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What to know about renting and buying in the Treasure Valley's hot housing market

According to data by Apartment List, the average rent for a two-bedroom in Boise was $1,297 in June 2021, up from $797 in January of 2017.

BOISE, Idaho — With the median home sale price in Ada County surpassing $525,000 in June, many Idahoans are struggling to buy a home. Others are struggling just to pay rent.

Some potential home buyers are offering more than $25,000 just for the chance of being considered for a home. Others are skipping home inspections and finding disasters later on.

Dave Petso, a certified financial planner with Petso Financial, advises people to avoid buying during a red-hot housing market, much like the Treasure Valley is in now.

"Number one, if you're not in a stable job and you just don't know if you're going to stay in the Boise area," Petso explained, "you don't know what your housing situation might be, what your needs are going down the road, there are a number of reasons why you want something you can hand the keys back."

Michael Mulconery recently experienced, first-hand, what it was like to sell a home and buy another one during this housing market. Now his daughter, who is looking to rent, is struggling to find an affordable option.

"She wanted to rent and it was so expensive that she couldn't do it, it was 12 to 15-hundred dollars just for a small apartment," Mulconery said.

According to data by Apartment List, the average rent for a two-bedroom in Boise in June 2021 was $1,297, up from $797 in January of 2017. In June 2021, the average rent for a two-bedroom in Ada County costs $1,303, an increase from $791 in January 2017.

For those considering purchasing a home, Petso recommends not just saving up for a down payment but also saving a reserve, or nest egg, to pull funds from when unexpected expenses pop up.

"If you're not really good at swinging a hammer, you have to hire all that stuff to get it done," he said. "Homeownership is far from free, it is very expensive to keep it maintained."

The National Association of Realtors found that a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in Ada County costs an average of a little more than $1,500 per month. Last year, it cost about $1,300. In Canyon County, the average mortgage runs about $1,030 per month.

"Please try to be patient, I know you want to get started and you're afraid you'll never be able to buy a house, but be sure you can afford it and can afford any repairs coming right after you own it," Petso said.

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