How To Buy A Home In Boise: Part I

This is Part I of a two-part post

There are many ways to approach buying a home.

As you might imagine, some methods work better than others.

Here’s how you can smoothly navigate your way and buy a home in Boise (or Meridian, Eagle, Kuna, Star, or Nampa!)

  • Meet with a lender and get pre-approved for your financing before you start looking at homes. Note that I said “pre-approved”; not “pre-qualified”. The difference lies in the fact that pre-approval means that your lender will actually underwrite your loan application and issue a letter indicating that you are fully approved for your loan vs. pre-qualification usually means that your lender has given only a cursory glance at your qualifications and provided only a tentative indication of your borrowing ability. It is vitally important that you be pre-approved so you can attach your loan commitment letter to your offer to purchase and thereby strengthen your negotiating position.
  • Make two lists of features for your intended home: a list of the “must have” features, and a list of “features wanted”. Your must haves will be things like the number of bedrooms, baths, garage size, square footage, school district, etc. Your want list will be things like the color of carpet, fireplace, large patio, etc. – things you would like to have, but can live without.
  • Find a Realtor® you trust and respect, and hire them to represent you. Doing so will allow you to make the best use of your time, and will assure your Realtor® that he/she has your written commitment of loyalty. Absent this written understanding, you are merely a “customer” instead of a “client” of the Realtor®. Few experienced, successful Realtors® will devote serious time and energy to you without that written agreement.
  • Explain your circumstances, needs, and wants with your Realtor® and work in partnership with your Realtor® to find a workable solution to your real estate needs. Finding and buying the right house often takes a lot of work, and you will doubtless encounter some obstacles along the way. For this reason, it is vitally important that you be able to develop a good working relationship with your Realtor® and that you can both be open and honest with each other.
  • Narrow your property search to a few areas that will meet your needs and be realistic in your expectations. Few homes will have 100% of the elements you are hoping to find, and you will probably find it necessary to compromise to get most of what you want. Work with your Realtor® and screen the properties that are initially of interest to you to narrow the field down to the final few best candidates.
  • When you finally get down to the final 2-3 homes that appear to be your final possibilities, have your Realtor® do a market analysis of the neighborhood to determine if the homes are properly priced for current market conditions. If possible, try to find out why the sellers are selling. Successful negotiations always include both buyer and seller getting enough of what they need from the transaction to make it work. If you can find out what the seller needs, you can often incorporate those needs into your offer and also get what you want.

(see you tomorrow for Part II)

 

Boise Homes: Spring Maintenance Tips

Downspout Extension

Spring has sprung and our Winter weather is behind us.

Now, it’s time to think about some simple Spring home maintenance tips.

Lawn Care

If you have pressurized irrigation, you’ll soon have irrigation water available.

Now is a good time to apply your first feeding of fertilizer to ensure that you will have a lawn that’s the envy of your neighborhood.

It’s also a good time to apply pre-emergent weed killer to your border areas.

Finally, remember to apply insect killer to your lawn to avoid billbug infestation.

If you have outdoor pets, consider using all-natural fertilizer and pesticides.

Spring showers, or your irrigation water, will make it easy to water in your fertilizer and pesticides.

Gutters

Our Spring season usually brings some rain, so it’s a good time to remove debris from your gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage.

Cleaning your gutters and downspouts will help prevent overflows that can cause crawlspace moisture.

I also recommend installing flexible downspout extensions if you haven’t already done so.

It’s always a good idea to channel drainage away from your foundation to avoid crawlspace moisture problems.

You can get them at Lowe’s or The Home Depot for about $8 and they’re a lot cheaper than the cost of remediating crawlspace moisture.

Foundation Vents

With our milder Spring weather, it’s time to open your foundation vents.

Opening your vents will allow cross-ventilation and help keep your crawlspace dry.

 

Boise Singles: Buy A House Without A Spouse!

In the past, people often waited until they got married to buy a home.

Times have changed.

According to a 2014 National Association of Realtors® survey, singles now comprise 25% of all home buyers.

Of those single buyers, 16% were single women and 9% were single men.

The logic is really pretty simple.

Rents, in many instances, equal or exceed the monthly payment for a comparable home.

If you can afford the rent, you can afford the house payment.

But, then, there’s that little matter of a down payment.

Many buyers think they need 10% or 20% down to buy a home.

That’s a popular myth, but simply not true.

FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment.

Some IHFA loan programs are available with as little as $500 down.

Numerous conventional loan programs require 10% or less down.

VA loans (for military veterans) require zero down payment.

What about closing costs?

In many instances, buyers can negotiate for the buyer’s closing costs to be paid by the seller as part of the purchase price.

I have helped many Boise singles buy their own home with as little as $500 out of pocket and payments less than rent for a comparable home.

Are you single and tired of paying for your landlord’s home?

Would you like to own your home and be building equity for yourself vs. your landlord?

Gee, maybe you could even have a dog!  :lol:

Give me a call at (208)938-5533 or e-mail me with your questions.

I love helping homeless people become homeowners!

 

Boise Jobs: Boise Ranked #1

 

Boise Jobs

A new survey by ManpowerGroup reports strong opportunities for Boise jobs during Spring 2015.

ManPowerGroup surveyed 18,000 employers around the country, asking about their plans to add staff, reduce staff, or remain at current employment levels during the Spring 2015 quarter (April through June).

The study’s results indicated that 32% of Boise Area employers plan to add additional personnel during the quarter.

Interestingly, the study ranked Boise above Seattle and other major U.S. cities for Spring 2015 employment prospects.

e-mail me if you would like a copy of the complete survey.

Source: ManPowerGroup

 

Boise Real Estate: 2015 Spring Market

It’s mid-March and the Boise real estate Spring market has arrived!

Buyers are out in full force, confirmed by 1,137 pending sales as of this morning.

To put that number in context, we usually see 1,100+ pending sales a couple of months later in most years.

In comparison, we had 897 pending sales at this time last year.

That means we have 26.8% more pending sales now vs. a year ago at this time.

We also have a severe shortage of listings with only 1,990 homes for sale in Ada County.

In some MLS areas (SE Boise comes to mind), we have less than two months’ supply of listing inventory.

For Ada County, we have 3.0 months’ supply of listing inventory as of this morning.

Six months’ supply of listings is considered a “balanced market” where neither buyer nor seller has the advantage.

At this point, those numbers indicate that we are in a seller’s market.

Our Spring market is still young, so we will (hopefully) see more listing inventory come on the market over the next 30-45 days.

If we don’t, we can expect rising sales prices as a result of multiple offers for the relatively few homes on the market.

I will be posting frequently on market activity and listing inventory in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Data pertains to Ada County single-family homes on lot or acreage.

Data does not include condo or townhome properties.

Months’ supply = available listings divided by the average monthly closed sales for the past twelve months.