We have an informative show for you today! Ron Wieczorek is in the studio to talk about a very important topic; Fair Housing. Not sure what the Fair Housing Act is, listen in to get the details. We also have Josh from Auric Energy in to talk about all of the benefits of Solar Energy!
Tired of hearing about the Boise Parade of Homes? We are definitely NOT tired of talking about it!
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman the co-owner, also an Associate Broker at Core Group @ ExP Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com, that is a website to go to. The phone number to call (208) 933-7777.
Things getting nice. We had a little bit of a cool spell during the week, and now warming up and getting nice for the weekend.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. I can't wait for the summer heat to come on. I'm so tired of these cold mornings myself personally.
Dave Burnett: Before you know it, they will be here and it will be upon us.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: New listings for Core Group.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Yeah. I wanted to chat about once of our new listings that just came on this last week. It's 3834 North Pine Featherville Old Road. Yes, that is up in Featherville, Idaho. For those who are familiar with the area that's a little community in the mountains with lots of opportunity for basically vacation homes and stuff like that. This one's not too far from the golf course up there in Featherville so it's got a great location as far as convenient to just outdoor stuff and being able to just enjoy nature at its best.
This property is on two and a half acres. It's a three bedroom, two bath, log style cabin home, beautiful views out the back. You'd have to go onto our sites. Go to CoreGroupRealty.comto the featured listings and take a look at some of those pictures. We were able to get some aerial photography done on this one so you can see the views and everything around the house.
Super cool house. It's $360,000. 2,174 square foot home. Just up there in the woods. There's all kinds of stuff there you can do. Go snowmobiling. You can go four-wheeling, fishing, snowshoeing, hiking, all that fun stuff that happens up there in the mountains. The current owners have said they spent mornings sitting out on the back watching elk go by, watching deer go by and other wildlife just passing by on their deck. So super relaxing.
Dave Burnett: Nice thing about Featherville is it's easy access either from Idaho City, you can go up that direction. Or you can actually go Horseshoe Bend and go up Harris Ranch Road and get to Featherville that way as well.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: So you've got a couple of different directions you can go to get to Featherville, not far from Idaho City so if want to jump into the big city of Idaho City, you can do that as well.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Exactly. Or it's actually not too far from Mountain Home to for running to go get groceries and stuff like that. I typically go up the freeway to Mountain Home and then-
Dave Burnett: Then go that way.
Thom Dallman: ... go out that direction and backtrack a little bit.
Dave Burnett: I like going the way through the mountains. I guess it's ... You can drive that way too, but I like going that direction and just enjoying the drive into the mountains. Getting away to the mountains, man, what a ... To me that's a dream.
Thom Dallman: Oh my gosh, yeah. It's one of those things that so many people hear about Idaho. They rent these cabins. They use them as vacation homes for themselves and their families, but then they have the opportunity to rent them out on VRBO, sites like that, so that they can actually make an income on it as well or at least pay off a mortgage if they need to pay ... have a mortgage on it and stuff like that. This actually can be incoming property as well so that's something nice about these kind of properties and stuff.
There are obviously things that you have to think about when purchasing a vacation home along the lines of do you have the time to be able to maintain it? And/or hire someone to be able to maintain it, things like that.
Dave Burnett: Can we talk about that a little bit?
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Let's talk about it.
Dave Burnett: Vacation property or let's just say mountain or lake property, some of the pluses and minuses there?
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Let's talk about that. What are some of the minuses? Obviously-
Dave Burnett: The pluses are pretty easy.
Thom Dallman: ... Yeah, the pluses are easy. You get a vacation home to go to. You get a little additional income coming in, potentially paying your mortgage on it if you got a mortgage. Here's something to think about a little bit too is on these second homes, lending you tend to have 20% down for those type of loans. It's not a primary residence so you don't qualify for primary resident loans typically. So you will have to come up with a little more money to be able to purchase one of these. But at the end of the day, hopefully that can be offset by the rental income that it can make. One of the biggest positives is being able ... VRBO's are so popular right now. People wanting to escape the cities, and get into the mountains so a lot of people who are wanting to rent those homes, especially if you can find one that's convenient to the parks, to other camping grounds and stuff like that. So families can do retreats, things like that.
I think one of the downfalls technically is vacation homes are usually pretty far from where you currently live so you can't just-
Dave Burnett: It's not a 10 minute ride.
Thom Dallman: Yeah if something happens at the place you can't just zip up and fix it so you do have to have your resources available and ready to go, and someone that you can trust that's going to go in there and fix anything that might happen and then stuff like that. But most of the places do have ...
Dave Burnett: Here's one that's a negative or a positive.
Thom Dallman: What's that?
Dave Burnett: A lot of these areas like up in Featherville, South of Rocky Bar, I don't know that there's internet access up there other than satellite internet.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: So that could be a positive because you told me I'm positive.
Thom Dallman: That could be a positive because if you're trying to get away, but it could be a negative if you need to be able to check in on your business and stuff like that while you're taking that break.
Dave Burnett: Something to think about there.
Thom Dallman: Yes. Exactly. Exactly. And something to think about too is we've had lots of people who want to sell their vacation homes because they bought it with intent like, "Our family is going to get together once a year. We're going to have these big family gatherings at this place." Come to find out that it just sits there three, four years before the family can actually coordinate a time. So that's another commitment that's really hard to judge is how often is your family truly going to be able to get together and hang out at this vacation home?
Dave Burnett: I would say in most cases, plan on it being about a quarter of what you think it's going to be. They get busy. You're thinking all these wonderful Leave it to Beaver plans of the family getting together and having a great Christmas and all. It's tough for everybody to coordinate their time. Weigh through that and decide it's somewhere that the wife and I or maybe you would just want to enjoy to get away. And if the family gets together, that's a good thing.
Thom Dallman: Yeah exactly. It's amazing to me how many people are selling these vacation homes with that in mindset, that they thought the family was going to get together and then it just never came together for whatever reasons. Just people are busy and life happens and stuff like that.
But one of the really most important parts of thinking about these vacation home is a bit of the location. How far is it from where you can get to it and how long is it going to take you to get there? If it's going to take you a day, two days, to travel and to actually get to the house, may not fit for your lifestyle and what you got going on. So location, location, location. We always say location is important, so reviewing that and keeping that in mind is super important. As well as location as far as the seasons. These mountain homes, they get a lot of snow during the winter so-
Dave Burnett: Yeah. This past winter's been really brutal.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Exactly, so you have to think about things like being able to get access to it during the winter. Do you have vehicles able to traverse the snow and get in there? Or is it going to be snowed off and blocked off for the winter and you're not going to be able to get up there during the winter and stuff like that. So super important to take those into account and looking around and seeing what's available.
Dave Burnett: Getting around to the real estate side of this, one of the nice things though I think is that the Associates at Core are well versed when they talk to the people and they list these. They know the history, know what's going on. So if you're looking, you can get a little bit of counseling from the Core agent.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Yeah. If you're looking for a vacation home, if you're even just looking to make this a primary residence, something up in these smaller towns and smaller areas, we can definitely guide you through the process, through things that you need to think about. We can get you some local information on the stuff.
We can do that research for you as well as the research on the property itself. Get you the energy costs, what's it going to cost to run this place? For instance this house that we have at 3834 Pine Featherville Road, it's on a well and septic. It's got electric water heater, and it's got gas. If I'm remembering correctly, it does have gas pumped into the house for everything else, and it's propane. I do believe so. You have your propane tank that you have to take care of and stuff.
Dave Burnett: Which most mountain locations are that way.
Thom Dallman: Yes. Exactly. Exactly. There's certain things like that that you have to take into consideration as well. But yeah, vacation homes can be a lot of fun, but they can be a lot of work and a lot of stress as well so you have weight out what you want.
Dave Burnett: I guess go into it with realistic expectations?
Thom Dallman: Yes.
Dave Burnett: I think that is probably important.
Thom Dallman: It's super important to make sure that you are talking to your realtor whether it's us or whether you're interviewing with other people to get their thoughts and make sure that they're willing to do that research into what's it going to take to keep this ... the upkeep of this property? What's the availability for rental, getting that rented out and stuff like that, and help coach you through some of that information.
Dave Burnett: I guess when you talk to the agents there at Core you have a scale from vacation fun home to hermit. Somewhere between there's where you want to be.
Thom Dallman: Very much so. Yes.
Dave Burnett: Don't want to be a hermit, but that way you can put it on a sliding scale.
Thom Dallman: Yep.
Dave Burnett: Featherville, a beautiful opportunity, and the folks at Core also have the availability to look for other lots, other properties in the mountains, not just this one, but it is a featured listing for you.
Thom Dallman: Yep. This is a featured listing and like you said, there's other places available up in McCall, Donnelly, Cascade, those beautiful areas and stuff like that.
Dave Burnett: Got to love it.
Thom Dallman: Yep.
Dave Burnett: Check it out. Core Group @ ExP Realty. The website CoreGroupRealty.com, and by the way that's a featured listing as Thom mentioned, some aerial drone photos of the property so that you way you can check it out that way as well. And what's the price on this one again?
Thom Dallman: It was ... Let me pull that up again ... It was $360,000.
Dave Burnett: Very good. Check it out at CoreGroupRealty.com. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by the folks at Flagstar Bank, and of course, Core Group @ ExP Realty. Find out why they say, "You get more with Core."
Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, associate broker at Core Group at eXp Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com, that is the website. 208-933-7777, that's the phone number for you to call.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, everybody knows that number hopefully, every week we.
Dave Burnett: I would think so, just 208-933-7777.
Thom Dallman: For as long as we've been doing this. Sevens, just dials sevens.
Dave Burnett: You got that one down. Every week we get a chance to talk to Ron from Flagstar Bank, and we get to talk about Ron's potpourri.
Thom Dallman: Last week and this week.
Dave Burnett: Maybe we'll get an official jingle put together for Ron's potpourri.
Ron Wieczorek: News and notes.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly.
Dave Burnett: What are you working on this week? What captured your attention?
Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, a couple articles captured my attention. They're unrelated and I don't know if we'll get into the second one too much, but the first one was... Thom and I are in sales and we do... Social media is becoming bigger and bigger if it hasn't already taken over a lot or a big piece of our business or our presence hasn't been expanded. Go ahead.
Thom Dallman: We do social media on almost every one of our listings and stuff like that. I just read an interesting article that says only... This is a survey that was done, and we're going to talk about this in the segment later today. Only 20% of the homes listed, in this big survey of 7,000 people across the US, only 20% of the homes were ever advertised on social media from their realtors.
Ron Wieczorek: Wow.
Thom Dallman: I was shocked by that number. Anyways.
Ron Wieczorek: You would think-
Thom Dallman: You would think number was higher.
Ron Wieczorek: If you asked me to guess, I would have been 20% didn't, not 20% did.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly.
Ron Wieczorek: And so that's a good segue to we talked about the big player in social media is Facebook. And they've had allegations kind of follow them around, and finally they're making significant changes to their advertising policy. They were giving users way too much autonomy when it came to what buttons they could... Because you can conveniently look on their site and say, "Who do you want to see this?" Or, "What demographic?" Or, "What age range?"-
Dave Burnett: You're talking advertising?
Ron Wieczorek: Advertising for whether it's a listing, whether it's a... We see a lot in the rental market, more than we do listings. Because on listings you want more eyes on it, right?
Thom Dallman: Correct.
Ron Wieczorek: So that doesn't seem to be as big of an issue as when someone has a property that they want to rent because they're the landlord, they own the home. And they're saying if I'm going to get a renter in here, I'm going to pick who that renter is. And if I get to choose a platform to advertise, I'm going to only market to that person. Well, that's a huge, huge red flag.
Thom Dallman: Fair housing.
Ron Wieczorek: Fair housing, right. The Fair Housing Act was really made for that situation.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Ron Wieczorek: It's like you couldn't have served it on more of a silver platter for them than they were doing and getting away with for so long. And I don't think it was intentional on their part. They're not saying, "Who can we exclude from owning a home and/or renting home or having the privilege of a roof over their head." But with their other products that they advertise on other... Their whole platform is kind of geared around that. But when it comes to something as sensitive as excluding people from home ownership, it becomes a bigger deal.
Dave Burnett: Okay, so it works this way. I have a home I want to rent. And so if I'm going to do it on Facebook, then I can go, "Nope, I only want to rent to married women who are 25-45 years... " I could pick basically what I want to do, which would exclude everyone outside of my parameter.
Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, and that's what they call targeting filters.
Thom Dallman: Yep, yep.
Ron Wieczorek: So on their targeting filters, and these are the big ones, and I'll go through the list of what's really causing a stir. They're not worried about the married men, middle class-
Dave Burnett: The middle class white American male.
Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, we're fine. They're not worried about protecting us and for good reason. But sometimes they have display ads that say, "Only men," or in some cases, "Only women." That's a big one. Not to show ads to Facebook users interested in things that might indicate the user was disabled. And that's huge because if you're excluding that faction of people, you're not doing a service to putting their eyes on it and giving that ability to either buy a home in the instance of selling real estate and/or if you're that picky landlord and you just don't want to make an upgrade to the home that is going to be conducive to your renter, "Well, I can do whatever I want with my home." Well, you can, and you ultimately don't have to pick that person, but you have to give them the-
Dave Burnett: Opportunity.
Ron Wieczorek: ... the opportunity, right. So that's a huge one. Another really, really big one is maybe single parents. On the filter, not interested in any, they have a childcare, they had one of those, or anyone to users with kids above a certain age or below a certain age, you can't do that. That's again what the fair housing laws were made for, and it was allowing you to do that on Facebook up until... If you went on there today-
Thom Dallman: There was no management of it, yeah.
Ron Wieczorek: If you went on there today, it should be different because this is a couple months old that they got their hand slapped and they fought it a little bit, but at the end of the day, I think they saw what the... It's HUD, the Housing and Urban Development filed a complaint, the National Fair Housing Alliance, and the American Civil Liberties Union, all of them kind of... All of those companies don't always see eye-to-eye, or those institutions always don't see eye-to-eye, but they joined forces on this one just to make sure that Facebook was doing it right.
Dave Burnett: So if I'm a single, minority, senior citizen, raising my grandchild there's a good chance I would never see the ad?
Thom Dallman: Correct.
Ron Wieczorek: I can't imagine a scenario where you would see that ad.
Dave Burnett: Which isn't fair to me if I'm a single, minority, senior citizen raising my grandchild.
Ron Wieczorek: Right, no, yeah, 100%, and that's the fear and that's the... You don't want to draw... We talked about redlining. You don't want to redline and dictate who gets to see that. Now at the end of the day, again, you can make that choice. It's like we talked about interviewing for certain positions. At the end of the day, you're going to make the choice, but you have to make sure that you're doing it right, the right set of eyes are on it, and you're doing it fairly. Use that word "fair." That's a big, big word because it's the Fair Housing Act, and that's exactly what they're trying to do is try to level the playing field a little bit. It's already not fair.
Dave Burnett: So where do we stand with social media, with Facebook and with Twitter, all the social medias? Where is that standing right now?
Ron Wieczorek: Well, they've adjusted. So like I said, if Thom went on there today and he had a listing, some of those filters that he had before should not be available to him.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, I think a good example is you have a starter home. We've talked about starter homes and just the first time home buyers and stuff like that. And those first time home buyers specifically are in that age group of that 25 to 40 years old, if you will. We used to be able to just go in and say, "Hey, I only want this ad, this ad for this house to just target those people, that age group, because we know those are first time home buyers." Well, here you are excluding the empty nesters who may be downsizing and stuff like that. That's discrimination. You're basically saying, "I don't want anybody over 40 to look at this ad," and stuff like that. And so they really buckled down on that, and now you really can't do that anymore. You really have to focus on the whole sending that out to everybody. Now you do the filters by who's looking at real estate? Facebook is amazing at how it can track everything. That's why when you go look at something on Amazon.com all of a sudden your Facebook page starts filling up with ads for that item.
Dave Burnett: Immediately.
Thom Dallman: Exactly, exactly. So we can target those people that are looking at real estate, not by age groups anymore.
Ron Wieczorek: And here's the big thing is a lot of times when this filter was being used, it wasn't being used maliciously.
Thom Dallman: No, it was unintentional.
Ron Wieczorek: I know Thom well enough to know that he's not discriminating against any class, any person. He's not trying to dissuade anybody from becoming a homeowner. It's more of when you're looking at those filters, you're sitting there from an innocent standpoint of how can I get the most bang for my buck?
Dave Burnett: And target the person who's probably going to buy.
Ron Wieczorek: Right, exactly. And they want to get away from using that word "target." Target can be a bad word in our industry, but I know it's done most of the time with innocent eyes, but you don't know the effect that you're having on certain demographics, certain people by doing that. Just by hitting that button, you're excluding a class of people that are really wanting to get into a home or see that listing or see that opportunity to have a roof over their head and they're just not... They're already at a disadvantage.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: We could probably talk for an hour on this because really this is important as well as we move forward and there are businesses that are now using facial recognition so when you walk into the store, they recognize your face. You get a text saying, "Hey, look Dave, shaving cream is on sale."
Ron Wieczorek: I was going to mention that you should probably shave.
Dave Burnett: But I'm just saying that that needs to be in protection because you're going to reach a point with that kind of direct targeted marketing.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Well, even like cell phones are being tracked. We can do what they call geofencing. So we can set up a fence around say a house where anybody who walks into this house or walks into a store, walks into a business that has any kind of real estate thing that they've been looking for, "Please put our ad up. Put Core Group's ad on this person's phone when they're playing games, when they're on social media," and stuff like that. It's getting really advanced out there, the things that they can track and notice [crosstalk 00:10:16] stuff.
Dave Burnett: Which is good and scary.
Ron Wieczorek: Like I said, the nonmalicious angle for it, at first it doesn't sound like it's harmful at all. You're like, "Yeah, I'm capturing the best audience." And it may be months, years before you find out, where it takes a group that's being discriminated against to say, "Hey, what about us?" And you're like, "Well, that wasn't even the intention." And that's what I think happened here.
Dave Burnett: Yeah.
Ron Wieczorek: Now, I will say this, there was some intentional. There was some, especially after 9-11, there was a lot of people saying, "I do not want this religion, that religion, that demographic in my house," and they were intentionally using those targets and filters to do that. You can't control everyone. You can't police... Well, you can try to police everyone, but some people's intention are more pure than others. So you had that mix into it as well that were stirring up some discontent with those organizations that were filing the complaints.
Dave Burnett: Well, with every good thing, bad things follow along.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: It's just human nature. I don't care where you're from. We're already out of time. Hard to believe it.
Thom Dallman: That wasn't a potpourri discussion that we thought it was.
Dave Burnett: Ron's sitting there with 15 pages of notes and he got through half a page. That's pretty good. Ron, let's do this, though. And by the way, the folks at Flagstar, equal opportunity lenders. I want to say that right up front.
Ron Wieczorek: That's a good time to say that with that article, huh?
Thom Dallman: Right.
Dave Burnett: It's the perfect time to say it. If somebody wants to get ahold of you there at Flagstar, how do they do it?
Ron Wieczorek: My cell phone's always on me. It's area code 208-869-9154.
Dave Burnett: Very good. Flagstar, of course, one of the sponsors of the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, along with the folks at Core Group at eXp Realty. 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 one of the brokers. I guess it would be an associate broker at Core Group at EXP Realty.
Something that Thom we have heard on the radio, we've heard on TV, we've seen ads for it.
Thom Dallman: We've had lots of people ask about it.
Dave Burnett: It's captured my curiosity.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: That is solar power.
Thom Dallman: Solar energy.
Dave Burnett: You're seeing more and more of it, and you have got somebody to talk to us about it.
Thom Dallman: Yes, we have Josh here from Auric Energy. Did I pronounce that right, Auric?
Josh Hill: You did. Just like a pirate, "Arr", and you'll get it right every time.
Thom Dallman: Auric Energy here to talk a little bit about solar. Let's start out Josh, tell us a little bit about yourself and Auric.
Josh Hill: It's a little tricky, but it's actually the Latin word for gold. It's the gold standard, that's what we like to try to be, make sure we do solar the right way.
I grew up on a farm and did things practically every day with dad. Now I farm sunshine, that's what I like to say. We help people own the sun, own solar energy. It's a really great job and exploding in Idaho right now.
That's why you probably have seen it here or there. A lot of people are talking about it, there's a little bit of a buzz.
Dave Burnett: The reality when it comes to Idaho, there's a lot of sunshine here.
Josh Hill: Absolutely. A quick Jeopardy fact for you, Idaho gets more sunshine for solar than Florida, 5.19 hours per day. Absolutely, yes. Solar hours is a little less in Florida because of all the rain, you can set your clock by the thunderstorms. In Idaho, it's clear blue skies even when it's cold.
Dave Burnett: I'll take…for 500.
Thom Dallman: There you go, I like it.
Dave Burnett: Help us sort through some of this right now. You do see a lot of ads, you see, "No money down. Free, it will pay for itself. Blah, blah, blah." My battle is Tommy, there's nothing for free.
Josh Hill: Right.
Dave Burnett: But there is cost savings.
Josh Hill: There is always savings with solar. It's going to produce electricity, which has a value. A lot of people, when I ask, "How much is your power bill?" They say, "How much is solar?" I say, "Well how much is your power bill?"
It's all relative, and they don't even know. The value of a kilowatt hour in Idaho averages around $.10, and we are below the national average. Energy still costs money, electricity costs money.
Those ads that you're seeing saying free, it's really a marketing gimmick as much as anything. They're trying to get their foot in the door with someone, so their ad saying that it's free while they have financing where maybe the first year is free. We even offer that truth be told, where for the first year you have no money down. That's to allow you to get the tax credit.
There's two sides to every story. Yes, it's free for the first year. That allows you to get the tax credits, which is really great. Then you basically just start paying what you were paying for your power bill because solar is making your energy from your rooftop.
Thom Dallman: We've had people ask us questions about the tax credit, which I'm not familiar with. I usually say, "Go talk to my accountant." Do you have any of the information on the tax credit?
Josh Hill: Yes. It's fairly straightforward, and a lot of people don't know or have misinformation about it. There are even companies out there giving misinformation to people about how it works.
The bottom line is it's a 30% federal tax credit for 2019. Guaranteed by congress, the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed in 2008. It's been around, they've been extending it. This is supposed to be the last year of 30%, and then it will fall. The federal government will control the price of solar, just like a lot of commodities.
30%, it's a tax credit. What that means is you have to pay taxes to get it. You will not get that 30% if you're retired and don't have any investments and pay no taxes, or have a lot of deductions. Either you need to pay or owe the government.
What I tell my clients is that solar is the best way to legally not pay taxes because you'll get a 30% tax credit in the year you do it. It will roll forward. Let's say you went solar this year Tom and didn't pay any taxes, but you did next year. Let's say you quit your job or you were just working pro bono, but next year you went back to work; that tax credit would roll forward.
It could take two years for you to get that 30%, but if you never worked again, if you were retired and had no plans of it, solar is actually a bad idea. We've advised people as such.
Dave Burnett: Let me ask you this because you see more and more solar, some of them take up an entire roof, some just a little bit. Can you alter how much solar you get? Tell me a little bit about how it works.
Josh Hill: What I would do if someone said, "I'd like to learn more about it." I would come in, do a full consultation with them. It takes about 30 minutes, sometimes more if they ask a lot of questions.
We want to evaluate their roof and their power bill. Those are the two things we need to see, how much sunlight does their roof get. People ask me how much the solar costs, well that's like asking Tom how much a house costs, because every home is different.
Every home has a different solar application. What you mentioned, you see a house with eight or ten solar panels and then one next to it with 30, it's because the people use a lot different amounts of electricity. The solar has to be customized to those homes based on how much electricity they use.
When we see their roof, we can calculate exactly how much sunlight, that 5.19 hours. There's a lot more math that goes along with that number to kick out exactly how much energy a solar panel will produce. Then we look at their power bill to figure out how many kilowatt hours they need in a year. We can figure out how many solar panels they need.
One house might have 29, one needs 20, one might need 50. We have a stadium in Utah that was over 4,000 panels. It's all relative to how much electricity that you use.
Dave Burnett: When you're talking about a stadium, is it a wise investment for businesses? Not just residential, but maybe somebody owes a business.
Josh Hill: Yes. It actually is, especially if they're growing, expanding, like I said, paying taxes. Some business maybe are not making money this year and not going to pay taxes. If they're making a lot of money this year, solar is a really great tax deduction.
You'll get that 30% tax credit federally again for a business. You also are able to use depreciation, it's called MACRS, modified accelerated cost recovery system. Their accountant can help guide them in that. If we sit down with them, we always show them there's a gross cost for solar, but then a business would get 60% off that cost through their tax credits.
Thom Dallman: That's awesome, good stuff.
Dave Burnett: We haven't even talked about the environmental impact. We see that in Wyoming, some of the coal fired plants are going to take those offline here in the next couple of years. Hydro, which is very good to have, but you're seeing that coming under more fire.
Solar is something that's just out there and it's been around a long time.
Josh Hill: Yes, since the 50s.
Dave Burnett: I've talked to Thom about my father-in-law's house out in- He had solar panels, which blew hot air through the vent system and they kind of heated the house with it.
It has really progressed and advanced in how it works now.
Josh Hill: Let me speak to that actually. That causes a lot of confusion is my industry as well, people that say, "I want to get my hot water from solar and my hot air from solar."
Those are older systems, they still have them. They're called solar thermal or passive solar, and they'll heat air off your roof or you pump water up or a liquid inside a condenser tube, and then it heats it with sunlight. They're really efficient, but in Idaho we don't like them.
Auric has never done them and we don't plan on it because they have a lot of maintenance issues and their performance isn't that great in wintertime. When you're expecting hot water in winter and the sun's not out, you're not getting it.
We do solar photovoltaic, it's solar electricity. It makes electricity from these panels that don't move, no moving parts except the electrons. There's very little maintenance, but there is some. We guarantee that they never pay a maintenance fee.
It's come a long way. Another misinformation in the industry is that, "I'll wait until solar panels get better." I tell people, solar is a lot more like engines than it is cell phones. There's a new solar panel, but over the last few years, that new panel is only fractions of a percent more efficient than the older one.
Since the 50s when it was invented, by the way in America, it's an American invention, Bell Labs. In the 60s, 70s, 80s, NASA was doing solar. Now it's become affordable enough for a resident or a business to invest in it and offset their energy costs.
Dave Burnett: Cool. We've seen various ways, I've seen panels before, I've also seen roofing that looks roofing but it's solar.
Josh Hill: I hear this one a lot too.
Dave Burnett: Explain this to me, how this is all works?
Josh Hill: I love Tesla and Elon Musk, and want them to be successful, and hope to own a Tesla one day. I don't yet, not successful enough but trying to get there. They showed this neighborhood actually where he said all the roofs are made of solar tiles.
He showed off this tile, and that was over two years ago. Actually one of the major news agencies did a story that's out there saying, "Why don't we have these solar roofs yet?" The basic rule of thumb is that those panels that are roughly three feet by five feet, they're proven, they're very durable, they have 25 year warrantees.
Those solar roof tiles, you're basically taking a panel, the same technology, and chopping it up into 20 pieces. Then you have to manufacture those 20 pieces, and then you have to install those 20 pieces whereas one panel, the cost of manufacturing, of installation and then of service because of all the points of connection, they're just not cost efficient.
They're fancy and they look great, but modern panels today, they look amazing. They're all black, they basically look like a TV screen or a laptop when it's off. They don't have any reflectivity, they're black frames. People have driven by solar in Idaho and not even noticed it. They're that aesthetically pleasing.
Dave Burnett: We're talking to Josh with Auric Energy from here in the Treasure Valley about solar power for your homes. We really have, we get questions about it on a regular basis.
Thom Dallman: Yes, we do. Now we have someone to go to, we have a source to actually send people to. Actually, stay tuned and listen into the radio show, or check us out at coregrouprealty.com because we will be putting together a joint effort to educate the community.
We're going to either do a lunch and learn or happy hour or something in the evening to bring people together and bring people into Core Group's offices to talk about solar power and how it can benefit them and do an education piece on it.
Dave Burnett: Which I think is a real value. As not a member of the solar community or real estate, there's a lot of stuff out there and it's kind of confusing. Everybody's throwing information at you and you're thinking, "Okay, do I want to get ahead of the wave and the curve on this? Am I going to be taken advantage of?"
I don't know about you, the last thing I want to be done is taken advantage of.
Josh Hill: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: It seems logical to me. Solar seems logical.
Josh Hill: I tell people you get to own the sun, it comes up every day. We guarantee that, and if it doesn't, then we have a bigger problem.
Thom Dallman: For sure.
Dave Burnett: You have a bigger problem than your heat or your electricity. Let me ask you this, I assume that these work in coordination with Idaho Power, that if for some reason it's not a very sunny day or it's the wintertime, then your house runs off of both. Is that the way that works?
Josh Hill: Right, generally. You have two ways to do solar, you have grid tied and off grid. Everyone thinks they want to be off grid until they see the price tag. Then you have no backup, it's just you. If something's wrong, you don't have power.
In winter, as you say, you have a lot less sunlight and that's absolutely true. What happens with Idaho Power and being grid tied, it's a lot more cost effective one. When you're overproducing, you're at work, your air conditioner's not on, a day like today in the springtime; you're producing kilowatt hours and you're spinning the meter backwards.
You're effectively powering someone else in your neighborhood if you're not using all that solar electricity. You get a kilowatt credit on your power bill that Idaho Power carries for you. Then in winter, you can use those credits.
That system is called net metering. There's a lot of policy changes around it, but in Idaho it hasn't changed. It's been around 16, going on 17 years now. It's a one to one credit ratio. That's a really great system to not have to invest in batteries.
A lot of people think, "Where am I going to put my batteries?" You don't need them. You put panels on your roof, they make electricity. You use it first, if you're not using it, it spins your meter backwards to give you a credit that you can use in winter.
Dave Burnett: Josh with Auric Energy. I think we'll have Josh back again, and as you said for a form of information.
Thom Dallman: Absolutely. We're working on an event to educate the community. People will be invited into for some snacks and some drinks maybe, and learn all about solar energy.
Josh Hill: We love to educate the community, I love to work with realtors that are forward thinking on this and want to actually show people how it actually works. That's what our goal is at Auric and all my consultants, they educate first before just trying to give someone a sales pitch.
Dave Burnett: Excellent. Whether you own a home and want to upgrade, or whether you're looking to build a home and want to incorporate it in the beginning, Josh can take care of that. Josh, if someone wants to get a hold of you, how do they do that?
Josh Hill: They can look us up through our website, Auricenergy.com. That's A-U-R-I-C-E-N-E-R-G-Y.com, or they can just email me directly. I'd love to answer any emails, never too busy to talk with a potential client. It's Joshua.hill@Auricenergy.com.
Dave Burnett: If you missed all that, easy to get it as well from Core Group Realty.
Thom Dallman: Just give us a call, we'll direct you to the right place.
Dave Burnett: 208-933-7777, that's the phone number for you to call if you want to talk to the folks at Core Group. They are one of the sponsors of the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, along with the folks at Flagstar Bank.
We'll continue as we continue on this weekend here with the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, 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 at EXP Realty. CoreGroupRealty.com that is a website. (208) 933-7777, that's the phone number for you to call.
Thom Dallman: Yeah. Give us a call. Any questions that you have, anything that you're just burning to know real estate related, we're more than happy. Sometimes we even get non real estate related. For example, like hey what's going on this weekend and-
Dave Burnett: What's going on? What's the weather like?
Thom Dallman: We've answered those questions too for people as well. So any questions? Yeah, I've give us a call, we'll try to answer.
Dave Burnett: On thing I do know that's going on and that again is one of your favorite times of the year. That's the Parade of Homes.
Thom Dallman: Gosh I just love the Spring Parade of Homes because you just, you get so many great ideas. You get to see all the new stuff that's coming out. You can see new floor plans from builders. Actually have some clients that I'm working with right now that are touring the Parade of Homes because they're looking to build and so it's a great opportunity for them to see builders and see what builders are offering and stuff. And they've actually found a builder on the tour that we're actually trying to coordinate a meeting with. so-
Dave Burnett: Kind of a funny story. I was at Winco and there were two ladies in line in front of me. They were checking out and they were talking about the Parade of Homes.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: And one of them was in this situation, they're getting ready to build, they're looking for ideas and they were talking about this and that and the other thing, and I'm leaning in further and further listening in until they turned around and looked at me like, all right, you creep, what are you doing?
Thom Dallman: This radio show is made you a voyeur.
Dave Burnett: Exactly. Because they were talking about the same thing. They were talking about, she was talking about the tile that they were using in this kitchen. What she said, which I, that's why I wanted to know, she said, a little different than anything she's really ever seen before.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Gosh, there's such a variety of tiles out there right now too. It's so popular. These Parade of Homes, they showcase some of those tiles and some of those unique features and things that you can buy out there. So it is, it's a great idea. I've seen back when we were representing builders, sitting at the homes, people coming through with their notepads, writing little notes down about specific things that they've seen. They asked for the sheet of what service providers are out there that provide the tiles, the hardwood floors and things like that.
So yeah, it's a great way to, especially if you're thinking about building, to get familiar with what's available out there.
Dave Burnett: Now there are homes, how many homes are there throughout the Treasure Valley? There's homes throughout the valley?
Thom Dallman: 38, I believe, this year. 38 or 39 yeah. It was just right under 40 so I believe it's-
Dave Burnett: And it's spread out enough that it's tough to hit it all on one day. So you may want to break it up into two or three weekends or two or three evenings.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. It's, sorry, it is 39. I'm on their site right now. So they're site is the , if you want to go look at it. They do have an app this year we found out. That you can download an app to trace or track your homes and go see where they're at and stuff and which ones you've seen in and whatnot as well as the magazine, of course. They always have the magazines, which you can come by our office, 8665 West Emerald Street. We're just that block and a half west of Boise Town Square Mall if you want to grab those. But they are open through May 12th .May 12th is the last day and that's usually Mother's Day. So-
Dave Burnett: The clock is ticking.
Thom Dallman: The clock is ticking. Yes.
Dave Burnett: Not far away.
Thom Dallman: Exactly. Exactly. So on the weekends, Friday and they consider Friday part of the weekend. So Friday, Saturday and Sunday they're open from 12 to 8. they are closed on Mondays but Tuesday through Thursday, they're open five to eight so 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM so there's opportunity there to go in the evenings, to go on the weekends and really get out there and see what's happening and they're across the valley so that's why you might want to do different areas at different times because they are really spread out and get more and more spread out every year.
Dave Burnett: Now I know you are making your plans coming up here and about, it's just a few days to get out and see as many as you can.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, we do. We do an annual bus tour where we get our agents and their spouses together and people like you, people who are good partners with us and we just go out and have a fun evening and go tour. We're doing it on Tuesday the seventh. We're going to go tour around and see a bunch of homes, fit in as many as we can. We usually like to try to do the bigger, higher end ones on our tour just to just to see what's fancy and what's happening out there, so-
Dave Burnett: Go big or go home.
Thom Dallman: It's a fun day. Yeah, it's a fun day. We've done it, this'll be our sixth year, I believe. Oh no, no. This will be our seventh year, our seventh year of doing this bus tour. Just a really fun event. It's a great, obviously team building and stuff, but it's a great event for my agents, for those people that we have relationships with, our vendors and stuff like that to get together and just go look-
Dave Burnett: I would think a bunch of real estate agents would be an interesting way to see the Parade of Homes. That's why I'm kind of intrigued to go with you folks this year. Is it, because real estate agents look at homes a little differently than me.
Thom Dallman: Exactly.
Dave Burnett: I go ooh, look at that. Whereas if they go, no, this is good, that's bad. This-
Thom Dallman: This is practical use of space. We dive into the whole, yeah, the whole thing and really digest the house itself and come up with the pros and cons.
Dave Burnett: You can go to the website or if you want to do old school and go with the magazine, come by Core Group Realty and pick up one of the magazines and that way you can start combing through-
Thom Dallman: We've had a few people come by and grab some from this show, we heard on the radio you had some magazines here so yeah, feel free to swing by and grab some and we are only open eight to five Monday through Friday so that in mind. But you're more than welcome to come get one.
Dave Burnett: Get one.
Thom Dallman: Yeah.
Dave Burnett: Perfect. Core Group @ exp Realty. That is one of the sponsors of this program along with the folks at Flag Star Bank. We just want to thank you for stopping by, spending a bit of time. If you'd like to hold of Thom or any one of the agents, you can do, so just go to coregrouprealty.com.there's a link where you can contact Tom and shoot him a note. If you're thinking about buying a home or if you're thinking about selling a home, it's a great time to do it, but there's things you need to know. Come in for a free consultation, no obligations.
Thom Dallman: Yeah, for sure. We're here and ready to chat with you about it.
Dave Burnett: Core Group Realty at EXP is the group, and of course they are one of the sponsors of the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. Call today, (208) 933-7777, Find out why they say you get more with Core.