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!
When people think of buying a house, they typically picture that happening during the spring and summer. But there are a lot of advantages to buying a home in the winter, as well.
So if you are thinking of purchasing a home here in Boise, here are 7 reasons why you should consider purchasing this winter.
7 Reasons Why You Should Buy a House in the Winter
1) There's Less Competition to Worry About
Because most buyers typically wait until the spring and summer to purchase a home, there aren't going to be as many buyers to compete with during the winter months. This means it will be easier when it comes to putting an offer in on a house since you most likely won't be competing with multiple offers on a single property.
2) Sellers Are Very Motivated in the Winter
Sellers are often more highly motivated to sell their homes in the winter, not because they want to, but sometimes because they have to due to a change in life circumstances.
And because they are more motivated to sell, sellers are often more willing to negotiate on things like sale price, closing costs, or the closing date; and they will often sweeten the pot, so to speak, by including household appliances, a home warranty, or other enticing perks.
3) Faster Closing Times
If you are a buyer who is looking to move into a home quickly, buying a home in the winter could be perfect for you.
Due to their motivation to sell, a seller is more likely to agree to a faster closing time in the wintertime than they might in the warmer months. Additionally, mortgage brokers often have less backup through the slow winter months, making it easier to obtain a faster closing date.
4) Mover Are More Flexible in the Winter
Like home sellers and mortgage companies, professional movers have more flexible schedules in the wintertime. Movers often offer discounts during the winter months as well as a way to drum up business.
Just be aware that you may need to reschedule if inclement weather ends up ruining your moving date. Thankfully, the movers' flexible schedule should be able to easily accommodate you.
5) You Can Check Out a Home's Durability
During the spring and summer months, it's hard to tell how a home will stand up to the elements of the cold weather.
But if you decide to shop for a home during the chilly winter months, you can see firsthand how well the house is insulated and see any issues that you might not have noticed in warmer weather.
You can identify potentially drafty doors or windows, see the places where ice tends to build up, and factor in what winter-upkeep would look like for specific homes. You may even be able to negotiate some upgrades or repairs to remedy any issues you find.
6) Mortgage Rates Could Fluctuate in Your Favor
If you are getting a mortgage, you may be able to lock in a good interest rate before the beginning of a new year. This could help you save money in the long run as you pay your mortgage down.
7) You Could Find Better Deals in the Winter
When you have fewer buyers in the market, there is a shift in supply and demand. This usually means there's a dip in home prices from the spring and summer and the homes are priced to sell.
This can put the buyer in a very advantageous position not only for the initial purchase but for the long haul in how much they have to pay back to the mortgage broker. This could save a buyer tens of thousands of dollars in the future.
Click below for an in-depth look at the Treasure Valley Home Market Statistics for December 2020! You can always find the most up-to-date information that you need to know on the #KelleySimonSays blog!
Many people think that winter is a less ideal time to put their home on the market, but this just isn't true.
Especially here in Boise, the housing market is exploding and demand for houses has never been higher. This significant increase in house demand has driven prices exponentially as well, making this the ideal seller's market.
If you are thinking about selling your house, there’s no reason to wait until spring. There are no seasons on the internet and people are always searching for new homes.
So here are some tips for selling your home in the winter!
Make Your Home Feel Cozy
When buyers are looking at houses, they imagine what it would be like to live there themselves. So going the extra mile to show the cozier side of your house can be a huge benefit when selling your home in the winter.
Have the fireplace lit, play soft, soothing holiday music if it's around Christmas time, and nobody was ever turned off by the smell of fresh-baked desserts floating throughout a house, either.
Keep It Simple
If you're selling your home around the holidays, make sure to accent with decorations. You don't want to overpower your home with too many holiday decorations because it can make it hard and distracting for potential buyers to see the house for what it is.
Less is more for outdoor decorations as well. Nothing can detract from your house's curb appeal to potential buyers like a yard full of inflatables.
Invest in Some Nice Outdoor Lighting
If you don't already have some good outdoor lighting, investing in some would be a good idea.
It gets dark early in the winter, so being able to showcase your home's exterior with some nice spotlights is a great way to catch a potential buyer's eye.
Make Sure Your Realtor Takes Some Clear-Weather Photos
It may not seem like a big deal, but getting clear-weather pictures of your home is important for showcasing it to potential buyers. If possible, try to get photos of your house taken on a clear, sunny day.
And if you can get them taken without snow, that's an added bonus. You don't want people's attention pulled from the details of your house to the snowdrifts in your yard. So try to factor that in as well.
If you are in the Boise area, I would love to help you find or build your perfect home or sell your home! I've been selling real estate in the Boise market for over 23 years, licensed to sell real estate for over 25 years, and a Top Producer since 2003. I'm also considered a "Life Time Member of The Circle of Excellence", which are the top producers.
If you are currently in the market for or looking to sell a home, please give me a call! I would love to help you as I have so many hundreds of others!
Click below for an in-depth look at the Treasure Valley Home Market Statistics for November 2020! You can always find the most up-to-date information that you need to know on the #KelleySimonSays blog!
Oftentimes people struggle to know whether they have chosen the right time to sell their home. They wonder whether or not they will get as much as they ask for, or fear that there house may not sell quickly.
Well, in Boise's housing market today, no one has to worry about either of those things. This is the perfect market to sell your house in if you have been considering it!
Why You Should Sell Your Boise Home Now
The Treasure Valley has become a sought-after treasure for many people relocating from other parts of the country. This has driven housing prices up by 10% from last year's prices, with the average home price in 2019 being $326,000 now in 2020 to $365,000.
This means that the equity in each home will have risen substantially, which means even more profit in your pocket if you decide to sell your house.
High-Demand, Low Inventory
But in spite of the high demand for homes, there are more people wanting to move to Boise than available homes. And while new construction homes in Boise are always being built, there is still a vacuum in the housing market.
What does this mean for the houses that are on the market?
It means that not only are the prices that can be asked higher than in the past, but oftentimes prospective buyers get into bidding wars that drive the prices up even higher for the sellers. This means, again, more money in your pocket.
So if you have been thinking about selling your home in Boise, please give me a call! I would love to help you get the most you can for your home and help you in the next step of your homeownership journey!
Monthly Treasure Valley Market Statistics
Click below for an in-depth look at the Treasure Valley Home Market Statistics for October 2020! You can always find the most up-to-date information that you need to know on the #KelleySimonSays blog!
There are a lot of real estate myths floating around out there that many people assume are common knowledge. So we wanted to set the record straight about a few of them. So here are 6 myths about real estate you've probably heard and why they are false.
1) A Home Either Passes or Fails a Home Inspection
A home doesn't "pass" or "fail" a home inspection. The purpose of a home inspection is to assess the condition of a house.
A home inspector will provide a report explaining any issues they may have found along with a summary of the age of the key systems of the house, such as the plumbing, electric, and HVAC systems, along with other major features like the roof and overall condition of the home.
So a home doesn't pass or fail an inspection--the inspection just gives you an insider peek into the state of a house before you buy it.
2) Inspectors Are Required To Find Something During an Inspection
Not true. The goal of a home inspector is not to label a house "pass" or "fail"; they are hired by the buyer to do an independent and objection inspection of a property. And while no property is perfect and the inspector will most likely find things that could be improved, there isn't anything about the inspection process that would motivate the inspector to "have to" find something wrong.
If a seller is concerned about what might be found in an inspection, they can always get a pre-listing inspection done so they can compare any findings of the potential buyer's inspection.
3) If Zillow Says It, It Must Be True
A lot of people look to Zillow like a Real Estate Bible. Any information they find on there they assume to be true because Zillow is such a large real estate website.
Zillow is a better resource for generalized information, not specific information. For instance, their Zillow's Zestimate can give you a general idea of a home's value, but it definitely isn't an exact valuation tool.
For instance, Zillow can't recognize the difference between why a home on one particular street would be priced at a certain value but the house two blocks away would be priced differently. It also can't factor in things like why the previous sales sold for the prices they did or what is drawing people to particular neighborhoods, like good school systems, for instance.
So while it might be a good place for initial research and as a general guide, don't take everything you see on Zillow at face value.
4) It's Better To Price a Home High Because You Can Always Come Down
This is one of the most commonly believed real estate myths in the industry: in an attempt to get their ideal asking price for their home, they initially overprice it thinking that it will protect them from selling too low.
The problem with this is that overpricing a house can often lead to it sitting on the market for long periods of time and not receiving much interest, which can also look bad once the price is dropped to something more reasonable. An overpriced home can even keep interested buyers from even looking, let alone putting in a lower offer.
If a home is priced competitively from the get-go, however, the chances of attracting the right kind of buyer at the right price for the seller greatly increase.
5) Start Low When Making An Offer on a House
While sellers can make the mistake of overpricing, buyers can likewise make the mistake of low-balling their offer. There isn't anything wrong with negotiating; but if the home is priced reasonably and a buyer puts in an unrealistically low offer, they may alienate themselves with the seller and no longer be seen as a serious candidate in the negotiation process.
6) All Real Estate Agents Are the Same
While the general home buying/selling processes are relatively the same across the board, the same can't be said for real estate agents.
Similar to other professions, there are those agents in the real estate community who are committed to excellence, put in a lot of time and energy for their clients, are excellent problem solvers. And there are the agents that do what they need to do to get the job done and no more.
Just as in other fields, there are real estate agents that are better than others. So do your research--see who has some of the best results in your city. Look for things like achievements or awards. Do your research and find a reputable, experienced agent in your area to help you find or sell your home.
If you are in the Boise area, I would love to help you find or build your perfect home or sell your home! I have been in the market for over 20 years and have been a Top Producer in Boise for the last several years as well. If you are currently in the market for or looking to sell a home, please give me a call! I would love to help you!
Click below for an in-depth look at the Treasure Valley Home Market Statistics for September 2020! You can always find the most up-to-date information that you need to know on the #KelleySimonSays blog!
Perhaps you are thinking about building a new home--congratulations! This is an exciting aspect of homeownership!
You're looking through pictures of houses, seeing your favorite style of homes, and mentally sorting out all of the details that will create your dream home.
You have undoubtedly heard different stories from others about their home building experience. Building a house can be a great adventure, or it can be a complete pain in the neck. It really all depends on the steps you take and the people you work with.
So here are 5 tips from a realtor on building a house and how to make it a dream process instead of a nightmare.
6 Tips From a Realtor On Building a House
1) Know What You are Getting Into From the Start
There are some things that are important for you to be aware of before you ever even start the building process.
First, be prepared to dedicate a lot of time to the process--a lot of time. Being involved in your house building endeavor can sometimes feel like a part-time job, if not a full-time job. If you want to make sure that everything is going smoothly and being done correctly, expect to be spending a lot of time on-site at your new home.
You may not spend quite as much time in the early design stage, but just be ready to devote more time to your big new project as more construction gets underway.
Secondly, be prepared for any financial stress you may encounter. People spend years saving to build a house, and even if you are financially ready for this, spending these amounts of money can cause stress just in and of itself. Just be prepared for this and have some extra relaxation methods and techniques ready to go to help you get through these times as they come.
Just knowing what you are getting into and discussing with your significant other or a friend about how to handle difficulties as they arise will help you greatly when building a house.
2) Budget, Balance, and Build
When you are creating the budget for building a house, make sure to leave room for any additional or unexpected costs that may come up, because there will undoubtedly be additional costs that come up. A good rule of thumb is to factor in 30% of the total cost for the unforeseen costs that will arise.
With that said, make sure you are building with a balanced mindset. Keep your budget in your mind and follow it, but don't be so rigid that you don't spend money or even splurge a little on the things that matter to you most. You are designing this house, after all.
Now you can start to build. Find a builder who routinely builds homes like the one you want to build and make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured.
3) Plan, Plan, Plan
Have a good, solid idea of what you want for your house in the design stage. Pick out things like tile, cabinets, floors, appliances, paint colors, etc., before you actually need them. That way when your contractor comes to you and says, "We'll be putting the floors down in the living room in two weeks," you can go ahead and order exactly what you want and keep the whole project rolling along on schedule.
Having a good plan will also help you avoid last-minute design changes which can incur additional costs.
As you are planning, consider whether or not you plan on someday re-selling. This can help you determine how customized you want your house to be. If you plan on re-selling someday, make sure not to over-customize the house with things that the average person wouldn't want in their home. If you don't plan on reselling, then go ahead and tweak things to your liking.
4) Hire the Right People
This is probably the most important decision you will make in regards to you building a home. You will be working very closely with your builder/architect throughout the whole building process, and the overall experience is largely determined by the relationship that you have with them.
Your realtor will be of great help in this process. They should be able to give you referrals for builders/architects, project managers, and any other hire you are looking for. Your realtor is in the house building realm all the time--take advantage of their expertise and connections as you start building your ideal, cohesive construction team.
Do your homework before hiring anyone. Make sure you interview lots of different builders before making a decision. You will be able to test their levels of experience against each other. You can also get a good feel for how it would be to work with that particular builder.
If a builder is taking a long time to get back to you when you reach out with questions, that would be a good indicator that they might not be very timely when working on an actual building project.
You can get a good idea of how a builder will work on a project and find one that you get along well with as well. This will make the whole experience much easier and more enjoyable. After all, these are the people who will be helping you with one of the biggest financial commitments of your life. Make sure you vibe well with them and they are competent.
5) Communicate Everything; Don't Assume Anything
While there isn't a way to avoid mistakes altogether, you can minimize them by being specific and making your expectations very clear.
Keeping open lines of communication with your builder or project manager can help lessen the number of mistakes that get made. The more specific you are when describing how you want something to look, the smoother everything will go. Assuming your team understands every part of your vision for your house perfectly could get you into trouble--they have a lot to remember. So make sure you communicate openly and respectfully about what you want at each stage of construction.
Click below for an in-depth look at the Treasure Valley Home Market Statistics for August 2020! You can always find the most up-to-date information that you need to know on the #KelleySimonSays blog!
Kel & Company
Silvercreek Realty Group