Wow! Another great show! Thom and Dave cover a wide range of topics today. They start out with an update on what’s currently happening in our market. They also talk about the importance of curb appeal and updates to think about before getting your home on the market. Getting ready to purchase a home? Listen in on some tips to be a prepared and educated buyer. Our team is here to help every step along the way! Ron is in the studio to go over what has happened in the lending world over the last year. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, you do not want to miss this!


Segment 1

Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz! He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, also an associate broker at Core Group @ eXp Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com, that's the website, or you can always call, 208-933-7777. And I say this every week, a great time to buy or to sell a home, but really I know it doesn't seem like it but we're headed towards spring. It's not far off.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, it's weird that it's right around the corner after this whole week of snow and cold that we've been having. But yeah, it's right around the corner and we are seeing more and more activity as far as people calling us and contacting us to come in and consult with them on getting their house ready for getting it listed this spring. So, I'm having some very interesting conversations with people along that front on whether they should wait for the spring, or go ahead and get listed now.

Dave Burnett: I guess my question would be this, if you're waiting for the spring, are you waiting for the first warm day? Then I'll call? Because really, now is the time to do it, spring is a month away.

Thom Dallman: Oh, my gosh. Yeah. Spring's not too far away. Yeah, there's this concept that, "Oh, come spring that's when all the buyers are coming and we're going to have a lot more activity." Honestly, we have a lot of activity going on right now. Our site alone is just getting so much renewed interest in the last couple weeks, of people registering, people looking online. Especially from out of state, looking for houses to purchase. There's a lot of buyers out there right now. Especially if you have a home that's below that $300,000 price point, because the market's struggling for that price point right now, and needs those listings for those entry-level homes for the first time home buyers and stuff. So it's a great time to sell right now, because there's no competition.

I went on a listing appointment this week with a client, and I pulled up on our MLS the houses that are kind of in their similar price point to see what the competition was. And this was just in Meridian, and we're looking at that $270,000 price point. There were only eight houses that I could find that were their competition.

Dave Burnett: Just eight?

Thom Dallman: Just eight houses that were their direct competition.

Dave Burnett: Wow.

Thom Dallman: I'm like, "Wouldn't you rather list now, where you have eight houses to compete against? Versus the spring when there may be 20? 25?"

Dave Burnett: Exactly.

Thom Dallman: So we had that kind of candid conversation of like, is it better to sell now, or is it better to wait until the spring. My opinion is, sell now. Beat the competition.

Dave Burnett: I guess too, if you're getting ready to sell your house. Once an agent comes out, maybe you have a home inspection, all these things done. There's things you're going to have ... Unless it's a brand new home, but even still there's things you're going to have to do. It may need, you know a little bit of paint here, it may need a little bit of this there, or that.

Thom Dallman: Yup.

Dave Burnett: It's going to take you a month to get that done anyway, to get it ready to go. And guess what, a month from now, we're going to be opening the windows going, "Ahh. Springtime!"

Thom Dallman: Right. Springtime is here!

Dave Burnett: Yeah.

Thom Dallman: Hopefully.

Dave Burnett: You know, we were talking before the show even started today that there are those experts, and I say that with air quotes ...

Thom Dallman: Air quotes, yup.

Dave Burnett: But those experts that say 2019, if you want to sell a home 2019 will be the year to do it. Why is that?

Thom Dallman: That's a ... There was a report, let me just pull it up here really quick.

Dave Burnett: Okay.

Thom Dallman: There was a report that basically said that ...

Dave Burnett: 2019.

Thom Dallman: 2019 to sell because there are ... Over half of the experts out there that were surveyed from Zillow.com, they surveyed 100 real estate experts out there. Over half of them have said that they feel that a slowdown is coming in 2020 for most of the metropolitan areas. And so 2019 is in their opinion, the year to sell.

Dave Burnett: And now ...

Thom Dallman: Now, I don't want people to freak out and say, "Oh, my gosh!" You know, I'm predicting a crash or anything, it's just a slowdown.

Dave Burnett: Yeah, it's not. But typically-

Thom Dallman: We're already kind of seeing a slowdown happening.

Dave Burnett: Big election years, which 2020 is an election year.

Thom Dallman: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Correct.

Dave Burnett: You tend to see the economy, for whatever reason, and it doesn't matter if it's Democrat or Republican, it's not about that.

Thom Dallman: Correct.

Dave Burnett: But for some reason around election years, things slow down a bit.

Thom Dallman: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yup.

Dave Burnett: And I think it's because one party is kind of waiting on another to try to gain the advantage.

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Dave Burnett: So, things will slow down perhaps in 2020.

Thom Dallman: Well, that's yeah. That's what they're predicting. So, the prediction is, you know 2020 slowdown, maybe 2021. But signs are showing up all over in the bigger metropolitan areas, and stuff ... You know there is currently kind of a slowdown starting to happen with interest rates, they kind of went up a little bit at the end of 2018. 2018 did record the slowest amount of increase in sales historically in the last couple years, so that's nationwide. We still here in the Treasure Valley, like we've talked about time and time again, we're kind of in that little bit of a bubble. But we did see a slowdown in January, versus last year this time, we had fewer sales. Home prices, actually from January this year, to January last year still increased but they went down for what they have been. The median home price in Ada County has been in that $320,000s. January showed $318,000 as the median price point.

Dave Burnett: So we're talking a couple of thousand dollars, but-

Thom Dallman: But still just-

Dave Burnett: Instead of going up, now it's going down just-

Thom Dallman: First time in ...

Dave Burnett: So kind of a leveling out.

Thom Dallman: First time in years.

Dave Burnett: Yup.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, I would look at it as more of a leveling out, not like a big downturn. So once again, not trying to panic anybody, we're not going to have an economic crash.

Dave Burnett: Yeah. Well, when you're ...

Thom Dallman: They're not predicting any kind of a crash, they're just predicting a slowdown. Hopefully inventory will start increasing, again we're still at historic lows. 1.2 month's supply of inventory right now in the Treasure Valley. That is up a little bit from last few months so they've been going down closer to 1 month's supply. Which once again, for those that are just tuning in and have not heard of that concept, that means that if not another listing came on the market we would sell out of homes within a month.

Dave Burnett: What would be, and I know we've talked about this in the past but for those perhaps have never heard of that concept, what would be ideal?

Thom Dallman: An even, ideal market, is usually between 4-6 month's supply.

Dave Burnett: Okay.

Thom Dallman: 4 to 6 months, so yes, you can see how-

Dave Burnett: So, 5 month's supply is great. We've got a month.

Thom Dallman: We've got a month. Yes, so that's why they say it's a seller's market right now. Which is a whole nother topic we could talk about. It's a seller's market which means sellers can kind of dictate their pricing a little bit. It's hard to go in and try to get a good deal. Got a few clients I'm working with right now that want to do that, get that good deal, and they're just not out there. We're historically low in distressed properties, that's properties that people are under water, or doing short sales. Because there's equity, home prices are so high that people have the equity, so ... And there's just almost no foreclosures happening, because-

Dave Burnett: When people want to sell right now, I guess there's a variety of reasons, one is they're leaving the area because of a job.

Thom Dallman: Yup.

Dave Burnett: Some would be downsizing?

Thom Dallman: Some are downsizing, and maybe moving cross-country to be with family. We're seeing a multitude of different reasons, some people are upgrading. They're moving from smaller houses, you know first time home buyers are moving up to bigger homes. We've got the baby boomers who are downsizing, you know getting into smaller homes.

Dave Burnett: So it really is a little bit of everything?

Thom Dallman: It's a little bit of everything out there right now. And of course new construction.

Dave Burnett: But from ... Yeah. For the most part though, we are growing, people are moving here.

Thom Dallman: Yup.

Dave Burnett: And that's part of the reason for the low amount, eight homes?

Thom Dallman: Yup.

Dave Burnett: It's part of the reason for the low amount is just so many people moving here there's a lot of competition for those homes.

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Dave Burnett: And as you said, now is the time to get in the fray and sell that house now, before you're competing with 24, or 25 homes.

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Dave Burnett: So, perfect. What can a ... I know you don't really have a crystal ball, but what do you feel we can expect for Treasure Valley ... I know Ron with Movement Mortgage has talked a lot about, that we're going to be a little different than the national average here locally?

Thom Dallman: Yeah, I think we're still ... I think 2019 we're still going to see some of those home prices starting to go back up again this spring, once we get some inventory going again, and once activity starts happening some more. But I think we won't see the dramatic increases like we did last year? You know last year there was 18% increases in home values from month-to-month. Or, from year-to-year. So, we're not seeing that right now, right? You know right now in Ada County it was only 13.9% increase from January this year, from January of last year. So, we're already kind of seeing that slowdown in home pricing going up, so we're not going to see that dramatic increase in prices, I believe. I think we're kind of starting to see that leveling out.

Dave Burnett: Leveling out.

Thom Dallman: And I think that in 2020, while the nation may suffer from that downturn, I think we're going to be more balanced. I think we're going to have a leveling out of the prices, that's my prediction, and it's just my opinion.

Dave Burnett: Yeah.

Thom Dallman: There's no crystal ball, but that's my opinion is that in 2020 we'll see a complete leveling out here in the Treasure Valley, because we are in that bubble. And I think as long as interest rates don't raise too much in 2020 we'll continue to see that kind of just leveling out. Prices will maintain their current levels, and we'll kind of see what 2021 brings.

Dave Burnett: I heard somebody describe Idaho as the Texas of 2019 and 2020, and you'll remember during the last economic slowdown, Texas continued to grow.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly.

Dave Burnett: And their feeling is that Idaho will continue to grow even as things begin to level out, and slow down just a bit.

Thom Dallman: Yup.

Dave Burnett: So, I guess that's good news for us.

Thom Dallman: It is! Very good news.

Dave Burnett: All right. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, being brought to you by the folks at Movement Mortgage. We'll talk to Ron in just a moment about what is happening in the real estate world, and what we can expect with mortgage companies and rates. And of course we'll continue on being brought to you by Movement Mortgage and the folks at Core Group @ eXp Realty. Give them a call today, 208-933-7777, or as always you can go to the website, CoreGroupRealty.com. Find out why they say, "You get more with Core."

Segment 2

Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, and also an associate broker, at Core Group Realty eXp. CoreGroupRealty.com, that is the website. 208-933-7777. Just keep dialing sevens, and eventually somebody will pick up-

And, we'll be good to go.

Well, another week out there, where we've had some slower weather, as far as a little bit of snow, a little bit of a mixture of cold and snow. So, winter kind of hangs on, but it's still early. It's a good time, not only to buy a home, but a good time to make plans or buying or selling for this spring.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, it's a great time to sell. There's minimal competition right now. There's not a lot of homes on the market, and we've got a lot of buyers still looking. So, it's always a good time to sell.

Dave Burnett: Things have really changed, since last year. Ron is with us, with the Movement Mortgage, Equal Opportunity Lender. Ron, things really have kind of changed, since last year, in that we've hit the brakes a bit.

Ron Wieczorek: Hit the brakes a little bit. 2018, was just ... It seemed like-

At least the first half of 2018, was a little bit out of control. We saw numbers in the Treasure Valley that were, actually exceeded any numbers you could see nationwide. So, we were isolated from a lot of, even, their growth, and we were at 18%, I think at our highest, when you look at year over year. I think we ended the year close to 14%, Thom.

Thom Dallman: Mm-hmm (affirmative) Yeah, 13.9.

Ron Wieczorek: That's just in the valley. So, when you go from 18 to now, you start calculating the year numbers, and it's only 14. I say, only with a grain of salt, because we still led the nation, but that's less. So, that number's going down. That means that we're seeing a little bit of stalling in home prices. Which, I think is a real good thing. I'm gonna pivot this to being good for affordability, and I'll get into that.

You mentioned a putting a foot on the brake, and I think that's exactly what's happening, because we were going over the speed limit, for quite a while. If you go over the speed limit long enough, it's bad news.

Dave Burnett: Now, Ron, nationwide, the numbers are a little more dramatic than they are here in Treasure Valley.

Thom Dallman: Just slightly.

Ron Wieczorek: Yeah. Yeah, just slightly. I was actually shocked to see the year over year increase in price. It was under two percent, from December to December, nationwide, for home appreciation. Now, that's taking in 76 metro markets, where some of them might be eight, nine percent, and then some might have lost value. There's parts of Louisiana, and Mississippi, and Alabama, that didn't do so well this year, and for different reasons.

So, you take all that into account. You take in big cities, like we hear about San Jose, and how un-affordable San Jose has become. They've dropped off quite a bit. They rambled off to a huge start. They were up 20%, from November of 2017 to November of 2018. Or, June of 2018, excuse me. Then, the tail end of 18, they really lost a lot of that value and that headway. That showed in that under two percent number for the nation.

So, still isolated in Boise, like Thom said. We're still struggling for those price points for entry level and first time home buyers. So that's, still a real issue, but we are seeing the pump the brakes a little bit, on-

Thom Dallman: Just a little bit, yeah.

Ron Wieczorek: The markets. Which again, I've talked numerous times in the past, about affordability, and what ... When the prices are increasing at a record pace, or at least a high pace, and mortgage rates are going up at a high rate, and it out paces the economic, what's going on in our economy, because it has been, really. It's been really good, nationwide. In a lot of those, with less than two percent appreciation over the United States, they're actually making more.

So, their affordability's getting faster and faster. There's a lot of people out there that are able to afford more home than they were a year ago. Not in the value, yet, not so much. Just because, we see a lot of that net migration, but I do think that we're going to, maybe not stop in the value, but I think it's gonna cool down a lot. I think you're gonna start seeing a lot of the folks, who maybe were on the fence before, being able to get back into the market.

Dave Burnett: Let me ask you a question. This is totally opinion, the fact that over the past year we've seen almost a percentage interest rate increase. Is that not the right move? I mean, is that not why things slowed down, in part?

Ron Wieczorek: It's exactly why, because now we've tempered inflation a little bit.

Dave Burnett: I mean, if I'm looking to buy a home, I'm not excited about that, because my interest rate's gonna be a little bit higher. Not a whole lot, but that really has slowed things down.

Ron Wieczorek: What happens in the aftermath, and we're seeing a little bit of that now, is the rates are actually gonna start coming down a little bit. They have started coming down a little bit, because now inflation is ... If you let inflation just go, then it's the Wild Wild West, and doesn't matter what the rates are, because you can't afford anything, anyway, even with an extremely low rate.

So, when the fed was strategically increasing the rates four times last year, and now they pivoted off that to, maybe, one in 2019, when they originally thought three, that shows me, and I've talked about that before, is that they have inflation under control. With that, along the same coin is, we start to see the rates come down a little bit.

So, as the rates come down a little bit, and the home prices stall a little bit, and not so crazy as far as inflating value, and the economy's still doing well, now you start to see where people are like, okay, take a breath. It's not June of 2018, again, where there's nine, 10 people, all lined up for the same home. That may happen-

Dave Burnett: And, there's a bidding war.

Ron Wieczorek: And, there's a bidding war, and the homes are just off the charts. Maybe, I can take a breath, and I can get into the housing market, and I can afford to buy a home.

Not everyone's gonna see themselves in that position, because it's not, everyone's always ready to buy a home. That's part of why you keep working to get to that point, but I do think that it is really, really a positive thing that we've seen, to your point, that they've controlled inflation a little bit. For, at least the time being. That could change in a month.

Dave Burnett: Now, I come back to this again, and that is the fact that interest rates on loans, really are very good. I mean, we were super low, and now we're just low.

Ron Wieczorek: Right, right. Yeah. I mean, historically ... You hear my dad talk about what interest rate he got on his first home, and every time I talk to him, it seems to be a higher rate, so ...

Yeah, exactly. I mean, it was like, 30%. But, you talk about historical lows, and usually the barometer we use in our industry, is seven percent, as being like, that's where, if it goes over seven percent, you kind of maybe hit the panic button a little bit, because then things are getting a little bit out of control. But, we're still under five, well under five, and creeping down, mid to low fours, again, depending on what product, et cetera.

But, now you're starting to see, they're still excellent to historically excellent. So, you're right. We're still even. We're kind of spoiled in that fact, where we see a lot of, oh, they've gone up a point, and they're still great.

Dave Burnett: I don't like to say we're spoiled. I like to say we're blessed.

Thom Dallman: Yes, there you go. I like that.

Ron Wieczorek: That's a lot better. That's a lot better. I like that.

Also, a lot of this data I've got, is Redfin's data, and they also showed a decline in home sales, across the U.S., down 10.9% over the year. So that's, happening as well, and helping us, some of that inventory grow.

But, what's hurting is the mortgage companies. That's ... Any time I read an article, I see more layoffs within our industry, because when sales are down 10.9%, and the rates, even though they're still excellent, have gone up ... You can't see this fake chart that I'm doing with my hands, but- Thank you. But, as rates go up, and home sales go down 10.9%, all of a sudden, folks aren't refinancing, unless they really, really need to. Because, the rate they have now is better than what they would refinance to.

So, you have a lot of shops and a lot of companies ... You pick up a paper, you see Wells Fargo had a few rounds of what they call right sizing. Which, I still ... It's layoffs.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, it's-

Ron Wieczorek: It's just a nice way of saying layoffs. I mean, I don't think my dad ever walked out of the locomotive plant he worked at, and said, “Oh, we right sized today. We're good.”

Dave Burnett: Oh, boy.

Ron Wieczorek: They were layoffs. So, guaranteed rate movement. We had right sizing, excuse me, earlier in 2018. That's when people were buying homes, and even in the valley, we've seen a couple of ... Home Street was the most recent that exited the market, completely. SoFi is struggling. Cap Wyndham exited the market. So, you have a lot of ... And, Eagle Home Mortgage, my previous employer, was bought, because they didn't like their bottom line.

So, you're gonna see a lot more of that, as the market settles down a little bit, as those refinances go away. Maybe, the rates, even if they stay the same, they're not as attractive for that refinance market. So, it's really a complicated time for a lot of-

Dave Burnett: But, isn't that healthy for the industry? Much as, when building is going nuts, sometimes you have people building a home that maybe shouldn't be. Contractors, subcontractors, that aren't the best, but they're the ones available. Is it not that the cream of the crop is left? The cream rises to the top, as one?

Ron Wieczorek: It usually does, and that's what's happening a lot. Sometimes. Maybe, that's not always. You can't get it 100% right, but for the most part, that's what happens, is ... Then, some folks that aren't passionate about it, and can't weather the storm, or don't want to weather the storm, will exit the industry, and probably go to something that they were-

Dave Burnett: Or, just keep up with the times. I mean, Sears is a perfect example. When they had the catalog, they were a great store, and everybody went to the mall, and everybody went to Sears. They did not keep up with the times, and now the doors are closing.

Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, and you can say that for a lot of companies. I mean, you ... If you had told me, at one time, that Blockbuster was gonna go out of business, I would have said you were crazy.

Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah.

Ron Wieczorek: That's not gonna happen.

Dave Burnett: Or, that Redbox wouldn't be a good alternative. Well, guess what. It's all going online, now.

Thom Dallman: It is, yeah.

Dave Burnett: Keeping up with the times, which is important for a mortgage company, for a real estate company, and ... Really, that's kind of where you're at, is learning the new way of doing things, with the Movement Mortgage.

Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, and just in general, everyone in my industry, are doing things a little different. I still have referral partners call me, because we're making the move towards digital. We've made the move towards digital. We're totally in the digital market. A lot of folks will prefer to call me, and talk to me, and that's what I prefer, and that's how I've always done business. I like seeing you. I like shaking your hands. I like to know who I'm dealing business with.

Some people, a lot of people, it's becoming more and more so they're, “Send me the link to your website, and we'll do it online.” It's like, wait, how do you even know that's-

Thom Dallman: Yeah, right?

Ron Wieczorek: Okay, I'll do that. Then, I'll have some referral partners that haven't embraced it. They're like, “This is a person that you can't send to your website. They're never gonna do it,” and they say, “Hey, why don't you just send me to your website. I don't want ... I don't have time, right now.” I'm like, alrighty.

Because, we, in our mind, know the way we like to do business, sometimes, and we assume that that person we're dealing with, won't do it that way, and that's just not the case. That's-

Dave Burnett: Ron, if somebody wants the information, somebody wants your website, how do they get hold of you at Movement Mortgage.

Ron Wieczorek: Well, I'm gonna go old school. I'm gonna give them my phone number.

Dave Burnett: Okay. Then, you can give them the website.

Ron Wieczorek: My cell ... There you go. It's 208-869-9154.

Dave Burnett: Alright, Movement Mortgage, of course, one of the sponsors of this program, each and every week, along with the folks at Core Group @ eXp Realty. Call them today, 208-933-7777. Find out why they say, you get more with Core.

Segment 3

Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, Associate Broker, at Core Group @ eXp Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com, the website. 208-933-7777. You can always go to the website, CCoreGroupRealty.com, if you want to re-listen to these broadcasts, or listen to our archived broadcasts, as well. They're all put right there for you, along with the homes that are listed, tips, ideas, different blogs that Thom and some of his staff have put together. You'll find it all at CoreGroupRealty.com. That's the website to go to.

One of the things as we do approach spring, and we are getting closer, people, believe it or not, and that's that curb appeal. What I like to call, that wow factor. I know, more times that not, when I've gone to look for a home, there's a thing when you step out of the vehicle, and you walk up, and you stand on the sidewalk in front of the house, you just go, wow.

Thom Dallman: Wow, oh yeah.

Dave Burnett: This is a nice home. As opposed to, yikes.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, I've been on several listing appointments this last week, and it is amazing, the difference between walking up to a well groomed front yard, and a freshly painted house, a clean front door, versus walking up to grass is kind of dying, cobwebs everywhere.

Dave Burnett: Cobwebs everywhere.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly. There is something to be said about that whole look of a house, when you first walk up, and the feel. That curb appeal, that's your first impression that people get of the house.

Dave Burnett: Then, when you walk in the house, that is the opportunity for wow number two.

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Dave Burnett: To walk in and go, man, this is wow. This is a nice house. As opposed to, well, it could use some work.

Thom Dallman: Exactly. Yup, I always tell people, remove your furniture from in front of the door. There's nothing worse than opening a door and seeing a couch right there, the back of the couch. Or, a TV.

Dave Burnett: -the back of the door. That's never good.

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Dave Burnett: That's not good. But, you do have a list of some items that you can do to improve the wow factor and value of your home.

Thom Dallman: Well, yeah. There's a ... I was actually looking online for the 2019 remodeling transactionally. Things that are trending, not only nationally, but they have regionally, as well. Very similar items. The very first thing that they have on the top of the list, that brings the most value bang for your buck, in a remodel project in a house, which kind of surprised me a little bit, was backyard patios.

Dave Burnett: I can see that.

Thom Dallman: A backyard patio has historically, in their national averages for 2018 and 19, is showing about a 55.2% cost recoup, in what it costs to spend it, and what you can recoup in the sale of your house.

Dave Burnett: If you think-

Thom Dallman: Now, these are national averages.

Dave Burnett: Yeah, if you think of the average $300,000 home, and the change that has taken place in these homes in the past five, six years, and that is that backyard, where suddenly, it becomes a livable space.

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Dave Burnett: Outside kitchens. Sort of, barbecue areas. Places you can put furniture, and it's not gonna get destroyed by the weather. That's been a big change.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. People are really starting to enjoy the outdoors a lot more, and wanting that outdoor entertaining. So, we're seeing a lot more patios and decks being refurbished, being nicely landscaped and done. Just sold a house recently, over in the Legends, in Boise, this house had the most amazing backyard. They had the ... They put in this big water feature, waterfall. They put in a big outdoor fireplace, with seating around it. Brick everywhere. It was such a beautiful backyard.

They spent ... The seller spent about $30,000, putting in this back patio, kind of into the house. Luckily, she was able to ... They were able to recoup the cost of that in the sale of the house, from when they had bought it 10 years ago, or whatnot. So, it goes to show that there are some of those things that, especially if you're planning on living in the house for a while, that you can recoup the cost via living in it, but then at the end of, when you go to sell it. So, backyard patios.

Dave Burnett: Do you think ... In your experience and expertise with real estate, is the backyard one of those things that a guy ... Maybe, I'm being sexist, here, but a guy's gonna walk out and go, oh whoa. Look at this. Look at the barbecue. Look at the water feature. Look at the ... This is a backyard I could live in.

Thom Dallman: Yeah.

Dave Burnett: Is it kind of a guy thing? Or, is that just me?

Thom Dallman: I think that might just be you a little bit. From what I'm experiencing with buyers, I think both the guys and the gals, everybody's really kind of enjoying that backyard feel, that look. Women, more for the aesthetic beauty of it, depending on what the backyard looks like. Guys, more for the, ooh, I can grill out here, and entertain my friends, and-

Dave Burnett: If I can grill, and watch TV, and lay in a nice lounge chair, I'm sold.

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Dave Burnett: You've got me.

Thom Dallman: So, I don't ... Yeah, I don't think it's gender specific. I think both ... All genders are enjoying having that backyard space, and enjoying, kind of, the outdoors. We have such great weather here, usually. Usually, not this week, but to really be able to enjoy that outdoor feel.

Dave Burnett: So, investment in your back patio.

Thom Dallman: Back patio. Backyard.

Dave Burnett: We're not talking swimming pools, here. That's a bad investment.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, right.

Dave Burnett: We're talking in the deck and the patio area.

Thom Dallman: Correct. Or, down on the list is deck additions, like adding an actual addition to your deck, and expanding, and stuff like that. So, whether it's composite or wood, they both have their own cost recoup advantages to that.

Next on the list, is garage door replacements.

Dave Burnett: The garage door, okay.

Thom Dallman: An actual garage door replacement, has one of the highest return on investment values.

Dave Burnett: Really?

Thom Dallman: Because, it's so inexpensive to replace a garage door. But, if you think about, especially if your house has one of those garage doors, that's the first thing you see, pulling up to the house, is your garage door, right there in front. So, one of the listing that I was struggling with this last winter, getting sold, they actually had gone and bought a $50 kit that added some texture to the garage door. So, it just added what looked like little pins and stuff on the sides, plus the handle in the middle of the door. Changed the look of the garage door completely. It was amazing how different it looked.

But, a garage door replacement can, especially on a lot of homes that are built with those garages in the front, a garage door replacement can make a huge difference on the look of that. Adding a garage door that has the windows on the top, so the garage is getting sunlight. Things like that, just improves that look of the house. So ...

And, second on that, right below that, is manufactured stone veneer. Adding manufactured stone veneers to your house, in the front of the house, is also another big cost recoup savings. It just-

Dave Burnett: Which isn't ... Think about that.

Thom Dallman: The curb appeal of-

Dave Burnett: That's not a huge expensive on that.

Thom Dallman: Yeah. Well, on average, they are saying that the cost of doing a manufactured stone veneer, and I don't know to what extent ... Excuse me, I'm sorry. But, nationally, it's running about $9,000 to put new veneer on the front of your house, manufactured stone veneer on the front of your house.

Dave Burnett: That would be a significant amount of veneer, then.

Thom Dallman: Yeah.

Dave Burnett: Because, I was just thinking, for me, because I have like ... I have a three bay, or two bays. A double car, and then a single, and just the pillars in between. I've thought about putting veneer stone on them, and it really wasn't ... As I looked at it, it wasn't that expensive to get it done. In fact, I think it was more for the labor than it was for the material.

Thom Dallman: Exactly, yeah. Yeah, it just depends on, obviously, where you're at, and what kind of material you get, and the labor that you can get for it.

Dave Burnett: You get what you pay for, sometimes.

Thom Dallman: Exactly. I was kind of surprised to see that. I hadn't thought about ... I, personally, haven't thought about actually doing that on a house, but the more I think about the new homes that I'm seeing being built-

Dave Burnett: They all have it.

Thom Dallman: The more I'm seeing more and more of that stone veneer on the front. So, it makes sense.

Of course, we've always talked about kitchen remodels. Kitchen remodels, you recoup a lot of that cost. A lot of people love seeing brand new kitchens, and it's just as easy as painting cabinets, updating the countertops, putting in new light fixtures. Maybe, getting some new appliances, and stuff.

On average, that is one of the more expensive, can be one of the more expensive remodel projects, but the return on investment is huge, of doing that stuff.

Siding replacement is another that is quoted as number five on the list. Going through and ... Which, makes sense. If you're gonna do a veneer, the stone veneer siding would be just as-

Dave Burnett: Do that, too.

Thom Dallman: Right? Making it ... It completely makes a different look on the house. I was kind of surprised by this one. Entry door replacements.

Dave Burnett: Yup, I talked to somebody just this week that's replacing their front door.

Thom Dallman: Yeah.

Dave Burnett: Yeah, they're going from ... They skimped when they built the house, knowing that they would replace it eventually, and now they're gonna replace it with something, a very nice entryway.

Thom Dallman: Nice, yeah. Do that. It's showing as on top of the list as one of the biggest ... Or, smallest costs that you can do, but the biggest bang for your buck, as far as curb appeal and looking at the house.

Dave Burnett: Well, it can make a house look the difference between ... And, pardon me the expressions, but being cheap, and being a quality home.

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Dave Burnett: And, that's just the front door.

Thom Dallman: Exactly. Then, next on the list is window replacements. Obviously, a no brainer. If you have older windows, replacing windows can really update and make your house look so much nicer, with brand new windows. One of those more expensive costs, but at the end of the day, will give you more bang for your buck, when it comes to go to sell.

Dave Burnett: Not only in resell, but in just heating and cooling costs.

Thom Dallman: Mm-hmm (affirmative)- Exactly.

It just kind of goes on down through-

Dave Burnett: Bathrooms?

Thom Dallman: Roofing. Bathrooms. Bathroom models was next, after roofing. Replacing your roof. Bathroom remodels. Getting in there and reorganizing your bathrooms. Getting them updated. Bathroom additions is on that list. Then, at the bottom of the list, is master suite additions. Which, kind of surprised me, because so many people are wanting that master bedroom to just be that ultimate relaxation, and get away from the rest of the house, and stuff. So, I was kind of surprised to see that, kind of, towards the bottom of this list. But, it's ...

Yeah, the backyard patios, topping the list.

Dave Burnett: Are you going to make this into a blog?

Thom Dallman: I will, yeah.

Dave Burnett: That'd be good to see that in a blog, and that way you can go back and kind of take a look at the list, and what ... if you're thinking about selling your home, what would help add to it, or maybe just something you want to fix up for the home you currently live in. So, you can check that out online at CoreGroupRealty.com.

CoreGroupRealty.com, with a sponsor of the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, along with the folks at Movement Mortgage. Do this, call 208-933-7777. That's the phone number at Core Group @ eXp Realty. Find out why they say, you get more with Core.

Segment 4

Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, also the associate broker, at Core Group @ eXp Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com. That's the website. 208-933-7777.

Every business, every industry, whether you're selling shirts at a store, or whether you're selling grocery, every industry, there's certain things that customers do that, well, the people in the business would rather not have you do.

Thom Dallman: Oh, my.

Dave Burnett: Real estate-

Thom Dallman: Touchy subject.

Dave Burnett: Real estate is no different. And you know, this is a perfect forum to kind of talk about this, in that there's no threat here, you're just listening in as you're about your business this weekend. But, if you're buying or selling a home, you might find a little nugget here of things what not to do.

Thom Dallman: What not to do.

Dave Burnett: We'll call it what not to do when buying or selling a home.

Thom Dallman: Exactly, exactly. Oh my gosh. This is such a touchy subject because we don't like to point out the bad things that buyers can do.

Dave Burnett: Because, after all, they're customers.

Thom Dallman: Yeah. They're clients, they're customers. They're people that we're out there supporting, representing, and so forth. Well, I'll start with kind of a myth, a misconception out there, that a lot of the buyers out there think that a real estate agent gets paid by a brokerage. They get an hourly wage, they get paid by a brokerage. And, that's not true. We're 100% commission.

Dave Burnett: Okay.

Thom Dallman: And so, that commission's already been negotiated into the purchase price, usually, with the listing side. So, it's usually not out of pocket from the buyers. So, the buyers have this misconception that they can go negotiate with the listing agents to get a lower price because they don't have to pay that buyer's agent a commission. But, the listing agent has already negotiated a set commission amount. So, if that listing agent pulls you in as a buyer and represents both sides, they get the full amount. It's not like they reduce it.

Dave Burnett: Let's put it this way. Let's say I contact you, Thom. And, you're my agent. We're driving around. We look at different places. And suddenly, I see a sign for sale. Without you-

Thom Dallman: Yep.

Dave Burnett: ... I see a sign, and it's XYZ Realty. And I think, "You know what, I'll just call them. They're the one listing the house."

Thom Dallman: Yep. Happens all the time.

Dave Burnett: And so, I call them and say, "Hey, you're listing this house. I kind of would like to buy it." Since they're listing it, they aren't really helping me, they're helping the guys selling the house, aren't they?

Thom Dallman: Yeah. Remember that they're under contract and have a representation agreement with the sellers to try to get the most money that they can for that house for the sellers. So, their obligation is to the seller, not to you as a buyer, not to help you negotiate, not to help you-

Dave Burnett: Well, they'll help me fill out the paperwork. But typically, they're not gonna have my best interest in mind.

Thom Dallman: Correct, correct.

Dave Burnett: I'm just a buyer to them.

Thom Dallman: Correct.

Dave Burnett: I guess that would be the old, "Hey, I got a deal for you." And then, you get two for a dozen or, you know-

Thom Dallman: Yeah. Now, there is the concept of double ending where the listing agent does have the buyer, and they try to represent both sides equally. But in my opinion, I just don't know how anybody can not just vie for one side or the other a little bit more than necessary. So-

Dave Burnett: I think ... And, I'll say this because I don't sell homes. I'm not associating with Core, other than the fact that I do this show with you. Human nature is, "I'm gonna try to take care of myself."

Thom Dallman: Yep.

Dave Burnett: And if I'm selling something, I'm gonna try to take care of myself and get the best deal for me. So-

Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly.

Dave Burnett: Yeah. So, don't go around your agent. The price is always set in there.

Thom Dallman: Exactly, exactly. And, if you're working with an agent, and if they're taking you out and showing you property, they're doing it of their free will in the anticipation that you're gonna work with them to help you buy the house eventually, buy a house. So, we don't get a commission unless we help you buy a house. That's all ... We don't get paid.

Dave Burnett: And, I will say this about Core Group @ eXp: If for some reason you're out looking at properties and you don't feel the agent is fitting right with you-

Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah. Let us know.

Dave Burnett: ... get a hold of you, and you'll get you somebody else that'll fit your personality better. Because, not everybody's a match.

Thom Dallman: Now, I have on occasion had people call me and say, "Look. I asked my agent to show me this house. They said they couldn't show it to me until tomorrow. So, that's why I called the listing agent and brought it up with the listing agent, because my agent wasn't available." So, you do have to preface that with, if your agent's not available, then you might have to have that discussion with them and say, "Hey, I keep trying to look at property with you, but you keep putting me off until the next day. The house goes under contract, I'm losing these deals and stuff." So, you do want a agent that is fairly accessible and can get out there to show you property quickly right now, because it's a seller's market.

On the reverse side of that, you can't expect to be able to get into a house within 15 minutes.

Dave Burnett: "Oh, I just drove by the house Thom-"

Thom Dallman: "I just drove by this house. Can I get in it?" "Oh, well I'm afraid that it's owner occupied. They need an hour notice." Or, a lot of times there's tenants in there. Or, maybe they have dogs, so they have to have time to go in and let the dogs out. So, don't expect your agent to be able to just drop everything, run out there, and show you a house if it's got owners in it and stuff like that. 'cause, a lot of times they need time to get the house ready for you.

Dave Burnett: Well, anyone who's ever sold a house, you get it, you understand. It's like, "Oh, no. We just ate fish. We need to open the windows and air the thing out for crying out loud."

Thom Dallman: Yep.

Dave Burnett: So, yeah. So, be considerate of the people who's in the house, and that the agent, it may take them a little while to get into it. When I say a little while, maybe several hours, or whatever it might be.

Thom Dallman: Yeah.

Dave Burnett: So, okay. So, consideration there.

Thom Dallman: Consideration. Consideration in the type of market right now. It's a seller's market. But, we still have buyers out there that are wanting to low-ball. Let's just put it that way. "I just want a good deal. Every house that I put an offer in, I wanna go in underneath the list price. I wanna at least go 10% underneath the list price." And, it's just not that market right now, because ... Well, I'll preface that with, unless the house has been sitting on the market for a long time. If that's the kind of offers you wanna make, let's look at houses that have been sitting on the market for a while. 'cause, that means that they're probably overpriced, if they're sitting on the market or whatnot. So, there might be that wiggle room of being able to go in and get that house for less.

But, our market dictates the prices on houses. It's not a seller's whim on if they wanna, oh, take this low-ball offer or whatnot. Especially for new homes that just got listed and have other offers.

Dave Burnett: Yeah.

Thom Dallman: We're seeing that.

Dave Burnett: I saw-

Thom Dallman: If your agent says, "There's two offers on this house. What kind of offer do you wanna make?" and you're like, "Oh, I wanna go in $10,000 under their ask price," you might have an issue with being beat out.

Dave Burnett: The last time I sold, back in the '90s, an agent came to me and said, this is their exact words, "I'm kind of embarrassed to give you this offer, but my client wants to make this offer." It was like $15,000 below what we were asking. It's like, "I guess I see why you're embarrassed to give that offer. So, the answer's no."

Thom Dallman: I would never say that about a client. I will always submit an offer that a client wants me to put in for them, and I will try to negotiate that as much as possible. But at the same time, they have to be realistic on what the current situation is with that home and stuff. So, yeah. So, not low-balling in a seller's market is probably a good tip.

Dave Burnett: But, that's where you talk to your agent and say, "Okay, what do you think about this. Is that too low? Is that too low? What do you think is the lowest that they would go?"

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Dave Burnett: You can talk about that with your agent. And, if you have an agent working for you, they're gonna try to get that figured out.

Thom Dallman: Exactly. Yeah.

Dave Burnett: Yeah.

Thom Dallman: Yep. Probably one of the other points that I wanted to kind of talk a little bit about is just the pre-qualification. We talk about right now, since it's a seller's market, that pre-qualification is so important. Especially when you're trying to submit an offer with competing offers, that pre-qualification letter going with it shows that you are actually able to buy the house, that you have the funds, that your lender is supporting you and you have the loan ready and available. So, going out and looking at houses without that prequalification letter is kind of-

Dave Burnett: Wasting everyone's time. I'll say it.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, okay. Maybe a little bit.

Dave Burnett: I'll say it. Yeah. Well-

Thom Dallman: I don't like to say that, because I do think that there is certain aspect to getting people out to see areas in subdivisions so that they can get familiar with them, per se. But, that's with the intent to learn about the areas, not with the intent of putting in an offer. If you're going out to look at a house to potentially put an offer, be pre-qualified. Talk to a lender.

Dave Burnett: But, that's why Core Group @ eXp's agents, you always ask. That's one of the first things you ask. "Are you pre-qualified?"

Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. And, the other part of the aspect of that, is you don't wanna go to a house that's $300,000 and find out that you're only pre-qualified for $250,000. You don't wanna waste your time and efforts-

Dave Burnett: And disappoint yourself.

Thom Dallman: ... and get ... and disappointed. Yeah. That's what I see, is the people that have gone out and who have not been pre-qualified end up finding out they don't qualify for what they thought they could. Or, the lender lets them know that, "With your current expenses, and stuff like that, you may not be comfortable with these higher payments," and so forth. So, they end up finding out that they qualify for less, and then they're disappointed. And, they kind of start to give up on the home search because they've all seen these houses that they've fallen in love with in the higher price points, and when they go to look at their wallets-

Dave Burnett: They just don't qualify for that.

Thom Dallman: Yeah. Exactly.

Dave Burnett: As we talk about this, Thom, and as we wrap up the program today, you know what the one thing I see ... the common thread through all of these different items that get frustrating for buyer and for the agent? It's communication.

Thom Dallman: Communication. Key.

Dave Burnett: Talk, talk, talk. Communicate with your agent. Let them know where you're at, what you're looking for, what you want, what your expectations are. And, make sure you have an agent that's talking to you.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly. And, if you're frustrated with your agent, let them know. And if they don't do anything about it, contact their broker and ask their broker for advice. That's why there's a designated broker and a responsible broker on all contracts, is because that's the person to go to who's in charge of supervising that agent and making sure that they're treating you the way they should be.

Dave Burnett: And look at that, that's you.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, right?

Dave Burnett: Thom Dallman, of course, with the Core Group @ eXp Realty, one of the sponsors of this program, along with the folks at Movement Mortgage. If you are thinking about buying, if you're thinking about selling, there's some dos and don'ts, some things just in communication you need to get established right away. And, the folks at Core would love to sit down and talk with you, and just kind of consult with you about what your expectations and what your goals are for home ownership. Now is a great time to buy. And, it's an even better time to sell if you have a home and you're looking to upgrade, or looking, for whatever reason, to sell. Core Group @ eXp Realty is the company. CoreGroupRealty.com is the website. And the number to call, 208-933-7777. Find out why they say, "You get more with Core."

Ron Wieczorek

Movement Mortgage

208 869-9154


Core Group at eXp Realty

208 639-7700


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