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.

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.

5 Tips For Choosing a Builder

Great news! You’ve decided to have yocanstockphoto45908ur dream home built. But now what? Here are few considerations to help you avoid headaches, hidden costs and keep everything on track and running smoothly.

1. First Define Your Needs
Evaluate the type or types of home you are looking for, your price range and personal style. Keep in mind that some builders construct a broad range of homes and others specialize in specific types. You want to find the perfect fit to match your needs.

2. Do Your Homework
Obviously finding a reputable builder is priority number one, but remember that not all builders advertise. Some often rely on word-of-mouth and referrals for business. Ask your friends, family and co-workers who have recently purchased a new home or had one built for any recommendations. You also can check with your local chapter of the National Association of Home Builders. They can provide a list of experienced builders that produce quality work.

3. Shop Around
When visiting display homes, remember that not all homes are created equal. Don’t be fooled by the cheapest estimate, make sure you are making direct comparisons when possible from multiple builders. Look for quality and value. You should also be on the lookout for builder promotions that offer big discounts and even bonus inclusions such as an office or den.

4. Ask for a fixed price
You will want to avoid contracts with long lists of estimates and to be announced or to de determined pricing. Ensuring that you have information about every cost will help you avoid ending up with sky-rocketed price. Also, keep an eye out for suspicious clauses such as “pending test.”

5. Develop a Well-Written Contract
Communication is key to success. Disputes between parties often arise due to issues that the contract didn’t adequately address. A critical tool in reducing liability and future friction is a well-written contract that is a product of parties’ negotiations, describes in great detail the rights and obligations of each party and fairly allocates the risks inherent in the project.

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.

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.

Become A Homeowner In 2016

Many people dream of owning their own home and, with the New Year here, perhaps this is one of your goals for 2016. As a first time homebuyer the idea of buying a home can be a little intimidating. There is a lot that goes into finding a home, getting pre-approved, and everything else that goes with buying a home. As you move forward with becoming a homeowner, here a 3 things to keep in mind. SMflowerpots-house-window-2539

  1. Pick a home you can grow into. As you search for your dream home, keep your future in mind. Where do you plan to be in 10 years? 30 years? Choose a home that you can grow into by having an idea where you expect to be in the future.
  1. Pay attention to natural light. When you are looking for a home, keep in mind the resale value. One thing people care about when searching for a home is how much natural light comes into the home. Boost your resale value by choosing place with great light.
  1. Hire an agent. An agent can be an excellent resource for helping you navigate the home buying process and find your dream home. Real estate agents have a great understanding on the housing market, which neighborhoods are the best, and can answer all your questions. Also, if you end up relocating to another city or state, an agent may know some other agents in other areas to recommend.

Ready to make your home owning dream  come true? Give us a call today and let us help you find your new home.

Why You Should Hire An Agent

padlock-166882_640There a lot of benefits of working with a real estate agent. One being the experience and inside knowledge they have about the housing market to help you navigate the twists and turns. If you’ve been hesitate to hire an agent here are a few things to consider.

An agent can help you navigate around the changing housing market, negotiate terms, and deal with the paperwork. In addition, agents can help improve your curb appeal. Staging is important when it comes to selling a home and an agent can offer insights for improving your home to make it stand out to potential buyers.

By law, real estate agents are required to pass a state exam and become licensed. Agents are also required to take classes to stay current with market trends.

Ready to buy? Sell? Have a lot of questions? We are here to answer all your questions. Give us a call today and let us help you start the process of selling your home or helping you find your dream home.