Tag Archives: buyer

Gas water heaters in manufactured homes and inspectors…

A couple of days ago I wrote about a problem I was having with an inspector.   It wasn’t the one I usually use.  The basic problem is that the inspector did not seem to understand about code for manufactured homes.  This created quite a problem and a lot of stress on the seller, the buyer and the real estate agents.  When I called him I told him it was a mobile home in a park and he indicated that would be fine.  Well it just wasn’t.

He carefully brought my buyer, her mom and grandparents and explained that there was no gap between the top of the water heater and the pipe.   He went on to explain that this wasn’t to code and was dangerous.  This was very upsetting to the seller who had her inspection report from 2004.  I found that confusing so I decided to investigate on Monday.  First thing I found the unit for sale in a couple of places.  I  emailed the inspector with the link and asked him if the code could be different.  He admitted that he didn’t do very many of these things so I should call a plumber.  Later he called a a guy from roto rooter and he basically stood his ground.  The AC guy came to fix the air conditioner and looked at the water heater and said it was just fine.  This is exactly the way it is supposed to be and it’s to code.  Because I am thorough (anal) I called Champion and they indicated this was as it should be.  I also called my plumber and he came up with the same thing and gave me a  lesson in water heaters for manufactured homes.  This water heater is to code.  To have a gas fired water heater in a manufactured home you need one that is approved for a manufactured home. If we did what the inspector wanted us to do we would have ruined the system and made the water heater dangerous.

Just in case you want to know the water heater takes the air from below and it is called a self contained system.  They cost around $800 new instead of $400 new.  You can convert to electric when it breaks and avoid the whole problem.


Now this puts me in a bad position because I recommended this inspector then basically had to get other opinions.  I have homes inspected to make sure they are safe and sound.  I am now in a position that I gave an opinion that I am not qualified to give after consulting and I have obtained written documentation from experts.  Our buyer was upset.. The sellers were upset.. My partner and I were upset..

The lesson I learned was when you have a different type of home it is important to ask if they do enough of these homes to inspect them.  My inspector created at least 10 extra hours for me.  I also suspect some other problems he pointed out might have something to do with it being a manufactured home.

Safer Short Sales

Short sales are notoriously hard to settle…. Nothing is certain until we have third party approval (the bank)….  Real estate ethics sometimes fly out the window as offer after offer is presented to the banks by some agents…  Reasonable time lines are a joke…. It makes an agent nervous to show a owner occupant…. Especially a first timer or someone who needs to be in the home quickly…..

So when do I show a short sale to an owner occupied buyer?  First I do not send them short sale listings unless they request it.  I look at the available short sales for the clues in the public or agent remarks.  The clues are:

1) Bank approved price

2) Bank approval buyer walked

3) IFHA short short sale (they are quick in Idaho)

4) Small local bank

5) Only need to negotiate the 2nd

6) Process started buyer walked

Even with these words I call the listing agent to get a feel.  If I feel very comfortable with the situation I will send the listing to my client. I always ask the listing agent what is their policy on offers that come in later. If I don’t like the answer I try not to show the home.  Thes represent safer short sales.

Regular sales and REO (bank owned property) sales usually settle more quickly than short sales.  I do not find much difference in the asking price of a short sale and a REO.

Often my buyer will do their own research and I get to investigate all sorts of short sales and contingent short sales…. I do like a buyer who like to do research… In the end I usually find the home first that they actually settle on.  Call me if you want to find your home in the Treasure Valley!  Good hunting!

  Debbie Holmes

Gold Key Real Estate     Company logo

(208)761-2551 Email: d5holmes@msn.com

To search Boise Homes visit my website

Contingent short sale? What is it?

So we know a short sale is when the seller owes more then the house is worth….. So the third party the lender needs to approve or even renegotiate the deal….. We have all seen this…..


So the short sale listing gets an offer the buyers and the sellers come to terms….. Now the package is sent to the bank… If the buyer and seller are lucky the bank has given the listing agent an idea where the house should be listed…. More likely they told the agent they wouldn’t talk until the agent had an offer….

At this stage the sale is marked as a contingent short sale… The sale is contingent on the bank agreeing to the terms or renegotiating the contract.  The bank can take as long as they want….They never seem to care what the timeframe of the offer is…. The classic question of the buyer is when can we move in?  The answer is 30 days to never.   All rules of ethics seems to go out in a short sale situation.  Unless the listing agent sets rules position doesn’t matter very much…If more offers are sent to the bank they just reject the lower offer no matter when it comes in…   The sale is still active in the multiple listing service (CSS) but venders like Zillow don’t seem to have this information… Also some buyers are insistant on seeing them… Once in while you get the news that they welcome backup offers because the buyer is about to walk…Or the offer is to low….

I ask my buyer why would you want to look at a contingent short sale?  It’s mostly like a pending without bank approval… During the time the a property is a contingent short sale everyone waits…. No money is spent and all timelines are suspended while bank approval is sought..  The bank will either say yes, no or renegotiate…. Often the bank will let the home go to foreclosure (especially if the offer is low)…

Many times a buyer walks (they actually do want to buy something) and the agents lists the home as active and seeks another buyer to slip into the spot.  These are better for the new buyer because the process is started…

If you need to settle a deal quickly it important to stay away from most short sales and contingent short sales…Once in a while the buyer walked as the bank came back… Those are the safe short sales to buy in a timely manner…Your real estate agent knows the lingo to indicate that a short sale can settle quickly.

After the bank comes to terms with the buyer and the seller the listing status changes from contingent short sale to pending…. I hope this helps…

  Debbie Holmes

Gold Key Real Estate     Company logo

(208)761-2551 Email: d5holmes@msn.com

To search Boise Homes visit my website

Always set up an exact time and meeting place…

Well today started well….. But I made a big error when I set up my buyers appointment….I didn’t set a place to meet….I didn’t have  her cell phone number….We were supposed to meet between 1 and 2 pm today…  She was supposed to bring her granddaughter….At 9 AM I started trying to reach her….I have tried every hour since then.  I left 2 messages and an Email…. I hope she doesn’t have a system that tracks the number of calls…. I don’t know what happened….Perhaps she didn’t have my cell phone number….Perhaps she stood me up….I got to watch netflix and listen to my old dog Jolly breath….Yes she is still with us but she still has lots of problems….

Lessons learned from today…Always set a meeting place….The office or their home works fine…. I felt like a fool….I made some phone calls for the December blogging challange…I found really nice places in Boise Idaho for the buyer to look at….I did my paperwork…  And then I waited….And waited….. Then I finally went home and watched a movie…Now to get psyched to tackle page 5 of my data base…. I guess I am sort of down….

Very busy day today!

jugllingWell I didn’t do a lot with the blog challenge.  It has been a very busy day today.  It started with a 7 AM call from a tenant about a heater that wasn’t working…. It kept going from there.  I had a call from my pending advertisement and I worked quickly to secure the customer.  Hopefully, tomorrow I will be showing homes to the buyer.  There were a bunch of homes that met their criteria.  She wan’t to know if they could settle by Dec. 17….I had to tell them only if they had cash.  I found my holiday cards for snail mail and I have them near my computer.  I feel like I have a bunch of balls in the air and I want to keep them there.  Tomorrow I have a free coaching session from a friends broker.  I am hoping that it inspires me further.  The challenge is been very good for me.  I am not doing much but I am prospecting from my own list.  I also found one of my loan officers who left US bank.  I also talked to the heater guy about real estate and handed out my card for a friend of his I shall pay  some bills then perhaps write the holiday cards for the A’s or perhaps I should start with the Z’s and work backwards…. All in all a very busy and productive day.

  Debbie Holmes

Gold Key Real Estate     Company logo

I know it’s a short sale but…….

I just took my buyers into a home….I called the listing agent and she informed me that the seller was taking the dishwasher…..I know they do sometimes but when you see it there you expect it to be there…..I suggested that she had better put that it excludes the dishwasher since most people would expect it stay since it was there….I talked about agents who had to supply appliances…  I suggested that she excludes the dishawasher…Oh well we want to see the home…..I should have been suspicious when the pictures were from the last sale 1.5 years ago….


We walked in and the house reeked of cat urine….There was also some cat poop right in the living room….The house was absoultely filthy….The cat itself was adorable but obviously not well behaved…They had a sex book out on a dresser or table… Basically the home was in not at all showable condition.  Now the seller is moving by Dec. 1….It makes me wonder why the listing agent didn’t wait until they left and did the rugs….The price was OK but not great….The house itself might be OK but my buyers were grossed out…


Remember first impression mean a lot in our business.  This house was as bad as any rental I have seen when the tenant is being obnoxious.  I don’t gross out easily but I was disturbed…Guess which house we didn’t write an offer on?