Wow! We have some more great guests in the studio today! Christian from Cridder Ridder is here to talk about his company and pest removal. Anything from bats, raccoons, voles, badgers and everything in between! Greg stops by to fill us in on all of the services that Blind Appeal offers. Hint: it’s a lot more than just blinds! Thom and Dave are also joined by Ron from Flagstar to keep us up to date on all things mortgage related.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, associate broker at Core Group Realty @eXp. CoreGroupRealty.com, that is the website. (208) 933-7777, that's the anytime phone number for you to call and find out more about Core, get the information you need, find out more about the website, about this program. (208) 933-7777. And actually, easy to find as well, the office is the Core Group over on Emerald.
Thom Dallman: Yep, over on Emerald, block and a half west of the Boise Towne Square Mall, so can't miss us.
Dave Burnett: Perfect. It is that time of year where as we move into the springtime, properties very active, very busy, I know you have had several listed and some success.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. So happy that spring's here so that we're getting some more inventory, getting some stuff going again for our clients, for our buyers, and getting our buyers out in front of the sellers that we have as well. So, I had great success this week.
Dave Burnett: Yep. And let me pause just a second here. Proof is in the pudding.
Thom Dallman: Right.
Dave Burnett: You can sit and say, "Oh yeah, we'll sell your house for you," but again and again I hear these stories of homes that you get listed that get dealt with immediately.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, we had one come on the market on Monday in Nampa, the address was 815 W Dallan Woods, and within the day we had two offers on the property. So, priced correctly, it was priced adequately for the marketplace, we were able to get it out there in front of people and yeah, two offers within the first day and it went pending the next day, so great success.
Dave Burnett: So if you want the address, you can drive by and see the pending sign.
Thom Dallman: You can go see the pending. But I wanted to just throw that out there as like, it's a great time to sell. I just want people to understand that if you're holding off on your listings because you want to kind of see what the market does, blah, blah, blah, it's a great time to sell. And this got top dollar and stuff. So yeah, just if you're thinking about it, you might want to not think and just move on it, so-
Dave Burnett: Well the nice thing too with Core Group is that you will counsel with the people, somebody can come in and say, "I've got a property." And nobody's going to force your hand to the paper to make you sign on, let's sell it now. Maybe it's not the right time.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: But you have agents who will sit and counsel and say, "Okay, let's add the positives and the negatives for you selling your house-"
Thom Dallman: Yep, let's take a look at what's happening and see where you're at. We'll walk through the house with you and point out things that you may want to fix and do to help the house look better, if you do want to list. But it's free of charge. We do a free CMA for you, that's a Competitive Market Analysis, so we can look at the houses in the area that have sold, get you a good idea for value on the house. It's no charge to you and no obligation to write a contract. We hope that we can prove our worth to you and our marketing plans and stuff like that to help you but there's no obligation, so ...
Dave Burnett: And we've talked about it before and maybe we will again coming up, the guarantees that Core Group give with listing a home and your satisfaction.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Thom Dallman: The featured listings, yes. Now I'm going to preface this with, things are going quickly, so even though we're going to talk about them on the radio today, there's always that chance that they may not be available by the time you look them up. But-
Dave Burnett: It will say clearly on the website if they're not though.
Thom Dallman: It will, yeah. They will no longer show on the website if they go pending. But it wouldn't hurt to just give us a call and confirm whether there's offers in on the property or not but-
Dave Burnett: What you got?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, let's start talking about ... I'll share my listing that I have with one of my clients out there in Nampa. We talked about it last week, it was a coming soon this last week. So it's already had a lot of activity as far as a lot of questions and things like that coming through from agents who have buyers interested in it but it hadn't gone live yet. But the 7410 E Wiltshire Ct out there in Sherwood Meadows in Nampa. It's right off the connector in-between the Garrity and Franklin, to the north of the freeway. So I love that area because it's just right there, convenient enough to be able to drop down Franklin and get into downtown Nampa and to go to one of my favorite restaurants, the Brick. You can go over to the Idaho Center and go watch a concert or do whatever's happening out there.
Dave Burnett: And they have all that shopping on Midland out there.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, super convenient to go down Cherry Lane and do that shopping there. So many options to get out and do things, but this house is a really nice house. It's 1339 square feet, three bedroom, two bath. We have it listed at $225,000. Three bed and two bath, sorry, I just said that. But it's a three car garage and it also has the rocky section next to the driveway where you could conceivably park an RV, so there's potential for RV parking in there. It's on almost a quarter of an acre, 0.23 of an acre and it's in a cul-de-sac so you don't have a whole bunch of traffic going through.
Dave Burnett: Wow. And what's the price on that again?
Thom Dallman: It's listed at $225,000.
Dave Burnett: That is nice. That's a great price.
Thom Dallman: It's a great price for this home. We anticipate that it will probably go fast.
Dave Burnett: So get your call in now.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, so call in now, we have agents standing by that can show it to you. And hopefully get you in there and take a look at it. They just replaced the carpet in the house, they just repainted the exterior of the house, so it's a nice house. And all the appliances are included including the washer and dryer. So refrigerator, washer, dryer, so you don't have to go out and buy a couple thousand dollars worth of appliances and stuff like that, so check it out, 7410 E Wiltshire in Nampa.
The other two that we have are in Meridian. One of them is 1717 N Interlachen Way, that's I-N-T-E-R-L-A-C-H-E-N, in case you were wondering. It's a 1500 square foot house, three bedroom, two bath, three car garage as well. On 0.3 of an acre, so this is a little over a quarter acre. It is on a corner lot on a cul-de-sac as well. So once again, no traffic, you don't have to worry about cars coming through.
Dave Burnett: Living in a cul-de-sac myself, that is a bonus. It is a bonus.
Thom Dallman: Yes. It truly is. We lived in one ourselves and it was so nice to just not have to worry about cars just driving by all the time, speeding through your subdivision and whatnot.
Dave Burnett: You know the other thing, you know what cars belong on your block.
Thom Dallman: Yep.
Dave Burnett: Some strange car comes through, it's like, "That's a strange car."
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: So it's nice.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. So this has recently had the roof updated, updated windows, they painted, they have an updated HVAC, hot water heater, all within the last ten years. It has a huge yard, there's room for RV access on both sides of the home if you want. So it's an incredible opportunity for a home and it got listed at $270,000. So, great opportunity to get out there and check out this one. Make sure you give us a call because once again, it's a great price point, especially for Meridian. They're going fast in that $270,000 on down. So make sure and check that out.
And then we have 3617 W Woodmont Dr. This is actually a four bedroom, two bath. 2163 square feet, so great space, lots of space on just under a quarter acre, 0.23. I love these bigger lots.
Dave Burnett: It is nice.
Thom Dallman: It gives you nice space and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: Elbow room.
Thom Dallman: Yes. And the landscaping is really beautiful on this. It has a fireplace in it. It has golf course views. I believe it's on a golf course. A lot of windows with natural light, sky lights, split bedroom design. So there's two bedrooms, one of the bedrooms, the fourth bedroom could be a large office if you want. There's a huge master suite, access to the back patio from the master suite as well as the dining-
Dave Burnett: That's nice.
Thom Dallman: -to enjoy the beautiful backyard, mature trees. And it does have a flex room off the master, you can use as a private office or a exercise room if you want. So three car garage, once again. I love all these three car garages that we have listed. This one's coming on the market at $329,900. Like I said, four bedroom, two bath. So lots of space for everybody to kind of find their own corner, but yet still come together in the central living space and be together, so ...
Dave Burnett: Nice.
Thom Dallman: Those are our listings. And like we said, they can be found on the featured listing page. Hopefully they're available, you know it is kind of that crazy market.
Dave Burnett: Well, you know it's the weekend and people are busy and active, so check it out at CoreGroupRealty.com the website. And you could always call to find out whether those are still listed or not.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah, our agents are standing by. They are ready to answer the phone and help you determine if they're available and help get you in if we can.
Dave Burnett: I mean, this truly is the season, right now as you come into spring. School will end before too long and people will make their move. So if you're thinking about selling your home, don't think about it too much longer. Come get some consultation and find out whether it's the right time. Definitely if you're looking to buy, the interest rates as we talked to Ron earlier, the interest rates are really low, they're really good lending practices. It's fairly easy to get financed right now.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, we talked about that ... Earlier this week we've talked about just having buyers getting pre-qualified that had kind of lost it because the interest rates kind of went up a little bit and house prices went up and stuff. But now they're kind of in a better boat because they may have gotten a raise at the new year and interest rates kind of leveled out and kind of dipped a little bit and things like that. So there's buyers out there. We have lots of buyers coming through our website personally. It has a lot of buyers right now looking at homes and stuff like that. And one of the features that we offer if you list with us, is that we have a database of 30,000 people that we can take your house and compare it to what people are searching for and send a message directly to them saying, "Hey, this house fits what you're looking for. Let us know if you would like to take a look," and stuff. So-
Dave Burnett: That is huge.
Thom Dallman: -we can reach out to a whole lot of people.
Dave Burnett: That's a real advantage to have.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, exactly.
Dave Burnett: If I've said, "This is kind of what I want," and I get an email that says, "Hey, we kind of have what you want."
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: I'm going to take a look at that quickly.
Thom Dallman: Yep, yep.
Dave Burnett: Very good. Thom if somebody wants to get a hold of you there at Core Group Realty @eXp, how do they do it?
Thom Dallman: (208) 933-7777. Keep dialing those sevens, someone will pick up. Or you can come visit us at CoreGroupRealty.com. Check out the featured listings page. You can check out our agents page and meet some of our agents and get to know them a little bit before you give us a call. It's got everything in there. It's got this radio show on there if you got to the blog site and pull up the Idaho Real Estate Buzzs. We have these all downloaded and transcribed on there so you can read it and also listen to it as well. So all kinds of options.
Dave Burnett: And I'll throw this in real quickly. If you're a real estate agent and you're a go-getter, you're a hustler, you want to get involved, call and talk to Thom at Core Group Realty @eXp.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, please do. We're looking for agents with all these buyers that are coming in and opportunities, we have them. So we'd love to chat with you if you're looking to increase your business this year. I just wanted to throw out too our service providers. I'm excited for today's radio show because we have a bunch of service providers so stay tuned if you're listening because we've got Ron from Flagstar of course telling us everything financial, what's happening in the financial world. We've got Christian coming on from Critter Ridder and then Greg from Blind Appeal talking about blinds and different things that you have options for in the blind service.
Dave Burnett: A busy show coming up.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He's Thom Dallman, the co-owner, also the associate broker of Core Group Realty @ eXp. CoreGroupRealty.com, that's the website. 208-933-7777. That's the phone number for you to call anytime to find out more about this program, about the things going on, about the services provided.
Thom Dallman: We love that number. It's there to answer any question that you have, whatever it is. Just give us a call.
Dave Burnett: Well, almost any question.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, almost.
Dave Burnett: If it deals with real estate in the Treasure Valley, they can answer those questions for you. Ron joins us once again from Flagstar. Well, Ron, you've got a little more information about a topic you started on actually quite some time ago.
Ron Wieczorek: Yeah. I've been kind of tracking the story since February 1st and it came to a head on March 28th, but I'll give you a little background to it. After the crash in 2008, I've talked on the show before about how regulations and the government stepped in and really put their clamps down on a lot of the legislation and dictated a lot of my and Thom's world.
Thom Dallman: It was much needed.
Ron Wieczorek: Much needed, right, and a lot of it that came out of it was great and continued to help us get past those hard times and get to a point now where we're kind of over that. And then there's some of it that is just too much government. That's kind of what I wanted to dip into. There's been proposals to overhaul the U.S. housing finance system, and it was set out by our own Senator Mike Crapo, and it's been welcomed by several industry stakeholders and leaders in our industry. On February 1st, he laid out a plan where he wanted to reduce the systemic too big to fail risk posed by the current duopoly of mortgage guarantors. When I say duopoly, I'm talking about Freddie Mac-
Thom Dallman: Duopoly?
Ron Wieczorek: Duopoly.
Thom Dallman: Duopoly, that's quite the word.
Ron Wieczorek: It's one more than a monopoly.
Thom Dallman: Yes.
Ron Wieczorek: The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the duopoly that we're talking about, and what they do is they basically back all the mortgages that have been made that are outside VA and FHA, and they securitize them and sell them on, and they back them in case somebody were to default on the loan. And that's where the buck stops. It's just those two, and the only thing behind it are taxpayers. That's a hard place to live in. It was in 2008, and it's more now than it was then. And I'll get into why there's been some kind of hesitation for politicians to let go of that. He wants to preserve existing infrastructure and the housing finance system that already works well by increasing the role of private bearing risk capital.
We need some competition in this area. We need other people's money at the forefront other than taxpayers, and establish a level playing field for originators of all size and types, because right now some of the giants are picking their head back up again. The market is tight as far as origination is concerned when the rates went up, and the ones that have a lot of money survived, and they're starting to get back to that ... I use that too big to fail, but that's kind of what's going on. So he's quoted as saying, "My priorities are to established stronger levels taxpayer protection, preserve the 30-year fixed mortgage, and increase competition among mortgage guarantors and promote access to affordable housing. That's-
Dave Burnett: That's all good.
Ron Wieczorek: That's all good.
Thom Dallman: That's all good.
Ron Wieczorek: It's hard to not get behind a lot of that, and there's been an outcry from Mortgage Bankers' Association. The President and CEO, Robert Broeksmit, has come out and he's quoted, and I won't read the quote, but he's got a long quote that supports Chairman Crepo's initiative here. And the Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, Randy Noel, also has supported him in this venture. So it's starting to get legs.
Fast forward now to February 26, we saw a new what I call the FHFA, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, named a new director. That was nominated by President Trump, and it's Mark Calabria. He told senators, kind of when he was being interviewed before he was given passage and confirmed, I should say, he kind of hinted at the same things that Senator Crapo had hinted at, saying that the senators need to play a leading role in pursuing changes for the mortgage giants which have been under control since 2008. Also, reiterating the fact that we need an open and competitive market.
What's been going on since 2008 is there is $187.5 billion bailout from the government. That's still fresh on a lot of our minds that lived through that, is, "Well, the government bailed it out. Why should we let them on their own again?" They instituted a $3 billion cap, which means ... or slush fund, I should say, where Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have to keep at least $3 billion on hand in case something goes south. That's not enough.
Dave Burnett: No, that's a drop in a bucket.
Ron Wieczorek: That's a drop in a bucket. What are they doing? How much has Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac paid back since the $187.5 billion buyout? It's $80 million more. They've paid $271 billion back to the treasury.
Dave Burnett: How come we haven't heard about this?
Thom Dallman: Yeah, right?
Dave Burnett: I mean, why isn't this in the news, saying, "Loaned all this money and they've given it all back"? We're not hearing that.
Ron Wieczorek: Not only they've given it back, but now United States is using it almost as their ... They're making up, when there's a deficit in the budget, they're reaching into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's pocket to take some of that money that they have already paid back and make up for other deficiencies, and that was happening a lot more in the previous administration. That's part of the hesitation, in my opinion, that a lot of politicians don't want to let go of this conservative shift, because they're fleecing them left and right-
Dave Burnett: Ah, from the pool of money.
Ron Wieczorek: ... for that money and they're saying, "Well, we bailed you out. You needed us; you may need us again, but keep making us money and we're going to divert it to other places," while if they were able to keep that money and continue to build that slush fund, then even maybe a crisis would come by and they'd be able to get out of it. But more so than that, there's no competition in that market so they're becoming complacent. These rules are in place, and really any kind of industry that you're in, you need competition.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Ron Wieczorek: So that brings us to March 28th where President Trump signed a memorandum on the housing finance reform, and it really just reiterated all the things that Senator Crapo and Mark Calabria have prefaced before with not breaking up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but maybe taking some of the burden off them and increasing the competition. Really, that just helps, not only us get maybe better rates, us getting better service, but maybe the burden's off the taxpayers a little bit in case things do go south, because that's much needed.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: Ron, how do you see that affecting what's happening in the loaning world and for you?
Ron Wieczorek: Well, I don't yet because it's status quo right now. And I think even if there was competition, maybe more products would emerge into the market because then you would have ... And you already see some, the ones that they don't sell to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, there's private money out there. But it's not one of the major players that gets sold to and the guidelines are written to.
Dave Burnett: See, I think for the average person like me that, "I need a loan for a house," I have no clue where that money's coming from, to be real honest with you. I don't know if it's Freddie, if it's Fannie, if it's this place, I don't know where it's coming from. I just know, "Hey, you've been approved for $350,000." Woo hoo!
Thom Dallman: I think that's pretty much 99% of the home buyers out there probably are in that same boat.
Dave Burnett: I think it's very true. I have no idea where the money's coming from, so for me, I just need to know, "How much can you loan me, and what's the interest rate?"
Ron Wieczorek: And it would be, even if they made these wholesale changes, if everything that they put on the House floor were to pass and now Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren't under this conservatorship, we don't know. Joe Home Buyer doesn't know the difference because the money's still coming in. You're still getting introduced to the products that are the most beneficial. Hopefully they're getting that service, they're getting a product that's most beneficial for them, and it's just business as usual.
But I think the long-term effects are different. I think that ... I'm trying to think of the right word ... that animosity towards the housing industry that was there in 2008 might go away a little bit if there was more competition and it's not just the government. And then you don't have, again, like I said, I really get a sour taste in my mouth when I see how much money's being fleeced from these companies after that they've already paid their debt and used for other things, which is fine, but we don't hear about it, like you said, Dave.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. We don't. I mean, I had no clue that the ... I remember when the bailout came and it was like, "Oh, all this money," but you never heard as to whether they or the car companies or whoever, if they've paid it back or not. Nobody says.
Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, and they've more than paid their debt back. Really, if you ever look at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae stock, they're real low. Prices are real low because they're under this guidance and they're not like a normal company that's showing profits and being able to operate. But I think once that is taken away from them, you'll start to see that stock is going to be actively traded because it'll be more real numbers.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: Well, interest rates still are really fairly low, even in spite of the raises we saw last year. We've now heard that they're not going to raise the rate this year at all.
Ron Wieczorek: That's right. They talked about 2019 having three raises, and this was way back before December, and then December meetings for the fed came around. And they reduced that number to one, maybe zero. In the latest fed meeting, they just had it a couple weeks ago, and they're even pausing on that one to maybe none. And we've seen that in our ... It's not always a one-for-one what the fed does with mortgage rates, or the overnight lending rate. That doesn't really lead always to lower rates, but it has in our environment. We're seeing a lot of home buyers now surface that maybe we're priced out of the market in June and July because the rates were high and the homes were depreciating so fast. The home depreciation has softened, job markets have increased, and the rates have lowered. So now, we're looking at maybe that buyer that had fatigue or wasn't able to get a home is now back in the circle. And that's our job to-
Thom Dallman: Yeah, super encouraging for those people who were kind of disheartened last year to come back to us. Let's check it out and see what it looks like right now.
Ron Wieczorek: And that's a great word, disheartened, because that's what we saw a lot of. Man, I was approved for this loan two months ago. What do you mean I'm not approved now? And it's just because the market went up.
Dave Burnett: So it truly is a great time to buy a home, but as both of you guys always preach, pre-approval, pre-approval. Get in, get pre-approved so you can find out what you're doing.
Ron Wieczorek: Absolutely.
Dave Burnett: And if they want to get ahold of you, Ron, at Flagstar, how do they do that?
Ron Wieczorek: My cell phone. It's always on me. It's area code 208-869-9154.
Dave Burnett: Perfect. Or you can always go to CoreGroupRealty.com and check out the preferred vendors out there, and you'll find Ron with Flagstar listed there. We'll continue on the other side. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by Flagstar and, of course, the folks at Core Group Realty @ eXp. Call 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 an associate broker with Core Group Realty @ eXp. CoreGroupRealty.com, that is the website to go to, or you can always call 208-933-7777.
Thom recently there was, what was it officially, the Home and Garden show?
Thom Dallman: Yes, something something Home and Garden Show.
Dave Burnett: Had a chance to meet some new people?
Thom Dallman: Yes. It's one of the obviously favorite events besides I always talk about the Supreme Creative Homes to go see homes. The home and garden show that they do every year gives you the opportunity to get there and meet a lot of the vendors and a lot of the people out there in the industry that are doing all kinds of different things from patio concrete ideas.
I met a guy who does concrete lifting when your concrete sinks and stuff like that, then Christian, who's on air today with us from Cridder Ridder. He's the master Cridder Ridder, the owner of Cridder Ridder. I love the name, that's why I keep saying it, Cridder Ridder. Having experienced moles in my backyard, and they kind of pop up every year or so, it's nice to know I have someone now to go to to help me with that.
I met a bunch of vendors there and wanted to give them an opportunity because I'm always supporting the local businesses and stuff like that, and love to build relationships with new people and see how they fit in with our real estate business and stuff, and be able to refer that to clients.
Wanted to share Christian's story and experience at Cridder Ridder and introduce him to everybody. Welcome Christian.
Christian Cook: Thank you very much. Basically we get rid of wildlife, and it's strictly wildlife. That ranges anywhere from bats, to gophers, to voles, to badgers, raccoons, squirrels, you name it.
Usually a homeowner calls up and they explain what's going on, whether it's noises in their attic, or it's something out in the yard, or something is burrowing underneath the porch. We investigate what it is, what kind of animal it is, then from there we set our traps accordingly and we remove the item.
Thom Dallman: Cool.
Christian Cook: It's a pretty neat business.
Dave Burnett: You might not really think about critters until you got one. Then suddenly it's like, "Oh my goodness." I think gophers this year are, at least they're back in my yard.
Thom Dallman: Maybe that's what I have, we get these dirt mounds in our backyard.
Christian Cook: Yes, gophers, that's the most common thing.
Thom Dallman: Do you trap them and release them?
Christian Cook: For gophers, there is no way to trap and release a gopher. Nobody sells a trap, there's no way to even live catch. I get that question a lot. Most of our animals are live caught and released. There are some things you just can't, gophers is one.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. For some reason I'm picturing the old Animal House movie where he's sticking the dynamite in the gopher hole and blowing up the golf course. Sorry, I may have dated myself there.
Anyways, sorry. It says on your website that you're licensed at this. I didn't realize there was a license process to go through.
Christian Cook: Absolutely. You've got to get your hunting license, you've got to get a trapper's license, you have to go to a class. I got mine in Kansas City, you actually had to take an actual test, you have to get X amount right to open that test. To get licensed here, it's just more like a class and they give it to you.
Yes, there is licensing. When you do other animals too, you need other licenses. Geese for instance, you've got to get federal permits to do goose patrol. I've got a German short hair and we do a lot of goose scaring away, trying to break their patterns and get them away from certain areas.
Thom Dallman: Awesome, what's the most interesting critter that you've had to get ridder of?
Christian Cook: There was this one ... There's a backstory, kind of how just the company got even started. I used to be a chiropractor.
Thom Dallman: Okay.
Christian Cook: Yes, in Kansas City. I had a company going and I had associates. A guy approached us with this business. Me and another colleague bought it and we threw some marketing at it. It grew, blew up pretty big.
Then I had a big decision, sell the practice or go with critters. Wildlife's my passion, it is what it is. Sold the practice, went onto there. Learned how to run this business out there, build the business out there, and then came here to grow it here. It's been quite interesting.
Dave Burnett: You branched out.
Christian Cook: We are branched, we're Kansas City, Idaho.
Dave Burnett: What kind of critters are unique or common, not unique but common here. What's the average homeowner going to have to deal with besides gophers obviously? What else is there?
Christian Cook: Number one would be, big animals is skunks. Skunks hands down, we do a lot of skunk removal.
Dave Burnett: It is skunk season now.
Christian Cook: It is. Typical skunks, a mom will have between four and seven babies.
Dave Burnett: Oh wow.
Christian Cook: That is a lot. Unfortunately, it's a stinky job.
Dave Burnett: I bet.
Christian Cook: We have a lot of fun doing it. The next one would be gophers, and then from there random.
Dave Burnett: It depends. When I moved here, I moved from Oregon. Oregon, there was possums, there were a lot of possums. We don't really deal with that here.
Christian Cook: We don't.
Dave Burnett: Somebody goes, "Oh, I got voles in my backyard", and it was like, "Vole? What the heck is a vole?"
Christian Cook: A vole is just a large mouse with a short tail, they burrow into the ground. Usually you see a hole, kind of the size of a golf ball and there's no dirt around it. Then you see these little feeder lines that go from that hole.
Usually it looks like a snake goes through the grass. What they are, they're just traveling that, that's their feeder lines. They're just wearing down the grass and it kills it.
Dave Burnett: Interesting.
Christian Cook: For voles, gophers, we treat the same way. We have what's called a carbon monoxide machine. We plug the holes and gas them.
Dave Burnett: Puts them nighty night.
Christian Cook: It's safe. There's other methods out there, people use poisons, I don't just because if the dog gets it, chews it, gets sick. I just don't want that responsibility.
Two, there's, it's called acetylene gas where it's an explosive gas.
Dave Burnett: Yikes.
Christian Cook: Right, I think my insurance company would freak out. We treat that day, we're done that day. It's pretty simple.
Thom Dallman: I think it's worth pointing out too that you're a licensed general contractor as well.
Christian Cook: Yes, I am.
Thom Dallman: If a critter's in there doing damage, you can help on that aspect of things too.
Christian Cook: Especially squirrels. Hands down, they are the most destructive. Squirrels are just like a beaver, so they have to chew, chew, chew, chew. I get a lot of phone calls from inspectors and whatnot saying, "Hey, we have some sort of animal damage up at the roof."
The squirrels will sit at the eave where the soffit and the roof meet, and they will just chew a hole right into the attic. We've got to go and repair that damage and/or clean whatever's in the attic. We've got these birds called starlings, blackbirds. They build, I have pictures on my Facebook, it's about five feet tall bird nest. It's huge, it's massive.
Dave Burnett: They'll build that on your house?
Christian Cook: Inside the attic.
Dave Burnett: Yikes.
Christian Cook: Yes. We do a lot of repairs, a lot of other fencing, concrete, stuff like that just to keep critters out.
Dave Burnett: We're talking with Christian who is with Cridder Ridder here in the Treasure Valley. A little bit about the critters that you may find, not necessarily want to find, but you may find in your home.
Let's talk about that, we talked about gophers, we've talked about voles, different things in the ground and the grass. There are those animals, those creatures, raccoons or whatnot, that may get under your house or in crawl spaces or different areas. What happens there?
Christian Cook: Raccoons are very habitual, they will urinate, defecate in the same area. That's one way you can tell what animal you're dealing with. For instance, sometimes they'll get into your attic, and this is back to one of your original questions was what's the most scariest thing I've dealt with, was a raccoon once.
They go to the bathroom in the attic time and time and time again. It's about 2 AM, raccoon fell through the roof.
Dave Burnett: Oh my God.
Christian Cook: The lady, she had probably five or six cats, they're just house cats. I remember her vividly telling me that she was laying on the bed and goes to put her glasses on and says, "Oh Fluffy, get off the bed." Then she gets the glasses on, there's a raccoon staring at her in the eyes.
She freaks, runs out, calls us, then just stands outside waiting for us to come. We come in, it's a momma raccoon. Mom raccoons are very vicious, most of the other ones are not. Here I am, on top of the bed trying to noose the thing.
Dave Burnett: Oh my gosh, I cannot even imagine. That sounds like something from a movie.
Christian Cook: Raccoons, they like chimneys. Chimneys are a big one, especially when having babies. The big older homes that have a 12 x 12 chimney, they don't have a chimney cap, a raccoon will go all the way down and then they'll lay their babies right on top of the flue.
Dave Burnett: Crazy.
Christian Cook: We get calls, "Hey, I've got noises in my chimney. What is it?" Then sure enough, it's a raccoon mom with babies, and we have to extract those.
Dave Burnett: Do we have time for one more question?
Christian Cook: Yes, absolutely.
Thom Dallman: I was going to ask, because sometimes it's sounds, like noises in the attic and stuff like that.
Christian Cook: Yes.
Thom Dallman: Mounds in the yard, things like that. What else should people be looking for for indication of critters?
Christian Cook: I think that's pretty much it. Most people call us it's just saying, "Hey, I've got this sound." Then we just try to figure out what type of sound it is, when you're hearing it.
That tells us if we're dealing with bats, bats are very habitual, dawn and dusk. If you're hearing those noises consistently at dawn and dusk, bats not so much a problem down here in the valley, but up McCall, that's a huge problem up there.
Just looking in the yard, looking for the mounds, that's your typical gopher. Then the voles, I call it the broomstick handle hole. It's just that size. If you're seeing some sort of digging under your deck, and sometimes people will try to cover it up. If you see digging again, more often than not it's probably a skunk. They're some of the best diggers out there. Raccoons, they've got the thumbs so they just rip and tear if they want to get in something.
Looking for evidence of droppings and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: Yes, your dog comes in through the dog door smelling like a skunk, it's probably a skunk. In fact, that's probably one of the first ways people find out they've got a problem. If they have pets, they come back smelling like it, you've got one.
Christian, if somebody wants to get a hold of you, ways to do that?
Dave Burnett: Perfect. If you're driving and you can't remember that, always go to CoreGroupRealty.com.
Thom Dallman: We'll have the segment on the radio, so you can look it up and listen to it on our Idaho Real Estate Buzz section.
Christian Cook: Perfect.
Thom Dallman: You're connected there and connected to your website as well.
Christian Cook: Awesome.
Dave Burnett: I would have to say at this point Christian, happy hunting. We appreciate you coming-
Thom Dallman: This the season, right?
Dave Burnett: Really, this is the time of year moles are really bad right now, gophers, those kind of creatures in the backyard are really bad right now. It could be a solution for you, so you're not out there trying to do it. I always think of Caddyshack, you don't want to play that game.
Thom Dallman: Caddyshack. Was that the movie I was talking about, Caddyshack?
Dave Burnett: Could be, the golf course where they had the gopher there.
Thom Dallman: Yes, that was the one.
Christian Cook: That was the golf course, yes.
Find out why they say you get more with Core.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner and also Associate Broker at Core Group Realty at EXP. CoreGroupRealty.com the website. 208-933-7777. That's the phone number to call if you want information and you know Tom, one of the things about this show. It's not about just selling real estate.
Thom Dallman: No.
Dave Burnett: You can do that right out of the office. No problem there.
Thom Dallman: Yep.
Dave Burnett: It's about informing people and providing outlets for different things...
Thom Dallman: Correct.
Dave Burnett: ...that we don't want to do.
Thom Dallman: Correct. And if you've listened to this radio show today, it's very, very prevalent on introduction to people. We had Ron on...
Dave Burnett: Yep.
Thom Dallman: ...from Flagstar to talk finance. We had Christian here from Cridder Ridder...
Dave Burnett: Yep.
Thom Dallman: ...and now we have Greg here from Blind Appeal to talk to us about some of the features that Blind Appeal actually has, some services that I didn't even know about and they're a service provider of ours. They've been a service provider for several years. They're on our website CoreGroupRealty.com. Go to the service provider section and look at all of our service providers. These are people that we know and trust and that we've had great relationship over the years, trust them enough to recommend them to our clients
And so, super excited to have you here Greg.
Greg Washington: Thank you.
Thom Dallman: Yes.
Greg Washington: Excited to be here.
Dave Burnett: So Blind Appeal, of course we know you provide blinds, all kinds of blinds for your home, which, you know, that's an obvious but the thing that you were talking about Greg that I was not aware and this is a time of year ... Window washing is something Blind Appeal does?
Greg Washington: Yes sir. We do. We provide actually a full-scale window washing service for people that just buy their house and, you know, just moved in and all the way up to retirement communities or facilities if you want to say.
Dave Burnett: 'Cause I don't know if you know this but I hate washing windows.
Thom Dallman: Ugh. I do too.
Dave Burnett: It could be right up there with the worst.
Thom Dallman: Especially at my house because we have a three-story house and so that third story is a pain in the...
Dave Burnett: It's dangerous.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Greg Washington: This time of year, you want to just make sure that you get, you know, rid of all that winter grit. You know? I like to tell people it's more of a preventative maintenance type of thing. You know? Whether you're trying to get rid of all the bacteria from, you know, the kid staying in the indoors during the winter or just the wear and tear that the weather does to your windows. It's one of the things that we really like is to come into your home and just do a free consultation and kind of just get to know you, build that rapport, and see what services you guys need with us.
Thom Dallman: Cool.
Dave Burnett: When it comes to windows, I know I had one window that we tried cleaning the thing and we tried everything on it and then finally somebody goes well no. It's pitted. Explain what that means if somebody's window is pitted.
Thom Dallman: Interesting.
Greg Washington: Well yeah. It's several different factors with that but mainly you want to just make sure that, you know, if you do see some type of, you know, anything pitted or if you see something like to where you have condensation or something built up into your window, you want to either get a service professional out there to look at it or you want to go with somebody that you trust to take, you know, their advice to remedy that problem.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Well what happened with us is it was the sprinkler system was hitting the window and so it was a little, teeny, tiny fragments of rock hitting it that just pitted it out to where it would never come clean.
Thom Dallman: Ah.
Dave Burnett: And we thought it was just kind of fogged over, thought oh well we'll scrub it down later.
Greg Washington: Yeah. Just in the industry, you see lots of homes that have the sprinklers that are misdirected so it builds up that calcium and what not from the water and stuff like that, which is horrible to try to remove.
We've also seen homes where they've went and, you know, spray painted the exterior of the house and they got over-spray of paint on their windows and then they've left it there for years and so it's like caked on and stuff like that. So there's-
Dave Burnett: Let's talk about talking to Greg Washington with Blind Appeal. On the inside, I know you're talking about window cleaning, but how about the blinds themselves? What is the maintenance of blinds because Thom and I were talking during the break. That's no fun to do either. Maintenance of your blinds.
Greg Washington: Yeah. So different products, you know, they offer you different options. There is a product that we do carry that, you know, you can basically buy it and just take, you know, a loofah or something light and fluffy that, you know, you can just...
Thom Dallman: Microbial.
Greg Washington: Yeah. Swiffer. Just wipe it off. And then we have other products that are a little bit more hands-on to where you want to make sure that, you know, you're not using a material that'll scratch it like wood for instance.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Greg Washington: And what I tell people is is you know you want to do cleaning with your blinds or any type of, anything in your home that's a catchall to bad stuff. You want to do it at least every other week. You know? Once a week. So...
Thom Dallman: Is that a service that might appeal offers as far as like just at the spring time and cleaning?
Greg Washington: You know what, that is a very good question.
Thom Dallman: Or something that you might actually think about integrating.
Greg Washington: Right. I'm just now thinking about that like man, we need to integrate that. As of right now, we don't really have a service like that but I like to tell a lot of our clients that we work with that if you do have any type of problem, you know, with the product that we provide for you, let us know 'cause we come out and we come out and basically fix or remedy any problem for you for free.
Thom Dallman: Well you guys came out and replaced batteries for our window. We have some really high windows that have batteries and you guys came out and replaced them for me.
Greg Washington: See?
Thom Dallman: So I was happy with that.
Greg Washington: Well thank you. Thank you. Appreciate that.
Thom Dallman: And then we also talked a little bit at the break about it's not just blinds on the inside of the house because going into spring people are getting their decks ready and getting ready for some outdoor entertaining and stuff like that.
Greg Washington: Yeah.
Thom Dallman: You guys also offer blinds and options for outdoor experiences. Right?
Greg Washington: We do. We do. So with me having that real estate background and kind of just seeing what people go through during the ordeal of buying or selling property, what we offer is it's called Outdoor Living Space and what we can do is is we can come to your home, do a free consultation, get eyes on the actual property, and build rapport and see exactly what you want to do to encompass that, you know, good feeling with your family.
We just had a couple that was a empty nester and they were super happy to, you know, have the children finally out of the house and they said hey, this is what we want Blind Appeal to do. We basically built a, like a pergola in the back of their yard right off of their, you know, their door out of their kitchen. So, we can do upscale projects. We can do lower-scale projects. We work towards your budget.
Thom Dallman: Awesome.
Dave Burnett: For the outdoor living space, I see two reasons for Blind Appeal to come out. One is to keep prying eyes of the neighbor out of my outdoor living space and I guess.
Thom Dallman: I guess they think of it as like yeah. The kids have left. We need something outside that's covered from the neighbors.
Dave Burnett: They got to have protection from the elements, from the weather.
Greg Washington: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: Because I mean like the sun comes in. If you've got a home that's facing the sun in the afternoon, it's beating down on your property.
Greg Washington: Yep. And it is. That's actually a very good example. I'd say any house or investment that is west-facing needs a, you know, a patio of some sort or some type of awning and like I said, we have all these products. You just visit our website and you'll see Outdoor Living Space and you'll see everything that we can do for you.
Thom Dallman: Awesome. That's cool. And what is that website?
Greg Washington: Yeah.
Greg Washington: Yeah. For sure.
Dave Burnett: So that is perfect. If you don't remember the website, you can always check it out as we said, one of the preferred vendors at Core Group Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com. That's a website of call 208-933-7777. That'll lead you to the website. You'll find a link right through or if you want to listen to the podcast over at the end of this show, you can do this.
Thom Dallman: Go to Blog Site and look at the Idaho Real Estate Buzz.
Dave Burnett: Perfect. Greg, thank you so much.
Greg Washington: Thanks for having me guys.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Thank you.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by the folks at Flagstar. Also, Core Group Realty at EXP. CoreGroupRealty.com the website. 208-933-7777. Find out why they say you get more with Core.
Core Group at eXp Realty