December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

I am excited about Christmas. It is always a good time of year for me. I will have m whole family home this year and I look forward to relaxing and enjoying my kids. I hope your holiday will be nice too.

Merry Christmas!

Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 8:45 am

December 22, 2008

Police Officer Recommendation

I was showing a Police Officer and his wife some homes recently.  It gets dark early this time of year so it was dark when we were looking.  This policeman told me he was happy that it was night because he said that you can better judge a neighborhood by the activity that goes on after dark. 

That made sense to me.  He told me that I should recommend to any potential buyer that if they are interested in a property, they should visit the neighborhood at night before making a final decision. 

That may be something you want to think about.

Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Community,Real Estate,Renting,Selling — Susan @ 3:44 am

December 18, 2008


I attended a State approved class today to learn more about the changes in the Real Estate Purchase Contract. The new REPC will be the required contract for agents to use after Jan 1, 2009. This is the second class I have taken on this subject. CENTURY 21 Bushnell took the time to go through the new document with all their agents during our sales meetings because our broker is dedicated to making sure the agents in our office are prepared and skilled to provide the best service.

It is important for agents to understand the new contract because they will be using it to bind their clients to the terms and conditions when buying and selling real estate.

It made me feel good as I took this class that I seemed to already understand the changes. The instructor would ask questions about what certain changes mean to our clients and I was able to answer all the questions correctly.  It makes me feel more confident that I am learning the new REPC and the implications of those changes and how they will affect my clients.


Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 9:43 pm

December 12, 2008

Provo & Orem Statistics

Here are some statistics for the real estate market in Orem and Provo. If there are other cities in Utah County you would like to see, let me know.


  Units Sold Median Price Average Price  
1st Quarter 227 $165,000 $192,330  
2nd Quarter 296 $170,000 $197,197  
3rd Quarter 288 $185,000 $212,178  
4th Quarter 271 $193,199 $224,494  
Total Year 1082 $180,000 $206,684  
Change 18% 14% 17%    
  Units Sold Median Price Average Price  
1st Quarter 176 $201,500 $235,800  
2nd Quarter 215 $210,000 $225,605  
3rd Quarter 211 $211,000 $233,493  
4th Quarter 129 $212,000 $236,564  
Total Year 731 $210,500 $232,866  
Change -32% 17% 13%  
  Units Sold Median Price Average Price  
1st Quarter 118 $183,000 $219,213  
2nd Quarter 162 $205,000 $230,721  
3rd Quarter 200 $194,700 $211,271  
4th Quarter 0 $0 $0  
Total Year 480 $188,850 $0



  Units Sold Median Price Average Price
1st Quarter 233 $162,857 $230,794
2nd Quarter 380 $171,500 $234,832
3rd Quarter 406 $172,400 $220,150
4th Quarter 267 $174,900 $222,471
Total Year 1286 $170,000 $226,612
Change 7% 10% 19%
  Units Sold Median Price Average Price
1st Quarter 242 $177,240 $197,262
2nd Quarter 328 $187,000 $212,114
3rd Quarter 269 $185,000 $254,807
4th Quarter 149 $189,900 $208,301
Total Year 988 $186,000 $218,121
Change -23% 9% -4%
  Units Sold Median Price Average Price
1st Quarter 133 $200,000 $220,661
2nd Quarter 220 $195,000 $221,163
3rd Quarter 251 $188,250 $221,635
4th Quarter 0 $0 $0
Total Year 604 $191,625 $0
Change -39% 3% -100%
Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 6:30 am

December 10, 2008

Banking is a Joke…

A good friend of mine works at a bank and recently sent me these:

  1. Q: What is the one thing Wall St and the Olympics have in common?
    A: Synchronized diving.
  2. I went to buy a toaster and it came with a bank.
  3. Q: What is the difference between an investment banker and a pigeon?
    A: A pigeon can still make a deposit on a BMW.
  4. Q: What is the difference between an investment banker and a large pizza?
    A: The pizza can still feed a family of four.
  5. ” I tried to make a withdrawal from an ATM and the machine said ‘Insufficient Funds’. I wasn’t sure if it meant for me or the bank.”
  6. “I lent my friend $20 last week and according to the market I qualify as the country’s 4th largest lender.”
  7.  I wrote a check for $100 to my friend but he never got it; the check was good, the bank bounced.
  8. The crisis is so bad, Bank ATM’s now have slot machines.
Filed under: Blogroll,Community,Credit & Finances,Humor — Tags: , , — Susan @ 10:03 am

December 8, 2008

Why Are You Still Renting?

Too many buyers believe they can no longer get a loan to buy a home, so continue to rent. That just is not true.  There are loans, and you can buy right now.

I talked to our in-house lender, Gaylon Ashby, 801-318-9801, and he helped me with the following information:

If you are renting now for $800 a month, you can purchase a home at $125,000, at 6.5% interest for 30 years.

The payment would be $766/month, Principle and Interest
                                  $ 93/month, Taxes and Insurance
                                     $859/month, Total

There are tax benefits to owning so:

                                Interest                 $657/month–$7881/year
                                Property Tax           $63/month–$756/year
                                Mortgage Ins.          $56/month–$667/year

at 15% tax rate, $1396 tax savings is $116/ month

Net cost of owning:    $859 rent/month – $116 tax savings/ month = $743/ month

For some people, it would be cheaper to own their own home than to rent.

If you have been sitting on the fence, now may be the time to call your lender.

These numbers are for illustration only. Interest rates vary by day and type of loan program. Tax savings will vary by individual. You should consult your tax advisor for tax advice concerning your specific situation. No representation is made of any specific property.


Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 6:08 am

December 4, 2008

Provo #1 for Volunteer Effort

My daughter works for United Way.   She wrote the following article for a local publication.  I decided to include it because I am proud of her for all the articles she gets published and because the topic is good PR for our area. If you are thinking about moving to Utah County, this is another good reason to consider it.


Provo Area announced as No. 1 in the nation for volunteering


PROVO, Utah (July 28, 2008) – The Provo area was recently announced as No. 1 in the nation for volunteering by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Utah had the highest volunteer rate among the states.


The Provo area was listed as having an adult volunteer rate of 63.8 percent. This is compared to the nation’s average of 27.2 percent. Iowa City came in No. 2 with 45.1 percent. Salt Lake City was the second highest Large City with 37.2 percent.


“The overall nature of a community is a reflection of the people who live there,” Provo Mayor Lewis K. Billings said. “Our community is made up of people who care about others and who actively seek to enrich their own lives through service.”


According to the Corporation for National and Community Service’s report, Provo has an annual average of 176,000 volunteers serving more than 36 million hours. These volunteers are providing an estimated $711 million in economic contribution. The report lists an average of 132.4 hours donated per resident.


Even with Provo’s and Utah’s high numbers, the reports found the national volunteer rate dropped in 2007. The study cites rapid turnover as one of the reasons for the decrease. Despite this, Provo’s retention rate for volunteers is a surprisingly high 85 percent.


Top volunteering activities in the Provo area are tutoring, mentoring youth, general labor and collecting food. Provo was significantly higher in all of these number than the U.S. average.


For more information and statistics, visit


December 2, 2008

Being Safe When Your Home is For Sale

There has been a man recently in Utah County, allegedly gaining access to people’s homes by claiming he is a REALTOR®. Selling your home has always had the potential to open up situations that increase your risk of burlary, assault, rape, and murder, so being aware and taking precautions may help keep you from becoming victimized.

Putting a sign up in your yard, advertising your home for sale, comes with a mentality of wanting to show your home to people. Of course that makes sense; if someone sees your home, he/she may be the one that falls in love with the home, writing you an offer. Some sellers get so excited when someone wants to see their home that they forget to take safety precautions. Agents have even been known to fall prey to criminals wanting to get them alone in a home. 

However, having an agent has it’s advantages when it comes to safety if you, as a seller, follow the guidelines:

  • Don’t let just anyone that comes to the door go through your home. If you didn’t have a “for sale” sign in the front yard, you would never give a total stranger a tour of your home because he/she knocked on your door and asked.
  • If someone does show up or call you for an appointment, tell them to make arrangements through your agent.  A buyer who is represented…pre-qualified and serious, will have an agent already and his/her agent will call your agent to set an appointment. 
  • Make your agent have a lock box for the key.  Many agents are using cheap contractor’s keyboxes which are at least one level of security.  You must call the agent to get the code. But, members of the Utah County Association of REALTORS® (UCAR) should be using the Risco brand keyboxes.  I have written a post on this already.  These keyboxes electronically keep track of who enters your home and only members of UCAR can access the key if it is kept in one of these keyboxes.
  • Make sure it is really an agent. Business cards are easy to obtain and you don’t have to prove who you are to have them made. I am not really sure what you can do to truly verify that someone is really an agent except tell them to get the key from the Risco Keybox if your agent uses one. If an agent is a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, they will have a NRDS Identification card, but most don’t carry it with them.  

Some agents do call at the last minute and try to see the home. I have been in situations where my buyers and I have been out looking and we see a home for sale that my clients are suddenly very interested in. Even in those situations, I call the agent, not the homeowner. 

 Taking these precautions is only a small step to increase your safety. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that we will never be victimized in a crime. As long as there are people willing to break the law, there will be a need for the rest of us to be careful. 


Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Community,Real Estate,Selling — Tags: , , — Susan @ 7:33 pm