Real Estate Information for the Treasure Valley

Stewart Realty is dedicated to bringing you the real estate information you need to purchase real estate in the Treasure Valley.

Feb. 15, 2019

2018 Idaho Real Estate Report for Ada, Canyon and Gem Counties

2018 was the 4th year of record low inventory in Ada County. Last year began to give us the first signs that the market may be shifting back towards balance.  We begin 2019 with a change in the Ada County existing homes supply.  Note: January 2019 was the first time since October 2014 that the number of existing homes for sale in Ada County was higher than the same month the previous year. Despite this uptick in existing inventory, closed sales were down 6.3% year-over-year. The number of closed sales that are even possible was limited due to the fact we’ve had fewer and fewer existing homes to sell each month compared to buyer demand.

For the 2018 year overall median sales prices were often reported as the area norm.  It is important to identify the factors that are driving prices in both segments to better understand our local market dynamics.

For example, based on past data, when new construction sales made up more than 24% or 25% of the total sales in a given month, the overall median sales price was 12-14% higher than the previous year, on average.

Since March 2018, every month of the year saw the share of new construction sales at or above that level, which had a major impact on the area’s overall median sales price. In the chart below you can see that the volume built went up, the median sales price went up and the year over year percentages also went up.

The median sales price for new homes has been rising, due to increasing costs of land, labor, and construction materials. The 2018 median sales price for new construction in Ada County was $373,898, an increase of 10.2% compared to 2017.  This combination of more new homes selling at higher prices pushed Ada County’s overall median sales price up.

While new home sales were up 22.4% in 2018 compared to 2017, the number of existing/resale home sales over the same period was down 4.1%. This segment’s prices are being driven by the historic low levels of homes for sale compared to buyer demand.

December 2018 marked over 4 years of falling inventory in the number of existing homes for sale in Ada County. The number of closed sales that are even possible is limited due to the fact we’ve had fewer and fewer existing homes to sell each month compared to buyer demand. This is the primary reason we’re seeing closed sales down year-over-year.

We can measure the relationship between inventory and buyer demand with “Months Supply of Inventory.” This metric takes the number of homes for sale (inventory) divided by the average number of closed sales by month for the preceding twelve months. This means that assuming no other homes came on the market, this would be the number of months it would take to sell through all the homes currently on the market.

A balanced market—not favoring buyers or sellers—is typically between 4-6 months of supply. Below four months typically favors sellers and more than six months typically favors buyers.

When the supply of inventory for existing homes stays right around 1-2 months, existing home prices remain higher. This shows us that buyer demand persists, even when there are fewer homes to choose from.

In summary, local home prices are being driven by the persistent and historically low inventory of existing homes compared to demand, and more new homes selling at overall higher prices, primarily due to rising construction costs.


For 2018, Gem County’s overall median sales price ended at $199,782 year-to-date (January 1 – December 31, 2018), an increase of 7.9% over the same period in 2017. There were 342 home sales in 2018, up 8.2% compared to 2017. 317 of those were existing/resale closed sales, while 25 were new construction sales — a 25% increase in new construction sales from the year before.  

New construction homes generally sell at higher prices, due to increases in costs of land, labor and construction materials, so this larger share of new construction sales has brought up the overall median sales price of homes in Gem County last year. Persistently low inventory compared to buyer demand is the other factor driving up the median sales price.

As of December 2018, the months supply of inventory in Gem County was at 2.5 months, for all price points combined. This is an uptick from the 1.5 months we saw in November, but still not considered a balanced market. As you can see in the chart below, the months supply inventory is at less than a month below $200,000 price point.

Gem County experienced the same market conditions in 2018 that we’ve seen elsewhere in the Treasure Valley — higher home prices due to low inventory and more new construction sales.  We’ll continue to keep an eye on prices, inventory, and months supply of inventory to see if the market is shifting more into balance in 2019.


Additional information about trends within the Boise Region, by price point, by existing and new construction, and by neighborhood, are now available here: Ada CountyCanyon County, Gem County, and City Data Market Reports. Each includes an explanation of the metrics and notes on data sources and methodology.

Some data from Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) and the Intermountain MLS (IMLS) as of 2/15/19.

The team at Stewart Realty knows homes and they know Southwest Idaho real estate. To find out more about real estate in the Boise Region give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call to set up your personal real estate search, a personal tour of the area and find some great homes that fit your needs and budget.

Compose Your Personal MLS Search With Us: or

Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner 208-602-1993 or

Posted in Buyers, Sellers
April 1, 2018

Where are the Best Waterfront Homes in Eagle, Idaho?

Waterfront homes in Eagle, IdahoIf you've always dreamed of waterfront living, Eagle Idaho waterfront communities are among some of the best options in the Gem State, especially if you want to live near the big city, Boise. Eagle Idaho waterfront listings include homes both on the Boise River as well as on numerous manmade lakes scattered throughout the area in many high end developments. That means not only can you take your pick from among many homes that offer gorgeous waterfront views and the privacy it offers, but in some cases you'll also have access to the water to do a little fishing or canoeing.  Either way, all of Eagle is close to the Boise River so all watersport activities are just a few minutes away. With so many Eagle Idaho waterfront listings to choose from, you are likely to find just the right combination for your specific needs.

Consider the Property First

The ideal scenario when shopping Eagle Idaho waterfront properties would be to find your dream house sitting on the perfect section of waterfront. However, in any home-buying situation, it is rare to find a property that has every last feature on your wish list. HGTV recommends looking more closely at the property than the house. Does it have the views you hoped for? Does it offer the access to the water that you want? Is the level of privacy one you're comfortable with? Are the allowed activities on the water going to be an invasion to your privacy or enhance the livability of the property? Remember, if the water is public anyone can invade your space at least temporarily. So, as with all real estate the most valuable element is “Location!”. Once you move in, if the house lacks a few of the elements you'd like, those can be changed or added, but the location can't easily be transformed if it falls short of your expectations.

Learn the Insurance Requirements

Some homes in Eagle Idaho waterfront communities require flood insurance in addition to the general homeowner's policy. Most Eagle Idaho waterfront listings are in not in a flood zone, and the homes on the lakes rarely have flooding issues. However, like the Payette River, the Boise River is used for flood control and irrigation. That means river levels can and do fluctuate, causing occasional flooding depending on where the home is located. Owning Eagle Idaho waterfront properties doesn't automatically require carrying extra insurance. The flood insurance issue for Eagle Idaho waterfront listings along the river is determined on a case by case basis depending on its elevation in regards to the river level and the topography around it.  Stewart Realty provides clients with a Flood Zone Map so that you can be educated regarding the risk of flooding for any particular property.

Eagle ID Waterfront: River Vs. Lakes

When it comes to living on waterfront in Eagle Idaho the river vs. lakes is question is one of the choices you'll have to make. According to HGTV, taking a look at the activities you enjoy most and comparing them to what each type of waterfront location has to offer can help you choose the best property for your lifestyle from among the different Eagle Idaho waterfront listings. For example, both the river and many of the lakes attract wildlife and are terrific places to fish and watch waterfowl, beavers, etc. You'll probably want a riverfront home, though, if you enjoy stream fishing, rafting and kayaking. Alternatively, a lake is a better choice for canoeing or paddle boating.  Also, the lakes often have better man made  beach areas than the river, for picnics, bonfire parties, and sandcastle building if the development allows it.

The Right Realtor for Eagle Idaho Waterfront Listings

If you want to live on an Eagle Idaho waterfront property river vs. lakes might not be the biggest concern you have. In order to find the Eagle Idaho river and lake listings that fit what you're looking for, you'll need the right realtor. The experts at Stewart Realty are exceptionally familiar with Eagle Idaho waterfront communities. Jeff can help you navigate the many options and situations and show you the properties that most closely match your particular needs. When you want to know where the best waterfront homes in Eagle Idaho are, contact Jeff Stewart Broker/Owner at 208-602-1993 or

Posted in Buyers
March 1, 2018

The Interesting History of Wilder, Idaho

Wilder, IdahoWilder, Idaho is one of the classic small rural towns the Gem State is known for. The area is agricultural, though the farmers in Wilder grow more than Famous Potatoes. Alfalfa seed, beans, hops, onions, sugar beets and seed corn all contribute to helping keep it a thriving farming community. In the history of Wilder, Idaho, homes began popping up over 100 years ago as people migrated west in search of hope and a fresh start. The City of Wilder website reveals that, initially, the area was all sagebrush and bleak landscape, but the Boise Project was under development and, as soon as irrigation water was provided to the area, it blossomed into one of the most productive and abundant farming regions in the entire country.

Because no existing Wilder, Idaho homes for sale existed, building boomed as homesteaders settled in Wilder in the early 1900s. There was talk of the railroad coming through the town, which fueled more interest in the city, and stores, schools, and churches began springing up. The growth continued over the decades, though it hasn't yet skyrocketed like in other nearby cities toward the east like Boise and Caldwell. Yet, Wilder is located close enough to the state capitol that it has drawn interest as a nice little city for families to settle in while commuting to Boise for work or to the university. Keeping in mind the history of Wilder, Idaho, homes and housing developments have been popping up to accommodate current growth as well as expected expansion in the near future.

With a population of just over 1700, Wilder is still a small town, but there are plenty of Wilder, Idaho homes for sale in price ranges to fit every budget. Additionally, with its proximity to agricultural and technology resources, Wilder is an ideal location for industrial or commercial businesses. Even manufacturers and transportation businesses would benefit from everything Wilder has to offer, including Highway 95, which happens to be the major highway that runs from California to Canada, taking in Western and Northern Idaho along the way. There is even an 18 Hole Golf Course along the Snake River called Riverbend Golf Course and another close by called Timberstone Golf Course.  

Whether you're an entrepreneur with a vision of taking advantage of the benefits of living and doing business in Wilder, or you work in one of the larger surrounding cities but would like to live in the peaceful quiet of a small town, Wilder is waiting for you. There are many different factors that affect the best time to sell in Wilder, Idaho, but, with the amount of growth the area has seen, there is usually a good number of Wilder, Idaho homes for sale throughout the year.  There are also some awesome small and large acreage properties as well as riverfront properties with boat docks on the Snake River in Wilder Idaho as well depending on your needs.

If you're in the market for an upgrade and want to know the best time to buy or sell in Wilder, Idaho, or if the history of Wilder, Idaho has you interested in purchasing a home in the area, it's wise to get help from a Realtor who knows Wilder and the local market. Jeff Stewart and the team at Stewart Realty have just the experience you need. Having worked in multiple areas of real estate in the area, including construction and real estate appraisal as well as residential, investment, and commercial real estate, Jeff has the background and expertise to help you buy or sell your house or find exactly what you're looking for.

To learn more about the history of Wilder, Idaho, homes or even if you're interested in Boise, Meridian, or the rest of Southwestern Idaho, give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call for a personal tour of the area and some great homes that fit your needs and budget. Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner, 208-602-1993 or

Posted in Buyers, Sellers
Jan. 15, 2018

The City in the Country: Emmett

It might not be Mayberry, USA, but the City of Emmett is one of those idyllic towns that lives life from a simpler time. Located just under 30 miles northwest of Boise in a picturesque valley below Squaw Butte, Emmett is the little city in the country that is close enough to all of the conveniences of the larger, more urban areas to be able to take advantage of them while still enjoying country living in the pristine Emmett Valley. There is also lake recreation to be found on Black Canyon Reservoir along the Payette River just to the east. In the wake of the recession and subsequent recovery, many other towns located in the southwest corner of Idaho have gotten a lot of press for being up-and-coming places to live. Though you may have heard of Boise, Meridian, and Eagle, don't overlook the Emmett area which is just a hop over the hill when you're looking for a new place to settle down and slow up the pace a bit.

Small-Town Charm

With a population of just over 6,500, the City of Emmett is really a small town, just the type many people look for when they want to slow down the pace a bit. That doesn't mean that country living in the City of Emmett doesn't have loads of benefits to offer. Emmett and the rest of Gem County are home to considerable cultural and economic activity including a vibrant tourist industry--and much of that can be chalked up to Emmett's small-town charm.

It's an appeal that is historic in nature. Walking down Main Street in the City of Emmett inspires the feeling that nothing has changed for decades, and that kind of stable continuity is comforting. The City of Emmett's Main Street even made a top 10 list of best main streets in Idaho on the Only in Your State website. It's quiet and rural, and the surrounding mountains can easily be seen from almost any angle, one of the best aspects of country living in the City of Emmett.

Main Street is just one place in the City of Emmett you'll find quaint local shops that are good for more than touristy-souvenir purchases. Along with delightful gift shops, there are drug stores, grocery stores, hardware and paint supplies, clothing shops, and so much more. You'll have a selection of restaurants to choose from throughout the City of Emmett when you want to dine out, and there is a museum, a theater, and galleries when you're looking for some entertainment.  If all of that is too urban for you, there's a greenbelt, farmers' markets, and the Gem County Fair for more of a taste of country living in the City of Emmett.

Don't Forget the Emmett Cherry Festival

Emmett, Idaho is known for its cherries. Since the 1930s, the area's thriving orchards have been a source of income and commerce for the City of Emmett and its residents. To celebrate the abundance and harvest, the entire county comes together the second full week of June for the Emmett Cherry Festival to enjoy a carnival, concerts, and loads of free events. The Emmett Cherry Festival is essentially a free celebration. There's no charge to enter any of the contests--including the famous cherry pie-eating contest-- plus there's no admission fees, the nightly concerts and daily entertainment are on the house, and the two parades are free of charge.

If you'd like to experience country living in the City of Emmett, Jeff Stewart and the team at Stewart Realty would love to show you around and provide you with a list of homes for sale in Emmett, Idaho. Jeff has extensive experience in real estate in the Emmett Idaho area, including working as an appraiser. To find out more about Emmett Area Properties for sale, or for more information Southwestern Idaho Real Estate, give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call for a personal tour of the area and some great homes that fit your style and budget. Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner 208-602-1993 or

Posted in Buyers
Dec. 1, 2017

Enjoying Life Living in Parma, Idaho

If you've been longing for a true small-town experience, you might want to start looking at Parma, ID property listings. The population hovers around 2,000 and is extremely livable because of its low cost of living and low crime rates, high graduation rates and the loads of local Parma Idaho events to enjoy. As more and more people discover the beauty of the Gem State, more are making the move to enjoy life living in Parma, Idaho.

Beautiful Parma, Idaho

Parma is located in a gorgeous green valley, ideal for the agricultural industry that is prevalent in Idaho. The Great Snake River flows through the area, adding to the elements that make Parma Idaho real estate perfect for farming, raising livestock and living along the river if you want. You don't have to be interested in those endeavors to enjoy living in Parma, however. Though it is a small town, commerce is thriving with ample existing businesses including healthcare, education, construction, and technology, as well as abundant opportunities for new businesses to set up shop. Parma Idaho real estate is very affordable with substantially lower prices than the national average so it's likely that you'll find a beautiful home and even small acreages you can afford when you set up your search for Parma, Idaho property listings here on the Stewart Realty Website.

Parma Idaho Events to Enjoy

Parma may be a small town, but the city enjoys big fun. Summers are filled with outdoor events such as Fruit Field Day, an exhibition for home gardeners and master gardeners as well as commercial growers and alternative fruit farmers. If you love classic cars as much as Parma residents do, then you'll appreciate the opportunities to show off your own restored vehicle or just check out the pride and joy of others at the Classics on the Grass Annual Car Show or the Garage Cafe Annual Show and Shine. Parma also happens to be the home of one of the first drive-in theaters in the valley and the Parma Motor-Vu Drive-In is still open and operating today, showing newly released movies in a nostalgic, outdoor setting. What's more, you'll find delightful eateries, picturesque parks, and a modest number of shops in Parma.

The Outdoor Life

Many out-of-staters who are interested in Parma Idaho real estate come to the Gem State for the outdoor life. One of the best things about living in Parma is that the immediate surroundings are quintessential Idaho wilderness, yet it's still driving distance from larger cities, giving you the best of living in a small town along with the amenities of big city life. As for the outdoors, you'll enjoy immediate access to rock climbing, hiking, canyoneering, swimming, horseback riding, boating, and fishing--and that's just in the summer. The fall and winter months usher in great pheasant and upland bird hunting, snowshoeing, all types of skiing from alpine to back country to downhill, snowmobiling and more.

For expert representation and someone who knows the Parma area call Jeff Stewart.  He and the team at Stewart Realty can help you find a Parma property that fits your style and your budget. Contact Jeff at 208-602-1993 or

Posted in Boise
July 24, 2017

Homeowners Associations: What You Need to Know


If you've never lived in a condominium complex or other housing situation that is typically set up as a Common Interest Community, you may not know what an HOA is or how it can affect you. HOAs exist in every state, and the homeowners associations in Idaho are essentially very similar. That's on a basic level, though, as each state's laws vary, and so do the way those laws affect communities and the homeowners associations in them. 

What Are Homeowners Associations?

 An HOA is a governing body with a board of directors that oversees a specific community, such as an apartment or condo complex or a particular neighborhood. Planned communities and gated neighborhoods usually have homeowners associations, but the houses don't all have to be alike and there doesn't have to be a wall around the neighborhood for the community to adopt HOA management. Just like all HOAs, after a developer has finished building out the development, the  homeowners associations in Idaho are funded and run by the residents, and they're set up to ensure the community maintains a certain level of cleanliness, repair, consistency and decorum. There are pros and cons to homeowners associations, so it's important to find out all you can before buying into a neighborhood or housing complex that has one.

What Will Homeowners Associations in Idaho Do For You?

 All homeowners associations have Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, hence the acronym CC&R’s.  HOA management--the board of directors--enforces these rules and are in charge of creating new ones as the need arises.  These rules must be adopted and voted on by a certain number of households, enough to form a quorum. These rules vary from one HOA to the next, partially based on the type of community. Regulations would obviously be different for an apartment building in New York City than it would be for homeowners associations in a single family residence in most Idaho neighborhoods. Some of the positive covenants and conditions homeowners associations in Idaho might enforce: 

keeping front yards green, maintained, and neat

require house exteriors to be painted if fading and can restrict your color choices

restrict noise levels 

limit number of vehicles that can be parked on the street  

 Conditions like those can benefit you because everyone in the neighborhood must comply, creating a peaceful, orderly, and attractive environment to live in. Additionally many homeowners associations provide amenities you might not otherwise be able to afford and maintain, such as a community park, swimming pool, tennis courts, rec room, health club, and even accommodations for business meetings.

 However, covenants and conditions might restrict what kind or how many pets you have, and even what size they can be. The rules could limit what kind of exterior improvements you can make on your home or what kind of landscaping you can do. That can include preventing you from installing solar panels and limiting how big your flower and/or vegetable gardens can be.

 It Comes at a Cost

Belonging to homeowners associations depending on the amenities and number of residents, comes at a cost.  HOA dues can be billed frequently as monthly in condominium developments  to yearly in single family developments.  HOA Dues go toward installation and maintenance of common areas which could encompass lawns, sidewalks, outdoor lighting, clubhouses, and swimming pools, depending on what your community includes. You will need to take those fees into consideration before buying a house in an HOA community, because your mortgage lender certainly will. Plus, according to Kiplinger, the HOA management board can vote to levy a special assessment and charge each member extra money if a large, unexpected repair needs to be done.  Costs are typically shared equally between property owners.  In Idaho we hear stories of associations in other states where HOA dues seem to increase uncontrollably, however, that is not typical in Idaho.  For instance, Baldwin Park HOA in Idaho where the Broker of Stewart Realty, LLC resides has only raised their dues once in the 14 years he and his family have resided there.  And that increase was only from $400 to $435/year.  So, when responsible homeowners manage HOA’s and the members stay involved, it can be a very good arrangement.

The covenants and conditions might restrict what kind or how many pets you have, and even what size they can be. The rules could limit what kind of exterior improvements you can make on your home or what kind of landscaping you can do. That can include preventing you from installing solar panels and limiting how big your flower and/or vegetable gardens can be. 

Find Out First

If you fall in love with a house that has an HOA, your agent should provide you a copy of the CC&R’s prior to making an offer to make sure they don't include anything you can't live with. Also, any MLS Listing sheet provided by a good Meridian Realtor should disclose what the HOA fees are and how often they are paid. You can also go the extra mile if you like and get a copy of the minutes from the most recent board meeting, or arrange to sit in on one to see what type of conflicts are typical and how the board responds to them. Plus, remember that any resident can serve on the board so if you want to help make changes or improve conditions, you could make a difference. 

Whether you want to avoid homeowners associations in Idaho or are looking to specifically buy in a community with CC&R’s to protect your investment, give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call for a personal tour of the Meridian area and some great homes that fit your style and budget. Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner 208-602-1993 or



Posted in Buyers
May 21, 2017

What is it About Kuna Idaho that is so great for Families?

When people have had enough of the noise, crowds, and fighting the traffic in the city, they start looking to smaller towns and suburbs as alternatives. The slower pace and friendly communities are especially attractive for raising a family. When you're keeping an eye out for areas that are great for close in country family living, Kuna, Idaho is among the best places in Southern Idaho. Kuna ID Acreage Properties in particular appeal to families looking for a typical Idaho lifestyle. With low crime, short commute times to Boise and Meridian, a national conservation area close by, gorgeous views rolling farmland, close to the Snake River Canyon and an excellent school system, Kuna has everything families look for.

Wide, Open Spaces

What's so great for families in Kuna, Idaho? For starters, even though it's about 15 minutes from the Gem State's capital Boise, living in Kuna is like being in an entirely different world. As an agricultural community of just over 15,000, the town is small. However, there is plenty of beautiful Kuna Idaho Real Estate offering breathtaking views of this part of picturesque Idaho. You may be familiar with "A River Runs Through It," but, in Kuna, a creek runs through it. That's right, Indian Creek actually flows through the city, offering a spot to swim and it's large and long enough to float, too. Additionally, families who like to participate in outdoor activities together have plenty of options from camping to hiking to fishing, hunting and more. Those who enjoy a good run will appreciate the five running courses in Kuna, as well.

Quality Schools

Schools are one of the top things that make Kuna, Idaho very desirable for families. There are seven public schools in town, in addition to one private school.  Area Vibes reports that Kuna's average school test scores beat the national average by 15 percent. What's more, the student-to-teacher ratio averages about 20:1. Additionally, though parents naturally tend to get involved in their kids' education, the entire Kuna community is known for getting involved and supporting the schools. No wonder the graduation rate is 87 percent--even higher than the state average.

Abundant Wildlife

When it comes to Kuna Idaho real estate, families who opt for Kuna acreage properties are not disappointed. The wilderness surrounding the town is home to animals such as deer, elk, geese, ducks, coyotes and even beavers. Birds of prey are the ones making most appearances near Kuna ID wildlife properties. The Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area is located just outside Kuna and over 700 raptor pairs including eagles and prairie falcons make their nests in the area each spring especially along the lava cliffs of the Snake River Canyon. The Morley Nelson area offers loads of family-friendly wildlife activities such as chick feeding and eagle flights.

More Than a Small-Town Feel

Kuna has made it onto many "Best Places to Live" listings for all of the reasons listed above plus, more than just having a small-town feel, it actually offers the benefits of living in a small town, such as friendly neighbors, laid-back atmosphere, and Kuna happens to have the third lowest crime rate in Idaho. What's more, with the fifth highest income in the state, families that settle in Kuna are able to live comfortably and keep their community clean and.

If you're interested in Kuna Idaho real estate, especially Kuna Idaho Acreage properties, see the real estate experts at Stewart Realty. Broker/Owner Jeff Stewart has over 14 years experience in real estate in the area and knows that when clients are looking for homes that are great for families, Kuna, Idaho is a top choice in the area. Give Jeff a call at 208-602-1993 or email at

Posted in Buyers
April 16, 2017

Secrets to Scoring a Deal on a Foreclosed Home in Meridian, Idaho

With the Huffington Post projecting an increase in home sales, house prices, and housing demand in general, the housing market's continuing recovery is likely going to mean a dwindling supply of foreclosed homes in Meridian, Idaho as well as most areas. That doesn't mean Meridian foreclosure listings can't be found at all, especially if you have help from a Highly Rated Local Meridian Realtor. When shopping for real estate in Meridian, Idaho there are actually several foreclosure listings you could choose from, but when dealing with foreclosed homes, you need to know more than the steps involved in buying that type of property. You should also consider the pros and cons of purchasing a foreclosed home in Meridian, Idaho.

Benefits of Buying Foreclosed Homes in Meridian, Idaho

Usually, people who shop Meridian foreclosure listings are looking to get a lot of home for a reduced price. Whether you're in the market for your own home to live in or an investment property, foreclosures definitely have the potential to be good buys, especially if they're in areas where the homes tend to resell at higher values.  Of course, typically there are at least cosmetic repairs that have to be made, sometimes substantial repairs so you must always factor the cost of those things into your total price so you don’t get caught overpaying. You also may have more leverage when it comes to bargaining on real estate in Meridian, Idaho that is in the foreclosure process because avoiding the negative effects of a foreclosure on the seller’s credit report can be highly motivating to them.

Potential Issues with Foreclosed Homes in Meridian, Idaho

Buying foreclosed homes in Meridian, Idaho isn't all silver linings. There are common problems that accompany most foreclosed properties. Many foreclosures sit vacant for extended periods of time and consequently had dead trees and landscaping and many other issues. Additionally, if the previous owners moved out under negative circumstances, they may have intentionally left it in a mess or, at the very least, not have cleaned it. The "cons" don't stop with the state of cleanliness. Many foreclosures need significant maintenance such as roof replacement, plumbing repair, pest damage, and furnace repair. There may be frozen pipes, broken windows, and sometimes previous owners take appliances and fixtures that would typically be left in the home under normal circumstances. Additionally, you might have a difficult time finding a lender who will mortgage homes that are in a state of disrepair or that don't appraise for at least the purchase price.

How to Buy Meridian, ID Foreclosure Listings

No matter what type of real estate of buying, foreclosed or not, it's always wise to know how much you can afford. Some people may have cash on hand through savings, inheritance, or the sale of another home. Most, however, need to finance at least part of the purchase price and, if you're going to get a loan to buy a foreclosure, you should get prequalified by a reputable Meridian, Idaho lender  before you get too serious about purchasing a Meridian, ID foreclosure listing so you know how much you can offer and how much the loan will cost you.

According to Bank of America, your next step after obtaining your mortgage pre-approval is finding good foreclosed home options. Typically right now the inventory of Short Sales, Bank Owned (already foreclosed) Homes or Homes in Foreclosure is getting tougher due to market conditions.  So, it would be to your advantage to first find a Realtor who has experience with and knows the different ways to uncover possible foreclosure opportunities in the Meridian, Idaho, area.  Jeff Stewart of Stewart Realty, who has served the Meridian, Idaho real estate market as an appraiser and broker for over a decade has a thorough understanding and knowledge of the Meridian market and can connect you with Meridian, ID foreclosure listings that fit your needs and your budget.  Once you've found a foreclosed property that interests you and it looks like there aren't too many repairs and it still makes financial sense, then your agent can help you structure an offer most likely to be accepted that will net you the lowest possible purchase price. You'll then have a contingency period to your inspection, research the property, have it appraised, and have a title search done. Doing all the necessary due diligence reveals any issues the property might have such as other liens, back taxes, and cosmetic or structural issues, and gives you the opportunity to decide for sure that you want to move forward with the purchase.  It is critical that this process is followed to keep you from buying a property that could financially devastate you if there was something huge like mold or liens that you knew nothing about.

The Right Realtor Can Help Navigate Issues with Foreclosure Listings

Broker/Realtor Jeff Stewart can offer the essential help you need when buying foreclosed homes in Meridian, Idaho. His 14+ years of experience in real estate in Meridian, Idaho include building homes, appraising homes that give him an understanding of home values and construction quality that other agents don't have.  In addition to the Meridian, Idaho foreclosure listings you'll find with an advanced search on the Stewart Realty website, Jeff's is also one of only a small number of brokerages that have approval to bid on HUD Repo properties. Give Jeff a call at 208-602-1993 or shoot him an email at if you're looking to score a deal on a foreclosed home in Meridian, Idaho.

Posted in Buyers
Feb. 28, 2017

7 Reasons Why Meridian is the Absolute Best Family City in Idaho

Best family city in IdahoIt's said that people come to Idaho for the wilderness and stay for the lifestyle, but there are so many terrific cities in the Gem State, you might find it difficult to decide which one will become your new hometown. If you are looking for a place to raise a family, the decision is simple. Meridian is the best family city in Idaho, and there are plenty of reasons why that is a fact. Though each family has a list of priorities that are important to them, there are six main concerns that all parents share when raising a family: access to good educational, prospects for income and employment, an affordable cost of living, low crime rates, and short commutes. When comparing places to move, USA Today gave Meridian Idaho best city status, putting it at number one because it meets all those criteria and more. 

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Posted in Buyers
Feb. 2, 2017

Finding the Best Caldwell, Idaho Neighborhoods

Native Idahoans and transplants alike are drawn to Caldwell because, on top of everything else the town has to offer, it is the epitome of small-town Idaho. Many people cite its simple lifestyle and family atmosphere as aspects that drew them in or keep them living in Caldwell. In addition to the friendly community and uncomplicated way of life, Caldwell is only a short drive from Boise for periodic doses of big-city excitement, when needed and for a relatively short commute.

Though it's one of the smaller communities near the state capital, Caldwell has seen its share of growth. Finding the best Caldwell, Idaho neighborhoods starts with knowing what elements are important to you, such as proximity to schools, access to activities, safety, and whether you prefer an existing home, want to go new construction or maybe even Search Caldwell Idaho Acreage Properties. Whatever you're looking for, there are Caldwell, ID homes for sale that fit your idea of ideal.

Caldwell, ID Real Estate With Schools Nearby

Many families feel it is essential to find Caldwell, Idaho real estate near good schools. There are 16 public schools in Caldwell, and highlights the Underkoflers Corner and the South 10th Avenue/East Logan Street neighborhoods as being the best areas in Caldwell for the best schools. With several schools in each neighborhood, families with kids from pre-kindergarten through high school are well-accommodated.  The Vallivue School District tends to be more in demand than the Caldwell School District.

Additionally, Caldwell is home to the College of Idaho, one of the highest ranking colleges in the state and among the highest ranking private colleges in the nation. C of I hit the number two spot on StartClass's list of top Idaho colleges, and the administration was extremely pleased when its school broke into the Forbes list of the top 200 colleges in the nation. Since the median Caldwell home price is over 40 percent lower than the national average, families and college students alike can find affordable Caldwell, Idaho Homes for Sale near the College of Idaho as well as other rental options throughout the area.

The Safety Factor

No town can entirely escape crime, but Caldwell has done an excellent job of cutting their crime rate over the last few years, bringing it to the lowest level ever. In fact, the Caldwell Police Department reports that the rate has dropped 29 percent since 2007. Naturally, as in any town, some neighborhoods have better track records for safety. According to  Caldwell, Idaho real estate located in the Underkoflers Corner neighborhood is the safest in the city, which is terrific news for families considering it's also one of the best for education and schools. Further north, the Aviation Way/East Linden Street neighborhood comes in as the second safest neighborhood in town. 

Life at the Lake

Some of the most desirable Caldwell, Idaho Real Estate can be found near Lake Lowell. As part of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, the Lake Lowell area offers everything you'd expect from the unrivaled Idaho wilderness. In addition to the wildlife and beautiful scenery, Caldwell, Idaho homes for Sale near the lake provide access to hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, and swimming. Plus, there are a variety of MLS listings in Caldwell, Idaho in the Lake Lowell neighborhood, so you'll have your choice of stately and delightful older homes as well as attractive and modern newer homes and some with territorial views of the Owyhee Mountains.

Finding Caldwell, ID Homes for Sale  

The Multiple Listing Service is a great resource for finding Caldwell, Idaho Homes for Sale. It's a more comprehensive list of Caldwell, Idaho homes for sale than individual realtors might have on their own. While MLS listings in Caldwell, Idaho, are only available for licensed real estate agents, not all licensed agents have access. Stewart Realty is, however, one of the real estate companies in Southwest Idaho that can offer you information on MLS listings of Caldwell, Idaho homes for sale. Use the MLS number to search the listings with Stewart Realty's advanced search option on the website, or simply peruse the company's inventory of Caldwell, Idaho real estate. If you have something very specific in mind, broker/realtor Jeff Stewart would be happy to talk to you about MLS listings of Caldwell, Idaho homes to help you find just what you're looking for. Give him a call at 208-602-1993 or email him at for help finding Caldwell, Idaho homes for sale in your ideal neighborhood.   

Posted in Buyers