With over 20 years of experience, I have had the pleasure of helping hundreds of people find their ideal homes! From looking for their dream home to relocating and even to downsizing, I have been able to walk through and help many people with their home-buying needs. And now I get to help the next generation embark on the same journey! This blog is a compilation of helpful information that I have learned over the years that pertains to buying a home in every stage of life, and I hope that you can get some amazing value from it!
With so much information readily available online, people in the market for purchasing or selling a house wonder if they couldn't buy or sell a home through the Internet or regular marketing and advertising channels without hiring a real estate agent.
Some do fine on their own, but many don't. Realtors are a game changer for the person buying or selling a home, and Top Producing Realtors can take the game to even the next level!
What Makes a Top Producer?
The criteria to be a part of the Intermountain MLS's Circle of Excellence and be considered a Top Producer is to be in the top 25% of production as reported in Intermountain MLS.
This means that an agent or agency needs to bring in anywhere between $3.5 million and $18+ million in revenue in a one year period of time.
Why is this significant to the average consumer?
When you choose to work with a Top Producer, you will be choosing a real estate agent who has the experience to find you exactly what you are wanting in a home. They have helped enough people to continue to have new referrals and they have in turn helped those people well.
You will get top-of-the-line service when you work with a Top Producer.
What To Experience With a Top Producer
- Education and Experience
One benefit of hiring a professional like a Top Producing Realtor is that you don't need to know everything about buying and selling real estate. That is their job.
Henry Ford once said that when you hire people who are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are. The trick is to find the right person.
For the most part, realtors' fees are roughly the same, so why not hire a Top Producing Realtor with more education and experience than you and the average agent? We all want more time in our lives, and hiring professionals like Top Producers gives us that time.
- Neighborhood Knowledge
Real estate agents either possess intimate knowledge of the area you are looking to buy in or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighborhood.
They can identify comparable sales and give you these facts. They can also point you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics of the area you are interested in.
For instance, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $325,000, but a realtor will know it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.
A Top Producer can give you so much valuable information like this.
- Negotiation Skills and Confidentiality
There are many factors up for discussion in a housing deal.
Top Producing agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves emotionally from the transaction and because of their skill. It's part of their job description.
Top Producing agents are not messengers, merely delivering buyer's offers to sellers and vice versa--they are professionals who are trained to present their client's case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.
- Objective Information and Opinions
Top Producing realtors can provide local information for you on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information that they can give you for the properties that you are looking at. You and your realtor can then use that data to help you determine if a property has what you need.
This was touched on a bit in the last point, but a Top Producer also helps navigate this complicated process as an emotional rock.
A home is so much more than four walls and a roof, and for most people, this will be the biggest purchase they’ll ever make.
Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues that are most important to you.
- Develop Relationship for Future Business
Finding a great realtor that you can trust and that can help you smoothly go through the whole home buying or home selling process is an amazing tool and relationship to have.
The basis for a Top Producer's success and continued career in real estate is referrals.
Few agents would survive if their livelihood was dependent on consistently obtaining new business, and this emphasis gives agents strong incentives to make sure that clients are happy and satisfied.
It also means that an agent who stays in the business will be there for you when you need to hire an agent again. And that is the beauty of working with a Top Producing Realtor.
Kelley Simon has been a Top Producer in Idaho for years and has built a reputation of going the extra mile for her clients and their needs. Contact her today to get started working with a Top Producer!
Silvercreek Realty Group
Happy New Year!
With 2019 just beginning and the holiday season coming to an end, everyone is looking forward to getting into a routine again. And the city of Boise is no different!
With all of the wonderful events and attractions that Boise offers all year long, it's no surprise that the city is getting back into its regular routine of providing its citizens and visitors with a delightful variety of things to do and enjoy!
So here is this month's edition of "What's Going On In Boise?"!
What's Going On In Boise?
- Winter Wonderland at Twin Oaks Farms -- January 2 - January 13, 2019
Head out to Twin Oaks Farms with the family to enjoy a beautiful and fun winter wonderland! Attractions include:
Tractor-drawn wagon rides, farm animals, a holiday lights display, tubing hill (on weather-permitting days), campfires (which you are more than welcome to use to cook your own food), a manger scene (with real animals), and much more!
Open daily beginning January 2nd!
Monday- Thursday: 4pm-9pm
Sunday: 12pm- 8pm
General Admission- $12.00 (good for the entire day)
Kids 2 and under Are FREE!
Season Pass (Weekdays & Weekends) — $38.00
(Prices include any applicable sales tax)
- Winter Blues Weekend at The Sapphire Room
Come and enjoy the Winter Blues Weekend presented by the Boise Blues Society & The Sapphire Room!
Thursday, Jan 10th: Gary Tackett Band, Jake Leg & BBQ Blues Band
Friday, Jan 11th: Billy Blues Band, Blues Directors & Blues To Lose
Saturday, January 12th: Blues Addicts, SUDA, RJ McGinnis Band
Sunday Sapphire Blues Brunch: Blank Check (no tickets needed, 9 am-12 pm)
$12 general, $15 preferred ($17/$20 at the door)
The Sapphire Room, 2900 W Chinden Blvd, Garden City, ID 83714
- Liquid Laughs Comedy Bar and Lounge
Don't forget to check out Boise's Liquid Laughs Comedy Bar and Lounge
for a great night of fun!
Check out their January lineup of comedians and pick a time to sit back, relax, and enjoy a few good laughs!
January 3 - January 6
January 10 - January 13
January 17 - January 19
January 24 - January 27
"What's Going On In Boise?" January Market Statistics
Click below for an in-depth look at the Treasure Valley Home Market Statistics for January 2019! You can always find the most up-to-date information that you need to know on the #KelleySimonSays blog!
In recent years, Boise, Idaho has started to become a new and rapidly-growing wine country.
With a plethora of wineries and breweries to choose from, the great city of Boise has drawn many wine connoisseurs to this new Idaho wine country and will continue to do so.
Let's take a look at just a few of the many wineries that you should check out around Boise!
Idaho Wine Country
- Cinder Winery
Cinder Winery is one of the earliest opening wineries in the Boise area, opening at 11 am. Its design makes you feel like you are in an ultra-modern downtown bar.
If you go to Cinder Winery's website, they tell their charming story of how this family-owned winery came to be and how they make their wonderful wine selection.
"We source our grapes from several vineyards in the Snake River Valley, constantly searching out new microclimates, sites and passionate people who are investing in new vineyards for this beautiful region. After meeting with great success and seeing the relationships with our growers strengthen over the years, we strongly believe that even though we make incredible wines from this region right now “the best is yet to come”. We have a huge AVA, interesting volcanic soils, a great climate for Viognier, Tempranillo and Syrah (among others) and certainly much more to continue to learn from our wines, growers and the environment. It is a beautiful adventure!"
- Split Rail Winery
Split Rail Winery shares a tasting room that was once an auto mechanic’s garage. This is quite convenient, as you’ll get to taste through both wineries’ lineups without having to walk or drive anywhere. The wines they have for sale are all listed on the chalkboard at the back of the tasting room, and the tasting notes give hints about what they’re currently pouring. They focus on innovative wines and try not to make the same wine twice.
Split Rail Winery has a very unique approach when it comes to creating wine, "Split Rail winery was propagated from the minds of a new generation of drinker/thinker. We create wine that is spawned from whimsy, driven by the soil that you stand upon, and conceptualized from the mindset that we all like what we like, not what we're told to like.
"It's our goal to not only create killer wine that spontaneously combusts your mind, but to also defeat the pompous mantra of wine. We want wine to be eye-opening, experimental, hip, approachable, and perhaps even otherworldly. Let us enlighten your palate."
Along with the bottled wines, they make a second label called Strange Folk that is 100% kegged wine. They also sell two of their wines in cans--each can is equal to about 1/2 bottle of wine.
If you don’t find at least a few wines here you love, it would be surprising!
- Telaya Wine Co.
Alongside the Boise River, you will find Telaya Wine Company in their beautiful new facility. Aside from the fact that the building is quite stunning, there is a very nice, relaxing outdoor patio where you can sit and enjoy your tasting, or even just purchase a glass of wine and relax.
"We built Telaya on a foundation of family and hard work. These two principles guide our philosophy in handcrafting Washington and Idaho wines, and our focus on hospitality.
Telaya is another family-owned winery that has been around Boise for a decade now.
"Telaya started in 2008, when we produced 50 cases of carefully conceived wine. We’ve grown quite a bit since then. Our facility--which includes a full production space and tasting room--is located right on the Boise Greenbelt, just minutes from downtown and few feet from the Boise River. Guests can enjoy tastes, glasses and bottles of our Washington and Idaho wine while overlooking the scenic river.
Join us! We invite you to taste the fruits of our labor: exceptional wines, which pair well with beautiful views and great company."
- 3 Horse Ranch Vineyard
Since its launch in 2002, Gary Cunningham--owner and vintner of 3 Horse Ranch Vineyard--built 3 Horse Ranch into the largest family-owned winery in Idaho. It only ranks third in production behind Ste. Chapelle and Sawtooth.
And thanks to their association with Koenig, the Cunninghams’ wines continue to shine. Wine Press Northwest magazine, a publication based in Washington state, named 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards its 2011 Idaho Winery to Watch.
3 Horse Ranch Vineyard sits just outside of Eagle in the beautiful foothills surrounding Boise. This vineyard is a definite must see if you are in the Boise area!
If you are looking for a way to tour the different wineries around the Boise area, Snake River Wine Tours is a great company to choose for a luxurious tour around this new wine country hub of the West. Give them a call today and schedule a tour of your own!
Just minutes outside the bustling city of Boise, you can find many quiet and peaceful suburban towns. And one of the nicest ones is a little town called Meridian, Idaho.
If you are considering moving to Meridian, here are eight reasons why this is such a wonderful city to live in!
8 Reasons To Move To Meridian, Idaho
1. Beautiful, Idyllic Location
Living in Meridian, Idaho puts you in an ideal spot in the Boise Valley.
It's not really a "big city" in comparison to metropolitan areas around the nation; so when you are shopping for homes for sale in Meridian, you will see that most homes offer room to spread out. Even the homes located in the more quaint neighborhoods in the city have this luxury.
While no longer considered a rural community, Meridian ties both the city and the country together to create a very special dynamic.
No matter how many people decided to move to Meridian, Idaho, the city never fails to keep true to its roots, making it both comfortable for its long-time residents as well as a unique place to live for its new ones. Truly, you’ll never find another place quite like it.
2. Affordable Cost of Living
It is usually small towns that get credit for having a low cost of living, but, considering everything it has to offer, living in Meridian, Idaho is quite affordable.
Meridian got an "A" from Area Vibes since because their cost of living is 2 percent lower than the national average. There are several factors that go into determining how affordable it is to live in any city, but the low state income tax and 6% sales tax plays a part.
Another notable aspect of the cost of living is the cost of groceries--which is 11 percent lower than the national average--and low transportation costs, including the price of gasoline which is about 13 percent lower than the national median price.
Meridian, Idaho has a large selection of homes in a variety of price ranges, and a decent number of houses are priced at or below the national median price of $253,500 as of August 2017.
This is a result of the healthy housing market in the Boise/Meridian area and lots of new homes continually being built.
3. One of the Safest Cities in the State
For the majority of people, living in a safe city is a top priority when looking for a new home. And Meridian definitely fits into the safe city category.
Not only is it one of the safest cities in the Gem State, but it's safer than almost 75 percent of cities in the whole country.
While crime rates are going up in many parts of the U.S., they are actually dropping in Meridian. The year-over-year number has decreased by 14 percent. Of course, any crime at all is a cause for concern, but SpotCrime.com reveals that most of the crimes in Meridian aren't violent ones, the majority being burglary or theft.
4. A Wide Variety of Amenities
Although living in Meridian, Idaho puts you close to the amenities of Boise, Meridian itself has plenty of everything to offer its residents.
Wherever you settle in Meridian, you will be close to grocery stores, parks, libraries, fitness facilities, and restaurants. And there is even a Costco on the way to Meridian as well!
With every necessity needed nearby, you won't have to make the roughly 20-minute drive into Boise unless you want to. If you find yourself in need of other things such as clothing, housewares, antiques, and even party supplies, you can find them all without leaving Meridian.
Also, home improvement enthusiasts won't have to go far to get the home makeover and remodeling supplies that they need for those little projects around the house. Meridian has several home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes and specialty stores including tile and granite supply, cabinetry crafters, paint and wallpaper stores, and flooring and interior specialists.
5. Full of Family-Friendly Activities
Meridian is full of a variety of family-friendly activities for people to enjoy!
Meridian is conveniently close to the activities and attractions that Idaho is most known for, such as hiking trails and campgrounds. There are rivers and lakes for fishing, white water rafting, and other water sports. And, of course, ski hills and cross-country trails for winter sports enthusiasts are just a short 45 minutes away.
There are lots of parks, game and entertainment centers, bowling alleys, movie theaters, a water park, and brewery tours.
The Village at Meridian offers a shopping experience to rival any big city, with stores, restaurants, and fun events throughout the year, including a wintertime ice skating rink and concerts during the summer.
Yet, because Meridian is only about 11 miles from Boise, it's just a few minutes from everything the big city has to offer, including all the sports, shopping, dining, and entertainment you could ever hope to find.
With so many things to do in Meridian Idaho, one thing is for sure: you'll never be bored.
6. Cozy and Friendly Neighborhoods
Meridian, Idaho has many warm and friendly neighborhoods that all seem to welcome newcomers with open arms. No matter where you choose to live, the kindness of this city will never fail to shine through.
7. Excellent Education
With about 20 public schools in Meridian, plus a few private, charter, and magnet schools, many of the houses for sale in Meridian, Idaho are close to the quality education parents want for their children.
Student to teacher ratios are fairly low, so whatever school your children attend, they will have access to individualized attention if they need it.
Additionally, specialized tutoring programs such as the Tutoring Club, LearningRx Center, and the Mathnasium of Meridian can provide additional help or offer a challenge for kids who excel academically. All of these factors have worked together to skyrocket the average school test scores in Meridian to 13 percent above the national average.
A bonus for parents and teens living in Meridian is its proximity to Boise State University.
Overall, BSU is ranked high for schools in the West, but U.S. News and World Report puts the College of Business and Economics at Boise State University on its list of the best business schools.
In addition to that, with the great run the Broncos have had over the years, BSU is the place football players want to go for higher education.
8. Enjoy Four Beautiful and Distinct Seasons
The nice thing about living in Meridian, Idaho is that it's in the Boise Valley. It is at a low elevation of about 2600 ft. above sea level and is consequently an area where the weather tends to be a bit milder than the rest of Idaho.
That means people looking for homes for sale in Meridian will be able to enjoy all four seasons without experiencing extreme weather for the most part.
You'll still get beautiful blooms in spring, warm, lazy summer days, breathtaking autumn colors in the fall, and enough snow in the winter to ski on just 16 miles outside of Boise at Bogus Basin Ski Resort.
And all of that without having to endure major earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, or massive wide-spread flooding like the rest of the country experiences on a regular basis.
Meridian, Idaho is a beautiful, family-friendly city and a wonderful place to live and build a life!
If you are looking to move or relocate to Meridian, Idaho, please give us a call at Kel and Company Realty and we would love to help you find the home of your dreams in this wonderful town!
#KelleySimonSays is the place that you want to check out to find out What's Going On In Boise every month!
The Holidays are in full swing here in Boise! From Christmas shopping to beautiful light displays to nearly 150 free holiday activities in the area, there is some holiday season fun going on every day in our wonderful city!
See what's going on in Boise with this guide to all of the different holiday lights displays that you and your family can go out and enjoy in Boise this holiday season!
2018 Guide to Holiday Lights in Boise
- Scentsy Commons Christmas Lights
When they are all lit, there are 724,000 lights on display! That's 43 miles of lights, decorating 450 trees. A new attraction this year is a Tunnel of Lights, featuring 67,000 lights.
Located off Eagle Rd at 2701 E. Pine Ave.
- Village at Meridian
Check out Fountain Square and the beautiful water show as well!
- Botanical Garden Winter Garden Aglow
Idaho Botanical Garden’s annual holiday event opens on Thanksgiving Day and runs until January 1. This year’s display of more than 400,000 lights will shine throughout the garden’s many sleeping plants and architecture.
- Indian Creek Plaza Winter Wonderland Festival
Located in downtown Caldwell.
- Eagle Country Christmas
The city of Eagle’s Country Christmas celebration will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, December 8 at Heritage Park, located at 185 E. State St.
- Emmett Christmas Tree
The Christmas Tree will be lit at Bowman Park, formerly Pioneer Park.
- Meridian Winter Lights and Christmas Tree
Located at Generations Plaza, 804 N. Main St.
- Boise State University Holiday Tree
Located in the Boise State University’s Campus Quad.
- City of Kuna Holiday Tree
The city of Kuna’s annual Night Light Parade will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, December 8. At 7 p.m. following the Night Light Parade, the city’s tree lighting ceremony will take place in Bernie Fisher Park, 201 W. Main St.
And if you want to learn about other awesome holiday events going on in Boise, check out this great holiday event calendar to see everything that is happening on any given day this month!
Click below for an in-depth look at the Treasure Valley Home Market Statistics for December 2018! You can always find the most up-to-date information that you need to know on the #KelleySimonSays blog!
Kel & Company
Silvercreek Realty Group