I was reading just a great article from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine that rated Salt Lake 5th out of 10 cities to live in for the next decade.¬† I remember when I first got here and was looking for a job, I was a little discouraged. Then, a friend of mine said I was competing with so many talented and educated people who were also looking.¬† That is one of the good things about Utah.¬† Talent is so important when companies look around to open in a location and Salt Lake has a very educated and deep talent pool.¬† There are so many different types of talent when you consider it.¬† Everyone has diffent talents and most businesses need a variety of personalities to make a company successful.¬† Utah is such a beautiful state and I can see many companies being drawn because of the beauty, culture, and the pool of people who are here to draw from. If you are having a hard time finding employment or you are not happy in your current place, don’t be discouraged. I can see Utah just growing and growing and articles such as those I was reading about will only help us to become number 1 instead of number 5. As our state and city grows, there will be numerous opportunities for all of us to make it the best as it grows and to grow along with it.
I was thinking the other day what motivates sellers to sell and buyers to buy.¬† Selling is often more motivating because there is usually an underlying reason to sell.¬† This can be a job change, job loss (especially now), divorce, too much room, or not enough room for an expanding family.¬† It is tough to be a seller now because most sellers feel like they are losing money compared to a few years ago but it is all relative to buying a few years ago.
What about buying?¬† This year the government incentive of $8000 motivated some people to buy, the lowest interest rates in history, tired of being at the mercy of a landlord, wanting a yard for a pet, and comparing owning to renting are all some good reasons to buy.This may sound wierd but I think houses have feelings and as soon as you walk through the door, you feel it. There is that special feeling¬† that makes a buyer choose that house. It might not be exactly what they set out to buy, but it is the one they choose.¬†
Some people will be at a social event and start talking with a lender. They may think they are not candidates to buy and then find out about all the different programs available to help them get into a house or they start talking with the many real estate agents out there who just know of a perfect house for them and it starts the wheels turning.
Whatever it is that motivates you as a buyer or seller, make sure your realtor is accessible and understands and cares about your needs.
I was recently thinking how much communication has changed in just the last few short years. I remember when my grandma just had 1 phone in the house (attached to a cord). It was in the middle of the kitchen and we all loved it when the phone rang. Then, when my kids were little they would be causing havoc about an inch from where I could reach with the wall phone. It was just a great day when I could walk anywhere in the house with the phone (and even outside a little). It was pure amazing to talk on the phone while driving. Now, I can never get anyone to call me back, return a call, letter, or RSVP. I know it is good to have everything documented in email and text but I really think the personal touch is being lost. Our lives are so crazy and busy now. It’s not that I would want to go back to having a ton of phone calls everyday but I do think there is some merit to hearing the emotion in someone’s voice when they talk to you about how they are feeling. I also miss the personal contact that comes with a phone call and the chance to be able to explain what I am thinking and finding out what the other person perceives.
There is so much hype on HGTV now about staging and curb appeal. Does it really make a difference? Well, it depends on how much money you want to net if you are the seller. If you are a buyer, it will make all the difference on how long you will want to wander through a house. Your first impression, even from the outside, can determine the outcome of a purchase.¬† There is a reason they stage model homes with simple, classic furniture , leave the doors off the rooms, and turn on all the lights. ¬†There is a huge difference in 2 homes that are equal but one smells nice, is spotless and all the lights are on. Our sense of smell can give us an emotional jolt whether it be good or bad.¬† Everyone loves the smell of cookies (candles) baking but some smells are totally repulsive. ¬†Even as an agent, it is hard to get beyond a house that smells bad.¬† Not everyone can buy furniture at Pottery Barn or Ethen Allen but if it is shabby, cover it up or get rid of it. I am a firm believer in staging a house but not with junk. More is not always better. If you wonder if it is really worth it, I have seen a $10,000 difference in price between 2 of the same houses-one that is cleaned up and one that has too much clutter and garbage.
Do you have a picture in your mind of your Dream Home?¬† Most people don’t and that is why looking at a variety of homes can be fun and exciting.¬† New and First Time Homebuyers always make me smile.¬†¬† They have a list of 60 or so homes and they want to see 10 at a time.¬† After about 4 or 5 houses, they all run together and the whole process gets way overwhelming.¬† So, I have found that even if I have to be a little firm with people it is for their own good to limit the search to just a few at a time (even if they are on a time crunch).
Home affordability is at an all-time high. The¬†mortgage payment on the median priced home as a percentage of the median household income is lower than it‚Äôs been in a generation.
Mortgage rates are at rock bottom. It‚Äôs hard to imagine interest rates going much lower.
Home prices are back on the rise. After declining for 30 months, home prices are trending back upward.
Sellers are motivated. This means that buyers have the upper hand! From banks looking to dispose of foreclosed properties to homeowners who are fiercely competing among an excess of housing inventory, buyers have untold choices and negotiating power.
Financing is readily available!¬† Banks are back in the game and ready to lend to well-qualified buyers.
Owning vs. renting is increasingly favorable. Since 2009, the average principal and interest payment has fallen below the average rental rates, and the gap is now wider than it‚Äôs been in the past 22 years.
¬†Home ownership ¬†is still at the core of the American Dream! Owning a home is critical to financial stability and wealth building. It‚Äôs a forced savings account, a place to live and a fabulous tax deduction.
I’m kidding right?¬† Let’s face it…moving can be and will always be stressful.¬† When I decided to move to Utah from Nevada where I had been selling Real Estate for 18 years, I would break out into a sweat.¬†¬† Then, little by little, the idea of a new adventure took hold so here are some ideas that helped me make my move happen -Happily!
I took a big breath and then I kept on breathing.¬† I made up my mind at the beginning to make this a good and happy experience (even if it killed me).¬† I love the new George Strait song, It’s not the breaths you take or the breathing in and out ¬†but the moments that take your breath away.
I took an inventory of everything I had to take and what I was ready to part with.¬† The garage is always a scary zone for me because it is so hard to part with something I am sure I will need in my new residence.
Get Help & Have Fun! If you have never needed help in your life before (does that even happen?) you will need it now.¬† I was so grateful for grown up kids and friends who pitched in and gave me ideas and helped me with the problems the cropped up along the way. When things got too overwhelming I had to take a walk until I could face it again.
I researched where I was going.¬† I felt positive with my experience as an agent since 1990 that I would be able to find the right job that would fit my needs and personality. I was so glad to find a place to work where people really matter.
If you are buying or selling real estate, pick your agent carefully.¬† Make sure he/she is someone who is listening to your needs.
There will always be set backs in life and I definitely had some but for the most part, my move was a great experience that I wouldn’t really trade and especially since I love Utah!
I got my Real Estate license in 1990 and have loved helping people for the past 20 years to buy and sell houses. Economically, we live in tough times but in every walk of life, there will always be people in need of buying and selling. I have never known a better time to buy. Interest rates are at an all time low. There is plenty of inventory and there are programs available to help buyers get funding. For sellers-yes it may seem like it is a horrible time to sell, but that, to me,¬†is just because of an overinflated frenzy of just a few years ago. I hated those years when there were multiple offers on every home and it felt like someone was going to knock you out to get a house that you might love. Personally, I think if someone wants to move up or down or just out-it’s a great time to sell. It is just important to weigh out the pros and cons of all of your circumstances.¬†
¬†I have heard that Death, Divorce, and Moving are the 3 most stressful events that can take place in a person’s life.¬† Most of us experience at least one of those (if not all 3) at some point in our lives.¬† I will be writing in the next few weeks some ideas (at least as far as moving goes) on how to counter act the stress that goes with moving. Stay tuned for some great ideas.
The other day while I was stuck in traffic trying to get from the west side of town to I-15, I couldn’t help daydreaming about The Mountain View Corridor. The Mountain View Corridor will be the new freeway, transit, and trail system that will service western Salt Lake and Northwestern ¬†Utah County. Are you like me-anxious to see it up and rolling?¬† The first phase of construction was scheduled to begin August 16th on 12600 South and 13400 South. I will keep you posted on updates.