Teach your canine friend how to respect boundaries on your new Utah property

If you’re moving to Utah, you’re going to be seeing a lot of open spaces. Depending on where you are looking to move, not all neighborhoods and homes have standard back yard fences, or any fences at all. This may not be a problem for new residents who don’t have a dog, but any newcomers looking for a place to let their four-legged companions run around may think of this as an issue. We don’t want this to turn you away from buying your dream home, so we’ve put together some information that will hopefully help you sacrifice nothing when you’re looking to buy a home in Utah.

A beautiful Utah home

A beautiful Utah home

If you are not interested in building a standard wood/chain fence that could alter the beautiful, open look of your home, a great solution to keep your dogs from getting away is a wireless dog fence. These fences are invisible, they are basically just a transmitter that gives you the perimeter, and the collar for your dog. When your dog goes near the edge of the boundary, they will receive a warning noise from the collar. When they get closer and pass the boundary, this is when they will receive a static correction that will startle them back onto your property. You will be able to ensure your dog stays within your property and avoid bothering neighbors, running into the street, running into an unsafe bit of land, and help train them overall to respect you and the boundaries you have set up for them. With some models, it takes a mere amount of minutes before your dog gets familiar with the perimeter. Some others require an extra bit of training, but it shouldn’t take more than a week if you’re consistent with it. We recommend looking for the right model at K9FenceReviews.com, as they have a comprehensive review website.

It’s common in a new home to experiment with and improve the exterior of it. Spring and summer will bring lots of opportunity for gardening, landscaping, painting, building, and more. These are some of the things you’ll probably want your dog to stay out of, but how can you do it without keeping him inside the whole time or tying him up? Neither of those options sounds very nice for either of you. What’s great about these wireless fences is that there are some models that are meant for deterring your dog from a certain area rather than just keeping him within one. Often they look very discreet (much like a rock), so you don’t have to have an unsightly transmitter in your garden. These are fantastic for keeping your garden from being dug up or your tomatoes from being eaten, as well as keeping the fur out of your paint job and your dog safe from any unsafe tools or objects!

You don’t have to be worried about sacrificing your dream home in Utah just to please the needs of your dog. There are many options out there for pet containment and training that will keep your backyard open and beautiful!

Affordable College Options for Utah Residents

Going to college is one of the most important steps any person can make toward the future. The state of Utah is aiming to make college affordable for any of its residents who want to go. Full of a variety of opportunities for residents, even those with low income, Utah is a great place to live for those considering how they might be able to send their kids to college in a few years. Looking into all of the college options is the best way to make an educated decision about where to send your kids to college and how you might be able to make it with the most affordable options.

Community College

Many students are realizing the wisdom of attending a community college for a year or two prior to heading off to a four year university. This gives a great deal of financial benefit while the student is able to complete core classes for a fraction of the cost. This is also beneficial if the student is not exactly sure what he or she wants to major in, so taking these less expensive classes which will transfer is great while decisions about the future are being made.

In State Tuition

Those who are legal residents of Utah are able to attend state colleges and universities for much less than it would cost for an out-of-state student to go to these very same schools. Some of the schools which offer the least expensive rates for in state students are Dixie State College of Utah in Saint George, Weber State University in Ogden, Utah Valley University in Orem, Brigham Young University Provo, and Utah State University in Logan. Considering these schools at the top of the list might be a great idea when looking to save money spent on college tuition and other expenses.

Scholarships in Utah

Talking to the advisor at the college you want to attend, as well as researching college scholarships for Utah online, can give you an important understanding of the kinds of financial aid which are available to you to pay for your college or your children’s college education. State programs in Utah include the Step Up program, work study options, the New Century Scholarship, and the Regents’ Scholarship, just to name a few. Scholarships may be based upon financial need, academics, hobbies, talents, or personal interests.

Applications are usually fairly simple and can often be resourced through a high school counseling center or through the website for the particular college you think you might want to attend.  Also, of course, Federal Financial aid can be obtained through using the FAFSA form to see what you qualify for based upon income and other factors. Many scholarships require a FAFSA application in order to qualify so it is best to fill it out and turn it in no matter what your financial situation.

Pre-College Credits for High Schoolers

One other way to consider making college less expensive is to plan ahead and have your high school student enroll in a program which will allow him or her to get college credit for classes. These are often offered through local community colleges and can often be arranged to be taken as online classes or on campus, depending on the situation. Look into this as your kids are beginning high school in order to understand the details and get the most advantage out of this program.

Savings

The state of Utah also offers its Educational Savings Plan (ESP) which is a 529 College Savings Program for residents who want to save. The State has one of the top programs in the country, with low administrative costs, making it one of the best states to live in while saving for college for young children. It’s never too early to start saving as there are tax advantages, flexibility, and low fees.

College can be expensive, but there are certainly ways to make sure that it is affordable if you know where to look. Whether through scholarships, savings plans, community colleges, or other decisions, these affordable college options for Utah residents can make it possible to get an excellent degree which costs significantly less than it might in other states or simply by paying out of pocket.

Kitchen Appliances for New Homes

Just because you are moving into a new house doesn’t mean you should also get new appliances. Yes, there is great benefit in just keeping your old appliances when you make your move into your new home but sometimes it is also wise to get new appliances or at least upgrade the last ones.  Though this does not necessarily ring true for appliances like TV or home theatre systems, it is with your kitchen appliances that you should make appropriate upgrades or replacements when you pack up and live in your new home. Here are a couple of kitchen appliances that you can replace and/or upgrade when you move into your new house and more importantly, your new kitchen.

  • Refrigerator- The very first thing that you should consider leaving behind is your fridge. Most often than not, it is the fridge that takes up the most area and is usually the biggest appliance in your kitchen. There are times when just the mere transportation of a refrigerator would prove to be more than just a hassle. You should also consider the probability that your new kitchen does not have the same dimensions and area with your previous kitchen and that your fridge might not even fit in through the door and in the kitchen as a whole. It would just make more sense to sell it and buy something that would fir better.
  • Oven- The oven is most likely the heart of the kitchen, which is why it only makes sense to have a new one when going into a new house. When moving into a house take the opportunity to upgrade and get a better oven that would suit your cooking and baking needs not to mention your kitchen’s style. As the heart of the kitchen, your oven determines its life. Choose only the best.
  • Dish washer- You could also take the time to upgrade your dish washer when you move into a newer house. Yes, sometimes the dishwasher can be as large as a small refrigerator, so you might not want to have the hassle of having to transport your old one. You could find some newer and even cleaner dish washers that would be worthy to replace your old one that you can really trust your precious plates with.
  • Microwave- What is a kitchen without the quicker and smaller version of the oven? Yes, the microwave is like one of the most necessary appliances in the modern man’s lifestyle these days. You can most definitely take this time to upgrade your microwave to ensure more fast and efficient ways to enjoy food on the go.
  • Other little appliances- You should also look into upgrading and trading in a lot of your other, smaller kitchen appliances and even buy new ones that would suit you better in your new house. You could replace your coffee maker with something more compact and preferably of new model. You could also acquire new appliances that you did not really have back at your previous place. You can start by upgrading things with appliances such as getting a mixer instead of the manual beater you have or trading in your best knife sharpener with an electric one that would actually do a lot more efficient work. These are all up to you but would really do your new kitchen much good.

Marketing your Investment

Marketing Your Investment

For many, buying real estate isn’t just about purchasing a home. Many of my clients will look for properties in Salt Lake as vacation homes which have a variety of benefits. Firstly, Salt Lake is a fantastic spot for a vacation home because of its geography. As a former winter Olympic host, it truly is a playground for the outdoorsman. Some beautiful mountain ranges to explore, most of my clients will often be hunting and fishing enthusiasts Often times the first question a client will ask me after purchasing their home is where they can buy their hunting and fishing supplies as they like to have their garage stocked up with whatever they need when they do spend some time at their vacation home.

Another benefit to having a vacation home in Salt Lake is because it is quite an attractive rental market. People from around the world descend on Salt Lake every year to take in the great outdoors and getting a good return on your investment is certainly possible. Owners have a couple of different options to consider including both short term and long term rental options. In market like Salt Lake, there is an opportunity to rent your property on a weekly basis. I always recommend a local property management company to manage the rentals and take care of the details in between stays. In the high season, this can be quite profitable as you can rent out your home for a pretty good price.

Salt Lake is also within reasonable proximity to some fantastic medical facilities which bring people in for short term stays to have specific work done. I have had older clients in particular actually purchase homes in Salt Lake for this exact reason as medical facilities become more important to them. When you can afford it, you want to ensure that you have access to world class hospitals where you get the care you need. There is nothing less comforting than visiting a rag-tag hospital where the medical staff are using older gear. I’ll never forget the last time I visited a hospital similar to this and the doctor’s cheap stethoscope didn’t even work!

If you don’t like the idea of having multiple people renting your home from month to month, there is the options of longer term rentals which are a little less profitable than short term rentals but require a less management and more security. As Salt Lake has a large transient population, every year brings in a new group of people looking for places to live and your property will more than likely be suitable for a longer term rental.

Regardless, it is important to market your rental property effectively and I am the person to get you on the right track. I have expertise and experience to ensure your vacation home will provide you with peace of mind so you can actually enjoy your vacation.

The Season You Show a House Matters

Selling a house is one of the most important parts of real estate investing and even if you aren’t an investor there is a high chance you will still need to sell a house.

But what is the best time of year to sell? What season is better to show off your lovely home to potential buyers? This is where things can become a little confusing.

Some experts say selling in the winter is best because there is less competition. Others will advise you spring is better when the weather will entice buyers outside and the flowers are in bloom.

In truth, there are perks for showing your house in different times of the year, and really it comes down to your personal situation and market trends. The following are a couple of factors to consider.

Location, location, location

Where your property is situated is going to have an impact on the best time to show your home. Is your property in a beachside town or an urban location? A beachside property may be more appealing to the buyer who views it during the summer. For example, you have a lovely house whose back-lawn overlooks the beach. The sun is out, you have your quality smoker out, and you walk the potential buyer out to these views, allowing them to be enticed by the luxury way-of-life feelings they get from the viewing.

However, many buyers will actually look for their ideal home at other points of the year too. So this traditional advice may not always work. Chatting with your estate agent to discuss when buyers are most likely to view your property is a good idea. Open houses during peak times of year can become an extremely important factor in selling and could generate serious interest in buyers who were only casually thinking about purchasing a beachfront property. Which leads to the next point:

Selling season

Traditionally, spring has been considered the best season for selling properties. This is the time of year when homes and gardens look their best, and people are outside enjoying the weather. Often, families prefer to buy a new home before the height of summer arrives so as to tie in with the new school year. But because of this, there is naturally more competition.

This is why autumn is a time when some of the biggest volume of sales happen. This is in part due to its timing right after the holidays, when focus on buying starts to pick up again. You should also consider the practicalities of selling during this season: potential buyers being shown around your home inside and out are less likely to be hit with the unpleasant smell of smoke from your neighbors smoker.

Live and Play: Why Utah is Great For Outdoorsmen

For those of us that live in Utah, we all know the secret – there is everything an outdoorsman or woman could possibly want in Utah, and quite a bit of is is very close to places with a great quality of life and great jobs. There is hiking, mountain biking, skiing and beautiful national parks like arches and canyonlands! There are so many great places here in Utah, and there are many great places for outdoorsman as well. Even though we are mostly trying to sell houses here, we still want people to come visit (then move) to Utah, so we want to make sure to highlight everything that we have to offer. Here are a few of the things:

  1. Hunting

    Utah is absolutely great for hunting. There is some incredible animal diversity here, and you can hunt deer, bears, cougars, elk, and more. The terrain is great for hunting and not too challenging for most hunters to get around in. Even though there are quite a bit of mountains around, most hunters don’t notice and are able to track down some great spots that they can find great game animals in. There are plenty of great areas in the state to hunt, and each offers varying terrain and difficulty, as well as varying creatures to go after. We love hunting here and love to meet people that do as well.

  2. National Parks

    One of the reasons that my wife and I moved to Utah was because we were so close to some beautiful places. We absolutely love spending time in Capitol Reef National Park, as well as other park sites in the state, like Arches, Canyonlands, Zion  and Bryce Canyon. These are some of the most fun places that we have ever been to, and they are all within driving distance of our home in Salt Lake. Even if the drive is long, it is still totally worth it to go and see and do everything in those parks. We have been many times, and we love it.

  3. Fishing

    Where would we be if we didn’t mention fishing? There are many great mountain streams and lakes that feed the mighty Colorado river basin in Utah, as well as the Flaming Gorge Reservoir that we share with Wyoming. An Angler can surely find his fill of great and close fishing if they choose to move to Utah.

  4. Hiking

    One of our favorite things to do is hiking, and we try and get outdoors and get to the trails as much as we can all the time. Even though we dont do the 7 or 9 day backpacking trips that we did before we had kids, we still get to get out to the trails quite a bit (though honestly, it’s never enough).

  5. Skiing

    We cant say enough about skiing, and living in Salt Lake, we are so close to the park city resorts that it is great – we can call in “ski” to work whenever we want and get some runs in before the huge weekend crowds come to the park city area. It’s only about an hour drive from where we live, so we feel really fortunate to have something so great so close to where we live.

Any outdoorsman can find a great home in Utah if they are interested in  moving here, and we are here to help if they are. If you’re looking for a specific type of house with certain amenities in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area make sure to get in touch with us via the contact page or check our blog for more great information about real estate in Utah.

Patios and Decks can Add Value to A Home

In the warmer weather, there is nothing better than to be able to enjoy being outside at your home on a patio or deck. The word patio is derived from the Spanish language where they often referred to the roofless inner courtyard that used to be commonly found in Spanish-style dwellings.

What is a Patio or Deck?

In modern homes we tend to think of as a patio or deck as being an outdoor space that adjoins your residence – typically the area is paved so that it is perfect for outdoor dining or recreation. Patios or decks can be created by using paving stones or other durable surfaces such as bricks, concrete, pebbles, or wood. If you are looking to add value to your home, then creating a patio or deck is a simple and cost effective solution. By adding a paved area that adjoins your house, you are creating a whole new living space that you and your family can enjoy. Whether it is where you set up the table tennis table, or if you have some sun lounges, or it could be the perfect place for some outdoor dining so that you can all enjoy the smoky goodness barbecue ambiance that some flame grilled cooking can give you. The possibilities are endless. If you live in an area that experiences colder weather for parts of the year, a patio or deck to create some outdoor living space is still worth considering. There are a range of outdoor heaters available that mean that this living space can still be utilized, even beyond the summer months.

Safe Outdoor Space for Kids

These days when people are looking to buy a home, especially when they have young children or a growing family to consider houses that have outdoor spaces such as a patio or deck are particularly attractive. To have a safe playing area for the children, a space that you can easily monitor from the kitchen or a nearby room, is definitely something that a lot of families will rate highly and will pay a premium for.

Great Place for Plants

The use of plants on your patio or deck is a really simple way to integrate the space with your garden and create some shade while you are outside enjoying the warmer weather. Take your inspiration from Spanish courtyards and use large terra-cotta pots with hardy plants that don’t require too much attention.Think about palms, olive trees, or lemon trees – these are relatively slow growing plants but your local garden center will be able to supply you with mature plants so that you can instantly create a spectacular garden feature on your patio.

Other Patio Extras

Another way of giving your patio or deck a real wow factor is to install a water feature. This doesn’t have to be an enormous fountain, it could just be a small trickling stream or a pot of water that cascades gently over the stones. There is something incredibly soothing about the gentle sound of water in the background while you are relaxing in the sun. You could even create a small fish pond using a large earthenware pot and some shady plants. Your children will love caring for the fish and watching them swim about in the cool pools of water on your patio or deck. The more flexible that you can make your space, the more use that you will get from it. If you do set up a table tennis table, make sure that it is one that you can easily fold up and put into storage when you want to entertain friends or set up the sun lounges. So whether you have created your patio or deck using paving stones, wooden planks, recycled bricks, or combination of all of these materials. Your patio will give you an opportunity to not only embrace the joy of outdoor living but will also create value for your home.

Investing in a Vacation Rental Property

On the surface, the state of Utah doesn’t appear to be an obvious vacation destination, nor is it a place for real estate investors to look for rental properties.  After all, it’s not a coastal state, nor does it have a warm climate all year long.  Utah also lacks the reputation for being a haven of excitement and entertainment that places like Las Vegas or New Orleans have.  But while it lacks a flashy nickname like “Vacationland” or “The Sunshine State,” Utah is a viable vacation destination, and investing in property to rent out to vacationers can be a smart move that ultimately works out for savvy real estate investors.

delicate

What Utah lacks is one marquee vacation destination that attracts a surplus of tourists every year.  However, the Beehive State makes up for it by having a wide variety of niche vacation spots scattered throughout the entire state, giving potential investors a nearly endless list of places where they could buy property for the purpose of renting it out to vacationers.

The northern part of the state is home to Utah’s major cities like Salt Lake City, Provo, and Park City, where there are religious and cultural attractions that regularly bring tourists to Utah, as well as ski resorts that will consistently attract visitors to Utah during the winter months.  Meanwhile, in the southern part of Utah, there are beautiful geographic features such as Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Lake Powell, which bring tourists seeking thrills and excitement to Utah, usually during the summer months.  This gives Utah a plentiful number of locations for investors to find property to rent out to vacationers throughout the calendar year.

Typically, the northern part of the state around Utah’s biggest cities is going to be a better investment opportunity than in the southern part of the state near several of Utah’s national parks.  Property values near the city are going to be higher, allowing owners to charge more, and the cultural destinations of Salt Lake City and Park City will generally attract a more affluent vacationer that’s willing and able to pay more for a rental property than in the south.  Of course, southern Utah offers a great niche vacation market, where vacationers will be bound and determined to go, regardless of cost.  In either case, Utah is able to draw such a steady stream of vacationers to both parts of the state, and so a quality property that’s reasonably priced should have no problem finding renters on a regular basis.

Of course, having a rental property and filling it on a regular basis does not guarantee a massive or life-changing profit.  The cost of property taxes, the usual upkeep of a property, and other expenses will generally even out with the income that comes in from renting out the property.  However, with an attractive property that’s kept in good condition and marketed properly, there’s a chance to make some profit from the property, especially considering the demand for rentals throughout Utah is high.

With Utah attracting a high volume of vacationers, a quality property should have no trouble being filled on a regular basis, which means the property will produce a steady stream of income, and owners will rarely have to worry about losing money because they can’t find renters for the property.  Between that and the likelihood that property values in Utah will continue to bounce back from last decade’s housing crisis, investing in rental properties in Utah is a sound and safe investment, even if the monetary returns aren’t massive.

Boost Your Rental Rate With A Premium Kitchen

When looking to purchase a rental property, there is a seemingly endless list of features to consider while trying to determine the value of the property, trying to upgrade the quality of the property, and setting a fair rental price for it. But one aspect of rental properties that is often overlooked is the quality of the kitchen appliances, despite the fact that adding the right kitchen appliances can be a simple way to make the property look more appealing, making it easier to rent, possibly at a higher price.

 

Okitchenbviously, the location of the property, as well as the amenities in the area around it are going to be the biggest factor in the cost of the property, but once the location has been decided, a lot can be done inside to increase the appeal and value of the property. In that respect, the kitchen is arguably the most important room in the house, and the appliances within the kitchen can be a key part of successfully renting out the property at a favorable price.

The kitchen is almost always going to be the first room prospective renters see when looking at a rental property, which means that the kitchen is critical to making a good first impression. If prospective renters don’t leave the kitchen feeling pleased and impressed with what they saw, their attitude about the property as a whole is unlikely to change. However, showing off an inviting kitchen at the start of a visit can set a positive tone, and make the prospective renter more likely to look favorably at the rest of the property. Obviously, little can be done about the size and shape of the kitchen, but filling the kitchen with high-quality and aesthetically pleasing appliances is something that’s under control of the renter, and can be a way tho influences the prospective renter. To be more specific, the refrigerator is the most important kitchen appliance, and is one of the most important aspects to the inside of the property. It’s impossible to predict the taste of prospective renters in terms of the color and model of refrigerator they would prefer, but having a large fridge that includes amenities that aren’t standard on all refrigerators is a great way to make the kitchen and the property seem more appealing. The same can be said for the stove, which is the kitchen’s other major appliance. Nearly all prospective renters will plan on cooking on a daily basis, and anything that can make cooking easier for them will increase the appeal of the property and make them want to rent it, regardless of cost.

Of course, it’s not all about expensive and flashy appliances; the devil is in the details.

Putting together a package of small yet useful kitchen appliances, but doing so in a way that doesn’t create a cluttered look is another simple and easy way to make the kitchen more appealing. It’s a fine line to walk, but empty shelves don’t give off a welcoming vibe, which will turn prospective renters off to the property, while an excess number of items on countertops will make the kitchen appear messy and make the prospective renter think they’d be paying for things they won’t use. However, several useful appliances of high quality will make the kitchen, and the property as a whole, more appealing.

When it comes to rental properties, location is important, but it’s not everything. Outside of location, there are several variables under the renter’s control that can entice prospective renters into paying a higher price for it. Having quality kitchen appliances is a simple addition to a property that can make a big difference in increasing the value and appeal of a rental property.

Investing in A Mountain Home: What You Need to Know

When the market in real estate flourished in the early 2000‘s, mountain vacation homes were bought by those with a large salary or a lot of cash. The market nowadays have set another view for mountain vacation homes and secondary homes with reasonable pricing and rock bottom interest rates. Even though vacation homes before couldn’t pay off on their own, there’s a good chance that today’s vacation homes can.

When mountain vacation homes were deemed luxurious, the idea of having them rented out for several weeks to years to fight off property expenses usually leave homeowners cashing in short. Nevertheless, the market nowadays is full of vacation homes and log cabins that are for sale. Mountain vacation properties present now have a likelihood of garnering increased monetary flow if the new owner is diligent enough to make it happen.

A reasonably priced mountain vacation home bought within or below the standard value would require renting for a minimum of 3 months to begin earning on its own. Mountain vacation homes are ideal as properties for rent during summer months, but can function evenly for cabins situated in getaway or ski locations which can prolong their rental period in over a few months of summer. Getting your mountain vacation home rented will require to book early. Offer a rental price discount for property booking for the following year to inspire renters to come back.

A big cash saver and necessary step to getting your mountain home to earn on its own is to get rid of any middleman involved. Today’s management agencies run you dry by sucking in as much as 40% of your rent earnings. Dealing with rent and maintenance isn’t as challenging. It’s important to choose a qualified property manager as opposed to a management agency. Run background checks since a manager with a bad management history can significantly strain your investment. Foster a friendly relationship with nearby services close to your rental home and have a calendar for convenient rental scheduling.

Choosing a suitable area for your vacation home will play a crucial part in its ability to earn on its own. You’ll want to choose a home in a location that tourists would desire to rent. This means living close to a local attraction including a wonderful mountain setting. Once you’ve picked a place for your mountain vacation home, you’ll need to ensure the place doesn’t charge hidden costs for owners or expensive rent permits for an under-a-month rental.

Another thing to take note is consider hiring a realtor to assist you. Realtors can guide you through the tedious process in a simplified manner. Regardless if it’s mortgage or financing, a realtor will help you arrive at an agreeable transaction.

If you’ve made a decision to purchase a mountain vacation home and getting it to pay for itself, make sure you’re readily invested in terms of finances, time, and maintenance. If you feel that you are, then it’s worth taking the plunge for a long term mountain vacation home investment. There are risks and competition at some point, but when you deal with them efficiently, you can see yourself earning over time without regrets.