Get a Little Greener for the New Year

windmillsSaving money on energy costs can be one of the easiest ways to save on bills, especially during winter months. If you get into the habit of making energy saving part of your every day routine you will be surprised at how the small things can add up to bigger savings.

Here are some quick little tips to help you do just that:

Use Power Strips
Simply having an electronic device plugged in causes power use. By plugging multiple devices into a single strip you can easily switch the whole strip off, or unplug it to keep the power drain from multiplying. Great for office spaces!

Turn Off Unused Electronics
Seems simple, but it’s easy to forget too. Leave a room? Turn off that light. Going to bed? Close that laptop. If you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time you might even consider unplugging larger or lesser used appliances as well like the tv or stereo.

Unplug The Charger
Nowadays we have any number of pads, phones, or other devices that need charging, but when the device is fully charged unplug it – no need to let that power trickle away. Be sure to unplug the charging cord itself as well as they can pull small amounts of energy just being in the wall.

Use Programs
There are a number of energy use tracking programs available these days, and many appliances even have self-regulating options for power useage – so take advantage of them!

Bright Ideas
Be smart in choosing light bulbs. LED bulbs and compact fluorescents are much easier on power use; while their light may not be as complimentary they are perfect for closets and shops where the harsher light isn’t such a problem.

Cold Cold Water
Using cold water in your wash will generally keep clothes just as clean and uses less energy than hot water. Fact is, hot water can actually strip your clothes of color, so by using cold water you can solve two issues at once!

I have a passion for exceptional Idaho real estate; helping people find the homes of their dreams here throughout the Boise area. I hope you’ll enjoy reading my blog and all the great ideas shared here, as well as feel free to visit my Facebook Fan Page to stay up on the latest happenings online!

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Take the Stress Out of Home Buying

the best homes in boise

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions of your life, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the most stressful. One of the ways I excel is by putting my buyers at ease, from the initial home searching phase all the way through signing the last document – I understand how hectic it can be; so I go out of my way to help keep my clients at ease. Here are some tips as you begin the search for the home of your dreams. Keep these quick tips in mind to help zen out through the whole process:

Work with a qualified REALTOR®. It just so happens that if you’re reading this you’re well on your way to having already found a great one to work with! A real estate professional will be able to put your mind at ease if any problems do arise and will prove invaluable when it comes time to shuffle all
that paperwork.

Don’t obsess about time. There is no “right” time to buy. Everyone’s situation is different; while mortgages are really low and prices are still great that doesn’t mean it’s THE time for you. The market isn’t going to turn on it’s head tomorrow, rate changes take months not days, so don’t get stressed
thinking you’ve got to get it all done RIGHT now.

Don’t demand a deal. Your agent is really the best negotiator you can hope for, it’s their job to see to it your best interests are at the forefront of any negotiation – so let them do their job. Trying to “win” a negotiation by getting a super low price or refusing to budge at all on your offer can cost you the home you’re looking for — negotiation like all things is a little give and a little take.

Plan ahead. Don’t wait until you’ve found the home you want and made an offer to get approved for your mortgage. Research the best home insurance and warranties before you buy as well. Go ahead and make a list of utilities and other services you’ll need to transfer before the rush to move starts.

Love it. Unless you are strictly into flipping buy your next home first and foremost because you love it, then think about appreciation. While home appreciation has remained fairly high over the years it shouldn’t be your first focus when you buy your home.

I hope you will keep me in mind when starting to look for your next home. I love helping people find just the right home for them. You can begin looking for your home right away by visiting my real estate website to see what’s currently available or contact me to work hands-on!

Foreclosures, Fall, and Home Design Trends

Signs of improvement! Mortgages in foreclosure for the Boise-Nampa metro area have decreased in July from July 2011, according to a national real estate research company. CoreLogic said the Treasure Valley’s foreclosure rate was 2.42 percent in July, 0.2 percentage points lower than July 2011. It also was below the national rate of 3.25 percent but above Idaho’s statewide rate of 2.33 percent.

That’s good news! And a positive turn for the housing industry overall! Bank owned real estate in the meantime still provides some of the best deals for home buyers in Idaho also. You can view all of the available bank owned homes on my website; here are a few of the top picks.

Big Dreams, Small Houses
The trend towards smaller more tech powered living spaces continues, especially in the urban centers of the country. While some may think it gives new meaning to living in a shoebox many find these pint sized palaces perfect for their needs. Some schools of thought say as our national concept of family continues to change that there will be even more need for one, two, and three person home designs. Read More Here…

Featured Deliciousness
Fall is in the air and with the cooler temperatures soup is once again the go-to meal that keeps the frost at bay. Tested this recipe on my friends and family – it was a big success! Delicious and healthy to boot, give this one a try, you won’t be disappointed!
Read the Recipe

I’m always sharing great recipes, as well as local Boise events and info on my Facebook page! Hop over there, give the page a LIKE! Follow along, or share your favorite recipes and ideas as well – I’d love to hear from you!
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Are you buying the right home?

find homes in BoiseThere’s nothing that quite compares to the feeling of first stepping foot into a new home. The time and effort put in to finding the home, getting through the paper work and procedures have finally paid off and that big breath relief hits you. Ahhh!

But before that golden moment there are a lot of things to consider; as a lot of work goes into that warm happy memory, it’s important to make sure we’ve made all the right decisions along the way. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of it all but here are a few rational questions you’ll want to ask yourself before you rush into a commitment to buy.

Condition
Unless you are buying new or having your home built this is one of the big items to really take your time with. Will this home need a new roof or other major repairs soon? Will we be in a flood plain? Is the landscape something too lush and extravagant for me to handle on my own? Fixer-upper homes have tons of potential but you have to be ready to own those rough edges until you can smooth them out the way you envision.

Pricing
Even if your lender says the home of your dreams is within your reach you need to make sure you are actually comfortable with the monthly terms. The price of the house itself is not the only factor in the end cost either – don’t forget down payments, closing costs, and other fees (not to mention moving costs!) That new house “ahh moment” might not feel quite as fresh if you are living on ramen for the first year, so it’s always good to plan for more than is listed in the black and white details.

Size
Is the home you’re considering big enough for you or your family? Right combination of bedrooms and baths? Could the living room be a little bigger, or do you need a separate office? You’ll want to make sure the home you select is going to have enough growing room for your needs – in most cases you can expand later but that is often costly.

Creature Comforts
Does your potential dream home have central air conditioning or heat? Maybe you have fantasies about a heated garage floor. Will having a two level house make it difficult for visiting guests? Are there adequate bathrooms to accommodate your traditional summer time patio bbq fiesta? Make sure you give these things some thought even though in most cases adjustments can be made, there are too many great homes on the market to feel like you have to compromise.

Resale Potential
Statistics show that people move into a new home nearly every seven years on average. Life can throw some wild curve balls at us without warning; if you were forced to sell your home how easy would that task be? Having a home with high resale potential can help this item not be of concern. Whether it be the newness of the home, it’s location, or special features, generally most homes will have some element that lends them a little extra resale potential. Thinking about the future through home improvements is also a great way to not only protect but to also grow your home investment.

All of these things are good to keep in mind while you are in the home finding mode. Some buyers will fall in love with over the top amenities that often seem attractive in the showing stage but later turn into real headaches. There’s nothing wrong with shooting for the moon, your house should be as fabulous as you can imagine it, but it also never hurts too keep your feet on the ground while your head is in the clouds.

I love working with home buyers in Boise! Finding that perfect place is such an exciting time in people’s lives. I hope you will give me the opportunity to help you find the real estate you’ve been searching for – I specialize in some of the most exceptional homes in the Treasure Valley, including many great communities in East Boise. Visit my website today to get in touch or to see what’s available.

Better to Buy or Rent?

A new set of research results from several universities have revealed a new way to look at the buy vs rent scenario in real estate. Called “Hurdle Rate” this is the point at which it is equally smart to rent of buy if your goal is to build wealth. Experts agree that we are currently poised at the peak of that golden time when it’s best to buy a home as it can help you towards your financial goals.

The study looks into the data of the unbiased prospect, this person is just as happy renting as they would be buying over a course of about eight years. In this study it is assumed that the renter will put the savings from renting into an investment to earn a return – a crucial point if one is seeking to increase wealth while renting. However, since few renters would realistically invest all of their savings from renting, it’s more appropriate to assume renters don’t invest all of their savings. It is in these cases, that owning a home is the overwhelmingly better investment over the holding period.

Read the Full article…

Are you uncertain if it’s time to buy? Not sure if you qualify, or even where to start? I can help you answer these important first questions and even help you begin to find the homes that will fit your specific needs. Visit my website to find great Boise homes and contact me to get help building your dream of tomorrow, today!

Hello Boise Idaho!

Thank you for visiting my Boise Real Estate blog! This newest addition to our online REALTOR® services is a great way for you to stay up to date on the latest real estate news and exceptional homes in Idaho’s Treasure Valley!

Visit my website to search for homes in Boise and the surrounding area. Use my Dreamhome program to find the property you are interested in without searching – just enter the details of the real estate you want and get properties that match your criteria sent directly to your inbox!

Stay tuned to this website for future posts!