine's Day. 
  6. 189 million 
  7. Approximately 1 billion 
  8. 9 million 
  9. Insulting Valentine's messages are known as "Vinegar Valentines."
  10. The ever-popular "Conversation Hearts" were unavailable in 2019 after their manufacturer Necco declared bankruptcy in 2018. Thankfully, the Spangler Candy Company purchased the rights, and the candies returned in 2020.

    How'd you do? 

    Whether you are celebrating with your beau, your best friends, your pets, or your neighbors, we wish you a day full of love!

    January
    4

    What to Visit in Downtown Boise This Year

    Downtown Boise

    Art, festivals, special events, fantastic food, and even better shopping – you'll find all of that and more when you visit Downtown Boise this year. With so much to see and do, the start of 2022 is the perfect time to start planning all that you'll experience in the downtown area. Our real estate agents have the inside scoop on some of the many local attractions and events that you have to look forward to in Downtown Boise this year.

    • Warehouse Food Hall – 370 S. 8th St., Boise, ID 83702
      There are so many great places to eat near Boise homes for sale, but few can match the selection that you'll find at the Warehouse Food Hall. That's because the Warehouse Food Hall will be home to more than 20 local food and retail vendors, with flavors to suit every taste. The Warehouse Food Hall will be opening its doors for the first time in 2022, so keep an eye out for updates on one of the most exciting new attractions coming to Downtown Boise this year.

    • Treefort Music Fest – March 23 – 27 – Downtown Boise, ID
      Boise is recognized as a hub for the arts, and the annual Treefort Music Fest is an excellent example of why that's the case. This 5-day festival brings hundreds of bands to Downtown Boise every year and always receives rave reviews. Come for a great time, and leave with a new favorite band when you visit the Treefort Music Fest.

    • Idaho Steelheads Hockey – 233 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83702
      Playing in the beautiful Idaho Central Arena, the Idaho Steelheads bring all of the action and excitement of minor league professional hockey to downtown. The two-time Kelly Cup champions are consistently one of the best teams in the ECHL, and the Steelheads provide fun, affordable family entertainment all season long.

    • First Thursdays – 816 W. Bannock St., Boise, ID 83702
      All year long, First Thursdays provide the perfect excuse to visit some of your favorite restaurants, shops, and small businesses in Downtown Boise. Head downtown on the first Thursday of every month for great deals, fun in-store events at local retailers, and specials at your favorite dining destinations. There's always something new to see at First Thursdays, with different businesses participating every month.

    • Spacebar Arcade – 200 N. Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83702
      Who says arcades are just for kids? Spacebar Arcade is a 21+ arcade and bar designed with adults in mind. Enjoy retro arcade games, vintage pinball machines, and an outstanding bar with 12 rotating beers on tap. If you love trivia, be sure to stop by on Trivia Nights which feature prizes, good times, and fun themes based on some of your favorite classic pop culture topics from the last few decades.

    • Makers Meetups at JUMP – 1000 W. Myrtle St., Boise, ID 83702
      If you love creating art, learning, and connecting with other creative people, you'll feel right at home when you visit the weekly Makers Meetups at Jack's Urban Meeting Place. These free events take place every Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon. When you visit, you'll get to meet creatives and makers from all around Boise while picking up some great tips that you can use when creating your own art.

    Ready to buy or sell your next home close to all of the action in Downtown Boise? Our local team is here to help with all of your real estate needs. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Boise, ID area.

    December
    16

    There's Still Time Left for Boise Holiday Shopping

    Boise Holiday Shopping

    The holiday shopping season is going by fast – let our real estate agents give you a hand!

    With all the fun and excitement of looking at Boise homes for sale, the holidays might sneak up on you this year. These beloved local shops will help you find something for those "hard to shop for" friends and family:

    • The Basque Market – 608 West Grove Street, Boise, ID 83702
      The Basque Market offers international flavors perfect for the foodies left on your holiday shopping list. Basque Country, Spain, France, and Portugal wines are available with their wine club. Virtual events and classes, including cooking classes, are being held regularly and make memorable gifts. Introduce friends and families to this cuisine by giving them a gift card!

    • Boise Art Glass – 1124 West Front Street, Boise, ID 83702
      Billing itself as Boise's premier glass studio, Boise Art Glass will thrill you with its handmade glass art: Sculptures, chandeliers, jewelry, and so much more. Independently owned by a local artist since 2004, it gives customers the chance to browse a living, active art studio, take classes in glass art, or even make a custom order. Whether you want to gift functional or sculptural art, it's all here for you.

    • City Peanut Shop – 803 West Bannock Street, Boise, ID 83702
      Get your peanuts at City Peanut Shop, which offers peanut gift tins, mixes, butters, corns, and sweets right in the heart of downtown Boise. Flavors run the gamut from sweet to spicy to savory, so no matter what your giftee prefers you'll be able to find a flavor for them! Owner Dan Balluff opened the shop to bring the feel of his hometown's classic peanut shop to a new generation. It also offers local delivery within Boise.

    • G. Willikers Toy Merchant – 1508 N. 13th St., Boise, ID 83702
      Nestled in North Boise's historic Hyde Park, G. Willikers sells a variety of old-fashioned, modern, and unique toys and games. Need some help deciding? The friendly staff will help you find the perfect gift - for young and old! With free gift wrapping, you will be good to go before you know it. 

    • Compass Goods – 176 North 9th Street, Boise, ID 83702
      Compass Goods is all about travel, "finding your direction and loving it." Recently opening the doors of its flagship store, it provides a wide range of attire, gear, travel supplies, and games. Yes, games! Travel is most fun when you share it with others, and Compass Goods will keep you well-stocked with ideas for playing while you explore. The simple, elegant, and unforgettable gift possibilities are endless.

    • Wood Creations Boutique – 12624 West Fairview Avenue, Boise, ID 83713
      There's still time to shop this holiday season and there's still time to craft thanks to the team at Wood Creations Boutique. Gift one of their crafting kits which include what you need to craft like a pro. Or make something at their white barn studio. Either way, you're guaranteed a one-of-a-kind gift that is sure to impress. Plus all of their kits are made right here in Boise!
       
    • Delia Dante Gallery & Fire Fusion Studio – 1322 West Main Street, Boise, ID 83702
      Delia Dante Gallery & Fire Fusion Studio offers a unique experience as both an art gallery and a studio where welding and enameling are practiced. Namesake artist Delia Dante has done decorative pieces you'll find all over Idaho. You can learn directly from her with classes in metalsmithing, welding, enameling, and more. That means distinct gift options: Art or an experience!

    The local shops in the Boise area are always worth a stop! Contact us to discover more of what makes Boise unique.

    November
    1

    About Boise's Freak Alley Gallery

    Boise Art

    National Go to an Art Museum Day was on November 9th and was all about going out of your way to appreciate the work of the talented local artists in your community. Luckily, the Boise area is home to many talented artists and art spaces showcasing their work, and any time is a great time to check out the art! 

    Our real estate agents have always enjoyed visiting Boise's Freak Alley Gallery when attending to our roster of Boise homes for sale. This unconventional gallery is located at the crossroads between 8th and 9th street and Bannock and Idaho, and it's the perfect place to dip your toes into the local art world.  

    Origins of Freak Alley Gallery

    Freak Alley Gallery began as a single project by local artist Colby Akers. Akers was hired to paint the alley-facing side of the Moon's Café eatery in 2002. His completed painting was so impressive that other businesses around the area began asking for similar work to be done on their outer walls. Pretty soon, the entire alley was covered in stunning vibrant artwork by local artists from all walks of life.  

    Akers spent years as the gallery's unofficial curator, reviewing hundreds of proposals for new art for the alley. As of 2020, this role has been taken over by Melissa Nodzu. 

    Over the years, the gallery has added some indoor space to its premises to give more artists a chance to participate in this beloved community tradition. Freak Alley Gallery is sustained primarily by donations and volunteer work. If you want to help the organizers continue to do the work that keeps the gallery going, they are always happy to accept donations of time or money to the cause.  

    Planning a Visit 

    Freak Alley's annual painting even is held every summer, usually during the first Saturday in August. During this event, all the paintings that were on display in the gallery during the past year are painted over and replaced with new, specially curated works. The new murals are primarily painted by specially chosen artists, but ordinary members of the community are sometimes invited to participate as well. Visitors are not allowed inside the gallery for a full week during this time, so be sure to plan your trip for a week that doesn't coincide with this annual refresh.  

    Freak Alley Gallery is a hidden gem that is well worth at least one visit in your lifetime, and it's far from the only noteworthy spot for arts and culture in Boise. If you know where to look, this city is full of creativity and expression with plenty of local artists that call this area home.

    After your visit here are other local art museums and galleries to view art throughout Boise:

    Or spend the day walking around downtown and appreciate the local art in the area! 

    Contact us today to learn more about our real estate listings in Boise and how we can help you become a part of this one-of-a-kind community.

    October
    15

    Stark Autumn Beauty: Shoshone Falls

    Don't Let the Lack of "High Water" Keep You from Visiting this Fall

    Looking for some weekend adventure, but want to explore somewhere new? If you are in the Boise area, take the two-hour trek to Shoshone Falls in south-central Idaho's Magic Valley. Located approximately three miles west of the city of Twin Falls, the "Niagra of the West" drops an impressive 212 feet, 45 feet higher than the real Niagra.

    Though the most dramatic time of year to visit is in the spring when flows can reach in excess of 20,000 cubic feet per second, the fall and winter bring a different kind of beauty. Striking rock formations and stunning pools reveal themselves only when the water is low.

    Lying within the Snake River Canyon, the Falls and surrounding geology is a fascinating scene created over millions of years and is truly one of nature's—and Idaho's—most glorious wonders worthy of visiting any time of year.

    Shoshone Falls Park is situated at the bottom of the canyon via a fairly steep and curvy road that is open year-round, except when snow and ice make travel too dangerous. The road is paved and fine for all vehicles. In the fall and winter months, the park is open from dawn to dusk, and there is no charge for access. Picnic areas, overlooks, and portable toilets are accessible all year.

    Wear comfortable shoes and plan to take a hike along one of the many trails in and around the Falls. Centennial Trail takes explorers 1.4 miles to the site of Evel Knievel's failed attempt to jump the canyon in 1974. The out-and-back trail is paved and features canyon overlooks.

    To get to Shoshone Falls from Boise, travel east on I-84 to US 93/exit 173 south to Twin Falls. Turn east on Falls Ave. E to N 3300 E/Champlin Road and follow the signs.

    Be sure to stop at the Twin Falls Visitor Center at the south side of the Perrine Bridge for breathtaking views of the canyon and to pick up a trail map.

    October
    14

    View the Latest Employment Report from the Mortgage Professionals at Idaho Central Credit Union

     

     

    Latest Employment Report Reveals Job Gains Went Down

    This past week, analysts and investors closely watched the latest employment report. Unfortunately, it revealed that job gains went down, falling short of expectations. For the most part, the other major economic reports coincided with expectations. In other news, investors shifted to riskier assets. While doing so, stocks increased while bonds decreased. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week higher.

    Job Gains Fall Short in Latest Employment Report

    The latest employment report suggested that COVID-19 hindered job creation. Friday's release showed that the economy added just 194,000 jobs in September 2021 against a consensus forecast of 500,000. While this result resembles August 2021, job gains plummeted dramatically from over one million in July of this year.

    However, there were many offsetting factors. First, upward revisions added 169,000 jobs to the results for prior months. Second, the unemployment rate declined from 5.2% to 4.8%. Not only did unemployment decline far below the consensus forecast of 5.1%, but it also hit the lowest level since February 2020. These two components often paint a somewhat different picture. While companies provide data for the job gains calculation, the unemployment rate is based on a separate survey of individuals.

    Analysts also looked for the latest figures on average hourly earnings. Average hourly earnings, an indicator of wage growth, rose 0.6% from July 2021. This statistic jumped well above the consensus of 0.4%. Of note, average hourly earnings clocked in at an impressive 4.6% higher than a year ago. The latest employment report showed that this number also climbed above an annual rate of increase of 4.0% last month.

    Education jobs sharply underperformed expectations. Analysts attribute this due to distortions in the seasonal adjustment caused by the pandemic. Experts adjust education job data to reflect historical seasonal trends, such as the start of the school year. Concurrently, many of the usual hiring and firing patterns changed during the pandemic. To summarize, job gains fell short partly due to seasonal issues related to the pandemic. On the other hand, wage gains remained very strong. Conclusively, the report barely affected mortgage rates.

    ISM Service Sector Index Reports Growth

    Aside from the latest employment report, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) released another significant economic report. The ISM national service sector index rose to 61.9. Not only did the service sector index rise above the consensus forecast of 60.0, it also neared a record-high. Levels above just 50 indicate that the sector is expanding. Readings above 60 are rare.

    Of note, a large number of companies reported difficulties in hiring enough skilled workers to keep up with growing demand. Many other companies indicated that supply chain disruptions held back production. Because of these current obstacles, later months may see stronger readings as companies catch up.

    Looking Ahead After the Latest Employment Report

    Looking ahead after the latest employment report, investors closely watch global COVID-19 cases. They also look for hints from Fed officials about the timing for changes in monetary policy.

    _____

    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!

     

    October
    13

    Home Prices in September Hold Steady

    Fewer Buyers Paid Over Asking Price for Homes in September 

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

    The median sales price for homes in Ada County moved to $534,950 in September 2021, marking a slight 0.8% increase over August when the median sales price was $530,500. 

    While prices remained steady month-over-month, the most notable statistic was the share of homes that sold for over list price dropped to 33.1% — the lowest level since June 2020. 

    Competition for homes has been fierce for nearly a year, and as market times fell, more buyers were willing to pay over list price, which became a primary factor driving up the median sales price. When the share of homes that sold over list price exceeded 40% in August 2020, the median sales price moved into the $400,000-range for the first time. When it reached nearly 65% in May 2021, that's when prices exceeded the $500,000-mark.  

    (For more on this, and additional factors driving home prices, check out our blog post: "Making Sense of the Rising Home Prices in Ada County.") 

    That jump in price likely brought prospective sellers to the market, which has helped inventory levels increase. In fact, September marked the sixth consecutive month of inventory growth. The 1,249 homes available for sale at the end of the month represented an 11.1% increase from August and a staggering 165.7% increase compared to September 2020. 

    In addition, the average number of days between when existing homes were listed for sale and an offer was accepted increased to 17 days — the longest market time in the last 12 months — and 21.4% longer than the 14 days we saw in August 2021.  

    The increased inventory and a slightly slower pace are good news for buyers and may be two reasons that fewer homes sold over list price last month. 

    That said, while the Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) continued to trend up — reaching 1.5 months in September — Ada County is still not in the 4-6 month range of supply which is typically considered a balanced market — creating ongoing opportunities for sellers. 

    This fall is still proving to be a great time for homeowners to capitalize on the current home prices. For those who are considering selling, we recommend talking to a REALTOR® about the different factors at play within our market and how they may affect different situations.

    Stages of a Real Estate Transaction

    In each of our reports in 2021, BRR is focusing on 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.

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

     

    September
    27

    9 Tips for Buying and Selling Your Home at the Same Time

    Selling your home while shopping for a new one can feel daunting to even the most seasoned homeowner––especially when the competition for housing is so high. That doesn't mean, though, that you should just throw up your hands and give up on moving altogether. In fact, as a current homeowner, you could be in a better position than most to capitalize on a seller's market and make a smooth transition from your old home to a new one.

    We can help you prepare for the road ahead. Here are some of the most frequent concerns we hear from clients who are trying to buy and sell at the same time.

    "What will I do if I sell my house before I can buy a new one?"

    While it may be an inconvenience, this is a common scenario that can usually be handled with a little creativity and compromise. Here are some options to consider:

    1: Flex your muscles as a seller.

    In some cases, a buyer may agree to a rent-back clause that allows the seller to continue living in the home after closing for a set period of time and negotiated fee. We can discuss the benefits and risks involved and whether it's a good option for you.

    2: Open your mind to short-term housing options.

    If you're lucky enough to have family or friends who offer to take you in, that may be ideal. If not, check out furnished apartments, vacation rentals, and month-to-month leases. If space is an issue, consider putting some of your furniture and possessions in storage.

    3: Embrace the idea of selling now and buying later.

    With cash on hand from the sale of your current home, you'll be in a better position to budget for and buy your next home. And by focusing on one step at a time, you can alleviate some of the pressure and uncertainty involved.

    "What if I get stuck with two mortgages at the same time?"

    If you can't afford to carry both mortgages, then selling before you buy may be best. (See Tip #3.) But if you have flexibility in your budget for some overlap, it is possible to manage a home sale and purchase simultaneously. Here are some steps to help streamline the process:

    4: As you get ready to sell, simplify.

    You can condense your sales timeline if you only focus on the renovations and tasks that matter most. We can advise you on the repairs and upgrades that are worth your time and investment.

    5: Prep your paperwork.

    If you'll need a mortgage for your next home purchase, get pre-approved in advance. And start pulling together relevant records for your current home, such as appliance warranties and renovation permits. That way, you'll be ready to provide quick answers to buyers' questions should they arise.

    6: Ask about other contingencies that can be included in your contracts.

    For example, it's possible to add a clause to your purchase offer that lets you cancel the contract if you haven't sold your previous home. This tactic could backfire, though, if you're competing with other buyers. We can discuss the pros and cons of contingencies and what's realistic given current market dynamics.

    "What if I mess up my timing or burn out from all the stress?"

    To make sure you're in the right headspace, take the time to slow down, breathe and delegate as much as possible. In addition:

    7: Relax and accept that compromise is inevitable.

    Rather than worry about getting every detail right with your housing search and home sale, trust that things will work out eventually––even if it doesn't look like your Plan A or even your Plan B or Plan C. Luckily, if you've got a good team of professionals, you can relax knowing that others have your back and are monitoring the details behind the scenes.

    8: Don't worry too much if your path is straying from convention.

    Remember that rules-of-thumb and home-buying trends are just that: they are estimates, not facts. So if your home search or sale isn't going exactly like your neighbor's, it doesn't mean that you are doomed to fail.

    9: Enlist help early.

    This leads us to our final tip: If possible, call us early in the process. We'll not only provide you with key guidance on what you should do to prep your current property for sale, we'll also help you narrow down the parameters for your next one. That way, you'll be prepared to act quickly and confidently when it comes time to list your home and make an offer on a new one.

    Call today for tailored advice that works for you.

    Buying and selling a home at the same time is challenging. But it doesn't have to be a nightmare, and it can even be fun. Click here for a free consultation so that we can help you review your options and decide the best way forward - or visit our site for a listing of homes for sale.

    September
    16

    Facebook: Spoofed Profiles

     

    What is a "spoofed" profile?

    From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair

    A spoofed profile is where a scammer copies your profile and pretends to be you. The scammers use the information that the original profile makes public.  This includes profile pictures, location(s), and biography information, so they are very convincing. Oftentimes, these spoofed profiles send out another friend request to people on copied profile's friends list.  While more and more people are becoming aware that this is an issue when they get a second friend request from someone they are already friends with, many people still don't know what is happening (no, their friend has not been "hacked" i.e someone has gained unauthorized access to the account) or what to do about the profile, and there are many people who still will add the fake profile and further perpetuate this activity. 

     

    Besides it being annoying, what damage does this cause?

    Once a spoofed profile is created, the creator will add friends listed on the original profile, send messages that ask for money… or worse, send videos and/or clickable content via messenger or page posts that contain phishing sites, adware, malware, or viruses when clicked.

     

    How do you prevent this from happening?

    Make your friends list viewable to "Friends only" or better yet, "Only me".  These settings can be accessed both on the computer and in the Facebook app on phones.  Simply view your profile, then go to Settings and Privacy, then under Audience and Visibility, "How People Find and Contact You".  Select "Who can see your friends list", and select Friends or Only me.  Setting it to "Only me" is the only sure-fire way to make it so people cannot use your friends list to create fake profiles and spam your friends, colleagues, and clients who may be friends on your page.

     

    It's already happened to you. Now what?

    Have your friends report the spoofed profile as soon as possible.  All you or they have to do is go to the scammer's duplicate Facebook page and click on the three dots.  Select "Find Support or Report Profile" and then "Pretending to Be Someone."  You will then be asked who they are pretending to be.  If it's a friend, you'll report which friend it is and then confirm your submission.  Facebook will then review your report and notify you of the outcome.  The process is pretty quick and painless.

    Next, take steps to secure your public information. And it wouldn't hurt to complete Facebook's privacy checkup, and lock down your privacy settings which includes not allowing people to post anything on your page without your review.

    Any of these things can be done remotely.  Please call or email our office if you have any questions or need immediate assistance!

    August
    30

    5 Factors That Reveal Where The Real Estate Market Is Really Headed

    Boise Downtown

    It's the old supply-and-demand predicament: U.S. home sales continue at a rapid pace, but the number of listings remains limited. Amid historically low mortgage rates, buyers keep shopping, reducing inventory and sparking a rise in home prices.

    Meanwhile, homebuilders are coping with an increase in material costs and a shortage of labor. These issues come during an ongoing housing shortage. A National Association of Realtors study shows the U.S. has a deficit of about 2 million single-family homes and 3.5 million other housing units.

    Follow along to learn the five factors that illustrate where the U.S. housing market is today and is heading tomorrow.

    ROCK-BOTTOM MORTGAGE RATES TO GRADUALLY RISE

    Low interest rates continue to fuel demand from homebuyers. Some experts believe mortgage rates will creep up later this year, but they expect rates to remain near historic lows. In June, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 2020 closed with the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 2.8%. But the association anticipates the average rate climbing to 3.5% at the end of 2021 and 4.2% by the end of 2022.

    What does it mean for you?

    When mortgage rates are at or near historic lows (as they are today), you should seriously consider taking advantage of those rates to borrow money for a home purchase or to refinance your existing mortgage.

    HOME PRICES EXPECTED TO KEEP CLIMBING

    In June, the national median list price for a home reached an all-time high of $385,000, up 12.7% on a year-over-year basis. And according to the Home Buying Institute, various reports and forecasts indicate home prices will keep climbing throughout 2021 and into 2022. While this may be welcome news for homeowners, high prices are pushing homeownership out of reach for a growing number of first-time buyers.

    What does it mean for you?

    If you're a buyer waiting on the sidelines for prices to drop, you may want to reconsider. While the pace of appreciation should taper off, home prices are expected to continue climbing. And rising mortgage rates will make a home purchase even more costly.

    SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES REMAIN ROBUST

    Single-family home sales are down from their peak in October 2020 yet are still above the overall level last year. In May 2021, 5.8 million existing single-family homes were sold in the U.S. That's a 45% increase over the 4 million homes sold in May 2020.

    However, home sales saw a 0.9% dip in May 2021 compared with the previous month, the National Association of Realtors says. That was the fourth straight month for a decline in home sales. The number of home sales has slid recently because of rising prices and a lack of inventory, but Fannie Mae expects total home sales to tick up slightly in the fourth quarter and finish the year up 3.8% over last year.

    What does it mean for you?

    The market for single-family home sales remains quite active. As a result, if you're a homeowner, you may want to ponder whether to sell now, even if you hadn't necessarily been thinking about it. With demand high and inventory low, your home could fetch an eye-popping price.

    LACK OF INVENTORY STILL CONSTRAINS THE HOME MARKET

    According to the National Association of Realtors, in May there were 1.23 million previously owned homes on the market, down 20.6% from the same time last year. This translates to a 2.5-month supply of homes, which is well below the 6 months of inventory typical in a balanced market. According to the Realtors group, the lack of inventory translates into tougher searches for buyers and contributes to a rise in prices.

    What does it mean for you?

    If you're thinking of selling your home, now may be the right time to do it. Across the country, it's a seller's market, meaning demand is outpacing supply. That supply-and-demand imbalance puts sellers in a great position to sell their homes at a premium price. The May 2021 Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors found the average home that was sold attracted five offers, and the association says nearly half of homes are selling above list price.

    CONSTRUCTION OF SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES SEES SLIGHT UPTICK

    Frustrated buyers may soon find some relief from an increase in new construction. Economists forecast that 1.1 million new houses will be started in 2021, compared with a predicted 940,000 units just six months ago, with 1.2 million new starts predicted for 2022 and 2023, according to the Urban Land Institute.

    What does it mean for you?

    Given the issues affecting the new-home market, it may make sense to widen your home search to include both new and existing homes. Your brand-new dream home may not be available, but you might be able to find an existing home that lives up to your vision. Keep in mind that we can help you find either a new or existing home and can advocate for you to ensure you get the best deal possible.

    ARE YOU THINKING OF BUYING OR SELLING?

    If you're in the market for a home, you're ready to sell your house or you've simply been wondering whether you should sell, you could benefit from an expert to help you navigate the hot real estate market. Let's set up a free consultation to discuss your situation. We can review your options and come up with a plan to capitalize on the value of your current property or to find your ideal next home. Contact us today. We are here to #guideyouhome.

    August
    23

    Interior Design Trends: Cottagecore Home Decor

    When you buy a new home, you want it to be a reflection of you and your style. As you consider various trends, you may come across a popular new one called cottagecore. But what is it, exactly, and will it work for your interior design needs? Essentially, cottagecore home decor is a nostalgic journey to a simpler time and place. If sipping tea in a garden, breathing in the delicate scent of roses and honeysuckle strikes your fancy, this could very well be the interior design style you are seeking. If the homes you are asking to be shown are reminiscent of country living, you may want to consider these key elements:

    • Nostalgia
      From the garden to the living room, the house should speak of bygone days. This may look different to each person. If your cherished memories include crocheted Afghans and ruffled curtains, by all means, include them. If they lean more toward the brown leather overstuffed couch and the roll-top desk you might find in an 1890's ranch house, then go that direction. It's even possible to blend styles a bit in this very unscripted decor. If you have antiques or just books and knick-knacks that have been in the family for a long time, cottagecore provides a perfect setting to display them.
    • Simplicity
      Although many of us work in the world of technology, we don't all want to live there. When incorporating cottagecore interior design trends, necessary technology will often be hidden inside wooden cabinetry or disguised in other clever ways. The lifestyle celebrates minimalism, including handcrafting, home cooking, and creativity over video games. Rather than the cold, sleek surfaces you will find in industrial decor, you will find the warmth of wood, the natural textures of organic materials, and the cozy atmosphere they bring. Shining wooden floors with simple rugs and a wooden coffee table that reflect the same color as the floor. You might find the same wood theme repeated in bathrooms and bedrooms. 
    • Nature
      Embracing nature is critical to the cottagecore style. This doesn't mean that you must raise your own chickens and livestock in order to enjoy the designs. But the interior of the home should blend with the environment surrounding the exterior. This can be accomplished with muted colors, natural materials, house plants, and fresh or dried flowers. Imagine a little girl collecting wildflowers and displaying them in a milk bottle. The romantic ideal of rural living can be reflected in prints and paintings without the less pleasant realities of farm life. An indoor herb garden is just the right touch to a cozy kitchen, while the fresh herbs bring your recipes to life. 
    • Vintage
      Antiques are certainly great additions to cottagecore home decor, but you can obtain the vintage feel without an extensive collection. Simple lines, wooden frames, and natural textures will help balance the design. Wooden chairs next to pristine white wainscotting in the dining room are reminiscent of homes of a hundred years ago, even if they were just purchased recently. The elegance of a colorful quilt can carry the sleeper back to Grandma's house. Overstuffed chairs reupholstered with soft, nubby fabrics or floral designs are both frugal and practical, echoing the lifestyle of the past as much as the appearance. 
    • Do-it-yourself
      To truly embrace the cottagecore lifestyle, you should bring in your own creations. Have you learned to embroider? Frame an original piece and hang it on the wall. Did you grow your own fruits and vegetables? Proudly store them in wire baskets on the kitchen counter. Craftspeople know that you can't create anything worthwhile without making a little mess. You can embrace the clutter a bit without letting it take over. A basket of colorful yarn complete with knitting needles will actually enhance the decor of the den. A loom in the corner will make a fascinating conversation piece. You may even discover common interests with friends you didn't know existed. 

    If you've been waiting for some of the vintage things you love to come back in style, the time has come. Our real estate professionals will be happy to help you find your new home. Contact us when you're ready to make the change. 

    May
    3

    Why Boise's North End is a Great Place to Call Home

    Boise North End

    Why are sources like Inman, the leading real estate news site, pointing to Boise's North End as one of the country's hottest neighborhoods? Our real estate agents have long known what others are just now learning. Here's why Boise's North End is a great place to call home.

    • Hyde Park - 1413-1620 N. 13th St., Boise, ID 83702
      The one in London may be more famous, but when it comes to urban centers, the North End's Hyde Park can't be beat. Named to the National Register of Historic Places for its unique architecture, Hyde Park blends the charm of Boise's past with the vibrant shops, services, and amenities of the present. Each fall, Hyde Park hosts its annual street fair, a fundraiser for the North End Neighborhood Association that draws 40,000 people over a weekend.

    • Goody's - 1502 N. 13th St., Boise, ID 83702
      When it comes to their homemade ice cream and chocolates, Goody's slogan is, "Only Too Much Is Enough!" Originally founded in Sunriver, OR by the Palmateer family, Goody's quickly became a North End favorite when son Brett opened the Boise location in 1997. The old-fashioned soda fountain and glass jars of candy enhance the shop's retro appeal. Choose from classic favorites like egg creams or contemporary treats such as Express-O-Ly Yours, a coffee-flavored sundae that's perfect for the Pacific Northwest. Goody's is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

    • Camel's Back Park - 1200 W. Heron St., Boise, ID 83702
      Whether you prefer team sports or solo fitness activities, there's no better place than Camel's Back Park. In addition to an outdoor gym, accessible playground, and tennis and volleyball courts, the park has spacious open play areas for visitors of all ages. Park hours are sunrise to sunset daily.

    • Hulls Gulch Reserve - 3001 N. Sunset Peak Rd., Boise, ID 83702
      Perched above the Boise skyline, at the base of the Foothills, is Hulls Gulch Reserve. This 292-acre area forms a connection with Ridge to Rivers, a network of multi-use trails extending more than 190 miles that are tended by a full-time crew of volunteers. Hulls Gulch features a pet-friendly 6.3-mile loop trail with wildflowers and a waterfall. Great horned owls, mule deer, coyotes, and red foxes are just a few of the wildlife species that are often spotted throughout the year. Hours are sunrise to sunset, seven days a week.

    • Bogus Basin - 2600 N. Bogus Basin Rd., Boise, ID 83702
      Boise's outdoor glory is on display all year long at Bogus Basin, less than 20 miles from the North End. The "community mountain" is the site of downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter and tubing, hiking, and mountain biking during summer. Don't miss a ride on the Glade Runner, a thrilling mountain coaster that twists and turns 4,330 feet through wooded terrain. Visit the website for a full list of activities along with schedules and prices.

    • Downtown Boise - 850 W. Front St., Boise, ID 83702
      When you're craving the culture and entertainment of the city, downtown Boise is less than 10 minutes away. Shop till you drop, check out a new restaurant, or view the latest exhibit at the Boise Art Museum. It's all waiting for you.

    Boise regularly sits at or near the top of national rankings of best places to live, so you can't go wrong with Boise homes for sale in any neighborhood. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to learn more.

    December
    7

    Where to Find Unique Holiday Gifts in Boise

    Boise Holiday Gifts

    Still searching for the perfect holiday gift for the person who has everything? When you live in Boise, that's no problem! From local delicacies to art, candy, antiques, and so much more, the small businesses of Boise are sure to have just the right gift for everyone on your list. Many local businesses are also offering curbside pickup during this holiday season to make your shopping experience as smooth and convenient as possible. Our real estate agents have the details you need on 5 great Boise businesses where you can find unique holiday gifts this year.

    1. Boise Art Glass – 1124 W Front St., Boise, ID 83702
      Boise Art Glass 
      is one of the most distinctive small businesses located near Boise homes for sale, with a reputation for producing beautiful, artistic glass pieces that can add to the atmosphere of any home. Operated by local artists Filip Vogelpohl, Austin Grill, and Kevin Gray, Boise Art Glass is known for its colorful, creative glass designs that can brighten any room. You can shop from the extensive selection of items already available in the shop or order a custom piece when you truly want to surprise someone special.

    2. City Peanut Shop – 803 W Bannock St., Boise, ID 83702

      Whether you're searching for a great stocking stuffer or a small, savory gift perfect for a gift exchange, you're sure to find something delicious at City Peanut Shop. Simplify your shopping by ordering from a wide selection of holiday gift boxes, which include items like peanut butter, peanut brittle, gourmet popcorn, chocolate, and of course, fresh roasted peanuts. There are also plenty of smaller gift items available, perfect for creating your own basket of holiday cheer.

    3. The Mixing Bowl – 216 N 9th St., Boise, ID 83702

      Inspire the chef in your life when you give them something from The Mixing Bowl. This downtown shop is stocked with cookware, bakeware, bowls, kitchen gadgets, and more. From fun to functional finds this local shop is sure to impress. Be sure to stop in next time you're downtown, or purchase an e-gift from their website. 

    4. The Chocolat Bar – 805 W Bannock St., Boise, ID 83702

      A gift that satisfies the sweet tooth never goes out of style, and The Chocolat Bar is creating plenty of special treats just in time for the holiday season. You can shop for holiday favorites like peppermint bark, peppermint caramel, and eggnog truffles, all created fresh by your Boise chocolate experts. Order online to make buying delicious gifts a breeze.

    5. Molly's Healthy Pet Food Market – 817 W Idaho St., Boise, ID 83702

      Searching for a healthy gift for your beloved pet or your favorite pet owner? Then Molly's Healthy Pet Food Market is sure to have something for you, with free delivery available in the Boise area. From raw food to fresh-made treats and pet outerwear to unique home accessories, Molly's offers a little bit of everything for your four-legged friend. There's even a special selection of holiday-themed gifts, including new toys, ornaments, stockings, and even clothing items for pet owners. 

    What could be a better gift for your family than finding the perfect home to call your own this holiday season? Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Boise, ID area.

    November
    17

    National Go To an Art Museum Day - and Any Day: Art Museums and Galleries Throughout Boise

    Boise Art Galleries

    The art scene in Boise offers something for everyone. National Go to an Art Museum Day was on November 9th, but any day is perfect for exploring the artistic side of the city! There are various art museums, galleries, and studios located throughout Boise, including places where you can learn to create your own art. Supporting these local galleries and museums is a great way to learn more about art and find unique decorations for your home. 

    1. Boise Creative Center – 1204 W Front St., Boise, ID 83702

      Part art gallery, part studio, and part learning center, the Boise Creative Center is the perfect place to explore your creative side. Artist Alex Vega founded the Boise Creative Center to connect locals with unique art and teaches many of the classes at the facility himself. The studio features an extensive collection of custom artwork, including murals, canvas paintings, and unique graphically designed prints.

    2. Boise Art Glass – 1124 W Front St., Boise, ID 83702

      Art takes many forms, and glass art can be as spectacular as any painting or sculpture. Boise Art Glass specializes in artistic glass, with beautiful fine glass to view and various classes to help you make your own creations. Much of the glass art here is created by three local artists, who also serve as instructors for the classes at Boise Art Glass. There are also plenty of unique pieces that you can purchase for your own home.

    3. Boise Art Museum – 670 Julia Davis Dr., Boise, ID 83702

      With an exceptional collection of permanent displays, rotating exhibitions, special events, and classes for all experience levels, the Boise Art Museum truly offers something for everyone. Stop by anytime to explore the museum yourself or schedule a tour to learn more about the stories behind the art on display. Founded in 1937, the Boise Art Museum has grown extensively over the decades and continues to expand its offerings today.

    4. LaBry Fine Art – 404 S 8th St., Boise, ID 83702

      Whether you're interested in exploring the work of local artists or shopping for the perfect piece of art to bring home, LaBry Fine Art is sure to have something that you'll enjoy. Every piece of art here is selected for both technical expertise and the ability to elicit an emotional reaction from the viewer. With new art rotating in regularly, there's always something new to see when you visit LaBry Fine Art.

    5. Delia Dante Gallery & Fire Fusion Studio – 1322 W Main St., Boise, ID 83702

      Searching for something a little different for your National Go to an Art Museum Day celebration? Delia Dante Gallery & Fire Fusion Studio features a wide variety of art made from welded metal and enamel, including unique jewelry that allows you to show off your Idaho pride. There are regular classes from beginner to advanced for welding and enameling, taught by instructors who are experts at the craft. You can also shop for unique jewelry, view metal sculptures, and explore work from local artists in various media.

    Whether you're seeking an engaged audience for your own art or a place where you can explore the work of others, you'll find that Boise is a great place for art lovers to call home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Boise, ID area.

    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 06/27/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 06/27/2022. 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 Sun 06/26/2022 11:33:11 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. --

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