I hope you enjoy our North Idaho Blog! We have helpful home buying and selling tips as well as market updates, community events and local love. Enjoy!

Jan. 12, 2022

What Is The Goal Of Staging Your Home?

What Is The Goal Of Staging Your Home?

When the real estate market turns sluggish, you may have to take steps to set your home apart from others. It won't be enough to just put out a for-sale sign and wait for potential buyers. One way that homeowners can sell their homes more speedily is by home staging, which can have the added benefit of pushing up the selling price of your home. Basically, staging consists of arranging your home's décor and furniture in such a way as to make the home have more of an appeal to prospective buyers.


In some cases, home staging can be a relatively simple and inexpensive undertaking. You may be comfortable with just cleaning up your home and removing all day-to-day items. On the other hand, you may want to consider investing a more substantial amount of time and money into your home staging project. The main benefit of investing in landscaping, painting and new furniture is that a potential buyer will come away from a visit to your home with a better idea of how his or her new home will look.


Home staging has been around since the 1970s. Although it began on the West Coast of the United States, the concept eventually spread to the rest of the country. There's more to home staging than just decorating. The general idea behind home staging is to depersonalize your home so that a prospective buyer will be able to imagine him or herself living in it. By removing piles of newspapers and family photos, you'll be able to increase your home's appeal. Another tip is to choose neutral colors for your home's carpet and paint. If it's within your budget, you'll also want to think about buying new appliances. Although many people do a good job of staging their own homes, you can also hire a professional to do the job for you.


Laurel Jonas


Posted in Selling Tips
Jan. 12, 2022

December 2021 Coeur d'Alene Area Real Estate Market Update

December 2021 CDA Area Real Estate Market Upate

164 properties were listed for sale. That is down 21.5% since last December.

356 properties sold in the month of December

Average Days on Market in November was 77. That's an increase of 1.3% compared to December 2020.

Sellers received an average of 98.8% of the list price

.6 months of inventory in November. That's an increase of 20% compared to last December. 

The average sales price in December was $671,547

Rumor has it. interest rates are expected to increase 3 separate times this year. Waiting to purchase a home may cost you much more in the long run.
For more information on the real estate market in North Idaho, please call/ text or email for the most current data.
Laurel Jonas
Northwest Realty Group
Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 5, 2022

Do I Need Neutral Painted Walls To Sell My Home?

Do I Need Neutral Painted Walls To Sell My Home?

"If you want to sell your home, paint your rooms beige." That could be the rallying cry of real estate agents across the country, and for good reason. Presentation and first impressions mean everything when selling a home, and the men and women who make their living selling homes know that neutral colors will generally spark more interest from buyers than bold colors.


Human beings are sensitive to color on a deep, emotional level. This makes sense: Our earliest ancestors relied on colors to tell them if a plant was ripe or safe to eat, for example. Those deeply ingrained senses of what colors mean in nature stay with us in our cities and suburbs; we may not need to make life-and-death decisions based on the color of a strange fruit, but we still carry the emotional cues that kept our ancestors safe.


This trait can complicate things when painting a house, however. A certain hue that you think looks perfect in your living room might trigger a deep sense of discomfort in a visitor. The deeper the color you choose for your walls, the stronger effect it might have on others. Conversely, the closer your home's colors are to pure, neutral white, the less they will emotionally affect visitors -- or potential buyers.


But an all-white home can be dull, not to mention extremely hard to keep clean. With a little awareness of color theory and some creative restraint, you can have the best of both worlds: a home in which color brings out each room's best features, and a house that's likely to sell without requiring major repainting.


Color psychology is the study of the emotional cues prompted in humans by various colors. These can be quite strong: Bold yellow, for example, can upset small children, while light yellow is commonly used as a gender-neutral color for babies' rooms. Blue is often associated with calmness, serenity and cold temperatures. Red, on the other hand, may symbolize excitement, love, anger, warfare or energy. These are useful traits to understand as you plan how to show off your home's best features to potential buyers.


But how do you turn an understanding of color psychology into an attractive, sellable interior design? The process is easier than you might think.


The Power of Color

The first step in applying color theory to your home is to understand what you want each room to say. Is a bedroom used for rest and relaxation for the adults in the home, or is it a bright, happy playroom for the children? Is the kitchen a family gathering place, or is it an area where high-tech styling makes meal preparation fast and efficient? Asking questions like these will help you define moods for your rooms. Compare these moods to the emotions evoked by different colors, and you'll quickly create a list of general hues that are most appropriate for each room of your house. Narrow your color search further by looking at the paint colors in the middle or lighter ends of these ranges, since this will help you avoid painting too much wall space with a too-bold color.


Now comes the fun part: designing your rooms with color and furnishings to capture the moods you've identified. There are countless factors that play into making each room right, including the furniture and decorative items, the flooring, the quality of light through the windows and your desire (and budget) to change these. In general, you can often create stunning effects by choosing one or two items to showcase with bold color, offset by neutral complementary colors in the rest of the walls and furnishings.


It helps to keep a sense of restraint when choosing color and design layouts; a bold color can quickly become overwhelming if used too much, and too many complementary colors in one room can make even sparse furnishings look busy and cluttered. Try to limit each room's color palette to no more than three colors: a bold accent, a middle-tone that can be used to frame the accent and a more neutral color for the background, like the walls. This will ensure that, while you will be able to break free of the all-beige, neutral-color blahs, you will still have a home that has a good chance of selling without major changes.


Laurel Jonas

Posted in Selling Tips
Dec. 29, 2021

Find and Fix Drafty Windows

Before the cold sets in, it’s important to ensure that your home remains comfortable despite the outside temperatures. It’s important to take a close look at your windows. Windows with air leaks not only let in cold air but also allow heated air to escape. There are many ways to seal such drafts — but first you’ve got to find them.


How do I locate the draft?


Here’s a quick and easy method of testing the seal on your windows. First, walk through the house and close all the windows as tightly as possible. Next, light a candle. Hold the flame near each window, inches from the glass, slowly moving the candlestick around the seam between the window and its frame. If the flame bends or flickers while your hand is still, then there’s probably an air leak. Mark the trouble spot with a sticky note so you can return to repair it later. Test every window in the house, marking each area where you suspect a draft.



Ways to address the problem


Having pinpointed the locations of window drafts in your house, the next step is to seal them all up. There are several ways to get the job done. Some methods are inexpensive, temporary, and manageable for DIYers. Other more permanent options are quite expensive and best left to contractors. Choose the fix that best fits your needs and budget:


Weather Stripping


Easily affordable, with a price tag of only a few dollars per window, weather stripping lends itself to easy DIY installation. There are a few material options such as felt, foam, plastic, or metal that are readily available in hardware stores and home centers for you to choose from. Cut the strips to size and use them to fill the gaps between a window sash and jamb.




Whether you’re working inside or outside, you’ll caulk windows in two places: where the window meets the surrounding casing, and where the casing meets the surrounding wall (inside) or siding material (outside). Tubes of caulk are inexpensive, and with a little practice, easy to use.  If you’ve caulked your windows in the past, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook — caulk deteriorates over time. It may be time to remove the old caulk and start over.


Draft Snakes


You’ve likely seen or even used a draft snake in the past. These are stuffed tubes, placed on a windowsill or under a door, as a modest measure of keeping out the cold and keeping in the warmth. Buy one at low cost or make your own for next to nothing. If you go the DIY route, you can use virtually any fabric, including extra towels or socks. Fill the middle with batting, rice, potpourri or anything similar you have on hand. Though decidedly makeshift, draft snakes work well in a pinch.


Insulation Film


Find and Fix Drafty Windows

If you don’t plan to open and close the window, try sealing it under a layer of insulation film. Sold by the roll, insulation film either self-adheres or goes on with double-stick tape. Also available are special shrink-wrap kits that, once heated with a hair dryer or other tool, create an impermeable, airtight seal without visible wrinkles.


Replacement Windows

The bad news: It can cost a small fortune to replace the windows in your home. The good news: you may be able to recoup a large percentage of what you invested in the replacement. This isn’t a simple case of out with the old, in with the new. Properly installed, today’s energy-efficient windows minimize drafts and create an overall tighter seal.


Consider adding a layer of protection

No matter the benefits of replacement windows, many people are either unable or unwilling to cover the initial expense. If you’re looking for a less costly but permanent solution to window drafts, consider storm windows. Some designs fit within the window on the interior; others cover the window from the outside. Any type can go a long way toward insulating and protecting the windows you currently have. 


Of course every layer helps. If you do nothing else to remedy the problem, why not at least hang curtains? You stand to gain not only greater comfort but also real savings on your month-to-month heating bills.


Laurel Jonas

Posted in Home Tips
Dec. 20, 2021

Supply and Demand in today's market

supply and demand in today's market

The law of supply and demand explains what’s happening with prices in the current real estate market. Put simply, when demand for an item is high, prices rise. When the supply of the item increases, prices fall. Of course, when demand is very high and supply is very low, prices can rise significantly.

Why Are Prices Rising?

According to CoreLogic, home prices have risen 18% since this time last year. But what’s driving the increase? When we take NAR’s buyer activity data and compare it to the seller traffic during the same timeframe, we can see buyer demand continues to outpace seller activity by a wide margin. In other words, the demand for homes is significantly greater than the current supply that’s available to buy.

Where Are Prices Headed?

Many experts forecast prices will continue to increase, but they’ll likely appreciate at a slower rate. Buyers hoping to purchase the home of their dreams may see this as welcome news. In this case, perspective is important: a slight moderation of home prices does not mean prices will depreciate or fall. Price increases may occur at a slower pace, but experts still expect them to rise.

What Does This Mean for Homebuyers?

If you’re waiting to enter the market because you’re expecting prices to drop, you may end up paying more in the long run. Even if price increases occur at a slower rate next year, prices are still projected to rise. That means the home of your dreams will likely cost even more in 2022.

While prices may increase at a slower pace in the coming months, experts still expect them to rise. If you’re a potential homebuyer, message me today to discuss what that could mean for you if you wait even longer to buy.

 For specific detailed information on the Coeur d'Alene Idaho real estate market, please call/text or email me.


Laurel Jonas
Northwest Realty Group

Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 8, 2021

Dream Home Checklist

How to make a dream home checklist

Pre-approved? Know what you can afford? That means it is time to start house hunting! The hunt for your dream home can stall quickly if you aren’t sure what your “dream” looks like.


It’s easy to talk in generalities about wanting a “big” house or an “older” home, but in order to have a more specific real estate search, you must think specifically about the features you want or need. Will your “big” house be 2,400 square feet or 5,000? When you say “older” home, do you mean one built pre-1950, or pre-2000?


Before continuing on the search, sit down and make a list of your needs and wants — and yes, those are two different things. Think about the things that are needed (amount of bedrooms, yard space, garage, etc.) and the rest of the things that would be nice, but you probably could live without it (pool, etc.)


It is important to note that your lists will most likely change as you learn more about your housing options. Location, such as proximity to the beach, may start as a priority, but once you see the size of ocean-front homes in your price range, the drive to the beach may be more reasonable. Unless you have an unlimited or extremely flexible budget, there will probably need to be compromises along the way.


Below are tips and questions to help you figure out what you do and don’t like about your current home, so that you can find more comfort and pleasure in your dream home. Take the time to rank specific home features in lists such as “Must Have,” “Like to Have,” and “Don’t Care.”


Know your finances:

Having your finances in order before house-hunting can make all the difference in a competitive market. Determining your budget and how much financial wiggle room you have can help clarify your must-haves.Ask yourself: 

Are you pre-approved for a mortgage?

What’s your price range?

How much do you have saved for a down payment? What about future repairs?

Are you willing to do extra renovations or do you want a turnkey property?

Consider your current lifestyle and plan for the future.

You may have the perfect home in mind, or you may not even know where to start when imagining your future place to live. It can help to consider your basic needs and non-negotiables in a home. Consider where you live now and what your favorite things are and what you need to change. Think about the following:

You need space for a future nursery or a home office

You need any special features for your pets like a fenced-in yard

You need wheelchair access or limited stairs

You need a space for a car or is street parking sufficient

Walkability is important to you

You plan on changing jobs in the next 1-2 years

Pick your preferred home style and type

Once the basics are figured out, the groundwork for determining what features you want in a house is easier. Consider the different types of houses on the market, the neighborhoods you would like, and think of keywords that can help narrow your search. Ask yourself these questions:

How many stories do you want?

Do you want to live in a townhouse, condo or single-family house?

Could you live in a historic home?

How many bedrooms?

How many bathrooms?

Want a guest room?

What type of flooring do you like?

What architectural styles do you like best?

What’s your favorite room, and what makes spending time there enjoyable?

If you have an outdoor space, do you enjoy spending time there?

Do you enjoy taking care of a yard or feel burdened by it?

Choose a location

Keep in mind that paint colors to refresh the home can be changed, extensions to increase your square footage can be added, but the location of the home can’t be altered.

When finding your dream home, it’s easy to get caught up in its features, but you should also consider your surroundings:

Do you prefer urban, suburban or rural?

What city do you want to live in?

Do you want easy access to highways or public transportation?

How important is the view?

Can you sleep easily with traffic noise?

Do you want to be involved in community activities?

Are there parks within walking or biking distance?

Do the property taxes and/or HOA fees fit your budget?

Get to know the neighborhood

Think you’ve found the perfect home in the perfect area? Before buying, it’s still always a good idea to explore the neighborhood and ask yourself the following: 

Are you happy with your neighborhood?

Are there enough activities going on around you — or too many?

Are you happy with your commute?

Do you have to travel far for basics such as groceries or a doctor’s appointment?

Document your visit

When it’s time to take your home tour, check the features against the checklist you made. Do you need to re-evaluate any of your must-haves? Get a feel for the home and consider anything you may have left off of your list. Remember, paint can be replaced and staged furniture will change, but there are aspects that can’t change so easily.


Is there enough space or too much space?

Where could you use more space?

How would you describe the layout?

Do you like the fixtures and finishes?

Are you happy with the windows (enough natural light, well-placed, too sunny)?

Does the home have curb appeal?

Does the home have adequate parking?

Once you know what you’re looking for in a home, you’ll be ready to find the right agent to partner with for your search. Identifying your priorities will help you find the perfect property.


Happy house hunting!


Laurel Jonas

Northwest Realty Group




Posted in Buying A Home Tips
Dec. 7, 2021

November 2021 Coeur d'Alene Area Real Estate Market Update

November 2021 Coeur d'Alene Area Real Estate Market

168 properties were listed for sale. That is down 13.8% compared to November 2020.

250 properties sold in the month of November

Average Days on Market in November was 62

Sellers received an average of 99% of the list price

.8 months of inventory in November

The average sales price in November was $624,641


Year to date- 3093 previously owned properties have sold in Kootenai County. 3365 had sold through November 2020. That is -8.1% from the previous year.

Inventory is up 2.4% from 3808 properties listed compared to 3718 November 2020.

Home values have increased 37.5% year to date from the previous year.

It is still considered a sellers market and sellers are receiving an average of 101% of the list price year to date.

Even in a seller's market, there are ways to capture more out of your home's value. Don't leave money on the table. Call me to discuss tips and tricks to prepare your home to capture every cent and get favorable terms. 


Laurel Jonas




Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 1, 2021

Tips for Moving To A New City

Tips for moving to a new city

Have a Moving Checklist. Here are some important things to consider and plan for.


  • When it’s time to actually move, make sure you’re not missing any important steps! This usually looks like things like:
  • Changing your address and forwarding your mail
  • Transferring utilities (electricity, internet, trash, etc.)
  • Cancelling local subscriptions (like the gym) and signing up for new ones if you want
  • Scheduling your move
  • Going through your things and getting rid of items you don’t need
  • Coordinating travel plans to get to your new city


Don’t Be Afraid to Get (Professional) Help

Friends offering to help you move are great, but at a certain point, it’s probably not the best idea to try to move without some professional help. Whether it’s because you have some big items to move or it’s too hard to coordinate loading and unloading a moving truck in a different city all on your own, don’t be afraid to hire some professional help. It might seem like an unnecessary expense, but once you’ve moved once or twice, I don’t think I’m the only one that feels completely over it! This way, you can leave it to a professional and don’t have to worry about packing or friends breaking something or getting hurt. I’m sure they’ll thank you!


Try New Things

Even if you already know people in your new city, moving is a big change, and trying new things can really help you feel more at home. It might be hard at first, but think about trying something like going to a fitness class or joining a local mom’s group to explore new places and meet new people in your city! The more things you try and the more you get out of your comfort zone (as painful as it might seem), the faster you’ll feel less intimidated and more at home in your new surroundings.


Give Yourself Time

Moving to a new city is a big change, and it will take time to get settled and to feel at home there! Keep this in mind, and give yourself time. Don’t worry if you don’t feel completely comfortable after only a few weeks (or even months!). Everyone has their own pace, and finding yourself in new surroundings can be a shock for anyone. As previously mentioned, get to know your area and try new things as much as you can, and before you know it, you’ll feel more and more at home.

Between packing up everything in your house, coordinating move-out and move-in dates, finding a new place to live, and trying to stay sane through it all, moving can definitely be stressful, to say the least! Throw in moving to a new city, and the process can seem crazy and overwhelming. Here are some helpful tips for moving to a new city!


Do Your Research

Living somewhere can be a lot different than just visiting. If you’ve been thinking about moving to a new city, it goes without saying that you should try to spend as much time there as you can before packing up and moving. But either way, do your research! Look into different areas of the city, what the culture is like, what locals say about living there - as much information as you can find! Prepare yourself for what your new city is going to be like as much as you can, so the transition will be that much easier once you actually get there.


Explore Your Neighborhood

One of the biggest parts of moving to a new city is getting to know your new neighborhood! If you’re thinking about living in a particular area, drive around and get to know everything that’s around there. Find your new grocery store, coffee shop, takeout place, and more! Those are going to be your new go-to places, so get an idea of where they are and what they’re like early on. This can help eliminate stress when you first move.


So - if you’re moving to a new city, good luck! Find what will work for you to make the whole process a lot smoother! If you're moving to North Idaho, lean on me as your resource! I was once in your shoes. I moved from Arizona years ago so I know exactly what you're going through. I'm here to help and guide you through the transition and process. 


Laurel Jonas


Posted in Buying A Home Tips
Nov. 15, 2021

What to do to your home before listing it

What to do to your home before listing itSo you’re ready to put your home on the market and to you, everything looks great. Unfortunately, much of the wear and tear on your home becomes unnoticeable when it is something you see everyday. While you may not think about the one light switch that doesn’t work or the chipping paint in the guest bedroom, now is the time to take a step back and look at your home with fresh eyes. When you decide to sell your home, the first thing you should do is make any repairs you can to save yourself money in the long run. Here are a few repairs to cross off so you can get the best deal for your home!

1. Paint Your Walls

Re-painting the rooms that need a fresh face is the cheapest way to update the appearance of your home. Consider using light, neutral colors to appeal to a broader group of buyers. If the room is too dark or has chipped or dirty paint, make it look brand new with a coat of paint.

2. Make Minor Kitchen Repairs

Even if your kitchen isn’t large and spacious, a full renovation might not make sense financially. If your agent doesn’t advise you towards a renovation, consider making minor repairs instead. Paint what needs painted and install new fixtures where necessary. If your appliances aren’t operating properly or are in awful shape, you will need to replace them.

3. Update Your Bathroom

The first priority is making sure your bathroom looks clean. If the toilet looks old, replace the seat to give it a fresh new appearance. Replace any tiles that may be missing, clean the grout, and remove old wallpaper that may still remain. This is a room you should consider painting if need be to make it appear bright and clean.

4. Fix The Exterior

The outside of your home is the first thing buyers will see, so it is important that it looks good. Touch up the yard with sod as needed, remove any junk that may be in the yard, and make sure your fencing doesn’t have any missing parts or boards. Mow your grass and consider renting a power washer to make your siding look brand new.

5. Maximize Lighting

The goal is to maximize light so you can maximize the appearance of space. Light does a great job of making rooms look larger than they are. Update your fixtures, ensure that your windows appear clean and new, and add mirrors across from light sources to reflect even more light.

6. Ensure Functionality

Potential buyers are going to want everything to work. Do a full walk through of your home, checking all light switches, doorknobs, and locks. Repair or replace anything that doesn't work as it should. The less issues that arise during the buyer's home inspection, the better chance of you maximizing your profit during the sale.


Laurel Jonas

Posted in Selling Tips
Nov. 11, 2021

Best Day of the Week to List Your Home For Sale


Best day of the week to list your home

Believe it or not, there is statistically a better day to list your home for sale. That day is Thursday. According to Real Trends, "homes listed on a Thursday typically go pending faster than any other day of the week, all else equal. Those that are put up for sale on a Sunday tend to sit on the market longest, eight days longer than Thursdays. Saturday and Monday are only marginally better — homes listed on either of those days typically take seven days longer to sell than homes listed on Thursdays".

Zillow also claims that, "homes listed on a Thursday sell faster and are more likely to sell above list price than those listed on any other day of the week. Nationally, 21% of homes are listed on a Thursday, and it’s as high as a third of homes in some markets".

I have been listing homes on Thursday's since the beginning of my career and I can personally attest that Thursday is the best day. Most buyers are looking on the weekends. When properties are listed on Thursday, it gives enough notice to their agent and seller to accommodate a showing.

Another reason is because during the winter when it gets dark earlier, most buyers want to view homes in the day light (definitely recommended) so they'll push showings to the weekend.

As a seller, wouldn't you rather have the majority of your showings on the weekend and have the hassle for a day or two? If you've prepared your home correctly and priced your home accordingly, you may sell your home the first weekend!

When listing your home, take every advantage and use all the tips and tricks we provide to get your home sold for the most amount of money and with the least amount of headache and hassle to you. I know what it takes to get homes sold and get your favorable terms. I even wrote a book on how to do it. If you'd like a free copy or would like to chat about your home, please give me a call.

Laurel Jonas


Posted in Selling Tips