Best Places in Utah to Visit Before Spring Ends

Utah is home to some of the world’s top natural monuments and locations. The spring time offers many locations one can visit and enjoy in the special place called Utah.

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Zion National Park

This article details some top places one can visit in Utah before the end of spring. The places are as follows.

  • Arches National Park: Arches National Park has more than 2,000 stone curves that range from thin splits in the stone to the heavenly 300-foot long Landscape Arch. They are the aftereffect of a great many years of disintegration, testimony, and other topographical occasions that have influenced the delicate sandstone. For a short visit, you can take the 18-mile long grand street, yet you will see a great deal more by climbing one of the restricted unmarked trails. Stroll with care, as the encompassing desert plants are delicate. People have been living in the territory for a long time and you can see vivid, extensive pictographs a couple of miles north of Moab.
  • Zion National Park: The most seasoned and the most prominent Utah National Park, Zion signifies “eminent mountain” and the glory of the encompassing nature motivates reverence. Nature has cut a fabulous topographical aggregation for guests to appreciate: opening gulches, brilliant sandstone bluffs, towers, stone monuments, streams, and waterfalls. Situated in southwest Utah, the recreation center is best known for its brilliant Zion Canyon red precipices.
  • Monument Valley: Monument Valley looks today a similar way it looked a great many years prior. You will see an unending skyline with a broad horizon and gigantic extraordinary buttes standing out and isolated by profound gullies. Made by centuries of constant work in the interest of wind and water, the buttes can be found in solace from the 14-mile long soil street that crosses the Valley.
  • Great Salt Lake: The Great Salt Lake, which fringes the state’s capital, Salt Lake City, is salty on the grounds that its tributary streams are always transporting little measures of salt broke down from the encompassing rocks in their water. Once the water goes to the Great Salt Lake, the water dissipates in warmth, deserting the salt. Moreover, the lake does not have any outlets to give a portion of the salty water a chance to out. The lake is 75 miles in length and 35 miles wide, and it is spread over various level bowls. It is all that remaining parts from the last ice age lake, Lake Bonneville.
  • Canyonlands Park: Around 35 miles from Moab in southeast Utah, Canyonlands National Park is partitioned into three fragments that are isolated by the Colorado and Green Rivers, which course through Canyonlands. Canyonlands National Park is world-celebrated and one of the best places to visit in Utah. You can scarcely get a look at the waterways from the edge, however you will see numerous sandstone columns, ravine labyrinths, and unbroken scarp on the gully sides. One fragment or area is a high plateau called the Island in the Sky, a headland around 2,000 feet over the streams.

In conclusion, these natural monuments and parks displace Utah’s grace in all its beauty. Spring time is the best time to visit them, so start packing and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

When Should You Sell Your Home?

Spring is the perfect time to sell your house. It’s the right time of year. The flowers are in bloom and buyers are coming out of hibernation. You also will get a completely new buyer pool as more and more millennials join the home buying party.
Now that you have decided to list your home in the spring here are a few pointers:

  1. You have 60 secondsHome With For Sale Sign
    In just one minute, buyers will decide if they want to consider your home. Consider your curb appeal. You don’t want to turn buyers off before they even get inside. Start with trimming trees and bushes, washing the driveway, front walk, house and patio. In addition, buyers often linger at the front door while waiting for their agent to open the lock box. A fresh coat of paint on the door could be your chance at a great first impression.
  2. You have too much stuff
    Your belongings have a special place in your heart, but not the buyer’s. One mistake many sellers make is that their stuff is taking up space that makes their home look smaller. Clutter will turn off buyers, as will large and awkward furniture pieces. Start by going through all of your furniture and closets with a discerning eye. Toss what you can and pack up the rest. Stripping your closet and home down to the bare necessities will highlight the space and storage your home offers.
  3. You have the right price
    Today’s buyers are savvy shoppers. They think there is something wrong with a home priced too low while high prices turn them off. Furthermore, overpriced homes that stay on the market for more than 90 days are extremely difficult to sell. Ensure pricing your home right the first time by being reasonable. Even though prices are rising in many areas, make sure to compare your home to similar properties on the market in your neighborhood. You also should compare similar homes that have recently sold.

St. Patrick’s Day History & Fun Facts

canstockphoto43769782Don’t forget to wear green this Friday or you might get a pinch. That’s right, St. Patrick’s Day is here. Many of us love to celebrate but are unaware of the history behind the holiday.

Origins

Traditionally, St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the patron saint of Ireland with a Roman Catholic feast day. Ironically, St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. He did die on March 17, AD 461. Patrick’s birth name was Maewyn. Originally, he hailed from Roman Britain and was kidnapped, enslaved and brought to Ireland.
Eventually, Patrick escaped and fled to a monastery in France. There he converted to Christianity and went back to Ireland as a missionary in AD 432. Legend states that Patrick confronted the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites making way for Christianity’s spread across Ireland.
Patrick soon became a bishop. After his death, he became known as Ireland’s patron saint. Initial celebrations were not like the larger celebrations and parades known today. In fact, eighteenth century Irish Revolutionary War soldiers held the first St. Patrick’s Day parades.

Fun Facts

  • The green: St. Patrick himself preferred a light shade of blue. Green became associated with the holiday after it was linked to the 18th century Irish independence movement.
  • The Shamrock: St. Patrick used a three-leaf clover to explain the Holy Trinity according to legend.
  • Dyeing the river: Dating back to 1962, Chicago city officials decided to dye a portion of the Chicago River green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Corned beef and cabbage: A traditional Irish American dish soon became the staple meal of St. Pattie’s Day. In fact, Irish Americans were so poor that the most they could afford for the celebration was beef and cabbage. Also, there isn’t any yellow corn in the beef. People traditionally used large grains of salt to cure the beef. These large salt grains were also called “corns.”

Irish Potatoes

Put out your Irish potatoes
Before turning in St. Paddy’s Eve.
They will still be there in the morn
but if you truly believe…

The leprechauns will work magic to
Turn some of your potatoes green.
This brings good luck and fortune,
So just believe to see what I mean.

Your Guide to Utah’s Home Shortage

As the Utah housing market dries up, Realtors speculate that there is only four months of inventory left. In fact, if homeowners stopped listing their houses today,Home with For Sale Sign there would be no homes left on the market by the end of April. Of course, that probably won’t happen as buyers and sellers continue to seek services from real estate professionals. However, we recognize that demand continues to outpace supply.

Many factors contribute to the supply and demand issue plaguing the real estate market including the state’s rapidly increasing population growth. The rise in households now exceeds the number of new housing units in Utah for the first time in more than 40 years. This gap results in strong demand and inadequate supply for all segments in the housing market including apartments, existing homes and new construction.

Going forward, the home shortage will result in higher home and rental prices. Last year, the median sales price of a single-family home in Davis County reached an all-time high of $295,000. Experts predict that single-family home prices will increase five to 7 percent in 2017 alone. Multi-family units are expected to increase 6 to 8 percent.

Find out what your home could sell for here

Protecting Your Home From Floods

As Utah keeps getting hit with some major snow storms, you can’t help but think about where all the water will go come Spring. If your home lies in an area that is more prone to flooding, here are some tips to protect your family and home.

Flooded HomeProtect your belongings by filing important paperwork in a deposit back which is waterproof. In addition, make sure your possessions are covered under your insurance policy. Keep a written log or photograph all your major house items and valuables. To find out what your insurance plan covers, make sure to talk with your insurance provider.

Take a moment to prepare your home for a flood. If you have a sump pump, make sure you have a battery-operated backup in case of power failure. Make sure your furnace and water heater are elevated on cement blocks (at least 12 inches above the ground) and anchor any fuel tanks.

As you prepare your home for a flood, remember to also develop an emergency plan for your family. Plan for an emergency by stocking up on drinking water, canned food, blankets, and a first aid kit. In addition to this items, be sure to store a radio and flashlight as part of your emergency plan. As you continue to plan for an emergency, ask an out-of-state family member or friend to be your family contact. Remember to also have a plan to protect your pets in case of a flood.

Want some additional tips to prepare for a flood? Check out this Preparation Guide.

What is Private Mortgage Insurance?

Purchasing a new home or property involves many aspects including purchase agreements, contracts, inspections, appraisals, closing, escrow and more. In this article, we will explain what private mortgage (PMI) is, why it is required and how you can get rid of it.

canstockphoto8505074When purchasing a home, you will likely make some form of down payment. In fact, when you make a down payment less than 20 percent, the lender requires that you carry PMI. Basically, it’s a policy that protects the lender from losing money if you end up defaulting on your loan. Lenders also require PMI when you refinance a mortgage with less than 20 percent equity.

PMI fees vary anywhere from .3 to 1.5 percent of the original loan amount per year depending on the size of the down payment and your credit score. Also, PMI premiums are tax deductible on certain years depending upon the whims of Congress. Most policies require that the borrowes pay monthly. However, borrowers also have the option of paying for mortgage insurance with a large upfront payment.

And how to get rid of it:
The lender must automatically cancel the PMI when your outstanding balance drops to 78 percent of the home’s original value. Keep track of your payments because you also can ask that the lender discontinue the mortgage insurance premiums when the balance reaches 80 percent of the original value. Although, both of these options will probably take several years.

You can speed up the cancellation two ways; however, both options require money, time and patience. First, you can make double payments on your mortgage ensuring you reach the 80 percent mark in at least half the time. Next, you can make improvements to your property and refinance at opportune moments. This option can potentially raise the original value of your home to where you already have 80 percent equity.

The Hogle ZooLights

The Hogle ZooLights return this year for its 10th anniversary more sparkly and festive than ever.canstockphoto12096205 There are more than 200 lighted animal and holiday-themed displays illuminating the zoo grounds. Start your night by checking out the crowd favorite 135-foot lighted tunnel. Then take a ride on the Conservation Carousel and stop to see Santa at Macy’s Santa Station. Top the night off with a cup of hot chocolate and some shopping at the Wild Zootique.

With family friendly fun there is something for everyone at ZooLights including nightly activities. Most evenings feature fun entertainment and activities such as ice carverings, crafts, temporary tattoos, animal biography facts and so much more. Plus, all of these activities are free with admission which is $8 for adults, $6 for children ages three to 12 and free for children two and younger.

You may also want to consider ringing in the New Year with ZooLights. They offer an early countdown to involve the kids while still getting them to bed on time. The countdown begins at 9 p.m. Children attending receive a noise maker and can countdown to 2016 with the ZooLights specially lit countdown display.

ZooLights is open from Dec. 1 -31 but closed on Christmas day. Hours of operation are 5:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 5:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

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What is Earnest Money?

In a perfect world, once you found the home of your dreams, you and the owner could sign a purchase agreement, shake hands and follow with your down payment. However, in the real world, once the ink dries on your signature you will need to put money on the table to show that your intent to purchase is “earnest” or in good faith.

canstockphoto6409107The earnest money is usually deposited in the form of a personal or certified check issued to the real-estate brokerage. They require a fraction of your down payment for the earnest deposit. The deposit will then be held in an escrow account until the buyer and seller complete closing.

Many factors determine the various earnest payment amounts. The attractiveness of the sales price, the level of others interested in the home and how quickly a buyer can move from contract to closing all influence the sum a seller requests for an earnest money deposit. If everything goes as planned and the sale moves forward, your earnest money deposit applies toward the down payment.

Now that we know more about earnest money we can address some frequently asked questions.

Just how much should I pay?
Industry experts recommend that earnest money deposits remain between three to five percent of the purchase contract. Although, others argue that two percent should be the maximum. Some sellers require a flat rate without considering a percentage. Each state sets their own legal limits on the amount of earnest money allowed. Avoid paying too much and talk with a realtor today to find out the requirements in your area.

How is the deposit made?
In most markets, you aren’t required to the pay entire deposit at once. At signing, the buyer issues a check for a fraction of the deposit often ranging between $1,000 and $5,000. The remaining of the earnest deposit will then to be paid within one week to an escrow account as previously explained above.

If something goes wrong, am I out of luck?

Most purchase agreements and contracts stipulate that the seller keeps the earnest money deposit if a buyer fails to complete the purchase. Due in part to the fact the seller may face the loss of time and money due to a buyers default on the contract. Although, sometimes the seller and buyer can find a fair solution on how to distribute the earnest money deposit between them. Best case scenario the seller forfeits his claim on the deposit and returns it to the buyer minus a subtracted fee for the brokerage. Worst case scenario, you should be prepared to write the money off as a penalty for causing the seller some form of hardship.

Why Buy Christmas Gifts Now

Christmas is only a month away—can you believe it? This year, save yourself the stress and don’t wait until the last minute to start your shopping. Even if you enjoy the hussle and bussle of Black Friday and everything else, there are some benefits of getting your shopping on.canstockphoto5027780

Need some reasons not to wait to start your Christmas shopping? Check out these 3 top tips—

  • Selection. When you wait to start shopping, you lower your chances of having a wide selection (and sizes) available. In addition, by starting early in your Christmas shipping, you avoid the craziness of the holiday shopping and fighting over items that are becoming scarce.
  • Budgeting. By starting your holiday shopping now, you have time to look at your budget and make adjustments to ensure you’re not going over your budget. This also allows you to save up additional money so you don’t end up going into debt over Christmas.
  • Travel. No one likes driving in the snow. During this time of year, you never know what Mother Nature will do. Avoid the stress of driving on slick, icy roads by getting ahead start now.

How do you shop for the holidays? Do you prefer waiting until the last minute or getting everything bought early? Share your thoughts and comments with us below.

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

This is a fun time of year, for children and adults alike. As we move closer to Halloween, many kids are preparing for a fun night of dressing up into their favorite characters and trick-or-treating. Although this is a night of excitement and spooky thrills, it is important to stay safe. This year, keep everyone safe and have a great time with these tips.

canstockphoto229719291. Plan and be mindful of your surroundings. Before heading out, plan your route so you don’t end up going too far from home. The last thing you want to do is find yourself far from home when your legs are exhausted from all that walking. Also, while you’re out, be mindful of your surroundings, staying on the sidewalks and crossing the street at street corners or at crosswalks.

2. Wear comfortable shoes. Because you’re going to be out and about, it’s important to make sure you’re wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes. Avoid wearing heels, sandals, and anything that can end up hurting your feet early on in the night.

3. Stay visible and avoid dark clothing. While you’re out trick-or-treating make sure kids are well-lit and visible. Put reflective tape on costumes, carry glow sticks or a flashlight, and wear light, visible clothing so people, particularly drivers, can see kids crossing the street.

4. Avoid masks. Masks can prevent kids from seeing well and can make it difficult to breathe. Instead, paint your child’s face so they can still have the effect of wearing a mask, but can see and breathe with ease.

5. Check your child’s candy before they eat it. Before your children dig into their candy, go through the candy and throw out anything that is not in it’s original wrapper, has been opened, or looks like it’s been tampered with in any way.

Want some more tips for making this Halloween safe and enjoyable? Check out these great tips. What do you love most about Halloween? Share your stories with us below.

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