Treasure

The million-dollar Boise home? Ho-hum. See who’s buying houses for $2 million and up

The sale price has dropped. Take a walk through Boise’s Warm Springs Castle home

Boise mathematician and scientist Tim Barber built what’s come to be known as the “Boise Castle” on Warm Springs Avenue in 2010. Offered for sale in 2016 for $3.5 million, the asking price was $2.5 million in February 2019.
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Boise mathematician and scientist Tim Barber built what’s come to be known as the “Boise Castle” on Warm Springs Avenue in 2010. Offered for sale in 2016 for $3.5 million, the asking price was $2.5 million in February 2019.

Not long ago, a million-dollar home sale was a big deal in Boise.

Not anymore.

Last year, 95 homes priced at more than $1 million sold in Ada County, said Troy Owens, an agent with Group One Sotheby’s International Realty.

“The market is good in the luxury area above $1 million,” he said.

Back in 2010, only one Ada County home sold for more than $1 million. There were 17 in 2014, 25 in 2015, 38 in 2016 and 53 in 2017.

Sixty-eight homes were on the market one February day in Ada County with asking prices of $1 million or more, including 15 for more than $2 million. Forty-five of them were built since 2000.

Owens has a listing for a $2.6 million home at 1128 W. Shearwater Lane in Eagle. Built in 2011, the house has 7,735 square feet, five bedrooms and seven bathrooms on three-quarters of an acre in the gated Two Rivers subdivision.

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Inside the home at 1128 W. Shearwater Lane in Eagle, listed for $2.6 million, are many upgraded features. Tony Moody Moody Images

He’s the co-listing agent on a home listed at $3.1 million at 6381 E. Wildhorse Lane in the Boise Foothills. That home has 10,757 square feet, five bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms and 40 acres.

Who is buying those homes?

“We have local businesspeople and local professionals who are moving up, and we have out-of-staters moving here for the lifestyle,” Owens said.

Some commute by air.

“With our airport, you can have a home here and raise your kids here and work in the Bay Area of California for four or five days and fly back here pretty easily,” Owens said.

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The kitchen of the home at 1128 W. Shearwater Lane in Eagle features plenty of space for preparation of meals. Tony Moody Moody Images

Last year, new and existing homes sold on average after 33 days on the market, according to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service.

Homes in desirable areas such as Boise’s North End or Eagle that list for about $1 million sell fairly quickly, said Ron McDonough, an agent with Silvercreek Realty Group.

“We just listed one for $1 million in the North End, and we normally sell those within about a month,” he said.

But homes in that $2 million-and-up bracket take longer. The pool of potential buyers is still small.

One of McDonough’s listings, a $2.3 million home with 7,503 square feet, six bedrooms and eight bathrooms at 2200 N. Ballantyne Lane in Eagle, has been on the market since July.

“You don’t sell these homes in a day,” McDonough said. “You sell them within three to nine months.”

Sometimes even that’s not enough time. A medieval-style castle on Warm Springs Avenue has been on the market since July 2016. With five bedrooms, an elevator, a hot tub and a suit of armor, the house was originally listed for $3.4 million. The price was knocked down several times and is now $2.5 million.

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Reporter John Sowell has worked for the Statesman since 2013. He covers business and growth issues. He grew up in Emmett and graduated from the University of Oregon.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.
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