The Price of Location

What’s it called when you live near amenities, walk or take public transportation to work, and spend less than 30% of your monthly income on housing costs?

It’s called an imaginary place, unfortunately.

Suburbs, city center, or country side? These areas are vastly different in lifestyle, but not so much in price. Surprising, right?

Zillow just released an article detailing new research focusing on the U.S. household income and what homeowners should expect to pay each month. While it might not be shocking to know that city centers are the costly areas to purchase a home, the suburbs don’t seem to be offering that much of a price break.

Experts advise on spending no more than 30% of your income on housing costs – but a renting household in the city can expect to pay more than that, about 36.8% of their income. The suburbs roughly come out to 31.8% of income; with rural areas dropping to 23.9% of income.

It’s a little less brutal for homebuyers – an urban area can expect to pay 26.5% of their income; rural and suburb areas 20.2%.

It seems as though if you’re wanting to make a dent on your savings, the rural areas are the place to be. However, your lifestyle, and what you’re looking for in terms of commute, living space, and finances, will play the final role in wherever your decision falls.

Your Client Lost on Their Offer – Now What?

It hurts to be the one to tell your clients that their offer fell through; you don’t want to be seen as the bad guy, and you don’t want them feeling as though it’s the end of the road for them. So how do you handle the situation?

There are many reasons why their offer may have fallen through – now your job is to help your clients understand the possible causes.

The Offer was Too High

Yes, you read that right. But this one has some surprising logic – sometimes sellers will reject offers that are too high, simply because the house might not be appraised for that amount. In this instance, they try and avoid a possible appraisal nightmare and accept the lower offer.

Gave Too Much Information

Sometimes your client might accidentally have said too much to the seller – genuinely not knowing that what they were saying may have actually been offending the owner. For instance, if there was mention of a remodel when the home has been with the owner’s family for the past 5 generations.

The Timing was Off

Your client needs to move in within 60 days, but the seller hasn’t found a new home yet and already doesn’t feel as though the 45 day closing process won’t be long enough. It’s important to discuss timing with a seller before any offers are made to avoid wasted time.


Honestly, there are a variety of reasons your client may have lost on their offer – the seller could have decided to keep the house, or there may have just been a better offer. While it is an uneasy feeling to be rejected on a home, it doesn’t mean your client’s search isn’t over. Just shake it off and keep moving forward.

Get Ready, Get Set, Vote!

Voting day is here!

Alliance Title’s 6th annual Canstructure Contest has begun! Follow the link below to vote for your favorite canstructure.

The winner will be allowed bragging rights, and the Fido Traveling Canstructure Trophy!

Get voting – and help Alliance Title close the hunger gap by donating nonperishable food items to any Alliance Title location throughout Idaho, Washington, and Montana.

It’s All in the Family – Helping the Next Generation Become Homeowners

It seems as though your kids will pick up more than just your good looks and personality as they grow up – they also seem to fall in step with the same homeownership goals as you.

The Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, released new research that shows if Mom and / or Dad are homeowners – instead of renters – their children becoming a homeowner increases by 8.4%.

The family’s net worth was also studied; 14% of millennials are homeowners with their parent’s net worth of $10,000, while 36% of millennials own a home with their parent’s net worth of $300,000 or more.

While this is incredibly promising, most new homeowners need guidance in the world of real estate. If one or all of your children are wanting to buy a home, you might want to think about giving them some housing market life lessons – like how to build good credit and why it matters and the breakdown of all the costs it takes to own a home.

The American dream of owning a home hasn’t faded – it’s just taking longer to get there. Luckily, if you’re a parent that owns a home, your kid might already be trying to follow in your footsteps and have their own place to call home.

We’re ready for you!

Alliance Title’s 25 locations throughout Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Wyoming help make your closing process attainable and achievable. Each branch is equipped with a friendly and experienced professional who are ready to provide you with a personalized transaction.

This October, Alliance is hosting the 7th annual ‘Closing the Hunger Gap’ food drive campaign and partnering with local food banks to collect nonperishable food and monetary donations to help end hunger in the communities we serve.

To make an online donation click here.

With our convenient locations, you’re never too far from friendly service or a donation site! Stop by any Alliance Title location to donate food items or make a monetary donation to help us end hunger!

2018 Canstructure Contest

Each branch has created food art installations we call “Canstructures!” Vote for your favorite Canstructure on our website throughout the month of October!

#alliancetitle #convenience #CHG2018 #volunteer #title #escrow

Closing the Hunger Gap 2018

We’ve officially kicked off the 7th annual Alliance Title & Escrow Corp. ‘Closing the Hunger Gap’ companywide food drive! The drive will run through October 31st, 2018.

Our branches throughout Idaho and sections of Montana and Washington have teamed up with their local food banks to collect non-perishable food items and funds to help end hunger in the communities we serve.

This year’s goal is to collect 27,000 pounds of food.

Each branch will be creating food art installations we call “Canstructures” – each office will come up with their own theme and design! Come into participating offices to vote on your favorite one, or vote for your favorite Canstructure starting on Monday, October 8th!

We’re eager to have you help us reach our 27,000 pound food collection goal and end hunger in our community!

Don’t forget to use the hashtag, #CHG2018 to share your donations!

Fraudulent Activity in Real Estate

Whatcha gonna do when the hackers come for you?

According to the FBI, the Internet Crime Complaint Center saw a 480% increase in the number of complaints submitted last year within the real estate industry. 2017 alone saw online scammers steal almost $1 billion from real estate purchase transactions.

Cybercrime against the real estate market is real – it’s always important to keep a wary eye out for those red flags.

So what is the primary threat? Essentially, a lot of it comes down to real estate agents’ email accounts being hacked and compromised. These scammers are intercepting important documents and wire transfers; these hackers are able to communicate directly with the client and reroute funds without the agent knowing what is taking place.

So what are some of the things that can be done to avoid cybercrime?

You should always be aware of what you’re opening and clicking on in your email. If something looks suspicious, work out the conversation over the phone instead – and of course, never click on those skeptical links.

So, don’t let the bad boys come for you while you complete those real estate transactions.

Employee Spotlight – Eric Polatis

Eric Polatis has been a part of the Alliance’s Emerald CTS branch since 2011, but has been working in the title insurance industry for the past 20 years! As a Senior Advisory Title Officer, he also services Alliance’s Meridian and CW Moore escrow teams on all title related matters.

Of the Alliance Core Values, “Integrity” is Eric’s top choice. He explains, “I believe in doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances whether or not anyone can see it. Success can come and go, but integrity is forever!” Eric aims to make a difference in Alliance’s client’s lives in both commercial and residential real estate.

Eric enjoys the daily challenge of his work and the constant learning it provides. He also loves to help customers solve their potential title issues – Eric further explains, “It can literally mean the difference in them putting food on the table and a roof over their family’s head.”

When asked whom he admires, Eric looks to his mother. He adds that “she is such an amazing hard-working woman who has done everything in her life for her family!”

Outside of work, Eric finds passion in being active and anything sports related. He also finds relaxation in playing his guitar!

Eric’s favorite quote, “be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind,” is something he tries to live by.

Now that you’ve gotten to know Eric a little more, write him in on your next transaction! He looks forward to helping make your next transaction a wonderful and positive success.


Eric Polatis – Senior Advisory Title Officer at Alliance’s Emerald CTS Branch
9465 W Emerald, Ste. 120
Boise, ID 83704

Real Estate Lingo – What is Title Insurance?

Purchasing a home is both exciting and terrifying – most of the terms you come across are alien to you, which might make you hesitate before signing on the deal.

Most first-time homebuyers believe that title insurance is “just another fee” they have to pay to buy a home. It may surprise some, but title insurance is far more than just a little fee – it protects both lender and buyer from many types of claims made against the title to a property, such as encumbrances and liens. Another surprising factor – one out of every four residential real estate transactions have an issue with the title.

Title insurance is based on loss prevention – which means a much larger percentage of the premium dollar is spent up front to prevent any title problems from occurring.

These costs cover: searching, identifying, and resolving title issues before closing to eliminate risks that could result in a future claim. The due diligence performed before the policy is issued aids in resolving any potential roadblocks.

It’s important to know the various terms in the real estate world so you feel confident and secure throughout your transaction!

Meet our Meridian, ID Branch

The Alliance Title team located in Meridian, ID is a wonderful group of experienced and talented individuals who know how to have fun! Each and every employee is a valuable member to the team and brings together over 120+ years of experience to the industry. The Meridian branch takes pride in their exemplary customer service and makes sure each transaction goes as smoothly as possible. Having each customer leave with an incredible experience is their top priority.

Not only is the Meridian branch committed to creating an exceptional experience for their clientele in both commercial and residential title and escrow services, but they are also an active participant in the community; the Meridian team holds their fundraising event, “Bowling to End Hunger” to help with the companywide campaign, “Closing the Hunger Gap” during the month of October benefiting the Idaho Foodbank. Members from the team also volunteer for a number of other local organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County, the First Tee of Idaho, and both the Boise Metro and Meridian Chamber of Commerce.

The Meridian branch brings an eclectic array of fun activities to the industry! From competitive body-building, archery, fly fishing, camping, golfing, hiking, and biking – the team is involved in almost everything!

Whether you’re buying or selling a commercial or residential property in the Ada County, the professionals at Alliance’s Meridian location are excited to help make your next transaction a success!

From left to right: Ben Thomas, Becky Ahring, Danielle Pegram, Sally Howie, Kauri Moll, Jessica Lins, Brittany Guettermann, Michelle Turner, Reana Garcia, and Yhindi Struthers
Not pictured: Brian Stone, Keehton Potter, and Brittney Love


Alliance Title – Meridian
2965 E Tarpon Dr., Ste. 180
Meridian, ID, 83642