Contemporary Homes Blog

Doing Business In: Why It Is The Best State

By Joel Fine
Oct 01, 2018

Utah ranks number one in the US for job growth, enjoys consistently low unemployment rates, and a strong workforce. What’s at the heart of this success? Small business. The US Small Business Administration reports that Utah is home to over 277,000 small businesses that make up 99.3 percent of Utah companies and 57.3 percent of total employees in the state. Here are four areas that have been fundamental to Utah’s economic success:

A Strong & Educated Workforce

“Nothing is more important to businesses than having access to a qualified workforce,” says Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “That is why so many companies choose to invest in education.” Any business will tell you that if they cannot find good, skilled people, then nothing else matters.

Utah’s public education systems, both K-12 and higher education, have a strong partnership with our business community. This partnership provides a consistent dialogue between educators and business leaders to identify gaps in our workforce skills and then develop a plan to fill those needs. This collaboration is evident is through the Talent Ready Utah initiative, which includes technical training for students through high school, so they graduate not only with a degree but with a high-wage, high-demand job, also.

Taxes & Regulation

Utah’s economy continues to benefit from our flat five percent personal and corporate tax rate, which is one of the lowest in the nation. Low taxes are important to small business but equally important is a stable tax rate. Utah small businesses have benefited from the predictability of the state’s flat tax throughout the 20 years since the rate was established.

Additionally, the Governor’s office, state legislature, and the Salt Lake Chamber are always looking at ways to evaluate and eliminate unnecessary regulations. In 2011, the state conducted one of the most thorough regulation reviews in the nation. This was partially due to a small business owner who wondered aloud why he could not fax or email his license renewal to the state agency, instead of mailing it. A closer inspection of the rule showed it was written in 1973. Since then, nearly 2,000 regulations have been modified or eliminated in favor of Utah businesses.

Incentives

Incentivizing business creation and sustainable growth is key to Utah’s thriving small business ecosystem. Several state programs assist new and existing businesses: one is the business expansion and retention (BEAR) grants for small businesses in rural parts of the state. The Utah Science, Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative specifically assists start-up and early-stage tech companies, as well.

The state also offers financial incentives for business relocation and expansion. This incentive program is built on three pillars that make it both effective and sustainable: 1) the business expansion must be competitive, 2) the incentives must be post-performance, and 3) the incentive must be a tax rebate once the jobs have been created and the corporate taxes are paid. Most importantly, these incentives were previously only available to new companies relocating to Utah: they are now available to businesses already in Utah to help them grow at home.

International Trade

You may have read recent headlines that trade is killing the US, that is not the case in Utah. Utah is a trade surplus state to the tune of $4 billion annually and has doubled its exports over the past decade with a goal to double exports again over the next ten years. This is a credit to the 3,500 plus companies that export, nearly 85 percent of which are small businesses.

Take, for example, Butcher’s Bunches, which makes handcrafted, all natural fruit preserves in Cache Valley. The jam is not only sold in Utah but in Asia, the UK, France, Australia, Canada, and Dubai. This global family company began selling in a farmer’s market in Park City. Tourists visiting Park City from around the world enjoyed the product so much that they began asking Liz Butcher, the owner, how they could buy her jam when they returned home.

Utah’s pioneering heritage is alive and well across the state, from Grouse Creek to Montezuma Creek. Our state and local governments are partnering with the business community to support small business owners who work every day to keep the American Dream alive for themselves, their families, and their employees.

Modern Shipping Container Marvel in New Jersey on the Market for $875K

By Joel Fine
Sep 23, 2018

 | Sep 19, 2018

Shipping containers have never looked so sparkling.

In fact, passers-by might not realize this modern marvel—a four-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot glass home in New Jersey recently listed for $875,000—was built from something so ordinary.

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Architect Adam Kalkin found inspiration for the home in an unusual place: the ports of New Jersey. In his daily commute to New York City, he passed by piles of shipping containers. "He thought, 'How can I upcycle them into a living space?'" says listing agent Caroline Gosselin.

Kalkin is not the first architect to follow this line of thinking: Shipping container homes have enjoyed a surge in popularity.

Kalkin considers metal containers "zombies." He even started a firm called Industrial Zombie, which "re-imagin[es] them for a higher purpose, thereby giving them new life."

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So he breathed life into his own shipping container masterpiece in 2008: two side-by-side structures on a hillside in Tewksbury Township. Hints of the home's origins can be seen in the corrugated metal siding throughout, and the wooden beams that mark the joining of the containers. Off the dining room, the cozy space that holds a table and leather booths is the size of a shipping container.

Potential buyers are "surprised by how much space it is," Gosselin says. "It takes shipping containers to a whole new level."

A mix of concrete and upcycled hardwood floors give the home a hint of industrial chic, and floor-to-ceiling windows could make you forget the home's humble origins.

But it's the home's second owner who built the space's "showstopper," says Gosselin. Kalkin originally designed two separate buildings. The current seller invested $300,000 in a steel and glass breezeway joining the two structures, making "it a whole home," she says.

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Breakfast nook
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Each level offers 1,000 square feet of space—plenty of room for a library, yoga room, and spa. Want to keep overnight guests close, but not too close? Give them free rein of one half of the building. The breezeway keeps you connected without feeling like you're stepping on others' toes.

City mice who want to burrow in the country will find this property particularly appealing. The train to New York City takes about an hour, and Califon, the surrounding town, feels very much like "horse country," Gosselin says. "It gives the best of both worlds," she says.

"It's great for someone who wants to be in nature but doesn't want to give up that loft-like, industrial-modern feel," the agent adds.

Jamie Wiebe writes about home design and real estate for realtor.com. She has previously written for House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Real Simple, Veranda, and more.
Questions about Park City/Area real estate contact Joel Fine Realtor Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 435-901-2171 joel@fineproperty.com

Mortgage Rates for Utah--Fairway Mortgage

By Joel Fine
Sep 17, 2018

Current Mortgage Rates for Utah

Conforming
Loan Type Interest Rate APR
5/1 ARM Conforming 4.50% 4.771%
30-yr fixed Conforming 4.75% 4.788%
15-yr fixed Conforming 4.375% 4.393%
Based on $300k loan amount and 65% loan to value.

Jumbo

Loan Type Interest Rate APR
7/1 ARM Jumbo 4.000% 4.592%
30-yr fixed Jumbo 4.50% 4.626%
15-yr fixed Jumbo 4.25% 4.378%
Provided to you by Josh Mettle Josh Mettle Loan Officer 385-355-2130 O 801-699-4287 C Josh.mettle@fairwaymc.com NMLS: 219996 (888)996-9690

 

How To Make The Move To Park City, Utah

By Joel Fine
Sep 17, 2018

How To Make The Move To Park City, Utah

Rob Reed

Deer Valley Resort (left) and Park City Mountain Resort (right)PARK CITY CHAMBER/BUREAU

It took me the better part of a decade to make it happen. But I had a vision. I had a goal: to leave the city and get my family to the mountains. After nine years of subtle suggestions and outright machinations, we did it. We moved from Los Angeles to Park City, Utah.

Of course, uprooting your family and moving from an urban center, where you probably have family roots and a career or business network built over many years, is no easy decision. If you value the mountain lifestyle, though, it's well worth the effort to explore the idea.

The Montage Deer Valley in the winterMONTAGE DEER VALLEY

The following is a three-step guide to making it happen.

1. Take Some Vacations

Before you even broach the topic with your family, plan a couple vacations to Park City. See what it's like to live there for a week or so, while you ski, bike, golf or just relax by the pool. My approach included both winter and summer trips. Leaving nothing to chance, we stayed at the superb Montage Deer Valley each time.

MORE FROM FORBES

Deer Valley overlooking the Jordanelle ReservoirDEER VALLEY RESORT

During the winter, the Montage is a premium ski-in/ski-out experience, where valets help with your boots in the morning and literally take them off your feet at the end of the day. From the hotel's Compass Sports ski shop, it's just a few steps to Deer Valley's Empire, Ruby, and Lady Morgan lifts with terrain for all abilities.

Like the setting of a grand European castleMONTAGE DEER VALLEY

It's quieter in the summer but every bit as beautiful. Kids five to 12 will enjoy the Paintbox "day camp" program (seriously, they will) while adults can golf, mountain bike or enjoy the spa. The downstairs Daly's Pub includes a bowling alley, and the burger at Burgers & Bourbon is perhaps the best I've ever had. And then there are fine dining options at the Apex steakhouse and Yama Sushi, both exceptional. If not for the free shuttle that will take you most anywhere in town and then pick you up, there'd be little motivation to leave.

These vacations are valuable in and of themselves. But they can also be a subtle message to your family: this is what it's like to live in Park City (even if the Montage is a slight exaggeration).

Fall in Utah's Wasatch MountainsPARK CITY CHAMBER/BUREAU

2. Live in Park City for One Year

After much negotiation, my wife and I agreed on a 12-month trial. As a Pacific Palisades native, she'd never experienced a proper winter. And neither of us knew for sure if the kids would like it — but, again, what's not to like? The plan was to rent a house for a year, starting and ending in the summer. If we didn't love it, we could move back to LA.

Ski slopes in the summerDEER VALLEY RESORT

We took advantage of our final ski vacation, which was during the kids' spring break, to visit the neighborhoods and elementary schools of Park City while the kids were in ski school. Once we identified the right combination of the two — Jeremy Ranch and Trailside were our top picks — we started to monitor for rental homes. Leases will typically run June to June due to seasonality and the school year. It's rare to find an unfurnished house for rent, which is convenient if you want to rent your house while exploring the Park City life for a year.

After a few months of the trial, my wife and kids were sold. We bought a house less than a year later. Now, after more than two years, it's impossible for us to imagine living anywhere else. Park City, Utah, is home.

3. Buy a Vacation Property

If you can't swing a full move, then a vacation property gets you part way there. As I've noticed, this starts with spending a few weeks and then a couple months each year in Park City. Eventually, the vacation home becomes permanent.

For golfers, there are three communities worth considering.

Golfing at 7,000 feetPARK MEADOWS

Park Meadows Country Club is the oldest among them and closest to downtown. The clubhouse recently underwent a complete renovation, and the course is a Jack Nicklaus design. A partnership with Chateau Deer Valleyprovides ski benefits including indoor parking, ski storage, and use of the spa facilities.

Glenwild is a mix of seasonal and full-time residentsGLENWILD

Glenwild is outside of town in a secluded valley on the other side of I-80. The course is a Tom Fazio design, recognized by Golf Digest as the best in Utah. Facilities include a restaurant, spa, gym and outdoor pool, which is open year-round. Among the three clubs, Glenwild has the best hiking and mountain biking trails within the actual property. And it's the only one that counts the Michael Jordan as a resident member.

A beach club in the mountainsPROMONTORY

Promontory is the biggest community with two golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye respectively. It also has a man-made beach and lake that supports swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking. The Promontory Club at Deer Valley, adjacent to Silver Lake Lodge, provides a private ski lounge for members and a shuttle to and from the mountain.

Deer Valley is one of many summer music venuesDEER VALLEY RESORT

What Are the Downsides to Living in Park City? 

For those who like to recreate and enjoy the outdoors throughout all four seasons, Park City is nothing short of paradise. It has the conveniences of a big city without the pollution, traffic and crime. It has the luxuries of a mountain town without the isolation, limited services and having everyone in your business. Nevertheless, there are downsides.

First, be prepared for some athletic humility. If Los Angeles and New York City are known for beautiful people, Park City is known for fit people. You can't go to a summer BBQ without meeting an Olympian in this town. Seriously, the medal count rivals most countries. So you'll need to recalibrate your expectations...or significantly elevate your game.

Next, injury and recovery are a way of life. I made it all of 18 months before breaking my leg skiing. Another friend broke his collar bone mountain biking inside of 12 months. Both required surgery. Fortunately, the Olympian community means Park City has some of the best orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists in the world. The wall of fame at Rosenberg, Cooley, Metcalf is a who's who of winter sports athletes and their injuries.

Other than that, it's tough to think of any reason not to live in Park City, Utah.

For more Park City Utah information contact Joel Fine Realtor, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 435-901-2171 www.joelfine.com    Joel@FineProperty.com

Cabin in Midway Utah's Snake Creek Canyon

By Joel Fine
Aug 27, 2018

Bedrooms: 2
Bathroom: 1
Square Foot: 1,372
Acres: 0.25
Area: Midway
MLS#: 11805715

 

Cabin is turnkey and ready for you and your family to make a lot of memories. Situated above the Wasatch State Park and Golf Course, minutes from Homestead Resort and the quaint town of Midway and the conveniences it offers. Hiking and biking trails in the area as well as snowmobiling and ATVing. Deer, elk, moose and wild turkey can make a house visit. Cabin is cozy and sleeps 8. Vaulted ceilings, wood burning stove, one car garage (could also be a storage area or game room), washer and dryer, trampoline for the kids. Large deck off the family room.

Joel Fine, Realtor

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties

435-901-2171

joel@FineProperty ,com

www.joelfine.com

Browse by Lifestyle, Design Type, Amenities

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
May 24, 2016

One of the many clever new features of berkshirehathawayhs.com is the ability to search for property based on lifestyle interests such as skiing, fishing, schooling, etc...

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Further, you can browse by design features such as modern architecture, stucco, outdoor fire pits, etc...

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 1.53.05 PMAll of these new features, combined with the international functionality of the site, allow for you to find EXACTLY what you're looking for...

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Local Business Love: Julie Nester Gallery

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Feb 10, 2016

JN Blog6Park City may be a small ski town, but it has a full-fledged cultural scene that includes a diverse family of art galleries. Perched in a warehouse space just off of Main, Julie Nester Gallery houses contemporary art pieces that range from photography to oil paintings.

Expertly curated by the Nesters, longtime art aficionados who have been doing their best to keep Park City’s taste as elevated as its altitude, this gallery remains one our favorite haunts when it comes to padding out our spaces with beauty.

The bright space is ideal for taking a moment and thinking high-and-mighty aesthetic thoughts. From a designer’s standpoint, the gallery offers a wide array of mediums and artists, but all fall under the general umbrella of modern.

We’re pretty outspoken fans of bringing contemporary design trends to our neck of the woods; so, it’s no surprise that we’re quite fond of Tor Archer’s sculptures, Audra Weaser’s mixed medium acrylics, and Nine Francois’ charming animal portraits. Each featured artist truly differs from the next, and this gallery sets the bar in terms of bring cosmopolitan creations to our mountain setting.JN Blog5

JN Blog JN Blog2JN Blog3JN Blog4

Making Color Work: Choosing Paint Colors

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Dec 30, 2015

Don’t be offended if an agent suggests that you paint before placing your home on the market. They understand “color psychology.” Since people’s reaction to color is immediate, it can have a tremendous influence on their daily choices.

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You can make your home stand out from the competition, sell more quickly and at a higher price if you use color effectively. Blues will feel cool, reds and oranges feel warm. Deeper shades of color imply intimacy and serenity.

Lighter exterior colors are favored because they can make the property seem larger. For older homes, you may want to consider historical accuracy, as this could be a big selling point as well.

For the interior, consider the purpose of each room. Kitchen and dining areas painted in “food colors” such as coffee browns, celery greens and scrambled-egg yellows will make the rooms feel more natural. Hallways are a great place to bring in the exterior colors for overall harmony. Master bedrooms in medium shades of green or blue for warm selling seasons, and rouge red for cooler weather. Other bedrooms can be painted in creamy tones of green, blue, or a pale shell pink. Shades of blue, green or lavender can form a relaxing atmosphere in the bathroom.

When thinking about color, common sense helps. You should match other things in your home and keep a comfortable environment as well.

Announcing | The Enclave at Sun Canyon

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Sep 01, 2015

Art in Architecture | Contemporary, Built for Living, Surrounded by Nature. 

 

We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Enclave at Sun Canyon. We specialize in developments; and, under the guidance of the Enclave agent team, we will continue to position the Enclave at Sun Canyon as one of Park City's most forward-thinking developments in terms of design, quality of life, and community.

 

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Enclave at Sun Canyon is a community of 33 luxury townhomes and four custom homes, designed to blend with their natural surroundings. Located in the heart of Park City, Enclave is just minutes from three world-class ski resorts, Utah Olympic Park, Redstone Village and Historic Main Street with premier dining, shopping, theater and festivals. The Salt Lake International and private Heber Airports are within 35 minutes of home.

Constructed of stacked stone, floor-to-ceiling glass and a combination of grass and metal roofs, these residences have been designed to capture their mountain surroundings and offer residents a contemporary living space esconced in nature. Both the one acre homesites and the 33 town homes have been carefully situated to take advantage of views, sun exposure and access. Careful architectural guidelines ensure utmost quality and respect for surrounding nature and allow for custom homes ranging in size from 5,000 to 6,000 square feet (the town homes range from 3,500 square feet to 6,500 sq ft).

Life at Enclave includes majestic alpine scenery with more than 60 acres of open space and private trails and an additional 1,000 acres of adjacent Mid-Mountain Trails for hiking, biking, snow shoeing and cross-country skiing.

Click for site plans, FAQs, and details on the residences.

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Down to the Details

From natural grass roofs, to stone counter tops, to heated floors (the heated floor are only in the bathrooms, the rest of forced air), and contemporary interiors, the residences meet the highest standards of modern aesthetics and amenities, offering owners an unparalleled living experience.

Outstanding features include:

  • Stone and cedar siding with reclaimed heavy timber accents
  • Combination corrugated metal, rock and natural grass roofs
  • Open metal railings and staircases
  • Heated driveways
  • Heated flooring in bathrooms
  • Stone slab countertops
  • Euro-style frameless shower doors
  • Dual vanities
  • Adjacent walk-in closet with washer/dryer
  • High-efficiency, forced-air heating and air conditioning
  • Unique gas fireplaces in great rooms and masters
  • Wood and natural stone flooring
  • Floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors
  • Metal-clad wood frames
  • Built-in Thermador kitchen appliances
  • Granite and quartzite countertop options
  • Kohler faucets, toilets and shower heads
  • Hydrotherapy tub option
Click for a complete list of features.

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For secluded mountain modern living, Enclave offers residents seamless natural living with all of the features, down to the truly detailed, that make life in Park City a dream.

L.E.D. lighting can make a real difference

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
May 29, 2015

Most homeowners want to be eco-friendly, yet they worry that making changes in that regard might be costly and time consuming. Incorporating energy-efficient lighting is a great way to make a big impression with green-conscious homebuyers. In fact, studies have reported that 80% of homebuyers identify energy savings and comfortable surroundings as key factors when deciding between listings.

It isn’t just limited to fluorescent tubes or CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps). LEDs are an energy-efficient light source that began growing in popularity around 2007. LED lighting can be used as accents to better showcase the home’s features. From track lighting over the fireplace to under-counter cabinet lighting and recessed lighting in the hall, LED fixtures can cast dramatic light on your home’s best features, while at the same time, remaining cool to the touch and easy on the wallet.

Here are some interesting facts about LED lighting:

  • Offers the same bright white output as incandescent lighting
  • Uses 75% less electricity than standard incandescent bulbs
  • Uses 75% less electricity than standard incandescent bulbs
  • The Department of Energy estimates that replacing regular light bulbs with LEDs could potentially save 190 terawatt-hours annually—the equivalent of lighting over 95 million homes
While buyers can make these changes themselves, savvy sellers know that they will judge your eco-friendly actions in a positive light and may be more inclined to deal with you.

 
 
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