Join us today on the Idaho Real Estate Buzz with Dave Burnett and Thom Dallman; we are talking about what we are thankful for this holiday season and also touching on what cities are really booming in the Treasure Valley right now. If you have ever wondered what a broker really does, stay tuned because we have the inside scoop from Thom Dallman on exactly what a broker does as well as his history leading up to owning and running Core Group. Finally, you don't want to miss our segment on HOA's, the pros and cons are discussed in detail.
Dave: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom Dallman of CORE Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com 933-7777. There, I've armed you with everything you need, the website, the phone number, and Thom Dallman, it's another great weekend as we approach the Thanksgiving season and, time to pause and give thanks and one of the things I think, for me, I'm thankful for is God has blessed me, I have a home, I have a place to hang my hat and I guess it's part of the American dream to be a home owner.
Thom: Exactly. It is truly one of those dreams that many Americans get to accomplish. Get into your own home, start investing in your own future, a financial investment, the freedom that comes with home ownership that everybody quests for that, that's the reason why we're here, it's the reason why CORE Group Realty exists is really to make sure that we're helping in any way possible for those people to get into their first home and to get into a home. To provide that shelter for their families and so forth.
Dave: Well let me do this, this is kind of off script we hadn't really talked about this but before we get into some of the listings, one of the things about CORE, when I first met you, that impressed me, was the fact that it's basically if you're in an agreement and it's just not working out, you're not going to hold somebody to it.
Dave: And I say that because in the past, years past, where I signed that 6-month deal that "We've got your house, we've got ..." and really my real estate agent was not very good but I was stuck. But at CORE Group you won't do that.
Thom: We hear it often from people who are kind of stuck in those contracts who have cancellation fees and stuff like that. We are big proponents for that interview your agent, make sure you pick that trusted adviser sometimes that trusted adviser is not as polished as good as they had maybe led you to believe. There are times where we're not the right fit for somebody and if we can all come to that acknowledgement and we realize that it's not the right fit then by all means why should you be stuck with that person if you're not going to be comfortable with them. It's not going to be a happy transaction, it's not going to be a smooth transaction, it's going to be something that's going to cause a lot of stress not only between the agent and the home buyer or home seller but the other party that's involved and stuff. So, to me it's super important for people to know that they can trust in the fact that if they are not having a good experience, let us know. Tell us, let's get you out of that contract so you can find someone else.
Dave: So, if you can't fix it, see if you can recommend somebody else to go to.
Thom: Exactly and we have to date 26 agents, there are other options even within my own brokerage that people can look at, if they're just not happy with their current agent and stuff.
Dave: Well and I mean the truth is, and you do a good job of screening your people when they come in so you have good people, but sometimes personalities just don't match up. So that's a great thing. And one of the reasons why you really need to interview your real estate company when you come in to find out how do you market? How often can I expect people to come through? And maybe that's something we'll do sometimes, a segment on what are the interview questions I should be asking my agent.
Thom: For sure, yeah that's a good topic that we can discuss at some point.
Dave: Yes, because what I would ask you Thom is what is the question you fear most? As a real estate agent? What do you fear most because that's the one I want to ask. You know what I mean? It's like the job interview: Name three of your biggest weaknesses. D'oh I don't want to say what those are! So it is just a good thing that I like about CORE is that it is, I get the feeling that it's a company, you have a company here that cares about the transaction that cares about more than the transaction but that cares about the person.
Thom: Exactly, yep that has been my whole focus on the real estate brokerage is I hire agents on, even staff and stuff is I am looking at people who are about not just the sales but the building relationships. We've talked about that in past segments and stuff. It's all about the relationship, it's not just the home sale and move on to the next client. It's about being there for your clients through all of their transitions through home ownership. Through the bad times and the good times. It's all about that connection.
Dave: Perfect. Coregrouprealty.com is the website, 933-7777. Speaking of the website, Let's get to some featured listings. You have a featured home that has just come on that people can go to coregrouprealty.com to take a look at.
Thom: Yeah we can point out a listing that just came on this week, I wanted to point out too that we have the Coming Soon feature too. We have a whole series of homes that are in in the process. We've signed paperwork with the sellers, they are working through several things: getting photographs, cleaning their homes, getting them ready ...
Dave: Getting them swept up.
Thom: Yeah, getting the leaves raked up, ugh! Rake Boise was last week so we did a lot of raking. But yeah, getting their yards ready and looking good for photos and the house itself ready. So don't miss the Coming Soon tab so you can see some of those homes, we have a whole bunch of them on there. One of those ones that were on there actually came live this week so that's the one that I am going to talk about. 303 E. Ironstone Court in Meridian. This is in the Ventana subdivision over there by Chinden and Meridian Road. Really great location, convenient all that new stuff that's going in there. Linder's not too far away.
Dave: Right over by the Rocky Mountain High School area. So if you're looking at high schools that's probably where your kids would go.
Thom: Exactly. So this is a 4 bedroom 2.5 bath it's a 2 story house, 2182 square feet. It's coming on at $245,000. Once again, just a nice home built in 2009. It's got fresh paint throughout the house, just a great convenient spot. Once again 2 story 4 bedroom 2.5 bath at $245,000 right there in Meridian. 303 East. Ironstone Court. You can go to the website and see more pictures and check it out!
Dave: You know it's kind of funny, we talk about Meridian now, there was a time when, last time I was looking actually for property to build on, it was like "Why don't we look at Meridian? It's on the outskirts of town and you know it's kind of 'out there.'" The Treasure Valley has changed so much over the past 10 years where Meridian one of the fastest growing cities in America but even if you spread out beyond that to Middleton, to Kuna, to like Star, it's just exploding.
Thom: Everything's exploding. Just recently I had the privilege of chatting with an Uber driver who happened who happens ... or he lives in Star sorry. About the growth that has happened there and how big Star is now starting to feel to him after they moved there I think he said 5-6 years ago. In that time frame it has just recently started expanding so much. I mean, one of our biggest questions that we get is "Where is the dividing line between Boise and Meridian?" because they have pretty much merged and grown together.
Dave: Kind of Cloverdale, kind of Eagle Road, kinda sorta in there. It's a squiggly line but yeah you get out to some of the other areas like Kuna that at one time that was just dairy farms like Meridian. That's kind of all that was out that way was farms.
Thom: Yeah Kuna is one of our communities that falls under the Rural Development that we talk about, the Rural Development loans. One of the few loans left that is 100% financing so you don't have to come up with a down payment.
Dave: But that's based off population.
Thom: That's based off population so there have kind of been some rumors through the rumor mill that the population is reaching that point now in Kuna where Rural Development might not be available in the next year or so.
Dave: So if you want to take advantage of that loan, now's the time.
Thom: Yeah, now's a really great time to take advantage of that for the Kuna community. It's still available in other rural areas. I do believe Middleton and Star do still qualify for them and some other areas outlining. So remember that the rural development is just that, it's to develop rural areas and encourage people to come and live in these communities.
Dave: You know it is amazing. One of the things, me and my wife we like to take a drive where we go out through Star and out through Middleton and kind of jump down to Emmett and go up towards Homedale out toward the border and work our way to Marsing and then back up and around. And every time we do this, we probably do it, we do it probably every 6 months or so just go for a drive, a Sunday drive out there, and it just amazes me how quickly these areas are changing.
Thom: Oh they are changing all the time. Growth is ... there's so much new construction, so many new people moving to Idaho, businesses opening up and just, it's great!
Dave: Well it's a great time to sell your home, if you want to list your home, CORE Group Realty can take care of that. If you're looking to buy a home you've got the folks here that can take care of the purchasing side as well.
Thom: Exactly, yeah, we have agents ready and rarin' to help out and start building that relationship with you.
Dave: You can do it. Coregrouprealty.com is the website where you can check everything out, the Coming Soon tab plus the Featured Listings and contact information is there as well if you want to get a hold of any of the people here at CORE there are numbers listed whether it's Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage or CORE Group itself. And by the way there are agents even standing by this afternoon to take your call. 933-7777. If you have questions about the website, they can help you navigate that. If you have questions about properties they're not real estate agents so there are certain things they can and can't talk about but they can get you in touch with the right people to do that.
Thom: They sure can! We've got all kinds of information and contact information in there.
Dave: 933-7777 is the phone number for you to call, we will continue speaking with Michelle Guth we'll talk to her coming up in just a little bit here on 580 KIDO.
Dave: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom Dallman who is the designated broker and co-owner of CORE Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com is the website 933-7777. You know, I say that almost every segment.
Thom: Every segment.
Dave: You are the co-owner and the designated broker. I want to talk, I am going to put you on the spot.
Dave: Don't get bashful, I want to talk about you because really, by being a broker, what exactly does that mean? That Thom Dallman is the designated "broker" of CORE Group Realty?
Thom: Well, long story short I have the responsibility. That's what it means is that, so when you get into a contract with an agent, you're technically hiring the brokerage and the broker to represent you in that transaction and the agent is just ...
Dave: An agent.
Thom: An agent, just a part of the brokerage so the ultimate responsibility falls on me as the designated broker to make sure that my agents are following the contracts, that they're doing contracts correctly, that they are acting in the best interest of their clients ...
Dave: So, you have to keep up on changing laws, rules, all of the boring mundane stuff.
Dave: I'm serious!
Thom: Yes, make sure our agents know about it.
Dave: "Here's a book for you to read Thom!" Because ultimately, they're not, well, they're responsible for it, but ultimately it hangs on you.
Thom: Yeah, the final straw kind of falls back on the designated broker as the person that is supposed to be in charge and supervising their agents and guiding their agents making sure that they're well-versed that they're knowledgeable, well educated, following the rules.
Dave: So is there training and licensing? I mean how does that work?
Thom: Oh yes.
Dave: You were an agent at one time, in fact I want to ask a little bit about you but you were an agent, but there's extra stuff that comes with it?
Thom: Yes, there's a requirement for being licensed for two years in certain production levels to even be able to get your broker's license currently. That's the current requirement. But yeah you have to go through some additional schooling, it's about, well, depending on which kind of schooling you go through, but it is up to about 4-6 weeks of extra training classes. These are 40 hour weeks.
Dave: And testing.
Thom: Oh yeah, some grueling testing. As well as the testing to get the broker's license after it's all said and done you get to go through a whole other series of testing to make sure that you retain the knowledge and know how to use that knowledge and apply it. The testing was really interesting in the fact that it's not, for every question there were probably two possible answers and you had to do one of those "What is the most practical one for this particular situation."
Dave: One more right than the other one. So other than a really cool certificate you get to hang on your wall, what other things come with being the broker of an agency do you think?
Dave: I mean one thing I mean I know which any business, the relationships between your employees, that all comes back to you as well to make sure it's a well oiled machine and running fine so you have the human aspect as well.
Thom: Oh yeah, yeah! I think one of the biggest responsibilities that I have once again is the education of the agents. The agents come to me regularly with their unique situations and "How do I word this?" "How do I put this in a contract to best protect my clients" and stuff like that. That to me, is one of the most thrilling parts of the job because I love helping guide them through that process and making sure that our clients are being protected and making sure our clients have their best interests being represented. And really just training and teaching the agents the different things in the contracts. When
I get a brand new agent right out of real estate school, the first week is with me one on one going through every section of our real estate contracts, making sure they understand what they're presenting to their clients and then what they're required to fill in, what kind of questions to ask and all that stuff so to me that's the biggest aspect of what I do is training.
Dave: But you not only have to protect your clients, somebody buying or selling a home, you have to protect the company, you have to protect your agents, you really have to oversee a lot.
Thom: Exactly, yep, a lot!
Dave: No wonder you look sleepless sometimes! Well let me ask you this. What did you do before you got into real estate?
Thom: So, as I like to call it, my "previous life" before real estate was actually in human resources. I was a human resource specialist back in Chicago for many years and then when I moved here 15 years ago, I become the human resource director for a well known restaurant here in town, Smoky Mountain Pizza & Pasta. I spent three years as their human resource director kind of helping them create incentives and things for their employees. Then decided I really wanted to, I was one of those home flippers that we talk about. Just wanted to get into the home flipping.
Dave: Just kind of as a part time hobby/business?
Thom: Yeah, I had friends in real estate and just really enjoyed seeing some of the projects that happened and stuff like that. The friends were in flipping. Joined one of them in a small business venture to help not only to do home flipping but to help people in the short sale and distressed home situations.
Dave: How long ago was this?
Thom: This was 13 years ago.
Dave: So just right before kind of the big crash came.
Thom: Kinda, yep right before that. Helping people in those distressed situations. Obviously the market got better so those distressed situations were less and less so then I decided that I really needed to get my license to more effectively help those people in those situations. Banks were starting to be reluctant to talk to people that weren't licensed and stuff like that. And I just wanted to be licensed to protect myself and my clients. Got licensed, it's been 10 years ago, and yeah, just got right into real estate. My first few years were all about the short sales. Were all about helping people in that distressed situation that needed to sell their homes but just didn't have the value in them to get them and that was really key to once the economy did hit the big downturn. Helping those people through the short sale process and getting out of their distressed situations whether it be because of divorce, because of job loss, it really kind of was lent towards my passion for helping people. That's why I got into human resources that's why I feel I got into real estate as well is because I have a big passion for helping people. So to me the designated broker and being a leader of the company is just a further extension of that. Now I can help affect more people by helping my agents, by guiding my agents, by teaching them to kind of go
beyond just the real estate transaction and building that relationship.
Dave: But do you really get to go out and sell homes right now?
Thom: I do, not very often.
Dave: That's what got you into this business but now in managing the company you probably don't get to do a lot of that anymore.
Thom: Yeah, a lot of my focus is on helping the agents and helping them go through their process. One of the unique things with our brokerage is that we have meetings 3 times a week where the agents get together and talk about their experiences, what's happening, that way they can really share that information and learn from each other best practices and stuff like that and guide them through that. A lot of my efforts are focused on that, but because I was raised with deaf parents, I am fluent in sign language so I have a passion for helping the deaf community. I have another agent that is on board she is fluent in sign language as well but she focuses on the deaf community as far as buying homes and then I focus on those few that need to sell their homes. I still help in different ways as far as that goes.
Dave: If I ask an ignorant question here forgive me. I was not aware of all of this.
Thom: Oh, surprise!
Dave: Because if somebody, especially a couple is deaf, to go out and do a transaction like buying a house, that's gotta be a frightening experience.
Thom: That's what we hear all the time.
Dave: But here you have someone that knows what they're going through and with your experience with your parents ...
Thom: Yeah the language barrier with the deaf community can be huge and especially on something as important as this purchase of a home or the sale of a home, to not effectively be able to communicate what's going on or understand what's going on is a huge detriment to them. That's why I am very passionate about making sure that they're aware that I'm here that my other agent Holly is there.
Dave: Well and it keeps them from having to have somebody do the transaction for them. They're able to go out and do the transaction using Holly or you to do that transaction on their own independently. That's huge. That's pretty cool, I did not know that, honestly did not know that.
Thom: So yeah once again just my passion for helping people and my passion for the human resource aspect of just everything, in business and life has led me to this point where I can effectively lead, I hope, effectively leading my agents and their pursuit in helping their clients.
Dave: Nice! Thom Dallman who is the co-owner and designated broker of CORE Group Realty and fluent in sign language and I say that not joking but if you have somebody in your life that is hearing impaired, what a perfect opportunity to come down and talk with Thom or talk with Holly and to find out a little bit more about real estate and for them to do it independently on their own. How huge is that. Thom Dallman, coregrouprealty.com is the website 933-7777. 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 who is the co-owner and designated broker of CORE Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com that is the website for you to go to find out all the things we talk about whether it's one of the vendors, you want to talk to Michelle Guth, get a hold of somebody who maybe is one of the vendors that's recommended. You can do that right there, look at the properties, the coming soon properties, the featured listings.
Thom: There's a lot of information in there.
Dave: Multiple listings, you want to look at all the different properties.
Thom: All the homes available you can go through that route, yeah like you said the ones that we have.
Dave: It's like looking at the entire internet because there's a lot out there, a lot of homes out there.
Thom: We've got a wonderful blog site on there, don't forget to check out blogs. If you want additional information if you want to listen to some of our past radio spots or even read about them we have them all transcribed so you can do that on there as well.
Dave: They transcribe everything we say?
Dave: They transcribe what I say?
Dave: That's gotta be a pain. That's gotta be a pain and they're writing on the transcript "Yes it is." You know one of the things, it is a bone of contention with some people, me, but there is a reality out there when you own a home, sometimes you have something called "HOAs"
Thom: The dreaded Homeowner's Association!
Dave: Your neighbors, maybe your friends ...
Thom: Can be, can be.
Dave: They sometimes try to ruin your life but we've got some information about HOAs to share.
Thom: Yeah! We do hear that interestingly enough. We do have people who are adamant that they buy a home that's not in an HOA that does not have an HOA associated with it.
Dave: Typically, that would be somebody who's had an experience.
Thom: Typically it's probably someone that's had a bad experience. The HOA has kind of made them kind of made them do things that they probably haven't wanted to do or didn't necessarily agree. Going through the home buying process, we have a time frame set in to the contract for you to review CC&Rs and HOA documents to make sure that you are buying a home in a home owner's association if it applies that really kind of matches what you want to do with your home. The perfect example is ... chickens. Chickens seem to always come up in our conversations. People love to have chickens. Not a lot of HOAs like to have them.
Dave: They don't want chickens in their neighborhood!
Thom: Exactly, and so the HOAs there too on the positive side kind of enforce as you're moving in to the neighborhood, you don't want roosters crowing next door, the HOA will make sure that's not going to happen.
Dave: Or if you don't want broken down trucks sitting in the street with no tires on them up on blocks. It keeps that from happening as well.
Thom: That is one of the benefits of the HOAs is to make sure that everybody in the neighborhood is behaving the same way and that they're all co-existing I guess. A little bit better through their requirements and stuff. One of the other benefits as much as people complain about the cost of some of the HOAs, all those costs usually go back in to the neighborhood as the cleanup of the streets, the cleanup of the common places, the cleanup of the swimming pools or exercise rooms or community play houses.
Dave: Or entry ways or fountains I have that in the neighborhood, have a couple nice fountains on the entryway. It's gotta be paid for somehow.
Thom: It's gotta be paid for somehow and the HOA and those fees and the community that's what takes care of that stuff for you guys so that you have a beautiful neighborhood and you have a beautiful entrance coming in and have a nice swimming pool that's been kept up.
Dave: But it can be a big expense.
Thom: That's one of the cons.
Dave: Mine is around I think $500 a year. I've heard of some people that them up into the $1,000s per year and some people that have $50 a year. It just depends on what you have.
Thom: It just depends on the amenities, what the community offers for those HOAs. So you have to do your due diligence when you're going through the home buying process to make sure that you're looking at those HOAs and that your lender is factoring those in to the cost of living in that home because that is an additional cost to make sure those are being paid and kept up.
Dave: Let's look at more of the pros and cons here.
Thom: Sure, sure! One of the pros that I like to point out to people who don't like HOAs is that you have a built-in mediator. If you and your neighbor get into a dispute over something that is in the HOAs, you have someone you can go to instead of continuing to fight with that neighbor.
Dave: You mean like that cherry tree that's hanging over fence into my yard?
Thom: Yeah! That's encroachment.
Dave: Not that that's happening.
Thom: That sounds like a personal experience!
Dave: But there is, that way you're not having to deal with neighbors.
Thom: Yeah! So that way you can contact the HOA, they are there to help with those situations and make sure that the laws, the HOA laws or regulations are being upheld and help you have that third party unbiased help get you through that process.
Dave: Barking dogs, it's a big deal! The HOA can call them and say "You need to get your dog under control" that way you're not having to confront the neighbor with the problem.
Thom: I think about that as I lay in bed with my door open there's a neighborhood dog that seems to bark all night long for some reason. I occasionally have to get up and close the door because he just won't stop! I wish I had an HOA so I could find this dog and stop him. Once again, having that mediator, having that someone that can talk to your neighbor in an unbiased way can be one of the benefits. On the reverse side of that, your hands can be somewhat tied. You have to follow the rules and regulations just like your neighbors do, so if you're not allowed, the HOA people can be coming in and knocking on your door!
Dave: You want a pink house with a green roof? You may not be able to do that in your neighborhood.
Thom: Yeah! We talk a little bit about that freedom of the home ownership that you have to give up a little bit with the HOAs. The most common thing and freedom that we see that affects people are the RV and extra toy parking situation. Many of the HOAs don't allow for RVs to be parked on the street.
Dave: Behind the fence in your backyard.
Thom: Yeah some of them are even further to the point to where they have to be covered, they can't be seen at all even from behind a fence. So you really want to make sure you're exploring those rules and regulations and looking at your lifestyle as far as what you're doing. I had an incidence where I was working with an investor who was looking at rental properties and this was kind of through the title company they missed a segment. We found out after they bought the property that the HOA had put into play a rule that said it can only be owner-occupied homes in that subdivision so they ended up having to turn around and sell the house and buy a different one in another neighborhood because they couldn't have a rental property in the neighborhood. Luckily it was a mistake of the title company and we fixed the title insurance on it so they took care of the costs of selling it and costs of rents and stuff like that. So they took care of all that.
Dave; Back to the RV situation while if you own an RV, and I do. And sometimes it might be a case of we're going to camp this weekend and then we're going to camp again the next weekend gosh I hate to take it back to storage for 2 days and then bring it back to unload it. I get that note from the Homeowners that says "You can't have your RV out on the street for more than 24 hours " or 40 or whatever it is. While it is a pain for me, I also know that the guy down the street is not going to have his cousin living in a trailer in the driveway permanently. That's not going to happen so that's the pro side of that you're protected from that.
Thom: Exactly, yes.
Dave: Not that I have a neighbor that would do that.
Thom: That would think about doing that!
Dave: Would move his cousin in the driveway!
Thom: Come for the holidays for Christmas vacation maybe.
Dave: And then leaves somewhere in June!
Thom: Exactly. So while there are a lot of pros and cons and so forth, one of the other cons that I've kind of heard about is that rogue board member, the one person that gets nominated and then it goes to their head and they kind of start enforcing things that don't need to be enforced and kind of start causing some distention in the homeowner's association itself amongst each other. That can be a downfall.
Dave: It can be. And typically it's somebody in the neighborhood, and I can say this from experience, it is somebody who has been "wronged" somehow by a neighbor and that's why they get on the board, to fix this problem. Instead of dealing with it the diplomatic way they go on a power trip and that can be a real problem.
Thom: But on the reverse side of it I've heard people say "I love our Homeowner's Association, I love our community. They put on a block party twice a year so the community can come together and bond as an actual community and neighborhood. So on the reverse side of that, there are Homeowner's Associations that do that, that really promote and develop the community feeling of good will and bonding so that people make friends in the neighborhood. To me that's such a huge part of where you live is being able to be friends with your neighbors and ask for an egg or whatnot.
Dave: I guess to kind of summarize the conversation and I think anyone that owns a home has been or is in one, they already have their opinion established about it, but if you're buying a home I guess the message here is, make sure you check into the HOAs. Make sure you check with your agent, at CORE Group or whoever you're using as an agent. Make sure you talk to them about what those rules and regulations are, what those costs are, would you recommend maybe talking to somebody in the neighborhood where you're looking to buy and to see what their experience has been?
Thom: Yeah! We have no problem asking the sellers to tell us their experiences.
Dave: Because it could make or break it with that HOA if they're just ruling with a stick you don't want that. It could be a deal breaker or the other way around.
Thom: Yeah we can get the Association's contact information so if you wanted to you can call them and find out when their next meeting is, maybe they have one coming up soon that you can sit in on and see what the community is talking about before you go through with that purchase.
Dave: Who knew when you are buying a house you had to deal with HOAs.
Thom: Right? Everybody does!
Dave: Thom Dallman is the designated broker and the co-owner of CORE Group Realty. If you'd like to talk to him a little bit about it you can do that as well, he'd be happy to talk to you or if you're looking to buy or sell a home, give CORE Group a shot. Give them a call or check them out online at coregrouprealty.com you can also email them from that website as well. Thom looks at those emails when they come in and takes care of that.
Thom: I'm here to help everybody!
Dave: Alright we will continue next Saturday which we do each and every Saturday at 2:00. It is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz here on 580 KIDO.