Are you ready to do some spring cleaning? Thom and Dave have some interesting cleaning tips for you on today’s show! They are also talking about bidding wars and the current market. We have Clay Lindquist as a special guest to chat about his new listing in Caldwell. If you need a large shop, this may be the home for you! Ron Wieczorek also stops by to keep us up-to-date in the world of home loans!


Segment 1

Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. Here is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, associate broker at Core Group Realty @ eXp. CoreGroupRealty.com, that is the website, 208-933-7777, that of course the phone number you can always call for more information.

Thom Dallman: We've got people on standby all the time.

Dave Burnett: Great to be here. St. Patty's Day weekend underway.

Thom Dallman: Oh yeah.

Dave Burnett: We do want to encourage you a little public service announcement. Don't drink and drive.

Thom Dallman: Don't drink and drive. Please don't.

Dave Burnett: You don’t want your picture on the Ada County website.

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Dave Burnett: Never good, but enjoy the weekend. One of the things that goes with the weekend, the improving weather as we head into spring and that is home sales and Core Group Realty @ eXp got some-

Thom Dallman: I do want to do a plug for the home and garden show that's happening over there at the fairgrounds this weekend.

If you are bored and want to go get some ideas for your home and garden, it's a great place to go tour and check it out.

Dave Burnett: It truly is. We talk about a lot of different things as far as how to improve your home if you're living, not even really having anything to do with selling your home, but we talk about that. We talk about-

Thom Dallman: All the time and you can come up with some quick and easy ideas for getting your front yard spruced up if you're thinking about listing. They've got some great ideas out there.

Dave Burnett: That is true. You have brought somebody with you today.

Thom Dallman: We've got Clay in the house.

Clay Lindquist: Hello.

Thom Dallman: Welcome Clay.

Clay Lindquist: Thank you. Glad to be here.

Thom Dallman: Clay is here to talk about a listing that he has. He's co-listed and tell us a little bit about it.

Clay Lindquist: It's a co-listing with Western Idaho Realty out in Caldwell. My father and I, Craig, have this property out in the Freezeout Road in Caldwell. It's an incredible property, a little bit different than most. It's gotten a little bit older home on it, two bedroom, two bath. But what makes it special is it's got five acres total, two and a half acres in pasture and two really big shops. Those shops are, they're designed for an industrial business or welding business or something of that nature. The kind of people that might be interested in this property would be somebody with an industrial business.

One of the shops is 60 foot by 40 feet, some huge bay doors, I think three of them, a 13 foot door, a 16 foot door, it's fully heated, has plenty of storage. The other shop is 56 by 26 feet with two roll-up doors, 16 foot doors and a 14 foot door and it's plumbed for water, sewer, electrical. It's really ready for somebody who has that business that wants to bring it home and have everything right there.

Thom Dallman: How many acres did you say it was?

Clay Lindquist: It's a total of five acres, 5.010 acres.

Dave Burnett: Zero one zero. Two of them are agricultural right now?

Clay Lindquist: Yeah, so two and a half a acres upfront for pasture, has a I think just over an acre storage lot behind all the shops for any heavy equipment, metal fabrication, storage, things of that nature.

Dave Burnett: You know, Emmett has been such a getaway because it really is fairly close to Treasure Valley, to Nampa and to Eagle, Star, all of those towns. So for somebody to have a business situated in Emmett, you got country living, but right next is kind of that country mouse-city mouse thing.

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Clay Lindquist: It's in Caldwell so it's even closer.

Dave Burnett: Oh, okay.

Clay Lindquist: Just out on Freezeout Road near Purple Sage.

Dave Burnett: So it is in Caldwell?

Clay Lindquist: Yeah, pretty close right here, almost in town.

Dave Burnett: If somebody wants to Google map this, what is the address of that again?

Clay Lindquist: It's 25497 Freeze Out Road in Caldwell. Zip code is 83607.

Thom Dallman: What's the list price?

Clay Lindquist: It's currently listed at $499,900.

Thom Dallman: $499,900. Do you give the square footage of the house?

Clay Lindquist: The square footage is 2072 feet.

Thom Dallman: How many bedrooms and bath?

Clay Lindquist: Two bedroom, two bath.

Thom Dallman: Cool.

Clay Lindquist: It's an interesting home. It's got lots of little spaces for entertainment. It's got a little cellar downstairs for all your storage. So really unique property looking for a unique person.

Thom Dallman: Awesome. Awesome. I ran into a gentleman at the roadster show this last weekend. We had a booth set up there and he was talking about, thinking about trying to find a place with a big shop to do you kind of his motor or engine work and stuff like that. I had mentioned to keep an eye on our site for this listing that you have.

Clay Lindquist: It'd be perfect it.

Thom Dallman: Hopefully he'll give us a call.

Clay Lindquist: One more thing is the second shop actually is partway through building a mother-in-law quarter in it. The idea was to build a separate unit out there in that shop on the front end for guests, family, things of that nature to come and stay.

Thom Dallman: Cool. Perfect.

Dave Burnett: Wanted to take a look at it.

Call Clay at Core Group @ eXp.

Thom Dallman: Go to CoreGroupRealty.com and look at our featured listings. It should be featured there along with, actually we have another listing that out other agent, Shawna Schnabel, actually got listed this week as well. It's 1204 West Sunrise Rim Road on the bench. This is a great bench property, six bedroom, two and a half bath. It is a single level with some square footage down in the basement. 2,848 square feet house on a quarter acre. Let's see, it's right there on Sunrise right off of Vista, so it's a great location, easy access to the freeway and everything like that.

The house itself has a view of Bogus in downtown. It has bamboo flooring throughout the upper level with it, and they've updated the whole kitchen. Have a new, the lower level has new vinyl plank flooring down. There's ability to add a kitchen if you want in the basement part as well. It's just beautifully landscaped and has a option for RV parking on the side of the house as well. That's hard to find. We talk about that all the time, the RV parking in this neck of the woods. This is listed at $340,000, so great opportunity for a huge house right here on the bench.

Hard to find.

Dave Burnett: In the city limits.

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Clay Lindquist: The city limits, hard to find on the bench now.

Dave Burnett: Yeah, it truly is. It's interesting as the area grows and spreads out, finding things within the city limits of Boise gets tougher and tougher.

Thom Dallman: It gets tougher, especially with our inventory still being low. Our reports just came out from Boise Regional Realtors. Inventory has increased a little bit, but it's still at historically low numbers. We're still struggling to get the resale houses out there. New constructions prevalent. It's represented 38% of our sales in February with new construction. It's harder and harder to find those resale homes here in Boise.

Dave Burnett: Which really is. If you were thinking about selling your home, you're heading into spring now, you don't want to wait. You want to start getting prepped now. It'd be a great time to contact Core Group Realty @ eXp. We talked about you need to call, you need to set up a time to kind of interview to talk, to make sure it's the right fit for you. The folks at Core more than willing to talk to you about doing it, but don't wait because spring is, it's here.

Thom Dallman: It's coming around. It's coming around the corner.

Dave Burnett: It truly is that time to do that. Two new listings that you have. Anything else coming up?

Thom Dallman: I'll have a listing. I can't really talk about it just yet because we don't have the official paperwork signed, but I'll have a listing coming up in Nampa, a really awesome home. I'm going to be excited to talk about great opportunity there. So we'll talk about that next week.

Dave Burnett: You know, the perfect thing to do on the weekend is to sit down, a cup of coffee, go online, CoreGroupRealty.com and go in there. You can look at the homes, look at the pictures, kind of surf around, find the area you like.

Thom Dallman: Even if you're just browsing, just go ahead and get on there and look around. We'll probably reach out to see what you're looking for and help you out and give answer any questions that you have on our sites. There's no pressure. Feel free to look around. We'll leave you alone. When you are ready to ask questions, just let us know.

Dave Burnett: I really like that, the fact that there is no pressure. Nobody's going to sign here, do this.

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Dave Burnett: We're going to call you 50 times. Just irritating. No, if you have a question, do you need some help, it's always there for you.

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Dave Burnett: At CoreGroupRealty.com or you can always call 208-933-7777 that is a phone number to call. And again, Clay, if somebody wants to talk about this house up in the Caldwell area, where is it located again?

Clay Lindquist: It's on 25497 Freezeout Road in Caldwell.

Dave Burnett: All right. Freezeout Road.

Clay Lindquist: Near the Purple Sage golf course and Purple Sage and Freezeout.

Thom Dallman: I feel like we have a competing, Shawna and I have competing because hers is on Sunrise Rim, so yours is Freezeout and she's got the Sunrise coming up to warm everybody up.

Dave Burnett: It's interesting. One of our Freezeout here last weekend and started thinking about that area and people who are new to the area have no clue as to where Freezeout Hill came from or even the name Freezeout.

Clay Lindquist: I've asked before.

Dave Burnett: It had to do with the people who, well, basically icy road out in that area and they got frozen out.

Thom Dallman: They got frozen out and be stuck at home.

Dave Burnett: It's not a happy tale.

Thom Dallman: Oh no.

Dave Burnett: But could be the perfect home for you out there on Freezeout or the one on Sunrise Rim.

Thom Dallman: Sunrise.

Clay Lindquist: It's amazing how quiet it is out there.

Dave Burnett: It's so tranquil. Country living. I love it. We'll continue on the other side. Going to talk to Ron Resort, find out what is happening and the world of mortgages. We'll continue on the other side. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by the folks at Core Group Realty @ eXp. Call today, 208-933-7777. Find out why they say you get more with Core.

Segment 2

Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, also an associate broker, at Core Group Realty at eXp. CoreGroupRealty.com, the website; 208-933-7777, that is the phone number to call. Every week, we get a chance to talk to Ron Wieczorek about all things ... We'll just say, all things financial and what's happening on the money side of homes.

Ron Wieczorek: Right. Mortgages by trade, but I rant a little bit about the whole industry and what's going on nationwide. It's hard to keep me in one spot.

Thom Dallman: Well, you're a wealth of knowledge, Ron.

Ron Wieczorek: Thank you.

Thom Dallman: We've got to say that. Of all the people I have that come on this radio show, you're the one that comes on with the most studied information that you can gather. You have to spend hours a week looking at this stuff.

Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, more than I'd like than that, but it's educational and I'm interested in it so it actually forces me to do what I probably should be doing to be an expert in my industry.

Thom Dallman: There you go. Perfect.

Dave Burnett: Well, one thing I do know and I can say and it crosses all fields and everything, spring is right around the corner.

Thom Dallman: It is.

Ron Wieczorek: It may not feel like it yet. I have a groundhog that I have a bone to pick with because I don't seem to see the 60's as quick as I thought I was going to see it.

Dave Burnett: Well, I think probably at CoreGroupRealty.com, you can get one of the preferred vendors to come get rid of that groundhog.

Thom Dallman: There you go.

Ron Wieczorek: Does he go all the way to Punxsutawney? I'm talking about that guy in Punxsutawney.

Dave Burnett: There you go. Spring is right around the corner, the official start of spring. Weather is improving and so is the home market.

Ron Wieczorek: That's a great segue. I have a lot of my topics that I plan to get to and I hope we have time to get to, is talking about all the numbers that are pointing to a spring that's going to be hot for our mortgage industry, for our real estate industry, at least the mortgage industry. The first thing that I lead off with, and this is kind of ...

The builders are usually the last to know. Why I say that is everything trickles down to them and they can be building at a fast pace and then, all of a sudden, and we saw that in 2018, they're building, building, building. Then all of a sudden, it slowed down on them and they had all this inventory at different levels. That's nationwide, a little bit in the valley, so they're always kind of the last to know.

We have a builder's sentiment index that comes out every month. When the reading is above 50, that means half of the builders are very confident and optimistic about what the market looks like for building and half think it's less than optimistic or it could be better.

Thom Dallman: The glass is half full or half empty.

Ron Wieczorek: That's a rate of 50. I just want to give that barometer. In February, that number rose to 62, which it was 58 a month before that and it was at its three-year low of 56 in December. The reason I bring up that they're the last to be on board, they're starting to see that pickup as well. Now we're above 62% for that sentiment. That's really showing that buyers are taking note and we're seeing that they're taking note that mortgage costs are falling to the lowest level in almost a year.

The Fed has backed off. I've mentioned this before, how the Fed has backed off the benchmark rate. They had four increases last year and we were kind of drowning in that because we saw the appreciation homes, we saw that the rates were going up at an unsustainable rate for the home appreciation and wages were going up but not that fast, right?

Thom Dallman: Right.

Ron Wieczorek: Now that mortgages have come off a little bit, we've seen a stall in the appreciation of homes and we've seen a way to still gain traction. That's a recipe for a hot spring and summer season. That's why I kind of make light of the builder sentiment and pay close attention to that number just because if they're at 62, me and Thom's world is heating up faster than that.

Thom Dallman: Well, an interesting number just came out this week from the Boise Regional World. There's two February numbers and we've had an all-time high of new construction homes sold. It's at 38% in February. 30% of the homes sold were new construction, which is ... It has always been kind of, traditionally, like down at 11%, 10%, but it has been up in the 30's and 38% is the highest that we've had in a long time. It just goes to show that yeah-

Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, construction, as much as I make fun of the groundhog and not spring fast enough, we haven't had horrible weather for building. I have seen a lot of builders pushing up. One house in particular yesterday I got a call on that was originally, they were thinking June or July and now it's going to be end of April.

Thom Dallman: Yeah. Wow.

Ron Wieczorek: We're seeing a lot of those dates being pushed up. When they're pushing up dates and getting homes down, that allows them to move on to the next one faster and maybe the next one faster. That's a great sign.

National inventory is still growing ahead of the spring season. We saw the trend in the second half of 2018 with rising inventory and that has continued in the first couple of months of 2019. It comes as a breath of fresh air for us because we've had multiple years of inventory shortages to a rate that it wasn't healthy for our market.

When that inventory number is so low and it's suffocating all the new buyers, it's really harmful to our industry as a whole because you start seeing those numbers go up with appreciation. You looked like you wanted to add something to that.

Thom Dallman: Well, no, I just wanted to add that while nationally we're going up, locally we're still really low. We still have a low inventory shortage going on right now. That's all I wanted to add.

Ron Wieczorek: No, you're right and I was going to circle back to Boise and what's going on in Boise. I always refer to us as isolated. We really are isolated.

Thom Dallman: We are.

Ron Wieczorek: I get a lot of calls from investors that are out of state. They say, "We're really looking to buy investment property in the Boise area." Whether it's they have a son that's going to go to BSU or whether they have just read about what's going on in the Boise market, one thing they lead with is, "I can't believe how affordable Boise is." I say, "Try to tell that to some of my clients who were born and raised in Boise." It's a hard sell on that because their wages-

Thom Dallman: Prices have gone up.

Ron Wieczorek: Prices have gone up a lot. Their wages have grown but not at the pace that they hoped, so we get a lot of those implants. We get a lot of those investors from out of state or people coming to live here. They still see it as very, very affordable and it is very affordable when you talk about growing cities.

Dave Burnett: I think for the person that has not been in the real estate market for quite some time, and the last time they bought a house, $150,000 would buy you a lot of house, those days are gone.

Ron Wieczorek: Those days are gone. I think those days are gone for ... I hate to say forever because we all lived through 2008 and we've seen that short memories ... Everyone does have short memories of the industry. To say that can never ever happen again, I think, is naïve and shortsighted.

Thom Dallman: Not likely.

Ron Wieczorek: When you look at what they're built on now, it was so much regulation. We've talked about that before and some of it was overkill but I think the overkill was really, really needed at that time. I'd rather err on the side of you'd better really be qualified, you'd really better have the ability to repay, we'd better put safe mortgages back into the pool of investors so that we're not a house of cards like we were in 2008.

Dave Burnett: Ron Wieczorek with us. We've got about four minutes left in this segment and you said something during the break that really caught my attention. You wanted to talk about the difference that universities and hospitals make in real estate. You caught my attention with that one.

Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, our home price is affected by the proximity to hospitals and colleges. There was a recent study at the University of California Riverside. They studied 13,000 zip codes over the last 21 years and rent data from 15,000 zip codes over seven years to compare what those numbers looked like when they had a university and primarily, the focused on universities that had anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 students. BSU just happens to have slightly over 20,000 undergrads.

What they were trying to find out was ... They were trying to find stability in a university and hospitals because they saw ... Well, they called them opportunity hubs. When you have those opportunity hubs because they have higher wages. Usually universities, hospitals bring in higher wages and we're seeing that right now a lot with St. Luke's downtown. We're seeing it with Boise State. We're seeing an influx of those jobs. That's where a lot of our clients are coming from, is those industries.

What they found out was they grow really fast. Those prices go up really fast when the market is good.

Dave Burnett: When you say those prices, are you talking about the neighborhoods in those towns?

Ron Wieczorek: Yep, the homes near these institutions see faster rises in the prices. What they were trying to find was does that bring stability. Those hospitals and those universities must bring stability as well. They found the opposite. They found that if there is a crash, that they rise and fall faster in those opportunity zones.

You can't blame the hospitals or the universities for that rise and fall. What happens is ... We talked about the investor. I touched upon my son's going to Boise State, my daughter's going to Boise State, I want to buy a home. The first people to leave when there is a scent of trouble in the air are the investors.

Thom Dallman: Yep.

Ron Wieczorek: When those investors pull out, what was stable and thriving now becomes a little more risky. That's what they unearthed in that study, which was a little surprising to me because I thought it would just be all positive with all those jobs and all the students, etc.

Thom Dallman: Well, I guess if you're an investor, you're going to go where the money is. That's why they invest in it, so I guess that's why they would go there.

Ron Wieczorek: Yeah, there's a high rate of return. When you buy a house that's an investment property for a college student, say you're buying it for your son or daughter that's going, you're buying something with a few rooms. You're not buying one unit condo, right? You're buying something that has three rooms and you fit three students in there. If they're all paying something very reasonable, $600 or $700 a month is reasonable per person, that's nearly $2,000 in rent on that house and that house's mortgage payment is probably $1400 or $1500.

Dave Burnett: Exactly.

Ron Wieczorek: That's good opportunity. That's why I mentioned it.

Dave Burnett: It kind of surprises me a little bit that investors would not hold onto that investment and realize that, in the long term, the market always comes back around. It always comes back up again. Especially considering kids are going to college all the time. We're always going to have kids going to college and needing places to live. It kind of surprises me that the investors would abandon it so quickly.

Ron Wieczorek: I think it depends on which investor it is.

Dave Burnett: True.

Ron Wieczorek: If it's me buying my first rental property and it's for my son or daughter going, I'm not in it for the long run. I'm in it to make sure that I'm not paying a- while they're in college and cover my own son's or daughter's fees.

Dave Burnett: True.

Ron Wieczorek: If you're talking about a long-term investor, I would think they would weather the storm. Your one or two "I'll just try it. I regretted it or my dad regretted not doing it for me." We hear a lot of that, so I think that's what comes into play. You've got your onesies, twosies.

Dave Burnett: I can see that.

Ron Wieczorek: Then the temperature starts getting hot and now you go home to some heat and you're like, "What did you do to us?" "We'll sell." I think that happens.

Dave Burnett: Ron Wieczorek with his ... Ron, whether somebody's an investor or whether they're looking to buy a home, how do they get hold of you to get that loan, get that process going?

Ron Wieczorek: I always have my cell phone on me. It's 208-869-9154 and I just love talking about the business.

Dave Burnett: Of course, you can always find a link to him at CoreGroupRealty.com. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by the folks at Core Group Realty at eXp. CoreGroupRealty.com. Call them today. 208-933-7777. Find out why they say you get more with core.

Segment 3

Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman, the co-owner, associate broker at Core Group Realty @ eXp. CoreGroupRealty.com, give them a call today, (208) 933-7777. That, of course, the phone number you can call any time if you want more information about the program or about Core Group Realty, about well, any questions you have.

Thom Dallman: Anything. From, how do I get my house looking the best I can? We've done numerous consults lately with just going in and helping people identify things, inexpensive things that they can do to help their house look better. Not necessarily to get it listed, but just for down the road if they do decide to list this summer, or next year, or whatnot, projects they can start kind of working on and knock out and things like that.

Dave Burnett: Well, you know, Thom, in January we had fake out spring, as January looked like, wow, we're going to have a really early spring, and then we had second winter. But starting this weekend and moving forward, we're going to be moving into the 60s and spring truly is just a little ways away.

Thom Dallman: Great time to get outside and start cleaning up the yard.

Dave Burnett: When we come to spring time, and I know around the Burnett household is no different, we start thinking about spring cleaning.

Thom Dallman: Oh, yes.

Dave Burnett: That, just opening the windows up and cleaning things out.

Thom Dallman: While you're opening them, why not wash them? That's one of the biggest tips that I always tell people. Get out and wash your windows in the spring, because with the rains and the crazy winds that we have, those windows get so ...

Dave Burnett: Dirty.

Thom Dallman: Dirty. Filmy. I like to say filmy.

Dave Burnett: No, they just get dirty.

Dirty. Because when the wind blows and it's wet out, and especially we've had such a wet, late winter, that water has hit the windows, and if you really get to looking at them or if the sun tries to shine through them like it might be doing for you the next few days, they're filthy.

Thom Dallman: They are, yes.

Dave Burnett: But you got some tips for cleaning.

Thom Dallman: Here's, just along the lines of windows, I know people think, "Oh my gosh, I wouldn't hire someone to do that. I can just get out there and do my own windows," but it's really inexpensive to hire a professional window cleaning company that have all the tools, that have the chemicals, the earth-friendly chemicals and stuff like that, to come out and just wash those windows for you. A couple hundred bucks and you're good to go. Don't be afraid to hire people. At least look into it, if you have a couple hundred dollars, the time that you save for yourself to focus on other things, to hire professionals to come out and do it, it can really pay off.

Dave Burnett: Yeah. And that is very true. And I believe there's vendors at CoreGroupRealty.com. You've had service providers that do-

Thom Dallman: Yep. We have service providers that you can reach out to. I don't believe we have a window cleaner on there right now, but-

Dave Burnett: Well, if you're a window cleaner-

Thom Dallman: I definitely have some recommendations, just give us a call and we can definitely give you some recommendations from window cleaners that we've worked with in the past and stuff like that.

Dave Burnett: And you know, something I have heard, you typically think, "Oh, I'm going to clean the windows," and you've got to go down and get your brand name window cleaners ... Not the best thing to use on your windows.

Thom Dallman: Uh-uh (negative), nope.

Dave Burnett: In fact, typically they might immediately come clean, but they get dirty faster, what I've been told when you use those.

Thom Dallman: Oh yeah, oh yeah. Interesting. I hadn't heard that part. But yeah. They're not the best products for your home or for the environment.

Dave Burnett: You have some other cleaning tips, though.

Thom Dallman: Yeah. I like to tell people to just, it's a great time to go through your house and banish the clutter. Time to clean up the clutter that you kind of accumulate over the winter. The kids are all in the house, staying in the house, you don't really want to go out, so you're pulling blankets out and cuddling up on the couch and doing things like that. Toys are all out, your kids may have been drawing and you're putting their drawings up on the refrigerator, collecting refrigerator magnets and things like that.

This is a great time, especially if you are thinking about listing your home, to just go through and clean up a lot of that personal stuff. Take down family photos so that the house becomes kind of a neutral palette. You still want some stuff up to create that ambience and give people ideas of how to use space and so forth, but the less personalized it is, the more people can envision themselves in it instead of feeling like they're taking a home from a family.

Dave Burnett: Whether you're selling your home or whether you're just living in it, the expression less is more is true.

Thom Dallman: Exactly.

Dave Burnett: In fact, you would be very proud of me, Thom. Last week, I went out in my garage-

Thom Dallman: What?

Dave Burnett: My wife loves me for it. I threw, I mean, it was a pick-up load of stuff I took to the landfill, that I just kept going, "Okay, I haven't used this in two years. I'm going to throw it away, quit hoarding it." I mean, I took a lot of stuff away, which, you know what, truth is, I'll never miss it anyway.

Thom Dallman: That's our golden rule, if it has not been used in the last two years, it's time to get rid of it.

Dave Burnett: Yeah.

Thom Dallman: Because it's just taking up space.

Dave Burnett: And less truly is more when it comes to decorating, whatever it is you're doing, less is more.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, exactly, exactly. Obviously spring cleaning means cleaning. Just get in and clean. Clean your showers, get in there and scrub those showers down.

Dave Burnett: The bathroom is so miserable to clean, though.

Thom Dallman: It really is. I agree with you.

Dave Burnett: But you have tips for the bathroom for cleaning?

Thom Dallman: Yeah. I ran across an article that talks a little bit about a great, I don't know what muriatic is, muriatic acid.

Dave Burnett: Oh, muriatic.

Thom Dallman: Muriatic? Is that how it's pronounced? But if you add that with ten parts water, one part of the muriatic and ten parts water, it's a great solution for shower doors, to scrub down with a fine steel wool pad to really get the calcium build-up and stuff like that off of your glass showers and off of your tile and stuff.

Dave Burnett: Which is bad in this area, that hard water.

Thom Dallman: Yes. Yes. A great tool for showers, if you have a glass shower, have a squeegee. I can't believe how many homes I go into where they have glass showers and they've just let that water just sit on it. Over years, that just accumulates and it becomes just a filmy mess, and it's so hard to get rid of. Just one quick run over with the squeegee after you shower saves that glass so much.

Dave Burnett: And they sell them where they have the little suction cup on them, you just ... Right there on the door.

Thom Dallman: Just clip it there on the glass in the door, or on the tile next to the door or whatnot.

Dave Burnett: If you're looking for muriatic acid, by the way, I know they have it, most paint departments, like at Home Depot, they'll have it in the paint department.

Thom Dallman: Oh, okay. Yeah, and they said it is actually considered a pool cleaning product, too, so you can find it in a lot of pool cleaning areas, probably at Home Depot too, or if you go to one of the spa places.

Interesting other little trick that they kind of mentioned, which kind of made me cringe a little bit. Do you remember what the astronauts used to drink up in space, back when we were kids?

Dave Burnett: Tang.

Thom Dallman: That Tang.

Dave Burnett: T-A-N-G, Tang.

Thom Dallman: T-A-N-G, Tang.

Dave Burnett: Wait a minute, what are you talking about, Tang?

Thom Dallman: Apparently, Tang is a really good scouring product for toilets. You throw some Tang in the toilet and scrub away with your toilet brush, that stuff's supposed to knock out scale and rust build-up and just take it out pretty quickly.

Dave Burnett: Tang, wow.

Thom Dallman: Tang. Don't drink it after you've cleaned the toilet, but-

Dave Burnett: It was worth it coming here today just to hear you say, "put Tang in your toilet."

Thom Dallman: Tang. I didn't even know they still made Tang.

Dave Burnett: I guess they-

Thom Dallman: Apparently it's something that you can do. Get in there and clean your toilets, get the showers clean, scrub your floors, bathtubs, all that fun stuff.

Now's a great time to get your carpet-

Dave Burnett: It'll leave it smelling really orange-y, that's good.

Thom Dallman: Exactly. Yeah, for sure.

Carpet. Carpet gets that built in dirt and must and everything that kind of sinks down into the padding underneath it and stuff like that, that traditional just vacuuming does not get up out of the floor. Spring is a great time to get it, and especially if you're looking to sell your home, it's really great if we can put on a listing, "recent carpet cleaning just been done," or, "carpet cleaning coming before closing," things like that. Inexpensive, once again, got some great options out there that don't cost a lot to get it done. It just refreshes the house, gets it smelling better, kind of gives it a whole new feel of cleanliness with the carpets cleaned and everything. I always recommend everybody getting their carpets cleaned and getting them nice and shiny. Clean your floors.

The third very interesting little tidbit of information that I got from this article about weird things that you don't know about home tips is, you know the little scratches that you get on hardwood floors?

Dave Burnett: Yes.

Thom Dallman: There's a trick to, I guess you could say, covering them up or making them disappear. Take a walnut, cut it in half, and rub the cut exposed part onto that crack. Apparently, it works kind of like a boo-boo eraser, as the article said, and erases scratches on hardwood floors.

Dave Burnett: Well, you know, now that you mention it, you're talking about walnut oil. Because walnut has oil in it, so you're getting some oil-

Thom Dallman: You're basically getting, yeah, the heart of the walnut and the oil kind of in there to cover those up.

Dave Burnett: That would make sense, the more I think about it. Yeah.

Thom Dallman: Yeah. I thought that was kind of a clever little trick, a little bit more appetizing than the Tang in the toilet.

Dave Burnett: Exactly. And you know, we've had some of the service providers, in talking about flooring, that's one of the downfalls of real wood flooring is if you have a large dog or if you have kids, it does get scratched up. That's one of the problems of hardwood flooring is keeping it looking nice. So, good tip there.

Thom Dallman: Yeah. If you're going for hardwood, check out some of those really high-end engineered wood products that they have right now. They're engineered, they're compressed at the factory so that the staining gets pushed down into the wood a lot more. It's created this product that is really super resilient and resistant to scratches and spills and things like that. They've got some great options for just a little bit more. If you are thinking about hardwood floors or going for a wood product, check out some of the engineered stuff. For just a little bit more money, you have the longer lasting floors.

Dave Burnett: - it does make a big difference.

Thom Dallman: Exactly, exactly. Just remember to get out and get your landscaping done, your curb appeal is the first thing people see. I know I need to get out and do ours, because we've got all the leaves from our neighbor's trees all over the yard, and they've accumulated under the bushes and things like that. It's time to get out there and start raking up the flower beds and putting down some of that Preen to keep the weeds from popping up.

Dave Burnett: It is. And you can put your pre-emergent down on your grass now. You don't want to plant grass seed, still too cold yet, but you can put that pre-emergents down right now.

Thom Dallman: I was actually surprised to see this week, our maintenance company at our office building, up there on Emerald, they had come and turned on the sprinklers this week. I'm like, "Oh, is it already time for sprinklers?"

Dave Burnett: It is that time, because you'll be watering before too long.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, yeah. It's not a bad idea, if you want to get out there and start turning the sprinklers on, or if you hire someone to come and do it for you. It's time, I guess.

Dave Burnett: Yep. Well, I have a hunch this weekend and through the course of the week, people power washing their homes, power washing their drives, just trying to wash winter away, because you do ... Through the winter storms, you get, some amazing stuff piles up in your flower beds.

Thom Dallman: Oh yeah, for sure.

Dave Burnett: So it's a good time to get out and do that.

Thom Dallman: Don't forget, if you need a break and want to go do something, the Home and Garden Show's going on down at the fairgrounds. Go check it out and see what's happening in the industry for home and garden ideas.

Dave Burnett: Yep. Just make it fun, make it enjoyable. Getting out and working on your house, doing a little spring cleaning. Remember a few of the rules, less is more, when it comes to cleaning out and getting your home all scrubbed up. Whether you're planning on living in it for years to come or whether you're looking to sell it, now's a great time to do it and get that home aired out.

We'll continue on the other side. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz being brought to you by the folks at Core Group Realty @ eXp. Website, CoreGroupRealty.com, or you can call (208) 933-7777. Find out why they say you get more with Core.

Segment 4

Dave Burnett: This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz. He is Thom Dallman the co-owner, Associate Broker at Core Group Realty at eXp, CoreGroupRealty.com the website, 208-933-7777. That's the phone number to dial, 208-933, just keep dialing seven until it rings.

Thom Dallman: Just dial sevens and someone will answer.

Dave Burnett: We're going to go into a segment now, we're going to call this, I wish I had an echo effect, Bidding Wars.

Thom Dallman: Bidding Wars, wars, wars, wars.

Dave Burnett: I guess last year we heard a lot about bidding wars ...

Thom Dallman: Yeah, over the years.

Dave Burnett: ... as people would get into fights, not fistfights, but going back and forth and bidding against other people. Kind of calmed down a little bit over the last few months, but starting to come back again.

Thom Dallman: With the winter season, if ... We had fewer buyers out there, so we didn't see as many issues with multiple offers on properties. But it's starting to pick back up again, we're starting to get a lot of buyers back in. Inventory, luckily, is kinda coming up a little bit, we're actually 12% higher in February in inventory than we were last year. So we're actually seeing a little bit more inventory coming into the market. Which is good.

Dave Burnett: The interest rates are coming down a bit too.

Thom Dallman: Yes, interest rates are coming down. So it's one of those things, that's actually helping our prices to level out a little bit. But because inventory's still so low, especially in the lower price points, people are starting to see the bidding war happen again. Bidding war just means that there's multiple offers, five or six buyers on a property wanting to buy that property, so they're trying to make their offers look the best that they can.

Dave Burnett: Let me ask you this question, though. When it comes to bidding wars, is it because everybody ... I would think, if I was selling my home, and you were to call up and say, “Hey, John Jones, I have somebody who wants to buy the house, they're willing to pay you $300,000.” Does another offer come in right away? How is it that I don't go, “Cool, let's go with that one.” Just because the offer's there.

Thom Dallman: Typically what will happen is, when we write an offer, offers are written with an acceptance time-frame, typically it'll be 24 hours is usually what we write on our contracts for our clients. So, in that 24 hours, especially if it's a brand new listing at a low price point, you can get five or six offers that get submitted all at the same time within that same 24-hour time-frame. And so that's typically how it'll happen.

Some listing agents and sellers actually have started doing things where they're putting it out on a Friday, putting the listing out on a Friday, with specific instructions that they're not reviewing offers until Monday. For that simple fact-

Dave Burnett: Oh, so they pile up over the weekend.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, for that simple fact of they want to see how many offers they can get over the weekend, so that they can try to once again get the best dollar for their client.

Dave Burnett: I'm going to assume, then, if I have Core Group Realty at eXp and I have ... Would it be a lister? No ... The person representing the home seller, what is that?

Thom Dallman: The listing agent?

Dave Burnett: A listing agent. They're going to tell me, “Don't accept this offer because I think we'll have more coming in.” I assume that's kind of the approach they would take?

Thom Dallman: Yeah, we're gonna ... That's gonna be specific to the house and the price point.

Dave Burnett: Yeah, nothing is set in concrete, but that communicates-

Thom Dallman: I typically am of the mindset of ... What is the phrase, “a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush”? If you have an offer in and it's got a short time-frame to respond, I may push it till that time-frame is up, and say, “Let's respond right at the last minute.” But let's not discount it, let's counter it, let's do something to try to keep those buyers in the game, if you will, and still interested.

Once again, it depends on the offer. But if you have four or five offers, we're gonna do net sheets for you, we're gonna show you the amount that you can net and make on each property, each offer, at the end of the day to help sellers make a good judgment on whether they're more concerned about the dollar amount. One of the things that we've implemented for our buyers, when it's a multiple-offer situation, is write a personal letter. Tell the seller why you want the house. We've had numerous offers that have been accepted, even though it might have been a little bit lower than other offers, just because of the passion or whatever it is that the buyer has written.

For an example, last year I had a gal that I was helping, and we had found a home that had been mostly remodeled, they still had the final projects left to do, and some of the materials in the garage. So she wrote a letter saying, “Hey, I'm a young person, single woman trying to buy my first home. I love the stuff that you've done in the house, I'm looking forward to being able to finish it off and complete the house and the vision that you've already created for it,” stuff like that.

We got that offer accepted with an email back saying, “All the seller asks is that she will please send pictures when she finishes those projects.” So she got that offer based off that letter, even though it was a little bit less than what one of the other offers was.

Dave Burnett: So I'm going to assume that would be one of your tips, is perhaps how to win a bidding war is to make it personal.

Thom Dallman: Make it personal, tell a story to the seller, and submit it with the offer.

Dave Burnett: Because when you sell a home, for a lot of people it's an emotional ... There's a lot of emotion tied to that house, it's not just a business transaction.

Thom Dallman: Exactly, exactly.

Dave Burnett: So if I want somebody who's gonna take care of the home that I've cared for over the years, it might influence me.

Thom Dallman: Yep, I've personally represented a seller to where I had three offers. One of them came with a letter talking about their kids, how they're really excited to get them into the school district in that home, blah blah blah. The sellers, they had two young kids, and they were kinda sad that they had to move their kids out of this house into a new school district and stuff, so that pulled on their heartstrings to where they actually accepted. And it was $3,000 less than one of the other offers. They netted less, but they didn't care because they wanted to know that a family was in that house.

Dave Burnett: Other ways that perhaps you could help win a bidding war?

Thom Dallman: Sure, sure. Earnest money, we talk about earnest money. Earnest money is the, if you will, down payment almost, at the very beginning. It's money that we put into an escrow account for the course of the contracts, until closing. It gets applied to your down payment and stuff, so it's not like it's gonna disappear or anything.

Dave Burnett: And if you don't win the bidding war, you get that money back.

Thom Dallman: Yeah, it usually just doesn't even get deposited. And the concept is that the bigger the earnest money, the more it shows that you are earnest, you really want to buy this house and you're willing to put this money up and have that there as protection for the sellers. If you walk away, just walk away for no reason, then the sellers can have access to that earnest money.

So that's why it's super important to make sure that you're following the guidelines on when to walk away from an offer. Only during the inspection time-frame, or if it doesn't appraise at where it needs to be. Which is another issue that you confront with multiple offers and going above list price, is then you run into appraisal issues. But that's-

Dave Burnett: So, listen to your agent.

Thom Dallman: Listen to your agent, yeah. Do a higher earnest money-

We've got some buyers that like to just do really low earnest moneys, and they keep getting rejected and can't understand why. Earnest money is important to the sellers.

Dave Burnett: One more tip.

Thom Dallman: I would say the pre-approval and the proof of funds, if you're doing a cash offer, that's super important to submit with your offer, showing that you have the money and the funds available to you, or the loan that's available to you, as clear as that can be.

If you can get your lender all the information that you need, so that there's no contingencies, because sometimes we'll see a pre-qualification letter that says, “Yes, they're qualified for this upon verification of their employment, their salary, things like that.” So that's a contingency, if we can get that removed and you can get that to your lender as quick as possible and they can get that confirmed, it makes your offer look so much stronger.

Dave Burnett: Thom, if somebody wants to get hold of you to find out about buying property or selling property, how do they do it?

Thom Dallman: You reach out to us, you can send an email to info@coregrouprealty.com, you can go to our website, CoreGroupRealty.com, and check out all of the information there, because we have our blog site. You can give us a call at the 208-933-7777 number to reach out to one of our agents, usually someone's standing by to answer that phone and help you out.

Dave Burnett: Very good. This is the Idaho Real Estate Buzz, we do it each and every week at this time just to keep you informed on what's happening around the area. All being brought to you by the folks at Core Group Realty at eXp. Find out why they say you get more with Core.


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