In Realtors We Trust

Choosing the Greater Idaho Falls Association of Realtors

Published online: Mar 21, 2020 Articles I.F. Magazine Staff
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It’s a big moment. It’s time to purchase a home. Whether it’s your first or your tenth, buying a home is always an arduous process, which is why it’s important to pick someone you trust to help you get through it. 

But how do you choose? 

One of the most useful resources in our community is the Greater Idaho Falls Association of Realtors. The association currently has 532 realtors, all of whom are ready to help you take that next step you’ve been plotting for years. That’s 532 realtors, not real estate agents. What’s the difference? Realtors are held to a code of ethics. The code ensures that consumers are served by requiring realtors to cooperate with each other in furthering clients' best interests.

The History 

How did the Greater Idaho Falls Association of Realtors get started? In the spring of 1920, farmers received the richest irrigated land in Idaho Falls. They received $7.50 per hundred for their potatoes, $50 per ton for their hay and wheat sold for $3 per hundred. A great crop was produced that year.

Idaho Falls was growing and prosperous, yet panic set in with talks of the great depression spreading across the United States. Banks went under by the score; land values sank 50 percent and pandemonium reigned.

Sixty thousand people left the Idaho Falls area and the reminder wanted to leave but could not dispose of their holdings at any price. 245 homes were vacated as well as 28 vacant storefronts. This condition went on until July of 1924, when a dynamic personality came to Idaho Falls from Los Angeles

His name was Ralph Edmunds, the first President of the Idaho Falls Association of Realtors, now the Great Idaho Falls Association of Realtors. He called a meeting of 14 real estate agents and wanted to create a real estate board.

Edmunds got right to work. He raised a small fund and began to advertise in local and national newspapers to re-sell farms back to their owners and bring new businesses and residents to Idaho Falls. Edmunds’ campaign was a great success. In March of 1926, $1 million worth of buildings were under construction, including a $300,000 modern hotel. Property value skyrocketed and rents had doubled, tripled and then some. 

At the end of the campaign there was not a vacant house, storeroom, or even a vacant room in the city. Hundreds were being turned away each month simply because there was no place for them to live. Edmunds transformed Idaho Falls into the bustling town it is today.

Community Involvement

The Greater Idaho Falls Association of Realtors is active in the community in multiple ways. They hold multiple blood drives throughout the year, collect Turkeys for the Salvation Army and help serve Thanksgiving dinner. They also support school districts through donations and supporting school drives for supplies. 

“One of the many values a realtor has to offer is working to navigate through the complexities that often arise when buying or selling real estate,” stated Jennifer McCulloch, President of the Greater Idaho Falls Association of Realtors. “The whole transaction can be very emotional for our clients. Whether buying or selling it symbolizes a change or new chapter in their lives. We are there to help support our clients through the process. Many of us are invested in our community by various service groups and organizations. We care about our community and wish to help see it thrive.”

Local Political Involvement Committee

Three years ago the Greater Idaho Falls Association of Realtors organized the Local Political Involvement Committee. The committee attends city council sessions as well as planning and zoning meetings in Idaho Falls and the surrounding areas. They bring the information gleaned back to the committee and the information is sent out to their realtor membership, keeping all informed. 

The committee is also responsible for the association’s legislative luncheon. They invite all of their members, local legislators, state legislators, the mayor and city council to attend this  patriotic event. At the luncheon, the State Government Affairs Director and other Political Realtor representatives across the state share what they will be proposing in the upcoming legislative session

Safety First

The Realtors Political Action Committee and other political fundraising are the keys to protecting and promoting the real estate industry. This supports things such as the Flood insurance act, mortgage lending on condos and currently in Idaho they are trying to pass a First Time Buyers Savings program. Should that go through them first time buyers can save tax free money towards the purchase of a home. 

Whether you’re a prospective homeowner looking for someone to guide you through the puzzle of purchasing a home or a realtor looking for a group working toward the same level of excellence, this association aims to help. For more information, visit www.gifar.org.

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