One thing you can almost be sure of is at some point you will find yourself on a boat during the summer here in North Idaho. With the numerous amount of lakes and rivers, it’s near impossible not to enjoy boat life, even if it’s only for a day. Whether you’re an avid boater, only enjoy it every now and then or are just getting into boating, it’s always a good idea to know the basics of boating safety before leaving the dock.
1. Check the Weather Before You Leave
Be sure to check the weather of your route and destination, including the water conditions, before you depart. You can’t always tell a storm will roll in just by looking outside.
2. Have the Proper Gear Onboard
You never know if or when you’ll have an emergency. Being sure you have all the proper gear onboard will help avoid additional issues and will ensure you’re prepared for every type of situation. Check out a full checklist here!
3. Be Aware of Carbon Monoxide
Always maintain fresh air circulation in your boat and be sure you and others on the boat are aware of carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms. Click here to learn more about CO & CO poisoning.
4. Take a Boat Safety Course & Know the Rules
There are several different courses you can take online for boat safety that you can receive certification for them. Check out the list here.
Knowing your rules will ensure you and other boaters safety. Check out the navigation rules here.
5. Get your Boat Checked
You can receive a free boat check! The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons both offer that service. These checks make sure you have the proper safety equipment and that they are in the proper condition per state and federal regulations. Find out how to get your check scheduled by clicking here.
6. Use Common Sense
Many of the rules on the water are consistent with the rules on the road. Stay alert, operate at a safe speed, make sure passengers are following safety measures, avoid alcohol use when driving and stay clear of the engine are examples of just a few.
7. Follow Proper Procedures
Knowing and following proper docking & anchoring procedures are an important part of boating. Depending on the type or boat you have and the weather conditions, the procedures you need to follow could be different. Be sure you know what to do.
Backyard chickens have been increasingly popular as people try to have more self-sourced food. But what is really involved in raising chickens in the backyard of an urban development? Is the benefits worth any drawbacks? Where do you even get started? We know a few families who keep chickens and they have some advise and information that may be helpful if this is something you’re considering.
Where to Start
Step 1: Know the Law.
Locate your cities municipal regulations as well as your subdivision’s CC&R’s/Bylaws. Every city and neighborhood may have different rules and regulations around raising chickens. For example, many don’t allow roosters (which is fine because hens will lay eggs without them), you may need a permit, signed agreements with neighbors, or there may even be restrictions or ordinances regarding location or size of your coop.
Step 2: Decide on the Chicken Breed.
Believe it or not, there are actually many different chicken breeds that have been bred for different purposes. Depending on what you are using your chickens for, you may choose to get a certain breed or multiple different types of breeds. There are 4 different categories:
- Egg Laying Breeds – As you could imagine but their name, this type of hen was bred to produce large amounts of eggs in a short production lifetime. This is typically the breed that many homeowners choose when picking the type of chicken to have in their backyard.
- Meat Breeds – Once again, the name gives away the purpose of this breed. They grow very quickly, put on weight at a crazy rate and are typically slaughtered at about 9 weeks old.
- Dual Purpose Breeds – This breed is productive in the egg laying department but also get large enough quickly to be used as meat, it’s the best of both worlds.
- Heritage Breeds – This type of chicken is naturally breeding, they have a very slow growth rate and live long outdoor lives.
When it comes to building a chicken coop, there are a few things you need to be sure you have. First, you’ll want the basic shelter requirements, which means a waterproof place for the chickens to get out of the elements. Second, be sure they have enough space, since they can begin to peck at each other if they are too cramped. Third, the coop needs to have good ventilation so it’s cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Fourth, you will need nesting boxes for your hens to lay their eggs. Fifth, include roosts, so the chickens have a comfortable place to sleep. Sixth, the chickens need a space to roam outside of their coop, whether that’s in a pen or free range. Lastly, be sure you have security, predators will not hesitate coming into your backyard.
Step 4: Prep for Chicks.
Raising chicks requires a few additional supplies compared to if you get you chickens full grown. Those supplies include a brooding box, this doesn’t have to be very expensive or complicated, it just needs to be large enough and protect the chicks from any drafts. Bedding, pine shavings will do, which is also inexpensive. Be sure they have traction and don’t slip around, or they could develop a walking issue later in life. Traction can be as easy as putting some paper towels down under your bedding. Warmth, since chicks don’t get all their feathers right away, we must help them stay warm. A heat lamp for the first 6-7 weeks should do the trick. Food, chick food can be a bit complicated but here’s how it breaks down:
- 0-8 weeks: 18-20% starter feed crumbles
- 8-14 weeks: 16-18% starter/grower
- 15-18 weeks: 16% finisher
- 18 weeks upward: 16% layer feed
The food comes medicated, with a coccidiostat which protects them from a coccidiosis, or un-medicated. If all your birds have been vaccinated, the un-medicated food is fine . Additionally, getting a feeder along with the food will help cut down on the mess. Water, be sure the water you feed your chicks isn’t too hot or too cold and that it’s changed out frequently. You can add an electrolyte/vitamin supplement to the water for the first few days. For additional details on the specifics of the supplies you will need, read more here.
Step 5: Get Your Chickens.
You can purchase chickens at most any stage in life – from an egg to an adult – the best option for backyard chickens is when they’re chicks, typically about 1 day old. This option allows you to pick the breeds you’d like, when you’d like them and it’ll be the cheapest. You can get your chicks at a local farm, hatchery or farm supply store. USPS also ships chicks, if you choose to purchase your chicks online. Determining where you get them will take some research and ultimately will be up to what’s the most convenient for you. And once you’ve decided where you will purchase your birds, you’ll want to be sure to pick the right ones. Avoid birds that are lethargic, sitting by itself & reluctant to move, or once that has any nasal and/or eye discharge. Check out the link here for some good questions to ask your breeder.
Caring For Your Chickens
Once you get past the chick stage, caring for your chickens is relatively easy. Your coop is built and it has everything they need. All that’s left for you is to provide their food and water and care for any physical needs. Water is very important because if a hen doesn’t get enough water, it can affect her egg laying. If a hen goes without water for 24 hours, she could stop laying for weeks. Hens needs about a cup of water each day, so be sure to set out enough water for all the chickens. Next, you’ll need to be sure to have enough food and the type they need. Chickens will dig up a portion of their diet and eat insects, seeds, etc. But, you’ll also need to put out chicken food specifically made for their needs. To read more about the right type of food, click here.
Over time, you will develop a routine with your hens. Mornings tend to be when you let the chickens out of their coop, check on food & water and do just a general inspection of everything. In the evenings, you’ll lock them back up in the coop and collect your eggs. There will also be other chores you’ll need to preform, like cleaning out their coop and tending to their nesting boxes. That usually happens about once a week.
The Things Nobody Tells You
You will get a list from any person who current has or has had backyard chickens of things they weren’t expecting. If you’re seriously thinking about getting chickens for your own backyard, you might want to consider that some of the following will be true for you as well.
First off, something you’ve probably thought about already is that chickens are dirty and smelly. Seems pretty obvious, right? But the question is, how much dirty and smelly is too much for you? Whatever you do, it will not make the smell go away. They are constantly pooping and tracking it around. Lay out more straw or pick it up more often, doesn’t matter. With the smell comes the flies, which is a whole other problem that you’ll have to deal with.
Your chickens may not lay eggs when you expect them to. There’s a chance they’ll start laying after the age they’re supposed to, even if you get the egg laying breed. Or not as frequently as you were expecting. They could even stop laying all together, which is alarming and there’s likely a reason for that. Check out a few reasons here.
You may begin to feel and treat your birds as pets or even like your kids. They even enjoy human interaction like any pet would. And that’s all totally normal and okay, until…. and dies. Which happens frequently. One of your birds or the entire flock could get sick and die. Or, a predator may get into your backyard and cause a lot a mayhem. You could also get lucky and your bird will live through it production life, but then you’ll need to make the decision of keeping that bird and spending lots of money to feed it, giving it away, or even having it for dinner.
You may expect a hen but get a rooster, that isn’t surprising. Chicken sexing is about 90% accurate, which sounds pretty high. But there’s still a pretty good possibility that you’ll get a rooster. Which isn’t ideal for most backyard flocks since roosters and typically illegal and a nuisance.
Sometimes It Doesn’t Work Out
Don’t feel bad if after trying to raise backyard chickens you determine it’s not something for you. It takes the right kind of person with the right kind of circumstances to be successful and happy. And even if it worked for you in the past, sometimes circumstances change.
Memorial Day traditionally represents the kick-off of summer. Kids are getting out of school (that’s not so much the case this year), families are making summer vacation plans, and backyard barbecues are on everyone’s minds. This is also a great time of the year to get your house in order and ready for the summer season. The following is a handful of ideas and tips to help you with this process.
Gardening– It’s not too late to start your garden! This weekend I will be planting an herb garden; I planted summer vegetables a few weeks ago. If you’re thinking of doing the same, just make sure you use starts because many summer harvest vegetables won’t start from seed this late in the season.
Outdoor living– My home has an outdoor space with great potential, including a partially covered patio perfect for entertaining. This weekend I plan to upgrade the space with small touches to make it summer party ready. This includes finding outdoor lighting options, updating the seating and cleaning up the barbecue.
BBQ- Make sure your grill is ready to go this season by making sure everything is clean and in working order before you fire it up. In the northwest that includes making sure the fuel lines are spider-web-free. Also, make sure you have propane or charcoal on hand for impromptu dinners.
Clean Windows- Now is a great time to clean your windows, inside and out. Sun shows more dirt and smudges.
Lawn care- Prepare your lawn for the months ahead. Depending on where you live this means different things. Check your sprinkler system to make sure it wasn’t damaged over the winter; upgrade your lawn care to ensure fuller greens, check for and remove moss to prevent dead patches and start your weeding regimen.
Pool prep- If you have an outdoor pool, get it ready for a summer season of fun in the sun. Same goes for hot-tubs. Make sure your equipment has been serviced, chemicals are available and your pool is clean and ready to use. OR, head to the local hardware store and buy your kiddie pool now before they run out, as I learned one hot July!
De-winterize- I once was doused head to toe when we were turning the water back on to our exterior pipes because the pipe had split in the winter- so make sure all your pipes survived the cold, check your winterized projects and prepare your house for summer. This is also a good time to look around the exterior, checking roof, gutters and siding.
Summarize- Check or replace AC filters, window screens, and household fans to make sure these are all functioning and will help provide maximum circulation in your house. Consider installing an attic fan or vent to help pull heat out of your home all winter long. Pack away excess cold weather items such as heavy blankets, jackets and other items so they aren’t in your way. Same goes for any sundry items you only use during fall and winter.
Lighten the Space- Though I likely won’t spend much time inside once the mercury rises, I want to keep the house as light and cool as possible. I have found that replacing the curtains with a lighter shade lets the light in, but also keeps the rooms from overheating from sun exposure. Summer always makes me want to lighten up with the accessories- lighter colors, more whites, bright accents and less clutter.
Rearrange- Freshen up spaces by rearranging some of your wall art. If you don’t have enough wall pieces to rearrange regularly it may be time to add to your collection. You can find inexpensive original art online at stores such as Etsy or in person at local galleries. You can always play with other items like framed images from books, vintage posters or record albums. Here are some terrific ideas for using what you have to add interest to a room.
Air it out- Open all the windows, shake out the rugs and update home fragrances to fit summer moods (citrus, freesia, clean linen, coconut, melon, fruits and tropical, etc.). You can create your own diffuser with essential oils to distribute fragrance. This may be more symbolic than practical but it always makes me feel ready for summer.
Paint- If you have a room you really want to refresh, a three-day weekend is a good time to take on a project of scale, so you have plenty of time to prep, paint, dry, and clean up. Painting is one of the least expensive ways to really transform how a room feels. Need help picking colors and paint type? Here is some good advice.
Garage or Basement- Tackle a big space that makes a big difference. Our garages and basements often become year-long dumping grounds for seasonal decorations and clothing, items that don’t fit in cabinets, memorabilia and maintenance tools. Go through your items and sort by keep, throw out and donate/sell and then group your keeps by function. Make sure your tools are accessible for easy gardening and entertaining by making sure your tools are accounted for, ready to go, and easy to reach. Here is a useful video on garage organization.
Yard/Garage Sale- If you have overflow at your house, plan a yard/garage sale to get rid of items you no longer need or want. Just make sure to pack everything up and donate it at the end of the sale otherwise you are just letting the clutter back in!
Plan a party- Once your space is all cleaned up and redecorated you will want to show it off! Plan a summer BBQ, dinner party, pool party, picnic or any other gathering.
What are your planning for Memorial Day weekend?
Source: Tara Sharp – Windermere Blog
Beautiful North Idaho has so much to offer! One great thing is all the edible mushrooms you can find. And spring is a great time to find them. But, you need to know what you’re doing and what you’re looking for as there are more poisonous mushrooms than edible ones. Check out some mushroom identification and tips below.
The most common and popular mushroom in our area is the morel. You have likely heard about morels, and may even have had the great pleasure of tasting one, but you want to be sure you know what you’re looking for if you choose to more hunt.
Don’t expect an expect morel hunter to share their secret more picking spots, for many reasons. The majority of morels grow in the wild, so even if they know you well, they will likely keep their spot a mystery. They wouldn’t want to visit their spot and find it picked clean.
But, as a new morel hunter, there are some tips on places to look. For whatever reason, they tend to grow in areas that were burned the previous year. Searching in a recent burn is a great way to get your feet wet and figure out exactly what you’re looking for.
Additionally, morels tend to grow in cottonwood forests, under elms and by rivers. Once you find one, you will likely find more.Unfortunately, the growth of morels are a bit perplexing and difficult to find which adds to the reward when you do find them.
How To Identify
You could be looking in all the right places, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for then you won’t get very far. Below are a few tips to positively identify a morel:
- Honeycomb-like cap with brown pits and ridges
- The cap is fully attached to the stem and doesn’t pop off
- If you slice the mushroom in half, it will be hollow inside
The are a couple morel lookalikes in the area that you will want to keep a lookout for when morel hunting as these mushrooms are poisonous:
Brain Mushroom – The cap of this mushroom is more or less convoluted, round & brain like which come in various shades or brown to reddish brown. The difference between this mushroom and a morel is that the Brain Mushroom doesn’t have a honeycomb like cap. These mushrooms grow at the same time and in the same habitat as a true morel.
- Hooded False Morel – The cap is brown and saddle shaped, it starts out smooth but becomes more convoluted/wrinkled as it matures. So, this mushroom also doesn’t have a honeycomb like cap either. It also grows at the same time and in the same habitat as a true morel.
Both of these morels grow in north Idaho and are poisonous. They can cause adverse physically reactions within 1-24 hours of ingestion and I would advise avoiding at all costs.
When To Look
The basic answer is spring time, so late April-early May. But that all depends on the year, elevation and temperature. Morels like warm soil, so you will likely find them in the lower elevations earlier in the year and higher elevations later on. Morel season could last up to 2 months. The best time to look is on a sunny day, after a rainstorm.
How To Pick, Process, Cook And Preserve
Like it was stated earlier, morels grow mostly in the wild. So you want to be sure to pick them correctly to allow for them to grow next year. Be sure to pinch or cut them at the base. Do not pull them up or remove the root ball. Additionally, carry them out with a woven basket or mesh bag. This allows for them to release and spread spores. Do not use a plastic bag which not only stops the spread of spores but it also makes your mushrooms get slimy quick.
Once you get your mushrooms home you want to be sure to immediately get them processed. First, get them washed. There are a couple schools of thought regarding washing a mushroom. You could just brush off any dirt and inspect for worms/pests. Not using water because that could cause the mushroom to soak it up and dilute the flavor. Or, you could soak them in salt water overnight to get rid of any worms/pests.
To prepare the mushrooms, they do need to be cooked. They taste the best when harvested at just the right time and cooked shortly after they are picked. These mushrooms are choice, highly priced and sought after so be sure to take your time and research the best way to prepare the mushroom to enhance the flavor. Click here for some resources I’ve found.
If you don’t plan to eat them right away, it’s best to store them in a brown paper bag on your counter for no more than a few days. Or, if you’d like to preserve them for longer, you could always dry them. You could use a dehydrator to do this or just thread them on a string and let it dry in an area that is hot, dry and with a slight breeze.
Other Mushrooms To Lookout For
There are many edible mushrooms in North Idaho, some show in spring and some grow in fall. It’s best to do your research to determine what’s edible and how to harvest and cook these mushrooms. Click here for a quick list of some edible mushrooms in North Idaho, and how to identify them.
Here are some gorgeous pictures of some wild mushrooms taken right here in our national forests:
Spring has sprung! It seems like it may be warm enough to start getting things in the ground, but we also live in North Idaho and could get random snow without warning. So, is it really a good time to start planting? Check out some tips below for getting fruits and veggies planted. It’s never too early to start planning.
On average, the last frost in the area is anywhere from May 8th-15th so planting before then is a bit dangerous. There are warmer years when the frost ends much sooner than that, but overall is a good idea to wait.
Wait to buy! All those big box stores are starting to bring out all their plants and flowers and they look great. But, the likelihood they will survive this early is up in the air without frost prevention measures. Resisting the urge to buy until it’s time to plant will save you money and time.
Now is a great time to get some of your favorites seeded indoors. Purchasing seed packets are cheaper than plant starts and you get more options. You only need a few basic items and a warm, sunny window. Read all about how to start seeds indoors here.
Prepare Your Garden
Take a look at the winter damage in your garden. Make sure your perennial are still holding strong. Next, rake out any leaves or debris that’s left over. And pull out those weeds, the soil is wet so they will come out easier this time of year. If you choose to use a chemical to kill the weeds, be sure to read up on it so it doesn’t kill everything. Additionally, it’s not recommended to use vinegar as a weed killer. I will wilt the leaves and make them look dead, but their roots will still be alive. It will also damage the PH of your soil and kill the good micro-organisms living there.
You can also start planning your 2020 garden. Figure out what and where you will plant things. A good idea is to not plant the same crops in the same spot each year, but rather to rotate them to prevent soil depletion and disease. Keeping a journal of your garden each year will help with that planning. It becomes a valuable tool year after year so you can know which plants thrive where, track weather patterns and planting times.
Don’t work with wet soil. It will compact and create rock hard mud balls which are impossible to work with. Only after the soil dries, should you gently turn the top layer of soil. No need for a deep rototilling, this will bring weed seeds to the surface. And before adding anything to your soil, it’s best to test it first so you know what it needs. You can find soil testing kits here.
You can plant cool season crops directly outdoors in late April or early spring. Those include peas, spinach, kale, lettuce, and carrots. But, of course, it all depends on the weather. If you plan to sow seeds directly into your garden, you will find that most of them do well when planted in early May. There are options if you want to transplant seedlings or start seeds indoors. Here are two great resources to help with timing of your planting:
You’ve probably heard of micro climates before but don’t think twice about it. But, when we’re talking real estate, it may be something you should consider. Find out below what exactly a micro climate is and why they are important when making your real estate decisions.
A micro climate, by definition, is a small-scale area that experiences a different climate than the surrounding area. The micro climate will have a small variation of temperature, snowfall, rainfall, wind or humidity. Although it’s only a small variation, it is noticeably different. They will typically occur due to features in the landscape such as mountains, elevation, and bodies of water.
One example of a micro climate is a forest. Under the canopy of trees it is typically colder, wetter and has different soil compared to the area surrounding the forest. If it wasn’t for this micro climate, many organisms wouldn’t be able to survive. A second example is a large urban area. There are many factors that affect the micro climate in a city, it is typically warmer due to the building materials that absorb heat and the tall buildings alter the wind flow.
Micro climates are essential to support unique ecosystems all over the world. You have likely noticed a micro climate, even if you didn’t know what it was, as you were walking through a mountain meadow, valley, or marsh. They all work together like patches on a quilt to create the climate on the continent and throughout the entire globe.
We do, in fact, have micro climates all over North Idaho. Because we have a higher elevation, are surrounded by mountain & bodies of water and also have valleys, we have many micro climates in a small area. Back in 2005, 27 different micro climates were identified. The biggest and most noticeable micro climate is a snow belt. This is an area where that’s consistently getting more snow than the surrounding area. We have many snow belts in Northern Idaho. Some are naturally occurring due to the higher elevation and proximity to mountain, whereas others are due to higher population in one area which cause the average temperate to rise.
Why It Matters In Real Estate?
Wouldn’t you want to know if you were purchasing a property that will have consistently longer and colder winters. Or one that will have a higher average temperature? This is important and necessary information to have when deciding on a home purchase or the area you’d like to live. That’s where we come in! We know the area and many of the micro climates, we can steer you in the direction you need to live based on the climate you’d like to live in.
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.
Bourbon & Chocolate Paring – On February 14th at The Bee’s Knees from 4-11:30pm
Wine & Chocolate Pairing – On February 14th at The Culinary Stone from 4:30-6pm
Valentine’s Dinner For Two – On February 12th – 16th at The Coeur d’Alene Casino
Valentine’s Day Cruises – On February 14th or 15th boarding at The Boardwalk Marina, Times Vary
Sock Hop 1950’s Dance – On February 14th at Lake City Center from 6-9pm
Sweethearts Ball – On February 14th at The Best Western from 5pm-12am
Mardis Gras Murder – On Feb. 14th & 15th, 21st & 22nd at The Cd’A Cellars at 6:30pm
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!!
We get asked that question frequently. Or if a property is already on the market, sellers often ask if they should take it off. There are arguments as well as pros and cons for both schools of thought. We’ll break down each side to help you make the decision on if you should list your home in the winter.
1. Less Competition
It’s as simple as supply and demand. If there are fewer homes to choose from, your home will get more activity and showings, in turn, more offers for more money. Additionally, when there are fewer options, buyers tend to be less picky.
2. Buyers Are Serious
Although there are typically more buyers in the spring and summer, the serious buyers continue looking in the winter. If a buyer is truly serious, it doesn’t matter the time of year. During the warmer months, people go to open houses just for fun, but in winter only the serious ones are out. And typically they have a pressing matter that is requiring them to find and close on a house quickly.
3. Online House Hunting Is Year Round
The internet has made house hunting from the warmth of your own home easier than ever. People are constantly looking at listings online. In fact, 93% of people use the internet in their home search and that’s how most begin. The only time they have to deal with the cold is to see the shortlist of their absolute favorites.
4. Agents Are Up To The Challenge & Motivated
Since the winter months are a bit slower, most real estate agents are also slow. If you choose to sell during the winter, your agent will be able to focus more on you. But, you want to be sure you get a good agent that’s up to the challenge. There are hurdles that need to be jumped when selling in winter and a good agent will know how to adapt to the current season and market the listings accordingly. They’ll know the current market in the area and be able to provide you with tips and suggestions.
5. More From Out Of Town Are Looking
During the holiday season, many family members come from out of town to visit. So, if they are considering relocating, they would look at homes when they’re in town. This often means they need to find a home fast and have a bit more financial flexibility. Additionally, people have more time off work and they take advantage of that by looking for their next home. Lastly, more people relocate for work in the first quarter of the year.
1. Curb Appeal Is Difficult
In the spring and summer months, it’s easier to show off the curb appeal of your home with flowers, landscaping, and daylight until 9pm. Winter poses a problem since everything is covered by snow, and typically not fresh snow. Homes listed in winter are often viewed with things looking drab and worn because everything is brown and gray. You could decorate for the holidays, which will make it more appealing. On the plus side, you won’t have to spend as much time meticulously working on your yard.
House hunting in winter can be a chore for the buyers. They’ll need to bundle up and endure the cold temperatures. Fresh snow can also be a traveling hazards for potential buyers, so they may choose to stay home for the day. Also, you’ll need to make sure your driveway and walkways aren’t slick or snow covered. Those who do come to look at your home can track in salt and possibility mud, which you will then need to take extra time to clean after each showing.
3. Buyers Have Limited Budgets
Near the end of the year, many people have their money tied up in other financial obligations such as buying holiday gifts, traveling, setting aside money to pay taxes, or making sure their own home and car are winter ready. With such a tight budget, more people may not be willing to invest in a new home.
4. Buyers Have The Negotiating Power
Most sellers will get multiple offers in spring and summer because there are more buyers. When there are less, some buyers may drive a hard bargain. They may even think that a seller is desperate for any offer and so they low ball them. And often times, the seller accepts because they are worried they won’t get another offer until spring.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about selling your home, in winter or otherwise, contact us! We’re here to help, know the market, and can list your home appropriately.
North Idaho is B-E-A-U-tiful and its known for its mountains, lakes and abundant beauty. Its also known for it’s snow! There is plenty to know about snow and here are some resources to tap into that will keep you informed and prepared.
In Coeur d’Alene the average amount of snow that falls is 42 inches, comparing that to the rest of the country with only 28 inches. Keeping in mind, the farther North you go, the more snow you will see. With Spirit Lake receiving approximately 52 inches a year and Sandpoint with 61 inches. December is typically the heaviest snowfall month with an average of 11.7 inches, and second heaviest is January with 10.4 inches.
But when?? You might hear horror stories of winters in North Idaho lasting half the year, and that’s not exactly wrong. Snow in our area can start as early as November. Unless you were here the record breaking year of 2019 when we received 1.1 inches of snow on September 29th, the most in September’s history. Before that, the last time the snow fell in September was in 1926 with 1 inch of snow. But, on average, you will typically see snow in November and it could last through April.
This is all just averages, there’s no telling exactly what the North Idaho winters will do! That means we need to be ready for everything.
The Coeur d’Alene Police Department offers FREE winter driving classes. They typically begin in October and go through early December. If you’re new to driving in the snow or would like a refresher, check on the specific dates when the time comes next year.
Knowing how to drive in the snow is just part of it, you want to be sure your vehicle is ready for the snow as well. Check out our blog North Winter Driving Preparation for detailed information.
Our home is another thing we need to prepare when winter comes. Our website is always a great resource for this. Check out our Fall & Winter Home Maintenance page to prepare for winter and our blog 6 Overlooked Winterizing Tasks.
Since North Idaho is used to getting so much snow, we are more than prepared when it comes! We have both the expertise and practice on our side! Check out the detailed information on Coeur d’Alene’s snow plan here. The City of Coeur d’Alene’s website also goes into detail on the Snow and Ice Control Operations and also has a map that shows you which roads are completed, getting worked on and getting worked on next. Check out the links below for snow information in your city:
Our blog post mention earlier, North Winter Driving Preparation, also has tips on how to drive in the snow. There are many other resources on the post, such as what to do in an emergency and a video which offers additional recommendations and visuals to help with winter driving.
Snow in North Idaho, although requires much work and preparation, is also fun! We have so many area ski resorts near Coeur d’Alene, check them all out with information about the mountain on our website here under the Area Information tab. And these resorts always have events to enjoy, check them out on our blog post Snow Much Fun! Be sure to check our What’s Happening page for the events happening in the area at all times, it’s updated regularly!
Also, take a look at our Winter category on our blog post here, which has all things winter!
FOR MORE ON SNOW FROM OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL