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Chrissy Smith
REALTOR®
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Commercial Real Estate Agent
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Date Archives: January 2022

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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
January
17

How to Create a Cleaning Schedule You'll Actually Stick to

Cleaning Schedule

You've found your dream home among the Boise homes for sale! You've moved in, unpacked, and put your feet up for a bit, enjoying your new home. What's next? It's time to set up a cleaning schedule that works for you.

To keep everything clean and tidy, it's necessary to have a cleaning plan in place, but that's not to say you have to spend hours doing chores every day. Contrary to some misconceptions, having a cleaning schedule doesn't create stress around household chores – it takes it away.

Let's look at creating a manageable cleaning schedule that will take the stress out of running a household.

What's Your Cleaning Personality Type

Everyone has a cleaning personality type. Some people can't stand the thought of cleaning every day while others find cleaning a delight. Here are some questions to help you figure out what type of cleaner you are.

  • Are you the kind of person who wants to do a little cleaning every day?
  • Would you rather tackle your cleaning chores all at once?
  • How do you feel about tackling one major task each day?

There's no specific right way to keep your house clean or a standard cleaning schedule that will work for everyone.

Create a Master Task List

A cleaning schedule can only work if you have a thorough idea of what you need to do. Create a list of chores that need to be completed and break them down by room.

Remember, a schedule for someone living alone in a one-bedroom apartment will look very different from one designed for a family of five living in a four-bedroom house. That's why it's vital to assess your own cleaning needs.

Set Up a Cleaning Schedule

Once you have your chores listed out, your next task is to figure out a cleaning plan that works best for you. You might want to commit to a daily or weekly cleaning schedule, depending on your cleaning personality. That said, some chores like wiping down surfaces and doing the dishes have to be done every day. It's essential to have a daily schedule of minor cleaning tasks you can handle in 10 to 15 minutes, as this will make your larger tasks much easier.

If you enjoy doing some cleaning every day, set aside about one hour in the morning or evening when you can speed clean your house. For some people, it's easier to clean the bathroom on Monday, clean the kitchen on Tuesday, do the laundry on Wednesday, and vacuum on Friday. The key is to divide your tasks so that cleaning doesn't sound overwhelming.

Now, if you'd like to do everything in one day, it's crucial to set aside enough time to take on major sections of the house or even the whole house.

Turn Your Schedule into a Routine

It takes about 21 days to form a habit, the experts say. Creating a cleaning schedule that works for you takes time and patience. Don't hesitate to change up your schedule. You might find cleaning the bathrooms is a task better left for the weekends.

Try different methods until you figure out what works for you and your routine. Your life should not revolve around cleaning. Instead, cleaning should fit seamlessly into your schedule.

Our real estate agents can alleviate some of the stress of the buying process by providing you with all the tips and tricks you could possibly need. Contact us today to get started.

January
14

Doer of Good: CBT Realtor® Theresa Laird

Doers of Good: Theresa Laird

We are proud to introduce our featured Doer of Good here in the Treasure Valley for January. Theresa Laird, a Realtor® in our Nampa office, sits on the Advisory Board for The Salvation Army's Nampa Corps. Begun in the 1870s, The Salvation Army is well-known around the world for its work assisting the vulnerable in our communities with shelter, food, utility assistance, afterschool care, youth programs, and more.

Like most of us, Theresa says, "I've always known about The Salvation Army, but I didn't realize the amount of service they provide until I was approached to serve on their Advisory Board."  For the past four years, Theresa has used her connections as a respected real estate professional in the community to help in any way she can.  Through the Board, she works with JustServe.org, an online volunteer base to assist with ongoing projects, and has helped to organize food drives, ring-the-bell Red Kettle donations during the holidays, and Gala events to raise funds. At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, Theresa worked with her church to help supply 40,000 pounds of food to those in need.

"Every day, there are people who struggle; there will always be someone in need," Theresa explains. "If helping just a little provides any kind of comfort, peace, or hope to another human being, then we must do that."

When asked what being a #DoerofGood means to her, Theresa is quick to reply, "It means sharing your light by word and deed. We need to strengthen and support our community. No one can do it alone."

She goes on to tell us that once while handing out food on a cold day, an elderly woman came to her and asked for a hug. "She had recently lost her husband and just needed another human to connect with. That's one reason I do this."

She encourages others to get involved, to help wherever they can. "Whatever kind of service you have a heart for, try to put aside your political views and faith differences to come together for the greater good. Be a bridge-builder!"

To learn more about ways you can help, visit nampa.salvationarmy.org.

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Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months or tell us in the comments below about what lights your fire when it comes to making our communities better. 

January
14

New Years News from Our Partners at Idaho Central Credit Union

 

 

Mortgage Rates Rise to Kick Off the New Year

The first week of 2022 saw mortgage rates rise. While numerous analysts predicted them increasing throughout the year, this week's reports pushed them to their highest levels since April 2021.

Meanwhile, investors pushed up bond yields due to inflation concerns. Finally, Wednesday's Fed minutes indicated a hawkish report. The minutes indicated that the Federal Reserve remains in favor of tightening monetary policy. As a result, the United States sparked another round of bond selling.

Mortgage Rates Rise After Fed's Purchase Program

Starting off the report, the United States faced a rise in mortgage rates. Early in the pandemic, the Federal Reserve initiated a new bond purchase program. They started this program to help stimulate the economy. Given the progress of the recovery and the rise in inflation, the Fed launched its process of winding down that program. Also, the Federal Reserve stayed on track to conclude it around the end of March.

With that in mind, investors sought guidance on the timing for additional tightening measures. Additionally, investors looked for insight into the timing of the federal funds rate increases. Lastly, investors hoped for information on the reduction in the Fed's massive portfolio of bonds that built upon its balance sheet throughout the purchase program.

Fed Meeting Minutes Lead Mortgage Rates to Rise

The sooner-than-anticipated reduction in federal demand for mortgage-backed securities, the first week of the New Year saw mortgage rates rise. With Wednesday's publication of the December 15th Federal Reserve meeting minutes, investors moved forward their expectations for these other tightening measures. Now, investors expect the first rate hike to take place shortly after the bond purchase program ends. Beyond that, investors anticipate two additional rate hikes prior to the end of 2022.

In addition, all Federal Reserve officials expressed support for a reduction in the enormous balance sheet holdings of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The current plan intends for this reduction to occur "at some point" after the first rate hike.

Mixed Employment Report

While the real estate market saw mortgage rates rise, the closely watched Employment report came out on Friday. Revealing mixed results, the economy gained just 199,000 jobs in December against a consensus forecast of 420,000. However, revisions added 141,000 jobs to the figures for prior months. These revisions offset most of the shortfall. Overall, the gains took place in a wide range of industries, led by the leisure and hospitality sectors. Now, the U.S. economy holds roughly 3 million fewer jobs than in February 2020, prior to the start of the pandemic.

Aside from job gains, the rest of the report came out stronger than expected. The unemployment rate, which is based on a survey of individuals, declined from 4.2% to 3.9%. Thus, the unemployment rate fell below the consensus forecast of 4.1%. In doing so, the unemployment rate hit its lowest level since February 2020. Average hourly earnings, an indicator of wage growth, exceeded expectations. Concurrently, average hourly earnings climbed an impressive 4.7% higher than a year ago.

Strong Manufacturing News

With the mixed Employment report and strong manufacturing report, mortgage rates rose to start 2022. On the manufacturing front, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) released a couple of significant economic reports this week. As expected, the National Services Sector Index and National Manufacturing Index remained at high levels. First, the Service Sector Index reached 67.6. Then, the National Manufacturing Index hit 58.7. Levels above just 50 indicate that the sectors are expanding. Also, readings above 60 are rare.

To date, supply chain issues still greatly impact manufacturing companies that produce goods. On the other hand, service-based companies, such as computer programming and banking, face less of an impact.

Looking Ahead After Mortgage Rates Rise

After the rise of mortgage rates, investors closely follow news on the Omicron variant. In addition, investors look for additional Fed guidance on the timing for future rate hikes and balance sheet reduction.

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We understand that no two paths to buying a home are the same. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate mogul, we have a variety of products and loans designed specifically to meet your needs. We offer local underwriting and fast approvals to save you time and money. We have options for down payments and additional resources like our Finally Home! online program to help guide you through the home buying process. Contact one of our home loan specialists to discuss your options today!

 

January
13

December Market Report & Year-End Wrap-Up

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

2021 Market Recap & December Market Report

When summing up the 2021 Ada County housing market, one could easily argue that this past year brought the most fast-paced market we've ever seen, particularly in the first half of the year. The market conditions were incredibly competitive.

The county has faced limited housing inventory for years now, a phenomenon we've detailed in many of our reports. This lack of supply has been insufficient compared to the persistent demand for housing, which has driven up prices and caused a home-buying frenzy earlier this year. We tracked the pace of the market by a few metrics — how quickly homes went under contract, the share of sales that sold over list price, and for how much they sold over list price.

We'll first explore the data for each of these metrics in the existing home sale segment to illustrate just how competitive the market was in 2021.

The Days on Market (DOM) metric measures the time between when a property is listed and when it has an accepted offer. Overall, DOM for existing homes trended down, reaching a historic low of just nine days in May 2021. Since then, the DOM metric has increased and normalized, reaching an average of 30 days in December 2021 — 18 days longer than in December 2020, and more in line with pre-pandemic levels from early 2020.

Not only were existing homes selling at a faster rate, but a larger share of total sales sold for more than their asking price, usually the result of multiple offer situations. The share of homes that sold over list price passed 50.0% in September 2020 and reached a peak of 75.9% in March 2021. By December 2021, it dropped to 22.6%, possibly indicating that list prices have become more aligned with what buyers are willing or able to pay.

But how much over asking did buyers pay in 2021, on average? As the share of over list sales went up, so did the amounts paid over asking. In May 2021, 69.7% of existing homes sold were for over list price, with an average premium of $44,075, the highest we've seen (going back to 2006 based on our existing dataset). The average amount paid over list has dipped since then, coming in at $16,487 in December 2021.

Unsurprisingly, with tight competition for existing homes and so many buyers willing to pay over list, the impact on prices was significant. The median sales price for existing homes was $510,000 in December 2021, up 21.4% compared to a year ago. The year-to-date median sales price was $505,000, a 34.7% increase compared to 2020, and the largest annual gain since we began tracking this data in 2006.

The new construction segment also saw year-over-year price jumps, largely due to increasing costs of land, labor, and materials — as well as the ongoing impact of pandemic-related shutdowns that continue to create delays in increased costs in the global supply chain. (Read more about this in our November report.) In December, the median sales price for new homes was $579,990, a 30.4% increase compared to December 2020. The year-to-date median sales price in 2021 for new construction was $525,000, a 23.1% increase over the previous year.

While homes have continued to sell at higher prices, interestingly, sales have dipped in recent months, and more notably so when comparing data year-over-year. In 2021, there were 10,855 home sales (new and existing combined) a decline of 11.8% compared to 2020, and the lowest number of total annual home sales for the county since 2017.

How can one of the fastest-growing metros in the U.S. with persistent demand for housing have declining home sales? The data provides a few clues.

First, buyers can't buy homes that aren't there, so limited inventory has definitely limited sales. This is especially true at the lower price points where buyer demand is most acute and inventory is hardest to come by. While inventory has ticked up over the last six months, the slim 0.7 Months Supply Inventory in December is still a far cry from the 4-6 months needed for a balanced market.

When year-over-year home sales are broken out by segment, there was a 6.7% decline in existing home sales and a 21.7% decline in new construction sales. One reason there may be fewer new construction sales could be because buyers are having to wait longer to move into their new homes. The average number of days between when a home goes under contract and when it closes was at 106 days in 2021, 30 days longer than in 2020, limiting the number of closings that can take place within the year and possibly leading some new home buyers to opt for an existing home with a quicker move-in date.

Much to the relief of buyers, we saw more normal market times and increases in inventory in the last few months of 2021. However, we're still a long way from a balanced market and we hope more homeowners are able to realize the great values for their properties by listing in the coming months.

Whether you're looking to buy or sell, it's never been more important to work with a REALTOR®. They will help identify potential options for purchase, connect you with a mortgage lender, help craft a competitive offer, and negotiate on your behalf, allowing you to make decisions confidently and quickly to achieve your real estate goals.

Other notable statistics from December 2021:

  • The overall median sales price (existing and new construction combined) in December 2021 was $546,000, a new record high. This is likely due to the large share (35.1%) of the typically higher-priced new construction home sales that closed in December.
  • There were 582 homes available at the end of the month — 75.8% more than in December 2020.
  • As mentioned in the release, the overall (new and existing combined) Months Supply Inventory was 0.7 months. For the existing segment, it was 0.5 months or approximately two weeks.

To view the Treasure Valley homes currently for sale, CLICK HERE.

 

January
13

5 Ways to Improve Your Home in 2022

Home Improvement for the New Year

January is a good time to reflect upon the year, your wins, losses, and any lessons learned. Every new year brings with it possibilities to improve. It offers you a chance to reinvent yourself, and if you're in the market for a new home, our real estate agents can help you start the new year on a high note by helping you find your dream home.

Most people vow to exercise, save money, or spend more time with family. Few people remember to set goals to get their homes in shape. Let's look at some New Year's resolutions you can set for your home and how you can go about bringing them to fruition.

  • Declutter and Streamline
    Why wait for spring to declutter? Decluttering is one of the best ways to start the new year. And the best part is you get to feel instantly better about your home. Plus, a decluttered home is so much easier to look after and maintain. Decluttering an entire home is a big job. The best way to tackle the task is going room by room. Contrary to popular beliefs, you don't have to start with the hardest areas. Heading straight into the attic or garage could dissuade all your clean-up efforts. Once you're done decluttering your home, you can declutter other aspects of your life, too, like your digital life and your mind.

  • Reduce Your Energy Use
    Here's a resolution that helps you reduce your carbon footprint and save money. Installing a solar water heating system isn't the only way you can go green. Small things like switching traditional light bulbs with LEDs and getting a smart thermostat could drive your electricity costs down while helping conserve the environment.

    ​​​​​​​Changing your energy consumption habits could also lower your utility costs. Some practices that could help you trim your energy use include:
    • Switching off your appliances when they're not in use
    • Reducing appliance and water use whenever possible
    • Utilizing natural light
    • Buying appliances with a good energy rating
    • Recycling properly

  • Conduct a Safety Check
    Your house may be beautiful, but is it safe? Make a habit of regularly checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replacing the batteries. Repair and replace loose or frayed wires on all electrical devices and have an expert inspect your electrical system for any faults. If you have a pet, you should consider pet-proofing your home. Pets cause over 1,000 house fires each year. Pet proofing will protect your beloved furry friends as well as your home.

  • Improve Ventilation
    Prolonged exposure to polluted air can lead to respiratory conditions and diseases. Use your HVAC system as the first line of defense, and make sure to regularly change your furnace and AC filters. Plus, ensure your kitchen has enough ventilation to get rid of smoke and cooking fumes.

  • Invest in Home Improvement Projects
    Home makeover ideas don't have to involve knocking down a wall or adding square footage. DIY projects are a fun and creative way to spend time with your family and make memories, all while transforming your house into the haven you've always desired.

Nothing beats the feeling of finally moving into your own home. Contact us today so we can help you find your perfect home among our Boise area homes for sale.

January
12

Tech Resolutions for 2022

 

2022: New Tech Habits

From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair

A few ideas and some new, some old - tried and true… start 2022 with some new tech practices! 

  1. Backup, backup, backup! Whether you rotate a flash drive or hard drive, or use an online/cloud backup service, backing up and checking that backup is critical.  Irreplaceable or important family photos/documents/files? Back up to the cloud.
  2. Set a reminder every week to perform general tech maintenance: check your backup, scan for malware, apply any waiting updates (Macs, PCs, and phones), organize files into folders, clean off your desktop, physically wipe down and clean your devices, etc.
  3. Turn on multi-factor (MFA) or two-factor authentication(2FA) everywhere you possibly can.
  4. Set a reminder every 90 days to change passwords on important accounts that do not have MFA/2FA and to remove unused apps from your phone.
  5. Stop saving passwords on important sites to your internet browsers (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc.) and start writing them down.
  6. Groom email inboxes daily. Mark messages as junk or spam, delete unimportant items, organize the important ones, and check your spam filter for messages that are legitimate.
  7. Start a dummy email account for spammy stuff.
  8. Log out of sites, close internet tabs, and save and close documents before leaving work or going to bed. Updates, power outages, and hardware failures happen.
  9. Take time away from your screens. Do other office tasks, chores at home… give your eyes and body a break from the blue light, scrolling, and/or typing.
  10. Silence, distance, or power off your devices when not in use to not only give yourself a break from 24/7 availability, but to prolong device lifespan and pause analytics being gathered when on or in use.
  11. Be careful with "smart" devices - is having any essential home function like door locks, outlets, or thermostats connected to your Alexa or Google Assistant necessary?
  12. Stop paying for PC antivirus software and uninstall any free versions; Windows has built-in antivirus and any other programs usually end up causing performance and permissions issues.  (Anti-malware software is different and recommended, even for Macs; their free versions work well.)
  13. Protect your privacy on social media accounts. Review your privacy settings frequently as social media platforms are always making changes. Make friends lists private, remove your location information, tighten privacy on photos and albums, don't use Instagram or Facebook to log in to other accounts, and log out and log in correctly especially on shared devices.
  14. Protect your personal information on any platform, when in doubt, OPT OUT.  From signing up for grocery loyalty rewards to online newsletters (see #7), clicking on ANY link in an email or filling out an online form. Is the hassle of 10 emails a day from a retailer AND THEN all the spam from your email being sold over and over worth that 10% savings on your first order? Is saving 40¢ once a month on a gallon of gas worth all the dead phone line or car warranty renewal phone calls?
  15. Think twice about clicking things (buttons, links, pictures)!

Things to never click:

  • Emails links that ask you to change any password
  • Email links that ask you to verify any account credential
  • Email links that ask you for money for any reason
  • Email attachments you were not expecting
  • Malicious pop-ups about a virus or sweepstakes winning that covers your screen

And take a pause before clicking on things like sponsored articles or ads on Facebook, Instagram, or in news stories, or links in email for a story, cool new gadget, sale, discount, sweepstakes, etc. Is the chain reaction that click is going to cause worth it?

Lastly, sometimes low tech is the best tech. Technology comes with a lot of learning, understanding, and maintenance. Sometimes, just doing things "the old-fashioned" way is the easiest and most secure.

Please call our office (208-288-4345), or email us (info@integrityidaho.com) if you have any questions or need immediate assistance!

January
4

What to Visit in Downtown Boise This Year

Downtown Boise

Art, festivals, special events, fantastic food, and even better shopping – you'll find all of that and more when you visit Downtown Boise this year. With so much to see and do, the start of 2022 is the perfect time to start planning all that you'll experience in the downtown area. Our real estate agents have the inside scoop on some of the many local attractions and events that you have to look forward to in Downtown Boise this year.

  • Warehouse Food Hall – 370 S. 8th St., Boise, ID 83702
    There are so many great places to eat near Boise homes for sale, but few can match the selection that you'll find at the Warehouse Food Hall. That's because the Warehouse Food Hall will be home to more than 20 local food and retail vendors, with flavors to suit every taste. The Warehouse Food Hall will be opening its doors for the first time in 2022, so keep an eye out for updates on one of the most exciting new attractions coming to Downtown Boise this year.

  • Treefort Music Fest – March 23 – 27 – Downtown Boise, ID
    Boise is recognized as a hub for the arts, and the annual Treefort Music Fest is an excellent example of why that's the case. This 5-day festival brings hundreds of bands to Downtown Boise every year and always receives rave reviews. Come for a great time, and leave with a new favorite band when you visit the Treefort Music Fest.

  • Idaho Steelheads Hockey – 233 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83702
    Playing in the beautiful Idaho Central Arena, the Idaho Steelheads bring all of the action and excitement of minor league professional hockey to downtown. The two-time Kelly Cup champions are consistently one of the best teams in the ECHL, and the Steelheads provide fun, affordable family entertainment all season long.

  • First Thursdays – 816 W. Bannock St., Boise, ID 83702
    All year long, First Thursdays provide the perfect excuse to visit some of your favorite restaurants, shops, and small businesses in Downtown Boise. Head downtown on the first Thursday of every month for great deals, fun in-store events at local retailers, and specials at your favorite dining destinations. There's always something new to see at First Thursdays, with different businesses participating every month.

  • Spacebar Arcade – 200 N. Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83702
    Who says arcades are just for kids? Spacebar Arcade is a 21+ arcade and bar designed with adults in mind. Enjoy retro arcade games, vintage pinball machines, and an outstanding bar with 12 rotating beers on tap. If you love trivia, be sure to stop by on Trivia Nights which feature prizes, good times, and fun themes based on some of your favorite classic pop culture topics from the last few decades.

  • Makers Meetups at JUMP – 1000 W. Myrtle St., Boise, ID 83702
    If you love creating art, learning, and connecting with other creative people, you'll feel right at home when you visit the weekly Makers Meetups at Jack's Urban Meeting Place. These free events take place every Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon. When you visit, you'll get to meet creatives and makers from all around Boise while picking up some great tips that you can use when creating your own art.

Ready to buy or sell your next home close to all of the action in Downtown Boise? Our local team is here to help with all of your real estate needs. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Boise, ID area.

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 11:43:56 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. --

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