Don’t Comment On Blogs While Drinking

Here’s a blog comment that was submitted to me a couple of days ago.

This is precisely why people shouldn’t post blog comments while drinking  :roll:

I bog often and I seriously appreciate yoour content. Your artifle has truly peaked my interest.
I am going to book mark your site and keep checking for new information about once a week.
I optsd in for your RSS feed as well.


Boise Homes: First Time Buyer Tips

I thoroughly enjoy helping first-time buyers achieve their dream of home ownership.

The home-buying process is often bewildering for those buyers, but I’ve learned many ways to guide my clients to a smooth closing.

Here are a few tips for first-time buyers.

Check Your Current Rental Agreement

If you’re renting, you need to be certain that you can terminate your present rental agreement with a 30-day notice.

If you have a lease, you’re obligated for the payments until the end of the lease.

You don’t want to buy a home with a closing date that falls before your lease termination date unless you’re willing to continue paying rent along with your new house payment.

And, you shouldn’t give your landlord 30 days’ notice until you’re certain you have a closable deal on the home you’re purchasing.

That means having fully-approved financing, inspection issues resolved, and a satisfactory appraisal of the home you’re buying.

Get Pre-Approved

There’s absolutely no point in seriously shopping for a home until you have pre-approved financing.

Every buyer I meet assures me they can get a loan, but you’d be amazed how many learn there’s more to getting their loan approved than they realize.

You need to understand the details of your financing, including the down payment, closing costs, interest rate, and numerous other financial considerations before you start looking at homes.

Failing to do so will likely set you up for some disappointments later.

There are many types of lenders who will all tell you how great they are, but there are often significant differences in costs and service.

I can help you find the best lender for your specific situation, so call me at (208)938-5533 for guidance on getting pre-approved before you start shopping for a lender.

Don’t Change Your Financial Position

Lenders are really, really sensitive about borrowers who change their financial position during escrow.

That means you shouldn’t go out and buy new furniture for your new home and finance it.

If you do, it will alter your debt:income ratio and possibly cause you to not qualify for your financing.

The same thing applies to other major purchases.

I have experienced more than one failed sale because my buyer just had to have a new Dodge Ram pickup (with an $800/month payment) to move into their new home.

I have also had a couple of people change jobs right before closing and almost lose their financing, even though their new job was a better job with higher pay (their loans had to be re-underwritten at the last minute).

You should also be prepared to document the source of any extra money you receive during escrow.

That’s because lenders want to know that your down payment is coming from you; not some other unknown source.

Work With A Realtor® To Find The Right Home

Yeah, I know ~ this sounds self-serving, but it’s good advice.

You don’t have to work with me, but you do need to find a competent, experienced Realtor® to guide you through the home-buying process.

Contrary to popular belief, most buyers can’t find the right home online.

The internet is a great starting point, but there are countless details that you won’t find on the major real estate portals.

Details like neighborhood quality, builder reputation, details of comparable sales (not just the prices), market trends, etc.

In fact, most of the most popular real estate sites are loaded with inaccurate, misleading information that the public thinks is accurate.

Those sites can’t tell you the value of a given home because they determine estimated values with a computer algorithm.

Their computers haven’t seen the neighborhood or the inside of the home you think you like on their site.

I’m not going to give those sites the link love they would like by naming names, but their names start with “Z”, “T”, and “R”.  :roll:

Need some help with buying your first home?

I love helping first-time buyers navigate the home-buying process!

Call me at (208)938-5533 or e-mail me and let’s talk about how I can help you become a homeowner!


Boise New Home Sales: This Year vs. Last Year

Here’s a look at Boise new home sales for this year vs. last year.

2013 Boise New Home Sales

  • # Closed: 1,160
  • Average Sales Price: $276,534
  • Median Sales Price: $259,950

2014 Boise New Home Sales

  • # Closed: 1,044
    % Change: -10.0%
  • Average Sales Price: $313,159
    % Change: +13.2%
  • Median Sales Price: $298,426
    % Change: +14.8%


  • Higher new home sales prices are being driven by increased builder costs for land, materials, and labor.
  • New homes are often larger than resale homes with more modern finishes and amenities.
  • New homes are built to newer building codes and are generally more energy-efficient than the typical resale home.

Data pertains to Ada County new single-family homes on lot or acreage. Data does not include condo or townhome properties.

Data pertains to January 1st through August 31st of each year.


Boise Homes: How Referral Fees Work

Have you ever worked with a real estate agent who was eager to refer you to another agent in another real estate market?

Well, there’s a reason for that eagerness.

That reason is a “referral fee”.

One of the inside secrets of real estate is the practice of referring clients to other agents in return for receiving a portion of the receiving agent’s commission when a sale occurs.

In real estate speak, that’s called a referral fee.

Referral fees aren’t illegal, but I believe they should be fully-disclosed to all parties to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

When I have a client who’s relocating, I ask them if they’d like my help finding an agent in their new location.

If they want my help, I discuss the details of their move with them in detail so I understand their needs, wants, likes, and dislikes.

Then, I research the market where they will be relocating to identify competent agents who might be a good fit for my client.

Then, I “test” one or more of those agents by calling and e-mailing.

I actually hope they don’t answer their phone so I can leave a brief message to see how long it takes them to respond.

If they don’t respond promptly, I eliminate them from consideration.

Those agents who answer their phone on the first or second ring go to the top of the list!

I also evaluate their internet presence as an indicator of competence.

Agents with no internet presence, only a business card webpage, or a sub-page buried deep in their broker’s website, are automatically eliminated.

If they don’t understand the role of the internet in today’s real estate market, they’re probably lacking in other areas of real estate too.

Finally, I interview them on the phone to determine how active they are, how long they’ve been in real estate, if they’re full-time, if they know the area where my client will be relocating, and assess their business practices to determine if they’re a good fit for my relocating client.

If they pass those tests, I refer my client in return for a portion of their commission.

I also follow up on the transaction afterward.

In other words, I “earn” my referral fee vs. just passing along my client’s name, hoping to receive a referral fee.

Typical referral fees range between 20% to 25% of the receiving agent’s commission and cost the client nothing.

Corporate relocation companies also require referral fees from receiving agents and their fees are almost always considerably higher.

Agents willing to accept relocation company referrals are often required to pay a referral fee of 30% or more (I was offered one for 37% earlier this year and renegotiated it).

Referral fee agreements should be documented in writing before the transaction occurs.

In Idaho, it’s illegal to pay a real estate commission to anyone who’s not a real estate licensee.