Today on the Buzz we are talking with Michelle Guth and Bill Young from Diversified Mortgage about the difference between 203k loans and the renovation loan program. Later Thom and Dave are discussing technology in the home and how it's changed over the years, as well as the probate process, what it is and how it works. We hope you enjoy!
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett, along with Thom Dallman. Now, Thom is the co-owner and the designated broker of Core Group Realty. "Coregrouprealty.com", that is a website for you to go to, to find out all things real estate. Thom, another great week. Boy, you have a lot of new listings here at Core Group Realty.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. We've had a lot of activity this week and a lot of new stuff coming on. So, kind of excited to be able to present some options out there in this continuing market of low inventory and everything. It's nice to see some options out there for people.
Dave Burnett: Well, now part of it is that it's the Fall. People back to school ... Getting into their routine now. So, some people listing their home ready to try to get it sold this Fall. So, they're ready to do business.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Yeah. There's ... I mean, it's a plethora of reasons for selling. From downsizing, up sizing, moving out of state. All that stuff. So, you never know what you're encountering with these sellers. But, definitely some opportunities out there for people in the market place.
Dave Burnett: Well, there's a lot of them and in this first segment we try to cover all of these new listings. So, let's jump right into it and see what you got.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. The first one is a townhouse. So, this is connected to another building. But, townhouses are great. Especially, for the ... Their low in maintenance and everything. The security of knowing that you have a neighbor in case anything happens or anything like that. So, this one is in Boise. It's at 2107 South Amy Avenue. That's over there off of Park Center and Pennsylvania. So, great location. Great area. Convenient to all that Park Center restaurants and everything down there.
This one is a 1,665 square foot home. Three bedroom and two and a half bath. It is a two story. So, there are some stairs. But, it's listed at 245. So, great price for being in that Park Center area down there.
Dave Burnett: And not too far from Boise State.
Thom Dallman: Not too far from Boise State. Not too far from Bown Crossing. Not too far from Shakespeare ... Pretty much everywhere.
Dave Burnett: Downtown.
Thom Dallman: Downtown. Yeah.
Dave Burnett: It's close to everything and ... Greenbelt. Not all that far away either.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. So, just really super convenient to everything. Definitely worth checking out if you're in the market and looking for something in that area. Once again, that's 2107 South Amy Avenue. For 245.
Dave Burnett: And I do want to remind you that if you don't catch this, you can find all of them at "coregrouprealty.com." Just remember Amy Avenue and put that in there, and it'll pop right up for you.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Just go to our listings page and you'll see all these on there. So, definitely worth checking out if you get a chance.
Dave Burnett: Second on the list?
Thom Dallman: Second on the list ... Also in Boise. This one is off of Federal Way in Bergeson. So, kind of that same side of town. This one's at 1072 East Bergeson Street. And this is a great tri level with a four bedroom, three bath ... House. It has ... It's a nice corner lot with RV parking and so forth. So, this one is 1,690 square feet and came this week at $250,000. So, really great price point. The house is vacant. So, it's easy to check out ... For your realtor to get you in there and check it out.
It has that lower level since it's a tri level ... Family room. So, it's super cool in the summer and super cozy in the winter with a fireplace in there. Once again, that's 1072 East Bergeson Street. Four bedroom, three bath tri level at 1,696 square feet. Going for-
Dave Burnett: Let me ask you this question.
Thom Dallman: ... $250,000.
Dave Burnett: Being Labor Day weekend ... A long holiday weekend. There are agents that are out showing houses all weekend for you?
Thom Dallman: Oh. Yeah. We've got agents standing by, waiting to show properties. So, there are definitely people here, and ready, and available to go show any of these homes that you might want to check out.
Dave Burnett: Perfect. 933 ... Excuse me. 208-933-7777. The phone number to call if you're interested in looking this weekend ... Maybe around the house. You're not going out of town and you want to do that they've got agents standing by with Core Group.
Thom Dallman: Just remember that 208.
Dave Burnett: Yep.
Thom Dallman: Still continuing to forget that 208 this week.
Dave Burnett: I have to. It's taking ... In fact, I was getting really good at it. Now, I've gotten lazy and I'm not putting in 208 and I'm getting the message.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: So, get that in at 208-933-7777. Number three on the list?
Thom Dallman: Number three on the list is actually a great investment property option for people. It does have a long-term tenant in there. Has been a rental for quite a while. But, this on is in Meridian. It's at 1401 North West 14th Street. So, just right there off of Cherry Lane and Linder. This is a three bedroom, one bath. 1,008 square foot house. So, list price is 135.
Dave Burnett: Wow.
Thom Dallman: Which ... $135,000. So, not many homes in that price range. As we've talked about in Boise, Meridian. So, this is a really great opportunity for anybody that's looking for an investment property or looking for ... Even a first time home buyer could tentatively purchase this and everything. So, definitely worth checking out. 1401 North West 14th Street. Three bedroom, one bath in Meridian for 135-
Dave Burnett: And as we know Meridian's-
Thom Dallman: $135,000.
Dave Burnett: ... Meridian's kind of the center hub for everything now. At one time it was seen ... A dairy town. But, now it's right in the center of Treasure Valley and is right in the middle of everything. Close to Canyon County, close to downtown, close to the freeway.
Thom Dallman: Close to pretty much everywhere.
Dave Burnett: Yep.
Thom Dallman: Once again, that's the nice thing about some of the roads that they're expanding and stuff like that. So, you can get easy access to the freeway and get almost anywhere in the valley now.
Dave Burnett: One other note on that, if you're making this an investment property ... You said something at the beginning of it. There's a long-term renter in there. That term "long-term", that's a nice comfort to know that that person's in there. You're not dealing with turnover trying to find somebody new.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. So-
Dave Burnett: That's nice.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. So, definitely worth a look-
Dave Burnett: Up next on the list?
Thom Dallman: ... for those investors. So, up next. Let's move over to Eagle, Idaho. To a nice 2,436 square foot home. This one's at 2528 East Timberland Drive, in Eagle. So, that's off of old State Street on the great ... Onto Great Sky Way. Anyways, Great Sky Estates is a great little subdivision. This one has a beautiful wrap around porch, with hardwood floors throughout. Open concept on the main level. Kitchen for entertaining. Barbecuing ... All that fun stuff in the back yard.
But, this one is a four bedroom, two and a half bath two story house. Coming on ... Or, came on at $335,000 this week. So, a really great opportunity there in Eagle, Idaho for a beautiful home. For 2,436 square feet. So, nice big home.
Dave Burnett: I actually know where this house is at. I've been by it before.
Thom Dallman: Oh. Yeah?
Dave Burnett: It's a gorgeous home.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. It is. It's ...
Dave Burnett: It is just gorgeous.
Thom Dallman: It's got ... Yeah. I mean, beautiful backyard, lovely trees ... All that fun stuff.
Dave Burnett: Nice.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Definitely a must see if you're in that market place in that price point to check it out.
Dave Burnett: And this is ... We've been talking about locations on all these places. For Eagle, easy access to Highway 55. If you go up to McCall area or Cascade, you're right there ready to go. And so many new things are going out to that direction ... Out toward Linder Road and out that way. That, it's not like you have to go to the south side of the city anymore.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: There's areas to do your shopping and get everything you need.
Thom Dallman: There's all those great little places that's are going in along State Street. Gosh. Just all over Eagle. Eagle's just expanding and getting such a great little community built up there.
Dave Burnett: It really is another good one. And yet another you want to talk-
Thom Dallman: Yeah. We've got another new one that came on the market this week out in Middleton. So, this one's at 320 East Walcott Lake Court in Middleton. This is a nice big house. It's a 3,606 square feet ... Big. Big home. Five bedrooms, three bath. And once again, two stories. This house is at 320 East Walcott Lake Court. Which is right off of Meridian Road and Sawtooth. This is actually listed at $260,000. So, really great price point for a large home to be able to get everybody into. Anybody that you have. It does also have RV parking. So, it definitely has enough room for all your toys and equipment’s in there. Has an oversized patio in the backyard. Nicely landscaped and private backyard. Huge master in it. 3,606 square feet. That's a big house.
Dave Burnett: When you think about it though. I mean, for me ... It's kind of foreign probably for you as well. Because my wife and I we have 2,600 square feet. We could live in half of that. But, if you're a family and you've been dealing with five kids and you've got a three bedroom house, the thought of a five bedroom house and that much room would be a dream come true.
Thom Dallman: A dream come true.
Dave Burnett: It would.
Thom Dallman: Especially, for $260,000. That's such a great price point. Middleton's such a beautiful area to live in and has so much great potential there. So, definitely something that would appeal to that. But, also those multi-generational families we've talked about on previous radio episodes. About how it's trending for parents and kids ... Adult kids. To be living together and stuff like that. So, definitely a home that could fit something like that too.
Dave Burnett: If you get over 3,000 square feet, your mom and dad are there and you're taking care of them. Or, you're taking care of mom. There's room for everybody.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: And room to get away from everybody.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Most definitely. Especially, with almost a quarter acre yard. You can go out to the corner of the yard and just hang out.
Dave Burnett: We'll send grandpa out to mow the lawn. Pretty good.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Exactly so.
Dave Burnett: And one other you had a price drop on?
Thom Dallman: Yeah. We had a price adjustment on our house out there at 12231 West Clover Meadows Drive. This is a four bedroom, two bath at 2,080 square feet. They've dropped the price to $318,500. This is a large horse property. So, it's on an acre and it's very rare to actually find an acre in Boise. So, definitely a great area out there at Fairview and Cloverdale. So, really worth a look. Especially, if you do have a horse that you want to house here in town. It's one of those rare properties that you can do that.
Dave Burnett: Nice.
Thom Dallman: True ... As they like to describe it. A true, rare property that you don't see much more in Boise. As they're getting kind of bought up and converted into smaller lots and stuff like that. So, beautiful covered porch out the back. It's a split entry floor plan. So, it's got four bedrooms, two baths. Just a great little home to check out.
Dave Burnett: Perfect. And on this Labor Day weekend ... As Thom mentioned. If you are interested in looking at any of these homes, there are agents who can accommodate that. Just give a call. 208-933-7777. Talk to the customer care agent, they'll get you in touch with one of the agents here at Core Group and get you out and show you these homes.
Thom Dallman: Yep. For sure.
Dave Burnett: Sounds like a good deal.
Thom Dallman: Someone's on standby.
Dave Burnett: We're gonna continue. On the other side we'll be talking to Michelle Guth Guth with Diversified Mortgage about all things financial for you as we continue here on this Saturday together with the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. Being brought to you by Diversified Mortgage and Core Group Realty. Find out why they say, "You get more with Core."
Dave: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett. She is Michelle Guth Guth with Diversified Mortgage, equal opportunity lender. Michelle Guth, welcome back again.
Michelle Guth: Thank you, Dave. I love your enthusiasm this morning.
Dave: Well, you know what? It's a great day to buy a home, a great day to have a home financed, and that's what it's all about. Now last week, you brought a guest with you talking about the 203K loan and kind of how that works for renovations. And Bill Young joins us again today.
Michelle Guth: Yes, we're excited to have Bill Young back. Welcome.
Bill Young: Thank you so much for allowing me to be here.
Michelle Guth: I thought today we would touch on the differences between the 203K program, which is under the FHA program, that we discussed last week. And this week, we're going to talk about the renovation program, which is allowed for conventional financing. And some of the primary differences between what we spoke about last week and this week.
Dave: Okay, now let me interject here. Last week was a 203K loan, which basically is a loan program for people if you have a house that needs, you know, an older home that needs some renovation or perhaps just needs some cosmetics or actual structural that this is a loan that really fits perfectly there.
Michelle Guth: Correct. And the limitations with the FHA program is it can be used only for owner occupied properties, and there's a lesser loan amount allowed under that program of approximately $274,000 compared to the renovation program that we'll touch on today, which has a lending limit of $424,100 to stay within the conforming loan limits.
Dave: Okay, so the one we're talking about today, Bill Young, this is for what kind of building? What kind of structures?
Bill Young: So, we can do owner occupied one to four units. We can do single family second homes, and single-family investment properties.
Dave: Okay, so we know the other one is 203K. What is this called?
Michelle Guth: Renovation program. Home style renovation. And again, the key difference is that the other program is for owner occupied only.
Michelle Guth: This is opened up to investors, secondary residences, which is huge to have capability.
Dave: Okay. So tell us a little bit about the program, Bill Young, and how it works.
Bill Young: Well, it really is my favorite program, because of the flexibility on it. There's not any true restrictions other than the improvements have to be permanently attached to the home and bring value. And it also works, both programs, for if folks want to add appliances to their home purchase. Things like that can be included also.
Dave: Appliances as in washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove top appliance?
Bill Young: Yep, absolutely.
Dave: Oh, okay. Let me ask you this. A thing that jumps into my mind. Are these 30-year loans?
Bill Young: We have different options, but generally the 30-year fixed is what we're dealing with in most cases.
Dave: Is that wise to include appliances for that length of a loan? Or is somebody is really strapped and they really need it, to go ahead and stretch it out that way?
Bill Young: I would say it's in those cases where you've got a home owner that's pretty much going in without the money to put the appliances in there, and they want to have new stuff in their new home.
Dave: Yep. Which, you know, and again, that could last 20 years.
Michelle Guth: Well, and I think the other thing to take into consideration, and this is one of the analyses we're going to do is the investment based on the length of time you're going to be in the property too. So, if they're looking at this, many people are going to be in a home for a short period of time, so we don't necessarily have to factor it in that that is a 30 year investment on those appliances. They may only plan on being there five to seven years using it as an investment tool to fix up a property, live there a few years, and then maybe they sell and do it all over again.
Dave: Have new appliances in there and that would look great. You say this is your favorite loan. Talk a little bit about that and how that became.
Bill Young: Well, the biggest reason we kind of touched on was a larger variety of improvements that are eligible, and also, the flexible mortgage insurance features. If folks are not putting 20% down on a property, which most don't, with FHA you've got permanent mortgage insurance, and a finance piece up front. With this one, it's standard mortgage insurance based on the loan to value and credit score.
Dave: All right. I'm going to play the fool now. What does that mean?
Bill Young: It means it can be a cheaper option for probably folks that have higher credit scores, 680 and up. The conventional program makes a lot of sense. And part of our analysis is to look at them side by side and see what the best choice is. Truly, I'm here to provide information so they can make an informed decision.
Dave: Excellent. Now if somebody wants to get ahold of Bill Young and talk to him, of course, they get a hold of you at Diversified, Michelle Guth?
Michelle Guth: Correct. Yeah, he's a great partner for us, and they can reach us at 853-7878, or start the process online at dmgloans.com. The hope will be that we can actually have them come in, sit down. There's a lot of information to go over, so we would love that face to face interaction to discuss the program.
Dave: Oh, Bill Young, let's talk a little bit about this. So, if somebody is looking to ... I'm thinking of historic buildings. Perhaps you're in an area and there's an historic building. Is this the kind of loan if it's a commercial building, and you have to keep it historic, like in the north end? Is this the kind of loan you'd be looking for that?
Bill Young: So, we can't do any improvements on a commercial property.
Bill Young: However, very often, we work with the historic districts to maintain the curb view on the appearance of the house so it stays consistent with the neighborhood. And that's just a step in the process to make sure that they approve of what the property is going to look like.
Dave: So this is not a commercial loan if you're trying to redo a building like downtown? This is for a home or this would be for a rental or apartment complex?
Michelle Guth: Residential only.
Dave: Residential only.
Michelle Guth: Up to four units.
Dave: Okay. But if somebody's moving into the north end, then this would be a great kind of loan for that.
Bill Young: Absolutely. And for any neighborhood. And I might want to add that this is for purchase transactions, and if you have a home that you'd like to remodel and update it, we can do refinance transactions on them also.
Dave: Oh, really? Nice. Michelle Guth, for people who are looking for this kind of loan, what is the process they go through to get this kind of loan?
Michelle Guth: Well, this program is really no different than any other that we need to do our up front due diligence to ensure that they qualify. So, we're going to go through the full application process, gather their income, their assets, pull credit and so forth. And also, just go through their desired payments and long term financial goals so we can make sure it is the right program for them. And it's going to stay within their budget by the time they put in all those improvements.
Dave: And the name of this program again would be?
Michelle Guth: Home style renovation.
Dave: Home style renovation as opposed to the 203K, which we discussed last week. But, in a way, the programs are very similar, are they not, Bill Young?
Bill Young: In general structure, yes. The features somewhat vary, but our job is to find the best program your clients.
Michelle Guth: And Bill Young touched on a great point. We're going to do a lot of comparisons where with the 203K again, just to recap, the primary difference is you're limited on your loan amount. So, if you're looking at a price point, by the time you buy the house and do improvements of over roughly $284.000, then we would need to look at the renovation program. So we have a pretty big disparity between the maximum loan limits between the two programs. And then also, the second item would be credit, dependent upon what your credit score is. In past segments, we've talked about how conventional is heavily credit score driven. Really impacts your interest rate, your mortgage insurance. And then 203K, which is under the FHA program, is a little more forgiving with regards to the credit score requirements. So again, it's going to depend on price point, credit score, and that will help us determine which routes can make the most sense for the client.
Dave: Okay, so again, get pre-qualified, find your property, or if you've found your property, get qualified for it, and then come in, sit down, talk to Diversify.
Michelle Guth: Please do. And another thing I think is worth touching on, we've used this program as well when we, again, got halfway through a transaction, found out that we had a roof that was not going to meet the lending requirements. Sellers didn't have the financial capability of making those required repairs to bring it up to lending standards, and it was a program that we could implement to basically close the transaction so that the buyers could finance it back into their transaction to keep the property in place.
Dave: Okay, so this is something even mid-stream, if you've started with your traditional sort of loan. Something you can change midstream too.
Michelle Guth: We can. We can always switch into this program if we end up finding a collateral issue when we get to the point of doing the appraisal or the inspection.
Dave: So, Bill Young, how did you get into this kind of lending?
Bill Young: Well, you know, I was thinking that specializing as lender might not be a good idea about 11 years ago. It's turned out to be the best thing I ever did in this industry, because it allows me to provide a service that isn't readily available, or a lot of lenders that choose not to participate in it. And I believe in the product as being one of the most socially beneficial and beneficial in building equity in a home that's available in today's market.
Dave: Well, I would have to think it's the kind of loan that could be wildly popular just in that there are a lot of homes out there that need some extra love that perhaps the home would qualify for the traditional sort of loan.
Bill Young: So, on the East Coast, these loans are a lot more accepted and known about. On the West Coast, it's been a process of education.
Dave: Is it because of the age of the home?
Bill Young: It is. And the lack of open land to build on. Right? So, you've got to go into the older neighborhoods and make the homes updated, modern. And this solves those challenges.
Dave: They just go out into the desert and build a new subdivision. Well, excellent. Well, Bill Young, we appreciate it. Bill Young. And if you want to get a hold of Bill Young, they can do it through Diversify Mortgage and how do they get a hold of you?
Michelle Guth: Please call us at 853-7878. Stop by our office, which is at 7977 West Marigold. We're right there across from Garden City Hall and library. Third option, visit our website dmgloans.com.
Dave: Excellent. Michelle Guth Guth, who joins us for this segment every week right here on the Idaho Real Estate Buzz.
Dave Burnett: ... This is The Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett. He is Thom Dallman with Core Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com, that's the website. And of course, dial 208-933-7777. Agents standing by to take your phone calls, to answer your questions, whether it's about the show, whether it's about a property here. Maybe one of the blogs at coregrouprealty.com. You have a question, they can answer it and direct you to where you need to go. So, give a call. 208-933-7777. You know, trends in houses, so different. You think back to ... For me, I think back to the 1970s, when I bought my first home in the 1970s. Life is so different now.
Thom Dallman: Isn't it, though? There's so many just crazy things that are coming out.
Dave Burnett: Right down to the front door. Where at that point, in the '70s, if you got a peephole put in your door, that was high tech. That was a big deal. "Hey, look at that. We put a peephole in the door." But things have changed so much over the years.
Thom Dallman: Changed so much. Now you can actually get those video doorbells which have cameras on there and connect to your phone. So, no matter where you're at, if the doorbell rings you can see who's there and talk to them.
Dave Burnett: You can say, "Yo, I can't come to the door right now. Just leave that package there, and I'll pick it up later." And you're in New Jersey or something.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: It's just crazy, when you think about that.
Thom Dallman: It's insane, some of the stuff that they've come out with technology-wise. And some of the interesting things that I've actually run into, as far as just reports on things ... Not that I've seen them, technically, here in Boise, but I'm very curious when they do show up.
Dave Burnett: Well, it gets more and more common. At first, it's kind of an innovation, and then it's a mainstay.
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah. For sure, for sure. We've talked in the past about just the home security systems, and those video cameras and stuff like that, and how smart they're becoming, and how they're now connected to your heating and cooling system, so that you can control the environment at your home while you're out and about, or at work or whatnot. You can turn your air conditioner down so that it's nice and cool when you get home on these hot summer days, and stuff like that. Just amazing, the amount of connection you can have with your home.
Dave Burnett: Your lights.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: You know, you can turn your stereo on, so that the air conditioning is cool, the lights are on, and the stereo's on when you come home.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, exactly. And then there's things like the Echo and the Alexa or whatever, you know? Where you can ask her to do things for you.
Dave Burnett: Which, by the way, I have an Alexa in my home.
Thom Dallman: Oh, do you?
Dave Burnett: Yes, I do.
Thom Dallman: Really? And how do you like it?
Dave Burnett: I haven't got it all figured out yet. I can turn the TV on, and I can ask her what the weather is. That's about it. But there's so much more that they can do.
Thom Dallman: Oh my gosh. Did you know that they're making appliances that now connect to them?
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Thom Dallman: So, you can actually say, "Alexa, turn on the stove to 350."
Dave Burnett: Yeah, and it'll turn it on.
Thom Dallman: And it'll turn it on for you.
Dave Burnett: "Start the coffee pot."
Thom Dallman: Yeah. "Hey, Alexa. How long does the dishwasher have until it's finished?" And she'll tell you. Like, how amazing is that?
Dave Burnett: By the way, if you're listening at home and you have Alexa near the speakers, we're driving it nuts right now because it keeps going, "Yes?"
Thom Dallman: "Yes? What?"
Dave Burnett: "I don't understand what you want."
Thom Dallman: Yeah, just the amount of technology and stuff that are going into homes, and just helping to keep homes safe and sound. One report talked about some new systems that they're coming up with, and releasing that will actually detect leaks in your house. Anything like water intrusion and things like that. It'll immediately notify you if it senses any kind of water in your house, and it will actually shut off water valves. You can have it connected to your water valves, so it'll shut off water to your house, in the sense that if-
Dave Burnett: How many times you've heard that something breaks under the house, something leaks under the house? I mean, your house, underneath there ... That crawlspace could be full of water for a long time-
Thom Dallman: For a long time.
Dave Burnett: ... before you know it.
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah. Exactly. Imagine if there's a sensor down there that actually shuts the water off once it-
Dave Burnett: Yeah. It tells you, "Problem."
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Just some of that technology is just amazing, and how they're tying it into homes and those things. It's crazy. It's crazy.
Dave Burnett: Well, you think about with your automobile, that they can plug in a sensor, and then they can read out all the different things that have been going on in your car. The day is coming where you'll plug a house in, and they will look at it and be able to say, "Nope, your insulation's good in the attic. The attic fans are working. Everything's good in the crawlspace." That day is coming.
Thom Dallman: I don't doubt it. I don't doubt it, that we're gonna get to that point someday.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, it is coming. It'll check your air conditioning and everything else.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: What are some-
Thom Dallman: Well, since we're talking about technology in the house, we can talk about kind of a weird topic. I read an article about the self-cleaning toilets.
Dave Burnett: Boy, that would be nice.
Thom Dallman: Self-cleaning toilets are becoming a popular item. There's something that's coming out that's called Actilight Cleansing Technology. Basically, it minimizes the waste, and after every flush it does some water throughout the bowl so that it keeps it clean, and keeps the bowl fresh and clean longer.
Dave Burnett: Well, you know, honestly ... And people don't like to talk about the toilet. You don't want to talk about your toilet. It's not something you really want to talk about ... But it's such an integral part of every home. If you have two or three bathrooms and you've got to deal with that ... You know? Some of these low water toilets ... And in fact, maybe sometime we can get [Stan 00:05:36] or somebody in to talk about those ... It's hard to get them flushed without plugging up. Especially with toilet paper getting thicker, it becomes more and more of a headache and a problem.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: How do you deal with it? What do you do?
Thom Dallman: Well, yeah. Not to mention the [flushable 00:05:48] wipes now, that people are using. Those kind of tie up your system as well. So, definitely-
Dave Burnett: It is [crosstalk 00:05:54] problem, so if somebody can develop a self-cleaning toilet, or one that at least makes cleaning further in between or easier-
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: It'll be a huge sale item.
Thom Dallman: It'll be a huge sale item, I think, for a lot of people, as long as the price is there.
Dave Burnett: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Thom Dallman: Yeah. I think people gravitate to that, especially the people that are usually cleaning the house.
Dave Burnett: Exactly.
Thom Dallman: You know? It would be nice not to have to clean that toilet every week, and whatnot. But just along that lines, they're also reporting that that European fad of bidets is actually becoming a popular trend this year in America, so ...
Dave Burnett: Well, we have a good friend whose wife is Spanish, and she couldn't believe that Americans don't have bidets.
Thom Dallman: Right?
Dave Burnett: She was like, "They don't have them?" They had to special order one in from Home Depot. They didn't just have it in stock.
Thom Dallman: Oh, interesting.
Dave Burnett: Special ordered it in and had it put in the house.
Thom Dallman: Oh, for sure.
Dave Burnett: But it is a growing trend.
Thom Dallman: We've seen a couple of them pop up here and there, throughout the Treasure Valley. It is something that ... I don't know how popular it'll get, but definitely something that is starting to happen. And I know that there's attachment that you can do to your current toilet-
Dave Burnett: To make it work that way.
Thom Dallman: ... to turn it into kind of a bidet, [crosstalk 00:07:08].
Dave Burnett: I don't know if it would work that well, but ...
Thom Dallman: Right.
Dave Burnett: For us, as Americans, it's basically you go in and go, "What's wrong with that toilet?"
Thom Dallman: Yeah. "That's a weird looking toilet."
Dave Burnett: "That's a weird looking toilet." But I think it is a trend that will begin to grow more and more. I really do.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, yeah. I think so, as well. Some other technology that's happening in houses are like the indoor gardening tech. That's popular, especially in big cities and urban areas. The idea of these green light ... Almost like refrigerators or greenhouses that you can put into your cabinets, that will just kind of blend in, but have the glass front. Kind of like a wine rack, or a wine refrigerator.
Dave Burnett: Yup, but you can grow herbs in there.
Thom Dallman: But you could grow herbs and stuff, and plants, and have fresh herbs for your cooking and stuff like that. That's kind of being reported as kind of the big trend for 2017 as well, is coming up with some of this high-tech gardening stuff for inside the house.
Dave Burnett: I was at a doctor's office here the other day, and I was thumbing through a magazine. It was showing indoor gardens. Not of, like, in the cabinets, but atriums, I guess, and how popular those are because it's kind of like an indoor greenhouse. In Idaho in the winter, they actually work very well because of the sun, and be able to have an indoor greenhouse right in your atrium.
Thom Dallman: Oh, that's cool.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. So, you can go right in the middle of your house, and do a little gardening.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. Just as the world kind of evolves, and populations grow, I think we'll see more and more technology coming out for being able to do things like that. You know, growing things at your home and stuff like that, as people kind of get into the health kick and wanting more natural foods and stuff. I think we'll see more and more of that coming out in the next couple years, for sure. Yeah.
Dave Burnett: Which is also something to think of, when it just comes to gardening in your home. See, that's something that I would love to have in my home is a greenhouse. A nice greenhouse in my backyard, or attached to my garage or something. [crosstalk 00:09:09]-
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: ... awesome.
Thom Dallman: So you can be able to get out there, and kind of putter around and work on your plants, and-
Dave Burnett: Yeah. But the whole smart home system, and the upgrades and the different things ... I mean, it's fascinating to me. Now, some of the new homes are being built with, what do they call them? Fiber optics built into the house, so that way it's already wired and in there. Because fiber optics will become huge in the upcoming future, so-
Thom Dallman: Potentially, yeah.
Dave Burnett: I guess it's one of those things. Get it wired now if you're getting a new build, because-
Thom Dallman: Get it wired now, while you can.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. Because five years from now, it'll cost you a whole lot more to get it wired in.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Going back to the '70s, those [in-vac 00:09:47] systems were huge. That was innovative.
Thom Dallman: Mm-hmm (affirmative). For sure, for sure.
Dave Burnett: Now, for a lot of homes, it's just standard.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. So, an interesting phenomenon happened in 2016 as well, and I think is trending through 2017, too. I think this kind of leans towards that tiny home concept that we keep hearing about, and seeing in all the TV shows on that. But actually, the average square footage of the homes being built actually went down in 2016, and I think is going down in 2017. It's been an increase. Houses have gotten bigger since 2009, but for the first time since 2009, they actually have dropped in size.
Dave Burnett: Wow. Maybe the age of extravagance is over.
Thom Dallman: Well, I think it's an interesting concept as far as people want less space, but they want the newer stuff. Like, the gadgets, the Echos, the high-tech stuff that goes into the home. So, while homes are kind of decreasing in size ... And not by much, but just enough to make a note of ... They're fancier. They're getting more upgrades, more nicer countertops, more tech stuff in the houses, and stuff like that. So, it's kind of one of those balancing acts of, while the houses are getting smaller, they're getting more high tech, and getting more things in them.
Dave Burnett: It's amazing. So, if you have an Alexa nearby, "Alexa, turn the computer to coregrouprealty.com." That'll teach them.
Thom Dallman: I like that.
Dave Burnett: We'll continue on the other side, talking about homes and about smart homes and some other topics for you coming up. This is The Idaho Real Estate Buzz, being brought to you by Diversified Mortgage and Core Group Realty. Why don't you check it out? Coregrouprealty.com. Find out why they say you get more with Core ...
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett, he is Thom Dallman, co-owner [inaudible 00:00:04] Designated Broker of Core Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com. That is a website for you to go to find out all things real estate, or you can call 208-933-7777. That's the phone number to call. There an agent standing by even as we speak to get your call directed to where it needs to go. Thom, something that we talked about during the break and have talked about in the past, but it's kind of a delicate subject, but it's one that's extremely important. We've talked about the fact that your home is probably the biggest investment you'll make in your life-
Thom Dallman: Correct.
Dave Burnett: ... so if you have your husband and your wife and one of the two passes away, whether later in life or tragically earlier in life, what do you do with your homes? What happens? Where do we go from here?
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Like you said, it's a sensitive subject, but one that has come up recently for various reasons in real estate so that's kind of why it's the forefront of my mind anyways and helping people through this process, but the main thing that you have to remember that if anybody passes in the state of Idaho that owns real estate and that real estate is of $100,000 or more value then it has to go through probate. It does have to go through a probate process to allow for them to record and remove and situate deceased persons-
Dave Burnett: You've got titles, you've got deeds, you've got all this stuff to deal with.
Thom Dallman: ... Yeah. All their Bill Youngs and everything that needs to be kind of figured out and whatnot, as well as the ownership of the homes and stuff like that so it's something that does have to go through almost all property that's owned from a person who passes away does have to go through the probate process.
Dave Burnett: What does that mean? I mean, let's say, God forbid, something happens to me. What happens with my wife? What does she have to do?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, so they have to, obviously ... hopefully they passed with a will so that the will will dictate an executor and the lawyers will get involved and figure out who gets what in the process-
Dave Burnett: Correct.
Thom Dallman: ... That's what the whole point of that is. They're going to look at all the heirs of the deceased and who is rightfully in line for whatever there is available to it. So they look and kind of gather all that information and kind of take that inventory and appraisement and kind of get all the value of everything kind of prepared, and so forth. Then they publish that ... they go through a process where they kind of publish it locally so that any other people who may have debts that are owed to them or may have an-
Dave Burnett: A challenge of some sort.
Thom Dallman: ... a challenge of some sort can report for that stuff. All that stuff just kind of combined, and that's what the executors of the wills will do is to kind of go through that process and figure it out. Unfortunately, if they pass away without a will then that's in testate which then goes to the state to try to figure out all that process which can take a lengthy time.
Dave Burnett: Typically, if it's a husband and wife, that's pretty easy ... if they don't have a will, that's pretty easily figured out, but if-
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Once again, I think that the best bet is to make sure that you have that lawyer involved-
Dave Burnett: Correct.
Thom Dallman: ... to make sure that everything is being recorded correctly and going through that process. Always highly recommend having the professionals deal with this in helping you through this process, and finding someone that you can trust.
Dave Burnett: So, the purpose of probate then would be to get my name off of the will and just left to my wife's name so if she wanted to do-
Thom Dallman: Correct.
Dave Burnett: ... future transactions it doesn't involve me.
Thom Dallman: Correct, correct. That allows for the surviving spouse to be able to, whatever the situation is, sell it, to will it to the kids when he or she passes, and stuff like that that will allow for that kind of contingency for the surviving spouse to make plans and do whatever is needed.
Dave Burnett: I guess ... Let me ask you this question: if somebody has found themselves in that situation and maybe they're in probate right now, they're trying to decide what to do with their home, is that something for you at Core Group that you can sit down, have a personal one-on-one counseling session with them-
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: ... here's your options for your home: to sell it, to keep it, to give it to kids or whatever, and you're more than willing to sit [crosstalk 00:04:58].
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Obviously, we're real estate agents, we're not lawyers so I would probably highly recommend a real estate attorney, and we do have one that we do recommend a lot of times so I would probably refer them as far as creating wills and figuring out what to do to make sure that the heirs get the property. From the surviving spouse, I would kind of push them towards a lawyer and getting that professional advice.
We can help them, obviously, with the value of their home and determining, "hey, do you-"
Dave Burnett: If you want to sell it [crosstalk 00:05:36]-
Thom Dallman: If you want it, here's what it would be in the marketplace. Here's what's available if you wanted to downsize or just get into something different.
Dave Burnett: And I guess what I'm saying is [crosstalk 00:05:44]-
Thom Dallman: ... We can walk them through that process. I do think that they should contact, obviously, their mortgage lenders and obviously stuff like that to find out what process they have to go through to get names cleared and stuff from them as well. And the lawyers will usually do that through the probate process as well.
Dave Burnett: It's a tough situation.
Thom Dallman: It is.
Dave Burnett: You're not just dealing with this, you're dealing with vehicles, you're dealing with RVs, you're dealing with so many different issues-
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: ... that it becomes very, very, very difficult, I have to imagine is very taxing. Thankfully I have not had to go through really through much of that. I watched a bit of it with my father-in-law after my mother-in-law passed away, but it's a tough and trying time because, as we've talked about in the past, selling your home is an emotional decision as it is.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: To sell your home after your spouse has passed, just the whole process is just-
Thom Dallman: Such as difficult process. Just the emotions involved in-
Dave Burnett: You feel you're betraying that loved one because all of the memories that are going away, they go away with the house. The kids are probably dealing with the issues of it.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: "That was the house that Dad built the swing in the back yard."
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: It's tough.
Thom Dallman: It's a tough process and it's unfortunate that people do have to go through that, so for everybody it's just a tough situation for sure.
Dave Burnett: And I just want to pass on that in the dealings I've had with your people here at Core, they are very sensitive to that-
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah.
Dave Burnett: ... so it's not treated like, "well, let's just sign this deal and do..." They're very sensitive to what a tough situation it is.
Thom Dallman: I think that leans towards my commitment to bringing on agents that are focused on the clients, not just on the sale and they focus on the client's needs. We focus on really building our relationships with our clients and being a friend and an advocate first and foremost. We're not pushy salesman here. We're not here just to get you to sell or buy your real estate; we really want truly to help people out in the best way possible. If that means-
Dave Burnett: It'll be a long-term client.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. If that means coming to the realization that you should stay in your house and make it work for you, and so forth, we're going to go through that process and figure it out. Really gear each meeting towards what that individual person's needs are and stuff.
Dave Burnett: Well I guess then, the point coming back to this, but make sure you're prepared for that day-
Thom Dallman: Prepared for it.
Dave Burnett: ... to make sure that you have a will ... you've gone to a lawyer and have a will-
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: ... and be prepared that if that happens you will have to go through probate.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, be prepared for it. There is one way to avoid probate and that is to create a living trust. Living trusts can move a lot quicker because you appoint one person to manage the trust. The successor trustee who will step up and take control of the assets and stuff like that. So, there is a way to avoid that by using a living trust, but once again you need to get a lawyer involved to make sure you're creating it correctly and make sure that everything is lining up to what you want, but that is a way to avoid probate and the lengthy process that probate goes through. They say that probate usually takes on average about six months to a year
Dave Burnett: Wow.
Thom Dallman: ... to get through so it's definitely something that people should be thinking about if the situation is right and stuff.
Dave Burnett: And, again, if you're looking for a real estate lawyer, if you want to give Core Group Realty a call and they have people that they can refer.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, we've got a couple people that we can definitely get you in touch with, so you should.
Dave Burnett: Perfect. Kind of a sensitive subject, but again it's one that people need to think about and plan ahead for making sure you're prepared with a will, making sure that all the ducks are in a line, just that you have good performance when that data does happen.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Alright. Thom Dallman who is the co-owner, Designate Broker at Core Group Realty. We appreciate the time we get to get together and spend talking about the good things, the fun things, and even the serious things as well. We do this each and every Saturday. We get together at two o'clock to talk all thing real estate for you. Thom is here and ready to answer your questions. If you just want to sit down and have a counseling session about the value of your home or whether it's the right time for you to buy or sell a home, they're happy to sit and talk with you, the folks here at Core Group Realty. It's the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, brought to you by Diversified Mortgage and Core Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com is the website. Give them a call at 208-933-7777. Find out why they say, "You get more with Core."