Sandpoint, ID Real Estate News

By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
I know it gets repetitive, but ...SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN RESORT was absolutely over the top today!    I left a very cloudy Sandpoint and headed up to the mountain (hidden in the clouds) at noon.  Half way up the pass I broke through the cloud layer and burst into the indigo blue skies of Schweitzer Mountain Resort. These are the magic days that brought me here in the first place and I was not disappointed.  Skiing the front (South Bowl) was perfect but the best was still ahead. We ventured to the back Bowls and found ourselves in a mystical paradise.  Heading up Snow Ghost chair toward the peak, filtered fingers of sunlight shone in our faces through a wispy, "Tolkein-like" fog.  You just don't experience this very often.  As the chair headed up the the last third of the face, the fog lift...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
I know it is difficult to believe, but our Real Estate Brokerage, Tomlinson Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty, has just had a record month of closings for the period from December 9 through January 9.  Total volume of closings for our office in this period was just shy of $24 million.  That's about 10% of what the entire MLS closed for all of 2008! The record was due in large part to one of the largest transactions ever closed for residential property in our MLS, a ranch estate at 1481 Bench Road that sold for $8 million, of which both the Listing and Selling agents were with our firm.  Unfortunately I was not personally involved in this transaction, however I was the Buyer's Rep on a $1.1 million sale of waterfront land at Dover Bay Resort.  There was a third transaction in the million pl...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
Other than Lake Pend Oreille and Schweitzer Mountain, one of the best amenities we have in the Sandpoint area is a tremendous network of trails, for hiking, biking, snow shoeing, or cross country skiing.  People move to the Sandpoint area to enjoy the active lifestyle that this area affords.  The Dover Pathway that connects Dover Bay Resort to Downtown Sandpoint, the 'Hobo' trail along Lake Pend Oreille that starts at the City Beach, Syringa, Gold Hill, Mineral Point, and the extensive trail network at Schweitzer add tremendous value to our quality of life during all the seasons.  So it is wonderful to see that our community is continuing to move forward in this area.  The Bonner County Commission recently paved the way for the implementation of a sanctioned trails committee tasked with...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
Oh my gosh!  It just doesn't stop.  Sandpoint, Idaho once again finds itself getting the accolades of the national press.  This time, CITY GUIDES.MSN (http://cityguides.msn.com/citylife/cityarticle.aspx?cp-documentid=16209353) has listed Sandpoint as one of the TOP TEN "WINTER WONDERLAND" cities in North America...pretty interesting group, too: SANDPOINT, IDAHO ASPEN, COLORADO ANCHORAGE, ALASKA QUEBEC CITY ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA SARANAC LAKE, NEW YORK WHITEFISH, MONTANA STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO PARK CITY, UTAH VANCOUVER, BC Sandpoint has been praised in so many periodicals...among them, Outside Magazine, Sunset Magazine, Powder Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Nesw York Times, Ski Magazine, Skiing Magazine...the list goes on... By the way, when I left the mountain this afternoon (1/10/09)...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
We are in the 2nd day of the warm front...lots of wind, lots of rain...a few inches of new snow on top.  This isn't all bad.  The snow has compacted considerably across the whole mountain compressing the potential hazards from summer brush build-up.  We can now look forward to a long winter with a solid base. Even better news for Schweitzer, this "compressing" occurred during the early week when there are fewer ski visits...so it is not impacting a lot of visitors.  This weekend looks like very good conditions!  I am actually thankful this January thaw has occurred.  We never did get the early season heavy, water-laden snowfalls we need each year.  The off-piste hazards will be considerably reduced! So...I am going to preview a couple of new condo lisitings on the mountain and then head...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
As we see the increase in Short sales, there are a lot of requests for BPO's. According to Idaho Real Estate License Law, it is legal for brokers, associate brokers and salespeople to give their educated opinion on the value of real property for the purpose of a prospective lisiting or sale (CMA's). IN ORDER TO TENDER A BROKER'S PRICE OPINION IN IDAHO, YOU MUST BE LICENSED AS A BROKER OR AN ASSOCIATE BROKER. As an Associate Broker, if you receive a fee for a broker's price opinion, you must run that fee through your designated broker. If you are a salesperson and are required to provide a Broker's opinion with a short sale packet or the like, ask for your broker's assistance in preparing one. As this real estate market continues along its tumultuous course, we are finding more agents be...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
The Sandpoint Winter Carnival contines to get better as Dover Bay Resort adds to the mix of actitivies at Schweitzer and Sandpoint with the Dover Bay Winter Festival.  Winter Carnival Weekend takes place January 15-18. Dover's Festival takes place primarily on Saturday, featuring a Polar Plunge (in the pool), a Snowshoe Volleyball Tournament, and Snowmobiling Demos.  The Dover Bay Cafe will offer an outdoor, lakefront BBQ with brats and beer, along with breakfast and lunch off the menu.  Also taking place at Dover on both Saturday and Sunday from 11-4p is the Midwinter Art Festival.  Sandpoint's biggest winter art event will feature the work of dozens of area artists, all hosted in various homes and venues throughout the waterfront resort.  www.MidwinterArtFest.com.  A portion of the pr...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
When we moved to Dover Bay Resort this Fall, we figured we could really enjoy the rest of the season here, with the biking, hiking, etc, until the snow came.  Now that Winter is here we have found an entirely new appreciation for where we live.  Everything is SO white, serene, and magical out here, and it feels like we are living in the country.  Yet we probably have more conveniences than most... the roads and sidewalks are plowed before anyone in Sandpoint, we can open the door and walk the cross country and snow shoe trails, and we can wander to the Cafe and Market for breakfast, or Joe's for a coffee. I usually walk our dog, Bentley, each evening after dark.  At dusk yesterday we went for a walk along the trails to the Dover Beach, where we ran into a huge moose and its calf.  It wa...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
Boy did winter arrive in a big way at Schweitzer this year!  I am proud to admit that I have skied fresh tracks for 8 days straight, mostly in-bounds.  Schweitzer was sold out over the holidays, and the mountain was certainly busier than most any time.  Even so I think we had a couple of 5 minute lines at one point on Stella and Chair 6.  Since Sunday us locals have had the mountain to ourselves, with new snow hitting  These are the times where you can ski with complete commitment to the line, with total abandonment, knowing the landing is always soft.  I'm suddenly hitting bigger cliffs and just leaping over everything possible as we ski Puccis and the North Bowl chutes, or Lakeside, South Bowl shots with powder literally flying into and over my face.   What a difference the snow makes...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
Winter in Sandpoint is absolutely my favorite time of year.  As much as I enjoy the beautiful Spring and Fall in the mountains, and the incredible Summers on Lake Pend Oreille, the first reason that my family chose Sandpoint as our long term home was Schweitzer Mountain.  Having been back from a nice warm vacation to visit family in Charleston, SC, my brother and I have skied Schweitzer for the past few days.  With 150 inches of snow and another foot expected tonight, our ski season is officially on!  Its funny how every year at this time my mood is just a little bit better all the time, and I realize that skiing steep powder lines with friends is about as good as it gets. We started the New Year off the right way, sking mostly chair 6 and T bar runs all day long.  This was after a fant...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
Wow!  Epic day today!  We hit the slopes at mid morning after enjoying a cafe mocha at the "on-slope" coffee shop...(just enjoying life - no worries).  The first run was a cruiser.  Easy GS turns through 7-12" of fresh powder...we needed to get our ski legs under us before we tackled tougher terrain.  It was snowing hard (1" per hour) so there were some adjustments to be made. We made it succesfully down to the Great Escape high speed chair (virtually no line as per usual at Schweitzer) and proceeded to the peak.  The high winds and fog were a test, but we had a plan... Schweitzer is ranked the 3rd best "tree skiing" mountain in North America.  Since there is no wind in the trees and the snow in there is, basically, virgin, we headed for the tree runs off the Sunnyside chair (a south fa...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
I got a great Christmas gift that I plan to use as a tool to help me sell my listings and promote my business. My kids gave me a "Digital Photo Frame" that runs a continuous slideshow of photos. I'm sure they thought I would be using this to display family photos but I think it is the perfect platform to run a continuous display of the photos highlighting the properties I need to move. As customers and fellow agents wander past my desk, the slideshow is running for their enjoyment and edification...plus, they are really cool. They come in 7" or 8" desktop models, can hold around 400 photos, have sound capabilities, in/out zoom and full function remote control. All my best for 2009 - have fun and prosper!
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
We will see a new round of foreclosures by Spring of 2009 as option ARMS get recast and monthly mortgage payments skyrocket. With the continued devaluation of real estate, millions of additional homeowners will find themselves upside down. In many cases, their only option will be to walk away from their "so-called" investment. THERE MAY BE HOPE, HOWEVER. There is a group in Minneapolis who have taken it upon themselves to help at least a few of the families facing this desperate situation: The Hope Now hotline (888 995-HOPE). This is a mortgage-counseling phone line backed by lenders and the federal government that currently gets about 4,000 calls a day. Hotline counselors help borrowers negotiate with banks and offer advice on refinancing options. It is yet to be shown that this will h...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
The Government has bailed out corrupt corporations. They have pardoned felons. They have created business plans for corporate America that will cripple the taxpayer for decades. ...and left in the dust is the man on "main street" trying to raise a family and coach in the local youth program. There is a way to stimulate America, build pride in community and put confidence back into our economic outlook. Banks now have money to lend and mortgage rates are at a historical low, but 50% of potential buyers can't qualify because of their low credit scores...even though their income would support a mortgage. The irony is...many of their credit scores have been artificially destroyed by the unscrupulous lending practices that have been occurring for several years. We have a large number of fami...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
In 1975, as a young man I recognized the incredible opportunity real estate investments offered. I spent every penny I had to cover the down payment on a 3.5 acre parcel in Pitkin County...home of Aspen. On the parcel, East & West Sopris Creeks converged...year round creeks in "water-starved" Colorado. The acreage sat at the base of Sopris Mountain...one of the most majestic peaks in the state. My wife & I were thrilled with our unbelievable good fortune. Total price for this parcel was $18,000.00 - my down payment was $4,500.00. Life was good... In 1976, we found our lives changing and we were in a position where we had to sell our dream property. We found a buyer who was willing to pay us $18,000.00 for the parcel...we needed the money and we took it. In 1985, "our parcel" sold for $9...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
It was looking scary 3 weeks ago...I was still riding my motorcycle (a little chilly, but hey, why not?). Once again, Earl, the God of Winter took care of us...we now have a 50" base and counting. It's kind of all fun and games on the mountain, but as Realtors, we never stop working. I get some of my best contacts on the lifts! Things are looking up...I'm seeing more activity and there is excitement in the air. (This lifestyle makes for long days - but, when you love what you do and where you are doing it...no complaints). Money doesn't make you content. Contentment makes you money. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! ...and remember, the Holidays are a great time to invest in mountain property.
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
I've had the good fortune to ski at many of the great ski areas of the world. All mountains are great when the weather cooperates...you just can't beat the Rockies. When I came to Sandpoint from Aspen, however, I was in awe. ...the powder, the view, the people...the lifestyle. This area cannot be beat. Furthermore, the real estate values are unbelievable. It is hard for me to believe that a serious "mountain-life" buyer could come to Sandpoint/Schweitzer and leave without a strong desire to invest here. Any potential buyer who cannot see this just is not the real deal. ...especially with the great publicity Sandpoint has enjoyed the past three years. ...then you've got summers and Lake Pend Oreille..."Come for the Mountain, Stay for the Lake". Yes, this IS paradise. (Watch for my "Run o...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Realtors are always looking for new ways to promote their listings. String quartets at open house events, clowns, free hot dogs, giant balloons, etc. etc., etc., ad nauseum. Two years ago, my small sales team started a string of events called the Mobile Artist Open House, featuring 10-20 artists for one day and two day events at homes we had listed. These were well-advertised, and attracted up to 200 people to the homes we were featuring. We got three buyers out of these events, so the success was somewhat limited. However, what we did gain is goodwill with the communities and the sellers. Few open house offerings in small town Sandpoint and Priest River bring more than a handful of prospects. Our events brought scores. The community took notice, and the respect and admiration of litera...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
The 1970s brought hippies and environmentalism as well as arts and more theater to the Sandpoint area. This spelled the downfall of the lumber industry. Jim Brown, of the Pack River Lumber Company, wisely diversified his business and, as one of the original founders of Schweitzer Mountain, bought out the rest of the shareholders to make Schweitzer a privately owned venture. To this very day one can still see the occasional psychedelic bus or love bug traversing county roads. Now the hippies are augmented by the winter ski bum, and the warm weather off-road cyclists. Around this time the Hope Peninsula became an art colony. Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz moved there from Los Angeles in 1973. The Peninsula also had a cluster of buildings owned by the Max Factor family, and the Kienholz'...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
When Tom Chasse and Jennifer Ekstrom, CEO and Communications manager respectively for Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort appeared on my show, North Idaho Arts and Adventure, Tuesday, December 16, 2008, we talked about everything but the weather. So, here is a remedy. Schweitzer is coming off two record seasons, being ranked in Ski Magazine's Top 25 Ski Resorts and #3 for Tree Skiing last year, and, with Sandpoint, in AskMen's Top 10 Resort Towns this spring. While we have lots of great stuff up here in North Idaho, one of our best facets is our weather. Weather in Sandpoint is a gentle friend, made mild by the greenhouse effect that evaporation from massive Lake Pend Oreille proffers. In Florida, when the Army Corps of Engineers straightened one meandering waterway, the cover that had kept ...
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