Fun Facts about August

olivia-hutcherson-768723-unsplashOften referred to as the “dog days of summer,” the month of August doesn’t get its nickname from the pooches. The moniker comes from the star Sirius. In ancient Roman times, the dog star rose as the same time as the sunrise during August. Following are more cool and quirky tidbits about August.

  • August was named in honor of Augustus Caesar, nephew of Julius Caesar. Just like the month named after his uncle, July, Augustus wanted his month to have 31 days.
  • Although August currently is the eighth month in Gregorian calendar, it was previously name Sextilis and was the sixth month in the Roman calendar.
  • August’s birthstones are the peridot and sardonyx. Peridot is one of the oldest known gemstones and ranges from olive to lime green with a brownish tint. Sardonyx boasts white and brown bands. Some even believe the gem has mystical powers including eliminating negative thinking.
  • The flower is the poppy or gladiolus meaning beauty, strength of character, love, marriage and family. The gladiolus was discovered in Africa in the 17th to 18th centuries and was first used as food.
  • The zodiac signs for the month are Leo the lion until August 22nd and Virgo the virgin from the 23rd on.  
  • The Anglo-Saxons called August “weod monath” which means weed month due to the rapid growth of weeds and other plants this time of year.
  • In 1963, Martin Luther King, American civil rights campaigner, gave his famous “I have a dream speech” on the 28th of August.
  • August in the northern hemisphere mirrors February in the southern hemisphere.
  • A few famous birthdays in August include: Madonna, Barack Obama, Herman Melville, Mila Kunis, Hulk Hogan, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, Cameron Diaz and Ben Affleck.
  • Some say that those born in August might love sandwiches more than the average person. After all, August is National Sandwich Month.
  • August is month for monumental events such as the invention of the photograph by Thomas Edison on august 12, 1877. The first ever atom bomb used for warfare descended on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

5 Ingredients for the Best Realtor

bethany-legg-9248-unsplashThe majority of home sellers and buyers have little to no experience working with real estate agents. It might be hard to tell the difference between an excellent, less than perfect and down right awful agent. Don’t worry, we’ve identified the five characteristics every agent you work with should have and why.

  • Hustle

Top-notch agents work hard all the time. They are always looking for more clients and networking relationships to help buy and sell properties. They are tech savvy and clever marketers.

  • Knowledge

One of the most prominent indicators of a great agent is knowledge especially concerning the local market. This knowledge doesn’t come from a book. It comes from experience. Sales experience provides these agents with valuable knowledge. Look for an agent that offers successful experiences in selling and buying homes in your area. Avoid beginners including someone new in town or someone who has never sold a home in your particular market.

  • Commitment

The best agents to work with do real estate full-time. They are flexible and always ready to show a property when it fits their client’s schedule. A lot of homebuyers look in the evenings after work and on weekends. So, make sure you find an agent that is available and fits your schedule.

  • Organization

Not only do the best agents stay organized they show great attention to detail. You want an agent that returns your calls promptly and arrives on time to every appointment. The right agent knows just the right small changes to make to get a home sold. They take pride in writing up the listing and capture the best photos of each property.

  • Passion

Look for an agent that loves what they do. They’re the agents who pride themselves on finding their clients the perfect home. The ones who browse listing after listing searching for just the right one for their client’s needs. Because passion fuels them, the right agent will never see you as dollar signs or treat you like just another number.

2018 Summer Car Shows in Utah

canstockphoto92173Warm weather and long days bring out even hotter cars. From old and young, car enthusiasts and motorheads will enjoy this list of all the upcoming classic car shows nearby.



Habit Burger Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in American Fork at Habit Burger.


Cedarwood Senior Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in Sandy at Cedarwood.

Rumbi’s Cruise Night from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Logan at Rumbi’s Island Grill.


SoDa Row Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in South Jordan at the local SoDa Row.


Riverton Prairie Dog Car & Bike Show from 5 to 9 p.m. in Riverton at Riverton Prairie Dog.

West Haven Days Car Show from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at West Haven Park also known as Country Park.

Antique Power Show starts June 22 and ends June 24 with varying times at the Erickson Ranch located in Wallsburg, UT. For more information please visit the museum’s website.  


Bennion Veteran Home Car Show, Cruise & 5K from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Payson at Bennion Veterans Home.

Porterville Car Rally from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. located at a private home in Morgan.

Buddco Shine Car Show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Salt Lake City at Buddco Distributing.

RC Willey Car Show from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Syracuse at RC Willey.

Unbridled Fundraiser Car Show from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Salt Lake City at Liberty Park.

Back to the 50s Car Show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Heber at Main Street Park.

Streetcar Shootout and Car Show from 2 to 6 p.m. in West Valley at Rocky Mountain Raceway.

Ultimate Riders Cruise Night from 4 to 8 p.m. in Salt Lake City at O’Reilly Auto Parts.

St. Joseph Catholic Church Car Show from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in West Jordan at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Ride the Brainwave Car Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in South Jordan at the Salt Lake County Equestrian Center.

Limitless Supercar Shoot-out & Car Show from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Eagle Mountain at Cory Wride Park.

Fort Herriman Towne Days Car Show from 4 to 6 p.m. in Herriman at Herriman Butterfield Park.


Season of Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. in Ogden at Village Inn.

Callie’s Café Cruise Night from 3 to 6 p.m. in Orem at Callie’s Café.


Jim’s Restaurant Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in Riverton at Jim’s Restaurant.


‘Bout Time Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in Herriman at ‘Bout Time! Pub & Grub.

Garage Grill Car Show from 5 to 8 p.m. in Draper at Garage Grill.


Burger Stop Cruise Night from 5 to 8 Layton at Burger Stop.


National Auto Parts Warehouse Annual Car Show from 3 to 7 p.m. in West Valley at National Auto Parts Warehouse.

Northern Utah Graffiti Cruise Night from 5 to 9 p.m. in Brigham City at Peach City Restaurant.

Valley Fair Mall Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in West Valley at Valley Fair Mall.


TREEO Senior Living Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in South Ogden at TREEO.

Veterans Auto Show from 4 to 8 p.m. in South Jordan at The Sheridan.


Ed Kenley Ford Car Show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Syracuse at RC Willey.

Old Capital Cruisers Car Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Fillmore at Territorial State Park.

Lehi City Roundup Car Show from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Lehi at Mountainland Technical College.

Café Grand Prix grand opening from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Salt Lake City at Café Grand Prix.

Taylorsville Dayzz Car Show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Taylorsville at Gary S. Swenson Valley Regional Park.

Riverdale 4th Ward Car Show from 5 to 8 p.m. in Riverdale at the 4th ward parking lot.




Ruby River Car Show from 1 to 4 p.m. in Salt Lake City at the local Ruby River.

State Street Car Show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Murray at Big O Tires.


Eaglewood Festival of Speed from 7 to 9 p.m. in North Salt Lake at Eaglewood Golf Course.

8th Annual Toole Corvette Car Show from 5 to 8 p.m. in Toole at Pratt Aquatic Center.


Scaddy’s Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in West Valley at Scaddy’s.


Sweeto Burrito Cruise Night from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Logan at the local Sweeto Burrito.

Grantsville Days Car Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Grantsville at the city park.


Advanced Auto Parts Car Show from 5 to 8 p.m. in Ogden at the local Advanced Auto Parts shop.


Wienerschnitzel Car Show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Harrisville at the local Wienerschnitzel.

Cache Valley Cruise-In from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Logan at the Cache County Fairgrounds.

Catch Me Off a 20 Roll presented by Stance of Utah from noon to 7 p.m. in Ogden at Lorin Farr Park.

Down & Dirty 11 from 1 to 6 p.m. in Magna at the Magna Copper Park.


Zilla’s Restaurant & Lounge Cruise Night from noon to 3 p.m. in Salt Lake City at Zilla’s.


One Man Band Diner Cruise night from 6 to 9 p.m. in Lehi at One Man Band Diner.

Jim’s Restaurant Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in Sandy at Jim’s Restaurant.


Liberty Park Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in Salt Lake City at Liberty Park.

Dickey’s Barbecue Cruise Night from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Logan at the local Dickey’s.


Northern Utah Graffiti Cruise Night from 5 to 9 p.m. in Brigham City at Peach City Restaurant.

Godfather’s Pizza Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in South Jordan at Godfather’s Pizza.


Les Schwab Annual Charity Car Show from 5 to 8 p.m. in Riverdale at the local Les Scwab.

Mike and Jerry’s Crise-In from 5 to 9 p.m. in Clinton as part of the Clinton Heritage Days.


American Fork Steel Days Car Show from noon to 7 p.m. in American Fork at Rotary Park.

Angels in the Park Car Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Copperton at Copperton Park.

Under the Lights Car Show from 6 to 10 p.m. in Ogden at John Watson Chevrolet.

Bo Huff Rockabilly Car Show from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in East Carbon at Sunnyside Park.

Bear Lake Car show from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Montepelier at Stock Park.

Mt. Nebo Cruzin Association Car Show from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Nephi at the city park.

Draper Days from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Draper at the city park.


Utah Rides Car & Bike Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in West Valley at Media One Real Estate.


Habit Burger Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in American Fork at the local Habit.

Blues Street BBQ Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in American Fork at Blues Street BBQ.


Rumbi’s Cruise Night from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Logan at Rumbi’s Island Grill.


SoDa Row Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in South Jordan at SoDa Row.


Uintah Basin Cruise-in & Car Show with varying times in Roosevelt at Constitution Park.


6th Annual Murdock Chevrolet Heritage Day Car Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Woods Cross.

Evanston Car Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Evanston, WY on Historic Main Street.

Kamas Car Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Kamas at the city park.

Show & Shine at Iceberg from 5 to 7 p.m. in St. George at Iceberg Drive In.

Fiesta Days Car Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Spanish Fork.


Callie’s Café Cruise Night from 3 to 6 p.m. in Orem at Callie’s café.


‘Bout Time Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in Herriman at ‘Bout Time Pub and Grub.


Burger Stop Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in Layton at Burger Stop.


Northern Utah Graffiti Cruise Night from 5 to 9 p.m. in Brigham City at Peach City Restaurant.

Valley Fair Mall Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in West Valley at the mall.


Blast from the Past Car Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Salina at the city park.

Brian Head Resort Car Show with varying times through July 29th in Brian Head at the resort.


Wells Fun Run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Wells at the city park.

Skyridge High School Band Car Show from 8 to 11 a.m. in Lehi at Skyridge High School.


Jim’s Rastaurant Cruise Night from 5 to 8 p.m. in Riverton at Jim’s Restaurant.

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.

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.

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:

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


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.