By ALX GEORGE ageorge@idahopress.com

By ALX GEORGE ageorge@idahopress.com








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.

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.


Real Estate Market Trends for 2017

blackboard-suit-tsAs the year is wrapping up, many wonder what the next year will hold in store for the real estate market. So far the outlook is positive. Even though there are some doubts that the current growth cycle is about to come to an end, there are many more positive perspectives that the current growth cycle has more life left in it yet. Here are some trends to watch for in 2017:

Earlier this year as Britain made their exit from the European Union and uncertainty took its place European markets are struggling to find solid ground again. In the process to find stability, the U.S. is safe ground for foreign investors to take a breather while the cards fall. Uncertain global markets make the U.S. market appear stronger and more appealing to global investors. Real estate in the U.S. is likely to continue to be favorable as its growth continues.

Although European markets are suffering a setback and China’s market is decreasing, other foreign investors are looking for investments with high yields and appreciation. Real estate in the U.S. is the likely choice for such investment as it is seen as the most stable world-wide. With uncertainty in such major foreign markets investors want stable footing.

It is likely that the feds will raise the cap rate one more time before 2016 is out, however the raise should be minimal as they don’t want to upset current trends. It is predicted that even with an increase cap rates won’t go much higher. Regardless, there will be movement as investors seek to capitalize on opportunities.

Supply is low and demand is high, which will help continue to fuel the growth cycle. After the recession, lenders were more than cautious about commercial construction lending, resulting in fewer available properties today.

Oil prices dropped significantly in 2015 and continued to drop into the first of this year. As of yet, prices have not recovered to half their high price from 2015. With oil manufacturers just now slowing production there is a significant surplus. With lower gas prices, that frees monies to spend on other commodities. Lower energy costs also positively influence construction costs fueling commercial improvements and growth.

So what do these trends mean to you? It means real estate is alive and well and is projected to continue to keep its momentum in the next year without any foreseeable setbacks. There might not be a lot of commercial construction as banks have stricter lending requirements and are looking to minimize risks, but there will be improvements to existing structures. Global investors will continue to look to the U.S. market due to its stability, and foreign money will fuel the U.S. economy. Money made available from lower gas and energy prices will shift into other spending arenas. Housing will maintain its curve as the U.S. economy continues to flourish. In other words, things look great for 2017.

Silverhawk Realty

Source: http://nreionline.com/finance-investment/five-trends-affecting-commercial-real-estate-looking-ahead-2017


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.





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For Tracy Kasper, October was a memorable month. How do I know? Well, she’s my mother!

She was awarded the prestigious Realtor of the Year (ROTY) Award for Idaho REALTORS®, the 55th recipient. Every autumn, Idaho Realtors hold a conference; and this year it was at Coeur d’Alene Resort in beautiful northern Idaho on October 6th. As ROTY, Tracy is representing Idaho at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on the Year ceremonies in Orlando, Florida.

Applicants for the ROTY award come from local nominations where they have received a local ROTY award or are nominated by a fellow broker or member. This prestigious award is competitive. ROTY award criteria is based on the following categories and weighted by involvement:
• 10% Realtor Spirit: Faithfulness to principals of organized real estate laws, and regulations of Board/Association and their Code of Ethics, time and effort in furthering principles among other brokers, press, and general public.
• 20% Civic Activities: Participation and offices held in local, state, and national civic and service clubs, membership in charitable organizations, political appointments or elections to public offices or commissions and activities within each. Community projects to enhance economic development, pride, and awareness.
• 10% Business and Educational Accomplishments: Business history since entering real estate, educational courses and designations earned.
• 15% Local Board Activities: Involvement in committee/task force, elected office assignments, special assignments and events, appointed positions and special achievements or recognition.
• 30% State Association Activities: Involvement in committee/task force, elected office assignments, special assignments and events, appointed positions and special achievements or recognition. Attendance and participation at state meetings and conventions.
• 15% National Association Activities: national offices and committee work, membership and work in Institutes, Societies, and Councils including National Honor Society, attendance at National conventions, meetings.
Mom’s involvement on local, state and national levels is abundant. She is owner/broker of Silverhawk Realty, an independent real estate company, which has five offices throughout the state and into Ontario with over 64 agents. She is the 2016 State President for Idaho REALTORS®, 2017 REALTOR® Party Member Involvement Liaison for NAR (National Association of Realtors) President Bill Brown, and FPC (Federal Political Coordinator) for Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador since 2013. She also chairs her local and state RPAC (REALTORS® Political Action Committee) and is a Public Policy Trustee for Idaho. She has served as a NAR RPAC Fundraising Trustee and has raised more than $300,000 for children’s charities in her community. Tracy is a Platinum R President’s Circle Investor, having invested more than $25,000 in her career. She is also an Honorary Commander for the Idaho National Guard.

Tracy’s education includes NAR Leadership Academy Graduate, graduate of REALTOR® Institute. She is Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource Certified and a Certified Residential Specialist and Designated Broker and an Accredited REO AgentTM. She has 24 years of experience with emphasis in new construction and REO properties.

My mom’s success is commendable. Yet, she could not have been successful without the tremendous support from family, friends, mentors, peers and colleagues. She is grateful for their support and their role in helping her succeed.


Silverhawk Welcomes Jeri Soulier

Jeri Soulier Picture

Jeri, and her husband George, live on a beautiful secluded piece of property northeast of Mann Creek Reservoir, 15 miles outside of Weiser, Idaho. They raise a small herd of Scottish Highland cattle, Large Black Hogs, and also have horses, dogs, cats, chickens and lots of wildlife nearby!

Jeri and George moved to Weiser in 1991 and feel like they have lived there all their lives! She has a background in Nursing and Criminal Justice. Jeri started in real estate as a sales agent in Payette in 1993, and earned her broker’s license in 1995.

Jeri was appointed as a commissioner to the Washington County Planning and Zoning Commission, and served for over 10 years. She served on the Weiser Area Groundwater Nitrate Priority Committee and has been an Idaho Department of Fish and Game Hunter Education Instructor. She has also volunteered with Rose Advocates against Domestic Violence. She currently teaches Financial Peace University through local non-profit organizations and volunteers at the Four Rivers Free Clinic in Ontario, where she gets to use some of her nursing experience and her practice her Spanish.

Licensed in both Idaho and Oregon, Jeri approaches her real estate business as a ministry – bringing all her background, experience, education and local knowledge to benefit her clients.