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July 30, 2019

Summer Campfire Desserts

The end of summer is near, but there is still plenty of time for campfire fun. If you enjoy campfires and desserts, then you’ll want to try these fun recipes. They are sure to have your family and guests saying yum.

S'mores with a Twist

Roasted strawberries dipped in marshmallow fluff. First, wash the strawberries, take off the green stem, and place them in a bowl. Next, prepare the following toppings in bowls. Marshmallow fluff, chocolate sauce, and crushed graham crackers. Now you're ready to start roasting. Simply take a strawberry, dip it in marshmallow fluff, and roast it. Once the strawberry is roasted to your liking, dip it in chocolate sauce, and sprinkle it with graham crackers. Everyone will say yum!

Dessert Burritos

To make this great dessert you need tortilla wraps, pie filling in flavors of strawberry, cherry, blueberry, or apple, peanut butter, small marshmallows, chocolate chips, and heavy-duty aluminum foil. First, place two sheets of foil down. You’ll need enough to cover your tortilla wrap. Next, lay the tortilla down like you are going to make a burrito on top of the foil.  Start spreading the pie filling of your choice on to the tortilla. Then sprinkle a few small marshmallows and chocolate chips on top if you like. Finally, wrap it up like a burrito so that the filling doesn’t come out either end and cover it with foil. Place onto coals or indirect heat of the fire for 10 minutes or until all the ingredients are baked. Unwrap and enjoy.

Apples on the Fire

For this recipe, you’ll need Granny Smith Apples, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and caramel sauce. First core the apples. Then lightly sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and top with Caramel sauce if you’d like. Wrap the apple up in foil and broil over coals or indirect heat on the fire. Leave the apples on about 15 to 20 mins depending on how soft you’d like the apples. Remove the foil and then serve.

Grilled Banana Boat

First, take a banana and cut it lengthwise along the inside curve. Careful not to cut yourself or cut through the banana. Open the slit to form a pocket. Crimp and shape a piece of aluminum foil around each banana forming a boat. Then hold the banana with one hand and fill the pocket with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and nuts of your choice. Then wrap the boat in foil and place it on the grill, campfire coals, or indirect heat of the campfire. Leave for 15 to 20 mins. Then carefully open the warm banana and taste a boatload of yumminess.

Campfire Cinnamon Rolls

This simple but fun recipe calls for one package of crescent rolls, ¼ cup sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon, and wooden skewers. First, combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Then separate the crescent rolls and wrap them around each skewer. Next coat the dough with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Cook over the campfire for five minutes rotating it until finished. To create a glaze mix ¼ cup powdered sugar and 2-3 tbsp water together and spread on the roll. These rolls are lip-smacking good.

Campfire Cones

This dessert is sure to melt in your mouth. Here’s what you’ll need. Sugar or Waffle Cones, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips or butterscotch chips, or both if you like. Next, fill the cone with a good mixture of all the toppings. When finished place aluminum foil around the cone. Then place wrapped cones on coals or indirect heat of the campfire. Cook for about 10 to 15 mins until the cones are melted. Unwrap and serve this delicious crunchy treat to your guests.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
July 16, 2019

Sign Up for Savings with HomePlace Rewards

Boise’s Best Real Estate is excited to announce that we are now offering our clients HomePlace Rewards. This is a no-cost members-only rewards program that offers you, your family, and friends generous discounts, exclusive offers and exciting rewards on real estate, home, and consumer products and services. Members save thousands of dollars through this rewards program. 

Here’s How it Works

HomePlace Rewards is able to offer significant savings at a discount because of the number of people participating in the program from various occupations, organizations, and groups.  These savings offer members deep discounts, exclusive offers, free resources, and VIP priority service. Simply enroll here and you will receive an email to get started. Your information is secure and never sold or shared. We promise that your privacy and security is our top priority. 

Who Can Join

The following individuals and groups have access to free membership. Know someone who fits this list? Send them this article or have them give me a call so they can access these savings too!

  • Local Employees
  • Self-Employed
  • Union Members
  • Seniors 55+
  • Teachers
  • Law Enforcement
  • Firefighters
  • Medical Staff
  • Military
  • Veterans
  • Alumni
  • Groups & Organizations

 

Benefits Include

My Benefits: View your entire benefits package

Real Estate Rewards: Save thousands of dollars when buying or selling a home

Buyer and Seller Resources: Helps you make informed decisions and avoid costly pitfalls

Savings MarketPlace: Generous discounts and exclusive offers on popular products and services

Enrichment Center: Financial wellness, health and fitness, assistance and support.

 

How to Join

Membership is fast, free and safe and there are no annual dues—ever. Join now to become an entitled member.

 

Bonus: Are You a Local Business Owner?

Boise's Best Real Estate is looking for ways to say thank you to the Treasure Valley and its businesses. We are always looking for great vendors to recommend to our clients and we are expanding our list. Become a preferred vendor of Boise's Best Real Estate and receive complimentary advertising and a No-Cost Benefits Program for your Owners and Employees.

As a local real estate professional, I provide my clients with a “recommended business list” of local companies. I only recommend businesses that I either have a personal past relationship with or those that have come highly recommended to me from people whose opinion I trust. I am adding local businesses to my list which are featured on my high-traffic website and in my community book, all at no cost to your company. Plus, you and your employees will receive my benefits program, packed with amazing rewards, perks, and resources, absolutely free. I love living in the Treasure Valley and want to continue to support our community by shopping at and supporting local businesses. 

 

 

Sign up today so that you can start taking advantage of the many savings available to you. We look forward to having you as a member. If you have any questions about the rewards program or the Treasure Valley real estate market, please give me a call at 208.472.8606.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
June 28, 2019

The Mysteries and Misconceptions of Lending

We recently sat down and talked with Kendra Graybeal, a loan officer with Evergreen Home Loans. In our conversation we talked about some of the mysteries and misconceptions about lending and financing a new home. Check out the video here. Below are the highlights from our conversation.  

Meeting with a Lender

We try to make the experience more of a relationship rather than a scary intimidating process. We are here to work with our clients and help them get into a home whether that takes thirty days or a couple of years from now.  We are here to help make the process easy and provide the customer with step-by- step instructions based on whatever their timeline is in order to help them get into a home.

Initial appointment

When we meet, we’ll go over the customer’s information and then pull the customer’s credit score. This process includes collecting the customer’s documentation to complete the pre-approval process for a home loan. Or, if they aren’t ready to purchase a home, we’ll help them work on building a plan so they know exactly what’s next in the process and how long it’s going to take for them to buy a home. Typically no matter where the customer is financially we will work with them and help them build a credit plan that gives them step-by-step instructions for exactly what needs to be done and the timeline that it’s going to take us to get them from point A to point B. In the end, we’ll work with the client to get them pre-approved for a loan and get them to the point where they know they are ready to purchase a home. The plan is like a checklist that helps the customer know exactly where they are at in the process and what’s needed in order to prepare for a home purchase.  

Credit Score Misconceptions

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people out there that think they need an 800-credit score and a huge down payment in order to qualify to purchase a home, but that isn’t the case.  In fact, there are many loan programs available where a customer can qualify for a home loan with a lower credit score. Take FHA and VA programs for instance. These programs will let you go down to a 580-credit score. However, they do require a little more in a down payment if your credit score is in this range. 

Typically, Evergreen can work with the client to help them get their credit score up within thirty to sixty days. It’s better if the client works to raise their credit because the higher the credit score the better the options are on loan rates. So, a 580-credit score is low, but a 600-credit score is really where we’d like to see credit scores and anything above a 640 score is the sweet spot because that’s the range where the client could possibly qualify for some down payment assistance programs and other benefits that might be helpful in getting the customer into a home. 

To help with the qualification process we can use a credit simulator. This is where we plug in all the customer’s information from their credit report. Then we use the simulator to play with the borrower’s credit score and check to see if we certain changes what will happen with the credit score, etc. We can do this with all three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. This gives us a really good idea of what each of these companies are looking at with the customer’s credit score since the algorithms for these companies are all different. This helps us make sure the customer’s new mid-credit score is exactly where it needs to be.

So, with an Idaho Housing Loan for example, how much can someone realistically get into a home they’d like to purchase?  A customer could get into a home for as little as half of one percent down. So, if they are purchasing a $300,00 loan, they would pay $1,500 out of their pocket to get into a home, which is typically less than what they are paying in rent. Also, this is less than what they will pay in earnest money as well. Bottom line is there are programs available out there that offer down payment assistance and closing costs so there are a lot of options for people when it comes to getting into a new home. 

What kind of documents are needed?

Pay stubs if they are working for someone else. W2’s and tax returns, usually the most recent two years. You’ll need 30 days of pay stubs, usually two months of bank statements, if they are self-employed their business returns.  There are some other documents we may need to ask for like bankruptcy documents or child support documents, etc. Typically, it is not a lot of document’s we need for the application process.

What does pre-approval and pre-qualification mean?

Pre-qualification is where they pull the borrower’s credit and we go off what they told us their income is and what they have in the bank. Pre-approval is where we’ve looked at everything. We’ve pulled their credit, we look at their income, we’ve gotten their verification from their employer that they are employed, verification of rent payments, bank statements to show what funds they have available, etc. Then there is a fully underwritten pre-approval on conventional VA and FHA loans. Evergreen will also guarantee to the seller that if for some reason the loan does not go through, they will give the seller $2,000 from Evergreen. This sometimes can help in a multiple offer situation and could give the client a one up on some of the offers on the table.  Sellers should make sure that a buyers’ offer should be a pre-approval, not a pre-qualification. 

How to Start the Home Loan application process?

You can go online to https://www.evergreenhomeloans.com/loan-officers/kendra-graybeal, or try Evergreen’s mobile app to start the home loan application process. If you have any questions, please feel free to give Kendra a call at 208-861-7775. 

If you haven’t already purchased a home and are wondering if home ownership is right for you don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy to connect you with the right people like Kendra to get you into a new home today.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
June 24, 2019

Where to Cool Off on a Hot Summer Day in Boise, Idaho

The weather is heating up and that means it’s time to find a way to beat the summer heat and head to the pool. We are fortunate here in the Treasure Valley to have a variety of options when it comes to finding a great place to take a cool dip in the pool. A couple of tips to keep in mind when heading to the pool is shop around as admission varies by the pool and by age, so be sure to check the pool’s website before you go. Admission for 65+ is free at all pools. Also if you are looking for ways to save a few dollars this summer check to see if the pool offers admission discounts that may be available during certain hours of the day as well as consider taking advantage of the family discount when bringing the whole family for a day or evening of fun. Here are a few great local swimming pools you might want to consider visiting this summer.

Boise Swimming Pools

The Natatorium and Hydrotube, 1811 Warm Springs Ave. is open 1:30-5:30 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 1:30-5:30 p.m. Sunday. Lap Swim (16+) is daily 12:05-1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 5:35 p.m.-6:35 p.m. (limited space). Also lap swimming is available June 10-July 26 Monday-Friday from 6:30-8:00 a.m. The cost of the Hydrotube is extra. Season passes are available. Online: Parks.CityOfBoise.org.

Ivywild, 2250 Leadville Ave. is open 1:30-5:30 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. daily Monday-Sunday. Lap Swim (16+) 12:05-1:30 p.m. Parent & Child Preschool Open Swim Monday-Friday 10:00-12:00 p.m.

Lowell Pool, 1601 N. 28th St. is open 1:30-5:00 p.m. and 7-9:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 1:30-5:00 p.m. Sunday. Lap Swim (16+) is Monday-Friday 12:30-1:30 p.m. and 5:05-6:35p.m. Saturday and Sunday 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Borah Pool, 801 Aurora Drive is open daily 1:30-5:30 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. Monday-Sunday and 5:35-6:35 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays (shallow area only). Lap Swim (16+) is daily from 12:05-1:30 p.m. and 5:35-6:35 p.m. Monday-Friday.

South Pool, 921 Shoshone St. is open 1:30-5:00 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday. They do not offer lap swimming and the pool is not open on Sundays.

Fairmont Pool, 7929 W. Northview St. is open Monday-Saturday 1:30-5:30 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. The pool is not open on Sundays. Lap Swimming is offered daily from 12:05-1:30 p.m. and Monday, Wednesday, Friday (two lanes only) from 4:30-5:30 p.m.  Also Monday-Friday from 5:35-6:35 p.m.

Meridian Swimming Pools

The Meridian Community Pool, 213 E. Franklin Road is open from 1:30-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 -9:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 2:00-9:00 p.m. Lap swimming Monday through Thursday 6:15-7:15 p.m. (3 lanes available). Saturday 9:00-11:00 a.m. (6 lanes available). Sunday 9:00-11:00 a.m. (6 lanes available).

Roaring Springs, 400 W. Overland Road in Meridian is open for the season. This large water park is full of slides and other water features. Visit their website for discounts and park hours.

Caldwell Swimming Pools

Caldwell Municipal Pool  512 Harrison is open 1:00-4:00 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00-6:00 p.m. Lap Swimming (16+) Monday through Friday 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Nampa Swimming Pools

Lakeview Water Park and Pool Garrity Boulevard and 16th Avenue North is open daily 1:00-4:45 p.m. and 6:00-8:45 p.m.

Lincoln Pool in Lions Park at Davis Avenue and Winther Boulevard is open daily 1:00-4:45 p.m. and 6:30-9:00 p.m..

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
May 28, 2019

Easy Ways to House Hunt With Kids

Shopping for a home with your family can be both exciting and challenging all at the same time. Depending on how old your kids are you may want to consider involving them in parts of the home buying process. You don’t necessarily need to bring them along to every home on your preview list, maybe just the top picks.  If you do bring your kids along or want them to be involved in the entire process that’s great, here are a few tips to keep in mind when house hunting with kids.

Talk with Your Kids About Moving

Talking with your kids and involving them in the process as soon as you start to think about moving is always a good idea. Moving may impact everyone in the family differently and can be stressful, especially for children. Be sure to involve your kids and talk with them about why you’d like to move, the benefits of moving, the excitement, and fear, etc. The more you understand any concerns your kids may have the better you can address them throughout the home buying process. Remember kids have their roots, memories, and friends too, and may be more sensitive about the idea of moving than you realize.

When to Involve Your Kids in the Process

You might consider sitting down with your kids and checking out some online home listings together. Ask your kids for their input while you are looking at the homes. Discover what they like or don’t like about the homes you are looking at.  Ask older kids to research nearby schools, parks and other attractions on their tablets or phones.  Or ask them to create a list of must-have features and let them check the online listing to see if the home has them. It is a good idea to drive through some of the neighborhoods and homes you are considering so you can explore the community together as a family and see if you like it before you consider previewing any homes. All these things can help kids feel like they are part of the process.

Don’t Drag Them to Every House

It might not be best to bring your kids to every home you’d like to preview. If you’ve done your homework with your kids in advance, you’ll know what your family’s needs are and can take those into consideration as you are looking. Once you’ve narrowed down the search to the top two or three homes then consider bringing the kids along. A good reason for this is that you wouldn’t want anyone in the family to get emotionally attached to a particular home until you are actually serious about buying it.

Involve the Kids When the Timing is Right

After you’ve narrowed down your top favorites it may be time to involve the kids and take them along to a second showing. It’s during this time you’ll want to ask them for their input. Also, you may want to consider discussing which rooms might be theirs but help them understand that you will be making the final decision. Again, you’ll want to be sure to talk openly about a move and its impacts on your kids. Teens especially may find it more difficult to switch schools and may be concerned about leaving their friends and having to make new friends if they will be attending a new school.  

Keep Entertained During the Showing

You’ll want to be prepared to keep your kids entertained so you can focus and talk with the real estate agent and go over any questions you may have. Bring iPads, their favorite games, books, etc. to help keep them entertained. Also, consider giving them a job while you are looking at a house. For example, have them look for the features that were most important to your family when you were doing your online search. If they find a feature, have them check it off a list. Maybe they’d like to test their photography skills if they are old enough and take some pictures that you can go back and look at later. If you feel like the kids may be a distraction and could prevent you from talking with the realtor about important features of the homes you are previewing, then you may want to consider leaving them at home for now.

It is possible to house hunt with kids; you’ll just want to understand your family’s limits. Also, be sure to make it an adventure and find something fun and new you can check out as a family while you are looking in a particular area. The key to successful house hunting with kids is to make sure you’ve done your homework and find ways to keep everyone entertained in the process.

 

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
May 20, 2019

Renting Versus Buying: Do the Math

Right now, there is a lot of debate out there about renting versus buying. We understand it is a tough market right now and it’s also difficult to find affordable rentals.  Because of this, it’s important to talk about what makes the most sense financially when it comes to renting versus buying. After all, it’s about the numbers and your individual situation.

Obviously, everyone’s financial situation is different and that’s why it is great to talk with a loan officer who can assess your financial situation and needs when it comes to buying a home. The reality is, when you rent you are paying on someone else’s mortgage versus if you buy a home you’d be paying on your own mortgage. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the most financial sense. For example, a person who makes $3,500 per month will spend 27.7 percent of their monthly income toward rent. That is $957 a month. On the other hand, that same person who purchases a home will spends 17.5 percent of their monthly income toward their own monthly mortgage payment, which is $612. 50 a month. Pretty simple math, right? The question is, would you like to spend over $950 a month and pay rent towards someone else’s asset or spend $600 a month toward owning your own asset and having the ability to watch that investment grow over time?

Benefits to Owning a Home

It’s still a great time to buy and there are several benefits of owning your own home versus renting. The first is home ownership helps create long term stability.  When you buy your own home with a fixed interest rate mortgage you will always know what your monthly payment will be as opposed to renting where the landlord may surprise you with a rent increase at the time your lease is renewed annually.

The second benefit is the pride of home ownership. You’re now responsible for taking take care of something you call your own. You can even paint the rooms in your home any color you want, decorate how you’d like, take care of a yard and grow a garden if you’d like. These are all things that bring a different kind of enjoyment and satisfaction that only comes along with owning your own home.  

The third benefit is building equity in your home. Over time a home will usually become more valuable than what you paid for it and can appreciate in value. This is great news because a rental can only provide you the money you initially invested in a security deposit.

Buying a home versus renting is not an easy decision to make. After all, it is a long term investment that you’ll have for quite some time, so you’ll want to be sure home ownership is right for you. That’s why it is so important to partner and talk with a good REALTOR and lender who can help guide you through the process, help you understand the market, and the financial decisions you will make when it comes to buying or even saving to purchase a home in the future.  There are often loan programs available (especially for first time home buyers) to help your dream of home ownership become a reality even when you think it may not be possible depending on your financial situation.

 

Go ahead and start the conversation today, you have nothing to lose. In the end, once your financial situation has been assessed you can decide if now is the right time for you to buy versus rent. If you’d like to understand your financial situation better to help determine if you are ready to buy versus rent, please contact me today. I’m happy to help you not only do the math but find the home of your dreams.

 

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
April 30, 2019

Buying a Home as a Veteran: What You Need to Know

We are proud to be a company in the Treasure Valley that is veteran operated and we salute our fellow service members for their service and dedication to this great country of ours. As a veteran, once you’re ready to buy a house, you have a few extra options and bonuses afforded to you that you should be aware of. We’ll take a look at those benefits today and show you how you can take advantage of them as you buy your first home. And remember, you are always welcome to contact us to help you along through any part of the buying process (even if you aren’t a veteran!). You can start by calling us at: 208-472-8606. We can’t wait to be part of your next home buying journey.


Veteran Benefits For Home Buying

As a veteran, you’ve served your country and now it’s time to take advantage of the support of a grateful nation. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, qualified veterans are entitled to a few home-buying related benefits that you should definitely leverage when buying your next home. Here are the basic tenets of those benefits:

 

VA home loan programs may be used to obtain homes, condominiums, or manufactured homes; refinance an existing home loan; or install energy-saving improvements. VA offers these three main types of guaranteed home loan benefits:

  •  Purchase Loans
  • Cash-Out Refinance Loans
  • Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans
  • Delinquency Assistance

 

Benefits For Veterans With Different Backgrounds and Needs

While we covered the basic benefits the VA offers veterans when it comes to buying or refinancing a home, the VA also extends benefits and assistance to those with different needs or backgrounds. For example, they offer:

 

  • Native American Veterans Benefits (for living on Federal Trust Land)

  • Grants for Adapted Homes for Disabled Veterans

  • Help for Homeless Veterans

 

Check with your local VA office to see if you qualify for any of the above benefit programs. Depending on your needs, you can get help to access the tools you need to keep and maintain a home that’s right for you, and that, my friends, is part of the true American dream.

 

Where to Get Started

To see which benefits you qualify for, head over to the VA’s official home buying portal here: https://explore.va.gov/home-loans-and-housing. While you’re there you can learn more about these programs and even get a detailed checklist that will lay out exactly what you need to take advantage of these amazing programs that have helped the families of American veterans across the US achieve their dream of homeownership for generations.

 

To apply for your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) you will need to go to this page on the VA’s website and fill out all the applicable forms: https://www.va.gov/housing-assistance/home-loans/how-to-apply/

Make sure that you have a few hours free to see the process through from start to finish. You’ll need things regarding your financial and service history like:

 

  • Documentation of proof of income
  • A DD-214 or equivalent document
  • Certification that you will occupy the home
  • Credit history and current scores

 

Now, there is a lot of paperwork, but it is worth it in the end to take advantage of these amazing benefits that your service and sacrifice has earned. To access a great illustrated guide to the entire veteran home buying experience, check out this infographic. And, as always, remember to keep the real estate experts here at Boise’s Best in mind when you are searching for your next home. If you have any questions on this process or any other real estate related questions, please give us a call at: 208-472-8606.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
April 19, 2019

Explore Meridian: a Vibrant Growing City

Meridian, Idaho is a great city that continues to grow yet it’s been able to keep its small town, family-friendly vibe going strong. The city of Meridian is a suburb to Boise, Idaho and remains one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. Its community development department says it is planning for a 98% increase in population over the next 30 years, which brings ripe opportunity for continued growth and economic development. What’s most impressive though, is the city and its residents are committed to continuing to make this one of the most family-friendly cities in Idaho and around the country. It’s doing a great job to create not only a place where people love living but also where they love working and enjoying all that the city has to offer.

 

As the city’s been growing have you, your friends or family had a chance to get out and enjoy some of the great things Meridian has to offer?  Here is a helpful list of places and activities to try. Get out and explore our great Meridian, Idaho!

https://meridiancity.org/parks/currentparks/settlers.html

Parks and Activities

Meridian is home to 19 parks. Its signature parks are Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park and Meridian Settlers Park. These parks offer great spaces to walk, incredible playgrounds, tennis and pickleball courts, Bocce courts, and basketball courts, as well as water features. There are also several parks in the Meridian area where you can fish if you are interested in that as well. Be sure to check out The City of Meridian’s Parks webpage to learn more about the parks near you.

 

Also, Meridian Parks offer a great Activities Guide if you are looking for fun activities for yourself or your kids to enjoy this spring or summer. You may also enjoy Outdoor Movie Night so be on the lookout for the summer schedule, it’s a great family activity.

 

Recreation and Fun

Meridian is home to some great entertainment and family fun. Of course, there is Wahooz Family Fun Zone, one of the largest indoor family entertainment centers in Idaho. At Wahooz you can enjoy 17 indoor and outdoor attractions including amusement park rides, bowling, miniature golf, go-Karts and so much more.

 

Then there is Roaring Springs Water Park, ranked the eighth best water park in the United States. The park offers many water rides and features for everyone to enjoy.

 

Do you enjoy race cars or maybe even like monster trucks? If you do, then you’ll want to be sure to check out what’s going on at the Meridian Speedway. Consider getting tickets for the Wendy’s Smash-o-Rama Fireworks, Demo Derby, Boat Races and Mr. Dizzy, Malicious Monster Truck Tour, or Eve of Destruction.

 

Love to jump? If so you’ll want to give Jump Time in Meridian at try. This was Idaho’s first indoor trampoline park. There is something for the whole family here including their new Ninja Warrior course. Go check it out!

 

If you love music then you’ll want to catch a performance by the Meridian Symphony. You’ll enjoy the music offered by this dynamic 70-piece orchestra. Don’t miss their Annual Concert in the Park, a free event held in June.

 

What about a visit to the new Children’s Museum? The children’s museum caters to younger children, 2- to 8-year-olds, and emphasizes learning through make-believe. The exhibits are planned to be hands-on for example a simulated airport, frontier outpost, and dinosaur dig.

 

Farmers Market and Farms

Meridian Main Street Market is a new farmers market located in Meridian, formerly known as the Meridian Youth Farmers Market. The market is a way for local farmers, crafters, artisans, and youth to engage the community by selling their products. This year there is a new twist to the market and there will be 73 rotating vendors that will include a beer and wine truck as well as music. Visit the market every Saturday and shop local starting April 13 through October 22, 2019.

 

Wagner Farms is a locally owned and operated family farm where you can visit and buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. They even sell farm fresh eggs. The farm opens in June or July to the public.

 

Shopping and Food

Meridian is home to some great shopping and restaurants with more coming very soon. Get away and enjoy a stroll through the Village at Meridian where you’ll enjoy a variety of shops, a bite to eat, a beverage, and even catch a movie. Maybe you’ve even heard that the following retailers and restaurants are opening in the near future such as Soft Surroundings, Columbia Sportswear, Texas de Brazil, Chip (a gourmet cookie delivery), Anthony Vince Nail Spa, and Roosters Men’s Grooming Center just to name a few.

 

 

Schools

We can’t forget about the great schools located in Meridian. We’ve got the West Ada School District, which is filled with wonderful teachers who are helping to educate kids in our community who will become the future leaders of tomorrow. In addition, Meridian is home to Higher Education with Idaho’s first Medical School, The Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) as well as Idaho State University’s Meridian Campus.

 

 

As you can see, Meridian is a fantastic city to live in. If you already live in Meridian, or if you are considering a move to Meridian, maybe this has inspired you to get out and explore all that the city has to offer. If you live in the surrounding Treasure Valley area come and check out all that the city has to offer. You’ll see firsthand how Meridian is growing and experience why this is such a great place to live.  

 

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
March 29, 2019

Looking to Find the Perfect Camping Spot This Summer? You Better Hurry!

If you are looking to enjoy the great outdoors in Idaho this summer, then you’ll want to hurry and reserve your camping spot as soon as possible. We know you’ll be ready to say “Please, pass the smores” with this list of camping hotspots this summer.


Many of Idaho’s high-profile camping destinations can be reserved through recreation.gov. or Idaho States Parks and Recreation.  Keep in mind that these destinations fill up fast as they are available for booking at least six to nine months in advance. However, you might still get lucky to get a spot, but you’ll want to check and reserve sooner than later.

 

Payette National Forest

Ponderosa State Park in McCall is located only a couple of hours from Boise. This State Park offers a beautiful campground with camping located within short walking distance to the lake. Cabin rentals are available as well. Check out this short video to see the natural beauty this place has to offer.

 

Grouse Campground on Goose Lake north of Brundage Mountain is also a beautiful place to try if you want to escape the crowds of McCall.

 

Upper Payette Lake. Fishing, canoeing, hiking, and biking (there's a 1-mile paved trail) are among the popular activities at this gorgeous spot in the mountains 19 miles north of McCall. It's a no-wake lake. Half of the campground is available on a first come, first served basis.

 

Cold Springs Campground is less than a mile from Lost Valley Reservoir, which offers quality fishing and a chance to see the rare Northern Idaho ground squirrel. It's 10 miles west of New Meadows.

 

Sawtooth National Forest

Redfish Lake in Stanley, Idaho is beautiful and only a few hours from Boise. This is a popular summer camping destination however, there are still options if you can’t find camping around Red Fish Lake itself or the Lodge. Here are a few other campgrounds to consider checking out Sunny, Gulch, Chinook, Glacier View, and Outlet.

 

If you are looking for first come, first serve give Heyburn and Sockeye Campgrounds a try, or beautiful Alturas Lake Inlet Campground. Alturas is located about 25 miles south of Stanley. It's a quieter, less-commercial setting than Redfish Lake.

 

Boise National Forest

Lake Cascade, this campground offers individual campsites as well as 10 developed campgrounds. There are several day use areas, and six boat launch ramps as well.

 

Shoreline at Warm Lake (near Cascade), Big Trinity Lake (highest drivable area in Idaho) and Sagehen Creek (near Smiths Ferry).

 

South Fork Boise River

If you want to plan a quick weekend camping trip, then the South Fork of the Boise River is your place.

 

There’s nothing fancy or complicated about camping along the 12-mile stretch between Anderson Ranch Dam and the Danskin access point. From driveway to the campground, you can arrive in less than two hours. No-fee camping is first come, first-served and spots are primitive, though a few restroom facilities are scattered along the dirt road that parallels the South Fork.

 

Getting there: From Mountain Home, take US20 to Anderson Ranch Dam Road, and turn left onto the dam. Turn left after the dam, head into the canyon and look for marked camping spots on the left.

 

Middle Fork Boise River

The campgrounds along the Middle Fork of the Boise River feel like another world away and it’s only a 50-some mile drive from Boise. If you’re willing to drive the windy, bumpy, sometimes-sketchy road between Arrowrock Dam and Atlanta, you’re rewarded with more than a dozen public hot springs (plus the private Twin Springs Resort), fishing, mountain biking, and hiking.

 

A few basic Forest Service campgrounds dot the way, as well as some primitive sites. Troutdale Campground has five sites on a first come, first serve basis, picnic tables, and a toilet.

Upstream, Ninemeyer Campground is an eight-site, no-fee campground with no amenities — unless you count its proximity to great hot-springing.

 

Looking for Adventure

If you are interested in Idaho adventures no matter what time of year it is you’ll want to check out Stueby’s Outdoor Journal. Hopefully, you are inspired to book your next Idaho adventure and get out and enjoy all that the outdoors has to offer. Happy travels, camping, and trails to you!

 

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
March 22, 2019

Is the Housing Market Declining?

Spring is here and the Treasure Valley housing market continues to see both strong buyer and seller activity especially as people continue to move to Idaho. Even with the continued growth in Boise and the surrounding areas such as Meridian, Eagle, Star, and Nampa we’ve had several people ask if the housing market is declining as they’ve noticed homes for sale staying on the market a little longer than what they’ve been used to seeing.

We wish there was an easy way to explain the current housing market but there is not. What we can tell you is no, we are not seeing a decline in the market. We are however experiencing a slight shift to what may have once been considered a more normal housing market. That’s hard to really say though since the Treasure Valley housing market has been far from normal for quite some time now. Because of this, here’s our best analogy to help explain the most recent market shift we are experiencing.

Let’s say you are driving along the freeway and the speed limit is 65mph however, you and everyone else are driving 80mph. Now consider you’ve been driving this speed for over an hour and you recognize you’ve made great progress in your distance by driving over the speed limit. Then suddenly up ahead you see a couple of cars coming towards you and they flash their lights. Off in the distance, you see the flashing lights of police cars and now everyone who was doing 80mph adjusts their speed and slows down to 65mph. Luckily everyone manages to avoid a ticket since you all were driving the speed limit. Now suddenly you feel like you are no longer moving anymore even though you are still going fast and you’ll still get to your destination in a reasonable amount of time even though your speed has decreased. You still notice something has changed as a result of the decrease in speed. This is exactly like what’s been going on with our housing market.

 

Our housing market has been on hyperdrive as far as price appreciation has been concerned and we were seeing 15 to 20 percent appreciation. Now the market has slowed back down to normal were we should be around 4 to 6 percent appreciation.  As a result, we are also seeing days on market increase and home prices coming down slightly. Something to keep in mind though is the average days a home is on the market in a healthy homebuying market is sixty days. In the Treasure Valley, we are still well below sixty days on the market for most sellers. We are still thriving and it’s a buyers and sellers’ market, so consider this slight market shift the new normal in our ever-evolving housing market.  If you have any questions about the market, would like to know the value of your home, or if you’d like to beat the spring selling rush, please contact me. Let’s get together, coffee is on me.  

Posted in Boise's Best Blog