We have a fun show for you today! Thom and Dave talk about what types of animals and how many are allowed to be kept as pets in the area. Spoiler: flamingos are not allowed. They also talk about the upcoming Sip N Purr event coming up on February 28th being put on by the Idaho Humane Society. Tune in for this and so much more!
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, also the associate broker at Core Group at eXp Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com or you can call 208-933-7777. Thom, as we move towards spring, I know we've had some kinda bad weather here recently as we return to.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Little bit of snow, little bit of rain.
Dave Burnett: But if you're thinking about buying or selling, think ahead, spring is right around the corner.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Spring's right around the corner. I've had several consults this last week and a half, which is exciting for me, it's just people who are kinda testing the waters, they're thinking about maybe selling here in the next couple of months or come spring. And so, they're trying to get prepared and kinda get ideas of what they can do to kind of increase the value of their home. And stuff like that. So, it's one of my most exciting parts of this job, is actually doing those kinda consults 'cause if you've listened to my show and listened to my history, that's how I started out. Flipping homes and rehabbing homes and stuff like that. So, I have a passion for seeing what a house ... what potential can be there.
Dave Burnett: Can be.
Thom Dallman: Looking at the budget, figuring out the best things for that house, not over complicating it, not over spending 'cause not everything gets you a return on your investment. So-
Dave Burnett: Let me stop you for just a minute.
Thom Dallman: Sure.
Dave Burnett: That is something that you do like to do and don't hesitate.
Thom Dallman: Yes.
Dave Burnett: If somebody calls and said "Hey, I've got this property, and I think I’d like to do this with it." You'll be happy to go consult with them?
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah, that's one, like I said, one of my favorite things to do. And one of my passions is helping people kinda figure that out like I did many moons ago. And we have great service providers that we can reference you, to help you with some of those projects if you're not a do-it-yourselfer. That's one of the, or two of the people that I've met with this week were people who kinda got into it, thought they were gonna do this rehab and kinda did it half way through on a lot of this stuff, and then just realized, "You know what, I don't have the time, the energy, and I'm just not a rehabber."
Dave Burnett: That's a lot of work.
Thom Dallman: So, you know.
Dave Burnett: Okay. Well let me do this. Let me give the number, 208-933-777, if you thought about what you could do with this property, folks at Core Group at eXp Realty, they'd be happy to sit down, talk with you and say, "Hey, this is realistic. This is not. This is something you could do. This is something you need to hire out."
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: And like you said, you got the folks on your list of service providers that can help in just about every area.
Thom Dallman: Yep. Yeah. And just talking about inventory, we've said over and over again, we're at our all time low of inventory that we've seen in history. And so, it's a great time. That's why our equity is increasing. Month to month, we seem to be getting more and more equity in homes and we're hovering up in that 320 price range right now for median price points. So, it's still a super great time to get out there and get your home listed and get it sold. Lots of buyers coming to town.
Dave Burnett: That's a existing listing, but ... they're existing homes, but when it comes right down to it, in the Valley right now, new construction kinda rules.
Thom Dallman: It's crazy.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Thom Dallman: It's crazy out there. Yeah. As of right now, of our active single family listings that are out there, 65% of them, roughly 65% of them are new construction.
Dave Burnett: That is wild.
Thom Dallman: 65. That is crazy when we're typically in a average market in that 30 to 40%. That's a lot of listings. So, I ran some numbers this week and when I did, we had 1810 active listings and 1190 of them were new construction of some sort. We have three different categories of new construction. We have what we call the spec homes, or the homes that are already built, builders have kinda gone in, built them the way that they wanted too and put them on the market. Those are newly occupie ... or never occupied homes and we had 476 of those. We have 583 of those homes that are actually under construction, being built right now. One way or another they're gonna be finished out here pretty soon and available. And then 131 of those listings are actually to be built. So, opportunity to get in there, pick your amenities, pick your decoration, light fixtures and stuff like that. So
Dave Burnett: Light fixtures, paint colors, all that stuff.
Thom Dallman: So, yeah. 1190 out of 1810, so that leaves 620 resale homes available. So, if you're like, "I don't wanna deal with new construction, I just wanna get into an existing home 'cause it's all settled and ..."
Dave Burnett: There's a lot of advantages to that.
Thom Dallman: There is a lot of advantages, but there's only 620 of them.
Dave Burnett: But I've said this ... I've said this over and over again, that is where you really need a good agent, somebody who's willing to dig, to listen to what you need, to keep an eye on the marketplace, 'cause they come and go quickly.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Oh, they do. Yeah, yeah, you wanna make sure that you have ... you're getting the most updated listings sent to you. Getting sent to you in a timely manner, whether it's just immediately when it comes on the market or the same days, so that you're getting that opportunity to get out there. We're seeing a lot of homes going. I'm personally showing some properties to some clients that seems like every time they send me a property, we schedule the next day to go out and we hear from the sellers, "Oh, sorry. We accepted a contract." So, it's happening quite frequently on a lot of homes. Once again, there's still some sellers out there who are listening to the hype a little too much and trying to dictate their own prices. So, it's still gotta be within reason. There's still gotta be buyers that wanna purchase the house. It's still gotta fit the marketplace, as far as the price.
Dave Burnett: And there's gotta be lenders ... there's gotta be lenders willing to loan that much.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. So, there's still that concept that sellers seem to think that they can list at whatever they want, some of them, I don't wanna say all sellers. But, you still have to listen to your listing agent and put it at a fair market price that will bring a offer in. If you're sitting there for a week or two and you're not getting any offers, but a lot of showings, we typically said that probably means that your three to 5% higher than the market is allowing for.
Dave Burnett: A little too high. Can you do this for? Can you kinda help me wander through or wade through the, if I'm looking to buy and looking at new construction. Can you kinda help me wade through that and the process of it?
Thom Dallman: Of course. Did you know that the BCA actually has, on their website right now, roughly 93 builders shown on their website in the Treasure Valley?
Dave Burnett: And the BCA is the Boise ...
Thom Dallman: Sorry, the Builders and Contractors Association of Southwest Idaho.
Dave Burnett: Oh.
Thom Dallman: BCASWI. They're currently showing roughly about 93 builders available in the ... as members, that's not including the ones that are not members.
Dave Burnett: In the BCA?
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Of builders out there that are available. That's a lot of research to try to figure out, what builder fits you.
Dave Burnett: That is. And let's be honest, that goes from the really good one, to the maybe not so good ones.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, exactly.
Dave Burnett: There's certain standards, codes they have to live up to, but ...
Thom Dallman: There's some, yeah, there's some builders that ... I don't know how to say this, except to just say they're a little bit harder to work with than others. And stuff like that. So, that's one of the advantages of having an agent, is really helping you dig into those builders and finding out which ones are reputable, which ones build in your price point. Some of those builders may only build in the million dollar price point and stuff like that. So, there's a lot of caveats to those builders and helping kinda research, that's what our job is as real estate agents, is to help you find those builders that best fit you, your personality, and your price point.
Dave Burnett: So, if I'm looking to buy a newly constructed home, I come in there on Emerald Street and to Core Group at eXp Realty and I say, "I wanna buy new." What do you ask me? What do you quiz me about? What is it you're going to ask?
Thom Dallman: Well, you know the very first question. I think you can answer that one after all this time.
Dave Burnett: Have you gotten pre-approved yet, for a loan?
Thom Dallman: Exactly. What are you pre-qualified for?
Dave Burnett: Exactly.
Thom Dallman: Let's talk about your price point. And then from there, let's talk about areas that you wanna live in. And then from that, I would probably start pulling up listings and looking at what new construction is available in those areas in your price point. So we can kinda pinpoint if there's some availability, if there ... and if we might need to expand your search areas if it's too limited.
Dave Burnett: Now when you talk- When you talk spec homes, which I ... that's short for speculation, I think, is it not? I think it is.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, I think it is. Yeah, you're right.
Dave Burnett: If the builder is building on a speculation that he will sell it, I assume at that point you could pull up plans, floor plans and say, "Here's three bedroom homes and kinda what's in those subdivisions."
Thom Dallman: Yeah, most of those ... Most of those homes will ... if are a good builder, will put on the ... the plans on their listing so that you can kinda see what the floor plan is like.
Dave Burnett: Website. Okay.
Thom Dallman: But, for the spec homes, those are usually available and ready to go to see. So, I would probably say, "Let's go walk it" 'cause while floor plans are great and you can kinda get a feel of where things are situated, it's just not the-
Dave Burnett: Seeing and touching it's a better deal.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Seeing and tough it is a way better deal.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Thom Dallman: So, with that being said, if you're looking to do a new construction, completely custom home from start, that's another advantage of having a seasoned agent helping you, is that we have looked at those plans. We know kind of spacing and sizes of rooms and stuff like that, that are convenient. So we can help kind of navigate some of that stuff, you know, with your builder and with yourself. When it comes to looking at those plans and organizing the way that the house is laid out and stuff like that. So, that's another advantage of having a buyers agent helping you to kinda negotiating those designs and stuff like that. Not to mention, when it comes to the studio and design center and going in and helping, one of my favorite things. Love helping clients pick out fixtures, pick out things that will, not only last long, but also will retain their value for a resell down the road and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: It’s something that if you're going to build a home, I didn't ... We built a home in Eagle years ago, and I had no concept of ... I mean, everything from a Christmas tree switch, lights up to the carpeting.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah, Christmas light. Yeah.
Dave Burnett: I mean, there was so many things to pic out and choose. It really was wading through it.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. There is.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Thom Dallman: I mean, in the variations of colors of textures, of everything. It's just there's so much out there. It's nice to, yeah, be able to kinda have someone to help guide through that process.
Dave Burnett: So, having an agent is, it truly is an advantage and the folks at Core Group at eXp Realty, they are trained for that new construction. I'm making a big assumption here, but I would assume they are.
Thom Dallman: Well, yeah. Most of our agents are trained on it. We talk about new construction in our meetings. They have me to fall back on, I'm their support. So, whenever an agent doesn't quite know what to do, they will come to me and get my guidance. I've been doing this long enough that I know the ins and outs pretty well. So, they have myself, they have our director of Agent Development, Shawna Schnabel, who's been on the show a couple times, one of my top listing agents, as well. So, we as a team, collaboratively work together to make sure that any client that has a question, if for some odd reason that agent doesn't know the answer, they can get it pretty quickly from one of us.
Dave Burnett: Very good. If you're looking to build a home, you need to give the folks at Core Group Realty at eXp a phone call. That number, 208-933-7777. And of course, financing's important, we're gonna be talking to Ron from Movement Mortgage in just a moment to find out a little bit more what is going on in the Valley as well. They're sponsors of this show. It's called the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, 208-933-7777. Find out why they say, "You get more with Core".
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman the co-owner, also the associate broker at Core Group Realty @ eXp. We'll get that all straight in there. CoreGroupRealty.com , the website, 208-933-7777 is the phone number to call.
Thom Dallman: Just keep on dialing those sevens.
Dave Burnett: It's a great day to invest in real estate. Ron joins us from Movement Mortgage, again today. I say, "It's a great day" because sometimes, if you listen to the media, you think a disaster's underway right now, but it's ... 2019's okay so far?
Ron Wieczorek: There's a lot of ... and I say, "Don't believe the housing collapse narratives that you hear," you know, sky is falling, too many people ... It's still in the memory bank, what happened in 2008, so that's fair. A lot of folks that are in the home buying market now, which is our millennials, are stronger into it is, that's what they remember.
Dave Burnett: Exactly.
Ron Wieczorek: They grew up and they saw their parents, what happened to them in 2008, so ...
Dave Burnett: Yeah, losing a home or ...
Ron Wieczorek: That's fair.
Dave Burnett: Whatever might have happened.
Ron Wieczorek: I've talked a lot about 2018, and the affordability in 2018, and what that looked like. Despite the strength of the U.S. economy in 2018, which was very strong, the housing market had seen a decline in sales, and the mortgage rates trended higher. That led to an affordability issue, and actually 2018 is going to be the highest economic growth since the expansion started. We see those numbers coming in more and more. With the great backbone of economic strength and recovery, why would affordability be down? Like I mentioned before, it was out-paced by the home appreciation. They were appreciating, especially in the value, at a higher rate than people's income was going up, and then when mortgage rates go up at the same time, it makes, which if it was a $300,000.00 home you were able to afford six months ago, and maybe it's a $270,000- $265,000.00 home.
That was 2018, and that ... I've talked a lot about 2018, and I've been labeled a pessimist around here, and bearer of bad news, and I'm getting ... I'm starting to get a little bit of a reputation, so I'll ...
Dave Burnett: Maybe it's the bear costume you wear.
Ron Wieczorek: Is that what, you think that's what it is? I never thought about that.
Thom Dallman: Yep, could be.
Ron Wieczorek: I didn't know the effects it would have. I'm going to talk about 2019, because we're off to a strong start. It's a little different story. The economic and housing outlook from Fannie Mae, and a group called the ESG, the Economic and Strategic Research Group, so I'll say ESG, believes it's going to be a more stable environment in 2019, and we're already see that evidence. We're only a month and a half in, so we don't have a lot of evidence, but we see that what has happened is, and I've talked in the past about the four rate hikes that the Fed gave last year. They anticipated another three in 2019, up until December. Now, they've backtracked on that. They're talking about maybe just one more hike. That's a strong, strong sign of what's happening.
Dave Burnett: The rates will, should stay about the same through the year.
Ron Wieczorek: About the same, maybe we'll get a little bit of reprieve. The economy is continuing to grow, and what that's telling me is they have inflation in check. That's the hardest thing, when you have the lowest unemployment that they've had in decades, and a stronger economy, and we're not raising the ... The Fed's not raising rates, or talking about only doing it once, that means they really have controlled the inflation. That's really the tricky part of what the Fed has to do.
I am an optimist, see.
Thom Dallman: There you go, exactly.
Ron Wieczorek: With that, if the rates stabilize, and homes aren't appreciating as much as they were, and the economy continues to grow, that means now that budget can go back up. That 270 might go to 280, to 290. Whatever situation you're in, get more money in your pocket and the homes aren't going up as much, and the rates are lower, that's going to get you a better home or a bigger home, or maybe sneak back into a budget that ... Maybe, over the summer, you thought you had lost, and there was a little bit of that buyer fatigue.
Dave Burnett: Ron, is the one leg that we're missing here though, is it availability?
Ron Wieczorek: Right now, in the Valley it is.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Ron Wieczorek: Across the U.S. we have seen the inventory grow at a higher rate than the Valley has, and I've talked about this, and Thom can speak to it more is, especially in those price ranges, the lower price ranges, those entry level homes, we're still being choked at that entry gap.
Thom Dallman: We're struggling.
Ron Wieczorek: Yes, yes, to answer your question.
Dave Burnett: I know Thom, whenever he talks about a home that's in the $25,0000 to $350,000.00, it's like, "Oh, I've got buyers for it."
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: "I'm ready to go."
Thom Dallman: Those go quick.
Ron Wieczorek: The phone levitates when you have one of those listed.
Thom Dallman: Right.
Ron Wieczorek: A little more good news is builders. I've talked in the past how builders' optimism was getting close to that 50%, and in the past couple years it was as high as 60, 65. It dipped down to 58. For the first time in three months, the buyer's confidence has gone up, so you're seeing lower borrower costs. You're seeing maybe some of that labor coming back into the market, some, not a ... This is nationwide, so they're sentiment is starting to be a little more confident.
I suspect that potential buyers, who were scared off in the market, like I said, will re-enter the market, just because they see that little, that flash where they can afford more and maybe they were fatigued before, and said, "You know what, I'm never going to get a house," so now they're going to see that again. I'm really optimistic about that. It's pretty well timed, because not only was there that sentiment of "Maybe I can't find anything," but we're going into the Spring. When you're going into the Spring, you want to have that sentiment, that confidence, and that excitement. It should be exciting, and that's the kind of industry we're in.
Both Thom and I, that's our jobs, is to relay that message. Get with our clients that maybe we say stop shopping at one point, or just get the message out that this is now.
Thom Dallman: Now is a great time.
Ron Wieczorek: Let's re-look at those numbers. Let's see what you can afford again, because what I told you four months ago is obsolete. I'd rather have that conversation than the one I was having a month ago, or two months ago, where that budget's declining. Now I can have that, "Oh, you're actually, your budget's increasing," so those are the conversations we want.
Thom Dallman: Nice.
Dave Burnett: That is very positive news really.
Ron Wieczorek: Very positive news. I'm turning a new leaf.
Thom Dallman: There you go.
Ron Wieczorek: I talked about financial goals, top financial goals. I was reading an article from Bank Rate, and it said around 4% of Americans, it sounds low, 4% of Americans, their top financial goal in 2019 is to buy a home, but after more research, I guess that's normal. I seem them on a daily basis, I think it's more of the population. Yeah, everyone's buying a home. Everyone that comes to my office is buying a home, must be everybody.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: It's not in my wheelhouse this year.
Ron Wieczorek: Right, exactly, so 4% of Americans, that's their top financial goal is to buy a home in 2019, so take note of that.
Thom Dallman: I think I read that stat, yeah, actually this week.
Ron Wieczorek: 7% are millennial, so it supports what we've been talking about a lot is millennials are entering the market, and they're taking over the market, really. That goes to my economy talk that I've been having. Usually, when you have these surveys, and when you interview folks about their economic situations, they don't tend to be as optimistic. The numbers I'm going to give you is 43% believe, of everyone polled, that their financial situation will either be the same or no better than it was. That, to me, is telling, because only 12% said they think it's going to be worse in the next year, and 45% said they expect an improvement in their finances, which to me says 88% says it's either going to be the same or better.
Thom Dallman: Awesome.
Dave Burnett: That's really high.
Ron Wieczorek: That's really high. I was shocked by that because usually, even if you think it's going to get a little better, people's minds usually go to, "Well, maybe it won't, maybe this will happen," and it's hard to come to grips sometimes with, "Yeah, it's going to be better," or to be the same. The same, to me, is almost saying it's going to be better.
Dave Burnett: It's going to be good.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, if it was good, it will continue to be good.
Thom Dallman: Right.
Ron Wieczorek: With that numbers, the millennials taking over the market, the buying market, is one thing I see a lot is, they are not settling, but they're now looking at other places where that affordability fits their budget. It's not stopping them from buying homes. In the past, we've seen maybe, "Well I can't buy there, and I really want to buy there, so I'm not going to buy period." That's not happening anymore. What we're seeing is, we're seeing them saying, "This place is nice too," or they maybe relocate, because that's a very common, and this is nationwide, so they're like, "Well, if I can't buy my ideal spot there, I'll find a city where I can find an ideal spot."
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Ron Wieczorek: Believe it or not, it's still ... Boise is still on that list. I know we struggle with it a lot, because we've seen it year over year, 18%, and I think now the numbers are closer to 15% because now you throw January into there, and there was a little bit of softening, so when you get to that point, we are still very affordable, and I talk about it a lot, and Thom can attest to it, like I said, that you compare us to Seattle, you compare us to the places that people want to live. We're still right there on that affordability curve, which is great.
Dave Burnett: It is such a different world today than it was 25 years ago.
Ron Wieczorek: Oh yeah.
Dave Burnett: Twenty-five years ago, you moved to Boise because MK was hiring, or...
Thom Dallman: Go for a job.
Dave Burnett: ... Was hiring, and you move because of that. I ran into a guy this week, who just moved to Sweet, of all places. He and his wife were from Illinois, just outside Chicago, and because they work out of their home. He said, "Once we found a place, and it got high speed Internet, we moved from Chicago to Sweet, Idaho.
Thom Dallman: Sweet, Idaho, wow.
Dave Burnett: I said, "That is some culture shock."
Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, right.
Dave Burnett: He said, "We just wanted to get away. I said, "Congratulations."
Ron Wieczorek: I've been to Chicago. My brother lives in Chicago, and I don't blame them for wanting to get out of Chicago.
Thom Dallman: I moved here 16 years ago from there.
Ron Wieczorek: I always forget, before I do some Chicago bashing who's nice to me.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, I mean he was excited. He and his wife, they just moved about a month ago to Sweet, and they're getting all set up. Getting their office set up, and he said, "We just have to travel back twice a year," so how different is the world today.
Ron Wieczorek: Oh yeah.
Dave Burnett: Then from 25 years ago.
Ron Wieczorek: Oh, complete different.
Thom Dallman: Completely different, and that you could ...
Dave Burnett: That you could be fully employed and live in the middle of nowhere.
Ron Wieczorek: Well it's not even out in the middle of nowhere. Let's just say, let's reverse course and go back to, we talked about Seattle. We talked about the Bay area. We talk about that constantly as being over the top on affordable.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Ron Wieczorek: A lot of the folks we see moving into the Boise area say, "Well, I can work remotely," and then obviously we have to vet that out, and make sure that's true, but we're seeing more and more, and more that is the case. They're able to work remotely, and live and breathe in Boise, and add to our economy, have the style of life that they want.
Dave Burnett: Ron, if somebody wants to talk to you about applying for a loan, about what they need to do, the steps of getting approved, of credit and all that, how do they get hold of you?
Ron Wieczorek: I always have my cell phone on me. It's in my back pocket, right now, it's 208-869-9154.
Dave Burnett: Movement Mortgage, an equal opportunity lender, and of course one of the sponsors of this program, the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, along with the folks at Core Group @ eXp Realty. Call Core Group today, 208-933-7777. Find out why they say, "You get more with Core."
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner and also one of the associate brokers of Core Group @ eXp Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com , the website. 208-933-7777, that's the phone number for you to call if you have questions about the program or you have questions about real estate; you want to meet with an agent. If you just want to find out what's happening around the area, you can give that number a call there at Core Group @ eXp Realty.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, give us a call. Stop by and visit us over there off of Emerald. We've had several stop-bys, actually, this week, which just warms my heart to know that people are listening to this show and actually stopping in to ask us to help them with their real estate needs.
Dave Burnett: The nice thing is, when you stop by Core Group and just see the people ... For me, I always get a feel for a business by stepping into the business.
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah.
Dave Burnett: You can find out right away whether this is a business that's got a put-together, good atmosphere, and I always get that feeling when I go over there: a warm greeting and, you can tell, a staff that cares.
Thom Dallman: And don't be surprised if you get a warm greeting from an animal, a puppy dog.
Dave Burnett: That's right. Sometimes you'll see a puppy run through the office, or two, and that's in part because for you, Thom, and the folks there, strong supporters of animals, the Humane Society.
Thom Dallman: Mm-hmm (affirmative). The Humane Society is one of our biggest charities that we contribute to, and partners, actually, in an initiative that we call A Pet Makes a House a Home. We're firm believers that a pet just brings so much love and joy and happiness to a home and something that all homeowners should think about, depending on your lifestyle, depending on the structure of your home and stuff like that. A pet just warms up a house and just make it such a home.
Dave Burnett: Oh, and the Humane Society, they have the Sip n Purr coming up.
Thom Dallman: Yes, they do, February 28th. From six to nine over in the Linen Building at 1402 Grove Street, they're doing a Sip n Purr. It's a nice fundraising function for their cats, actually, to help raise funds to support the cats, to help get those cats auctioned off. So many people focus so much on the dogs that they miss out on the options for cats. There's a lot of cats out there that need homes as well, loving homes, and stuff like that.
It's funny that I was actually on their site earlier this week, and they're currently showing about 64 cats and dogs available for adoption right now on their site, which is, it seems like, a lot. I just can't believe that there could be so many animals that don't have homes.
Dave Burnett: Busy.
Thom Dallman: But they also have three rabbits. I hadn't even thought about rabbits before, but rabbits are an actual pet that people enjoy having around.
Dave Burnett: I don't know if you know this, though: Rabbits breed a lot, and you can wind up with a lot of rabbits. So, I guess, if somebody doesn't know what to do with it, they take them to the Humane Society.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. I'm going to have to ask Kristy, our representative over there at the Humane Society, if they actually spay and neuter rabbits.
Dave Burnett: That's a very good question. During the break we were talking about pets. It's your castle. As we delve into this, as we talk about this next topic ... By the way, you're going to want to listen ... we are sensitive to the fact that it's your castle, your home, but there are some regulations in the City of Boise on animals. I was a little surprised.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, there are, and they've created these regulations just to ensure, A, probably overpopulation of animals in our area, but B, mainly they're more concerned with the care and upkeep that comes along with animals. So, they've put certain regulations on properties that are less than an acre in size to ensure animals are being taken care of; they're not disturbing the neighbors, or different reasons like that.
Dave Burnett: You're going to say something right now that surprised me. I was not aware of-
Thom Dallman: Yeah. I don't think a lot of people know that, technically, the City of Boise only allows for four dogs or cats on a property. So, any combination, four.
Dave Burnett: Oh. So, if you're at five, technically you're in violation.
Thom Dallman: Technically, you're not supposed to have more than that.
Dave Burnett: I was surprised.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. It's once again an ordinance that they created to ensure the care of those animals: not being abused; that the homeowners have the means to take care of them, to feed them, and, really, avoid abuse and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: Now, so that nobody panics-
Thom Dallman: Once again, I don't know how old this rule is. It's just a rule that's out there. I don't know how much it's adhered to. I would be curious to talk to someone in the city to find out if they actually enforce that, if they know what that would be.
Dave Burnett: My guess would be, if you've got five Chihuahuas at home, nobody's going to be knocking at your door, saying, "Open up. It's the police."
Thom Dallman: Right.
Dave Burnett: If the Chihuahuas are causing a problem, then that could happen.
Thom Dallman: Right, exactly.
Dave Burnett: I just don't think it's something that they go out to actively enforce-
Thom Dallman: Correct.
Dave Burnett: ... but it is something that could be enforced if it was necessary.
Thom Dallman: If it's necessary, and it's become a nuisance to the neighborhood, and you get reported, I guess it would end up being.
Dave Burnett: Well, you always hear those stories of people who are pet hoarders, and they have dozens of dogs or cats.
Thom Dallman: The infamous cat lady?
Dave Burnett: Yeah. Then it's not healthy. Not healthy for the animals; not healthy for the people.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: But it's not only cats and dogs.
Thom Dallman: No. No. We have a three-rabbit limit.
Dave Burnett: That's it?
Thom Dallman: Three rabbits.
Dave Burnett: There happens to be three at the Humane Society right now.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly, there are three at the Humane Society. So, if you want three rabbits to meet your limits ... I thought that was kind of an interesting little stat, because I don't typically think of rabbits when you think of a pet and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: No. Nor do I think of them being really a noisy pet.
Thom Dallman: No, not at all. I don't know why the limit on three, but that appears to be what the rules and regulations are. Now, the caveat to this being that, if you have a property that's an acre or more, then you can then get into livestock animals, where you can have actual livestock on your property.
I've helped sell several properties through the years, especially ... One of my favorite properties, one of the very first rehabs that I did, was right there in between Franklin and the freeway in between Maple Grove and Five Mile. It was a one-acre property, big enough to actually have a couple horses. So, the city ordinance is that per acre you can have two animals, which are considered horse, mules, cows, and llamas. That's per acre. Now, it does go more for smaller livestock; like, sheep, goats, and swine, you can have four of those. So, yeah, if you have an acre property within the city limits, you should be able to have that grandfathered in. I would double-check.
Dave Burnett: I would say this, because I knew somebody on Ustick Road, and they were incorporated in the city. They had under an acre, but they were allowed to keep it, because they were grandfathered in.
Thom Dallman: Grandfathered in, yeah.
Dave Burnett: They were told, "If this ever sells, that's out."
Thom Dallman: There's some checking that needs to be done, especially if you're buying a property. You want to make sure you're doing your due diligence in the inspection time frame to ensure that that is something that is grandfathered in, can continue on with the purchase for the next person.
There are exceptions for smaller properties to have some livestock on it. You have to go through the city, and you have to prove that you're a member of the Future Farmers of America or 4-H. They do allow for some lenience on variances for those organizations that help kids-
Dave Burnett: Kids who raise animals.
Thom Dallman: ... to raise animals and stuff like that. So, there are some options out there if you have a smaller lot within city limits and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: There are some exotic rules, too, for exotic animals.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, no endangered animals allowed.
Dave Burnett: I figured that.
Thom Dallman: I thought it was interesting. There was a list that I ran across that said, "Ostriches, flamingos, penguins are not allowed."
Dave Burnett: Doggone. There goes my idea of having a penguin.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. I think it mentioned, as far as reptiles, like, no alligators, no anacondas. There's some interesting animals on the "Do not, cannot within city limits," obviously for various reasons: for safety and everything like that and for the animals that are endangered.
Everybody usually asks about chickens. Chickens are a big phenomenon right now. Within city limits you are actually allowed to have three chickens. They have to be chickens. No roosters.
Dave Burnett: Oh, that's good. See? That's a problem, because you know the old thing where the rooster crows at sunrise?
Thom Dallman: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dave Burnett: They do.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, they do. Having spend some time in Key West, where there's chickens running all over the place, chickens and roosters, yes, they really do first thing in the morning.
Dave Burnett: That's like Kauai in Hawaii, the island. There are chickens and roosters everywhere. It's the first thing you hear when the sun comes up everywhere.
Thom Dallman: They start going off everywhere. If you have an acre or more, you are allowed to have 12 chickens, or if you don't want chickens and you want ducks, you can have 12 ducks.
Dave Burnett: If you've got 12 chickens, you're probably selling eggs. That's a lot of eggs.
Thom Dallman: You would think so, right?
Dave Burnett: That's a lot of eggs.
Thom Dallman: They actually allow rabbits ... Sorry ... 10 rabbits on acre properties or more.
Dave Burnett: Huh.
Thom Dallman: So, if you're into breeding and raising rabbits, that's an option if you have an acre or more, and then six geese. I found that kind of interesting.
Dave Burnett: It's that part of a Christmas song, "six geese a-laying"?
Thom Dallman: Something like that. You can also get a commercial license if you're raising these animals for sale and actually running a business. There are some leniencies for commercial licenses to have more additional animals and stuff like that in some of these areas. So, things to think about if you're buying a home if you're wanting to have live animals.
Dave Burnett: You need to follow the rules.
Thom Dallman: You need to follow the rules, but something will get you. I want to just say, too, that there are HOAs, homeowners' associations, that do limit those animal ownerships, too. Like, I've crossed a few that have said that chickens are not allowed at all. So, you do have to check with your local HOAs as well to make sure that it's also allowed with them.
Dave Burnett: I realize it's in Garden City, not in Boise proper, but did you know that there is a bear rehabilitation center in Garden City, and they have a bunch of bears? You may not have known that.
Thom Dallman: I did not know that.
Dave Burnett: You live next door to it. But, yeah, they have all kinds of bears that they rehab and send back to the wild.
Thom Dallman: Wow. I had absolutely no idea.
Dave Burnett: Check with your HOAs. Also check with the city rules. If you are buying or selling a property and you're planning on doing something with animals, make sure you comply.
It's the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, where you get the chance to do this each and every week at this time. 208-933-7777, that is the phone number to call. Of course, the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by the folks at Core Group Realty. Stop by the website, 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, also an associate broker with Core Group at eXp Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com , that is a website you can always go to, or you can call (208) 933-7777. Unfortunately, Thom, in the world we live in now, it seems like every day there's another scam, there's somebody else being taken average of, and not just your credit cards, not just your bank accounts, but your real estate is something you need to watch and protect, as well.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly. There's so many scams out there right now. I, myself, seem to be getting up with all these, "Hey, we've broken into your computer. We have all your passwords. Send us a thousand dollars in BitCoin or else we're going to-"
Dave Burnett: Take it over.
Thom Dallman: ... take over your computer." It's like, "Ugh." Yeah, it's so crazy out there how many scams and how many ways people have kind of figured out how to try to get money out of people, and it's scary that some people fall for it. Some people just unknowingly kind of go-
Yeah, go thinking that it's a real thing. One of the most common ones that we keep seeing over and over again are people who are taking home listings off of Zillow, realtor.com, places like that. They're taking listings and then they're starting to advertise them as rentals and encouraging people to come and rent this property from them. "Sorry I can't meet you at the property, but if you'll send me your deposit and first month's rent, we'll get the paperwork drawn up and get you kind of going on it. Feel free to swing by the house and check it out on your own." So people will swing by, see a vacant house, look in the windows, stuff like that, and then they'll do it. They'll send the money.
Dave Burnett: And here's the deal. We're not talking about 50 or 60 bucks. We're talking about it could be a 14, $1,500 rental and the deposit of the same. You could be up 2, 3, $4,000.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, yeah. And that's what they're doing is getting those higher-price properties so that they're ... and it's working. People are falling for it. We've heard stories of sellers reaching out saying, "Hey, we were just at the house checking on some stuff, and these people just came up to the door and said they were looking at renting it from someone on Craigslist, that it was on Craigslist and stuff."
Dave Burnett: Is there a way to protect yourself? How do you protect yourself? You as the owner of a realty company, how do you protect your listings?
Thom Dallman: That's the unfortunate part is really, with the internet right now and the access to our MLS listings, it's really hard to stop people from being able to do that particular scam. We can report to the FBI. They can try to trace it. Nine out of 10 times they come back and say it's not traceable. But it's such a small thing for the FBI that they don't want to do ... police really don't, unfortunately, have the time or funds to be able to dig into each one of these scams and try to figure them out and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: So I guess a word of advice, if you're looking to rent and you know it's a home listed by Core or any other realty company, call that company.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. If you pull up to a house or if you ... First of all, if someone tells you, "Just go look at the house. I can't meet you there, I'm not available to meet you there-"
Dave Burnett: Red flag.
Thom Dallman: Red flag. Don't fall for that. Any landlord that is renting should have the ability to meet you there.
Dave Burnett: They or a representative would be there.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, them or a representative are there to-
Dave Burnett: With keys to get in.
Thom Dallman: ... show you the house. Yes, exactly, get you into the house. So right off the bat, if someone says that. If anybody asks for money without signing any contracts or doing any paperwork, that's also a red flag. Don't send money unless you've got contracts, got paperwork, and have gone to the house. Yeah, I mean, that's the really major part on those. If you're calling for rentals, just make sure you have access to the place. Make sure you get a view of the place and meet the person that is going to rent to you. And even then, check credentials. If you do pull up to a house and it's got a for sale sign and someone is meeting you there, call that number on that for sale sign just to verify that it's actually-
Dave Burnett: You can call Core Group. The people at Core Group, they'll answer real quickly. "No, that house is not for rent" or "yes, that's a possibility."
Thom Dallman: We may not know if it's for rent, 'cause we don't really have access to rental pools out there, but we can tell you if it's listed on the market for sale or not. Yeah, that's a big one that keeps resurfacing now and again as the rentals ... especially on Craigslist. We're seeing some of it popping up on Zillow, as well, which we can then report to Zillow if we see that, or encourage people if you see something that's fishy on Zillow to report it so that they know.
Dave Burnett: I know another scam that Ted Arnold at Crime Stoppers has talked about, and that is keep track of your credit, because there have been times where people, where scammers, have taken a second out on your home and gotten a loan, and suddenly that bill comes due from whoever it might be. Your second is due and it's like, "I don't have a second." You need to check your credit on a regular basis.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, check your credit. Make sure that you're opening mail, 'cause sometimes you'll be getting bills but you think it's another credit card offer or something like that, or junk mail, so you throw it away, and stuff like that. So always be checking your credit, always be checking your mail, opening all your mail, even if it looks like junk, to verify that someone hasn't somehow stolen your identity and started ordering things online and whatnot using your bill, so check your bank account. I just a few months ago ended up ... luckily, I bank with Chase, and Chase has a fraud alert, so they emailed me and said, "Hey, there's some suspicious activity. Someone in Ohio is purchasing a bunch of stuff."
Dave Burnett: And you were like, "What?"
Thom Dallman: I'm like, "That's not me. Please stop that." So make sure you're checking your email, checking your bank statements to make sure that there's nothing weird happening there, because people can break into your accounts and get your bank information and start using that stuff. So-
Dave Burnett: Another thing you can take advantage of, most banks on their apps, the bank app, you can sign up for an alert, so if somebody charges more than ... and you set the amount, 50, $100, you'll get a text right away saying that this card has been used, the charge $123 at wherever. And if you didn't charge it, then you know something bad is going on.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, exactly. Yeah.
Kind of getting back into real estate a little bit more is being aware of if you're in escrow right now getting towards closing, there are people who are hacking title companies, hacking real estate agents, looking for any tidbit of clue that someone is closing, and then they're sending emails that look very similar to either the title person or the agent saying, "Hey, we're getting close to escrow. It's time to wire your funds. Give us your routing information so that we can wire the funds or wire your funds to this account." And people are, once again, falling for that.
Dave Burnett: Well, it seems logical if you're buying a house, because having gone through a refi not too long ago, you get requests from all kinds of people and different things going on to where, "Okay."
Thom Dallman: It's pretty overwhelming, and you're getting contacted by the lender, the real estate agent, the title company, on just different paperwork, different things here and there, and so for a scammer to throw in another email that looks very similar to the title company or very similar to the real estate agent and then requesting that information. I know I had some clients at the beginning of 2018 that didn't fall for it. They got that email. Luckily, I was on the phone when it came in. They're like, "What's this email that you're requesting information?" I'm like, "That's not me. Ignore it."
And the Real Estate Commission has taken it to the point where it's now in our contracts now very, very clear on there why our fraud is very frequent right now, so never, never, never give your-
Dave Burnett: So if I'm buying a house and I have a question, I need to call my agent?
Thom Dallman: Call the agent. If you get an email asking-
... for routing information or asking you to transfer funds, call your agent to verify that it's an accurate ... Traditionally, title companies will not send that email without calling first and saying, "Hey, I'm sending you this email. This is from me," and stuff.
Dave Burnett: I'd just go back to the agent, the real estate agent, because that's a name and a person you know. You might be getting an email from somebody in your title company office, somebody that you don't recognize, but you know your agent.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: So call them and let them do a little bit of work to track it down to make sure.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Just a good way to take care of it.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Thom, if somebody has questions about real estate, whether it's fraud or whether they're looking to buy or sell a home, which, it's a great time to do it, don't wait until spring, start on it right now, how do they get a hold of you?
Thom Dallman: Give us a call, (208) 933-7777, 7777. Just keep dialing sevens. Give us a call. Go to CoreGroupRealty.com . We have a spot there where you can fill out and ask questions, a contact you page. We have a connection to our home search site, so you can start searching for homes. We have some preferred lenders on there that you can reach out to, as well, to start the pre-qualification process. There's so many different options for kind of getting the ball rolling and letting us help you out. We have a value page where you can actually put in your address and find out kind of a broad range of what your house is valued at if you're looking to sell. And then we can help you narrow that down, too, with a listing appointment. Once again, so many options.
Dave Burnett: It's a great time to do it. Do not wait. Spring, believe it or not, is not too far away. (208) 933-7777. That is the phone number to call Core Group Realty at eXp, one of the sponsors of the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, along with the folks at Movement Mortgage. Go to the website, CoreGroupRealty.com. Find out why they say, "You get more with Core."
Core Group at eXp Realty