In an effort to show the benefits of working with a Realtor who is a member of the MLS to search for properties I will go step by step through the process of narrowing down the search criteria.
Here are the current market statistics for Ada County (Boise) Idaho.
Buyers typically only concern themselves with what is actively for sale (not what has historically sold until they try to figure out valuations). Therefore, there are currently 1,198 homes listed as being for sale in the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service (IMLS).
Since the IMLS is a regional MLS service, let’s narrow it down to just Ada County (Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Kuna and Star). That brings the # down to 447.
Then we look at the “types” of property. These include Condo, Mobile Homes (on rented/owned lots), Recreational Land with Homes (typically good second homes or vacation properties), Single Family, Single Family w/ Acreage, and Townhouses. If I narrow it down to Single Family, the # drops to 357 choices.
Obviously, price is a huge factor, so let’s assume a price range of up to $500,000. That drops us down to 141 choices.
If we narrowed location down to just Boise or Meridian, that would drop us down to 97 homes.
Other than price, I typically never use upper limits since more is typically better. So, let’s make sure the homes have at least 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms. That drops us down to 80 homes to consider.
Size of a home is another major factor. Since Boise is such a family friendly environment, lets choose homes over 2,000 square feet. That would drop the # of options down to 19. Much more reasonable number to start looking at details and comparing.
You must be careful to not get overly restrictive. For example, if you put a minimum of a 3 car garage you drop down to only 8 choices. Would a two car garage with an RV Parking pad work instead? Instead of selecting a single level home, what if the master bedroom was on the main level?
What if you raised your price point 10% to up to $550K. That would give you an additional 15 choices? You would want to make sure it was in great condition and didn’t need any immediate work, but it might be worth stretching a bit for the right home.
Due to low inventory, I have been going back and looking at inventory levels for the past 3 months to get a feel for the size of the market pool. There are 389 homes meeting the above criteria going back to January 15th! That should tell you might be able to wait for homes to come on the market instead of settling for something just due to limited options. The average home that closed in that time period averaged 102% of list price (so don’t expect to negotiate down in price in most cases).
If you have time to consider a brand new home, please do. Many builders are not listing their homes until they are near completion to make sure their schedule is on tract and that lumber prices don’t keep climbing. The average home in the Boise area costs roughly $20,000 more in lumber than just a year ago! Of the 389 homes mentioned above, 238 were brand new homes!
Hope this helps the current market in Boise and the surrounding areas. If you would like help finding the right home for you and your family, please reach out to me at 208-573-0471 at your convenience. I would love to put my 30 years of licensed real estate experience to work for you!