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Sept. 13, 2018

Staging to Sell: Make Your Home Irresistible to Buyers And Sell For More

All the world’s a stage, as they say. And your home is no exception. Why present potential buyers with the play entitled: “Dreary, Cluttered, Living Room,” when you could treat them to the next showing of, “Wow! My Friends Will Be So Jealous Of My New House!” instead? Only one of those “plays” is going to get your home sold faster and for more money. Why not get this show on the road and start staging your house for a command performance that will have buyers demanding an encore?

 

Light The Stage

One of the most important things to buyers is to be able to see the fine details of the house. This can be easily accomplished by keeping windows open and lights on during walkthroughs. The presence of soft, bright light can make things appear cleaner and more inviting. Consider getting all of your windows professionally cleaned and adjusted prior to your first showing. The bright, clean light will entice buyers, not to mention the ultra clean windows will give that same “brand new” impression that a fresh coat of paint would.

 

Big Art- Big Impression

Go big or go home, or in this case, go big IN your home (and go ahead and stay where you are because you are already home). Ok, so that second saying is a little more of a mouthful, but it’s nonetheless true. Take down your tiny picture frames and wall decorations and put them in storage for a while. Rent or buy some large framed art pieces with eye-catching colors and hang them up instead. A wall is like a canvas and the less left blank, the better. Larger pieces of art on the walls make the room itself feel larger. Combine this with a fun accent wall in your living room and you will be able to create a unique space that will leave a lasting impression that won’t break the bank.

Scents

Besides “curb appeal” the real first impression, and sometimes the strongest, is how a house smells. We’re not suggesting the old “trick” of putting cookies in the oven or anything like that, but it really pays to closely observe just how your house smells to new visitors. Consider getting all new trash cans and liners in every room. Smells can linger in them for weeks even after emptying them. Also, take control of your sink odors. Garbage disposal odors can waft through the entire house and can greet visitors with the unpleasant scent of food waste. Spend a little money to get your disposal and drainage tract professionally looked at and cleaned. At the very least, run a few gallons of bleach water through there followed by hot water to help get rid of the bleach scent. 

 

Plants

Plants are important not just for helping clean out greenhouse gases, but for making your house feel more alive and inviting. Consider popping down to your friendly neighborhood garden supply shop and pick up 4 or 5 pre-potted plants to place about your home. Your buyers will fall in love with a bright, clean house that has beautiful plants all around. 

 

Declutter and Depersonalize

The best and easiest tip is to declutter every showable area of your house. Make sure that everything is put away and organized and that your countertops are spotless. While you’re at it, take down every picture, refrigerator art, and any other personal items that may give the impression that somebody is already “living” there. The buyer wants to be able to easily imagine they are living there in this new house rather than have to feel like they are imposing on somebody who is already occupying that place. Out of sight, out of mind. 

 

With these tips and a little luck, your next home staging will have your house selling quickly and for more money. If you really put your mind to it, you can present buyers with a “play” that will put Broadway to shame. Bravo! 

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Aug. 22, 2018

Got The Air Quality Blues? Use Plants to Make Your Air Safer to Breathe Indoors

Our Guide to Filling Your House With Air Filtering Plants

Smog Idaho's Best Real Estate

 

The air quality right now in Boise and the rest of the Pacific Northwest is pretty terrible. Excess smoke in the air has caused heightened respiratory problems and forced many Idaho kids to stay indoors this summer. Well, the air indoors isn’t much better. With wildfires raging and hardly a drop of rain since June 17th, we are in need of some relief from this smoky air. We’re going to explore four common houseplants that you can buy at your friendly neighborhood garden supply store that will help clear your home’s air of dangerous toxins.

 

Spider Plant (AKA Chlorophytum Comosum 'Vittatum')

Spider Plant

 

This is not only a powerhouse in filtering toxins from your home’s air, but it is also very easy to take care of! Spider Plants originated from Africa, but have been flourishing around the globe as houseplants for many years. They typically like to hang in baskets and like cooler indoor temperatures between 65*F and 90*F. They only require watering once or twice a month and thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. Perfect for a kitchen or living room. 

 

Snake Plant (AKA Sansevieria Trifasciata)

Snake Plant Boise Idaho

By Mokkie - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32807562

 

Snakes and spiders, oh my! While the names for these top two plants are unpleasant, their effects on your household’s air quality is anything but. Fill your bedrooms with this sneaky snake plant (also known as “Mother-in-Law’s tongue,” but you didn’t hear that from US!) because they can survive in low light levels and occasional watering. During winter months, they can go up to two months between watering sessions. Beware, though. They are susceptible to rot if overwatered. These are also great to have in a bedroom because they release their clean oxygen at night time as opposed to during the day. Keep your friends close and your snake plants even closer!

 

Aloe Vera  (AKA Aloe Vera)

Aloe Boise Idaho

By Collage by en:User:MidgleyDJ, original images from Wikimedia commons (Image:Aloe_vera_offsets.jpg and Image:Aloe_vera_C.jpg) - See author., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5084561

 

Aloe vera is already a well regarded plant due to its use as a topical medicinal agent for thousands of years, but did you know it also is a top air purifying plant as well? Aloe is good for you both inside and out. It is considered a succulent and survives with little rainfall in its natural environment, which makes it a very hardy houseplant. They don’t like standing water, though, so make sure they have good drainage when potting them. They are great at clearing formaldehyde from the air, which is a common air pollutant in modern American homes. 

 

Bamboo Palm (AKA Chamaedorea Seifritzii)

Bamboo Boise Idaho

By Taken byfir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.auCanon 5D II + Canon 400mm f/5.6 L - Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17996261

 

Bamboo is a very pleasant and fairly uncommon houseplant, at least here in the PNW. This is a great addition to the home arsonal for fighting indoor air pollution because it is easy to maintain and filters out three known harmful pollutants: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene. Bamboo is also pet friendly, in case one of your dogs or cats likes to chew on houseplants. It likes bright light or even full sun. They can grow to be quite tall, so plan accordingly!

While the smoke in the air may not be getting better outside, you can make a difference inside by adding these four plant purifiers to your home.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
Aug. 9, 2018

Boise, Idaho is The Country’s Top Relocation Choice and We Have The Articles to Prove It

Boise's Best Real Estate Idaho Guide

If you already live in Boise, then congratulations. You are among the select few in our great country who can say that they were in on the ground floor of what will be the nation’s next major and most beloved city. Idaho has been one of the best kept secrets for many years now and in the age of Facebook and Instagram, the secret is getting out. If you are thinking of moving to Boise, then you’d better hurry before it’s too late. But, don’t take our word for it. We have been featured prominently in not one, but FIVE major publications in the past year alone. Let’s explore a few and see what they have to say about our little (for now!) city.

 

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. While anatomically incorrect, the sentiment is dead on. Food (and drink) matter and if you’re not getting what you deserve out of your city’s cuisine, then why are you living there? Just this month (August, 2018), USA Today published a breathless expose on Boise’s white hot food and wine scene, in which they detail many of the top food and drink spots in our little hamlet. Here’s a link to the article and a small excerpt that features one of Boise’s greatest guilty pleasure eateries, The STIL: 

 

In a city with a row of downtown restaurants that source locally and boast picture-perfect patios, plus three new taco eateries, two acclaimed hotel restaurants and a slew of specialty food shops, there is one place where you might have to wait in line. It serves two things: ice cream and alcohol.

Boise's Best House Buying Guide

To go with our big appetites for great food and booze, we have a big taste for adventure. Boise was also recently featured in Lonely Planet’s popular blog as the #2 place in their “Best in the US. Places to Visit in 2018” list. They definitely mention our thriving food and art scene, but they also take time to mention that Idaho has an abundance of natural treasure as well. Excerpt:

 

Being in close proximity to a wealth of natural riches, urban adventures easily transition into outdoor escapes. Meander through the Boise River Greenbelt, a 25-mile park in the heart of the city, or head into the surrounding mountains and foothills for hiking, mountain biking, skiing and river rafting.

 

The thing is, Idaho isn’t just a great place to eat, drink, and explore. It’s also a great place to build a business and secure a great career. Forbes recently awarded Boise one of the nation's top 20 cities for young professionals. “We used six metrics crucial to recent graduates: salary, rent, employment prospects, networking opportunities and social outlook,” the author Samantha Sharf wrote. On that list, Boise beat other major cities like Portland, San Diego, and Nashville. Forbes must really love Boise because we were also featured in an article about us being one of America’s fastest growing cities in 2018, and an article that came out on June 13th, 2018 called “Booming Boise: My Relocation to the Fastest Growing City in America.” 

Boise's Best Real Estate Burger Guide

So, if you’re thinking of moving to or buying a house in Boise, you’d better make your move sooner rather than later before someone else snags up your new dream home! Boise's Best Real Estate has Idaho's most comprehensive relocation guide to help equip you with everything you need to know about setting down roots in our beautiful state. Get your free copy of the relocation guide here. Come to the place where the beer is cold, the mountains are close, and the jobs are plentiful.

 

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
July 24, 2018

Cool Summer Recipes to Beat The Heat

Beating the heat in the summer is a full time job. It’s not just your house that needs to be cooled down, it’s your car, your office, and everywhere else you may be during the day. Unless you are blessed to be in Anchorage, Alaska where the average high temperature for late July is about 68 degrees Fahrenheit. For those us stuck in the scorching heat here in Boise and the rest of Idaho, we have a few things to discuss today that will help you keep the heat at bay (and have fun doing it!).

 

One of the best ways to stay cool during the harsh, hot summers here in the high desert is with cool food. We have designed for you a perfect menu for a dinner party with friends and family this summer that requires zero heat to prepare! It’s a win-win scenario. You get to entertain your guests with great food and you don’t have to spend any time over a burning hot stove or barbeque grill. 

Photo: Food Network 

Cocktail

All great dinner parties start with two things: Refreshing drinks and tantalizing appetizers. For today’s menu, we are going to be serving up an ice cold twist on an old classic: The Long Island Iced Tea. This recipe is handcrafted by none other than Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. Not only is he classy and amazing, his cocktails are too! This iced concoction is perfect for cooling down your guests and for getting the party started off right. It contains equal parts vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and triple sec, with an ounce of sour mix. It’s finished with a splash of rose champagne and sliced lime. Sweet, sour, refreshing and strong! Full recipe here. 

Photo: Wildgreesandsardines.com

Appetizer

Ok, this appetizer is the perfect compliment to any summer party. What food reminds us more of July than corn? We are serving up a chilled sweet corn soup garnished with cold cherry tomatoes and jalapeno slices. This is a quick way to create a delicious chilled treat that will put a bit of summer in every bite. It can be made the day before so you can technically still have a full day of entertaining without turning on the stove. This may even enhance the flavor as it will get to marinade overnight in the fridge. Here’s the recipe (it only takes about 20 minutes, top to bottom).

Photo: Tasteofhome.com

 

Main Course

For our main course, we’re going to Italy. We will be serving up a triple meat, savory, crowd-pleasing dinner sandwich: The Muffuletta. This giant Italian sandwich has everything your hungry guests will want. It has three types of deli meat, olives, sweet red peppers, parsley, garlic, and (of course) CHEESE! This can be made ahead as well and stored in your fridge overnight. Simply serve the entire loaf on a platter and slice pieces of it like a big sandwich cake! Here’s the full recipe. 

Photo: Petalandply.com

Dessert 

What dinner party is complete without dessert? Especially in the summer where a cold dessert will help keep the heat at bay. We recommend this pistachio icebox pie. It only has five ingredients and is devilishly easy to make. Simply combine, pour, freeze, and serve! This dessert is a beautiful lime green in color and is slightly salty at first with a sweet finish that will leave your guests lining up at your freezer door for more. Pro tip: make sure to make an extra batch to serve after the first one gets devoured. Here’s the recipe. 

 

We hope you enjoy your next dinner party and that you are able to beat the heat this summer!

 

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
July 13, 2018

Top Home Security Tips For Summer Vacations

There was an old poster that hung in my 6th grade teacher’s classroom. It said, “The top three reasons for being a teacher: June, July, and August.” Mrs. Krenshaw was a great teacher, but she REALLY enjoyed her summers off. And you should too! This is the perfect time of the year to pack the family up for a vacation. During that vacation, you shouldn’t have to worry about such things as a home burglary or break in. We’ll explore some great safety tips today to help you gain that valuable peace of mind when you’re on your family vacation this summer.

 

Outdoor Security

To secure your home, you need to take steps to make it look like your home is still occupied and attended to. You can accomplish this in a few different ways. First, you can ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway while you’re away. This makes it look like the home is still occupied during the time you’re gone and it may be a nice perk for the neighbor to be able to have more off-street parking available to them for a while. While you are talking to your neighbors about parking, you can also ask them to keep an eye out for suspicious activity while you’re away. Another great favor they can do for you is to check your mail. Mail sitting in your mailbox and piling up can be a prime target for burglars and identity thieves. 

Bonus tip: if your neighbor can’t park in your driveway, shell out the extra cash to take an Uber or Taxi to the airport so you can leave your own car in the driveway or in front of the house. This will help people think you are still home at first glance. 

 

Smart Home Security

Invest in some smart outlets for your house lights. For about $21 bucks, you can get two smart outlets that connect to your home AI device like an Alexa or Google Home. Once you connect your AI device to the smart plugs, you can set a schedule for lights to turn on and off in different areas of your house. This will again make it appear that the house is being occupied while you are away. Or, if you prefer the old fashioned route, you can purchase analog timers for your outlets that let you control your lights without having to own a home AI device. These can be found here on Amazon for about $11 plus shipping. 

 

Locking Up and Securing Entryways

If you have friends or family closeby, you can have them stop by the house each day or every other day to check on things, take out the trash (if needed), and make sure there are no water or gas leaks or break in attempts. Always lock your doors and windows while you are away and if you have a sliding glass door, invest in a wooden or metal blocking dowel that can prevent the door from opening even if the lock is broken or bypassed. Sliding glass doors pose a huge threat to home security. Make sure your doggy doors and other pet doors are securely locked and barricaded as necessary. Many larger doggy doors can allow a smaller person to crawl through, or are large enough for someone with long arms to reach through and unlock the door entirely. 

Smart Security System

If you already have a security system, then you are well ahead of most people. One extra step you can take is to give your login credentials to a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member. They can also keep an eye on monitoring the system remotely and can receive updates and get to your house quickly in case of an alarm. You may not be within cell or wifi range the entire time and you could easily miss an important security alert. If you don’t have an alarm or camera system, then we suggest you invest in one soon! You can find many security camera options out there, but a good place to start is the Ring System for about $99.

 

Lastly, don’t post the fact that you are going on vacation on social media! Just post when you get back in order to prevent tech savvy burglars from casing you from Facebook or Instagram. Have a safe and fun summer out there and remember to take an active role in keeping your house secure while on vacation.

 

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
June 26, 2018

Enjoying the 4th of July Holiday Safely: Fire Safety and You

As the year gets closer to being halfway over, we are also getting closer to July 4th. The 4th of July is one of the greatest holidays of the year. The 4th is a day that brings families together to enjoy some sunshine, delicious barbeque food, and of course, fireworks. Fireworks symbolize the battle our forebearers fought to form this great nation of ours. They can be dazzling, fun, and potentially dangerous if not used properly. Today we will explore some ways to keep your home and fingers intact this holiday.


Home safety tips

Living in Boise, we don’t see a lot of rainfall each year, especially in the height of summer. This means that you can be reasonably sure that the grass, brush, and surrounding vegetation near your home will be dry on July 4th. One thing you can do to prevent a fire around your house is turn your sprinklers on about an hour or so before you are going to be lighting your fireworks. Getting your lawn, siding, and fence a nice soak before the sparks start flying is a good way to keep potential fires at bay. While you’re doing this, take a few minutes and spray the roof of your house as well. You may be extremely careful with your fireworks this year, but your neighbors may not be and dangerous cinders and rockets can travel a long ways and still be able to cause fires. Keep you hose handy during your fireworks display as well.


What you should know for this fireworks season (in Boise, Idaho)

From the Ada County Commissioners Office: Fireworks banned in unincorporated areas of ADA County. These areas include property that is “both outside of city limits AND outside of a fire protection district. The ban remains in effect during the current fire season.” You can read more here on their website. Be careful to check the map before lighting up this year! You don’t want to be on the hook for an accidental fire.

 

Firework safety tips from the experts

Fireworks and fire safety are a serious matter. We should all take safety precautions in order to have a fun and worry free July 4th holiday this year. But, you don’t have to take our word for it. Here are the top tips for firework safety as put forth by the National Council on Fireworks Safety:

 

Recommended Safety Tips

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

 

Bonus Tips: Pet Safety

  • See your vet about getting a natural tranquilizer for your pet before the 4th of July. It may help calm their nerves before festivities.
  • Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.

We love the 4th of July as much as the next person, but it’s important to study up on the latest safety tips and guidelines before the fireworks start going off. The best part about the 4th of July is being happy and healthy to enjoy it next year as well! Have a safe and sane holiday this year.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
June 14, 2018

It’s a Seller’s Game Right Now in Boise. Here’s The Rulebook.

Let’s face it. Summer is NOT the ideal time to buy or sell a house. Summer comes with many distractions. Kids are out of school, which can make shopping for a home tougher on parents. Summer is filled with vacations, family reunions, and many other activities which leaves little room for transplanting the family into a new home. But, right now in Boise, the sellers have the upper hand and much like the hot sun, summertime is YOUR time to shine. 

 

There is a major influx of people flocking to Idaho (mostly Boise) from other states. The market is flush with sellers looking to get their foot in the door before the rest of their friends arrive. Most families, even if it ruins a little summer fun, want to be in their new home before school starts. Let’s walk through some of the summer’s top rules for selling your home when both the market and the temperatures are sizzling. 

Rule #1: Make sure your house is “social media ready”

If sharing is caring, then people must care a LOT these days. Love it or hate it, social media, just like smartphones, has taken a solid hold in our lives. If we can embrace that fact, we can stand to make a lot of money by selling a home this year. First thing’s first: make that first impression of your home something that people want to take a picture of to brag to their friends about. Yeah, people want a home that’s right for their family’s needs and budget and location, but we can’t ignore the brag factor. 

 

People want to be proud of their new home and they want a way to make their friends and family a teeny tiny bit jealous. Is your home camera ready? Think of features and perks that you can add to the front of your house that will show up on camera. Maybe it’s time to repaint the exterior with a new, striking color, or plant that beautiful box garden you’ve always wanted. Experiment by walking to your curb and snapping a few pictures of your house on your smartphone (we know you have one!) and see how they turn out. Pay attention to what pops out and what may need some upkeep. Each picture can turn into a simple to-do list to get your home flying off the proverbial shelves. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but we’d prefer it to add a few thousand on top of our asking price! It’s a #smartmove.

 

Rule #2: Make sure your house is pleasing to the OTHER senses

We put so much stock into what we can see that we forget that potential buyers have four other senses at play which are just as important. The tricky thing about crafting the perfect smell experience for your house is that you’re already used to the current “background radiation” of smells. Here’s how to remedy that: This summer, do yourself a favor and fork out a hundred bucks or so and stay at a hotel for a night. Maybe make a fun date out of it. Just make sure to be away from your house for at least 24 hours. Now, when you walk in again for the first time pay very close attention to two things: what do you smell and how does the temperature feel? 

That smell you notice when you first walk in is exactly what a buyer is going to smell when they drop by. Make sure that their olfactory experience is just as pleasant as your house’s visual appeal. It may be time to move the kitchen trash can or clean out the garbage disposal or deep clean the carpets. If the buyer’s not smelling something they like, they’re not buying. And no, don’t put cookies in the oven. That is a tacky trick and it may put your potential buyers in an uneasy mood because they may think you are trying to cover up another smell. Remember: smells and tastes are far more easily connected to memories than images. They will forget the decor but remember the smell.

 

Remember the second part about the air conditioning? Yeah, in the summer you need to be showing that off bigtime! One thing that really separates Idaho from other states like, let’s say California, is that we have HOT summers. In LA, the average high temperature for August is a paltry 84*F. We typically see it hit that temp in March here in the high desert, so people from out of state (who are buying most of the homes) are going to need to know that their new house will be a haven from the scorching triple digit summers we typically get here. If they walk into your house this summer and it’s 75*F and balmy with the AC chugging along to keep up, you can forget bartering over closing costs because they are going to be on to the next home on their list before you can say “ice water.” 

Rule #3: Have patience. Will sell. 

Don’t forget that this is a seller’s market (for the time being) and you have the luxury of being a little more firm on your asking price. Stop being tempted to lower your price just to sell the house. Hold onto it at the price you would like to get out of it because a lot of your blood, sweat, and tears you put into your investment can evaporate in an instant if you settle for a lowball offer. Stand your ground. Many buyers will try to test your mettle by starting with a lower price. If you stay firm, they may just come back with the offer you are looking for. The buyers are coming. It’s only a matter of time before the right one finds you. And, if you follow the other rules we set forth today, you should have no problem matching your house with the perfect buyer this summer.

 

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
May 31, 2018

2018 Summer Events for Women Entrepreneurs and Business Professionals

Boise's Best Real Estate Empowering Women in Idaho

Summer is a time of renewal, self discovery, and empowerment. For Idaho’s women, it may seem like there aren’t as many opportunities to get empowered compared to those “big city” states. Well, things are changing and this year, there are several great events for women and by women, all right here in Idaho. Whether you want to start your own business or learn how to leverage the latest tactics in the boardroom, there is an event on the horizon just for you. Take some time this year to build yourself up and to take life by the reigns. What better place than here? What better time than now? This is your summer. 

 

What: “Ignite The Mic” by Women’s Ignite International

When: June 15th and 16th

Where: MaxGiving Event Center (Boise)

Price: $197

Ignite The Mic is all about helping you find your voice. You will learn about how you can improve your public speaking skills for all manner of things like giving presentations, speech giving, or just good old fashioned leadership. This conference explores the psychology and strategy behind giving you the confidence to master your voice. 

 

What: Ascribe Tribe Networking Luncheon: Faith-Based Women in Business & Ministry

When: June 8th

Where: TNT’s Dynamite Grill (Nampa)

Price: $100 tax deductible donation suggested

For the more faith-connected among us, this luncheon seeks to empower women through a tempering of faith and business acumen. From their event description: We seek to strengthen, encourage, support and refer each other in our business, personal and spiritual lives. We seek to educate, uplift, and mentor each other through the ups and downs of life and business. We seek to keep it personal, and business-oriented, where we pray for each other on the spot, can get real about what is going on, and help meet each other's needs. We share our business cards, specials and expertise. 

What: WICON2018: Women Ignite Conference and Trade Show

When: October 26th and 27th

Where: Boise Centre 

Price: $200

Over 15 speakers on the VitaNovu Stage speaking on a variety of topics for professional and personal development. Over 50 businesses in the ICCU Power Networking Center. Dynamic Breakouts, and more! 

Women Ignite (WI) is a movement driven by a community of leaders who are on fire about creating the "what's next" in Professional Growth.  WI combine this with dynamic Personal Development, and Top Level Leadership training to create an incandescent experience that ushers in exponential growth.

What: Freedom Spaces: A Women's Empowerment Weekend

When: July 20th through July 22nd

Where: McCall

Price: $100

Freedom Spaces is a weekend for women interested in expanding and growing into the beauty and power that resides within. Freedom Spaces exist within us all. Sometimes they get filled up with the day to day and all kinds of expectations impressed upon you. The Freedom Spaces are within and they expand as we allow for our mind and body to let go.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
May 8, 2018

Moving to Idaho? Here Are 5 Great Places to Camp Near Boise

Fewer better pleasures exist than then enjoyment of the great outdoors. Camping, hiking, and exploring nature are one of the best ways to reset one’s stress levels and “recharge” your internal batteries. Plus, camping food just tastes great! Idaho is blessed with some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the United States, if not the entire world. It’s our little treasure trove that we are proud to be sitting upon. If you are interested in moving to Boise, or anywhere in the Treasure Valley, you are in for a treat. We’re going to explore some of the best places to camp if you live in or around Boise, plus a bonus one that requires a bit of a drive.

 

Black Rock Campground

This is a quick drive from downtown Boise to a spectacular camping adventure. It’s only 20 miles outside of Idaho City (another great destination with a great bed and breakfast!) and about two hours total drive time. This spot puts you in the middle of a stunning forest on the North Fork of the Boise River. It's car accessible and can be reserved here at the Forest Service website. The fee is $15 per night. Black Rock is close to many local trails and has excellent access to fishing and water features. Being close to the Boise River does keep temperatures low during hot summer months, just make sure to pack your bug spray, as mosquitoes love bothering campers near the riverbanks! This is also dog and pet friendly as long as they are leashed or staked.


Ponderosa State Park

Nestled just off the beautiful Payette Lake near McCall, this campground has it all: boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, and biking and so much more! Being in close proximity to McCall, one of the top luxury tourism destinations in Idaho, you will have all of your needs met, especially if you are more accustomed to “glamping.” This campground is perfect for visiting anytime of the year due to easy car access and deluxe cabin rentals. Bring your tent and hotdogs for the summer and your comfy slippers to wear by the fire in the winter. The cabins are spacious and majestic and right off the lake. Perfect for sneaking off with your special someone for a Christmas getaway. Reservations and more information here. Fees vary, but are between $15 to $30 per night for camping and $200 for a cabin.

 

City of Rocks National Reserve

Ok, this is a slightly longer drive, but believe us, it’s worth it! Located 3 hours southeast of Boise, the City of Rocks is one of the most unique places to camp and explore in the western hemisphere. Imagine a Canyonlands or Monument Valley type of landscape, but located in Idaho and only a short day trip from Boise. If you have a rock climber in the family, you won’t want to miss this place. It draws hundreds of dedicated climbers from around the world each year. If climbing isn’t your thing, then you can enjoy the over 22 miles of hiking and biking trails. We recommend the Smokey Mountain campground which can be reserved for $24 per night for a regular single spot, or for us "glampers", they have deluxe glamping yurts starting at $133 per night. They also have equestrian friendly campgrounds, which is perfect for those of us who don’t want to leave our horses at home.

 

Wherever you’re coming from, Boise welcomes you! We have great camping, hiking, and backpacking for all to enjoy. Just remember to not litter and be fire-safe!

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
April 30, 2018

Beautiful, no hassle flowers to plant in your garden this spring. Warning: May cause jealousy in neighbors.

Idaho is a great place to grow a garden. Putting down roots here, both in the familial sense and in the gardening sense, is easy to do. If you’re interested in moving to Idaho or if you’re already here and would like to buy or sell a house, please let us know! Now, if you’re ready to get your garden going this year, we have an (almost) definitive list of easy to grow, low maintenance flowers you can plant in your garden that will make your front yard sing with delight! Although, it may cause pangs of jealousy from your neighbors. 

Marigold (Bushy T. Patula)

These cheerful and very sturdy annuals are a keystone to the Pacific Northwest garden. They love direct sunlight and can survive the extreme spans of dry heat of Idaho’s summers. Marigolds like a moist topsoil, but not too moist. It is possible to drown them with frequent waterings or not enough drainage. Don’t worry, marigolds are very tough. Even if you see most of the leaves turn brown or fall off, as long as there is still one or two green ones left, it should survive. Just don’t over water them and you will be fine! Oh, and besides being easy on the eye, marigolds also help keep aphids and other harmful pests from bothering the rest of your garden. Plant away!

Cosmos (Cosmos Bipinnatus)

These little guys are out of this world! Cosmos are a classic in any western garden. They couldn’t be easier to plant and they can keep coming back for years of colorful delight. Some varieties can grow as tall as 6 feet! You can plant them from seed indoors a few weeks before the last frost, then transfer them outside when the weather warms up, or you could simply sprinkle a handful of seeds out in your garden and you should see these babies pop up and bloom in about 7 weeks. They prefer semi-moist soil that is well drained. Feel free to plant them where they will get lots of dry heat and sun.

Hens and chicks (Sempervivum)

If you’re like us, then you have several spots in your garden that are too hot, or dry, or rocky to successfully plant a vegetable or fussy flower. Forget leaving that precious real estate blank or putting up another garden gnome statue. You need hens and chicks aka sempervivum! This little succulent thrives on neglect. They are a perfect edge piece or accent to the area around your walkway that is often more rocky and dry or less attended to. Also, succulents are all the rage right now, so you would definitely be on trend planting these. Just get these guys set up in a rocky or well drained space and that’s it. You don’t even need to include them in your watering regimen. They also have plenty of offshoots that you can transplant for years to come.

Wild Ginger (Asarum and Hexastylis)

While a little less hardy than the above choices, don’t be fooled by wild ginger’s humble demeanor. They are very leafy and smell of ginger when you brush their leaves with your hands. They require a little more care, but can be very hearty once established. They enjoy darker, shadier areas of the garden in a moist, rich soil. They like to be at the base of trees or in a corner by the house out of direct sun. Some varieties can actually be eaten, but just make sure to research your specific variety before doing so as eating the wrong one will not be good. Wild ginger is a pleasant and inviting plant that is the perfect low-maintenance compliment to your garden this spring.

Posted in Boise's Best Blog