Thursday, January 29, 2009

Told Ya so---

I tried to tell you before the Trib told everyone else!
Now is a serioulsy great time to buy downtown--if you have ever
thought of getting in NOW is the time!

Downtown condo market falters after strong 2007
Economy » Recession, credit problems, consumer pessimism hamper sales.

By Paul Beebe

The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 01/23/2009 01:32:22 AM MST

A year ago, condos in downtown Salt Lake City were selling at a fast clip, averaging more than one sale per day.

The average time a condo was on the market before a buyer snapped it up was 28 days, according to figures from the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Sellers were in the driver's seat. Sale prices were 100 percent of list prices, suggesting buyers had little ground to negotiate a deal.

Twelve months later, the condo market is upside-down. It's a buyer's market -- except there are no buyers.

Sales "went from full throttle to a standing halt," said Babs De Lay, a downtown real estate agent.

Last month, condo sales fell 61 percent year-over-year downtown, to 14 units, according to preliminary Board of Realtors data. Condos that did sell languished 101 days -- almost four times as long as last year.

Although list and sale prices were the same in December, both were down about 8 percent from December 2007, when the U.S. recession officially began.

Condo sales began to weaken 12 months ago after a strong 2007, said Alan Wood, who built The Metro, a 117-unit project at 350 S. 200 East.

It was a precipitous reversal. Wood sold close to 80 units in 2007. In one month, February, he raked in $20 million. Then the bottom fell out. Last year, Wood sold 16 units.

"We were still selling units through 2008, but at a much slower pace," he said. "We started to see nervousness by the buyers with regard to the
subprime credit crisis, prices and recession fears.

"I would say it hit last August and September, and it's been very slow since then."

De Lay, a 25-year real estate veteran, said the market is as bad as it was in the early '80s, when mortgage interest rates shot as high as 22 percent and homes took as long as a year to sell.

One reason, De Lay said, is a new rule that says a condo building must be 51 percent sold before lower-income buyers can get loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

"So buyers have to go for a conventional [bank] loan and put 10 percent down or more," she said. "A buyer in an entry-level price range does not generally walk around with $15,000 or $20,000 in his pocket."

Barry Preusz, a realtor who assists condo buyers, said he continues to get inquiries from shoppers, but many people can't get mortgage loans because banks have tightened their lending standards.

Then there are people who would like to step down to condos but can't sell their homes for what they think they are worth, Preusz said.

"I get a lot of 'lookie-looks,'" he said.

Richard Gordon, who developed Westgate Lofts on 200 South between 300 West and 400 West, said the first 56-unit building sold so quickly last year that he didn't need help from real estate agents.

The second building, with 17 units, isn't selling as fast. One unit is occupied. Two or three others are under contract. To move the rest, Gordon is offering discounts on units that range in price from $239,000 to more than $1 million.

"People seem to be holding up," Gordon said. "We get excellent, qualified prospects every day. People come through, and they rave about them, [but] nobody is making decisions. They are just kind of sitting."

What effect the recession and credit crunch are having on the LDS Church's plans for 700 condos and apartments it plans to build in its City Creek Center project in downtown Salt Lake City is unclear.

Although the church has not released details such as pricing, spokesman Dale Bills said Richards Court, City Creek's first two residential buildings with 91 units, will be finished in early 2010. Additional units will be ready in 2011 and 2012.

"We've not concluded any sales," Bills said. "We are just starting."

He declined to say how much buyer interest there is for the Richards Court project.

Cowboy Partners, a Salt Lake City real estate developer, plans to build 100 condos in City Creek. Although the company officials said construction won't begin until around 2010, principal Dan Lofgren said the timing has never been precise.

"We continue to be in a posture of assessing the opportunity," Lofgren said. "It's a time to be very cautious, and we are taking that to heart."

Even so, the company continues to be "huge believers" in the downtown condo market.

"I have not lost faith in the downtown [market] at any level," he said. "It's still a compelling residential proposition."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bestie on the market $379,000

2607 Highland Drive

Beautifully restored and updated home in the heart of Sugarhouse. 3 large bedrooms, 2 full, brand new bathrooms and a completely remodeled kitchen. Landscaping is tastefully done with a fully fenced yard and beautiful perennial gardens throughout. Parking isn’t an issue with a full front drive and additional alley access with a matching 2 car carport. This home has been redone top to bottom. The home has all new plumbing (including water and sewer mains), new electrical, new furnace and a/c with all new ductwork, along with new windows. Original refinished hardwood floors, new cork flooring in the kitchen with beautiful quartz countertops and brand new appliances. All hardware and doors have been brought back to their original beauty. Recently finished basement keeps with the era of the home with period doors and hardware, includes a large new laundry room, new bathroom and plenty of storage. PICTURES DON'T DO THIS PLACE JUSTICE!No details missing in this home and truly a must see.

Willing to pay commission to agent that brings buyer

For more pictures and details use the following link

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hiring an Agent--what does it all mean?

Buyer Agency - What Is It?
Why do I need a Buyer's Agent?
By Mike Davis

Relationships between Real Estate Agents and the Buyer and Seller can sometimes be difficult to understand. Who is on my side? To which agent can I disclose my motivations? Which agent will negotiate on my behalf? What is the difference between a Buyer Agent and a Listing agent?

It is very important that the consumer have a full understanding of the duties and responsibilities of the agent, and to whom the agent owes loyalty.
How much extra does it cost to use a Buyer's Agent?

Most of the time, NOTHING.

The most common way a Buyer Agent is paid is the same way other real estate agents are paid: the typical commission paid at closing is usually divided between the listing agent and the agent of the Buyer.
What are the negatives of using the agent that has the property listed?

The agent that has that home listed has a duty to the SELLER. That agent's #1 priority is to get THAT home sold, at the best possible price and terms for the SELLER. A BUYER AGENT'S priority is to help you buy ANY home, at the best price and terms for the BUYER. It's a key difference.

For example: There is a problem with the home inspection; the home inspector reports that the furnace needs to be replaced. What do you think the Seller's Agent will do? Negotiate the best deal for the Buyer, or for the Seller?

An analogy that applies here is: Would you hire the same attorney to represent both sides in a lawsuit? Of course not.

This is called DUAL AGENCY, and is considered so dangerous by some that it is ILLEGAL in some states!
Duties of an agent

Before working with a real estate agent, you should know that the duties of the agent depend on whom the he/she represents. If you are a buyer, you should know that the agent who lists the property for sale is the Sellers agent and represents only the Seller. The agents job is to get the SELLER the highest price and the best terms.

If an agent represents the buyer, the agent becomes the buyer's agent by entering into an agreement to represent the buyer, usually through a written buyer representation, commonly referred to as a buyer's agency. The Buyer agent is legally obligated to try to get the best terms and conditions possible for the Buyer.

* Remember: The Listing agent has legal obligations to work for the Seller. They must try to get the best terms and conditions possible for the Seller. They must tell the Seller everything they learn from you that can put the Seller in a better position. The Buyer agent has the opposite obligations. He/She works for the Buyer.

There are other situations in which the agent doesn't represent either the Seller or the Buyer, or represent them in a very limited way. Again, this is either called Dual Agency. This situation most commonly happens when a Buyer calls the Seller's Agent about a home that that Agent has for sale, and then buys it. An agent can never fully represent both the Buyer and the Seller in a transaction as their agent at the same time.

* Some Buyer Agents have decided to work only for Buyers. They are called Exclusive Buyer Agents and they will always represent the Buyer in a transaction, from start to end.

Do Buyer Agents have access to all properties?

Some people might be concerned that the Buyer agent won't have access to all properties for sale. It is normally quite the opposite. Almost all agents have access to the same computerized information, normally called the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). A good Buyer Agent, opposite to a Listing Agent, can also help you buy "For Sale by Owner homes" or New Homes from a builder. When you choose a Buyer Agent, make sure that he/she has access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for the areas you are interested in. And remember, a Buyer Agent can help you buy ANY home for sale, no matter if it is listed with a real estate company or not.

A good Buyer Agent will help you locate good regional recourses that you will need as a part of your home purchase such as Lawyer, Lender, Home Inspector, Insurance Agent and others.

If you would like me to represent you as Buyer 's Agent, please call me at 801-698-8288, or email me at .

REMEMBER - In most cases, it costs you nothing extra to have me as your BUYER AGENT.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Trying to save Money? Think twice before going it alone

So....You have to sell or buy a house in today's market.
Specifically if you are selling it seems really
tempting to save some money by selling the home
yourself to make more on the sale.
If you are buying you may not understand
how your agent will be paid(by the seller)
and be leery of signing up with an agent for
one reason or another.

I found this article on
I really think that it explains it
very well

Why Do I Need a Real Estate Agent?
Why You Might Not Need to Use an Real Estate Agent

By Elizabeth Weintraub,

"I'm not ready to work with an agent yet," says Margie; however, she picked up the phone and called a real estate agent anyway. She wanted information on a listing. Margie had been calling real estate agents for days to find out about properties she might want to buy.


* I don't know what an agent can do for me, and I don't know you.

* I'm leary of agents because they might try to sell me a home I don't want.

* I can find my own home.

Lots of people don't trust real estate agents and don't really understand what an agent brings to the table that they can't do for themselves. It's an understandable reaction. This is a weird profession to be part of. There's very little middle of the road. Agents are either despised or loved. They earn an A or an F on their closing report card -- there is rarely a C on performance in this business.

Quite frankly, some buyers and sellers could manage very well on their own. I won't go as far as to say that an A-rated agent doesn't bring added value to the transaction, but for some consumers, an agent is not necessary. Here is how you can tell.

Do You Need a Listing Agent to Sell a Home?

Nobody really needs an agent. As a seller, you can find your own buyer but the lingering question is would a listing agent have helped you to net more on your bottom line (according to NAR, almost 22% more)? Much depends on the real estate market.

* In super hot seller markets, almost anybody can stick a sign in the yard and attract offers. That's because buyers are falling all over themselves to buy and waving earnest money deposits in the air.

* In buyer's markets, there are fewer buyers, which makes an agent's services worth more.

* More than 80% of buyers purchase a home through a real estate agent. If you don't hire an agent, you could be losing exposure to 80% of the buying population.

Listing Agents Can Bring Added-Value to a Transaction

Unless you routinely attend every open house in your neighborhood, you may not possess intimate information about the interiors of your neighbor's homes nor know why some sold for higher prices than others. Experienced agents have this knowledge and use it to position your home to sell at the highest possible price.

Top listing agents sell homes day in and day out. Here is a list of services most listing agents offer to sellers:

* Top-notch marketing materials and proven selling systems.

* Professional virtual tours and photography.

* Wide Internet exposure.

* Promotion at company meetings and MLS meetings.

* Networking with fellow real estate agents.

* Price guidance according to market data and recent sales.

* Home stagers, inspector and repair contractor referrals.

* Buyer feedback and private showings.

* Confirmation of potential buyer qualifications.

* Counter offer and negotiation expertise.

Buyer's Agents Work for the Buyer and Not the Seller

Done correctly, a buyer's agent's job is to put the buyer's interests ahead of the agent's, to disclose all material facts, keep the buyer's information confidential, provide the buyer with sufficient information to purchase a home and expertly negotiate on the buyer's behalf.

Here are some of the services you can expect to get from a buyer's agent that you might not be able to obtain on your own. Apart from hearing about listings before homes are available to the public, agents can:

* Provide comparable sales from the tax rolls.

* Provide sales data from MLS based on map searches.

* Pull property profiles reflecting sales history, property data, demographics and neighborhood services.

* Obtain a copy of the home's historical documents.

* Run reports on listing agent's list-price to sales-price ratios.

* Calculate annual facts and trends about an area.

* Suggest pricing strategy.

* Prepare a strong offer that presents the buyer in the best light based on market demands and agent interaction / networking.

* Review of documents for loopholes and obtain disclosures.

* Provide a buffer between you and the seller's agent.

If you feel competent that you can handle a sale or purchase on your own, you probably can. But you may always wonder if you paid too much or accepted too low of a price.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Old Club-new beginning

Tonight I have been invited to the
grand opening of an old favorite.
Club Manhattan.
While I have never been in my
two years as an Urbanite of this
great city I am intrigued by free
drinks(9-10pm),a facelift and DJ lineup
that promises to make my Friday night
just a little more lively.

Join us! 9pm-2am

::Club Manhattan::
5 E 400 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84111-2703
Phone: (801) 364-7651

My degree of separation to Patrick Dempsey

Remember my experience photographing for Blank slate?

Well last week while the drama was unfolding on Grey's Anatomy
I was very excited to see that the serial killer role
was played by none other than Eric Stoltz

That makes for one degree of separation between me and Mc Dreamy--
Somehow if feels like I should be a little more excited about this
oh well--maybe I will go out and stalk some celebrities at Sundance
Take that Robert Redford!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Found on Etsy

I found this today on Etsy and WANT it! Although I did just
buy one like it on our recent trip to China I still am barely not buying it :)
Which is why I want YOU to buy it-
Great for bad hair days and when you want to look absolutely adorable!

Downtown Living--NOW is the time!

I thought I would share this list of some of the new developments in the hottest neighborhood in town!
near the salt palace- These little units are ready for you to buy!
awe inspiring views, amazing location, and the characteristic Allen Millo knack for
making a space seem MUCH larger than it actually is make this a great investment property or primary residence.
(call me or email for prices and availability)
new construction on the west side of pioneer park....still taking reservations...hasn't broken ground yet
new construction on the N side of Pioneer park-next door to Tony Caputos just N of the park(think rolling out of bed and walking across the street to the Farmers Market) This building is nearly complete! Get yours today!
(email or call me for pricing)
Luxuriously lofty spaces at a discounted price!
You pick your custom finishes!
Perfect location and everyone likes $30/month year round heating and cooling
bills-go green without even lifting a finger!

Funny find

I found this site
and thought a few of their shirts were hilarious. Now I never wear t-shirts unless
it is to sleep in but I couldn't help but enjoy the lightheartedness of the site-
funny: I thought I would have outgrown some of this stuff being funny but no-it is still as hilarious as it was when I was 15

and last but not least(in fact it is my personal fav)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Interest rates....why the @@##!! you should care:

Monthly Payment!
Lower rate=more house
for less-who wants a mc mansion?

WHEN you go to the bank to qualify for a mortgage
they look at MANY things(in fact you feel like
you have just had a financial physical-sans rubber
glove of course)
And among the things that determine how much money
you can borrow(monthly income, debt, credit score)
is what INTEREST RATE you qualify for.

For those that understand this already-good for
you smarty pants-but for me--when I bought my
first and even second home this stuff was just
well: Confounding and I just went along with
whatever the credit union told me.

Simply put: An interest rate on a home loan
is how much the lender(bank or credit union)
is going to charge you(in %) to borrow money
from them.

Bottom line: you want this number to be
AS LOW AS POSSIBLE!!! All the news reports
squealing about how low interest rates
right now are basically saying:
"money is cheaper to borrow than ever before
to buy a house!"

Why this matters to you:
Here is how I look at it:
IF you are lucky enough to be in a position
to be able to buy a home right now your luck
couldn't be better!
Because interest rates are LOW(it is cheap to
borrow money) and it is a buyer's market, you
can afford MUCH more house than you ever have
been able to, and this may or may not last.

What to do to find out if you ready to buy:
Ask yourself:
-Do you feel stable in your currant situation?
-How much do YOU feel you can afford for a mortgage every month
(banks are smart, but don't ever let anyone tell you can afford more
than you are comfortable spending every month)
-Shop around!
Rates are negotiable as are closing costs(mosts often paid by seller)
DO NOT let just anyone pull your credit or it will hurt it, but be sure to
at least get good faith estimates(no SSN required) from 2-4 credit unions/mortgage brokers/banks
Often if you are a good candidate they will fight to keep you as a customer.
ONCE you find 2-3(more than that and your credit is going to suffer) that your are comfortable with THEN and only then fill out a
loan application. From there you will be pre-approved for a certain amount of money
NOW you are ready to shop for the dream house!

NOTE: you can certainly shop for houses and even put an offer in for one without being pre approved. But it certainly does make you look like a more attractive buyer
to have a preapproval letter with your offer, AND if you know how much you can spend
it is MUCH easier to stay within your budget!

Call or write with questions!


Monday, January 12, 2009

I am out of breath because...

I am spreading the word
Westgate Phase II is dropping prices
just to sell one unit in the next few weeks
(there are 16
available still)
I just talked to the agent and she is willing to do one
for just over 200k(orig selling for 280k)for 726 sq feet!
These are geothermal heated and cooled(ie 30/month for
heating and cooling) and the HOA fees cover ALL other
utilities(at .20c/sq foot) including Wireless Internet and
Cable TV.
You get to pick your counters and cabinets still and
really have a great selection of units since the building
is empty!
The units all come with one covered parking spot as well.
Unit rents in the neighborhood for that amount of space is
so these units make GREAT investments as well!

They are offering financing too so don't be shy--they are also
paying all closing costs which is really nice!

If anyone you know wants to get into this neighborhood
this seems to be the time.
All of the new construction happening with the church and
other buildings that are taking reservations in the area
are selling at about 450-500/sq foot--the Westgate is selling at about 330
but because of the soft market they aren't moving!

SM and I are considering buying one just because
we love the neighborhood and seriously these are such
great prices!

Anyone that would like to see one or has questions
can call me and I will give them the grand tour
or just stop in and see the model which is
open T-F almost all day.

Since the market is so slow, if you can get a loan
this is a great time to get into property for great
prices! Sellers are really willing to work with buyers
and with Rates as low as they are there has never
been a better time to buy!

If you have questions call or write!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Best deal in the hood $214,000

Getting into my neighborhood can sometimes be pricey but this little Dakota loft is a great way to have a place to land on New Years Eve, Jazz game nights or just to cut your commute--for a reasonable price!
Plus-it doesn't get any better than becoming a Salt Lake Urbanite!

see the full listing here