Utah Local Tax Rates

Utah Local Tax Rates

Being number 1 is not always a good thing. In this Graph Utah is listed at number 12 in the nation. In 2015 the same graph indicated that Utah was number 41. This represents a significant increase in taxes being charged.

This Graph is from the Tax Foundation. It is interesting to see how states tack up agains each other. Often times in Utah we are compared to Nevada. Some people believe that because Nevada has legalized gambling that their taxes are lower there than in Utah. According to this graph that is not true. The overall tax rate in Nevada is significantly higher, and the 13th highest in the country. Tennessee is ranked the highest in the country with 9.46%. The small print below the graph explains in more detail how the creators of the graph have tried to make things equal. As with anything the graph is left to interpretation.

ERA Home Fusion

ERA Home Fusion is a new way to list a home. The program is very helpful for people trying to sell their home. ERA Home Fusion utilizes all of the latest technology and information to maximize the listing. I believe that the Home Fusion Program sets ERA apart from our competition. This short video on You Tube is a fun explanation of how ERA’s Home Fusion Works. It is no surprise the number of people that begin their home search online. By using this important piece of information we have built an entire platform around modern technology. Another important piece of ERA’s Home Fusion is professional photography. Since most people begin their search online, it only makes sense that they see your home in the best possibly light.

ERA Home Fusion

Another important component of the Home Fusion program are what we refer to as “Smart Signs”. Smart signs are placed in front of every listing that ERA has. Part of the sign includes a number for people to text while they are sitting in front of the house. This allows me to set up a time to show the house, and follow up with any potential buyers.

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.

St George Area Homes Under $200,000

St George Area Homes Under $200,000If you are looking for homes priced under $200,000 in the St. George area. I can send you a list. There are still some nice homes available and priced under $200,000.

Final Walk Through

The Final Walk Through. This is phrase that refers to a person walking through a new home they are purchasing. The final walk through is when a buyer takes a very close look at a property they are buying. The purpose of this inspection is to identify any thing that needs to be fixed prior to settlement. The list can be pretty exhaustive. the contractor is usually there with a note pad in hand, and roll of blue tape. A small piece of blue tape is placed on the area that is in need of attention. We have included some items ideas of types of things to look for.

 

  1. Landscaping, any dead plants, dying grass, signs of broken sprinklers

  2. Concrete work, driveways and sidewalks, splatters on stucco or exterior walls

  3. Paint over spray both inside and outside of the house

  4. Doors close and open properly, spacing around door frame, does the door drag on the carpet

  5. Ring door bell(s)

  6. Check all electrical outlets, switches, and lights

  7. Try all garage door openers, make sure sensors stop garage door as designed

  8. Finish work specifically, wood trim, molding work, door jams.

  9. Check for any cracks in floor tile, or stains on the carpet

  10. Test all appliances

  11. Examine granite for cracks or chips

  12. Examine cabinet doors and drawers to see if they open and close properly

  13. See that sinks drain quickly and don’t leak

  14. See that hot water is coming through faucets and showers and flush toilets

  15. Assure that hand railings are solidly secured

  16. Open and close all windows, make sure screens are in place, look for cracks in windows

  17. Where applicable look in crawl spaces for adequate insulation, any water leaks etc.

  18. Turn on A/c or heat, (some home inspectors say it is not good to turn heat on directly after a/c has been on)

  19. Look at walls and ceilings, check for cracks or missing paint

  20. Try all keys on all locks

This list becomes critical if the builder has not be totally forthright. Reasonable items on the final walk through list must be dealt with prior to settlement or a lien may be placed, or funds withheld from closing until items on the checklist completed. This list may actually become part of the agreement. It is typical that the selling agent is present at the final walk through. It is also a good idea for the buyers agent to attend. The agents work is not completed until after closing.

Home Warranty

Many contractors offer a home warranty on the homes they sell. If not, there are plenty of great home warranties available. The reason we mention this here is to alleviate some stress associated with purchasing a new home. If something was overlooked on the final walk through there is a chance that it might be covered with the warranty. Most builders want happy customers, so they will work closely with the new home owner to make sure they are completely satisfied.

For Sale By Owner

Pricing Your Home Correctly

For Sale By Owner and Pricing Your Home Correctly.

In an effort to save money some people try to sell their home on their own. This is referred to as “For Sale By Owner” or in the industry FSBO. In order to sell your home it is important to know what other similar type homes are selling for. These homes are your “competition”, in any type of sales it is good to know what your competition is. Let’s say your home is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 car garage, 2000 square feet built in 2006. There is another very similar house in your neighborhood that is listed for $200,000. You would like to sell your house for $250,000; which home will sell first? We can help you establish a price by looking at what your competition is. Give us a call and we will be happy to assist you at no cost.

Appraisal Hurdles

Most buyers are going to need to get financing to purchase a home. All lenders will require an appraisal by an independent appraiser. If the home does not appraise for the agreed sales price, the buyer will need to come up with extra money or the seller will need to drop their price. In most cases neither buyer nor seller have any extra money to make the deal happen. When selling a home on your own, it is a good idea to have the buyer submit a pre qualification letter along with their offer. If the potential purchase is hinged on the buyer obtaining financing, this can be a very important step.

Use An Attorney

Another suggestion to help with the sell of your home is the use of a qualified attorney to help with the paperwork. Since this may be the largest transaction in your lifetime, an attorney can assist with the details of the sale to make sure you don’t lose more money than you are saving on your FSBO. If an attorney is used prior to closing the deal, the legal expense will be greatly reduced, rather than hiring one to come in after the deal and try to correct any mistakes. Some attorneys routinely help with real estate, and have a set rate for reviewing the transaction. It will definitely cost less to pay up front than to hire an attorney to begin a law suit. Many attorneys will ask for a $10,000 retainer to open a lawsuit. This makes the paperwork review cost of $1,000 or even less seem insignificant.

What Goes? What Stays?

A issue that should also be considered when selling a home are the items that will be left and taken by the seller when they leave. A good example are the drapes, light fixtures, refrigerator, stove, landscaping items, etc. etc. There have been no shortage of law suits regarding items taken or left behind in a real estate transactions. Yes, left behind; items like old cars, non working refrigerators, tires, 55 gallon barrels filled with who knows what? Some times items left behind can cost more to get rid of than items taken without permission. It is much better to address these issues prior to closing than trying handle them after the sale.

Might Be A Good Time To Sell

Wondering if now might be a good time to sell? The report for March 2013 has just been released. It is easy to see from the graph below that the housing market rebound is for real. The climb upward started in 2011 and has been moving consistently upward since then. If you have been waiting for the market to improve your wait may be over. If you have been waiting for the value of your house to increase so you can buy, it is important to understand that the value of the house you want to buy is also moving upward.

march_median_sales_price_era_brokers

The trick is sell and buy when you can get out of your home and into a new one at the right time. In order to sell your home you can plan on approximately 8% above the price of you home to handle closing costs and real estate commission.This means that if your home is sold for $200,000 you would net around $184,000 after everything is paid.

Sellers Market

We are currently in what is known as a “sellers market” this happens when there are not enough homes to satisfy the buyers currently looking for houses. This also means that sellers are not having to drop their price very much to get it sold. In March 2013 houses sold for 95.8% of asking price, this is up from last years figure of 94.5%. There is a limit on the amount a person can sell their house for. Homes can only sell for what they will appraise for, unless the buyer is a cash buyer. In some cases a person could sell their home for a higher price if it would appraise for more. As mentioned previously a cash buyer could pay more for a house than it will appraise for, but cash buyers don’t usually pay more than they have to for real estate. Some cash buyers will get an appraisal to make sure they are not over paying for a house especially when the market is so volatile.

Yesterday’s News

Unfortunately, we are now half way through May and we are just receiving the March report. The good news is things still seem to be moving in the same direction. Given the upward trend of the market it would seem that the growth is here to stay. So even though the  report is a couple of months old, the trend still seems to be consistent with what we are seeing today. Long story short, the real estate market is strong and seems to continuing on as it has since June 2011.

Should I Rent Or Buy?

Many people ask the question, “Should I Rent or Buy?”. Recently in an advanced Real Estate course taught by Gage Froerer a long time real estate pro and Broker of a Century 21 office in Ogden Utah. Gage shared this work sheet to help an investor weigh their options. This form might be helpful in determining what may be best in your given situation. It is important to understand that it is not possible to take any depreciation on your personal home. It is also important to understand that the best advice when it comes to taxes can be found with a tax planning professional. This form is not intended to substitute consultation with a qualified tax professional.

 

RENT VS BUY ANALYSIS

Buy- After Tax Cost of Monthly Payment

Purchase Price $________________ Cash Down $___________________

Rental Rate and Term $________________ for _________ Years

Interest Rate_______ Term________ Monthly (PI)________________

Loan Amount __________X Interest Rate_____= $_______________

  1. Annual Taxes $_________________

  2. Approximate Annual Interest $_________________

c. Approximate Annual Depreciation $_________________

Annual Tax Savings a + b + c = Total Deductible Items$_______________

Buyers Tax Bracket _____________

 

Annual Tax Savings _____________

 

Monthly Savings divide by 12 _____________

Monthly (PITI)+CAM Monthly Rent Paid

Before Tax (PITI) _______________ Before Tax Payment ______________

Depreciation _______________ Monthly Savings _____________ Payment ________________ Payment _____________

Appreciation @ 2% ________________ Investment @ 4% ______________

Equity Increase ________________

 

Hopefully this may help as you explore the possibility of home ownership or purchasing a home for rental purposes.

Trulia, Zillow, And Realtor.com

Pick your favorite, Trulia, Zillow And Realtor.com are the most searched places to find real estate. Most people have their favorite real estate search program, some people like Trulia, others think Zillow is the way to go and others swear by Realtor.com. These are all good programs and helpful in getting an idea of homes that are available and homes that have sold in a given area. The only downside to these types of programs is the current status of the houses listed there. Some times homes that have sold, or been taken off the market are still listed there as available. This can become a frustration to people that are serious about finding a house. Another downside to utilizing one of these type programs is the estimated prices they provide. Without current updates, the prices given for properties may be slightly skewed. For example if a house is listed for $200,000 on one of these sites, and it actually sold for $175,000 a person might believe that a property is worth more than it really is if the actual sales price is never reported. Many times when prices are dropped by the seller they are not reflected on these types of sites. I don’t discourage my clients from using Trulia, Zillow, And Realtor.com. I just let them know that the information about the St George real estate market may not be totally up to date.

Up To Date Information

Obviously up to date information is ideal when trying to determine the price on a home, especially when the market is moving up so quickly. The best way to obtain current pricing and availability information is through the local MLS where the property is listed. These databases are kept up to date on a daily basis providing the best information available at the current time. This information is also used by the appraisers when they determine the value of a house.  Some clients like to search on the Trulia type sites, simply because they are familiar with the layout of the program. This is OK as long as they understand that the house they have identified may no longer be available.

Work With An Agent

The very best way for someone to find a house is to use the services of a licensed Real Estate Agent. The agent can set their client up to receive notifications when a house meeting their predetermined criteria hits the MLS. This is important when the market is moving as quickly as it currently is. The best example of this is a home that recently sold in Bloomington Hills in less than 24 hours. With transaction like this happening more and more frequently, it is a good idea to be notified as soon as homes are listed. We offer this service, making it possible for a home buyer to know as soon as something they may interested becomes available.

Buyers Agents Work For You For Free

One misunderstanding many people have is that they will need to pay a buyers agent.  In fact the buyers agent only gets paid when you buy a house. They receive their pay from a portion of the percentage agreed up by the agent that listed the house for sale. Some people also believe that if they don’t use an agent they may be able to get a better deal. This is usually not the case. Agents buy and sell houses every day, they have a feel for the market. They may be able to save a buyer money by negotiating a better price for their buyer.

In Conclusion

We are not saying that Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com are bad sites, they offer help and insight into the industry as a whole. There are many good articles and information about real estate on all of these sites. They all have helpful tools for calculating payments and other helps for potential home buyers.

Find Me A Good Deal

Most real estate agents involved in the St George Real Estate market are frequently asked  by clients and investors to, “Find Me a Good Deal”. When it comes to real estate it seems like everyone is interested in finding a good deal. Unfortunately there is not a search tool that will locate “good deals” in the MLS. Another problem comes in identifying what a “good deal” is. Some people may be happy getting the seller to pay their closing costs, others may not be happy unless the seller drops their price 10% and pays their closing cost. Unlike purchasing a car from an auto dealer, there are many factors that contribute to the sale of a house. In many cases the seller is not selling a piece of property, they are selling a piece of their life. The memories and experiences they have had in the home can sometimes play a role in their decision to reduce their price.

But I Just Put $5,000 Into Plumbing

Unfortunately home repairs like plumbing and electrical repairs don’t bring much in return when the home is sold. The reason for this is, people “expect” things like the plumbing and electrical to work, so the amount put into them is not really a factor and will not increase the value as viewed by most buyers. On the flip side of the coin, if a house is on the market, and the plumbing needs $5,000 in work, most buyers will want a discount to cover the repairs. This is true with most maintenance and repair items. Buyers expect the house to be in working order and are not likely to plan on paying extra for these repairs. If a house is being purchased as a fixer upper, this is another story.

Should I Carpet And Paint?

One misconception in selling a home comes from the seller who thinks it will be better to offer a carpet and paint allowance rather than getting the house painted and carpeted. Most real estate professionals agree that it is better to go ahead and paint and replace the carpet rather than offer the allowance. Most buyers would rather buy, and move into, a freshly painted and carpeted house than have to complete this task in addition to the other list of things to do when moving. It is important for the seller to use neutral colors in both paint and carpet so the new owners belongings will not look out of place. The other more obvious benefit of selling a house that is freshly painted and carpeted is the feel and smell of fresh paint and new carpet, which is a definite plus. A house that has just been carpeted and painted has the feel of a new home. The exception to this would come in properties that are in the million dollar range and up. These buyers are a little more sophisticated, and may want to have more input in decisions regarding color and quality.