Happy Back to School! Here’s how the Park City Area Schools Stack up in the State of Utah

4 Park City Area School Districts Compared

Park City School DistrictsWhen discussing Park City, it’s not uncommon for the high quality school system to be mentioned. A respectable school system can mean major motivation to home buyers whether they currently have students, may be starting a family or are simply investing in a desirable location.

There are 47 school districts in the State of Utah. Here we look at school district statistics for Park City and the surrounding districts and how they rank in relation to the rest of the State.

Park City School District

Topping out at #1 in the State of Utah, the Park City School system has a lot going for it. The District has some of the best rated teachers in the state and a very high approval rate of academics overall. The teacher to student ratio is 20:1, a little higher than the national average of 16:1. Yet spending on students is higher than average at $12,870 per year. There are plenty of clubs and activities for students of any age and diversity is better than average for the State. 89% of students graduate high school. http://www.pcschools.us

Wasatch School District

The Wasatch School District comes in strong at #3. Heber, Midway and Hideout Canyon are all towns within this district. Teachers and academic rankings are strong as are sports and fitness. Diversity is similar to the Park City School District. Wasatch has a high graduation rate at 90% and a higher student to teacher ratio of 21:1. The Wasatch District has maintained a high level of achievement despite annual student spending that is comparatively lower at $8,670. http://www.wasatch.edu

North Summit School District

The North Summit School District proves strong and ranks #5 in the State. North Summit towns include Wanship, Coalville and Hoytsville. Teachers, academics and diversity all rank high. This district has the highest average SAT scores at 1410 out of the districts we have compared. The high school graduation rate is 87% and while teacher salaries are comparatively low, teacher to student ratio is better than area districts at 19:1. Annual per student spending is $10,089, the second highest in the area. http://www.nsummit.org

South Summit School District

The South Summit School District is ranked #19, putting it in the top 20 in the state. South Summit towns include Kamas, Francis, Oakley, Woodland and Marion. Academics, clubs and activities score high while teachers rank a little lower than other area districts. Spending per student is strong at $9,627, and student to teacher ratio follows regional trends at 20:1. Diversity is also a little lower than other school districts in the area while health and safety are favorable. http://www.ssummit.k12.ut.us

We are proud that this area boasts so many strong academic options. We can chalk this impressive line-up to just one more reason why we love this town. Our many thanks to the teachers, faculty and staff that make our schools so great!

Working with an expert is key to a successful home transaction.

6 Steps to a Stress-Free Home Purchase (Free Printable)

Stress Free Home Buying1. Work with a Trusted Expert

With so much information on the internet, you may wonder if you need professional assistance.  Just as you hire experts in tax, legal and medical fields, you deserve the best guidance and expertise available when it comes to investing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Your ten year old can find homes on the internet.  The value is the local market expertise and guidance an agent can provide.

A good real estate agent is like a secure investment that can save you thousands of dollars.  The best news is that the seller pays the buyer’s agents fees if the property is listed on the Multiple Listing Service.

2. Be a Loyal Client

In today’s low inventory market, agents find out about new listings before they are advertised on the Multiple Listing Service.  And who do you think they contact with this knowledge, their exclusive clients or the ones who are talking to 15 different agents?

Here is another way to look at it.  Let’s pretend for a moment that you are a listing agent and you have two parties interested in your listing. One is unrepresented and the other is represented by a buyer’s agent. Which would you rather work with? The party that will make you do twice the work for twice the liability? Or the party who is represented?

3. Have Your Financing Worked out Before You Look at Homes

If you don’t have all the cash necessary to buy a home, you will need to borrow the money.  You need to have a quick conversation with a local lender before you start looking at homes to feel confident that the homes you are looking at are in the correct price range.  What if you can afford more than you thought?  What if you fall in love with a home and then learn you won’t qualify for financing to buy it?  It just makes sense to get your finances in order first.

4. Write Realistic Offers

You have found a home you want to buy. The next step is to prepare and submit an offer.  Be realistic. Make an offer you want the other party to consider. Currently in Park City, most homes sell for an average of 95% of list price.

An experienced agent will guide you to write a realistic offer.  If the property is well priced, you may need to come in at or near asking price.  If the property is overpriced, there will be a need for more negotiation.

5. Contingencies

Almost all offers are written with a “due diligence” contingency.  Offers requiring financing include a financing and appraisal contingency.  The purpose of these contingencies is not to look for ways to renegotiate the purchase price.

The purpose of the due diligence contingency is for the buyer to make an informed decision about the property they are buying and for the seller to have the opportunity to correct major defects.  This includes issues that may arise during inspection or a review of the title report.

I have not heard of transactions falling through due to the appraisal contingency in the last several years.

6. Closing Strategies

The transaction isn’t over until the deed is transferred to your name.

A “closing” is where an escrow officer transfers title of the property title to you. Since many buyers of Park City property do not reside in Park City, many closings are done through the mail, usually via email or overnight service. Your closing can be in Park City or any other location that is convenient for you.

Skilled agents work behind the scenes with the title officer and lender handling your transaction. They will review the closing documents for accuracy before you see them and will ensure your transactions closes on time.

There is a lot more that goes into the purchase of a home than looking at photos on the internet and arranging a showing.  When you are making an investment of several hundred thousand dollars, doesn’t it make sense to obtain the best advice?  And remember, in most transactions, the seller pays for the buyer’s agent.

Summit Sotheby’s Nancy Tallman Featured on Park City Travel Podcast


Our own Nancy Tallman is this week’s guest on the popular Discovery Maps podcast series, and this episode is all about Park City! She may be known for real estate, but she also knows our town. Host Mark Ciociola and Nancy cover everything you’d want to know about PC basics and beyond: winter activities, summer activities, favorite special events, where to stay, getting around, family friendly activities, restaurants and much more. Take advice from a 13-year local on all things PC! If you or your out-of-town guests are looking for info on Park City travel, you’ll enjoy this 30-minute podcast at Bit.ly/DiscoveryMap.

Some of Our Favorite Park City Summer Activities Are…

Top 15 Summer Activities in Park City

Summer Activities in Park CityDuring the summer, there is so much to do in Park City, it’s great that the sunset holds off until after 9pm. In the blink of an eye, your social dance card will be full. The savvy Parkite thinks strategically, best to map out your activities in order to adequately budget precious resources, like time and energy.   Before you know it, you’ll be shoulders deep in wildflowers on the side of Iron Mountain thinking, why didn’t I charge my camera?

  1. Farmer’s Market: June 3 to October 28

    The ONLY place to buy tomatoes, farmers come from around the state to sell their goods. There’s also live music, delicious limeade and samples-a-plenty of Volker’s famous bread. Inside Park City Real Estate is a proud sponsor of the Wednesday Farmer’s Market.

  2. Fox School of Wine Weekend Wine Series: June 6 to September 5

    Wine classes run every Saturday from 6pm-7pm. Test the knowledge of local legend Mistress Fox and learn all kinds of helpful tasting tips having to do with wine. A perfect pre-dinner event. Reservations are recommended.

  3. Park Silly Sunday Market: June 7 to September 27

    If you missed the farmer’s market, some farmers will return to Sunday’s event on Main Street. Voted one of the top 50 Farmers Markets in the country by Cooking Light Magazine, the “Silly Market” features food, local libations, children’s activities, and promotes environmental sustainability.

  4. Savor the Summit: June 20

    Known as Park City’s largest outdoor dinner party, Savor the Summit reservations are almost sold out. Besides the delicious food and atmosphere, it’s worth seeing the giant table set up down the middle of Main St.

  5. Flying Ace All-Stars Freestyle: June 28 to September 6

    Every summer weekend (except July 4th) a choreographed spectacle of Olympians and professional skiers and snowboarders launch through the air up to 60 feet before landing in a pool below. Fun for all ages, this is a show not to be missed!

  6. Sundance Outdoor Film Screenings: July 1, 10, 31 and August 15

    Bring your own popcorn and bundle up. Sundance Institute present four outdoor films in City Park starting at dusk/9pm, all free of charge. Check the website for details; this is one of the sweetest treats of summer.

  7. Park City 4th of July Parade & Celebration: July 4

    The 4th of July festivities include a 5k fun run, a pancake breakfast, rugby tournament, parade, free concert, fireworks and kids’ activities. Plan your parade viewing early as the route is absolutely packed each and every year.

  8. Park City Food and Wine Classic: July 8 to 12

    One of the classic summer activities in Park City, master winemakers and culinary greats educate and illuminate attendees who choose to wine, dine and play in and around Park City.

  9. Cole Sport Back Alley Bash and KPCW’s 35th Birthday Party: July 24

    A local’s event that is open to everybody, the annual Back Alley Bash has been around for decades. Hang around the town lift plaza and enjoy live music, BBQ, and celebrating the 35th Birthday of the local radio station.

  10. Park City Kimball Arts Festival: July 31 to August 2

    This year marks the 46th annual Park City Arts Festival, a juried art show that welcomes artists from around the country. The three-day festival supports the diverse programming of the Kimball Art Center.

  11. Tour of Utah: August 3 to 9

    Whether you are a seasoned cyclist or you just like to see the pack of bikes zoom past, there is no shortage of excitement and drama in this week-long race that goes throughout Northern Utah. Park City is the start and finish venue for the final stage of the race – stage 7 – on August 9th.

  12. Mountain Town Music: All Summer Long

    Throughout Park City and the surrounding areas, Mountain Town Music presents an incredible number of live music shows a week, mostly free and open to the public. Check their website for a complete lineup.

  13. Best Local Hike

    With so many miles of trail in Park City, it’s tough to choose a favorite. But we’ll tell you what we’re into lately. Early and late season when it’s not so hot and dusty, the PC Hill is a classic. Somewhat steep, a fair distance but not too far, and incredible views of the whole town. Mid-summer, we like the shade of Armstrong, cutting it off at the brand new Dawn’s trail for a 3.3 mile loop back to Silver Star for lunch. The best part is that bikers are only allowed uphill on Armstrong and not at all on Dawn’s, so you won’t get bombarded.

  14. Best Mountain Bike Ride

    Early season, we really like the Prospector Area trails. Enough of a hill to get some cardio, enough trees to get some shade, but low enough to dry out early on. Later in the season, we have to stick with the Park City classic: Mid Mountain Trail has many entrance and exit points for a plethora of loop options based on your group’s time and skills.

  15. SUP on the Jordanelle

    The reservoir is so peaceful in the morning, before the wind and boating action picks up. Try picking up a paddle and a stand up paddle board. It’s one of the fastest growing outdoor activities, and for good reason. Incredible views await you and deer look on with envy, munching grass.

There you have them: our top 15 Park City activities that will keep you busy this summer. Be prepared with plenty of time and sunscreen and get ready to enjoy one of the best seasons of the year!

We Love Silver Springs!!

Park City Neighborhood Spotlight: Silver Springs

Silver Springs NeighborhoodSilver Springs is a wonderful wooded neighborhood close to trails, an elementary school and the Canyons Village of the Park City Mountain Resort. Below are just a few reasons why we love this great Park City neighborhood.

Located about 5 miles from Park City limits, Silver Springs has a great assortment of single family homes and townhomes. Many of this area’s homes were built between 1980 and 1990 and feature 3-6 bedrooms; square footage ranges from 1,600-4,300. Development regulations have ensured a harmonious look and atmosphere to the homes.  Many homes have undergone extensive updates. And people are attracted to the large, flat yards, quiet streets, old tree growth and the lower price tag than more in-town neighborhoods like Old Town and Park Meadows.

Big Lake and Little Lake

The community is built around Big Lake, with Big Lake Park available for resident access. For people who love dipping their toes in the water, this is a great place to take out paddle boards, canoes and kayaks. Note the park is currently undergoing a comprehensive renovation with ADA access from the parking lot to the lake for wheelchairs and strollers.

There is also a smaller lake in the Silver Springs area called Little Lake. There are a number of homes around Little Lake. This area was annexed to the larger Silver Springs neighborhood in 1997.

Silver Springs Parks

Outside of the two lake areas, Silver Springs is located near two parks. Willow Creek Park has three multi-use playing fields in addition to tennis, basketball, volleyball and playgrounds. It is a popular place for picnics and features a fenced in dog park and pond so that the whole family can enjoy a visit to Willow Creek. Just be sure to mind the leash laws as they are strictly enforced outside of the dog park. Matt Knoop Park is also close by and features a playground for bigger kids as well as a turf soccer field.

Recreation Access

These parks connect to Silver Springs through a trail system. It is maintained for bikers and joggers in the summer and cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. Just like many Park City neighborhoods, the trails that connect Silver Springs to the parks also lead to other neighborhoods and trails, including Kimball Junction and the paved McCloud Creek Trail that goes all the way into Old Town if you have the legs for it.

Besides lakes and parks there are also tennis courts, basketball, volleyball, playgrounds and a picnic pavilion. The neighborhood hosts a party at the Big Lake park each summer.


Silver Springs is on the free bus line for the City of Park City. This makes access to Old Town Park City and the popular Kimball Junction area very easy. The bus line also goes to ski areas and operates year round.


Parley’s Park Elementary School is located in Silver Springs. It is an award winning school for ages preschool through the 5th grade. The school prides itself on parent involvement. There are also private schools and preschools located nearby. Park City High is the public high school.

If you are looking for big trees and quiet streets without compromising world-class recreation access, head to Silver Springs. You can view available properties here. Let me know if I can show you any available properties in this beautiful area.

Why I Am In The 3%…

Discount Real Estate Brokers: the Problem with Being in the 1%

The problem with disocunt real estate brokersGenerally the term ‘one percent’ is associated with being part of an exclusive and prestigious group. What I want to discuss today is listing agents who charge a 1% commission versus a full service commission, which is generally 3%. These agents are not part of a prestigious club, but are discount real estate brokers.

Recently, a past client told me they chose to list their home for sale with another agent to “save 2%”. I looked at them in absolute amazement, wondering how two intelligent and college educated people could be so naïve.

The net profit on the sale of a home is NOT proportionate to the fees charged to sell the home.

  • Agents who charge 1% do not have the expertise to compete for a listing based on the value of their services. They can only compete on price. Is that the type of skill set you want representing you in the sale of your home?
  • Can a less skilled agent negotiate the highest possible price for your home?
  • Can a less skilled agent negotiate the best terms when it comes to potential repairs? Are the sellers opening themselves up to potential liability further down the road?
  • Will a discount agent have the funds available to spend on marketing your home? Will they take their own MLS photos or hire a professional photographer? A professional presentation of a home matters.

When my former clients told me they got a good deal because their agent charged them only 1%, the first thought that popped into my mind was that I could have definitely sold their home for 5% more, which would have put 2% more money in their pocket. As proof of my line of thinking, my clients asked my opinion about certain aspects of their transaction. They clearly did not have confidence in the discount real estate brokers they were working with.

When it comes time to sell your home, you should be thinking about your net profit versus the fees charged. What’s important is the amount of the wire transfer going into your account when the sale closes.

Does Size Really Matter in Real Estate?

In Park City Real Estate, How Much Does Size Matter?

Park City Real Estate SizeI met with potential clients last week. They told me they wanted to list their home for $600,000. According to the last MLS listing, their home is 2500 square feet. I reviewed the comparable sales in the neighborhood and found that all the homes that sold for close to $600,000 were closer to 3500 square feet. On a price per square foot basis, most homes sold at $171/square foot. A $600,000 list price would mean their home would be listed near $240/square foot.

Can we justify the higher price?

Sometimes homes have been remodeled or upgraded. Granite counter-tops, travertine or hardwood floors and walnut cabinets when your neighbors have tile, carpet and cheap wood cabinets can command a higher price/square foot. In the case of the home I visited, their finishes were comparable with the other homes in the neighborhood.

I suggested we hire an appraiser to measure their home. The appraiser is an objective third party who measures homes every day. Perhaps the agent who last listed their home made an error on the size of the home. If I have a measurement from a professional appraiser, I can use that measurement in thePark City MLS listing instead of the random number that was on the last listing.

If their home turns out larger than we thought, we can justify the higher listing price. If their home turns out to be smaller than their neighbors, then my clients will have to make a decision.

Smaller homes command a higher price per square foot because there are fixed costs for homes that do not change (the land and the labor to build the home). However, in this case, I think a $70/sq foot difference would be too aggressive.

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it’s a good idea to know the size, because there is a direct relationship between size and value.

Have you had an experience where a home was not the size you thought it was?

Mid Year Park City Real Estate Market Update!

Mid-Year Check-In: How is the 2016 Park City Real Estate Market?

I get asked this question a lot and figured it was time for mid-year check in. I ran these two reports for single-family homes in Park City (84060) and Snyderville Basin (84098) combined. This area is what I refer to as “Park City Mailbox” and this area makes up the Park City School District.

Supply & Demand

The first chart above shows the number of homes for sale vs number sold over the past two years. While our supply has gone down 5.2% during this time, the number of properties sold has decreased 14.1%.

Median Price

The next chart (above) shows that the median sale price has increased 30.4% during the same time period.

What do these Park City Real Estate Market insights mean?

These charts tell me a few things. Lower inventory has created pressure for increased prices and decreased number of sales. It is my opinion that the aggressive pricing of some homes has also caused sales to decrease and priced some buyers out of our market.

The little numbers at the top of the chart with the green bars are the number of homes sold each month. Although the number of sales is trending down over the two-year period, we had a very strong second quarter this year.

The Park City real estate market is very segmented, which is not shown on these charts. For example, in Jeremy Ranch, where I live, the number of sold homes increased by 29.2%. In Park Meadows, the number of sold homes decreased by 42.6% while the median price increased over 43%.

In answer to the question “How is the Park City Real Estate Market?” I would answer that inventory is down, prices are up and the market is highly segmented by neighborhood. What are your thoughts?

New Real Estate and Fun Events at the Dejoria Center & High Star Ranch in Kamas, Utah

8 Reasons to Love the Dejoria Center & High Star Ranch in Kamas, Utah

Located in the Kamas Valley in Summit County and butting up to the Uinta National Forest, High Star Ranch is a new kind of neighborhood. The equestrian ranch sits on 1,000 acres of land, and boasts stunning views of Mt. Timpanogos, Box Elder Peak, Deer Valley and more. Just 30 minutes from Park City and 45 minutes to the Salt Lake International Airport, High Star reaches the ever elusive state of being in the middle of nowhere yet being connected to it all.

1. State Road Tavern

The State Road Tavern opened in January 2016. This family friendly establishment features its own custom built smoker and provides hungry customers with freshly smoked Angus beef, pork and organic chicken. There are over 20 beers served and an impressive offering of craft cocktails. Come in for a side of High Star Jo Jo’s or Brisket tacos and enjoy the fireplace and the al fresco view. As if dining could get any better, there is a full bar and Sunday brunch.

2. Bar Josephine

Bar Josephine

Bar Josephine is the freshest watering hole to open in Utah. Yet the large cottonwoods and lush Kentucky bluegrass views make you feel like it’s been around forever. Come experience the awesome patio and the modern design inside. With live music on Saturdays, Bar Josephine is open Friday and Saturday nights and during Thursday concerts.

3. Summer Concerts

Summer Concerts at Dejoria

The Dejoria Center is proud to partner with Mountain Town Music to present a six-week Summer Concert Series. Every Thursday June 16 to July 21, these events are free and open to the public. Burgers, hot dogs and beverages are available for purchase. Let the kids run around on the lawn by the big pond while you listen and chat with friends. Or sit outside at the State Road Tavern to enjoy a full dining menu while you listen. While these shows are free, outside food and drink are not permitted.

4. A World Class Venue

Dejoria Center

The Dejoria Center is pleased to host events from 10 to 2000. Thoughtful practicality has been built into the design of this world class venue. There is ample parking as well as VIP valet services. And the venue welcomes everyone from executive gatherings to corporate retreats to meet in their state-of-the art meeting spaces. With full technology integration and wagon rides at the same venue, you’re sure to strike the right balance with Dejoria.

5. Laid Back Living

Laid Back Living

There is a type of home for everyone’s taste at High Star Ranch which now offers homesites, luxury Ranch Cabins and custom log homes. The area is nestled in the foothills of the Uinta Mountains and features an idyllic rural ranch setting. High Star Ranch sits on 1,000 acres only 18 miles from Park City. On-site amenities include a fishing pond, two barns, indoor and outdoor equestrian arenas and boarding facilities. Interested in real estate at High Star? Summit Sotheby’s is the listing agency and I’d be happy to get you connected and answer any questions you may have. Check out the brochure here.

6. Trails On The Way

Trails Planned

Don’t Cheat – Especially on your Real Estate Agent!

The Ethics of Using Multiple Real Estate Agents

Multiple Real Estate AgentsIf You’re “Cheating” on your Real Estate Agent in Park City, You’ll Probably Get Caught

I had the privilege of showing some homes to a lovely, young couple from Las Vegas. They were looking at homes in the $4-8 million dollar price range. We took a break from showings because the husband had to leave town for a week. Naturally, at that price point, the agents are present at all the homes I have been showing these clients. A few days after my client left town, an agent from my office who had met my clients at a showing told me she received a call from another agent who’s clients were from Las Vegas and closely fit the profile of the couple I was working with. We quickly determined it was not the same couple. Whew, my nice couple wasn’t cheating on me.

This incident reminded me of another that happened earlier in the year. An agent in my office asked me if I would show his client some homes while he was out of town. His client was particularly interested in one of my listings, which was an unusual “gentleman’s ranch”. He gave me the background on his client, including her name, email, where she was from, what she was looking for. I tried making contact with her several times and she was elusive in her responses to me.

A few hours later the same day, another agent called to set up a showing at the gentleman’s ranch. He gave me the background on his client and I said, “Wait, is her name X?” Sure enough he said, “Yes, how would you know that?” I said that another agent in my office had been working with her.

She was busted in the span of 2 hours. Can you imagine how my colleague felt when I told him that his client was now working with someone else?

The Value of Your REALTOR’s Time, Knowledge and Energy

REALTORs are paid on 100% commission, which means we work for free until there is a transaction that closes. If an agent spends an hour or two with you, you may think “no big deal”. It is a big deal. How valuable is years of market knowledge that is freely given to clients with no strings attached? How valuable is the time we spend researching properties, comparable sales and setting up showings? How valuable is the time we spend previewing properties every Wednesday so that we will understand the value of our market? It may be a few hours spent with a client, but there are hundreds of hours of preparation before the client is ever involved. It’s not nice to “use” real estate professionals for free advice if you have no intention of using them.

But, Your Agent Should be a Good Fit for You

Now, I am not talking about the situation where you realize that the REALTOR you started out with is not a good fit. We all have different personalities, work ethics, and levels of expertise. You deserve to work with someone who is a good fit for you.

What I am talking about is someone who using multiple real estate agents and makes each of them think they are that person’s exclusive representative. Or the person who calls three REALTORS, tells each one they are competing for the listing and then uses the knowledge imparted by the three REALTORS to sell their property to a friend. Yes, I was one of those three REALTORS and I was annoyed at the person’s lack of transparency.

Park City is a small town with a small REALTOR community. We talk to each other. Even though we compete with one another, we look out for each other. And we will almost always find out if you are “cheating” on us. So do the right thing.  If you are shopping around for a REALTOR, say so. If you are looking for help to sell a property yourself, say so. Isn’t that what the “golden rule” is all about?