Nov. 25, 2020

How To Get Curb Appeal in Winter

Preparing your home for sale at any time of the year can be a hassle, but it is especially so in the fall and winter months. Besides being colder, you have other factors like rain, snow, and slush to deal with. Oh, and the pretty leaves on your trees have fallen off so your landscaping will look bare and uninviting. No wonder the fall and winter is one of the slowest times of the year to sell your home! We’ll walk you through some great tips and hacks for making the best of this time of year so that you can get top dollar for your home, regardless of weather. 



The Do’s And Don’ts Of Selling Your Home In The Winter

Do Decorate Your Home Outside

That’s right. A few tasteful decorations on the outside of your home will help make your home look more inviting and festive. Some ideas for decorations for the fall would be: 


  • Pumpkins or other seasonal gourds on your walkway
  • Understated holiday lights around your home’s roof
  • Seasonal (but not too gaudy) welcome by the front door
  • Decorative holiday wreath
  • Small sign or plaque with a seasonal message
  • If you have evergreen trees, try hanging some garlands or discrete holiday bows
  • Anything else you’d like, but not too overstated or personalized or political


Do Clean Your Home’s Gutters And Roof

You’ll want to make the best first impression to potential buyers and that means showing your home’s roof and gutters at their best. Hop up on your roof with a leaf blower or broom and sweep off all the leaves and sticks that have accumulated there since the start of fall. You’ll also want to clean out your gutters and make sure that they are not leaking or damaged. 


Don’t Let Your Grass Go Brown

This can be fairly tricky, but it is very important. Make sure to keep watering and trimming your lawn as late into the year as you can. Your lawn won’t be covered by snow the entire winter, so if you let it get scorched or brown, then it will stay that way until spring! Don’t make a brown lawn the first thing buyer’s see when they pull up to your home. You can also avoid this by applying a good fertilizer or weed and seed a month or so before the cold weather hits, like in late August or early September. 


Don’t Forget To Provide PPE

A little forethought can go a long way to making potential buyers feel more comfortable. At the front door, either just inside or just outside, make a small PPE station for your visitors. Make sure to include things like hand sanitizer, extra masks, gloves, and shoe liners. Don’t forget to have a small trash can nearby so they can discard things like paper towels or used masks. 

There’s a lot to consider this year so don’t let your home get left behind in the market. We’re always here to help you sell your home so contact us today to get started!

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Nov. 16, 2020

Top Pumpkin Pie Recipes To Spice Up Your Holiday Season

Pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving staple and an absolute must for this time of year. Whether it’s in the form of a spiced latte or ice cream or even rum, pumpkin pie flavor is an American favorite. Assuming that you have the rest of your Thanksgiving (or Christmas) feast covered this year, let’s take a look at some of the very best and some unconventional pumpkin pie recipes from around the web for you to try this year. What’s the worst that could happen? If your pie is fantastic, then everyone will love it and remember how well you did. If your pie isn’t up to your standards, then you can eat it in secret and no one has to know. An absolute win win. Here are some recipes to get your creative juices flowing.

The Gold Standard: The Perfect Traditional Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Like a love poem written by a Pilgrim sutor this recipe is short, direct, and lacking fanfare. It’s an absolute smash home run of a pumpkin pie… but it is the absolute most basic pumpkin pie that ever pumpkin pied. That having been said, it will be delicious, full of spicy pumpkin and cinnamon flavor with a rich, flaky crust that will be crunchy and buttery. Without further ado, here is the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. 


The Standard, Bit Of A Twist!: Pumpkin Pie With Brown Sugar, Hint Of Lemon, And Ginger

This has everything you love about pumpkin pie, but with a few small variations. It has a hint of lemon zest, some ginger, and is made with brown sugar instead of all white sugar. It also has a hint of vanilla to meld everything together. If you want to stray a little bit from the traditional favorite, but not go too deep into the woods, then this is the pie for you! From Chef Lindsey Farr’s website.


An Outside The Box Take On Pumpkin Pie: Chocolate

Pumpkin pie is great. No one is debating that. But, you know what would make it just a little greater? Lots and lots of chocolate! This recipe is not just a twist on an old favorite, but a swirl. It is Food And Wine’s take on adding chocolate to a traditional pumpkin pie recipe and it is divine. Check it out here.


Way Outside The Box Pumpkin Pie: The Non-Pie 

Why have pumpkin pie be limited to just a plain old pie when you can make it so much more? Introducing pumpkin pie cake trifles with (optional) whiskey! These trifles are simple to make and assemble and will blow your friends and relatives away with just how much pumpkin pie flavor you’ve packed into these little serving glasses. This dessert is a perfect take on an old favorite that will keep your guests guessing and coming back for more. It’s also a great way to safely serve food this holiday season as each trifle comes in its own serving container rather than as part of a central pie that everyone will be taking slices out of. Safer and delicious! A total win. Here’s the recipe from

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Oct. 29, 2020

Fun Fall Events In And Around Meridian, Idaho

While the nights are getting cooler, the Meridian real estate market has never been hotter! While many of the larger and more crowded events have been cancelled, there are still fun things to do with the family this year. We’ve collected a few of the best ones for you to try!


Boo At Night At The Zoo. Zoo Boise. October 15th Through The 31st

Boo At The Zoo is always a hit and this year is no different. Yes, it is heavily modified and will seem quite paired down from last year’s event, this year’s Boo At The Zoo will still be a fun outing! Here are the activities you can expect while there this year:

Idaho Botanical Garden’s Fall Harvest Festival. Every Saturday in October

The Botanical Garden is a great place to bring the family and have fun while still remaining socially distanced. This year they are doing tons of special events like a huge self-guided pumpkin patch tour, a Scarecrow Stroll, one-way hay maze, and local food trucks! Each Saturday features an additional special activity, seen below. For complete information and ticketing services, check out the full event on their website. 

  • Oct 17th: Live Music from Rebecca Scott Band!
  • Oct 24th: Scary Stories with StoryFort and Old Idaho Penitentiary
  • Oct 31st: BONUS EVENT. Halloween Costume Parade – FREE TO PUBLIC, RSVP Required – 3pm-5pm

Discovery Center Of Idaho. October, November, And December Events

Always a fun place to spend time with friends and family, The Discovery Center of Idaho is ramping up its schedule for the end of the 2020 season. In addition to their packed daily schedule of learning and outreach they have tons of events coming up for the end of the year. One of the most interesting ones is called “Hour With The Expert” which features real life Egyptologist and Boise resident Jan Summers Duffy. Join Jan as she takes you through the highlights of the King Tut: Treasures of The Tomb exhibit and answers all of your questions about Tut, Egypt, mummies, and more! Fridays starting at 1pm. More information on their website here.


Here are a few more of their event highlights for October, November, and December:

  • Letting Off STEAM
  • Member’s Night
  • Young Discoverers project, featuring slime!
  • Red Cross blood drive night 


Linder Farms Corn Maze And Pumpkin Patch. 

Linder Farms is back and better than ever! Come on by for a great pumpkin patch tour where you and your family can take a free hayride out to the field where you can choose and pick your very own pumpkin! You can also check out their other rides for kids and young adults and even try their paintball shooting gallery. They also serve a variety of fun fair foods like corn dogs, french fries, tater tots, and burgers. Check them out while the weather is good and the crowds are manageable! More information on their site here.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Oct. 14, 2020

Autumn Checklist for Homeowners

So, fall weather is setting in, children are picking out their costumes, and the morning air carries the brisk promise of an early autumn. For homeowners, this is the perfect time to get your home ready for the cold winter months.

Even one critical overlooked item can leave you in the cold, soaking wet, smoked out from a hearth fire gone bad, or all three. In the interest of protecting not only your investment but your loved ones as well, it’s time to give you a working autumn house maintenance checklist to work from to prevent any catastrophes that can occur otherwise when you really don’t need them to.

Check, Clean, and Possibly Replace Your Rain Gutters

While trees can bring out the natural beauty of a neighborhood, they can also present a risk to homeowners in the form of discarded leaves. While raking them from your yard is something most homeowners already do, a large number of them forget that those same leaves are clogging up their rain gutters. You know, the convenient contraptions that trap water from your roof and safely disperses it back to the ground in a controlled fashion.


When these gutters become clogged with dead leaves, they can not only clog your drain pipe and result in all of that water making its way into your home, but also play host to a variety of pests and lead to wood rot.


This is also the perfect time to check your gutters to ensure that they are in good working order. Are the support brackets sound? No water leaking behind the gutter? If you find your gutters in desperate need of replacement, do it now because later will be too late.

Inspect Your Windows and Doors for Air Leaks

Over time, settling of the foundation and aging of building materials can lead to energy leaks.In the wintertime, it will behoove you to inspect all of your doors, windows, and any other openings leading to the outside.


For every drafty room or window, heat is allowed to escape as it rises, which is money out of your pocket. Not only that, but it also, for lack of a better phrase, leaves the door open for pests, snow, rain, and other malefactors to enter your home.


Short of repairing loose or damaged frames and reinstalling weather stripping as needed, some heavy curtains will help keep that heat where you need it most: in your home.

Check Your Furnace Filter

This one is not only important for getting the most out of your HVAC system, but it’s also important because a dirty filter can reintroduce many pollutants into your indoor environment. Most furnaces work by pulling in outside air, pushing it through a filter, heating it, and redistributing it throughout the house.


This can lead to the redistribution of pet dander, carbon monoxide, and more. The filter is located where the duct that draws in outside air connects to the HVAC system. Inspect yours, locate the filter, and be sure to replace it if need be. Just be sure to install the new filter with the arrows pointing with airflow as opposed to against it.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Sept. 30, 2020

Fall Homeowner’s Home Maintenance Checklist

Since summer is coming to a close, the weather each day isn’t as punishingly hot as it has been. This is bad news for anyone who wants to go and enjoy the great outdoors or relax on a warm beach, but it is good news for anyone who wants to steal a few hours during an afternoon to make sure their house is prepared for the winter months. You’ll want to start as early in the fall season as your schedule and weather will allow because it is best to get everything done before the rain and snow of winter start settling in for the winter. Keeping your house properly maintained and ready for winter is a bit of a pain each year, but it can help keep your house’s value higher than if you didn’t do these things and it can even save you money in the long run by avoiding costly emergency repairs to a burst pipe or roof. Let’s take a look at a checklist that will help you get your fall season of homeownership off to a great start. 


Pipe Patrol: Inspect And Insulate Pipes. Prepare To Blowout Sprinklers.

You’ll want to take a good look at all of your exposed piping and make sure that it isn’t leaking or in need of repair and that they are all nice and insulated. It might not be time to blowout sprinklers just yet, but if you can, then now would be a good time to do it before the seasonal rush starts. At least make an appointment with a local crew if possible so you don’t have to worry about it later. Repair or replace any insulation that has been damaged or removed over the last year. You don’t want to have to be dealing with a burst pipe this winter! You’ll also want to drain and store your hoses and shut off water to exterior faucets (if necessary). 


Clean Gutters. Inspect Roof.

It’s a dirty job, but it has to be done. Clean out your gutters at least three times a year and especially before winter sets in so you can avoid dangerous and costly ice dams. While you’re up there, take a walk around your roof (in a safe manner) and check for any loose or missing shingles or other signs of roof damage. If you see anything that looks like a leak or damage, then you will want to hire a professional to make the repairs. Also, while you’re cleaning the gutters, make sure to clear out your downspouts and make sure they are not clogged or exceptionally dirty. They should be free and clear in order to allow proper water runoff during wet winter months.


Check Doors And Windows For Broken Seals

Look at the weather stripping on all of your doors and windows and make sure that it is in good shape and not allowing cold air to leak into the house. Replace as necessary. Don’t forget to check your garage door as well! While your garage isn’t necessarily a room you want to keep warm in the winter, proper weather-stripping around your garage door can help prevent pests like rodents, insects, and spiders from entering and making a home in your garage.


Clean The Outside Of Your House

Summer is one of the peak times of the year that we see an excess of dust and other particulates in the air (like smoke from wildfires). Those particulates are unpleasant for our lungs and can lead to an equally unpleasant buildup of grime and dirt on the outside of your home. Make sure to take a strong garden hose or power washer and spray down the outside of your home before winter sets in. This will leave your house looking bright and clean for the winter.


That’s a good start! If you can knock those things off your list, then you will have a huge leg up on winter this year. That will leave you with more time to spend with the family indoors sipping hot cocoa instead of making emergency repairs to the house, and that’s always a good thing!

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Sept. 15, 2020

Family Friendly Fall Activities In And Around Northwest Meridian

There are still plenty of things you can do with the family this year while staying safe and practicing good social distancing. While times have changed, people still want to get out and have fun and if we can all stay safe, then there’s no reason not to! Now that the weather is starting to cool, it is the perfect time to participate in fun outdoor activities for the whole family. Let’s look at a few happening in and around Meridian, Idaho, shall we?

Linder Farms. Pumpkin Patch And Corn Maze

Always a good time, Linder Farms is opening this year on September 18th through October 31st. They have a modified list of attractions this year due to COVID19, but most of their main attractions are still active. Check out their website for more details and tickets. You can still enjoy their great family friendly activities like hay rides, the petting zoo, giant slide, hay bale maze, and the old west shooting gallery. Tickets start at $6 per adult. Kids under 3 are free!


The Berry Ranch. Pick Your Own Pumpkins And Berries

If you like spending time at Linder Farms, then you’ll love The Berry Ranch! Located on the corner of Hwy 20-26 (Chinden) and Franklin out of Nampa, The Berry Ranch is a great place to take the family this year. You can (literally) enjoy the fruits of your labor by taking a guided “pick your own berries” tour which allows you to gather fresh berries so you can take them home and make all sorts of concoctions like jams or pies. 


For the fall, you can even pick pumpkins straight out of the patch. The best deal is the “Family Pick Your Own Pumpkin With Hayride” event which can be done Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.. Each person gets to explore the pumpkin patch and pick a fresh pumpkin to take home. You also get a hayride in a real horse drawn wagon! Don’t forget to stop off at the gift shop. Pricing starts at about $10 per person. More details on their website here.  


Idaho Botanical Garden

Another great place to spend time outside with your family surrounded by beautiful plants and land features, the Idaho Botanical Garden is gearing up for an action packed fall. Check out their annual Fall Harvest Festival which will be held on every Saturday in October. During the festival you can check out the Scarecrow Stroll, the Hay Maze, pumpkin patch, local food trucks, and autumn themed beverages from Lost Grove brewing. Each weekend will feature an event like live music, a movie night, spooky stories from Storyfort, concluding with a costume parade on Halloween night! More information and tickets available here. 


Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise is open again and is taking visitors! They have completely revamped their layout and tour style in order to be within the CDC guidelines for COVID19. While some things may have changed, it is still a great place to explore and have fun with the family. Check out more details and ticket info here on their website. 


Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Aug. 31, 2020

Getting Your Home Ready to Sell in the Fall

As summer winds to a close, it’s time to start dusting off your cozy sweaters and galoshes and if you’re looking to have your house sell before the end of the year, then there are some things that you should keep in mind. While the summer season is typically the busiest time of year for selling a house, selling in the fall can be a rewarding and profitable experience for the savvy seller. You want to get top dollar for your home no matter when you sell it so we have come up with a few tips that will help you make your house virtually irresistible to buyers this fall. 



Roof Appeal Is Part Of Curb Appeal

Like many neighborhoods in the City of Trees, there are hundreds of large, leafy, old trees dotting the yards of homes everywhere. With these beautiful trees comes the inevitable dropping of leaves, which can turn what was a once pristine roof and gutter system into a cluttered eyesore. Make sure that if you are selling that you are staying on top of your gutter cleaning duties and that the leaves that fall on your roof don’t get too piled up. A few leaves scattered here and there are fine, but be sure to avoid the thick matted bunches of leaves that just sit there and turn to slimy gunk. No one wants to buy that, especially if it is one of the first impressions a buyer sees.


Yes, the yard is important, but don’t forget the roof!


Clear And Decorate Your Walkways

Don’t shy away from fall. Embrace it. Make sure that the aforementioned leaves are clear of your walkways and entrances. It also helps to decorate the entrance of a home with fall appropriate items like squashes, gourds, and other fall delights. You can even plant fall friendly flowers like Autumn Joy sedum and Goldenrod to bring a little pop of fall appropriate color to your home’s entrance. 


Don’t Forget The Lights

Since it will be getting darker earlier and earlier each passing day, you’ll want to pay attention to the light levels as you walk into and approach your house. Some showings happen as late as 7 or 8 at night, depending on the buyer’s schedule and you’ll want to make sure that all of your home’s beautiful features are just as visible as if it were 2pm. Check your front porch and driveway area at dusk. Are your lights bright and welcoming or are they weak and dirty yellow and casting harsh shadows? Replace and upgrade your outdoor light fixtures to provide your buyers with a welcoming and bright entry that screams “buy me!”. You may even want to invest in a little set of decorative lights that you can put on either side of your cement walkway leading up to your front door. A pleasant path of lights is always a welcome sight on those cold autumn nights. 


Make A Warm First Impression Indoors

As temperatures start to drop, especially in the evening, you’ll want to make sure that your home is warm and bright when you first walk in. If you are having HVAC issues or maybe your window or door seals need some work, then now is the perfect time to do it because a potential buyer will definitely notice if your home is drafty or cold. Make sure your doors and windows are properly weatherstripped and that your furnace is in good working order if you want to get top dollar this year!



While it’s more difficult to sell in the fall than the spring or summer, it is definitely not impossible! If you have any questions about buying or selling a home in Meridian (or beyond) don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Boise’s Best Real Estate! We can’t wait to hear from you.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Aug. 18, 2020

Summer 2020: Safe Outdoor Activities to Do in Boise

With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging around us halfway through Summer 2020, many of us are anxious to get out of the house and do something, anything, other than sit in our houses some more. The good news is that Boise’s close proximity to natural outdoor wonders as well as annual events that are social distance-friendly can help add some pizzazz to an otherwise dismal weekend.


By now, you’re probably wondering which events or activities we’re talking about, and whether or not they’re safe. All of the activities listed below are all ones you can safely socially distance while temporarily escaping the tedium of quarantine.


Old Idaho Penitentiary


The Old Idaho Penitentiary has recently re-opened and is operating under strict guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19.  Some of the changes include:

  • Visitors encouraged to pre-purchase admission online, as walk-ups are only allowed if the current visiting group is not at capacity.
  • Groups are limited to 50 visitors per.
  • Masks are required in indoor areas and encouraged outdoors.If you have a medical exemption, politely inform a staff member.

Go here to see the most up-to-date information regarding your visit to one of Boise’s most historic sites. And while you’re in the area…


Boise Botanical Garden


Located next door to the Old Idaho Penitentiary, the Boise Botanical Garden showcases some of the flora and fauna native to the area. Even better, it’s open 7 days a week, 9AM to 5PM, and encourages visitors to practice social distancing through guided and self-guided tours.


The Garden Store is still closed, but the grounds are still available to visitors to leisurely peruse. For up-to-date information, please go here to visit their FAQ page. For more information regarding Boise Botanical Garden’s COVID-19 safety policy, please go here.


Kathryn Albertson Park


If nature reserves are your thing, then this park is for you. Located off of Americana Boulevard across the street from Ann Morrison Park, Kathryn Albertson is home to a wide variety of flora and animals. While walking the trails, do not be surprised if you cross paths with a rabbit, spot a turtle sunbathing on a rock, or see a crane perched near a pond.


The park also features natural history, such as the massive tree trunk that has been in existence since the 1600s. There is also a fountain near the entrance of the park, which is a great place to catch up with a friend or loved one.


So whether you’re taking in the ancient gallows of the Old Idaho Penitentiary or taking a walk at one of our beautiful parks, be sure to mask up, socially distance, and enjoy Boise safely during Summer 2020.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
July 28, 2020

Indoor Games For Families

Are you bored with the same old board games? Are you spending a lot of time cooped up indoors lately with the family? Are your kids actually getting tired of video games? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then we have the perfect remedy for you! We have found some great family friendly indoor/outdoor games that you can start playing right now for little to no out of pocket cost, you just have to be creative. Let’s look at some, shall we?


Indoor/Outdoor Hockey

You might be thinking that hockey is absolutely not an indoor game and could be a little too wild but just stick with us! This version of hockey is much more like air hockey than ice hockey. It can be done with two players and requires little to no setup. You just need a flat smooth floor surface or table and few supplies and you’re off to the races! 


First, you’ll want to make a “puck” which can be done using something like an altoid tin or maybe a few layers of cardboard circles glued or taped together. Then you’ll want to get your sticks together. You can use spatulas or even fly swatters. Sit each contestant at either end of a table and put a piece of masking tape about 4 inches from the end of the table. That is the goal line. Each player will take turns hitting the puck back and forth across the table in order to get across and into the opponent’s goal area. You can even tape a shopping bag or canvas bag to the edge of the table to catch the puck as it passes over the goal line. It’s all the fun of hockey without the full contact!


Book Draw And Swap

Time for some creative activities. This game requires paper, stapler, pens, pencils, and or crayons or markers, and time. Each participant takes some paper and creates a 10 page blank book by stapling pieces of paper together. Then, they will use the pens and markers to illustrate a scene on each page of the book, but leave any text or thought bubbles blank. After the books are illustrated, each participant trades their book with someone else and fills in the text of the story to go along with the pictures. After that, each person will then see what story got added to their book and you can read each newly completed book aloud! 


Save The Ice

This next activity is a bit more scientific in nature than the other ones. We are going to do a little science experiment that will be fun and engaging that anyone can do. You’ll need crafting materials like construction paper, tin foil, cardboard, and the like and you will also need four ice cubes per person. This activity has kids wrapping their ice cubes in different materials and then setting them out on a plate for a while. You then get to observe the results and see which kid’s ice cube lasted the longest. Here’s the full walk through:


Posted in Boise's Best Blog
July 10, 2020

Buying A Home In The Age Of Coronavirus: Tips To Help You Get The Most Out Of The Experience And Stay Safe

We are definitely living in interesting times. While a lot of things have changed, people still need to buy and sell houses so that at least has stayed the same. Buying a home can still be done safely and efficiently these days, however, there are a few extra considerations you might want to keep in mind. In Boise, the weather has been great thus far this summer and there isn’t a better time to be shopping for your first home or your next dream home. Here are some tips for you as you begin your journey. 



Technology Is Your Friend. Use it!

Luckily, we happen to live in an age where you don’t have to leave your couch in order to take a full tour of a home you’re looking at buying. If you have a smartphone or even a home computer or laptop, then you can do so much of the buying process from the safety and comfort of your home. Here are a few ideas:

  • Embrace smart features like 3D tours
  • Type the address of the home you’re looking for in YouTube’s search bar. There may be a full HD walk-through video of the house there already. Many real estate agents do this!
  • Ask your agent: Is there no video walk-through already? Ask your agent if they would mind connecting a Zoom call with you while they walk through the house you’re thinking about buying. It’s a great way to get a full walk-through remotely. 

Expect Competition

The Boise (and Treasure Valley) market has always been competitive and this year is no different. Competition and demand are just about as high this year as they have ever been, so expect to have to place an offer on a home quickly as someone else may have their eye on it. 


Social Distanced Open Houses

Many real estate agents are doing staggered or “by appointment” open houses. This might be a good and safer way for you to experience an open house in the new neighborhood you’re looking at. You can still go to open houses, it’s just a little different! While many agents are providing hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes for their clients, you may want to bring your own just in case. It’s always good to have backups. 


Do More Drive-By’s When Searching

While alone or with your partner in your car, you can be more safely away from other people and even more comfortable during the summer heat. If you find a handful of houses you want to look at on your smartphone or computer, why not plug them into your navigation system and give them a peek in person? There’s a lot you can tell about a house just by its neighborhood and surrounding areas and you can see exactly how the outside looks instead of having to rely on staged and photoshopped images. You can do a lot of the heavy lifting without even getting out of your car!


Even though things have changed, finding your dream home doesn’t have to! You can still get out there and buy the perfect home, it will just be a little different process. For all of your buying or selling needs, give us a call. We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Posted in Boise's Best Blog