Things to do in Downtown Salt Lake

Founded in 1847 by the Mormon pioneers, and still the home of the headquarters for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and one of only two major urban areas in the Great Basin, Salt Lake City has lots to see and do. The downtown area has been up and coming for several years now and continues to grow up. But don’t take my word for it, check some of these places out.

Things to do:

http://thegallivancenter.com/
See what is happening at the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake. From concerts to food events, and the yearly Craft Lake City DIY event, there is always something happening at the Gallivan. And check out ice skating all winter long at the ice rink starting in November. And every Thursday for all the businesses in the area, there are a collection of food trucks where you can swing by for lunch.

https://saltlakefilmsociety.org/
If you don’t want to be outside, why not catch a film at the Broadway Center Cinema. As part of the Salt Lake Film Society, the Broadway features some of the best independent films all year, and during the Sundance Film Festival, you can catch many of the Sundance films there as well.

https://www.slcfarmersmarket.org/
Just down the road from the cinema, at Pioneer Park during the summer and at the Rio Grande Depot during the winter, check out the downtown farmers market.
Every Saturday from June to October, swing by Pioneer Park in the AM for fresh produce, local meat, eggs, and other locally made sauces, spreads, baked goods, and culinary accouterments. The market moves indoors to the Rio Grande Depot from November to April where you can still find great local products.  

 

Where to Shop:
 
https://squareup.com/store/boozetique
Also on Broadway is Boozetique, a great little shop for all your cocktail needs. From glassware, corkscrews, and shakers to bitters, simple syrups and more, you will find all your drinking needs. 

https://www.goldenbraidbooks.com/
Down the street and around the corner a little ways, you will find Golden Braid Books, a little oasis in the busy city. Offerings include gifts and books for feeding the mind, spirit, and soul.  Find items to fix your feng shui or find that best seller you have been looking forward to reading all year.
When you’re shopped out and need a bite to eat, there are fantastic restaurants within a few minutes walk.

 

 

Where to Eat: 

http://hslrestaurant.com/
You’ve been out all day shopping or playing, or working for that matter, and you need to unwind a little. You’ll want a reservation for this one, but Chef and owner and James Beard award winner Briar Handly is doing some fantastic things here. Get the cauliflower; you will not be disappointed.

http://www.undercurrentbar.com/
After dinner, head around the corner to Under Current, an upscale neighborhood bar. They can make all the classic cocktails you might want and have a bar-tending staff that can create just about whatever you are in the mood for. If you still need a bite after dinner, they make some killer fries.

http://www.beerbarslc.com/
And speaking of fries, head on over to Beer Bar where you can find all things beer, of course, and grab some excellent Belgian style frites. With German-style beer hall tables, and a menu that consists of sausages and fries, what’s not to love. But if beer is not your thing, step through the door to the adjoining Bar X and grab yourself another cocktail.

Broom Clean and Free of Debris

What exactly does “Broom Clean and Free of Debris” mean when selling a home? For starters, this does not mean the home has been professionally cleaned by any means. Also, when sellers take down art and or photos off the walls, there are often nail holes left behind and the seller is not obligated to spackle them.

 

In addition, once furniture is removed, there can be spots on the carpet and other surprises that the buyer should anticipate potentially dealing with as there is no way to see everything when a home is occupied and there is furniture in the way.

 

Often times when a seller moves out and the home is vacant, many things that were not visible in photographs when furntiure ext. where still in the house, are now visible when empty. This can include stain on carpets, holes in walls and perhaps even issues with other types of flooring, like laminate floors with stains or damage.

 

Be prepared to either hire a professional service to clean the house to your satisfication or factor in the time to do it yourself. Expecting that it will already been done, is an unrealistic expectation and one that cathces a lot of buyers off guard.

 

“People’s perception of broom clean is very different, so buyers should plan on hiring a housecleaner so the home is clean to their liking,” Monique Higginson said. “Often sellers will leave paint or other items at the home, but those should be removed by the seller unless the buyer gives them permission to leave the items.”

 

Things to Do at Liberty Wells

One of the up and coming neighborhoods in Salt Lake City is the Liberty Wells area. Southeast of Downtown and Northwest of Sugar House, with quick access to both spots, Liberty Wells has its own little gems to check out.

Things to do:

https://www.visitsaltlake.com/listing/liberty-park/55159/

https://www.tracyaviary.org/

On the north end of Liberty Wells, you will find Liberty Park and Tracy Aviary. One of the largest parks in Salt Lake City, it is rarely empty. With a wooded path around the park, and a driveway encircling the park as well, you will find runners, cyclists, and pedestrians making their way around the park for exercise or leisure. There are also volleyball courts, playgrounds, covered pavilions and plenty of open space to enjoy. 

And right in the middle of the park, you will find Tracy Aviary. A little oasis of learning and conservation in the middle of the city.

https://www.milb.com/salt-lake

During baseball season, catch the Salt Lake Bees on one of their home game stretches. 

Grab some friends and head to the game, tickets are relatively inexpensive, and it is always a good time. And several nights during the year, after the game, stick around as fireworks are common at the park.

 

 

Where to Shop:

http://www.redkiln.org/

Down the road, you can stop into the Red Kiln Clay Studio and Gallery for a little shopping or a little pottery throwing. Pick up the perfect mug as a gift, or gift a pottery class to that budding sculptor in your life. 

http://www.dancingcranesimports.com/

On the south end of town is a little gem called Dancing Cranes Imports. Full of Asian inspired gift 

https://saltlakerunning.com/

And for all your running needs, run over to Salt Lake Running Center. If you already know what you need, the staff are friendly and helpful and can get you in and out as quickly as you want. If you are new to running and are overwhelmed by the choices, well, they can help with that too. Hop on their in-store treadmill for a biomechanical analysis to find out which shoe is right for you.

 

 

 

Where to Eat:

http://www.beltexmeats.com/

One of the newer additions to the Liberty Wells area, you will find some of the best meat products in Salt Lake City. Many of the area restaurants source their menu items from Beltex, so why shouldn’t you? Ever want to learn how to make sausage, or break down a hog? They can teach you that here.

http://amourslc.com/

The owners of Amour Cafe started making and selling artisan jams and jellies at the Downtown farmers market. They still make those fantastic jams and jellies, but now they are incorporating them in their products at their cafe. Pastries from Bubble & Brown, house-made sodas and gelato, coffee, artisan toast, and farm fresh eggs, Amour Cafe may just become your new favorite brunch place. 

https://www.traditionslc.com/

If breaking down a hog at Beltex is a little daunting, step next door to Tradition where they source many of their items from Beltex. Tradition is also one of the newer additions to the Liberty Wells area but has quickly become one of the staples of the city. Go for brunch or dinner. 

 

Salt Lake City Parks

Salt Lake City has a wide variety of puplic parks, depending on what types of activities you want to do. From paddle boats at Liberty Park to great sledding hills in the winter at Sugar House Park, you can pack a picnic and spend the day outdoors enjoying all the amenities each park has to offer.

Here are a few we think are just great.

 

 

Sugar House Park- The land that houses Sugar House Park was once the site of the Utah State Prison. In 1947 the Utah Legislature passed a statute to set aside the land to be used as a state park.  The park is 110.5 acres of green space and a large pond. There are seven pavilions, regulation soccer and baseball fields. Two children’s play areas with plastic playground equipment and an amphitheater that seats 220 people. In the winter, hills provide great sleigh-riding hills.

 

1330 E 2100 South

Liberty Park-The second largest park in Salt Lake, spanning 80 acres. There are many unique things to see and do at Liberty Park. Tracy Aviary is a beautiful walking area of all different types of birds. Liberty Lake has paddle boats puttering about and a small island in the center where you can get out and sit in a gazebo overlooking the lake. There is a large water play area, Seven Canyons Fountain, where water flows down cement canyons into a large pool of water at the bottom. Two playgrounds, one for older kids and one for younger kids, are separated by a splash pad. They also have tennis courts and a swimming pool.

600 E 900 South

Memory Grove-This park is full of monument’s, Creekside pathways and fountains. Plenty of picnic tables are available to have lunch and take in the views. The park was constructed in the 1920’s and has monuments that honor fallen soldiers from the First World War. There is also a replica of the Liberty Bell. Memory Grove is a great place for walking, jogging or biking.

There are off-leash areas for dogs at the north end of the park.

 

300 N Canyon Road

 

Parks for Kids with Disabilities

 

Liberty Park- The rotatory playground (playground #2) has ADA access and a water feature for kiddos with special needs.

There are also large ADA swings.

 

600 E 900 South

 

Wild West Jordan Playground- Crews are currently working on adding new equipment to this all-abilities playground to make it even better than it was before. Play equipment is custom made and will re-open this Fall.

 

1985 W 7800 South

Hidden Costs for New Homeowners

When the time comes for you to buy a home, new homeowners need to understand that there are ‘hidden’ costs and fees when you are ready to sign on that dotted line. We are calling them ‘hidden’ because they are not included in the actual price of the home, these costs are obtained through the buying process and at the time of closing.

Here is a breakdown of those ‘hidden’ costs.

 

Home Inspection

Although this is an optional expense, it does protect you from purchasing a home that may have a lot of issues that may not be obvious. These can include things like mold, problems with the heating or cooling system or water leaks. A rough estimate for a home inspection is $300-$500. Keep in mind, if you end up not buying the house after the inspection, you are still obligated to pay the fee.

Appraisal

This is a necessary fee that asses the home and property so your lender knows that you are paying what the property is worth. There are times when a seller may have to adjust their asking price due to an appraisal coming in under the amount of asking. Appraisal fees can run $200-$500.

Loan Application Fees

These fees start the entire loan process. A lender will need to run your credit report to ensure you can qualify for a home loan. That fee is included in the application fees. These typically run $75-$300.

Title Services

Title services include running a title search on a property, paying the notary to notarize all the documents that you sign, and the required government filing fees. It is important to get a detailed invoice for these fees so you are fully aware of what you are paying for. These fees run $150-$400.

Origination Fees

These fees go to the lender for creation of the loan. These are paid upfront and include processing the loan application. the underwriting process and the actual funding of the loan. These fees are usually based on a percentage of the loan amount and range from 0.5%-1.5%.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

If you put less than 20% down on your new home, the lender will require you to purchase PMI. This protects the lender from losing money in the event of a foreclosure. This fee can be re-assessed at such time as you have equity in your home. This fee is based on a percentage of the original loan amount as well.

 

Disclaimer- All dollar amounts and percentages are estimates. 

 

Xeriscaping in Utah

Should you be Xeriscaping in Utah?  Here are a few things to consider!

Let’s face it, Salt Lake City is a desert.  A high desert, but still with our annual precipitation rates, we 100% qualify as a desert. Living in the desert, such as we do in Utah, can make keeping a green grass and fully landscaped yard a spendy endeavor.  Not only that, but it is not terribly environmentally friendly.

According to the WSS Water Usage table: “Running a typical sprinkler from a standard garden hose (5/8”) for one hour uses about 1,020 gallons of water; if you run it three times per week, that is about 12,240 gallons per month.”  When it is 90+ degrees out there and you have to water every day to keep your lawn alive, well… it adds up.

That is why we are seeing more and more homeowners lean towards xeriscaping in Utah.  Just what IS xeriscaping?  Xeriscaping is a way of landscaping that uses drought-resistant plants, natural elements, and water-wise features to reduces the need to water your space.

Here are some of the benefits of xeriscaping in Utah:

 

  1. You will DRASTICALLY reduce the amount of water you use in your yard.  This is better for the environment and much more affordable for you.
  2. Water-wise plants can be quite beautiful
  3. No weekly mowing, trimming and weeding your lawn (though be careful in thinking that xeriscaping means “maintenance free,” it does take time and care and you’ll probably still have to weed).
  4. Xeriscaping with native plants reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides.
  5. Your yard isn’t going to die if you go out of town for a week and forget to have someone water

 

Here are our top tips for xeriscaping in Utah:

 

  1. Using native plants for the area will give you a could chance of success, these plants have already adapted to the elements and climate.
  2. Also, due to their deep root system, using native plants when xeriscaping in Utah, means they can survive with the little water they capture from rainwater runoff. These plants are also resistant to freezing, common diseases, pests, and herbivores.
  3. Having some form of irrigation may be necessary depending on your layout and plant selection.  This can be natural irrigation channels that are built into your xeriscaping layout.
  4. Rain barrels may be a great option to collect rain run-off and distribute in your yard or to your house plants. (Check your city ordinances, since rain barrel collection isn’t allowed everywhere)
  5. Don’t think you have to plant everywhere – you can use natural elements like stone, sand, gravel, and wood to create a beautiful landscape.
  6. Weeds can be aggressive when you take out a lawn – so be sure to be aggressive and ruthless back.

 

Our BEST resources for xeriscaping in Utah:

 

  • Contact Salt Lake City Public Utilities, rain barrels are for sale for $68. The barrels have a mosquito screen, threaded spigot, two ¾-inch overflow valves, and 60-gallon capacity.  A GREAT deal.
  • Find a list of native plants for Utah here.
  • Find information on how to design a Wildlife Garden here.