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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Breezeway
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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

Berkshire HathawayHS.com Goes Global

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
May 18, 2016

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is expanding globally and our website is making the change, too.

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The new website features language, currency and measurement options for prospective buyers both in the U.S. and abroad whose native language may not be English. Global consumers accessing BerkshireHathawayHS.com may search for homes in any city or state serviced by our franchisees. What they’ll find they can’t get anywhere else: full MLS data containing all listings in their search area, including our own Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices listings in their language of choice. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices . . . Good to Know. ®

To complement our international platform, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices now sends your listings to over 35 countries throughout the world!

3rd Home - Travel Club for Luxury Second Homeowners

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Mar 16, 2016

We are thrilled to announce our EXCLUSIVE relationship with 3rd Home.

BHHS Utah Tips: Real Estate and Taxes

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Feb 29, 2016

Tax considerations for buyers and sellers
 

taxes

Buyers and sellers need to be informed about tax considerations before entering a transaction.

If you have purchased or sold a home last year, there are a number of tax deductions for which you may qualify. Here are some important factors to keep in mind:

Profitability: According to the IRS, if you have a gain from the sale of your main home, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of the gain from your income as a single tax filer, or $500,000 on a joint return in most cases.

Interest: Currently, much of the interest paid on a mortgage is tax-deductible. A married couple filing jointly can deduct all of their interest on a maximum of $1 million in mortgage debt secured by a first or second home.

Selling costs: Broker commissions, title insurance, legal fees, advertising costs, administrative costs, and inspection fees are all considered selling costs and currently may be used to reduce one’s taxable capital gain by the amount of the selling costs.

Refinanced mortgage points: They may be deductible, but not all at once. Homeowners who refinance may be able to immediately write off the balance of the old points and begin to amortize the new points. Interest paid on a home equity loan or similar line of credit may also be deducted.

Points/origination fees: On a home loan, if points or origination fees are paid during the purchase of a home, they are currently generally tax-deductible for the year in which they were paid.

Repairs/remodels: Qualifying capital improvements may be able to be deducted, including costs of a new roof, fence, swimming pool, garage, porch, built-in appliances, insulation, heating or cooling systems and landscaping.

Relocation expenses: If you move because of a new job, you may be able to deduct some of your moving costs. To qualify for these deductions, you must meet several IRS requirements, including that your new job is at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your previous job. Moving-cost deductions can include travel or transportation costs, lodging expenses, and fees for storing your household goods.

Property taxes: Currently deductible from your income. If you have an impound or escrow account, you can’t deduct the money held for property taxes until the money is actually used to pay your property taxes. City or state property tax refund reduces your federal deduction by an equal amount.

First-time buyer credit: For those buyers who took advantage of this credit within the past two years, remember that if within 36 months of the date of purchase, the property is no longer used as your principal residence, you are required to repay the credit.

Another important tip for those moving into a new home is to make sure you update your address with the IRS and the U.S. Postal Service to ensure you receive refunds or correspondence from the IRS.

Tax laws change every year, and certain tax deductions become available while others phase out. Speak with a professional tax consultant about these and other considerations.

 

Explained: The Tax Benefits of Owning a House

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Dec 30, 2015

tax

 

If you have recently bought or sold a home, there are a few tax advantages that may be available to you. Generally speaking, real estate broker’s commissions, title insurance, legal fees, advertising costs, administrative costs and inspection fees are considered selling costs and may reduce taxable capital gain by the amount of the selling costs.

However, every year the tax code can change and your situation may be unique. So the following is provided only as a guide. It is highly recommended that you seek a professional tax consultant to be sure.

There are several other key areas where you might benefit:

Mortgage Interest: Within limits, it may be tax-deductible. For example, a married couple filing jointly can deduct interest payments on a maximum of $1 million in mortgage debt secured by a first or second home. Buyers may also be able to deduct some of the interest they paid on a home equity loan or similar line of credit.

Points: Points or origination fees on a home loan paid during purchase are generally tax-deductible in full, for the year in which they were paid.

Refinanced mortgage points: These may also be deductible, but only over the life of the loan. Homeowners who refinance can immediately write off the balance of the old points and begin to amortize the new.

Improvements: Improvements made to property prior to the sale (or once one moves in) might qualify for an interest deduction on your home-improvement loan. Qualifying capital improvements are those that increase your home’s value, prolong its life, or adapt it to new uses, such as adding a porch or installing energy-efficient windows.

Real Estate Taxes: During a sale, the seller will send the local tax collector’s office a check for real estate taxes prior to the closing. In many circumstances, however, the buyer will pay a pro-rated portion of the taxes for the year at closing. This tax deduction also gets overlooked.

Business Use: For new buyers who work at home: If a room is used exclusively for business purposes, they may be able to deduct home costs related to that portion, such as a percentage of your insurance and repair costs, and depreciation.

Moving Costs: If you have moved because of a new job, moving costs might be deducted. These can include travel or transportation costs, lodging, and fees for storage of your household goods.

In today’s economy, it’s critical that we take advantage of every possible tax break. A home provides a great opportunity to do just that.

The Final Walk Through

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Dec 01, 2015

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You found the perfect house, made an offer, negotiated the price, had an inspection and ensured your mortgage. The only thing left is your final walk-through.

Walk-throughs are normally scheduled the day of, or day before the settlement, as the seller should be completely moved out. The object is to ensure that the house stands in the same condition as when you agreed to buy it.

This is not the time to nitpick about nail holes or carpet imperfections. Unless you’ve negotiated allowances for such issues, you’ll have to address them later after you’ve settled.

What could impact the transaction is property or fixtures that the seller agreed to leave behind are missing (e.g., a washing machine, pool table, garage cabinets, etc.) or if the seller leaves things that were supposed to be removed (e.g., paint cans, furniture, etc.).

With your agent at your side, be sure that obligatory repairs flagged during the home inspection are completed to code and satisfaction. If the seller agreed to replace an aging water heater but didn’t do it, this must be accounted for during settlement.

You may be eager to leave the house and get to the settlement, but don’t rush through the walk-through. Run the appliances through a full cycle to make sure they work. Turn on all faucets and showers as well.

Some contracts will specify that the buyer complete a walk-through a week or two prior to settlement followed by a quick meeting prior to settlement to check off any items previously noted. Again, any items or tasks that aren’t complete must be justified at the time of settlement.

Though issues may arise, the majority of walk-throughs go without a hitch as both parties are eager to complete the deal and willing to negotiate any final hurdles.

 
 
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