This week on the Idaho Real Estate Buzz we talk about how to get started in the home buying process. Next Dave and Thom talk to Ron Weiczorek from Eagle Home Mortgage about how to start the Pre-Approval process and how it factors into the home buying process. Next up, Thom and Dave talk about a few Property Tax Reduction programs including the Home Owners Exemption and the Circuit Breaker Program. Lastly, Dave and Thom talk about tips for moving, packing and getting organized.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz with Thom Dallman, the co-owner and designated broker of Core Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com, that is the website for you to go to, to find out all things real estate, or you can call 208-933-7777. Another great week to get out there and buy a home, Thom.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. It's always a good week to buy a home.
Dave Burnett: I say that with air quotes on there buy a home, because today in this first segment, I want to talk about if somebody wants to buy a home, what the heck do I do? The reason I say that is inventory is at record lows.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: The amount of homes out there for me to choose from is low. How do I go about buying a home and finding one?
Thom Dallman: It's such a crazy marketplace right now with our low inventory. We talk about from week to week that we're continuing to dwindle in supply. Our last report was that we have 1.7 months' supply. If nobody else listed a home, we'd run out of inventory in a month and a half. Normal supply is usually around five to six months for a healthy marketplace.
Our demand is still there. We still have a lot of people moving in. Our sales are still going up. That's what's causing the decrease in our inventory is because we still have a lot of people looking. We have a lot of people wanting to move to the area, a lot of people looking to upsize, a lot of the baby boomers who are downsizing, and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: You talked about before about those boomerang buyers.
Thom Dallman: And the boomerang buyers, yes, those people in 2010, or 2008, 2010, that unfortunately lost their home, had to go through foreclosure or go through the short sale process, who are now out of the woods, if you would say, and out of that credit ding that hit them. They're starting to come back on the market. They're starting to look for homes.
Dave Burnett: We're not even talking about the traditional we're going to graduate from college here in a couple of months and get out on our own, get a job, and buy a home. That marketplace is still out there as well.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
Dave Burnett: Is it futile?
Thom Dallman: Right?
Dave Burnett: Should I just bury my head in the sand?
Thom Dallman: No. No.
Dave Burnett: How do I go about buying a home right now?
Thom Dallman: First of all, the really important part that we always talk about is that pre-qualification, once again. Everyone needs to start with knowing their per-qualification, knowing what their credit's like, what they can afford, what they're comfortable with in payments with their income and stuff, and their expenses.
But yeah, that per-qualification is the key factor in finding out what you qualify for so that you're not searching for things that are outside of your realm, but then once you get that per-qualification, talking to an agent to find out what areas should I be looking at. What areas are good investments maybe? Start really exploring different areas.
We get a lot of people who are like, "I really want to live in downtown Boise." They got to remember that downtown Boise, the supply is so limited there-
Dave Burnett: You're going to pay premium dollar.
Thom Dallman: Because there's no new growth. Yeah, you're going to pay premium dollar, and there's not a lot of growth. There's not a lot of space, because we've already grown as much as we can.
Dave Burnett: The North End, very similar.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, that North End in particular. Every once in a while, you do run into those infills where investors have bought up a property and put in two houses or whatever, but it's very rare and hard to come by. If you come by it, it's going to be super expensive.
Being creative with your search is what I like to say, looking outside the box, a little bit of not only just area. But maybe you need a three-bedroom, two-bath house. What about looking at a two-bedroom, two-bath house that might have a big enough yard to build onto it eventually? How soon do you need that third bedroom, and stuff like that? How much does it cost to build a third bedroom onto a house? Being creative with things like that is what a real estate agent can help you think about and guide you through that process, if that's an option.
Some things to keep in mind if you're thinking about buying, starting to save up a little money for your down payments, depending on what loan program. There are some 100% finance programs out there, but more than likely, the average American right now is usually into an FHA loan, which requires 3.5% down. Depending on your purchase price, that can be a good chunk of money.
Dave Burnett: It's not money you can borrow.
Thom Dallman: No. Well, you can be gifted from a family member, but you can't borrow it.
Dave Burnett: Gifted, but I can't go out to the local money store and borrow the money for it-
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Because that's going to come back on my credit. How important
Thom Dallman: Exactly. There are things, like you can pull from your 401(k)s, or your investment portfolios, and stuff like that. There's ways to be able to get that down payment, depending on just your situation once again, but saving up money for owning a home. There are expenses that you have, especially if you are looking in the North End. Those are going to be older homes. There's going to be maintenance that will need to happen throughout the ownership of that home, because those are mostly older homes in the North End.
Dave Burnett: How about with the economic and political climate that we're in right now, because there are changes taking place within our government that will help homeowners, and there's some that will limit them in other ways.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, I was just reading an article about the new tax bill reform thing that is trying to be pushed through and some of the stuff that it's supposedly going to affect. This was just one article I read, so I don't know how valid it is, if it even gets pushed through. But one of the portions of that article was saying that the proposal is to reduce or get away from doing some of the housing and urban development loan programs. That's those 100% financing programs that I was talking about, as well as getting rid of some of the tax exemptions that we have out there. That can hurt people.
Tax exemptions are part of what qualify people, because if you can get that tax exemption as a primary resident, it decreases your amount of payments that you have to make each month for your mortgage. It boosts your buying power to be able to get that tax exemption. If this tax reform goes through and we lose that, that's going to affect a lot of people and the affordability and stuff. It's so important to be aware of little things like that ... not little things, it's a big thing, the tax bill reform acts and stuff like that, and what's happening politically out there and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: But that is something that your Core agents, they're aware of and you talk about in meetings?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, we try to make sure that as this news comes up, especially with our lenders and stuff like that, that we work together to figure out what the impact is, what it means to the consumer and to the home buyer, and to make sure that we are able to effectively communicate that effect and that change and what it means and stuff like that, and help people navigate that.
Dave Burnett: As long as we're talking about this, how important ... I know it's important, but why is it important? Let me go that way. Why is it important for me to get an agent that is really plugged in and is a go-getter?
Thom Dallman: It's important, because you can waste a lot of time and waste a lot of money if you don't have that right agent that's working for you. You could lose out on a lot of opportunities. Right now with our low inventory, it's what we refer to as a sellers' market, where the sellers are getting multiple offers. If your offer is not written by a trusted person and someone that has guided you and advised you on the proper way to get that-
Dave Burnett: Written the correct.
Thom Dallman: To present it the best way ... yeah, exactly, for your situation, it could end up costing you the ability to get into a home. You could write a lot of offers and not get anything accepted if they're not written correctly.
Dave Burnett: I guess I keep hearing stories of people, "We put our house up for sale, and we had an offer the very next day." If you have an agent that's sleeping at the switch and is busy, or watching big brother, or whatever, one day of them not paying attention might cost you.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Exactly. I just recently had an agent come to me. She was on vacation. She called me in a panic, because her clients that had been looking for a little while, there was finally a house that came up in their price point in their marketplace. She's on vacation, and she's like, "I don't know what to do. We need to get them into this house right away." That was the convenience of here at Core Group, me, as well as the rest of the agents, are able and willing to jump in and help that, because it is, it's super important.
We ended up showing that house within two hours, writing up a contract, and submitting it, and getting a response back that said, "Hey, we've got three other offers coming in, so make sure this is your best and highest." That was a perfect example where if most agents that are on vacation would be like, "I'll show it to you when I get back on Monday," and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, and you can't deny.
Thom Dallman: And you would lose it. That would've been gone. Yeah, you can't deny ... But make sure that you have a agent that if they're going to take some time off, that they have some backup-
Dave Burnett: A team.
Thom Dallman: That they have an agent and a team and someone that will help them.
Dave Burnett: In fact, let me do this as we close out this segment, that here at Core Group Realty, you've always talked about the fact that you are not bashful or ashamed at all to sit and interview with somebody.
Thom Dallman: Correct.
Dave Burnett: If you want to come in as a consumer and say, "You know what, I got some questions for you."
Thom Dallman: Yeah, I encourage it.
Dave Burnett: If you're on vacation, Thom, who's covering you?
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Is there somebody that's going to cover your base. Those are things you need to know.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly. What kind of team do you have? What kind of support do you have? How quick are you going to respond if I see a house that I want to go see? How quickly are you able to respond and get me into that house?
Dave Burnett: Exactly.
Thom Dallman: Should be a question that you should ask.
Dave Burnett: And you could do that. You can call Core Group at 208-933-7777. Set up a consultation. No obligation. They're not going to force your hand to the pen to sign a deal. They're going to find out what you're needing and find out if it's a right fit. Give them a call today. It is not futile to be looking for a house right now.
Thom Dallman: No.
Dave Burnett: It is not.
Thom Dallman: There's options.
Dave Burnett: There are homes out there. You just have to have an agent that is aggressive and ready to go out and find what you're looking for.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: There are options. We'll talk about some of those as we continue.
It's the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, being brought to you by Core Group Realty. Find out why they say you get more with Core.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, I'm Dave Burnett, he is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, designated broker of Core Group Realty. coregrouprealty.com is the website, give a call today, 2-0-8-9-3-3-7-7-7-7. Last week, Thom, Ron was in from Eagle Home Mortgage, and we didn't finish all the things we needed to talk about.
Thom Dallman There's so much to talk about in lending.
Dave Burnett: There really is.
Thom Dallman Right. Ron? Ron's here again today.
Ron Wieczorek: I agree, sometimes you have to make me stop talking.
Dave Burnett: We were going to talk a little bit last week about pre-approval, just about the process. If somebody is wanting to get into the home buying market, which it really is, now is the time to do it, don't wait eight, nine months, get involved now. I've got a real estate agent, what do I need to do to get pre-approved to find out what this real estate agent can do for me?
Ron Wieczorek: And so much has changed over the past few years, just technologically speaking. There's so many different ways to apply, it appeals to, really, everybody. I have a lot of clients that prefer just to come in person and bring some of the documents that they know we'll need and have that personal touch, and just do it all in my office in 30 minutes or less. And there's a lot of folks like us out there that are too busy to do that, and maybe they've done the process one or two times, and they wanna go on my website and just go from there, and I send them a link. And I get an alert when they started the application, and when they finish the application. And it's walk you step by step each question.
It'll even allow you to access ... Some are more comfortable than others, but it'll say, "Who do you bank with?" And it'll populate your bank. And then, you'll put your actual username and password from that bank. And it'll bring up your bank statement on there. So, that's kind of where that's going in that regards. Not everyone loves that idea. I know my dad would never get near that, but I know folks in my generation embrace that.
So, there's just so many different ways, whether it's in person, whether it's online. And I still do, probably the majority of loan applications I take are ... Maybe you're in your car, or on your ten minute drive home, and you can only do it over the phone. And I can capture all of that information over the phone, and then we pull your credit, and it's amazing how instant we can dig in and see what ... Without getting all the information upfront, but most ... Just the nuts and bolts. It's within minutes, we get access to your credit, and we can see what we're looking at.
And a lot of times ... And you mentioned don't wait to get a pre-approval 'cause ... And the importance of that, I can't stress enough. Just because you never know ... There's a lot of entities out there that help protect your credit, and help you keep aware. But, there's no way to ever know for sure that you haven't been compromised, or there's something out there that you don't know about. And I've pulled credit before and people have been surprised and said, "I don't know what that is. I don't know where that came from." And ...
Dave Burnett: It's happened to me.
Thom Dallman Oh yeah.
Ron Wieczorek: And then you thought you were gonna meet with someone on Tom's team the next day to go look for a house, and now you're backtracking a little bit and preparing to ... Maybe it takes a week to clean up, maybe it takes two weeks, maybe it takes six months to clean up. But you're better off doing that before you're ... I'm never gonna say don't get amped up about buying a home 'cause you should, but have a plan moving forward to know that you can qualify based off what we see as a lender and you get the green light.
'Cause that interaction between myself and the real estate agent, you really can't put a price on it, 'cause we work with each other every day, we know each other's language, and we work with each other to make sure that we're putting the best foot forward, so we're not setting anyone up to fail. The last thing you wanna do is really get excited, get in a position, and then find out that maybe your ... Even if it's two weeks away, it could take the air out of the sails.
Thom Dallman Exactly.
Ron Wieczorek: So, I always promote getting that mortgage pre-approval as early on in the process you can. And I mentioned the three ways to do it. If you trust doing it online, which, it's secure, and it's safe, and I trust it, and I do it every day, but it's not for everyone. If you wanna come in the office and do it, I'm always available to sit down one on one, and I actually appreciate and like those meetings. Or, if it's just over the phone. A lot of my relationships are built, and secured, and really tightened over the phone. So, those are the three ways to do it. There's really ... I can't think of any other way that we're not doing it to get that process started.
Dave Burnett: As of now, something now will come.
Ron Wieczorek: Yeah. Give it a few months, right?
Dave Burnett: Something new will come. But I guess that pre-approval ... 'Cause it really does, A, determines whether you can or not buy a home, and B, in what I think is just as important, how much money you have to spend on a home.
Ron Wieczorek: Right. And that's a moving target with a lot of folks. And not only does it do those two things, but it also gives you buying power. If you walk into an open house, and you wanna make an offer on the home, and you're not armed with a pre-approval or any real means, or knowing that you are pre-approved for the mortgage, you're not gonna be taken as serious as that guy that has ...
Dave Burnett: You're just blowing hot air.
Thom Dallman We talk about that especially in this current marketplace, where our inventory is so low, so many hoes are getting multiple offer constantly. And so, we're constantly battling the other five or six or seven offers out there of people, so it's so important to have that pre qualification because you know at least three or four of those other ones have a pre qualification, or some kind of proof of funds that they can purchase house. So, you want to be as competitive in those. So, just piggy backing off of what you're saying, yes, it's so important in today's marketplace with the low inventory.
Dave Burnett: And that old expression, "Time is money," is really true here because if I have a choice between somebody's qualified and has the money and can do it now, or somebody that's gonna find out next week, I'm can tell you right now who I'm going with, the person who's ready to go.
Ron Wieczorek: And not to belabor the point, but especially in today's market, it's so vastly competitive, and multiple offers, and if you don't have your absolute best foot forward, it might be discouraging because you lose the house and another air out of the sails moment is when you ... There are multiple offers, and you're not putting your best foot forward. So, that whole preparing to fail. So, you've gotta set yourself up to succeed by getting that pre-approval letter, making sure that the lender and the real estate agent are communicating effectively and on the same page with that. And ...
Thom Dallman I think that's a key point to mention too is your lender and your agent really need to be talking together through the whole process, and stuff like that. I've seen a lot of deals go onto a lot of trouble. For some reason, the communication barrier breaks down between the lender and the agent, and it hinders or postpones the closing dates and stuff like that. So, I love that part of the partnership with Eagle Home Mortgage is that we're in the systems together, and we're constantly in communication with each other. And all our agents that work here are in communication with Eagle Home Mortgage, and all their transactions. So, it's being done successfully, and there's always ...
Dave Burnett: I guess that's one of the things just as a consumer, is somebody buying a home that ... I'm not aware of the fact how much communication's going on between CoreGroup and Eagle Home Mortgage, not behind my back, but without my knowledge of all the communication going on.
Ron Wieczorek: And it's on numerous platforms. Whether it's over the phone, whether it's over a text, or whether it's a shared CRM, we're communicating constantly with they had a question about ... It speaks to, sometimes ... And my philosophy is I'll be there at 8:00 to answer a phone call, 'cause a small problem at 8:00pm can become a huge problem at 9:00am, 'cause now someone's lost sleep, now someone's thought of the worst case scenario, now someone's talked to a neighbor. And that, what I could have nipped in the bud at 8:00pm with a five second, ten second conversation, becomes, at 8:00am or 9:00am, oh my gosh, I'm not gonna get the house, this isn't happening, I don't wanna do this anymore. And then ...
Dave Burnett: It's suddenly a 45 minute problem.
Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, and then the wheels come off. So, that's ... And in the same with, I always kind of joke that I work realtor hours because I pride myself on being there when normal people are there to talk. Not everyone's available at 11:00am.
Dave Burnett: I think that is something ... I was talking to somebody else in a completely different field though, I think that's the day and age we live in. We're so used to being able to instantaneously get what we need, that if I gotta wait, I wanna find another way to do it. And that's just kind of the age we live in now.
Ron Wieczorek: And that's my kids philosophy too. If they don't get what they want right now, there's a price to pay.
Dave Burnett: Which, whether we think is right or wrong, that's the way the world works now, and the dog that barks the quickest and the loudest wins. So, getting that pre-approval done, and getting that information, really, when it comes to buying a home, Tom, it's that person is quick and ready to go is the one who's gonna win.
Thom Dallman Yup, those are the ones who are gonna win the offer, and making sure that you have that agent in there that's helping you the best they can, and having your trusted advisor as a lender as well. It's important.
Dave Burnett: So, Ron, if somebody's ready to do that process, what ... We talked about the three different platforms, but what is the information that you need to go with?
Ron Wieczorek: As far as a pre-approval?
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Ron Wieczorek: I mean, it's the nuts and bolts are your personal information. Once we get a name, an address that you've been at, or currently reside at, a social security number, date of birth,
Dave Burnett: Pay stubs?
Ron Wieczorek: You're getting ahead of ... 'Cause ... And I was gonna go there, but those little pieces of information can at least let open the door to the credit. What the credit scores look like. And now, once we look at the credit scores, now we can talk about the qualification pieces of, okay what's your income? Are you self employed, or are you a W2 employee? How long have you been there? So, you start to really peel back the layers once you get in that conversation. Sometimes, it's not even a pay stub. Sometimes, we can just do a verification of employment with their employer directly, and that's all we need. If it's complicated, I started a business two years ago, and I write off most of my income, that's where we have to get in the weeds a little bit more and get in the tax returns, and ...
Dave Burnett: Just to verify it all.
Ron Wieczorek: Just to verify it and make sure that ... Make sure what you're reporting is enough to qualify. And the beauty of this time of year, and I'm gonna put a plug in for [inaudible 00:10:42], that you have the last year's tax returns, you can look at 2017 and now is your time to rewrite the book on what you qualify for because now you have to pay taxes on it, and it's all legitimate. But, you have an opportunity during tax season to pave your own way if you are that borrower. If you're not that borrower, it's just ... It can be as simple as a phone call or a fax to the employer saying how long he's been there. Is he in good standing? And what's his hourly wage? How many hours does he work? And that could be good enough in some cases.
Dave Burnett: Ron Wieczorek, who is with Eagle Home Mortgage, equal opportunity lender, what your website if somebody wants to jump online and get that information filled out? Am I surprising you right now? I hate to jump him by surprise. If somebody wants to get you that information?
Ron Wieczorek: Yes, it's Ron, R-O-N, Wieczorek, W-I-E-C-Z-O-R-E-K.
Dave Burnett: Spell that again because it's an odd spelling.
Ron Wieczorek: That's odd? That's Smith, Jones, Wieczorek. That's the same thing. Ron, R-O-N, Wieczorek, W-I-E-C-Z-O-R-E-K, dot eaglehm, as in home mortgage, dot com.
Dave Burnett: Very good. Ron, we appreciate you coming in. And if you're driving and you didn't catch that, you don't have that information, you can always find it at coregrouprealty.com.
Thom Dallman Yup, just go to our service provider's page and they're right there.
Dave Burnett: Very good, Ron. Thank you so much. We'll continue on the other side. This is the Idaho real estate buzz being brought to you by CoreGroup Realty. Give them a call today, 2-0-8-9-3-3-7-7-7-7. Find out why they say, "You get more with Core."
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz with Thom Dallman, the co-owner, designated broker of CORE Group Realty. COREGroupRealty.com, that is the website. 208-933-7777 that is the phone number for you to call. Thom we are in that time of year, that wonderful time known as tax season.
Thom Dallman: Tax season. Oh my gosh.
Dave Burnett: Between now and I think it's April 15th. I assume it's on a weekday this year.
Thom Dallman: April 17th I think.
Dave Burnett: Is it, because we're on a weekend?
Thom Dallman: Because it's on the weekend.
Dave Burnett: Nice.
Thom Dallman: I believe I read that somewhere.
Dave Burnett: Okay. Check your local calendar first.
Thom Dallman: Right.
Dave Burnett: But we are in that time of year where people are dealing with taxes. You have some information, in fact you got an email wanting some more information about taxes.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, we got contacted by someone who just turned 65, and she was asking about a tax program, whether she qualified for certain tax program now that she's turned 65. So, what she was kind of referring to is a property tax reduction program commonly known as The Circuit Breaker.
Dave Burnett: What is that?
Thom Dallman: Right?
Dave Burnett: I guess I'm asking, what is that?
Thom Dallman: It's a tax reduction program that they put out for homeowners that they have to fall into a specific category to qualify, but it's really kind of an assistance to specific individuals that might have hardships in their lives. For example, if you're a widower, if you visually impaired, former POW, if you're a fatherless or motherless minor, and people with disabilities and stuff. They may be eligible for this program, to get the tax reductions on their property. There are qualifications as far as income requirements.
Dave Burnett: Right.
Thom Dallman: You have a maximum qualifications like that. And you have to own the property as your primary residence, and occupy it as well. So, it is a great program if you do qualify for it, because it does reduce your taxes. It's based off of your income and stuff like that, so there's all kinds of variables. You really need to kind of go to your county assessor's offices to find out how much and what you qualify for. If you fall into one of those categories you can reduce your taxes up to 50% I believe.
Dave Burnett: Wow. Which, really for a senior on a fixed income.
Thom Dallman: It can be ...
Dave Burnett: If that works out right, that's a great savings to help if you're on a limited income.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. It's a great option for those who fall into the qualifications to really help themselves in the long term as far as those taxes go. Definitely something to look into if you're thinking about doing something like that. I believe the 2017 income level is $40,000, don't quote me on that, check the ADA county assessor's website and give them a call if you're in ADA County or whatever county you're in, just give them a call and find out about that. And this is something that you have to apply for every year. You have to submit application prior to April 15th every year.
Dave Burnett: Okay.
Thom Dallman: So, it's important that you remember that this is not like the homeowners exemption where you just apply for it one time as long as you own the home it stays on it. This is something that you have to apply for every year to qualify, 'cause there are changes to your income. There's changes to your situations and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: Let's talk about these exemptions because The Circuit Breaker we talked about, but there's more than that, that some home owner may be eligible for.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, so the biggest one is just the general Idaho Home Owners exemption program, which gives you reduction in your assessed value up to 50% of the value, with a cap of $100,000. So, if you own a home that's been assessed at $200,000 they're only going to tax you on $100,000 of the value of your home.
Dave Burnett: But that's significant.
Thom Dallman: That's a significant amount, it can be a significant amount for some people, especially for first time home buyers and stuff like that. It's one of the exemption items that we have to know about going into their home search. If their pre-qualification is based off a certain tax amount we have to make sure that we're showing them properties that have those exemptions in that tax amount, that the lenders is quoting, because there are homes unfortunately out there, rental properties and stuff like that, that don't qualify for this program.
Dave Burnett: It has to be owner occupied correct?
Thom Dallman: That has full taxes on it. Yes, has to be owner occupied, and your primary residence. This one you do have to apply for by April 15th first year of living in the property. So, if you've bought this year recently and stuff like that you need to make sure you apply for that homeowner's exemption.
Dave Burnett: Because there's no forgiveness? If you go in April 20th and say, "Oh I forgot to do it," you're out of luck for a year.
Thom Dallman: Technically from my understanding you have to wait until the next year to apply for it, so your taxes will increase. If the former owner had the exemption it will fall off because you purchased the property and it's switched ownerships, so that's why it's important for you to apply for.
Dave Burnett: Is this something your agents here at CORE Group Realty, I mean they're well versed in it? They'll say, "Okay, here's something you need to do."
Thom Dallman: We try to remind everybody.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Thom Dallman: The nice thing about our title company is they've gotten really good about providing the application at closing. And our agents are usually really good about making sure that the applications in there, so that the homeowner can fill it out and run it down to the assessor's offices. It's important that they do that. We can give you the information but it's up to the individual client's to make sure that they run and do that. So, we usually send email reminders to all the people who have closed with us in the last year, prior to April 15th, just a quick reminder, "Hey, don't forget to file if you haven't done it yet."
Dave Burnett: Okay.
Thom Dallman: It's one of our things that we try to always make sure that they do.
Dave Burnett: So we have The Circuit Breaker, we have The Homeowner Exemption, any others that might be out there?
Thom Dallman: There's a little less known one called The Property Tax Deferral Program. I apologize. Where similar to The Circuit Breaker for qualified individuals they can defer their taxes, a certain amount of taxes. And depending on the situation, whether it's a financial situation, maybe it's deferred for a couple years until your finances come around to where you can pay them. Or for the elderly I believe they can defer the taxes until the property switches ownership, and then the caveat to this is that it's a deferral program so it is taxes that will have to be paid.
Dave Burnett: Right, it's not going to go away. Yeah.
Thom Dallman: At some point, whether it's going to be paid at the time of transfer to another person, or the sale of the property basically out of the proceeds and stuff like that. Or if you're financial situation changes and you're making more money the government may come back and say, "Hey, it's time to start paying this back." So, that is a deferral program for people who have hit some financial situations and maybe can't afford the taxes, so something to look into if you kind of qualify for that, and it's very similar to The Circuit Breaker programs. From my understanding the qualifications and stuff.
Dave Burnett: Well let me say this right now as well that neither Thom nor I are tax experts.
Thom Dallman: Nope.
Dave Burnett: This is solely provided as information.
Thom Dallman: You need to talk to your accountant.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, talk to your accountant, your tax advisor.
Thom Dallman: Do your research. Go to your county assessor's office and talk to them about these programs. And make sure that you're well educated on the information and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, because you really do, you want to take advantage of what has been offered to you, just because owning a home is a responsibility. Sometimes comes with expense and if you can save money, that's a huge deal.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Yeah it really is. And I do want to say one thing too about assessments real quick because some clients that I met with recently we were kind of going through their assessment and their current value in the marketplace. The assessors had their house assessed way high for the marketplace. Their last assessment came out and they just assumed that, that's what their house was worth. They had this high value on their house, but as we kind of looked at the market, and marketplace and the comps and stuff, their assessment was too high.
Dave Burnett: Out of line.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, out of line, so we suggested, "You need to contact the assessor's office and dispute this, and go through the process."
Dave Burnett: Which you can do.
Thom Dallman: You can do. You can dispute your values and get your assessment changed. A lot of the assessment are done just by a quick drive by. The assessors don't typically go into homes to see what the interior of homes are like. They're just kind of doing a basic assessment based off of areas and the outside of the house and stuff like that. It's important that if you feel your assessments too high, go to the assessor's office. Find out what you can do to combat it, and challenge that assessment, because those are taxes that you have to pay based off the value of your house.
Dave Burnett: Yep.
Thom Dallman: If they're off that much it can cost you a lot of money that you don't need to be spending.
Dave Burnett: Very good. And again, I mentioned we're not tax advisors.
Thom Dallman: Yep.
Dave Burnett: We're just giving you the information so you can pursue that. If you want more information you can always call 208-933-7777, that is a phone number at CORE Group Realty. In fact, the sponsor of the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. Find out why they say you get more with CORE.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz with Thom Dallman, the co-owner designated broker of Core Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com. That's the website for you to go to, or if you want to pick up the phone and call, you can do that too. 208-933-7777. Thom, one of the things as we head into spring that always happens, people begin to put their homes up for sale, and people begin to move around once school is out.
Thom: To move around. Yes.
Dave Burnett: And whether it's across town or whether it's across the country ... In fact, sometimes across town is a harder move than across the country.
Thom: You'd be surprised. Yeah. It can be, and especially in this ... If you're one of those people who are doing the up-sizing, downsizing, whatever. Just kind of packing the right things, getting rid of some stuff, and really just keeping track of everything in that process. If you're doing a simultaneous close on your properties, making sure that your stuff is in a spot where it will be safe until you can get into your new house and get everything moved in. So, make sure that you have your good storage unit, or a good storage option for your stuff for that transition, and making sure that you have a good mover and stuff.
Dave Burnett: Is there a way to be ... Okay. I'll admit right now. I'm not a real organized guy in that sense, but if you're going to put your house up for sale, and you've always recommended clean your house out. Get rid of the clutter. Get rid of the personalize stuff. Is there a way to kind of utilize that time to pre-pack?
Thom: I would. I would. At that point, I usually recommend people take those personal items off the walls, off the shelves, and stuff like that and put them in boxes, but don't just throw them in a box and put them in a corner. I usually suggest grabbing a notebook and write box number one on the page, box number one on the box, and actually list what you have in the box as you're putting it into the garage and keep that list.
Dave Burnett: That is way too organized.
Thom: I know it's way super organized. If you're one of those computer people who would rather just go onto a computer and do an Excel spreadsheet with one, two, three, four, five down the side, and then box one has this, type this. Stuff is-
Dave Burnett: It does come in handy, though, that if you move and suddenly the wife goes, "Where's the little whatchamacallit?" And it's like, "Oh, boy."
Dave Burnett: It's in one of those boxes over there in the corner. If I can say it's in box two, that's awesome.
Thom: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Label the boxes and know what's in them. I think that's one of the biggest keys to having a less stressful move, especially once you get into the house because it is ... You know, you usually tend to take a week or two to get through your boxes and put things out. So, knowing exactly where things are so when it comes up as a need, you're not scrambling to dig through 10 boxes to find what you're looking for.
Dave Burnett: I laugh because in my garage, there's actually a couple of boxes that have been in there since we moved into the house in 1998.
Thom: Oh my gosh.
Dave Burnett: I haven't even touched. Yeah. My wife wants me to throw them out.
Thom: Yep, yep. We have that philosophy. If it hasn't been touched in the last year or two, it's time to get rid of it.
Dave Burnett: That's probably true.
Thom: But yeah.
Dave Burnett: Okay, so kind of pre-pack and pre-move.
Thom: Pre-packing, making that list of what's in the boxes and stuff like that. You know, we always talk about saving those necessities until the very end and stuff like that, and packing those things last, and so forth. Those things being like your cleaning supplies. Remember that. It's always good to clean your house if you're selling it and moving on so that the new owners come into a fairly decent clean house.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. They don't want to live in your filth.
Thom: Exactly, so.
Dave Burnett: But mine.
Thom: Exactly. Really, cleaning your house is an important part of the process, and you're going to clean it anyways through the whole process of keeping it on listing, keeping it, stuff. So, making sure that you have your set supplies for cleaning stuff set aside and things like that.
Dave Burnett: Other tips when it comes to moving?
Thom: Yeah. One of the biggest things is make sure you have enough boxes. I constantly hear from people like, "Oh my gosh. I'm supposed to move next week and I don't have any boxes, and I still have half my house to pack up. Where do I get boxes?" Start early in the process. If you know you're moving, start going and finding different places that you can get boxes, whether it's your local liquor store or grocery store. You know, they usually have a lot of boxes that they have to get rid of.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. The neighbors love seeing you move in with all those liquor boxes.
Thom: Right? But you know what? Liquor boxes are great boxes for packing. They're small enough to where you can pack them full and not be-
Dave Burnett: And lift it.
Thom: ... too heavy to lift. Yeah, and stuff like that. Of course, you could always go to the U-Hauls and the different moving companies and stuff like that to purchase boxes.
Dave Burnett: And Home Depots. They have boxes for sale.
Thom: Correct, correct. Make sure that you have lots of boxes. We usually recommend that you have at least twice the amount of boxes that you think you need because that's, yeah. They're just-
Dave Burnett: Fill fast.
Thom: You just can never have enough and stuff. So once again, contacting your local grocery store, stuff like that helps a lot, and using your suitcases, you know?
Dave Burnett: Good point.
Thom: Because you have to move your suitcases. So, using your suitcases as a way to pack things, especially breakable valuables and stuff like that, that you can maybe put some of your clothes that you don't use often, or if it's summer that you're moving, you may want to move your winter clothes. Put your winter clothes in there. Pack them around any valuables, and breakables, and stuff like that.
I always, always, always recommend on super important paperwork, super important valuables, keeping those with you. Don't pack those for a moving company to move because if something happens to that moving truck and you lose that stuff, it's really super important for you to pack those things individually and take them with you. And so, I usually recommend that people remember that. Keep the important items, the important papers.
Dave Burnett: If you have family or a trusted friend, it might be good to ask, "Could you keep these for us until we get settled in, or if you have a safe, if you could put it in there until we get moved?"
Dave Burnett: Probably not a bad idea.
Thom: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Safeguarding your valuable items. You know, making sure that they're in a safe place. If you are going to move them with the moving company, obviously not labeling a box valuables is probably a good idea.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. It is a very good idea.
Thom: It's unfortunate, but there are times that boxes will disappear through the moving process if you're using a moving company.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. To put jewelry and firearms on a box? Not a good idea.
Thom: Exactly, exactly.
Dave Burnett: Not a good idea. That's where your numbered system comes in.
Thom: Your number system comes in great for that because then there's no way really to identify what's there unless they get your list. But really, that number system too helps you when you move into a house and you're going through your boxes and checking them off as you empty them, there's a lot of boxes in moving, and if three or four boxes disappear and you just don't know about it, because you've not labeled it. You've not looked at that, it's very possible that a box could disappear. Boxes disappears, so.
Dave Burnett: Let me ask you this question. There's two prongs to this question because there's two different kinds of moves.
Dave Burnett: One is, we're selling our house and we're out in two months, and I've got two months to get myself organized and get out. The other is, they made an offer. They want in in 15 days.
Thom: Oh Gosh. That's the tough one.
Dave Burnett: It does happen sometimes, though.
Thom: It does.
Dave Burnett: That raid move, would you recommend perhaps getting everything packed up and putting it in storage if it's a local move? Obviously, if you're across the country, you can't. But if it's local, put it in storage, and then unpack the storage unit into the house?
Thom: Yeah. I think that those, especially now that they have those storage units that they'll bring to your house that you can just fill up, and then they'll move it for you. I think those are super convenient, and well worth the money, and alleviates a lot of that stress. You can just get it in there.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, because you've got to move fast.
Thom: Yep, yep. If you've got to move fast, it's really good, and there's moving companies out there that you can pay to actually pack for you, too. They'll pack that stuff in there. A couple hours of a actual mover going in and packing that stuff, it can be not only a time and stress saver, but also they're usually really good about making sure that stuff's packed well enough that it won't break. And so, we tend to be less careful ... I don't know. Sometimes I feel like we are less careful with our own personal property.
Dave Burnett: We probably are. It's like, "I'll wrap a t-shirt around this expensive vase."
Thom: Right? And then throw it in a box.
Dave Burnett: Whereas they'll pack it in bubble wrap.
Thom: They'll actually use bubble wrap and stuff like that, and so, yeah. I mean, why have that stress if you can hire someone to do it? If you can't afford it, then there's other options that you have. Ask a friend to use their garage. You know-
Dave Burnett: Good point.
Thom: "Hey. Can I use your garage for two weeks and put some of my boxes in there and stuff like that?"
Dave Burnett: I just hate the thought of having to move in a hurry, and jamming everything in a box, and jamming it in my new house.
Thom: Yeah. Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Which brings me to my other question. How important is it, if I have the time to do it, is to go through with a dumpster and throw stuff away and move?
Thom: Exactly. Yeah. Once again, we have this philosophy in the house. If it's been there for two years and you haven't used it, throw it away.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. Throw it away or take it to the Youth Ranch.
Thom: Yeah. I think that's one of the convenient parts of moving is that you do have that ability to then say, "Hey. I haven't used this in a couple years. Do we really need to keep this and move this with us?" And if not, then I'd recommend not throwing it away necessarily, but maybe donating it to the Youth Ranch.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. Take it to Youth Ranch or wherever. Or if it's just bad paperwork that you don't need, shred it and get rid of it.
Thom: Exactly. Exactly. So, I've run across boxes of just ... because I'm a hoarder of tax paperwork and stuff like that. So, ran across tax paperwork from 10 years ago that I'm like, yeah, I guess.
Dave Burnett: You're not...
Thom: We're not going to get audited for this stuff 10 years ago now, so we can get rid of this stuff. Remember that you only need to keep records up to, what is it? Three to five years depending on the paperwork, but things like that. If it's something like for your current home. We ran across our floor plans for our house that we had built, and so we were like, "Oh. I think that'd be a nice gift for the new buyers of the home." And stuff like that, and so we did a nice little lay out of the plans and stuff like that. So, that's something that you can leave behind, you know? You don't have to take your floor plans with you and stuff like that. Little things like that.
Dave Burnett: Very good. If you're planning on moving, just take some time. Take a deep breath.
Thom: Pack ahead.
Dave Burnett: And if you live with a hoarder, be passionate. Have a little compassion-
Dave Burnett: ... because it is tough. I mean, for my wife, she's one of those, "Hasn't been used in a year? Let's get rid of it." Me, it's like, "I might be able to use that again some day."
Dave Burnett: Just have a little compassion there for us. It takes us a while to get that stuff thrown away, and as always, you can always go to ... If you want to listen to the podcasts of these shows, you can find them on the website at coregrouprealty.com, and of course Thom has blogs on there. That might make a good blog about moving.
Thom: Yeah. Exactly.
Dave Burnett: It might be a good one for you for this spring. You can always check that out. 208-933-7777. That's the phone number to call to talk with the folks here in Thom Dallman's office of Core Group Realty. Coregrouprealty.com. Find out why they say you get more with Core.
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