Real Estate News

There are currently 43 blog entries related to this category.

M3 Eagle, a proposed 6005 acre master planned community in the foothills north of Eagle, was granted limited water rights by the Idaho Deptartment of Water Resources in a decision on 12/21/09.

M3 had requested it be allowed to tap 15 million gallons of water per day from the aquifer below the foothills but was instead granted 2.6 million gallons of water per day.

M3 Eagle is generally located in the foothills north Beacon Light Rd, between Hwy 16 & Willow Creek Rd.  According to the M3 Eagle website, the master plan for the community envisions 7153 homes, 245 acres of mixed use/commercial space, and up to 2402 acres preserved as open space. Another 880 acres would become part of the planned 2715 acre City of Eagle Regional Park. The M3 Eagle

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For the week ending 12/3/09, the average interest rate for 30-year mortgages fell to the lowest level since Freddie Mac began compiling its weekly survey in 1971.   The Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) recorded the 30-year fixed rate at 4.71 percent.  Rates for the 15-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 4.27 percent, down from 4.29 percent last week.

The graph below charts the PMMS weekly survey year-to-date.

Interest Rates

If you're thinking of buying a home and you'll be getting financing, the first thing you want to do is get pre-approved.  A few great lenders that I've worked with can be found on the "helpful links" page of my website.

Search the Boise MLS for homes for sale, land, and more.

Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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The 2009 Ada County real estate assessments are to be mailed out Friday (5/29/09).  According to the Ada County Assessor, the average median price declined 12% from the previous year as of January 1, 2009 ($187,500 from $212,800).  The largest percentage decrease in median price was Star (20%) and the lowest Garden City (4%).  To see a map of Ada County real estate values (source: Idaho Statesman) please visit the link.

Want to dispute your Ada County real estate assessment?

- First contact your deputy assessor. Be prepared with documentation to support your valuation.

- File an appeal with the Ada County Board of Equalization.  These forms must be filed by the 4th Monday in June (June 22, 2009).

- Visit the Ada County Assessor website for

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Boise Idaho Foreclosure starts fell by about 10% compared to March (for Ada & Canyon County).  March had recorded 795 notice of defaults and April was down to 712.  The decline in Boise foreclosures breaks a 3-month streak of record setting foreclosure starts.

It should be noted that not all the homes that start the foreclosure process actually go to the auction.  Many are sold before the auction as short sales, loans modified, etc.

Data Source: IdahoDataProviders.  Information not guaranteed.

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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides a federal tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time home-buyer's (or those who have not owned a home in three years). The Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) just came out with a new program to help buyer's utilize the tax credit for down-payments/closing costs.

In conjunction with an IdaMortgage loan, a 2nd loan will be offered to qualified home-buyers in the amount not to exceed 5% of the sales price or $7,000.  The loan will accrue interest at 3.0% with a due date of July 1, 2010. The 2nd Loan is expected to be paid off from the borrower’s tax refund obtained through the federal tax credit.

Borrower qualifications:

1) Must be a first-time homebuyer

2) Must have a FICO

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The Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) will be spending $17,640,000 to purchase foreclosures throughout Idaho.  The plan comes as a result of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.  The largest shares of the budget will be focused on foreclosures in Ada and Canyon County.

Why is IFHA purchasing Idaho foreclosures? The program will focus on buying foreclosures in zip codes that have been hit the hardest by the housing downturn.  IHFA will purchase the homes for at least 15% below current market value, make repairs, and sell them at cost to low and and moderate income buyers.

How did they determine what areas to purchase foreclosures? IHFA used a federal database to determine the Idaho zip codes hardest-hit by foreclosures, sub-prime

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The Obama Administration has begun laying out its Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan.  The plan will have three areas of emphasis and is expected to help 7 to 9 million homeowners avoid foreclosure and others refinance into more affordable loans.  Complete details of the plan are expected by March 4, 2009.  Below is a summary of the United States Treasury press release.

1) Refinancing assistance to combat equity hurdles. Interest rates have been at record lows in recent months but many homeowners do not have the equity to allow them to refinance and benefit from reduced mortgage payments.  This new program will allow responsible borrowers to refinance and is expected to benefit 4 to 5 million homeowners.

2) A stability initiative to prevent

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Since 1990 Meridian has grown from a rural town of 9,596 to city of over 73,000 in 2008.  Almost every year since 1990 Meridian has had double digit increases in percentage population growth.  When the Meridian real estate market was booming in 2005 and 2006 the city had upwards of 18% annual population growth.   From 2007 to 2008 growth slowed  1.63%. 

Year Meridian % Growth
2008 73,040 1.63%
2007 71,866 7.96%
2006 66,565 18.64%
2005 56,108 17.65%
2004 47,690 12.26%
2003 42,481 6.89%
2002 39,744 13.82%
2000 34,919 21.76%
1999 28,679 8.55%
1998 26,421 8.22%
1997 24,415 11.62%
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According to, Boise Idaho's population increased .46% from 2007 to 2008.  Ada County increased 1.66% in the same time period.  The 2008 population estimate for Boise is 214,490.  When real estate was booming in 2005, Boise's population growth increased 4.08% from the previous year.  The largest percentage of population growth for Boise was in the early 1990's and 2000.  From 1999 to 2000 Boise increased in population by 9.08%.

Year Boise % Growth
2008 214,490 0.46%
2007 213,503 0.96%
2006 211,473 1.56%
2005 208,219 4.08%
2004 200,062 2.11%
2003 195,931 1.47%
2002 193,085 3.93%
2000 185,787 9.08%
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[UPDATE: TAX CREDIT EXTENDED] The recently passed stimulus package includes a 10% tax credit of the sales price (up to $8000) for first-time home buyers and those who have not owned a home within the previous 3 years.  Unlike the 2008 tax credit of $7500, the 2009 version does not have to be repaid as long as the home is owned for a  minimum of 3 years.

A tax credit is much better than a deduction.  It's a dollar for dollar reduction on your federal income tax.  If you owe less than $8000 then you will receive a refund.

The purchase must occur between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009.  Check with your CPA to determine eligibility.

Important: This information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.  Verify all information.

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