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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
April 11, 2018

Spring Cleaning 2.0: Cleaning Your Home to Sell Your Home

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

 

First Impressions: Curb Appeal

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

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

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

 

Interior Impressions

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

 

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

 

Paint. Pets. Bathrooms.

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

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

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

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
April 3, 2018

Boise Life: See it Live!

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


Music

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

From their website https://geneharris.boisestate.edu:

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

 

You can buy your tickets online here through their website.

 

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

 

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

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

 

Live Theatre

 

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

 

Dance

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

Posted in Boise's Best Blog
March 16, 2018

The Idaho Plate: Seasonal Recipes Featuring Idaho Ingredients

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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

 

Boxty (Irish Potato Griddle Cakes)

 

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

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

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


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

 

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

Boise, an Overview

Courtesy of Spotted Dog Photography

 

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

 

Weather

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

 

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

 

Courtesy of Spotted Dog PhotographyCourtesy of Spotted Dog Photography

 

Size/Elevation

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

 

Schools/Crime

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

 

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

 

Employers

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

#

Employer

# of Employees

1

St Luke’s Health Systems (total Ada County)

8,400-8,499

2

Micron Technology

6,700-6,799

3

Boise State University

4,700-4,799

4

Meridian Joint School District #2

4,300-4,399

5

Independent School District Boise City #1

3,800-3,899

6

Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center

3,400-3,499

7

Wal-Mart Associates Inc

2,500-2,599

8

Hewlett-Packard

2,000-2,099

9

Simplot

2,000-2,099

10

Albertsons Inc

2,000-2,099

 

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

 

Recreation

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

 

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

 

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

Posted in Boise's Best Blog