$485,000  Arco, Idaho
What an opportunity! The Golden West Café was rebuilt in 1989, and 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. Come continue operations, bring fresh ideas, or bring an entirely new concept! Updated HVAC with 2 units, newer water heater, newer fridge and freezer. The east section of the restaurant has living space potential giving you both a business & living under one roof, if desired. The back offers landscaping with automatic sprinklers for entertaining or privacy. The possibilities are endless! Gross sales 5-year average is strong, owners are simply looking to retire.
Call Tia Dowdle 208-631-1396

$500,000  Boise, Idaho
Spacious home in an amazing location! This well maintained home features a layout perfect for both comfort and functionality. You will walk into a formal living area open to the kitchen and dining area. The large family room is perfect for gatherings and relaxation. The master suite is a perfect retreat, complete with dual vanities, separate tub and shower, and a great walk-in closet. Newer kitchen appliances, new sod and sprinklers, and updated design features throughout! The backyard is complete with a large covered patio, garden space, and storage shed. The three car garage provides plenty of space for all the toys! Conveniently located near parks, schools, shopping, and more.
Call Robert Smith 208-490-1645

$230,000  Fairfield, Idaho
Scenic 40 acre parcel overlooking the picturesque forks of Three Mile Creek directly below the towering Soldier Mtns. The rambling terrain and elevation offer the very best of the outdoors in all seasons. Enjoy abundant wildlife viewing opportunities (Mule Deer, Elk, Antelope), amazing sunrises and sunsets! A seasonal creek flows nicely near center of property. Numerous building sites offer “one of a kind” views. Power is available near the East edge of parcel. Access road to property is not county or winter maintained. The gateway way to USFS lands and Sawtooth Mtns is just minutes away providing endless opportunities to UTV, moto, snowmobile, mtn bike, hike, hunt & camp. Zoning is Ag-Tran (1) acre allowing potential division.
Call Steve Claridge 208-539-2833

$2,800,000  Nampa, Idaho
This Prime acreage in Southeast Nampa with the potential to be subdivided is full of opportunity! Approx. 62 +/- acres located in area ideal for Single Family Residential 1-2.5 acre parcels. Great location close to schools, amenities & city center. Irrigation water way runs through center of property for added aesthetic potential for new development. On a clear day you'll have views of the entire valley, the Boise Front, and Owyhee Mountains. Near Idaho's wine country and outdoor recreation. Several access points. Flanked at South side by a beautiful acreage community of custom homes. Up-and-coming area. GREAT OPPORTUNITY!
Call Marty Siebertz 208-336-9600

$325,000  Mountain Home, Idaho
Welcome to your dream property nestled near the picturesque Anderson Ranch Reservoir and the world class trout fishery on the South Fork Boise River! This stunning parcel offers an unparalleled opportunity to own a slice of paradise, in the heart of Idaho. Immerse yourself in the tranquil waters, surrounded by breathtaking scenery, and experience the thrill of landing trophy-worthy trout. Hunters will find themselves in a paradise for upland game bird hunting and (OTC) elk and deer hunting opportunities. Off-road enthusiasts can explore nearby public lands with miles of motorcycle, UTV and snowmobile trails. Don't miss out on the chance to own this extraordinary 48+acre property. With its unmatched natural beauty, diverse recreational offerings and proximity to urban amenities, this property is an absolute gem. Located just 10 minutes from the South Fork Boise River & Reservoir Boat Ramp , 1 hour to Boise. 1.5 hours to Sun Valley and just 20 minutes to Mountain Home.
Call Steve Claridge 208-539-2833

$499,900  Boise, Idaho
What a unique opportunity to own a gorgeous, last of its kind, lot on Boise’s Central Rim. Homeowners and their architects rejoice! This completely level Bench property with 125’ of frontage is perfect for any style home without compromising, enough room to accommodate a large, tick all the boxes, design. And with 151' depth there is still plenty of space for a separate ADU and a beautiful, private yard. Or divide and conquer, by building on one lot and selling the other! If you are a builder or investor this is one of the last remaining vacant lots of this size on the Central Rim (or available in any area this close to downtown) and offers multiple development options. All city utilities are street side on Holmes, irrigation is available.
Call Sherry Tarrant 208-369-0815

$725,000  Melba, Idaho
Captivating, unobstructed Views of Owyhee Mountains & Snake River awaits you on this 40 acre property. Perfectly located South of Nampa in the Melba valley, this parcel gives you the country lifestyle while keeping you close to amenities. 10-15 minutes to Nampa/Kuna. Exploring the Owyhee Mountains or fishing the Snake River. Plenty of room for your animals and the dream shop you've always wanted. Easy access to celebration park, with your own private rock climbing wall. Water rights for irrigation available. On Google maps use S. Lizard Lane for location.
Call Farzin Safavi 208-863-9571

$1,325,000  Eagle, Idaho
Exceptional building lot nestled in the Eagle foothills at the end of Triple Ridge Estates. Beautiful estate properties line the meandering drive back to this location. View property. Feels a million miles away, yet very close to upscale shopping, high-end restaurants, and more. Actual view shown. Photo taken standing on one possible build site on this 5-acre parcel. Must see to fully appreciate. Absolutely breathtaking. Video tour: https://youtu.be/juHgiK5Rj20 ** Access is North on Triple Ridge from Beacon Light Road, East on Trinity, to end of road. Please do not access property without a showing appointment. Thank you.
Call Steve Barbey 208-724-8169

$560,000  Meridian, Idaho
OPEN HOUSE THIS SUNDAY 1:30-3:30. Welcome to your dream home nestled in the heart of Meridian's coveted Cadence 55+ community. This impeccably maintained residence offers an unparalleled blend of comfort, style, and modern elegance. The Prairie Harvest floor plan has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an Office. Great open floor plan, step into a large living room with vaulted ceilings, spacious dining area and kitchen with oversized Quartz island and stainless steel appliances. Impressive bar area with drink refrigerator and extra cabinetry for decorative items or Coffee/Wine bar area. Grand master ensuite with double vanities and large walk in closet, oversized shower and soaker tub. Plumbed for central vac & includes whole house humidifier and water softener. Covered patio and maintenance free living with landscaping taken care of for you & snow removal! Garage with storage cabinets and workshop area. HUGE Clubhouse with many weekly activities, lap pool, pickleball, locker rooms, & more!
Call Donalyn Allen 208-968-2024

$429,000  Caldwell, Idaho
Rare opportunity to build your dream home in a quiet country setting with unobstructed views of the Owyhee Mountains. An ideal setting for those seeking extra space and quick access to recreational activities. Explore thousands of acres of Pickle Butte on your dirt bikes, ATV’s and ORV’s. Just south of this area you will find the George Nourse gun range. The closest public boat launch into the Snake River is Trappers Flat, just Southeast around the bend. For the wine enthusiast, you can travel East over the river to Fox Canyon Vineyards or in to Marsing and take a wine tour of the area. The perfect location for a barndominium, shop or home. Horses allowed and no HOA. Your recreational oasis awaits on Blue Fox Lane (private road).
Call Crista Martin 208-577-7157
IdahoRealEstate.com Blog

Financing Options for Baby Boomers (aka the Silver Generation)

5/20/2024

Would you be surprised to know that you can buy a home with just a little over half down and never make a mortgage payment? What kind of nonsense is that??!! The term mortgage is of French Latin derivation, and translates to "dead pledge". Who wants to be paying a mortgage until they die?

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is an FHA, government-backed financing option for those who are at least 62 years of age. Previously known as a Reverse Mortgage, the HECM helps expel some old, but common misconceptions. Yes, you CAN still sell your home if you have a HECM, and your heirs ALSO may sell your home when you pass. The balance of the mortgage is simply paid off at closing, like any other home loan.

What if you are lucky enough to have paid off your mortgage, but would like to pull some equity from your home? The HECM is quickly becoming a smart financial planning tool, as recognized by many financial advisors. How about drawing some equity to take that trip of a life-time, or even retiring when you would like to, so there's no need to work as a Walmart greeter? Trust me, this can be a game changer for you!

Whether using a HECM for purchase, or for drawing equity, you must continue to pay property taxes and keep your homeowners insurance current, but that is true of any home mortgage situation.

This blogging baby boomer is planning on using it for her next home purchase, so it must be a great option!! It is important to work with a lender who has experience with HECM loans, and I am fortunate to work with several. I would love to direct you to someone who can help make your silver years much more enjoyable!!

Lori Venable
208-761-1603
lvenable@atova.com



Martha’s Spring Favorites

5/5/2024

As a Boise Realtor of 30 years, I know the importance of presenting a home with it’s best foot forward, and that can begin with great curb appeal. It’s springtime in Boise and the colors are bursting everywhere. My go to for planning a well-rounded spring garden comes to you directly from Martha Stewart in her Spring Issue of The Martha Blog.

Martha’s flower garden really comes to life during spring. In it, you’ll find flowers of various sizes, colors, shapes, and textures, which add seasonal interest throughout May and beyond. While there are many different types of flowers grown on the farm, there are a few varieties we love to see year after year. Here are some of my and Martha’s favorite spring-blooming varieties, along with a few essential guidelines we keep in mind when planning the flower garden.

Tips for Planting a Successful Spring Flower Garden

There are many ways to create interest in a garden, but these are some of my favorite methods.

Grow a Mix of Perennials and Annuals

In Martha’s garden, you’ll find the perfect ratio of perennials and annuals for her space. Perennials are more work initially, but you’re rewarded with flowers year after year. Some, like roses and peonies, may even last decades, providing numerous flowers over the course of their lifetime.

On the other hand, annuals need to be planted every year, but produce more blooms in a shorter amount of time than perennials. Once they start blooming, they generally don’t stop until they are killed by frost. Since annuals only have about a year to fully complete their life cycles, they often reach the blooming stage quickly and pump out massive amounts of flowers as fast as they can.

Aim for Variety

The best way to add interest to a garden is by growing different types and varieties of flowers. Most flowers come in many different colors, heights, textures, bloom shapes, and sizes, which can be used to make the garden interesting. Choose flowers in contrasting colors, or opt for one color and plant numerous shades of it. Use various heights to provide interest and structure.

Incorporate Unique Foliage

While a flower garden is often all about the blooms, foliage can be just as pretty, so make sure to use it to your advantage when planting a mixed garden. Some plants have naturally more beautiful foliage than others. You can remedy this by planting them amongst and with each other so you can disguise unattractive foliage and allow the flowers to shine.

Martha’s Favorite Spring Flowers to Grow

Some of Martha’s favorite spring flowers grown on the farm include daffodils, alliums, lilacs, herbaceous and tree peonies, poppies, and lupine. Most of these prefer full sun, though some can tolerate a bit of shade. We grow all of these in zone 7 (formerly zone 5).

For a healthy, blooming garden, it’s important to fertilize before, during, and after bloom.
Daffodils are a bulb you plant in fall and they bloom the following spring. They tend to multiply year after year, so the patch will slowly increase in size. Daffodils prefer full sun, and generally bloom in shades of yellow, white, pink, and orange. Once planted, they are extremely low maintenance and undemanding.

At the farm, we have them in a huge border running most of one length of the property, as well as in random clumps and patches throughout different areas. After flowering, we leave the foliage to grow for the season, which creates energy for the bulb to store in fall for next year's blooms.

Alliums are the ornamental members of the onion family. Most produce spheres of various sizes, composed of numerous small florets, usually in shades of purple (though occasionally white or pinkish). They are great for creating focal points in the garden—especially the large sphered varieties—and add stately structure with their straight stems and round tops.

There is a long winding pergola at the farm filled with alliums of various heights, shades, and bloom times, which we marry with camassia, another bulb blooming before and along with the alliums. After blooming, the flower heads of the alliums are often left in the garden to dry on the plant, as they provide some texture and interest. Later on, these may be removed by cutting at ground level to allow for the summer plants, such as lilies, to fill their void.

Lilacs are medium to large shrubs that typically produce blooms in May at the farm. The flowers are in clusters and come in shades of purple, lilac, lavender, pink, blue, and white. They are extremely fragrant, and make beautiful, though short-lived, arrangements. Lilacs are planted from shrubs, which are generally available in the 5 gallon size. They need a few years to get started and root in, but will provide flowers and fragrance for years to come.

We have a set of parallel double rows of lilac shrubs at the farm, in a range of colors and varieties. The majority of these are at least 8 feet tall, with many being much taller. After blooming, the bushes and their large leaves provide a backdrop and structure in the garden.

Peonies come in a couple different forms. The most readily available type is the herbaceous peony, which is a perennial that grows from a root clump. The clump is dormant during the winter, emerges in spring, and grows through summer before dying down completely in fall. The blooms are some of the largest flowers available for cutting and come in all different shades of pink, red, and white.

We also grow tree peonies on the farm. Instead of dying back each year, they form permanent shrubs that you do not prune back. They bloom a bit earlier and on shorter stems than herbaceous peonies. However, the short-lived flowers are usually larger and come in many more colors, including reds, oranges, yellows, purples, pinks, whites, and bicolor.

We have a large square garden of herbaceous peonies arranged in rows for cutting. The tree peonies are in an elongated landscape bed nearby and are grown more for viewing than for cutting.

There are many varieties of poppies to choose from, though the main two types we grow are Oriental poppies and Breadseed poppies. Oriental poppies are fuzzy-leaved perennials that bloom in May. They die back to the ground each year, but are one of the earliest perennials to emerge, and have attractive foliage even when not blooming. While they come in a number of colors, the bulk of the ones we grow are a bright vermillion orange color. We also grow all different types of Breadseed poppies and their hybrids. These come in various colors, combinations, flower forms, and shapes—even blooms on the same plant can have different forms. They are oft Breadseed poppies are planted from their dust-like seeds, either strewn out over a light snow in late winter or when they have been allowed to self seed wherever they wish. They generally bloom in late May and June and range from annuals to short-lived perennials. Bees and other pollinators absolutely love Breadseed poppies. The sometimes fragrant blossoms are usually covered by bees all day long.

Lupine, which usually blooms in May, is a picky flower that has a reputation for being somewhat difficult to grow. Not every year is a good lupine year, it’s usually every second or third year, but when they’re good they’re amazing. They are short lived perennials, but they do self-seed where they are happy. They come in numerous colors and combinations, though the majority of them are shades of pink and purple, with the occasional yellow, white, or bicolor.

I generally let them self-seed outside to establish clumps and patches, while also starting them from seed indoors to refresh and replenish the crop. They produce tall spires of flowers, adding structure and height to the flower garden. They are extremely showy and are one of the flowers that visitors are most amazed with when they are in full bloom. While they can be used as a cut flower, we generally just let them do their thing in the garden.

Martha aka Marty Siebertz
208.336.9600
Msiebertz@Atova.com





Think Beyond The Traditional Process

4/29/2024

Given the current environment of stubbornly high interest rates and tight inventory, both buyers and sellers are unsure of what to do. Sellers who are contemplating listing their homes are usually faced with the harsh reality of giving up their existing low-interest loan and buying another home at rates hovering around 7%. Buyers are equally unsure of jumping into the market at this time, hoping that if they wait, rates will come down and available inventory will increase.

According to RE/Max Co-founder the housing market is getting closer to the end of an elevated interest rate cycle. However, the Feds have signaled that they may only cut their rates once this year, if at all, which means mortgage rates could remain relatively unchanged until sometime into 2025. While inventory levels in Idaho have improved, they’re only up 1% in active inventory levels from one year ago. And home prices have increased over 2% YTD. So, what should sellers and buyers do?

Both sellers and buyers may simply want to wait before making any decision, but this could mean they’re missing out on opportunities the current market provides. Sellers will benefit from higher asking prices in today’s market, and buyers may discover some deals particularly with new construction that may not be available when market conditions improve.

Of course, sellers may consider staying put and remodeling their homes. Home equity and home equity line of credit (HELOC) loans, both of which are second mortgages, are options. Check with your preferred lender to see which option may work best for you. If you must sell due to a job relocation or life changes, or you decide to sell for other reasons, then working with a reputable agent to get your home “sell ready,” properly priced and marketed is the best way to go. Once your home sells, then typically you become a buyer and may benefit from the following advice.

For buyers, consider the following:
• New construction homes often offer attractive builder incentives/contributions which can be used to offset closing costs or lower your interest rate. Check with your lender to discuss 3-2-1 or 2-1 buydown loans for which the builder will pay the upfront costs.
• For existing homes that need some work and may be offered at attractive prices (e.g., distressed properties like foreclosures and short sales, or properties set for auction) consider renovation loans. You borrow one lump sum that covers the purchase and renovation costs for your new home. You only have to apply for a single loan and pay one set of closing costs, making the whole process simpler and more affordable than in the past. Today, there is a wide selection of these “fixer-upper home loans” to choose from, including the following programs:
o FHA 203(k) Limited
o FHA 203(k) Standard
o Fannie Mae HomeStyle
o Freddie Mac CHOICERenovation
o USDA Renovation Standard
o USDA Renovation Limited
o VA Renovation
Look to your preferred lender to help you navigate the details of these various loan programs to find the one best suited for your situation. An experienced agent can help you find these properties listed in your local MLS or in mainstream listing websites and help register you for property auction alerts.

Remember, the key to your success is working with an experienced agent and a reputable lender. If you don’t have a preferred lender, consult your agent. Your agent usually know several lenders/mortgage brokers who they’ve worked with over the years.

Don’t give up on your dream of owning a home. Although there are hurdles to overcome, thinking beyond the traditional buying process may be your ticket to realizing home ownership sooner rather than later. Good luck on your journey!

Kelly McCune
208.914.5724
kmccune@atova.com



Boise Metro Weather

3/6/2024

Whether you are relocating from across the nation or across the state, you will find Boise area weather perplexing. For those of us that have lived here most of our lives, it’s the same ol’ thing. I’ve always said “If you don’t like the weather, drive 5 miles in any direction or wait 5 minutes.” Mother Nature is peculiar here. We are factually an arid- climate with just over 11 inches of rain and melted snow per year and boast over 200 days of wonderful sunshine each year. Having a basic understanding of our climate, will help you adapt in a more enjoyable way. Within a year, you’ll be able to appreciate its uniqueness and use it to your lifestyles advantage.

Winter months are mild with average low temperatures in the 20’s and high temperatures in the 30’s-40’s. Typically, there are a few weeks the end of January and beginning of February that we experience an inversion, which drops the temperatures. This is the time to bundle up and limit road travel. The roads will likely have a sciff of snow on them, but freezing temps combined with freezing rain creating black ice are where trouble begins. Leaving much earlier than normal, allowing several car lengths between you and the car in front of you, and driving attentively and slowly will get you where you need to go safely. We experience evening and morning snow that is often melted by lunch. We have a lot of mountainous areas and their snowfall is completely different. If you want more snow, you can find it within 30 minutes of Boise. If you travel 2 hours North or South, you will find knee to waist deep fresh powder.

Spring here is…wild. There is simply no other way to put it. Lows in the 30’s and highs in the 70’s make for several wardrobe and activity changes daily. You can literally ski at Bogus in the morning hours and be back in Boise for a round of afternoon golf. It is not uncommon to experience snow, hail, rain, and sunshine in the same day. Sometimes multiple times a day. You can’t be in a hurry to put Winter away, as it and Spring will have a tenacious battle specifically in March. April and May bring more rain, sunshine, budding flowers and trees, and warmer temperatures. Thunder and lightning storms are abundant and incredible. They can last several minutes or several hours and usually leave the sky filled with rainbows from end to end of the valley.

Summer is a sun loving persons dream come true. Lows in the 50’s and highs in the 90’s coupled with 6 a.m. sunrises and 9:30 sunsets ensure plenty of time for outdoor activities and adventures. You can hike, bike, fish or run before or after work. Or simply bask in the wondrous extended sunrises and sunsets that offer beauty and a sense of peace. There are endless opportunities for sightseeing, photography and recreation. I’ve lived here for over 50 years and I still haven’t experienced all of the hidden gems that Idaho has to offer. It is truly remarkable.

Fall is similar to Spring. Low’s in the 40’s (decreasing to the 30’s) and highs in the 80’s (declining to the 50’s). Once again you will find yourself in and out of different outfits and ventures. As the days begin to shorten and the temperatures change, you still have plenty of time and comfortable weather to stroll the greenbelt, patio dine and experience the fabulous array of fall colors. This is the time when the sky is truly remarkable and your camera should always be nearby. Light rain in the morning or evenings coupled with fluffy clouds make for amazing sunrises and sunsets.

When national sources speak of Idaho weather, they tend to lump it all together. There’s a huge misunderstanding about its patterns, locations and extent. With elevations ranging from 710-12,667 feet above sea level, there are a variety of types of seasons specific to each area. Knowing the differences can help you find the best location for you and your situation, while still being able to experience them all. Welcome to Idaho!

Crista Martin
crista@atova.com
208-577-7157



Tips for securing your valuables at home.

2/24/2024

Have you ever wondered where burglars turn to first if they successfully attempt a break-in? Ever wonder what would happen in your property should a fire break out? Ever wonder how long it will take to put out the fire? Ever wonder how long it will take for the Fire Department to actually arrive at your property? These are all valid questions you should be asking yourself when considering how to protect your yourself, your home and all of your valuable possessions.

Below are some tips and a few ways to protect yourself and your possessions.

1st off invest in a home safe, this is a great place to start, look for a good quality MADE IN AMERICA safe for all of your valuables. A safe that is pry-proof and fire rated is a good idea as well. Safes hold so much more than firearms, they can be used for cash, keys, stocks, paperwork and jewelry just to name a few of the items you should be securing. Also look for a safe company that offers a Lifetime Warranty, not just a Limited Warranty, Lifetime Warranty is the way to go. Look for a company that stands behind their product, and be prepared to invest in protecting your valuables.

2nd purchase and install Security Cameras, Ring offers an entry level DoorBell system that is available at your local Hardware Store as well as On-line. This system and others that compare are easy to use, install and bring peace of mind when traveling or away from your property.

The last tip for securing valuables at home is lighting, make sure your home is well lit. Make sure the address is lit and visible from the street to ensure any Law Enforcement or Fire Department responding to a call can easily find your home.

HAPPY HOME OWNERSHIP comes with securing all your valuables.

Cortie Noud
208-571-3148
cnoud@atova.com



The Dynamic Landscape of Today's Real Estate Environment

2/11/2024

The real estate environment of today is characterized by a dynamic interplay of various factors, shaping a landscape that reflects both challenges and opportunities. In recent years, the sector has experienced unprecedented changes, driven by technological advancements, economic shifts, and evolving consumer preferences.

One of the most significant influences on today's real estate market is the rapid integration of technology. The advent of digital platforms, data analytics, and artificial intelligence has transformed the way properties are bought, sold, and managed. Online listing platforms, virtual tours, and predictive analytics have streamlined the property search process, providing buyers and sellers with more information and convenience. Blockchain technology is also making waves by enhancing transparency and security in real estate transactions.

Furthermore, economic factors play a crucial role in shaping the real estate environment. Global economic uncertainties, inflation rates, and interest rate fluctuations impact property values and financing options. The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new era of remote work, influencing housing preferences and demand for properties in suburban and rural areas. The need for flexible and adaptable spaces has become a priority, challenging traditional notions of urban living.

Government policies and regulations also significantly influence the real estate landscape. Measures related to zoning, environmental considerations, and tax incentives shape development patterns and impact property values. Sustainable and eco-friendly practices are gaining prominence, reflecting a growing awareness of the environmental impact of real estate development.

The rise of the sharing economy has introduced new dynamics to the real estate market, with platforms like Airbnb affecting the traditional rental market. Investors and homeowners are increasingly exploring short-term rental opportunities, creating a blend of residential and commercial uses in certain areas.

In conclusion, today's real estate environment is a complex and dynamic ecosystem influenced by technological innovation, economic shifts, government policies, and changing consumer behaviors. Navigating this landscape requires stakeholders to stay informed, adapt to emerging trends, and embrace innovation. As the real estate sector continues to evolve, it presents both challenges and opportunities for those involved, shaping the way we live, work, and invest in property.

Cori Duncan
208-861-1663
cduncan@atova.com



Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

2/3/2024

Home ownership is a great way to start to build wealth in one’s personal portfolio. As one builds equity in a personal residence, it is an opportunity to use that equity built in the form of a HELOC; also known as a Home Equity Line of Credit. This tool makes available to you, at a variable interest rate, a sum based on the dollar value of your ownership stake in your home. One of the best parts of a home equity line of credit is its versatility: You can use the funds for almost anything. But, given the nature of the financing, some uses are more suitable than others.
This is a common way for homeowners to tap into the value of the home for some quick cash. While this may sound like an easy way to pay off some debts or pay for a quick vacation, there are things to think about before using a HELOC.

You may be considering using a HELOC to take that vacation that you have been dreaming of. In general, this is not considered a good use of the funds. Save up money to pay for it; don't use your HELOC to fund it. If you fall behind on your HELOC payments, your lender can foreclose on you, eventually evicting you from your home and taking possession of it. Taking that risk to fund a vacation isn't worth it!!!

You may also be considering using HELOC funds for advanced education. Because the interest rates with HELOC’s can be lower than what you'd get with private student loans, you might consider funding all or part of your or your children's college tuition with a HELOC. Again, this is risky. If you stop making student loan payments, your credit score will tumble, but a lender can't take possession of your home. The same can't be said if you stop making payments on a HELOC.

Credit card debt is a little trickier. Credit card debt comes with sky-high interest rates. It might make financial sense, to use a HELOC to pay off your credit card debt, as the interest rate attached to the money you've borrowed against your HELOC will be far lower. Again, though, there is risk. If you're worried that you won't be able to afford your HELOC payments, don't borrow against your line of credit to pay off your credit card debt. Your credit card provider can't foreclose on your home if you fall behind on your payments.

HELOCs tend to come with lower interest rates than credit cards or personal loans, which makes them a more affordable option when financing home repairs or renovations. Using your HELOC to fund improvements that will increase the value of your home is the best use of your HELOC dollars. You'll even gain a tax benefit: You can write off the interest you pay on your HELOC if you use the funds for renovations or improvements that boost the value of your home.

HELOCs offer the flexibility of borrowing what you need and only when you need it, making them a good choice for those who lack a defined sum or those who require ongoing access to funding. Opening a HELOC provides access to a line of credit that you can draw from again and again for as long as 10 to 15 years. Managing this type of fund requires discipline and a plan for repayment, or you can easily get in over your head. “For fiscally responsible people, these can be amazing tools. For folks with less financial discipline or security, they can be devastatingly bad,” says Ryan Cicchelli, founder of Generations Insurance & Financial Services, a Cadillac, Mich.-based financial planning firm.
There are many cases in which a HELOC can provide a smart way to leverage the equity in your home to achieve other financial goals or pay for large expenses. Before opening a HELOC, however, it’s always a good idea to shop around and crunch the numbers, ensuring that this line of credit is truly the most cost-effective option. In addition, you should be diligent about responsibly managing the HELOC and develop a clear repayment plan that you can stick to.
Whatever you use the HELOC for, responsible management is the key.
“You can do this by only drawing funds that you feel secure in repaying relatively quickly, making timely payments and not digging in too deep,” says Ryan Cicchelli.

Carol Relf
208-761-2652
crelf@atova.com



Our home can be yours too

1/28/2024

The secret is out for our fabulous “Treasure Valley” which includes our cities of Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Star, Nampa, Kuna, and Caldwell. Boise is our Capitol which naturally encourages individual civic outreach as many visit our awe-inspiring Capitol Building in downtown where the power lives and breathes. The quality of life cannot be overstated including so much for so many including almost all out-door activity imaginable including water/snow skiing, golf courses, motorbikes, and miles of trails for the hiker. The Morrison Center, and Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy and more smaller venues for artists, musicians, teachers and/or participants. Each town/city has a personality of its own so one does not out-shine the other. The Village in Meridian was a new beginning of more locality quality of life expansion with fabulous restaurants, winter ice skating rink, and musical water fountain dancing for pure enjoyment. We are ready to introduce you to our scenic towns, majestic mountain views, rivers flowing through our fabulous parks, and a way of life that is nearly unmatched. We are growing as cities and invite you to be a part of the expansion of our wonderland.

Sandy Post
208-867-9736
spost@atova.com



Navigating the Waves of Real Estate: Understanding the Impact of Interest Rates

1/21/2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of real estate, one factor that consistently commands the attention of both buyers and sellers is interest rates. Mortage interest rates play a pivotal role in shaping the dynamics of the real estate market, influencing everything from property values to the affordability of homeownership. In this blog post, we'll explore the intricate relationship between interest rates and real estate, shedding light on how fluctuations can impact various aspects of the market.

Interest rates, essentially the cost of borrowing money, have a direct effect on the housing market. When interest rates are low, borrowing becomes more affordable, enticing prospective homebuyers to enter the market. Conversely, high interest rates can act as a deterrent, making mortgages more expensive and potentially slowing down the pace of real estate transactions.

For homebuyers, the interest rate is a crucial factor in determining the affordability of a property. Even a seemingly small change in interest rates can have a significant impact on monthly mortgage payments. As rates rise, the cost of borrowing increases, potentially pricing some buyers out of the market or, forcing them to settle for a more modest home.

On the flip side, low-interest rates can spark a surge in demand for homes as buyers capitalize on the favorable borrowing conditions. This increased demand often leads to a rise in property prices, benefiting sellers who may see the value of their homes appreciate. However, the delicate balance between supply and demand and the many variables that shape our reale esate markets.

As we begin 2024, we once again find our selves in a changing dynamic. The 30 year fixed rate has fallen a full point from it high point near 8%, to current rates slightly below 7% (6.94% as of this writing), and forcasters are cautiously signaling futher reductions are we move throught the year. Will we see interest rates in below 4% again? In my opinion it’s very unlikely. However, rates in the mid 5% are real possiblity by the end of the year.

While falling mortgage rates may be good news for buyers, it is important to remember that improving interest rates will likely increase demand for existing homes, driving up home pricing, and potentialy negating the increased buying power that come with lower rates.

Real estate professionals closely monitor interest rate trends as they shape their strategies for buying or selling properties. A sudden spike in rates might prompt sellers to adjust their pricing expectations, while buyers may need to act swiftly to secure a property before affordability diminishes.

In conclusion, the ebb and flow of interest rates have a profound impact on the real estate market. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a seller looking to capitalize on market trends, understanding the relationship between interest rates and real estate is crucial. Working in conjunction with Real Estate and Lending professionals will empower you to navigate the waves of the real estate market successfully.


Bob Poole
208-870-6931
bpoole@atova.com



What does your credit look like?

1/14/2024

First-time homebuyers often face challenges related to credit scores, as they may not have an extensive credit history. It's advisable for prospective homebuyers to review their credit reports, address any discrepancies, and work on improving their credit scores before applying for a mortgage.
Improving credit scores can take anywhere from 1-3 months or even longer depending on the severity of the credit. Plan ahead! Understanding credit score requirements and taking steps to enhance creditworthiness can significantly impact the ability to purchase a home and influence the overall cost of homeownership. Credit monitoring helps you "Stay on top" of your credit, enabling you to be ready for the mortgage lending process without any surprises.
If you need help with your credit, contact me and I will get you in contact with someone who can help.

Grant Presol
509-592-5521
gpresol@atova.com