Enjoy helpful home buying and selling tips as well as market updates, community events and local love.

Feb. 3, 2023

Coeur d'Alene Area Real Estate Market Update February 2023

Coeur d'Alene Area Real Estate Market Update February 2023

New Listings- 182 Increase of 14.5%

Pending Sales- 132 Down 20.5%
Closed Sales- 85 Down 44.8%
Days on Market- 82 Increase of 1.2%
Percent to List Price- 96.7% Down 2.2%
Months of Inventory- 1.6% Increase of 300%
Average Sales Price- $604,429 Down 16%
I am seeing a large influx of calls and inquiries over the last 2-3 weeks of buyers looking to get into the market. This is a welcoming insight to what's to come. With interest rates now under 6%, buyers are coming back into the market. With our inventory still low, it just may swing back into a seller's market if the pent up buyer demand comes back strong. Time will tell.
Laurel Jonas
Northwest Realty Group
Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 3, 2023

Market Update for February 2023- Video

Posted in Buying A Home Tips
Jan. 30, 2023

How to stage a home that is currently being lived in

How to stage a home that is currently being lived in

Life in a staged home may seem perfect to some, but there is plenty of work that goes into maintaining a perfect house. With each room comes a set of responsibilities that ultimately contribute to maintaining that immaculate appearance

Home staging tips often touch on one important point: You have to be prepared to maintain a state of perfection from under your sink to within your bedroom closet. While certainly not impossible, this takes dedication. This can also pay-off handsomely in the end, when homebuyers, enthralled with the state of your home, begin making offers. There is a lot that goes into perpetuating perfection.

Here are tips, room-by-room, on how to live in a staged home:

The bedrooms

These rooms tend to collect clutter. To alleviate that, it is time to make use of those nightstand drawers, and possibly under-the-bed storage. While it is OK to keep maybe a book or two, - maybe home staging books! - and a lamp on top of your nightstand, everything else - tissues, glasses, etc. - should be stowed away in storage somewhere accessible yet hidden. Clothes should also be neatly stored. Make sure to consistently put clothes in the hamper. In a staged home, you'll probably be doing laundry often anyway - to keep towels, dishcloths, and other similar items clean. Also, it is crucial that everyone in every bedroom makes his or her bed immediately after waking up in the morning. 


The kitchen

Air freshener is your best friend in a staged home. Of course, you will probably end up cooking in your staged home. Even a smell can turn a potential homebuyer off, though. Use air freshener to ensure your home smells as perfect as it looks. Clean every surface after each meal cooked, as well. There should never be dishes in the sink when people are touring the home, either so clean them or place them in the dishwasher right away.


The bathrooms

Your bathroom should appear as though no one uses it. That means storing away shampoos, soaps, and razors after showers, and cleaning every day. If you have more than one bathroom in your home, have everyone share one to reduce the amount of cleaning required. This is where laundry comes into play again - every time someone uses a towel, it should be washed, rather than hung up to dry, to avoid any sort of clutter at all. 


Other rooms and spaces

You can treat the family and living rooms similar to bedrooms - plenty of hidden storage space, spotless floors and no clutter whatsoever. Also, it is important not to forget closet and pantry space. While storing clutter away is important, overfilling closets and pantries will make them seem tiny. Organize these spaces to ensure their sizes are accurately represented.


Prioritizing perfection is paramount in a staged home, but if you can maintain it there's a good chance buyers will fall in love with your spotless house. 


Laurel Jonas




Northwest Realty Group

Posted in Selling Tips
Jan. 23, 2023

6 Housewarming Party Tips

6 Housewarming party tips

6 Housewarming Party Tips

In the process of moving into a new home? Well, don’t forget to christen your new space with a housewarming party! We know, we know, the last thing you may feel like doing when you’re in the middle of unpacking boxes and setting up your new home is entertaining. But you may be pleasantly surprised by how it feels to take a minute, welcome a few friends, meet a few neighbors, and gaze at your new purchase.


And, trust us, when you throw a housewarming party, your friends and neighbors are not expecting your new home to look perfect, but you can bet they are excited to get a first look at your new space! Need some motivation to get your boxes put away and at least a bit of décor up on your walls? Here are five tips for throwing an awesome housewarming party: 


1. Get Planning

Decide on a date and time for your party. Once you set the date, determine your guest list and send out your invites. Use regular mail, email, or social media to get the word out. Remember, it is customary for guests to bring a gift to a housewarming party, so if you prefer that your guests just come to have fun, be sure to indicate that in your invite.

2. Choose a Theme

Here is where you can have a little fun before your party even starts. When it comes to housewarming parties, you can host anything from a casual backyard BBQ to a fancy dinner to an unpacking party—yes, you could put your guests to work when they come to the party!


3. Include a Tour

Just as guests pretty much plan to bring a gift to a housewarming party, they also plan on receiving a tour while they’re there. Of course, you can keep it traditional and simply parade guests through your home to show off the new space. But you also have a unique opportunity to add to the fun of your event. Offer up a non-traditional tour by creating a scavenger hunt through your new home. Deciding between a few colors in certain rooms? Let guests weigh in while they’re on tour!


4. Let Guests Help

In addition to asking guests to weigh in on paint colors or décor while they’re in your new home, you also can rely on them to help with the night’s menu. Plan to provide the main course, but let guests bring their favorites when it comes to appetizers, desserts, or drinks. This is a great way to beef up your recipe collection or stock your bar, too! 


5. Invite Guests Back

The best way to end an awesome housewarming party? Don’t let the memory-making stop. You can ensure your new home is always full of fun and friends by giving your guests a way to remember how to find you. Send your housewarming party guests home with a memento that includes your new address. Anything from personalized post-its to custom-wrapped candy bars can include your address. Get creative when thinking about how to send your guests home after your party.


6. Don’t stress yourself.

A final tip for hosting a great housewarming party? Don’t stress. House cleaning and care are all a part of being a homeowner. If those tasks don’t get perfectly done before your party, it is OK. Remember, your guests are interested in seeing your home, but above all, they’re there to support you in your new venture!


Laurel Jonas




Northwest Realty Group

Posted in Buying A Home Tips
Jan. 16, 2023

5 Questions to Ask Before Adding an Addition

5 Questions to ask before adding an addition

5 Questions to Ask Before Adding an Addition

If you’re a long-time homeowner whose home just isn’t measuring up to all your needs and wants anymore, you could consider adding on to the home you love instead of abandoning it altogether.


If you’re considering adding on to your home, congrats! But before you schedule an oh-so-gratifying demolition day, consider a few things first. Here are five questions to ask before adding on to your home:

1. How much do I want to spend? 

Obviously, you’re not going to blindly embark on a home renovation project without considering price. But, when it comes to adding on to your home, you need to get a few estimates from the professionals who will complete the work—once you do, be sure to account for a few overages before committing to the project.

2. Will the addition be worth it? 

 n your mind, maybe we’re talking about finances here. But maybe we’re talking about your quality of life in your home. If you intend to sell your home after adding on, you need to consider the resale value and how the addition may return your investment. If you don’t intend to sell, consider how the addition may enhance your lifestyle at home.

3. Would remodeling be a better option? 

Always wanted a home office, but never seemed to have enough rooms to give yourself the space? Don’t simply start breaking down a wall in your home to add on the office. Instead, survey your current space. Are your children off to college—or will they be soon? Could you finish your basement and create several new rooms? It may be more economical to make simpler renovations to your current home rather than adding on. Look at all possibilities before you begin major construction around your home.

4. What regulations do I need to follow?

Unless you live in some remote area with very few rules, it is likely that you’ll have to follow some restrictions when it comes to adding on to your home. Before you start spending and break ground on all your enhancements, contact city or county government offices to see what rules you may need to follow during the construction process.

5. Can I afford this in the long run? 

Yes, you considered the amount you would be spending on your renovation project in the beginning. However, some home additions can tack on additional costs that last for the long run. Consider the extra costs of heating and cooling your home once you add on. Also think about an increase in your property taxes. Don’t forget to account for any extras you’re adding in too—you know, like a hot tub or additional bathroom. Those extras can add monthly expenses. Make sure you’re prepared for any extra costs your addition may bring.


Adding on to your home is a great way to make it last. But before you break ground, you need to know that your addition is the best option for you. Ask questions about the addition up front so you don’t face any surprises during your project.


Laurel Jonas




Northwest Realty Group

Posted in Home Tips
Jan. 11, 2023

Do Finished basements add value?

Do finished basements add value?

Do Finished basements add value?

Whether you are an owner looking to invest in your property or a real estate professional working to help a seller, the topic of basement remodeling is sure to come up. Before beginning any project, it is important to understand what you want to get out of the remodel, what is possible on your budget and whether you will receive a return on your investment when you decide to sell your home. Achieving a return on investment can sometimes be difficult. The following are three key considerations for you to keep in mind.



If you are taking a basement from unfinished to finished, you will have to take moisture into account. Any leaks, condensation or flooding will have to be dealt with before you start remodeling. This can be a large factor in your rate of return, because the cost to fix these issues can run into the thousands of dollars. If you neglect to deal with these issues first, however, you will pay far more in mold removal, ruined carpets and musty smells.


Labor costs

If you plan on hiring contractors, keep in mind that labor is typically the largest part of the cost. A rule of thumb is that materials are about one-third of the cost to the owner and labor accounts for the other two-thirds. This means that handy homeowners can save significant money by doing part of the remodeling job by themselves. Keep in mind that attempting to do a job that you are not qualified for may end up causing damage or simply look shoddy, which can ultimately mean more expense to pay someone to undo your mistakes. Plumbing and electrical work should always be left to professionals, but installing insulation, hanging drywall, painting and even installing carpet may be within reach.



Often, for a basement room to be considered a bedroom, building codes will require that a basement have a window large enough for occupants to safely escape in the event of a fire, and for a firefighter to enter wearing full gear. This is important, because adding an exit to your basement's foundation can be expensive if there isn't one present already.


Remodeling a basement can be fun, but to get the best return on your investment, it may take some elbow grease. For those homeowners willing to take the time to do the job inexpensively and effectively, however, there can be a significant payoff.


Laurel Jonas




Northwest Realty Group

Posted in Home Tips
Jan. 4, 2023

December 2022 Coeur d'Alene Area Real Estate Market Update

December 2021 Coeur d'Alene Area Real Estate Market Update

Here's your December 2022 Coeur d'Alene Area Real Estate Market Update

These statistics are based on Previously Owned Residential Homes.

New Listings: 92  down 11.5% compared to December 2022.

Pending sales: 113 down 19.3% compared to December 2022.

Closed Sales: 104 down 57.7% compared to December 2022.

Days on Market Until Sold: 80 up 9.6% compared to December 2022.

Average Sales Price: $511,000 down .8% compared to December 2022.

Percent to List Price Received: 95.9% down 3.6% compared to December 2022.

Months of Inventory 1.7 up 240% compared to December 2022.


Even though inventory is up 240% when comparing to December 2022, the number of homes on the market is still low. A balanced market is around 4 months of inventory and we are sitting around 1.7 months. 

The buyer demand is lower than it was 8 months ago and you can see that by the drop of number of closed sales. 

What does all this mean?

If you are a buyer: You have less competition between other buyers. You now have an opportunity to negotiate in most cases. 

If you are a seller: You need to price your home aggressively and be willing to negotiate.


If you have any questions about buying or selling a home in North Idaho, please call/ text or email me. 

Laurel Jonas


Northwest Realty Group



Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 3, 2023

Can't agree on pricing your home? Here's what to do.

Can't agree on pricing your home? Here's what to do.

Can't agree on pricing your home? Here’s What to Do

Arguments, disagreements, even confrontation? When a couple is selling a home, it is possible that they may face all three. However, we’re not talking about the usual stressful situations that can occur between partners when it comes to the home sale process.


As if selling your home wasn’t cause enough for a little uneasiness, what if you fully disagree with some advice that you get from your real estate agent? In fact, what if you think your home should be listed for a higher price than your agent recommends? Before your frustration level bubbles over and you decide to abandon your entire home sale altogether, relax… you’ve dealt with a little disagreement before, right?


Here are three handy ways to approach a difference in opinion with your real estate agent when it comes to your home’s listing price:


Keep Perspective –

As the saying goes, “you’ve got to give credit where credit is due.” So, first and foremost, remember that your real estate agent has training and experience to back up their recommendation. Also keep in mind that they’ve done a comparative market analysis of similar area homes that are currently listed or have recently sold. They did not simply pull their recommendation out of thin air!

If you’ve scoured the web and a site like Zillow suggests that your home is worth more than your real estate agent recommends, it is important to note that a Zillow estimate is merely a starting point that is calculated from public data and user-submitted information, as stated on the site. Your real estate agent is able to assess your home’s interior and current market conditions in your area before recommending a listing price.


Demand More Proof –

Now, you know that your real estate agent puts in some serious work before recommending your home’s listing price. But, if you’re not satisfied with their recommendation, ask for a further explanation! We’ve talked about a comparative market analysis of similar area homes; ask your agent to show you information about the homes they compared to yours. Get a greater understanding of the homes that are on the market or those that have recently sold.


Communicate! –

As with any disagreement, keeping the lines of communication open is vital. You trust your real estate agent and have reviewed your comparative market analysis, but you still think your home should be listed at more than what your real estate agent recommends? Tell them!

Your agent works for you, which means they should work with you! But, don’t expect them to know you’re unhappy with their recommendation simply by casting sideways glances and giving the silent treatment! Voice your concerns and talk through your listing price until you reach a point where you’re satisfied.

The home sale process can be stressful enough. There is no need to add in extra frustration by disagreeing with your real estate agent over your home’s listing price.


Laurel Jonas




Northwest Realty Group

Posted in Selling Tips
Dec. 28, 2022

What is a Ranch Style House?

What is a ranch style house_Laurel Jonas Blog

As one of the most popular home styles across the country, ranch-style houses are versatile and appeal to a variety of homebuyers. With their minimalist exterior, open-concept interior, and relative affordability, you might just consider bumping a ranch house to the top of your list when house-hunting.


What is a ranch style house?

A ranch style house is typically a single-story home, with an open layout. This home style is popular amongst first time homebuyers and experienced homeowners alike. Ranch homes, sometimes called ramblers, are not directly associated with ranchers, but take the name from their open-space concept and ability for one to roam around inside.


Where are rambler style houses popular?

You can find ranch style homes in most states and cities across the US, ranging from Los Angeles, CA and Phoenix, AZ, to Charlotte, NC, and Columbus, OH. Generally, ranch homes are less popular in Northeastern cities, so it may take a bit more searching to find the ranch home of your dreams on the East Coast. 


Ranch style house plans

While there are a few different spins on the ranch style home, several characteristics tie these architectural styles together, creating the basic concept of the rambler home. Let’s take a look at the features that make a ranch style house. 


Ranch house exterior characteristics

A ranch home’s exterior is known for its U-, L-shape or rectangular layout, low pitched roof, and mixed material outside – often brick, stone, wood, or stucco. Ranch homes also feature wide, overhanging eaves, large windows and sliding glass doors, plenty of outdoor space such as a patio or deck, and an attached garage. Compared to the ornate exteriors of Victorian homes, the Rambler house has a more streamlined exterior with minimal details.


Ranch house interior characteristics

The interior floor plan of a rambler house is characterized by its single-story and open concept living room, kitchen, and dining area. Bedrooms in this style of home are separate from the living space and many homes have a basement that functions as another living room. Ranch homes have minimal architectural details, leaving room for owners to put their own stamp on the home’s interior. 


When it comes to designing the open concept interior of a rambler, everything old is new again. The open concept is rooted in the advent of the 1950s and 60s ranch house, which shed traditionally-defined and closed-off spaces for casual modern living and outdoor access. These principles can guide your open concept renovation today. Spaces that combine kitchen, living, and dining bring people together and invite full participation by the household members and guests. Vaulted ceilings uplift and inspire creativity. Soft, neutral palettes and clear windows and doors allow nature’s hues to calm and fill spaces with light.


You can also stick to creating a “color story.” The best way to create a beautiful, interesting, and cohesive open concept space is to have all of the spaces tell the same “color story.” Hone in on a tight “whole house” color palette using your favorite colors and neutrals, and play with them using different tones and intensities throughout your house. Connecting rooms with color – like a touch of black in kitchen hardware that speaks to the black framed chairs in the living room and black metal light fixture in the entryway – will help unify the spaces, without them feeling too matchy-matchy.


To create space in the typical open floor plan of a ranch home the use of area rugs is highlighted. One of the best ways to design an open concept living space is to zone it out using area rugs. Each section of the room would have an area rug to designate that space and you’d style it as if it were that room, i.e. the living room or dining room. Then, incorporate colors or patterns throughout to tie the open space together.


Another critical step in designing an open concept space is to look at the floor plan before making any major decisions. It is recommended to mock up ideas. This allows visualization of multiple floor plan layouts and works through the impact on furniture layout and traffic flow prior to committing to a plan.

6 types of rambler style homes

As with many home styles, ranch houses are not limited to one single “look.” Specifically, there are six types of ranch style homes you may find in your home search. Here’s what they look like and what features you can typically expect. 


 California ranch house style

The California ranch style, also called a rambling ranch, is the quintessential rambler home. Often built in a U- or L-shape, the California ranch home takes inspiration from Spanish architecture and the Arts and Crafts movement popularized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. California ranch homes often mix into nature and feature a large front yard and porch, as well as Spanish-style details and a courtyard.

 Suburban ranch house style

With the rise of suburbia in the post-World War II era, suburban ranch style homes became increasingly popular as many Americans left city life behind. These ranch houses are more simplistic in style as they were easily replicated throughout suburban America. Featuring concrete-slab foundations, suburban ranch homes tend to be smaller, but still have that open-concept layout and U- or L-shaped design. 


 Split-level ranch house style

Unlike the typical ranch style home, split-level ranch homes are generally three stories with living space on each floor. Popularized in the 1960s and 1970s, split-level ranches often enter into the kitchen, living, and dining areas with stairs leading to the additional living space below and above the entry-level. While they have an asymmetrical exterior, their design is more minimalist, like suburban rambler homes.


 Raised ranch house style

Often confused with split-level ranches, raised ranches – also called split-entry ranches – are distinctly different. Raised ranch homes open to a stairwell, leading to the two levels in the home. Upstairs typically consists of the standard open-plan kitchen, living room, and dining space, as well as bedrooms and bathrooms. The downstairs features a finished basement and garage. 

 Storybook ranch house style

Also called Cinderella or fairytale ranches, storybook ranch homes are reminiscent of a fairytale cottage with their ornate exterior details. Instead of the classic low-pitched roof, storybook ramblers typically have a steeper gabled roof. Exteriors also have diamond-shaped windows, thatched shingles, and decorative brick or stone chimneys and facades.


Modern ranch house style

An updated version of a classic California ranch style is the modern ranch home, appearing throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Similar in style to California ranch homes, the modern ranch house uses a variety of materials like wood and stone to blend into nearby nature. However, modern ramblers don’t have any Spanish architectural influence, meaning you’ll find more clean lines and updated interiors.


Pros and cons of a ranch house

Even with the most well-known and popular style homes, there are pros and cons to each of them. Before taking the step and buying a rambler house in your area, become familiar with the pros and cons to make sure you’re choosing the right house style for your needs.


Pros of ranch houses:

  • Open floor plan: One of the biggest advantages of owning a ranch house is the open floor plan, which is often a desirable home trend. That means no knocking down walls to create the perfect blend of kitchen, living, and dining room space. Open concept living rooms are a favorite for homebuyers for many reasons. First, it can make even the smallest space feel bigger and brighter. A small townhouse with a windowless kitchen off the living room can be transformed into a light filled living room space by replacing the wall with an island on the console table.
  • Single story: While some rambler house styles have more than one story, the majority have a single story, meaning it can be much easier for homeowners to get around. No stairs also means more living space on a single floor.
  • Easier maintenance: As the majority of ranch homes are a single story, exterior maintenance can be much easier. Seasonal maintenance like cleaning gutters and windows is less dangerous as you only have one story to maintain.


Cons of ranch houses


  • Less privacy: While not immediately obvious, there can be the feeling of less privacy in a ranch house as all of the bedrooms and living spaces are on one floor. Some homeowners may feel more secure with the primary bedroom on the second floor. There are certainly some challenges when you rave about the space, light, and flow that a large living room gives us. Obviously, privacy is lost when you have a big open living room. Talking on the phone in the kitchen while your kids are watching TV can be difficult. You also lose wall space for your photos and artwork. Additionally, fewer walls also mean fewer electrical outlets and concealing wires in a large, open space can be tricky.
  • Single story: Single stories can be both a pro and a con. As for the cons, all the living spaces and bedrooms are on one floor, meaning noise can travel, especially if you have more people living in the home. 
  • Smaller outdoor space: Depending on the size of the lot, some rambler homes may have less outdoor space, as the lot is taken up by the home itself. And if you’re considering extending the square footage of the home in the future, it can take up even more outdoor space.

Laurel Jonas


Northwest Realty Group


Posted in Buying A Home Tips
Dec. 26, 2022

What You Should Know About Equal Opportunity Housing

What you should know about equal opportunity housing

What You Should Know About Equal Opportunity Housing

The sale and purchase of a home is a major milestone in your life, which is why you should be able to feel 100 percent confident in that decision.  Whether you are looking for your very first home or settling down after retirement, you should always be assured that the home buying process will be equal and fair.  Equal Opportunity Housing is put in place to avoid discrimination in the home buying and selling process.  The Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of race, nationality, religion, sex, familial status, and disability.  As a buyer or seller, you should feel confident in your decision, know your rights, and be able to voice your concerns should they arise.  


What is Prohibited?

You have the right to expect that housing will be available to you without discrimination or other limitations based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.  This includes: 

  • The refusal to rent or sell a home
  • The refusal to negotiate for housing
  • A seller making housing unavailable
  • Providing different housing services or facilities
  • Falsely deny that housing is unavailable for inspection, sale or rental 

What Are My Rights as a Buyer? 

As a buyer, you are entitled to rights that protect you when purchasing a home.  You should always feel comfortable going into a home for a showing, sitting down with a real estate agent for a consultation, or signing paperwork.

What Are My Responsibilities as a Seller?

As a home seller or landlord you have a responsibility and a requirement under the law not to discriminate in the sale of a home or rental property.  Your real estate agent should be fully prepared to help you navigate your responsibilities as a seller or a rental property owner.


What Should I Do If I Suspect Discrimination? 

 If you feel like you are being discriminated against in the home search process, you have the right to speak up and defend your rights as a home buyer. There are a few different ways you can speak up.  You can reach out to your real estate agent or contact one of the agencies put in place for Equal Opportunity Housing.

The Local Boards of REALTORS® will accept complaints alleging violations of the Code of Ethics filed by a home seeker who alleges discriminatory treatment in the availability, purchase or rental of housing.  You can also contact the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for complaints against discrimination in housing.

Purchasing a home should be a stress-free and enjoyable process.  Having equal rights in the home buying journey is a big part of that.  If you feel like you are being discriminated against, know that you have rights and people to defend you under the Equal Opportunity Housing Act.  


Laurel Jonas




Northwest Realty Group

Posted in Buying A Home Tips