St George Health Care

St George Health Care is among the finest in the country. In a Consumer Reports article St George area Dixie Regional Medical Center is ranked #7 in the country. This recognition is well deserved. Every time I have had anything to do with Dixie Regional Medical Center they have done a great job. Recently both of my parents passed away, one in Dixie Regional, and one in follow up rehab following a visit there. They were treated with professionalism and sincere concern. Nat’l Hospital Ratings The attached link also shows there are a few other hospitals in Utah ranked nationally.

We are lucky to not only live in such a beautiful place, but to have so many great resources available to us. We live in an area that people travel from across the world to see. Our National Parks are truly breath taking and known throughout the world.

The Real Estate market in Southern Utah continues to be active right now. Our inventory is still a little low, creating a sellers market. Several of the homes I have listed recently have sold in less than 2 weeks. If you have thought of selling your home, give me a call. I will help you decide if it is a good idea to make a move now or wait.

Interest rates are still at their lowest point in years. If you think you might want to move, but are waiting for some reason, you might want to think more seriously about moving. Lower interest rates mean lower payments which means you can get more house for the same payment as a more expensive house when rates go back up. Call now for a free home evaluation.

 

Cottam Cove

Cottam Cove is a new subdivision in the St George Real Estate market. It is located on River Road across from Mr.D’s market, homes are priced from $269,000. They feature what is called the modern prairie design inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. The entire neighborhood is designed with straight lines and sharp corners. From the landscaping down to the interior walls everything features a clean crisp look. Many items that are considered extras from other builders are included in our homes making Cottam Cove a great choice. Here are some of the standard items that may be considered an upgrade at other builders.

INTERIOR:

• Vaulted master bedroom or family room (per plan)

• “Holy Smooth” textured walls w/ rounded corners

• One-tone paint with one accent feature wall

• Multiple choices for interior door style

• Custom wood window sills

• Designer half wall at stair locations

• Tile flooring for entry, kitchen, baths

and laundry

• Nickle finish lighting package & hardware

• Chrome Moen Chateau double handle bath

plumbing fixtures

• Chrome Moen Integra kitchen sink faucet

• Decora light switches

• Space saver MDF closet shelving

• Designer laminate countertops for baths, kitchen

• Pedestal Sink in half bath (per plan)

• Sterling Ensemble bath/shower surround for main

(32”) & master bath (42” per plan)

• Washer/dryer utility pan with drain (community specific)

• Designer cabinets including hardware,

full depth shelves, 42“ upper cabinets,

natural maple melamine interiors

• Appliance package:

electric smooth top range, dishwasher, and

under-cabinet hood (black or white)

When it comes to Standard Features, Wright Homes knows that there is not a one size fits all,

so you are welcome to personalize your home in our design center.

Design your home WRIGHT!

*Wright Homes reserves the right to modify or change the floor plans, home specifications, designs, features, options, prices or terms without notice.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY:

• 90% efficiency furnace (sized per home)

• Energy-conserving R-15 “Blown in Blanket”

wall insulation, R-38 blown in ceiling insulation

• Energy-efficient windows with low E glass

• Central Air (13 Seer)

• 50 gallon energy efficient natural gas water heater

SMART OPTIONS:

• Two dual packs (internet & cable)

• Smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors

• 2” conduit from basement to attic for future wiring

(only in two story homes)

• Satellite pre-wire to the attic

EXTERIOR:

• Therma-Tru fiberglass front & exterior doors with

dead bolt locks

• Exterior finish package includes stucco, fiber

cement board, and brick (see agent for details)

• 30-year architectural asphalt shingles

• Seamless full rain gutters

• Two exterior weather proof electrical outlets

• Two exterior “freeze-free” hose bibs

• Two-car garage with exterior lighting

• Garage door w/ opener and remote controls

• Concrete patio (size per plan)

• Hardi Elevation Accents

• Front landscape

• Granite Kitchen and bath countertops

• 9’ ceiling per plan

• Bronze or nickel finishes

• MB sep/tub shower tile tub splash

• LVP flooring for entry, kitchen bath

and laundry

• Upgraded appliances with micro-hood

• 42” cabinet uppers in the kitchen

Before you decide on a lower priced home, make sure you will not be paying for the items mentioned above that are included with our St George Real Estate area Cottam Cove homes. Another great incentive is the 1% contribution toward closing costs by using our preferred lender. We are open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 to 5:00 p.m. Come by and take a look. We currently have two completed spec homes that we would love to make a deal on. If you are in the market for a new home, or just curious what is going on, drop in.

Parade of Homes

One of my favorite times of the year in St George is February and the parade of homes. I am not a big fan of winter, cold, or dreary days. I have always considered February the beginning of Spring in Southern Utah. I believe that is what makes the St George Real Estate Market attractive to so many people. I know it is not the official start of Spring, but in my mind, it is close enough. When the inversion is bad in northern Utah, it seems like we have a larger pool of interested buyers this time of year.

It is exciting to watch the contractors hurrying to put the final touches on their new creations. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the parade. Ticket prices are $15.00 and tickets can be purchased online, or at Lin’s Grocery, and the Red Cliffs mall. The price might seem a little steep, but if you consider how many hours of entertainment you get, prices are not that bad.

When I work with buyers from out of town, many have never heard of the Parade of Homes. Once I explain the concept to them they really like the idea. I know that the parade is not unique to the St George Real Estate market, as there is also a Parade of Homes for the Wasatch Front. I am not sure if other states have similar events or not? If you have never participated in the parade give me a call and I will guide you through the process.

Buy A House With No Money Down

Unlike some of the late night infomercials, it really is possible to purchase a home with little or no money down in the St George Real Estate Market. If you are open to a home in the Hurricane, or Ivins, and most surrounding smaller towns, it is possible to get in with no money down. There is a Federal Loan product available in the Southern Utah real estate market known as USDA or RDA. This helps people that have not been able to save up for a down payment. The loan has been around for quite a while but many people are not familiar with it. It was designed to help build smaller more rural areas by offering incentives for people to live there.

What About Closing Costs?

If a person is able to qualify for a rural house loan in the Southern Utah housing market, they will still have to pay about 2.75% closing costs. Most people who don’t have a down payment saved will more than likely not have money for closing costs. While 2.75% sounds insignificant, on a home price of $180,000 that translates to almost $5,000. In our St George area real estate market it is not unusual for the person buying a home to ask the seller to pay for closing costs. This means that the buyer’s closing costs are paid for by the seller and the downpayment is paid for by the Federal USDA program. This is a savings of over $10,000, making home ownership available to a lot of people that may not even know they could qualify.

Other Expenses

There are some other expenses associated with purchasing a home in our Southern Utah real estate market. One expense that is over looked is the appraisal fee which is usually about $500. Our preferred lender First Colony Mortgage will pay for the appraisal when someone uses them for their USDA loan. This also reduces the out of pocket money that is usually due at closing paid by the new home buyer. Another expense that is often overlooked by people buying real estate in the St George area is the home inspection. Home inspections are a great way to avoid jumping into a mistake, or buying a home that may have problems. If there are minor issues found in the home inspection, the home seller will usually pay to have them fixed. In a lot of instances, the items needing repair will offset the cost of the inspection

Home Warranty

Another component of a home sale that is sometimes overlooked is the home warranty. A home warranty is usually about $500. A home warranty should be part of every transaction in our St George Real Estate market. The warranty can prevent the home seller from fielding calls from the home buyer about issues they may have known about and not disclosed. It also safeguards the home buyer from replacing something that stops working as soon as they move in. In conclusion, a home warranty can be requested with the request for home seller to pay closing costs. This piece of the puzzle paid for by the home seller, reduces any money due from the home buyer. In some cases this could make home ownership as inexpensive as renting a home. Call today let’s get started.

Price is Right in St George Real Estate Market

photo 2 How do you know the Price is Right in St George Real Estate Market? Pricing a home for sale is really not as easy as it may seem, especially in the St George real estate market. It may surprise some people to learn that pricing a home is not an exact science. There is also something to be said about a buyer buying on emotion and chemistry when they find a home they like. In my opinion people select homes on how they feel when they are in the neighborhood, and ultimately in the house they choose. A lot of time buyers in the St George real estate market will say, “this house just feels right”. I have heard this described as the Goldilocks syndrome. Some houses are too big, some are too small, and some are just right.

Emotions and St George Real Estate

Buying a house is an emotional event. The difference between an investor and a person looking to buy a home is the emotional component. When an investor is researching a new rental, typically if the numbers work, they will buy the house. When a home owner in the St George real estate market is looking for a home to live in, emotions are definitely a factor. This goes back to the house must be in the right location, and feel right. Smart home buyers can remove themselves from the emotional side, and select 2 or 3 homes to choose from. If all 3 are acceptable, they will more than likely get a better price on the home they choose than selecting only one and working to get it . This is because they would be happy in any of their choices. By using this strategy they can almost pit sellers against each other to see who will give them the best deal. When a person gets emotionally attached to one house, they will more than likely do what, and pay whatever it takes to secure the house.

The Price is Right

Back to my opening concept. If pricing a home were an exact science there would never be any disputes about what a persons house should sell for, or what a person should pay for a house. Unfortunately it is not an exact science, it is more of an art. Of course there are a lot of factors that become part of the comparative price analysis that helps establish a selling price. These factors are not new, they include, location, condition, age, and amenities. By amenities I don’t mean what is offered in the HOA, but things like granite counter tops, stainless appliance, and hard wood floors to mention a few. These are the variables. It would be easy if there were a standard pricing calculation that included price per square foot and age of the home, but there are quite a few more pieces of the puzzle. As I mentioned earlier, condition is a huge factor. Again there is not an exact figure that can be attached to condition. Condition of homes in the St George real estate area, and every market are subject to interpretation. What is nice to some people, may be unacceptable to another person. And therein lies the problem. One agent may think that a property is nice, and another agent may think it is terrible. That is when we have to use discretion. It is also interesting to note that if a person were to ask three different agents what a home would sell for, they would probably get three different answers. They would probably be close, but more than likely different. People may not realize that ERA offers a program where we will buy their home if we can not sell it?

St George Area House Hunting

St George Area House Hunting can be challenging. Most people have a general idea of what they would like in a home, and some have a very specific list of “must haves”. Personally I like the challenge of helping people find their dream home. In the last few months the inventory of homes in the St George real estate MLS has increased. This makes it a great time to get a good deal on a new home. When people compete for business it usually translates to better prices for the consumer. The best analogy for this is the automobile industry. When people are shopping for a car, if they only have 2 to choose from they may not get a very good deal. If they have 20 to choose from they can be very selective, and get dealers to lower their price out of fear of losing a sale. This is true in the St George Real Estate market also. With the number of houses nearing 2000 in the Washington County MLS buyers can be selective and offer lower prices.

St George Real Estate Market Forecast

May was a good indication of the current trend in our local market. There were about 30 price decreases every day in May. The reason people typically reduce their price is, they are area realizing that they may not be able to sell at the price they have their home listed at.

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Another factor to consider when evaluating the overall St George Real Estate market is what is known as the absorption rate. This is the number of houses it would take us 6 months to sell at our current monthly sales rate. The graph shows the dramatic increase in homes for sale, and the absorption rate. The St George Real Estate market typically hovers around 6 months inventory. While it looks like a fairly small increase on the graph it is a fairly substantial increase in inventory.

These two graphs tell a story. People that study numbers for a living believe we are headed for more of the same. This may sound a little scary, especially given the recent history and the devastation created by the real estate bubble. Many people suffered financial devastation when the last real estate bubble popped. The difference with this slow down and the big crash is the spike preceding the slow down is not as large. The gradual increase we have experienced over the last few years appears to be sustainable.

Pricing Homes For Sale

In the last few months we have priced homes anticipating that the growth and increase in values would continue. I believe we will need to be a little more conservative moving forward to avoid building false hopes in the clients who list with us. The statistics don’t lie and I believe it is the agents responsibility to stay informed of trends, and to educate those we work. Personally, I would rather lose a listing than have it expire because it was priced too high from the beginning. Pricing a home is easy, pricing a home to sell is a little more of a challenge.

Listings Are Up

Listings are up!

Listings are up in the St George area!

Recently we have seen a major up turn in the number of listings on our local MLS in the St George Real Estate market. In December the listings were below 240 in January they neared 700. One factor is the Parade of Homes. Many people trying to sell their homes are hoping to catch a little of the momentum from the influx of buyers that come to the parade. It is estimated that nearly 40,000 people migrate to St George each year to see the parade. Many of those who come are also trying to get out of the cold and smog of northern Utah. It is a great time to sell a home, but with the increase in listings it is also an even better time to buy a home in the St George Real Estate Market.

 

More Competition For Sellers

As with any type of commodity, more competition is a good thing. When there are a limited number of homes on the market, sellers can be a little more demanding. With an increase in listings in the St George Real Estate Market buyers now have a slight advantage. I would not say that it is a buyers market at this point, but the jump in new listings doesn’t hurt those trying to make a good deal on a home purchase. This increase also changes the way sellers may price their home. When things are more competitive sellers and their agents will have a tendency to price homes a little more conservatively. The easiest analogy to explain this is the a grocery store. When one store decides to reduce the cost of milk other stores are forced to follow or they will lose business. It is true that a home is not a business, but the principle is the same.

St George Real Estate Listings

Listing in the St George Real Estate market have close to doubled, which is not a bad thing. Our inventory was very low for the last few months, and most of last year. The increase is a welcome change to people interested in moving to the St George area. Not only is the selection of homes better, but the ability to negotiate is also better. Building permits are still on the increase and the future still looks good for real estate in the St George Real Estate Market. There is another factor that may be coming into play in our local St George Real Estate market. The number of real estate agents in the St George area have increased from around 600 up to about 900. This increase is also more than likely having an effect on the number of listings in the St George Real Estate market.

In My Opinion

I personally believe the most people who come to the area to look at the homes on Parade, are coming to do just that. Most people do not block out a week to see the parade of homes. Most people that come to look at the St George Real Estate area Parade of Homes will more than likely only spend a weekend or a few days. With 28 homes to see, there really isn’t much time left over to look at existing homes.

Agents And Agency

Many people do not understand all of the hoopla that agents make about Agents and Agency. Agency is a legal term that basically means you have hired someone to work with and for you. Associated with the term agent are terms like Fiduciary Responsibility. This big term means that your real estate agent has certain duties that he or she must perform to help you as you buy or sell your home.

In the St George Real Estate market and throughout the state Agents representing the seller have the following responsibilities. The description below comes from a form created by the Utah Association of Realtors. It explains that the Listing Agent has a responsibility to help you the St George Real Estate market home seller, and the agent also is expected to be honest and fair with potential buyers.

SELLER’S AGENTS AND AGENCY

A real estate agent who lists a seller’s property for sale (“Seller’s Agent”), acts as the agent for the seller only, and has fiduciary duties of loyalty, full disclosure, confidentiality and reasonable care to that seller. In practical terms, the seller hires a Seller’s Agent to locate a buyer and negotiate a transaction with terms favorable to the seller. Although the Seller’s Agent has these fiduciary duties to the seller, the Seller’s Agent is, by law, responsible to all prospective buyers to treat them with honesty, fair dealing, and with good faith.

When you are looking for a home in the St George Real Estate Market the agent you choose to work with is bound by similar terms. Here is the description from the same Utah State approved form.

BUYER’S AGENT

A real estate agent that acts as agent for the buyer only (“Buyer’s Agent”) has the same fiduciary duties to that buyer that a Seller’s Agent has to the seller. In practical terms, the buyer hires a Buyer’s Agent to locate a suitable property and negotiate a transaction with terms favorable to the buyer. Although the Buyer’s Agent has these fiduciary duties to the buyer, the Buyer’s Agent is, by law, responsible to all prospective sellers to treat them with honesty, fair dealing, and with good faith.

As you can see St George Real Estate agents and agents everywhere are expected to assist home buyers and sellers, in an honest and forthright way. If you are looking for a home, it is a good idea to make sure the home you are interested in is still available. You can easily do this by visiting our local MLS. This link provides up to date information about the homes in the St George Real Estate market. Many people like to use Zillow and Trulia, which is fine. After you have identified a home on one of these sites check here to make sure it is still available.

2014 Parade of Homes

Plan now to attend the 2014 Parade of Homes.

Every year in February Washington County comes alive with nearly 30,000 visitors. The Washington County Parade of homes has become a tradition for many people from northern Utah, and other surrounding areas. Builders are currently busily engaged putting the final touches on their homes. If you have never attended the Washington County Parade of Home you should make plans to attend this year. The Parade runs for 10 days, the 14th through the 23rd this year, providing plenty of time to see the 28 homes being featured. The fabulous selection of homes is never a disappointment for those who take the time to visit them.

For many people in Northern Utah, the Washington County Parade of Homes is an excuse to leave the inversion, travel to St George, and dream about moving to sunny southern Utah. For some the dream becomes a reality when they purchase one of these trophy homes. For years after the parade of homes, some listings may include the phrase “former parade home”. These homes can bring a little more than a non parade home because people expect more from a parade home. This can make buying a parade home a good investment.

Parade of Home Vendors

Another side benefit from the Washington Parade of Homes are the vendors selling the latest and greatest in home improvements. This forum provides a way for vendors to display and explain new products that can be used in any home. Some home designers attend the parade to get new ideas for home decorating. The parade in one sense sets the trend for home decor for the upcoming year. Ideas for home staging can also be gleaned from the parade. People considering selling their homes can imitate concepts and decorating ideas from looking at the professionally staged homes. New paint colors and combinations can give an older home a new feel.

Washington County Parade of Homes Tickets can be purchase online by visiting this site, or purchased at local sponsors located on the Parade of Homes website. Tickets are $15.00 and they are good for the entire 10 days. There are several re-look opportunities providing parade goers to look at their favorite houses again.

Parade Time is a Good Time to Sell

One side benefit of the Washington County Parade of Homes are the “non parade” listed homes that sell during the parade. As we have mentioned previously, people in Northern Utah love to visit the St George area. It is not unusual for parade goers to buy a non parade home while they are in the area for the parade of homes. This provides an opportunity for people considering selling their home to get them listed prior to the parade. Not everyone can afford a parade home, but they “can” afford to buy a home. This opens the door for non parade homes to sell. If you are considering selling your home, this can be a great time to test the market.

Help Me Sell My House

If you have asked yourself, “can anyone help me sell my house”? The answer is yes. Previously I wrote about the importance of fresh paint and new carpet when trying to sell a home. If you want some additional ideas about selling your house in the St George Real Estate market, you may consider jazzing up the curb appeal of your home. One of the most obvious to improve your curb appeal is to clean your windows until they shine! Clean windows are indicative of the way a home is taken care of. Screens with holes in them and dirty windows are sometimes the first impression potential buyers may see. These are such easy problems to remedy, it doesn’t make sense not to take care of them.

Invest A Little


If you really want to make a difference with the first impression your house gives you may consider installing some window boxes. These are relatively easy to add, and can be done in most cases at a fairly low cost. There are plenty of places within the St George Real Estate market to help with this project. There are several websites that offer help for homeowners engaging in a do it yourself project, not the least or which is DIY. The addition of window boxes will allow you to add some color to the front of your home. It may not seem like a big deal, but some flowers really add to the appeal of the home. Not only are flowers in window boxes a nice addition, it is a good idea to clean up landscaping in the front yard. New bark or ground cover and some flowers can also be planted to freshen things up. Most local big box stores are very helpful when you are looking to begin a project like this. I like Lowes, but Home Depot is also very helpful for the do it yourselfer.

Add Some Shutters

Another inexpensive way to dress up your St George Real Estate is the addition of some shutters. Like other home improvement projects it is a good idea to measure the area you are interested in working on. It might even be a good idea to take some photo’s for reference on your smart phone. Armed with this information you can head to your local hardware store. You may also want to search online for shutters. It is always a good idea to get a few prices online, it will help when you actually get ready to purchase. Some stores may even match online prices. There are several types of shutters including color variations. You may want to take a sample of your exterior to match the shutters you are selecting. Some shutters can be painted or stained, making the color combinations endless. It is usually a good idea to keep colors more neutral to appeal to a wider variety of potential home buyers. The St George Real Estate market is pretty competitive even when it comes to for sale by owners.  It is a good idea to make your home look better than others in your price range.