Boise Area City Featured in the Washington Post
Twenty days ago, we reported that the Today Show featured Boise and the surrounding areas as part of their 'boomtown' series. Star, Idaho was recently profiled in the Washington Post last week. Not to be outdone by the national publication, the Idaho Statesman features a big story on Star's growth today.
Both publications detail the growth and the crazy inflation of home prices in Star. The headline of the Stateman's article seems ironic, 'no one expected this,' no one saw it coming? Star, Idaho is a microcosm of every town, city, and neighborhood in Idaho. Idaho has become the nation's fastest-growing state, where we've gone from empty hollow communities to over-congested roads in less than ten years.
The Wall Street Journal looked at Star's challenges in January 2020. The Journal described the problem, but it was already too late.
Now Star is grappling with some of the same problems the Turnipseeds left California to escape. The town's main drag, where ranchers once drove their cattle, is clogged with traffic during rush-hour commutes. Sprawling subdivisions have sprouted up around farmland, as have new chain stores. The median home price has more than doubled to nearly $400,000 since 2010.
The Washington Post describes what it's like to sell a home in Star or any city in Idaho.
McFerrin posted the listing online and went back to her office to watch the traffic grow: 34 views in the first 10 minutes, 238 within an hour, more than 1,000 by the end of the afternoon. The Boise area had an average of 25 active buyers for each available house, many of whom were investors who offered to pay above asking price with all cash, which meant hundreds of first-time buyers had spent months trying and failing to find a home. Their standard offers now typically included a personal note written to the seller.
One more insight from the Washington Post on how much money people are making right now in Idaho real estate.
Carl thought for a moment and started to count on his fingers. There was the single-family house they'd purchased a few years ago for $240,000 that had already more than doubled. There was their residence on the other side of town, which they'd bought in 2014 for $600,000 and was now valued at more than $1.5 million.
Does that sound like a rational way to buy or sell a home? It's a crazy real estate world right now. The craziness has infected our quality of life in Idaho. The Stateman's article says Star has grown six times in 21 years. Has the city kept up with that growth? We all know the answer to that one regardless of where you live. The average price of a home in Star is around $600,000.
Michael Keyes, a Star City Councilman, is quoted in the article as saying that the newest people are the ones that are against the growth, while the older folks understand the process and are for the development. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Councilman Keyes; however, I disagree with his statement.
The city is in the process of approving over 4,100 new homes to an area where the roads are only two lanes. Although I am told a golf course will be built before the new sewage plant. (All about priorities I guess) I wish our public officials would follow the advice of Nancy Reagan and say no to development without any infrastructure to support it.
Perhaps nothing short of building a wall would've stopped the growth. Star may be the city getting the national attention, but its problems are not unique to Idaho.
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