Inexpensive Ways to Increase Your McCall Home’s Value

So you are ready to sell your home but are wondering what to do to compete in McCall’s competitive market. Along with choosing a professional realtor like Haden Tanner to help price, list and sell your home, try a few of these inexpensive strategic improvements to increase your home’s value. You won’t want to spend too much, because you’re unlikely to get it back. But you also need to make upgrades that will help your property look its best. A general rule of thumb is to spend one to two percent of your home’s value.


For a few hundred dollars, you can replace the kitchen faucet set, add new cabinet door handles and update old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones. Take it one step further by stripping and re-staining or painting the cabinets. Because we live in the mountains of McCall, a light cabin touch in the kitchen can be a fun addition, even for those not going for the cabin feel.


Easy fixes here include cleaning the grout and updating the faucet and hardware. Get rid of any rust or hard water stains and apply fresh caulk around the tub and sink. If the toilet is really old, consider installing a new low-flush toilet or at the very least replace the toilet seat with a new one.

Living Areas

A fresh coat of paint on the front door is a quick, easy way to boost your home’s appeal. Include new door hardware and you’ll impress buyers before they get inside. New paint indoors (a neutral color of course) will make everything seem bright and clean. And for an updated look, try painting the trim a contrasting color. Freshen up your windows by buying some inexpensive new curtains, or have your current window coverings cleaned. Exchange the old cabin-style plaid drapes for something more modernly “mountain-chic”. If your door handles are out dated, replace them throughout the house. And don’t forget to have your carpets and wood floors professionally cleaned.

Curb Appeal

If buyers aren’t impressed when they drive by your home, they may not make it inside. Keep your yard looking neat at all times. Because many McCall homes do not have traditional landscaping this may mean going beyond keeping it weeded and freshly mowed. Keep pine needles raked up, plant some new bushes with color in key spots and make sure current landscaping is pruned. Replacing outdoor lighting is another inexpensive upgrade that will attract buyers. Rustic outdoor sconces are a popular choice for McCall homes.

Ultimately it’s a good idea to get impartial advice from a friend or enlist the help of your trusted real estate professional to consult on what changes to make. Investing just a little money in a few places will ensure you get the best price for your house.



Sell Faster with Seasonal Staging

We’ve discussed getting your home ready to sell with these indoor staging tips and outdoor staging tips, but depending on the time of year, seasonal home staging can better your chances of attracting buyers. Home staging during cold winter months is different than staging in the summer, and with some seasonal staging tips you can make the most of your home no matter what time of year it is. Keep in mind that the number one year-round staging tip is decluttering. According to experts at HGTV, professional stagers typically rid a home of half of its contents to make it appear bigger! So, once you’ve decluttered consider the following seasonal staging tips.


As the weather begins to cool down and the days get shorter, you want your McCall home to feel warm and cozy. On chilly days, consider lighting a small fire in your woodstove, or turn up your thermostat. Also, with less sunlight coming into the house leave accent lights on in order to highlight the best living areas. And, as tempted as you are to bring in all those Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations, keep the seasonal touches simple. Forgo the ceramic pumpkins for a simple vase of fall leaves from your yard. It may, however, be time to get out that pumpkin brown sugar scented candle.

As far as curb appeal goes, stay on top of leaves and pine needles by raking every couple of days. When doing your fall foliage pruning, remove your cuttings to keep your homes’ exterior as neat looking as possible. If your container plants are looking spindly, it’s time to put the pots away. And if seasonal gourds and wreathes are your thing, remember that less is more for fall staging.


Turn up the heat! When potential buyers walk into your home from the winter cold, you want them to feel warm and at home. This feeling of warmth applies to both temperature and décor. Keep pre-holiday adornments to a minimum and especially mind the Christmas tree as you don’t want it to take up too much floor space. And all holiday décor comes down right after the holidays. During showings, keep lights on throughout the house, including the exterior lights. And for an extra special touch, consider serving hot drinks such as cider or spiced wine. The aroma will make your home smell wonderful.

Outside, make sure your sidewalks and driveway are cleared of snow regularly and there is sufficient cleared parking for potential buyers and agents.


Spring staging begins with a thorough spring-cleaning. Wipe down your walls, buff the floors and air out all the rooms. Spring staging means bright and cheery. Place fresh flowers throughout the home and, on warmer days, leave windows open to bring those nice spring aromas indoors. It’s especially important in the spring to clear off countertops and declutter closets and drawers. Buyers want to see clean, open areas that are move-in ready.

Outside, start with an early yard clean up and consider using a professional landscaper to hasten the process of getting your yard up to its full potential before the summer heat.


Just as you want your home to be warm in the winter you’ll want to crank up the air conditioning in the summer. If your McCall home doesn’t have A/C, as many homes in this area do not, remember to manage the indoor temp before a showing. Keep windows closed and south facing blinds down until just before buyers arrive. During a showing, window treatments should be open to let in natural light. In addition, play up outdoor living spaces to accentuate McCall’s beautiful summer climate.

Your summer landscaping should speak for itself. Keep your lawn mowed and green. Trim foliage from the bottom up and around windows so buyers can see your house and light can get in. And keep your flowerbeds and yard weed free.

Staging is an important step in selling your house and by staging for the seasons you will make your house even more attractive for buyers.




Sellers: Be Ready To Close With These Pre-Inspections

While it is up to the home buyer to pay for and arrange a home inspection, and any buyer in their right mind is going to do this, sellers can prepare for a smoother closing by considering specialized inspections ahead of time. And, while in McCall most home inspectors are “expert generalists” they do know when to call in the specialists. By bringing in the experts beforehand, savvy sellers are ahead of the game with no surprises at the final hour.

If your home is newer, i.e. less than a decade old, some pre-inspections can be skipped. Check out this list to see what may apply to your home.

  1. Pests. In addition to mice and other critters, these inspections are focused on identifying evidence of wood destroying organisms like carpenter ants and termites and the damage they may have caused. This inspection will also turn up other issues that can affect a home such as fungi caused dry rot, flooding issues and other moisture problems.
  2. Asbestos and Lead. Although banned in 1975 and 1978 respectively, these two culprits can quickly halt the sale of your house. By being proactive you can tackle this problem ahead of time to show a clean bill of health for your older home.
  3. Roof and Foundation. Both roof and foundation repairs can be spendy and will most likely cause a certain amount of stress if issues are revealed during an inspection. But, again, it is better to be aware of and prepared for dealing with these issues ahead of a closing.
  4. Electrical. If you are in an older home or one that has undergone any amount of remodeling or renovation, think about bringing in a licensed electrician to certify that your home is up to code and current safety standards.
  5. Chimney. Here in beautiful McCall, most homes will have a fireplace or woodstove and the condition of your chimney or stovepipe should be a priority for any buyer. Not only should you have the chimney professionally cleaned before selling your home, consider hiring an inspector that follows the National Fire Protection Agency’s chimney inspection codes.
  6. Mold. As far as health hazards go, this one is on every home buyers’ list. A good mold inspector will test for spores throughout your home, including areas you don’t access very often such as the crawl space, walls and attic. As a seller, you cannot afford to ignore mold growth and must mitigate any mold issues before listing your home.
  7. Trees. Tree care, including removal, is surprisingly costly and something most buyers won’t want to contend with. Many lots are heavily treed in McCall making this inspection a priority. A professional arborist can determine if there are any potential hazards or signs of disease or decay. Buyers will certainly appreciate having this inspection done ahead of time and being provided with inspection results.
  8. Well and Septic.  Many homes in the McCall area use well and septic systems for drinking water and sanitation. Inspections of wells focus on gallons per minute production and the safety of the drinking water while septic inspections focus on making sure the tanks and lines moving the waste water away from the home are functioning properly.

Keep in mind that in most states, Idaho included, sellers are required to disclose all known defects to a buyer. However, being prepared with these pre-inspections will potentially help you sell faster and for more money.





Great News For McCall Pedestrians

Great news for McCall pedestrians! We are getting an upgrade on downtown sidewalks and crosswalks. The redevelopment area includes zones near the Yacht Club, Market Square and the northwest corner of the Manchester Ice Arena. The 2015 improvements are currently underway and will make these downtown crosswalks ADA compliant. Overall improvements include new sidewalks, curbs, gutters, catch basins, planter beds and crosswalk paint and signage. The project is scheduled to be completed on Friday, Sept. 11. Thanks to all those who are working hard to make McCall an even better place to live. While you are downtown enjoying our new sidewalks make sure to stop in and see Haden Tanner at McCall Real Estate at 301 E. Lake Street for all your real estate needs.

Forget Downsizing…Retirees Are Going Big

So much for the conventional wisdom of downsizing your home when you retire. According to a recent survey from Merrill Lynch 49 percent of retirees did not downsize at retirement, and up to 30 percent actually moved into larger homes. (Keep in mind the survey of nearly 6,000 people included about 39 percent who had investable assets of $250,000 or more.)

During the next decade, the number of age 65+ households in the U.S. will increase by nearly 11 million, while growth in the number of households across all other age groups will be less than 2 million. This tremendous growth among older households is driven by powerful demographic forces, including the massive baby boomer generation now moving into their retirement years and increasing longevity leading to longer retirements.

Many retirees are renovating their current homes in order to “age in place.” Contractors are calling it a baby-boom building boom. Retirees are wanting to remain in their homes and communities as they age, but recognize that living spaces can become unsafe and difficult to navigate. Several people in their 50s and beyond are retrofitting houses, building additions or constructing new digs with age-friendly features. While remodeling can be pricey, given the high cost of care in an assisted-living facility or nursing home, such improvements can make sense in the long run. Common age-friendly features include expanded doorways, adding gentle slopes instead of steps, recessing tripping hazards such as rugs, tile and wood transitions and main-floor masters with age-friendly bathroom features.

Other retirees are looking to relocate and are choosing to upsize in order to accommodate children and grandchildren. Some 33 percent say in the survey they wanted a larger home to make family members more comfortable while 20 percent stated they want the option to have family live with them. Typically, in this situation, buyers are choosing homes with a different configuration than they would have purchased while raising a young family. Many are choosing layouts with a “bunk-room” with lots of beds for the grandkids, while several are looking for one or even two home offices since they are leaving corporate offices behind. Most are looking for areas with large living spaces in order to fit several family members at once.

Overall, the study found that the majority of retirees (65 percent) of respondents believe they are living in the best home of their lives!

Shady Lane

SOLD / $262,000.00 May 2016

Don’t let this amazing opportunity to build your dream home in the premier Shady Beach Community. This homesite offers mature trees and bushes with easy access to the community beach and dock. Close to all that McCall has to offer, call now for more information.

Listing Price: $299,000
Address: McCall East
City: McCall
State: Idaho
ZIP: 83638
MLS # (if any): LV522068S
Square Feet:
Acreage: 0.31

McCall Home Prices Trending Upward

Sales prices have been rising steadily since 2012 as evidenced by the data shown below.  The continuing upward trend is supported by the figures for the first seven months of 2015.  Although the number of sales of raw land (not included in the chart) is off slightly, there is quite a bit of new construction activity in the area.  However, home sales are brisk, and a big uptick in the year end numbers is expected due to a constant stream of real estate shoppers.  Now is a perfect time to contact us to discuss the market in more detail and learn about the excellent opportunities available.


Pros and Cons of First-Time Homebuyer Loans


Navigating the range of home loans to find the one that best meets your needs can be difficult, particularly if this is the first home you’re buying.

To make things easier, the federal government and most states offer insured home loans tailored to first-time homebuyers. These loans offer attractive benefits that can make the home-buying experience less costly and less restrictive. But they aren’t for everyone.

What Is a First-Time Homebuyer Loan?

First-time homebuyer loans offer a low down payment, reduced interest, limited fees and the possibility of deferring payments. These types of loans are offered at a federal level by the Federal Housing Administration and by most states.

The FHA defines a first-time homebuyer as a person who has not owned a home for three years. This includes single parents and displaced homemakers who only owned a house previously with a spouse.

The FHA insures lenders against potential default and requires a minimum credit score of 580 or above for a loan with a down payment of 3.5%. Most lenders, though, require a credit score of 620 or 640 and above to approve an FHA loan. In addition to your credit score, you will need to provide full documentation of your income and assets and meet the lender’s debt-to-income ratio, which is typically a maximum of 41% to 43% of your monthly gross income that goes toward the minimum payments on all of your revolving and installment debts.

Pros of First-Time Homebuyer Loans

The comparatively lower restrictions on these loans make them ideal for first-time homebuyers. You might want to consider these loans if:

  • You don’t have enough money saved up for a large down payment.
  • You have a limited ability to meet high interest payments and fees.
  • Your credit score is not high enough to qualify for other loan types.

But even if you do have funds saved for a large down payment, the low interest rates on first-time homebuyer loans could be too good to pass up.

Cons of First-Time Homebuyer Loans

The downside of FHA loans is that they have higher mortgage insurance requirements than conventional loans. The mortgage insurance payments must be made for the entire life of the loan unless you make a larger down payment. However, FHA mortgage rates are comparable to conventional loans regardless of your credit score, so you won’t be stuck paying a higher-than-average mortgage rate.

If you are looking to buy a really expensive home in an affluent area, you might have to look elsewhere. On Jan. 1, the federal Housing and Urban Development department reduced the “national ceiling-loan limit” to $625,500 for most affluent of areas. Loan limits vary depending on the median income in that area, so be sure to check with your real estate agent or lender.

Another potential drawback is the requirement that the home you buy will be your primary place of residence. In other words, if you were looking to buy the property with the intention of renting it out, you probably won’t qualify for the loan.

Some other potential drawbacks include:

  • If you sell your home soon after purchasing it, you could lose some of the loan benefits.
  • If you want to refinance at a later date or otherwise change the terms of your debt or your collateral, this may not be possible with a first-time homebuyer loan.
  • While some of these loans don’t require you to purchase private mortgage insurance, you may be required to take out insurance provided by the loan program, and this insurance policy could have higher fees and longer payment terms than a private insurance option.

Despite these drawbacks, a first-time homebuyer loan could still be the most attractive type for you. Take a step back, evaluate your financial situation, consider the home you’re looking to buy and consider your options.





You and Your Agent: The Final Walk-Through in McCall

You’ve made your offer in McCall. It’s been accepted. All the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed with your lending and it’s time to do the final walk-through. As you and your agent prepare to meet and complete this final step, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Timing. If possible, always do your final walk-through after the sellers have moved, but before you go to closing. This should occur no more than a week before closing, with the day of closing often the best time for this inspection.

Documentation. Have your contract, inspection report and any seller disclosures handy when walking through the home. These documents will help you determine if any new issues developed after the inspection, and which repairs, if any, were included in the agreement.

Repairs. Ideally, you should verify that repairs have been made as soon as the seller’s real estate agent notifies your agent they are complete, and not at the final walk-through. It’s a good idea to ask for copies of receipts for any repairs the sellers paid for.

Interior. Inside the home, test the heating and air conditioning systems and all appliances included in the contract. Turn on and off all lights, both inside and outside, and check the temperature and water pressure for all faucets. Remember to flush toilets to ensure there are no drips or leaks. Be sure to ask for working keys to every door, alarm codes, garage openers and any appliance or system manuals. Check for any floor or wall scrapes that may have occurred as the sellers moved out.

Exterior. Spend some time assessing the landscape and grounds, as well as confirming that all doors and windows not only open and close properly, but are also secure. If you asked for items to be removed, make sure that they are gone.

If the condition of the home has changed since your offer to purchase it was accepted, you will be in a better position to get the problems handled by bringing them to everyone’s attention before the deed changes hands. Your realtor can help you consider whether the problem is worth disrupting your settlement. With the endless number of scenarios that surround last-minute issues, it’s just one more reason to use Haden Tanner as your experienced real estate professional.


Why You Should Consider a Video Tour of Your Home

Millennials, that’s why. Generation Y has entered the home buying market and research shows that this segment of society is more likely to use video in making purchasing decisions. According to the Real Estate Book, compared to baby boomers, millennials are 150 percent more likely to comparison shop with video while shopping for a home.

With digital video becoming the norm real estate professionals and sellers are beginning to see the benefits of using video to sell homes. A well-done multimedia property presentation can clearly communicate the “wow factor” of a home by bringing a prospective buyer into the home and walking them through it from your perspective, highlighting your favorite aspects of the property. Further, rather than taking just one appointment at a time, hundreds of people can look at the house simultaneously online. A neighborhood guide can also be included in a video tour to give buyers a better idea of the big picture. To really make an impression, aerial drone footage of the lot and neighboring area can be included.

As your realtor, Haden Tanner will work with you on creating a video to showcase your home. The key to a great video is to keep it short and sweet. Start by properly staging your home and include simple panning shots of the exterior and interior of the home. Buyers will get to see a lot more than they would with an online photo gallery, and you get a much better sense of the layout and natural light in the home. Upbeat music and text overlays are a popular choice over speaking and appearing in video, but either option will work.

In today’s digital world, make sure you are marketing using as many tools as possible in order to reach as many potential buyers as you can. Call Haden today to get started on a true showcase of your home.

Check out a few listings utilizing video.

McCall Downtown Condos

McCall Town Homes