October 28, 2007


I have been sifting through comments on real estate articles in an area newspaper.   There was one that really stood out to me.  I have already written a post about this called, “Waiting yourself out of a new home.”

In this newspaper comments, one person commented,   “I’m sitting on the sidelines. I was going to buy a home over a year ago. Instead we’re living in a basement apartment and waiting. I told the realtors and home builders 14 months ago that I wanted to buy, but not at the huge mark ups that occured in just one year. A $135,000 condo was selling for over $185,000.00 in less than a six month period. Outrageous. I’m sitting on my cash, waiting for the market to correct “BIG TIME’ ”

If he had bought that condo at $135,000 he would be owning a home right now with $50,000 equity instead of living in a basement apartment throwing rent out the window.  In just 6 months time, his investment would have grown $50,000!!!  He is sitting on his cash???  People who successfully acquire wealth never “sit” on their cash.  They invest it, they leverage it, they put their money to work for them. 

The idea that the market is going to “correct” itself is also a funny one.   There is speculation from others in this same thread as well as this commentor that prices are going to correct themselves.   I think they mean that prices are going to come down???  If you look back on history, there has never been a large decline in real estate prices.  Once they appreciate, they pretty much stay appreciated.  The thought that you can put your money under your mattress until that condo gets back down to $135,000 once it was $185,000 is hilarious.

Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Credit & Finances,Real Estate,Renting — Susan @ 5:41 am

October 25, 2007

Who Said It Quiz

I have tried to keep away from politics in this blog but this was just too interesting… and a little shocking.

History Lesson Quiz:

1. “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

a.     Karl Marx
b.     Adolf Hitler
c.     Joseph Stalin
d.     Hillary Clinton

2. “It’s time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few…and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity.”

a.     Lenin
b.     Mussolini
c.     Idi Amin
d.     Hillary Clinton

3.  “(We)…can’t just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people.”    

a.     Nikita Khrushev
b.     Jose F Goebbels
c.     Boris Yeltsin
d.     Hillary Clinton

4.  ”We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own..in order to create this common ground.”

a.     Mao Tse Dung
b.     Hugo Chavez
c.     Kim Jong II
d.     Hillary Clinton

5.  ”I certainly think th free-market has failed.”

a.     Karl Marx
b.     Lenin
c.     Molotov
d.    Hillary Clinton

6.  “I think it’s time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire ecomony that they are being watched.”

a.     Pinochet
b.     Milosevic
c.     Saddam Hussein
d.     Hillary Clinton

One more interesting bit of information, 4 of the 6 quotes were made in 2007.  One in 2005 and one in 2006. 

Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 8:57 am

October 22, 2007

Salt Lake Tribune Article, Wrong!

I received the following info in an email today which proves you can’t believe everything you read:

“At a time when Money Magazine and The Associated Press are reporting that Utah is bucking the national housing slump, the Salt Lake Tribune is saying “Utah’s housing boom now a bust.” Thursday, the Salt Lake Tribune reported on its front page that new home demand was at a 17-year low, a story that included broad generalizations about the Wasatch Front housing market. The Utah Association of REALTORS® is encouraging REALTORS® to contact the Tribune directly to tell them why they got it wrong.”

Some points that make the article wrong:

  1. The story’s headline, which said, “Utah’s housing boom now a bust,” was misleading and inaccurate. The story only cited statistics regarding home-building permits; the story did not mention existing home sales or the pockets of new-home construction that are doing well. The headline led Tribune readers to believe that all segments of Utah’s housing market are doing poorly. If such broad generalizations are going to be made in headlines, the Tribune needs to include information about each part of the housing market in the story.
  2. The Tribune article quoted an individual who said, “ ‘People are afraid to purchase’ a home right now,” a misleading statement that could cause buyers to miss out on great appreciation opportunities. It’s a disservice to the Tribune’s readers to suggest that prospective Utah home buyers shouldn’t buy now when the National Association of REALTORS® projects Utah will see home prices increase anywhere between 7 and 10 percent in 2008. That means the buyer of a $200,000 home could miss out on $14,000 worth of appreciation by waiting to buy.
  3. The story suggested that Utah buyers have been unable to obtain loans when in fact financing is readily available and affordable. Mortgage rates are still at historic lows, with interest rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage near 6.38 percent, much more affordable than the double-digit rates seen over the years. For buyers who would have needed subprime loans that are no longer available, safer FHA products will be able to help serve their needs.
  4. Utah has strong market fundamentals — good job growth, population gains and low unemployment, which will keep demand for housing high.
  5. Real estate markets are complex and the Tribune’s readers are not served by misleading generalizations that don’t tell the entire story.

REALTORs® are being encouraged to let the Tribune know how misleading this article is using these points.  I thought it important to let potential buyers see these points as well because there is so much negativity in the press nationally about real estate.   Trying to scare the public with false impressions just to sell newspapers is a cheap tactic and I hope this post has helped get the “right/correct” word out.

Filed under: Buying,Community,Real Estate,Selling — Susan @ 9:46 pm

October 16, 2007

How To Predict A Change In The Market

prowler-sold-86.jpgI recently wrote about my predictions for our Utah County real estate market.  I said that I believe that things will improve after Christmas.  My indicator for this prediction is our job market.  Our unemployment rate is the best in the nation right now.  Rents have recently started to rise.  I see this as an indication that people are moving to our state.  These same people are going to want to buy homes.  I found this little blurp that confirms what I have said

  John Tuccillo, former National Association of Realtors, Chief Economist, between 1987 and 1997, said, “you can predict that change is coming when you see a correlation between jobs and people.”  For instance, Michigan is still losing people. Our population is declining, and then you compare that to my favorite place on earth, Nashville, TN.  Nashville and all the suburbs are growing. Our home prices are declining, Nashville is stable. There is a direct correlation between people and jobs.”

“Jobs and people,” well, we have both.  I have already started to notice a significant trickle in our market.  I really do believe that we will be fine. 

Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Community,Real Estate,Renting,Selling — Susan @ 7:05 am

October 13, 2007

Going Home

One of my favorite uncles died recently.  I have not seem him for quite some time but I have very fond memories of him.  I will  always remember him for his very distinctive sense of humor which left us all laughing most of time he was around and also his generous heart.  He taught me several important lessons in life with his wisdom which he delivered with conviction and often a sense of humor to make his point.  He will also be remembered for slipping me many $20 bills when he would realize that I had no spending money on me.  He was a hard worker who put his soul into his ranch and his family.  He had strong convictions, a strong belief in God, and would be a good example for anyone looking for someone to emmulate.  (I still am not sure if he really did teach Dolly Parton how to sing.)

My husband and I drove to my home town for the funeral.  I have only been back a handful of times, mostly for the funerals of his brothers.   This time was extra special though for some reason.  I have been having dreams lately of my home town and things have started to get distorted.  It felt good to get back and take in the scenery and remember where the roads really lead, etc.  I was pleasantly surprised to be reminded how beautiful it really is there.  I was starting to wonder if I had sensationalized my memories of it.  I have not.   Though I have been gone long enough that it really does not feel like home anymore, I am thankful for the opportunity to go back down that memory lane. 

Filed under: Blogroll,Community,Personal — Susan @ 5:58 pm

October 4, 2007

My Take on the Current Market

We are experiencing a really strange, if not weird, market right now. I think that fears about looming changes are scaring off buyers. Sellers of new construction that started while the market was still hot are now stuck in the middle and hurting. I think other sellers put off selling when the market was hot, possibly waiting for it to get hottest, then when it started cooling off, they panicked and all raced into the market to try and ride the last wave only to glut the supply and make it seem worse than it needs to be. There is typically a slight slow down time between the summer sales and later Autumn but this year has seen it more defined than usual.

The good news is: Utah County has an extraordinary unemployment rate. In as few as the last 4 weeks, rental properties have become scarce and rents are going up. This is a strong indication that people are moving in. These people are going to want to buy a home soon. I think that our current stagnation in the market is going to start to flow again. I worry that it wont happen until after Christmas but I feel very strongly that it will start to move again. I doubt it will reach the appreciation levels we have experienced the past 2 years, but I do believe we will have a strong, healthy market. Only time will tell.

This is a good time to buy an investment property.  As I mentioned,rents are up and vacancy rates are down.  Give me a call, I would love to help you take advantage of this current market to get started building wealth in real estate investing. 

Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 1:07 pm

October 1, 2007

Modeling Projects That Pay Off

Remodeling Magazine and REALTOR® Magazine joined efforts to produce the 2006 Cost vs. Value Report.  This report is a valuable tool for those who wish to take on a remodeling project.  When it comes to selling your home, you want to know which projects will pay off.   

According to the Cost vs. Value Report*, replacing your vinyl siding is the least expensive way to add value
and increase the selling price for your home. Replacing wood windows and performing a minor kitchen
remodel ($17,000 or less) tie for second place on the list of high-impact home improvements to help you
sell. The third most profitable home improvement to add value to your home is a bathroom makeover
($12,000 or less).

  • Project                                                Job Cost      Resale Value      Average ROI
    Vinyl Siding Replacement                     $9,134          $7,963                87.2%
    Window Replacement (Wood)             $11,040          $9,416                 85.3%
    Minor Kitchen Remodel                       $17,928         $15,278               85.2%
    Bathroom Remodel                             $12,918         $10,970               84.9%
    Window Replacement (Vinyl)               $13,120          $11,109               84.7%
    Two-Story Addition                            $105,297          $87,654               83.2%
    Major Kitchen Remodel                        $54,241         $43,603                80.4%
    Attic Bedroom Remodel                       $44,073          $35,228               79.9%
    Basement Remodel                              $56,724          $44,685               78.8%
    Deck Addition                                       $14,728          $11,307              76.8%

Know Your Neighborhood
Before you decide which home improvement project adds the most house value, do a little competitive
research by finding out what features are popular with other homes in your neighborhood. If most houses
in your neighborhood are about 15 to 20 years old but have upgraded kitchens with contemporary
countertops, tile flooring, and stainless steel appliances, you’ll net a better return if you invest in a minor
kitchen remodel. By knowing your neighborhood, you’ll get a better sense of what projects are the best
home improvement values for your dollar.

Know Your Region of the Country
Not only should know your neighborhood but you should also know your region. Consider a remodeled
basement which, nationally, offers 78.8% ROI; widely popular with buyers in some parts of the country (in
the Pacific, it nets a 92.7% ROI), remodeled basements are not as popular in other parts of the country (in
New England, its ROI is only 61.9%). To help you sell now, know what buyers in your area prefer.
According to the Cost vs. Value Report, each part of the country has unique home improvement values.
While a kitchen or bath remodel can net a hefty ROI in the Midwest, the best ROI on the East Coast comes
from home improvements that save energy or maintenance, like siding and window replacements.
*The 2006 Cost vs. Value Report (a combined effort by Remodeling magazine and REALTOR® Magazine)
can be downloaded at http://lowesmoving.com/images/pdf/115.pdf

Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 11:11 am