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Date Archives: June 2020

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Have Ada County Home Sales Slowed Due to COVID-19?

Home Sales in Ada County were Slower for the Second Month Due to COVID-19

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


For the second consecutive month, home sales in Ada County were lower than the same month in 2019, as REALTORS® and consumers heeded Idaho's stay-home order for any non-essential transactions.

Closed sales were down 29.7% compared to May of 2019, but as this is a backward-looking metric, it primarily reflects buyer activity during March and April when more restrictions around showings and open houses were in place.

However, pending sales, or properties with an accepted offer that should close within 30-60 days, were up 4.7% in May 2020 compared to last year, and up 25.4% compared to April. The 1,957 pending properties, which were almost evenly split between the new construction and existing/resale, will be reflected in the sales data in June and July.

While the Ada County housing market has indeed been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, we believe the stage is set for a rebound in sales, due to the strong market position at the beginning of the year and continuing buyer demand compared to supply.

The median sales price in May 2020, for new construction and existing/resale combined, was $360,450, up 6.0% year-over-year but down 3.9% from the record high in April of $374,900.

This month-over-month dip was primarily driven by the mix of sales. Previous record highs were the result of new construction making up a large share of closed sales. While still significant in May at 31.8%, the share of new construction sales was down from 35.0% in April, helping to bring down the overall median sales price for the county.

Whenever you're ready to buy or sell a home, REALTORS® are here to help. Across the valley, brokerages and builders are taking extra precautions to protect clients. Additionally, REALTORS® have access to local, up-to-date market data, and are able to customize it to your unique situation.

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


From Our Lending Partners at Idaho Central Credit Union



Economic Activity Picks Up



The data released over the past week revealed an unprecedented decline in economic activity resulting from the pandemic, but also indicated that recovery has already begun. Mortgage markets have been relatively quiet, and rates again ended the week with little change.

Following growth of 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019, gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic activity, fell 5.0% in Q1 2020, which was the weakest reading since 2008. As bad as that was, however, it does not even come close to the expected decline for the second quarter. The Federal Reserve publishes an estimate of GDP growth, which it updates every few days based on the most recent data. On Tuesday, the Fed projected that GDP will fall over 50% during the second quarter, which is roughly in line with Wall Street forecasts. After that, early estimates from economists for the second half of the year predict sizable gains.

Despite the Fed and Wall Street's dire predictions, the more recent results have shown clear signs of a rebound. Two of the most significant reports released each month, which reflect the most current economic activity, are from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). The May ISM Services Index rose more than expected to 45.4 from a reading of 41.8 in April. Similarly, the ISM Manufacturing Index increased to 43.1 from 41.5 in April.

The reduced economic activity resulting from the pandemic has caused a decline in inflation, which has helped keep mortgage rates low. In April, the core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index, the inflation indicator favored by the Fed, was just 1.0% higher than a year ago, down from an annual rate of increase of 1.7% last month. Fed officials have stated that their target level for annual inflation is 2.0%.

Looking ahead, investors will continue watching for news about medical advances to fight the pandemic, Fed actions, government stimulus programs, and plans for reopening the economy.





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!


Four Things That Can Hurt Your Home's Resale Value


While likely unintentional, there are several ways to lower the value of your home.

By Tamara Oakley, Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Home resale value is something most homeowners strive to increase so that they can see a profit when it's time to sell. Unfortunately, there are many things that they accidentally do that have the opposite effect. Here are four ways that you can unintentionally lower the value of your home.

Not Keeping Up with Maintenance

This is the easiest way to lower the value of your home. Not keeping up with maintenance typically leads to larger problems down the road or hidden problems that are discovered when you try to sell your home. If you notice a damp spot on a wall or a wiring issue that you don't ever look into, you could be setting yourself up for massive problems in the future. Damp spots can turn into huge mold infestations (which must be included on your home disclosure and can cause potential buyers to pass on your home) and wiring problems can turn into electrical fires that cause massive damage and put you and your family's lives at risk. Pay attention to the tiny things that come up along the way and try to keep your investment in the best possible shape.

Trying to DIY When You Don't Know What You're Doing 

Incorrect installations and work not done up to code or with the proper permits can also lower home resale value and be a turn off to buyers since they'll have to make the necessary repairs. Trying to do some things yourself is fine, but consider hiring a professional before you make any massive changes.

Renovating Your Property Too Much 

Upgrades and renovations normally add value to a property, but it is possible to overdo it. If you live in a neighborhood where homes are in the $300,000 range and you add $200,000 worth of upgrades to your home, it's going to be challenging to find someone willing to pay the full value for your property because it will be much more expensive than the other comparable homes in the neighborhood (if there are any). Even if it does have the added value, someone interested in living in a luxury home probably wants to live in a luxury neighborhood as well. Be aware of the ROI for your upgrades and try not to price yourself out of your neighborhood.

Not Updating It at All

Not making any changes is another way that you can accidentally lower the value of your home. If your home is dated, buyers are going to consider the cost of updating it and might try to offer you less for it. There's a fine line between not enough and too many upgrades, but it's a line that's important to stay close to.

If you take care of your home and do your best to make sure that it keeps up with the times, you shouldn't have a lot of trouble with a decrease in your resale value. As long as the market in the Treasure Valley continues to grow, homeowners can expect to see higher sales prices as long as their homes are in good condition.


News From Our Technology Experts


Keeping Yourself and Your Devices Safe

From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair


Coronavirus – Hygiene and Action Reminder

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


BE AWARE: Contact-tracing text scams, emails, and robocalls

Unfortunately, scammers and hackers are taking advantage of Coronavirus health crisis.  The FTC has issued several warnings and advisories about these scams; that even though Health Departments could reach out via text or email…

Contact tracers will never ask for sensitive identification or financial information!

You can use your cell phone carrier's built-in number blocking on your phone to stop unwanted calls or texts from specific numbers; you can also block offending email addresses in your email account. But with any sort of fraud, scammers often use hundreds of thousands of phone numbers and emails and move very quickly onto the next.  This makes permanent blocking hard. 

To really have an impact, we recommend reporting the offending communication to the FTC.  This can be done online at

A few rules of thumb for spam calls, texts, and emails:

  1. Do not engage spammers.  When you answer or respond, you are showing the scammer, spammer, or robo-system that your phone number or email is "live" and put on another list that is sold over and over and the calls/texts/emails will continue infinitely.
  2. Do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize.  If it is important or a legitimate call, they will leave a voicemail.
  3. Do not answer texts from numbers you do not recognize.
  4. Do not answer unsolicited or out-of-the-ordinary texts from numbers you do recognize.  The number could be spoofed to fool you.
  5. Do not open emails, download any attachments, or click on links in emails from senders you do not recognize.
  6. Do not download any attachments or click on links in unsolicited or suspicious emails from senders you do recognize. Their email may have been hacked or spoofed.

If you have any questions about a suspicious email, call, or text, feel free to contact our office via phone 208.288.4345 or email


Malware and Viruses

During this time people are conducting a lot of business via email, spending money online, and trying to find information on the internet. Be vigilant when opening emails, browsing the internet, downloading free software or games, and clicking on links in email and on the internet.

  1. Fake Adobe Flash Player pop-ups and trying to download the "update" have reared their ugly heads again. If you need to update Java or Flash, we recommend closing the window and going directly to or and getting the update from the software maker themselves.
  2. Malicious pop-ups on the internet are worse than ever. They usually take over your computer, are very loud with either an alarm or voice telling you your computer is infected, and request you call a number for "tech support."  Usually a simple reboot can clear this from your machine.  First, try CTRL+ALT+Delete to correctly reboot your computer; however, in most instances, we are finding that you will have to hard reboot, aka push the power button until the computer shuts down. After you reboot and go back on the internet, make sure to click the option to NOT restore the previous session. 
  3. Browser hijackers are also increasing.  You go to a website or download a program and it asks to install an extension… you allow it and then your entire browser is infected. In many instances, we are having to reload computers due to these, as they sometimes install extensions in your internet browser and affect your registry.
  4. Click-bait articles, product advertisements, and videos are also a rising nuisance as people try to seek out information on Covid-19.  If it seems outrageous or too good to be true, please do not click on it! Only click on trusted sources only when searching for information or buying products.

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



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. 

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 02/07/2023. The listing information on this page last changed on 02/07/2023. 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 Tue 02/07/2023 6:13:32 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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