9 Tips to Help You Move with Children

alexander-dummer-261098-unsplashThe decision has been made and it’s final: you’re moving. Not only are you moving, but you’re moving with your children. You will be balancing honoring the old home while welcoming the new house. These nine steps will help make the transition of the move as smooth as possible for the whole family.  

  • Family Meeting Time

One of the best ways to prep your children for a big move is to have a family discussion. Let them know why you are moving and that you are there to answer any questions they may have.

  • Purge Before You Pack

There is no time like the present to cut the clutter. You and the kids can go through your belongings and throw out old toys and worn or outgrown clothes. Not everything has to be tossed. There are items that you may not need any more that you can sell.

  • Have a Moving Sale

Once you have combed through every room, you might have a pile of fun stuff to sell at a moving sell. The kids can help with the organizing, inventorying and pricing. You can even take a family vote to decide how to spend the proceeds.

  • Check out the new Place with the Kids

Involve the children with scoping out the new house, neighborhood, community and town. Learning as much as possible before hand will help smooth the transition and get them excited for school, community and other social events and activities.

  • Get Them Excited

You can do this by first making sure that everyone has a job in the move whether it be helping pack, load, unload or unpack. Next have them make room plans. Start with their rooms and if their interested you can move on to shared spaces in the house.

  • Take Them for a Visit (if you’re not moving too far away)

Actually visiting and seeing the new place will get them even more pumped up. Plan to spend an afternoon touring the new neighborhood and doing a walk-through of the new house. You can visit the local public library and your kid’s new schools as well.

  • Spread the move out over a few days

Moving everything in the house in one day makes for an exhausted and grumpy family. We suggest getting into your new house a few days early and moving room by room. This helps with the transition and avoids the need to navigate through a sea of boxes.

  • Enlist multiple babysitters, family and friends for help

Having help both during and after the move will be a life saver. Schedule play dates and other outings so that you can move fast as lightning while the kids are out. It’s always nice to have extra hands (and muscles) helping with the moving portion itself.

  • Have a See You Soon Party

For the kids, one of the most difficult parts about moving is saying good bye to the friends they have made. Throwing a “See You Soon” party lessens the anxiety by focusing less on saying goodbye and more on seeing your friends again. Make sure everyone exchanges contact information and lots of photos are taken during the party.

9 Gardening Hacks

garden-3371260_640Spring and gardening season is upon us. A hobby like gardening takes time, effort and money. Clever gardeners figure out little hacks and short cuts that save them in more ways than one. After all, gardening is cheaper than therapy plus you get yummy fruits and vegetables.

Soaking
Soak your seeds in warm water before planting is an inexpensive trick that can help get your plants ready to root and grow strong, durable plants.

Get crafty
Make your own garden markers. Homemade garden markers are not only functional, but cute too. You can use rocks you find outside or in your garden. Use a sharpie and paint to make your homemade markers more colorful. You also can use plastic silverware you have laying around the house. Find out more about DIY garden markers here.

Use diapers
Lay diapers in your pots to moisten your soil longer. Make sure to cut the elastic edges off and lay the diapers with the absorbent side up to maximize moisture retention.

Repurpose
Turn empty milk jugs into homemade watering cans. The best part is that you get a watering can that always pours how you like. If it doesn’t, you can just make a new one. Here are the step-by-step instructions.

Keep egg shells
Quit throwing away your egg shells. They can be used as a natural fertilizer for your soil and to start seedlings. Want to protect your plants from insects? Just place the egg shells around the base of your plants and viola, you have a homemade insecticide minus all the chemicals and toxins. canstockphoto18957116

Rice water
And your leftover rice water can be used as an environmentally safe and chemical-free fertilizer. So instead of throwing your rice water down the drain pour it on your plants to naturally provide much needed nutrients.

Even coffee grounds
Your used coffee grounds naturally ward off slugs. They also help prevent mold and mildew growth. Besides, used coffee grounds are an essentially free natural fertilizer that you would have just tossed out anyway.

And toilet paper
Use toilet paper to make seed tape. Honestly, seeds can be tiny, and the toilet paper can help you organize, space and plant these small seeds as evenly as possible. Here you can find the instructions on how to make seed tape from toilet paper.

Don’t forget leftovers
Plant more herbs and vegetables from left over store bought plants including herbs, celery, onions and more. With green onion you can chop off the bottoms, let them dry, plant them after a few days and they will start sprouting in no time.

Ways to Keep Your Home Clean and Ready to Show

canstockphoto42333215You need your house to look its best when its on the market, but you still have to live there. Use these tools and tips to make your home show-worthy at a moment’s notice (without losing your mind). Cut down on clutter and on the time it takes to make your home shine—from the entryway to the powder room.

 

Tips to Keep the Entryway Neat and Tidy

Your home makes a first impression the moment you open the door, so follow these cleaning hacks to make sure that the impression you make is the right one.

 

  • A place for everything. If your crew dumps coats, shoes, backpacks, keys, and mail in the entryway, give each of those items a home. Add hooks for coats, purses, and backpacks, set up a landing spot for shoes, and add a mail organizer to corral letters, bills, and other important documents.
  • Catch dirt early. Place a floor mat on the outside and the inside of your front door and get the whole family into the habit of wiping shoes on both before they set foot in the rest of your home.

 

 

Tricks that Keep Your Living Room Warm and Welcoming

When someone looks in on your living room you want them to be able to imagine themselves sitting back and relaxing. Don’t let dust and clutter interrupt that peaceful vision—use these tricks to keep your living space serene and inviting.

 

  • Don’t skip the commercials. Use this time to tidy up knickknacks, wipe down tables, and dust the blinds. You can make a family game out of it, with the prize going to the one who gets their commercial break chore done fastest.
  • Fluff pillows every night. You always turn off the TV before bed, so why not add fluffing pillows and cushions to your nightly habit? If you use blankets, fold them up and put them away in an attractive basket or ottoman that doubles as storage.
  • Catch clutter. Place baskets or bins in strategic places where toys, remotes, and other odds and ends tend to gather. Whoever leaves the living room last is in charge of scooping up those items and getting them out of sight in the designated container. If things belong in other rooms, make sure you assign someone to put things back in their proper place at least once a day.

 

 

Hacks that Make Your Kitchen Shine

We all know the kitchen is where everyone tends to gather. Make sure yours looks the part with these daily habits and cleaning hacks that will make it sparkle.

 

  • Wipe it down. Every night after dinner take a few extra minutes to wipe down the counters and table. Make it even easier with disposable wipes that you can grab, use, and toss with no extra maintenance.
  • Keep the table set. If your brood tends to use the kitchen table as a catch-all for things like bags, homework, and magazines, deter them with a beautifully-set table. The effort it takes to put plates in place (and occasionally dust them off) is far less than the time needed to sort through a week’s worth of discarded items.
  • Do the dishes. The last thing any of us wants to do after a long day is take care of the dishes. But loading the dishwasher and hand washing those few delicate items really only takes a few minutes—and you’ll feel so happy you took the time when you wake up to a nice, clean kitchen the next morning.
  • Clean the sink. After your nightly round of dishes, go ahead and wipe down the kitchen sink. Daily maintenance will keep your sink from staining and will eliminate any potential unpleasant smells that sitting gunk can cause.

 

 

Shortcuts to Keep Your Bathroom Nice and Rosy

Bathrooms can be the dirtiest spot in the home, but there’s no reason yours should be. Start using these shortcuts and your bathroom will smell like a rose every day.

 

  • Hang it up. Make sure you have enough rods and hooks for towels and robes—and get everyone in the habit of hanging both up immediately after use.
  • Clean as you go. Mornings are hectic, but you’ll feel better if you leave for the day knowing that every bottle, tube, and brush is in its rightful place. Make it a habit to clear up everything you use in the morning so you don’t have to worry about rushing home to take care of it if your home gets scheduled for a showing.
  • Wipe counters nightly. After washing your face and brushing your teeth, end your evening routine with a quick wipedown of the bathroom counters. And just like in the kitchen, use disposable wipes if it makes this task easier.

 

 

Habits that Make Your Bedroom a Sanctuary Every Day

If you’re like me, the bedroom is often the place where discipline goes by the wayside, but you can’t afford that luxury when your house is on the market. These small habits can make a big difference in keeping your bedroom a place of rest instead of a catch-all for the castoffs of the day.

 

  • Make your bed. Turns out Mom was right—making your bed each morning helps you set the tone for the day. This is one simple task that only takes a few minutes and sets the tone for the entire room.
  • Put clothes away. It’s too tempting to throw discarded clothing on a nearby chair or other handy spot, but those throwaways tend to turn into unwieldy piles fast. Stop the madness and take a few seconds to either hang or fold clothes, or throw them in the hamper instead.
  • Hide under the bed. There is likely unused storage space under your bed. Use this extra spot to keep seasonal clothes, overflowing shoes, or other household schreck out of sight.

 

 

Showing your home is stressful enough without the constant worry of keeping it spic and span at all times. Use these helpful cleaning hacks so you’ll be ready to impress potential buyers, even at a moment’s notice.

FSBO vs Agent: 5 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your Home On Your Own

couch-881125_1280Deciding to sell your home is a big decision, but deciding to sell your home without the help of a real estate agent is even bigger. There are a lot of reasons that homeowners are tempted to sell their home on their own, but most of them can be boiled down to these three:

 

  • Commissions: FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sellers save money by not paying a commission to an agent that is representing their home on the market.
  • Convenience: When you sell your home yourself you’re the one who shows it, so you don’t need to scramble to get yourself (and the kids) out the door because  a potential buyer is on their way over.
  • Control: You have control over every step of the selling process when you sell FSBO, which gives some homeowners greater peace of mind.

 

 

But you have to decide if those reasons outweigh the responsibilities you take on when you decide to go the FSBO route. Before you make a decision, ask yourself these five questions.

 

  1. Do I know the real market value of my home?

Pricing your house correctly is one of the trickiest parts of selling. It’s not just about what you think your house is worth, or how much you’ve invested into the home. The biggest mistake FSBO sellers make is pricing their home too high, which can lead to a long time on the market with little interest from potential buyers. If a home is listed for too long, buyers wonder what’s wrong with the property.

 

To price your home competitively, you need to look at sale prices of similar houses in the area as well as current market trends. You can use realty websites to do some comparisons, but you typically won’t have access to the same information as a real estate agent. Even if you don’t want to bring an agent on, you should still consider hiring one to do a price estimate or paying for an appraisal to get a better idea of what your home’s listing price should be.

 

  1. Am I able to market my home to potential buyers?

One of the best things a real estate agent does is get your home in front of the right buyers. Without an agent’s connections, you need to spread the word on your own. From listing your home on websites to taking professional-grade photos, you might be surprised at how much effort goes into marketing your home. Some of the marketing duties you need to be ready for include:

  • Placing an attractive “For Sale” sign in the yard
  • Making promotional fliers that showcase your home’s highlights
  • Staging your home for photos and showings
  • Taking photos for promotional materials (online, fliers, etc.)
  • Writing effective marketing descriptions of your home and property
  • Answering inquiries from potential buyers (email, phone, in-person)
  • Organizing and conducting showings

 

  1. Do I want to hear what people don’t like about my home?

Nobody likes to hear that their baby is ugly, but when potential buyers walk through your home it’s likely to happen. Some people have a hard time separating emotions from the business of selling a home. When you’ve invested a lot into a property to make it a home that you love, it can hurt to hear that someone else wants to tear out the special-order tile you so carefully laid in the bathroom.

 

Just remember that buyers are looking for reasons to pay less for your home, so a lot of their comments may be a play to knock off a few thousand dollars from the asking price. But if that’s not enough to save your feelings, you may want to go with an agent just to save yourself from negative comments that may be hard to swallow.

 

  1. Am I prepared to screen potential buyers?

Another valuable thing that a real estate agent can do for you is to vet potential buyers before they ever step over your threshold. When you sell your house on your own, making sure buyers have the money to follow through on the deal is up to you.

 

You don’t want to take your home off the market or spend time deep in negotiations only to discover the buyer can’t come up with the funds to purchase your house. One thing you can do if you’re FSBO, is ask potential buyers for a preapproval letter from a bank or other reputable lender. This letter will tell you that the buyer has already been approved for a mortgage and the amount they’re approved for.

 

  1. Can I negotiate with a buyer’s agent?

If you’re up for pricing, marketing, and showing your house without the help of a real estate agent, then you also need to be ready to get in the trenches and negotiate. Just because you don’t have an agent doesn’t mean the people who want to buy your house won’t have one. If they do, you’ll need to work with their agent to hammer out the sales contract.

 

You also need to be prepared to pay commission to the buyer’s agent. That will probably be about three percent of the purchase price. If you choose not to offer any commission to a buyer’s agent, you could put your sale in jeopardy. Familiarize yourself with the laws and ethics governing real estate transactions in your state, and be prepared when you go head-to-head with a professional.

 

The Bottom Line

No matter why you’re thinking of selling your home without the help of a real estate agent, make sure you know what you’re getting into before you get started. And be sure to tally up the value of all the time and effort you’ll be putting into the sale of your home. Make sure the potential savings are worth what you’ll be putting into the process.

Utah: Finest Powder on Earth

canstockphoto34095240Known for its world-class winter recreation, fresh powder and shredded resorts, Utah provides the perfect destination this chilly season. Following is a list of Utah’s best ski resorts.  

Brighton Ski Resort

Don’t bother looking for flashy advertising concerning this beautiful mountain. Brighton uses word of mouth referrals relying on all the fun your family and friends had riding the mountain or soaking in the hotel’s hot tubs. They also are the only resort in Utah that is 100 percent accessible by quads. With more than 500 inches of snow per year, Brighton welcomes visitors November to April from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You also can enjoy night skiing December through March from 4 to 9 p.m.

Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort

Snowbird offers patrons fun year round. In the winter, families enjoy day tickets, learning the ropes with the Mountain School and exploring the slops with skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, aerial tram rides, night skiing and more. During warmer months, you can ride the Mountain Coaster, Alpine Slide, Mountain Flyer, and Vertical Drop or enjoy the bungee trampoline, climbing wall, children’s inflatables and more. For more information, visit their website: http://www.snowbird.com/.

Snowbasin Resort

One of Utah’s longest operating ski areas, Snowbasin Resort has serviced winter enthusiasts since 1940. People from all over the U.S. come to enjoy this resort’s exhilarating powder snow and majestic scenery. Currently celebrating its 76th anniversary, Snowbasin has more than 11,757 acres at your disposal. More than 60 percent of the resort is comprised of National Forest. Snowbasin also was an Olympic venue in 2002. Click here for more information.

Powder Mountain

This resort is all about preserving the powder. It recently added more than 1,000 acres of terrain and two new lifts. Powder Mountain now boasts more than 8,464 acres covered entirely by the freshest snow on Earth. This resort differentiates itself from the competition by limiting ticket sales rather than packing in the most people possible. Reserve your lift tickets in advance to ensure you are one of the 2,000 lucky visitors per day. For location, hours and ticket prices please visit http://www.powdermountain.com/.

 

Additional Utah resorts:

Brian Head Resort – Located in Brian Head near Cedar City

Eagle Point Resort – Located in Beaver

Solitude Mountain – Located in Solitude

Park City Mountain – Located in Park City

Alta Ski Area – Located in Alta

Deer Valley Resort – Located in Park City

Nordic Valley Ski Resorts – Eden

What’s the Difference Between a Fixed and Adjustable Rate Mortgage?

canstockphoto2922592Buying a home is exciting and, let’s admit it, a bit nerve-wracking. There’s so much to consider and a lot of complicated finance terms to understand. When you’re qualifying for a mortgage or shopping around for the right lender, you need to know how to interpret the information you receive.

One of the most important—and confusing—things to understand is interest rates. We want you to make the best mortgage decision possible, so here’s a quick tutorial on interest rates to help you walk away with the best deal.

What Is the Interest Rate?

Simply put, the interest rate is the price you pay for the money you borrow for your mortgage. The interest rate determines what your interest payment is every month. When you borrow money to purchase a home, your monthly payments will be split up between paying back the principal of the loan, the interest accrued for that month on the loan amount, and any other financed expenses like mortgage insurance, property taxes and other items that go into your escrow account.

The interest rate that you’re quoted when shopping for a mortgage will be the annual rate, but the interest will be calculated on a monthly basis. That means your monthly payment will be calculated based on the total amount you borrowed plus the interest, divided by the term of the loan, which is typically thirty years.

Two Basic Kinds of Mortgage Interest Rates

There are two main types of interest rates that you will be able to compare as you work on your mortgage loan: the fixed interest rate and the adjustable interest rate. We breakdown the differences below.

 

  • Fixed-rate mortgage: A fixed-rate mortgage means that the interest rate is locked-in for the life of the loan. So, if you take out a thirty-year mortgage with a 4% interest rate, that will be the rate you pay for the entire term of the loan. It won’t increase, nor will it decrease. This is a good option if you plan to stay in your home for a long time and want a fixed monthly mortgage payment that you can budget for each month. It also protects you from changes in the market; however, that also means that while your rate won’t go up when interest rates rise, it won’t go down when rates drop, either.
  • Adjustable-rate mortgage: Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) isn’t locked-in to one interest rate. This means that over the life of the loan, your monthly payment will fluctuate. Sometimes it may be a little bit more, and others it will be less, based on the current interest rates. Usually, the initial interest rate can be much lower than on a fixed-rate mortgage. This makes an ARM attractive to people who only plan to stay in their home for a few years. If you look into an ARM loan, be sure to note how often the rate will adjust—most ARM loans lock in the rate for a certain number of years, so you may be fixed at one rate for up to five years before any change will be made. You should also ask lenders how they calculate interest rates and select a lender that offers the most stable calculation.

 

The Bottom Line

Borrowing money for a home feels daunting, but when you understand interest rates and how they can impact your monthly payment—and the total amount you’ll end up paying over the life of the loan—you have a lot more control over the process.

Three Big Reasons to Get a Home Inspection

canstockphoto29793303It seems like the list of things to do when you’re shopping for a house is endless. No matter how tempting it may be to skip some of those items, a home inspection is one action that should always be on your must-list. If you’ve been thinking about skipping this step, take a look at our top three reasons to get a home inspection.

  1. A Home Inspection Helps You Avoid Surprises

Perhaps the most obvious reason to get a home inspection is to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting. No one likes to get a lemon, and as bad as that might be when you’re shopping for cars, it’s even worse when it comes to a house. Some of the things a home inspector looks for are:

  • Age and condition of roof
  • Age and condition of major home systems like HVAC, electrical, and plumbing
  • Cracks or other issues with the foundation
  • Adequate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Proper insulation and ventilation
  • Exterior issues like cracks, missing caulk, or water seepage
  • Proper setup and function of all appliances
  1. A Home Inspection Can Give You an Edge In Negotiations

After the home inspection is completed, you’ll get a detailed report that lays out any improvements or repairs that are needed to bring the home up to current standards. This report can be your greatest tool when it comes to negotiating the purchase contract.

 

  • If major repairs are needed: In the event that something big (an item that is required to bring the house up to code) is discovered during the inspection, you have a few options. You can elect to purchase the home as-is, but reduce the amount of your offer to compensate for the repairs you need to make. Or, you can ask the seller to complete the repairs prior to purchase as part of the deal. Either way, you may be able to reduce the price of your offer accordingly.
  • If minor repairs are suggested: Sometimes inspectors makes  suggestions for repairs or upgrades that aren’t required. This might be something like updating a water heater even though the existing one works and is up-to-code for the age of the home. When things like this come up you can choose to note the input for later or try to use the suggestion as part of your negotiation. Just keep in mind that the seller may be less likely to give you what you’re asking for if it’s a want instead of a need.

 

  • If no major flaws are found: The good news is that the house you love is in tip-top shape. In this case, the inspection won’t really affect your negotiations, but it can provide peace of mind about the soundness of your investment
  1. A Home Inspection Helps You Protect Your Investment

Buying a home is the largest purchase most of us will ever make, so you want to make a good decision that will pay off in the long-run. A home inspection gives you crucial information to help you make the right choice upfront, plus it also provides a clear idea of what costs may come up in the future.

 

  • It can give you a way out: If you’ve already initiated the purchase, the results of a home inspection may provide you with a last chance to get out of the deal. This protects your earnest money and the hundreds of thousands of dollars you would be investing in the home over the years.

 

    • It gives you a roadmap for the future: In addition to letting you know the current state of the home, a home inspection can also give you an idea of what big costs may be coming up in the future—and when you can expect them. This helps you forecast upcoming costs, which lets you decide if you’ll be able to afford the cost of the house now, as well as its upkeep.

 

  • It can save you money over the long-term: Home maintenance is a key to protecting your investment, and a home inspection can provide insights and tips about regular maintenance habits that can end up saving you thousands over the years.

 

A home inspection isn’t just one more item on your neverending to-do list. It’s an expert assessment of your home that lets you make smart choices today, and for your future. We know firsthand the benefits buyers gain from an expert home inspection, so don’t move ahead without one.

7 Top restaurants in Weber County

food-1050813_640Are you a food lover and visiting Weber County? If yes, you must be looking for places where you can find the best food. The place has a lot of restaurants that can provide you the best food of the area. All you need to do is to pick up on the place from the list of top restaurants and you will be able to have the best food experience of your life. Here are the best restaurants of Weber County:

1.    Even Stevens:

It is the local sandwich shop of Weber County. This chain is working for a cause. For every sandwich they sale, some donations are sent to the local non-profit partner. These partners include youth futures shelter, Ogden-Weber Community action partnership etc.

2.    Red duck store and grill:

It is a family owned business that is providing best quality food to the visitors and local residents of the place. The best part about visiting this restaurant is that the people will be able to have a homey feeling when they eat at this place. They also serve Zeppe’s Italian Ice which is a UTAH’s treat.

3.    Jeremiah’s restaurant:

If you are finding something related to the tradition of Utah, Jeremiah’s restaurant is the place where you can have it. This is the place where you can find the famous Utah scone that is quite similar to fried bread and it is served with the honey butter. The restaurant is created into a wooden log cabin. The atmosphere is quite friendly and you can have the best time with your family at one of the best top restaurants of the area.

4.    Luis’s Mexican Cuisine:

This is the place from where you will be able to get the best Mexican Cuisine. If your taste buds are calling for Mexican food, this is the place that fulfill your desires.

5.    Rosa’s Café:

The next place you need to try in Weber County includes Rosa’s Café. Although it is a small location but the food that is provided is of high quality and good taste. According to the reviews, the food portion that is served is quite enough for a single person.

6.    Firestone grill:

A place which is a favorite for every person, no matter if he is a student, a traveler or a local. This place has the ability to attract each and every person due to its out-standing environment and world-class food.

7.    Jocko’s Steak house:

If you love fresh beef, this place in the Weber County will be a heaven for your taste buds. This restaurant is best known for its fresh beef either in the form of steak or in the form of burger fillet.

 

This was the list of top restaurants in the Weber County you need to try to have a great food experience.

Reference links:

  1. http://www.visitogden.com/dine/
  2. http://utahsadventurefamily.com/jeremiahs-restaurant-in-ogden/
  3. https://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=restaurants&find_loc=Weber+County%2C+UT

To Sell Staged or Empty?

living-room-2732939_640During the selling process, home owners face a lot of decision making. If you are fortunate enough to be one of the owners that can move out while showing their house, you can choose between leaving your house empty or staging it for showings. Here are a few benefits and cons of each.

 

Benefits of Staging

Have you ever noticed that builders decorate their model homes from top to bottom? The living rooms are filled with comfortable furniture while kitchen tables are set with elaborate dinnerware. The staging helps the home feel warm, inviting, clean and spacious. You want potential buyers to be able to picture themselves living there. Realtors, staging professionals and even savvy homeowners can use staging to set their house apart from similar ones that are vacant or poorly staged. This can help with a faster sale.

 

Benefits of Leaving Empty

Although a vacant house may not look as inviting as a staged home, leaving it empty does offer some benefits. Some may find it hard to visualize the potential of the space while others like picky decorators actually find it easier to envision the possibilities. They feel like they have a blank canvas to work with. Another benefit is that a vacant house highlights that the home is available right away due to the owners already moving on. A clean, vacant house allows buyers to focus on architectural and design elements which can entice a quick sale.

 

Cons of Staging

Ultimately, staging your home can take a lot of time, effort and money. Even more money if you hire a professional to help you. You can begin the staging process by packing all personal items. Next, make the rooms appear larger and more spacious by removing any excess furniture. Living in a staged home can also take some adjusting. You will be living in a decorated space that must look picture perfect on a moment’s notice. This can be especially difficult for families with children and/or pets. The alternative is staging your house and moving out. But you will still have to leave key furniture pieces in place or rent furniture for the duration of the sale.

 

Cons of Leaving Empty

Unlike a staged home, a vacant just doesn’t provide that warm, fuzzy feeling that potential buyers crave. Less than perfect quality including scratched floors or stained carpet tend to stand out more in an empty space. Potential buyers may also make offers below the asking price or market value. They might think that you will take a lower offer because the owner is no longer living there and would like to sell sooner than later. A vacant house might sell slower and at a lower price.

Protect Your Real Estate Investments With Estate Planning Strategies

canstockphoto40608516You can protect your real estate through a number of different strategies. For starters, you probably already have purchased property insurance to protect your assets against loss or damage. Your first line of defense in litigation should be liability insurance. It’s important to make sure that the personal umbrella liability coverage amount that’s at least equal to your net worth.

Which Steps Should You Take to Protect Your Real Estate From A Lawsuit or Probate?

Do you have a lingering sense of fear about your rental properties at the back of your mind? Do you find yourself wondering if a disgruntled tenant is going to sue you? If not, you probably should start thinking about it. It’s a significant risk.

Although it might be a heartbreaking thing to think about, there’s always the chance that your death might trigger a family feud over the home, vacation house, or any other of your real estate investments. There are two major estate planning tools for estate protection: Trusts and limited liability companies (LLCs).

Limited Liability Companies

A limited liability company may make more sense if you have a property that generates revenue. An LLC will protect your assets from claims and lawsuits that could result from your ownership of the property. LLCs also provide the owners with additional privacy since the real estate is listed in the name of the company, and not on their names directly. However, you need to be sure that you can maintain the LLC properly so that the given protections can remain intact. But with the right Ogden estate planning attorney, this is not too difficult.

Trusts

A  trust is usually a better choice if you have a vacation home property that you don’t rent out regularly. With trusts, you have a number of options including:

  •    Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QRPT): This is an irrevocable trust that cannot be changed without the beneficiaries’ consent. It allows the owner to use the property for a fixed term, where it’s then passed on to the heirs. This option is commonly used to reduce the size of an estate for purposes of estate tax.
  •    Revocable Trust: This is a type of trust that can be changed without the beneficiaries’ consent and is considerably more flexible, and if you opt for a dynasty trust, it could last for multiple generations. Aside from controlling what happens to your assets after the grantors are dead, the key benefit with revocable trusts is that it will keep your assets out of the Court after you’re gone, and have it within the control of your family.

You can also have a combination of trusts and LLCs designed to protect your real estate assets if you have both rental properties and a primary residence. An Ogden estate planning attorney can help you choose the best course of action based on your particular circumstances.

If you have any questions, call our offices today and set up an appointment. We will sit down with you and have a Legacy Planning Session, where we will discuss the best strategies to ensure your legacy of love and financial security lives on in your family.

Thanks to our friend and estate planning attorney in Ogden, Michael Haslam, for his insight on how to protect your real estate investments with estate planning strategies. Michael is the founding attorney at Voyant Legal. He helps families in Farmington, Ogden, Layton, Bountiful and surrounding Utah areas create estate plans and elder law plans to protect their families and assets. Visit the website to learn more about the law firm.