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Dori Wick
REALTOR®
(208) 869-0282

Date Archives: August 2020

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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
13

Email Alert! Be Aware of Spam, Phishing, & Spoofing

 

How to Spot and Protect Against Scam Emails

From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair

Spam, phishing, and spoofing emails are not legitimate and are phishing for account credentials to your email and/or Dropbox account.  If you have entered any credentials into any link from these types of emails, please call our office so we can help you secure your accounts.

Common Definitions of the Types of Malicious Emails: 

Spam email: usually commercial advertising; usually a result of signing up for something; an economic solution for retailers because email is cheap and most times, free. 

Phishing Email: an email to attempt a fraudulent activity like to steal your account information or personal information, often used in conjunction with spoofing to make the email believable.  A lot of these emails originate from hacked accounts, where a hacker or hack program has gained entry and is using the account to send out these types of email.

Spoofing Email: the forgery of an email header/label so that the message appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source; these can also originate from hacked accounts. Spoofing is often an issue on the recipients' side, not the sender.

All email accounts are experiencing hacks and malicious emails.  Real estate in general gets hit hard… agents are marketed so heavily on the internet.  Your email and phone numbers are out there, along with your profession.  This is an easy target for spammers and hackers to exploit, simply because they know real estate deals with large monetary transactions.

We can set spam filtering rules all day long to thwart against receiving these types of email, but hackers move fast; you block one email address, domain or offending IP, and then they are already on to the next. 

So, what can you do?

The best policy against spam/spoofing/scams is prevention with your email habits. How you handle your email account and emails are paramount.

  1. When opening emails… check the email address, is the email header/name/label for correct to the email account? 
  1. Is the sender one you know? If not, don't open any attachments or click on any links in the email, mark the sender as spam.
  2. Is the sender someone you know sending you something you weren't expecting? Call the sender and verify.  If it's not a legit email, you have then notified them of an issue and they can secure their account -or- if its legitimate, they will verify that they did indeed send what you received and you can safely open.
  1. If you suspect suspicious activity on your email account(s), please report it to us immediately so we can secure your account and stop further damage.
  2. If you get a request to reset a password or confirm account credentials, go directly to the website of the service in question.  Never reset any account credentials from links in an email.
  3. When sending documents, a good practice is a follow-up call to the recipient to let them know you what you are sending and if you password protect a document, provide them the password. 
  4. Set a protocol with your clients and let them know how you handle secure emails (like send and call) and then follow through, every time.
  5. Consider password-protecting documents that you send.
  6. Use a separate email for spam.  Set up an email that is separate from your business and personal accounts to sign up for newsletters, mailing lists, retail purchases, and the like.
  7. Run scans for viruses and malware frequently (every week or month depending on the volume of online activity or emails), but remember, antivirus like all technology, is not fail-proof protection does not protect against 100% of threats.  We like to equate antivirus to snow tires… just because you have them, does not mean you won't get stuck in the snow.
  8. Have a working backup. The majority of ransomware/cryptolocker-style viruses come from infected email attachments; the only way to restore your data is from a backup, not paying the ransom they sometimes request.

If you have any questions about a suspicious email you can always send it to us; REMINDER: because these items are spam, they may end up in our spam filter.  If you do not receive a response within an hour or two, please call our office. 

If you need any assistance with anything else mentioned above, this can be done at tech clinics or remotely. If you have an urgent need, please call or email our office!

____________________________________

Coronavirus – Hygiene and Action Reminder

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

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

 

August
12

The Residential Housing Market in Ada County Sees Record-Setting Numbers

 

Ada County Housing Market Sets Records in July

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

 

In July, the median sales price for homes sold in Ada County reached $390,000, inventory bottomed out at 743, closed sales hit a high mark at 1,402, and pending sales soared to 2,046.

These were all new records since 2004 when BRR started tracking these metrics, and the results of the spring and summer markets being compressed into a shorter time frame after COVID-related slowdowns in March and April.

At $390,000, the median sales price was up 11.7% compared to July 2019 and continues to be driven by the mix of sales. New homes made up 31.1% of all closed sales in July, at a median sales price of $425,000, which was up 9.1% from the same month last year.

The median sales price for the existing segment rose as well, reaching $380,000 in July, an increase of 15.2% year-over-year. Looking more closely at the mix of sales, we see a drop in the number of homes listed and sold between $200,000-$299,999, and a sharp increase in those priced above $500,000, which pushed up the median for the segment and market overall:

There are a number of variables at play when it comes to home prices, but the bottom line is that buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale. The existing homes that are available for purchase are often being listed and are selling at higher prices than in what we saw in 2019. Our market has faced low inventory for years now, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and recession have put even more pressure on the supply/demand relationship.

At the end of July, there was a record low 743 homes available for sale in Ada County, down 56.8% year-over-year. Of those listings, 337 were existing and 406 were new construction.

As mentioned in previous reports, we expected a rebound in closed and pending sales due to pent up buyer demand even before the pandemic hit, so the July sales numbers did not come as a surprise. There were 1,402 home sales in Ada County in July, up 22% compared to the year before and the highest number of sales on record since we began tracking the metric in 2004.

And don't expect things to slow down just yet: Pending sales hit an all-time high of 2,046 in July, which will be reflected in closed sales data in the coming months. The concept of a "traditional buying or selling season" has been forgotten in 2020. As the market continues to change, buyers and sellers are finding it's more important than ever before to rely on the guidance and expertise of a REALTOR®.

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

 

August
11

From Our Lending Partners at Idaho Central Credit Union

 

 

The Services Sector Improves; Inflation Falls

 

Overview

Over the past week, the economic data continued to reflect a stronger than expected recovery following the partial shutdown due to the pandemic. Mortgage rates held relatively steady near-record-low levels.

The major economic reports have broadly revealed a rapid rebound in June and July from the historic weakness seen in April and May, and recent data from the services sector continued the trend. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Services Index rose to 58.1, which was well above the consensus forecast of 55 and the highest level since February 2019. Services account for over two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, and readings above 50 indicate an expansion in the sector.

The decline in economic activity due to the coronavirus has caused inflation to fall, which has helped keep mortgage rates low. In June, the core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index was just 0.9% higher than a year ago, which was down from an annual rate of increase of 1% last month. Core PCE is the inflation indicator favored by the Federal Reserve (Fed), and officials have stated that their target level for annual inflation is 2%.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the broadest measure of economic growth. Economists had long been forecasting massive declines of around 30% to 35% for the period from April through June due to the pandemic, and the actual report revealed that second-quarter GDP fell a record 32.9% on an annualized basis. Early estimates for third-quarter GDP growth are about 20%, which reflects the improvement in more recent economic data.

 

 

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

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 08/14/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/14/2022. 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 Sun 08/14/2022 8:48:52 PM 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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