Local Artist Finds a Home

    Some of my clients operate a business out of their homes, which requires specialized and multi-functional spaces.

Cindy Briggs, an international artist, had very specific needs when we were searching for her home. Watch this month’s Market Minute to learn more about this fascinating woman and how she uses her home as an art gallery, on-line recording studio, and for teaching individual and small group lessons.


Finding just the right home can be a challenge. It is important to be willing to tour many homes, and having an open mind and being flexible will help as well.

Aging seniors and retirees may find newfound enjoyment in learning a new hobby, such as painting. Please visit CindyBriggs.com for more info on art lessons!

The Least Expensive and Most Expensive States to Retire

Looking to relocate to retire? Where you live can make a big difference on your retirement fund.  I found this great info on senioradvice.com.  Wyoming tops the list, followed by Virginia, South Dakota, Alabama and Louisiana.

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Article retrieved from:  https://www.senioradvice.com/articles/the-best-and-worst-states-for-retirement-finances

Understanding Rules on Owning Animals in Utah County: Chickens and Bees

I recently sat down with a new client who is interested in buying a home in Utah County. When we went over what they are looking for in a home, one of their desires was the ability to raise chickens and bees on their property. Each city has different rules when it comes to animals in residential areas, so I went to work to find out which cities allow chickens and bees, especially in residential areas.

Orem

Chickens and bees are both allowed in Orem, including residential areas. Bees were banned in Orem prior to 2011, but an amended city ordinance in 2011 now allows the raising of bees. The number of hives allowed depends on location and which zone you live in. See city codes section 22-6-10 L for more specifications.

The number of chickens allowed on a property depend on the size of the lot. The larger the lot, the more chickens that are allowed: 5,000 square feet: 2 chickens; 7,000 square feet: 3 chickens; 8,000 square feet: 4 chickens; 9,000 square feet: 5 chickens; 10,000 square feet: 6 chickens; 20,000 square feet: 10 chickens; 30,000 square feet: 12 chickens. See city codes 22-6-10 C for more information on raising chickens in Orem.

Vineyard

Since Vineyard is a newly established town, they do not have actual written city codes concerning chickens and bees. When I talked to Morgan Brim, Vineyard Community Development Director, he said that most animals are allowed in agricultural areas. Chickens and bees are unofficially allowed (because there is no city code that prohibits it) in residential areas. In regard to bees though, Brim noted that because of the large populations of mayflies and mosquitos, the city regularly sprays for bugs in residential areas and that may affect bees.

Provo

Chickens and bees are allowed in Provo city, but there are size and other regulations. Provo codes states that up to five bee hives are allowed on side or rear lots that are larger than 5,000 square feet. Lots that are one-half acre or larger can have up to ten bee hives. All beekeepers must be registered with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. It is also important to be aware of the placement of the hives and their flying patterns. If hives are located close to a property line or public access areas, then flyaway barriers must be in place and secured. Read more in section 8.03 of Provo city codes.

Chickens are allowed in residential areas if the sole purpose is to produce eggs. The number of chickens allowed depends on the size of the lot, but it can vary from two to six. Limitations and other maintenance guidelines are outlined in section 8.02.190 of Provo city codes.

Springville

Springville recently updated their city zoning codes to allow bees. The number of colonies allowed depends on the size of the lot. For properties smaller than half an acres, five colonies are allowed. Properties larger than half an acre can have 10 colonies. In agricultural zones, any number of bee colonies are allowed. There are specific rules regarding the housing, equipment, and raising of bees, so read over Article 9 in section 3-7 of city codes.

Photo Credit: Adam Clarke, Flickr. com

As of March 2014, chickens are allowed in all of Springville, including residential areas. Some residential zones have a limit to how many chickens are allowed, but there is no minimum size lot to raise chickens. City codes, section 3-7-801, outlines specific regulations regarding chickens.

Spanish Fork

Spanish Fork allows chickens in residential areas based on the size of the lot. Chickens are not allowed on lots less than 5,000 square feet in size. Up to six chickens are allowed on lots that are at least 5,000 square feet. To raise chickens in Spanish Fork, a permit must be obtained and specific coop and upkeep regulations must be followed. For more information, see section 6.20 of Spanish Fork city codes.

Photo Credit: Cowgirl Jules, Flickr. com

The animal control department of Spanish Fork says that bees are allowed as long as they do not cause problems within residential areas. Residents should contact animal control to make sure they comply with rules regarding raising bees within city limits.

—Stephanie Bahr Bentley

Renting Out a Property: Provo, Utah

Photo credit: steafpong, freedigitalphotos.net

With Utah Valley University, Brigham Young University, and numerous tech and trade schools, Utah county is populated with young students and families looking to rent rather than buy. There is a high demand for rental properties, so if you and your family are interested in renting out a property, Utah Valley is a great place to do so.

Each city has strict rental regulations so make sure you properly research and understand all of the restrictions and requirements for rental properties. This article will focus on Provo, Utah, in terms of its rental dwelling regulations as set forth by Provo city statutes.

Understanding Rental Dwellings and When a License is Required

A rental dwelling is a portion or entire building that is designated to be rented, loaned, leased, or hired out by any amount of people for any time period longer than one month. Renting out a unit for less than a month is considered a short-term rental dwelling and has different requirements. It’s important to understand that even if you do not charge tenants rent, if the owner doesn’t live at the property, then it is still considered a rental property and requires a rental license.

Situations Where a Rental License Isn’t Required

There are a few situations in which Provo city doesn’t require a rental license. No license is required if a property is usually occupied by the owner but is temporarily rented because the owner is in the hospital, a nursing home, or an assisted living facility. Licenses are also not required if an owner temporary leaves and rents out a property because of temporary job assignments, sabbaticals, or voluntary service. Lastly, an accessory apartment in an owner-occupied one family dwelling is not considered a rental property and doesn’t require a license.

How to Apply to Rent a Property

Applications for a rental license are filled out online through the Provo city website. Rental licenses are $20 for a single unit and $60 for more than one unit, such as a duplex.

Once you apply for a rental license and pay the license fee, Provo’s zoning division reviews the application and makes sure the property meets all the license requirements, such as the safety and health requirements.

Rental Dwelling Safety and Health Requirements

Rental properties have to meet certain safety and health requirements.

The property must have structural integrity; proper installation, maintenance and operational condition of all plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems; appropriate exiting; properly constructed and located stairways; appropriate bedroom egress windows, including proper sill height and size of window openings and window wells for basement rooms; minimum bedroom floor area; adequate guardrails; proper backflow prevention devices; appropriately located and operational smoke alarms; watertight and sound roofing systems; fire-rated separation between dwelling units; and properly placed street addressing. There are also parking requirements for any rental dwelling.

If you apply for a rental license and are denied because the property doesn’t meet the safety and health regulations, Provo city will provide you a list of corrections to bring your property into compliance. Once those are corrected, you can reapply for a rental license.

Rental Licenses Length and Restrictions

All rental licenses expire on July 31 of each year, but you can renew for as long as you want and as long as the property meets all the rental regulations. Renewal notices are typically mailed out the end of July.

Licenses are not transferable, so if you end up moving or selling the property, you have to contact the business license official within thirty days after selling the property, and the new owner has to apply for their own rental license if they also wish to rent out the property.

Another option for rental income is to create an accessory apartment in your home. Please keep in mind that these are closely regulated and require city approval and adherence to safety and parking guidelines. Please check with your city planning office to learn their specific guidelines.

Renting, especially in Utah County and Provo in particular, can be a great investment opportunity. Make sure you understand all that is required so you and your tenants can enjoy the experience of renting.

—Stephanie Bahr Bentley

Forbes’ Top-25 Places to Retire in the U.S.

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Trying to decide where to downsize and retire? Here’s Forbes’ list of its 2016 Top-25 cities (in alphabetical order). Ranking as a good place to retire was baed on several factors, including: economy, cost of living, median cost of homes, climate, air quality, scenery, medical services, crime rates, tax rates, and more.

Abilene, Texas

West Texas outpost, population 120,000, 150 miles west of Fort Worth. PROS: Robust economy, cost of living 17% below national average. Median home price $156,000 (national median: $213,000). Low rate of violent crime. High number of doctors per capita, extremely high rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging. Warm climate. Good air quality. Home to seven colleges. CON: Not very walkable. NOTED: Average state tax climate for retirees. On list last year. TRIVIA: Named for Abilene, Kan.

Apache Junction, Arizona

Growing suburb of 37,000 toward eastern end of Phoenix metro area. PROS: Good economy, cost of living 6% below national average. Good tax climate for retirees. Median home price $129,000. Low violent crime rate. Scenic terrain, including Superstition Mountain. Warm climate. CONS: Not very walkable, lackluster air quality. NOTED: Average physicians per capita. New to list. TRIVIA:Named for intersection with stagecoach route Apache Trail.

Athens, Georgia

Classic college town (University of Georgia) of 120,000 70 miles east of Atlanta. PROS: Good economy. Cost of living 1% below U.S. average, median home price $145,000. Low serious crime rate. Extremely high Milken aging rank and walkability index. Good air quality. Warm climate. Good state tax climate for retirees. CON: None. NOTED: Average doctors per capita. On list last year.TRIVIA: Birthplace, in 1891, of America’s first garden club.

Bella Vista, Arkansas

Scenic Ozarks foothill town of 28,000 in northwest corner of Arkansas. PROS: Cost of living 12% below national average, median home price $127,000. Good economy. Very low serious crime rate. High number of doctors per capita, good rank on Milken best-aging list. Good air quality, warm climate. CON: Not very walkable. NOTED: Average state tax climate for retirees, New to list.TRIVIA: Originally a summer resort town.

Blacksburg, Virginia

A college town (Virginia Tech) of 44,000 in southwestern tail of Virginia. PROS: Economically robust. Median home price $230,000. Above average air quality. Low crime rate. High Milken aging rank. Somewhat walkable. CONS: None. NOTED: Cost of living 2% above national average. Average state tax climate for retirees and doctors per capita. Mild climate. On list last year.TRIVIA: Named two centuries ago for town’s founder.

Bluffton, South Carolina

Coastal village of 14,000 in South Carolina’s Low County west of Hilton Head and northeast of Savannah. PROS: Good economy, good state tax climate for retirees. Median home price $226,000. Warm climate, good air quality. Low serious crime rate. Highly walkable. CON: Cost of living 7% above national average. NOTED: Average doctors per capita. On list in 2014. TRIVIA: Town was early hotbed of secession sentiment before Civil War.

Brevard, North Carolina

Scenic town of 8,000, set amid waterfalls and mountains south of Asheville. PROS: Good economy. Cost of living 1 % below national average. Median home price $206,000. Above-average doctors per capita. Good climate and air quality. Low serious crime rate. CONS: Not very walkable. NOTED:Average state tax climate for retirees. On list in 2014. TRIVIA: Annual White Squirrel Festival in May celebrates unusual local rodents.

Cape Coral, Florida

Sun-drenched city of 166,000 set along Gulf of Mexico, near Fort Myers. PROS: Strong economy. Cost of living 4% below national average. Median home price $210,000. Low serious crime rate. Good weather and air quality. CONS: Low walkability, low Milken aging rank. NOTED: Average state tax climate for retirees. Average physicians per capita. On list last year. TRIVIA: City’s 400 miles of canals may be most in the world.

Clermont, Florida

Inland city of 30,000 west of Orlando. PROS: Strong economy. Median home price $215,000. Good weather, good air quality. Low serious crime rate. CONS: Low Milken aging index, not very walkable. NOTED: Average state tax climate for retirees, average doctors per capita. Cost of living 2% above national average. New to list. TRIVIA: Local landmark is 226-foot-tall Florida Citrus Tower.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Scenic outdoor playground of 440,000 population in shadow of Pikes Peak 60 miles south of Denver. PROS: Good economy, cost of living at national average. Median home price $243,000. Brisk weather, good air quality. Above-average Milken aging rank, high marks for volunteering. Very bikeable. CONS: Low walkability. NOTED: Average doctors per capital, serious crime rate, state tax climate for retirees. On list last year. TRIVIA: Breakfast food shredded wheat was invented in Colorado Springs.

Columbia, Missouri

Multiple-college town (University of Missouri, Stephens College, Columbia College) of 115,000 halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City. PROS: Strong economy, cost of living 5% below national norm, average home price $171,000. Abundant doctors per capita, top ranking on Milken aging list. Good bicycle environment. CONS: Weather subject to extremes, not very walkable.NOTED: Average state tax climate for retirees. On list last year. TRIVIA: Location every year of National Rifle Association’s Bianchi Cup pistol competition.

Corvallis, Oregon

Scenic college town (Oregon State) of 57,000, located 85 miles south of Portland. PROS: Robust economy. Abundant doctors per capita. Low serious crime rate. Good air quality. High Milken aging index. Moderately walkable. Moderate climate. CONS: Cost of living 21% above national average (highest on this list). NOTED: Median home price $280,000. Average state tax climate for retirees.TRIVIA: Name is Latin for “heart of the valley.”

Fargo, North Dakota

North Dakota’s largest city, population 116,000, facing Minnesota on the north-flowing Red River of the North. PROS: Top-ranked economy. Cost of living 2% below national average, median home price $192,000. High number of doctors per capita, high marks on Milken aging index. Good air quality. High rank for volunteering culture. Somewhat walkable. CONS: Cold winters. NOTED:Average state tax climate for retirees and average serious crime rate. Repeat spot on this list.TRIVIA: Named after a founder of Wells Fargo.

Grand Prairie, Texas

Strategically located suburb of 183,000 between Dallas and Fort Worth. PROS: Booming economy, cost of living 3% below national average, median home price $146,000. Above-average doctors per capita. Good grade on Milken aging index. Good air quality. Warm climate. Low serious crime rate. Good environment for volunteering. CON: Not very walkable. NOTED: Average state tax climate for retirees. New to list. TRIVIA: City’s original name was Dechman.

Largo, Florida

Balmy Florida town of 80,000 between Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay west of Tampa. PROS:Strong economy, cost of living 13% below national average, median home price $150,000. Warm climate, good air quality. Above-average doctors per capita. Somewhat walkable. CONS: Low Milken aging list rank. NOTED: Average serious crime rate, average state tax climate for retirees. New to list. TRIVIA: Named for a lake that no longer exists.

Lexington, Kentucky

“Horse Capital of the World” and college town (University of Kentucky, Transylvania University) of 308,000 in middle of Kentucky. PROS: Strong economy, cost of living 5% less than U.S. average, typical home price $152,000, good tax environment. Moderate climate. Numerous physicians per capita, high Milken aging rank, good air quality. High marks for walkability. Low serious crime rate.CONS: None. TRIVIA: Named for Lexington, Mass.

Lincoln, Nebraska

Heady mix of state capital and college town (University of Nebraska) of 270,000 50 miles southwest of Omaha. PROS: Decent economy, cost of living 10% below national average, typical home price $158,000. Above-average air quality, high doctors per capital, high Milken aging rank. Low serious crime rate. Somewhat walkable. CONS: Poor state tax climate for retirees, weather extremes. NOTED:On list last year. TRIVIA: Home of U.S.’s only one-house state legislature.

Meridian, Idaho

High-desert suburb of 85,000 just west of Boise. PROS: Good economy, median home price $203,000. Above-average air quality, high Milken aging rank. Low serious crime rate. Surprisingly moderate climate. Good tax climate for retirees. High volunteering culture. CONS: Cost of living 7% above national average. Not very walkable. NOTED: Average doctors per capita. New to list. TRIVIA:Named for north-south survey line running through city.

Mount Airy, North Carolina

Scenic rural town of 10,000 in the rolling Piedmont terrain of northwestern North Carolina 35 miles from Winston-Salem. PROS: Cost of living 8% below national average, median home price $126,000. Above-average doctors per capita. Good weather and air quality. Highly walkable. CONS: So-so economy.NOTED: Average serious-crime rate, state tax climate for retirees. New to list.TRIVIA: Home town of actor Andy Griffith and model for “Mayberry” in “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Big-city college town (Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, Chatham University) of 306,000. PROS: Cost of living 16% below national average, median home price $140,000. High doctors per capita and Milken aging rank. Good ratings for bicycling, walkability and volunteerism. CONS: Cold winters, higher serious crime rate. NOTED: Average state tax climate for retirees. On list last year. TRIVIA: Internet emoticon : – ) invented by Carnegie Mellon scientist.

San Marcos, Texas

Gracious riverfront college town (Texas State University) of 55,000, suburb of Austin, 35 miles to the northeast. PROS: Strong economy, cost of living 8% below national average, median home price $193,000. Warm climate, above-average air quality. Low serious crime rate. High Milken aging rank. CONS: None. NOTED:Average state tax climate for retirees. Average doctors per capita. TRIVIA: Lyndon Johnson graduated from Texas State.

Smyrna, Tennessee

Thriving suburb 25 miles southeast of Nashville. PROS: Strong economy, cost of living 9% below national average, median home price $159,000. Good weather and air quality, high Milken aging rank. Sufficient doctors per capita. Low serious-crime rate. CON: Not very walkable. NOTED: Average state tax climate for retirees. New to list. TRIVIA: Biggest employer is giant Nissan plant.

Traverse City, Michigan

Pretty, water-oriented resort town of 15,000 near the top of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. PROS: Solid economy, cost of living 2% below national average, median home price $166,000. Above-average doctors per capita. Good air quality. Low serious crime rate. Highly walkable. CONS: Cold winters (average snowfall: 80 inches). NOTED: Average state tax climate for retirees. New to list. TRIVIA: Self-styled “cherry capital of the world.”

The Villages, Florida

Senior-citizen-oriented town of 51,000, 60 miles northwest of Orlando. PROS:Decent economy. Good weather and air quality, lower serious crime rate. CONS:Not very walkable. Median home price $260,000. NOTED: Cost of living 4% above national average. Average doctors per capita. New to list. TRIVIA: Began as a mobile home development named Orange Blossom Gardens.

Walla Walla, Washington

60,000-population capital of wine country and college town (Whitman College, Walla Walla University) in southeastern Washington State. PROS: Strong economy, median home price $210,000. Above-average doctors per capita, low serious crime rate. Good weather and air quality. Somewhat walkable. CONS: Poor state tax climate for retirees. NOTED: More than 100 wineries in area. Cost of living 3% above national average. TRIVIA: City name was that of local tribe.

http://www3.forbes.com/investing/25-best-places-to-retire-in-2016/?utm_campaign=Best-Places-To-Retire-2016&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=referral

Choosing the Ideal Location to Downsize

The right location to downsize

Choosing where to downsize can be a challenge. Here are three helpful areas to consider when you or a family member is thinking about downsizing.

Location – Is it close to friends, family, your doctor, and stores?

Energy Efficiency – Most people downsize partly to save money. Checkout what the average utility costs are before buying. You don’t want any budget busters after you move in.

Shared Amenities – Is yard work taken care of with the HOA fees? Does the development offer shared transportation to common destinations?

The following article offers excellent insights into these three areas.

(Article publish by Coldwell Banker Blue Matter)

 

Three green questions every baby boomer should ask when downsizing the place they call home