San Francisco, Idaho?

The day after the elections I was listening to a local political pundit refer to Idaho’s District 19 as the states equivalent to San Fransisco. For those wondering where District 19, or little San Francisco as I now feel compelled to call it is, that would be what is commonly referred to as the North End, Downtown, East End and a bit of The Bench. In this instance he was referring to District 19ths strong democratic and often liberal roots, the only blue district in this very red state. This blue district also nominated the 1st African American to the state house of representative (Cheri Buckner-Webb, a woman to boot!). I have also been thinking about the real estate comparison. Big San Francisco has been left relatively unscathed by the housing bust, Boise’s North and East Ends are not immune they have  felt the punch of the downturn with a little less pain than most of the surrounding state.

It is interesting to note that the north end (29.9%) and east end (17.5%) have had the lowest number of distressed properties sold thus far this year while the area with the highest percentage of distressed sales is SW Meridian with 76.5% of the homes sold are either a short sale or REO. Followed closely by all of Canyon county (between 70.4% – 63%). These older neighborhoods, often protected under the umbrella of the Historic Society, tend to keep their value as compared to other areas and typically fetch a higher per square foot compared to the rest of the valley. This is not to say that the housing downturn hasn’t effected this area – it most certainly has but there still seems to be a bit more resilience here.

One reason I predict more market stabilization and even value growth in the North End – that would be because of Boise High School. This school is continually ranked as a top public high school, not just state wide but in the national arena as well. I continually hear of people moving in to the Boise High boundary area to ensure their child’s place in this school (even though the district has an open enrollment policy, Boise High always has a waiting list for out of area students and the only guarantee is to live within the boundary).  Many families moving here from out of state and realize what an impact good schools make not just on their children’s education but on property values as well. I recently heard of a couple with a 2 year old moving to the area that insisted on Boise High school boundaries. This makes perfect sense. Even if they move out of the area well before their child enters secondary school, statistics have shown that housing areas within the best school districts hold the best value.

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