Boise Real Estate Market:
There is a ton of activity. We are still seeing foreclosures and short-sales at incredible prices, but these properties are also seeing multiple offers and the sales price ends up being quite a bit over list. By seeing the activity levels and bumped up prices, I’m thinking Boise has hit bottom and values are starting to improve. As usual, the very distressed properties in very poor condition are not commanding as much interest or price.
As an example, I’m representing a buyer who locked their interest rate at 4.375% for a 3100 square foot home in Meridian with a purchase price of $265,500. That property had a list price of $242,000, so you can see the affect of high demand in multiple offer situations.
Boise Rental Market:
Single family homes continue to be very strong. FRPM’s current vacancy is at 2.75%, which is better then what it was this same time last year. However, the school year for K-12 ends in May and as a result, we have 4.7% of our total inventory on notice to vacate at the end of May.
I recently read an article written by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies where they indicated concerns that the cost of housing is making it financially difficult for today’s renters. They stated that 1 out of 4 renters spend over 50% of their gross income on housing costs. An additional 26% spend between 30-50 percent of their total income on housing, which is leaving less for necessities such as food and healthcare. Therefore very few renters are able to put much if any money into savings. Additionally, the rising costs of utilities and the recession has increased the need for subsidized housing.
Marketing Your Rental:
In 1998, FRPM launched its first website and that was our first exposure getting leads via the internet. In 2003, we saw the birth of Internet Listing Sites. These were sites that had mastered the search engines algorithms and had top search results for internet searches for rentals. It was about this time that First Rate Property Management reduced the number of print ads and relied more on the internet. Back then, a 3-4 line ad in the classifieds would cost up to $350 per month per listing. So when we reduced our classified ads and focused more on the internet, our clients advertising costs reduced.
Over the years more and more internet listing sites charge a listing fee. Depending on the key words used in the search for a rental, one site would produce better results than another. Currently, FRPM feeds its listings from its two websites, http://www.boise-rentals.com/ and http://www.boise-rentals.com/ to over 200 sites. However, only 5 of those were sites that charge a monthly fee per listing. We were able to use these paid sites, with some print advertising, and kept the average cost for a full month of advertising below $200, which is considerably lower than print advertising for a lot less exposure and results.
So we’ve been happy with the costs, until we realized that many companies are relying solely on Craig’s List free site, which we use as well. Therefore starting in May, we have reduced our paid sites to just three with the main contributors being http://www.rentals.com/, http://www.rentalhomesplus.com/. We still push our listings to over 200 sites, but not as many that charge per listing. So you should see a reduction in your advertising costs come July since their billing is slow. These paid sites do charge per listing per month, so even if the property only takes 4 days to rent up, the fee is fixed. Our goal is to get our advertising costs down to $75 per listing per month, which is significantly lower than our previous goal of being below $200 per month.
Summer is Around the Corner:
It’s been a wet and cool spring. In fact, some bushes are just now finally producing leaves and flowers. It looks like the warm weather is on its way, so the need to water yards is going to increase.
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