- Known for its abundance of open spaces, excellent urban centers, exciting outdoor activities, and unique geographic location, North Idaho is one of the top places to live in.
- From hiking in the lush forests to going on a river-rafting adventure, there’s no limit to the number of outdoor recreational activities that North Idaho has to offer.
- North Idaho is home to a strong real estate market with many buyers looking to purchase single-family homes, condos, apartments, and land for sale in this thriving region.
Buying Land for Sale in North Idaho? Know More About the Gem State and Learn Why You Should Invest Now
Anyone will find Idaho a safe place. Its abundance of open spaces, including the urban centers, and very low urban crime rate make it ideal for those who are looking for a perfect retirement destination and those in search of a friendly community where they can build a home and start their own family. All these features are even more pronounced in North Idaho thanks to its unique geographic position.
If not for retirement, many are purchasing properties in North Idaho because of the unlimited outdoor recreational activities it offers. You can swim in a crystal-clear lake, go hiking in a dense forest, experience the thrills of river-rafting and kayaking, go fishing for a fresh catch, or go on horseback and feel the breeze and sheer freedom with your equine companion. Come wintertime, North Idaho transforms into a snow sports paradise. And traveling in between North Idaho attractions is always a pleasure— everywhere you look, there will be beautiful vistas that will take your breath away. (Continue reading to learn more about North Central’s outdoor offerings.)
But if you are browsing a real estate listing to purchase acreage for agricultural purposes, you might want to consider buying a property in the Palouse, which covers parts of Washington, Oregon, and Latah County in Oregon. The Palouse region is considered one of the largest producers of wheat, lentils, and barley in the United States. One of the main draws of agricultural properties in the Palouse is that cities such as Moscow are a relatively short drive away.
Famous Attractions in Idaho
North Idaho’s geography is a beautiful patchwork of rolling hills, forests, and lakes, with deep rivers cutting through the landscape. As such, it is a haven for those who enjoy adrenaline-pumping adventures and exhilarating experiences. Check out these can’t-miss destinations when you are visiting the state.
- Lakes and rivers: Lake Coeur d’Alene is one of the biggest lakes in North Idaho, featuring about 135 miles of shoreline and spectacular views of the nearby mountains. You can camp here, explore the 165-acre Tubbs Hill park and its network of trails, go boating or fishing for some chinook salmon and trout, and follow the length of the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes on a bicycle. Other major lakes in North Idaho include Priest Lake (considered to be the most pristine of all the lakes in the region) and the deep Lake Pend Oreille.
Where there are lakes, rivers such as St. Joe River rush by. This one is particularly popular for whitewater rafting. Kootenai River is one of the largest rivers in all of Idaho, flowing all the way from Montana to Canada. This river is teeming with fish life. Some parts are also perfect for avid boaters.
- Precious gemstones: Star garnets are curious precious gemstones that are only found in two places: India and North Idaho. You can test your luck and find some star garnets for yourself at the Emerald Creek Garnet area, where you can find gemstones as big as golf balls. Learn more about where to get your own star garnets here.
- Ancient fossils you can take home: At first glance, Clarkia seems like an unassuming small town in North Idaho. But dig deeper—you might find dinosaur bones and other cool fossils. The place to go to is Clarkia’s fossil beds, more popularly known as Fossil Bowl.
Brief history of Idaho
Idaho’s territory is as large as all six New England states combined with New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. Before it became a part of the United States, it was first a part of the Oregon Territory. However, through the Oregon Treaty which takes place in 1853, the state became part of the Washington Territory. Since then, the state’s population grew and became its own territory in 1863. It is also when Lewiston—the second-largest city in the northern region—became the first capital of the Idaho Territory. The city is now home to well-recognized educational institutions and community activities like Hot August Nights and Dogwood Festival.
Interesting Trivia About Idaho
- State Logo – In 1891, the First Legislature for the State of Idaho held a competition asking participants to come up with a design of the state seal. The winning design was created by Emma Edwards Green who immediately became the first and only woman in the United States to ever design a state logo.
- State Capitol – The Gem State’s capitol building is heated by geothermal water that was sourced 3,000 feet below the ground. The system has been in operation since 1982.
- State of Gems – Aside from its mountain ranges, scenic views, and agriculture, Idaho is also home to several types of precious and semi-precious stones. This is why it is called the Gem State which stands for more than 70 stones it produces. Among these are star garnets (Idaho’s state gem), opal, jade, and other rare minerals.
- Birthplace of Television – Rigby is considered the birthplace of television. The inventor of TV, Philo Farnsworth, initially drafted the principle behind the technology back in his high school days which was only a part of their science thesis.
Land for Sale in Idaho
Idaho’s real estate industry is booming for many reasons: low urban crime rate, amazing landscapes, affordable cost of living, and unlimited recreational activities. Because of its attractive living condition, it is now considered as the “hottest real estate market” in the United States and its demand for housing is here to stay.
Real estate market
If you enjoy the outdoors and the sun, Idaho is your paradise. It has a stunning river that runs through the heart of the city and recreational parks perfect for hiking, skiing, and snowboarding. Aside from its natural attractions, the state also boasts a thriving business scene for both small and big entrepreneurs belonging to the agriculture, energy, and science technology industry. In fact, Moscow, the largest city in Latah County (and also its county seat), was named as one of the best places to live in the country.
With the influx of new residents, the real estate market in North Idaho is also having a moment. Condos and apartments are popping up especially in North Central Idaho. One study shows that real estate properties in Latah County are being sold for approximately its asking price. This means the number of people interested in purchasing homes is greater than the number of properties available! All with a shorter sell-by date!
When buying land, it pays to know what your options are when it comes to finances. Here, learn the different types of loan arrangements available for property investors in the Gem State.
- Lender Land Loans
Rural banks, credit unions, and other smaller lending institutions are more likely to give you land loans with more relaxed terms than a traditional lender offers. However, rates and repayment terms depend on your purchase. If you plan to build on the land soon, most lenders will likely offer longer terms. If you have no plans to develop the land, they are more likely to give you higher interest and down payment.
- Lender Land Loans
- Rural Housing Site Loans
For land buyers who are planning to build a primary residence in Idaho, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Housing and Community Facilities Programs office (RD) provides financial assistance that helps you get started with your home project.Section 523 loans bear a fixed three-percent interest rate while Section 524 loans offer flexibility that allows you to choose to bear the interest upon loan approval or at the time of the loan closing.
- U.S. Small Business Administration Loans
If you are purchasing a piece of land that will be used for commercial purposes, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers loan programs to fund business expansion or new business projects.How does it work? It is simple! Small Business Administration and an SBA Certified Development Company (CDC) will shoulder 90% of the purchase cost: fifty percent from the SBA CDC lender and forty percent from SBA. The remaining ten percent will serve as a down payment by the person applying for the loan.
A purchaser can get a loan worth up to $2 million with maturities of 10 to 20 years.
- Home Equity Loans
A home equity is basically getting a second mortgage based on the equity you have built-in your home from the day of its purchase. Many banks and credit unions offer equity loans with a repayment term between five to 30 years. Since your property secures the loan, you do not need to shell out a hefty amount of money for a down payment on top of getting a low-interest rate. While this sounds all too ideal, keep in mind that if you are not able to keep up with the monthly payments, you run the risk of having an underwater mortgage.
- Rural Housing Site Loans
- Seller Financing
In this option, the seller or representative of the landowner will be the one paying in your place. This is a great option if you do not want the hassle of going through credit checks or getting your loan approved by a bank. However, you might be required to pay a large sum of money as a down payment or you get a shorter repayment term than what banks usually offer.
Are you planning to purchase land in Idaho but don’t know where to start? Learn the many types of land available in Idaho and identify which ones match your preference and lifestyle.
By definition, acreage is an area of farmland and can be measured by acres. Acreages in Idaho are typically used for agricultural purposes such as crop production and animal raising, but you will also find mature timber ground as North Idaho is also a leader in the logging industry.
Oftentimes, people used the term ranch and farm interchangeably. The essential difference is a farm is intended for food production while the latter focuses on caring, raising, and herding animals especially cattle, horses, or sheep. To maintain a ranch, a person must be knowledgeable in soil management and rain collection as this will help them feed their livestock. You must also consider purchasing a property near local water sources for the proper hydration of your animals.
- Farm/Rural Properties
Farm Property – Generally, a farm refers to a plot of land used for the sole purpose of agriculture—be it through growing crops and rearing animals. It is usually referred to as cropland or rangeland. While a farm typically focuses on producing crops, dairy, hog, and poultry farms are getting popular these days due to rising food demand due to a growing global population Rural Property – According to the U.S. Census Bureau, rural property is usually located in an area within cities or towns of 8,000 inhabitants or less and are far from the central city or urban areas. In real estate, a lot of indicators are considered for a property to be considered rural–that includes the size of your land, its location, and how you plan on using your property. For instance, if your house has its own water source and septic systems and is surrounded by a significant piece of land, appraisers can consider your property to be rural.
- Farm/Rural Properties
- Hunting Land
Hunting land is any vacant acreage that is often marketed to buyers looking for recreational land outside the city. While deer hunting is the common reason to purchase a hunting land, many buyers are also considering a property near a lake or pond where there is an abundance of ducks and other wild animals as this is an ideal alternative to deer hunting and opportunities for fishing during the off-hunting season.
- Hunting Land
A recreational property is privately owned amenity land used for fun activities such as hunting, fishing, boating, camping, skiing, off-road riding, and other amazing adventures that will allow people to enjoy the outdoors. In the real estate industry, hunting and off-road adventures are one of the most popular and well-recognized uses for recreational land. Aside from taking advantage of the amenities of the property, recreational land can also be a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation, especially if it is maintained well.
Commercial lands are designated solely for business use. It is strategically located near public offices, banks, and other commercial establishments like shopping centers, hotels, and restaurants. When zoning for commercial lands, local governments consider its accessibility to transportation and how it will coexist with residential properties.
Residential land means any real property intended, but not limited to, for housing. It can also be used as educational facilities, daycare, and short-term and long-term health care.
All About Idaho
Due to its rugged mountain ranges and proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the Gem State produces an amazing diverse climate pattern. Its maritime influence results in cloudy, humid, and wet winters in the north and west side while the eastern region experiences higher mean temperatures in the winter. This is because its mountainous topography holds back the cold air that predominates in its neighbors: Montana and Wyoming. Meanwhile, during the spring and autumn season, the majority of the state can enjoy comfortable temperatures.
- Best Time to Visit Idaho
The best time to visit Idaho would be… anytime. Every season brings something new and exciting to the Gem State. Spring makes the flowers bloom and the foliage turns a deeper green across the region, while summer is the best time to indulge in water activities throughout North Idaho. Fall brings dramatic golden colors throughout the area, and with the chilly air, hikes are pleasant and cool. In the winter, Idaho is a white wonderland. Blankets of snow make for the perfect conditions to go skiing, snowmobiling and enjoy other winter sports.
Recreational activities and attractions
Anyone who has been to the Gem state knows that Idaho offers amazing scenic views and trails that cater to every type of adventurer.
Some of the most highly recommended hiking and biking destinations in North Idaho include The Route of the Hiawatha, the 6-mile Mickinnick Trail loop for those who want more challenge, Spirit Lake’s Empire Trails, and the lovely Upper Priest Lake Trail. Click here to find more trails to explore in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests whether you’re looking for a quick day hike or planning a multi-day backpacking trip.
- Outdoor destinations
For days when you would like to take a breather and surround yourself with nature, North Idaho has plenty of outdoor destinations waiting to be discovered. The Elk Creek Falls in the sprawling Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests will leave you in awe, and so will Spring Valley Reservoir on a misty day. Moscow Mountain rises to over 4,500 feet above sea level, making its peaks fine places for sight-seeing. Dworshak and the adjacent Dworshak State Park are great places for family-friendly recreation like camping, boating, and swimming.
Idaho has the largest virgin natural areas in the United States. It has diverse lakes and rivers, beautiful landscapes, and steep mountain terrains which are home to many wild species like moose, elk, deer, pronghorn, and black bears to name a few. This means an opportunity for combination hunts–either with two big game species, upland or waterfowl, or both! If you are interested to try hunting, the state of Idaho requires you to secure a license depending on the type of species you want to hunt. You may apply for one at Idaho Fish and Game offices, license vendors, or online.
The Gem State is a paradise for those who are into fly fishing. In fact, it is home to some of the finest and word-class fly fisheries in the country! Lake Coeur d’Alene is exceptionally famous for its chinook salmon (the state record is 42 lbs.). Priest Lake is one of the go-to for anglers looking for large trout, while Lower Twin Lake can yield heavy northern pikes. The Three Rivers, which consists of Lochsa, Selway, and Clearwater, are also local favorites.
With just a short drive around Idaho, you can have access to some of the best flat waters and remote rivers and lakes in the country. The state may only be just 479 miles long but it offers more than a hundred miles of river avid paddlers can explore. Lake Coeur d’Alene is a prime spot for beginner-friendly paddling and while Coeur d’Alene River, which flows into the lake, offers miles of whitewater rafting for those seeking an adrenaline rush. Farragut State Park’s calm waters are perfect for leisurely boating and kayaking. St. Joe River offers more challenging whitewater. For motorboats, upstream Kootenai is paradise.
Idaho may have many precious stones and rare minerals, but a lot of Idahoans would say the “real gem” in the Gem State is its landscape. If you are a nature lover or simply someone who enjoys breathtaking views of nature, you will find searching for properties in Idaho an exciting experience. A reliable real estate agent who is knowledgeable in the area will be a great help in finding your ideal property.
My name is Kathi Nygaard and I can create a property listing customized to your preference and help you narrow down your choices based on your needs and financial limitations. After that, I can show you around North Central Idaho—you will be surprised that the Palouse region is more than just wheat fields! I grew up in the area so you will be able to experience the community like a true-blue Idahoan.
Not convinced yet? Perhaps, I can help you come up with a more informed decision during your visit to the city. Give me a call if you are exploring real estate options in Idaho. Whether you need an insider tip about Idaho properties or someone who can take you around for a tour, you can count on me!