Mike Brown Group's Real Estate Blog

Falling Interest Rates Header

Freddie Mac recently reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.45% during the week that ended February 6, 2020. That's a decrease of six basis points from the previous week, and the third consecutive week mortgage rates dropped.

The last time the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was at this level was in October 2016, when the rate averaged 3.42%.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also fell to 2.97%, the first time since 2016 that this rate dropped below 3%.

As you can imagine, the near-historic low mortgage rates, coupled with a strong economy, will continue to propel housing demand for the next several months.

Here in the Treasure Valley, with already limited housing supplies, prices are going to continue their ascent. A recent

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Interior Design Trends that are out

With the dawn of a new decade, it’s time to usher in a stream of creative design ideas for your interior spaces. In our previous article, we detailed some of the new interior design trends for 2020. In this post, we’re going to take a walk down memory lane, bidding adieu to trends that are “out” for this year. Between the two articles, hopefully, you’ll find inspiration for your own space, whether it’s an existing home or a brand-new home.

Subway Tile

Photo Credit: iStock.com/in4mal

Subway Tile backsplashes and accents in kitchens and baths were all the rage last decade. And for that reason, people are looking for other tile options as Subway Tile was overseen and overused.


Photo: iStock.com/yenwen

While the golden arches of

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Members of the Mike Brown Group standing outside of the Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House provides housing for families who have traveled far from their homes to seek treatment for their injured or seriously ill children. Built on the premise that

nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their child – not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest. The love and support of family is as powerful a medicine as the strongest medicine prescribed.

The house relies on volunteers to prepare home-cooked meals for the residents and the Mike Brown Group is proud to regularly prepare meals at the house.

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, members of the Mike Brown Group cooked a delicious meal at the Boise

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Ask the Realtor Heading

Chances are if you’ve bought or sold a home, you’ve seen a “Seller’s Disclosure.” Legally, the entity selling the home has to detail information about the property that could affect the buyer’s decision to buy the property. This can take the form of the physical aspects or issues of the property as well as items that could pertain to the enjoyment of the property by the buyer.

Physical Property Disclosures

Let’s take a look at the physical aspects first. These are any known issues or problems that affects the piece of property, the house, outbuildings, etc. Things that need to be disclosed include:

  • Major Structural Repairs
  • Flood Issues
  • Fire/Smoke
  • Roof Repairs
  • Mold or other Water Damage

Non-Property Specific Disclosures

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Design Trends that are In Heading

Welcome to the roaring twenties. With the new year and new decade comes an opportunity to refresh old, tired interior designs with vibrant and fresh ideas. We’ve curated some design inspiration from around the web that illustrates what’s “In” this year.

Bold Monochromatics

Photo Credit: iStock.com/JZhuk

Loud, single-colored rooms are a new design trend, bucking the formally fashionable pale monochromatic color palettes. Bold Blues, Reds, Greens help make the rooms stand out. Even accent items match the same bright colors, providing a uniform “pop” to the decorated space.

Faux Marble

Photo Credit: iStock.com/drewhadley

While traditional marble countertops have been deemed “out” for 2020, faux marble and other human-made materials are

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Free Zoo Day: Wild At Heart

February 1, 10 AM - 5 PM

Wild at Heart is FREE to the Public! Enjoy FREE admission on Saturday, February 1 for Wild at Heart at Zoo Boise. This family friendly Valentine’s themed event will be full of fun things to do. There will be face painting, photo-ops, and special Valentine themed enrichment for all the Zoo Boise animal residents. Plus, you’ll be able to make a Valentine’s Day card for your favorite animal!

More Valentine's Events

  • Valentine’s For Vets: February 3, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Valentine for AIDS: February 6 - 16
  • Daddy Daughter Date Night: February 8, 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
  • Cupid’s Undie Run: February 8, 12 PM - 4 PM



Engineering & Science

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Survey Says Title Graphic

The fifth annual Idaho Public Policy Survey was released recently, and it had some interesting insights from Idaho residents. Of the 1,000 people who were surveyed, nearly 20% believed growth was the most important issue facing the Gem State today. Education, economy/jobs, affordable housing and health care rounded out the top five issues. 

Interestingly, in the previous year’s survey, the top issue was education followed by the economy, healthcare, growth, and transportation issues. What’s especially telling, is that growth, which was fourth on the list in last year’s survey, jumped up nearly 115% to the top spot this year. This certainly illustrates what many have been seeing in the state, especially here in the Treasure Valley, with the bustling

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Ask a Realtor Heading

When buying or building a home in Idaho, or in any state for that matter, the seller requires consideration in order to enter into an agreement with a buyer. Consideration is more commonly known as “earnest money,” which is a payment (outside of financing) to the seller that shows that the buyer intends on purchasing the property. You can call it a “good faith” payment in an effort to motivate the seller to take the home off the market and move toward selling the property to the interested buyer.

Where does the earnest money payment go?

Earnest money doesn’t go directly to the seller as it’s held in an escrow account and goes towards the final purchase price of the property once the transaction is finalized.

How much do I pay?


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Treasure Valley Market Update

The Intermountain Multiple Listing Service (IMLS) has released its monthly update for home sales in December, which looks at both residential resales and new construction sales in the Treasure Valley and beyond.

Home Sales Statistics

As residents, we know the Treasure Valley of Idaho is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. And according to Realtor.com, the area is expected to be the top real estate market in the country for 2020. Both Ada and Canyon Counties saw pretty significant year over year growth in terms of homes sold and values for the month of December.

Ada County

Ada County saw a 7.69% increase in the median price of homes when compared to December 2018. In 2018 the median price was $325,000 with December 2019

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 Mortgage application rates jumped nationally.

Following-up on what Realtor.com is expecting to be a banner year for real estate transactions, especially here in Idaho, last week the U.S. saw a 30% increase in mortgage applications versus applications the previous week according to a report by CNBC. Additionally, refinance applications saw a 109% increase over numbers from the previous year.

The strong economy and low interest rates are fueling the demand for housing, with homebuyer demand reaching its highest level nationally in 11 years.

Additionally, purchase applications increased 16% for the week, up 8% for last year at this time. Purchase mortgage activity is at the highest level since October 2009.

...the extraordinarily low interest rates, those are helping fuel demand as

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