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.

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