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

May 1, 2019

Selling Your Home - What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Home Inspection

Home inspection with West Real Estate Group

Selling Your Home - What to Expect When You Are Expecting a Home Inspection

After you have accepted an offer on your home for sale, the next step is often the buyer’s home inspection. The most common inspection is a physical inspection conducted by a home inspector. Here’s what you can expect so that you can be best prepared.

What Are They Going to Do?

  • A home inspector will look at everything they can without risk to themselves or damage to the house.
  • The buyers may want to meet the inspector towards the end of the inspection to review the findings.

No Home is Perfect

No one’s home is perfect, and every inspection report will list at least a few items. Even brand new homes commonly have issues too. Remember that it’s the inspector’s job to be picky and find every little thing he can. What most sellers do with the report is to look for big, red flag items and not the little nickel and dime stuff. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss the buyer’s requests with your agent and determine an appropriate response.

Getting Prepared

It’s in your best interest as a seller to provide quick and easy access to your entire home. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Clear areas around your attic and crawlspace access points as well as your electrical panel and water heater.
  • Make sure all pilot lights are on for fireplaces and furnaces (even in summer).
  • If the home is vacant and the utilities have been shut off, have them reconnected before the inspection.
  • Leave instructions (if needed) for the inspector that might be helpful to help them operate systems around the home.

Who Pays for a Home Inspection?

While well and septic inspections are often paid for by sellers, the general home inspection is almost universally a buyer expense. Who pays for what will always be spelled out in the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?

The duration of a home inspection varies widely, mostly depending on four factors:

  • Home size
  • Number of defects
  • The quality and thoroughness of the home inspector
  • The helpfulness of the owner when preparing for the inspection

Most commonly, expect somewhere between two and four hours unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Is It Best for Sellers to Attend an Inspection?

We recommend that sellers leave and let the inspector do their work without interference. However, it’s still your home and you have the right to be there if you need to be. The inspector just has to be able to have free access to all areas of the home.

We strongly recommend that you do not discuss the condition of the house with the inspector of the buyers if they come. The inspector has to make his own findings, and we don’t want anything we say to be seen as influencing him.

Questions or Concerns?

If you have questions or concerns about your upcoming home inspection, please give us a call at 208-501-8200. We want to be sure your questions are answered and that you feel prepared. Thank you for your trust in us and for choosing our team to be a part of this process.

April 25, 2019

3 Graphs That Show What You Need to Know About Today’s Real Estate Market in Boise, Idaho and the Treasure Valley

3 Graphs that Show What You Need to Know About Today's Real Estate Market | MyKCM

The local housing market here in the Boise, Idaho area and the Treasure Valley has certainly been a hot topic in the news lately. Depending on which media outlet you watch, it can start to be a bit confusing to understand what’s really going on with interest rates and home prices here in the Valley.

The best way to show what’s really going on in today’s real estate market is to go straight to the data and it's what we love to do here at West Real Estate Group. We strive to keep our clients in the loop so they can make the most informed decisions. To help better understand the market, we put together the following three graphs along with a quote from Chief Economists that have their finger on the pulse of what each graph illustrates.

Interest Rates:

“The real estate market is thawing in response to the sustained decline in mortgage rates and rebound in consumer confidence – two of the most important drivers of home sales. Rising sales demand coupled with more inventory than previous spring seasons suggests that the housing market is in the early stages of regaining momentum.” - Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac

Income:

"A powerful combination of lower mortgage rates, more inventory, rising income and higher consumer confidence is driving the sales rebound." - Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR

3 Graphs that Show What You Need to Know About Today's Real Estate Market | Keeping Current MattersHome Prices:

“Price growth has been too strong for several years, fueled in part by abnormally low interest rates. A mild deceleration in home sales and Home Price Index growth is actually healthy, because it will calm excessive price growth — which has pushed many markets, particularly in the West, into overvalued territory.” – Ralph DeFranco, Global Chief Economist at Arch Capital Services Inc.

3 Graphs that Show What You Need to Know About Today's Real Estate Market | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

These three graphs indicate good news for the spring housing market! Interest rates are low, income is rising, and home prices have experienced mild deceleration over the last 9 months. If you are considering buying a home or selling your house, let’s get together to chat about our market!

You can call us today at 208-501-8200 or click here to start your new home search.

If you are curious about what your home is worth in today's market you can click here

Let's talk about your real estate goals today! 

March 13, 2019

What’s Going On with Bidding Wars In Boise, Idaho?

What’s Going On with Bidding Wars? | MyKCM

In a strong seller’s market, like the one we have experienced over the past few years here in the Boise, Idaho areas, bidding wars are common and expected. This makes sense! A seller’s market is defined as a market in which the inventory of homes for sale cannot satisfy the number of buyers who want to purchase a home.

According to the Cambridge English Dictionarybidding wars occur when two or more parties repeatedly outbid each other as they compete to purchase something- in this case, a home.

In some areas of the country, first-time buyers have been met with fierce competition throughout their experience. Some have been out-bid multiple times before finally winning a bid on a home to call their own.

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there is currently a 3.7-month supply of homes for sale. Here in Idaho, we are trending less than a month worth of inventory in many price points. 

With the current number of houses listed for sale and the level of demand from buyers, this means it would take 3.7 months for all the homes listed to sell if no additional listings came to market. Any supply number under a 6-month supply is considered a seller’s market. According to NAR, the housing market hasn’t had a 6-month supply of homes for sale since August 2012.

Good News for Buyers

A recent report shows that the percentage of houses sold including a bidding war before settling on a final price decreased from 53% in January of 2018 to 13% this year.

One reason for the decline is an influx of homes being listed for sale. Even though the month’s supply number is not increasing, the number of homes for sale is. The chart below shows the year-over-year change in inventory over the last 12 months.

What’s Going On with Bidding Wars? | MyKCM

 

As you can see, the number of homes for sale has started to build over the last eight months. Before this reversal, inventory levels had fallen for 36 consecutive months when compared to the year before.

Danielle Hale, realtor.com’s Chief Economist, gave some insight into why bidding wars are less common on a local level this year,

"[Last year] you might have been the only listing in your neighborhood, and you could put your home up at a certain list price and you would likely see multiple offers at or above that list price. That tide is turning this year.

It's going to depend on what neighborhood you're in, but we expect it to be more common this year that you won't be the only listing."

Inventory in the luxury and premium markets (the top 25% of listings in an area by price), is increasing at a higher rate than the starter home market. As the choices buyers have continued to increase, the likelihood of a bidding war will decrease.

Bottom Line

If you are debating listing your house for sale this year, you may not want to wait for additional competition as inventory continues to rise.

Find out what your home might be worth in today's market by clicking here.

Feb. 14, 2019

Falling in Love with a House, Only for it Not to Work Out

Falling in Love with a House, Only for it Not to Work Out

Like many people, our home buying experience started out while we were in a major life transition... having a baby. I (Victoria) had often considered Dave Ramsey’s advice on the matter, that an infant doesn’t take up much space and is not justification for needing a “bigger” house, but what I couldn’t shake was the idea that we needed more space. We had simply outgrown our starter home.

What initially started out as a tiny thought soon escalated into me obsessively searching my husband’s real estate website for the house of my dreams. Over the course of my pregnancy, my husband John slowly came onboard with the idea and was on the lookout for a house that might be a good fit for us as well.

One evening, I received a call from John who was insistent that I check out a new home which had just come to the market. John has been in the real estate industry for over a decade and sees houses day in and day out. He rarely gets too excited like that, so I thought this house must be pretty special. With little daylight left, I met him at the home and agreed, the house had everything on our wants list and met our desired budget. That night while in the living room of that property we decided to move forward and put in an offer. Our offer was accepted and the next few days were both exciting and daunting as reality set in, and we thought of all the details that would be involved with us moving houses.

What I didn’t know was, that as I was growing more excited, my husband was regretting the decision we made. I’ll never forget when he told me that he wanted to back out of our offer because he didn't feel the home was truly a good fit for our needs long term. I was so upset and frustrated. I couldn’t believe that my Realtor/husband could put his pregnant wife through this roller coaster of emotion and I stopped looking at homes. I couldn’t bear the thought of going through that again, so for several months, we didn’t even discuss the possibility of moving.

Then one day, after our daughter was born, we passed by a home for sale in a neighborhood that we both loved and had just come to the market. It was love at first sight and unlike the first home I liked, this one passed the needs and wants questions that John asks of his own clients who are looking to buy a new home. We put in an offer on this home and our offer was accepted. Unlike the first home, this time was different. It just felt right for so many reasons and we knew this was the right one. After being in our new home for over two years now, I cannot tell you how thankful I am that we didn’t move into that first house. Looking back, it was a painful journey but one that ended up being 100% worth it in the end.

What we failed to consider when we first found a house that “fit” our wants was that we needed someone who was not emotionally engaged to guide us through the process and to ask us the right questions. There were so many things that we would have settled on had we moved forward with the first house we fell in love with. Our new house is such a blessing to our family in so many ways and I am so thankful that my husband spoke up and voiced his opinions despite how it made me feel. That is what a good agent will do for their clients. 

I think there are many people out there who might be experiencing those same feelings of falling in love with a house. Falling in love is a natural part of being a human and is a normal part of the home buying process. But as the saying goes, love is blind, you need to make sure you have a great Realtor who will ask you the right questions and to have the courage to tell you if a home you love, might not fit your needs or budget. 

Buying a home is an emotional and exciting process and having the right agent can make sure your story ends with a happy ending. Your home is a big deal. It's a foundational part of your life. It's where you find security and comfort. It's where you get your rest, where you eat meals and connect with others. 

Our personal story helped to shape and remind us of what we do here at West Real Estate Group. We understand that our clients are making big life decisions and are trusting us to help them make sure those decisions are wise ones. For us, it is not about transactions, it's about relationships. Our clients put their trust in us to help them find their way home and this is the work we love to do. 

If you are thinking about making a move, please do call our team today to get connected to one of our amazing agents who have the heart of a teacher and a deep passion for the people they serve. You won't regret it. 

By: Victoria West, Director of Operations 

Jan. 15, 2019

Is the Recent Dip in Interest Rates Here to Stay?

Is the Recent Dip in Interest Rates Here to Stay? | MyKCM

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage climbed consistently throughout 2018 until the middle of November. After that point, rates returned to levels that we saw in August to close out the year at 4.55%, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

After the first week of 2019, rates have continued their downward trend. As Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sam Khater notes, this is great news for homebuyers. He states,

“Mortgage rates declined to start the new year with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipping to 4.51 percent. Low mortgage rates combined with decelerating home price growth should get prospective homebuyers excited to buy.”

In some areas of the country, the combination of rising interest rates and rising home prices had made some first-time buyers push pause on their home searches. But with more inventory coming to market, continued price growth, and interest rates slowing, this is a great time to get back in the market!

Will This Trend Continue?

According to the latest forecasts from Fannie Maethe Mortgage Bankers Associationand the National Association of Realtors,mortgage rates will increase over the course of 2019, but not at the same pace they did in 2018. You can see the forecasts broken down by quarter below.

Is the Recent Dip in Interest Rates Here to Stay? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Even a small increase (or decrease) in interest rates can impact your monthly housing cost. If buying a home in 2019 is on your short list of goals to achieve, let’s get together to find out if you are able to today.

The Cost of Waiting
$200,000 mortgage example:The Cost of Waiting $200,000 Mortgage

$300,000 mortgage example:

The Cost of Waiting $300,000 Mortgage

Today's New Real Estate Listings in Idaho

If you are searching for the newest listings of homes for sale in Idaho, you have found the right place. Our website updates instantly with a direct feed from the MLS system so you can be sure you are seeing property listings the moment they are published and marked NEW. Enjoy your home search. 

Search Today's New Homes For Sale In Idaho by Price Range:

Search Today's New Homes For Sale In Idaho by Popular Cities:

Popular Searches for Idaho's New Real Estate Listings:

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!)

View More
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