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Visit GVP's blog to learn more about beautiful Garden Valley, home care tips, and advice for when you are buying or selling.
Spring Into Saving on Your Bills!

Spring time is here and Summer is quickly on the way here in Garden Valley Idaho and while you might not be fighting over the thermostat yet it won't be long before fans and air conditioners are running and that means higher power bills. Thankfully there are a few things you can do to help cut your power cuts during the times of the year when they tend to be highest - take a look at these tips!

Change Light Bulbs
Believe it or not by just changing to new more energy efficient light bulbs in your home you could cut almost $100 per year off your energy use.

Install Shade
The sun can really heat up your home! Consider installing blinds or curtains on sunny sides of the house to limit heat absorption. You may even think about planting some shade trees on the side of the house that gets the most light to provide shade for that whole side of the home.

Service Your AC
If you have a central air conditioner get it serviced each season and make sure to keep the filters clean. This can not only help your HVAC system work better but also can save on how much power it needs to run.

Open Some Windows
If you don't have central air the best thing can be to open some windows! Create a cross breeze through the house to keep things cool and consider adding a box fan to the scenario for extra comfort.

Get Grillin'!
On the hottest days consider cooking dinner outside! Nobody needs an excuse to grill, but here's a good one! Keeping the heat of cooking outside rather than in the kitchen heating up your home is a good way to keep the house temps low.

Give Your Deck A Facelift!

Hanging out with your family or hosting friends on your old, dingy deck is not very appealing. Lucky for you, refreshing it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Try your hand at the makeover ideas below!

Restore your decking. Depending on the shape it’s in, sometimes all your deck needs is a little love. If it’s still fairly new, your deck might just need a deep cleaning and a new coat of sealant. There is a multitude of deck finishing and cleaning solutions on the market to choose from to achieve this. However, if it's more worn down, the rejuvenation process may be a bit longer, including searching for larger repairs, tightening any hardware, giving it a good cleaning, applying a stain, sealant, and paint, and more.

Add lighting. Ambient lighting can completely transform your outside space into a relaxing, cozy oasis. Consider adding solar lights that don’t require a plugin or battery replacement. The lights turn on automatically when the sun sets, making your deck come alive. You can also consider paper lanterns, rope lights, mason jar lamps, or small twinkle lights, depending on the style and mood you’d like to set.

Build a privacy screen. Privacy screens come in all styles, shapes, and sizes. Consider purchasing and installing bamboo fencing or lattice panels for a quick and easy solution. Or, if you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can build a wooden frame and grow climbing plants or vines or stretch outdoor fabric in between. Whichever route you end up choosing, make sure you get the most out of your efforts by evaluating all lines sight before building.

Home Equity. Getting a home equity line of credit allows you to borrow money against the value of your home. You receive usually up to 80 percent of your home’s value, minus the amount of your loan.

Retirement Funds. Homeowners can consider pulling money from a 401K or IRA account, even though they aren’t specifically meant to cover a home renovation. This option might incur additional penalties or tax payments, but maybe worth it when making improvements that will benefit them financially in the long run.

Making little changes can have a big impact!
Even just putting in a small bit of time improving your home can make a big impact on its overall value. Want to get more out of your home or cabin when it comes time to sell? We can help!

8 Steps to Plant the Perfect Spring Garden

As important as the right plants are, they can’t do ALL the work!
A great garden requires preparation and maintenance.
Here is a checklist of the 8 steps you should take to prepare your garden for a successful season:

1. Get your shed in order.
Go over your tools. Sharpen blades, oil hinges, and think about expanding or upgrading your collection. The right tools will make the whole season much easier! Also take this opportunity to replenish your supplies.

2. Clear out weeds, mulch, and debris.
Do a spring cleaning of the area, removing anything in the way until you are back to the bare soil. Dead organic matter can go on the compost pile to break down. Well-composted mulch or organic matter can stay right where it is to be incorporated into the soil, but "fresh" mulch needs to be raked away to expose the soil.

Your main concern is any weeds that might still be alive. You don’t want to leave any living weeds around, or they might come back and try to compete with your garden plants!

3. Prune.
Many trees or shrubs can use a good pruning this time of year, especially those that bloom on new wood. Whenever you prune your plants, it is a good practice to add a little fertilizer to the soil to ensure that the plant has the nutrients on hand to heal its wounds quickly.

4. Prepare the soil.
Once the frost has lifted and the soil is workable, start preparing your garden beds. In winter, soil tends to become compacted, so the first thing you want to do is loosen it back up by tilling or turning it. Using a tiller or a sharp spade, work the soil to a depth of 12 to 14 inches to loosen it up. Next add compost and amendments. If your existing soil is particularly poor, the easiest option might just be to rise above it with a raised garden bed.

5. Set up new planters and garden beds.
It is easy to get excited by the beautiful new varieties you come across in catalogs and end up ordering more plants than you have places to put them! Now is the time of year to build garden beds, install shepherd’s hooks or window boxes, and order new pots to ensure that you have enough of a venue to showcase all your gorgeous new plants.

6. Divide perennials like Daylilies.
Some perennials tend to crowd each other out, causing their performance to deteriorate year over year. Plan your space and make sure there is proper space for everything.

7. Early Planting.
Get the first wave of planting done. Many plants can be started indoors this time of year for planting out in spring, and particularly hardy vegetables (onions, potatoes, artichokes, and some lettuces) are ready to be planted now. Look at the plant information for whatever you intend to plant.

8. Apply mulch.
Last but not least, apply a thick layer of mulch wherever you can. Mulch is much more effective at keeping weeds from becoming established if you can get it in place before the weeds start sprouting. You might still be waiting to plant out in lots of areas, or you might have seeds germinating that you don’t want to bury in mulch. Just don’t wait too long to mulch an area, or the weeds will beat you there!

Happy gardening!

Idaho Softball Season!

April is here, the snow is melting, and the sun is shining! For this small mountain town EVERYONE knows what this means: SOFTBALL SEASON!!!

Every year a fantastic group of volunteers donate their time and energy to create a fun, educational softball season for the youth in Garden Valley. Kindergarten through 5th grade kids participate in co-ed slow pitch softball, which has traditionally been offered through GV Little League. This year middle schoolers also get to participate, which is an exciting addition to the program! 6th-8th grade girls will be playing fastpitch softball, and 6th-8th grade boys will be playing hard pitch baseball. The organizers and volunteers worked tirelessly to expand the program, and this is the year it starts!

12 coaches are in charge of 3 pee-wee teams, 2 minors teams, 3 majors teams, 1 baseball team, and 1 fastpitch softball team. Our umpires are volunteers as well, and we could not do any of this without them! This year there are 120 participants, so it is sure to be a great season! Our community is incredibly grateful to have such a turnout.

If you would like to know what the game schedule so you can come cheer on the kids give our office a call and ask to speak with Lisa: she will help you with that!

One of our Garden Valley Properties agents, Lisa Willey, is coaching a team for her 3rd year. Garden Valley Properties is proud to be sponsoring a team as well. If you would like to know the game schedule so you can come cheer on the kids give our office a call and ask to speak with Lisa: she will help you with that!

Contact us at 208-462-4620!

Is a Real Estate Bubble Coming?

According to an article in the wall street journal world-wide house prices are rising due to pandemic-related stimulus, low-interest rates, and changes in buyer behavior.

Although some fear another 2006 bubble, in most countries, economic policy has been manipulated to  keep interest rates low in order to assist recovery.  Efforts to increase interest rates and tighten lending policy have had little influence as housing demand continues to outpace supply.

Unlike in the big recession, Buyers have good credit, pandemic generated savings, more cash to put down and lending policies are tighter.   Loan portfolios are stronger.

Quarantine requirements, home offices, and classrooms have led folks to revisit their housing needs.  Families can often be more flexible to live outside of metro areas.  As Covid cases start to lessen and vaccinations increase, consumers are more optimistic and after a year of reduced spending, they have cash in hand.

Hot markets may stable out naturally, especially in Idaho, where out-of-state buyers are fast approaching a saturation level in their equity compared to prices in Idaho.

You may have observed that land listings have been selling in days. However, in recent weeks as prices have risen, some of those listings are starting to sit a little longer.  The 2020 double digit price increases are expected to soften to single digit increases as interest rates begin to rise.

Lead HousingWire economist Logan Mohtasham, on the RESource  (here is a link to his interview  https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=173996237650184) predicts a very strong housing market over the next 3-4 years.

He believes, between low-interest rates and demographics there will be no shortage of demand in the coming years. As the age group, 27-33 are the up and coming generation to need housing, representing 32.5 million Americans
"The recession is over"  there is no economic evidence that we will be facing damaging inflation rates.  According to Logan, an increase in interest rates is to be expected since the dramatically low rates were influenced by unnatural market conditions (pandemic).  A slight rise in interest would work toward stabilizing the housing market which would be good for everyone.

10 years ago, the average homeowner stayed in their home for 6-7 years.  That has increased to 10 years.  Between the increasing longevity and the fact that builders cannot keep pace with demand, supply is expected to remain diminished.

"Emerging technologies and the demographics are only two of the factors supporting a strong economy.  Americans have been saving more strongly in the past year and now that the economy is opening up those folks will start spending."

Want to know the latest trusted source information on real estate? Garden Valley Properties has its pulse on the market - We can help !

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