Mike Brown Group's Real Estate Blog

Ask a Realtor

When buying a home, it’s frequently a good idea to request a home warranty to be part of the sale, especially if the house is older. A home warranty is a service contract that guarantees specific components and systems of the home. These can include the HVAC system, appliances, plumbing, and more. Home warranties can cover the cost of repair or replacement of items included as part of the warranty coverage. Please note that these types of warranties are different than the warranties that are provided by builders of newly constructed homes.

Now imagine having an oven that doesn’t heat, or the air conditioner breaks down in the middle of the summer. A home warranty can generally protect against those types of events.

A home warranty provides peace

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Even in a pandemic, homes are still selling in Idaho. The Intermountain Multiple Listing Service has released its home sales statistics for March 2020, and the numbers continue to show strong sales in both Ada and Canyon Counties. Demand for both areas continues to be robust despite the best efforts of COVID-19 to derail real estate transactions. While REALTORS® have evolved how they serve their clients by offering virtual open houses and walkthroughs, home buyers and sellers have also adapted to using these technologies.

Even though the shelter in place order didn’t come until the middle of the month, March, as a whole, was another solid month for real estate.

Inventory levels in both counties remained very low, and that’s going to continue as

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A beautifully landscaped backyard
Photo Credit: iStock.com/TimAbramowitz

While many people say the kitchen is the heart of the home, the outdoor space can play an essential role in living and lifestyle. Creating a fantastic yard not only allows you to be the envy of the neighborhood, but it also serves as a retreat from the hustle of the everyday.

Continuing our series on design trends for 2020, we’re going to take a look at landscape design trends for 2020 and explore ideas for your outside space.


Xeriscaping is becoming more mainstream. With more and more people becoming environmentally aware, drought-tolerant plants have become fixtures in landscape design. These plants require far less water than non-drought tolerant varietals, which can be a savings on

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Green colored house
Photo Credit: iStock.com/Sisoje

In a previous series, we discussed interior design trends for 2020 that were both in and out. Today, we’re going to look at paint color trends for 2020 and factors that affect color choice.

Earlier this year, some design experts offered their opinions on what’s in and what’s out in terms of color trends for 2020.

Dark Exterior Colors

One of the significant trends that are picking up steam is dark exterior colors. Black houses, near black, and other smoky colors are becoming more prevalent. Those with bright accents and natural tones like warm woods or stone are making the dark colors more approachable.

Color Blocking

Photo Credit: iStock.com/U. J. Alexander

Color blocking is another trend that is

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Home prices are not going to appreciate as much for next year. Photo Credit: iStock.com/Fokusiert

A new report by Veros Real Estate Solutions indicates that the average projected appreciation rate for the nation’s top 100 housing markets will only increase on average 1.9% through the first quarter of 2021. Previous forecasts were a lot more optimistic, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic uncertainty, the forecast was adjusted.

“Home price trends and forecasts certainly take a backseat to more pressing health and safety issues during this unprecedented tragedy. While we expect a softening of house prices in the near-term, we anticipate a rebound when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides,” said Darius Bozorgi, CEO of Veros Real Estate Solutions. “The fundamental economic principles under which housing has

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Boise Population Growth
Photo Credit: iStock.com/LeoPatrizi

In what shouldn’t come as a shock, new data shows that the Treasure Valley is growing, and fast.

The Census Bureau has released new data showing the Boise Metro Area as the 37th fastest growing area in the country. The data, which includes estimates through July 1, 2019, shows 20,291 people who now call the area home since July 1, 2018. Of those, 16,759 residents came as the result of relocating to the area, which isn’t surprising since a couple of national moving companies said Idaho was tops on their lists for people to move to. There was a net increase of 3,522 due to vital events (births and deaths). To put the numbers into perspective, the region grew by roughly 55 new people per day, 389 new people per week,

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Things a homeowner should knowPhoto Credit: iStock.com/AndreyPopov

Maybe you're in the market for a new home, or perhaps you've just moved into one. Regardless of your circumstance, there are some things you need to know about your new house. This article will help educate you on things you need to know about your house.

Know Where Your Water Shutoff Valves are Located

Most homes have two shutoff valves: one on the interior and one externally, leading into the house. It's great to know where these are in the off chance you have a leak in one of your pipes that needs to be repaired, or if you're upgrading plumbing fixtures.

Know Where Gas Line Shutoffs Are

If you have gas going into your home, you should know where to turn it off in case you're replacing a fireplace or

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Ask a REALTOR®, what is Escrow

When buying a house, you may have heard the term "escrow" and have wondered what it means. When you place an offer on the house, and that offer is accepted, you'll probably have to pay earnest money as a sign of good faith to move toward buying the home. That earnest money is deposited into an escrow account where it will remain until the deal closes. Once everything is finalized, the funds from that account are released and are generally applied to their mortgage and closing costs.

Once escrow closes, the financing company will open a new escrow account where it will hold funds to pay for property taxes and homeowner's insurance as part of the monthly mortgage payment. Generally, you'll pay 1/12th of your annual insurance and property taxes as

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Houses stacked on coins
Photo Credit: iStock.com/Bet_Noire

The February 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report by Realtor.com was released recently, and all indications are that the buying season will be extremely competitive. The report did note that "it remains to be seen if new concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus domestically will dampen what is shaping up to be a competitive home-buying season."

The total number of homes available for sale decreased and continues to decline at an accelerating pace. In fact, according to the study, inventory dropped 15.3% year-over-year for February. That's a faster rate of decline than January's year-over-year numbers, which were at 13.6%. The figures translated into roughly 184,000 lost listings year-over-year for February

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Top 500 Brokerages of 2020 RealTrends

RealTrends, the leading and undisputed firm for ranking the performance of the top residential real estate brokerage companies, has released its 33rd annual Top 500 list of brokerages in the U.S. 

The Mike Brown Group of Silvercreek Realty Group is excited to announce that our brokerage, Silvercreek Realty Group, ranked 45th in the nation for total deals, having 10,800 transactions. The brokerage also ranked 52nd in the country for total dollar volume, with $3.4 Billion in closed business.

"We're excited to be a part of the brokerage's accomplishment and look forward to many more years of success. Our sincerest congratulations to Aaron Doughty, Krista Deacon, and the rest of the Silvercreek team,” says Mike Brown, Owner of the Mike Brown

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