Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Utah Housing Market

I know your all wondering how the housing market is doing in Utah. Is now a good time for you to sell property or to buy property?

Homes Sold 3rd Quarter 2012 vs 2013

Lets compare how many homes sold in the 3rd quarter of 2012 and 2013.  The Utah Association of Realtors provides the following information www.utahrealtors.com:

In the 3rd quarter of 2012,  27,491 homes closed.
In the 3rd quarter of 2013 31,361 homes have closed. An increase of 14.1%

How does the 3rd quarter home sales in the market where you live compare to 2012?
Beaver County          -2.2%
Box  Elder County   +12.6%
Cache County          +14.2 %
Carbon County         -12.5%
Daggett County        -31.3%
Davis County           +23.3 %
Duchesne County     -6.9%
Emery County          -34.4%
Garfield County        -28.6%
Grand County          +14.1%
Iron County              -2.1%
Juab County             -21.4%
Kane County           -43.1%
Millard County        +11.8%
Morgan County       -2.9%
Piute County           +125.0%
Rich County            +1.9%
Salt Lake County    + 12.3%
San Juan County     -11.5%
Sanpete County       -9.1%
Sevier County         +1.6%
Summit County      +15.9%
Tooele County       +17.3%
Uintah County       +3.5%
Utah County         +13.9%
Wasatch County  +22.1%
Washington County +23.5%
Wayne County    +12.5%
Weber County    +14.3%

A lot more homes sold this year over last year, especially in Piute County (looks like a great place to live - www.marysvale.org or www.circlevilleutah.org; no offense to other towns not mentioned).

The next thing to consider may be:

How is the inventory of homes?

How many sales were short sales or bank owned property?

How are interest rates?

What is the value of my home and can I sell if I'm "under water"?

We'll look at some of these additional questions soon.  If you can't wait, give me a call, text or email to discuss anything that is on your real estate mind :-)

"May the odds be ever in your favor."
Brain Olsen, WWR

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

FHA Loan Limits for 2014

I love going to a settlement (closing) on a real estate deal and the excitement as someone either purchases their ideal property or sells a property we have listed.  To get to that final step there are a number of people to provide help along the way.  A key person is a lender and one of the companies that I recommend to my clients is Axiom Financial.

I received information from Axiom this morning that FHA has announced lower loan limits that take effect on loans with FHA case numbers assigned on or after January 1, 2014.

Several counties will be affected in Utah.  One change in the single family loan limits is that Salt Lake and Tooele counties will no longer be tied to Summit County, which reduces the loan limit for Salt Lake and Tooele.

FHA Loan Limits for 2014

Additional Single Family Loan Limits:
Utah County will have a loan limit reduction to $271,050.00.
Morgan County loan limit of $389,850.00
Salt Lake County Loan limit of $300,150.00
Summit County Loan limit of $600,300.00
Tooele County Loan limit of $300,150.00
Wasatch County Loan limit of $331,200.00

Feel free to contact me or an Axiom Financial lender for additional details.

"Live long and prosper"
Brian Olsen, WWR

Monday, December 9, 2013

Freddie Mac's housing market outlook

Last week was great for the Utah ski industry.  Major snow storms hit the entire state.  To see the ski resort totals go to Snow Report  

We received a good amount in Wallsburg and enjoy how beautiful everything looks with fresh snow.  Between playing in the snow and having cups of coconut or peppermint hot chocolate, we are definitely in the Christmas spirit at our home. 

Snow Report and Housing Outlook December 2013
As you shop for that perfect gift for loved ones and friends, you will surely be asking yourself, "How is the current housing market and I wonder where it is heading going into 2014?"

Ok, so maybe I think too much about real estate, however just in case you were wondering....

According to Freddie Mac's U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook it is estimated that 30-year-fixed loans will stay around 4.3 percent until the beginning of 2014, "gradually moving up throughout the year and ending at close to 5 percent."

Existing home inventories are still historically low. This leaves home buyers with fewer homes to choose from.  They also predict that housing in most of the country will remain affordable.

So what does this mean for you? Since most inventories remain low now is a great time to sell your property. Because of continued low interest rates, it is a great time to purchase a home or investment property.

If you have a question about the real estate market or if you are looking to make a move ether buying or selling property I'd love to help you have a successful transaction.

Brian Olsen, WWR

Friday, December 6, 2013

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

With freezing temperatures and snow on the ground its starting to feel like a Utah Christmas. This holiday season here are a few tips on how to save energy in your home.

Winter Energy Saving Tips for your home

If your looking to do more than save energy in your home this holiday. give me a call and let me help you with your home search or provide you a real estate market analysis of what your home is worth.

Happy Holidays!

Brian Olsen, WWR

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Winter Selling Tips

HGTV's frontdoor.com has an article about adapting your home to its selling season. There are different tips for each season.

Winter Selling Tips

~Keep walkways and stairs clear of snow and ice

~ Make the outside look inviting

~ Make your home feel cozy

~ Make the windows sparkling clean so they let in more light in

To view the article go to HGTV frontdoor.com.

A common misperception is that homes don't sell during the winter.  Remember a lot of people come to Utah specifically during the winter ski season and during the Christmas season.  Many will have thoughts about buying a second home or an investment property.  Make sure you are ready for any opportunity for a buyer to see your property.

Winter Mountain View

If your looking to sell or buy this winter give me a call 801-318-3108 and we can set up a time to meet and talk about the current market conditions.

Have an amazing weekend!

Brian Olsen, WWR                                                    

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wallsburg Forgets to Hold Election

If you looked at my video when I started my blog I said how much I love living in Wallsburg.  Here is an example of why I love living here "A tiny Utah town had to skip an election earlier this month because part-time officials forgot to advertise or prepare for it".  Search this url for the rest of the story:   http://tinyurl.com/deseretnews-wallsburg-election

Wallsburg, Utah Forgets to Hold Election

When you arrive in our little valley, time is much less important than events and the people living here know how to prioritize events like family, horse riding, bike riding, walks, camping, reading, neighbors, etc. 

The world is always going at a break neck speed and working from my home as much as I do, I must admit that I tend to get into that same mindset and twist my insides to try and keep up with everything that I think I need to be doing. 

Probably the most powerful feeling that slows me down and helps me look at the important things in life is going outside on a moonless night with any one of my children and being able to look into a cloudless night sky and without any light pollution see the majesty of God's universe.  And while we look at the milky way, talk about our real purpose for this life.

Have a great day!

High School Work History Not History for FHA

For you home buyers that have recently graduated from High School and are looking to put your money into real estate, versus keeping it in a bank account and maybe earn enough interest to buy a happy meal, heads up if you are planning to use an FHA loan.

High School Work History Not History for FHA

FHA states that you cannot use the time in high school to meet any part of the criteria for your two year work history.  Speak with your lender to get exact clarification and counsel on this issue.

However don't despair, look at what the founders of emi-jay www.emi-jay.com accomplished.  As teenagers they started a business that sold 6 million hair ties in 2012 and projected to sell $10 million of their accessories this year (they probably won't need to finance a home purchase like most of us), that great job won't help you get approved for an FHA home loan.

You teens that haven't gotten into the rut that many of us 'older' people get into and you have a bizillion ideas, it may be worth it for you to check out this web site, Teen Business Central for all kinds of ideas www.teenbusinesscentral.com

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mansion up for Auction

Hmm, I think I could get over the Bulls 1998 win over the Jazz in the NBA finals...

Watch: Michael Jordan's Mansion is up for Auction and It's Amazing 

Read more: knrs.com

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Best Places to Live 2013

In September CNN Money Magazine had a list of the 50 "Best Places to Live".
Best Places to Live 2013

Three towns in Utah made the list. Did your town make it?

1) Sharon, MA

2) Louisville, CO

3) Vienna, VA

4) Chanhassen, MN

5) Sherwood, OR

6) Berkeley Heights, NJ

7) Mason, OH

8) Papillion, NE

9) Apex, NC

10) West Goshen Township, PA

11) Westford, MA

12) Parker, CO

13) Montville, NJ

14) Farmington, UT

15) Shrewsbury, MA

16) Hillsborough, NJ

17) Apple Valley, MN

18) Westfield, IN

19) Newcastle, WA

20) The Colony, TX

21) Savage, MN

22) Waukee, IA

23) Merrimack, NH

24) Firestone, CO

25) Draper, UT

26) Brookfield, CT

27) Farmington, MI

28) Menomonee Falls, WI

29) Lindon, UT

30) Windham, NH

31) La Palma, CA

32) Coppell, TX

33) Suwanee, GA

34) Horsham, PA

35) Leesburg, VA

36) Mill Creek, WA

37) Ankeny, IA

38) Twinsburg, OH

39) Cheshire, CT

40) Ballwin, MO

41) Montgomery Village, MD

42) Solon, OH

43) Evans, GA

44) Pflugerville, TX

45) Spring Hill, TN

46) Buffalo Grove, IL

47) Pelham, AL

48) Peachtree City, GA

49) Walnut, CA

50) Simsbury, CT

Let me know if you would like more information about Real Estate in Utah's large or small towns. 

                                                                                                                  Brian Olsen, WWR

Monday, November 11, 2013


Have you ever looked at purchasing a manufactured home? Until recently, getting a loan on a manufactured home has been very difficult, especially on older homes. But now Utah Housing has a new loan for manufactured homes.

New Loan for Manufactured Homes

The following requirements should be reviewed with your lender.

-Copy of Recorded Affidavit of Affixture and Receipt of Surrender of Title or Copy (Utah Form TC-672);


- If the Title for the manufactured home has been lost or stolen, the county where the manufactured
home is located does not have record of Title and a completed TC-672 has not been recorded the
following documents will be accepted in place of the TC-672:
          a) UHC From 169, Affidavit of Affixture and Notice of Lost or Destroyed Title
          b) UHC Form 172 (Lender Affidavit for Lost or Destroyed Title) and
          c) Copy of Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS)

-Copy of Foundation Certification dated within 180 days of closing, all recommended repairs, inspections and improvements must be completed;

-Verification of HUD Label Numbers (aka as a HUD tag and Data Plate) (or copy of IBTS report if appraiser states the HUD Certification Label #’s are not legible, missing or painted over);

-The numbers on the HUD tag or HUD Data Plate must match the IBTS and the information on the TC-672 (if applicable) and UHC Form 169 and 172;

-Is of sufficient size to meet all applicable zoning and building requirements

-A legible Certification Label (also known as a HUD tag) is attached to the outside of the manufactured home, a legible Data Plate is located inside the manufactured home and meets all other applicable codes;

-All other residence requirements including sewer, wells and water stock where water source is not public, and lot size restriction;
-For a Residence with a culinary well or septic tank located on the property, an inspection, dated within 180 days of Closing, by a certified well or septic tank inspector must be provided to UHC prior to purchase. All recommended repair, service calls and improvements must be completed prior to purchase.

Loans with any attached additions (including garages) may not be eligible for FHA financing. If the Manufactured Home includes an attached addition please provide documentation the property complies with FHA requirements (i.e. building permit and final inspection).

May not include Mobile Homes as defined in the Participation Agreement or Motor Homes, Park Trailers or Recreational Vehicles as defined by Utah Code. If any of the foregoing required documents are not available or unable to be located the loan is ineligible for UHC financing.

For a foundation inspection checkout Foundation Certifications this company is a nationwide company and specializes in foundation certifications. They are Licensed Professional Engineers in all 50 states, with border-to-border coverage in those states.

For more information about this be sure to talk to your lending company. If you would like a recommendation for a lending company please contact me at 801-318-3108 or brian.olsen@utahhomes.com

Friday, November 8, 2013


How about a “Do It Yourself” (DIY) Investment option to Real Estate?

DIY Real Estate

Have you been watching the Real Estate market bounce back in your area?  Hopefully your home value has jumped up as well.

More people than ever are taking on DIY projects to increase the value of their home even more.  There has been a substantial increase in new “investors” jumping in to real estate market by purchasing “fixer upper” homes.  They do the majority of the repair work themselves on dilapidated homes and then turn around and sale them, hopefully for a substantial profit.

Here is an option for those of us who don’t have the finances or the energy to jump into a “fixer upper”, but can see that the DIY market would be a good diversification of our investment funds, how about Scripps Networks.

Scripps Networks is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange, which owns a number of home repair shows, along with house hunting shows, including HGTV and DIY Network.  The company stock symbol is SNI and in the last five years its stock price has increased approximately 300%.  For just a little bit more icing on the cake SNI’s dividend has increased from $.15/share in 2008 to a projected $.60/share this year, 2013 or an additional .75% (a lot better than my savings account even without the stock appreciation).

Do your own research on this stock.  It may be the ultimate DIY investment and if you would like a free market comparison and evaluation of your home, feel free to contact me any time.

Brian Olsen (Wallsburg World Realtor)
Coldwell Banker

Monday, October 28, 2013


Wallsburg, Utah. What a great place to live! Away from all the hustle and bustle of city life. Located in the Wasatch Mountains with a breathtaking view of Mount Timpanogos. Just minutes away from Deer Creek State Park. With all the wonderful fall colors what better place to live than in the Wasatch Mountains.
Wallsburg, Utah

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