How to Find the Right Neighborhood for Your Family

family neighborhood

Before kids, your choice of neighborhood probably came down to: can I afford it? Is it close to work? 

Now that you have a family, schools, safety, and access to amenities are just the start. How do you know which is the best family neighborhood in your city?

We’ve got you covered. Below are six great things to consider when looking for a neighborhood for you and your family.

Consider Your Lifestyle Needs

Some families are outdoorsy and active, always on the go. For that reason, the heart of the city may not be the best neighborhood for your family. Other families prefer the variety of music lessons and sports teams offered downtown.

Knowing what your lifestyle requires or what you want to offer for your kids as they grow up is key. Maybe your child has certain medical needs that require you to be close to a hospital. Please make a list of your family needs and keep it handy as you research where to move. 

Take Advantage of the Internet

Trust us; the internet is going to be your best friend during this process. There are a few ways you can use it to your advantage.

First, research schools that fall within the districts of your top choice neighborhoods. Look at their school assessments. You want to move to a place with schools at the same level or better than the ones your kids are attending now.

You can even tour each new house you find by looking into virtual tours. See what’s available in different parts of town.  

Visit Your New Neighborhood or Town

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, take a drive to those neighborhoods. Bring the whole family and spend a day walking around.

Visit the shops or local attractions to get a feel for what it’s like. Take a look at how clean the roads are and whether there are signs of vandalism.

Neighborhood visits can be extra useful in helping teenagers adjust to a new place. They can picture what their lives might be like, get a sense of how they’ll make new friends and what activities they’ll join.

Drive Through During Different Times of the Day

To get a true feel for the neighborhood when you visit, drive through it at different parts of the day. Morning traffic may be more than you’re willing to take on. All the theater, music, and sports activities may not start until 7 pm.

Contact the Local Police Department

Did you know you can research a neighborhood’s safety rating online? If you’d rather talk to someone in the know, you can also contact local police departments. 

Local police can direct you to resources on crime statistics. Ask them for suggestions on neighborhoods with the highest safety ratings.

Evaluate Other Cost of Living Factors

Here’s where pesky things like income rates, gas prices, and commute times come into play. If you find a great new home that’s 45 minutes away, are you willing to spend more time and money commuting every day?

Is the minimum wage going to help your teens save for college or pay for gas? Are jobs growing and houses going up in value? Then you’re likely making a great investment. 

Finding the Best Family Neighborhood

Don’t rush into your next move. The right home in the right location will be a place to make memories for years to come. Use these tips to feel confident that you’ve found the perfect family neighborhood. 

So you’ve landed in the right neighborhood? Now you need to find the perfect house. To get started, contact one of our real estate agents.

Meet Jennifer Holmstead: Realtor and Property Management Expert

Jennifer Holmstead

Are you looking for an agent with a background in business and a love for real estate? Market Source agent Jennifer Holmstead has both. She is a longtime resident of Salt Lake City, a graduate of Westminster College, and an employee at Market Source Real Estate. Jennifer has financial training and insider knowledge about the Salt Lake City real estate market.

Background

Jennifer Holmstead bought her first home in late 2006 – right before the crash of real estate prices everywhere. For a few years, she thought there was no chance she could regain the equity she’d lost. So, she threw her efforts into other endeavors and began managing a local business and returning to school.

While studying for an MBA at Westminster College, Jennifer had to analyze her assets. The housing market had rebounded by then, and she realized that her home had become her strongest financial asset.

Becoming a Real Estate Agent

After managing a local business for 15 years, Jennifer was ready for a change. A few years ago, she decided to join her good friend Monique Higginson at Market Source Real Estate.

Monique Higginson founded market Source Real Estate in 2007. Now, it’s a growing office; Jennifer joined a team of more than a dozen agents, staging experts, and marketing experts. One reviewer says that everyone working at Market Source Real Estate is highly professional and focused.

Jennifer found that Monique, one of the top real estate agents in Salt Lake City, was an excellent mentor. Monique, the principal broker at Market Source Real Estate, works hard to bring new hires like Jennifer up to speed. As part of her training, Jennifer worked on over a hundred deals with Monique and felt like she hit the “new agent jackpot.”

Now a fully trained and experienced real estate agent herself,  Jennifer takes on her own clients. Jennifer works to help others achieve the dream of homeownership and attain what her home’s equity has given her: autonomy, freedom, and choice.

Supporting Local Areas

Jennifer loves supporting local communities. As a Westminster College student, she specializes in the Sugar House neighborhood, where the college is located. The Market Source, Real Estate office, is also located in Sugar House, giving Jennifer even more knowledge of the area.

Jennifer enjoys all the benefits Utah has to offer. She loves exploring the diversity of Utah’s attractions: road-tripping through small towns, hiking the Millcreek canyon and camping in the mountains. Sometimes she visits southern Utah to go hiking through its red rock canyons.

At home, she shops at farmers’ markets to support local farmers and relaxes in front of the fire pit in her backyard.

Contact Jennifer Holmstead

If you’re searching for “real estate agents near me,” and you want an agent who is passionate about her city and her real estate customers, contact Jennifer Holmstead. She’ll help you find the house that fits your own personal and financial needs so that you can build your own equity and enjoy financial freedom in your dream home.

The Spring Home Maintenance Checklist You Need Today

Don’t just spring clean… Get going on your spring home maintenance today!

Spring is in the air and that means that you’re probably thinking about spring cleaning.  Hold on though! You also need to be thinking about some key spring home maintenance items as well! Doing these 8 things at least once a year will save you time, money, and a big headache down the road.  The goal is to prevent things from going wrong or catching little problems early BEFORE they become major problems.

We created a handy check list of 8 spring maintenance items you should be checking every year.  As a matter of fact, you can probably get these done in one weekend and then you don’t have to worry!

 

1.  Check your gutters and down spouts

Gutters and down spouts get all clogged up over the winter with leaves and debris.  Get up on a ladder every spring and clear that gunk out.  It will save you leaks, breaks, pools of stagnant water and a big repair bill.

2.  Inspect your roof

Most roofs will last around 12-25+ years (depending on the material) IF, and only if they are inspected regularly and repaired.  While you’re up on the ladder cleaning your gutters and drain spouts, take a moment and climb up on your roof.  Look for loose roofing, pooled water, or curling shingles.

It can be very affordable to repair your roof regularly.  If your roof ends up leaking during those springtime showers, it can cost you thousands in damages PLUS the money to repair or get a new roof.

It’s a good idea to check your roof both in the spring and the fall. Just to be safe.

3.  Check seals on windows and doors

Check and repair any seals on window sills, door sills, and thresholds.  Look for damaged or peeling caulk, splinters, loose panes and gaps.  While you are at it, check and repair any screens – you’ll be glad to be able to open those windows and air out your home without bugs getting in!  Here is a handy guide for how to caulk your windows.

 

4. Give some love to your deck

Already planning the first BBQ of the season?  Better get that deck ready.  Just like your roof, you want to inspect it every spring.  Look for cracks, greying wood, loose joints and water seeping in.  Every 3-5 years you’ll want to stain and seal your deck to keep it from weathering.  A final step?  Give it a good pressure wash to get it ready for that backyard party!

5.  Filter out those dirty filters

Guys. HVAC filters get D.I.R.T.Y.  They collect dust, pollen, pet hair and dirt.  And then recirculate all those things back through your house if you don’t clean or replace them regularly.  This is something you’ll want to check several times a year.

 

6.  Don’t forget about your dryer and refrigerator

When doing spring home maintenance, don’t forget to check your dryer vent.  It gets clogged up and makes your dryer work that much harder.  Which makes your electricity bill go up.

And while you’re at it, check your refrigerator coils.  Chances are they need a good vacuum.  Not only are they really gross when they are covered in dust, they also make your fridge less efficient.

 

7.  Drain that water heater

Your water heater should be 100% drained a couple of times a year.  The reason?  All kinds of minerals and sediment build up in the bottom.  Which equals corrosion and water that doesn’t heat as fast as you’d like.

 

8.  Test your smoke detectors

This spring home maintenance item can literally save your life.  Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and put fresh batteries in.  While you’re at it why not make sure that your family knows what to do when an alarm goes off.  A household fire drill goes a long way.

Need a hand?

Check out our list of trusted vendors, contractors, supplier and all around handy types who can help you if you run into problems (or they can just take care of this stuff for you).  They’ll give you a hand with the whole spring home maintenance thing!

Meet Monique Higginson: Her Journey and Involvement With the Sugar House Community Council

Monique Higginson

Are you looking for a Salt Lake City real estate agent who knows how to locate historic buildings? Do you want someone with experience? Do you want someone who not only cares about her community but also works with others to improve it?

Monique Higginson might be the person you’re looking for. Not only has she been voted one of the 500 best real estate agents in Salt Lake City, but she’s also an expert in buying and renovating old homes.

Read on to learn more about Monique Higginson and how she can help you find your dream home.

Background

A lover of architecture and design, Monique earned her degree in art from the University of Utah before turning to real estate. In her 18-year real estate career, she has helped hundreds of clients buy, sell, and invest in homes in Salt Lake City, even in the worst of markets.

Monique founded Market Source Real Estate in 2007. Her hard work, local knowledge, and customer service kept her company strong during the economic downturn.

Historic Buildings

Not only does Monique help clients buy homes, she remodels them as well. After owning 25 homes and remodeling several of them, Monique has learned to treasure each home’s unique characteristics.

Monique loves homes in Salt Lake City’s historic neighborhoods and has renovated several older homes in the Sugar House area. She has managed several construction projects herself. Recently, she helped to found a construction company to provide the quality service she expects.

Current Work

Monique now runs Market Source Real Estate, leading a team of eight real estate agents. Employees appreciate the way she mentors and teaches new additions to the team.

Monique provides attention to detail, industry knowledge, and an insider’s understanding of the Utah market. Her team is experienced in staging, marketing, and negotiating on behalf of their clients.

Monique has been voted one of the best 500 real estate agents in Salt Lake City.

Community Service

Monique serves as a trustee on the board of the Sugar House Community Council. One of Salt Lake City’s older neighborhoods, Sugar House, features historic residences and a vibrant community of new restaurants, boutiques, and artists.

Monique owns a home in Sugar House, so she’s especially interested in serving the community. Her work helps the council preserve the area’s history, support small businesses, and create a vibrant atmosphere.

As she works to make her community better, she makes local friends and connections to become a better resource for her clients. Her local knowledge serves her well as she works with customers to find their ideal homes in the Sugar House and other areas.

Work With Monique Higginson

Monique Higginson is uniquely situated to help with your real estate needs with her dedication to her customers and her community.

If you’re asking yourself the question, “who are the best real estate agents near me,” contact Monique Higginson. She’ll use her local knowledge and connections to help you find your dream home.

Real Estate Trends in 2021

buying-an-investment-property

With so many significant changes in 2020, we expect to see some major developments in 2021 real estate trends. This is due to the pandemic, it has changed how many people think about housing and work. 

We’re expecting more people to move out of cities or away from their offices because they no longer need to be close to work. House hunting will continue to be affected by social distancing until we all can get a vaccine. And, younger people will realize they can afford more property than they thought.

Suburban Growth and Working from Home

Two big trends coming in 2021 are caused by the changes in 2020 to work and society. With so many people starting to work from home, realtors have seen an increase in people looking to move out of cities. They want space and safety in their preferred neighborhoods rather than commuting convenience.

The growth in buyers wanting to move to the suburbs is a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, people are realizing they can work from home. Those who used to live in a city have quickly realized they can get much larger housing for the same or less money as they would in a city.

Moving away from urban centers has also become a trend because of unrest and protest that we’ve seen in larger urban areas in the past twelve months. As we move into 2021, this trend for buyers to seek homes in less congested areas will continue.

Virtual House Hunting

Another 2021 real estate trend is the move to online house hunting. Whereas home buyers have always wanted to visit houses in person as part of buying a new home, the pandemic has meant that more people are willing to view homes through virtual appointments. This is a significant change in how realtors and buyers operate.

Expect to see improvements in virtual home tours as we move into 2021, as we’re still practicing social distancing and dealing with the effects of the coronavirus. 

Millennials Moving Up

Millennials are one of the fastest-growing homeowner demographics. Moving into 2021, more millennials will enter the housing market. They will soon account for more than half of all home buyers. 

Millennials buying homes also ties into the first of the 2021 real estate trends we discussed. In the past, the youngest age demographic segment tended to look to rent or buy in urban or downtown areas. However, with remote work becoming more accepted, millennials are also joining the hunt for homes outside of cities. 

Part of this trend is that millennials realize they can now afford more of a house than before if they swap high-priced rent in cities for land and square footage in the country or smaller towns. This change in mentality leads to the trend of millennials “moving up” in the housing market.  

Keep an Eye on 2021 Real Estate Trends

As you can see, the changes that have occurred in all our lives will keep affecting real estate. We’ve highlighted three of the biggest 2021 real estate trends here because they are going to change how you think about buying your next home.

Remember, cheaper, larger, safer property outside or urban, downtown locations are booming. Improving technology will make house hunting virtually much better. And, the market is getting an influx of younger buyers with money to spend.

For more advice on real estate, get in touch with us today.