HOA: Are they worth it?

Homeowners associations (HOA) are essentially small governing bodies over a particular neighborhood or community. 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.canstockphoto40967861

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.

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.

Visit Utah’s National Parks

zion-national-park-2111843_640Adventure is just around the corner in Utah. With plenty of attractions to see, activities to do and places to go, Utah offers non-stop fun. That said, summer gets busy with work, family gatherings and outings with friends. Here is a list of the best national parks to visit this summer.   

Visit the Super Six: Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Goblin Valley National Parks along with the San Rafael Swell and Swasey’s Beach.

This astonishing excursion allows you to see multiple national parks and two geographical features. San Rafael Swell is a 75 by 40 miles giant dome-shaped anticline. Infrequent, powerful flash floods shaped this area into the sedimentary rocks, valleys, canyons, gorges, mesas and buttes you see today. Swasey’s Beach located just north of Green River provides the perfect place to cool off while touring the rest of the Super Six. A white sandy beach shaded by cottonwood trees and refreshing water make this beach the perfect spot for families to play.

Zion National Park

Utah’s first national park provides an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and a rich geological history. The gorgeous sandstone cliffs exposing the red, pink and cream canyon entices people from all over the country. You can enjoy a large variety of unique plant and animal life while you are backpacking, biking, canyoneering, climbing, horseback riding, boating or bird watching through this natural wonderland.

Bryce Canyon

This national park is known for its hoodoos. Wind and water eroded odd-shaped rock pillars over time. Filled with a variety of hiking trails with easy, moderate and strenuous options, the park allows you to spend as much or as little time in the park as you want. You can even go horseback riding along some of the trails and go camping with your family and friends. Stargaze on one of the guided moonlight hikes.

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

One of the less crowded national parks in Utah, the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument provides a sense of remoteness and tranquility. You can drive for miles down paved and dirt roads without ever seeing another car. However, you will see plenty of beautiful scenery mixed with canyons, arches, hills, waterfalls, forest and scrubland.

Tips to get your yard ready for summer

garden-1680802_1280Summer is coming. Bright lights, new growths, new activities, with all this, some of you must be thinking of changing their home a little bit. The yard is a part of your house that allows you to be creative to your maximum level. Grow new vegetables, plants new flowers and all this will be a part of home maintenance. Are you planning to redo your yard, if yes, following tips may help you in creating an appealing yard in your house:

Create a plan:
Nothing in this world is possible without a proper plan. You need to look for all the important points before you start working on your yard. Do plan and create a list of things you will be doing. Also, include the vegetable or fruits you need to grow this summer in your yard.

Use pest controlling techniques:
With summer season, the pests may also start growing up and getting out of their hiding places. This activity can damage the plants and the vegetables that are present in your yard. It is always better to use the best pest controlling techniques to minimize the damage from the pests.

Prune frequently:
The dead branches of trees and other plants in your yard may not look good. Moreover, they can also damage the health of other plants which is why it is necessary to prune them frequently. Pruning will promote the healthy growth of the plant.

Water properly:
The next thing to do is to water your yard in a proper way. For this purpose, you have to use water pipes or you can also use sprinkles for the consistent watering of the plants. Plants need a lot of water for the growth and heath, the need increases in summer due to a hot temperature which is why you need to pay special attention to watering your plants.

Create a combo:
Your yard will look more appealing if a combination of a flower bed and vegetables can be seen. It will provide a great appearance to it at the same time, you will be able to consume healthy food. You can select the colors of the flowers in accordance with the vegetables to create a soothing color scheme.

Separate some time for mowing:
It is important to properly mow the grass in your yard as it will give a complete look to it. Moreover, it is also essential to maintain the life of your plants. However, there are some important things that should be considered when it comes to mowing, it is best not to cut more than one-third of the height.

These are the tips that can be followed to prepare your yard for this summer season. However, you can also include your own creativity by adding up a fence that is decorated according to your taste or setting up a good yard furniture.

 

Reference links:
https://www.hometips.com/repair-fix/yard-garden-care-spring.html
http://www.wikihow.com/Prepare-Your-Yard-for-Summer

Tips for Getting Your Yard Ready for Summer

9 tips to prepare your garden for summer

7 Top restaurants in Davis County

pad-thai-2098017_640Planning to have a great food in Davis County? Well, the choice will be difficult as the place contains a lot of restaurants that worth a visit. As you go through the list of the top restaurants in Davis County, your choice may become difficult.  All of these places has their own specialties. Select the one that best suits your requirements. The list of best restaurants in the Davis County is as follows:

1.    Crown burger:

If you are a fast food lover, this is the place you need to select. This restaurant provides their customers with the food as they want. Their burgers are quite fresh and juicy which makes this place the best for everyone.

2.    Boston’s restaurant:

A place that provides dual facilities. Have the best food in town in combination to the current match. Take your friends and family with you to enjoy the best time. The atmosphere of the restaurant is purely designed to relax and facilitate its customers.

3.    China fortune:

The next option that is available for you is the Chinese cuisine. As a Chinese lover, you will be delighted to get the best Chinese food in Davis County. The prices are affordable and the food is of high quality which is a great combo.

4.    Sizzler restaurant Bountiful:

If you are planning to have a buffet with your friends and family, you can go to sizzler restaurant in Bountiful. In this place, you will be able to find everything of your choice. No matter if it is steak, cheesy toast, Malibu Chicken, endless salad bar or burgers, you name it, they have it.

5.    Rumbi Island grill Layton:

A restaurant with great food choices of Hawaiian cuisine. Have a burger, Caribbean or a Hawaiian sandwich, you will not be disappointed by the taste and quality of food.

6.    Bajio grill Layton:

Another place where you can have the best Mexican food is Bajio grill Layton. The place is best known for the quality of Mexican food they provide. No matter if it is the food, flavor or the service and decoration of food, everything is out-standing and will force you to visit this place again and again. Feel free to try this beautiful place.

7.    Pad Thai:

Thai cuisine, a favorite of a lot of people. If you are one of those who likes Thai food, the Pad Thai is the place you should visit. You can have fresh and delicious Thai food and some dishes comes with a pleasant addition of chef’s creation. The exotic taste and the comfortable environment will convince you to visit this place again.

These are the best top restaurants in Davis County you can try. Make sure you select the one that best suits your food taste.

 

Reference links:

  1. https://www.playindavis.com/places-to-eat/categories/casual-dining
  2. https://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=Restaurants&find_loc=Davis+County%2C+UT
  3. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g2208512-Davis_County_Utah.html

For Sale by Owner vs Using an Agent

With the current huge increase in home costs, this spring may be a decent time to offer your home. The question remains whether to sell it yourself as an owner or use an agent.

One noteworthy benefit of selling yourself is sparing the strong 6% commission expense that real estate agents ordinarily charge to market and expedite an arrangement for your home. So on a home that offers for $250,000, the business expense would be about $15,000. You can abstain from paying this bill altogether in the event that you offer it yourself.

That is a significant investment funds, however since offering a house is something the vast majority of us will likely do on more than one occasion in a lifetime, a large number of us are awkward going through the process.canstockphoto2199400

Be that as it may, is it truly worth 6% of the price tag of your home in expenses to have individual direction all through the procedure? Here are a few things to consider:

BETTER PRICE

Real estate specialists solidly trust they can get you more cash through the specialty of transaction, use of neighborhood information, utilization of fantastic showcasing instruments, and access to a more prominent commercial center and capacity to qualify purchasers.

Real estate agents know how to showcase a home utilizing photos to expand esteem when showing it to imminent purchasers. They know it’s a complicated procedure, and as an outsider, can better deal with that. A decent intermediary can help get potential purchasers set up for a way of life that a house can offer. Likewise, potential purchasers don’t generally put stock in the mortgage holder.

In any case, valuing a house is likewise genuinely simple to do yourself. For about $300-$500, dealers can get an autonomous appraiser to give them an equitable incentive for their home. There’s likewise enough information online to get a sense for what your house is worth.

ACCESS TO QUALIFIED BUYERS

Good real estate agents will ask for money related articulations to decide a potential purchaser’s credit-value, and, on account of an all-money offer, check the assets. Most dealers would rather not sit around idly demonstrating their home to not really genuine purchasers.

A proficient agent has the foreknowledge and know-how to check precisely where the assets to buy the house are originating from.

Real Estate agents know exactly what buyers are worth investing time in and who are not worth the hassle.

SPARING TIME

Personally, I wouldn’t have sufficient energy or determination to legitimately sell my home, set up an assessment, and oversee telephone calls from would-be-purchasers and meeting lawyers. Great real estate agents say they can control merchants to lawyers who are reasonable and sensible, so that a dealer doesn’t stall out with one who will increase bills with pointless time and charges.

Picking either option relies on upon your circumstance and that you are so persuaded to go up against the procedure yourself. It’s decent to know there are alternatives and a lot of information on hand.

Saving for a Down Payment

Saving for a Down Paymentsaving

The thought and process for saving a down payment to purchase a home may seem overwhelming at first. Never fear, we’re here to help. Breaking the process into small, actionable pieces might just help you afford a home sooner than expected.

  1. Calculate what you can afford

Your first step in saving for a down payment includes deciding what you can afford what you are looking for in a home. Start by making a list of basic requirements including size, location, school districts, etc. When determining affordability, calculate the potential monthly payment plus homeowners’ association fees, taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance and other related expenses. We recommend using one paycheck to cover all homeowner expenses if you’re one half of a dual income partnership.

  1. Determine how much a down payment you need

We recommend saving at least 20 percent of the purchase price. Lenders require 20 percent or more down for a conventional loan. Although, other loan options exist which require much smaller down payments, some as low as 3.5 percent. However, these loans require that you pay mortgage insurance. This insurance protects lenders if borrowers default on their loans. Once you know the price range you can afford, use this down payment calculator to get started saving.

  1. Create savings plan

One tip to help you save includes automating portion of your income. Options vary from choosing a fixed amount to choosing a percentage from either your paycheck or checking account. Whichever option you choose, deposit the portion into a separate cash savings account. You also can try the $5 bill savings plan where every time you receive five dollars as change you set it aside. Also, consider setting aside raises, bonuses and tax refunds. Combining all of these tips will help you get into your new home that much quicker.

  1. Build your equity

After all of the scrimping and saving, you deserve a congratulations for making your home purchase, but the benefits don’t stop there. As you make your mortgage payments each month, you own more and more of the property that builds equity over time. Equity that you can later use for a larger down payment on your next home or for an investment property. Either way, building equity ultimately builds your wealth.

Appliances that have tax benefits

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Appliances that have tax benefits

Tis the season of taxes! Although you still have some time to get your taxes filed—mark April 15th on your calendar—it is never too late to begin to prepare for them. As you get you w2s, 401K, and other paperwork in order, now is the time to also look at the appliances around your home which qualify for tax deductions and see which ones you can write-off on your taxes (for either this year or next year).

  • Water heaters. Heating the water in your home can take up 14-25% of your home’s energy, so now is the time to look into replacing your water heater with an efficient electric or gas one. Also, you may be eligible tax credit (up to $300) so give ENERGY STAR® a call and find out what you qualify for.
  • Windows & doors. You can lose a lot of heat through windows and doors, especially if they are past their prime. If your windows and doors are releasing too much heat from your home, why not look at replacing them with ones that are energy-efficient. With the tax credit, you are eligible to have 10% of the cost up to $500 for the door, $200 for windows. To learn more, here.
  • Insulation. Another area to look at which can lower your gas bill and make you eligible for a tax credit of 10% (up to $500). To find out if you qualify and to get more information, check out these ThermWise Contractors.

Have something to add? Tell us about it below in the comments. If you’re ready to buy your first home or make the move to your next dream home, give us a call today! We are here to answer your questions and support you on your homeowner journey.

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.