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June 15, 2024

Maximizing Your Investment: Financial and Practical Aspects of Renting vs. Selling

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Maximizing Your Investment: Financial and

Practical Aspects of Renting vs. Selling

Written by Seth Murphy

Photo by Pixabay


Deciding whether to rent out or sell your newly renovated property is a significant

financial and practical decision. Both options have their unique benefits and

potential drawbacks, and the right choice depends on various factors including

market conditions, personal financial goals, and long-term plans. In this article,

we will explore the key considerations you should take into account when

assessing the financial and practical aspects of renting versus selling your

upgraded home.


Understand the Local Rental Market

Begin by researching the current rental rates in your neighborhood to gauge what

similar properties are fetching. Exploring online listings and consulting with local

real estate agents like Laurel Jonas can provide insights into what tenants are

currently paying. This knowledge is vital for accurately assessing the possible

revenue from leasing your property. If your area is experiencing high demand and

competitive rental prices, opting to rent could be the more lucrative choice. This

preliminary research is essential for making an informed decision on whether to

rent out your home.


Analyze the Costs

Evaluate the costs associated with both renting and selling your home. When

renting, consider ongoing expenses like property management fees, maintenance

costs, and potential vacancies. Selling involves closing costs, real estate agent

commissions, and potential capital gains taxes. Calculate the potential profits

and losses for both scenarios. This analysis will clarify which option offers better

financial returns based on your unique situation.


Gauge the Current Housing Market

Take stock of the current housing market. A seller's market, where demand

exceeds supply, can yield higher sale prices and quicker sales. Conversely, in a

buyer's market, you might struggle to get the desired price. Understanding

market trends and economic factors influencing property values will help you

decide if selling now is advantageous. Renting might be more viable if the market

conditions are unfavorable for sellers.


A Home Sale Requires Preparation

If you decide to sell, preparing your home for the market is essential. Start with a

thorough cleaning and decluttering. Consider making any additional minor

repairs and updates to enhance the properties appeal. Staging your home can

significantly impact buyer's; perception and increase the likelihood of a quick

sale. Professional photos and a compelling listing description will attract 

potential buyers. Collaborate with real estate agent Laurel Jonas to ensure your

home is priced competitively and marketed effectively.


Renting Requires Marketing

Marketing your home effectively when you decide to rent it out is crucial for

attracting quality tenants. As a landlord, this becomes a small business, and

leveraging cost-effective marketing tactics can significantly benefit your efforts.

Utilizing online platforms, social media, and local advertising can help you reach

a broader audience without breaking the bank. Additionally, DIY marketing tools

like online logo creators allow you to create your own logo for free, giving your

rental property a professional and appealing identity. Simply select a style and

icon, then add the necessary text to complete your logo.


The Challenges of Being a Landlord

Becoming a landlord involves various responsibilities. You need to manage

tenant relationships, handle maintenance requests, and ensure timely rent

collection. Consider if you have the time and temperament to deal with these

tasks. Being a landlord can be rewarding, but it requires patience, organization,

and problem-solving skills. Assess your readiness to take on these duties before

deciding to rent out your home.


Streamline Property Management with Pros

If renting is a go but managing the property yourself seems daunting, you can

hire help. Property management companies can handle tenant screening, rent

collection, and maintenance issues. This service reduces your workload and

ensures the property is managed professionally. Additionally, hiring a real estate

attorney can help with lease agreements and legal matters. These professionals

provide peace of mind and make renting a more feasible option if you lack the

time or expertise.


Choosing between renting and selling your fixer-upper requires a thoughtful

assessment of several critical factors. If selling, ensuring your property is well-

prepared and effectively marketed is crucial for a swift and profitable

transaction. For those considering renting, understanding the responsibilities of a

landlord and possibly engaging professional management can make this option

more viable. Ultimately, your decision should support your financial security and

lifestyle preferences, guided by informed evaluations and strategic planning.


Laurel Jonas

Northwest Realty Group



Posted in Buying A Home Tips
June 13, 2024

What Is Earnest Money and Why Do I Need It?

What is earnest money_Laurel Jonas blog

What Is Earnest Money and Why Do I Need It?

If you’ve never been through the home-buying process, some of the terminology can seem a bit foreign. One of the many phrases you might come across is earnest money. 

When making an offer on a home, it is often encouraged to include earnest money with that offer. Earnest money is a payment of 1-3% of the offer price that is intended to show the seller you are really interested in their property. The amount isn’t set in stone and it usually depends on the market. So how is that money used?

When you make it to closing, that earnest money will be directed towards any closing costs, down payments, or other items you would typically pay out of pocket. It is treated as a credit toward any expenses that come up in the process, and is in no way a bribe for the seller. 

There are a few situations where your earnest money will be refunded if you don’t make it to close. This usually requires a stipulation or clause to be added to your offer, and those can vary. Financing not going through, the seller not being able to close, and an unacceptable home inspection are all reasons that if you are protected in your contract, you should receive your earnest money back. If you do decide to back out of the contract with no real reason other than changing your mind, the seller may be able to keep it.


Laurel Jonas

Northwest Realty Group



Posted in Buying A Home Tips
June 6, 2024

Is It Time to Update Your Bathroom?

Is it time to update your bathroom_Laurel Jonas blog

Is It Time to Update Your Bathroom?

Just like your bedroom, your bathroom should be a relaxing place. Whether you unwind in the shower or with a hot bath, making sure your bathroom is a place of comfort and not stress is key to making your home a happier place. Because it is a room you will definitely spend time in every single day, these signs might indicate that it is time for some changes and some tips to help you do so.

1. Poor Lighting
You can consider investing in brighter bulbs and updating your light fixtures.

2. No Storage Space
You may want to install a larger vanity or additional shelving about the toilet

3. Outdated Paint Color
Updating your wall color with something more neutral, light, and timeless can help bring your bathroom back to life.

4. That ‘Bathroom’ Scent
Checking for mold, fixing any leaks, or adding ventilation can help relieve any scent you can’t seem to get rid of.

5. Leaks
Calling a plumber to make repairs is usually necessary if you have brown water stains.

6. Time to Sell
If you’re getting ready to sell, updating whatever needs updating will increase your home value.


Laurel Jonas

Northwest Realty Group



Posted in Home Tips
June 3, 2024

May 2024 Coeur d'Alene ID area real estate market update

May 2024 Coeur d'Alene ID area real estate market update

➡️New Listings: 426 Up 2.2%

➡️Pending sales: 227 Down 5.8%

➡️Closed Sales: 195 Up 3.2%

➡️Days on Market Until Sold: 63 Up 14.5%

➡️Percent to List Price Received: 97.9% Down .3%

➡️Months of Inventory: 4% Up 14.3%

➡️Average Sales Price: $727,520 Down 8.7%


👉Stats are compared to May 2024- Previously owned properties only in Kootenai County.️

For more Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real estate market information, please call, text or email me.


Laurel Jonas



Northwest Realty Group

Posted in Market Updates
May 30, 2024

People Are Still Moving, Even with Today’s Affordability Challenges

People are still moving_Laurel Jonas Blog

People Are Still Moving, Even with Today’s Affordability Challenges

If you're thinking about buying or selling a home, you might have heard that it’s tough right now because mortgage rates are higher than they’ve been over the past few years, and home prices are rising. That much is true. Take a look at the graph below. It breaks down how the current affordability situation stacks up to recent years.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains how to read the values on the graph:


“To interpret the indices, a value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home.”

The red dotted line represents that 100 value on the index. Essentially, the higher the bar, the more affordable homes are. As you can see, the orange bar for today shows higher mortgage rates and home prices have created a clear challenge. But, while affordability is definitely tighter right now, that doesn’t mean the housing market is at a standstill.

According to NAR, based on the pace of sales right now, just under 4 million homes will sell this year. With some simple math, let’s break down what that really means for you:

* 3.96 million homes divided by 365 days in a year = 10,849 houses sell each day

* 10,849 divided by 24 hours in a day = 452 houses sell per hour

* 452 divided by 60 minutes in an hour = about 8 houses sell each minute

So, on average, over 10,000 homes sell each day in this country. Whether you're a buyer or a seller, this goes to show there are still ways to make your move possible, even at a time when affordability is tight.

An Agent Can Help You Make Your Move a Reality
You may be wondering how other homebuyers and sellers are making this happen now. One of the biggest game-changers in today’s market is working with a trusted local real estate agent. Great agents are helping other people just like you navigate today’s market and the current affordability situation, and their insight is invaluable right now.

True professionals will be able to offer advice tailored to your specific wants, needs, budget, and more. Not to mention, they’ll also be able to draw on their experience of what’s working for other buyers and sellers right now. This could mean broadening your search, if needed, to include other housing types like condos, townhouses, or neighborhoods a bit further out to help offset some of the affordability challenges today. 

Bottom Line
You might think there aren’t many people buying or selling homes right now since affordability is tighter than it’s been in quite some time, but that’s not the case. It’s true that buying a home has become more expensive over the past couple of years, but people are still moving.

If you’re hoping to buy or sell a home today, know that other people are still making their goals a reality – and that’s happening in large part because of the help and advice of skilled local real estate agents. Want to talk to a trusted professional about your own move? Let’s connect.  

Laurel Jonas

Northwest Realty Group



May 23, 2024

Invest in Yourself by Owning a Home

INVEST in yourself by owning a home_Laurel Jonas blog

Invest in Yourself by Owning a Home

Investing in yourself by owning a home can bring numerous benefits and opportunities. Here are some reasons why owning a home can be a wise investment:

  1. Building equity: When you own a home, you are building equity as you pay down your mortgage. Equity is the difference between the value of your home and the amount you owe on your mortgage. Over time, as your home's value appreciates and you continue to make mortgage payments, your equity increases. This can provide financial stability and serve as a long-term asset.

  2. Potential for appreciation: Historically, real estate has shown a tendency to appreciate in value over time. While there are no guarantees, owning a home can offer the potential for your property to increase in value. This can result in significant returns on your investment if you decide to sell in the future.

  3. Tax advantages: Homeownership often comes with tax benefits. In many countries, homeowners can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, and certain closing costs from their taxable income. These deductions can help reduce your overall tax liability and potentially save you money.

  4. Stability and control: Owning a home provides stability and a sense of control over your living situation. Unlike renting, where landlords can increase rent or decide not to renew your lease, owning a home gives you the freedom to create a living space that suits your needs. You have the power to make improvements, decorate, and personalize your home to your liking.

  5. Forced savings: Paying a mortgage is a form of forced savings. Each monthly payment goes toward building equity and paying off your loan balance. This can be an effective way to accumulate wealth over time, as opposed to renting where your monthly payments go solely towards your landlord's income.

  6. Potential rental income: Homeownership can also present opportunities for generating rental income. If you have extra space or decide to move but want to hold onto your property, you can rent it out and earn passive income. This can be a valuable source of additional cash flow and a way to diversify your investment portfolio.

It's important to note that homeownership also comes with responsibilities, including maintenance costs and potential market fluctuations. It's crucial to carefully consider your financial situation, long-term goals, and the real estate market in your area before deciding to invest in a home. Consulting with a real estate professional or financial advisor can help you make an informed decision.

Laurel Jonas

Northwest Realty Group



Posted in Buying A Home Tips
May 16, 2024

Thinking About Using Your 401(k) To Buy a Home?

401k to buy a home

Thinking About Using Your 401(k) To Buy a Home?

Using a 401(k) to buy a home is a personal decision that requires careful consideration. While it can be an option, there are several factors to keep in mind. Here are a few things to consider before making a decision

  1. Eligibility: Check with your employer to ensure that your 401(k) plan allows for withdrawals for home purchases. Some plans may have restrictions or penalties for early withdrawals.

  2. Costs and Penalties: If you withdraw funds from your 401(k) before reaching the age of 59½, you may be subject to income taxes and a 10% early withdrawal penalty. This can significantly impact your savings.

  3. Impact on Retirement: Withdrawing from your 401(k) means reducing your retirement savings. Consider the long-term effects on your retirement goals and whether you can make up for the withdrawal later.

  4. Alternatives: Explore other options for financing your home purchase, such as mortgage loans, down payment assistance programs, or saving for a larger down payment. These alternatives may have fewer financial implications.

  5. Consult a Financial Advisor: It's always a good idea to consult with a financial advisor who can provide personalized advice based on your specific situation. They can help you understand the potential consequences and guide you towards making the right decision.

Remember, buying a home is a significant financial decision, and it's essential to consider all aspects before tapping into your retirement savings.


Laurel Jonas

Northwest Realty Group



Posted in Buying A Home Tips
May 9, 2024

Foreclosures and Bankruptcies Won’t Crash the Housing Market

foreclosures and bankruptcies

Foreclosures and Bankruptcies Won’t Crash the Housing Market


While foreclosures and bankruptcies can have an impact on the housing market, they are unlikely to cause a complete crash on their own. It's important to understand that housing market crashes are typically the result of a combination of factors, such as a significant oversupply of homes, an economic recession, or a financial crisis.

Foreclosures occur when homeowners are unable to make their mortgage payments, leading to the lender taking possession of the property. While foreclosures can increase the supply of homes on the market, they typically do not have a widespread impact unless they are occurring at an unusually high rate

Similarly, bankruptcies can lead to the sale of assets, including real estate, but they are usually individual cases and do not have a significant effect on the overall housing market.

That being said, it's important to keep an eye on foreclosure and bankruptcy rates in your local area, as they can still impact specific neighborhoods or communities. Real estate professionals should monitor these trends and adjust their strategies accordingly to navigate any potential challenges or opportunities they may present.


Laurel Jonas

Northwest Realty Group



Posted in Selling Tips
May 6, 2024

April 2024 Coeur d'Alene Area Real Estate Market Update

April 2024 Coeur d'Alene Idaho real estate market update

➡️New Listings: 390 Up 22.3%

➡️Pending sales: 218 Up 15.3%

➡️Closed Sales: 173 Up 13.8%

➡️Days on Market Until Sold: 75 Up 7.1%

➡️Percent to List Price Received: 97.8% Up 0.2%

➡️Months of Inventory: 3.0% Up 3.4%

➡️Average Sales Price: $793,151 Up 21.9%


👉Stats are compared to April 2024- Previously owned properties only in Kootenai County.️


For more Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real estate market information, please call, text or email me.


Laurel Jonas



Northwest Realty Group

Posted in Market Updates
April 24, 2024

The Perks of Selling Your House When Inventory Is Low

Perks of selling home_Laurel Jonas blog

The Perks of Selling Your House When Inventory Is Low

Selling your house when inventory is low can offer several perks for homeowners. Here are some of the advantages:

Increased demand

With fewer homes available on the market, there is typically increased competition among buyers. This can lead to multiple offers, bidding wars, and potentially higher sale prices for sellers.

Faster sales process

When inventory is low, homes tend to sell more quickly. This is because buyers have limited options and are often motivated to make a purchase sooner rather than later. As a seller, you might experience a faster sales process and avoid prolonged listing periods.

Favorable negotiating position

Low inventory can give sellers an advantage during negotiations. With limited options, buyers may be more willing to meet your asking price or make concessions to secure the property. This can put you in a stronger position to negotiate favorable terms.

Less competition from other sellers

In a low-inventory market, there are typically fewer sellers competing for buyers' attention. This means your home may stand out more, attracting serious buyers who are actively searching for properties. This can increase your chances of receiving quality offers.

When supply is low and demand is high, it often leads to an increase in sale prices. With multiple buyers interested in your property, you may receive offers that exceed your initial expectations. This can result in a higher return on your investment.

Less time and effort spent on marketing

In a low-inventory market, the demand for homes often outpaces the supply. As a result, you may not need to invest as much time and effort into marketing your property to attract buyers. This can save you valuable time and resources during the selling process.

It's important to note that the perks of selling in a low-inventory market can vary depending on your specific location and market conditions. It's always a good idea to consult with a local real estate professional who can provide tailored advice based on your circumstances.

Laurel Jonas

Northwest Realty Group



Posted in Selling Tips