Real Estate: Tips Before Closing

brickHomeOne of the events that really puts solidity into the idea you are buying a new home is the final walk through. Unfortunately some home buyers don’t be a lot of importance on this act; in some cases just skip over it. But here it is, your new home, and it will only be a matter of time before the keys are in your hands…That alone is reason to be sure to do a final walk through of the home before closing.

A final walk through is a great opportunity to spot any last minute items that may need attention.

Here are a few things you should be on the lookout for:

Repairs: If it is part part of your purchase contract, the seller may have been required to make repairs. Now is a good time to make sure those have been taken care of to your satisfaction.

Major appliances: Be sure that any items that were to remain in the home are still there, and that they are in good working order.

Other Systems: Does the air conditioning, heat, and plumbing all function?

Remote Controls:  Some may see it as a minor thing but remotes to alarms, garage doors and other controls cost money – in some cases quite a lot of money – so be sure you’ve got them all in hand.

Stolen Sod?! Believe it or not some sellers have been guilty of walking off with the shrubbery! Imagine getting ready for your welcome home bbq only to find your lush oasis of a backyard is now bare! Look over what was there originally, what was agreed upon to stay, and talk to your agent if there are any discrepancies.

Closing time for a home can be a little overwhelming – with all the papers to gather and sign, funds to handle, moving – it can be a whirlwind of tasks. But take the time for a final walk through, it just makes good sense to  make sure everything is as it needs to be before you call it your own.

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Green Living in Idaho: 3 Easy Tips

recycledGreen energy is a hot topic in Idaho these days, and as we move into the long days of Summer conserving energy in your home will become even more important.

Energy saved is money saved! Not only that but by saving energy from being needed to are helping protect infrastructure, limit the possibilities of brown-outs, and are also helping reduce pollution.

Here are three great tips to go a little greener in your home!

Change Those Filters!
Changing your air filters can make a huge difference in the quality of air in your home, especially as we go into these warmer, more dusty months ahead. In most cases changing the filters in your home is something most homeowners can do easily themselves, and filters are generally also very affordable.

Use Greener Bags
It’s a small thing but it really adds up big for the environment – switch to using cloth or fabric grocery bags when you shop. If you must use plastic, or forget to bring your cloth bags from home be sure and recycle those plastic ones next time you go back. Every year millions of plastic bags are produced and thrown away, cluttering our landfills and landscapes; by just making this simple switch we can make a huge cumulative difference.

Conserve Water
This can be done by taking a shorter shower, upgrading your old water heater, or swapping out your fixtures. Modern aerators for instance can be equipped on most faucets and showerheads to decrease the amount of water being used. Toilets as well can be upgraded from old style ones which can require up to 4 gallons of water per flush to more modern versions – saving potentially over 1,000 gallons of water every year.

These are all just minor suggestions that you can implement to save money and energy. It’s amazing how changing just a few small things can make a big difference! As your REALTOR®, it’s more than just selling you a home – we want you to be happy in your home for years to come. If you need the help of an experienced real estate professional we invite you to visit our website to connect with some of today’s top Idaho agents!

Looking for Your First Home? It doesn’t have to be a bumpy road!

reo-homesYou’ve talked about it, maybe even looked around, and it’s final: it’s time to buy your first home and invest in what will likely be one of your most valued assets in years to come. While this is no doubt a thrilling time, it can also be frought with uncertainty and stress – but it doesn’t it have to be. We’ve put together a few things to keep in mind and plan ahead for to help make the buying process a little more hassle-free!

Buy New ? Buy Used?
This is one of the first questions to ask when initially looking for your new home. With real estate in Idaho, especially new construction, beginning to bounce back it some times can be favorable to have a home built new than to buy an existing one. Building new also allows you to pick out more of the details of what you want and to customize the home to you. Buying an existing home may allow you a better location, or a better price, so take both sides of this tip into consideration when browsing properties.

Finding the Right Home
It’s more than price – although an affordable home is always advisable. It’s about the perfect combination of what you want in the home itself, it’s location, it’s cost, and it’s various features. There are millions of ways to find real estate these days; if you’re casually browsing just about any one will do. We definitely recommend searching for a home online before spending time and gas driving all over town. You can find the best homes in Idaho on our website very easily; our agents are always glad to setup a time to show you homes you’re interested in.

Begun the Bidding Wars Have
As the real estate market recovers the return of multiple offers have come back to the market; one of the most frustrating times in the whole home buying process can be just doing the dance that is price negotiation. It is not even uncommon for buyers to be outbid on multiple homes, that they even may have qualified for a mortgage on, which isn’t to say it happens on every home, but be prepared for a little wild west real estate cross fire when it does.

Opening Closing and In Between
Once everything is in place, the home inspection done, and closing begins you can generally breathe a little sigh of relief. Rely on your REALTOR® they are there to answer questions, help your understand the process, and do more than just shuffle the paperwork (although there will be plenty of that to thank them for too!).

We hope these simple things will help you prepare and give you a place to start looking for your new home. If you have any questions we are always glad to help! Feel free to look us up on Facebook as well to see featured homes and stay up on local Boise area information!

Boise: Not to Toot Our Own Horn, but uh, BEEP BEEP!!

riverpeopleIf you’ve ever driven up the road past Lucky Peak and seen people riding their bikes up that hill like it was nothing you know that Boise is bound to be full of a few over-achievers. What with all the top ten lists our little City of Trees was featured in last year it should also be no shocker that we’re already starting 2013 with a BANG!

Real estate is no different! Real estate markets across the nation where median home prices are affordable continue to rise much faster than the nation as a whole, and the capital city of Idaho is one of those rising stars!

Boise – Ranked #3 In Top Performing U.S. Real Estate Markets
Being one of the next up and coming hubs in the Northwest, Boise is poised to lead the pack for 2013. The media home prices here are up 9.1% for the year with houses selling in an average of 70 days; despite a recent climb in prices homes here are still among the most affordable in the country at a $169,000 median price. Much like other cities in this prestigious list unemployment here is well below national norms – 6.2% – and the crowning jewel of the hem state is also home to major employers like Boise-Cascade, Morrison Knudsen engineering, and Micron Technology.

Looking for even more reasons to love living here?
facebookThere are more than just a few! Contact us to find out what a few of our favorite reasons are, or visit our Facebook Fan Page to stay up on the latest events and interact with us online!

Why You Need a Realtor in 2013

dollasThe new year brings bright tidings for real estate and the housing industry for many reasons. Not only is the market seeing a clearing of foreclosure inventory,continued low interest rates, but the upward movement of home prices themselves shows clear improvement on the horizon.

A recent survey by Builder Homesite Inc showed that consumers are reluctant to navigate the home buying process on their own. Over 84% wisely intend to use a Realtor whether shopping for new homes or resales; when asked why they would be getting the help of a qualified agent they listed these great reasons:

  • Get help negotiating terms/prices
  • Find homes that meet their specific criteria
  • Draft offers and contracts
  • Assistance getting through the purchase process
  • Knowledge on marketing conditions
  • References for inspectors and other service providers
  • Knowledge about the neighborhood/area
  • Knowing what comparable homes sell for

It’s no surprise that help negotiating and shuffling the purchase paperwork ranked high in the top reasons to use a Realtor. These tasks tend to be the one’s that can really stymie a transaction; are without a doubt where your agent will really earn their dues.

Are you currently looking to buy a home in Idaho?
Not only can we help you find the right home but we can help make the process as hassle free as possible, whether you are looking to get a new home direct from a builder or are looking for homes already built and ready to go. Search for homes in Idaho on our website and get to know our team of great Boise area Realtors today – your new home for the new year is waiting!

De-stress for the Holidays

giftEveryone knows the holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association 75% of Americans are stressed out as the holidays grow closer. Don’t let the worries of this time of year overwhelm you and ruin the spirit of the season!

Here are some tips to help you de-stress :

Prioritize.
When you know what’s important it makes it easier to accomplish those goals first or devote more focus towards their completion. It is when we forget what we need to put the most attention on that stress can creep in. Without clear priorities you can begin to feel very overrun very quickly. Create just a few moments each day to examine and outline what things are most crucial for that day, or the coming day.

Let go of perfection.
When we aim for perfection more often than not we will find that it is a moving target! We can strive for it, but truly it is not a thing to be obtained; this is sort of related to creating priorities. Is it better to obsess over one goal at the detriment to another? Better to focus on what can be accomplished in one task and then move to the next. Let go of idealized outcomes around the holidays and find value in the simplicity of some things simply being. Start loving your life completely, just as it is, right where you are and you may soon realize that joy flows from within; is not something created outside of our hearts.

Breathe!
Don’t let the insanity of preparation, finding gifts, trying to make everything JUST right ruin the holiday itself. This should be a time of enjoyment, sharing, and appreciating the things you’ve already worked all year to create. Make sure you make time for yourself, just to relax, just to enjoy. This more than anything can help take a lot of the anxiety out of the season.

We want to take this moment to thank you for allowing us to share our services with you over this past year; we feel very blessed to be able to be part of one of the biggest parts of your life – your home. More than a home finding or home selling service, we want to be a resource you can draw upon long after the transaction is done so that we can truly help make your home happier. Be sure to visit our Idaho real estate website for the best homes on the market, and LIKE us on Facebook to stay up on great local events and information!

Featured Star Idaho Home

4 Bedrooms
2.50 Bathrooms
2341 sq. ft.
MLS #: 98505696
Offered at: $201,000.00
Type: Single Family

Live in Star Idaho’s premier community!
Great floor plan with upgrades throughout. Tile in entry, kitchen, utility and baths. Beautiful granite counter top with full tile back splash in kitchen. Large utility with sink on main level. Purchase as little as 3% down, ask your Agent. Property is offered as is only and the seller will not recognize buyer’s personal home inspection reports and requests for repairs. Only items that come from the appraisal as an underwriting condition may be considered. BTVA

Looking for homes in other areas?
You can find the best homes in Idaho on our real estate website! Visit our site today to not only find homes, but also to search automatically, find great info about the area and more.

Stop Storage Stress!

Housing trends are pointing to smaller spaces soon becoming the norm for the homes of the future. Soon gone by are the days of sprawling opulent great rooms and extra formal dining rooms, but that doesn’t mean you have to enjoy less home.

In fact,you may already be in a smaller home and loving that great things come in small packages. Either way we’ve put together some great tips to help you make the most of your storage situation in order to get more space! These tips on storage are simple to incorporate and won’t break the bank!

Organize and De-clutter.
Your home likely already has more room than you would think, but you may not be making the most of that space. Start simple: go through your things and decide what you really need. It may be time to file away those old documents or use organizers to get your closets in line. Look at your items and ask yourself:

“Have I used (or even seen) this object in the last 5 years?” If not, it may be time for it to go.

Bunk up!
By adding a platform to your bed rather than the normal frame you can add a ton of extra room under the space where you sleep. If you don’t want to get rid of your frame you can even just make use of the storage there by getting short storage boxes for easy slide-in storing. Kids rooms? Save floor space by getting bunk beds for the kids! They’ll love having all the extra room to play.

Shoe organizers.
Not just for shoes anymore! Hang them on the back of the pantry door to store tube shaped, or smaller pantry goods. They also work well in any closet for catch-all items; will definitely help you free up a little drawer space.

Ceiling to floor.
Your average store bought book shelf only goes so far – that is to say about 6 feet tall. Consider building or hiring someone to build full length wall shelving for you. Perfect for offices or living rooms, having that extra top shelf storage will give you a place to showcase items that aren’t necessarily used often.

We hope these ideas help you avoid the storage stress. If you take a little time to look over things and get a plan in mind we think you’ll find you have more room than you first thought!

We love connecting online! Please visit our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest Boise real estate news and great home tips!

5 Home Buyer Pitfalls

Buying a home can be a very daunting task. It’s not quite like buying a car, which you can test drive and sort of get a feel for before you’re committed. A lot of home buyers find themselves frustrated with searching and searching, only to have to compromise in the end; often on features they had their hearts set on.

While finding right place is only the beginning, and even seasoned real estate buyers can get impatient with how long of a process it can be, what many don’t realize is that they themselves could be one reason for the search turning into a struggle.

Here are five things that buyers do that may cause them to let the right home slip by.

Not working with an agent.
This first one is a biggie. Sure the internet allows anyone to search and view homes online these days, but what many first timers and casual browsers don’t realize is that by working with a qualified REALTOR® you can save a ton of time by weeding out homes that don’t meet your needs. Your agent will know not only what types of homes you find appealing but also know how much home you are able to buy. Need to find an experienced Idaho REALTOR® ? Find them Here!

Seeing the home only as it is.
This comes down to perception really. Some inexperienced buyers might walk into a home and be instantly turned off by some tiny detail, that really, in the end can be changed. Whether this be the color of the paint, or the type of carpet, don’t get stuck on just one negative thing – try to view the whole home as it could be. You may miss a lot of hidden gems if you are too quick to judge.

Overlooking important details.
we’re all only human; letting important details slide can even happen when making a big financial decision like buying a home. It’s easy to compromise on something actually important because it’s less expensive also – even if later we regret it! Because of this it’s a good idea to sit down and make a list of items that are top priority so you will know in advance what things not to compromise on.

Not having an inspection.
Getting a professional home inspection is crucial before buying. Essentially this will be your only chance to “kick the tires” before you’re signing papers and actually owning any problems. Just like with buying a car, you don’t want to be stuck with a lemon; home inspections give you a real in depth health check for your homes current condition – it also gives you a head start on any possible problems that might show up later.

Watching out for these possible problem areas will save you a ton of hassle throughout the home buying process. Whether you are just starting to look for your potential dream home, or have worn holes in your mouse pad searching already Le Bois Realty can help you! Visit our website today to see what we have to offer!

Back in Black? Stay on Track!

With all the hype about how well the real estate industry is recovering the fact that millions of homeowners are still under their upside-down mortgages has gotten for the most part swept under the rug.

However, not all is gloom Corelogic recently reported, as the number of homeowners underwater is in fact down by nearly 2 million since last year with nearly another 2 million more being within 5% of being back in the black.

There are a number of factors these stats, while not great, are still worth a sigh of relief. These conditions give us strong indicators of a greater market recovery as supply has decreased, lending has loosened up slightly, and interest rates continue to be very, very, very low.

If you are a homeowner who has recently finally surfaced and gotten out from under your upside-down mortgage the future it doubtlessly looking a lot more bright. Maybe even so much so that you’ve been thinking about putting this new found freedom to work, but there are things to consider first to avoid a potential return to the depths.

Sell for the sake of selling.
A lot of homeowners who were underwater have the cabin fever, bad. They’ve felt stuck in their location, held prisoner by the hits to their credit  or crom coming up with the shortfall from their own accounts. Just because your home value is finally headed the other direction is NOT the time to be hasty.

One of the most important things we’ve hopefully learned during this time of recession is that we actually need much less than we thought before. Enjoy the simple things, nurture patience, and use this time to save and invest in order to find better financial integrity down the road.

Cashing Out.
Don’t do it. Just don’t. Using your home as an ATM at this point means putting your home itself at risk.

Everyone’s situation is different but borrowing cash against your home likely isn’t a very wise gamble at this moment. You’ve worked hard to finally level things out; while instant gratification always feels great at first you could literally be putting your home on the line. One exception might be if the borrowed funds were to be reinvested into the home itself in the form of smart improvements – which ultimate would increase the value of the home.

Some smart home improvements will generally be things that make the home more comfortable or efficient, like built-in shelving, dual paned windows, or other green energy improvements. Avoid over the top items like a pool, tennis court, or big garage additions which may not appeal to all buyers.

Flipper? Flopper.
As a rough and tumble veteran of the real estate battlefield you may be feeling gutsy, like maybe using some of that new found equity to become the next Trump is a sure win. While flipping homes can be a viable business model for the small investor you do need to be careful as the easiest mistake is biting off more than you can chew – and it can get you into trouble fast.

In many cities the bottom of the market has already passed; there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to flip even a bargain priced home for a profit if the market stays turbulent. It’s likely unwise to risk your just recovered mortgage status in today’s volatile and uncertain investor market — especially if you’re just getting back on your own feet.

Do you have questions about investing in Idaho real estate? Maybe you are a homeowner still underwater and not sure where to turn. Le Bois Realty can help you either way! We’re glad to help investors find great properties here in the Treasure Valley and we are especially adept at helping homeowners understand mortgage, foreclosure, and short sale processes. Contact us today to find out how we can help!