January 2019 Market Update

Now that a new year has arrived, I’d like to just give a brief update of the current real estate market conditions.

For Utah County residents, here’s a quick summary of recent real estate stats – with a bit of good news for buyers!

·      Thanks to the government shutdown- interest rates are down around 4.375% (FHA/VA)

·      Most popular price range for home sales in Utah County is $200,000 – $350,000*

·      Homes in this range are on the market an average of 29 days*

·      For past 45 days in Utah County: Average list price was $346,234 / Average sold price was $345,884*

·      For same time period last year: Average list price was $335,140/Average sold price was $329,353* 

·      State of Utah – home values increased nearly 10% in 2018

·      State of Utah – Values are predicted to increase around 5% in 2019

If you have questions or would like a guide for preparing to buy or sell a home in 2019, please contact me. Thank you!

*Data retrieved from utahrealestate.com for the period December 1, 2018 – January 16, 2019

Market Minute: Home Inspections Benefit the Buyer and Seller

Are home inspections worth the money? Home Inspections benefit both the buyer and the seller during a home sale. A home inspector goes into attics and crawlspaces, where a homeowner or buyer wouldn’t normally go, checking for issues that could potentially save the homeowner thousands. Watch the video below to find out more.

 

Seniors Can Reap Big Benefits in Downsizing

There comes a certain time in many of our lives when we’re simply ready to move somewhere smaller. It could be because it’s becoming more difficult to manage a large property, the fact that the children have flown the coop, or even just because you want a change. There are numerous benefits to owning a smaller home from ease of cleaning to being more energy-conscious.

Here is a guide to help you get started.

How to pack the household for transport

Packing for a weekend getaway is one thing, but packing your entire house is quite another. The first part, and often the most difficult, is going through your things and coming up with what you can say goodbye to. A smaller space will, unfortunately, mean less room for things. Start by either going through your clothes and letting go of possessions that don’t fit or don’t make you feel good about yourself, or things you’ve not worn in over a year.

You could also start in your kitchen and get rid of the gadgets you don’t use, or the pots that are too big or too small for practical use. Once you have completed your purge, think about packing a first night box, full of stuff you will immediately need—from dinner supplies to your toothbrush and pajamas. For larger items, or if you simply have too much to do by yourself or with a partner, you may want to hire a company, not only to transport your items, but to pack them for you, too.

How to transition with pets

If you have pets, this is going to be a stressful experience for them. However, there are ways for you to mitigate their anxiety. If you stay calm through all the many stresses of moving, it will help your pet feel safe. If you introduce them to things slowly, it will help them as well. Take them for a few visits to the kennel where they will be staying during the move, introduce them to the new house or apartment before moving in, and get them crate-trained so they associate their crate with safety and comfort.

How to choose help

Research is going to be incredibly important during this time. You want a reliable moving company that is known for consistency and commitment to excellence. It’s one thing to get a recommendation from a friend, and that is often a good place to start, but you need to do a lot of digging. There are many websites you can visit to do some background checking, such as the Better Business Bureau, to get a few names. Once you have a few companies to pick from, get estimates and compare. It may be a lot of work, but it will be worth it to choose the best company possible for your budget.

How to take care of yourself

Moving is full of stress and uncertainty, so it’s extra important to take care of your own sense of well-being. Staying organized will help immensely when juggling the seemingly endless tasks ahead. Having a schedule will help keep you on track and succeed in keeping your blood-pressure down. Once you arrive at your new home, get each room organized so that you can really start the settling in process (this room-by-room guide will definitely help). Take your time unpacking each room, and as the moving boxes disappear, you’ll find that you are able to truly relax.

Balancing your schedule perfectly may not be enough to keep a level head, so find ways that work for you to relax. Whether it is working out every morning, doing yoga in the afternoon, reading your favorite or newest novel, or even taking a long hot bath twice a week, do something to unwind and keep yourself sane.

Downsizing can seem intimidating, but it’s worth it if it makes your life easier. Less things to look after, smaller spaces to clean, less stairs to navigate all can improve the quality of your life and open up more of your time to find things you enjoy. These truly are the golden years and rather than spend them cleaning a large house you just don’t need, make time for yourself and your loved ones and truly thrive.

Written by Lydia Chan

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

Downsizing the Family Home without Throwing Out the Memories

Photo credit: khongkitwiriyachan, Freedigitalphotos.net

Downsizing a well-loved home is no easy task. It can be stressful, painful, and even emotionally taxing. So how do you decide what items to keep, donate, or throw away? Downsizing everything you own, especially items with sentimental value, is a major project.

But don’t let the fears of getting rid of precious objects and forgetting memories stop you from all the benefits of downsizing your home. In fact, downsizing can provide a great opportunity to get rid of the clutter and have some fun.

In an article published by Forbes, Linda Hetzer and Janet Hulstrand, authors of the book Moving On, say their best advice for downsizers is to keep the memories and get rid of the stuff. They encourage families in the process of downsizing to talk about the memories, honor the people, and remember the experiences. When objects that hold sentimental value are remembered, it is much easier to throw or give them away. “Telling each other stories along the way can also make it easier to let go of some of the objects, because for most people the memories connected to the objects are more important than the objects,” Hulstrand says.

Hetzer suggests writing memories down in a journal or memoir, taking photos, or making videos of people talking about those experiences. It will be much easier to get rid of something when you know that you have taken the time to properly remember it.

Downsizing a home and its collections of objects and memories is a large-scale project, so take your time. Allow a few months to go through everything so you do not have to feel rushed or stressed. If the project seems daunting, start in one room and work your way from there.

Going through your home can not only open up a great opportunity to reflect on times past but doing so can also be fun. Hulstrand invites families to gather together to go through the home and remember together. “If you can build in the time for family members to reminisce and just enjoy being together, as well as going through what can be a pretty tedious task, it actually can be fun.”

What might start as an impossible project can turn into an opportunity to create new memories for the whole family to cherish together.

— Stephanie Bahr Bentley

Take the Stress Out of Downsizing

Stress-free Downsizing

Stress-free Downsizing

When it comes time to move from your family home to a smaller home or condo, one of the biggest challenges is deciding what to do with all your accumulated “stuff.” The owners of Wren Designs, Sarah Moyse and Jennie Davidson, offer some great ideas for taking the stress out of downsizing.

  1. “Write a list of all the items you love and can’t live without; it will help you bid adieu to things that didn’t make the list. “It’s hard to persuade people they can’t take everything with them,” Sarah says. “But by keeping what’s on your wish list, you won’t be upset about the things you can’t keep.”2. Start thinning out your belongings at least three months before the move.Take some time each day, or one morning each week, to go through that jammed coat closet or overflowing filing cabinet. “Paper is the real killer,” Jennie says, so tackle it one box at a time. The same goes for photos, which require a lot of attention.3. Get a feel for the size of your new rooms by comparing them to rooms of similar dimensions in your present home.For instance, your living-room-to-be might be roughly the same size as your current bedroom. You may think you can squeeze in two sofas, but this kind of reality check could help you realize that only one will fit comfortably.4. Heavily edit areas with items that don’t have as much sentimental value.Take the kitchen, for example; most people don’t need ten mixing bowls and won’t get teary-eyed over losing a second spatula. If you’re downsizing from a house to a condo, target the garage. Snow shovels, the lawn mower, ladders – you won’t need any of them.5. Don’t throw anything in the garbage.

    Recycle, reuse, sell and donate instead. As tempting and easy as it is to pitch wire hangers, musty clothes and shabby furnishings, be environmentally responsible and find a home for everything. A can of Comet with a few shakes of powder left could make someone else’s sink sparkle if you don’t want it; consider giving supplies to a shelter, neighbor or cleaning lady.

  1. Label three bins To Keep, To Sell, and Charity (bins should be manageable when full). For the average downsize, keep only one-third to one-half of your belongings, say Sarah and Jennie.7. Get an objective opinion. If you can’t decide whether to keep or kiss that dusty ’70s-era sewing machine goodbye, Sarah says, “It’s good to have someone who’ll say, ‘Oh, please, you never use that!'” It might just be the kick you need.8. When selling your goods, try an auction for high-end items. Then look for reputable antique and secondhand dealers. Often, they can buy all of your wares or put you in touch with booksellers and other specialty dealers. “Some dealers will come to your home, take what you don’t want and even drop off the charity stuff,” Sarah says. “That way you won’t be trudging all over town.” If you can’t sell an item, donate it to a shelter.9. Use floor plans to prearrange your furniture before the move. This is another useful reality check. To start, draw plans if you don’t have any, and sketch in a furniture layout. Then look at the plans realistically; if you’ve crammed in side tables, armoires and chairs, you need to edit more. Don’t wait until after you move to contend with furniture you’ll just end up tripping over.10. Once you get to the packing stage, use a color-coded system to organize all of your boxes. Choose a color for each room and mark the boxes destined for that room with a coordinating color sticker. You can also do the same thing numerically; for example, if room No. 1 is the kitchen, then all boxes marked No. 1 will go there. A simple and efficient organizing idea to make the move that much easier!”

Thank you styleathome.com for this and other helpful articles.

http://www.styleathome.com/organizing/organizing-ideas/organizing-ideas-for-every-room-in-your-house/a/35513

Ten Tips for Downsizing Your Home

The thought of packing up your home and moving to a smaller place can be overwhelming. This article from styleathome.com by Helen Racanelli offers ideas on how to downsize your house through a methodical approach by getting rid of things before you move into a smaller space.

Top 10 tips for downsizing

By Helen Racanelli

Cut out the unnecessary before you move to a smaller home.

Whether you’re an empty nester moving from a house into a condo, or a renter trading in a two-bedroom for a studio, you’ll have to say sayonara to some of your stuff. Stressed out by the prospect? Don’t be. Sarah Moyse and Jennie Davidson, Toronto-based moving planners and owners of Wren Designs, offer 10 tips designed to make downsizing a snap!

  1. Write a list of all the items you love and can’t live without; it will help you bid adieu to things that didn’t make the list. “It’s hard to persuade people they can’t take everything with them,” Sarah says. “But by keeping what’s on your wish list, you won’t be upset about the things you can’t keep.”
  2. Start thinning out your belongings at least three months before the move. Take some time each day, or one morning each week, to go through that jammed coat closet or overflowing filing cabinet. “Paper is the real killer,” Jennie says, so tackle it one box at a time. The same goes for photos, which require a lot of attention.
  3. Get a feel for the size of your new rooms by comparing them to rooms of similar dimensions in your present home.For instance, your living-room-to-be might be roughly the same size as your current bedroom. You may think you can squeeze in two sofas, but this kind of reality check could help you realize that only one will fit comfortably.4. Heavily edit areas with items that don’t have as much sentimental value.Take the kitchen, for example; most people don’t need 10 mixing bowls and won’t get teary-eyed over losing a second spatula. If you’re downsizing from a house to a condo, target the garage. Snow shovels, the lawn mower, ladders – you won’t need any of them.

    5. Don’t throw anything in the garbage. Recycle, reuse, sell and donate instead. As tempting and easy as it is to pitch wire hangers, musty clothes and shabby furnishings, be environmentally responsible and find a home for everything. A can of Comet with a few shakes of powder left could make someone else’s sink sparkle if you don’t want it; consider giving supplies to a shelter, neighbor or cleaning lady

    6. Label three bins To Keep, To Sell and Charity (bins should be manageable when full). For the average downsize, keep only one-third to one-half of your belongings, say Sarah and Jennie.

    7. Get an objective opinion.If you can’t decide whether to keep or kiss that dusty ’70s-era sewing machine goodbye, Sarah says, “It’s good to have someone who’ll say, ‘Oh, please, you never use that!'” It might just be the kick you need.

    8. When selling your goods, try an auction for high-end items.Then look for reputable antique and secondhand dealers. Often, they can buy all of your wares or put you in touch with booksellers and other specialty dealers. “Some dealers will come to your home, take what you don’t want and even drop off the charity stuff,” Sarah says. “That way you won’t be trudging all over town.” If you can’t sell an item, donate it to a shelter.

    9. Use floor plans to prearrange your furniture before the move. This is another useful reality check. To start, draw plans if you don’t have any, and sketch in a furniture layout. Then look at the plans realistically; if you’ve crammed in side tables, armoires and chairs, you need to edit more. Don’t wait until after you move to contend with furniture you’ll just end up tripping over.

    10. Once you get to the packing stage, use a color-coded system to organize all of your boxes. Choose a color for each room and mark the boxes destined for that room with a coordinating color sticker. You can also do the same thing numerically; for example, if room No. 1 is the kitchen, then all boxes marked No. 1 will go there. A simple and efficient organizing idea to make the move that much easier!

Article retrieved from StyleAtHome.com