July 29, 2012

Things are changing…

Most of the last few buyer clients I have had are looking for homes in the range of    $250,000 or less.


I have been feeling a trend that things, at least in that price range, $250,000 or less, are getting harder and harder to find and that is the price range of the typical buyer.

I feel pretty confident in saying that the trend in that range right now would be considered a “Seller’s Market”.

Yep, after years of waiting out the horrible conditions that sellers have been facing, it is finally their time.

I took a listing recently that sold before it was even on the MLS. That is right, I was still working out the details of our listing agreement when, by word of mouth, a buyer came along and begged us to show them the home. I was reluctant because I wanted to give my seller time to fix it up. I got the price we wanted without the cost and time of the fix up. I couldn’t believe it. The buyer was desperate.

Please, if you have been wanting to sell but have been thinking you should wait until conditions improve, I am saying it is time; please give me a call. I need homes for my buyers. I would love to represent you and help you through the process.

Filed under: Blogroll,Community,Real Estate,Selling — Susan @ 3:24 pm

July 13, 2012

Get Connected!

When you are moving, you will need to call your utility companies and inform them of your move. You will want to disconnect your service if you are moving out or get connected when you are moving in. It can be tedious to look up all the numbers necessary so I have compiled a list that I hope will make things a little easier.

Please let me know in the comment section if I have overlooked anything or if I have the wrong information for something. I would love for this to be correct and include anything that would be of help to the most people. Thanks

Get Connected: Utah County Utilities list

Rocky Mountain Power

201 S Main St Ste 2300
Salt Lake City UT 84140
Tel – (888) 221-7070
Fax – (888) 800-2851
Power Outage – (877) 508-5088
Web – http://www.rockymtnpower.net
Web – RMP Utah Regulatory Information
Questar Gas Company

180 E 100 S
PO Box 45360
Salt Lake City UT 84145-0360
Tel – (801) 324-5555
(801) 324-5111 Customer Service
Fax – (800) 324-5131 Legal
Web – www.questargas.com
24 Hour Emergency Service (800) 323-5517
Centurylink (formerly Qwest) Phone, Internet

250 Bell Plaza RM 1603
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Phone: (801) 237-7200
Toll Free: (888) 642-9996
Customer Service: (800) 244-1111
Web: www.qwest.com
Comcast (Phone, Internet, & Cable TV)

One Comcast Center
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tel: (215) 286-8667
Toll Free: (800) 288-2085
Fax: (215) 286-8414
Web: www.comcast.com

Orem City Utilities (Water, Sewer, & Garbage):
58 North State St. Orem, UT
801- 229-7275
Provo City Utilities:
351 West Center, Provo UT 84601
Payson Utilities:
439 West Utah Ave, Payson, UT 84651
153 North 100 East, Lehi, UT 84043

20 North Main Street, Alpine, UT
(801) 756-2378
American Fork:
Uinta Water Systems
947 S 500 E # 216, American Fork, UT
(801) 492-4900 ‎
Pleasant Grove:
70 South 100 East, Pleasant Grove, UT
(801) 785-5045
10 South Main Street, Springville, UT
(801) 489-2706
Spanish Fork :
Eagle’s Landing Water Company, LLC.
1094 North Ridge Way
Spanish Fork, UT 84660
Tel: (801) 794-9559
Fax: (801) 794-9669
email: hearthstonedevelopment@hotmail.com

Alpine School District: Orem and North Utah County
School Boundary Map:


Nebo School District: South of Provo
(801) 354-7400
350 South Main
Spanish Fork, UT 84660
Provo School District: Provo
280 West 940 North, Provo, Ut
Phone: (801) 374-4800
Fax: (801) 374-4808

Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Community,Personal,Renting,Selling — Susan @ 9:00 am

June 13, 2012

What do you expect from your agent?





In a recent sales meeting, my broker went over some things people say they don’t like about real estate agents. He is always trying to educate us on how to be more successful. It must work because I can’t imagine anyone in my office making some of the stupid mistakes we hear about.
Most of the things on the list are understandable (not saying excusable, keep reading) like agents that do not follow through, do not keep them updated, etc. There are different types of people in the world and even in the real estate industry so it is to be expected that some agents will be unorganized the same way you can expect there to be unorganized people in any profession.
I do believe organizational skills are an important ingredient for success in this business and I think that the unorganized ones weed themselves out eventually. Unfortunately, they don’t drop out before taking some clients for a bad ride.
There is a high turnover in this industry, at least in my area. I think there is a perception out there that it is an easy way to make a lot of money. I’ve seen the list of members in my local association grow and dwindle over the years depending on the market. When times are good, everyone gets a license and when times are tough, 96% of them get a second job or leave the business all together. An extremely high percentage of people getting a real estate license do not renew it when the renewal comes up in 2 years. It is much harder than they expected.
(When I first started, someone told me that only 4% of all the agents are actually successful and knowledgeable. That made an impact on me and I have always strived to be in that 4%. I think I am doing pretty well with that goal as I enter my 10th year in the business.)
Back to the ‘unfortunately’ part I mentioned earlier. I’ve said this in posts before but if you need a real estate agent, you have to do some research; you have to ask around, get referrals, search the internet and interview agents. There is no industry where you can just close your eyes and pick a name out of a hat then expect that the one you picked is going to be the best for your needs.
I fear that the general public, the people taking these polls, mistakenly think that all agents are popped out of some cookie cutter REALTOR® factory. That is just not the case. There are organized people in the business, there are intelligent people in the business, there are friendly agents, and agents that can make your experience buying or selling a home a very positive one. There are even agents that care more about their client’s bottom line than their own.
As in any other industry, profession, or walk of life, there are also going to be people in the business that are not/do not…
With a little research, you can find the best agent for your needs.

P.S. One of the items on the list is the idea that agents are always pushing them to the higher priced home to get a higher commission. I cannot comprehend this concept. I am never “pushing” for anything more than finding the perfect home for my buyers. Yes, when a buyer gives me a price limit of $250,000, I will include homes up to about $260,000 in the search— but not because I am trying to earn a higher commission.
I believe it is important to see what kind of home you get for that slightly higher price. It is an educational tool. It familiarizes buyers with the market …and occasionally, a buyer can offer $250,000 for a $254,000 home and still negotiate a successful deal.
Sometimes when a particular buyer is struggling to find a home in their price range, I can show them a few homes in the higher range and suddenly, they see what they like. I can then kindly point out that they may not have a realistic idea of value and suggest they may have to either adjust their expectations or wait until they can save the difference in price so they can have what they want.
We are not magicians. If a buyer’s likes/wants/needs do not match the price they can afford…
It IS possible the perfect house doesn’t exist in your price range.
In the end, if a client says they want a home for $300,000 and I send them the information on a home for $305,000, the difference in my commission is $75. Not worth compromising my reputation or losing a client over.
If you feel your agent is “pushing” you to higher priced homes, maybe you should just ask them why. I may be naïve and prefer to assume people are basically good, but I think your agent will be able to give you a real, logical explanation. I also think their explanation will more often than not, have something to do with your best interest and not their own.
I hear there are bad, selfish, and crooked agents out there but the agents I associate with work to improve their skills, do what is right and generally strive to do their best and act in a professional manner. If you do a little homework when looking for someone to work with, stick with the “tried and true,” the ones that have proven their ability to do right by their success, you will be pleased with the results.
If your agent introduces himself/herself as your waiter at your favorite restaurant, you may want to reconsider your choice. lol

Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Community,Real Estate,Selling — Susan @ 10:59 am

May 30, 2012

Oh No! Not a new roof!

We have had an ominous feeling hanging over our heads for the past few years, literally! You know; the dreaded conclusion that it is time to get a new roof. Every homeowner hates the thought but even more, they hate the expense. Even when you know it is time, you close your eyes and cross your fingers that you can squeeze by just a little longer. That was us.
Well, a few months ago, our neighbor’s roof suddenly transformed into a beautiful form of art and gave us the boost we needed to bite the bullet. We called the name on the little sign in their yard; you know those signs that say, “This roof brought to you by…” and now, our roof is a work of art too.

It is funny, I’ve never been ‘in’ to roofs all that much. My hubby notices them on occasion but lately, I am surprised at how my “roof awareness” has peaked. Since all the homes in my neighborhood are around the same age, I can’t help but feel sorry for so many of my neighbors as I drive by and think, “Oh wow, I wonder if they know how close they are to water damage?”

I know how hard it is to do it. I know what drives homeowners to put it off because it is a big expense and there are always other more important things to do with that money, right? But, if you lose the gamble, you can find yourself with water damage inside your home which is also expensive to restore PLUS, you then have to buy the new roof on top of the water damage repair expense or it will just happen again.

We made the jump and not only replaced the old roof but went the upgrade and found a roofing system that looks great and is very functional as well. I have no doubt we would recover the cost if we had to sell and the added expense also added many years onto the warranty. Instead of the typical 30 year roof that is really more like 15-20, we have a 50 year roof. It is supposed to save on the energy bill, (too soon to see it yet) and is more fire and wind resistant than average.
If you are thinking you need a new roof, here is the information on the one we chose.


And if you are in Utah, I recommend the company that installed our roof. They were great to work with.


It might be important to remember, a lender will not give a buyer a loan on a home unless the roof has at least 3 years of life left.

May 19, 2011

Reasons to be a Homeowner

April 9, 2011

Short Sales… not worth it?

As agents, we have been given 3 new addendum/disclosures to show our short sale clients. This has prompted my thoughts on this post:

Home value is a relative thing. The definition is, “What a buyer is willing to pay.” That isn’t really true because the lenders have so much to say about that, …for good reason. They don’t want to give someone a load of money on a house that isn’t worth what they lent. If the buyer defaults, they are stuck holding a house they lose money on. They aren’t going to be in business long if they do that too often.

Many people need to sell their homes but the current market is making it impossible to get a good price. That forces them to offer their homes at less than they owe. That is called a “Short Sale”.  Agents advertise a home at a great price, (too often, too good to be true), wait for an offer, then submit it to the lender/mortgage holder for approval. It often takes a long time and a lot of paperwork if the agent knows what he/she is doing to get an approval on a short sale. Choose your agent wisely. Too many short sales fail for no other reason than the agent didn’t know what they were doing.

Too often the advertised price is so ridiculous, a lot of buyers get sucked into the idea of getting something for nothing and get caught in the black hole of short sales blues.

Hopefully, the offer is finally reviewed, in the lender’s due time, and if the agent has done his/her job well enough,, the lender will most likely come back with a more realistic price or offer they ARE willing in accept, and the buyer has the option of accepting it or moving on to the next “too good to be true” listed home for sale.

If the original buyer moves on , which is most likely the case, the agent then can list the home at the price the lender has said they will accept and hope a buyer will be willing to pay that price. If the price has already been approved, it can make the short sale process go a lot smoother at that point.

Up till now, the biggest problem with short sales is the seller loses twice. Not only do they lose their home at less than they owe, but the lender will file a 1099 on the loss. The difference in the price they lent the owner and lower sales price to the new buyer is a loss for them so they claim it as a loss on their taxes. The IRS then comes knocking on the seller’s door and wants them to pay on that “gain”. It is like getting slapped in the face twice. It is sad.

Now, because of these new addendum/disclosures, I have come to understand the lender can come back to the seller and sue them for the difference. They did sign contract, after all. I am not sure how many years (it is significant), they have to come after the seller for breaching the original contract but it is surprising they can still do this after all the seller has to go through to complete a short sale.

So, they lose their home, at a price less than they paid. They are responsible for the taxes on that difference and now, I’ve learned, they are liable to pay that difference back to the lender anyway. 3 slaps in the face so far, and counting. (Not counting the ding in your credit score for year to come)

It seems short sales are not a very good thing for a seller. I highly recommend you look into other options. The consequences seem to catch up to you and are much too harsh.


Susan Jackson and/or CENTURY 21 Bushnell is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a rule that requires real estate agents to provide certain disclosures when representing sellers in a short sale transaction.

October 20, 2010

Wanted: First-Time Home Buyers

House drawingThe biggest segment in the home buying market at the moment are the first-time home buyers. This is important to the recovery of our real estate market because the house you buy will make it possible for the sellers to move up into the next category of homes so that seller can move up, and so forth.

So, First-Time Home Buyers, …WE NEED YOU!!!

Buying a home is a daunting process. New buyers often experience a range of emotions, good and bad, from excitement to overwhelming stress. You don’t have to do it on your own.

As a REALTOR®, I have the knowledge, experience and tools at my disposal to help make buying your first home as painless and simple as possible.

Please call me and let’s talk about whether or not I am the right agent for you. The best part of the process is that my professional services are free since the seller typically pays my professional fee.  

I look forward to your call…

Susan Jackson

Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Community,Real Estate,Selling — Susan @ 5:11 pm

September 8, 2010


For all you “Google” people that aren’t really “Google” people… at least that is what you tell me when I remind you on my CELL phone that I am on the “DO NOT CALL LIST” and that I have already asked to be removed from your list…


It is frustrating that so many of you are using my website to “prospect” me. 

Please stop making comments on my posts that just tell me what  you can do to increase the traffic to my site,

Please stop stop making comments just so you can advertise your own websites,


Please stop calling me to tell me how you can increase the traffic to my website.

So, let’s see how many of you are actually reading my blog… you always tell me you are …

Filed under: Blogroll,Community,Personal,Technology — Susan @ 6:56 am

September 1, 2010

A Crazy Year

I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post. It has been a crazy year. I have been reflecting on life; health, finances, relationships… all the things that present the greatest challenges to our lives and yet the greatest blessings as well. We too often take them for granted but when one or more get a little off-track, it doesn’t take long to realize how important they are to us and how essential it is to work on them.

I am grateful for good health. I am lucky that my challenges the last year were temporary and resolved but I have a new outlook on how important it is to take care of ourselves, eat right, exercise, etc.

I am grateful for my family and friends. I lost my father this summer. It has been a sad and reflective time since I lost my mother long ago. As I grow older, these bonds get more and more special to me. My siblings have grown closer since his passing and have an even greater place in my heart. My husband and children seem to be the essence of my existance. I do not know how I would survive without them.

I am facing the prospect of becoming a grandmother and get more and more excited as the time goes by… also worried as I think of my own baby facing the challenges of motherhood. Physically, getting older stinks! Yet, life gets sweeter as time goes by and I learn valuable life lessons that I was too young and ignorant to appreciate in my youth.  I do not look forward to watching my body get more and more wrinkles  with each passing day, but I have learned that there are still many opportunities ahead for laughter, learning, and LOVE.

Filed under: Blogroll,Community,Personal — Susan @ 6:25 am

October 17, 2009

Medication Abuse

drugsI was looking over the City of Orem’s newsletter today and was surprised at some facts that were quoted. The article was on cleaning out your medicine cabinet.

**It stated that Utah leads the nation in prescription pain medication abuse.

**70% of those who get caught or admit to abusing prescription pain medications say they get them
from friends or   relatives—usually without their knowledge.

**In 2007, unintentional prescription pain medication overdoses were the #1 cause of injury deaths in Utah.
That is more than motor vehicle crashes.

The article suggests that we all go though our medicine cabinets and throw out any medications that are expired or no longer needed.  The City of Orem has installed a Drug Drop Off Box at the Orem Police Dept at 83 E. Center St. to provide us with a safe place to dispose of these drugs.

I see a connection on this problem with Real Estate in that when your home is for sale, you have people that you do not know coming through your home.  I think most agents do a good job of staying with those clients and keeping an eye on them while showing homes, however, I have been in situations where the buyers acted a little…weird.

I was once with buyers in a very nice home and I was lucky to have an agent friend along with me.  The potential buyer brought friends with him and eventually, they all kept trying to split up and wander around the house. I don’t think they counted on me bringing another agent because between the two of us, we did a great job of not letting them out of our sight.   I commented to my agent friend afterward that I had the feeling they were intentionally trying to split up to get out of our sight so they could do something.  He said, “I know! Me too!”

I have heard of people posing as buyers to find opportunities to search medicine cabinets for prescription pain medications. People that are abusing these drugs get desperate and creative to find them.

I think Orem City’s suggestion to get rid of the unnecessary drugs that may still be in our medicine cabinets is a good one.

Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Community,Real Estate,Selling — Susan @ 10:23 pm

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