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.

Smithing Group Among “America’s Best”

Local RE/MAX Agents Named Among “America’s Best”

Smithing Group Earned Ranking for 2015 Home Sales

Smithing GroupLayton, Utah – The Smithing Group with RE/MAX Metro is among the 2,691 RE/MAX agents and teams featured in the 2016 REAL Trends “America’s Best Real Estate Agents” survey. The agents and teams included in the survey represent less than 1 percent of all real estate professionals in the United States. The Smithing Group has more than 20 years of experience in the Utah Real Estate market.

“We’re dedicated to always putting our clients’ needs first.” said Smithing. “Being recognized alongside so many hard working and dedicated real estate professionals is an accomplishment, and we’re honored to be named among ‘America’s Best’.”

“America’s Best” is the industry’s largest ranking of agents based on homes sold in 2015. The survey is open to individual agents who closed at least 50 transaction sides or $20 million in sales volume and teams who had at least 75 sides or $30 million in volume. The fourth annual ranking groups agents by state and metro area. Both individual agents and teams are recognized for their number of transaction sides and/or sales volume.

RE/MAX agents accounted for 22 percent of the more than 12,000 participating agents who qualified for the survey. This year, RE/MAX had more agents named in the survey than any other brand.

Home Maintenance

There is a lot of fun things to small faucetdo during the summer. Camping, hiking, fishing. swimming…the list is endless. However, don’t forget your home still needs some TLC. While you are puttering around the place, make a list of all the honey-dos that you want to take care of (at least, once fall hits).

Some things to consider while you are making your list are:

  • Kool-aid Toilet. If you suspect a water leak from your toilet, add a package of grape kool-aid into the water to find out where the leak is coming from.
  • LED Lightbulbs. Take a moment to change out your lightbulbs to LED. Not only will this lower your electric bill, but LED lights are much better for the environment.
  • Add Greens. Indoor plants can improve the air quality in your home and as the winter season approach, can add a touch of nature to your home.

Your home is your greatest investment so be sure to keep it looking its best. What are some things you’ve been putting off? Create your list today and start crossing off the things you want to complete before the snow flies. By taking the time to keep your home maintained, your home will increase in value.

Learn to be More Successful in Life

tie-690084_640Want to be more successful in both your personal and professional life? Create daily habits that set yourself up for success. In his books, Brian Tracy strongly encourages you to write down your goals to make them more concrete. Psychologists have also found you are more likely to reach your goals if you write them down.

Boost your performance by learning new skills to not only make you more sellable in your career, but to expand your resources and perhaps develop a new hobby. Another great way to grow your success in your life is to seek out new experiences. By trying new things, not only do you give yourself new challenges to learn from, you will become more confident in yourself and your abilities.

What are some things you’ve been dreaming of doing? Today, go after your dreams. As the saying goes, “shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

The Benefits of Hobbies

small birdThere are many benefits–physical, mental, and emotional–about having a hobby. Research has shown people with hobbies are happier, reduce stress, have lower blood pressure, develop new friendships, and bring pleasure to your life.

If you are someone who enjoys writing, joining the League of Utah Writers is a great way to meet other writers, form critique groups, and attend events. Another fun way to team up with other writers is to go clubbing–yes, clubbing. A writer’s club is an excellent way network.

Other hobbies include learning a new language, join an adult sports league, partake in the upcoming color run (register by July 1st!) and so there are so many other hobbies to consider,

What are some of your favorite things to do? Share your hobbies with us on Facebook.

3 Tips on Choosing the Right Sofa

small couchThere is one piece of furniture in your home that is probably the most important piece you’ll ever own, besides your bed. What is that piece? Your sofa. Choosing the right sofa is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Here are 3 tips on what to look for when picking a sofa:

  1. Check the frame. Pick a sofa that has a strong frame for a long-lasting sofa.
  2. Ask about joinery. Avoid a sofa that is held together with glue, nails, and staples. Instead pick one that has bolts, which is more solid.
  3. Test the springs. Sofas with weak springs are more inclined to sag and will become uncomfortable. Look for a sofa with springs that are close together and avoid ones without springs and are constructed of mesh.

Want to know more? Read the full article here.

Thinking of renting your home? Where do you start?

for rentGet the house in shape, including interior and exterior patching and painting, carpet cleaning, appliance tune-up, ensuring adequate insulation, and fixing what needs fixing.

A property management company can research prices in your area, or you can look in the real estate section of your Sunday paper.

It’s not essential to hire a property manager, but it can make life easier, especially if you move out of the area. Interview at least three companies. Ask about accreditation, customer service, references, tenant screening, experience, vacancy rates, maintenance, monthly reporting, handling evictions, insurance, fee structure, and inspection of the property.


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6 Things to Explore on Historic 25th Street

5_union-station-ogdenOne of my favorite spots in Ogden is the Historic 25th Street. There are so many awesome shops and restaurants that line the street and entice people into their stores. While you are strolling the streets here are 6 things you should check out:

1. Tour the Historic Union Station

2. Take in the scenery of the entire street from the rooftop bar from Alleged

3. Enjoy a night of concerts and movies at the Ogden Amphitheater

4. Get in touch with you artistic side at the Liquid Canvas

5. Seek out the infamous painted horses. Be sure to download the One Ogden app for the walking tour.

6. Explore the Municipal Gardens

Get more ideas of things to do on 25th Street and let us know what is your favorite part of Ogden.

10 Questions to Ask Before Making an Offer on a Home

There are a lot of things that go into buying a home from getting pre-approved, hiring an agent, deciding what features your dream home will have, among so many other things. With everything that is going through your mind, there is a good chance you will overlook some important factors.

The next time you view a home, here are some questions to keep in mind:checkbook

  1. Why is the house for sale?
  2. How old is the roof? When was it last replaced?
  3. Have you had any problems with roaches, termites, or any other pests?
  4. What are the monthly utilities bill costs?
  5. Has the sewer ever backed up? Any plumbing problems?
  6. How much installation is in the attic?
  7. How old is the water heater? When was it last replaced?
  8. When was the last time to home was tested for mold?
  9. What are the neighbors like?
  10. Does the home have a septic tank? When was the last time it was pumped? Any problems with it?

Do You Really Need Homeowners Insurance

Like car insurance, homeowners insurance is important to protecting your home from damage, certain natural disasters, or if someone is injured on your property.

There are 6 types of homeowners insurance options, the top 3 being HO-3. HO-4 and HO-6.home-office-336377_640

  • Special Form Homeowner Insurance (HO-3) is probably the most popular and protects against damage to the home, including personal belongings.
  • Renters Insurance (HO-4) protects people who are renting their home or apartment. This policy protects your belongings among other things.
  • Condominium Insurance (HO-6) is the another popular policy and protects those who own a condo or co-op. For more information about this and all the other homeowner insurance policies, here is a great website.

When deciding which homeowner insurance is best for you, here are some things to consider:

Know your homes value. This is important to establish your home’s replacement cost if something were to happen.
Do your research. Not all insurance companies or insurance policies are the same, so make sure you take the time to do your research to know which insurance company and policies are best for you.