$254,000  Caldwell, Idaho
This beautiful charmer has undergone a stunning transformation, marrying modern comforts with classic charm. Updates include new roof, new siding, new windows, new rain gutters, new insulation, new AC system, new fence, new interior paint, new flooring, new carpet, new kitchen remodel, new bath remodel, new updated lights, new refrigerator, new garage door, new washer & dryer, & new sprinkler clock. Situated near downtown Caldwell, & College of Idaho. This property offers the perfect blend of convenience and tranquility. Enjoy easy access to local amenities, dining, and entertainment. Embrace the outdoors on the generously sized lot, perfect for entertaining, gardening, or potential expansion. Unlock the property's full potential by exploring the option to build an additional unit. Contact City of Caldwell on building requirements. Great opportunity for a first time home buyer, or investor.
Call Oscar Cortez 208-739-7111

$89,000  Emmett, Idaho
Single level home minutes into town. With a well-thought-out floor plan, a generously sized kitchen, and a great living room for family, & guests. You will love the covered patio for all those great evenings. Home also comes with a storage shed, perfect for storing all those tools & a washer, & dryer. Home is located close to downtown Emmett, schools, shopping, & medical facilities. Lot Rent is $370 a month, & does not include utilities. Come on by & take a look at your new home. Property is being sold in "AS IS" condition.
Call Oscar Cortez 208-739-7111

$5,995  Boise, Idaho
Enjoy resort like living in this 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home on a private lake with access to the Greenbelt. Custom kitchen with 3 ovens, granite counters, island, wine rack and formal dining make entertaining easy. Fun for all ages in the beautifully landscaped backyard with pickleball, basketball, hot tub, pontoon paddle boat, and a floating dock to dive or slide into the lake. Den/ office space and oversized 3 car garage for all your toys. Partially furnished with beds and fully stocked kitchen.
Call Taylor Jackson 661-755-0663

$1,799,999  Emmett, Idaho
Two homes on 6.7 acres. Perfectly situated for multigenerational living. Main home is a single-level custom built with a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath split-bedroom floorplan. Open living area with a fireplace and lots of natural light from wall-to-ceiling windows tucked under an inviting covered front patio. The gorgeous kitchen features dual Bosch dishwashers, double ovens, pot filler, large granite island, large counter/eating space, formal dining area and walk-in pantry. Office/craft/multi-use room with built-in cabinetry and large granite work island. Covered patio off of dining/kitchen area. Live/work scenario with TWO 40x60 shops (both have power, one is set up for office use with mezzanine and bathroom. Other various outbuildings and full auto sprinklers for lawn. Second home is under construction 2bed/2bath/2car with porch and 30x60 shop. Home is closed-in (roofed, sided and framed) Seller is in the process of completing it-or-take it over and choose your finishes. Lots of special extras, too much to mention
Call Cori Duncan 208-861-1663

$495,000  Meridian, Idaho
Superb location! Currently lowest priced, multi-unit investment opportunity in all of Boise and Meridian! Close to schools, shopping centers, restaurants and local amenities. Easy maintenance, low average cost for water, sewer and trash. Separate electrical meters. Metal roof. New carpet and interior paint 08/23 in unit #1130. Currently both units are tenant occupied with long rental history. #1130 Leased through 08/31/25. #1128 is currently Month to month. North 1/3 portion of lot (approx, 2200 sqft.) potential for garage or out-building with P/Z approval. Current leases Landlord pays water/sewer/trash (approx $85 month) Tenants pay electric.
Call Todd Bedegi 208-440-7253

$650,000  Arco, Idaho
What an opportunity! Although The Golden West Cafe was rebuilt on the edge of town in 1989, it has been an Arco icon since the late 1940's. Always locally owned and a favorite, not only by the local patrons but those who have traveled US-20 for decades. This is a rare opportunity of property & business combined into a smooth continuation of operation, ready for fresh ideas, or an entirely new concept. The east section of the restaurant has a banquet room for private parties that has recently had the start of a remodel converting it into living space giving you both a restaurant & living quarters under one roof!
Call Tia Dowdle 208-631-1396

$2,500  Meridian, Idaho
This beautiful and spacious home in Ashford Greens is situated within walking distance of Lakeview Golf Club. Enjoy cooking in the custom kitchen with knotty pine cabinets, recessed lighting and granite counters or snuggle up to the large gas fireplace in the open living room. The main bedroom includes a large walk-in closet and over-sized corner tub. Spread out with 3 more bedrooms, an office/den and a full second bath. Living space extends to the outdoors with a large, covered patio space. Close to schools, shopping, parks and easy access to the freeway.
Call Taylor Jackson 661-755-0663

$449,500  Boise, Idaho
Welcome to your new Boise Bench home located in the desirable Hillcrest Country Club area. This home offers 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms, rustic barn doors lead to a game/flex/bonus room, a great room that extends onto a private covered deck, great for entertaining, 3 patio areas (2 covered), paved RV PARKING, 2 car detached garage, and a back yard with endless possibilities-add grass, garden boxes, etc.. The bathrooms have been remodeled. The owner did not smoke or have any pets. Fridge, washer, dryer, & T.V. included. No HOA or CC&R's
Call Tia Dowdle 208-631-1396

$295,000  Cascade, Idaho
On top of the world! This 1.7 acres of wooded land features granite boulders, pre-designed building sites & potential for a family compound. Peacefully nestled on the property is a huge deck overlooking breathtaking views of Cascade Lake & West Mountain. Plenty of room for RV parking & toys. This rare find includes a 22' Lance travel trailer so you can camp now and build later! Carefree living with no HOA's or CC&R's. Includes a permitted septic system connected to the trailer. Close to Lake Cascade, boat ramp, ATV & snowmobile trails, Cascade & Tamarack Ski Resort. Private road access with County maintained road for year-round access below. Once you've found yourself sitting on the deck, you'll never want to leave. Property next door is available for sale with same owner. Watch for wildlife as deer and fox live in the hood. Just 80 miles from Boise and you'll leave the city life behind. This is your own private Idaho!
Call Marty Siebertz 208-336-9600

$4,995  Eagle, Idaho
Luxury Custom 5 Bedroom 5 Bath Rental now available in Eagle. Three month minimum lease or longer. This beautifully furnished home is on the waterfront property with professionally designed landscaping. Enjoy a chef's kitchen featuring high-end Stainless-Steel appliances, and concrete countertops. Open floor plan includes 30 ft. ceilings with lodge-style wood beams, Mexican clay tile floors and a large river rock wood fireplace. Skylights and huge windows flood the home with light. The primary suite has vaulted ceilings, ensuite with jetted tub and walk-in shower and its own private balcony. A second master suite offers gracious living for guests. Additional amenities include SubZero Fridge, Thermador Gas +BBQ Range, Surround Sound Speakers, Hot Tub, Security System and Hanging Garage Shelves.
Call Taylor Jackson 661-755-0663
IdahoRealEstate.com Blog

Prepping for winter in Idaho


If you are new to Idaho, and have never owned a home in a cold climate, here are some tips for preparing your home for the winter. Many of these things should have already been done by now, but if not, you may consider taking care of them before a deep freeze. This is especially true if you are selling your home and have already moved on to your new destination. Having a vacant home in the winter has its own set of challenges – but being prepared can take the fear and worry about something going wrong… because if you don’t take precautions, something can definitely go wrong. What are the most important things to think about? Here’s a list of things to consider:
• Have lawn watering system blown out to remove water from pipes. (You should do this by October or before the first freeze)
• Change batteries and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
• Have furnace inspected and serviced, and change furnace filter.
• Clean out gutters. This is to prevent ice dams that can cause roof leaks.
• Trim trees if needed. To prevent tree limbs from falling on the roof during a heavy snowfall.
• Turn off water to outdoor spigots if possible.
• Disconnect any garden hoses and cover the spigot. Try using a Styrofoam-type insulating cover to prevent freezing and condensation.
• Check all door and window weatherstripping for damage: Replace any damaged weather stripping.
• Check and repair any worn or damaged weather-stripping caulk.
• Store or protect outdoor lawn furniture.
• Wrap or protect delicate shrubs or gardens.
If you are leaving your house unoccupied for more than a few days at a time, setting your thermostat at 55 degrees or so while you’re gone will save energy and keep anything from freezing. If your home is currently vacant and listed for sale, be sure to keep your home warmer than that – at least 65-68 degrees – you want the potential buyers to stay as long as possible to see all that you have to offer. If it’s too cold inside, they’ll want to leave quickly and get back to their warm car.

If you are wondering why it is so important to keep the inside of your vacant home warm, remember that water expands when it freezes – water pipes will burst if the water freezes. Weighing the cost between keeping the thermostat a little higher and the cost to remedy a flooded house due to burst water pipes is easy math. I once sold a home in December to an out of state couple that weren’t moving in for a couple weeks. While checking on the home, I walked in to discover that the heater had shut off, and all the pipes had frozen, bursting one in the upstairs bathroom. Fortunately, the frozen water had stopped the complete flooding of the house; there was only a small puddle on the bathroom floor. If the heater had gone back on there would have been a major disaster. It’s a good thing I arrived when I did, and was able to turn the water main off and get a plumber and HVAC guy out to remedy the situation.
Moral to the story? If you do have a vacant home in the winter, be sure to have someone check in from time to time – you too can avert a disaster! Be sure you know where the main water shut-off valve, and be sure to let your agent or whomever is checking on your home know where it is.
If you have any questions, or need real estate assistance, please feel free to reach out – I’m always happy to help!
Happy Holidays!
Terry Ivins

Supply and Demand in the Real Estate Market


Welcome to Idaho! We enjoy a wonderful quality of life here with scenic vistas and unlimited recreation!

It is amazing in the midst of a pandemic, high unemployment, protests and a Presidential Election. Home prices are setting record highs, low interest rates, with multiple offers on many properties. WAIT! That was in 2020....

That fast paced crazy market stopped abruptly in May of 2022. Low inventory, longer Days on The Market, Sold prices and Values continue to decline in many markets. Homes not appraising at the Contract price. A time of uncertainty for some.

Mortgage rates have also been a Hot Topic! BIG changes...8.5 % today. Many would-be sellers today are not able or willing to trade their current low mortgage rate of 3% up to 8+%. New Loan programs are being created and Seller or Builder concessions are common. Sellers paying to help the Buyer buy their home.

If you find a house you love and it fits your needs please don’t wait!

Our market is still a Seller’s market. We don't know if we will see Short Sales and Foreclosures like in 2010. If you think you have found something that is a good deal, so do many others. The Good Deals go quickly under contract in a couple days.

While many are waiting for sale prices to be lower or interest rates to be lower. That may not pencil out either in the long run.

Usually during the winter months we experience a slowdown in Real Estate sales. Weather and economic factors play a part in the market. This year may be different. Many are moving for job changes and the big surge is to be closer to family.

As a recent Economic Forecast Speaker stated; We are navigating by the stars in cloudy, overcast conditions.

Find a great Realtor and Financial professional to help you with these important decisions.

Thank you!

Sue Kropf

What Does It Mean to Stop and Smell the Roses?


As we slowly move into the winter months, it is the perfect time to not only count our blessings, but take time to acknowledge the value and meaning of the most important people and things in your life. According to science, spending time in nature is a common source of joy. Just the act of appreciating a dandelion or a rose may play an even larger role in our overall happiness than we know.
Stopping to smell the roses is an act of appreciation and realization ofa source of goodness in our lives. It means taking the time to recognize the daily moments that bring us joy and to really see what causes that emotion. The difference in well-being, happiness, sense of elevation, and level of connectedness to other people, can be significantly higher for those who spend time noticing and savoring these moments of joy.
Once you have experienced the delight of something, expressing it to someone else grows the sentiment and spreads the joy.
The expression “stop and smell the roses” is not just about flowers or nature, but an encouragement to live life with a deeper gratefulness for the world around us. It is a reminder to slow down and take notice of the people and events of the day, to be present in every moment, seeing beyond the ordinary. It means consciously directing your mind to be aware and attentive to the present moment to be able to experience and enjoy more of the world surrounding you.
No matter what part of your life’s walk you are on, there is always time to adopt this this trusted mantra. Best to you~ Steve C.

Contributions to this article courtesy of CrisaSeniorLiving.org
Steve Claridge

Rent vs. Buy: What Option is Right for You?


There’s a lot to consider when deciding if you should rent or buy a home, and in the current environment, it’s getting trickier to decide. Given economic uncertainty, recession fears, high interest rates, and conflicts/instability throughout the world, you may think now is not the time to invest in a home, but conside this:
• Idaho is the fourth most expensive state for renters, where renters have experienced an average 41% increase in prices over the past three years.?(MovingFeedback analyzed data from Zillow.com)
• Rents are expected to grow more than home prices in 2023, according to Realtor.com
• Mortgage rates are likely to decline through 2023, although they will remain volatile as the markets react to economic data on inflation and employment
• Investor activity is cooling off since the hot market of 2021
• Sellers are more flexible on price and other terms and conditions

Drilling Down
A 41% increase in rental prices equates to paying on average almost $475 per month over what you paid just 3 years ago. That’s a huge bite out of your income! Of course, asking prices for properties for sale have also dramatically increased during that same time period. The good news for Buyers is many Sellers are accepting offers below asking price with closing credits and cash incentives to buy down mortgage rates.

Rent prices may begin to stabilize during the next year, but don’t expect prices to drop quickly. “We are seeing moderation in construction costs and land costs, therefore there should be a corresponding rent stabilization in the near future,” Jeff Hess, development partner at Hawkins Homes and Communities, said. “However, some new multi-family projects are locked into old land and construction contracts, so the leveling off will still take some time. There is a slight uptick in inventory, but still in short supply for the near future.”

Although mortgage rates are expected to decline, they’re still high. The average fixed rate on a 30-year mortgage is expected to fluctuate between 6% and 6.5% this spring, according to housing economists interviewed by U.S. News.

Professional investors might be tapering down their home purchases, which could be a good development for frustrated homebuyers who find it hard to compete with investors’ lofty, quick-close, all-cash offers. “We have seen that investor activity has started to come down, which means that the typical homebuyer would be competing with fewer investors,” says Hannah Jones, an economic data analyst at Realtor.com. “We heard this over and over during the [COVID-19] pandemic. A family is looking to buy a home but they got outbid by investors.”

What Does This All Mean?
Market dynamics are changing so rapidly that most of us are at a loss on how to proceed. Shmuel Shayowitz, president and chief lending officer at Approved Funding, thinks anyone contemplating a home purchase this year needs to access personalized guidance and advice. That’s a fancy way of saying consult with a knowledgeable Realtor and Lender who can lay out your options so you can make an informed decision. If renting is the best option, your Realtor will tell you that. For instance, if you’re planning on staying in the area less than 2 years, you need to repair your credit, or other factors come into play, renting may be the best option. However, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have much money for a down payment, should you decide to buy. A good Realtor will connect you with a mortgage lender, if you don’t know one, who will have several loan options for your consideration. For example, Rocket Mortgage, the largest lender in the U.S. in 2022, announced its ONE+ program this week. United Wholesale Mortgage, the No. 2 lender, launched its Conventional 1% Down loans in April — then made them significantly more generous following Rocket’s announcement. The rival programs piggyback off of Fannie Mae’s HomeReady mortgages and Freddie Mac’s Home Possible loans. Those initiatives allow borrowers who make less than 80 percent of their neighborhoods’ median income to obtain a conventional loan with just 3 percent down.

Negotiating a cash incentive as part of your offer will give you money to buy down the mortgage interest rate, such as a 3-2-1 or a 2-1 buy down where the buyer can buy down the rate but needs a seller credit to do so,” Joshua Massieh, a mortgage broker at Pacwest Funding said. “The buydown would help the buyer get into the 4% rate range and that is a huge difference!” There are even O down programs available to first-time home buyers or military personnel. For the cost of what you pay to secure a rental property, you may be able to use that money to get into your own home.

Bottom Line
If all this information sounds Greek to you, don’t despair! A good Realtor can help you make sense of it all. They can even direct you to a credit repair agency that can help you repair your credit so you can get pre-qualified for a loan. The bottom line: renting vs. buying is a personal choice; only you can decide what’s right for you. Your Realtor can help guide you through the decision-making process so you can make an informed decision. The more you know, the easier your choice will be.

Kelly McCune

So. Here we are, in the midst of a Potential? Absolute? Maybe not? r e c e s s i o n.


Recently, a room of hundreds of realtors, bankers, builders and related trades attended a presentation of economic study, in attempts to scope out our future, presented by one of the most lettered, renowned economists in our country, and sponsored by Stewart Title. This is a way of forecasting the real estate market for us, allowing us to prepare, strap on our seat belts and head into the wind. One of his quotes during this presentation was “it’s going to ugly on down some more”.

I’ve learned through my tenured years in the design/build industry that there will always be a ‘sky falling’ chicken in our futures. Running around, freaking out that the sky is getting dark. And to be sure, we should always be prepared for calamity of one sort or another. We should never get too far extended ahead of ourselves; we should understand the tipping point between risk and reserve.

However, when we let others forecast our futures, there tends to be the domino effect. We let others steer our ships, take our masts down, and tuck in. When the storm comes, we need to be ready, head into it, and work a bit harder, not less. I say this from experience, and true to form, there will always be the very small percentage of winners in a recession that take the market by storm, because their competition has tucked in. In other words, if you buy into it, for sure, it will be there, and it will take you down like just one more domino. . .

So, whichever industry you are in, sure you will be affected. It’s your choice as to whether or not you buy into it, or move forward. I know from my past experiences that some of these low economic periods have been some of the most fruitful. I hope this can be true for you as well.

I remain eager, persistent and resourceful to fulfill your real estate needs, and I wish you all the best through this next economic chapter.

Debowden Bauer

Welcome to the middle of February!


To many, it seems as though we just celebrated the New Year, but let’s not let this early springtime slip away. This is a great time to be thinking about your garden and getting a jump on spring planting.
Starting flower seeds indoors offers a wonderful opportunity to get a head start on the gardening season. It also allows those of us in cooler climates to grow some amazing plants and flowers even if our growing season wouldn’t normally let us grow them to maturity. However, growing seeds indoors does take a little planning. Here are a few easy tips!

How to Start Flower Seeds Indoors

The wonderful thing about growing from seed is having access to a greatly increased selection of flowers. It’s easy to purchase seeds online these days, and we can grow many different types of seed not normally grown at our local nursery; just be sure to grab a packet that will do well in your area.

There are many different types of containers that can be used for starting flower seeds indoors. Some examples include:
• plastic cell trays of varying cell sizes
• soil blocking (container free- the soil is essentially the container)
• growing in homemade paper pots
• recycled containers, such as egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, take-out containers with lids
• compostable pots, such as peat pots nurseries.

Seed starting mix is important to grow strong healthy seedlings. It should contain a mixture of ingredients, all essential to keep the soil aerated and well balanced for the growing seedling. You can generally pick up any good seed starting mix at your local hardware store. The mix should contain peat, vermiculite, and perlite. Sometimes it will contain a fertilizer as well.

• If you are growing a small number of seeds in a sunny south facing window, you may not need any additional lighting. However, if the seedlings get tall and leggy, they probably aren’t getting enough light.
• You may need some sort of lighting source to provide supplemental lighting to seedlings grown indoors.

These are just a few tips to get a jump on making your home the most beautiful it can be – while having a little fun in the meantime! Sit back and let them grow. Enjoy thinking about how beautiful your garden will be when your seedlings are ready to be replanted outside!

Ideas from: https://farmhouseandblooms.com/

Carol Relf

Are you ready?


Hey, first time homebuyers, get ready for a great buying season this spring. With interest rates possibly down into the fives and property values down at least 10+ percent now is the time to put your best foot forward and go and make that offer.

You’re going to want to use an experienced agent who knows how to use this new environment for your benefit. We can get closing costs, money to buy interest rates down and repairs. These types of benefits have been rare these last few years.

Val Gray

Boise loves it parks!


The city of trees, also known as Boise, Idaho enjoys a beautiful river running through it alongside the ever-popular Greenbelt. This stretch of river is home to cycling, walking, running, fishing and more and it connects to a number of community parks that are all named for women who have a leadership history in this community. A few of our favorite places to enjoy are these four parks located within the city. We encourage you to explore the many others such as Kristen Armstrong Park, Cherie Buckner Webb Park, Ester Simplot Water Park, Bernadine Quinn and Marianne Williams park. We are a city proud of the women who have called this city their home.

Kathryn Albertson Park The public park system running through the middle of Boise has been dubbed “String of Pearls”, and its nine riverside parks are known collectively as the “Ribbon of Jewels.” The acreage comprising all nine existing parks and future park sites found in the Ribbon of Jewels were deeded to the city by families and named for the families’ esteemed matriarchs. Doug Holloway says, “It’s an honor because it shows the proud ownership each of those families have in the city to be able to do that.” Just as the Boise River unites these parks, the women themselves are linked by their love and appreciation of Boise. Each of these women saw their future in this city, and they worked hard for the majority of their lives to be able to give back to the community they grew to hold so dear. In return, their families chose to honor them with a park- a commemoration as great as the women themselves.
Julia Davis Park The history of Boise’s park system really begins with Tom and Julia Davis. Tom was one of Boise’s founding citizens, meeting Julia when she visited from Ontario with a friend’s family. They married in 1871. As Boise grew, so did its need for a park, but the expense to taxpayers was a major obstacle in developing it. Citizens tried to convince city council to establish a park by identifying possible locales for development, one of which was a 40-acre parcel of land on the north side of the Boise River owned by the Davises. In 1899, Tom offered the land to the city free of charge, but the gesture was hardly welcomed with open arms. Critics feared it would be too costly for the young city to convert a swampy patch of land prone to flooding into a stately park. His offer was turned down. Julia did not live to see the Boise City Council finally accept Tom’s land offer. She is rumored to have contracted typhoid fever from a sick traveler, and passed away in September of 1907. Shortly after her death, the city purchased the land from Tom for one dollar under the condition that it would “always and forever be used for public purpose” and henceforth be known as Julia Davis Park.

Anne Morrison Park Following the successful development of Julia Davis, Boise’s flagship park, in the early 1900s, Harry Morrison wanted to create a similar tribute to his wife Ann after she passed away in 1957. R.J. Brown, Jr. said, “He envisioned a living memorial to the woman who shared with him the trials of Morrison-Knudsen’s struggling infancy and the tribulations of its ultimate success.” In only ten months, Harry converted a large stretch of swampy, river-bottom land into a 153-acre tribute to his late wife. When describing the exquisitely landscaped grounds, which include 2,000 trees and shrubs, 30,000 smaller shrubs and perennials, 20,000 flowering annuals, and a magnificent reflecting pool and fountain, local publications said it called to mind the Tuileries Gardens and Taj Mahal. But it was never intended to be a “keep-off-the-grass” park. Strategically placed amidst the impressive landscaping are sports fields, picnic areas, a playground, and a boating and watersports area. The Harry W. Morrison Foundation spent well over a million dollars developing the park before deeding it to the city in June of 1959. The day of the dedication ceremony, 46 flags were flown for every country Ann had visited. Thousands of Boise residents were in attendance, remembering the woman known for her friendliness and generosity. A gilded bronze medallion engraved with Ann Morrison’s likeness was unveiled at the end of the ceremony that read: “She knew the shrines, the people, the cities of far away lands…yet dearest of all was this her home, the place she knew as Boise the Beautiful.”

Kathryn Albertson Park The city has done such an outstanding job maintaining its parks system that it does the Ribbon of Jewels’ namesakes proud. Boise Parks and Recreation director Doug Holloway says, “We have a vision to make Boise the most livable city, and maintaining our parks system keeps us marching toward that goal. Our mayor and city council look to us in the parks department to maintain quality of life for the city and it’s a responsibility we take very seriously.” As federal funding is generally not available to help cities develop and maintain parks, it is interesting to note that Boise continued to develop and improve the parks system during the economic downturn of 2008. “Our mayor said he did not want to go backwards. We had to cut a lot of things, but we knew it was important to maintain and increase the service level with our parks, even during the downturn.” State of the art playground equipment, finely manicured lawns and horticulture, walking paths, benches, game courts, and a generally spotless appearance are typical of all of Boise’s parks. The parks have become a community asset. They bring people and businesses together, and they attract others to the Boise area, not unlike the women behind the Ribbon of Jewels.

Contributions for the article were made by the Boise Parks and Recreation.
Marty Siebertz & Joe Devlin

What do I do for a living...?


Anyone that has been in the real estate business for more than a minute, can attest to the fact that you meet some unusual people, and you see some unusual things on any given day. This is especially true for any of us that have been in the business long enough to have survived the era of short sales and bank-owned properties. I doubt that my experiences are substantially different from those of my colleagues, in that regard.

We've all seen (and still see) homes in states of disrepair or neglect, as well as properties suffering from blatant abuse and vandalism. Of course there are also the homes that we are utterly in awe of, those out-weighing the former, thankfully. Yes, we get to show and list beautiful homes. Where I believe we differ, is in the deeply personal connections that we make with the clients we serve. We all have those clients we were able to help in a profound way, and we all have our stories, each as unique as the people in them. Here are a couple of mine.

Take "Jim", for instance. Jim was a gentleman on disability, as he had many health issues and was trying to get assistance from the state to pay his medical bills. He was quite ill and had to move out of state to a medical facility, and left his house for me to sell "as is". First, know that this was a bachelor pad, but not in the swanky black leather couch and dogs playing poker on velvet art, kinda way, but in the loads of deferred cleaning (greasy) and maintenance kinda way. Because I have a stager's brain and take a great deal of pride in anything that I put my name on, "as is" just didn't work for me, thus I spent a ton of time cleaning, repairing and de-junking. The home sold the first day with multiple offers, for about $30,000 over our original estimate (back in 2017, no less)!! Even better, it was sold to a woman whose fortysomething husband had just had a stroke and she needed a single level home. Additionally, she had a baby on the way. That may have been one of my happiest and most karmic transactions. Blessings all around!! I shed happy tears for a buyer that wasn't even mine! Super happy seller, super happy buyer.

Another memorable transaction was with a seller that I call "Mary". Mary was an intelligent young woman, graduate of a prestigious university and wise enough to have purchased a home in her twenties, but she tragically found herself in an abusive relationship. She wanted to leave the bad stuff behind and enlisted my help to sell her home. Other than the usual cleaning and staging that I alway recommend, Mary's house was pretty easy to sell.....pending in two days with multiple offers. What I couldn't do is to put a price tag on the financial security that allowed her to distance herself from the abuse. What, exactly, is that worth?

Lastly, there was "Jane". Jane had been trying to sell her deceased mother's home on the Snake River for six months. She had no income and both she and her son had some major health issues. She had an agent friend, who was trying to bring her a buyer without putting the home on the market. With no real action in sight, Jane was getting nervous and desperate. This property was a manufactured home with a well and septic, and also had special financing requirements because of foundation certification. It was on 2 acres with a view of the river and I felt that the other agent had significantly undervalued the potential sales price, perhaps because of the "inside deal" she was trying to broker with a buyer? At any rate, there were lots of moving parts, lots of research to be done, none of which her agent friend had done up to that point. Suffice it to say, once I was able to secure the listing, we closed within 40 days, even though so many inspections/reinspections were required in a transaction like this one. Jane was ecstatic as many bills got paid and she and her special needs son were able to ride away in her new RV, with more cash than she had anticipated.

These are just a few of my "close to my heart" transactions. I have made MANY more new and lasting friendships in my 12 years in real estate, but these are just a few that I know I have helped in some small way. I know my fellow agents have similar stories and I would encourage you all to reflect on those every now and again, especially when someone asks you what you do for a living.

Yes, I sell houses. Sometimes I sell dreams. Occasionally, I believe that I help provide a little financial security for those in need. Every now and then, I get to show a pretty house.

Lori Venable

What is CMA, and why do you need one?


A CMA in real estate is short for a Comparable Market Analysis. It's a way for a real estate professional to find the value of a property by comparing it to other similar properties that have recently sold, are pending, and are currently for sale. This is different than an appraisal as an appraisal is done by a licensed appraiser for a fee. Commonly an appraiser is hired by a mortgage lender to determine if the value of the home meets the contract price. A CMA on the other hand is done by a real estate professional (usually at no cost) for determining the value of a home for a client. When a real estate professional is preparing a CMA they often look at criteria similar to the subject property such as age of home, square footage of home, location, size of lot, number of bathrooms and bedrooms, and number of levels. The more things in common the comparable home has with the subject home in these major areas the more accurate the value will be. Homes that have sold in the past 3 months will generally be the best indication of value because that is what homes actually sold for, however pending and active homes can also give indications of where the market is heading which can be helpful as well.

Why is getting a CMA important? An accurate CMA can help a potential seller determine the right asking price. Every seller wants to get the most out of selling their home as possible. However, pricing the home too high can backfire and lead to an overall decrease in profits in the end. Therefore, knowing what comparable homes have been selling for and what current asking prices are can greatly aid in choosing the best list price. CMA's can also help potential buyers determine if the home they are interested in is priced too high or not. All of this information is valuable and can help both buyers and sellers negotiate the best prices for homes.

Dianna Bentley
(208) 484-1182