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!

Which Neighborhood Fits Your Lifestyle?

Sugar House? 9th & 9th? University? Downtown? The Avenues?  Aaahhh!

Which of these 5 Salt Lake City neighborhoods best fits your lifestyle?                                                     

Moving to a new area – whether it be a new city or even a new part of the city – can be very intimidating.  It takes living somewhere and truly experiencing it within your own lifestyle to fully understand the area around you and what makes it so great.  We always think our own neighborhoods are the best!  So what in the world do you do when everyone is telling you that you should move to their neck of the woods?                            

Take our quiz and remember the answers you selected for each question – mostly a’s, mostly b’s, etc.  After the quiz, you can find your results and learn more about the neighborhood that picked you!

What do you want to do when you wake up on a sunny Saturday morning?

  1. Head to the park with my dog and coffee
  2.  Play frisbee in a field with my friends
  3.  Hop on the train and hit the stores
  4.  Do some yoga and grab a coffee
  5.  Eat a local brunch and do some window shopping


What types of restaurants do you eat in the most?

  1.  Local restaurants where I can meet the owner
  2.  I enjoy the eclectic menus of other countries
  3. I like famous steakhouses and unique menus
  4.  I  love farm – to – table eateries
  5.  Smaller bistros really set the mood


What is your ideal mode of transportation?

  1.  Carpooling with my friends to save the earth
  2.  I have a bicycle and/or a longboard
  3.  UTA – Trax System
  4.  I have two legs that work great
  5.  My sturdy vehicle!


Where do you like to spend your evenings?

  1.  At the Art Walk
  2.  Attending cultural events
  3.  At bars
  4.  Hanging outside with other locals at festivals
  5.  In a candlelit eaterie with tapas style dining


Which activity do you do on a regular basis?

  1.  Going to the park
  2.  I love sporting events!
  3.  Mall. Movies. Meals.
  4.  Local boutique shopping
  5.  Museums and Gallery openings


If you answered mostly A’s … then Sugarhouse is where you should be!

If you answered mostly B’s … then you should move to the University Area!

If you answered mostly C’s … then you would love living Downtown!

If you answered mostly D’s … then 9th & 9th is your best bet!

If you answered mostly E’s … then the Avenues is waiting for you!


It can be scary moving to a new city with new people and new places.  After the fear goes away, the excitement settles in and that’s when you make your move!  Selecting the right neighborhood will make all the difference in the world in your new life.  To get a better feel for each of these neighborhoods, take a look at our Pinterest page and see what tickles your fancy!


Remodeling a home to sell Part 1

Remodeling to sell requires a thoughtful undertaking. At the forefront is time and money, but equally important is quality, longevity of the design, and aligning with current tastes.  So what does a home-seller do when they are ready to sell their home of ten years but it needs some modern appeal?  You get creative with your realtor.

Detail on entrance needing a fresh coat of paint and repairs

Detail on entrance needing a fresh coat of paint and repairs.

Old Timey Outlet Market Source Real Estate

They literally don’t make em like they used to!

before remodel market source real estate

Storage is great but these unappealing bookshelves aren’t helping anybody.










remodel in progress market source real estate

New wood floors, baseboards, paint, and an open concept living area. So fresh, so clean!


remodel in progress stairs market source real estate

Before stairs it was just an awkward to the basement bathroom.

Market Source Real Estate broker Jeremy Higginson is working with clients holding on to a sweet Millcreek cottage for just that reason. The great location and spacious front lawn brought the house attention, and more than a few offers. Yet after 18 months, the owners still didn’t have a contract.  Jeremy is currently guiding the house’s remodel and rehab so his clients can get top doll

ar for their home.Built in the decade of ragtime and the Ford Model-T, this “carriage house” still has solid bones, and even a bygone electrical outlet in mint condition to show for how well it’s been cared for.

But the old carpets, out-dated paint and style, and functional issues pushed potential buyers away.

Jeremy arranged for a flooring contractor, general contractor, cleaning crews, and painters to bring this carriage house into the 21st century.

Joe Smolka, general contractor, opened up the space and created more flow by knocking down a wall that was separating the kitchen from the living room.  Now the functional fireplace is at the center of attention.  He also added stairs to an awkward a previous remodel had left in the basement between the laundry and bathroom, and new baseboards.

The expected return on investment is an additional $40,000 on the sales price of this historic Millcreek remodel.