As a matter of custom and tradition, autumn was never the high water mark for house shopping, though there are some benefits to doing so. Re-locators, generally, like to be in their new digs by the time school starts. As with so many things, however, the ebb and flow of real estate transactions look different in the year 2020.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic altered the financial and commercial timetables of countless businesses. Concerning the housing market in Boise, Idaho, the influx of humanity over the last few years can also influence fall home buying. The bottom line is that numerous variables favor buying a house in Boise.
Metro Boise in 2020
Why is the Boise area fast becoming a mecca for Californians and people from other states? A number of reasons support this migration. Many new residents, for one thing, have spent time in the Gem state and are impressed with its natural beauty and pristine atmosphere.
Others are seeking to live closer to a family that already resides in Idaho. In addition, the minimal tax burden and utility charges lure retirees to a place where their savings and nest eggs will go farther than in other states. These motivators are compelling disaffected out-of-staters to find their bliss in Idaho.
Unemployment is low in metro Boise, about 2.3 percent. In fact, job growth over the next decade is forecast to top 50 percent. The cost of living is low compared to other U.S. cities like Seattle and Portland.
The prices of food, energy, water, sanitation, Wi-Fi, and other retail goods and services each rank low in side-by-side comparisons. According to U.S. News and World Report, Boise ranks 17th in best places to live in the United States. Moreover, the city is number four in the safest places to live and number 12 among fastest growing cities in the country.
Forbes magazine lists metro Boise as number six in the U.S. with reference to job growth. According to USA Today, the last five years saw a near 20 percent increase in job creation, well over 60,000 new jobs.
What It All Means for Real Estate
Idaho, like so many states in the Union, is in the grip of a strong sellers’ market. The ratio of available homes to those looking is quite low. The combination of low inventory, high prices, and extraordinarily low interest rates creates a perfect brew of overwhelming demand.
Realtor.com has placed Boise as first in the nation as far as favorable increases in home sale volume and final prices. All this is occurring despite the continuing coronavirus pandemic with its collateral economic and business side effects.
Real estate is appreciating at rates faster than at least 40 other states. The median sales price for a single-family home in Boise was $350,000, up by over seven percent from 2019. The median list price is only slightly higher, reflecting an eight percent increase from last year. Meanwhile, the number of days that houses sit on the market is one less than in 2019.
The Boise regional realtors association reports that in April of 2020 there were 761 sale closings in the metro area, fewer than the same time a year ago. Surrounding Ada County also demonstrates tight markets and strong sales figures. The median sale price for the county is $353,400, a jump of 9.7% from 12 months ago. New homes constitute 35% of total sales.
This is good news for sellers and landlords. It is also a promising indicator for home builders and real estate developers. Yet how can buyers benefit from conditions that tilt in favor of owners? Waiting for the leaves to turn can also turn the tide toward purchasers.
What Is So Great about Fall?
Fall has more attractions than football and pumpkin picking. There is a dynamic that takes hold whereby prospective home buyers gain the upper hand or, at least, a more even hand.
- Sellers who have waited for months –– These homeowners are beginning to regret turning down earlier offers. They also are spurred by greater urgency to off-load the house soon. Their motivation is high.
- Less pressure to decide quickly — Buyers are no longer in the throes of bidding wars, allowing them to analyze costs and benefits more freely.
- Better mortgage rates — OK, it’s hard to see how they can get much better than right now, as mortgage rates are as low as they’ve ever been. Still, there is sometimes a let-up in lending activity after Labor Day. Banks are more willing to negotiate when volume slackens.
- Houses look different when the days get shorter — Many are staged to appear optimal in the sunniest time of the year. Autumn gives buyers a different view.
- Attentive service from buyer’s agents — Real estate agents should, of course, deliver optimal customer service to each and every client. Still, they are less swamped in fall than in summer and can devote more time to each purchaser.
- Less rigidity about setting settlement dates — With less pressure from rival shoppers, buyers can also ask for, and expect, more flexibility when setting a closing date.
- Warts and all — Leaves are pretty, provide shade and ecological health. They also cover up imperfections in properties that could be deal-killers.
- The busyness of life — this is reflected more during the school year than during the summer when families take vacations. Viewing a house in autumn allows buyers to get a feel for the community running at full throttle.
- Repair pros and contractors — Professionals who can help get a new house into peak living condition see a lull in business come September. More are available to new owners in the fall.
- Retail sales — Home goods often go on sale after the summer passes. Furnishing new digs is cheaper and easier when the morning air gets the chill.
Thus, waiting for the fall does convey numerous benefits to home buyers, to those who can wait, anyway.
Don’t Forget the Tax Benefit
For those closing on a new home, even if it’s done on New Year’s Eve, there are income tax deductions waiting. Any prepaid interest is deductible from total income, as is any contributions made at settlement toward the property taxes.
Depending on the size of the loan, the interest rate, and the property assessment, this could amount to significant monies saved come April 15th. Closing later in the calendar year also allows deductions of any mortgage points paid to the lender. These are helpful especially to self-employed and high-income purchasers.
Use the Lender as a Resource
A seasoned mortgage loan officer can be of tremendous advantage to people delaying a home purchase in Boise Idaho until the fall. As noted above, fall home buying may reap greater flexibility with loan terms than would spring or summer buy.
Such favorable treatment may or may not be available, in any case, it would only extend to highly qualified borrowers. Still, loan officers are attuned to local market conditions and can supplement realtor expertise as autumn buyers narrow down their target properties. You can never get too much wisdom.
Looking For a Mortgage to Buy a Home?
If you are looking for help, Sammamish Mortgage is here for you. We have been around since 1992 and have been helping residents in the Pacific Northwest achieve the dream of home ownership. Sammamish Mortgage offers mortgage programs in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. If you want to ask any mortgage-related questions, you can simply Contact us. Also, you can View Rates on our website. If you are ready, you can even Apply Instantly or get a Rate Quote.