We have a full show for you today! Sunny and Rusty, from Sunny Skies Media, are in the studio to talk about listing photos, as well as fill us in on their new company. Ron Wieczorek, from Flagstar Bank, stops by to update us on the home loan world and to talk about distressed properties, something we aren’t seeing a lot of right now.
Thom and Dave finish out the show by going over some of the things you should avoid doing when buying a new home.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, also the Associate Broker at Core Group Realty at EXP, the website CoreGroupRealty.com. The phone number (208)933-7777, and the address right on Emerald Street, just up from the Boise Town Square Mall.
Thom Dallman: 8665 West Emerald Street. Yup, two blocks west, well, a block and a half, actually, of the Boise Town Square Mall. A great location. Convenient to stop by, and visit us, and come and see what we have going on.
Dave Burnett: Lots of free parking.
Thom Dallman: Yes, lots of free parking. We usually have an agent standing by, to help with anything. Nine out of 10 times, you'll find me there, working away as well.
Dave Burnett: For those who are kind of old school, stop in and see the office.
Thom Dallman: Talk face-to-face.
Dave Burnett: See the people. It's a good way to do that.
Thom Dallman: I'm old school like that. I like to actually meet people, get to know them a little bit, see their body language, and stuff like that. I'm old school like that too.
Dave Burnett: I am too, but you can always check it out at CoreGroupRealty.com, the website, and on that site, you can look at properties, or look at the multiple listing service.
Thom Dallman: We have a link to our homes search site, that has the most updated information, has homes on there. It updates every 15 minutes, so you're going to get the newest homes that are on the market. It'll remove anything that has gotten pending, so you're not looking, wasting your time, sending off requests for houses that have already gone under contract. Now with that being said, they do go very quickly. Some of them, if they're priced right, they go quickly, and so you may send a request about a house and just to get a response back, "Oh, that just went under contract." They haven't had a chance to update to our MLS yet.
Dave Burnett: We talk about being old school, but the nice thing, I know for Core Group Realty at EXP is that, the company is not old school. It's very high tech when it comes to websites. One of the best real estate websites around. Interactive and informational.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah. Of course.
Dave Burnett: Use Facebook, Instagram, and everything else social media, because it's kind of the way people are finding and selling houses.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah, yeah. For those that are looking to list their homes and sell their homes, contact us. We'd love to show you our marketing plan, and some of the things that are unique to us like this radio show. Not every real estate company out there has a radio show, that they can promote homes, and get them out there to the general public, and that's what it takes these days.
You have to kind of rise above the other homes and stuff on the MLS, in unique ways, and we have those options available to us.
Dave Burnett: Rising above the noise.
Thom Dallman: Right. Exactly.
Dave Burnett: You think about the differences and changes in the past eight to 10 years, and how different even the real estate company, and a real estate business is.
Thom Dallman: It's crazy. It's insane.
Dave Burnett: What a difference in the past decade.
Thom Dallman: It's insane. Yeah. I of course, get all these different reports from different areas and stuff like that, but one of my favorites is Jere Webb. He's been in the real estate industry here for 30 plus years. He has been compiling reports, dating all the way back to 2004, just kind of tracking inventory levels, sales, everything about the market, and I found it fascinating that we keep talking about this low inventory, but he compared 2008 and 2019 inventory levels for resale, and new construction, and it's fascinating to see this report, and how low we are in inventory January, February of this year, versus January and February of 2008.
For example, new construction in Ada County. We had 12,655 homes available in 2008, and 12,018 available in February of 2008. This year, we were at 874 and 817.
Dave Burnett: We went from ... did you say 12,000 or 1,200?
Thom Dallman: Oh, 1,200. 1,200, yeah. 1,218 and 1,216.
Dave Burnett: Still, that's 400 less.
Thom Dallman: That's 400 less new constructions, and when you're talking, under 1,500 homes, that's a significant number decrease.
Dave Burnett: People are out looking. It narrows a selection down to where you've got to be aggressive to get the-
Thom Dallman: Yes, but that's a new construction. Now, let's talk about resale. We know that new construction is prevalent right now. We talk about how it's January, or sorry, February numbers came in at 38% of the market was new construction sales. Our inventory for resale homes, so that's homes that people owned, people have lived in for a while, and just decided that they wanted to sell, whether it's upgrade, downgrade, or move out of the state, or whatnot.
January and February of 2008, we're at 3,005 and 3,200, homes available of resale. So, 3,000 homes available. This year, we were at 488 and 516.
Dave Burnett: Wow.
Thom Dallman: Dramatic change.
Dave Burnett: 3,000.
Thom Dallman: From 3,000, to 486, and 516 in February.
Dave Burnett: I don't know if that break ... is that Ada County, or is that the Boise area?
Thom Dallman: This is just Ada County. We're just looking at Ada County's.
Dave Burnett: Because, Boise property. It is getting harder and harder to find property within the city limits.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Yeah, it is. It's been getting more and more difficult, and that's why a lot of people are kind of moving out towards Canyon County, or to Canyon county for the accessibility ...
Dave Burnett: Or Middleton, Star.
.. to homes. These towns are growing. These towns are getting some great things in to them, to make them in to communities that people are proud of to live in, especially Kuna. Kuna has grown so significantly, and added so much to the township itself in to the schools, that people really love living out there. The people that I know that live out that way, just love it. They have no intentions of moving in. They like where it's at. They like the ease of being able to get in to town, when they want to.
Thom Dallman: Meridian road is a nice big wide highway.
Dave Burnett: Exactly.
Thom Dallman: Brings you right to the freeway.
Dave Burnett: Exactly.
Thom Dallman: So, that is nice.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Thom Dallman: You think about the past eight years, and the changes that are taking place, all of the construction on apartments. It seems like every time you turn around, there's another apartment building going in.
Dave Burnett: More apartment buildings coming in. Yup. Rentals. That's why we say like rentals are predominant now, especially for those people who want to come in to town and rent for a year, before they decide on an area. It's a great option. There's a lot of great rental properties out there, a lot of great apartment complexes that are being built, a lot of different options as well as homes. There's not a whole lot of rental homes out there. People are still buying investments in rental properties. So, there's a lot of options that route.
Thom Dallman: But I'll come back to this again. If you are going to rent and sometimes renting is the right option, but to buy with interest rates even still where they're at, in some cases you're going to pay a lot less ...
Dave Burnett: Explore it.
Thom Dallman: ... to buy a home.
Dave Burnett: Explore it, because some of the rentals out there, you're paying just as much as you would for a mortgage. The only thing is, a mortgage or investing in yourself, investing in your family. Investing that money towards developing your own wealth in the future.
Thom Dallman: But yeah, it's something to definitely sit down and discuss.
Dave Burnett: There's some give and takes on both sides. The maintenance of a rental property are almost none, because the landlord takes care of it. You do have to kind of think about things like that. One of the things that we love to do, is to kind of sit down and go over those options with people, and kind of discuss this, and kind of give them the pros and cons of each side.
Thom Dallman: Perhaps somebody listening today, they and their spouse have sat and talked about it. Is it the right time to buy? Is it not the right time to buy? When you're inexperienced at it, you don't know. You could just kind of know what you've heard. At Core Group Realty at EXP, you have no problem with sitting down counseling somebody and saying, you know what? Let's make a list of pros and cons, and if it's not the right time, you'll say it.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, we found a lot of clients find it very of value, to just sit down and have this discussion and have like an initial consultation and talk about what the process is. There's a lot of first-time home buyers out there, that are unaware of what it actually takes to get in to it. I just chatted with someone this week, that was under the impression that they still needed the 20% down, and how many times did we say it? You're a first-time home buyer. You don't necessarily need that 20% down. It turns out this person really kind of wants that for his own sake in mind, but it's not necessary in this market right now, that we're in.
Thom Dallman: The other thing I know that Ron has talked about before, and you have talked about as well, that sometimes it's good to go ahead and go get pre-approved, because you may find out that you are eligible to buy a home, when you thought maybe you weren't. Maybe that blemish on your credit was going to keep you from it, or maybe you know, this, that, or the other. It's a good thing to do, to just find out.
Dave Burnett: Oh, yeah. For sure.
Thom Dallman: A necessity. If you're shopping, you want to be pre- qualified, so that way you take all the advantages of your agent at Core Group, to make sure you get a bid in when it's time.
Yeah, sellers are expecting those pre-qualification letters, especially when there's multiple offers, and they want to know that you're qualified, and are able to buy that house.
Dave Burnett: Well, Thom, if somebody wants to check it out, of course they can to go to CoreGroupRealty.com. How else can somebody get hold of you?
Thom Dallman: You can send us an email at email@example.com, or you can just give us a call at that (208) 933-7777 number, and someone's standing by.
Dave Burnett: If you are thinking about buying a home, or if you're wondering is renting life for me, or would it be better to buy? The folks at Core Group are more than happy to chat with you about that, and just help you get settled in some peace of mind, to know that you're taking the right track.
Information, as you know, and knowledge is power.
Thom Dallman: It is.
Dave Burnett: That way you can go forward and do the right thing. We'll continue. We're going to be talking to Ron, coming up here in just a minute, about finances and about, oh, we're going to go ahead and kind of look at then and now. We'll take a look back at the past as well, as we continue with the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, being brought to you by the folks at Core Group Realty at EXP. CoreGroupRealty.com, the website, (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, the associate broker of Core Group Realty @ eXp. CoreGroupRealty.com, that is the website. (208) 933-7777, that is the phone number to call. Ron is with us with Flagstar Bank, equal opportunity lender, and a new name.
Ron Wieczorek: Good morning, Dave.
Dave Burnett: Same great service.
Ron Wieczorek: Same great service. More products, better rates, so pretty excited about the change.
Dave Burnett: Perfect.
Dave Burnett: Cool. I want to hear a little bit more about that in the coming weeks as well, as you get more settled in, in what you're doing.
Ron Wieczorek: Perfect. No, I appreciate that.
Dave Burnett: Speaking of getting settled in, one thing, and it doesn't seem like that long ago that we were dealing with, and I remember, Thom, you used to have a list of distressed properties. Every week, another distressed property.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. We used to always. When we had people searching for those all the time, trying to find those distressed properties to flip, to get into and rehab and stuff. That's what I started doing back in the day when I first got into real estate. So, it was prevalent way back when, but now-
Dave Burnett: Because that's where the deals are, right?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, that's where the deals are. That's what everybody was looking for. Still do. Still have a few people here and there that pop up saying, "I want to look at distressed properties," but they're just not out there anymore.
Dave Burnett: Ron, they're not there? That's what you're finding?
Ron Wieczorek: I have evidence based numbers to back that up, yes. Delinquencies and foreclosures are at their lowest point since 2000. I talked over the break, what would be easy for me to say since 2008, because I would hope so, because they were, like Thom said, very prevalent after the market crashed. So now that we go back to 2000, that's a time when it was just starting to grow and things were great. So be at an all-time low for that, or a near 20 year low, is a pretty big accomplishment. They say that .4% ... We'll talk about foreclosures first, because I used foreclosures and I used delinquencies. That's two different terms. So, what a foreclosure is, that they're already in that distressed stage and the home's gonna be bank owned and turned over and go to the market. That's nationwide. That's at .4%, and it's actually down .2% from this time last year.
Dave Burnett: Crazy.
Ron Wieczorek: During the break, Thom was looking up the-
Thom Dallman: I pulled it up.
Ron Wieczorek: He pulled it up.
Thom Dallman: I'm like, "I'm kind of curious because the last time I looked, it was below even that," and sure enough, it's at .005% right now.
Ron Wieczorek: Right, so there's eight properties-
Thom Dallman: We have eight properties out of 1468.
Ron Wieczorek: There you go. You remember the number. So, our numbers are consistent with that nationwide. I touched on delinquencies. That's at 4.4% across the board. What a delinquency, is if you're over 30 days late with your mortgage payment, you're considered in some form of delinquency. Now, a lot of folks, they're real concerned, will call me and say, "It's the 1st," or, "It's the 3rd. I didn't make my payment yet. I know I'm behind." Well, you're not behind. You have that grace period. You have 15 day grace period before you have a late fee, and then you have 30 days before anyone really is gonna get on your case about it, and then it starts getting reported to credit. That's what they call the delinquency. So, that's at 4.4, which-
Thom Dallman: And that's not encouraging people to go ahead and wait the 15 days.
Ron Wieczorek: No. Well, maybe the 14th day if they want to maximize every penny that comes automatically out of their account, then that's fine.
Dave Burnett: You know what would be an interesting study, is to find out why now. We know eight years ago why people were going delinquent or late. Why now somebody would go delinquent or late?
Ron Wieczorek: Why they would go? I'll tell you why they wouldn't. I'll tell you why they wouldn't right now is because we have solid income growth. We have a record amount of home equity, so those properties have come, like maybe that were distressed in 2008 and people hung onto them. Or maybe they switched hands or were flipped. Now they've grown equity at a point where it doesn't make sense. Like if you can't make your payments, you're three, four months behind, you sell it. And there's an absence of the high risk loans. We talked a lot about this in the past. Previous to 2008, and there's been movies made about it. It was kind of a house of cards.
You had all these loans out there based off, you know you had a Walmart greeter that you say, not to pick on Walmart greeters, but they don't make 200 grand a year. If you saw some of the loan applications that were in the system nationwide, not anybody I was ever associated with. They'd state their own income. State what they made, and nobody checked it. So, you had a Walmart greeter making 200 grand a year, and they're like, "Yep, sounds good to me. Next." That was very prevalent. So, those reasons. We had a lot of regulations. So, the high risk loans have been out of the market for awhile. We've had the increase of home equity, and we've had solid income growth. All of that has led to lower foreclosure rates. It now provides a pretty good cushion. So, now we have a cushion moving forward if somebody was in trouble that they could get out of it pretty easily if need be.
Now, you say why is there .4 out there. Why is it any more than zero?
Dave Burnett: What are they doing? What's going on here?
Ron Wieczorek: Right. There's just a lot of ... Not a lot of scenarios. It's very rare, but maybe it's they didn't recover from where it was before. Maybe the property's just in that bad of shape, that it doesn't make sense anymore. Maybe someone beat it up, didn't take care of it. We're talking about a very small percentage of the population. But it does exist. Maybe it's not at my house. Maybe it's not at your guy's house, but there is still a small part of the population that just doesn't take care of their stuff, and maybe beat it up to a point where if you put it on the market, that value is so low, they're still underwater. So, there's that.
Thom Dallman: I've seen situations where they've taken out home equity lines. Gone in to try and do a rehab. Gotten way in over their heads. Then all of a sudden, all their equity has been taken out because of that home equity line, so they can't ... They don't have the money to pay off the loans, and stuff like that.
Ron Wieczorek: And just because you have some equity in the house doesn't mean you could sell it because you have fees that are associated with selling. If you have less than 7% equity in the house, you're talking about the fees for a real estate agent. You're talking about the title fee. So, you still might be underwater with a little bit of equity. There are extreme cases, but they don't happen a lot.
Another reason that it can happen, and this hasn't impacted our area at all, but you'll see concentrations of North Carolina where they're higher. In September of 2018, they had Florence, which is a hurricane. So, Hurricane Florence ripped through in September of 2018 and they're still seeing a lot of those wounds are still open. You've had wildfires in California very recently.
Dave Burnett: Destroyed a lot of homes.
Ron Wieczorek: Anytime there is natural disasters, what comes along with the natural disasters are folks that maybe get behind in the mortgage payment. So, in those concentrated areas, that .4 number nationwide may be 1%, 2%, and that's bringing up that .4. So the .4 actually might be .2 really in the nation, but you have those special cases that are driving up that number. Natural disasters will always bring that number up.
Dave Burnett: How is this affecting, or is this affecting your business when it comes to lending and where we're at?
Ron Wieczorek: It hasn't yet, but there's a lot of murmurs on how it's going to. In fact, Moody's came out with a recent article that said that they're predicting a rise in mortgage delinquencies. Why they're predicting this rise is because they're saying that there's not enough risk in the market, and mortgage companies, in an effort to be more competitive. What's happened, when the mortgage rates have gone up, so this is two-fold. The mortgage rates have gone up, so all the refinances we used to get, we've seen disappear in the market. Not completely because some people still need that home equity out of their house. There might be that couple that didn't save enough for Johnny's college and want to take out some money. Or more recently, maybe pay a half million dollars to somebody to get them into Harvard. So, they're utilizing some of that. That's a different topic altogether.
So, you see that where the rates have gone up and the refinances come off the board. In that case, and with tight inventory, mortgage companies are doing less. Less volume, less production. So, what you see a lot of, and we've seen it here even locally, is a lot of companies get bought by other companies, and then downsize. They call it right-size. They make it sound better, but downsize that staff. When they're doing that and there's more and more pressure on profitability, what happens? Well, we've got to make more loans. How do we make more loans? Well, look at this standard. With only .4 delinquencies, or .4 foreclosures, there's some room that we have a lot of very well performing loans. We can take a little more risk and straddle that line. See where that line is.
Dave Burnett: Isn't that dangerous though? Is there not a danger with that of going back to where we were eight, 10 years ago?
Ron Wieczorek: We haven't seen it yet, but yes, it's an extreme danger. It's how much do you loosen it up? Do you go back to the wild, wild west and you say-
Dave Burnett: You've got a job, you've got a loan.
Ron Wieczorek: Exactly.
Thom Dallman: If you're breathing, you get a loan.
Ron Wieczorek: Right. I call them pulse loans. If you have a pulse, you have a loan. Do we go back to that? I don't see that. There's legislators and Congress, and everybody really, we have short term memories. Sometimes we have short term memory loss, and we maybe lose sight of what happened in 2008, but not completely. We grew up, and a lot of people that are buying homes grew up and saw their parents maybe struggling with a lot of this. So, I think that they're not gonna go back and can't go back to the way it was before with the house of cards. But I do think there'll be maybe, okay we went up to 50% back end debt ration. Maybe we'll make it 52. Everyone else is doing 50, so maybe we'll capture more people by doing that. Somebody at X mortgage company said no, we'll say yes. So, you'll see a little bit more of that, and they'll have to monitor it and package it and find someone to buy it, but that's what Moody's was saying, that they predict that that number's gonna go up.
Thom Dallman: I feel like we're seeing a little bit of that right now because I know that we've had buyers that have come to us and said, "I went with this national loan company and they're telling me I'm not qualified." Then we get in with a local lender, with you guys, and you guys are, "Yeah, we can get you qualified. Here are some of the primers and stuff." Is that what that amounts to, or like-
Ron Wieczorek: Well, it's actually the reverse of that in a way, because a lot of companies are very mortgage-centric, and that's where they make their money. Even though Flagstar has bank next to it, we make our money on mortgages. So, we're gonna offer what our investors will allow us, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. When you go to maybe a bank that has deposits and they can make the money off wealth management, they can make the money off checking and savings, they have eight or nine buckets they make money, so when it comes to the mortgage piece, they'll write their own overlays and say, "That .4 is even too much for us. We're making money in other directions, so we want to be in the mortgage market, but we want to be in it in a way that we 100% know it's profitable and performing."
Dave Burnett: Exactly.
Ron Wieczorek: And mortgage companies, our job is to play by the rules, use the guidelines, and interpret the guidelines in a way to get someone in a home that should be in a home. So, we're maybe not taking more risks, but we're taking the risks that are allowed to us. I see Dave. We're running out of time.
Dave Burnett: We are running out of time, and I want to give people a chance if they want to get a hold of you there at Flagstar. How do they get a hold of you if somebody maybe thinking about getting a loan, thinking about buying a home. Well, Ron can take care of, or Thom can take care of that. Ron, you take care of the money end of it. How do they get a hold of you at Flagstar?
Ron Wieczorek: My cell phone is always on me. It's area code (208) 869-9154.
Dave Burnett: Very good. Flagstar Bank, you can check that out. Of course, one of the preferred lenders and one of the sponsors of The Idaho Real Estate Buzz, along with the folks at Core Group Realty @ eXp. Call them 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, also the associate broker of Core Group Realty @ eXp. CoreGroupRealty.com the website, (208) 933-7777, that is the phone number. And Thom, we have a couple of guests in.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, we do. Everyone knows that I'm big about the relationships that we have out there in the industry and building on those relationships for all of our service providers and everything that we do. So we're really super excited because we have Sunny, who's a professional photographer here, who we absolutely adore and love her work and her photography. She's ventured out and started a new company along with Rusty, who's also here. Sunny Skies Media. Is that correct?
Thom Dallman: All right, good. And so I really wanted them to come on and talk a little bit about Sunny Skies Media, what brought you guys together and into the passion of getting this company together and going. So, if you guys could share a little bit of that, it'd be great.
Rusty: Sure. So, we, Sunny and I, both independently had been working as real estate photographers in the Treasure Valley for seven, eight, nine years. We've been working in parallel but not in conjunction with each other. And just recently, the last three months, three or four months or so, we've been merging our businesses together. A lot of what I focus on is a lot of video and aerial photography. Sunny's the best as far as real estate into your next year photography.
Thom Dallman: I can vouch for that.
Rusty: Absolutely. Absolutely. She's fantastic. And so it's been really great to be able to merge our talents together and combine forces rather than to compete.
Dave Burnett: Cool, cool.
Sunny: Yeah, and to add onto that too, so we've known about each other for the past nine years. We've never actually met each other.
Dave Burnett: Oh, wow.
Sunny: Until another photographer, a real estate photographer, invited me and Rusty and another real estate photographer golfing.
Dave Burnett: Oh wow.
Sunny: And they put us, they put me and Rusty in the golf cart together. And so, we started talking and-
Dave Burnett: One thing led to another.
Sunny: I've been known as the queen of real estate photography and I've been calling him the king of aerial and video. So we thought merging together would be good.
Thom Dallman: Dominate the marketplace. I love it.
Dave Burnett: I think the aerial aspect of it, I'm assuming with a drone, that that is something that has really changed in the real estate market in the past half a dozen years or so.
Rusty: Yeah, absolutely. When I first started my business, I originally started at a company called Sky Blue Media, and that was back in January 2010. So that's when I first started, the drones were military owned. Nobody was flying around.
Dave Burnett: Nobody was doing it back then.
Rusty: Exactly. You couldn't go to Costco and buy a drone. I had to create my own platform, aerial platform, what I'd fly up with a DSLR camera and created this six foot rotor diameter helicopter, actual helicopter, that would fly up and just tinkered with it for a while. And that's how I first started doing the aerial photography. But back then there was nobody else that was shooting it or providing it. So, it was like trying to push, sell people on the idea that this actually created value and took a couple of years but a little bit of traction pretty quickly.
Dave Burnett: Now look where drones have come, to where you can buy them at Costco for $400 and they produce pretty good photos.
Rusty: Relatively, yeah.
Dave Burnett: But much like using a camera, there's one thing to produce easy photos. It's another thing to be the person behind it and produce quality. Which is necessary for buying and selling a home.
Rusty: It's one of the things that we see out there in the industry so much is the realtors themselves taking their cell phones to houses and taking pictures, and it's, I just beat my head whenever I see that on the MLS. Just hire a professional like Sunny and Rusty to come and do that. It's so worth the money to market this house just right and to get it shown a just right. It's so important to make sure that your realtor's having the professional photography in the house.
Dave Burnett: Sunny, how did you get into the business of taking pictures of houses?
Sunny: Well, before I started doing the architecture real estate, I was dabbling here and there and I shot a few weddings. And that's all I have to say about that. Houses want to look big and brides don't. So, I just have always, I like lines-
Rusty: That's an interesting way to put it.
Sunny: I really like lines. Architect. When I was little I wanted to be an architect or a photographer. Why not be an architect photographer? And I've just always had a passion for it. So, several years ago I was working for a company and I found any way possible to be the photographer, and he just started pimping me out to every agent that he knew. And then eventually I was too busy to go back to work for him.
Dave Burnett: He created his own monster.
Thom Dallman: All right.
Dave Burnett: Thom, on the real estate side, you understand, and the folks at Core Group Realty @ eXp understand, the importance of a home looking really good in those photographs.
Thom Dallman: Yes. Oh yes. Where you often say like, "You need to have your house prepped and ready to go," and it's amazing how many times, and Sunny could, you guys could probably attest to this, how many times have you walked into a house and been like, "You are not anywhere near ready to have any photos done in this house." People just don't, excuse me, take our advice about-
Dave Burnett: I'm going to go ahead and say this, they don't follow your advice on flattering it.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: I know when, one of the things when just snapping pictures around the house of family and everything, it always amazes me when you look and go, "Oh, I didn't realize all that junk was there on the table behind y'all."
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah.
Dave Burnett: So really getting that house prepared for photographs is hard to do and important.
Rusty: Oh, absolutely. It's super, super important. That's one of the things that we realized pretty quickly, is that clean is a very relative term, right? I remember going into in a very beautiful large home before and having piles of dog hair that were in the corner of the laundry room and the homeowner coming home and, "Doesn't the house look amazing?" And they ... curious what it looked like before he had cleaned it, before he ... his standard, it was clean. But that's absolutely necessary, having the house de-cluttered, having it tidy, having everything put away. Personal effects, anything that's personally yours, we typically want people to take that out because it makes it easier for the new potential buyer to imagine themselves and their things being inside that home.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: I was just thinking, my house, I don't even want to think if I had aerial shots too. There's that notorious north side of my home. Thom, as you know, we've talked about before.
Thom Dallman: Oh, yes.
Dave Burnett: I don't think I want an aerial shot of that being done.
Thom Dallman: Yes. And if you're one of those, a couple of weeks ago, we had that helpful hint on the roof to throw deicer into pantyhose and throw it up on your rooftop.
Dave Burnett: Yes, exactly.
Thom Dallman: So before we get photos done, aerial photos done, make sure you get those pantyhose off the house.
Rusty: I'm wondering why there's pantyhose on his roof.
Thom Dallman: Right.
Rusty: What kind of parties does he throw?
Thom Dallman: We're mixing our different vendors that we've had. We had a roofer come by and say that was one of the helpful hints for keeping ice and snow off of your roof, was throw deicer in the ... So anyways, but one of the things I often tell people is just make sure that you move your, open your drapes, get those blinds open and stuff like that. Because we've often gone in and seen houses where it's so dark, it's like you're walking into a cave.
Sunny: You're scared to walk in.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Sunny: Is it haunted? Why isn't anybody here? You open the blinds, turn on the lights, and then it just changes the whole atmosphere, though.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: So Sunny, if you're coming to my house to shoot photographs for a real estate sale, what is your process you go through? You don't just come in and start shooting pictures. What's the process you go through?
Sunny: So the first thing to do is, you're not going to call me, your agent is going to call me.
Dave Burnett: Okay.
Sunny: Because I work with agents because they're the professionals, just like I want me to be hired as a professional photographer. They're going to give you a photography prep list, that we provide to you with even pictures of how it should look. So, by the time we come to the house, it's mostly ready. But when I arrive, I knock on the door, let you know I'm here, come in, make sure all the lights are on, adjust blinds if they need to be. Fluff pillow, if there's a trashcan out, we move it. I'm pretty OCD.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Sunny: That's what they call it. So, a trash can or even a used soap, I allow certain soap dispensers, if it's from Whole Foods or something they can keep it.
No. But yeah, I just do a walkthrough of the entire house and makes sure all the lights are on. And I tell people to leave all the lights on until I drive away, because we use that light.
Dave Burnett: Okay. Now I'm aware of the fact that there's more real estate companies out there than Core. And Thom and I talk about it on a regular basis, so let me ask you this. If I'm over at XYZ Real Estate Company and we're at that point, can I say to my agent over at XYZ, "Hey, I'd like to use Sunny Skies Media." Is that, can you do that? Can you request your photographer?
Rusty: Absolutely. That's the reality is, is that the homeowner, whoever the homeowner is, they're the end customer.
Thom Dallman: You're in charge.
Dave Burnett: They're in charge.
Rusty: They're the ones in charge of driving the bus, really. They're the ones who own the property and want to sell it. They're hiring professionals who are those real estate agents to come in and do their best work. And that's why we work with people like Thom to be able to ... they assembled typically a team behind them to provide the level of service they want.
Thom Dallman: The best service, yeah.
Rusty: To their clients.
Dave Burnett: Okay.
Rusty: And so yeah. But they're the ones calling the shots ultimately. The agents typically have photographers that they work with, but if you have a specific photographer you want to use-
Dave Burnett: Yeah, for sure. For sure.
Thom Dallman: And just if someone came in and asked to use a specific one, we'd probably cater to that. We'd probably recommend, of course try to get them over to a Sunny Skies Media, but at the-
Sunny: And we're happy to come re-shoot.
Thom Dallman: What's that?
Sunny: I said, and then we're happy to come re-shoot.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Once you do that, yeah, they'll come and re-shoot it once we have issues and stuff. But I think it's, yeah, important to make sure that you note that you can ask that question. You can say, "Do you take professional photography or have someone come and take it? Who is that company? What's their reputation like?" And go examine that when you're interviewing with agents. Because they're, like I said, there's a lot of agents out there that will say that they do it, but then they'll show up with their cell phones and take pictures.
Dave Burnett: With their iPhones.
Thom Dallman: And stuff like that. And when you're selling this investment property, you can't jeopardize the sale on cell phone photography.
Dave Burnett: And I'll say this, Thom, because I know of two real estate agents who work for the companies that listen to this program, because they've come to me and said, "Hey, I listened to just see what's going on." So if somebody is looking for somebody to come do aerial or come do shots in the house, they can get hold of Sunny Skies Media and make a new contact there.
Sunny: Yeah, absolutely. And we try to be your full service package. So we do 3D as well as aerial video, lifestyle video, photography.
Dave Burnett: Wow.
Rusty: Head shots.
Sunny: Head shots.
Dave Burnett: Head shots.
Sunny: We have a studio.
Rusty: Yeah. We try to be a one stop shop for real estate agents, builders, developers. And that real estate market, it's kind of a unique market that's typically quick turnaround and high expectations, and that's part of the reason we combined forces as well, is to be able to have a team to be able to take care of our customers in a much more professional way.
Thom Dallman: I personally had Sunny do my head shots, and my partner Gabe has just recently had his done as well, and absolutely loves them, so yeah, we can vouch for the professionalism and how awesome they do with this photography.
Dave Burnett: And that whole 3D thing, that's a whole nother show.
Thom Dallman: That's a whole nother show.
Sunny: A whole nother show.
Dave Burnett: That's something that I'll go in on the weekend sometimes when I have the weekend off and go to Core's site. And I love touring homes on the 3D. I'm not looking for a home, but I just, maybe I'm a bit of a warrior that way. I just like going through other homes on the whole 3D thing.
Sunny: Get your 3D glasses on and eat some popcorn.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: It's just a fascinating thing. So, if somebody wants to get hold of you, how do they do that? Ah, they both look at each other.
Rusty: well, right. You can find us on our website which is sunnyskiesmedia.com.
Sunny: That's S-U-N-N-Y-S-K-I-E-S-M-E-D-I-A dot com.
Rusty: Okay, and then ... oh, go ahead.
Thom Dallman: No, after you.
Rusty: I was just going to say, and then our phone number is 208-639-0905.
Dave Burnett: And if you didn't catch it, are they on the preferred vendors list on-
Thom Dallman: We're going to be putting them on there for sure.
Dave Burnett: Perfect. Yeah, you could do at CoreGroupRealty.com, that of course the website. Thanks so much Rusty and Sunny for stopping by, and we wish you the best of luck and looking forward to seeing some great things from Sunny Skies Media.
We'll continue on the other side. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by the folks at Flagstar Banking, and of course at Core Group Realty @ eXp. CoreGroupRealty.com the website, 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, associate broker at Core Group Realty at eXp. CoreGroupRealty.com the website. 208-933-7777. 208-933-7777. You can always call and get more information, whether it's about this show or whether it's about Core Group or what's going on. Open houses, whatever may be going on. You can find out more about that.
Thom Dallman: All kinds of stuff happening.
Dave Burnett: Yep. Perfect. You know one of the things we've talked about on this show, and let me point out, this isn't just a show about buying and selling houses. That's what Core Group Realty at eXp does. You buy and sell homes, but this show, in particular, is to empower you, and I love saying that knowledge is power.
Thom Dallman: Yep.
Dave Burnett: You have information, you have knowledge.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: And have more control of what's going on around you. This is kind of what we like to do here.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. And it lies within my passion of in life of educating and helping people just be more powerful with the knowledge that they have and the things that are available to them. And stuff, whether it's in the real estate industry or just in life in general. I just love empowering people with knowledge.
Dave Burnett: And I like to point the fact that while you do this every day, day in and day out, basically seven days a week. For the average person buying a home like me, you're going to do it every five, seven, every ten years.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: So a lot of this is new or very unfamiliar ground.
Thom Dallman: It changes.
Dave Burnett: It does.
Thom Dallman: It's changed so much in the last five years that, yeah. What it took to sell a house five years ago, is completely different now. Nowadays and what it takes to sell a house, likewise to buy a house, there's some concepts that still remain the same, but with the industry having an all time low on inventory across the nation, there's been a lot of new challenges that have popped up, that we didn't' face five years ago, ten years ago. As far as it comes to writing offers and getting offers in on properties and being able to get something under contract.
Dave Burnett: And I've told this story before, but I always go back to it. Back in 1986 when I moved to Boise, we rented for six months and then we went and got a real estate agent, walked in just off the street and it was a, next- And we got a guy and he honest to goodness, his muffler was falling off his car.
Thom Dallman: Oh my gosh.
Dave Burnett: This was on a Sunday, which meant that MLS book was already four days old.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah.
Dave Burnett: And we went out driving, looking at houses. And we drove and we looked and we drove and we looked. Oh. I hated that.
Thom Dallman: Gosh.
Dave Burnett: It's so different now.
Thom Dallman: Now if you were to go to look at a house, yeah, you, everything's done so much online right now.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, I've already looked at the house online.
Thom Dallman: You've already seen ten houses and discounted five of them. Narrowed it down to the five. A lot of times, a real estate agent can sit there and look at those remaining five and say , well you said that you wanted this this and this in a house. These two don't have it. So let's exclude those two. And let's just focus our energy on the three that do fit what you want.
Dave Burnett: Let's go ahead and Google Map it and look at what's around there.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Let's check out the area.
Dave Burnett: Suddenly, you've got a satellite picture of the home you're looking at. It's amazing.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: But there are things not to do, when it comes to buying a house.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Well yeah. When you're ... things not to do when ... once you're under contract. Let's just say that.
Dave Burnett: Okay.
Thom Dallman: Once you get pre-qualified, and you're kind of ... got a contact going, you're zeroing in, you're in that 30, 45 days to get to the closing table, people tend to get super excited, oh my gosh we're going to have a new home. They go out and buy and buy a whole bunch of new furniture.
Dave Burnett: Absolutely. Just run the credit card up.
Thom Dallman: Just the credit cards up. Don't do that.
Dave Burnett: Not good. That's one of the things not to do, is don't do anything that affects your credit.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, don't do anything that affects your credit, like running up credit cards. That's the biggest thing that we've seen. Running up credit cards to buy new furniture is the biggest deterrent from being able to buy a home. Just because a lot of times, especially for our first time home buyers, their debt to income ratio is just right at the limit. So, that little bit of extra debt, pushes them over the top to where, now they can no longer afford the home, when it comes time to recheck your credit, right before closing, the lender then all the sudden is calling and saying, "Well, we see you've purchased a bunch of furniture and now we can't issue the loan, unfortunately, because your debt to income levels have changed." And stuff, so ... it's so easy to do, because you're so excited about having this new home.
And you want to have that furniture all ready to go for it when you get in there and it just doesn't help.
Dave Burnett: How much better is it, honestly, I know people get excited, but wait until you're in the home. See what furniture really fits in the home.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Don't get excited and go out and do it ahead of time, just wait, that few extra days is not going to matter.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly. And I've seen that, where people have bought ... people who have the excess money and what not, go out and buy big lumpy furniture and then they get to the home, they're like, "Oh, no. I thought this was going to fit here."
Dave Burnett: That doesn't look good.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. It doesn't fit with the house. So, it's always a good idea to wait anyways, until you get in. Just to make sure that you don't have those issues.
Dave Burnett: Exactly.
Thom Dallman: Some of the other things that we've seen is people buying cars, people unfortunately, life kind of happens and sometimes your cars, our cars go out on us, and so, first reaction is I need a car, so I'm going to go out and buy a car.
Dave Burnett: Don't do it.
Thom Dallman: Don't do it. Not if you're under contract because that's a ... yeah, that will definitely prohibit you from getting your loan, potentially, depending on your income and everything. So, I've on occasion seen people co-sign, for other people, co-sign on loans and stuff like that for other people during the process. Which, once again, that affects your credit, obviously.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Thom Dallman: So don't do anything that. Changing banks, that's one that I haven't' seen in a long time, but that has happened in the past. Where someone decided to go and change their banks up and close the accounts at one bank, and go to another bank and that threw a wrench into things. Because they want to see that longevity and history of your bank accounts and stuff like that.
Along the lines of credit, don't close credit cards. There's people that have gone in and said, okay I'm going to clean up my credit while I'm going through this process. I'm going to close a bunch of accounts. And that can actually change your credit score, getting rid of that revolving credit can bring your ... potentially bring your credit score down to where the lender now has the issue of oh gosh, we just pulled your credit and your score went from 640 to 580. And you no longer qualify for this loan program. Things like that, just think about how they will affect your credit, really is one of the biggest things that we can encourage you is just ...
Dave Burnett: One of the things I know, we've talked about this in the past, your employment.
Thom Dallman: Employment.
Dave Burnett: You don't want to quit your job.
Thom Dallman: Right.
Dave Burnett: But how about if you're taking a promotion, that still, you might want to tell them to wait til after your closing date?
Thom Dallman: Well, I would talk to your lender about a promotion. Promotions typically come with more money.
Dave Burnett: But if you're changing employers, definitely ...
Thom Dallman: Changing employers, yeah talk to your lender. They will make certain allowances as long as it's in the same industry, and same area, same industry, and that you can get a offer letter or some kind of letter from the new employer, saying that they are offering you a full time position, long term and stuff like that. Talk to your lender about it, if you're changing positions. Don't quit your job. On a whim. We've had that happen, where someone was in the process and just decided he hated his job and just quit. And no plan for another job.
Dave Burnett: Don't do that until after you get the house.
Thom Dallman: Unfortunately couldn't buy a house and had to go back in to rental til he could establish a new job and stuff. So yeah, don't quit your jobs, that's a huge no no.
Dave Burnett: So the basic thing is, anything that would affect your credit, don't do.
Thom Dallman: Don't do.
Dave Burnett: You don't want to mess that up, or your employment, which again, affects your credit. That's the biggest thing is just don't do anything that's going to mess with your-
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Thom, if somebody is looking to buy a house or sell a house, maybe get pre-qualified, how do they get ahold of you and find your list of vendors and how do they do that?
Thom Dallman: Well, go to CoreGroupRealty.com, we have all of our vendors on there. We have easy access to our home search site, where you can see all the latest homes, all of our homes that are coming on, we have a featured page that shows all of our own personal listings that we have out there at Core Group. You can give us a call at the 208-933-7777 number. Or you can just send us an email. info@CoreGroupRealty.com. To ask your questions. I love questions, so I encourage people, please send me questions. If it's a great enough question, we'll use it here on the radio program to share that information with other people. Because probably if you're asking it, there's 20 other people wanting to know the same things.
Dave Burnett: The old rule your teacher used to tell you.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: If you've got a question, other people have the same question.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: And of course, Thom, the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by the folks at Flag Star Bank, and also the folks at Core Group Realty, at eXp. Call today. 208-933-7777. As always, find out why they say, "You get more with Core."