Sign up to get new listings emailed daily! JOIN SIGN IN
Chrissy Smith
(208) 720-2981
Commercial Real Estate Agent
LinkedIn Icon 

Date Archives: July 2020

Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.

rss logo RSS Feed
Boise Life | 44 Posts
Buying A Home | 6 Posts
Doers of Good | 12 Posts
Family Fun | 1 Posts
Food | 4 Posts
Gardening | 1 Posts
Get Outdoors | 5 Posts
Holidays | 4 Posts
Home Improvement | 18 Posts
Moving | 5 Posts
News | 63 Posts
Sell a Home | 2 Posts
Selling A Home | 5 Posts
Spring Cleaning | 1 Posts
Technology | 15 Posts
Uncategorized | 1 Posts

Tips for Moving During COVID-19


Planning on moving soon? Here are some of our top safety tips for moving during COVID-19 to protect your family and your belongings.

By Laura McHolm, co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company

Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Over the past few months, we have all been learning how to adapt to the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. While many of our social events or travel plans have been put on hold, moving does not have to be. Moving and Storage are actually considered essential businesses, which means they remain open. With a little extra planning and by following the CDC and WHO safety measures, you can safely move during the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are some of our top safety tips for moving during COVID-19 to protect your family and belongings.

What to do before your move:

1. Plan a Contactless Move during COVID-19

As you begin researching moving companies online, remember to also ask questions on how they are mitigating the health risks of COVID-19. A few movers can provide virtual estimates, rather than in-home visits. The video estimate feature allows you to get the cost of your move without having an onsite estimator in your home. You can also use this handy moving box calculator to figure out how many moving boxes you will need.

2. Get packing supplies delivered to you

Since studies have shown that the coronavirus can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours, it's best to purchase new moving boxes and tape from your mover. Eco-friendly moving companies, like NorthStar Moving, use moving boxes made of 100% recyclable materials and also give you a discount when you recycle them back. Even during a pandemic, we can do our part to care for our environment.

3. Let others know ahead of time

If you are moving out or into an apartment building or condominium complex, notify your management company of the time and date of your move. Remember to make these arrangements ahead of time on both ends of the move. Ask your management team about using a service elevator for the day of your move and special arrangements needed for parking the moving truck. You should also notify your neighbors by phone or email so that they can be aware to keep a safe distance in halls and elevators on your moving day.

4. Donate unwanted items during this time of need

As you prepare for your move, mark boxes of unwanted clothing and non-perishable food items that can be donated to Goodwill or local food banks. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused food insecurity for many families; donating your shelf-stable foods is a great way to lighten your load and give back to your community.

What to do during your Move:

5. Extra Sanitary Precautions while moving during COVID-19

Movers should come prepared with their face masks. Keep your distance from movers and avoid handshakes. Keep soap, running water, and paper towels available for movers and your family to wash your hands throughout the day. As much as possible, keep windows opened to allow plenty of fresh air to circulate.

6. Label rooms and boxes to make the move seamless

Take the time to label your boxes and the rooms in your new home before your movers arrive. Clear signs will help movers know where to place each moving box and large furniture without you having to come into close contact with them. Creating a simple floor plan ahead of time will save you time and money.

What to do after your Move:

7. Clean your new home before unpacking

After the movers leave, take some time to disinfect any areas that are high touch zones. Wipe down door handles, light switches, and bathrooms before you finish unpacking. Get rid of any germs that could have been brought in on foot traffic by sweeping and mopping your floors. 

8. Pack your patience and an overnight bag

Finish unpacking by disinfecting boxes or simply wait 24 hours. Pack a fresh set of sheets, pajamas, and toiletries in your overnight bag. This will come in handy after a long day of moving.

Stay informed while moving during COVID-19

Keep in mind, as we all continue to adapt to the changing times, it's important to stay informed and follow any local or state restrictions. At NorthStar Moving, we want to alleviate the anxiety and stress of moving during the Coronavirus pandemic. Please consider all of the extra safety precautions our team is taking during moves and in our offices. If you are not ready to make the move yet, learn how to transform your home for stay-at-home needs.


Laura McHolm is an organizational, moving & storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award-winning, "A+" rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services.


Where to Play Pickleball in Boise this Summer

Pickleball in Boise

Boise, are you ready to play ball? Pickleball is one of the nation's fastest-growing sports. This fun hybrid of tennis, badminton, and table tennis is catching on in schools, senior centers, and local outdoor spaces. Players can play one-on-one or in teams of two, taking turns hitting a plastic ball over a net with a paddle. With the ability to play indoors and outdoors, it's fairly easy for you to get out and join a pickleball game! Following is a list of just a few of our area's courts. Check HERE for a larger list and a map.

Outdoor Pickleball Courts

  • Manitou Park – 2001 S. Manitou Ave., Boise, ID 83706
    Grab some fresh air at Manitou Park. This 11-acre green space features mature trees that perfectly shade the area. Open space for play, a small playground, and an off-leash dog park make this the perfect park for your whole family. Along with a basketball court, there are also two tennis courts which you can reserve for a pickleball game.

  • Willow Lane Park – 4618 W. Willow Ln., Boise, ID 83703
    On the northwest side of Boise, you'll find the quaint Willow Lane Park. Although it's only situated on three acres, it does have a full athletic complex in addition to a standard park. The complex features basketball hoops, a BMX jump park, open play areas, and six dedicated pickleball courts.

  • Peppermint Park – 11855 W. Peppermint Dr., Boise, ID 83709 
    A 7-acre jewel in SW Boise, Peppermint Park is a delightful neighborhood park located next to Pepper Ridge Elementary School. Two outdoor courts share nets with the two tennis courts. Other park amenities include a playground, a basketball court, open play areas, pathways, and restrooms. 

  • Rita Huskey Park – 2887 Tubac Dr., Meridian, ID 83646 
    Just opened in February 2020, Reta Huskey Park is located along Five Mile Creek off N. Ten Mile Road between Ustick and McMillan. The 8.9-acre park includes 3 pickleball courts, as well as a picnic shelter, climbing features, exercise equipment, a playground, and sport court.

Indoor Pickleball Courts

  • YMCA Downtown – 1050 W. State St., Boise, ID 83702
    The Treasure Valley Family YMCA located in downtown Boise hosts pickleball games throughout the week. These typically take place every Monday and Wednesday morning between 9 am and 11 am, however, you should check their play schedule for playtime updates.

  • Fort Boise Community Center – 700 N. Robbins Rd., Boise, ID 83702
    The Fort Boise Community Center invites you to join their Drop-In Pickleball sessions throughout the week. All skill levels are encouraged to attend. Lessons run Mondays and Wednesdays at 8 am while games are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4 pm and on Fridays alternating between 9 am to 2 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm depending on the week. Monthly passes are available but single-game fees are $3.00 for seniors and $4.00 for adults.

  • Boise State University – 1910 University Dr., Boise, ID 83715
    Pickleball can be played on the courts of the Student Recreation Center on the campus of Boise State University. However, any member of the public that is not a student, employee, or alumnus must be sponsored by one of these individuals to play on campus.

Would you like to live in a community close to a pickleball court? Let us do the searching for you!  


Get Your Summer Groove on with this Oldies Playlist



Your Oldies Playlist for Summer


Need to inject some fun energy into your summer at home? We dug through the (pre-70s!) archives to compile ten of our favorite summer tunes (plus a few bonus songs to keep you moving) – in no particular order. Get the kids and the dog, turn up the volume, and "Dance, Dance, Dance"!

  • Dance, Dance, Dance – The Beach Boys, 1965
    • Brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and buddy Al Jardine from Hawthorne, California, hit the music scene in 1963 with songs about surfing, girls, and cars. With a great beat and fun lyrics, early Beach Boys' tunes belong at the top of any summer playlist. 
  • Twist and Shout – The Beatles, 1963 
    • Many think Twist and Shout was written by the Fab Four, but it was actually penned by Bert Berns (aka Bert Russell), a songwriter, producer, and the head of Bang Records and first recorded by the Isley Brothers.
  • I Saw Her Standing There – The Beatles, 1963
    • Written by Lennon and McCartney in Paul's living room, the song has the perfect beat for dancing all over the house! 
  • Under the Boardwalk – The Drifters, 1964
    • Can't you just feel the hot sand on your bare feet as you race for the surf? Did you know that Bruce Willis covered this song? Enjoy his version with The Temptations HERE.
  • The Twist – Chubby Checker, 1960
    • Originally released in early 1959, the song reached number 28 on Billboard's Hot 100. Chubby Checker's cover version in 1960 skyrocketed to number one and started the Twist dance craze.  The follow-up, Let's Twist Again, was released in 1961 and reached number 8 on the Billboard charts. 
  • The Loco-Motion – Little Eva, 1962
    • Written by songwriting powerhouses Carole King and Gerry Goffin, The Loco-Motion has appeared in the American Top Three in different decades: Little Eva in 1962, Grand Funk Railroad in 1974, and Kylie Minogue in 1988.
  • Louie, Louie – The Kingsmen, 1963 
    • Written in 1955 by Richard Berry, Louie Louie is best known for the 1963 version by The Kingsmen and was the subject of an FBI investigation because of the misinterpreted lyrics. We just think it's fun to dance to!
  • Splish Splash – Bobby Darin, 1958
    • Bobby Darin's first hit song was co-written by the singer and Murray Kaufman and reached number three on the US pop singles chart. 
  • At the Hop – Danny and The Juniors, 1958
    • High school dances in the 50s were called "hops" and sometimes "sock hops" because they were held in gyms, and dancers removed their shoes so they wouldn't scuff the floors.

From Our Lending Partners at Idaho Central Credit Union



Low Inflation Helps Keep Rates at Record Lows



During a light week for economic data, investors remained focused on the concerning spread of the coronavirus in many regions. Mortgage rates dropped slightly to new record-low levels.

Reduced economic activity resulting from the pandemic has caused a significant decline in inflation, which has helped keep mortgage rates low. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a widely followed monthly inflation report that looks at the price change for goods and services.

In June, core CPI, which excludes the volatile food and energy components, was just 1.2% higher than a year ago — the same annual rate of increase as last month. This was down compared to readings above 2% during the first three months of the year.

Both Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported that average rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages reached record-low levels again this week, in part due to recent tame inflation data like CPI. In addition, the MBA revealed that applications to purchase a home were 16% higher than a year ago at this time, and refinance applications were a massive 107% higher.

New claims for unemployment benefits continued to decline this week after spiking dramatically due to the pandemic. During January and February, jobless claims typically were a little more than 200,000 each week. Beginning in late March, there were three weeks of readings above 6 million. Since that time, however, they have steadily dropped each week, and the latest results came in at a relatively better level of 1.3 million.




Ada County Home Sales Pick Up in June


Ada County Home Sales Pick Up in June

By Breanna Vanstrom, Chief Executive Officer, Boise Regional REALTORS®


Following two consecutive months of year-over-year declines, home sales in Ada County were up 3.4% in June 2020 compared to June of 2019. Pending sales, or properties with an accepted offer that should close within 30-60 days, were also up 17.0% year-over-year.

This rebound in closed and pending sales was due to pent up buyer demand and the fact that our market was strong before the pandemic hit our region. While our local housing market may continue to be impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis on some level or another, this uptick in sales and homes under contract is a good sign.

Home prices also increased in June with the overall median sales price reaching a new high at $375,000. This was 6.3% higher than in June of 2019, and less than a percent higher than the previous high from April 2020 of $374,900. Prices continue to be driven by a lack of existing supply compared to demand, and more than one-third of all home sales represented by new construction.

One way to measure the supply vs. demand relationship is by using the Months Supply of Inventory metric (or MSI), which compares the number of sales (buyer demand) to available inventory (supply). A balanced market — not favoring buyers or sellers — is between 4-6 months. In June 2020, the overall months' supply of inventory was at just 1.0 months — the lowest number we've seen since January 2016 when we began tracking MSI. Inventory is constricted even further in the existing/resale segment with only 0.6 months' supply in June.

Inventory is needed across the board, but demand is especially high for existing homes. If you're considering selling but want to limit interactions with the public, talk to your REALTOR® about virtual tours, tactics to minimize foot traffic, personal protective equipment, and other ways to keep yourself and others safe.

To view the Treasure Valley Market Report for June, CLICK HERE.



Keeping You Safe & Up-to-Date


Protecting Your Accounts Online

From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair


To help safeguard your card data and personal information on sites that require a login, we recommend: 

  1. Make sure your password is secure even if the site you're logging into does not require it.  We recommend using a combination of upper and lower case letters, with numbers AND special characters and not using any recognizable words.  For example, a password of "Ilovedogs" can be made more secure by changing all the vowels to look-alike numbers and special characters, breaking up the actual words into something more secure: !L0v3d0Gs. 
  2. Use two-step authentication if it is available.
  3. Get into a habit of changing your password on a schedule (especially if it is a site that houses financial information or credit card numbers), even though it is a pain, we recommend changing passwords every 30 days.  Write down your passwords and keep them in a safe place.
  4. Do not use the same password for every site. Make each password different (even if it is off by one or two characters) and keep a record of it.
  5. Use the least amount of personal details possible when setting up an online account. 

Most commonly, data and account breaches happen to individuals and at companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. 


To help safeguard important information stored on your computer we recommend:

  2. Do not open emails from unknown senders.
  3. Do not open attachments from unknown senders.
  4. Do not open attachments you are not expecting from KNOWN senders. 
  5. For suspected spam from people you know, simply email the sender back or call and verify that they meant to send you the attachment in question.
  6. Do not click on malicious pop-ups advertising virus/malware removal by calling a support agent.
  7. Do not call the numbers listed on malicious pop-ups (see below for examples of these pop-ups).
  8. Follow your intuition. If something doesn't add up, seems too good to be true, weird, outrageous, or out the ordinary, do not click!


Coronavirus – Hygiene and Action Reminder

  1. Wash your hands before and after using your own or any community computer.
  2. Regularly sanitize your own phones and computers, especially if used by multiple people.
  3. Once a week (or once a day), turn your computer off and using an alcohol swab (preferred) or Lysol wipe, thoroughly wipe down your keyboard and mouse, and really any common surface that's touched.  Make sure to get in between the keys and the scroll wheel on the mouse.  If you have a touchscreen, make sure to wipe the screen.  If you have a laptop, wipe the entire case, open and closed.  Be careful of using Lysol wipes around speakers and ports to avoid excessive moisture buildup.
  4. For phones, do the same, but be careful of using Lysol wipes around speakers and input jacks/ports to avoid excessive moisture buildup.
  5. If using Lysol or Clorox wipes, make sure to read the label and keep the surface wet for the amount of time specified by the manufacturer.

If you have any questions about updates, pop-ups, emails, or need a clean-up, this can be done remotely.  Please contact our office via phone 208.288.4345 or email if you need immediate assistance.



Lights, Camera, Action! 6 Tips for Staging Your Home for Real Estate Photos

Real Estate Photos

There are a lot of ways to gain an edge when you're listing your home for sale, but few are more effective than staging. When it comes to showing your home in the best possible light, it pays to go the extra mile. 

We have lots of experience staging and showing homes, and we're happy to share some of our favorite tricks and tips we've learned along the way! With more homes being shown online these days, staging is more important than ever.

  1. Cut Down on Clutter
    You want your home to look as clean, clear, and clutter-free as possible when you stage it to be photographed. Some professional home stagers recommend removing one-third of the furniture and decor and storing it somewhere off-site. In any case, if you haven't already been de-cluttering as you've started to pack, now is the time. 
  2. Leave a Few Choice Decorations
    As important as it is that your home not appear cluttered, it also should look like an inviting place to live. Hang onto a few well-chosen pieces of decor to keep your home looking stylish and welcoming. A stack of nice-looking books here, a couple of tasteful throw pillows there—little touches make a big difference. A few well-placed pieces of artwork or photographs are a nice touch as well but avoid personal family photos. You want future owners to be able to envision themselves living there, not thinking about the previous occupants. 
  3. Let There Be Light
    Natural light is your best friend when it comes to making your house look open, warm, and inviting. Always photograph your house in daylight, with the shades and curtains open to let in plenty of sunlight. At the same time, you want to be careful not to photograph in direct, intense sunlight to avoid pictures looking blown-out. The ideal conditions are often in the late morning and early afternoon, when there's plenty of indirect light coming through the windows. 
  4. Keep it Clean
    Now is the time to clean your house like it's never been cleaned before. You may even want to hire a professional to get your entire house spotless before having pictures taken. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathroom; these are the two most important rooms in the home, and potential buyers will be unforgiving about dirt and grime in these areas. 
  5. Highlight Improvements
    Don't shy away from highlighting your home's best assets. That includes any unique features or anything that's recently been redone or improved. Whether it's new windows, a redone bathroom, or just a few simple fixture upgrades, it helps to let buyers know. If you have any special lighting in your house, make sure to turn it on and show it off. 
  6. Stage the Outside Too
    Your home's exterior is just important as the interior, and there are plenty of ways you can spruce up the outside of your house before having photographs taken. Make sure the yard is as neat and clean as possible, and give shrubs and hedges a trim. Stash the trash cans out of sight, and either put your car in the garage or park it down the street. If your landscape is lacking, spruce it up with some colorful flowers if you can. 

Contact me today to learn more about how staging can help you sell your home. I look forward to serving you!


Gardening in July: Plants to Add During the Middle of the Summer

Gardening in July

Now that the hottest summer days are upon us, you may think that it's time to put away your gardening gloves and trowel. Not really! While your peas plateau and lettuce bolts in the heat of July, there are many heat-loving or heat-resistant crops that you can plant in midsummer for a fruitful bounty come fall. We're happy to provide this list of vegetables that are great to start planting in July.

  1. Cucumbers
    Cucumbers are a classic summer vegetable perfect for pickling, tossing in salads, or eating straight off the vine. These plants are fast-growers and most varieties can be harvested in just 52 days. This gives you enough time to get your harvest before your first frost. Growing cucumbers on a trellis helps keep leaf spots at bay, provides good air circulation, allows the plants to take up less room in your garden, and makes harvesting a snap.
  2. Beans
    It's not too late for a first or second crop of beans. They love warm weather and have a surprisingly short growing time. Seeds will germinate quickly and require between 40 and 60 days to maturity. Beans are classified as either pole or bush varieties. Bush beans are self-supporting, while pole beans require some type of support structures, like a net, climbing frame, or trellis. Choose pole varieties for a long season of steady production and bush beans for a quick crop.
  3. Sweet Potatoes
    Unlike regular potatoes, sweet potatoes like warm weather and soil. They are cold-sensitive and thrive best when planted about a month after the last frost date. Provided the weather and soil are warm, sweet potatoes will quickly mature to an abundance of vines in as little as 90 days. Plus, sweet potatoes need little cultivation when the vines begin to spread. Plant them in well-drained soil mixed with compost. 
  4. Eggplant
    Eggplant is a heat-loving, semi-tropical plant that belongs to the Solanaceae family. They thrive in high temperatures much like tomatoes and peppers do. Because eggplants need warm, well-drained soil throughout the growing season, they are usually started indoors about 2 months in advance or purchased as 6- to 8-week-old transplants. The plants also do well in containers. Be sure to protect them from flea beetles by monitoring for pinholes and treating with pyrethrin insecticide.
  5. Amaranth
    Amaranth is a true summer crop that requires an abundance of sunlight and fertile, well-drained soil to do well. Related to Swiss chard, quinoa, and beets, amaranth is grown for its foliage, including its grains and brilliantly hot-colored yellow, green, or red leaves. Amaranthus easily adapt to most soil types and are drought tolerant once they are established. They can be planted with eggplant or corn to shade the soil.
  6. Greens
    Greens like kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, Mizuna, and Malabar spinach are heat-tolerant and can survive a light frost. These leafy vegetables can be harvested before the leaves reach full size because the small leaves are tastier and tender than mature ones. To start your fall crop of greens, sow the seeds in rows and plant the crops in succession every few weeks depending on how much garden space you have. Water regularly and remember to give a little extra water on the hottest days.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 12/03/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 12/03/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of INTERMOUNTAIN MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:14:34 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Tomlinson may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

Privacy Policy / DMCA Notice / ADA Accessibility

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder