Posts Tagged ‘fannie mae and freddie mac’

Let’s Take Back Control

November 29, 2014

I believe the time has come for the Cities to take back control. Ada County does the best job they can, but they must serve all areas in Ada County. I appreciate why they were plowing the hills in the North End, however I would still have liked my street plowed. When they are rebuilding a road in an area, I believe it would be easier if the City did it. The City could coordinate water, sewer, irrigation much easier and have all the departments work together instead of them representing different interests. So I am saying the City should take control of the irrigation water, ditches, etc. as well.

But Rich, that would cost so much in startup costs. Not as much as we think and probably more than most would care to hear. For example, the city could combine resources of the Water Department and Parks and Rec for digging equipment. The Cities could take over trash services and use the garbage trucks for plowing snow.

It may not be as easy as I think, but I believe it is something we should be looking at. When the Cities in the area were smaller it made much more sense to join forces and share costs. However, we have all grown and it may be time to reevaluate our choices.

Recently the Meridian School District became the West Ada School District to better identify the community it serves. Well what about a Meridian School District and a West Ada School District? I would prefer having a district that focused on the needs unique to my area than one that needs to focus on multiple areas.

If Cities in the area are going to continue to grow, as is expected, then a hard look at what services we currently contract out should be reviewed.

Perhaps Cities should have their own courts, civil and criminal. It seems that the time added to an officers day would be better spent not traveling to Boise for hearings and depositions, but rather staying closer to home. Perhaps having our own prosecutors would be another possible solution.

The possibilities are endless; did I mention our own ambulances, out of the Fire Department as well? As we continue to grow, these are things we should be evaluating for cost effectiveness. The service providers we have do a great job. I am just wondering out loud if it could be better, and if the people would be better served that way.  All the best Richie Rich

Happy Thanksgiving

November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Too often we forget how lucky we are and what we have to be thankful for. So I started a tradition in my home.  As is the tradition in my home, we share what we are thankful for.

First and foremost I am thankful for my faith and belief in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He has never let me down, and as my faith deepens, I am constantly reminded how great He has been to me.

I am thankful for my family, friends and associates. I am thankful that Frank Thomason is my editor and gives me the ability and latitude to write my thoughts down. He is a great mentor for me and I am thankful for his mentorship as well.

I am thankful that Mayor Tammy asked me to serve as a Commissioner on the Historic Preservation Committee and I was able to accept. I am thankful for all those who serve with me. So much knowledge and abilities.

I am thankful for all my friends at the Steelheads. What a great group.

I am thankful for my business being able to support my wife, children and the lifestyle we are leading where family is first. A true blessing. A special thank you to all who used my services and helped me reach my goals.

I am thankful for all the people in the businesses that support my business as well. Title Companies, loan officers, inspectors – the list is endless.

I am thankful for the roof over my head and the food on my table.

I am thankful for you, my dear readers. I am absolutely amazed how many times people recognize me and send me comments on my articles. I am and feel so blessed every time it happens. Thank you dear readers.

And now a toast (I wrote this myself; it is pretty good even if I say so myself): Here’s to a roof over our heads, heat in the home, food on the table, surrounded by family and friends, all Blessed by the Lord. Everything else is an extra.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.  All the Best Richie Rich

Veterans Day Thank a Vet

November 7, 2014

It never ceases to amaze me that we get our holidays confused. This is one holiday we should never confuse. This is the time of year and the day where we thank people for the service that they have given to our country. We thank them for giving up their time. We thank them for giving up some of their freedom so that we may enjoy our freedoms. Life in the military may not be easy all the time and it’s not acceptable to everyone. I am grateful for those who choose it and thankful for those who continue to follow its career path. Many places offer special thanks to Veterans by offering them discounts and deals. The Veterans have earned the right and deserve that. So let me tell you about one for real estate.

In real estate a Veteran that has been honorably discharged can get a no money down loan and have no closing costs in order to buy their home. It is not the based upon their credit history.  It is more based on the fact they have served their country. Credit is looked at however higher scores are not a requirement. What an incredible benefit and advantage they are being giving. I hope this continues for many years. It does not matter if they have served overseas or only stateside. It does not matter if they have been in war or never been off to war. “A soldier trains for war and prays for peace”. McArthur, Patton, Eisenhower, Bonaparte; many have said this in different ways. For the loan the biggest part is that they serve their country with honor. Both regular military and National Guard members can earn this benefit.
Rich it sounds so great there must be a catch. Ha ha yes my dear reader there is. In order for the Veteran to use this service. The seller of the home must agree to pay more than normal in closing costs. It will cost the seller of a home about an additional $700. I think this is a small fee that any seller of a home should feel great to give a member of the military. I find it distasteful that some people in the community decide that they should charge extra if you’re using a VA loan. Shame on them. Happy Veteran’s Day, God Bless and most of all, if you are a Veteran, Thank You For Your Service!!! All the Best Richie Rich

Good Fences and Good Neighbors

November 3, 2014

I believe good neighbors are helped by good fences. The nice cedar picket style fence with dog ears that Tim the Tool Man used to speak with Wilson over on Home Improvement. Lot of problems solved with that fence. Each side safe in their world yet open to suggestions from another. Good fence Good Neighbor.

Sometimes just a fence of any kind works. I owned a place one time that 3 different fences. One cyclone style, one wire four square, and one that had just strands running along it. I was sad that I couldn’t convince my neighbors to come to an agreement. Each one wanted to do their own thing however we were still good neighbors. These fences helped establish boundaries between the land and us.

Rich who gets the good side of the fence? Well I guess that depends on what you consider the good side. I like having the 2×4’s on my side. I can climb on them and peek over. I have seen them “Courtesy Style” where they alternate sides. I am not much of a fan for that, perhaps I am too linear.

The really hard part is who takes care of the fence, when it breaks, when it needs staining etc. Generally the neighbor who helped install it has moved and the new owner does not want to fix it. Very frustrating. Perhaps you can supply the material and they do they work. Better yet if it is bothering you, just do it yourself or pay someone to do the whole thing. Then just ask your neighbor if it is OK. Many times once you offer to pay for the whole thing yourself they want to help. Just talk with them. Over the fence.

Don’t forget the goodies. Share the harvest of flowers, or veggies with your neighbor. If you can the harvest then share a jar or two. Being a good neighbor is fun and makes life good. Sharing with a neighbor is one of the benefits of having a home. I have had neighbors come to weddings, graduations and funerals. All part of life made better by having someone who cares. One of the best neighbors I knew used to wait for us to get home from the funeral parlor and she would bring over dinner, dessert, pots of coffee everything we would need to comfort ourselves. She could not come to see her friend who had passed yet she still wanted us to know she was there for us. How lucky was the family to have a neighbor like this. We called her Anna Banana and she loved it. She would make the kids lollipops during the holidays. Taught me a lot about being a neighbor and friend. I always enjoyed our talks, on the stoop and over the fence. All the Best Richie Rich

Figuring it Out in Housing

October 14, 2014

My clients are usually afraid they have wasted my time and or theirs by changing what they want. No way I say. We as a society have decided that we must know exactly what we want and it must be incredible. It must be different than everyone else’s and set a new bar. We are not allowed to change our thoughts and say so. We are not allowed to be wrong or make a mistake. PHOOEY I say. Part of my job as a Realtor is to provide choices to my clients and help them make informed decisions. Not make them do something they don’t want. We should offer choices and help them determine what they do want. I am a sounding board that proffers solutions when needed. I give them my best opinion, because they deserve it and value it. They also know the final decision is theirs. Once the decision is made I help them reach their goal.

And then the goals/wants change. UH OH. Not to worry I say, this happens. What has changed that you want to change what we have been working towards. Sometimes I know, a single person all of a sudden bringing a friend along and we start looking at different homes. Sometimes they tell me, Rich now that I have seen it, I hate it. No worries, what don’t you like, what do you want and how do we get there. Sometimes they are angry at their situation and just want it to go away, loss of income, job change, troubles at home. No worries, this too shall pass and when it does come back, let’s work together again. There are times they just don’t say.

The hardest part is helping others understand that what they want may not be a reality. Sometimes the client accepts this and sometimes they don’t.  We don’t want to crush dreams however we should be open and give them the information to make better decisions. Giving someone an open honest no is not a bad thing to tell someone, except in our world today.

As we get older we are more concerned with making a mistake we cannot recover from. Many have seen their life’s work lost in the last few years. Many think they cannot recover. They have lost hope. I say if you have made it once, you can do it again and it will be easier. You already know what to do. So don’t worry. If you change your mind it is OK. Go ahead and make an informed decision. If you don’t like it you can always change. All the Best Richie Rich

Fall is Here! Time to Work on Your Home!

October 14, 2014

Fall is HERE! Leaves are turning, weather is cooling. Our eyes turn skyward to watch the ducks and geese fly or we watch a game being played in the park as we stroll by. Hunting season has begun and the big opening day is nearly upon us. Mmm so it must be…time to work on our homes. UGH Sorry team there are chores that need doing. Here are some things to check and work on to get you going.

How are the gutters? Are they clean? Do they need replacing? Don’t forget the down spouts.

Have you scheduled a time to blow out the sprinklers? If you are buying or selling a home get a copy of the receipt for this service.

It’s a good time to seal cracks in driveways and walkways. They sell a caulking type sealer that seems to work well on this type of repair.

Walk around your home and see if you need to caulk windows and doors.

Change the filters on your furnace and give it a test run. Call a qualified repairperson to service it.

How does the roof look? Do you need repairs?

Do the smoke detectors work in your home? Do you have a snow shovel and ice remover?

Don’t forget the winter fertilizer for your lawn. What else do you need to do in the garden?

Most important, what about you? Does your coat fit? Do you need new boots, gloves etcetera? The kids or your spouse need them?

Now the fun stuff. Do you have the makings for chili, soup and stew? I like to pre make some and keep it handy to warm me up when I am tired wet and chilly from working outside. It also smells great as I run inside my home for a minute. Nothing like a bowl of stew after working in the yard on a cool damp fall day. LOVE IT! All the Best Richie Rich


June 28, 2013

1.    MEET WITH A TRUSTWORTHY REALTOR. The truth is no matter which Realtor you choose you must make a connection with that person. You must be on the same page as far as that Realtor’s availability. Ask them if they are a full time Realtor or if they earn their living another way. How much time do they have to work with you? When are they available to go look at homes? How many closings have they had in the last 12 months?


2.    LENDERS: After selecting the right Realtor for you have the Realtor help you choose a lender. The Realtor should be able to suggest several types of loans to you that may meet your needs. The lender will help decide which works best for you. The lender and the Realtor need to work well together so that when an offer to purchase a home is made the terms are correct to help you get the home you want. The loan officer will ask you to fill out an application:


3.    EARNEST MONEY: When writing an offer to purchase a property, you will generally need to include a personal check, a cashier’s check or cash (all known as earnest money). This represents your sincerity in the attempt to purchase and is usually refundable if the offer is not accepted. An earnest money deposit of at least $1000 is generally required. This money is kept in a trust fund account and is not turned over to the seller until called for by the contract.


4.    Once the purchase agreement has been accepted by the seller, the lending institution you have chosen, with your realtor’s help, will be contacted to process a new loan and appraisal.

5.    Escrow will be opened at a title company. The title company should be a neutral third party that gathers the legal documents and funds on behalf of buyer and seller, and distributes them according to the buyers and sellers instructions.

6.    A home inspection will be conducted. If necessary repairs will be negotiated and completed

7.    You will be asked to name an insurance agent as a home owner’s policy will be necessary prior to closing escrow.


8.    The title company, with the help of your lender will provide an approximate dollar amount that you will need prior to the close of escrow.


9.    If you plan to close escrow by mail, please be sure to allow plenty of time to mail all documents so they arrive at the title company before escrow is scheduled to close.


10.  Before moving in, be sure the utility companies have been notified and deposits made, if necessary.


11.  Moneys required at the close of escrow (down payment, closing costs, etc.) should be in the

form of a cashier’s check. Personal checks may be accepted however they could delay closing.


12.  When all the necessary papers have been signed and the moneys received, the documents are

recorded. The escrow officer will make the necessary monetary disbursements Once documents have been recorded, title to the property (ownership) has changed hands.



Boise area home prices are going up; with mortgage rates starting to rise it’s a GREAT time to buy a home in Idaho! I can help you find the homes you are looking for in Boise, Meridian, Star, Eagle and more! Visit my website to start searching on your own or contact me to get the help of a qualified Idaho REALTOR® ! I specialize in homes in Meridian but can help you find the perfect place no matter what city you want to live in!

Hey Rich, What do You Think?

June 6, 2013

Would anyone be surprised to hear that sales are up? Prices are up? Nope I doubt it. So sales are up and prices are up. Basic law of supply and demand, buyers are buying, inventory is low. We have a 3 month supply of homes available based upon sales as of April 30th. Existing home sales are down 2.5% and new construction is up 33%. (Year to date totals compared to last year.) The pent up demand for housing has lowered us from a 4 month supply back to 3. A normal market is about a 6 month supply of homes.

So Rich, enough of the numbers, what do you think? I think home prices and supply will level off. I believe sellers are now waiting to see how high prices will go. I understand the thought. One seller asked me if prices will come down. Possibly.  I think we will see a 5% appreciation for the year with some small hiccups as inventory levels change.

I also believe investors will back off as prices compared to rents and cash flow will not make cents (pun intended). A rental home that sells for $150,000 and rents for $950 dollars has a cash basis of about 5%. That same home is now selling for $160,000 – $165,000 which equals about a 4.5% return.  Not very motivating for some investors.

I think interest rates will go up. This will also keep prices down. Buying power is diminished as interest rates go up. I think people will still need places to live and land is a limited commodity. We aren’t making any more.

I also think lots of other things however they are not in an area I specialize in so I will hold these thoughts back. As always give it six months and we will see if I am correct. Happy House Hunting, All the Best Richie Rich


Boise area home prices won’t stay this low; with mortgage rates still at historic levels it’s a GREAT time to buy a home in Idaho! I can help you find the homes you are looking for in Boise, Meridian, Star, Eagle and more! Visit my website to start searching on your own or contact me to get the help of a qualified Idaho REALTOR® ! I specialize in homes in Meridian but can help you find the perfect place no matter what city you want to live in!

Million Dollar Homes Are Being Sold

April 18, 2013

Wow, that’s an exciting headline. Million dollar homes, homes; plural that is, are being sold. Right here in Ada County. Since January of this year three homes priced a million dollar plus have sold here. Three more have accepted offers and are pending. Only one of the homes that sold was a short sale. None were a bank owned property Woohoo. One a month is pretty exciting. More importantly we having been selling about 1 per month since January of 2012. Of those two were a short sale.

Why is that exciting you ask? Well I’ll tell you. For every two home sales we have (based on a sales price of $173,000) we create 2 jobs. It is great to see that much money being re circulated in our economy. How much money you ask? A bunch, heck two jobs were created. For those who want to crunch the numbers at the end of this article is the math presented by the National Association of Realtors.

When a home is sold in Idaho:
– $10,386 of income is generated from real estate related industries.
– $5,647 is spent on consumer items such as furniture, appliances, and paint service.
– $2,437 is spent on remodeling within two years of home purchase.

(NAR, see link below)

What’s it like in other States ? Look here:

Impact of Single Existing Home Purchase

Median Price $173,000

Real Estate   Industries Related   Industries
Local   Economic
New Housing
$15,570 + $5,235 + $9,987 + $27,738 = $58,529

GDP can be measured in three ways, one of which is the sum of all income1. Using the income concept and comparing GDP2 to the number of payroll workers in the US3, we find that the average income per employee was $113,000 in 2010.

This is an over-estimation of salary income since income can be earned from profits, rents, and other sources, however this gives us a ceiling to earnings per worker. Survey data show that full time US workers earned a median of $42,400 and average of $57, 4004 in 2009.

Putting these figures together reveals that every two home sales generate one job.

Income from   two home sales: $117,058 Income from   two home sales $117,058
Income per   worker (GDP/worker): $113,000 Income per   worker
(Average Earnings):
Workers per   two home sales: 1.04 Workers per   two home sales: 2.04


Impact =>   2 home sales = 1 job Impact =>   2 home sales = 2 jobs

1 GDP can also be measured using what is called the expenditure approach or the value added approach. See for details.
2 GDP ranged between $14.4 and $14.9 trillion in 2010 per the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
3 Payroll employment in 2010 ranged between 129 and 130 million per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
4 BLS/Census Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement 2010


Boise area home prices won’t stay this low; with mortgage rates still at historic levels it’s a GREAT time to buy a home in Idaho! I can help you find the homes you are looking for in Boise, Meridian, Star, Eagle and more! Visit my website to start searching on your own or contact me to get the help of a qualified Idaho REALTOR® ! I specialize in homes in Meridian but can help you find the perfect place no matter what city you want to live in!

Whose Market Is It?

April 11, 2013

Buyers market, sellers market, whose market is it? The housing recovery is underway and the pendulum is moving. For some time it was a buyers’ market. Now with inventory levels being so low some believe it is a sellers’ market. So which is it Rich, buyers or sellers market?

I say it is still neutral and everything is negotiable. I believe that when one side or the other dictates terms and conditions on a regular basis then it is a market controlled by the buyer or seller. In the market today things are still negotiable. If the seller or buyer does not like the terms or conditions then they negotiate. So what do the numbers say?

Homes are selling in a matter of hours with multiple offers. That is a number that cannot be measured. However appraisers are reluctant to give higher prices. Tie. Since January in Ada County  as of 3/22/13 we have sold 1303 homes of which 178 were short sales and 81 were bank owned. This means we are selling about 375 homes per month not including short sales.

Currently we have 1945 active homes available for sale. Of these 329 are short sales, 67 are bank owned. This means we have a little over 4 months supply. I believe a normal market is about a 6 month supply. We are close. Tie

I also believe we have multiple offers for homes because there is a pent up demand for homes due to the previous shortage. Buyers are not over anxious however they are willing to negotiate. Sellers that are willing to negotiate, sell their homes. It seems to me that the current market is almost a normal market.

I like the idea of a balanced market. A stable housing market helps a recovery. We have all seen what a runaway market can do. UGH!

So keep looking for homes. So keep selling homes. I believe that negotiations are better than dictations. Happy House Hunting, All the Best, Richie Rich


Boise area home prices won’t stay this low; with mortgage rates still at historic levels it’s a GREAT time to buy a home in Idaho! I can help you find the homes you are looking for in Boise, Meridian, Star, Eagle and more! Visit my website to start searching on your own or contact me to get the help of a qualified Idaho REALTOR® ! I specialize in homes in Meridian but can help you find the perfect place no matter what city you want to live in!

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