Greg Johnston Real Estate Blog Pocatello Idaho Real Estate Information


First time home buyers making a comeback

A recent report published by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) has shown that the first time home buyer market has picked up significantly. In the past few years the market for first time buyers has been sluggish both nationally and locally. This is due to the economy in general and the fact that many of the "great" first time home buyer loans were taken away several years ago. The NAR study says that 32% of all recent home sales have been to first time home buyers (the majority under the age of 32). That is by far the largest segment in the market.

The first time home buyer market is making a come back. So, how does this affect you? 1- If you have a home under $100,000 that you would like to sell, we may have the buyer. 2- If you know of anyone who is renting a home, great first time home buyer loan programs are back. There are low-down payment and zero-down payment loans available. They need to take advantage of this and buy a home now. The busy spring real estate market is here. Now is the time to buy and sell. Give me a call with any questions you have about buying or selling a home.


Pocatello Storage Units for sale

One popular real estate investment is storage units. They are popular because of the ease of owning them. Compared to residential apartments, this simple building is very low maintainance. No plumbing repairs. Ne electrical repairs. It is very easy to manage. Do you know of anyone who may have an interest in buying storage units in Pocatello, Idaho? I have a building with 93 units for sale at a price of $300,000. Having been built in 2010, they are still in excellent condition. The monthly rent when fully occupied is $3,210. The other good news is that there is an assumable first mortgage on the building. That will make financing much easier for a new buyer. I can give you all the terms.

93 Storage units – newly built in 2010. Lot size is .56 Acres.

5 units measure 5’X5’ and rent for $20 per month each 4 out of 5 are rented now.
60 units measure 5’X10’ and rent for $30 per month each 50 of the 60 are rented.
5 units measure 5’X15’ and rent for $35 per month each 4 out of 5 are rented.
18 units measure 10’X10’ and rent for $45 per month each All 18 are rented now.
5 units measure 10’X20’ and rent for $65 per month each 4 of the 5 are rented.

Total rents when fully occupied is $3,210 per month, $38,520 annually.

If you have an interest in investing in storage units, call Greg Johnston, Realtor, at 208-232-9041.


2014 Pocatello Idaho real estate market statistics

2014 went by fast, didn't it? I can not believe it is 2015 already. At the end of every year I compile real estate statistics for the Pocatello area including Bannock County. The year end statistics give us a good indication of what is happening right now and help us to predict what may happen this year. Here are some of the important statistics:

At the end of 2014 there are only 359 single family homes listed for sale on the Pocatello Multiple Listing Service (MLS). That is a big decrease in listings from both last year (429 homes at the end of 2013) and last quarter (509 homes at the end of September). Less competition is a good thing for home sellers. It also helps home values to begin to appreciate. Home values did increase in 2014. The average price was $151,690 in 2013 and up to $157,996 in 2014. That is a 4% gain. 4% really is a good figure. We like to see home values appreciating.

In 2014 we had 888 single family home sales reported on the MLS. That is up 3% from the 861 sales in 2013. So, we had more homes sell and at a higher average price. That is a good sign for Pocatello, Idaho's economy.

New homes remain popular. 55 new homes sold in 2014 compared to 50 in 2013. Some larger new homes have been built and sold. The average new home price is $226,817 up from $196,196 last year. Larger homes being sold is another signal of an improving real estate market. There are a few subdivisions with available building lots for sale. However, we do not have as many as we need. In 2014 we only had 33 lots sold on MLS, down dramatically from the 107 sold the year before. Watch out for prices on bare ground to go up since there are only 57 lots for sale on the MLS. Many of the new homes sold are owned by developer/builders and not part of the MLS reported sales.

Real estate investor interest remained consistent. We saw 45 multi-family units sell in 2014 compared to 41 in 2013. Right now we have 50 on the market for sale, almost equal to 53 listed at this time last year.

To summarize, the Pocatello, Idaho real estate market is improving at a good pace. We like to see 3-4% increase in sales and home values. We should be on pace to experience similar growth in 2015, although a few new businesses in Pocatello and American Falls could cause a demand for housing. If that happens we will see higher home sales, higher home values, and lower inventories as investors buy homes to rent and resale later. If you have any questions about Pocatello, Idaho real estate please contact Greg Johnston, REALTOR, with Keller Williams Realty East Idaho at 208-232-9041.

Click on this link to get a copy of the 2014 Market Statistics.


Greg Johnston Real Estate on FaceBook

Are you a big FaceBook user? I now have a FaceBook page for Pocatello real estate. It is my business page that will have additional information on homes for sale, real estate commentary, and community events. It will not have as much detailed and in-depth information as this blog, but will have shorter postings about new listings that can be shared with others more easily. The longer write ups will continue to be featured on this blog.

To view the page go to

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Rockwell Homes is building new homes in Pocatello

I am the exclusive listing agent in Pocatello for Rockwell Homes, the largest home builder in Southeast Idaho. Right now we have eight new homes under construction that will be complete between mid-December 2014 and early April 2015. The prices range from $144,900 to $196,000. Each home is in Brookstone Subdivision in Chubbuck. Rockwell builds a lot of square footage for the price. Each home has at least a 2 car garage. Contact me if you want to discuss having Rockwell Homes build a new home for you or someone you know. I can show you floor plans, building lots, upgrade options, homes under construction, and pictures of recently completed homes they built. They have more than 1,000 satisfied customers thrilled with the new home they had built. Let me show you why Rockwell Homes is Southeast Idaho's #1 home builder. You will be impressed. Call Greg Johnston, Realtor, at 208-232-9041.


Pocatello Idaho Night Lights Parade

Happy Thanksgiving! Mark your calendars for the annual Night Lights Parade the day after Thanksgiving in Pocatello, Idaho. On Friday, November 28th, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. This fun parade will go west through the Center Street underpass and then onto North Main Street of Pocatello. It will pass right by my real estate office – Keller Williams Realty at 150 N. Main Street. All of the parade entries will be covered with lights. It is a great way to begin the Christmas season. Santa will arrive and be available to the children. Dress warm. It is a fun parade every year. Arrive early, too. There are always events going on along Main Street and at the Old Town Pocatello pavilion.


Newly built home for sale at 2085 Sunrise Pocatello

I have a new home for sale that was just built by Ed Quinn with Quinn Homes. This home is beautiful. The location is 2085 Sunrise, just off Satterfield Drive in Pocatello, Idaho. The list price is $319,900. It is a large 3,600 square foot home. The main floor has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. The finish work is excellent. The kitchen is a must see! Custom built cabinets, granite counter tops, lots of cabinet space, decorative back splash, hardwood flooring, large pantry, and lots of natural light. There is a large master suite. The walk-in closet is oversized. The master bathroom has a decorative shower with tile shower surround and glass wall. Plus, the master bathroom has a jetted tub. 3 car garage. Gas fireplace. Popular Highland area location. City view. Great curb appeal. Take a look at the interior pictures by clicking on this link for 2085 Sunrise.

If you have an interest, or know anyone looking to purchase a home in Pocatello, Idaho, please call Greg Johnston, Realtor, at 208-232-9041. I would love to show this home to you or talk to you about having a custom home built for you.


Home Pricing vs Activity on Your Home


Timing is extremely important in the real estate market. A property attracts the most attention, excitement and interest from the real estate community and potential buyers when it is first listed. A home has the highest chance of a sale when it is new on the market. This graph illustrates the importance of placing your property on the market at a realistic price and terms from the very beginning. The majority of home sellers will see the most activity on their home the first few weeks it is listed for sale. Why? Because there are buyers waiting for new homes to come on the market. After your home has been for sale for two weeks, you are now waiting for new buyers to enter the market.

Don’t set the price of your home too high, thinking you can reduce it later. As indicated by the chart above, interest peaks when your home is new on the market. Many home sellers say, "We can always come down in price later." That is true, but you may have cost yourself the sale of your home by having it overpriced to begin with. You just missed out on all those buyers! I believe it is human nature to try to get as much out of your home as possible. However, a home sellers goal are first to get it sold and second to get top dollar. Make sure you are accomplishing your main goal by not pricing yourself out of the market.

How can you avoid overpricing your home? The best thing to do is to have me complete a market analysis on your home. A market analysis will show the sold prices of homes that are comparable to yours. Knowing what others have sold for will tell you where to price your home. Be realistic with the price you list your home for. The most frustrating part of selling a home is having it sit on the market and not selling in the time frame you need to. At that time you will take an offer lower than had you priced the home right in the first place. If you are ready to sell your home in Pocatello, Idaho, call Greg Johnston, REALTOR with Keller Williams Realty East Idaho at 232-9041.


Pocatello Home Buying 101

How do you buy a home? Buying a home is a fun process. It does not need to be a stressful decision. Although it is a big change, getting a new home is exciting. It will be your home. Now is the time to get what you want and need. Many people do not buy a home because they think it is too difficult or they do not know where to start. Well, that is where I can help you. As a full-time real estate professional, I can help guide you through the home buying process and help you purchase a home. There are a few steps that you should know before rushing out to buy a home.

The first step in the home buying process is to meet with a lender and get your financing lined up. Some people want to go look at homes first, but that is not the first step. Unless you are paying cash, you need to get your loan lined up before looking at homes. Why is this so important? It is important because we need to know what price of homes to be looking at. The worst thing to do is to go look at homes priced at $150,000, fall in love with one, and then find out from your lender that you only qualify for $100,000. You will be disappointed because now you can not find the home you fell in love with in your price range. Nothing for $100,000 looks good after looking at $150,000 homes. So, save yourself a broken heart and start by finding out what price of a home you can afford. If you need help finding a good mortgage loan officer I can help recommend someone to you.

The second step in buying a home is to come up with a list of what you need in a home and what you want in a home. I know, you want to rush out and look at homes, but that is not the second step, either. Before you rush out to look at a home you need to know what you are looking for. Some people say, "I'll know what I am looking for when I see it." That works for some people with lots of time to look at one hundred homes, but if you know what you are looking for you can narrow down your search and save you a lot of time. Trust me, you do not want to look at one hundred homes. After a while you not be able to tell them apart and think clearly. Having a list of what you need in a home gives your REALTOR guidance to help find your home for you. I mentioned to make a list of what you need and a list of what you want. The list of what you need is a non-negotiable list of features you must have in the home. We will not deviate from this list. We will have it in your new home. The list of what you want are features that we hope to get for you, but if the home does not have it then you would still buy it because it fit your needs list. My experience shows that there is rarely a 100% perfect home for anyone, even if you build it. So, we want to get what you need in the home, and as many things that you want in the home. See, it is important to make this list!

The third step is to go look at homes! Yea! Finally! We get to look at homes! As your REALTOR, I should have a good idea of what you are looking for. As a full time real estate professional I preview many homes almost daily. I know the inventory. I can tell you what is available. I try to narrow down the list of available homes so that I am showing you the best homes available that meet your needs. You do not need to see dozens of homes. You only need one home. If you have accurately described what you are looking for you should be able to find it quickly.

Once you have found the home you want to buy, the next step is to make an offer to the seller. As your REALTOR, I will help you with the paperwork and negotiations. All serious offers should be in writing. It takes about 40 minutes to make a written offer. I will help you with everything. At that time I can give you advice on what a normal offer would be, and explain things that could be negotiated. Don't worry about the paperwork. That is my job. I will take care of all of it for you.

When you have found the offer and negotiated the terms, you have a home under contract. There are only a few other steps to complete prior to closing. You will need to continue to work with your lender to finalize the loan. You have the option to complete any home inspections that you want to. Your lender will require an appraisal to be complete. We also perform a title search to ensure there is nothing recorded against the home that will prevent you from being able to buy it. All of this can be completed within 3-4 weeks from the time your offer is accepted. If it takes just a day or two to find the home, that means you can find a home and move into it in about one month. See, it is simple and does not take very long.

When you are ready to buy a home in the Pocatello, Idaho area, call Greg Johnston, REALTOR, with Keller Williams Realty East Idaho at 208-232-9041.


Old Town Pocatello Trick-or-Treat on Halloween!

This Friday evening, Old Town Pocatello businesses are hosting a business trick-or-treat. Please plan to attend this Friday, October 31st 2014, from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. Participating businesses will have an orange poster in their window or on their door to let you know they are a participating business. Dozens of businesses do participate. Last year well over 1,000 children in costumes participated. The weather should be nice. Plan to attend. Most of the participating businesses are on Main and Arthur Streets, and some are on the side streets in between Main and Arthur. When you are trick-or-treating please stop by my real estate office. Please visit Keller Williams Realty East Idaho at 150 N. Main Street. Come visit on Friday for some candy, and come back next time to let me help you with buying or selling real estate. Greg Johnston, REALTOR

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