YPN Pub ‘n’ Putt Benefits RPAC

Calling all “Wild West” foursomes!

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Sink a hole-in-one for RPAC by wrangling your foursome together to putt your way through Humpin’ Hannah’s winding “Wild West” putt-putt course. Don’t forget your Western-wear…there will be prizes for the best outfit & more! All proceeds support the REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC).*

Saturday, April 9th at Humpin’ Hannah’s in downtown Boise.
Registration is from 3-3:30pm. Tee-off is at 3:30pm
Teams of (4) = $100
Individual Players = $25

Fill out your registration form and submit it via email to Angela Gibson. See you there…in your Western-wear!

Learn more about Sponsorship Opportunities.

*RPAC contributions are not tax deductible for income tax purposes. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. 

Idaho Homeowner’s Exemption Aims to Create Stable Tax Base

On Tuesday, March 8th the Idaho Senate voted to approve HB431 sending it to the Governor’s desk for signing into law. The bill changes the Idaho Homeowner’s Exemption to a set amount of $100,000, rather than tying it to the Federal Housing Price Index.

What is the Federal Housing Price Index?

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) which manages the index, “The HPI is a broad measure of the movement of single-family house prices. The HPI is a weighted, repeat-sales index, meaning that it measures average price changes in repeat sales or refinancings on the same properties.” However, due to how the Index is calculated, there is an 18-month lag in reflecting actual economic conditions.  Therefore, when there are drastic changes in the market—as we experienced in 2008—the Index is not an accurate reflection of prices. Additionally the current tax law shifts the property tax between the different property categories. For example, when residential taxes are up agriculture, commercial, utilities, and other property types have lower taxes. Then when taxes for these categories are down, residential taxes go up.

Who gets a Homeowner’s Exemption?

As the Homeowner’s Exemption currently works, each owner-occupied primary residence (house or manufactured home) and up to one acre of land is eligible for a Homeowner’s Exemption. To qualify, applicants must own, occupy, and use the dwelling as of January 1 but before April 15. The annual deadline for applying for the Homeowner’s Exemption is 5:00 p.m. on April 15th. The exemption allows a maximum of 50 percent of the value, regardless of price, of the primary residence and up to one acre of land to be exempted from property taxes.

Where do I learn more about the Idaho Homeowner’s Exemption?

The Idaho State Tax Commission is the best resource for homeowner’s interested in learning more about Exemption. On its “Homeowners & Property Tax” page, the Commission explains how the Exemption works now, without the set amount: “Since taxes are based on the budgets of taxing districts, those districts can budget the same amount from property tax from one year to the next, but when property values go down, the levy rate goes up automatically to compensate. If one property’s value increases more than others, its taxes go up faster than others.”

Over the past 10 years, the Idaho Homeowner’s Exemption has been as high as $104,471 and as low as $81,000,due to fluctuations in the Index. The exemption amount for 2016 is $94,745.

Home Value Current Exemption Amount New Exemption Amount
$100,000 $50,000 $50,000
$200,000 $94,745 $100,000
$500,000 $94,745 $100,000
If decreasing 18-month lag in decrease $100,000

 

Going forward, the set exemption amount of $100,000, as outlined in HB431, aims to stabilize the Exemption, create a predictable tax base and provide certainty to homeowners and others who own real property in all categories.

Key points to remember:

  • Idaho is just one of a handful of states that provides a homeowner’s exemption.
  • The $100,000 exemption is actually higher than what we have currently, and higher than what most other states with an exception offer.
  • Both current and future exemptions are capped at 50% of a home’s value, regardless of that price.

Still have questions? Contact Miguel Legarreta, Director of Public Policy at Boise Regional REALTORS®.

The 2016 REALTOR® Awards Gala is March 4th!

BRR Gala See You Friday Image

6:00–7:30pm • Cocktail Hour (and a half!)
7:30–9:00pm(ish) • Dinner & Program
9:00(ish)—11:00pm • Dancing and Celebration!

Online ticket sales are now closed. Please contact Judy McLaughlin for assistance.

Are you a Gala VIP? All RPAC Major Investors get access to the VIP Lounge and will enjoy complimentary cocktails and appetizers. Invest online now or sign up on Friday. Email Miguel with questions. And… the online auction is open! Our largest one ever, with nearly 150 items with proceeds benefiting the BRR Community Foundation Grant Program.

 

 

Recruiting Do’s and Don’ts

 

Recently, I received a call from a member asking what brokers or their assistants are allowed to do (or not do) when recruiting agents. Specifically, they wanted to know about any Standards of Practice from NAR’s Code of Ethics, or any state license laws that pertain to agent recruitment.

dreamstime_xl_59870732Great question and I love when our members take the time to make sure they’re doing things the right way.

I reached out to IREC, NAR, and IR to get their input. In short, there are no specific regulations or rules regarding agent recruitment practices.

 

Jeanne Jackson-Heim, Executive Director of the Idaho Real Estate Commission (IREC) confirmed that Idaho’s license laws do not address agent recruitment, but, she said, if you feel a piece of the recruitment process or messaging being used is questionable, call IREC and discuss it with an investigator. They are a great resource in these situations, and would rather have agents get the right information than go after people for bad behavior. You can reach IREC at 208-334-3285 or visit their staff directory.

Kate Lawton, Manager, Professional Standards and Administration at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) sent the following: “Prior to 1982, the Code of Ethics required REALTORS® to advise other REALTORS® that they intended to solicit sales associates in the second REALTOR®’s firm. The applicable interpretive Standard of Practice (24-1) made it clear that the Code did not prohibit soliciting sales associates in other firms—it only required advance notice to the current employing broker. This obligation was widely misread, misunderstood, and misapplied as being a blanket prohibition on soliciting sales associates when that was never, in fact, the case. After years of trying to explain, clarify, and focus on what conduct was permissible and what was not, the NAR Delegate Body concluded that the appropriate course was to abolish then Article 24. There are no other provisions in the Code that speak specifically to agent recruitment.”

La Dawn Anderst, Chief Executive Officer of Idaho REALTORS® recommended two resources from NAR to help brokers with recruitment and retention: REALTOR® Magazine’s Recruitment Tool Kit and REALTOR.org’s Field Guide to Recruiting and Retaining Salespeople.

While we may not have state laws or national standards of practice, that certainly doesn’t mean we can’t operate with some common sense, good manners and professionalism. The following points are not official BRR positions, but rather, my two cents based on my experience as a former agent who was recruited a time or two…

 

Don’t disparage other brokers or business models (or ever). When I was a REALTOR®, there was nothing that turned me off more than when recruiters took a negative approach… telling me that my current company was terrible, or gossiping about my broker, concluding that I should leave them to join “their” company instead. Yuck. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather work with people who are fun and optimistic, not mean and disrespectful. As a recruiter, there is nothing wrong with sharing why you feel your model is the best, and how agents succeed by working with you. Just keep things positive and professional.

 

Be careful how you discuss commissions. If a recruiter said this to me: “We know your commission split is this… and we can offer you this…” my reaction was always: “You don’t know me!” (I said this to myself, but you get the idea.) While you might know the general commission structures offered by various brokers, each agent may have different agreements with their broker. While this isn’t quite an anti-trust issue, whenever you compare or discuss between different brokers, I get nervous. Sharing your commission plan is definitely part of the recruitment process, but agents can do the math between what they currently have and what you offer to determine what’s best for them.

 

Have more questions about agent recruitment or other business practices? Let me know! Part of the value in your Boise Regional REALTORS® membership is that we can find resources and provide insights to help you navigate all areas of your business. Call me at 208-376-0363 or email me at breanna@boirealtors.com anytime.

A Name in 2016!

How do Al Jolson, The Beatles, Wilson Phillips, and Adele connect to the association’s history? Loosely, but stick with me.

cover art

Each were top artists the years that we had a name change. Here’s a quick history:

  • 1920 — The association was founded as the Boise Realty Board and Al Jolson’s “Swanee” was all the rage.
  • 1964 — The Beatles topped the charts with “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and the name was changed to the Boise Board of REALTORS®.
  • 1990 — The name shifted to the Ada County Association of REALTORS® and Wilson Phillips encouraged everyone to “Hold On”… for one more day.
  • 2016 — And now, just a few weeks into 2016, we’re getting ready to change the name once again, this time to Boise Regional REALTORS®. All while Adele’s “Hello” is being played errywhere.

If you listen to these songs back-to-back, you can clearly hear how music styles changed over time, yet every song is focused on the same thing — relationships. Sort of like real estate. Business practices evolve and shift year-after-year, yet the agent-client relationship always remains central.

And as the business evolves, so must the association. Past name changes were done to incorporate the term “REALTOR®” or to represent the market’s expanding geography. Geography is part of this change, too. Our members don’t just do business in Ada County and our name must reflect the market in which they live and work. But beyond geography, this name change is being done with a focus on our members and the relationships they have with their clients.

First, re-introducing “Boise” into our name will allow us to tap into efforts by the Boise Valley Economic Partnership (BVEP) and the Visitors Bureau, as they work to “brand” our region in the minds of people across the country. Doing so will improve the association’s consumer outreach initiatives, done on behalf of our members. For example, when people move here, they likely start searching “boise homes for sale,” not “ada county homes for sale” — see:

boise vs ada cty searchSource: google.com/trends/explore; Data generated January 31, 2016.

Once consumers get a sense of what’s in and around Boise, they expand their search to surrounding cities, or narrow in on neighborhoods, looking for REALTORS® who can help them through the process.

Our new name will better connect with consumers during this process, providing them with information on the value that REALTORS® bring to the transaction, and facilitating connections between consumers and REALTORS® both online and in the community.

Also, a name change also allows us to refresh the strategic focus and “personality” of the association. (Like how we now make Wilson Phillips references in our blog posts!) Kidding aside, it’s an exciting time for the organization, and we’re looking forward to rolling out new programs throughout the year.

logo evolution

It will take some getting used to the new name, Boise Regional REALTORS®, or Boise Regional or “B-R-R” for short, so if you happen to refer to us as ACAR, it’s ok. It will also take us some time to catch all the old logos and name references on our website and other materials. We think we’ve found most of them, but if you find any, please let us know.

Finally, watch our website — boirealtors.com — and updated Facebook and Twitter profiles for some of the fun things we have planned to celebrate the new name throughout February and 2016.

Awards Gala Tickets on Sale Now!

BRR Gala Save the Date Image

Register for the REALTOR Awards Gala!

Tickets are $60/person.

Evening Agenda:
6:00pm -7:30pm • Cocktail Hour (and a half!)
7:30pm – 9:00pm(ish) • Dinner & Program
9:00pm(ish) – 11:00pm • Dancing and Celebration!
Tickets to the event are sold individually. A table seats ten attendees.

Bigger and better than ever, the REALTORS® Community Foundation online auction opens February 19th. Watch for announcements and links to the online auction.

Sponsorship Opportunities are still available.

And now through February 15th, we are accepting applications and nominations for the ACAR Honor Society, 2015 Circle of Excellence Production Awards, the Code of Ethics Leadership Award, the Darlene Manning Humanitarian Award, the Rookie REALTOR® Award, and for the Affiliate of the Year, Broker or Manager of the Year, and the REALTOR® of the Year.

Get the application and nomination forms on the main event page and check that page often for the latest event information!

Get ready for the 2016 Awards Gala!

2016 Save the DateTickets go on sale February 1st! The REALTORS® Community Foundation online auction also opens February 1st.

Sponsorship Opportunities are still available.

And now through February 15th, we are accepting applications and nominations for the ACAR Honor Society, 2015 Circle of Excellence Production Awards, the Code of Ethics Leadership Award, the Darlene Manning Humanitarian Award, the Rookie REALTOR® Award, and for the Affiliate of the Year, Broker or Manager of the Year, and the REALTOR® of the Year.

Get the application and nomination forms on the main event page and check that page often for the latest event information!

ACAR Installs 2016 President Carey Farmer; Shares Forthcoming Name Change

 

Carey Farmer 2016 President

Carey Farmer
2016 President

The Ada County Association of REALTORS® (ACAR) hosted its 2016 installation ceremony at Boise State University (BSU) on December 18, 2015. The event included a performance by the BSU Main Line Dancers — a tribute to the association’s 2016 President, REALTOR® Carey Farmer, who is a BSU alumna and former Main Line Dancer.

Farmer is an associate broker at Group One Real Estate and has been a REALTOR® for eight years. In addition to her service at ACAR, she is involved with the Junior League of Boise and the Boise Police Auxiliary.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we have in 2016,” said Carey Farmer. “As President, I plan to focus on two areas — advocating for the value that REALTORS® bring to consumers, and educating members about the resources available through the association. The increase in data and technology that’s available to consumers, paired with the fast pace of our local market, makes REALTORS® more valuable than ever. They help people navigate the ever-changing process of buying and selling homes, and can personalize transactions to the needs of each buyer and seller. Similarly, the association helps members navigate the changes in the real estate industry, by offering tools, statistics, classes, and more, suited to the individual needs of their businesses.”

During the installation event, ACAR’s Chief Executive Officer, Breanna Vanstrom shared that the association will be changing its name to Boise Regional REALTORS® in 2016. The association was known as the Boise Realty Board from 1920-1964, then as the Boise Board of REALTORS® starting in 1964, and then as the Ada County Association of REALTORS® starting in 1990. Vanstrom had this to say about the new President and forthcoming name change:

“We have a long tradition of outstanding leadership at the association which will certainly continue with Carey. She is a successful REALTOR® who thoroughly understands the issues and opportunities facing our industry, and will use her insights and experiences to strategically guide our organization. This will be especially important as the organization changes its name to Boise Regional REALTORS® in early 2016. By re-introducing Boise into our name, we hope to support the efforts of groups BVEP and the Visitors Bureau, as they work to ‘brand’ our community in the minds of people across the country. But also, our members don’t just do business in Ada County, and we want our name to reflect the expanding area in which our members live and work.”

An official announcement and more details about the name change will be shared soon.

Other leaders who were sworn in to serve on behalf of the association include President-Elect Katrina Wehr of Silvercreek Realty Group, Vice President Gary Salisbury of Red Barn Real Estate, Treasurer Danielle Cullip of Silverhawk Realty, Immediate Past President Brenda Kolsen of Silverhawk Realty, two new Directors Krista Deacon of Silvercreek Realty Group and Jeffrey Wills of Amherst Madison Legacy, and five new State Directors Becky Enrico-Crum of Andy Enrico & Company, Shirley Koch of Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group, Carolyn Sinnard of Happy Dog Realty, Susan Weaver of Group One Real Estate, and Greg Winther of Silvercreek Realty Group.

They will work alongside the association’s continuing Directors Michelle Bailey of Keller Williams Realty Boise, Jared Cozby of Front Street Brokers, Dianne Hough of Group One, and Bob Van Allen of Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group, and continuing State Directors Chase Craig of Keller Williams Realty Boise, Phil Mount of Front Street Brokers, Gary Salisbury of Red Barn Real Estate, and Katrina Wehr of Silvercreek Realty Group. The associations is also represented on the National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors by Kit Fitzgerald of Red Barn Real Estate, whose term goes through 2016.

View Photo Gallery

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The Ada County Association of REALTORS® (ACAR) represents more than 3,600 real estate professionals throughout the Boise region, providing resources to help members conduct their businesses professionally, ethically, and successfully. For more information, visit www.myacar.com.

REALTORS® Community Foundation grants nearly $25,000 in Ada County

The ACAR REALTORS® Community Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of the Ada County Association of REALTORS® (ACAR) awarded nine Ada County nonprofit organizations with grants totaling almost $25,000 through its annual competitive grant cycle.

Funds for grants are raised throughout the year by members of ACAR. The two largest fundraisers include the Give-Back Charity Golf Tournament and an online auction at the annual Circle of Excellence Awards Gala.

The objective of the REALTORS® Community Foundation is to support projects and/or programs in Ada County in order to transform the lives of the people in the neighborhoods in which we serve, with special consideration given to projects and/or programs focused on housing needs.

The 2015 grant recipients are:

Boise Firefighters Local 149 Burnout Fund  ̶  $2,500 to provide fire victims with immediate resources for food, shelter and clothing needs.

Boise Firefighters Local 149 - 2015

Boise Rescue Mission/City Light Home for Women & Children  ̶  $3,000 to provide program support for the City Life Home for Women & Children; including the Emergency Services Program, New Life Program, Transitional Housing Program and Children’s Program.

Boise Rescue Mission - 2015

Good Samaritan League   ̶   $2,755 to purchase a new commercial dishwasher as part of the Renovation/Repair/Beautification project.

Good Samaritan League - 2015

Habitat for Humanity   ̶  $2,000 to help with construction costs for homes currently under construction in Frazier Place, a fifteen home subdivision in Boise.

Habitat for Humanity - 2015

Jesse Tree   ̶  $2,500 to provide funding for the Emergency Rent and Mercy Assistance program to keep qualifying individuals in their homes following a one-time financial emergency.

Jesse Tree - 2015

Life’s Kitchen  ̶   $3,000 to help fund the Stone Soup Project providing one hot and healthy meal every weekday at the Interfaith Sanctuary shelter.

Life's Kitchen - 2015

NeighborWorks (formerly Neighborhood Housing Services)   ̶  $2,500 to help fund the Paint the Town program.

The Salvation Army   ̶  $2,000 to help fund the Nearly Home Transition in Place program.

Salvation Army - 2015

Women’s and Children’s Alliance   ̶  $4,000 to maintain the viability of the critical emergency shelter for victims of domestic and/or sexual violence.

WCA - 2015

 

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The Ada County Association of REALTORS® represents more than 3,600 real estate professionals throughout the Boise region, providing resources to help members conduct their businesses professionally, ethically, and successfully. For more information, visit www.myacar.com.

The Difference Between Federal Interest Rates and Mortgage Rates

Fed Rate Hike Impact on Mortgage Rates, by NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in Forbes.com The Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year and continue to do so throughout next year. This act, however, does not automatically guarantee a proportionate rise in mortgage rates for consumers. Let’s take a look at why this is the case. The following chart from the year 2000 to 2015 compares what the Fed directly controls, which is the short-term federal funds rate, to the long-term 30-year fixed mortgage rate. There appears to be some influence in direction between the two rates but certainly not a large one. There is also movement in mortgage rates on their own, even when there are no changes to the fed funds rate. Full article posted on the Research page under Facebook.com/narresearchgroup/ #realtor #realtorproblems #sold #realestate #hgtv #openhouse #closing #home #realty #hardwork #inspiration #business #homes #realestateagent #homeowner #buyers #homebuyer #homesearch #buy #real #selling #dream #renters #rent #buyer

A photo posted by REAL ESTATE Research & Stats (@narresearch) on

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve announced that it will raise interest rates. This was just a few days after we posted our recent market report. In it, we discussed how housing affordability should continue locally, despite rising prices, due to our strong job market and historically low interest rates.

While higher interest rates would make homes purchased with a mortgage more expensive, Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of REALTORS®, explained why this recent rate increase doesn’t mean home buyers will see an immediate change in purchasing power — spoiler alert — it’s because interest rates and mortgage rates are not the same:

“This [rise in interest rates…] does not automatically guarantee a proportionate rise in mortgage rates for consumers… There appears to be some influence… between the two rates but certainly not a large one…  Long-term mortgage rates are guided by market forces [like] the inflation rate and the erosion of the purchasing power of money, the global reserve currency status, the budget deficit and debt, household savings rate, corporate borrowing enthusiasm, printing of money, the degree to which the government will guarantee mortgages, and a host of others. It all comes down to the supply and demand of mortgage funds against alternative investment choices…  Moreover, rates are rising for good reasons: an improving economy and job additions. Therefore, consumers can absorb slightly higher rates and the housing market should be just fine.”

In some ways, it’s like explaining the difference between your buyer’s APR and their mortgage rate when they’re like, “Wait, why are these different?” While that’s another topic entirely, when you and your lender partners are able to explain the differences in the rates your buyers will encounter when purchasing a home, they’ll feel more confident about their financing decisions.

Keep an eye on our blog, as well as the National Association of REALTORS® Research page, for more information about how the increase in interest rates and other changes in the economy, are impacting the real estate industry.