Tune in as David Burnett, Thom Dallman and Michelle Guth discuss misconceptions about loan qualification and loan types. Also Thom talks about home maintenance in the fall and things to do to prepare your Boise home for the winter. To finish off the buzz, listen in as Thom and Dave discuss how the market is doing currently and why fall is a good time to get your real estate needs taken care of.
Dave: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom Dallman of CORE Group Realty. That's the name to remember, CORE Group Realty. 933-7777 that's the phone number, and coregrouprealty.com is the website. And Thom I say that's a thing to remember because sometimes as you're driving around you're thinking "Oh that's that real estate show, CORE Group Realty!"
Dave: And if you have any questions about anything we've talked about, any of the properties, any of the subjects, you can always give CORE Group Realty a call at 933-7777.
Thom: And don't forget to check us out on the website coregrouprealty.com, we've got lots of little tabs there, including one of my favorites which is the Coming Soon. Especially in this competitive market right now you've gotta stay ahead of the other people out there who are looking for homes and so forth.
Dave: You know we've been talking about since early Spring that it has been a Seller's market. Because inventory has been short you've got a couple of Coming Soon’s which that's always great because get this from coregrouprealty.com as of yet nowhere else has that.
Thom: Exactly, they're only on our site and they do have a sign out front so just the people who happen to be driving by it are the only other competition you have on them right now.
Dave: Well let's tell people about where these places are.
Thom: Of course! Our first one is in Caldwell, and it's at 3522 S. Florida Ave. It's a beautiful 3 bedroom 2 bath house single level. 1100 square feet listed at $130,000 so nice price point in that Starlight Park subdivision. It's got some great stuff like a covered patio, dual vanities, RV parking, got to love being able to park your RV in there and not have to take it over to storage.
Dave: And if I'm not mistaken, they're on South Florida, I believe they're in the Vallivue School district. Which Vallivue always ranks at a very very good school district.
Thom: It does, yeah, we have a lot of people that are very adamant that they get into that school district.
Dave: So, this is on the ... if you didn't catch this at the beginning, this is on the website at core .... that's with a "C" ... coregrouprealty.com and it is the Coming Soon tab. I always kind of equate it to this because I've been in that situation before but to me it's a good picture for the average guy it's like you go to the car dealership and you see some cars around back and you're thinking "Can I look at those?" They've been taken in as a trade in but they haven't been cleaned, they haven't been detailed, they're not ready to go yet but soon they will be. That's kind of the way this is as well.
Thom: Exactly, a little something, a pre-showing of it and giving you kind of an idea of what's going to happen. And we have agents that can get you into them for the most part usually the sellers are willing to let people have some previews on it.
Dave: So not only a chance to get a sneak peek on the web, if you are really interested you could get a good chance to see it.
Thom: We can usually get you in, for sure.
Dave: You said you have a couple, what else you got?
Thom: Yeah we've got one more over on 80 N. Canyon St. in Nampa as well. This one was recently renovated so it's a 2 bedroom 1 bath, 1200 square foot single level with some below grade so it has a little bit of basement area. Built in 1941, it has irrigation to the yard on .15 acre. It's got granite counter tops in it, they put in a pantry, also has RV parking and this is listed at $125,500 so another really good price point.
Dave: Yeah and a lot of people say you can't get into anything for under $200,000 ... you can.
Thom: You can! They're available.
Dave: And part of it is sometimes you have to ... you can't look in the North End, that's not going to happen in Boise, you've got to look in some of the outer areas. But for a lot of people there is so much growth going that way and so many businesses. You look at that Midland strip there in Canyon County.
Thom: Oh yes, the mall.
Dave: You don't have to come in to Boise to go shopping. There was a time where really you had to come in to Boise to go shopping.
Thom: Yeah they have that whole shopping over there with a Costco and everything else that went in there. One of my favorite's, Gordmans. Plug the Gordmans I guess!
Dave: Non-paid plug for Gordmans! But that does make a difference I mean there was that day and time where you had to come into the Boise Towne Square Mall, no offense to Boise Towne Square Mall, but if you lived in Caldwell you had to do that.
Thom: You had to drive in to town to get to those places. You no longer need to do that!
Dave: There was one Costco and that was it! So yeah check those out at coregrouprealty.com.
Thom: We also have our Featured Listings page there with our newest listings that have popped up as well. We've got a couple of those that we can talk about. Another one that's in Caldwell in the Delaware Park areas, that's the subdivision that's kind of South of the freeway kind of over there by Highway 26 and Middleton Road area. This is that fun one to pronounce, the 19689 Susquehana Way.
Dave: I think you did it right!
Thom: Yay, perfect. That's the 4 bedroom 2 bath 2 story house with 2252 square feet, 2 car garage with irrigation to the yard as well. Has a huge upstairs bonus space loft area as well. That one is listed at $185,000. Really good location once again not too far from all that shopping we were talking about and nice square footage for $185,000 with the 2252 square feet.
Dave: And how many bedrooms did that one have?
Thom: A 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath.
Dave: So, that's very nice if you've got several kids, you got a place for everybody to hang their hat which especially as your kids start getting older, that is so important you know that everyone has their space. The nice thing with CORE Group Realty on the website ... can I put in if I have a big group of kids, can I put in specifically I'm looking for 5 bedrooms and it will only draw those?
Thom: Oh, you can go to looking to buy a home, the buy tab and it will take you to the search site or the search page where you'll be able to do all your searching and do your criteria, whatever you're looking for ...
Dave: Acreage, lots of room, it's all there, perfect.
Thom: Yes, we have everything from people who are on there looking and wanting to get some bought to lookie loos that are just curious what's going for $1,000,000 in the Treasure Valley but it's there for everybody to use and to get an idea of where they're at.
Dave: Thom Dallman with CORE Group Realty. You think about how much that real estate and the way we market real estate has changed in the past 10 years. I mean there was a time where I'd have to sit in front of a real estate agent and they'd crack open a Multiple book, I want 5 bedrooms and 2 acres.
Thom: And you'd go digging page by page trying to see what was active and making sure you called the actives, making sure it was still active, and so forth.
Dave: For not only the consumer, it is so easy to just go plug it in on the internet, pulls it up, but for the real estate agent as well it's very convenient to have all of that information at their fingertips.
Thom: Exactly, and our system downloads directly from the MLS every 15 minutes so it's very current and very active information on it. Some sites take, they only download twice a day so your information could change so quickly especially in this market where we have the low inventory and things are getting snatched up pretty quickly right and left.
Dave: One other you have on your sheet.
Thom: One last one yes. This one's in Meridian it just came on. This one is 3471 E. Beamer Court in Meridian in the Southerland Farms subdivision. This one also is a 4 bedroom 3 bath with 2522 square feet. This one they've got listed at $339,900 with a three-car garage on it. It's on .26 of an acre so a little bit bigger lot on it and yeah just a really nice property that once again is 3471 E. Beamer Court!
Dave: Not beamer as in BMW!
Thom: Yeah, kind of, maybe?
Dave: That kind of beamer?
Thom: Yeah, that kind of beamer!
Dave: It truly is fascinating now how not only for homes but for cars how we go to the internet for everything, and you can do that right now in the comfort of your home or maybe Sunday morning, I always like doing this I get up Sunday morning, I get up early before the wife and I just go sit down. At one time, I would crack open the newspaper but now I open up the laptop and cruise around, I'll take a look and see what's out there. That's when I do the "tire kicking" you say. I wonder what home for a million dollars are doing out there. And I'll go to CORE Group Realty and do that. You can do it in the comfort of your own home at your leisure at your time. If you're one of these "I can't sleep it's 3 in the morning" people, the web is always there and open ready to go. The other good thing about CORE Group Realty, and we talk about this all the time, if you're driving around right now, maybe you want to see one of these homes on Beamer, or any one of them. You can call 933-7777.
Thom: Please do!
Dave: And somebody is standing by to answer your call right now.
Thom: We'll get you into the house as quick as possible!
Dave: They're not a real estate agent, they're just going to answer your questions, if you would like to talk to a real estate agents they will get you in touch with one and somebody will give you a call back shortly and set that up to go look at the home.
Dave: Gotta like it, I do like that. Thom Dallman with CORE Group Realty is back in studio here again today. Actually, I shouldn't say in studio, we actually record these at CORE Group which is right here just on Emerald just I guess it would be West of the Boise Towne Square Mall.
Thom: Yes, West of the Boise Towne Square Mall, I always say about a block and a half. Look to the South and you will see us.
Dave: Exactly so pull on in and you can talk to the folks here at CORE Group Realty. We'll continue, going to be talking to Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage find out what's happening in the lending world it's changing just about as fast as real estate is.
Thom: Yes oh yeah, seems like always.
Dave: Different programs and different things for you to get qualified for we'll talk to Michelle coming up in just a couple of minutes here. It is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, 933-7777 is the phone number to call, coregrouprealty.com is the website. We'll continue on the other side here on 580 KIDO.
Dave: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom Dallman of CORE Group Real Estate and as we always do every week, we get a chance to talk to Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage Equal Opportunity Lender as we are going to talk about something that if you're like 110 years old like me, it seems like there was a time ... you laugh Thom.
Thom: You are not that old!
Dave: OK 108. But there was a time when I bought my first house, it was one of those things where you had to have 20% down, that's just the way it rolled. I remember my dad, "If you don't have 20% down boy you're not going to be able to buy a house so start saving now!" but Michelle that's not necessarily the case, is it?
Michelle: That is not the case and once again, I am so glad you asked Dave. I thought today would be great just to do a quick rundown on the various options we have with respect to down payment because we do get that question still all the time. "I can't buy a house I don't have 20% down." One of the great options out there is for our veterans. We've talked about the Veterans Administration program, VA where it is a zero-down program. If you are a veteran, one of the best programs out there without a doubt. Rural Development we've also talked about, also known as RD, those are for those rural areas like Kuna, Star, Middleton, Payette, Emmett. That is also a zero-down program. In one of our earlier segments we talked about as of October they decreased the expenses associated with that for the government fees so you're getting more house for the money so that is just a tremendous program as well if you're interested in any of those rural areas.
Dave: OK so the VA loan or the RD loan.
Michelle: Both zero down.
Dave: Both are good programs. I just, I'm working with these acronyms here. VA, RD.
Michelle: And with the RD you do not have to be a first-time home buyer. And with the VA, another question I always get is well I've already used my VA benefits once so I can't use it anymore. That's not the case, you actually get those VA benefits reinstated to borrow again, those VA entitlements after you pay off your other VA loan. In some cases, you can have two VA loans.
Dave: I didn't know that, I just thought if you bought a home, VA loan that's it.
Thom: Just one.
Dave: See look at that Thom, I learned something new!
Thom: I thought the same thing too!
Dave: I thought that it was one and done.
Michelle: No, thankfully not. So, they have that for years to come.
Dave: That is a great deal for veterans so I guess a way of saying thank you for their service and what they do and now if time goes in between let's say I'm a veteran and I've got my VA loan. I sell my house, I go do something else and after 5, 10 years it doesn't have to be consecutive there can be space in between?
Michelle: Absolutely, no restriction. Good question.
Dave: Alright, so VA, RD. We've got those.
Michelle: Perfect. FHA. Federal Housing Administration which is your 3.5% down program. Great program with that one is one thing with the Rural Development is there are family income limits for the household. So, that is a factor that can throw some families out of being eligible for that program if they're over the income limits. FHA however does not have an income limit, but they do have a loan amount limit. For our area, you can have a base loan amount of $271,050 so still a nice price point under the FHA program.
Dave: That is a lot of house.
Michelle: It is a lot of house. And 3.5% down, I mean, not a huge amount of money required for that program. With that, we have talked about in other segments the Idaho Housing Bond program where there is some down payment assistance available to help with the down, whether that be in the form of a grant or a 2nd mortgage. They are in the process of changing their program so they're not giving as large of a down payment assistance it's now 2.5% instead of the full 3.5% but there are some other things we can accompany that with, with a small gift that they are also offering of .5 a point. So currently under that program you can get in with as little as .5%. That program however, even though FHA doesn't have income limits, the bond program for down payment assistance does have income limits. Once again, I encourage you to talk to a loan officer so they can look at the various programs to see if you're eligible.
Dave: And they can call you, your folks there at Diversified, right?
Michelle: I would love it if they called my folks! And if they'd like to call us, you can reach us at 853-7878.
Dave: So, that is something that is well worth talking about with them to find out, where you stand and what kind of assistance there could be there.
Michelle: Yes, another program. 3% down. Now we have a 3% down Conventional program.
Dave: Wait, we don't have an acronym for that one?
Michelle: There are some acronyms but I won't state them! So, 3% down and that program in some places is required for first time home buyers as well. The benefit of that program is that the mortgage insurance premium is less than what it would be if you were doing 5% down in most cases because again, it's an encouragement for first time home buyers to get into a home at a lesser expense, so another good option for home buyers.
Dave: Now when we say first time home buyers, are we talking about ... is the target trying to get young people or just people who have never owned before? Who are they targeting those loans for?
Michelle: Can I tell you, you ask the best questions. I'm glad, once again, you asked. And let me tell you Dave.
Dave: I've spent my life asking questions, it's all I do.
Michelle: What that encompasses is anybody who has not had ownership in a home in the last 3 years. So, if they've not owned a primary residence on their tax returns for the last 3 years you are now once again a first-time home buyer.
Dave: OK and 3 years comes and goes there are some people who have maybe lost their home or sold their home during the recession that we had what, 8 years ago whenever it started that maybe have been out of a home. So, over 3 years you qualify again as a first-time home buyer!
Michelle: Exactly, we have a lot of clients that are coming out of that period where they are out of a bankruptcy, short sale, or foreclosure and they are considered first time home buyers again. So yes, great question. And then the other thing I like to talk about is some different sources of down payment. A lot of people have done a great job in contributing to their 401K plans, and that can be an excellent source for down payment. What most people don't know is that with a 401K loan, there is not tax implications, it's basically borrowing against your retirement plan under incredible terms. In many cases, as little as 3.5% APR.
Dave: OK I'm about to ask a question maybe a dumb one, but I thought you couldn't have outside sources for down payments so in other words, dad can't give me $10,000 to put down on it, a gift, I guess I'm a little confused. So you can borrow against your 401K for a down payment?
Michelle: Correct, so if it's a form of secured borrowed funds that can be acceptable. Again, the benefit with the 401K is in most cases the plan administrator will allow you to borrow up to 50% of your vested balance under incredible terms and if it's for a home purchase in most cases it's a 20 year amortization and the interest you pay goes right back to your 401K and again, no tax implications. So that could be a great resource if you want to utilize that for a source of down. Another thing is again, secured borrowed funds. If you have a lot of equity in a vehicle for example and you want to refinance your vehicle and pull some cash out, that's an acceptable source of down. Where it's going to get us in trouble is if you get that unsecured loan you would balance against your credit card. None of those are going to be acceptable sources. We have to be able to paper trail every penny going into that transaction.
Dave: So let me review this one. Let's say I have an RV, a nice class A RV that's worth $70,000 and is pretty much paid off. So then I could refinance that? Is that what you're saying, to use as part of the down payment?
Michelle: Correct, do a cash-out refinance on it but with that, you want to talk to your loan officer first because we want to make sure that that increased payment isn't going to impact your debt ratio causing us an issue to qualify.
Dave: OK so don't just run out and do that right now, call Diversified and find out how that works.
Michelle: Correct, make sure that the ratio will support that new debt but that could be a great option as well. Other options of down payment, you mentioned a gift from a family member. So if you have an immediate family member that is willing to gift you the down payment that is an acceptable source. Now once again, we're going to paper trail that so under the government programs we're going to get a copy of that check showing it came from a family member and that family member is also going to sign a gift affidavit stating that there is no expectation of re-payment and then we'll get proof that the family member had sufficient funds in their account to gift that. That's under the FHA program for example. Conventional is not as restrictive, we're just going to get a copy of the check and have them sign a gift affidavit to have it documented that it's in your bank account.
Dave: I get it, so the whole deal is dad has to say "Yeah, you're not paying me back, it is a gift."
Michelle: Correct, exactly.
Dave: Very good and you have a third option for me there? I was trying to look ahead at your notes on the table down there as far as that goes.
Michelle: Well and then ideally our goal would be, we'd love it if our consumer has the 20% down and again the benefit of that is we avoid the private mortgage insurance which saves them a little bit in their payment.
Dave: If I were to ask, is there a kind of loan, you know, your typical bank loan that still requires 20% down? I mean, what kind of loans basically say "You have to have 20% down."
Michelle: Normally that's only going to be applicable if you're buying an investment property. That is where you're going to be restricted to that 20% down. In some cases, they will do a 15% down on that, but the mortgage insurance premium is very costly, the interest rate goes up significantly so typically we tell anybody wanting to do investment properties plan on 20% down.
Dave: Alright, very good so if you are like I am, and I know I am, dad told you "No, you've gotta have 20%." It's not necessarily true.
Michelle: It is not necessarily true. Definitely encourage you to work on saving for that home even if we can get you some down payment assistance. You're always going to have some of those unexpected bills once you move in so we'd love our consumers to have hopefully 1-2 months’ worth of payments at a minimum sitting in the bank account for those unplanned expenses.
Thom: Exactly, maintenance issues that kind of pop up every once in a while, and things like that. Definitely something to save for.
Dave: Diversified Mortgage is the place to go and again Michelle if somebody wants to talk to you what's the phone number there?
Michelle: You can give us a call at 853-7878 or visit our website dmgloans.com!
Dave: And again, you don't have to be using CORE Group Realty if you have another real estate agent you can get a hold of Diversified Mortgage as well and request them and I say that because Michelle I feel very comfortable talking to you about these things, and I have been told by other people, you don't know this, but I've been told by other people, people are comfortable talking to you about finances, you make it very understandable.
Michelle: Oh, I appreciate that, that's our goal.
Dave: Very good, Diversified Mortgage give them a call today and if you didn't remember that number, just remember 933-7777 and the folks at CORE will get you in touch or you can find her of course you have a website as well, what is that?
Dave: Very good, we'll continue on the other side, this is the Idaho Real Estate Show here on Idaho Real Estate Buzz .. got all flustered there. The Idaho Real Estate Buzz here on 580 KIDO.
Dave: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom Dallman of CORE Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com is the website and if you'd like to call you can do it right now as a matter of fact. 933-7777 that is the phone number at CORE Group Realty where a customer service agent, specialist will help you, guide you through the website. Just kind of help you negotiate that or if you're wanting to talk to an agent or any question, they'll help guide you in the right direction.
Thom: Yeah we've got all kinds of information out there and available and people have all kinds of questions so we make sure there is someone available at all times to help them with that.
Dave: Alright we are at that time of year and again I want to preface. This show is not just about buying and selling homes.
Dave: You want to buy or sell a home, call Thom. He'll buy or sell you a home. It's just that quick, it's that easy. But this is about giving you knowledge and empowering you. If you are a homeowner, this is probably the biggest investment you have unless you own a business. It's a huge investment and we've reached that time of year where the weather is changing, your home needs a little bit of tender loving care.
Thom: Seasonal changes bring all kinds of different maintenance.
Dave: And you have compiled kind of a check list of items for your home to check.
Thom: Yeah I've got a few things to talk about. Before I jump into that, you kind of started talking about this isn't just about buying and selling. You have agents out there, plenty to pick from and you should really do your due diligence in interviewing those agents but really find out kind of how the agent's philosophy is past the home sale. There are a lot of agents that will just sell you a home and then disappear and you never hear from them again. Our agents are really, and our staff and everybody, customer service as well, we check in with our clients. We check in after the sale, we check in quarter to say just "Hey, how are things going? Is there maintenance issues that you're having?" We have our service providers; we have people that can help with those things. We are all about the after the sale as well and staying in contact to let you know that you have someone here for anything that is real estate related. That's why I like the radio show because then we can also communicate this stuff out there who people who haven't worked with us and so forth so that they have this information as well. So anyways.
Dave: And honestly, that is just smart business. I think we talked about last week and the week before that the average person is going to stay in their house 7 years. 7 years comes and goes quickly. I'm going to need a real estate agent again. If you've been taking care of me the past 7 years, I'm going to come right back to the same spot.
Thom: Well that's what we hope, we at CORE Group are all about building relationships, it's not just looking for a sale. We're about building relationships with our clients and the marketplace and just helping with their whatever needs they have. It's all about that relationship building for sure.
Dave: So, that maintenance list.
Thom: Yeah I love telling people or helping people out because people tend to get into their home, they get really excited, they get settled in and juts don't think about the little things that can pop up, the little things you can do throughout the year or annually that can help you in the long run when that 7 years does come around and you're ready to sell. It can just help you kind of maintain it as well as safety of your family and yourself as well. Just starting out with kind of some of the monthly things that you should think about doing are testing your smoke detectors, your carbon monoxide detectors. There are some theories going back and forth of whether it should be monthly or whether it should be quarterly but at least 2-3 times a year you should be checking those to make sure that they're working and replacing those batteries. Making sure that the batteries are working as well in those.
Dave: You don't want to be that news story that says the batteries were dead in the smoke detector. You don't want to be that news story.
Thom: No, you definitely do not. Some people have fire extinguishers in their house or in their garages so checking those every so often should be a factor to think about because those things do kind of ...
Dave: Feeling guilty. I've got one right in my garage door. It's been a while since I checked it. I guess I should check it!
Thom: Nothing worse than having a little grease fire and going to get your fire extinguisher and then find out it's no longer working.
Dave: All's you do is throw it at the stove. That's not going to work!
Thom: Exactly! Obviously certain things like cleaning your air filters, you should do that quarterly. Making sure that your furnace air filters are cleaned. You should do that definitely at the change of each season as you kick on the furnace and stuff like that to get that dust and all of the dirt that has accumulated out of there.
Dave: I think it is wise to use the seasons, I mean we just went from Fall to Winter. Yikes. But we just had that change in season.
Thom: Well it feels like we just went from Summer to Fall, we had no Fall all of a sudden.
Dave: But here's the deal, it's very important for you to check these things and if you're going to do something quarterly, the change of the seasons is a perfect time to remember to do those on your checklist.
Thom: I agree with you 100%.
Dave: I do that with my filters. In fact, this weekend is my filter changing time.
Thom: There you go! Also, make sure that you're watching your plants, by your outside vents and your air conditioner units.
Thom: Plants can grow up into the air conditioner unit and get in the way and corrode them and stuff so walk around the side of your house and make sure there's no plants that are on the siding and rubbing with wind storms and stuff like that especially during the Winter can erode the siding and stuff like that.
Dave: Or the roof if you have branches hanging down on your roof.
Thom: Exactly, I was just going to mention that exactly! Branches leaning against the house or the roof you want to trim those back so that they're not rubbing especially as we get into ... like we had a big wind storm earlier this week and so forth so definitely something along those lines. Checking your gutters, making sure your gutters are free of leaves especially right now from Fall to Winter.
Dave: You've got more projects for me ... you know, you touched on air conditioners. Maybe we need to have an HVAC person come and talk about this. What do we do to get that prepared for Winter? I mean, I think I'm done using my air conditioner this year. What do I do to get it prepared for Winter?
Thom: That's a good question, we should have an HVAC person in here!
Dave: Because I see some people they wrap their air conditioning unit or they do this or they do that. I had somebody once tell me that every Spring you get a high-pressure garden hose and just spray it off the coils.
Thom: Yes, spray off the coils I've heard that.
Dave: Maybe we should do that, have an HVAC person in.
Thom: I know that I've always encouraged people to make sure that the insulation is good on the piping and stuff that goes to the air conditioning because if that's not insulted that can freeze up on you during usage and then during the Winter time and then all of a sudden when you go to turn it on.
Dave: Should get Stan in here to give us some updates. Because there are a number of things ...
Thom: Well we have a service provider that's Advanced Heating and Cooling so they do a great job and we can probably get them in here for one of these segments!
Dave: Yes because we're at that wonderful time of year where we don't use air conditioning, we're really not using heat yet so it's a good time to make sure your air conditioning is set and ready to go for the Winter and your heater is ready to go. I mean there have been several fire calls in the morning of people who have turned on their furnace and thankfully one of them I know I was reading about it smelled like dust burning it was just the dust getting caught in there.
Thom: Yes, the first time you kick it on every time it always kind of has that weird smell to it.
Dave: Yeah you're sitting there going "Is it going to get better?"
Thom: It's not a bad idea to have a professional come and check it out once or twice a year just to make sure.
Dave: So, we have a provider with CORE Group Realty?
Thom: Yes, Advanced Heating and Cooling. Someone that you should make sure that they come through and everything is up to par for the new season.
Dave: If you want to do that 933-7777 is the phone number to call and customer service agent can get you hooked up with them to have somebody come out and get that thing ready to go.
Thom: Exactly or you can look at the tab under Service Providers under coregrouprealty.com we have all of our service providers listed there as well.
Dave: And again, the service providers are people that CORE Group has worked with and trust. It's a recommendation. Is really what that is, let's be honest.
Thom: Yes, these are tried and true people that we've partnered up with that we trust and we have recommended them before and they've treated our clients really well.
Dave: Which beats the open the yellow pages and point. You just don't know what you're getting.
Thom: Yeah some other maintenance ideas, some minor things that people don't really think about but cause long term damage I guess you could say. Checking your plumbing. Check your plumbing underneath the sinks and underneath cabinets because leaks can develop at any time and they can be very minor leaks where they don't necessarily show, they just kind of cause a stain but over time they can get bigger. You want to catch those before they get too far ahead. If anybody's like my kitchen, it has a cabinet underneath their sink like my kitchen where it's just all kinds of just stuff, stuck in there so once a quarter I like to get in there and just pull everything out and double check just to make sure that nothing's leaking in there. I did this once and found that we did have a leak.
Dave: Then you run into mold problems.
Thom: Curb it, yeah.
Dave: Or if it's really bad you could have rot problems going on.
Thom: Exactly, so people don't technically think about checking under their cabinets, they just throw a bunch of stuff in there and get their cabinets full then they can't see if there are small water leaks and stuff like that. Going through less used toilets if you have a toilet that is maybe in a guest room that doesn't get used very often or a sink that doesn't get used very often, they suggest once a month going through and just running some water through it and just flushing the toilet. Just to make sure that the seals don't dry up or crack or the gases get caught in the piping and stuff like that.
Dave: Yeah part of the deal with the sink is it has that "U" shape but the water will evaporate out of it then you have an open pipe into the sewer system.
Thom: exactly, then you'll start getting smells and stuff like that. So definitely something to think about. Weather stripping, obviously, going into Winter, good to check your weather stripping on your doors to make sure that they're sufficient so you don't have a whole bunch of cold air coming through unless you like to have the cold air in the house! Also, checking your water heater pressure valves. Making sure the release valve is working. You might want to have a professional come and double check that. As you're using hot water and stuff your water heater can build up pressure and you don't want to have any accidents and stuff like that.
Dave: Good thing to flush out your hot water tank as well.
Thom: Yep, make sure to get rid of the sediments and stuff like that.
Dave: If you don't have somebody do it, it is easy to do. There's a little hose, hook it up there, run that into your driveway and turn it on and let it run. Just make sure you still have water coming into the hot water tank. Don't turn that off, that would be bad.
Thom: I had that on my list of things to talk about too. Along the lines of water since we're talking about it, water softeners too. People tend to if they have a water softener in their house, they don't think about putting salt and you kind of have to maintain your water softeners as well. So once a year you should definitely be checking on that, probably twice a year maybe three times a year checking your water softener. One of my things that I like to do which people don't think about either I don't think very often is your garbage disposal. Throwing a lemon into the garbage disposal to just clean it up and clear up any of the gunk and build up in there. There's also a recommendation that you can do frozen vinegar ice cubes. Throw them in there, the vinegar is supposed to help clean it while the frozen part of it is supposed to help sharpen the blades to make sure that you have a nice sharp blade in your garbage disposal.
Thom: Just another maintenance thing that most people don't really think about!
Dave: Maybe as you're going through the weekend here it would be a good time to do some of these. Does it sound like you're going to put a blog together for the website?
Thom: Yep! I am going to go directly to my staff this next week and put this as a blog because I think this is a great piece of information and we're going to share it on our Facebook page as well. Don't forget you can go to our Facebook page and get updates if you like our page and all of those Coming Soon listings as well as everything that we kind of have going on here at the company and see on a personal basis.
Dave: Just go to Facebook and then look just in the search for CORE Group Realty Boise and then you can like the page and have that information. Perfect. Thom Dallman who is the co-owner and the designated broker for CORE Group Realty. Going to take a quick break in the show, come back and finish up but just a few weekend projects for you that you can do. Thanks Thom, you got a lot for me to do!
Thom: I know, I'm going through the list myself going "Yep, I gotta do that this weekend!"
Dave: We'll continue on the other side; this is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz here on 580 KIDO.
Dave: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom Dallman who is the co-owner and designated broker of CORE Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com that is the website to go to and of course 933-7777 is the phone number to call whether you're looking for real estate or maybe you have a child or a friend or somebody else who is. Just get them towards CORE Group Realty. I'm not saying you have to work with CORE Group, but give them a chance, come in, interview them, talk to them, see if CORE Group fits your needs or their needs and if it's a situation that will work.
Thom: Yeah we'd love to chat with you and find out where you guys are at, where anybody's at in the process and give some good advice and guidance on you know everything from getting pre-qualified to if you're just lookie-loo-ing just having fun on the website and kind of checking things out.
Dave: A little tire kicking going on!
Thom: Yeah, if you're just looking for basic market information, we try to always have that handy and available for people because it's very key when you're out there investing in properties and doing this big investment for yourself to know what the market is up to and what's happening. Getting that sage advice of where the trend is going so you can kind of base your decisions accurately and know if it's trending towards our interest rates are going up, you want to know that because that's going to affect your loan payments if house prices are starting to go down you want to know that because when it comes time to sell you could lose equity if it's not the right timing.
Dave: It's all about knowledge. And let me ask you this very quickly just to clarify for CORE Group Realty whether you're talking residential, whether you're talking bare land, whether you're talking condos, whether you're talking commercial, you kind of cover all of that. It's not just residential.
Thom: We are mostly residential and land and condos. We do have access to all of that information. Commercial not so much. We do kind of tend to refer that to ... we have a couple really good commercial agents that we work with, once again, partnerships. I'm a big believer in specialization so being kind of that jack of all trades and master of none is not the way I like to be.
Dave: So, what's you're going to do, do it well.
Thom: Exactly, so that is why we mainly focus on residential sales, but we do agriculture. We have a few in the pipelines, agricultural properties that we're looking at to get listed here before too long. So we've got some options there.
Dave: Well, if you're interested in commercial, you can always call 933-7777 and talk to Thom and find out who he recommends that you go to.
Thom: Exactly, we have a couple great people, a couple great guys that can help with that.
Dave: You know, we are officially in Winter.
Thom: Yeah, can you believe it?
Dave: I know, you have October numbers.
Thom: September, yep it's September versus August. Yeah we've had a trend down because the season. People kind of get into the school year, start of the school year and tend to kind of back off on their home searches and sales and stuff like that. I think we've kind of had too with the elections coming up people are kind of hesitant on which way they should go and so forth depending on who becomes president.
Dave: Well it is going to make a difference in everything.
Thom: Yeah, exactly, so. September, we noticed a downward trend in all aspects as far as sales in August we had 1,017 sales in Ada County and we ended up with 980 for August sorry and 980 for September so down a good bit there. And for Canyon County we were down from 424 in August to 390 sales in September. So definitely kind of the demand has backed off a little bit which I think then has led to a little bit of the decrease in pricing as well. The median sales price for August in Ada County was $253,000 in August and it went down to $249,000.
Dave: Those aren't huge decreases.
Thom: Not huge decreases but just enough, you know.
Dave: So, let me clarify again. Is it because you think the economy is slowing down, is it because of lack of inventory which we know not as many houses out there for sale as you'd like there to be, or is it ...
Thom: I think it is really just a combination of everything! I think like I mentioned, the school year, the elections. I think economy has a little to do with it, just there's a hesitancy in the economy that is kind of playing into this a little bit. And demand's down so when demand's down prices go down as well. While it's going down, it's not going down that much. There are still a lot of people registering.
Dave: Maybe it's not white hot, but it's still red hot!
Thom: Exactly! I preface with the fact that every week we have new registrants on our website, new people that are logging in and looking for homes and requesting information on homes. And that has been consistently around that 50-60 registrants each week and that has not let up. We still have the demand out there, we still have the people interested in property, interested in real estate but I think they are being a little more cautious just right now just because of everything that we've mentioned.
Dave: Yeah and the elections, all of that, that does matter. Inventory, and I think that school year, a lot of people they make that move if they have children they make that move in the Fall they get settled in or late Summer to get settled in before Winter hits.
Thom: But you know what we still have people coming in, moving into town from out of state, we still have a good demand out there for homes. 980 homes sold in September in Ada County, that is still a really good number comparatively. So, demand is still strong and it's even kind of stronger a little bit in the Winter times because the people who are looking to buy houses are real people who are looking to buy houses, they aren't tire-kickers. If you're going to buy a house in the Winter time you're dedicate to the process.
Dave: I had somebody say that I was buying a pick up one time and it was like 17 degrees out and I was definitely looking and he said "Well, no I knew if you were out looking at cars in this, you're looking to buy.
Thom: Exactly, you're looking to buy! You're going to buy something.
Dave: That's the way the homes are now. We did have the Parade of Homes.
Thom: That's going on right now.
Dave: The people got a chance to look but apparently, we're hitting that time of year where if somebody's looking, they're looking.
Thom: Yeah the Parade of Homes is actually a really fun event if you can get out and check out some of those houses, it's a really good way to kind of spend an afternoon and go and see kind of some of the inventory. This is the Fall Parade of Homes so this is where they're kind of the builders are showing their inventory of what they have available so we heard from Heather Echevarria with Innovative Custom Homes last week I believe it was that she was talking about the fact that there's actually less inventory for the builders right now because their homes are selling so quickly. So they actually have less on the Parade this year because of the way that the market has gone and stuff and she herself has one of the homes on the Parade as well available.
Dave: Let me ask your opinion on this. I know before 8 years ago we had what they call the housing bubble, and I remember in ... I'm in the same subdivision now that I was then but there were homes selling to people, investors calling out of California who had never even been to Idaho and said "I'll buy it!" so you had just wild things going on. This recent business in the real estate market, do you think in your opinion has it been based on the bubble or is it solid home sales?
Thom: My opinion is that it is based on solid home sales, I think that we'll see a slow down, I think we'll see an evening out and maybe a decrease a little bit. That's my personal opinion. I just read an article earlier this week some other big wigs out there are suggesting that maybe there is a bubble that we're going to see a pop here. There is a belief out there that it is cyclical every between every 8-10 years that we have these kind of housing increases and then bursts. So there's arguments for both sides that I keep hearing and reading about.
Dave: It feels a little different though. I don't hear people just doing crazy things. And 8 years ago, people were doing crazy things.
Thom: People were a little out of control with the way that the prices were going.
Dave: The appraisal of my house came in on taxes and it's like "Seriously? Come on. My house is not worth this." and then over the past 8 years it's come down and then it's coming back up towards probably where I think it should be. For a while it was just, it was insane.
Thom: Yeah it's an interesting time of the year and like I said, there's just conflicting reports coming from all sides you know, the worriers that are saying that yes this is going to be the bubble that's happening, and there is the other side that are like "No, this has been the way that the loans and stuff have been going and the way that they're regulated now" and so forth. That's what kind of caused the bubble last time.
Dave: Yes, Michelle Guth has talked about that. The loans right now are based on solid numbers; it's not you have a pulse you get a loan. It's based on solid numbers so the people who are getting loans are the people who can pay those loans back. Which is a good deal. So it has slowed down a little bit.
Thom: Slowed down a little bit, still a good time to sell your home, to buy a home. Like I said the buyers are more committed right now. The sellers are more committed if they're listing their home to get it sold. They want to get it sold, so. In the Winter time, so they're more committed to it. I think that the opportunity for a smoother transaction happens in the Winter time. Title companies aren't as busy; the lenders aren't as busy so you can get a quicker close time in the process. I think that it's still a really good time to get your house listed, get it sold, and get it sold quickly. There's still a lot of demand out there, a lot of people looking to buy. It may have decreased a little bit but they're still out there. There's going to be people needing a home.
Dave: Well if you have been thinking about selling your home, now is the perfect time to call CORE Group Realty 933-7777. That is the phone number to call. I know it's the weekend right now but somebody is standing by and will get you in touch with an agent or if you want to just come in and in fact can they talk to you Thom?
Thom: Yeah! They sure can, they can ask for me for sure.
Dave: Thom is not untouchable; you can talk to Thom if you'd like to. Come in and sit down and talk to him, say "We've thought about this" and you're not going to be high pressured into getting a home sold.
Thom: Yeah we are more than happy to give you a quick evaluation on the house if you're just kind of curious on where the value is right now in the marketplace. I have people all the time just kind of testing the waters to see what they can get, whether they decide to sell or just decide to wait for another year to some renters and get that income so we're here to kind of help and guide and kind of look at the process with you. You can kind of figure out where you're at with your equity.
Dave: CORE Group Realty, coregrouprealty.com 933-7777 we do this every Saturday at 2:00 and we'll be back again next Saturday for you here on 580 KIDO.
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