Tag Archives: clients


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


Yesterday I found a political ally has changed his views and is now working on legislation I strongly oppose.   As Democrats in Idaho we have very little influence in how our state is run.  When the Idaho’s education secretary proposed then succeeded in passing three laws that hurt Idaho’s children and teachers there was a bi-partisan outcry among the populace.   The outcry was so great that the laws are up for a vote in December.  Most of my ally’s and some of my usual political adversaries were working to change the laws.  Yesterday I found that my friend is now going to be working for the other side.  I am very sad.  I was hoping that my friend would have helped us get rid of the bad legislation.

So this leads us to how we handle disappointment.  In our field of real estate there is a lot of it… We have it in our personal life… We have it in our political life… So far I will admit to a pretty dismal start of my new year…

I had my suitcase full of money client where I could taste that commission check.  I had a client decide it isn’t time to buy a home.  I had a listing fail inspection and the buyer walked.  I had to pull the listing and wait for repairs.  My father had a stroke and needed help on a project.  The old dog is peeing on the carpet again and her cough is coming back.  I have no obvious clients in the pipeline…  I was handling everything but my dad pretty well.  But today I am disappointed.  Perhaps I am sad because my friend seems to be what others have said in the past… But I thought better of him.   What can I do?  I need to think.

How do we handle disappointment in our lives and our business?   Usually I just shrug it off and move to the next project…  I go to the next client but as February begins I enter is with a heavy heart.  Sometimes it is the move of one person.  Maybe it is the accumulation.  Maybe later today I will have figured out and have a new client.  Maybe I will work harder to help with the voter referendum. Maybe I will drop everything and help dad in Israel in a month or so (or just visit him and his wife).  I wish I could get paid for political or social work but alas I am a democrat in Idaho and the jobs are few and poorly paid.  There is so much that could be improved if we had more money.   I guess that is true in my real personal life.  If  I sold more houses I would have a more solid future.  So how do I handle my disappointment and get on with my life and business?

I will get through it… I usually just suck it up and get on with it.  I imagine that is what I will do today… I will go to the office and try to prospect for a bit.  Does it hurt to make public disappointment?

So if you want someone who would serve you well give me a call.  I can help with their real estate needs and I will be too busy to be disappointed and my outlook will change.

Trust – What I don’t like about being a landlord.

Most of my life I could always give someone the benefit of the doubt.  If they told me something I could believe it and if I was wrong no real harm came to me.  I am a trusting soul.  If I say I am going to do something or be there I will.  If you tell me that you will do something I will usually believe you.  If you say you are my friend, I believe you.  The very worst that might happen is you could prove me wrong.

I trust the people I surround myself with to be there.  So I tried being a landlord for the  first time in 1999.  A friend recommended a great guy with a couple of dogs.  I didn’t ask for references ….I didn’t ask about the dogs… He told me that he was dog sitting… I assumed that meant that he had 2 dogs and one would go away…. NOT… He had given his girlfriend a Rottweiler (They were all Rottweilers) and he broke up with the girl and the dog was now his… That meant I had 3 Rottweilers next door to me and 2 of them were vicious.  After they killed my cat I took action.  I told him the 2 dogs were going… The only question was whether he was moving or not… These dogs had scared the neighbors, the paper person and myself….


Later in 2005 I tried rentals again… I bought 2 properties… I believed what they told me but I did take applications and I always met the dogs….  I called the references but I felt sorry for them… Poor guy in the custody dispute…. Of course you can move in my lovely home.   He was a BLM fire fighter… He burned my kitchen and moved without telling me.  He owes me lots of money… Thank G-d for insurance… Then their was the guy who was a “painter”.  His wife never said anything.  If I had checked his records I would have found numerous felony arrests plead down to misdemeanors… Domestic violence, drug charges, theft…. Plus there were lots of people trying to collect money off him.  He even stole the electricity from the power company (he stole an electric meter from a building site and switched it)… The power company made me update the property from 1980 standards to 2006 standards… It was expensive… To try to make up for it he told me he would paint the outside of the home.  He started to do it in bright blue.  Then I complained and he switched to gray.  He didn’t knock off the spider webs….


I guess what I am trying to say is that as a landlord I cannot afford to trust the applicants.  I check everything.   The police record, the references, the previous landlord and the employer….I meet the pets (dogs)… After a careful screening (and yes sometimes I will believe a story I carefully check out) I let them in.   They still have to earn my trust.  I find this tiring and depressing.  I cannot afford to believe in their goodwill.

I am a good landlord… I fix things when they break… I can help my clients fight the maze of bureaucracy… I listen to there troubles…I get my rent… They don’t usually hurt my places… But I still get depressed when the characters come through who want to rent.  I just can’t trust them…. I reject at least 80% of those who want my places…  I can’t afford to make a mistake… If you want to go into property management be aware that you have to take off the trusting hat when screening tenants.  I usually advice new landlords to hire a professional.  My tuition was expensive.

I wish things were differerent.  I am a less trusting person in my life because I am a landlord.  I might sell the homes but they are my retirement.  Besides the market is down and I would lose money.  I half own 5 units and manage 6 for my step mom.

So when you go into a new profession think of what the results will be to your inner you…. Mine is that I can’t assume most people will treat me correctly or with honesty.  I have lost that rose colored view of the world because I am a landlord.

This post is a submission to the ActiveRain / Adobe EchoSign Trust Contest. I could possibly win a prize. You can find out about the contest by clicking here

Today I am exhausted

Maybe it is the new diet with the new year…. Maybe it is because I ran around all day…. Maybe it is because I dealt with lots of paperwork and had great news….But I am beat….I am blogging because I realized I haven’t for 2 days…. So the good things that happened.

1) A house with title problems now has insurable title and the inspection is scheduled for Friday….. See Tax Sale Horror.

2)  My Wells Fargo deall closed late but it closed…. See I hate dealing with big banks

3) Dad signed the papers on the refinance.

4) I might have a new client that I showed a home to.

5) I met my parents for lunch.

So I sit in bed….I realize I should blog….But I am tired.  Tomorrow I am meeting my former clients for lunch, cleaning my car (in case new clients want to get in it) and paying my bills…. So today I am exhausted and I am going back to Netflix or maybe I will just go to sleep…

  Debbie Holmes

Gold Key Real Estate     Company logo

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

To search Boise Homes visit my website

Tax sales and potential listings….

Today I meet a seller that I started working with for a year but have never met….  How did I start working with him?  How do I manage a potential seller from NY state in Boise, Idaho.


  I met my client  that we call Joe last year when he called and asked me about tax sales…. I sort of knew about tax sales but only in the vaguest sense.  This man wanted me to drive by homes that were up for tax sales from Ada County.   Fundementally I was a bit uncomfortable with this but curious.  I reasoned the homes were going anyway and I just might be able to talk to some of the victims and help them.  I must say I did not tell Joe this.   Joe had a list of about 7 properties that looked interesting… Back track….

How do tax sales work in Ada County?

Every year the tax assessor sends out bills and most of us pay them…. Either directly or through our lenders.  There are home owners exemptions and even a circuit breaker (which can eliminate your tax bill if you are old or disabled and poor) provided you file for them.  If you fail to pay these property taxes for 3 years in a row (or maybe just be delinquent for 3 years) the county will put your home up for auction.  The notices start going out a long time before and every effort is made to contact the owner.  The county compiles a  list and contracts with a company that is called bid for assests.  If you are interested you go to the website (link is at bid for assets).  As the do-good-er I am I investigated the properties  but gave the owners a flier warning them that their home was up for tax sale.  Of course I did not tell Joe I did this.  I met a couple of people who had paid off their taxes.  Their were 2 homes that I thought were good but I gave my opinion on the value of each and its pluses and minuses that I could determine from the outside of the property.  The owner of the nicest property contacted me.  I tried to help him.

It turns out that his wife had inherited the home a from her mother.  He had a couple of strokes and lost his income.  I took the couple to the tax assessors offices.  I called a political reporter I knew and someone who might be able to lend the $25000 he owed the assessor.  The rates were high but at a $200,000  value the home was worth saving even  if to sell.  One problem this family faced was the taxes were twice as high as they should have been because they never claimed a home-owners exemptions.  The assessor was sympathetic but only the full amount would save the home.  The reporter was distracted and didn’t pursue the story.  The lender was willing to lend the money provided the taxes were the only lein and that they went into first position.  Long story short….. The lender called my title officer and Diana did a search. Turns out there was $158,000 in liens against the property that the owners didn’t tell us about…. They lost the home and Joe bought it.

Joe  seems actually to be a reasonably nice guy and I have learned to respect him over the year.  Joe rented back to the previous owners at a bit below market rent and did deferred maintenance.  Now the people have left and Joe wants to sell the property.  I have helped with maintenance issues (supplying my list of repair people) and I have kept him abreast of market conditions both as a rental and sale.  Today I am actually going to meet Joe and see the inside of this property.  I am looking forward to it and hope I get the listing….