I recently talked with three real estate pros at Windemere in Boise and while they admitted things could be a lot better, i.e. more houses selling faster and more homes going for higher prices — overall, the Boise real estate market is faring better than real estate in many other parts of the country.
It was a rousing roundtable discussion, with one person launching an idea, another chiming in with a piggyback expansion and one more pointing out relevant side issues. Tips like this rent vs. buy online calculator were tossed out like candy at Mardi Gras. (Buy vs. Rent calculator http://www.trulia.com/rent_vs_buy/1074800997-1243-W-Rosemont-Ave-3W-Chicago-IL-60660)
In this ongoing occasional series, we’ll look at our own real estate market and how it is — or isn’t — changing.
Part 1: Here is Boise Real Estate Spring 2009 according to Sue Dahlgren, Jody Hinton and Linda Mallory:
Jeanne Huff: We’ve all heard the doom and gloom, that the real estate crisis is the root of all the evil affecting our current shaky economy. So, how bad is the state of real estate, really?Sue Dahlgren: I would say that sure, nationally there are some areas that have been hit very hard. We are not one of them. Jody Hinton: In Boise, our average sales price is down some but I think any slow down in our market is beneficial. It’s brought us back to the reality that real estate is still the best long-term investment — and it’s still the best way to build long-term investment and it’s still the best way to build long-term wealth. We live in them, make memories. Houses are our homes. Linda Mallory: The media has also created this false perception that there’s a huge inventory of short-sales and foreclosures to pick from. The low price excitement (of buying a short-sale or foreclosure property) could wear off in a month or two and then you’re stuck with it. But you have think about livability, you need to pick some place you love.
JH: Say you are looking for a short-sale or foreclosure, you want one of those good deals. Just how long is that process and what does it entail?
Jody: If you’re buying a property on the market vs. a short-sale or foreclosure, you’re looking at a one-month vs. a three, six-month or longer process — or not at all. On a short-sale, the lendors don’t even have any obligation to respond to an offer so you’re sitting in limbo. You’re removed from the negotiation.
JH: What about pricing? Are the short-sale and foreclosure properties lower in price?
Jody: As for deals, houses that are not short-sales are still competing with short-sales, so they still need to be priced to compete with the short-sales.
Sue: My opinion is, even if a house is 10 – 15 percent higher than a short-sale, it’s still the best deal because you have to take into consideration…
Linda: Right, because the bank won’t do anything to fix anything.
Sue: You have to think: How much is my time worth? How much is my stress worth?
JH: That brings up an interesting question. How are short-sale prices determined?
Linda: “Real-estate owned” is a term used for property owned by the bank. Those houses already have a price on them.
Sue: For a short-sale, an agent just picks out a number. There’s no formula. Lendors from miles away call a local broker to get a price. It’s not based on a full appraisal.
Jody: It’s just a wild guess sometimes.
JH: So how IS the market doing now?
Linda: The inventory is falling and that’s an indication of market correction.
Sue: What’s the market like? It depends on where you live. Southeast Boise is almost a normal market now…
Jody: … and it has maintained pretty much throughout. Southwest Meridian shere a lot of out-of-state investors were caught, hit that area really bad. The North end is still healthy and will always be desirable. The Northeast end has historically sold for a higher price per square foot thatn the North end and has the fewest number of homes for sale.
West Boise has been highly impacted by Meridian, but has pockets that do well and some that don’t do so well. And the Bench in the last two years, it’s been referred to as “the next North end.”
Linda: Right! And mid-century is more in vogue.
JH: What is a big trend right now?
Sue: It used to be people wanted to go away from the downtown, the city, and out to the suburbs. That’s changed.
Linda: When you’re close to downtown, you’re close to everything and we’re swinging back from the suburbs to wanting to be closer to the downtown core.
Jody: And it really can be a greener choice, too. By living closer to where you work, fixing up what you’ve got.
Sue: They want walking distance more than walk-in closets.
Look for Good real estate news PART 2: Inside and outside scoops for selling and buying.