Providing local news, info, and tips and tricks for homeowners and those interested in buying or selling real estate in North Idaho or Western Washington. 

Also, listen to the Real Estate, Money and Marriage Podcast at

Jan. 24, 2022

How much did it cost to buy a home in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho last year?

How much did it cost to buy a home in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho last year?

The cost to buy a home in Coeur d’Alene increased significantly last year.

The median price for previously owned Coeur d'Alene homes started at $441,350 in January 2021. The price was $591,000 by December.

The median price for new construction in Coeur d'Alene homes started at $424,500 in January 2021. The price was $626,696 by December.

Waterfront homes in Coeur d'AleneWaterfront homes in Coeur d'Alene (this includes waterfront condos, homes on leased land and secondary waterfront) ended the year with a median sales price of $3.2 million.

This is due in part to the increasing popularity of the city, as well as to the limited housing inventory available.   

Inventory (the number of homes for sale) was down which led to decline in the number of homes sales. Down about 6.3%.

If you're thinking of buying a home in Coeur d'Alene soon, it's important to be prepared for these costs and to have your finances in order.

Mistakes costing buyers time, money, frustration… and sometimes their dream home.

My Real Estate Predictions For Coeur d'Alene In 2022

My Real Estate Predictions For Coeur d'Alene In 2022

Even more people from California, Seattle and Portland will be looking to migrate to North Idaho in 2022.

Whether this if for a primary residence or to have an escape while working and going to school virtually.

Coeur d'Alene home prices will continue to climb. Not as aggressively as 2021. But the spring market will start earlier and be very competitive for home buyers.


Interested in Buying or Selling a Home?
Search Area Homes For Sale

Darin Persinger author of this articleDarin Persinger
Started a real estate yard sign business in high school. Got real estate license in 1997. Now licensed In Washington and Idaho.

Posted in Buying, Coeur d'Alene
Jan. 22, 2022

Best Restaurants In Coeur d'Alene (8 Of Our Favorites)

Best Restaurants In Coeur d'Alene (8 Of Our Favorites)

When it comes to finding the best restaurants in Coeur d'Alene, everyone has their own opinion. Some may swear by a certain Italian place, while others might prefer the sushi spot down the street. 

But how do you find the best restaurants for you? 

It can be tough to wade through all of the options and decide on just one. So in this post we're not necessarily going to cover the "best restaurants in Coeur d'Alene," and I'm not even sure if these are the most popular restaurants. But, these are our favorite restaurants in Coeur d'Alene, a family of four living in the Coeur d'Alene area. 

And I'll be the first to admit, we haven't ate at every restaurant in town. We're not food experts. This isn't a Michelin star review. We're just local real estate agents wanting to share the area with you. 

So what are you waiting for? Start reading and get hungry!

Delicious Food In Coeur d'Alene

Although it has only a small population, one of the things that makes living in Coeur d'Alene so great, it has big city amenities and offers plenty of options in terms of restaurants.

As far as small towns go, this is not your average one.

Here are 8 of our favorite local restaurants:


Dockside view from a table right next to the lake Coeur d'Alene resortThe Dockside restaurant offers American dishes and waterfront views. It features modern upscale food, making it a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike.

The restaurant also has a full bar with a wide selection of cocktails, beers, and wines. It's the perfect spot to enjoy a meal with friends or family while taking in the beautiful views of Lake Coeur d'Alene.

If there's a bit of a wait for a table, go take a walk around World's Longest Floating Boardwalk. Or have a cocktail at Whispers. Whispers has a wide selection of both classic and creative cocktails, as well as wine and beer. 

And be sure to save room for dessert Dockside. It has a dessert called the Gooey. It's a giant cup of gooey goodness. Enough to feed a family. I'd recommend not trying to eat it by yourself. 

2. Crafted Tap House + Kitchen

Crafted Taphouse + Kitchen provides a perfect place for a beer nerd to get the perfect fix. 62 beers on tap. Not a beer nerd? That's ok. The knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect beer for your tastes. It also has a rotating food menu that features seasonal dishes made with fresh local ingredients.

crafted taphouse - showing the interior from an outside tableThe crawfish chowder is must try. Also the pretzel. It's a giant pretzel that's served with 5-cheese and beer dipping sauce, red pepper syrup, sea salt. The pretzel is the perfect size for sharing, but you may not want to. It's that good.

Quick Tip:

If you want the pretzel, head to Crafted early. We often experience they are sold out if we go later in the night. After dinner, enjoy the outdoor fire-pit with an after dinner drink. 

3. Beverly's

The Beverly's Restaurant in Coeur d'Alene Resort is a must-visit spot for any food lover. It ranks as one of America's top restaurants. It has incredible views of Lake Coeur d'Alene from The Coeur d'Alene Resort's 7th floor, and it offers a menu of American cuisine that will tantalize your taste buds. Whether you're looking for something light and healthy or something more decadent and sinful, Beverly's has you covered. 

The wine list at Beverly's is extensive and features a variety of wines from different parts of the world. The wine list has something for everyone, whether you're looking for a red or white wine, a sparkling wine, or a dessert wine. So if you're looking for an amazing glass of wine to pair with your meal, be sure to check out the wine list at Beverly's restaurant in Coeur d'Alene.

If you have a special occasion or want to make a night out a special occasion, Beverly's is a great choice. 

Coeur d'Alene has great food and places to eat.

4. The Cedars - Floating Restaurant

This is not lakeside dining. At The Cedar's, you're on the water. 

The Cedar's, the region’s only floating restaurant, opened on the Spokane River in 1965 and has been serving up the finest and freshest meats and seafood since. Best of all, you can enjoy your meal on The Cedar's floating restaurant as it is built atop a platform with water underneath. 

Highly recommend checking out the Early Dinning menu. Get a soup or trip to salad bar and an entree. 

5. Sweet Lou's

Be sure to check out Sweet Lou's. Sweet Lou's is a local favorite and offers a wide variety of dishes that will satisfy everyone's taste buds. 

Sweet Lou's is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal with family and friends. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere, and the menu features a variety of American dishes. Some of the most popular dishes at Sweet Lou's include the pulled pork sandwich, the bacon cheeseburger, and the chicken fried steak. 

So if you're looking for a great restaurant that offers something for everyone, be sure to check out Sweet Lou's. There is also a great outdoor sitting area. Many of the tables giving you a view of the Lake Coeur d'Alene 

Sweet Lou's is not only my daughter's favorite restaurant in Coeur d'Alene. It's her favorite restaurant any where. 

Interested in Buying or Selling a Home?
Search Area Homes For Sale

6. Tony's On The Lake

On the lake's east side, Tony's on the Lake is a restaurant that specializes in Italian-inspired dishes. The menu is seasonal with items like portabella ‘fries’ with black truffle aioli and gnocchi con gorgonzola. Which is a potato dumpling in a gorgonzola cream sauce. There’s indoor and outdoor seating with stunning views of the lake

many great Coeur d'Alene restaurants have  a view of Lake Coeur d'Alene,

7. Anthony's at Coeur d'Alene

Anthony’s at Coeur d’Alene is located on the water at Riverstone pond overlooking the foothills of the Idaho Rocky Mountains. The restaurant has a modern rustic feel with an open-air pavilion and a wrap-around deck that offer beautiful views of the water and landscape.

The menu at Anthony’s is extensive and includes fresh seafood, steaks, chops, and pasta dishes. Some of the highlights on the menu include the crab cakes, salmon, and New York strip steak. The wine list is also extensive and includes bottles from all over the world.

Want to come by boat? Guest moorage is accessible on the Spokane River just a few blocks from Anthony's in front of the Bellerive Development, and it's free. Guest moorage is offered on a "first come, first served" basis and is complimentary.

8. The Buoy

Have a drink and burger the The Buoy on the Coeur d'Alene waterfrontFor a much more casual dining experience, you can head down to The Buoy. The Buoy sits at the bottom of Tubbs Hill, near the Coeur d'Alene Resort with great views of the water and marina. 

Get a drink, maybe a Huckleberry Margarita. Grab a burger or some fish tacos. On occasion you'll find live music. But anytime at Buoy's, you'll find a great vibe.

What Coeur d'Alene Restaurant Are You Going To Eat At Today?

Coeur d'Alene has plenty of excellent restaurants to choose from, whether you're looking for a casual dining experience or something more upscale.

Sushi to burgers.

Breweries to winebars.

And coffee shops everywhere. Not just Starbucks.

If you're visiting or even thinking about moving to Coeur d'Alene, because it's a resort town, you get all benefits of "big city" dining options without all the downside.




What's your favorite restaurant in Coeur d'Alene?


Read our: Family Friendly Downtown Coeur d'Alene Restaurants article



Darin Persinger author of this articleDarin Persinger
Started a real estate yard sign business in high school. Got real estate license in 1997. Now licensed In Washington and Idaho.

Jan. 20, 2022

How to sell your house for the most money in 2022

3 Things You Should Do (Even In A Red-Hot Sellers Market)

how to sell your home for the most money in 2022

The real estate market was on fire in 2021.

Most reports and indexes show that home values appreciated by 19% - 20% in 2021. Predictions for 2022 are a slight cooling -- if you call 11% appreciation cooling.

In the last couple of years, we've seen more and more listings getting offers over the initial asking price. 

So if you're looking to sell your home, the chances are high that you'll get the sale no matter what! But even though many people know a real estate agent or a few - not everyone knows what a listing agent will do to help them sell their home for the most money.

This article will cover two main things:

  1. The 2 Mistakes Sellers Make In A Sellers Market
  2. The 3 Things You Must Do To Sell Your Home For The Most Money

2 Mistakes Sellers Make In A Sellers Market

Home seller giving money awayGiving money away

Some sellers would rather opt for an easy sale rather than get top dollar.

They sell their home without ever putting it on the market.

You can't get market value if you don't put your home on the market.

The upside of this,

  1. It's convenient. Don't have to get the house ready for showings.
  2. It saves time. The closing can happen quick in most cases.
  3. Don't have to worry about home inspections, home improvements or remodeling projects.

The downside is you're walking away from potentially $25,000, $50,000 or more than $100,000.

Fast Easy Cash (But For Who?)

contacted by investors saying they could pay cash

We had a seller client that was out of state. They got contacted by "investors" saying they could pay cash. Make it quick. Make it easy. Even said by selling to them they would "save commission" because they won't have to pay a real estate agent now. I believe the investor was hoping the seller wasn't aware of local market trends.

The problem with selling to this investor: our client would have lost over $120,000.

The cash investor was lowballing them hoping to get the home sale at a minimal cost. Do a little remodel here. A little paint job there. And voila! A nice Six-Figure Flip for the Investor.

Not only do cash investors and real estate flippers look for these types of deals. Many iBuyer companies exist now. Zillow was doing this before they famously failed, admitting they don't understand local markets or how to predict where home prices are going.

“We’ve determined the unpredictability in forecasting home prices far exceeds what we anticipated,” Zillow CEO Rich Barton.

Sell before you list Recap:

Pros: Quick and easy

Cons: Giving your home equity away

Leaving money on the table

Home sellers leave money on the table when they just list with any real estate agent.

Home sellers shouldn't list their home with just any agent. You need to find an agent who will work hard for you and help you get the most money for your home. A good agent will market your home and be able to bring in potential buyers. An agent who will help negotiate the best offer and make sure the transaction goes smoothly. The right agent who knows the local market, where the market is going, has a pricing strategy  and knows how to sell your home for the most money.

What Will The Agent Do To Bring Prospective Buyers?

What Agent Do To Bring Prospective Buyers, Agent duties and responsibilities, tasksEveryone probably knows 3 or 4, or more real estate agents today. But do you know what that agent will do for you when selling your home?

Besides, put a sign in the yard and list it on the MLS...

  • Do they have a plan to attract buyers?
  • How will they follow up with interested buyers?
  • Can they tell you what home improvement projects will bring a higher sale price and which ones are a waste of time and money?
  • Do they have a home selling strategy to attract multiple offers for you?

If you want to know how to sell your home for more money, don't settle. Sure it will sell in these seller real estate markets, but could you have got more money?

Or You Could Maximize Your Sales Price

Instead of giving money away to an investor or big corporation. Or leaving money on the table that you could really use now to buy your next home or later to retire. You could maximize your selling price.

Want to Talk Real Estate? Have Questions? Start A Chat with Katherine or Darin 

3 Things You Must Do To Sell Your Home For The Most Money

In a hot sellers market, where homebuyers are offering more than the list price, it's still important to do these three things in order to get the most money for your home.

In this section you'll read about:

1) Getting your home ready for market

2) Marketing the listing to reach the most buyers

3) Negotiating an offer and navigating through the transaction until closing day

3 Things You Must Do To Sell Your Home For The Most Money, checklist, to do list

Get The Home Is Sold Mindset

Before you start to worry about your home's sale, the curb appeal, home staging or what home improvement projects to focus on, you'll want to get, what we call, the HOME IS SOLD MINDSET.

Here is a cold hard reality: It’s not your home anymore. 

Not just at the time your home is sold, closed and you get your check. I’m saying right now. Starting right now, this is no longer your home. It’s a product in the marketplace, competing with other products in the marketplace (comparable homes), trying to attract buyers so you can get the best prices.

You can continue to feel an emotional attachment to your house - remembering bringing your kids home for the first time from the hospital or celebrating the holidays, or any other countless memories you've probably created there - but you do that at the possibility of minimizing the money you’ll get. 

The reality is, at some point, you’ll be packing up the moving boxes, saying goodbye to this house, looking at the sold sign, leaving your keys behind, and never coming back to it again. The sooner you get into this Sold Mindset, the better chance you have for doing all the things you have to do to get maximum dollar in the sale.

Emotional Attachment Cost Her

I had one seller call me, after her house had failed to sell with another local real estate agent, to come “rescue” her and her home sale.

After I did a Marketing and Pricing Diagnostic for her, she confessed that when she had listed with her previous agent she was not yet ready to sell. She didn’t want to let her house go. 

For this seller, her emotional attachment had cost her a year of extra payments on her home as it sat vacant and a stigma in the marketplace that there was “something wrong” with the home because it had been for sale for so long.  This impacted the overall home value.

Emotional Attachment On Home, seller home

How To Sell Your Home For More Money

After you get the right mindset and decide it's worth it to you to not leave money on the table, here are the three things you must do when selling your home to get a higher sale price. 

Getting your home ready for market

Getting your home ready for market, real estate market

The most important things a seller should do to get your home ready for sale:

First, do what we call OCD.

Organize, Clean & Declutter

This is simple and does a lot to help first impressions and the home's appeal.

Organize things so there is more space in the house.

Do a deep cleaning so the house makes a great first impression.

Then Declutter.  Get rid of things you don't need, no longer use and don't plan on moving. Then pack up the things that you don't need for day-to-day living.

A decluttered house will help the home feel more spacious and make it easier to keep clean before showings.

Next, repair any damage or fix any broken items

Updates aren’t always necessary. Your focus should be on repairs and maintenance. A new quartz countertop might look nice, but a leaky roof will kill the sale. During the home inspection, if a potential buyer finds a list of items wrong with the house, the deal falls apart. This impacts you getting the best price.

Finally, decide what to update or remodel

These are the toughest decisions to make.

If you're trying to get a higher price and increase the perceived home value of your house, you might think upgrading or remodeling your house is the best way. And you might be able to increase your list price. But that doesn't mean you'll be walking away with more money.

Not all remodeling projects fetch a higher selling price.

Stop Wasting MoneyFor example, according to the Remodeling Cost vs Value Report a major kitchen remodel only returns 57% of the cost.

That means if you spend $20,000, you'll only get $11,400 back out of it. Sure, higher sales price, but less money overall in your pocket.

You don't want to waste time and money doing things to get your home ready for sale that won't help it sell for more money. That would be silly.

You don’t have to spend a fortune and all your weekends updating and remodeling your house to get it sell-ready.

Market the listing

Now that your home looks great, it's time to get it seen.

First impressions matter. But the first impression of your home doesn't happen when the potential buyer walks in the door. It happens online.

Real Estate Photography

Good real estate photography is key to getting your home seen by as many people as possible. It's important to have good-quality photos that show your home in the best light. You want to make sure potential buyers can see all the features and amenities of your home. If the photos are blurry, dark or just not appealing, potential buyers will move on to the next house.

Real Estate Photography, video,

Real Estate Video

According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, listing videos result in higher conversion rates than listings that don’t have videos. This makes sense when you think about it.

People are visual creatures.

We like to see what we’re buying before we buy it. Having a video of your home allows potential buyers to do just that.

It also allows them to get a feel for the space and how it could fit their needs. It’s also a great way to show off your home’s features and amenities. Potential buyers can get a better sense of the layout and whether or not it’s a good fit for them.

Good real estate video marketing is like having a 24/7 open house, without all the weirdness of strangers freely walking through your home.

7 Real Estate Video Facts

  1. Properties with professional video tour are perceived as being worth 6% MORE than similar homes without.
  2. 86% of buyers watch videos to find out more about a community
  3. 70% of buyers watch videos to tour the inside of a home
  4. Video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined
  5. Real estate listings with videos receive 403% more inquiries than those without video. (In other words, real estate ads with videos generate quadruple the interest of those without videos.)
  6. 85% of buyers and sellers want to work with an agent who uses video as part of their marketing efforts
  7. 51% of home shoppers rated YouTube as their top video research site. Brokerage websites with 41% and video from the organic Google results with 37% were the next most popular options.

SOURCE: DigitalSherpa, eMarketer, NAR, YouTube, Google, Forrester Research

Paid Marketing

Paid marketing and advertising, website, idx, social media

At Persinger Group we like to invest money into the marketing of our listings.

A sign in the yard will let people in the neighborhood know the home is for sale.

The MLS and real estate websites will let active buyers who are in the market RIGHT NOW know the home is for sale.

But if you really want to know how to sell your home for more money... it comes down to simple supply and demand economics.

Would you have fewer buyers or more buyers?

Paid marketing and advertising helps create even more awareness and potentially generates the most buyers. And doing paid advertising on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube with a great real estate video allows us to reach the most buyers.

Real Estate Agents, Video and Paid Ads

We've noticed many real estate agents will invest in a real estate video on higher-end or luxury-type properties, but rarely will they invest in paid advertising.

Just look on YouTube. You can probably search any (city name + real estate) and see a bunch of great listing videos that only have 10, 20 or 30 views.

So you have a great listing, at the right price, looks awesome in the video but it's not getting viewed... how does that help sell your home for the most money?

It doesn't.

In a hot sellers market, it's more important than ever to have a great real estate video that's marketed well. At Persinger Group, we've seen great success with this strategy and know how to get your home seen by the most buyers.

Negotiate and navigate

Once you start getting offers the real work begins.

In a hot sellers market, you're hopefully going to have a lot of offers. But not all of them are going to be the best for you. Just because one offer has the highest price doesn't mean that's the best offer.

It's important to have an experienced real estate agent who knows how to negotiate and navigate the offer process.

We've developed a spreadsheet for our seller clients to help them look at all the key terms. Then based on priorities and personal importance they're able to select the best offer.

Then there are all the important timelines and deadlines in a real estate transaction. If these dates aren't met, the deal has a greater chance of falling apart.

Find the right local real estate agent to help you, looking, real estate agent

BONUS TIP - Find the right local real estate agent to help you do all this.

We're your local real estate agents in the North Idaho real estate market and Western Washington helping you do those three things.

You can spend a lot of time online looking for tips, but until you start talking to a local real estate agent, who understands the local market, trends and want buyers preferences are you're not going to be any closer to selling your house.


1. Get your instant home value report

2. Start Smart Moves Conversation with us

3. Message us at to get a FREE GUIDE - Get Sell Ready™ Guide & 47 point room by room checklist.  (Just type - Sell Ready - and we'll take it from there)


Darin Persinger author of this articleDarin Persinger
Started a real estate yard sign business in high school. Got real estate license in 1997. Now licensed In Washington and Idaho.

Posted in home selling tips
Jan. 5, 2022

Get Ready For The 2022 Coeur d'Alene Mac and Cheese Festival


Mac and cheese Fest in Coeur d'Alene

This 5th annual Mac and Cheese festival, hosted by Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association, will celebrate all things cheesy, creamy, and delicious.

The festival will take place in downtown Coeur d'Alene, and it will be the perfect event for foodies of all ages. Be sure to mark the date on your calendar, because this festival is not one to miss!

5th Annual Mac & Cheese Festival, Downtown Coeur d'Alene!

The best thing about living and visiting North Idaho is being surrounded by amazing food and drink. You have access to fresh game, award-winning wines, sweet honey, huckleberry everything, craft beers and ciders, locally grown produce; all of which make for a delightful dining experience.about living and visiting North Idaho is being surrounded by amazing food and drink.

You have access to fresh game, award-winning wines, sweet honey, huckleberry everything, craft beers and ciders, locally grown produce; all of which make for a delightful dining experience. The 2022 CDA Mac Cheese Festival, hosted honors your favorite childhood food by showcasing special preparations from local chefs who will be battling for the Golden Noodle Award in a culinary battle royale!

Attendees of the 5th Annual Mac and Cheese Festival will enjoy a cheesy-food-filled day tasting various delectable dishes with delicious craft beer pairings. They will be able to cast their vote for their favorite dish, which will be used to determine the People's Choice Trophy.


The 2022 Mac and Cheese Festival is January 15, 2022

The Lunch Session check-in time is from 11 am - 1 pm.

The food starts serving at Noon.

There is also a Dinner Session:

Check-in time frame 2 pm - 4 pm.

Serving ends at 6 pm.

If you want to start the party early: Sign up for the Mac Cheese Dinner Lake Cruise on Friday, January 14.

"Kick off the Mac Cheese Festival with an evening dinner cruise on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Grab your friends, family, and kiddos to hop on board for some cheese-filled fun! 90-minute evening dinner cruises are offered at 4:30, 5:00, 7:00 and 7:30. This year's menu features Bourbon Cheddar Mac Cheese, Loaded Bacon Mac and Deep Fried Mac Cheese Bites."


Besides the Mac Daddy overnight package and the dinner cruise on Lake Coeur d'Alene, there are a few other packages for the Mac and Cheese Fest.

You can buy tickets to the Mac and Cheese Festival here.


Mac Cheese Festival Tickets Kiddie Mac | $12

Includes 3 Mac Cheese

Tasters Mac Pack | $25

6 Mac Cheese Tasters

Mac Beer (ages 21+) | $35

6 Mac Cheese Tasters, 8 Beer Tastings (4 oz.), Commemorative Pint Glass

If you enjoy good food, craft beer and wine, or just want to support a local event then the 5th Annual 2022 Mac Cheese Festival is for you. Head over to their website now if you're interested in attending this year's festival on January 15th!

They also have great packages available that include overnight accommodations with all of your meals included so no need to worry about cooking dinner after all of your cheesy foods are gone!


Do you have a fantastic Mac and Cheese recipe that you think should be considered for a Golden Noodle award? If that's the case, the festival




Nov. 22, 2021

You Can Be A Real Estate Investor Too

How do you define a real estate investor? Someone with tons of money and skills, a pick up truck, maybe their own show on HGTV?

Or could it be a regular person you work with, someone in your family, your next door neighbor, a lifelong friend?


Can YOU be a real estate investor?

I’m going to show you how I did it (and how I’m still doing it). 

I want you to know that you don’t need a college degree, a six-figure income, a spouse or even a lot of money to get started.

It started in 2009, when I was 22. I bought a condo. By myself. 

I’ll give you the quick story since I wrote about it in more detail in an earlier version of this article.

I bought a condo in Mukilteo. I lived in it for 4 years. The value went down for 3 years then started creeping back up. I didn’t really care about the value because I had no plans to sell. 

Then in 2013, my husband and I bought a very modest home.

It was what we could afford. A little starter home in Lake Stevens. But it was bigger than the condo and it was comfortable. Move-in ready. We knew it would be a good rental once we saved up enough to buy another home.

We put 20% down. We didn’t have to but we wanted to keep the payment really low for maximum cash flow later on.  It was a very low purchase price but still, it was not easy coming up with 20% down. Lots of sacrificing and saving led up to that purchase.

The difference between the condo payment and the rent I got each month was about $150. Not much, but a good start! That helped us afford our new home and it helped us save for the next down payment.


Fast forward to 2015. We bought another home. 10% down.

It’s a good time to mention we didn’t qualify for all of these mortgages. We were able to use market rent as income (for the home we planned to move out of and then rent) even though the home we were living in wasn’t rented YET. We had to show a signed lease to our lender before closing in order to get our loan approved and funded.

The difference between the payment and the rent for the one we bought in 2013 was about $400. Oh, and we had raised the condo rent by this point in time. Total monthly rental income was about $600 by this point in time. Enough to help, for sure! Kept on saving for the next home.


In 2018, we bought another. 10% down.

Rent from the previous home was about $300 higher than our payment each month. At this point, our total rental income was about $900 per month. 

Each time we bought, the home got a little bigger, which worked well for us since our family has grown in this time. We moved into all of them as we bought, so we could get an owner-occupied interest rate and so we didn’t have to put 20% down. When you buy a home and immediately rent it, rather than move into it, you’ll get a higher interest rate and most of the time you’ll be required to put at least 20% down. Living in the homes at first creates some flexibility.

Note: We didn’t sell any of these homes along the way.

We didn’t use the equity in the homes as a down payment for the next.

We just never stopped saving.

Immediately after buying that condo in 2009, I was saving for the next home. Some months it was only $10 added to my savings account and some months I may have gone the wrong direction but I kept a close eye on that savings account balance. It was my down payment for the next home. 

In 2021, we bought a condo.

In Post Falls, ID. Diversifying a little with this one. And, didn’t move into it. We just had some extra money and wanted to do something smart with it. The rent is about $300 higher than the payment.

Post Falls Condo that was for sale and we bought as a rental and option to move into later if we wanted


Before I had ever met him, my husband bought a couple of homes in Wisconsin.  We still own those as well and between all of these homes, our rental income is currently a little over $2000 per month. We can’t live off of that, but it covers a huge chunk of our monthly expenses.


Something else that is worth noting is how much equity we have earned in this amount of time. It’s hundreds of thousands of dollars, which represents options to me.

And the best part of the appreciation is that I’m not even paying these mortgages anymore. My tenants are.

BTW, they are all wonderful. They all pay below-market rent. I treat my tenants well because they enable me to do this.  I also encourage them to buy their own homes. It is so satisfying when they do!

Whether you have one rental property, or 7 like me, (or 100+): real estate investments will add to your monthly income, your net worth, and your future opportunities!!

I didn't even touch on tax benefits or principal paydown, but those are two other things that are working for you while you sleep.


Highlighting the key behaviors/mindsets for pulling this off:

  1. Live below your means (to save for your down payments)
  2. Buy a home that is below your means. Do not be pressured to max out your budget. Similarly, don’t be discouraged if your budget won’t allow for a home you’d really love. Whether it’s your dream home or not, you need to get in the game!!


What You Can Do Next:

1. Read the original article I wrote 4 years ago on this for more details:

2. Contact me with any questions you have about getting started with real estate investing

3. Message us at to get a FREE GUIDE -  8 Simple Money Hacks That Will Help You Get Ahead With Real Estate.

Just type "8" we'll know what you mean and send the guide.


Dec. 15, 2020

Why Is Saving For A Down Payment So Hard?

How much do you really need to save for a down payment?

There's a lot of confusion that exists out there, about how much do you really need.

In fact, when millennials were surveyed and asked, How much money do you need to save for a down payment?

Millennials responded with the average coming back at 32%. Millennials thought that you need to have a down payment of 32%.

But the reality is that people are only putting down 5.3%.


So how can that be?

Where is the disconnect?


In this article, we're going to cover the three reasons why it's so hard to save for a down payment, don't make it harder:

  1. Appreciation
  2. Inflation
  3. Motivation

When we talk to potential Homebuyers, they typically think they need 20%. That's the number that we usually see from home buyers out there.

But then, to see these numbers think you need a 32% down payment, when on average home buyers are only putting down 5.3%. And look, in our own neighborhood, we've helped a number of buyers buy with zero down.

There's a lot of programs where you can buy with 5%, 3% even 0% down.

So how can this be? Where's the disconnect from this?

Well, if you keep thinking you're going to try to save up for a down payment, whether that's 20% down payment or a 32% down payment...

If you keep trying to save for that, it feels like you're chasing a ball down the hill. The ball is just going to pick up more and more speed and you're never quite catch up. 

Well, why is that?

Here are three things you should think about when it comes to saving that down payment:

3 three reasons why it's so hard to save for a down payment:


1. Appreciation

Appreciation doesn't mean that you appreciate the value of the money and the value of the home.

It means how the home value goes up. 

So let's say you're looking at homes for sale for around $400,000 in our area.

In Snohomish County that is pretty typical, pretty normal, pretty average. And let's say that the home values are going to go up about 7% over the next year. 

This means you need to save $28,000 just to keep pace just to buy the same house next year.

You're gonna have to save an additional $28,000. In the next year!


Does that make sense?

So if you're looking at a $400,000 home, it goes up 7% in value. You need to save $28,000 more this year just to keep pace.

A lot of people can't save that type of money, so the question becomes: Can you save that much money, or are you just spinning in your wheels, delaying, getting something that you could get right now?


2. Inflation

Inflation is the reason why 20 years ago you could buy a candy bar for 50 cents and a can of Coke for 50 cents, and now it costs a $1.50.

But most people just think the costs of things increase every year.

But the way to think about inflation is the value of your dollar decreases almost every single year. It's not necessarily the cost of things increasing. It's the value of your dollar is decreasing.

So something to consider moving forward with what happened this year. And as the government's pumped in trillions of dollars into the economy: Do you think your dollar is going to be worth more or less over the next few years?


3. Motivation

The third reason why it's so hard to save for a down payment is motivation.

We've talked about appreciation, home values going up. It feels like you're chasing a ball down the hill. We've talked about inflation, the value of your dollar is going down every year.

This brings us to motivation.

It's hard to stay motivated with appreciation and inflation going on. So you get to a point where you're we have $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 saved up and now wonder "Is it even worth it?"

I'm saving money. But the home that I wanted to buy last year is now worth $28,000 more. Maybe I should just buy a new car or go on a nice vacation or go out to a nice dinner.


The three reasons why it's so hard to save up for a down payment, and probably why it doesn't actually make sense to try to save up for that 20% or even 32% down payment.


As I said, there's plenty of programs out there where you could get into a home for much, much less down payment.

If this is something that you're interested in and you want help figuring out how much money do you need to save, what's the right down payment for you based upon what you're looking for in your next home visit

And another thing I'd ask if this was helpful or you know someone that is struggling with one of these things and they want to buy, share this article with them.



Darin Persinger has been a licensed Realtor since 1997, but this wasn't the start of his real estate career. In high school, Darin started a "yard sign" business for the local real estate agents. In the dead of winter in Wisconsin, Darin drove around his Dad's little Dodge Ram truck installing real estate yard signs. He now helps clients buy homes andsell real estate in Snohomish County with his wife Katherine

Posted in Buying
Nov. 18, 2020

How To Buy First Home When Tired Of Renting

On March 25, 1967, Daredevil Evel Knievel did his first televised jump on ABC’s Wide World Of Sports. Riding a Triumph, Evel jumped over 15 cars.

ABC didn’t broadcast the jump live, because they thought he’d crash.

Evel would go on to make seven more appearances on the Wide World of Sports. In 1973, riding a Harley-Davidson, Evel successfully jumped over 50 stacked cars at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The record wasn’t broken until 2008.

Evel Knievel was famous for making big jumps and clearing large gaps.

dont crash trying to buy a home

But when it comes to buying a home, maybe you shouldn’t try to be a daredevil like Evel. Trying to jump from renting to a dream home.

Start small. Start where you can start.

What we're going cover in this article on buying your first home:

1. The Three Areas Of Getting Ready To Buy

2. The Importance of Starting Where You Can Start

3. The Three Things That Make A Dream Home


The Three Areas Of Getting Ready To Buy

There are three areas you need to be ready in before buying a home.

1. Getting Ready Financially 

Many first-time buyers think about getting ready to buy a house as being ready financially. Ex. paying down debt, saving up for a down payment, making sure they can afford the monthly mortgage, having reserves, etc.

Fear of finances

Just over half (56%) of all buyers who don't own a home today but want to say they're not pursuing it because they fear they won't qualify for a loan, according to a survey by LoanDepot. 

While 71 percent of all Americans who want to buy a home in the next two years will need financing, 89 percent haven't actually taken any steps to see if they could get a home loan. Specifically, three quarters (74%) of people who want to buy a home but fear they won't qualify for a mortgage admit they haven't taken any steps to qualify.

Many would-be-home-buyers take themselves out of the game before they ever get in the game. 

2. Getting Ready Mentally (Psychological)

Are you ready psychologically? Are you ready for homeownership?  

A lot of energy, focus and time is spent in getting ready financially, but what's interesting is a lot of buyers are ready in that category. But because they're not ready in their heads, they don't even sit down and talk to a mortgage lender.

They talk themselves out of even taking the first step and say to themselves, "I'm not ready because of my finances." or “I have too much debt.” 

3. Getting Ready Emotionally 

7 years ago we were living in a condo.

I had to go up and downstairs to take Pearl the French Bulldog out.

The best she got for “sun” time was on our patio.

I told Katherine that I wanted a yard for Pearl.

She wasn’t going to live much longer and I wanted her to have a yard.

A yard to run around in.

A yard to sunbath in.

A yard to just got outside with the open of a door.

We wanted a few more things in our home, but a yard for Pearl was the #1 driving search criteria.

We found a home.

It had a yard.

And there was not much else about the home we liked.

But we bought it.

And buying that home, allowed us to buy a next home.

And then a next home.

And here is Pearl (still alive) enjoying the sun and a much, much bigger yard.

Some people might think we settled on that first home that had a yard for Pearl.

But we were clear about the benefits we wanted, not just the features and dimensions of the home.

That home not only gave us a yard for Pearl. It was the home we brought our first baby home to.

I 100% get wanting your home to have a garage, and bathroom on the main level, and quartz countertops (that home had none of those things).

But sometimes you gotta start where you can start.

You’re not settling. You’re starting.

The Importance of Starting Where You Can Start

Again, we don’t have to do a death-defying jump, like Evel Knievel, from Point A to Point K. 

Starting where you can start and use that as a stepping stone to your next home and closer to your dream home. 

In 2020, millennials were more likely than other groups to believe that they will live in their dream home at some point in their life (research from Coldwell Banker, 2020):

  • Millennials: 81%
  • Gen Xers: 75%
  • Boomers: 67%

From experience, they’re also more likely to postpone buying their first home. (The median age for first-time homebuyers is 33.)

So, Millennials are starting later and expecting more.

But according to data from the Federal Reserve indicates the net worth of a homeowner is actually over 40 times greater than that of a renter. A homeowner’s net worth is $254,900 vs a renters $6,270.

We’re told to start investing early. Max out 401k’s and IRA’s. The same principle can easily apply to buying a home. 

We have a client and friend named Sam.

Sam did two things:

1.  Made homeownership a priority

2.  Started where she could start

Sam recently, bought a new construction home for herself and her daughters. She can afford it easily because she had a 50% DOWN PAYMENT for that home.


Sam works in a restaurant. And 7 years ago, she didn’t have a huge down payment, but she said to Katherine, “I’m thinking about buying a condo.” 

With a small down payment, she got into that condo. A few years later, she now had paid down the principle, increased her equity and saved up more money. She sold the condo and bought a townhome with a 20% down payment. 

That first step and next step allowed her to get to a new construction home with 50% down. 

The Three Things That Make A Dream Home

Your Dream Home Model, Persinger GroupWe define a dream home as a home that is the location you want, the style you want, and at a price, you can afford. 

Typically you’ll get two out of three. 

If you want to be in that great location, to be able to afford it, you probably won’t get the style you want. For example, maybe it’s a two-bedroom, dated, condo, instead of a three-bedroom, brand new, single-family home with a yard. 

Or maybe you want a certain style of home. You want a modern farmhouse style on 5 acres. And because of the price, you can only afford up to $X. You’ll probably discover that the location won’t be as ideal as you’d like. You’ll be further out of town, or in an area that would not be your first choice. 

But if you are lucky enough to able to get all three without sacrifice or compromise... Congrats, you just got your dream home. 

The reality is though unless you’re a start-up millionaire, celebrity or professional athlete, your first home probably won’t be your dream home.

But your first home can be a stepping stone to your dream home.


If you're ready to take the first step into learning more about how Cantrell Persinger can help you buy your first home. Check out our proprietary guide, '7 Costly Mistakes Home Buyers Make.' 

One of the things that keep people where they are instead of where they want to be is misinformation and myths. Side-step these mistakes and save yourself time, money, frustration and disappointment during your home buying journey. 

Instant download by visiting

When you are ready to get your questions answered, let's talk. We have a process that helps you get your money right, find the right home and write the right offer. Over 50+ combined real estate excellence and expertise can show the first steps and the next steps in a quick call.

Pick a time to talk

Posted in Buying
Oct. 19, 2020

Buying A Home Is Like Finding Sunken Treasure

Find a home is easy, buying a home is hard

$17 billion of treasure.

That is what is rumored to be on the legendary San Jose, a sunken Spanish ship.

In 1698, the San Jose was part of the Spanish treasure fleet, a convoy of ships tasked with transporting valuable items from the Spanish Empire back to Spain.

Risky business: Spain and France were involved in the War of the Spanish Succession, a conflict that pitted the two countries against England and that involved attacks on Spanish trade vessels like the San Jose.

The San Jose came under attack and supposedly, with all it’s treasure sunk in 1708. 300 years later, some salvagers believed they had finally found it and identified it. This set off an in court and out of court battle over who discovered it first.

Even though the ship and treasure have been found, it still doesn’t belong to anyone. It’s one thing to find the treasure. It’s another thing to bring the treasure home.

In this article about home buying, we're going to cover:

  1. Why Finding A Home Is Easy

  2. Buying The Home Is Harder

  3. How The Right Sequence Helps

Why Finding A Home Is Easy

The home search is the fun, easy partHome buyers could start with a Google search, “homes for sale in Lake Stevens” or “new construction in Post Falls” - you’ll find plenty of places to start your home search online.

Homebuyers could of course start at - where we have every home for sale in Western Washington and North Idaho - from every real estate broker.

Some home buyers start at Zillow or

Starting the home search online is an obvious and easy way to go.

It’s fun to swipe through the new listings. See what’s available and look at the pictures.

Maybe you even go out on the weekends, get a cup of coffee and pop into some open houses.

Finding a home can be easy and fun.

But that’s just the start…


According to the National Association of Realtors Homebuyer Report, 33% of the time a real estate agent found the home a buyer purchased. So even though you have access to these tools and search yourself, having a Realtor who understands the market and your search criteria is still critical.

It should be noted that Persinger Group finds the property for our buyer clients 2/3’s of the time. Why are we double the normal? Probably because of our system, communication and ability to help our buyer clients communicate to us.



If you’re struggling with finding your home start you can schedule a Smart Moves Call at


Why Buying The Home Is Harder Than Finding The Home

Once you find the home, you have to buy the home.

This means:

  • The offer
  • The inspections
  • The negotiation
  • The transaction
  • Etc,

Stressed from home buyingHow should you craft an offer to get it accepted?

You don’t want to overpay, but you don’t want to miss out on either.

The offer depends on the market. And every market has multiple markets.

How do you know if you’re overpaying?

What if your offer is rejected and another buyer gets your home?

What happens if something is found during the inspection? What can you ask for? Does it ever make sense to not do an inspection?

Do you know what to look for in a resale certificate?

Why is earnest money so important?

These questions are just the tip of the iceberg?

How The Right Sequence Helps

"The time you want the map is before you enter the woods." - Brendon Buchard

take the right steps when buying a homeIf you’re trying to buy a home before you’ve pre-approved, you’re putting the cart before the horse.

If you’re trying to find the right home before you’ve found the right real estate agent, you’ll start scrambling and stressing when you do find the right home.

You’ve entered the forest, got lost, and now realize you should have brought a map.

You could try to solve a math problem any way you want, but you’ll probably get the wrong answer.

You could do this math problem left to right…

4 + 2 × 3 = 18 ---> (4 + 2)×3 = 6×3 = 18

...or you could multiply first: 4 + 2 × 3 = 10 ---.> 4 + (2×3) = 4 + 6 = 10

Which answer right?

10 or 18.

Luckily, we know there is a sequence to solving math problems. PEMDAS.

As is with most things, sequence matters.

But we insist on doing things out of order, which causes problems, frustrations, mistakes and getting things wrong.

Start with the right first steps and everything else is easier.

Now, then next.

Today we discussed the difference between finding a home and buying a home. And the importance of taking the right steps in the right order.

Most of our clients, when they’re just curious, start their home search on our website. It has every listing, from every brokerage. It’s updated every 6 minutes. Saves your favorites. And makes it easy to schedule showings online.

And when you're ready to get serious, let’s talk. In a short 15 minute call we can show you how to implement this proven into your home search. Book your call at

Posted in Buying
Oct. 7, 2020

Are You Getting Your Home Ready For Sale Using Nike's Secret?

 First Fit.  First impression.   For the majority of home buyers, the first impression is actually online. Before they ever decide to come out and take a look at your home before they schedule that private tour, they're looking at their phone, they're looking at their computer.


A few years ago, to get into better shape, I decided it was time to start running.

I realized that I would need some help with this process because I had never been a runner before.


So I went to a local shoe store that specializes in shoes for runners, in fact, marathon running.

The first thing that they did was assess how I walked and how I ran. Then they made a few recommendations for shoes that would fit my stride, my style of running and my weight at that time.

I remember they recommended three specific shoes and one pair was Nike. When I tried on the Nike shoes, they were by far the most comfortable shoes of the three pairs. I said this out loud and the shoe consultant, running consultant, I guess we'll call them said to me that is what Nike does.

Nike is great at that.

Nike specializes in what they call First-Fit.

Nike believes if their shoe is the most comfortable shoe the first time you try it on, you’ll buy their shoe.

Today we'll discuss how to get your home ready for sale so it feels like Nike First Fit

  1. Why Nike Does First Fit
  2. Getting Your Home Ready
  3. Major Mistakes Getting Home Sell Ready

Why Nike Does First Fit

When I got home, I Googled this.

Nike First-Fit.

I couldn't find any information about this online.

So I don't know if he's making this up or if this is just a real hush, hush industry secret. But he said, Nike designs their shoes, they're made that way to feel really comfortable when you try them on in the store, that first fit.

And that of course makes sense when you think about it.

Why would you buy a less comfortable shoe… especially when it’s something that is going to be used for sports, running, etc?

Getting Your Home Ready

When it comes time to sell your home, thinking about First-Fit matters.

We believe First-Fit happens a few times when selling a home.

First Fit is the first impression.

The first impression not just in person, but also online.

This is why we feel staging vacant homes at no additional cost to our clients is so crucial. It doesn't matter. The price point could be a $200,000 condo. Could be a $2 million home. Those first impressions matter, just like the Nike First-Fit matters.

This might be why Nike is one of the most dominant brands in the world.

This is also why we put so much of our own time and our own money into the pictures and the videos of the homes that we are selling. (Check out our 10K Views Guarantee.)


First impression.

For the majority of home buyers, the first impression is actually online. Before they ever decide to come out and take a look at your home before they schedule that private tour, they're looking at their phone, they're looking at their computer. They're looking online to see if, if that home is a fit for them, they're trying to get a feel for it. They don't want to waste their time looking at a home that doesn't feel right to them. They're basing this feeling completely off of pictures and video they see online.

The last thing that you want when you're trying to sell your home is for a potential home buyer to say no to it before they ever step foot in your home.

And we've made a getting your home ready for sale process to take advantage of this First Fit idea.

2 Major Mistakes Getting A Home Sell Ready

When it comes to getting a home sell ready, there are two major, costly mistakes sellers make.

This is why we’ve made getting a home sell ready super easy for our clients.

It’s three steps and you can read about that at the end of this article, but first...

Getting Sell Ready Major Mistake

#1 Spending too much money

Many home sellers believe that expensive projects will help them sell their home for the most money.

They start ripping out carpet and installing hardwood floors.

Or they do a complete kitchen remodel.

The reality is in most situations homeowners won't get their money back out on costly remodeling projects.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report, depending on the size of the job, you’ll likely recoup 66% to 85% back on a kitchen remodel in the Seattle area.

For example, they show an average of spending $76,000 on a midrange upgrade, but only getting about $50,000 back in resale value.

Not only is that expensive, but it also leads to major mistake number two. 

#2 Wasting time

When selling, a homeowner probably has other things going on in their life. Not just the packing and moving, but maybe a new job, a newborn, or something like a death or divorce. 

So we believe, why add more stress to an already stressful situation?

We’ve experienced many home sellers tell us that they’ve spent their nights and weekends for the last few months “getting their home ready” before even contacting us.

You don’t have to try to impress us, the real estate advisors.

You bring us in to help you impress the real estate buyers.

After those nights and weekends, many of the wrong projects were done.

It took longer to get on the market than they wanted and they wasted time and money doing projects that didn’t need to be done.


Get your home sell ready with the Sell Ready GuideWHAT’S NEXT?

Three Steps To Getting Selling Ready

1. Visit

You'll be able to get access to our guide that shows you the major steps to take, to get your home sell ready, and also our 47 point checklist to make it easy to know what to do to get your home sell ready.

2. Hop on a quick phone call with us.

The short, quick phone call will give us a better understanding of where you're at, what you're trying to do in the timeline that you're trying to do with it. The small time investment up front saves you a big chunk of time later in the middle of the transaction when things are a little bit more stressful already.

3. Home Walkthru.

This allows us to give sellers suggestions on what to do, what not to do or alternatives. This can save our clients a bunch of time and a bunch of money by helping them focus on the projects that truly matter to get their home sell ready.

Our clients, who are able to save the most money, put the most money in their pocket and have the smoothest home sale are the ones that connect with us weeks - if not months before. They're getting ready to sell their home so we can help them figure out what projects to do, which projects not to do and different ideas.

Click over to to get started.

Darin and Katherine Persinger

Posted in home selling tips
Sept. 10, 2020

Get Ready to Buy a Home In These 3 Areas

Getting Ready to Buy?

Getting Ready To Buy A Home

There are three areas you need to look for before buying a home.

  1. Financial

  2. Mental (Psychological)

  3. Emotional


Many first-time buyers think about getting ready to buy a house as being ready financially. Ex. paying down debt, saving up for a down payment, making sure they can afford the monthly mortgage, having reserves, etc.


But are you ready psychologically? Are you ready for homeownership? Do you see what homeownership does for you? 


And on the emotional side, like being ready emotionally?


A lot of energy, focus and time is spent in getting ready financially, but what's interesting is a lot of buyers are ready in that category. But because they're not ready in their heads and in their hearts, they don't even sit down and talk to a mortgage lender.


They talk themselves out of even taking the first step and say to themselves, "I'm not ready because of my finances." If you want to get ready, make sure you're ready in your head and then your heart, then talk to a mortgage lender and weigh your options. Look at what your situation is and then decide if you're ready.


Those are the three areas you need to get ready in -

  • with your money
  • with your head
  • and with your heart


PS When you’re ready here are 3 ways we can help you right now...

1. If you’re a first time buyer… get your free guide, 7 Costly Mistakes Home Buyers Make

2. If you’re a Home seller, get access to our Get Sell Ready guide, it will show you how to get your home ready without spending a fortune or wasting your nights and weekends updating and remodeling.

3. Get access here Hop on a Smart Moves Call with us… Get clarity about what to do next, get your questions answered and get an action plan customized to you and your timeline.

Posted in Buying