Mountain Home, ID Real Estate News

By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
It's Crunch Time - You just got orders, are buying a bigger house or just need to sell and move on.  You've dealt, as much as possible, with the major items (see Part I of this post) but what final adjustments should you make to your older home just before putting it on the market?  Some cost effective suggestions:Grab Your Agent - What the heck, you're paying him anyhow so why not put her years of experience to work for you.  One thing though - please don't ask for an unvarnished opinion of what needs to be done and then get mad at the agent when she provides it.Grab a Brush - Unless the interior paint is in great shape and especially if your colors are anything but neutral - buy a box of brushes, a few gallons of paint and a keg of beer then invite your friends over to repaint.  Hopef...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
The clock starts running on a new home when the Mountain Home, Idaho Building Department signs the building permit. Advances in building science and changing economic conditions work together to cause our homes to rapidly become something less than "state of the art" and worth less than the "next new thing". This is true of every home in the community, but 30+ year old homes need special attention to ensure that value lost by obsolescence doesn't negate value gained through other factors. It's important to recognize that older homes, in particular, are competing not only with other homes for sale but also with the options of renting in town or living on base.In Part I of this post we'll look at the "bigger ticket" items to consider and budget for.My Three Recommended (Major) Upgrades to...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
Don't get me wrong - homes sales are clearly off from a year ago and I currently have more time to catch up on old paper work than I care to. Still, despite the media's constant wailing and gnashing of teeth, the Mountain Home, Idaho real estate market remains in pretty good shape. There are a couple of reasons for our relative good fortune. The dominance of Mountain Home Air Force Base in the local economy is a powerful force in maintaining employment stability. The number of jobs at MHAFB, at least in the short term, isn't directly tied to changes in the economy. Although we're beginning to see some job loss in the construction sector, that lovable 800 pound gorilla eight miles east acts as a brake on wild fluctuations in total area employment.The other stabilizing factor is that ther...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
After running my weekly analysis of what's going on in the Mountain Home, Idaho real estate market, I'm now of the suspicion (and working towards the conclusion)  that new home prices may have finally reached the point where local builders are drafting new game plans.  In 2007, for the first time in practically forever, the median size of a new home was smaller than in the year before.  The difference was small, only about 6%, and one year does not a trend make but it is something I'm watching closely.Apparently at least one Mountain Home builder has taken notice and is offering a line of smaller homes but built to the same quality levels as his larger homes.  These "mini-mansions" eliminate all wasted space and generate maximum utility from every square foot of house.  They're attracti...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
An Interesting Fact that's probably as true in Mountain Home Idaho as anywhere else.  Did you know that nearly 1/4 of all fatal home fires begin in the garage? These fires are especially deadly because they spread quickly and are well underway before  occupants are alerted to the blaze. Gas Cans, fumes from spills and leaks plus the inevitable collection of rags and boxes provide a ready fuel supply.  (Technical note:  Those propane cylinders for the family bbq stored in the garage fall outside of the fuel category and into that of explosives.)The Typical Garage also provides several ignition sources from "home brew" electrical wiring to light bulbs that are of higher wattages than the fixture is rated for.The Substantial Costs of a garage fire become even more significant when the loss...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
Activity and Prices By historical standards, 2007 was a good but not record setting year for Mountain Home. Sales of both new and existing homes were off about 19% from 2006. During the same period, the median price of existing homes increased by 12% to $152,000 while new homes saw a price drop of about 5% to $192,000.  Much of the decrease in new home prices is because fewer, more expensive homes on acreages were built in 2007.Marketing Time The average marketing time (from date of listing to date of closing) is currently 59 days, an increase of 7 days for the year.  However, a recent spike in the average number of days current (unsold) listings have been on the market suggests that the 59 day figure will increase significantly in the near future.2008 Forecast  Although activity has re...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
According to Canadian scientists, increasing energy efficiency also increases overall energy consumption.  You heard it here first - consumers are taking their newly acquired energy savings and plowing it back into more and bigger energy guzzling products.The conclusions by CIBC World Markets were reached, in part, by studying the effects of increased efficiency standards for new, Canadian homes.  The results indicate that, despite huge gains in energy efficiency, per capita energy consumption grows by ever increasing amounts.The major culprit in the housing sector is demand for larger homes which include more and more energy gulping goodies such as media rooms, deluxe appliances, additional water heaters and the like.Jeff Rubin, CIBC's Chief Economist, suggests that the problem stems f...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
Residential energy efficiency is a lot like the weather - everybody talks about it but nobody does anything.But the good news is energy conservation and lower utility bills don't have to start with expensive projects - it only takes $8.  Stop by any one of a number of Mountain Home, Idaho retailers and you'll change back from a ten for a 4-pack of compact fluorescent bulbs.  At this price, payback for the higher priced bulbs is reduced to just a few months.A couple of hints about what to expect and how to best use these bulbs.They may dim over time so pick a bulb that is rated 20% higher than the bulb you're replacing.  For example, replace 60 watt (about 800 lumens) with CFB's rated at (950-1000 lumens).  Fortunately, the conversion is indicated on most packaging so you won't need to f...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
Time to put aside all the media hysteria, gloom and doom and look at a couple of fun things that have absolutely no relevance to Mountain Home Idaho real estate. Naked Carpenter Acquitted! A Bay area (why does this not surprise me?) carpenter has been found not guilty of indecent exposure for building a client's bookshelves while nude. After a three day trial, the jury determined that even though 51-year-old Percy Honniball of Oakland was working naked, he was not acting lewdly or seeking sexual gratification. Honniball explained that he likes to work unclothed because it "gives him a greater range of motion" and keeps his clothes clean too.  The incident was reported by the client's neighbor who "was disturbed" by seeing Honniball nude while carrying his tool box into the client's hous...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
Prompted by the meltdown of the subprime mortgage market and the resulting flood of foreclosures, House Democrats have reacted (over-reacted?) with HR3915 the "Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007". Among other provisions, the Act would prohibit prepayment penalties on "High Cost" mortgages (including loans already in existence) and require that consumers receive "counseling" before entering into loans of this type. Borrowers won't be the only group that will need counseling if the Act passes as drafted. Lenders will be prohibited from steering any applicant into a loan that "isn't in the consumer's best interests" (could that possibly be any vaguer?). If you think that language will make lenders' blood run cold - read on. Not wanting to seem "pushy", Congress would ma...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
I just completed a year long (well, it took ME a year) program leading to certification under the ECOBroker program.  The primary goal of ECOBroker is to train real estate professionals about residential energy efficiency and home environmental issues (e.g. indoor air quality) so that we can can then provide knowledgeable advice to our clients.Unfortunately, it appears that I'm all dressed up but have no place to go.  Despite consumer interest in hybrid cars, synfuels and such; commitment to residential energy efficiency appears to be hovering at the lip service stage.  Nationally, 80% of home buyers claim that energy efficiency is a major factor in their choice of a home but  precious few are converting their concerns to cash.  To this point, about the only movement I've seen in the Mo...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
I'm not quite sure how to handle this (true) story. I'll try to do so with sensitivity and dignity but..... Several Boise investors were among those victimized in a $95 million dollar scam where a "1031 Exchange Accommodator" (more about this later) took the investors' money to purchase businesses for itself - specifically breast implant manufacturers in Great Britain and France. The company, Arrow 1031 Exchange (a subsidiary of Southwestern 1031 Exchange) allegedly lifted and separated the money from the victims over a period of several years but were able to repay accounts until the breast implant industry went flat. In hopes of moving this post from the salacious to the educational, I'll provide a very basic overview of 1031 exchanges. They are financial mechanisms where payment of i...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
If you've been keeping an eye on the "Market Conditions" page of my web site you probably know that it's my read that the Mountain Home real estate market is in "pretty good" shape at the moment.  However, much as I hate to, I recognize that there are a few hard cases out there that like more than me waving my hands vaguely in the air.If its numbers you want then absorption analysis is what you need.  Absorption analysis projects, by market segment, how quickly the current inventory of homes will sell (i.e. be absorbed) based on the current level of activity in the same market segment.The table below compares sales over the past 90 days (the small size of the Mountain Home market prevents using shorter periods) with the number of homes currently on the market.  Based on this, it appears...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
Hot on the heels of another successful Air Force Appreciation Day, Mountain Home Air Force Base will host a birthday bash honoring (oddly enough) the United States Air Force.MHAFB will be open its gates to the public at noon on Saturday, September 14th and a F15 flyby at 1:30 will officially open the festivities.  Members of the A10 West Coast Demonstration Team will be joined by a P51 Mustang, F86 Sabrejet and C130 Hercules for a heritage flight at 3:30 PM. Other activities will include Security Police working dog demonstrations, munitions loads and the base fire department's "wall of water" display.  In addition, each squadron will host a unit display to familiarize the public with the unit mission. Although not intended as a full-blown air show (Gunfighter Skies is scheduled to retur...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
Mountain Home's 47th annual Air Force Appreciation Day may go into the books as the biggest of all.  Festivities included a 2 hour parade, an A10 flyby provided by the Idaho Air National Guard and a free barbecue which fed over 5,000.  Downtown streets were lined by an estimated 10,000 spectators, most of whom then filled Carl Miller Park to visit the dozens of booths sponsored by local and MHAFB organizations.Music was provided by the 25th Army Band, a variety of country/rock groups and, my favorite, - the SleekIt Beasties - a Scottish drum and bagpipe band.This very public demonstration of the close bonds between the community and Mountain Home Air Force Base is  sponsored by the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce and recriprocated by the "Gunfighter Skies" event sponsored by the U.S. ...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
Many of my clients initially express an interest in moving into a home that "with a little work" will result in a fat profit on resale.  Although a few ultimately take the plunge (some successfully), most quickly realize that these projects aren't for the faint of heart.  In hopes of helping the determined among you, here are a few hints to get you started.Fixer Upper Hint #1 - Please take your entire collection of "How to Get Rich in Real Estate" videos and books, soak them in kerosene and use them as bug lights.  If the process was either as simple or as lucrative as portrayed in the infomercials, the authors would be devoting every waking moment practicing it instead of peddling it for $39.95.Fixer Upper Hint #2 - The purchase of "fixer-upper" property is almost never possible with z...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
A bit of interesting news entirely unrelated to real estate.  Veterans interested in starting their own businesses may  want to jump all over the Small Business Administration's new "Patriot Express" (where dooo they get these names) Loan Program.  The program, also available to active duty personnel participating in the Transition Assistance Program, provides streamlined processing, higher loan limits (up to $500,000) and lower interest rates than the SBA Standard Express loan . Additional information about Patriot Express is available at http://www.sba.gov/patriotexpress/index.html or, if you're in the Boise area at SBA's District Office 380 East Parkcenter Blvd., Suite 330 Boise, ID  83706.Jan DeGiorgio   Mountain Home, ID  My Blog  My Site
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
Myth #1 - A Listing Agent Who Doesn't Show Your Home to a Boatload of People is a Bum! I recently acquired a listing from homeowners unhappy with their listing agent because "he never showed our home".  Treading gently, I tried to communicate that the primary job of the listing agent is not to sell the home but to get it sold!  In fact, it's entirely possible that a first-rate agent will never personally usher a prospect through the home.When a nervous family, with 60 days to get out of Dodge, entrusts me with the sale of their home, do you think they'd prefer to wait while I desperately massage the relatively small number of prospects I have at any given moment or rather I devote my resources to artfully exposing the home to literally millions of potential buyers?  A responsible agent ...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
Mountain Home Idaho real estate is, in large part, a numbers game. We need them to talk about prices, appraisals, sizes, interest rates, dimensions and the list goes on. But, like in any other industry, some of the numbers used are misleading, irrelevant or just plain wrong. Some examples.  Local home prices, according to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service (and reported by the media), have increased by 15% over the past 12 months but the actual rate is much closer to 9%. So why the big difference? Are those dang real estate agents just trying to get more people to sign up for a ride on the gravy train? Nope -- the median price reported by the media includes both existing and new homes and, since new homes grow ever larger and more luxurious, their inclusion significantly oversta...
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By Jan DeGiorgio, Mountain Home Idaho Real Estate
(CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty)
Mountain Home's 41st Annual "Crazee Daze" celebration will be on Saturday, May 19th.Crazee Daze is the is the high plains version of a street fair with food, crafts, carnivals rides and prize giveaways.Local merchants will have booths set up all over the downtown area "displaying their wares" but mostly giving stuff away.  Look for the Century 21 "fish pond" where the kids can angle for prizes and all proceeds go to Easter Seals. This year's special activities include a bubblegum blowing contest, pet costume smackdown, folk dancers, and several musical groups.  The MHAFB honor guard and Idaho National Guard will also be making an appearance.Jan DeGiorgio   Mountain Home, ID   My Blog   My Site
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