New year in the neighborhood

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  • AP Photo/Chuck Burton Real estate agent Lauren Newman prepares to show Steve Martin a home for sale in Mount Pleasant, S.C., just over the bridge from historic Charleston on April 20, 2016. If you’re about to buy a home, shop for a car or borrow for college, the pros have some advice: Go ahead. The Fed’s move to slightly raise its key rate should have little effect on mortgages or auto and student loans.

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    FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, file photo, "For Sale" signs are stacked up outside a new complex of townhouses in Houston. On Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, Freddie Mac reports on the week's average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

  • AP Photo/Chuck Burton Real estate agent Lauren Newman prepares to show Steve Martin a home for sale in Mount Pleasant, S.C., just over the bridge from historic Charleston on April 20, 2016. If you’re about to buy a home, shop for a car or borrow for college, the pros have some advice: Go ahead. The Fed’s move to slightly raise its key rate should have little effect on mortgages or auto and student loans.

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    FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, file photo, "For Sale" signs are stacked up outside a new complex of townhouses in Houston. On Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, Freddie Mac reports on the week's average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

Welcome to 2017. We want to hear from you.

The Neighborhood of the Week feature is intended to highlight the variety and quality of housing options around North Idaho. Since its inception, we’ve covered almost every corner of Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, Hayden, Rathdrum and more. We’ve highlighted neighborhoods with multi-million dollar homes all the way to mobile home parks and apartments — something for all aspects of the market, hopefully.

Last year, I spoke with dozens of real estate agents and developers about local housing. While you can always expect representatives in the industry to force a positive spin, the general attitude about the market in North Idaho was overwhelmingly positive. Sales up, building permits up. Good, steady activity.

In addition to speaking with these experts for the column, a solid chunk of my 2016 was spent selling my first home and hunting for a new property. Neighborhood of the Week chronicled this quest in the recurring feature, “Tales from the Trenches.” Topics included my experiences with staging our old home for prospective buyers, moving expenses, lending options, insurance claims and property damage, and the hunt for a new house to store my old comic books and baseball cards.

Now, at the start of 2017, Neighborhood of the Week wants your input on what to cover next. I urge all North Idaho Realtors to take advantage of the opportunities this space allows. The article is not a paid advertisement. It doesn’t cost anything to suggest a story and make yourself available as a source.

There are only a few ground rules:

1) New developments and neighborhoods that haven’t been covered in the column will take precedence over areas we’ve written about before. For locations covered previously, we try not to retread for at least a year.

2) While we list contact information for the agents sourced in the story, Neighborhood of the Week does not advertise specific properties — no address or specific pricing will be listed, but we make sure readers know where to get the information. We also don’t publish photos of specific properties for sale.

3) Sources (agents and developers) don’t have editorial approval over the content being published. Accuracy is obviously the highest priority, and the column space is intended to be a positive showcase for the neighborhoods featured.

That’s it. And yet, you’d be surprised how little I hear from local agents about the neighborhoods they’re working. Neighborhood of the Week is an excellent opportunity to share your expertise with a large base of the North Idaho population. It may not be true everywhere, but in Coeur d’Alene, people still read the newspaper.

In addition to regular coverage of North Idaho neighborhoods, this column will make an effort to feature more aspects of the real estate market, including the commercial market. We want your ideas for how to best include this aspect of the industry.

The new year will also bring about changes that are only speculative at this point. A new administration in Washington, D.C., could influence real estate-related policy, and we already know rate changes are coming down the pipe.

Do you want more industry-related news? More Tales from the Trenches? Or do you just want some help selling in a spectacular part of town? Email twilson@cdapress.com and share your story ideas.

The hope is to maintain this space as a free outlet for local real estate. If I don’t hear from you, then I might need to start writing about Spokane. Nobody wants that.

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