Join us today on the Buzz! We are talking with Michelle Guth from Diversified Mortgage about loan qualification and credit scores. We also have Heather Echevarria of Innovative Custom Homes to tell you all about the final weekend of the Fall Parade of Homes and where you can go to see her beautiful custom built parade home.
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 you can go to at any time check out what's happening in the real estate market. Or you can call 933-7777. Thom another great weekend on us as we slide towards those Winter months.
Thom: Yeah it's getting a little chilly out there so make sure you've got your coats on and ready to go.
Dave: I think I said it before, it felt like Fall, but this really, it's really feeling like Fall now.
Thom: It's really getting closer to it for sure.
Dave: It is, and I tell you what there's nothing more beautiful right now as you drive around whether you're going to the parade of homes or just driving around the valley. Look at the leaves changing colors, people are getting their homes ready for bed for the Winter, they're getting those lawns mowed perhaps for the last time and I notice more those guys running around with the compressors to blow out the sprinklers.
Thom: Exactly, yes, another very important part of home ownership is getting those sprinklers blown out so you don't get your frozen pipes and doing it fairly soon because yeah the temperatures are continuing to drop and get chilly out there.
Dave: So we'll talk about that coming up here in the next couple weeks, that preparation for Winter because there really are some things you need to do for your home. But before we get to all that at coregrouprealty.com on the website there's a tab there, a little place you can click for "Coming Soon." Has nothing to do with the movies, it has everything to do with homes.
Thom: It's kind of like a movie preview, kind of just a little preview of what's coming up and when it's going to not necessarily hit the market because they are in varying degrees but what is going to be hitting the market soon. So you can get a leg up on your competition and kind of see what's happening.
Dave: And this is people who have contacted your agents whether they walked through the door here on Emerald Street or whether they called from prior connections, these are people who have listed their homes, they're almost ready to sell not quite. They may have a few things they want to do to them first but you have a chance at coregrouprealty.com to get a sneak peek.
Thom: Exactly, yes that is what it's all about especially in this competitive market right now. Sometimes that little leg up on the competition is exactly what you need.
Dave: You've seen the house before the other guy looking for a home has even had a chance to see it and that's, that could be a bonus of a couple of days which might make the difference on getting that good deal. What do you got?
Thom: Well let me start with our first one which is in Meridian at the Ventana subdivision over there off of Ustick and Chinden. The address is 303 E. Ironstone Ct. This is a nice 4 bedroom 2.5 bath 2 story house with 2,259 square feet so 2,259 square feet a nice big home for your family. Listed at $245,000 it does have a 3 car garage, it's fully fenced with irrigation for that yard. The nice thing about the yard is it is a .27 acre lot so it's a bigger lot and it's in a cul-de-sac so it's one of those semi pie shaped lots where your front yard is minimized so not as much front yard but lots of backyard.
Dave: So if you're a backyard activity person this is perfect.
Thom: Perfect for if you have kids, for them to run around out back, if you're just a married couple or single and like to entertain it's a great entertaining space and so forth. Especially for this one because the back behind ... there's not homes behind the house so it's a very private lot.
Dave: That is really nice. And I can attest to living in a cul-de-sac and I do, and it's awfully nice to be able to just not have to worry about it. A car drives out front and you're like "What was that? There was a car, what?"
Thom: Like "Who's in our cul-de-sac? That doesn't happen very often."
Dave: It is nice and I think I know more neighbors in my cul-de-sac than when I did when I lived on a street.
Thom: Yeah people tend to talk a little bit more meeting at the mailbox and so forth and getting to know each other just because you don't have the traffic and the neighborhood people coming through and stuff.
Dave: So this is nice out there on Ustick in the Meridian area so you might want to check that one out and you can do it at coregrouprealty.com and check that out.
Thom: Under the Coming Soon tab.
Dave: Another one?
Thom: Yeah, this one we are really super excited about. This is our in-house custom home builder's Innovative Custom homes. They were commissioned to do a remodel on a North End home so this has been gutted, totally rehabbed and we're actually going to have Innovative Custom Homes in here in a later segment to talk a little bit about the Parade of Homes and stuff like that and maybe we can get her to talk about this house as well. This house is actually going to be coming on the market at $1.2 million dollars.
Dave: It's a North End home!
Thom: Exactly, and it's a fairly large North End home at 2,319 square feet. Single level with some below grade. Originally built in 1925 so the historic type of home.
Dave: Alright let me stop you real quick because you said a term there that may escape some people. Below grade, which means, basement?
Thom: Yes it has some basement space!
Dave: I just say that because it sounds like "Hey, this home is below grade." It makes it sound like something's wrong with it.
Thom: Oh, no no no it just means that there's some basement space in it and maybe we can get her to give us a little information on what that basement entails but this house has been completely renovated all the way down to the studs and then re-done completely so it's almost like getting a brand new home in the North End.
Dave: So it has that historic feel on the outside but then has modern day electronics and as far as wiring goes and it is up to date and up to code.
Thom: Yeah and it's at 812 N. 17th St in Boise so it's right off of Harrison Bld.
Dave: It is right in the middle of the North End.
Thom: Yeah exactly right there in that historic district. They put in hardwood and tile flooring throughout, granite and tile countertops, kitchen island with a breakfast bar, pantry, fully fenced, it's got a lot of stuff in it. It's a 3 bedroom 2.5 bath once again at $1.2 million dollars so really kind of a fun project for them and really exciting to see it live when it does go live and everything.
Dave: You know, we need to get a North End expert in here sometime. I would love to find out more about how that developed. You have Harrison Blvd; you have Warm Springs that have those big majestic homes on them.
Thom: Oh my gosh that would be ...
Dave: And then the off streets you have as well like on 17th it's not one of the main streets in that North End but just how the whole thing progressed to be how it is. If you're new to the area the North End is just, it's historic and you get smaller homes that are older, some over 100 years old and the homes will cost a little more but there's just something about the North End and that lifestyle.
Thom: Yeah and just living there, everything's so convenient and the community feeling that's there in the North End, especially in Hyde Park and stuff like that where there's just that sense of community and bonding and having that convenience to all the parks, the foothills, to downtown.
Dave: And I've seen all the way from couples in their 80s walking around to young marrieds walking around. I mean, it is just such a wide gamut and range of people. It's always amazing ot me, I love going up there and eating up in the North End and just sitting there on the patio which those days are coming to an end here quickly with the weather but sitting on the patios and enjoying the outside.
Thom: Yeah, there are a couple restaurants there that have covered patios that they heat up. So you can still enjoy it!
Dave: Exactly. So again that's on 17th?
Thom: Yes, 812 N. 17th St. going to be coming soon on our website soon.
Dave: And that's coregrouprealty.com. Now, while you're there, your featured homes which are homes that are already listed, they're already going, you have a featured home.
Thom: We have one that is just being listed, this one is a cute bench home that's coming on the market, we love those bench homes because once again great convenient locations to everything up there on the bench and easy to get access to almost everything. This one also is a home that was renovated by Innovative Custom Homes as well. This is a 1902 Abbs St. That's a-b-b-s street in Boise. We've got this one's a single level with 280 unfinished square space in the basement. That 280 is just basically a mechanics room so the main square footage on the first level is 2164 square foot so a decent size for bench properties. .18 of an acre, originally built in 1948 but once again completely renovated, stainless steel appliances, tile floors, new windows and roof, new carpet and paint throughout the house so 3 bedroom 1 bath I don't know if I mentioned that. And this one is listed at $219,900.
Dave: Excellent, and what is the address again?
Thom: It's 1902 Abbs, a-b-b-s Street.
Dave: I thought I had heard of all the streets in Boise. Abbs and Peck. What exactly do we have going on in this subdivision?
Thom: Once again, just another remodel from Innovative Custom Homes, they do an amazing job. Our in-house home builders, and remodelers. They specialize in getting in there and really preserving the integrity of the home and really preserving the historical ... what do you want to say? Feel of the home! Yes ambiance and stuff like that so they just do an amazing job on remodels as well as new construction. Once again we'll have them on here, we'll have Heather on here a little bit later to talk about the Parade of Homes and her house that she has there.
Dave: A home built in the late 1940s, that's that World War II building boom that took place so to be able to preserve that historic feel which you think about it now, that is a historic home in a historic area, to preserve that you have to modernize it to where it's functional for today's world. I love that.
Thom: It's a key aspect to the remodels in this day and age, just preserving that while still like I said having that functionality, that modern-day functionality and the open spaces that people like to have and so forth.
Dave: Perfect, well we'll be talking to her in just a little bit and get a feel for what's happening for that Parade of Homes of course underway, big event going on and they have a new home that they have out showing that off as well for CORE Group Realty.
Thom: We have now for 2 weekends in a row been out there and this is the final weekend, the final weekend to come and see this house, it's a really cool house in Star. So we'll talk about that in a little bit.
Dave: Alright we will do that coming up, this is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz and you're always welcome to listen to past shows as well on the website at coregrouprealty.com Thom also puts up a blog from time to time to just talk about kind of what's happening and the homes of course which of course are listed at coregrouprealty.com. We'll continue on the other side, this is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz on 580 KIDO.
Dave: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom Dallman of CORE Group Realty and as we do each week we get to talk to Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage equal opportunity lender. Michelle, welcome back and it's a great time to get a loan. Rates are still good.
Michelle: They are fantastic.
Dave: You know we were talking last week actually after the show we were talking about the fact that you had somebody who called you who heard on the show talking about you know are you qualified, are you not qualified and you've got a great story about this person. They thought they couldn't qualify!
Michelle: I was tickled to get a phone call from one of our listeners and that is one of the primary reasons why we do this show is just to bring education out to the Idahoans about what is involved with the mortgage and different programs and the consumer that called felt that there was no way that they were going to qualify but stated that he and his wife were excited to buy a house but really didn't think that it was going to happen so had applied on my website prior to even calling. I just received the application and reached out to him and gave me a little bit of his background and thankfully upon reviewing everything is going to qualify with no problems so he is just elated and again had it not been for this education piece that we do, I don't know how long it would be before he would eventually would have even put in an application to find out if he could buy a home.
Thom: And we talk to people that register on our site all the time that are just "Oh, we're just kind of looking we don't think we qualify." We throw it out there all the time. Well just meet with Michelle and the group over there at Diversified because they'll let you know if you don't qualify what you need to do to get qualified as soon as possible. You can get into a house a lot quicker by going through the process and seeing where you're at and where your credit is and that's what Diversified does so well is making sure that they know what the plan is where they need to go to get that credit fixed.
Dave: I have to assume Michelle that was a great phone call for you to make.
Michelle: Oh, I was thrilled, absolutely.
Dave: And this guy's going "Alright, give me the news." and you're like "Alright, you can buy a house!" Now if somebody wants to, I assume that's a point you say "You're pre-qualified to buy a house from here to here price range." That's basically what you tell them?
Michelle: Yes and no. So I actually take a different approach. Some lenders will say "This is the maximum you can qualify for" but my first approach is "Tell me what your absolute comfort level is for the maximum payment on a monthly basis and let's work the numbers backwards from there." So normally people have a specific payment in mind and that is what we're going to approve them for based off of what their comfort level is. So in many cases the consumer is at a payment that is less than what they can qualify for so we'll let them know that there's a likelihood that they can go above that payment if they so choose to, but if their desired payment is X, then these are the parameters we want them to shop in.
Dave: That is exactly what I wanted to hear her say. We talked about when Molly was in a few weeks ago for you we talked about the fact that I've had people before say "Well you're qualified for this." There's no way in the world I could make that payment. They may say I'm qualified for it but there's no way in the world. So at Diversified you make sure that people are comfortable with what you get because there's always those hidden expenses that come with owning a home.
Michelle: Oh absolutely and so often they even come from either many times still living with their parents and this is their first home they've never even lived on their own, or they're coming from an apartment where several utilities and included with the payments.
Dave: The garbage, the water..
Michelle: Exactly, these are all things we discuss with them "What is your current rent payment? What are you comfortable with and are you factoring in you have these other expenses?" because we want to set them up to succeed from the get-go. We don't want them being house poor and working from payment to payment just to cover their mortgage payment every month.
Dave: What are some of the things, and not necessarily the gentleman you talked to on the phone, but what are some of the misconceptions people come in with thinking "Well I couldn't get a loan because of..." fill in the blank.
Michelle: No down payment's a big one and credit. So, often they think their credit is not going to allow them to buy a home and in some cases, they can't but as Thom mentioned we're going to give them the road map and the tools and the suggestions on what they can do to work towards purchasing a home. So I like to reiterate over and over again, if you're not in a position to buy right now, please don't hesitate to call myself or one of my loan consultants so we can sit down with you and help you work towards the goal of home ownership. There's nothing to be concerned about, it's non-judgmental, we see every credit report you could possibly imagine from good to bad so we want to be that resource to help you get to that goal of owning a new home.
Dave: OK if I were to say and I realize this is a broad brush I have here, what is bad, and what is good? Is there kind of a "Eh, that's real iffy" for a home loan?
Michelle: Well the majority of our loan programs including our state bond program has a minimum credit score requirement of 620. So our goal is that hopefully you have at least a 620 credit score or greater. The higher the credit score, the better the interest rate with regards to certain loan programs so conventional financing for example is heavily credit score driven. It's going to have a big impact on your interest rate whereas some of the government programs aren't as, they don't penalize as much on credit score and again with the bond program they have some great options down to as low as 620. 620 would be our goal so we'll work hard to try to get them at least to that. We're going to pull all three credit bureaus so they always say "Do you take all three of them and just add them up and average them?" No, we don't, but what we will do is we will take the middle score of your three and we'll use the lowest of the two borrowers so if the husband for example has the lower middle score, that's our decision score for the mortgage.
Dave: Now, obviously you're not a credit repair company, that's not what you do but you do have some suggestions for people let's say they're at 600 do you have some suggestions they might be able to do to get that improved?
Michelle: Absolutely, and one of the things that I do tell people is if you're thinking of buying a home in the next 6 months, do not open or close any accounts before you talk to a mortgage/loan officer.
Dave: Not even close?
Michelle: No. Absolutely not. So closing an account, even if it's an account that was paid as a grade, as soon as you go into a closed status on that credit report, you've lost all those years of reported credit history so that is going to drop your credit score.
Dave: Huh, OK how about if I've had a bankruptcy? Where does this fall into the excuse why I couldn't get a loan?
Michelle: Sure, so with the bankruptcy following discharge, as long as the credit has been re-established, we haven't really seen anything major following that bankruptcy, you're eligible in as early as 2 years following bankruptcy following an FHA program and under the Veteran's Administration it can be as little as 1 year following bankruptcy.
Dave: I thought there was some sort of a 7 year rule!
Thom: Right? It seems like everybody seems to believe that there's 7 years after any kind of a situation like that.
Dave: Maybe that's just a broken mirror.
Thom: 7 years bad luck!
Michelle: 7 years goes into effect for anybody with the foreclosure before you're eligible for conventional financing, it's a 7 year waiting period so you are correct.
Thom: There is something with 7 years!
Dave: But not necessarily for everyone. So again this is where getting a hold of Diversified would be a good opportunity because you can ask the right questions to find out.
Michelle: Absolutely, and I do want to clarify on the foreclosure and short sale situation. Under the government programs it can be as little as 3 years, so FHA is only 3 years following the foreclosure date and what we determine that date to be is the day it was transferred from your name back into the Trustee's name. That's when the clock starts ticking.
Dave: Now some people might say "My employment, I haven't been employed by the same company." Is that sometimes a reason or is that a reason?
Michelle: Not necessarily. We love to see that they're working in the same line of work and we don't want to see multiple jobs in the last two years, but it's not uncommon for us to see that they've changed one or maybe two times. That's not going to be a reason to prohibit them form getting a mortgage necessarily. It certainly helps in underwriting to see job security but it's not going to be a reason to decline a file just because you've switched jobs absolutely not. And it doesn't necessarily have to be in the same field. It can be a different job.
Thom: That's one of the questions that we get a lot because we get a lot of out of state people that move into town. New jobs and whatnot, so they always think "Oh got to rent for a couple months when I get there to get my job established and everything before I can get a loan." Is that the case that they don't really need to possibly do that depending on what their job is?
Michelle: Correct. So they start their job, we normally want to see 30 days receipt of their pay stubs prior to closing so we know that a normal mortgage period and transaction is about a 30 day window. If we know they're starting their job on Monday and they're going to start shopping come Monday for a home, they usually don't find a house on day 1, it could take them a week, two weeks, who knows, but by the time where we get to the point where we're ready to close the loan they typically are going to have 30 days worth of pay stubs and we're good to go.
Dave: I guess we need to talk along with this is pre-qualifying and the importance that you're going to pre-qualify. Is that something I want to even do even before I find a real estate agent? Or do I call CORE and they get that ... what's the timing that you find best?
Michelle: We definitely encourage you to meet with your loan officer first. We want to ensure that you are eligible to qualify for a mortgage because the last thing we want to do is go out, look at a bunch of properties, get their hearts set on a home and then say "Sorry, we're not quite there yet we need to do these following steps before you can buy a home." Plus, it's pretty hard to start shopping for a home until you know the parameters of your approval. What is the payment you want to be at? What purchase price is that going to result in? You're kind of just throwing something at the wall and hoping it sticks if you start shopping before you go through those steps.
Dave: It's a good guess is about the best you'll get. One other thing that I want to know is, if I'm just thinking about this, if I call Diversified how long until we can get one of your agents to talk to me?
Michelle: Oh we'll definitely visit with them same day and we can generally get them in for an appointment within 24 hours at the most. In some cases, same day, just depends on what time they call and hit and miss but always within 24 hours we'll have somebody available to meet with them.
Dave: Again, this conversation started today just because a listener to this show, he and his wife thought "Eh we're probably not going to qualify" and I say 'got the courage up' because I mean, you deal with this every day but for some people, that credit is something that could be either A, embarrassing because of something that's on there, or for whatever reason, but they got the courage up to call and say "Well, we probably can't but can you check?" and you had that great news for them that absolutely we can get you in to a home.
Michelle: Yes it's really not as overwhelming of a process as many people think, so just give us an opportunity to sit down with you and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Most people I can honestly say when they leave my office even if I tell them they can't qualify now, they leave with a smile on their face and extremely appreciative that they know exactly what they need to do to get theirs, because in many cases they may have applied at other institutions and they just said "You're declined." And out the door they go with no ideas of what they need to do to get there and our goal is to give them that road map with the hope that we're going to get them into a home down the road.
Dave: Michelle Guth who is a financial comforter.
Michelle: I've been called worse, thanks Dave.
Dave: Well, it is comforting to know that there is somewhere you can go and talk to somebody and get some honest answers with some compassion because you do have that.
Dave: Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage. Again, what is that phone number if somebody wants to call you?
Michelle: 853-7878 or visit our website at dmgloans.com
Dave: we'll continue with the Idaho Real Estate Buzz on the other side, 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 is the website to go to to check out all things we've been talking about. The tab for kind of that "sneak peak" look you get and all of the listings that are out there as well. Coregrouprealty.com. Or call 933-7777 that is the phone number to call. You can call right now as a matter of fact this afternoon customer care agent standing by to answer your questions.
Thom: Yes they are! Always ready and available.
Dave: Perfect. Now this is the final weekend you say of the Parade of Homes?
Thom: It is, yes. It's been going on for 3 weekends now. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11-5 so we are in the final stretch of the Parade so a lot of great traffic coming through, a lot of people out there looking to see what the builders have going on out there.
Dave: And with the supply so low, there's a lot of people out there really looking to buy, not just looking to look.
Thom: Exactly, and that's what this one's all about, and Heather you can kind of verify that. This one as you said is kind of a showing of the builder's supply kind of what they have available and so forth.
Heather: Correct, it's kind of an inventory show versus the Spring Parade is brand new floor plans, brand new designs, the Fall show is more of kind of an inventory Parade to show what the builders have right now. This year we have 33 homes in the Fall Parade. They're all over the Treasure Valley, or not Treasure Valley, Ada County I guess I should say. From Star, Eagle, Meridian, Boise, all the way out to Kuna. There are some great homes out there, get out and take a look at them.
Dave: Tell us a little bit about the home that you folks have built in the Star area, what are we looking at there?
Heather: So there we are looking at a single level 3 bedroom it's got an optional 4th bedroom, right now we've got it staged as an office. Just under 2,200 square feet, single level on a quarter of an acre lot. Great option floor plan, custom cabinets, I mean just ... I'm kind of biased, but I really think it's a beautiful home!
Thom: And that's the feedback we're getting too, is that it is a beautiful home!
Dave: Let me ask you this though, as you approach this, as a custom home builder, as you approached it, what did you say "This is what will really sell this house." What was that thing?
Heather: Well, you know, the majority of our clients are looking for single level. They want that single level.
Dave: Hear hear!
Heather: If they do, we've got plans that we can build for them as well, but the majority of our homes are single level, larger over sized garages, and they're not really looking for a ton of yard or landscaping but a quarter of an acre is a nice size lot for a home. This subdivision really is a great subdivision. We're in the Star Creek subdivision which is off of Floating Feather and North Star Road. Just a great location and some great amenities going on in the home.
Dave: Now if somebody has the guide, what is the number of your house?
Heather: We are home #2.
Thom: Right there at the beginning.
Dave: So have you had a chance to get out and see any of the homes?
Heather: No, but I'm actually going to sneak out this weekend and take a look at some and get some feedback from the builders and the agents out there. The feedback that I've gotten from some of them, since I am the chair of the Parade, the 2nd year in a row, has been really really good. The traffic has been good, I know the traffic in ours has been excellent so we're really excited for this final weekend.
Thom: Lots of people out there looking at homes and potentially looking to buy homes, which is the whole point of it.
Dave: Well let me ask you this question, when it comes to the Parade of Homes, how is this all put together and selected? How are the builders selected? How do they put this together?
Heather: So all the builders in the show are members of our local Building Contractors Association of South West Idaho. So in order to be in the show you have to be a member. Every year I guess we start filling out contracts and getting ready for the Fall parade probably around June is when we get ready for it. This year it's kind of difficult because everyone was looking at "What are we going to have when the show starts the end of September, the first of October." So you're looking at where you're going to be at with your current inventory and sliding homes ...
Dave: Because homes are selling so fast!
Heather: Correct. I believe right now we've got like a 2 month supply of new homes?
Thom: 2.2 was the last memo that we got out.
Heather: Yes so things are moving really quickly so the original home that I wanted to put in to the Parade was actually sold and my clients had to move in because they had to be out of their rental that they were in too.
Dave: So it's not one of those things "We'll build it, then you can move into it when the Parade's over." That's not going to happen!
Heather: Sometimes it is, but sometimes it's not. The Spring Parade definitely is that way, but the Fall Parade I think the builders are shuffling and trying to figure out which homes are going to work and be available during that time.
Dave: Now if somebody obviously the website the Statesman had the guides a couple of weeks ago, but if somebody did not get on of the guides, they can go to a website to find the homes?
Heather: They can go to the website, they can go to the Parade of Homes, BCA of Southwest Idaho Facebook page or they can actually stop by any of the Parade homes as well to get the magazine.
Thom: And the address for our house is at 2035 North Coldcreek Avenue in Star, so that's a good starting point.
Dave: It's #2 in the book!
Heather: Exactly, we start in Star and kind of weave through and go throughout Ada County.
Dave: OK so they can look for that. I'm kind of curious, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about that North End home.
Thom: Yeah we talked about that in our first segment this morning.
Dave: We did, the one that is on the Coming Soon, going to be listed and shown here shortly. Let's talk a little bit about the North End. Just because and Thom and I were talking before and there's so much more to delve into, as to how it came about the way it did. I mean obviously, it's the older segment of the city of Boise but this is, the North End has its own website. Halloween is coming up and Halloween in the North End, if you've never experienced it ...
Heather: You must!
Dave: If you are new to the Boise area, the North End is kind of the place.
Thom: People go all out.
Dave: They bus their kids in to the North End.
Heather: That they do.
Dave: How did the whole North End I hate to use the word "vibe" but how did the whole thing start to come about from what you know?
Heather: I really don't know; I know that there's a lot of people that want to live in the North End because of its close proximity to downtown. It has a completely different feel than some of the other suburbs around Boise. The historic district down there has done a lot of work in my opinion working with contractors and builders and home owners to really revitalize it and update those homes, and the home that we have that's Coming Soon was originally built in 1925. Now when you look at it from the outside, we had to preserve a lot of those historic looks of the home. It has all new cement board siding, windows, all these different things, but from the outside, it looks as the historic home did. But when you walk inside, it looks like a brand new home because it really is a brand new home.
Dave: You took it basically down to the studs and built from the inside in!
Heather: Well not basically take it down to the studs, we did take it down to the studs! So we removed all of the old siding that was on it that tested positive for led, all the interior moldings and all that stuff that tested positive for led. It was completely re-mediated, removed from the site, and completely re-built. All new insulation that is up to current codes and exceeds current codes. Just, everything!
Dave: You get back in those homes built in the 1920s. I was raised in a home built in the turn of the century and they did some remodeling in it and the walls were insulted with newspapers which was fascinating with the newspapers but it didn't do much for keeping the cold weather out. But that's kind of the way things were done.
Heather: Exactly, if you had insulation in you exterior walls, it was newspapers and you'd find some really cool things in those walls as you're taking them apart.
Dave: Yeah, so you can check that on the coregrouprealty.com website as well and I'm sure you'd be happy to show that house and get somebody moved in there.
Heather: I would love to!
Dave: Before Halloween would be fantastic!
Heather: Exactly because it's very close to Harrison which is the Halloween central.
Thom: That's always fun driving up and down Harrison getting closer to Halloween, not on Halloween because it's so packed and everything crazy.
Dave: You know what I think it is with the North End, for me anyway and being raised in the historic home. It's the mature trees. You go in there this time of year, the leaves are changing colors, you can hear the breeze blowing through it, as odd as it seems, the trees to me, it's not the homes per say, but it's the trees and the maturity of the neighborhood that somehow it screams of "home" to me.
Heather: I think it's also character. The character of the neighborhood as well. You have all these different styles of homes, older styles, a color palette. Really, it's not the same, it's not a cookie cutter subdivision. It just really has a lot of character.
Thom: Yeah and to me the ambiance has really a lot to do with the historical part of it and thinking about who lived in the house throughout the years, what kind of families lived here and things like that. I've done some research on one of the houses down there back in the day for a company I was working for. It was so fascinating to go back in history and find out that it was originally a wood miller's family that owned the house and it had been passed on for a couple generations before they sold it and stuff like that and just knowing that history to me is just fascinating and how they used the houses and stuff.
Dave: Heather, if somebody wants more information about the Parade of Homes, where do they get it?
Heather: They can get it at the BoiseParadeofHomes.com website or feel free to stop by our house in Star at 2035 North Coldcreek Avenue and we'll give you a magazine.
Dave: Great and if you want to see this home that's been listed now on the featured page you can go to coregrouprealty.com to check that out in the North End. We'll continue on the other side, this is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz I'm Dave Burnett, with Thom Dallman 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 the designated broker for CORE Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com is the website you see their signs around town for CORE Group and this is the radio show that we get together on Saturdays to share with you. Not just to sell houses. That could be done other ways. This is to educate you and to get you ready to buy and/or sell a home or perhaps to take better care of the biggest investment that you have.
Thom: For sure, we love making sure that everybody is thinking about all aspects of the home ownership. Everything from starting out, like why are they buying a home to the end of what is the best home for me? What loan should I do? All that stuff.
Dave: I would have to say, and having done this show with you and with Gabe Cordova previously, one thing that I've taken away from these shows and helping to co-host them, is that there are as many reasons to buy a home out there as ... the obvious, "I have a family, we need to buy a home someplace to live." But there are so many different reasons why people are investing in homes or why they're choosing to sell, there's just a lot of different reasons out there for people.
Thom: Oh yeah, everything from the investment in yourself, instead of paying your landlord's mortgage and stuff like that, you're paying an investment to yourself and the home equity that builds over time with the home, all the way to "I want to start a family, I want to start having kids" and stuff like that so you need room and space to grow for your kids. To those people that are like "I'm coming into town, I want to buy a house because I love to entertain so I need a house that I can entertain in that's my whole focus." So many different reasons.
Dave: Let's take a look at some of these things. Let's say somebody is, you know they are the classic "Leave it to Beaver" family, reference to old TV show there. It's a husband and wife and they have 2 kids or 2.5 kids or whatever the national average is, but they want to get into a house for their family. What should they be looking for when it comes to making that investment?
Thom: It really kind of depends on how the family lives, their lifestyle. Are they homebodies that do a lot of their stuff at home and they don't need extra cash for going out and doing adventurous stuff? Or are they more adventurous people who need kind of to look at the smaller house, low maintenance because they're out and about? So really kind of starting with the family lifestyle itself and kind of going from there.
Dave: I know those families that have kids in optimist football and the daughter playing volleyball and they've got the activities ...
Thom: Yep they've got the activities and location is prime when you're looking at things like that, where your kids spend a lot of their time. You want something that's nearby. Actually it’s an interesting statistic that says that 75% of parents out there that are looking for homes, are looking for homes because of their kids' education. They want to find, they're looking for the schools and stuff that will best support their kids and education and so forth. 75% of parents that are looking for homes are looking for homes that are in good school districts and are more concerned about the school district than the actual house itself.
Dave: Now Thom is that something that you and your agents here at CORE Group Realty obviously, you're aware of it, they're aware of it, to try to educate yourself so when the person comes in and says "We're looking for a school that specializes in the arts" or "we're looking for a school that scores high in academic standings nationally."
Thom: We can definitely directly people to the right sources to find that information, we don't like to interpret those necessarily for those clients, we like our clients to make their own decisions, but we definitely like to direct them to the right places to find that information.
Dave: So if I come in with an idea, you'll say ...
Thom: Here's where you need to research, yeah, exactly. Here are some of the things that we know of, in our communities, we don't know 100% of all of the schools and everything but we do have the resources to get to people to find those things, for sure.
Dave: If you don't have the answer, you'll help them find it.
Dave: So there's a couple out there that's trying to buy a home, are there things that they need to be thinking about?
Thom: Well yeah when you're kind of going into the process, a lot of people are like "Well should I buy now? Should I wait a little bit? What's going to happen?" So you really have to find those trusted advisers that kind of know that market place and kind of know where the numbers are trending and so forth. For instance right now there are several surveys, CoreLogic Home Price index is showing that over the next 12 months home prices are going to increase by 5.3%. So the house that you buy today for $250,000 in 12 months might be $265,000 so the longer you wait the more you might have to pay for a house. And so forth, so on the reverse side of that, mortgage rates. Mortgage rates they are kind of predicting are going to kind of slowly and steadily go up so you gotta have to kind of take that risk factor of "Should I buy now, should I buy later, should I see if the home prices actually go up? If interest rates go up?" So, your comfort level on the price of a house and so forth that you want to pay is a huge consideration in thinking about those projections and what you can afford.
Dave: Now something else perhaps that people not with the family and kids but maybe just the opposite, kids are all gone now and people downsizing. What do you recommend for somebody that comes in and says "Thom, we want to downsize. We've got a 4 bedroom home and I don't need 4 bedrooms." What are your recommendations there?
Thom: Well once again it kind of goes back to the lifestyle so how often are your kids going to be coming back? Are your kids at that point where they're starting to have the grandkids?
Dave: Are they welcome back?
Thom: Yeah, exactly, are they welcome back?? You know so you still might want to look at maybe downsizing maybe from 4 bedrooms down to 3 bedroom or ...
Dave: There's not many 2 bedroom homes out there, not when it comes to homes are there?
Thom: Yeah, there are a few here and there especially for homes in the North End, in the Bench, new construction they usually start with 3 bedrooms and up, but there are options out there for 2 bedrooms. Especially in the condos and the town homes and so forth. There's definitely homes that you can downsize into, but once again, it's what's your lifestyle going to be like? Are you going to entertain? Are your kids going to be coming home often for the holidays and stuff like that? It's really a matter of discussing kind of those types of things and then figuring out what kind of a home best fits that. Do you want a home with low maintenance? Do you want a small yard? Do you want a bigger yard? Do you still like the big yard idea so that when the grand kids come and visit they can go out and play? Stuff like that. It's kind of all those discussions.
Dave: And those discussions, those are something your agents are trained in and willing to do. The thing I like about the people I've met here at CORE Group is they're good listeners.
Thom: Yeah, they are!
Dave: Because to really be a good salesperson, the person had better be a good listener. There is nothing more frustrating than to say "I'd like a 3 bedroom home with a small backyard" and you get shown a home with 5 bedrooms and a huge backyard. Like "What did you hear me say?”
Thom: Yeah there are so many agents out there and I don't want to disparage other agents, but there are so many agents out there that don't necessarily look at this as a full time job, they do this part time, they do this here and there ...
Dave: They're just selling homes.
Thom: They're just selling homes. So to them it's more like let's get these people into a house. I am a firm believer in initial consultations with my buyer's agents, making sure that everyone's sitting down, everyone's setting expectations, really kind of evaluating and interviewing each other. We talked about that with Michelle. It's important for the buyers to interview the agent and vice versa, the agent to interview the buyers to make sure the buyers are realistic, and understand the process and are pre-qualified and ready to go because the homes are selling so quick right now. You want to be able to pull the trigger pretty quickly if you're out and about looking at houses and so forth.
Dave: And you need an agent who is familiar with the market place that knows that and takes care of you.
Thom: You definitely don't want to, like you said, go looking at spending an afternoon looking at homes that don't fit what you're looking for.
Dave: Yeah, don't waste my time!
Dave: Time is previous. Alright so you also have people who are looking for investments that they see real estate as a non-personal ... I mean most of us see real estate as a very personal thing, it's tough to sell it when we get around to selling it. But people want just an investment. We have one of the gals who works here in the office place, her first home was a duplex because she sees it as an investment.
Thom: Yes, our customer care specialist Naomi bought her first house, she bought a duplex for the investment part of being able to rent in the other side and live in one side. Yeah, we have actually noticed an increase the last couple weeks of people who are looking for those investment properties, people are looking to do flips. They're looking for homes that are distressed, homes that are low enough and need the construction and stuff to be able to get in there and fix it up, remodel it, and so forth. I actually just had a story from one of my agents, an investor picked her over another agent because they had gone in to a couple houses and the agent was mortified at the condition of the house and was trying to encourage him not to buy the house. Realizing that he's an investor and that's the whole point is he wants to do is go in and remodel it.
Dave: He sees it differently.
Thom: Whereas our agents understand that, and they're there to say "Here's what we can do, here's how you can increase the value" and so forth. They're not afraid to go in to those distressed properties and help the home flippers to identify some of the things that can be done.
Dave: I guess there's a couple of different categories when it comes to investment. I wasn't thinking of the home flippers, that's an investment but then those who are looking for rental properties. If you could find me a house somewhere near Boise State University that was under $200,000 what a great investment to get in and rent out to students.
Thom: Yeah so we're really, we love especially chatting with our vendor that is a property management company to find out what rents are going for if you have a specific house that you're looking at buying for an investment, let's double check and see what you can get for rents. Let's double check and see what your monthly costs are going to be and what maintenance you'll have to deal with and things like that. Kind of think about that balance sheet of the income ...
Dave: There's a trick to that. I had a house that was a rental once. I really didn't have any idea going into it how much was involved, how much expense there was involved. Suddenly the refrigerator is on the blink and it's like "Uh oh."
Thom: Yep that's up to you to replace that!
Dave: But there truly is, it's not just like "Hey we own this, let's rent it, hey we're going to make a lot of money."
Thom: There's not just going to be money coming in, yeah you have maintenance issues, you have insurances still, you still have to pay the taxes, so those are all things that you have to take in to consideration.
Dave: You've got two homes to get ready for Winter! Not just one.
Thom: Yeah because your tenants are not necessarily going to be the ones to go and get it all winterized.
Dave: Protect your investment. That’s what they're all about. And I guess that is important to know and ... when is the time to rent and when is the time to buy? Which is something that really here at CORE Group Realty, just a little bit left in the segment but that's something that your agents are willing to sit down and talk about. Because it might not be the right time to buy.
Thom: It might not be, yeah. Just kind of depending on where you're at in your life. That's why we like to partner too with Diversified Mortgage as we kind of talk about in an earlier segment, or as we talk with in an earlier segment, we love to partner with them because they're great at identifying where a person is in their life to make sure that they are ready and it is time to buy, and what they're comfortable with. What their comfort level is for the cost of the house, some other things that you need to think about when you're buying a house is the maintenance and all that stuff, the insurances, the taxes, the HOA fees, and stuff like that. We're really good about making sure that you are at a point in your life where it is time to buy a house versus renting and making sure that you're comfortable with it and that it's a good investment for you.
Dave: And you can always come by CORE Group Realty here on Emerald Street just up from the Mall. They are more than happy to sit down and chat with you about where you stand in life and what's ahead for you in the next chapter and not in an intrusive way of trying to force you to do something you don't want to do, but to help you make that decision and get a direction because, and we say it over and over again, buying a home is the biggest investment the average person, like me, that you're going to make in your life. And to just go in to it blindly without doing a little bit of research and investment is just not a good idea.
Thom: Not a good idea, not at all!
Dave: Thom Dallman, if somebody wants to get a hold of you, how do they do it?
Thom: Just give us a call at 933-7777 or go to coregrouprealty.com, kind of start your search there. You can contact us via that and so forth. Or swing by! Visit us at 8665 W. Emerald St just right here just a little bit West of the mall, swing by 8-5 Monday-Friday!
Dave: Alright Thom, thank you so much. We call it the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, because we're talking about all things real estate in the Treasure Valley and in the Gem state. We do it every Saturday at 2, here on 580 KIDO.
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