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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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!

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!

Star Idaho Home for Sale

Check out this wonderful listing in Star Idaho!

Gorgeous single level with large upstairs bonus room. Hickory hardwood floors, granite counter tops, tile showers, covered patio, gas fireplace and more!

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

View More Details Here!

Star Idaho, Some History
The first location of the village of Star was one mile to the east of present Star, about halfway between the present town of Star and Star-Emmett junction, and is one of the earliest communities in the Boise Valley. The Pioneer ditch (started in 1863 by M.B. Palmer) and its supply of water allowed the country between Star and Middleton to be settled early. Today Star Idaho boasts a quickly blossoming community of wonderful amenities and a population of right around 6,000! A great town just outside the busy Boise streets; perfect to call home!

Whether you are looking for a home in Star Idaho or anywhere in the Treasure Valley Le Bois Realty can help you find exactly what you are looking for! Visit our website or Facebook Fan Page to search for real estate in your area!

New Homeowners: Pack It Up!

Moving can be one of the most stressful times in your life. SO many things to organize and pack, utilities to shut off, mail to be forwarded, where’s the dog?, did we let everyone know our new address and on and on. Anyone who’s gone through a move before knows there is a lot more that goes into it than there used to be when it was just a matter of finding a buddy with a truck who could be suckered into toiling their weekend away.

To help make your next move easier we’ve put together a few good ideas to keep things going smoothly:

Give Yourself TIME
Moving day will be here sooner than you expect! It seems like there is never enough time to get it all done – so be sure to start early! If you start off from a rush you will only end up making things more difficult on yourself along the way. Start early, do little things each day even if the exact move date isn’t yet set in stone.

Look for Ways to Save
This can be anything from packing your boxes yourself rather than paying the movers to do it, or cleaning up your old house rather than hiring a service before you leave. Packing your own stuff can help insure your things will be safe, and doing your own cleaning will help make sure you get any deposits returned and also save you cost. In many cases there is no need to pay for packing supplies if you are doing it yourself – try hitting up your local appliance, grocery, or department stores to find free boxes!

Keep Your Receipts
Save receipts for moving boxes, packing services, anything that goes into your move, because these things may be tax deductible. To determine who’s eligible, the IRS has set up two tests. Pass them and you can cash in; fail and you have to eat all the costs of your move. Keep in mind, the IRS lets you take this deduction only if you are moving because of a job. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a new job, the same job or your first job.

Make a Checklist
For the super-organized: make a checklist inventory of your packed items. This will help you know exactly what you’ve got to move, and where it needs to go. If you’ve got a lot of stuff a itemized list of your things will make it much easier to move; if you are using a moving service this may be essential if items do get lost.

Color Coordinate
Give each room in the new house a color. Mark the boxes that have the items for those particular rooms with a matching color sticker or tag them with a matching color marker. This is a great way to save time when it’s time to move everything in – you can even assign each family member their own color responsibilities so they can help with the unpacking!

No move is ever 100% for sure hassle free, but putting these tips to work can at least help soothe some of the insanity that usually comes along with the relocation process. If you are moving to Idaho and want to find out more about the area we have a great deal of FREE Idaho Relocation Info on our website; we hope you’ll feel free to contact us if we can be of any help in getting you into the home you’ve been dreaming of.