Posts Tagged ‘fannie mae and freddie mac’

What to Ask A Home Inspector

August 18, 2016

Home inspections are a critical part of the home buying process. Don’t skimp out here. Inspectors are now marketing directly to buyers trying to get more business. Here are some questions to ask a home inspector prior to hiring them. HUD (Housing Urban Development) finds it so important they have a list of questions you can use. The Feds believe it is so important that when you get a loan from them there is a whole page as to why you should get an inspection. Here are my thoughts.
Prior to hiring:
1- How much does it cost? Let’s just get this out of the way. Simple enough most are around $300 bucks however depending on the extras the price goes up. Extras Rich? Yes, well, water and so on. If your home is larger than there can be additional fees as well.
2- Can I attend the inspection? Most inspectors cringe here and ask that you join them at the end of it. I say if you want to be there with the inspector and crawl the attic and crawl spaces have at it. If not then meet them there and go over the findings.
3- Are you insured and what does it cover? Follow up with if something pops up that should have been caught what remedies do you offer? Some have insurance for this; some offer a warranty, others you get the fee back you paid.
4- How have you been trained, what kind of experience do you have? How many inspections have you performed in the last year? Ask to see their last report, look for buzz words, see below. These are great qualifying questions.
5- Look at the report, what are major areas of concern? How easily can these be indentified? Some inspectors say all the window seals have failed (Buzz Word), rather than a particular window has moisture, sweating or fogging. Seals fail, is there water? Apparent break in attempt (buzz buzz) rather than door is damaged where lock is. Is there a police report or did the previous person forget their keys. My all time favorite? MOLD ooh, mold can be everywhere in all homes. Some mold is the bad kind; some is not and has been there for years.
6- How bad is it… really? A good home inspector should be able to discuss the report with you and offer insight on to how bad the damage could be. If they say you need to hire a specialist for everything they noted why hire them to begin with.
Of course you could ask your Realtor for a recommendation. Chances are they know a couple of good ones. All the Best Richie Rich

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Voting on the West Ada School District Bond Issue

March 8, 2015

The bond vote is Tuesday March 10th. Please get out and exercise your right to vote. I have heard several opinions on the matter. For the nays, the Board is top heavy (too much management), how come they don’t take pay cuts. The teachers make way too much. We can have bigger class room sizes. For the ayes, we need the rooms, kids don’t even get lunch because they run out, and teachers deserve raises.

All of the above are passionate discussion points. However I believe we should looks at other issues. Since this is my column, I choose to share my thoughts on it. I know I know You can’t wait to hear.

Despite what some elected officials say our schools are doing poorly in national rankings. I have a hard time thinking a major business will move here when the kids will need to attend the worst schools in the nation. Rich, what is your point? It has been proven that smaller class sizes result in higher learning. Vote Yes!

A trusted friend that works with children on the local and national level once told me that prison population estimates are based on what is going on in 3rd grade. Good gravy!!! I think smaller class sizes result in children at risk having a better chance of success and staying out of prison. Vote Yes!

Eagle Middle School is 250 students over capacity. Lake Hazel Middle School is 452 students over capacity. Heritage Middle School is 162 students over capacity. New construction in these areas is going well. New construction pumps lots of money into high paying jobs in economy and is helping the country get out of the recession. More homes mean more students, Vote Yes!

The bond will add 2 middle schools, 1 elementary and finish the remodel at Meridian High School. 1 middle school and the elementary are south of I84, the other middle school will be in Star. All underserved areas of our community that are experiencing growing pains. Vote Yes!

I have walked the halls of Meridian HS. It desperately needed a face lift. How a room, building look have an effect on the student and their ability to learn. Vote Yes!

The levy rate decreased this year. If the bond passes the levy rate remains the same. SAY WHAT RICH, we saved money? The rate does not increase? Damn straight! Vote Yes!

All the Best Richie Rich

What Warm Weather

March 3, 2015

The weather certainly has been a touch warmer than normal. What to do? Well, there’s always yard work. Especially if you are selling your home or thinking of selling. We had an early snow and there were lots of leaves trapped and they should be removed. Weeds are starting to sprout, as well as some springtime flowers. You may want to stop in at your favorite garden shop and see how to get rid of the weeds and protect the flowers. There are also some flowers you can plant that should survive this time of year.

You want to get your lawn ready to go. Seed, fertilize etc. If the house needs paint, you can start scraping it. I personally believe the weather has to be above 50 degrees to paint; however, there are other thoughts as well. If the fence needs repair, you can do that now.

On my own home, I am moving a fence line. I dug, okay okay, my son dug 5 post holes by hand and commented on how easy it was. I told him because of the wet weather digging is easier. By the time I ran to the hardware store for poles and cement, he was ready. I saved the cost of a power posthole digger. Plus, the manual labor was not so hard for a teenager to make him resent it. How lucky am I?!? Now that it is somewhat rainy and cooler, I can hang the new fence and stretch it without waiting for the posts to be installed – 1 month ahead of schedule.

Also, builders are sinking foundations in the ground. That is always good to see. New home construction always adds money to the economy especially with good paying jobs. Plus, new home buyers also need to purchase things such as blinds, carpeting, lawn and garden items, new furniture and the list goes on and that all helps the retail industry.

So enjoy the warm weather while it lasts. Get out in the yard now, so you can relax and enjoy it during the late spring/summer time.  All the Best Richie Rich

Too Much Information

February 18, 2015

Wow, there is a lot of information available to the consumer these days. All sorts of search engines to help you find your dream home, determine how much your home is worth, send out automatic updates, etc. Talk about information overload! I guess the hardest part is to figure out which system to trust. Say what Rich? Which system to trust? Oh yes, I say.

In the technology world, we search for ways to deliver clean information to the consumer. Clean information in real estate means current and standardized ways of reporting. Not spam that is intended to separate you from your money and/or be sold to those in the real estate industry.

So Rich, how do we find this clean information? Great question. Many of the MLS’s have their own website that has the most current information. Here in the Treasure Valley it is http://www.intermountainmls.com/listings/searchlistings.aspx

If I was looking for a home in another area I would begin with Realtor.com. They have requirements that the local MLS’s must adhere to. Generally clean information with advertising thrown in.  As my search intensified, I would find a local Realtor and see what websites they would recommend. Many people use Zillow. The information there can be good, however, Zillow allows consumers to put their own listings in there, such as for sale by owner. What’s wrong with that Rich? Well my friends, all that glitters is not gold. There are actually people out there who post false information trying to get your information and your money. Well imagine that. Craigslist, you ask? One rental scheme would actually advertise, “Don’t tell the Realtor,” suggesting the complicity will get you a better deal. Oh my. That’s not to say all is bad. Just be cautious.

Automatic updates, I love them. I use them to review homes for my clients before sending them on. However, they are only as good as the search parameters used to set them up. Some search engines send what they think is close to what you are looking for. You sign up by yourself and then you get the new listings as soon as they hit the market. At times, this can be overwhelming and supply TMI. Other times, very few homes are found due to the number of “must haves” that have been entered.

So what’s a consumer to do, Rich? Find a reputable website, double check the information with a Realtor and make informed decisions, not overloaded decisions. All the Best, Richie Rich

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2015

It is that time of year, Valentine’s Day. Rich, I hear you say, what does this have to do with real estate? Well, I’ll tell you. I am trying to decrease sales of homes from couples who forget Valentine’s Day. Or, at least some of them who forgot. Fellas?

Do you recall when you first met your bride? You would do anything to see them. Sit next to them, actually listen to what they have to say? And now, you sit on your lazy boy, by yourself and fall asleep mid sentence. Romantic, you ask? Yes, I say. It is truly romantic as you are headed into true love, each of you accepting the other for who they are. So, that is why we have Valentine’s Day. A time to show the world, and I mean their friends, how much you love your spouse, partner, significant other, etc.

I feel it is my mission to make every person who works with, and knows my bride, to want to go home and slug their partner right in the nose!

So Rich, what have you done? Ooh, love this question. I have had quartets show up and serenade her, roses delivered one at a time with a different message on each card, flowers, candy, balloons, gifts from the kids, dinners both out and cooked by me, out for lunch, and over decorate her work place, to name a few.

Hey Rich, what are you doing this year? Not telling, I say.  Remember, I want to have everyone else go home and be mad at their partner. However, here is an idea. Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday. Going to be hard to get a reservation this late, so what about starting on Friday? A night out, a weekend getaway, flowers to the workplace, a stretch limo picks you both up before you both go out and then drives you home after the night out. Get the family together Saturday for brunch. Oh, the list goes on and on.

We should tell those we love, that we love them all the time. Telling someone you love them, and meaning it, is a huge morale booster. When my children get me oh so angry and we argue, at the end of it I tell them I love you and I expect to hear it back from them. The message is simple. We can disagree, fight; yet no matter what, I will always love you. I do the same with my bride. I tell her I accept her as she is and I am not asking her to change. Learning to accept others as they are can be a tough thing to do. Happy Valentine’s Day, from my home to yours, All the Best Richie Rich

2014 Numbers Are In

January 26, 2015

So readers, how did housing do in 2014? Not too bad, I would say. Let’s take a look.

Existing Home Sales in Ada County

Sales were roughly the same compared to 2013. We were down 0.52%. We sold 6,295 homes in 2014. In 2013, we sold 6,328. The cost of existing homes went up with the average price up 3.79% and the median price up 5.37%. In 2014, the median price was $193,000, average price $229,751. In 2013, median price was $183,170, average price $221,361. In a normal market, we appreciate 4%. So, we are right in line with a normal market. Feels good after a few crazy years.

New Construction Sales in Ada County

New construction took a hit in the sales department, being down 10.21% in Ada County. In 2013, we sold 1,636 new homes. In 2014, 1,469 new homes were sold.  The price of new construction went up sharply however. In 2014, the average price was up 13.53%, the median was up 12.81%. I suspect some of this price increase was based upon the cost of materials, which went up in quite a few sectors

Days On Market DOM

In addition to being asked how much is my home worth, I am often asked how long will it take to sell my home. Of course, I tell them it has to be priced right and it will sell. So let’s look at the numbers for a well priced home. For residential resale in Ada County, the average DOM was 52 days in 2014, 51 days in 2013, which coincides with the sales numbers being the same. In new construction 2014, DOM was 73 days compared to 53 days in 2013. This also matches the market sales numbers.

All in all, 2014 was a good year. Things were normal. There is something to be said for being normal.

If you would like to see how your area did or research other numbers, please visit: http://publicstats.intermountainmls.com/static/Reports/Ada/2014/2014-Ada.pdf

I thank the Local IMLS for their support in putting these numbers together for us and making them available. Here’s to 2015!  All the Best, Richie Rich

Real Estate in 2015

January 12, 2015

It is that time of year again, time for the Rich Nesbit forecast on the real estate market. Where will the market go? Let’s take a look.

Home Prices: I believe that this year home prices will show a comfortable increase of 4%. On average, that is the rate of growth in Idaho for real estate. Last year’s results are not yet in, however we did not reach the 20% appreciation mark overall. Resale residential will be around 5-6% growth and new construction will be around 13-14%. Increased inventory levels slowed the pace.

Housing Inventory: Levels will remain near normal. Supply should stay around 4-6 months.  A normal market is around a 3-6 month supply. We were near normal for most of the year in 2014.

Interest rates: Rates show they will continue to stay low. If Treasury notes drop to 1%, look for interest rates to drop as well. Lots of thoughts as to why it is low and why it may go lower. More on that later.

Unemployment: Jobs are doing well for the most part here in Idaho. For those of us with friends and family in the Oil Fields, such as North Dakota, if crude continues to drop then there could be layoffs of high paying jobs. Canada has seen some of this already. Companies here in the States say they are convinced they can continue even if Oil hits $40 dollars a barrel; however, only time will tell.

The real estate market is affected by so many more factors than the few listed here. I believe we will have a stable market, with some growth. All the Best Richie Rich

Happy New Year

December 30, 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, I am reminded of several great accomplishments. The Coaching System I use suggests there are 5 Circles that help determine who we are. I will share them here in no particular order.

Personal – I started working out again. I strength train and do aerobics in the pool as well as Yoga Namaste

Family – My kids are growing up so fast. Both teenagers; one driving and dating. A new life experience that I am enjoying. My wife graduated from College. Thank you Boys and Girls Club and University of Phoenix. We were blessed by you many times over and hope to pay it forward as well.

Spiritual – My relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has grown deeper this year. I choose not to share much in this area.

Financial – Now that we are out of the depression/recession that has been rocking our universe, I find I am struggling less and living more. What’s not to love?

Business – This has many faces. I still write for the Valley Times. Thank You, Frank. You are an awesome editor and offer great support. Thank you, my dear readers. I am always amazed that people read my articles and send me messages about them. Or talk to me about them when we meet. In real estate, I again set new personal bests for me. Thank you all for your help and support. I also brought on an assistant. Pam, you do not realize how much your help means to me. Thank you so much. In addition to having a Coaching, system I have brought on a personal Coach. Robin [sic] the goal has been set with you. Now let’s achieve it. In the community, I was asked to serve as a Commissioner on The Historic Preservation Committee. I trust and I pray that I serve the people well. Thank you, Mayor Tammy, for asking; Lila for suggesting me, Jaycee and Bill for your advice and help, and the rest of the Commissioners and Chairman for your support, advice and direction. What a great Team I am included in.

Oh?? What’s that you say? My New Year’s Resolution? I choose to use my coaching and training to reach new heights. To give me the time and ability to do the things in life that are fun and exciting to me, while running a successful business. To live …the good life. All the Best Richie Rich

Christmas and Liverwurst

December 26, 2014

Hello my Faithful Readers and New Comers. This year I will share a personal story about  myself for Christmas…I hope You Enjoy It.

One of my fondest memories as a child was coming home from Candle Light Service and having a special snack. My oldest brother always wanted spaghetti, what my other two brothers ate I do not recall. Me, I always wanted liverwurst on Ritz crackers.

Since we lived in a German neighborhood there was never a shortage of liverwurst to be found. What great memories it produces to this day.

You see my Dad died when I was in 6th grade. Mom had to go to work and money was tight. So a special treat, an extra, always made me happy. With 3 brothers, a Grandma and 2 dogs, there were not many extras. There was always food on the table and a roof over our heads. We lived in a four-room, railroad car, flat style apartment.

Mom did not believe in welfare, etc. and as we boys got older, we all worked and put our money on the table to help with the bills. To me it was not a big deal, just what we did. I remember my first boss telling me he would not pay me; he would give it to my Mom or Grandma. No big deal, it was headed there anyway I thought, proud that in 7th grade I had my working papers and a job.

So knowing I would have liverwurst that night was a big deal to me. I knew the presents under the tree would be okay. Underwear, socks and the other things we needed. Nothing a young boy/teenager would be excited about for the most part. And truly not caring or understanding that we were poor. Liverwurst was my choice and I always got it. No suggestions for anything else, just what did you want for a snack after Church. MmmMmm.

As the song says, “Don’t cry for me.” I was and am happy. I still eat liverwurst and am grateful for the good memories it creates. It reminds me of the reason for the season. Church, family, good memories. Merry Christmas to All and to all a good night! Richie Rich

About Your Roof New and Old

December 8, 2014

Well the storm chasers have come through and many in the Treasure Valley are grinning because they received new roofs from their insurance company. Getting a major repair done is very rewarding and having it paid for by your insurance company is even better. I trust all is done well on your repair. OH, don’t worry Rich, we used a contractor. The same one all our neighbors used. Theirs looked good.

Right now all my warning systems are going off and beginning to overload. As a Dad my kids know that I trust them and believe in them. They also know this trust and belief contains the added touch of checking up on them once in awhile. It’s part of the job. So why treat a stranger with more trust than your own family members. Don’t feel bad, it’s human nature to be harder on our loved ones. What I am saying is get an independent person to check out the repair work.

Say what Rich! Get an inspection? Yes dear readers, hire someone to check the work that was done. Even the best repair people make mistakes. When they are told of them they are happy to fix any issues that have occurred. Why wait for rain or snow to create a problem that you may not see for a few years. Or turn up when you try to sell your home. Be pro active and prudent and have it checked out.

OK Rich, who is going to do that, who can I hire? Well I’ll tell you. How about a home inspector or handyman? They look at roofs and/or repair them all the time. They should be able to tell you if they see a problem. Personally I would hire a home inspector. Call your favorite Realtor and ask for the name of someone they recommend.

Good idea Rich, I’m ok though, my roof is 10 years old. I would say my friend if you have not climbed on top of it and walked it in the last year or so then perhaps you should pay someone to do it for you. Old and new, a little checking can’t hurt. It may cost a few dollars now that prevent a major cost down the line. All the Best Richie Rich


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