Utah Among the Safest States in the Nation

By yourwasatchfrontrealtor
Jun 23, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is the No. 6 safest state in the U.S. and No. 1 safest state in the continental west, according to a recent study.

WalletHub, an online ranking website, analyzed data from all 50 states in financial security, road safety, workplace safety, natural disaster safety and community stability to find “2015’s safest states to live in.”

Greg Wilkins, Salt Lake City detective and public information officer, said Utah ranks high in public safety because “there is a real sense of community here.”

“Neighbors know neighbors and look out for each other in Utah more so than in other states,” Wilkins said. “People here are very involved in keeping the community safe.”

Wilkins said crime rates are relatively low in Utah because there is not a strong gang presence, large pockets of “bad areas,” or a large percent of the population unemployed. According to the study, Utah has the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the nation.

“Utah has a good economy, and areas that are less economically privileged are pretty widely dispersed,” Wilkins said. “We also arrest a lot more bad guys than average.”

Utah has one of the lowest driving fatality rates in the nation, according to the study. Sgt. Todd Royce of the Utah Highway Patrol said he and the UHP have been working to reduce the number of fatalities on Utah roads.

Study: An article from KSL News states that in 2015 Utah is one of the safest states in the nation.

As much as we'd all like to point at a random spot on a map and decide to live there, relocating is unfortunately never that easy. And it shouldn't be. “One fatality is too many,” Royce said. “Though we may have low fatality rates, when someone’s family member or best friend dies in a car accident, those statistics don’t matter.”

Royce said Utah has one of the lowest rates of drunken-driving arrests in the U.S. The UHP has also been combatting distracted and drowsy driving with education and stronger enforcement of existing laws, Royce said.

“One of the most important things motorists can do to say safe is to wear a seatbelt,” Royce said. “Only about 83 percent of the public wear seatbelts.”

A new law passed by Utah legislatures last month will give motorists caught without a seatbelt a warning for the first violation and a citation for every violation after that.

Natural disasters are also low in Utah. Utah has the third-lowest estimated property losses from climate disasters, according to the study.

Utah also ranked fifth in the financial security category and sixth in workplace safety.

“Overall, Utah is a really safe place to live,” Wilkins said.

Ranking above Utah in safety were Massachusetts, Vermont, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Hawaii.

50 Nifty Fix-Ups For Less than $100

By yourwasatchfrontrealtor
May 22, 2015

Everyone loves "This Old House" and they have a great article on simple upgrades. Simple upgrades can drastically improve the feel and function of your home. These clever tips, projects, and products offer a big payoff for a small investment. Check out this web address for full pictures and ideas. Enjoy!


Median Sales Price of Existing Homes Sold in Salt Lake County

By yourwasatchfrontrealtor
Mar 21, 2013

Year       Median Sales Price

2005      $192,784

2006      $246,099

2007      $270,361

2008      $253,366

2009      $238,597

2010      $224,632

2011      $204,698

2012      $211,000


A Word from the New York Times: 5 Tips for Buyers who Use Down Payment Gifts

By yourwasatchfrontrealtor
Jan 08, 2013

5 Tips for Buyers Who Use Downpayment Gifts


About a quarter of first-time home buyers use gifts from relatives to fund a down payment for a home purchase, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®. But lenders are carefully scrutinizing such gifts.

“Basically, the banks want to make sure that you’re not getting a second loan,” Ray Mignone of Ray Mignone & Associates, a financial planning firm, told The New York Times. “If all of a sudden $50,000 pops into your account, they want to make sure it’s not a loan against the property that they’re going to put a mortgage on.”

In a recent article, The New York Times provided some of the following tips in making make these lenders’ checks and balances go smoother for home buyers:

  • Have the money come in a check or wire transfer so that it’s traceable. Lenders often become cautious over cash gifts.
  • Have the giver provide the lender with a gift letter, which verifies the money is a gift, the specific amount being given, the relationship to the borrower, and that repayment is not required.
  • Deposit any gift money into the borrower’s account a few months before applying for a mortgage so the lenders have fewer questions about it, Mignone says.
  • Consider federal gift-tax regulations: Individual gifts of more than $13,000 must be reported to the IRS and are subject to tax.
  • Be aware that certain types of mortgages may limit how much of a down payment you can receive as a gift. For example, with conventional loans, lenders may require at least 5 percent in the borrower’s own money that is not a gift. However, Federal Housing Administration loans — which are popular among first-time home buyers — do not have any limits on gifts and borrowers can use gifts to cover the entire down payment.
Source: “To Givers of Down Payments,” The New York Times (Dec. 27, 2012)

Did you know that Utah topped Forbes 2012 list of The Best States for Business?

By yourwasatchfrontrealtor
Jan 08, 2013

For the third year in a row Utah was ranked as THE BEST STATE IN THE NATION for business. What an incredible ranking! Apparently energy costs are low and the pro-business climate we have has helped Utah's economy expand at 2.3% a year over the past five years. Considering the state of the rest of the nation I'd say that's a pretty big kudos. Since the 2002 Winter Olympics tourism has increased. Governor Herbert says that Utah's 5% flat corporate tax rate is one of the lowest in the country.

There are always multiple reasons for success, but this strong economy is great for real estate because it is the foundation of a strong housing market. Keep it up Utah. We are doing something right. People want to live here where their families can thrive.

What's in store for Salt Lake's real estate recovery?

By yourwasatchfrontrealtor
Nov 06, 2012

I'd like to quote Donna Pozzuoli, the President of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

"...according to local economist Jim Wood, there is little doubt that demand for housing is accelerating. In fact, in Salt Lake County in August, home sales jumped 21% compared to August in 2011. And, August marked the 5th consecutive month of rising home prices as the median price climbed to $205,000, a 10% rise compared to last year at this time.  According to Wood's report, the greatest improvement in home sales across the Wasatch Front has been in Salt Lake County where the number of sales has increased by 19% in the past year....during that time, more that 1,000 additional homes were sold by Salt Lake Realtors, compared to the same period a year earlier. The trend is expected to continue into next year as rising numbers of new households, in-migration and low inventory push sales and prices upward."   ----Just a little snapshot of the market!

New Home Sales Tax - 2013

By yourwasatchfrontrealtor
Oct 31, 2012

A provision of the "Obamacare" health care legislation creates a 3.8% Medicare tax on real estate transactions. Let's clear up some of the panic. First, this does not mean that all home sales will now be taxes 3.8% on the sale of a home. The Health Care legislation imposes a 3.8% transaction tax on profits over the capital gains threshold. This calls for high-income households to be subject to a new 3.8% tax on investment income starting in 2013. As a Realtor I cannot give tax advice, but would advise checking with your accountant if your income is over 200K or jointly over 250K as a couple. This excludes about 97% of US households, but if you're one of the 3%, check with your accountant before deciding to sell a property.

I was listening to NPR Yesterday...

By yourwasatchfrontrealtor
Oct 24, 2012

Yesterday as I sat watching my son's soccer game I listened to an NPR news broadcast for Utah. They were reporting that foreclosures in Utah are higher than ever, that the market is gloomy, and that sales are down. I know first hand that none of these things are true and in fact had recently posted on Facebook actual stats from the Salt Lake Board of Realtors about how the foreclosure inventory was at it's lowest level in 4 years. August home sales jumped 21 percent compared to August of last year and  August marked the 5th month of rising home prices along the Wasatch Front. I wanted to call up NPR and discuss with them where they were getting their facts. NPR is such a trusted source for reliable news, to have it reporting completely erroneous facts on the housing market was upsetting. Just a heads up to all those clinging to media interpretation of the market.... things are looking good. They are really looking good.

Hello world!

By yourwasatchfrontrealtor
Oct 24, 2012

Welcome to RealCove Blogs. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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