Special offer

Sandpoint, ID Real Estate News

By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
While watching Tom Brockaw's tribute to Canada for the Winter Olympics I felt a kinship and the pang of family pride with my Canadian cousins to the north. In the 1640s, my first ancestor was among the explorers of Canada, and for generations, my French forebears were among the first to visit this continent. To learn more about my family's origins in America, please visit http://www.angelfire.com/tx/cajunmae/ We were not rich, and unlike many of the boastful in New Enland, my family has been serving the wealthy and prominent for centuries. The word 'Chauvinism' comes from one of my ancestors, who followed Napoleon so ardently, the name came to be synonymous with extreme patriotism. In the United States, the term used to be quoted as 'Male chauvinist' which meant that one was blindly pat...
Comments 1
For years, I was one of the few REALTORS that did REO in my area. There is only one REO specializing company, and I started locally with them. Short sales, bank repos, it all took a bit more skill than the rest of the agents in our market, and I finally decided to stop doing them. Still, every year about 25% of my sales were REO. Then the world fell apart. My friends Cindy Bond and Merry Brown Hayes have both related this is the hardest they have ever worked in real estate. I am not complaining. I had sales, was ranked 12th with my company, and was in the top 20% of my market. I would have done even better, but had a junior partner and I let him take a percentage of my closings. There are new guidelines put out by the banks concerning REOs every week. Getting loans to go through has bec...
Comments 23
Cancer is still the scourge of our planet, with most forms having no known cure. Our own Sandpoint Mardi Gras culminates with the kickoff on Fat Tuesday of the Relay for Life Mardi Gras Kickoff Party, sponsored and hosted by our own local volunteers. Come and learn how you can get involved with this year's American Cancer Society's event which will be held in June..."It's a celebration"... Put it on your calendar for Fat Tuesday, February 16th at the Masonic Lodge in Sandpoint. Festivities start at 5:30 pm and appetizers, wine, and beer tastings will be provided by Pend d'Oreille Winery and Laughing Dog Brewing and get your Mardi Gras beads! See you there!
Comments 0
People think of Sandpoint as a tourist town, and that is true. However, tourism ranks way below the other main employers. In order, our biggest employment sectors are manufacturing, government, education, and then tourism. So, while tourism provides a healthy boost to our economy, without producers such as Coldwater Creek, Quest Aircraft, Airtow, Lignetics, Thorne Research, Unicep Packaging, and Litehouse Foods, we would have far fewer high-paying jobs. Our most recent addition is Smart Plugs: a green technology company that manufactures high-tech, cleaner burning spark plugs, and a combination catalytic converter/smart spark plug. This new technology helps not only our cars burn fuel more efficiently and cleaner, but provides much better gas mileage for our autos. The company is a rese...
Comments 1
By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
I just can't get enough of this stuff.  We have had a magically mild winter here in North Idaho but, as if that wasn't enough, we have also been blessed with an endless stream of magnificent sunsets.  Today was no exception. As I started my evening walk with my wife today, we were intercepted by my neighbor, Jason.  Noticing we were walking in an easterly direction (away from the explosion occurring in the western sky), Jason commented, "What's up you guys?  Trying to get as far away from that sunset as possible?"  (I think the whole neighborhood was out watching the sun go down). No, Jason, we caught the sunset.  ...and now the world of ActiveRain can enjoy it also.  (I can't believe I live here).    
Comments 10
By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Last Tuesday, on my North Idaho Business talk radio show, I had the pleasure of interviewing two upcoming events. The first is the Moyie Springs Sno Cross. This event has Trophy Class snowbike racing and snowmobile races. Up there, past Bonners Ferry and north of Sandpoint is the Moyie Springs Sports Park. The races have the qualifiers Saturday and the Finals Sunday. Looks to be a pretty cool event. Here are the vitals: MOYIE SPRINGS SNO CROSS February 13th & 14thSaturday 10am - 4pmSunday 10am - 2pm For more info, contact Arron Dabbs (208) 277-5413 or inyourfacemotorsports@gmail.com Also coming up is the Outdoor Sports Expo. Held at the Bonner County Fairgrounds, we had these guys on the show last year for their first shindig, and it was very successful, so we are looking for a great ti...
Comments 1
By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
The first year I came to Sandpoint I was invited to putt-putt at the Downtown Golf Scramble. We had a blast. You golf on tiny courses set up at various businesses, several of which serve you cocktails, then end up at a restaurant where prizes for best round and such are handed out. It was a cold February day, and we finished at Ivano's. My team won 'Worst Dressed.' Another year my restaurant, Wigleys, was one of the vendors for the Mardi Gras Ball. I love the event. After all, I am from New Orleans. There are events that take place all over town, and it is more fun than should be allowed by law. While I helped just the tiniest little bit, the great volunteers that put this together and the businesses that participate should be lauded. So, as we say in New Orleans, "Laissez le bon temps ...
Comments 2
By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
The stats are in for condo sales in Sandpoint. Idaho and Schweitzer Mountain!  As we can see from the graph below, prices have been holding fairly well (only 16% below 2007's "sold" prices). The lack of volume in 2009 is alarming but not much of a diversion from what we have seen nationally.  Note the sale price/list price ratio and the days on market.  ...fairly solid. North Idaho is a strong retirement/baby-boomer area and the numbers above support that.  Condos are one of the "homes of choice" for retirees and their value has held well through these difficult times.
Comments 1
By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
For quite some time I taught adults. One thing we always made clear: it is best to be professional in all cases. Here is an example I used: When dining out, or working with a close associate in a transaction, such as purchasing insurance, it is common for the shopper/diner to ask the question, "So, are you from here?" In Sandpoint, a town that has received numerous accolades and national press, this is perhaps the most common question. While the answer may seem simple, it is probable that we forget the proper answer. We forget who it is being served. We typically gush about our home towns, then tell them about our marriages, our bad jobs, etc., etc., ad nauseum. This is not the right response. Here is the proper answer: "I am from New Orleans. Where are you from?" Here are some other ex...
Comments 3
By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
The numbers are in.  The Real Estate "market adjustment" is frightening (from a homeowner's perspective) but not surprising based on the stats we have been seeing nationally.  As you can see below, the median priced home is down 24% from 2007.  The massively daunting statistic, however is the sales volume from 2007 to 2009 in the Sandpoint City area...almost a 60% decline!  In Sandpoint and surrounding area, almost a 50% decline in sales volume! While these numbers do reflect the national real estate crisis they also support the fact that now is the time to buy.  A client of mine said to me recently, If you're not buying real estate now, you're not in the game!"  That is certainly the case here in Sandpoint and the rest of North Idaho.  We are enjoying a magically mild winter and the mo...
Comments 4
By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
Dover Bay Waterfront Resort has continued to be aggressive in marketing and selling its array of distinctive neighborhoods.  Some of the recent transactions: a Marina Town condo is pending after two closings a few months ago, one closed and one pending Parkside Bungalow, and a closed Cottage.  Dover Bay has introduced a very appealing finance incentive that is currently available through the month of February. Dover Bay has teamed up with Mountain West Bank to offer the following terms on standing inventory at Dover Bay, whether this be a waterfront vacation home, waterfront or secondary condominium, bungalow, cottage, or waterfront homesite. This is a straightforward 30 year fixed loan (NOT an ARM), and Dover has negotiated a 'rate buydown' for its customers offering 3% Interest in yea...
Comments 0
By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
We continue to see many changes in the marketplace and some very large FHA changes coming down the line.  For those buyers that need low or no down payment, they should act now as there are still options available that are timely and beneficial for your buyers.  Please contact me with any questions or scenarios.  I hope to see most of you in the next few days.  Have a great end of the week and I look forward to working with you.   Current Note Rates for FHA/VA/USDA/ Conventional 30 Year fixed Mortgages are at 5%. Current Note Rate for Conventional 15 Year fixed is 4.375%. Current Note Rate for Conventional 5/1 ARM is 3.625%. Current Jumbo Rates are as follows: 30 year fixed 20% down is 5.5% 15 year fixed 20% down is 4.5% 5/1 ARM 20% down is 4.625% Here is a link to a recorded conversati...
Comments 0
So, my company, Tomlinson Sandpoint Sotheby's is outselling the competition by a considerable margin, and within my company, I am #12, and am in the top 20%. Here is the graphic:   If you want a REALTOR that works for you 24/7, and is community minded, give me a call at 208-610-1384. To learn all about Sandpoint and North Idaho, visit www.SandpointID.net  
Comments 0
By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
This morning, my website that I provide for my business as well as a community resource, received an award on www.Garden-Planters.com Here is the link for their awards page. While it may not seem that this is something a gardening site would consider, we have the only Farm & Foods Guide for our part of North Idaho. Our website gets over 12,000 hits a month, and informs on hundreds of varying subjects, providing, again, hundreds of pages, thousands of photos, videos, graphs, information, and more. The site promotes our town and North Idaho, and it is easy to navigate. Plus, it provides information that is needed that no other site gives, such as a one-stop guide for docks, calendar of events, and a farms & food guide. You can't find this info on other sites. We are very proud of our site...
Comments 0
By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
My brother and I participated in the 2nd annual 24 Hours for Hank Ski Race at Schweitzer Mountain Resort this past weekend, along with our friends Kyler Wolf and Blake. The race had approximately 150 participants, up from 109 last year. This is apparently the only 24 ski race in the country, and its quite the event.  24 Hours for Hank is a benefit event for the Cystinosis Foundation.  Cystinosis is a rare genetic disease that affects approximately 500 people in the United States (mostly children), and about 2,000 people worldwide. This disease causes the amino acid "cystine" to accumulate in the body's cells. Over time, cystine buildup slowly destroys various organs including the kidneys, liver, muscles, white blood cells, eyes and central nervous system.  Hank Sturgis is a local boy in...
Comments 2
For a football fan, I am rockin' happy. How cool can it get? Couple of years ago, my LSU Tigers and my alma mater Florida, ranked #1 and 3, then Boise State ranked #5 and beating Oklahoma in perhaps the best college comeback game of all time. Boise State goes undefeated this year, and Sandpoint plays Blackfoot Idaho in the State Championship at the Kibbie Dome this year. Even though those Blackfoot boys were ten feet tall and semi-pro players, our boys came within a touchdown of winning it all. This after both the Sandpoint girls and boys had won the state titles in soccer. Okay, so the Saint haven't even come close to going to the Superbowl since they started in 1967. But...They're going this year. Waaassssuuupppp!!!!! Here is the deal. North Idaho has a bit of affection for New Orlean...
Comments 1
By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
Sandpoint High School is an athletic powerhouse…So far this year: State Finals in football, State Champs in both boys and girls soccer, Conference and District Champs in volleyball.  Sandpoint is perennially strong in wrestling, track and baseball.  In short, Sandpoint athletes are a focused group.   Tennis is no exception.  The Sandpoint Bulldog tennis team was the 2009 Conference and District champion and finished 4th at the State Tournament.  Tennis in Sandpoint follows a long and outstanding tradition.  In fact my son, lost in the finals of the U-16 Sandpoint  City Tournament back in 1993.   2010 marks the tenth year of tennis at the high school as a varsity sport.  Idaho is one of the few states that offers varsity tennis to both boys and girls in the same season (Spring).  This af...
Comments 9
By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
The perfect winter continues here in North Idaho and these photos, in my humble opinion, attest to that fact.  I woke up this morning to yet another "balmy" day in Sandpoint (around 45 degrees), bright sun and brilliant snow covered mountains in every direction.  Today was one of the few days this winter where I didn't seek out powder stashes.  Today was meant for letting it all loose on the impeccable groomers and testing the edges of the old GS skis. The photo on the left looks out over the South Bowl toward the Northeast.  In the background is Lake Pend Oreille and the Cabinet Mountains of Montana.  The right photo is the South Bowl looking Southeast down the Ridge.  Those are the double black diamond chutes dropping off to the left.  You can see the spindrift the wind is creating......
Comments 38
By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
In 1997, Hastings House published my book: Passion for Wine. For years I had worked with top-rated restaurants, with people like Emeril Legasse, and at places like Commander's Palace in New Orleans. Guess I have some skills. So, when my best friend opened a restaurant here - Dish Home Cooking - I volunteered to lend a hand. So, I put together their wine list, offering over 25 wines rated 90 points or better, and eighteen wines with accolades such as Editor's Choice or Best Buy. Most of these wines are under $25. You might think, "What is a REALTOR doing waiting tables?" Well, first, I manage the restaurant on weekends, and in a small town, that often means we, meaning the owners and I, take care of tables personally. Second, I hope that love of food and wine never leaves my veins. Some ...
Comments 0
By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Not Quite Punk. Not Quite Punk. What do you think of when you hear the words "Not Quite Punk?" You think of punk. Well, they aren't. At least, not quite. The local group, Not Quite Punk was one of the bands I saw at the Bash for Cash concert last month raising funds for charity at the Panida Theater. Their music ranges from Jazz-abilly, Blues, and kind of a jazzy, blues, rock that is their own style. I have hosted the North Idaho Arts & Adventure radio show on KSPT and KBFI for the last five years, and this band was on my show this Tuesday at noon. At the Bash for Cash several groups performed. The premier group was another local band: Illusion 33. Illusion 33 started out doing local gigs, and I interviewed them two years ago. Within a year of founding, Pat Ficek did this great video of...
Comments 9