Utah County Date Night Ideas

Whether you’ve been together for on week, one month, or ten years, keeping that spark in a relationship is so important. Life gets in the way, and between work, school, kids, etc., it can be hard to find the time or the funds to indulge in a romantic outing. Luckily, we found some awesome ways to bond with your partner in Utah County:

  1. Wheeler Historic Farm

http://things2doinutah.com/wheeler-farm/

$0-$2

Wheeler Farm is a 75-acre, fully-functioning farm. It’s free to walk the grounds, but the activities will cost you a small fee. Take a wagon ride for $2 per adult, tour the farmhouse for $4, or you can even milk a cow for just $2. My favorite date idea while visiting here? Pack a picnic and a blanket, eat at sunset and do a little stargazing. Total cost? About $15 if you include the price of the food and the gas money. The quality time spent together? Priceless.

  1. See a free concert

http://things2doinutah.com/free-concerts-in-utah-summer-2014/

$0

Utah is full of free music festivals and concerts that would be awesome to take your loved one to. Even if you don’t know the music, who doesn’t love to go dancing and let loose in a new place?

  1. Visit a museum

http://www.museumstuff.com/states/UT.php

Prices vary

Are you an art fiend? Maybe a history buff? This list is jam-packed with different museums across the state that would provide great quality time for you and your significant other. Museum dates offer a chance for you to watch your partner’s eyes light up with wonder as they learn more about their own interests, and they give you a chance to take part in something they enjoy. You can’t put a price on connection!

There are many things to do in Utah, whether you’re balling on a budget or have a little extra cash to splurge with. If you’re wondering what else there is to do, take a look at this list: http://things2doinutah.com/date-night-ideas/ and let us know what your favorites are!


Spring Gardening Tips

Spring-Gardening jpg

 

Spring is here, which means it’s time to revamp your garden. It’s time to live surrounded by flowers of all shapes, sizes, and colors, assortments of fruits and vegetables, maybe even a new tree or bush for your front yard. No matter what it is you’re planting this year, there are a few essential steps to make them grow to be more beautiful, or delicious, than ever.

  1. Clean Out the Garden

It’s time to clean your garden and remove all the debris (leaves, leftover snow, etc). Get rid of weeds, making sure that you get the roots so they won’t grow back. This is also a good time to sharpen your garden tools, if needed, because you’re going to require them for plant maintenance and soil care.

  1. Revitalize the Soil

Add organic material like compost or manure can add moisture, which is beneficial to your garden because your soil is likely dried out and packed after winter. You might need to test the soil to see what nutrients it needs, so you give it the right mixture. You might also need to add more fertilizer to increase the health of the soil and increase the life of your plants.

  1. Trim Old Plants

Pruning plants that survived the winter will ensure that they’ll grow again in the spring. Make sure to wait until mid-April or even May in case there’s an unexpected freeze. Blooming plants should be pruned right after they bloom to avoid cutting off future flowers. Summer plants should be pruned in early spring.

  1. Add Mulch

You should think about adding mulch to your flower beds and garden in addition to fertilizers and organic materials. One to three inches of mulch helps to prevent weeds and diseases, while also keeping the moisture in the garden and maintaining the temperature. The rule of thumb is to keep the mulch a few inches from the plant stems to prevent roots from rotting.

  1. Plant New Flowers and Shrubs

Once you’ve gotten the garden in shape and handled all of the old plants, it’s time to turn your attention to new plants. Some recommendations for good spring plants include:

  • Pansies
  • Snapdragons
  • Vegetables like lettuce, peas and arugula
  • Redbuds
  • Transplanting tomato plants from indoor pots to outside
  • Lilacs
  • Tulips

Leaning towards perennials can be more cost-effective and less time-consuming than annuals. You should lean towards planting more perennials rather than annuals, because annuals have to be replaced every year where ass perennials can last up to 3 years and can typically survive a few surprise winter frosts even while in bloom.

What to Do for the Rest of Spring?

Once your spring garden is up and running again, it’s important to keep in mind that the work is not quite done. It will need some care so it stays colorful and beautiful throughout the season. Here are some quick tips for garden maintenance throughout the rest of the season:

Mid-Spring:

  • Consider new flower beds.
  • Plant some hardy annuals.
  • Transplant seeds.
  • Mulch.

Late Spring:

  • Deadhead and remove bulbs.
  • Keep up on weeding.
  • Prune flowering shrubs.

Spring Cleaning Tips

 

Spring is JUST around the corner, and you know what that means: Spring Cleaning! Oh, the joy. As unappealing as it sounds, we have a few tips to make the whole process easier on you so that you can enjoy more of the sunny weather and less of the scrubbing.

1. Lime build-up around the faucet
The best way to get rid of lime buildup around the faucet it is to lay paper towels over the fixture, soak it with vinegar and let it set for an hour. The deposits will soften and become easier to remove.

2. Finish your floors
Wax or apply a sealer to your floors to protect them from another year of wear-and-tear. Better yet, use a combination wash-and-wax floor cleaner; the benefit to this is pretty self-explanatory.

3. Clean your coils
You should clean your refrigerator’s condensor coil to prevent your fridge from overheating due to dust build-up. To remove dust from coils attached to the hard-to-reach back side of the fridge, carefully pull the refrigerator out several feet and vacuum thoroughly; finish by sweeping or vacuuming the floor area you’ve revealed.


Tips for Summertime Curb Appeal

While we still have plenty of summer left, we’re getting down to the wire when it comes to preparing to sell homes this season. Summer can take a toll on our pocketbooks with vacations, days off of work, and expenses preparing for the upcoming school year. If you’re preparing to sell your home, it can be easy to stress about last-minute fixes and upgrades. Curb appeal may fall to the bottom of the totem pole. This is disheartening because the way your home looks on the outside is a lasting first impression that may make or break the decision to buy.

Don’t stress—we’ve compiled some of our favorite hacks to add instant curb appeal without breaking the bank.

 

1.) Manicure Your Lawn

You more than likely already regularly mow your lawn and trim the hedges, so a little extra TLC can go a long way. Make sure to fertilize all plants in your lawn to make your yard look green and lush. Choose additional plants that fit with the scale of your home and plant a new tree if you feel so inclined.

 

2.) Upgrade Your Seating Area

The more functional your home appears, the better. A seating area can make a home feel cozy and give it an eclectic vibe. Put some new chairs on your porch. Create a new nook with a seating area and garden stool and add some pillows to make the space pop! A little bit of creativity can go a long way here.

 

3.) Paint a small area

A slight rejuvenation in color can really liven up your space. Consider painting your door, shutters, or trim. Paint is generally around $30 a gallon, so you won’t be anywhere close to maxing out your credit card. Choose a color that adds a splash, but still blends in enough with the homes around you.

 

4.) Replace/add exterior lighting

If your lighting fixtures are looking a little worn, it may be advantageous to replace them to give your home an invigorated look. A good #ProTip for saving money is to look for fixtures that have the same mounting system as your current ones. Make sure that your exterior lighting illuminates your entryway in order to enhance safety. Another quick lighting project to consider is adding path lights.

 

5.) Get a New Mailbox

Whether you have a mailbox on the curb or mounted onto your home, a little bit can go a long way when you replace your current fixture. This is a great first impression to capture the attention of guests (and new potential homeowners). Mailboxes also start around $20-30 making it another manageable expense. Make sure you are following all city regulations when installing your new mailboxes!


Skip Summer Sales—Become a Realtor!

There isn’t exactly a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to summer plan, especially when you’re a new graduate. While it’s easy to toss off the cap and rejoice in your recent achievements, it’s as easy to stress out about what’s next or where your career is headed.

 

Summer sales are always a great option, especially for college student. It’s an easy way to make money fast and focus on school for the rest of the year. More and more, we’re hearing mixed feedback about summer sales. They don’t allow time to focus on a career path. People are becoming less and less interested in door-to-door sales. Some options seem like a scam for not only potential customers, but for those working summer sales.

 

Many folks argue that summer sales can help increase communication skills and put you in a real-time sales setting, but after examining what we hear from recent grads we have a better idea on how to spend your summer—become a realtor!

 

Even if you see yourself setting down another career path, you can obtain your Utah real estate license over the summer and always have it in your back pocket for a plan B or to endeavor in seasonally or at your will. When you’re a realtor, you get to be your own boss and create your own schedule.

 

Worried about being able to afford real estate school? Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Real Estate offers scholarship programs! Worried about losing summer flexibility? Stringham Schools and several other programs offer online programs. Yes, you CAN do it all and that includes sitting poolside while studying for your real estate licence.

 

Our process is easy and approachable. We welcome people from all walks of life into our brokerage whether you’re a recent graduate or looking for a career shift. We’ve outlined the steps to become a licensed Utah realtor below. Give us a call at 801-995-4700 or shoot us an email at info@utahproperties.com to learn more and ask questions!

 

Utah Licensing Process  |  Utah Licensing Requirements

 

Be at least 18 years of age at the time of application

Have at a minimum, a high school diploma or its equivalent

STEP 1 – Meet with a Broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Real Estate to learn more about our company & scholarship program

 

STEP 2 – Take 120 hours of approved education at a certified real estate pre-license school, call 801-995-4700 for school and scholarship options.

 

STEP 3 – Take and pass the state sales agent exam.

 

STEP 4 – Once you have passed the state exam, bring the following to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Real Estate and then we will overnight it to the division:

 

  • Completed and signed application (issued at the testing center)
  • Signed original school certificates (issued by the real estate school) or Education Waiver (issued by the Division)
  • Signed responses to the Qualifying Questionnaire (issued at the testing center) and supporting documentation to any “YES” answers.
  • Utah candidate fingerprint receipt and signed fingerprint waiver (issued at the testing center)
  • Certification of legal presence

$152 non-refundable fee ($100 application, $12 recovery fund fee and $40 fingerprint processing fee)

 

STEP 5 – When you get your license back from the state, bring it to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Real Estate and we will get you set up with the MLS & Board of Realtors.

 


Best Easter Events in Utah County

How is it already Easter week? You’re going through your to-do list and checking off your holiday menu, guest accommodations and more, but you still haven’t whittled down exactly what you and your family will be doing to enjoy the day. Utah County is abundant with Easter egg hunts and family fun, but which events are the best? We put together a short list of some of our events in our community we highly recommend hitting up this year!

 

Easter Eggstreme – Thanksgiving Point

10-2 – Saturday, April 15th

Thanksgiving Point, Lehi

 

We LOVE Thanksgiving Point—it’s home of Luminaria, summer camps for kids, the Tulip Festival and so much more. Easter is no different when it comes to taking festivities to the max. The Easter Eggstreme is one of our community’s most massive Easter egg hunts with prizes that include small toys, candy, and other goodies. And make sure you’re prepared for photo ops with the Easter Bunny!

 

University Place Easter Extravaganza

1-4 – Saturday, April 15th

University Place, Orem

 

While the Toddler Easter Egg Hunt is sold out (and is notorious for doing so year after year), you can still attend the Easter Extravaganza at University Place. This event is fully equipped with a mini-parade, Cirque-tastic entertainment, cotton candy, and even a petting zoo! If you wish to attend, make sure you register online.

 

Cedar Hills Teen Candy Hunt

8:30-10:00 p.m. Saturday, April 15th

Cedar Hills Recreation Center, Cedar Hills

 

For your older kids, the Cedar Hills Teen Candy Hunt is a gem in our community that is geared towards youth ages 11-15. Make sure to have them gather their friends and bring a flashlight for a fun-filled night hunting for candy and other prizes that takes place on the golf course (weather permitting). After the hunt, there is an afterparty that runs until 10 p.m.

 

Operation Easter Egg Drop at the Outlets at Traverse Mountain

11:00 a.m. – Saturday, April 15th

Traverse Mountain, Lehi

 

This is a whole new spin on Easter egg hunting. Watch over 20,000 Easter eggs the sky as the Easter Bunny take the reigns operating a helicopter. Families with children ages 2-12 are invited to participate in this free event, which will also feature story time with Mother Goose, photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny, and delicious spring cooking demonstrations. Attendees are also invited to visit the center’s 52 stores to find amazing deals on the latest spring fashions and hunt for one of the 100 golden eggs, filled with gift cards and other exciting prizes!

 


Tips for Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung! As the cold weather begins to go into hibernation and the sun takes its place in the spotlight, your home could use a little extra love during the transition. During the winter months, dirt from muddy boots can get tracked into your home and pet hair can linger in nooks and crannies. With just a teeny bit of time and effort, you can freshen up your home in no time to go hand-in-hand with the sense of renewal that comes with spring!

1.) Make a Schedule

Our lives are too busy to dive head first into spring cleaning willy nilly. The last thing we want to do is create more stress for ourselves. Scope out your home and prioritize—which spaces need the most TLC? Is there anywhere you regularly skip in your routine cleaning that is in dire need of attention? Map out what rooms/areas you’re going to tackle and when. A set schedule will keep you on task and make the process less overwhelming.

2.) Love Your Walls & Windows

During our routine cleaning, it’s easy to place top priority on the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and commonly frequented areas. Your windows and walls can fall to the wayside and there could be dust and residue build up you don’t even notice. Take a sponge or damp towel and make sure to wipe your walls from top to bottom. When cleaning the windows, make sure to take off the screen and remove dust. A steam cleaner with a squeegee is an excellent way to get your windows in tip-top shape.

3.) Get Rid of Clutter

We can get lazy in the winter months and let mail stack up, gather piles of laundry in the corner, and who knows what else. Feeling stressed? It’s no wonder because studies show that disorganization and chaos attributes to your stress level. If you have old magazines that have collected dust, toss them. If you have kitchen items all over the place, put them in the pantry or get a basket for fruit and veggies. Trust us—you’ll feel like a weight’s been lifted off your shoulders.

4.) Invest in a Good Vacuum

So much junk can gather on your carpets and rugs over the winter. Plus, during the beginning of spring, allergens can run rampant. If you don’t want to fully commit to shampooing your carpets during the spring, we highly recommend investing in a HEPA vacuum. HEPA filtration removes dirt and dust as well as impurities in the air. High-quality vacuums tend to come with a variety of attachments, so you can really dig into corners, walls, and beyond.

5.) Conquer the Kitchen and Bathroom

We can see the look of horror in your eyes, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A kitchen refresh can simply entail wiping down your cabinets and shelves in your refrigerator. If you have family members who are sensitive to allergens or you just haven’t done it in awhile, consider replacing your bathroom fan. Make sure to clean out any junk drawers and any old cosmetics and beauty products sitting dormant. Check any shower liners for mildew and replace them if so. A little bit can go a long way with these spaces!


How to Deal with Snow and Ice

Utah County is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, but the winter can take a toll on you if you aren’t prepared. It can become easy to lose motivation during the colder months. All of a sudden your daily routine of work, school and errands can seem like a chore. However, a few simple tricks and a little legwork can help you go about as usual, even in the worst of weather.

 

Invest in good snow tires

If you live in an area that consistently snows, snow tires are a must. These tires are built with softer rubber, which allows for more traction in grueling snowy and icy conditions. They also allow you to stop at a more rapid rate avoiding potential collisions and traffic infractions. Although the tires are an initial investment, they could help avoid accidents and save your life.

 

Stock up on supplies

Times of being stuck inside your home due to extreme inclement weather can be few and far between, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Always have enough food on hand to get through a few days, some extra non-perishable goods, and stock up on toilet paper, diapers, and other necessities. If your furnace is going non-stop, you should also consider investing in a gas detection device that will alert you if there is a malfunction.

 

Use salt as a de-icer

Table salt can be a fantastic de-icer when used in moderation. If you want to avoid waking up to frost on your windows, put some salt in a sock and rub it on your windows the night before. Be careful about overdoing it as repeated use could cause damage to the surfaces you are de-icing. For sidewalks and large surfaces, consider picking up salt that’s specific to snow and ice removal.

 

Put a sheet over your windshield

If you know a big storm is rolling in, place a drop cloth or tarp over your car’s windshield for quick snow removal. You can also cover up steps leading up to your house and walkways with those sturdy cloths. Come time to leave, you simply pull it off and you’re good to go.

 

Allow extra time

When traveling in winter weather conditions, make sure to give yourself extra time to get from point A to point be to avoid stressing out and being reckless. If your usual commute takes 30 minutes, give yourself 40 to get there. Make sure you slow down and adhere to speed limits as well.


BHHSEliteRE—More than Realtors

You see our “For Sale” signs in yards. You see our social media posts gushing about how much we love being realtors. You know our partnerships with new developments building folks the home of their dreams. Maybe you even know that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Real Estate has been locally owned and operated in the greater Utah County area for more than 25 years and consistently ranks among the Top 50 companies in the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network. But did you know that BHHS Elite Real Estate is MORE than just real estate?

“Home Services” extends beyond simply buying and selling homes. It ensures people are comfortable with their living situation under any circumstance whether it’s helping with relocation, property management, commercial real estate, or REO sales. Let’s take a look at how BHHS can help:

 

Relocation

Moving itself can be one of the most stressful times in one’s life. Couple that with having to up and leave the place you call home and it can cause some major anxiety. We’re here to help. Our agents will examine your time frame and price range, find a home that suits your needs, and partner with lenders that will make it work. Even if you aren’t moving for 6 months, it’s never too early to get the ball rolling and we’re here to help you ease your mind and plan ahead.

 

Property Management

Are you reluctant to sell your property, but don’t have the time or energy to be a “landlord.” Let BHHS step in and manage your property. Our sales staff and state-of-the-art support system takes property management a step further and actually help you build value in your real estate. Our management team has an average of 20 years of experience and members have been awarded the Certified Property Manager and Certified Shopping Center Manager. Our agents will handle the day-to-day maintenance and supervision of your home or commercial property and will ensure it’s filled with tenants who are reliable and have a steady income.

 

Commercial Real Estate

We’re not just showing offices. We’re seeking opportunities to create value and help develop customized real estate solutions for office tenants, developers, investors, and owners of office properties. We understand what can go wrong with a commercial real estate transaction, work to avoid risk and have the business savvy and experience that can add real value in setting your strategy to meet project objectives.

 

REO/Foreclosure

BHHS has sold more foreclosed homes than any other brokerage in the last 20 years. We specialize in asset disposition, REO sales and marketing, short sales, property management and all services for the sale of such assets. Our clients include but are not limited to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Wells Fargo, Greenriver Capital & Hud. If you’re interested in buying a foreclosed home, we’ve helped countless people who are looking for a bargain, looking to create rental properties for revenue and “flip” houses, and more.


Home Resolutions for 2017

By now, anyone who’s boasting a “New Year, New You” might sound like a broken record. There’s no denying that a new year brings a sense of renewal as it opens a platform to hone in on some new goals and expectations. While health, fitness, and finances tend to dominate “New Year’s Resolutions,” we can also flip the script and spin those areas of improvement. It’s not rocket science or a huge financial undertaking—look and see some of our favorite Home Resolutions for 2017:

 

1.) Get Organized (Rid Yourself of Clutter!)

Not everyone is a hoarder, but we could all stand to get rid of some excess when it comes to our home’s space. The easiest solution is to reconfigure your storage space. Get high storage shelves for hallways or pull-out storage units for your room or communal spaces. If you’re in a pinch for space to begin with, there are several ways to get creative like utilizing shoe organizers to store keys, notepads, and small household items.

 

2.) Get out of Debt (Budget)

Saving money and getting out of debt are popular resolutions, but homeowners should take this resolution one step further and allocate funds specifically for their homes. The U.S. Census Bureau finds that the average cost of home improvement and maintenance is about $3,300 per household. A yearly home budget will prevent overspending and will allow you to plan for bigger projects like new roofing or a new appliance. Lending institutions recommend setting aside 1%-3% of your home’s value for yearly improvements. For instance, if your home is valued at $500,000, save $5,000 annually for upkeep.

 

3.) Trim the Fat (Monitor Energy Use)

Saving energy help the environment, but it can make immense differences in your savings. An easy place to start for gaining control of your energy use is your HVAC ductwork. These ducts can leak your heating and cooling system through holes and loose connections. Plus, sealing and insulating your ducts can improve your heating and cooling systems up to 20%, according to Energy Star. You might not even need to hire a contractor. You can use a duct sealing called Mastic (metal-backed duct tape) and seal the connections at vents and floor registers.

 

4.) Volunteer (Get Out in the Community!)

Volunteering isn’t only a selfless act of kindness, it also provides immense balance in your life. Consider joining a neighborhood watch program and discussing community concerns and priorities. A community garden is a great way to not only eat healthier and sustain the environment, and you can meet and connect with your neighbors, too.