Idaho Real Estate Prices
The state of Idaho is located in the rugged northwest region of the United States to the west of the Rocky Mountains between the states of Washington and Montana. Ranked 11th in land area, Idaho boasts 53,000,000 acres of diverse natural beauty which includes 21,430,000 acres of forestry land that is managed by the federal government. Eight national parks and sixty seven state parks preserve the beauty of the state for the tourist who enjoys breathtaking vistas and outdoor adventures. Another 11,900,000 acres of farmland are privately owned and produce those famous potatoes that feed people all over the nation. Most of Idaho’s population lives in the cities that were settled along the sagging east/west bow of the Snake River that bisects the Magic Valley in the southern third of the state.
Sparsely populated counties with expensive home listings skew the home price listings for Idaho. The most expensive homes for sale are listed in counties with few residents.
- Average Listing Price: $306,000
- Idaho Median Sales Price: $169,900
- Median Home Price: $106,300 (2010 Census data)
- Boise Median Price: $139,900
- Coeur d’Alene Median Price: $245,000
- Idaho Falls Median Price: $171,000
- Twin Falls Median Price: $155,000
- Highest Listing: $1,587,018 (Custer county – 38th in population density)
- 2nd Highest Listing: $1,298,950 (Blaine county – 15th in population density)
- 3rd Highest Listing: $1,024,633 (Clark county – ranked last in density)
The most expensive home listings are in the counties where large ranches are prevalent. In the cities where most of the listings are for standard single-family dwellings, the cost of homes falls into the affordable range of $139,000 to $245,000.
Idaho’s population is concentrated along the major interstate freeways and the largest river because of the geographic ruggedness of the Rocky Mountains along the curved eastern border with Montana.
Idaho offers a uniquely diverse home market that can be financed through innumerable loan types that meet the needs of any potential buyer. Extensive information can be found concerning the weather in various portions of the state. Easy access to major cities in neighboring states makes Idaho one of the gems hidden in the Pacific Northwest. Many of the challenges facing other states have yet to reach Idaho and the draw for businesses has modernized Idaho’s economy without blurring its many positive attributes. While Idaho is not ranked comparatively high on the tourist list, most people love to visit and learn more about the great secrets of the region and the people who live there.
Popular Idaho Cities
Idaho is the twelfth fastest growing state in the nation in 2010 and holds the 7th position as a top state to conduct business and an astounding 3rd position for economic climate. All of these factors have made Idaho a favorite destination for people looking to relocate from the massive metropolitan areas on the coasts to find moderate-size cities that offer simpler lifestyles.
Two cities compete for the fastest-growing city designation in Idaho. Nampa is located just minutes from the capital city of Boise. With a focus on aggressive growth, Nampa has attracted a strong combination of companies and professionals to work for them.
The other city that is fast-growing is Meridian, which has long been a tourist draw because of the Meridian Speedway. The recent growth here is attributed to the convenient access to I-84 for an easy commute into Boise.
Boise remains the largest city with a moderate population just under 200,000. The nearest cities in size are the suburbs of Boise.
Types of Mortgages Available in Idaho
- Fixed Rate Mortgage Loans – Regardless of market fluctuations, the interest rate remains constant and the payment is set for the life of the loan. Available for ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty five, thirty, forty or fifty year repayment terms.
- Second Mortgage Loans – Secured loan against the existing property that is placed in the second position on the title. The home serves as collateral in the loan. Usually carries are higher interest rate to offset the risk of default where the first mortgage lender would be repaid with only the remaining proceeds covering the second loan.
- Adjustable Rate Mortgage Loans – ARM – Loan that offers a lower initial interest rate for the specified number of years, usually one, three, five, seven, or ten years. Very favorable choice for the time when interest rates are decreasing. Some risks are associated with the loan if the borrower’s financial picture changes just before the loan must be renewed.
- Interest Only Mortgage Loans – Offers an initial period where the borrower is allowed to make a monthly payment that covers only the interest. After the early period has passed, the fully amortized payment is required through the remainder of the loan.
- LIBOR Mortgage Loans – London Interbank Market mortgage loans offer lower interest rates than standard ARM. Designed to protect borrowers from large fluctuations in interest rates with lifetime and periodic caps on increases.
- Cash Out Mortgage Loans – Allows the borrower to refinance the existing loan for more money than they currently owe on the primary residence. The loan amount and the method of repayment are negotiated as a new loan.
- Home Purchase Mortgage Loans – Overarching description of any mortgage loan that must be used to purchase a residence. Other loans fall under this umbrella description including the fixed rate and ARM mortgages.
- Reverse Mortgage Loans – Senior homeowners who need to access the equity of the home in a lump sum, monthly installments, or an available credit line can apply for a reverse mortgage as long as they are over the age of 62. This loan does not require repayment until the home is sold, ceases to be their primary residence, or they pass away.
- Refinance Loans – Brand new loan that is written when interest rates offered by the lenders is lower than the existing mortgage on the property. Homeowners who need to access the equity in the home, need to lower their monthly payment, or wish to secure a fixed interest rate loan to replace an ARM, go through the approval process to complete a refinance.
- Home Equity Line of Credit Mortgage Loans – HELOC – When the borrower is uncertain of the exact amount to secure from the equity, an open line of credit similar to a prepaid credit account is opened with a set limit on the total. The interest rate is based on the prime rate and will vary as time passes.
- Home Equity Loan – Second mortgage loan written against the home equity where the borrower will receive the lump sum when the loan transaction is completed and the contracts are signed. The monthly payment remains separate from the initial loan and has a complete amortization schedule for loan repayment.
Specific Idaho Laws
The primary legal instrument in Idaho is the trust deed, instead of the mortgage, which legally conveys a property to a trustee and has the same obligation as the mortgage or promissory note. Under this system, the trustee appointed by the state holds the title of the property.
On July 1, 1996, the Idaho Residential Mortgage Practices Act was signed to require all mortgage brokers within the state of Idaho to be licensed. All real estate brokers and any other sales personnel working in the mortgage industry must have a license in Idaho. Another portion of this law expanded the power given to the state department of Finance to abolish predatory mortgage lending practices. Foreclosures can be non-judicial under this piece of legislation.
Idaho is a non-recourse state, which means that the lender cannot sue a borrower for the outstanding loan balance if the home is sold for less than the loan amount.
Idaho Mortgage Loans
- Jumbo Loan – Any loan amount over $417,000 is considered jumbo by Fannie Mae. The interest rate will be slightly higher for this type of loan because of the perceived risk of default.
- Super Jumbo Loan – For loan amounts exceeding $650,000 for a single family residence, the super jumbo loan is recommended. These loans carry a higher interest rate than jumbo loans because of the higher loss amount to the lender in the event of a default.
- COFI – Cost of Funds Index reflects the interest paid by savings institutions within the eleventh Federal Home Loan Bank District, which covers Arizona, California, and Nevada. This ARM mortgage class is slow to react to the market changes with a track record of being two months behind the market changes.
- COSI – Cost of Saving Index is based on the average of all the interest rates on the deposit accounts within institution subsidiaries that make up the Golden West Financial Corporation (GDW). The COSI index experiences a one-month reporting lag.
- 12-MTA – 12-Month Treasury Average is a new index that consists of the twelve month average of all the monthly average yields on the US Treasury Securities. A modern version of the COFI index, the 12-MTA is stable and can offer negative amortization when rates are dropping, but the borrower must be aware of the risk of payment increases if interest rates rise quickly.
In the state of Idaho, only non-judicial foreclosure proceedings are used. The primary security is the deed of trust, and the timeline for foreclosure spans 150 days. When the borrower defaults on the loan, the lender sends notice to the borrower and any other party that has requested notice of default. The debtor has 115 days to make the back payments and any associated fees to bring the loan current. The lender must be willing to accept payment up to the date of the sale of the property.
When the property is occupied, the lender is required to make three attempts in good faith to serve the notice to the borrower on three separate days within a seven-day period.
The trustee who holds the title on the property is notified at least 120 days prior to the sale of the property, and the notice must include, the names of the trustee, borrower, and lender; the legal description of the property; default information; the outstanding loan amount; and the applicable time, date, and location of the upcoming sale of the property. The lender is required to publish the sale notice in the local paper for four consecutive weeks, and the final publication must be schedule at least 30 days prior to the sale.
Within 90 days after the sale, the lender must file any deficiency actions in the event the property is sold for less than the amount owed. The state of Idaho does not have a statutory right of redemption.