I've described houses listed from $175,000 to $850,000. While it was fun to see the more expensive houses, I've naturally wondered where the starter homes are. The answer, in this market, is that they are rare. First-time home buyers either keep on renting, buy out of Ada county or buy more than they can afford, and engage in some sort of creative financing.
This week, I chose to look at a house in the lower end of the market. It's a manufactured home in the northeast Boise Barberton Subdivision, near the intersection of Warm Springs Avenue and Eckert Road. The sign indicates that the subdivision is a senior development, but I'm told that this has been changed and many families live in the area. All the houses are manufactured homes on small lots, but very neat, attractive, nicely maintained and landscaped. Because this house is on a foundation, it is considered real property and the price includes the lot. These two factors cause a manufactured home to appreciate in value, and the buyer can get a loan to buy the property.
The lot has many trees and bushes, and is built on a slight rise. The inside of the house is carpeted in off-white, is very bright and in perfect shape. The windows are double-paned, covered with mini blinds, and all the window coverings will be sold with the house, including the lovely valances in the living room. The living room has four windows and sits adjacent to a small eating area with three windows. The kitchen is large, open to the living room and connected to the eating area by a pass-through, which includes display shelves. The kitchen has a great deal of storage and includes all the necessary appliances in addition to a garbage disposal and a ceiling fan.
To the rear of the kitchen is a utility room with two cabinets, a pantry and a side door to the carport. Behind the utility room is a full bath with a second door that leads to a hallway, off which are the two generously sized bedrooms. The back bedroom has windows on two walls. The master bedroom has windows on one side, a ceiling fan and an adjoining bathroom. Both rooms are decorated with attractive wallpaper.
The back of the carport is carpeted in indoor/outdoor carpeting and doubles as a patio. The backyard is charming and cozy with a fence on three sides, low lights in the flowerbeds and spotlights that provide more light at night. An automatic sprinkler system makes summer watering simple and two sheds provide plenty of storage.
PROS: This home is perfect for a small family. The lot may be a bit small, but it's very private. The home's open floor plan allows for the dining room table to be extended into the living room if more space is needed for large gatherings. Having the bathroom connected to both the utility room and the corridor is a very useful feature. The home is very reasonably priced.
CONS: The house is on the extreme east side of Boise, so there is a longer drive to get into town and beyond.