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Benefits to Owning Your First Home

There's talk of a sellers market in Idaho but the fact remains that owning your first home is a good investment for a lot of reasons! It's a big decision that many hesitate to take on, while others carefully plan and look forward to it. Regardless of how you approach the process there's no denying there are benefits to owning your first home, so we've put a few of them together for you here!

Build equity
Equity is the difference between the current value of your home and the amount you owe on your mortgage. Over time, as you make your mortgage payments and your home value appreciates, your equity will increase. Owning a home is one of the best ways to build wealth over time! A study by the National Association of Realtors found that the median net wealth of homeowners was $388,400, compared to $129,200 for renters.

Gain financial stability
When you own a home, your monthly housing payment is typically fixed, meaning it won't increase unless you choose to refinance. This can give you peace of mind knowing that your housing costs will be predictable for the life of your mortgage. This financial stability can be especially beneficial for families with young children or those who are planning for retirement. Owning a home can also help you qualify for other types of loans, such as personal loans and business loans.

Create a place to call your own
When you own a home, you have the freedom to do whatever you want with it. You can paint the walls, renovate the kitchen, or even add a new room. You can also have pets and make changes to the landscaping without having to ask permission from a landlord, although some communities may still have bylaws to keep in mind. Owning a home can give you a sense of individual accomplishment as well as be a great place to raise a family and create lasting memories.

Call on us!
Owning a home is a major life decision, but it can also be one of the most rewarding! The benefits of homeownership include building equity, gaining financial stability, and creating a place to call your own. If you are considering buying your first home in Garden Valley or the surrounding area we hope that you will call on us!

Fall Homeowner Maintenance Tips!

Fall is a busy time around the house! Kids might be going back to school, or bow season in Idaho, or maybe just getting those last few camping trips in before the snow flies. Whatever it might be that keeps you busy there's always things that need to be done around the house to get it ready for the cold months ahead. We've put together a few of the lesser thought of items that we're sure you will want to put on your Fall home maintenance checklist!


Inspect and clean your dryer vent
Most homeowners know to clean their gutters in the fall, but many forget about their dryer vents. Dryer vents can accumulate lint and debris over time, which can create a fire hazard. It's important to inspect your dryer vent at least once a year and clean it if necessary.

To inspect your dryer vent, disconnect the dryer from the vent and remove the lint trap. Look inside the vent for any lint buildup. If you see any lint, use a vacuum cleaner to remove it. You can also use a dryer vent brush to clean the vent.

To clean your dryer vent, disconnect it from the dryer and remove the lint trap. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any lint from the vent. You can also use a dryer vent brush to clean the vent. Once the vent is clean, reconnect it to the dryer and replace the lint trap.

Winterize your sprinkler system

If you live in a climate with cold winters, it's important to winterize your sprinkler system to prevent damage from freezing. Winterizing your sprinkler system is a relatively simple process that can be done in a few hours.

To winterize your sprinkler system, you will need to drain the water from the system and blow out any remaining water with compressed air. You can rent an air compressor from a home improvement store or hire a professional to winterize your sprinkler system for you.

To drain the water from your sprinkler system, locate the main water valve to the sprinkler system and turn it off. Then, open all of the sprinkler heads to allow the water to drain. Once the water has drained, close the sprinkler heads.

To blow out the remaining water from your sprinkler system, connect an air compressor to the sprinkler system's blow-out port. Turn on the air compressor and blow out the water until you no longer hear any water coming from the sprinkler heads.

Seal your windows and doors

Drafts around windows and doors can let in cold air in the winter and hot air in the summer, which can make your home uncomfortable and less energy-efficient. To seal your windows and doors, you can use caulk or weatherstripping in order to sure that there are no cold drafts coming into your home. Caulk is a sealant that is applied around the edges of windows and doors to seal out drafts. Weatherstripping is a material that is applied to the moving parts of windows and doors to create a tight seal. You can find most everything you need at the local hardware store!

We're not just here for the time of transaction!
We look forward to building long lasting friendships with our clients and hope they will call on us even after they're happy in their new homes. Are you looking for home in the mountains of Idaho? Maybe you need to sell? No matter what your real estate needs the agents at Garden Valley Properties are here to help!


Am I Ready to Buy a Home in Idaho? Ask Yourself These Questions

You may have been looking for homes in Idaho for some time now, taking the Summer to see what the market was going to do, and you're pretty sure that you're narrowing it down to some homes you love but you're still not sure if you're ready to buy. It's understandable, a lot of details have to come together before you can close on a home - so where do you even begin?

Here are 3 ways to know you might be ready to buy a home:

Have a stable income
This is one of the most important factors in determining whether you are ready to buy a home. Lenders will look at your income history and employment stability to determine how much of a mortgage you can afford. If you have a steady job and a good income, you will be in a better position to make your monthly mortgage payments.

Have low debt-to-income ratio
Your debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your monthly income that goes towards debt payments. Lenders typically want your debt-to-income ratio to be below 36%. If your debt-to-income ratio is too high, it will be difficult to qualify for a mortgage.

Have enough saved for a down payment
A down payment is the amount of money you put down when you buy a house. The larger your down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. Lenders typically require a down payment of at least 20% of the purchase price of the home.

In addition to these three factors, there are other things to consider when deciding if you are ready to buy a home. These include:

    Your budget: Can you afford the monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and other home ownership costs?
    Your lifestyle: Are you ready to commit to living in one place for the next few years?
    Your family plans: If you plan to have children, do you have enough space for them?
    Your employment: Are you confident in your job security?

If you can answer yes to these questions, then you may be ready to buy a home! No matter what stage of the home buying process you find yourself in, we hope that you will feel confident in calling on our experienced mountain real estate agents!

3 Things Your Idaho Lender Needs Before You Buy!

So, you've started looking for your perfect Idaho home! You've searched high and low and maybe even found a few possibilities, so it's time to get serious. That likely means talking to a lender to secure the finances for your new dream home; there's more to it than just asking nicely. To help you get your ducks all lined up to buy we've put together this quick list of 3 things a lender will need from you before you can buy a home:


  1. Proof of income and employment. Lenders want to see that you have a steady income that can support your mortgage payments. They will typically ask for the following documents:

    • Pay stubs from your current job
    • Tax returns from the past two years
    • Employment verification letter from your employer
    • Bank statements showing your regular income deposits
    • Proof of any other income sources, such as rental income or investment income
  2. A good credit score. Your credit score is a measure of your financial history and how well you manage your debt. Lenders use your credit score to assess your risk as a borrower. A good credit score will help you get a better interest rate on your mortgage.

  3. A down payment. A down payment is the amount of money you put down when you buy a home. The larger your down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. Most lenders require a down payment of at least 20% of the purchase price of the home.

In addition to these three things, lenders may also ask for other information, such as your debt-to-income ratio, your assets, and your housing expenses. The specific requirements will vary depending on the lender and the type of loan you are applying for.


Once you have gathered all of the required documentation, you can start the mortgage application process. This process can take several weeks, so it is important to start early.

Here are some tips for getting a mortgage:

  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start shopping for a home. This will give you an idea of how much you can afford to borrow and will make the home buying process go more smoothly.
  • Shop around for the best interest rate. There are many different lenders out there, so it is important to compare rates before you choose one.
  • Be prepared to provide all of the required documentation. The lender will need to see proof of your income, employment, and credit history.
  • Be patient. The mortgage application process can take several weeks, so it is important to be patient and to follow up with the lender regularly.


Buying a home in Idaho is a big decision, but it can be a very rewarding one! By following these tips, you can increase your chances of getting a mortgage and buying the home of your dreams. And thankfully you've got your Garden Valley Properties team here on call to help any time you have a question - so get in touch!

Common New Homeowner Repairs

In some cases, you buy knowing a place is going to need some work. You look forward to making it yours, changing it into exactly what you want...other times, well, there can be surprises to your new home - even when you get it inspected! We're not trying to scare you, we want you to be prepared, especially if you don't have a good real estate agent to let you know about these things!

So we've put together some of the most common repairs new homeowners have to make:


  • Water heater repairs. The water heater is another essential part of your home, and it can be a costly repair if it breaks down. Common water heater problems include mineral buildup, leaks, and electrical issues.

  • Plumbing repairs. Plumbing problems can be a real headache, and they can be expensive to fix. Some common plumbing problems include clogged drains, leaky faucets, and burst pipes.

  • Heating and air conditioning repairs. The HVAC system is responsible for keeping your home comfortable, so it's important to keep it in good working order. Common HVAC problems include malfunctioning thermostats, dirty filters, and refrigerant leaks.

  • Siding repairs. The siding on your home protects it from the elements, so it's important to keep it in good condition. Common siding problems include cracked or peeling paint, loose or damaged siding, and water damage.

  • Garbage disposal repairs. The garbage disposal is a convenient appliance, but it can be a problem if it breaks down. Common garbage disposal problems include jammed disposals, faulty switches, and leaks.

These are just some of the most common repairs new homeowners have to make! It's important to be prepared for these repairs, and to have a budget set aside for them. You should also make sure you have a good home inspector look at your home before you buy it, so you can be aware of any potential problems. By being prepared for these repairs, you can save yourself a lot of stress and money in the long run.

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