Thursday, February 25, 2016

FREE Ticket to the Utah Valley Home and Garden Show

Looking for something to do this weekend? 

If you are by chance are in Orem this weekend and want to kick off your start to spring, check out the Utah Valley Home & Garden Show. This Complimentary Home Show pass is good for the entire family. 


Free Home Show pass, for the Utah Valley Home and Garden Show - Compliments of Brian Olsen - Utah Realtor #WallsburgRealtor


Go ahead and share this e-ticket with your family and friends.

Brian Olsen 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Historic Mortgage Rates & Today's Mortgage Rate

Panic was setting in for many people last December when the FED raised rates by 25 basis points.  Maybe this is a great example of how sometimes doing something new can be very scary.  I know the changing of interest rates by the FED is not new, however for many people they have not seen or remember seeing an increase in the FED's funds rate because it hasn't happened since 2006.

That increase last December, of what is actually short term rates, and how it has affected the mortgage loan rate, has essentially been innocuous.

Since mortgage interest rates are so critical in the majority of home purchases, here is a look at what has happened in the past 30 years for a 30 year mortgage rate. Since 1985 through 2015, a 30 year span, the average yearly mortgage rate as per the chart below is 7.28%.

In comparison the average rate for the year 2015 was 3.85%; a 47% decrease from the average of the past 30 years!  Recently I saw a lender offering 30 year fixed mortgages at 3.76%.
Freddie Mac Historical Rates on 30-Year Fixed-rate Mortgages - The Fixed-rate on 30-year mortgages in 1986 was 12.43% as apposed to 4.17% in 2014
Source: Freddie Mac; Click on the graph for interactive information

The above bar chart of mortgage rates from 1985 until 2014 show the fixed-rate for a 30-year mortgages in 1985 was 12.43% as apposed to 4.17% in 2014.

Since 2010 interest rates have been below 5%.  

Freddie Mac Historical Rates on 30-Year Fixed-rate Mortgages - The Fixed-rate on 30-year mortgages in 1986 was 12.43% as apposed to 4.17% in 2014

Information from Freddie Mac

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Best colleges...

An article found on msn.com shares information from niche, about the highest- ranked college in each state. Any idea what College ranks the highest in Utah?

The Top Ranking College in Utah according to niche is Brigham Young University.When determining ranks niche considers campus quality, student reviews, academic strength and professors.

Brigham Young University is located in Provo with an overall rank of A+ an Academic rate of A and an acceptance rate of 49%.

Even if your not looking at going to school, having knowledge about colleges can help when looking to invest in rental properties. Take a look at a few multi-unit properties listed in Provo.


 Even if your not looking at going to school, having knowledge about colleges can help when looking to invest in rental properties. Take a look at a few multi-unit properties listed in Provo. Provo fourplex listed for $525,000 MLS 1347127

This fourplex located in Provo is listed for $525,000. 

 Even if your not looking at going to school, having knowledge about colleges can help when looking to invest in rental properties. Take a look at a few multi-unit properties listed in Provo. Provo Duplex Listed for $309,900 MLS 1344346

Provo Duplex listed for $309,900

 Even if your not looking at going to school, having knowledge about colleges can help when looking to invest in rental properties. Take a look at a few multi-unit properties listed in Provo. Provo Triplex listed for $234,000 MLS 1301045

Provo Triplex listed for $234,000

If you would like more information about these or any other properties let me know.

Brian, WWR

Home Information and Photos from Wasatch Front MLS

Monday, February 1, 2016

Home Inspections - Ice Dams

When purchasing a property I always recommend a home inspection by a qualified home inspector.  Even when a buyer has construction knowledge or a good friend that is a contractor, there is usually something missed, unless they have specific home inspection training.

To ensure to the greatest extent possible the condition of your home purchase have a professional inspector perform a full home inspection.  Even with a professional inspector sometimes things are hidden or only occur during certain times of the year, other than the time in which you are purchasing the property.

We won't go in to inspector qualifications here, but will address one thing that may be a hidden problem depending on when you purchase your home and that is the problem and impact that ice dams may have on a home.

When purchasing a property I always recommend a home inspection by a qualified home inspector.  Even when a buyer has construction knowledge or a good friend that is a contractor, there is usually something missed, unless they have specific home inspection training.


First let's define a part of the roof on any home called the "Eave".  This is the part of the roof which typically project beyond the exterior wall of the home. Some eaves may be fairly short, others may project some distance over the exterior wall of a home.  Eaves allow rain and snow melt to fall from the roof to the ground or into a rain gutter and not run down the side of the structure. Eaves also provide shade for a home.


An eave will not typically have insulation so it will almost always be the coldest part of the roof during winter months.  In areas that receive snow, as the snow melts on the warmer part of the roof and runs down the roof when the water hits the eave which is colder, at some point it will usually be cold enough that the water will freeze. As more water runs down, the freezing water, now ice, backs up the roof and may push itself up your roof and under the shingles. As the ice builds up, the ice or water is able to push its way up under the shingles of the roof.  The water may then go through any penetration of the tar paper or roof underlayment. Theshovelshack.com has a great photo showing how Ice and Snow cause leaks.


Those beautiful icicles on your home might be hiding something important. Icicles on your house might mean...

Since an ice dam prevents rain or melting snow from going through the rain gutter one of the first signs that you might have a problem is if you have Icicles on your home. 


Removing an ice dam once it has formed is difficult and may be very dangerous because getting on the roof and near the area where the ice has formed is icy.  I'm sure that is logical so let's not belabor the danger.  If possible the safest way is to use a ladder or boom lift to get to the edge of the roof and attempt to melt or cut a channel so that the water may drain. This is very difficult to do and not damage the roofing material or rain gutter.

As in life, Prevention is the best medicine.  There are two problems to deal with, first the cooler eave builds up ice. Second the warmer attic space melts the snow.  If you are able to install more insulation in the attic and plug any penetrations so that the attic does not warm up enough to melt the snow that will help the situation.  However, many homes with vaulted ceilings are not able to access the cavity once the home is finished and typically the vaulted 'attic' space is only the width of the roof joist so the roof is going to heat up.



When a huge snowstorm hits you may have seen on the news people with "roof rakeattempting to remove the snow from the roof to prevent both collapsing of the roof as well as ice dams.  The solution which I used on my home is to hire an electrician to install heat tape on my roof above the eave and in my rain gutter. When a storm hits I turn on an electrical switch and the tape heats up preventing the build up of ice over the eave of the home and providing a channel for water to run.

If you are capable of performing this work yourself be aware of the quality of the heat tape. As per my electrician all heat tape is not rated the same and some do-it-yourself kits are not sufficient to provide enough safe heat and may in the end be torn off the roof because of the ice build up.

A couple of more thoughts are to make sure you do a good fall cleaning of your rain gutters. Take care to not have large tree limbs that hang over your roof. Even with heat tape if a limb gets a lot of snow and breaks falling on to your roof it may damage the heat tape.

In summary, if there is no heat tape on a home in a snowy climate and you are purchasing the home in the summer, ask the inspector to do everything possible to inspect the eaves and attic space as much as possible, especially at roof valleys, to determine if there has been any water damage from an ice dam.




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