Meridian Blog

We will keep you up to date with Meridian Real Estate news and information in our blog...

Jan. 1, 2018

What Should Your Meridian Idaho Realtor Be Doing For You?

It doesn't matter whether you're buying or selling a home when you look to hire a Meridian Idaho Realtor, you want someone with local knowledge, experience, someone who is on top of their game and will serve your interests with integrity to you!

When you demand the best in a Meridian Idaho Real Estate Agent you will need to focus on who has enough experience to be a true professional and been in the business for a minimum of 5-7 years, consistently sells at least 25 properties a year and most importantly has great reviews on Google+, Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, etc.  Beware though…… some folks just fall for the agent that is the most popular or sells the most homes in an area.  That approach generally will almost always get less that you are hoping for.  Every agent only has so much time.  Most agents that sell over 40-50 properties a year are spread so thin that they do not have the time to manage all the details of your transaction, keep everything straight even with the help of associate agents as it is impossible to share all the details with your whole team

There are certain additional character traits that your agent should have to take good care of you:

A Great Communicator

The best Meridian Idaho Realtors are great communicators. It's a skill that benefits both buyers and sellers. Your Meridian Idaho Realtor should really listen to you to understand what you're looking for in a new home if you're a buyer, or to learn everything they can about your house if you're a seller. Communication isn't only about listening, though. Your agent should be responsive, and not just when you call or email. A Realtor who is a great communicator will keep you in the loop on what they're doing to find you a house or get yours sold, whether it's networking with other agents, placing ads, checking new listings, or making or answering inquiry calls. advises setting a communication schedule with your agent from the start, so you both agree how often he'll be checking in with updates for you. At least once a week is a reasonable expectation with additional calls or meetings if a significant issue arises.

The Buying Side

When looking for an experienced Realtor, Meridian Idaho buyers want an agent to match them with the right property, but it takes more than simply having access to the most current listings. The best Meridian Idaho Realtors have a thorough knowledge of the market, and that includes neighborhoods, taxes, issues with zoning, and trends in pricing according to As the buyers' agent, your Realtor can answer any questions you have. He should be able to help you find financing to get you prequalified, if you haven't already, and he can help develop a shopping strategy that takes into consideration what you want in a home, what you need, and how much you can afford to spend. Once your Meridian Idaho Realtor has helped you find the ideal house, he'll negotiate on your behalf and will be there all the way through closing, making sure all of the details are taken care of from obtaining inspections and disclosures to following up on repairs and ensuring all the closing paperwork is in order. 

Seller's Agents

The best Meridian Idaho Realtors for sellers do so much more than place a property on the multiple listing service. Main St. says that one of the first things a good listing agent will do is to take a tour of your home and provide a Comparative Market Analysis. To do that, the agent has to be an experienced Realtor in Meridian Idaho who understands home values and knows what's sold in the past few months so he can suggest a realistic price. A good Meridian Idaho Realtor will devise a marketing plan including advertising and scheduling open houses. He will help get your home ready to sell, including advising you on essential home repairs as well as cosmetic ones that will make your house more appealing to buyers. The best Meridian Idaho Realtors negotiate the best possible price for their sellers and don't disappear once an offer has been accepted. They stay until the last paper is signed at closing to ensure no details are overlooked.

Whether you're a buyer or a seller, you'll get the professional, personalized service you need at Stewart Realty. Broker Jeff Stewart and his team are experts in assisting clients in buying and selling real estate in the Boise/Meridian area. When you're looking for the best Meridian Idaho Realtors, call Jeff direct at 208-602-1993.

The team at Stewart Realty knows homes and they know Southwest Idaho real estate. To find out more about real estate in the Boise Region give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call to set up your personal real estate search, a personal tour of the area and find some great homes that fit your needs and budget.

Compose Your Personal MLS Search With Us: or

Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner 208-602-1993 or

Posted in Buying, Selling
Dec. 22, 2017

What is Great About Living in Meridian, Idaho

There is a reason Meridian consistently shows up on "Best Places to Live" rankings, and even hit the number one spot on USA Today's list--it's because living in Meridian Idaho is a great experience! The former Boise suburb has grown to become a city in its own right, and successfully balances the elements that define the simple Idaho lifestyle with access to urban conveniences. If you are thinking about making the move and living in Meridian Idaho, consider the things you want in a hometown. Once you see that Meridian meets pretty much all of your prerequisites, you will want to start looking at the hundreds of homes for sale in Meridian Idaho.

Idyllic Location

Living in Meridian Idaho puts you in the perfect spot in the Boise Valley. It is not really a "big city" compared to metropolitan areas around the nation, so when you are shopping for homes for sale in Meridian Idaho, you will be pleased to find that most of them offer room to spread out, even those located in the more quaint neighborhoods in the city. With a population now of over 100,000, Meridian is not exactly rural any longer, but it is still conveniently close to the activities and attractions that Idaho is known for such as hiking trails, campgrounds, rivers and lakes for fishing, white water rafting and other water sports, and, of course, ski hills and cross-country trails for winter sports enthusiasts are just 45 minutes away. Yet, because Meridian is only about 11 miles from Boise, it is just a few minutes from everything the state capitol city offers, including all the sports, shopping, dining, and entertainment you could ever hope to find. Essentially, living in Meridian Idaho provides the best of both urban and suburban living.   

Affordable Cost of Living

It is usually the small towns that get credit for low living costs but, considering everything it has to offer, living in Meridian Idaho is quite affordable. It gets an "A" from Area Vibes since Meridian's cost of living is 2 percent lower than the national average. There are several factors that go into determining how affordable it is to live in any city, but the low state income tax and 6% sales tax plays a part. Other notable aspects are the cost of groceries, which are 11 percent lower than the national average, and low transportation costs including the price of gasoline that is about 13 percent lower than the national median price.

The housing numbers seem a bit high for the Meridian area, but a closer look at homes for sale in Meridian Idaho show a decent selection of houses that are priced at or below the national median price of $253,500 as of August, 2017. That is a result of the healthy housing market in the Boise/Meridian area and lots of new supply on the way. New construction is alive and well in both cities, which provides the opportunity for home-seekers to find their dream home in an existing house or to build one to fit their picture of the perfect home at an affordable price.

Amenities Galore

Although living in Meridian Idaho puts you close to the amenities of Boise, Meridian itself has plenty of everything to offer residents. Wherever you settle in Meridian, you will be close to grocery stores, parks, libraries, fitness facilities, and restaurants.  And, the city of Meridian is currently in talks with Costco to open a store in North Meridian near Ten Mile Rd and Chinden.  With those necessities nearby, you won't have to make the roughly 20-minute drive to the larger city, unless you want to. Meridian boasts more than grocery stores for shopping, though it is notable to mention that there is a selection of different types of grocers in Meridian including specialty markets like the Boise Co-Op and other health food stores in addition to traditional grocery stores. If you find yourself in need of other items such as clothing, housewares, antiques, and even party supplies, you will find them all without leaving the city. Also, DIY-ers won't have to go far to get the home makeover and remodeling supplies they need for those little projects around the house, as Meridian has several home improvement-type stores like Home Depot and Lowes and specialty stores including tile and granite supply, cabinetry crafters, paint and wallpaper stores, and flooring and interior specialists.

One of the Safest Cities in the State

For single folks and families alike, living in a safe city is high on the priority list, and you can't do much better than living in Meridian Idaho. Not only is it one of the safest cities in the Gem State, but it is safer than almost three-quarters of cities in the whole country. While crime rates are going up in many parts of the U.S., it is actually dropping in Meridian, with the year-over-year number having decreased by 14 percent. Of course, any crime at all is a cause for concern, but reveals that most of the crimes in Meridian aren't violent ones, the majority being burglary or theft.

Education Gets High Marks

With about 20 public schools in the city plus a few private, charter, and magnet schools, many of the homes for sale in Meridian Idaho are close to quality education parents want for their children. Student to teacher ratios are fairly low, so whatever school your children attend, they will have access to individualized attention if they need it. Additionally, specialized tutoring programs such as the Tutoring Club, LearningRx Center, and the Mathnasium of Meridian can provide additional help or offer a challenge for kids who excel academically. All of these elements have worked together to skyrocket the average school test scores in Meridian to 13 percent above the national average.

A bonus for parents and teens living in Meridian Idaho is its proximity to the Capitol, the home of Boise State University. Overall, BSU is ranked high for schools in the West, but U.S. News and World Report puts the College of Business and Economics at Boise State University on its list of the best business schools. Additionally, with the great run the Broncos have had over the years, BSU is the place football players want to go for higher education.  Idaho State University has also opened and is currently expanding its Meridian campus which specializes in medical arts.

Four Gorgeous Seasons

People who have always lived in climates that see the same type of weather year-round don't appreciate the variety of seasons in the Northwest. Most Idahoans would likely agree that they would miss spring changing to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter, and winter to spring. The nice thing about living in Meridian Idaho is that it is in the Boise Valley, at a low elevation of about 2600 ft. above sea level and consequently an area where the weather tends to be a bit milder than the rest of the state. That means people looking for homes for sale in Meridian Idaho will be able to enjoy all four seasons without extreme weather for the most part. You'll still get beautiful blooms in spring, warm, lazy days in summer, stunning autumn colors in the fall, and enough snow in the winter to ski on just 16 miles outside of Boise at Bogus Basin Ski Resort, without having to endure major earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, or massive wide-spread flooding the rest of the country experiences on a regular basis.

Plenty of Things to do in Meridian Idaho

It's true that Meridian is close enough to Boise that residents can enjoy all the sports and entertainment the state capitol has to offer, but there are loads of things to do in Meridian Idaho. There are lots of parks, game and entertainment centers, bowling alleys, movie theaters, a water park, and brewery tours. The Village at Meridian offers a shopping experience to rival any big city, with retailers, restaurants, and fun events throughout the year including wintertime ice skating and concerts during the summer. There is a pumpkin patch and corn maze at Linder Farms, and Meridian has its own speedway, adding to the warm-weather things to do in Meridian Idaho. Naturally, because Idaho is one of the wilderness states, you don't have to go very far from Meridian to enjoy the outdoors. There are outfitters right in Meridian who can hook you up with the perfect camping/fishing/hunting trip, and some specialize in private tours for those who prefer a personalized experience. With so many things to do in Meridian Idaho, one thing is for sure: you'll never be bored.

If you like the idea of living in Meridian Idaho and getting the best of both worlds, you'll be looking for homes for sale in Meridian, Idaho, and Stewart Realty can help. Jeff Stewart has been in the real estate business for nearly 15 years, having worked in construction and as an appraiser before becoming a Realtor and a Broker. Jeff's extensive experience gives his clients an edge that other agents can't offer. When you are looking for the perfect home in the Meridian area, Jeff and the team at Stewart Realty will help you find it. To learn more about Meridian or the rest of Southwestern Idaho give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call for a personal tour of the area and some great homes that fit your style and budget.

The team at Stewart Realty knows homes and they know Southwest Idaho real estate. To find out more about real estate in the Boise Region give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call to set up your personal real estate search, a personal tour of the area and find some great homes that fit your needs and budget.

Compose Your Personal MLS Search With Us: or

Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner 208-602-1993 or

Posted in Buying
Nov. 15, 2017

What is the Best Time of Year to Sell Your Home in Boise, Idaho?

Conventional wisdom says that spring is the best time to list a house for sale. The winter is over, spring-cleaning has taken place, and the weather allows for you to complete those improvements you've been meaning to get to such as painting the trim and freshening the landscaping. When looking at housing trends, however, you have to keep in mind that the numbers that show spring as the best time to sell a house are averaged nationwide, meaning that spring isn't necessarily the best time for selling your home in Boise. You need to consider a few issues that hit close to home here in the Gem State to determine the best time to sell in Boise Idaho.

The Logic Behind Spring Sales

Winter is notoriously the worst time to sell a home almost anywhere in the country, but it's an especially undesirable time to be buying or selling in Boise. Idaho winter weather is cold and wet. Buyers don't enjoy trudging from one house to another through snow, ice and slush when looking at Boise Idaho homes for sale and, as a seller, you won't enjoy cleaning up everything potential buyers track into the house and then moving yourself in the same season. Busy with winter holidays, most buyers don't have the time to look at houses until after Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's are over unless circumstances force them to. Also, money tends to be tighter at the end of the year.  January tends to be the toughest time to sell a home as it is the coldest time of the year and many are recovering financially from the holidays.

Parents with kids in school typically like to get everyone moved in and settled before the school year starts in the fall, so a lot of potential buyers do start looking in the spring. It's true that late spring/early summer months are a good time to display your home in the best light. HGTV points out that freshly blooming gardens and landscaping that's just been revitalized after a long winter's nap give a house vital curb appeal that hook buyers at first sight. Additionally, home buyers receive tax refunds during the time between March to early June. With that additional money in their pockets, they're better equipped to put a down payment on a house. However, March and April are when loads of houses get put on the market, so there is more for buyers to choose from. Purposely waiting for a later listing date when there aren't as many Boise homes for sale could make selling your home in Boise easier with higher seller to buyer ratios. If you absolutely must sell in the spring, ABC News recommends holding off listing for a couple of weeks after the first big flood of spring listings hits the market.

The Best Time to Sell in Boise, Idaho

When SmartZip analyzed monthly selling trends and other home sales data state by state, they also found that January is the worst time to sell a home in Idaho. That news isn't so surprising, but what is surprising is that the numbers showed that October is actually the best time to sell in Boise Idaho. Because there are fewer homes on the market in the fall, you'll be more likely to get your full asking price, or at least not have to discount the price by much because buyers will be competing over the smaller inventory of Boise Idaho homes for sale--especially if they've been looking since spring. What's more, you will have had all summer to get your house ready to showcase, and the gorgeous fall foliage will make your house just as appealing, if not more, than springtime blooms.

The bottom line, however, when determining the best time for selling your home in Boise is that there are a lot of different factors to consider, and market trends fluctuate. Your best bet when trying to decide the best time to sell in Boise Idaho is to team up with a real estate agent who knows the local market and can advise you with good data on the current trends. Jeff Stewart is just the Realtor you're looking for. With over a decade of experience in the Boise/Meridian area, Jeff analyzes the different aspects that can affect the sale of your house and can advise you on when to list your Boise Idaho homes for sale. When selling a home in Boise, get the expert help you need from Stewart Realty. 

The team at Stewart Realty knows homes and they know Southwest Idaho real estate. To find out more about real estate in the Boise Region give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call to set up your personal real estate search, a personal tour of the area and find some great homes that fit your needs and budget.

Compose Your Personal MLS Search With Us: or

Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner 208-602-1993 or

Posted in Selling
Nov. 1, 2017

Meridian Home Prices: What is the Trend?

Meridian Home Price trendsIf you have been watching the real estate market in Ada County Idaho and looking at homes for sale in Meridian Idaho for very long, you might be wondering if home prices in Meridian Idaho will continue to rise like they have for years now. Housing trend predictions for the country are helpful indicators, but Idaho has proven to be a unique market that tends to march to the beat of its own drum, even if it does drift along the same path as the national market in general. Current signs suggest that the trend in home prices in Meridian Idaho is close to leveling off so, though Meridian Idaho real estate prices have been on an upward swing since 2012, experts expect them to level out sometime in 2017 or 2018. Due to significant demand Home prices in Meridian Idaho may continue to rise, but economists estimate they will likely flatten out or increase at a more sustainable rate for the foreseeable future.

Still in an Expansion Phase

When trying to predict a trend for home prices in Meridian Idaho, the Harvard Division of Continuing Education points out that real estate typically cycles through four phases over and over again. After a recession, Phase I is the recovery, where housing prices begin to rise. The increase in pricing continues through Phase II as the market expands, and it peaks at the beginning of Phase III, where increasing vacancies and excessive supply usher in a period of declining prices. Phase IV is when the market goes into a recession and prices drop to new lows, and everything starts all over again.  To give you an idea where we are, the Meridian Idaho Housing Market has not yet entered Phase III as of October, 2017.

The Idaho market hit the statistical bottom in January of 2011 and along with the rest of the country came out of the recession beginning in 2012 and is well into the expansion phase now. At the end of 2015, Bill Conerly of Forbes advised that home prices would be on the rise for the next year and a half to two years. If home prices in Meridian Idaho follow national trends and predictions, around 2017-2018, as possibly as late as the end of that year, prices in the area are expected to peak, then remain static for up to a couple of years.

Although no one can predict home prices with 100 percent accuracy, it is possible to make an educated guess about where Meridian Idaho real estate prices will go based on a variety of factors. The national projections discussed above play a part, but so does the economic and employment climate in the area. Housing says that Meridian is Idaho's fastest growing city, and that means the area is still in an expansion phase above and beyond the market as a whole. That is good news for the local Meridian Idaho real estate market because it translates to more new construction as well as listings of existing housing as families upgrade to new homes as people from out of town and out of state move into the area.

Important Boise Connection

Meridian's proximity to the state capitol is one thing that affects home prices in Meridian Idaho. The larger metropolitan area of Boise appeals to a diverse demographic. There are plenty of jobs, according to Business Insider. Boise landed at number 11 on its list of the 20 best cities for finding a job, but the magazine made sure to point out that the area is number one in the category of socioeconomic environment. That projects a bright future for area growth in general, and it specifically means continued growth for Meridian.  Especially with all Meridian has to offer families over Boise.

How does that work? Well, people may come to the Boise area for jobs or other urban benefits such as sports, entertainment, shopping, and the like, but many also envision living in a more suburban area, and Meridian is the place a lot of people make their homes. Just 10 miles from Boise, everything the capitol has to offer is just minutes away, but you get to go home to a house with a yard, a backyard garden if you want it, plenty of space between you and the neighbors and most of all the family community and the schools. Because living in Meridian is an attractive proposition, supply for homes will likely stay just behind demand, as reported by Boise Regional Realtors. The bottom line is a continued strong Meridian Idaho Real Estate market as it progresses through the expansion phase for awhile longer. 

New Construction and Home Ownership

Housing starts were up nationwide in 2016, and many homes for sale in Meridian Idaho were among those new construction houses. In fact, the Idaho Statesman reports that new construction in Meridian has been extremely good business for contractors.  There is an extreme shortage of new homes in Meridian at the time this article was posted with the lowest inventory in nearly 10 years.  

Don't jump to the conclusion that so much new building will usher the Meridian area into an early Phase III decline. Most of those new homes were presold, and contractors and developers are having a hard time keeping enough inventory to meet the still-large consumer demands. Even when a builder gets the chance to start a home before it is sold, many times it ends up selling before it's complete. Still, that should not discourage home seekers who want to settle in Meridian. You can buy a lot or keep an eye out for both existing and new construction homes for sale in Meridian Idaho, as both types of real estate are being listed all the time. With help from the right Realtor, you should be able to find Meridian Idaho real estate to fit your needs as well as your wish list.

Another factor that puts a twist on the trend for Meridian Idaho real estate is the fact that the age at which many people traditionally start looking at buying a home for the first time has increased. While it used to be that people would be ready to buy a home in their mid-20s to early 30s, the generation that is in its 30s now are only beginning to think about settling down. Their key home-buying years will continue for more than a decade, adding fuel to a strong trend in Meridian Idaho real estate well into 2020 and possibly up to 2030.    

Interest Rate Influence

Interest rates factor into the demand for homes, and that means they help influence home prices in Meridian Idaho. Rates are still low and low interest rates make homes more affordable, so more people are in the market to buy. Some homeowners may remember a time when mortgage rates were above 10 percent, but that was long ago, in the mid-1980s. They have dropped significantly since then and, even before the recession hit in 2007, mortgage rates were below 7 percent.

With 30 year fixed interest mortgage rates at just around half of what they were at the beginning of the recession, potential home buyers are more confident than ever about the possibility of buying a house, whether it is a starter home or they are finally moving up to their dream home. What's more, the Economy Forecast Agency says that mortgage rates will stay below 4 percent well into 2018. Though they are expected to fluctuate a little, possibly going as low as 3.22 percent at some points but not shooting above 3.8 percent before September of 2018, the interest rate projection supports experts' predictions that prices for Meridian Idaho real estate will hold steady at least into 2017 and possibly into 2018.

Mini Trends in Prices for Homes for Sale in Meridian Idaho

Within larger, lengthier trends, there are always mini trends. Although the market may be expected to go up in the long run, it still may take small dips and dives before it hits an expected high point. That means no matter what the national experts say, home prices in Meridian Idaho could fall slightly in the fall and winter months, and then go back up when the real estate business gets busy again in the spring.  Although fall and winter have fewer buyers, there are also fewer sellers.

Overall, though, the Meridian Idaho real estate market is very healthy. According to Zillow it is stronger in Meridian than the majority of the surrounding areas. Though supply hasn't caught up with demand just yet, there are still quite a few homes for sale in Meridian Idaho. Plus, if you are not having any luck finding a home that fits exactly what you want and need, you can always consider building it. There are almost as many lots and development properties available as there are homes for sale in Meridian Idaho.

When you want the inside scoop on the trends in home prices and Meridian Idaho Real Estate or just a good builder recommendation Jeff Stewart and the professional team at Stewart Realty can help. They have valuable long-term experience with the local market that is useful for identifying trends and staying ahead of them, and Jeff's experience in construction and appraising homes and property gives his clients an edge other agents can't offer.  Whether you are new to the area or want to move up, downsize, or build, Stewart Realty will help you find just what you are looking for. To find out more about home prices in Meridian Idaho, or in other cities nearby, give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call for a personal tour of the area and some great homes that fit your style and budget. J

The team at Stewart Realty knows homes and they know Southwest Idaho real estate. To find out more about real estate in the Boise Region give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call to set up your personal real estate search, a personal tour of the area and find some great homes that fit your needs and budget.

Compose Your Personal MLS Search With Us: or

Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner 208-602-1993 or

Posted in Buying, Selling
Oct. 18, 2017

Tips for Creating the Perfect Guest Room

Nice guest roomIf you love to entertain, there are lots of Homes for Sale in Meridian Idaho that include bonus rooms and the like perfect for housing guests when they come to visit. As a gracious host, creating a comfortable, inviting space for your guests should be top priority. A place for guests that makes them feel at home is more than a room with a bed and some extra closet space. You need to include thoughtful extras that will make their stay as relaxing, restful and private as possible. Start by considering what amenities you appreciate when you stay at a hotel, then use them to add a charming guest room to your Meridian home.

Creature Comforts

Get the basic bases covered first when you're putting together the perfect guest room. Furnishing it with a double bed is sufficient, but if your home has the space for a queen-size bed that will be more comfortable when couples stay with you. There should be at least one bedside table with a lamp for late-night reading, and one on either side of the bed if there's enough room for two. Purchase bedding and towels specifically for guests' use, and make sure they're high-quality. If you've ever stayed in a budget hotel, you know the difference low-thread-count sheets can make, so opt for the higher count. Linen or cotton are good choices for bedding and be sure to deck the bed out with an assortment of firm and soft pillows--two of each--for guests' comfort. Also, ample drawer and closet space should be provided, and remember to furnish the closet with plenty of hangers. 

And, of course a private bath is an amenity much appreciated.  Even a ½ bath will be much appreciated. Of course not every home in Meridian Idaho includes the perfect set up for a guest room with their own bathroom, but if you're shopping for homes for sale in Meridian, you can certainly put that item on the list of features you're looking for. A private bath isn't a necessity, but not having to traipse through the house or wait on others to take a shower or freshen up is a nice feature if you can offer it.

Some Nice Touches

Refreshment is one amenity you can provide, and stocking your guest room with a single-serve coffee maker is a thoughtful way to do it, according to InStyle. Be sure to include mugs and a basket of assorted teas, coffee, hot chocolate, and cider mix so your guests can make themselves a hot beverage anytime they want one.

Anyone who travels at all, whether occasionally or frequently, knows that there's always something you forget to bring. HGTV suggests stocking your guest room with a collection of the things you routinely forget when you travel, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, and deodorant. All of those items can be purchased in travel sizes at any grocery or drug store. Also, consider keeping a couple of unisex robes on hand, another necessity that often gets left at home. 

Reading Materials

Trips always include downtime, and you can thoughtfully fill any empty hours your guests have by providing interesting things to read. Martha Stewart recommends placing a few magazines and the most recent issues of the local newspaper in the guest room. If you've recently read a good book worth recommending, set a copy on the nightstand. Another terrific idea for a good read is information on Meridian location and history.

Of course, if there is not a way for you to move up to a New Meridian Idaho Home with the optimum guest room set up you can always use your imagination and ingenuity to make the best of the space you have.  Ideas may include a Murphy Bed, a Futon or a Hide-A-Bed couch to make a room able to serve your many needs. That’s what we like to do for our clients, get them the best property for their needs.  It is all about you, not us!

So, when you're looking at homes for sale in Meridian, it's useful to keep an eye out for ones that have space to accommodate guests.  These can even include set ups for more permanent stays like a Mother in Law apartment with its own kitchen and laundry facility and garage.  For help with finding these hard to find properties, call Stewart Realty.

Broker Jeff Stewart and his team are experts at matching homebuyers with the real estate they want and need. To find out more about homes for sale in Meridian or the rest of Southwestern Idaho, give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call for a personal tour of the area and some great homes that fit your style and budget. 

The team at Stewart Realty knows homes and they know Southwest Idaho real estate. To find out more about real estate in the Boise Region give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call to set up your personal real estate search, a personal tour of the area and find some great homes that fit your needs and budget.

Compose Your Personal MLS Search With Us: or

Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner 208-602-1993 or

Posted in Buying, Selling
Oct. 1, 2017

Why is Everyone Moving to Middleton Idaho?

Middleton is among the oldest towns in Idaho, and it is the oldest in Canyon County but, so far, it remains a superb hidden gem in the Gem State. With a population of just over 5,500 Middleton doesn't just have a small town feel, it is a true Idaho small town. It may not remain in that category for long, however. According to the Idaho Statesman the town's population experienced an over 50 percent growth spurt in the 5 year period between 2001 and 2006, and it has since grown another 21 percent.  At the time of writing this article the population within the city limits is estimated at about 8000.

The wide open spaces, rolling hills on the north bench, the beautiful Boise River valley, low crime and rural environment are just the beginning of what's attracting people to move to Middleton.  It is also just a 30-40 minute commute to downtown Boise. However, there's one more important factor. Considering the median price for homes in Middleton less than Ada County to the east and is very close to the national average, affordable homes in Middleton factor in when families decide to make the move. Plus, there are great schools in Middleton, too, another feature that's convincing everyone to move to Middleton, Idaho.

The Cost of Homes in Middleton, Idaho

You can get a whole lotta home for your money in Middleton, and buying a home there is a good investment. Though home appreciation is up over 14 percent, the median home price is very close to the national average and is around $230,000. With people moving in from other areas in Idaho as well as from out of state at an increasing rate, construction is booming so it's common to find low inventories of homes in Middleton right now.  A good example of affordability is that most that come from neighboring states are able to buy newer homes in Middleton and even with some acreage for less that their previous, old home sold for.   
Another Reason for the Move: Great Schools in Middleton
Out of necessity, the Middleton school district has grown along with the town, but it remains a small, close-knit educational community.  Many of the students come from the rural areas outside of the Middleton City limits and therefore the number of students for such a small town is quite high.  Though there are no private or charter schools in Middleton yet, kids still get a very high-quality education from the five great schools in the Middleton District. Because the student to teacher ratio is only 17:1, according to Area Vibes, kids get the kind of individualized one-on-one attention parents pay handsomely for in private schools in bigger cities. Middleton recently built a new state of the art High School (see photo below) that shows the communities commitment to their children.  As you can see there is also a high emphasis on sports. Education is very hands-on in Middleton, and the support and involvement from parents and the community in general are high--just another reason to make the move to Middleton.

One of the Few Remaining Vestiges of the West

Nestled amid the gentle rise and fall of rolling hills and with a good share of flat agricultural land, Middleton is a Rancher’s or Gentleman Farmers dream. Whether you want to make your living in agriculture or just want a few acres and some livestock, acreage properties in Middleton Idaho are the ideal place to convert your dream into a reality. Many of the existing older homes in Middleton listed for sale include barns, corrals and other outbuildings. Alternatively, because the cost of land in Middleton is still about half of what it is in larger neighboring cities, buying acreage and building to suit is affordable.

If you're convinced that you want to start looking at homes in Middleton, contact Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty at 208-602-1993 or email at . With over 14 years experience in real estate in the Middleton/Boise/Meridian areas, broker/owner Jeff Stewart has the information on land, home prices, best locations and available homes in Middleton to help you find just what you're looking for.  Call today!

The team at Stewart Realty knows homes and they know Southwest Idaho real estate. To find out more about real estate in the Boise Region give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call to set up your personal real estate search, a personal tour of the area and find some great homes that fit your needs and budget.

Compose Your Personal MLS Search With Us: or

Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner 208-602-1993 or

Posted in Buying, Selling
Sept. 12, 2017

What a Good Realtor Can Do For You

The financial bottom line is important in real estate. Sellers want to get the most when selling their homes and buyers want to find the perfect house at the best possible price. That's why some choose to jump into the real estate game without an Idaho Realtor. Saving the cost of the agent's fee is small potatoes (no pun intended), however, compared to what a good Realtor can do for you. Whether you're a buyer or a seller, a professional, experienced agent will put in the time it takes, applying unique knowledge and expertise to provide many invaluable services.

Difference Between an Idaho Realtor and a Real Estate Agent

According to the Idaho Real Estate Commission, you must be licensed to sell real estate for someone other than yourself in the state of Idaho.  This includes land and any improvements attached to the land. Getting a real estate license entails taking pre-licensing classes and passing state and national exams and clearing an FBI Background Check. Additionally, agents and brokers have to take 16 hours of continuing education classes and 2 Core Courses every two years to maintain their licenses. Initial licensing and continuing education ensures agents are up-to-date on Idaho Real Estate laws and best practices. That foundation gives them the necessary education to get started but it takes several years of hard work and many transactions to learn the tribal knowledge to become proficient, effective at negotiation and accurate with value estimates.

You've probably heard real estate professionals called "agents" and "Realtors," but technically those aren't interchangeable designations. An Idaho Realtor has not only met the state licensing requirements but has gone a few steps above. They are also members of the National Association of Realtors, an organization that sets its standards and ethics above state and even national expectations. Realtors not only continue their education as required by the state but they also routinely attend ethics courses. When you opt for an Idaho Realtor instead of a real estate agent, you know you're getting a professional who you can expect to be honest and provide a higher-than-normal level of service. 

What a Realtor Can Do For You

Because Idaho Realtors and real estate agents typically work for the same fee structure you get more for your money with a Realtor. If you're wondering what that entails and what a Realtor can do for you, financial website has a whole list to answer that question.

Realtors run interference for their clients, sifting through listings and inquiries, so buyers don't end up looking at homes that don't fit their budget or needs, and sellers don't have to deal with curious people walking through their homes who have no intention of making an offer. Realtors have the experience to offer valuable advice on listing prices, and they know the neighborhoods well, both issues that concern buyers and sellers. Realtors have the contacts and the online marketing networks to effectively market your home.  So find one that works the area where you are looking to live as finding a Realtor that is very familiar with the area is very important for educating you properly, especially if you are from out of town. A good local Idaho Realtor will be there before, during, and even after closing to help handle the reams of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction and answer any questions you have.

Buyer Beware

Buyer beware! If you're wondering what a Realtor can do for you and why you need your own agent, explains that your Realtor will look out for your best interests. Financially speaking, that means your Idaho Realtor will look at the house you're interested in with a critical eye, and point out anything of concern. He'll also negotiate a fair price that fits your budget, and can even help find financing if necessary--and that's all in addition to the other basic services he provides.

Once you know what a Realtor can do for you and need a good, caring Meridian Idaho Realtor, give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call. He promises that he will set a new level of expectation for you not only in professional skills but in honesty and integrity.  Jeff will be happy to give you a personal tour of the area and show you some great homes that fit your style and budget.

The team at Stewart Realty knows homes and they know Southwest Idaho real estate. To find out more about real estate in the Boise Region give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call to set up your personal real estate search, a personal tour of the area and find some great homes that fit your needs and budget.

Compose Your Personal MLS Search With Us: or

Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner 208-602-1993 or

Posted in Buying, Selling
July 24, 2017

Homeowners Associations: What You Need to Know


If you've never lived in a condominium complex or other housing situation that is typically set up as a Common Interest Community, you may not know what an HOA is or how it can affect you. HOAs exist in every state, and the homeowners associations in Idaho are essentially very similar. That's on a basic level, though, as each state's laws vary, and so do the way those laws affect communities and the homeowners associations in them. 

What Are Homeowners Associations?

 An HOA is a governing body with a board of directors that oversees a specific community, such as an apartment or condo complex or a particular neighborhood. Planned communities and gated neighborhoods usually have homeowners associations, but the houses don't all have to be alike and there doesn't have to be a wall around the neighborhood for the community to adopt HOA management. Just like all HOAs, after a developer has finished building out the development, the  homeowners associations in Idaho are funded and run by the residents, and they're set up to ensure the community maintains a certain level of cleanliness, repair, consistency and decorum. There are pros and cons to homeowners associations, so it's important to find out all you can before buying into a neighborhood or housing complex that has one.

What Will Homeowners Associations in Idaho Do For You?

 All homeowners associations have Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, hence the acronym CC&R’s.  HOA management--the board of directors--enforces these rules and are in charge of creating new ones as the need arises.  These rules must be adopted and voted on by a certain number of households, enough to form a quorum. These rules vary from one HOA to the next, partially based on the type of community. Regulations would obviously be different for an apartment building in New York City than it would be for homeowners associations in a single family residence in most Idaho neighborhoods. Some of the positive covenants and conditions homeowners associations in Idaho might enforce: 

keeping front yards green, maintained, and neat

require house exteriors to be painted if fading and can restrict your color choices

restrict noise levels 

limit number of vehicles that can be parked on the street  

 Conditions like those can benefit you because everyone in the neighborhood must comply, creating a peaceful, orderly, and attractive environment to live in. Additionally many homeowners associations provide amenities you might not otherwise be able to afford and maintain, such as a community park, swimming pool, tennis courts, rec room, health club, and even accommodations for business meetings.

 However, covenants and conditions might restrict what kind or how many pets you have, and even what size they can be. The rules could limit what kind of exterior improvements you can make on your home or what kind of landscaping you can do. That can include preventing you from installing solar panels and limiting how big your flower and/or vegetable gardens can be.

 It Comes at a Cost

Belonging to homeowners associations depending on the amenities and number of residents, comes at a cost.  HOA dues can be billed frequently as monthly in condominium developments  to yearly in single family developments.  HOA Dues go toward installation and maintenance of common areas which could encompass lawns, sidewalks, outdoor lighting, clubhouses, and swimming pools, depending on what your community includes. You will need to take those fees into consideration before buying a house in an HOA community, because your mortgage lender certainly will. Plus, according to Kiplinger, the HOA management board can vote to levy a special assessment and charge each member extra money if a large, unexpected repair needs to be done.  Costs are typically shared equally between property owners.  In Idaho we hear stories of associations in other states where HOA dues seem to increase uncontrollably, however, that is not typical in Idaho.  For instance, Baldwin Park HOA in Idaho where the Broker of Stewart Realty, LLC resides has only raised their dues once in the 14 years he and his family have resided there.  And that increase was only from $400 to $435/year.  So, when responsible homeowners manage HOA’s and the members stay involved, it can be a very good arrangement.

The covenants and conditions might restrict what kind or how many pets you have, and even what size they can be. The rules could limit what kind of exterior improvements you can make on your home or what kind of landscaping you can do. That can include preventing you from installing solar panels and limiting how big your flower and/or vegetable gardens can be. 

Find Out First

If you fall in love with a house that has an HOA, your agent should provide you a copy of the CC&R’s prior to making an offer to make sure they don't include anything you can't live with. Also, any MLS Listing sheet provided by a good Meridian Realtor should disclose what the HOA fees are and how often they are paid. You can also go the extra mile if you like and get a copy of the minutes from the most recent board meeting, or arrange to sit in on one to see what type of conflicts are typical and how the board responds to them. Plus, remember that any resident can serve on the board so if you want to help make changes or improve conditions, you could make a difference. 

Whether you want to avoid homeowners associations in Idaho or are looking to specifically buy in a community with CC&R’s to protect your investment, give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call for a personal tour of the Meridian area and some great homes that fit your style and budget. 

The team at Stewart Realty knows homes and they know Southwest Idaho real estate. To find out more about real estate in the Boise Region give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call to set up your personal real estate search, a personal tour of the area and find some great homes that fit your needs and budget.

Compose Your Personal MLS Search With Us: or

Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner 208-602-1993 or


Posted in Buying
March 14, 2017

The Kitchen - the Room that Sells the House

The heart of any home is the kitchen, so it's no surprise that it is the room that sells the house, according to Forbes. It is where families spend most of their time, cooking, eating, and entertaining. Generations upon generations of kids have done their homework at kitchen tables, and many people appreciate a kitchen with a built-in because it is the place they prefer working on everything from the household finances to correspondence.

Experienced Realtors will tell you that your kitchen can make or break a sale, so it is vital to pay a little extra attention to this very important room when going over your home selling checklist. Even before putting your house on the market, it is a good idea to research kitchen ideas in Idaho and consider some upgrades or possibly a modest remodel. How far you go with a kitchen makeover depends on how old your kitchen is, but a lot of the time a coat of paint and some new hardware is sufficient to spruce up the room.  Of course, you don’t want to over-remodel the kitchen to the point that it is out of phase with the rest of the home either.  Naturally, you will want to make sure the entire house is clean, uncluttered, and in good condition when you are selling a home, but put a good effort into the room that sells the house.

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Posted in Selling
Feb. 28, 2017

7 Reasons Why Meridian is the Absolute Best Family City in Idaho

Best family city in IdahoIt's said that people come to Idaho for the wilderness and stay for the lifestyle, but there are so many terrific cities in the Gem State, you might find it difficult to decide which one will become your new hometown. If you are looking for a place to raise a family, the decision is simple. Meridian is the best family city in Idaho, and there are plenty of reasons why that is a fact. Though each family has a list of priorities that are important to them, there are six main concerns that all parents share when raising a family: access to good educational, prospects for income and employment, an affordable cost of living, low crime rates, and short commutes. When comparing places to move, USA Today gave Meridian Idaho best city status, putting it at number one because it meets all those criteria and more. 

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Posted in Buying