Idaho is a rather unique state that is located in the northwestern region of the United States. It is the fourteenth largest state, but it is also the twelfth least populous and the seventh least densely populated state. Idaho has gorgeous scenery, friendly people, and a reputation for gemstones, and many untouched wilderness areas.
Idaho has many different types of places to choose from when you're deciding where to live. There are rural areas, several small towns, tight-knit communities, suburbs, and large cities. Generally, the living is more slow-paced and laid back no matter where you choose to live.
People move to Idaho for the small town, friendly attitude and the multitude of recreational activities. Idaho's many parks, mountain ranges, and lakes are a big positive for people who want to have the bigger city experience, but can still get away and enjoy themselves in a more rural setting.
On the other hand, people move out of Idaho because they want a more fast-paced lifestyle and a chance at higher paying jobs. Even the biggest city in Idaho barely ranks in the top 100 cities in the United States. The cost of living may also be putting people off as it is higher than the national average.
People who want to get out of the bigger cities and want a more laid-back pace are the ones who find the area attractive. As of 2016, Idaho ranked as the third fastest growing state in the nation, and around one in four people who move to Idaho are from California. There are also three top universities located in Idaho, and this helps to draw a younger college crowd.
The real estate market in Idaho is recovering nicely from the housing market crash. It is now above the point where it was prior to the housing prices plunging. The market didn't show many signs that it was in trouble until the start of 2007. Prior to that, the market had been on a very steep and fast climb. Once 2007 came, the market hit a sharp plateau, and this varies widely from what it was doing before. This plateau continued from the start of 2007 until the start of 2008, and the start of 2008 saw Idaho's housing market peak one last time.
After this final peak, the market went into a free fall. The last three months of 2008 brought one more short plateau before the market started plunging. The market continued to fall until the middle of 2011 when it hit it's lowest point. From its lowest point, the market went sharply upward until the end of 2011 when it fell again. The beginning of 2012 saw the market hit another low point before it began sharply climbing up once again.
This steep upward climb is still happening, and 2015 saw a minor peak and plateau. This rise has continued into 2017. However, it is important to note that the housing market didn't hit its pre-housing market crash prices until the start of 2017. That shows you how far the market fell.
Boise also had a hard fall during the housing market crash, but it did deviate slightly from Idaho as a whole. Boise's housing market didn't start to climb rapidly until 2005, but once 2005 came, the market went to historic highs by 2007. It peaked in 2007 and then it experienced a huge fall. Boise had slight peaks in 2009 and 2010, but the market continued to fall swiftly. By the time Boise's housing market hit its lowest point in 2011, the housing market was back to prices it hadn't seen since the middle of 2001.
Once Boise's housing market hit its lowest point, it began to climb at a fairly rapid pace. It hasn't gone through any major setbacks, and there have been a few short lulls. The end of 2011 to the middle of 2012 saw a very slight lull, and this recovered into a slight peak in 2013. Since then, Boise's housing market has continued to climb, and it's currently above where it was before the housing market crashed.
The early 1990s saw the beginning of a steady climb for Idaho's real estate market. In 1993 and 1994, the market had two slight peaks that quickly leveled off, and it continued its steady rise. In the start of 1996, the market peaked and plateaued until the end of the year. It dropped off slightly until 1999 when it dropped slightly once again.
From 2000 to 2004, the real estate market began to pick up steam slightly, and it saw a slightly quicker increase. As soon as 2004 began, the real estate market took off, and it went into a very rapid steep climb. This climb continued until the housing market hit its first peak in 2007.
Boise's real estate market had a slightly different historic real estate trend. From 1990 to 1995, the market began an unsteady climb with several peaks and drops. The end of 1995 and the start of 1996 saw another slight push that raised the market slightly. This pattern continued through the early 2000s until the start of 2005. Once 2005 came, the market shot up and an extremely quick pace. This steep increase experienced a slight slow down by the end of 2006, but it rose slight more to hit its final peak in 2007.
The homeownership rate across the state has fluctuated between 68% and 75% over the past 30 years. From a 1990 bottom of 68.4% ownership rose throughout most of the 1990s to 72.6% in 1998. Ownership then fell in 1999 to 70.3% before rising to a peak of 75.5% in 2009. After the Great Recession ownership fell to a low of 69.6% in 2014 before rising to 70.5% in 2016.
|ID Rank||US Rank||Metropolitan Area||2016 Pop||2010 Pop||Change||% △|
|4||304||Logan, UT-ID Metro Area||136,159||125,442||10,717||8.54%|
|7||515||Lewiston, ID-WA Metro Area||62,675||60,888||1,787||2.93%|
|8||570||Ontario, OR-ID Micro Area||53,465||53,936||-471||-0.87%|
|14||772||Jackson, WY-ID Micro Area||34,151||31,464||2,687||8.54%|
Idaho is a state that has several thriving cities, and more people are being drawn to them each year for the more laid-back feel and the diverse job industry.
Boise is the largest state in Idaho, and it is also the state's capital. The population as of 2016 was 223,154 people, and this population makes it the ninety-ninth largest city the nation. It is also part of the Boise-Nampa Metropolitan area that spans 5 counties and is nicknamed Treasure Valley. As of 2016, this metropolitan area had a population of 691,423 people, and this population makes this metro the third most populous in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.
Boise City, or Boise for short, was described as one of the finest growing cities to live, in the United States by The “US News And World Report”in 2009. Boise best features mentioned were it's gorgeous mountain scenery, along with the Boise State University.
Boise has also been known as the “Real West” by an article published in the “National Geographic-Adventure” because of it's hiking trails, ski resorts and river kayaking. The downtown offers quite a wide range of restaurants and Boise has a cost of living that is affordable for most people.
Several major companies have their headquarters in Boise, and this helps to support and sustain the local economy. Healthcare, manufacturing, technology, and education make of the largest sectors of the economy. The high-tech industry and investment have also begun to gain traction in this economy as well as call centers. Additionally, the city has a thriving airmail and airport system that descends directly from United Airlines.
The semi-arid continental climate that defines this city has four distinct seasons. Residents and visitors usually experience very hot and dry summers running from June through August with temperatures in the low-90s. The humidity level is lower, and rainfall is moderate. The winter months are usually snowy and cold with temperatures ranging in the upper 20s to low 30s from December through February.
Boise is characterized as a regional hub for indie music, jazz, and theater with dozens of festivals, museums, and performances going on year round. There are also several major tourist attractions located in and around the city that draws a steady stream of tourist year-round. The Gene Harris Jazz Festival is hosted by the city each spring. If you travel just outside of the city limits, you can visit the World Center for Birds of Prey. The Boise Zoo features over 200 different animals and over 80 different species. If you like sports, there are several sports teams and stadiums to visit throughout the city including the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
The Boise School District is a large public school district that is home to 31 elementary schools, eight junior highs, five high schools, and two specialty schools. For secondary education, students can attend Boise State University or there are a wide range of technical schools and community colleges. The University of Idaho has a satellite campus in this city, or students can attend the Concordia University School of Law. Both Micron and Hewlett-Packard are major employers and a boost to the local economy.
The top three employers each come from a different economic sector, and the largest employer in the city is St. Luke's Health Systems with over 8,400 employees. The second-largest employer comes from the technology sector of the economy, and Micron Technology employs over 6,700 people. The third-largest employer comes from the education sector, and Boise State University currently employs over 4,700 people.
Boise's economy is currently very stable and strong. The unemployment rate is well below the national average, and in the past year, the economy has had over a 3% growth. The future also looks bright as Boise is projected to add over 40% more jobs in the next ten years.
The local median home price in Boise is hovering around $227,800 with the price per square foot right around $157. These prices have increased over 12.7% in the past year, and they're on track to increase another 5.7% in the coming year. The local median home price for the Boise Metro area is $267,772 with a price per square foot of $138.
The city of Meridian is the second-largest city in the state of Idaho, and as of 2016, it had a population of 95,623 people. As of 2016, this city was ranked as the fastest-growing city in Idaho, and it is located in Ada County. The city has a generally flat design with several irrigation canals crisscrossing through it.
Meridian has a diverse economy with several large companies keeping their headquarters here. This diverse company base allows for a lot of flexibility with the different smaller companies that are also found here. Meridian has also been named one of the best cities to start a business.
The climate that you'll find here is classified as being semi-arid with four distinct seasons. The summer months from June through August are typically very hot and dry with temperatures reaching up into the high-90s and low-100s. The winter months run from December through February and temperatures usually stay in the low-30s. Spring and fall are usually more temperate and don't experience wild temperature fluctuations.
Meridian is a city that is devoted to outdoor parks and recreational activities as well as museums and cultural events. Visitors and residents can take in a performance by the Meridian Symphony Orchestra. There are 17 parks located in and around the city, and the Eagle Island State Park is an excellent place to hike, fish, and ride horses. Additionally, every Thursday from May to September you can attend the Meridian Urban Market and sample various foods and visit the huge farmers market.
The West Ada School District can be found in Meridian, and it currently has over 35,000 students enrolled. There are two different colleges and universities located in this city, and students can choose from Broadview University or the University of Phoenix-Idaho Campus.
The economy is very diverse in this city, and the largest employer is the corporate headquarters of Scentsy with over 1,000 employees. The second-largest employer found here is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Idaho, and they employ over 950 people. Finally, the third-largest employer in the city is the Idaho State Police Academy with over 500 employees.
The local economy is very strong in this city, and the unemployment rate is well below the national average. Additionally, there has also been over a 3% growth in the number of available jobs. This trend is on track to continue because Meridian is projected to add over 40% more jobs in the next ten years.
The local median home price in this city is $239,700, and this represents over a 10% increase in the past year. The price per square foot is $139, and both of these prices are projected to rise another 4.4% in the coming year.
Nampa is the third-largest city in Idaho with a population of 91,382 as of 2016. This city is also apart of and the second principal city in the Boise-Nampa Metropolitan area. This metro area had a population 691,423 people as of 2016, and it is the third most populous metro in the nation's Pacific Northwest Region. You'll find this city 20 miles from Boise and six miles from Meridian.
The local economy relies on the education sector, the retail sector, and the healthcare sector for support, but it is currently thriving. This diverse economy can be the perfect spot for many people to start businesses, and there are dozens of smaller shops, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants spread throughout the city.
This city has a semi-arid climate with four distinct seasons and wild variations in temperatures from the summer to winter months. The summer months are very hot and dry with temperatures in the mid-90s from June through September. The winter months are very cold and snowy, and the temperatures stay in the upper 20s to the low 30s from December through the start of March. Spring and fall are temperate and usually feature temperatures in the mid-50s.
You'll find an entire complex dedicated to various entertainment venues in this city along with dozens of outdoor recreational activities and parks to explore. The Ford Idaho Center has a 10,500-seat amphitheater that has hosted concerts, track and field, and sporting events. Lakeview Park is one of the largest outdoor parks in the city, and it is the perfect place to camp, hike, and swim. The Nampa Recreation Center has six pools, three gymnasiums, a track, and various weight-lifting equipment.
There are 15 elementary schools, four middle schools, and four high schools in the Nampa School District with over 10,000 students. There are also two different secondary education colleges in this town. Students can attend Northwest Nazarene University or they can attend the College of Western Idaho.
The largest employer in Nampa is the Northwest Nazarene University and they have over 3,000 staff members. The second largest employer in the city is the Nampa School District with over 2,000 employees. Finally, the third-largest employer is St. Luke's Nampa Medical Center with over 1,200 employees.
The local economy is currently stable and strong. It has an unemployment rate that is below the national average, and it also had an over 2% job growth in the past year. The economy is looking like it may become even stronger in the coming years as it is projected to add over 40% more jobs.
The local median housing market price in Nampa is currently around $167,200 with a price per square foot of $118. These prices have increased over 13% in the past year, and they're on track to increase another 5.5% in the coming year. The local median home price for the Boise Metro area is $267,772 with a price per square foot of $138.
Idaho Falls claims the title of the fourth-largest city in the state of Idaho with a population of 60,211 people as of 2016. This city is also the largest city in Eastern Idaho, and it is part of the Idaho Falls Metropolitan area. The population of this metro is 142,572, and this number makes it the third largest metro in Idaho. Idaho Falls has been rated as 1 of the top 100 cities to live, in a 2009 report published by RelocateAmerica. This report focused on it's close access to major national parks, including Yellowstone, local outdoor recreation areas, natural waterfalls and wide ranging rural land.
This city is an important regional hub for healthcare, business, and travel for eastern Idaho. Originally, the economy focused heavily on the agricultural industry, but it moved away from this with the National Reactor Testing Station opening. Currently, the city's economy has started shifting toward retail, call centers, healthcare, and entertainment.
You'll experience a semi-arid climate when you're in this city. June through August are the hottest summer months with temperatures sitting around the mid-90s. It cools off quickly in September and October before going into the winter months. December through February are usually the coldest months with temperatures staying around the low-30s. Spring is slightly wetter and warmer with temperatures in the mid-60s.
Idaho Falls worked hard to establish itself as the region's cultural destination, and it has been ranked as one of the best cities to raise a family. There are several art centers and museums scattered throughout the city, and there are several National Parks that draw thousands of tourists each year. The Museum of Idaho showcases local history and artifacts. Yellowstone Park is less than 2 hours away and is a large tourist attraction, and there is world-class fishing opportunities on the Snake River.
The Idaho Falls School District serves the majority of the city, and they have over 10,000 students enrolled. There are a few secondary education opportunities to be had in this city as well including the College of Eastern Idaho and the Stevens-Henager College.
The city is also growing because of the Idaho National Laboratory nuclear research facility center. This large complex provides a lot of high tech jobs, keeps unemployment low and living costs are very inexpensive. Idaho Falls is also known as the 6th best microcity for the future by the “Foreign Direct Investment” magazine in April of 2009. The largest employer in Idaho Falls is the Idaho National Laboratory and this huge 890-acre complex employs over 4,000 people. The second-largest employer in the city is Meleleuca Inc., and they employ over 1,600 people. Finally, the third-largest employer is the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center with 1,400 staff.
The economy is currently strong with the unemployment rate below the national average. In addition to this low unemployment rate, there was also job growth in the recent year over 3%. The economy is on track to continue to improve over the next ten years as they're projected to add 40% more jobs into the local economy.
The local median home price in Idaho Falls is $151,100 with a price per square foot of $90. These numbers have increased by over 10% in the past year, and they're supposed to go up at least another 6.4% in the coming year. The local median home price of the Idaho Falls Metro is currently at $209,900 with a price per square foot of $95.
The fifth-largest city in Idaho is Coeur d'Alene with a population of 50,285 people as of the 2016 census. Coeur d'Alene is part of the larger Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan area, and as of 2016, it has a combined population of 154,311 which makes it the second-largest metro area in Idaho. It is also the largest city in the Idaho Panhandle, and it is commonly referred to as “Lake City.”
This city is the leader and a regional hub for healthcare, manufacturing, media, retail, and recreation for northern Idaho. Several mining companies have their headquarters based here, and the wide variation of employers make this economy very diverse and strong.
You'll experience a dry summer continental climate when you visit this city. This climate classification typically has cold, moist winter months and very warm, dry summer months. July and August are the hottest and driest summer months with temperatures around the low-80s. December and January are usually the coldest months with temperatures staying in the low 30s. This city also averages 70 inches of snowfall per winter.
This city hosts several events and festivals every year, and there are dozens of museums, music venues, and parks to visit. Every June, the city hosts Car d' Alene, which is a classic car show. Golf enthusiasts flock to this city because the Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course is ranked as one of the best in the nation. Finally, the city hosts Art on the Green every August to showcase local talent and craft shows.
The Coeur d'Alene School District #271 is a large public school district that is home to 10 elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools, and 10,000 students. There are two colleges located in this city, and students can attend North Idaho College or they can go to The Beauty Institute – Schwarzkopf Professional.
The biggest employer in Coeur d'Alene is a publishing and tourism company called Hagadone Corporation, and it has over 2,500 employees. The second-largest employer is Kootenai Medical Center with over 1,500 staff members. Finally, the third-largest employer in the city is the Coeur d'Alene School District #271 with over 500 staff members.
This city's economy is stable, and it currently has an unemployment rate that is under the national average. It had a recent growth in its available jobs by 2%, and this trend is showing an increase going forward. In the next ten years, the local economy is projected to get over 40% more jobs.
The local median home price in this city is around $251,100 with a price per square foot of $171. These figures have increased by 12.1% in the past year, with a projected increase of over 3%. The Coeur d'Alene Metro has a local median home price of $347,864 with a price per square foot of $161.
Eagle is one of the fastest growing cities across the state, with the local population increasing 24.5% between 2010 and 2016. The city is a Boise suburb located 8 miles west of the city & currently has 24,785 residents. Real estate is well above the state or national average, with a median home value of $369,300. Currently local real estate is valued similarly to where it was in the 2008 peak, but during the Great Recession local prices across the city fell by about 1/3. The city hosts a park offering many activities and is well known for offering great educational opportunities for young kids.
As of July 1, 2016 the state of Idaho has an estimated population of 1,683,140 across 82,643.12 mi² yielding a population density of 20.37 people per mi² across the state.
The following table highlights the July 1, 2016 populations of cities, towns & Census Designated Places (CDP) based on United States Census Bureau estimates. For Census Designated Places (CDP) where there was no population estimate available for 2016 the 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates data was used.
All table columns are sortable. Click on the column headers to sort by that column. Click again to sort low to high. Cities with higher levels of population growth typically see the increased demand drive faster real estate price appreciation.
|Rank||Geography||County||2016 Pop||2010 Pop||Change||% △||Land mi²||Pop Den mi²|
|5||Pocatello||Bannock & Power||54,746||54,255||491||0.90%||32.22||1,699.13|
|8||Twin Falls||Twin Falls||48,260||44,125||4,135||9.37%||18.1||2,666.30|
|22||Burley||Cassia & Minidoka||10,464||10,345||119||1.15%||6.12||1,709.80|
|23||Star||Ada & Canyon||8,375||5,793||2,582||44.57%||5.82||1,439.00|
|Fort Hall CDP||Bannock & Bingham||3,336||3,201||135||4.22%||35.06||95.15|
|Mountain Home AFB CDP||Elmore||3,190||3,238||-48||-1.48%||9.91||321.90|
|Hidden Springs CDP||Ada||2,336||2,280||56||2.46%||2.52||926.98|
|Robie Creek CDP||Boise||1,487||1,162||325||27.97%||30.09||49.42|
|72||Kamiah||Lewis & Idaho||1,292||1,295||-3||-0.23%||1.08||1,196.30|
|Arbon Valley CDP||Power||715||599||116||19.37%||34.03||21.01|
|109||Ririe||Jefferson & Bonneville||643||656||-13||-1.98%||0.49||1,312.24|
|136||Lava Hot Springs||Bannock||412||407||5||1.23%||0.68||605.88|
|Bennington CDP||Bear Lake||286||190||96||50.53%||6.34||45.11|
|Rockford Bay CDP||Kootenai||213||184||29||15.76%||3.78||56.35|
|Garden Valley CDP||Boise||211||394||-183||-46.45%||7.4||28.51|
|Sweetwater CDP||Nez Perce||200||143||57||39.86%||1.19||168.07|
|De Smet CDP||Benewah||174||175||-1||-0.57%||0.96||181.25|
|Elk City CDP||Idaho||174||202||-28||-13.86%||2.51||69.32|
|173||Fernan Lake Village||Kootenai||174||169||5||2.96%||0.07||2,485.71|
|Smiths Ferry CDP||Valley||162||75||87||116.00%||1.85||87.57|
|180||St. Charles||Bear Lake||141||131||10||7.63%||0.63||223.81|
|Yellow Pine CDP||Valley||82||32||50||156.25%||0.98||83.67|
|Conkling Park CDP||Kootenai||60||43||17||39.53%||1.04||57.69|
Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
Release Date: May 2017.
Idaho doesn't use mortgages. Instead, it uses a “Trust Of Deed”. This provides the same kind of security as a mortgage does. However, instead of two legal parties, this is an agreement between three parties, namely a borrower, a lender, along with an impartial trustee. The borrower puts the real property's legal title into the temporary possession of the trustee, in trade for the loan. The trustee, called the beneficiary, holds it for the lender's benefit.
As of 2020 the conforming loan limit across the United States is set to $510,400, with a ceiling of 150% that amount in areas where median home values are higher. Here are conforming limits in HERA high-cost areas and across the rest of the state.
|County Name||Metropolitan Designation||1 Unit||2 Unit||3 Unit||4 Unit|
|All Others||All Other Areas||$510,400||$653,550||$789,950||$981,700|
Loans above these limits are considered jumbo loans. Jumbo loans typically have a slightly higher rate of interest than conforming mortgages, though spreads vary based on credit market conditions.
Idaho offers several types of mortgage loans that use conservative risks based on home values. Fixed-rate loans are very common, and the terms include thirty, twenty, fifteen, and ten years. The longer the life of the mortgage, the lower the monthly payment will be, which is why the 30-year loan is the most popular. The downside of this, however, is that the APR is higher compared to shorter-term loans. The difference can be as large as a full percentage point.
In addition to conventional 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, lenders offer a wide variety of adjustable rate mortgages (ARM’s). While these instruments have lost some of their attractiveness during the recession, there are still circumstances where they offer the only way for a borrower to qualify. Properly structured (that is, with strict limits on how much the rate can fluctuate), such loans are still a legitimate way for borrowers to purchase a home and start building equity while establishing their credit so as to qualify for conventional loans upon the ARM’s expiration. These loans provide interest rates that fluctuate, as the name implies. The APR is usually fixed for an initial term, such as three, five, seven or ten years. Then the rate adjusts depending on the performance of a referenced index rate, usually once per year; but it can change more frequently. The loan agreement may state in detail how frequently the APR can change, and it may also include a rate cap to prevent large changes.
Balloon mortgages are another route for aspiring homeowners. Balloon mortgages are when a large portion of the borrowed principle is repaid in a single payment at the end of the loan period. Balloon loans are not common for most residential buyers, but are more common for commercial loans and people with significant financial assets.
A few lenders in the Gem State offer interest-only loans, but usually only for periods of three years. These are mortgages where payments are applied only to interest for a period of time. The loan's principal isn't paid down, so the monthly payments are very low. The low monthly payments only lasts a few years, however. Typically, it's about three years. After this period, monthly payments spike because the loan's principal hasn't been reduced & the remainder of the loan must be paid off in a compressed period of time. For example, on a 3 year IO 30-year loan, the first 3 years are interest only payments, then the loan principal must be paid in full in the subsequent 27 years.
When qualifying for a loan, a credit score of 720 or better can help secure a favorable loan. Some mortgage lenders in the Boise area have approved borrowers with credit scores around 640. The best rates and deals will be obtained with a score above 740. There is a lot of competition among lenders, and this environment can create nice perks for borrowers. For example, some banks will offer special deals on closing costs for borrowers who qualify. The cost might be added to the mortgage or the bank will pay the closing costs but add a few basis points to the APR.
A debt-to-income ratio of 40% and a down payment of 20% are what most banks want to see on a home loan application. They will accept worse numbers, but fees and APR's could go up as a result. Also, a down payment of less than 20% typically results in required mortgage insurance. This down payment requirement does not apply for Federal assistance programs such as FHA, in which applicants can have a lower credit score and income but still receive financing.
The piggyback loan is another type of mortgage which is simply two mortgages in one. The piggyback loan can eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance by covering 80% of the home's value with the first loan, while the second loan helps to pay for part of the down payment.
Prospective home buyers who don't find what they're looking for at one of the state's private banks may want to take a look at some of the mortgage options the federal government offers. One of them is the loan program at the Veterans Administration, which provides mortgages with zero down. On top of that great deal, VA loans do not require private mortgage insurance. The agency does, however, charge a funding fee, and this varies from 1.2% to 3.3%. Making a voluntary down payment will reduce this charge. And in case you're wondering, yes you do have to be a qualified veteran to get one of these unbeatable deals.
If you're not a vet, you may want to consider the Federal Housing Administration's home loan services. The FHA offers loans to people who have a credit score of at least 580 and who can put at least 3.5% down. The government agency also offers mortgages for lower credit scores, but it requires more money down with these loans.
USDA loans can help people with low incomes in rural parts of the state qualify for a subsidized low-interest loan. Given the low population density throughout most of the state, most areas qualify.
The state of Idaho offers programs specially designed to help low to moderately low-income applicants get approved for and afford a mortgage.
Idaho's Good Credit Rewards
The Good Credit Rewards program is a down payment and closing cost assistance program. Eligible applicants get this funding in the form of a 10-year second mortgage. This second mortgage has an interest rate that is usually 2% above the Idaho Housing's standard interest rate.
Applicants for this program will have to meet certain eligibility guidelines and criteria to apply. The eligibility requirements may vary from county to county, so it is a good idea to check with your local office. The eligibility requirements are:
Idaho Bond Loan
This state-sponsored program allows potential home buyers to get a mortgage loan with interest rates below the conventional rates from the Idaho Housing Authority. You can combine these bonds with a FHA, USDA, or Conventional home loan. You have to occupy the property as your primary residence, and you should plan to stay at least nine years.
As always, this program varies from state to state, so it is a good idea to find a local agency and have them give you the exact eligibility requirements. The general eligibility requirements are as follows:
Be sure to look for city and county-level programs as many localities also have assistance programs. For example, the City of Boise lists their programs here.
Most of Idaho has a moderate earthquake risk. The southern part of the state and the eastern portion of the state near the border with Montana and Wyoming have a high to very high risk. Here are the counties with an earthquake risk above medium.
very high earthquake risk: Bannock, Bear Lake, Beaverhead , Boise, Bonneville, Camas, Caribou, Clark, Custer, Franklin, Fremont, Lemhi, Madison, Oneida, Teton, Valley
Standard rental and homeowner insurance policies typically do not cover earthquake damage, though they usually cover losses caused by fires which resulted from an earthquake. You can supplement your homeowner's insurance with an earthquake policy.
Homeowner's insurance policies typically do not cover flooding. Most of the state of Idaho is considered to have a very low to low flooding risk. The following counties have a moderate flooding risk: Bannock, Ada & Canyon. Shoshone county has a very high flooding risk.
Home buyers with mortgages in high-risk areas are required to buy flood insurance. Most flood insurance policies are sold by the United States federal government through The National Flood Insurance Program. Under-priced flood insurance in high-risk areas act as a subsidy to wealthy homeowners.
The NFIP does not charge nearly enough to cover the expected costs of its liabilities. The assessments are not sufficient to build any buffer to cover an extraordinary year, such as what occurred with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Because homeowners don't incur the full cost of building in a flood zone we end up with more houses there than if homeowners incurred the full cost of the flood risk, which exacerbates the government's costs in the next disaster.
Homeowners who live in lower risk areas & are not required to purchase flood insurance heavily cross-subsidize homeowners who are in areas where floods are more common.
Idaho property taxes run below the national average, as the median local property was assessed at a property tax rate of 1.08% in 2016, compared to the national average of 1.24%. Below average property prices combine with the low rate, leading to an average annual assessment of $2,415. This price works out to around 2.22% of the property owner's yearly income. Blain County collects the highest property taxes each year, and Custer County collects the lowest property taxes each year.
In Idaho, the Homestead Protection Laws were put into place to help any homeowner that was forced to file bankruptcy due to death, divorce, medical emergency, or disability. Almost every state has a form of these laws, but what a homeowner can and can't claim as homestead varies wildly.
As long as your homestead is your primary residence, creditors are not allowed to take it to satisfy your debts. In Idaho, a homeowner can claim up to $100,000 worth of their property as a homestead. This includes all homes, land, mobile homes, cars, and personal possessions. Additionally, Idaho does not allow married couples to double up on this amount.
In Idaho, a deed of trust loan gives lenders a choice of using a judicial with recourse or non-judicial without recourse foreclosure procedure.
Idaho is considered to be a recourse state, and this means that if a property is foreclosed on and the mortgage lender falls short when they sell or auction the property, they can file a lawsuit against the defaulted homeowner to obtain the money they didn't get from the sale of the property.
Idaho practices both judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures, and it favors nonjudicial foreclosures over judicial ones. Most foreclosures take around 150 days from start to finish, but this can be delayed for a number of reasons.
When the foreclosure process starts in Idaho, a trustee is assigned to give the borrower three different types of notice before the home can sell in a foreclosure auction. Those three documents are as follows:
Notice of Default
The Notice of Default is the first notice a trustee will record at the county recorder's office. This officially starts the foreclosure process, and the trustee will mail a copy to the borrower's home.
Notice to Request Loan Modification
The Notice to Request Loan Modification is the second document that is required to be sent to the borrower with the Notice of Default. The Request notice will have a form attached that the borrower can fill out and return to request a loan modification. If the borrower chooses to return the form, the mortgage lender has 45 days to respond in writing.
Notice of Sale
The third document is the Notice of Sale. Once the trustee has recorded the Notice of Default, they must mail a Notice of Sale to the defaulted borrower. This must be done 120 days prior to the sale date. Additionally, the trustee has to do these three things before the sale can go through:
Additionally in Idaho, a borrower can reinstate the loan before the foreclosure sale is finalized. The borrower will get 115 days to the date of the Notice of Default recording date to pay all of their behind payments and reinstate their mortgage.
Check out the following resources to learn more about the Idaho real estate market.
US 10-year Treasury rates have recently fallen to all-time record lows due to the spread of coronavirus driving a risk off sentiment, with other financial rates falling in tandem. Homeowners who buy or refinance at today's low rates may benefit from recent rate volatility.
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