December 28, 2007

Newspaper Comments

I just read an article in the Deseret News about the increase in home sales in Utah.  It was, finally, a positive article, representing the true market conditions.  I have been so frustrated the last year how the headlines all read doom and gloom while the body of the articles reported positive conditions with statistics to support it.  However, the general public must only read the headlines because the comments on these articles never cease to amaze me.  I am just “shake my head” amused at the comments from so many about their views on the market conditions.   I have written a post not too long ago on how the MLS is a database that has been collecting information on homes sold, homes expired, how many days on the market, etc.  since it went online years ago.  

“The MLS went online in 1994-1995.  Since going online, it has become a very valuable tool for keeping track of statistics relating to the housing market.   These statistics are used to analyze past trends and predict future possibilities. ”

The latest article had one commentor who insists that it is bad reporting, 

“This is the kind of reporting that helped create and continues to perpetuate the bubble in Utah.
Try searching houses using the terms “appraised” or “appraisal” for all the houses being offered below appraisal. Search using the word “construction” to see the houses that “up to their necks in debt” builders are trying to unload.  I read reporting from other areas of the country that reflect the true market conditions. Why can’t I find the same in Utah?”

How can reporting from other areas of the county have anything to do with our local market?  There are areas of the country that are experiencing a downturn.  These markets were experiencing phenomenal appreciation rates at phenomenal speeds.  Yes! It is impossible for a market to sustain that kind of growth indefinitly.  There are people in these markets that bought homes at high prices in hopes of turning them around in a few days at a profit.  Many of them got  caught when the prices finally topped out.  However, our market never did see 200% appreciation rates.  We saw a few areas in Utah where the appreciation rates reached into the 20′s for a short time but our local market is stabilizing already so I do not see how we are going to crash like the markets in Florida and Phoenix.  Our topped-out market never matched the topped-out market in those areas so we cannot see the same results.   There is no comparison. 

Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Community,Real Estate,Renting,Selling — Susan @ 1:33 pm




December 26, 2007

I Am Not The Only Nag

  1. Brenna Says:

    I agree! I know there have been several apartments that I did not even consider after walking in the door because of the bad smells and dirtiness. It is amazing how much nicer cleanliness makes a home.

  2. Brooke Says:
    My husband Jon and I have been in the housing market for a few months now. And I totally have to agree with you that a clean house is very important. There were a handful of houses that we visited that I was very excited about. The outside, the neighborhood, price, etc., all very appealing to me. But from the moment we walked in the door, we were more overwhelmed by the trash “Still” on the floor, stains on the carpet, the odor of a pet… And as buyers, it was really hard for us to look past that. We decided that the best thing for us was to just go New. Our house is due to be finished in march and we are very excited. But my advice to sellers is that a neat, clean house would have made all the difference in our eyes.

 Here are two comments on my last post about keeping your home clean.  Here you have it from the mouths of people actually in the market.  I know a lot of buyers choose to build because that fresh, “new home” feeling is so important.  Even though almost any home can be cleaned up and remodeled, etc. to look and feel like new, most buyers either do not have the vision required or the desire to do all the work.  Sellers are better off all around to get their homes in tip-top condition and keep it that way while it is on the market.   Especially right now when the competition to sell a home in Utah County is so high.  The best thing is to not let it get dirty and run down in the first place. 

Your home will have to compete against all those shiny new homes that are still in the same price range.   I have heard many sellers say that the new homes that are being built in the same price range nowadays do not have as much to offer.  This may be true, but my experience is that many, many buyers will forfeit the amenities that these sellers of older homes value in lieu of the cleanliness and newness of the newer home.

Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 9:45 am




December 20, 2007

Luxury Home Specialist

I have been a Luxury Home Specialist for several years now.  Typically, across the country, a home is considered a luxury home if it is in the top 10% price range for the area and never under $500,000.    In Utah County, the top 10% price range starts at $470,000.  That is up from last year which was closer to $430,000.  That means that in our area, if your home is worth $500,000, it is considered a luxury home. 

Recently, there has been a lot of news coverage of a certain Real Estate Agent in Utah County who has been engaged in some illegal activites.   This particular agent has been a forerunner in the Luxury Home Market in the area.   It is sad to see that while he was trusted and esteemed highly, he has let so many down. 

I am sure there are several luxury home owners and buyers right now that are left wondering who they can turn to.  Those that have been contemplating buying or selling in the near future and had planned to use this well-known agent may not know who they should call to take care of their special needs. 

As I said before, I have been a Luxury Home Specialist for several years and I want to assure anyone in this situation that I understand the Luxury Home Market.  Please read through some of my  “letters from Clients”   and I am sure you will see that I have built a reputation of outstanding, professional service.  To see what I, with CENTURY 21 Fine Homes and Estates, can do for you, please take a look at the  “Luxury Marketing”  page of my website.

Filed under: Buying,Community,Luxury Home Market,Real Estate,Selling — Susan @ 8:59 pm




December 17, 2007

Keep Your House Clean

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Whether you plan to sell your home in the near future or not, I want to stress how important it is to keep your home clean.  I have posted other articles on this subject but it seems I have recently been plagued by dirty homes and it is a big problem.  Buyers do not want to look at your home if when the second they walk in, they are hit with strong, undesirable smells and obvious clutter and dirt.  It is a major turn off and they will be thinking, “get me out of here,” instead of, “Oh, look at how big this family room is.”

No buyer will care how nice the floor plan is or how great the neighborhood is if they feel disgusted by the dirt and grime in a home.  The only option a dirty home’s seller may have is to drastically reduce the price.  At least at an obvious bargain, an investor can come along and determine whether the clean up time will be worth the effort in exchange for a reasonable profit. 

If you are not planning to sell, it is still important to keep a home clean.  There can be health risks associated with poor housekeeping.   If you areplanning to sell, your real estate professional should be able to give you recommendations on what you can do to get your house in tip-top shape and make it attractive to the highest amount of potential buyers.   If you are thinking of selling soon and would like a Home Prep Consultation, give me a call.   

Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 10:47 pm




December 14, 2007

Christmas Gift Ideas, The List is Growing

  1. Albuquerque real estate
    I got my parents a heated blanket (new; $75 or so, with shipping off Ebay), because they live in a snowy, wintery area. They are both around 50.I got my parents a heated blanket (new; $75 or so, with shipping off Ebay), because they live in a snowy, wintery area. They are both around 50. 

  2. Sharee Says:
    This is a good idea. I am “gift idea challenged” too. I was doing a gift idea search and found this. I was sad to see there were no ideas listed yet. I need ideas for my husband. I am getting my daughter a nice watch.
  3. Brenna Says:
    Wow– this is a really clever idea. Too bad I haven’t bought any of my presents yet!
  4. Jake Says:
    I am getting my son a guitar. He is 14. My wife a Cricut? I don’t know what that is exactly but she wants one. I need ideas for my dad.
  5. Harry Says:
    This is a great idea. We get lots of gifts but I will include the top ones for my kids.For my daugthers (ages 9 & 11) we got them each an IPOD shuffle with their names engraved on them. The price was $80 each. It isn’t the top IPOD but perfect for this age I think.For my sons (Ages 6 & 4) they are getting hermit crabs. They have been BEGGING us to get them all year and we are going to get the habitat set up and 1 crab each.For my wife, well she might be getting a Janaury Mortgage payment the way things have been lately…
  6. Amber Says:
    I’d be happy to share everything I’ve found so far, but my whole family checks this blog. I considered a different alias, but my family members are probably clever enough to figure it out. Sorry.
  7. Cheryl Says:
    I got my husband and IPOD so he can have his good tunes while working out. and I bought my daughter and IPOD docking unit with the alarm.
  8. Erica Says:
    Finding the perfect gift is so hard! This year I gave up on trying to find the perfect thing and just went with simple.I bought my dad basketball shorts. He is in mid-forties. They cost about $20.00 and are possibly a lame gift, but he loves to hang around the house in comfortable clothes. I figure everyone can use a nice pair of basketball shorts.My sister is fifteen and is getting a sweatshirt and sugar scrub. Total of $20.00I went with a cheap gift for my mother, but it requires a bit more time. She always has envelopes hanging around the house because she wants to keep the return address. I bought a little address book and took the time to write down the names and addresses of her family and close friends. Total: $4.00 and a few hours for calling people.
  9. Rissa Says:
    We didn’t know what to buy for our parents so my husband came up with what we thought was a good idea. We bought them 72 hr. kits from emergency essentials that are in backpacks and ready to go. they were approx 100.00 per person.
  10. Debbi Malone Says:
    We’ve been doing a lot of homemade gifts the last few years. This year I am making 1″ notebooks filled with various Christmas stories, one for each day of December through the 25th. There is a divider before each story with a scripture listed along with the day. My mom loves this and keeps adding her own collection of stories. I also am making a family photo collage for our extended family. We make those calendars with the photos, through WalMart or Costco( everyone loves those!) and now we are making twin-size quilts with photos (using the fabric photo pages available at Joanne’s or Michaels). We use 8″ blocks with the photo squares, then tie the quilts. It is so much fun! Everyone gets involved with the tying, and they’re great for birthdays, weddings, going off to college. It took us 1 week to make a king-sized one for my daughter getting married in Feb. Of course we worked on it every night but it was a great family project.
  11. Danny Rivera Says:
    I am a truck driver I have two tools I find invaluable I would recomend them for those who are not on the road all the time I love my garmin GPS,it tells me how fast Im going,the time I’ll arrive and all kinds of neat info, The other thing I can never be without is my Sirius Radio I have many kinds of entertainment to listen to it never looses signal only in tunnels and bldgs ect. I really would like the Stilleto 2 it is a portable radio used like an mp3 and Walkman(very cool).
    Merry Christmas
  12. Janet Says:
    Have a Safe Holiday Season!
  13. Janet Says:
    If my husband reads this, a high efficiency washer and dryer is an awesome gift for someone.
  14. Fungirl Says:
    I am trying to go more personal this year as well as stay well under budget. I made some very cute stuffed animals. They only cost a few dollars (I found fabric for $1-$2 a yard) and a free pattern online. I also modified it to make an elephant. They are perfect for babies or young kids and were easy to make. I almost hate to give them away!http://weewonderfuls.typepad.com/wee_wonderfuls/store/pointykitty.html
Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 9:17 am




December 11, 2007

Many Thanks for your Christmas Gift Ideas

Wow!  What a great response to my Christmas list idea post.  Thanks so much for all who added their ideas.  Very creative and helpful.  I can’t believe how fast the day is approaching.  I have mixed feelings about how fast time is flying by.  I am excited and anxious for Christmas but at the same time, it is hard to get everything done in time.  Once it is here, it will be over and then another year before we get to enjoy this time of year again. 

I do enjoy this time of year.  I like the decorations, (not getting them out exactly, but once they are up).  I like the music, the excitment of being able to buy my loved ones things that they will really love…I hope, the charity and love that seem more apparent in people this time of year, and the extra moments we get to take to reflect on the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

I am a Christian and I love Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful that he came to Earth to live his life as a perfect example for us, then suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane to atone for our sins/ my sins, then die and be resurrected so that we can all be resurrected. 

In the hustle and bustle of the season, it sometimes gets hard to remember or focus on the reason for it all.  I hope we can all take a moment, sit down and take a breath while we reflect on what a miracle we are all able to be a participant in.  The sheer magnitude of the love that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ must have for us is incomprehensible to me.  I am grateful none-the-less. 

Filed under: Community,Personal — Susan @ 5:45 am




December 7, 2007

Christmas Gift Ideas (Updated)

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Up to 11 responses!  Thanks for your ideas.  I hope this helps us all. 

11 Responses to “Christmas Gift Ideas”

  1. Sharee Says:
    This is a good idea. I am “gift idea challenged” too. I was doing a gift idea search and found this. I was sad to see there were no ideas listed yet. I need ideas for my husband. I am getting my daughter a nice watch.
  2. Brenna Says:
    Wow– this is a really clever idea. Too bad I haven’t bought any of my presents yet!
  3. Jake Says:
    I am getting my son a guitar. He is 14. My wife a Cricut? I don’t know what that is exactly but she wants one. I need ideas for my dad.
  4. Harry Says:
    This is a great idea. We get lots of gifts but I will include the top ones for my kids.For my daugthers (ages 9 & 11) we got them each an IPOD shuffle with their names engraved on them. The price was $80 each. It isn’t the top IPOD but perfect for this age I think.For my sons (Ages 6 & 4) they are getting hermit crabs. They have been BEGGING us to get them all year and we are going to get the habitat set up and 1 crab each.For my wife, well she might be getting a Janaury Mortgage payment the way things have been lately…
  5. Amber Says:
    I’d be happy to share everything I’ve found so far, but my whole family checks this blog. I considered a different alias, but my family members are probably clever enough to figure it out. Sorry.

 

  1. Cheryl Says:
    I got my husband and IPOD so he can have his good tunes while working out. and I bought my daughter and IPOD docking unit with the alarm.
  2. Erica Says:
    Finding the perfect gift is so hard! This year I gave up on trying to find the perfect thing and just went with simple.I bought my dad basketball shorts. He is in mid-forties. They cost about $20.00 and are possibly a lame gift, but he loves to hang around the house in comfortable clothes. I figure everyone can use a nice pair of basketball shorts.My sister is fifteen and is getting a sweatshirt and sugar scrub. Total of $20.00I went with a cheap gift for my mother, but it requires a bit more time. She always has envelopes hanging around the house because she wants to keep the return address. I bought a little address book and took the time to write down the names and addresses of her family and close friends. Total: $4.00 and a few hours for calling people.
  3. Rissa Says:
    We didn’t know what to buy for our parents so my husband came up with what we thought was a good idea. We bought them 72 hr. kits from emergency essentials that are in backpacks and ready to go. they were approx 100.00 per person.
  4. Debbi Malone Says:
    We’ve been doing a lot of homemade gifts the last few years. This year I am making 1″ notebooks filled with various Christmas stories, one for each day of December through the 25th. There is a divider before each story with a scripture listed along with the day. My mom loves this and keeps adding her own collection of stories. I also am making a family photo collage for our extended family. We make those calendars with the photos, through WalMart or Costco( everyone loves those!) and now we are making twin-size quilts with photos (using the fabric photo pages available at Joanne’s or Michaels). We use 8″ blocks with the photo squares, then tie the quilts. It is so much fun! Everyone gets involved with the tying, and they’re great for birthdays, weddings, going off to college. It took us 1 week to make a king-sized one for my daughter getting married in Feb. Of course we worked on it every night but it was a great family project.
  5. Danny Rivera Says:
    I am a truck driver I have two tools I find invaluable I would recomend them for those who are not on the road all the time I love my garmin GPS,it tells me how fast Im going,the time I’ll arrive and all kinds of neat info, The other thing I can never be without is my Sirius Radio I have many kinds of entertainment to listen to it never looses signal only in tunnels and bldgs ect. I really would like the Stilleto 2 it is a portable radio used like an mp3 and Walkman(very cool).
    Merry Christmas
  6. Janet Says:
    Have a Safe Holiday Season!
  7. Janet Says:
    If my husband reads this, a high efficiency washer and dryer is an awesome gift for someone.
Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 3:26 pm




December 6, 2007

Christmas List Responses

  Thanks to all who have contributed so far.   Let’s keep it going.  There are some really cool gift ideas here.  I hope this is helpful to more than just me!

  1. Sharee Says:
    This is a good idea. I am “gift idea challenged” too. I was doing a gift idea search and found this. I was sad to see there were no ideas listed yet. I need ideas for my husband. I am getting my daughter a nice watch.
  2. Brenna Says:
    Wow– this is a really clever idea. Too bad I haven’t bought any of my presents yet!
  3. Jake Says:
    I am getting my son a guitar. He is 14. My wife a Cricut? I don’t know what that is exactly but she wants one. I need ideas for my dad.
  4. Harry Says:
    This is a great idea. We get lots of gifts but I will include the top ones for my kids.For my daugthers (ages 9 & 11) we got them each an IPOD shuffle with their names engraved on them. The price was $80 each. It isn’t the top IPOD but perfect for this age I think.

    For my sons (Ages 6 & 4) they are getting hermit crabs. They have been BEGGING us to get them all year and we are going to get the habitat set up and 1 crab each.

    For my wife, well she might be getting a Janaury Mortgage payment the way things have been lately…

  5. Amber Says:
    I’d be happy to share everything I’ve found so far, but my whole family checks this blog. I considered a different alias, but my family members are probably clever enough to figure it out. Sorry.
Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 2:43 pm




December 3, 2007

Christmas Gift Ideas

CAM top image

I thought I would do something fun today.  I am thinking about what to buy everyone for Christmas this year …panicking actually.    I need some ideas.  I was thinking that if you would list what you are getting your loved ones this year, it may spark some ideas for the rest of us.  So, if you are reading this and you have already  bought your presents or, at least, already know what  you are planning to buy, submit a comment and let us know:

What you plan to buy
The approx cost of the item
For whom–not names but descriptions like: husband, father, mother-in-law, etc
Their age
Their gender

This could be a great help for many of us “gift idea-challenged” people that may stumble upon this blog.  Thanks for your help in advance. 

Filed under: Personal — Susan @ 11:04 am