Tag Archives: Boise

Summer home sales in Boise, Idaho are smoking hot!

the Independence day weekend marks the mid point for summer sales for most of us. Boise’s 2015 sales season has been very hot from the early spring.  Unlike 2014, when we had a prolonged, colder winter, people seemed to be ready to start shopping in February.

Earlier on, in the start of the season, we say several homes sold at or above asking price.  Many others, have come back over the appraised value and some people still bought.  In most cases, a cancellation or re-negotiating  of the sales price happened.

Other interesting fact, the local real estate appraisers are factoring the “Production Builder penalty” into their valuations.  Without naming any specific names, we have several builders in the Treasure Valley who build hundreds of homes a year, typically in their own subdivisions.  If they build for less than “Custom Home Builders”, the value a home owner is going to be compared to other homes built by that builder.  They could be as much as $20/foot or more less than a custom home of the same size and finishes.  This has led to some upset realtors and home owner’s but its something to consider when buying or building a new home.

Realtors I work with are reporting multiple offers on newly listed homes in a matter of days if not the first day a home is listed on the local MLS.

As a result of our hot market, I am seeing longer times to appraise a home.  Loan underwriting times are getting longer as well as more home purchase loans are submitted.  FYI, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation underwriting times are about 5 business days right now.  Most loans are getting finished within 30 days of application.

Another trend I am seeing is people relocating from California, Nevada, and other states to the Boise area.  Many times they are retirees with pensions and cash from the sale of their previous home.  They can pay cash and close in a couple of days if they wish.  This may not be the best use of that lump sum, the HECM for Purchase Loan enables borrowers 62 or up to put up a fraction of the price of the new home and a reverse mortgage, or HECM, will cover the rest.  Expect to put down half and the Reverse Mortgage covers the rest.  Save the rest of your cash for getting outdoor and enjoying what Idaho has to offer.

Mortgage interest rates are still low.  They have moved up about .5% on a 30 year fixed rate loan from the low 3’s to the upper 3’s and low 4 percent rates as of today.  The “experts” keep saying rates are going to go up in the future, but so far they are holding at historically low rates.  You could be regretting not getting a home if you had the chance in summer of 2015 and didn’t.


Veterans Administration Loans for Zero Down Payment borrowers

One of the many benefits available to honorably discharged veterans is the VA Home Loan Benefit.

Basically, it will allow you to buy a home with ZERO DOWN PAYMENT and get a low-interest rate at the same time.  Normally, if you put less money down, you would expect to pay more in rate than someone with a larger down payment but this is not the case with a VA home loan.

Right now, we can get qualified veterans 30 year interest rates in the mid 3 percent range.  This equals $4.49 per thousand borrowed in a monthly payment.  A $100,000 loan would have a payment of $449 per month not including taxes and insurance.  At this rate, buying a home certainly costs less than rent in the Boise area.

How does the Veterans Administration offer this?  First of all, the loan is not from the government but instead its secured by the VA.  The loan is made by lenders to the borrowers according to the VA loan program.

If  XYZ Bank makes a loan to a veteran and later the veteran goes into foreclosure, the bank takes the initial loss.  The VA pays the bank for the defaulted loan, making them whole and takes the house back as collateral for the money lost.

This might seem risky, but the VA loan guidelines are written in such a way as to encourage responsible lending and not letting veterans get over indebted.  Furthermore, Veterans by nature of their service, have demonstrated the ability to follow the rules and generally don’t go into default nearly as much as other home buyers.

How does one qualify for a VA loan?  Its easy, you call your local lender and ask for a VA loan specialist.  If you don’t have one, I can be reached at 861-7579.  They determine quickly if you qualify and can give you an estimate of the payment on the home you are looking at.  You don’t need your original certificate of eligibility, instead, the lender will retrieve it directly from the VA.


What is the cost of waiting to buy?

The spring is here, and that means the Boise, Idaho real estate market is awaking from its winter slumber.  Experts are saying our market will appreciate about 5% this year, but some segments might go even higher, say 10% or more.


Here is an info graphic that illustrates the costs of waiting.



Anyway, we expect costs to go even higher as demand for housing confronts the shortage of housing in the Treasure Valley.  Combine that with expected higher rates and you can see a definite “cost” top waiting.

If you don’t want the next home to cost more, then call me today and lets put a plan together for you next home.




Are you buying a home next year and need an FHA loan? Better check with your lender first.

Next year the loan limits for new FHA loans has been lowered in our area.

The new loan limits are $271,050 for new FHA loans reserved after 1/1/14.

Previously, the loan limits for the Boise are was $303,750.

If you have found a home and are in the process of obtaining a home loan but plan on closing in early 2014, make sure your lender gets the FHA case file # before the end of the year.  By doing this, you get “grandfathered” in with the current, higher loan limits.


What does it take to buy a home in Boise? Meridian? Eagle? Nampa? Here goes…

This is a local variation of an article that MSN real estate re hashes every few months.


The gist is that you would need to make x dollars to by the average house in these markets.

It assumes a 20% down payment and a conventional loan at the national average rate of 4.64%.  For Ada County, I will use .6% as the property tax with home owners exemption and $500/yr for home owners insurance.  I will also use the 28% housing payment ratio.

I think some local insight would be helpful to my fellow Idahoans, so here it is:

Boise Metro average: Median home price:  $199,900 $964/mo estimated PITI.  You need a salary of $3442 per month or $41,299 per year.

Now to break it down into specific sub-markets

Eagle, ID Median home price: $379,500 (according to Zillow) $1814 est, PITI.  You need a salary of $6477/mo or $77,728 per year.

Meridian, ID Median home price $ 210,000, $1005 est. PITI.  You need a salary of $3590/month or $43,083 per year.

Nampa, ID Median home price $140,000, Estimated $732 per month, $2049 per month or $24,589 per year.


Numbers came from this site: http://www.deptofnumbers.com/asking-prices/idaho/boise-city/

and Zillow: http://www.zillow.com/local-info/ID-Ada-County-home-value/r_66/


With the new Qualified Mortgage rule, the debt to income limits are 43%, a bit lower than what has been approved in the past, that means if you earn $4000 per month gross income, your total debts are limited to $1720 per month.  For the record, the old banker standard of 25%/36% works very well for most people’s budgets. That would mean a person with the $4000 per month gross income should spend no more than $1000 per month on their house payment and no more than $1440 for all debts, monthly utilities and groceries excluded.

The salaries mentioned are well within the range one can find in the Boise, Idaho area.

Everyone’s situation is different, I recommend talking to a Loan Officer you know and trust and get your Pre-Qualification ahead of time.  If you don’t have one, I would love to help.



Another cool local home for sale, check it out!


This Home is in the Park Center area, really close to all the cool stuff that Boise has to offer.

The dinning room and kitchen allow for entertaining large family get togethers.

The rooms are spacious and even the walk in closet is bigger than some apartments I had in the 80’s.

2541 S. Nantucket Way

See more photos at:


Now if you want to see this, contact Sara Brosier at 208-697-4111.


The payment would run about $1625 with 20% down and current rates on a 30 yr fixed rate mortgage.

For more financing options, call me at 861-7579 or apply online 24/7 here.


The key to a successful home purchase is preparation

As with most activities, preparation makes a big difference in the outcome.  When buying a home, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

How much can I afford to pay and still pay my other bills and meet my other financial goals.

What do I really “need” in my new home?  What is a “want.”  Wants are often optional and always more expensive.

Is the new home closer or further from my work.  If further, did you take into account the extra cost of commute?

What does the surrounding neighborhood look like and is it changing?

How long do I see myself being there?

The next preparation is a financial one.

Gather your last 2 years w2 statements, your last month’s paystubs, the last 2 months bank statements and go visit your local lender.  If you don’t have one, I know a great one in the Boise, Idaho area!

Your mortgage loan officer will look at your income and assets and come up with an amount and loan program that will meet your needs.  You’ll probably want to have them run your credit report to make sure its in order as well.

When your mortgage loan officer has all three, he can run a pre-approval and give you a mortgage pre-approval letter.  Having a mortgage pre-approval letter will make your home offer more attractive to the home seller.  In many cases, a mortgage pre-approval letter is mandatory when making offers on government or bank owned homes.

The next preparation is to find yourself a Realtor you want to work with.  It seems that you can find a Realtor anywhere you go, but finding the right Realtor is vital to have a successful and positive experience buying a home.  You could call the agent who has a sign in front of the house you are interested in, but their duty is to the seller who listed the home with them.  They will probably be happy to show you the home and may be the greatest
realtor in the world, but remember, their duty is to the seller.  Anything to tell them, they are required to report it back to the seller.

This is why you should get your own Realtor, a buyer’s agent.  If you need the name of a great Boise are Realtor, I work with many great agents.  Each one has their own uniqueness, abilities, and personalities.  You will be spending a lot of time with your Realtor, so choose wisely.  A great Realtor will be one you will use again on the next house and would be one you could refer to friends and family.

When you make your offer on a home and get it accepted, then the real fun starts.  You have to set a deadline for closing and during that time many things will have to happen to make it close on time.  You probably should spend the money on a professional home inspection, it could turn up an expensive defect in the home.  You also should make arrangements  for utilities , mail forwarding, moving help, and final walk through.  When your loan is past final underwriting, you can set an appointment with the Escrow company to do your signing.  Having a few days notice to get off of work early or take a long lunch is helpful.  Escrow is done during business hours so plan on taking some time or ever the day off if possible.  It’s good practice to let your supervisor know that you are going to need a little time off soon to close on your house.

Once you close on your home, its yours.  You’ll probably have a lot of moving and unpacking to do, but that’s a subject for another post.

As you can see, with so much to do, its vital to be prepared or else it can be a very stressful experience!  If you need help getting ready to buy and are in Idaho, feel free to contact me.

Best of Luck!


What are the new changes to FHA home loans?

As of June 1st this year, major changes were made to the FHA home loan program and its Mortgage Insurance Premiums.  Any new FHA loan after the date is subject to higher rates on Mortgage Insurance Premiums and the duration of the MIP.

The FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium(MIP) consists of 2 parts, upfront MIP and a monthly MIP.  The rates now are 1.75% of the loan amount upfront and 1.35% per month on a 30 yr fixed rate loan amount and the monthly payment.  For example, a 30 yr fixed rate FHA Mortgage with 3.5% down payment, the numbers would look as follow:

Purchase price: $175,000-This is the average price in my market, Boise, Idaho.

3.5% down $6125,

Loan: $ 168,875

Upfront MIP, 1.75% $2955.31

Monthly MIP: 1.35%  $2279.81 per year or $189.968 per month.

As you can see, the FHA Mortgage Insurance can add a considerable amount to your monthly payment.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Mortgage Insurance is part of the loan for as loan as you have a FHA loan.  It used to drop off once you had paid your balance down to 78%.  Now the only way to drop MIP from your loan is to refinance out of the FHA loan or sell the property.

This will make conventional loans, with their 3% down payment much more attractive than a FHA Loan.

Any good loan officer will run the comparisons for a home buyer considering a FHA loan to make sure the client is getting the best possible loan at the lowest possible payment.

If you’re in the Boise, Idaho area and need a quote, give me a call.



Rate sale now at Fairway!!

I have never seen this with any company I worked for, but Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is giving us a discount to pass along to our clients.

Our normal interest rates are great and our closing cost structure beats any mortgage broker, but now we have almost a full discount point to credit to our buyers.  This means a rate .25% less than the going rates.

The idea behind it is because mortgage interest rates have risen here in Boise, Idaho and the rest of the country, and that’s going to keep some people from taking advantage of the last best opportunity to refinance their home loan or buy a home for the lowest possible rates in decades.

I don’t know how long its going to last, but if you know of anyone who is sitting on the fence because interest rates have risen in the last month, here’s a last chance to get that low interest rate.

If you are in the Boise, Idaho area and want to see what is available, call me at 861-7579.

Getting a Loan? Be prepared to document everything and then some.

In 2013, getting a mortgage requires a lot more documentation than the pre-housing bubble collapse.

In 2006, you could submit a loan application with little more than a credit report and get an approval.  You might have to get an appraisal, you might have to provide a pay stub or single bank statement and many times you could get through the loan underwriting and to the closing in about a month or less.

While we still get most of our loan done in about 21 days, the work that we must do is many times more detailed.

The laws have changed as well as the guidelines of HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other agencies that buy and insure loans.

As a result, we much prove that you have income, employment stability,  and assets sufficient to pay the payment.  We also need to show that you have the funds to cover the down payment and closing costs.

We also have to write explanation letters explaining why anyone else ran your credit in the last 4 months, any deposits that can’t be identified, and basically anything that someone examining your loan file could have a question about.

http://realestate.msn.com/loans.aspx has a pretty good list for the most part.  In Idaho, we use title and escrow companies instead of Attorneys and the deed is a public recorded document.  Here is my list that I use, and it works great!

The best bet is to locate and provide everything at the time of loan application, it will be less stressful that way.

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