Sandpoint, ID Real Estate News

By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
This series of blog entries features the various seasons in and aroundSandpoint, Idaho.Sandpoint, North Idaho, Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, and Lake Pend Oreille have been featured in the national news repeatedly over the last several years. Autumn of 2011 found Sandpoint, Idaho being voted America's Most Beautiful Small Town by Rand McNally, and in the winter of 2011/2012 Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort was named the Best Ski Resort of the Season by USA Today/Rand McNally. Real Estate in Sandpoint has been on the rise approximately 7% a year for three years, much in part due to the decrease in pricing. That being said, I have had some success in the area of waterfront sales in Sandpoint finding great values for my clients. I am Gary Lirette, REALTOR® for Tomlinson Sotheby's Internati...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
This series of blog entries features the various seasons in and around  Sandpoint, Idaho. Sandpoint, North Idaho, Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, and Lake Pend Oreille have been featured in the national news repeatedly over the last several years. Autumn of 2011 found Sandpoint, Idaho being voted America's Most Beautiful Small Town by Rand McNally, and in the winter of 2011/2012 Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort was named the Best Ski Resort of the Season by USA Today/Rand McNally. Real Estate in Sandpoint has been on the rise approximately 7% a year for three years, much in part due to the decrease in pricing. That being said, I have had some success in the area of waterfront sales in Sandpoint finding great values for my clients. I am Gary Lirette, REALTOR® for Tomlinson Sotheby's Intern...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
  This series of blog entries features the various seasons in and around Sandpoint, Idaho. Sandpoint, North Idaho, Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, and Lake Pend Oreille have been featured in the national news repeatedly over the last several years. Autumn of 2011 found Sandpoint, Idaho being voted America's Most Beautiful Small Town by Rand McNally, and in the winter of 2011/2012 Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort was named the Best Ski Resort of the Season by USA Today/Rand McNally. Real Estate in Sandpoint has been on the rise approximately 7% a year for three years, much in part due to the decrease in pricing. That being said, I have had some success in the area of waterfront sales in Sandpoint finding great values for my clients. I am Gary Lirette, REALTOR® for Tomlinson Sotheby's Inter...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
The next several blog entries will feature the various seasons in and around Sandpoint, Idaho. Sandpoint, North Idaho, Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, and Lake Pend Oreille have been featured in the national news repeatedly over the last several years. Autumn of 2011 found Sandpoint, Idaho being voted America's Most Beautiful Small Town by Rand McNally, and in the winter of 2011/2012 Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort was named the Best Ski Resort of the Season by USA Today/Rand McNally. Real Estate in Sandpoint has been on the rise approximately 7% a year for three years, much in part due to the decrease in pricing. That being said, I have had some success in the area of waterfront sales in Sandpoint finding great values for my clients. I am Gary Lirette, REALTOR® for Tomlinson Sotheby's I...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
I have a snow globe on my desk.  When I shake it and the dust settles, it reveals a big question mark.  That's my answer when my customers ask me to predict the future mortgage rates this summer.  Based upon the graph below (supplied by our "good friend" Freddie Mac), it looks like now is the time to buy, however.  This was my answer a year ago and probably will be my answer moving well into 2012.   Home prices are down and mortgage rates are at the lowest point in 30 years.  If you are in a position to buy, talk to your local lender and work out the best deal possible.  Do not over extend, buy for the right reasons and enjoy your investment! Big thanks to Cathy Pizzini of Evergreen Home Loans for the great graph!
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
If you remember North Lake Tahoe 20 years ago, you will appreciate Sandpoint today.  These photos from yesterday say it all.  The "immaculate Sandpoint/Schweitzer Winter" continues.  In fact, today I rode my bike 20 miles in the bright/warm sunshine...this marks the 12th straight month of outdoor biking!  That is truly amazing...especially considering I was skiing Schweitzer Mountain's soft powder on a 105" base yesterday just 11 miles from downtown Sandpoint! No wonder we've been recently awarded, "Best Ski Town In The U.S." (Rand Mcnally), "Most Beautiful Town In America" (USA Today) and, for you investors out there, Most Under The Radar Ski Town (Sunsets Magazine)! The photo below is not from yesterday.  I thought it might be worth a look (for the uninitiated) to see downtown Sandpoi...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
Well, this came as a bit of a surprise.  I love it here in Sandpoint but...#1 ski town in the U.S.?  The folks at Rand McNally really do love us.  I guess I can just sit back now and fend off the onslaught of buyers hoping to be a part of this bonanza.  I'm thinking that may not happen but our notoriety certainly can't hurt business.  The great part of this is our geographical location...Sandpoint is located in a narrow valley between Lake Pend Oreille and the Selkirk Mountains.  We're just not going to get a massive population explosion with sprawling neighborhoods.  There's no room here!                  I'm still perplexed by the #1 ranking, however.  I've lived in a few pretty exceptional "ski towns" and, not knowing the criteria Rand McNally used in claiming Sandpoint the #1 ski to...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
If you look around the ski world, races and events are being canceled on a regular basis.  Snow coverage is shockingly low and, in Europe, almost non-existent.  Schweitzer Mountain is the exception and I, for one, am happy to ride this wave as long as I can.  As of this post, Schweitzer has the 9th deepest snowpack in North America and has enjoyed 2900 acres of skiable/open terrain since the first week in December. Today marks the 2nd day of the SCHWEITZER NORTHWEST (FIS) CUP, a high level, FIS licensed giant slalom running January 5 - 8.  The racers are getting their moneys-worth this year with extremely fast conditions and no significant snowfall expected for several days.  They call this "boilerplate" conditions and it suits the "racing mentality" just fine. More important than the f...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! It has been a special year so far at Schweitzer Mountain.  While so many ski areas are struggling with some pretty strange weather, Schweitzer has been blessed with some massive early storms.  See you on the slopes! Thank you to the entire Activerain community!  You guys are the BEST!    
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
There are two new webcams broadcasting life in Sandpoint. The first shows pics from First Avenue and the second from Gold Hill at this link: http://www.camscape.com/view/33718 Sandpoint Webcam from First Avenue Sandpoint Webcam from Gold Hill The second is at Selkirk Powder Company.
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
The count of Eagles on Lake CdA so far is lower this year than the peak of 254 for 2010. This article appeared in the CdA Press on December 12, 2011: Eagles have landed Just a few years ago I posted this article about the Eagles of North Idaho: Eagles of North Idaho - Awe inspiring, and a reminder of our National Heritage This video from 2007 really displays them well: http://youtu.be/66ZdyDuFlZs   http://youtu.be/71I24uNajAA   Eagle perched along Lake Coeur d'Alene Eagle hunting Kokoanee Eagle as seen from Pend Oreille Bay Trail Eagle as seen from Pend Oreille Bay Trail Eagle in flight over Lake Pend Oreille Lake Pend Oreille Eagle Realtors Gary Lirette & Judy Delucchi, Sandpoint, Idaho
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Last week Marcy Timblin, Manager for the Downtown Sandpoint Business Association appeared on my radio show: North Idaho Business. Marcy was on the show to talk about two things: What’s happening in Sandpoint for the month of December and the new movement called Genuine Sandpoint. Marcy Timblin, Downtown Manager for the DSBA Downtown hosts Santa Claus, special events This holiday season, the jolly old gent otherwise known as Santa Claus will be making visits every week until Christmas at "The North Pole" on the Cedar Street Bridge. All children are invited to bring their adults and visit with Santa; there will be an opportunity for professional photos, too. Here's Santa's visitation schedule: Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday , 11 a.m.-3 p.m., until ChristmaPlus, every day Dec. 19-24 ,...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
According to the Selkirk MLS, our market has a total of 2,677 various properties (condos, land, homes, timeshares) on the market. Average Days on Market: 305 Total Price: $799,187,649 Closed Sales January 1, 2011 – December 8, 2011: $190,495,221 Total List Price: $206,855,029 That is 970 sales with an average Days on Market of 166. These sales represent 92% of asking price. There are an additional 125 properties Pending, representing another $29,736,360 in sales. While historically this is roughly 100-200 below our averages during better years, it is significant considering that for 2010 we sold 940 for $200,536,119 in total sales, and in 2009 802 for a total of $181,738,748 for a year-to-year increase of 9.5%.  By end of year, we should have also increased our percentages, showing a s...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
Skiing Schweitzer Mountain today gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "It's Lonely On Top".  I had to take a few iphone shots of the "crowds"...or lack thereof.  No lift lines and, usually, nobody even within sight on the lifts.  By the way, the skiing is phenominal...no rocks, still soft snow in the trees and no danger of getting wiped out by an errant skier/boarder coming up from behind.  (Do you see any humans?  Hopefully there's one in the lift tower.) (That's Lake Pend Oreille off on the horizon)    
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Apex Syrah Was $24.68 and the New Great Lower Price! $9.98 This great buy is one of our best values this year. This special buy in allows you to try one of the Great Syrahs from Washington State for a price we’ve never seen before. Salute! Apex Cellars was launched in 1988 and has grown to be one of Washington's most respected wineries. Apex and Apex Ascent cover the spectrum from reserve-caliber, vineyard-designate wines to wines that be can beenjoyed everyday. Over the years, Apex Cellars has become known as a winery youcan trust - a producer of consistently outstanding wine that can be served andenjoyed with confidence. Color is rich purple, almost opaque.  Headyaromas of granite, smoky bacon and earthy black fruits with slight blackpepper.  Palate is soft and generous with lush tann...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Efeste Big Papa Old Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2008   93 points and a Cellar Selection in the Wine Enthusiast, the 2007 scored 94 points and 95 in the Wine Spectator.   An immense wine, inky purple, packed with black and purple fruits, laced with smoke and espresso, and finished with fine-grained, substantial tannins. This Cab lives up to its name––it’s a Big Muthah as well as Papa, and should be cellared for optimal expression.   Few wines get these kinds of scores and you won’t find this wine for this price anywhere but Yoke’s.   I am very proud of our wine shop. Stop by and see me soon.      
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
Sunday, September 24th, marked the conclusion of the iconic 3rd Annual WACANID Ride...a 340 mile (550 kilometer) 5-day ride winding through and around the Selkirk Mountain range of the Inland Northwest (North Idaho, Eastern Washington & Western Canada).  The tour meanders along the scenic rivers and lakes of Sandpoint and North Idaho and on to the INTERNATIONAL SELKIRK LOOP, recognized as one of the "Top 10 Scenic Destinations in the Northern Rockies" named by the U.S. Department of Transportation, one of five "Best of the Roads" named by Rand McNally 2009, and the "West's Best Scenic Drive" by Sunset Magazine. By the way, the International Scenic Loop is North America's ONLY multi-national scenic loop!  Nearly the entire loop follows rivers and lakeshores from Sandpoint, Idaho (pop 8,...
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2008 Royal City Syrah – Charles Smith Wines This ‘K Vintners’ Syrah scored 99 points in the Wine Advocate and the ’06 scored the unheard of, never awarded and coveted 100 points in the Spectator. It is a rare wine, and last year we were allocated just two bottles. Our rep must be growing, because this year we were allotted two cases. We are down to just four bottles left. They get just one ton of the syrah grapes grown for this wine to the acre. Every vintage seems to get better. Deeper than the ’06, more luxurious than the ’07. Layer upon layer upon layer. Earth, cool stone, tobacco, faint dark fruit, Asian five spice. Harmonic, complex, ethereal…a Yoke’s exclusive. Charles K. Smith is a unique character. Charles grew up just outside of Sacramento, California, in the foothills of the S...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
I recently had Kim Brown Queen on my show North Idaho Arts & Adventure. I’ve known Kim since she first came to town and we interviewed her right after she took over the reins at POAC. By all accounts, Kim has done an outstanding job, and while there are other groups and organizations that support the arts, without POAC, I doubt Sandpoint would be the art town many consider us to be. This was one of the first questions tackled by Kim. Q – POAC is a strong force in promoting the arts in our area. There are other groups here, too – are they competition? We don’t look at others that support the arts as competition…more like partners in supporting and promoting local art. In fact, we work with several of these groups to put on shows and events that educate and benefit our area. We welcome th...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Over the last two weeks I have been to several wine tastings and met with the winemakers from some of our region’s best wineries. Last week I met Welcome Gordy Venneri, Owner/Winemaker of Walla Walla Vintners. Now, to be fair, we carry virtually every wine they make, so I wasn’t there to be sold. I was there to sample his wonderful wines and you should, too. See, in 1997 when I wrote my first book, Passion For Wine, I stated that Washington State was the best wine producing area in the world. I have to tell you, I was living in Orlando, and had never lived in the Pacific NW. Needless to say, I was fairly well laughed out of town. Since then I have been vindicated with Washington scoring more 90+ ratings and gold medals than any other region. Ha Ha! So, if Washington is the best wine sta...
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