Sandpoint, ID Real Estate News

By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
The stats are in for condo sales in Sandpoint. Idaho and Schweitzer Mountain!  As we can see from the graph below, prices have been holding fairly well (only 16% below 2007's "sold" prices). The lack of volume in 2009 is alarming but not much of a diversion from what we have seen nationally.  Note the sale price/list price ratio and the days on market.  ...fairly solid. North Idaho is a strong retirement/baby-boomer area and the numbers above support that.  Condos are one of the "homes of choice" for retirees and their value has held well through these difficult times.
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
For quite some time I taught adults. One thing we always made clear: it is best to be professional in all cases. Here is an example I used: When dining out, or working with a close associate in a transaction, such as purchasing insurance, it is common for the shopper/diner to ask the question, "So, are you from here?" In Sandpoint, a town that has received numerous accolades and national press, this is perhaps the most common question. While the answer may seem simple, it is probable that we forget the proper answer. We forget who it is being served. We typically gush about our home towns, then tell them about our marriages, our bad jobs, etc., etc., ad nauseum. This is not the right response. Here is the proper answer: "I am from New Orleans. Where are you from?" Here are some other ex...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
The numbers are in.  The Real Estate "market adjustment" is frightening (from a homeowner's perspective) but not surprising based on the stats we have been seeing nationally.  As you can see below, the median priced home is down 24% from 2007.  The massively daunting statistic, however is the sales volume from 2007 to 2009 in the Sandpoint City area...almost a 60% decline!  In Sandpoint and surrounding area, almost a 50% decline in sales volume! While these numbers do reflect the national real estate crisis they also support the fact that now is the time to buy.  A client of mine said to me recently, If you're not buying real estate now, you're not in the game!"  That is certainly the case here in Sandpoint and the rest of North Idaho.  We are enjoying a magically mild winter and the mo...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
Dover Bay Waterfront Resort has continued to be aggressive in marketing and selling its array of distinctive neighborhoods.  Some of the recent transactions: a Marina Town condo is pending after two closings a few months ago, one closed and one pending Parkside Bungalow, and a closed Cottage.  Dover Bay has introduced a very appealing finance incentive that is currently available through the month of February. Dover Bay has teamed up with Mountain West Bank to offer the following terms on standing inventory at Dover Bay, whether this be a waterfront vacation home, waterfront or secondary condominium, bungalow, cottage, or waterfront homesite. This is a straightforward 30 year fixed loan (NOT an ARM), and Dover has negotiated a 'rate buydown' for its customers offering 3% Interest in yea...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
We continue to see many changes in the marketplace and some very large FHA changes coming down the line.  For those buyers that need low or no down payment, they should act now as there are still options available that are timely and beneficial for your buyers.  Please contact me with any questions or scenarios.  I hope to see most of you in the next few days.  Have a great end of the week and I look forward to working with you.   Current Note Rates for FHA/VA/USDA/ Conventional 30 Year fixed Mortgages are at 5%. Current Note Rate for Conventional 15 Year fixed is 4.375%. Current Note Rate for Conventional 5/1 ARM is 3.625%. Current Jumbo Rates are as follows: 30 year fixed 20% down is 5.5% 15 year fixed 20% down is 4.5% 5/1 ARM 20% down is 4.625% Here is a link to a recorded conversati...
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So, my company, Tomlinson Sandpoint Sotheby's is outselling the competition by a considerable margin, and within my company, I am #12, and am in the top 20%. Here is the graphic:   If you want a REALTOR that works for you 24/7, and is community minded, give me a call at 208-610-1384. To learn all about Sandpoint and North Idaho, visit www.SandpointID.net  
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
This morning, my website that I provide for my business as well as a community resource, received an award on www.Garden-Planters.com Here is the link for their awards page. While it may not seem that this is something a gardening site would consider, we have the only Farm & Foods Guide for our part of North Idaho. Our website gets over 12,000 hits a month, and informs on hundreds of varying subjects, providing, again, hundreds of pages, thousands of photos, videos, graphs, information, and more. The site promotes our town and North Idaho, and it is easy to navigate. Plus, it provides information that is needed that no other site gives, such as a one-stop guide for docks, calendar of events, and a farms & food guide. You can't find this info on other sites. We are very proud of our site...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
My brother and I participated in the 2nd annual 24 Hours for Hank Ski Race at Schweitzer Mountain Resort this past weekend, along with our friends Kyler Wolf and Blake. The race had approximately 150 participants, up from 109 last year. This is apparently the only 24 ski race in the country, and its quite the event.  24 Hours for Hank is a benefit event for the Cystinosis Foundation.  Cystinosis is a rare genetic disease that affects approximately 500 people in the United States (mostly children), and about 2,000 people worldwide. This disease causes the amino acid "cystine" to accumulate in the body's cells. Over time, cystine buildup slowly destroys various organs including the kidneys, liver, muscles, white blood cells, eyes and central nervous system.  Hank Sturgis is a local boy in...
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For a football fan, I am rockin' happy. How cool can it get? Couple of years ago, my LSU Tigers and my alma mater Florida, ranked #1 and 3, then Boise State ranked #5 and beating Oklahoma in perhaps the best college comeback game of all time. Boise State goes undefeated this year, and Sandpoint plays Blackfoot Idaho in the State Championship at the Kibbie Dome this year. Even though those Blackfoot boys were ten feet tall and semi-pro players, our boys came within a touchdown of winning it all. This after both the Sandpoint girls and boys had won the state titles in soccer. Okay, so the Saint haven't even come close to going to the Superbowl since they started in 1967. But...They're going this year. Waaassssuuupppp!!!!! Here is the deal. North Idaho has a bit of affection for New Orlean...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
Sandpoint High School is an athletic powerhouse…So far this year: State Finals in football, State Champs in both boys and girls soccer, Conference and District Champs in volleyball.  Sandpoint is perennially strong in wrestling, track and baseball.  In short, Sandpoint athletes are a focused group.   Tennis is no exception.  The Sandpoint Bulldog tennis team was the 2009 Conference and District champion and finished 4th at the State Tournament.  Tennis in Sandpoint follows a long and outstanding tradition.  In fact my son, lost in the finals of the U-16 Sandpoint  City Tournament back in 1993.   2010 marks the tenth year of tennis at the high school as a varsity sport.  Idaho is one of the few states that offers varsity tennis to both boys and girls in the same season (Spring).  This af...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
The perfect winter continues here in North Idaho and these photos, in my humble opinion, attest to that fact.  I woke up this morning to yet another "balmy" day in Sandpoint (around 45 degrees), bright sun and brilliant snow covered mountains in every direction.  Today was one of the few days this winter where I didn't seek out powder stashes.  Today was meant for letting it all loose on the impeccable groomers and testing the edges of the old GS skis. The photo on the left looks out over the South Bowl toward the Northeast.  In the background is Lake Pend Oreille and the Cabinet Mountains of Montana.  The right photo is the South Bowl looking Southeast down the Ridge.  Those are the double black diamond chutes dropping off to the left.  You can see the spindrift the wind is creating......
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
In 1997, Hastings House published my book: Passion for Wine. For years I had worked with top-rated restaurants, with people like Emeril Legasse, and at places like Commander's Palace in New Orleans. Guess I have some skills. So, when my best friend opened a restaurant here - Dish Home Cooking - I volunteered to lend a hand. So, I put together their wine list, offering over 25 wines rated 90 points or better, and eighteen wines with accolades such as Editor's Choice or Best Buy. Most of these wines are under $25. You might think, "What is a REALTOR doing waiting tables?" Well, first, I manage the restaurant on weekends, and in a small town, that often means we, meaning the owners and I, take care of tables personally. Second, I hope that love of food and wine never leaves my veins. Some ...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Not Quite Punk. Not Quite Punk. What do you think of when you hear the words "Not Quite Punk?" You think of punk. Well, they aren't. At least, not quite. The local group, Not Quite Punk was one of the bands I saw at the Bash for Cash concert last month raising funds for charity at the Panida Theater. Their music ranges from Jazz-abilly, Blues, and kind of a jazzy, blues, rock that is their own style. I have hosted the North Idaho Arts & Adventure radio show on KSPT and KBFI for the last five years, and this band was on my show this Tuesday at noon. At the Bash for Cash several groups performed. The premier group was another local band: Illusion 33. Illusion 33 started out doing local gigs, and I interviewed them two years ago. Within a year of founding, Pat Ficek did this great video of...
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I had the great pleasure of interviewing Trish Gannon, the editor of perhaps our best publication: the River Journal. Trish is one of those totally unassuming people that does the best of work in a job that gives the least of accolades. What I mean is, we have a newspaper in Sandpoint. We have several other publications. Here is the truth: our other publications are okay: exactly what you would expect in a small town. Sandpoint Magazine is admirable, at times the local paper is laughable, but they really do try hard. The Sandpoint Reader is little better than a marginal step above a small college news rag. The others are typical. The River Journal is at a premium level. Good writing; fulfilling subjects, engaging reading. What's more, and since I am a web geek, their website is the kind...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
This week on my radio show - North Idaho Arts & Adventure - I hosted three great examples of why Sandpoint is a very cool place to live. First on were three beautiful girls representing Yoga Day USA: Kerri Kuntz from Sandpoint Hot Yoga, Julia Quinn from Twisted Root Yoga, and Abbey Corriveau, from the Integrative Athlete. Abbey and Danny had been on my show about a year ago, and a nicer couple you simply couldn't meet anywhere. Danny is a champion at Jiu-Jitsu, and as their website claims, you can Achieve fitness and athletic goals utilizing kettlebells, Ashtanga yoga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and mixed martial arts. They met in college, and chose Sandpoint as their best place to start their lives together. Yoga Day USA is an opportunity for yoga studios/teacher in Sandpoint and across the n...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
Looking out over Schweitzer Mountain's "Sunnyside chair #4" I saw this rare sight the other morning.  The colors were amazing.  (The chair hadn't opened yet).  Not bad for an iPhone Today it is snowing lightly.  It looks like another powder day. Here's a Schweitzer update:  I just took my obligatory 7 runs this morning and I am exhausted.  ...soft, deep powder on every run, top to bottom.  It is on the warm side so it wasn't champagne powder (a little on the heavy side) but smooth and silky none-the-less.  Basically...UNBELIEVABLE.
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Recently, I blogged about our efforts to transform the great community event of the Sandpoint Winter Carnival into one that also added sales dollars to local businesses in Sandpoint. The first change was Dine Around Sandpoint. Mel Dick and I had a conversation about Dine Around San Diego one evening, and the next day, I bought the www.DineAroundSandpoint.com domain. To be fair, this has been instituted in large part due to the massive efforts of Mel. I did the balance of the work, getting the websites and brochures done, and communicating with the various restaurants, but without Mel, it simply wouldn't have happened. The problem in Sandpoint, at least in the past, is we could not get the varying groups and businesses to come together in a combined effort. One event competed with anothe...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
Many of you know that my brother Randy and I both moved our families to Sandpoint with the idea of planting roots, raising our families together, and perhaps building a business.  Randy has been a ‘coffee geek' for over a decade, having worked with the best in the industry in the coffee meccas of Seattle, Italy, and Hawaii.  He is committed to his craft and is highly skilled in sourcing, roasting, preparing, and educating on coffee.  For years I had been encouraging my brother to write a business plan and to pursue his dream.  It started to occur to me last winter that I might help him with this venture, and before long I was as excited about the idea as he was.  Our vision literally came together last winter over the long rides on Chair 6, where we made the decision to pursue our goal ...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
  The Spires community at Schweitzer in my opinion offers some of the most unique and valuable real estate at any ski area in the country.  It is rare to have property literally at the top of the ski mountain, offering both a pristine and tranquil setting, with great ski access at the same time.   The development of Spires actually begins just before Boundary Chute off Schweitzer's South Bowl, extending east along the ridge and dropping another 1000 feet or so through gladed powder stashes.  Individual homesites are available at the top of these expert ski runs.  Local powder hounds are often familiar with the treed powder lines that run from the ‘out of ski area' lines down 1000 feet through the Spires land - commonly known as ‘Reservoir Run'.  Property owners in The Spires have always...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
With the Sandpoint Winter Carnival beginning Thursday with the annual Taste of Sandpoint, we kick off our late winter season of happenings. One thing that was glaring this year was how many North Idaho communities dropped event after event. Every month I update the www.SandpointID.net/calendar.html events calendar. Unlike other calendars, I try to include other areas, such as Hayden, Priest Lake, and Schweitzer Mountain. As I updated from last year, I began to notice that other small towns, and even Schweitzer and Stoneridge Golf community were dropping annual music events and activities like crazy. I understand. Times are tough and revenues are down. Perhaps they will start them again as our economy improves. Maybe not. One thing I know is that Sandpoint has not taken the same road. La...
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