6 Sweet Facts About Midway’s River Meadows Ranch

River Meadows Ranch in Midway, UT1. River Meadows Ranch is closer to Deer Valley than Park Meadows and closer to Park City than Jeremy Ranch.

Think about that. If you’re a Parkite or love Park City but think you can’t move out of the boundaries lest risk losing all of the charm you so love, think again. River Meadows Ranch is a new community on River Road in Midway. From Park City, take Highway 40 towards Heber and turn right at the first stoplight. This incredible proximity to the Deer Valley Gondola and all things Park City are just two reasons why I am a big fan of this community.

River Meadows Ranch Location

2. There are just 39 lots and they’re BIG.

Seventeen of those lots are on the south side of River Road with a few backing to the Provo River. The remaining 22 lots are on the north side of River Road. Almost all of the southern lots are sold, with the best two lots remaining. The southern lots are flat. The northern lots are a bit more sloped and angle up the hill. The lots are enormous, ranging in size from 1.5 to 8 acres.

3. Your neighbors will be dreamy.

You may have heard of the HGTV Dream Home. Guess where it was built? River Meadows Ranch. The other homes that have since been built are high quality and high end. This neighborhood is developing into something very special.

4. The views are expansive.

We know “expansive views” is somewhat of a cliché, especially in the Wasatch where they’re so abundant. But check out this 360° view video from early Spring and tell me this isn’t the definition of expansive. The views from every lot at River Meadows Ranch are nothing short of spectacular. All boast great views of Mount Timpanogos and Heber Valley. The higher, northern lots have panoramic views of Timp, Heber Valley, Deer Creek Reservoir and the Provo River.

5. Midway can stand on its own.

If you don’t feel like venturing to Park City or Kimball Junction, there is a lot to do in Heber City and Midway. The Swiss Village of Midway has lots of good eats, some antique and consignment stores, great coffee shops, a gear shop and a bookstore to name a few. There is great proximity to parks and trails, including the upcoming WOW trail expected to open later in 2015. I’ll be writing more about Midway later this month.

6. The lots are reasonably priced.

Last, but not least, these lots are a great value. Current inventory starts at $207,000 and the very best lot is priced at $499,000. If you would like more information about River Meadows Ranch, give me a call. I think it’s a great place to invest or call home.

Should You Test Your Home for Radon?

radon deaths
Indoor radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk. It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.

Many experts believe radon was a factor in the recent death of former Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini. She was an extraordinary person who was instrumental in bringing the Olympics to Salt Lake City. Corradini was diagnosed with lung cancer in July, 2014. “It came as a total, total shock,” she said in an interview with KSL Newsradio. “I never smoked a cigarette.”

Just yesterday, I read about the death of Paul Kalanithi. He was a 37 year old who had just completed his neurosurgery residence at Stanford University. He too was a non-smoker who died of lung cancer.

As a REALTOR, I advise my buyers to test their homes for radon. It is fairly common in the Park City area and easily remediable. Most home inspectors will provide this service. But what about the people who aren’t planning on moving? Should all of us consider testing our homes for radon?

What is Radon?

Radon, is a dense, radioactive, cancer-causing gas. You can’t see it, smell it, or taste it, but you may be breathing it right now. Children, the elderly, and those with compromised health are particularly at risk. According to the EPA, Radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and causes over 21,000 cancer deaths each year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked. The EPA estimates that as many as 1 in 15 houses have dangerously high levels of radon.  

Radon gas is very dense and much heavier than normal air. This causes radon to gather in the lowest levels of a house or building.  It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means homes and condos; new and old builds; well-sealed and drafty spaces; and with or without basements.

Radon Testing and Remediation

Fortunately, testing for radon is an easy and inexpensive process and remediation costs about the same as a minor home improvement. Many kinds of low-cost “do-it-yourself” radon test kits can be purchased through the mail or hardware stores. Alternatively, a qualified tester can do the testing. Find local information for your state, including list of qualified testers at the state radon office. Find a qualified service professional or test kit here.

Are you going to test your home for radon? I am going to test mine.

ksl.com, Emilee BenchFebruary 6, 2015
Epa.gov, A Citizen’s Guide to Radon

Park City Heights Neighborhood Q&A (Coming 2015)

Park City HeightsAs usual, there’s something new and exciting coming to Park City. But this time, we aren’t referring to a U.S. Grand Prix ski race or an amazing new farmer’s market. It’s a brand new community with all the benefits of – as much as we hate this cliché – the Park City Lifestyle.

Park City lifestyle. That phrase we real estate agents love to overuse. But what does it mean, really? I’ll let the definition come to you as I describe the features and benefits of the brand new neighborhood with build-outs planned as soon as late 2015.

Park City Heights: Coming 2015

  1. Proximity. Located just across Kearns Boulevard from the amenities of Quinn’s Junction (Hospital, National Ability Center, Ice Arena, Soccer and Baseball fields, dog park and Round Valley trailhead), PC Heights is just minutes from Highway 40 and less than 5 miles from Historic Main Street.
  2. Trail Access. Residents will have easy access to miles of new and existing hiking and mountain bike trails. Single Track lovers can get started on Round Valley or Lost Prospector, or an easy cruise can be taken to town along the Historic Rail Trail.
  3. Room to Roam. Did we mention trail access? In addition to easy trail access, the neighborhood will feature a 5.7 acre community park, a neighborhood green, a dedicated dog park and many other unique amenities.
  4. Environmentally Conscious. All homes in Park City Heights will achieve the Green Certification by the National Association of Home Builders a LEED Silver Certification.
  5. Community. The clubhouse will serve as a community meeting place for residents to enjoy the pool, hot tub, garden boxes, parks and community trails.

Park City Heights Intel

Troy Goff is the New Home Sales Consultant for Ivory Homes, and he was kind enough to answer a few questions about the impending neighborhood.

Q. What will be the composition of the neighborhood?
A. It will have 239 homes comprising of 211 single family and 28 townhomes.

Q. Are there any homes reserved for income restricted housing?
A. There will be 79 affordable/workforce housing options, but there is not an income restriction. 28 will be townhomes and 51 single-family.

Q. What are the home design and layout options?
A. That’s still being finalized, but there will be Townhomes, Cottages (with 4 layout options), and Homestead, which will be custom designs.

Q. When do you anticipate the first build outs to be complete?
A. Late 2015 provided things get moving on time.

Q. When do you expect the final PC Heights plan to come to fruition?
A. Approximately 8 years, so 2022 or 2023

Q. What are the starting price ranges for the homes?

Q. Will the neighborhood be on the Park City Bus Route?
A. Yes. The bust stop will be right in front of the entrance to PC Heights.

Learn More

Want to learn more? Contact me for floor plans and additional information. Troy represents Ivory Homes, the developer. If you are interested in this community, I strongly suggest you secure me as your buyer representation. It costs you nothing and then you can be assured your best interests are represented.

Park City is Becoming a Seller’s Market in 2015

Park City ElkHere’s a quick “food for thought” post for you this week. The Park City real estate market is turning to a seller’s market. Look at these numbers, which compare January 2015 with January 2014.

Buyer activity is greater.

489 pended sales 2015 vs 306 pended sales 2014.
145 sold properties 2015 vs 107 in 2014.

Supply is down.

1876 listings in 2015 vs. 1979 2014.

Median sale price is up.

$754,000 in 2015 vs $575,000 in 2014.

Bottom line: Listing your home for sale when demand is high, supply is low and prices are up makes perfect sense.

If you are thinking of selling your home, contact me today. We don’t know how long this seller’s market is going to last.

(Credit for the beautiful elk photo goes to Rocky Maloney)

5 Real Estate Habits of the Ultra Wealthy in 2015

Ultra Luxury Real Estate StudyFor the wealthiest people in the world, the real estate market is searing. The number of Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) individuals is increasing, and they like to scoop up more and more properties all over the world.

In order to clarify and analyze trends, Sotheby’s International Realty recently published a study in which they looked at the real estate spending habits of the global population of UHNW individuals. Titled The Global Luxury Residential Real Estate Report 2015, the study analyzes 211,275 individuals in the world with net assets of $30 million or more.

Five Key Findings From The Study

  1. A UHNW individual owns multiple properties. On average, a UHNW individual will own 2.7 residential properties; 79% own two or more, 50% own three. Secondary residences tend to be 45% more valuable and twice as large.
  2. Real estate interests for a UHNW individual are increasingly more global. People increasinglypurchase foreign properties outside of their home countries, mainly the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland
  3. The United States is the most desired country for real estate. New York City shows to be the most popular area as it claims the highest number of UHNW-owned residences in the world. Besides access to business hubs, the U.S. boasts a high standard of living and excellent education opportunities.
  4. Personal wealth through real estate investment is growing. 7% of UHNW individuals increased personal wealth through real estate, up from 5% in 2013
  5. Real Estate assets are important for women. UHNW females hold 16% of net worth in real estate compared to 10% of men. Females tend to hold onto their properties longer, almost twice as long as men.

Receive Your Free Copy of the Study

Luxury Real Estate ReportThese trends allow just a small glimpse inside the intriguing and comprehensive study. Insights into the UHNW consumer and where and how they spend their money are fundamental to understanding major factors in the real estate market. This study was done by Sotheby’s International Realty in conjunction with Wealth-X, a world leader in UHNW research and prospecting.

Want to know more on Ultra High Net Worth individuals? Who are the most significant groups to watch? Which markets are emerging, and why? Please leave your name and email.

2015 Luxury Real Estate Report

Leave your name and email and we’ll send you a copy of the study.

The Latest on One Wasatch & Mountain Accord

Earlier this month, it was announced that the previously proposed One Wasatch plan to connect 7 Utah resorts has been put on the back burner. Instead, Mountain Accord has a new proposal.

One Wasatch was favored by many including Ski Utah, the ski resorts themselves. It was also largely opposed by backcountry skiers and environmentalists, who raised concerns about the impact on backcountry skiing, traffic and drinking water.

Mountain Accord BlueprintMade up of local governments, resorts and environmentalists, Mountain Accord is proposing a new plan that outlines the future of the Wasatch in terms of ski resorts, transportation, development and watershed. Rather than interlinking the resorts with lifts, they would be connected by bus or train. Much more of the previously unprotected backcountry terrain would be protected.

The current state of this plan is that the blueprint has been proposed and is open for public commenthere. Public comment will be accepted through March 16th.

ade up of local governments, resorts and environmentalists, Mountain Accord is proposing a new plan that outlines the future of the Wasatch in terms of ski resorts, transportation, development and watershed. Rather than interlinking the resorts with lifts, they would be connected by bus or train. Much more of the previously unprotected backcountry terrain would be protected.

The current state of this plan is that the blueprint has been proposed and is open for public commenthere. Public comment will be accepted through March 16th.

Meanwhile, In Switzerland

Two members of the Park City Council, a policy adviser, and two Summit County council members recently left for a trip to Europose to “study transportation systems in the Swiss Alps”, according to The Park Record. They specifically want to learn about ski lifts, gondolas, bus lines, trains and mountain tunnels. According to The Park Record, Mountain Accord helped organize this trip.

So, where does this leave us? We have a new plan, and they need public input. There is a Q&A and Open House this Tuesday, February 24th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Park City High School Lecture Hall. We encourage people to attend and let their opinions be known. Let’s make sure we make the right decisions for our community and our future!

Can We Expect More Foreign Investors in Park City Real Estate?

More foreign investments in Park City real estate?Foreign investment in U.S. real estate is increasing as foreigners see the U.S. as a bargain and a safe way to diversify their portfolios. Nationally, we are 15-20% off of peak prices, so foreigners still see U.S. property as a bargain. (Park City’s median single family home price is about 12% below the peak). Foreigners are scooping up luxury properties in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Can we expect them in Park City? The answer is an “epic” yes.

Vail Resorts is now running two of Park City’s three resorts and the Epic ski pass is already a game changer. Ski any of Park City’s mountains and you will hear a multitude of languages spoken on the chair lift. The Epic Pass is sold in 80 countries and in all 50 states. This one pass is putting Park City on the international map.

For the 2014/15 ski year, Epic Pass holders could enjoy unlimited skiing at 11 Vail resorts for $729.00. Epic Pass holders also gained access to limited complimentary skiing at Niseko, Japan, Verbier, Switzerland and Les 3 Vallees, France. The Epic pass is making the ski world a little bit smaller and more accessible for everyone. And those of us who live in Park City full-time or part-time know that once foreign visitors discover Park City, they will fall in love with it, too.

Bottom line? Expect to see more foreign investment in Park City.

Should I Sell My Home Now or Wait?

Sell Or Wait?One of my favorite clients mentioned that he is afraid to list his home because he doesn’t have another home picked out. So the question of the day is: should you sell your single family home now or wait? The answer is: that it all depends on your goals.

Is Your Goal to Move Up?

Wow-there could not be a better time to purchase a move up home. As of two days ago, interest rates were 2.875% for a 15-year fixed rate with zero points. It doesn’t get much better than that. Depending on your current mortgage, you could sell a smaller home, buy a more expensive home, and see no change in monthly payments.

Is Your Goal to Move Down?

Several clients I am currently working with are selling one large home and buying two smaller homes or condominiums in different locations. This is a great time to sell a home because the low interest rates give buyers more purchasing power.

Does it Make Sense to Sell in the Winter?

This is a great time to list your home for sale because the inventory is at record lows meaning there are plenty of buyers competing for fewer homes.

If the reasons you are considering selling your home are important to you, does it make sense to wait? No one knows what the future will hold. Right now, you can obtain a great price for your home, but who knows what tomorrow will bring? As we all learned in 2007, there are no guarantees. As a hedge against the unknown, I always recommend my clients buy and sell in the same market.

Have questions about the Park City real estate market? I have all the statistics for 2014 broken down by neighborhood.

Ready to get started on a change in lifestyle? Contact me today!

Park City Real Estate Market Update: Recap of the 2014 Sales Statistics

Supply is down. It’s actually at record low levels.
Number of sales are down from 2013.
Sales volume is up from 2013.
Prices are up from 2013.

What does it all mean?

Sales Volume & Inventory

Annual Sales Volume

Inventory Levels

There is such a shortage of single family homes listed for sale that 983 sold in 2013 vs. 951 in 2014. This 3% decrease in number of sales is in contrast to condominiums (which increased about 10%) and vacant land (which increased 11%). I have a few theories behind these numbers:

  1. People who couldn’t afford single family homes settled on condominiums instead.
  2. Condominium sales were behind 2013 in January-September of 2014. After the announcement that Vail and Powdr Corp settled their lawsuit and it was announced Vail would take over as owner and the resort would open, condominium sales surrounding the resort spiked.
  3. Vacant land increased because construction lending is back. Spec builders are re-entering the market and buyers who can’t find a home that meets their needs are willing and able to build custom homes.

Home Prices

Median Home Prices

Sales volume is up. This means that although there were fewer sales, they were more expensive, raising the total dollar volume of sales from $1,521,765 in 2013 to $1,667,108 in 2014.

The median price in general was up 3%, from $598,000 to $617,000. The average price was up 4% from $928,000 to $968,000. It is interesting to note how these numbers work out by location. In Park City limits (84060), the single family median price was stable at $1.3 million and average price was $1.87 million, up 3% and 5% respectively. In the Snyderville Basin, (84098) the average price was up 14% to $1.1 million and the median price was up 10% to $775,000. Snyderville Basin neighborhoods like Trailside, Sun Peak, and Silver Springs, and Pinebrook all saw their median price increase by double digits.

Lending & Interest Rates

There is a paradox of low supply, high demand, yet stable prices. An added factor is the historically low interest rates and easing of lending requirements. Buyers can obtain 100% USDA, 96.5% FHA, and 90% conventional financing (using a first and second loan option). Financing for condominium hotels is also back.

Although prices are up, they are not nearly back to the peak prices of 2006-08. Our market is stable with a healthy appreciation trend line. If you can find a property that is right for you given our low inventory, now is a great time to buy.

Residents of Jeremy Ranch Fight for a Cause

Jeremy RanchWho Says You Can’t Fight City Hall?

The above photo was taken last fall in front of a 16 acre parcel at the entrance to Jeremy Ranch known as “The Jeremy Center”. The owner of this land has development rights for 66,000 square feet of office/commercial development. He wants to increase those development rights to over 200,000 square feet of development and include residential condominiums. Over 2,000 residents live in Jeremy Ranch.

Let’s go back a step. Summit County is updating its General Plan. The General Plan will serve as an advisory document that defines future planning and uses for each of the County’s 16 neighborhoods. The Summit County Planning Commission is holding hearings on the General Plan to obtain community input. The goals of the 2014 update to the Plan include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Sustainability, both in terms of development and the environment.
  • Preservation of open space, view corridors and scenic mountainsides.
  • Provision and inclusion of affordable housing.
  • Promote quality growth growth and economic development that provides a positive contribution to the community’s quality of life and the mountain resort economy.

The General Plan’s strategy for increasing open space is to concentrate density in specific areas called “density receiving areas”. The “Jeremy Center” parcel was designated as a density receiving area. Essentially, the General Plan, as drafted, would have more easily enabled the owner of the “Jeremy Center” to obtain approval for his project because it fit within some of the goals of the General Plan.

Overwhelming Meeting Attendance

The residents of Jeremy Ranch are organized into several Home Owner’s Associations, the largest being the Jeremy Ranch Owner’s Association, with over 650 homes. The residents of the Jeremy Ranch Owner’s Association sought legal counsel and organized support from the other Jeremy Ranch HOA’s. They hosted a meeting with Patt Putt, the Summit County Community Development Director. They contacted KSL and were interviewed for the news. They encouraged all Jeremy Ranch residents to attend a Planning Commission hearing held last Tuesday, January 13th. The anticipated attendance was so large that the hearing was moved to the Ecker Hill Middle School auditorium.

Over 200 Jeremy Ranch residents attended that meeting. Laura Arnold, President of the Jeremy Ranch Owner’s Association, made an impassioned speech against the Jeremy Center parcel serving as a density receivng area. She asked those who agreed with her to stand up, and the packed auditorium stood up.

What’s Happening Now

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Planning Commission directed staff to modify the draft future land use map to remove the Jeremy Ranch/Pinebrook interchange area as possible development receiving area.

I attended the hearing last Tuesday and was amazed at the sense of community I felt in the room. Patt Putt stated that he had never seen a hearing that was so well attended.

In a world where so much seems out of our individual control, it was heartwarming for me to see a group of organized neighbors wrestle a little control over the gateway to their neighborhood. I was also reminded how fortunate I am to live in a county where the staff and commissioners make transparent decisions and are not corrupt.

As a REALTOR©, I know there is great demand for affordable townhomes in Jeremy Ranch. As a resident, I don’t want my neighborhood to change.

There is another hearing on the General Plan on February 10th where revised maps will be presented. Then the County Commissioners will vote on the Plan.