Buying Your First Home

Thinking of buying your first home? Weighing your options? I remember buying my first home. It was an out-dated rambler in Taylorsville and I wanted the financial benefits of owning. What I didn’t realize is that there is much more to owning a home than simply paying a lender instead of a landlord. The first few weeks after I closed on my fixer-upper house were spent ripping out carpet, laying tile, refinishing cabinets, painting, cutting down trees and bushes, installing new plumbing and lighting fixtures, etc. This very quickly taught me about the expense of remodeling. Instead of just complaining to a landlord that I wanted … Continue reading Buying Your First Home

Top Ten Gadgets for Realtors

   I see the reviews of new stuff coming out all the time and I’ve read Realtor Magazine’s new gadgets for real estate, but I just see a bunch of new phones and computers. So here is my list of the… Top Ten Gadgets for Realtors    10- Advertising from your car  Realtors are famous for their ubiquitous vanity plates, window clings, and automobile advertising paint jobs, so why stop there? Having a scrolling message would bring attention and give you an adjustable ad everywhere you go. 9- GPS systems with traffic updates (Also see voice-activated and 3-D) GPS systems are … Continue reading Top Ten Gadgets for Realtors

Top 150 American Architectural Structures

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) lists the top 150 favorite American structures, beginning with; #1- Empire State Building #2- The White House #3- Washington National Cathedral #4- Thomas Jefferson Memorial #5- Golden Gate Bridge Other Structures of (my) interest include… #9- Chrsyler Building- NYC- Tied for coolest skyscraper in the country (TransAmerica) #14- The Gateway Arch- Impressive, and a cool elevator to the top Brooklyn Bridge – Hey, you gotta problem with that?!? #22- Bellagio- My favorite place to stay in Vegas #57- Denver International Airport- Airport as art #61- (Shamefully low)-TransAmerica Pyramid- San Fran- Tied for coolest skyscraper in … Continue reading Top 150 American Architectural Structures

Top Ten American Houses

CNNMoney presents us with their top 10 favorite houses in America, selected from the American Institute of Architects list of the top 150 American Structures. Biltmore Estate (Vanderbilt Residence)- By Richard Morris Hunt Monticello – Designed by Thomas Jefferson Fallingwater – Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin- Frank Lloyd Wright’s residence Hearst Castle- by Julia Morgan Gamble House by Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene Glesner House- Designed by Henry Hobson Richardson Dana-Thomas House- By Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin West – By and For Frank Lloyd Wright Douglas House by Richard Meier Continue reading Top Ten American Houses

Top Ten Cities for Beer Lovers

                   MSNBC lists its top 10 cities for beer lovers; 1. Amsterdam– Serving “pils” with two fingers worth of head on top 2. Berlin– the first week of August is devoted to Bierfestival, when the city center turns into a 1.2 mile-long beer garden hosting 240 breweries from 80 countries, representing 1,750 different brands of beer 3. Brugge– Over 450 unique varieties of Belgian brew. 4. Burlington– Vermont college town between Montreal and Boston. 5- Dublin– Irish people drink? 6- Mexico City– Home of warm pee Corona 7- Montreal– Order your beer by color 8- Portland– 28 local breweries 9- Prague– … Continue reading Top Ten Cities for Beer Lovers

Keeping Your Home Cool During Summer

  As the weather warms and our lives begin to move outside, let’s take some time to think about keeping our homes a place where we can keep cool, but without spending all of our cold hard cash. First, let’s look at our lifestyles and how they change with the warmer weather. Most people begin to move outside more, and that means opening doors more. Especially if you have kids. If you have children like mine your doors will be opened during the summer about once every 3.4 seconds, which presents a challenge to the air conditioner. Some tips on keeping the cool inside; … Continue reading Keeping Your Home Cool During Summer

Understanding Credit Scores and Credit Reports

Love em’ or hate em’, our credit scores affect our lives. Your credit score is a number that is calculated based on your credit history to help lenders identify the level of risk they may be taking if they lend to you. Scores range from 300-900. The actual formula for exactly how the score is calculated is proprietary information and owned by Fair Isaac (FICO). Your credit report is historical information about how you pay your bills and repay loans, how much credit you have available, what your monthly debts are, and other types of information that can help a potential lender decide your credit … Continue reading Understanding Credit Scores and Credit Reports

Spring Cleaning Checklist

  Ahh, the air is crisp and the birds are singing outside. The sunlight is getting warmer, clothing is getting lighter, and nature comes out of it’s hibernation. What a great time of year…  If you’re planning on doing a good deep-clean on your home, here is a checklist and reminder list for you. Kitchen -Refrigerator, throw away outdated food, clean shelves and drawers, pull it out and get behind it, vacuum grill and coil -Cabinets- take dishes and pans out, clean shelves and doors, reorganize to make best use of space -Run the dishwasher empty, with vinegar or baking soda … Continue reading Spring Cleaning Checklist

Daylight Savings Starts Tomorrow

  It’s that time of year- tomorrow clocks spring ahead one hour, effectively adding one hour of sunlight each evening. Standard time to change your clocks is at 2am on the second Sunday of March and then standard time begins again on the first Sunday in November (Nov 4th this year). The concept of Daylight Savings ( or “Summer Time” in much of the world) was born in 1784 when Ben Franklin wrote a humorous post titled An Economical Project while serving as an American delegate in Paris. And remember to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. More about Daylight Savings. More on … Continue reading Daylight Savings Starts Tomorrow

Blogging Stats, Facts, and Growth

  Millions of people have registered blogs, almost 800,000 on WordPress alone, but there are 300 million people in America and billions around the world. How many blog? What are the trends? What are the numbers? C|Net says 30% of People Blog 52% Believe bloggers should have the same rights as jounalists 80% Do not believe that bloggers should be allowed to publish home addresses and other personal information about private citizens 72% Favor censorship of personal information about celebrities 68% Favor censorship of personal information about elected or appointed government officials 39% Say blogs are less credible than newspaper … Continue reading Blogging Stats, Facts, and Growth

Website Design Flaws and Pet Peeves

       Some websites are getting pretty fancy and some are remarkably plain, yet we all have our own taste for design and functionality so there is no definitive design solution. Having said that, there are definitely elements that annoy most people and should be avoided. Here are my top five website pet peeves; 1- Pop-ups. I don’t mind a box already on the site that asks if I want to take a survey or something, but pop-ups are horrible. 2-Requiring registration to get information. Give me value and let me decide if I want to register. 3-Websites that have no design. … Continue reading Website Design Flaws and Pet Peeves

How Blogging Changes People

  Reading Seth Godin’s blog I came across a post titled If no one reads your post, does it exist? It’s a short post that discussed how blogging changes people and it has a great message for bloggers. I agree, and as I alluded to in a previous post, I think writing a blog can change how you approach a topic, and eventually even change why you blog in the first place. When I first began blogging a few years ago it was some sort of cosmic thing, like I was putting my thoughts out into the cosmos or something, and then as … Continue reading How Blogging Changes People

Can Trulia Become a National MLS?

  Trulia has grown very fast and now is in position to become the closest thing there is to a national MLS now that they have signed agreements with Keller Williams and Reaology, which includes the Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and ERA brands. So, what might a national MLS replacement mean to brokers, agents, and consumers? It depends. It depends on Trulia and how they use the listing information and it depends on the brokers and how they allow their listings to be handled, and whether the relationship grows or not. And it depends on the consumer and their web-searching habits and preferences. … Continue reading Can Trulia Become a National MLS?

Presenting an Offer to the Other Broker’s Clients

Yesterday a property came back on the market after the previous buyers could not secure financing. A client of mine was very interested and wanted to see it as soon as possible, as homes that are priced well are going very quickly. I called the listing agent to schedule an appointment and he told me to go ahead and show it last night. “Just knock first”, he told me. I asked me if he was sure it would be alright, as it would be at 9:30pm and he assured me that it was no problem and if the seller’s weren’t … Continue reading Presenting an Offer to the Other Broker’s Clients

Utah Real Estate Prices Continue Hot Streak

      According to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), Salt Lake City ranked fourth in the country for appreciation last year with home prices rising 19.8%. Following only Bend, Oregon (21.4%), Wenatchee, Washington, and Salt Lake’s southern neighbor, Provo-Orem (19.9%). The Salt Lake Tribune  published an article today about the rising home prices, stating, “Utah’s home price appreciation, the worst in the country just three years ago, is now the best nationwide.”               Nationally, home prices rose  5.9% during that time period, while all of Utah’s major metropolitan areas posted major gains in the past year. And it’s not only … Continue reading Utah Real Estate Prices Continue Hot Streak

Investing in Student Housing

  As a broker for a large real estate company in Boulder, Colorado I learned the benefits of investing in student housing when my agents would tell me about their clients. Parents who would buy an area property, rent it out to the friends of their kids, and then sell it after their child graduated for a lot of profit. Many times their kids didn’t even need to pay any rent because it was covered by their friends renting rooms. And having a student with friends is better than any property management company when it comes to finding students looking … Continue reading Investing in Student Housing

Average Median Income by State- Utah 9th Highest

According to the US Census Bureau, income levels didn’t increase in every state in 2005. From 2004 to 2005 average income levels in 24 states dropped, with Virginia faring the worst, dropping 5.6%, followed by Kansas (-5.5%), Wisconsin (-4.6%) and Missouri (-3.8%). Other states saw an increase over the same period, led by Maine (+5.5%), Vermont (+5.1%), Maryland (+4.4%), Hawaii (+4.0%) and Arkansas (+3.8%). Utah saw an increase of 2.4%, which placed the Beehive State with the 9th highest median income in the nation at $53,693. The highest median income in the country in 2005 belonged to New Jersey ($60,246), followed … Continue reading Average Median Income by State- Utah 9th Highest