I thought this blog was worth a repost as the visitors seem to know their trails and shared a fun adventure on ours along with some wonderful pics. The link below is on blog SingleTracks, article titled: “Singletracks and Moose Tracks in Moscow Idaho” is written by Julie Singh …. Enjoy! 🙂
Save Our Summer Blood drive!
Given Vitalant says they face roughly a 30% drop in donations every summer, I thought it appropriate to help spread the word. So…..
Looking for a way to give back to our community? Join us in supporting Vitalant, our community’s only blood provider, at their Moscow Bloodmobile on MONDAY , JULY 8TH!
Patients at more than 35 hospitals across the Inland Northwest rely on volunteer blood donors from Vitalant for the life-transforming donations they need! Plus! Presenting donors will receive a free SOS 2019 T-Shirt! Schedule now: bit.ly/VitalantWAID
WHERE: Eastside Marketplace 1420 S. Blaine St. Moscow, ID 83843
Please SHARE. SHARE, SHARE this event regardless of whether you can attend in person as well!
PALOUSE RIVER BASIN ADJUDICATION Notice & links to resources
Hello friends. Recently, I received in the mail a noticed, which is included at the bottom of this blog, that notifies those of us who have a well that we must follow some procedures to ensure we continue to have our water rights included with our property. There is a deadline of April 30 and since I have learned that friends of mine in the Palouse have yet to receive this notice while those of us who live in Moscow and are far less likely to have a well and be affected, I thought it wise to pass this along ASAP so those that it does impact can act quickly.
If a property owner has a well, there is a good chance that the water source the well taps into pulls from the Palouse River Basin and if so, then the property must file a “notice of claim”. If said owner believes the well driller registered your well and it can be identified on the Idaho Dept of Water Resources website, please verify that it IS in fact registered because mistakes can be made/have happened.
Without this claim, your water rights may not exist. According to Idaho law, if we face a water shortage, then who is permitted water is decided based on the appropriation doctrine, meaning “first in time is first in right”. In other words, who had a claim first gets the rights to the water.
Given I am not an expert on this matter, I am including the notice along with links to further information on this matter and in them, who to contact for further clarity.
Top 8 Home Design & Remodeling Trends for 2019
1. WARMER PAINT COLORS
White and grey aren’t going anywhere, but expect to see warmer tones and more earthy neutrals popping up in 2019. Cold whites are being replaced by warmer, softer whites. And warmer tones of grey have become a popular alternative to the cooler grays we were seeing earlier in the decade. Dove grey—with a lilac undertone—is a particular favorite with designers this year.
Sherwin Williams chose Cavern Clay, a warm terracotta, as its 2019 color of the year, while Behr selected Blueprint, a mid-tone blue. Benjamin Moore’s selection is Metropolitan, a sophisticated grey.
If you’re preparing to sell your home, consider a light, neutral paint color. Neutral colors provide a blank canvas upon which a buyer can envision placing their belongings, and lighter colors make a room appear larger and brighter.
2. MIXED METALS
Don’t feel limited to using one metallic finish throughout your home—or even throughout a single room. Designers are mixing metals in 2019, and their favorites include copper, brass, pewter, gunmetal, and matte black.
Experts suggest picking one metal hue to dominate your color palette and a contrasting tone to complement it. If your room has a warm color palette, choose a warm-hued primary metal, such as brass or copper. For cool palettes, choose a cool-toned metal, like pewter or stainless steel. You can also experiment with mixing finishes, such as polished and hammered copper.
From faucets to cabinet pulls to accent pieces, swapping out your old or dated fixtures is an easy—and relatively inexpensive—way to modernize your decor. Mixing metals adds depth and gives your room a more curated look.
3. OUTDOOR ELEMENTS
Bringing outdoor elements into the home can help warm up a sterile space. And natural materials can soften a modern design esthetic.
Homeowners are increasingly looking for ways to incorporate these materials throughout their home. Especially popular right now: stone, copper, concrete, and wood. From concrete showers to agate stone tiles, designers are finding unexpected ways to bring the outside in.
One notable exception: granite countertops. Engineered quartz—a combination of ground quartz and resin—overtook natural granite stone as the most popular countertop material in 2018. This durable, low-maintenance, highly-customizable product has won over homeowners and designers alike.
4. ALTERNATIVE APPLIANCES
Stainless steel has been the industry standard for years, but the market is trending toward variety and fresh alternatives. Homeowners have more options available than ever to personalize their kitchens with vibrant colors, black stainless, or modern white appliances. Another favorite? Integrated appliances that blend seamlessly into cabinetry. Built-in column refrigerators, which allow you to customize the design and size of your freezer and refrigerator, are becoming a “must-have” in high-end homes.
Advancements in technology have also brought a new wave of appliances to the market. Induction cooktops are replacing commercial gas ranges as a gourmet favorite. And french door ovens and steam ovens are also gaining in popularity—especially ones with smart features you can control from an app on your smartphone.
5. COLORFUL KITCHENS
White will always be a classic choice, but color is finally coming back to kitchens. More homeowners are choosing cabinets in alternative neutrals like black, cream, and grey, along with colorful options like green and blue. Also popular? Wood cabinets in stains like warm chestnut and fruitwood.
Two-tone kitchen cabinets remain a homeowner favorite, as well. To incorporate this trend, try pairing darker lower cabinets with lighter upper cabinets or a colorful kitchen island with neutral-colored perimeter cabinets.
6. OPEN SHELVING
Swapping upper kitchen cabinets for open shelves continues to be a popular choice in 2019. It’s a cost-effective update that can make a kitchen feel larger and brighter. However, it’s not a practical option for everyone. Before you commit, test it out by removing your cabinet doors for a few weeks. See how it feels to have your glasses and dishware on display.
Not ready to give up all your upper cabinet storage space? Replace just one or two upper cabinets with open shelves for a lower-commitment but still-updated look.
7. STATEMENT TILE
The ubiquitous white subway tile is finally fading in popularity. In 2019, homeowners are gravitating toward more colorful choices, creative textures and finishes, and alternative shapes. Especially hot right now: hexagons, arabesques, diamonds, and Moroccan fish scales.
Natural stone remains a favorite, including marble, quartzite and river rock. But advancements in porcelain tile that mimics stone, and even concrete, has made it an attractive, affordable, and low-maintenance alternative.
8. SHOWCASE CEILINGS
Once an afterthought, ceilings are taking center stage. While 2018 was all about statement walls, statement ceilings are shaping up to be the darling of 2019. Designers are using bold paint colors, wallpaper, intricate moldings, fabric, and other materials to transform a ceiling into something truly special.
Want to incorporate this trend without going too bold? Choose a classic design, like coffered or wooden beams. Or stick with wood paneling or tin tiles for a more timeless look. Even something as simple as painting a ceiling the same color as the walls can make your space feel more modern.
DESIGNED TO SELL
Are you contemplating a remodel? Want to find out how upgrades could impact the value of your home? Give us a call for a free consultation!
Buyer preferences can vary greatly by neighborhood and price range. We can share the insights we’ve gathered from working with buyers in this market … and offer tips on how to maximize the return on your remodeling investment. And if you’re in the market to sell, we can run a Comparative Market Analysis on your home to find out how it compares to others in the area.
- Decor Mag –
- Gates Interior Design –
- House Beautiful –
- Houzz –
- Invaluable –
- Real Simple –
Thanks to Moscow Charter School, Recycling options 2.0
For those of you who have not read up on what’s going on with Recycling Centers, recycling centers, like our Latah Sanitation Inc (LSI), are struggling to sell or recycle back to recycling programs as the batches hold too high a percentage of contaminates, meaning un-recyclables like lightweight plastics that get flattened and missed in the paper. Then there are the wide array of plastics that clog up the machines or get mixed into the wrong bathes that contaminate an otherwise sellable batch. The end result– the bad batches go the Boardman Oregon Landfill and LSI loses money. What Moscowvites have not known for a long time is that our options have been either throw our plastics in the trash to go to a landfill or throw it in the recycle bin to contaminate a large batch of recyclables to then send all of it to… a landfill. Sound like a lose, lose?
Well, Moscow Charter School has come up with solution. They are taking advantage of the last resort we have in town and are supporting the collection of plastics that LSI can no longer take for collection at Safeway and WinCo. The school is accepting the following plastics: grocery bags, produce bags, bread bags, cereal liners, food storage bags, case overwrap, pellet bags, ice bags, slat bags, and packaging air pillow bags. They take all the plastics to either Safeway or WinCo who then send the plastics to Trex, a wood-alternative decking manufacturer who uses the plastics to make decks, benches, and other products.
So, when you feel irritated at throwing away your plastic bags or packaging, hang on to them. You can either bring them during school hours to Moscow Charter School or bring them directly to Safeway or WinCo. And who knows, you may be enjoying BBQ on your friends’ new deck and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be standing on that transformed old Amazon package you received some time past, enjoying of a view that makes those extra trips beyond Moscow’s blue recycle bin worth it.
Rate hikes plus record low unemployment begs the question: How’s the Real Estate Market?
While no one can predict the future with certainty, most experts expect to see modest growth in the U.S. housing market for the remainder of this year and next. Inventory will remain tight, mortgage rates will continue to creep up, and affordability will remain a major issue in many parts of the country.
So what does that mean for home buyers and sellers? To answer that question, we take a closer look at some of the top indicators.
CONTINUED GROWTH IN HOUSING MARKET
There’s good news for homebuyers! In many markets across the country, prices have begun to stabilize after a period of rapid appreciation. Nationwide, home sales experienced a slight decline of 1.6 percent in the second quarter, primarily due to higher mortgage rates and housing prices combined with limited inventory.
However, buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines in anticipation of a big price drop may be disappointed. Demand remains strong across the sector and prices continue to rise. The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index reported a 6.2 percent annual gain in June, a healthy but sustainable rate of appreciation.1
In its latest Outlook Report, Freddie Mac forecasts continued growth in the housing market due to a strong economy and low unemployment rate, which dropped to 3.9 percent in July.2
“The housing market hit some speed bumps this summer, with many prospective homebuyers slowed by not enough moderately-priced homes for sale and higher home prices and mortgage rates,” according to Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. “The good news is, the economy and labor market are very healthy right now, and mortgage rates, after surging earlier this year, have stabilized in recent months. These factors should continue to create solid buyer demand, and ultimately an uptick in sales, in most parts of the country in the months ahead.”3
INVENTORY TO REMAIN TIGHT, NEW CONSTRUCTION MAY HELP
Experts predict that demand for housing will continue to outpace available supply, especially in the entry-level price range.
“Today, even as mortgage rates begin to increase and home sales decline in some markets, the most significant challenges facing the housing market stem from insufficient inventory accompanying unsustainable home-price increase,” said National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a recent release.
“The answer is to encourage builders to increase supply, and there is a good probability for solid home sales growth once the supply issue is addressed,” said Yun. Additional inventory will also help contain rapid home price growth and open up the market to prospective homebuyers who are consequently—and increasingly—being priced out. In the end, slower price growth is healthier price growth.”4
With so much demand, why aren’t more builders bringing inventory to the market? According to the National Association of Home Builders, a crackdown on immigration and tariffs on imported lumber have made home construction more difficult and expensive. Those factors—combined with the rising cost of land and increased zoning requirements—have put a damper on the industry overall.5
Still, there’s evidence that a modest rise in the rate of new building projects may be on the way. Freddie Mac predicts new housing construction will increase slightly after a stall last quarter.2 And a recent report by Freedonia Focus Reports forecasts an annual increase in housing starts of 2.4 percent through 2022, led by an uptick in single-family homes.6 The boost in inventory should help drive sales growth and relieve some of the pent-up demand in tight markets.
While the current lack of inventory is generally preferred by sellers because it means less competition, a combination of high prices and rising interest rates has narrowed the pool of potential buyers who can afford to enter the market. Sellers should seek out real estate agents who utilize technologically-advanced marketing tactics to reach qualified buyers in their area.
AFFORDABILITY REACHES LOWEST LEVEL IN A DECADE
According to a recent report by Morgan Stanley, Americans are paying the most in monthly mortgage payments relative to their incomes since 2008.7 And prices aren’t expected to come down any time soon.
“We believe that the current supply and demand environment will continue to push home prices higher, just at a decelerating pace,” said John Egan, Morgan Stanley’s Co-Head of U.S. Housing Strategy.
Fortunately, economists aren’t concerned about affordability levels triggering another housing crisis, as lending standards are much higher today than they were during the run-up before the recession. According to credit reporting agency TransUnion, the share of homeowners who made mortgage payments more than 60-days past due fell in the second quarter to 1.7 percent, the lowest level since the market crash.7
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun agreed with this assessment in a recent statement. “Over the past 10 years, prudent policy reforms and consumer protections have strengthened lending standards and eliminated loose credit, as evidenced by the higher than normal credit scores of those who are able to obtain a mortgage and near record-low defaults and foreclosures, which contributed to the last recession.”4
MORTGAGE RATES EXPECTED TO CONTINUE RISING
The Federal Reserve has taken measures to help keep the housing market—and the overall economy—from overheating. It has raised interest rates twice this year so far, causing mortgage rates to surge in the first half of the year.
Economists predict that the rise in mortgage rates will continue at a more gradual rate through this year and next. The U.S. weekly average mortgage rate rose from 3.99 percent in the first week of January to as high as 4.66 percent in May. Freddy Mac forecasts an average rate of 4.6 percent for 2018 and 5.1 percent in 2019.2
The good news is, mortgage rates still remain near historic lows and a whopping 14 points below the recorded high of 18.63 percent in the early 1980s.8 Buyers who have been on the fence may want to act soon to lock in an affordable interest rate … before rates climb higher.
“Some consumers may be thinking that because mortgage rates are higher than they were a year ago, maybe I should just wait until rates fall down again,” said NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a recent speech. “Well, they will be waiting forever.”9
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN FOR ME?
If you’ve been waiting to buy a home, you may want to act now. A shortage of available homes on the market means prices are likely to keep going up. And a lack of affordable rental inventory means rents are expected to rise, as well.
If you buy now, you will benefit from appreciating property values while locking in an historically-low interest rate on your mortgage. Waiting to buy could mean paying more for your home as prices increase and paying higher interest on your mortgage as rates continue to rise.
And if you’re in the market to sell your home, there’s no need to wait any longer. Prices have begun to stabilize, and rising interest rates could decrease the number of available buyers for your home. Act now to take advantage of this strong seller’s market.
LET’S GET MOVING
While national real estate numbers and predictions can provide a “big picture” outlook, real estate is local. As local market experts, I can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the issues most likely to impact sales and home values in your particular neighborhood.
If you have specific questions or would like more information about where I see real estate headed in our area, let me know! I’m here to help you navigate this changing real estate landscape.
- S&P Dow Jones Indices Press Release –
- Freddie Mac Outlook Report –
- DSNews –
- PR Newswire –
- CNN Money –
- PR Newswire –
- Business Insider –
- Value Penguin –
- Times Free Press –
Are you covered? A guide to homeowner’s insurance.
While this is not exactly a sexy topic, it is one that deserves a little attention time and again. Below is what I sent my CAP peeps this month….
Moving scams & how to avoid them
Recently, there was a rise in the occurrence of moving scams commonly referred to as the “bait and switch” where movers get your belongings in their truck and then hold it hostage until you pay significantly more than the original amount agreed upon.
To be clear, federal law allows movers to raise the price a total of 10% more than the original contracted price as a buffer of under-estimating the amount to be moved. But, anything above 10% is not permitted.
I have a list of vetted movers who have clean records, so please call me to help out, but if you prefer not, below 3 useful resources that will help you navigate moving a little better….
Moving Apps that help:
- Unpakt makes getting quotes from multiple movers a stream lined process. Users fill out one form and can pay for the love all on the app or website. The process allows you to add and remove items to see how each effects the bottom line price. They also offer reviews of the moving companies.
- Wunderlist is an app designed to help organize the moving process, creating lists of things to do like accounts that need switching to new address or closing, items to donate or garage sale, top priorities upon moving in to the new home, etc.
- MagicPlan can help with designing the layout of your furniture in each room which is handy for moving as well as a remodel plan.
Today Show article addressing Moving Scams This article, while from 2009, is full of strategies to avoid being taken advantage of.
MovingScam.com is a site designed to help with being scammed as well as has a list of already vetted movers known to be reputable and not scam clients
UPDATED: Online Home Value Estimates Are NOT Appraisals
I recently discovered that as a real estate who is a REALTOR® I have access to articles that Buyers and Sellers may find useful in their goal to buy/sell a home.
Below is one I have to correct with Sellers when they tell me what they think their home is worth. When they tell me the number they think their home is worth, I ask, where did they get this number, and often, the main source is a third party listing site that tells them what their home could sell for, and then begins my mini lesson in why these numbers are not as reliable as they may think. This article explains it simply.
UPDATED: Online Home Value Estimates Are NOT Appraisals
This blog was originally published on June 29, 2017. It has since been updated to reflect new data.
Consumers who are seriously in the home buying and home selling market should be mindful of a variety of competing home price estimators. Solely relying on just one price estimate is likely to skew the views of what a particular property will actually transact for. When it comes to online home value estimates, however, the number one caveat for consumers is that these estimates are not a substitute for formal appraisals, comparative market analyses, and the in-depth expertise of real estate professionals. Nonetheless, it is important to know the different sources of Automated Valuation Models or AVMs and home value estimates available online, so that members can help clients and potential clients understand these estimates in their proper context.
Where are these home value estimates coming from? The prevalence of technology can give anyone more access to a broad spectrum of information on the internet. In real estate, access to property details and values is easier due partly to low-cost immense computing power. AVMs spit out a price for a property based on computer algorithms and calculations that take different sets of property data and look for patterns and relationships between property value and the input data. There are websites that will have a home value estimate available by just searching an address, while others may provide an estimate only upon request.
The most popular sources of home value estimates online are those that use AVMs. These estimates have varying levels of accuracies and may not take into account the unique qualities of a home, a neighborhood, and local markets. The main sources of AVM estimates are:
- Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®): RPR® has two home value estimates, their AVM estimate and the Realtors Valuation Model® (RVM®) estimate. The difference between the two is that RVM® uses the same data as the AVM plus Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Data. Both AVM and RVM® show the accuracy level of the estimate by giving estimate ranges and confidence scores. This resource is available for REALTORS® only and allows a significant amount of expert customization, making it a useful tool for members, especially when working with well-researched clients.
- REALTOR.com®: Realtor.com® uses tax assessment records, recent sale prices of comparable properties, and other factors to estimate home values. This estimate is free and publicly available.
- Redfin: Redfin is a web-based real estate brokerage that gives the Redfin estimate for the property, which is based on market, neighborhood, and home-specific data, including MLS data on recently sold homes. Redfin cites that their estimates for properties currently on the market are more accurate than estimates for off-market properties. This estimate is free and publicly available.
- HouseCanary: HouseCanary has two main services: valuations and forecasting. Their estimates use property level data from public records and the MLS. Their accuracy will vary across markets depending on the availability of data. This estimate is available with subscription to their services.
- Homes.com: Homes.com’s estimate mainly uses public records. They test and benchmark the accuracy of their estimates. This estimate is free and publicly available.
- Zillow: Zillow has the Zestimate, which is their home value estimate for properties and is computed using public and user-submitted data. Their estimates have different accuracy levels depending on the data of the property and location. This estimate is free and publicly available.
- Eppraisal.com: Eppraisal.com uses property records, home sales data, and local market data for their estimates. Their accuracy depends on the accuracy and completeness of public data. This estimate is free and publicly available.
- Trulia: The estimate from Trulia is likely to be very similar to Zillow’s zestimate since it is part of the same Zillow Group. Having a separate Trulia price estimate is more a marketing gimmick to give the impression to consumers that there is more competition, though it is just the same company trying to establish a greater market power, hence the ability to extract a higher fee from real estate professionals.
There are also websites that provide home value estimates by request only or estimates using user inputs: ForSaleByOwner.com, GuaranteedSale.com, HomeFacts.com, HomeLight.com, HomeValues.com, SmartAlto.com, ValuemyHouse.com, and ZipRealty.com. Some banking and financial institutions, such as Chase Bank, Bank of America, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fifth Third Bank, and PennyMac, also provide estimates to accompany their other financial services. Some real estate agents and brokerages also share their estimators through their websites. Again, it is important to know that these estimates have varying levels of accuracies. These sites may or may not use Automated Valuation Models, but can be another source of property and home value data that anyone can access. Additionally, there are also data companies, such as Attom Data Solutions and CoreLogic, that market propriety AVMs.
As technologies advance and more data becomes available, the number of sites that provide home value estimates may grow. With the knowledge of where to find home value estimates online, it is important to note that these home value estimates are not interchangeable with formal appraisals, comparative market analyses, and they cannot be used as a basis for a loan. Most of these sites, if not all, reiterate the importance of consulting the expertise of real estate professionals to receive an in-depth and in-person analysis of the property and the local market.
Source: UPDATED: Online Home Value Estimates Are NOT Appraisals
What’s Your Home Buying Power?
So, this is an article I’ve reserved for my clients who are looking to buy that has a nice formula in it to help Buyers figure how far their dollars can go. Decided I would go ahead and make it public. Just be careful to also estimate taxes and insurance when trying to calculate what your monthly payments will be. A good agent can lead you in the right direction for this additional info. 😉