Politics is another taboo subject that I’d like to address in this article. While there are many protected classes of people, political affiliations and views are not one of them. With this in mind, we as professional real estate agents try to be respectful and non-discriminatory in every way. The following are our observations and possibly our personal views which also should not be discriminated against. To avoid you having to read through the article to try to determine where we stand, I’ll just let you know. We personally are conservative leaning Christians who believe in small government and more power to the people to govern themselves. We believe the constitution and our founding fathers were inspired through personal experience, a profound knowledge of history, and divine influence. We believe the separation of church of state was mentioned and meant to keep the government out of the church, not the other way around. We also believe in respecting opposing viewpoints and the freedom of speech to make those opinions known, allowing local citizens to decide for themselves how they should or should not be allowed into local governing policy.
While buyers and sellers have a wide variety of reasons for moving, political views are often times one of their major considerations. Some convictions are based on basic conservative or liberal policies while others have more radical elements. It is always good to be aware of the political climate in an area where you are considering moving to or investing in real estate. Politics can influence property taxes, land use, water rights, development, and the overall living experience including the cost of living day to day.
Idaho has been, and currently is, predominately a conservative state. Recently there has been concern over the influx of buyers who hold a more liberal viewpoint. In my experience, when I was building homes in the 90’s, there was a large amount of buyers coming from California which is known to lean more liberal politically. While it is true that many were taking advantage of the lower cost of living, many were also coming to Idaho because the political climate was more akin to their own. In our more current experience as real estate agents, we are finding the same to be true with a few exceptions. As of the recent election in 2020, the northern part of the state is two to nine times conservative to liberal depending on which of the five counties you’re in. Here are the demographics from North to South…
Boundary County – 9x as many Republicans, Libertarians, and Constitutionalists than Democrats
Bonner County – 5x
Kootenai County – 5x
Shoshone County – 2x
Benewah County – 4x (Please note – this does not include voters who claim to be “unaffiliated”)
We have noticed the voices of the multitudes in our area growing louder and showing up more to town hall meetings and other similar events to express their opposition to liberal policies taking any kind of foothold. There seem to be new newspaper publications, social media pages and personalities, radio channels, and other mediums every year. We are also seeing a more organized growing opposition to the development of dense housing communities in contrast to development of homes that have larger tracts of land to accompany them thus increasing the population in lower numbers.
We have also experienced a phenomenon which has always been present but is increasing dramatically. That is the amount of people looking to live a self-sustaining lifestyle on larger pieces of land. They have historically been referred to as “preppers” who are taking measures to “prepare” for a drastic change in social dynamics including the availability of utilities and supplies needed for everyday life. They are looking for property that not only has beneficial resources such as its own water supply and southward facing characteristics, but that is also located in a geographical location advantageous to military-style operations. This includes the proximity to thousands of acres of land that will never be privately owned as well as the location of water ways that would prevent easy passage of large numbers of people. This is known as the American Redoubt. There are websites dedicated to this mindset and even agents who designate themselves as specialists.
We have found however that as real estate agents, we should not try to cater to one type of buyer or seller. We have also had some very negative experiences with some of these self-proclaimed specialists as well as heard of clients who have experienced the same. If a real estate agent is doing their job correctly, they will be able to provide their clients with every bit of information they need to make the right choice when purchasing or selling. They will be able to provide their buying clients with info about road maintenance, water rights, well production, septic systems, inspections, land use, tax exemptions, financing, and much more. They will be able to provide their selling clients with vital information such as a correct recommended sales price, the closing costs they would incur, any title or zoning issues, and every aspect of walking them through a buyer’s offer and each stage of the contract.
While the political convictions of a majority of Idahoans are so much more than “Faith, Family, and Firearms”, these three “F’s” represent the core of what our great state stands for. It stands for the freedom to worship and incorporate that faith into the daily life of its citizens. It stands for whatever it takes for a family to stay together and provide for itself and future generations. And it stands for the right to protect itself from a government that gets too big or an invading force that would ever try to rob them of the ability to live this way on the land they have sacrificed so much for.
And it all is based on our belief of the written word. The scriptures handed down through centuries and confirmed by the dead sea scrolls, the 95 theses nailed by Martin Luther to the doors of an oppressive church dominating the masses, the declaration of independence – constitution – and the bill of rights, the speech by Martin Luther King Jr. proclaiming the dream, and the paperwork we put together for our clients declaring and recording the ownership of their homes and land for all the memories to come.
Regardless of your political views and affiliation, we hope that you can experience the beauty that is Idaho. We are only one of the 50 incredible states in our Union but we have so many natural wonders, plentiful resources, and precious people that you can only experience a small part of in your lifetime. We play our part in the big scheme of things and our history is being written every day. Will you be on one of its pages?