John L. Scott Real Estate
Friday, February 15, 2019
 Welcome! Please Login or Register  
Recent Entries
Entries 1-10 of 31
1 2 3 4 | Next
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
What Shrinking Inventories Mean for Home Sales.
Posted by Craig Groves at 6/22/2011 7:37:00 PM
Monday, June 29, 2009

Local Boise Sate nursing student, Tyson Summers, has been conducting radon testing in ten local homes around the Treasure Valley. In addition to this testing, he has created an informational blog w/downloadable brochure to inform the public on both the hazards of radon exposure, as well as detailed information on how to test your own home.

Please visit his blog at for more information and to print the informative brochure.

Posted by Jenna Englund at 6/29/2009 7:24:00 PM
Friday, June 12, 2009

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced on May 29, 2009, a program that will allow first-time buyers who use FHA financing to apply the $8,000 federal first-time buyer tax credit toward loan closing costs. In a speech, he announced that FHA-insured loans would allow buyers to turn the credit into cash toward loan costs.

The HUD press release issued May 29, 2009 is published below in in full...

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan Announces New FHA Loan Permits Using $8,000 First-Time Buyer Tax Credit Toward FHA Loan Closing Costs

WASHINGTON - Speaking to the National Association of Home Builders Spring Board of Directors Meeting, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will allow homebuyers to apply the Obama Administration's new $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit toward the purchase costs of a FHA-insured home. Donovan said that today's action will help stabilize the nation's housing market by stimulating home sales across the country.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 offers homebuyers a tax credit of up to $8,000 for purchasing their first home. Families can only access this credit after filing their tax returns with the IRS. Today's announcement details FHA's rules allowing state Housing Finance Agencies and certain non-profits to "monetize" up to the full amount of the tax credit (depending on the amount of the mortgage) so that borrowers can immediately apply the funds toward their down payments. Home buyers using FHA-approved lenders can apply the tax credit to their down payment in excess of 3.5 percent of appraised value or their closing costs, which can help achieve a lower interest rate. Click here to read the FHA's new mortgagee letter.

"We believe this is a real win for everyone," said Donovan. "Today, the Obama Administration is taking another important step toward accelerating the recovery of the nation's housing market. Families will now be able to apply their anticipated tax credit toward their home purchase right away. At the same time we are putting safeguards in place to ensure that consumers will be protected from unscrupulous lenders. What we're doing today will not only help these families to purchase their first home but will present an enormous benefit for communities struggling to deal with an oversupply of housing."

Currently, borrowers applying for an FHA-insured mortgage are required to make a minimum 3.5 percent downpayment on the purchase of their home. Current law does not permit approved lenders to monetize the tax credit to meet the required 3.5 percent minimum down payment, but, under the terms of today's announcement, lenders can now monetize the tax credit for use as additional down payment, or for other closing costs, which can help achieve a lower interest rate. Buyers financing through state Housing Finance Agencies and certain non-profits will be able to use the tax credit for their downpayments via secondary financing provided by the HFA or non-profit. In addition to the borrower's own cash investment, FHA allows parents, employers and other governmental entities to contribute towards the downpayment. Today's action permits the first-time homebuyer's anticipated tax credit under the Recovery Act to be applied toward the family's home purchase right away. Unlike seller-funded down-payment assistance, which was a vehicle for abuse, this program will allow homebuyers to shop for the best home price and services using their anticipated tax credit.

According to estimates by the National Association of Home Builders, the Administration's homebuyer tax credit will stimulate 160,000 home sales across the nation - 101,000 of which will be first-time buyers who will receive the credit. Another 59,000 existing homeowners will be able to buy another home because a first-time buyer purchased their home. Given FHA's current market share, it's estimated that thousands of families will be able to purchase a home by allowing the anticipated tax credit to be applied toward their purchase together with an FHA-insured mortgage.

Posted by Mike Pennington at 6/12/2009 6:48:00 PM

Our report is completed for May 2009. And I am happy to inform that amidst the doom and gloom, there is still a positive direction for the market.

With regards to single family resale homes, we have seen closings grow from 183 units in January to nearly double that, at 363 units in May. This surpasses May of last year by 12 units.

Average home prices jumped by $8,000 for Resale homes.

Canyon County and Ada County resale closings have risen consecutively for 5 straight months. Canyon County has more than doubled its closings from 74 units in January to 170 units closing in May. These are very promising numbers!

Ada County Resale inventory has dropped as well as Canyon County. This is the most important element in the overall recovery of the housing market. Supply and Demand!!! The trend for closings will continue for resale homes, as the pending sales are up for the 5th straight month.

Distressed property inventory is holding steady for Resale. The increase in sales has kept these numbers in check.

We have a slightly different scenario for New Home sales. Both counties are down with regards to closings. There are two challenges for new homes: higher than normal levels of resale homes and the shear absence of new sellable inventory. Many of the new homes left are the unwanted children. Much of the most desirable homes are gone and banks are still not willing to ease restrictions on builders at this time. This is helping to feed the resale market! For the builders that are in a position to put inventory up, they will possess a distinct advantage if they have done their homework and put the right product up, at the right price, in the right location.

We will probably see Ada County New Home inventories drop below 500 units. Canyon County could drop below 200 before the year’s end. I do not even have records that go back far enough to show inventories at this level. We would have to comb through the records at the MLS and maybe find levels this low somewhere in the early to mid 1980’s.

We are running at a 5 month supply of New Homes for both Ada & Canyon County. This is hard to believe given our current market conditions. In spite of this, pending new home sales are up by 43 units. A good portion of this is most likely build jobs! Most of the distressed New Homes have been cleaned up!

We are very fortunate compared to other parts of the country. I believe Moody’s is correct in their assessment of Idaho. We will become healthier quicker than most of our Western neighbors. Idaho is still a great place to live and what has always drawn people to Idaho, and the Treasure Valley, continues to bring people and investments here!

We simply need to survive as we are in a recovery and we are making good progress. There is hope out there!!!   

If you would like a copy of this report, please e-mail me at          

Posted by Mike Pennington at 6/12/2009 6:31:00 PM
Friday, May 22, 2009

I had the opportunity to attend the ACAR Agent to Agent program this week with, guest speaker Paul Hiller, of the Boise Valley Economic Partnership, Mr. Hiller went over the list of the projects they are working on to bring companies and jobs to the Boise Area. There are 29 projects and 15 are ranked #1, as companies that are more likely to land in the Treasure Valley. We are on their short list! Most communities would do well to have a total of about 12 potential projects and we have 29! With over 10,000 potential jobs from this list, we are easily in a position to land a good number of these jobs.

There are two projects especially promising! Project #4 and project #16 on their list are both Solar Module Mfg. companies. #16 on the list, Apex, is engaged in talks with Micron about their MPC plant in Nampa. They are discussing the possibility of a joint partnership and Apex is very pleased with their talks to date. This represents 1000-1500 jobs, exactly where we desperately need them.

I asked Paul Hiller about the troubles in California and how that would affect Idaho. He said they are already in talks with companies from the Silicon Valley and expect that area to be a very rich environment for new prospects for the Treasure Valley. There is already venture capitalists for high tech industries looking very hard at the Treasure Valley.

Although we will continue to tough it out for a while longer, the future is very bright for our Valley. The things that have always been appealing about our area still exist: mild weather, great recreation, low crime, low cost of living, and overall quality of life. We need to continue to work together to look for opportunities and how to survive in the short term. Long term we are in good shape. Many other parts of the country will take far longer to recover from this economic downturn.

We are very fortunate to live where we do! So put away the sharp objects and dump the “Chicken Little Mentality” and we will survive these challenging times. The key is to be pro-active and be willing to change. I hope this news helps!     

Posted by Mike Pennington at 5/22/2009 8:30:00 PM
Friday, May 15, 2009

The law defines “first-time home buyer” as a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to purchase.

For Married taxpayers, the law tests the homeownership history of both the home buyer and his/her spouse. For example, if you have not owned a home in the past three years but your spouse has owned a principal residence, neither you nor your spouse qualifies for the first time homebuyer tax credit.
HOWEVER…Unmarried joint purchasers may allocate the credit amount to any buyer who qualifies as a first-time buyer, such as may occur if a parent jointly purchases a home with a son or daughter.
Additionally…Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principal residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first time home buyer.
So…for any financially or credit challenged first-time home buyers…it’s time to start working on your parents or grandparents to help you purchase your first home! They can even co-sign and be in title and you can still receive the tax credit! Win-win!
Posted by Craig Groves at 5/15/2009 11:45:00 PM


It is great to see healing finally taking place in the market! We are still not where we need to be, but here is what we are seeing from the statistics…
In the resale arena we have almost doubled our monthly closings in both Canyon & Ada County from January ‘09. The average sales price continues to slip due to the high inventory levels. The levels are being kept high as a result of the short sale and foreclosure problem. Once those begin to wane, we will see a dramatic turn-around in resale inventory levels, as demand continues to increase and the new home inventory continues to decline. This will immediately impact values and we will once again see resale values grow! We now have had four straight months of growth in pending sales. April’s pending number of 1012 units is a 60% increase over January’s number. Inventories were fairly static. As far as the Short Sales, Foreclosures, & REO’s, you will see some fairly big declines. This is in part due to the discovery that MLS is showing some properties as both Short Sales and Foreclosures. This was unintentionally causing some properties to get counted twice as troubled units. Our numbers going forward will be far more accurate.
With regards to new homes there is also some encouraging news. Inventory levels continue to fall to record levels. Single family New Home inventory in Ada County has fallen to 559 units, down from 1225 units in Jan ’08. Canyon County stands at 290 units down from 653 units in January of ’08. These numbers will remain extremely low as banks are not very accommodating to builders in obtaining construction financing. These low inventories will also force some buyers back into the resale arena. Ada County has just logged their fourth straight month of increases in the average sales price of a new home. Canyon County continues to struggle as they have an inordinate amount of Short Sales and Foreclosures.
There is a real opportunity for builders who can obtain construction financing. With lot prices down, builders can once again build spec inventory and potentially realize a profit. However it is imperative that they conduct the necessary market research to minimize risk. Their real competition comes from the troubled properties in the resale market.
It appears the recovery is here but we still have a lot of work to do!     
Posted by Mike Pennington at 5/15/2009 11:42:00 PM
Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided a federal income tax credit for first-time homebuyers of 10% of the sales price, up to a maximum of $8,000.  This tax credit is available to qualified homebuyers who purchase a home by December 1, 2009.  In order to help buyers monetize this tax credit for down payment and closing costs when they purchase a home, Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA), through its IdaMortgage lending program, is offering a special short-term Tax Credit 2nd Loan to qualified buyers. 

In conjunction with an IdaMortgage loan, a subordinate loan will be offered to qualified first-time homebuyers in the amount not to exceed 5% of the sales price or $7,000.  A fee will be charged of $250 with $150 refunded upon repayment of the loan on or before the loan due date.  The loan will accrue interest at 3.0% with a due date of July 1, 2010.  The Tax Credit 2nd Loan is expected to be paid off from the borrower’s tax refund obtained through the application of the federal tax credit.  The borrower must be a first-time homebuyer and qualify for an IdaMortgage loan.  If the homebuyer defaults on the loan and cannot repay at that time, IHFA has the option of pursuing foreclosure as described in the deed of trust, or modify the loan to amortize over the remaining term of the first mortgage loan at an interest rate of 3% higher than the first mortgage rate. 
Borrower qualifications are:
1) Must be a first-time homebuyer,
2) Must have a FICO score of no less than 640, and a total debt ratio of no more than 45%, (NOT including this second mortgage loan payment).  Some MI’s may require higher credit scores,
3) Homebuyer qualifies for an IdaMortgage loan, which includes the monthly second mortgage payment in the debt ratios for this Community second loan just like the Good Credit Rewards second loan,
4) Homebuyer Education required.
If you have questions regarding this new loan product, please call Homeownership Lending at 1-800-219-2285.
Click here to view all IdaMortgage loan products and down payment assistance programs available.
Click here to view information on the Housing Stimulus Bill (Look under the Breaking News Section).

Information Courtesy of IHFA

Posted by Bob Bass at 3/25/2009 7:04:00 PM
Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I just want to take a few moments to share with you where we see the market going in both Ada and Canyon counties.

In January of 2009 there were 343 single-family, detached units in Ada and Canyon County. And if you go back in time, usually January represents 5-6% of the total overall market. So what that means to you is that we are probably going to have between 4,500 and 5,500 total units for the year, not counting whatever business is created by the economic stimulus package. And if this historical trend is true, that means we are going to have 1,000 to 1,500 units less than what we had in 2008. In other words…it’s going to be tight out there. 

In order to weather these projections, our company will continue to make necessary adjustments and changes. But what I have to tell you is that you can put your head in the sand or go into the fetal position…but what you really need to do is focus on the opportunities that can be created for those of you who are working. If you are out getting listings, if you are building trust through Social Media, if you are doing all the things we are telling you to do…you’ll be ok. If you invest in what we are doing as a company and what we are doing to move forward… if you invest, you will be able to reap the benefits that you would be unable to receive in any other year.  

We are not going to stop the negative press; however we need to use it to our advantage. You need to let people know that in today’s market you have the knowledge to solve their real estate problems and you have the knowledge to show them how to get a good deal. Surprisingly, no one in the press is telling you how to invest in these times. As agents, there is an opportunity to lead your clients and yourself in to the good buys created by this market. Must I remind you that in a similar market of the 1980’s, I was able to capitalize on some rentals that put my kids through college and provided the stability to build a business. You can repeat this process by buying cash-flowing properties with low-interest rate, 15 year mortgages and very quickly end up with free and clear income properties. I would be happy to meet with anyone and show them how to capitalize on this business strategy.

This is your year. Go out and build up your inventory levels. Build up yourself. Build up your personal finances to out of subsistence levels so that you can invest in the market place.

In every declining market there are business opportunities. Be enthusiastic. Be aggressive. And simply put…go to work and do it right!

Posted by Bob Bass at 3/3/2009 6:05:00 PM
Monday, February 23, 2009
I was reading an article on a San Diego agent boasting about her new technology...client mobile searches right from their car. Lucky for us...we"ve been embracing this technology for over six months. And now, just as a reminder of its power, as well as it's newest features and capabilities, see all that is available at
Posted by Bob Bass at 2/23/2009 11:49:00 PM
Entries 1-10 of 31
1 2 3 4 | Next