4 Reasons To Buy A Home This Winter!

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Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insight report revealed that home prices have appreciated by 5.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase 

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4.8%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase in 2019.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person building that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

Buyers: Don’t Be Surprised by Closing Costs!

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Many homebuyers think that saving for their down payment is enough to buy the house of their dreams, but what about the closing costs that are required to obtain a mortgage?

By law, a homebuyer will receive a loan estimate from their lender 3 days after submitting their loan application and they should receive a closing disclosure 3 days before the scheduled closing on their home. The closing disclosure includes final details about the loan and the closing costs.

But what are closing costs anyway?

According to Trulia:

Closing costs are lender and third-party fees paid at the closing of a real estate transaction, and they can be financed as part of the deal or be paid upfront. They range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price of a home. (For those who buy a $150,000 home, for example, that would amount to between $3,000 and $7,500 in closing fees.)”

Keep in mind that if you are in the market for a home above this price range, your costs could be significantly greater. As mentioned before,

Closing costs are typically between 2% and 5% of your purchase price.

Trulia continues to give great advice, saying that:

“…understanding and educating yourself about these costs before settlement day arrives might help you avoid any headaches at the end of the deal.”

Bottom Line

Speak with your lender and agent early and often to determine how much you’ll be responsible for at closing. Finding out that you’ll need to come up with thousands of dollars right before closing is not a surprise anyone is ever looking forward to.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

Corn Mazes in Davis County

The mountains being peppered with changing colors means Halloween is just around the corner. Soon the allure of all the fun, exciting and even spooky adventures will be too strong resist. Give in to temptation with these corn mazes and other seasonal activities in Davis County.

  • Black Island Farmsbonnie-kittle-143218-unsplash

Utah’s largest corn maze offers plenty of family fun for everyone. Family owned and operated for more than 50 years, Black Island Farms invites you to visit them September 23 through October 31. Aside from their large corn maze, they provide an animal alley, bonfires, a cow train, grain shoot slide, bounce house, pumpkin patch and more. Plan a visit or field trip today to their nightmare acres, harvest hayride, corn maze or more.

  • Tri City Nursery Straw Maze

The Tri City Nursery and Garden Center will host a Halloween straw maze located at 395 S. Deseret Drive, Kaysville through Oct. 31. Enjoy fun activities, fresh eats and a straw maze. Admission is free.

Other Halloween Events in the area:

  • Monster Mash and Dash

This October bring the whole family out for the Monster Mash and Dash 5K. Located at Heritage Park in Kaysville from 5 to 8 p.m. The event features a Zombie Dash for children ages 8 and under, a 5k race that routes runners along the city cemetery, pumpkin painting, princess party, spooky storytelling, pie eating contest and more.

  • Halloween BOO-NANZA

Every year the Clearfield Aquatic and Fitness Center creates a truly haunting experience at their annual Halloween Boo-nanza. Join other heroes and villains on Oct. 22. Festivities start at 5:30 p.m. with the costume parade. Participants also can enjoy a haunted house, princess pumpkin patch, buccaneer balloon blast, train rides, spooky canoe rides and so much more. Admission is $7.50.

BUILDING YOUR CREDIT SCORE

A bad credit score can be a hindrance to your achieving many feats, including home buying and employment. Not building a good credit is risky which is why you need to learn more about it.oliur-745347-unsplash

Your credit history right from the beginning reflects on your credit score. It is possible to repair a bad credit but quite rigorous and slow. It is easier to just build a good credit score over time.

For beginners without credit history, this may be tricky but you are at an advantage.

  • Establish a Credit: With no prior credit history, there are some legal ways you can establish credit.
  1. Get a secured credit card – You are however required to make a cash deposit which will also represent your credit limit. Though temporary, but it will help you get an unsecure credit card.
  2. Find a co-signer – There needs to be an understanding between you and the co-signer because if you fail to repay, the co-owner must. The co-owner should be someone with a good credit score.
  3. Authorized user – You can become some other card user’s authorized user. Friends or family can give you access to their credit cards to help you build your own credit history. You are not legally bound to repay, but it is advisable that you do.
  4. Get a retail store credit card – You have a chance to show you can be responsible at handling money. You need this to reflect on your credit history, watch the interest rates on these cards though.
  5. Apply for student credit cards.
  • Build Credit Without Credit Cards:
  1. Apply for student loans, auto loans or other personal loans to help you build credit. However, you must endeavor to pay up on time or else, you will incur a bad credit score.
  2. Mortgages for home buying and rents are also viable means of kick starting your credit history.
  • Build Your Credit Responsibly: You do not want to adversely impact your credit score when you are building your credit history.

 

  • Never miss a payment – Even if you can only advance the minimum payment, please do so rather than late payment. Your payment history is a crucial factor on your credit score. Timely payment of credits and bills reflect positively on your credit score.
  • Borrow less – Do not borrow more than you can afford. Owe as little as possible and be responsible in your spending. Endeavor to have low credit utilization rate. Pay off your debt including mortgages when home buying. Don’t move them around to avoid bad credit score.
  • Open fewer new accounts – Do not fall into the temptation of opening numerous new accounts. It will lower your average account age.
  • Check your credit reports – It is pertinent that you request for your credit report from any authorized agencies. There may be errors in your report which you need to dispute with the credit bureau. You will be able to measure your progress with knowledge of your credit reports.

 

As you build your credit –

  • Get useful credit cards, manage them wisely and don’t let them go unused.
  • Leave your accounts open as this enhances your credit score.

Your Warm and Cozy Fall Checklist

Save time, hassle and money by preparing your home properly for the rigors of fall weather and old man winter. Taking care of a few little things now make a big scott-webb-59043-unsplashdifference later for you and your home. We have provided a checklist to get your home ready to tackle Fall head-on.

 

  • Schedule an HVAC inspection

 

You will want your furnace running in tip-top shape for the colder weather that is just around the corner. Ideally, a professional can inspect your heating system for noisy belts, poor performance, erratic behavior and more. You will also want to inspect and replace any return filters.

 

  • Check the roof

 

One of the worst problems to have as a homeowner is a leaky roof. Finding the source of the problem can be challenging if the dripping has already started. You will want to stop the annoyance before winter storms and ice turn into a disaster.

 

  • Inspect the plumbing

 

Bursting pipes in the middle of winter can be just as devastating as a leaky roof.  Hiring a professional ensures that the pipes are properly inspected and weather-ready for the colder months.

 

  • Clean gutters and downspouts

 

Another cause of leaky roofs is clogged gutters. With all of the falling leaves and debris that comes with Fall, you will want to keep your roof’s drainage system running smoothly by inspecting and cleaning your gutters and downspouts thoroughly.

 

  • Button Up

 

Many homes have air leaks around windows and doors similar to an unbuttoned coat. These gaps can add an extra 10 percent to your heating bill per cold month. Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping caulk. Also consider freeze-proofing exterior faucets along with draining and winterizing your irrigation system.

 

  • Perform Home Safety Check

 

An annual Fall household ritual is the home safety check. Take this time to inspect all smoke alarms, CO2 monitors, fire extinguishers and replace batteries and other parts as needed. This also is a great time to review emergency plans and rid your house of old magazines, newspapers and other fire hazard materials.

 

  • Last but not least – Decorate!

 

After all of the inspecting and work is done, it’s time for Fall fun. One of the easiest and most fun ways to get your home ready for Fall is decorating. Decorations can transform your home from drab to fab. For a warm and cozy home all season long check out these Fall decorating tips.

10 Real Estate Terms You Need to Know

rawpixel-661940-unsplashFirst time and season homebuyers alike often are bombarded with real estate terms and jargon. We have compiled a list of 10 terms you can use to understand the lingo.

Amortization
Essentially, this term is used to describe the repayment schedule of a loan including both principal or the original amount borrowed and interest. Amortization schedules are often displayed in table format highlighting the amount of principal and interest included with each payment. The table also includes the remaining loan balance after each payment.

Assessed value
The dollar value assigned to a property by a governing authority to levy a tax or fee on the property owner. The assessed value of your home is used mostly for tax purposes and refinancing.

Buyer’s agent
A real estate agent who represents the best interest of a home buyer. They guide you through the complex transaction of purchasing a home or property. Accredited Buyer’s Representatives are buyer’s agents who have successfully completed specialized coursework in representing buyers.

Closing costs
Fees paid at the closing of a real estate transaction. Closing costs vary but can include attorney fees, credit report fees, documentation preparation fees, title insurance fees, appraisal and inspection fees.

Contingencies
Conditions that must be met prior to closing a real estate transaction are called contingencies. Many offers include a home inspection contingency that ensures the home has no serious defects. Other contingencies include financing or selling a property before purchasing the new one. Offers with fewer contingencies give the buyer more negotiating power.

Earnest money
Usually held by a neutral party, earnest money is a “good faith” deposit buyers make demonstrating their interest and ability in purchasing a property. Buyer’s can lose the deposit by backing out of the sales contract.

Preapproval
Not to be confused with pre-qualification, a pre-approval is a lender’s written guarantee that a buyer qualifies for a loan up to x amount. Financing is subject to receiving full documentation regardless of obtaining a preapproval. Buyer’s with preapprovals have a better chance of their offers being accepted by the seller.

PMI
Private mortgage insurance consists of a monthly payment to a lender when a buyer’s down payment is less than 20 percent. PMI protects lenders against loss if the borrower defaults on the loan.

Seller’s agent
Contrasting a buyer’s agent, the seller’s agent represents the best interest of the seller in a real estate transaction. This representation includes marketing the home to potential buyers and negotiating on the seller’s behalf.

Title insurance
A type of insurance that protects your home purchase against any unknown liens or debts placed against the property. Typically, public records are searched to ensure that the current owner has legal rights to the title and the legal ability to sell the home before the title company issues insurance.

Ogden Raptors 2018 Schedule & Promotions

baseball-647423_640The Raptors kicked off their 2018 season on June 15 in Idaho Falls. They have their first home game on June 19 against Orem.

The Lindquist Field offers nightly promotions. Mini-Monday offers miniature collectibles ranging from bobble heads to rings for the first 500 fans. Coupon Tuesday provides a free hot dog with the purchase of a 32 oz. soda or 20 oz. beer. Wednesday is Poster Night and the first 50 fans receive a free Raptors poster. Looking for half-priced drinks or $2 12-ounce beers? Look no further Thirsty Thursday has got you covered. Free Tee Friday gives the first 30 fans a promotional Raptors shirt. Saturday is date night. Buy your ticket and get your date’s ticket for free! Kid’s 12 and under are free on Sundays and don’t forget to wear your Hawaiian shirts.

The Raptors offer various ticket options including season tickets, group tickets for parties of 20 or more and a pre-game picnic package. Tickets go fast and the Lindquist Field is often sold out. So reserve your seat today with the picnic package that comes with a reserved box seat and an all-you-can-buffet consisting of jumbo hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken, potato salad, baked beans, chips, cookies and bottomless drinks. For more information on this season’s ticket prices please visit the Lindquist Field’s website.

Here is a list of the upcoming home games:

June 19 OREM 7 p.m.
June 20 OREM 7 p.m.
June 23 GRAND JUNCTION 7 p.m.
June 24 GRAND JUNCTION 4 p.m.
June 25 GRAND JUNCTION 7 p.m.
June 26 OREM 7 p.m.
June 27 OREM 7 p.m.
June 30 IDAHO FALLS 7 p.m.
July 1 IDAHO FALLS 4 p.m.
July 2 IDAHO FALLS 7 p.m.
July 3 IDAHO FALLS 7 p.m.
July 10 MISSOULA 7 p.m.
July 11 MISSOULA 7 p.m.
July 12 MISSOULA 4 p.m.
July 13 MISSOULA 7 p.m.
July 14 MISSOULA 7 p.m.
July 15 HELENA 4 p.m.
July 16 HELENA 7 p.m.
July 25 GRAND JUNCTION 7 p.m.
July 26 GRAND JUNCTION 7 p.m.
July 27 GRAND JUNCTION 7 p.m.
July 28 IDAHO FALLS 7 p.m.
July 29 IDAHO FALLS 4 p.m.
Aug 2 OREM 7 p.m.
Aug 3 OREM 7 p.m.
Aug 4 OREM 7 p.m.
Aug 5 OREM 4 p.m.
Aug 17 BILLINGS 7 p.m.
Aug 18 BILLINGS 7 p.m.
Aug 19 BILLINGS 4 p.m.
Aug 20 GREAT FALLS 6:30 p.m.
Aug 21 GREAT FALLS 6:30 p.m.
Aug 22 GREAT FALLS 6:30 p.m.
Aug 23 GREAT FALLS 6:30 p.m.
Aug 29 GRAND JUNCTION 6:30 p.m.
Aug 30 GRAND JUNCTION 6:30 p.m.
Aug 31 GRAND JUNCTION 6:30 p.m.
Sept 1 GRAND JUNCTION 6:30 p.m.

Quick Gardening Tips

annie-spratt-667051-unsplashSpring and gardening season is upon us. A hobby like gardening takes time, effort and money. Clever gardeners figure out little hacks and short cuts that save them in more ways than one. After all, gardening is cheaper than therapy plus you get yummy fruits and vegetables.

  • Soaking
    Soak your seeds in warm water before planting is an inexpensive trick that can help get your plants ready to root and grow strong, durable plants.
  • Get crafty
    Make your own garden markers. Homemade garden markers are not only functional, but cute too. You can use rocks you find outside or in your garden. Use a sharpie and paint to make your homemade markers more colorful. You also can use plastic silverware you have laying around the house. Find out more about DIY garden markers here.
  • Use diapers
    Lay diapers in your pots to moisten your soil longer. Make sure to cut the elastic edges off and lay the diapers with the absorbent side up to maximize moisture retention.
  • Repurpose
    Turn empty milk jugs into homemade watering cans. The best part is that you get a watering can that always pours how you like. If it doesn’t, you can just make a new one. Here are the step-by-step instructions.
  • Keep egg shells
    Quit throwing away your egg shells. They can be used as a natural fertilizer for your soil and to start seedlings. Want to protect your plants from insects? Just place the egg shells around the base of your plants and viola, you have a homemade insecticide minus all the chemicals and toxins.
  • Rice water
    And your leftover rice water can be used as an environmentally safe and chemical-free fertilizer. So instead of throwing your rice water down the drain pour it on your plants to naturally provide much needed nutrients.
  • Even coffee grounds
    Your used coffee grounds naturally ward off slugs. They also help prevent mold and mildew growth. Besides, used coffee grounds are an essentially free natural fertilizer that you would have just tossed out anyway.
  • And toilet paper
    Use toilet paper to make seed tape. Honestly, seeds can be tiny, and the toilet paper can help you organize, space and plant these small seeds as evenly as possible. Here you can find the instructions on how to make seed tape from toilet paper.
  • Don’t forget leftovers
    Plant more herbs and vegetables from left over store bought plants including herbs, celery, onions and more. With green onion you can chop off the bottoms, let them dry, plant them after a few days and they will start sprouting in no time.

Fun for Everyone in Salt Lake City Utah

canstockphoto39831329Are you looking for some entertaining fun for the kids, the whole family or even just yourself? There really is something for everyone in Salt Lake County from indoor parks to seeing exotic animals at the zoo.

 

For the kiddos:

  • The wAIRhouse Indoor Trampoline Park

Fun for all ages this trampoline park was rated the number 1 place to take children in and around Salt Lake by Kids Out and About. The fun center also boasts 2 huge open jump courts, two dodgeball courts, four slam-dunk basketball lanes and a foam pit. Younger children enjoy playing in the Kid’s AIRena. In addition, everyone getting hungry isn’t a problem with their Vertical Café.

  • Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum

Rated number 2, this children’s museum offers 60,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on fun. Children explore engaging workshops, programs and exhibits when visiting Discovery Gateway. Invite the whole family to create, learn and play together in the heart of the Gateway shopping center in downtown Salt Lake City.

 

For the whole family:

  • Hogle Zoo

Visit the animals of the African Savanna, the bears and pinnipeds at Rocky Shores or the big cats of the Asian Highlands and so much more at Utah’s Hogle Zoo. This family friendly venue provides fun and entertainment through its exhibits, events, classes and daily programs. Summer is the best time of year to bring the whole family. Please visit their website for more information.

  • Clark Planetarium

Explore 10,000 square feet of exhibits while experiencing incredible visuals in the Orbital ATK 3D IMAX theatre or Hansen Dome Theatre with this great family space. Don’t miss out on your chance to see a star or light show and a 3D documentary. Clark Planetarium also provides the perfect party venue with the ability to host groups of 20 to even 800 people.

 

For adults:

  • Keys on Main

Need some adult time? Whether it’s a birthday celebration, bachelorette party, girl’s night, date night or really any night out, Keys on Main is the perfect spot. Enjoy the Dueling Piano Show that takes requests from the crowd. From country to pop, rock to hip-hop, you never know what to expect. Great drinks, great music, great friends and one heck of a good time.

  • Catch a game

Salt Lake County houses three professional sports teams. Catch a fly ball with the Salt Lake Bees April through September. Run the futbol March through October with Real Salt Lak. Don’t miss Gordon Hayward and Joel Bolomboy with the Utah Jazz. Their games are always a slam dunk.

5 Reasons You Should Sell Your Utah Home in 2018

If you’ve been toying with the idea of putting your house on the market, it’s time to stop thinking and start doing. The real estate market is in good shape heading into 2018, and we’ve got five reasons why now is the time to sell.

  1. Prices are still rising. Utah home prices have been skyrocketing. In 2017, average home prices rose by 5.5%, which makes it a great climate to get the most out of your house. In fact, Realtor.com named Salt Lake City the sixth hottest housing market in the nation for 2018. And, while it’s not quite as large as last year, prices are predicted to continue growing by a rate of 4.5%.  
  1. Tech is driving new buyers into the market. With the continued growth of high tech jobs on the Silicon Slopes, people from places like high-priced Silicon Valley and Seattle are swarming to Utah for a better cost of living and a higher quality of life. Buyers from these inflated markets are happy to pay asking price (or more) for your Utah home. Forbes, which ranked Salt Lake City the number four city in the U.S. for tech jobs, touted housing prices as a major attractant for high tech talent.
  1. Demand is outpacing supply. If you’ve been on the other side of the housing market recently (trying to buy) then you already know that houses are selling faster than we can list them. In May 2017, the average time from listing to sale in Utah was just nine days—9!! There’s no reason to believe that pace is slowing down. Right now it’s a seller’s market, which means you can get more out of your home—and you can get it without months of showings, open houses, and crossing your fingers.
  1. Millenials are ready to settle down. You probably know that the millennial generation now outnumbers the baby boomers. And they’re the perfect age to putting down roots. Although this group (ages 36-18) has been known for their resistance to societal norms—they’re not set on getting married, going to church every Sunday, or buying a home—those norms, they are a’changing. According to Realtor.com, millennials could make up 43% of buyers in 2018, and Utah is on track to make that happen, with 38% of all new mortgages in 2016 going to millennial borrowers.
  1. Interest rates still look good. For now, at least, interest rates are still low. But it’s not going to stay that way forever. It’s predicted that rates could reach close to 5% by the year’s end, which means the sooner you put your house into the 2018 housing market the better. Chances are savvy buyers are going to act fast to take advantage of rates before they rise. Don’t miss your chance to cash in on this friendly seller’s market.

canstockphoto19275037Don’t Miss Out

Any way you look at it, 2018 is shaping up to be a great year to sell your home. With low mortgage rates, abundant demand, and rising prices, it makes sense to take action now while the real estate market in Utah is on fire. These trends may not last forever, so why wait to find out what you could get for your Wasatch Front home? Contact us today to find out how you can take advantage of one of the hottest markets the Beehive State has ever seen.