May 2020

Found 13 blog entries for May 2020.

The Coronavirus pandemic may derail a lot of people’s vacation plans this summer. Still, a recent study by the consumer website WalletHub shows the best and worst cities in the nation for a staycation.

The study examined 182 U.S. cities, including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state across two key dimensions: 1. Recreation, and 2. Rest and Relaxation. WalletHub analyzed the dimensions using 15 relevant metrics. Some of these metrics included Parks Per Capita, Walking Trails per Capita, the Average Price of Pizza and Burger, and the Average Home Square Footage, among others.

In what shouldn’t come as a surprise, Boise was second on the overall list trailing only Plano, TX. Boise ranked

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Photo Credit: iStock.com/Kameleon007

In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, many mortgage and student loan lenders have been promoting their forbearance programs, allowing people to take advantage of no payments on their loans for a defined period of time.

While forbearance allows people to delay making payments, doing so may have consequences when applying for a loan to refinance or purchase a new house. Also, depending on your lender, full payment with interest, for the missed payments may be due when you exit forbearance.

Todd Shreeve, Senior Loan Officer with Movement Mortgage, recently shared a story about a couple who was looking to sell their home and buy a new one.

The couple was busy getting their home ready to sell and hadn’t done

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Photo Credit: iStock.com/Eachat

Memorial Day provides us an opportunity to remember those who have served our nation honorably, and to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great country.

Memorial Day was initially known as Decoration Day, originating in the years following the Civil War. It didn’t become an official federal holiday until 1971.

Many people may consider the holiday an opportunity to have a day off of work, or perhaps to spend some time by the pool or having a barbecue, and in regular times, holding family gatherings, participating in parades, or visiting cemeteries or memorials. Memorial Day is also the unofficial beginning of summer.

After the Civil War, various towns and cities had begun holding

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Photo Credit: iStock.com/phototechno

If mortgage demand is an indicator, the housing market is starting to rebound a lot quicker than expected amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Home purchase mortgage applications rose 6% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. Purchase volume was just 1.5% lower than a year ago, a remarkable recovery from only six weeks ago when purchase volume was down 35% year-over-year.

“Applications for home purchases continue to recover from April’s sizeable drop and have now increased for five consecutive weeks,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. He continues, “Government purchase applications, which include

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Go Green and Save Energy
Photo Credit: iStock.com/Blue Planet Studio

We recently completed our “Green Week” series where we explored ways to make our homes more energy-efficient. The tips included 53 Ways to Go Green, Going Green with Larger Home Improvements, and Six Simple Things You Can Do Around the House to Save Money and Help the Environment. Following-up on those earlier conversations, Idaho Power is offering its customers a free kit full of items to help make your home more energy-efficient.

The Energy-Savings Kit Includes:

  •       Nine LED Light Bulbs (6-Watt LED and 9-Watt LED)
  •       One LED Night Light
  •       One high-efficiency showerhead*
  •       Two Faucet Aerators*
  •       One Digital Thermometer
  •       One Shower Timer
  •       One Water
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Boise City is one of the best positioned in the nation to recover from Coronavirus
Photo Credit: iStock.com/vkbhat

Following up on a study conducted by SmartAsset in March 2020 that evaluated recession-proof cities, Moody’s Analytics has released its own report detailing which U.S. cities are positioned to rebound quickly from the effects of Coronavirus. The analysis grouped the top ten best and the worst ten and listed them “alphabetically in order to avoid assigning false precision to our calculations,” writes Adam Kamins, senior regional economist at Moody’s Analytics and the author of the report.

Boise was among the top ten best cities, according to the report.

In analyzing the cities, Moody’s Analytics looked at the population density of a given locale and plotted it against measures of workforce quality, using educational

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Ask a REALTOR®

Real estate agents are providing a service to their clients, but generally don’t get paid in advance for the work that they do until a property sells. There are two commissions, the buyer’s agent commission, and the seller’s agent (also called the Listing Agent) commission. Generally, both agents share a total commission of the purchase price of the home of around six percent, so three percent per agent. While this figure is considered the norm, there are situations and circumstances where the percentage may be adjusted higher or lower.

Who Pays the Commissions?

Generally, the seller is the one who disburses both commissions. However, since the commissions paid are based on the sale price, it can be argued that the buyer is paying the

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The Intermountain MLS has released its Home Sales Reports for Ada and Canyon Counties for April, and as expected COVID-19, did affect home sales more dramatically in the month versus March. Interestingly, activity was still robust in Canyon County, with Ada County seeing a sizable decrease in transactions. These numbers are on-par with what a recent national report by Realtor.com discovered. For-sale listings plummeted nationally in April as a result of the pandemic. For the week that ended on May 2, total listings were down 19% year-over-year, and new listings were down 39%. The economists at Realtor.com believe the weekly declines are slowing as we start to move beyond the current situation.

Let’s dive into the numbers locally.

Ada County

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Plenty of jobs to be had in Idaho
Photo Credit: iStock.com/artisteer

You’ve probably noticed there’s been a massive demand for housing in Idaho in recent years, especially here in the Treasure Valley. A new report by “The Travel” discusses cities in the U.S. with the most employment opportunities. They evaluated cities based on their population growth, unemployment rate (pre-COVID-19), cost of living, and overall economy to arrive at the top 12 cities.

In what shouldn’t come as a surprise, Boise found itself on the list in the sixth position. According to the report, “Boise is a bumping! In the last couple of years, the population has increased, meaning jobs have been created to sustain the growing city.”

The report mentions growth in the healthcare and educational sectors, but

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As the Spring Parade of Homes draws to a close, the Building Contractors Association of Southwest Idaho has announced the winners for Best Kitchen, Best Master Suite, Best Interior Design and Finish, and Best Exterior Design. They also awarded homes for being the Best Decorated and the Best Overall. Every home is categorized based upon its price.

The Mike Brown Group is pleased to represent the homes of four builders who participated in the Parade of Homes.

Ninety Degree Construction The Karmen

In Home Category 3, Ninety Degree Construction swept all four award categories with their Karmen floorplan pictured above.

Todd Campbell Custom Homes

Home Category 6 saw Todd Campbell Custom Homes taking home the hardware for Best Kitchen Design, Best Master Suite, and Best Interior Design and Finish for its

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