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.

April 20, 2016

Buying Foreclosure Homes in Boise Idaho

Buying Foreclosure Homes in Boise IdahoIdaho foreclosure properties offer a great opportunity for homebuyers to get into a home for less money than they would normally spend and Idaho Real Estate Investors to make a good profit. Sellers in a tough financial spot may sell for less than the market value if they are facing foreclosure and, once a home is already foreclosed, bank owned homes in Idaho can sell for anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of market value. Mostly what banks are looking for is to pay off the balance of the defaulted loan and recoup as much of the late fees, penalty and interest they are owed. Whether you're interested in buying an Idaho foreclosure property to flip or just want to find a nice home for your family at a great price, there are steps to take when buying a foreclosed property.

Get Your $$ Together

financial red tapeThe process for buying bank owned homes in ID is a little different than a typical buyer/seller transaction because you won't be dealing with just one or two people. There is a lot of red tape to go through and, often, there are multiple levels of approval on the bank's side. The extra time it takes to receive and accept an offer on Idaho foreclosure properties, however, should not give you a sense of having ample time to get your funds together.  There is stiff buying competition for many foreclosure listings in Idaho, so you'll already want to know how much you can spend on a home, have you loan pre-approval and have the down payment ready and waiting. That way, when you find a property you are interested in and your offer is accepted, you won't lose the opportunity to a cash buyer who has ready funds. Tip: look into a HUD 203(k) loan. It will allow you to finance the home and the necessary repairs to be completed after closing but only if you'll be owner occupying the house.

Contact a Real Estate Agent

When you are interested specifically in foreclosures local real estate agents have the scoop on Idaho foreclosure properties. Banks and financially stressed homeowners list foreclosure homes with them because brokers and agents are experts in selling homes. They know how to market houses to sell them as quickly as possible, an important element when a home has been foreclosed. A real estate agent can provide a list of Eagle, Meridian, or Boise area foreclosures and take you to tour them, so you can see them inside and out for yourself. A real estate agent can also tell you what similar homes are selling for so you can bid wisely, but competitively.

Get an Inspection

home inspection is very importantA home inspection is especially important when you're considering buying a foreclosed home. Many only suffer from neglect, but some have actual damage that may have been present for as long as before the foreclosure. It is reasonable to expect there to be at least minimal repairs needing to be done, but a professional inspection will reveal the trouble areas so you can get an estimate of repairs from a contractor.  Also, some disgruntled former owners will take appliances and other important items from the home, some of which may not be visible.

Make an Offer

Once you know what price range your potential home is in and what repairs will be necessary, you can calculate how much you want to offer on the home. If you're not facing much competition for the house, you can start with what the home would sell for if it were well maintained, subtract what the repairs will cost, and then make an offer for 80-90 percent of that amount. An alternative approach would be to offer 15 percent below market value, provided that there isn’t too many major repairs that need to be done. If those two figures overlap, then you know your bid is realistic. This is another area where a real estate agent can help. You will have to decide on the actual price that you bid, but he will be able to offer advice based on his experience with foreclosures and can tell you whether the competition is stiff or non-existent.  A Real Estate Broker like Jeff Stewart can help you find great properties as well as navigate the complex process of dealing with banks and auction situations to be successful.

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
April 9, 2016

Do You Know How to Flip a House?

There's nothing new about buying a house that needs a little fixing up and turning right around to sell it for profit. Doing it in a short time-frame, however, has become a lucrative business. It's known as "flipping" a house, and some ambitious flippers even take on homes that need more than a little fixing, entirely renovating houses that are on the verge of being condemned if the profit potential is high enough. Though it sounds simple, making money flipping homes isn't as easy as buy-fix-sell. It's best to do your homework and know how to flip a house, so your investment doesn't flop.

Let Go of Emotional Attachment

One of the first rules of how to flip a house is to remember that flipping is a business. Making money flipping homes is only possible if you can turn the house around quickly, but if you are determined to make it a showplace and won't consider the first few realistic offers, any money you do finally make on a sale will be offset by unnecessary renovations and the time you spent holding onto the property.

Get Out Your Calculator

Before making an offer on a house, you need to calculate whether the possible profit is enough to make it worth it, another area where you cannot afford to be emotionally attached. You may fall in love with a home's potential and have grand plans for improvements, but you have to be able to walk away if the scenario doesn't work out on paper. 

Decide what kind of ROI you want/need to see. Set a limit on how much you'll spend on renovating the house. Do a thorough inspection of the home and take notes on all of the necessary repairs, saving the aesthetic extras for last to ensure you won't go over budget. Bring along a contractor, if possible, to help give you a realistic idea of repair costs. Then, put it all down on paper. Remember to include the costs of utilities, insurance, and property taxes as well as borrowing money and selling the house. If you won't get the return you need, move on to the next opportunity.

Know What is Selling

Knowing how to flip a house means knowing what buyers are looking for. Multiple family dwellings can be just as good investments as single family homes if duplexes and four-plexes are hot real estate tickets. Take note of the types of homes that sell quickly and aim to find flipping properties that are similar but may need a little work to become to make them a match. Just be sure that the math makes sense, and the renovations and repairs will result in a house that meets your ROI goal.

Don't Chintz on the Contracting

There is nothing wrong with doing as much of the work as you can, such as cleaning and painting but, unless you are a contractor by trade, it makes better sense to leave the window replacement, plumbing repairs, and rewiring to the professionals. Also, find affordable contractors who do quality work. They may be few and far between, but contractors who are cheap but do sub-par work will only cost you more money in the long run. 

Don't Give Up Your Day Job

Until you know how to flip a house, you'll need a source of income while you work on flipping houses in Idaho. It takes time to make repairs, get inspections, and get a home sold. At first, you may only make $10,000 or less after 3 or 4 months--and that money will come at the end, not in a nice, steady stream throughout the process. Keep on working full time while you work on building your flipping business.

Finding the right home to flip can be hard, and you may need some help. 

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, 2016

Is it Better to Remodel or Buy a New Home?

remodel of a home kitchenYour current home may have been your dream house when you first bought it but families grow and priorities change, so it's not surprising if lately you've been weighing the options of a remodel vs. buy in the Boise Idaho Real Estate market. Both have their benefits, but there isn't one size fits all solution for everyone. There are things to consider on both sides when deciding between remodeling your current home or buying a new home.

First Things First

Before you look at everything involved in remodeling your existing home or buying a new one, you should take a clear look at your current housing situation to determine whether remodeling will resolve the issue. Do you still like your home, but feel that it just needs some updating or additional room? Do you still like the neighborhood and the neighbors, or have those elements changed over the years?

a messy yard in need of clean upThe depreciation of existing homes may affect whether you can get enough in a sale to pay off your mortgage and put a down payment on a new home. If you have kids, you need to consider if moving them to a different neighborhood would give them the opportunity to go to better schools. Naturally, employment and commuting are other important factors to consider. If you're attracted to a neighborhood closer to work, buying a new house instead of making home improvements would not only reduce the amount of time you spend on the road but could also land you in a bigger home with the amenities you're looking for. 

Remodeling: Things to Consider

If you're leaning toward a home remodel vs. buy in the Boise, Idaho area there are still pros and cons to consider that will help you make a final decision. Living in the dismantled chaos of a house under construction may not bother you, but you'll have to think about the extent of home improvements you want to undertake to make it your dream house again. Cosmetic improvements, anything from repainting to floor refinishing or even updating kitchens and bathrooms, are typically investments that you'll be satisfied with, and that will also increase the market value of your house significantly more than they cost. If you need considerably more space to the point of building on several rooms or an entire wing, that might be more work and expense than you want to take on.  It may not make financial sense either.

As for Idaho remodel costs, it's essential to do the math and check the numbers twice. This step involves thoroughly evaluating the condition of your house, so you don't end up with too conservative of an estimate. Then, even after you feel confident you have a realistic figure for renovating your home, add another 5 to 10 percent. Few home improvement projects come in under budget and unexpected mishaps or problems can always crop up. Additionally, you may get started with the home renovations and decide to add in extras you hadn't considered before. 

Choosing to Buy

a nice new homeWhen debating a remodel vs. buying a home in Boise, Idaho, your current situation may make buying a new home look attractive, sometimes nothing beats that new paint smell. However, Idaho new home prices may surprise you, and you might wonder whether you can afford to buy new. Getting prequalified with a mortgage lender will make the shopping process easier because you'll already know what price range you can comfortably afford, and you will have a good idea of the taxes and insurance you can expect to pay. Though they'll only be a one-time expenditure, you also need to take moving costs into consideration. Additionally, finding a new home in Boise Idaho with the unique character features you want may require you to buy brand-spanking-new or even constructing a home from the ground up. For example, you might fall in love with one that has gorgeous hardwood flooring and the kitchen of your dreams, but the master suite might be smaller than you'd like, or maybe the bathrooms don't have the granite vanities, showers, and tubs you'd love to have.  

Yet, in the choice between a remodel vs. buying in Idaho, there are just as many items on the "pros" list of buying a new home. You'll be able to move in and start living in rooms that are not under demolition. Newer homes are more energy efficient, and most already have modern conveniences built in such as Internet wiring, alarm and home automation systems, and cable and speakers throughout the house. Also, floor plans of newer homes tend to be more open and spacious, so your family will finally have room to spread out.

Good luck with your decision and if you ever need an expert’s opinion as to your home’s value, the potential contributory value of any improvements you might be considering, or just help finding your new dream home, we are here to help you make great decisions each step of the way.

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
March 9, 2016

Superb Custom Home w/Private Waterfront Setting in Eagle



Unsurpassed detail & quality throughout this exquisite property in Eagle's Lakmoor Community! Spanish Tile Roof, Hand-Scraped Hickory floors, detailed Custom Cabinetry w/copper accents, natural accented woodwork & Plantation Shutters. Entertainer's Massive Great Room & Gourmet Island Kitchen w/Jenn-Air appliances, wine cooler, Built-in Frig & fluted slab granite. Ultimate outdoor living w/patio & creekside fire-pit .

See more photos on YouTube.  

                                                       Own the finest home in Lakemoor!


Give us a call and we would love to show you this home!

Best Regards from the Realtor’s at Stewart Realty, LLC

Meridian, Idaho - Toll Free: 866-787-5445

Search our Real Estate Website at



Posted in Buyers
July 16, 2015

Building a home in the Treasure Valley

Making a Home Unique

By Sheri Partyka

An interesting read just came across my desk. Check this out!

Reading this gave me reason to reflect back on my own contracting adventure. Building your own home can be a truly rewarding project and a lesson in frustration all constructed from one bare lot. You will quickly figure out that patience is key. First step is deciding whether to use a general contractor or be your own. Either way you will pull permits, work with architects, engineers and designers to create the home you find most appealing to you.

Here are some important tips to help you custom-build your dream home.

1) Don't under educate yourself: gather as much information as you can before you dive into the process, use multiple sources and ask for plenty of advice from experts.

2) Don't underestimate the amount of liquidity needed to build a home: Equity is equity. It is not liquid. From a bank's standpoint their main concern isn’t how much equity you have. You could have a lot that is completely paid off and if you don't meet their liquidity requirements, you will not get a construction loan.

3) Decide what you want to build before you buy the lot: it's critical to realize when building your home that the two main issues, the ability to finance it and secondly to protect your investment are basically the same issue. Matching the size and price of the home you build with the neighborhood can help protect your investment.

4) New home and neighborhood should be equal. Realize that what you spend may not be what your home is worth: If you go into a million-dollar neighborhood and you spend $2 million [building your home] that does not make that house worth $2 million because people who are spending $2 million don't necessarily want to buy a $2-million house in a $1-million neighborhood.

5) Spend extra time and money with the architect, spec out every single detail -- every hinge, every doorknob, every cabinet knob. The point is, when you have a custom home, if you do that extra work and have your contractor check on availability of certain items … you're going to know exactly what you're dealing with and that's your absolute best remedy against having cost overruns. 

6) And the one last bit of advice but not the least by any means: You'd better be in a really strong marriage and you'd better be in a situation where that person is going to give you enough freedom and flexibility to do what you have to do on the fly because you don't always have time to say 'Hey we have to do something'; sometimes you have to just make those decisions and move forward.


With all of this in mind if you are ready to move forward, feel free to contact us!

Best Regards from the Realtor’s at Stewart Realty, LLC

Meridian, Idaho - Toll Free: 866-787-5445

Search our Real Estate Website at



Posted in Buyers, Sellers
April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day!

Posted in Buyers, Sellers
March 24, 2015

Beautiful, Super-Clean home in Meridian

Beautiful Home in Meridian


Exquisitely designed Great-Room concept with massive vaults & tons of light. Hardwood & tile floor upgrades. Nice, private master-suite on main level. Huge basement Rec room with office & full bath. Outside a large backyard with massive pergola which in summer is completely covered with grape vines. A great home for entertaining & enjoying the shade & fire pit. Extra deep/wide garage & potential for RV parking too. Nice neighborhood park & pond make this a real catch!

All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Buyer to verify all.



Posted in Buyers
Jan. 15, 2015

Boise makes the Forbes “Best Buy Cities” list again!

Boise City-Nampa makes the “Best Buy Cities” list from the Forbes and Local Market Monitor team once again for 2015. Using data from 105 of the largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), each with a minimum population of 550,000, to come up with their top 20 cities to invest in 2015 is how this list is determined. The MSAs who made the list exhibited strong population and jobs growth as well as a healthy relationship between the average income and home prices. According to Local Market Monitor’s data, the Boise City-Nampa area has a population of 650,288 with a 3.5% unemployment rate. The average home price is $183,649 and is expected to grow by 9% in the coming year.


This is the second year in a row Boise City-Nampa has shown up on the list. At number 8 this year, up from 2014 when the MSA was ranked number 10. Read more at:

Posted in Buyers, Sellers
Dec. 16, 2014

Sweet -Super Clean Meridian Location

A sweet, super clean, 3 bedroom 2 bath Single Level in a great Meridian location!! It is in like new condition & includes fresh interior paint & carpet. Inside- a very functional Great Room, Split Bedroom design with lots of light, a huge vaulted bonus room & a large master suite with walk in closet. Outside- very nice, generous stone accents, large back patio, full auto sprinklers & landscaping, 6' Cedar fencing, north facing back yard & on a large corner lot. All in a great neighborhood and this is not going to last long!!!


1498 e Grand Canyon St


Give us a call and we would love to show you this home!

Best Regards from the Realtor’s at Stewart Realty, LLC

Meridian, Idaho - Toll Free: 866-787-5445

Search our Real Estate Website at



Posted in Buyers
Nov. 4, 2014

The Power of the Internet

Today, the computer can influence every aspect of our lives. The process of buying or selling a home is no exception. In excess of 80% of today's homebuyers use a computer in their search for a new home. Many do not even meet with a realtor until the most desirable homes have been chosen.

Real estate websites are among the most powerful marketing tools available to the modern Realtor, and yet, there are thousands of agents nationwide who are still not Internet savvy. When choosing a real estate agent to market your home, consider the Internet exposure being offered by the individual. There can be a direct correlation between the amount of World Wide Web exposure provided and the final sales price received.

When given the opportunity to assist you in buying or selling your home, Stewart Realty uses the most effective, most professional electronic formats available to the real estate industry.


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Brought to you by the Realtor’s at Stewart Realty, LLC, Meridian, Idaho


Call us now at 208-887-5445 to put our team to work for you!


Posted in Buyers, Sellers