How to find your home in North Idaho

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Real Estate

So, you are researching the possibility of relocating to North Idaho.

How do you go about such a huge decision?

Most think the way to get the ball rolling is contact a local real estate agent and ask to see homes.


Looking at homes is one of the LAST things you should do!

Here is how we recommend you get the ball rolling...

We specialize in educating and guiding our clients through each step of the relocation process and we would love to be a resource for you. Most of our relocating clients spend months and even years getting to know the area before they make their decision.

Many come to us wanting to see homes right away and are surprised to learn that we do not show specific homes until we lay some important groundwork first. 

North Idaho is one of the most popular and competitive real estate markets in the country and the decision to jump in requires realistic expectations and a proven strategy. 

Before you move forward, please read:

Facts you must know before you move to North Idaho

We have a Five Step Relocation Process that we have proven with hundreds of clients through their relocation journeys.

Those five steps are:

1)     Buyer Consultation - This is an excellent time to ask your questions about the housing market and anything else important to you as you research the area. This is the time to find out if your expectations are realistic and if we are worth your time as a trusted partner going forward.

The consultation can be done over the phone, Zoom meeting, or in person if/when you are in the area…whichever you prefer.

2)     Tour of the area – Following an initial consultation, if we feel we can help you, we invite you to take a tour of the area with us when you are in the area. This helps you decide WHERE in North Idaho works. A tour takes about four hours. We drive you in our rig and take you through Coeur d'Alene and the surrounding areas of North Idaho that will meet your lifestyle and housing needs. The tour lets you ask your questions in real-time as we explain the prices, culture, economy, amenities, advantages, and disadvantages for each of the area(s) as they relate to your needs. We provide these tours to over 200 clients each year. Like them, you may find the tour foundational in helping you decide if North Idaho is for you and WHERE might work when you are ready. We do not show you inside of homes on the tour. 

3)     Establish “Able and Ready” buyer status – This is where we establish the HOW and WHEN. The strongest buyers, and the agents that represent them, are certain of HOW the home will be or loan? Exactly how much are you able/willing to spend? Who is the lender and what kind of loan will it be? How much money will be put down? Is there cash to cover appraisal gaps? We also need to know WHEN we are going to buy the home. Is there a home to sell first? What is the plan between homes? Do we need to account for school, work, or retirement timetables?

Based on your situation we will develop the best strategy and timing.

Frankly, it is here, Step Three, where you win a home in a multiple bid situation...NOT at Step Five!

4)     Search for the home – Now, after determining WHERE in North Idaho you want to be, HOW you are going to purchase the home, and WHEN home sale contingencies and loan approvals are finalized.... are you ready to look at WHAT homes are available.

As noted earlier, many are surprised to learn we do not show homes until we have laid the groundwork with our clients (through the first three steps above.) “Yes, Kory, we understand that. But we just want to see what our money can buy before going through all those steps.”  

Frankly, we call this putting the cart before the horse.   

Trying to see WHAT you can afford is a futile moving target until you have established WHERE...HOW..and WHEN.

In Summer 2021, the Coeur d’Alene MLS reported the avg price of a home in Kootenai County was 531K, without property. That was a price increase of 45% over the same time the year prior. That means the average home price increase was 20,000 dollars per month! Additionally, the average home sold in less than 11 days !

The only thing for certain when viewing homes is that what you see today will be gone tomorrow and worth more money! Thus, "trying to see what your money can buy" only makes sense when you are ready to buy.

Our experience has taught us that successful buyers will take the time and steps to get one of the most significant decisions of their lives right.

Now that you have put in the hard work, you are ready for the "sexy" part of looking at homes.

5)     Offer/Purchase – you should expect to be in multiple offer situations. You need to be the strongest buyer possible to compete, and having taken the prior four steps, you can be sure your offers will be the strongest they can possibly be.

So, how do you get the ball rolling?

Let's talk...without the pressure of someone trying to sell you a home right away. We firmly believe, if you take the right steps first, you will get to your destination with the most certainty. 

If/when you would like to schedule a consultation over the phone, or have a Zoom meeting with me (Kory), I provide time slots for these on my calendar Mon-Thurs in one-hour increments starting at 5PM and 6PM. 

You can schedule the appointment of your choice on my calendar here.

I look forward to speaking with you,

Kory Martinelli, Owner/Agent/Team Leader