Zillow Acquires Trulia

If you’ve ever gone online to look at real estate, whether just curious or actually looking to buy a home, you’ve most likely gone to both zillow.com and trulia.com. Both sites are similar in nature, listing homes for sale or that have sold on the recent market and giving actual or estimated property values, along with other information such as property taxes and local schools.

Consumers may be interested to know that as of February 2015, Zillow has bought out its main competitor, Trulia. With the acquisition comes the newly formed Zillow Group which now includes, among others, the following four brands: Zillow, Trulia, HotPads and StreetEasy. According to zillow.com, not much will change for their users. Both brands will continue to operate separately with the main goal of empowering consumers whether they’re buying, selling, renting or financing, and connecting them with the best local professionals to help. All four brands will continue to pave the way for greater transparency in real estate.

If you are interested in following these happenings, check out their corporate news at ZillowGroup.

A rare opportunity in Timbercrest, 412 Verita Street, McCall

A rare opportunity to own an amazing home located close to Shore Lodge, Rotary Park at Payette Lake, and Payette River. In Timbercrest, this well appointed home features Wolf appliances and SubZero Fridge, not to mention fully furnished with the 4th bedroom as a bunk room with 4 beds, a pool table, and beverage area. Located close to town, yet tucked in the trees with a sense of space while your sitting around the fire pit OR in front of the outdoor fire place. This home has everything your looking for, please contact now for more information and to schedule your private showing.

Listing Price: 535,000
Address: 412 Verita Street
City: McCall
State: Idaho
ZIP: 83638
MLS # (if any): RR520798A
Square Feet: 3173
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3.5
Acreage: .25

Forget Spring Cleaning…We Should Be Winter Cleaning

With the oddly spring-like weather we’ve been having this February in McCall, highs in the 40’s and lows barely below freezing, it’s hard not to start thinking about spring cleaning. But, with at least two more months of solid winter weather that’s sure to come back to us (it is, right???) here is why you should actually do some “spring cleaning” now and continue the habit each year BEFORE winter begins.

With the onset (or re-onset in this case) of winter we shut our doors and windows for months. We will be shut inside with all the dirt and grime our houses have gathered during the hot, dusty, open-window days of summer and fall. We’ll be living with indoor air quality that the EPA estimates could be five times more polluted than outdoor air.

Houselogic.com offers this list to help us get prepared to be inside all winter. And, heck, why not have a redo in the spring. It certainly can’t hurt.

  • Vacuum Your Dryer Vent
  • Wash and Disinfect Garbage Cans and Wastebaskets
  • Wash and Disinfect Toilet Brush Holders
  • Turn Over Furniture and Vacuum the Bottoms
  • Change Furnace Filters
  • Clean the Tops of Doors, Trim, and Artwork
  • Vacuum Behind the Fridge
  • Winterize Your Entry
  • Clean Windows
  • Clean Ceiling Fan Blades

For in-depth information on carrying out each of the above items, see the complete list here.

Selling Your House in McCall? Don’t Make These Staging Mistakes!

Drop Your Personal Style

Well, maybe don’t drop it altogether, but keep your unique personal style on the down low. You’ll want to stick to neutrals in order to enable buyers to picture themselves making your home their own. It needs not be sterile, however, so throw in a few pops of color or art as long as it’s not too distracting.

Don’t Ignore Dirt and Clutter

It’s funny how immune we become to our own dirt and clutter. When showing your home keep even your closets clean, organized and clutter free. Buyers will be looking in drawers and closets and an unorganized mess is a turnoff. The same goes for dirt, smudges and grime throughout your house. We recommend taking a look at your house from an outsider’s perspective. If that’s hard to do, enlist the help of someone else. Invest in a professional cleaning service before open houses and showings. While a dirty, cluttered house may not be a deal breaker, it may be the distraction that sways buyers in favor of another property.

Regulate the Heat During Showings

Whether buyers are stepping in from the winter chill or a hot and humid summer day, they want to feel a sense of — “Ahh” — comfort and relief when they enter your home. Make sure you crank up the heat or AC a few hours before a showing. It’s impossible for buyers to fully appreciate the great features of the home if they ditch out early because they’re distracted by their own shivering…or sweating.

Air It Out

Buyers will be using ALL of their senses to asses a home, and the sense of smell should not be overlooked. Buyers do not want to smell your dog or that delicious Indian meal you cooked the night before. Don’t assume that Glade PlugIn will mask “your” smells, make sure to air out your home before a showing and take care not to conjure up strong smells while your house is on the market.

Spend Money Where It Counts

Your home probably doesn’t need a complete overhaul to make it a desirable listing. You can, however, add some important updates without breaking the bank. Small investments can include a new coat of paint, new cabinet hardware, or updating a few key lighting fixtures. Larger investments include new kitchen appliances or new siding. After selling hundreds of homes, I’m happy to help recommend places to put your money that will make the biggest impact on getting more for your home. Call me today at (208) 315-2242.

4 Reasons You Should Sell Your Home in McCall This Winter

Conventional wisdom suggests that the best time to list a home in McCall is during the spring and summer. But did you know there are several advantages to selling a home during the winter? Check out the following information to see why you just might want to consider listing your home in the off-season.

1) Faster transactions. Title companies, escrow companies, real estate companies, lenders and appraisers tend to be slower in the winter so with fewer transactions going on everyone in the line up will be able to focus more on YOU.

2) Fewer homes on the market. The trend is to take a home off the market during the winter and wait until spring to put it back on. By listing your home during the winter there are typically fewer homes to compete with.

3) Real buyers. If people are out in the cold and snow looking at real estate they typically need to move and are not just looking for fun. Because of this, there are fewer potential buyers looking at your home but those buyers tend to be more serious about getting in to a home fast.

4) Controlled buying for you. Selling your home in the wintertime allows you the ability to sit back and watch the market, enabling you to better control your next home purchase. You are able to see what hits the market and will be ready to buy quickly when you find the new home that is right for you.

So, while winter does not seem like the most logical time to list your home there are definite advantages to doing so. In fact, in recent years, homes listed between December and March have sold faster than homes listed in other months. If you are thinking about putting your home on the market, don’t waste the next few months. Consider listing your home now!

Riverfront Townhomes, Blackhawk on the River

The Bend at Blackhawk is designed for those interested in worry free, sensible destination home ownership in a conservation oriented, naturally stunning, riverfront community. The Bend is comprised of 12 fully appointed timber frame residences overlooking The Payette River in the Blackhawk on the River community located 10 minutes from McCall Idaho. Ownership includes a one-eighth undivided, deeded interest in a Bend residence, homeowner services, Blackhawk on the River community and surrounding area amenities.

Each of the Club’s 12 elegant yet rustic residences boasts 2800 square feet of handsomely furnished living space with careful attention to the integration of local artisan’s craftsmanship and flavor. Residences feature three-bedrooms, a flex den, three and one-half bathrooms, offer Payette River views and are located a short distance from the River Lodge.

Crafted from local reclaimed timbers, residences feature covered wood porches, indoor and outdoor stone fireplaces, rough-sawn reclaimed floors and exposed timber support beams. Interior spaces are designed in an open concept with spacious dimensions and 20 ft high ceilings.

Homes have been carefully and thoughtfully designed by internationally acclaimed architect Wayne Ruemele of Epikos Design Inc. They embrace a “rustic Idaho” theme with interior fixtures and decor hand picked by Trillium Design. They are some of the most unique pieces of real estate in McCall Idaho.

Features include:

  • 2800 square feet of living space;
  • Two Private master suites;
  • Oversized attached single car garage;
  • Mountain & river views;
  • Hand selected exposed timbers;
  • Two full, spa-style, master bathrooms;
  • Walnut, hardwood floors in the entry and kitchen;
  • Fully and elegantly furnished to include local artisan accents and art work specifically designed for The Bend;
  • Smart home technology and surround sound theatre room;
  • State of the art gourmet kitchens with direct views of the Payette River;
  • Custom designed entertainment bar with bar stools;
  • Timber accented interior gas fireplace in the Great Room;
  • Covered outdoor entertainment & barbecue kitchen space
  • Outdoor warming area and wood fireplace;
  • Slab granite counter tops in kitchens;
  • Imported pedestal style hand chiseled sink bowl in baths;
  • Large recreation room.

Retire to the Mountains of McCall

Retire in McCallWho says retirement is the time to slow down?  Most retirees these days are looking for a place to spend their days recreating, socializing, and being an integral part of their communities.  Recently, our beautiful town of McCall was featured in Where to Retire Magazine.  It was a wonderful article featuring several couples who have chosen McCall for retirement.  http://www.wheretoretire.com/

According to USA Today, Retirees more than ever before are looking for an active community.  A community that offers opportunities for volunteering, keeping fit, a wonderful arts & continuing education programs.  They are looking for places that have a rich arts and humanities scene, beautiful scenery, and ample ways to be involved.  As a society we are far more active than our parents where at retirement age.  To find a city that offers plenty to do on a fixed income, a positive quality of life, and a low cost of living is the goal of most retirees. 

McCall, Idaho has a ton of ways to get involved.  There is something for everyone.

  • Alpine Playhouse
  • McCall Arts & Humanities Council
  • Kit Worthington Foundation for the Arts
  • McCall Folklore Society
  • McCall Curling Club
  • Payette Lakes Ski Club – Little Hill
  • Snowden Wildlife Sanctuary
  • American Legion
  • McCall Rotary International
  • McPaws Animal Shelter
  • Awesome Adaptive Wilderness Sports
  • Friends of Kelly’s White Water
  • Friends of the Payette Avalanche Center
  • Friends of McCall Library
  • Heartland Hunger & Resource Center
  • Central Idaho Mountain Biking Association
  • McCall Hiking Club
  • University of Idaho – McCall Outdoor Science School
  • McCall College

This list is just the tip of the ice berg of non-profits and groups.  There is also 3 ski resorts, miles of Nordic skiing, hiking, and biking trails, several golf courses, and countless lakes, rivers, and streams for fishing.  If you are looking to be active and spend lots of time outdoors McCall is the place for you.  As the saying goes….We live where you vacation.  So come live the vacation life style everyday.

Valley County Real Estate Overview 2014

State of Market in Valley County

2014-median-home-prices

Good things are happening in the Valley County real estate market this year:

  • The median prices for home are getting higher
  • There are drastically fewer banked owned and short sale properties on the market.
  • The majority of the sales are to users not investors.  Users are people planning to live in the home.
  • The days that a home sits on the market are getting fewer.
  • Active inventory of homes has decreased
  • What does this all mean?

In a nut shell…these factors help to create a more stable housing market.  When homes are being bought to live in rather than just for investments the value of homes in that area have greater appreciation.  As a home owner, we want our houses value to increase over time.  Just a few years ago this was not the case for some home owners. 

Selling your home, putting your best foot forward

The Art of Creating a Compelling Property Flyer

IMG_5886HDRA beautiful flyer can attract potential buyers.  And a drab creation can repel people from even looking at your property. There is a true art to creating an effective flyer.  The goal is to create a flyer that will draw the eye away from the 20 or so other flyers hanging on the wall.  You want a flyer of your property that immediately grabs the attention and imagination of a potential buyer.   The flyer you create needs to give the buyer an immediate emotional response.  After all you are selling them their dream home. 

Just as a work of art has balance and composition, so must your flyer.  We need to stop thinking of property flyers as just a list of information.  Each flyer is a piece of graphic art.  And with this mind we can use some principals that graphic artists use when creating brochures.  

  • Put Your Readers First – Design for the home buyer.
  • Keep it Simple – Give brief descriptions.  Buyers won’t take the time to read everything.  They are just looking to see how many things the property has that can be checked off their list of wants or must haves.
  • Convey a Good Impression – Have a theme that fits the message you are conveying to the potential buyers. Keep in mind that you are selling a lifestyle.  Each home offers a different life experience for those who live there.   A house on the water can be themed “Life’s a Beach”.  A house on a mountain top, “ If you are lucky enough to live in the mountains  you are lucky enough.” A garden cottage, “Life begins in the garden.   Write a short personal message.  Remember you are creating an emotional response.  You want the potential buyer to feel your enthusiasm and adoration for the property.
  • “A photo is worth a 1000 Words” – Each flyer needs beautiful photos of the home.  These shots can sell the dream.  The photos you choose should enhance your message and pull your theme together.

Be creative, be consistent, and when you come up with a flyer template that works for you can reuse the formula over and over again.  Remember that selling a home and buying a home is based on an emotions.  If you can reach a person on an emotional level with your flyers you will show more homes, sell more homes, and help people find their dream home.

McCall, laid back style and affordable living

Affordable Ski Town Living found in McCall

If you like to ski in the winter and wake board in the summer, you might enjoy a house in a resort town.  You don’t need to filthy, stinking rich enough to buy in Snowmass Village where the average median list price is $1,104,354 or in Aspen for $2,316,250 .  Just maybe you’re rich, but a total cheapskate. Have we got the place for you?  

VALLEY COUNTY IDAHO

mccallThe Western Mountain Resort Alliance or WWMRA did a study in 2013.  They researched resort town to find the top most affordable ski towns to buy a home in.  

Their top picks just using median price of single family homes were; Park City: $415,000, Whistler, BC: $640,000, Sun Valley: $302,500, Vail: $415,000, Lake Tahoe: $233,000.  One Idaho resort town made the list, but ours is now where to be found.  So I decided to do my own comparison.   The 2013 median price of single family homes in and around Valley County are as follows; Tamarack: $425,000.00, McCall:  $255,000.00, New Meadows: $141,750.00, Donnelly: $139,500.00,  Cascade: $125,000.00, and down by the mighty Salmon River in Riggins: $95,000.00.  As you can see, some areas match up pretty well to our counter parts and some areas are significantly lower in price.  There is a price range for every budget here in the West Central Mountains.  

These numbers are very good across the board for homeowners looking to sell, and to buyers looking for a new home.  The prices have bounced back to healthy pre-bubble levels. According to The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index the median home price rose 12.1% in 2013.  

Now is the time to find your oasis in the mountains. Sure McCall isn’t quite as sexy as Vail, or swanky as Sun Valley, but we sport an accessible laid back style that those other places can’t compete with. Come see what you’re missing, you might never want to leave.