Category Archives: community

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….

Real Life — Step Mom is in critical condition after broken bone

Today I will blog about real life….

My step mom went on a vacation to southern California for a rug hooking class, visiting friends and relatives.  Everything was good until Friday night when she tripped on a orange cone and broke her shoulder in several places…..

On Saturday dad flew down to Pasadena to be with her and I went about my real estate business once I put him on the plane.  The docs wanted to operate to fix the shoulder on Sunday morning.  On Sunday morning she was in a lot of pain with a bad stomach ache (not to mention the broken bone).  They took her into surgery and she vomited and aspirated (which means inhaled) it.  Fortunately there were two anthologists in the room.  She is now in the CCU on a respirator with a fever.  Apparently she also has a slow GI bleed so she is getting 2 units of blood this morning.   I flew down last night and spent the night in the hospital.  She is in and out of (they are trying to keep her sedated).  Real estate doesn’t seem very important right now… When (and if) she gets better she still has to have the surgery for the shoulder.

It is so strange how fast this crisis developed.  I find myself praying a lot today.  Not much of a real estate blog but keep us in your prayers.

More HUD Fun… They tried to take the keys before my buyer could change the locks…

Yesterday we funded and closed on the home with the cut down rose bushes.  At the signing the title officer said something that made me nervous so I went and got the keys the day before we were supposed to fund.  I DID NOT GIVE THEM TO THE CLIENT.   I found out at 1:30PM that the deal was recorded.   I gave the keys to my client around 3:00 PM.  While we were still on the properpty the listing agent came for his lockbox, sign and keys.  I told him my client needed the keys because the locks hadn’t been changed yet.  He said it is a new rule from either HUD or the asset manager that they need to collect the keys.  I asked if he could wait until Monday to collect the keys so that my client could have the locks changed.  At first he didn’t want to do that but I pointed out without the keys my client had no way to secure the property and her son-in-law would not have time to change the locks until the weekend.  The family has a huge amount of repairs to make (including a new electrical box and pole) before they can live in the place.


I understand why they don’t want the keys out but if I hadn’t collected the keys the night before my client might have had to break into her new home.  That is ridiculous. No one called me to see if my client was in yet.  Would he have come out to unlock the home if my client hadn’t been in.  I should have tried to make him change the locks since he wanted the keys so badly.

Next time I close a HUD deal I will ask the listing agent to pick up the keys a day after closing.

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.


Over the years I have been the buyers agent for several homes in the Treasure Valley.  The first thing you want to do is make sure your broker has signed the agency up to sell HUD homes.  The first time I sold a HUD home I had to refer my client out and lose a significant portion of my commission check.   It also makes the deal stranger since you know all the in and outs of the deal and the other agent doesn’t.  Talk to your broker or the office manager and ask for the HUD number and check to make sure it is active.  It needs to be renewed every year.  Being the government your brokerage will not get any notice when it needs to be done….

HUD  homes are government owned homes that have been foreclosed on but the government has insured them when to original loan was taken out..  OH no !  Unfortunately I just broke some rules about selling or talking about HUD homes.  We are not allowed to use the words repossessed, REO, distressed, foreclosed when describing these homes because HUD feels that these words have negative connotations  .  We now have to use the words HUD owned.  This also means that the Intermountain multiple listing service had to add a separate category called HUD homes.  This is very annoying because it one more parameter you have to search for.

Now those of you who no me know that I am a rare breed.  I am a Democrat in Idaho who has run for Congress.  If anything ever turns me into a person who thinks the government is malevolent it will be selling HUD homes.  HUD makes the rules for everyone else but does not seem to feel the need to follow them.  Someday I will blog about this….. They will not fix things (even things to inspect the property).  They set their own timelines that are difficult for the loan officers.   They make you rush for brokers signatures and make you send docs in expensive Fedex packages.  When you make a mistake they threaten to cancel the contract.  The mistake can be forgetting to get an initial.  I must admit to being paranoid by now.  To my credit the contract that I have pending was perfect the first time.  You have to be on top of things and be your buyers advocate.

So obviously I do not like HUD or selling HUD homes….  Why do I do it?  Because it gives my buyers a chance to get into the housing market with FHA loans.  Also HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac all have a home owner first look programs.  That means that my buyers are only competing against fellow owner occupants and not investors.  This is a huge advantage to first time home buyers. HUD homes are also often competitively priced with FHA financing (for insurable property). HUD bidding is easy and everything else will seem harder then it needs.  I work for my buyers and not my comfort.  It is important to me that my buyers get a home that  works for them and I am willing to work hard and make my loan officers to work hard to make this happen.

I truly believe that part of the American Dream is to own your own home.  It makes us as individuals, the community and our country stronger.   Part of helping my clients achieve this dream is to offer them as many homes available in my community.