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. 31, 2018

2018 Meridian Trunk or Treat Prize Winner Announcement and Event Photos!

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


Thank you for attending the 2nd Annual Meridian Trunk or Treat! We also want to thank those who brought non-perishable food items to be donated to the Boise Rescue Mission! In the above video, John West, Realtor & Owner of West Real Estate Group, announces the winner of the $50.00 gift card to The Village at Meridian. If you were unable to attend this event, we hope to see you next year. Have a safe and spooktacular Halloween!

**Did your child forget to pick up their monster rock at the end of the event? We might have it at our office! Please call us at 208-501-8200 or stop by our office at 2490 N Locust Grove Rd, Meridian, ID 83646 to find out.

Photos of the Event

Our trunk display inspired by the movie Up.

Our trunk display inspired by the movie Up.

Waiting in line to create monster rocks!

Waiting in line to create monster rocks!

Making monster rocks!

Making monster rocks!

Finished monster rocks left out to dry :)


Monster rocks left at the event!

Victoria and daughter Ophelia at the Event.

 

Oct. 16, 2018

2nd Annual Meridian Trunk or Treat!

You're Invited

Join Us for an Evening of Fun at the 2nd Annual Meridian Trunk or Treat!

Hosted by: Several local businesses
When: Monday, October 29th, 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Where: 535 N. Locust Grove Rd, Meridian, ID (1.3 miles South of West Real Estate Group)
Parking: On any of the side streets or neighboring businesses
No need to RSVP, just show up in your costumes ready to have some fun!

Please bring a non-perishable food items to donate to the Boise Rescue Mission to be entered into our drawing.

We will provide the CANDY and GAMES and have a COSTUME CONTEST!

Community Wide Family Event

You are invited to join us in a safe and entertaining way to enjoy some Halloween festivities. Each year, we love to host different events in order to connect with our clients and friends and to say thank you for allowing us to serve your real estate needs.

This October, we have joined in with our friends at Rock & Armor to host a trunk or treat. This is a great opportunity to bring the whole family out for a night of costumes, games, and lots and lots of candy!

Please grab your friends and family and join us for an evening of fun! We look forward to seeing you there!

P.S. If you, or anyone you know, have questions about buying or selling a home, please do call us. We would be honored to be of help.

Event Location Map:

Location Event Map

Sept. 7, 2018

Are These Top 3 Myths Holding You Back From Buying Your Dream Home?

Thinking of buying a new home here in Meridian, Idaho or in one of the surrounding cities?

We find that many “potential” buyers let fear hold them back from purchasing a new home, and often times, they are fearful of myths that aren't even true.

In our newest video, we reviewed the Top 3 Myths we hear every day from buyers, and in this blog post we will teach you the facts so that you can move forward with confidence when buying your new home.

When surveyed, these are the Top 3 Myths holding buyers back right now:

  • Limited Inventory of Homes They Like - 35%

  • Overall Affordability - 30%

  • Down Payment - 28%

Myth # 1: I won't find a home I will like due to the limited inventory of homes available

Fact: It is true that there are fewer homes available right now, and that limited inventory is a challenge; however, we are starting to see a shift in the number of homes coming to market. Every day we help people find their dream home and we would love to help you find yours.

Myth # 2: Overall Affordability

Fact: Generally speaking, homes are actually more affordable now than in the past, except only for the years when distressed properties dominated the market. In fact, a recent study showed that buying a home is now 26.3% cheaper than renting.

Myth # 3: I don't have a large enough down payment for a home right now

Fact: Many homebuyers have the impression that they must have a down payment of 20% or more to purchase a home, and although this is a great tactic if you don’t want to pay monthly mortgage insurance, it is not necessary. Many loan programs allow you to have a down payment as low as 3%! VA loans (Veteran Administration loans) and RD loans (Rural Development loans) allow as low 0% down.

According to the Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors, 61% of first-time homebuyers purchased their homes with down payments below 6%.

If you are thinking of buying a new home, you may have some fears and concerns holding you back. Let's get together to discuss your real estate goals and ambitions. Our Realtors have the heart of a teacher, not of a salesman. We would love to help you understand more about the benefits of homeownership.

Call our team at 208-501-8200 or start your home search now to get started.

June 1, 2018

4th Annual Client and Friends Appreciation Party at Zoo Boise

Join Us for an Evening at Zoo Boise as Our Guest!

Event Details:
When: Friday, June 29th, 5:30pm to 9:00pm
Where: Zoo Boise, located at 355 Julia Davis Dr, Boise, ID 83702

Carousel • Face Painting • Giraffe Encounter • Zoo Farm Feeding • Food
Cash Bar • Inspiring Presentation • Fun

Kindly RSVP by June 14th as we have limited tickets! Click here to register or fill out the event form below:

Event Description:

You are invited to join us as our guest, at our 4th Annual Client and Friends Appreciation Party at Zoo Boise! Each year, we love to host an event to connect with our clients and friends and to say thank you for allowing us to serve your Real Estate needs. 

As this crazy, hot housing market continues on, we thought it would be fitting to hold this year's event at the Zoo! Please grab your friends and family and join us for an evening of fun! We look forward to seeing you there!

(RSVP list will be entered for a chance to win two season passes to Roaring Springs (valued at over $320.00!)

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May 7, 2018

What If I Wait Until Next Year to Buy a Home?

What if I wait until next year to buy a home?

We recently shared that national home prices have increased by 6.7% year-over-year. Over that same time period, interest rates have remained historically low which has allowed many buyers to enter the market.

As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price, but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, home prices will appreciate by 5.2% over the next 12 months.

What Does This Mean as a Buyer?

If home prices appreciate by 5.2% over the next twelve months as predicted by CoreLogic, here is a simple demonstration of the impact that an increase in interest rate would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:

Waiting to buy a home

Bottom Line

If buying a home In Idaho is in your plan for this year, doing it sooner rather than later could save you thousands of dollars over the terms of your loan. 

To discuss this further, give our team a call at 208-501-8200 or email us and we can help you learn more about the next steps in the home buying process

Nov. 13, 2017

Get the Best Deal for Your Home Now - Don't Wait Until Spring to List



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

Hi, John here from West Real Estate Group where we love to educate you about the ins and outs of buyingselling, and homeownership here in Boise, Idaho and surrounding areas.

Each year, most homeowners wait until the spring to sell their houses because they believe that they can get a better deal during the normal spring buyer’s market. However, recently released data suggests that a seller’s best deal may be available right now and in this short video, I will be sharing why now might be the best time to sell your home. 

So if you are considering selling your home here in Idaho, now might be the best time to bring it to the market. 

The concept of ‘supply & demand’ reveals that the best price for an item will be realized when the supply of that item is low and the demand for that item is high. So how does supply and demand apply to our current residential real estate market?

 


The current demand for homes in Idaho is stronger than ever. 

 

So let's talk about the supply of homes available right now:

It is no secret that the supply of homes for sale has been far below the number needed for over a year. A normal market requires six months of housing inventory to meet the demand. The latest report from the National Association of Realtors(NAR) revealed that there is currently only a 4.2-month supply of homes available and here in Idaho and the Treasure Valley, in many price points, this level is even lower. 

So the supply of homes is low but how is the demand for housing in Idaho? 

It's not hard to see that everyone is moving to our area and home builders can't keep up with this demand. A report that was just released also shows that demand is very strong. The most recent Foot Traffic Report (which sheds light on the number of buyers out looking at homes) disclosed that there are more buyers right now than at any other time in the last twelve months. This includes more buyers looking at homes right now than at any time during last year’s spring market.

So Here's The Bottom Line:

Waiting until the spring to list your house for sale made sense in the past. This year is different. The best deal is probably available right now.

If you are thinking of selling your home and or buying a new home, give us a call today at 208-501-8200. We would love to learn more about your housing goals and can further help you understand how this market may work in your favor. You can also visit our website to check the value of your home right now. Thanks for watching our videos and we look forward to hearing from you!

Oct. 25, 2017

Which Homes Have Increased In Value the Most?


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 values nationally have risen dramatically over the last twelve months and that is certainly the case for us here in Boise, Idaho, Ada County, and Canyon County. This is, of course, is great news and we wanted to share with you what homes, at what price points, have seen the largest increase in their values and in this short video, I will be sharing with you what we found.

In the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the NAR (National Association of Realtors), the annual increase in home values at the median home price was at 5.6%. Another study from CoreLogic showed, in their most recent Home Price Index Report, that national home prices have increased by 6.7% year-over-year. 

In the chart below we broke this appreciation down ever further into four price ranges which gives a more detailed view than simply looking at the year-over-year increases of the national median home price. This chart shows four pricing tiers and each one’s growth from July 2016 to July 2017. All price points showed growth but Look how much lower price range homes have improved! Lower priced homes have appreciated at greater rates than homes at the upper ends of the price point spectrum, due to demand from first-time home buyers and baby boomers looking to downsize.

The location of your home is not the only factor in determining how much it has appreciated over the course of the last year but certainly, it plays a strong role in your home's value change. One more chart I wanted to share with you shows the top 25 highest appreciating states nationally.

As you can see, Idaho not only made it to that list but ranks number for the highest appreciation behind Washington and Utah. 

We believe it is important to pay attention to how prices are changing in your local market, your city, and even your neighborhood so that you can make informed decisions and that is why we share this information. 

If you are planning on buying a home soon or listing your home for sale in today’s market, let’s get together to go over exactly what’s going on in your area and your price range. 

Give us a call at 208-501-8200 or visit our website to learn more! You can also check the value of your home right now by clicking the link below. 

What's Your Home Worth? Find out Instantly - Click Here

Thanks for watching this video, we look forward to hearing from you!

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.