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!

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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!

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.

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!