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Sandpoint, ID Real Estate News

By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
My last time in the World Trade Center was going to Windows on the World in 1997. I was in New York to sign my book deal with Hastings House. I decided to visit the Greatest Bar on Earth on the 106th (or was it the 107th) floor with my best friend and attorney, Roy Levine. Roy was there with me to go over the contracts for my book. I had visited the World Trade Center twice before, once to have dinner at Windows on the World. Being in NY because of my book Passion For Wine, it was a natural for me to go to the restaurant. Kevin Zraly had written one of my favorite small books on wine, the Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, and I wanted that to be one of my stops while in the city. We had been having quite the time in New York, and the night before we had gone to the Blue Note, ...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
It was a day to contemplate.  I said goodbye to my kids & 2 year-old grand daughter today as they went off on a 1 year junket to Japan.  It's a crazy life these days and a very tough goodbye.  No better time to get on my bike to ride ...and think.  As I get older, I understand life less & less...but cherish the moments more & more. The Long Bridge stretches nearly two miles across the Pend Oreille River as it enters Sandpoint city center.  (The jagged peaks way off in the distance (toward the left side) is the Selkirk Crest, one of the largest roadless areas in North America.) The bike path winds its way under the bridge with a view down the Pend Oreille River toward Priest River and, eventually, the Columbia River Basin. The Bike Path runs, literally, right along the Pend Oreille shore...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
I love my job. Great wines and in an area known for producing the best wines in the world. I moved here to do what I love. This is a big part of it. Yoke's Ponderay is meeting its sales goals as the top seller of wine in the region, and I just had an accepted offer for my third waterfront home since October. The Caterina 2008 Viognier is an outstanding wine that is only one of two locally produced wines that made the Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines of the Year. It was vinified by winemaker Mike Scott and is the perfect, sophisticated end-of-summer wine. Beautifully concentrated and textural, this Viognier mixes melon, white peach, nectarine and lemon fruit with pleasing minerality. There is none of the burn or bitterness that so often affects Washington Viogniers. This is a really refresh...
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As promised, here are the bullet points from my interview with Kate McAllister of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce. She's my second fav Irish gurl, and the notes are about what's going on in Sandpoint. These notes are raw, and I asked Kate for them, so don't be critical. She works smart and hard and we are so, so lucky to have her on our side. Here they are: Radio Show   1.        Things at the Chamber going well: a.        Staff Great b.        New board members and strategic planning c.        Leadership Program                                                                    i.       Alumni assn Justin Dick                                                                  ii.       Great new class  for 2011-2012 including the Mayor of Ponderay Carol Kunzeman d.        Healt...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
I was interviewed by Ralph Bartholdt from the Idaho Outdoor Journal this week about waterfalls in North Idaho. I have the most viewed page about our local falls, and he wanted to know more. The issue is upcoming, and will apparently be free and around town in Sandpoint as well as other Idaho communities. He asked for some pics, so I took the opportunity to hike the Upper and Lower Snow Falls, and then, since the Roman Nose Lakes are just up the road, I hiked to the top. Here are the pics: Lower Snow Falls, North Idaho Lower Snow Falls, North Idaho Upper Snow Falls, North Idaho Upper Snow Falls, North Idaho Kayaking Roman Nose Lake, North Idaho Roman Nose Lake, North Idaho Family picking huckleberries on the trail above Roman Nose Lake, North Idaho Windswept tree above Roman Nose Lake Ga...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
My realty team partner, Judy Delucchi, and I met the children of our current (and 2nd group) of clients from Texas Saturday. We met at Trinity at City Beach, formerly the Beach House. The Spud Cup was just beginning on the lake. Took a couple of candids. It was a glorious day. Here are the pics:
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
After hosting the Speak Up North Idaho radio show today, I met with my realty partner, Judy Delucchi, up on Schweitzer Mountain, named in the Top 25 Ski Resorts by Skiing Magazine. Judy was on the mountain to preview listings for clients from Texas who are now sending their children to experience the area. I have to admit, we have been very busy this summer and our closings and offers on the table prove it. Schweitzer Village is being prepped for this weekend's Fall Fest. Pretty cool. I went up the mountain to ride the ski lift to the top and hike from peak to peak. It is soul-southing for me, as I am all alone normally, and a great hike with spectacular views. Here are the pics: Schweitzer Mountain summer Gary Lirette at the top of Schweitzer Mountain The Clock Tower in Schweitzer Vill...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
I sat in today and hosted Speak Up North Idaho for Barbara Carpenter on the North Idaho Talk Radio Network. First up was Kate McCallister, head of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce. Kate began by telling us about the Sandpoint Scenic Half Marathon coming up September 17th from 2-6:30pm. The deadline for early bird entry is Friday and the course runs from City Beach, across the Long Bridge and into Sagle. Kate McAllister and Paula Marcinko We talked about Sandpoint being named in the Rand McNally poll as the Most Beautiful Small Town in America the entire show. We both marveled at the influx of wonderful Canadians, mostly from the province of Alberta, spending their hard-earned Loonies and being generally a welcome addition to our summer tourist scene. I will post the notes from ...
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First up on my show was Jupiter Jane. Jupiter Jane is a mobile eatery in a converted school bus put together by Laura Calvert Peitz and Maria Corsini and friends. I first got to know Laura when she owned the Coit House many years ago. More recently, she was the owner of Dish Home Cooking. I managed the restaurant for them, and after closing Laura was looking for her next venture. Jupiter Jane has some of the same menu ideas Dish had: gourmet vegan, gluten-free, and fresh foods. We talked about how Joel’s got started: Sandpoint’s most popular lunch Mexican restaurant. Joel would go around town in a van selling his burritos, etc. Then he was in one of the lunch shacks that used to be on Fourth, finally making enough to build a brick and mortar location that is packed daily. Jupiter Jane h...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Hard to beileve I was carrying five mortgages just a couple of years ago. My real estate business had slowed down to a trickle, I was getting divorced after 20 years of marriage, and bankruptcy was on the horizon. Losing everything, I put into motion a plan to become solvent and get my business back on track. First, I had to get my real estate business going stronger. I already had one of the most viewed websites in our area: www.SandpointID.net. I had been using YouTube a bit, and was on all the typical sites such as Linkdin and Hot Frog. I began using videos in a different way. For instance, this morning, I finished a video for a couple from Canada on a waterfront condo that we wrote an offer on Tuesday. The video will help with the rest of the family to get a sense of ownership and ...
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
This is the official story of a day that I will never forget, because of what I discovered about myself out in the middle of deep, cold Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint, Idaho.It was a beautiful, sunshiny day in north Idaho.  The lake was relatively calm and there wasn't a cloud to be found in the bright blue sky.  It was the dawning of the day of the Long Bridge Swim, and I was going to be jumping into that lake to fulfill a challenge I had given myself back in February.In February, I envisioned myself much thinner and fit by now.  It seemed like a good goal to challenge myself with - swim the 1.76 miles along the Long Bridge from the south to the north shore of Lake Pend Oreille.  Forget that I hadn't been in a lake since about 1981, and had more than 100 pounds to lose.  As part of my ...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
On my North Idaho Business radio show today we had a string of great events talked about. First, the Festival at Sandpoint continues with headliners such as Josh Ritter, Michael Franti, and Randy Crowell. Let's not forget the finale with a free wine tasting with over 30 area wineries represented. Also, Sally Dennison appeared with a couple of her cohort artists to talk about the Artists' Studio Tour taking place this weekend and next. Learn more about this self-guided tour at www.ArtTourDrive.org   Next we had the 6th Annual Fly In taking place this Saturday at the Sandpoint Airport. http://www.eaa.org/calendar/eventdetail.aspx?id=9647 This includes live music by Ray Allen and one of my favs: Not Quite Punk. Speaking of Ray, he stopped in to goof off and tell us about what he will be pl...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
The winds were calm on Kootenai Bay.  The Sandpoint air was still... with just a hint of chill in the air.  It was the perfect night for a bonfire and the never ending quest for inspiration.  I was inspired enough to grab my camera and document the moment.  We wait all winter for the inevitable perfect summer evenings...can't let these moments pass us by!
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By Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene)
Janna Rankin Scharf - Coeur d'Alene Idaho Homes for Sale Do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it. That's the tagline on the email signature belonging to a client of mine.  He contacted me from out of state to sell two investment homes here.  It's big and bold and impossible to miss there at the bottom of his emails. As we emailed back and forth, there was that tagline in every "conversation." Do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it. I have to admit, it kept me on my toes!  When I was scrambling and being pulled in so many different directions, with fires to put out and people that needed me NOW - in the back of my mind was that I said I would have those listing contracts to him TODAY.  And that I had better do what I said I will do, when I said I would ...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
Well, this is worth a blog!  USA Today/Rand McNally spent several weeks on the road with the goal of discovering the most spectacular towns in America.  (Click here to see the article).  The results are not all that surprising.  Sandpoint took the honor of MOST BEAUTIFUL!   (Below is a photo of the "Starbuck's dock" located in the center of town.  There is just something kind of special about arriving at Starbucks by boat in the morning.) The great thing about Sandpoint is that it keeps getting better!  The DSBA (Downtown Sandpoint Business Association), along with the Chamber, Sandpoint Rotary and the many groups committed to the mystique and beauty of Sandpoint are all working in unison to insure this little town never loses its charm.  ...and it is working! I was living in Aspen, Col...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Sandpoint, Idaho: Voted the 'Most Beautiful' Town in America in Rand McNally's Best Small Towns in American - Best of the Road Rally Sandpoint, Idaho was once again featured on the national scene in the Rand McNally's announcement on July 21, 2011 for being the 'Most Beautiful' town in America. Narrowed down from more than 600 submissions, 30 top towns in five categories — Most Beautiful, Most Patriotic, Friendliest, Most Fun, and Best for Food — were selected for review during the inaugural Best of the Road Rally. I was very proud of being prominently interviewed in Where to Retire magazine in their five page article on Sandpoint. The Sandpoint real estate market is stronger than other areas, and it makes sense. Idaho was named the nation's 8th healthiest and 14th happiest state. Schwe...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Gary - My iPhone passed away yesterday. Old gurl was almost three years old (that's 120 in cell phone years). She had been running slower lately, and been showing signs of her age. Her screen is now a white background with a group of straight lines on one side. I will miss you gurl. RIP. Cathy - My sincere condolences... however, a new girl will come along soon and, while you'll never forget your first, it will ease the pain. Gary - I know, but she was such a hard worker, multi-tasking, surfing the web with me, and...let's be honest. She was sexy. The most beautiful figure, beautiful curves. I know a lot of people want younger and sexier. I will move on, but you're right Cathy, I will never forget her. Tony - Unfortunately, that puts you back in the market. Times have change since the ...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
May 5, 2011, Sandpoint, Idaho...Bonners Ferry, Idaho artist Diana Moses Botkin has been selected to create the original artwork for the 2011 Festival at Sandpoint fine art poster.  Known for her oil paintings of landscapes and the human form, Moses Botkin was chosen by a committee made up of the Festival's past poster artists, and the announcement was made last Friday night at the Festival's Annual Wine Tasting, Dinner & Auction.      "What a wonderful surprise to get the call from Festival Director, Dyno Wahl, telling me I'd been chosen as Festival poster artist for 2011," says Diana Moses Botkin."I feel very blessed to have been picked by my fellow artists and am honored to able to contribute in this way to the Festival and our community."     Diana is an award-winning painter, speci...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Back in high school I remember performing Hanson's Song of Democracy. It was our bicentennial celebration. The Vietnam War had just ended, and we had been a nation for 200 years! Joining the Army shortly after that, I have to admit the esprit de corps was lacking. The demise of our national pride after the debacle in Southeast Asia and Jimmy Carter all seemed to have a negative effect on the country, and especially us as young soldiers. Still, I joined because I loved my country. Part of that pride came from performing so many patriotic works for that Bicentennial Celebration. Declaration of Independence by Turnbull I also recall that Walt Whitman supplied the words to many of those songs. So let us remember the Founding Fathers on this day after the 4th of July. Let us remember the fal...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
At Yoke's Fresh Market in Ponderay near Sandpoint there is a sense of pride in being the top regional wine-selling store. Admittedly, it is only my part-time job, but the wines carried are stellar. One of those is the Nicholas Cole GraEagle. This wine has a special story. In December, Nicholas Cole Cellars founder/owner Mike Neuffer sent out a brief message explaining that due to pressing family issues, he would be "placing an indefinite hiatus on winemaking and future vintages of Nicholas Cole and GraEagle wines." Neuffer moved to Walla Walla a decade ago to pursue a winemaking dream. He planted a vineyard, partnered with Michael Corliss, and began making wines in 2004. "It's something I always wanted to do," Neuffer explained when we first met a few years ago. "It just basically was f...
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