Tips For First-Time Home Buyers

It’s May 2024, and we are just entering the prime home-buying season in the Treasure Valley. The cold, dark days of winter are behind us and warm, long summer days are ahead; many people are starting to prep their homes for selling. For the new home buyers out there, we have some advice as you plan to look for and purchase your first home this year. There are great opportunities out there we don’t want you to miss out on!

While you’re starting to look for your first home, don’t let emotions rule your decision. There won’t always be the perfect house or the perfect buying situation, but there are plenty of good houses out there, and always the option to sell again in the future. Take into account the neighborhood, the size of the house you need, and your credit score before making a decision. Getting advice from multiple lenders and a real estate agent will also help as they know the market and state of the economy better than most.

Another piece of advice for first-time home buyers is don’t drain your savings! Pay attention to hidden home-owning costs, the percentage of a down payment (which can vary from house to house), and the cost of moving itself. Keep well within your budget, but don’t wait around for the unicorn home, be reasonable and flexible.

Don’t be afraid of fixer-uppers, older homes in need of a few renovations or yard clean-ups. Those kinds of houses are great for first-time homeowners, you get to build equity through renovations over time and can eventually sell for more than you bought it for. The prices for older homes tend to be less than those of newer homes as well, so they can fit better in your budget.

There’s a lot to keep in mind as a first-time home buyer, but don’t let the stress take over your life! Getting a good team of people to help you with advice and knowledge makes a big difference in the ease of the experience. We at TV Idaho RE and PM are happy to help you find the home of your dreams, contact us to see how we can help you!

Buying a Home with Today’s Interest Rates?

Should you buy a home with today’s high-interest rates? What is on the horizon for interest rates across the country? Growing rate numbers have spooked many potential home buyers, and since we’re moving into the colder months of the year, only serious home buyers and sellers will be left on the market. So if you’re serious about buying a home this autumn and winter, what do you need to know about the interest rates, and is it wise to still proceed with home buying?

 

Mortgage rates in the U.S. right now are the highest they have been in years, and many home buyers believe it’s a bad time to be buying a home. That might not be the case for everyone, however. The classic phrase for home buying is “marry the house, date the rate,” which means that if you love the home and plan to live there for a while, have enough for a down payment, and have good credit; buy the home! You can always refinance later, and you can’t wait out the market forever.

 

Some reasons that you may want to instead wait for a while before buying a new house might include inventory increasing and personal finances. If the market is building, you might want to wait and see what will be available in a few weeks. And if your personal finances aren’t ready for home buying then definitely hold off on joining the home hunt! Only buy when buying won’t make you broke.

 

Before you put your house on the market, make sure that you find a trusted, experienced real estate agent who will be able to help you time the market and make sure you can afford what you want. We at Treasure Valley Real Estate will be able to help you find the house of your dreams while working around your budget and the current market!

Is Summer the Best Time to Sell Your Home?

Summer is a busy time for real estate in the Treasure Valley, but is it the best time for you to sell your home? Sellers want to list their homes at the best time of the year so they can sell quickly for the best price. Summer is a convenient time for many people, long daylight hours and nice weather are good for showing off the interior of your home and relocating before school starts is ideal for families with young children. However, there are pros and cons to any season for the real estate market, and often one season will be better in one state versus another.

Spring is considered to be a wonderful time for selling a home. The weather warms up from the cold of winter, flowers and budding trees add to curb appeal, prices increase as demand starts to build, and the soft light of spring illuminates house interiors in the best ways. Since Spring is such a good time for sales, that also means that there will be more competition on the market, contractors and designers will be kept busy and potentially will be hard to schedule, and windy, stormy Spring days can make it hard to keep your home looking show-ready.

Summer has easier scheduling of contractors and less wild weather to combat. Homes sold in July and August sell faster than in any other month of the year, over 5 days quicker on average, and Summer sales have made up 40% of historical real estate sale volume. Buyer demand is high in the Summer months, and bright daylight will show off your home well into the evening. The often oppressive heat will sometimes scare off all but dedicated home buyers and make it difficult to work on keeping your home show-ready, and there will still be plenty of competition to combat, as well as many people taking vacations which interfere with showings and paperwork. However, moving is far easier in the summer because of the more predictable weather and if you have vacation days off from work, why not use them to get into your new home?

Autumn’s colorful foliage and mild lighting can bring appeal to listed homes, and there is less competition on the market as inventory drops from Summer’s peak. Homes still sell fairly fast and prices can be higher in October-November compared to other months of the year. People want to buy and sell their homes before the busyness of the holidays, but buyer interest will begin to fade by the end of the Autumn months, and there is also the constant outdoor cleanup to take into account.

Winter’s cold and harsh conditions usually mean fewer buyers are venturing out in search of a new home, but those that brave the temperatures and busyness of the holidays are committed and ready for home-buying. There is significantly less competition on the market, and holiday décor can make the interior of your home warm and inviting. Prices tend to drop in the Winter months, and homes can take much longer to sell than in other months, but with motivated buyers, there may be less waiting time after a showing until the final sale happens.

The best time to sell your home is honestly the time that works best for you and your lifestyle! If you’ve got young kids at home, Summer may be the best time, before school starts up again. Or maybe Autumn and Spring’s soft lighting and mild weather appeal to you more as you ready your house for showings. Whatever you decide, we at Treasure Valley Real Estate are more than happy to help you with the whole buying and selling process; we want to help you find the home of your dreams.

Buying Tips and Market Update for 2023?

Many home buyers, first-timers and well-seasoned alike, are struggling to understand how to best go about finding and purchasing their next home in this current real estate market. The intimidating prices, interest rates, and lack of inventory over the past few years have been too much for many home buyers to wade through; but we’re here to help you make sense of this current housing market and get the house of your dreams as stress-free as possible!

Now is a great time for buyers to start looking for their new homes! Home loan rates have improved, and buyers no longer have to worry about needing to make quick decisions and having the homes they’re interested in bought before they have a chance to submit an offer. There is plenty of time to make calculated decisions, and many housing options to choose from.

The Treasure Valley real estate market has continued to slow down over the autumn months and into winter. The inventory of homes for sale has grown, during November of 2022 inventory rose to an increase of over 42% from November of 2021. We have around 3 months of inventory on the housing market right now, and a well-balanced supply would be 5 months. We’re almost there! Houses are on the market for longer, prices are lower and the market is slower. These three things help lean the market towards being a strong buyer’s market.

Quick decisions are still necessary to make if you’re a home buyer, however; stalling once you’ve found the home you want is never a wise course of action. Go into home buying prepared, and know how much you’re willing and able to spend and what kind of home you’re looking for. Make sure you have a realistic budget in mind, and that you’re ready for the financial commitment of buying a home. Have patience and be smart, but don’t be anxious; home buying doesn’t need to be as stressful as many people make it out to be.

Having a good, trusted agent to help you walk through this adventure will help the most with buying (and selling!) homes. Experienced real estate agents know what to look for and how to help with any unexpected things that may occur with the purchase. We at TV Real Estate along with our terrific team offer our services with helping you buy the home of your dreams in this new year. We’ll will walk alongside you the whole way there and deal with whatever comes your way.

About the Treasure Valley

The Majestic Treasure Valley

Dreaming of a place where incredible skiing is just minutes away?
Where you’re a short drive from wilderness where the deer and the antelope really do play? (Not to mention elk, moose, bighorn sheep and river otters.)
Where you can see opera or live theater without searching for parking or fighting traffic?

Stop dreaming and pack your bags for a virtual visit to the Treasure Valley!

No longer just for the outdoor lover, southwest Idaho has become a haven for those seeking a better life. With mountains at your front door and rivers pulsing through the heart of vibrant communities, the Treasure Valley has everything you’re looking for.

Terrain

The Treasure Valley spans the Snake River plain from Mountain Home, Idaho, in the east to Ontario, Oregon at the west. Its varied terrain includes high deserts, mountains, forests, lush farmland and river valleys. Within it you’ll find tiny communities that have changed little in the last hundred years and the vibrant capital city of Idaho, Boise, a growing, thriving commercial and business center that retains the charm of a small town.

Boise History

Boise’s trees in the high desert setting inspired French Canadian fur trappers to name the river and valley after them (Boise translates to wooded in English). The Boise valley remained merely a corridor through which emigrants passed until gold was discovered in 1862. Enterprising developers established the town to supply the many nearby mining camps, and to serve as a governmental center. A fort was built in 1863, and in 1864 Boise was made the territorial capital. Railroads arrived in the 1880’s, an irrigation system in the early 1900’s, and the rest is history.

Treasure Valley Communities

The Treasure Valley is composed of the major community of Boise with outlying communities in Ada, Canyon and Elmore counties. These include Mountain Home, home of one of the largest Air Force bases in the United States; Nampa, site of the Snake River Stampede, one of America’s top 25 rodeos; Caldwell, home to Albertson College; and the communities of Meridian, Kuna, Eagle, Star, Emmett, Weiser, Parma, Wilder, and Marsing, Idaho and Ontario and Payette, Oregon. The Boise Metropolitan Statistical area of Ada and Canyon counties has a population of 465,000.

Economy

The economic base for the Treasure Valley is diverse, including manufacturing, agriculture/food processing, medical, high tech, services, government and education. The valley is headquarters to several large employers: Albertson’s, Micron Technology, Morrison Knudsen Corporation (renamed Washington Group International). Boise Cascade Corporation (now named Boise) and the J.R. Simplot Company. Boise is also the location for the Hewlett-Packard Company’s largest and most profitable division of its 60 worldwide facilities. The Treasure Valley is also hospitable to entrepreneurs, with self-employment the fourth fastest growing industry in Idaho.

Education

The Treasure Valley is the home of Boise State University, with an enrollment of 18,000. Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa provides undergraduate and graduate degrees to its 1500 students. In Caldwell, Albertson College of Idaho is a small, prestigious private college boasting several Rhodes scholars as graduates. Treasure Valley Community College has campuses in Ontario and Nampa. Idaho State University and the University of Idaho also maintain active satellite campuses in the valley.

Arts & Entertainment

For those who seek cultural enlightenment, the city is home to several live theater companies including the 26-year old Shakespeare Festival, Ballet Idaho, Opera Idaho and the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra. Venues such as the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, the Boise Pavilion on the campus of Boise State University, the newer Bank of America Centre in downtown Boise and Idaho Center in nearby Nampa are host to a large number of productions including the annual Gene Harris Jazz Festival, touring Broadway stage shows and local and nationally prominent musicians.

Sports

The sports-minded can attend professional hockey (Idaho Steelheads), basketball (CBA Idaho Stampede) and baseball (Boise Hawks) events, or see any number of exciting sports in the Boise State University athletics program.

Dining

Boise’s downtown retains its vibrancy day and night. After the thriving business day ends, Boiseans find company, food, and entertainment in a growing number of downtown restaurants and clubs, many with open-air dining.

Seller Tips

Enhance Curb Appeal: First impressions matter. Invest in simple improvements like landscaping, exterior painting, and cleaning up the front yard to make your home more inviting from the curb.

Declutter and Depersonalize: Clear out personal items and excess clutter to help potential buyers envision themselves living in the space. Depersonalizing allows them to focus on the features of the home rather than being distracted by personal belongings.

Make Necessary Repairs: Take care of any visible repairs before listing your home. This includes fixing leaky faucets, repairing cracked tiles, replacing broken fixtures, and addressing any other minor issues that could deter buyers.

Stage Your Home: Consider staging your home to showcase its full potential. This may involve rearranging furniture, adding decorative accents, and creating a welcoming atmosphere that appeals to a broad range of buyers.

Highlight Key Features: Identify and highlight the most attractive features of your home, such as updated appliances, hardwood floors, spacious closets, or a beautifully landscaped backyard. Make sure these features are prominently displayed in your marketing materials.

Price Your Home Competitively: Research comparable properties in your area to determine a realistic listing price for your home. Pricing too high can deter potential buyers, while pricing too low may leave money on the table. Work with your real estate agent to find the right balance.

Utilize Professional Photography: Invest in high-quality photography to showcase your home in its best light online. Professional photos can significantly enhance the appeal of your listing and attract more potential buyers.

Market Your Home Effectively: Utilize a variety of marketing channels to reach potential buyers, including online listings, social media, open houses, and signage. Make sure your home is visible to as many prospective buyers as possible.

Be Flexible with Showings: Make it easy for interested buyers to view your home by being flexible with showing times. Accommodating potential buyers’ schedules can increase the likelihood of receiving offers.

Consider Home Inspections in Advance: Consider getting a pre-listing home inspection to identify any potential issues beforehand. This allows you to address problems proactively and gives buyers confidence in the condition of your home.

By following these tips, first-time home sellers can increase the likelihood of selling their home for the maximum value at the time of sale and have a smoother selling experience overall.