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Ken's Real Estate Review
October 2021

  Ken Sugarman

   Residential REALTOR®
   Direct (208) 585-1032 

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By Pete Clark
Boise Regional REALTORS®

The median sales price for homes in Ada County moved to $534,950 in September 2021, marking a slight 0.8% increase over August when the median sales price was $530,500.  While prices remained steady month-over-month, the most notable statistic was the share of homes that sold for over list price dropped to 33.1% — the lowest level since June 2020. 

Competition for homes has been fierce for nearly a year, and as market times fell, more buyers were willing to pay over list price, which became a primary factor driving up the median sales price. When the share of homes that sold over list price exceeded 40% in August 2020, the median sales price moved into the $400,000-range for the first time. When it reached nearly 65% in May 2021, that’s when prices exceeded the $500,000-mark.  (For more on this, and additional factors driving home prices, check out BRR's blog post: “Making Sense of the Rising Home Prices in Ada County.”)

That jump in price likely brought prospective sellers to the market, which has helped inventory levels increase. In fact, September marked the sixth consecutive month of inventory growth. The 1,249 homes available for sale at the end of the month was an 11.1% increase from August and a staggering 165.7% increase compared to September 2020.  In addition, the average number of days between when existing homes were listed for sale and an offer was accepted increased to 17 days — the longest market time in the last 12 months — and 21.4% longer than the 14 days we saw in August 2021. 
The increased inventory and a slightly slower pace are good news for buyers and may be two reasons that fewer homes sold over list price last month. That said, while the Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) continued to trend up — reaching 1.5 months in September — Ada County is still not in the 4-6 month range of supply which is typically considered a balanced market — creating ongoing opportunities for sellers.
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Whether you are looking to buy, sell, invest, or just learn more about opportunities and challenges in the current market, I would love to sit down and talk with you!  So, please, give me a call at 208-585-1032 or send me an email, and let's setup a time to meet!  I look forward to any opportunity to help you with your real estate needs.   
For more information and specifics on the current market, please check out the full Boise Regional REALTORS® Market Report HERE.  
Boise Area Event Calendar

It's a wonderful season to enjoy some great local events!  Check out our event calendar HERE for the latest happenings.  Some events may change, so please make sure to check the website links for the most up to date information.
Rising Homeowner Equity May Keep Foreclosures at Bay
by REALTOR® Magazine

Rising home prices have meant most homeowners have seen significant gains in equity over the past year. That may prove to be a critical buffer to help owners hit hard by economic uncertainty during the pandemic avoid foreclosure.

In the second quarter, the average annual equity gain for borrowers was $51,550, five times that of a year ago, according to CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report.

“While the coronavirus pandemic created economic uncertainty for many, the continued acceleration in home prices over the last year has meant existing homeowners saw a notable increase in home equity,” Molly Boesel, chief economist at CoreLogic, says in a column at the real estate research firm’s website. “The accumulation of equity has become critically important to homeowners deciding on their post-forbearance options.”

During the Great Recession, borrowers underwater on their mortgages were facing plummeting home prices. Nowadays, however, most borrowers who are behind on their mortgage payments can tap into their equity and sell their home rather than lose it to foreclosure, Boesel says.

That said, some homeowners may still be at risk. The states with high negative equity have seen the lowest home price appreciation compared with the national average. The following are the places most at risk for foreclosure and distressed sales, according to CoreLogic’s analysis.

Source: “Strong Home Equity Gains in 2021 Lower Foreclosure Risk,” CoreLogic (Sept. 23, 2021)
Ken represented us through the sale of our home. We began working with Ken nearly a year and a half ago and he was patient - never pushy and waited for us to be ready. When we were ready to sale, he completely catered to our needs and timeframes. After an exhaustive search, we determined that building was our best option. He has been with us every step of the way. He is very familiar with the process and his input and advice has been invaluable. His direction in selling our home was spot on - selling in about 24 hours. While we refer to Ken as our agent, the truth is that he has become a dear friend. He brings his skills and coaching ability to the table and works to set up a winning game-plan. He is "our guy" and should be yours too. ~Chuck Bosen
Read more of my client testimonials HERE.  
Is Fall a good time to buy a home in the Treasure Valley?

As the leaves have changed color and begun to fall and as the thermometer has dipped into the 30’s at night here in the Treasure Valley, I wanted to share my answer to a question I am asked often this time of year.   Is now a good time to buy a house?  My initial response is this: "The best time to buy a house is when you are ready!"  That being said, I do believe fall can be an opportune season to purchase a home for those who are able. We often see a little softening of prices as well as less buyer competition in the fall.  If you are patient and have a good agent assisting you, great finds can be made!  

Over the past couple of months, I have had many conversations with friends who live on the left coast who are struggling to some degree or another with politics in their state.  Desire to live in an area that more closely aligns with one's political views is actually one of the primary reasons buyers have given for relocating to Idaho in the past year.  While this has contributed to significant growth in our area, I still find it to be an amazing place to live.  

My family and I greatly enjoy the variety that comes with the four seasons.  Many of my Southern California friends worry about the winter season.  But, excluding the winter of 2017 (often referred to as "Snowmageddon" because of the large amounts of snow we had that year), winter here is generally mild.  Now, if you've never lived where its cold before, it will be a bit of adjustment.  But, overall, it isn't much of an issue for most.  When I first moved back to Idaho, a friend told me I wouldn’t need a snow shovel for the winter.  He said, “especially if you have a southern facing driveway (which I do).  The sun will melt the snow off  in the afternoon and you won’t even have to shovel."  I have actually found that to be quite true.  So while we have close access to the mountains with lots of snow, it is rare we have to battle it down in the Treasure Valley.  We are technically a “high desert” climate which means we do get some heat in the summer (this summer was the hottest we have had in some time).  But, the hot spells don't typically last long.  Fall really is my favorite time of year, as the leaves change color, the days are generally warm, and the nights are cool.  It is a great time to get outside and bike, hunt, fish, run, walk or whatever you like to do!

You may currently be in a situation where you really want to move to Idaho but aren’t sure about the timing.   This can be very frustrating for a buyer, as you can feel torn.  Maybe you have a high schooler you don’t want to move yet, maybe your job situation is complicated,  or maybe you have a new grand baby you don't want to leave.  Sometimes, in situations like these, buyers will run across a property they are really excited about, but they won't feel they can pull the trigger on moving for a few months or even a year.  If you've found yourself in this situation, can I share an idea?   We often run into clients looking for a short term rental for 3-6 months while their home is being built or while they are waiting on some other transition.  If you are planning to move to Idaho and can qualify to purchase a home here now without selling your current home, the needs of these short term renters could be an opportunity for you!  If the home of your dreams comes up but you aren't ready to relocate, you could have the option to purchase the home and simultaneously help another person or family by providing your home as a short term rental while also covering your mortgage payment until you are ready to move.  If this is something you'd want to explore,  I'd love to recommend a few of my local lender friends who could help you decide if this could be a good option for you.  Here are links to their personal company pages: 
One other thing I wanted to mention:  Sometimes out of area buyers feel it's impossible to look for a home here while they are living in another state.  This is not true!   One of the parts of this business that invigorates me is the hunt for a home for my buyers!  I can get you set up on an MLS search and even on a text alert that will send you notifications when a property matching your parameters hits the market!  As soon as you see a home that catches your eye, let me know and I will go do a live video tour of the property for you.  I have been utilizing a smart phone app called Marco Polo which allows buyers to both view the property tour live as well as view it after the fact as many times as they'd like.  This platform also doesn’t limit my video tour length.  This has been a tremendous tool for my out of town buyers.  

If you're considering making a move to the beautiful Treasure Valley or the surrounding mountains, give me a call, shoot me a text, or send an email, and lets talk about a plan!  You can also reach out to one of the lenders above, and let them know I sent you.  They are ready and willing to share options for making homeownership a reality for you in Idaho.  Talk to you soon! 
Recommended Service Providers
Need help with a home project, service, or repair? Check out our Homeowners Resources page HERE, where we've listed several different service providers we've used personally or who have been recommended to us.  We are always updating this list, so if you have contractors to recommend, please email my Broker!  
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