Sandpoint, ID Real Estate News

By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
By Gary Lirette, Host of North Idaho Business on KSPT and KBFI and Realtor for Tomilinson Sandpoint International Realty. How are things here in North Idaho? Besides being named to Sunset Magazine's Top 10 Resort Towns this year, and according to the United Health Foundation, Idaho was just named the nation's 8th healthiest state (http://www.americashealthrankings.org/2008/results.html). In Sandpoint and Priest River, several new businesses just opened, including a Jack in the Box, Big 5 Sporting Goods, the Priest River Inn, and Zip's. The new Mountain West Bank building on the way to Priest River now graces Highway 2, and the Panhandle State Bank is a monument downtown. As Paul Schaller, CEO of Quest Aircraft told me on my North Idaho Business radio show, Quest just hired 60 new employ...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
The sales in the Sandpoint area were down considerably from our peak in 2007. (See figures below) However, our sales are still robust and better than the previous years of 2001-2004. So, if our market has declined, we are ahead of those years. Certainly, nobody would have thought of the earlier part of the decade as anything but a successful real estate market in Sandpoint. Another facet is how our market is retaining value. Our median price is down, but not as much as many, many other markets in the United States. See the Market Conditions representing October 2002 to October 2008 Bonner/Boundary County Real Estate Trends, 2006, 2007, and 2008 2008   LIST PRICE: SOLD PRICE: DOM:   HIGH LOW AVERAGE MEDIAN TOTAL PRICE $2,575,000 $26,000 $308,954 $230,060 $187,226,260 $2,350,000 $21,750 $...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
These days, as bankers commit acts that many believe should be criminal, and mortgage brokers make loans that are questionable at best, it seems that expectations have been lowered to an all-time low. As Americans we should expect more. So, what should you expect from your Sandpoint real estate agent? Certainly you should have a knowledgeable REALTOR®. What kind of knowledge should your agent have? College educated? A builder? An interior designer? Someone who renovates homes? Knowledge of the area? Here is what I offer for a base of knowledge: •·         College educated. •·         Investor and owner of several homes locally. •·         Renovated and built several houses doing much of the work myself. This helps you in that knowledge helps you make informed decisions. •·         As th...
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By Seasons Sandpoint
(seasonscom33)
The Northwest region of the United States is full of the natural beauty of forests, mountains, and glacial lakes. Offering something for just about everyone, the climate, terrain, activities and attractions vary from rugged ocean coasts to rain forests to gigantic mountain ranges. But, there are more than just outdoor activities to this area; fine dining, microbreweries and a vibrant arts scene also draws in visitors from around the world.   Located in Northern Idaho, Sandpoint isn't very far off the beaten trail of the magnificent Northwest, but it feels like an undiscovered secret. The cafes, coffee shops, fine restaurants, boutiques, nationally renowned stores, art galleries and antique stores meld with the performing arts, music jams and poetry readings to keep any resident active a...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
One of the aspects I love about Schweitzer Mountain is the great side-country/backcountry ski terrain that is accessible from the lifts.  We all know that we haven't had a whole lot of snow since early January, but I was amazed at how good the powder was off 'Big Blue' today.  Its pretty cool to be able to find face shots right now, even if you do have to work a bit harder for them. I got to the mountain around noon today, hoping the 3 inches from yesterday would have blown in nicely on the North Bowl.  Seeing that this last little storm is still on top of crust in most places, my pal Travis let me know that Big Blue had been good a few days before.  We hiked the T bar, headed out of bounds and charged up Blue.  We came down skier's right, and kept cheating more to the right. As these p...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
You know, the economy is tough on everyone.  The stimulus plan is questionable.  Almost 10% of America is officially unemployed.  Life is a downer.  NOT! Guess what?  Life goes on and we can defeat the pessimissim.  What really matters is what goes on in our heads.  I just finished a day of phenominal skiing at Schweitzer Mountain and there is no way life can get any better.  It's not just about skiing...skiing is just MY motivational tool.  Find that tool and use it!  Skiing does take a financial commitment, but the benefits far outweigh the expense.  ...but it is not just about skiing for a day.  Right now, the opportunities to own your own place on the mountain can be a reality to those who never could entertain the concept.  The current bad economy may be the only open window certai...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
This really is a great time to buy a home.  At least in Sandpoint Idaho, all is not gloom and doom.  In fact if the national media wasn't constantly reminding us of how bad it is supposed to be, you would think the real estate market is doing just fine.  There is definitely NOT a wholesale tumbling of prices in our market, but on the same hand the savvy buyers are getting tremendous values.  The key is that certain sellers are in a position that they either have to or really want to sell.  Identifying who is serious about selling is an important component right now.  There is certainly a great deal of uncertainty in the economy today, and those people who are able and willing to buy should and are being rewarded.  I recently had a cash buyer that bought waterfront property at an almost ...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
I am recovering from participating in the '24 Hour for Hank' Ski Race at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, which took place Friday morning into Saturday.  The turnout, the generous sponsors, the comraderie, and the community support for this first ever event served as yet another reminder of how good we have it here in Sandpoint, Idaho.  This 24 hour Ski Race was held to raise money for the Cystinosis Foundation.  A local toddler here in Sandpoint, Hank Sturgis, has a terrible disease called Cystinosis which affects only 2000 people nationally.  Every single dollar that was spent for registration, sponsorship, raffle tickets, or the final night auction went directly to this Foundation at the request of Hank's parents.  I have not heard the final dollar amount raised, but it sure appears to ha...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
The Australian Open just ended...OMG!  The finals may have been the best final ever between the best two players ever.  Nadal finally bested Federer in five sets...7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2.  The emotional awards ceremony was as great as the match!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFHbGCgx4jI This brings me to tennis in Sandpoint, Idaho...yet another reason to look at Sandpoint for retirement, 2nd home or a career move.  I can't wait for the weather to cooperate and start the new season.  We have a very active tennis community and a long season to enjoy the sport.  It is not rare to head up to SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN to ski in the morning sunshine and then return to the Sandpoint valley for tennis in the afternoon.  It just doesn't get better. We have a very active tennis association (The Sand...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
As a resident of Dover Bay Waterfront Resort, this is our first winter.  We had been really excited about living here in the summer and fall, with the great lake access and mountain biking/hiking at Syringa next door.  But Winter here has really been a treat as well.  I've spoken about all the great trails that we use for cross country skiing and snow shoeing.  It is so pristine out here, with our back door really opening up to the wilderness around us.  It seems as if we live out in the country, yet of course we are 2 miles from town with all the conveniences we can ask for here at Dover Bay. In the past few weeks, I have seen Bald Eagles, Moose, and Deer all over the place.  While I had seen an occasional Eagle in the past, there are now a handful of them that appear to be living out ...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
Construction is definitely moving forward rapidly on the first units of the Parkside Bungalow neighborhood at Dover Bay Waterfront Resort.  These most recent photos were taken on Thursday, and already the framing is almost complete and the walls are going up on the 1-bedroom plan that will be next door to these.  These first two bungalows are both 2bdr plans with lofts.  At around 1200 square feet, the Parkside homes are significantly bigger than any of the Beach Bungalows (the current rental product at Dover Bay). Many people have a tough time envisioning the difference in size between these for-sale bungalows versus the rental product.  The largest of the Beach Bungalows (rentals) are 600 square feet, and none of them have lofts.  When you walk through these new framed homes (each wit...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
My wife and I have had a listing on the mountain here at Schweitzer Mountain Resort since August. It is a great little 1 bedroom condo, wonderful views, priced right, clean and located very near the slopes...not quite ski-in/ski-out, but close. It should have been an easy sale.NOTHING. All the realtors on our mountain MLS tour agreed..."GREAT CONDO" they wrote on their evaluation cards..."PRICED RIGHT"...."NICE LISTING!" So what's up? I know the economy is trashed, the real estate market is down but, hey, this is Schweitzer Mountain Resort...This is Sandpoint, Idaho! This place rocks! My wife and I decided to switch it up.We decided to follow the rules of Feng Shui and "redecorate" the condo (we did get the clients approval, by the way). We needed to cure what was wrong. We didn't go to...
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By Gary Lirette Recently, I reported about a new way to promote a development on ActiveRain: http://activerain.com/blogsview/847148/A-New-Way-to-Promote-Your-Development-The-Midwinter-Art-Fest-at-Dover-Bay This article was before the event. We had high hopes. What actually happened was so much better than expectations. Not only was our Dover Bay shown in the best possible light, we actually wrote up a reservation for a sale, and supported our community and art movement in a way better than we could have dreamed of. Here is what happened, and will be published in the Sandpoint Reader. By every account, the 35th annual Sandpoint Winter Carnival was a great success. Certainly, as the pictures prove, there were hundreds of people at virtually every event. Congratulations, Sandpoint. These a...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Before I start, let me give you the inspiration for this article. As I drove in to work the two odd miles over the Long Bridge that crosses gigantic Lake Pend Oreille, I was graced by not one, but two eagles in flight. A juvenile, not yet crested with the white crown so distintive to the breed, flew on the lake side of the bridge. On the river side a young bald eagle, this one with the familiar white headed plumes, soared on hard blowing winds with a wing-span of almost five feet. This is a common occurrence, and virtually every day passers-by spy eagles perched or flying. There is no doubt many start or continue their days inspired and awe struck. In twenty years of living in south Louisiana and central Florida, I thought I had seen every kind of bird. It is an awesome thing to see the...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
A benefit was held at the Bonner County Fairgrounds in Sandpoint, Idaho this past weekend for Tyler Cordle, a 14 month old boy recently diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma cancer.  A good friend of ours was the primary organizer, and they were expecting 350 to 500 people to show up.  When my wife arrived at the event on Saturday (I was unable to go) the parking lot was already overflowing 30 minutes after starting.  By the end of the night at least 1700 people had stopped by raising at least $50,000!  It is amazing to see this kind of love and support in the community we gladly call home. The sheer volume of this support in a little town like Sandpoint just reinforces why people choose to live here (over everywhere else in the country).  People truly care and take care of each other.  ...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
While there is nothing better than fresh powder, which we have plenty of at Schweitzer Mountain (Sandpoint, Idaho), I have to say that the last week of beautiful sunshine has been tremendous.  We started the season with a near record month of December, and I had a period of 8 days in a row where I literally skied fresh lines each day.  Then over the past 7 ish days we have had some of the sunniest, warmest, and clearest days you can imagine.  Earlier in the week the temperatures at the top of the mountain were in the upper 50s, so we had the unusual experience of skiing spring corn (with out coats) in January!  I think Monday was probably the best day, where many of the weekend skiers went home and us locals just partied all over the mountain.  The little bar at the top of Great Escape ...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
It continues to blow my wife and I away in how truly nice and decent the people of Sandpoint are!  We were driving behind Bonner Mall today, each in a separate car as we were on the way to drop off our Subaru at the body shop.  I was following my wife as she pulled over to the shoulder to say something to me.  Unfortunately the apparent shoulder had a thin sheet of ice that covered a 3 foot deep trench.  When Mandy pulled over both right wheels sunk into the trench and the car was stuck. Seconds after this happened a man in truck pulled over in front of us, only to get stuck in the same trench himself!  Now we had two cars that were hopelessly stuck!  We had to wait an entire 30 seconds longer before another guy in a truck pulled over to help out.  He took the time to pull us both out o...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
What a fantastic weekend it was in Sandpoint, with too many activities to possibly take part in all of them.  Dover Bay had a very successful first annual Winter Carnival Art Fest.  Dover's Listing Agents (including myself) put this event together with the help of Gary Lirette, another Sothebys agent.  The final count is not in yet, but there was certainly a flurry of visitors to Dover Bay all weekend (albeit 500 people). The snowshoe volleyball tournament at Dover Bay went on all day and seemed to be very popular.  The snowmobile and ATV demonstrations seemed to be a big hit as well.  Fortunately the weather was absolutely outstanding so everyone was out and about.  I understand that a decent amount of art was sold, and there was also a good deal of interest in real estate at Dover Bay...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
LISTING AGENTS! Please help us all out and be prepared to sell your listings! I met a very excited client at the top of a mountain to preview a great listing. (We drove seperately). After a 22 mile drive, we ventured up the winding driveway approach to a spectacular butte overlooking a gorge peppered with bull elk and their herds. You could not have had a more perfect beginning to a home preview. After a 25 minute search for the key to the front door (it wasn't where I was told it would be) we finally made it inside. It wasn't too cold out...maybe 15 degrees F...but cold enough after 1/2 hour to look forward to a little "home warmth". THE FURNACE WAS TURNED OFF. The place had great potential and we were able to form a bond, of sorts, as we struggled to maintain decorum against the onsla...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
Parkside, the newest neighborhood at Dover Bay Resort, has officially broken ground on the first three Bungalows this week.  This is a big testament to the development that should provide a good deal of confidence in the community and its success. It is fairly unusual in this area for builders to begin the foundation process in the middle of winter, but Dover Bay Development is pulling it off.  Ralph Sletager who has spent alot of time in Alaska (with even shorter building seasons) has borrowed technigues commonly used in that area.  After digging out the snow with standard equipment, the ground is heated in order to dry everything in preparation for pouring the concrete.  Its pretty neat seeing this underway in the midst of a fairly deep snow pack.  The first three Bungalows underway a...
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