Choosing Your Agent: Friends & Family

When it comes to choosing your agent, it’s easy to feel obligated to use the services of an agent who’s a friend or family member.

Loyalty is important, but it’s usually not a good idea to let loyalty override choosing an experienced, competent, skilled agent to buy or sell a home.

That’s especially true if the friend or family member is new in real estate or a part-time agent with minimal experience.

There are multiple conflicts of interest that can arise when you entrust the success of the largest financial transaction of your life to a friend or family member.

When you work with a friend or family member, it’s very difficult for the agent to provide guidance for personal, confidential, financial decisions.

Conversely, it’s also challenging for the client to hold a friend or family member accountable for the level of service expected.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home and using the services of a friend or family member, your best response may be “I don’t think we should mix friendship (or family) with business because I want us to remain friends”.


Should You Replace Your Smoke Detectors?

Kidde Smoke Detector

I’ve seen a lot of confusing information about replacing smoke detectors over the past year or so.

Specifically, I’ve seen many articles stating that smoke detectors more than 10 years old could become unreliable and should be replaced.

Color me skeptical, but I wondered if this information was nothing more than clever marketing by the companies that sell smoke detectors.

So, I asked one of my home inspectors about it and he sent me an article with details about replacing smoke detectors.

That article said there was no conclusive proof that smoke detectors fail after 10 years, but it also stated that no one really knows how long the typical smoke detector will last.

To my amazement, the article also mentioned that the #1 reason for home fire deaths was disabled smoke detectors.

It seems that people apparently disable them to avoid listening to the dead battery warnings!  😯

Then, I went shopping at The Home Depot and Lowe’s and discovered that most newer smoke detectors have sealed lithium batteries that are guaranteed to last for 10 years.

That means (if they really do last for 10 years) that I should never again have to deal with a smoke detector screeching at 2:30 a.m. because the 9V battery has failed.

That did it for me.

I bought new smoke detectors and will have them installed this week.

I bought Kidde® hard-wired detectors with battery backup for $27.97 each.

You can also buy combination smoke detector/carbon monoxide detectors that cost a little more, but I already have a carbon monoxide detector and didn’t need that feature.

I’m looking forward to not having to change any more of those 9V batteries; especially the one that’s 16’ high at the top of my vaulted Great Room ceiling!


Boise Homes: What’s Selling

Wondering which Boise homes are selling in 2015?

Here’s a breakdown of our 1,658 total year-to-date closed sales, broken out by price range.

  • Under $100,000: 18
    1.1% of all closed sales
  • $100,000 to $149,999: 226
    13.6% of all closed sales.
  • $150,000 to $199,999: 444
    26.8% of all closed sales.
  • $200,000 to $249,999: 296
    17.9% of all closed sales.
  • $250,000 to $299,999: 245
    14.8% of all closed sales.
  • $300,000 to $399,999: 264
    15.9% of all closed sales.
  • $400,000 to $499,999: 89
    5.4% of all closed sales.
  • $500,000 and above: 76
    4.6% of all closed sales.


  • 41.5% of all closed sales were under $200,000.
  • 32.6% of all closed sales were between $200,000 and $299,999.
  • 25.9% of all closed sales were above $300,000.

Data pertains to Ada County single-family homes on lot or acreage.

Data does not include condo or townhome properties.

Date range is 1/1/15 thru 3/31/15.


Boise Homes: Spring Maintenance Tips

Downspout Extension

Spring has sprung and our Winter weather is behind us.

Now, it’s time to think about some simple Spring home maintenance tips.

Lawn Care

If you have pressurized irrigation, you’ll soon have irrigation water available.

Now is a good time to apply your first feeding of fertilizer to ensure that you will have a lawn that’s the envy of your neighborhood.

It’s also a good time to apply pre-emergent weed killer to your border areas.

Finally, remember to apply insect killer to your lawn to avoid billbug infestation.

If you have outdoor pets, consider using all-natural fertilizer and pesticides.

Spring showers, or your irrigation water, will make it easy to water in your fertilizer and pesticides.


Our Spring season usually brings some rain, so it’s a good time to remove debris from your gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage.

Cleaning your gutters and downspouts will help prevent overflows that can cause crawlspace moisture.

I also recommend installing flexible downspout extensions if you haven’t already done so.

It’s always a good idea to channel drainage away from your foundation to avoid crawlspace moisture problems.

You can get them at Lowe’s or The Home Depot for about $8 and they’re a lot cheaper than the cost of remediating crawlspace moisture.

Foundation Vents

With our milder Spring weather, it’s time to open your foundation vents.

Opening your vents will allow cross-ventilation and help keep your crawlspace dry.


Boise Real Estate: Secret Codes Explained

You’ve probably noticed some of the “real estate speak” used to describe Boise real estate listings.

Here’s an insider’s view on how to interpret those descriptions.


Potential means the property is not yet what it could be, and may never be.


You’ll become best friends with yourself if you buy this one.


This home is so odd that you may never see another one like it.


You couldn’t find another property like this if you tried.


Just when you thought you’d seen everything!


Similar to amazing; only more so.


This property is really old.


Little house on the prairie?


Quaint is a synonym for odd.


To the contrary, this home didn’t graduate from charm school!

Mature Landscaping

If it were hair, it would be gray.