Listen in as Dave and Thom talk about the new listings at Core Group Realty and discuss the nation wide all time low of housing inventory. We brought in Michelle Guth to talk about how important it is to get pre-qualified before you begin shopping for a home. And special guest Stan Audette of AAD Home Inspection Corp. sits down with us to discuss with us how important it is to know the condition of a home whether you are buying or selling.
Dave: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom Dallman of CORE Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com the website 933-7777 is the phone number. Perhaps you've driven through the Treasure Valley and you see CORE Group signs which are out there on a lot of homes as they are doing business; selling and buying homes right now and they can take care of all of your real estate needs even if you just have questions or are thinking about buying or selling a home. CORE Group more than willing to talk with you just to answer those questions. Thom, once again, this show is not about the process necessarily of the actual nuts and bolts and the money. It's about empowering people with information so that they can go forward and make a wise decision.
Thom: Exactly. It's all about gathering knowledge, gathering information through almost all parts of the transactions and parts of real estate and even things outside of just the normal buying and selling as a homeowner, there's lots of useful information that we can give you as a homeowner. That may benefit you and safety things and stuff like that. We like to share all that information and make sure that people are educated.
Dave: For me, it's the biggest investment I have. And whether I'm living in the house or thinking about selling it or thinking about buying a house, it's a huge investment and you want to take care of your investments. If you have a big portfolio with $200,000 worth of gold in it you want to know what's happening with the price of gold in the market place.
Thom: Exactly. You don't just let it sit there and just not pay attention to it, you go in and you check it every once in a while, see where the prices are and it's that way with your home, you need to make sure that you're thinking about it checking in on it. Doing a quick evaluation on your attic space, your crawl space.
Dave: And making sure that your home is a healthy thing for you to be in we're going to talk to Stan coming up with AAD home inspection want to make sure it's a healthy place for you to live and that it is a safe place for you to live as well. That's kind of what this program's all about. Now for those who are in the market looking for a home, thinking about buying a home you've got a couple of ... 2 or 3 new listings for us?
Thom: I wish I could say that we have some coming soons. These individuals that are selling these homes wanted to get them on the market as quick as possible and get them sold so we don't have any coming soons but we do have 3 wonderful properties that are just listed this week that are live and ready to go. I guess we'll just dive into the first one. The first one is out in Kuna. This is a great home for that rural development if anybody's looking for a rural development home to purchase.
Dave: And if you don't know what we're talking about you can always get a hold of Michelle Guth that rural home development is a special loan that really fairly inexpensive and the payments are cheaper too.
Thom: It's a 100% financed loan. There's no down payments associated with it or anything. Your everything's wrapped up into the loan. This house is in Crimson Point, it's a really cute subdivision to the West of Kuna. This house is at 2018 N. Mauve Ave.
Dave: Like the color Mauve?
Thom: The color Mauve, yep. Or is it pronounced mauve? or mauve?
Dave: I may be a bit of a hillbilly but I've always said Mauve.
Thom: That's the fun part of Crismon Point is that all of the streets are kind of colors and stuff like that. So 2018 N. Mauve Ave., it's a 4 bedroom 2 bath with a 3 car garage. 2,022 sq. ft. home. It's all on a single level so you don't have to climb any stairs to get anywhere. It's fully fenced with RV parking. Gas fireplace in it, walk in closet, dual vanities. Just a great little ... not little ... 2,000 sq. ft. is not little. 2,000 sq. ft. house at $198,000.
Dave: That's very affordable! So you can get on one of those good loans one of those rural development loans if Michelle could package that up for you, you could get in there for a really ... well I'm no expert but I bet you could get in for less than renting a home.
Thom: Oh yes, I have a feeling you'd be surprised at especially a 2,000 sq. ft. home how much those are renting for right now.
Dave: And out on the West side of Kuna it's perfect if you work in Canyon County if you work in the Nampa area you're West of Kuna you're right there. Close to the freeway and close to Canyon County.
Thom: Exactly. Hop on to Meridian Road and then on to the freeway.
Dave: And you're right there! What else you got?
Thom: The next one we're going to move over to Nampa we're going to head West again. It's 1904 W. Michelle Street in the Sterling Creek subdivision. It's a 4 bedroom 2 bath again. And it's a 2 car garage. 3,100 sq. ft. so nice big house. This is a 2 story that was built in 2006. And it's listed at $185,000. Once again that's 1904 W. Michelle Street, it's got irrigation in the yard so you don't have to worry about water bills. Got a family room slash rec bonus room. Walk in closets, and fully fenced. Just really nice, 3,148 sq. ft. home for those people that need a lot of space to keep the family separated.
Dave: So two homes under $200,000 homes each so a lot of affordable homes!
Thom: Yes $185,000 for that much square footage is a really good price.
Dave: And number three on the list?
Thom: And the final one we're going to come back into Boise to the Hobble Creek Subdivision. And it's 13344 W. Bluebell Drive in Boise. Really nice 2,022 sq. ft. home. Once again single level with an upstairs bonus room. Everybody likes their bonus room to escape to. It's built in 1998, fully fenced, gas fireplace, it's got a nice den office space. Hardwood floors, it's the split bedroom floor plan. So you've got the master on one side and all the rest of the bedrooms on the other side, so that's listed at $250,000 so nice space there. Once again 2,000 sq. ft.
Dave: You know it's funny you talk about that bonus room. When we built our house, we didn't build a bonus room in and that's something I kind of kick myself over. I wish we would have made the investment for over the garage area to put the bonus room just because it's a nice place to have the kids go ahead and make a mess of it and the rest of the house is fine or if I wanted to sit there in my La-Z-Boy and take my socks off and throw them on the floor, I could do that. But yet the rest of the house is fine it's just that is my space. That's a great thing.
Thom: A bonus room has really been a really popular add on to homes in this day and age. Lots of people love that separated space for like you say sending the kids there or sending the husband there, getting the husband out of the way.
Dave: Keeping the house ... seriously, keeping the house clean and you can just go live in that room.
Thom: Exactly, or if you're really big on entertaining, I've seen a lot of those bonus rooms turned into really great media rooms where they put up a nice theater kind of feel to it, big giant screen TV with a whole lot of recliners or kind of row of couches.
Dave: Sounds like a man cave to me.
Dave: Football Sundays!
Thom: Great way to get everybody together and just kind of hang out in that space and just have some fun times together. It's such a busy world out there we love to have our recreation time with our friends and family.
Dave: Well the nice thing is all three of these homes you can find them at coregrouprealty.com so that way you can take a look and we've talked about this ad-nauseum in the past and how important a good social media site is.
Thom Oh yeah.
Dave: CORE Group Realty, that's somewhere where you folks have decided to make that investment because it's not cheap.
Thom: Oh yeah, it's not a cheap investment but I think it's really super important, especially if you are looking for a home or looking to list a home. Specifically, you want to make sure you're with a real estate agent that is out there. Everybody starts their searches online. That's just a given fact right now in this day and age. Everybody starts looking for everything online. Shopping, anything from shoes and socks all the way up to homes and what not. So, people really do start that shopping on the internet and it's so important to have that presence there.
Dave: It's very different than 10 years ago. We were, my wife and I went out we were sitting at an outside restaurant last Sunday morning having coffee and picked up the newspaper and it used to be Sunday was a big day for real estate in the newspaper. And I'm sorry I'm sure the Press Tribune and Statesman don't want to hear this but I thought I haven't looked at a home listing in the newspaper in a long time and I was stunned how few there really are compared to 10 years ago. There are more ads for real estate companies per say driving you to the website. That's where it's all at. You can see "cute cottage," you can see that in the newspaper or I could go to coregrouprealty.com and look at real pictures.
Thom: And I don't want to discount. We actually are running ads in the Idaho Statesman as well because I think it's very important to have all aspects of your social media out there whether it's here on the radio show, whether it's on the internet, on our sites.
Dave: On your TV ads.
Thom: Right on TV, on our Facebook page. We do all of our just listed on our Facebook page where we have about 8,200 and something followers. So those people either can see the new listings that we have come on and all of the successful closings that we have and all the happy clients that we have are all on that Facebook page. So we like to share that!
Dave: Well it is important that you hit all those avenues and I don't have all those numbers right in front of me it would be interesting to do sometime maybe as a show and that is because if you're listing a home, you have got to get above the noise. And if you think on a daily basis between billboards, TV ads, radio ads, internet ads, ads on my phone, ads here ... we are so bombarded. You've got to get above the noise and that's part of what CORE Group has dedicated themselves to get above that noise to get it out as many places as possible.
Thom: Exactly. I feel like we're doing a pretty good job of it hopefully! So things are selling quickly and we've got lots of buyers out there interested in purchasing homes that we can pair up with our listings that we have and so forth.
Dave: I would say, and I'm just peaking honestly because this is about real estate, not necessarily about CORE Group, I'd say CORE Group has to be within the top 2 or 3 as far as visually and/or audibly when I hear and see CORE Group is right up in that top 3 with a couple of other good real estate companies you have that have made that investment to get out there for their clients. If you'd like to talk to Thom Dallman you can do that. He'd be happy to have himself for his team get together and talk to you. All's you got to do: call 933-7777. You can do that right now and a Customer Care agent will take care of you and get you to the right person and get you the right information. We'll continue, we'll be talking to Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage here in just a minute to find out what lending options are out there for you if you're looking to buy or sell. We'll talk to Michelle coming up right here on the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, on 580 KIDO.
Dave: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett and Michelle Guth joins us from Diversified Mortgage, Equal Housing Opportunity and Diversified Mortgage who is there to help you through the nuts and bolts of the finances and Michelle, we always talk about getting pre-qualified how important that is to get pre-qualified before you do anything else and start shopping for homes so you know where you're at.
Michelle: 100%. Three different reasons - you want to know what you're shopping for and what your budget and payment range is and also once you meet with your realtor they're going to want that proof of finances so they can submit your offer.
Dave: So they're wasting their time knowing you're going to put an offer in on a house and be rejected. And I hate to put it that way but it's a waste of your time, it's a waste of everybody's time if you're not qualified to do it. The nice thing with Diversified is you get a chance to work with people and if for some reason they're not qualified, you can help them get that shored up and fixed up fairly quickly. You have some good advice there.
Michelle: That's certainly our goal is to help them navigate through some of their challenges with the end result hopefully being a home purchase down the road.
Dave: As people get qualified for loans, let me ask you. And we've talked about different loans in the past, VA loans, we've talked about is it rural development?
Dave: Which at one point was called Farm Home Loans. I got one at one time, years ago I lived in Roseburg Oregon and the loan we got was a Farm Home Loan even though it was right in the middle of town we still got a Farm Home Loan and the interest rate, I wish I had that $140 a month house payment still but the interest rate was very low on it and worked out. Can we talk a little more specific about these loans? Some are acronyms I think most of know like VA loan we know it's the Veterans Administration but can we talk a little bit about some of these loans?
Michelle: I think that's a great idea! Let's do a quick 101 on some of the various loan programs out there.
Dave: So I come into your office and you quiz me and one of the things you're going to ask if I'm a Veteran, correct?
Michelle: That is correct. I'm going to ask also do you have funds set aside for down payment whether you have budgeted for this home purchase so this will right there allow me to hone in on what programs we need to look at based on what you have for available assets for the transaction. One of the reasons we love the VA which is Veterans Administration and those are for our past veterans and it does have criteria just because you're in the military doesn't mean you necessarily are eligible for the VA. It depends on if your reserves vs. active military, how long you were in the reserves, if you were ever deployed for a war zone so there are different factors that will make you eligible for VA financing but the reason it's such a fabulous program is the 100% financing so no down payment requirement, and you don't pay that monthly mortgage insurance so as a result you're going to get a lower net housing payment going VA than any other program on the market.
Dave: Now insurance, I'm not sure if you can give me a figure but like per 100,000 how much is that?
Michelle: It varies dependent upon credit score, loan type, there's a lot of variables but on average for VA for example if you're looking at VA compared to one of the low down payment other government programs you're probably getting roughly anywhere from $15-$25,000 more in purchase price by putting in that MI based on an average for first time home buyer price range.
Dave: So that's a great deal if somebody can get a VA loan.
Michelle: Oh it's an incredible program.
Dave: Now let me ask you a couple questions here and if you don't have the answer you can say "pass." If somebody to qualify if they are not the Veteran but maybe the spouse of somebody who's lost their life, paid that ultimate price. Are spouses I guess would be widows or widowers would they be eligible?
Michelle: That's a great equation. There are VA survivor benefits for Veterans that have passed away. So yes, they do have that as an option. Absolutely we can look into that see what the eligibility is there.
Dave: OK so we have that for VA. So, that's a good one, what is another good loan other than VA that you might try to get somebody qualified for?
Michelle: Oh one of my other favorites is USDA as you mentioned, Farm Loan, also known as RD. We have all these great acronyms so RD just stands for Rural Development.
Dave: I just remembered when they said I think you'll qualify for this with the Farm Home Loan.
Michelle: I don't want to buy a farm!
Thom: I'm not buying a farm!
Dave: Well, I don't know about a farm but it's just that it's considered a rural area.
Michelle: Correct, exactly. So some of the areas surrounding Boise that are currently in the rural zones are parts of Kuna, Star, Middleton, and then you get out to the outlying areas like Marsing, Emmett, Fruitland, most of those areas are all within the eligible boundaries.
Dave: How is that determined? What areas are eligible?
Michelle: It's based, the government's going to have a map and it's based on basically your population base for that area so the whole goal of that program was to bring consumers out to the rural communities to increase the population base so there have been some areas surrounding Boise where there's been a worry that they're going to come out of the rural area and that could happen on an annual basis where they can change the map so that can change at any given time.
Dave: So Meridian at one time probably was in the area but now it's well out of the area.
Michelle: Yeah I don't know if it was ever in the eligible boundaries but it potentially could have been years ago but yeah now with the population base it would never be an RD area.
Dave: OK so that can change and how often do they update and change that?
Michelle: Well they can change their policies from one year to the next it also depends on how much funding the government has for rural development because they can run out of funding for rural development as well.
Dave: What is it and I know when we had one it was low interest what are the advantages of that loan?
Michelle: Well the Rural Development, one reason why I love it is that it is zero down so you don't have to have a down payment requirement and what's so popular is the mortgage insurance that you have to pay on that program is very inexpensive compared to any program out there so it's actually dropping as of October at which time it's going to save the consumer probably close to half of what they're currently paying on their mortgage insurance premium that's going to help on their buying power. So again, zero down, very inexpensive mortgage insurance premium but they do have to pay up front funding fee to rural development just like they would with VA. VA has the same criteria. But it's financed back into the loan so they don't have to pay ti out of pocket they can still get in with ideally zero out of pocket if one of Thom's team members can negotiate to have the seller cover all closing costs. In many cases they're getting into that program and getting their earnest money check refunded back to them at closing with literally nothing out of pocket to buy a home.
Dave: We're talking to Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage today. Michelle, if somebody's interested in talking about some of these loans how do they get a hold of you there at Diversified?
Michelle: Reach us at the office at 853-7878 myself or one of my team members would love to visit with you about it.
Dave: And you have a website?
Michelle: We do, dmgloans.com!
Dave: OK so we have these two loans.
Thom: We have another zero down, right? IH ... now I'm like stumbling all over it!
Michelle: Idaho Housing and Financing. So IHFA. And a lot of people have mentioned this in past segments that confuses being its own loan program which it's not. It's our non-profit agency for the state of Idaho and they're offering the programs that I just mentioned but they have some added down payment assistant programs so if you're doing an FHA mortgage for example they have a down payment second mortgage you can do and they have programs where they'll actually gift you the down payment to help with the down payment. So those are some additional options for any of the programs we just mentioned.
Dave: Now is that a first time buyer's program? Or is that part of that, or not?
Michelle: They have a first time home buyer's program where you get a little better terms on the second mortgage but they have that option even for other buyers so you don't necessarily have to be a first time home buyer. The rural development program in the Idaho Housing program all have income limits so that's one of the things we'll need to look at as well so that's why it's so important to get pre-qualified we have to look at all of this criteria to make sure that you fit within the realms and the parameter for each program that we're qualifying you for.
Dave: But that really is a great deal for somebody that thinks I don't make enough money to buy a home, if you fit the parameters yes you do!
Michelle: Well and it's not necessarily, it's more of having a maximum income limit so rural development for example has a total housing limit per income so if you have a 17-year-old kid that's living in the house and working a job, we have to actually factor that housing income into the limits of what that household income can be for the entire family. But, again, they have some other criteria that if you have childcare expenses we can take that right off the top of your income to bring you back within the income limits so there's a lot of flexibility in that regard.
Dave: Michelle what are some of the other loans that are out there that you're trying to get people fit into?
Michelle: FHA is a popular one, 3.5% down and that one again we can do through the state bond program to get down payment assistance if you don't have that 3.5% down and then we have conventional program with as little as 3% down and that also has some pretty low mortgage insurance requirements if you're first time home buyer. So, multiple options and again, you don't have to have a large down payment, in some cases no down payment so certainly worth talking to a mortgage professional to see if you meet any of those program criteria.
Dave: Well I know originally back when I first started buying homes I think 20% down was the standard, I remember my dad going "You ain't getting a loan unless you got 20% down of your own money" and it's like well that's not going to happen.
Michelle: And you bring up a good point and I think because it is the biggest investment of your life you want to work with a local real estate company and lender because they're going to be a resource for you for years to come after you've closed the loan versus calling the 1-800 number online lender. Those online lenders typically do not even have access to our state bond programs so you may not even be being offered all available programs on the market with respect to Idaho state when you're dealing with these online lenders so I encourage anybody to sit down with a local lender to make sure you're getting the proper product offered and presented.
Dave: And there's a lot of ads out there on radio and TV and billboards for these national web loan sites to go to, you may be robbing yourself.
Michelle: You very well could be. And I think there's a lot to be said again about having that relationship, we've never approached our businesses transactional, it's relationship based. My clients come back to me for years to come and if they ever need anything, they know they can pick up the phone and call me or one of my team members versus the person on the phone good luck ever finding them again.
Dave: When we went through the down turn in the economy the big part of it was that there was money being loaned out to people that really had no business getting loans. Did we see certain programs go away or did they just modify them?
Michelle: The bulk of those programs that caused the housing crisis are gone, thankfully. So the pendulum has swung the other way and thankfully it's coming a little back towards the middle which is good. So, again, the fallacy was out there you need at least 20% which we just discussed you do not but you still have to meet the criteria. You have to have a certain debt ratio meaning I'm going to verify what you have in monthly debt compared to income and you have to have a certain credit score. So in years past, you didn't even necessarily have to have a minimum credit score requirement, you didn't even have to have a job, you didn't even have to state how much income you could need so if you could fog a mirror you could get a loan in some cases. Thankfully those programs are gone I'd like to see them come back with some stated income programs, we have a lot of self-employed borrowers that have maybe structured their taxes in a certain way where they're not showing as much income but you can see the gross revenue is there. But we can't give them credit for that, so in some cases I think a stated income program for certain criteria would be nice to see come back but that's really not a viable product at this point so if you don't meet all the criteria, incoming, assets, debt ratio and so forth is going to be a little more challenging.
Dave: Michelle, we always look forward to talking to you about what is happening in the world of finance and loans and lending. If somebody wants to get a hold of you there at Diversified Mortgage, how do they do it?
Michelle: Call us at 853-7878 and we would love to address your questions or sit down and meet with you.
Dave: We will continue on the other side; it is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage and Thom Dallman with CORE Group Realty here at 580 KIDO.
Dave: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom Dallman of CORE Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com 933-777 as a matter of fact Thom right now they can call that number right now and get a hold of a customer care agent.
Thom: Get a hold of someone, yeah. We've got someone always standing by to chat about anything real estate related that you need answers to.
Dave: Whatever you're up to this weekend, CORE Group is here to help answer those questions. 933-7777. And I always love talking to Stan. Stan is with ... it's AAD?
Stan: That's correct.
Dave: Home inspection.
Stan: That's right.
Dave: I always like talking to Stan, he talks about creepy crawling things and things that make me go holy cow, not me! But Stan, welcome back to the show. Thom, one of the important things is the condition of your home, whether you're going to stay living in it or whether you're buying or selling. And the condition of the home, I mean that is what you're buying and that's kind of why you guys have teamed up with Stan.
Thom: Exactly. You really need to know before you go into a house for a buyer specifically but we even recommend for Sellers to have a pre-inspection done from inspectors so they can know going into a transaction what to expect. Inspectors are really good about pointing out the things that may prevent and prohibit a loan on a house because as you know as we've chatted before with Michelle Guth and everything from Diversified, there are very specific things that you can't get a loan on a house if something bad has happened, peeling paint and so forth. Even further than that as you know all those things that are under the floors or in the attic that you just don't see.
Dave: There's a lot of things that I can't see. I can look at the roof and go "Oh look, it's falling off" or I can look at the paint and go "oh you need some paint." But there's a lot of hidden things Stan that the average home owner never sees.
Stan: Absolutely Dave. That's probably why we have a business is because most people wouldn't go into a crawl space and would make any excuse not to and might not be comfortable on a roof or in an attic and even if they were able to go to those places they might not understand what they were seeing or what it meant to them, their home ownership, their future expenses, or a transaction at hand.
Dave: And do you find as far as working with the lending institutions that there's usually a check list of things that are wrong that the bank wants fixed?
Stan: Especially government insured loans. That would be FHA, VA, rural development. Even IHFA gets involved in those, that's the Idaho Housing and Finance Association and a good share of the market does approach houses with that type of loan in mind, so we are able to go through with a check list and see by the way those lenders usually see those first through the eyes of an appraiser, so I can't imagine buyers or sellers or their representative agents wanting to be surprised later by what an appraiser told them when they could have learned it way before.
Dave: You're bringing in a couple topics for us today, what do you want to talk about as far as what home owner should be aware of?
Stan: The topic I'd like to talk about today, and I have to say, again, is the one that seems to surprise people the most and affect their lives the most and that is mold. Your listeners might be surprised to know that home inspectors like us typically find some degree of mold that should be addressed in at least 1/3 of all the houses we inspect.
Dave: We went through a phase here a few years ago when mold was such a scary thing it was like set a torch or bulldoze the house so it's done, it's not necessarily the case.
Stan: It's probably scarier to people's pocket books than it is to their health. Only a small portion of people are adversely affected by the mold, but if you have mold that's discovered that can be seen or reported in a house, the scary thing for your pocket book is that it will probably have a very large affect and a surprise effect on the future market ability of the house which translates back to dollars in a way that even your appraisers can't tell you.
Thom: Exactly and I think you're referring to kind of the stigma of the mold in the houses and a lot of buyers .. you have to disclose if you see mold in your house or if you just found out you have mold in your house so once you disclose that a lot of buyers will be like "Oh my gosh, no I don't want to buy a moldy house!" Even though it's re-mediated and it's gone.
Dave: Let me ask this question, and I'm going to ask it just plainly, I might be totally off here. Are there different categories or kinds of molds in a home? Like you may have something behind the furniture that would be very different than if the basement or the crawl space was full. Are there different kinds or categories or mold?
Stan: Yes, there are and microbiologists are discovering more and more about which kinds of molds might have a greater chance of affecting certain people but that's focusing on the wrong place. If you have mold growing someplace in your house it's like a jungle. If you provided all the plants and the moisture for a rainforest and you're asking me are there quail in there? Are there tigers there? Are there snakes? Well probably and the longer that jungle grows probably the scarier the types of animals will appear. So if you allow the jungle of mold with high humidity in dark places with a food source which is anything cellulose it's what your house is made of. You will have mold, and what will happen is the different species of mold will continue to grow and compete for those food sources until the most powerful of those species finally wins out. Then you start getting to the scary stuff that the media has taught us about that creates the scare that buyers would be reacting to and that would be like the Stachybotrys chartarum the toxic black mold we all hear about. It doesn't usually start out that way, it usually starts out as a petri dish of different colonies and different colors of mold that are kind of benign and for gosh sakes, we eat cheese!
Thom: We eat moldy cheese!
Stan: So not all mold is very bad, but if you provide the environment it will eventually get bad so we would really like your listeners to understand that the chance for jungles is actually presented in every house because they're made out of wood, paper, and cardboard. You want to really watch out for any moisture. The concept of an inspection would help them see where that might be going on before they would otherwise know it themselves and I can't tell people enough. If you could just have a chance to watch for that periodically and have your house inspected, it's kind of a shame that people only inspect the houses and discover things like that that could adversely affect their future marketability of their house and their check book when there's a transaction at hand. So I hope I'm speaking to the general public and not just the agents that are trying to help people buy and sell houses.
Thom: We're always about reminding people that there's resources available to them for all home ownership, for all the time that they own that home. It's not just through their transactions and stuff so I'm glad you brought that up because I think that's really important. How often do you think someone should have their home inspected for these kinds of situations? Do you do a full blown inspection when you do those?
Stan: Good question Thom, and you know what the answer is since I'm in the business; you should have it done quite often!
Thom: Of course!
Stan: If I were answering this question to a family member, I'd say have us come and look at your house maybe once every two years and that does not have to be a full blown 20,30, 50, 80-page inspection report that's expensive. Our company actually does a home checkup just for that purpose, showing you things that you wouldn't have noticed in your own house, danger areas, kind of like sending your house to a general practitioner or sending your family member just for a general checkup. We do that for $195. I wasn't in here trying to sell that today but to answer your question, if people would have their house looked at every couple of years, that would keep the problems that might be smoldering out of sight from developing to the point where it would cost them a lot of money later. It's actually less expensive to have somebody look at your house every couple of years than to wait until you're surprised by it.
Dave: It's not like getting your car tuned up and looked up. It's going to cost you to get that done but I was told by my dad, he always told me "Never ignore a squeak." because that squeak will turn into something really bad. So the same thing with your home if you invest a couple hundred dollars you can jump on a problem long before it's a problem.
Stan: Yes, absolutely, and I did want to pass on a piece of information to prospective buyers when they're looking at houses and their agents in the houses. If you or any of your family members that are going to be occupying that house are known to be allergic and have any reactions to mold or perhaps have compromised immune systems or have asthma they are far more likely to have a negative health reaction so I would strongly suggest that if you know that and I know the agents are really in tune with their client, plan on spending as much time as you can in that house that you're looking at before you make a purchase offer because your clients, I'm talking to the agents right now, can be a canary. If they're going to be reacting, chances are it'll give them a chance. Even if they can't see mold if there's something growing in a wall where you can't see it, chances are they're the best test. They really should be comfortable in that house and that's a good way to know that they would be. If they are concerned, our company can do mold inspections and any mold re-mediator is pretty likely to hire someone with a mold certification, inspection certification to go in first, identity where it is, what needs to be done, write the protocol and then prove that they've done it according to the standards after they're done with the post-remediation or the compliance inspection. We can do that and that's essentially going to entail identifying, grabbing samples of anything you can visually see, but just in case there's something you can't see, we test the air inside the house and compare that with the air outside the house and that's really what's involved.
Dave: That's what I was wondering, if it was something where you open the crawl space and little black dots would be a sign of mold. Is it something you visually do, I was curious if it was something you invisibly do. That is interesting to know. What can I as a home owner, are there things I can look for myself to go "I may have a problem here"?
Stan: Oh yes there is. Actually if you would every once in a while, open your crawl space if you have a crawl space under your house rather than a basement. First of all, smell the air. If it smells sour and musty, that's probably the MVOCs the microbial volatile organic compounds that these mold spores put out to compete for the food source. Those are poisons. And the more poisonous molds get better at elbowing out the others because of those poisons.
Dave: See my crawl space smells like dirt.
Stan: That's what it should smell like. And you can also take a flashlight to look around, you don't have to crawl in there. Take a flashlight and see if you can see any water in there, or see any water puddled. If you see any water coming in just wetting the insides of your foundation here and there, then get that looked at. Because again, mold has to have moisture to grow so you want to keep the moisture away from the places. Especially the places you don't see every day. So make it a point to go in your crawl space, smell it, and just take a peek. Same thing with your attic, if you have too much moisture coming in through your house from living plants, too many breathing souls, cooking involving a lot of moisture, if you don't have enough ventilation in your attack look first of all at those roof slopes, the undersides of them that are North facing, especially close to the eaves. That's where you're going to have mold growing first. And although those mold spores MVOCs are probably not going to get into your living spaces in the attic if a home inspector sees that or a tenant if you own rentals, there's going to be $1,000's of dollars in remediation so nip that in the bud.
Dave: Stan is with AAD Home Inspection. If you want to call Stan and maybe just get your home inspected, you can call CORE Group Realty, call 933-7777 they'll get you hooked up with Stan's company to get out and get your home looked at. Something important. Boy, that segment went by fast.
Thom: It sure did. You can also find his information on our coregrouprealty.com page underneath the service providers too.
Dave: That of course at coregrouprealty.com. Thank you Stan so much for joining us today. We'll continue on the other side here at 580 KIDO.
This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom Dallman who is the co-owner and also the designated broker of CORE Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com is the website, you can go to that 24/7 anytime you want and check that out. Or, you can call 933-7777 and by the way you can call that anytime you want as well and they'll get you all hooked up with the proper people.
Thom: Please Do!
Dave: Thom, we talk about and have gosh for months now, about a shortage of homes for sale out there.
Thom: Exactly. All time low of inventory nationwide, specifically but also here in the Treasure Valley.
Dave: Does this have to do with ... I mean we went into a recession 8 years or so ago, we had a bunch of homes and then really everything dried up for several years there was really no building going on, is that what has happened? Is there now trying to replenish that?
Thom: My honest opinion is that I think it's a little bit of people trying to be a little bit conservative because I think there's a lot of nervousness with the presidential elections.
Dave: This isn't a donkey or elephant thing, there's just a lack of trust of either candidate and what financial is going to happen.
Thom: Exactly. So I think there's a bit of hesitation because of the election so people are not really wanting to make a change at the moment, whether it's investing in buying a home or selling their homes, they just want to hang tight a little bit to see what happens through the elections.
Dave: So ultimately, it creates a shortage in homes.
Thom: Yeah, exactly. An all-time low I think the last report was 2.1 month's supply which means if we didn't list another home if we had no more homes on the market and builders decided to stop building, we'd run out of homes in 2 months.
Dave: How do we derive all those numbers? How does it come to be?
Thom: Really it's a simple mathematical equation of looking at what our current active home numbers are, and then kind of comparing them to the last couple months of sales. And that's one simple equation that you can determine what the supplies are.
Dave: I see you have some numbers written on your notepad.
Thom: Yes, I thought I'd bring some of those numbers. I wanted to because we've talked about this in the past about the month's supply and stuff like that but I feel like I thought it would be a good idea to chat a little bit about what those numbers actually translate out to. For example, the numbers that I have are for starting with Ada County, we currently have 2,321ish homes for sale in Ada County. That's broken off into about 2,000 of those are single family homes, 140 of those are single family homes with acreage, we've got 112-ish townhomes in there, some condos, a few mobile homes. Manufactured homes and so forth. But overall, currently active on the market are 2,321 homes. When we look at the sales for June and July there have been 2,424 sales, so there's been more sales in June and July than there are currently active homes for sale on the market.
Dave: So that's pretty much what is up is selling.
Thom: Yes, exactly, and that kind of comes back around to the fact that homes are selling quickly and for good prices right now.
Dave: Do we have an average length of time the average home is staying on the marketplace?
Thom: I think the last time I looked our average days on market where around that 20 days and that's taking into effect back and forth the ones that are selling really super quick and the ones that are maybe in the higher price ranges so remembering that those homes in that $500,000 and up kind of price ranges, those homes tend to take a little bit longer to sell because there's not as many people in the market for those high priced homes. And so that skews the numbers a little bit on average.
Dave: Is Canyon County very similar?
Thom: No, I mean, as far as the proximity to homes sold versus homes active right now Canyon County has around 950 homes that are currently active ...
Dave: That's not many homes.
Thom: That's not! No, it's not. For as much area as Canyon County covers, it's not a lot. And June and July, 885 homes sold, so it is at least less than our currently active homes. But that's right about that little over 2 months so when you average Ada and Canyon together, that's where they're getting that 2.1 month's supply is because those numbers equate out to that 2 month's if we don't sell anything.
Dave: And, do you remember off the top of your head roughly what the numbers were say, 4 years ago?
Thom: You know what, I don't.
Dave: OK I was just kind of curious how that would work out.
Thom: Yeah, it would be an interesting number to look at.
Dave: That's your homework for next week.
Thom: That's my homework, alright I'm on it, I got it. I will see if I can find those numbers out.
Dave: But we do know that 4 years or 5 years ago there were homes that were sitting for months because there were no buyers.
Thom: 4-5 years ago, a lot of those were distressed homes. We don't have as many distressed homes anymore these days just because the market has come back around to the point where it people have equity in their homes now, people don't have to worry about short selling’s or foreclosing on their homes and stuff.
Dave: I remember doing a show there were a lot of foreclosures and short sales and now, and hopefully knock on wood that won't be an issue in the upcoming future, and it's all kind of cyclical, there will come a time where we'll slow down but right now, especially if you're looking to sell a home, now's a great time to do it. But I would say that with a caveat, you'll want to talk to somebody at CORE Group Realty because if you're going to sell your home, you have to be aware of the fact that you may have to live somewhere else so you need to figure out what you want to do, if you want to build and you have a team here with CORE Group Realty that specializes in building homes.
Thom: Oh yeah, we have a new builder here, and interesting number if you want to kind of talk about new construction, of those 2,321 homes in Ada County that are currently available, 792 of them are actually new construction homes, so homes that are brand new, haven't been lived in, or to-be-built for people.
Dave: Is that a relatively low number, percentage wise do you think?
Thom: I think it's a high number, I think it's a higher number than what it sometimes has been in the past. Because of the fact that there's so much resale that's decreased I think the new construction's been somewhat consistent but has increased a little bit because of the home demand out there and the low supply.
Dave: I was talking to somebody recently who's in the carpeting business, and they are so behind in trying to get carpet in new homes. And he said it's because before when there was a bubble going on, there were so many contractors out there, fly-by-night guys that came to take advantage but there's really not that many it's the established companies and people that have been in there so he's running a month behind right now.
Thom: Yeah I hear that a lot from a lot of contractors, that they're having a hard time getting their vendors in there and stuff because there's so much going on.
Dave: But you know, in a way that's good. That's the quality of people that you know are going to be here next month and that they won't be in and out in a month and gone. So that's a good thing if you're looking to build a home in that direction. Where do you see this going as we go into the Fall/Winter do you think? Is it your opinion that we're going to continue the same?
Thom: I feel like we're going to continue the same, we're probably going to ... I'm hoping that just with elections and stuff that it will increase a little bit more, but I feel like we're probably going to maintain this until the new year and then we'll see houses coming back on the market, people getting a little more pat to sell and then we'll probably see maybe kind of a little bit of a drop in home prices but then really just an evening out. That's my prediction for what I see happening and feel that's been happening with home sales and so forth. Everybody has some kind of a prediction, so there's some people that say that prices will increase for the next year, and as interest rates also increase there's going to be less buyers and so forth so yeah, it's a tossup, it really is, to try to predict what's going to happen in the next 6 months.
Dave: Well, it truly is a great time to list your home to get the maximum amount of money out of it for whatever reason, if you're downsizing if you're moving out of the area, if you maybe just want to get out of home ownership and rent, the folks at CORE Group would love to talk to you about your property and about getting it sold for you, and you can contact them at 933-7777 which is the phone number to call, or you can go to coregrouprealty.com and as always Thom we recommend that you come in, you sit down for a consultation, you interview, you come with a list of questions for Thom and his team here at CORE Group to make sure that they're the right fit for you.
Thom: Exactly, you should always be interviewing your agents and interviewing multiple agents, we may not be the right fit for everyone and likewise other agents may not be the fit too, so you really want to go in with your list of questions, your list of expectations, as easy as just saying "Hey are you going to be available on the weekends to show me properties" and stuff like that.
Dave: Let's play this game, you're coming into CORE Group Realty, you're wanting to buy a home. What's three questions you would ask the agent?
Thom: I would probably set the expectation first of availability. That's the most important thing, there are a lot of agents out there that are like "Oh I don't really work in the weekends and this is my 9-5 Monday through Friday job" which doesn't really work with most people's schedules so availability is key, making sure that, especially in this market when houses are selling so quickly, you want an agent that's ready to go show you a house that comes on the market so you can get an offer in as quick as possible. So availability would probably be the top most important one, the second one is how are you going to get your current listings to me? How often can I expect new listings that are coming on the market? Because like I said, they're selling quick, and so you want to be in front of those properties, do they have a list of coming soon homes that you can kind of get a preview of before it hits the market and stuff like that. So what's the availability of homes before they hit the market and how quickly are they going to get those listings to you, that's probably going to be the second question.
Dave: And the third question?
Thom: Hmm let's see, what would a good third question be? You've got me stumped on that one. Those are the two main ones.
Dave: My question would be for you, maybe this would be a good drill to do, maybe we’ll come back and do a show where we'll do a segment and I'll be interviewing you. One of my other questions would be are you going to be with me through the entire process? Are you going to be there with me from the beginning to the time that we're at the title company and they hand me the keys?
Thom: That is a good point, there are teams out there that once they get it under contract, they pass it off to another person and so you're dealing with another person through the inspections and so forth and then it gets handed off to the person that's a closing person so that's a really good question to ask, I like that one.
Dave: So maybe we'll do that, I'll sit down and come up with a list of questions that I would have for you and just do it cold with you, and watch and see you scramble.
Thom: For the most part I'm pretty good about answering these questions.
Dave: We'll do that one of these Saturdays coming up. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, CORE Group Realty, Thom Dallman who is with me, good friend and somebody that I would give my endorsement that you can trust, you can trust to get an honest answer out of him and I can tell you, in this day and age, an honest answer is something that is refreshing to have. And all of the people that I have met with the CORE Group Realty team, a great group of people from the front desk to the people working behind the scenes. Give them a call, 933-7777 or you can go to their website, coregrouprealty.com and you can join us right back here again next week at 2:00. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz on 580 KIDO.
AAD Inspection Corp.
3288 Sweetwater Dr.
Boise, ID 83716
7977 West Marigold
Garden City, ID 83714