Preparing your house for cooler weather

The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting cooler. With summer fading, now’s the time to ready your home for fall and winter’s cooler temps and unpredictable weather conditions. Take care of these 6 tasks to get your home clean, warm and ready for the cool days to come.

1. Clear out the gutters.

Remove leaves and other debris from your drainpipe and gutters to prevent clogging. In areas with cold winters, outdoor faucets should be drained in the fall.

2. Clean the fireplace and chimney.
You can clear out ash and charred wood from the fireplace yourself, but leave the chimney cleaning to a professional. Have the chimney cleaner check the damper to ensure it can be tightly closed to prevent drafts.

3. Check the heating system.
Do a survey of your home’s heating vents to make sure they’re not blocked or covered by furniture, carpeting, or curtains. Dust vents and clean all filters. Make an appointment for an annual heating system check-up.

4. Store air conditioners.
If you have removable window air conditioners, be sure to unplug them before taking them down. Dust and clean before covering or storing.

5. Turn off outdoor plumbing
Drain outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems, and cover them to protect them from the freezing weather to come.

6. Get your ice melt and snow blower ready
By the time winter arrives, it’s often too late to find snow gear. Stock up on such things in autumn when they’re plentiful and lower-priced. Even if you think you’ve got enough left from last year, or that your snow blower or shovel are in good shape, take a few moments to check. You don’t want to get caught out in the cold finding out you’re wrong.

Don’t Delay
As with most home maintenance tasks, preparing your home for fall isn’t tricky, just time-consuming. Putting it off causes problems that can wind up costing you an enormous amount of money, though, so set aside time on the next couple of weekends to get these jobs done


Adorable Family Halloween Costumes Ideas

Dressing your kids in adorable Halloween costumes is one of the best parts of Halloween (obviously, besides the candy). There are plenty of creative ways to show your Halloween spirit. We have put together some awesome family costumes for you to try:

 

 Where’s Waldo?

Got stripes? Check out these adorable costumes that you could pull off last minute.

Instructions, Say Yes

Waldo: Blue jeans, red and white striped t-shirt, boots, travel items, cane, red beanie with a white pom pom, glasses

Mrs. Waldo: Red and white striped t-shirt, navy pencil skirt, red beanie with a white pom pom, bandana, red and white layered socks, brown shoes, thrifted bag, glasses

Baby Waldo: Red and white striped onesie, blue tights, red and white stripped beanie with red pom pom, glasses

 

Winnie the Pooh Family

Turn your favorite cartoon into the cutest prize winning family Halloween costume

Instructions: Brit.co

Winnie the Pooh: get a yellowish gold dress and red crop top accompanied by some gold bear ears.

Christopher Robin: yellow polo, Pair with navy shorts, tall white socks and brown loafers

Piglet: pink leotard and tutu, pink fabric paint to add stripes to the leotard and pink felt to create ears, glued onto a headband

Grease Costumes

If you love adorable Halloween costumes and old movies this one is definitely for you.

Instructions: Brit.co

Sandy: Black high-waisted shiny pants, black and gold high-waisted belt, black off-the-shoulder crop top, short blonde wig, red lipstick, red converse.

Danny: little black leather jacket, black and white foam paper, white undershirt, black hair spray, fashion tape, matching red converse.


Celebrating Fall in Utah County

The leaves are falling and the weather is getting cooler – which means it is time for fun fall festivities. Get out with your friends and family this fall and enjoy what Utah has to offer. We have found some amazing events going on that everyone can enjoy!

Cornbelly’s at Thanksgiving Point

$12.95 – $30.85
Location: Lehi, Utah
https://www.cornbellys.com/

This has been a fall family tradition since 1996, and has always been a favorite. There are so many activities for all ages – huge trampoline, bounce house, wagon rides, large slides, pig races, corn mazes, haunted house and more! Also, Thanksgiving Point members get a 25% discount anytime.

Evans Family Farm

$2 – $13
Location: Lehi, Utah
https://www.facebook.com/EvansFamilyFarmLehi/

Support a local farm turned into a fall festival. There will be numerous fun activities for all ages including big slides, a small corn maze, beanbag toss, bounce pit, a pumpkin patch, farm animals and lots more. You can also enjoy the food trucks that are often parked outside.

 

Pumpkin Train Heber Valley Railroad

$0 – $15
Location: Heber, Utah
https://www.hebervalleyrr.org/specialevents/pumpkinfestival/

The train will take you on a 40-minute ride with karaoke, dancing, and costume characters along the way. Enjoy a trip through the family-friendly haunted car and earn yourself a Halloween sticker. You will also get a cookie and pick out your very own pumpkin from the pumpkin patch.

 

OktoberFest at Snowbird

Parking $10
Location: Salt Lake County, Utah
https://www.snowbird.com/oktoberfest/

Family-friendly festival with activities, food, and of course brews! This festival includes a biergarten offering over 50 varieties of beer. Save a few dollars by reusing your previously-purchased 1-liter Snowbird Oktoberfest beer stein or mug. Or buy a new mug and start a new collection!


Back To School Party Ideas

The kids are back in school, which is kind of an adjustment after spending the last three-ish months being leisurely and spending time with friends. How can you make the transition easier? Throw a back-to-school bash! With these awesome tips that we’ve put together for you, you can help make your child’s school year a hit!

  1. Ask each parent to donate one school-related item and host a supply drive! Not all families can afford to stock their kids up on the essentials, and what better way to give back to the community than throwing a party with a cause?
  2. Host a backyard campout. Pitch tents, makes smores, play soccer, play a movie on the projector, go all in! Kids bond at sleepovers more than just about any other kind of get-together, and you’re guaranteed to set them up for a very social school year!
  3. Serve caramel apples, apple pie, make a cake that’s shaped like ruler– basically, make lots of school-themed food. Adding little touches like serving their food in brown paper bags or on trays makes the theme even more fun!
  4. Send little school supplies like rulers, crayons, notepads, etc. home as party favors. It’s an inexpensive way to help your child’s friends succeed in the school year, too!
  5. For college students try this theme: Athletes and Mathletes. Throw on your favorite jersey (or pair of suspenders) and award a prize to the best costume of the night. It’s a great way to bond with your roommates or socialize with the entire dorm!

 

Going back to school might mean the end of summer vacation, but it doesn’t have to end the fun! Making time for your kids to bond with their peers will make them excited for Monday morning when they get to see their friends and expand their academic horizons at the same time. Are there any tips you have for throwing the best BTS Party? We’d love to hear them!


2018 Utah Valley Parade of Homes: Our Faves So Far

The Utah Valley Parade of Homes is underway, and we couldn’t be more excited! The annual showcase of new, high-end and designer homes located throughout Utah valley. This self-guided tour features Utah County’s finest builders, developers and remodelers while showcasing innovative ideas and new trends in home decorating. Don’t forget to stop by the garages of the homes you visit, where the exhibitors will display the latest products for your home and other services. In honor of one of our favorite events, we wanted to give you a rundown of some of our favorite homes on display this year!

Wolf Point

http://uvparade.com/view-homes/home-details/?id=2394

This beauty is 7,980 square feet, is made up of 7 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, and features a jacuzzi tub, a see-through fireplace, and a gorgeous master shower. To call this home “amazing” would be an understatement!

 

Traverse Modern

http://uvparade.com/view-homes/home-details/?id=2412

With 7,478 square feet, 6 bedrooms, and 4 bathrooms, this home has more than enough room for you and your family to live comfortably and build a lifetime of memories. And with a theater room, spacious deck, and gorgeous views of the Wasatch Mountain range, this home is nothing short of gorgeous!

 

Carlisle Prairie

http://uvparade.com/view-homes/home-details/?id=2406

While less extravagant- but not any less beautiful- Carlisle Prairie is made up of 4,274 square feet, 7 bedrooms, and 3 bathrooms. It features vaulted ceilings, Quartz countertops, custom lighting, and beautiful mountain views that add a more personal and classic feel to the home.

 

Highland Fields Estate

http://uvparade.com/view-homes/home-details/?id=2417

This one is most definitely my favorite home in the parade. With 9,535 square feet, 6 bedrooms that each have their own bathroom and walk-in closet, and styled after the classic French aesthetic, I think this modern-day mansion speaks for itself. When visiting this home- and I highly suggest that you do- make sure to check out the entire landscape of the grounds, the spa and pool, play house, game room, theater, and the gourmet kitchen with a hidden butler’s pantry.

 

There are 33 homes taking part in the event, and even if you don’t get the chance to see all of them, I recommend making these 4 a top priority. Tickets are only $15/person and the Parade of Homes can be a fun experience for people of all ages, so grab your friends and make sure to check out the official website to plan ahead! Will you be attending? If you’ve already been, which home has been your favorite so far? Let us know!


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.


Q2: Wasatch Front Market Overview

Can you believe that it’s already August? It’s been such an active year and Utah continues to grow at exponential rates. It can be easy to be intimidated with more demand than supply in a crowded market. That’s why we make it a top priority to be transparent when it comes to the real estate market in order to make thoughtful real estate decisions.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive market report for the second quarter of 2017. You can view statistics from Salt Lake City, Utah County, Weber County, and Davis County at the link below. As always, contact your Berkshire Hathaway Home Services agent for guidance on navigating the market. Got a question? Don’t hesitate to shoot us a message or give us a call.

View the Q2 Market Report


How to Prepare the Perfect Guest Room for the Holidays

And just like that, it’s November in Utah County. Before you could even take your Halloween costume off, the holiday season is at your doorstep. The next two months can add some stress if you’re not prepared. The holiday season often means spending time with friends and loved ones. Utah County is an incredible place to be during the season, so if you live here, chances are your home is a prime candidate for holiday festivities. It can be easy to stress out about where guests are going to stay and if your place is even fit for guests. These simple tips will not only get your space primed and ready, but they will take your guest room to the next level to provide a quaint holiday oasis.

*Stock up on necessities

Supply the bathroom with plenty of toilet paper and put clean towels out in an easy-to-see location. Many guests may be traveling light and we know that airports can be a pain when it comes to carrying liquids, so some extra shampoo and toiletries are a nice touch. (Hint: This is the perfect situation to use those hotel samples you’ve nabbed.)

*Consider the space

It’s instinct to want to put a full or queen bed in your guest room, but often times, you may have children or multiple guests staying at your house and it might make more sense to have a couple of twin beds. It also creates versatility and couples staying overnight could push the beds together if they wanted. Not only does this add more central space, but it could double as a space your kids can have sleepovers during the year. Not to mention, air mattresses have come a long way. Even consider ‘indoor camping’ set ups for a fun way to get the little ones eager for lights out.

*Put out water and some snacks

This isn’t only a hospitable gesture, but it will prevent guests from getting lost or clambering through the kitchen if they’re trying to get water in the middle of the night. A carafe of water and some trail mix, granola bars, or pieces of fruit should be perfect. Bonus points: Stocking up on snacks that are unique to Utah County. Visiting your local Harmon’s could be a great start!

*Keep the room stocked with interesting books and activities

During the holidays, families tend to spend a lot of time in enjoying each other’s company. Keeping your guest room stocked with books, magazines, and board games is a great way for your guests to wind down in peace and prevent them from getting cabin fever.

*Create some kind of theme in the room

You don’t have to go crazy with paint or spend boatloads of money on accessories, but a common theme will tie the room together and make guests feel at home. We’ve seen lots of incredible nautical or beach themes to give your guests a true sense of getting away. A guest room is also a great way to hang extra art you might not have space in other parts of your home.


The Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Family

By now you’ve likely heard the big news. We’re becoming part of the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services family. You may be wondering what that means for you and what changes are in store. You may have also been wondering how we’re moving in the right direction.

First and foremost, we’re still the same group of agents you’ve come to know and trust, only now we have the backing of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Their values mirror ours. A home is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make. It’s the place where memories are made, where families come together and grow.

Over the next few weeks you’ll see more of the new logo and colors, new signs, and a fantastic new website designed with you in mind. But even with these great new updates, we’re remain Utah owned and managed. We remain committed to those we serve, providing the very best in representation for both homebuyers and sellers. With the support of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, you’ll have even better access to the best in Utah County and beyond. We’re moving in the right direction and we’re good to know.

We’re so excited to be part of a select group of brokerages chosen to join the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices family. In the words of Gino Blefari, CEO, HSF Affiliated LLC, “When our name goes on a real estate sign, it means something. It’s a promise of integrity, professionalism, innovation and the highest standard of work. Berkshire Hathaway is one of the most respected in the world—especially when it comes to real estate. And we don’t take that lightly. That’s why you’ll see these values reflected in every office, every agent, every interaction. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is the name buyers and sellers trust. Bruce, together with his executive team, sales managers and agents, has built an extraordinary organization and exemplify a level of expertise, vision and leadership that is second-to-none in the real estate business today. We look forward to having a company of such tremendous caliber carry the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand into the Utah marketplace.”

We’re throwing a party to celebrate this exciting change, and we’d love for you to join us. Just click here for all the info about our Launch Celebration this Wednesday, the 27th. It’s absolutely free to join. Whether you’re a resident of Utah County who want’s to learn more, or an agent who would like to see what Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices can do for you, we think you’ll have a great time!

We’ll have food, networking, some fun activities, and a good old-fashioned ribbon cutting. It’s a great way to see what we’re all about, meet the team, have a little fun, and find out what’s new. We’ll be at Noah’s Event Center in Lindon and encourage you to drop by!


Find The Right Neighborhood For Your Family

When searching for the right home, your choice of neighborhood can be just as important as the right house. But how do you know what’s right for you and your family?

Start by Dreaming Big

What do you consider to be the ideal neighborhood? Create an outline of what your dream ‘hood looks and feels like. Ask yourself what’s most important about where you live. What might you be lacking in your current neighborhood that you know you want in your next? Here are some questions to get you started.

Do you prefer older homes or new? Do you love the feel of historic areas or prefer a more updated approach to neighborhood planning?
What type of living space do you need? A traditional single family home, or do you love the idea of a townhome or duplex?
Is the look and feel of a neighborhood important to you? Do you need a big yard or perhaps want a lot that could be added to in the future if your family grows?
Do you want to be close to parks? Walking distance to entertainment? A shorter commute to work?
Do you prefer urban or suburban neighborhoods or something in between?
Is there a list of things you absolutely do not want in your area? If you don’t want to pay HOA fees or be near a busy intersection, include these in your ideal list.

Talk to your Realtor!

Take your ideal neighborhood list to your agent. They can help you find areas that fit just what you’re looking for. Once you’re pointed in the right direction, your Realtor can help you figure out what the benefits are to each area and you can start really focusing your research.

Talk to Friends and Family

Chances are once you’ve selected a general area, your friends and family know someone who knows someone who lives there. Try and get in touch, ask questions find out what they love and what they may not love about the neighborhood.

Visit the Area

This may seem like a no brainer, but go for a drive, or have your agent take you to a few listings. Do you like what you see? More importantly, can you see yourself and your family there? If you’re instantly overtaken by visions of your kids playing in the yard and lovely evenings on your front porch, this may be the place for you. If you can’t, that doesn’t mean it’s not the right area. Take a minute to let yourself experience the sights, sounds, and feel of the area. Are they to your taste? The neighborhood may fit all your criteria, but if you can’t see yourself there, it might be time to move to the next option.

Some Final Neighborhood Thoughts

Be open to suggestions, but don’t feel you have to be excited about a neighborhood that just doesn’t do it for you. There are lots of options out there, find the one that makes you feel at home.