Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home is a very exciting time, but first-time homebuyers can also feel a bit anxious if you do not have all the information you need or are not fully prepared for all the costs necessary to buy a home.

 

Here are some things to consider to help you be prepared for your big move.

  • First and foremost, determine a realistic amount for how much you can afford.Consider your current monthly budget, leave room for miscellaneous home costs and repairs, like HOA fees, taxes and insurance. Then determine the amount you can afford for a house payment, considering what percentage of your take-home pay can be used.

 

  • Pay off all debt. Carrying debt will not only decrease the amount you will qualify for but can also add stress to your monthly bottom line
  • Save for a down payment. Having 20% down is ideal, that will get you into a position of not having to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
  • Save for closing costs. Typically, closing costs are 3-4% of the purchase price. Once you have a good idea of the home price, you can get to this number easily.
  • Loan pre-approval. Once you have paid off debt and saved for closing cost, it is a good idea to have a lender pre-approve you for a loan. This will help expedite the closing process and give you an idea of what amount you actually qualify for.

 

  • When it comes time to finding the perfect house, research desirable neighborhoods to find the best fit.

 

  • Hire a real estate agent that can help you navigate the maze of open houses and do all the necessary paperwork!

Top Places to Work Up a Sweat Around Salt Lake

Some of the top places to work up a sweat in Salt Lake might be right outside your backdoor.

When the greatest snow on earth finally melts, Utahns work up a sweat by biking, hiking, walking or running on various trails throughout the state.

Being an outdoor enthusiast in Salt Lake is a scenic undertaking, there are just so many possibilities.

Here are some great trails to get you started:

Parley’s Trail

The Parley’s Trial is an 8-mile fully paved trail, making it great for walkers, runners and riders. The trail actually connects the mouth of Parley’s canyon with Sugar House and the Jordan River. With 8-miles to roam, you are sure to work up a sweat no matter your mode of transportation.

 

Bonneville Shoreline Trail

Situated above the valley, with amazing views, the Bonneville Shoreline Trial spans across the Wasatch Front, with the most popular section running from City Creek to Emigration Canyon. This trail is ideal for mountain biking as there are numerous ‘spurs’ which make for fast descents. Dogs are Allowed.

Bell’s Canyon Trail

Located at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, this popular trail 2.50 miles and is suitable for all ages and abilities. Take in beautiful sites of Lone Peak, Wasatch Mountains and overlook the Salt Lake valley. Three quarters of the way in, there is a lovely reservoir to walk around. No Dogs allowed.

Cecret Lake Trail

Also, in the south end of the valley, the hike to Cecret Lake is 1.60 miles and has very easy access. A bit steep in some sections, this hike is short enough to be suitable for all ages. During the spring and summer, the area is full of wildflowers. No Dogs Allowed.

 

Jordan River Parkway

40 miles of paved trails throughout the greater Salt Lake area, make the parkway ideal for walkers, runners and road biking along the Jordan River. Dozens of trailheads run north to south that offer picnic tables, bathrooms, pavilions and parks. Dogs are allowed.

 

Silver Lake

A beautiful trail that takes you 1.75 miles around Silver Lake, either on manmade walkways or along a natural trail. Great for walkers and strollers. The hike starts at the Brighton Resort, just west of the general store. Take a picnic, there are plenty of places to sit and take in the beauty

Tips for Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

Now that you have made the decision to sell, getting your home in the best condition so it will show well can take a little time.

 

Some simple tips for getting your home ready to sell are just minor details. Like, on showing days, be sure there are no dishes in the sink, all the beds are made and the house is freshly vacuumed. Wipe off counters, hang fresh towels and putting fresh flowers out is a nice touch!

 

Here are a few other tips to consider:

Give your house a deep cleaning

You want any potential buyers to get the best first impression possible. Deep cleaning includes, laundering drapes, cleaning base boards and blinds. Remember not to neglect the bathrooms. Give your backsplashes a good wipe down in both the kitchen and bathrooms.

De-clutter

Having a cluttered space makes it difficult for some buyers to see the homes potential, it can also make a space appear smaller than it is. Getting rid of unnecessary Knick knacks and decorations will allow people to see their belongings in the space, and make the space more asthetically pleasing overall.

Paint Walls

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a room. Stick to neutral colors like light grays, whites and beige etc. Having freshly painted walls also allows potential buyers to check an item off their list of things to do when they move in.

Stage Your Home

Spruce up the inside by adding textures, symmetry and nice linens. This can be as easy as adding throw pillows. Lighting candles also adds warmth and homeyness.

Don’t forget about curb appeal, make sure your yard and walk ways are free from debris and obstacles.

Hire a handyman

Little things like broken drawers, even burned out light bulbs etc, may seem like just annoyances but having multiple items that need fixing can devalue your home to some people. Do the things you can do yourself, then hire a handyman for the others.

The Best Places to Grab a Beer in Salt Lake

Beer in Salt Lake is getting a makeover. Local beer enthusiasts have something besides great, local craft beer to celebrate these days.

In a recent move by the Utah Legislature, a compromise has been reached on allowing 4% beer to be sold in grocery and convenient stores throughout Utah. This increase, previously the alcohol content in beer in Utah was 3.2%, was determined based on information received from certain beer manufacturers hinting they would no longer be making the reduced brew. Craft beer drinkers have already been consuming a heavier brew as breweries tend to produce a 4% or higher product.

Here are some great places to grab a beer this weekend.

Squatters- The first Squatters beer was poured in 1989, since then the demand for their handcrafted beer has surged and you can find their award-winning brews in many local restaurants, hotels, bars, resorts and the airport. From a double IPA (Hop Rising) to their hefeweizen (American Wheat) the variety of brews provides a tasty exploration.

147 W Broadway

 

Boeheim Brewery– Since 2001, Boeheim Brewery has been producing old central-European lagers. On a mission to perfect the ‘the old school brew”, the legendary Bavarian Purity Law of 1516, the brewers at Boeheim take their sweet time crafting the best lager, in small batches, using only natural ingredients. Try the 1842 Czech Pilsener, the signature taste first brewed in 1842, it’s a classic.

94 E Fort Union Blvd

Proper Brewing Co– Launching with their balanced ale, the English Golden Ale, Proper Beer brewers prefer the full flavors of unfiltered beer. This process, or lack thereof, will cause a bit of hazy color to your glass. Rest assured, you will taste a rich and hoppy brew that they believe taste better than most. Try a class for yourself.

857 S Main Street

 

Red Rock Brewery– This award-winning brew has been around since 1994. Producing six brands that can be purchased in restaurants, the state liquor store and other locations throughout the state, the company added a dedicated brewery to support growth in 2011. From draft ‘session’ classics to their artist palette line of craft beers, you many find a new unique flavor combination that will surprise you.

254 S 200 W

The Bayou- Proudly known as Utah’s largest beer bar, The Bayou offers local microbreweries to an extensive selection to bottled beers. If tasting various local beer is on your bucket list, head over to The Bayou. Epic, 2 Row, Kiitos and Moab are all on deck. And that is really just naming a few.

645 S State Street

 

Wasatch Brewery -Utah’s first brewery, offering craft beer since 1986.  Wasatch Brewery offers award-winning brew that now only comes in cans, or on draft. Polygamy Porter, with its quirky message “Why have just one” having a good time with Utah’s controversial past, was no joke when it came to taste and full flavor in a beer.  Try the Evolution amber ale or the Snowbird session IPA, maybe the clever names make them taste even better.

250 Main Street

The Best Places to Grab a Cocktail in Salt Lake

Utah may have the reputation for having some pretty wonky liquor laws, does ‘is this a bar, or a restaurant’ sound familiar? That said, Utah is home to some of the best places around to grab a cocktail after work or on the weekend with friends. Some of the best mixologist are right in Salt Lake City, mixing up dreamy concoctions and lighting them on fire, literally.

 

Water Witch– An intimate setting where the cocktails are flowing and the flames are high. Crafty mixologist are constantly creating new drinks and bringing in new liquors to add to their shelves. Weekly specials are a fun way to try something new.

163 W. 900 South

The Ruin-Situated in the heart of Sugar House, The Ruin is a great place to gather a group of friends for a cocktail. The space is roomy and the vibe is fun. Check their website for the schedule of live music and upcoming events.

1215 E Wilmington Ave, Ste 120

Lake Effect-Serving 100 different wines, 150 beers and several craft cocktails, Lake Effect has the largest spirit selection in Utah. The ambiance is comfortable, having both an upstairs and downstairs lounge area. Another added bonus, they offer live music seven days a week.

155 W. 200 South

 

The Beer Bar / Bar X These two hipster bars are neighbors and bring in the fun crowds on the weekends. The home to craft beer, cocktails and locally owned provisions, each location offers a bit of the same, with a little something different. You will want to check them both out.

161 E. 200 South

 

 

 

Whiskey Street– If whiskey is your jam, you will be hard pressed to find one don’t like at Whiskey Street, and rest assured, several new ones you have not yet tried. Not a whiskey drinker? No problem. They have just kicked off their new springtime cocktail list, try the “Water Lily”, made from Oomaw Gin, Cointreau, Creme de Violette, and Lemon Juice.

323 South Main

Piper Down-An old-world Irish pub. If Bloody Mary’s are you thing, head on down to Piper Down for Bloody brunch on Sundays for the free Bloody Mary bar.  Whiskey Wednesdays are $3 drinks on select whiskeys. Love karoke? They got you. In addition, live Irish music, Sunday Texas Hold’em poker and more! Always something going on at Piper Down.

1492 S State St.