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 21, 2021

What do you do with your left over house paint

What do you do with your left over house paint

 

 

If you have good paint that you can’t use, offer it to family, friends and neighbors, or call a local paint contractor. Some charities take paint too, especially those that do work helping the elderly with home renovations.

 

 Now that you’ve handled paint you want to keep or donate, it is time to dispose of what is left. Disposal is dependent on the type of paint. One gallon of paint can contaminate thousands of gallons of water, harm fish and aquatic plant life and eventually poison the food chain.

 

For latex and acrylic paints, you can solidify these paints and throw them away with the household trash depending on the municipality. To do this, mix your paint with a clay-based cat litter at a ratio of two parts litter to one part paint. Do this in a well-ventilated area, away from pets and children. Many hardware stores carry additives to put into your paint to solidify it for disposal.

 

 For oil-based paints, you will need to check if there is a scheduled household waste collection day in your community. You can also bring paints to a specified collection site along with other toxic products you want to get rid of, such as paint removers, used solvents, pesticides and herbicides and you can get that information from your local community waste programs. If your community does not offer this service, call your County Extension Home Economics Agent, the local waste management agency, your area’s water treatment plant or the local landfill, and ask what the procedure is for where you live.

 

 

Laurel Jonas

Northwest Realty Group

208-758-9000

208HomesForSale@gmail.com

208HomesForSale.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Selling Tips
June 21, 2021

Don’t underestimate the need for a Realtor®

We could all agree that the simplification of the process through paperwork would be much appreciated by agents and buyers/sellers alike; but the attempt of replacing the agent by sites like Zillow and other third party resources can lead to a snowball effect of disaster. Think about real estate being smack dab in the middle of fast food and a doctor. You can use your mobile device to quickly place your order for a $20 meal, but when it comes to getting surgery, you'll want to put that phone down and visit a professional. Now think of your real estate agent being in the middle of all of that. You can use your devices to look for a home, look at market data the way you look at WebMD, knowing not to take it too seriously because you need a real professional's input, but it's fun and gives you a general idea of what to expect. But in there lies the issue, the data online is an oversimplified version of what goes into the process of buying and selling. The same way it oversimplifies medical diseases and surgeries, you'd still expect to get a professional's diagnosis.

Although a real estate agent isn't quite like a doctor, the industry with its legalities, contracts, and processes is similar in the sense that it needs to be taken seriously. Looking for a house online and wanting to put an immediate offer on one can be exciting and fun, but the issues that require a professional's guidance come after the initial contract is written up and the hard work comes into place to actually make the home your own. The same thing goes for sellers. If you decide to put your home on the market and want a website that will give you an automatic offer, how do you know you're not being taken advantage of with the price? Most importantly, how do you know you're not being taken advantage of in other aspects of the contract? There is a lot more to the sale of the home than just agreeing on a number.

The next time you're digging through public sites for homes for sale, and getting instant home valuation estimates, keep in mind that this is a simple process to give you an idea of your market. A very general idea. After you've found the perfect house, or after you've decided that the numbers make some sense for you to sell, call your favorite real estate agent and make sure they give you a more detailed look into the market and assist you through the full process, not just the exciting first parts. It is going to be in the middle of a contract when the lending is falling apart, or negotiations can't be made on repairs and emotions are at an all-time high, that you are going to wish you had put down your laptop and had an agent fighting for you by your side. Use the internet, have fun with its amazing resources, but don't let it replace your Realtor®. We aren't in an age yet where technology can do everything a professional can.

 

Laurel Jonas

208-758-9000

208HomesForSale@gmail.com

June 21, 2021

Maintaining your granite counter tops

 

 

Granite countertops are in many homes across the country, but the knowledge of how to keep them clean and protected is not as widespread. Granite requires more than just a wipe down, so here are some tips to keep that countertop looking brand new for years to come.

Practice regular cleanings

Regular counter cleanings should be done with warm water and dish soap. DO NOT use vinegar, Windex or bleach on granite. Granite isn’t as porous as marble and is therefore less prone to soaking up oils, spills and stains. Preventing stains is key to maintaining granite countertops, so regular cleanings will keep you ahead of the curve.

Remove stains quickly

Make sure to remove potential stains before they have a chance to set. Create a paste of baking soda and water and then scrub the spot with the paste. Rinse off the paste and continue to clean as normal. If you come across an extremely tough stain, let the paste sit for several hours until it dries. Once it has dried, you can wipe it up with a warm cloth.

 

Reseal when necessary

Every 2-4 years, your countertops will need resealed. This is a job typically best left to professionals. Even if you are cleaning your countertops correctly, normal wear and tear will weaken your sealant, making your granite susceptible to stains.

 

Laurel Jonas

Northwest Realty Group

208-758-9000

208HomesForSale@gmail.com

208HomesForSale.com

Posted in Selling Tips
June 21, 2021

Dalton Gardens Idaho

Dalton Gardens

Dalton Gardens is a small suburb that sits between Coeur d'Alene and Hayden Idaho. It's so small, that it's no bigger than 3 square miles and backs up to Canfield mountain. According to 2018 census, 2403 people live there. Dalton Gardens is a unique area with both older and newer custom homes. The large draw to the area are the lot sizes which are referred to as "Dalton acres". Each lot is at least one acre and some much more. It feels like you're in the country.

Even though Dalton Gardens is so small, it is a city of its own with a major and city council. When driving through Dalton Gardens slow down, fawn are very popular in the area. If this area fits your style, click here to view ALL the active properties for sale: Dalton Gardens Homes For Sale.

Laurel Jonas

208-758-9000

208HomesForSale@gmail.com

Posted in Community
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. Based on previously owned properties.

 

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

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
208-758-9000
208HomesForSale@gmail.com
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 you're home apart from the competition. This is at no cost to you.

 

Laurel Jonas

208-758-9000

208HomesForSale@gmail.com

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.

1. It's overpriced

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.

2. Low showing availability

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.

3. Cluttered space

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.

4. Unpleasant odors

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

5. Unwilling to make repairs

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.

6. Unwilling to negotiate with buyers

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

208-758-9000

HomesForSale@gmail.com

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. 

 

WHAT MADE YOU CONSIDER OWNING 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?

 

WHICH WAY IS THE REAL ESTATE MARKET GOING?

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.

 

WHAT IS THE MORTGAGE FORECAST?

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 definitely increase over the next twelve months. The smallest increase in mortgage rates can have a huge impact on a home owner.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

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
208-758-9000
208HomesForSale@gmail.com
208HomesForSale.com
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
208-758-9000
208HomesForSale@gmail.com
208HomesForSale.com
Posted in Buying A Home Tips
March 21, 2021

Storage Ideas For Small Bathrooms

Storage Ideas For Small Bathrooms_Laurel Jonas Blog

Is 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.
    
    Shelving
    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.
    
    Hooks
    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
208-758-9000
208HomesForSale@gmail.com
208HomesForSale.com
Posted in Selling Tips