Buying a home in Idaho

Tips to Buying a Home

So with all of the hype and buzz about how Nampa is the “best-run city” in the United States for infrastructure and Boise continuing to top national charts, you have decided that maybe THIS is the time for you to buy a house. NICE! Then you remember, you’ve never taken a Homebuyer Education Course and the Home Buying for Dummies from Barnes and Noble is $2 for a book that we both know you wouldn’t read… We have got your back! Below we go through what you should know before walking through an open house, what the process looks like once you get an offer, and the best ways to make sure everything is ready by the time you get your new keys. If nothing else maybe you will laugh once or twice. Thank you again for stopping by our blog!!

When should I start preparing to buy a home?

Now, whether you are in high school, married with 4 kids, or just filed bankruptcy, there are things that you should be doing today to set up your future! How you handle your finances currently will have a dramatic effect on your ability to buy a home whether it is this week, next year, or in ten years! When you get to a point that you feel confident in purchasing a home, your credit score, available liquid money, and current debts all play as major factors. 

  1. Credit Score

Credit is now a factor constantly and if you are unable to show a credit history it may be difficult to rent an apartment, buy a house, lease a car, etc. Most lenders that like to broadcast their “Best rates in town” show you what a nearly perfect score looks like. If you want to have an amazing interest rate, have an amazing credit score! There are a number of banks and financial institutions that provide tips for credit building as well as plenty of blogs out there like this one from NerdWallet. Get a credit card, a small loan, or become an authorized user and BUILD BABY BUILD!  

2. Save, save, save

For whatever reason there is a myth out there that you are supposed to have 20% or 30% saved up before buying a home, THIS IS A LIE! Let’s just dissect this a bit farther, bear with me; the median home price in Ada County is about $280k so according to this statement, if you wanted to buy a home in this market you would have to have $56,000 saved up. Now, each dollar you put towards your purchase will affect your monthly mortgage and if you have that much, you are doing a great job, but there are programs out there that are now assisting buyers to buy a home with 0.5%. These new programs are constantly changing and improving so it’s important that you have a trusted mortgage professional. If you need one, we are happy to recommend a few ;) If you want to see how your down payment affects the life of the loan you can check out a mortgage calculator. This is one that we use fairly often here

3. Stick out your job

Your boss sucks, the hours are horrendous, or you have that one coworker that won’t stop eating your lunch and then acts like he didn’t realize that your pulled pork mac and cheese wasn’t his tuna sandwich when you call him out on it…..yeah okay Jeff; whatever you do, don’t quit your job! We are seeing that most lenders want at least a full year of work history for hourly/salary employees and two years for self-employed. Now there are certain occupations that will allow you to receive a pre-approval and specific instances that will allow you to move jobs and still be approved BUT BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT TALK WITH YOUR LENDER!!

How do I buy a home?

Now that you have a little bit of money saved up and you have mentally decided it’s time to quit renting, now what?? There are many steps between pre-approval and being able to sleep in your new home, but you should be mindful of the steps to ensure everything is smooth. You shouldn’t be stressed throughout the home buying process, you should be excited! 

In the Beginning

  1.  Agents, Real Estate Agents Everywhere

According to our MLS, there are currently 7,531 licensed real estate license holders and 68% of buyers only interviewed one agent. This includes the “got my license to sell my grandma’s house”, “help with real estate in the summer”, and “I thought real estate sounded fun at the time” people. Before you begin your shopping you will want to choose an agent to act on your behalf and help you understand. When you interview agents you should know what you are expecting from them so that you can make sure you don’t get stuck with a “I can only show you homes when I want to” agent. DON’T LET ZILLOW DECIDE WHO WORKS FOR YOU! Sure, let them suggest some people but do your own homework. Will they show you homes on your time? How do they tend to communicate? Do they have experience? The list of questions can go on and on and on, but find someone that you feel comfortable with before your sign a contract. 

2. Before You Shop

Once you have made your choice for a real estate agent or real estate team (which has become very popular now), the next thing to do is to speak with a lender. Once you talk with a lender, they will request a bunch of documents and verify your information in order to give you your own, handy-dandy pre-approval letter (cue golden light and angelic singing)! I recommend meeting him/her in person, asking them all financial questions that you may have, and making sure you are comfortable listening to their advice. IF YOU WANT TO SAVE MONEY ON CLOSING COSTS, SHOP FOR A LENDER! Any of you that may be reading this and work in mortgage brokering, don’t hate me for saying this; NOT ALL LENDER FEES ARE THE SAME!! There have been multiple times that my clients have switched lenders in order to save money, either by reducing closing costs, getting a better rate, or avoiding certain fees that specific lenders might charge you. SHOP AROUND, once your credit is pulled once, all of that information can typically be used to compare different lenders and save you some $$$. 

3. Know What You Want

There are different types of real estate for different needs and one of the first things I suggest is taking a look at a questionnaire to narrow down what it is you are looking for. Most people assume that if they figure out the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, their agent can fill out the rest. If you are single, don’t want to deal with a yard, and hoping for a lower price point, why not consider a townhouse or condo? If you are using a lower income and want to have a property that pays for itself, why not consider an income property? A general exercise that makes sure you and your agent are efficiently viewing properties is to list out your home “needs”, “wants”, and “deal breakers”. We also put together a questionnaire clients here, in case you are ready to be helped. 

The Home Buying Process

When you have gotten all of your metaphorical ducks in a row, it’s time to start actually shopping. You are going to hopefully see a number of homes, find a layout that you like, realize what you can afford, and hopefully find a house to make into your home. As your preferences change, please PLEASE PLEASE notify your agent. Then he/she won’t keep sending you homes that disgust you and will be able to help filter out homes that won’t work for you. Let’s see what happens after you find a house. 

  1. Offer Time

Depending on the price point, the condition of the home, and current market conditions you may or may not be in a multiple offer situation. If that is the case, it's important to know that there are many aspects of an offer not just a price! Some of the other major aspects of an offer include closing date (when will the house be sold and keys exchanged), earnest money (how much cash are the buyers depositing up front as a show of how serious they are about buying the house), and cash to close (how much of the offer is financed versus cash present). 

Once the offer is accepted, you have a time period to deposit earnest money that is predetermined and outlined in the offer. Earnest money can be in the form of cash, cashiers check, personal check, and we are seeing typical earnest money of about 1% of the loan. 

2. Inspections

As of last year, Idaho Real Estate purchase and sale agreements include two inspection periods with specific deadlines. The primary inspection is for a home inspector to walk through the home and point out the items that he/she feels you should know prior to owning the home. The secondary inspection is typically for all of the other inspections with the property including a survey, well test, water potability test, etc. Now, I always warn clients that the inspector’s job is to point everything out that may be wrong with the home and some inspectors will point out EVERYTHING. I have had inspectors call out plants growing too close to the home, paint on the fence peeling, and doors hanging at sub-optimal angles. Typical inspection reports will be over twenty pages, filled with some major issues and a number of minor issues but as the potential owner, anything that sticks out to you must be relayed to your agent so that any further issues can be inspected by a licensed professional. 

Generally the order of operations is as follows: 1) Home Inspector walks through home 2) Inspector sends buyers reports 3) Buyers decide on which items they would like addressed in writing and submit to sellers 4) Sellers use their time period (outlined in offer) to have items investigated by professional 5) Sellers respond in writing which items to address

AS A BUYER, you get to choose whether or not you are satisfied with the seller’s response. Depending on the deadline in the original offer, you may even have the opportunity to walk away from the property and keep your earnest money. If you are unsure what that means, please have the conversation with your real estate agent. 

3. Walk Through

Now that you are satisfied with the repairs being made to the property, you get to wait for the repairs to be done. Once the repairs are completed, you are entitled to an initial walk through as well as a re-inspection for the repaired items only. Most home inspectors will re-inspect the items they originally called out in their report for a minimal fee/free. You are also permitted a “final walk through” a few days before closing to make sure that when you take possession of the home, it is in the condition you expect it to be. That means the sellers didn’t leave a giant hole in the wall when they moved out their sofa or that there are no tears in the linoleum from taking the washer and dryer out. IT IS IMPERATIVE YOU USE YOUR WALK THROUGHS and if your agent isn’t encouraging them RUN!

4. Appraisal

Now that you have made it through the repairs and everything seems to be in order, your lender should have an appraisal done. Most of the time the preceding steps are all taking place because you have chosen an amazing real estate professional, but it is easier to think of the items separately. If you are financing your loan, the lending professional will require an appraisal as a CYA. They are about to lend you a good chunk of money for the property and want to make sure if there are any issues and they have to take the house back and sell it, they aren’t going to lose money. As a buyer, the appraisal protects you from overspending, just in case your agent doesn’t ;) 

The Home Stretch

You have done it, you fought against all of the other buyers to come out on top, the sellers happily met all of your demands, and the home itself is immaculate and when you open the front door you hear golden trumpets. WOW! The home isn’t yours quite yet though. 

  1. Signing

As you approach your closing date, your lender, agent, and closing officer are all going to work together to fill your inbox with documents to sign. Some of them will have specific deadlines and time sensitive signatures so best practice is sign them asap. Nobody wants to be THAT person that forces closing to be later than expected because a document wasn’t signed appropriately. 

It’s finally time to sign the last documents at closing! (HOORAY!) Make sure that you bring a valid photo ID and a check with you to closing. Wait, a check?? Sometimes the actual closing statement may be off, or the lender has to adjust something at the last minute. Either way, I caution you to be prepared. Hopefully you won’t need to actually use the checks but it can save you the headache of closing late. 

2. Funding and Recording

After you sign your name 651 times and the paperwork is taken away, you get to play the waiting game. Typically, if everyone is on top of things and both buyers and sellers have signed in the morning, you may record and fund the same day. Recording being the paperwork is sent over to county and funding being that the money for the house is sent to the seller’s account from your lender. After the house has funded and been recorded you are officially the proud owner of your new home and you will receive the keys. At that point, unless you have agreed to a delayed possession, you get to start moving things in and the sellers should be completely out of the house. 

Let’s Celebrate

BOOM!! You are now an official home owner. We think that is a reason to celebrate and want to organize a house-warming party in your honor. We like to handle food, drinks, and invitations to give you a humble-brag opportunity to show off the new home. We typically celebrate 3-6 weeks after closing, so that you have the ability to organize the house and make it into your home. In fact, in order to make your move easier we let you utilize our moving trailer so that you don’t have to use Uhaul or sweet talk your buddies with trucks. 

If you have read all of this and felt it helped you out, please leave a comment below or share it with someone else it might help. It helps us out TREMENDOUSLY :) 

Selling Your Home in Idaho

Thinking about selling your home?

In our Idaho housing market, we have seen outrageous population growth without the infrastructure or housing availability to match it. In essence, the high demand for housing is met with a very low supply of available homes and that creates the crazy environment that is sweeping through the Treasure Valley from Mountain Home, through Boise and Meridian to Fruitland. With all of the increase in value, especially in the recent years, we are seeing more and more people thinking of cashing out the equity in their homes by putting their houses up for sale. We have even seen some people who have lived in their home for less than a year consider putting their homes on the market! Is now the right time for me to sell? If I sell my home, do I need an agent? What does selling my home look like? READ ON!! If you have any feedback, we are always looking to grow so leave us a message or comment below.

Should I sell my home?

Before you think about selling your home you should ask yourself these questions: “Have I outgrown my home or is my home more than I want to handle?”, “Has my job or work changed and what used to be an easy drive is now a commute that takes time away from family?”, “Was this house supposed to be a temporary home until we were more comfortable?”, “Am I ready for my first home?”, “Has my life or lifestyle changed and living with my parents/roommates is no longer working?” Look! The thing is, there are so many reasons to sell your home that I couldn’t think of every question! We  encounter “reasons to sell my home” daily. The ‘why’ is typically the easiest part and you probably don’t need me to convince you to sell your house. If you even mention “should I sell my home?” out loud, your Alexa®, smart watch, and Siri® will probably start blowing up your phone with blog after blog after questionnaire after advertisement plus the ever-present Dave Ramsey says!

SAVE YOUR PHONE’S BATTERY AND YOUR TIME BY READING THIS BLOG! If you finish this and are still unsure if now is the best time just remember today is a seller’s market, tomorrow will be a seller’s market, but nobody knows what next year will look like! Charles Dickens is quoted, “Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him!” Why wait because all of the sellers you will be competing with aren’t!

Real Estate in Ada and Canyon County?

AC 2019.JPG

A catalog of home sales can be found here if you are hoping to see what Idaho real estate trends have been looking like but if you are hoping for a condensed history here is a wonderful image from Boise Regional Realtors®. From April of 2018 until April of 2019, the median home price in Ada county went up 12.5%.

The median home price in April of 2016 was $239,000 dollars and April of 2019 $331,000 which is an increase of 38% in median home value (read more here).

What about Canyon County?

Okay, so the cities in Ada County are growing but what about my house in Nampa or another city in Canyon County? The median sales price of a single-family home in Canyon County in April of 2018 was $206,214 and in 2019 was $244,000 which is an increase of almost 19%!

Woah! Well what about my parents that bought their home in 2006 in Caldwell? The median home price for Canyon County in April of 2016 was $160,000, so yes an increase in value of 53%.

So let’s say you were someone that bought a home in 2016 in Kuna for $150,000, if you found out that your home was worth more than $210,000 would you consider making $60,000 or more? How about if your parents gave you a home in Middleton that was worth 120,000 and is now worth over $190,000??

The truth is, without enough homes for all of the people that want to live in the Boise area and with most construction taking at least 6 months to complete, home buyers are fighting tooth and nail to buy your home! According to KTVB, “the population of Boise is supposed to surpass 1,000,000 people by 2040.” For you, me, and every other home owner, that means demand isn’t going to slow down any time soon!

What is my home worth?

That is a great question! In fact, there is only one way to truly accurately evaluate what your home is worth. I will give you a hint, it has nothing to do with putting your address into the Zillow® database. In fact, before you type the “Z” word into your web browser, consider the following!

Online Estimators

Most of you that are probably aware that you can look up your home’s Zestimate® for “free” but for any of you that have tried that, you probably realized shortly afterwards that real estate agents in the area are also NOW aware that you are considering selling your home. The Zestimate® is not accurate BOTTOM LINE! We go into detail and explain why in our video and if you haven’t seen it yet take a few seconds and give it a quick watch.

Even other estimation tools like,, and will grab your information and use their various equations to come up with their “estimated home value” but they will never be able to calculate accurately. The computer programs will always be inaccurate because they do not take into account the smells, sounds, and layouts of a home without walking through the house.

Have you ever noticed that your assessed tax value tends to be inaccurate? (Thankfully for us!) Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy paying taxes on a home that Ada County says is worth $40,000 less that what it is worth! Unfortunately for people relying on these online estimation tools, if the system uses an inaccurate number (such as the public tax records) to calculate your home’s value, you could be missing out on thousands of dollars in equity when you sell at what the internet says your home is worth!

My house is wayyyy nicer than my neighbor’s!

So you may be thinking, “Yeah, I know that the best way to estimate is compare to just sold property in the area.” That is great! Really! You are a little bit ahead of some of those who may be relying on the internet to dictate their home’s value BUT you still have much to learn young padawan! Some of my favorite objections at listing appointments is the “my neighbor Bob’s house just sold for x dollars and their house is terrible compared to mine.” Was your home the same age? Was your neighbor’s home also a two story home with a bonus room? Did your neighbor’s house have an updated kitchen, newer carpets, dual vanities, or a split floor plan? Sometimes I think that seller’s forget that selling their home for a higher value helps us agents out as well! We would love to sell your home for one million dollars but listing your 2 bedroom home for 1 million dollars and having to do 6 different price changes and let the home sit on the market for 150 days MAKES US LOOK LIKE WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING!!


Would you use an agent that has sold 4 houses, all of which sold for under asking price after sitting on the market for an average of 100 days?! (If you aren’t researching your agent before signing documents, that is a whole other issue for another time!)

By not listing your home at market value, we are wasting your time, my time, and time is money! WHY WOULD WE TELL YOU YOUR HOME IS WORTH LESS THAN WE COULD SELL IT FOR?

The best way to find out your home’s value

Undoubtedly and without any room for argument, the best possible way to find out what your home is worth is to have a real estate professional walk through the home. You should talk to your agent (if you don’t have one we are always happy to help) and set up a seller’s consultation. Your agent should prepare a CMA (comparative market analysis), walk through your home, and provide you with a list of suggested improvements to make your home “market ready.”

This Little Home Went to Market

Once you have a price, the next step is to decide how you are going to take it to the market. Today, you are going to be solicited with all kinds of online schemes that are going to promise you savings, peace of mind, and world famous service! I can not stress it enough DO YOUR RESEARCH! Let this blog be the beginning of your search, but don’t let it be the end. Online reviews, past clients, and see if you can’t find another house they are listing in order to understand how they will market your home.

Before you jump all in make sure you heed the warnings and pitfalls outline below. Whether you have never sold a home before, you sell homes for a living, or you are somewhere in between, you will learn something by continuing reading!

We buy your homes fast! Cash Now!

I am sure you have heard it on the radio, seen a commercial, or driven past signs where people are broadcasting that they will buy your house with cash in order to “help you”? I see more and more marketing for investors that want to buy your home out from underneath you in order to “save you money”, “save you stress”, “save your commissions”.

How wealthy do you think an investor would be if he paid you market value for your home? Now by all means, if your home is worth $200,000 and the investor is offering you $200,000 you would be crazy not to accept that. What does the investor gain by “helping” you and buying your home from you? A bigger question is, what kind of business survives without making profits? If they gave you, your cousin, and your neighbor a “great deal”, how would they make money?


The tale of the for sale by owner (FSBO)


For ages, sellers have fell victim to the idea that they can save money by listing the home by themselves. Don’t get me wrong, it is possible to sell your home without an agent and if that is something that you have set your mind to, POWER TO YOU! I will keep this section brief because there is too much to cover when it comes to selling your home without an agent. If you want to know more, please leave a message below.

Many sellers believe that they can get by without paying an agent but here are some truths, backed by statistics, that may make you reconsider for sale by owner. Nationwide, only 7% of homes were actually sold for sale by owner and the typical agent-assisted home sold for %132.5 the typical FSBO price. Some quick math:

FSBO decides to sell without paying selling agent’s split (3% of $200k) and saves $6,000 dollars. The agent assisted home (on average) would have sold for $265k.

Would you pay $6,000 to make $65,000????

Not Convinced? Well again, you are more than capable of selling without a licensed real estate professional but do consider how you will handle the following:

-Most phone calls will be agents “previewing the home for a buyer” that really want to try and convince you to let them list your home.

-How will you handle showings, grant access to the house, and track when they leave?

-How will you know who to call if something turns up damaged or missing??

-How will you screen potential buyers and verify they have funds so that you don’t get to closing and they can’t perform?

-What legally binding paperwork will you use to make sure the buyer shows up at closing?

Just putting a sign in the yard and posting photos online doesn’t guarantee that your home will sell, especially for top dollar. Although I am comfortable changing an outlet in the kitchen, if I were to rewire my house I would hire a professional electrician. Let one of us do the hard work for you!  

“Discount Brokerages” in Idaho

More and more we are seeing more “cut-rate” and “discount brokerages” pop up in our market. These agencies have taken an approach that they believe by discounting services, they will in turn get more listings and make money on the back end.

There are also agencies that provide an “a la carte” approach to real estate where they charge a flat fee to put your home in the MLS but anything above that is an additional fee such as putting a lockbox on the property, professional photos, managing showings, or staging.

Lastly, we are seeing some brokerages offering rebates, where they return some commission to buyers when they use the same brokerage for the purchase. If you are considering going through a discount broker, I highly recommend reading The Balance’s article where they warn, “You may or may not receive individualized attention and service due to increasing pressure on these low-profit companies to keep the business coming in the door.”

The bottom line being, you can go to a dollar store for groceries but do you expect to get the same quality when you shop at Albertsons, Winco, or Fred Meyer’s?

Finding a Listing Agent

When it comes to finding a listing agent, you should take a few things into consideration. What are the most important characteristics that you are looking for in an agent, what are your expectations when it comes to selling your home, and what needs to happen to make you feel comfortable with your home selling? Once you answer those, you may continue below.

Buying the Listing

When you decide that you are going to sell your home, beware of business practice that we are starting to see take over our market! Remember, listings are worth more than gold for agents! Other agents have started “buying the listing” which means that when they go and sit down with a seller, they present them with a number that they are going to list the home for far above market value.

What’s wrong with that??


Well, when they present that number, their intention is to make the sellers believe that they will deliver a higher sold price than the other agents interviewing for the listing. The seller is so focused that this agent is somehow going to deliver thousands more than anyone else they have talked to. These crooks know that they are going to have to reduce the price down in order to get it sold, but if they “outbid” the other agents, they just bought a listing!

The longer the home is on the market, the fewer people will see it and more likely your price will continue to fall down!

Marketing your home

If you are hoping for a top-dollar bidding war, you need to increase the amount of people that look at, drive by, and walk through your home. Before your house hits the market, it is imperative that you have a marketing strategy. 50% of home buyers found their homes online, which means that if your photos and staging a subpar you are MISSING OUT ON BUYERS! Don’t be THAT guy that takes photos of the property on a camera phone!

Every single home, whether it’s a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom shack, a luxury home on acreage, or a high-rise condo needs to be marketed as best as possible. Why would you skimp on professional photography if that brings thousands of dollars more?? We use professional photography from Tour Factory for every single listing we have. Beyond the stunning photos, it also comes with a property website and a property spotlight video posted directly to YouTube®. All of which are to increase the amount of people that will imagine themselves in your house as their future home.

Before choosing an agent, make sure you investigate any other listings they have done in the past. If you don’t think the description is enticing, the photos are captivating, and you don’t take notice of their marketing FIND A BETTER AGENT!

Beyond Marketing

When it comes to selecting an agent to hire you should also keep in mind a few other things. Do you want an agent that has a high volume of listings so that you feel confident that he/she will get your house sold for top dollar? Do you want an agent that has a lower volume so that he/she will be able to dedicate more time to marketing, negotiating, and focusing on your listing? Do you want the agent to mail out postcards, hold open houses, build flyers, knock the neighborhood, or just put your home on the MLS and wait for a buyer to show up?

Make sure you find an agent that is:

-a licensed and trained professional

-experienced in your neighborhood and market

-confident in overcoming typical snags that occur in a real estate transaction

-a part of a professional network of contractors, lenders, and inspectors

An advocate for you to assure that your home will sell for top dollar and advise how, when, and why to negotiate!

That’s All Folks

As the weather gets nicer, school gets out, and more people sell their homes in Idaho, you may feel like now is the best time for you put a for sale sign in your yard. If you do decide that is the case for you, please use a professional in order to help any agents that may be bringing a buyer to you! If you do decide to try and find an agent that is eager to give up his/her money for a sale, how reluctant are they going to be to give up YOUR money for a sale? If you need a real estate professional in the Boise area, we would be happy to showcase what makes us different as well as get your home ready for the market.

If you enjoyed this, please let me know with a comment or share!

Relocating to Idaho

Whether you are moving to Idaho from out of state, moving to Boise from a North Idaho home, or considering moving to the Treasure Valley from another country, there are many things that you should know and beware of before you load up the moving truck. As a team, the Good News Realty Group has had the pleasure of helping a number of families move out of California, Washington, Oregon, and a number of other North American states, especially as Boise continues to be the fastest growing city in the United States. We wanted to put together a brief, easy-to-read page that covers things to consider before you move, tips to finding a home in another state, and strategies we use as Idaho REALTOR®s to help make the transition easy for our clients.

What do I need to consider before I move?

For some people that are relocating, their choice is determined by a job, where existing family lives, where they can afford, or what area promotes the lifestyle they want to live. This isn’t always the case though and sometimes relocation is spurred by articles like this from top 100 best places to live, WalletHub’s best capitals to live in, or Forbe’s declaring Boise the second best place to raise a family. The bottom line is, people are moving to Idaho from all over and before you make the trek, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

Should I rent or buy when I move?

Like most places, there are plenty of rentals in Boise and homes for sale in Boise but not everyone is hoping for the same outcome when they move. We work with plenty of Idaho property managers and sometimes we are able to orchestrate the situation so that the newly relocated persons are able to move directly into a rental. If you are considering finding a rental in the Boise area, contact us and we can at least point you in the right direction. Our Good News Realty Group team is happy to help you find a rental if that is what you are comfortable living in after you move.

We can also put together what is called a simultaneous close, when a property is sold in another area at the same time a home is purchased. Before you go this route, do you have an agent working for you and helping you sell your home? When it comes to a simultaneous close, both agents (buying and listing) need to be in constant communication to make sure that both properties close at the same time. It takes great skill and care to handle a situation with so many moving parts. ONLY TRUST A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL! If you don’t have one yet, any of the agents on the Good News Group would love to be yours or refer you to one of our many national referral partners.

Maybe you are moving to the Boise area and just looking to buy a house? We can help with that too! We have a unique four-pillar approach to simplify the home-buying process; that’s a topic for another time though.

What areas around Boise might work for my lifestyle?

The Treasure Valley has something for everyone and as cheesy as that sounds, we are serious! Do you enjoy mountain biking, snow boarding, or sleeping beneath the stars in a tent?? CHECK What if you like wine tasting, brewery tours, or a downtown scene that constantly has events?? CHECK Do you want to watch sports without having to pull money out of your retirement, spend a day splashing around at a water park, or feel the motor of race cars shake the bleachers?? CHECK Maybe you like the serenity of an art museum, enjoy being involved in community charity events, or like to wind down in the evening with a stroll down the peaceful green belt?? CHECK

The bottom line is, there is something for everyone in the Boise area. Hence, the reason Idaho has been estimated to grow and GROW and GROW according to the Idaho Statesman. With all of this growth, Boise’s surrounding areas are starting to see the effects of the population growth. Kuna, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell, and Emmett are now seeing growth as well, just at a smaller rate. To try and make relocating a little easier, we have included our relocation guide to give you a brief insight into the areas.

You might be saying, “well that’s great and I can find all sorts of videos about the area, but is there a way to get a personal tour of the area??” Oh man, are we glad you asked!

If you are able to reach out ahead of time and request a tour of the area our team would happily navigate you through the surrounding areas pointing out delicious food businesses, subdivisions and construction sights, as well as projected infrastructure improvements. Spending that little chunk of time with us will give you an idea of which specific area provides the lifestyle you want to live. Plus, we are entertaining and its almost a guarantee we make you laugh at least once. Not only do we specialize in real estate, but the Good News Group also takes great care in keeping you from being bored.

Tips to finding a home in another state

As soon as you type “home” in Google®, Bing®, or your preferred search engine of choice, all of the vultures come out! If you were unaware of the fact that each website you click on is eagerly waiting to sell your information to the highest bidder, we hate to be the bearers of bad news but real estate websites are the worst. Cough* Cough* Zillow® Cough* For all of you that want to browse in peace without a REALTOR® feeding frenzy, there is hope for you!

How do I find a real estate agent in Idaho

Did you know that most of the “premier agents”, endorsed agents, and “top agents” make it to the almighty top by one common trait, CASH. If one of those other agents would like to purchase leads, there are hundreds of corporations and businesses that are happy to accept your payment and start sending you information from the poor, unsuspecting home-browsers. Don’t believe me? Open up your web browser, type in “homes for sale in Idaho”, click on 5 homes and leave the window open for ten minutes. You will get many message prompts asking you, “are you browsing or looking to buy?”, “do you have a home you want to see?”, and “would you like to talk to an agent?” Now you don’t need to even answer any of those questions and shortly after you will get a phone call from a number you have never seen before. BOOM! Now that agent has the opportunity to earn your business and all it took was a little bit of money.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of agents that use this as their lead source and it works for them. I don’t say this as a way to detract from their amazing accomplishments! The absolute hardest part of our job as real estate agents finding our next client. If you are a browser, looking to search without getting eaten alive by starving real estate agents in Boise, this is for you!

So you are telling me that I can’t necessarily type “Real estate agent in Idaho” into Google® and expect to find a trustworthy, dedicated professional? No, I am not saying that at all. What I am saying is that you the very best way to a REALTOR® that you will know, like, and trust is to ask someone that you know, like, and trust. If they don’t remember or had a bad experience, ask someone else! Nearly 20,000 homes were sold in Idaho in 2018, you probably know at least a dozen people that bought or sold a home recently.

Are you moving to the area and know nobody there? I would highly recommend searching by reviews! In this business, reviews are some of the most powerful tools for our clients. If you haven’t written one for your real estate agent, do them a favor for all the hard work they may or may not have done for you and go write a review. The hard part about reviews is that every different real estate website has their own review service, so an agents reviews on Trulia® won’t show up on Google and reviews on Zillow® won’t show up on their website.


Interview agents! Most people forget that when they sign paperwork, they are locked into a contract that most people never get out of!! According to the NAR website, 74% of people would recommend their agent but less than half of that ever use the same agent again. You are about to embark on one of the largest transactions of your life and you are going to let a first impression determine a 30 year mortgage??


Call a number of agents, leave a message, and then see how long it takes for them to respond as well as how they respond! See if they have a website, stalk them on Google®, LinkdIn®, and Zillow®. See if you could find past homes they may have listed and see what their marketing strategies look like, did they list the home high and reduce the price constantly, and do they use professional photography?I can not stress how important using a professional photographer for pictures, especially with most searching starting online.

It amazes me that people will walk into stores to find a product that they like, then pull up reviews on Amazon® or check the prices and make sure they will save cents by going through a different retailer but nobody ever researches a REALTOR® to assist them in spending hundreds of thousands…

What is the average home price in Idaho?

To be fair, that question is loaded because the average home price within a city varies. The average home price of a two bedroom home is not going to be the same price of a single bedroom home on fifteen acres.

Well fine then, I can’t browse but you can’t tell me the value of homes that I would live in?!?

You can browse and there are many many many different outlets that have reliable data on them to assist you while you browse. Just be aware that you will be contacted by any of the websites you go on. So when someone calls you and you answer make sure you let them know, “Oh, I have heard about you!” More than likely, they will be confused and there is a slight chance they will be so confused that they hang up….Maybe. If needed, you can always tell the agent that you are working with the Good News Realty Group…just saying!

In all seriousness, the big Zillow® monster is a good resource for browsing and seeing the different luxury homes in Idaho, manufactured homes, and bare land for sale. If you would like to do most of your browsing from a phone or tablet the Boise Regional Realtors have provided an app that lets you browse with information that is directly linked to our real estate database called HomeSnap and is available on the Google Play Store and Apple Store. There are of course, thousands of other sites and apps but those are both of the ones that we use and recommend.

Tips for making relocation easier

With all of the people relocating to Idaho, we have been fortunate to put together a couple tips and tricks to make that process easier when the time comes. We hope that the tips below can at least create some new insight into items you may have never thought of. If you think of additional tips, please feel free to comment and let others benefit from your knowledge.

Reach out early

If you are potentially, hypothetically, possibly thinking about relocating, there is never a “too early.” Once you have decided that it might happen, that is the best time to start interviewing agents, browsing areas, and seeing what Idaho has to offer. If you are going to visit the area at any time, seeing things in person will provide a much better experience overall, especially if you are able to sit down with real estate agents and interview them. Our team is happy to meet with you, provide a tour of the Boise area, as well as be your team of Idaho REALTOR®s. We can’t speak for the other agents in Idaho though.

Pack by room

When you decide to make the leap, you should pack by room if possible. I have even heard of people creating Excel® sheets but that seems like A LOT of prepared planning. If that is the level of organization you may need, that is a good place to start, you can go highlighter-crazy, paste sticky notes all over the boxes, or use as many Sharpie®’s as you need. When you get to the kitchen, use your pots as capsules for all of your spatulas, spoons, and miscellaneous kitchen utensils.

Donate, donate, donate

As you begin packing, you will realize just how much stuff you have. The very best thing you can do, especially to save headaches when you unpack, is to get rid of the stuff that you don’t need. Seriously! If you are going through your closet and you come across a pair of flared, sequence-covered, Hammerpants; why would you decide that you should keep lugging them around, in case the style comes back around?!? Give them away. If you need some encouragement check out Tidying up Marie Kondo, where she helps people realize how much JUNK they are holding on to. There are hundreds of thrift stores eagerly waiting for your tax-deductible donations, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??


The idea of moving is extremely stressful, especially if you are moving to a place you are not familiar with. Between facilitating a truck, the logistics of any travel time or expenses, making sure all of your travel buddies are nurtured, rested, and fed is an adventure in itself! That’s not even half of the decisions and planning that you get to deal with. In the midst of all the craziness, people forget that they are about to start a new adventure! You and anyone else moving with you are about to have a brand new experience and if you stress so much that you aren’t mentally/emotionally present for the journey, YOU ARE FAILING! Every landmark that you drive by at 15 miles over the speed limit is a missed opportunity for a photo. Each rest stop you convince yourself you don’t need because you can hold it another 30 minutes is forfeiting the chance to stretch your legs, let the pets out, or give any little ones something to look at besides the sage brush you have been staring at for hours!

If you are using PTO, vacation days, or sick days to make the move, why would you spend those days stressed out of your mind? Don’t do that to yourself! If you are unable to enjoy the move, how is anyone else going to be able to?!

Take the time to enjoy the move! Whether it is 50 miles or 1,200 miles, it is a new experience. Would you rather remember the fact that you almost fell asleep at the wheel and almost hit a deer because you forced yourself to drive for 10 hours straight or would you like to remember the time you stopped for fifteen minutes to get a picture at the roaring 620 foot waterfall and picnic as Multnomah Falls cascades in the background?? Just because the idea of relocating to Idaho stresses you out doesn’t mean that anyone else with you also needs to be anxiously awaiting their new home.

Relocating to Idaho

In conclusion, we hope that this blog was able to provide you with some value in one way or another. Idaho is growing and we continue to see more and more people searching for real estate in Boise, Idaho. We would love to do anything within our power to make the relocation process as stress-free as possible. If you would like to tour the Boise area with a personalized tour about all the benefits and possibilities that the Treasure Valley has to offer, we would love to a resource for you. We take pride in educating our clients and are so grateful for all of the relationships we have built with those relocating to Idaho. If you have any further questions, want to know more, or just found this blog to be helpful in any way, please comment below.

Thank you for reading and we would love to make the Good News Realty Group your go-to real estate team.

What is the Good News?

The Good News is…

A monthly blog post about something that we have seen this month. Sometimes we might write about overcoming an objection, going head-to-head with another agents for our clients, or an inspiring story of one client’s journey to find their perfect home. That being said, we also might discuss housing trends, growth in the Treasure Valley, a new restaurant, or a trip to a new Boise business we think you need to check out.

Our main goal is to connect with you and try to remind you that we are just regular people with a passion to help others make financial decisions while providing education, negotiating on their behalf, and delivering the best service possible with a smile.