Tag Archives: debbie holmes

The Market has turned in Boise, Idaho

The market has turned in Boise Idaho…

This spring has been tough for me… The market seems to be a sellers market… The prices at the low end of the market have gone up and there are multiple offers… I am having trouble locating property for my first time homebuyers. I am looking into special city programs… Last year when I pulled up homes under $120K there were 40 or 50 of them with the 3 bed. 1.5 bath… Today there are 4… Since I seem to specialize in that market it is hard but I am working hard to find creative solutions for my buyers… I have made several offers for different clients (some above asking price) and only have one succeed. I am educating my buyers ab out the change in the market.

On the listing side things seem to be good. I had to pull a listing for repairs and I kept it off for the 31 days so it showed as new. I had an offer on day 1. I ran an open house where 20 family units came through. I settled on Sunday and before I could put it pending I had 2 realtors call me wanting to put in offers. I had more activity in 4 days then I had in 3 months. I also settled for much higher then the other contract. This tells me the market is changing.

It will be an interesting time for me. I have never worked in an up market. I went into real estate just as the market started to flatten out. I am really good in a down market. I need to see if I can work a up market.

So if you want a great agent who works hard give Debbie Holmes a call.

Quiet time for me right now….

Quiet time for me right now…. (edit/delete)

Well the real estate market is a funny animal.   Sometimes you are so busy you don’t know where to turn.  You are running around and falling in to bed late.  Then it gets quiet for a bit… I am in one of my quiet bits… Perhaps the two are related… When you are running around you do not have as much time to prospect.  With prospecting brings clients… When  it calms down you prospect again.  Ideally you never stop prospecting so the pipeline never slows… The quiet time is a bit convenient (except for the lack of sales) since my dad is recovering from a stroke.  It isn’t that I haven’t been busy…. I had the busy start of the year… The buyers with cash in the suitcase.  I also had a pending fall on inspection… I have a buyer who wants what I cannot find… So it is quiet…. I hope to get busy but we will see… So now it is a quiet time for me right now…. Give me patience…. Maybe I should work on my 2011 taxes and prospect.

So if you want to buy a home in the Treasure Valley Call Debbie Holmes.  She is a great agent with some time on her hands….

Snow Day!!!!

Well it finally happened!  We have a snow day!!! As a matter of fact I think the winter storm warning was for the entire state of Idaho!  I did a good job to warn my dad and wife to drive through last night and not stop in Salt Lake City….

Snow day

We had 6 inches but it is already melting…. It was very peaceful…. It used to be that I had to run around in the snow driving children to school.  Once in a while other cars would hit mine.  I am a pretty good snow driver (coming from upstate New York) but my counterparts from the great state of California are not…    Instead I just stayed home and enjoyed natures beauty…. The dogs seemed happy…. The orange one is the backside of Jolly the Collie…. She is still with us…..

Bogus Basin (see let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!) has already announced that it is opening at 10 AM tomorrow.  In some parts of the mountains they are predicting over 2 feet of snow!  Perhaps the crops will have water…. Tomorrow I expect things to be back to normal…  My street will be bad but the main ones should be OK…. They don’t believe in snow plows here… Or salt… They will just put dirt at the intersections… Mostly we are civilized about snow… We get it in the mountains and not the valleys…. Just as it should be….But today is a snow day…..

I tried to talk hubby into doing a snowman…. But he wasn’t interested… The kids are grown   and gone….And by the time the driveway was clear I had lost interest…. There was a time that a snow day would have meant snow men and sleds…. Snow balls and hot cocoa…. Now it is just peaceful… A neighbor shoveled the old couples driveway…. Things are friendly in Boise…Boise is a great place to live and play… Today is a snow day… Tomorrow I am back to work selling homes in Great Boise Homes… Give me a call!

Monday Morning Coffee at the Flying M… A reminant of my Congressional Campaign…

In 2008 I won my parties nomination for Candidate for the House of Representatives in CD2 of Idaho….I was my parties sacrificial lamb against a 5 term incumbent… Mike Simpson….I ran mostly so the people in the second district would have a choice….I also felt that no one should be able to run for federal office unopposed.  So I spent from March to November traveling my huge Congressional District…. Meeting and talking to the wonderful people who live with me in my District… The campaign had very little money so I stayed in supporters homes… I learned more about local issues then I would have staying in hotels and made some really great friends….I was interviewed for TV and newspapers and debated Congressman Simpson twice on statewide TV…. To my credit I did a good job and I am proud…. In October after a very cold event…..Some of we stopped in at the Flying M coffee shop in Boise Idaho.  The coffee was good!  The people were interested in my message!  And most of all it was WARM. The next Monday we started our week with Monday Morning Coffee at the Flying M.

My campaign sign and logo  Idaho

The campaign continued and my staff started meeting for coffee at the Flying M coffee shop.  I had a fishbowl and some people actually came up an contributed to my campaign and/or asked us questions….  It was a very comfortable place with very good coffee….. My staff was mostly like me (with the exception of my campaign manager) middle aged Democrats… I have since learned most campaigns want young people who can be overworked and have lots and lots of energy…. But that is not important….The Blog isn’t about the Campaigns it is about Monday Morning Coffee at the Flying M.

The election happened….President Obama was elected President….My party sent Democrat Walt Minnick to Congress and I, Debbie Holmes, lost to Congressman Mike Simpson with 29 % of the vote….By the way that was around 83,000 votes at $0.15/vote….  We had formed a core group…. Most of us living in Boise, Idaho….
We wanted to keep doing things….I started the institution of Monday Morning Coffee at the Flying M.  It took a long time to develop this core of hard working individuals who liked and respected each other.  We didn’t want to just go our own ways…. We stand ready to support Democratic candidates and issues….  We talk about our families… We talk about fun events….We support each other because we have become great friends… We stand ready if one of us decides to run for office again!

So some of us have lost relatives….Some of us have had sorrows….Some of us have had blessings…. Some  of us are new and weren’t on the campaign….Sometimes we talk Politics….Often we talk as friends do…About our lives… We organize to go to Democratic events, social events, movies, concerts, etc. together… We even watch the Boise State Broncos together….Many of us don’t even like football but we like being together… We share our joys our, sorrows and our dreams…. Sometimes politicians (in office) come and meet with us….Sometimes we have Candidates come meet with us.  Sometimes special interest groups visit… Many of help with causes….The homeless shelter, Politics, the humane society, loan modifications (that’s me :).  We are not afraid to talk to the our Congressmen… We write letters to the editor… We make a difference (no matter how small)… But we always meet at 10 AM for Monday Morning Coffee at the Flying M….

So even though I am a bit busy….My son’s our home….My husband is off… I have real estate stuff to do….I am going to go my Monday Morning Political coffee at the Flying M at 10 AM.  So  if you have somewhat liberal political views (we are Idaho after all) and you are in Boise,  come join us at The Flying M coffee shop at 500 W Idaho St # 100  Boise, ID 83702-5772.

  Debbie Holmes

Gold Key Real Estate     Company logo

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

To search Boise Homes visit my website

Tax sale Horror!

Tax sales…..Lots can go wrong….

During July 2010 I was contacted by an investor… His request was that I go by homes up for the Ada County tax sale and give him an approximate value.  I investigated 5 or 6 houses.  I also studied tax sales… They are not quite foreclosures.  In Ada county you register via an Internet site.  Then you start bidding… Ada county takes the highest bid and gives you a sheriffs deed.  This title is not insurable right away.  That makes it very hard to flip.  That is the first tax sale horror!  It seems that if the sale is done right and you do all your homework and paperwork you can get insurable title in about a year.   ‘

 My investor told me he did this a lot in New York and wanted to try Idaho.  Now 1.5 years later I have a lot of respect and admiration for this investor.  At first I wasn’t sure what to think.   I shouldn’t worry too much he knew what he was doing.  That was good.  I also felt very uncomfortable about the idea of a tax sale.  I got to thinking who would lose their homes for the want of property taxes and the answers were not pretty….  People who are really old  or sick…..People whose homes were paid off and who are functioning poorly.  You can add people with so many liens against the property that it not salable… I felt bad and did the work but I also warned the occupants that their house was about to be taken away from them.  

One of the families asked me to help… They told me they  only owed the taxes…. The lady inherited the home from her mom and never paid taxes or filed the homeowners exemption that would have lowered the taxes.  Her husband was ill and had been unable to work… Compelling story…. I had them meet with the tax assessor and tried for what political clout I had….I also called a nice hard money person since the taxes were a lot less then the house was worth.  The political stuff crashed and burned so we tried to do it with the hard money.  Turns out they had so many liens and deeds against them that the home was not savable.  Being a tax sale I could only see the outside.  We did not know the condition inside… Another tax sale horror. 

My investor purchased the home and treated the former owner very well.  He rented back to them for under the market price and worked on getting clear insurable title.  He sent me a gift card for my troubles and we kept in contact.  I supplied names of repairmen and such during the year.  The people hoped for a new stove but did get a new roof and water heater.   My workman (who put in the water heater) tried to get into the house to access the condition but only was allowed as far as the bathroom.  The way he treated the former owners, the workmen, myself and the breadth of knowledge this man had is why I am impressed and count him as a friend.  

In June he informed me that the former owners were going to move and he would come out afterwords and access his property.  The idea was to clean and fix it up and  put it on the market and hopefully he would realize his profit.  I did the market analysis and things looked OK not Great but OK.  The house had lost at least $20,000 in value…There still was a profit margin…. the house did back up to a somewhat busy rode without a fence….Not too busy but I did not discount this enough….A fence might have helped (and I told him so).  Losing value while you clear title….Another tax sale horror.

My investor arrived in the end of July.  My friend (and workman) met him…. He and the workman saw eye to eye. Together we decided what needed to be done…  There was a lot that needed doing.  There was a lot of deferred maintenance and a semi trashed home…The furnace had a cracked heat exchange and the sprinklers were creating problems. Every floor covering needed to be replace… All surfaces painted…Doors and closet doors were missing…This was about as bad as it could get.  At least the bones were good but the profit margin was diminishing. No inspection allowed Another tax sale horror.  My workman got the job and I had the listing.  The investor hired out the floor work.  I helped him find the sprinkler guy, the gardener, the HVAC company and others. 

It took over a month but the house was restored to its former glory.  We were all proud of our work… I still thought it lacked a fence but … I was sure when I listed it I would have an offer fast….

As I prepared to list it I looked at the public records… I noticed the home still had liens showing against it.  I approached the investor.  I called my title person and she said that their company would not insure the property and my investor needed something called a quiet title.  This cost at least $3000 and 3 or 4 months and was not fool proof.  My investor told me he was working with a title company and the title was free and clear.  I called his title company and spoke to the title officer who informed me that  his company would be able to give clear and insurable title…. I listed the home insisting we use his title company… Almost had an offer the first day and waited…. The offer didn’t come time past…. In November I got antsy about the title again and again made him check out the title… I was told that the liens I kept seeing were gone. 

With the house not selling we lowered the price…. To what would just get the investor his money back… Finally the offer came in….It was low…It was clean but very low…Being a good agent and a savvy investor we negotiated the offer.  My investor is still out at least $4000.  But now the fun began…..

Fast forward

I asked the title officer to give me a heads if there were problems.  I reminded him about the fact the home was acquired via a tax sale and the owner cleared the title.  The call came at 4:30 PM on Wed. December 21…It has a $50,000 medical judgment that showed up on the home and the former owners…..I asked how could this be…. The title officer told me he had a call into the Ada county tax assessor.  This date was important because it is the day all property taxes in ADA county are due….The office was swamped….I informed the owner but I figure I could wait until morning when I would have  more information to talk to the listing agent.  I gave myself a 10 AM deadline and informed both the title officer and my client of the deadline.  This certainly is another tax sale horror.  I was amazingly calm…. I had done everything I could….I even slept on Wed. night…Usually when a deal seems to be in trouble I lose a nights sleep… This one was in the worse trouble I had ever had.  My client was in danger of losing huge amounts of money…

I emailed and initiated phone calls at 9 AM. By 9:20 AM.  At 9:45 I emailed and phoned the buyer’s agent to stop the inspection.  Needless to say he wasn’t happy but at least he didn’t yell at me and was a professional about the situation.  I have worked with people who have abused me over this.   I gave him what information I had and told him I would keep him posted.  I now knew how the judgment was missed… It was  mistake by ADA county’s title company…. It seems that in September they sent out a litigation report to all the creditors of record…. The judgment came in November with the owners name misspelled…A medical judgment…. The title was dated down and endorsed on December 22, 2009….2 years from the day….. Strange coincidence…. That meant the lien was real….. The title company was certainly liable for $13000 to ADA county but would that help my client.  Title called the other title … I called too…. I also had extensive talks with my client, the former owners, and my broker….I started gathering names of Idaho real estate lawyers….Part of the tax sale horror. 

Late in the afternoon Ada Counties title company admits the mistake…. They give us a couple of options….One is that they will overwrite the problem and insure the property so the sale can proceed.  The second was that they would give my client the $13000 so he could deal with it himself…We are taking the first option and changing the inspection dates and the title company.  Our title company was very nice about it and felt it was our best option too.  I sort of felt they had given my client some bad advice.  So we are in the deal but I will shudder at tax sales. And I am very leery of another tax sale horror.

Now for the inspection and hoping they can find a property pin for extended coverage….



  Debbie Holmes

Gold Key Real Estate     Company logo

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

To search Boise Homes visit my website

Yesterday ended up as one of those hectic days leading up to the holiday…Part 1 fixing my dishwasher!

Yesterday I had one of those really hectic days leading up to the holiday….  I thought it was going to be a light day but in our industry

When I woke up I started putting my dishes away and realized that they were gross… That meant the filter in my 2007 Whirlpool dishwasher had clogged yet again….It is a slow gradual decline… Then one day the glasses have a white layer of scum on them.  I had paid 3 times for the repairman and paid him more then the dishwasher was worth to come and spend 10 minutes with it.  On the third time I told him he had to teach me or I would throw out the dishwasher next time….  He really likes my dishwasher and didn’t want me to get rid of it (besides a lady who runs 11 rentals is a good customer).  The first time I did it I couldn’t remember everything.  I found a cool video that explained how to do it then my son was frustrated with my moaning and helped me…That was 8 months ago…. The same son was home…But he was asleep…I had already tried to just get him to do the job…. My kitchen was so backed up with dishes it wasn’t funny… So I started….I got my computer and started….This time when I got stuck I was a bit threatening…Something about not needing to buy him anything but coal for Chanukah….  Finally my husband got nervous…Here was dishwasher parts spread out over the kitchen floor….He was afraid I would break something…. He told my sleeping beauty that he had to wake up and help his mom….Have I ever told you that fixing things and being a true mathematical genius do not go together…The skills it take to prove and come up with mathematical theorems is not the same skills required for household maintenance.. I am not great but my physical science know how helps a bit….And I watch my repairmen… My youngest son however seems to be a natural engineer… He can fix things… Somebody in the family needs these skills… I have sometimes hired him to work with my handyman so that he could learn more about mechanical things…. He even figured out how to fix my kitchen drawer when it broke.

Well halfway into the repair (once kid was up) I get a call that I have an fully signed offer on my last pending.  I need to work and here starts my hectic day of December 20,2011.  With my dishwasher in pieces around us…

Josh figures out how to deal with the dishwasher using the video I downloaded and adding a turkey baster   to pull up the water from the bottom…. We now have clean glasses and the dishwasher is together….I seem to be writing a book so I will write this blog in parts….We still have real estate, shopping and Chanukah to go….Stay tuned…

Debbie Holmes

Gold Key Real Estate

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

To search Boise Homes visit my website

Working together to get the job done!

Working together to get the job done!

105 E. Bridgewater Ct., Boise, ID 83706  is a beautiful home where I helped the investor on the renovations….

I listed it in September ….  Nothing happened….. After Thanksgiving we reduce the price….  Nothing happened….. I was becoming nervous…. When my other listing at 722 Pearl St., Boise, Idaho 83705 went pending I took more action…. My buyer was settled and I started spending my Sunday afternoons at the home….  I had good traffic….  But still no offers…..  Worse yet my fellow agents didn’t seem to notice my price change…. Gulp….$10,000 off and no change in showings….

My seller and I had a long discussion….I told him even though the comps are there we need to lower the price…  I didn’t want to lower the price a lot before the New Year….So this is what we did….

On Friday we reduced the price by $1000… At the same time I had him sign for a $25 price reduction every 3 days until the New Year…In our MLS 3 days is critical because that seems to be how long the change appears on the status change button….  I had 4 showings in 24 hours…. I also had a low ball offer… Something that we can work with but not accept…..I am delighted for the offer….On Sunday morning I find out my seller didn’t receive my email….Something went wrong with his email and he felt it was too late to call….We already had a 7 AM  telephone appointment.  I emailed it to another address….This was a busy but good day for my seller….He had another early appointment and his Mom’s 94 th birthday party….  This sounded like it could get tight for our 2 PM deadline to respond to the offer… I emailed the other agent to give him a heads up…  He emailed back, thanks…

By 10 AM I decided to go to my office… I hadn’t heard from the client after the early morning phone call… He is real estate savvy and knows that time is of the essence…. The party starts at 11 AM my time and I am sitting in the open house from 1-4 PM…. We spend time preparing the counter offer… Idaho does their counter offers differently then New York so I had to teach a bit…. We don’t rush but it is already past time for Mom’s birthday party…. He does not email scan so I am sitting by the fax machine at the office… After 10 minutes it spits out 3 of 8 pages…. At least the counter offer is on top!…. He tries again… No dice…I don’t know whether it is his machine or mine…. I really have stopped faxing…. I love email scan….  He is in the car 1 hour late to the party….

I email the other other agent what I have and explain about the fax problems….I tell him that my client has signed all the documents…. I have the counter but not the completely signed contract because of the fax problems…I let him know that I gave the client his fax number (in case it was my machine)…  He emails back that he needs a phone call from my client so that he can turn on his fax…He has also forwarded the contract to his buyer…. I call my seller and leave a message…  I get a call that I can’t take from my seller….At 4 PM I get a copy of the signed contract from the other agent….  Not how we usually do things…. 2 hours past the deadline…. But done….

Now my seller and I wait on the buyer… We hope they take the counter offer…. Of course they may counter….or worse let the contract go… We are $7000 apart… We will see…  Another day in the life of Debbie Holmes, Real Estate agent Extraordinaire!

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

To search Boise Homes visit my website

Becoming an American!

Yesterday I had the privilage of watching 30 people from 11 nations become American Citizens…. It was quite an honor. I usually find out after the fact that someone became a citizen…

A client of mine has been married to an American for 15 years. She is an educated and articulate woman. She took the test last month. Her husband had a very important business meeting and it seemed too important an event to attend alone…. Even if the attendee was your real estate agent…. So I went…. It was wonderful to see the pride of these 30 new Americans as they took the oath of office…

Oath of Citizenship Dec. 1, 2011 Boise, ID

My client/friend….(many of my clients become my friends) was very happy to see me. She thought she would be all alone. She was very nervous. The ceremony took around 20 minutes… The actual ceremony was quick…. The judges remarks were a bit long and I didn’t think to the point.

So many of us take our rights and obligations of citizenship for granted. We live in the greatest country in the world. We are really FREE….

We have the freedom to disagree with our government. To pray or not pray as we like. We can disagree politically without coming to blows. We are free to flag wave. We are free to protest. Our Facebook isn’t monitored or restricted. We can strive for success.

Yes, there are problems but I can honestly say I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN…. I am very lucky to have become a citizen at birth. I haven’t had to flee violence, hunger or oppression. I have always been free to express my opinion. Heck, I even ran for Congress.


I am saddened that so many of our citizens don’t VOTE… Some of these 30 new Americans didn’t have the right to vote in their natal countries. Some of them lost relatives to war and famine. Some were under evil dictators….Some of them spent time in refugee camps… It is an obligation of every citizen to become informed and VOTE their conscious.

Signed Debbie Holmes, Citizen, Mom, former Democratic Nominee for the House of Representatives, Real Estate agent , scientist.

Consumerism…. I think we lost the battle….war…Black Friday in the wee hours….

I am sort of a politician….I take my stands….My last stand has been published in a local paper…  My stand wasn’t political….Or at least I don’t think so….I think for the most part stores should be closed on major holidays….We really don’t need to shop on Thanksgiving or Christmas….We don’t need to shop in the middle of the night….Here is a copy of my letter….

I also happen to have a housemate who is in her 40’s and a graduate student….She needs money….She has a temp job at Macy’s….  After I wrote the letter I learned that she had to be at work at 4 AM on black Friday…  Apparently Macy’s decided to open at midnight…She doesn’t drive so guess who had to wake up early to take her…

As a approached the Boise town Square Mall I was hoping it would be empty….I wanted this to fail big time….Alas…The traffic picked up as I approached the Mall…..  I couldn’t park my car if I wanted to…It was 4 AM and Boise was obviously shopping….I am very disappointed….Not only was I disappointed I spent the day tired because of my early rising…..I am proud to say I didn’t shop until 6 PM and only because my kid needed snow boots before he went back to college.

I really don’t have anything against Black Friday (as long as it starts at 6 AM)….I just was going to stick to my guns today….

If we want to control our own destiny we need to control our lives and our spending habits….Yes there were some very good deals that ended at 1 PM….  Some people had been camping out all through the Thanksgiving holiday….I like eating my Turkey around the dining table with my family….Or nut-loaf if you are a Vegetarian…

It was greed on the banks, wall street and the consumer that led to the recession (depression?) that we are in…. I know they say we need to spend our way out of it….But maybe we should get JOBS in our COUNTRY….BUY things made in the USA (that also might help create jobs)…And not SPEND more then we can AFFORD… Let us all take control of our Destiny.

Tomorrow I will start showing houses again in the Boise…. I will write offers and counter-offers….I will work my listings…Today I will take off until my middle SON gets on his plane and leaves us again…. Tomorrow perhaps I will write about how buying a house helps your LOCAL ECONOMY….





  Debbie Holmes

Gold Key Real Estate     Company logo

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

To search Boise Homes visit my website