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Tips to Help Sell Your Home During the Holidays!

Typically, the Winter months can be a somewhat more difficult time to sell your home. The weather isn't as nice, the roads are bad, and people tend to really hunker down in the spot they're already in. So what do you do? Don't despair! We've got some great tips to help you get your home sold this holiday season!

Clean Up the Curb Appeal
The front of the house is the first thing people see, so be sure to clean up leaves and debris. Take care of those external house items that you may have put off like trimming the bushes, or taking care of any outside maintenance.

Stage Accordingly
It's the holidays! So get with the season. Put up some lights but don't go overboard with elves on every shelf! Keep it tasteful, and think about creating 'warmth' throughout your home.

Be Flexible
Did we mention it's the holidays? Schedules are crazy, people have a thousand things going on, so be flexible in the times for your showings and meetings with your agent.

Speaking of Agents
It is of course, most important whatever time of year you decide to sell your home to work with a quality real estate professional. We have an office of experienced and knowledgable REALTORS® ready to help you!

Idaho Mountain Snow in Garden Valley

As I sat down to write this blog, I was a bit uninspired. This busy season can leave a person a bit worn out and ready for a break. And honestly, that got me thinking! Every year I cringe at the thought of winter. Not winter itself, if truth be told, but all the things that winter brings. Plowing, shoveling, taking care of livestock in the cold, driving in the snow, the list goes on. A lot of preparation is involved for winter in the mountains too, so it can be a chore!

All that said, I get to a point around this time of year that I long for the snow. We have planned, we have prepared, and we are ready. And then we wait for that first snowfall. I have a secret about the first big series of snowstorms that I want to share with you. They bring peace. The world slows down for a while. The smell in the air changes. People, like animals, snuggle in and enjoy the quiet and calm. When I say I long for snow, I think what I really mean is that I long for the peace, quiet, and calm the snow brings.

As a child one of my absolute favorite things about Garden Valley was the first snow. It ushered in sledding, snowball fights, igloo building, and mugs of hot chocolate. My second favorite thing was after the first winter storm. That is when the sun would come out and the entire world around us sparkled like diamonds. The snow sitting heavily on the trees, lying in the fields, and settled in on the roofs of homes… every inch of everything sparkled. There is something magical about that! And, as a child, the only conceivable reason I could find for the existence of snow was for it to simply be pretty. As an adult, I know better, but I still marvel at the beauty of the world covered in a blanket of white.

If you are already in Garden Valley, get outside and enjoy the beauty the season brings! Marvel in it, breathe it in deep, and allow it to surround you. If you are not here, but plan to visit, let one of us show you around our winter wonderland! Be careful though; you may fall in love!

Garden Valley Hot Chocolate!

I’m writing this on Friday morning the day after Thanksgiving.  It’s a little quiet in Crouch this morning.   It is Black Friday!  Good Luck to those who have decided to brave the shopping experience. I’ll bet some might be recovering from the Thanksgiving feasts.  Or maybe most forks in Garden Valley are enjoying the beautiful day and spending it outside today.  The temperatures are crisp, the sun is warm and the skies are that blue that can only be found in Idaho.


Whether you are sledding at Terrace Lakes, throwing a ball at Weilmunster Park or looking for the perfect Christmas Tree in the Boise National Forest, after a rigorous day on the out of doors, there’s nothing like a steaming cup of hot chocolate.  


Years ago, my friend gave me this batch recipe.  It’s great to have on hand when cold noses and rosy cheeks are looking for a comforting, warming, beverage.  So head to the Garden Valley Market and gather these ingredients.  Thank you Thalia for this great recipe.


Instant Cocoa Mix

  • 4 lb box of Carnation Instant Milk
  • 2 lb box of Nestles Quik (for mixing in milk)
  • 1 16 oz. jar of Coffee Mate
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • Large bag of Mini Marshmallows
  • 1/4 – 1/3   cup Cinnamon to taste (optional)


Mix all together well.  Use ¼ cup of mix per 1 cup of hot water.

Driving Safely During Idaho Winter

Snow. Ice. Wind. And sometimes (because it’s Idaho) the perfect storm: all three at once! Driving in the Winter comes with a learning curve. Below are a few tips and reminders to help you travel safely this season in Boise County.
-Check the weather forecast. Even if you can't change your travel plans by a day or two, changing your driving schedule by an hour or two can make a huge difference when it comes to your safety and road conditions. If you are unsure of what the roads might be like, check with a local about where you're planning to drive through. Garden Valley locals are always quick to share updates on Facebook about the road conditions.
-Beware of changing weather and black ice. If the weather bounces above freezing and then below it again you could have snow turning to water and then to ice. This makes for dangerous conditions and possibly black ice, which is a layer of ice so thin that it's transparent and therefore difficult to see.
-Slow down! When the roads have snow, ice, slush, or worse, black ice on them, your car will take longer to slow and stop. Year after year, we see that many of the vehicles that end up in the ditch are those with four-wheel drive. One of the biggest lessons about driving in the snow Is that over-confidence and speeding can work against your safety when driving in winter.
-Never pass a snowplow! If you get stuck behind a snowplow, be patient and stay there. If they are pushing snow out of the way, it can be very dangerous to pass them and you most likely will not be driving much faster than them anyways.
-Sand or kitty litter. Going someplace where the snow will be a real challenge? Pack a bag of sand or kitty litter to put under your power wheels to help you out of a slippery spot.
- Windshield wipers. Swap them out for a new pair if you need to. This is important as worn out wipers will smear ice on your windshield rather than clean it off.
-Fill up your gas tank often. It’s a good idea to not let your gas gauge drop much below half a tank. It can be annoying to make more stops for gas than usual but if you break down, you'll be glad you get to keep the heater on in your car.
-Keep your lights on. Always have your lights on for winter driving so that you are more visible from the front and from behind. Visibility helps prevent accidents caused by others. When you stop for gas clean off your front and rear lights… They may have become covered in snow and slush as you traveled.
-Use low beams in storms. If you're driving in a snow storm, only use your low beams. You may be tempted to turn on your high beams because instinct says you will be able to see better but, in fact, high beams will cause a reflection off the snowflakes and make visibility more difficult.
-Don't use cruise control. You need total control of your car so don't turn it over to technology when the roads are not clear.
-Pull over safely. If the weather gets really bad or you find yourself uncomfortable driving in the current conditions, find a safe place to pull over. You’ll be lad you have that extra gas in your car from the tip above to keep you warm while you wait it out ??

Winter Car Safety Kit!

As winter sets in and the snow starts to pile, the roads in Boise County can become hazardous. If you have an unexpected emergency, you’re going to want to have a winter survival kit for your car.

In Boise County, there are stretches of road that travel through remote mountains and along the river where you cannot rely on cell phone services. When the temperatures drop and the roads get slick, accidents happen.

Whether you run off the road during a blizzard, break down on a snowy forest service road, or blow a tire in the middle of the night, you may be far from help. In the event of an emergency, you could be stuck for extended periods of time in cold and wintry weather conditions.

Every driver needs to be prepared for the unexpected. The best thing you can do is to make a winter survival kit for your car. A winter survival kit can help you survive in the event of an emergency. It’s one of those things that you will probably never need, but if you ever do, you’ll be very thankful that you made one and left it in your vehicle during the winter season.

It is easy to make a winter survival kit for your car. Here are the items that drivers should carry in their vehicle during the winter season:

?    Road Flares/Reflective Triangles
?    Headlamp with Fresh Batteries
?    Gorilla Tape
?    Metal Shovel
?    Phone Charger with Full Charge
?    Old Cell Phone
?    Jumper Cables
?    Paper Maps
?    Multi Tool
?    First Aid Kit
?    Brush/Scraper
?    Cat Litter/Sand
?    Fuel Container
?    Tool Kit
?    Book
?    Snacks/Food
?    Extra Medications (If Necessary)
?    Rags
?    Trash Bags
?    Down Jacket/Hat/Gloves and additional warm clothes
?    Sleeping Bag/Blanket
?    Water
?    Lighter/Matches
?    Candle
?    Tow Straps
?    Cord/Rope
?    Tissues/Napkins
?    Extra Fuses
?    Windshield Wiper Fluid
?    Satellite Messaging Device - These things can save your life by allowing you to send text messages from literally anywhere on the globe.

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