Home Sweet Vacation Home

Have you thought about owning a second home in the mountains? Have you been day dreaming about cozy winter nights in your cabin in the woods, or splashing around in the river outside your back door?

It is estimated that nearly 10% of homes in the USA are second homes, that percentage goes up in resort towns like McCall. Buying a vacation home is a very big step and for most it is going to be as valuable of an investment as your primary residence.

When thinking about purchasing a vacation home, remember that everything doubles. You will have two mortgages, two property tax bills, water bills, electric bills, etc. Owning two homes also means more maintenance costs. But with all these added expenses and worries, also comes the source of relaxation, a place for your family and friends to gather, a place to recreate, a place to meet new friends, and it can one day be a place to retire to.

The trend of second homeownership is showing signs of growth again. As people age, they are much more active than their parents were. And they continue to seek new sports and adventures. If you are in the market for new adventures and are looking for the perfect vacation retreat. We hope that we can help you get started with these helpful hints.


Is it Mountain Views, or water views that you most desire? Are you looking to be in the heart of the resort town or on the outskirts with more room to roam? Is your dream home a rustic cabin in the woods, or a condo on the golf course?

How much are you willing to spend?

Prices vary greatly, even in the McCall area. Prices in McCall are higher than they are in Cascade or Donnelly. Check out current mortgage rates to get an idea of what your payments could be. And get in the car and go explore. Spend some weekends in your favorite locations, and get to know the communities a little better.

Find a great real estate agent.

This is the most important step in finding your dream vacation home. A good agent knows their communities. They can help you find the right property for your needs and desires. They can help you with everything from where to obtain boating permits to knowing all the kids programs in town. They can even help you determine rental prices if you want to rent your home out.

Take time.

Don’t rush into buying a second home. Think about your long term plans for the property. Do you wish to retire there one day or is it just a short term investment. Because a trailer on the river may look appealing today but when you staring down spending the rest of your life there it may not look so cool and inviting.

Downtown McCall, Lakefront

149 E. lake street | McCall, Idaho | reserve: $1,000,000

Property now under contract.  If you have any questions please contact Haden Tanner.

In the heart of McCall is the Central Business District (CBD).  This is where tourist can shop, eat and play on the lake.  The beauty of McCall and Payette Lake drew attention from Hollywood in 1938 when it was selected as the filming location for the Academy Award-nominated Northwest Passage, starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Young, and Walter Brennan.

On May 28, via a Sealed Bid Auction, the last vacant .936 acre commercial development site with approximately 147′ of water frontage will be sold to the highest bidder over $1,000,000.  This site had been previously listed at $2.7MM.


Wednesday May, 21st at McCall Real Estate Company, 301 E. Lake St



All bids must be received by 3pm P.S.T. May 28, 2014 at Accelerated Marketing Group, Inc.
Haden Tanner


Riverfront lots, Blackhawk on the River

These riverfront home sites are the best Blackhawk has to offer. Situated along the banks of the Payette River, both homesites Lot 123 (.58) and Lot 124 (.48)  feature a beautiful riverfront setting with views of the mountain ranges beyond. Flanked on one side by protected open space, a river at your back door and only a minute’s walk to the Fishing Grotto, this home site is sure to end your search for the perfect mountain retreat. One of the last river front home sites available along the beautiful Payette River at Blackhawk!  Don’t let this once in a lifetime opportunity pass you by!

Buying a home, making an offer that can’t be refused

Making an offer that can’t be refused.

Buying a homeBuying and selling a home is a very emotional transaction. Your heart is more involved sometimes than your head when it comes to your home. When you walk into a house, and you immediately just know that it’s the place where your family belongs. You can already see yourself making breakfast for the kids, playing catch in the yard, and snuggling by the fire on a cold’s winter’s night. This sentimental reaction to a home can be lead to heart break if your offer is not accepted by the seller. All the seller has to do is say no and your heart breaks and your daydreams are shattered. With McCall’s tight housing inventory, you can expect multiple offers of each home. It is more important than ever to make sure your offer stands the best chance at acceptance.

The idea is to make your offer seem like the most accommodating and reasonable. A smart buyer will have their agent do some homework to find out if the seller has any specific requirements or special conditions. It is in your best interest to comply with any of these demands. Meeting the needs of the seller is a sure way to make sure your offer stands out.

A low ball offer may not seem very reasonable to the seller and may in fact come across as insulting. Keep in mind that just like you the seller has an emotional attachment to the house. This attachment may be reflected in the asking price. And if the price you offer doesn’t seem fair or adequate your offer will instantly be rejected. Remember, that sellers are not required to respond to offers that fall below the asking price. If you throw a low ball, be prepared to be ejected from the game. The seller isn’t going to waste any time making you a counter offer. With the current housing market you can bet that someone else loves the house just as much as you do and is willing to offer the asking price.

Other ways to make sure your offer shines.

Have a solid pre-approved letter from you lender and be flexible with the terms. And choose a realtor that is not only knowledgeable but is also professional and friendly. Selling and buying agents must have good communication skills and be able to negotiate a client’s needs in a positive manner.

Following these simple guidelines can give you a positive outcome when making an offer on your new home.

Selling Real Estate, Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal is Your Home’s First Impression

McCall's Base CampThe snow is melting in McCall and with every inch it recedes it leaves us a little more to clean up.  Living in the high country we get the winter off from maintaining our yards and exteriors of our homes.  During the winter our home improvement projects get buried in the snow and we get to pretend all is good with our yards.  But in the spring all is revealed to us and we can no longer bury our heads in the snow.   Spring is time for cleaning and time to put our homes on the market.  Summer in the high country is home selling and buying season.  

You house’s curb appeal will either invite potential buyers in or send them running to another home. We clean our houses interiors on a regular basis, think of your  yard as a just another living space to clean.  For most of us sprucing up our homes curb appeal is just a matter of cleaning up after a long winter.  

Here are some simple chores to add to your spring cleaning list to improve your home’s curb appeal.

Wash the windows.  The windows are the homes eyes to the world.  Make sure they are crystal clear and sparkly clean.

Clean up the landscape.  Make sure all flower beds are fresh and clean. Prune old growth, pull weeds, plant some new flowers, and add new mulch to restore color and add nutrients to the soil.  This will ensure the perennials will come back to life healthy and happy.  Lawns should be mowed, no doggie surprises should be present, and keep all yard tools including hoses in their proper places. 

Keep your kids toys picked up and put away.  When a yard is clear of toys and clutter, a potential buyer will think that you have lots of storage

Dress up the entry way. Our homes entry ways should reflect our homes interiors.  Your can update and brighten your entry way with a bright colored door, new hardware, new lighting, or a new custom wood door. Another way to make your entry way more appealing is to create perfect symmetry. Symmetry is very pleasing to the eye and is easy to achieve.  Symmetrical composition of light fixtures or potted plants can create a welcoming entry way.

Freshen up the trim.  If you don’t have the time to re-paint your whole house, a fresh coat of paint on the trim will brighten the whole home.  

Re-stain the fences, deck, and wood walk ways.  Our harsh winters make our decks look drab.  Adding a fresh stain adds rich warm tones back into the wood and protects your wood work from weather.  

“You’ll never get a second chance to give a first good impression.”

This is especially true for real estate.  A potential buyer might just drive right past your home if they think it looks unmaintained.  It’s not just about making your home look good, it’s about giving people the assurance that your home is maintained and not in ill repair.  With spring slowing waking up and the snow beginning to melt away, it’s time to get out there and get your hands dirty tackling those much forgotten outdoor chores.  Happy Spring Cleaning Everyone. 


Jet boat races

Each spring residents of Valley, Adams, and Idaho counties flock to the West Central Mountain’s banana belt to party, camp and enjoy the warm weather. Riggins, Idaho is the white water capital of Idaho and home to three of spring’s most anticipated events. The Jet Boat races happen each year on the third weekend in April and are a welcome retreat from winter.

This year’s event didn’t disappoint. The weather was perfect; we had sunny skies and warm temperatures. The race takes place on the Salmon River between Island Bar and Lightning Creek. Most spectators enjoy watching the race down at Time Zone Bridge. Time Zone is known for its wave train of rapids. This rapid has been known to send boats flying. Last year a boat sank and this year a boat ran aground making its way back up river through Time Zone. The boats are not the only form of entertainment; Shorts Bar provides the circus that surrounds the boat races. Think about in field camping and tailgating at a NASCAR Race…That’s what Short’s Bar offers. The difference is you are camped out on the shores of the Salmon River and its white sand beaches not some stinky, hot field full of exhaust. Camping at Shorts, be prepared for a full night of partying. For a more laid back and quiet camping experience head up river there are numerous camp spots to choose from the are quiet and right on the water.

This year’s race consisted of 14 boats, entered into 4 classes. They had the Unlimited Class, Turbine “A” Class, CX Class, & the FXV/FX Class. As a spectator you can only tell the difference when a turbine class boat goes speeding by. Those turbine motors are loud and powerful. If you have never experienced the thrill of a jet boat race we suggest you make this event part of your Idaho experience.

We may not have a NASCAR Race in Idaho but who needs that when you have fast boats on one of the most beautiful rivers in the country. This is NASCAR Idaho style.

Spring in McCall Makes Us a Little Crazy

Every spring the locals come out from a long winter of hibernating to party like rock stars at Brundage Mountain’s Annual Crazy Daze.  It is our excuse to break out the 80’s ski gear and celebrate surviving another long snowy winter.

Just to remind us that even though the calendar may say it is spring, Mother Nature delivered 6” of fresh powder this year.  This is not unusual for this event.  Only 2 out of the last 6 years have been sunny. This year’s snow fall did not deter the brave (or some would say crazy) people from hitting the slopes and the pond.  The highlight of Crazy Daze is the pond skimming.  Pond Skimming is skiing or boarding down the face of the mountain hitting an entry ramp at full speed into an ice cold manmade pond.  With much luck you will water ski across the pond and make  it to the other side dry.    If you happen to make it across once, they make you start your next run a little further down the hill, until no one is left standing or dry.

For those of you are not crazy enough to hurl yourself down a mountain and into a semi frozen pond, Brundage offers activities such as poker run, kid’s piñata party, costume contests, treasure hunts, and live music.  No matter the weather this annual spring celebration is always a fun event and a big hit for the whole family.

Photos Courtesy of April Whitney Communications Director at  Brundage Mountain Resort

Top 5 Reasons to Build Your Dream Home in McCall

Valley County and the rest of Idaho are going through a bit of a home inventory shortage.  There are not a lot of homes on the market right now, but the market has an inventory of lots for sale.  Valley Country has some beautiful pieces of property for sale to build your dream home on.  Home buyers should not overlook to possibility of building a new home. There are many advantages to building a new home vs. buying a resale home.  Here are our top 5 reasons to build your dream home.

Customize and Personalize your Living Space.

Architects and builders can help guide you through the process to help you create a living space that is tailored to your family’s needs, taste, and lifestyle.  Building offers you the luxury and control to choose your own design elements such as flooring, counters, paint, and cabinetry.

Energy Efficiency  and Safety

In 2009, the most recent International Energy Conversation Code came out and required new home construction to be 17% more energy efficient the codes of three prior years.  This change has helped improve the building envelope.  New homes are tighter sealed, using higher efficiency insulation, doors, and windows. Keeping homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.  The operating systems are also more energy efficient in brand new homes.  Newly build houses have high efficiency stoves, fridges, washers, driers, water heaters, furnaces, and air conditioning units.  All of this will lead to lower utilities bills for the home owner.

With a new home you can be assured that your family will be living in a safer environment.  Older homes can have outdated electrical wiring, lead pipes, lead based paints, and can even have asbestos insulation.  New construction homes have hardwired smoke detectors, with battery backup and more electrical outlets to prevent overloading.

Less Maintenance and Fewer Repairs

Nothing is in need of immediate repair or maintenance when you move into your brand new home.  Homes are being built today with siding, trim, and decking that doesn’t need yearly painting or staining.  Roofing materials are thicker and made to last longer than materials of the past.  Your new home has not with stood time and wear and tear.   New Construction homes are usually protected by a builder’s one year warranty and those brand new appliances are also under warranty. This can give you piece of mind that you will not get in a resale home.

Resale Value

We all want our investments to hold its value or gain in value with time.  A new home usually sells higher per square foot then the resale home due to the fact that a new home meets today’s higher building standards and codes.

All About the New

We all love the smell of a brand new car…now imagine the fresh new smell of a brand new house.  Imagine yourself being the first person to walk on your new floors, shower in your new bathroom, and cook a meal for your family in your new kitchen.

Money.usnews.com 9 Reasons to Buy a Newly Built Home

3 Reasons Your Home is Not Selling

Price of Home.

As a homeowner you need to set the price of your home realistically, especially if you are in a need to sell situation. Your expectations when receiving offers needs to be grounded and reasonable.  Listen to your real estate agent, they are experts in the field, and  they know the local market very well.  This is especially true in a resort community like McCall.  In our community most homes are secondary homes, and not a primary residence.  This makes the market more want based rather than need based. There are fewer emotions when buying a second home and buyers will walk away if they deem the price unreasonably high or the seller unreasonably stingy.

Condition of Home.

De clutter your homeCurb appeal is everything.  If a buyer drives up to your home and finds it cluttered, disheveled, or in need of repair they will drive away without venturing inside for a peek.  Make sure your yard is neat with freshly mowed lawns, weeded flower beds and raked up leaves. That your walk ways are clear and clean. And your kid’s bikes or toys are stored away. If your home needs a fresh coat of paint, get it done.  Make the seller believe that they will not need to repair anything.  First impressions are important.  It gets potential buyers out of the car and into your house.

Taking a closer look.  Once you got the potential buyers to come inside, what do they see?  Is your home clean but cluttered?  Are the breakfast dishes still in the sink?  All of this matters.  You need to set the tone for the buyer.  Make them feel welcome, make them feel like they want to kick off their shoes, grab a cup of coffee and curl up in front of the fire.  Make sure your house is clean and smells fresh.  Clean out those closets, store away the chotchkies, and for heaven sakes clear away all clutter.  You want potential buyers to focus on the house, not all your piles of stuff lying around.   Getting a storage unit is a good idea to de-clutter your home while it’s on the market.

Marketing of your home.

Know how and where your realtor is marketing your home.  You want to make sure that your home has been professionally photographed, and that your realtor has created a flier for your home using these photographs.  You don’t want your house just being publicized with an MLS listing flier.   You want a real estate professional that has a top ranked website, utilizes social media, hosts open houses, and has memberships with multiple real estate listing organizations and publications.  If your agent is using these marketing methods your home will get the exposer it needs for a fast sale.  If not, your home may sit on the market for a while.

McCall Event Calendar

Event Calendar in McCall

There is always something going on in McCall and here are some events you just don’t want to miss. Year after year these events get bigger and better. Some are fundraisers for local charities, some are community parties, and others are athletic events to test your endurance. We all have a favorite event for each of the four seasons and here is it is…the must-attend events of the year.

April 2014

April 5, 2014                     Crazy Daze at Brundage – Featuring Pond Skimming

Celebrate the end of winter and the start of the spring season by watching brave souls as they shoot  across the chilly 100-foot pond! This is a fun event for the whole family. Everyone can participate in the poker run, kid’s piñata party, and the treasure hunt.  Come dressed in your favorite costume and be ready to celebrate spring. There is nothing like watching skiers and boarders press their luck with the freezing waters of the Brundage Pond.   http://www.brundage.com/event/pond-skimming-crazy-days/

April 18-20, 2014              Jet Boat Races in Riggins, Idaho

McCall locals love to get out of the snow and mud of spring and head up the road to Riggins, Idaho to spend the weekend under the sun and on the river watching the exciting jet boat races. This year marks the 30th Annual Salmon River Jet Boat Races. The races are sponsored by the Salmon River Jet Boat Committee. Teams from Canada and the United States will be competing for not only cash prizes but also for bragging rights. The get to boast about racing the River of No Return and having raced the most exciting and longest running river Jet Boat Race in the lower 48. http://www.rigginsidaho.com/events/6-rar/event_details#.UxS8jPldWSp

May 2014

May 3-4, 2014                    Riggins Rodeo and Parade

In its 66th year the Riggins Rodeo is a rip roarin’ good time. This rodeo is sponsored by the Salmon River Cowboy Association at the Riggins Rodeo Grounds. The Rodeo ends on Sunday with a traditional parade down Main Street.  http://www.rigginsidaho.com/events/3-riggins-annual-rodeo-and-parade/event_details#.UwzIBPldWSo

June 2014

June 7, 2014                       Big Water Blowout River Festival

The Big Water Blowout River Festival  on the Salmon River in Riggins, Idaho is an action packed event with local white water outfitters offering discounted raft trips from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Get your thrill seeking in and paddle HUGE rapids with experienced guides or just drive up the river to watch the dare devils hit the waves. End your day with live music and a Dutch oven cook off contest.  http://www.rigginsidaho.com/events/8-big-water-blowout-river-festival/event_details#.UwzJmPldWSo

June 14, 2014                     BARK! in the Park

BARK! In the Park is a fundraiser for MCPAWS Regional Animal Shelter. It is a 3K walk in Ponderosa State Park. Leash up your pup and enjoy a nature walk through the scenic meadows and forests in the park. McCall is a community of dog owners and we love to celebrate the coming of the summer season with our dogs in our state park. BARK! in the Park also includes a picnic lunch and contests for you and your furry family member.   http://mcpaws.org/bark-in-the-park.html

June 20-22, 2014               Payette River Games

The games take place in Cascade, Idaho at Kelly’s White Water Park. Payette River Games include international competitions in stand up paddling, kayaking and river surfing. They also offer events such as dog fetch in river, Frisbee disc golf, fitness competition, lumber jack, bocce ball, volleyball, fly casting, raft cross and more.  It is free for spectators and fun for everyone.  http://www.payetterivergames.com/index.html


July 2014

June 27-July 7, 2014        July 4th in the Mountains

McCall hosts a 10 day 4th of July Celebration. This is our big summer kick off party. The McCall Area Chamber of Commerce, along with area businesses and organizations, puts on a party for 10 days to celebrate the Fourth of July. Every year this party gets bigger and better. They offer  tons of live music, fireworks over the lake, beer garden, and lots of fun activities for the kids. http://mccallchamber.org/fourth_of_july.html

July 4, 2014                         Thunder Mountain Days

Cascade’s Fourth of July Celebration, Thunder Mountain Days, is a weekend of family fun.  Events include the Buckaroo Breakfast, parade, BBQ’s, live music and fireworks over Cascade Lake.  http://www.cascadechamber.com/VisitorsCalendar.aspx

July 17-18, 2014                Roseberry Music Festival

Produced by The McCall Folklore Society, the Summer Music Festival at Roseberry is one of Idaho’s Most Popular Music Festivals! Every year for almost four decades, great artists and musicians have traveled from near & far to perform in front of the iconic red barn for an energetic crowd. Thursday night is always locals night, Friday is string band night and Saturday is world and rock night. There is music for all tastes.    http://www.thesummermusicfestival.com/

TBA                                        Idaho Down Music Festival

The Idaho-Down is a collaboration of Idaho musicians and artists that dreamed of having a great music festival in our backyard. Idaho-based band Equaleyes took the initiative to make the dream come true with the co-operation of Brundage Mountain Resort in 2009. Coming into its 5th year, the Idaho-Down now features some of the most talented musicians and artists in the region. It is a two day festival of music, art, dancing, and mountain biking, hiking, and camping! http://idahodownfestival.com/

August 2014

Aug. 1-3, 2014                    Harmonica Festival in Yellow Pine, Idaho

Entering its big 25th anniversary year in 2014 the Yellow Pine Music & Harmonica Festival has grown into one of the world’s largest festivals. The festival provides musical talents in the beautiful and rustic setting of Yellow Pine, Idaho. This little town, located in the Idaho back country, becomes the harmonic capitol of the world for this one weekend a year. New this year is a music parade and youth jam session. Not only can you enjoy concerts each night under the stars there are also music workshops to participate in. http://yellowpinemusicandharmonicafestival.org/

Aug. 4-9, 2014                    Valley County Fair

Valley County Fair takes place in Cascade, Idaho at the Valley County Fair Grounds. Old Fashioned Family Fun! Open Class, 4-H, Livestock Auction, Commercial Vendors, Food Vendors, Entertainment, Backhoe Rodeo, Junior rodeo, and ICA Rodeo.

Aug. 8-10, 2014                 Huckleberry Festival in Donnelly, Idaho

Celebrating the favorite local berry.  The Huckleberry Festival fills downtown Donnelly with various huckleberry products and delicacies. The festival includes the Huckleberry Trot 5K run, parade, huckleberry pancake breakfast, car show, and live music.  http://www.donnellychamber.org/huckleberry-festival.html

Aug. 30, 2014                     Payette Lake Run

The Payette Lake Run is a fundraiser for Little Ski Hill.  It takes place at the end of summer and is a great event for runners of all levels.  There are 3 distances a 3.1 mile, a 8.6 mile or half way around the lake, and the longest distance an 18.6 miles or, in other words, all the way around Payette Lake.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Payette-Lake-Run/204427759568241

September 2014

Sept. 6, 2014                      Twilight Dragon Relay Run

This team running relay event is a 56 mile course covering the areas around McCall. The event name is in honor of Sharlie, the Twilight Dragon. Local lore has it that sightings of this sea serpent looking creature have been reported as early as the 1920’s. How cool is that? See http://www.onedayrelayseries.com/twilight-dragon-relay.html for more details.

October 2014        

Oct. 4, 2014                         Oktoberfest

The first Saturday of October, McPaws Animal Shelter puts on it’s annual Oktoberfest celebration. Partnering with Alpine Village they bring us live polka music, local beer, and food. This is a great celebration for the whole family.  http://mcpaws.org/oktoberfest.html

TBA                                        Pancake House Jack o’ Lantern Lighting

Usually the last Saturday before Halloween, this is a local favorite.  McCall’s famous Pancake House restaurant hosts a Pumpkin Lighting Festival in late October each year. This is a fantastic celebration of Halloween for the kids. The day includes a hay ride, cookie decorating and face painting along with the placement of LOTS of carved pumpkins that are lite up at dark. http://mccallpancakehouse.com/news/

November 2014

Nov. 26-27, 2014               Festival of Trees & McCall Tree Lighting Ceremony

Kick the holiday season off right with the official lighting of the McCall Community Christmas Tree at Art Roberts Park in downtown McCall on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  In addition to the lighting of the tree, Santa always arrives by fire truck with treats for the kids. This event has grown over the years to now include the Chamber of Commerce Festival of Trees, and a shop local night.  http://mccallchamber.org/festival_of_trees.html

December 2014

TBA                                       Light up the Night at Brundage

Live music, fireworks, bonfire, and dinner.  A great way to celebrate the winter solstice. We love our fireworks in McCall.  We start the year with fireworks at winter carnival and we end the year with fireworks at Brundage.    http://www.brundage.com/event/light-night/

TBA                                        McCall Starz on Ice Presents Holidays on Ice – Ice Show

Manchester Ice & Event Centre and McCall Figure Skating club puts on a ice show each year during the holiday season. Guest stars include national and Olympic medalists, local amateur and professional skaters.