New Water Heaters Will Soon Cost More

I’ll bet you’ve never heard of the NAECA, right?

NAECA is the acronym for the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act, which includes requirements for higher Energy Factor (EF) ratings on all residential gas, electric, oil, and tankless gas water heaters.

These new EF requirements will become effective April 16, 2015.

The bottom line?

New water heaters are going to cost more after April 16th ~ a lot more, in some instances.

To achieve higher EF ratings, new water heaters will be larger to accommodate additional insulation and other components.

That means some new water heaters will not fit into existing water heater spaces, requiring costly relocation and additional plumbing.

The new EF standards should decrease operating costs, but will likely increase maintenance costs for some new models due to their more complex design and integration of electronics, blowers, fans, condensers, etc.

Additional complexities of the new water heaters will also make it more difficult for do-it-yourself installations and require the services of licensed plumbing contractors.

We can also expect plumbing contractors to charge more to install these new water heaters because they will be larger and heavier, often requiring a two-person crew for installation.

Finally, new home builders will be including the additional cost of these new water heaters in their prices.

If you want to replace your current water heater before the April 16th deadline, you should check with local suppliers now because some current design waters are already in short supply.

For more information, check out this Bradford-White webinar.

 

Boise Homes For Rent: Renter’s Insurance

Renters often think they don’t need insurance when they’re considering Boise homes for rent.

They mistakenly think that the owner’s insurance policy will cover them too, but that isn’t true.

That’s why renters need a renter’s policy that will cover their personal possessions in the event of a fire, flood, or other catastrophic event.

Some renter’s policies will also cover the costs of living expenses if the renter has to live elsewhere after incurring a loss.

A policy covering up to $25,000 worth of contents and $300,000 of liability protection typically costs $125 to $300 a year.

That’s pretty inexpensive vs. having to replace all of your furniture, electronics, clothing, and other personal possessions.

Many renters think their personal property isn’t valuable enough to justify the expense of insurance, but insurers say the average renter often has $20,000 worth of personal possessions.

Renter’s policies typically cover clothing, furniture, electronics, and other common items.

Renters who have valuable items like antiques, firearms, and jewelry, should consider covering them specifically with an additional rider.

Renters should clearly understand the details of their rental coverage, including deductibles, replacement cost provisions, and other important aspects of their coverage.

Tired of renting?

I can show you how you can become a homeowner with a very low down payment and a house payment that may be lower than rent!

If you’d like to know more, call me at (208)938-5533 or e-mail me and let’s talk!

I love helping renters become homeowners!

 

Boise Homes: Price Per Square Foot

Why does everyone obsess over price per square foot?

If you’re looking at Boise homes on the internet, you’re probably focusing on price per square foot as an indicator of value.

Some buyers think price per square foot is the best way to determine value, but there’s a whole more to a home than the price per square foot.

First, square footage is often inaccurately stated, for a variety of reasons.

Some homes “grow” each time they’re sold because successive sellers convince their listing agent that the flyer they got when they bought the home stated “X’ square feet and listing agents often take the seller’s word for it without checking the public records for accurate info.

Some homes are purchased with unfinished square footage (bonus rooms, for example) that is then finished by the new owner. This is often done without the owner getting a building permit; thus the assessor still has the original square footage. Most sellers will include that square footage in their listing to achieve a lower price per square foot.

That’s why I always compare the public records’ square footage to the listing’s square footage before writing an offer for a buyer.

Second, what is IN the square footage is more important than the square footage itself.

It’s common to see larger homes with poor floor plans and wasted space that have a lower price per square foot.

Third, the price per square foot can vary substantially depending upon the number of levels of a home.

A two-story home with a basement will generally have a lower price per square foot because it’s cheaper to build that type of home.

A single-story rancher, loaded with upgrades, will usually have a higher price per square foot because it has a bigger footprint, more roof area, and more upgrades. Those additional costs must then be apportioned into fewer square feet.

Finally, the condition of the home will affect the price per square foot because a trashed REO property is not equal in value to a pride-of-ownership home maintained to perfection by the fussy original owner.

All of which is why I look at price per square foot as just one piece of the puzzle and not an absolute indicator of value.

 

Boise Homes: Why Size Matters

Most buyers of Boise homes naturally want accurate information about the size of the home they’re buying.

Buyers and their agents usually rely upon the square footage information stated in the MLS listing.

But, is that information accurate?

Listings often state the square footage obtained from the county assessor’s database.

The assessor gets his square footage data from the building department, based upon the building plans that were submitted prior to construction.

But, homes are often built differently than stated on the building plans without the assessor being informed.

Then there’s the common situation where a home is built and sold with unfinished living area (like a bonus room over the garage) that later becomes finished living area without the benefit of a building permit, again resulting in inaccurate assessor’s square footage data.

I also see homes that “grow” each time they’re sold because listing agents take their seller’s word for the square footage, resulting in each successive listing indicating more square footage.

Finally, there’s the human factor.

Three people can measure a home and come up with three different square footage numbers.

It’s not easy to calculate the square footage of a two-story home, for example, when the upper level has a different “footprint” than the lower level, not to mention angled bays, offset walls, and other complex design elements.

More often than not, appraisers’ square footage will vary somewhat from the assessor’s data.

My personal standard of practice is to rely upon the assessor’s data.

If the listing states significantly different information, I need a credible explanation.

 

The Typical Boise Real Estate Transaction

As with most things in life, there’s a proper sequence that works best in a Boise real estate transaction.

Here’s how most successful Boise real estate transactions get to a successful closing.

Pre-Approved Financing

Smart Boise home buyers obtain pre-approved financing before making an offer on their chosen home.

Few sellers will accept an offer without pre-approved financing, and buyers need to understand the details of their financing before looking at homes.

Offer Acceptance

This occurs after all of the arm-wrestling is done and both buyer and seller have reached agreement.

Depending upon the circumstances, there may be one or more counteroffers before buyer and seller reach agreement.

Escrow Is Opened

The act of opening escrow occurs when either the buyer’s agent or the listing agent sends a copy of the accepted offer to the designated escrow officer.

Home Inspection

The home inspection is ordered by the buyer’s agent and is coordinated with the listing agent and the seller.

The buyer selects the home inspector, pays for the inspection, and it’s usually done within a week after the offer is accepted.

Appraisal

It’s customary to wait to order the appraisal until inspections have been completed and all inspection issues have been resolved.

This prevents paying for an unnecessary appraisal in the rare instance where the inspection reveals inspection issues that can’t be resolved between buyer and seller.

Loan Processing

Most lenders will process the buyer’s loan throughout the escrow period and be prepared to draw loan documents immediately before closing.

Buyers should expect requests for documentation from their lender during loan processing.

Hopefully, your lender will not wait until the last minute to process/underwrite your loan.

Closing

Contrary to popular (mistaken) belief, closing doesn’t occur when buyer and seller sign their final documents.

Those of us in real estate go to great lengths to confuse everyone by calling the “signing appointment” a “closing appointment”  :roll:

Closing actually occurs when the deed is recorded at the county recorder’s office, which follows the lender wiring the loan funds into escrow (aka “funding the loan”).

Buyers usually get the keys to the home after the deed has been recorded.