Buy Boise real estate with a pro with the tips and guidance provided on Mike Brown Group's blog. We help buyers connect with the best properties, navigate the home buying process with ease and make purchasing savvy choices. The experts at the Mike Brown Group are dedicated to making your next Boise home purchase a complete success!

You can also learn more about purchasing Treasure Valley homes in the Buying section of our website!

Found 69 blog entries about Buying.

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
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The February 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report by 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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Late last week, in the span of a few hours, the 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate jumped a percentage point. According to Movement Mortgage Senior Loan Officer Todd Shreeve, "there are a number of factors contributing to the recent increase." He continues, "one of the factors...over the past couple of weeks interest rates have been very low. When rates were at their low point, it caused an unprecedented number of refinance applications. The result was the lending industry couldn't absorb the volume of applications that came in, so we began to see rates inch up over the past few days."

The demand for refinance applications is one cause, but what about the coronavirus and the markets?

"The covid-19 virus has

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Ask a REALTOR® Header image

If you have ever purchased a home or are in the process of buying a home, you've probably seen "Title Insurance" mentioned a time or two as part of the process. Title insurance at its core protects the lender and you, the buyer, from any risks or losses by faults from an event(s) that occurred before you owned the property.

There are two forms of title insurance: The lender's policy and the homeowner's policy. 


The lender's policy protects the mortgage holder from faults in the title that results in a loss. The homeowner's policy protects you, the buyer, against damage that may occur from your ownership of the property. 

Homeowner's Policy Protections

A homeowner's title policy:

  • Protects you from financial loss due to demands
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Ask a Realtor Heading

You may have seen a "HERS Certified" graphic in windows of new homes that are under construction and wondered what it means. HERS is the Home Energy Rating System Index, the industry-standard by which a home's energy efficiency is measured. HERS is also the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home's energy performance. 

Hers LogoThe HERS rating is an index with each point below 100, represents a 1% improvement in overall energy performance. So a lower score is better. A home can be Energy Star-certified with a HERS index of 85.

A HERS report can tell you a lot about the home, including how efficiently it's operating and where changes can be made for more significant energy savings. 

If you're going to sell your home, a low

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 Nighttime view of downtown Boise from the Train DepotPhoto Credit:

A recent study, discovered on, shows wealthy home buyers are looking for homes away from more widely-known affluent and glamorous areas. Forget about Los Angeles, New York, or even Miami. Boise finds itself on a list that shows it as the top location for housing interest from the nation's richest 1%. The City of Trees is “a budding metropolis for affordable luxury,” according to the report. 

Remarks included with the report stated, “The surprise has been the expansion of the affluent sector into mid-sized markets.” It continued, “Part of this is due to wealth migration from higher-tax states to lower-tax states.”

The Boise area has seen a busy real estate market the past several years with droves of

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Ask a Realtor Graphic

When buying (or selling) a home, it's a good idea to have a home inspection done to make sure there aren't any costly surprises lurking in the house. Most buyers require a home inspection and can make the sale contingent upon the findings. At its core, a home inspection is a protection that prevents new homeowners from uncovering a problem with the house that will need fixing or replaced. 

Every state has different requirements for home inspectors, and Idaho doesn't require home inspectors to have any formal training or certifications. As a result, using an inspection company that is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors can provide peace of mind about the professionalism of the home inspector. You can also rely on referrals from

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Uncle Sam wants his share

If you're a homeowner here in the Treasure Valley, you've probably noticed that your property taxes are on the rise. The fees are going up due to home values rising and assessed levies for new schools. One of the easiest ways to save money on your property taxes is to file a Homeowner's Exemption with the county assessor's office. 

A Homeowner's Exemption reduces the property's taxable value 50% or up to $100,000, whichever is less. The exemption can only be applied to a single residence and up to one acre of land. Commercial property doesn’t qualify. 

To get the exemption, you'll have to apply, and it will remain in effect for as long as you own the home and use it as your primary dwelling.

You do have to apply by April 14th; otherwise, it

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Fall In Love With a New Home Design

Ready to fall in love with a new home or new design trend? The Annual Boise Spring Parade of Homes is coming April 25th through May 10th, 2020. Put on by the Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho, the three-week-long event allows people to tour some of the area's best new homes while exploring their communities. Many of the builders spare no expense and pay attention to the most minute details in their contributions. Their goal is to not only showcase their amazing homes to potential homebuyers but to win awards from a variety of categories. Recognition from their peers is as important as presenting a quality home.

The Boise Spring Parade of Homes allows people to visit up to 40 different custom homes. Additionally, visitors will

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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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