The secrets out. Boise is the fastest growing city in the country. Young and old, working and retired, people from coast to coast are moving to the City of Trees. If you’re making the move or considering it, our relocation expert & realtor, Kerri O’Hara, has some tips to make the process go as smoothly as possible. 

1: UNDERSTAND THE AREA: There are a lot of different options for homes and communities in the Treasure Valley. Do you want the charm of an old bungalow in the North End, a master-planned community with a school & park in Hidden Springs, easy access to the greenbelt in East Boise, space and mature landscaping in Eagle or maybe a brand new house with all the modern amenities in Meridian?  Know the difference in what each place has to offer. A home is where you sleep, but a community is where you live! 

2: NEEDS vs. WANTS: Try to figure out what you really need verses want. It’s easy to give your agent a list of “like to have” items, but what can you not live without? For example if your budget is set at $400k max and the non-negotiable is new construction and a yard for your dog, your realtor will know North Boise isn’t going to work. Now you have eliminated an area and can FOCUS on the options that will meet your must haves. 

3: KNOW THE MARKET:  While there may be 2 months of inventory in Ada County, there may only be 2 weeks worth of inventory in a particular neighborhood. The Boise market saw an 18% increase in home prices in 2018. That trend that is expected to continue in 2019. So what do you need to expect when putting in a offer? How can you make yours the most desirable for the seller? Knowing your competition will help you devise a plan to land your dream home. 

4: NEW CONSTRUCTION: You may be coming from a market with little or no new construction. It’s important to understand how the new construction communities and builders work. Options range from a production, to a semi-custom, to a fully custom builder. Know the differences and make sure you know their track record.  In some cases you can select the lot, the builder and the home and in others you will be limited to a certain builder and/or floor plan. 

5: PICK THE RIGHT REALTOR: There are thousands of realtors in the Boise area, but only a fraction of them dedicate their professional lives to the business.  So how do you pick the right one? Ask questions. Do they have a team or do they work alone? Who will be working with you? What do they have experience in? Get a feel for who they are. There is a right realtor for every client. Find someone who can guide you through the process. Moving from one state to the next is a lot different than moving across town! 

Kerri is a former television journalist who relocated to seven different states over a 12 year period. Since 2012, she has helped over 100 families make the move to the Boise area. She is a mom, native Bostonian, avid skier and lover of everything Boise. Check out Kerri’s YouTube channel for more on relocating to the Boise area. 


Let Kerri O’hara help guide you in finding your new place to call home.