Easy Ways to Improve Curb Appeal

First impressions are always a big deal, whether it’s a job interview, a first date, or even a home that you are looking to buy. The exterior of a home is the first thing that a buyer sees when looking at your home. Here are a few easy ways that you can improve your home’s curb appeal. 

 

1. Clean your Sidewalks and other hardscape areas

 

No one wants to drive up to a home that doesn’t look well maintained. One of the quickest and easiest ways to instantly improve curb appeal is to clean your hardscapes and sidewalks. 

You can accomplish this by sweeping up any branches, leaves, feathers, dog hair, and such things that have made their way onto your decks and sidewalks. You can also take a further step to scrub hardscapes with a brush, soap, and warm water–This is the best way to deal with stains. Power washing is not advised for many hardscape materials, as it can often damage pavers, but it can be useful for some decks. Be cautious when using this method. 

 

2. Power wash your exterior

 

A clean and polished exterior is necessary for your home to make the best first impression possible. 

Power washing is a quick and satisfying way to get your home exterior cleaned up, but make sure that you’re only power washing the materials on your home that cannot be seriously damaged, like any electrical elements, wood siding, old mortar, windows, etc. 

Here are some tips to use pressure washer safely

 

3. Try out a new color palette

 

If your home exterior looks like its stuck in the 1970s, your home may not make the top of the list for curb appeal. Freshen up your exterior with a fresh coat of paint. 

Here are some top classic home exterior color palette options

  • White, Grey, and Red (1122 E Harvard Ave., Salt Lake City, Utah)

  • Mocha (1973 W Gray Hawk Cir., St. George, Utah)

  • Beige and Brown (169 E Hollybrook Cv. Draper, Utah) 

 

Find more inviting color palettes here

 

4. Get your lawn healthy

 

Here are a few ways to help you get your lawn to be the healthiest lawn on the block, drawing all eyes to your curb. 

  • Aerate your lawn to help break up compacted soil. 
  • Water your lawn deeply and less often. 
  • Use natural lawn fertilizers. 
  • Cut your grass to the right height–different species of grass need different cutting heights. 

 

5. Add flowers or flower boxes

 

Flowers and flower boxes add color and visual interest to your home and when done well, give you a huge curb appeal boost.

Keep things colorful and eye-catching, and vary the heights of your plants. If you are using flower boxes, keep the theory of “thrillers” (tall, statement plants and flowers), “spillers” (plants that spill over the edge of flower boxes or pots if that is more your style), and “fillers” (surface area plants that fill in the gaps). 

 

6. Plant Trees

 

With a similar theory to adding flowers, trees add additional landscaping elements to your curb appeal, and add shaded areas perfect for relaxing on a hot summer day. 

 

7. Add outdoor lighting

 

One of the best ways to make sure you have some serious curb appeal is to make sure your home can be seen no matter the time of the day! Make sure you have some porch lights and light your walkway with some simple solar light fixtures, which are affordable and easy to install. 

 

8. Upgrade your mailbox

 

Even the most appealing houses can be brought down by a dingy mailbox. Make sure yours doesn’t have any signs of rust or damage. 

 

9. Coordinate your hardware

 

Small details can make a huge impact. Even if your potential buyers don’t notice explicitly, matching hardware will give your home a nice, well-put-together appearance. 

Match your metals for your doorknobs, locksets, porch lights and address numbers. If you don’t have address numbers, get them! Make sure that your numbers are easy to see and make a serious decor statement. 

 

10. Add outdoor furniture to your front porch

 

If you are lucky enough to have a front porch, make sure that it is inviting and appears just as livable as the inside for maximum effect. 

Keep to a simple bench and throw pillow for small porches, or if you have a larger porch, add a dining set, or an outdoor couch and coffee table to complete the look.

 

No matter how you choose to improve your home’s exterior, keep in mind that the best way to improve curb appeal is to make it as attractive as can be. Take a careful look around to determine what improvements you believe need to be made, and ask your local Windermere Real Estate agent for their expertise on the kinds of improvements that are getting homes sold faster in your area. 

 

At Windermere Utah, we are proud to keep you up-to-date on the latest news, events, and listings. Be sure to keep checking back in here at the blog, and don’t forget to follow us on social media.

 


Posted on August 12, 2020 at 3:50 pm
Matthew Sidford | Posted in Living | Tagged ,

Best Summer Outdoor Activities in Utah

One of the best things about Utah is the exceptional access to outdoor recreation. Many of us have hiking and biking trails right outside our doors (or within a 30 minute drive of our house). 

Here are a few of our favorite activities that you can do solo or bring along some family and friends! There are so many more as well, so don’t hesitate to reach out to your neighbors, or real estate agent to discuss some of their favorite summer activities as well. 

 

Hiking

 

Utah is full of plentiful hiking spots. There are trails all around the state spanning from the Logan area all the way down to St. George and Kanab. 

Here are a few favorite hikes from around the state:

Delicate Arch Trail – Arches National Park (Moab)

A hike to one of Utah’s most recognizable landmarks is on the bucket list for any Utah local, and for many visitors. It can be scorching hot in summer, but it is a wonderful sight once you arrive at the arch. 

Mount Timpanogos – American Fork Canyon (American Fork)

There are two trails that lead to Mount Timpanogos, and the peak is the second tallest in the state. If you have time, check out Timpanogos cave while you are there. 

Donut Falls Trail – Big Cottonwood Canyon (Salt Lake City)

Donut falls is a great trail for families. The trail is wide with only a slight elevation gain, making the trail perfect for all ages. This trail is particularly beautiful in mid-July and August when the wildflowers are blooming. 

Mount Olympus Trail – Mount Olympus (Holladay)

This trail is more challenging than most of the others on this list due to the steep incline of the trail. Once you make it to the top, you can easily see why this is one of the most rewarding hikes in the Salt Lake valley as you are rewarded with absolutely stunning views. 

Adam’s Canyon Trail – Adam’s Canyon (Layton)

Adam’s canyon brings you to a 40 ft. Tall waterfall at the end of the trail with a small pond. It is perfect for a view of the city, and a great place to take n some of the views around Holms Creek. 

Armstrong Trail – Silver Star (Park City)

This trail is a perfect option as the distance of the hike can vary based on the route you take. The trail is a great option for hot summer days as it has lots of tree cover and provides great views of Park City. 

Iron Mountain Trail – Iron Canyon (Park City)

Iron Mountain is a local favorite. It’s a relatively short hike, perfect for an after-work hike to clear your mind. While it is a short out and back trail, the elevation will give you a workout. The trail leads through gorgeous aspen groves, and at the top you will get a fabulous view of downtown Park City and several of the ski resorts. 

 

Biking

 

Biking is another extremely popular outdoor activity in Utah. There are plentiful trails for mountain and on-road biking throughout the state. While the state is mostly known for mountain biking there is a strong road cycling culture. Just take a look to UCI-sanctioned pro cycling event the Tour of Utah

Here are a few top choices for whichever option you prefer. As Utah is quite mountainous, this is far from being an extensive list. 

 

Road Biking

Parowan Gap Loop – Cedar City

This is a natural mountain pass that was used by the Fremont and Anasazi Native Americans. The route is dotted with petroglyphs and leads through some classic desert landscapes. 

Utah Lake – Provo/Orem

Part of this route makes up Stage 3 of the Tour of Utah, following the western shores of Utah Lake. This lake is a popular destination for locals in Utah County. 

Emigration Canyon – Salt Lake City

This a very popular local ride. You ride from Salt Lake City up to a national historic landmark and back out to Salt Lake City. The route through the canyon was used by pioneers traveling into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. 

Empire/Guardsman Loop – Park City

While this ride is a heart-pumping ride through steep uphill climbs, you are rewarded with some stunning views overlooking Deer Valley Resort and the canyons. 

 

Mountain Biking 

Wasatch Crest Trail – Salt Lake City

This is a singletrack snaking along the top of the Wasatch Mountain Range brings you through aspen glades and alpine meadows. There are many options to riding this trail, with point-to-point access from Guardsman Pass to Millcreek Canyon or Big Cottonwood Canyon. 

Thunder Mountain Trail – Panguitch

Just outside of Bryce Canyon National Park, the Thunder Mountain trail provides a challenging ride through the stunning landscapes around Red Canyon. 

Mid Mountain Trail – Park City

Mid mountain is designated as an IMBA Epic Ride. This trail covers 22 miles and 2 ski areas in the Park City areas. There are several options for accessing the trail, and once you’re there you make your way through dense patches of pine and aspen trees before racing meadows filled with wildflowers. 

 

Swimming

 

Swimming is a great way to cool down on one of Utah’s hot summer days. There are plentiful swimming pools that you could enjoy, or splash pads, if you aren’t one for dipping into a pool. You could stop there, but why would you want to?

Many of Utah’s mountain lakes are watersheds that don’t allow swimming, but there are several that allow swimming and other watersports. Here are a few of the lakes, reservoirs, and natura swimming spots: 

Lake Powell – Glen Canyon Recreational Area

While Lake Powell isn’t technically a lake, it is a go-to for Utah locals and tourists alike. With stunning views created by the location in the middle of Glen Canyon, Lake Powell is a great destination for swimming, houseboating, wakeboarding, fishing, kayaking, and many other water-based activities. 

Lower Calf Creek Falls – Boulder

Just a short distance from the small town of Boulder, the lower falls are 130 feet high with a deep swimming hole. It takes a bit of a hike to get there, but the pool is always nice and cool. 

Pineview Reservoir – Huntsville

Just 2 miles north of Huntsville, this is the summer lake you have always dreamed of. Calm waters are perfect for any of your water-based activity needs. There are both paid and free areas, as well as some great sandy beaches to relax in between your swimming sessions. 

Jordanelle Reservoir – Park City/Heber City 

Another of Utah’s picturesque reservoirs, this reservoir allows swimming and boating in the mountainous areas between park city and Heber. 

 

Zip Lining

 

If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie, Zip Lining may be the option for you, bringing our aerial adventures to life. There are a few locations throughout the state where you can jump on a zip line. 

ZipRider – Snowbird Resort (Near Sandy)

The ZipRider at Snowbird Resort allows you to see the beauty of the canyon in a different way as you climb to the top of the 50 foot tower then fly down the zip-line cables at 30 mph. 

Zipline Utah – Heber City 

Zipline Utah features a few options for traveling through the sky on a series of zip-lines and aerial bridges. Don’t forget to book an adventure down the Screaming Falcon, Zipline Utah’s longest and fastest zip line, spanning over 3900 feet and reaching speeds of 60+ mph. 

Zip Line Tour at Utah Olympic Park – Park City

Featuring the option between two ziplines, the Utah Olympic Park allows you to see some of the most spectacular views of the Olympic Park. You can take a more leisurely ride, or step it up a notch with one of the steepest ziplines in the world to emulate the speed and force of a world-class ski jumper. 

Raven’s Rim – Moab

Raven’s Rim offers several zipline tours and aerial bridges perfect for any adventure lover. These tours offer exclusive views of the high-deserts of southern Utah. 

 

Paddle Boarding

 

Stand-Up paddle boarding (SUP)  is becoming a highly popular activity in Utah. Here are a few of the best places to get started on your SUPer adventure (get it?). 

Great Salt Lake – Salt Lake City

The Great Salt Lake is not a highly trafficked paddle boarding area, but it is one of the most recognizable parts of Utah as a whole. Grab your board and head out to Antelope Island to get on the lake, and enjoy the nature and the buoyancy caused by the salt water. 

Oquirrh Lake – Daybreak

Paddleboarding is perfect on Oquirrh lake because of the calm and cool water. It is ideal if you live in the area, and you get fabulous views of both the Wasatch and Oquirrh mountains, making it the perfect location for a sunrise or sunset session. 

Jordanelle Reservoir – Park City/Heber City

Jordanelle Reservoir is also a perfect paddleboarding location due to it’s calm waters and gorgeous scenery. If you’re an experienced paddleboarder you can leave the no-wake zone and take advantage of some of the waves that boats and other watercraft leave behind. 

Utah Lake – Provo/Orem 

As Utah’s largest freshwater lake, Utah Lake attracts many visitors. It has many amenities close by, and is a fabulous family destination. 

Sand Hollow State Park – Hurricane

Utah’s newest state park is highly trafficked, but is an easy 15 minutes from St. George. The warm blue water and red sandstone make for an extremely picturesque experience. 

 

Visit a National Park 

 

Utah is home to many Nature Preserves, National Forests, and State parks, but to get the full Utah experience, you really need to visit one of Utah’s 5 national parks. They all feature magnificent red sandstone canyons and rock formations that make for a perfect photo-finish for any adventurer. 

Arches – Moab

Arches National Park is full of iconic arches with over 2,000 natural stone arches to explore,  like Delicate Arch-Utahns love that one so much that we put it on the license plate! 

Bryce Canyon – Bryce

With many canyons, amphitheaters and bowls carved into the landscape, you can marvel at the beauty from a high plateau or hike deep into the canyon floors. 

Canyonlands – Moab

Featuring countless canyons and buttes, you can see four districts divided by the Colorado and Green Rivers.  

Capitol Reef – Torrey

In the heart of red rock country, this hidden treasure includes cliffs, canyons, dome, bridges and the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline that extends almost 100 miles. 

Zion – Springdale

Explore the paths that Native Americans called home and where pioneers traveled to settle the west. 

 


Posted on June 8, 2020 at 4:09 pm
Matthew Sidford | Posted in Living | Tagged , , ,

Summer Home Maintenance: A Guide

We know it can be difficult to know when to do all of those home maintenance tasks. With summer at our heels her in Utah, here is a guide to the top home maintenance tasks to complete in summer.

  • Inspect Air Conditioners – You know how hot it can get here in Utah. Perks of living in the desert, huh? Clean air conditioning filters in window units, dust off those ceiling fans, and consider a tuneup if you have central A/C.
  • Check Detectors – Every few months, check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly and have batteries.
  • Clean your Vents – Spring brings in allergy season, which can be rough. It can bring all of that pollen into your vents, along with the usual buildup of dust and grime. Get in there to make sure you’re getting fresh air. Don’t forget the dryer vent and exhaust duct. the lint trapped in there can be a fire hazard if not properly maintained.
  • Clean the Gutters – It may not be glamorous, but it needs done. If you didn’t do this one on your spring checklist, it’s time to do it now. Clean out any leaf buildup and standing water. In the short term, these attract mosquitos and other pests. In the long term, they can damage your gutters and pull the whole system away from your house.
  • Prep Water Systems – However you plan to water, figure it out and get your systems set up.
    • Check Hose and Faucets – A good starting point is to check hoses and exterior faucets for any leaks. Pinhole leaks in hoses can be repaired with electrical tape.
    • Plan Your Watering Schedule – Train your garden and lawn to endure dry days by watering deeply a few times per week to promote the growth of deep, strong roots.
    • Test Sprinkler Systems – If you have a sprinkler system, check to make sure all of the heads are in good shape and test before you plan to water to make sure there are no leaks in the underground system.
  • Check Your Deck – Examine your deck for signs of rotting and fix any nails that are pulling up, and check if you need to re-seal your deck by sprinkling water on the boards. If the water beads up, you’re fine. If it soaks right in, it’s time for a seal.
  • Analyze your Roof – Utah’s ever-changing weather can be hard on your home’s head. Get up on your roof (or have someone do it for you) to check for missing and loose shingles, mold, and anything else that looks unusual. It’s better to do small repairs every summer than have to replace the whole roof.
  • Spruce up the Siding – Peeling paint and chipped siding can allow all of those summertime bugs to get into your house. Walk around your house and look for any problem areas. If you clean up, paint and repair issues now, you can avoid bigger projects in the future.
  • Porch Polishing – Sweep porch floors and mop floorboards with all purpose cleaner.
  • Wash Windows – If you didn’t do it with your spring checklist, it’s time to do it now. Get your Windex ready.
  • Landscaping – Add a layer of mulch to keep weeds down and help the ground retain it’s moisture and deadhead your annuals and perennials.
  • Clean Your Grills – Everyone loves a good backyard BBQ. Make sure you’re ready by cleaning your grill before you need to use it.
    • Gas Grills – Turn your heat up to high and let the grill cook with the lid closed for 30 min. Allow the grill to cool, then brush off with a grill brush.  Don’t forget to clean out the drip pans.
    • Charcoal Grills – Empty the grill completely and wipe off any residue. Clean inside and out with hot water and liquid dish soap and leave to air-dry completely.
  • Keep the Dirt Away – Make sure to put out a doormat at all doors to make sure all that muck stays outside where it belongs.

 

Do you have any cleaning or maintenance tips that are prefect for summer? Share them with us in the comments below!

 

At Windermere Utah, we are proud to keep you up-to-date on the latest news, events, and listings. Be sure to keep checking back in here at the blog, and don’t forget to follow us on social media. 

 


Posted on April 30, 2020 at 10:52 pm
Matthew Sidford | Posted in Living | Tagged , , , ,

5 Small Things You Can Do to Improve Your Home Office

Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, many of us now find ourselves working from home. While it’s hard to complain about the commute, working from home can be an adjustment. For example, you may find yourself doing tasks around the house and suddenly you’ve missed several important emails. If you feel like you need some help being more productive while working from home, here are five tips to improve your workflow.
Add Light
The best kind of light is natural light. Try setting up your workspace by a window. If that’s not possible, add a desk lamp or floor lamp to brighten your space. Not only will it help with visibility; it brightens your mood, which helps you to be more productive.
Declutter
Remove distracting clutter. Take everything off your desk that you don’t need. Store it elsewhere or use shelves on your wall to display it.
If you find yourself cleaning throughout the day, set aside time specifically for these tasks. If you’re still waking up at the same time you did when working at the office—which studies show is a great strategy when working from home—using your would-be commute time to tidy up helps avoid those periodic distractions.
Bring the Outdoors In
Bringing plants into your home is beneficial for productivity and health alike. Greenery is a natural mood booster and gives life to a room. Plants naturally purify the air, helping you breathe easy as you make your way through the workday. Try arranging both hanging and potted plants to improve the mood around your workspace.
Change Your Chair 
A chair that’s too tall, too short, or not comfortable is a fast track to back and shoulder problems that inhibit your workday and linger afterwards. Being in a stationary position for hours at a time requires the right kind of support to stay productive. Features to look for in a quality office chair include proper lumbar support, sturdy wheels, and an adjustable base that allows your shoulders to relax and your feet to rest flat on the floor.
Add Decor
It’s important to keep your home office professional and dedicated to your work. However, adding personal touches to the space will help you feel at ease. Position your work computer and phone front and center with any related work tools close by and handy. Adding pictures of loved ones, artwork, and inspirational quotes will help inspire you to generate ideas while working productively.
At Windermere Utah, we are proud to keep you up-to-date on the latest news, events, and listings. Be sure to keep checking back in here at the blog, and don’t forget to follow us on social media.
Originally Posted in Living by Sandy Dodge

Posted on April 8, 2020 at 5:17 pm
Matthew Sidford | Posted in Living |

Recommendations for Stay-At-Home Reading

At Windermere Utah, we have found that our lives have been turned a bit upside-down over the last month.

Our offices are now closed, leaving us all working from home and adapting to our new normal of distancing and staying at home, only going our in public for the essentials when necessary.

We continue to serve you and your real estate needs from our home offices, using virtual technology to allow you to tour homes, complete consultations, and even close on your home remotely.

We understand that staying inside is challenging both physically and mentally. To help keep all of our spirits up, we wanted to share some good finds for your reading pleasure. Some may be helpful, informative, and some will be something to help us feel good.

 

 

  • An interview with Lynn Johnson, a photographer very close to Fred Rogers, featuring some wonderful photos of the man so many of us aspire to be more like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Windermere Utah, we are proud to keep you up-to-date on the latest news, events, and listings. Be sure to keep checking back in here at the blog, and don’t forget to follow us on social media.

 

 

 


Posted on March 31, 2020 at 8:53 pm
Matthew Sidford | Posted in Living | Tagged , , ,

Value For Your Money: Vacation Home or Income-Producing Investment?

Whether you’re a skier who loves the mountain slopes of Utah, a lover of the beaches of Southern California, or a potential retiree seeking to escape the snow-laden Northeast for the wide-open, sunny lands of Arizona, there are homes available to meet a wide range of budgets. The biggest decision a potential second homeowner must make is whether they are going to solely own their vacation home or turn it into a vacation rental. Here are the advantages and disadvantages to both options:

Investment Property Windermere Real Estate Utah

Investing in vacation rentals

  • Pros:
    • A good vacation rental property generally provides a healthy rental revenue which could potentially cover mortgage payments while also generating healthy additional profit.
    • Using an online short-term rental service like Airbnb makes it convenient to manage your rental property. Their website interface makes pricing, marketing, and communication with potential guests quite straightforward and easy. Airbnb will also oversee the billing process for you.
    • You may qualify for federal tax breaks and deductions related to your investment property. Everything from professional fees or commissions – including property management services- to cleaning and maintenance are potential tax write-offs.
  • Cons:
    • Vacation rentals can be costly to manage, both in terms of time and money. These properties may require seasonal upkeep and special maintenance considerations. You may even incur costs to maintain or monitor the property even when it’s not actively being utilized.
    • Vacation rental properties are particularly sensitive to seasonal fluctuations and economic downturns, which could leave you financially exposed if you suffer a lack of booking revenue.
    • Many states and cities are cracking down on short-term rental services. In California, for example, the fight has been primarily local, reaching a fever pitch in the San Francisco Bay Area. Increasingly state and local municipalities are seeking to reign in short-term vacation rentals, which could put a damper on potential revenue from these properties.
    • You may experience higher renovation and repair costs on a short-term rental. Most travelers expect the latest appliances and furnishings, so you will have to update every few years. Unfortunately, short-term renters are less likely to report any necessary repairs and guests are far less likely to treat the property with respect since there’s no sense of ownership or obligation.

 

Vacation Home Windermere Real Estate Utah

Owning a vacation home

  • Pros:
    • Long-term profits: While assets fluctuate in value in the short term, vacation properties are more likely to retain their value and appreciate because they are located in popular areas with a geographically limited supply.
    • Familiarity: Returning to the same place time and after time can be comforting as you become familiar and comfortable with the location. It allows you the freedom to be yourself and the opportunity to expand long-term friendships with residents.
    • Convenience: The ability to conveniently store items that are used exclusively at the second home simplifies travel and packing.
    • Retirement head starts: Though we may love where we work and live, every place has its drawbacks. A common goal of retirement is to have a place to retreat for the times of the year we dislike the most at our main residence. Locating and buying a second home prior to retirement enables you to experience the benefits of a refuge before actual retirement, a time to correct and amend your plans if the reality is different than the dream.
  • Cons:
    • Initial purchase costs: Most people have higher expectations for a property that they intend to own, rather than to rent. These expectations can translate into high prices.
    • Home maintenance: As the homeowner, you are responsible for all home maintenance work.
    • Travel time: A second home will be located hours from your primary residence, requiring either long auto trips or airline flights.
    • Inflexibility: If you are paying a significant amount of money each month for a second home, you may feel that you need to constantly visit the property to justify your investment.

 

Whatever you chose to go with, you can be sure that your favorite Windermere agent is there to help you every step of the way.

At Windermere Utah, we are proud to keep you up-to-date on the latest news, events, and listings. Be sure to keep checking back in here at the blog, and don’t forget to follow us on social media.

Originally posted in Buying by Meaghan McGlynn.


Posted on February 13, 2020 at 5:11 pm
Matthew Sidford | Posted in Living | Tagged , , ,

How to Know if it’s Time to Downsize

Choosing less space often has to do with a desire to live a life that’s simpler. Whether you’re retiring, want an eco-friendly, low-maintenance lifestyle or your children have moved away, downsizing might be the best option for you. Here are the advantages and disadvantages to consider before making the move and questions to begin asking yourself now.

 

Advantages

  • Increased cash flow.
    • Spend less on your mortgage payment and you are likely to have more money leftover for other needs or desires.
  • More time.
    • Cut down on time spent on household chores such as cleaning and vacuuming which will leave you with more hours in the day to do something more enjoyable.
  • Lower utility bills.
    • Costs less to heat and air condition a small home.
    • Less square footage decreases the amount of energy expended.
    • Reducing energy is better for the environment and it helps keep your home green.
  • Reduced consumption.
    • You would likely buy less since you won’t necessarily have the room for it.
  • Minimized stress.
    • Homeowners who have successfully downsized often feel happier because they are no longer overwhelmed by the demands of a larger home.
    • Less responsibility, less housework to do, increased cash flow and flexibility equals reduced stress.

Image Source: Shutterstock 

Disadvantages

  • Fewer belongings.
    • Moving into a smaller space would mean you would need to give away or donate furniture, books, kitchen supplies, etc.
  • No room for guests.
    • Hosting holiday dinners might be out of the question for a smaller home.
  • Space restrictions.
    • Less space means you could feel cramped.
  • Lifestyle changes.
    • For long-term homeowners, downsizing means changing a lifestyle.

 

What to consider before downsizing

These questions are important to ask yourself because for some people, downsizing may not be the best option for them.

  1. Does size matter to me?
    1. Think about how much your identity is wrapped in your house.
    2. Is it important for you to have a guest room or a second bathroom?
  2. Will I miss some important things about a more spacious home?
    1. Will moving into a smaller home feel like a step backward?
  3. How will other life events affect my living in a smaller home?
    1. Consider possible scenarios you may not expect such as adult children moving back home or if you plan to add a child.

 

The Cost to You

  1. How much will it cost to replace the furniture?
    1. When you move into a smaller home this means you might have to downsize your furniture to make room.
  2. How much will it cost to get rid of the stuff I don’t need or won’t fit?
    1. It’s important to have a plan for how you’re going to sell or give away the things you don’t need.
    2. Consider things like family heirlooms. What are you going to do with all your antiques or treasures that your smaller home may not be able to accommodate?
  3. How much will I get when I sell my current home, and will it help cover the cost of buying my new home?

 

If you know downsizing is the right option for you, you’re probably asking yourself, “Should I sell first and then buy or buy first and then sell?”. When you’re ready to discuss your options, talk to an experienced Real Estate Agent. 

Originally posted on the Windermere Blog, in Buying and Selling by Meaghan McGlynn


Posted on January 22, 2020 at 8:31 pm
Matthew Sidford | Posted in Living, Market Trends | Tagged , , ,

Will There Be A Recession in 2020? Here’s Matthew Gardner’s Outlook

Windermere Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, answers the most pressing question on everyone’s minds: Will there be a recession in 2020? Here’s what he expects to see.

At Windermere Utah, we are proud to keep you up-to-date on the latest news, events, and listings. Be sure to keep checking back in here at the blog, and don’t forget to follow us on social media.


Posted on January 13, 2020 at 7:29 pm
Matthew Sidford | Posted in Community, Living, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

Winter is Coming, and It’s Time to Prep Your Home

In the big, long list of things that you absolutely have to remember in your day-to-day life, it’s very easy to let home maintenance take a back seat. Don’t feel bad – we all do it. But when it comes to winter home maintenance, you really don’t want to take any risks. In an effort to save you and your home from costly repairs, we wanted to share this excellent and comprehensive list of reminders, originally published in the Washington Post, so that you can enjoy the coming winter months with comfort and peace of mind.

Winter Weather Windermere Real Estate Utah

Check your home’s heating and air conditioning system

Most heating and air systems typically last 12 to 15 years. I see systems that are pretty much dead at 10 years and I see systems that are still going strong at 20 years. A lot of this has to do with how they’re maintained.

Before the weather turns cold, take this time to change your filters, at the very least. I recommend having the system inspected by a reputable HVAC contractor. Better yet, look into an annual maintenance agreement. Have the contractor check your system and make sure your heat is going to work when you need it. It’s much better to find an HVAC problem in the moderate temperatures of the fall than it is to find your furnace doesn’t work on a frigid winter day.

Paint, caulk and seal exterior wood

All of the wood trim on the exterior of your home needs to be protected from the elements. The wood used on your deck is typically a pressure-treated or rot-resistant species of wood, but the wood trim around your exterior doors and windows is just a one-inch-thick pine board that deteriorates very quickly if not protected. I see a lot of rotten wood around the outside of bay windows and exterior doors.

Replacing this trim is a big cost and pain and even professionals can struggle with making the repair look good. The best thing to do is to make sure it doesn’t rot in the first place, and that means keeping it painted and caulked. This is a job most people can do themselves if they stay on top of it. Once the wood is rotted and requires replacement, then you’re probably going to need to hire a good trim carpenter to tackle the job. So before that happens, take the time to go around your home and make sure that none of the caulk is cracking and your paint is not chipping and flaking away. If it is, scrape away the bad paint or caulk and apply fresh.

Even though your deck is made of treated or rot-resistant wood, it still needs protection. You don’t need to stain and seal your deck every year but check it to make sure it’s protected. To do this, simply pour some water on it. If the water beads up, then you’re good. If the wood absorbs the water, it’s time to clean and seal your deck.

Seal your masonry and hard surfaces

Your patio needs attention, too. If you have a concrete patio, driveways or walkways, make sure they’re protected as well. Occasionally apply a concrete sealer to all of your flat exterior concrete surfaces. All concrete flatwork eventually develops cracks. Good masons strategically place control joints in your concrete to try to ensure cracking is limited. Take the time to inspect your concrete and fill in any cracks before you apply sealer so that water cannot get in and freeze over the winter. This should ensure your expensive concrete work lasts a very long time.

If you have an asphalt driveway, now is the time to think about resealing that as well. It’s not very expensive to have a company come and give it a quick spray of sealer, or you can simply buy a bucket of sealer and roll it on yourself. If your driveway has developed cracks, then patch those before sealing.

Winter Weather Windermere Real Estate Utah

Check your drainage

Make sure the soil around your foundation hasn’t settled, creating areas for water to pool at your foundation. If you find a low spot, simply fill it in with some soil. Then go around and check your rain gutter downspouts. Make sure water is getting moved away from the home. Add downspout extenders if necessary. Saturated soil around a foundation can create real problems as it freezes and thaws throughout the winter months.

Clean your gutters

Once the leaves are pretty much off the trees, it’s time to clean those gutters. When your gutters back up, they overflow, and when they overflow, that water runs down your home, speeding up the deterioration of your exterior. It can also lead to deterioration of your foundation, water infiltration in the basement and to settling under your concrete porches and walks, which creates all kinds of problems.

Clean your chimney and order firewood

Have your fireplace cleaned and inspected before you start building those cozy fires in the next couple of months. A good chimney sweep company will make sure the fireplace is safe to use, and it can also identify maintenance problems.

This is also the time to order that load of firewood. Take the time to stack and cover that wood in a good location in the yard. Make sure that old firewood isn’t rotten and move it away from your home.

Winter Weather Windermere Real Estate Utah

Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Winter is the time most house fires happen. It’s the time of year when we’re blasting the furnace and building fires. We are also much more likely to have our home closed up tight, so carbon monoxide is a much bigger hazard. Check all of your smoke detectors to make sure they are working and that they have good batteries. If your home is not equipped with carbon monoxide detectors, consider getting some. The HVAC inspection will also ensure your furnace and water heater are properly vented, which is the most likely source of carbon monoxide.

Shut down the pool and the sprinkler system and drain outside faucets

Make sure your pool is properly shut down and prepare the system for winter. I think it’s worth the costs of getting an expert to inspect and shut down the system, even if you’re a do-it-yourselfer the rest of the year. Fall is a good time to get pool work done if a problem is discovered. Pool contractors tend to get busy in the spring.

Make sure your sprinkler system is properly shut down for the season. Most sprinkler systems require the lines to be blown out. Again, it’s well worth the cost for a professional. A professional winterizing is way cheaper than replacing a bunch of broken lines next spring.

Your outside water faucet is completely unprotected from the elements. It will freeze over the winter, and I’ve seen them split the water line well inside the home, flooding the basement. In less extreme cases, I see outside faucets develop nasty leaks. Take the time to do a basic drain of the line. You can simply shut off the water valve to your outside spigot, then go outside and open the exterior spigot valve and let the water drain out of the line. You don’t have to get every drop out. Now if the water in there freezes, it has plenty of room to expand without breaking pipes or seals. Leave the water shut off to the faucet until you need to use the hose next spring.

Prepare your lawn for winter and set it up for a great spring

If you want that beautiful spring lawn, you have to give it attention in the fall. New grass does not grow when it’s too hot or too cold. If you want new grass to grow, you really only have September and October, then April and May to do it. If you neglect the fall, then you’ve cut your time in half. There are differing opinions on when you should overseed. I prefer fall. Once the heat breaks, your lawn can get some great growing time. So around late September, aerate the lawn and overseed it. Then in about late October or November, apply fertilizer with winterizer.

winter weather Windermere Real Estate Utah

Check your trees

Before all of the leaves fall, take a look at your trees and make sure they’re still healthy, especially trees that could fall on your home or a neighbor’s home. Don’t think a dying tree will be obvious. Sometimes you really won’t notice, especially if you have a lot of trees. At one of my properties, I noticed a couple of dead trees, and I had them cut down. Later, a neighbor pointed out a tree that was dead that I never noticed. Fall isn’t a good time to trim your trees, but if there are branches up against your house, it’s a good idea to trim them away before winter so you don’t have ice-coated branches against your siding or windows.

Make sure your attic doesn’t become a critter hotel

It’s going to get cold out and your attic is the perfect winter home for squirrels and birds. These critters can cause a lot of damage and potentially some heath problems. Make sure your trees are trimmed well away from the house, and make sure your gable vents are intact. It’s a good idea to tack a screen up behind your gable vent just in case. Also walk around your home and look up at your soffit and fascia. Make sure there are no holes that will allow birds to get in.

Do a quick energy audit

If you’ve never had one, a professional energy audit is a good investment. But fall is also a good time just to check your door seals. Make sure you’re not seeing daylight around your exterior doors, and take a can of spray foam insulation and fill in around those drafty outlets and light switches.

Prep your expensive lawn and yard care equipment

Before you put your lawn equipment away for the season, drain the gas. Gas goes bad, and come springtime old gas can gunk up your fuel filters and make your equipment run sickly. I pour my shed gas can into my vehicles and get fresh gas in the spring. You can also just put a fuel stabilizer into the gas if you want to keep it on hand.

Your weed eater probably uses two-stroke gas so you can’t put that into your car. It’s best to plan for that early and make sure you don’t have a lot of fuel left over at the end of the year. Plan to do one really good trim job at the end of the season to run the fuel out of the weed eater.

If you used your pressure washer this year, then make sure the gas is out of that as well. Run some pump-protecting antifreeze through the system. There is a special product just for this. All this equipment is expensive; take the time to protect it.

Winter Weather Windermere Real Estate Utah

Cover your patio furniture

Get your patio furniture protected, but make sure you wait until a clear, warm day to cover it so you don’t trap moisture on it.

Prepare for snow removal

Dig out the snowblower and fire it up before the big one hits. Make sure it’s ready for that snowy morning. If it’s not, then get it repaired now. Also take inventory of your salt and shovel situation. You know you won’t be able to find a shovel after the big snowstorm hits.

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Posted on October 22, 2019 at 11:20 pm
Matthew Sidford | Posted in Living | Tagged , , , , ,