Welcome to the West Real Estate Group blog!
Meet Your Team
Who do you know that's looking to buy or sell a home? If we have done a great job for you, please don't keep us a secret! Our team would be thrilled to help and will take excellent care of them.
Tapping the Breaks
Driving back down from McCall is never as much fun as driving up there. Mostly that's because what you're planning to do in McCall is more fun than what you'll be doing when you get back down to the Valley. But part of it is that there is at least one good downhill section of the road that always makes you think about your breaks. You notice the signs as you drive along telling you that a lengthy descent is coming. As you come to it, your foot comes off the gas and you start to coast. If you really want to save every drop of gas, you put the vehicle in neutral. It doesn't take long to pick up speed. Before you know it, you're racing along faster than you feel comfortable and your foot begins to move to the brake pedal. At that moment (if you're a little strange like me) as your foot hovers over the pedal briefly, you wonder if the breaks will engage when you put your foot down. As you've been racing down the hill, have you been safe because you can slow your descent or have you been in free fall the whole time and just didn't know how much danger you were in? Obviously the fact that you're reading this means that the brakes have always worked for you. That's good news of course! The rest of the good news is that our Real Estate market has brakes as well, and they seem to be working perfectly. Let's look at the numbers.
The first and probably most significant "tapping of the brakes" is that the total number of houses to sell stayed the same from September to October. That's huge as all of the warning signs for this time of year tell us that we should be on a steady decline.
The average sales price also remained roughly level.
The average days to sell a house rose moderately. This in line with what we saw last winter when it reached its peak in February.
The other major indicator that shows us that the market is not in free fall is the amount of negotiations for existing homes. Sellers have been giving up a little bit more (and sometime a lot more) each month in order to get their houses to sell. Last month, the sellers fought back and actually had to yield less than the month before.
Most likely, the major reason that the sellers could negotiate a little harder is the falling inventory. For the last several months we have had fewer and fewer new listings come on the market to replace those that have sold. Last month, we reached that magical moment when we actually had more sales than new listings.
In summary, while we expect that the market will continue to slow as it normally does at this time of year, it's good to see that we aren't in free fall (or dare I say having a bubble burst). The market is still acting rationally. If there are fewer houses on the market, some power will shift back to the sellers' side.
Advice for Sellers
- While the market isn't quite as strong as it was this past summer, it is by no means sluggish. List your house now before everyone else does in January.
Advice for Buyers
- Realize that most sellers who list in the winter have some motivation to do so and aren't just "testing the waters". Take advantage of that motivation.
- Be realistic about what the market is doing and don't low ball the seller when you find the right house. Chances are, they don't have to deal with an unrealistic offer.
Property Address: 11292 W Kipling Way, Nampa, ID 83651
4 Beds | 2.5 Baths | 2,215 Square Feet | 3 Car Garage
Year Built: 2006
List Price: $188,000
Open House: Saturday, October 25th, from 1:30-4pm
Description: Why buy new when you can save time and money with this pristine home? It's move-in ready and won't last long. Popular floor plan with open space is sure to please. Kitchen features stainless steel appliances, range, dishwasher, and granite tile counters. Large bedrooms with a bonus room that could also be a 4th bedroom. Spacious master suite and master bath. Plenty of natural light, soaker tub, and large walk-in closet. High quality laminate flooring and carpet throughout. Large backyard with mature trees.
Questions? Call or text John West at 208-353-5458. Click here for full property details.
Property Address: 3315 W Davis Lane, Meridian, ID 83642
6 Beds | 5.5 Baths | 6,335 Square Feet | 4 Car Garage
# of Acres: 5.1
Year Built: 1999
List Price: $699,900
Open House: Saturday, October 25th, from 1-4pm
Description: 5 Acre Estate W/Views! Immaculate Two Story w/Basement. Six Bedrooms plus Den, 5.5 Baths, Loft, Rec/Bonus/Media Room, Formal Living and Dining, and Open Family Room to Kitchen & Nook. Two Staircases Up, One Grand Curved Open Stairway W/Open Loft Balcony Library. Views of Valley From Front. Large Covered Patio, Back Gazebo, No Back Neighbors Behind. Fenced Back Yard. Back 3 Acre Pasture Perfect For Horses w/Flood Irrigation Available. Area With Storage Shed and Perfect For Future Shop, 4 car Garage
Questions? Call or text Lauren Clark at 208-830-4610. Click here for full property details.
Video: John West Announces the Prize Entry Winners from our 2nd Annual Clients and Friends Appreciation Party!
Too Much of a Good Thing?
I’m a pretty average runner. By that I mean that I run like the average person. I go out and do it faithfully for a few days and then I stop. A while later, I get back into it only to stop a little while later. That’s what the average person does, right? But while I’m not an expert on the subject, I do know a thing or two about the process. For the first few steps nothing changes. Then you start breathing a little harder and your feet turn to lead. In a little while, you catch your stride, and you keep cruising along without too much effort. After a while, you notice that you’re sweating pretty hard. It gets harder and harder to catch your breath, and your heart is racing. What you might not have noticed is that your heart was beating pretty quickly the whole time. Should you be alarmed? Of course not. You’ll come to your senses soon and stop running. Your heart will continue to pound for a few minutes, and then it will slow down as you stand in front of the freezer trying to make a decision. But what would happen if you made it all the way through that well deserved bowl of ice cream and your heart was still pounding away like it was at the end of your run? You’d start to get concerned wouldn’t you? What was good during the run is not so good an hour later.
This illustration is pretty easy to understand, but for some reason, it’s harder for us to apply this same logic to the Real Estate market. “Oh no!” the newspapers scream, “we’re not selling as many houses in the fall as we did in the spring!” “Yes” we reply “and it’s colder at night than during the day.” In other words, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. What should really worry us is if the market never stopped to catch its breath. It would overheat just like that poor runner in our story.
Let’s look at the numbers.
Just like last year, the peak of our sales came in July. After that point, the number of properties sold each month started to decline. We fell a bit faster in August than we did in the same month last year, but we had a slightly stronger September this year than in 2013.
Our total sales volume for the third quarter of this year was almost identical to 2013. The combined total for the second and third quarters of this year beat the same period last year. So this is two years in a row with very robust growth.
The average sales price dipped slightly, but it is still well within the normal limits. Most of that had to do with volatility in the Ada County market. Canyon County actually saw a slight increase in value from the previous month.
The average days on market rose again, but it is still under 50. Anything under 60 is generally considered to be a quick market.
Since June, sellers have had to give up more and more in their negotiations in order to sell. They are now coming down 4.5% on average. This isn’t a huge figure, but it does show that balance is returning to the market.
Fewer new houses went on the market last month relative to the number of houses that sold. So on the one hand, while we might expect to see more houses on the market because it’s taking a little longer to sell them, we aren’t seeing a rush of new properties on the market on the other hand. In other words, the inventory levels aren’t increasing dramatically.
So we’re sitting down to a bowl of Tillamook Mudslide right now, and if things go like they did last year, we’ll have a bit of a nap through the winter before getting up early in the spring for another run.
Sellers: What Does This Mean?
- There’s a chance that things will continue to slow down through the rest of the year. Don’t waste time getting your house on the market. Do it now!
- Prices aren’t falling, but they aren’t going up either. Be realistic and expect to negotiate with an equal partner instead of telling them to take it or leave it.
Buyers: What Does This Mean?
- Don’t feel like you have to panic every time a new house comes on the market. Take a look at new listings, but now you have a minute to think before you act.
- There are fewer new houses coming on the market right now, so be flexible in the way you look at houses. Don’t get so locked into a particular dream that you can’t see the great house in front of you.
As the Designated Broker & Lead Buyer Specialist at West Real Estate Group, Derek provides a wealth of knowledge with over 10 years of real estate experience. He has the ability to thoroughly explain any step of the process to new home buyers or seasoned buyers and will keep you constantly informed during the journey to homeownership.
2nd Annual Clients and Friends Appreciation Party
West Real Estate Group invites you and your family to its 2nd Annual Clients and Friends Appreciation Party on Saturday, October 11th, from 1-4pm. The event will be held at our Meridian office located at: 2490 N. Locust Grove Rd., Meridian, ID 83646.
Enjoy appetizers, drinks, prizes, pumpkin painting, a bounce house, and other activities!
Questions? Reach our team at 208-501-8200, or send us an email here.
Click here to download a flyer to the event!
by Marc Lebowitz, RCE, CAE
ACAR Executive Director
Single family home sales in July 2014 were 832 in Ada County, a decrease of 7% compared to July 2013. YTD total sales are down 3% compared to this time last year; 4,525 homes sold compared to 4,674.
In July 78% of our total sales were for homes priced above $160,000.
In July sales of homes in the $160,000 – $200,000 were up 18% from June 2014 to 194. This category had the greatest sales increase month-over-month and was the highest sales category behind. Sales in price points above $200,000 cooled slightly in July
Days on Market for July were 47; one day more than last month. In July 2013, Days on Market was 44.
New homes sold in July totaled 156; down 5% from last year; up 3% over June.
Existing home sales were 676; down 8% from July 2013.
Historically July sales fall off from June levels. Last year and this year the trend has been reversed. July 2013 increased over June 2013 by 9%. July 2014 increased over June 2104 by 4%.
July 2013 was the peak in a very strong sales year. Although we’ve had four consecutive months with sales behind the previous year, our sales trend for 22014 is strong.
Pending sales at the end of July were 988; down 20% from July 2013. Pending sales have trailed behind previous year’s pending sales for twelve consecutive months.
July median home price was $213,800; up 3% from July 2013. Our YTD median price is $208,729; up 7% over last year.
New Homes median price for July was $311,540; up 16% from July 2013. For Existing homes the increase is 3% to $195,000.
The number of houses available for sale at the end of July increased 4% from June 2014 to 2,907. This is an increase we really need. This is 14% more than last year at this time.
We anticipate continued inventory growth from now until the end of Summer.
The price point with the largest increase month-over-month is $160,000 – $200,000 at 7%. The next highest is $120,000 – $160,000 with 6%.
In Ada County we now have 3.6 months of inventory on hand, essentially unchanged from the end of June.
The price categories in shortest supply are $120,000 to $160,000 which has 2.1 months; and $100,000 – $119,000 which has 2.2 months.
From $160,000 to $400,000 we have 3.6 months; not much change from last month.
Of sales in July, the most popular price point was $160,000 to $200,000 (23%); and $120,000 to $160,000 (18%) followed by $200,000 – $300,000 with 16%.
We’ve compared pretty well to 2013 for the first seven months of 2014. From now until December we should trend ahead of 2013 sales and median should hold steady.
We have more inventory coming online in the <$160,000 which will release some pent up demand among first time buyers.
Median price shows no signs of weakening.
Boise was named the “Best City to Move to in 2104” last week because of our ‘Median Income” “Home Value Growth” and “Home Affordability”.
All in all, I’m still feeling pretty good about how we will finish the year.
Most people don't think to much about this form until they buy a new house and even then it's easy to forget about it until it's to late.
Did you know that Idaho gives you a homeowner's tax exemption (tax break) as long as you, the owner, occupy your home? The exemption includes the value of your home and up to one acre of land.
The Tax Commission is required by law to recompute the homeowner's exemption limit each year, based on the federal Housing Price Index for Idaho. The agency simply administers what the law says; it's not involved in decision-making. The Index is the same throughout the state and isn't adjusted to reflect housing price changes that vary in different parts of Idaho. That means a taxpayer's home value may increase, but the home is still subject to a lower homeowner's exemption.
If you don't agree that your assessed value reflects the market value of your property on January 1st (calculated before subtracting the homeowner's exemption) or have questions, you can contact them at:
Ada County Assessor's Office
190 E. Front St., Ste. 107, Boise, ID 83702
(208) 287-7200 Fax (208) 287-7209
Canyon County Assessor's Office
1115 Albany St., #343, Caldwell, ID 83605
(208) 454-7431 Fax (208) 454-7349
If you just have questions about how your value was developed, please call your county assessor before that date.
Value changes don't equal tax changes. Since taxes are based on the budgets of taxing districts, those districts can budget the same amount from property tax from one year to the next, but when property values go down, the levy rate goes up automatically to compensate. If one property's value increases more than others, its taxes go up faster than others. For most taxing districts, budgets are set in August or early September, so final property tax amounts aren't certain until then.
By: John West
Beautiful Move-in Ready Home for Sale in Kuna!
Pride in ownership is easily seen in this beautiful home! Move in ready and priced to sell, this home is sure to please and will move quickly. Features 3 beds, 2.5 baths, living room, plus spacious family room. Large kitchen includes island and a big pantry. You will love the large .21 acre corner lot with RV parking potential, hot tub, 3 car garage, fully fenced yard, large covered patio, and gorgeous landscaping. Located in the popular Palomar Heights Subdivision. A brand new roof is being installed.