You do not want to miss out on our newest listings! Get all the details here! Plus Thom and Dave chat about some of the common misconceptions about buying and selling a home. They also go over a few tip to update your home and make it more energy efficient.
Ron Wieczorek is in the studio to talk about the current housing market and why there aren’t many distressed properties on the market these days.
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, also an Associate Broker at Core Group Realty at EXP, CoreGroupRealty.com. That is a website, (208) 933-7777. That of course, is the phone number at Core Group Realty and something to keep handy because you've got some new listings up.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah, yeah. As we talk about the seasonal changes that we go through and whatnot, we're starting to see those listings come on as Spring comes into into play and weather warms up and stuff like that. More people are now starting to get out and get active. So yeah, we've got a couple of listings and coming soon to talk about. Super excited about these opportunities out there for people.
Dave Burnett: Well, let's just jump right into it.
Thom Dallman: Let's jump right in. Let's talk about 10010 West Rustica Street. This is out in that Devonshire subdivision, out there by Maple Grove and Five Mile, or sorry, Lake Hazel and Five Mile area.
Dave Burnett: So further South.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. A little bit further south. Sorry, so Lake Hazel and Five Mile. A great opportunity for this 1,268 square foot house, a three bedroom, two and a half bath, that is a two story. It's coming on at $230,000. So great, like we talked about, this is a great price point for first-time home buyers, for that rental property, if you're looking to invest in a rental property. They've gone through and they've come professionally cleaned the house so it's all ready to go. It's got a great to eat-in kitchen, open living room that opens up to the side patio and yard space. You've got all appliances included in this one. This has a fridge, washer and dryer. So it's really move-in ready, ready to go to start living in it. So great opportunity. Like I said, this subdivision does have a swimming pool, a community pool and play areas. So it's a great for anybody that might have kids, anybody that doesn't have kids, you can still go to the pool. Still go to the play areas if you want.
Dave Burnett: You know, it's funny. You mentioned all appliances included. Sometimes we just kind of blow right over that. But when you start thinking about let's just say $1,000 for a refrigerator, right, another $600 for a range. That adds up quickly.
Thom Dallman: That adds up super quickly. And in this industry, for people who are just moving into Idaho, typically outside of Idaho, for some reason, refrigerators automatically are assumed to come with the house. Idaho is one of the very few states where the refrigerator is typically not included in the house.
Dave Burnett: Is that right?
Thom Dallman: Typically, it goes with the seller, as well as the washer and dryer. So to find a home that actually has the refrigerator, washer and dryer included is a great opportunity. Because yeah, like you said, you don't have to spend that-
Dave Burnett: I wonder why that is.
Thom Dallman: Couple thousand dollars to go get that.
I'm not quite sure. I've never quite figured that out.
Dave Burnett: I don't think I've ever bought a home that had the refrigerator in it. Of course, most of my homes have been here in Idaho, but I had to bring one with me.
Thom Dallman: This is kind of what I've heard from agents outside of Idaho, is that they typically will have the fridge in the house already as part of appliance package.
Dave Burnett: I'll be darned.
Thom Dallman: But we're technically not, we don't include refrigerators for some odd reason.
Dave Burnett: Huh. Interesting.
Thom Dallman: Not in everything anyways. But this one, yes.
Dave Burnett: There we go.
Thom Dallman: Fridge, Washer, dryer.
Dave Burnett: Perfect.
Thom Dallman: Once again, that's 10010 West Rustica Street in the Devonshire Subdivision, out past Lake Hazel, around the Lake Hazel and Five Mile. So great opportunity there.
Dave Burnett: Really, I guess that's close. Would that be in Meridian or is that in Boise? 'Cause it's close.
Thom Dallman: That is Boise. That was the 83709 South Boise area.
So the next one that went live this week is 16317 Lewers Way, that's L-E-W-E-R-S Way in Caldwell. This is a 1,720 foot square foot house. So a nice big home. It's a three bedroom, two and a half bath on 0.4 of an acre. So almost half a half acre lot.
Dave Burnett: Big lot.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. It was built in 2012, so fairly new. The yard is big enough to actually have an RV parking spot on it. We've talked about the conveniences of being able to have additional parking and additional RV parking on properties and how much that can kind of save you.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, it can.
Thom Dallman: It has a really super large suite, a master suite. The really nice thing about this master suite is it has a fireplace in it.
Dave Burnett: In the suite?
Thom Dallman: In the suite.
Dave Burnett: Nice.
Thom Dallman: Then there's no neighbors behind it. So you have kind of open backyard so you don't have to worry about neighbors. Large Patio, just a great opportunity. This one's actually coming on at $250,000. So great opportunity for 1700 square feet for $250,000 and not have neighbors, to have RV parking and a large slot.
Dave Burnett: All of that. And again, it seems funny to say this, but at $250k, that's a great price point.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Exactly.
So once again that address, let me pull that back up again for you is 16317 Lewers Way in Caldwell. If you go to coregrouprealty.com and click on our featured listing page, these should be there as well as going to the coming soon site. We have it coming as well.
Dave Burnett: That's Lewers with a W, not like the fishing lure, but Lewers with a W.
Thom Dallman: Correct L-E-W-E-R-S. Then the last property I wanted to talk about was 7410 East Wiltshire Court in Nampa. That's W-I-L-T-S-H-I-R-E, Wiltshire. This is the Sherwood Meadows subdivision, right there, North of the freeway, kind of there by the Idaho Center out there.
Super convenient. It's in between the Garrity exit and the Franklin exit, so you can take either exit to get to the house. Interesting little fact about the subdivision: It was actually the very first subdivision that I lived in when I first moved to town 16 years ago.
Dave Burnett: Oh, is that right?
Thom Dallman: Yeah. I had rented a room from a friend in this exact same neighborhood and actually just right around the corner from this house on Wiltshire. I remember one of my first memories of, of living here was sitting in the hot tub and looking up in the sky. And I was like, "What is going on with the sky?" It was the one and only time I've ever witnessed it, and I don't know if it's because I moved into town, but you could actually see the Aurora Borealis, the northern lights.
Dave Burnett: Oh yeah. Once in a while, you can.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. It was so strange to me. I had never, in all my life, ever seen the lights. So to actually see that was so fascinating. Anyways, that's a little side note. So anyways, 7410 East Wiltshire. This is a 1300 square foot house. It is a three bed, two bath, split bedroom design. So the master is on one side and the other two bedrooms on other, with the living space in between. They also have a great big yard. It's in cul de sac so you don't have to worry about traffic coming through. Nice big yard.
They've just recently put in brand new carpeting throughout the house. Then they've also just did exterior paint on the house as well. So it's got a fresh coat of paint on the exterior. It's got a new carpeting. It's a great opportunity. We're going to get it listed at around $225k. That's the coming soon price. That's always subject to change by the time it goes live, they may ... it depends on what the market does, but as of right now, they are contemplating a $225k price point for this coming soon house.
You can find a picture of it on the website and some more information and details on it, on our website. But feel free to give us a call to talk about it. We can't show it unfortunately until it does go live. We are aiming for the April 4th or April 5th for it to go live, to be able to do showings. We can get you scheduled for that timeframe when it does go live.
Dave Burnett: It kind of gives you that little heads up, because things go so quickly that way you get kind of a jump on it.
Thom Dallman: I have a feeling this will go quick because it's a really cute home for that price point.
Dave Burnett: You can probably really attest to the fact of how much west Nampa has changed-
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah.
Dave Burnett: Since you moved in. I mean, I remember in the day when the Karcher Mall, that was it. That was shopping in Nampa. But now with the Costco over there and the whole area along Midland Boulevard is convenient shopping.
Thom Dallman: So much opportunity, so much convenience there to get anywhere. Even with the Garrity exit, there's so much shopping right there that's gone in, with that whole mall over there.
Dave Burnett: Movie theaters and hospitals nearby.
Thom Dallman: Movie theater. Exactly. There's so much, that it's so convenient there, in that whole area. It's so convenient to be able to just live and just enjoy your life in that area. So definitely great opportunity, 7410 East Wiltshire. Please give us a call if you want more details on it. It is on a quarter of an acre, lots of yard if you want that opportunity to garden. There's some garden spots and stuff like that. So yeah, check it out. It's a three car garage, too. That's actually a nice-
Dave Burnett: That is nice.
Thom Dallman: Little amenity as well, is that third Bay in the garage to be able to park your toys, put up a work bench, do whatever you need.
Dave Burnett: It truly is handy to have that, no matter what you're doing. Because that way you can use your two cars for the two and the third one is yours to do with as you choose.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: It's a nice thing to do. The nice thing is, all of these, you can check it out CoreGroupRealty.com, on the website, or give a call to (208) 933-7777 and find out more.
If you miss the addresses of these, you can get updated that way as well. But check all of that out. This is the Idaho Real Estate buzz being brought to you by the folks at Flagstar Bank.
Of course, Ron who was with Flagstar, same great service out of Ron, a new company working for him. So check that out with Ron and still just some amazing rates that are available. And I think I heard during the past week that the Fed has said they are not going to raise rates in 2019.
Thom Dallman: It's looking like they won't be raising anytime soon. So we have some great opportunities for home buyers. If you're thinking about buying, it's a great time to buy. It's a great time to sell because prices are, like we've said, at an all-time high. So there's lots of equity in homes right now.
Dave Burnett: If you want to talk to the folks at Core Group Realty at EXP, you can do that: (208) 933-7777. Of course, Core Group is the other sponsor of the Idaho Real Estate Buzz.
We'll continue. 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 at 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.
Thom Dallman: Cool.
Dave Burnett: Want to hear a little bit more about that in the coming weeks as well as you get more settled in on what you're doing.
Ron Wieczorek: Exactly. Perfect, no I appreciate that.
Dave Burnett: Speaking of getting settled in, one thing that, and it doesn't seem like that long ago that we were dealing with, and I remember Thom, you used to have as list of distressed property.
Thom Dallman: Oh yeah, I'm used to ...
Dave Burnett: Every week another distressed property.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. We still 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 kind of started doing back in the day when I first got into real estate. It was prevalent way back when.
Ron Wieczorek: 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: 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 kind of talked over the break what would be easy for me to say since 2008 because I would hope so, because they were very, like Thom said, very prevalent after the market crashed. Now that we that we go back to 2000, that's when a time when it was just starting to grow and things were great. To be at an all time low for that ... or a 20 year low, near 20 year low ... is a pretty big accomplishment.
They say that .4% ... we'll talk about foreclosures first, because I use foreclosures and I use delinquencies. That's two different terms ... What a foreclosure is that they're already in that distressed stage and the home's going to be bank-owned and turned over and go to the market, and that's nationwide. That's at .4% and it's actually down .2% from this time last year.
Thom Dallman: 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 kind of curious because last time I looked it was below that, 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 1,468.
Ron Wieczorek: There you go. He remembered the numbers. Our numbers are consistent with that nationwide. I touched on delinquencies, and that's at 4.4% across the board. What a delinquency is, if you're over 30 day late with your mortgage payment, you're considered in some form of delinquency.
Now a lot of folks, they're real conservative will call me and say it's the first or it's the third. I didn't make my payment yet. I know I'm behind. Well, you're not behind. You have that grace period. You get a 15 day grace period before you have a late fee and then you have 30 days before anyone really is going to get on your case about it. Then it starts getting reported to the credit. That's what they call the delinquency.
That's at 4.4 which-
Thom Dallman: That's not encouraging people to go ahead and wait the 15 days.
Ron Wieczorek: No, well they did a 14th day if they want to maximize every penny and becomes 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, but why now somebody would go delinquent or late?
Ron Wieczorek: Why they would go? I'll tell you why they wouldn't.
Dave Burnett: Okay.
Ron Wieczorek: 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 that maybe were distressed in 2008 ... and people hung onto them, or maybe they switched hands and were flipped ... now they've grown equity at a point where it doesn't make sense. If you can't make your payments ... you're three, four months behind ... you sell it, right? And there's an absence of the high risk loans. And 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 ... and not to pick on Walmart greeters, but they don't make 200 grand a year ... And 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. So you had a Walmart greeter making 200 grand a year and they're like, "Yep, sounds good to me. Next." And 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 a while. We've had the increase of home equity and we've had solid income growth. All of that has led to lower foreclosure rates, and it now provides a pretty good cushion, right? 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: Now what are they doing, what's going on here?
Ron Wieczorek: Right, and there's just a lot of ... Not a lot of scenarios, it's very rare ... but maybe 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 guys' 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 kind of taken out home equity lines, gone in to try to do a rehab, gotten way in over their heads, and then all of a sudden all of their equity's been taken out because 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 can sell it, because you have fees that are associated with selling. So 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 fees ... 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 2018, and they're still seeing a lot of that ... Those wounds are still open. And you've had wildfires in California very recently.
So any time there is a natural disasters, what comes along with the natural disasters are folks that maybe get behind in the mortgage payments. So in those concentrated areas, that .4 number nationwide may be 1, 2%. And that's bringing up that .4.
So the .4 might actually 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: So 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.
And 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 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 half million dollars to somebody to get him into Harvard ... [crosstalk 00:08:14] That's a different topic altogether.
So you see that where the rates have gone up and the refinances come off the board. And in that case, and with tight inventory, mortgage companies are doing less. Less volume, less production. 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 ... or, they call it rightsize to make it sound better ... but downsize that staff.
So when they're doing that and there's more and more pressure on profitability, what happens? Well, we got to make more loans. And how do we make more loans? Well, look at this standard with only .4 delinquencies or .4 foreclosures, there's some room there. We have a lot of very well-performing loans. We can take a little more risk and kind of 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, ten years ago?
Ron Wieczorek: We haven't seen it yet. But yes. It's an extreme danger and it's ... how much do you loosen it up? Do you go back to the wild, wild West and you say, "Okay-"
Dave Burnett: You got a job, you got a loan.
Ron Wieczorek: Exactly. 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, and 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 going to go back, and can't go back, to the way it was before with the house of cards. But I do think there will be maybe, "Okay we went up to 50%, back in that ratio, 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 is saying, that they predict that that that number is going to go up.
Thom Dallman: I feel like we're seeing a little bit of that right now, because I do ... I know that we've had buyers that have come to us and said, "I went with this loan company, this national loan company, and they're telling me I'm not qualified," and then we get them with a local lender with you guys, and you guys are, "Yeah, we can get you qualified. Here's some of the primers and stuff."
Is that, kind of, what that amounts to? Or-
Ron Wieczorek: Well, it's actually the reverse, 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 mortgage. So we're going to 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 their money off wealth management, they can make their 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 me in the mortgage market, but we want to be in it in a way that we 100% know it's profitable and performing." 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 risk, 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 hold of you there at Flagstar ... How do they get hold of you if somebody may be thinking about getting a loan, thinking about buying a home ... Well, Thom can take care of that. Ron, you take care of the money end of it ... How do they get 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 at 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 Associate Broker, at Core Group Realty at eXp. CoreGroupRealty.com, the website you can always go to 24/7, or you could call 208-933-7777. You know, we were talking about during the break the fact that there are some, I don't know if you'd call them myths, or misconceptions, about home ownership.
Thom Dallman: There sure are.
Dave Burnett: Things that sometimes maybe we take for granted, or we don't really understand properly.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, and I think this stems from being out there talking to some of these sellers, some home owners that have decided to sell their properties and stuff like that. We kind of see some common themes on things that they've done in the house, things that they think ... They have this conception of ... For example, I can do whatever I want with my house. I can put in orange shag carpeting and paint my walls a lime green color.
Dave Burnett: Which you can.
Thom Dallman: You can. That's one of the convenient things of owning a home. But, when it comes time to sell, that is not something that is going to be attractive to buyers.
Dave Burnett: It's not cute.
Thom Dallman: Not all buyers. Not all buyers will think that's cute, and so it does somewhat pigeon hole a home if you go too much with the craziness on a house, if you will. So, you got to tone down the crazy a little bit. Make it more neutral, and stuff like that. You can't just go in and do whatever you want and expect it to sell at the higher price points, or get all your money back.
Dave Burnett: What do you recommend if somebody ... Because some people want to do some odd things, but try to do things that are easily reversible.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Don't structurally go in and try to do cute things to your home.
Thom Dallman: Yep. Yep. You want to make sure that there's something that you can put back the way it was, or one of the most common things I see is really dark paints. Dark paints are really hard to paint over.
Dave Burnett: Yes, they are.
Thom Dallman: And lighten back up again. You do have to have several coats on there, and maybe even a primer. So, be aware that if you're going for a dark paint, you might want to plan when it's time to come to sell, to paint that and have that time set aside to do several coats.
Dave Burnett: Exactly. One thing I've learned in doing this program with you, the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, is that as homeowners, we tend to really be emotionally attached to our property.
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah.
Dave Burnett: But the truth is, it's a business investment.
Thom Dallman: It really is, and I like the word "investment" because it is an investment. It's a risk. All investments, there's the risk that you take. People automatically think, "Hey, just because I'm buying a house, that means that at the end of this, when I go to sell it, I'm going to have equity. I'm going to have money in the bank." But there's that risk that the market could tank, that you could lose your job, that by the time it comes around that you need to sell it, there may not be that.
It's still a risk that you have to weigh the pros and cons of it. It's a good investment to me, in my opinion, because, especially if you can hold it long term, 'cause the market always goes up and down, and there's always going to be high points. There's always going to be low points and stuff, so as long as you can hold onto it and keep it going, there's going to be a high point like we have right now, to where it's a great time to sell and to get that equity out of it.
Dave Burnett: But you have to care of that-
Thom Dallman: You have to take care of it.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Thom Dallman: You have to maintain it.
Dave Burnett: I am looking right now. I need a new fence in my backyard.
Thom Dallman: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-
Dave Burnett: My fence is older. It's a typical cedar fence, and it needs to be replaced, and every time I walk out on the deck, it's like oh, I got to do that. And I know it's going to be an investment to do that. But it has to be done.
Thom Dallman: And we've gone into so many houses where people have lived in them for 10, 15 years, and they've not done anything with the furnace. They've not done anything with the roof. They've never got up and cleaned the gutters.
Dave Burnett: What? You got to clean the gutters?
Thom Dallman: You got to clean gutters, or else they'll fill up and they'll start growing trees out of them. Watching them and stuff, so yeah. There's that concept of maintenance, too. You need to maintain your house. You need to, every so often, but a coat of paint on the exterior of the house. It's not just for aesthetics. It's for the protection of the siding on the house, and stuff like that.
You need to at least once a year walk around the exterior of your house, double checking the siding, double checking for cracks, for gaps in vinyl if you have vinyl siding, cracks in stucco, wood if you have wood siding. Check for any peeling paint and exposed stuff that you can fix and maintain and make sure that you don't start getting warped boards, or warped siding and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: Have you been walking around my house again, Thom?
Thom Dallman: No, that's from walking around my house.
Dave Burnett: Because I think I'm also at the point that I'm going to have to start thinking about painting it again, too. Getting that done. But, again, it's an investment into something you have to take time to take care of.
Thom Dallman: You have to take care of all your investments for sure. So, get out there and check. I don't know if it's necessarily you that has to do it, but get someone to go down in your crawl space once a year to just make sure that there's nothing leaking, that there's nothing out of the ordinary down there, that you don't have a nest of skunks that have built a home down there. Things like that.
Dave Burnett: We laugh, but stranger things have happened.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. You never know. So, get down there. Don't be afraid of it. Get into your attic space to make sure that there's nothing leaking up there, especially if you have an older home, it's really super important to do that once a year, just to ... Older homes start to have issues here and there. So, make sure you're just really getting in and taking care of your home.
Some of the myths out there is that you need a huge down payment, is one of the things that we often talk about. There's so many loans right now and programs where you can get into homes with almost no down payment at all, so it's really important to talk to lenders, like Ron at Flag Star, too. Make sure that you're getting an idea of what's available. I actually just talked to a first time home buyer this week who has saved up 20%, and I said, "Did you realize that you didn't need to do that?"
He's like, "I didn't." He's like, "I just assumed that's what I needed to do." And so, there is still that perception out there that you have to have 20% down to buy a home. He said that he's probably still going to use that 20% because it'll bring his payments down.
Dave Burnett: Lower payments.
Thom Dallman: And stuff, so. But you don't need it. You can get into a house as low at three and a half percent. First time home buyers, if you qualify, there's Idaho Housing that will subsidize some of that down payment as well. There's definitely programs out there, and you don't need the down payment, and you don't need a perfect credit score.
Dave Burnett: Yeah. That's the other thing I'm talking with Ron and with you, is that so many people think, "I've got to have an 800 credit score to get a house." And then somebody goes on a whim and checks it out, and hey, they qualify. So, you need to check if you have any question at all.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Gosh, one of the other things I heard recently, too, is that there are people out there, bless their hearts, they want to save some money, but they will drop their homeowner's insurance once the mortgage is paid off, once they own the home free and clear, and don't have a mortgage, they'll drop their homeowner's insurance.
Dave Burnett: Why would you do that?
Thom Dallman: I don't know. I'm not quite sure.
Dave Burnett: I mean, the bank requires it if you have a note on it.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. The bank requires it, and they require it for a purpose. It's to protect you. Insurance is insurance, and it's there to protect you in case of a disaster. You just never know when a disaster's going to happen, natural or just in the home itself. So, always, always have your home and homeowner's insurance if you have a home, 'cause you don't want to be caught with something happening to the house, it burning down, and then you're homeless, and no insurance to cover you to protect you.
Dave Burnett: If you don't have insurance, there's nothing coming in to repair it.
Thom Dallman: Nothing.
Dave Burnett: You better have big, fat bank account.
Thom Dallman: You better have a bank account, yeah. You better put that money into savings and save that.
Dave Burnett: I would just think for the liabilities of somebody tripping on your property, somebody slipping on the ice coming up your ... I would think, boy. You're just gambling by not doing that.
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah, for sure. I hadn't even thought about that whole concept of visitors and whatnot, and stuff.
Dave Burnett: Protect your investment again.
Thom Dallman: Protect your investment, for sure. Some other things that people ... I actually had an interesting question this week. Do bedrooms have to have windows? Was an actual question that was asked of me.
Dave Burnett: Do bedrooms have to have windows? I guess if you're a day sleeper.
Thom Dallman: One of my agents just recently went up to a house between here and Idaho City that's an underground house. They built this house into the ground, and so the bedrooms are at the back of this house, and they do not have windows. None of them have windows. So, I guess a short answer would be no. You don't have to have windows in a bedroom. There's houses with basement bedrooms that don't have windows, or they have the small, teeny little windows. The only time that that comes into play is when it comes to getting a loan, because lenders do require some kind of egress, and by egress I mean some way for someone to get out if the house catches on fire.
Dave Burnett: That's what I was going to wonder. I would get paranoid sleeping in a room that I didn't have two ways out.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. So, there is requirement from a lender for bedrooms to have egress to be counted as a bedroom when it comes to appraisals and stuff like that. So, the twofold answer there is, yes and no. Yes, if you're going to get a loan on the property and you're going to have any kind of a lender associated with it, but no if you just have cash and want to go buy a house. It doesn't have to have windows, necessarily. For instance, this house up in Idaho City, but you might want to think about escape routes and stuff like that. If you are purchasing a house that does have bedrooms without, make sure that there's a very clear, defined escape route if anything does happen in the house.
Dave Burnett: The thing, I think, as we've talked about some of these things, the overwhelming thing I come away with is, protect your investment.
Thom Dallman: Yes.
Dave Burnett: Whether it's taking care of your property, whether it's not doing something crazy that's going to take away from the value.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Protect your investment. Yes, it's your home. Yes, you love it. Yes, you're emotionally attached to it, but realize, in the long run, it is a financial investment.
Thom Dallman: It is. It is something that you are investing money into. You want that long term pay off for it, so it's worthwhile to just maintain it so that you can-
Dave Burnett: Totally. If you want to talk to Thom or any one of the agents there at Core Group Realty at eXp, they are more than welcome to sit down and counsel with you, to talk with you, to just explore. Maybe you think you're not qualified financially, credit score wise, to get a loan. Come sit and talk with them. Find out what your options are, and of course, they will help you get in touch with the people that can answer any questions that they don't have the answers to, like Ron over at Flag Star Bank, one of the sponsors of the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. And of course, Core Group Realty at eXp, the other sponsor. 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 at Core Group Realty @ eXp, CoreGroupRealty.com. That's the website, remember that one, so anytime, 24/7, middle of the night, you can't sleep, go to CoreGroupRealty.com.
Thom Dallman: Do it.
Dave Burnett: Check out the homes that are happening there. We've talked over the past week with the folks that take the photographs and some of the 3D, the virtual tours of homes.
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah.
Dave Burnett: Fascinating, kind of a fun thing to do. You kind of be a voyeur and go look at houses without going in their house.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. That's what I love about this radio show is that we try to bring on these vendors of all sorts throughout the industry on to give helpful hints, to give tips and stuff like that. Fascinating to think about the photography, fascinating.
Here in the next couple weeks, we're hoping to get a company called, Cridder Ridder in here, a pest extermination company.
Dave Burnett: Oh, wow.
Thom Dallman: I love bringing in the local businesses and talking to them about what they got going on and stuff like that and helping educate the community through these vendors and stuff. It's a great opportunity for-
Dave Burnett: It is difficult to take care of a home all by yourself. There's many different facets.
Thom Dallman: Oh, yeah.
Dave Burnett: Whether it's pests because as I understand, gonna be a bad year for pests.
Thom Dallman: That's what I'm hearing.
Dave Burnett: Whether it's ants, mice, whatever it may be because we had a fairly mild winter. There's a lot of things you can do and we were talking during the break about new home owners coming in. Maybe you're not a new home owner but you just want to update your home, there's a lot of things you can do to improve and update that home you're moving into.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Yeah. Things that actually would probably or would hopefully save you some energy, some money that's being paid out towards electricity bills, things like that. Whether you're a first time home buyer or just moving into your home, or whether you do have an existing home and maybe haven't thought about doing some of the stuff.
There's some great options out there to make your home more efficient, to make your home work well for you, to save you money and stuff like that. One of the biggest investments or things that I recommend and fairly inexpensive these days, are look into the electronic tech options for the house.
For example, for security purposes, get a Ring doorbell. They're inexpensive, they're easy to install and they have the video camera so you can see who's coming up to the house. It forewarns you if you're not home. They'll ring your doorbell, it can answer it through your phone to make it feel like you're home and stuff like that.
Great security feature for super inexpensive. Lines, they have the programmable thermostats. The Nest, if you will, that learns your behavior, that you can actually program to turn on the heater, turn on the air conditioning, when it's time for you to come home and stuff like that. It learns your behaviors and knows when you like to adjust it up and down and will start doing it for you. It's a time saver and an energy saver.
Dave Burnett: One of the other nice things, if you have kids because I have a Nest. I got one about a month ago and I've got one child at home that likes to turn up the thermostats and I get a buzz from an email saying, "Your thermostats been put over your settings."
Thom Dallman: Oh. You can do that with your phone? That's cool.
Dave Burnett: That child has not figured out that dad can do that with a phone, dial it back down. Pretty good deal.
Thom Dallman: That's awesome. Yeah, I didn't know that they would actually warn you when it's changed. That's really cool.
Dave Burnett: Yeah, if it goes beyond my parameter-
Thom Dallman: Obviously, I need to put one in my house. We've been postponing that in our house. Those programmable thermostats and stuff are so useful in so many ways like that.
Dave Burnett: It gives you also, and I can speak to this. It gives you, every month you get a report and it'll show what your energy uses were. And it's like, oh, you know what? We really could probably turn the heat down at night a little more or we could turn it up a little. And you can adjust to your lifestyle.
Thom Dallman: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dave Burnett: The other crazy thing is, it knows when you leave the house, so it'll ask and will find out whether we want to turn the heat down because we both, my wife and I, left the house. I finally figured out how it knows.
Thom Dallman: How's that?
Dave Burnett: It knows when your smartphone leaves the house, it knows that you're gone.
Thom Dallman: Oh.
Dave Burnett: If you leave your smartphone at home then it'll think your home but if we both leave then it knows and then it -
Thom Dallman: It buzzes, says hey.
Dave Burnett: Heating the house to 70.
Thom Dallman: That's interesting and kind of creepy at the same time.
Dave Burnett: Yes, it is. Big brother is watching. Kinda scary but it is nice for programming your thermostat.
Thom Dallman: Right, exactly. If you're buying ... Well actually, this should apply for anybody whose bought a new home. You should always change your keys, change the locks on the door. I don't know how many times I can tell you, that people buy homes and just use the same keys, don't change those locks.
More and more builders are actually installing door handles that actually, you can program it with your own specific key once you move into it and stuff like that, which is really cool. If you're buying an existing home, just spend the extra $150, $200, to have a locksmith come out and change those locks or if you're a handy person yourself, change those locks.
You just don't know who the last home owner gave those keys to and stuff like that. And make some spare ones, make some spare ones so that you can hide them somewhere or keep them someplace safe so that you can ... If you get locked out or lose your key, you can have a spare one handy.
Dave Burnett: You're making some big assumptions when you leave the locks the same. You're assuming that everyone that's ever had a key to that house is honorable and upright. And you're assuming that those keys haven't gotten into somebody else's hands.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: Yep, get that changed.
Thom Dallman: Definitely. Some of the other tips and stuff that I think about is installing ceiling fans and ceiling fans will help circulate the air and keep the air temperature a little more moderated, so that all your heat is not rising and setting off the thermostat to produce more heat.
If you buy a home that doesn't have or if you live in a home that doesn't have ceiling fans, they have a lot of great options and easy to install ceiling fans out there that will do that for you.
Wrapping exposed water pipes. If you have an older home and you have that basement or crawl space and the water pipes are running through and they don't have insulation on them, wrapping them will save you on water heating.
When we’re talking about the water heater, it's always a good idea to drain that when you move into a home because you don't know the last time it’s been drained and cleaned out and stuff like that. It's always a good idea to drain it, let it filll back up, set it. They usually recommend around 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Setting that water heater to that temperature to not only maintain an even temperature but it'll save you money with a lower, for your lower energy bills and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: And it will allow that hot water heater to last longer.
Thom Dallman: Correct.
Dave Burnett: It fills with sediment and that will eventually ruin it but yeah, do it once a year. Drain that water tank. It's easy to do.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. And they have blankets that you can throw out for the water heater, too.
Dave Burnett: yep.
Thom Dallman: To keep that heat in there and maintain the heat level so you don't have to keep spending money heating up water and stuff.
Dave Burnett: One more tip for us.
Thom Dallman: One more tip. I'm gonna say, replace your air filters.
Dave Burnett: Yep.
Thom Dallman: You never know when the last time the homeowners replaced it, unless part of the closing process, inspection period and stuff like that, you asked for them to service it because typically, when it gets serviced they will replace them.
If you haven't asked for that, then just do it. Once again, inexpensive thing but it'll make your furnace run better. Get on a maintenance plan to make sure and replace that every quarter is what they recommend to replace the air filter, so that your furnace isn't struggling to get air through it as it gets dirty and builds up. That's my final tip.
Dave Burnett: I do my own and the way I remember to do it, I do it on the changing of the seasons. I just did it as we came in to spring.
Thom Dallman: That's a great time to do it.
Dave Burnett: When you change the seasons, it's time to change the filters. Good way to do it and there's several plans out there where they'll send them to you or they'll get different reminders for it.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. If you go out there and Google, just yearly home maintenance schedules, you can find some really convenient sheets and stuff. You can just maybe put up in your garage or put on a thing and just check it. Spring time, do these things, clean your gutters, inspect the roof, check flashings, check your grout lines and stuff like that, outside.
Dave Burnett: Yep.
Thom Dallman: Things like that, just Google it. You can find them. They're great tips out there for doing those maintenance and checking them off as you do them.
Dave Burnett: One day we should do a show on YouTube and how valuable YouTube is for a homeowner
Thom Dallman: Right.
Dave Burnett: Oh, my gosh. It is so valuable if you haven't discovered some of the things you can do for taking care of your home through YouTube.
Thom Dallman: You can pretty much find anything on YouTube to, "How do I do this?"
Dave Burnett: You can.
Thom Dallman: "How do I cook a rack of lamb?" That's what we just Googled, or YouTubed this week.
Dave Burnett: Oh, is that right? Now you know.
Thom Dallman: And it was really good.
Dave Burnett: There you go. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. We get together and do this each and every week. We appreciate you stopping by and tell other people, whether they're thinking of buying a home or whether they're selling a home, let them know about the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. Let them know about Core Group Realty @ eXp as well.
One of the sponsors of this program, along with the folks at Flagstar Bank. Core Group Realty @eXp, 208-933-7777 or you can check them out online at CoreGroupRealty.com. Find out why they say, "You get more with Core."