Coeur d'Alene, ID Real Estate News

By Pam Jank, Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro
(Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty)
The 9th Annual St. Patricks Day Parade This year's theme is “When Winter’s Dreams become Summer’s Magic” Date: March 15th, 2014 Time:  4pm Where:  Downtown Coeur d'Alene Paraded begins at 8th St. & Sherman Ave  Parade features Pipe Bands, Floats and More!  Fun for the whole family. -Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day "Image courtesy of Ron Bird / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"
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By Jack Tenold, Specializing in Reverse Mortgages
(Jack Tenold LLC)
Dear Boomer, Is your mortgage the only reason you can't retire? I am writing to shed some light on a reverse mortgage as a possible solution to making your retirement happen sooner rather than later.  Lots of folks simply can't retire because their house payments are their largest fixed expense and they don't see any way around that. Contemplate for a moment what impact having no mortgage payment would have on your retirement goals.  What do you plan to do when you retire?  Travel?  Visit the kids?  Volunteer? Get a part-time job?  Adopt a pet? If you enjoy working (like I do), don't stop!  If you enjoy making mortgage payments, I guess don't stop doing that either.    Studies show that staying active means a healthier you! Unfortunately, retirement isn't always optional; it may be forc...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
I spent yesterday afternoon showing waterfront homes for sale in Coeur d'Alene, along the Spokane River.  It wasn't exactly a picture perfect day, in fact it was drizzly and gloomy.  Nevertheless, the beautiful waterfront setting, under the pines along the riverfront, was a lovely and picturesque backdrop for the wonderful homes we saw.  This time of year, inventory of waterfront homes for sale in Coeur d'Alene is at a seasonal low.  As of this past week, there were a total of 218 waterfront homes for sale in our Coeur d'Alene MLS.  This includes homes for sale on all of the various lakes and rivers in the area.  Of those 218 waterfront homes for currently for sale in Coeur d'Alene, 17 have contracts pending. In the past six months, 85 waterfront homes listed for sale in the Coeur d'Ale...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
Without a doubt, the best part of being a Coeur d'Alene, Idaho real estate professional is the opportunity I have every day to help people improve their lives. Young people, old people, and everyone in between.  Wealthy people, distressed people, pleasant people and cranky people.  Buying people, selling people, knowledgeable people and ignorant people. Easy people, hard people, inconsiderate people and people full of gratitude.  The common denominator is that my days are spent helping them each find success in whatever their objectives are.  Bethany recently closed on the purchase of her first home.  What a happy day that was! She had been living at her grandparent's home so she could save money for her down payment.  It was about a year earlier that she cautiously and methodically beg...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Short Sale Realtor - Last year, more than 250,000 Americans were able to negotiate short sales to avoid foreclosure.  The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act of 2007 made their deficiency (the difference between what they owed the bank and the amount the bank settled for) forgiven, meaning they did not have to treat the deficiency as if it were taxable income.  On average, $37,000 was the amount of forgiven debt in short sales.  Coeur d'Alene short sale taxpayers in a 25% tax bracket would have owed the IRS an extra $9,250 in taxes.  The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act of 2007 expired on December 31, 2013.  This could limit the options of 6.4 million Americans, and thousands in Coeur d'Alene who are still underwater.  Ironically, now banks will get to write off the debt reli...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
Cooking Up More Than Real Estate Deals in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho ~ Apple Cider Pancakes on Christmas Morning! Several years ago, while living in Colorado, we spent a few days staying with our good friends John and Tina Hough at their Roosevelt Inn Bed and Breakfast in Coeur d'Alene.  One morning, we were served their signature Apple Cider Pancakes, and we were hooked!  Those wonderful pancakes and warm syrup made from apple cider have become the feature of our annual Christmas Morning breakfast.  DELICIOUS! Yesterday, my daughter-in-law called from Colorado to get the Apple Cider Pancake and Syrup recipes so she could serve them to the part of my family who would be gathered there on Christmas morning.  Although part of us were here in Idaho, and part were there, all of the Scharfs were e...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
No matter the weather, curb appeal PAYS when you are selling your home! Sunday I asked my friend Jayson Frank of Artscape Landscaping if his mowers were stowed for the winter yet, or if it would be possible to send his people over to a new listing I was taking and do some magic.  He said that the equipment was in fact in winter storage, they were working on Christmas Light installation, and standing by for snow removal.  I told him of my new short sale listing, a great little remodeled and affordable doll house, but with a yard that probably hadn't been watered, mowed, raked or picked up all summer and fall. He said the fact that the ground was frozen and frost covered was the biggest problem.  I sent him this picture of the yard so he could see what  I was talking about.  I wasn't sure...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
  Thanksgiving was wonderful as family and friends gathered at my house for a traditional feast and giving of thanks for all of our blessings.  My sister Kerri is a wonderful professional photographer and always on the lookout for photos for her file.  I get such a kick of her snapping photos of the food I prepare for family functions! I always make these roasted vegetables when friends and family gather at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I found the recipe in a magazine years ago and tweaked it a bit.  They are always my favorite thing on the menu, as delicious as they are beautiful! Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic-Lemon Vinaigrette 12 baby beets, trimmed, peeled (I have never found fresh baby beets.  I always use regular beets and cut them into chunks. Other than these roasted beets, I...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
I had a consultation with a sweet and savvy first time home buyer the other day.  She is searching for a home, eager to move out of her grandmother's house, where she has been living to save money for her down payment, and into her first home.  I gave her the last copy I had of Your First Home: The Proven Path to Home Ownership.  I've just ordered a fresh batch of these great little books to have available for my buyers.  If you are contemplating your first home purchase, give me a call and I will be delighted to give you your free copy before my supply runs out again. Here's the full book description on Amazon.com "There is a special category of life's firsts. First kiss. Driving for the first time. Going away to college. Starting your first job. Saying, “I do.” Having a child … All th...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
I've closed dozens of short sales this year, but none have brought me more satisfaction than 6369 W. Standing Elk Trail.  Working a short sale with Nationstar is always challenging, but this one is one for the record books.  It began as a Bank of America short sale, but was service transferred to Nationstar part way through.  Auction.com entered the fray when we were told that we needed to market the property on that site, even after we had an offer that was well above Nationstar's required net.  Auction.com is a blog post for another day, but after calling in some Congressional intervention I succeeded in keeping it out of Auction.com and on the long and winding road to closing.  I would sincerely be interested to know if anyone, anywhere, ever has had a short sale take this long from ...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
Now here's an interesting Coeur d'Alene Real Estate statistical report you don't see every day, if ever!  Here's how the 261 properties in the Coeur d'Alene MLS that sold in October stacked up in terms of financing type. Leading the count is CONVENTIONAL with 130.  Next comes good old cold, hard CASH, at 63.  3rd place goes to FHA with 20.  Nipping at their heels is USDA-RD with 19.  VA follows with 11, then UNKNOWN at 9.  (This simply means the listing agent didn't bother to put this information in the system when they closed the listing.)   IDAHO HOUSING AGENCY was the funding source for 5 closings, followed by LEASE OPTION with 2.  Tying for last place is HOMEPATH and SELECT ONE with 1 each.  I admit to having no idea what Select One is, I will have to do a little research on that on...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
Have you wondered how many Coeur d'Alene listings sold based on a certain number of bedrooms?  If you have, then this is your lucky day.  Looking at the Coeur d'Alene MLS stats for October 2013, here's what we know.  Of the 261 single family properties that sold in October, 28 had 2 or less bedrooms, 151 had 3 bedrooms, and 82 had 4 or more.  The average sold price for 2 or less bedrooms was $152,098.  The average when there were 3 bedrooms was almost $50K more, $199,704.  But if your home had 4 or more bedrooms, you snagged an average of an additional $100K, for an average sold price of $300,414. Now you are armed with some interesting market statistics that most likely no one else at your dinner party will know, few will care, but many might find the info interesting and perhaps even ...
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By Pam Jank, Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro
(Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty)
Two Million Lights! Parade and Lighting Ceremony  Friday, November 29, 2013   The parade will begin at 8th Street and Sherman Avenue, 5:00pm-6:00pm. View the lighted entries as they make their way west toward Northwest Boulevard, then move to the Coeur d'Alene Resort for song, candle lighting, and the best fireworks display over the lake the Northwest has to offer.  The evening ends with the lighting of two million lights on the various trees and displays along Sherman Avenue and the Boardwalk. What a wonderful start to the season! For more information contact Gay Glasson at208.415.0116 or Gay@CdAChamber.com   
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
First of all, what is HUD? HUD is the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. What is a HUD home? It is a home for sale that is the result of a foreclosure action on a FHA-insured mortgage. In other words, it's a repo. HUD paid the insurance claim and now is the property owner. It is offered for sale to recover the loss on the foreclosure claim. By definition, a HUD home can be a 1 to 4 unit residential property. When first hitting the market, they are offered to owner-occupied buyers first. After the initial offering, unsold properties are available to all buyers, including investors. How Do I find a HUD home? HUD repos are HUD repos are available to the public on the internet by management companies under contract to HUD, and are often listed with designated HUD agents in our ...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Over the life of the government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), 1.2 million homeowners received permanent loan modifications.  27% of those later redefaulted on their loans and that number is expected to rise.  The numbers should be startling but I can't say they really are.  The hardships that caused the homeowners to default in the first place are often ongoing and something many good people are just not able to overcome.  It's disheartening that the longer a homeowner has been in a modification, the greater the chances of redefault.  48% of those who received their modifications early in the program, which began in 2009, have redefaulted.  To be exact, 306,538 of those with permanently modified loans have redefaulted by falling 90 days b...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
Selling a vacant home in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho? The nature of my job as a real estate agent takes me into literally hundreds of homes every year.  I participate in office tours, open houses, visit model homes, tour homes with buyers, work with sellers, preview properties and even visit FSBOs to add to my list of available inventory.  This is a critical part of my job - knowing the local market inside and out.  I get to see homes in all price ranges and conditions - from good to better and from bad to worse.  What I am seeing lately is a number of vacant homes on the market in Coeur d'Alene for various reasons.  There are some good reasons why sellers and real estate agents don't like to leave a home vacant while it is on the market.  For starters, it's a target for vandalism.  Just yeste...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
Autumn is here, and the foliage has turned and fall is in the air.  Historically, Coeur d'Alene home sale activity slows in the autumn months. That fact contributes to a substantial number of sellers taking their homes off the market. Savvy sellers recognize that this is the PERFECT time for them to list their house for sale!  It's all about supply and demand.  For the next few months there will be fewer homes competing with you!  Realtors have long known that buyers who are out house hunting at this time of year are SERIOUS buyers, and READY to buy NOW!  Yes, there are fewer buyers out there, but make no mistake: Buyers are buying homes 12 months a year! Don't make the mistake of keeping your house off the market during the time of year when you will have the LEAST amount of competitio...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
Some of my happiest childhood memories involve huge piles of leaves under the ancient poplar trees that framed our house at 9th and Sherman.  They're all gone now, our home and those trees.  But each fall as the leaves pile up around town they live on in my memories. The city's annual leaf pick-up program begins on November 12. Residents are asked to rake their leaves and pine needles into the streets, about a foot out from the gutter line to allow for water drainage.  Please do not put bagged leaves, branches, rubble or refuse in the street.  There is no cost to you. City crews will be moving fast, beginning south of Sherman and working their way north.  Once an area has been cleared they won't return, so if you're too late you're just out of luck.  Due to weather conditions, equipment...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Short Sales - Can I short sell with a federal tax lien? I received this question from someone who was trying to decide what their best course of action was to avoid foreclosure: Our small business failed and as a result we had a lot of business bills that we were personally responsible for.  Now we have an IRS tax lien and a judgment filed against our house.  We can't afford to pay those debts off right now.  We owe more than our house is worth.  Is short selling our house to avoid foreclosure even an option?    First of all, let me say that I am not an attorney and can't give legal advice.  But I can tell you what has been my personal experience with several homeowners in this very situation. In general, creditors who have placed a lien against your home will releas...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
Secondary Waterfront Property For Sale In Coeur d'Alene, Idaho SECONDARY WATERFRONT is a classification of waterfront property for sale in the Coeur d'Alene MLS, and I often get questioned about just what that term means. Quite simply, it means that a particular piece of property classified as secondary waterfront in the Coeur d'Alene area has no frontage on the water, but it does have rights to water access.  Often, we will see this in waterfront communities where some of the homes have frontage on the lake or river, while others in the neighborhood do not.  But those non-waterfront homes or lots are often granted access to the neighborhood beach, dock, boat ramp or park which does front the water. For many, secondary waterfront in Coeur d'Alene is desirable in that it gives them easy...
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