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

Second Quarter Park City Market Update

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Jul 21, 2016

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Sales Volume

Sales are up 12% in Park City and 35% in Heber

The total sum of all sold transactions in Park City from the first six months of 2016 suggests steady, but measured growth. The total volume of sales, roughly $800,200,000, is up 12% from the same time last year. This increase in sales volume can be attributed to a 20% increase in Single Family homes during the first six months of this calendar year.

Quick Takeaway: Sales volume is up. 

Closings

There have been roughly 400 closings this year in Park City, roughly the same as last year. . There were close to 300 closings in Heber Valley, a 35% increase from last year. 

The number of closed properties in Park City showed a recovery from a slight downtick in the first quarter of this calendar year. Looking year-over-year, closed sales have remained fairly flat the last four years with the number of closed transactions at the second quarter benchmark remaining right around 400.

Heber Valley, on the other hand, has experienced tremendous activity.

Quick Takeaway: Number of Sales are steady and have been for the last four years in Park City. Heber Valley and surrounding areas have seen increased interest. 

Listings

Listing inventory in Park City, while still a bit constrained, has remained level for the last 12 months. There are currently 1,186 listings as of July 1 of 2016 compared to 1,170 from the same time last year, suggesting a stabilized inventory level.

Quick Takeaway: Listing inventory has remained steady at around 1,000 active listings for the past 2 years.

Absorption Rate

The current absorption rate, which is the rate at which available homes are sold in a specific market during a time period, suggests a much higher demand for anything under $660,000 for condos and anything under $1.6 million for family homes. Condos under $660,000 have an absorption rate of 4.6 months; whereas, condos over $660,000 have an absorption rate of 15.4 months. As the absorption rate is calculated by looking at the ration between available homes and monthly sales, these indicators suggest the importance of accurately pricing with the help of a seasoned professional. Overall, the absorption rate is gradually decreasing.

Quick Takeaway: The absorption rate is decreasing, suggesting the importance of accurate pricing and strong buyer demand at the right price point. 

Pricing

Prices are increasing both in and around Park City at a steady clip. Since January of 2012, the median price of single family homes in Park City has increased at an average of 7.2% per calendar year. The rolling median is up 12% from 2015, with the average price of single family homes increasing at a rate of 12.8%, suggesting a bullish local market.

Quick Takeaway: Prices are increasing, but a gradual rate.

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!

Utah-One of the lowest property tax rates in the country

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
May 06, 2016

According to the National Association of Realtors:

The average median property tax rate across the nation is 1.31 percent. That means a home owner with a home valued at $200,000, on average, pays an annual amount of $2,620 in property taxes, according to an analysis by CoreLogic’s data team.

Illinois has the highest median property tax rate at 2.67 percent. Hawaii, on the other hand, has the lowest at 0.31 percent.'

“While higher median tax rates are seen primarily among states in the northeast, a notable exception is Texas, which has a median property tax rate of 2.17 percent,” CoreLogic reports. “Typically, the states with the highest property tax rates, with the exception of Illinois, have multiple levels of tax collection. Conversely, the majority of states with low median tax rates have a single level of collection at the county level. Other than Hawaii, the lowest median property tax rates are primarily in the Rocky Mountain region and southeastern states.”

Owning a home is one of the best ways to increase your personal equity and with a property tax rate of .75%, Utah is one of the best places to start that process.

Reach out for more information.

Park City Current Market Snapshot

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Apr 28, 2016

FIRST QUARTER

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Greater Park City Area

Single Family Homes Sold this Quarter: 180

Average Single Family Sale Price: $1.3 million

Median Single Family Sale Price: $722,000

Condominiums Sold this Quarter: 151

Average Condo Sale Price: $800,000

Median Condo Sale Price: $500,000

Wasatch County

Single Family Homes Sold this Quarter: 58

Average Single Family Sale Price: $584,000

Median Single Family Sale Price: $434,000

Condominiums Sold this Quarter: 35

Average Condo Sale Price: $429,000

Median Condo Sale Price: $355,000

Reach out for a comprehensive overview of Park City's market and your neighborhood's trends.

Utah ranked No. 1 Best State for Business for 2015—the fifth year out of the last six

By Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Apr 28, 2016

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From the Governor's Office of Economic Development: 

When you think of the nation’s greatest sports dynasties, you might think of the Boston Celtics, New York Yankees or Green Bay Packers. Now think “economic dynasty”—and Utah should come to mind. Forbes magazine once again ranked Utah as the No. 1 Best State for Business for 2015. This marks five out of the last six years in the top spot.

“We’ve enjoyed years of success but have also learned a very important lesson: it’s much harder to stay on top than it is to get there,” said Governor Gary R. Herbert. “It’s always exciting to earn top accolades, but it’s even more meaningful that this is our fifth win from Forbes. It means that all of our work to maintain a winning business environment is working. It means we’re continuously building a champion state.”

Utah has been ranked No. 1 for economic outlook every year since 2008. Everyone from the Washington Post and Fortune magazine to The New Yorker has been talking about Utah, trying to discover the Beehive State’s secret to success. Collaboration is one of the state’s not-so-secret strengths.

“Sports dynasties don’t happen because of one star player or a single miracle play,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “They happen because of focused strategy, tireless effort and—perhaps most importantly—teamwork. The same goes for Utah’s economy. This is the result of continued partnership between Utah’s greatest in business, government, education and our communities. Team Utah has built an incredible economic dynasty.”

The Forbes ranking comes just days after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s latest research titled “Enterprising States: States Innovate.” Utah took top marks in all six measured categories, including business climate and high-tech performance. The state won the No. 1 spot for innovation and entrepreneurship, garnering the label of “most fundamentally sound state” from the Chamber.

One point in the Chamber’s study is reminiscent of 2013—the one year in the past six—that Utah ranked a still noteworthy No. 3 rather than No. 1 with Forbes. One area for improvement in the “States Innovate” report is talent pipeline. Utah barely missed the top ten for the category taking the No. 11 spot.

Like any hall of fame team, Utah’s overall success lies in a proactive focus on the fundamentals: reduced regulation, spending within means and, when necessary, implementing “cross-training” and “conditioning” to perfect our economic play.

Just last month, an unprecedented collaboration between government, industry and education leaders produced the Utah Aerospace Pathways (UAP) program. The program is designed to place high school students on the fast-track for aerospace careers, landing them in high-paying jobs right after high school graduation. UAP serves as a pilot for similar education programs for other industries—such as the IT and software sector—along with incumbent worker training programs. Coupled with other endeavors such as the STEM Action Center’s grant programs and teacher trainings, all hands are on deck for tackling workforce development. The idea is to create sustainable economic development.

“Our job as part of Team Utah is to work with companies that are considering Utah for expansion, so we see the business site selection process regularly,” said Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “Receiving the Forbes Best State for Business ranking again in 2015, and for the fifth time in six years, confirms what we hear from companies every day: no one else does economic development like Utah. The model we have in this state, with industry support, local community participation and leadership from the Governor’s Office—it is uncommon and remarkable.”

 
 
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