Category Archives: Boise real estate market

You know you are about to take a trip when the phone starts ringing


You know you are about to take a trip when the phone starts ringing and you have more to do than time to do it in…. Wish me luck… May the phone start ringing so I can pay for my trip to China!

I am going to Beijing to see my son and GF! This is going to be so much fun and so interesting… I now have to make lists because as we all know business picks up when you are about to go away… So far I don’t have to refer any business out but I think I will be busy. I have people who can cover for me while I am away. The trip is from MAY 14-28… Right after hubby grades his last final at Boise State University. Yes Professors and their spouses get excited when the term ends too!

Advertisements

I am really mad at CBH homes


I am mentoring another agent.  Her client is trying to build a new home from CBH homes.  They walked into the office and worked out the contract with the CBH agent the terms of the contract.  The sellers agent wrote the contract up with $1500 in the design studio (for upgrades).  We never had a chance to set the terms of the offer since it was complete and our clients had agreed to those terms.  Our clients signed the offer and they countered taking away this money.   This seems to me to be bait and switch.  If we had asked for this it would have been fine for them to counter but they wrote the contract not us.  I am advising that we counter with that money in.  The kids are afraid of losing the contract but they really could use the money so they can have things a house SHOULD have standard… Like a non shallow sink…. A closet door…. A 6 lb carpet pad….

Selling a build job for the first time…


For the first time in my 6 .5 years as a real estate agent I helped a couple write an offer on a build job.  It was sort of interesting on many counts.

1) I am helping a brand new agent out (who I am partnering with) and so technically I just referred it to her…. Well actually she got the client but it is a way to pay me for my expertise…

2) I spent a lot of time researching CBH homes and reading a new type of contract….

3) The biggest problem that buyers seems to run into is that they make the contract and that seems to be a base price.  Then you go to the design studio and pick your colors and upgrades… This can add to the price of the final home.  The couple had already picked some upgrades…We encouraged the couple to go the design studio in the next day or so before they were well underway…

4) Being me I started to worry that they might get a very basic home because they wouldn’t be able to afford the upgrades that they wanted… I am a bit reassured but when we went house hunting they seemed to love vaulted ceilings and that is an upgrade… I think that it might even be one worth paying for…

5)  I never have actually partnered with another agent officially.  This will hopefully be the first of many deals we do together…

6) The couple like the idea of picking everything… This is the obvious good part of buying a new home…

Hopefully everything will go smoothly.  I made sure the couple knew that we were looking out for their best interest.. The other agent works for the builder and represents the builder. Going totally with the builders agent is like letting your husbands divorce attorney write your paperwork….

These are Debbie”s thoughts for the day..

Aside

I just closed a deal on 1430 Leadville in Boise, Idaho.  This deal was interesting for several reasons. The buyers daughter called me from an internet website.  She was looking for a home for her parents to buy as an … Continue reading

Problems with section 8 tenant


I like to believe people will improve themselves.  Most of my section 8 people (and I have had 4 tenants on section 8)  do there best.   They have fallen on hard times.  It is difficult to acquire the section 8 voucher.  The waiting list is over 3 years here in Ada County and they are not accepting new applicants.  When one thinks about this it is very scary.  Someone needed help 3 years ago and they still need it. I would imagine that many people have solved their problems by the time they are off the wait list.

About 1.5 years ago I met a pleasant single mom of three kids who just got her voucher.  She was particularly excited because the hovel she was living in was in foreclosure.  I approached the landlady and it was indeed a hovel and it was in foreclosure.  The landlady didn’t want to short sale so I wished her well.  The single mom was a full time student with a small work study job on campus.  I liked her and wanted to give her chance.  I signed a lease with her.   After a while the work study job disappeared… Later I found out she had quit school….I could see that she and her kids were not the easiest tenants on the home but I figured it didn’t matter when she left the home would still need painting.  Then she kept getting jobs and losing them.  The voucher changed in January and it has been hell ever since.

See on section 8 the government pays a portion of the rent and the tenant pays a portion of the rent.  She never seemed to have her portion.  This worked great when the government was paying all her rent but not so well when she had a portion to pay.  I have had to chase her down every month since January.  So far I get my rent but it is late and I am expending a lot of effort to get it done.  She is not keeping me informed.  Last March she lost another job again.  I think for cause.  She took weeks to follow through with the paperwork to get the full voucher back.  She seems to have a “brother” living with her.  Housing came back and will give her a full voucher for May but she still owes me $416 for April.  I now need to collect this money from her. I am going to suggest she ask her friends and “relatives” or her church.  I know I should just evict her but I do not really want to (or have time) to fix the floors (not her fault) and paint before I go to China.  I also worry about the 3 kids… I know they are not my problem.  If the city will pay I will wait until the next crisis on the theory I could lose 2 months rent to get the $416.  Of course I cannot give her a good reference…

Mostly I am VERY ANGRY with her.  These vouchers are hard to come by and she does not deserve this voucher.  All she had to do is go to housing and fill out some forms.  I am sad because I was rooting for her to succeed.  I know that not everyone will succeed but she seemed to be trying so hard when she moved in.  I am MAD that I have had to waste a lot of my time chasing her down.  My time is VALUABLE.  I do not know why she seems so flaky these days… I could guess but the answers are not pretty.  This woman has a chance to raise her kids in a nice 3 bedroom,2 bath single family home and doesn’t seem to care.  Or else she think because I am a liberal Democrat I will let her stay there forever without evicting her.  She is actually wrong.   I will if I have to and I will feel awful for the 3 kids in her care.   I am not sure a mother who wont fill out paperwork deserves the Voucher or the kids… Maybe it would be easier being cynical… I would have expected nothing less…

 

Signed me Debbie Homes, depressed and annoyed landlord.

Found a great investment but cant interest anyone….


Sometimes as an agent we find a cash cow….. A property that has significant extra value in price or a great rental value…. I found one such property…. It is 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bath 1152 sq ft.  in Boise at a negotiated shortsale of $73000 plus closing costs.  It is even possible that the owner would like to stay at the home and rent it.  Whether you are looking for a home or an investment this is it.  The value is $100,000 today if you turned around and sold it.  I have been in it and wrote an offer on it in October.  It is a nice home for the money.  If you want to see it give me a call.  This home is near the Boise Town Square.  It’s not my listing but it is a good one… I am even thinking of making an offer.  I called my buyers but none of them are ready to move on it.  To bad because it is a very nice home for the money.

Open House….My colleague wants to sit at my listing….


open house sign

 

At our last meeting one of my colleagues asked if anyone had a listing he could open…. At first I looked at him funny….Why would one want to sit in someone Else’s listing?  I got over that when our agency had the new development…. After a while I sort of realized it would be dumb luck if I ever got any money…  It ruined my weekends…Well I did have a beautiful brand new home in a great setting to spend my afternoon in.  But no buyers….If they had an agent no pay…If they came back and didn’t explain that they met that really nice agent at the open house, no pay…..I sat anyway because I said I would…I hoped maybe to pick a buyer…I didn’t…..We lost the listing (they were overpriced and far from town on little lots)….

I realize that my colleague (friend) had no listings and no solid buyers…. I also realized I had two listings I wanted open and didn’t want to sit open houses on both weekend days…..  I thought about it through the rest of the meeting….  After the meeting I told him he could pick which of my listings he wants to open and I would handle the other one….

Wait you say….Don’t you want to represent both sides?  Don’t I want to pick up the buyer?  Well yes of course but I wasn’t going to open both houses…It is very wearing and I have things to do….buyers to service…I want my listing sold.  History tells me somebody else will bring my buyer…It might as well be my colleague and friend.  He picked 105 Bridgewater and I have 722 Pearl.

He called me yesterday.  He went to see the home….He is very excited….This is not a new agent…He is an older man with 20 plus years in the business…  I hope he is successful….It would help both of us if he brings me an offer….I hope he also picks up a buyer…

105 Bridgewater  Open Saturday 1-4 PM

 

For me I will sit Pearl…. A very nice home about 1/4  of mile from mine….It is on the Boise Bench…A wonderful older neighborhood close to everything with a lot of spirit and class.

  Open Sunday 1-4 PM

 

Sometimes helping another person is a win-win situation.  My friend has something to do today and I have both homes open…Maybe we will both be successful to help us end 2011.  Wish us well….

Should you take the leap into home ownership?


There are many people sitting on the fence wondering if and when they should try to buy a home.  The last 3 years has been pretty scary with the high unemployment rate and soft market.  We all know someone for whom the American Dream and become a nightmare.  So why would I want to buy a home in the Treasure Valley?

The first is that the prices are very low.  Most of my buyers are getting very good deals and paying less on their mortgages then they are in rent.   I am getting people into comfortable starter homes for about $600/month with mortgage, insurance and taxes.  The rental values of the homes are around $900/month.

The second would be that you are paying your mortgage not the landlords.  I am a landlord as well as a real estate agent.  My taxes are double what a homeowners would be since I do not get a property tax exemption.   I need to pass that to my tenant to break even.  Your landlord is probably not getting rich.  I bought when the market was higher and lose a little every month on my 5 units.

Third the house is yours and you don’t have to ask anyone if you can have pets, paint, etc….

my pet

Forth I still believe in the American Dream of home ownership.  We take great pride in owning our own home.

Fifth mortgage rates are very low.  You still can get mortgages with very little down.  Call me and I will send you to a good loan officer with many products.

Sixth I think the market has hit bottom.  I could be wrong but houses under $125,000 that are nice are getting multiple offers and the sold price is often higher then the asking price.  This is a sign of turning market.

Well there seem to be a lot of reasons to buy a house.  But the question would be is home ownership right for me?  Why shouldn’t I buy a home?

First if your job isn’t stable or you think you might have to move in the next couple of years (and you don’t want to be a landlord) home ownership might not be right for you.

Second you have lousy credit and cant even manage your cell phone bill…You have things in collection.  Your debt to income ration is very high.

Third  you want someone else to take care of the repairs.

Forth you never have any money left over at the end of the month.

What if I am not sure what I want to do?

The first step would be to contact a Realtor (like me) or a loan officer.  We can explore the market and whether you qualify for a loan.  Then you can weigh your options with more knowledge.

The second step would be to discuss it with your significant other and some friends.  This is an important decision and you need to weigh the options.

If you decide to proceed your Real estate agent and your loan officer (unless you have cash or can find an owner carry)  form the start of your team.  We are professionals.  Other real estate agents hate me for this but I do not recommend signing the buyers representation agreement until I am sure that this is the agent I want to work for.  I usually have my buyers sign one when we are ready to bid on a house.  Others might want it signed sooner.  If you are in the low end of the market (under   $100K) be prepared to bid fast and be competitive.  (the market has changed).

Buying a home is an exciting but somewhat stressful time.  Home ownership is not for everyone but it the right choice for many people My greatest pleasure as an agent is handing my buyers the key to their first home.