1) West edition vs. main edition. I managed to get a copy of these two editions. In a little box in the corner of the front page it announces which edition you've got. I went page by page and compared the two editions. The ONLY difference I could find was on the sport page. The Main edition, Boise, put a story on the front page about 5A District Three basketball. The West edition put a story about Fruitland, 3A District Three, on the front page and put the 5A story on page 3. Both editions, same stories, just a difference of which was on the front page.
2) Editorial page. The editorial page offered a lengthy 5-column "Reader's View" from Bryan Fischer saying that outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation is a danger to civil liberties. (Note: seems to me that allowing such discrimination is a bigger danger to civil liberties, especially for those being discriminated against.) On the opposing page, Fischer was again quoted in the "Other Voices" section, this time decrying pre-K education. Once a day from Fischer is enough, don'tcha think? Fischer makes his living from the IVA, so giving him such prominence really serves his personal interests.
3) Joe Estrella had a long interview with Dan Hernandez, president of the Ada County Association of Realtors. Hernandez did what you'd expect. He tried to make it seem like the Ada County real estate market is doing just fine, no problems, thank you very much. Estrella did try to push Hernandez a bit, but didn't seem to get much traction. I would liked to have seen Estrella do some research about home prices and values, and either let Hernadez comment on it, or at least publish it so that we get a more balanced picture of what is really happening.
Realtors are desperate for folks to start buying again. Check out the letter below. The guy is begging people to get out and start buying. Hernandez was trying to pump up the market, and Estrella's article facilitated that.
Home buyers and sellers are at stalemate
I'm a real estate professional in the Treasure Valley. Here are my observations for your consideration.
Part of the reality of the local housing market is that there is a stalemate between buyers and sellers. Sellers are holding out for their listed price and are willing to come down but say they may take a lesser offer. Buyers are waiting for prices to come down. We all are waiting for something to happen. Meantime, little is happening.
Some facts are: Interest rates are great, in fact, lower than recent numbers. Loans are available for people with good credit. Homes are available in abundance - so many to pick from your mind will spin from the choices.
The advice I give to buyers is to find your home and offer the price you feel the market bears. Open the negotiations - it doesn't cost you to offer. To seller clients: Be realistic about what is true now - 2005 pricing is old news and appraisers are only looking back two to four months in most cases for comparables.
A wait-and-see attitude is creating more harm to our wonderful Treasure Valley and our beautiful state.
So, why the hesitation? Let's get this party started.
ANGEL PETRAGALLO, Boise