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Sandpoint, ID Real Estate News

By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
The Government has bailed out corrupt corporations. They have pardoned felons. They have created business plans for corporate America that will cripple the taxpayer for decades. ...and left in the dust is the man on "main street" trying to raise a family and coach in the local youth program. There is a way to stimulate America, build pride in community and put confidence back into our economic outlook. Banks now have money to lend and mortgage rates are at a historical low, but 50% of potential buyers can't qualify because of their low credit scores...even though their income would support a mortgage. The irony is...many of their credit scores have been artificially destroyed by the unscrupulous lending practices that have been occurring for several years. We have a large number of fami...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
In 1975, as a young man I recognized the incredible opportunity real estate investments offered. I spent every penny I had to cover the down payment on a 3.5 acre parcel in Pitkin County...home of Aspen. On the parcel, East & West Sopris Creeks converged...year round creeks in "water-starved" Colorado. The acreage sat at the base of Sopris Mountain...one of the most majestic peaks in the state. My wife & I were thrilled with our unbelievable good fortune. Total price for this parcel was $18,000.00 - my down payment was $4,500.00. Life was good... In 1976, we found our lives changing and we were in a position where we had to sell our dream property. We found a buyer who was willing to pay us $18,000.00 for the parcel...we needed the money and we took it. In 1985, "our parcel" sold for $9...
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
It was looking scary 3 weeks ago...I was still riding my motorcycle (a little chilly, but hey, why not?). Once again, Earl, the God of Winter took care of us...we now have a 50" base and counting. It's kind of all fun and games on the mountain, but as Realtors, we never stop working. I get some of my best contacts on the lifts! Things are looking up...I'm seeing more activity and there is excitement in the air. (This lifestyle makes for long days - but, when you love what you do and where you are doing it...no complaints). Money doesn't make you content. Contentment makes you money. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! ...and remember, the Holidays are a great time to invest in mountain property.
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By Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake
(Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho)
I've had the good fortune to ski at many of the great ski areas of the world. All mountains are great when the weather cooperates...you just can't beat the Rockies. When I came to Sandpoint from Aspen, however, I was in awe. ...the powder, the view, the people...the lifestyle. This area cannot be beat. Furthermore, the real estate values are unbelievable. It is hard for me to believe that a serious "mountain-life" buyer could come to Sandpoint/Schweitzer and leave without a strong desire to invest here. Any potential buyer who cannot see this just is not the real deal. ...especially with the great publicity Sandpoint has enjoyed the past three years. ...then you've got summers and Lake Pend Oreille..."Come for the Mountain, Stay for the Lake". Yes, this IS paradise. (Watch for my "Run o...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Realtors are always looking for new ways to promote their listings. String quartets at open house events, clowns, free hot dogs, giant balloons, etc. etc., etc., ad nauseum. Two years ago, my small sales team started a string of events called the Mobile Artist Open House, featuring 10-20 artists for one day and two day events at homes we had listed. These were well-advertised, and attracted up to 200 people to the homes we were featuring. We got three buyers out of these events, so the success was somewhat limited. However, what we did gain is goodwill with the communities and the sellers. Few open house offerings in small town Sandpoint and Priest River bring more than a handful of prospects. Our events brought scores. The community took notice, and the respect and admiration of litera...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
The 1970s brought hippies and environmentalism as well as arts and more theater to the Sandpoint area. This spelled the downfall of the lumber industry. Jim Brown, of the Pack River Lumber Company, wisely diversified his business and, as one of the original founders of Schweitzer Mountain, bought out the rest of the shareholders to make Schweitzer a privately owned venture. To this very day one can still see the occasional psychedelic bus or love bug traversing county roads. Now the hippies are augmented by the winter ski bum, and the warm weather off-road cyclists. Around this time the Hope Peninsula became an art colony. Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz moved there from Los Angeles in 1973. The Peninsula also had a cluster of buildings owned by the Max Factor family, and the Kienholz'...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
When Tom Chasse and Jennifer Ekstrom, CEO and Communications manager respectively for Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort appeared on my show, North Idaho Arts and Adventure, Tuesday, December 16, 2008, we talked about everything but the weather. So, here is a remedy. Schweitzer is coming off two record seasons, being ranked in Ski Magazine's Top 25 Ski Resorts and #3 for Tree Skiing last year, and, with Sandpoint, in AskMen's Top 10 Resort Towns this spring. While we have lots of great stuff up here in North Idaho, one of our best facets is our weather. Weather in Sandpoint is a gentle friend, made mild by the greenhouse effect that evaporation from massive Lake Pend Oreille proffers. In Florida, when the Army Corps of Engineers straightened one meandering waterway, the cover that had kept ...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
Despite the present day economic conditions, Dover Bay Resort, near Sandpoint Idaho, has a healthy pace of building activity underway or planned for the winter.  Several custom homes are nearing completion, while Dover Bay Development is moving forward with permits and construction in several of its neighborhoods. Here is an inventory of the current building activity at Dover Bay Resort: Dover Point (the exclusive 9 waterfront homesites in West Dover or ‘Tank Hill'): Hope Builders is finishing interior work on a custom waterfront home on Lot 6; Tom Runa Architects has designed a plan for a custom home on Lot 4 of Dover Point, and the site is currently being engineered for the foundation and road; a personal client is closing on lots 7&8 and working with local architects to design and en...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Wow! What a run we have had here in the North Idaho Panhandle. Schweitzer has spent millions on improvements and finally made Skiing Mag's Top 25. Spring 2008 had AskMen.com naming Sandpoint and Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort one of the nation's Top 10 Resort Towns. There's always something going one. Winter events like Holly Eve, Winter Carnival, and Mardi Gras added to some great downhill runs. Spring brought Lost in the 50s, Spring Festivals, and marathons, and the fun continued through summer, with art and festivals, fishing derbys, Summer Sampler, 4th of July, the Wooden Boat Festival, the Festival at Sandpoint two week concert series, and great lake fun. Now coming up is Lakedance Film Fest and the turning of the leaves. Can't wait for Oktoberfest! We have seen some cool new resta...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
First, Lake Pend Oreille is the second largest freshwater lake and the deepest in the West with 111 miles of shoreline. Watersports, sailing, and racing are common and several boat cruises are offered. Next is Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, a top winter destination rated in the Top 25 in Skiing Magazine and Top 10 in Sunset Magazine, with the finest skiing and snowboarding with unbelievable panoramic views overlooking Lake Pend Oreille. With over 2,900 acres, 2,400 feet of vertical, 67 named runs and seven chairlifts, Schweitzer Mountain is a dream for downhill enthusiasts. There's also 32k of cross country trails, beautiful snowshoe trails, and a brand-new tubing center plus shopping galore. Winter Sports feature snowmobiling and ice skating, and during the summer we host the NORBA Na...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Google ‘waterfalls' to find hundreds of pages detailing pictures, videos, trips to, and every conceivable detail about these often awe-inspiring, yet curiously relaxing touches of Mother Earth. There have been other hundreds of feature films with waterfalls, and one website has 328 videos of waterfalls from around the world. North Idaho has an equal number of stunning chutes, some popping up after spring rains and temperatures start the annual runoff of winter snow, others majestic year-round. Waterfalls in North Idaho run the gamut, from the low-slung Lion Creek Falls that locals call ‘Slippery Rocks,' to the long-falling Copper Creek Falls, dropping 160 feet. In fact, these cascading features of Idaho have long inspired cinematographers. In 1915 "The Waterfalls of Idaho" was filmed by...
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You don't have to be here long to get the picture. We are in lake country. Not surprisingly, many blogs and writings of winter skiers attribute to the area the misnomer that we are primarily a summer resort destination. After all, when skiing down the slopes of Schweitzer Mountain, the overwhelming view is Lake Pend Oreille. Oh so wrong, my research-lacking ones. Our main tourist season and draw is winter sports. Still, summers ain't bad. To understand our history, one must first take into account our geography. While our area is dominated by mountains, the most prominent feature is Lake Pend Oreille, with an area of 148 square miles, and 111 miles of coastline. Only Flathead Lake in Montana and some man-made lakes are larger.  It is 65 miles long, and 1,150 feet deep in some regions (5...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
(This article has a correction and has been reposted. To see the corrected data, see the notes at the end of the article.) How are things here in North Idaho? Besides being named to Sunset Magazine's Top 10 Resort Towns this year, Idaho was just named the nation's 8th healthiest state. In Sandpoint, several new businesses just opened, including a Jack in the Box, Big 5 Sporting Goods, and Zip's. The new Mountain West Bank building now graces Highway 2, and the Panhandle State Bank is a monument downtown. Quest Aircraft just hired 60 new employees, and the dredging will be finished by Friday for the start of the Sand Creek Byway. This three-year project to circumvent Sandpoint will provide dozens of high-paying jobs for the next three years. When the CEO of Quest was on my radio show, he...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
While the art of winter sports has now evolved to fantastic levels, early Indians in North Idaho were adept at ice fishing and certainly made snow shoes to facilitate the winter hunt and travel. Our area was settled much by German and Scandinavian stock, as well as the early French trappers, priests, and settlers. So, it was a natural that the descendants of these settlers followed with skiing the area. Snow skiing originated from two geographic groups: Alpine and Nordic, much like our ancestors. Nordic skiing is the oldest category and includes sport that evolved from skiing as done in Scandinavia. Nordic style ski bindings attach at the toes of the skier's ski boots, but not at the heels. Alpine skiing includes sports that evolved from skiing as done in the Alps. Alpine bindings attac...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
You don't have to be here long to get the picture. We are in lake country. Not surprisingly, many blogs and writings of winter skiers attribute to the area the misnomer that we are primarily a summer resort destination. After all, when skiing down the slopes of Schweitzer Mountain, the overwhelming view is Lake Pend Oreille. Oh so wrong, my research-lacking ones. Our main tourist season and draw is winter sports. Still, summers ain't bad. To understand our history, one must first take into account our geography. While our area is dominated by mountains, the most prominent feature is Lake Pend Oreille, with an area of 148 square miles, and 111 miles of coastline. Only Lake Tahoe, Flathead Lake in Montana, and some man-made lakes are larger.  It is 65 miles long, and 1,150 feet deep in so...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
 Recreation Guide - Autumn EventsThings to Do in Sandpoint and North Idaho for Autumn 2009 Coolest Things to Do   What to do in North Idaho Attractions & Amusements   Autumn Events Certainly with the turning of the leaves comes one of the most beautiful times of year for the North Idaho Panhandle. The colors are the myriad of the rainbow, with Buckthorn, Larch, and Maple turning yellow, hawthorn going from deep crimson to purple-red, and Quaking Aspen and Birch running the gamut from reds to golds against the backdrop of the deep greens and reddish browns of the coniferous forests. With some clearing of the leaves, formerly hidden glimpses of the many grand waterways and lakes now become apparent. Picnics are a favorite this time of year, and bikers and hikers seem to come out of the wo...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
We have so many great ski resorts: Silver Mountain, Mount Spokane, and 49 Degrees North to name a few. Our own local stop is Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, and we beamed with pride last year when Schweitzer was named to Skiing Magazine's Top 25 Ski Resorts, and #3 for Tree Skiing. Sandpoint and North Idaho are famous for the mountain views, and while our ranges don't usually top 7,000 feet, there are advantages over the higher level mountain ranges. The lower ranges affords rolling hills great for cross-country skiing, also called Nordic skiing. This is granite country, and the fantastic outcroppings of rock seemed formed by the Great Artist himself...er, herself?. Plus, the Idaho Panhandle is the land of the giant lake, with views that make the heart sing. Many of the smaller resorts ...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, was named to Skiing Magazine's Top 25 Ski Resorts, and #3 for Tree Skiing, so, if you like downhill, slalom, or even back country skiing, this should be your first choice. We have a page for Cross Country Skiing, and one for Snowboarding and Backcountry. Of course, skiing is #1, so to see info about all of our ski resorts, visit Skiing in the Inland Northwest. While you may be the next Bode Miller, for those that are seeking other things to do during winter months, here are some good choices. First of all, Sandpoint has a great Winter Carnival and Mardi Gras, and there are music venues, poetry slams, and all kinds of events. To learn more, go to our Calendar of Events. Here are some other choices: Fishing Last year, with such a big snow fall, we had a goo...
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By Gary Lirette, Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
Sandpoint, Idaho has had so many great articles and accolades that it is hard to believe that right above is one of the world's best ski resorts: Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort. The North Idaho Panhandle is truly a winter wonderland, with several mountain ranges, including the Bitterroot Mountains, Cabinet Mountains, Clearwater Mountains, Coeur d'Alene Mountains, Purcell Mountains, Saint Joe Mountains, and Selkirk Mountains. There are many outdoors things to do for the winter months in Sandpoint and the surrounding winter sports areas, but there is also Shopping, many Events, Art, and great Drives, Tours, & Scenery. Sandpoint and North Idaho also have great Attractions, plus there are scores of Cool Things to Do within 100 miles of Sandpoint. For a great guide, see this 2008 Visitor's G...
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By Rick Evans - Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Waterfront, Ski, and Resort Property
(Sandpoint Sothebys Intl Realty)
I am not suggesting by this post that everyone should go out and buy just anything on the market, particularly on a purely speculative basis.  That was just the sort of irrational exuberance that got us into trouble in the first place.  However if you are someone that has had a dream of buying that vacation property at the lake or mountains, I would say that you can stop waiting for a bottom. It is virtually impossible to time the bottoming out of a market cycle, as the only time we know for sure is when we are looking back in the past.  At that point we are of course already in a recovery mode with the momentum shifted back to some degree to the seller.  What is indisputable is that prices across the board are lower than they have been in years.  Sellers are also more motivated than ev...
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