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Eastern Idaho housing market outlook

2013 Housing Market Outlook

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - The housing market in Eastern Idaho is slowly recovering and local real estate brokers say the market has well passed the bottom.

Interest rates climbed this week to a two-year high to 4.46 percent

Before the housing market crash in 2008, brokers said anything below a 7 percent interest rate was a great deal.

Around many neighborhoods there area plenty of "For Sale" signs.

Tina Miller, real estate broker and owner of Assist To Sell in Idaho Falls said this past winter was one of the best-selling season in years, but she added summer is prime buying and selling season.

"The new inventory for the most part seems to be selling pretty quickly. List to sold price is holding pretty tight together, in fact we're seeing some sell above list price," said Miller.

Among the summer listings is Ray Barnes' home in Idaho Falls. His 7,000-square-foot home has five bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms, four fireplaces, hardwood floors throughout the home and character that only comes with a home built in 1931.

"This was out in the country in 1931, 17th street was a gravel road and kind of the limit of civilization. So it was a place in the country when it was built," said Barnes.

Barnes moved to Idaho Falls from Washington, D.C, 21 years ago. He said home in the East Coast was just a house, this home in Idaho Falls has truly felt like a place to raise a family.

Barnes and his wife raised two kids and called this large property on 2300 South Boulevard home for 21 years. Barnes shares stories of his children playing in the backyard in a playhouse he built for them, and hiding behind trees that are more than 100 years old.

This summer the Barnes' are ready to lock their doors for good. Their children have grown and moved out of the home. He said the home is too much house for two people.

"It's a lot to take care of and it needs a family to grow up in," said Barnes.

Down-sizing won't be easy, but finding a new family to grow up in this high-end home, may not be so difficult.

"I'm seeing more high-end homes selling now than I've seen in years, and they're selling pretty fast," said Miller.

Halfway through 2013, Miller added there is more optimism on the seller's side. She said the housing market has been a buyer's market for years, but it's slowly shifting.

"More people are willing to put their house on the market. It's a little better than it used to be. This is literally a better time than a year ago," said Miller.

Barnes is hoping the seller's optimism works in his favor, but he said he's not in a rush to sell the home.

"We've had wonderful times here," said Barnes.

Barnes walks around his home through the renovations and reminisces about the past 21 years.

He shares stories of spending time with the kids in the family room. The room has original stone work and pecan hardwood flooring from 1931.

He shows the shuffleboard outside and talked about imagining life out here in the 30's, sipping cocktails and playing shuffleboard.

Barnes has not set a listing price for the home yet. Renovations are in the works throughout the interior and exterior of the home. Barnes, a lawyer by training, will be selling the home himself. He said real estate agents for a home in the high-end market value cost a lot, and he wants to know the people who will be calling his home theirs.

"We want to have family who will enjoy it as much as we have," said Barnes.

Miller said the market in Idaho Falls is similar to the the rest of the region. She said the housing market in Rexburg is getting very busy.

Miller also said she has been selling homes to first-time homebuyers more this season than ever before. She said her clients often pay less with a home mortgage than they do for rent.

For more information on the Barnes' Home, there is a blog set up for interested buyers

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