Idaho Real Estate Blog

Welcome to our blog at ISO Realty, where we specialize in Idaho real estate. In this blog we answer common questions about home care, maintenance, finance, and other topics related to home ownership. We understand that buying or selling a home can be a daunting task, which is why we are here to guide you through the process and make it as stress-free as possible. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a seller looking to move on to your next adventure, we have the knowledge, experience, and resources to help you achieve your goals. In this blog, we will share our expert insights on the Idaho real estate market, provide tips and advice for buyers and sellers, and showcase some of the beautiful homes and properties that we have available. We will also share our unique approach to home care that sets us apart from the rest of the industry, and how we can help you maintain the value of your property. Thank you for choosing ISO Realty, and we look forward to helping you with all of your Idaho real estate and home care needs.!

If you have a question about an Idaho related real estate topic, send a message to Blog@ISORealty.com and we'll do the research for you.

Latest ISO Realty Blog Posts

Find our latest blog posts and market information about Idaho real estate. 

Jan. 25, 2023

Should I install Solar Panels at my Idaho house?

Whether or not to install solar panels at your house is a decision that depends on your individual circumstances and goals. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to install solar panels at your home:

  1. Financial savings: Solar panels can help you save money on your energy bills in the long run. However, the initial cost of installation can be high, so it's important to consider whether the financial savings in the long run outweigh the upfront cost. There are situations where financial savings is not as important as being prepared for the unexpected.

  2. Emergency Preparedness: Many parts of Idaho have extreme weather that can lead to extended power outages. Many vital appliances in your home depend on electricity, including your furnace, septic systems, and water pumps. Sometimes emergency preparedness is more important than the financial savings gained by solar. In this case, you would also want to research solar battery backup systems.

  3. Energy consumption: Solar panels are most effective when they are used to generate most or all of the energy consumed in a household. If your energy consumption is low, the savings from solar panels may not be significant enough to justify the cost unless you are also using the solar power for grid down situations. 

  4. Weather conditions: Solar panels are most effective in areas with plenty of sunlight. In Idaho, the sun shines throughout the year with good intensity, which makes it a great location for solar panel installation. However, the winter months are also characterized by frequent snow and fog. These conditions can lower the productivity of solar, creating a situation where the payoff time is extended. Ground mount systems are often easier to remove snow and may be a better choice if room is available.

  5. Roof condition: If your roof is in poor condition, it may need to be repaired or replaced before solar panels can be installed. This can add to the cost of the solar panel installation. However, if you are getting ready to replace your roof due to age or hail damage, new solar shingles are available which makes solar installation very enticing. GAF now has a product that a regular roofer can install which cuts installation time and costs.

  6. Government incentives: Some states and local governments offer financial incentives for solar panel installation, such as tax credits, rebates, and grants. It's important to research these incentives to see if they can help offset the cost of installation. As of 2023 the state of Idaho and the Federal Government offer significant tax incentives to install solar power.

  7. Environmental concerns: If you are looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint, solar panels can be an effective way to do so. However, solar panel manufacturing does create toxic waste and the carbon used to manufacture, ship, and install solar panels does have an impact. Buying locally manufacture products can reduce this.

Installing solar panels at your house can be a great way to save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. It can also increase your emergency preparedness if you install backup batteries. However, it's important to consider the upfront cost, your energy consumption, weather conditions, roof condition, government incentives and environmental concerns before making a decision. It's highly recommended to consult with a professional solar panel installer to evaluate your home's suitability and the potential savings before making a decision.

Should I install solar panels on the ground or roof?

Installing solar panels on your home in Idaho can be a great way to save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. However, there are pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to install solar panels on your roof or on the ground.

Pros of installing solar panels on the roof:

  • Roof-mounted solar panels are often more aesthetically pleasing than ground-mounted panels, as they are not visible from the street and are not as obtrusive.
  • Roof-mounted solar panels are often easier to install, as they do not require a separate support structure.
  • Roof-mounted solar panels can be integrated with the existing roof, which can help to protect the roof from the elements.

Cons of installing solar panels on the roof:

  • Roof-mounted solar panels can be more expensive to install than ground-mounted panels, as they require special mounting equipment and may require additional structural support.
  • Roof-mounted solar panels can be more difficult to maintain and repair, as they are more difficult to access than ground-mounted panels.
  • Roof-mounted solar panels may not be suitable for homes with roofs that are not oriented to the south, as this can reduce the effectiveness of the panels.

Pros of installing solar panels on the ground:

  • Ground-mounted solar panels are often less expensive to install than roof-mounted panels, as they do not require special mounting equipment or additional structural support.
  • Ground-mounted solar panels are often easier to maintain and repair, as they are more accessible than roof-mounted panels.
  • Ground-mounted solar panels can be oriented to the south, which can increase the effectiveness of the panels.
  • Ground-mounted solar panels are way easier to remove snow from.

Cons of installing solar panels on the ground:

  • Ground-mounted solar panels can be more visible from the street, which can be a disadvantage for some homeowners.
  • Ground-mounted solar panels can be more obtrusive than roof-mounted panels, which can be a disadvantage for some homeowners.
  • Ground-mounted solar panels may require more land than roof-mounted panels, which can be a disadvantage for homeowners with small lots.

Whether you choose to install solar panels on your roof or on the ground will depend on your individual circumstances and preferences. Roof-mounted solar panels are often more aesthetically pleasing and easier to install, but can be more expensive and difficult to maintain, especially in the snow. Ground-mounted solar panels are often less expensive and easier to maintain, but can be more visible and obtrusive. It's important to consider the pros and cons of each option, and consult with a professional before installing solar panels on your home.

Posted in Home Care
Jan. 23, 2023

How to reduce condensation on windows in the winter.

Picture of condensation on a window.

Condensation on windows during the winter can be a frustrating problem for many homeowners. It not only causes unsightly water droplets on the glass, but it can also lead to mold and mildew growth, as well as damage to window frames and sills. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce condensation on your windows and keep your home dry and comfortable.

  • Circulate the air: One simple way to reduce condensation is to use a small circulating fan in the room that has the condensation problem. Remember to keep the door open when using the fan so moist air is exchanged to other parts of the house.

  • Improve ventilation: One of the main causes of condensation on windows is high humidity levels inside the home. To reduce humidity, make sure to ventilate your home regularly by opening windows and using exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. Primary sources of moisture in your home are cooking, showers, and bathtubs. If you have a stove vent in the kitchen make sure it is on. When you take a shower or bath, make sure the fan is on and leave it on for 15 minutes after you are finished to vent out the moisture. 

  • Insulate your windows: Another reason for window condensation is the temperature difference between the inside and outside of your home. Installing insulated window coverings or weather stripping can help to reduce this difference and keep your windows from getting too cold. Many people choose to use window insulation kits to accomplish this. You can us a more permanent kit that uses magnetic strips, or a seasonal kit that is disposable. Window insulation kit for condensation
  • Use a mini dehumidifier: If you find that you are still experiencing condensation on your windows despite improving ventilation, you may want to consider investing in a dehumidifier. This will help to remove excess moisture from the air and reduce humidity levels in your home.

    Mini Dehumidifier

  • Use a moisture absorber: There are products available that attract and trap moisture for removal. They usually come with a absorbent material that collects water into a bag or bucket for removal. One product is Damprid. 

  • Keep windows clean: Clean windows will let in more light and allow for more heat to enter your home. Cleaning your windows on a regular basis can help to reduce condensation by keeping them warmer.

  • Keep window sills clean: Keeping window sills clean of dust and debris will help to prevent mold and mildew growth. This can help to reduce condensation, as well as keep your windows looking clean and new.

  • Wood Burning Stoves: Wood burning stoves are a great way to reduce humidity in a home. Simply burning firewood will reduce the humidity in your home.

By following these simple steps, you can reduce condensation on your windows and keep your home dry and comfortable during the winter months. Remember to be patient, as it may take a few weeks for the humidity levels in your home to adjust.

Posted in Home Care
Jan. 23, 2023

What home renovations in Idaho have a high return on investment?

Kitchen Picture for What home renovations in Idaho have the highest ROI.

Home renovation projects can be a great way to increase the value of your home, but it's important to choose projects that will give you the best return on investment, especially if you're getting ready to sell your home. In Idaho, some of the best home renovation projects to consider include:

  1. Kitchen remodels: A kitchen remodel is often one of the best ways to increase the value of your home. Upgrading your kitchen with new countertops, cabinets, and appliances can make your home more attractive to potential buyers and increase its value significantly. Remember, kitchens are arguably the most used room in the house. We use them to eat, gather, talk, and socialize with family and friends. Make sure when you are planning your kitchen remodel, that you use colors and styles that appeal to a broad range of people. Many make the mistake of using bold colors and dramatic styles that can quickly become outdated.

  2. Bathroom remodels: Like kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels are also a great way to increase the value of your home. Upgrading your bathroom with new fixtures, tile, and countertops can make your home more appealing to buyers and increase its value when done right. When possible, try to design your bathroom remodel to blend with the style of your kitchen and other areas of the house. When you have a mid-century style kitchen, its probably not a good idea to remodel your bathroom in French Country. Keep a consistent look and feel throughout your home so buyers feel a sense of continuity. 

  3. Add a bedroom: Adding a bedroom to your home is a great way to increase its value. This can be done by finishing a basement or attic, or by adding an addition to your home. This can increase the marketability of your home. Southeastern Idaho is know for large families and multi-generational living. The more people your home can sleep, the greater number of buyers you may be able to attract.

  4. Replace windows and doors: This one is a no brainer in Southwest Idaho where the weather can be extreme. Our very cold winters and increasingly warmer summers make the insulative value of good doors a windows a great selling point.  Replacing old windows and doors with new, energy-efficient models can help reduce your energy costs and make your home more comfortable. This can also increase the value of your home.

  5. Landscaping: Improving your landscaping can make your home more attractive to potential buyers and increase its value by as much as 20%. This can include adding a new lawn, planting trees and flowers, and building a deck or patio. Designing your landscaping is important too. We get a lot of snow in Southeast Idaho. Creating an outdoor environment with the right driveway, sidewalks, trees, and shrubs that make it easy to manage snow in the winter is a huge bonus.

  6. Painting: A fresh coat of paint can make a big difference in the appearance of your home. This is one of the most affordable ways to increase the value of your home, and can increase its value. But don't be hasty or unwise. The wrong color paint and turn away buyers. Choose neutral colors that go well with a wide spectrum of furniture and décor. Stay away from super bright and vibrant colors unless they are well planned out and have purpose that can transition between owners.

When planning a home renovation project, it's important to choose a project that will give you the best return on investment. In Idaho, some of the best home renovation projects to consider include kitchen and bathroom remodels, adding a bedroom, replacing windows and doors, landscaping, and painting. These projects can help increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers.

It's also important to keep in mind that home renovation projects can vary in cost and time, so it's essential to have a budget in mind and be realistic about how much you can afford to spend. Plan a budget and expect to go over by about 20%. Moreover, it's recommended to consult with a professional contractor who can guide you through the process and make sure that the work is done properly and up to code.

Do Sunrooms Increase the Value of a Home?

A sunroom is a type of room that is typically built onto a house and is designed to let in a lot of natural light. Sunrooms are often used as a living space, and they can be used for a variety of purposes such as a dining room, a playroom, or a home office. They are often made with large windows or skylights to let in natural light and are sometimes called solariums or conservatories.

Adding a sunroom to your home in Southeast Idaho can add value to your home, as it can be used as a living space, and it can also be used to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings of the area. A sunroom can also be a great way to bring the outdoors inside and can be a great space for entertaining guests or relaxing with family.

However, it's important to keep in mind that the value added by a sunroom can vary depending on the size and quality of the room, as well as the current market conditions. A sunroom that is well-designed, well-built, and in good condition can add significant value to a home. A do it yourself sunroom built on a deck might be useable as an attached greenhouse at best. Furthermore, it's also important to consider that adding a sunroom can be a significant investment, so it's important to have a budget in mind and consult with a professional contractor before starting a project.

So a sunroom can be used for a variety of purposes, and adding a sunroom to your home in Southeast Idaho can add value to your home, as it can be used as a living space, and it can also be used to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings of the area. However, the value added by a sunroom can vary depending on the size and quality of the room, as well as the current market conditions. It's important to consider that adding a sunroom can be a significant investment, so it's important to have a budget in mind and consult with a professional contractor before starting a project.

The main take-away you should get from this post is that remodels are incredible if done in a way that adds to the quality and utility of the home. Steer clear of bold bright colors and dramatic styles that are not consistent with the rest of the home, and that may clash with a new owners furniture. Finally, considering add on features like a sun room can improve the value and marketability of your home, but make sure the add on is done in a professional manner and finished to blend in with the current home style.

Posted in Home Improvement
Jan. 16, 2023

How to improve Idaho home sales in the winter.

Selling homes in the winter in Idaho.

Winter can be a challenging time for real estate sales in Idaho, with fewer buyers out looking for homes and more competition from other sellers. The weather can also be a big factor in buyers making the effort to go look at homes. However, with a few strategic adjustments, you can still make a successful sale during the winter months.

  • Make sure your home is warm and inviting: With the cold weather outside, potential buyers will appreciate a warm and cozy home. Make sure your heating system is working properly and that your home is well insulated. Consider adding extra blankets and pillows to the beds, and lighting some candles or burning a fire in the fireplace to create a cozy atmosphere.

  • Clear the snow! - Winter homebuying is difficult. Homebuyers brave the cold, short days, and the holidays to see your home for sale. One way to make their life easier is to clear the snow and ice from your driveway, sidewalks, and porches. This makes your home easier to access, improves curb appeal, and makes it safer.

  • Highlight your home's unique features: Winter weather can make it difficult for buyers to appreciate your home's outdoor spaces, so it's important to focus on the indoor features that make your home special. If your home has a particularly large or well-designed kitchen, for example, make sure it's well-lit and clean so buyers can really see its potential.

  • Use technology to your advantage: With more people staying indoors during the winter, online tools such as virtual tours and online listings are more important than ever. Make sure your listing includes high-quality photos and videos of your home, and consider hiring a professional photographer to take them.

  • Price your home competitively: With fewer buyers in the market during the winter, it's important to price your home competitively. Research similar homes in your area and make sure your home is priced similarly. If you're unsure of the right price, consult with a real estate agent who can give you an expert opinion. Have your agent create a free CMA to make sure your price is in line with the current real estate market.

  • Be flexible with showings: Many buyers will be busy with holiday events and family gatherings during the winter months, so it's important to be flexible with real estate showings. Make sure your home is always ready to be shown and consider holding open houses on weekends.

By making these small adjustments to your real estate sales strategy, you can still make a successful sale during the winter months. Remember to be patient, and don't be afraid to ask for help from a real estate professional if you need it.

Posted in Home Selling Tips
Jan. 4, 2023

What direction should my ceiling fan go?

What direction to set your ceiling fan.

 

Ceiling fans are a great way to keep your home cool and comfortable during the hot Idaho summer months. But did you know that the direction of your ceiling fan can also impact the efficiency of your air conditioning system? By using your ceiling fan in the correct direction, you can save energy and money on your utility bills.

First, it's important to understand the two main settings on a ceiling fan: the "summer" setting and the "winter" setting. In the summer, you want the fan to blow air downwards, creating a cooling breeze. This is known as the "downward airflow" setting. In the middle of the cold Southeastern Idaho winter, you want the fan to blow air upwards, which will push warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down into the room. This is known as the "upward airflow" setting.

To switch between the summer and winter settings, most ceiling fans have a small switch on the base of the fan, near the motor. This switch will typically have two positions: one for "downward airflow" and one for "upward airflow". If your fan doesn't have a switch, look for a small button or switch on the motor housing.

When using your fan in the summer setting, make sure the blades are spinning counter-clockwise. This will create a cooling breeze and help keep the room comfortable. In the winter setting, make sure the blades are spinning clockwise. This will push warm air back down into the room and help keep it warm.

It's also important to note that ceiling fans are most effective when they are running at high speeds. This is because the faster the fan is spinning, the more air it can move and the more cooling or heating it can provide. So, be sure to adjust the speed of your fan accordingly. 

The bottom line is ceiling fans are not just for decoration but also can help you save energy and money by using them in the correct direction. Make sure to switch your fan to the summer setting in the summer and the winter setting in the winter, and adjust the speed accordingly. Your home will be comfortable and your utility bills will be lower.

Posted in Home Care
Jan. 3, 2023

Southeast Idaho Market Update DEC 2022

Real Estate Market Update for Southeast Idaho Dec 2022

The latest real estate market statistics have been released from the Snake River MLS for December 2022. Here are the numbers:

  • Bonneville County 
    • Units sold = 95
    • Average days on market = 72
    • Median sold price = $377,500
    • Number of new listings = 98

  • Bingham County
    • Units sold = 20
    • Average days on market = 73
    • Median sold price = $405,000
    • Number of new listings = 17

  • Jefferson County
    • Units sold = 10
    • Average days on market = 74
    • Median sold price = $384,950
    • Number of new listings = 18

  • Madison County
    • Units sold = 15
    • Average days on market = 87
    • Median sold price = $350,000
    • Number of new listings = 12

  • Fremont County
    • Units sold = 5
    • Average days on market = 111
    • Median sold price = $550,000
    • Number of new listings = 4
Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 2, 2023

Types of carpet cleaning and choosing a company

Picture of carpet for cleaning.

Carpet cleaning is an essential part of maintaining the appearance and prolonging the life of your carpets. There are several different types of carpet cleaning methods available, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common types of carpet cleaning and how to choose a reputable carpet cleaning company.

The first type of carpet cleaning is known as dry cleaning. This method uses a dry compound that is spread over the carpet and then worked into the fibers using a machine. The compound absorbs dirt and stains, and is then vacuumed up, leaving the carpet clean and refreshed. Dry cleaning is a great option for those who need a quick and convenient cleaning solution, as it requires little to no drying time. However, it is not as effective as other cleaning methods at removing deep-seated stains and dirt.

The second type of carpet cleaning is known as steam cleaning, also known as hot water extraction. This method uses hot water and a cleaning solution to deep clean the carpet, breaking down and removing dirt, stains, and other contaminants. The cleaning solution is applied to the carpet and then extracted using a powerful machine. Steam cleaning is a highly effective method for deep cleaning and removing tough stains, but it does require a significant amount of drying time.

The third type of carpet cleaning is known as bonnet cleaning. This method uses a machine with a spinning pad that is saturated with a cleaning solution. The pad is then pressed against the carpet, agitating the fibers and removing dirt and stains. Bonnet cleaning is a great option for those who need a quick and convenient cleaning solution, as it requires little to no drying time. However, it is not as effective as other cleaning methods at removing deep-seated stains and dirt.

When choosing a carpet cleaning company, it's important to do your research. Look for a company that has experience and a good reputation in the industry. Ask for references and check online reviews. It's also important to make sure the company is properly licensed and insured.

Additionally, you should consider the company's cleaning methods and equipment. Choose a company that uses the type of cleaning method that best suits your needs and preferences. Look for a company that uses high-quality equipment and cleaning solutions, as this will ensure that your carpets are cleaned effectively and safely.

Finally, you should consider the company's customer service. Choose a company that is willing to work with you and answer any questions you may have. Look for a company that offers a satisfaction guarantee, as this will give you peace of mind knowing that you're getting the best service possible.

In conclusion, maintaining the cleanliness and appearance of your carpets is essential to prolonging their life and keeping your home looking its best. There are several different types of carpet cleaning methods available, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. When choosing a carpet cleaning company, it's important to do your research and choose a company that has experience, a good reputation, and uses the type of cleaning method that best suits your needs. Additionally, make sure the company is properly licensed and insured, uses high-quality equipment and cleaning solutions, and offers excellent customer service.

Posted in Home Care
Dec. 6, 2022

Southeast Idaho Market Update NOV 2022

Real Estate Market Update for Southeast Idaho NOV 2022

The latest real estate market statistics have been released from the Snake River MLS for November 2022. Here are the numbers:

  • Bonneville County 
    • Units sold = 114
    • Average days on market = 50
    • Median sold price = $375,500
    • Number of new listings = 115

  • Bingham County
    • Units sold = 20
    • Average days on market = 39
    • Median sold price = $290,000
    • Number of new listings = 28

  • Jefferson County
    • Units sold = 2
    • Average days on market = 59
    • Median sold price = $350,000
    • Number of new listings = 24

  • Madison County
    • Units sold = 8
    • Average days on market = 66
    • Median sold price = $268,000
    • Number of new listings = 16

  • Fremont County
    • Units sold = 10
    • Average days on market = 89
    • Median sold price = $641,300
    • Number of new listings = 10
Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 1, 2022

Southeast Idaho Market Update OCT 2022

Real Estate Market Update for Southeast Idaho Oct 2022

The latest real estate market statistics have been released from the Snake River MLS for October 2022. Here are the numbers:

  • Bonneville County 
    • Units sold = 117
    • Average days on market = 49
    • Median sold price = $370,000
    • Number of new listings = 167

  • Bingham County
    • Units sold = 21
    • Average days on market = 47
    • Median sold price = $295,000
    • Number of new listings = 50

  • Jefferson County
    • Units sold = 30
    • Average days on market = 42
    • Median sold price = $522,500
    • Number of new listings = 34

  • Madison County
    • Units sold = 12
    • Average days on market = 42
    • Median sold price = $400,000
    • Number of new listings = 28

  • Fremont County
    • Units sold = 11
    • Average days on market = 34
    • Median sold price = $470,000
    • Number of new listings = 20
Posted in Market Updates
Oct. 4, 2022

Southeast Idaho Market Update SEPT 2022

Real Estate Market Update for Southeast Idaho SEPT 2022

The latest real estate market statistics have been released from the Snake River MLS for September 2022. Here are the numbers:

  • Bonneville County 
    • Units sold = 135
    • Average days on market = 42
    • Median sold price = $405,000
    • Number of new listings = 194

  • Bingham County
    • Units sold = 18
    • Average days on market = 33
    • Median sold price = $371,000
    • Number of new listings = 34

  • Jefferson County
    • Units sold = 32
    • Average days on market = 48
    • Median sold price = $404,950
    • Number of new listings = 40

  • Madison County
    • Units sold = 16
    • Average days on market = 52
    • Median sold price = $438,000
    • Number of new listings = 31

  • Fremont County
    • Units sold = 17
    • Average days on market = 39
    • Median sold price = $675,000
    • Number of new listings = 16
Posted in Market Updates