Help make your upcoming move a little easier!

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The holidays are a wonderful time of year and a very busy time of year. For those who are preparing to move, this is an even busier time of year. Help make your upcoming move a little easier!  Here are 3 important tips to follow—

  • Get organized. Before you begin packing up your stuff, take a moment to go through your items and determine which items you no longer want. The more you can get rid of the items you don’t want or need the less you’ll have to haul to your new home. So, take a moment to go through your stuff and donate it to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army or sell the items on KSL or Craigslist.

  • Holiday spirit. If you have young children, they won’t understand the holidays will be postponed or altered due to the move. To help ensure they still have a magical Christmas, take some time out of your busy moving schedule to plan ahead and have some presents for them to open. Plus, don’t forget about Santa Claus and make sure he knows about your new address.0
  • Change of address. Tis the season of holiday cards! Instead of mailing out change of address cards to your family and friends, let them know of your change of address in a fun, festive way. While you’re at it, remember to update your address with your utility companies, bank or credit union, and other important vendors or organizations who need to know your new address.

Do you have any tips to making the move a little less stressful? Share your stories, tips, and thoughts with us below.

Weber County 2016 Holiday Activities

0e52385e8878634c163e131dfca6d967Weber County 2016 Holiday Activities

Start the holiday season off right with these great activities in Weber County.

Christmas Village

The Christmas Village seasonal attraction has grown to mammoth proportions since its inception in 1962.  Each year thousands of tourists and locals flock to the Christmas lights and cottages. Many local families have even made visiting Christmas Village part of their Christmas traditions.

Christmas Village events and attractions include:

Opening Ceremony and Electric Light Parade

Santa’s Castle

Breakfast with Santa: A ride on the Polar Express

Train Rides

Concessions

Onsite Christmas shopping

and Live Performances.

 

A Fairly Potter Christmas Carol

After the smash-hit success of Fairly Potter in 2013, The Ziegfeld Theatre in Ogden is bringing you a comedic sequel like no other. Inspired from the Harry Potter series as well as holiday favorites including “A Christmas Carol” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” theatre cast and crew bring you a hysterical new Christmas musical that will make you laugh while warming your heart. Don’t miss the most magical show of the 2016 holiday season. Catch the show every day at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. Dec 4-23. Tickets are $19 online and $20 at the door.

Forgotten Carols Christmas Tour

This timeless Christmas classic is coming to town for its 25th anniversary tour. Performances will be held all over Utah in Orem, Logan, Cedar City, St. George, Salt Lake City and Ogden. Don’t miss the northern Utah stop. Visit the Dee Events Center on December 12 for this special holiday classic starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $17.

Weber County Holiday Festival

Every year Weber County holds a special holiday celebration that features international nativity and holiday displays from all over the world. This year’s holiday festival was held from Dec. 2-6 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free to the public. However, donations of unwrapped toys food pantry items benefit the Children’s Justice Center, The Christmas Box House and the Ogden Food Bank.

 

Tell-Tale Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Home

Tell-Tale Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Home

Once upon a time, Realtors came up with the term “starter home” to describe houses perfect for newlyweds and small families. Although these starter homes are great, families quickly outgrow them due to various reasons. Whether you’re out of storage space, feeling cramped or just need a change of pace these are the tell-tale signs that it’s time to move on.Rob Andre Widget

  1. New Additions

Often families outgrow their homes because they are expecting little bundles of joy. The addition of children or even pets can easily begin bursting the seams of your perfect newlywed home. When bedrooms have filled up and toys have taken over the entire house it’s time to upgrade to a larger a home.

2.  Aging

Outgrowing your home usually sounds like you need more space, but sometimes you might benefit from downsizing. As couples age and their children leave the nest, a home that was once the right size might become too large and difficult to maintain. Choosing to downsize into a more comfortable space could also help stretch retirement dollars.

  1. Not enough space

As a family grows in numbers so does accompanying furniture collections. Families often opt for over-sized pieces of furniture to accommodate everyone in the home plus guests. These large pieces of furniture take up a lot of space. They easily start to crowd a home and make it feel cramped or small. Many consider upgrading to a larger home to accommodate them and all of their belongings.

  1. Complicated Entertaining

Many families like to entertain their friends and loved ones. For these families entertaining becomes a big factor when deciding to upgrade and purchase a new home. As you grow, you may end up hosting a large holiday party and the need for more space will become more imminent. It might be time to move on if you find out that your current home doesn’t share you sense of hospitality.

  1. Your Finances are in order

Many families move on simply because they are in a better financial situation to do so. A recent job promotion or inheritance can allow you and your family to purchase a larger home or move into that perfect neighborhood. Your improved finances provide the opportunity to live comfortably and enjoy the space that you worked so hard to earn.

Different methods to cook a turkey

Different methods to cook a turkey

c308e71b62c10cf77484cb32749f2e2dWhat is Thanksgiving without a turkey? This time of year, turkeys are one of the most ate foods during this time of year. As you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast, there are a variety of ways you can cook your turkey. If you’re looking for a new recipe or are cooking your first turkey, here are some fun ideas to try:

Deep fried. If you want to bring a bit of the south to your table, why not deep fry your turkey? Learn more about doing this, check out Food Network’s recipe. Remember, if you decide to deep fry the turkey,  never do it inside.

Grilled. Another way to cook your turkey, and a little healthier, is through grilling. If you decide to try this option, here is a great recipe to try from All Recipes.

Smoked. This is another fun way to allow your creative juices flow. Try a variety of herbs and spices to create your perfect turkey creation. Want to attempt this? Check out this recipe.

If you’re looking to try some new recipes, there are many ones to check out. Buzzfeed also has some tasty recipes to try this Thanksgiving.

What is your favorite way to prepare your turkey? Is it a time old tradition or do you like to try something new every year? Share your thoughts and recipes with us below in the comments.

Utah’s Haunted Cemetery Sites

1e30864f79e44bdcc7575642d22177d1Utah’s Haunted Cemetery Sites

Everyone knows that just about any cemetery can be scary after dark and with the right dose of horror movie viewing. However, these cemeteries go beyond creepy. The following Utah cemetery sites are downright haunted.

  1. Logan Cemetery

If you dare, visit the Logan Cemetery under a full moon at midnight. Rumors say that the large “Weeping Woman” statue cries out.

2. Grafton Cemetery

Life in Southern Utah proved to be harsh and unforgiving in the 1860s. Thirteen people died in 1866 alone. Five children and one woman died of diphtheria while two little girls died when their swing broke. A man, his wife and his brother were attacked and killed by Navajo natives while two babies died of scarlet fever and another woman died of mysterious causes. Many of the 84 graves in now ghost town Grafton are unmarked.

3. Mercur Cemetery

Another cemetery located in a ghost town, Mercur Cemetery in Toole county contains many unmarked graves of miners and their family members. Undoubtedly, it’s no coincidence that people report hearing screams and other voices there.

4. Ogden City Cemetery

Rumored to be haunted by 15-year-old Florence Grange. She died when she choked on a piece of candy. They say that she will appear and approach your car if you drive past Flo’s grave and blink your headlights.

5. Ephraim Pioneer Cemetery

This cemetery was never supposed to be a cemetery. In 1854, Fort Ephraim first settler died. As the fort didn’t have an established the cemetery, the settlers got permission to bury their dead in a nearby Allred Settlement. They never made the trip to the neighboring settlement out of fear of an imminent Indian attack. They hastily buried the man outside. The make-shift cemetery now houses many children, seven settlers who died during an 1865 Indian massacre and another seven who drowned in 1878.

6.Silver Reef Old Catholic Cemetery

Visitors report hearing the voices of children asking to be taken home at this cemetery located near Leeds.

  1. Salt Lake City Cemetery

A popular spot for joggers and dog walkers by day, the Salt Lake City Cemetery is located in the Avenues between “N” and “U” streets. One of the spookiest features is Lilly Edith Gray’s gravestone. It reads “Victim of the beast 666.” Lilly’s husband Elmer was known to be an eccentric fellow with a quirky sense of humor, but he clearly thought something got his wife.

Halloween DIY crafts

As we get closer to Halloween, now is the time to get into the spirit of the season with these fun DIY crafts and upcycle projects. These Halloween DIY crafts are great for the whole family so grab the kids and make some memories while releasin6cc87853ca7baab1dc2c42506f46420eg your creativity.

  • Mason Jar Mummy. This is a great craft for all ages. Wrap a mason jar in bandages, add some eyes, and a candle—what fun mason jar mummy’s can you create?
  • Ghosts in a Jar. Another fun DIY project for the whole family, these little ghosts are captured in a jar. So grab the kids, your hot glue gun, and all the other supplies you need and let your creativity out.
  • Upcycled Halloween Village Luminaries. Want to create a spooky, illuminated Halloween town? Print out some Halloween village templates, spray paint, and enjoy making a town for your decor.
  • Milk Jug Ghosts. Decorate your steps with these great and simple milk jug ghosts. These are a lot of fun for kids too who can let their creativity shine.
  • Mini Halloween Pinata. Are you a fan of pinatas? Create some of your very own Halloween pinata out of a toilet paper tube, candy, and other little toys.

Want some more ideas? Check out these easy, Halloween craft projects. Do you have a favorite DIY craft? Tell us about it below in the comments.

5 Tips for Cleaning Your Gutters

 

 

5 Tips for Cleaning Your Gutters. Once first the first leaf falls, many more are sure to follow.

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Fall is great time of year to make sure your gutters are free from clogs.

Keeping your gutters clean of leaves and other debris will help prevent costly damages to your flowerbeds, landscape, siding and even your foundation. Here are few tips that will help you unclog those gutters.
1. Wear Long Sleeves
And rubber gloves. You will be dealing with all sorts of dirt, mud, leaves, sticks and a lot of other gunk. Your arms will thank you for keeping them as protected and clean as possible.

2. Locate and use a stable, extendable ladder
Wen cleaning your gutters, safety comes first. Make sure the ladder you are using will support you easily. Also, ensure that it is tall enough to do the entire job. You don’t want to be extending yourself too much when and over reach when cleaning. Next, make sure that you use ladder “horns” to keep the ladder from damaging the gutters themselves.

3. Use a small plastic scoop to remove large globs of gunk
Hardware stores sell scoops specifically designed for gutters. They run around $25. However, common household items like a large plastic cup and children’s pail or sand shovel work just as well.

4. Use a plastic tarp
Place a plastic tarp beneath where you are cleaning. Your lawn will appreciate you dumping all of the gunk onto the tarp instead of its plush green grass. Containing the mess on the tarp also makes for easy clean up.

5. Flush the gutters
Once all of the gunk and debris is cleared from the gutters, it’s time to flush them with water. A garden hose works great for cleaning out the gutters and downspouts. It also will show you where any leaks are hiding.
If climbing ladders isn’t really your thing, you can always hire someone to do it for you. Depending on the size and height of your house the job could cost you anywhere from $50 to $250. Another option is installing gutter covers. The covers typically cost between $6 and $8 per running foot including installation. Keep in mind that covers still need regular maintenance to keep them clear of debris as well.

Homeowner’s Association

If you’ve been considering buying a townhome or condo you’ve probably been hearing the term HOA a lot. But what does it mean?

HOA’s, also known as Homeowner’s Association, is a governing body over a complex or community which comprises of people who are serving on the HOA board. When you purchase a townhome or condo, you automatically enter into the association. Before you think you can get out of paying the HOA fee, the fact is you can’t avoid this. The simple(ish) act of buying a home enters you into a contract with the HOA which means you must follow their rules, pay your monthly dues, and any special assessments.

While looking into buying a townhome and condo, it’s important to take some time to understand the rules of the HOA along with the fees. Each fee differs for each community so be sure to ask these questions.canstockphoto0280140

  • How often to HOA fee’s increase?
  • How are HOA fee increases set?
  • How large is the HOA’s reserve fund?
  • What do the monthly dues cover? Will you have to pay extra for trash, water, snow removal, etc?

There are also some benefits around having an HOA. Because of the standards placed by the HOA, you’re more likely to see yards that are well kept up and homes that are in good repair. In addition, you have less home maintenance (exterior-wise) because most HOA’s cover to have the common areas are taken care of by the association. This may include trash, snow removal, and lawn care.

In some cases, HOA’s may also provide recreational amenities such as swimming pools and tennis courts. To find out what your potential HOA covers, ask you realtor to get the information from the seller.

Ready to buy a townhome or condo? Give us a call today and let us help you find your dream home.

Seed your lawn for the fall

 

While we move into the cooler weather, now is a great time to seed your lawn for the fall. As your prepare to seed your lawn, preparation is the key part to the whole process.canstockphoto17863189

As you move forward with seeding your lawn this fall, take a moment to consider your state and climate. Each area is different and that should be taken into consideration. In Utah, the best time to seed is during the early Fall and early Spring months—Kentucky Bluegrass is the best grass option for the harsh, desert climate.

To get your lawn ready for the seeds (helping them to germinate), it’s important you take some time to test the pH levels and remove any rocks and weeds from the area. Once these items are removed, now is the time to turn up the earth to help the soil drain properly so the seeds have a chance to grow strong roots.

To further help your soil and prepare for the seeds, spread some sand and compost to the topsoil and rake into the soil. Adding fertilizer to the soil is also an excellent way to give the seeds a little extra boost. Once the soil is prepared, evenly throw out the grass seed by using a handheld broadcast spreader. Rake the seeds in and water.

With the proper care and preparation, you can have a luscious, green lawn that is healthy and enhances your home’s appeal. What are some tips you have about growing the greenest lawn? Tell us about it below in the comments.

To HOA or Not to HOA?

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To HOA or Not to HOA?

Homeowners associations (HOA) are essentially small governing bodies over a particular neighborhood or community. Usually, HOA are found in single-family developments, condominiums, townhouses, gated communities, leased-land properties and even some subdivisions.

The HOA board consists of homeowners in the development or complex. This governing body establishes the rules and regulations that members adhere to along with the amount of dues or fees to be paid monthly, quarterly or annually.

Although membership in the HOA is mandatory, there are many positives and negatives that go along with community living. Whether an HOA will make you smile or scowl, depends on individual personalities, preferences and lifestyles.

HOA Benefits:

  • An HOA offers low maintenance. Usually, trash, snow removal and landscaping services are handled by the association and included in the dues. This means less work for the home owner.
  • Many appreciate that the HOA regulates community appearance. Ensuring that your neighborhood will look good. Everyone must meet certain standards, which means no unkempt lawns or peeling paint.
  • Access to amenities including pools, fitness centers, parks and security gates all add to the appeal of an HOA.
  • Having a disagreement with your neighbor? No problem, third party management provides you with a built in mediator. You can easily take your grievances about next doors barking dog to the HOA board.
  • Everyone shares the maintenance costs. Maintenance of common areas, snow and trash removal, of the pool and other areas are shared responsibilities covered by the dues.
  • Living in an HOA reduces your responsibilities. Along with handling landscape, trash and snow removal, HOA sometimes carry insurance on the properties and cover roofing and other costs.

HOA Challenges:

  • Naturally, the fees required by some associations turn people off. Although HOA dues vary, they can be in the hundreds per month. Make sure and budget not only for your mortgage payment, but the dues as well.
  • HOA rules, restrictions and dictations somewhat ties your hands. Some HOA have restrictions regarding paint colors and any additions or changes you want to make to the property must be approved by the board.
  • You could be hampered by the HOA financial woes. This means that an HOA facing financial problems or a lawsuit could hurt the sale prices of homes and the community and effect your ability to obtain a loan.
  • You might lose some of your freedom. Just as your hands could be tied, you will have to follow the rules and regulations of the HOA no matter how ridiculous you might think they are.
  • Surprise – they can spring assessments on you! The HOA board can decide to impose special assessments when needed for improvements or repairs.
  • They can limit your ability to rent. In order to get a loan for a property in the community the owner to renter ratio must be retained. Different lenders and HOA have differing standards, but these communities prefer that renters live somewhere else.
  • They can foreclose on your home if you get behind on your dues and assessments. This is usually a last resort. However, it can be done.

Making a decision:

First, weigh the pros and cons against your own lifestyle choices. Then, familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the rules of the HOA before you buy to avoid surprises. Finally, you may find that HOA living can be equally satisfying and then again, you may find that it’s not for you.