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Dori Wick
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Date Archives: March 2021

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From Our Lending Partners at Idaho Central Credit Union



The Tide May Be Turning for Mortgage Rates and Inflation

Overview: Over the past week, investors remained focused on the incoming economic data, the vaccine rollout, and government stimulus spending. Mortgage markets continued to be volatile, but rates ended the week with little change.

Two key reports from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) are closely watched by investors each month, and the latest data contained mixed results. The ISM Manufacturing Index rose to 60.8, above the consensus forecast of 59. This was up from a low of 41.5 in April 2020 and matched the highest level since 2004. By contrast, the ISM Services Index declined to 55.3, well below the consensus forecast of 58.5, reaching the lowest level since May. Readings above 50 indicate an expansion, meaning that both sectors are growing. However, manufacturing has been steadily rebounding in nearly every area, while certain services, such as hospitality, are still constrained by the pandemic.

The reduced economic activity resulting from the pandemic caused a significant decline in inflation last year, which was one of the factors responsible for record-low mortgage rates. However, investors are now worried that the trend may have reversed due to improving economic conditions. In January, the core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index was 1.5% higher than a year ago, above the consensus forecast and up from an annual rate of increase of 1.4% last month. The core PCE Price Index is the inflation indicator favored by Federal Reserve officials, and, as such, it more heavily influences monetary policy than other inflation measures.

For more detailed economic information, or to discuss how this affects you, please contact one of our mortgage loan officers by clicking the image below!

Commentary provided by MBSQuoteline



Is This The Year You Should Upgrade Your Kitchen?

Kitchen Upgrade Tips

Many people call the kitchen the heart of the home, and it's easy to see why. It's used by multiple family members throughout the day and becomes a gathering spot for family and friends. And as people spend more time at home, this year is the perfect time to make your kitchen more appealing to yourself and your family as well as to prospective buyers if you're selling your home.

If your kitchen is outdated, an upgrade can improve its appearance and make it easier for you to complete your food preparation tasks. Our real estate agents suggest the following ways to upgrade your kitchen this year:

  • Appliances that feature germ-control  
    Several manufacturers – including LG Electronics and Whirlpool – are set to roll out products that remove germs and allergens. LG, for example, has a refrigerator that uses ultraviolet lights to sterilize. And Beko Electrical Appliances Co. has a fridge that has a disinfection drawer.

  • Lower-maintenance faucets, fixtures, and more 
    COVID-19 has also made homeowners prioritize cleanable kitchen finishes, and in some cases, microbial. Look for coated finishes like smudge-resistant stainless steel and countertops that are non-porous and stain-resistant. In some cases, countertops and other frequently touched surfaces can be antimicrobial.

  • Large kitchen islands   
    With more people staying at home, having room to prep for a meal is more important than ever. That's why homeowners want to add a kitchen island or improve the one they already have. If you choose to upgrade your kitchen with an island, make sure it features storage in the form of shelving, cabinets, or pull-out drawers.

  • Updated hardware  
    You probably don't pay much attention to your kitchen hardware. But if your knobs, pulls, and faucets are outdated, you can easily – and inexpensively – replace them to have a big effect on your kitchen's appearance. New hardware can give your kitchen a more modern, attractive look that creates an instant update.

  • A fresh paint job   
    Painting your kitchen yourself or paying someone to do the job can make your kitchen look newer as it provides an instant refresh. Especially if you don't have much natural light in the room, using a lighter or brighter color can instantly give your kitchen a boost. If you're selling your home, it's best to stick to a relatively neutral color.

  • Upgraded cabinets  
    Cabinets are workhorses in the kitchen, so if something about them has left you less-than-satisfied in their appearance or performance, now's the time to upgrade. Your cabinets don't need to be completely redone to achieve these results – often, a refreshed paint job will be enough to improve their appearance. You can also fix issues such as squeaky doors, chipped paint, and loose handles to help restore your kitchen into a point of pride.

  • New backsplash   
    Installing a new backsplash is a relatively simple and inexpensive task that can have a big impact. Metal tiles, glass, and other materials can be used to make your home's backsplash look sleek and attractive.

  • Modernized lighting   
    Many kitchens have outdated lighting, which negatively impacts the entire appearance and functionality. Choosing upgrades such as pendant lights or interior cabinet lighting can instantly make your kitchen brighter and focus light exactly where you need it.

Contact us if you're interested in listing your home. Our experienced, knowledgeable agents can suggest upgrades that will make your kitchen and home more attractive to prospective buyers while providing a good return on your investment.


DIY Projects Buyers Will Appreciate

DIY Boise Projects

DIY projects can have more of an impact than you'd think. For the cost of nothing more than your time and some inexpensive supplies, you can make your house look more put-together and appealing to prospective buyers. Here are a few easy DIY projects our real estate agents recommend.

  1. Paint the interior.
    It's amazing how much difference a new coat of paint can make, and it's something that's easy (if a little time-consuming) to do yourself. Freshen walls with new paint or cover up hard-to-sell paint colors with pleasant neutral tones. Cabinets in the bathroom and kitchen can be painted too for an easy, updated look.

  2. Match your cabinet hardware.
    What's one thing about a newly renovated kitchen or bathroom? Everything always matches. You can get that same matchy-matchy look yourself by picking out updated, matching hardware for your cabinets. It's easy to change out and will take only an hour or so. It's also a perfect way to finish off freshly painted cabinetry!

  3. Update bathroom fixtures.
    Nothing makes a bathroom look outdated faster than clunky old fixtures. Replacing the faucets in your bathroom or kitchen takes little to no plumbing expertise. With the right tools and armed with advice from home improvement store employees and online videos, you should be able to complete this simple project. The end result: attractive modern fixtures that can do a lot for the overall look of your bathrooms. And while you're at it, the same goes for your kitchen sink!

  4. Change out light fixtures.
    While you're painting and considering which neutral tone to go with, think about changing out those outdated light fixtures. Changing out lighting is a little higher level DIY but still fairly manageable if you're handy around the home. Installing updated lighting fixtures can help you to not only make your home look more modern but also dramatically improve the lighting inside your home. Better lit homes show better and will be more tempting to buyers.

  5. Freshen your landscaping.
    Another easy DIY project you can do is to add interest to your yard. If you've maintained the landscaping around your house, you may not have much to do other than freshening it up a little. But if your yard is very plain and boring, consider adding a little landscaping in a few choice places, especially in the front of the house, with special attention around the front porch. This will help brighten your home's curb appeal and make its listing stand out from other Boise homes for sale.

It's important to be fair and honest with yourself about how much DIY you can handle, but there are plenty of easy projects you can do yourself to help improve your home's value. To consult with an agent about what your home might need before it's ready to be listed, contact us today.


Quick Sales & Home Prices Driven By Insufficient Supply

Insufficient Supply & Rising Home Prices Continue 

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


Builders and prospective home sellers have been unable to keep up with the persistent demand from homebuyers, stemming from general population growth, Millennials "aging into" the traditional homeownership years, in-migration due to our comparative affordability, and now, the ability for many to work from anywhere.​

These reasons, coupled with historically low​ mortgage rates, have resulted in buyer demand outpacing supply for years, which has been driving​ the growth in home prices and increasing the speed of the market.​ In February 2021, the median sales price was $452,400 — up 25.5% year-over-year — and the average days on market metric was 19 days — down 62.0% year-over-year.

Rising home prices are good news for​ prospective sellers, allowing them to utilize​ any equity gained to help with the purchase​ of their next home or a variety of other opportunities. According to a recent Homeowner Equity Insights report from CoreLogic, Idaho ranked second among all states in which homeowners gained the most equity between 2019 and 2020, $48,500 on average year-over-year.

Despite the equity sellers may bring to their next purchase, the tight supply of inventory has made some hesitate to put their current home up for sale until they find their next one.

At the end of February 2021, there were just 168 existing homes for sale — 51.2% fewer than in February 2020. However, there were 65 more homes for sale at the end of February than in January, an increase of 63.1% month-over-month, which we hope is an early indicator of more inventory coming online as the weather warms up.

Looking at weekly activity through the second week of March, new listings were nearly even with 2020 and just below 2019. This is a trend BRR will continue to monitor, keeping in mind any year-over-year comparisons to April 2020 will be skewed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

For those shopping in the new construction segment, there were just 135 homes for sale at the end of February — 80.6% less than the same month last year, and a month-over-month decrease of 18.7%. However, we have heard from some builders that they are selling properties yet-to-be-built, meaning more new homes are available than indicated in the inventory counts.

This tight supply has contributed to the fast, competitive market with homes receiving accepted offers quickly after being listed. Looking at just the existing/resale segment, in February, homes were on the market for just 10 days on average, compared to 32 days last year — a decrease of 68.8% and the fastest we have on record.

New Listings by Week for Existing - Ada County

If you are considering selling your home soon or anytime this year, talk to a REALTOR® right away. Together, you can make a plan that will coordinate your sale and purchase around a timeline that best suits you, keeping these fast market times in mind.

In this planning stage and as part of this pre-sale consultation, your REALTOR® will advise you on what's needed to prepare your home, such as how to declutter, how much to invest in staging, repairs, or updates (or even if that is needed) and will then coordinate the professional marketing to help your home show best and be seen by the widest audience of potential buyers.

Your REALTOR® can also prepare you for the financial and legal implications related to your home sale and purchase, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Determining the appropriate pricing strategy based on nearby sales and the demand for homes like yours.
  • How to best evaluate multiple offers and which contingencies you are willing to accept from buyers (or not).
  • How to avoid fair housing violations when marketing the home and evaluating offers.
  • Tips to keep you safe and your property secure as it relates to COVID-19, audio and video recording devices, property photos, and other potential risk factors.
  • Disclosure of adverse material facts that may be present on the property and whether a pre-listing inspection or home warranty may be worthwhile.
  • Ways to mitigate any capital gains tax, utilize a 1031 tax-deferred exchange or bridge loan, whether or not you should consider a leaseback… and much 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 view the Treasure Valley Market Report for February, CLICK HERE.



Beware of Fake Tax Websites


Millions of Dollars are Lost Each Year to Tax Scams

From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair

The IRS provides a comprehensive list of things to look out for here:

However, we are noticing a new trend on the rise; fake tax websites that mimic or look similar to TurboTax, or other popular online tax filing services.   We are also seeing a rise in phishing emails and malicious pop-ups claiming to be from these well-known tax filing sites.

What can you do to protect yourself and your tax information?

  1. Make sure your computer is updated before starting and logging into any online tax service.
  2. Make sure your computer is clean before starting and logging into any online tax service. We recommend that you run malware removal software each time you login to any online tax program. (MalwareBytes is a free malware removal program that can be downloaded here: Select your operating system under the home section and install.)
  3. Do not visit a tax site from an email or advertisement on Google. Check the web address and make sure you are going to the correct site.  All tax sites have an SSL which means there is security on the site for logging in.  The address should always start with https:// Be cautious of any numbers, letters, or weird domain extensions in the web address.
  4. Do not click on any or call any numbers from popups that say they are from customer support.
  5. Be careful when calling for support, call the number from the tax filing website, not the ones from Google search results.
  6. When saving a copy of your tax return, password protect it. This can be done with Adobe Acrobat (not Adobe Reader) or by putting it into a zip file. Or print and save a paper copy in a secure location.


Please call our office at 208-288-4345 or email us at if you have any questions or would like an appointment to help with any of the above.


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. 

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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