Southeast Idaho Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

May 3, 2019

How 6th Grade P.E. Class Made Me Stronger

How 6th grade P.E. Class Made Me Stronger

I attended school in Albuquerque, New Mexico from 5th grade to 12th grade. I had a fun experience during my sixth-grade year at Hoover Middle School that I would like to share. We were working toward the Presidential Physical Fitness Award in our physical education class. Mr. Romero was my teacher. As many might remember, there are certain criteria that have a baseline time/rep for you to perform. Run, jump, sit-n-reach, pull ups, sit ups, etc.

A good friend of mine, Charlie, was called up before me. He was quite a bit smaller than me. He gets up there and busts out 10 pull ups. I’m thinking “wow, great job Charlie! If he can do 10, I can probably get at least 12.” I get up there and I grunt, and I groan, and I grunt some more. When all was said and done, BAM! I had done one full pull-up! To say I was smidge embarrassed would be an understatement. I dropped down off the bar and headed back to the bleachers trying to blend in and hoping everyone would quickly forget what had just happened. As you might have guessed, I didn’t get that lucky. Mr. Romero decided to call Charlie up to the front, and then he called me up too. He mentioned how Charlie did 10 and I only did one. He went on to point out the obvious fact that Charlie was much smaller than I.

That day, I came to the realization that I was a wimp! I remember storming home, sitting down on my bed and thinking about how bad I hated Mr. Romero. My dad got home from work, came into my room and sat next to me on my bed and asked how my day at school had been. I reiterated the entire story including how Mr. Romero brought us up in front of the class and talked about how the little guy had smoked the big guy. Dad asked what I wanted him to do about it. After thinking about it for a few minutes and weighing my options, I asked my dad to help me build a pull up bar.

So, dad and I got to work. First, we tried a tree branch in the back yard. That didn’t work, so then we tried the closet door. We went out to the garage and tried the garage rail. None of our attempts were successful, so we jumped in the van and headed for the hardware store. There we purchased a 5-foot-long pipe that was about an inch in diameter. It felt the same as that dang pull up bar at school. With some unique engineering, dad figured out a way to mount it inside my closet. Every day before school, after school, on the weekends, I was on that pull up bar.

I trained, and trained, and trained some more. With the Presidential Physical Fitness award, we retest to determine our progress. It came time for the pull up retest. Of course, everyone remembered what took place that first time. Charlie was up first and did his 10 pull ups. Then, it was my turn for redemption, and let’s just say that I did a few more than Charlie’s ten! There was a swagger in my step as I headed back for the bleachers this time!

What I hadn’t realized at the time was that Mr. Romero knew me. He knew exactly what buttons to push to make me want to be better and I will be forever grateful to him for that. I’m lucky to have friends like that today. As we workout in the gym or do business together, we talk about life and they push me to want to be and do better. I am grateful for their friendship and for their ability to bring that kind of reality to my life. I strive to be that kind of friend and hope that you will do the same.          

Written by Russ Donahoo

Posted in Personal Story
April 26, 2019

Food for Thought, Part Two

Posted in Market Updates
April 19, 2019

Food for Thought, Part One



Posted in Market Updates
March 27, 2019

Recipe of the Month


Do you have any recipes you would like to share with us that we can feature here on the blog and in our monthly newsletter?

March 20, 2019

Color Keys Printing

Let us introduce you to Janna, the owner of Color Keys Printing:
I grew up in the printing industry. My parents opened their print shop when I was 7 years old. As a child we would help out with bindery summers and after school. After high school, I stayed working at the print shop. My parents decided to sell the business, but I was kept on as an employee with the new owners. In 2002 I left that shop and worked for 2 other print shops in the area for several years. In 2009 I decided to try it on my own. I started out in my living room of my house and grew the business by word of mouth. In 2013, I purchased another shop in town and combined it with my business to become Color Keys Printing. I have grown and morphed into my current services and moved the business into a shop on our property. 
Color Keys printing is a smaller, digital printing shop. Paper printing is the main service (letterhead, brochures, carbonless forms, envelopes, invitations, notepads, basically anything printed on paper). I also am a self taught graphic designer and can design projects as well as print from customer provided files. I provide vinyl lettering and mailing services. I added a large format printer in 2014 to allow full color, large giclee canvas and matte prints for both commercial and personal use. 
Color Keys is not just a commercial printer. I love working on projects on a personal level as well. I am very grateful for my many wonderful clients, and their recommendations to people they know and come in contact with. I love what I do, and hope to keep growing in the years to come.
We have truly enjoyed our interactions with Color Keys. Her customer service is fantastic.
Janna is always willing to help us get exactly what we envision; our business cards are superb.
Contact Janna for all your noncommercial printing needs!!
Color Keys Printing
Hours:   M-Th 8:30am - 5pm
              Fri     8:30am - Noon
              By Appointment Only
3342 E 113 N
Idaho Falls, ID 83401
Posted in Vendors We Love
March 13, 2019

Food for Thought, Part Two

Bonneville County                2016               2017               2018               2019


# of homes Sold in a year           2079                 2058                 1992                 92

January                          102                   106                   115                   92


# of Active Listings                    2512                 2740                 2519                 334

January                         302                   258                   231                   187


Average Sales Price                  $177,622           $193,859           $217,358           $214,017

            January                        $162,653           $172,119           $200,855           $214,017   _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Average Days on                       58                     47                     42                     52        

the market

            January                         79                     74                     62                     52


A note from Interwest Mortgage lender, Jason Speirs: “I started my career as a mortgage loan officer just over 20 years ago when the 30 year fixed conventional interest rate was approximately 7%.   Prior to that time frame the 30 year fixed rate was as high as 18%!  Ouch!!! 

Home buyers the past several years have been able to enjoy VERY low interest rates.  The average rate in 2016 was approximately 3.5%, the average in 2017 was approximately 4%, and last year’s average rate was approximately 4.5%.   As you can see, although rates are still very low, they are definitely on the rise.   In just two years we have seen a 1% increase, and leading economists expect these increases to continue. 

How does a 1% increase impact a home buyer?  The difference between 4.5% and 3.5% on a $200,000 loan is a payment increase of $115 per month!  How does a 1% increase impact buying power?   If a buyer in 2018 wanted to have the same payment as a buyer in 2016, the loan amount would have to be $22,752 less! 

With these numbers in mind, the potential of future interest rate increases should definitely be taken seriously by anyone considering the purchase of a home.”                              

Jason Speirs | 208.589.5236

What thoughts do you have about this information? 

Comment below or send me an email ( or a text (208.243.0545) with any questions.

Posted in Market Updates
March 6, 2019

Food for Thought, Part One

Bonneville County                2016               2017               2018               2019


# of homes Sold in a year           2079                 2058                 1992                 92

January                         102                   106                   115                   92


# of Active Listings                    2512                 2740                 2519                 334

January                         302                   258                   231                   187


Average Sales Price                  $177,622           $193,859           $217,358           $214,017

            January                         $162,653           $172,119           $200,855           $214,017 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Average Days on                       58                     47                     42                     52        

the market

            January                         79                     74                     62                     52



Out of the mouth of Russ: 

     What do these numbers mean? One of the most significant observations is the lack of inventory. How does low inventory effect the market? It is simply supply and demand. When the supply is low, often competition for houses increases and demand can spike. This is reflected in the “Average Days on Market”. If we compare January 2016 (79 days) to January 2019 (52 days), it is easy to see that the average days on market has become shorter. As supply went down and demand rose, so did the average sales price. Home sale prices have jumped roughly 17% from 2016 to 2019. For example, if you purchased your home in 2016 for $150,000, today your home value would be approximately $175,500. There are certainly many factors that may increase or decrease your homes sales price. I am happy to discuss with you how these factors may apply to your home.

     We are excited to be in the real estate world and are passionate about helping you with your real estate needs. Now is a great time to list your home or investment property because of the low inventory levels. A common misconception among sellers is to wait until summer to list their home. Because of the current low supply of homes on the market, it may be beneficial to list your home now, instead of waiting for the summer months. Most importantly, we encourage you to list your home when the timing is right for you. We are always here to help you negotiate the best outcome in your real estate transactions.



How do these numbers look to you?


Comment here or send me an email ( or text message (208.243.0545) with any questions.

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 1, 2018

Noah's Lawn Care

Today we would like to take a minute and spotlight a local business we have heard great things about; Noah's Lawn Care!

Here's a little of this season's hottest services he provides:

Love looking at the fall leaves, but tired of tracking them into your house? Do you find yourself dreading the thought of standing out in the brisk autumn air attempting to put wet, soggy leaves in a garbage bag just to have the bag blow away or fall over and all your work be for nothing?

Let Noah's Lawn Care clean up those annoying fallen leaves by mowing and bagging them, then hauling them away for you.

Noah's Lawn Care is a locally owned and operated business in Idaho Falls, ID. The owner, Noah Brown, has been an Idaho resident for over 10 years. He started his business in high school and has kept it running since. Since starting his business, Noah has continued to enhance his knowledge, experience, and reputation over the years. He looks forward to the opportunity to help make Idaho Falls a more beautiful place to live, one yard at a time!

Check out Noah's Lawn Care services ( and let us know about your experience!

Oct. 24, 2018

Community Events for Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner and the community is gearing up to treat everyone.

Many free events are starting this weekend! 

October 25, 26, 27- Boo at the Zoo 5p-9p at the Idaho Falls Zoo (Tickets encouraged)     

October 25- CEI Trunk or Treat 6p-8p in the CEI parking lot (formerly EITC)

October 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31- Halloween Celebration! at Cabela's, Ammon (times vary)

October 26- Boo to Cancer 2:30p-6p at the Teton Cancer Institute

October 26- 4th Annual Haunted History Tour 6:30p at the Museum of Idaho

October 26, 27, 29, 30- Trick or Treat the Maze 5p-7p at New Sweden Farms

October 27- Halloween Kid's Craft Class 10a or 1p at Idaho Falls Wood-N-Craft

October 27- Real Heroes' Trunk or Treat 12p-2p at the Idaho Falls Police Department

October 30- Super T Transport Trunk or Treat 6p-8p at Super T Transport

October 30- Teton Toyota Costume Contest 4:30p-7:30p at Teton Toyota

October 31-1st Annual Trunk or Treat 3p-6p at Broadway Ford

October 31- Smith Chevrolet and Smith Honda's Family Fright Night 5p-8p at the Smith Group

October 31- Shaka's Oasis Trunk or Treat 5p-7p at Shaka's

October 31- Teal Pumpkin Project Trunk or Treat 6p-8p at the East Idaho Aquarium


Have a safe and fun Halloween!



Oct. 22, 2018

Pumpkin Carving Contest!!

Remember those pumpkins we gave away at the beginning of the month?

We want to see what creations you have made with them!

There are a few pumpkins still left in the office for those that might need a few.

To enter:

    Post your carved pumpkins on Facebook and/or Instagram and tag us to be entered to win a pizza dinner from Papa Murphy's.

To tag us on Facebook: @Russ Donahoo Real Estate Team-Keller Williams East Idaho or @Russ Donahoo 

To tag us on Instagram: @russdonahoo 

If all else fails, email us ( a picture of your pumpkins and we will enter you.

Contest closes at 11:59 PM on Monday, 10/29, a winner will be announced Tuesday, 10/30

Have a Happy and safe Halloween!!