December 2008

There are 16 blog entries for December 2008.

Countrywide is instituting a national program to help some 400,000 customers nationwide.  The program is designed to help certain sub-prime and adjustable rate borrowers avoid foreclosure.  About $700,000 will be directed to Idaho.

The program came out after some states, not including Idaho, sued the company.  Under a settlement agreement, Countrywide will:

  • Waive approximately $243,000 in prepayment penalties.
  • Suspend foreclosures pending a determination of the borrower's ability to afford the loan modification.
  • Reduce interest payments and principal balances.
  • Provide approximately $179,000 in relocation assistance payments to certain other borrowers to help meet the cost of transitioning out of home ownership.
  • Waive about $275,000 in
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The Ada County real estate market had a dip in both sales and the number of homes on the market.  Overall inventory is down 11%, similar to the previous 6 months.  In terms of the the number of homes sold, sales are down about 32% compared to the same time a year ago.  Ada County is comprised on Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Star, and Kuna Idaho.

Search Ada County Real Estate.

Overall Home Sales Nov-08
Total Listings 4084
Sold Listings 265
Median Home Price  $  185,000
Average Home Price  $  216,994
Existing Home Sales Nov-08
Total Listings 3155
Sold Listings 199
Median Home Price  $  186,000
Average Home Price  $  213,558
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Here's the Meridian Idaho real estate stats for November 2008.  You can find more real estate stats here.

If you would like to know specifics on sold homes in a particular subdivision just send me an email.  If you would like to know how much your Meridian home is worth you can request a free home valuation.

Search Meridian Real Estate

SE Meridian Real Estate Nov-08 Ada County Market %
New Homes Sales 7 10.77%
Average  Home Price  $ 202,294  
Median  Home Price  $ 234,724  
Existing Home Sales 2 1%
Average  Home Price  $ 299,950  
Median  Home Price  $ 300,000  
SW Meridian Real Estate Nov-08 Ada County Market %
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The first thing you should do when you begin thinking about purchasing a home is to get a loan pre-approval letter.  Do not wait, even if you're months away from purchasing.  Here's 3 reasons to get pre-approved immediately.

1) Resolve Issues. If you have any issues with your credit you'll find out and know what you need to fix.

2) You know what you can afford. There is no sense looking above or below the home you can afford.  When you talk to a lender, request a "good faith estimate (GFE)."  This will disclose the interest rate, payment, fees, and estimated closing costs.

3) Allows you to react quickly. Any offer should include a loan pre-approval letter (short sale and bank-owned real estate requires it).  You're going to want to have this in

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The Eagle Idaho real estate market had a decline in sales from October but an increase in average and median price.  Below is a three month snapshot of home sales in Eagle.  November is historically one of the slowest months.

Search Eagle Idaho Real Estate

Eagle ID Real Estate Sep-08 Oct-08 Nov-08
New Home Sales 1 4 2
Average Eagle Home Price $ 515,000 $ 412,497 $ 486,136
Median Eagle Home Price $ 515,000 $ 490,000 $ 532,272
Existing Homes Sales 18 26 12
Average Eagle Home Price $ 340,000 $ 310,784 $ 351,733
Median Eagle Home Price $ 389,453 $ 280,000 $ 360,000

Check for the most recent Eagle real estate statistics and other

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Are you ever amazed at the amount of information and tools available to you on the Internet?  I love finding websites that give me useful and free information.  I have dozens of my favorite sites bookmarked and I thought I would share with you what I consider the must have sites if you're searching for real estate in the Boise Idaho area.

Ada County Assessor Website- You can search for a parcel and find:

  • Current and past tax information like assessed value, annual taxes, and levies.
  • Residential and lot characteristics (square footage, lot size, zoning, etc).
  • Aerial photos.  This is my favorite and most used feature, if you select: "view interactive map," an aerial photo comes up highlighting the parcel boundaries.  You can even select the
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Have you wondered how the current Boise real estate market compares to when it was at it's peak?  To go to the month with the most home sales, we go back to August of 2005 when there were 1342 home sales in Ada County (August '08 had 472).  The days when all you had to do was stick a sign in the yard and you had multiple offers within days!

After a booming 2005 and most of 2006, the Boise real estate market began to loose some steam and inventory began increasing.  In May 2006, there was only a 2.8 month of supply of homes in Ada County.  Just four months later, the supply more than doubled to 5.9 months (which is actually a balanced market).  But development, spec homes, and optimism carried forward.

While demand can shift rapidly, supply takes

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According Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate fell to at least a 37 year low this week!  For the week ending December 18, 2008, the rate averaged 5.19 percentcompared last week when it averaged 5.47 percent.

18-Dec-08 30-yr 15-yr 5/1-yr ARM 1-yr ARM
Average Rates: 5.19% 4.92% 5.60% 4.94%
Fees & Points: 0.7 0.7 60.0% 0.5
These are the best rates and the best deals we've seen in years.  If you're thinking about buying a home there are some great opportunities in the Boise real estate market and surrounding areas of Ada & Canyon County.
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Have you wondered how much you can negotiate off Boise bank foreclosures (REO's)? Well, the truth is it depends.  The major factors are location, price range, day's on market, terms and conditions of the offer, and the bank.  As you will see, there's a range of how much the banks will negotiate and not all situtations are the same.  If you're looking at a specific REO and would like to know my opinion I would be happy to talk with you.

For this blog, I complied the Boise bank-foreclosure sales from October 1, 2008 through November 30, 2008.

The most negotiated off the asking price was 22% while several sold for over the asking price.   The average percentage was 4% and the median 3%.  Please keep in mind, that most of these sales also had the bank

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Interest rates are incredible right now!  This week marked the 6th consecutive week of decline.  There's been a surge of refinances as people seek the security of low fixed rates.  Please contact your lender with questions or you can find lender's I recommend here.

If you're thinking about purchasing, especially if you are looking at short sale and bank-owned real estate, make sure you get pre-qualified asap.  When we make an offer on one of these properties, a pre-qualification letter has to be included with the offer.  If you see the perfect deal, you want to be ready.

Mortgage Rates 30 Yr Fixed 15 Yr Fixed
Conventional* 5.125% 5.000%
Jumbo* 5.875% 5.875%
FHA/VA 5.500%  
IHFA 5.000%
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