John L. Scott Real Estate
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Friday, May 22, 2009

I had the opportunity to attend the ACAR Agent to Agent program this week with, guest speaker Paul Hiller, of the Boise Valley Economic Partnership, Mr. Hiller went over the list of the projects they are working on to bring companies and jobs to the Boise Area. There are 29 projects and 15 are ranked #1, as companies that are more likely to land in the Treasure Valley. We are on their short list! Most communities would do well to have a total of about 12 potential projects and we have 29! With over 10,000 potential jobs from this list, we are easily in a position to land a good number of these jobs.

There are two projects especially promising! Project #4 and project #16 on their list are both Solar Module Mfg. companies. #16 on the list, Apex, is engaged in talks with Micron about their MPC plant in Nampa. They are discussing the possibility of a joint partnership and Apex is very pleased with their talks to date. This represents 1000-1500 jobs, exactly where we desperately need them.

I asked Paul Hiller about the troubles in California and how that would affect Idaho. He said they are already in talks with companies from the Silicon Valley and expect that area to be a very rich environment for new prospects for the Treasure Valley. There is already venture capitalists for high tech industries looking very hard at the Treasure Valley.

Although we will continue to tough it out for a while longer, the future is very bright for our Valley. The things that have always been appealing about our area still exist: mild weather, great recreation, low crime, low cost of living, and overall quality of life. We need to continue to work together to look for opportunities and how to survive in the short term. Long term we are in good shape. Many other parts of the country will take far longer to recover from this economic downturn.

We are very fortunate to live where we do! So put away the sharp objects and dump the “Chicken Little Mentality” and we will survive these challenging times. The key is to be pro-active and be willing to change. I hope this news helps!     

Posted by Mike Pennington at 5/22/2009 8:30:00 PM
Friday, May 15, 2009

The law defines “first-time home buyer” as a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to purchase.

For Married taxpayers, the law tests the homeownership history of both the home buyer and his/her spouse. For example, if you have not owned a home in the past three years but your spouse has owned a principal residence, neither you nor your spouse qualifies for the first time homebuyer tax credit.
HOWEVER…Unmarried joint purchasers may allocate the credit amount to any buyer who qualifies as a first-time buyer, such as may occur if a parent jointly purchases a home with a son or daughter.
Additionally…Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principal residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first time home buyer.
So…for any financially or credit challenged first-time home buyers…it’s time to start working on your parents or grandparents to help you purchase your first home! They can even co-sign and be in title and you can still receive the tax credit! Win-win!
Posted by Craig Groves at 5/15/2009 11:45:00 PM


It is great to see healing finally taking place in the market! We are still not where we need to be, but here is what we are seeing from the statistics…
In the resale arena we have almost doubled our monthly closings in both Canyon & Ada County from January ‘09. The average sales price continues to slip due to the high inventory levels. The levels are being kept high as a result of the short sale and foreclosure problem. Once those begin to wane, we will see a dramatic turn-around in resale inventory levels, as demand continues to increase and the new home inventory continues to decline. This will immediately impact values and we will once again see resale values grow! We now have had four straight months of growth in pending sales. April’s pending number of 1012 units is a 60% increase over January’s number. Inventories were fairly static. As far as the Short Sales, Foreclosures, & REO’s, you will see some fairly big declines. This is in part due to the discovery that MLS is showing some properties as both Short Sales and Foreclosures. This was unintentionally causing some properties to get counted twice as troubled units. Our numbers going forward will be far more accurate.
With regards to new homes there is also some encouraging news. Inventory levels continue to fall to record levels. Single family New Home inventory in Ada County has fallen to 559 units, down from 1225 units in Jan ’08. Canyon County stands at 290 units down from 653 units in January of ’08. These numbers will remain extremely low as banks are not very accommodating to builders in obtaining construction financing. These low inventories will also force some buyers back into the resale arena. Ada County has just logged their fourth straight month of increases in the average sales price of a new home. Canyon County continues to struggle as they have an inordinate amount of Short Sales and Foreclosures.
There is a real opportunity for builders who can obtain construction financing. With lot prices down, builders can once again build spec inventory and potentially realize a profit. However it is imperative that they conduct the necessary market research to minimize risk. Their real competition comes from the troubled properties in the resale market.
It appears the recovery is here but we still have a lot of work to do!     
Posted by Mike Pennington at 5/15/2009 11:42:00 PM
Saturday, May 2, 2009

When your budget is tight, a beautiful brand-new home to buy within Boise city limits can be tough to find. Paradigm Development is easing the crunch with Pine Tree Village, where home prices range from $129,900 to $171,900.

Four furnished model townhomes will be open at today’s grand opening from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stop by for a hot dog, chips and a soda, take a tour and register for prizes, including a 50’ plasma TV, Apple TV and ITunes gift card.

Pine Tree Village is currently taking shape along Maple Grove Road between Franklin Road and I-84, just minutes away from Boise Towne Square mall. The pool, cabana and children’s playground are finished and plenty of the community’s namesake landscape feature, large pine trees, are in the ground.
“We put in a lot of pine trees because we wanted open space that was green,” Paradigm Development manager Don Knickrehm said. Green spaces, a future park and the pool will give it that village-within-a-city feel.
The development will be green in appearance, thanks to the trees, and in lifestyle, thanks to the location. Being close to the mall, downtown Boise, Edwards 21 movie theaters, buses and many shops and restaurants means homebuyers can reduce their carbon footprint while getting around for work, school and play.
“People can be less automobile dependent,” Knickrehm said.
Pine Tree Village is nestled on one of the few large parcels of land remaining within Boise. A city park will be built on property adjacent to this infill development.
Knickrehm sees a shortage of close-in, affordable housing and aims to fill the gap. During 35 years of practicing real estate law in the Treasure Valley, he observed that many first-time buyers had to go out to far-flung corners of Ada and Canyon counties to find a home, which resulted in long commutes to Boise.
“I had an idea to find a way to build quality, affordable work-force housing,” he said, referring to people employed at stores, restaurants and other businesses who want new homes under $200,000. This price range also appeals to young couples, empty-nesters and single parents.
Others might have met that price by scrimping on building materials and amenities, such as a pool, but Knickrehm knew from the outset that his development would be different.
“Our goal was to go in first class,” he said. “We wanted to put in hardwood floors, tile in the bathrooms and slab granite countertops in the kitchen, yet keep them affordable.”
How did he do it?
“We worked real hard,” he explained. “We tried to design to build efficiently and worked hard to get our costs down.” Those efficiencies saved money without compromising quality.
Four townhome designs are featured in the development. All of them offer Brazilian, Cherry, Mahogany and Walnut hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, alder cabinets with oil rubbed bronze hardware, granite in kitchen and bath, tile floors in bath, and an outdoor patio.
  • Spruce: 1,182 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, two levels. Prices start at $129,900.
  • Whitepine: 1,051 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, with single garage and one level. Prices start at $140,900.
  • Cedar: 1,281 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, double garage, two levels. Prices start at $151,900.
  • Ponderosa: 1,401 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, double garage, two levels, Prices start at $164,900.
The single-level units will offer wider doorways and no steps, perfect for empty-nesters and others looking for handicapped-accessible housing.
Homeowner dues are $60, which will cover all exterior landscaping and maintenance on private streets within the project. Homeowners won’t have to worry about any yard chores, short of putting a pot of flowers at the front door.
Construction on Phase 1 began last year with roads and other infrastructure. The project will be completed in four phases.
Knickrehm teamed up with his business partner Dale Nagy, his son, Matt Knickrehm, and Jim Larkin, owners of Paradigm Construction, to form Paradigm Development to build Pine Tree Village. The lead realtors with John L. Scott Real Estate are Carlos Bendeck and Ryan Kerfoot, community sales manager Roland Desaulniers and John L. Scott is the marketing firm with Jenna Englund, their director of marketing.
Posted by Ryan Kerfoot at 5/2/2009 6:55:00 PM
Friday, March 27, 2009 confirms what we already know!
Posted by Ryan Kerfoot at 3/27/2009 6:58:00 PM
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