News from the Boise Real Estate Market

Attention Buyers and Sellers! The market is still going strong, and steadily climbing upwards. The very good news is that the reasons the prices are going up are legitimate ones, like consumer demand, lack of inventory and the higher prices of new construction. That shelters us from a strong downward spiral correction in the future, since the higher prices aren’t driven by speculation as it was the case 10 years ago.

Some June stats: the median sales price in Ada County grew by 8.7% over last year, and by 12.4% in Canyon County. The average time the properties spend on the market is lower as well, by 13.2% in Ada County and by 9.4% in Canyon County. Homes are selling quickly, and that means less time for the sellers to have the inconvenience of buyers coming through and keep the property in showing-room condition all the time. It’s exhausting

All this is good news for sellers, as we are in a strong seller’s market, that doesn’t show any signs of changing soon, and good information for the buyers to keep in mind: if you are serious about a property, don’t wait, don’t think you will have a few days to think about it, because you won’t, it will go before you know it! Also, make your stronger offer from the beginning, even if it’s not at the asking price, and document that offer to the best of your and your agent’s ability. Make sure that your have the funds available, and present that proof to the seller with your offer, if you are making a cash offer, or that you are pre-qualified if you are getting a mortgage. The more proof of your solidity as a buyer you can offer, and the better you make the offer look, the better your chance to getting the house of your dreams. Good luck to all the buyers out there, and if Ava or I can help in any way, don’t hesitate to contact us.


Cristina Pescaru Boise RealtorContact Boise Realtor, Cristina Pescaru, to find your Boise, Idaho home.

Pledge to Clients: Experience * Loyalty * Commitment * Care


Real Estate Offer – Mistakes to Avoid

Real Estate Offer - Mistakes ArticleBoise Real Estate Advice in a Sellers Market

Boise Real Estate Agent, Cristina Pescaru, shares information from Realtor Mag – Making an Offer – 5 Mistakes to Avoid

We are facing a seller’s market, by now, everybody knows it. It is great if you have property to sell, but if you turn around and become a buyer, here are some things to keep in mind and mistakes to avoid in dealing with the reality of a market favoring sellers:


If you wait too long the result may be you end up paying more because you have to deal with a bidding war or you may miss out on the purchase. When you do find the home you love, act quickly and be ready with your paperwork:

  • Bank Statements
  • Preapproval Letter
  • Proof of Funds Documents

Make an offer for your preapproved amount.

Be a smart buyer – get preapproved.  This shows the seller you are financially able to purchase a home.

But using that preapproval document to come up with an offer amount can cause problems. “Many buyers come in with a preapproval for the exact offer price, but when you’re competing against other offers, including cash offers, you want to show financial strength,” Chuck Silverston, principal at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty in Brookline, Mass. “An exact preapproval could make a listing agent nervous because not only does the buyer not have any wiggle room to negotiate, but they might no longer qualify if interest rates rise.”

Should you submit a lowball offer?

Real Estate Magazine indicates that lowballing a seller often backfires, particularly in a seller’s market.  “A lowball offer that isn’t backed up with math or comparable sales data is disrespectful and could turn off the seller and possibly mean you will miss out on the property completely.”

Should you waive inspection contingencies?

The simple answer is NO. “I don’t care whether it’s new construction or even your mom’s house you’re buying from her – get it inspected,” urges Joshua Jarvis of Jarvis Team Realty in Duluth, Ga. Further, if you waive the inspection contingency in your offer, you may lose the earnest money if you later back out of the deal.


Make a good presentation of yourself.

As we said before, this is a seller’s market, so buyers need to look good in the eyes of the seller.

“In today’s highly competitive environment, the listing agent is trying to determine which buyer will be the easiest to deal with,” Silverston says. Buyers may want to avoid pointing out every defect, making nitpicky queries, or questioning the seller’s tastes.

“Basically buyers who act less than enthusiastic will see themselves at a competitive disadvantage when sellers are comparing multiple offers,” he says.


In the News - LinkedIn Maps Seattle WorkforceGeekWire reports interesting news about one of our favorite Northwest cities, Seattle, Washington. LinkedIn created a study of hiring and employment trends in 20 major U.S. cities. The LinkedIn study found that “for every 10,000 people with a LinkedIn account in the Seattle area, approximately nine people came from the San Francisco Bay Area some time in the last year. The other most frequent sources of migration are the nation’s largest cities, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.”

Maps show cities that Seattle has gained the most workers from and cities with the most migration with Seattle.

The article goes on to say: “Believe it or not, some people actually leave Seattle as well. The most popular destination for people skipping town: Boise.” Possibly people are moving to Boise for the quality of life as well as the comparatively affordable housing market.

When you are planning your move to the City of Trees, find your home in Boise by contacting Ava or Cristina.

cracked sidewalk

Do you have cracked or damaged curbs or sidewalks?

You may qualify for funds if your sidewalk has the following issues:

  • Cracks from tree roots that are planted between street and  sidewalk
  • Heaving concrete
  • Sunken sidewalk behind a curb
  • Sunken sidewalk over utility ditch
  • Tree that was removed due to expansive roots has left a hole where sidewalk was

You may have another unique circumstance; each case is looked into & carefully reviewed.

You could save thousands and improve your property surroundings. Contact Boise Realtors Ava Tong or Cristina Pescaru  about how you can get on the list for possible concrete repair at no cost to you.

Top 5 Real Estate Ventures in the Boise Valley

Boise Idaho foothills

  1. Single family residences; including townhouses & condominiums ~ Boise Valley consistently in Top 10
  2. Duplexes ~ live in one half/rent the other side
  3. 1031 exchanges ~ great tax advantages
  4. 2nd Homes ~ who doesn’t want to live here?
  5. Rehabilitation homes ~ 203K loans; for that house that needs remediated, gutted, updated or remodeled.

Contact Ava or Cristina for more details on any or all of the above.

Ava Tong, Boise Idaho RealtorContact Boise Realtor, Ava Tong, to find your Boise, Idaho home.



Cristina Pescaru Boise RealtorContact Boise Realtor, Cristina Pescaru, to find your Boise, Idaho home.

Pledge to Clients: Experience * Loyalty * Commitment * Care


2 Idaho Guests Every Homeowner Hates!

Western Subterranean Termite

Western Subterranean Termites2 out of 5 homes in the Treasure Valley; Boise, Nampa, Caldwell, Meridian, Kuna, Star, Eagle are being infested by these destructive creatures.

Spring is active time for the “alates” as they fly over a wide range to search for their mate, then quickly find a warm moist home with plenty of food, (your wood) to feed their fast growing multiplying family.

All it takes for them to enter your home is a tiny crack or opening in your siding or around foundations. They are voracious eaters that can quickly eat through the center of wood leaving only an outer shell that will crumble.

If you have areas of high moisture and warmth or where water enters siding, be aware these critters could have infested your home. They love humidity and temperatures of 75-95 degrees. If you see long mud tubes anywhere on your walls these are their travel tunnels.

IMPORTANT!  If you find signs of these pests DO NOT disturb them.  For they will secretly find another area to invade, thus making it even more difficult to get rid of them.

Call your pest control company right away.   Image credit:

Powder Post Beetle

These nasty critters have a very appropriate name; Powder Post Beetle because they leave powdered wood at the base of their destruction; the wood they are feasting on.  Late winter and early spring is when they start their cycle of destruction.

They lay eggs in cracks, pores, holes and crevices of wood.  Especially vulnerable is untreated wood; like hardwood flooring and timber that has been unfinished. Basement support timbers, unfinished walls and wood are widely affected.

Painted, stained polished and finished/treated wood does not attract these destructive pests.  Be sure you have no raw wood laying around or in your crawlspace. If you see evidence of their activity; wood powder, take action right away.

Call your pest control company as soon as possible.   Image credit Wikipedia

Be sure to contact Ava or Cristina regarding all your other real estate concerns.

Free Boise Home Sellers Seminar

Boise Home Sellers Free Seminar

Boise Realtors Invite Home Sellers to Informational Seminar

Not sure about your home value? What do people do at the title company while you are waiting anxiously to close? Inspections? Find answers to these questions, and others, in our free seminar. Columbia Village Recreation Center at 3655 E. Lake Forest, Boise, ID 83716, on March 18, 2017 10:30 am.

Ava Tong and Cristina Pescaru, Boise Realtors with Gold Key Real Estate, invite you to join them for a free seminar. Contact Ava (208) 440-5810 or Cristina (208) 284-1545 with your questions.

  • Free informational community/neighborhood service we are offering to homeowners that can save them $ and headaches.
  • We went to an economic seminar that focused on Idaho/Boise economy and have the latest eye opening statistics and will present some of the most important points that will affect homeowners in 2017.
  • We are having a Title Company employee discuss new concepts in the Title business that are now necessary and will discuss how they affect homeowners.
  • A home inspector with over 20 yrs inspecting hundreds of homes, will be sharing important insights and experiences on what are common and uncommon things to look for and things that have been found in houses in SE Boise and how a homeowner can protect themselves before, during and after the selling process.
  • Question and answer session for audience interaction.
  • Info for free $ saving usable home essential set.
  • Refreshments and giveaways.

“Did you know that it’s a sellers’ market out there? Inventory is low, prices are up, buyers are fighting over properties…what’s not to love?

With the renewed trust in the economy, people are looking again to real estate as a sound investment, or they may feel confident that it’s time to move the family in more spacious surroundings. Don’t sit on the fence and miss the moment. Our free seminar will give you the information and the answers you are looking for.” ~ Cristina Pescaru


Ava Tong, Boise Idaho RealtorContact Boise Realtor, Ava Tong, to find your Boise, Idaho home.



Cristina Pescaru Boise RealtorContact Boise Realtor, Cristina Pescaru, to find your Boise, Idaho home.

Pledge to Clients:  Experience * Loyalty * Commitment * Care


House Hunting – How To Prepare

house for saleBoise Idaho Realtor, Ava Tong, tells us how to prepare for house hunting.

We all know Boise and the surrounding Treasure Valley is one of the best places to live.  So, let’s find you a home in Boise.  “Searching for a house to buy can be daunting, and most of the homes you see won’t be what you’re looking for ” according to HGTV.  They suggest being aware of some house hunting mistakes to avoid.

Ava Tong is a lifelong resident of the Treasure Valley, with over 37 years of real estate investing and assisting folks in the decision making processes of selling and buying. Ava offers a few suggestions to prepare you for house hunting in Boise, or wherever you heart leads you to find the best home for your family.

If you find the perfect home now, don’t risk losing it because you’re trying to guess where the housing market and interest rates are going. Those factors usually don’t change fast enough to make a difference in an individual home’s price.

Don’t ask for too many opinions.

It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of the people who will actually be living in the home.

Accept that no house is ever perfect.

If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go. Also, accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will most likely pass.

Don’t try to be a killer negotiator.

Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or refusing to budge may cost you the home you love.

Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself that you forget about important issues such as noise level, access to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.

Plan ahead.

Don’t wait until you’ve found a home to get approved for a mortgage, investigate insurance, or consider a moving schedule. Being prepared will make your bid more attractive to sellers.

Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation.

A home is still considered a great investment, but its most important role is as a comfortable, safe place to live.

Ava Tong, Boise Idaho RealtorContact Boise Realtor, Ava Tong, to find your Boise, Idaho home.



What to Know About the Home Appraisal Process

Home AppraisalBoise Realtor, Ava Tong, provides guidance regarding the home appraisal process.

Once you are under contract, the buyer’s lender will send out an appraiser to make sure the purchase price is in line with the property’s value.

Appraisals help guide mortgage terms.

The appraised value of a home is an important factor in the loan underwriting process. Although lenders may use the sale price to determine the amount of the mortgage they will offer, they generally only do so when the property is sold for less than the appraisal amount. Also, the loan-to-value ratio is based on the appraised value and helps lenders figure out how much money may be borrowed to purchase the property and under what terms. If the LTV is high, the lender is more likely to require the borrower to purchase private mortgage insurance.

Appraised value is not a concrete number.

Appraisals provide a professional opinion of value, but they aren’t an exact science. Appraisals may differ quite a bit depending on when they’re done and who’s doing them. Changes in market conditions also can dramatically alter appraised value.

Appraised value doesn’t represent the whole picture of home prices.

There are special considerations that appraised value doesn’t take into account, such as the need to sell rapidly.

Appraisers use data from the recent past.

Appraisals are often considered somewhat backward looking, because they use sold data from comparable properties (often nicknamed “comps”) to help come up with a reasonable price.

There are uses for appraised value outside of the purchase process.

For selling purposes, appraisals are usually used to determine market value or factor into the pricing equation. But other appraisals are used to determine insurance value, replacement value, and assessed value for property tax purposes.


Ava Tong, Boise Idaho RealtorContact Boise Realtor, Ava Tong, to find your Boise, Idaho home.



How to Prepare to Buy a Home

How to Prepare to Buy a HouseBoise realtor, Cristina Pescaru,  provides advice about preparing to buy a home.

Boise Realtor, Cristina Pescaru, discusses how to best prepare to buy a home. In addition to finding a trusted real estate professional who can guide you through the home buying process, make a wish list of home style and local neighborhood locations to review and prioritize. The National Association of Realtors recommends you consider the following plan when buying your next home.

Talk to mortgage brokers.

Many first-time home buyers don’t take the time to get prequalified. They also often don’t take the time to shop around to find the best mortgage for their particular situation. It’s important to ask plenty of questions and make sure you understand the home loan process completely.

Be ready to move.

This is especially true in markets with a low inventory of homes for sale. It’s very common for home buyers to miss out on the first home they wish to purchase because they don’t act quickly enough. By the time they’ve made their decision, they may find that someone else has already purchased the house.

Find a trusted partner.

It’s absolutely vital that you find a real estate professional who understands your goals and who is ready and able to guide you through the home buying process.

Make a good offer.

Remember that your offer is very unlikely to be the only one on the table. Do what you can to ensure it’s appealing to a seller.

Factor maintenance and repair costs into your buying budget.

Even brand-new homes will require some work. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.

Think ahead.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in your present needs, but you should also think about reselling the home before you buy. The average first-time buyer expects to stay in a home for around 10 years, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Develop your home/neighborhood wish list.

Prioritize these items from most important to least.

Select where you want to live.

Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account nearby schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.

Boise Realtor, Cristina Pescaru, will guide you to prepare for your home purchase.

Cristina Pescaru Boise RealtorContact Boise Realtor, Cristina Pescaru, to find your Boise, Idaho home.

Pledge to Clients:  Experience * Loyalty * Commitment * Care


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