Randy Gridley - real estate boise, real estate meridian, boise real estate - Blog Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 12

Beware of Mortgage Scams: #3 – The Illegal Flip

by Randy Gridley

Beware of Mortgage Scams: #3 – The Illegal Flip

The real estate market today is laden with bank-owned properties and foreclosures.  With this brings the opportunity for mortgage scams.  In this 5-part series, we talk about various scams affecting homebuyers today and what to be aware of to be a knowledgeable homebuyer.

#3 –The Illegal Flip

Flipping a home has been something that has occurred for decades.  The practice is defined as a home, often vacant, foreclosed upon, or boise-meridian-bankowned, that is purchased by an investor at a bargain price, fixed up, and then sold for a profit.  Flipping is actually very legal and a great way for investors to make some money in the real estate industry. It is actually a good practice in the housing market as it improves neighborhoods that might be burdened with vacant and foreclosed-upon properties that become run-down while sitting vacant.

However, this practice has become a front for many real estate scams.  In most cases, the scam is quite involved and has many players.  The investor usually purchases the home for a bargain-basement price after the property has been foreclosed-upon. The investor hires someone to fix up the property for the smallest price possible.  He then hires an appraiser that he usually promises a cut to if they will inflate the appraised value of the home.  Then the unsuspecting homebuyer purchases the home for a price he will likely never be able to resell it for and the investor and appraiser make it away with a large profit (and likely no conscious). In most cases, the closing agent is also involved in the scam and gets a cut of the profits as well.

Read about more scams in our ‘Beware of Mortgage Scams’ series.

How to Be a Savvy Buyer in Today’s Real Estate Market

Today’s real estate market a is one that we haven’t seen in many years.  There is a demand for homes, there are many homes available, and there are buyers competing for these houses.  What does this mean to the home seller? It means that they are likely to have several offers for your house.  What does this mean to the homebuyer? It means that they may have to be savvy in order to get the house they want.

Know the Area Market – One of the first things you need to do is learn the market in which you are shopping.  This means that if you are from the area, drive around and look at the homes that are for sale, ask questions about the market to your real estate agent, and understand what homes are selling for in the area.  Your realtor can show you homes that have sold recently in the area, preferably no older than 6 months, and explain what comparable properties have been seller for in the area. If you are moving to a new area, employee the assistance of a good realtor that can explain the area’s market and help you navigate the area to find what you are looking for.  It is also important to ask about how long properties are staying on the market.  A shorter time on the market means that either it was a great deal or there is a lot of competition for the price range.

Be Ready for Competition – Knowing that, with mortgage rates at an all-time low, and prospective buyers on the prowl to home buy after several years of a stale market, there will likely be competition for any homes you are trying to buy, makes you a savvy buyer.  Knowing this means that you can prepare for the competition. How do you prepare for competition? By knowing the market, making a reasonable offer, and having an idea of concessions and seller assistance that might make the seller more interested in your offer.

Be Pre-Approved to Buy – Being pre-approved to buy a home within a certain price range means that you will be able to make an offer and proceed more quickly with a sale if your offer is accepted than someone that has not been pre-approved.  This can make your offer more appealing to a seller that has gotten more than one offer.  They know that you can afford the house, can get a mortgage for your offer amount, and are serious about moving forward with the purchase.

Don’t Low-Ball the Offer – Over the past 5 years or so, low-balling offers became common practice. This is because the market was stale and sellers were happy to get any offer for their property in many cases.  However, if you seriously want a home, you will need to kiss those low-ball offer days goodbye and only make a sincere, market appropriate offer if you want your offer to be considered.

Today’s market is changing. The days of low-balling offers and homes sitting on the market for years just begging for an offer are over.  Today, prospective homebuyers need to be prepared, informed, and ready to go to be considered a serious home buyer with which today’s sellers will want to work.

Have some time on your hands view these listings in Canyon County under $150,000 no more than 10 years old.  These are active updated daily listings provided by IDX/IMLS.

Beware of Mortgage Scams: #2 – Mortgage Rescue

by Randy Gridley

Beware of Mortgage Scams: #2 – Mortgage Rescue

Today’s low mortgage rates brings with it mortgage scams for every type of homebuyer. In this 5-part series, we will talk about mortgage scams you need to be aware of as you look to secure a loan for your first home or your new home in this market.

#2 –Mortgage Rescue

With so many homeowners struggling to make ends meet, scammers have found a new way to scam homeowners.  Offering to “rescue” you from your mortgage, these scammers prey on high equity homeowners who are struggling to pay their bills or facing foreclosure.

Presenting themselves as a way for you to stay in your home while you get back on your feet, the scammers offer to pay your mortgage while you pay them “rent.” The promise includes the provision to “buy back” your home once you have caught up your payments over a set amount of time. 

You sign over the deed to the “rescuer” and they are to pay the mortgage company while you pay a smaller rent payment for a set amount of time.  However, in most cases, the scammer pockets the rent and does not pay the mortgage, which is still yours even though the house is not.  The loan to the mortgage company goes unpaid, the house is foreclosed upon anyway, and your credit is still ruined and you are without your equity as well.

Beware of these scammers. They are especially predatory for senior citizens who have built a lot of equity in their home but have been burdened with additional debt from medical bills and family issues.

Read about more scams in our ‘Beware of Mortgage Scams’ series.

Mortgage Rates at an All-Time Low – What Does it Mean?

by Randy Gridley

Mortgage Rates at an All-Time Low – What Does it Mean?

Mortgage rates continue to fall to an all-time low, according to Freddie Mac who stated that the 30 year loan rate is 3.84 percent, which is a rate last seen in the 1950s. 

The 15 year mortgage, which is a popular choice today for those in a position to pay more and plan to stay in their homes for quite a while, is also at an all-time low of around 3 percent. Many home owners choose this refinancing option to pay off their home more quickly.

However, even though mortgage rates are low, the rate does not seem to motivate buyers.  This could be because of the newly enforced down payments that are cropping up requiring homebuyers to provide high down payments in order to qualify for mortgages.

Though more home buyers are out competing for the properties that are for sale, there are still many that are hesitant to enter the market. Especially those homebuyers that have the money and are well-informed in the real estate market. The market is too unsteady for them still.  Most of the homebuyers competing for properties now are first time homebuyers and veterans that qualify for programs that allow lower down payments.

Finding mortgage rates at a low not seen in decades seems like good news but it still may be some time before the market is back where it was in the 1990s.  There are still many great deals for the right buyers and now is just as good of a time as any if you are ready to buy.

Beware of Mortgage Scams: #1 - Reel Them In

by Randy Gridley

Beware of Mortgage Scams: #1 - Reel Them In

With mortgage rates that have not been seen in years comes new and improved mortgage scams. In this 5-part series, we will talk about mortgage scams to beware of as you head out into the sea of lenders in search of a good mortgage rate for your next (or first) home.

#1 – Reel Them In

This mortgage scam is one that has been around, in every service industry, for as long as scams have been around.  In this “Reel Them In” scam, the prospective buyer is reeled in with a promise of an exceptional deal.  It may be a great incentive, a low monthly payment, skipping payments, or even no points.

The prospective buyer gets excited about the rate, gets everything ready for the loan application, jumps through all the hoops put in front of him, and supplies an endless stream of paperwork.  Once everything is FINALLY to the lender, the lender states that the terms have changed or the rates are suddenly unavailable and offers a typically much less desirable deal. This deal, incidentally, will usually work out better for the lender.

In most cases, the prospective buyer will go ahead with the loan because they feel either there are no other options or they have put so much work into submitting the application and its accompanying forms that they don’t want to start over. The lender is hoping for this.

Beware of these types of mortgage scams. Make sure you get deals in writing, understand the terms, know of deadline dates, and go with a recommended lender.  This can help you ensure you are working with a reputable lender and are truly getting the deal.

Read about more scams in our ‘Beware of Mortgage Scams’ series.

Memorial Day Weekend is on Its Way – What’s There to do in the Boise, Idaho Area?

The Memorial Day holiday weekend will be here before we know it. What does this mean? It means the first holiday of the summer, the beginning of summer vacationing season, and time to enjoy the outdoors.

As you plan for your Memorial Day weekend, here are some things going on in the Boise, Idaho area that you might want to consider.

Meridian Speedway Racing – May starts racing season at one of Idaho’s oldest racing tracks in Meridian, Idaho. Consider the Napa Auto Parts Treasure Valley 100 on May 19th or the Naylor Crow Memorial Classic 50’s on May 30th.

Les Bois Park – May begins horse racing season at Les Bois Park in Garden City, Idaho with 36 races scheduled from May to August. Check out the website for events.

Concerts/Comedy – There are several concerts and comedy shows schedule for May. Ray Price will be at Cactus Pete’s in Jackpot, Nevada on May 12th and Jerry Seinfeld will be at Morrison Center on May 17th.

Circus Gatti – Circus Gatti is back in town on May 28 and May 29 at the Idaho Center.

There are many things for you and the family to do in the Boise, Idaho area throughout the month of May as we gear up for the summer and Memorial Day weekend. Be sure to plan something fun and get your summer off to a great start!

Saving for Your Down Payment - Idaho Real Estate

by Randy Gridley

Saving for Your Down Payment

You have decided that you want to buy a home.  Whether it is your first home or you are looking to upsize to accommodate your growing family, buying a new home means saving for a new down payment. 

Down payments today are typically between 10% and 30% of the total sales price of the home.  This means that, in order to plan for your down payment, you need to know the approximate price range you plan to purchase in and then make plans to save for the largest down payment that you can afford.

There are many ways to begin a down payment savings.  Here are some tips to help you start saving for that new home.

Budget – The first thing you will want to do is ensure you are on a budget and then find room for cost-cutting.  Having a budget allows you to see where all your money goes and where you can save money.  For instance, if you have a large amount of your budget going to discretionary areas like entertainment and eating out, you may be able to find some extra room each month to move some money to savings for that down payment

Savings Account – A good way to save and not worry about spending the money you are saving for the house on something else is to open a separate saving account for the down payment.  This will help you keep it separate and not think its ok to spend it if something comes up.  Putting just a little each month in the account will help you track it and build the savings up quickly and safely.

Extra Income – If you are serious about saving for your new home, a good way is to increase your income.  Even the slightest increase in income can mean a lot toward a down payment.  Consider odd jobs or part time jobs that can give you a little extra each week that can be put directly into your down payment savings account.

There are many ways to cut expenses and save money as you take on the heavy task of saving for a new down payment.  Be creative and be determined and you may find your down payment savings growing more quickly than you expected.

Here are a few active homes to view in Ada County under $150K that are 10 years old or newer furnished by IDX/IMLS.  These listings below are updated daily early each morning.


What You Need to Know About Buying Your First House

Buying your first home can be a very exciting time. However, to many first time home buyers, the process can be scary or, at the very least, intimidating. You may not be sure what to expect or how to proceed.

When buying your first house you will want to keep a few things in mind as you learn to navigate the process of buying a home.

  • Hire a Realtor – Unless you have a family member who is a Realtor, you will be much better off having a realtor on your side to help your through the process of finding a home and going through the buying process. 
  • Make sure you are ready – Just because everyone says you should buy a house now, because it’s a good time to buy, does not mean it’s a good time to buy for you. Run your budget, ensure you can afford a home, and make certain that you are ready for the commitment of home ownership. Home ownership costs much more than the sales price of the home.
  • Assistance is available – Make sure that you speak with your lender and realtor about the programs that are available for first time homebuyers. These programs can be useful if you do not have 20% for a down payment or you want to purchase a fixer-upper that typical lenders won’t lend you the money to buy.
  • Get pre-approved – One of the best things you can do to prepare for your house hunting days is to get pre-approved. Being pre-approved by a lender means that you have turned in your financial paperwork and application, your credit report has been run, and your credit score has been determined. This allows the lender to let you know how much of a loan you will be able to secure thus allowing you to determine how much house you can purchase. Just don’t forget that just because you “qualify” for a specific amount does not mean that is how much loan you need to secure.

Buying your first house is exciting. Be sure to do your research and hire a professional to help you navigate the process. This will make the home buying process go much more smoothly and help you be in your dream home as quickly as possible.

Here are a few short sale listings provided by IDX/IMLS under $150,000 that are available in Ada County that are updated each morning Monday through Friday.


The 1862 Homestead Act – 150 Years of Settlement

This year commemorates the 150th year since President Abraham Lincoln signed the 1862 Homestead Act.  The 1862 Homestead Act enabled heads of the household, regardless of gender, race, or citizenship status, to claim up to 160 acres of land for the price of the filing fee.  During the years of the Homestead Act, almost 10 million acres of land was homesteaded totaling 18% of Idaho being homesteaded as a direct result of the 1862 Homestead Act.

As the state of Idaho celebrates the 1862 Homestead Act, and its grand effects on the great State of Idaho 150 years ago, there will be many activities going on throughout the state during the month of May. If you are looking for some fun, historic activities for the whole family, you are in for treat this month.

Beginning May 2, 2012, there are many presentations, workshops, and events taking place in Boise.  Whether you are interested in a tour of the Historic Bown House on May 5, 2012 or want to listen along with your children to an oral presentation of the history of Idaho taking place at the Idaho State Historical Museum on May 5, 2012, you are sure to find something new to learn about the wonderful state of Idaho.

Archeology Days takes place May 17-20, 2012 at the Cyrus Jacobs-Uberuage House, which is sure to be a treat. There are many events and presentations taking place throughout the state, including a presentation on the history of Meridian, Idaho on May 10, 2012 at the Meridian City Hall, and a brown bag luncheon presentation regarding Notable Discoveries in Idaho Archeology sponsored by Boise State University, which will take place at Lake Lowell Park in Nampa, Idaho.

No matter what your interests, you are sure to find some wonderful activities and learning experiences throughout the state this May in celebration of this historic time in Idaho’s history. You can see everything planned in commemoration of the 1862 Homestead Act on the Idaho government website. Be sure to look for yourself and plan some great fun for the whole family.

5 Questions to Ask Before Your Hire a Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent to sell your home or help you find your next house can be a cumbersome process.  If you have never used a real estate agent before, or do not have any recommendations from friends to consider, you will want to ask an agent you are considering a few questions before you decide to have them work for you.

Here are five questions to ask before you hire a real estate agent to work with you on your home buying or selling adventure.

#1-Do you work full-time or part time and do you have a backup? – It is important to understand how the agent you are considering hiring works. If they only work part-time, what kind of system do they have in place to take calls about your property or take your call about a prospective property when they are not working? Do they have an assistant? Do they work for a big real estate company that handles calls at other times?

#2- How many sales did you have last year? – A new real estate agent may have under 10 sales in a year. The average real estate agent has between 10 and 20 sales per year. A well-performing real estate agent has between 20 and 50 sales per year and if you have a real estate agent that has over 50 sales per year, you are looking at a highly motivated, superstar agent. You may also want to ask what kind of experience they have with the type of property you are interested in, i.e. short sales, high end residential, or investment properties.

#3- What are your fees? – Understanding an agent’s fees from the beginning is important. Ask about their fees and how they are paid. You will want to understand if they have a minimum fee to collect, which means that if you accept an offer on your home where the buyer will only pay a certain amount of the fees, you may be responsible for the additional percentage of the fees if this is the case. Make sure you understand these caveats up front.

#4- Do you have any references? – Asking for written references from clients who have used a particular agent is a good thing. You will want to follow up with these references. When people find a good agent, they will use them again and refer them. Look for references that have used a realtor for more than one purchase or sale.

#5- Are you a Realtor? – Becoming a Realtor takes additional steps than just becoming a licensed real estate agent. The term “Realtor” relates to a licensed real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. Though it is not imperative to have a Realtor rather than simply an agent, being a Realtor shows dedication to the field of real estate. Members take an oath to put their clients first and follow the guidelines and rules of the National Association of Realtors.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 12




Contact Information

Randy & Doyelene Gridley
Silvercreek Realty Group
1099 S Wells St. Suite 200
Meridian ID 83642
Randy's Direct Office: 208-859-7060

Quick Search

Listing Alerts

Be the first to know what's coming up for sale in the Boise Idaho real estate market with our New Property Listing Alerts!

Just tell us what you're looking for and we'll email a daily update of all homes listed for sale since your last update. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Get Notifications

Contact Us

Our office is located at:
1099 S Wells St. Suite 200
Meridian, ID, 83642

(208) 859-7060
(208) 323-8081

Contact Us Online