Karolyn PlehalYour Valley County Real Estate Expert

  • Over 25 years at Cascade Lake Realty, Inc.
  • More than 1,000 successful closings
  • Broker’s license and GRI designation (Graduate Realtor Institute)
  • A network of long-established relationships with lenders, title officers, surveyors, septic professionals, excavators, government officials
  • 37 years in Cascade (and love it still). A terrific husband and two grown sons.

Market Comparison, 2006 – 2014

2014 was an interesting year for real estate in Valley County.  It felt like we were finally breaking out of the difficult years of the downturn and moving into a more healthy, prosperous real estate climate.  But when I compiled stats to compare the numbers of properties sold along with the average prices, I discovered that things hadn’t changed as much as it seemed.

From 2013 to 2014 the market in Cascade held at about the same level.  Donnelly saw increases in both the numbers of sales and average prices.  McCall’s sales decreased and the average prices increased. Take a look at this Market Comparison Chart showing all of the numbers from 2006 through 2014.  It looks pretty dry at first glance, but if you spend just a minute I think you’ll find it interesting – maybe even surprising.


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Protect Your Home

Do you have your home on the market? There isn’t any reason to be fearful, but there are a few smart ideas to help you protect yourself and your possessions.

Medicine CabinetRemember that strangers will be entering hour home.  Realtors will monitor the potential buyers as carefully as possible and you can help by removing:

  • Valuables such as jewelry, artwork, special collections
  • Guns
  • Prescription medications

After your property has been shown, it is a good idea to do a quick run-through to be sure that all of the windows and doors have been closed and locked properly.

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Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

P1060903It happens every year, but it is always sad.  Forest fires end up burning so much beautiful countryside, cost a fortune to control, and they put lots of lives and treasured properties in danger.  Monday night a lightning storm blew through igniting 3 fires in the Garden Valley area.  Since then the skies have been filled with smoke and with helicopters – lots of helicopters.

Command Center is set up at the Cascade Airport where helicopters are dispatched with their long cables and dangling water buckets, ready to dip water from the body of water nearest the fire.  It is an amazing thing to watch. Continue reading

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Market Comparison Chart 2006 to 2013

Personally, I don’t trust numbers much.  Averages can be so easily distorted by one exceptionally large or small sale.  But market trends are more trustworthy.  Check out this Market Comparison Chart showing the SOLD data for Valley County since 2006.  It looks like a bunch of dry gibberish at first glance, but a minute of study brings the obvious trending into view.


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The Roxy gets a facelift!

Shiny and New. 3D Movies!!!!

I’ve always thought of The Roxy Theater as one of the truly special gems of Cascade.  Luckily I’m not the only one.  Jason Speer, her owner, has partnered with Mark and Kristina Pickard to breathe new life into this treasure.  Yes, you might recognize the Pickard name.  Mark and Kristina are the benefactors of Kelly’s Whitewater Park here in Cascade – another recent local gem.

The Roxy Theater, which was first built in 1939, is better than ever.  It is new both inside and out, without compromising the plush feel and looks of its original self.  In the past couple of months her exterior has been redone – refurbished sign, freshened stucco and paint, and roof work.  On the inside there is new digital projection, new sound, new heating, new (very fancy) restrooms, AND BRAND NEW SEATS!

Lots of Repairs

This newscast from KTVB is fun to watch   http://www.ktvb.com/news/The-Roxy-189763971.html

Repairs Inside Too

Check The Roxy’s web site for historical photos and movie schedules  http://theroxyidaho.com


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5 Mistakes Sellers Make When Pricing Their Property

Experience tells me that the best chance of selling your property comes in the first two weeks it is listed Realtors are watching for matches for their clients and Buyers are scouring the new listings daily.  If it goes beyond the first couple of weeks, we could be in it for the long haul.

Here are five common mistakes I hear a lot:

1)      Let’s price it high. I can always come downToday’s buyers want the best value, not necessarily the perfect property.  They know the market well and won’t even look if your property is obviously overpriced.

2)      I don’t have to sell.  If that is the case, this is probably not the right time to list your property.  Buyers aren’t just looking for a deal, but a steal!  This is not the right market for unmotivated sellers.

3)      Some foolish rich person will come along.  Seriously, we all know deep down that foolish and rich don’t really belong in the same sentence together.

4)      I’ll consider offers.  This is like standing on the bank fishing with no bait on your hook.  Your overpriced property screams, “I’m not really interested in selling, so don’t bother me.”  (By the way, that IS my favorite way to fish…… )

5)      I want/need enough to pay off my other debt.  For your buyer to get financing there will have to be an appraisal.  So, even if she is willing to pay more than she should, her bank isn’t going to let her.  The price will have to be justified by an appraiser – and believe me, the appraisers are being VERY careful these days.

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Thunder Mountain Days – July 4th!

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July 4th is the biggest weekend of the year here in Cascade.  People come from all over the place to celebrate the small town way.  The parade is always a hoot, the Lion’s BBQ a tasty treat, and the fireworks … Continue reading

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Be prepared to pay more than the asking price!

I saw it again this week – an extremely disappointed client (Bill) who missed out on a great buy.  It was a bank owned house with a listing price just over $97,000.  Bill made a full price cash offer and was sure he’d own his dream cabin soon.  But the bank received three other offers and came back to each buyer asking for his “highest and best” offer price.  We had no idea what the other offers were and Bill was immediately frustrated because “he’d given them exactly what they’d asked for”.  I visited with him about his “disappointment price” (we’ll save that for another blog) and he did raise his offer, but not enough to secure his purchase.

Curious, I did some research on bank owned sales.  In the first 6 months of 2011 there were 159 homes sold in Valley County.  Of the homes sold, 66 (41 percent) were bank owned.  Of the 66 bank owned homes, 19 (29 percent) sold for more than the asking price.  THAT IS A SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE.!

Posted in Buyer Tips, Market Trends | 3 Comments

Second Homes

Did you know that 75 percent of the homes in Valley County are second homes?  There are lots of good points about that statistic. 

  1. People like to be here and choose this area for their recreation and relaxation.  They smile a lot.
  2. Emergency services and schools are strained less by part-time residents.
  3. Second homeowners are unable to take advantage of the Primary Homeowner’s Tax Exemption.  This is a tremendous help with our limited Valley County tax base — and we thank you!
  4. Part-time residents bring energy, ideas, and life to our small communities.  They tend to be wonderful neighbors.
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Have you met Mrs. G??

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Most communities have someTHING special.  Well, Cascade has someONE special in Mrs. G, The Pie Lady.  She makes some mean, State Fair Prize winning beauties that bring hundreds of dollars at worthy fund raising auctions.  Even KTVB honored her this spring.  … Continue reading

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