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!

June 3, 2021

May 2021 Coeur d'Alene Area Real Estate Market Update

May 2021 Coeur d'Alene Market Update

May 2021 Market Update for Coeur d'Alene and Surrounding Areas.

393 Homes Sold in May
Average Sales Price $631,592
644 Homes Were Listed For Sale
Average Days on Market: 53
Inventory Was Down 61.5% Compared to May 2020
Sellers Are Receiving An Average of 101.2% Of Their List Price.
Here is a graph from the Coeur d'Alene MLS. It shows our inventory from 2019 to May 2021.
Inventory of homes
May 2019 we had 1248 homes listed for sale.
May 2020 we had 988 homes listed for sale.
May 2021 we had 475 homes listed for sale.
Using the simple supply and demand logic combined with historic low interest rates and a large influx of people moving to the area, it has caused home prices to skyrocket. Home values have increased an average of 61.5% since May 2020.
For more information on the Coeur d'Alene real estate market, please contact me directly.
Laurel Jonas
Northwest Realty Group
Posted in Market Updates
May 19, 2021

Simple Sprucing Tips For Your Home


Simple Sprucing Tips For Your Home_Laurel Jonas Blog

You don't need thousands of dollars to fully refurbish your home to make it feel like new again. Instead, you can DIY a lot of features in your house to help spruce it up for the upcoming season. Whether you plan to sell your home, have guests over, or are just tired of how drab it's been feeling lately, here are a few tips and tricks you can use to refresh your space:

Clean and DeClutter

Throw out all of the junk taking up space! You'd be surprised by how much more you'll fall back in love with your home when you take out the collection of accumulated stuff that has piled up over the years and finally get to see your home's features for what they are. Store what you don't need/use in either the attic, basement, or in a storage unit. After you've decluttered, be sure to finish it off by cleaning your home. Clean windows, walls, and the floors for the best results.

Bring in Natural Light

Do you have heavy curtains covering your windows? Bring them down! Not only will this make your space feel bigger by removing stuff off the walls, it'll also feel alive again with all of the natural light that pours in.

Add Fresh Paint

Nothing refreshes a home like a new coat of paint. If you have dark dull colors, opt for lighter tones. Covering up stains on the walls, or drab old paint, can help your house feel brand new all over again.

Add Tile

Consider adding a tile backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get beautiful results. Be sure you get tiles that compliment the colors in the space, so it doesn't clash and look unappealing.

Add Color

Although neutral colors are always recommended as the base of any home decor, don't be afraid to compliment your neutrals with a pop of color. You can add it throughout the home by using flowers, pillows, decor, or even light curtains that are staged on the sides of your windows.

Change out Fixtures and Hardware

You'd be surprised by how much more a kitchen can look different just by replacing the hardware on the cabinets. A bathroom or living room can come alive again by installing a brand new light fixture. If you moved into a place that still has the same stock hardware or fixtures, replace them and add a little creativity with the new pieces you have installed.

Rearrange Furniture

Head to Pinterest and get inspired for new living room, bedroom, or dining room arrangements. Most homeowners decorate "incorrectly" when it comes to standard staging rules. View a variety of furniture set-ups on social media and let it motivate you to rearrange your space. You don't have to buy a bunch of new furniture to make a drastic change.

These are great tips if you are interested in selling your home in the near future or if you just want a fresh, new updated look. However, if you are thinking of selling, please give Laurel Jonas a call. I offer a FREE Staging consultation with a licensed home stagger that will give you detailed tips and tricks to set your home apart from the competition. This is at no cost to you.

Laurel Jonas 

Northwest Realty Group






Posted in Selling Tips
April 19, 2021

6 Reasons Your Home Didn't Sell


6 Reasons Your Home Didn't Sell_Laurel Jonas Blog

So after possibly months on the market, your home didn't sell. I understand how frustrating that is. There could be a number of reasons why it didn't sell. Here are the 6 most popular reasons why home didn't sell. The number 1 reason is most common.



To be clear, an overpriced home is the #1 reason a home won't sell. We often times want our homes to be worth a lot more than we may see based on the data, but if you put your home on the market for the number you wish it will bring instead of the price it actually needs to be, your home can sit on the market for months without getting a single showing. If you're thinking you need to price high to leave room for negotiations, statistics show that views for your property, for buyers in your price range, can drop a whopping 90% if it's priced too high. Discuss with your agent what the market says the value of your home is, then price it competitively to potentially get a bidding frenzy instead of low offers or having it expire.




Making sure the house is clean and having to leave on a daily basis for buyers to tour the home may get a little overwhelming, but it is crucial to have open availability to have your home shown. You could end up missing out on the perfect buyer if you decline too many showings. The longer it sits on the market, the less value buyers will see in it. Talk with your agent about having a 24 hour notice period if the extra time is needed, but make sure your home is available to be shown as often as possible.




Buyers want to walk into a house and envision their lives in that home. This is difficult to do if your home is cluttered with personal belongings. They are instantly given the feeling of invading someone else's personal space, instead of the satisfaction of being able to see a future in your home. Make sure your property is clutter free before putting it on the market; and store away any family photos.




If you smoke or have pets, it's easy to get used to the smell to the point that you don't even notice it anymore. But it's important to understand that the scent can be picked up by new people visiting your home, and it can really turn them off from making an offer. Before a showing, make sure to dispose of any garbage, don't cook fish or other strong smelling food, and ensure the home is freshened up so there are no pet or smoke odors. 




Selling your home as-is may sound appealing at first, but being unwilling to make repairs could cost another mortgage payment that far exceeds the cost of repairs if you refuse to work with the buyer on their requests and the home goes back on the market again. It's wise to be open to repair requests, and simply go over with your agent what you can afford to do and make a reasonable counter offer during the repair negotiations. 




It's important to have an open mind about requests that will come from buyers when it comes to purchasing your home. These requests can come in the form of price negotiations, repair requests, or even requests to cover closing costs or home warranties. With your agent on your side advising you of the best steps to take, it's best to be open to working with the buyer's on some of their requests to ensure a successful closing.

If you still want to sell your home, please give us a call. We work with many sellers that have tried to sell with another agent and was unsuccessful. We walk you through each step and take a realistic approach.


Laurel Jonas 

Northwest Realty Group



Posted in Selling Tips
March 29, 2021

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your First Home

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your First Home_Laurel Jonas Blog

The real estate market is constantly changing, so of course DO YOUR RESEARCH! DO NOT jump the gun on this one! Unbiased advice from family and peers may be kind, but you are the only one who knows what your needs are when it comes to buying a home. 




Forget finances for a minute and focus on what made you consider even buying a home in the first place!


  • Is your family expanding?
  • Does your family feel safe?
  • Is there a STELLAR school system in the area so your children can get the education they deserve?
  • How about that unbearable landlord?




DON’T SLEEP ON YOUR DECISION TOO LONG! Home prices in Coeur d'Alene continue to rise! Not only are they on their way back up, but these increases are happening monthly.


Don’t believe us? According to Existing Homes Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average price of homes in May 2017 went up 5.8% from last year.


If you wait until next year to buy, you might be scrapping for change in the cushions to say the least! Not only will it cost you more to buy, but you will also need to increase your down payment to account for the higher price of the home.




The initial process of purchasing your home may seem easy and quick, but THERE IS MORE TOO IT! The ‘long term cost’ of buying a home WILL haunt you if you buy at the wrong time! Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and NAR have projected that mortgage interest rates will DEFINITLEY increase over the next twelve months. The smallest increase in mortgage rates can have a huge impact on a home owner.




If you and your family feel it is the right time to buy a home then GO FOR IT! Consider these points when making the final decision.


Don’t forget, this move is FOR YOU!


Laurel Jonas 

Northwest Realty Group



Posted in Buying A Home Tips
March 21, 2021

5 Things First Time Home Buyers Need To Know

5 Things First Time Home Buyers Need To Know_Laurel Jonas BlogBuying your first home could seen overwhelming, emotional and a bit scary. It is quite a process and being prepared, educating yourself on the process and hiring the right people will make all the difference in the world. Here are is a list of 5 things first time home buyers need to know before buying a home.

1- Hire a local full time Realtor.

The agent you hire should educate and guide you through the process step by step. Interview agents, ask your friends who they recommend or ask around. You want someone who will be there every step of the way. The best part is- your hired professional won't cost you a penny. Sellers pay the broker commissions upon a successful closing. You want to feel comfortable with the agent you choose so pick wisely.

2- Hire a lender.

I recommend leaning on your Realtor for this. Your agent should have great business relationships with a handful of lenders. They tend to know which companies/ lenders can get the job done based on past experience and transactions. In order to write an offer on a home, you will need to be pre qualified. This means the lender will need to run your credit, collect pay stubs, tax returns, income verification etc. Then your lender will advise you on what financing options would work best for you. The most popular options are FHA, VA (if you are an active/inactive Vet) or Conventional. There are more lending programs out there and the lender will educate you on which one is best. Your lender will also be the one to tell you how much you are qualified for and what your estimated monthly payments will be.

3- Be Specific with what you want.

Once you are pre qualified and know the type of loan you will be obtaining, what your down payment will be and how much money will come out of your pocket, now you can move forward to the fun part, viewing homes. Communicate with your agent exactly what you are looking for in a home and price. Be specific and realistic. Live within your means and stay within your monthly budget.

4- Read the Contract.

When it comes time to write an offer, listen to your agent while he/she goes over the offer with you. Once accepted, you are then in a binding contract. Know what you are getting into to you don't end up in court. There are many time frames that need to be adhered to so listen to your agent to guide you through this process.

5- Know the Numbers.

Before even writing an offer, your agent should inform you of what Earnest Money is, when it is collected, what it's used for and how much you will need. Know that if you want to have an inspection done on your home, you'll have to pay for it along with any other inspections you want done. Same thing goes with a Home Warranty (unless negotiated in an offer). Speaking with your lender, you should know your down payment. What about closing costs? That is in addition to your down payment. That is something that could be negotiated as well but if it's not, that needs to be paid at closing along with your down payment. Know your numbers. Be communicating with your lender and Realtor throughout the entire process.

Buying a home will be an emotional time. By being prepared and hiring professionals to guide you through the process will make a wonderful and exciting experience.

Laurel Jonas 

Northwest Realty Group




Posted in Buying A Home Tips
March 21, 2021

Storage Ideas For Small Bathrooms

Storage Ideas For Small Bathrooms_Laurel Jonas BlogIs your bathroom small? It’s the worst, isn’t it? Well, unfortunately, small bathrooms are very common, and are usually the smallest rooms in the house. I can almost bet that it almost always feels cramped and tight in there. Although the square footage doesn’t change, a change of organization and storage space can make a drastic change to how your bathroom feels. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your bathroom space feel more functional and spacious.

     Medicine Cabinet
    If you have a regular mirror, replacing it with one that includes a medicine cabinet and provide further storage space.
    If you have free space above your toilet, vanity, or other another empty part of the wall, install shelving units. Purchase a few decorative baskets to maximize shelf space.
    With a few decorative hooks, in a style of your preference, you can declutter by placing a couple on the back of the door to hang towels or robes. Perhaps one or two right next to each end of the shelving unit you just installed.
    Towel Racks
    A rack installed inside of you shower can save you space and convenience, also adding an additional shower bar above the original will work nicely. Another idea is installing a few racks a couple of feet above each other or right next on another. If you have an excessive amount of towels, store some of them away in the bedroom closet.
    Vanity with Cabinet
    I have come across plenty of pedestal sinks in small bathrooms, but if you want save some space, add some storage, and upgrade the look of your bathroom at the same time, a vanity cabinet will definitely do the trick.


Laurel Jonas 

Northwest Realty Group



Posted in Selling Tips
Feb. 23, 2021

Save Your Home From Dryer Fires

Save Your Home From Dryer Fires_Laurel Jonas Blog

Every year, more than 2900 home fires are started by clothes dryers. The leading cause of these fires are from a build of up lint from lack of maintenance. The removable lint filter unfortunately doesn't catch all of the cloth and fabric particles, so maintenance requires a little more than just emptying the filter after each load. Whether you live in your own home or plan to purchase in the near future, it's important to have safeguards in place for the utilities that you use that could put your home at risk. You want to make sure that the lint that gets trapped in crevices and in the hose on it's way outside are thoroughly cleaned.

Here are a few warning signs to look for that may indicate your dryer is getting clogged up by lint:

  • Clothes are taking a lot longer to dry, and sometimes not even drying all the way.
  • Clothes may be hotter by the end of the cycle.
  • The outside of the dryer starts to get really hot.
  • The outside exhaust vent flapper isn't opening much.
  • The laundry room begins to feel really humid.
  • There is a burnt smell in the laundry room.

If this seems to be the case, then you'll want to evaluate your dryer. The tools you need to clean it are as follows:

  • A vacuum with a long hose attachment
  • Dryer vent brush kit
  • Screwdriver
  • UL listed metal foil duct tape

Here are 4 steps to cleaning your dryer:

  1. Remove the lint trap filter and make sure it's completely cleaned off. You want to make sure you're cleaning the filter after every load to help prevent lint build up.
  2. Vacuum the space that houses the lint trap filter. The filter doesn't capture all of the particles, and this is the second place the lint will begin to accumulate.
  3. Disconnect the dryer duct and clean out the duct with a long hose from a vacuum. You can also use a duct brush to help you complete a more thorough job.
  4. Make sure the duct is connected properly. You don't want it cinched in any part of the duct, to prevent crevices where the lint can get stuck.

No one knows the value your home has as much as this real estate pro, keep it protected by taking some simple cautionary steps to keeping everything in running order. And if you're in need of a brand new laundry room altogether, don't forget to give us a call. We have a list of great vendors and contractors that we would be happy to refer you to!

Laurel Jonas 

Northwest Realty Group



Posted in Buying A Home Tips
Feb. 16, 2021

Etiquette for Home Sellers

Etiquette For Home Sellers_Laurel Jonas Blog

Rule #1- LEAVE. When your home is scheduled to be shown by an agent, leave. Do no stay to meet the buyers or agent. They do not need you to walk around with them and tell them everything you have done to the home nor when your child took their first steps. This makes the buyers uncomfortable. That is the exact opposite you want the buyers to feel when they view your home. Purchasing a home is an emotional process. The buyers are looking for that "feeling" to call the home theirs. If you are breathing down their necks, they'll just leave quickly and you've then missed out. Think of it this way- when you go shopping at the store, do you want a sales associate to follow you around? No, plain and simple so don;t do it to someone else no matter how good your intentions are.

Rule #2- TAKE YOUR PETS WITH YOU. I'm a dog lover but not everyone is. That's a Fact. The buyers want to view your home without distractions. Even if your pet is in a crate, please remove them. Not only does it stress out the pet, it tends to have the same reaction to buyers especially if they are not pet lovers. Also, it is not the agents nor buyers responsibility to make sure your pet is not let outside. Remember, they are there to view the home, not babysit a pet.

Rule #3- TURN ON THE LIGHTS.  Even if you have a showing in the middle of the day, turn them on. Buyers are buying space- show off your home with as much light as you can. Open the curtains and show off your home. Nothing is worse to a buyer or agent trying to view a home by scrambling trying to find light switches before they enter each room. I educate clients to leave the home in the mornings as if there was a scheduled showing for the day. You never know when an agent or buyer will schedule it and you always want your home ready. That buyer may be "the one" that is going to purchase it. If your home is not presentable, that buyer may not get the same emotional feeling and move on to the next home.

Rule #4- REMOVE YOUR PERSONAL PICTURES. I'm sure you've heard of the term "depersonalizing" your home. Well, that means all family and personal pictures. Living in your home and selling your home are two different things. You need to remove your personal items so the buyer can picture themselves living in the home. A buyer does not want to feel as though they are intruding on "your" space, they want to picture themselves living there. That's hard to do if they are constantly seeing your pictures throughout the home.

Rule #5- DO NOT COOK STINKY FOOD BEFORE A SHOWING. Fish, spicy foods, bacon- yes even bacon leaves a lingering smell and not a good done. When you leave in the home, you may not smell it much because you are used to it. When an agent or buyer walks in, they are hit with the smell. The smell may be enough to cut the showing short just to get away from the smell. So just hold off on the curry food for awhile or eat it out.

Rule #6- BE ACCOMMODATING. When an agent schedules showings, they typically are scheduling more than one home to view at a time. Most of the home it's 5 or more. Think about that, the agent is contacting the listing agent of each property and then that agent is having to contact that seller. That's a lot of communication and scheduling trying to accommodate a list of showings. If you limit your showings availability, you may miss out on that buyer. If your home is unavailable, that agent is going to show that buyer the other homes that ARE available. That buyer may end up writing an offer on one of those homes because your home was unavailable.

Rule #7- LISTEN TO YOUR REALTOR®. This is so important so I'll say it again- LISTEN! Follow the guidance of your trusted professional. He/she should guide your through the home selling process and give your tips like these for successful showings. Your agent should also walk through your home and give suggestions on preparing your home for sale. Like I said before, living in your home and selling your home are two different things. Some agents (like myself) provide a complimentary staging consultation for clients. You are selling one of your largest assets, put some time and educate yourself on how to sell it correctly and efficiently.

By implementing these7 Etiquette rules, you should have successful showings and in no time, sell your home!

If you would like more information on how to sell your home for top dollar, please check out my book; “At Least Put the Toilet Seat Down. Your Guide to Selling Your Home for Top Dollar“. It is also available on Amazon. 


Laurel Jonas 

Northwest Realty Group





Posted in Selling Tips
Jan. 23, 2021

Durable Kitchen Floor Options


Durable Kitchen Floor Options_Laurel Jonas Blog


Kitchen floors get put through quite a lot! Between all of the dropped utensils, the spills and drips; being one of the most used rooms in a home, your floors need to handle kitchen hazards and look good doing it. A large variety of floor materials won't be an ideal fit for the kitchen because of this. Below, I'm listing my favorite kitchen floors that help with maintaining low maintenance, and keeping a balance between style and functionality.


Ceramic tiles can be a great fit for the kitchen because they are resilient, hard, and impervious to stains and water. It also helps that they are resilient to heat and breakage, under normal conditions, that is. They came in a variety of colors and even faux finishes to add a beautiful, yet smart, addition to your kitchen.


Concrete is a great option for ground level kitchens and are a long lasting option for homeowners. Sometimes, concrete slabs may have already been placed beneath your existing flooring. The surface of it can then be polished or stained to provide a stylish look for your kitchen.


Natural stone is a hard rock that allows it to remain durable and long lasting. The only drawback to stone is that it is porous, which makes it susceptible to water and liquid stains. This can be avoided with an annual application of chemical stone sealer, which simply provides an invisible coat of protection.


Hardwood can be tough to work within a kitchen because the material is porous and relatively soft. However, if you like the look of hardwood in a kitchen, you'll just want to have it treated with a quality polyurethane-based finish. Keep in mind, it will, overtime, take on a more aged look. If you find character and personality in imperfections, then hardwood will work great for you.


Bamboo has a similar look and feel to hardwood, and can be a great alternative. It is a harder and more durable material that helps it become more resistant towards moisture and water damage. The only drawback? It's tough to refinish them because there is no direction to the natural grain.


Made popular about 50 years ago, linoleum seems to be making a comeback. Linoleum is made from all natural linseed oil, which makes it pretty environmentally friendly. They're also pretty easy to clean and maintain. If it is properly cared for, it can generally have a lifespan for upwards of 40 or so years. However, if it is immersed in water, it is highly susceptible to damage. Be sure to avoid basement quality linoleum in your kitchen or they will begin to curl when faced with humidity.


Vinyl is a great and affordable kitchen flooring option. Their lifespan generally tens to run around 7 to 10 years before they start showing significant signs of wear and fade. Vinyl is man-made and is nearly impervious to water issues, stains, and other damage. It is also very easy to clean.

Don't want to replace your flooring? You can always give us a call and we'll find you a house with the type of kitchen flooring that you love!


Laurel Jonas 

Northwest Realty Group





Jan. 15, 2021

Home Selling Tip: Half Empty Closets

Here is a great TIP when selling your home:

BuyersHome Selling Tip: Half Empty Closets_Laurel Jonas Blog are usually looking for tons of storage space. If you leave closets half full, you'll give the impression of there being more storage space throughout the property.

Remember: Buyers are buying space. The more livable space you can show the buyer, the better your chances are to receive an offer and successfully sell your home.

When buyers see closets that are well organized and half full, it gives these impressions:

  • Sellers have kept the home clean and orderly
  • There is ample about of storage in the home
  • The sellers must have taken good care of the home

These are all POSITIVE impressions you are giving the buyer by having your closets clean, organized and half full.


When a Buyer sees a closet like this picture, it gives many different impressions:

  • That there isn't enough space in the home
  • Sellers may not really be motivated to sell
  • Sellers may not really take good care of their home
  • What else have the sellers neglected to do

These are all NEGATIVE impressions. When selling your home, you want to eliminate as many negatives as you can.

Selling your home for Top Dollar is no simple task. It takes a lot of cleaning and organizing. Keep in mind: Living in your home and Selling your home are two different things. What may be acceptable to you, may be a deal breaker for a buyer. Take the extra step, put forth the effort and list your home when it is clean, organized and ready to sell.


If you would like to get a FREE Copy of my Book, At Least Put the Toilet Seat Down. Your Guide to Selling Your Home For Top Dollar, please contact me at 208-758-9000 or via email: 

Laurel Jonas 

Northwest Realty Group






Posted in Selling Tips