Change Your Locks After Closing

It’s common practice for buyers to be given the keys to the home they bought when escrow closes.

In fact, it’s an accepted ritual that has been going on forever.

In most instances, the listing agent leaves the keys and the garage keypad code with the escrow officer, who then releases them to the buyer upon closing.

I have often wondered if this is a good idea.

Think about this for a moment!

How many neighbors and family members have an extra key for the home?

If it’s a new home, how many subcontractors have a key or know the garage keypad code?

I’m guessing that it’s very rare for the previous owner to have sole possession of all keys, extra garage door controllers, and the garage keypad code.

That’s why I recommend that buyers have all locks re-keyed by a locksmith and change the garage keypad code immediately after closing.


Meridian, Idaho Homes: Renting vs. Buying

Should you rent or buy?

It’s a frequent question from people who are looking at Meridian, Idaho homes.

The answer often involves more than just money.

Buying is a longer-term commitment that includes both financial commitments and more responsibilities than renting.

If there’s a possibility that you’ll be moving within a couple of years, you’re almost certainly better off renting than buying.

Renting provides more flexibility, doesn’t require a down payment or buyer closing costs, and your landlord takes care of the property.

But, the landlord also dictates how you must live in his home.

If you’re reasonably sure you will not be moving within a couple of years, you should consider buying a home.

Buying a home allows you to build equity as you pay down your mortgage instead of paying off your landlord’s mortgage.

And, you’ll have the freedom to live as you wish without a landlord or property manager dictating what you must do with his home while you are paying for it.

There are also many financial considerations.

Here’s a comparison of renting vs. buying, using a $200,000 home as an example:


  • $1,250 – $1,300/month rent
  • One-year lease (likely)
  • Security deposit (varies)
  • First and last month’s rent (varies)
  • Pet deposit (varies)


  • $200,000 purchase price
  • $20,000 down payment
  • $180,000 loan – 30 year, fixed-rate, 4.25% interest rate
  • $1,050 estimate payment (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance)

Things To Consider

  • Depending upon the buyer’s eligibility, there are loan programs available with as little as zero down payment, or low down payments.
  • Some sellers will pay buyer’s closing costs; thereby reducing the amount of money needed to purchase.
  • Homeowners are also often able to deduct certain costs of home ownership on their tax returns.

Would you like some help analyzing buying vs. renting for our own specific situation?

I would be happy to meet with you and help you figure out what’s best for you with no obligation or sales talk.

Give me a call at (208)938-5533 to schedule your own private consultation.


Home Loans: What Not To Do

Buyers who are in the midst of getting home loans often don’t understand how precarious their position is while they’re in escrow.

One of my recent transactions illustrates how critically-important it is for buyers to be aware of what they can and cannot do when they’re buying a home.

My young buyers were anxious to achieve the American Dream and own their first home.

We found the right home, got their offer accepted, and thought we were on our way to a smooth closing.

As the closing date approached, the lender did their last-minute credit check, along with re-verifying employment status, and confirming adequate funds to close.

That’s when I got the call from the lender, asking me if I knew my buyers had bought and financed a new vehicle a few days earlier.

So, I called my buyers and learned all about their beautiful new $70,000 Yukon Denali XL with the Mocha Steel Metallic paint, 6.2 liter V-8 with 403 horsepower, nav system, 8,000 lb. towing package, third-row seats, rear DVD system, and special financing with no payments until it’s worn out.

They bought a beautiful new rig, but the lender didn’t share their excitement.

We were unable to close because the new Yukon payment resulted in the buyer exceeding the debt:income ratio required for their new mortgage.

If you’re buying a home, it’s critically important that you do not take on any additional debt during escrow after loan approval.

Lenders are required to complete last-minute confirmations of every last detail of your financial stats before they fund your loan.

Now you know!