- Property Search
2018 National Migration Study
United Van Lines and U-Haul 2018 Customer Data
Among all who move, there are those who use moving companies, and those
who do it themselves. So, data from both companies provide broader
information about who is moving where, and why.
Valuing The Price Of A Home . . .
Dollars-Per-Square-Foot Only Goes So Far
When we do a comp for a house, we try to compare our subject house with others which: have sold recently; are similar in size (living area and lot); have a similar configuration (bedrooms, baths, garage bays); are close to the same age; and, are located a near as possible to the subject home (in the same sub/community is preferable).
Our first step in developing a value for a subject house is to find as many recent sales of comparable houses as exist. Initially, we go back three months. If there happen to be quite a few, we can reduce the time-frame to get more current market pricing. Five good comps are preferable.
With the comparables selected, we make two objective evaluations. In the first, we relate the average of the DPSF of the comps to the square feet of the subject house for a snapshot value. With the second, we adjust for all the differences the comps may have from the subject house. There could be more or fewer bedrooms, or baths, or garage bays . . .or square feet.
Relative to quare feet, as it varies in one way or another from the subject house, the value by Dollars-Per-Square-Foot becomes less accurate, as it does not scale in a linear fashion. Most of the time, the results confirm our intuition. However, we still will consider whatever subjective differences there may be between our subject house and the comps – condition, especially. Also, some may be in a less, or more, desirable sub/community. Lot sizes and siting could also be considered.
After all this, we discuss the results with our clients. Often, they have their own ideas as to where their house should be priced. Ultimately, an offer price is established. If the potential purchasers will be buying with a loan, there is always the possibility that the house will not appraise at the offered price, so the sellers must be advised to be prepared to renegotiate, or let the deal fall. When house is ready for the market, we list it.
If you would like us to do a Market Evaluation for your house, give us a call. We’ll gladly do one for you.
The Homeowners Exemption Basics
If you want the long version, go here: https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/Title63/T63CH6/SECT63-602G/ )
The exemption for owner-occupied residences bases the property tax applied to either 50% of the assessed value, or a $100,000 exemption, whichever is less.
An application for the exemption must be made to the Ada County Assessor’s Office. The application only needs to be made once. A copy of the application is usually provided to new owners at purchase closing. An online application is available at the Assessor’s website.
The deadline to apply for the exemption is April 15th, for occupancy that began the first of January. The effect of the exemption begins with the taxes for that current year, and the first tax bill is due December 20th. Half, or all of the amount, may be paid at that time. If half is paid, the 2nd half due date is the June 20th.
If the application is made after April 15th, the exemption becomes effective with the following year’s taxes. For purchases after April 15th, where the exemption is already in place, it continues through the year, but a new owner must still submit an application for the exemption to stay in place beyond that.
Rentals and second homes almost always will be without the exemption. So, the first year’s taxes will have to be considered as an extra expense. For new construction, the new owner can file immediately.
A Realtor is really your professional Risk Manager.
Ask almost any real estate agent what their value is to their client and most will say (for the seller) “getting the property sold quickly, and for greatest value”, and (for the buyer), “Finding you the house that meets all your expectations and negotiating the best price”. And, that’s true.
However, for buyers or sellers, the agent would be more correct to say he/she is acting as their risk manager. During the course of a purchase or sale, there are performance requirements which, if not expertly managed, could change the value of the transaction, end or invalidate the contract, or, alter the critical closing date of the transaction.
As licensed, professional Realtors, our objective is to always manage the transaction for the most favorable outcome, considering and anticipating all contingencies affecting the client’s outcome.
So, when considering engaging an agent to assist you in either buying or selling a house, determine whether he/she sees a successful transaction as one where your financial risk was managed to a beneficial outcome.
SELLING A HOME – WHY YOU NEED AN AGENT/CONSULTANT
For anyone doing a multi-step task, it goes more smoothly if the process is familiar, especially if the task has been done before. But, for home sellers who on average (per the National Association of Home Builders) only sell every thirteen years, the details of the last sale have been largely forgotten, or for first-time buyers, it is probably completely unknown.
For our seller-clients, we have learned that the selling process causes them far less tension if we have shared with them the steps of the process, and explained the dynamics that could be a part of each of those steps.
So, in an overview fashion, here are the action points of a transaction:
- Select an agent to be your consultant
- The sign goes up
- Appointments are made by agents to show the house to their clients
- After a number of days an agent submits an offer from a client
- If sufficient, the offer is accepted. If insufficient, the offer is either countered or rejected
- The prospective buyers can accept the counter, counter the counter, or let the offer fall
- Eventually, a sale price agreeable to both parties is reached, and the sale goes Pending
(From Pending-to-close, the average length of time is 46 days. A cash sale is quicker)
- Buyers order a home inspection. Their time-frame is usually 7 to 10 days
- Based on the inspection, buyers submit a list of deficiencies to be remedied . . .or, not
- Sellers can accept to comply, or respond regarding those that will be addressed
(If this contingency is not satisfied, it will cause the sale to fall)
- Upon satisfaction of the inspection contingency, buyer’s lender orders the appraisal
- In 7 to 10 days the lender receives the appraisal results (this is the last contingency)
If the value is less than the contract price -
- The buyer can increase the down payment, or the loan amount if qualified, or
- The seller can agree to lower the contract price, or
- Both parties can negotiate for a remedy, or
- Negotiations fail, the contingency is not met, and the sale falls
- Three days prior to settlement, buyers do a final walk-thru
- On the closing date, sellers sign settlement documents at title company and provide keys
- Keys are transferred to buyers upon notification that the deed has been recorded
There is a lot of elaboration we could do regarding each of these steps along the critical path. And, any seasoned agent is loaded with illuminating anecdotes for each. The value of an agent is in their experience. We can consult and advise on any complication that may arise with any of the steps. The seller is not in this alone. Whatever obstacles might arise, our objective is to manage for the best outcome for our clients.