Preparing Your House for Moving Day!!

When itmoving When it comes to packing up your house and moving all your items, it can be a daunting task that can almost immobilize even the most type-A personality. But by breaking down such a task into easy, manageable bits it becomes easier to swallow what must inevitably be done. And don’t forget, you can always take the easier route (if it could be called that) and hire a moving company to pack for you as well. Just keep in mind, hiring a mover comes with its own stress.


Now that you’ve decided to pack your house yourself, here are a few steps to make the job more manageable and less stressful:

  • First, begin months ahead of the move date. If you’re selling your house you would do this before you put the house on the market. And with the way inventory has been going in the Treasure Valley, your moving day could be sooner than you anticipate. Begin by de-cluttering your house. For each item ask yourself 1) Do you love it? 2) Do I use it? 3) Do I need it? If you can’t answer yes to two of the three then donate it or throw it away. Having a garage sale can help, and the proceeds from the sale can help with the moving expenses. Inevitably when you’re unpacking at your next house and haven’t gone through the whittling down process, you’ll ask yourself, “Why did I pack this?” Even going through whittling down process, you may find yourself saying that if just given the number of items that need unpacked and put away at your new place.
  • Pare down your pantry – Each one of those cans of food is going to have to be removed, whether you donate to a food bank or move to the next house. So start eating what you have and don’t buy any more unless you’ll eat if before your moving date. This goes for your freezer and fridge goods as well. If you’re moving a long distance, you’ll have to make arrangements to keep the food at the appropriate temperatures. The less you have to worry about the less stress you’ll have.
  • Consider storage – If you are removing furniture and decorations and don’t have storage in your garage or shed consider renting storage or pods a short-term options while your house is on the market. Items that won’t be used in your new location should not be put in storage; instead donate or sale those items.
  • Make appropriate arrangements – Remembering to switch utilities and cable and internet will help you to have a smooth transition on your first day in the new house. If you have children who would benefit from being offsite on moving day, make arrangements for a sitter – it will also make the day easier on you as you’ll have one less distraction. Consider a pet sitter for pets if that would ease the move day stress for them as well.

Remember the pre-planning ahead of time will help when it’s time to get to the packing.

*Silverhawk Realty (Treasure Valley and Western Treasure Valley Real Estate) and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.













We couldn’t agree more!

Read more from the Idaho Press-Tribune on Dutch Bros CEO true success story – “All You Need Is LOVE!”

NAMPA — Four-hundred people gathered Wednesday evening to celebrate the Nampa Chamber of Commerce’s annual Evening of Excellence. This year marks 125 years for the chamber.

Travis Boersma, CEO and co-founder of Dutch Bros. Coffee, was the guest speaker.

Boersma founded Dutch Bros. 25 years ago in Grants Pass, Oregon, with his brother Dane with a double-head espresso machine, a pushcart and experimental brews.

Now, the company has 260 locations in seven states, including Idaho.

Tax Reform: Do No Harm To Home Ownership



There’s been quite a ruckus over President Trump’s first few months in Office as he begins to forge his path as America’s forty-fifth president. He has already ruffled a few feathers and caused strong opposition from different fronts as he set to work “making America great again.” With such uncertainty many are wondering just what changes will occur and how they will affect American lives. This uncertainty also reaches into the real estate industry. With much talk about the elimination of the mortgage interest deduction in the months prior to Trump’s first days in the Oval Office, many are wondering what other changes will likely affect real estate, housing inventory and lending practices.

Most would agree that Trump is a wild card as there has not been another president like him in the past. Without a comparison to get a base-line on our new leader, many are scrambling for solid ground as “what-if” stories are circulating through the media. Truly a man of and to himself, he has a different outlook on how he will run America. Just because things are going to be different doesn’t necessarily mean things will be negative or for the worst. Everyone will have their own opinions and each rightly owns their opinions. But we’ll stick to the facts and take a look at what could be in store for American real estate and the potential effects on the market.

Trump is a real estate mogul and understands the benefits of real estate as an investment. Some say because of this he will continue to be a friend to the real estate industry. And it is no surprise that Trump is a supporter of fewer business regulations. Fewer business regulations would allow lending companies more flexibility in negotiating with underwriters and allow non-traditional lenders to enter the lending field. Small-sized banks typically fund construction and land development. Decreasing compliancy cost for small banks means more loans will be processed and spur the housing market creating more inventory, which has been lower than usual. Also, less regulatory land-use and zoning burdens for construction would lower the cost of building and developing. With more money to build more will be built.

With much talk and speculation about the tax changes bound to be implemented, Trump is looking for the most advantageous tax structure that could possibly prompt holding companies to sell investment real estate. As the mortgage interest deduction, property tax deduction, and exemptions on capital gains from home sales are all looking at some form of tax reform. Realtors are holding strong to the belief those are not to be “harmed” or altered in any way. We, as an industry, will continue to educate our elected officials as to the importance of home ownership and its intrinsic benefits to the individual homeowner and the community as a whole. Real Estate will always be a good investment and the broad benefits it provides to families and communities are too important not to protect!


*Silverhawk Realty (Treasure Valley and Western Treasure Valley Real Estate) and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

Destination Vacation Spots


What do destination spots mean for real estate? Most might think expensive or over-saturated and competitive, possibly too touristy and cliché. But what if you could find a piece of real estate in a destination spot that claims none of those characteristics – would you be willing to check it out for yourself, possibly see and experience what a vacation rental as an investment option might offer?

When looking for vacation rental options in destination areas, be it beachside, cityscape, country living, or tropical, most folks are traveling for the experiences to be had and new views to take in on their average ten-day vacation. A full year of ten-day vacations is a lot of time to get vacationers in your vacation rental and a lot of money to be made. While hotels are a dime a dozen and on every corner depending where you’re vacationing, condos, townhouses, vacation homes and apartments are still preferred by families. With the added space, privacy and amenities, vacation rentals offer more space for less cost per night than hotels, which makes vacation rentals a win for investors.

Of course finding the ideal vacation rental is key, but that might be easier and more local than you could imagine. You’ll never guess what local city made Vogue’s Ten Hottest Travel Destinations of 2017*.  Right up there next to tropical paradises, infinite beaches, islands, and must-have cultural experiences, our little Idaho has made the list, with Boise as “one of America’s most desirable second-tier cities.” Vogue gushed over the Modern Hotel and Bar, quintessential coffee shops, the booming craft beer venues, distilleries, and Boise’s cultural feel. But what would Idaho be without giving props to its outdoorsy life? Credit to Sun Valley and Ketchum were likened to Aspen in the 1960’s, a throwback to laidback attitudes. With access to trails for hiking, running, and biking in the foothills and camping, skiing, boarding, and whitewater rafting just beyond the backyard in the miles of mountain terrain, Idaho boasts a nature and outdoor adventurer’s delight.

If Idaho is booming as a vacation hot spot, now is the time to get in on the opportunities while it is still in the beginning phase. Tapping early into the reservoir of vacation rentals in a destination hot spot is the ideal investment. The right investment will yield high returns and have minimal maintenance. But you will have to do a little investing of yourself to make a vacation rental ideal. With as little as ten hours per week a recent survey* found that vacation rentals comprised a quarter of survey participants’ income. Time was spent advertising, responding to traveler’s questions, and coordinating cleaning and maintenance of the property. Think how much easier it would be if your vacation rental was just across town – accessibility for a quick check-in, variety of known local cleaners, maintenance, and contractors to choose from, all equal peace of mind.

If you’re still on the fence, there is always the option to use your current home as a vacation rental and purchase an upgraded home for yourself. In the end there is always the option to sell if it doesn’t work out.

*Silverhawk Realty (serving real estate needs in the Treasure Valley and Western Treasure Valley) and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.



Photo by: Alamy

The Bathroom Option

DSC_1109 (1280x821)Bathrooms have come a long ways over the decades. Bathrooms of yesteryear had all the essentials – toilet, sink, tub, and shower (sometimes), but they lacked layout and functionality and most of the time personality, not to mention the number of bathrooms per house. Think back to your grandma’s bathroom or Aunt Suzie’s bathroom or maybe even your own childhood bathroom. Today bathrooms still contain the essentials, if they’re a full bath (more on this in a bit), but they also have functional layouts, storage, and personality as builders get crafty and accessories are in abundance. With marble or granite counter tops, tile back splashes, and vinyl flooring made to look like stone or actual stone flooring bathrooms nowadays are a creative endeavor worth showing off.DSC_5690-1

As shower surrounds improved and bath shower combos became spacious and functional (no shower curtain sticking to your legs or drafty air freezing you out) with space for your bathing items the place where you perform your daily hygiene routine is easier. And if you have a newer home much more stylish. Accessories abound as towel racks, facets, mirrors, lighting and toilet paper holders all of sudden look like someone took the time to make them fashionable – not to mention fun to use.

IMLS98623950O[1]Another trend is bathrooms that are a fraction less than a full bathroom. Most houses being built today come with a half bath, a bathroom that typical has a sink and toilet, to accommodate your guests, often called “powder rooms” from lingo of days old. In newer homes, this bathroom is a little bigger than a closet close to the common areas and away from bedrooms. Some houses might also have a three-quarter bath, which contains a shower, sink and toilet, foregoing the tub. Older homes might have a three-quarter bath missing the shower instead of the tub. In todays fast pace society, showers get more use than bathtubs, as bathing in a tub is now seen as a luxury. Master bathrooms of new homes typically boast a standalone shower and a deep, jetted tub, which is often more for looks and is actually rarely used. And for knowledge sake, there is a quarter bath, which as you can guess only has one of the four bathroom essentials, typically a toilet. This is unheard of in new construction.DSC_1111 (1280x842)

Bathroom sizes do affect the value of your house. If you are thinking of remodeling or adding a bathroom a full bath will give your home more value than any other bathroom option. The National Association of Home Builders conducted a study in 2006 and found that a full size bathroom will add about 20% to a homes value, while a half bath will add about 10.5%. This was true even if the number of bathrooms equaled the number of bedrooms. And if the bathrooms were less than the number of bedrooms a bathroom addition could add even more value. Thinking back to older homes with only one bathroom…we’re lucky bathroom norms have come a long way.

Honorary Commander of the Air National Guard 124th Fighter Wing

FullSizeRender On November 9th, 2016, I was sworn in as the Honorary Commander of the Air National Guard 124th Fighter Wing. This was such an honor and it couldn’t have happened during a better week. With Veteran’s Day celebrations and a time to remember all of the sacrifices our brave servicemen and women have so graciously given for our freedom I am truly humbled and honored to accept this privilege.

It was an extraordinary day as I was surrounded by family and friends. My dear friend Commander Mills, swore me in and presented me with my certificate, uniform shirt and challenge coins. But it didn’t stop there – I was given instructions as honorary commander and taken on a survival mission where I helped navigate two A-10’s back to base during a search and rescue demonstration. Words cannot describe my feelings as I took in the day and its events.

Last Friday, January 13th, I had the honor of being invited to this year’s “Airman of the Year” Awards Banquet IMG_1962for the Idaho Air Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing held at the JUMP Ballroom in downtown Boise.  The photos you see here are just a few from this extraordinary evening.

Click here to watch the Air National Guard 124th Fighter Wing 2016 Year in Review video that MIX 106 has provided.

To be a voice for my community is something I take to heart!  I’m a pleased and honored at this tribute to represent the Security Forces. The honorary commander program is used to establish and maintain personal contact with local civic leaders in our community to increase public awareness of the missions, policies, and programs of the Idaho Air National Guard and the United States Air Force. I take this honor seriously and will do my upmost best to be a positive and supportive voice for the Security Forces and sustain the link between civil and service in our community.

IMG_1969Thank you to all those who have served and for those of you who will follow in these same footsteps and serve our country in the years to come. As a proud American, I am eternally grateful for the many sacrifices of our veterans and our active servicemen and women. We truly cannot thank you enough or adequately show our appreciation for your time, effort, and commitment to your country.

Fighting for YOUR Mortgage Interest Deduction

house blogIt’s big news right now in the world of housing: mortgage interest deduction. With a huge Republican tax reform platform possibly coming to the legislative table and a reformation idea to fuel the economy, the mortgage interest deduction is up for debate with possible modifications that will make it less beneficial than it has been in the past.

Historically, the mortgage interest deduction has been poked and prodded with the intent of changing it, but it has had true staying power as lawmakers saw its lasting importance. In the past, reforms have tried to cap the deduction or make it a flat rate, but they were all shot down as REALTOR® representatives informed decision makers that doing so would actually hurt the housing market and in turn, the economy – the opposite of what they were intending the reforms to do. But for this mortgage interest deduction debate things are looking a little different.

For this tax reform debate the Brady plan is on the table. Plans for the mortgage interest deduction are not to eliminate it, but to put in place a higher standard deduction to cut taxes for many low-income and middle-income Americans. This change makes the mortgage interest deduction less useful and will hurt the housing market. First-time buyers will not see the benefits of purchasing homes, and the housing market will suffer significantly, experts say.

At first glance, the Brady Bill looks to benefit low-income and middle-income wage earners by introducing a higher standard deduction to income taxes. However, the reality is that by doing so will hurt average homeowners and possibly slow the economy. An example: a homeowner earning $65,000 a year invests in a home for $263,000 sees their tax benefit decrease from $3,325 to $166. Discouraging home ownership by reducing the mortgage interest deduction makes renting look far more beneficial. Homeownership advocates warn of a housing collapse if such a reform is embraced by law makers. That’s why REALTORS® and other homeownership advocates are launching a defense against such reforms.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) are not about to let policy makers make such a significant and damaging change to the mortgage interest deduction.  In December, NAR sent a letter to Congress stating the Brady plan as “potentially devastating” to the housing market. We have also hired an accounting firm to study the ways in which the current blueprint for the tax reform would affect house prices and sales. In the past, such documentation has swayed lawmakers to redirect tax reform. Our hope is this fight will result as all the others: with the mortgage interest deduction unaffected and fully intact!

*Silverhawk Realty and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

A Christmas Present for You

As the holidays are wrapping up and the year is coming to a close a great gift to give yourself is real estate. Maybe you got that perfect gift: a fancy new electronic gadget, those beautiful sparkly earrings or the sports car of your dreams. But guaranteed, a new real estate investment would far outweigh all those gifts combined. Why? Eventually you’d be able to purchase all of those gifts with the income from your investment.

Continuous Income

With income properties there is no pressure to sell unlike raw land or other real estate not providing any income. Income properties continually contribute income month after month. So unless you want cash out, your equity, there is no pressure to sell.


With the proper location your income property will reap the best returns. As all real estate is tied to location, finding the perfect investment property for you is dependent on location and niche market trends. Superior location for a specific business is what makes an income property great. And a great income property makes a great investment. Finding an ideal location for the type of income property you’d like to invest in doesn’t have to be difficult to figure out. Your REALTOR® will be able to advise you on how to assess location and market niches. It is our job to know the local market and other markets within the same geographical area. To harness the best potential for an income property, be patient and don’t settle unless the location is perfect.


A megatrend is a pattern or movement which has a major impact on business and society as a whole. The main ones include: globalization, demographic changes, urbanization, technology changes and climate change and sustainability. Megatrends will affect how you purchase income property, or they should anyway if you want to have a profitable property. Bottom line with megatrends is to be on the correct side of what is going on in the U.S. today. What worked five years ago isn’t the same for today.

While that little neighborhood market on the corner thrived, today it isn’t reaping the same earnings it did five years ago, because things have changed. Trends have changed. Maybe all the college kids have moved out of the area and now the neighborhood is full of working families who shop at the major grocery store. Maybe the junior high around the corner got relocated and there aren’t any junior high kids storming the store at lunch and after school spending their allowance or lunch money on candy bars and soda.

Isolating trends in a specific market niche will help your income property succeed. One investment idea based on baby boomers retiring is that mobile home parks have the best fundamentals in real estate today. But that idea won’t work in every market. By doing your homework you can discover what will work the best in the right area, which will allow your investment property to grow in value and distribute cash simply from being in the right spot and more importantly at the right time.


*Silverhawk Realty and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

Real Estate as an Investment Strategy

Our economy is booming: construction has plowed full steam ahead completing one project after another, cash is flowing, buyers are spending, jobs are available, and in theory we all have more money. But what usually happens when we have more money is we spend more. That’s when it is prudent to invest those extra pennies to ensure there is money later on, whether it’s for retirement or specific goals or dreams.

With the rise in the housing market and buying incentives for first timers, first-time home buyers are testing homeownership waters. They’re taking a step to invest in their future. But what if you already own your own home? How can real estate help your future?

One rule in the investment world is to diversify. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” – an old cliché that has stuck is still true. You have your 401K and IRA and you diversify within each of them to match your specific retirement needs. But another way, and often overlooked, is diversifying your retirement portfolio through real estate. Purchasing another house and renting it out is a sure way to set aside future equity, not only for the house but more importantly for your retirement. A future investment like real estate continues to give a return long after the mortgage is paid off. Renters increase the equity of the house for you, and once the house is paid off you have extra monthly income to spend, save, or invest. If you’re retired at that point then the renter’s check will help supplement your retirement budget, and with Social Security’s uncertain future it’s sensible to plan for its absence.

Median house prices are on the rise, almost back to the pre-recession average sale prices. Not to mention that there is upward movement as houses are appreciating. Purchasing an additional house as an investment is in your best interest before house prices continue to increase. The market is predicted to continue to do well as many sources predict the economy will continue its upward momentum.

Another option is to rent out your current home and purchase an upgraded home. With all the new construction around the valley and subdivisions expanding, maybe your current home doesn’t match your needs as it did in the past. Or maybe it’s just time for something different.

Investment options don’t have to stop at single family dwellings either– there are multi-family housing units available. From duplexes, 4-plexes, and apartments there is a wide array of multi-family units to fit your budget and commitment level. Commercial real estate is another lucrative investment as well. Business buildings usually have several spaces to lease. With the economy thriving and low risk levels, more entrepreneurs are stepping into the business world and they will need places to conduct their work.

There are various options for investing and the right option can be your solution to further diversifying your investment strategy.


RREALTOR® or no REALTOR®? It’s a serious question homeowners are asking themselves these days, especially considering a commission percentage of total sale for the agents. There are plenty of online tools and self-help websites to dig through with some helpful information and advice if you want to go it alone. However, even with the internet and information overload for do-it-yourselfers For Sale by Owner (FSBO) house sales have declined from 19% to 9% in the last 20 years. Sure you could do it yourself, but wouldn’t you rather enlist the help of a professional who sells houses as their day job? When you hire a REALTOR®, because that is what you are doing – hiring a professional and their services – you get all their knowledge and experience. It is their job to sell homes. It’s what puts food on the table and pays their own mortgage and puts their children through school. As with any sales position effort equals income. It is in their best interest to get the most for your home. Most REALTOR® sales are $35,000 higher than FSBO sales, based on the national median sale price for 2015 for agent assisted sales ($245,000) and FSBO sales ($210,000). With such a significant difference, that makes a commission seem not so hard to swallow. Why would you want to jump over a dollar to save a dime? Most of wouldn’t just based on the effort alone, especially if jumping isn’t something we do daily.

Hiring a REALTOR® will get you access to their arsenal of co-trade professionals they use to help sell homes. They have appraisers and home inspectors under their favorites in their contact list. They have a list of home contractors – painters, finishers, plumbers, carpenters, and roofers, who they know and can vouch for their work and their prices. If it needs addressed an agent will indentify it and have a solution.

With their knowledge of the market, guidance on home viewings, trade knowledge, and their third party perspective, a REALTOR® will guide you through the process of selling your home. And they will guide the potential buyers through the process on the other end as well. There’s a reason why REALTOR’s show homes when homeowners are out: potential buyers feel more comfortable and don’t have to worry about offending current homeowners.

If you decided to post your house as a FSBO, there are lots of aspects to consider. For example how will you market your house, how will you schedule and balance the phone calls, home viewings, verifying buyers, and all the research to know what you’re doing? Because obviously you’re selling your home yourself because you want to save some money, but if you don’t do your homework you could potentially be selling yourself short, literally. So search online, read, find an online home value tool, assess your house, higher an appraiser, research the market, promote your house, talk to friends or colleagues who might know about FSBO, clean your house, stage your house to make it buyer friendly, take pictures…it all sounds exhausting. The big question is how motivated are you? Because you know how motivated a REALTOR® will be to sell your home.