Karolyn PlehalYour Valley County Real Estate Expert

  • Over 20 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
  • 33 years in Cascade (and love it still). A terrific husband and two grown sons.

Market Comparison 2007 to 2015

2015 was a bit of a mixed bag for real estate in Valley County.  The number of home sales was down a little but the average sales prices increased in Cascade and McCall.  Donnelly saw some drop in the average home prices.

Cascade experienced a pretty dramatic increase in the number of bare land sales, though the average price decreased.  Donnelly and McCall saw fewer land sales in 2015 but enjoyed an increase in their averages prices.

Take a look at this Market Comparison Chart showing all of the numbers from 2007 through 2015.  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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Helped or Sold?

My husband and I have been car shopping.  What a job!

I just love my 2003 Caravan. It’s roomy, easy for clients to get in and out, and has big windows for seeing the gorgeous Valley County scenery. But, she’s getting old and tired and they don’t make new Caravans in all-wheel drive.  Thus the search for the right “work truck”.

This car shopping experience has been a great reminder of what it’s like to be a buyer. And a great reminder to me of the difference between being helped and being sold. Turns out I’m not really a fan be “being sold”.  We ended up working with a great guy, Al Gunter, at Peterson Toyota.  There wasn’t any pressure – just patience and help.  And it paid off.  Here is a picture of my new rig  🙂

New car

My favorite part of real estate is helping people to navigate the sometimes rocking terrain of both buying and selling. I really don’t sell anything!

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We’re getting a new bridge!

It’s like wP1080254atching a very complicated, perfectly choreographed dance. Time lapse footage of the construction of our new bridge would be amazing. They are replacing the old bridge that crosses the Payette River on the north end of Cascade just below the dam, near Water’s Edge RV Park and the turnoff to Warm Lake.  It was built in 1950 with only two narrow lanes, and for the past year there have been signs at either end instructing big trucks to cross the bridge one at a time.

The progress each day is impressive and traffic is almost never stopped. First they are constructing a whole new section on the east side side of the bridge.  Soon traffic will be diverted to the new lanes and the old bridge on the west side will be torn off and replaced. They expect to have the whole thing completed in the next few months – and they just started in May!P1080257

The new bridge will have two new lanes, shoulders, and sidewalks – which will excite all those fishermen and women who spend hours fishing from the bridge.  The cost will be about 5 million dollars.


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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!

This gallery contains 11 photos.

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

Posted in Why I Live in Cascade | 3 Comments