We are starting today's show with one of our Listing Specialist's, John Good who will be talking about some of his recent featured listings. Our weekly guest, Michelle Guth is giving us a break down of non-traditional loans. Then we have Stan Audette with AAD Inspections, one of our preferred vendors, giving us a very comprehensive break down of what Radon is, how to find out if your health is at risk and how to remediate the threat. And to wrap up our packed show we have Kristy Sternes with the Idaho Humane Society talking about their annual See Spot Walk event. We have an awesome show here for you, enjoy!
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, designated broker of Core Group Realty. coregrouprealty.com, that's the website to go to find out all things real estate going on.
Thom Dallman: To all things real estate.
Dave Burnett: It is, it really is.
Thom Dallman: It really is. We have a variety of information on there.
Dave Burnett: There is. The list of vendors that's on there, there's different blogs that you have.
Thom Dallman: Blogs, if you want information, all these radio segments that we do are on there, so you can go back and review if you were like, "Oh, I remember hearing something about something that I wanted to know." You can go back and find out.
Dave Burnett: Absolutely, and of course, all important and that are the homes that are for sale. You've got a couple new listings this week.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, we like to talk about our new listings and really share that information. First of all, just jumping in real quick, we've got an actually nice little mobile manufactured home out in Caldwell. 2602 Red Robin Way. This is a three bedroom, two bath unit, 1,026 square feet. It is listed at 115 thousand, so really nice price point, especially for the first time home buyer. If you're interested, it just came on the market this week, so it's easy access to 84, right there by the new college marketplace, and just yeah, something that's available and ready to kind of take a look at.
Dave Burnett: Very affordable.
Thom Dallman: Very affordable. Yeah, 115. Once again, that's 2602 Red Robin Way. And as always you can see all these homes on our featured listings page on the website. Moving back into Boise, we've 4893 South Chex Way. That came on the market last week. Three bedroom, two bath, 1500 square foot. This one is over there by Victory and Coal, so kind of that Amity and Cole, actually, area. Great location, great price. 229,500 for Boise. Once again a three bedroom, two bath with an upstairs bonus room, something worth checkin' out if you're in that market for that price point.
Dave Burnett: You can find those at coregrouprealty.com
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Featured listings page, remember that as well. And then I wanted to talk a little bit about Innovative Custom Homes, they've got a couple properties out there available. Some great opportunity to own homes in the north end. The first one is 2409 North 21st Street. This is a huge 3,103 square foot home, five bedroom, three bath. Very rare to find a large house like this in the north end, especially one that has been completely remodeled and rehabbed, so it's almost a new construction. Pretty much is new construction. It's on a quarter acre, has huge potential. Lots of space on it.
Dave Burnett: Which is rare for the north end.
Thom Dallman: Very rare. Oh my gosh, you have so much RV parking, you have so much toy parking availability on this lot. This one's listed at 649 thousand, so a great price point for north end for a house of this size and stuff like that. The other one that they've got under construction right now, it's gonna be a beautiful house, is on the corner of 36th and Hansen. This one is gonna be a four bedroom, three bath, 2800 square feet, listed at 549. Once again it's gonna be ... they're still in that building process, so there might still be some availability to kind of pick some of your interior stuff, so definitely worth checking out, contacting one of our agents that can get you in connection with Heather Echevarria with Innovative Custom Homes and kinda see what it's gonna look like and get the plans and everything.
Dave Burnett: Take a look there.
Thom Dallman: Yeah perfect.
Dave Burnett: And we have a guest.
Thom Dallman: And we have a guest. We have John Good, our listing specialist in here today to talk about one of our other listings that we have. This one's a great opportunity.
John Good: I really appreciate the opportunity to speak to this gorgeous meticulously maintained northwest Boise home nestled neatly in the highly desirable subdivision of Hobbler Place. Features 1100 square feet, three bedrooms, two full baths, again meticulously maintained. In fact, the kitchen was recently renovated just over two and a half months ago from head to toe. New appliances, new shaker cabinets, drawers easy close, subfloor up, everything is good to go in that kitchen. Again 1100 square feet, no back neighbors. Enjoy those gorgeous foothill views.
Dave Burnett: Nice.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, that's nice.
Dave Burnett: So where is Hobbler, that subdivision?
John Good: It's right just behind Gary, just west of Gary.
Dave Burnett: Oh okay, nice. So this is a home that's just recently come on the marketplace?
John Good: It's been online as of today 12 days.
Dave Burnett: Wow, so just a couple weeks it's been online.
Thom Dallman: Two weeks online, but it's a great price point too, right.
John Good: It is an excellent price point. It is featured at $205,000.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. 205, and this is in northwest Boise.
John Good: Northwest Boise, correct.
Thom Dallman: Which, great price point and great opportunity for a home in Boise, in general. Right now, our inventory as we always talk about is so low, especially in these lower price points, that 250 on down is a struggle for a lot of people. So what a great opportunity for those people looking in that price point to get into something.
John Good: It is an awesome opportunity to get in on kinda the ground floor. It is an excellent price point, it's not [inaudible 00:05:30] many people at that point.
Thom Dallman: What was the address on that again?
John Good: This address is 6948 North Prescott Avenue.
Dave Burnett: Nice, and the nice thing is with a kitchen just having been redone you don't have to worry about what has happened in that kitchen. It's all brand new cabinets, everything ready to go. That's nice.
Thom Dallman: For sure.
John Good: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Very good. And of course the website at coregrouprealty.com all these can be seen and if you want to take a look at this and that way you can give a call 208-933-7777 and get set up with an agent-
Thom Dallman: Yeah, contact us. We'll get you to one of our buyer specialist that can schedule some time for you to get in and see any of these houses and kind of work with you towards finding your next home, your home that you want. As we always say, you need to find that trusted advisor to help you with one of your biggest purchases. This is a big purchase that people do so you gotta make sure that you're finding that right agent. So, we have a selection of buyers agents that we can connect you with that will be the right fit.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, perfect. Let's talk about something real quick. I'm gonna hit you out of left field on this. You recently were traveling.
Thom Dallman: I was.
Dave Burnett: You had a chance to talk to real estate people all over the country.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: What did you learn? What did you find out with talking to other agents across the country?
Thom Dallman: Oh gosh I learned so much stuff. I think one of the biggest things that I have kind of gleaned, 'cause we've talked about in previous episodes and stuff like that about just kind of the predictions on the marketplace and stuff like that. Some of these agents in the bigger marketplaces started talking about how they are kind of noticing a little bit start of a downturn and stuff like that. And so whenever there is any kind of a downturn it tends to always happen in a bigger metropolitan area before they get to the smaller townships and stuff like that. So these people that are in the large cities are starting to notice a little bit of a downturn in their marketplaces. Slowdown in the buyer pool for some odd reason. Whether it's listings coming on or what not, prices are starting to kinda just dip just a little bit, not like ... just kind of even out and dip-
Dave Burnett: It's not a crash.
Thom Dallman: It's not a crash, it's not anything to panic about, but it is a ... maybe could potentially be, that was the discussion, an indication that maybe there is that slight correcting of the marketplace as inventory starts to pick up and stuff like that. So it was interesting conversations to hear from people across the country that are different experiences and stuff like that. It's an interesting crew too, there was 50 different agents from across the US, and some of them are in vacation spots, like one of our agents in a township in Florida where it's all second homes, it's all vacation homes and stuff like that. And hearing the struggles that they go through trying to find buyers.
Dave Burnett: That's a different world.
Thom Dallman: That's a whole different world. Exactly. And even speaking with one of the agents that resides in Chicago who a majority of his business is dealing with condos and having to know the rules for condo space and stuff like that, and just kind of talking to them about that. Which we talk about, we do have condos starting to pop up here and there in Boise as well. It's great opportunity to just kind of hear what other agents are doing, and learn from them.
Dave Burnett: Sometimes we get a little sheltered here in Boise because it's the most urban location in America. We're further to another major market than anywhere in America, so we tend to get isolated and sheltered just a bit. Have you found some changes happening in the marketplace when it comes to sales and listings?
John Good: In our direct market here, I've seen more so of a leveling off as opposed to a dip. I think that kind of translates into hitting the more metro areas a little bit differently than it hits the outer reaches. Which our market would be considered.
Thom Dallman: I think that with Boise still being one of the top growing locations, we have a lot of people still wanting to move here, wanting to live here and stuff like that. I don't think that we will necessarily see as much of a hit as, if that's what it would be considered, as other areas.
John Good: The other good barometer moving forward is looking at numbers from previous months. Obviously we don't that crystal ball to look forward, but we can kinda glean some information of where we're going in the future based on the previous months. So it's gonna be a real eye opener to see the numbers from September, just to see the supply. The [inaudible 00:10:21] market, all these kind of numbers that play in because seasonally we see this. Through fall, kids are back in school, the open-toed shoes go back in the closet, it's a different market regardless.
Thom Dallman: Speaking of, we talked about this on previous shows that July we saw a dip, and August picked right back up and actually home prices shot up again in August. I'm really super curious to see what happens with the end of September's numbers. We'll have that hopefully by the next episode or next two episodes.
John Good: Basically too early to tell based on all the factors that could be possible.
Dave Burnett: Alright, we're gonna continue on the other side. We're gonna be talking to Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage. If you're looking at maybe one of those manufactured homes, gonna talk a little bit about some of the different loans. Maybe you're looking at a condo and how to get into these different loans that are different than your regular home loans. We'll talk to Michelle coming up as we continue. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, being brought to you by Diversified Mortgage and Core Group Realty. coregrouprealty.com. That's the website to go to and of course you can always call 208-933-7777. Find out why they say you get more with Core.
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, as we talk about loans and different kinds of loans. Michelle, welcome back.
Michelle Guth: Good morning.
Dave Burnett: We've talked about this in the past, but it's been quite awhile. I wanna talk a little bit about those kinds of loans that are not your traditional home loan. There's other kinds of loans out there. I did not know until the first time we talked about this. Like condos, you don't just go get a regular loan for that. Mobile homes are special. Bare land ... There's different kinds of loans out there.
Michelle Guth: Absolutely. I think it's the topic worth revisiting we do see clients where they get excited where they find a condominium for example, and we find that there's some added criteria in order to make sure that property itself will meet financing requirements. So, it's not necessarily that it's a different loan type, it's the property itself has different restrictions and requirements that we have to verify.
Dave Burnett: Okay. I talked to somebody just this last past week. They're buying some bare land and they want to move a mobile home up to it and put the mobile home on the land. What happens when it comes to the lending process for that case?
Michelle Guth: Well, that would, in essence, be a construction loan. They would have to work with the manufactured home dealership where a lot of times they'll have in-house financing for that type of a transaction or if they can find a party that's willing to sell the lot on contract, allow them to set it up and then pay off the lot at the end, or just literally purchase the lot outright then have the manufactured moved on site. That gets a little more tricky.
Dave Burnett: Okay, so there's several moving parts involved with doing that. If, I'm looking to move to a condo ... They're building some nice ones downtown, there's some nice ones there.
Michelle Guth: Beautiful condos being built.
Dave Burnett: But, I can't just go get an FHA loan, can I?
Michelle Guth: Probably not on a brand new development. And the reason for it is condo complexes themselves have to have a certain percentage of owner-occupied units in comparison to investor-in-second-home units.
Dave Burnett: Say that a different way.
Michelle Guth: Let's assume you have a twenty-unit development. A certain number of those twenty units have to be a person's primary residence. If the overall complex is primarily purchased by investors, it's not going to meet lending requirements.
Dave Burnett: How do you find that out?
Michelle Guth: The Homeowner's Association. You have to do ... [crosstalk 00:02:23] Yeah.
Thom Dallman: Usually you can contact them and get that information from them?
Michelle Guth: We require a detailed questionnaire. The agents at Core Group, for example, do a great job in helping us do the due diligence, but, what we have to do is have them complete that form. We have to verify that the HOA is handled by the HOA, it's not by the developer. They have to have a certain percentage of reserves set aside for the complex. So, there's a lot of requirements for that property to meet financing.
Dave Burnett: So, I know that a lot of condos will have companies that buy them for visiting people for their companies and stuff, so then, that kind of wipes out that owner-occupied.
Michelle Guth: Most likely, in that scenario, yes.
Dave Burnett: So, I guess ... [crosstalk 00:03:04]
Thom Dallman: Condos are pretty famous right now for using for the Airbnb's. There's a lot of people buying condos, with cash, so they can do Airbnb and make extra income ... For, what else ... Airbnb and the VRBO, Vacation Rentals By Owner, and stuff like that. So those are getting bought up a lot by those people too, which kind of lends to this problem.
Dave Burnett: Wow. So, ... [crosstalk 00:03:26]
Michelle Guth: It skews the numbers.
Dave Burnett: So there, you have to rely on your real estate agent, so that they know the numbers, so if you're thinking, "Hey! I'd like to live there." You may be out of luck right off the bat?
Michelle Guth: Correct, yep.
Dave Burnett: Alright, as long as we're talking about condos. I know that multi-family units. If I remember right, there's a certain number of units that have to be in there that require a special loan. What is that?
Michelle Guth: Well, residential is considered four units or less. So you can do a four-plex or lower and actually utilize it for even a primary residence. As long as you plan on occupying one of the units, it can be considered a primary residence purchase.
Dave Burnett: Okay.
Thom Dallman: Which has been a great thing for several of my clients through the last couple years. They buy it and rent out the other side to help supplement the mortgage.
Michelle Guth: Duplexes, [crosstalk 00:04:09] in particular.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Duplexes.
Dave Burnett: Not a bad idea.
Michelle Guth: It's a great option. [crosstalk 00:04:15]
Thom Dallman: Great investment.
Dave Burnett: But, if you're going more than four, let's say ... We've seen so many apartment complexes coming up, that is an investment?
Michelle Guth: Correct, that becomes commercial, over a four-plex.
Dave Burnett: At that point, you're in a whole different ballpark.
What other kind of loans are out there that you deal with at Diversified: that are different, out of the norm?
Michelle Guth: We have several program options. We've talked about the Down Payment Assistance Program. Most of those are specific to single-family residence only, which a single-family, again, it would encompass typically a town home or single-family residence and manufactured home. We have rehab programs for investors as well as owner-occupied. So, if you find that property that requires some cosmetic work or major rehab, we have some options there as well.
Dave Burnett: And, we've talked about that. We had a guest in talking about that here in the recent past, that I found fascinating. I always wondered what happened when you get a historic home that doesn't have a foundation or a good one, or has cosmetic problems ... How that loan gets done. But, you can handle that?
Michelle Guth: Yep. We have lots of options for rehab.
Dave Burnett: Very good. So, kind of in the middle of this segment, but, I do want to ... If someone is thinking about going this direction, how do they get hold of you at Diversified?
Michelle Guth: He can give us a call or he can stop by the office. Our location is there on Marigold and Glenwood, or, call us at 853-7878. We'd love to visit with you.
Dave Burnett: So, no matter what kind of loan you're looking for do you basically start out with the same sort of basics as if it's a regular home loan?
Michelle Guth: Absolutely. We're gonna go through the upfront, standard questions, as far as; What are you looking for? Do you want a condo? Are you wanting to be out in the country? Many times, we have clients that want to be on acreage and have a certain limit on their price point. So, in many cases that then ends up being a manufactured home, because you can typically get a little more value for your money with manufactured with land vs. stick build. So we'll go over the requirements of what's gonna be involved with that. I think it's also worth revisiting on the manufactured home, that they also have some added criteria that are different than that of a single-family residence.
Dave Burnett: Like? Such as?
Michelle Guth: So, for example, most programs require that you can only have moved that home one time and that is from the manufacturer to the current location that it's at.
Dave Burnett: Well, that makes it a less mobile of a home.
Thom Dallman: Right? [crosstalk 00:06:27]
Michelle Guth: Exactly. So, it has to be considered 'real property'; and how they do that is, when you buy a manufactured home, it is a titled item, just like a vehicle is. You go through the requirements to make sure that that property is on what is considered a permanent foundation per the county code and you eliminate the title. Meaning that, it is now 'real property'. So you can't move it again, in that case. And again, they don't want to see that it's been moved multiple times, as they don't want the structural integrity to have been impacted. So, that's why they're very stringent about that.
Dave Burnett: So, one time, from the manufacturer to where it's being placed?
Thom Dallman: [crosstalk 00:06:57] To location.
Michelle Guth: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: And maybe this is a little technical, but when you're talking foundations, what qualifies as a foundation for a mobile home?
Michelle Guth: Well, it depends on the county code. In some cases, we need a full foundation, in other cases it can be on cement runners with tie-downs. So, there's all kinds of variables, depending upon the county for which the property is located.
Dave Burnett: Okay, and you know all this stuff?
Thom Dallman: [crosstalk 00:07:23] Oh yeah.
Michelle Guth: When it moves to these other counties, we're all so [inaudible 00:07:27] "Okay, what's the country requirements for you?"
Dave Burnett: Wow.
Michelle Guth: But again, it's important to do that upfront due diligence on those properties to make sure that we don't have any issues down the road. Home also has to be a double-wide, for example. Cannot be a single-wide. We, typically, don't like to see any type of an addition on a manufactured home, and even if there is, typically ... Like a deck for example, that's been screwed to the home itself, once that property skin has been pierced, they normally are going to require that we have to have an engineer certification done to make sure that again, the structural integrity has not been impacted. So these are all things that we need to go through with the agent and the buyer to make sure that they are fully apprised that just because the listing says it's good for FHA, VA, so forth. We have to make sure the home itself meets the lending criteria.
Dave Burnett: If somebody's getting ready to sell their mobile home, they need to be aware of that?
Michelle Guth: Absolutely.
Dave Burnett: What they've done, or what they're planning to do to that mobile home. I had no idea.
Michelle Guth: I would recommend that they go back if they have the original paperwork. That is hugely helpful. In many cases, they don't, where we have to do a special reporting requirement where they have to go back and do some investigative work to determine; What were the original HUD labels on the home, and again, what was the original origin of that property. So, hopefully they have the original paperwork, and that avoids a lot of those issues.
Dave Burnett: Wow. I had no idea that ... is there more hidden here you're not telling me?
Michelle Guth: Nothing hidden. I'll work with the lender and an agent that's gonna do the due diligence upfront, so you don't end up disappointed.
Thom Dallman: And most listing agents should be pretty knowledgeable about what is required too, so they're not misrepresenting them when they get them on the MLS, and letting everybody know whether there is true financing available for them or not.
Dave Burnett: Is this something Tom, with your agents, that you have people kinda specialize in this; kind of a 'go-to' person with the information?
Thom Dallman: Our two listing agents that we have specialists, they're knowledgeable about these kind of properties. So when they go to have these consultations with people who are looking to sell; they know to have those conversations, and what is required, and can try to get that documentation upfront before we list the property. Yes.
Dave Burnett: But no matter what kind of loan work you're doing: pre-qualify, pre-qualify, pre-qualify.
Michelle Guth: Absolutely. And again, understand, going into it that normally when we pre-qualify you, it's off the assumption that it is a single family residence. Again, which encompasses manufactured home and a single-family. If you're looking at duplex; you're looking at condos; any of that actually has to be changed in the underwriting system. So don't go out and just change your mind and say, "Oh, I'm gonna buy a condo." Even though we approved for a single-family. Make sure the lender is aware if you're looking in a different direction.
Dave Burnett: So, if you're looking at a different kind of property, other than the traditional stick-built, get hold of Michelle Guth at Diversified Mortgage and find out the information before you even get going on this. And again Michelle, how do they contact you?
Michelle Guth: Give us a call at 853-7878, or visit our website dmgloans.com.
Dave Burnett: Thank you Michelle.
Michelle Guth: My pleasure.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. We'll be back in just a few minutes. Being brought to you by the folks at Diversified Mortgage and Core Group Realty. 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, the co-owner, designated broker of Core Group Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com is a website. 208-933-7777 the phone number to call to talk to folks at Core. Thom, one of the old friends of the show that comes around every once in a while to talk about-
Thom Dallman: One of my favorite people out there.
Dave Burnett: ... the structure of your home.
Thom Dallman: Right. Stan Audette's here from AAD Inspections.
Stan Audette: Hi, everybody.
Dave Burnett: Stan, welcome.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, welcome, Stan. Thank you for being part of the show today.
Dave Burnett: During the break we were talking about something that we hear about it, and there was a big publicity, a PSA campaign about it a number of years ago. I don't think it stays in our forefront of our mind, and that is radon, which sounds very scary but can be scary. Tell us a little bit about radon, where it comes from, and what we can expect.
Stan Audette: Well, thanks for letting us talk about that subject for a bit, because your radon, the State of Idaho really is trying to push this. They are spending more and more money trying to educate people, make them more aware. This is not a new subject. The Surgeon General of the United States has been saying for years, that essentially all lung cancer is not explained by smoking or explained by radon. Sadly, that's not something you can feel or see or smell. It's an absolutely colorless, odorless gas. In fact, it's chemically inert by its self. But, radon is radioactive.
Dave Burnett: It's something that just emits from the soil? Is that what happens?
Stan Audette: It begins in the soil as uranium. Everyone knows uranium, in one of its isotopes, is going to be radioactive. It's going to give off sparks of energy as it decays to a lower state. If I remember right, it decays through, I think, 26 different elements as it gives off pieces of itself, and energy with it, to finally become what we call dead lead. Go ahead.
Dave Burnett: Radon is something that, I guess, I don't want to say modern civilization, but as we have moved inside, as we have surrounded ourselves with weather proofing and really sealing up our homes, it's become more of a problem than the day where we had dirt floors and empty attics.
Stan Audette: I could imagine that the cave men probably dealt with radon more than most modern men. However, if you lived up on a house on stilts or just out in the fresh air like camping, you're probably going to experience the lowest concentrations of radon. The gas itself, about half of those elements it decays through, all of those elements are really heavy metals. They're immobile. They just stay wherever they are as they change from element to element, except the only one in the entire decay chain that's a gas is radon. It becomes part of soil gasses. As soil gasses may migrate up out of the soils into the atmosphere, they just get mixed with everything else that's already decayed, and that's a really low concentration. If you want to capture radon, a good way to do it is to put an upside down bowl over the soil. That's pretty much the way our houses operate. We're collecting radon as it comes out of the soil and capturing it as it decays. The rate that it comes in to the house versus the rate of decay, sets up an ambient level of radon in the house. That's where it comes from. Once that decays, and it takes about 16 hours for half of it to have decayed to the next element. But, as those elements exist as single atoms in the air and they're floating around, perhaps being attached to dust particles, you're breathing air in and out. If one of these dust particles with another heavy element that's going to decay again with a spark of energy, alpha-radiation, that radiation won't penetrate your skin, but your lungs have no skin over them to protect the cells. The carcinogenic effect of radon really is if you're damaging cells, most of the time you're killing them, they get washed away in the blood. That chance that it gets damaged in a way that it doesn't get killed, but it changes the DNA still allows the cell to reproduce, but not according to its original blueprint. Now, that's essentially the definition of cancer.
Dave Burnett: If I'm not crawling around in my crawlspace of my house, why should I care?
Stan Audette: Because, the radon comes up through your house. Gasses go all the way through your house from earth up through slabs, up through concrete, all the way up through the room and out. It's just that our house has become an enclosure that captures enough radon and holds it just long enough that those levels are going to be higher, always higher, than it is in the outside air. The question is, are the radon levels high enough to become enough of a health concern in our lives that we should take steps to try to lower it? Just as if, if you watched your kids crossing a busy eight lane highway, you would probably admonish them to cross as few times as they could, and perhaps use stoplights and crosswalks. There are things we can do in our lives to be safer. I will tell you that there is no safe level of radon, anymore than there is a safe number of cigarettes that could be smoked.
Dave Burnett: One might get you or 100,000 might get you.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Well, let me ask you this, Stan. You've created the problem. My house is trying to kill me is what you're telling me. Okay, so we have the problem, radon. You can't run from it, you can't hide. My question is A: How do we find out if our house in particular has a problem? Then, B, the other part, would be: What do we do to fix it?
Stan Audette: Well, here's the good news for you listeners that are not in a real estate transaction right now. You have all the time in the world to find out what the radon level is in your house, and whether or not you'd like to take steps to lower that risk. You can do that for free through the State of Idaho. You can do it for $20, $25 through any of your home improvement stores or hardware stores. You can even go on to the internet.
Dave Burnett: With a detector, or what is it?
Stan Audette: Just look for radon measurement.
Dave Burnett: Okay.
Stan Audette: For $20 or $25 you can spend a couple days following the instructions and find out what it is in your home. Here's the scarier news in the State of Idaho. It's just an unnecessary risk, and this is why the state cares so much about this. When we make radon measurements, we're discovering that approximately one third of all homes in the entire Treasure Valley, regardless of where they are, are going to have radon levels higher than the EPA suggests for action. There is a real, "Oh, really? Ah-ha," reaction there from the public, because people had just not spent enough time educating on this. The good news for the listeners is this one risk that they could take care of themselves. There's a lot of steps you could take. In a real estate transaction, if a buyer becomes adamant to say, "I want to measure the radon, and I want to negotiate remediation if it's higher than I think it should be." Of course, the EPA sets those limits. That would cost, for the EPA's guidelines, anywhere from $1,500 in this area, up to $2,500. Now, I can see Thom's face. Over the radio we can't see it. He's saying, "Well, how does that fit into a transaction?" It's not comfortable news. Where I feel in my heart of hearts is, we're going to be dealing with that at least if not so much right now, in five years. A lot of people that are buying houses right now would say, "If you gave me that knowledge and I knew that someday, to protect my family, I'm going to have to spend $1,500 to $2,500 to make my family feel safer, would I like to know that before I buy the house or before I complete the transaction?"
Dave Burnett: If you have it in your home whether you're buying or selling or just living, how do you get rid of it?
Stan Audette: You don't totally get rid of it, you reduce it.
Dave Burnett: How do you do that?
Stan Audette: It's like convincing somebody to do whatever they have to to smoke fewer cigarettes. Let's all say that, if you could very easily and for little expense, find yourself somebody who was doing two packs a day of smoking, would maybe smoke one cigarette a week. That would be a step in the right direction. Let's use that analogy for radon. You're not going to totally get rid of it. It's a point of diminishing returns. For the $1,500 to $2,500, if you have more than four picocuries per liter in air, which is the limit that the EPA set, they're saying it would behoove you to take some steps, spend some money, and lower that. Most of the time, I believe that could be lowered between down to one or one-and-a-half. Still, zero risk, it's not zero risk, but it's a meaningful step. As we said, there's no safe level, so even though the EPA has set it arbitrarily, I'm going to say totally arbitrarily, but if they just look at the curve of expense versus risk, it's prudent to lower it if it's above four. It does not mean that at 4.1 you're to get cancer. It does not mean at 3.9 you're safe. You're just saying you're choosing to cross the street at a crosswalk following the lights and being as safe as you can. It makes sense for our society.
Dave Burnett: What do I do structurally to my home?
Stan Audette: Okay. You try to capture the soil gasses before they get into your house, or you evacuate those. If you have a house built over a crawlspace, the EPA says, "Well, let's go ahead and capture those by putting an array, a grid of pipes that are perforated, right down against the soils and connect those together through an exhaust fan that would go up venting the air above your roof just like your plumbing vents." To make sure that those gasses that you're trying to capture right here in the crawlspace floor don't get into even the crawlspace, they would put what they call an impervious membrane over the top of that, very much like a swimming pool liner. Heavier than the typical vapor barrier sheeting, the plastic-
Thom Dallman: I was going to say, mostly it's a Visqueen plastic they put down, so it would actually be something heavier than that.
Stan Audette: Yes, they call it an impervious membrane, but it is heavier plastic. They would lap it by 12 inches, glue it, take it clear to the perimeter, glue it up to the sides. Now what you have is a really good boundary that the gas is unlikely to go past. When the gas enters the soil in to that small space between the soil and the vapor barrier, now the exhaust fan is going to capture it and put it up. In those systems, they also put a manometer, which is just a U-shaped tube that has a liquid in it that you can see, to tell the home owner whether the fan is really working. That way you don't have to have some battery operated measurement system to say, "Is the fan working or not?" You can just go in to a closet or some other room in the house, and the manometer is just a tube on the wall. If the levels are both at the same place in that manometer, the fan is off. If they're different, the fan is on. How simple could that be?
Dave Burnett: This membrane that's being put down, is this something you're seeing new construction? Is it happening now, or is it something that people deal with after the fact? What's going on?
Stan Audette: We're not seeing it, because the public is not insisting that the home builders build it.
Dave Burnett: It's not required.
Stan Audette: It's not required. If it was, it would become a level playing field, and yes, it would add, I think, $100 to $150 to the cost of construction. Whereas it costs $1,500 to $2,500 after the fact to disturb a structure or to do the work underneath a house to try to lower it, I would like to see this conversation brought to the builders and say, "Would you spend a few more dollars here, and then would you also have the measurement done at the lower cost?" For us as a home inspector, we charge $165, because we have special equipment to do that real time that can tell whether somebody's been tampering with it. It takes two trips out for somebody to do it. I'm telling you, don't wait for a real estate transaction to do this. Get it done first in a believable way.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, check your house out. We've talked about that before, just about the fact that you should be checking out your house every couple of years. Have an inspector come through, check it out, just for your own home safety or family safety and stuff that it never hurts to have someone come through and just double check to make sure everything's working, everything's running well. There's no issues with the house.
Stan Audette: Absolutely, Thom. By doing that, you will always learn something you didn't know before. Maybe it nothing you were lying awake about at three in the morning wanting to learn, but it should always be valuable to you.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Stan, if somebody wants to get hold of you, maybe this is something that your company does to test, how do they get a hold of you?
Stan Audette: Well, you can go to our website, which is WeCheckHomes.com. That should be pretty easy to remember. Our phone number is 208-338-9144. We're not the only people in the valley that do this. This is just one home inspector speaking to you from our perspective for your good, hopefully.
Dave Burnett: Well, if you don't remember that, you can always go to CoreGroupRealty.com or call 208-933-7777, and there's a link right there.
Thom Dallman: There's a link right there. We have our service provider list there. Stan and their team are on that list, as well.
Dave Burnett: Man, Stan, my house is trying to kill me. I say this in all seriousness, I have never had my home checked, so I need to get that done. Stan's looking at me like, "Are you nuts?"
Stan Audette: That's not true until you say it.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, well, I need to get that done. I need to have that checked.
Stan Audette: That's correct.
Dave Burnett: We'll continue on the other side. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by Diversified Mortgage and Core Group Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com, that's where you can find the information about Stan and about the radon gas. Ask him about it, as well. Core Group Realty. 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, the co-owner, designated broker of CORE Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com is the website. 208-933-7777. That is the phone number. Thom, one of the things you will find on that website is the fact that CORE Group really partners with ... you love animals.
Thom Dallman: Oh gosh, yeah.
Dave Burnett: You got two of your dog’s here in the studio with us today.
Thom Dallman: Right.
Dave Burnett: That is something that CORE Group has done is to dedicate themselves to work with the Humane Society.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, the Idaho Humane Society is a good partnership of ours, because we are so dog-friendly here. People who come to the office will often find dogs running through and stuff like that. But yeah, it's been a great partnership. We're firm believers in the fact that a pet makes the house a home. It really makes it something wonderful to come home to. So far we've invited kristy from the Humane Society here to chat a little bit about the Humane Society and some of the stuff that's happening with them. Welcome.
Kristy Sternes: Thanks for having me.
Thom Dallman: We're glad to have you here.
Dave Burnett: A pet really does make a house a home. It's something we've talked about in the past. The steps to go through, you don't want to just buy a new home and dump a dog into it or a cat into, but there are steps to go through. One of the events that the Idaho Humane Society has every year is See Spot Walk.
Kristy Sternes: Yeah, it's one of our largest events. We're at our 25th year. It's been pretty prevalent in the community. We usually attract 2500 to 3,000 people and their dogs each year.
Thom Dallman: That's awesome.
Kristy Sternes: It's an excellent event.
Thom Dallman: That's a lot of dogs.
Dave Burnett: 2500?
Kristy Sternes: 2500.
Dave Burnett: Bring your plastic bag, please.
Kristy Sternes: Well, actually, we have volunteers that help with that. So, see, we think of everything.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, excellent.
Thom Dallman: Nice.
Dave Burnett: Tell us a little bit for those ... I mean, maybe are new to the area, maybe they're a new pet owner, or they ... I don't know how you could not have heard of See Spot Walk because it's just amazing [crosstalk 00:01:59]-
Thom Dallman: Part of the [crosstalk 00:02:00].
Dave Burnett: ... takes place. Tell us a little bit about what happens.
Kristy Sternes: Most definitely. It is a one-mile walk. So, you can bring your dog, or you can just come walk yourself, or we do have shelter pets that we do bring. You can contact the shelter if you're interested in walking one of the shelter dogs and then that way you can also do that if you don't have a dog. We do the one-mile walk, and then we have about 80 vendors that are specifically pet related, mainly dog, and that's what I like. I'm so excited about this year because we got so many new vendors, but they're all dog related, and that's what it should be at a dog event like this.
Dave Burnett: Well, tell us a little bit about those vendors.
Kristy Sternes: So, we've got our major supporters like the pet stores. We've got Petco and Zamzows and D&D. We also have Thom's group CORE, which is one of our sponsors also, which is awesome. Then we have a lot of people that make custom dog leashes. They make dog treats, dog food, dog boarding, dog walking, all kinds of cool stuff that maybe you won't think of. We've got a lady that does acupuncture for dogs. So, just a great variety of vendors.
Dave Burnett: That's amazing.
Thom Dallman: Oh God. Yeah, we'll be present, and we'll be handing out frisbees for them to play with and also temporary tattoos for the kids as well.
Dave Burnett: Nice.
Thom Dallman: So, make sure you get in and come visit and see all the different vendors.
Dave Burnett: I will say this for those without the video portion of the show here is that Kristy has stolen your dog.
Thom Dallman: I know. My puppy-
Kristy Sternes: This is what I do all day.
Thom Dallman: My puppy Scruffy who is actually from the Humane Society. We got him a year and a half ago from the Humane Society. A rescue from California. He's a chihuahua terrier mix and he is just loving your lap right now.
Dave Burnett: Absolutely. Well, Thom is the perfect example of somebody who has rescued a dog. Tell us a little bit at the Humane Society about what somebody can expect and about the importance of rescuing these animals.
Kristy Sternes: Well, I think a lot of what we do is not only re-home the local animals that we have here, but we're really grateful that we have such a pet-loving community and we do so many adoptions. We're able to do these transfers. That's how, Thom, like you said, got this wonderful little baby here. We do two to three transfers a month, sometimes from California, Texas. We're able to accommodate those animals, like I said, because we have such a great community. A lot of these dogs that we see that come in are scared. We don't know what their environment was like. They leave a home. They end up in a shelter, and then some of them end up on a plane, and then in another shelter. It can be really scary. We encourage people to come there. And not always, when you're walking by the kennel, don't always judge like if the dog's scared and shaking, because a lot of times when we get them out of the kennel, they're a changed dog. So, we encourage those meet-and-greets. We encourage people to bring their other animals in to introduce them because the last thing we want to do is set up a dog for failure.
Dave Burnett: You take the dogs through the process. In other words, when a transfer comes in, you don't immediately put them up for adoption. What do you look for? How do you kind of fit in the process after where to make them adoptable?
Kristy Sternes: So, the first thing is they have to have their vet check. That takes a little bit of time. Usually about a week and a half, depending on how busy our facility is with our veterinarians. We will do just a general checkup, the physical exam. We'll try to age them by their teeth, that sort of thing. Then if there's any room for concern, like if they come in and they have a mass or any kind of thing that's abnormal, we will do the testing and the blood work on that to follow up. It's not just like, "Oh well. We do look into it." So, if it's something that we can do and provide that veterinary care then to make them adoptable, we will do that. Once they do have their vet checks and everything, they do go through like the dog playgroups at the shelter. Once again, we want to make sure that they get along with other dogs, that there's no guarding issues or anything that we need to let a future owner know about. So, just things like that we test them around cats, because we're not in the business of, "Let's see how many we can adopt and get out of the shelter today." We want to make sure that it's a good fit for the family and for the dog.
Dave Burnett: That's something we've talked a lot about, with CORE Group Realty and how a pet really makes a home that getting that dog adapted to a new home.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, yeah. We've had numerous segments just talking about making sure your house is safe, making sure that you introduce them slowly. Kind of going through that process of really making it a comfortable transition for your new pet, or if you're living with a existing pet, like how to make that comfortable for your pet that you move them to a new home.
Dave Burnett: So, See Spot Walk, it's a fundraiser for the Humane Society. How does somebody get involved and help raise money?
Kristy Sternes: We have a few different ways. Obviously, you can register for the walk, and you can participate, like I said, by yourself without the dog. Just come there to enjoy the festivities. They can register online. It's seespotwalk.org. They can register at the shelter. I know we have some Zamzows locations that are doing registrations also. There's pledge opportunities. So, in the registration packets they can collect pledges. It's another way to raise a little bit more money for the animals. All this money that's raised from this event will be going towards that capital campaign for the new shelter that we're building on Overland.
Dave Burnett: Nice. Where is that process now, so far?
Kristy Sternes: So, we broke ground, and I think we're slated to be done next August. That's not going to replace the current shelter. That one's going to be mainly an adoption center and a veterinary center so that we can continue to supply those services to people need of veterinary care. Then the pound facility for the dogs that are found are still going to be out at the Dorman Street location.
Dave Burnett: See Spot Walk. What's the date and time of that again, and location?
Kristy Sternes: Sure. It's October 7th at Julia Davis Park. It's from 9:00 to 1:00. The walk actually begins at 10:00, but our vendors will be set up at 9:00, so you can come early and visit all the different vendors.
Dave Burnett: Perfect to see what's new and what's offered for your pet, which will-
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: ... be a good thing to do.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. I'm looking forward too. I'm also bringing my pups to do the walk as well. So, I'm looking forward doing the walk and-
Kristy Sternes: I appreciate your support.
Thom Dallman: ... being a part of it.
Dave Burnett: Nice. Thom, of course, with CORE Group Realty and a big sponsor, if you want more information, there is a link on the website at coregroupreality.com to link you through there, if you can't remember all of those other websites. We'll continue on the other side. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by Diversified Mortgage and CORE Group Realty. Coregroupreality.com, the website. Call 208-933-7777. Find out why they say, "You get more with CORE."