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Chrissy Smith
REALTOR®
(208) 720-2981
Commercial Real Estate Agent
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November
21

Holiday Events Coming to Downtown Meridian

Downtown Meridian

The festive season is on its way, and downtown Meridian is ready to celebrate. Our real estate agents love working in this city thanks to all of the exciting holiday events. There are plenty of these to look forward to in 2022. Here are just a few of the highlights! 

  • Christmas in Meridian Winterlights Parade and Tree Lighting
    On Friday, December 2nd, from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Meridian will be holding its local Christmas parade at the Generations Plaza downtown. This event kicks off with a screening of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on a large projection screen next to the plaza's main stage. After this, the parade will begin its route through old town Meridian, accompanied by performances from the Treasure Valley Children's Theatre along the way. When Santa Claus reaches the end of his trek, he will light up the city's giant Christmas tree to signal the official start of Meridian's Christmas season. Food and hot cocoa will be available at the plaza's food court during the event to help paradegoers stay cozy while they wait for the grand finale.  

  • Downtown Decorating Contest
    Every year, the many businesses of downtown Meridian dress up their storefronts for the city's Downtown Decorating Contest. This beloved tradition gives local entrepreneurs the chance to show off their Christmas spirit and gain some community goodwill, and many of them go all-out to create some truly impressive displays. Every resident can vote for their favorite display on the city's website. This year, voting for the contest opens on Friday, December 2nd, and closes on December 11th. Winners will be announced the day after the voting period ends. 

  • Shop Meridian Downtown Night
    On Thursday, December 8th, from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, downtown Meridian will host a special outdoor shopping event. Pop-up vendors from all over the city will gather in the streets to sell their wares to the people passing by. You'll be able to pick up one-of-a-kind treasures and gifts from local small businesses, sample some food and treats from the many eateries near our Meridian homes for sale, and even enter the Meridian Chamber's Shop Meridian prize drawing. 

  • Children's Winterland Festival 
    On Saturday, December 10th, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, the Boys and Girls Club of Meridian will be hosting its annual Children's Wonderland Festival. Children from all over the community can come to the club building to enjoy games, arts and crafts, and a photo opportunity with Santa himself. This is a free event sponsored by Meridian Parks and Recreation and All American Insurance, so your kids can just show up and start having fun. 

  • The 5th Annual Interfaith Food, Blanket and Toy Drive
    On Sunday, December 11th, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, volunteers will be running Meridian's annual food, blanket, and toy drive in the Vertical View Climbing Gym parking lot. Community members are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items, new unwrapped toys, and new store-bought or homemade blankets to the parking lot. All items go to benefit charities like the Meridian Food Bank and Star Outreach Food Pantry, Toys for Tots, and Blanket the World, as well as various local homeless shelters. 

This small city is full of culture and opportunity all year round. Contact us today to learn more about our Meridian and Boise homes for sale and find out how you can become a part of this exceptional community. 

November
12

5 Ideas for Businesses to Share the Holiday Spirit

 

 

'Tis the Season to Celebrate!

With the holiday season right around the corner, there's no reason your business shouldn't be in on the fun. Whether it's with your employees or the community, here are a few ideas for your business to celebrate the holidays:

Holiday Party

There is nothing more straight-forward than a holiday party. Host a staff holiday party or sponsor a holiday event within your community. Bring on the food, holiday music, and enjoy seeing everyone have fun together! A holiday party can boost employee morale and offers an opportunity to show your appreciation as an employer.

Volunteer

Volunteering and serving those in need makes the holidays even more meaningful. Take advantage of the opportunity to serve your community! Not only will this benefit your community, but it will also benefit your business by helping build meaningful relationships between your employees, business, and community.

Give away free samples and swag

'Tis the season to give! Give a gift that will also give back to your business! Choose products that are popular and useful, and then brand them with your logo and color scheme. Giving away free samples and swag can be the perfect way to spread holiday cheer while also promoting your brand.

Offer gift cards

Everybody loves gift cards! Make holiday shopping easy on your customer by providing a simple, easy way to purchase gift cards from your business. Giving a gift card is a great way to show you care, while also ensuring the recipient gets exactly what they want!

Host a giveaway or contest on social media 

Social media is a great way to engage your current customers and attract new ones. Hold a contest or give away a product or service related to your business. There are a lot of different ways you can structure your contest or giveaway, including comment to win, hashtags, or photo contests. Make sure to check that your contest is in compliance with social media contest rules, as they can vary by channel.

We hope you enjoy these tips on how to celebrate the holidays as an organization. Happy Holidays from all of us at Idaho Central Credit Union!

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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!

 

October
3

Fall Fun at the Idaho Botanical Garden

Idaho Botanical Garden

Fall brings a fresh crispness to the air here in the Boise area, and the changing leaves make it a great season to spend some time outdoors. In particular, fall is one of our real estate agents' favorite seasons to visit the Idaho Botanical Garden. 

But lovely weather and beautiful foliage aren't the only reasons to visit the gardens this fall. Just like they do every year, the Idaho Botanical Garden is hosting a wide range of fun, family-friendly autumn events and festivities in 2022. Be sure to mark your calendar for these garden events in Boise this fall!

  • Fall Harvest in the Garden (Every Saturday in October)
    You have multiple opportunities to experience Fall Harvest at the Garden this year. Returning every Saturday throughout the month of October, Fall Harvest days include arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, great local craft beer and cider, live music, and a fall plant sale. It's a great way to get into the spirit of the fall season. The events take place from 10 am to 3 pm, and each Saturday's lineup will be different, so don't be shy about catching more than one! Plus, it's all happening just minutes from these Boise homes for sale.

  • Fall Fairy Gardens Workshop (October 16)
    The Idaho Botanical Garden host a wide range of workshops and classes throughout the year. One of the most anticipated this fall is the Fall Fairy Gardens Workshop, taught by Wendy Irwin on October 16 at 10 am. This family workshop invites adult/child teams to work together to create single fairy-sized outdoor fall container gardens. Participants should bring their own containers, but all the soil, plants, and decorations will be provided. Sign-ups will remain open until they reach capacity!

  • Autumn Yoga with Becca Hayes (Every Saturday in October)
    It's hard to imagine anything more restorative than a yoga class amid the outdoor splendor of the Idaho Botanical Garden. You can experience that every Saturday this October as yoga teacher Becca Hayes brings her Autumn Yoga series back for another season! The classes are suited for all levels and include a lot of great foundational poses to build strength and balance. Autumn Yoga takes place from 9:30 to 10:30 am on Saturday mornings in October. 

  • Scarecrow Stroll (October 1 - October 31)
    The Idaho Botanical Garden is open to self-guided tours year-round. But visitors during the month of October will see a decidedly spookier garden than they would in other seasons! It's an annual tradition that the gardens are decorated with dozens of scarecrows throughout the month, adding a splash of autumnal ambiance to the space. This year's Scarecrow Stroll will be on display all through October, featuring scarecrows designed and installed by talented local artists and volunteers. 

  • Fall Harvest Costume Contest on (October 29)
    The final Fall Harvest in the Garden event of the season takes place on Saturday, October 29, and it includes something special: the annual Fall Harvest Costume Contest and Parade. After the regular Fall Harvest happenings have concluded (including live music from Dela Freed), kids and grown-ups alike are invited to dress up in their spookiest or cutest Halloween attire for the Costume Contest. Think of it as practice for Halloween night!

Contact us today to learn more about living life to the fullest through all the changing seasons in Idaho. If you're looking for your dream home, our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find it in Boise and the surrounding areas. 

September
19

Explore History at the Idaho State Museum

Idaho State Museum

With more than 500 artifacts in its 80,000 square feet, the Idaho State Museum serves as a living testament to the state's legacy. Our real estate agents love exploring these incredible exhibits found at the museum.

  • Origins
    Learn how the five federally recognized tribes of Idaho play a significant role in the state's past, present, and future. The theater in the Origins gallery turns a spotlight on each tribe's origin story. Other topics examined in the exhibit include Idaho's diverse landscapes and how the tribes shape contemporary land stewardship.

  • Idaho: The Land & Its People
    High-tech activities take visitors on a virtual trip through the spectacular lands that make up our beautiful state in "Idaho: The Land & Its People." Travel from the lush forests and majestic mountains of North and Central Idaho to the stark beauty of the deserts and canyons in South Idaho. Experience the sensation of riding a chairlift up Mt. Baldy or take a virtual bike ride through the streets of Pocatello and Boise.

  • History Explorers Gallery
    Share the thrill of learning with your whole family in the History Explorers Gallery. Be sure to stop by the Penny Arcade and visit Deja Moo, the legendary two-headed calf. Read moving personal recollections from other Idahoans and find out how your family can incorporate history into your own activities. 

ROTATING EXHIBIT

Syringa and Treasures Galleries host rotating exhibits. Some highlight additional artifacts in the museum's collection, while others feature materials on loan from national sources. 

Currently, Treasures Gallery features "The Art of Deco." This distinctive style reached its peak of popularity during the 1920s, but it lives on through the design of structures such as the Empire State Building.

During its heyday, Art Deco influenced the look of everything from clothing to toys, with examples of both on display among more than 40 artifacts. The State Historic Preservation Office has also created a digital StoryMap identifying Art Deco architecture in Boise, including the museum's original façade.

After viewing this exhibit, visitors will have a greater understanding of the iconic style's influence on design around the world. "The Art of Deco" runs through January 14, 2023.

Online Exhibits

The museum's reach extends beyond its physical location. These entertaining exhibits are as close as your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

  • Digital Textile Collection
    Clothing and accessory styles often reveal facets of a particular culture. The museum's Digital Textile Collection makes use of 3D modeling and sophisticated photography techniques to provide previously unattainable views of attire across the ages, from the 1820s until today.

  • Trailblazing Women of Idaho
    Idaho's history is studded with the names of fiercely intelligent and forward-thinking women who made their voices heard. "Trailblazing Women of Idaho" honors the women who have impacted both Idaho and the United States.

The Idaho State Museum is located at 610 Julia Davis Dr., just minutes from Boise homes for sale. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m daily except Sunday when doors open at noon. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for college students with ID, and $5 for ages 6-17.

Create your own history with a wonderful home in Boise. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson for experienced help with all your real estate needs.

September
6

Boise Fine Dining Options

Boise Fine Dining

If you're about to celebrate an anniversary, milestone birthday, or another special occasion, enjoying some delicious cuisine is a lovely option. Fine dining is as much about the ambiance as it is about the food. Dressing up and pampering yourself really makes the occasion special and memorable. Luckily, Boise has some incredible fine dining restaurants to choose from. Take a break from looking at Boise homes for sale, and enjoy a meal at one of these top spots.

  • Bacquet's Restaurant: 117 E. Winding Creek Dr. #150, Eagle, ID 83616
    Bacquet's Restaurant specializes in French cuisine. The restaurant's chef, Franck Bacquet, grew up in France. The menu changes daily, but it often features favorites like pates au fruits de mer, or seafood pasta. The prime rib French dip is another favorite.

    Bacquet's also has a great wine selection to complement your meal. The ambiance is cozy and elegant, with old-time photos on the walls, white tablecloths, and ornate chandeliers. Plus, it's a short drive from Eagle homes for sale.

  • The Brickyard: 601 Main Street, Boise, ID 83702
    The Brickyard is a great place to visit if you're in the mood for steak. This classic steakhouse offers some wonderful appetizers, such as seared tuna and baked brie. When it comes time to order your entree, you can't go wrong with any of the steaks. The bone-in ribeye is especially indulgent. 

    After dinner, be sure to order an espresso or cappuccino. If you really want a unique experience, visit Friday or Saturday night when the restaurant hosts dueling pianos.

  • Richard's Restaurant & Bar: 500 S. Capitol Boulevard, Boise, ID 83702
    Richard's Restaurant & Bar
    is a fine dining establishment that serves brunch, lunch, and dinner. Their weekend brunch menu includes a selection of cocktails, like the Myrtle Mimosa and Pear Bellini. Dishes like banana bread French toast, and eggs Benedict make for a special meal.

    If you visit Richard's for dinner, you will love the house-made pappardelle. With mushrooms, sugar snap peas, and cream sauce, it's incredibly delicious. The braised leg of lamb is also a favorite. Complete your experience with the tiramisu cheesecake or pistachio ricotta crostata.

  • Capitol Cellars: 110 S. 5th Street, Boise, ID 83702
    Capitol Cellars is a wine lover's paradise. They have an incredible wine list with plenty of selections sold by the glass. Their food menu is created to pair well with their wines. You'll find options like Pete's Lamb Chops and The Senator's Prime Rib. For something lighter, try the Re-Elect Ravioli, made with wild mushrooms.

    Capitol Cellars also has a lovely happy hour. They offer 50% off select wines and cocktails. Order a few drinks and a round of The Oval Olives for your group, and you're set for a fun evening.

  • Chandlers: 981 West Grove Street, Boise, ID 83702
    Located inside Hotel 43, Chandlers is a long-time staple in Boise. The restaurant opened in 1994 and takes pride in serving the best, hand-carved steaks and fresh seafood. They order shellfish directly from Alaska and Hawaii. Jazz musicians take the stage, creating background music 7 nights a week.

    Menu favorites at Chandlers include the USDA Prime New York Steak and the Grass Fed Filet Mignon, which is rubbed with ancho chile powder. Round out your meal with a side of the gouda mac 'n cheese. For dessert, the triple-layer carrot cake and fromage blanc cheesecake are both incredible.

Make sure your evening is extra special, and you don't have to wait long for your table when you make a reservation at one of these restaurants. Whichever restaurant you choose, we hope you have a memorable evening. If you're new to the Boise area and still looking for a place to call home, contact us soon. Our real estate agents would be happy to assist you.

August
15

Get to Know Boise's Breweries

Breweries

Did you know that Idaho leads the United States in barley production? Add to that a #3 ranking in hops production, and it's no surprise that Boise is home to a number of terrific breweries. Raise a glass at these wonderful locations recommended by our real estate agents

  • Cloud 9 Brewery - 1750 W. State St., Boise, ID 83702
    So what is a nanopub? As the first such establishment in Boise, Cloud 9 Brewery produces beer in batches of three barrels or less. This allows for extensive variety, as flavors change as soon as the previous batches are gone. Cloud 9 also uses locally sourced and organic ingredients in their beer and food. The family- and dog-friendly restaurant is known for its decadent mac & cheese, with a number of available add-ins, as well as a rotating selection of creative desserts such as beer-amisu. Cloud 9 is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon - 9 p.m.

  • White Dog Brewing - 705 W. Fulton St., Boise, ID 83702
    White Dog Brewing promotes the philosophy of "fetching the good life." Their unique cans feature pictures inspired by local residents around Boise homes for sale, sharing activities with their precious pooches. A 24-foot frost rail keeps beer flavors such as Blood Orange Hefeweizen, Blackberry Sour, and Vanilla Cream Ale as you relax with Fido and your two-legged friends. Smoke and Thyme, a 40-foot food truck parked outside, provides tasty pub fare such as the Bacon and Beer Burger and the signature White Dog Fries with cheddar gravy, bacon, and chives. Hours are noon - 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon - 6 p.m. Sunday.

  • Powderhaus Brewing Company - 9719 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City, ID 83714
    When you walk into Powderhaus Brewing Company, right down the street from Garden City homes for sale, you'll feel transported to a charming cabin up in the mountains. The ambiance is in keeping with the selection of Alpine-inspired brews, including Snow Blind Hazy IPA and the popular Hot Haus beer. Be sure to try the pickle-flavored Gherkin Gose. Powderhaus has no kitchen, so you're welcome to bring your own food as well as your well-behaved dog. Follow them on Facebook for information about live music events. Hours are 3 p.m. - 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon - 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon - 7 p.m. Sunday.

  • Barbarian Brewing - 1022 W. Main St., Boise, ID 83702
    Named for the "wild creatures" who discovered an alternative to wine, Barbarian Brewing goes beyond traditional mass-market beers. Their creative, experimental flavors include Watermelon Wheat, Peanut Butter Bits, and Tom & Cherry Sour. Complement your beverage with classic Mexican street food. Dogs are welcome out on the patio, but two-legged visitors must be 21 and over. Barbarian Brewing is open 3 p.m. - 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon - 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon - 8 p.m. Sunday. They also have a second location in Garden City on 32nd Street. Hours for that location are 3 p.m. - 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon - 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon - 8 p.m. Sunday.

  • Clairvoyant Brewing Company - 2800 W. Idaho St., Boise, ID 83702
    No need to consult a psychic to find great beer in NW Boise. Family- and dog-friendly Clairvoyant Brewing Company is conveniently located just off the Boise Greenbelt Trail. In addition to their own beers, Clairvoyant is pouring Proletariat Wine and Meriwether Cider. On most evenings, one of Boise's top food trucks can be found right outside. Hours are 3 p.m. - 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon - 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon - 8 p.m. Sunday.

Find out why Boise is a satisfying mix of trendy and traditional. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to learn more.

August
1

Plan Ahead for These Boise Festivals

Boise Festivals

Boise homes for sale are some of the most desirable in the region, and there's something here for everyone. But our real estate agents know that the decision is even bigger than what property you choose. It's about joining a community where you can truly feel at home.

Take a look at everything Boise has to offer, and you'll see yourself living here!

As the capital of Idaho, one of Boise's unique strengths is its busy social calendar. Whether you love music, art, food, or all of the above, downtown Boise is the happening place to be.

Let's check in with some of the most popular summer events:

  • Fridays on 34th Market & Music – 303 East 34th Street, Garden City, ID 83714
    Fridays on 34th Market & Music is a recurring local event that takes place on Fridays near Garden City homes for sale. A recent innovation by the community's active downtown boosters and others, it has already become a local mainstay that attracts families every week. Summer hours run from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and there's always new food and music to appreciate. It runs from June all the way through November and will always be found at 34th Street Market.
  • Idaho Halloween & Horror Film Festival – Red Lion Boise Downtowner – 1800 West Fairview Avenue, Boise, ID 83702
    Idaho Halloween & Horror Film Festival is now celebrating its second year. Awards will be presented for a variety of categories spotlighting the original work of local filmmakers. Horror, thriller, suspense, and science fiction entries are accepted. Last year was a breakout success that has been lauded as friendly, fun, and a terrific networking opportunity for both fans and filmmakers. Celebrate horror films when the festival is in town from August 12 through 14. 

  • Boise Soul Food Festival – 700 South Capitol Boulevard, Boise, ID 83702
    Another winner slated to brighten Julia Davis Park, Boise Soul Food Festival will return on Saturday, August 13 this year. From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., people from all around Boise will have the chance to savor delicious meals from top local brands and competing culinary masters. You can shop for local food, arts and crafts, and much more while you enjoy live music. There will also be cultural workshops discussing more of the history and traditions behind the fun. It is sure to be a great time!

  • Boise Water Lantern Festival – 700 South Capitol Boulevard, Boise, ID 83702
    Taking place within Boise's delightful Julia Davis Park, Boise Water Lantern Festival has been voted the #1 festival in the local area. Attendees will be provided with an LED candle and have the opportunity to float their own paper lantern, complete with their wishes for health and happiness. The festival area is attended by local food trucks and performers, and the water will be fully cleaned up after the event. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 27.

  • Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic 2022 – 1000 South Americana Boulevard, Boise, ID 83706
    Found in Ann Morrison Park every year since 1991, Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic 2022 is one of the Boise area's most successful and beloved family events. Tourists and locals alike gather together to see soaring balloons and hear inspiring music. Launches begin early, typically around 7 a.m., assuming the weather cooperates. By mid-day, dozens of balloons will be gliding over Boise's historic landmarks. Events are scheduled from Wednesday through Sunday, August 31 through September 4.

Contact us to find out more about all Boise has to offer.

July
18

Western Idaho Fair: What to Expect in 2022

Western Idaho Fair

Since 1897, the Western Idaho Fair has been summer's main event near Boise homes for sale. Find out why our real estate agents expect that this year's version, appropriately dubbed "The Big Social," will once again be the highlight of the season.

History of the Fair

Around the turn of the 20th century, Boise was relatively isolated from other cities. The Intermountain Fair was designed as a way for the communities to connect, as Boise showcased their strong agricultural foundation.

In 1936, Ada County appointed a fair board to oversee what was now known as the Western Idaho Fair. The event expanded with the times to include carnival rides and games.

While the fair has generated an increase in local business, financial troubles caused sporadic closings over the years. Since the mid-1980s, the Western Idaho Fair has been entirely self-supporting, with no taxpayer funding. Today, as the fair celebrates 125 years, more than a quarter of a million people attend annually.

Acts and Attractions

From animal exhibits to strolling violinists, the fair features entertainment appealing to all ages and interests. Here's a look at some of the most anticipated attractions:

  • 4-H and Future Farmers of America are staging show competitions for a wide range of animals, from horses to guinea pigs (or cava). There will also be a number of educational seminars and displays, such as "Alpaca 101" and the Mobile Dairy Classroom.

  • What's a fair without motorsports? Adrenaline junkies can get their fill at the Octane Addiction shows, featuring top freestyle riders on snowmobiles, motorcycles, and quads. Little ones can join the fun with the kids' pedal tractor races.

  • Are you the BBQ master in your family? How far can you toss a 3.5-pound skillet? You can also show off your skills and win prizes in myriad categories including flower arranging, cake baking, umbrella decorating, photography, and more. Spend time wandering through the exhibition buildings to view hundreds of displays, crafts, and art.

  • Once again, a full selection of carnival rides and games will be on hand for everyone, whether you're a daredevil or you prefer tamer thrills.

  • Fair food is the stuff of legends, and the eats at the Western Idaho Fair lead the pack. The award-winning Idaho ice cream potato was named to the "50 Best Fair Foods" list by Food Network. Other mouthwatering treats include hand-dipped Party Pups, onion blooms, turkey legs, and deep-fried Snickers.

  • Strolling entertainers keep you amused as you wait in line for rides or stop for a refreshment break. Watch for violinists, clowns, and Robocars that are real-life Transformers.

Grandstand Shows

Plan to enjoy big-name concerts during fair week. Admission is included with your fair ticket. Seating is first-come, first-served.

  • Chris Janson: Monday, August 22

  • Ja Rule and Ashanti: Tuesday, August 23

  • Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo: Wednesday, August 24

  • Stone Temple Pilots: Thursday, August 25

  • Billy Currington: Friday, August 26

All shows start at 7:30 p.m.

Dates and Information

  • The 2022 Western Idaho Fair runs from Friday, August 19, through Sunday, August 28.

  • Gates open at 11 a.m. on weekends and noon on weekdays. Closing time is 11 p.m. except on the final day, which ends at 9 p.m.

  • Adult admission is $10 in advance and $12 at the gate, while kids aged 6-11 are $8 and $9, respectively. Carnival wristbands for all ages are $30 and $35. Combo packs are $70 and $150 and may be purchased in advance only.

  • Enjoy free admission from noon - 2 p.m. on opening day with a donation of a non-perishable food item for the Idaho Foodbank.

  • Expo Idaho fairgrounds are located at 5610 N. Glenwood St., Garden City, ID 83714.

Life in Boise is full of fun and tradition. If you're buying or selling a home, contact us.

July
5

Theater in Boise: Idaho Shakespeare Festival

Boise Shakespeare

The theater is alive and well in Boise! Every summer, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival presents classics in a beautiful setting that's only a stone's throw from the Boise River, and the 2022 season is no exception. 

A typical season for the festival includes five or six productions, each shown multiple times between June and September in a spectacular outdoor amphitheater. As always, our real estate agents are excited to see what the Idaho Shakespeare Festival has in store for us this summer. 

About the Venue

Located just minutes from these Boise homes for sale, Idaho Shakespeare Festival events take place at a beautiful outdoor amphitheater surrounded by a wooded habitat reserve. It's a state-of-the-art facility that was designed to naturally amplify the human voice. 

The Amphitheater seats 770, but there's also a spacious general-admission lawn area overlooking the stage. General admission patrons are welcome to bring picnic blankets and lawn chairs. There is also an option to reserve a specific tableside spot with a chair already set up. 

Attendees are welcome to bring their own food and drink as well. The on-site Café Shakespeare also offers a wide range of refreshments, including gourmet deli items, picnic dinners, desserts, and beverage options, including beer and wine.

The Idaho Shakespeare Festival has been going strong since 1977, and attendance over the course of a season often exceeds 50,000 people. After being forced to cancel the season due to COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021, we're thrilled to welcome the festival back for 2022!

Idaho Shakespeare Festival 2022 Season

The Idaho Shakespeare Festival presents a different slate of stage productions every season, and contrary to what some may expect, it's not all Shakespeare! As is usually the case, this season includes some of the Bard's most well-known works, along with several more modern plays.

The 2022 season began with an amazing and now-concluded run of Shakespeare's classic, Much Ado About Nothing. But that was just the beginning! Be sure to catch these upcoming shows (and check out the festival's official calendar for more details): 

  • Ain't Misbehavin' (June 17- July 9) - Showcasing the show-stopping music of legendary jazz musician Thomas "Fats" Waller, this Tony award-winning musical features five actors performing some of Waller's greatest songs.

  • Romeo and Juliet (July 15- 30) - Arguably the most famous of William Shakespeare's many classic works, this tale of love and loss between two star-crossed lovers from rival families has resonated with audiences across centuries. 

  • Little Shop of Horrors (August 5- 27) - A classic musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors, revolves around a florist whose chance for success and romance comes with the help of a giant man-eating plant.

  • The 39 Steps (September 2-25) - One of the most exciting entries into the 2022 lineup, this fast-paced whodunit packs in both laughter and thrills and has been described as Alfred Hitchcock meets Monty Python!

Whichever shows you choose to attend, be sure to get your seat early. Most dates include pre-show events such as live music and beer or wine tastings, which are not to be missed! Check their website for any schedule changes due to Covid.

Boise has earned a reputation as a hub for arts and culture, and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival is just the tip of the iceberg. Contact us today to learn more about life in Idaho, and be sure to ask our real estate agents about finding your dream home in Boise and the surrounding areas. 

May
2

Idaho Grown: Boise Wineries and Shops

Boise Shops

When you're looking at Boise homes for sale, there's a lot to take in. The beautiful neighborhoods, strong local economy, and terrific dining will keep your calendar full. But there's one untold story of Idaho that's only just starting to get attention: Its vibrant local wine scene.

Our real estate agents are proud to share that after many years of hard work, the Boise Valley area has recently received its wine appellation designation. This means Boise Valley joins the Napa Valley and a host of other world-famous locales in being a legally determined and protected wine region.

Such a designation can only be conferred when recognized wine experts determine the flavor of the local wine grapes is truly distinct and unique to the area's soil. This has led to an explosion of dryer vintages in the Boise Valley, while sweeter vintages incorporate quality grapes from elsewhere.

However you look at it, Boise's wine scene is on its way to a whole new level!

And there are plenty of ways to enjoy it right now with Boise wineries and shops selling the fantastic locally made wine:

  • Cinder Wines – 107 East 44th Street, Garden City, ID 83714
    Dedicated to the prospect that the Snake River Valley will be "America's Next Great Wine Region," Cinder Wines welcomes reservations or walk-ins at its tasting room. Named for the volcanic cinder beneath many local vineyards, it is perhaps best known for its "Queen of White Wines." It's one of a dazzling assortment of quality wine shops near Garden City homes for sale.

  • Telaya Wine Co – 240 East 32nd Street, Garden City, ID 83714
    Telaya Wine Co will energize you with a variety of seating options (patio and inside) and its handcrafted selection of Idaho and Washington wines. From a humble beginning of just 50 cases back in 2008, it is now one of the names to watch in Boise wines.

  • Hat Ranch Winery – 15343 Plum Road, Caldwell, ID 83607
    Hat Ranch Winery is a producer of classic Idaho wines such as cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, dry Moscato, and many more. House vintages dating back to 2018 are still available for both visitors and online orders. Established in 2011, Hat Ranch is now cheered for its monthly wine club.

  • Sunnyslope Wine Trail – 106 South Kimball Avenue, Caldwell, ID, 83605
    Sunnyslope Wine Trail is an opportunity to launch a journey into Idaho wine country just minutes from Caldwell homes for sale. Those who embark on the trail will have the opportunity to sample the wares of more than a dozen wineries located in Caldwell and the nearby towns of Sunnyslope and Kuna.

  • Huston Vineyards – 16473 Chicken Dinner Road, Caldwell, ID 83607
    Open all year long for visitors from near and far, Huston Vineyards is the vision of owners Mary and Gregg Alger. It is well-loved for its handcrafted wine varietals and its many events – such as World Malbec Day, "Farm to Table" dining specials, and the Barrel Tasting Weekend.

  • 3100 Cellars – 240 East 32nd Street, Garden City, ID 83714
    3100 Cellars has been praised by visitors for both its incredible wines and its idyllic setting. One of the newer names on the Boise wine scene, 3100 benefits from all-new facilities that are a delight to see up close. Its sparkling wines are "a tribute" to the 3,100 miles of whitewater throughout its home state.

Just like the wine from its region, Boise is truly one-of-a-kind. Contact us to find out more about what Boise has to offer.

April
4

5 Boise Yoga Studios to Visit

Boise Yoga Studios

Yoga is a great way to take care of both your body and your mind at the same time. Whether you're a beginner wanting to try it out to see if yoga suits your needs, or you're an advanced student looking for a place to fine-tune your skills, Boise has some great yoga studios. 

Our real estate agents know that there is so much to love about living in the Boise area, thanks to the area's many small businesses! Be sure to stop by one of these local yoga studios. 

  1. Yoga for Wellness, LLC - 1175 East Parkcenter Boulevard, Boise, ID 83706
    If you're looking for a yoga studio that specializes in restorative yoga, Yoga for Wellness, LLC is for you. This Boise studio offers yoga classes that are accessible for different skill levels and beneficial for everyone. Choose from Nidra, therapeutic, chair yoga, slow flow yoga, and more, all under the supervision of a studio director who carries an Integrative Restoration Institute certification in meditation instruction. Need a break from your busy life? Yoga for Wellness also offers yoga retreats.

  2. Yoga Tree of Boise - 1674 West Hill Road, Boise, ID 83702
    Yoga Tree of Boise is a unique studio that is close to many Boise homes for sale and is truly a part of the community, as they provide classes for a range of skill levels, host local events, foster education, and hold yoga workshops. Their all-level classes include traditional yoga, such as restorative, yin, and slow flow, but also some specialized and fun classes, like yoga barre, rock 'n' flow yoga, and of course, yoga for the kiddos.

  3. 28th Street Barre - 1602 North 28th Street, Boise, ID 83703
    Not sure traditional yoga is for you? Check out 28th Street Barre. This unique yoga studio mixes yoga with music, dance, barre, and pilates for a full-body workout that's never boring. Choose from various classes that range from more traditional, such as yoga flow, to unique options such as Power Party Sculpt and Deep Dance Experience.

  4. Dash Aerial Yoga - 819 West Idaho Street, Boise, ID 83702 
    Speaking of something different, be sure to check out Dash Aerial Yoga. This aerial yoga studio gives you the chance to practice your yoga in a wholly unique way: while suspended in the air from a silk hammock. Dash Aerial Yoga offers a variety of classes suitable for a range of yoga skill levels, and no prior aerial experience is required.

  5. Zen Riot Yoga & Wellness Studio - 5333 Franklin Road, Boise, ID 83705
    Offering a variety of class types, you are sure to find a class for your schedule and to improve your yoga practice at Zen Riot Yoga & Wellness Studio. Whether you opt for a relaxing restorative class or a class to improve flexibility and strength, the instructors at this studio are here to help. Besides their usual class schedule, keep an eye out for their yoga retreats and yoga teacher training.

No matter which studio you choose, yoga is a great way to relax, find peace, have fun, and get in touch with your community. To start the search for your dream home in one of Boise's neighborhoods, contact us today.

March
21

As Seen on TV: Boise Restaurants

If you've been looking at Boise homes for sale, you've certainly noticed that so many of them are found near great restaurants. Our real estate agents love to have the opportunity to introduce our clients to some of the best bites in Boise. In certain cases, they have already heard of them – from TV!

Yes, if you watch shows like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Food Paradise, or Drinking Made Easy, then odds are good you've already visited the Boise restaurant scene. There are many different kinds of cuisine in Boise, and just about anything you might desire is represented.

Let's drop in on some of the Boise dining spots that have achieved fame on TV:

  1. Big Jud's – 1289 South Protest Road, Boise, ID 83706
    Making its debut television appearance on Man vs. Food, Big Jud's is best known for the "Double Big Jud," consisting of two robust 1-pound burger patties stacked on one another and then smothered with an array of toppings, including multiple different kinds of cheese.

  2. Lulu's Fine Pizza & Sushi – 2594 North Bogus Basin Road, Boise, ID 83702
    Another Man vs. Food favorite, Lulu's Fine Pizza & Sushi, stands out for the "Demon's Delight Spicy Sushi Challenge" that was undertaken in a 2018 episode. In addition to dozens of rolls, pizzeria favorites like pasta, calzones, and salad are all ready and waiting for you here.

  3. Leku Ona – 117 South 6th Street, Boise, ID 83702
    Leku Ona bills itself as the leading Basque food restaurant in Boise and appeared on an episode of Drinking Made Easy. The name means "Good Place," and it is located within Boise's beautiful Basque Block. In addition to a full Basque menu, it offers banquet services for individuals and organizations.

  4. Bittercreek Alehouse – 246 North 8th Street, Boise, ID 83702
    Bittercreek Alehouse serves locally sourced pub fare alongside a wide range of microbrews on draft. Burgers, sandwiches, fries, poutine, curds, soups, and salad will help you enjoy dozens of different beverage options. Don't miss out on the Friday special tuna melt or the handmade desserts.

  5. Chandlers Prime Steaks & Fine Seafood – 981 West Grove Street, Boise, ID 83702
    For high-end dining in Boise, Chandlers Prime Steaks & Fine Seafood is in a class by itself. On the grounds of Hotel 43, its appearance on Drinking Made Easy introduced the world to the "10-Minute Martini." Using special convection action, this signature beverage is neither shaken nor stirred.

  6. Bacon – 121 North 9th Street, Boise, ID 83702
    Coming to the national audience courtesy of Food Paradise, Bacon is a restaurant wholly dedicated to one of America's favorite foods. Founded in 2011 with John Berryhill's original Berryhill Bacon recipe, it offers bacon lasagna, bacon burgers, bacon shots, and just about anything else you can imagine.

  7. Boise Fry Company – 204 North Capitol Boulevard, Boise, ID 83702
    As seen on multiple different television shows, Boise Fry Company is the place to go to experience the beloved Idaho potato at its best. Those potatoes from M&M Heath Farms in Buhl are fried up in natural, GMO-free sunflower seed oil and decked out in your choice of house seasonings and sauces.

Contact us to find out more about Boise, ID real estate. We look forward to helping you soon.

March
9

Doers of Good: Practice Kindness Every Day

Extending Random Acts of Kindness Day

Random Acts of Kindness Day was last month, and many of our agents and staff marked the day by making an extra effort to help others. Rather than spotlighting a specific charity or cause in March, we asked, why can't this be every day? If each of us did one small thing to help a neighbor, a stranger, a co-worker, regardless of the day, think about the ripples of good that would spread throughout our communities!

On February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day, agents and staff here at CBT surprised neighbors with yard cleanup, trash pick-up, and groceries. They paid for coffee and food orders for those behind them in the drive-through. One purchased lunch for a group of law enforcement officers in a restaurant. Still others opened doors, complimented clothing, and put shopping carts away.

Small or large, monetary or not, little kindnesses can change someone's moment, day, and, yes, life. Challenge yourself and those around you to do something randomly kind, not only one day a year, but every day.

We'd love to hear about your random acts of kindness! Share in the comments. Who knows what good you will inspire!

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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. 

March
7

Treasures Abound in Garden City

Boise Garden City

There's no place quite like Garden City, Idaho. An independent community that's almost entirely surrounded by Boise, Garden City is a haven for artists and creatives. Our real estate agents never tire of exploring this unique place. 

Garden City is located along the Boise River, a stone's throw from many Boise homes for sale. Its main stretch, Chinden Boulevard, is lined with independent wineries, craft breweries, art galleries, studio spaces, and shops. 

Not incorporated as a city until 1967, the area has a varied past. A farming community in the late 1800s, the village was rich with lush Chinese gardens, a feature that ultimately led to the name Garden City. In fact, Chinden Boulevard is a portmanteau of "Chinese" and "garden." In 1949, county commissioners approved its incorporation so a group of Boise businessmen could build an "amusement center," a not-so-veiled wish to create gambling establishments along the Boulevard. Gambling had been banned within Boise's city limits, so moving it to Garden City seemed the perfect plan.

When gambling was declared illegal under the Idaho Constitution, Garden City's leaders relaxed building codes and welcomed new businesses, regardless of their desirability, leading to the nickname "Saturday Night Town." Fortunately, by the 1980s, efforts to develop new housing and take advantage of the beauty surrounding the Boise River began to take shape. Now, Garden City is the perfect place for a stroll along the river, stopping for coffee or a wine tasting.

Use the official Garden City Artisans' Pathway Map as your guide to this one-of-a-kind arts community, and be sure to stop in at some of these unique businesses in Garden City: 

  • Visual Arts Collective - 3638 Osage St, Garden City, ID 83714
    One of Garden City's premier art galleries and venues, Visual Arts Collective is a vibrant space where you can experience almost any genre or medium of art. From fine art exhibitions and film screenings to live music and theater performances, Visual Arts Collective is always presenting something new and exciting. 

  • Powderhaus Brewing Company - 9719 W Chinden Blvd, Garden City, ID 83714
    There are a lot of great breweries in Garden City, but few as universally acclaimed as Powderhaus Brewing Company. Perhaps best known for their Haus Session Ale and First Turns IPA, Powderhaus Brewing is constantly brewing new and creative seasonal releases inspired by the mountains. Their taproom in Garden City is a great place to sample some of their outstanding brews. Live music takes place most Friday nights, and there's a farmers market at the brewery on Saturdays. 

  • Audio Lab - 3638 Osage St, Garden City, ID 83714
    One of Idaho's most accomplished and technologically advanced recording studios, Audio Lab has a long and storied history of producing great records from big-name artists. But they also regularly host live in-studio music performances, offering the public an amazing opportunity to come and experience live music in this unique space. 

  • Push & Pour - 214 E 34th St, Garden City, ID 83714
    You'd have a hard time finding a better cup of coffee to start your day with than the one you'll get at Push & Pour. This local coffee shop roasts their own beans in-house at their Garden City location, and they make some of the most impeccably-crafted pour-overs, espresso drinks, and cold brews around. Push & Pour also offers some tasty breakfast fare, including vegan and gluten-free options. 

  • Boise River Greenbelt - 698 E 42nd St, Garden City, ID 83714
    The Boise River Greenbelt stretches 25 miles along the banks of its namesake river, providing an amazing resource for hiking and biking in the area. It cuts straight through Garden City, offering great views and a convenient walking path to and from many local businesses nearby. It also passes through several parks, including Boise Whitewater Park. If you get a little hungry on your walk, stop off at the Greenbelt Market for a bite to eat and a drink. 

  • Telaya Wine Co. - 240 E 32nd St, Garden City, ID 83714
    One of several outstanding Garden City wineries, Telaya Wine Co. is located footsteps away from the Boise River and the Boise River Greenbelt. They got started in 2008 and have grown by leaps and bounds since their first year, in which they produced their inaugural batch of 50 cases. Telaya's wines are made from grapes grown in Idaho and Washington, and you can enjoy tastings, wine by the glass, and bottles to-go from their Garden City tasting room. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Boise, Garden City, and the surrounding areas. Our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find your dream home in Idaho. 

February
15

Doers of Good: Featuring The Idaho Humane Society

Doers of Good: Leah and Dave Morgan

The Coldwell Banker Tomlinson #DoersOfGood program is designed to shine a light on the givers in our real estate family, and, by doing so, encourage others in our community to help wherever they can.

Our February #DoersOfGood are a very special couple who have made it their mission to support animals in need. Leah and Dave Morgan, Realtors® and leaders of The Morgan Team at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson, work with the Idaho Humane Society doing whatever they can to help.  Leah provided this first-person account:

We have a long-time history of service AND loving animals and like many people, got especially involved when our daughter wanted to get involved as well.  We started with the Idaho Humane Society by fostering animals (cats and dogs) and started helping with the IDAPI (Inmate Dog Alliance Project of Idaho) where we helped bridge the gap between the now-trained dog "graduating" and the family introduction.  It is amazing to see a dog have a purpose, be well trained, AND become a family member! 

As we fostered dogs and cats, sometimes just for a few weeks while meeting possible new owners/family members and helping the dog have good manners with some light training and learning their "issues" and showing them kindness and some structure, we could literally SEE dogs learn they were safe and were going to be treated well. 

On occasion, we would get a call for an entire litter of kittens and their mama who needed a spot until the kittens were old enough to adopt.  We created the "cat" room in our house so we could quarantine them in their own comfy space.  In most instances, we loved every animal and loved the process of helping them find their furever families. When we didn't have fosters, we were happy to just go walk the dogs at the shelter! 

One particular cat that we fostered, an all-black cat, was not cuddly, wouldn't let us or anyone hold him, and over and over the families that came to meet him passed him by. He was very well behaved and rarely would get on the furniture, etc.  By month 13 of fostering him, we knew his quirks and decided to just adopt him ourselves.  That VERY night, he crawled up on the end of the bed and purred loudly – he KNEW he was home!  It turned out that he was our 13th foster animal, and we renamed him Sirius Black since he was much more like a dog!

We continue to support the Idaho Humane Society by doing the annual See Spot Walk, donating, and fostering whenever possible.  There are so many needs and areas the Humane Society can use our help – from doing laundry at the shelters to delivering supplies, fostering, and of course, adopting a new family member to make your home even more complete! I hope you consider making a donation to them today!

The Humane Society is solely run on volunteer efforts, donations, and fundraisers. The largest fundraiser is See Spot Walk.  We've been donating and participating almost every year since 2009 (and twice while on vacation!).  Donations help tremendously, not just money but things like towels, blankets, food, and supplies, and most importantly time walking the dogs, doing laundry, cleaning cages, sending info, staffing the front desk, delivering items, and fostering, to name just a few. 

When you think how much a furry friend completes the home and family for nearly 75% of Idahoans, it's no wonder the need is so great. 

Coldwell Banker fosters a culture of giving, knowing we are more than real estate agents and that community is in our nature. Being a "Doer of Good" and sharing #CBGoodNews reach far beyond real estate. This is the "good stuff" in life, why we want to give in multiple "causes" and believe that we all can make a difference beyond our expertise of buying and selling real estate. We are only as strong as our community, so it behooves us all to do everything we can.

 

To learn about The Idaho Humane Society and explore all the ways you can help, please visit https://idahohumanesociety.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. 

February
14

Celebrate Valentine's Day with a Little Trivia

Test Your Valentine's Day Knowledge

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!  Today is the day for love and romance, heart-shaped chocolates and candlelit dinners.

What do you really know about Valentine's Day? Here are some fun trivia questions to test your knowledge.

  1. When was the oldest-known Valentine's Day message written, and from where? 
  2. When was February 14th first declared as Valentine's Day? 
  3. Who invented the first Valentine's Day candy box? 
  4. What is the average number of marriage proposals on Valentine's Day each year? 
  5. How much on average is spent on chocolate in America for Valentine's Day each year? 
  6. How many roses are sold on Valentine's Day each year? 
  7. How many Valentine's Day greeting cards are purchased in the U.S. each year? 
  8. How many people typically purchase Valentines for their pets? 
  9. If you send a snarky insult on Valentine's Day, what kind of "greeting" are you sending?
  10. What year were the popular "conversation Sweethearts" not available?

 

Ready for the answers?

  1. The oldest-known Valentine was in 1415, sent by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife from the Tower of London where he was imprisoned. 
  2. Valentine's Day was declared an official holiday in 1537 by King Henry VIII. 
  3. English entrepreneur and chocolate-maker Richard Cadbury created the first heart-shaped box of chocolates. 
  4. 220,000 
  5. It is estimated that over $1 billion is spent in the U.S. each year for Valentine's Day. 
  6. 189 million 
  7. Approximately 1 billion 
  8. 9 million 
  9. Insulting Valentine's messages are known as "Vinegar Valentines."
  10. The ever-popular "Conversation Hearts" were unavailable in 2019 after their manufacturer Necco declared bankruptcy in 2018. Thankfully, the Spangler Candy Company purchased the rights, and the candies returned in 2020.

    How'd you do? 

    Whether you are celebrating with your beau, your best friends, your pets, or your neighbors, we wish you a day full of love!

    February
    11

    Super Snacks for Super Bowl Gatherings

    Get Ready to Entertain with These Winning Snacks

    For the vast majority of Americans, Super Bowl Sunday is a national holiday. Big gatherings, team jerseys, and food. Lots and lots of food. In fact, according to Wikipedia, roughly 28 million pounds of chips are consumed just on this day. Add to that 1.25 billion chicken wings and 8 million pounds of guacamole! 

    Perhaps you're looking for some great ideas to add to the menu. Read on! 

    Artichoke Dip

    • 2 cans of non-marinated artichoke hearts
    • 1 c. mayonnaise
    • 1/2 c. sour cream
    • 1 can of diced green chilis
    • 1 c. shredded parmesan cheese

    Combine all ingredients in a small baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 400°. Serve with tortilla chips.

     

    Dill Pickle & Ham Pinwheels

    • ½ lb. thinly-sliced ham
    • 4 oz. cream cheese
    • 4 large whole dill pickles

    Pat pickles dry with a paper towel. Cover each pickle with 1 oz. of the cream cheese & wrap with ¼ of the ham. Repeat with the remaining pickles & refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Slice into 1" pieces & enjoy!

     

    Tequila-Spiked Salsa

    • 2 c. chopped, seeded tomato
    • 1 c. chopped onion
    • 1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1/3 c. peeled, chopped avocado
    • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
    • 2 tsp. tequila (optional!)
    • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced

    Combine all ingredients & toss gently. Serve with tortilla chips.

     

    Buffalo Chicken Dip

    • 10 oz. chicken breasts, boiled & shredded
    • 2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened
    • 1 c. ranch dressing
    • 3/4 c. (or more based on taste/preferences)
    • pepper sauce (e.g. Frank's Red Hot®)
    • 1-1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

    Place shredded chicken & hot sauce in skillet & heat over medium heat until heated through. Stir in cream cheese & ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended & warm. Mix in shredded cheese & stir until melted. Transfer to the crockpot to keep warm & serve with tortilla chips.

     

    Oreo Popcorn

    • 20 Oreo cookies
    • 2 bags of microwave popcorn, popped
    • 2 c. white chocolate chips

    Place Oreos in a large Ziploc bag and smash. Heat white chocolate chips in microwave on high for 30-second intervals up to 2-3 minutes, stirring until melted. Mix popcorn & melted chocolate in a large bowl until well-combined. Slowly add the cookies & mix. Turn out on waxed paper until cool. Break into pieces & enjoy.

    After the big game, when you find yourself wishing for a media room or better entertaining space, give us a call. We will guide you to the perfect home!

     

    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
    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.

    December
    29

    Introducing Doers of Good: CBT's Culture of Giving

    Doers of Good: CBT's Culture of Giving

    Coldwell Banker agents, staff, and managers are a special breed, working hard to assist our clients fulfill their real estate goals while keeping our focus on community and on making our cities and towns better places for all of us.

    Because of our firm belief that we have an obligation to the people and places that keep our communities strong, we've set an ambitious goal for the next ten years: to give a minimum of $10 million to the organizations that work to help our neighbors in need. We call this our "Doers of Good."

    We believe this focus needs to be shared and celebrated – and in a big way – so we are shining a light on those who are bright spots in the lives of others. We know the kind of people we have in our family, and we want you to know, too. Doers of Good will do just that.

    Our agents, staff, and managers work in the background "doing their thing," sometimes on their own and sometimes with the help of our entire company. As we close a difficult year and look forward to a bright 2022, we'd like you to meet just a few of our 2021 4th quarter Doers of Good.

    Camp Rainbow Gold

    Pamela Carson, CBT Realtor® in our Eagle, Idaho, office, got involved with Camp Rainbow Gold because of her daughter, a nurse practitioner in oncology at St. Luke's and the medical director for the nonprofit. Camp Rainbow Gold "has been able to provide support and companionship to parents of children affected with cancer, giving them connections to other families going through the day-to-day struggles of childhood cancer," says Pamela. The organization even allows siblings to have their own camps. "The children feel safe and normal at camp."

    A volunteer and financial supporter for the past five years, Pamela says "it gives me a real sense of pride to be a part of such a worthy cause…I get a feeling of paying it forward for all of the blessings I have in my life.

    "Everyone should take a moment to reflect on how they can pay it forward or make a difference in their community, whether it be by contributing to a charity that is near and dear to them, or by reaching out to the charity organization to see how best they can assist in their continued fundraising or manpower needs."

    Funding for Camp Rainbow Gold comes from private donations and community partnerships with local businesses. Most of the programs are run by volunteers under the guidance of a few camp staff members.  To learn more about Camp Rainbow Gold, visit https://camprainbowgold.org/.

     

    Idaho Diaper Bank

    Did you know that in Idaho, 46% of children under the age of three don't have a consistent supply of diapers to stay clean, dry, healthy, and happy?  This statistic shocked Shawna Walz and her mom, Carol Seiber, CBT Realtor® in our Boise, Idaho, office. Together, they founded Idaho Diaper Bank with the mission of providing diapers through collaboration with other social service agencies and nonprofits.

    Says Carol, "IDB was formed to address the silent crisis of diaper need." She goes on to explain that diapers cannot be purchased with food stamps or WIC but represent a significant portion of the monthly budget for the Idaho families struggling to provide basic necessities like food, shelter, and hygiene. Oftentimes, parents feel they have no option other than trying to reuse soiled diapers.

    Since its inception in 2014, Idaho Diaper Bank has provided over 4.5 million diapers to babies in need. IDB primarily serves SW Idaho but has worked to expand into eastern Idaho, the Magic Valley, and north Idaho with their Warehouse on Wheels program.

    "Passion and empathy drive me to participate in charitable organizations in my community," Carol says. "Our community is growing and with that comes many issues facing our low-income families. Giving back is part of my business plan and along with Coldwell Banker we are able to make positive outcomes for many!"

    IDB receives grants and donations from individuals and businesses. Community diaper drives help, as well. To help or learn more about Idaho Diaper Bank, visit http://www.idahodiaperbank.org/

    Coldwell Banker Tomlinson agents, staff, and managers raised funds for both Camp Rainbow Gold and Idaho Diaper Bank at our annual Turkey Tuesday bowling fundraiser in November. Over $5,000 was raised during our event.

     

    Meridian Elementary School & Meridian Food Bank

    For the past several years, Joan Johnston, CBT Realtor® in our Meridian, Idaho, office, has spearheaded a fund and supply drive for underprivileged kids and their families at two different elementary schools in the valley.

    Joan explains that one of her dearest friends was a teacher at a school with a high number of at-risk children – children who would oftentimes come to school on a Monday morning having eaten nothing all weekend. With her friend's help, Joan devised a plan to deliver some Christmas cheer, as well as food and gift cards to a grocery store, to these kids and their families.

    "I have always felt a great sense of responsibility to care for those who are in need," Joan says.  "Children are often the ones who suffer the most when families struggle financially…Many of the homeless are living in their cars, trailers, or inexpensive hotels.  For whatever reason, they are experiencing hard times."

    This year, Joan was joined by fellow Meridian office Realtor® Lindsey Dykstra. Together, the two organized the annual Meridian office "bake sale auction" to raise funds for 13 homeless families with children who attend Meridian Elementary School, as well as for the Meridian Food Bank, which has helped almost 20,000 households this year.   

    CBT agents, staff, and managers donated baked goods to be auctioned at the event. In a few short hours, the group raised over $7,000 for the two worthy causes. "The generosity and caring exhibited by our agents, vendors, clients, and others are unparalleled," Joan explains.

    Adds Lindsey, "This was my first year getting to help out with the fundraiser and distribution at the school. Being a doer of good means living and giving intentionally, having a purpose beyond just your own personal gain, and being open and available to show kindness and love to everyone. It doesn't have to be anything huge."

    Contact your local school district to see how you can assist children in need, and visit https://meridianfoodbank.org/ to learn more about Meridian Food Bank.

    ************

    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. 

    December
    8

    New Home for the Holidays: 5 Ways to Make it Extra Memorable

    Boise Holidays in New Home

    Moving close to the holidays can be emotionally challenging. You may have found your dream home, but it's hard to get moved in, settled, and still make things feel like a typical, festive holiday season all at the same time. It's not impossible, though, once you accept that things are just going to be a little different this year! Here are a few suggestions our real estate agents have for people moving into a new home just before the holidays.

    1. Decorate as You Unpack
      It's tempting to say you'll forget about decorating this year, but don't give in! Decorating is the first and best way to make it feel more like the holidays, even if two-thirds of the house is still packed away. If you don't know where your decorations are or can't get to them, go to the store and buy new ones. If you invest in indoor-outdoor lights and some other things that you can add to your stash of holiday decorations and use in future years, it won't seem like a waste, and you'll be able to get yourself in the holiday spirit even with the house in disarray.

    2. Start a New Tradition
      Test drive a few new holiday activities and see what might take as a new family holiday tradition. For example, driving around your new neighborhood to look at holiday lights can help you get excited for the holidays and also get to know your new community, much more than you did while searching for Boise homes for sale. You can celebrate by doing something that you couldn't do in the old house, too, like putting a big Christmas tree on display in a front window or starting a fire in the fireplace.

    3. Put Your Boxes to Good Use
      There's one thing about moving into a new home that is inevitable: boxes. Lots and lots of empty boxes. Instead of lamenting them, have fun with them! Wrap a few emptied moving boxes and decorate with them, especially under the tree, to make your holidays look more festive.

    4. Don't Forget About Local Events
      Every community has its holiday traditions. Whether it's shopping at holiday craft fairs, attending a parade of lights, visiting a zoo lights display, or some other local holiday attraction, find what your new community has to offer and get out there to enjoy it! Don't let yourself feel too busy to enjoy the holiday season. After all, once the necessities are accessible, the rest can be unpacked and organized at leisure.

    5. Skip Cooking
      With all of the unpacking and your kitchen probably not fully set up yet, you may not be feeling up to cooking a big holiday meal. Don't stress out about it! If ever there was a year where you should order a prepared meal, this is it. Whether you order a traditional holiday meal or opt for something completely different, take that item off of your to-do list so that you can relax and enjoy the holidays a little better.

    Celebrating holidays in a new place is part of making your new house feel like home. Starting your home search in the near future? For more information about our local community or to get started looking for your dream home in Boise, contact us today.

    October
    15

    Stark Autumn Beauty: Shoshone Falls

    Don't Let the Lack of "High Water" Keep You from Visiting this Fall

    Looking for some weekend adventure, but want to explore somewhere new? If you are in the Boise area, take the two-hour trek to Shoshone Falls in south-central Idaho's Magic Valley. Located approximately three miles west of the city of Twin Falls, the "Niagra of the West" drops an impressive 212 feet, 45 feet higher than the real Niagra.

    Though the most dramatic time of year to visit is in the spring when flows can reach in excess of 20,000 cubic feet per second, the fall and winter bring a different kind of beauty. Striking rock formations and stunning pools reveal themselves only when the water is low.

    Lying within the Snake River Canyon, the Falls and surrounding geology is a fascinating scene created over millions of years and is truly one of nature's—and Idaho's—most glorious wonders worthy of visiting any time of year.

    Shoshone Falls Park is situated at the bottom of the canyon via a fairly steep and curvy road that is open year-round, except when snow and ice make travel too dangerous. The road is paved and fine for all vehicles. In the fall and winter months, the park is open from dawn to dusk, and there is no charge for access. Picnic areas, overlooks, and portable toilets are accessible all year.

    Wear comfortable shoes and plan to take a hike along one of the many trails in and around the Falls. Centennial Trail takes explorers 1.4 miles to the site of Evel Knievel's failed attempt to jump the canyon in 1974. The out-and-back trail is paved and features canyon overlooks.

    To get to Shoshone Falls from Boise, travel east on I-84 to US 93/exit 173 south to Twin Falls. Turn east on Falls Ave. E to N 3300 E/Champlin Road and follow the signs.

    Be sure to stop at the Twin Falls Visitor Center at the south side of the Perrine Bridge for breathtaking views of the canyon and to pick up a trail map.

    October
    14

    View the Latest Employment Report from the Mortgage Professionals at Idaho Central Credit Union

     

     

    Latest Employment Report Reveals Job Gains Went Down

    This past week, analysts and investors closely watched the latest employment report. Unfortunately, it revealed that job gains went down, falling short of expectations. For the most part, the other major economic reports coincided with expectations. In other news, investors shifted to riskier assets. While doing so, stocks increased while bonds decreased. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week higher.

    Job Gains Fall Short in Latest Employment Report

    The latest employment report suggested that COVID-19 hindered job creation. Friday's release showed that the economy added just 194,000 jobs in September 2021 against a consensus forecast of 500,000. While this result resembles August 2021, job gains plummeted dramatically from over one million in July of this year.

    However, there were many offsetting factors. First, upward revisions added 169,000 jobs to the results for prior months. Second, the unemployment rate declined from 5.2% to 4.8%. Not only did unemployment decline far below the consensus forecast of 5.1%, but it also hit the lowest level since February 2020. These two components often paint a somewhat different picture. While companies provide data for the job gains calculation, the unemployment rate is based on a separate survey of individuals.

    Analysts also looked for the latest figures on average hourly earnings. Average hourly earnings, an indicator of wage growth, rose 0.6% from July 2021. This statistic jumped well above the consensus of 0.4%. Of note, average hourly earnings clocked in at an impressive 4.6% higher than a year ago. The latest employment report showed that this number also climbed above an annual rate of increase of 4.0% last month.

    Education jobs sharply underperformed expectations. Analysts attribute this due to distortions in the seasonal adjustment caused by the pandemic. Experts adjust education job data to reflect historical seasonal trends, such as the start of the school year. Concurrently, many of the usual hiring and firing patterns changed during the pandemic. To summarize, job gains fell short partly due to seasonal issues related to the pandemic. On the other hand, wage gains remained very strong. Conclusively, the report barely affected mortgage rates.

    ISM Service Sector Index Reports Growth

    Aside from the latest employment report, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) released another significant economic report. The ISM national service sector index rose to 61.9. Not only did the service sector index rise above the consensus forecast of 60.0, it also neared a record-high. Levels above just 50 indicate that the sector is expanding. Readings above 60 are rare.

    Of note, a large number of companies reported difficulties in hiring enough skilled workers to keep up with growing demand. Many other companies indicated that supply chain disruptions held back production. Because of these current obstacles, later months may see stronger readings as companies catch up.

    Looking Ahead After the Latest Employment Report

    Looking ahead after the latest employment report, investors closely watch global COVID-19 cases. They also look for hints from Fed officials about the timing for changes in monetary policy.

    _____

    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!

     

    October
    18

    All About Idaho's Hot Springs

    Idaho Hot Springs

    Did you know that Idaho is one of the best places in America to experience the relaxing natural glory of hot springs? They'll all require a bit of a ride from Boise homes for sale, but the trip is more than worth the effort. Whether you're looking for a rugged, natural experience where you can soak in springs surrounded by mountain scenery or an upscale, modern spa experience, there's an Idaho hot spring with your name on it. Our real estate agents have all the details you need to know before setting out to visit Idaho's amazing hot springs.

    • The Springs at Idaho City – 3742 ID-21, Idaho City, ID 93631
      For a resort hot spring experience, few destinations can top The Springs at Idaho City, which are also the closest hot springs to Boise. This resort is equipped with a large outdoor pool, private pools, hot tubs, and tons of spa amenities. There are also rooms for rent nearby, making it easy to plan a family vacation – just remember that reservations are required to visit The Springs at Idaho City.

    • Gold Fork Hot Springs – 1026 Gold Fork Rd., Donnelly, ID 83615
      Some of the largest hot springs in Idaho can be found at Gold Fork Hot Springs, which features six pools ranging in temperature from 85 to 110 degrees. While it's not a spa resort, there are plenty of simple, useful amenities like changing rooms, lockers, outdoor tables, and a snack bar. No reservations are required, but these are some of Idaho's most popular springs so you may want to visit at off-peak hours to avoid the crowds.

    • Burgdorf Hot Springs – 404 French Creek, McCall, ID 83638
      Interested in turning back the clock, and enjoying a truly rustic hot springs experience? The Burgdorf Hot Springs resort is surrounded by nature, with stunning mountain views in every direction. There are cabins to rent, and the resort is so historic that it has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places. It's best to visit in fall, spring, or summer unless you're willing to make the final leg of the trip by snowmobile in the winter.

    • Kirkham Campground & Hot Springs – 7359 ID-21, Lowman, ID 83637
      If you're looking for a totally natural hot spring, then Kirkham Hot Springs is a popular choice. There's a day-use campground nearby where you can park, then make a quick trek to the springs, which feature multiple shallow pools that make this a popular destination for families. The site also features a few hot spring waterfalls, along with great views of the Payette River.

    Tips for Visiting Idaho's Hot Springs

    The first, most important rule of visiting Idaho hot springs is simply to protect the land, and the springs themselves. Don't litter, and avoid using soap or anything else that might contaminate the water. Make note of the temperatures of any hot springs you visit, and make sure they're safe for younger visitors if you plan to bring the whole family. Since many hot springs are located in secluded areas, make sure to pack everything you need for the day, including food, bathing suits, changes of clothes, and anything you need for kids.

    Searching for a home that makes it easy to enjoy all of the incredible natural attractions that Idaho has to offer? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Boise, ID area.

    October
    13

    Home Prices in September Hold Steady

    Fewer Buyers Paid Over Asking Price for Homes in September 

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

    The median sales price for homes in Ada County moved to $534,950 in September 2021, marking a slight 0.8% increase over August when the median sales price was $530,500. 

    While prices remained steady month-over-month, the most notable statistic was the share of homes that sold for over list price dropped to 33.1% — the lowest level since June 2020. 

    Competition for homes has been fierce for nearly a year, and as market times fell, more buyers were willing to pay over list price, which became a primary factor driving up the median sales price. When the share of homes that sold over list price exceeded 40% in August 2020, the median sales price moved into the $400,000-range for the first time. When it reached nearly 65% in May 2021, that's when prices exceeded the $500,000-mark.  

    (For more on this, and additional factors driving home prices, check out our blog post: "Making Sense of the Rising Home Prices in Ada County.") 

    That jump in price likely brought prospective sellers to the market, which has helped inventory levels increase. In fact, September marked the sixth consecutive month of inventory growth. The 1,249 homes available for sale at the end of the month represented an 11.1% increase from August and a staggering 165.7% increase compared to September 2020. 

    In addition, the average number of days between when existing homes were listed for sale and an offer was accepted increased to 17 days — the longest market time in the last 12 months — and 21.4% longer than the 14 days we saw in August 2021.  

    The increased inventory and a slightly slower pace are good news for buyers and may be two reasons that fewer homes sold over list price last month. 

    That said, while the Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) continued to trend up — reaching 1.5 months in September — Ada County is still not in the 4-6 month range of supply which is typically considered a balanced market — creating ongoing opportunities for sellers. 

    This fall is still proving to be a great time for homeowners to capitalize on the current home prices. For those who are considering selling, we recommend talking to a REALTOR® about the different factors at play within our market and how they may affect different situations.

    Stages of a Real Estate Transaction

    In each of our reports in 2021, BRR is focusing on the various phases of a real estate transaction to help consumers be prepared before, during, and after a real estate transaction, showing them what their REALTOR® will be doing for them along every step, and the key data points they can look for to make sense of the market.

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

     

    September
    27

    9 Tips for Buying and Selling Your Home at the Same Time

    Selling your home while shopping for a new one can feel daunting to even the most seasoned homeowner––especially when the competition for housing is so high. That doesn't mean, though, that you should just throw up your hands and give up on moving altogether. In fact, as a current homeowner, you could be in a better position than most to capitalize on a seller's market and make a smooth transition from your old home to a new one.

    We can help you prepare for the road ahead. Here are some of the most frequent concerns we hear from clients who are trying to buy and sell at the same time.

    "What will I do if I sell my house before I can buy a new one?"

    While it may be an inconvenience, this is a common scenario that can usually be handled with a little creativity and compromise. Here are some options to consider:

    1: Flex your muscles as a seller.

    In some cases, a buyer may agree to a rent-back clause that allows the seller to continue living in the home after closing for a set period of time and negotiated fee. We can discuss the benefits and risks involved and whether it's a good option for you.

    2: Open your mind to short-term housing options.

    If you're lucky enough to have family or friends who offer to take you in, that may be ideal. If not, check out furnished apartments, vacation rentals, and month-to-month leases. If space is an issue, consider putting some of your furniture and possessions in storage.

    3: Embrace the idea of selling now and buying later.

    With cash on hand from the sale of your current home, you'll be in a better position to budget for and buy your next home. And by focusing on one step at a time, you can alleviate some of the pressure and uncertainty involved.

    "What if I get stuck with two mortgages at the same time?"

    If you can't afford to carry both mortgages, then selling before you buy may be best. (See Tip #3.) But if you have flexibility in your budget for some overlap, it is possible to manage a home sale and purchase simultaneously. Here are some steps to help streamline the process:

    4: As you get ready to sell, simplify.

    You can condense your sales timeline if you only focus on the renovations and tasks that matter most. We can advise you on the repairs and upgrades that are worth your time and investment.

    5: Prep your paperwork.

    If you'll need a mortgage for your next home purchase, get pre-approved in advance. And start pulling together relevant records for your current home, such as appliance warranties and renovation permits. That way, you'll be ready to provide quick answers to buyers' questions should they arise.

    6: Ask about other contingencies that can be included in your contracts.

    For example, it's possible to add a clause to your purchase offer that lets you cancel the contract if you haven't sold your previous home. This tactic could backfire, though, if you're competing with other buyers. We can discuss the pros and cons of contingencies and what's realistic given current market dynamics.

    "What if I mess up my timing or burn out from all the stress?"

    To make sure you're in the right headspace, take the time to slow down, breathe and delegate as much as possible. In addition:

    7: Relax and accept that compromise is inevitable.

    Rather than worry about getting every detail right with your housing search and home sale, trust that things will work out eventually––even if it doesn't look like your Plan A or even your Plan B or Plan C. Luckily, if you've got a good team of professionals, you can relax knowing that others have your back and are monitoring the details behind the scenes.

    8: Don't worry too much if your path is straying from convention.

    Remember that rules-of-thumb and home-buying trends are just that: they are estimates, not facts. So if your home search or sale isn't going exactly like your neighbor's, it doesn't mean that you are doomed to fail.

    9: Enlist help early.

    This leads us to our final tip: If possible, call us early in the process. We'll not only provide you with key guidance on what you should do to prep your current property for sale, we'll also help you narrow down the parameters for your next one. That way, you'll be prepared to act quickly and confidently when it comes time to list your home and make an offer on a new one.

    Call today for tailored advice that works for you.

    Buying and selling a home at the same time is challenging. But it doesn't have to be a nightmare, and it can even be fun. Click here for a free consultation so that we can help you review your options and decide the best way forward - or visit our site for a listing of homes for sale.

    September
    16

    Facebook: Spoofed Profiles

     

    What is a "spoofed" profile?

    From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair

    A spoofed profile is where a scammer copies your profile and pretends to be you. The scammers use the information that the original profile makes public.  This includes profile pictures, location(s), and biography information, so they are very convincing. Oftentimes, these spoofed profiles send out another friend request to people on copied profile's friends list.  While more and more people are becoming aware that this is an issue when they get a second friend request from someone they are already friends with, many people still don't know what is happening (no, their friend has not been "hacked" i.e someone has gained unauthorized access to the account) or what to do about the profile, and there are many people who still will add the fake profile and further perpetuate this activity. 

     

    Besides it being annoying, what damage does this cause?

    Once a spoofed profile is created, the creator will add friends listed on the original profile, send messages that ask for money… or worse, send videos and/or clickable content via messenger or page posts that contain phishing sites, adware, malware, or viruses when clicked.

     

    How do you prevent this from happening?

    Make your friends list viewable to "Friends only" or better yet, "Only me".  These settings can be accessed both on the computer and in the Facebook app on phones.  Simply view your profile, then go to Settings and Privacy, then under Audience and Visibility, "How People Find and Contact You".  Select "Who can see your friends list", and select Friends or Only me.  Setting it to "Only me" is the only sure-fire way to make it so people cannot use your friends list to create fake profiles and spam your friends, colleagues, and clients who may be friends on your page.

     

    It's already happened to you. Now what?

    Have your friends report the spoofed profile as soon as possible.  All you or they have to do is go to the scammer's duplicate Facebook page and click on the three dots.  Select "Find Support or Report Profile" and then "Pretending to Be Someone."  You will then be asked who they are pretending to be.  If it's a friend, you'll report which friend it is and then confirm your submission.  Facebook will then review your report and notify you of the outcome.  The process is pretty quick and painless.

    Next, take steps to secure your public information. And it wouldn't hurt to complete Facebook's privacy checkup, and lock down your privacy settings which includes not allowing people to post anything on your page without your review.

    Any of these things can be done remotely.  Please call or email our office if you have any questions or need immediate assistance!

    September
    7

    Your Guide to Antique Shopping in Boise

    Boise Antique Stores

    Whether you're searching for the perfect unique decoration for your home or an awesome accessory for your favorite outfit, there's nothing quite like visiting an amazing antique shop to search for one-of-a-kind treasures. The antique shops of the Boise area are waiting to be explored, with a variety of great options offering furniture, home décor, fashion items, and so much more. Our real estate agents have all of the details in your guide to antique shopping in Boise.

    • LA Junk Antiques – 600 N. Latah St., Boise, ID 83706
      Searching for something special to decorate your home or garden? Then you're sure to love shopping at LA Junk Antiques, which is conveniently located near Boise homes for sale. This shop specializes in home, garden, and architectural items, with an inspired collection of antiques that's sure to have something that will appeal to every taste. It's also a great place to find smaller items, like homemade candles, soaps, and vintage cookware for your kitchen. Convenient online shopping is also available, allowing you to view the entire collection, find your favorite items, and pick them up at the shop.

    • Antique World Mall – 4544 W. Overland Rd., Boise, ID 83705
      With more than 30,000 square feet of space, the Antique World Mall is one of the largest antique shopping destinations in the Boise area. It's home to over 160 antique vendors, each with something unique to offer. It's easy to spend a whole day exploring the booths, getting to know the vendors, and finding the perfect treasures for your home. In addition to offering an incredible selection, Antique World Mall aims to be as budget-friendly as possible. It's the perfect place to find excellent deals on items that you won't find anywhere else.

    • Enchanting Objects – 4906 W. State St., Boise, ID 83703
      Located on a historic farm with eight old-fashioned buildings filled with antiques, Enchanting Objects has been one of Boise's favorite antique shops ever since it first opened in 2007. There are a variety of vendors on-site, which ensures that there are always new items to see when you visit. If you love vintage country living items, then this is one local antique shop that you won't want to miss.

    • Sweet Tea Living – 99 E. State St., Eagle, ID 83616
      Whether you're looking to treat yourself to a special antique or shopping for the perfect vintage gift, you can find it close to Eagle homes for sale when you visit the Sweet Tea Living vintage shop. The shop is open every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with special sales available each week on different items. With jewelry, art, home décor, refurbished items, vintage finds, and gifts to fit every budget, you're sure to find something special at Sweet Tea Living.

    • Sevoy Gallery & Antiques – 650 E. Fairview Ave., Meridian, ID 83646
      If your taste in antiques skews toward Mid-Century Modern, then there are few better places to shop than Sevoy Gallery & Antiques. This long-time local destination has two excellent locations, including one located around the corner from Meridian homes for sale. The building itself is a work of architectural art, and it's filled with some of the finest imported European antique furniture. There's also a great collection of gorgeous stained glass, bronze statues, and other unique items.

    Still searching for a home to fill with all of your antique treasures? Our experienced, local real estate team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Boise, ID area.

    August
    30

    5 Factors That Reveal Where The Real Estate Market Is Really Headed

    Boise Downtown

    It's the old supply-and-demand predicament: U.S. home sales continue at a rapid pace, but the number of listings remains limited. Amid historically low mortgage rates, buyers keep shopping, reducing inventory and sparking a rise in home prices.

    Meanwhile, homebuilders are coping with an increase in material costs and a shortage of labor. These issues come during an ongoing housing shortage. A National Association of Realtors study shows the U.S. has a deficit of about 2 million single-family homes and 3.5 million other housing units.

    Follow along to learn the five factors that illustrate where the U.S. housing market is today and is heading tomorrow.

    ROCK-BOTTOM MORTGAGE RATES TO GRADUALLY RISE

    Low interest rates continue to fuel demand from homebuyers. Some experts believe mortgage rates will creep up later this year, but they expect rates to remain near historic lows. In June, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 2020 closed with the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 2.8%. But the association anticipates the average rate climbing to 3.5% at the end of 2021 and 4.2% by the end of 2022.

    What does it mean for you?

    When mortgage rates are at or near historic lows (as they are today), you should seriously consider taking advantage of those rates to borrow money for a home purchase or to refinance your existing mortgage.

    HOME PRICES EXPECTED TO KEEP CLIMBING

    In June, the national median list price for a home reached an all-time high of $385,000, up 12.7% on a year-over-year basis. And according to the Home Buying Institute, various reports and forecasts indicate home prices will keep climbing throughout 2021 and into 2022. While this may be welcome news for homeowners, high prices are pushing homeownership out of reach for a growing number of first-time buyers.

    What does it mean for you?

    If you're a buyer waiting on the sidelines for prices to drop, you may want to reconsider. While the pace of appreciation should taper off, home prices are expected to continue climbing. And rising mortgage rates will make a home purchase even more costly.

    SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES REMAIN ROBUST

    Single-family home sales are down from their peak in October 2020 yet are still above the overall level last year. In May 2021, 5.8 million existing single-family homes were sold in the U.S. That's a 45% increase over the 4 million homes sold in May 2020.

    However, home sales saw a 0.9% dip in May 2021 compared with the previous month, the National Association of Realtors says. That was the fourth straight month for a decline in home sales. The number of home sales has slid recently because of rising prices and a lack of inventory, but Fannie Mae expects total home sales to tick up slightly in the fourth quarter and finish the year up 3.8% over last year.

    What does it mean for you?

    The market for single-family home sales remains quite active. As a result, if you're a homeowner, you may want to ponder whether to sell now, even if you hadn't necessarily been thinking about it. With demand high and inventory low, your home could fetch an eye-popping price.

    LACK OF INVENTORY STILL CONSTRAINS THE HOME MARKET

    According to the National Association of Realtors, in May there were 1.23 million previously owned homes on the market, down 20.6% from the same time last year. This translates to a 2.5-month supply of homes, which is well below the 6 months of inventory typical in a balanced market. According to the Realtors group, the lack of inventory translates into tougher searches for buyers and contributes to a rise in prices.

    What does it mean for you?

    If you're thinking of selling your home, now may be the right time to do it. Across the country, it's a seller's market, meaning demand is outpacing supply. That supply-and-demand imbalance puts sellers in a great position to sell their homes at a premium price. The May 2021 Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors found the average home that was sold attracted five offers, and the association says nearly half of homes are selling above list price.

    CONSTRUCTION OF SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES SEES SLIGHT UPTICK

    Frustrated buyers may soon find some relief from an increase in new construction. Economists forecast that 1.1 million new houses will be started in 2021, compared with a predicted 940,000 units just six months ago, with 1.2 million new starts predicted for 2022 and 2023, according to the Urban Land Institute.

    What does it mean for you?

    Given the issues affecting the new-home market, it may make sense to widen your home search to include both new and existing homes. Your brand-new dream home may not be available, but you might be able to find an existing home that lives up to your vision. Keep in mind that we can help you find either a new or existing home and can advocate for you to ensure you get the best deal possible.

    ARE YOU THINKING OF BUYING OR SELLING?

    If you're in the market for a home, you're ready to sell your house or you've simply been wondering whether you should sell, you could benefit from an expert to help you navigate the hot real estate market. Let's set up a free consultation to discuss your situation. We can review your options and come up with a plan to capitalize on the value of your current property or to find your ideal next home. Contact us today. We are here to #guideyouhome.

    August
    23

    Interior Design Trends: Cottagecore Home Decor

    When you buy a new home, you want it to be a reflection of you and your style. As you consider various trends, you may come across a popular new one called cottagecore. But what is it, exactly, and will it work for your interior design needs? Essentially, cottagecore home decor is a nostalgic journey to a simpler time and place. If sipping tea in a garden, breathing in the delicate scent of roses and honeysuckle strikes your fancy, this could very well be the interior design style you are seeking. If the homes you are asking to be shown are reminiscent of country living, you may want to consider these key elements:

    • Nostalgia
      From the garden to the living room, the house should speak of bygone days. This may look different to each person. If your cherished memories include crocheted Afghans and ruffled curtains, by all means, include them. If they lean more toward the brown leather overstuffed couch and the roll-top desk you might find in an 1890's ranch house, then go that direction. It's even possible to blend styles a bit in this very unscripted decor. If you have antiques or just books and knick-knacks that have been in the family for a long time, cottagecore provides a perfect setting to display them.
    • Simplicity
      Although many of us work in the world of technology, we don't all want to live there. When incorporating cottagecore interior design trends, necessary technology will often be hidden inside wooden cabinetry or disguised in other clever ways. The lifestyle celebrates minimalism, including handcrafting, home cooking, and creativity over video games. Rather than the cold, sleek surfaces you will find in industrial decor, you will find the warmth of wood, the natural textures of organic materials, and the cozy atmosphere they bring. Shining wooden floors with simple rugs and a wooden coffee table that reflect the same color as the floor. You might find the same wood theme repeated in bathrooms and bedrooms. 
    • Nature
      Embracing nature is critical to the cottagecore style. This doesn't mean that you must raise your own chickens and livestock in order to enjoy the designs. But the interior of the home should blend with the environment surrounding the exterior. This can be accomplished with muted colors, natural materials, house plants, and fresh or dried flowers. Imagine a little girl collecting wildflowers and displaying them in a milk bottle. The romantic ideal of rural living can be reflected in prints and paintings without the less pleasant realities of farm life. An indoor herb garden is just the right touch to a cozy kitchen, while the fresh herbs bring your recipes to life. 
    • Vintage
      Antiques are certainly great additions to cottagecore home decor, but you can obtain the vintage feel without an extensive collection. Simple lines, wooden frames, and natural textures will help balance the design. Wooden chairs next to pristine white wainscotting in the dining room are reminiscent of homes of a hundred years ago, even if they were just purchased recently. The elegance of a colorful quilt can carry the sleeper back to Grandma's house. Overstuffed chairs reupholstered with soft, nubby fabrics or floral designs are both frugal and practical, echoing the lifestyle of the past as much as the appearance. 
    • Do-it-yourself
      To truly embrace the cottagecore lifestyle, you should bring in your own creations. Have you learned to embroider? Frame an original piece and hang it on the wall. Did you grow your own fruits and vegetables? Proudly store them in wire baskets on the kitchen counter. Craftspeople know that you can't create anything worthwhile without making a little mess. You can embrace the clutter a bit without letting it take over. A basket of colorful yarn complete with knitting needles will actually enhance the decor of the den. A loom in the corner will make a fascinating conversation piece. You may even discover common interests with friends you didn't know existed. 

    If you've been waiting for some of the vintage things you love to come back in style, the time has come. Our real estate professionals will be happy to help you find your new home. Contact us when you're ready to make the change. 

    August
    16

    Cideries to Visit in Boise

    Boise Cider

    The end of summer and early fall is the perfect time of year to enjoy a crisp hard cider, made right here in the Boise area.

    Hard cider is such a unique and enjoyable beverage. Many ciders are sweet enough to appeal to those who find wine too dry or beer too intense. And yet, there are also some dry ciders that appeal to dry wine and IPA drinkers. The Boise community is home to several great cideries, which our real estate agents recommend visiting while you're in the area.

    • Meriwether Cider House: 224 N. 9th Street, Boise, ID 83702
      Meriwether Cider House is a small, friendly cider bar in the downtown area. Not only do they make and serve their own cider, but they also stock ciders from all over the world. Their own cider is brewed using apples from the midwest, and sometimes also with other local fruit, such as cherries and plums.

      A favorite at Meriwether Cider House is their Foothills Semi-Dry cider, which is crisp and bubbly. If you're in the mood for something fruitier, the Blackberry Book and Strong Arm Semi-Sweet are both wise choices.

    • Good Apple Taphouse: 1728 E. McMillan Rd. Ste 160, Meridian, ID 83646
      Good Apple Taphouse is a modern taproom with a spacious outdoor seating area and a comfortable interior. The owners were born and raised in Boise, and they are very involved in the local community. Plus, the taproom is near Meridian homes for sale.

      Good Apple Taphouse offers a selection of ciders from producers like Edge Brewing Company, One Tree Hard Cider, and 2 Towns Cider House. They also offer a good selection of craft beers. If you want to take more home to enjoy later, they can clean and fill your personal growler. They also offer a variety of canned and bottled ciders to-go. 

    • CopenRoss Growlers: 5120 W. Overland Rd., Boise, ID 83705
      With 70 taps featuring cider, beer, kombucha, and other drinks, CopenRoss Growlers is the perfect spot to grab a pint with your friends after a long day of looking at Boise homes for sale. They serve cider and beer by the 32 and 64-ounce growler. You can then enjoy it on-site or take it home.

      The beer list here is really well organized, so you can skip right down to the cider section if that's what you prefer. Favorites include The Bad Apple by 2 Towns Ciderhouse and SpACE by The California Cider Company.

    • The Growler Guys: 2020 E. Overland Rd. Ste 100, Meridian, ID 83642
      The Growler Guys is another taproom that does not exclusively serve cider but has a good cider selection nonetheless. They have 54 taps, and while they do sell a lot of take-home growlers, they let you enjoy a pint on-site, too.

      One of the top ciders on tap is The Huckleberry Cider, brewed by Edge. Magic Berry from Rambling Route is also popular, as well as the Lemon-Basil cider from One Tree Hard Cider.

    • Edge Brewing Company: 525 Steelhead Way, Boise, ID 83704
      Edge Brewing Company has an awesome pub where you can sip their cider while also enjoying a meal. They have many great beers, but their Huckleberry cider brings lots of customers in the door! It's served in a pint glass, and you can buy 12-ounce cans to take home.

      Edge's Huckleberry Cider pairs perfectly with their Korean Pork Skewers or their Cranberry Cashew Chicken Salad. It's a nice match for the Grown-Up Grilled Cheese, too!

    There's always something fun to try in the Boise area! Stop by one of these top spots to enjoy a hard cider, and contact us if you're looking for a real estate agent in Boise.

    July
    5

    Trivia Night: Where to Play in Boise

    Boise Trivia Night

    Playing trivia with your friends is such a great way to connect and spend time together. You're sure to learn new, fun facts and be surprised by some of the things your friends know. There are plenty of bars and restaurants that host trivia nights in and around Boise. Here are some of the top places our real estate agents recommend.

    • Jumpin' Janets: 572 SouthVista Avenue, Boise, ID 83705
      Jumpin' Janet's hosts a trivia night every Wednesday at 8:00 pm. They usually draw a pretty big crowd, so you'll have plenty of competition. Wednesday is also the night they serve their weekly prime rib dinners, so you're in for quite a treat.

      Jumpin' Janets makes all of their food in-house from fresh ingredients. Their oyster shooters and hot wings are the perfect snacks to order and share with your crew on trivia night. Behind the bar, there's always a great selection of locally brewed beers on tap.

    • Burger Theory: 16245 N. Merchant Way, Boise, ID 83687
      If you're in the mood for a juicy burger, stop by Burger Theory for trivia night and Wednesday at 7 pm. The relaxed atmosphere makes this a fun place to compete with friends.

      Burger Theory is known for their Create-Your-Own burger menu. You get to choose everything, from the meat to the bun, to the cheese. Their sweet jars, like the apple crumb or key lime jar, are also really nice to snack on while you answer trivia questions.

    • Lost Grove Brewing: 1026 S. La Pointe St., Boise, ID 83706
      If you're looking at Boise homes for sale on a Thursday, stop by Lost Grove Brewing for some beer and trivia afterward. They host trivia every Thursday at 7:00 pm.

      Lost Grove is known for its unique brews. Favorites include Teddy Bear Picnic, a golden session ale, and Acid Raindrops, a sour. While they do not serve food, they do have food trucks regularly visit during trivia. Friendly dogs are welcome, too.

    • Eastside Tavern: 610 E. Boise Ave., Boise, ID 83706
      Eastside Tavern may be best-known as a local music venue, but they host many other fun events, too. Trivia is scheduled for Thursdays at 8:00 pm. 

      This is a bit of a smaller, more mellow venue and a good place to settle in and make new friends. They're always offering different shot and draft specials. If you arrive early for trivia, you can always play some shuffleboard or darts. They even have tournament games on other nights.

    • Eight Thirty Common: 830 Main Street, Suite 120, Meridian, ID 83642
      If you happen to be in the Meridian area looking at Meridian homes for sale, Eight Thirty Common is a great place to play trivia. They host games every Tuesday at 7:00. The restaurant even has a Happy Hour menu that they serve during this time.

      The Social Plates served at Eight Thirty common are perfect for sharing during trivia. If the game lasts longer than planned, you can enjoy some dessert, like a mason jar mud pie or cast iron apple pie.

    Whether you play every week or just once in a while, trivia nights are such a great opportunity to connect with friends and make new ones. What could be better than answering obscure questions during Happy Hour? Check out some of these Boise venues, and contact us if you're looking for a real estate agent in the area.

    June
    7

    Where to Order Ice Cream in Boise this Summer

    Boise Ice Cream

    As the weather starts to warm up in Boise, you might need some help staying cool. And what better way to stay cool than with ice cream? Whether you're a fan of sundaes or waffle cones, these are some of the top Boise ice cream shops our real estate agents recommend visiting.

    1. Delsa's Ice Cream Parlor: 7923 W. Ustick Rd., Boise ID, 83704
      After a long day of looking at Boise homes for sale, stop by Delsa's for some homemade ice cream. The ice cream parlor itself was originally a farmhouse built in the 1920s. Delsa's has won several awards, including Treasure Valley's Best Local Ice Cream.

      At this old-fashioned shop, you can order one, two, or three scoops of your chosen flavor, served up in a classic waffle cone. They have a rotating selection of 50 flavors! Guests also love the old-fashioned malts and shakes, along with the pecan balls, which are scoops of ice cream rolled in pecans and topped with hot fudge or caramel.

    2. Goody's Soda Fountain: 1502 N. 13th St., Boise ID, 83702
      In the heart of Boise's North End and historic Hyde Park, you'll delight in Goody's rich and yummy ice cream, made right in their store. Opened in Boise in 1997, family-owned Goody's has become a staple for young and old alike. 

      Don't stop at the ice cream! Goody's also features decadent hand-made chocolates, vintage candies, and delicious caramel corn. Take a stroll through Hyde Park this summer, and be sure to stop to feed your sweet tooth at Goody's!

    3. The STIL: 786 West Broad St., Boise ID, 83702
      The STIL is a modern ice cream shop seeking innovative new ways to enjoy this favorite dessert. They make everything in small batches, using Idaho dairy and fresh ingredients. "STIL" stands for "Sweetest Things in Life."

      The STIL is known for their line of booze-infused ice creams, like Highway 1, infused with cream ale and loaded with toffee and butterscotch. They also offer plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. 

    4. Blue Cow Frozen Yogurt: 2333 S. Apple St., Boise ID, 83706
      If you're trying to make healthier choices, trade your ice cream cone for some froyo at Blue Cow Frozen Yogurt. This cute shop lets you build your own yogurt treat, loading it with whatever toppings you desire, from strawberries to Twix bars. With low-fat, non-dairy, and no-sugar-added options, this shop offers something for everyone. They also serve bubble tea, another nice treat for a warm day. 

    5. Smallcakes: 9050 W. Overland Rd. #1130, Boise ID, 83709
      Their name might say "cake," but Smallcakes is also a creamery and a delicious one at that! The shop was founded by Jeff Martin, who appeared on the infamous show Cupcake Wars. The cupcakes are incredible, so consider ordering one alongside your ice cream.

      If your appetite is up to the challenge, you can't go wrong with Smallcakes' ice cream cookie sandwiches. You get two giant, fluffy cookies with a big scoop of ice cream between them. Each one is made to order, and there are three types of cookies to choose from.

    6. Bite Me: 3525 East Longwing Lane, Meridian ID, 83646
      If you happen to be looking at Meridian homes for sale, this is a great ice cream shop to check out. Bite Me allows customers to create their own custom ice cream bars. You get to choose your ice cream, watch it being dipped, and then select additional toppings, like Oreo crumbs or chopped pretzels.

      You can select one of Bite Me's specialty treats or create your own combination. 

    Any one of these ice cream shops is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you fall in love with the Boise area and decide to stay, contact us to learn more about our real estate services.

    May
    3

    Why Boise's North End is a Great Place to Call Home

    Boise North End

    Why are sources like Inman, the leading real estate news site, pointing to Boise's North End as one of the country's hottest neighborhoods? Our real estate agents have long known what others are just now learning. Here's why Boise's North End is a great place to call home.

    • Hyde Park - 1413-1620 N. 13th St., Boise, ID 83702
      The one in London may be more famous, but when it comes to urban centers, the North End's Hyde Park can't be beat. Named to the National Register of Historic Places for its unique architecture, Hyde Park blends the charm of Boise's past with the vibrant shops, services, and amenities of the present. Each fall, Hyde Park hosts its annual street fair, a fundraiser for the North End Neighborhood Association that draws 40,000 people over a weekend.

    • Goody's - 1502 N. 13th St., Boise, ID 83702
      When it comes to their homemade ice cream and chocolates, Goody's slogan is, "Only Too Much Is Enough!" Originally founded in Sunriver, OR by the Palmateer family, Goody's quickly became a North End favorite when son Brett opened the Boise location in 1997. The old-fashioned soda fountain and glass jars of candy enhance the shop's retro appeal. Choose from classic favorites like egg creams or contemporary treats such as Express-O-Ly Yours, a coffee-flavored sundae that's perfect for the Pacific Northwest. Goody's is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

    • Camel's Back Park - 1200 W. Heron St., Boise, ID 83702
      Whether you prefer team sports or solo fitness activities, there's no better place than Camel's Back Park. In addition to an outdoor gym, accessible playground, and tennis and volleyball courts, the park has spacious open play areas for visitors of all ages. Park hours are sunrise to sunset daily.

    • Hulls Gulch Reserve - 3001 N. Sunset Peak Rd., Boise, ID 83702
      Perched above the Boise skyline, at the base of the Foothills, is Hulls Gulch Reserve. This 292-acre area forms a connection with Ridge to Rivers, a network of multi-use trails extending more than 190 miles that are tended by a full-time crew of volunteers. Hulls Gulch features a pet-friendly 6.3-mile loop trail with wildflowers and a waterfall. Great horned owls, mule deer, coyotes, and red foxes are just a few of the wildlife species that are often spotted throughout the year. Hours are sunrise to sunset, seven days a week.

    • Bogus Basin - 2600 N. Bogus Basin Rd., Boise, ID 83702
      Boise's outdoor glory is on display all year long at Bogus Basin, less than 20 miles from the North End. The "community mountain" is the site of downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter and tubing, hiking, and mountain biking during summer. Don't miss a ride on the Glade Runner, a thrilling mountain coaster that twists and turns 4,330 feet through wooded terrain. Visit the website for a full list of activities along with schedules and prices.

    • Downtown Boise - 850 W. Front St., Boise, ID 83702
      When you're craving the culture and entertainment of the city, downtown Boise is less than 10 minutes away. Shop till you drop, check out a new restaurant, or view the latest exhibit at the Boise Art Museum. It's all waiting for you.

    Boise regularly sits at or near the top of national rankings of best places to live, so you can't go wrong with Boise homes for sale in any neighborhood. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to learn more.

    April
    19

    7 Famous Foods from the Boise Area

    Boise Famous Foods

    Yes, the term "Idaho potatoes" is as classic as "Florida oranges" or "Maine lobster," but the culinary scene in Idaho includes much more. Our real estate agents recommend these seven famous foods that can be found at restaurants around Boise homes for sale

    1. Finger Steaks - Sockeye Brewing, 12542 W. Fairview Ave., Boise, ID 83713 
      These crispy, juicy nuggets, iconic in southern Idaho, are essentially chicken tenders made with beef instead of poultry. The finger steaks at Sockeye Brewing are dipped in a batter made with Hell-Diver Pale Ale and served with a side of cocktail sauce.

    2. Huckleberries - Delsa's Homemade Ice Cream & Restaurant - 7923 W. Ustick Rd., Boise, ID 83704
      Did you know it takes huckleberries up to 15 years to reach full maturity? No wonder this state fruit of Idaho is packed with so much flavor. Get a double dose of this sweet yet tart delicacy at Delsa's Homemade Ice Cream & Restaurant, which features huckleberry ice cream and cheesecake with huckleberry topping.

    3. Morel Mushrooms - Wild Plum Luncheonette, 1621 N. Orchard St., Boise, ID 83706
      Limited availability and their distinctive, sponge-like appearance give morel mushrooms an almost mythical status. Morel hunters have their own foraging secrets and jealously guard the locations of their favorite spots. At Wild Plum Luncheonette, warm beans and morels make an exotic alternative to traditional side dishes such as potato salad or coleslaw.

    4. Trout - Trillium, 245 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83702
      Even legendary fishing enthusiast Ernest Hemingway was drawn to Idaho for its epic abundance of trout-filled waters. If you order trout at a local restaurant, chances are it was caught within the previous 24 to 48 hours. With its emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Trillium is one of the top places in Boise to dine on trout. 

    5. Croquetas - Basque Market, 608 W. Grove St., Boise, ID 83702
      Did you know that Boise is home to one of the largest populations of Basque heritage found outside of the Basque Country? As a result, the city's food landscape includes some international flair. Sample this flavorful cuisine at the Basque Market with their pintxos menu, which is a Basque version of tapas. Customers keep coming back for croquetas, a delicious fried pocket filled with béchamel sauce and various ingredients such as ham, mushrooms, or manchego cheese.

    6. Bison Burger - Boise Fry Co., 204 N. Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83702
      Idaho ranks #1 for potato production in the country, but livestock accounts for just over one-third of the state's agricultural income. Enjoy both signature products of Idaho farms at Boise Fry Co. Order a burger of local, grass-fed bison meat with a side of fries made with your choice of six different potatoes. 

    7. Ice Cream Potato - Westside Drive-In, 1929 W. State St., Boise, ID 83702
      No list of famous foods around Boise would be complete without a mention of spuds, so we saved the best for last. The ice cream potato at Westside Drive-In earned the popular eatery a spot on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. A generous potato-shaped serving of vanilla ice cream is rolled in cocoa and topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. 

    Boise is a perfect blend of urban attractions and small-town charm. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson for dedicated and knowledgeable help buying or selling your Boise home.

    April
    13

    What's Causing Our Competitive Real Estate Market?

    Insufficient Supply Causing Our Competitive Housing Market 

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

     

    Anyone looking to buy a home has heard of or experienced the fast pace of the real estate market. In March 2021, the average number of days between when a home was listed for sale and received an offer to purchase was 22 — 50.0% faster than in March 2020. Offers were accepted even faster for existing homes with an average of 14 days — 24.1% faster than a year ago.

    The insufficient supply of available homes compared to buyer demand is the main reason the market is moving so quickly, and the competitiveness of the market continued to impact home prices. The median sales price in March was at $475,500 for existing homes — up 35.0% year-over-year, due in part to buyers often paying more than the list price to make their offer stand out.

    REALTORS® offer guidance and expertise to sellers when it comes to list price, but ultimately the decision on what the property should be listed for is set by the seller. Further, the sold price is determined by what buyers are willing to pay and which offer is accepted by the seller. With our competitive market conditions, there are often reports of homes selling significantly over list price, which may be a part of the pricing strategy.

    On average last month, existing/resale homes in Ada County sold for approximately $18,000 over list price. If you're searching for a home, this is certainly something to keep in mind. Your REALTOR® can pull recently sold comparables to see what homes similar to what you are looking for are selling at, including how much over list. If it's a significant difference, consider reducing the top end of your price range so you're still looking at homes that could be purchased within your overall budget, where possible.

    Speaking of budget, working with a mortgage lender early on is crucial. For buyers that have credit concerns or questions about saving for a down payment, creating and implementing a plan well before you begin searching for a home will allow you to shop confidentiality when you're ready. Lenders may also help identify down payment programs or grants to help first-time homebuyers, for example, especially where affordability is a concern.

    Ryan Froehlich, President of the Idaho Mortgage Lenders Association Boise Chapter, noted that "one of the main drivers of housing affordability are interest rates, which have pushed up off of the historic lows experienced during much of 2020, however, continue to be very low giving borrowers strong buying power. Rates fluctuate daily and a great indicator for rate movement is to watch 10-year treasury bond yields, which as of this past week have been pointing to a slight downward trend in rates. With that said, if you have a property under contract the recommendation is to lock your rate as the bond markets can be dynamic. As the number of COVID-19 vaccinations continues to build and the economy continues to open back up there looks to be more pressure on upward rate movement, hopefully in a gradual and natural fashion."

    Historically low rates are continuing to drive demand from prospective home buyers, along with rising rental costs. As reported by KTVB, "Boise rent has gone up 16% since March 2020, according to a study done by Apartment List. The study also said Boise rent rose 3.4% in March 2021." Additionally, the desire to own a home and move away from rentals – in some cases from larger metro areas, due to COVID-19 – have also been factors increasing home buyer demand.

    Looking at our March 2020 report, we were unsure of the impact the pandemic would have on the local real estate market, which we now know has roared back despite a few months of limited activity last year. We will do our best to provide context to year-over-year figures in the next few months of reports – keeping in mind that sales activity for April and May, in particular, might look high in comparison to 2020 since sales were dampened in those months as a result of the statewide stay-home order.

    Although real estate was deemed essential in Idaho, the level of general uncertainty put a lot of home buyers and sellers on pause. In July, we began seeing year-over-year increases in existing/resale sales, while listing activity remained below 2019 levels throughout most of last year. This, compounded with the overall trend of year-over-year declines in existing inventory since 2014, further contributed to the insufficient supply compared to the demand problem we find ourselves in today.

    However, there are still homes available for purchase, even if they are selling quickly or over list price. These competitive conditions mean it is imperative for prospective buyers to work with a REALTOR® to help them through the process. Sellers, too, are finding that their REALTORS® provide tremendous value in helping them determine the best pricing strategy based on current market conditions specific to their property and managing multiple offer situations.

    If you are considering buying a home soon or anytime this year, talk to a REALTOR® right away. Together, you can make a plan that works best for your timeline, especially if you need to coordinate selling your current home and would like to negotiate a rent-back agreement.

    In this pre-purchase stage, your REALTOR® and mortgage lender will advise you on what's needed to prepare your search process, such as qualifying for a mortgage, firming up your down payment funds, establishing your search criteria, and timeframe. They can also prepare you for the financial and legal implications related to a home purchase, most importantly what to expect when making offers, including offers over list price, ways to compete with cash offers, how to avoid fair housing violations by skipping the buyer "love letter", holding off on any large purchases or credit pulls to protect your loan qualification, and discussing any contingencies that a seller may request be waived, such as an inspection or appraisal, and how that may create risk for you… and more.

    Stages of a Real Estate Transaction

    In each of our reports in 2021, BRR is focusing on the various phases of a real estate transaction to help consumers be prepared before, during, and after a real estate transaction, showing them what their REALTOR® will be doing for them along every step, and the key data points they can look for to make sense of the market. To find a REALTOR®, please visit realtor.com/realestateagents.

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

     

    April
    5

    Your Guide to Getting Your Boise Garden Started

    Boise Garden TipsWarmer temperatures are rapidly approaching, and now is the time to think about your Boise garden. What would you like to add this season? From flowering plants to veggies, you'll have a lot of options to consider.
      
    Our real estate agents offer the following guide to getting your Boise garden started, from helpful tips to stores that are worth a visit:

    Helpful tips  

    1. Start with a plan.
      Take the time to plan your garden's layout and design before you put anything in the ground. Check out local garden stores to see what types of flower and vegetable plants and seeds are available, and plan out your space on a piece of graph paper. It's not important to be exact but map out an estimate of space and the location of existing plants, sun and shade hours, and where sources of water are located.
        
    2. Consult a planting guide for the Boise area.
      Following a planting guide to ensure that you're getting each type of plant into the ground at the correct time. If you plant too soon, you run the risk that they could be damaged by a late frost. The frost-free growing season for the Boise area starts on May 22 and ends on October 6, so some plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, should be started indoors and then later transplanted into your garden.
        
    3. Consider weed control.  
      Weeds can compete with your garden plants for space and nutrients from the soil, so take steps to reduce them before they have a chance to gain a foothold in your garden. If you're planting seeds in your garden, do it as soon as possible after tilling so weeds don't get a head start. Adding mulch like an organic material or fabric, and pulling weeds by hand are methods that will help reduce weeds.

    Local garden shops to visit  

    • Zamzows – several Boise locations, including 6313 W. Fairview Ave., Boise, Idaho 83704
      Zamzows is a go-to store for most of your garden-related needs, including weed control products, soil amendments, bug control, and more. You can also expand your gardening knowledge with the store's classes, including one that covers everything you need to know about growing and caring for berries. 
        
    • The Home & Garden Store – 4291 S. Cloverdale Rd., Boise, Idaho 83709
      You'll find plenty of plants, soil amendments, chemicals and fertilizers, and more at The Home & Garden Store. The shop also carries a wide variety of other gardening supplies, and if you need some advice on where or what to plant or how to deal with pests, the staff – including an Idaho-Certified Nurseryman with over 46 years of experience – is friendly and knowledgeable.
        
    • North End Organic Nursery – 3777 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City, Idaho 83714   
      Want to make your garden organic? Then you'll want to visit North End Organic Nursery, which carries 100% organic fertilizers, pest and weed control products, and more. Over 300 varieties of certified organic vegetable starters are sold, so you can transplant them this spring and get your garden off to a great start. You'll also be able to select edible, native, and water-conserving plants for your garden to make it more environmentally friendly. And if you have questions, the nursery always has qualified horticulturalists on hand to help.

    Contact us if you're interested in looking at Boise homes for sale or would like to sell your home. Our agents know the area and its housing market very well and can help you buy or sell a home. 

    March
    1

    Mountain Biking Trails to Explore in Boise

    Mountain Biking Trails Boise

    Ready to spend some time in the great outdoors? Mountain biking provides an invigorating workout in wide open, natural spaces, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Our real estate agents love to let off some steam at these favorite mountain biking trails, conveniently located in and around Boise. This time of year can be tricky weatherwise, so before you head out, be sure to check trail conditions at the Ridge-to-Rivers website, and please, please stay off muddy trails.

    1. Around the Mountain - 10.1 miles
      With its scenic route circling Bogus Basin Ski Resort, Around the Mountain gets high marks from riders as the best all-around trail near Boise homes for sale. Starting near the parking lot of Simplot Lodge, the trail goes up to Pioneer Lodge and back, looping past all the ski runs. Around the Mountain is dog-friendly, well-marked, and offers a ride that's suited for mountain bikers of all experience levels. As a bonus, Around the Mountain connects with a number of other trails so you can have a different ride with every visit.

    2. Ridge Crest - 1.2 miles
      Has your mountain biking experience been limited to multi-use trails, where you share the road with walkers, runners, and skaters? Located in Boise's historic Military Reserve, Ridge Crest is a good introduction to singletrack biking trails. There is a moderate amount of climbing, but the short length and lack of trees and other obstacles make it an ideal course for newbies, kids, and dogs. Want a longer ride? Pair Ridge Crest with Bucktail, a 1.3-mile trail that's also popular with beginners because of its wide, sweeping curves and display of wildflowers.

    3. Sidewinder-Fat Tire Traverse-Freestone Ridge - 3.5 miles
      Need a break from sitting at your desk? Whether you work at home or in an office, these trails are easily accessible, just minutes from downtown Boise. Start off at Camel's Back Park on the aptly-named Sidewinder, which leads to the connecting trail of Fat Tire Traverse. Finish with a blazing sprint down Military Reserve's Freestone Ridge, enjoying its wide-open sightlines. Dogs are welcome on all three legs of the trail.

    4. Lower Hulls Gulch Trail - 2.2 miles
      Ridge to Rivers is a unique network consisting of more than 190 miles of interconnected trails, constructed and maintained by a full-time crew. One section, Lower Hulls Gulch Trail, has achieved classic status among local riders largely due to its descent, which is moderately technical but still allows for some speed. Lower Hulls Gulch also has a sandier composition than many other trails, making it easier to ride during rainy conditions as the ground doesn't get muddy. Note: since this is one of the more heavily-used trails, pedestrians often make up some obstacles. 

    5. The Big Potato - 42 miles
      For serious riders looking for an all-day jaunt, it doesn't get much better than the Big Potato. This 42-mile loop through the Boise foothills, with thick vegetation, numerous obstacles, and elevation approaching 7,000 miles, is for expert riders only, but you'll be rewarded with spectacular views. Be sure to take plenty of food and water, as Simplot Lodge at Bogus Basin is the only place for supplies. Bring Fido along if he's in good shape. 

    Boise is a satisfying blend of urban attractions and outdoor activities. If you're buying or selling a home in the area, contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson for assistance from our friendly and knowledgeable real estate agents. 

    February
    1

    National Pizza Day: Order a Pie from These Boise Shops

    Pizza Boise

    National Pizza Day is celebrated on February 9, but even if you missed it, we invite you to head out to a Boise-area pizzeria and enjoy a slice of pie. From New York-style to Detroit-style and from traditional toppings to more exotic ones, you'll find various crusts and ingredients to suit your tastes.

    Our real estate agents suggest trying one of these Boise shops:  

    1. Flying Pie Pizzeria – 6508 W. Fairview Ave., Boise, ID 83704 (check website for additional locations)
      A beloved Boise-area institution, Flying Pie Pizzeria has been a pizza staple in the Treasure Valley since 1978. Named by USA Today as the best pizza in Idaho in 2010, Flying Pie is a leader in yummy pizza concoctions and creative marketing. Their self-titled "whirled famous" pizza includes their annual "Fire in the Mouth" double habanero pizza, which was featured on The Travel Channel's Man v. Food in 2009. Now with six locations across the valley, Flying Pie even opened a location on Overland Rd. in 2020. Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
        
    2. Guido's Original New York Style Pizzeria – 235 N. 5th St., Boise, ID 83702
      Boise residents have enjoyed pies from Guido's Original New York Style Pizzeria for over 25 years at its casual, old-school-style locations. Order an 18-inch or 20-inch pie with cheese, cheese, and basil, or white pizza, each served with olive oil, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, parmesan, and mozzarella. The cheese and basil variety is a particular favorite among customers, as is the garlic bread and garlic salad dressing. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
        
    3. Red Bench Pizza – 2826 S. Eagle Rd., Suite 100, Eagle, ID 83616
      Located just around the corner from Eagle homes for sale, Red Bench Pizza prepares everything possible in-house, from making their own Italian sausage to creating their homemade sauces. Their ingredients are sourced locally, including Ferranti Pasta, Acme Bread, Eden Creamery Goat, and Chevre cheese. Pies are baked for two minutes in the restaurant's brick oven to achieve a thin, Neapolitan-style crust. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
        
    4. Idaho Pizza Company (IPC) – 1312 S. Washington Ave., Emmett, ID 83617
      You'll have a wide choice of pizza sizes at IPC, located near Emmett homes for sale. From a personal 7-inch size to a large 14-inch pie, there's one perfect for everything from a single diner to the whole family. You can also choose from original, thin, or gluten-free crusts. The Idaho Supreme is a customer favorite and features the restaurant's signature pizza sauce, two kinds of cheeses, and is loaded with meat and veggies. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m., 7 days a week.
        
    5. Spitfire Pizza – 2450 S. Vista Ave., Boise, ID 83705  
      Spitfire Pizza serves up the only Detroit-style pizza in Idaho, so you'll be getting a rectangular pizza with a crispy, chewy, thick crust. Or, if you'd prefer, order a pie with a hand-tossed, tavern-style (which is super thin) or gluten-friendly crust. You can get cheese or pepperoni pizza in either crust or try a customer favorite like the Detroit Sweet & Spice Pizza with natural casing pepperoni, jalapenos, and pineapple. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, and noon-9 p.m. Sunday.
        
    6. Pie Hole – 205 N. 8th St., Boise, ID 83702
      Located in downtown Boise, Pie Hole is open late 365 days a year to satisfy your craving for late-night pizza. Order a slice with toppings such as basil and roasted bell pepper or the rotating slice of the day. If you're ordering for a group, create your own pie or try pizzas like the Piehole Supreme, which comes loaded with pepperoni, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, black olives, mushrooms, mixed bell peppers, and onions. Hours are 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Sunday-Wednesday and 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Thursday-Saturday.  
        
    7. Chicago Connection – 7070 Fairview Ave., Boise, ID 83704
      Founded in Boise in 1982, Chicago Connection introduced Chicago-style deep dish pizza and quickly became known for its fresh ingredients (and plenty of cheese), great salad bar, sandwiches, and pasta dishes. Chicago Connection's "Hot Oven" trucks travel over a million miles a year delivering hot and yummy meals all over the Treasure Valley. With restaurants from Boise to Nampa, Chicago Connection is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-9 p.m. on Sunday.

    Contact us if you're interested in selling your home or you'd like to see Boise homes for sale. We can also give you more information about our local businesses, recreational opportunities, and other attributes that make our community a great place to live.    

    January
    4

    Go Snowshoeing on These Trails Near Boise

    Boise Snowshoeing

    It's time for snowshoe season once again! This is the perfect year to return to one of your favorite outdoor hobbies or to try snowshoeing for the first time as you explore Boise from a whole new perspective. Snowshoeing is a family-friendly activity, it's easy to learn, and it offers a great workout while you enjoy the outdoors. Ready to hit the trails and immerse yourself in some of the best views that Boise has to offer? Our real estate agents have all the details on 5 snowshoeing trails around Boise that you definitely won't want to miss this winter.

    • Adelmann Mine – Adelmann Mine Trailhead, Boise, ID 83716
      Learn about local history and enjoy some scenic views when you explore the Adelmann Mine trail, which is located near Boise homes for sale. This trail checks in at just under 5 miles, with relatively easy terrain to traverse if you're just getting started with snowshoeing. At the end of the trail, you will arrive at Adelmann Mine, a historic mine that has largely been preserved to the present day. There's a bit of a climb before you reach the mine, but the effort is worth it.

    • Bogus Basin – 2600 N Bogus Basin Rd., Boise, ID 83702
      A unique, non-profit winter recreation area with tons of trails to explore, Bogus Basin offers excellent snowshoeing for all experience levels. This is also a great place to visit if you want to spend a full day and mix in some other winter sports. The skiing here is fantastic, and the mountain is open at night if you want to try some snowshoeing after dark. As one of the only non-profit winter recreation areas in the country, Bogus Basin is a must-visit.

    • Corrals Trail – 31 Corrals Trail, Boise, ID 83702
      Running through the foothills around Boise, the Corrals Trail Loop is a busy, 5.5-mile trail with beautiful views all around. It's a point-to-point trail, so you'll either need to plan ahead for transportation or snowshoe both ways for an 11-mile round trip. Either way, you'll enjoy some great views of the foothills as you travel.

    • West Highland Valley Trail – 7596-7536 #11 West Highland Valley Trail, Boise, ID 83716
      If you're looking for a less crowded trail that still offers amazing views, be sure to check out the West Highland Valley Trail. This trail is also ideal if you're experienced with snowshoeing and looking for a bit of a challenge. It's a steep trail that lasts about 6 miles, with the first couple miles offering an especially challenging climb. You can travel the loop clockwise or counter-clockwise, with different views to enjoy depending on which way you travel.

    • Central Ridge Trail – 750 Mountain Cove Rd., Boise, ID 83702
      Enjoy a trip along the river when you travel the Central Ridge Trail, a popular loop that connects with various other trails in the area. When you combine the nearby Bucktail and Shane's trails with the Central Ridge Trail, you get a nearly 7-mile loop that features gorgeous views of the Boise River throughout your trip. This is an accessible trail with a moderate rating, so it's a fun place to snowshoe no matter your experience level.

    No matter the season, you're never far from your next outdoor adventure when you live in Boise. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Boise, ID area.

    December
    7

    Where to Find Unique Holiday Gifts in Boise

    Boise Holiday Gifts

    Still searching for the perfect holiday gift for the person who has everything? When you live in Boise, that's no problem! From local delicacies to art, candy, antiques, and so much more, the small businesses of Boise are sure to have just the right gift for everyone on your list. Many local businesses are also offering curbside pickup during this holiday season to make your shopping experience as smooth and convenient as possible. Our real estate agents have the details you need on 5 great Boise businesses where you can find unique holiday gifts this year.

    1. Boise Art Glass – 1124 W Front St., Boise, ID 83702
      Boise Art Glass 
      is one of the most distinctive small businesses located near Boise homes for sale, with a reputation for producing beautiful, artistic glass pieces that can add to the atmosphere of any home. Operated by local artists Filip Vogelpohl, Austin Grill, and Kevin Gray, Boise Art Glass is known for its colorful, creative glass designs that can brighten any room. You can shop from the extensive selection of items already available in the shop or order a custom piece when you truly want to surprise someone special.

    2. City Peanut Shop – 803 W Bannock St., Boise, ID 83702

      Whether you're searching for a great stocking stuffer or a small, savory gift perfect for a gift exchange, you're sure to find something delicious at City Peanut Shop. Simplify your shopping by ordering from a wide selection of holiday gift boxes, which include items like peanut butter, peanut brittle, gourmet popcorn, chocolate, and of course, fresh roasted peanuts. There are also plenty of smaller gift items available, perfect for creating your own basket of holiday cheer.

    3. The Mixing Bowl – 216 N 9th St., Boise, ID 83702

      Inspire the chef in your life when you give them something from The Mixing Bowl. This downtown shop is stocked with cookware, bakeware, bowls, kitchen gadgets, and more. From fun to functional finds this local shop is sure to impress. Be sure to stop in next time you're downtown, or purchase an e-gift from their website. 

    4. The Chocolat Bar – 805 W Bannock St., Boise, ID 83702

      A gift that satisfies the sweet tooth never goes out of style, and The Chocolat Bar is creating plenty of special treats just in time for the holiday season. You can shop for holiday favorites like peppermint bark, peppermint caramel, and eggnog truffles, all created fresh by your Boise chocolate experts. Order online to make buying delicious gifts a breeze.

    5. Molly's Healthy Pet Food Market – 817 W Idaho St., Boise, ID 83702

      Searching for a healthy gift for your beloved pet or your favorite pet owner? Then Molly's Healthy Pet Food Market is sure to have something for you, with free delivery available in the Boise area. From raw food to fresh-made treats and pet outerwear to unique home accessories, Molly's offers a little bit of everything for your four-legged friend. There's even a special selection of holiday-themed gifts, including new toys, ornaments, stockings, and even clothing items for pet owners. 

    What could be a better gift for your family than finding the perfect home to call your own this holiday season? Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Boise, ID area.

    November
    16

    How to Make Your Own Wreath This Holiday Season

    Holiday Wreath Tips

    Any time our real estate agents consult with homeowners about listing their Boise homes for sale, they always recommend dressing up the porch to improve the curb appeal. Some potted plants, a welcome mat, and a simple wreath can make a major difference. 

    Even if you're not thinking about selling your home, decorating your porch for the holidays is a great idea! If you want to make your decor even more special, consider making your own holiday wreath this year. 

    It's easier than you might think! Follow these step-by-step instructions, and you'll have a beautiful wreath in no time. You may even decide to make extras and give them away to family and friends. 

    1. Gather Your Supplies
      It's a great idea to keep all of your decorating supplies together in one place so you can easily see all of your options and tap into your creativity. You also don't want to get part-way through your project and find that you're missing something important. Prevent this by gathering all of your supplies before you start. For this project, you'll need:
    • Round metal wreath frame
    • Floral wire
    • Pruning cutters
    • Wire cutters
    • Evergreen tree cuttings 
    • Pinecones
    • Holly berry or holly branches (real or faux)
    • Holiday ribbon
    • Gold spray paint
    • Holiday floral decorations (optional)
    1. Spray Paint Some Pieces 
      To give your wreath some dimension, you may want to choose a few clippings and berries and paint them gold (or another color). Do this ahead of time and make sure the pieces are dehydrated before you add them to your wreath. 
    1. Attach Your Branch Cuttings
      If necessary, cut your branches into smaller, workable pieces (approximately six to eight inches). Then, choose a small bundle of greenery and lay it on top of the wreath frame. Use the floral wire to attach the stems to the frame, wrapping it around tightly three times. Do not cut the wire. Continue adding bundles, overlapping each one half-way over the previous one, and wrapping the wire around the stems. (Take a look at this helpful video for more detailed instructions.) Keep repeating this process until you get back to your starting point. Tuck the wire into the underside of the frame and tie it off. Finally, cut the wire, leaving a few extra inches on the end. 
    1. Add the Cones and Berries
      Once your frame is completely covered with the branches, it's time to add some cones and berries. Use the wire to attach them to the frame, making sure to do it carefully so the wire doesn't show. 
    1. Trim Your Wreath
      Now, you'll want to trim the outside edge of your wreath so it takes on a rounded shape. It doesn't have to be perfect, and you don't want to overdo it. Trimming is often easier if you hang the wreath up and look at it from a distance as you work. 
    1. Add Some More Decor
      You're almost done! The last step is to add the finishing touches. This may include beads, ribbon, and other types of holiday decorations. There's no right or wrong way to do this, and you can keep making tweaks until you love it.

    If you're planning to hang the wreath on your front door, you may need to create a wire loop and attach it to the back of your wreath. That's it! Hang your wreath up and enjoy it. 

    Are you thinking about buying or selling a home before the holidays? We're here to help! Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started. 

    November
    17

    National Go To an Art Museum Day - and Any Day: Art Museums and Galleries Throughout Boise

    Boise Art Galleries

    The art scene in Boise offers something for everyone. National Go to an Art Museum Day was on November 9th, but any day is perfect for exploring the artistic side of the city! There are various art museums, galleries, and studios located throughout Boise, including places where you can learn to create your own art. Supporting these local galleries and museums is a great way to learn more about art and find unique decorations for your home. 

    1. Boise Creative Center – 1204 W Front St., Boise, ID 83702

      Part art gallery, part studio, and part learning center, the Boise Creative Center is the perfect place to explore your creative side. Artist Alex Vega founded the Boise Creative Center to connect locals with unique art and teaches many of the classes at the facility himself. The studio features an extensive collection of custom artwork, including murals, canvas paintings, and unique graphically designed prints.

    2. Boise Art Glass – 1124 W Front St., Boise, ID 83702

      Art takes many forms, and glass art can be as spectacular as any painting or sculpture. Boise Art Glass specializes in artistic glass, with beautiful fine glass to view and various classes to help you make your own creations. Much of the glass art here is created by three local artists, who also serve as instructors for the classes at Boise Art Glass. There are also plenty of unique pieces that you can purchase for your own home.

    3. Boise Art Museum – 670 Julia Davis Dr., Boise, ID 83702

      With an exceptional collection of permanent displays, rotating exhibitions, special events, and classes for all experience levels, the Boise Art Museum truly offers something for everyone. Stop by anytime to explore the museum yourself or schedule a tour to learn more about the stories behind the art on display. Founded in 1937, the Boise Art Museum has grown extensively over the decades and continues to expand its offerings today.

    4. LaBry Fine Art – 404 S 8th St., Boise, ID 83702

      Whether you're interested in exploring the work of local artists or shopping for the perfect piece of art to bring home, LaBry Fine Art is sure to have something that you'll enjoy. Every piece of art here is selected for both technical expertise and the ability to elicit an emotional reaction from the viewer. With new art rotating in regularly, there's always something new to see when you visit LaBry Fine Art.

    5. Delia Dante Gallery & Fire Fusion Studio – 1322 W Main St., Boise, ID 83702

      Searching for something a little different for your National Go to an Art Museum Day celebration? Delia Dante Gallery & Fire Fusion Studio features a wide variety of art made from welded metal and enamel, including unique jewelry that allows you to show off your Idaho pride. There are regular classes from beginner to advanced for welding and enameling, taught by instructors who are experts at the craft. You can also shop for unique jewelry, view metal sculptures, and explore work from local artists in various media.

    Whether you're seeking an engaged audience for your own art or a place where you can explore the work of others, you'll find that Boise is a great place for art lovers to call home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Boise, ID area.

    October
    12

    Zoo Boise - One of Idaho's Greatest Gems

     

    History, Conservation, and Fun

    There's a lot to see and do at Zoo Boise, whether you take a lunch-hour stroll, or make it a family outing. There's a fascinating history, as well as much to learn, too. You might even say Zoo Boise has definitely evolved. In fact, the zoo came about almost by accident.

     

    Exotic birds and an escaped circus chimp!

    In 1916, Zoo Boise began as a menagerie to house a collection of exotic birds and an escaped circus chimp. For the last 100 years, Zoo Boise has continued to grow, adding new exhibits and programs to become a community treasure that provides a wonderful educational and recreational opportunity for more than 340,000 visitors annually making Zoo Boise one of the largest attractions in the state.

    Unfortunately, as Zoo Boise has grown, so have the threats facing animals in the wild.  Elephants, lions, tigers, rhinos, gorillas, pandas, polar bears, and countless others—all face extinction within a couple of decades.

    For Zoo Boise, simply being a nice place to bring your family to learn about animals is no longer enough. We had to do more in order to address this crisis that threatens the world's most iconic species, the same species our children hold so dear.

     

    Zoo Boise turns the act of visiting a zoo into a conservation action!

    In 2007, Zoo Boise became the first zoo in the country to create a conservation fee. The 50¢ fee, charged in addition to the admission price, was designed to fund conservation projects taking place in Idaho and around the world. More importantly, it changed the purpose of a zoo visit—empowering visitors to help save the very creatures they were seeing.

    Additional mechanisms were created, including a conservation fee on memberships, the chance to feed a giraffe or a bear in exchange for a small fee, the opportunity to take a conservation cruise to see monkeys or feed goats and sheep in our Zoo Farm. All these little conservation fees, multiplied by our hundreds of thousands of visitors, have now generated $3 million to date for the conservation of animals around the world.

    While we all care about animals and want to protect them in the wild, knowing how to help can be a challenge. So, Zoo Boise has redefined itself as a vehicle to help our visitors save endangered species. Now, when families visit Zoo Boise, they don't just see animals, they help save them as well.

    Learn more by visiting www.zooboise.org/conservation.

     

    Gorongosa National Park Exhibit and other iconic species!

    Zoo Boise is home to more than 100 different species including lions, tiger, giraffes, sloths, penguins, bald eagle, snow leopards, spider monkeys, Komodo dragon, and red pandas.

    In 2019, Zoo Boise opened its brand new Gorongosa National Park Exhibit! Gorongosa was once one of the greatest parks in Africa but was destroyed during 25 years of war in Mozambique. Zoo Boise is part of a partnership to rebuild the park, increasing animal populations while also addressing the needs of the very poor people who live nearby.

    Besides housing amazing animals like Nile crocodiles and baboons, the exhibit also tells the story of the agricultural, medical, and education programs that are in place to partner with the people of Mozambique.

    Ever-evolving, Zoo Boise is a fantastic place for everyone in groups or by oneself. Make a plan to visit today!

    *************

    The City of Boise is closely monitoring COVID-19. Zoo Boise is following City recommended guidelines and policies for the safety of our guests, employees, and animal collection. Advance tickets may be required. Visit www.zooboise.org to learn more about current ticketing and operating guidelines and to find out what exhibits, animal encounters, buildings, and play structures are currently open or closed.

     

    October
    5

    National Cookie Month: Bakeries in Boise You'll Love

    Bakeries in Boise

    Visiting Boise homes for sale and need something for your sweet tooth? You're in luck!

    National Cookie Month is coming in October – and our real estate agents sure won't blame you for stopping at multiple bakeries to celebrate. After all, Boise is chock full of family-owned bakeries that provide delicious and imaginative cakes, cupcakes, and (of course) cookies.

    If you're out on the town, you can visit your favorite bakery to enjoy all of the sights and smells that go into making your treat. Or, if you're in a hurry, many Boise bakeries now do local delivery and fast in-store pickup. Just call your order in or use the bakery website.

    Warm, soft, delicious cookies will be waiting whenever you're ready!

    With so many bakeries to choose from, it's hard to know where to start – especially if you just moved into the area. But we hope this list will help you find your new favorite bakery in Boise:

    1. Sweet Valley Cookie Co. – 4103 West State Street, Boise, ID 83703
      Sweet Valley Cookie Co. is a full-service bakery with local delivery. Most goods are sold by the dozen, including an array of unforgettable cookies: From chocolate chip to chocolate crinkle, frosted sugar, ginger, lemon burst, and more. One of the most popular products is the 18-inch Brookie ("brownie cookie"), which is emerging as a new mainstay for birthday parties.
    2. One Haute Cookie – 257 East State Street, Eagle, ID 83616
      Just about twenty minutes from Boise, minutes from Eagle homes for sale stands One Haute Cookie. Founded in 2010, it has established a dedicated following through its delightful cookie sets, special orders, and baking classes where you can learn cookie secrets from the pros. The fresh-baked cookie sets run the gamut from birthday, holiday, and housewarming themes with a range of classic flavors.
    3. Pastry Perfection – 5855 North Glenwood Street, Garden City, ID 83714
      A long-time local institution, Pastry Perfection has been around since 1983 and is still going strong. Right around the corner from Garden City homes for sale, "choice and variety" are the watchwords here. Pastry Perfection creates donuts, cookies, Danishes, coffee cakes, and much more every day. Don't miss out on the coconut macaroons, chocolate dipped butter cookies, or English crunch.
    4. Marsh Cakes – 611 East State Street, Eagle, ID 83616
      Best known for its award-winning wedding cakes, Marsh Cakes goes the extra mile in quality with everything it does. Its artisanal, small-batch cookies are based on its beloved cake recipes and reflect a creative approach to flavor. Sea salt chocolate chip is the Marsh Cakes take on America's most beloved cookie, while their birthday cake flavor brings the sugar cookie to a scrumptious new level.
    5. Goldy's Corner – 625 West Main Street, Boise, ID 83702
      Goldy's Corner is a hangout spot with a relaxed atmosphere. It welcomes leisurely visits to study, chat, or even hold a meeting. While you can find all kinds of drinks and snacks here, the pastry menu truly stands out. It offers a showcase of traditional, gluten-free, and vegetarian baked goods. Brownies, cakes, muffins, and even pastry bars round out the selection of more than a dozen cookie varieties.

    Around Boise, Eagle, Garden City, and all throughout the area, you'll never find yourself far from a sweet indulgence. For fresh-baked information on local real estate opportunities, contact us today.

    September
    21

    World Tourism Day: Be a Tourist for a Day in Boise

    Boise Tourism

    Sunday, September 27th, was World Tourism Day, and although we may not be able to travel the globe right now, we can still discover new and interesting places in our own backyards. Don't despair if you missed the actual Tourism Day! You can still spend some quality time being a tourist in Boise. Idaho's capital city has so much history and culture to explore that you may be surprised what you can stumble upon without venturing far from home.

    1. Idaho Botanical Garden – 2355 Old Penitentiary Rd., Boise, ID 83712
      Grab a breath of fresh air at the Idaho Botanical Garden. As one of the oldest and original botanical gardens in the state, the Idaho Botanical Garden continues to welcome residents and visitors alike to stroll its fifteen lush acres. Located in the Boise Foothills and the Old Penitentiary Historic District, this self-guided and small group tours are available where you can learn about local conservation efforts and admire the wonderful pieces of art around the garden.

    2. Oregon Trail Reserve – 4500 E. Lake Forest Dr., Boise, ID 83716
      The Oregon Trail is an iconic America route that crossed through part of Idaho. A visit to the Oregon Trail Reserve will let you retrace the steps of Western settlers that spanned 2,170-miles from the Missouri River to Oregon. Along the trail are actual pieces of wagons left behind by these pioneers. The Oregon Trail Reserve is a fascinating place to learn about our nation's history while enjoying our state's natural beauty.

    3. Zoo Boise – 355 Julia Davis Dr., Boise, ID 83702
      Visit your wild neighbors at Zoo Boise. Home to over 300 animals representing more than 100 species, Zoo Boise gives you an up-close and personal look at these stunning creatures. Their engaging special attractions include encounters with sloth bears and giraffes, a petting zoo, a butterfly area, animal presentations, and a conservation cruise. Grab your tickets in advance and meet the newest member of Boise's community, a female nyala calf.

    4. Boise Art Museum – 670 Julia David Dr., Boise, ID 83702
      The Boise Art Museum invites you to wander their exceptional exhibits, stunningly curated collections, and learn about in nearly every form. Current exhibitions include Io Palmer's 'Desired Interruptions,' a collection of ceramics and textiles from the Southwest, and three impressionist masterworks from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Tours of the gallery are available, but if you'd like to unleash your creative juices, BAM has classes and workshops for artists of every skill level.

    5. Old Idaho Penitentiary – 2445 Old Penitentiary Rd., Boise, ID 83712
      We encourage you to go to jail during your tour of Boise! The Old Idaho Penitentiary is one of the most interesting sites in the city. Opened in 1872, some of the cruelest criminals in the West were contained inside. Today, guests can take an exciting tour throughout the site's 30 buildings. There are educational events, exhibits, and tours throughout the year, which will teach you everything you've ever wanted to know about the daring escapes, scandals, and executions the Old Idaho Penitentiary has witnessed.
    September
    16

    Outdoor Adventure in Boise

     

    Get into Outdoor Learning

    The City of Trees, the valley's many parks, and the surrounding foothills are rich with learning opportunities for all ages. With most of the valley's schools in some combination of online school and after a summer of social distancing and activities that were likely far from normal, parents might feel exhausted at the possibility of coming up with something new to get their kids away from the screen.

    Fortunately, there are plenty of outdoor places to explore. From area parks and the Greenbelt to foothills trails, now is one of the best times to make your own adventure.

    Identify birds common in SW Idaho – visit whatbirdsareinmybackyard.com and challenge the kids to make a list of the birds they see. If they have cameras or smartphones, encourage some picture-taking. Keep track and set out each time to add to your list.

    Take part in some autumn science – as the summer turns to fall, what changes are you seeing around your yard, a nearby park, or on your street? Keep track of where the sun is on the horizon at the same time each day for a week. How much has it changed? Ask the kids to draw pictures that include the differences the observe.

    Check out kindercare.com for some fun ideas you can all do with the leaves that will start falling soon. Make it a family affair with everyone participating. Even mom, dad, and the older kids will have fun making art, tossing maple seed pods in the air and watching the helicopters spin to the ground, and enjoying cooler evenings.

    Pack a picnic and visit Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve – Nestled between Maple Grove and McMillan and just south of Chinden, this lesser-visited park is a wonderful treasure waiting to be explored. This 44-acre park provides a haven for birds and wildlife. Well-maintained trails and educational signage provide a learning experience for the whole family. Because this is a reserve, pets are not allowed. Make note that restrooms are closed for the time being due to COVID-19.

    Take in the MK Nature Center in SE Boise – This 4.6-acre site runs along the Greenbelt offers visitors a unique view of nature tucked in the city. The StreamWalk offers underwater viewing windows so visitors can see fish in their natural habitat. Bird and wildlife viewing is plentiful, as well. There are four online lessons available that you can watch before your visit, and a mobile-friendly brochure lists 30 fun things to discover while you are there.

    Challenge yourself with the Great Boise Scavenger Hunt – Put on your walking shoes, head downtown, and learn about the history of Boise while solving puzzles and discovering treasures. The approximate two-mile course generally takes between two and three hours to complete, depending on stops in between. Using smartphones, teams (who must register/purchase tickets) will be given clues to solve about monuments, parks, statues, and more. Points of interest include the Basque Block, Freak Alley, and the Anne Frank Memorial.

    Boise and the surrounding cities have much to offer, so take a break from sitting in front of a computer screen, and go outside to play!

    September
    8

    Best Places to Go Paddling Near Boise

    Boise Kayaking Spots

    Healthcare professionals have long promoted spending time around water as an effective method of relieving stress. Nearly 23 million people each year participate in paddlesports as an eco-friendly way to enjoy the physical and mental benefits of water-based activities. 

    Fortunately, Boiseans have convenient access to some of the best lakes and rivers in the western United States. Whether you're a newcomer or experienced paddler, check out these scenic locations and great shops for an exciting experience on the water.

    1. Boise Whitewater Park - 3400 W. Pleasanton Ave., Boise, ID 83702
      Who says the words "urban" and "paddlesports" are incompatible? Boise Whitewater Park, one of the largest urban boating and boarding centers in the country, is an elite facility that's been years in the making. Esther's Pond and Quinn's Pond comprise an "outdoor gym" for canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding, including SUP yoga and fitness classes. Adjustable wave features make BWP an ideal spot for beginners to train. Check out current conditions on the site's webcams. Park hours are sunrise to sunset daily.

    2. Idaho River Sports - 601 N. Whitewater Park Blvd., Boise, ID 83702
      Do you need advice picking the right kayak to buy? Maybe your damaged paddleboard needs a little TLC. Since 1987, Jo and Stan of Idaho River Sports have been helping paddle sports enthusiasts make the most of their outdoor activities. Top brands of kayaks, rafts, and paddleboards are available for rental or purchase, along with a comprehensive selection of clothing, gear, and accessories. IRS also offers fun and educational classes in SUP yoga and introduction to kayaking and paddleboarding. Located on the Greenbelt across from Boise Whitewater Park, IRS is open seven days a week year-round.

    3. Centennial Waterfront Park - Canyon Springs Rd, Twin Falls, ID 83301
      Idaho's Magic Valley earned its name thanks to the way the system of dams and canals "magically" transformed land that was thought to be uninhabitable. But the term could apply equally to the stunning scenery, especially majestic Shoshone Falls, known as the "Niagara of the West." Enjoy the leisurely two-hour drive from Boise to Centennial Waterfront Park for a paddling trip that takes you past the I.B. Perrine Bridge and BASE jumpers before reaching Shoshone Falls. Not yet ready for the full trip? Make halfway-point Pillar Falls your destination. AWOL Sports has a convenient kayak, and paddleboard rental stand onsite. 

    4. Blue Heart Springs - 1128 Banbury Rd., Buhl, ID 83316
      If you've ever daydreamed about a trip to the tranquil blue waters of the Caribbean, your wish may be closer than you think. Blue Heart Springs, a secluded cove off the Snake River near Hagerman in the Magic Valley, will make you feel worlds away from civilization. Surrounded by canyon walls and brush, the crystal-clear water is a mesmerizing shade of blue that must be seen to be believed. Blue Heart Springs is accessible only by water, and motorboats are required to kill their engines, so the cove is truly a private oasis. Kayaks and paddleboards can be rented at Banbury Hot Springs

    Boise has a wide range of outdoor and cultural attractions to accommodate any lifestyle. Let Coldwell Banker Tomlinson handle your real estate needs, so you have more time for fun. Contact us today for more information.

    August
    17

    7 Creative Ways to Make Your Home Look More Spacious

    Tips to Make Your Home Look Spacious

    If you have plans to sell your home, solid home staging can make your property more attractive to potential buyers. Feel like your home is lacking in space or worry that it feels cramped? A few simple changes will help make your home feel roomy and uncluttered during your showings and open houses. Here are some creative ways to spruce up your home so that it feels spacious and inviting.  

    1. Opt for Light Colored Walls
      One of the easiest ways to instantly make a room look larger is to paint the walls a light color. Light colors reflect light, yielding a space that maximizes its natural light, and looks open and inviting. You don't have to stick with white when choosing a paint color. Lighter grays, blues, yellows, and greens can all make a room look bigger. 
    2. Add White Trim and Accessories to a Dark-Colored Room
      If you have a room that's a darker hue and you prefer not to change the color, you can still make the room more spacious with the addition of white trim and accessories. White floor molding and crown molding will instantly make a dark-colored room look more open. You might also add light accessories, such as an area rug or throw pillows, to maximize the effect. 
    3. Keep Your Furniture Away from the Wall 
      Make a room look larger in minutes by pulling your furniture a few inches away from the wall. Many people push furniture against the wall in an attempt to make the room look larger, but this actually has the opposite effect. 
    4. Pay Attention to Where You Hang Your Drapes and Your Shelving 
      When hanging your drapes and installing shelving, take a few moments to consider their placement. Hanging your curtain rod a few inches above your windows will make your windows (and your room) look larger. You should also select a curtain rod that's a little larger than the window to add to this effect. Your shelving should be installed at eye level or higher for the same reason. This will draw the eye upward and make the room look larger. 
    5. Integrate a Mirror into Your Wall Decor
      A mirror is a classic addition to help a space look larger. The mirror will reflect the light in the room so that it looks bigger. Mirrors also add depth, making the room look more interesting. When hanging the mirror, make sure that whatever it's reflecting is aesthetically pleasing for optimal effectiveness. 
    6. Vertical Stripes are Your Home's Friend
      Vertical stripes work to lengthen the appearance of a wall or floor, making it appear larger. A rug with vertical stripes is one option for your floors. For your walls, consider adding vertical shiplap or a print with a vertical design. 
    7. Utilize Your Home's Natural Light
      Whenever possible, avoid hindering the amount of natural light that enters a room. Homes for sale perform better with prospective buyers when they're filled with natural light. Sheer curtains are an excellent alternative if you like the look of draperies but don't want something that will hinder the flow of light into the room. Or, if you need a bit more privacy but want lots of light whenever possible, check out blinds or shades that you can open within seconds. 

    Ready to use these tips and put your home on the market? Let's get started!

    August
    3

    Geocaching Day: Where to go Geocaching in Boise

    Geocaching in Boise

    Let's go on a treasure hunt in Boise! Even though we may be a few hundred years late for the Idaho Gold Rush, we're right on time to scour the City of Trees for a new kind of treasure. Saturday, August 15th, is International Geocaching Day and it's the perfect time to discover the unique gems hidden in plain sight! We challenge you to find these unique treasures hidden in the Treasure Valley.

    Geocaching 101

    What is geocaching? In a sense, it's the ultimate scavenger hunt! Geocaching is a modern-day outdoor treasure hunting game that spans the entire planet! A geocache, also known simply as a "cache", is a unique trinket or group items usually concealed within a container. Items could be anything and geocache capsules can be any size, though typically most geocaches are small tokens hidden inside containers the size of coffee cans.

    Instead of using a physical paper map, geocaches are marked with GPS coordinates online. These coordinates point geocachers to a general location, such as a local park. A clue is then tied to the GPS coordinate to give the geocacher a specific hint as to where to look, such as by the monkey bars in the park. When you find the geocache, there will usually be a small logbook where you can add your name to the list of those who have successfully found it. While you shouldn't remove the geocache, you are allowed to take a token from it as long as you replace it with a token of equal value.

    Geocaching in Boise

    Before you set out on a quest to find all of the geocaches around Boise, you must first become an official geocacher. Signing up is easy and free on the geocaching website. Unfortunately, you won't be able to view the list of Boise geocaches unless you are a member so be sure to sign up ASAP. Now that you're ready to go on your treasure hunt, allows us to point you to a few of our favorites geocaches:

    Of course, you don't need to geocache to have outdoor fun in Boise. If you need to stretch your legs and get a breath of fresh air with the family, we encourage you to check out one of these great local parks. Just be sure to keep your eyes peeled for geocaches; you never know where one might pop up!

    Searching for a gem of a home in the city? We have the GPS coordinates of the best Boise homes for sale

    July
    16

    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.
    July
    20

    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!  

    June
    15

    Shop Local: Boise Farmers Markets for Summer Produce

    Summer Produce in Boise

    There are a lot of reasons to welcome summer with open arms. We're especially excited about the return of all our favorite Boise farmers markets. With a long growing season ahead, we are thrilled to recommend these great spots in the Boise area to find fresh, local produce!

    1. Boise Farmers Market - 1500 Shoreline Dr, Boise, ID 83702
      Held from April through October, the Boise Farmers Market is the flagship farmers market in our home city. This outdoor market in the heart of downtown Boise attracts farmers and growers from all over the region, bringing the best fruits, vegetables, and other local goods. The Boise Farmers Market happens every Saturday morning from 9 am to 1 pm.

    2. Capital City Public Market - operating at this time as the 34th St. Market, 303 E. 34th St., Garden City
      Not to be outdone, the Capital City Public Market also takes place on Saturdays during the warmer months, just across town from the Boise Farmers Market. You'll find all kinds of local foods here, from produce and fresh-baked bread to jams, spices, and locally roasted coffee. Catch the 34th Street Market on Wednesday evenings from 5:00 to 8:00 pm and on Saturdays from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. 

    3. Farm to Fork Farmers' Market - 120 S. Kimball Ave, Caldwell, ID 83605
      The city of Caldwell is in the heart of Idaho's rich agricultural region and is home to one of our favorite local markets. The Farm to Fork Farmers' Market takes place every Tuesday evening starting at 5 pm and offers a chance to pick up the freshest locally grown produce. With offerings that change with the seasons, there's always an incredible variety of fruits and vegetables available. Caldwell is about 30 minutes from Boise.

    4. Emmett Farmers Market - 4504 W. Park St, Emmett, ID 83617
      Held twice a week in Blaser Park, the Emmett Farmers Market provides an opportunity for shoppers to connect with local farmers in the small city of Emmet, Idaho. With an ever-changing selection of fruits, vegetables, and local foods plus handmade arts and crafts, this farmers market takes place Wednesday evenings from 3 pm to 6 pm, and Saturday mornings from 9 am to 1 pm. 

    Here in Idaho, we're blessed with many great options when it comes to shopping local!

    June
    1

    How to Make Your Own Backyard Fire Pit

    Backyard Fire Pit Tips

    Fire pits are hot these days-- literally and figuratively. They form a focal point for outdoor socializing and can extend your outdoor time with the warmth they provide in the evenings. Plus, let's not forget the joy of making s'mores in the backyard!

    You can purchase a pre-made kit or have one professionally installed, but a DIY fire pit is a relatively simple project for a long weekend, and if you'd like to create a fire pit of your own, read on. 

    Safety First 

    Examine the area where you'd like to build your fire pit. The best spots for fire pits have a non-flammable material such as dirt or stone, and are free of overhanging or nearby branches, and are well away from other potential fuel. Your fire pit should be at least ten feet away from the house or other structures. What should be near your fire pit is a space for an appropriate fire extinguisher that's kept ready each time you light the fire pit. 

    The Right Stuff

    Stone, cement blocks, and brick make suitable materials for a DIY fire pit, as they can be arranged into almost any shape you want. Retaining wall blocks serve as ideal side material for fire pits. Pavers provide the perfect smooth surface for the bottom of your fire pit. Use paver sand to fill in the gaps and discourage shifting. If your fire pit is deep and you'd like the fire to sit slightly higher in the pit, use river stones or gravel for a non-flammable filler. 

    Some Light Upcycling 

    Some items require only a little refashioning to make a great fire pit. A large stone, concrete, or terracotta planter makes an excellent fire pit. If you'd like to give concrete casting a try, a container that is a great shape but in a less than ideal material, such as a plastic planter, might make a good mold for a concrete fire pit. 

    Light Your Fire 

    Only light materials designed to be burned in an outdoor setting. Seasoned wood, pressed wood logs, or gel canisters are all ideal for fire pits. If you use gel canisters, make sure the cap stays handy for extinguishing the flame. Avoid using green wood or other materials not prepared for fueling outdoor fires. If you plan to cook using your fire pit, make sure your fuel is designed for cooking. 

    Home design trends come and go, but a fire pit has practical value and is very DIY-friendly. 

    May
    4

    Restaurants Offering Takeout and Curbside Pickup in Boise

    Boise Takeout

    Ordering from local restaurants is a great way to boost the local economy during a challenging time, support your favorite Boise businesses, and of course, enjoy a great meal in the process. Order takeout or curbside pickup from your favorite restaurants, with this guide from our real estate agents.

    1. Alyonka Russian Cuisine – 2870 W State St., Boise, ID 83702
      The Russian Food Festival has long been a beloved annual event close to Boise homes for sale, and the talented chef who oversees that festival has opened a restaurant serving Russian favorites in Boise. Order from chef Ellen DeYoung's extensive menu at Alyonka Russian Cuisine, and pick your meal up curbside. The menu features many familiar menu items from the festival, along with an extensive selection of authentic Russian cuisine that you won't find anywhere else.

    2. Boise Pie Co. – 1216 N Orchard St., Boise, ID 83706
      Searching for something to satisfy your sweet tooth? Look no further than the Boise Pie Co., with sweets, pot pies, sandwiches, sliders, and so much more. Of course, you can also order from the restaurant's famed selection of pies, which includes both familiar favorites and new, unique creations. Boise Pie Co. is currently open for takeout and delivery on weekdays during lunchtime hours.

    3. Fork Restaurant – 199 N 8th St., Boise, ID 83702
      When you're in the mood for a burger, salad, sandwich, soup, or home-style entree, just call up Fork to order for curbside pickup. Fork is currently offering a modified menu for takeout, which features many of your favorites from the regular menu. You can grab one of Fork's famous cocktails to go or choose from an extensive selection of locally crafted beer and wine.

    4. Slow by Slow – 405 S 8th St. #155, Boise, ID 83702
      There's no need to skip your morning cup of coffee, thanks to the curbside pickup and coffee bean delivery options available from Slow by Slow. Long one of Boise's favorite morning spots, Slow by Slow, offers an extensive selection of coffees from around the world. You can even pick up coffee brewing equipment when you order beans for delivery!

    5. Papa Joe's Restaurant – 1301 S Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83706
      Looking for an authentic Italian meal that can feed the whole family? Then Papa Joe's Restaurant is the place to be, and right now, you can order from a modified menu for curbside pickup. The takeout menu features burritos, family-style meals, pizzas, and much more.

    6. Goodness Land Mediterranean Grill – 6555 W Overland Rd., Boise, ID 83709
      Authentic Mediterranean food is always on the menu at the Goodness Land Mediterranean Grill, and now you can bring home some of that goodness by ordering takeout. The full menu is available for takeout, and delivery is also available through third-party apps. Goodness Land serves food from across the Middle East, made from authentic recipes with fresh, local ingredients.

    When you're in the mood for great food, Boise more than has you covered with restaurants serving delicious cuisine from around the world. Ready to find your own home in the city? Contact us today.

    April
    20

    Where to Donate Homemade Masks in Boise

    Homemade Masks in Boise

    The continued spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, continues to impact every aspect of our daily lives. Unfortunately, this respiratory virus can be transmitted from person to person with a simple sneeze or couch. Even individuals who do not show any symptoms yet have the virus can unknowingly spread it rapidly. Because this virus is still a threat to the entire population, the CDC is encouraging all individuals to wear protective masks over their noses and mouths when leaving the house.

    The Vital Need for Homemade Masks

    Personal Protective Equipment, known as PPE, can potentially prevent the wearer from contracting an infection. PPE includes specially designed N95 masks and surgical masks, however, due to a shortage in supply, government officials are asking that these items are reserved exclusively for the use of individuals in the healthcare industry. Thankfully, there are alternatives for the general public, including homemade masks.

    The bacteria of the coronavirus are microscopic and much smaller than other types of bacteria that traditional PPE protects against. Experts say that, while PPE masks can't contain the virus bacteria alone, all masks can help prevent the spread of the virus because the bacteria attach itself to the water molecules emanating from our noses and mouths. Essentially, even a bandana or cotton shirt worn over our faces can potentially prevent us from spreading or contracting the virus.

    Because of the CDC recommendations and dwindling supply, there's been an upsurge in the need for masks for essential personnel. All around the world, communities are taking action to make an abundance of homemade masks for those in need. Our real estate agents encourage you to join us and donate your handmade masks to the essential personnel in the Boise area.

    Where to Donate Homemade Masks in Boise

    Generally speaking, your donation of medical supplies and resources to any healthcare facility in the area will protect those at-risk the most, no matter how large or small the organization is. As the virus continues to spread, many healthcare facilities are formally requesting donations. Saint Alphonsus is accepting donations of homemade masks and lists their mask requirements at this link. Although St. Luke's Health Care System is currently not accepting hand-sewn masks, they are accepting other supplies and encourage Boise natives to donate their masks to the United Way. Groups like Idaho COVID 19 Mutual Aid Group are full of members trying to connect mask makers with those that need these vital supplies.

    If you have the ability to make homemade face masks, we encourage you to follow these instructions from the CDC. These guidelines show you how to sew a mask and create one without sewing equipment. We hope that you and your families are safe and healthy during this difficult time. If the coronavirus has placed challenges in your plans to buy or sell Boise homes for sale, please contact us and allow us to assist you.

    April
    6

    Your Guide to Starting a Garden in Boise

    Boise Garden

    Now that spring is finally here, it's time to work on starting a garden at your Boise home. While it's still too early to put many plants in the ground, you can plan, prepare, and start some plants indoors to transplant when it gets warmer.

    Our REALTORS® share the following guide to starting a garden in Boise:

    The Basics of Gardening in our Area 

    If you're starting a garden in Boise, your frost-free growing season will start, on average, on May 7. This date will help you start and transplant your seeds at the right time. 

    It's also important to use the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Mapwhich helps you learn the plants that are likely to grow well in your area. The map's zones are determined by the average annual minimum winter temperature in every area of the country, and Boise is in zone 6. So, if you read a plant label or look up information about it online, check to see if it's recommended for zone 6. It's no guarantee, of course, but the plant's chances of thriving in this area will be good. 

    The Boise area has a relatively short growing season, so many plants will need to be started indoors and then transplanted when there's no longer any danger of frost.

    Growing Veggies

    • Cole Crops 
      These include broccoli and cabbage and also apply to lettuce and spinach. They're ideally started indoors in early spring and are transplanted into the garden in early May. They can also be direct seeded into your garden around April 10, but this option is less preferable since the ground may still be unworkable.

    • Onions Starts, Potatoes, and Peas 
      Onion starts, and potatoes can be planted in late March, and pea seeds can be sown at the same time, provided the ground has thawed.

    • Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplants 
      Start these indoors in early spring and then prepare to transplant them into the ground in mid-May. You should wait until no more frost is forecast for the season before planting.

    • Summer Veggies 
      Plant these indoors around the first of May and transplant them into the ground after the danger of frost has passed.


    Growing Flowers 

    • If you're growing flowers, April is a great time to get started by shearing back groundcovers and using a general fertilizer on your flower bands. Roses should also be pruned.

    • Plant any conifers and shrubs as well as summer bulbs like daylilies and cannas.

    • If you have indoor seedlings, start hardening them off, but shelter them from the wind.

    • Aphids can be a nuisance this time of year, so check your plants for them and blast any of these pests you see with water. Also, set up supports for floppy plants such as peonies.

    • When it's May, remove dead blossoms from tulips, daffodils, and crocuses. Feed your roses and plant annuals to fill in your perennial beds. According to local lore, it's safe to plant when the snow has melted off Shafer Butte north of Boise.

    Contact us to learn more about starting a garden in Boise. It's a wonderful way to improve your home's landscaping and make it stand out compared to other Boise homes for sale when you're ready to put it on the market.

    January
    13

    Best Low-Carb Dining Options in Boise

    Low Carb Dining in Boise

    Part of starting a healthy diet in the new year is knowing your dining options. Luckily, Boise doesn't have a shortage of delicious places to eat! Jump-start your resolution to eat healthy with tasty low-carb dishes at these great restaurants around Boise homes for sale.

    1. Paddles Up Poké - 237 N. 9th St., Boise 83702
      With fresh ingredients and Instagrammable presentations, poké has become a hot food trend, and Paddles Up Poke has the distinction of being the first poké restaurant in Boise. Ahi tuna is the traditional choice, but Paddles Up Poke offers other seafood options along with smoked chicken and tofu. Select one of the signature combos or create your own from dozens of sauce and topping options. Paddles Up Poke is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

    2. Kabob House - 9140 W. Emerald St., Boise 83704
      Take your taste buds on a trip to Central Asia with a visit to Kabob House. Kabobs are a classic Middle Eastern dish involving chunks of meat and vegetables grilled on a skewer, so they're both delicious and easy to eat. Seasoned and marinated protein choices at Kabob House include chicken, beef, and lamb. Hours are 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily. 

    3. Meraki Greek Street Food - 345 S. 8th St., Boise 83702
      Street food is quick, inexpensive, and portable, and the gyros at Meraki Greek Street Food fit the definition to a T. Traditional gyros with tomatoes, red onion, and tzatziki sauce are available with pork, chicken or lamb. Creative variations include toppings such as candied bacon and fried habanero chips or choose meat-free falafel, halloumi, or veggie styles. Cut the carbs even more by skipping the pita and ordering souvlaki, the Greek version of kabobs. Meraki is open 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

    4. Poké Bowl - 2970 N. Eagle Rd., Suite 101, Meridian 83646
      Rising interest in poké is leading to more restaurants such as Poké Bowl near Meridian homes for sale. Bowls ordered during lunch come with a complimentary order of miso soup, made with the "Japanese superfood" that's high in protein. Poké Bowl also offers teriyaki, another low-carb dish with chicken, beef, or salmon. Hours are 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. Friday and 11:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

    5. Fit Donut - 1330 E. Fairview Ave. #105, Meridian 83642
      Donuts high in protein and low in carbs, sugar, and fat? No, you're not dreaming. At Fit Donut, "every day can be a cheat day." Donuts are made from scratch with fresh, high-quality ingredients in mouthwatering flavors such as peanut butter cup, mud pie, and raspberry lemonade. Fit Donut is open 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday.

    6. Barbacoa Grill - 276 Bobwhite Court, Boise 83706
      Barbacoa Grill brings the open-fire grilling method of South American "cowboys" to the Pacific Northwest. The menu is centered on steaks prepared on the "hot rock," with other protein choices including duck, swordfish, pork chops, and trout. An extensive collection of art and antiquities makes Barbacoa Grill a treat for your sense of vision as well as taste. Hours are 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 4 p.m. - 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

    The healthy restaurants are one of the many things you'll love about calling the Boise area home. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Boise for high-energy, experienced help from our real estate agents.

    November
    11

    5 Boise Bakeries for Your Holiday Pies

    Boise Bakeries

    It's almost time to celebrate the holidays once again around Boise, and what could be better than enjoying a sweet, seasonal treat during this special time of year? Whether you're looking to indulge a little for the season or you want the perfect pie to bring to your next holiday party, Boise has a bakery that's sure to please. The city is home to both classic, mom-and-pop bakeries, and artisanal spots serving flavors from around the world. Our REALTORS® have the details on local bakeries in the area where you can pick up your holiday pies this year.

    1. Wildflour Bakery – 304 E 42nd St., Garden City, ID 83714
      Garden City homes for sale
      make it easy to visit Wildflour Bakery, which serves some of the best cookies in Idaho and so much more. Everything at Wildflour Bakery is made by hand, in small batches, by a small team of bakers who truly love what they do. Stop by to pick up all of your pies for the holiday season, and get to know the team. The Garden City location also features an espresso bar, perfect for grabbing a burst of energy while you're busy stocking up for the season.

    2. Pastry Perfection – 5855 N Glenwood St., Boise, ID 83714
      Conveniently located close to Boise homes for sale, the popular Pastry Perfection bakery has been serving made-from-scratch treats for nearly 40 years. With a commitment to using fresh, local ingredients, and classic recipes that stand the test of time, Pastry Perfection is a great place to grab something sweet for the holidays. 

    3. Janjou Patisserie – 1754 W State St., Boise, ID 83702
      If you're searching for high-end sweets, be sure to stop by Janjou Patisserie and sample their unique selection. This bakery specializes in cookies, coffee, cake, chocolate, and tea, with something to please every taste. If you're looking to bring something unique for your next holiday party, this is a great place to shop. The husband and wife team at Janou Patisserie is proud to serve some of the best, most distinctive sweets in Boise.

    4. Boise Pie Co. – 1216 N Orchard St., Boise, ID 83706
      Family owned and operated, Boise Pie Co. has a selection of pies that will never disappoint, along with cold brew coffee, sandwiches, and plenty of sweet surprises. No matter what type of pie you want for the holidays, you'll probably find it at Boise Pie Co., where everything is fresh and homemade. Order something special for the holidays, or stop by any morning for amazing coffee.

    5. Shari's Cafe and Pies – 8521 W Franklin Rd., Boise, ID 83709
      A popular local chain with a reputation for great meals and even better pies, Shari's Cafe is an excellent place to pick up something sweet for the holidays. Shari's specializes in pies and has a ton of awards to show for it. Every pie on the menu at Shari's offers something special, with fresh, unique spins on all of your favorite pie recipes. 

    Boise's bakeries are just one more example of why the city is such a sweet place to call home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Boise area.

    September
    23

    Best of Boise: Fall Hiking Trails

    Boise Hiking Trails

    If you've ever visited Boise in after summer's come to a close then you know that the capital city is surrounded by gorgeous natural spaces that display breathtaking views during the autumn. Fall is one of the best times to go for a hike in Boise. The changing colors of the leaves, crisp mountain breeze and the serene isolation that makes you feel one with nature is only steps from the doors of Boise homes for sale. Plan to soak up the sunshine and spend time on one of the hiking trails our REALTORS® believe are the best in Boise.

    • Around the Mountain
      If there's one trail you need to visit this fall, make it Around the Mountain. Considered the jewel of Boise's trail system, 6.4 miles of hiking await you. Located in the Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area, the Around the Mountain trail will give you an amazing view of features both close and far. The Snake River Plain, Squaw Butte, and the Sawtooth Mountains are yours to gaze at. You can access Around the Mountain from either the Morningstar trail or Brewers Byway trail via the Deer Point trail.  

    • Stack Rock
      Get ready to hike along Stack Rock and its newly constructed trail connection on the Ridge to Rivers trail system. The peak of Stack Rock reaches just below 6,000 feet. A four-mile hike each way earns you exceptional views if you're experienced enough to reach the very top. Bird watching along the trail is spectacular and there are plenty of opportunities for rock climbing. If you'd simply like to stroll with some company, feel free to grab a friend — even man's best friend, as this trail is dog-friendly.

    • Mores Mountain Trail
      Another amazing trail within the Bogus Basin, hiking the Mores Mountain Trail is the quickest way to take in the best views of the Boise National Forest. Part of the Shafer Butte trail system, three small loops ranging between one and two miles keep you at an elevation under 700 feet. This trail provides you with a speedy escape to nature, especially during the fall when the trails are much less crowded.  

    • Table Rock Trail
      Not far from the center of Boise, Table Rock is one of the most popular trails around the city. Great for gazing upon the city and Treasure Valley, the Table Rock area features a handful of trails including the steep #15 which connects to the Table Rock Quarry Trail #17 and the short and sweet Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Loop #19. The trails in this area feature rough terrain that is easily disturbed by heavy storms. Since it's not a recommended hiking destination during the winter months, this trail system is a must-visit site during the fall.

    • Dry Creek Trail
      There's a gold rush near Boise every fall on the Dry Creek Trail. Wander through this loop joining the Shingle Creek for a 14-mile stretch and you'll be surrounded by gorgeous gold, red and orange leaves. Located in the foothills of Boise, this trail is not barren or dry like other trails in the foothills. Instead, a creek helps sustain plenty of foliage all year long which provide plenty of places to sit in the shade and take in the views.

    Would you love a Boise home for sale close to these fantastic fall trails? Contact us today and we'll put you on the path to your dream home.

    September
    10

    Making the Move to Boise: 10 Reasons It's a Great Idea

    Moving to Boise

    If you've taken even a gander at the gorgeous Boise homes for sale, you've undoubtedly considered making the move to Idaho's capital. With a growing population currently at 226,000, men and women from across the country are picking up and moving to the Gem State. Our REALTORS® don't blame them! We can think of 100 great reasons why you should move to Boise — here are ten of the best!

    1. It's Safer Than You'd Believe
      Boise's got a reputation for being friendly. With dramatically low crime rates throughout the state, Boise is the largest city yet has less crime than even some small towns throughout the country. MSN once voted it as one of the top ten safest cities in the world.

    2. It's Also Affordable, Too!
      The cost of living in Boise is average compared to the rest of the country. However, you're getting more bang for your buck when it comes to your quality of life. Boise is within minutes, not hours, to dream vacation destinations and activities that you can visit on any old Tuesday.

    3. Four Seasons of Boise Bliss 
      Although Idaho does touch the Canadian border, don't think that winter lasts forever. Boise gets all four gorgeous seasons with temperatures settling in the 70s during the summer. There are over 200 sunny days per year with less than a foot of rain. There is a minimal amount of snow in the city itself too.

    4. …You'll Spend Hours Outdoors
      With four gorgeous seasons giving you 365 days of beauty, you're going to want to spend a lot of time outdoors. Thankfully, there's plenty to see and do. Visit the hot springs or ski down the slopes. Bike across the greenbelt or kayak in one of their many rivers. With space for nearly every outdoor activity, outdoor recreation is at its finest in Boise.

    5. Arts & Culture Abound
      Don't worry. There's plenty to do indoors as well. Boise is a cultural hub for many different arts and events. Music, cinema, comedy, theatre, and more pack every week full of the entertainment you want steps away from your front door.  

    6. A Feast of Food
      Did we mention that Boise has an incredible food scene as well? One visit to the farmer's market, and you'll want to eat Boise's fresh food for every meal. You've got to try finger steaks, morel mushrooms, Idahoan grilled cheese, and the Basque cuisine that you won't find anywhere else.

    7. Diverse Career Fields
      It's not all fun and games in Boise. It's also a great place for professionals. Boise's job market is growing with its population while its unemployment rate stays below the national average.  As one of the country's fastest-growing job markets, according to The Wall Street Journal, there are plenty of positions available in tech, healthcare, education, and hospitality.

    8. Great Schools
      Speaking of education, Boise is starting to become known for its exceptional school systems. From young children to college coeds, the students of Boise have fantastic educational opportunities to learn and grow into their full potential.

    9. Idaho — It's No Small Potatoes
      One reason to call Boise home is that Idaho itself is an amazing place to live. Pick any direction, and there's an unforgettable road trip already mapped. Yellowstone National Park to the East, Salt Lake City and Reno to the South, Portland and the Pacific to the West and Calgary to the north. Gas up the car and gaze upon the splendor of this region.

    10. No Better Time Than Now
      What are you waiting for? Boise is beckoning and is ready to make you feel at home!

    Ready to make the move to Boise? Contact us today, and we'll help you find the home of your dreams!

    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 11:18:43 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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