Judging Best, Worst Boise Schools When Searching For A Home

Recently, I had a real estate investor client ask me “Which schools are the best in Boise?” He is considering investing in single-family homes to hold for appreciation and is looking for areas that will attract people and perform well over the long term. Makes sense to me.

I have always let my buyers make their own determinations on desired schools, and after one google search for Boise School Rankings, I remember why again. There are many websites that rank schools on a variety of parameters and many are opinions that are difficult to quantify, like “best prepares students for secondary education”.

My first instinct was to look at the Idaho Dept of Education website, but gave up quickly on finding any school rankings data summary- not user friendly. Not very transparent for a public system. I now see why there are so many websites doing this.

After a short search, the system that made the most sense to me was at schooldigger.com, which ranked schools based on average SAT test scores from the Dept of Ed for 2017. There are a surprising number of low ranked elementary schools in Boise! You might want to avoid these when searching homes for sale. Please do your own research if schools are important to you. Here are the best and worst 10 Boise elementary schools:

BEST
Roosevelt (#1 of 400+ schools)
Highlands (#4)
Collister (#9)
Hidden Springs (#15)
Longfellow (#26)
Lowell (#43)
Adams (#45)
Washington (#46)
Riverside (#48)
Anser (#65)

WORST
Jefferson (#287 of 400+ schools)
Garfield (#286)
Hillcrest (#285)
Whittier (#275)
Koelsch (#272)
Owyhee (#266)
Taft (#255)
Whitney (#253)
Horizon (#231)
Valley View (#188)

Keep in mind, some of these are charter schools with no area restrictions and others- public schools with open enrollment, but there could be a waiting list. I can easily send you listings on homes for sale in a particular Boise school district. Happy hunting!

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Boise Idaho Among Cities With Best Housing Recoveries

The national median home price of $227,000  in 2016 surpassed the previous high of $220,400 in 2005. After the crash, the national median home price has climbed 26% since the bottom is 2011. Not surprisingly, many cities around the nation have experienced great recoveries.

Realtor.com analyzed the 150 largest metros through 2016 and Boise Idaho was among the top 10! According to their numbers on the Boise Metro, home prices have climbed 48% since 2011.  That’s a strong five years!

Only three metros out-performed Boise since 2011:   Reno NV up 77% – San Jose, CA up 53% – North Port, FL up 51%

Portland, OR up 43%, came in fifth behind Boise.

My numbers from the MLS show that the Ada County median existing home price rose almost 75% from $130,000 in Q1 of 2011 to $226,800 in Q4 of 2016. Talk about building wealth with real estate!

Boise Idaho home prices are still low by comparison. It’s not too late to jump on this gravy train and buy homes.

Source: “These Cities Are the 10 Biggest Comeback Stories in U. S. Real Estate” realtor.com 5/8/2017

 

Great Advice From Other First-Time Home Buyers

Finding information on buying a home is easy. The hard part is sorting the fluff from the useful. If you are a first-time home buyer, I promise on my broker’s license, this is good & useful advice from many who have been through the home buying process, compiled by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council. When you’ve read through what they have to say, please let me know if you have any questions. As an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®), I have worked with many first-time homebuyers, and would love to help you search, view & evaluate homes for sale in the Boise Idaho area.

Helpful Advice from One Buyer to Another by REBAC Staff. © 2016 REBAC.net.

For Buyers: Choose Carefully Your First Home

Buying your first home is an exciting milestone and can be an extremely wise financial decision. However even though you are most likely very much “in the moment” during this process, it’s important to stay grounded and try to do some long-term thinking as well. While the ideal first house isn’t the same for everyone, there definitely are some houses that can be unfavorable for some first-time homebuyers. As an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) serving for my 26th year the Boise Idaho area, I have worked with many first-time homebuyers and can help you to steer clear of a mistake in choosing homes for sale. After all, you have to live with it. Please contact me for help. Check out this great article that will make you think long-term.

The 6 Worst Homes for First-Time Buyers by Angela Colley. ©1995-2016 National Association of REALTORS® and Move, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Worst House May Be Best For Home Buyers

After 25 years of helping buyers search for homes in the Boise Idaho area, I know from experience that every home is a compromise for home buyers between what, where and how much. Ugly can be fixed. Old can be updated. That stench can be the smell of opportunity.  The only things you can’t change are location and neighborhood. That being said, the rest should only be changed if it makes economic sense and rarely can you fix every flaw. There, I’ve shared my real estate investment rules of thumb.

For inexperienced and first-time home buyers, this article from Realtor Magazine contains some excellent advice about choosing a home, seeing the home as an investment, and the importance of location over condition in real estate.  I know that not everyone is “handy” and may not see it this way, but the logic is sound.  I have not read his book, but it might be worthwhile.

Why Buying the Worst House May Be Best

Source: “Why You Should Never Buy the Best House in the Neighborhood,” realtor.com® (Nov. 5, 2015)

Should Sellers Hire Inspector Before Listing The Home?

Had a client ask me this last week and it’s not the first time, so I thought it would be blog-worthy.

Is it common for seller to get the home inspection out of the way before putting the home up for sale?

No. Not common, but maybe a good idea.  In my career in Boise real estate, I’ve shown thousands of homes and only a handful had the inspection report out for showings.  In those cases, the buyers felt much more confident about their knowledge of the home after reading a comprehensive and independent inspection report. Much can be observed by a practiced eye on a walk-thru of a home, but how many buyers will crawl through the crawl space & attic and walk the roof, like a professional home inspector does? A pre-inspection might set your home apart and certainly help you get a higher price by removing some of the buyer’s uncertainty.

When I am wearing my buyer’s agent hat, I see two rounds of negotiations in every real estate transaction; first when you make the offer and again when you find hidden defects. Rarely do home inspectors fail to find flaws, even in very well-maintained or new homes.  Sellers might want to consider hiring an inspector and making repairs before listing, to prevent getting beat up by buyers later on price or having to do fast repairs when busy getting ready to move.

In the Boise area, most inspections cost around $300, depending on size, and it is very common to see:

  • furnace and ACs that have not been recently serviced
  • Water intrusion in the crawl space from sprinklers, uncontrolled roof run-off or settling around the foundation
  • fallen insulation and ductwork in crawl space
  • violations of electrical  & plumbing codes from DIYers
  • missing roof shingles, cracked roof vents and open seals around plumbing vents
  • dryer and bath vents not venting to exterior
Then again, when I put on my seller’s agent hat, maybe you want the buyer to have to invest $300, making it harder to walk away. I still lean toward sellers getting a pre-inspection.

Your Credit History And Home Owner’s Insurance Rates

Did you know that a poor credit rating can cost you, not only on mortgage rates when you a buy or refinance a home, but also on hazard insurance? Yes, the cost of homeownership can go up when your credit score goes down. As a real estate broker in Boise Idaho, I often witness the surprise when people see just how much their credit history limits their options for financing a home, both in cost and available loan programs, but this revelation surprised me as well.

According to a study commissioned by Insurancequotes.com, falling from an excellent credit rating to poor can cost you 50-100% more in insurance premiums, depending on the state you live in. That’s because many insurance companies use a credit-based rating system, similar to a FICO score, to predict future claims on your home owner’s policy, and apparently it works. Statistically, people with poor credit file more claims than those with good credit. Who knew?

Check out this article I found on it:

How Much Credit Affects Your Home Insurance Rate May Surprise You,