Reasons Why Utah is a Great State to Live And Visit

Skyline of downtown Salt Lake City with the Towering Wasatch Mountain range in the background

The Variety In Utah

I have lived in Utah for 30 plus years now and still amazed at the diversity that the State of Utah and Salt Lake area offers. I can promise you that you won’t say there is nothing to do here.

In the Salt Lake area, you have a mix of activities, from the downtown city life that Salt Lake City brings, to the “Greatest Snow on Earth” that the well-known ski resorts have, to the numerus mountain trails and the mountain lakes. And not to mention the thousands of acres that the National Parks in Utah offers that is only hours away from Salt Lake City.

The climate is not that bad either. The summers are not that hot, with very minimal humidity and the winters, in my mind, are comfortable compared to other places in the Country.

Summer Time in Utah

If you are into concerts and watching sports, Salt Lake has you covered with this. The Energy Solution is located downtown Salt Lake City and brings in some of the biggest names in the entertainment business and is the home to the Pro basket team, The Utah Jazz.

The Maverick Center, which is located in West Valley City and the home to the Ice hockey team The Utah Grizzlies you can always plan on having a good time there.

The Rio Tinto stadium is one of the newest additions to the area and located in Sandy City and being an outdoor facility that is the home to the Salt Lake ReAL Soccer team.

The whole family can enjoy a day out watching the minor league baseball team “The Salt Lake Bees” that are played in Franklin Covey Field. Two other great places that brings entertainment to the area is USANA Amphitheater located in West Valley City and Sandy Amphitheater located in Sandy City.

Although Salt Lake doesn’t have a Pro Football team, we do have our College football. Among these teams are Utah University (The UTES) and BYU (Brigham Young University). These two teams are long time rivalries and on game day you will see just who the fans are from the sea of red or blue colors.

Amusement Parks

Always a fun day is to visit Lagoon Amusement Park that is located in Farmington that is about 30 minutes north of Salt Lake City.  Among the great rides that Logan offers there is Lagoona Beach which is a water park located right inside the amusement park to help cool off the summer heat.

Not too far from Lagoon, in Kaysville, you will find a place called Cherry Hills. Here you will find a small fun park that offers several water rides, miniature golfing and many other fun things to do with the whole family.

Utah Outdoor Fun

If you want to get in touch with nature there are hundreds of trails to explore in the nearby mountains with water falls, picnic area and camping sites.

Right in the middle of Salt Lake valley there is Jordan Parkway Trail that follows along the Jordan River. This popular paved trail runs from the south end of the valley to the north end.

Another must see and very popular attraction is Timpanogos caves, located in Utah County outside of Lehi. Here you will enjoy an easy hike on a paved trail to the cave and take a guided tour with a Ranger. After visiting the cave, you can take the Alpine Loop that is among a favorite of Utahans, that will come out at Sundance Resort.

Utah LakesThere are plenty of water sport activities to do in Utah from water skiing, wake boarding, jet skiing, swimming and fishing in the nearby lakes. Among the popular lakes are Jordanelle, Rock Port, Echo and Utah Lake, just to name a few.

Another well-known water spot is Bull Frog located in a very popular place, Lake Powell. Lake Powell has hundreds of miles of shoreline, with awesome scenery and hundreds of coves and canyons to explore that changes with the raise and lowering of the water level. Renting a houseboat on Lake Powell is a must to do.

Salt Lake City Night Life

Salt Lake City night life you will find many clubs that offers socializing, dancing, wine and dinning. A fun place to get a good laugh for the night is at Wise Guys Comedy Club, that brings top Comedians from all over.

A more mellow and relaxed time you can spend a night at the Salt Lake Symphony, or the Tabernacle Choir or just catch a play.

Salt Lake City has a range of restaurants and fine dining with great food like Mexican, sushi, Chinese and several other culture foods. Spend some time shopping or just hanging out at the several malls that are in Salt Lake; City Creek, The Gateway and Trolley Square are among the most popular.

Winter Fun Time

Winter activities brings just has much fun as the summer does in Utah and Salt Lake City area. We have some of the best snow around with plenty of places for skiing and  snowboarding like Snowbird, Alta, Brighten and Park City just to touch on a few of them. Not to mention that Park City is a great place to visit in the summer time and they host the most popular annual Film Festival.

skiing-utah

Among the ski resorts there is abundance of open areas to cross country skiing, snow shoeing or snowmobiling. Not to many people owns snowmobiles, so no worries, it is very easy to rent one from many places around.

Other winter activities are to see the spectacular lights around the holidays at Temple Square or you catch a one horse carriage ride in downtown Salt Lake City.

If you are into site seeing, Utah has some of the most amazing National Parks around. The most popular places are Zions National Park, Bryce Canyon, The Arches, Coral Reef, The Canyonlands and Moab. These are great places to hike and mountain bike or you can just catch the site from your car while driving through these awesome places. I am still finding new areas to go and still so amazed at the vast open land that Utah offers.

The Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake is a sight to see, being the largest body of water west of the Mississippi. The Great Salt Lake is the home to Brine Shrimp and many migrating birds in the swap land that is part of the Great Salt Lake. Places to checkout around this huge Lake is Antelope Island and Salt Air.  Antelope Island offers picnic areas, historical places to visit and biking. Salt Air was once a popular resort back in the 50s and now-a-days you can catch a concert or two there.

After moving hear from Idaho shortly after high school, I have enjoyed being part of the Utah culture and honestly, I can’t think of a place I rather live. There is much more to see and do here in Utah than I was able to write in this blog, you will have to come here and create your own experience.

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Why Didn’t My Home Sell?

Home in Basket

4 Reasons Why Your Home May Not Have Sold

So you put your home on the market only to have 2 or 3 months go by and not one offer came in. Selling a home can be challenging and a little frustrating too…most of the time you just haven’t found the right ingredients to make the home sell.

Working with buyers has a buyer agent, I have found some common factors that we see time and time again. Below are list of the top 4 reasons why your home may not have sold.

Price

You knew that one was coming, but it is true. If the home is priced right you will get showings and written offers. If the home is price above what the market is baring, buyers may be reluctant to pass your home up to the one down the street with the same characteristic has yours but for less. Some buyers may view the home and may not want to insult the seller by offering what may appear to be a low ball offer, so they may choose not to make one.

If the home is need of some TLC or some updating, then the home should be priced accordingly. We are not talking about having a fire sale here, but a realistic price. The market will speak to the Seller on how well the home is priced; they will have to be willing to listen. If the home is not receiving the traffic that it should then the price is something that really should be revaluated. And this should be done sooner that later.

 

Availability

Was the home available for showings most of the time in reasonable hours? I have seen to many times when a viewing appointment was attempted only to be shot down due to the Seller unwilling to show at the time for what ever reasons. Buyers and their Agents will get frustrated after a couple of attempts only to cross the home of their list and move on. I am not indicating to have a 24/7 open sign on, but have a lock box on the home and expect to be flexible on showing appointments. Yes it is a pain, but this will be over shortly.

 

Marketing

A good marketing plan is important. The home defiantly needs to be found online and through several online channels like social media, popular real estate websites and online classified ads. If you are present on the web, the Buyers will seek you out and find the home.

 

Condition

The condition of the home is for sure important part of the equation, especially if you want top dollar for the home. Remember the first item on this list…Price. The home should be kept in showing conditions at all times, again this is a pain, but needs to be done.

If the condition of the home is below average, then this is not a problem, just be sure the price is below average. If the home condition is a 10+….the Seller will be awarded. The condition of the home will more likely dictate what the home is worth.

 

Another important factor to keep in mind is to be sure to have your Agent ask for feedback from the showings. I recommend doing this within 24 hours of the showing where the home is still fresh in the mind of the Buyer and their Buyer Agent. This can be enlightening and offer some good insights in how the home shows and if the home is priced right.

Get with your Real Estate Agent to help you with valuating your home…pricing it right from the start can make all the difference in the world.

Previous Posts

5 Articles to Kick Start 2016

Utah Home Buyer Guide

 

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5 Articles To Kick Start 2016

Kick Start 2016Here are five articles to help kick start your 2016 Real Estate buying or selling experience.

Top Ten Mortgage Tips For Potential  Home Buyers In 2016: Although rates are creeping higher, they’re still near record lows, so don’t go into panic mode just yet. But do consider these tips as you jump on the homebuying bandwagon in 2016.

16 Ways To Make Your Home Look New For The New Year For Under $1,000: It’s common to start thinking about a new house in the New Year. We all do it (in fact, we’re doing it right now). But if it’s not a practical time to but (or sell) or you’re not in a financial position to make that kind of change, you can still make your house feel like new. Make one big change or a couple of smaller ones to breathe new life into your home. In honor of the coming new year, we’ve got 16 ways to go about it, and you can do them for under $1,000.

7 Tips For Improving Your Credit: Here’s how to clean up your credit so you get the least-expensive home loan possible. Should You Rent Or Buy? “To rent or to buy, that is the question.” Okay, so I’ve taken some liberties with the dialogue in Hamlet. However, many people question the decision to rent or buy daily.

Tips For First Time Home Buyers From Real Estate Agents: Here are 5 great tips from Real Estate Agents to Home Buyers.

Simultaneously Buying And Selling: Selling your home while simultaneously buying a new one can be a daunting task, but it CAN be done successfully!

Have a Awesome 2016!

 

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Utah Home Buyer Guide

Utah Home Buying Guide CoverIn this Utah Home Buyer Guide you will learn insights into the buying process from start to finish. Here are 8 things you will find in this useful guide.

  1. The Beginning of the Process: Discover the WhY you want to own a home and things to consider when you start the journey of the home buying process.
  2. Mortgage Qualifying: After making the decisions of purchasing a home, one of the most important step is getting pre-approved for your financing. Learn what is the involvement and importance of this step.
  3. Mortgage Programs: There are many programs available and having an understanding of the most popular mortgage programs will help you when you speak to your Mortgage Professional.
  4. Mortgage Payment: This guide will cover what is included in the monthly mortgage payment, from the interest to escrow and what private mortgage insurance is.
  5. Working With a Realtor: Having a Realtor on your side is an important has the Mortgage professional. A Realtor is the person who will bring this process all together.
  6. Different Faces of a Seller: Understanding the many different kinds of Sellers will give you the insights of who you will be dealing with. From your traditional sellers, to Bank Owned sellers and sellers who are in the pre-foreclosure process.
  7. Making An Offer: You have found the home and now it’s time to make a purchase offer of the home. Your Agent knowledge will be very useful and this guide will show you the mechanics of the involvement of an offer.
  8. Offer Accepted: Your offer is accepted and this brings you to what is called “Under Contract”. You may think it is over at this time but you still have some work ahead of you. You will learn the under contract status in this guide.

This Utah Home Buyer Guide is completely FREE and available to who ever wants it. Go the this link to request your copy.

Todd Rodocker specializes with first time home buyers, seasoned buyers and investors. He can be contacted at toddrodocker@gmail.com, cell 801-694-0903 or by visiting his websites: www.UtahRealEstateStore.com or  www.UtahHomes.kwRealty.com

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Are We Heading Towards Another Real Estate Bubble?

Real Estate BubbleThere are concerns and talk about the rapid increase in home values that may be an indication that we are heading towards another bubble in Real Estate, like we seen in 2005 to 2008.

Before we get alarmed… let’s look at some of the facts and compare today’s market to the market that we seen in 2008, when everything came to a head.

Real Estate Is Local

Keep something very important in mind, like the weather real estate is local and what is happening in Miami Florida, is not the same that is going on in your city or even neighborhood.

Key Factors

Two key metrics that is keeping a bubble from happening here in the Salt Lake area are affordability and foreclosure rates. First with affordability, People’s incomes have just not caught up with the rising prices of real estate here in Utah. Meaning large volumes of homes are not being bought up; in fact home sales are down by 6% for 2014 versus 2013.

Some cities like Austin Texas, Honolulu and San Francisco to name a few, are seeing higher median homes prices now, than when prices peaked during the 2005 to 2008 bubble.

What we are seeing here in Salt Lake County is about 5% below reaching the highest median home price that climaxed in the bubble going into 2008. Which at the time the median home price was at $268,900 and has of October 2014 median home price was at $255,000.

Low Foreclosure Rates

Several cities across the United States are experiencing higher than normal foreclosure rates on mortgages than were given out in 2014. Salt Lake area and Utah are not among these cities that are seeing a rise in foreclosure.

Loose Lending Practice

Another key factor is we don’t have the loose lending practices that actually help fuel the real estate market all across the country in past and helped lead to the bubble in 2008.

So are we heading towards another bubble? I believe some areas across the country may see a bubble due to homes are affordable, foreclosure rates are on the rise and the median homes prices are above what they were in 2008. But that isn’t the case here in Utah. Our foreclosure rate is low and unfortunately, home affordability is just out of reach for many which are keeping home sales down.

To those who have the income and credit to qualify, they can reap the benefits of very low interest rates and equity gains that will continue to increase slowly in the coming years.

5 Things you should do in a multiple offer situation 
Salt Lake ranked #3 for homeownership 
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4 Key Factors That Will Indicate A Seller’s Market

Sellers MarketWhat is going on in your area of real estate…is it a buyer’s or seller’s market? Below are 4 things that will strongly pronounce if your local market is a seller’s.

Supply & Demand

It still comes back to the old “Supply & Demand”. This part isn’t rocket science, but is still very much over looked and not just in Real Estate, but with any market or product. In real estate however supply and demand is where the supply is low (homes) and the demand is high (desired to own a home). With these circumstances in real estate, the sellers have something that the market place wants…yes homes. Thus, we have a seller’s market

Absorption Rate

Absorption rate is a term that was coined a few years ago. In a nut shell, absorption rate is the rate homes are being sold in a certain time frame. Simple calculation is taking the number of active homes (example 2,000) and dividing that number by number of sold homes in a month (example 200), which gives a absorption rate of  10.0. If no other homes entered the market, it would take 10 months to exhaust the current inventory.

So what benefit can you use with this? An absorption rate of 5 to 7 represents a balanced market, not a seller’s or buyers, we are on equal ground. With the rate above 7, inventory is plentiful and buyers have more choices. With the rate going below 5, inventory is low, homes are selling quickly, and sellers have the upper hand.

Professional Home Sellers

Watching the professional seller’s will give you insight into your local real estate market. Professional sellers are your builders and contractors. These guys watch the market like a hawk, when they see movement in home sales, appreciation and the absorption rate, builders will enter the market in groves.

Subdivision will start sprouting up, land is being developed, an increase in building permits are being issued, and model homes are everywhere. Look around, what are you seeing in your area with new builds?

Increase In Home Values

And of course home appreciation. Fast appreciation is communicating that home values are on the rise due to sales and the demand for housing. When homes are appreciating 10%, 15% and higher annually, sellers who once couldn’t afford to sell, now have the equity to do so. Sellers are not the only one who will reap the benefit of appreciation, buyers can jump on the equity ride and gain values in there new purchase.

A Side Note

No low ball offers in a seller’s market. With a seller’s market, the days of offering way below asking price just to see if the seller’s will bight, does not work, and will only frustrate the buyer. If the home is priced right from the start, offering lower than asking price doesn’t make sense. If you don’t offer the sellers their asking price or very close to it, there will be someone who will.

Whats Happening In Salt Lake City Area?

What are we are seeing here in the Salt Lake City and surrounding areas? Homes prices at $300,000 and below have an average absorption rate of 3.57. We are seeing appreciation as high as 27% in some areas and are averaging out at around 13% annual through out the valley and yes, there are a lot of new builds through out the valley.

With home inventory being at an all time low which is keeping the supply down and adding low interest rates to the equation, this is adding fuel to the demand of buying…all these ingredients creates a seller’s market.

If you are planning on purchasing in a seller’s market, have your agent help valuate the home value so you can go in with your best offer. If you are a seller who is selling in this type of market, make sure you price it right and you will see multiple offers come across your door step.

5 Things you should do in a multiple offer situation 
Salt Lake ranked #3 for homeownership 
New low down Utah mortgage program 
 
Todd Rodocker specializes with first time home buyers, seasoned buyers and investors. He can be contacted at toddrodocker@gmail.com, cell 801-694-0903 or by visiting his websites: www.UtahRealEstateStore.com or  www.UtahHomes.kwRealty.com
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5 Things You Should Do In A Multiple Offer Situation

Multiple OffersWe Are In A Seller’s Market

In today’s real estate market we are experiencing a very low inventory with a large supply demand, which puts us in a seller’s market.

This is good for sellers but not so good for home buyers. When the home is priced right, sellers are seeing multiple offers coming in on their home and in a very short period of time.

With this being said buyers will want their offer to stand out above the crowd, grab the seller’s attention and tell them, “choose my offer”.

Here are the 5 things for best practice in multiple offers

Highest and Best 

Come in with your highest and best offer, you will have no time to throw in a low offer just to see the reaction of the seller and possible pick up the home below asking price.

You will want to submit your highest offer, with the maximum price you are willing to pay for the home. At the same time, don’t get all caught up in this and start offering 10% & 20% above the list price, if the home was price right from the start, there may not be a huge room left, before over shooting the appraisal value.

And for the second half of highest and best offer is…your best offer, this can be in terms, payment method (mortgage or cash), a quick close, etc.

More Earnest Money

Increase your earnest money deposit. If you really want to catch the seller’s attention, offer with a higher than normal earnest money deposit. This will show the seller you are serious and you are not messing around.

Normally you can see earnest money deposits as low as $500, up to 1% of the purchase price. Moving your earnest money above this norm will increase your chances of acceptance. Seller’s like seeing that the buyer is willing to put more skin in the game right from the start.

Pre-Approval 

Have a pre-approval letter from your lender. Yes, you are supposed to have this anyways, but you would be surprise on how many offers get submitted without this valuable piece to the puzzle.

Have your bank or mortgage person right an approval letter the day of the offer with the date and the property address. You will be surprised on how much weight this will have with the seller.

Keep it Simply

Keep the offer has simple as possible. This is getting back to your best offer. There are several methods of doing this. One way is to close has quickly has possible. Some loans on average are taking up to 30 days; some has long as 45 days. If you can trim this down to 20 days for example, the seller will appreciate this, because they will get their money quicker.

If you don’t need assistance with closing cost, then don’t ask for seller’s concession in a multiple offer scenario. This will make your offer more appealing to the seller. The bottom line is, the seller is looking for the offer that may net them the most in the quickest and less hassle situation.

Personal Letter

And lastly, send in a short personal letter from the buyer telling about you, your kids, how you are tired of renting and how you fell in love with their home…you get the picture.

But keep it short, sweet and authentic. If there are two offers sitting on the table that are very similar to each other, but one offer has a brief letter telling about themselves, their family and why they want to purchase the seller’s home, this may and could be the deciding factor for the seller.

Increase Your Chances Of Acceptance

Real estate here in Utah has become very beneficial to sellers and competitive for all buyers…being first time home buyers to move up buyers. If you are very pro-active in your home search and follow the above advice, your chances of getting your offer accepted by the seller will increase dramatically.

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Todd Rodocker specializes with first time home buyers, seasoned buyers and investors. He can be contacted attoddrodocker@kw.com, cell 801-694-0903 or by visiting his websites http://www.utahrealestatestore.com http://www.UtahHomes.kwrealty.com

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