April 11, 2018

Spring Cleaning 2.0: Cleaning Your Home to Sell Your Home

Spring is finally here and the housing market in Boise is ramping up into high gear. If you’re looking to sell your home then you want it to not only look its best, but you want to get the highest sale price for it as well. Today we’re going to show you just how to knock those two important things off your honey-do list: spring cleaning and preparing your house to get the MOST money out of the deal. After all, isn’t spring the best time for new beginnings? You deserve the best this year!


First Impressions: Curb Appeal

First impressions are everything! This goes for meeting new people as well as meeting new houses. Potential buyers of your fabulous house want to be impressed the first time they pull up to what could be their new driveway. Make sure your house really makes a good impression by power washing it. Borrow or rent a power washer and give your house a well deserved bath. Make sure to clean your driveway, sidewalk, and mailbox! Your house should sparkle both inside and out. After you power wash your house and everything has had a chance to dry, make sure to watch for spiders. Do a sweep of the perimeter with a shop vac and suck up any spiders or other crawly critters that have taken up residence on the outside of your abode.

Then, remove clutter from the outside around your house, especially in the front. Make sure to declutter your flower beds, keep the lawn mowed and watered, and trim your tree branches. All of these things can be done in a good afternoon’s work and can increase how quickly you sell your home and at what price. While you’re at it, have you cleaned out your gutters lately? Also, replace your welcome mat with something fresh and seasonal. Again, it’s all about first impressions.

Take some time to fill in the cracks in your driveway. A quick trip to the hardware store and a few hour’s work can really increase curb appeal and make any potential buyers happy. A few cracks in your driveway can lead to potential buyers questioning the overall craftsmanship of your home.


Interior Impressions

Forget using the old trick of filling the house with the smell of fresh cookies or breads. Those days are over. One of the best things you can do to sell your house quickly is to take all of your personal and family pictures out. Clearing out the family pictures helps the buyer connect with the house as their own and not with the previous occupants.


While spring cleaning, don’t forget to spend a little investment cash on updating your fixtures. Replacing fixtures with current and appealing styles is an easy way to get a huge return on your investment. It has the added bonus of making your light switches, lamps, and other fixtures look clean and pristine. Why scrub something when you can just buy a new one that already shines? You can keep your old fixtures and transfer them to your new place if you’d like, or donate them to a local charity. Sharing is caring, right? Say it with me: Clean. Declutter. Depersonalize.


Paint. Pets. Bathrooms.

Once you’ve decluttered and depersonalized, make sure to remove all traces of your pets as well. Clean the carpets and sweep the floors to remove any unwanted and noticeable pet signs. Put all toys, leashes, and litter boxes in another location or secure them away in a place within the house that you know potential buyers won’t peek into. Once that’s done, then it’s time to break out the paint brushes! A fresh coat of paint on the inside of the house does two important things: first it makes the walls look fresh and clean and it is a great chance to update the inside to something more modern and memorable. Be sure to add in an accent wall!

Bathrooms are a huge selling point of any house. Make sure that yours are not only spotless but updated with new fixtures and appliances. If there was ever a time to fix that faulty toilet or dripping faucet, that time is now. People want to imagine themselves getting ready in the morning in their fresh new bathroom, not think about getting ready in someone else’s bathroom.

Spring is a time for renewal, fresh starts, and huge returns on you home investments. Take charge and get to work today! You will be happy you did.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
April 3, 2018

Boise Life: See it Live!

Boise is home to a lot of things, from our majestic mountains surrounding our valley, to some of the best restaurants and chefs in the Pacific Northwest, but one of the most special treasures we offer is our on stage talent. With the good weather comes fabulous live performances from some of the world’s top musicians, stage actors, and artists. Let’s explore some exciting live events in and around our fair city. After all, “all the world’s a stage,” including Boise!


You may not think “jazz central” when you hear the word “Idaho,” but you’d be surprised. Idaho boasts one of the nation’s longest running and most celebrated jazz festivals, the Gene Harris Jazz Festival. This year, it kicks off on April 4th and runs through April 6th.

From their website

“The Gene Harris Jazz Festival is a piece of Boise’s proud culture, bringing a love of music to the university, downtown and throughout the Treasure Valley. This year, music venues include the Morrison Center, Egyptian Theater, JUMP and Berryhill & Co. It’s a chance to enjoy Boise’s nightlife while listening to some of the most talented jazz musicians around. The festival has brought artists such as Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis, Arturo Sandoval, Poncho Sanchez, Kevin Eubanks and many more. The ongoing goal of the Gene Harris Jazz Festival is to better serve the jazz community and all of the elements that are a part of it, including; great public jazz concerts, a wide range of educational experiences for students of jazz and furthering the growth of the Gene Harris Endowment.”


You can buy your tickets online here through their website.


For a different type of live music, with a little acting and showmanship thrown in, why don’t you head on down to Opera Idaho? Opera Idaho has been bringing the gift of opera to us for over 40 years and is one of the broadest reaching arts organizations in Idaho.


Their 2018 lineup is nothing short of spectacular. On April 6th and 8th, they are performing André Previn’s “A Streetcar Named Desire,” the classic American drama about love, loss, and the American dream. Learn more and purchase tickets here. Can’t get enough classic American operatic tales? Try “West Side Story in Concert” this September 15th and 16th at The Morrison Center. Ticket information available here.

If you’ve never been to an opera before, you really should try Opera Idaho. It may just make a believer out of you!


Live Theatre


Idaho is also home to a thriving live theatre community as well. The Idaho Shakespeare Festival draws fans and players from all over the nation. Since its inception in 1977, the festival serves an average of 105,000 individuals annually, providing professional performance, arts education, and outreach programs to diverse constituencies in the Idaho area. The Festival enjoys strong attendance, critical acclaim, and loyal community support. For the 2018 season, they have a strong lineup of great plays, including MacBeth, Misery, and Mamma Mia!. The first show opens in June. Ticket and schedule information located here.




That’s right, Idaho not only has the musical and acting talent, but we can dance as well. Do yourself a favor and get on over to Ballet Idaho this season. Their shows run from fall to early spring each year. This year you can see Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake at the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts Friday, April 20th and Saturday the 21st. Ticket information here. And when Christmas comes around again this year, set aside an evening to watch The Nutcracker. This is a kid friendly show that will inspire and delight children of all ages. Ticket and scheduling information here.

Since 1972, Ballet Idaho has been bringing masterpieces of music and movement to life. Ballet is known for making huge fans out of skeptics who think dancing set to music can’t tell a moving story.


They continue the tradition today, according to their website, “in a very strong artistic and financial position. Three years of surplus budgets, a burgeoning new Apprentice Program and the creation of new ballets mark the company’s current profile. Ballet Idaho is poised to enter a new phase of its existence with many new and exciting plans for the future.”


So, what are you waiting for? Go out and support your local live performers as a true patron of the arts. You just might love it. Be careful though, watching live performances can be habit forming!

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
March 16, 2018

The Idaho Plate: Seasonal Recipes Featuring Idaho Ingredients


One thing you should know about Idaho is that we know a thing or two about farm to table food. You could say we were doing it before it was cool. There are over 25,000 farms in Idaho and those farms cover over 11 million acres of land, which means that we have more farmland in our state than the total amount of land in Massachusetts and New Hampshire combined. Idaho has a rich history of farming and agriculture and to celebrate that, we are going to explore a few Spring recipes that feature Idaho ingredients.


Fire up that instant pot (or slow cooker) and dust off your shamrocks, it’s time for a St. Patrick’s day favorite! And to celebrate, we are kicking things off right with a delicious Idaho themed one-pot corned beef with cabbage, (featuring Idaho potatoes).

Here’s our first recipe feature, from Instant Pot Corned Beef with Cabbage, Carrots, and Buttered Idaho Potatoes


This classic Irish corned beef and cabbage recipe is cooked in your pressure cooker, saving time and hassle. The Idaho® potatoes are made extra delicious by smothering them in butter and parsley after cooking.

3 pounds corned beef brisket (more if you want leftovers for sandwiches or hash) with spice packet
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4 cups water
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3" in length
1.5 pounds small red Idaho® potatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
1 large head cabbage, cored and cut into 8-10 wedges
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

Place onions, garlic, corned beef, and water in your pressure cooker. Sprinkle spice packet seasoning on top. Set pressure to manual on high for 70 minutes. Quick release the pressure when it's done and wait for float valve to drop before opening.
Meanwhile, prep the vegetables.

Remove corned beef to a bowl along with most of the looking liquid. Leave about 2 cups in the pressure cooker.

Add the potatoes on one side of the pressure cooker in the rest of the liquid, the carrots on the other. Place the cabbage wedges on top. Set pressure to manual on high for 3 minutes. Quick release the pressure and wait for float valve to drop before opening.
Remove the carrots and cabbage.

Place potatoes in a bowl and add the butter and parsley, stirring until butter is melted and coats every potato. (see notes)

Cut the corned beef against the grain into slices and serve with the vegetables, buttered potatoes, some cooking liquid drizzled on top, and a garnish of fresh parsley.

To make this on your stovetop, simmer corned beef in a large covered pot with the spice packet, garlic, onions, and water for 2 hours. Add the potatoes, cabbage, and carrots to the pot on top of the brisket and simmer for 30 more minutes, or until vegetables are very tender. Proceed as instructed above, making sure to reserve some cooking liquid for serving.

To make this in your slow cooker, add corned beef, spice packet, garlic, onions, potatoes, and carrots  to the slow cooker. Cook on high for four hours or low for 8 hours. Add the cabbage on top and continue cooking for 45 minutes-1 hour, or until cabbage is tender. Proceed as instructed above, making sure to reserve some cooking liquid for serving.

Corned beef has a tendency to dry out. Store any leftovers with the cooking liquid in order to keep it moist.

For our next recipe, we are going to go all in and use ONLY Idaho ingredients, from our friends at


Boxty (Irish Potato Griddle Cakes)


Recipe by The Essential Irish Potato Recipe Collection
Adapted from Fantasy Ireland

1/2 pound raw Idaho potatoes
1/2 pound cooked mashed potatoes (You can use Instant or Dehydrated mash potatoes from Idahoan)
1/2 pound plain Idaho flour (Use Pendleton Flour made in Blackfoot, ID)
Idaho Milk (as needed, see directions)
1 local egg
1 medium Idaho onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

Grate raw potatoes and mix with the cooked mashed potatoes. Add salt, pepper, onion and flour. Beat egg and add to mixture with just enough milk to make a batter that will drop from a spoon.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a hot griddle or frying pan. Cook over a moderate heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.

We hope you enjoyed our tasteful journey through the flavors of Idaho’s rich farmland. If you are thinking of moving here, Boise’s Best Real Estate team has a crack team of consultants and agents ready to help you with your purchase. We also have a free relocation guide that will help you get your bearings straight before the big move. Buying property in Idaho couldn’t be easier. Let us help you find the right place for you today, you’ll be glad you did.


Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Feb. 23, 2018

Boise, an Overview

Courtesy of Spotted Dog Photography


Boise, Idaho is a fairly metropolitan city nestled in the foothills of the northern chain of the Rocky Mountains. Known as The City of Trees, Boise is a slice of “big city” life that is surrounded by some of the most beautiful farmland, mountains, and wide open spaces in the world. If you are looking to relocate here, then you will be pleasantly surprised at how Boise is the perfect crossroads between a modern city and peaceful quiet in the great outdoors. Let’s explore more of what Boise has to offer.



Boise is lucky enough to have all four distinct seasons with some extremes on both sides. Idaho gives us majestic and picturesque winters in which you can bundle up with your family over a warm fire as well as hot and dry summers that are perfect for spending your time hiking, river rafting, and gardening.


We have rich dark soil that is perfect for farmers and home gardeners alike. If you’re interested in continuing your garden, or seeing what the hobby is all about, Boise is the perfect place to start. Temperatures range from the low 10’s and 20’s (F) in the winter to over 100 degrees Farenheit in the summer. Rain is rare and entire months without it are not unheard of. Boise’s weather is perfect for anyone wanting to pursue outdoor hobbies, be they skiing or suntanning. Average rainfall is about 12 inches a year.


Courtesy of Spotted Dog PhotographyCourtesy of Spotted Dog Photography



Boise’s elevation is 2,730 feet. Its population is approximately 218,000 as of a 2016 survey by the US Census. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the US and the third largest metropolitan area in the Pacific Northwest, behind Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington.



Boise has 32 elementary schools, 8 junior high schools, and 2 specialty schools. They are generally well ranked among their peers according to Boise is home to Boise State University (BSU) and their acclaimed and much beloved football team the Boise State Broncos. Outside of BSU, Boise offers two law school options, which include the University of Idaho College of Law satellite campus and The Concordia University School of Law which opened its doors in 2012.


Boise is blessed with low crime overall and lower rates of violent crime despite recent population growth.



The top employers are as follows (sourced from the Boise Valley Economic Partnership):



# of Employees


St Luke’s Health Systems (total Ada County)



Micron Technology



Boise State University



Meridian Joint School District #2



Independent School District Boise City #1



Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center



Wal-Mart Associates Inc









Albertsons Inc



You’ll notice that several of the top employers in Boise are in the tech industries. Hewlett-Packard and Micron have had headquarters here for decades and are but a small sampling of the burgeoning high tech sector that is taking the Treasure Valley by storm. Boise is home to many tech startups due to our low cost of living, low overall taxes, and large pool of recent college graduates concentrated in a relatively small area. We even host a yearly “HackFort” which is a conference that draws big names in tech from around the globe including Sony, Apple, and Google.



The Boise river runs right through the city and hosts many of the recreation opportunities therein. The Boise Greenbelt runs along its banks and is a great spot for joggers, walkers, and bikers, to utilize. Floating the river itself is a beloved pastime for most Boise residents which most do in the hot summer months in order to cool off. The Boise Foothills offer a wide variety of hiking and biking trails and camping opportunities. Drive about an hour in any direction from Boise and you will find yourself in some of the most beautiful countryside in the entire country, which also includes many camping and sightseeing opportunities.


Boise is home to some of the best dining in the west. It has several high class restaurants including Chandler’s, Shige’s Sushi, and Juniper. Idaho’s bustling modern gourmet food selections have been featured numerous times on The Food Network and Idaho Chefs regularly appear on competitive cooking shows like Top Chef and Guy’s Grocery Games. Just because you’re moving to Idaho doesn’t mean you have to leave good food behind.


Wherever you’re coming from, Boise is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. This is not flyover country. This is America’s heartland.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Feb. 12, 2018

Historic Idaho: Four Interesting Historic Places Around Boise

Idaho may be one of the newest states in the union (43rd state, added in July of 1890), but it has a long and storied history. In this great Gem State, we have Arco, Idaho, the first city to be completely powered by nuclear energy, and inventor, Philo Farnsworth, the father of the television set who invented the cathode ray tube just after his 21st birthday.


We’re no stranger to historical figures and events. But, what about our historical places? Let’s explore a few today.


The Idaho Black History Museum

This historic building, located near Zoo Boise in Julia Davis Park, was built in 1921 and was originally a Baptist church. This historic building is the oldest Black History museum in the Pacific Northwest, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It has great community outreach programs that are educational and family friendly. They include workshops, film viewings, and performances of historical music. This is a must see for anyone interested in the complete historical picture of Boise and the rest of Idaho.


The Idaho Building

The year: 1910. Chicago architect Henry Schlacks had designed this building for Walter Pierce, a prominent Idaho businessman at the time. This building was completed in the same year and was one of Idaho’s tallest buildings for many years. Standing an impressive (for the time) six stories tall, the Idaho building was the first in the state to utilize a dual elevator system, which was cutting edge technology at the time. You can still visit this beautiful building today at the corner of Eighth and Bannock.


The Basque Block

This area in Boise includes the Basque Museum, the Cyrus Jacobs-Uberuaga Boarding House, and the Fronton House. Built in 1864, the Cyrus Jacobs-Uberuaga Boarding House is the oldest surviving brick building in the city. The Basque Block is internationally known as one of the strongest pillars of Basque heritage in the United States. Idaho, and specifically Boise, is home to the largest concentration of Basque Americans, where approximately 15,000 Basque Americans live. Come visit the Basque Block and take a tour of the museum and make sure to pick up some delicious croquetas at Bar Gernika while you’re there!


The Oregon Trail

This historic wagon trail brought settlers all the way from Independence, Missouri to the Pacific Ocean, and through Idaho along the way. As you can see in the map pictured below, Idaho is a significant part of the trail’s route. Hundreds of people every year reenact the travels of early pioneers as they travel along this storied route. Pack a lunch and grab the kids for a road trip of historic proportions! You can have your own Oregon Trail adventure just a few hour’s drive outside of Boise in Glenns Ferry where you can see actual wagon trail ruts preserved in the landscape. Wherever you are in Idaho, adventure awaits around every corner.


Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Jan. 26, 2018

Fun Activities in Boise That Also Help The Community

Boise is filled with family-friendly activities and adventures! Having a day packed with fun things to do is always great, but it can be made even better if what you’re doing makes a real beneficial impact to your local neighbors. Make a resolution this year to do more for the community around you. Here are five exciting things you can do around Boise that are inexpensive, fun, and helpful to your fellow humans.

Discover science. Discover fun.

Photo courtesy of the Discovery center website.

If you love science and fun, the Discovery Center of Idaho is the perfect place for you. The Discovery Center has been helping Idaho’s children learn more about the STEM fields for decades. They always have exciting exhibits for kids of all ages. If you volunteer there, you will be guaranteed to have a great time and learn more about how the world around you works. Right now, they have an exhibit that’s all about water and hydro physics. According to their website, they have over a dozen unique interactive exhibits that keep water science fresh. Learn more about volunteering here and discover what you can do for Idaho.


The Life Aquatic.

Photo courtesy of the Boise Aquarium website


Boise has a great aquarium! The facility is over 10,000 square feet and boasts over 250 different species of animals. If you love animals or just want to know more about them, then volunteering at the Boise Aquarium is a perfect way to spend the afternoon. Why buy a ticket when you could spend time with the animals for free, and help them get fed, and cared for to boot! For information about volunteering, click here and fill out the form.


Birds of a feather have fun together (volunteering).


Ever wanted to learn more about the great birds of prey of Idaho? A unique opportunity awaits you at the Velma Morrison Interpretive Center. It’s an indoor/outdoor education center that seeks to preserve and foster Idaho’s great animals of the air. Volunteers can help in a variety of ways, including gift shop ambassador, tour guide, or docent. Learn more here!


 Go green! (For plants.)

Photo Courtesy of the Idaho Botanical Garden Website


If you’ve got a green thumb, or just want to know more about how to care for Idaho’s great plants, then consider spending some time volunteering at the Idaho Botanical Garden. Not only is it one of the most beautiful places in the state, it is a leading force for providing “a full garden experience for all ages that enhances community quality of life through plant collections, our education programs, and our entertainment, cultural and community events (” They always need volunteers and have a great sign up program found here.


Choose your own adventure.


Look, you don’t have to go through a whole process of filling out paperwork or scheduling through an official channel to do some good in this world. The Boise Greenbelt is renowned for its beauty and serenity and is always in need of a helping hand. Grab a few friends and some trash bags and take in the glorious sights along the greenbelt as you pick up all the litter you see. As a bonus, why not pick up some hotdogs and hamburgers and have a picnic to celebrate at one of the many parks along the greenbelt when you’re done? You can give back to the community and have a lovely day taking in nature as well. Learn more about the greenbelt here.


Boise is a great place to have fun while also volunteering! We hope you have a great time with friends and family making the world a little bit better.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Nov. 11, 2014

Boise Living is Awesome


In case you missed it, here's a link to the article about why Boise is one of the best places in the U.S. to live.


Money line: often hears that engaged citizens – who are welcome to attend the mayor’s open office hours each month – are a hallmark of a Best Place to Live. Several years ago, Boise residents were surveyed about what the idea of “livability” means to them. According to Mayor Bieter, one resident summed up what makes Boise great like this: “I can get about my day with an ease that allows me to contribute to the community.”

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Oct. 7, 2013

Is the Government Shutdown going to affect my Real Estate Transaction?

The answer is maybe. It all depends on your loan. Most banks are waiving the requirement to have the tax transcripts in hand to close a loan as long as they have a signed 4506-T form. So even though The IRS tax transcripts are required by the banks, they are going to let these go ahead if the have the signed form, so they can pull those transcripts when the government is back from this little vacation of theirs. 

While some of the areas of the government that affect government backed home loans don't get their money through appropriations, and are not affect by the shu down, some areas are. So if you have or the person buying your home has a government backed loan, you will probably experience a delay.

Of course all this uncertainty affects the market. The market has slowed a bit more than normal heading into fall. So everyone keep your fingers crossed, and hope out leaders get bacck on track.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Sept. 17, 2013

The New Place to be in Boise

We watched it for years. When is it going to happen? Yes there has been some growth and development in Garden City, but it has felt long in coming. Especially having the Boise river right there. The Main Street corridor died as the car dealers all moved out leaving big buildings and lots empty. Hey, the River is right there, many of us thought. It seems as though maybe things are really getting rolling. As, I said, Garden City has been remodeling, renovating and developing for some time now, but other things have started to happen on the Boise side of the River that are bringing it all together, that should make that area down by the River quite the place to be.

The Idaho Statesman just published an article detailing many of these changes ( Everything that is already in the works is exciting, and the possibilities are fantastic. The whitewater park has already started bringing businesses there, specifically water sport businesses. The Riverside Hotel renovated and added the Sandbar Patio Bar and Grill. Playing in the River makes you hungry and thirsty after all. When the Esther Simplot park is completed, the whitewater park will be able to host events, bringing more people into the area. Good for business and our reputation.

The 30th Street corridor, specifically where Main, Fairview and 30th (there is a map of the area involved in that Statesman article I mentioned above) all come together is getting a lot of attention. There is already development in the works with a lot more to follow. A new medical office building is already in development at Main and 30th.  St Lukes owns huge tracts of land in this area. What it all boils down to, is this won't be an area we just pass through on our way to somewhere else anymore. It'll become a destination in it's own right. Developers are envisioning small retail shops, not big box chains. The area will retain, that local Idaho "We love the outdoors" feel. 

It's all very exciting. It looks like we'll have another unique neighborhood, that will feel very much a part of us. It will host a wide range of opportunities for everyone from the personal point of view as well as the Real Estate point of view. Whether you want to open a shop there or maybe buy a condo, or just enjoy the park and the shopping that will be there, it will offer something for everyone.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
July 23, 2013

It's a good year so far for our market.

The housing market as a whole continues to improve. That holds true in our market. June numbers are in and the market looks strong. Current prices are about the same as they were in late 2005. If you purchased your home in 2002, the market value has once again beat the 3% appreciation mark. Median prices are about $60k more than they were at the bottom of the market in 2011. June 2013 sales of 3760 are up 12% over June 2012 sales of 3344. Distressed properties have dropped to only %12 of the market (still a decent chunk) over %26 last year. Median home prices are up 21% over June 2012. The average days on market is 45 days.

What's it all mean? Well, I think we've hit a sweet spot. There is good financing, but it's not reckless. Prices are not too high, and not too low. There is inventory, but it is moving rather quickly. Buyers are getting what they need and Sellers are getting what they need in a timely manner. If these factors all hold, the market should stay nice and strong.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog