Scenic Highways to Drive Through in Utah

Utah is a beautiful state. Ask any Utahn what they love most about this state, and they’ll most always say, the mountains. These majestic peaks pull many people to them—hiking, camping, biking, and any other outdoor sport that calls to them. However, our mountains aren’t the only highlight about Utah. There are so many scenic drives to explore, showcasing the mountains (did I mention Utahns love their mountains?), that you, whether you’re a local or not, should definitely check out.

Highway 12. This infcanstockphoto18706984amous highway is 124 miles long and runs through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument between Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Park. As you plan your trip, be sure to schedule in time to stop and check out the stunning scenery of red, yellow, and pink sandstone. The most ideal time to plan your trip is in the spring before the hot weather descends.

Logan Canyon. A personal favorite, Logan Canyon spans between Logan and Bear Lake. This scenic drive travels along the Logan River and looks over the sparklcanstockphoto2627805ing blue water of Bear Lake. This canyon is beautiful all year long, but is most spectacular in the spring and autumn months when the canyon is most vibrant with colors.

Cedar Breaks. Located between U-14 and U-143, the Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway travels the scenic Dixie National Forest near Cedar City. Cedar Breaks highlights a stunning, large multi-colored amphitheater with breathtaking carved spirals and rock formations.

Ogden Canyon. With easy access to three major ski resorts (Powder Mountain, Wolf Mountain, and Snowbasin), Ogden Canyon is a beautiful drive along with Pineview Reservoir and through the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Not only is this a great drive, but has access to various outdoor activities such as water-skiing, fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing, and so much more.

Want to knowcanstockphoto10302485 about more scenic highways around the state of Utah? There are a lot of wonderful scenic roads and byways to explore across state, so start planning your adventure today.
Have a favorite scenic road or area you love? Tell us about it in the comments area.

June Gardening To-Do List

The shining sun and warm weather means that summer has arrived. It’s that time of year to start getting the jump on your gardening. Most of Utah falls under zone 5 of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones. This map helps gardeners and growers identify which plants will thrive in certain locations and best of all, when to plant and harvest them. So put on your hat, find your gloves and get going on this gardening to-do list for June.

Flowers & Plants:

  • Divide and transplant spring-flowering perennials that have finished bloomingcanstockphoto10086456
  • Sow (i.e. plant) seeds of perennials directly into the ground
  • Fertilize roses now

✔Trick: To supply potassium, blend banana peels in a blender, then add the mixture beneath the mulch around your roses.

  • Pinch newest shoots on geranium plants to encourage fuller plants
  • Feed roses as the first flower buds appear and apply fungicide to prevent powdery mildew or blackspot disease from appearing

✔Tip: Organic fungicides that work on blackspot disease include copper, lime sulfur, neem oil, potassium or ammonium bicarbonate and sulfur.

  • Mulch flower gardens to conserve water and keep costs down during heat waves

Fruits & Vegetables:

  • Weed strawberry and asparagus beds
  • Feed young corn plants with high-nitrogen fish emulsion fertilizer
  • Dust potato plants to prevent infestations of potato beetle

✔Did you know: The potato beetle is one of the most difficult garden pests to get rid of due to its developed resistance to many insecticides.

  • Mulch vegetable gardens to conserve water during heat waves
  • Spray tomato plants with compost tea to prevent diseases.

✔Trick: Make your own compost teat by steeping an old pillowcase filled with compost in a bucket of water.

  • Harvest salad crops and replant every 2 weeks for a constant supply of tasty leaves.
  • Great time to start planting sweet potatoes and regular (russet) potatoes
  • You can also start planting carrots, peppers, cucumbers, winter and summer squash
  • Toward the end of the month start planting corn and beans
  • Don’t forget to harvest spinach, broccoli, beets and peas this month

Lawn & Trees:

  • Train your lawn to grow deep roots by mowing often, at a high setting.

✔Did you know: Deep roots are the key to a healthy lawn and improving drought tolerance.

  • Make sure your lawn gets one inch of water per week. If you irrigate, water deeply to encourage deeper roots.
  • Control existing weeds with a post-emergent herbicide, or by pulling or digging.

✔Tip: Removing weeds before they bloom and disperse their seeds helps reduce next year’s crop.

  • Plant balled-and-burlapped and container shrubs and trees
  • Thin out small green fruits on apple, peach and plum trees to one every 6-inches on the branch

 

4 Things You’ll Learn After Buying a Home

When you move into home ownership, there are some things you might not expect. Here are 4 things you’ll learn after you buy a home.

 

  1. Recycling & Trash. Not all cities or counties provide trash and recycling which means you’ll have to pay the government or hire a private service to pick up your trash. This service is usually not too expensive, but it may lawnmower-384589_640
  2. be an expense you hadn’t anticipated.
  1. Air filters. If you’ve lived in an apartment before buying your first home, your landlord probably changed out your air filters in both your heating and cooling systems. Filters need to be changed every 4 to 6 weeks.
  1. Yard maintenance. Many first time home buyers dream of having a big back yard, but many forget to consider the maintenance that goes into the upkeep. You have to mow the lawn, weed, trim bushes, rake leaves, and everything else that goes into yard maintenance.
  1. Furniture overload. One mistake many new homeowners make when they first move into their new home is overextend themselves on buying tons of furniture and going into credit card debt. Before you give into the urge to buy, buy, buy, take some time to live in the space. Once things have settled down you can better determine what furniture you want and what pieces you can wait on.

Homeowners, tell us below about some of unexpected things you learned after buying your first home.

4 Important Payment Programs to Know

document-428338_640To buy a home, there is a lot that goes into the process. Before you start hunting for your dream home, it is important to speak with your loan officer to find out what you can afford. However, there is more that goes into applying for a home loan.

As you move towards buying your first home, here are 4 low-down payment programs you should know about.

  • GSE-backed loans. Government-sponsored enterprises, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are backed by loan-to-value loans and help to drive the mortgage market.
  • FHA. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) provides 3.5% down payment mortgages for those who qualify. Due to this, these types of loans are easier for those who qualify to have lower mortgage rates.
  • VA. These types of loans are available by the Veterans Administration (VA) to help veterans and those on active duty (along with their families) buy a home with no down payment or mortgage insurance.
  • USDA. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (ISDA) offers lower rates and 100% financing to those living in rural and suburban areas.

You can learn more about these types of loans by talking with your loan officer to see if you qualify for any of these low down payment loans. They can best direct you on which financial options are best for you.

Ready to buy a home? Give us a call today and let us help you make the move from renting to owning.

4 Rookie Mistakes To Watch Out For When Buying A Home

houses-336436_1280Getting ready to buy your first home? This can be an exciting time, but it can also leave you feeling overwhelmed. While you’re searching for your dream home, here are 4 rookie mistakes to avoid which could end up costing you a lot of money.

  1. Getting too emotionally attached. Buying a home is a huge investment. Because of that, take some time to look at several homes that you love so if one falls through there are other choices.
  1. Assuming you have no rules to follow as a homeowner. Some homes have deed restrictions that come with conditions. Take some time read and understand the restrictions before signing any paperwork.
  1. Not saving enough money. Saving up enough money for a down payment is a big deal, but you should also save a few months worth of mortgage payments in reserve. Putting money aside is also a great idea for any household essentials you may want to get once you’ve moved into your new home.
  1. Not getting preapproved for a loan. You’ve probably crunched the numbers and know how much you can afford, but if you want your offer to be taken seriously by the seller, get a proof of income and assets from your lender. This can be a simple pre-approval letter to show the lender your trustworthy.

If you need to apply for a home loan, getting pre-approved before approaching a real estate agent (or searching for your dream home) is a smart move.

Want to learn what other rookie mistakes to avoid? Check out this article by Home Value Plus.

4 Easy Tips To Help Your Home Sell Faster

When it comes to selling your home, the key is to create something visually appealing that potential home buyers are going to fall in love. The moment they walk in the door, you want them to be able to visualize themselves living there. garden-gardening-1290908_640

One thing that can turn potential home buyers away faster than anything is walking into a home that hasn’t been kept up. Take some time now to do these 4 easy things around your home and keep buyers interested in making an offer

  1. Repair scratched linoleum. Scratched linoleum can turn potential homebuyers away. Take a moment to repair your linoleum—skipping the repairman—by warming up the scratched area with your hairdryer then filling the scratch up with superglue or epoxy putty.
  1. Replace your old front door knob. Because curb appeal is so important, replacing old, ratty door knobs can help boost your home’s appeal and make potential home buyers more interested in making an offer. When choosing a new door knob, pick something that is sturdy and has a lock and handle combo.
  1. Clean your stained tub. Your stained bathtub is not doing you any favors. Before you start showing potential homebuyers you’re home, take some time to clean the ring around your bathtub by creating a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice.
  1. Spruce up your front yard. As mentioned above, curb appeal is a huge deal when it comes to attracting potential home buyers. Rake up leaves, remove dead plants and shrubs, mow your lawn, and clean any debris off your pathways.

Want to some more tips for giving your home a facelift without spending a ton of money? Check out these extra ideas from Move.org.

If you’re ready to sell your home, a real estate agent can help you better decide what else you can do to make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Make 2016 Your Year To Buy A Home

If you’ve been considering buying a home, now is the time to do it. According to Builder.com, Utah’s strong economy and affordable housing market has even appealed to millennials, those between 25 and 35, who are moving closer to home ownership. In the same report by Builder.com, millennials have already purchased an estimated 39.8% of new homes. real-estate-516768_640

Entering into home ownership, especially for first time home buyers, can be an intimidating experience. As you move forward in the process of becoming a homeowner, take a moment to ask yourself some important questions to ensure you’re ready to make this move. If you’re not properly prepared, home ownership can stretch you a little too thin financially.

Once you’ve decided you still want to make the move towards owning a home, talk with your bank, credit union, or mortgage officer about getting pre-approved. This is something you’ll want to do before you start looking for your dream home so you’ll know how much you can afford. This will prevent you from getting discouraged if you’re looking at homes outside of your price range. During this time, keep in mind of any additional costs and taxes which may come up.

After you have a clear idea of how much you can afford, now is the time to hire a real estate agent to assist you in finding your perfect home. Before you hire an agent, make sure you’re hiring the best, most qualified, agent for you. Ask your friends, family, and co-workers who’ve they’ve used in the past and if they’d use them again. Don’t be afraid to ask the real estate agent questions and ask for references. Home ownership is a huge investment so you want to make sure you do your due diligence.

If you’re ready to buy a home, we are here to answer your questions. Give us a call today and let us show you want we can do for you. 

3 Important Factors To Consider When Deciding To Buy A Home

Are you ready to buy a home, but are unsure how much of a home loan you can handle? When it comes to buying a home, there is a lot that goes into the home owning process. Between applying for a loan, finding the perfect home, and navigating through the twists and turns of the entire process. 04-04-21-891_640

Before applying for a home loan, review your FICO score. Depending where your FICO score falls, will determine if you qualify for a loan, how much you’ll get, and what your interest rate will be. To find out what you qualify for, speak with your loan officer at your bank or credit union or a mortgage lender to find out where your score falls.

Another important term to know when deciding if you qualify for a home loan is your debt-to-income ratio. A general rule of thumb, when it comes to mortgage loans, is to avoid dedicating more than 28% of your monthly take-home income.

While you’re calculating your debt to income ratio and finding out how much of a home you can afford, take a moment to consider future expenses. Don’t stress yourself more than stretching yourself too thin where you’re struggling to pay your bills or save for retirement.

After you’ve weighed all the factors and decided you’re ready to move forward towards home ownership, a real estate agent can help you find the perfect home.

Give us a call today and let us help you find a place to call home.

4 Sounds You Don’t Want To Hear From Your Home

When it comes to home ownership, doing repairs around your home comes with the territory. Things happen and need to be fixed, or your home makes some strange sounds. However, when it comes to strange noises, there are a few you don’t want to hear from your home. If you hear any of these 4 sounds, you may want to bring in a professional. plumbing-840835_640

  1. Squealing air conditioner. With the summer months around the corner, now is the time to take some time to ensure everything is in working order. If you haven’t already, change your filter to keep your machine working efficiently and unclogged from any dirt and debris.
  1. Scratching from gutters. Many people mistake gutter sounds for a bird chilling out, but this is not always the case. If this persists, the simple fact may be the sound you’re hearing are the scratching from rodents in your walls. If you suspect this to be true, call a professional to come and check it out.
  1. Screeching dryer. If you’re hearing a screeching noise from your dryer, it may be due to a belt issue. If you’ve recently purchased your dryer, the shipping bolts might have been left on. Try removing them and seeing if that stops the noise.
  1. Hissing and gas odors. A hissing sound, mixed with a gas smell, may indicate a gas leak. If this happens, immediately leave your home and don’t touch anything electrical (including light switches). Once out of your home, walk—you’ll want to leave your car behind too—call 911. You should also advise your neighbors to vacate their homes until the police have checked it out.

To learn more about which sounds you don’t want to hear from your home, check out this complete list from House Beautiful.

The Best (And Useful (Kinda)) YouTube Videos To Check Out

Looking to sell your home fast, but aren’t sure what staging ideas would work best? When it comes getting your home sold quickly, staging can play a huge role in appealing to potential home buyers. Curb appeal and other factors are equally important, but as you show your home, you want to create a space people can visualize themselves living in. youtube-1158693_640

To help you create a space which is both warm and inviting, yet not too detailed, here are some great YouTube videos to check out.

When it comes to selling your home and hiring the best agent for you—which can be a stressful time—you should also look for the humor in things. Need a laugh? Here are some funny videos about real estate.

And who can resist some of the best Superbowl commercials…

Do you have a favorite Superbowl commercial or another YouTube video you found most helpful? Share them with us below.