Today on the Real Estate buzz we have Gabe Cordova with Firepoint, LLC here talking about our website CoreHomeSearch.com and how by utilizing it you can make your home search quick and easy, seeing the most up to date information out there. Later in the show we have our weekly guest, Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage discussing what NOT to do when you decide to buy a home. We have a great show for you today, enjoy!
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom Dallman of Core Group Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com is the website. 933-7777 that is the phone number for you to call. Thom we have, well I guess we have-
Thom Dallman: We have a special guest.
Dave Burnett: A new old guest.
Thom Dallman: Yeah right? The former guy on this radio buzz that we used to have on here, Gabe Cordova from, now at Firepoint, LLC. Yeah, we thought to, we'd invite Gabe in here to talk a little bit about the front-end experience on corehomesearch.com, it's our search site for people to go looking for properties and get information on their current home values and stuff like that. So, thought we'd bring him in and actually talk about the experience a little bit for the consumer on the front end of our website.
Dave Burnett: Gabe, welcome back. As some people know you were on this show a couple years ago now.
Gabe Cordova: Yeah, it's been a while, it's been a while.
Dave Burnett: It's been a couple years. It's a show that you started and left and went into a new venture. Tell us about that.
Gabe Cordova: Yeah so, I don't know that I left but maybe transitioned over. Thom and I still work very closely in real estate, in the community, and really it was more of a transition, still in real estate, still here in the community in Boise. Yeah, it's a software company and you don't have a lot of software companies here in Boise. A lot of times you hear of them in Denver and Silicon Valley, but we're primarily out of Boise here all of our training support and, it's real estate software for buyers, sellers, and real estate agents. So-
Dave Burnett: So, what does it do for me as a company or for an agent? What does it do for me?
Gabe Cordova: So, a couple things: so if we focus on, I mean if you're listening and you're looking at buying and selling and you're one of Thom's clients, what it is is that front end website. So that corehomessearch.com, when you log on and you're doing property searches, when you're looking for homes, checking values. When you want to see what that value is of your home, the home valuation tool, where you can go in and put in the characteristics of your home. Get estimated values, any of that information, just everything that the consumer sees on the front end, we provide that to the real estate agent, to the brokerage, and to the team for them to customize and set it up so that at the end of the day, really, I'm guessing like for Thom, it's really to provide a tool that's synced with the local MLS. And again, this is across the country we're providing it, but we are based here in Boise and because it's updated with the MLS like every 15 minutes, it's a lot more accurate than some of the big dogs like Zillow and Trulia and Realtor.com, where I'm sure Thom you probably get the calls from people-
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah.
Gabe Cordova: On those websites where homes aren't available anymore because they don't update that often. We're offering a solution to real estate agents and companies for their clients to have something up to date and accurate for the consumers to use.
Dave Burnett: Thom, we've talked about the website and how crucial it is in this day and age-
Thom Dallman: Yep.
Dave Burnett: What does this service mean for you at CoreGroupRealty.com?
Thom Dallman: It gives us a tool to allow our consumers to be able to look at MLS information more quickly and efficiently than any other sites out there.
Gabe Cordova: Like real time.
Thom Dallman: Real time, yeah exactly. So, they are actually seeing when new things come on, and the most current information that's out there and available, so when something gets taken off the market it's taken off pretty quickly on our site too. So they're really getting true life information as it's happening in the industry right now.
Gabe Cordova: Well, and you guys have talked about it on the show, how crazy this market is.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Gabe Cordova: Things are moving fast, and if you're a consumer and you're looking or you're thinking about selling, you need accurate information now. Not what was accurate two or three days ago. And that's what we're providing our clients like Thom, so that he can then pass along that information to his buyers, sellers, and everybody that are coming to him for that information.
Dave Burnett: And how different that is than 10 years ago.[crosstalk 00:03:46]
Thom Dallman: Right?
Dave Burnett: When you waited every Thursday for the MLS book to come out. Now, a day or two could make a difference between getting that property or not.
Gabe Cordova: Yeah absolutely, and I think the big difference you say like 10 years ago, so Firepoint, so there's different sides to it so, not only is it providing the tools for Thom and his team to produce this information and provide it to their clients, but it also provides them the tools on the back end so when the clients are reaching out saying "I have questions about this" or "Can you please send me listing like this or updates like this?", it's all in one place so they can send those updates all through the system and it's just easier. So when everybody's communicating and everything's in one spot, the whole transaction, everything, goes so much more smoothly. So basically, there's a front end, what the consumers, the buyers and sellers are seeing, and then the back end for the real estate agents, which is what Thom and his team and all of them use to communicate not only internally with their own agents but with the buyers and sellers and the lenders all at the same time.
Thom Dallman: Yep, as we talk about all the time on the show that, we're one big team and this is the system that kind of provides that communication piece with the team, between us the lender like Gabe said, and the consumer themselves. Make sure everybody's on the same page, we're moving forward together, because that communication is really super important for in this market and getting things in there as quick as possible, so.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, I guess it's funny. We go to websites, whether it's CoreGroupRealty.com or whatever website, and we take for granted how easy it is just click on that and look at that, because it's there. As a consumer is somebody who surfs the web, you begin to take that for granted that there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make that function smoothly.
Gabe Cordova: Yeah there is, and I think the consumers also aren't probably aware a lot of times that the public websites, and I'm not picking on Zillow or Realtor.com or any of those, I mean they serve a purpose in everything, but I don't think the consumers know too on average they only have about 80% of the inventory. Because agents have to allow Zillow to do that, not all agencies do that, because that's their information. So, when we provide this to Thom so he can offer it back out to his buyers and sellers, it's additional information that he's providing because he's giving them every listing that's on the MLS, not just 80% of them like Zillow and stuff, so it really gives them the whole picture and when it's a competitive market you don't want to miss 20% of the market.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Gabe Cordova: Three or four years ago that would've been okay[crosstalk 00:06:04] when homes would sit on the market for two, three months, you could allow that time, but what's the average home sitting on the marketplace now?
Thom Dallman: For in a county we're at, well we're at about 29 days right now I believe average-
Dave Burnett: So less than a month?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, for less than a month, but a lot of those homes are selling very quickly.
Gabe Cordova: Well that's the average, I mean that's taking into consideration probably new construction-
Thom Dallman: All the really quick ones...
Gabe Cordova: Where they don't sell until they go, and then the people who just throw them on the market-
Thom Dallman: Correct.
Gabe Cordova: "Ah if I could get this that'd be great" and then they never sell, so, that's pretty insane when you start seeing less than a month, so you have to have tools whether you're an agent or a buyer to look at to know that you're seeing everything.
Dave Burnett: Well if you take a month, if it's throughout the high and throughout the low you're probably looking at about two weeks? [crosstalk 00:06:46]
Gabe Cordova: For an average.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Gabe Cordova: It is, yeah, we're constantly working on the system and again, you know we offer this across the country, so really across the country and Canada. We have thousands and thousands of users across the U.S. and Canada using this service, and what's really cool is we've got to build this here in Boise, which is one of the things I was talking to Thom about and where he said, "Hey let's talk about it on the radio show" and just let people know this is a local company. Again, the training, the support, sales teams, everything, everybody is right here in West Boise on Emerald Street. It's all happening here for the entire U.S. and Canada.
Dave Burnett: Well you talked about looking for employees. What are you looking for?
Gabe Cordova: Well I mean right now, in fact, because we are growing, we are looking for our what we call our account managers. Customer service managers who are, work with clients like Thom. So, when maybe something isn't updated or something's not working correctly or they need to add more features or something like that, we’re currently looking for people to do that. It's a full-time position again, right here in Boise. You know we got a great campus here, it's a great atmosphere. Incredible benefits and we're looking to hire two or three account managers immediately, in fact-
Dave Burnett: Well what are the qualifications?
Gabe Cordova: You know they really, what they'd love to see somebody that has some real estate experience. So what's really unique about Firepoint is it's being built by agents, for agents, so that we know what the consumers need. We know what the team leads need to provide top level service to their clients. We love candidates that have some real estate experience, whether that was in real estate sales or assistants, transaction coordinators in the lending side, title side. You could even be currently licensed and maybe just doing it part-time but want a full-time job that has full benefits for you and your family. You don't have to have that real estate experience, we can teach it. We've actually sent people over to work with Thom and his team to make sure they're understanding real world what's going on, so that when consumers are calling in, if there's something wrong with the site they know what's going on. But, we'd love if they have customer service but really we just want some good, down to earth, work hard play hard people. Yeah, I mean if there's anybody listening or you know somebody, you could reach out to us at email@example.com, again that's careers with an S at firepoint.net. You know we'd love to hear from you. You can email over your resume, but yeah we want to hire two or three immediately, and it's-
Dave Burnett: Do they need to have computer experience in programming? Or have you got this, do you have geeks sitting in the basement somewhere?
Gabe Cordova: I mean, no, no this isn't programming at all. Yep, no not at all, I mean it'd be nice if you knew your way around a computer, obviously. But I think most everybody has that today. But yeah we're hiring and we want to continue to hire local and support the community and the job industry right here in Boise.
Dave Burnett: And Thom, is there a link on the website if somebody wants to get a hold of them? Or can they just get a hold of you here at Core Group?
Thom Dallman: They can just get a hold of us and we can communicate the contact information from there.
Gabe Cordova: Yeah, they can reach out, and again, if they just that email it will come right through us, but we work closely with Thom as well. We'd love if anybody's listening or knows somebody that's interested, to reach out to us and you know, we can see what we can do.
Dave Burnett: What was the motivating factor for you to leave full-time real estate to go into this? What is it that made you do that?
Gabe Cordova: So, I've been doing real estate for about 15 years, you know started off with single agent, started building our team, Thom and I together, a long time ago and then to the brokerage. And it was really a shift in passion. And to what it is are the tools that are out there, and Thom and I've been using tools in real estate for a long time, and nothing has really ever provided what we needed to provide top level service. To have transparency in our business, to see what's going and what we need to do to really be the best that we can be, and it came down to nothing was really ever built by anybody within the industry. So when we say Firepoint's built by agent for agent, we mean that. You know the founder's been in real estate, I'm the president of the company in real estate. Some of our account managers were right here from Core Group that transitioned over into that role, so a lot of our people do have real estate experience. The ones that don't, we have extra training in that. And it was just a different in passion to provide tools to real estate professionals across the country, so that they can be the best that they can be, and provide the best tools to their clients.
Dave Burnett: Thom, other than the internet, is there anything else that's been more important to changing the way ... maybe the car ... that has changed the way that real estate is done today?
Thom Dallman: I don't think there has been anything, I mean 90% of the home searches start on the internet right now, so, having that effective tool to find that information that you need as a buyer and a consumer is so important, and it's where everybody's at. Everybody's on the internet.
Dave Burnett: By the way, CoreGroupRealty.com is where you can go and get on the internet to find out all the things we've been talking about, about homes that are there, things on the MLS, homes are listed, some of your blogs are there as well.
Thom Dallman: Yes, and this radio show is on there. Check out the Idaho Real Estate Buzz if you want to look at past episodes and you can listen to them.
Dave Burnett: Well Gabe it was good to catch back up with you, see what you're up to today, and that you are actually doing something. Because I see you from time to time, I just wonder, I think "Hmm, I wonder if he's really doing something" ...
Gabe Cordova: Yep. Still in real estate full-time, just in a different aspect, and everything right here in Boise.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett. Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage, equal opportunity lender, in studio with us again. Of course, Diversified one of the sponsors of this show, to help educate you. Thom and I always talk about Michelle, that this isn't just about getting loans. It's not about just selling houses, but it's to give information to empower people to go out and make the right decisions and how to go about getting a home. So we appreciate you coming and bringing information when it comes to the loan industry, and what happens there.
Michelle Guth: Thanks Dave. I appreciate being here.
Dave Burnett: Last week we talked about the do-bies. No, don't get carried away. It's the-
Michelle Guth: Do's.
Dave Burnett: ... Do's of when you get a home loan, what you "do". But this week I want to talk about the "don'ts". There are certain things that once you find out or once you decide you're going to buy a home, that you don't want to do. What would you say is the number one "don't"?
Michelle Guth: Oh gosh, there are a few. Don't go out and accumulate a ton of debt right when you're getting ready to buy a home loan.
Dave Burnett: Don't go buy furniture?
Michelle Guth: Don't go buy furniture. Don't go buy a car. Don't start opening up credit cards until you get a consultation with a mortgage lender.
Dave Burnett: What happens at Diversified Mortgage when that happens?
Michelle Guth: Well I can tell you, I recently had a scenario where we were two days from closing, and the client went out and took out a auto loan. Which of course, put the brakes on everything and is gonna delay us a couple of weeks because now we have to do what's called trade line updates, where we have to get that debt added to the credit report. Then we have to re-pull credit, go back through underwriting. It impacts the debt ratio. It causes quite a few issues, and in some cases, it can literally kill a deal right from the get-go. So, it's imperative that you give full disclosure to your lender and again, don't do anything without getting their advice prior to doing it.
Thom Dallman: I would kind of preface that too a little bit with even when you go under contract, don't do this because we've had contracts fall through when people get really super excited about their new home. They go out and buy a bunch of new furniture for their home. Then all of a sudden, they no longer qualify for their loan, and it kind of falls through. It's not only just before getting a loan, it's also during the process as well.
Michelle Guth: I'm glad you brought that up Thom because there's actually one furniture store in our market that is infamous for telling clients that, "Don't worry about it. We won't actually hit your balance with the furniture line until you tell it's okay to do so." But what they're not understanding or explaining is that they're still doing an inquiry. They're still opening an account, and it's still gonna pose an issue on the mortgage because we're gonna have to basically get confirmation that there is no outstanding balance.
Dave Burnett: Oh my.
Michelle Guth: Yeah, by all means, don't let people even pull your credit if you're in the loan and home-buying process.
Dave Burnett: So keep that in mind if you're out shopping for furniture because you're gonna buy a home. Do nothing but look.
Michelle Guth: And even paying cash for it. I mean I've had clients as well, where they said, "You know what, well you told me not to take out any debt, so we went and paid cash for all of it." Well the problem is in some cases, we do an electronic approval. We show that they have so much in reserves. And what reserves is is money left in the bank after we do our down payment, closing costs, and so forth. We suddenly don't have those reserves when we go through final underwriting, and we could potentially lose our electronic approval.
Dave Burnett: So unless you gotta stack of one-hundred dollar bills under the mattress, then you need to be very careful about that.
Michelle Guth: Please come and talk to us before you do any big purchases, yes.
Thom Dallman: Yes.
Dave Burnett: So I'm gonna [inaudible 00:03:25], if you're sitting in the office at Diversified Mortgage, and hear one of the agents, one of the reps start to go, "Oh no." That might be the "oh no".
Michelle Guth: It could very well be the "oh no".
Dave Burnett: Okay so don't take out any loans. Don't do that. What are some of the other "don'ts"?
Michelle Guth: Don't quit your job or switch jobs during the home buying process. I've had again, clients do that where they say, "Well it's in the same line of work, so it shouldn't make a difference." The problem is we have to be able to document the income from that job, and in many cases, it can't be through just a job offer letter. In some cases it can, but typically we have to see 30 days’ worth of pay-stubs on that new job. We also talked about multiple jobs in the last 12 months can also throw you out of eligibility for certain programs. So do not do any job changes without consulting with your mortgage lender.
Dave Burnett: Wow, that would be tough. If I'm sitting here working at a job I hate, but we're getting a loan. Then suddenly that dream job comes up. You gotta kind of put the skids on it for 30 days and ask them to be patient.
Michelle Guth: Ideally, if that's an option, that would be ideal. Yes.
Thom Dallman: The best option.
Dave Burnett: Wow, see that's a tough one. That would be a tough one. So if you think you might be getting that job, you might want to hesitate just a moment on getting that loan, if you want the job first. Wow, so another don't. Any other "don'ts" for us to worry about?
Michelle Guth: Don't adjust your hours. I've had clients also go from full-time to part-time, again, thinking it wouldn't make much of a difference because they've already provided pay-stubs, up-to-date that show that they were working full-time. But we're still going to do employment verifications, both written and verbal up to the point of closing. And they're gonna get confirmation of the status of that employee's employment agreement. So making sudden changes during the process, again, don't do anything with regards to hours. Keep them as consistent and steady as possible through the loan purchase.
Dave Burnett: I just thought of this one. Can I give you probably one of the biggest "don'ts" of all?
Michelle Guth: Do please.
Dave Burnett: Don't lie.
Michelle Guth: Oh. Right?
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: I mean I'm just saying. There's gonna be some people that ... And it might be a lie of omission. I'm not really gonna tell her about that bankruptcy that we had because I don't think it's on the record. Don't lie to your loan agent.
Michelle Guth: Absolutely not. We have so many processes and systems in place that they do such detailed scrubs on a person's social security number that it's pretty uncommon for us not to find out about something. And if we find out late in the process due to that omission, it's gonna put them at risk of losing the property, losing their earnest money, the expenses incurred from home inspections and so forth. So please do give full disclosure because inevitably, we'll find out about it at some point.
Dave Burnett: So let me ask you this question. This wasn't really on the menu, but let me ask you this question. What are some of the things that you have run across in your experience that people try to cover up, or through that lie of omission, try to hope goes away? Are there certain things that tend to pop up?
Michelle Guth: We had one just last week, where we had a client that had stated that the home was included in a bankruptcy. Under conventional financing, if you truly included that home in the bankruptcy, and you did not reaffirm that debt, we can actually go off the bankruptcy date and go off the bankruptcy ruling versus following a foreclosure requirement. Well as we did some further research, we did the due diligence to pull that deed of trust to ensure that it was actually included and did determine that the client had resided in there two years after the bankruptcy, then waited to let it go into foreclosure. Again, not giving us full disclosure, at that point, they were already in the home-buying process. We did our due diligence to determine that yeah, no. We didn't get the full story, so in essence, they didn't qualify for the program any longer.
Dave Burnett: So something we're all taught as kids, don't lie.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, don't lie. But I think that's a good point too because I don't think a lot of people realize when you go through foreclosure, there's the foreclosure date, and then there's the actual-
Michelle Guth: Trustee transfer date.
Thom Dallman: ... Trustee transfer date that actually could be very different. So, you may think that you reached that foreclosure date, where you now qualify for a loan. But if that trustee date was filed months later, you might still have to wait a few months or even a year or two.
Michelle Guth: That's absolutely correct.
Dave Burnett: Well let me ask you this. Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage in today. Here in the past eight years and people have went through a rough time. Some people had to do the jingle keys. They put the keys in the envelope, sent it back to the bank, and said, "Thanks a lot. It was nice." Where do people stand now? If somebody had to give a home back to their lender, are they just out of luck for getting a home now? What happens?
Michelle Guth: Not necessarily. Again, depends on the program and the price point that you're wanting to look at. But if you wanted to get an FHA mortgage for example, it's only three years following the actual trustee transfer date. So it's only 36 months before they're eligible for an FHA loan.
Dave Burnett: Okay.
Michelle Guth: Again, it's worth at least sitting down and getting a game plan in place. Having us help you pull that trustee's deed, so we can get the exact date. So we know what date we're working towards.
Dave Burnett: Okay. Which again, is a good reason to go into Diversified and do a consultation. Get all of this stuff done even before you start looking for a house.
Michelle Guth: Yeah. Another "don't" I think it would be worth bringing up is I've also had clients that have worked diligently to improve their credit. So, what they've done is they've gone out, and they started paying off all of their old collections. Which common sense would say that makes perfect sense. Get rid of all the derogatory items on your credit report. But that's not necessarily true.
Dave Burnett: Why?
Michelle Guth: Ironically, a derogatory open collection that say you've had for five years is giving you the benefit of five years’ worth of credit history. So, when the credit report's looking at how much credit do you have, and what is the length of credit history, that derogatory's actually helping in the length of established credit history. So if you have limited positive trade lines, and you just wiped out that collection account, that's actually gonna close that account, which is gonna shorten your length of credit history, which can impact your credit score. Again, it depends on the type of collection as to when we recommend it being paid off. And if we even recommend it being paid off. In some cases, if they have some medical collections, we don't necessarily even have to count those collections for certain loan programs. So again, get a consult before you start paying off collections so we can tell you in what order and if you should even be paying some of those items off in order to optimize your credit score.
Dave Burnett: Wow.
Michelle Guth: By all means, I mean we'd love to see you wipe out all your collections and take care of those creditors, but there is a timing that we need to factor in.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, if you're feeling guilty about it, you may want to do it after you get the home and get it done. That may be the case to get it taken care of.
Michelle Guth: Correct.
Dave Burnett: Wow.
Thom Dallman: Interesting stuff isn't it.
Dave Burnett: That's a little bit more complicated than I thought it was gonna be when it comes to the "don'ts".
Thom Dallman: That's what I always say, you need to get with a lender and find this information out, so you're not just floundering out there trying to figure it out on your own. Make sure you get trusted advisors in there.
Dave Burnett: Yep. So any other "don'ts" before we go that comes right to your mind?
Michelle Guth: Don't max out your credit card. Keep that credit card balance under 30% of the available limit. And don't open up any new accounts.
Dave Burnett: Now if it's over that. Let's say they've got 75%-80%. Get it paid down as quickly as you can.
Michelle Guth: Absolutely, and there's about a 30-day lag period in many cases for update to the credit bureaus. The rule of thumb is once you pay down a credit card, most credit card companies will update the bureaus three days prior to your statement cycle. So if your statement normally cuts on the 30th of the month, they're typically gonna update the bureaus on the 27th. So if you're gonna do a pay down of debt, try to get it done at least four business days prior to your statement's cycling. So that ideally it catches it on the next credit report cycle.
Dave Burnett: Couple of things to do right now is if you want to get that consultation, Michelle, how do they get ahold of you at Diversified Mortgage?
Michelle Guth: Call us at 853-7878 or visit our website, which you can apply online as well, which is dmgloans.com.
Dave Burnett: And another "do", if you only caught part of this, and it kind of intrigued you because there's stuff in there I didn't know, if you want to listen again, you can go to coregrouprealty.com. It's on the website, and you can listen to ... You can catch it all. It will be probably put up next week sometime. You can listen to all of that.
Thom Dallman: It's on the [crosstalk 00:11:24].
Dave Burnett: Michelle, thank you so much for being with us today and giving us some of the "don'ts". We appreciate it.
Michelle Guth: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Dave Burnett: Didn't even have to get the ruler out and hit us on the back of the hand.
Thom Dallman: Right?
Dave Burnett: Worked out well. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett. More with Thom Dallman coming up and Core Group Realty. The Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by Diversified Mortgage, equal opportunity lender, and Core Group Realty. Call 933-7777. Find out why they say, you get more with Core.