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How to get Your Home Rent Ready Through Your Kitchen

 

 

When selling a home, it is always important that your house looks appealing to prospective home buyers. When someone looks at your house for the first time, they usually see the kitchen. For most home buyers this will be the central area for entertaining guests.

When you put your home up for sale there are some great ways you can help make your kitchen a great seller for your house. Here are some tips and tricks for sprucing up your kitchen and making it a second salesman for your house.

Clear the kitchen of Clutter

When you have lived for a while in your current home, you have probably accumulated a lot of things that show your personality. Things like plants, magnets, and other things that mean a lot to you. However, when selling your home, you have to remember that prospective buyers won’t always agree with your same style. It is important for the kitchen area to be clean and clear so a buyer can imagine their style in your kitchen. If there is too much personal style in your kitchen, a buyer may see too much work going into getting their way and may be turned off.

 

Put a Thorough Cleaning into the Kitchen

As a current home owner, you may have neglected a lot of areas in the kitchen that need some TLC. While you may not have used the oven a lot, get in there and give it a rigorous scrubbing and it can make a huge impression. Sweep and mop the floors to give a brighter shine on the floors. Clean out cabinets that make have been neglected for a while. Most importantly, cleaning out the refrigerator can give a buyer some fresh perspective of the house.

 

Take Care of any Maintenance Issues:

If there are any lights out, get them changed. When looking at the refrigerator, check out the refrigerator for any leaks, and get the ice machine fixed or filters changed. Check below the sink for any leaks or plumbing issues. Find out if any doors or windows need repair or fixing.

 

Lighten Up the Kitchen

The warmth that any buyer will feel toward the house will be in the lighting. Not only is it bright, but is warm and inviting. A family will see themselves being in a well-lit kitchen as opposed to dark, dreary place. Just by putting lots of light it will make your kitchen seem larger and a more attractive place to be with guests.

 

Use Fragrance to Entice

Kitchens are used for baking and sometimes smells can hang around. If the scent is enticing, people will be more likely to go to that place. Don’t overpower with fragrances. Subtle smells are the best. A great tip is to cook something with a great smell before inviting people to look at your home.

Your kitchen is often the key to selling your home. Make sure that buyers have a positive, memorable experience that will entice them to buy your home and the house will sell itself.

 

How to get Your Home Rent Ready

As a homeowner, you should know that there will always be projects for your house. Whether it is a new kitchen sink, a squeaky door, or a toilet that needs replacing there will still be something falling into disrepair. It is tempting to try to fix those things, especially if you are handy and can make the time to save yourself money. However, there are some projects that even the handiest people should allow professionals to handle.

Electrical Wiring

Electrical wiring is an essential part of the home, and you need to treat it with extreme care. Not only is it a sensitive thing because working with electricity can be dangerous, but there are many codes that you need to know that an electrician will be aware of that you may not be.

Plumbing

A homeowner can usually handle simple plumbing like unclogging a sink or a toilet. A professional should handle any plumbing needs more complicated than that. Plumbing deals with a network of pipes that could take going to your house or other tight spots. Also, if the ducts aren’t entirely leak-free, they can cause more significant problems down the line that could cost thousands of dollars in damage.

Gas-Fueled Appliances

Any appliance that deals with gas need to be installed by a professional. Loose connections or leaks could cause a dangerous build-up of gas that can be unsafe for your home or start a fire. Make sure you leave the installation of gas-fueled appliances to the professionals, so they get it installed correctly.

Tree Removal

When we lived in Seattle, it was often rainy and windy, and with so many trees, there were often trees downed that would hit homes or get close to them. Trees can be deceivingly heavy, slippery and hard to handle. Avoid trying to cut them or move them without the help of professional.

Home additions

Home additions require many things, including permits and the intricate care of many of the additions of the items above. It is better to leave this kind of thing to professionals.

Installing a Water heater

Water heaters are a tricky installation. Not only are they heavy, but they need to be level. Also, they need to be installed correctly so that carbon monoxide doesn’t leak out and cause carbon monoxide to get into the house.

Swimming Pool Installation

Swimming pools can be reasonably easy to maintain once they are set up, but avoid trying to install one yourself. Swimming pools require specific tools just for the job, as well as some people to do the project. It is better to get a pool installation professional to handle the permits, inspections, and installation to avoid the shifting and settling that a pool can cause.

Your home is your investment. Part of that investment is doing some of the work yourself, but when it comes to some more significant projects, leave that to the professionals.

https://www.homes.com/blog/2016/05/dont-10-diy-home-projects-better-left-pros/

Moving into a New Home

Now that you have secured your new home, you actually have to move in. With so many things to do to get your home ready, you have a lot of work ahead of you. A lot of that is for the future though. To survive your first few days in the home, you will need a few things to make the transition from new home owner to “moved in”. Here are a few things you will need to survive in the first few days.

Water

This seems like a simple thing, but a necessary thing to figure out for the first few days. You will need to figure out if your kitchen sink or refrigerator is working, and if not, plan to have enough drinking water to last until you are secure in that department.

Food

Obviously, food is also an important thing to think of. If you don’t have a refrigerator, think of food items that don’t need refrigeration. Also, make sure there are food items that don’t need utensils.

Utensils

If you are going to need utensils for your food, make sure you pack enough for a few weeks, in case things don’t get set up as quickly as you had hoped. It is best to get plates that don’t break, like paper or plastic plates etc.

Paper Towels

While I’m sure you will be careful when first moving into a home, nobody is perfect. Having some paper towels or napkins around to clean up the messes are really helpful.

Flashlight and Batteries

Be ready for anything that might happen while you are in your new house. Whether it be a power outage or you just need help navigating your way to the bathroom late at night in an unfamiliar new house, having flashlights are an essential item to have around the new house.

Toilet Paper

New homes don’t always come with toilet paper! Make sure you have enough for the bathrooms for the first week.

Cash

Having a little cash on hand, just in case of an emergency is always a good idea.

Cleaning Supplies

Accidents happen in your home and you just want to be prepared in case of an accident.

Clothes

When it comes to moving, there is a lot of chaos involved. Boxes may not show up for a while, but you life must go on. Be prepared with clothes for a week or so, for work, school or other activities you may be involved with.

Bedding

In your first few days living in a house, you might not have all the beds set up. While sleeping on the floor, make sure you have at least some blankets and pillows enough to keep you warm, especially in the cold winter months.

Toiletries

Life will continue, even if you don’t have all your things in your house. Make sure you have enough items to keep all your hygiene up. Toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap and shampoo.

You have made the exciting step to move into a new home. Be prepared for all the little things you will need as you move into your new space.

 

https://www.homes.com/blog/2011/02/moving-checklist/

3 Things to Look for When Finding an Efficient Property Management Company

When looking into a Property Management Company to rent out a property or to become a tenant, knowing who you’ll be interacting with is a huge factor.

Looking for a good Management Company is like the process of hiring the right employee for your business. You’re looking for someone to be the face to what people are going to see, interact with, and hopefully come to like throughout your day to day routines.

Below are a few things to look for when looking into a Property Management Company to fulfill your needs.

How diverse is their background?

When interviewing your potential employees, one of the major qualities you look for is experience within the field which they are applying for. How well have they performed within these past experiences in similar fields? This is where you rely on Letters of Recommendations, references, and in our case reviews. When looking into the team you’re wanting to work with look at their reviews to see how they have helped others enjoy their experiences. See if their tenants had any worries when it came to paying rent, or owners with communication. Reviews play a huge role in learning about the team you’re looking into.

How reliable are they?

You want a management that you as a tenant can look forward to interacting with and feel that you can rely on them when it comes to maintenance and getting things done in a timely manner. Nothing is more stressful than having to pay someone rent when they aren’t doing their part in helping make your stay enjoyable. When you must constantly remind them about problems taking place throughout your home on top of your daily agenda with work, family, renting can grow irritating. So be sure that they are people you can rely on.

Do they have good work ethic?

There are many businesses out there who one thing on paper and in person another. If becoming an owner of a home that you want to turn over to them to rent out, don’t be afraid to ask and observe the team you’ll be working with. They may be seeing if you’re a good fit to be an owner for them, but you also have the right to be sure that you aren’t getting yourself into a situation you wish you hadn’t. Work ethic and persistence says a lot about people. You don’t want to be turning your home over to a team who are lazy and unwilling.

These 3 things are key qualities to always keep an eye out for when it comes to finding the perfect fit. When you do find what you’re looking for the search will be worth it. If you are looking to become a tenant or owner contact us, and we would be more than happy to get you started!

Finding the perfect tenant

Do you have an empty basement or separated suite in your home? If you have a suite sitting empty, you are missing out on collecting some extra monthly income in the form of rent. Let’s take a look at a quick four-step process that will help you find the perfect tenant to rent out your basement suite.

Step 1: Play by The Rules

Is this your first-time renting out a home or suite to a tenant? If so, you will want to do a bit of research first. Read up on Fair Housing Rules and other regulations as these will inform you of your responsibilities as a landlord. Keep in mind that you cannot discriminate in any way when it comes to race, religion, gender, family status or disability. Anyone who applies must be given a fair chance.

Step 2: Be Specific in Your Advertising

When you place a rental listing, be as specific as possible in what you are looking for in a tenant. If you are a single, quiet person, you may want someone similar as you will be compatible. Conversely, if you are a young couple, you may clash with a retired senior or someone older. Be as specific as possible but remember that you cannot be discriminatory.

Step 3: Meet Potential Tenants in Person

Be sure to take the time to meet with every short-listed applicant in person. If you are not comfortable with having so many strangers over to your home, consider attending at a local coffee shop. An in-person meeting will allow you to visually assess the person and determine if your personalities are a fit for living in the same home.

Step 4: Don’t Skip the Checks

Finally, don’t take any shortcuts when performing background, credit and other checks. Ask your tenant for at least one or two references that you can call to verify their rental history. Investing in a credit check will help to assess their risk of missing monthly rent payments. And if necessary, a criminal records check can let you know if they have been in trouble with the law.

As long as you are well-prepared and diligent, finding a suitable tenant for your basement suite can be a painless process. To learn more about mortgage products are perfect for rentals, contact us today. Our mortgage team will be happy to help you!

 

Top 10 Things to Buy Before You Move into Your 1st Home

The first couple of nights in your new home will be exciting and memorable. Make sure that you are prepared to make those memories good ones by having these 10 things readily available.

  1. Coffee maker-Waking up that first morning in your new home the last thing you will want to do is leave!! Running down to Starbucks won’t be nearly as alluring as starting to settle into your new morning routine.  Make sure that you have filters and coffee grounds as well.  Bonus points if you unpack two coffee cups the night before so you won’t have to fumble around in the bubble wrap to find them.
  2. Fire extinguisher- Let’s face it stuff happens. New stove, new cooktop, and maybe even a new fireplace.  Even though you may think it could never happen to you, a small fire may have your new home dreams up in flames, if you aren’t prepared.
  3. Cutting boards and knives- Whipping up a tasty meal in your brand spanking new kitchen usually is top of the list for most new homeowners who love to cook. Having your supplies on hand will make it so much easier, and cutting boards are essential to protect your new surfaces.  Picking up a few flexible cutting boards is a quick fix and very inexpensive.
  4. Bath Mat and Towels- Hopping out of the shower can be chilly and slippery if you don’t have the basics. Your first home calls for fluffy new towels and definitely a bath mat.  Depending on if you already have décor themes in mind these could be the first steps to making your house into a home.
  5. Corkscrew or Wine Key- Before turning in on even your very first night a little celebration is in order. Whether or not wine is your go to beverage of choice, it is a very common new home gift.  Have an easy to use corkscrew or wine key on hand to open a bottle for yourself or for friends and maybe a few glasses (your morning coffee mugs work great too)!
  6. Curtains- new builds and most existing houses tend to come without curtains and other window coverings. Curtains start to build the character you will bring to the home but also keep out the light early in the morning, or the peeping eyes of curious neighbors in the evening.  If you haven’t settled on paint or accessories, just get a few inexpensive curtains to cover up for now.
  7. Plunger and toilet brush set- You never know when nature’s call won’t be well received by the plumbing. Make sure to have a plunger and toilet brush handy just in case.  Especially if you are moving into an older home that may have older pipes.
  8. Vacuum- While you hope that nothing is broken in the move, you want to be prepared.  A good quality vacuum is a must for any home.  They come in many different styles with different functions such as cordless, wet/dry capabilities, or the fancy robot ones that drive around all by themselves.  No matter what kind you are leaning towards, invest in a good vacuum that will last a while.  This is one item you will ALWAYS have in your home so don’t just buy the cheapest option or you may end up replacing it often.
  9. Document Holder- Having a safe and consistent location to keep all the documents you will receive when you first move is critical to being able to stay on top of all the must do’s you are likely to have. An expandable file with write on tabs make it easy to keep your incoming documents organized and accessible.  Documents you may need to keep track of are your loan documents, utility set up paperwork, and lists of important number for your new area.  (You never know when a mean Chinese craving will attack in the middle of unpacking!)

3 Things to know before you buy a home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever heard the expression “Practice makes perfect”?  Start a healthy habit, practice setting aside money that would represent your monthly house payment.  This habit will help to make sure you can afford your future house payment.  If you have the ability to set aside the amount that you plan to pay for a mortgage payment you will not only show that you have the income and discipline to be able to repay a loan but you will also have accumulated funds to assist in the down payment and other expenses of buying a new home.

Pre-approval amount does not mean a loan payment you can afford.  When you obtain a pre-approval, a lender has reviewed your application, credit report, outstanding debts, and savings.  They do not take into account the lifestyle that you choose to lead.  Your monthly expenses that are not reflected on your credit report or listed as debts have not been factored in.  It is your responsibility to sit down and take a good look at what you can truly commit to making as a monthly mortgage payment before you decide on a home.

Your loan officer and real estate agent are not a tax professionals and it is recommended to meet with one before you sign.  While many loan officers have the experience and knowledge to guide you through the process of purchasing a home most are not equipped to give you tax advice.  They may know the tax incentives that are out there for purchasing a home but not how they directly will apply to you and your financial situation.  This is especially important if you are purchasing additional properties to rent or resale.  The good news is that your loan officer or real estate agent can recommend you to an excellent tax professional in your area.

 

Why right now may be the best time to build your dream home

The housing market here in Utah didn’t cool down over the cold winter months.  Houses are flying off the market the day they hit the market, if not sooner.  Now that the weather is heating up so will the real estate market and that leaves one very important thought for you to consider: “If you don’t LOVE your current home, why not build a new one?”

  • As life changes, so does what you need from your home. As a young family, you may have moved into your current house with one or two small children but as your family has grown your home has not.  Or consider the opposite, you purchased your home while all your children were living at home and you needed plenty of space to spread them out, but now that they have moved away do you really need to be cleaning that six-bedroom house or hauling laundry up three flights of stairs?
  • We currently live in a “sellers’ market” in Utah. Some houses are going under contract before they even hit the market and selling for more than the asking price.  Why?  Because there are more families in need of homes than there are homes available.  What does this mean for you?  If you have worried in the past that your home may not sell or that you wouldn’t be able to get a good price for it, don’t worry anymore.

 

Right now, it’s a seller’s market because of the low inventory of single-family homes. Leavitt said it is extremely difficult to find homes in the $250,000 to $350,000 price range on the market.” -Chase Leavitt, ReMax Agent

This means that there may be buyers out there looking for your exact home right now, and probably lots of them!  One of the biggest fears in building a new home in the past has been what do I do if my current home doesn’t sell.  This market makes that a very unlikely situation.

 

 

  • Building a new home allows you to customize your home to your needs and wants. From choosing the type of neighborhood you want to live in, to the exact floorplan that will work best for you, building a new home gives you control.  Instead of choosing from the limited list of houses currently available you will be able to decide exactly what you want in your next home.  While having the perfect paint colors and all the upgrades completed before you move in is just a perk, it definitely makes a move a little less stressful.
  • Financing for construction loans has never been easier, especially, here in Utah. With all the new developments along the Wasatch Front (and off the Wasatch Front), you can find the best lender to help you fund your dream home.  In the past construction loans were difficult and had lots of moving parts for you, the borrower, to manage.  Getting a Veritas Funding construction loan has changed all that.  We pair you with a construction loan specialist in your area to make sure that the process is streamlined.  Our professional loan officers are trained to help you every step of the way.

So, whether you have outgrown your home or your home has outgrown you, building new is a great option for living in Utah right now.  Don’t invest time, money, and tears into extensive remodels or additions when there are people interested in buying your home as it is right now.

5 Spring Must-Do Hikes in Zion National Park

Winter blues got you down? Longing for warmer weather and a little adventure? Good news, we’ve compiled a list of must-visit hikes for the adventurer that needs a nice relaxing stretch of their legs as soon as spring comes!

Don’t worry these hikes are perfect for both the solo hiker and families alike.

 

Lower Emerald Pool | Easy| Round-Trip 1.2 Miles| 30 Minutes

Since winter was long this year, even if it was a bit warm, let’s start you out with the easiest of the hikes; Lower Emerald Lake! This beautiful and brief hike has a wide paved path. Translation: No getting lost on your way to your destination. It also makes this hike handicap and stroller friendly, meaning no one in your family has to get left out of this adventure!

This is a great place for a picnic or nice brisk morning walk, but please be respectful of the surrounding nature and pick up after yourselves.

Bring with you:

Water- It may be a short brisk hike, but better to have water with you instead of wishing you had (especially if you decide to extend your hike).

Trailhead:

Directly across the road from Zion Lodge

Additional Information:

If you are looking for a longer stretch of your legs you could check out: The Middle Pool Trail which is 1.9 miles roundtrip or the Upper Pools Trail that is 2.5 miles roundtrip. Unfortunately, these additions aren’t paved, so they are not handicap or stroller friendly. Also, keep in mind if you decide to extend your hike that you might wish to bring a few snacks with you.

Water Canyon | Moderate| Round-Trip 2 Miles | 45 to 90 Minutes

The only moderate hike on this list is going to be proven to be worth the addition because on this spectacular hike leads you to a slot canyon! This Canyon is a mini subway experience that allows the hikers to experience tunneled walls and a slight trickle of water.

Make sure to be careful and watch your steps as you will be walking on wet rocks that may be covered in mossy algae. This trail is a fantastic fit for families that enjoy a little technical challenge.

Bring with you:

A water filter- To filter the ever-present water in Water Canyon or if you prefer you can always just pack your own water.

Shoes- That you don’t mind getting wet.

Trailhead:

Take the exit UT 59 east from Hurricane to the town of Hildale. Then turn east on Utah Avenue and follows Short Canyon. Turn right onto Water Canyon Road until you get to a pond. The trail starts at the upper side of the pond.

Additional Information:

You have the option to go both above and beyond to the Canaan Mountain. Heads up, that route does require a bit more skill and know-how about desert navigation.

The Watchman | Easy| Round-Trip 2 Miles | 60 Minutes

If you are looking for geological wonders to gaze upon and relive your 7th-grade science glory days when you thought you’d join Mrs. Frizzle’s adventures into science, then you are in luck because we found the hike for you!

The Watchman Trail is a 3-feet wide wind through the foothills with breath-taking views of Bridge Mountain, The Watchman, Virgin River, as well as views of the Towers of the Virgin. Each switchback reveals a view of the overhanging cliffs and stratified layers of rocks.

Bring with you:

Snacks- Who doesn’t love stopping to have snacks while looking at a beautiful view?

Water- There isn’t a natural resource nearby, so make sure to pack a little water.

Sunscreen and hat- There isn’t much shade of this beauty of a hike, so make sure you apply sunscreen, wear a hat and maybe even bring some sunglasses to not strain your eyes while you investigate your surroundings.

Trailhead:

Make sure to park at the Watchman Campground visitor center and you’ll see directions to the trailhead from there.

Additional Information:

This hike is going to need a bit more out of you due to the lack of shade so be sure to refuel after and drink plenty of water!

Northgate Peak | Easy | Round-Trip 4.4 Miles | 2 Hours

The scenic trail of Northgate Peaks is another easy one, but it is located in a remote area of the park near Kolob Canyon— perfect for the hikers that are hoping to get away from all the crowds! As you trek through Navajo sandstone, sage meadows, and gorgeous pine trees you will be struck in awe of the lava outcrops and show-stopping views of North Guardian Angel and Northgate Peaks.

With some slight inclines and beautiful landscapes, this is sure to be on the top of your must-see list!

Bring with you:

Water- A must on this nearly 5-mile beauty.

Snacks- Nothing quite like a handful of trail mix to keep you energized for the next hill.

Trailhead:

Drive up 16 miles up the Kolob Reservoir Road and you will run right into the Wildcat Canyon trailhead.

West Bank of the Virgin River | Easy | Round-Trip 5 Miles | 60 to 90 Minutes

The most well used and beloved trail in Zions, West Bank is well loved straight and level beauty. There is a reason that this trail is so beloved, it is filled to the brim with views of the Mount Majestic, Cathedral Mountain, the Great White Throne, Spearhead, and even mule deer!

You might even notice that you cross the path for the Emerald Pools trail too! This a must-do hike for all who visit Zion.

Bring with you:

Water- This trail is stunning, but it’s harder to enjoy when you are thirsty.

Sunscreen & Hat- This trail has an even mix of the sun to shade, you can thank yourself later that you brought that extra protection.

Camera- You aren’t going to want to miss the chance to capture those glorious views.

Trailhead:

Head to the viewpoint at Zion Canyon at the Court of Patriarchs (There is a shuttle that can take you there between April and October).

Additional Information:

Springtime is the best time to visit Zions, due to the lower crowd rates. So if you want to see everything the West Bank has to offer with a lot less crowds make sure to visit then.

 

Lucky you, you don’t just have to long for warmer weather, but now you actually have a great outline of where to visit and get a leg up on your outdoor adventuring before the crowds! Zion National Park is open between the months of April until the end of October!

5 Ways to Turn your Rental House into a Home

Whether you are trying out a new area, on a temporary work and/or Military assignment or working on your credit to buy a new home you might find yourself in a position of renting a home for a few years. The question that is on everyone’s mind is how to make this new place feel like yours!

This list compiles 5 simple ways for you turn that house into a home.

  1. Paint

It may seem beyond obvious, but if you are allowed in your rental contract to paint a few doors or walls, do it! Whether it’s creating an accent wall in your living room or painting your front door, every little splash of paint will almost instantly make you feel more like that is a place all your own.

  1. Bring in Your Own Lighting

Your landlord might not feel super comfortable with you painting, but something that can transform a home is a little unique lighting.
Since replacing a ceiling fan with a chandelier isn’t permanent change most landlords won’t be opposed if you decide to put up your own.  (Just make sure to pack away the landlord’s lights with care that way when you move out you can easily put them back up without having to replace them!)

  1. Add Accents

Make sure to add accents that help scream YOU! If you have a tan, black or any neutral furniture then grab some colorful and fun throw pillows! Pair those throw pillows with a beautiful accent chair that matches the pillows and suddenly your living room feels like you.

*Note: You can do this in any room, decorate with your style and don’t be afraid to decorate uncommon places like the laundry room or entry hall.

  1. Add Some Vinyl

Simple, beautiful and an easy way to spice up a space is to add some vinyl. The best part? It isn’t permanent! You can add your own flare that looks beautiful but can be removed when it the end of your lease.

Add your housing numbers to your front door or one of your favorite quotes on the wall in your living room. This quick addition makes your new rental feel more like your own home.

  1. Use Window Treatments

Invest in the addition of window treatments! This simple change will harness the natural light coming into your new home. Make sure to use bright or light neutral colors in rooms that you are wishing to accent the natural light.

It’s crazy how transformative adding a window treatment to a room can be. Change up the different types of window treatments per room, so that you are putting your own signature in every space in your new home.

Quick tip:  Hang the longest panels your room will allow.  That will make even a small room with a low ceiling seem larger. 

 

Remember this is a new blank canvas that you get to create however you want. Now that you are settling into your brand new space, make sure that you aren’t afraid to really style your new home! Make your space all your own, so that you go from feeling like a guest to feeling like family.

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