Contemporary Homes Blog

Updating Your Garage

By Joel Fine
May 16, 2017

Reprint from Jeremy Powell Eagle Home Mortgages
A garage door used to be a plain vinyl or wooden roll-up door that looked like every other garage door up and down your street. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Fancied-up garage doors are hot in 2017 — and so is using your garage for more than storing cars, barely used tools, and holiday decorations.

Dressing up your garage door can add instant curb appeal at a relatively low cost. There are so many choices now in materials and styles that your garage door can be a complement to the overall look of your home. You can match your garage to the style of your home, or go for a stylish, custom look that turns your garage into a feature. Choose doors that open outward with the touch of a button, or stick to a rollup but in a different material. Windows can be ordered in different sizes, shapes, and layouts, using clear or frosted acrylic.

If you’re looking for more bang for your buck, think about simply adding decorative hinges and handles!

Insulation Insulated garages have become less expensive and more efficient. We often think of a garage as something of an outdoor space but really, they aren’t – or don’t have to be. An insulated garage makes the entire house more energy efficient and if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, insulation makes the garage usable in the summer or winter months.

Easy Upgrades If you only use your garage for storing your cars and general miscellany, it’s still a great idea to seal the floors, paint the walls, and keep it well-organized. These updates can even help your garage last longer.

Electrical outlets, new lighting, and attractive flooring are easy to add to an open space like a garage, which often already has electricity and water running through it. If you have a hobby or spend a lot of time tinkering in your garage, you can even consider a garage screen door, a man door, or to create a lighter, more comfortable space, a window so you can enjoy your hobby and some fresh air!

If you're looking to make upgrades on your home that provide a great return on your investment, modernizing and prettifying your garage are great places to start. Even if you’re not considering the resale value of your home, replacing your garage door or repurposing the whole garage are two great ways to make changes that enhance the pleasure you receive from your own home.

Park City, Utah (Summit and Wasatch County) Real Estate Update Q1

By Joel Fine
May 16, 2017

 

Demand for real estate in Summit and Wasatch Counties leads to a record-breaking first quarter of 2017

Park City, Utah – May 11th, 2017

The number of closed sales for the first quarter of 2017 in Summit and Wasatch Counties was the highest we’ve seen since 2007 – up 20% over 2016, according to statistics released by the Park City Board of REALTORS®. Q1 also saw the highest number of pended sales on record and a 26% increase over the previous year in total dollar volume. Growth continued to morph, and expand, encompassing outlying communities in the Wasatch Back as the entire market area was pushed to new peak levels.

Single Family Homes

Micro-markets developed and shifted as low inventory affected the activity in certain neighborhoods. The median price surged upward where the supply was limited, and conversely, the number of sales surged upward where a moderate supply could be found. Broken down by area, the median price and number of units sold varied:

Park City Proper (84060) –Limited supply resulted in only slight growth overall in the number of units sold but there was a 21% median price increase reaching $1.85 M for single family homes within the City Limits.

  • Lower Deer Valley, with 17 more home sales than the previous twelve months and a median price of $2.13 M, was a hot spot of activity.
  • Still highly sought after, Park Meadows had seven fewer sales but saw an 18% price increase reaching $1.75 M.
Snyderville Basin (84098) – With moderate supply in the Basin, there were 45 more home sales than the previous 12 months – up 13%, accompanied by a price increase of 7% to $972,000.
  • Certain neighborhoods, like Summit Park, had 28% more closed sales and a 9% median price increase to $600,000.
  • The popular neighborhood of Silver Springs, where inventory has been consistently low, saw ten fewer closed transactions than the same time last year, with a slight dip in median price to $910,000.
  • In the Basin, Promontory had the highest number of transactions with 67 closed sales and median price of $2 M, indicating that new product and amenities remained in high demand.
“We have been seeing buyers who may start looking in Park Meadows or Deer Valley, then end up preferring the amenities offered in our Gated Communities. Buyers are also willing to pay a premium for new product,” says Sara Werbelow, President of the Park City Board of REALTORS®.

Jordanelle – Offering new construction but a limited supply, the Jordanelle saw little growth in number of sold units, but a giant 64% leap in median price reaching $1.49 M.

Heber Valley – Becoming increasingly popular with buyers for the bang for the buck and offering a moderate supply of inventory, the Heber Valley had a very active twelve months. With new product on the market, there were 98 more home sales – up 37% from last year, but the median price held in check to last year’s number of $397,000.

Condominiums

Within the Greater Park City Area, the condominium sales accounted for almost half the number of closed transactions in the first quarter. The number of condo sales in Old Town and Jordanelle exceeded any other area.

  • There were 134 units sold in the last twelve months in Old Town – 34 more transactions than the previous year. The median price in Old Town also shot up 31% to $583,000.
  • In the Jordanelle area, there were 190 condo sales over the last 12 months and a 30% price increase to $485,000.
  • Canyons had the highest number of condo sales in the Basin, with 116 and median price climbed to $675,000.
  • There was also a spike in the number of units sold in Pinebrook with a total of 70 with a 9% median price increas to $458,000.
“The fast paced activity in the Jordanelle condo market attests to that fact that growth continues to be oriented in that direction. Outlying areas are being perceived as simply an extension of Park City and an evolution of the larger market picture,” said Chris Hansen, Valuation Consulting Group.

Vacant Land

Vacant land did not show much growth in either sale numbers or values, but with limited supply of existing product coupled with strong demand, it may be only a matter of time before the land market awakens more fully and movement occurs.

Looking Forward

Sara Werbelow concluded, “It feels like Summit and Wasatch Counties are entering a boom time. With the number of first quarter closed and pended sales at some of the highest we have seen to date, our market area has reached pre-recession levels. Buyers are willing to travel further distances if they can find value, pushing the number of closed sales up outside the City Limits. Distance from front door to ski chair doesn’t seem to be quite as much as a factor for current home buyers. What used to be perceived as “far away” or “out of town” is not so anymore.”

The best time to buy... everything!

By Joel Fine
May 16, 2017


Just as supply and demand controls the housing market, it also dictates the pricing of virtually all consumer goods and services.

Believe it or not, there’s actually a “best” month to purchase almost anything!

So I thought I’d share the list of the best months to buy certain items...

January - Fitness equipment, Cruises, Furniture May - Mattresses June - Gym memberships, Alaskan cruises, Tools September - Cars, Holiday travel plane tickets November - Electronics (Black Friday deals!) December - Wedding dresses, continued savings on toys and electronics

Want to see what to buy in other months? Here’s the full list.

Regards,

P.S. The best month of the year to list your home is May. According to a Zillow study, on average homes listed between May 1-15 sold 15% faster and for 1% more than other homes.

As always, if you’re thinking about selling your home this spring, I’d be happy to help. :)

Zillow Off By 40% (for their own CEO?s home)

By Joel Fine
Apr 04, 2017

One of the most popular websites in real estate is undoubtedly Zillow. But did you know that their home value “Zestimates” are often WAY off?

In fact, the CEO of Zillow just sold his own home in Seattle for 40% LESS than the Zestimate!

Per Inman News, “On February 29th, Spencer Rascoff sold a Seattle home for $1.05 million, 40 percent less than the Zestimate of $1.75 million shown on its property page a day later.”

Zillow actually has a disclaimer on their website where you can see exactly how INACCURATE they are. They just make it hard to find.

As a real estate agent I actually have access to a tool that can accurately show someone how much their home is worth. I normally only use it when someone is selling their home soon, but after seeing how inaccurate Zillow is I am now offering to provide this service to ANYONE who is curious.

If you reply to this email right now with your home’s address (or the address of a home you are curious about the value of) I would be happy to send you a “Zactimate” today :)

Home Values Hit All Time High

By Joel Fine
Mar 24, 2017

Wow! I just found out that the combined value of every home in the United States is expected to climb to a record high of more than $29.6 trillion, up 5.7 percent from just one year ago.

If this seems like an unfathomable number, that’s because it is.

Let me try to put it in perspective for you.

The U.S. housing market is now worth more than:

  • The GDP of the United States and China combined
  • The entire 2015 market cap of every U.S. public company combined (almost $25 trillion)
Plus it is now worth:
  • 20x more than the net worth of the 50 richest Americans ($1.2 trillion)
  • 20x more than 3,000 brand new Boeing 747-8s ($1.2 trillion)
In fact, it would take 339 people with the net worth of Bill Gates ($84 billion) to purchase every home in the United States!

It’s clear that our housing market is insanely valuable and your home’s value is a part of that.

If you are wondering how this news has affected how much your home is worth simply reply to me at joel@FineProperty.com with your current address and I will send you a custom report even if you are not considering selling it this year.

WORKING IN PARK CITY | AN OVERVIEW

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Oct 03, 2016

In Park City, the mentality is ‘work hard, play hard.’ Here, work-life balance isn’t a goal--it’s a given.

Most Parkites engage in some version of the following scenario: bike up a mountain before heading in for a morning product development meeting, get in a gym session at lunch, wrap-up with some email crunching, and get onto the final funtivity of the day. Far from having just a resort economy, Park City is now home to a diverse business ecosystem that includes powerhouse companies like Skullcandy, Backcountry.com, AvaTech, SnoCru, and others.

The ‘Silicon Slopes’ effect is very much underway in Park City, as well as Salt Lake. It's an exciting time to witness startup growth in our mountain town utopia.

To help grow PC's tech scene, the Park City Angels, a venture capital club, has invested in numerous startups that have matured into successful companies. Whether you are an ambitious millennial, seasoned exec, or keen investor, the local business landscape has a niche with your name one it.

Working in Park City

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Sep 30, 2016

Park City is a great place to live and do work. People love the mountain life where the mentality is ‘work hard, play hard.’ Here in PC, work-life balance isn’t a goal, it’s a given.

Most Parkites engage in some version of the following scenario: bike up a mountain before heading in for a morning product development meeting; then get in a gym session at lunch. There is a feeling of both accomplishment and empowerment that easily transitions from the play side of life to the work side of life, and those feelings enable business-people to feel like they can conquer the challenges that may lie ahead.

A huge advantage that local businesses have is a close proximity to the ‘silicon slopes’ of Salt Lake City, a hub of technological innovation. Another great advantage of Salt Lake City is the convenient airport access that allows truly global businesses and businessmen to live and work in Park City. Multiple global, multi-million dollar companies are based in Park City, and they use the surrounding areas for the benefits of their business and their employees.

Perhaps Park City’s most attractive feature for local businesses, the Park City Angels invest millions of dollars into startups with promising futures based in and around the local area. Founded in 2008, the Angels have around fifty members who have sixty-five active projects, and they have invested fifty-five million dollars since their founding. Whether you are interested in joining the Angels or need help from the Angels to launch your company, the local business landscape is great for everyone.

Announcing Opening of Jordan City Office

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Aug 23, 2016

SJ-EXTERIOR-New-sky

Salt Lake City, UT—Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties today announced the opening of its new central Jordan City office building.

Located in the River Park Corporate complex, this modern space provides real estate professionals with a forward-thinking open plan space that is the latest in the company’s succession of growth plans. “With over $1.8 billion in sales, we are the most successful brokerage in Utah,” commented CEO, Steve Roney. “We are opening this new office in the South Jordan area to better serve our business in this growing and critical part of the valley. This is our next growth step, and we are thrilled to be expanding alongside this market.”

The move comes after a series of business successes for the company. In 2014, the company converted from Prudential Utah Real Estate to the legendary Berkshire Hathaway brand and was among the top ten brand brokerages in the country. Further, the company achieved more sales than any other Utah-based brokerage in 2015 and currently represents more real estate developments than any competitor.

On the heels of these achievements, the company has put into motion an aggressive expansion plan, which has resulted in the acquisition of cutting edge office spaces that are ushering in a new level of innovation in northern Utah real estate.

In a statement, Salt Lake branch broker, Kevin Cameron stated: “This new office illustrates our company commitment to meeting the real estate needs of the growing Jordan and South Salt Lake communities. The location provides central access to all key moving real estate neighborhoods. The future is looking bright.”

About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties is an independently owned real estate brokerage dating back to 1976. With offices throughout northern Utah, the company has a long-standing track record of market dominance and dependability. Under the Berkshire Hathaway name, our agency holds the #1 position in Utah’s real estate marketplace and maintains an historic commitment to community-driven service.

About Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway is a worldwide holding company based in Omaha, NE. Its chairman and CEO is Warren Buffett, often referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha,” who according to Time magazine’s ranking is among the world’s most influential people. Berkshire Hathaway is the No. 1 company in Barron’s 2013 ranking of the world’s 100 most respected companies; it ranks at No. 8 in Fortune magazine’s 50 Most Admired Companies survey; and is No. 18 in Harris Interactive’s reputation study of the 60 Most Visible Companies. Good to know.™

 

 

SILICON SLOPES IS THE PLACE TO BE 

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Aug 03, 2016

Nature-103

Utah is world famous for having the Greatest Snow on Earth®, but recently, the Wasatch Front has become the home of a rapidly growing tech industry known as “Silicon Slopes”. Technology companies have descended upon the Beehive State spawning exponential growth along the Front. With Tech Giants like Adobe, Twitter and a host of innovative start-ups concentrated in South Salt lake County and North Utah County, residential neighborhoods in Riverton, Bluffdale, South Jordan, Draper and Lehi are bustling with new life.

What was once “small town” and farmland dotting the valley south of Salt Lake City is now the hottest area of growth in the state. The great thing is, several net positives promise to maintain the trajectory.

Location is important and although Utah may seem a bit “out-of-the-way”, it is actually drawing technology companies like no other place. The only state capitol with an international airport, Salt Lake City is a brief hour-and-a-half from the Bay Area and easily accessible to the rest of the world. The city is within minutes of unlimited outdoor activity and world class skiing. Renowned ballet, symphony, theatre and professional sports add to the vibrant community.

Low home prices, competitive salaries, and low operating costs are another draw for business and residents alike. Tech companies relocating from the Bay Area are able to offer their employees better benefits as well as invest more money back into business and product development resulting in better products and a more robust corporate footprint.

The entrepreneurial spirit and capable, willing workforce add to the stability of “Silicon Slopes”. Local universities provide outstanding programs in computer science, engineering and programming. They inspire and supply a healthy work ethic and energize future innovators and executives.

The “Silicon Slopes” area of the Wasatch Front is an exciting place to live and work and its contribution to the state’s economy has solidly secured Utah’s place on the map.

The History of Park City

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Jul 28, 2016

 

sundance

Park City, a now vibrant community, was once a hard-hat wearing, saloon visiting mining town. Although the town was not incorporated until 1884, Park City’s history began in the winter of 1868 when soldiers climbed over the mountains from Big Cottonwood Canyon and discovered silver. Mining began with the Flagstaff Mine, later renamed Ontario Mine.

The Ontario Mine was one of highest volume producing silver mines in the world, and the success of Ontario helped create a boom-town atmosphere in Park City. To this day, the remnants of the Ontario and Silver King mines, can be seen on the slopes of present day ski resorts.

Until 1898, the town was booming with no end in sight, but a fire that burned down 200 out of 350 structures would put the townspeople, now numbering 7,000, to the test. Miraculously, the town rallied, and the whole town was rebuilt in just a year and a half.

Six years later, in 1904, local businessmen established the Miners Hospital, initially located at the base of what is now Park City Mountain. The hospital was built and furnished entirely through community donations, and it allowed miners to stop traveling thirty miles to a Salt Lake City hospital. For the next decade, the town experienced hard times including landslides, cave-ins, and flooded tunnels. One of the town’s greatest tragedies was the destruction of Main Street’s Egyptian Theatre in 1916.

Mining Fast Facts

From 1875-1982 Park City produced:

  • 1.45 million ounces of gold
  • 253 million ounces of silver
  • 2.7 billion pounds of lead
  • 1.5 billion pounds of zinc
  • 129 million pounds of copper
In 1917, the state of Utah decided to start prohibition two years before the rest of the country; however, in 1921 twenty-six out of twenty-seven local bars were still serving alcohol. Then in 1929, the stock market crashed and local mines lost value; but shortly after the crash in 1931, Alf Engen set a world record on Ecker hill with a 247-foot ski jump. Skiing began to infiltrate the town with the first successful winter carnival in 1936 at what is now Deer Valley, and in 1947, as mining prices dropped even lower, Snow Park installed its first chairlift.

In 1949, all of the mines were shut down until 1952 when some reopened, but Park City became a ‘ghost town’ of only about 1,150 people. The town did not begin to rise again until 1963 when they qualified for a federal loan exceeding one million dollars to develop a ski area. The ski area Treasure Mountain Resort, now Park City Mountain, was established with a gondola, chairlift, and two J-bars.

Skiing began to take off, and in 1968 and 1981 respectively Park West, now Park City Mountain, and Deer Valley were established. Following the growing success of mountain sports, in 1982, mining operations were discontinued, and Park City became a resort community.

With the Kimball Arts Center, operating since 1976, playing an increasingly large role in the community, the town embraced the arts, and Robert Redford established a film festival in 1981, which would become the annual Sundance Film Festival. With a permanent residence of around 7,800, Park City is a small community that was voted “Best Town in America” by Outside Magazine in 2013.

 

Approximate Skier Days per Year Total skier days 1987-1988 to 2012-2013
Park City 1,700,000 31,086,233
Utah 4,000,000 85,832,877
 

 

 
 
Existing user sign in: 
Forgot Password?