We are going to be talking about tax time, saving money, special listings, and much much more on today's recording of Idaho Real Estate Buzz. If saving money, or getting the most bang for your buck is something you are looking to do, do we have some good stuff for you! 


Dave:                    This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett with Thom Dallman. Thom is the co-owner, the designated broker of Core Group Realty. coregrouprealty.com the website, 933-7777, that's the phone number to call anytime if you want information about what you're going to hear about momentarily on the web. We got somebody standing by to help navigate you through that, or if you have questions, you want to meet with an agent, whatever you may want to know. You may want to know what's the average temperature in Boise. Well they can probably let you know.

Thom:                   Oh yeah. We are standing by with that information for sure.

Dave:                    9337777, that is the phone number to call Thom. Welcome back another week, and for the website, a lot of good things the jump onto coregrouprealty.com to look at this week.

Thom:                   Yeah, yeah. For sure. There's all kinds of different pages on their blog site, see all the interesting information that we post, current events and things like that in the communities. But also, our "coming soon" and our "featured listings" pages where you can get firsthand look at, you know, kind of those properties that are, especially with the "coming soon", that haven't hit the MLS yet but that are scheduled to kinda come on to the market in a couple, a week or two. Homes that we're just kind of waiting for the professional photos and things like that, but we can kind of give you a sneak peek into those properties so, great site to, part of the site to be in.

Dave:                    yup

Thom:                   Especially in this low inventory market right now.

Dave:                    Well, the "coming soon" tab you several new listings in there.

Thom:                   Yeah, yeah we've got four, um four properties I wanted to highlight today in the "coming soon" section. One of 'em, a couple of 'em we talked about last week but wanted to reiterate that they're gonna be coming soon. The first one over here in Eagle, 1211 South Island Glenn Way is a beautiful four bedroom three and a half bath 3046 square feet

Dave:                    Big home

Thom:                   Big home yeah. And it's on the water so it's waterfront property coming on at 450,000. Right there in Eagle, great location Island Glenn Way.

Dave:                    And four bedroom

Thom:                   Two Rivers subdivision, yeah

Dave:                    That is a nice, nice sized home

Thom:                   Nice space

Dave:                    Beautiful neighborhood

Thom:                   All the amenities with it and everything in such a great neighborhood and so convenient to Eagle and all the fun stuff that comes along with Eagle so

Dave:                    So that's in the "coming soon" area

Thom:                   Yeah, yeah

Dave:                    alright

Thom:                   So definitely worth checking out. So kind moving a little bit west from there in Star, we've got 11544 West Meadow Lily. Coming on hopefully in the next week or two. It's a 1750 square foot house with a three car garage, three bedroom, two bath in the Roselands subdivision. That's coming on at 270,000. It's got a fireplace, hardwood floors, you know, that split bedroom design that we always talked about where the master is kind of separated from the rest of the bedrooms. You know, just a great little home, err not little, seventeen fifty is a nice sized home so coming on the market soon. Check it out.

Dave:                    Okay that one was in Kuna.

Thom:                   That one is in Star.

Dave:                    In Star

Thom:                   Yeah, yeah

Dave:                    okay

Thom:                   11544 Meadow Lily Street in Star

Dave:                    Okay so we got one in Eagle, one in Star

Thom:                   But since you mentioned Kuna, we'll go to 222 West Tallulah Drive in Kuna.

Dave:                    Everybody thinks it would be kinda fun to live on Tallulah Drive

Thom:                   Yeah, Tallulah Drive, yeah so people will say I live on Tallulah.

Dave:                    Exactly

Thom:                   Uh huh, Ryans Meadows Subdivision is where that one's at. It's a four bedroom 2100 square feet so once again a nice big house, three car garage. That one's coming on at two hundred and ten. Should be live this week on active listings this week so get in there and check it out as a, you know, as a coming soon before everybody else gets an opportunity to see it so

Dave:                    So we're bouncing all around the area

Thom:                   All around the area

Dave:                    Eagle to Star to Kuna

Thom:                   Well we might as well end up in Middleton.

Dave:                    Perfect

Thom:                   This actually has been on as a for a week now as a coming soon and has had lots of activity, lots of interest in it. It's 24025 Lansing Lane in Middleton. Should be going live towards the end of this next week, beginning of next. I can't pronounce the subdivision, it's Gjerde, G-J-E-R-D-E View Subdivision. This is a view property, the house sits on top of a hill.

Dave:                    Uh huh

Thom:                   So you have some beautiful, a beautiful view of the valley and the[inaudible 00:04:16]mountains

Dave:                    And you have an agent who will help you pronounce the name of the subdivision.

Thom:                   Yes! Yes!

Dave:                    We'll get that straightened out.

Thom:                   But it's a 1500 square foot home, 1562 to be exact.

Dave:                    Uh huh

Thom:                   On two acres, has kind of the chicken slash dog run. Dog run's already built in. It's partially fenced, they do allow horses. There's great RV parking. There's ability to kind of build a shop on it as well so that one's coming on at 250,000, right there in Middleton. Like I said it's just, it's just, it's great little, a great two acre property there so, 2.17 acres to be exact.

Dave:                    That is

Thom:                   24025 Lansing Lane

Dave:                    Those can all be found on the "coming soon" tab

Thom:                   Coming soon, yup

Dave:                    At coregrouprealty.com and you got a couple of featured homes as well.

Thom:                   Yeah, yeah we've got a few featured homes that I wanted to talk about. The first one, the first two actually just are going to just be listed, or have just been listed so. The first one's at eight eight, 8857 West Canterbury Street here in Boise.

Dave:                    Uh huh

Thom:                   1396 square feet in the Maplewood subdivision. Three bedroom, two bath with a two car garage. Fully fenced, tile flooring, irrigation for the yard. That one is 1396 square feet and coming on at a hundred seventy five so, really good price point and we. One of those price points that in the Boise area is, you know, kind of really in high demand.

Dave:                    yeah

Thom:                   Cuz it's hard to kinda get into things under two hundred thousand.

Dave:                    So and especially if somebody's looking at a, an investment property, this might be a good investment.

Thom:                   Yeah! There's potential for that and then for sure and you know as a starter home, it's a great opportunity for a starter home in Boise. Even maybe a move-up home if you have something that's a little bit smaller and you just need a little bit bigger space.

Dave:                    yeah

Thom:                   In Boise so there's a lot of opportunities on that one so.

Dave:                    Good opportunity there

Thom:                   yeah

Dave:                    So check for that one

Thom:                   Yeah and right now with our low demand on; sorry, our high demand on those starter homes and stuff like that where we have low inventory it's really important to be able to get that, get in there

Dave:                    It may not last long

Thom:                   Be the first one to, like, make an offer on it.

Dave:                    Yeah and as we talk about these homes we don't want to, you know, I don't want people to get the false impression of hurry in, buy now cuz it'll sell soon

Thom:                   Yeah

Dave:                    but that really is the case right now.

Thom:                   It is

Dave:                    They're selling quickly, you can't sit and think about it for a week.

Thom:                   Yeah [inaudible 00:06:39] just released some stats, these are nationwide stats but we find that our numbers kind of correlate very closely to 'em but they did the stats on the number, the percentage of buyers that are searching for specific categories of homes and how many, what the percentage of homes that are actually listed

Dave:                    Uh huh

Thom:                   And then for those starter homes, those homes that are, you know, kind of in the lower price points for new families to startin' to get into it. They are showing a twenty eight, basically about a twenty seven percent buyer search out of the one hundred percent people looking. Twenty seven percent are looking for starter homes and only twenty one percent of the homes that are listed are actually starter homes. So we're in a deficit it's like a negative five, negative 75 percent or something like that. like

Dave:                    And a home

Thom:                   Or 25 percent

Dave:                    The home that's $175,000, that's right in that price point

Thom:                   That's right, that's in that starter home price category

Dave:                    yeah

Thom:                   that's in the kind of upper end for our area but definitely in that area so it's definitely somethin' to think about

Dave:                    right

Thom:                   And something to look for so

Dave:                    And one more in the "featured listing"

Thom:                   Yeah one more just listed at Avanti Drive, 12481 West Avanti Drive in the [inaudible 00:07:48]springs subdivision. It's four bedroom 2168 square foot house with three car garage. Once again has been on the "coming soon", it has had lot of interest in it and a lot of questioning on it so I think it's gonna, you know, be one of those properties that go pretty quickly. But that is a four bedroom, 2168 square feet on a with a three car garage and 240,000 is how much that one's coming on in Boise. So, yeah it's just another opportunity, excuse me

Dave:                    Uh huh

Thom:                   Over there by that Eagle/McMillan area to get into a great home so.

Dave:                    Let me ask you a quick question, and part of the reason we do this show is to educate people so that

Thom:                   Uh huh

Dave:                    you have knowledge to go forward.

Thom:                   sure

Dave:                    When you list a home as being a 2000 square foot home,

Thom:                   Uh huh

Dave:                    Does that include the garage or does that not include

Thom:                   That usually does not include the garage. Garages are not usually included in the square footage

Dave:                    Okay

Thom:                   yeah

Dave:                    I was just kinda curious cuz we see that and I was looking at statistics for my house and I thought "I thought it was bigger than that!" and then oh wait that's including the garage.

Thom:                   Oh, yeah

Dave:                    Then at that point it comes up

Thom:                   So yeah, for listings we usually exclude the garage in the square footage

Dave:                    Because it's not considered living space

Thom:                   That's not living space, correct.

Dave:                    Okay

Thom:                   Correct and that's usually the same case for appraisals

Dave:                    Uh huh

Thom:                   and stuff like that, just like appraisals won't account for unfinished basement square footage.

Dave:                    Okay

Thom:                   You know, that's, they don't like to count that because it's not livable space if it's unfinished.

Dave:                    Just a little bit of knowledge for you to work with there.

Thom:                   Yeah, something to think about when you're kind of going into these homes so

Dave:                    If you're interested in any of these homes go to core, that's with a "c", coregrouprealty.com, check the "coming soon" tab, look at the featured listings. You can narrow it down by, you know, zip code or area or school districts whatever kind of a search you want to put out on that featured listing to get the home you're looking for and give the folks at here at coregroup a call at 9337777. We'll continue on the other side. We'll talk to Michelle Guth, we'll talk about interest rates and what's going on with interest rates when we continue here on 580 KIDO.

Dave:                    This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett and Michelle Guth with Diversified Mortgage joins us again. Michelle, we've told people it was going to happen and it happened. The Feds raised the interest rate, not a lot, but a little bit. I guess it's just one of those things in an improving economy, that happens.

Michelle:           Absolutely correct. We've definitely seen more volatility in the market in the last month than we've probably seen in the last several months.

Dave:                    Let's talk a little bit this morning about when interest rates go up, what does that mean to our buying power, to getting a loan, to the availability of the loans, what in essence happens?

Michelle:           I think it's definitely worth touching on because we have several clients that with the market where it's at, have the ability of only going to a certain price point. When that happens, we're very debt ratio sensitive dependent upon what program they have. There's certain programs that have ceilings for, well actually every program has some form of a ceiling for a debt ratio. As the rates continue to go up, if we have a client that's pre-approved and we are using certain parameters, as they continue to climb if they've not yet found a home, it can impact their maximum approval limit. Which in turn, we have to then go back, rerun the numbers and adjust their search criteria to potentially look for a lower priced home.

Dave:                    Now, if somebody has a lock on their loan when a price increase is announced they're okay?

Michelle:           Correct. Yeah, that's the definitely the benefit of locking in. All the economists at this point in time are suggesting locking as soon as possible. We get a rate lock advisory that talks about various reports that are coming out that actually drive the market. One of those comments are is the length of time that they recommend locking based on when your home is supposed to close in escrow. They'll give us like a if you're closing in the next 15 days, 30 days, 45 or 60 days. For the last several weeks it has been a solid red saying lock everything immediately upon your opportunity to do so. We haven't seen any recommendations of floating on rates for quite some time.

Dave:                    Now, I don't want to panic anybody because the Fed has not been raising it by huge amounts and loan rates are still, I mean down near record lows. I mean, still interest rates where we haven't seen them, well we've seen them for quite a while now, but there was that time where a six percent loan was no big deal. We're nowhere near that.

Michelle:           Correct. Yeah, I mean our APRs, we're still seeing APRs in the four percent range. They're still extremely desirable but again, if you have a client that's you know, has a certain payment they're trying to stay within or a price point they're staying within, as those rates start to increase, it is impacting their buying power.

Dave:                    Now, when you say price point, I'm assuming let's say I have a $200,000 house I'm looking at, that's a price point I'm trying to stay in, is that the.

Michelle:           Exactly. Correct.

Dave:                    There is only ... It takes more to borrow more to borrow more now.

Michelle:           Absolutely so just for general reasons we could look at a $200,000 purchase price. If they were to do a 5% down loan and rates went up by .125%, so we normally see rates move in eighth increments and they can move more than that. Typically it's in eighth increments. You would be impacting your payment by approximately $14 per month which doesn't sound like a lot of money but if you break it down, it impacts your purchase price power by about $3,500. If you're in a range again, where every penny counts because we are in a market right now where there's not much inventory and it's a very aggressive, competitive market, that $3,500 that you can't go up in price point, could impact your ability of buying that home.

Dave:                    We're talking $3,400 over the course of a 30 year loan is what were looking or what course?

Michelle:           Well, not necessarily over the life of the loan, it's literally what the impact is to your overall payment. With that eighth increase in rate, your purchase price power of say, $200,000 maybe just dropped down to $196,500. You lost the ability of buying more house when that rate went up that eighth percentage point.

Dave:                    I gotcha. Really, and once the Fed announces they're going to put a rate increase in, how long does it take until that happens?

Michelle:           It's pretty immediate because the market reacts to any of the announcements from the Fed so we generally do see an immediate impact to interest rates.

Dave:                    Now, so for those who might be thinking about buying a home, you might want to think a little quicker because they're talking about raising the rate throughout the course of the year.

Michelle:           Correct and we have been seeing a gradual increase throughout 2017. When I say gradual, I mean very gradual. We haven't seen any significant spikes in interest rates but again, it's not uncommon where in some weeks we've seen them go up a quarter percentage point which is pretty significant for that short of a span of time.

Dave:                    Now, I'm not an economist but listening to the talking heads on TV and on radio, I've heard them say that they are expecting a slow down in the economy at some point and because rates have been almost to zero, they have to get them up to be able to drop them down to help the economy again. Is that kind of what you hear?

Michelle:           Very true. The lending rate has been far below what is normal so it's a matter of time before they have to go up. As we said, never have said once, are they going to, it's when are they going to. Again, I think with the increase in rates the opposite side of it impacting the mortgages is it actually is going to spur the economy. It is good for the economy as rates start to rise. Depository rates will eventually start to follow suit which is going to be beneficial in that regard.

Dave:                    Plus it increases the value of the dollar which then helps us with overseas trading and so we always look at it as a negative that it's bad the interest rates are going up. I guess, in the sense of your house payment, it could be a problem but in the sense of the overall economy, it's just a sign of health, that things are going okay.

Michelle:           Agreed. Again, I think with the rates being where they're at, they're still incredibly low. If you look at what the buying power was even 15 years ago when rates were 8%, 7%, if you do a comparison, we're still in a really great position. I don't think there's still been a better time to purchase. Even now, over the last five years I mean, it's an optimum time to be buying a home.

Dave:                    Do rate increases, does that affect every kind of loan out there? Whether you're a first time buyer or does it affect all loans in a sense?

Michelle:           It does, yes whether it's government loans, conventional loans, they're all going to follow suit. We all are, they use the same indicators to impact interest rates. You have some variable rate loans that are based off various indexes but as standard rates go up, the indexes tend to go up as well. Across the board, you typically are going to see rates increase.

Dave:                    Well, I will say on a personal note and for full disclosure, I'm working with Diversified Mortgage on a refi for my house. It's something that I thought I knew where my interest rate was at but it was higher than I thought it was. It's important to look at those things and the amount of money that could be saved can be significant if you want to refi your house right now.

Michelle:           Oh, absolutely. You're not alone. I mean, a lot of people, I'll ask them what is your interest rate on your current loan, they'll tell me figure well I think I'm at x.

Dave:                    Which is what I said.

Michelle:           Correct. You pull your statement and you're like oh, shoot, maybe should have done it a little sooner. It's not uncommon for people to think that they lower ... They tend to be higher than what they actually are so definitely at least take a look at and see if it still makes sense.

Dave:                    I would recommend to you if you are looking to refinance or if you're looking to buy a home to give Michelle a call at Diversified Mortgage and how do they get hold of you there?

Michelle:           853-7878, visit our website, dmgloans.com, and also just take a moment to stop by our office, one of our loan officers would love to see you.

Dave:                    Yep and I will say and the personal of having through your process, very quick, very painless and got the information done in rapid order. I was pleasantly surprised.

Michelle:           Oh, appreciate that Dave. Thank you.

Dave:                    Then, talking with Molly since then, Molly's been great to help get some loose ends tied up that we needed to do. It appears to be running at a very smooth process.

Michelle:           Yeah, it's not as laborious I think as many people make it out to be.

Dave:                    Yep, so if you're interested in talking about getting a loan or refinancing before the interest rates go up because through 2017, we expect to see some raises there, you need to give Michelle a call at Diversified Mortgage and get it all settled in. Oh, I do need to say that don't I?

Michelle:           Please do.

Dave:                    Equal opportunity lender.

Michelle:           Thanks Dave.

Dave:                    All right, it's a legal thing. We'll continue on the other side. This is the Idaho Radio Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett. We'll talk more with Thom Dallman coming up here on 580, KIDO.

Dave:                    This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom Dallman of Core Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com is the website and 933-7777 the phone number. You can always call any time of day to find out more about what's going on at the website or what's going on in the real estate world.

                                Tom, a big event that takes place every year-

Thom:                   Coming up soon. I'm so excited.

Dave:                    A lot of people love it. That's the Parade of Homes.

Thom:                   Parade of Homes, yeah. It's one of the best events for getting to see exactly what's happening, what's trending, what's new in the building realm. We have Heather Echevarria here from Innovative Custom Homes to talk a little bit about the Parade of Homes. I'm so excited.

Heather:              It's the Spring Parade of Homes sponsored by the BCA Southwest Idaho is a fun, fun event. Lots of people come out to it, it's a great way to see what's new in the market, new floor plans, new ideas, new decorating. I'm having a lot of fun with our home as we're finishing it up so I'm really excited to showcase it.

Dave:                    Heather, do the builders, do they make a point of trying to find at least one new thing to show off?

Heather:              The Spring parade is very much new floor plans, new innovative ideas. Everybody gives me a bad time because we're Innovative Custom Homes and we're talking about innovative ideas.

Thom:                   Innovative ideas.

Heather:              Yes. They all try to find something different to put out there. I don't know, I'm really happy with what we did this year because I feel like we really took it to the next level.

Dave:                    Is it a secret?

Heather:              No it's not a secret. We've actually talked about it on the show before. We built an ICF home, which is an Insulated Concrete Form. Our exterior walls are about a foot thick with concrete. It is so much fun.

Thom:                   Sound proof insulation. The highest insulation grading.

Heather:              It's the highest insulation I think rating that you can get. The sound in it is ... You do not hear anything outside. They're developing another phase in the subdivision that we're in and there's always these back up beepers and machines going off. You go inside and even with our construction doors, which are not our finished doors, you close those doors and you hear nothing.

Dave:                    Wow. As you were talking I was thinking, because they've talked about getting the F-35 fighter jets here in the Boise area, which they are very loud.

Thom:                   Oh yeah.

Dave:                    If you were anywhere near the airport you wouldn't want to think about any other kind of construction.

Heather:              You wouldn't. They use these for military bunkhouses too. I think when we were on the show before with Trevor, with my rep, he talked about them using them for military housing because they are, you go from footing all the way up to your truss with this concrete. It's amazing.

Thom:                   That's cool. Yeah. Once again, going back to the parade, that's the stuff that you get to see. You get to see all these innovatives, once again, innovative new ideas for floor plans, for design, for even material. Some of the newest materials the builders are really good about getting the new stuff into their homes and new color pallettes and stuff like that. It's so fun.

Heather:              Yeah. Our suppliers are great at that. All the new products come out at the beginning of the year and they work really hard to get those in parade houses. We do have a few of those, I'm going to keep a few of them secret because they are really cool, but you're definitely going to want to check out our house.

Dave:                    About how many builders are involved in the Parade of Homes year to year?

Heather:              We limit the Spring Parade of Homes to 40 homes. I'm not exactly sure how many are individual unique builders. I know there's several that have multiple homes in there so I can't really give you an exact. I think it's around 37 unique builders.

Dave:                    Wow.

Heather:              I think there's three that have multiples.

Dave:                    With 40 homes, how long does it last because that's a lot of homes to go through.

Thom:                   Right.

Heather:              It is and it's all across Ada County, so from Star, Eagle, Boise, Meridian, Kuna, they're all over the place. It starts on April 29th and it runs through May 15th, I think.

Dave:                    Okay.

Heather:              It's three weekends and they run seven days a week. During the week we're open, I'm thinking it's like 5 o'clock until 8 o'clock, maybe it's a little bit earlier. Then Friday, Saturday, Sunday, it's 11 to 8 or noon to 8 or something like that. Lots of time.

Dave:                    Is there a charge to go?

Heather:              No. It's free.

Dave:                    Okay. Didn't for awhile they tried charging admission for a little while I think? I remember years back.

Heather:              I think they did a number of years back. Since I've been involved with the BCA it's been free.

Dave:                    Okay. It's always a fun time Thom to go out and even if you're not looking to buy a new home-

Thom:                   Exactly.

Dave:                    ... it's fun to just go see what is new in homes because there's always something.

Thom:                   Oh yeah for sure. There's always something new that you'll see, new little clever ideas for even home projects. You may not be looking but you may want to get some ideas for home projects and things that you can do to upgrade your home. It's a great opportunity to be able to go and see what's new and what's trending and get those ideas for your own personal home.

Dave:                    I'm going to put you on the spot because what I'm going ask you is over the past years, what innovative thing have you seen that you just went wow when you saw it over the past several years at past Parade of Homes?

Thom:                   I would have to say that the most wow things last year was the creative use of under stairs space and how to use the different spaces under. I remember one of the homes that we went through had this really great little day bed set up with a book shelf recessed into it.

Dave:                    [crosstalk 00:05:27]

Thom:                   Underneath the stairs so kids can go [crosstalk 00:05:28]

Dave:                    It wasn't just a closet?

Thom:                   It wasn't just a closet, yeah. The innovative uses of just spaces like that, that maybe just dead space in your home or just closet space but you don't really need closet space and using those spaces in a different way I thought was probably one of the most interesting things last year that I kept seeing.

Dave:                    Several years ago I saw in a garage, you know how you have a pull down ladder to get up into your attic, these were like stairs built into the wall going up the garage and then underneath there was cabinetry and storage space. It was steps that actually went up into the attic-

Thom:                   Oh that's awesome.

Dave:                    ... into the crawl space and somebody had designed and put that in, which to me is like, I haven't done it, but I thought I've got to do that at my house.

Thom:                   Right?

Dave:                    That is awesome.

Heather:              Yeah.

Dave:                    Instead of just having a pull down ladder, it was steps that led up to the attic.

Thom:                   Exactly. Exactly.

Dave:                    For you, what is some of the more innovative things that you have seen that you weren't behind?

Heather:              I don't get a chance to go out to many of the parade homes here locally because I'm usually in our parade home, but I do travel around to some other areas, other states, just to get some other ideas and just have fun. It's a business trip with fun involved. One of the coolest things that we saw was a man cave that, I can't even remember who the builder was, this was in Saint George. They took an F350 pickup bed, it was not connected to the rest of the truck anymore, it was up against the wall, and they had it made into actually the bed in the man cave.

Thom:                   Oh my gosh.

Heather:              It was the coolest thing.

Dave:                    Sleeping in the back of a pickup.

Heather:              Yeah.

Thom:                   That's funny.

Heather:              It was really cool.

Dave:                    [crosstalk 00:07:06]

Heather:              I don't think it's something that would fly here, but it was kind of a cool concept on a pre-sold home down there.

Dave:                    Something different that somebody wanted.

Heather:              Yeah.

Thom:                   Exactly.

Dave:                    I guess when it comes to, we talked about the insulated concrete, are we seeing more solar coming into play here in the Valley?

Heather:              We are seeing a lot of solar. I don't know if you've been out in the Kuna area or on the freeway between Boise and Mountain Home, but there are some huge solar farms going in out there. Energy efficiency has been key I think for a few years, but it's really started to step up even more. With the ICF home, the energy efficiency of that home, you take it a next step, another step higher with the solar, yeah, it really is becoming a lot more popular.

Dave:                    It's just never made sense to me why we don't do more. If nothing else, even just preheating the hot water going into the hot water tanks-

Thom:                   Exactly.

Dave:                    ... and how much money saving is involved there. I've often wondered why we don't see more of that.

Heather:              I really think that a lot of it, people move a lot. They build a brand new home and they really don't stay in it for very long. I don't know what the average time frame is, but ...

Thom:                   Six to nine years is the average.

Heather:              Six to nine years. I think the upfront cost, you're not seeing some of that return for a few years, or you weren't for a little while.

Thom:                   Exactly.

Heather:              Now I think as some of our energy bills and different things like that are going up I think it's becoming more prevalent.

Thom:                   I do think that there's a perception out there that it's really super cost prohibitive to put those things in, but they've really come a long ways if I'm not mistaken-

Heather:              Oh they have.

Thom:                   ... on how much those things cost and to implement them into your systems and your homes and [crosstalk 00:08:44]

Heather:              Definitely. The time to do it is when you're building.

Thom:                   Oh yeah.

Heather:              We've built more in the last year making homes generator ready to where if the power's out, you get home you can still open your garage door. God knows that most of us don't carry our front door key anymore, we go in and out through the garage. We've seen a rise in that with generator ready homes and making them solar ready. The time to do it is when you're building it.

Thom:                   Not to mention the tax savings that you get too.

Dave:                    Exactly. I guess that's where talking to somebody like you is a good idea to say here are some options of things you might want to think about doing.

Heather:              Definitely. I like to lay out the possibilities and look at, as a custom home builder, what are your needs for your home, what are you looking at for the future, is this going to be the forever home that you're going to be in for the next 30 years or whatever, and looking at what can we do to meet your needs the best over that time frame.

Dave:                    One area that is changing almost daily and that is having your house WiFi ready and able to control your appliances, your heating, your locks, your doors, everything through Bluetooth and through wireless technology. Is that something you're finding a lot of requests for?

Heather:              We're getting more and more requests for that. Our homes are all wired to be WiFi ready. We're seeing less and less home telephones, most everything, the WiFi TVs, all of that stuff. The houses are set up for that if they're ... Depending on how big they are we'll put in relay access points and stuff with our subcontractors during the initial rough ins just so that we make sure everything is there. Yes, the smart house is becoming more and more prevalent.

Dave:                    Yeah. It's just amazing.

Thom:                   Interesting [inaudible 00:10:37] I was just at a presentation this week that talked about, I think it's like 30 percent of Americans are actually what they're calling cut the cable. They're cutting the cable cords to the cable companies and actually starting to stream everything into their home. Most of the stations and stuff you can now stream all your TV shows and stuff like that. People are getting rid of that cost of having to have all the expensive cable companies hooked up and not having cable cords.

Heather:              Yep. The internet, the cable, the telephone, all that stuff, you can pretty much do a lot of it streaming now.

Thom:                   Exactly.

Dave:                    Yeah. I would think in the next five years that'll be, between that and kitchen technology, I think we're probably going to see more changes in that kind of technology in the next five years than anything else in the home aren't we?

Heather:              I would think so. That and with what you're talking about with solar, there's some companies coming out with the solar shingles and all that kind of stuff, which hasn't really made it to our market too much yet. I'm excited for the day it does.

Thom:                   I can see that [crosstalk 00:11:37] yeah.

Dave:                    I'm waiting to heat my driveway so I don't have to shovel.

Thom:                   Right? Won't that be nice? Having the solar driveway.

Dave:                    Exactly. Tell me a little more. The Parade of Homes, when does it begin? When can we start looking to go?

Heather:              The Spring Parade of Homes starts April 29th, which is a Saturday and it runs three weekends, so I believe it's through May 15th.

Dave:                    Okay. We just keep watching for advertising either on TV, radio, or newspaper and get ready to go enjoy it. Three weeks, so we don't have to try to hit all 40 homes in one weekend.

Thom:                   Exactly.

Heather:              No. You don't have to be crazy and hit all 40 in weekend. You can take your time and go around and see all of them. Like I said, they are all over Ada County.

Dave:                    Are you going to tell us where your Innovative home is?

Heather:              My home is in the Sky Mesa subdivision.

Dave:                    Which is?

Heather:              Which is off of South Eagle Road between Amity and Lake Hazel.

Dave:                    Okay. South Eagle, okay so south of town.

Heather:              Yeah. South of town.

Dave:                    Cool.

Heather:              Great location, great amenities in that subdivision so we're really happy out there.

Dave:                    All right. Thank you so much for joining us talking about the Parade of Homes, an annual event that a lot of people look forward to to get out and see what's new and what's happening in the world of real estate. We'll continue on the other side as we continue with the Idaho Real Estate Buzz here on 580 KIDO.

Dave:                    This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. I'm Dave Burnett along with Thom Dallman who is the co-owner, designated broker of CORE Group Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com is the website; 933-7777 that is the phone number for you to call.

                                You know, we're in that dreaded season. No, not the holiday bills coming in. We're in that dreaded season of tax time coming up in April.

Thom:                   It's tax time. April 15th, everybody's got to have their taxes in.

Dave:                    But I will say this. If you're a home owner, there is certain advantages that you have when it comes to taxes.

Thom:                   Yeah, that's one of great benefits to owning a home, and having a home, and your life is that you get to use some of that stuff to kind of decrease your tax penalties or tax amounts, if you will.

Dave:                    But I will say this, before we get into this, check with your tax accountant. Check with your tax attorney. We're novices.

Thom:                   Exactly.

Dave:                    Really, what we know is what we're able to do with our properties.

Thom:                   Yeah, yeah. Go to the specialist, the specialist that knows all of this information is your accountant, tax accountant's gonna be able to help navigate, and make sure that you're putting the right numbers in there.

                                I think it's so important, especially making sure that you're exploring all your options. There's a lot of things out there that you can tax deductions for that people don't even realize.

Dave:                    Well, the biggest one, I think, is that would be your home interest, which, right of the bat, usually makes people able to itemize when they deduct the interest that they are paying to the bank, and fill that out, that's typically enough for you on your schedule seem to be able to itemize completely, which is a big advantage.

Thom:                   Yeah, huge advantage. Remember that, especially if you're a new homeowner, or fairly new, your first few years of your loan payment goes mainly to interest, so you're paying a lot of money towards interest, so that's a lot of money that you can put into your tax savings when you're filing it correctly, and put it into your tax report.

Dave:                    That's the biggie.

Thom:                   Huge, huge one, that most people need to do. And make sure that they're talking advantage and getting that interest rate thrown into there.

Dave:                    And the second one that I know of, is that many seconds, so if you have a second on your home, not all, but many, are also tax deductible, as well, if funds were used for construction, remodeling, work on the house. Again, check with your tax agent, but you know, you've got your first, you got the second to look at.

                                But there's some other kind of oddball ones in there to take a look at as well.

Thom:                   Some of the things that people don't think about are ... Double check with your accountant for, depending on the loan type and what kind of deposit you put down on the house, sometimes the deposit, if you took that out of IRAs and stuff like that, those can be a tax saving to utilize on your income tax reports, too.

                                Looking at those, what did you use to pay your home and stuff like that, so definitely something to think about.

                                Some of the other things such as the private mortgage insurance. There are some cases where your private mortgage insurance that you pay for your ... on your loan can be deducted as a tax savings, so not a lot of people know that. That's something that was released. It was supposed to expire in 2014, they've kind of extended it every year.

                                I know that they're doing it again for the 2016 taxes as well that you can utilize your PMI in some cases, make sure that you talk ...

Dave:                    Yeah, and show that's the insurance on your home.

Thom:                   ... to your tax accountant for that. That's the insurance, yeah, for your mortgage.

Dave:                    If you didn't follow what the acronym was there but the insurance you pay on your home that is able to be written.

Thom:                   Private mortgage insurances, yeah, is basically the mortgage insurance that the mortgage companies put on if you have a loan that exceeds 80% of the home value, basically, and stuff.

                                So once you get to that 20%, that's another thing I always like to tell people, make sure, when you're in your home for seven, eight years, start looking at that equity that you have in the home because that's about usually the time frame when you can start getting the reassessment to remove that PMI once you get to that 20% equity on your home.

Dave:                    Which is a good way to go check with your accountant on that.

Thom:                   Yeah, for sure, for sure.

Dave:                    We have talked during the show today about a number of things, and some of these are tax deductible or a portion of as well.

Thom:                   Home improvements and renewable energy.

Dave:                    Renewable energy. That's a big one and it's one that I always see on the tax forms as like, "No. Dang it. No, no, no. No. No, I should do that."

Thom:                   Yeah, yeah. Some of your home improvements, especially if they are things that are contributing to energy efficiency in your house, those can be-

Dave:                    Solar.

Thom:                   Yeah, solar. Yeah, solar. If you have an outdated old furnace that you're upgrading and go to energy efficient, sometimes those can be deducted. Improvement can be deducted. Insulation in your attic space. If you upgrade your insulation, or you know, you can put in new insulation, depending on when your house was built, that can be a tax deduction.

Dave:                    So anything you're doing that makes your home energy efficient, and I think that includes up to certain kinds of siding, different things go. And again-

Thom:                   Reflective roofing. I ran across that in an article. I was like, "reflecting roofing?"

Dave:                    There's a lot that you could do to improve your home to not only save money when it comes to the energy, but you save on the tax as they want to get the incentive for you to not use so much energy.

Thom:                   Exactly, yeah. The renewable energy tax credit is one that is not very used, and one that is becoming a little bit more popular. We talked about solar energy being one of those sources that people can have a perception that it's really super expensive to use. It's hard to install solar panels and kind of feed back into the grid, or lower your energy bills and stuff like that, but that's a renewable energy source that you can credit for if you put in solar panels into a home.

                                You know, any kind of that stuff that you can use, definitely tax saving. Not only tax saving, but you know, saves on your bills and stuff, and so forth.

Dave:                    It's kind of a double win there.

Thom:                   Yeah, yep.

Dave:                    Really is.

Thom:                   I've read a report recently that said that, as of December 2016, about 700,000 Americans had actually installed some kind of solar device into their homes. So it is, I think, a upcoming trend.

Dave:                    See, I would like to do that. If nothing else, just the pre-heating of the hot water in the hot water tank. To put a little simple solar system, I would like to do that. I've always had a fascination with it.

                                I once had a backyard swimming pool, and I kind of worked with a solar system for heating that. Something I built myself. It worked out really well.

Thom:                   Oh yeah? For sure, for sure.

                                Yeah, I've seen it used in different things like ... I have a friend that has a cabin up in Idaho City, and they have solar panels set out just to feed electricity and be off the grid, if you will, and stuff.

                                There's so many ways to use those solar panels, and they're becoming more and more cost-effective, cost-efficient, and stuff, so definitely things to think about it and to invest your money into.

Dave:                    Yeah, so anything that you do to save energy in your home, check it out. Make sure if it's tax deductible or not.

Thom:                   Exactly.

Dave:                    Other things on your list we're missing here?

Thom:                   Really, kind of the last thing that I was thinking about was probably property taxes.

Dave:                    Yep, that's a big one.

Thom:                   People don't think about deducting for their property taxes. That's a huge chunk of change that goes out.

Dave:                    It does.

Thom:                   Talk to your accountant. Look into what your property taxes that you're paying, and being able to utilize that as a deduction as well.

Dave:                    While you curse paying the property tax, realize it's a blessing. At least you get to write it off again.

Thom:                   Exactly.

Dave:                    And again, that comes down to itemizing and that schedule C. That's the big thing where that home interest is such a big chunk of change. You're gonna pay a lot of money in interest, and when you could write that off, it is well worth it to do that.

Thom:                   Oh for sure, for sure.

Dave:                    If you have any questions about any of this, obviously, check with your tax attorney or your accountant to make sure, that you know, we didn't lead you astray. But I think these are all things that, for the most part, are things that we have taken advantage of over the years.

                                Aside of that doggone solar. I could've did something with that.

Thom:                   Right.

Dave:                    I'm just not sure what it is yet.

Thom:                   I like the idea of waiting for them to get that ... being able to drive on it. I know they've tested that out on certain areas.

Dave:                    On roadways.

Thom:                   On roadways, and stuff like that. Once that becomes perfected, then I could do that in the driveway. Like we mentioned at break, that would be a great way to kind of utilize that. Not have to shovel, like it would automatically met the snows.

Dave:                    If you have any questions about anything you hear during the show, or if you want to contact CORE Group Reality, you can do it 933-7777. That is the phone number to call, and of course, you can always go to the website, 24/7, at CoreGroupReality.com.

                                Thom is a designated broker and co-owner, and stands accountable for what takes place here, and proud of what takes place here. You've won some awards and have been acknowledged in the real estate world.

Thom:                   Yeah, yeah. I've got some top agents, and we've won awards for being the best at paperwork. It's all because of the team and the atmosphere that we have here, and the comraderie and the working together as a team.

Dave:                    Now you may say best in paperwork, what does that matter? Trust me, if you're paperwork's not in order, it matters!

Thom:                   Exactly, exactly.

Dave:                    Thom, we'll do this again next week. And CoreGroupReality.com is the website to go to. I'm Dave Burnett here on 580 KIDO.

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