7 Things to Know About Homeowners Associations

Homeowners Associations

Did you know that around 80% of newly built homes belong to a homeowners association (HOA)? Planned communities are on the rise, but what does it mean to live within one of these neighborhoods?

What is an HOA, and what does an HOA do? Keep reading to learn all about homeowners associations here.

What is a Homeowners Association (HOA)?

A homeowners association (HOA) is an organization within planned communities or townhouse and condominium developments. HOAs oversee the properties in their jurisdiction and create and enforce communal areas and member’s properties. In this way, your investment is protected and even causes an increase in home value.

Fees Range Widely

When joining an HOA, you have to pay a particular set of fees. HOA fees are paid monthly to support community maintenance, civic amenities (sanitation, recycling, and some utilities), access to facilities (residential pool, gym, clubhouses, rec center, etc.,) and other expenses.

Some communities also cover lawn care, snow removal, and pest control for tenants with HOA fees.

These fees can range widely depending on what the HOA offers, type of home, location, and size of the community. On average, payments range from $200-$300 for single homes.

Additional Fees May Apply

Standard HOA fees included in your contract do not tend to change. However, you may be subject to pay additional fees. HOAs may charge for special assessments to pay for renovations in the neighborhood; some renovations (and charges) are unexpected, so it is best to add this to your budget.

Other fees you may face are fines. When you sign the contract, you agree to comply with those rules. If you violate an enforced regulation, like excessive noise or unapproved design changes, you could receive a warning or fine.

Insurance

HOAs provide insurance coverage and liability protections for communal properties in their jurisdiction.

Regardless of whether you make use of amenities like a fitness center or parking garage, you are still responsible for paying the HOA “master policy.” Master policies may protect aspects of your home but still need a personal plan for your condo or home.

Fees And Your Mortgage Approval

The fees you pay to an HOA may impact your mortgage qualification abilities. Lenders consider these fees when determining whether you will be able to pay back your loan.

Your DTI (debt to income) ratio may lower your offers or approval odds.

The HOA’s Reputation

Is an HOA bad? Is an HOA good?

HOAs tend to get a bad rep due to poorly managed organizations, overly strict guidelines, or lack of communication. There are plenty of positive aspects of belonging to an HOA; however, you should always read any paperwork in detail and consider whether you can afford the dues and additional fees before joining a community headed by one.

Compliance With The HOA

Rules and regulations are outlined in a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R).

CC&Rs let tenants (or prospective buyers) know about membership dues when payments are made, your rights as members, and the limitations. As HOA, you have to comply with restrictions on paint colors, the state of your yard, and so on.

What Are The Amenities, Parking, and Pet Restrictions?

HOA amenities are often limited to members who pay for those services (with HOA fees). Parking is commonly restricted to certain vehicles, where to park, or how many cars per single home.

Lastly, pets may be restricted to one or two per household, specific breeds, weights/sizes, and enforce leash and collar rules.

Consider These 7 Things Before Making Your Decision About Homeowners Associations

The benefits of joining a homeowners association are plentiful. Consider the fees, insurance, regulations, and restrictions when making your decision whether or not to join a neighborhood with an HOA. Want to know more about your home buying options in Salt Lake City?

Contact us here or check out our blog for more information about moving to SLC, Utah.

Best Spots for Commuters: North of Salt Lake or South of Salt Lake

Best Spots for Commuters: North of Salt Lake or South of Salt Lake

If you live in the SLC area of Utah, you’ve probably noticed the recent population boom we’ve been experiencing.

People are moving to the SLC area in record numbers. As a result, the surrounding suburbs are starting to receive a lot more attention.

Living on the outskirts of Salt Lake City gives homebuyers the best of both worlds. They can enjoy a nice, quiet neighborhood to raise the family and still be close enough to the downtown area, where most homebuyers work.

But, what are some of the commuter spots in South and North SLC? Read on, and we will answer all that and more by the end of this article!

Commuter Spots in South and North SLC

If you’re wondering where to search for a home in the SLC area, let us help point you in the right direction.

Without further ado, here is our carefully cultivated list of the best commuter spots in the surrounding SLC area:

Central City

Central City is known as the “first hipster hangout” in the SLC area. The neighborhood boasts an eclectic mix of food spots, bars, and nightlife.

The area is also bike-friendly. It provides a great connection between downtown SLC and other nearby neighborhoods, such as Sugarhouse. 

Rio Grande

The Rio Grande is the perfect up-and-coming neighborhood for first-time homebuyers. The area is going through a major transition and is getting a lot of help from local government agencies.

A great bureaucratic effort is underway to make this neighborhood the sparkling jewel of the SLC area. People looking for value when purchasing a home should focus on Rio Grande.

East Central

The East Central neighborhood is another great suburb of the SLC area. Residents are sold on its walkability, the fact that it’s pet-friendly, and the quality of the schools within the area.

The area also has many interesting shops, restaurants, and eateries, which are also walkable.

Liberty Wells

Liberty Wells is known as the “first suburb” of the SLC area. In the 1890s, when the neighborhood began, it was the first area outside downtown SLC to receive streetcar service.

Liberty Wells is another walkable neighborhood. Its location close to the freeways also makes it desirable for commuters.

Bonneville Hills

Bonneville Hills is a predominantly residential neighborhood close to downtown SLC. It is also close to the regional shopping mall of the area, which is a major convenience.

Sunnyside East Golf Course, as well as other outdoor amenities, are nearby as well.

Bonneville Hills is similar to the older neighborhoods of the SLC area like East Bench. If you’re looking for an area with historic charm, where you can still take advantage of all SLC has to offer, Bonneville Hills might be for you.

Selling SLC

If you’re looking to sell your property in SLC, now is the time. Get your unit on the market with us!

We pride ourselves on our expertise in the area and the lengths we go to for our clients.

We can give you a market analysis of north vs. south SLC, so you can see exactly how your home will perform in the market.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today to get started!

 

Best Places to Go Camping in Northern Utah

Best Places to Go Camping in Northern Utah

Other parts of the state may get a lot of attention, but camping in Northern Utah can be an unforgettable experience.

Diverse landscapes, varying climates, and amazing views are available at several locations in the top half of the state.

But with so many places to check out, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some of the best places to go.

Weber Memorial Campground

From May to October each year, campers flock to Weber Memorial Campground. Located in Huntsville, this spot offers more than 60 different spots for people to sprawl out and enjoy the outdoors.

Weber Memorial Campground is a great location for those who don’t wish to stray too far from modern amenities. Flush toilets, drinking water sites, and spots for RVs to camp are all available.

Fish in the dam, go boating on the rivers or cook a great meal on an open fire.

Box Elder Campground (Mantua)

Found in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Box Elder Campground is another popular (but not overcrowded) camping in Northern Utah destination.

Easy to access and affordable at just $22 per night, Box Elder has a ton of offerings for those seeking a nature getaway.

It’s rated as a quiet getaway even with its popularity, so you likely won’t have to worry too much about other campers spoiling your adventure.

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

Ready to really get outdoors? More than 3.2 million people visit Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest every year, and with the options at your disposal for entertainment, it’s not hard to see why.

Guests can bicycle, climb rocks, fish, and even hunt in designated areas at certain times during the year. The max stay is for 14 nights, so enjoy it while you can!

North Fork Campground

One of the easiest tips for camping in Utah: go where forests and glens are. North Fork campground in Eden definitely fits the bill.

Surrounded by mountain forests, you’ll leave this site with a camera full of pictures. Plus, you’re close by to fun winter attractions like alpine skiing. In the summer, you can go fishing and explore a multitude of different hiking options.

Monte Cristo Campground

Thirty miles east of Huntsville, Monte Cristo is another favorite spot for camping in the Northern Utah location.

Local hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, and meadows full of wildflowers are sure to bring you back to this campsite year after year.

Be prepared for the high altitude. The sites are located at around 9,000 feet of elevation. Be sure to pack plenty of water and sunscreen!

Ready to Go Camping in Northern Utah? 

Hopefully, these suggestions give you plenty of ideas on where to camp in northern Utah.

From Weber to Uinta to Monte Cristo, there is plenty of great camping in Northern Utah options. Whether you want to rough it outdoors or never be too far away from modern comforts, there’s something you can enjoy.

Contact us today to learn more about what’s available in this area!

 

How To Prepare Your Home to Limit Your Liability for Rental and Investment Properties

Rental and Investment Properties
As an owner of rental and investment properties, knowing how to limit your liability is important.

Protecting yourself as a property owner doesn’t have to be complicated. But, many owners fail to take basic steps that could put them at risk for serious exposure down the road.

Fortunately, learning how to prepare your home for renting while limiting liability is pretty straightforward. Here’s how we recommend you go about it.

Get a Home Inspection

Limiting liability in your home starts with a home inspection, which gives you peace of mind that the structure and interior of your home are safe to live in.

It’s also a good way to assess the current state of your rental property. You may discover basic upgrades that you can advertise in your marketing campaign, enabling you to increase rent.

Get Renters Insurance

Renters insurance protects you (and your tenants) from bearing financial responsibility for minor and even catastrophic events.

There are different types of renters insurance—homeowners and landlord insurance are two popular options—that you should weigh the pros and cons with your specific property.

Have a Renter’s Checklist Available

As part of your rental and investment liability strategy, make sure both you and your tenants have skin in the game. You can achieve this by putting together a renter’s checklist that you and they walk through during move-in.

Have both parties sign off on the agreed condition of the home. That way, down the road, you’ll have proof that the home was that way if something happens.

Put Together a Home Inventory List

If you’re still wondering how to reduce landlord liability, make a list of every item in the home. By creating an inventory list, you can organize and plan out your rental and investment property duties.

An inventory list is also a good way to ensure things don’t go missing or get damaged without being noticed. Treat the large and expensive items the same as the smaller and less valuable—everything in your home that holds value should be on your inventory list.

Check Appliances and Make Necessary Repairs

Accidents and injuries caused by appliances result in about 1,000 injuries per year.

Compared to other issues, this number is relatively small. But keeping up to date on your appliance repairs is a great way to protect yourself and limit liability.

Do some research on how often appliances need to be checked and/or upgraded. Keep these on a spreadsheet and perform routine check-ins every 6, 12, or 24 months (or once a season, like spring) based on need. This will also save you money in the long run!

Make Sure You Have All the Permits

Permits are valuable documents that can prevent you from being held liable when an incident happens.

Acquire all the necessary permits—building, zoning, and any others needed for your area—to ensure you are protected in this way, too.

Get Your Unit on the Market With Us!

Thinking about putting your rental and investment properties on the market? Let us help you!

We can put your unit on the market and help educate you with additional resources that limit liability on your part as a landlord or tenant.

Contact us today to see how we can help you!

Keeping Family Vacation Homes in the Family

Keeping Family Vacation Homes in the Family

In the summer of 2020, “cabin fever” took on new meaning and stir-crazy-inducing isolation was de rigueur. So it may come as no surprise to you that the demand for family vacation properties increased last fall. I imagine we were all looking for ways to make the upcoming summer of 2021 much more enjoyable. Were you one of the many swept along in the fervor for a family vacation home? If yes, then, as you get ready to enjoy your new family oasis or head off to the old family cabin, you may be thinking about how to turn your vacation property into a family legacy for future generations to enjoy. Not sure where to start? Use the following three steps to get the ball rolling. 

Have an Honest Conversation

Successfully passing your vacation property to the next generation requires their buy-in. Sit down with your family members and have an open discussion about the property’s future. Your summer haven might be their idea of hell! The oldest may benefit most from the cash of the sale of the property, while the youngest may dream of future generations bonding at the very same family vacation home. Create the best outcome for your family by understanding the wishes and needs of the next generation as you plan how to best pass your vacation property to the next generation. 

 

Create a Plan

Set the next generation up for success by creating a vacation property ownership and management plan and put the plan into writing. The plan should direct how decisions are made, how the property is maintained, and who can become a shared owner in the property. An easy way to begin to make a plan is to create a list of all the tasks and responsibilities associated with your vacation property, including the seemingly minor tasks. Now, find a fair way to divvy up the jobs and responsibilities between the next generation of owners. Your plan should contemplate how the vacation property will be maintained financially and physically. Should the property be rented out to third parties to pay for itself, or should each member of the next generation bear some financial responsibility? You may consider creating roles such as property manager, finance manager, scheduling manager, etc. 

 

Plan for Transfer of Ownership

You have several different tools that you can utilize to transfer ownership of your vacation property to the next generation, including family limited liability companies, trusts, and joint ownership, to name just a few. Whichever tool you use, make sure the plan you created is included. These various tools must be set up properly as they have different impacts on your financial, estate, and tax planning. Legal and financial professionals can assist you in choosing the best vehicle for achieving your goals.

Are you planning a move? Rather than sell your house, why not turn it into a rental property? It’s a great way to get involved in real estate investment and make money.

Are you ready to be a landlord? Get your unit on the market with us!

Here’s Everything You Should Know About Old Houses (and Why You Should Buy One)

Market Source 928 N Terrace Hills

Buying old houses for restoration may seem like a beautiful idea. You’ll get to make the best of the property’s original features and bring a new lease on life to an old building. But there are some things that you’ll need to consider before taking the plunge. 

Older properties tend to be filled with character and charm. But what are the benefits of an old house? And what do you need to know about buying an antique home?

In this article, we’ll discuss why you should remodel an old home. 

Old Homes Are Cheaper Than New Homes

What differentiates an older property from a newer home? Largely, the materials that it’s built out of and the type of construction that’s gone into the home. 

Typically, a house can be considered old if it was built more than fifty years ago. 

Because an older home may be in need of some modernization, they are often cheaper to buy than new homes. This makes them ideal for first-time buyers, real estate investors looking for rental properties, and those looking to flip a property. 

Old Houses Are Often in Established Locations

When it comes to buying a property, location is often a key factor. That means how far it is from amenities such as schools and convenience stores. Because of the way that towns and cities are planned, older properties tend to be in very established locations. 

In the Salt Lake area, vintage homes tend to be in areas such as 9th and 9th, close to the University of Utah, the Avenues, and Sugar House. All of these are very desirable areas to live in and have very established communities. 

Old Homes Have More Character

Older properties tend to have a lot more charm and character than new builds. Often, old houses have period features that are quite unique and add real value to the surroundings. 

If character is what you’re looking for from your home, then you’ll not go wrong with a vintage property. 

Why You Should Work With Vintage Home Experts

When it comes to buying old homes, you’ll want to work with experts. Monique Higginson is an expert in restoring and selling vintage homes. She personally lives in an antique home and has had to carry out major repairs to 25 vintage homes in Salt Lake Valley in the past. 

A vintage home expert such as Monique will be able to advise you based on their in-depth knowledge of the various construction phases and problems that you might be met with when it comes to restoring an antique property. 

Restoring Old Houses 

Restoring old houses can be hard work, but it’s certainly rewarding. The benefits of owning a vintage property make the hard work you’ll need to put into restoring them all worthwhile. 

If you’re looking to buy an old house in the Salt Lake area, get in touch with Market Source Real Estate today or browse the range of properties for sale