Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The 10 most outrageously expensive cities on earth

New York City
The Big Apple is the most expensive city in the world, when you look at the prices of commonly consumed goods and services, as well as rents in the area, according to the Prices and Earnings 2015 report, released by UBS on Tuesday. While prices are high in New York, it’s the rent that landed New York in the No. 1 spot — with a furnished two-room apartment costing an average of $4,620 (for the cost of one month’s rent in New York, you could rent an apartment for 17 months in Sofia, Bulgaria).
To create this list, UBS looked at the prices for a basket of 122 goods and services (these were items that a European three-person household commonly buys/consumes in a month — including food and clothing — and were weighted to reflect frequency of consumption), as well as rents in the area. Rents were determined using three different types of apartments: Furnished two-room apartment, unfurnished three-room apartment, and a newly built apartment; rent prices included utilities but not the use of a garage. Scores were then indexed with New York receiving a score of 100.

If you just looked at the prices of goods and services in the area, Zurich would be the most expensive city on earth. Residents of this Swiss city spend more than $3,600 a month on goods and services (compared with just over $3,300 in New York City). But factor in rent — which is less than in New York (a furnished, two-room apartment there rents for just $2,500, nearly $2,000 less than in New York) — and Zurich moves down to the second most expensive city on earth.

Prices in Geneva are close to those in Zurich. Rent is just over $2,800 for a furnished two-room apartment and the average family spends more than $3,500 a month on goods and services.

High prices on goods and services — families spend more than $3,100 a month on these — put Oslo in the No. 4 spot on this list. Rents, though high (at $1,940 for a furnished two-room apartment), are still just over half of what they are in New York.

A combination of high rents (more than $2,800 a month for a furnished two-room) and high prices (an average month of goods and services costs more than $2,800) land London on the No. 5 spot on this list.

Hong Kong
Rents in Hong Kong are astronomical (more than $4,400 for a furnished two-room, the second highest in the world), which helps cement Hong Kong’s No. 6 spot on the list. Prices for goods and services in the area are more reasonable (it ranks 19th in terms of the cost of goods and services).

The Windy City, which ranks 7th on this list, boasts both high prices and high rents. Renting a furnished two-room will cost you an average of more than $2,500 a month (roughly the same as in Zurich) and a month of goods and services will cost nearly $2,800.

Goods and services are steep here (residents spend more than $2,900 a month), though rents are more reasonable ($1,420) — at least compared with other cities on this list.

Rents for a furnished two-bedroom in this Aussie metropolis cost more than $2,000 a month, and goods and services nearly $2,700 a month — which puts Sydney in the No. 9 slot on this list.

The No. 10 spot on this list goes to Toyko, thanks in large part to its very pricey goods and services ($2,776 a month). Rents in this city are far more reasonable (at least compared with other pricey cities) at $1,370 a month for a furnished two-bedroom.

Source: Catey Hill, Yahoo Finance

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Thinking of Buying a Home? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate.
Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home.

There are 3 questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market:

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances.
A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:
  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space
What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.
Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:
  • Home values will appreciate by 4.1% in 2015.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 18.1% by 2019.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 10.5% by 2019.

So what does that really mean for you and your family?

The chart below was made using the Home Price Expectation Survey’s predictions:
Homeowner's Family Wealth Over the Next 4 Years | Keeping Current Matters
If the experts are right and you were to purchase a home by January 2016 for $250,000, that home would appreciate by over $34,000 over the next four years! As we have reported before, homeownership is one of the best ways to build your family’s wealth.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by an increase in mortgage rates.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately one full percentage over the next twelve months as you can see in the chart below:
Mortgage Rate Projections | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

Source: kcm.com

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Congratulations Travis and Becky!

Congratulations to Travis and Becky. Your new home in Salt Lake City is adorable!

Under Contract!

Another home under contract! Call me if you're ready to start looking for your next home!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

9 Common Real Estate Myths That Can Cost You Money

In recent years, technology has radically changed the way homes are bought and sold, and yet some aspects of real estate are the same as they were when your parents bought their last home. If a long time has passed since your last transaction, you may be surprised at how much has changed.
The Internet has made much more information available to consumers, but not all the information is equal, or even accurate.

"A lot of people, for some reason, they believe what they read on the Internet," says Gea Elika, principal broker of Elika Real Estate in New York "Read everything you see on the Internet with a grain of salt." The danger with believing everything you hear or read is real estate myths can cost you money when it's time to buy or sell a home. Here are nine of the most common ones that can trip up buyers and sellers:

The home value sites on the Internet are completely accurate. Websites such as Zillow and Trulia have gained popularity in recent years but be weary of their valuations. While these sites can provide some valuable information, home values are not one of them. They are consistently inaccurate and can cost you money. Only a licensed Realtor or Appraiser can give you an accurate valuation of a home.

Set your home price higher than what you expect to get. Listing your home at too high a price may actually net you a lower price. That's because shoppers and their real estate agents often don't even look at homes that are priced above market value. It's true you can always lower the price if the house doesn't garner any offers in the first few weeks. But that comes with its own set of problems. "Buyers are highly suspicious of houses that have sat on the market for more than three weeks," says Nela Richardson, chief economist for the brokerage Redfin. In areas such as San Francisco where multiple offers are common, sellers will actually price their homes for less than they expect to get, in the hopes of getting multiple offers above asking price. However, if you do this in a declining market, the danger is that all the offers will come in at the asking price or lower.

You can get a better deal as a buyer if you don't use a real estate agent. "That's a completely false premise," Elika says. If the house is listed with a real estate agent, the total sales commission is built into the price so the seller is covering the cost of both agents. If the buyers don't have an agent, the seller's agent will receive the entire commission.

You can save money selling your home yourself. Some people do successfully sell homes on their own, but they need the skills to get the home listed online, market the home to prospective buyers, negotiate the contract and then deal with any issues that arise during the inspection or loan application phases. It's not impossible to sell a home on your own, but you'll find that buyers expect a substantial discount when you do, so what you save on a real estate commission may end up meaning a lower price. It's not impossible to sell your home on your own for the same price you'd get with an agent, but it's not easy.

You should renovate your kitchen and bathroom before you sell. If your kitchen and baths work, a major remodel could backfire. Prospective buyers may not share your taste, but they don't want to redo something that has just been renovated. "You're better off adjusting your price accordingly," says Kevin Brown Jr., president of Praedium Real Estate Services in Pittsburgh and a regional director of the NAEBA. "Most buyers want to put their own spin on things."

You'll earn back what you spend on renovations. If you fix the heating and air conditioning system or roof, you will sell your house more quickly, but you may not recoup what you spent. According to Remodeling magazine's 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, the only renovation that is likely to net you as much as you spent is a new front door. You're likely to recoup only 67.8 percent of what you spent on a major kitchen remodel and 70 percent of what you spent on a bathroom remodel on a mid-range home. "Very few things will bring you great returns," says Sabrina Booth, an agent with Redfin in Seattle. "If you're going to do these projects, it's better to do them for your own enjoyment."

All the properties listed in the multiple listing service show up online. Your agent must choose to let the listings show up online. Most do, but it never hurts to verify that yours will.

Open houses sell properties. Homes rarely sell to buyers who visited them during an open house. Agents like open houses because it enables them to find additional customers who are looking to buy or sell homes. If you or your agent choose not to have an open house, it probably doesn't hurt your sale chances – although holding a broker's open house for other agents may be worthwhile.

By: Theresa Meers- Aug 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Are we shifting back toward a buyer's market?

Advantage Shifting Slightly to Home Buyers

Home buyers may be gaining more leverage in the housing market. As the last few weeks of summer wind down, a realtor.com® analysis of housing data for the first three weeks of August reflects a market that is tipping slightly toward buyers' favor. While sellers still have the advantage, it's showing signs of lessening, the realtor.com® analysis notes.
“We are now entering the time of the year when both inventory and demand typically reach their peak as the start of the school year takes away a substantial chunk of near-term demand,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “This year we’re seeing inventory continue to grow in August. And while overall demand is strong, the trend on median days on market is suggesting that the market is finding more of a balance—and that bodes well for would-be buyers who have been frustrated by the inability to find a home to buy this spring and summer.”
During the first three weeks of August, inventory of for-sale homes increased 3 percent month-over-month. Median list prices nationwide rose 8 percent year-over-year to $233,000. Also, the median days on the market of listings was on the rise in August, increasing to 75 days as houses take slightly longer to sell—another sign reflecting a market that is slightly tilting to the buyers.

Source: “The 20 Hottest U.S. Real Estate Markets in August 2015,” realtor.com® (Aug. 31, 2015)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Under Contract....

After looking at nearly 20 homes, we finally found one that my client LOVES! I love my job!!

Did you know?....

Under California Civil Code Section 1710.2, if you’re selling a property in California and within the past 3 years someone’s died on/in it, it’s considered a material defect and must be disclosed by the seller (unless the death was due to AIDS.) Utah does not require this disclosure.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

For Sale in Payson!

332 W 1420 S, Payson. Cute home in Payson for sale. $222,900. 6 beds/3 baths, fully finished basement and large, fenced-in backyard. 3% BAC, MLS# 1295773.

Lot Sold!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Under Contract!

Found this cute house for my clients on the east side of Salt Lake City! I can help you find your next home too. Call me at 801-376-8404.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

9 Reasons to Buy vs. Rent

There are many reasons why you should consider jumping into the real estate market and buying a home. Below is a list of 9 reasons why you should seriously consider it.
  1. To Quit Renting
    Why contribute to someones mortgage payments when you could be paying off your own? With programs available such as the new 40-year amortizations and no money down with a good credit score, it is easier than ever to own a home. And with the current market increase in rent it can sometimes be cheaper to own than it is to rent and there is no fear of your mortgage payments suddenly increasing.
  2. Security
    You don’t have to worry about your house being sold out from under you to out-of-province investors. If renting and faced with this scenario, you could find yourself faced with an unreasonable increase to your rent, thereby leaving you potentially homeless or too poor to eat. These increases could continue indefinitely so the investors can make more money or so that you will feel forced to leave and they can turn your building into a condominium.
  3. Investment
    The price of real estate continues to increase every year, therefore purchasing real estate is one of the safest long-term investments a person can make. If you had the choice between putting money towards a new car or a new house, a house should win every time as it will appreciate in value over the years whereas a car does the opposite. Once you own one house and build some equity you may also be in a financial position to buy another and rent one out.
  4. Low Interest Rates
    Right now we have some great interest rates which will help you get your foot on the first rung of home ownership. It is a great time to get into the market and lock into a really good interest rate and build equity.
  5. Pride of Ownership
    One of the biggest reasons people buy properties is the pride of saying they own something. Even if it is a little starter home or apartment style condo, it is yours and you can do with it as you please, and for that, a person should be proud, as ownership is an accomplishment.
  6. Privacy
    If you own your own house, you don’t ever have to worry about the owners checking up on you, since you are the owner! You will gain much more independence and privacy when you have your own property.
  7. Equity
    One of the best things about owning a home is that you are building equity, which gives you more freedom financially as you can access a home equity loan. You may then borrow against the equity you have built in your home for a wide variety of reasons including home improvements, paying for school for your children, medical reasons, or even starting your own business. Check with your lender, as these vary from one to the next.
  8. Freedom
    You are free to do what you want in your own home, whether you want to paint the walls in pink and black zebra or put carpet on the ceiling (not recommended of course!) You have the freedom to express yourself and your personal tastes and change the house to suit your needs. You can hang as many pictures as you want and do renovations as you please. Just keep in mind that when you are ready to sell your home, not everyone may like what you do.
  9. Sense of Community
    Owning a house gives you a feeling of belonging in that neighborhood and gives you the sense of putting down roots and getting established. There are also many neighborhood groups that you can become involved in, and if you have children it may be of benefit for schools and friends.

What Does a Red Front Door Mean? (more than you think!)

Painting Your Home Front Door Red

If you’ve ever noticed houses with red front doors you may have wondered- What does a red front door mean? Why did they paint their front door that bright color?
red-front-door-what-does-a red-front-door-mean-exterior-house-paintThe history, origin and meaning of a home having a red front door is varied. There is no one origin for the red exterior door.
If you are thinking of painting the front door of your home red, consider some of these meanings to decide if red is the right color choice for your front door. Your home’s exterior is important and how you paint your home reflects on you.
Consider these meanings before heading out to buy home exterior paint:
In Feng Shui, a red front door means “welcome.” Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophy in which the arrangement and color of objects in a room relates to the flow of energy. The front door is known as the “Mouth of Chi” where energy enters. If you believe in or follow Feng Shui, painting your front door red would create welcoming energy.
A red door means “welcome” in an old early American tradition. If a family had a red front door tired travelers traveling by horse and buggy would know that a home was a welcoming place to rest. They would be able to spend the night there.
A red door provides protection. In Biblical times, the Hebrew slaves were instructed to smear blood of a lamb on their front doors to protect their first born from the angel of death. In old Catholicism churches painted the doors of the church red to represent the blood of Christ. Passing through the door would mean that you were on holy ground. Some believe a red door protects the occupants from evil.
A red front door means mortgage-free. In Scotland, homeowners would paint their front door red to signify that they had paid off their mortgage.
Now that you’ve read some of the meanings and origins behind having a red front door, you can decide if painting your front door red is the right choice for your home.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Be a Statistic!

Did you know that Utah ranks #11 of the states in Home Ownership? 73.9% of adults in Utah own a home. Are you ready to be a statistic? Call me!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

4 easy tips to have an energy efficient home this winter

 winter homeYou spent weeks searching for your home and you spend even more time every year maintaining your home to make it clean and functional.
Cleaning the bathroom, mopping the floors, washing the windows, dusting, and vacuuming are all activities that you perform regularly in order to preserve the prestige of your home, but how much time do you devote to making sure that your home is energy efficient?
Although it may not be a bad idea to install solar panels or use those peculiarly shaped, energy saving bulbs in every room to conserve energy, those products aren't for everyone. So here are four simple tips to become more energy efficient.

Reduce oven use

Microwaves and toaster ovens use less energy than a conventional oven. Unless you have a large quantity of food or the quality and taste depend on it, put your leftovers in the microwave rather than using an oven to reheat.
Resisting the urge to use the oven and using a microwave or toaster oven produces the same warm meal with reduced energy usage. However, if you are afraid that reheating your french fries in the microwave will make them soggy and you absolutely must use the oven in order to preserve their crunch remember to not open the oven door while food is cooking or reheating. Opening the door to the oven while it is on can reduce the temperature by as much as 25 degrees, thus causing it to work harder to maintain the set heat.

Get the most out of your lamps

Lamps decorate and give light to any room they are placed in. When using lamps determine if your primary purpose is to decorate or illuminate the room. Achieving both objectives is what most people want but usually one is more of a priority than the other.
Depending on your goals, there are different tips you can apply to your lamp use in order to make your home more energy efficient. Light colored or opaque lampshades should be used whenever possible.
There are a wide variety of lampshades and you should choose the one that appropriately decorates and illuminates the room. In order to produce more light lamps should be placed in corners so that light can be reflected from two walls. Oh, and don't forget the energy efficient light bulbs.

Keep your freezer full

Full freezers use less energy than empty freezers so go ahead and make your ice cream stash a little larger. In order to save energy, some people fill the empty spaces in their freezers with gallons of water, but a gallon of ice cream can do the job just as well—we all know which gallon container you would prefer.

Use your dryer efficiently

Your dryer is an appliance that uses an enormous amount of energy. According to energy.gov your dryer uses just as many watts as 15 flat screen TVs. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of energy your dryer consumes.
  • Always be sure to clean the dryer lint filter so that your dryer operates more efficiently.
  • Washing and drying several loads at once also helps the dryer to perform better because it does not completely cool down before having to heat up for the next load.
  • Make a few modifications to the space where you do laundry so that your dryer vents outside. By making this adjustment you reduce the amount of work that your air conditioner has to do.
  • Air drying clothes is not always the most appealing option but air drying dress clothes will lessen the workload on your dryer and will also make your dress clothes look better.
 By Washakie Renewable Energy

Saturday, October 4, 2014

9614 N 6000 W, Highland.....SOLD!

I sold this Highland home sold & I can sell yours too! Call me at 801-376-8404.

Furnace Efficiency, Safety & Maintenence for Fall

Furnaces in homes throughout North America are cranking up for a long winter season. It is especially important to have furnaces inspected and maintained to ensure that they run efficiently and safely as we head into the colder months.


By some accounts, home heating, especially gas furnaces, can represent half of a typical home’s winter utilities bill. Efficient operation can mean lower energy bills and a more comfortable home. For example, programmable thermostats can be used to automatically turn heat up or down at specified times, so that the temperature is lowered overnight or while no one is at home. The newest types of thermostats can be operated via smartphone or tablet using apps specific to these functions.
Thermostats should be calibrated occasionally to avoid “off-cycle” heat loss; a properly-calibrated thermostat will result in more even heating between the on/off cycles, which is both more efficient and comfortable.


Safety is also an important factor in furnace operation. Gas furnaces can be a source of dangerous carbon monoxide if there are leaks or cracks that go unnoticed or unrepaired. The furnace flame should be steady and burn blue; if not, this should be addressed immediately. A qualified contractor or inspector can detect these types of problems and recommend needed action.
Simple furnace maintenance includes checking and replacing disposable air filters and cleaning permanent-type filters, as well as keeping dust, hair, and lint away from the burner compartment and air intake. No matter what type it is, a well-maintained furnace will not only last longer, but can save energy, money, and help a home’s overall air quality and comfort.


If a new furnace is necessary, it is a good opportunity to evaluate the various types of furnaces now available and how well they might meet a home’s specific situation. Furnaces are defined as conventional efficiency, mid efficiency, and high efficiency. There are advantages and drawbacks to each type, and some are better suited to older homes, for example, and cost may be a factor in considering various types of systems. However, the ability of most new furnaces to reduce off-cycle heat loss, eliminate the need for an always-on pilot light, etc. make replacing a furnace worth considering if a current system is in bad repair functioning poorly. Your local Pillar To Post office can provide you with additional information on various types of furnaces.

Jared Fenn, Pillar to Post Home Inspections (801) 318-9909

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Listing in Payson!

$214,900. CUTE CUTE CUTE!! This home and yard are immaculate and ready to move in! Recently renovated, with beautiful wood laminate floors and extra high-quality carpet. Fully-fenced backyard, with open space behind home for added privacy. Beautiful mountain views, close to rec center, schools and parks. Call me to see today! MLS # 1251616  Kari 801-376-8404