Sign up to get new listings emailed daily! JOIN SIGN IN
Dori Wick
(208) 869-0282

Date Archives: December 2022

Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.

rss logo RSS Feed
Boise Life | 53 Posts
Buying A Home | 10 Posts
Doers of Good | 12 Posts
Family Fun | 1 Posts
Food | 7 Posts
Gardening | 1 Posts
Get Outdoors | 5 Posts
Holidays | 4 Posts
Home Improvement | 20 Posts
Moving | 5 Posts
News | 67 Posts
Sell a Home | 2 Posts
Selling A Home | 5 Posts
Spring Cleaning | 1 Posts
Technology | 16 Posts
Uncategorized | 1 Posts

2023 Home Resolutions

New Year's Resolution Tips for Your Home

With 2022 almost behind us, it's a good time to reflect upon the year, your wins, losses, and any lessons learned. Every new year brings with it possibilities to improve. ­

Most people vow to exercise, save money, or spend more time with family. Few people remember to set goals to get their homes in shape. Let's look at some New Year's resolutions you can set for your home and how you can go about bringing them to fruition.

  • Declutter and Streamline
    Why wait for spring to declutter? Decluttering is one of the best ways to start the new year. And the best part is you get to feel instantly better about your home. Plus, a decluttered home is so much easier to look after and maintain. Decluttering an entire home is a big job. The best way to tackle the task is going room by room. Contrary to popular beliefs, you don't have to start with the hardest areas. Heading straight into the attic or garage could dissuade all your clean-up efforts. Once you're done decluttering your home, you can declutter other aspects of your life, too, like your digital life and your mind.
  • Reduce Your Energy Use
    Here's a resolution that helps you reduce your carbon footprint and save money. Installing a solar water heating system isn't the only way you can go green. Small things like switching traditional light bulbs with LEDs and getting a smart thermostat could drive your electricity costs down while helping conserve the environment.

    ​​​​​​​Changing your energy consumption habits could also lower your utility costs. Some practices that could help you trim your energy use include:
    • Switching off your appliances when they're not in use
    • Reducing appliance and water use whenever possible
    • Utilizing natural light
    • Buying appliances with a good energy rating
    • Recycling properly
  • Conduct a Safety Check
    Your house may be beautiful, but is it safe? Make a habit of regularly checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replacing the batteries. Repair and replace loose or frayed wires on all electrical devices and have an expert inspect your electrical system for any faults. If you have a pet, you should consider pet-proofing your home. Pets cause over 1,000 house fires each year. Pet proofing will protect your beloved furry friends as well as your home.
  • Improve Ventilation
    Prolonged exposure to polluted air can lead to respiratory conditions and diseases. Use your HVAC system as the first line of defense, and make sure to regularly change your furnace and AC filters. Plus, ensure your kitchen has enough ventilation to get rid of smoke and cooking fumes.
  • Invest in Home Improvement Projects
    Home makeover ideas don't have to involve knocking down a wall or adding square footage. DIY projects are a fun and creative way to spend time with your family and make memories, all while transforming your house into the haven you've always desired.

Dining Options in Old Boise

Old Boise Restaurants

Old Boise dates back to the city's founding in 1863. More than 150 years later, the district has a proud spot on the National Register of Historic Places. When our real estate agents are exploring the charms of Old Boise, they stop for a meal at one of these great restaurants in the area.

  • Guido's Original New York Style Pizzeria - 235 N. 5th St., Boise, ID 83702
    Get a taste of the Big Apple in Boise. At Guido's Original New York Style Pizzeria, they're serving up pies with floppy, foldable slices. Even the decor provides the ambiance of a classic NYC pizza joint. Order a whole pie or grab a slice for a quick and tasty meal. Hours are 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily except Friday and Saturday when hours are extended to 10 p.m.

  • Bar Gernika Basque Pub and Eatery - 202 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83702
    Bar Gernika Basque Pub and Eatery takes classic pub fare to a whole new level. Bar Gernika's menu features traditional Basque dishes such as lamb stew and solomo sandwiches, made with pork tenderloin and pimentos on a French baguette. Bar Gernika is open from noon - 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and noon - 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

  • The Brickyard - 601 W. Main St., Boise, ID 83702
    The Brickyard serves an upscale steakhouse menu in a casually comfortable setting with classic wood and brick accents. All entrées include salad made to order by a tableside chef. If you want a change from baked potatoes or fries, customers rave about The Brickyard's peanut butter mashed potatoes. There is also an inclusive fixed-price menu offering choices such as cider-brined pork and fresh King salmon for $35. On weekends, enjoy lively dueling pianos along with your dinner. Hours are 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. - midnight Friday, and 5 p.m. - 11 p.m. Saturday.

  • Coa De Jima - 615 W. Main St., Boise, ID 83702
    Food is only part of the story at Coa De Jima, where the aim is to provide a "full sensory experience." Owner Nikolai Castoro is the son of Robert and Martine Castoro, founders of award-winning Barbacoa. Both restaurants share the same executive chef, who designed Coa De Jima's modern take on Latin flavors in dishes such as bone marrow tacos and Maine lobster enchiladas. Latin antiques and works by local artists create a compelling visual element in the dining room. Coa De Jima is open at 11 a.m. for lunch Monday through Saturday and dinner at 4 p.m. daily, with Sunday brunch served from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

  • Goldy's Breakfast Bistro - 108 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83702
    It's worth getting up early to start your day at Goldy's Breakfast Bistro. All dishes are made to order using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. Their signature dish, Andalusian Eggs, was once featured in Bon Appetit. Goldy's is also known for their spinach frittata as well as its homemade Hollandaise sauce. Hours are 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. on weekdays and 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. on weekends.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home in Boise? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson for experienced help with all your real estate needs.


'Tis the Season


Believe it or not, fruitcake is a well-loved dessert known throughout the world. It is only in the United States that this cake is the butt of jokes, probably because they were, at one time, mass-produced for mail order and tended to be dry and of questionable age. Some say the ridicule can be traced to Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, but research shows "fruitcake trashing" occurred much earlier in the 20th century.

Though celebrated by some as the delicious tradition it is intended to be (National Fruitcake Day is December 27), others applaud this dense loaf laced with fruit and nuts only when it is flying through the air on National Fruitcake Toss Day, January 3 (or the 7th, depending on which website you visit).

Historically speaking, some believe that ancient Egyptians sent fruitcake to the afterlife with their deceased loved ones. We do know that they did not become common, though, until Roman times, when pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and barley mash were mixed together.

Preserved fruit, spices, and honey were added during the Middle Ages. Sugar became a main ingredient in the 1500s in the American Colonies, and alcohol was widely used starting in the 1800s. Somewhere along the way, nuts became a staple, as well.

Today, fruitcake is served year 'round in Australia, but is generally enjoyed as a Christmas cake across Europe, India, and parts of the Caribbean.

So, will you buck the trend in the U.S. and give this recipe a try? If you don't like it, you can always save it for January 3!

No-Bake Graham Cracker Fruitcake

3/4 c. sweetened condensed milk

3 c. mini marshmallows

1/2 c. orange juice

1 box + 1 inner seal pkg graham crackers

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1 c. raisins

1 c. dates, chopped

1 c. nuts, chopped

16 oz. assorted candied fruit, chopped


Combine milk, marshmallows, & orange juice in large bowl. Let soak 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until marshmallows soften & dissolve slightly. Crush graham crackers into fine crumbs & mix with spices. Add fruits & nuts, stir. Slowly add liquid mixture and stir by hand until well combined.

Press fruitcake into non-stick, lightly greased, or waxed-paper-lined bread pan or mold, cover with plastic wrap, and then with foil. Refrigerate for 2-3 days for flavors to combine. Slice & enjoy.


Instead of the listed fruit, experiment with craisins, dried apples, peaches, mangoes, blueberries, and/or strawberries, or get crazy and use gumdrops, gummy bears, gummy worms, and/or chocolate chips. If you use dried fruit, soak it in additional orange juice (or brandy) in a glass or ceramic bowl (not metal) a few hours or overnight to soften.


Keep Your Online Accounts Safe


From Our Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair

As you prepare for a new year, add to your list a review of your online accounts and the measures you are taking to keep them secure. What steps can you take to keep yourself safe? We recommend the following for ANY online account security. 

  1. ALWAYS use two-step (2FA) or multifactor authentication (MFA) for ANY online account if it is available.  Keep a record of the credentials.
  2. If MFA is not an option, make sure your password is secure even if the site you're logging into does not require it.  We recommend using a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, with numbers AND special characters, and not using any recognizable words.  For example, a password of "Ilovedogsalot" can be made more secure by changing all the vowels to look-alike numbers and special characters, breaking up the actual words into something more secure: !L0v3d0Gs@Lo+. Keep a record of the credentials.
  3. Get into a habit of changing your password on a schedule for non-MFA accounts. Keep a record of the credentials.
  4. Do not use the same password for every site.  Make each password different (even if it is off by one or two characters) and again, keep a record of the credentials.
  5. Do not allow browsers to store passwords.  Yes. It's easy, but is it secure? Not really. Browser hijackers are extremely common and can mine those passwords.  We can help you get your passwords out of browsers if you want to catalog them outside of your computer. 
  6. No one likes to hear this, but sometimes low-tech is ultimately the best tech. Write your passwords down. If you do need to store passwords in a spreadsheet, the spreadsheet can be password protected and should be printed and kept in a safe place.

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


Home Prices Dip Year-Over-Year

From Our Friends At Boise Regional REALTORS®

For the first time since October 2014, the median sales price for homes in Ada County dropped year-over-year. In November, the median sales price of homes sold was $525,000 — 2.5% lower than in November 2021 and 6.5% less than in October 2022.

Home prices are driven by supply versus demand. Higher mortgage interest rates, combined with the swift home price appreciation in the last several years, have decreased purchase power for buyers and lessened demand. As a result, some buyers have made budget adjustments and others have pressed pause on their home search.

Consequently, fewer buyers equated to fewer home sales for the county. There were 548 home sales in November, 39.0% less than a year ago. Of those, 380 were existing/resale homes, down 44.9% from November 2021, and 168 were new construction homes, down 19.2% from last year.

The chart below shows activity for single-family homes with or without acreage, between January 2017 and November 2022. Sales volume is impacted by several factors, one of which is mortgage interest rates as the majority of buyers finance their home purchase. The rapid increase of mortgage interest rates resulted in lower sales throughout 2022.

To attract the buyers who remain in the market, sellers are adjusting prices accordingly or offering buyer incentives like closing cost credits to buy down the interest rate. Lenders are also adapting and offering new programs to help buyers combat higher interest rates.

Those who are able to buy in today's market have more options to choose from and more time to shop for a home than they would have a year or even six months ago. There were 1,843 homes available for purchase in Ada County in November, 131.5% more than in November 2021. Homes that closed in November spent an average of 47 days on the market before going under contract, compared to 29 days this time a year ago.

So, what's next? Mortgage interest rates have declined in recent weeks, from the most recent high average of 7.08% on November 10, 2022, to 6.33% on December 8, 2022, according to Freddie Mac, retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. While uncertainty remains around what mortgage interest rates will do — especially in response to any future Fed rate adjustments — real estate professionals are hopeful rates will continue to decline or at least stabilize in 2023.

BRR will provide the full 2022 housing statistics in our December Market Report next month, but in the meantime, here are a few forecasts from national economists for the coming year:

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


Tips for Budgeting for Your New Home



Buying your dream home should be one of the most joyful events, and Idaho Central wants it to be that way. Although buying a home can be stressful at times, especially when it comes to the expenses that come along with it, taking the time to budget for a new home can save you from some of the stress, making buying your dream home a dream experience as well! So, how do you budget for a new home?

Calculate household income after tax

When you're considering buying a new home, it's important to calculate your household income after taxes first. Calculating your household income after taxes is the first step to not only budget for your dream home, but also for your day-to-day budget. Experts recommend that your cost for housing should account for no more than 25% of your monthly budget. Taking your household income after tax into consideration will help you determine just how much home you can afford, and give you a starting point to create your savings plan.

Calculate household expenses

After you calculate your household income after taxes, it's time to calculate your expenses. Expenses include savings, food, utilities, transportation, health, recreation, personal spending, charitable donations, and more. While experts recommend 25% of household income for your housing expenses, it also needs to make sense with your other expenses. Setting up a budget can help you have a good grasp of what you typically spend each month, and what you can really afford for a mortgage payment.

Save for a deposit to avoid PMI

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is often required for mortgages that have less than a 20% down payment. PMI typically costs between 0.5% and 1% of the entire loan amount. If you are able to save for a down payment that allows you to avoid PMI, it will save you on a monthly basis. Avoiding PMI helps lower the monthly payment on your mortgage, so you'll have more room in your budget for expenses or to put into savings.

Determine what you can afford

After calculating your income, budgeting for all of your monthly expenses, and following the 25% guideline, you will have a good idea of how much you can afford in a monthly payment. For example, if your monthly income after taxes is $1,000, you can afford $250 in monthly housing expenses. You can also use our Mortgage Qualifier Calculator to calculate how much of a purchase price you can afford based on your monthly payment. In addition to these resources, it is important to remember that housing expenses include more than just the mortgage payment. It also includes taxes, homeowner's insurance, maintenance costs, homeowner's association fees, and so forth. For example, if you can afford a $1,000 monthly housing payment, $850 might be for your mortgage (including principal, taxes, and insurance), $50 might be for your homeowner's association fee (HOA), and $100 might be for any maintenance costs. Your realtor and loan officer will be able to assist you with this information as you shop for your dream home.

Get pre-approved

While these are some general tips on how to help you budget for your dream home, it's still important to get officially pre-approved and see how much of a loan you are able to qualify for. By getting pre-approved, you will know how much you can afford and are approved for based on your actual financial situation, and you'll be able to consider homes within that range.

Check your dream home

It's important to remember to do your due diligence and investigate your new home. This includes hiring an appraiser and a home inspector. An appraiser will determine the value of the home and ensure that you are not paying more than it is worth. A home inspector will ensure that the foundation is sound, AC and furnace systems are functioning properly, and that the roof is safe. Some might even give you an estimated life expectancy. For example, if the inspection report shows that your roof has the potential of leaking very soon, it's important to negotiate your purchase price so you can afford to get the roof replaced or require that it is repaired before you close on the home.

Using these tips can help give you confidence in navigating the process of purchasing your dream home while making it simpler for you. Happy house hunting!


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 - and find out about our first-time homebuyer programs - today!



6 Things to Do at Idaho Ice World

Idaho Ice World

Whether you want to satisfy your competitive spirit or just enjoy some pleasant exercise, Idaho Ice World is a skating facility to accommodate anyone. When our real estate agents want some quality ice time, these are their favorite activities.

  1. Public Skating
    Regardless of age or level of experience, everyone is welcome at Idaho Ice World's public skating times. Sessions are held during afternoons and evenings to fit most schedules. Skate rental is available for $4, with an additional $1 for EZ Skater trainers. Admission (without rental) is $8 for adults and $7 for ages 4-12, with ages 3 and under admitted free. Season passes are offered for both individuals and families. Visit the website for a full schedule.

  2. Freestyle Skating
    Do you have a budding Tara Lipinski or Scott Hamilton in your family? They can practice their spins or get private lessons during freestyle skating times. Skaters who are working on competition routines have a chance to practice with their musical accompaniment played on the loudspeaker. Admission is $14 for a one-hour session, and tickets may be purchased online. Visit the website for available times. 

  3. Skating Lessons
    Every year, Idaho Ice World's Learn to Skate program is recognized as a Top-10 program by U.S. Figure Skating, the sport's national governing body. Classes are conducted in two-month sessions, with skaters grouped by age and skill level. There is a special Spuds & Tater Tots program for ages 2-4. In-house coaches are also available for private lessons tailored to a skater's particular needs and goals. Visit the website for more information about pricing and schedule. 

  4. Pick-Up Hockey
    Can't find enough people for a team? Head to Idaho Ice World for some pick-up hockey. Full protective gear is required, and sessions are BYOP (bring your own puck). Space is limited to 20 participants, ages 18 and up. Admission is $14, and tickets may be purchased online. Visit the website for a full schedule.

  5. Stick Time
    It can be tough finding a place to practice hockey skills around Boise homes for sale. Fortunately, Idaho Ice World conducts a number of Stick Time sessions to practice skating, stickhandling and shooting. All skaters ages 17 and under must be in full protective gear, while older skaters are required to wear a helmet, and everyone must BYOP. Admission is $12, and sessions are limited to the first 30 skaters. Tickets may be purchased online. Visit the website for the full schedule, including 12-and-up and senior sessions.

  6. Hockey Learn to Play
    If your child dreams of following in the skates of Wayne Gretzky, Hockey Learn to Play (HLTP) is the place to be. Novice players receive training in all the fundamentals, including basic stance, stride, knee bend, use of skate edges, and holding a stick. Full protective gear is required, and Idaho Ice World has a limited amount of equipment provided at no charge on a first-come-first-served basis. All "rental" equipment must be returned at the end of the session. Classes are offered four times a year in two-month sessions and must be completed before joining youth hockey leagues. Visit the website for the schedule and pricing.

With the upcoming Christmas break, a trip to Ice World will be a great way to give everyone in the family some fun exercise. Make a plan now to get to the rink. NOTE: Ice World is closed on both Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Let us use our skills to help you glide through the process of buying or selling a home. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson for more information.


Doers of Good: I Am Zambia


"Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects." – The Dali Lama

This is a story about two moms, their mission trips to Zambia with Mothers Without Borders, and the realization that more needed to be done to help stop the generational poverty they witnessed. I Am Zambia was co-founded by Diane Terry and Heidi Kiene who, during their visits to Lusaka, Zambia in south-central Africa, learned that adolescent girls are among the most vulnerable groups in Zambia. As females, they are often denied education and can be forced into child marriage, exploitation, and trafficking.

These two brave moms knew something more needed to be done, and I Am Zambia was created in 2015. With the ambitious goal of empowering vulnerable youth and young women in and around Lusaka, the 501(c)3 organization strives to educate, provide job training, spearhead community sustainability projects, and much more. 

When CBT Realtor® Karen Emerson met Diane and Heidi, she was in awe of what the women and their supporters have accomplished in such a short time. She knew she had to help where she could.

 "When I found out that women in this region often travel over three hours a day to bring water to the village for their families and that they are regularly denied an education, I knew I wanted to help," Karen explains. "This organization is helping through a multitude of efforts, but just teaching self-care to women in the village is a huge start."

 In the short time since its beginning, the non-profit has built a nationally accredited girls' business/entrepreneurship school focusing on job-skills and vocational training under the direction of the Zambian Ministry of Education TEVETA (Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority) program. Their first graduating class of 2022 had 55 students enrolled in four disciplines: food production, fashion and design, cosmetology, and computers/technology. 

Since 2017, IAZ has opened a rural primary school emphasizing literacy for young Zambians, built a medical clinic that serves 17 villages and 25,000 people, opened a restaurant so the girls can continue their learning, built a 3-classroom block, started garden projects, and installed water projects to serve the clinic, the school, and over a thousand people in the surrounding area. They see themselves as a holistic organization, meaning that, although education is their primary focus, ensuring clean water and basic medical care are available helps with their educational endeavors. Everyone learns better when their basic needs are met.

When asked how they've accomplished so much in such a short time, co-founder Heidi explains, "Our U.S.-based administrative staff are all non-salaried volunteers. This allows our donation dollars to go directly to the programs in Zambia. A donation to our program is an investment in an organization that provides not only hope, but successful outcomes for some of the most vulnerable folks on the planet."

Karen loves sharing the message and encourages donations. "Such a small amount of money can change the lives of so many," she says.

To find out more about I Am Zambia and how you can help, please visit


Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we have featured over the last year or tell us in the comments below about what lights your fire when it comes to making our communities better.

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 03/20/2023. The listing information on this page last changed on 03/20/2023. 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 Mon 03/20/2023 8:52:14 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. --

Privacy Policy / DMCA Notice / ADA Accessibility

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder