Deck the Halls and Test Your DIY Homeowner Skills

Being a homeowner, you might already know the frustration of attempting a DIY home project yourself, rather than hiring a professional.

But – you’re not alone!

A new survey released from HireAHelper found that many homeowners would tackle a renovation first before hiring someone.

Which projects are homeowner most comfortable with, you ask?

86% of homeowners would rather assemble furniture themselves than hire a professional. The project homeowners are least comfortable with – installing a ceiling fan.

The second project homeowners feel confident tackling: unclogging a toilet. When it comes to generational groups, however, 1 in 4 Gen Zers would rather hire someone to unclog a toilet, than complete the task themselves.

Check out HireAHelper’s infographic below:

Infographic from HireAHelper

Want more real estate stats? Check out Alliance’s Blog here.

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Employee Spotlight – Cheree Bartram

Happy holidays and a cheery applause for our newest Employee Spotlight, Cheree Bartram!

Cheree Bartram is an Escrow Officer for our Nampa, Idaho branch. Cheree helps people’s dreams come true by preparing closing documents, signings, and supporting the awesome Nampa team. She truly loves helping clients achieve the ultimate goal of homeownership – Cheree explains, “I love what I do. Each day is a new challenge; I have developed some great friendships over the years with my clients, agents, and lenders. That is just icing on the cake!”

Of the Alliance Core Values, “Teamwork,” is Cheree’s favorite. She explains, “All of our core values are what I stand by, but teamwork is what I value the most. I feel when you work together, you can accomplish much greater things as a team with your lenders, agent, and co-workers.”

Outside the office, Cheree loves to spend time with her husband, family, and two grandsons. Cheree is also a dog mom, and loves to be with Lily and Bogey when she can, along with her new puppy, Cocoa! She also loves to find time to spend outdoors; whether that’s working in her yard or her new garden area.

Cheree’s favorite quote, “Be kind to one another,” comes from Ellen DeGeneres – who also happens to be someone she greatly admires! Cheree further explains, “I love that quote, because I always think what goes around comes around. So…just always be kind.”

Now that you’ve gotten to know Cheree a little more, stop by Alliance Title’s Nampa office and write them in on your next transaction! Cheree looks forward to helping make your home closing a simple and smooth experience.

Cheree Bartram – Escrow Officer at Alliance’s Nampa Branch
1005 W Sanetta St., 83651

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Meet our Blackfoot, ID Branch

In Bingham County, and exactly a half an hour between Pocatello and Idaho Falls, you’ll find the cute little town of Blackfoot, Idaho.

Located on the south side of the Snake River, Blackfoot boasts the largest potato industry – which explains its nickname, “Potato Capital of the World.” You can find the Idaho Potato Museum here, where you can take a picture with the giant potato statue that welcomes you to the museum.

Only a two-minute drive from the famous Rupe’s Burgers, our wonderful Alliance Title Blackfoot team awaits. With over 130 total combined years in the industry and 118 years of experience in title & escrow, our Blackfoot branch is the best team to serve you in Bingham County.

Vice President and Branch Manager, Brittany Carlson, explains, “On top of having A LOT of experience, our team is committed to helping each and every customer. We take pride in every transaction and the level of communication that we provide to our customers. Many of us were born and raised in Blackfoot, Idaho and have called this home for most of our lives.”

Our Alliance Blackfoot, ID team!

Our Blackfoot team does more than just serve your real estate transactions, they are also a great help to the local community! In addition to participating in the companywide annual food drive, Closing the Hunger Gap, the branch is involved in the Community Dinner Table and the Greater Blackfoot Area Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, team members are involved with the  Relay for Life and Toys for Tots.

When our Blackfoot office isn’t hard at work in the office, they enjoy traveling, camping, going on photography shoots, spending time with family, playing the piano, farming, and reading. A few team members also love craft shows and antiques.

Recently, Brittany just finished her four-year service commitment to the Greater Blackfoot Area Chamber of Commerce, where she served as Vice President, President, and Past President.

Our Blackfoot branch understands how important their community is. Brittany explains further, “we have the BEST customers in our market. This includes our Relators®, lenders, buyers, sellers, attorneys – ALL OF THEM! They are the best!”

Whether you’re buying or selling commercial or residential property in Bingham County, the professionals at Alliance Title’s Blackfoot location would be delighted to help make your next transaction a success!

Alliance Title Blackfoot Branch
246 W Pacific St. Ste, A., 83221

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Must Love Dogs: Condo Requirements Before Move-In

There might be some ruff news for future homebuyers if you’re looking to purchase in a condo.

Home shoppers know that when it comes to finalizing a home transaction, you’re going to need to send in financial statements, tax returns, and more – to condo and co-op boards before you’re accepted.

But now, a lot of condos are requesting an extra step if you own a pet.

Some condos and co-ops are requiring headshots, resumes, recommendation letters, and even sit-in interviews for pets.

As of now, this is more popular in New York City – where pet interviews are mandatory in order to ensure pets won’t fight other residents or bark throughout the night. Those on the board believe they might be held legally liable if the pet bites another person in one of the common spaces.

Some pets, if listed as “banned”, have the opportunity to try out a trial period – if the resident signs a letter that acknowledges the dog can remain in the building only at the board’s discretion.

While this might be another hoop to jump through – maybe a cute sweater or bow tie might help your pet pass on a good first impression.

For more real estate news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog here.

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Employee Spotlight – Debbie Chavez

Drumroll please…our newest Alliance Title Employee Spotlight goes to Debbie Chavez!

Debbie Chavez is an Escrow Officer for our Twin Falls, Idaho branch. Debbie enjoys having the opportunity to meet amazing and unique people. She believes “buying or selling a home is a big step for most people, so I enjoy playing even a small part of the process.”

Of the Alliance Core Values, “Integrity” is Debbie’s top choice. She explains, “Integrity is what directs our actions and thoughts both in the workplace and in our personal lives. Without integrity, the other core values could not be achieved to their full potential.”

Having been with Alliance Title for 16 and a half years, Debbie is an outstanding employee to have on our team!  

When she’s not working hard in the office, Debbie enjoys anything that involves her children and grandchildren. This may include going to dance performances, camping, attending football games, learning a new karate move, or just hanging out!

Debbie’s favorite quote, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies,” is something she tries to stick by. Debbie further illustrates, “this quote reminds me that we don’t always accomplish ‘big’ things each day, but at the end of the day, our smallest action or word may have made an impact in ways we do not yet know or understand.”

Now that you’ve gotten to know Debbie a little more, stop by Alliance Title’s Twin Falls office and write them in on your next transaction! Debbie looks forward to helping make your home closing a simple and smooth experience.

Debbie Chavez – Escrow Officer at Alliance’s Twin Falls Branch
1411 Falls Ave. E, Ste. 1315, 83301

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Real Estate Tip of the Week: Keeping Up with 2020 Trends

The real estate world is constantly changing and expanding – and it’s important that you, as a real estate agent, stay at the forefront of it.

Instead of being fearful of the industry changes, embrace it! Change will always occur, but that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt. Here are some tips to ensure your relevance in the upcoming 2020 real estate year.

Security Updates

According to Real Estate Consulting Firm, T3 Sixty, in 2018, more than 11,000 real estate data crime victims lost $150 million in total. Not good.

But – there are ways you can combat this problem. With new technology, comes new ways to hack – so it’s important that you keep your vigilance. Here are some tips:

  • Update your passwords – check out our recent blog on updating your password here.
  • Verify, verify, verify – call your client, lender, etc., when you have received an email about any updates or changes to your transaction.
  • Update your programs – make sure your computers and cell phones are on the most current update.
  • Two-Step Authentication – requiring a second form of identification can thwart potential hackers.

iBuyer Growth

Not all brokerages have implemented this feature yet – but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. iBuyers are a quicker sale and is essentially all online. Atlanta Real Estate coach, Dr. Lee Davenport, has a great article discussing the advantages to jumping aboard the iBuyer train – and how to do it.

Referrals and Leads

The average consumer spends $10,000 on services like movers, insurance, utilities, home security, and home improvements within the first six weeks of a home purchase.

Using a third-party vendor to offer referrals for these services after your client’s transaction has been completed is predicted to go on the rise – and hey, it offers a great structure for a referral base.

These are just a few of the changes that are heading our way in the real estate world. Let’s make this a successful year – check out the rest of Alliance Title’s blog to stay in the know!

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Prepping for the Final Walk-Through as a Home Buyer

Before you sign on the dotted line to purchase your home, you’ll need to complete a final walk-through as one of your last steps.

But what does this mean?

Here’s the final walk-through breakdown:

The final walk-through will usually happen before the settlement. Buyers can check on the condition of the property to double-check that any negotiated work has been completed to feel comfortable with the home’s systems.

While you’re completing your walk-through, take a peek at some of these things:

  • Test all major appliances
  • Run the heating and air conditioning
  • Turn on and off all lights
  • Open and shut all windows and doors
  • Run all the faucets and check for leaks
  • Flush all the toilets and check for leaks
  • Walk around the outside of the home to check for any obvious damage
  • Double-check that any agreed-upon repairs have been made
  • Double-check that any fixtures that are supposed to be left behind are still in place 

Once you’ve scheduled your walk-through, make sure you leave plenty of time to complete your list. This is a big purchase, so you’ll want to make sure you’re feeling confident and good-to-go come closing time.

Want more real estate guides? Stop by Alliance’s Blog for more!

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Tick Tock on Winter’s Clock – Time to Buy a Home

The first day of winter is approaching, and with that, comes the best time to purchase a home!

ATTOM Data Solutions recently released their analysis of the best days of the year to buy a home. According to the research, the biggest discounts fall the day after Christmas or on New Year’s Eve.

Compared to the summer months, December can help you save BIG time.

The month of December will still have about a 1.2% premium – but the month of June usually has the highest of 7.1%.

The best days to purchase according to ATTOM researchers: Dec. 26, Dec. 31, and Dec. 4 – in that order.

Todd Teta, Chief Product Officer with ATTOM Data Solutions, explains, “While lots of folks are shopping the day-after Christmas sales or getting ready to ring in the New Year, our data shows that buyers and investors are buying homes on those days at a discount.”

So if you’re in the market to purchase a home….aim for those closing days.

Want more real estate news? Be sure to check out Alliance Title’s Blog.

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Employee Spotlight – Heather Erickson

We have a new employee spotlight! Please give a round of applause for Heather Erickson!

Heather Erickson is an Escrow Officer for our Rexburg, Idaho branch. Heather enjoys helping clients achieve their real estate goals and looks forward to helping you with your future transactions. Heather illustrates, “I love helping people buy their first home!”

Of the Alliance Core Values, “Teamwork” is Heather’s favorite. Heather explains, “I love the team that I work with, and I feel like I could not do this job without them.”

When Heather isn’t hard at work with her team, you can find her golfing with her sons over the summer! This year, her sons are purchasing a snowboard for her – a quote from Heather herself, “Pray for me.” We believe in you, Heather!

Heather makes no hesitation when choosing her mother as someone she admires. Heather believes that her mom sees the best in everyone.

Now that you’ve gotten to know Heather a little more, stop by Alliance Title’s Rexburg office and write them in on your next transaction! Heather looks forward to helping make your home closing a simple and smooth experience.

Heather Erickson – Escrow Officer at Alliance’s Rexburg Branch
130 E Main. St., 83440

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Expanding your Business

Reaching new clients and expanding your business is our top priority. We have the tools and resources you need for fast, smooth, and efficient transactions. With a hot market, you don’t have time to lose potential leads.

Check out some of our tools and prospecting ideas:

  • EMTransfer: Cloud-based service to securely document, collect, and disburse earnest money 100% electronically
  • Title Capture: A fast and useful quoting tool for title quotes, net sheets, and more
  • Seller Prospecting: search for properties in the most needed inventory areas
  • Buyer Prospecting: Look for zoning, land use, and acreage for agricultural land

Call your local Alliance Title Representative to connect with fast and friendly service!

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