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Date Archives: May 2021

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Pets and Plants - What's Not Safe?

Boise North End

Now that spring has arrived, many of us are welcoming tulips, daffodils, and other perennials to our gardens. After a gray and gloomy winter, the bright blooms are a glorious sight!

Local stores and greenhouses are overflowing with colorful flowers, creating the yearly hustle to get pots and beds planted to adorn our homes. It's hard to believe that these beautiful posies could cause our pets harm, but, sadly, many can cause intestinal upset, and some can lead to death.

When making your shopping list, here are some spring plants that can cause serious harm to your four-legged family member. If you have any of these perennials/bulbs planted where your fur-kids can get to them, you might consider moving them to a different location.

All Lilies

Both blooms and leaves can result in kidney failure in cats. Many varieties, including peace lilies, calla lilies, and autumn crocus are dangerous to dogs, as well.


These beauties (including paperwhites and narcissus) contain lycorine that can be poisonous to pets. The toxins are primarily in the bulbs but leaves and blooms can also cause cardiac arrhythmias and convulsions.


Common in hanging baskets and pots, geraniums can cause skin rashes, low blood pressure, lethargy, and loss of appetite.


Like daffodils, most of the toxins in tulips reside in the bulbs, however, the rest of the plant can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive drooling.


Popular for their ease of growth, begonias can thrive in many conditions, but can cause serious burning and irritation of the mouth, tongue, and lips.


Ingesting any part of this plant can result in vomiting, seizures, and cardiac arrest.

For printable lists of toxic and non-toxic plants, visit


Helpful Tips for Starting a Compost Pile

Composting Tips

Compost is so often the key to a beautiful, healthy garden; however, many people shy away from composting because they believe it's too complicated or messy. With the right combination of ingredients, composting can be easy and odorless and can make a huge difference in your garden.

Many of these Boise homes for sale have beautiful gardens, which are likely a result of a good compost pile. If you've been thinking about composting, below are some tips to help you get started.

  1. What Is Composting?
    Compost is a collection of decomposing organic materials that can be added to your garden to enrich the soil and promote plant growth. Compost is a nutrient-rich substance comprised of the right combination of food scraps and yard waste. Compost provides humic acid and microbes to your soil, which delivers nutrients to plants.

  2. How To Make Good Compost
    The key to making good compost is to strike the right balance between carbon and nitrogen. For the most effective, best-smelling compost, our real estate agents usually recommend a carbon (brown materials) to nitrogen (green materials) ratio of 25 to 1. If you add too much carbon, the decomposition process will be slow. If you add too much nitrogen, your pile may be stinky, messy, and attract unwanted animals or pests. 

  3. Start With A Good Container
    You don't need to go overboard with a container. It just needs to be capable of holding all of your ingredients. Wooden crates or wired cages can work. However, an actual bin is usually your best option as it's capable of retaining heat, which helps increase decomposition. Keep in mind, your compost must be turned on a regular basis to promote oxygen. As a result, some people invest in a compost tumbler, which can be easily rotated.

  4. Add Carbon Materials
    Brown materials are rich in carbon and include tree branches, newspaper, napkins, cardboard, sawdust (non-treated wood), coffee filters, tea bags, leaves, hay, and straw. Carbon materials should make up the majority of your compost. Remember, aim for a 25:1 carbon to nitrogen ratio.

  5. Add Green Materials
    Green materials contain nitrogen and are an essential part of your compost pile. Grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, leftover food, tea bags, and eggshells are all items rich in nitrogen. Remember, your compost pile only needs a small amount of nitrogen in relation to carbon. 

  6. Items Not To Include In Compost
    There are some items that should never be included in compost. Anything that contains meat, oil, or grease, treated wood, pet feces, and dairy products should never be included in compost. These materials will not only smell bad, but they'll also attract animals and unwanted insects.

  7. How Long Does It Take To Make Compost?
    The composting process can take anywhere from three months to a year. The timing ultimately depends on the items you use, the carbon/nitrogen balance, heat exposure, and oxygen exposure. One way to increase how quickly your compost decomposes is to shred your carbon items before adding them.

Compost is so important when it comes to gardening and the environment. For more landscaping tips, contact us today.


Housing Market Pace and Prices Pick Up in April

Our Area's Insufficient Supply of Homes Continues to Affect the Market Pace and Home Prices 

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


Note: Last year, our April 2020 market report showed a nearly 20% drop in sales year-over-year in Ada County, a figure not seen since 2011. This did not come as a surprise as REALTORS® and consumers heeded the statewide stay-home order that was in place at that time, and as anticipated, sales rebounded as we moved through the phased re-opening plan. Since there will be stark fluctuations when comparing activity this year to last year, we will present any year-over-year comparisons with both 2020 and 2019 figures, where applicable, but focus on month-over-month changes in the next few reports.


The speed at which Ada County homes went under contract accelerated in April 2021 as the average number of days between when a home was listed for sale and an offer was accepted dropped to a record low of 14 — 36.4% faster than in March 2021. Existing homes had accepted offers within an average of just 10 days — 28.6% faster than last month.

The fast pace of the market was due to the insufficient supply of homes for sale compared to buyer demand. This imbalance in supply versus demand, as well as the fact that nearly 70% of buyers of existing/resale homes paid more than the list price last month, put upward pressure on home prices. The median sales price in April reached a record $489,000 for existing/resale homes — up 2.8% from March 2021.

Another factor impacting price was the historically low mortgage rates, which enabled some buyers to purchase at these higher price points, or, allowed them to increase their offers to be more competitive. In April 2021, the 30-year fixed rate was at 3.1%, on average, compared to 3.3% in April 2020 and 4.1% in April 2019.

As more homes sell above the listed price, many sellers rely on research provided by their REALTOR® to set the price initially and what they will accept.

REALTORS® offer sellers guidance when it comes to setting their list price by comparing similar homes that recently sold nearby or are currently on the market, making adjustments for square footage, upgrades, amenities, location, and so on. Your agent might suggest various pricing strategies to ensure the home is listed within common price range searches to get in front of more buyers, or, suggest a price below similar market comparables to encourage more offers, which often results in higher sales-to-list price ratios or multiple offer situations.

Ultimately, the decision on what the property will be listed for is made by the seller based on their goals, and the sold price is determined by what buyers are willing to pay.

New construction home prices also reached a median sales price record of $469,900 in April 2021 — an increase of 1.9% from March 2021. In addition to buyer demand, prices for new homes reflect the ever-increasing cost of materials, especially lumber. Using the most recent data available, through March 2021, the national price of lumber and wood products increased by 28.8% since 2020, and by 30.5% since 2019.

These costs are being passed along to homebuyers, and due to the uncertainty in the availability and price of materials, some builders are holding back available inventory until they are closer to delivery so they can price the property based on the actual build cost.

Producer Price Index by Commodity - Lumber and Wood Products

But because some prospective sellers are also holding back existing homes from the market — sometimes due to concerns over COVID-19, but more often so they can find their next home before listing their current one — the extreme lack of existing supply has made new homes less expensive, on average, than existing homes for the past three months.

These unprecedented trends of new homes selling for less than existing homes, the willingness of buyers to pay over list price, and the record fast market times illustrate the incredible demand we've been experiencing, driven by low rates and insufficient supply.

One trend we hope to see continue was the uptick in inventory between March and April. The number of homes for sale was up 22.4% month-over-month with 361 homes available at the end of April. Additionally, another 671 homes became available and went under contract during the month, for existing and new construction combined. While the market is moving fast, these figures show that inventory is available.

If you're considering selling, reach out to a REALTOR® today to get current and hyper-local research to guide your list price decisions and to expose your home to the widest pool of potential buyers through the multiple listing service.

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 April, CLICK HERE.



From Our Lending Partners at Idaho Central Credit Union



Job Gains See a Startling Plummet Lowering Mortgage Rates

This past week marked disappointment in the labor market as job gains see a startling plummet. The major economic data accompanied by Friday's labor market report fell well below analyst expectations. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week lower.

Why Did We See Such a Shortfall in Job Gains?

The monthly employment report was highly anticipated. Without a doubt, the report saw an enormous miss, but the reason why is far less clear. In April, job gains saw a surprising downturn when the economy gained just 266,000 jobs. Thus, job gains notched far below the consensus forecast of 975,000.

To make matters worse, the unemployment rate increased to 6.1%. Therefore, the unemployment rate rose above the consensus for a total decline to 5.8%.

Now, investors debate the cause of the shortfall. Whereas some believe it is due to unexpectedly slow job creation by companies, others feel that there is a lack of available workers to fill positions.

While job gains experienced this decline, the average hourly earnings showed positivity. Analysts consider average hourly earnings to be an indicator of wage growth. In April 2021, earnings rose 0.7% from March. Due to this outcome, average hourly earnings slightly increased above the consensus forecast.

However, they still were only 0.3% higher than a year ago, down from an annual rate of increase of 4.2% last month. The rapidly shifting proportion of higher paying and lower paying jobs in the U.S. has made average wage growth highly volatile in recent months.

Manufacturing Fell Short of Forecasts

Aside from job gains seeing a startling plummet, there were a couple of other significant economic reports released this week from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). However, they also fell short of the forecasts.

The ISM national manufacturing index unexpectedly dropped to 60.7. This statistic is well below the consensus forecast of 65.0. Similarly, the ISM national services index fell to 62.7. Once again, the data declined below the consensus of 64.0.

Overall, these two reports did not meet the elevated expectations of investors. However, levels above 50 indicate that the sectors are expanding. In conclusion, both reports remained quite strong by historical standards.

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead after the surprising drop in job gains, investors still monitor global COVID-19 case counts and vaccine distribution.

Beyond that, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) releases on Wednesday. Analysts and investors widely follow the CPI monthly inflation report. They use this data to gauge the price change for goods and services.

Retail Sales comes out on Friday. Since consumer spending accounts for over two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, retail sales data is a key indicator of growth.

Commentary provided by MBSQuoteline

For answers to your questions regarding this information and what it might mean for you, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to help!



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.

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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