We have a packed show for you today! First off, Meghan Moore is here to give you all of the details about two of her new listings. If you are looking for property out of town, she has some amazing options for you. Ron is in the studio from Eagle Home Mortgage to tell us all about assumable loans. You will want to stick around for tips from John at Advanced Heating & Cooling for keeping your furnace up and running this winter.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz with Thom Dallman, the co-owner also the associate broker with Core Group at EXP. Each and every week we get together to talk about different things going on in the real estate world, and this week, no exception.
Thom Dallman: No exception in the Real Estate Buzz, that's what it's all about. The buzz that's happening out there. Everything new and interesting and topics that will help you, educate you on your house if you own a house, if you want to own a house. All that fun stuff, we're here to help you with it.
Dave Burnett: Or if you know somebody who owns a house, which pretty much covers everybody.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly, exactly.
Dave Burnett: Well, Meghan is joining us in studio today.
Thom Dallman: Yes. Meghan Moore, one of my agents, one of my specialists is here to talk about, as always, on the very first segment of the show we like to talk about some of our newest listings and some of the opportunities that are out there for people.
And so I have asked Meghan to come in and talk about a great opportunity that she has that came on this week. So, Meghan, welcome.
Meghan Moore: Yeah. Hi. So ...
Thom Dallman: So, tell us a little bit about what you've got going on.
Meghan Moore: Alright, I will. We listed this 20 acre lot out in Owyhee County that's really nice. It has water rights and it's all along the BLM and so private, so amazing.
Thom Dallman: Oh nice.
Meghan Moore: I know, and there's nothing that's 20 acres out there. You can either have 200 acres or five. So, this is a really nice middle ground for everybody that's super pretty.
And then we have another house that's right in town, on the bench. And that's a four bedroom, just super hard to find, that's under $250,000. And it's had a lot of updates, and the road scares people, but it's not busy. It sounds busy, but it's not.
Thom Dallman: Well tell us a little bit about the house first here in Boise, 'cause I think that's a lot, that's a hot topic right now for finding anything around that $250,000 price point, almost impossible.
Meghan Moore: Yeah, and there's only a handful.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Meghan Moore: And it's so convenient.
Thom Dallman: What's the address for that?
Meghan Moore: It's 2105 South Curtis Road. And it's just perfectly located. It's not too close to the freeway to be noisy, but it's so close to everything. You can get anywhere you wanna be in five minutes. It's so nice.
And it's on an almost quarter acre back yard that's all privacy fenced. So it's great for the dog.
Thom Dallman: And the house itself, is it ... how many bedrooms, baths?
Meghan Moore: It's four bedrooms, and then one and a half baths, so it's that 1960s single level. But it has a nice ...
Thom Dallman: Single level's good, no stairs to climb.
Meghan Moore: It is. Yes, and it has some really nice updates, and the school bus picks up a block away. So that's super handy.
Thom Dallman: What kind of updates have you ...
Meghan Moore: Granite countertops and all new appliances, it comes with a washer and dryer, which are super high-end Samsung and the refrigerator, so it's like ready to go.
Thom Dallman: It's ready, so someone can move in and live in it.
Meghan Moore: You don't have to buy a house and then go spend five thousand dollars to buy more stuff for your house, you can just move into your house.
Thom Dallman: Nice.
Meghan Moore: So yeah, it's really nice.
Thom Dallman: Alright. Well now let's talk about the Owyhee County acreage properties.
Meghan Moore: That, right so you ... it's out there. But that's the appeal, it's out there. So it's out on Highway 78, down to Oreana which no one's ever heard of and that's wonderful. So, I live out there.
Thom Dallman: For those of you out there that are listening that are complaining about everybody coming from California, here's a great opportunity for you to get away from town, but still be around the neighborhood.
Meghan Moore: We'll be neighbors.
Dave Burnett: You know, that's one of the things that-that people forget. We always, if you live in the city limits, you start thinking we're very urban and very big city. All you have to do is leave the city limits, and you suddenly realize this is a very rural state. And that is one of the nice things if you get out there, it's you and Mother Nature.
Meghan Moore: Yeah, it's so nice. And there's no CCRs, and it's big enough that if the kids are in 4H, and I was really big into 4H when I was a kid. So, I'm like, "Well, where are they gonna keep their goats?" but you can have your stuff, and you can do that.
All the little farm things you wanna do.
Thom Dallman: I was always jealous of 4H kids, 'cause I wanted to raise a pig for some odd reason, I always wanted to raise a pig.
Meghan Moore: But you can't find that in town. And a lot of the new developments, even on big acreages, don't let you have any kinds of animals. So, it's like, what's the point in buying six acres if you can't even have your one little goat.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. So is the 20 acres being sold together or separate?
Meghan Moore: Yeah. It's 20 acres, it's 20 acre lots, and they all have water rights.
Thom Dallman: How many of them are there?
Meghan Moore: Six that are at 20 acres. We're gonna list one more that's a five acre one that has a permanent water right. It's a little specialty market. And then the option is available to buy the whole set together, or multiples together. The owner's really flexible.
Thom Dallman: Several options and stuff.
Meghan Moore: Yeah. They just want somebody to come out and love it as much as they've loved it.
Thom Dallman: You said it's setup with water rights. Is there ...
Meghan Moore: It's water permitted on these ones. And with permits, you've gotta reapply and things like that, it gets a little dramatic. But yeah, so those are permitted and then the small lot has permanent water rights.
Thom Dallman: Okay. And are they zoned to put houses on them?
Meghan Moore: They were actually put in before Owyhee County had planning and zoning, 'cause we're way out there. So it had a CCR originally and then the owner had it removed so that people could do whatever they wanted which is really nice.
Thom Dallman: People can use the acreage however they want.
Meghan Moore: Yeah. There's a couple of houses out there, so it's not like ... you're not by yourself, but it's really private. So, the whole back of all the lots is direct BLM access, so that's yours and that's on Owyhee County, the BLM is like the whole bottom half of the state. So, it's a pretty big back yard.
Dave Burnett: Let me ask you this question. When it comes to somebody who is looking for this kind of property. Obviously if you're retired, that's a great option. But somebody who perhaps is working, I mean, who is it that's gonna be looking for this kind of property?
Meghan Moore: Well my husband commutes to Saint Al's and we live right out there. This is in my backyard.
Dave Burnett: So about how ... long a commute is it?
Meghan Moore: It's like 45 minutes to an hour. It's 45 minutes, an hour. But you don't have to play with any traffic. You don't have to hit the freeway at all which is really nice.
Dave Burnett: Tom and I have talked about this before. Some of us who have lived here for years are spoiled, because it's a 20 minute drive to work or 15 minute. Somebody coming in from out of state, an hour drive is no big deal.
Thom Dallman: Is no big deal, yeah. Yeah, I know Chad, with guys, people down in San Diego who talked about their two and a half hour commute down into the city to go work. That's one way, two and a half in the morning, two and a half in the evening, that's a good part of your day just wasted just traveling. I'd get through so many books doing that. But, yeah, 45 minutes to an hour is not much of a time to commute at all.
Dave Burnett: As somebody who is able to work out of their home and be able to build their home, setup, put an office in there, work out of their home and be away from everything.
Thom Dallman: Someone who wants the space and not be right next to their neighbors, some who like you said, want to raise animals or have a couple of horses. Or yeah, if you just love the outdoors.
Dave Burnett: Because you're not that far from Duck Valley and from great fishing and ...
Thom Dallman: With 20 acres, you could put in a little pond, you could go fishing every day.
Meghan Moore: There's a bunch of big trophy hunts up in the Owyhee mountains and the fishing is amazing down by Grand view, it's incredible.
Dave Burnett: Meghan has joined us who is one of the agents at Core Group at EXP. So, a property on South Curtis Road, which is right there, a property built in the 1960s you said?
Meghan Moore: Yes, it's a cute little ranch style 1960s.
Thom Dallman: And what's the price, 250?
Meghan Moore: Yeah, it's 249.
Dave Burnett: Oh 249. So, under 250 thousand dollars within the city limits of Boise. That is a rare find.
Meghan Moore: Yep, and ready to go. You don't have to really do anything to it. It's not, it doesn't look like it's from the 60s on the inside.
Dave Burnett: Then renovated. And of course, 20 acre lots out in Owyhee County, which not for everybody, but for the person looking for it; it is the perfect plan.
Thom Dallman: Yep, some great options there.
Meghan Moore: That's right. You know who you are.
Thom Dallman: You know who you are, you're listening right now.
Dave Burnett: Now Thom, those are able to be seen at Core Group ...
Thom Dallman: Yep, CoreGroupRealty.com on the future listing page, they should be showing there. So, you can see them and get some information from them. But better than that, give us a call at 208-933-7777 and someone can definitely help you out and give you some information on it.
Dave Burnett: Okay, now thank you. Now let me ask you this, if somebody wants to go look at this acreage out in Owyhee County, how does that work? Do you go out with them? Do you meet them there? How does that work?
Meghan Moore: Well if they're real adventurous, they can go out on their own, but if they wanna know right where it is, then they should give me a call and I'll take them out. There's a lot of BLM roads out there, so you can end up on the wrong one, which is still fun but won't get you to where you wanna be. So just give us a call and I'll take you out.
Dave Burnett: Perfect. That is a great way to go. Again, CoreGroupRealty.com. That is a website where you can go to the featured page and check out these properties and just see what's happening there, or if you wanna look at the place on South Curtis Road under $250,000 in the city, that's a great deal. Check it out at CoreGroupRealty.com of course, one of the sponsors of the program along with Eagle Home Mortgage.
CoreGroupRealty.com the website, call 208-933-7777. Find out why they say you get more with Core.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner and also one of the associate brokers at Core Group at eXp Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com, the website you can go to.
One of the things I really like and appreciate when you look at your staff, you're not just selling real estate, but you're educating your people, your staff there at Core Group.
Thom Dallman: We're constantly educating to make sure that they have the best information available to them and part of that education, of course, is Ron who is with us always every week from Eagle Home Mortgage who comes in and actually each week to our office meetings, or as often as he can, not each week, but we have a meeting each week to talk about the newest trends, the great things that are happening out there in the marketplace. This week, Ron, and his cohort a-la Stuart came in and talked about assumable loans, and I thought this was a great topic that we could talk about here. Educating our agents on assumable loans and what that means right now in today's marketplace, and how that can affect the people. I thought it was super interesting. We should talk about it on the radio. What do you think, Ron?
Ron Wieczorek: I think it's a great idea.
Dave Burnett: Here's the challenge for you. You go to the meetings at Core Group at eXp and you talked to real estate agents, translate it to me the consumer, the average guy who's out there today.
Ron Wieczorek: Perfect, and I'm going to give a little backstory first. I'll rewind that a little bit on why we're even having this conversation about assumable loans. Why is it even relevant? If assumable loans have been around since, shoot, as long as I can remember from government loans, then why is it more of a hot topic now than it has been in the past? The reason for that is after the market crashed and now nobody was buying homes, so now they're starting to inject people back into the market and people kind of licking their wounds and having the ability to buy again, a lot of their equity was wiped away. A lot of their savings, a lot of their life resources were gone at that point, and it happened too often. So now they're getting back into the market, instead of that person that's going to put 20% down on a home, didn't have the ability to put 20% down. They're putting less down.
We see that more with first time home buyers than anything. That's very common. That's what the model is kind of built for. But now we see all these buyers that are coming back into the market and they're buying their homes with FHA loans. FHA loans allow you to put less down on the home than a conventional would. They also have a little lesser restrictions when it comes to how much debt you have versus income. One of the things that people don't love about FHA loans is when you put less than 20% down, you have to pay PMI, or private mortgage insurance, and for FHA it stays on for the life of the loan. When it stays on for the life of the loan, now every six months it goes down because you make your payment and it's based off what you owe, not what you originally owed.
It gets and softer as the life of the loan goes on, but that's kind of what you sign up for when you get the FHA loan. So now you have this new buyer coming in. Sometimes you'll hear me say boomerang, because they maybe had a foreclosure or maybe they had some kind of pain in the past where they let their home go. Now they're coming in the market and you have all your new home buyers coming in. So, conventionals are almost nonexistent, really, at this point. Where the FHA numbers of going through the roof for how many people are getting FHA loans.
Why I keep saying the FHA loan is: a conventional loan you cannot assume the loan. What I mean by assume a loan is: if I want to sell my home or give it to a family member and say, "Here you go, here's my loan. You can just make the payments from here on out." For a conventional you'd have to buy that home from the person and just go through your normal routes. With an FHA loan, you can take over the payments as long as you qualify and the bank will take, or the mortgage company will take Dave's name off, put my name on, and now I'm making the payments and I inherit their terms of their loan.
Well, since 2016, late 2016, before that all these people were buying FHA loans and mortgages, and they were in the 3.5%, 3.625%, 3.25% interest rate, very, very low. Historically low. Now we're at a point where the rates are creeping up towards 5%, maybe above five in certain cases, and you still have a lot of folks that bought two years ago, year and a half ago that have these sub four middle three interest rates, and if ever go to sell their house they have these FHA loans or they have a VA loan and there are assumable, so you could use that as a marketing tool to say, "Hey, the rates right now are x. We have this on our mortgage. If you just take over our payments and qualify for it that way you can get this rate that's two points lower than the market's offering you right now."
Dave Burnett: My dumbbell light just went off it. That's a great way to save a lot of money on your monthly payment.
Thom Dallman: Right, exactly.
Dave Burnett: Now, let me ask you this question though, then I have to come up as the buyer. If I'm buying your house, I'm assuming your loan at 3.5%, then whatever equity you have in it and whatever appreciation in the marketplaces is there, then I've got to come up ... That would be kind of like my down payment, or?
Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, so you could do one of two ways. You can have the down payment. You would have to bridge the gap, because as someone that says, "Hey, you can assume my loan. I'm just not going to give you my house."
Thom Dallman: Right, there's got to be a-
Ron Wieczorek: Right. And that's a point I made in the meeting yesterday was we see this a lot. This is very popular with family members that were like, "Hey, we're going to gift you the house or gift you equity," and if they have an FHA loan on it and you're already coming in with a better rate, then you don't have to worry about that down payment piece because they were going to give it to you anyway. So that's a slam dunk. In your scenario where Ron's buying it from Dave and Dave has $50,000 equity in this house, I was like, "Well I want my money."
So at that point you could either, if you have the down payment, you bring it down and so it just normally acts like that or there's maybe a second mortgage you can apply to that to kind of bridge the gap depending on what those loan to value ratios look like. Either way, you're still looking at a down payment that's more than maybe 2% or 3% or 4% that FHA will allow, because the second mortgage isn't going to let you leverage 97% of the home value. But, there's still a ton of value in that savings and the rate savings-
Dave Burnett: But look at where interest rates were two years ago versus today, that's substantial, and in the past two years, I don't know, but I can't imagine the marketplace has appreciated that much to where you're $50,000 into it.
Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, it probably depends on purchase price, Thom. So, if it's a $150,000 home, it's probably not worth $300,000 today. It's probably closer to that $30,000 to $40,000 appreciation. But maybe a home that's $300,000 maybe is now has a $100,000, $150,000. That might be a harder ... and with FHA we're talking about the reason FHA was enacted, the reason we have FHA loans, it was to empower lower to moderate income buyers into the marketplace. With that there came loan limits, so the conventional has loan limits in their $453,000. The loan limit for an FHA is to $295,000. We're already talking about a segment that is already in that more affordable price range. So that's what we're already talking about when we get into these conversations.
You're not looking at your, you know, it's not a million dollar home that has a FHA loan on it. It's your under to $295,000 home. So it becomes more relevant in that maybe they'll be able to bring that down payment, because that appreciation hasn't been that much, and that's all relative, right? I may say $10,000 is a lot and someone may say $10,000 is nothing.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, true. So, Thom, as you have Ron come in from Eagle Home Mortgage to talk to your agents and your agents are going, "Okay, if somebody lists their home, we need to really check and see if they have an FHA loan."
Thom Dallman: If they have a FHA assumable loan, yeah. That was the whole like, Aha moment of our agents need to be as they're taking these listings talking about this, but not only that, but if they have buyers who are qualified for FHA loans talk about that, you know? Is this a possibility to help them get into a house if we can find a home that already has an assumable loan on it and go that route too. So.
Ron Wieczorek: If nothing else, if you have an agent that's working for you and they're asking those kinds of questions: what kind of loan do you have on it now? Do you know if it's FHA, do you know if that's assumable or not? These are probably questions they're not getting from if they're interviewing other agents that they're getting on the street. So, immediately there's that competency factor that, "Wow, this person is asking me questions I haven't heard before and they're very relevant, and they're looking out for me."
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: I'm going to say, now you guys are in the business, but I'm going to say as a person who's not in the business, how often is it that that person, like me, I don't even know what kind of loan I have. I just know I have to sign a bunch of papers and I pay $1,200 a month or whatever. How often is it that people just don't even know what kind of loan they have?
Ron Wieczorek: A 99.9% of the time.
Thom Dallman: I would say the majority of listing appointments that I go on when I go to ask them what kind of loan they have they at least know if it's an FHA, VA, or conventional. But for the most part they would never know if it's assumable. We have that question on our paperwork. We always ask that question, you know, "Is your loan assumable?" 9 out of 10 times they say, "I don't know. I'm not sure if it is or not." So.
Ron Wieczorek: I would say by and large though, most clients, if they don't know and they usually don't, will know where to get the paperwork for. "Where would I find that information?"
"Well, in your closing package you got 80 documents. Three of them is your mortgage note. On your mortgage note, it'll say what type of loan it is, whether it's assumable, and goes down the line for you, and they could probably go in the next room, go two file cabinets low and say, "Here we go. I got my documents. You tell me."
Thom Dallman: I would say that's about 25% of the people actually remember where they've put the closing documents.
Dave Burnett: I know where my documents are, but to be honest, I couldn't tell you if my loan's assumable or not. I have no idea.
Ron Wieczorek: Well, the last time you bought a home, I mean, yours must be like the Declaration of Independence. I must be all crinkled up.
Thom Dallman: Oh, no. He went there.
Dave Burnett: Oh. That's it. You're done.
Ron Wieczorek: I've been waiting for that.
Dave Burnett: So, let me ask you this, Ron if somebody wants to come in and just sit down and have you helped sort through it, you're more than happy to do that.
Ron Wieczorek: More than happy. I'm a self-proclaimed mortgage nerd. In fact, we're just coming off Halloween here and I went through a haunted house, and I'm looking around the house. I'm like, "This one and go FHA." I take the fun out of everything. But they'd call my-
Thom Dallman: That's so weird because that's exactly what I do. Do you want to go visit friends? When I go to any house, I always look around, like thinking, "Okay, what do they need to do? What can we do to sell this? Will it go FHA?"
Ron Wieczorek: My wife thought it was pretty extreme that it was a haunted house. She's like-
Dave Burnett: Ron, if somebody wants to get hold of you and sit-down counsel to talk about their loan, how do they get hold of you?
Ron Wieczorek: My cell phone, which is always on me. It's 208-869-9154.
Dave Burnett: Of course, you can always go to CoreGroupRealty.com if, you know, driving, can't remember that. You'll find that on the provider's link as well. Eagle Home Mortgage, which is an equal opportunity lender. And, of course, Ron joins us each and every week.
This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by Eagle Home Mortgage, and the folks at Core Group at EXP. Find out why they say you get more with Core.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, also the Associate Broker for Core Group at eXp. We have hit that time of year, Thom, where I don't know if you've looked at the thermometer lately.
Thom Dallman: Yes, I have.
Dave Burnett: In the mornings and overnight, we're below freezing now.
Thom Dallman: Cold.
Dave Burnett: Those temperatures. I think winter is not far away.
Thom Dallman: Winter is coming. Winter has come.
Dave Burnett: If we may steal the line, winter's coming.
Thom Dallman: Yep, exactly. I hope I don't have to pay any royalties for that.
Dave Burnett: Exactly.
Thom Dallman: But, yeah, as we've kind of chatted the last couple weeks, I've been trying to give people tips on keeping your house warm, energy efficient, and stuff like that. So, I thought it would be awesome to bring in an expert, so we have John here from Advanced Heating & Cooling. Advanced Heating & Cooling is one of our service providers when you go to the website. Click on the service providers tab and you can get a list of all of our providers. Advanced Heating & Cooling has been one of our longest-running relationships that we've had in the valley. They've done an amazing job for a lot of our clients, as well as John is one of our clients, I just learned today. So, John, welcome to the show.
John: Hello, thank you for allowing me to join you today.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
John: I appreciate it.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, I appreciate you coming in, and I thought it would be great for you to actually kind of give some tips and helpful ideas for people, and maybe even tell them what you guys do to help people kind of prep for the winter time.
Thom Dallman: For their furnaces, for duct cleaning, all that fun stuff.
John: Yes, absolutely. So of course, one of the key things that we want to do every year is maintain the furnace itself with changing the filters. That's a key; that's multiple times a year, but you want to make sure you stay on top of that. And that's a service we definitely can provide, but we also help train the homeowners how to do it themselves. Helps them save a little bit of money, helps them keep an eye on their own equipment. And the more they know, the better we all are, I believe.
Thom Dallman: That's right.
John: So, education is key there. So changing filters. And then we also do the maintenance, which we go in and check all the amps, check all the settings from the factory recommended set points and stuff to make sure that the equipment's running as safe and as efficient as possible. It's a good way to protect that investment you have in your home.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, what are some of the things that you kind of see out there that people don't really notice that causes the efficiency to go down on their furnaces?
John: So, if you don't have somebody looking at it regularly, the furnace can, what's called short-cycle. So, what that means is that the furnace kicks on and off more times per hour than it really should. So, it's actually better for equipment to run longer periods at the right output, rather than having an over-fired appliance that runs shorter periods, but more times per hour. So, the cost is more, the more times that it starts and stops.
Thom Dallman: Obviously, that energy efficiency, yeah. Awesome, cool.
John: And then the filters themselves will cause short-cycling, so that's ... We can't talk about filter changes enough. That is the leading cause for issues in homes.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. I can't even tell you how many homes that I've sold that, when we go to do the inspection, the inspector's like, "Yeah, that filter has not been replaced for years," and stuff. So super important.
John: Yeah, a lot of people actually equate the filter changes to their air. "Well, my house isn't very dusty, so I don't need to change it." Well, the filters actually designed to protect the equipment, and then also to clean your air. But it protects the furnace itself, the blower motor, the coil if you have an air conditioner. It definitely protects those items from getting dirty and prevents a lot of high-dollar repairs in the future.
Thom Dallman: Cool.
Dave Burnett: Would you say ... Something I've tried to do is change my filters with the seasons. When it turns winter, I change the filter. When it turns spring, I'll change the filter. So, with every season, I'll go ahead and change that filter.
John: Absolutely, yeah. We recommend four times a year as the best practices.
Dave Burnett: Okay.
John: Now, you can have an updated high-efficiency filtration system that might have a four-inch filter, or some sort of electronic-enabled filter. Those filters can last longer. There's more media there to help grab the particles out of the air for a longer period of time.
Dave Burnett: I was gonna ask that question, because I've seen at Home Depot, the great big thick filters, as opposed to just the one-inch filters and what the difference is with that.
John: Yeah. So, a lot of the times, the media that they're made out of is the same, whether it's a one-inch, a two-inch, or a four-inch. But if you think about the surface area that a four-inch filter will have, there's more media there, so it allows a longer filtration time. So, if a one-inch filter will get dirty within a month or two, maybe three, depending on how clean the house is, two-inch filter can almost double that time. Four-inch filter, there are homes that can last a year with a four-inch filter.
Dave Burnett: Okay, I'm gonna take this time now to have some personal questions for John for me.
Thom Dallman: There you go.
Dave Burnett: Let me ask you this question. I have, in my house with my ... I have a forced-air gas furnace. So, on my filters, they're kind of in a V-shape. There's two of them. I think they're like, 22 inches. There's two of them. It's the real thin ones. Can I upgrade that and get a little bit thicker and keep them in that V-shape? Does that work or not?
John: Yeah. So, as long as your duct work itself is sized large enough, we can put two filters in there at the V. What we like to do is provide what we call an easy access filtration system to make it. Because sometimes, like what you're describing, it's not very easy to get that filter to sit on the V. Sometimes it kind of falls through. Once in a while you go to change your filter and it's actually down by the blower, which is not good. That means it hasn't been doing its job.
Dave Burnett: All the dirt's gone through.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
John: So, what we provide is a cabinet where those filters slide in and out. It's more sealed, where less air can bypass the filter, meaning that it's going to help protect the equipment longer. And it's also going to clean the air a little bit longer.
Dave Burnett: Okay. Are there signs I should be looking for right now with my furnace that might be a head's up that something's not going right?
John: Yeah. So, airflow is key. So, if you notice that you don't have as much airflow as you're used to ... A lot of people notice it by the curtains kind of blowing in the ... above the registers and that kind of stuff. It moves the curtain. If you notice, "Last year I noticed that a little bit more than now," that's a good indication maybe the filters are dirty, your coil is dirty. There are other issues. Maybe the furnace blower motor, there's a capacitor that helps keep it at speed. Those capacitors are known to wear out, and it's a serviceable item. It's fairly cheap, inexpensive to change out.
And those are the kind of items that we would see on a maintenance or a service. But for a homeowner, watch for airflow. If it's not as comfortable as you're used to, usually there's something there. I always tell my guys if there's a hunch, go with it, because you'll find the problem within that hunch.
Dave Burnett: Okay, another question for you. Is it smart for me to shut off the vents in certain rooms, or does that furnace need all of that circulating to work? Because a lot of people, "We don't use that room."
Thom Dallman: Yeah. I would say we go back and forth on that theory, so yeah. I'm curious about the answer for that, too.
John: So, we need to have a certain amount of airflow across the heat exchanger for the heating and cooling, so it works both seasons. But if you choke off more than 20% of your registers, you're going to most likely cause a problem for the furnace to overheat. So, if you drop below, the safe bet is 80. A lot of the literature you'll read that everybody talks about the 75% of the airflow, but I say one out of every five registers. If you close it, then you're safe. But if you close more than that ratio throughout the house, you're not good.
Dave Burnett: Not good. Interesting.
Thom Dallman: Good, I'm safe.
Dave Burnett: I've often wondered about that, because I know people ... My father-in-law likes to shut all the vents off in all the rooms they don't use, and it's like, "I think that it's kind of designed to heat this size house."
Thom Dallman: To heat this, yeah. Exactly.
John: Yeah, so if you're trying to save a little money by closing off one unused bedroom and that kind of stuff, it all depends on if that bedroom has maybe a return air or a transfer grill into the rest of the house.
John: It's not good, because that room is now cold. You're adding more BTU load for your furnace to actually heat up. So, it's not really saving you money. And if it is saving you money, it's in the dollars. Not even tens of dollars, it's a couple a dollars over a year.
Thom Dallman: A couple of dollars a year, so not even really-
John: You know what I mean?
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
John: And it all depends. If you had higher-end equipment that's modulating, maybe, that can do multiple stages and that kind of stuff, then we're interested in saving energy by not heating those rooms. But if you had a standard, single-stage systems, then you're not saving much money at all by closing off those rooms. Because they still have a heat load to the house.
Thom Dallman: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Exactly.
Dave Burnett: We're talking to John from Advanced Heating & Cooling, one of the service providers at Core Group at EXP. Is it too late? The cold weather's already here. I think everybody's fired their furnace up already. If not, you're living in an igloo.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, right?
Dave Burnett: Is it too late to get this thing serviced? Does it have to be done before now?
John: No, absolutely not. We like to do preseasons, but we're definitely in our busy season for the maintenance. We'll do 'em all the way into January and that kind of stuff, because we work with people and their schedules. So no, it's not too late. It's a good time to call us, have us do it now. Or your provider, if you've got a preferred provider, there's a lot of good people out there. But there's definitely an advantage to doing it. You're gonna save energy, which helps the pocketbook. You're gonna have more likely of a chance of it not breaking down. And that's the guarantee we try to give.
We do a six-month promise, to where if we're there, and for some reason maybe something happened, and six months after we've been to your house for maintenance, we're gonna go back there, no charge, to try to figure it out, what's going on. And then, of course, look at the repair at that point.
Thom Dallman: That's awesome.
Dave Burnett: A little bit of security there. And now, another question. I'm sorry, I'm just full all the questions here, Thom.
Thom Dallman: All right.
Dave Burnett: Another question for you, and this has to do with cooling. Should I have a cover over my condenser on the side of my house for my air conditioner?
Thom Dallman: During the winter.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. During the winter.
Thom Dallman: Yep, that's a question that comes up often.
John: So, this is ... It is definitely a good deal, because it helps protect them. Now, the air conditioners are designed, from the manufacturers, to be outside. They're outside during the rain, they're outside ... Sprinklers hit 'em and that kind of stuff. So, they're designed to be outside. But if you are an active homeowner where you can remember to do these tasks, then you go out and put the cover on. What I always recommend is to make sure you shut the power off to the air conditioner, because one time that you turn the air conditioner on and you left the cover on, you're gonna do way more damage than you ever did good to the A/C.
So, if you shut the power off with the A/C cover, you're good. Because next summer, you're warming the house, you're gonna turn the A/C on, it's not gonna work. You're gonna go discover, "Oh, I left the cover on," and then take it off, turn the power back on, I'm good to go.
Dave Burnett: And if your air-conditioning unit does not have a power shut-off right next to it, it wasn't wired legally.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
John: You are correct.
Dave Burnett: It's about as simple as that. John, if somebody wants to get ahold of you at Advanced Heating & Cooling, how do they do this?
John: You just call us. We can ... That's 208-336-COOL, which is 2665. But also, you can find us online at advancedheatingandcooling.com. You can reach out on Facebook, you can find our page there, any way. And that has direct connect. You can push a button and it'll call us directly from Facebook if you'd like. We are here to serve you, whatever you need. And knowledge, we like to share that knowledge with you guys.
Thom Dallman: Yep. Awesome.
Dave Burnett: And if all of that just went right by you while you were searching for a pencil, you can always go to coregrouprealty.com.
Thom Dallman: Yep. They're right there on the service provider page.
Dave Burnett: Get the service provider there. John, thank you so much.
John: Thank you.
Dave Burnett: Informative, and like to have you back in in the springtime to talk about air conditioning.
John: I would love that.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: That'll be perfect. John with Advanced Heating & Cooling. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, being brought to you by the folks at Eagle Home Mortgage, and of course Core Group at EXP. Find out why they say you get more with Core.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, also one of the associate brokers of Core Group at EXP. Core Group at EXP and of course on their website is coregrouprealty.com. Call 208-933-7777. That is the phone number for you to call.
Thom Dallman: Give us a call. Give us a call anytime. We're here. We're standing by ready to answer any questions you have, help you with any needs that you have out there real estate related. We can help.
Dave Burnett: Absolutely. One of the things that we talk about from time to time but I don't think we can talk enough about it. That is when it comes to your credit and your credit score-
Thom Dallman: Credit. It's so important.
Dave Burnett: It is. To get ... And you always advise to all your people to get prequalified, and a credit score is part of that.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. The prequalification process, they will reach out to the credit unions, not credit unions sorry, the credit, TransUnion, Experian, to find out what your credit score is because credit score is a huge part of getting your loan. You have to have a decent credit score in order to be able to get it. I think a majority of people out there don't even think about their credit score. They never think to look at it. They never think to keep a check on it. I always advise people check it every six months or so just to make sure where you're at with it and stuff like that. Credit score is super important. Super important to getting that loan, and to actually get any loan out there, so definitely something you need to look into. Just keeping track of it, just keeping track of what's out there and what's available.
One of the big myths that people have is if they don't have any loans, or if they don't have any credit cards out there, stuff like that, then they're perfect, they have a perfect credit score. There's such thing as having no credit score for those people who don't have any of those things. You have to have that stuff to kind of build your credit up and get a credit score.
Dave Burnett: I had one of my kids that they were trying to buy a car and they went in and said well you don't even register, you don't even have a number, because they had no debt whatsoever. We're not advocating going out and opening a million credit cards and going into debt-
Thom Dallman: No.
Dave Burnett: But so we had to co-sign. What we did with her is we encouraged her to get a credit card, get a $500 limit on it, go up a third on it and then pay it off.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. I think that third is a super important part. When you start going above that 30% on your credit cards when it comes time for the statement to be released, that's when it hits your credit score negatively. They look at how much credit you have available to you versus what you use, and so there's a fine line of that. 30% is what they recommend, the lenders will recommend to you is get your credit cards about 30% and kind of maintain that 30% every time the cycle comes around. So be aware of your credit cards. A lot of people just go out there and use their credit card and don't really realize how much they're spending and stuff.
Dave Burnett: If you're trying to figure out okay I've got a $100 left on my credit, that's probably not helping your credit score.
Thom Dallman: Correct. You don't want to go zero it out. You don't want to get too low. Usually maintaining that 30% is what they recommend to keep that credit score. Obviously paying the credit card, paying all your bills on time, not being late is the biggest tip out there to everybody. Pay your bills. You've got bills for a reason, so make sure you're paying them on time and stuff to eliminate any reports to the credit bureau. Any report like that will hit you down.
Dave Burnett: I do know your credit score is available to you for free once a year.
Thom Dallman: Yup.
Dave Burnett: If you go online to a website and be able to get your credit score. I say that because, like I know on one of our credit cards, and I think on one of our bank account, they offer us for free to check our credit score.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: It's not detailed. It just gives a number every month, so it's not detailed. I don't know why, but if suddenly that started crashing down-
Thom Dallman: Yeah, that's one of the signs of, if that starts coming down and you haven't really changed anything, that could be a sign that someone has stolen your identity. That's another factor that a lot of people don't think about. Identity theft is still prevalent out there. There's so many people staling people's identity and using their information to get credit cards, to get things, to purchase things. I myself last summer, I guess it was two summers ago, had someone steal my identity and get a credit card, went out and bought a bunch of stuff at some store in Michigan, or some odd area like that, and all of a sudden I started getting collection calls. It was a hassle. It was a fiasco to go through that.
Dave Burnett: It is.
Thom Dallman: People need to be aware that that happens out there and to be checking their stuff, checking your bank account once a month. Check your statement when it comes in to make sure that there's no surprise withdrawals from your bank account and stuff like that. If you start getting a bill, check your mail. Some people throw things away thinking it's junk mail, but it could be a bill that, a credit card bill from someone that's-
Dave Burnett: Someone you don't know about.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly.
Dave Burnett: I'll share this story. We had this, it was about five years ago, we had, we went to go buy a car and it came up that we owed, I'll go ahead and say the name because it's true, we owed AT&T Cellular $119 that we had just walked out on.
Thom Dallman: Oh wow.
Dave Burnett: Which I look at my wife and I said we don't even have AT&T how is that possible. It was in her name. It turned out that there was another woman with her name in California that somehow, they tied it onto our account and gave us the ding.
Thom Dallman: Oh wow.
Dave Burnett: It took four months-
Thom Dallman: Oh my gosh.
Dave Burnett: Four months to get this straightened out to prove to them we've never had service with them. But we finally got it taken care of, but for that four months it was showing that we had walked out on an AT&T bill and never paid it.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Yeah, it's super difficult to prove and to get rid of those issues out of your credit report. You have to be diligent about it if you have those issues pop up. You have to be diligent about it and make sure that you're following up and doing the necessary things to get it removed because it won't remove itself. It does not. Just along that lines too, it's not just identity theft, it's just errors. There can be errors-
Dave Burnett: To a sense what this was. It was just an error, but-
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly. My brother and my father many many years ago had issues because their names are almost the same and their Social Security numbers were super similar too, and so there was a little bout of something. My brother's stuff was showing up on my dad's credit report even though it wasn't his.
Dave Burnett: Ooh that made him happy.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, so we went through a little process there of getting that stuff removed and having to prove that it wasn't my dad, it was my brother and so forth. Especially if you're a junior, if you're a senior, whatever, if you have same names as your kids, be on the lookout because sometimes they can go and put that on your, your name and stuff as well.
Dave Burnett: Speaking of kids, not a bad idea once a year, because everybody at birth now you have to have a Social Security number issued, not a bad idea to get your kids checked with that free credit check because sometimes credit thieves will come in and hit a kids number and they're not going to know until they're 17, 18 years old and go to apply for that first loan and suddenly they've got a mess on their hands.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Some of the other things, one of the other things I should say that I tell people too is to make sure you're checking your credit card, or your credit for bills that you've paid that may not be showing as paid yet. If you have gone delinquent on an account back when you were in your 20s, or 30s, or whenever, make sure you've checked that that has cleared since then because that's another thing that pops up every once in a while. Someone will pull credit after a couple of years, all of a sudden they see that there's this reported, or this bill that never got paid that's been on the credit report for years. They're like that was a credit card I owned way back when and I paid that off. I know that I paid that off, but it's still showing that they never paid it off. You need to make sure that those kind of things are not on your credit report too, especially for first time home buyers that have never checked their credit. If you've had delinquencies in the past, make sure that they've been removed because that does take a little while to fight as well to prove that you've paid it off, to contact that credit card company to show that they've paid it so that it will go through and get removed from your credit card.
I think the main point that I'm trying to say is check your credit information. Pull your credit, see what your score is, make sure that you're checking to see what's on there. Make sure it's yours and that it's valid.
Dave Burnett: I think the thing I hear you saying too is that if you have a name similar to somebody else in the family, if you have recently gone through a divorce, you might want to check-
Thom Dallman: That's another thing.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, to make sure your spouse, or former spouse, hasn't run something up on there.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: And just in general, just check and make sure that everything that's on there belongs to you, or belongs on there.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: It doesn't take much to drop you from a 700 score to a 550 score.
Thom Dallman: Not much at all. It's super important for lending, for anything that you do, to make sure that score is the best that it can be.
Dave Burnett: Of course, Ron joins us from Eagle Home Mortgage each and every week, and if you want to talk to Ron he's got ways to help you walk through that and to improve that score, or-
Thom Dallman: Yup, and I believe they have an in-house credit repair company to help out with that stuff to, so they actually will help you right there in Eagle Home Mortgage if you have repair that needs to be done they can help with that.
Dave Burnett: Yup. If you're planning on buying a house a year from now, now is the time to start planning.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah, for sure.
Dave Burnett: You don't want to walk in at the last second and go oh we're going to buy a house this month. No, you need to plan ahead.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Eagle Home Mortgage can help you do that, and of course Core Group at EXP can help you get a hold of those folks and do that as well. Guard it carefully, keep an eye on it, don't live in fear, but just know that it's something you can control, watch and take care of.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Coregrouprealty.com is the website to go if you want to find out what the Eagle Home Mortgage's website is or phone number. You can find that information along with all the providers on the show that joins us each and every week. Want to remind people coregrouprealty.com is the website where these podcasts are posted up there. About a week after we do them we'll get them posted there along with some helpful blogs and information.
Thom Dallman: Yup. All kinds of useful stuff on there.
Dave Burnett: Check it out. Coregrouprealty.com. It's all being brought to you, this program, by Eagle Home Mortgage and the folks at Core Group at EXP. Find out why they say you get more with Core.