West Real Estate Group Video Blog

Expert Tips for Navigating the Idaho Real Estate Market

Our mission at West Real Estate Group is to be your resource for your Real Estate needs in Idaho. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about Real Estate. Watch the videos and articles below to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home. Call us with any questions you may have at 208-501-8200

Oct. 3, 2017

Got a Question About Real Estate? We've Got the Answer


Click Here To Submit Your Questions

Buying a home? Click here to start your new home search

Selling a home? Click here for an INSTANT Home Value Check 

Call us at (208) 501-8200 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

If you’ve been following our content for a while, you already know that my team and I like to answer questions each week about the real estate process.

So, today I’m going to flip the script a little and ask you a question, instead. I want to know: What questions do you have about buying, selling, or owning real estate in our area? 

Homeownership is a big deal. A home is generally the most expensive purchase we make, constitutes the largest part of your monthly budget, is the place where we raise our families, and acts as a shield from the world.

 


We want to hear from you so that we can bring you relevant content.

 

Homes are a very valuable part of life, and real estate professionals sometimes forget what it’s like to be in your shoes. That’s why my team and I want to hear your questions. 

Maybe you want to know where the market values are headed in 2018 or if interest rates are expected to fluctuate. Or, perhaps you have questions about the process of buying or selling a home. 

In any case, we want to hear from you so that we can bring you relevant content. Feel free to email us your questions or you can submit them here.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sept. 13, 2017

Home Prices In Ada County Reach a New Record in August



Buying a home? Click here to start your new home search

Selling a home? Click here for an INSTANT Home Value Check 

Call us at (208) 501-8200 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

Home prices here in Boise, Idaho and the Treasure Valley have continued to climb in the past few years, and there are three three main factors that continue to drive housing demand here in Ada County. Increased economic development in the valley, a limited housing supply, and a growing population. These three top factors resulted in a new record high median sales price last month in August of $278,000, which is up 9.6% from a year ago.

Now while the average home prices have continued trending upwards, the rate at which they have has also has been slowing down which is a healthy indicator for our market. An example of this might be if you were driving your car up a hill, as the road started to get steeper, the speed at which you are driving would begin decreasing. You would still be gaining ground, just not as quickly.

Ada County Sales Prices on the Rise

Now if we go back in time to January 2015, the Ada County real estate market began to see year-over-year price growth each month, at 7.9% on average through August 2017. Looking back to January 2012 (when the market recovery began) through December 2014, year-over-year price growth fluctuated each month at a much higher average of 13.2%. These early fluctuations were closely tied to changes in mortgage interest rates.

In summary, our market outlook looks healthy at this time. Rising home prices are ideal for people who are selling their home and for our economy overall, but eventually, this can cause affordability concerns for home buyers, even with low the mortgage interest rates still available. 

Slowing house price increases could be an early indicator of the market coming back into balance, however, long as the buyer demand outpaces the number of homes for sale, that low supply vs. high demand factor could very well keep home prices on the rise.

Now let's not forget about Canyon County.  This market is experiencing the same slowing price growth that we see in Ada County. 

If we look back from January 2012 through December 2014, the average home sales price increase was 18.9%. The average home sales price in Canyon County for August 2017 was not a new record like it was in Ada County, but it was up 11.0% from August 2016 at $183,000.

If you would like more information about market trends in Ada County or Caynon County, please click the link below. There you will find additional information about trends within each county, by price point, by existing and new construction, and by neighborhood, 

Click here for full market data on Ada County and Canyon County→

Should you have questions about buying a home, selling a home, or anything else, please give us a call at 208-501-8200.

Sept. 6, 2017

Which 5 Remodeling Projects Bring the Greatest Return on Investment?



Buying a home? Click here to start your new home search

Selling a home? Click here for an INSTANT Home Value Check 

Call us at (208) 501-8200 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation


Home remodeling is more popular than ever!

Popular shows on HGTV and inspiration created by Pinterest posts have more people making improvements around their home. But out of all the possible remodeling projects people are doing, which ones actually pay off the most?

John West of West Real Estate Group shares five remodeling projects that offer the best returns:

1. Your kitchen

Kitchen remodeling can be done as simple or as elaborate as you like.However, to maximize your return keep your total investment to under 20% of the value of your home. This project can have you seeing a whopping 85% return on your investment.

2. Your bathroom

A complete bathroom remodeling project can cost upwards of $20,000. However, based on the numbers researched, it's definitely worth it. Not only will this project pay for itself, but it could give you an added 80% return. 

3. Your deck

Building or replacing a backyard deck can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the size and materials used. The expected benefit is similar to a bathroom remodeling project—around an 80% return.

4. Your siding

Fading or worn-out siding can turn off potential buyers before they even step foot in your home as it's the first thing they see.

Replacing old siding will certainly make it much easier to sell your home, and should give you an 80% return on an investment of around $10,000.

5. Your windows

New windows offer greater energy efficiency, increased thermal and acoustic comfort, and a more modern look and Homebuyers intuitively know this, and they are willing to pay to have this update on their new home.That is why an average window replacement should yield at least a 70% return on your investment.

These are the 5 top remodeling projects in terms of ROI.

 


Even just one of these projects could add thousands of dollars to the net worth of your home. 

 

Clearly, some of these projects will make more sense for your home than others.

If you're considering selling your home, then just one of these projects could add thousands of dollars to the price you'll be able to get when your home sells. 

To get an idea of what your home is worth in current market without these renovations, check out our home value calculator that takes into account recent sales:

Click here to find how what your home is worth INSTANTLY.

If you want additional advice about which remodeling projects make sense for you, give us a call at 208-501-8200. We can discuss all the details, and we can give you an accurate estimate of what these projects could be worth to you.

Sept. 5, 2017

Your Weekly Listing Activity Reports & What They Mean

At West Real Estate Group, we belive you should have better education and more communcation from your Realtor and when you hire us to help you get your home sold, we belive you should know what we are doing to advertise your home for sale and how that advertising is working. 

There are some advertising statics that we track and each week we share these numbers with you so that you can see if your home's advertising is being seen by potential buyers. By tracking all this data, we can better edcuate you and ulimately make better informed decsions week by week to ensure your home for sale get sold. 

Below are some of the staticis we track and what each number means to you: 

Listing Activity Report Example

Matched Saved Searches:
Each time your property's online listing is included in the results of someone's saved search this number is tracked and your total number is updated.

Example: Matched Saved Searches 4

Matched Contacts:
Each matched saved search will be evaluated to determine the contact to which it is assigned. The total number of contacts whose saved searches includes your home's listing as a match will be reported.

Example: Matched Contacts 1

Property Details Viewed:
Each time your property's online listing is viewed in a single listing detail view this number is tracked and updated.  

Example: Property Details Viewed 45 

Added to Listing Cart:
The number of times your home's listing has been added to a Listing Cart.

Example: Added to Listing  Cart: 1

Emailed from System:
Each time your home's listing is emailed from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) application this number is tracked and updated.

Example: Emailed from System 1

Total number of Hits:
This number will be totaled up each time your home's listing is viewed in a single listing detail view within the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) or emailed report views.  The Hit Count data may be blocked by field security.  If this is the case Listing Activity Tracking data (Listing Detail Views) will be substituted in lieu of hit count data. This data represents the complete total number of hits on your home's listing to date and should be the sum of the Agent Hits (Realtor viewing your home's Listing) and Buyer Hits combined.  Note: all Buyer hit counts or detail views are limited to one per unique IP address per 24 hours.

Example: Total Hits 595

Total number of Agent Hits:
Each time an agent views a listing in Paragon in a single listing detail view this number is track and updated. If the agent hit count field is disabled by field security or configuration listing activity tracking data will be substituted.

Example: Total Agents Hits 491

Total number of Unique Agent Hits:
The agent hits are evaluated by Paragon user ID to determine how many unique agents viewed the listing.   If the agent hit count field is disabled by field security or configuration listing activity tracking data will be substituted.

Example: Unique Agents Hits 491

Total number of Client Hits:
Each time an individual views a listing in a BKMLS application outside of the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) this value is tracked and totaled up. Client hits are limited to one per unique IP address per 24 hours to discourage inflated listing activity reports. If the client hit count field is disabled by field security or configuration listing activity tracking data will be substituted.

Example: Total Client Hits 104

Total number of Unique Client Hits:
The client hits are evaluated by IP address to determine how many unique buyers viewed your home's listing. If the client hit count field is disabled by field security or configuration listing activity tracking data will be substituted. Client hits are limited to one per unique IP address per 24 hours to discourage inflated listing activity reports.

Example: Unique Client Hits 72


We want to be sure you understand we are doing to market your home for sale. Part of that marketing includes who is viewing your home's advertising as well. These numbers will better help us to make adjustments to our market efforts so that we can ultimately get your home for sale, sold. 

If you have any questions about this information, please give us a call at 208-501-8200 and we would be happy to answer any of your questions.

Aug. 15, 2017

Looking For Homes with Acreage in the Boise, Idaho Area?

Buying a home? Click here to start your new home search

Selling a home? Click here for an INSTANT Home Value Check 

Call us at (208) 501-8200 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

Is your dream to own some land? 

Maybe you want more space, so your neighbors aren't on top of you. Or maybe your dream is to own horses, chickens, or other livestock. You might want to build a shop or have room to park the RV and other toys. Maybe you just like the idea of having more peace and quiet. 

At West Real Estate Group we hear lots of reasons why people are looking for properties with more land and acreage for sale, and maybe that's your dream too.

Every day we have more and more clients on our website that tell us they're searching for properties with land or homes with acreage. Those types of properties seem to be harder and harder to find.

So why is that? 

Well as the Boise, Idaho and surrounding cities here the Treasure Valley continue to see more and more people moving into our area, land is becoming more, and more in demand.

 

Click here to view Boise, Idaho homes for sale with acreage→

 

Vacant land and building lots are also becoming harder to find and these types of properties, with homes already completed, sell quickly.

If your dream is to own some land or a home with acreage in Boise, Idaho or one of the surrounding areas, there is still some time to find what you are looking for, but they are going fast and prices are continuing to rise as the demand continues to grow. 

Here at West Real Estate Group, we have a great resource to help you find all land for sale along with all homes for sale with acreage. We update our property listings on our website within minutes so you know you are seeing all homes for sale and all properties with land for sale.

If you are considering making a move to a property with more land and or a home for sale with acreage, and have questions, we would love to help you!

Give our team a call at 208-501-8200 or start browsing for homes for sale with acreage right now by clicking the links below.

Search For Homes For Sale With Acreage in Boise, Idaho By Land Size: 

Area Searches For Homes For Sale With Acreage 

Aug. 1, 2017

Why People Are Moving to Boise, Idaho

Buying a home? Click here to start your new home search

Selling a home? Click here for an INSTANT Home Value Check 

Call us at (208) 501-8200 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation


Are you thinking about making a move to Boise, Idaho or one of the surrounding cities here in the Treasure Valley? If you are, or know someone who is thinking about making a move, we have a great resource for you!

The Boise, Idaho and Treasure Valley area is no longer a secret. Our area has constantly found itself at the top of many top ten lists. As people have come to see what Idaho has to offer, they often end up moving here and calling the Boise, Idaho area home. 

The city of Boise is the capital of Idaho and is located in the Treasure Valley. Located in the valley and surrounding the Boise area are the cities of Meridian, Eagle, Kuna, Star, Middleton, Nampa, and Caldwell, Idaho. 

If you already call our area home, then you know why people want to move here.

However, if you're not from our area and are considering a move to Boise, Idaho or the Treasure Valley, there's a good chance you found out about our city by doing research online.

You may have searched for;

  • Top places to retire 
  • Cities with a low cost of living
  • Best places to raise a family
  • Best places to start a business, 

or a multitude of other reasons people search for to find our area.

Just take a short drive around the city and you can see the growth happening everywhere. New buildings are popping up on every corner as our area adjusts to the new growth.

If you, or someone you know, are thinking of making a move to our area, we have a complementary resource for you.

Each year our company updates our relocation guide and offers it free of charge. This guide is packed full of information about Boise, Idaho and the surrounding cities. We have information on city demographics, incomes, schools, things to do, and so much more!

To get your free relocation guide, just click the link below or you can email this link to a friend or family member who might be considering a move to our area. 

Click here to view our Relocation Guide for 2017→

 Also, our real estate website is a great resource to view all homes in the Boise, Idaho area along with the surrounding cities here in Idaho. We update our website every minute with all listings so that you can be sure you're not missing any great homes for sale.

Our real estate team loves helping people learn more about our area and what makes it so great! If you are thinking about making a move to our area and or have any questions about buying or selling a home here, please give us a call or send us an email. Would love to help!

You can reach our team at 208-501-8200 or visit our website at WestRealEstateGroup.com.

Enjoy our relocation guide! We look forward to hearing from you!

Search Today's New Homes For Sale in Boise, Idaho by Price Range:

 

Popular Searches for Boise, Idaho Real Estate:

July 18, 2017

How Can You Strengthen Your Offer as a Buyer?

If you want to stand out in our market and strengthen your offer as a buyer, get pre-approved. 

Buying a home? Click here to start your new home search

Selling a home? Click here for an INSTANT Home Value Check 

Call us at (208) 501-8200 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

If you’re searching for a new home in the Treasure Valley area, you’re entering a highly competitive market. Currently, the number of buyers searching for a new home in our market greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This housing shortage has created this highly competitive environment, and you as a buyer need to find ways to stand out from other buyers. 

A great way to stand out as a buyer and strengthen your offer is to get a pre-approval for your home before you start your home search. This step is often overlooked by eager buyers, but it can make all the difference in your offer standing out while other buyers are running to the bank to get their loan approval completed before they can make their offer. 

There are many other advantages to having your mortgage pre-approval in hand, as well. Knowing your budget will give you the confidence of knowing what you can spend and if certain properties are within your reach. We highly recommend all our clients work with a lender to get pre-approved before they start house hunting.

 


Don’t chance it—get your pre-approval letter in hand. 

       ”


Once you interview and hire a Realtor to assist you in the home buying process, they’ll act as a great resource to connect you with local lenders who’ve proven themselves to be able to offer great loan options, competitive rates and fees, and who have the ability to close on time. Getting pre-approved not only proves to the buyer that you’re serious about buying their property, but it also speeds up the transaction process and the closing time frame. 

The bottom line is, don’t chance it. Get your loan approval letter in hand so you’re in the driver’s seat as soon as that perfect home pops up on the market. This process is easy and can often be completed online or over the phone. 

If you’re ready to buy a home, you might find out that it’s easier to qualify for than you think. With interest rates still low, your prospective monthly payments are still very attractive, especially compared to rents in our area. 

If you have any questions about buying or selling a home, feel free to reach out to us by phone or email. We’d be happy to assist you. 

July 5, 2017

How to Find a Great Realtor

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search

Selling a home? Click here for an INSTANT Home Price Evaluation 

Call us at (208) 501-8200 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

If you are thinking of selling your home, building a home, or buying a new home here in Meridian, Idaho, Boise, Idaho or the surrounding areas, then chances are you are going to be searching for a real estate agent to help you through the buying or selling process. 

A great Realtor can make all the difference in the process being an enjoyable one or one you won’t want to repeat. 

But how do you find a great Realtor? 

In today's video team leader, John West with Real Estate Group shares how to find and select a great realtor to help you with this exciting but often times stressful process. 

After 14 years in the industry and being a Broker and Owner of a real estate company, John knows firsthand that not all agents are same and often times, finding a great Realtor is not always easily done.  

One of the largest mistakes people often make is picking any agent to help them through the buying or selling process without first interviewing them first. They may get lucky but often times that is not the case. According to many studies done, most people say they only met with one agent before hiring them. 

Because the real agent you hire is a critical part of your home buying or selling experience, we recommend that you interview any agent (or agents) you are thinking of hiring to help you before you choose one. 

To help you, we have a list of 10 interview questions. These 10 questions will help guide you on what to ask. 

Click here to view: 10 Questions To Ask a Realtor Before Hiring Them

We also recommend you do your own research. Google the agent's name. Do they have online reviews? If not, why? 

Ask for past client references. After all, past clients can share with you how the process went and whether or not they would hire that agent again for the job. 

Most clients tell us that they are searching for an agent who will offer great communication, do what they say they will do, and who have the experience to get the job done right. 

If you are searching for a Realtor here in Meridian, Idaho or the surrounding areas, our agents would love to be interviewed for the job.

We offer excellent communication, integrity in doing what we said we will do and have years of experience here in the Treasure Valley selling real estate.

We even have lots of online reviews from past clients. 

Click here to read our online reviews

If you have any questions about buying or selling a home, please feel free to give us a call at 208-501-8200 or visit us online to learn more.

June 16, 2017

Selling Your Home in Boise, Idaho? These Three Steps Can Help

 If you're thinking about selling your home in Boise, Idaho or the Treasure Valley this summer to take advantage of our seller's market? If so, you are not alone. These three steps first will help you to make sure you are best prepared to sell your home here in Idaho. 

Buying a home? Click here to start your new home search

Selling a home? Click here for an INSTANT Home Value Check 

Call us at (208) 501-8200 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

We recently received a great question from a couple who are thinking about selling their home and taking advantage of this great market here in the Treasure Valley. They wanted to know what steps they should expect in the home selling process and how to get started. This is an especially great question for a market like ours which favors sellers. Below are some steps that can help you get started in the selling process:

1. Get an idea of what your home is worth:
Even better, narrow it down to a more solid value range. Don't just guess based on a few local sales; we recommend checking your home's value on our website with our instant value checking tool. It's not an exact science, but it will give you a much tighter window of your home's value in this market. One of our local listing specialists will then double check the value our system gave you and make sure you have a great idea of what homes like yours are selling for in today's market.

Go ahead and get your value now: Click here to get an instant value check

2. Meet with a lender: 
By speaking with a lender, you will better understand your budget, how much you should put down on your new home, and any financial roadblocks you have. You'll feel so much more confident going forward when you sell your house.
 


By taking the right steps, you will be much better prepared to sell your home. 

       ”

3. Get clarity on what you want and why: 
What's important to you in your next home? It could be location, size, amenities, land, or something like an RV bay or workshop, or maybe you want to downsize into a smaller space. 

We recommend spending some time browsing our website and looking at homes to see what is on the market and what prices are doing. By doing this, you will get a much better feel for areas you are interested in, a better understanding of what you want, what you need, and how much it might be selling for. 

Going through this process will give you a much better idea about whether it's a good idea to sell your home and how much you can afford to spend on the next one. By taking the right steps, you will be much better prepared to sell your home and find your next one. 

If you have any further questions or you think you're ready to start the process of selling your house, give our team a call at 208-501-8200 or send us an email soon. We would love to help you!

Posted in Selling a Home
May 15, 2017

3 Tips for Buyers in Our Seller’s Market

 

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search

Selling a home? Click here for an INSTANT Home Price Evaluation 

Call us at (208) 501-8200 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

In the Boise, Idaho, and Treasure Valley area, we are currently in a seller’s market, which means if you’re looking to buy you’ll need to know how to get your offer to stand out and get accepted. In this post, we will explain three tips we have learned and use every day to help our buyer's get their offers accepted. If you are thinking of buying a home in the Boise, Idaho area, you will want to make sure you do everything you can to ensure your offer stands out to have a chance at securing that new home. 

What is a seller's market? 

In a buyer’s market, the demand for houses is low, inventory (homes for sale) is high, list times are longer, fewer and lower offers are put on homes, and price reductions are common. 

In a seller’s market, demand for housing is high, the supply of homes is low, list times are shorter, multiple offers are common, and homes may sell at or above their list price. 

The first step in snagging your perfect home in a seller’s market is to realize that we are indeed in a seller’s market, which means sellers have the upper hand. Your approach to making an offer and getting it accepted must be unique if you want to stand out to win a multiple offer situation. 

 


Your approach to making an offer and getting it accepted must be unique if you want to stand out and win a multiple offer situation.  

       ”

 

You also need to make sure you hire the right agent. In this market, the right agent can make all the difference in your offer getting accepted or losing out on your dream home. The right agent should have the right systems and technology in place to ensure you get listings the moment they pop up on the market as well as direct you to homes that may not be on the market using their networking connections. They should also be able to respond quickly when that perfect home does pop up and help you write up the most attractive offer. 

Finally, you need to have patience. It’s easy to lose heart and get frustrated when you miss out on a good home. Some buyers even give up and continue to rent instead. However, although we are in a seller’s market there are still plenty of advantages for homebuyers. For example, low interest rates are keeping monthly payments more affordable than rent in many cases. Interest rates are on the rise, though, so waiting to buy could end up costing you your dream home. Also, as home values increase, those who purchase a home can benefit from the equity the market is creating for them. 

If you’re looking to purchase a home our team would love to assist you. Our agents are experienced, full time, and hardworking. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to working with you. 


Click here to learn more about how mortgage guidelines have changed allowing more buyers to qualify for homes loans!

If you are not thinking of selling or buying a home but own a house in our area, the value of your home has likely improved since you purchased it and is predicted to continue to see improvement which is great news. You can always use our INSTANT value check tool to see what your home is worth in today's market by clicking here: 

What is my home worth in today's market? 

Call our team today at 208-501-8200 to get answers to your questions.

Click this link for a complete breakdown of the market statistics

You can also start browsing for all brand new homes in Boise, Idaho and the surrounding areas by clicking here: Yes, show me new homes for sale!