On today's radio show, Thom talks about our company's CORE values. Daruis Elison from One Call Restoration drops by to chat about restoring and repairing flooring in your home. Ron Wieczorek is back to talk more about home loans. Credit scores, PMI and down payments!
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co owner, designated broker of Core Group Realty, CoreGroupRealty.com the website. You can always call 208 933 7777 or stop by the offices Monday through Friday. You're here-
Thom Dallman: Yeah, eight to five, on our doors are open eight to five Monday through Friday. Come on by. Come and chat with someone. We always have an agent on duty. Technically the agent on duty is here from 8:30 to 4:30, so anytime between those times if you want to just come in and chat and just find out information on real estate, whatever you want. We've got people here to help you out.
Dave Burnett: Perfect. Because there's people that might just be kind of kicking the tires, thinking about it.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: You can come in for a free consultation-
Thom Dallman: We have it all the time.
Dave Burnett: ... find out what happens there because it is a big investment. We've talked about it before. Biggest investment you'll probably, unless you own a business, the biggest investment you'll make in your life.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, pretty much one of the biggest, so investing in yourself and investing in your future and your family is worth it.
Dave Burnett: It is huge. CoreGroupRealty.com is a website where you can go and find out all the listings that are there for Core Group and featured listings. And not always is it a home-
Thom Dallman: Not necessarily.
Dave Burnett: ... that is listed. You've got a prospective businesses that's listed-
Thom Dallman: Yeah, we just listed this week a house that is currently being used as a bed and breakfast, so it's got a lot of potential there as far as the business goes, as well as just a beautiful home in general itself. So this listing's over on Victory Road and it's at 10325 Victory Road. It's on almost a full acre. It's .91 to be exact. It's a big 4,116 square foot house.
Dave Burnett: Does it have living quarters in it as well for whoever buys it lives there?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, oh, yeah. It's a full functioning house, so it's got a kitchen and dining room and just everything that you could want in a house, in a home, but the convenient part of it is that each of the bedrooms are basically en suite so they all have their own bathroom and shower and toilet area, if you will. So that's the reason why it's being used as a bed and breakfast is because they have that option to be able to rent those rooms out individually to people.
Dave Burnett: And how many rooms are there available for rent? Do you have that information?
Thom Dallman: So there's four bedrooms. They're up on the second floor. Three of them are smaller rooms that they rent out. And then they have the master bedroom, where the current sellers live, in the master bedroom, and then they rent out the three other rooms.
Dave Burnett: Nice.
Thom Dallman: So, yeah, it's a really elegant home. I can't stress enough how elegant it is. It's just a beautiful, elegant home that was built in 1980. It's got, I believe, four fireplaces throughout the house.
Dave Burnett: Wow.
Thom Dallman: The master has a fireplace, has a library with a fireplace, living room with a fireplace. And then there is ... Oh, just the three fireplaces. Oh, no, sorry, there's a wood stove. There's a wood fireplace in the kitchen as well.
Dave Burnett: Nice.
Thom Dallman: So, yeah, it's a neat home. And then one of the really most unique features, we don't have documentation on it, but they were told when they purchased the house that the wood floors on the main level and in the banister were actually brought over from the Old Canyon county courthouse. When they demolished that they rescued the banisters and the flooring and stuff and put it into this house. So it's really unique old flooring-
Dave Burnett: Like old-
Thom Dallman: ... and banister-
Dave Burnett: Like old-style hardwood flooring that's in there.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, the entryway is just gorgeous, when you walk in and see that ornate banister going up the stairwell, it's gorgeous.
Dave Burnett: You know I guess I've never really thought about owning a bed and breakfast, but it is a business. You have to love people. You've got to be a people lover.
Thom Dallman: You've got to. Because you're pretty much inviting strangers into your house.
Dave Burnett: So you are entertaining there. But some people it's the right fit and for some people it would be a nice business for them.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, exactly. And there's a huge backyard that's just, they've done such a great job with the landscaping. It's got fruit trees throughout it, a whole lot of bamboo that grows really quickly, and stuff like that. It's well secluded from the neighbors. So you have that privacy going on. It comes with a hot tub, it's got two sheds. Two sheds and then it's got another outbuilding that they were originally going to build an exercise room in, but it's more of a shop right now.
Dave Burnett: Excellent.
Thom Dallman: Storage, shop and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: So if somebody wants to see this now, because it is a functioning business, I would assume you need to make that appointment to be able to get into to see this.
Thom Dallman: This is appointment only. Sometimes if they have guests, they won't necessarily allow people to see some of the bedrooms because the guests obviously want their privacy and stuff. So there may be times that when you go to view it that you might not be able to see all the bedrooms.
Dave Burnett: So it might take two visits to-
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Exactly. But, yeah, it's perfectly ... It's located right here on Victory between Five Mile and Maple Grove. So it's a great access to [inaudible 00:05:45], to Costco, to all the businesses and stuff like that. Quick jump onto the Connector to get downtown. So it's a great location too for this bed and breakfast.
Dave Burnett: The interesting thing with bed and breakfast is that not only can out of town people visit, but for people in town that want to get away in town, sometimes will go to a bed and breakfast as well.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Exactly.
Dave Burnett: And you have a complete listing there at CoreGroupRealty.com?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, if you go to CoreGroupRealty.com and click on our featured listings page you'll see the listing there and see all the information on the house.
Dave Burnett: Excellent. We've got a couple of minutes here. I want to talk a little bit about that process when somebody will list a home, not necessarily a business, but even a home. What's the process and what that homeowner has to go through to get the photos, to get everything, all the info. What happens there?
Thom Dallman: Well, I guess the first thing that really happens is a consultation with us, with a real estate agent, and I usually recommend a consulting with a couple of real estate agents and interview them, interview the agents and find that right fit for you. Ask what their marketing plan is. Ask what sets them apart from other real estate agents and stuff like that. So you're finding that right fit for you and that right person that you feel hat you can trust and stuff like that, but they're going to give you a good idea of your value.
And part of that consultation too is kind of walking through the house. And kind of pointing out things like, "Hey, I would kind of take these pictures down, I would move this furniture this way to showcase your house," and stuff like that. So pretty much from there, usually the agent will go back and they'll scour the MLS for comparable houses that have sold recently, because we want to make sure that we value that house where the appraisers are going to get that value in it. And from there, once we get that value and kind of communicate that to the seller, then it's getting over there and signing paperwork. Usually we'll schedule some time to schedule paperwork. While we're doing that we're going to say, hey, we'll have a photographer show up maybe that day or the next day to get professional photos done. That's how we do it anyways.
Dave Burnett: So in other words-
Thom Dallman: Not to demean other agents, but there are some agents out there that just take pictures with their cell phones, which is a big pet peeve of mine for some reason.
Dave Burnett: If you're trying to sell it, you want to present it in the best light.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Exactly. So, from there it's pretty quick to get it onto the MLS at that point. Making sure that the sellers are aware of how the showings are going to go, usually asking the sellers to be present right when the showings go on. So all in all I would say from our first consultation to actually getting it listed, we usually try to get a week of time in there-
Dave Burnett: Okay, that's not too bad.
Thom Dallman: ... to get all the paperwork done, to get the photos done and stuff and get signs delivered and all that fun stuff.
Dave Burnett: So if you're interested, if you have a property you want listed, you want to talk to the folks at Core Group Realty, give a call, 208 933 7777.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Perfect. That way if you're looking to sell or if you're looking to buy, either way, they can get you all taken care of, easy to do. And I will say this, being in and out of the offices on a regular basis, no pressure, a great group of people, and they will find the agent that is perfect for you and the perfect fit so that you're comfortable and happy.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Very good. We'll continue. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by Core Group Realty. Call them today. 208 933 7777. Or you can go online, CoreGroupRealty.com. 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, designated broker of CORE Group Realty, CoreGroupRealty.com. That's a website you can always go to to get more information or call 208-933-7777.
I can't hardly believe this, Thom.
Thom Dallman: Why?
Dave Burnett: We started this a while back with Ron Wieczorek with Eagle Home Mortgage, equal opportunity lender. We were talking about just different facets involved with that new mortgage, and we thought, "Well, we could do it in one segment."
Thom Dallman: No.
Dave Burnett: No. Two. Here we are, Part Three, talking about getting that home loan, Ron. And there's some other areas we really need to touch on, just basic questions about that home mortgage.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, the frequently asked questions. And there's a lot of them. And there should be a lot of them.
Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, yeah, for sure. This is the most important investment that you're going to do in your life, investing in yourself and investing in home. So these questions are something that you should be asking. Everybody should be asking this.
Dave Burnett: If you're sitting across from your lender and you have no questions, you really need to search your soul, that or you're a lending expert.
Ron Wieczorek: Exactly.
Thom Dallman: It makes me nervous when clients don't have questions because I automatically assume that they have so many questions, they don't know where to start, and they maybe don't understand the process. I liken it to when I used to get homework when I was in school, and one teacher would give me 20 minutes of homework, and I'd do every bit of it. Next teacher give me three hours, I didn't do a bit of it because I didn't know where to start. And I was like, "Well, I'm not doing any of this then."
Dave Burnett: Let's do this. We've talked about how to get qualified. We've talked about interest rates. We've talked ... One of the things that's involved with getting qualified that probably is the key thing, and probably something that some people may be embarrassed to bring up. And that is that dreaded credit score.
That's a key part for getting the loan but for some people, there's been things in their past, there's been mistakes made and their credit score really may not be that good. Let's talk about credit scores.
Thom Dallman: And we all have our pasts. And sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's not so good. But I've never seen anything on a credit report that we can't get past. It's like anything else in life, time heals all wounds. Time heals all wounds on credit, too, as long as you correct your mistakes.
If you keep falling back into the same mistakes, then it's really time to rethink what you've been doing. But credit scores are very, very important. And it's really just a footprint of your history of how you paid your bills in the past.
Dave Burnett: Let me ask you this basic question. Who gives you the credit score? Who are these people?
Thom Dallman: It's the guy behind the curtain. Pay no attention. It's the Wizard of Oz. Because I don't even know. There's three companies, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, that are the credit agencies that ... And there's more than that. But those are the three that lenders will use. Right. And they have all algorithms, and all of the algorithms are different.
A credit score's not just a credit score like you think it is. And they all have different algorithms. And they run it based off your history. And they pop out a score, and you're graded on that. And it's ... For them, they'll all be different and be no real continuity to it. It can be nerve wracking because it's like, "You're holding my fate with these algorithms".
Dave Burnett: This could be the permanent record the principal talks about.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. But if you pay your bills on time then, odds are, that score's going to be pretty impressive. And we're going to like what we see. And you're going to like what you see.
Dave Burnett: In general, and again, you can't give a hard number but, in general, what are we looking at for, "Where's the bottom end that can get me qualified for a loan, and what's the topic?
Thom Dallman: The bottom end is really, and that depends on program, but you can be in the high 500s and still get away with a lower down payment type loan. High 500s or 600s. So that's pretty much the bottom. There's loans that allow for less, but now you're talking about healthier and healthier down payments. And then other overlays that go with that on if your credit score is below this point, then you have to have this, this, and this. But if you have this, this, and this, you wouldn't have that credit score. So sometimes it's kind of a double-edged sword there.
And then once you get into the mid to high 700s, that's when we're really smiling on the other end saying, "You have a lot of choices here." That's where you're golden.
Dave Burnett: So the higher the credit score, the more options I have?
Thom Dallman: Absolutely. It's not only the more options you have. You pay less in mortgage insurance if you put less than 20 percent down. You pay less in interest because the rate is better. You really get rewarded.
I didn't do the study, but I've seen studies on what one credit score over your life, what you would pay if you had a credit score versus if you had a higher credit score. And the numbers are mind boggling. How much you just keep getting penalized for that lower credit score. So it's very important to take care of your credit and be conscious of that.
Dave Burnett: Okay, and that's something you'll sit and talk with somebody about?
Thom Dallman: Absolutely.
Ron Wieczorek: Just going off of that a little bit. You talked about down payments and mortgage insurance. Let's talk a little bit about both of those. When people talk about down payments they always ask, "How much down payment am I going to need to buy a house?" What would you answer for that?
Thom Dallman: The down payment is going to depend how do you want to get in this home. I've heard a lot of ... It's still an antiquated thought processes. "I need 20 percent down to get in." And I still hear that. "I can't buy a house. I only have 10 percent." And 10 percent's a healthy amount.
And that's just not true. 20 percent, if you have it in the bank, then you'd want to put it down on the mortgage because then you don't get into what you alluded to, that private mortgage insurance. Anytime you pay less than 20 percent down, you're going to have to pay a monthly premium until you have that 20 percent number or equity in the house.
But you can get as little a half a percent down and still get into a home with a lot of the government sponsored or bond programs. And the more you can put down, the better your profile looks. But I've had a lot of clients that get into homes for less than what their mortgage payment is. And that's what they're putting down. So there's just so many options.
But just to touch on that PMI, once you have the 20 percent equity, you can get out from underneath that. If you do have 20 percent equity, I'm always going to advise you to go ahead and put that down, just because, why pay an insurance premium you don't have to pay. None of us are really too excited about paying something we don't have to pay. At least I'm not.
Ron Wieczorek: Exactly. PMI. What does PMI stand for?
Thom Dallman: Private Mortgage Insurance.
Ron Wieczorek: Private Mortgage Insurance. And that is insurance that's applied to a loan?
Thom Dallman: When you have less than 20 percent down.
Dave Burnett: Let me throw another three letter acronym out there. We always hear about FHA loans. Where do we get an FHA loan? What is FHA?
Thom Dallman: Federal Housing Administration.
Dave Burnett: Okay.
Thom Dallman: And it is a government sponsored program. And it was designed for lower to moderate income households to get you into a loan with a lower down payment and, in this case, depending on credit score, anywhere from one to three-and- a-half percent down on your mortgage. And that's what we talked about those credit scores. We talked about how low can you go on the credit scores? And FHA's pretty flexible on that.
Dave Burnett: Is FHA the most common loan out there?
Thom Dallman: It's a tie between conventional and FHA. FHA is more popular if you have some bumps and bruises on your credit. Because FHA will not penalize you as much for a lower credit score. You either qualify for an FHA loan or you don't. And the rate stays the same. And the PMI stays the same. So that will attract a lot of folks to get into a FHA loan.
And the conventional loan rewards you and penalizes you based off your credit score. So if you're in that higher tier credit score then, odds are, if we look at the two mortgages next to each other, the conventional's going to be a better fit for you. But if you have a lower credit score and you're really getting penalized by conventional, then you go that route.
But FHA is allows you to get a lower down payment and is really more flexible. We talk about debt to income ratios. It allows you to get into more home than you could get into with a conventional loan. And that's across the board.
Dave Burnett: We've talked about getting pre-qualified for a loan. And again, for some people who may be listening thinking, "I didn't think maybe I'd be able to be qualified because my credit score is like 575." Does it cost for me to come in and sit down with you, Ron, to try to get pre-qualified. Does that cost me?
Ron Wieczorek: Just time. So whatever your time is worth, that's all it's going to cost you to come in and have to bear sitting down with me. That's the other cost of it. But once we pull your credit, and I never say no, I say not now. So maybe it's a not now, but we can put a time frame together. And our company actually owns a credit repair company.
Dave Burnett: Oh, they do.
Ron Wieczorek: And we don't charge you to get enrolled into that. A lot of credit repair companies have monthly charges. And a lot of clients say to me, "Well, if I had 90 bucks a month, I wouldn't be in this scenario." So we own that credit repair company, and we put a lot of clients in there. And then we just gauge your timeline and check in and say, "Hey, we checked in two months ago. Your credit score was this. How are we doing, and what does it look like?" So we keep on top of that.
Dave Burnett: That is part of the vicious circle of having bad credit. Is it you're going to pay more for your car insurance? You're going to pay more for a loan for a car? You're going to pay more? And a lot of people who are in that situation going, "If I wasn't paying more, I wouldn't be in this situation."
Ron Wieczorek: Exactly. How can I ... I keep digging a hole deeper and deeper. And you can't get out of a hole if you keep digging.
Dave Burnett: So that's a huge advantage of a credit repair service offered up to help you get that fixed.
Thom Dallman: Absolutely.
Ron Wieczorek: Yep. For sure.
Dave Burnett: Any other questions? We got time for one more topic here.
Ron Wieczorek: I would say one of the most interesting things that happens is people come to me and say, "Oh, I went online and I can afford this much on a house because this mortgage calculator that I went to said I could have this payment." But a lot of times when they get with a lender, they find out that's not exactly true. So can ... Do you kind of tell us a little bit about what goes into calculating mortgage payments?
Thom Dallman: I love you brought that up` because that's one of the things that I see most often is, "I went online. I calculated my mortgage and it's $850. Let's do this. I can afford $850." And that's true for the principle and interest. If you were just paying back your principle balance on the loan, that's what would go towards your principle and interest.
But when you buy a home, you also buy the fact that the real estate taxes come along with that house. You also buy the fact that you have to insure the collateral. We're not going to put a loan on a house that's not insured because if it burns down, we want to know we're getting paid.
And then we talked about that PMI. And if that's added into your mortgage payment, and if you live somewhere that has a homeowners' association, you're going to see that as ... You might have a fee, a quarterly fee, a yearly fee, maybe a monthly fee. So all those factors go in.
Now that $850 payment may be $1200. And that may be the difference between getting that house and not getting that house. And that's why it's important to talk to me thoroughly and say, "Hey, this is my budget. This is what I think my budget is. What do you think, and what would my payment with all these other things added up are?"
Dave Burnett: Ron Wieczorek with Eagle Home Mortgage, how does somebody get hold of you if they want to talk with you?
Ron Wieczorek: They can call my cellphone. It's 208-869-9154.
Dave Burnett: Or as always, you can go to the website, CoreGroupRealty.com. You'll find Ron and Eagle Home Mortgage listed there as well.
CORE Group Realty, CoreGroupRealty.com. 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, designated broker of Core Group Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com, his website for you to go to. One of the providers that you have on the website at CoreGroupRealty.com would be One Call Restoration.
Thom Dallman: One Call Restoration. Yep. They are a restoration company that we highly recommend, work with and have actually helped us with my own personal property several times now. So I can tell you that their quality is awesome and excellent and they do a great job. So but yeah, we have Darius here from One Call Restoration to chat with us a little bit about floors.
Darius Elison: Thank you.
Dave Burnett: And I guess, Darius, one of the things people don't want to call you. Not normally. Typically it would mean that something bad has happened. But unfortunately, bad things do happen and sometimes we need to get a little help with that.
Darius Elison: Absolutely. And also, it's good to be proactive as well, especially in the real estate market, trying to sell these houses. The better your flooring looks, the faster they're gonna sell and the for the highest amount of profit available as well.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Well let's talk a little bit, we talked during the break about flooring, and that's one of those things that it can be a wow factor in a house to talk in and look at a great floor. It's also something that can go very wrong, very quickly.
Darius Elison: Absolutely. Flooring, from the way it's installed to the way it looks when you're getting ready to sell your house makes a big difference. If you get a carpet with a big stain in it, that's just gonna, invites the person buying it asks for an allowance or some way to compensate for adjusting for that flooring. And people always seem to look at carpets and have those clean, but they don't look at possibly doing the small repairs and a lot of time, when a clients over, they're hard wood or they're laminate vinyl planking, thinking there's not a way to refinishing them or it might be too expensive to do.
Dave Burnett: Well, let's talk first about hardwood and getting in. If you have a home with hard wood, is it better to replace or to refinish hardwood?
Darius Elison: Well, it's always cheaper to refinish. But what we push is just a step down from a full refinish, and it's just a rejuvenating process where we just take the hardwood, we buff it out, any scratches by hand. We use a light to make sure we seam really well. We buff those out with a... And then we come and we just rejuvenate the polyurethane finish. And I'm telling you what, we've taken really scratched up floors and they look almost as good as a brand new sand and seal. It's not as perfect as you can get, but I've got photos on our website on some that we've done that, they look as if they're brand new. And the cost to do that versus a sand and seal is just night and day. It's about 25% of the cost.
Dave Burnett: Let me ask you a question about flooring when it comes to hardwood, because some people think they have hardwood, but it's really just a thin surface of hardwood. Am I wrong or right on this?
Darius Elison: Absolutely. Yeah, a lot of people think they have hardwood and it's an engineered hardwood or it's a pre-finished hardwood. Both of which are different.
Dave Burnett: Finish?
Darius Elison: Yeah, pre-finished hardwood, you can always use sand and seal. It's hardwood all the way through. The engineered hardwood you just got a thin layer of hardwood over the top. Both of those cases it's actually better to do a repair then a sand and seal. With the pre-finish, you have the rolled edges a lot of times, which means you have to sand down more to get all the finish off to be able to re-finish it. So it's always better to just make it look good. A lot of times when you're buying and selling a home especially, you're really cash poor during that time and to throw out a big expense or to give a big portion of a discount on the sale of the pricing of the home, it just isn't the way to go.
Dave Burnett: Let's talk now about carpeting. You touched on it a little bit. But for some people, and Thom, I'm sure you can probably give us some horror stories.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah.
Dave Burnett: Carpeting can make or break a home.
Thom Dallman: Oh yes. It sure can.
Dave Burnett: Is the a time if you come in and look at something that you recommend, yeah, you know with, cleaning and getting this restored isn't gonna happen?
Darius Elison: Well, the best time to look at your carpet is before you got a a buyer has looked at it. When you're getting ready to sell that home, have somebody come over that can do the cleaning prior to listing it. I think that's a given. But a lot of times, people don't understand with, if your carpet's bad or old or just has some stain marks, we see staining a lot, we can come and pull those stains out. Just cut them out. We usually use a replacement piece if you don't have a remnant. And a lot of people don't keep those. They use them as floor mats until they throw them away. If you don't have those, we just cut a section out of a closet and we usually use an inside corner. And if that doesn't work, then we can just replace an entire closet. A lot of times, the hall closet, we'll just replace that closet in the hall closet and then use that as the remnant to fix any patches throughout the house.
Dave Burnett: Okay. Time out Darius. Because I haven't even thought of this. So if I have carpeting that's okay carpet, but I got a really nasty stain or whole in it, you can come salvage it by using hall carpet?
Darius Elison: Absolutely.
Dave Burnett: Or closet carpet?
Darius Elison: Absolutely. We're one of the few guys here in the valley, they can replace textured carpets and also berber carpet using the same method. And it's because we use a system called Cool Glide, where we're actually gluing from the top side instead of using a hot iron. So we're able to use smaller areas and the Cool Glide just simply uses tape without any heat. It uses radio waves or induction heating to penetrate down to a foil tape underneath the carpet and then it melts the glue on top. So we actually have time to line up each individual. Roll the carpet to line up the pattern and then glue it from the top side.
Dave Burnett: That's ... I hadn't even thought of that because I mean typically, if you get a whole or something bad happens to your carpet, it's time to replace the whole thing.
Darius Elison: Same thing with the corners of the doors. If you got a cat, you have beautiful carpet but your cat just wants to pinch at those corners of the doors with it's claws or a dog that wants to get out of her room and wants to tear that seam up, those are easily fixed and for a lot less money than carpet.
Dave Burnett: Wow.
Darius Elison: The average home that's 1200 square feet, you're looking at about $5,000 to replace your carpet. And a lot of times, that doesn't even include pulling the carpet and disposing it. That's just the cost for replacing. That's pretty conservative. For a lot less of that cost, you can just simply have your repairs taken care of and get them to where it's a sellable home.
Dave Burnett: Wow. I like that. Let's talk about laminate flooring.
Darius Elison: Laminate yeah. That is something that from your Pergo's up, which is I guess considered a laminate to a different brand names. That's a brand name. But a very popular, very common in homes, but very, very popular. The laminate has been extremely popular over the last 10 years. LVP, LVT is the wave of the future. It's water proof and doesn't have the NDF core. All of which, people think once it's scratched, it's gone. And that's not the case. There's repair kids out there available that you can order and do yourself. Or if you want a professional to come do it, we can come in and repair scratches in your laminate too. They are making laminate a lot better now.
Dave Burnett: I thought they were pretty much indestructible.
Darius Elison: Yeah, Shaw's new product has a three mil protective layer before you even get to the scratch resistant layer. And so yeah, it's getting to be pretty indestructible.
Dave Burnett: Let me ask you this question Darius, and that is, if I have one board in the middle of my kitchen that's got a big nasty gouge and it has to be replaced, can one board in the middle have to be replaced? Or do we have to replace all of it?
Darius Elison: A lot of people think you got to replace it all, but you can replace the one board. If we can't get the scratch out and we think the scratch is too far, which is very rare that we can't just do a simple fix, pulling and replacing it is very easy. And normally, when we do that it's because of water damage, because the vinyl or the laminate especially will puff up and the edges will start to flare. Those sections we usually pull and replace. Again, we've run into the problem a lot of times, people don't keep samples. I'm a big advocate for keeping the extra box of your vinyl. Keeping the extra bit of your carpet. Not using it as a runner or a floor mat, just in case something happens. Because lief happens.
But if you have a section of laminate or LVT that can come up or scratch repair, and you don't have it and we can't buy it for some reason, we can always take pieces from other areas. People don't think about it, you got that same laminate underneath your stove. A lot of times we can remove the range and just simply swap pieces out.
Dave Burnett: Wow. Pretty interesting.
Darius Elison: So repairs are always cheaper then replacement.
Thom Dallman: parts.
Dave Burnett: I guess it's kind of been insightful because I was just thinking, in my mind, ah, you're gonna have to replace it all. We're gonna have to tear all of it up or ... wow.
Darius Elison: You just spend all this time in your home and you build this equity by putting these new floors in and then lief and kids and dogs happen. And then you think you need to give up all the equity you put into it unless somebody else comes in and purchases that home and put in their own replacement flooring. And a lot of times, people like what you selected anyway. That's the first thing I notice when I go in homes is the floors.
Dave Burnett: Darius has revealed all his secrets.
Thom Dallman: I know right? Can I throw out one little warning to people? If you're replacing the floors on your own, please consult with someone to verify that what you're putting down is gonna match everything else in the house. We've had some listings in the past that have, we've gone in and we're just like, that's interesting floor selectioning.
Darius Elison: And also, my big deal on installation, I've seen this bold professional installers. I'll use that term loosely, because professionals don't want to be offended. But as well as homeowners, where the big move right now is these planks. It's all the hardwood sections. Those seams are not supposed to line up line dials. I want to throw that out there. One of my pet peeves.
Dave Burnett: Yes. Supposed to be kind of random.
Darius Elison: Yeah. Hardwood is random. There shouldn't be seams within six inches of each other on the next board to it. Your seam should always go against the direction of your front door, so you don't look like a bowling alley when you walk in. Those are the type of things that people need to keep in mind when they're doing it themselves. 'Cause that's the beauty of these products, especially LVT. That's why I say it's the way of the future. Any home owner can do it themselves. It's very simple. Make sure you're just doing the time to look into it at least a little bit before you do it yourself.
Dave Burnett: Darius with One Call Restoration. I have that correct?
Darius Elison: Yep.
Dave Burnett: All right. One Call Restoration of course. You can find out more information about them at CoreGroupRealty.com, the website. Darius thank you so much for sharing. I learned several things during this segment that I am just astounded with.
Darius Elison: Yeah. Definitely. I like it.
Dave Burnett: I like it a lot. We'll continue on the other side. It is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by Core Group Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com is the website. Find out why they say you get more with Core.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. Here is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, designated broker of Core Group Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com, the website, and, of course, 208-933-7777, that is the phone number to call.
When I say you're the designated broker, co-owner, that makes you the big chief?
Thom Dallman: The big chief right now. Yep.
Dave Burnett: That one was has-
Thom Dallman: The one making sure that everyone's doing the right thing.
Dave Burnett: And I do say that, in that we're going to talk about core values. And I'm not talking core, like Core Group Realty, C-O-R-E, but-
Thom Dallman: There is a coincidence there.
Dave Burnett: Every business has to have a set of guidelines, a set of values, something to model yourself after.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: And I'm sure it's something that probably has changed over the years if you own Core Group, that you've found some things work, some things didn't, and it's continually refined. But, I want to talk a little bit about it because when it comes to selling, you always hear people say, "I hate used car salesmen. I hate appliance salesmen. I hate having to deal with salespeople." For the average person that does business, sometimes it is difficult.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah, it is.
Dave Burnett: But to know that you're coming into a business that has guidelines set. And that starts with, to me, it starts with the owner and goes down, that here is what we believe in. Here is what we try to provide. Here's what we do, that core set of values. Let's talk a little bit about it.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly. I think every business needs that and every business owner should have that core set of values. So that their employees, their agents, their, whatever they have working for them, and even contractors, are all focused on that same goal, that same amount of service, integrity, whatever it is, that they have in their core values, for their clients. I mean, that's the best way to be able to know that your people are following your values, is to have them out there and to let people know what they are.
Dave Burnett: I like to use this example, and that is a plumb line. If you don't know what a plumb line is, if you hang a string with a weight at the ceiling, and if you look at your wall and that line isn't lined up with the wall, your wall is not plumb. If you have a business, and you have that line drawn, if somewhere down the line on your business, it gets out of line, you know it.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, and we've, in the past, have asked agents to leave the company because they weren't following our core values and stuff. So it's important to me and to the company that people are adhering to our core values.
Dave Burnett: Let's talk a little bit about those, what you find as a core value for this real estate company.
Thom Dallman: Sure. Well, our first and foremost, at the top of the list is service. Obviously service is paramount in our business, in what we do here. But it's not just service to our clients, it's service to each other, service to the community, service to our families, and stuff. And that's what it all amounts to, for me, and the big scheme of the company, is that we're always there to help. We're always there to provide that service and that excellent service for people, no matter what they want, no matter what they need, whether it's just answering a quick question, whether it's help and dive into your market value, you know. It's all about that service and making sure that we're standing by that service for our clients and our community, and our families.
Dave Burnett: And it's something I have seen here. There have been people that I know, have come in or just want some information. And your staff will go out of the way to provide that.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: There's no money in that for you in the short-run.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly.
Dave Burnett: Not like the big deal where somebody's going to buy a multi-million dollar home. But I've seen that service provided for somebody who has a quick question, that they get that. So that's one of the things that obviously, you've instilled in people.
Thom Dallman: And that's why we do so many community events so that people have the ability to find us and come and ask questions. Most recently, we just did the Pride Parade. We did a booth at the Pride Parade, and we're there and visible for people to come and chat with us, and ask their questions. And that's important to us to once again, be out there and answering those questions. Maybe some day, you'll come and think of us when it's time to buy or sell.
Just like this radio show, it's all about educating and getting the word out there for homeowners or homeowner-wanna-be's, or people who want to purchase and stuff. So, being in service.
Dave Burnett: Being in service. Next on your core values.
Thom Dallman: Second on our core values is knowledge, the seeking of knowledge, and being knowledgeable in our business. Always seeking to be the best that we can be. That's why we have our weekly business building meetings, best practices meetings, and stuff like that. So our agents are coming together, they're talking about the things that are happening out there, so that we are better for our clients. So that when clients do have those questions, we have those answers for them and stuff.
So seeking that knowledge. I'm committed to bringing in classes once a quarter for my agents, so that they're continually educating themselves and learning the new things out there, the new things in the contracts, the new things that people are looking at. We just recently had a class on land zoning and land development, just because that's really prevalent right now with the new construction and stuff and it changes all the time. So it's all that seeking of knowledge and trying to be educated and well-rounded in what we do.
Dave Burnett: Is it safe to assume or to say that if you have an agent, if they don't know, their answer's going to be, I know somebody who does?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, I tell my agents all the time, don't be afraid to tell the truth and say, "I don't know the answer to that."
Dave Burnett: Because some businesses, they'll try to buffalo you.
Thom Dallman: They'll try to buffalo and come up with some kind of story about what award may mean, or what something may mean. So I tell my agents all the time, don't be afraid to say, "I don't know that, but you know what, I have 30 other agents in my company that I can ... I know someone has that, so I can find it out for you. Let me get back to you here shortly." And usually, between me and our director of agent development, Shawna, we have those answers. There are a bunch of us who have been here for, and doing this for so many years, that we usually have that answer. And if we don't, I've even had to make phone calls to the legal hotline to the Idaho Real Estate Commission and stuff like that, to find things out. I've called our local commissioner for the real estate board to ask questions and stuff that I maybe just don't know the answer myself.
Dave Burnett: So service, knowledge.
Thom Dallman: Service, knowledge. Next up is integrity. I don't know how anybody could not run a business without integrity. And when I mentioned having to have let agents go in the past, it's usually revolving something about integrity, something that they've done that doesn't live to that value. Being honest, forthright, accounting for everything in the business and stuff like that is paramount. You can't be a trusted advisor for people, if you don't have integrity. If you're not living up to being honest and doing everything possible for your clients, so integrity's a huge part of the business.
Dave Burnett: Unfortunately in the day and age we live in, a lot of people, I won't say a lot, but there are those out there that don't want to be accountable for their behaviors and actions.
Thom Dallman: We hold everybody super accountable in our company.
Dave Burnett: It starts with you.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly. And I ask the agents all the time, "Please let me know if I do something wrong in your eyes because these core values apply to me as a leader of this company. And I want to know if I'm not living up to them, if I've done something is a cost to what we live by." So I've asked my agents all the time, "If I ever do anything, please let me know." [crosstalk 00:08:20].
Dave Burnett: Come in, close the door, let me know.
Thom Dallman: Don't be afraid of me, I'm open to constructive criticism. So it's important for me to be leading and showing that example.
Dave Burnett: We have time for one more of the core values here. So we've talked about service, knowledge, integrity.
Thom Dallman: The last two are leadership and synergy. Leadership, I feel, explains itself. Be leaders in your business, be leaders with your clients, be leaders out there in the community. But, synergy is one of the key factors of our company that sets us apart from a lot of other companies.
Dave Burnett: Explain that, synergy.
Thom Dallman: Synergy is the collaboration and togetherness of the people that work here. The collaboration means that they come together, they talk about things. We're not afraid to share things that are working, and talk about things that help each other out. Like I said, I have these weekly meetings so everybody can come together. We go and we do fun events once a quarter so that we're building that camaraderie with each other and stuff like that. So it's all about that synergy and connection with each other.
That's why I'm keeping it as a small company here, so that we have that ability to really talk with each other and help each other out, and support each other. When agents go out of town, there are other agents here that are, "Hey, let me help you with your clients that want to go look at houses and stuff like that." So that synergy and collaboration of efforts is huge and paramount here. Whereas, when you look at these big giant offices that have 900 people and a 1000 people in their company, they don't have that synergy.
We hear it all the time from people that leave those companies because they're like, "I just felt like a number on a wall. I didn't feel like there was any connection with anybody else in the company." So, that's one of the biggest things that we offer as a brokerage, is that synergy and collaboration.
Dave Burnett: Which is important because without that, the wheel can fall apart, it really can.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah, it can, everybody off doing their own thing.
Dave Burnett: As soon as people start becoming self-serving, to me, it's over.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: All right, very good. Thom Dallman with Core Group Realty, the designated broker. And seriously, if you have questions for Thom, if there's something that you want to know, maybe about Core, maybe you're an agent that's looking for a new home, and you want to talk to him about it, you can email Thom on the website. Just go to CoreGroupRealty.com.
Thom Dallman: Yep, look me up under our agents, and you can find my contact information there.
Dave Burnett: Shoot off an email or give a call. If he's got a chance to answer those calls, very busy, but if he has a chance to answer the call, he'd love to talk to you as well. Whether you're an agent, you'd like to work here, or whether you're a customer, looking for that company that's going to provide service, knowledge, integrity, accountability, and synergy, you'll find it here.
Thom Dallman: Yep, synergy.
Dave Burnett: Core Group. I like that word. It's my word of the day, synergy. CoreGroupRealty.com is the website, 208-933-7777. Find out why they say "You get more, with Core."