Tax season is upon us! That means we not only need to file taxes by April 15th, but also to file for the homeowners exemption.
If you’re not sure if you qualify or where to file, we are here to help!
What Is The Homeowners Exemption
This exemption is provided by Idaho state law, for the purpose of reducing the taxable value of your home up to $100,00 or 50%, whichever is less. For example, if your home is worth $400,000, you may only pay tax on $300,000. As a result, this exemption will save you money and reduce you property taxes!
A home owner can file the exemption if they are an Idaho resident and they occupy the home for more than 6 month out of the year (Primary Residence). It can only be filed on the primary residence, it can not be put on a second home or a rental.
When To File
New Construction you must file within 30 days of purchasing the home.
For Existing Homes, the deadline to file for the homeowners exemption is April 15th for THIS year’s exemptions.
File one time per house. After you file, the exemption stays with the house until you sell the house. Then you will need to file it again on your next home.
Where To File
Filing must be done at the county’s assessors office where the house is located. Every county does it a little differently, but you have to file each one in person, it can not be done online. Below are a list of the addresses of nearby counties:
Kootenai: 451 Government Way, Coeur d’Alene
Shoshone: 700 Bank St #100, Wallace
Boundary: 6452 Kootenai St, Bonners Ferry
Bonner: 1500 US-2 #205, Sandpoint
Benewah: 701 College Ave # 7, St Maries
Do Not Share Sales Price
Idaho is a non disclosure state. That means you do not disclosure the purchase price of the home with the county or on any external sites like Zillow because it is not required. This is a good thing! If the county has the home assessed at a lower value than what you purchased it at, you will continue to be taxed at the lower rate. If you share the higher purchase price with them, they will start taxing you at that higher level.
Below are a few other exemptions you can file on your property. Click on the links to learn more about how it works in Kootenai county. You would file each of the below exemptions the same way as a homeowners exemption, at the county’s assessor’s office where the land is located.
Agricultural: This program will reduce the taxable value on agricultural land.
Timber: This program will reduce the taxable value of the private land used to primarily harvest timber.
Property Tax Reduction Program (Formally known as Circuit Breaker): This program reduces property taxes for individuals who meet age and income requirements.
If you have any questions, concerns or confusion, never hesitate to contact us! We are here to address any roadblocks you have and point you in the right direction so that you can save some money on your taxes.
Check out our video below regarding important tax information for home owners. Also, subscribe to our YouTube page to keep up with all things real estate!
Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! What are you going to do for your sweetie this year? Whether you want to get them something special or do something special, there’s lots of options. We’re here to help make your day exceptional.
Avoid The Same Old Same Old
Do you tend to get your special someone the same thing each and every year? Maybe some roses and a box of chocolates? This is the year to break that trend and avoid the ordinary!! Check out these great gift ideas that are better than flowers and candy. It’s guaranteed to surprise the one you love:
This personalized gift is a great way to look back on your relationship. From the day you met, first date, got married, and the birth of your children.
What better way to capture each and every moment as they happen? You can treasure those moments forever. Stick them on your fridge, in a photo album or scrapbook.
Bring the spa to her! With several different scent options, you can treat your love from the comfort of their own home.
Switch up the usual with this date night bucket list. Lots of creative date night ideas, both fun and intellectual. Avoid the dreaded “What do you want to do tonight?” question.
Remember your special day in this unique way. Pick the best line from your vows and put them on display.
Satisfy their sweet tooth with a twist. So gorgeous they’ll never want to eat it… if they can resist.
You Know Them Best
When it comes right down to it, you know your love the best. This is an excuse to treat them… maybe spoil them with a spa day. Keep them grilling with a BBQ Set. Make them laugh with a silly mug. Keep them cozy with a new blanket & pillow or PJ set. Get them a little buzzed with their favorite wine. Keep things smelling fresh with a candle. Help them feel pretty with personalized jewelry. Even if it’s the classic flowers & chocolates, get them what they want.
A Night on The Town
Want to take your sweetie out on the town? Beautiful Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding area is never short on events, even for the day of love. And also some great date night ideas you could do on Valentine’s Day or any other.
The Chocolate Affair – On February 8th at the Resort Plaza Shops from 5-8pm
Valentines Bazaar – On February 9th at Garden Plaza in Post Falls from 11am-3pm
Love on the Lake Dinner and Cruises – On February 14th boarding at The Boardwalk Marina at 5pm or 7:30pm
Valentine’s Chocolate Fountain Buffet – On February 14th at the Coeur d’Alene Resort at 4pm
Valentine’s Day Acoustic Dinner – On February 15th at Cruisers Bar & Grill from 7-11pm
Sweetheart’s Ball – On February 15th at The Best Western from 5:30-9:30pm
Ice Skating at River Front Park in Spokane – Make an entire night of it and have dinner at an elegant restaurant downtown, catch a movie, go ice skating, and then stay at a nice hotel.
Pinot’s Palette Date Night – You paint half a picture on a canvas and your partner paints the other half, making one giant gorgeous picture. Don’t forget the drinks.
Ski/Snowboard Day – Enjoy the slopes at any one of the great resorts near us!
A getaway with the one you love is needed every now and then. And what better time than Valentine’s Day? Celebrate your love together and enjoy a small vacation. You’ll still be close to home, yet in a world of your own.
Located in gorgeous Sandpoint Idaho, this is a must stay. Visitors get to enjoy astounding views of the surrounding mountain ranges and beautifully constructed log cabins. Don’t forget the horseback riding, outdoor activities, and all the history that comes with it.
The Blackwell Hotel is located in Downtown Coeur d’Alene. It’s full of elegance, history, and many unique touches. First built in 1904, it still has the original artwork. A very romantic place, a must see!
Located on the North Shore of Coeur d’Alene Lake, it’s become a top place to stay for visitors. At the resort you will never be bored with accommodations like golfing, spa, pool, restaurants, nightlife and more! Check out their lake front rooms today.
This is a one of a kind experience! Dinner & a movie, then dessert & drinks after the credits roll. Don’t forget the gambling & luxury rooms to stay in. Everything you need in one place.
Located in Downtown Spokane, Historic Davenport Hotel is right in the center of everything. With gorgeous city views, a romantic design, a spa, and even jetted tubs and fireplaces in some rooms you’ll never want to leave! Great balance of modern amenities and a historic charm.
This little bed & breakfast is located just 10 minutes from downtown. Close but away from all the crows. Very peaceful and quite location which makes it perfect for a romantic getaway.
No matter how you choose to spend your Valentine’s Day, make it memorable and celebrate your love!!
One thing you can count on in North Idaho and that is that Idaho has 4 great and very distinct seasons. Each having something fun and unique to offer. From the weather to events, food and clothes. Above all, there is always something to do in each season. Indoor or outdoor person, it doesn’t matter, there’s something for you.
Over the next few months there are enough activities in our beautiful city and surrounding area to make your head spin. Below are just a few of activities you might want to consider. You can always stay tuned to our What’s Happening Page for January, February & March for a full list. Including dates, times, locations and links!!
Mamma Mia! – Aspire Community Theatre on Feb. 8 -17.
It’s a show you can’t miss! The only Pacific Northwest Company to hold this will have this production.
The Chocolate Affair – Feb. 8 from 5-8pm
Can’t miss this chocolate tasting event & competition. Test chocolates with the perfect wine pairing with your valentine!
The Sweetheart’s Ball – Feb. 15 from 5:30-9:30pm
There will be a buffet dinner, plus a silent & live auction
Wallace Extreme Ski-Jor – Feb. 16-17
It’s known as the “Wildest Event in the Rockies”!! Check out ATVs Towing Skiers Down a Snow Covered Downtown Street Course
Mardi Gras Krewe d’Alene – Feb. 16 from 5:30-10pm
Take a stroll through the streets of New Orleans where you can enjoy New Orleans Style Food from 10 Local Restaurants! Don’t forget about the fun street entertainment.
Charter Academy’s Soup & Chili Cook-Off – March 2 from 5-8pm
Sample the Soup & Chili. Also Enjoy Auction Items, Game Room for Kids & Musical Performances
Bartender’s Ball – March 2nd from 7:30-10:30pm
Check out this cocktail showdown with Local Mixologists!
The above is just a handful of the events happening over the next couple of months. And, there is always many to choose from each month and season. Get out and enjoy all our area has to offer this winter!! And don’t forget to drop by our What’s Happening Page for January, February & March for a full list. Including dates, times, locations and links!!
John and Tracey Chime In
We love north Idaho. We love the fact that every season has its own unique life. Festivities, events and change. You never get bored here. Just about the time you are ready for a change, Idaho delivers! Each season has so many fun and unique activities and many that you look forward to all year long. Idaho keeps it interesting and enjoyable and its just one of the reasons we call this our forever-home!
John and Tracey Tindall
Coeur d’Alene never ceases to amaze us. Not only do we get to enjoy the obvious beauty and all the lovely people who live here, but our Lake City offers so many other benefits! Like Theater!! But not just any Theater… Aspire Community Theatre.
Great Local Entertainment
Aspire Community Theatre (ACT) is unlike any other. How, you may ask? To start, they are a completely non-profit run organization with experienced theatrical artists in charge. It’s a community theater, staffed 100% by volunteers, yet working at a professional level. As a result, you can count on exceptional and entertaining performances each and every time.
Aspire was founded because many parents of children in theater were unable to find other options once their children graduated. Their only other option was acting at a professional level. Creating this theater was a way they could continue to learn and expand their acting abilities right here at home. Aspire is a conservatory theatre, which means, the students will learning through out each production because they are involved in each aspect of the production. Aspire incorporates a wide a wide range of groups and ages to keep things lively. Plus, they “not only develop artists, but theater enthusiasts through education and exposure”.
Aspire’s mission “is to enrich, entertain and educate our community through exceptional live theater which inspires the imagination and provokes contemplation of truth. Our goal is to honor, reflect and collaborate with the greater community we serve, creating leaders for the future, as we form partnerships today.” And they do just that!
Courtesy of the Coeur d’Alene Press
A Gift To The Community
Theater is a gift – for both the audience and artists and with 600 season ticket holders it seems like our community agrees. Bringing together experienced theatrical artists combined with young talent and community leaders; Aspire is determined to improve the lives of not only the artists and productions but this community. They provide a venue “For the next generation of characters”. Because of their local success, they are the only theater in the pacific northwest playing Mama Mia! First show is February 8th.
John and Tracey Chime In
“Our first Aspire experience was for “Catch Me If You Can”. We were intrigued when they said it would be a MUSICAL! We loved the movie and were so interested in seeing how it could be made as a musical. Aspire took that movie to a whole new level as a musical play. We loved it! Above all, it was so creative and a throughly enjoyable performance. We laughed and enjoyed every minute of it. Aspire offers a diverse and multi-faceted mixture of talent we have not seen in community theater. If you are looking for a great entertaining evening, go to a performance. Finally, Mamma Mia would make a wonderful treat for your Valentine!
John and Tracey Tindall
Contact us for special ticket discounts!!
Happening in February
Contact us for special ticket discounts!!
Contact us for special ticket discounts!!
Visit Aspire here! Check out the upcoming shows and learn organization, donate, sponsor and volunteer.
Calling all Foodies!! One of the fastest growing food industries is coming to our own backyard. Food Trucks! The speed, convenience, quality and price is enough to draw a crowd to the up and coming food truck pavilion in Coeur d’Alene.
A Great Idea Hatched
The owners of Premier Auction Center in Post Falls teamed up with the owners of the Jitterz Espresso franchise and hatched this great idea. Our area’s next food truck court will have just about everything! That includes 13 food vendors, a Jitterz Coffee stand, 39 parking spots with a large eating pavilion. “Prairie Pavilion” will be located at 7777 Heartland Drive and plans to be open by the spring of 2019.
Good For Your Tummy and Our Economy
It’ll be great for the consumer as well as helpful to our economy. Food Trucks and the food truck community invest into our local economy and they do so by creating jobs and help recharge underdeveloped areas. One may think they could be hurtful to the brick-and-mortar restaurants. Just the opposite, because food trucks draw patrons to the area which increases the amount of foot traffic to other restaurants and surrounding businesses. Not to mention, restaurants are opening food trucks of their own to keep up with the growing trend. Plus, food truck businesses are required to pay all the same taxes as other restaurants and this generate thousands in tax revenue for the city.
The owners say it’ll be a “happening spot where busy businesspeople can swing through for a quick bite, as well as a welcoming environment where everyone can enjoy a relaxing meal.” That will just be the start! Additional plans are “getting kicked around” about making this spot a cornerstone of the community. Possibly having farmer’s markets and music shows available alongside the pavillion. Overall, Prairie Pavilion will be a great spot for everyone and it’ll be right in our backyard!
John and Tracey Chime In
“We have enjoyed some pretty wonderful food from food trucks here in Coeur d’Alene and in other cities. Dining from a truck will surprise you because you just can’t imagine such amazing and sometimes gourmet food can be cooked up and served from a truck, but it does! We love this idea and how it brings a new layer and flavor to our area”. John and Tracey Tindall
Credit: https://www.cdapress.com/local_news/20190110/street_eats_coming_to_north_coeur_dalene?fbclid=IwAR2H7ELzQOXwSfsRIstFa7UaWw54hje8gnI6donQbybM1uu_jjEZtdFos70 & http://www.dmvfta.org/food-truck-facts
Saving money can be such a challenge for most of us. When it comes time to buy a home or invest in real estate it can become even more of a struggle. With mortgage financing, we must be sure to keep our debts low, while having enough assets on hand to get our loan approved. We will need to consider the budget for new mortgage payments while paying of credit card or consumer debts each month. AND we must be mindful about putting money away into a 401K or other investments and maybe having a little extra to enjoy life.
Below are 7 simple rules for saving your money and paying off debts. Following these rules will make it easier to get where we’d like to be financially before taking the steps to get your dream home.
1. Automate It!
Most places of employment offer direct deposit. Use that to your advantage. Set your direct deposit up for a portion of your paycheck to be deposited into several different accounts. One for your 401K, another into a savings account for the purpose of emergencies, also an account to save for home projects, vacations, etc. Then, set up your bills to be paid automatically. It would be beneficial to check with your loan holders to see if that would be an option. Ultimately, it comes down to this: if you can’t see the money then you won’t have the temptation to spend it.
2. Know How to Prioritize
Should you start paying down debt or saving first? Which debts should you start with? You need to know how to prioritize and compare the numbers. First, start by checking the interest rates on your loans and credit cards. The higher the interest rate, the more of a priority that should be to pay off. Save any extra money you get. Tax return? Put that into savings! Get a raise at work? Automatically deposit that extra percentage into savings each month. Eventually, you will have enough in that account for a nice down payment on your home.
3. Imagine Your Future Self
Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Owning your own home? Not drowning in debt? Studies show if you imagine where you’d like to be in the future that will motivate you to take the necessary steps for the purpose of achieving those goals.
4. Stop Unnecessary Spending
Take a good look at your finances and what you spend money on regularly. Do this with the intention of determining what can be dropped or scaled back on. Maybe a gym membership that you pay for monthly and only go once every 3 months or so. Another common unnecessary expense is cable TV; streaming services are cheaper, and they have a great selection. Additionally, rather than getting a coffee at Starbucks every day, make your own coffee at home. You may be surprised to know that could save over $100 a month. Also, eat meals at home instead of going out to eat. Even dropping one expenditure mentioned will make a huge difference on your bank account.
5. Reward Yourself
You can’t live your life to save and pay down debt. Every now and then you need a reward for all your hard work. Use that as a motivation to save. Got a bill paid off? Get yourself something! Reached your goal on an amount of money you wanted to save? Treat yourself! Be sure to make these rewards sensible, but you could be getting perks while saving and paying off bills.
6. Take Advantage of Bank & Credit Cards Offers & Rewards
Take a good look at your credit card rewards, it may surprise you what they offer. There may be an opportunity for you to receive a percentage of what you spend in cash back. Who wouldn’t benefit from that? Make sure your bank account doesn’t charge you a monthly maintenance fee. If it does, research how to waive it or get a different account.
7. Start Young (Its never early or late to Start)
If this applies to you, pay attention. Starting off at a young age will set you up in the future. Even if you’re working at your very first job, you can start taking the necessary steps. Apply the rules above and your savings will grow faster than you could ever anticipate.
By following these rules, you can save, pay off debt Whether your goal is to save for a home or prepare for the future, it’s all possible with a little hard work and knowledge on your side.
Think that your credit is hopeless and that you may never be in a position to buy a home? Don’t! There is always a way with a good plan and a good team. We have helped so many buyers get into homes when they thought it would never be a reality for them. We have a great team that can help you build the roadmap to get there. Want to know more about how to get started? Let’ Connect
Credit: NPR Public Radio – https://www.npr.org/2018/12/12/676120025/get-started-saving & http://time.com/money/4266906/save-for-new-home-tips/
Home Maintenance for Fall/Winter
The purchase of a home will likely be the biggest invest anybody will make in their life. Our homes are the centers of our lives because they hold everything and everyone important to us. Our top priorities are taking care of that invest. Winter is a harsh season here in North Idaho as a result it can cause some damage to our homes, properties, our loved ones, or even our wallets! It can be avoided if we take extra steps this fall or start of winter to prepare.
The next question is where do I start? Not knowing can be overwhelming and stressful. Below is just a small list of some important home maintenance ideas. Included is the reason you should do them. It can make a huge difference on your home and property this year.
For a full list of maintenance ideas as well as a printable checklist, go to our website by clicking here!
What to do
|Clean gutters and downspouts throughout fall||A build up of leaves and other debris could lead to wood rot, pest issues, and ruined gutters.|
|Change summer screens to cool weather storm windows & doors||Removing screens stop snow from getting trapped between the window and screen. That avoids damage to the sill and frame as well as lets in more light. Installing storm windows & doors helps keep your home insulated through the cold months.|
|Replace the filter in your furnace||This helps the lifespan of your heater, reduces energy bills and improves air quality.|
|Flush and insulate your hot water tank||Flushing removes sediment which in turn could extend the life of your tank. Insulating can help conserve energy, in turn saving you money.|
|Place a sheet of plywood held down by a few bricks on top and your AC, not a waterproof cover||Plywood can stop falling icicles and other debris which in turn would cause damage to the unit. Waterproof covers creates a warm environment for unwanted guests to stay for the winter.|
|Trim limps that are close to power lines or the roof of your home||Avoids heavy snow/ice building up causing damage.|
For a full list of maintenance ideas as well as a printable checklist, go to our website by clicking here!
Here in beautiful North Idaho we are lucky to have 4 very distinct seasons. Everybody loves the warmth of Summer, the freshness of Spring, the colors of Fall, and the coziness of Winter.
With winter comes SNOW and that can mean snow storms! Driving in the snow and knowing how to be prepared for winter driving can be a bit stressful.
Knowing what to do or even where to start preparation can be one of the biggest hurdles. There are simple preparations that can be done to your vehicle and with your family to get through the longest and coldest season. Check out the below tips to help avoid winter from sneaking up on you and those you love.
Preparation Tips for Successfully Surviving the Winter:
Get a Vehicle Winter Maintenance Check-up Before Winter Hits:
~ Don’t wait to check your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/defroster and wipers ~
~ Tire shops and mechanics are busiest just before and during winter storms, so get your check-up scheduled NOW ~
Keep a Basic Winter Survival Kit in Your Vehicle:
~ Flashlight ~ Batteries ~ Blanket ~ Snacks ~
Water ~ Gloves ~ Boots ~ First-aid kit ~
Load Your Car with Basic Travel Gear:
~ Tire chains ~ Ice scraper/snowbrush ~ Jumper cables ~ Road flares ~
Keep Your Fuel Tank Full:
~ Don’t let it fall below half a tank ~
Plan With Your Family
~ Create a plan that works well with your family ~
~ Practice it each year before the snow falls ~
~ Be sure to find your local station for traffic reports and emergency messages ~
~ Know the weather approaching so you are prepared for its arrival ~
Check Your Tires:
~ Make sure your chains fit before the first winter storm ~
~ Check tire pressure during cold weather ~
Click on the Checklists Below for More Information:
AND REMEMBER TO ALWAYS BE SAFE OUT THERE!!
Washington State Dept of Transportation https://www.wsdot.com/winter/emergencykit.htm
Take the Winter by Storm https://takewinterbystorm.org/
Is that beautiful time of year again here in Coeur d’Alene… Fall!
With Fall comes all of the beautiful and colorful leaves that we love and enjoy for about the first 2 weeks. After they have fallen off the trees, the fun begins with leaves all over our yards and driveways. We then being the clean up as we ready our yards for winter. The raking of those beautiful leaves into piles and then scooping them into bags to take to the landfill to throw way.
DON’t BOTHER with that this year! Spend more time inside this year enjoying your hot cocoa and cozy PJ’s! Our City of Coeur d’Alene is not only beautiful but they are also awesome! One of the benefits of living is Coeur d’Alene and our Leaf Pick Up program and its absolutely FREE for you!
Leaf Pickup! Starting Friday November 13th
Click the link here for leaf pickup map. Find your zone – leaf pickup will happen in alphabetic order.
Some things to keep in mind:
- You may start putting your leaves out Friday November 2nd.
- Please move cars out of the street if at all possible during leaf pick-up.
- Keep the leaves about one foot off the curb line to facilitate storm water flow.
- Be alert for leaf pick-up equipment traveling through your neighborhood.
- Keep a safe distance away from leaf pick-up heavy equipment.
- Recognize that we have a tough job to do in a very short window between when the leaves fall and when the snow flies.
- Understand that city and private trucks are exempted from covering loads during the leaf pick-up period. Sweepers will follow city trucks to collect remaining/excess leaves.
- Place bagged leaves in street.
- Mix branches, rubble or other refuse in with the leaves.
- Miss the deadline… we only have time for one pass!