Why are so Many Real Estate Sales Falling Through?

Jeremy Ranch HomeThe house pictured above is my new listing in Jeremy Ranch. After about one week on the market, we received an attractive offer that my clients were happy to accept. One day later, buyer’s remorse set in and the buyers cancelled. Another couple who looked at the Jeremy Ranch house told me that two buyers backed out of the house they have been trying to sell. Today there are 9 listings on the Park City Multiple Listing Service that were under contract, but the deals fell through.

What’s going on?

I have a couple of theories.

Due diligence/inspections go sideways. In the Park City real estate market, prices in many parts of town are back to pre-recession levels. When buyers feel they are paying top dollar, they don’t want to invest additional funds to replace a furnace that is 20 years old or remediate radon. My colleagues are telling me that their deals are falling apart during the due diligence process because the buyer and seller cannot come to terms on these types of expenses.

Buyers are writing offers too soon. Because inventory is low, buyers feel like they need to lock in a house that they may like after the first showing. Upon closer reflection, they realize that the house isn’t right for them. They moved too fast and left some very disappointed sellers in their wake.

Buyers get cold feet. It’s no secret in real estate that sometimes buyers just get cold feet. They decide they don’t want the responsibility of home ownership after all, or unforeseen circumstances render it no longer a wise decision.

The purchase was contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home. A buyer backing out of a home for any of the above reasons can create a domino effect if the seller has already entered into a contract to purchase a replacement home.

So what isn’t hindering sales anymore? I have not seen many sales fall through due to financing or appraisal.

How do you prevent a sale from falling through?

This is where the expertise of an experienced agent is vital. A good agent will prescreen for serious buyers and have the negotiation skills to work through the due diligence process. Some deals can’t and may not be worth saving; however, with experienced representation, you will have the confidence that your agent did everything in her power to produce the best possible outcome.

Park City Nonprofits We Love

It’s no secret; one of Park City’s greatest assets is its people. Town is brimming with a caring, active population that likes to make positive changes not only in their own backyard, but around the globe. Many nationally recognized organizations that call Park City home are providing innovative solutions to pressing needs. Below is simply a smattering of great nonprofit groups engaged in wonderful works. We love them all.

Running with Ed
Last year I ran in one of The Park City Board of Education’s annual fundraisers, Running With Ed

Arts

Park City Institute

Formally known as the Park City Performing Arts Foundation, the Institute presents world-class performances on their winter stage at the George S. and Dolores Dorre Eccles Center and their summer stage at the gorgeous, jaw-dropping Deer Valley Resort Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater. They present music and dance acts from around the world—from Nickel Creek to Savion Glover—and bring these same acts to young people with their Arts Education Programming in the Park City School District.

Kimball Art Center

Located in the heart of Old Town Park City (for now), the Kimball Art Center is ground zero for all things art. Featuring year round exhibits, the organization is committed to engaging the community with lectures and special events. They offer a wide range of art classes in an array of mediums that attract novices and professionals. Each July/August, the Kimball Art Center hosts the Kimball Arts Festival, one of the largest and longest running arts festivals in the State of Utah.

Mountain Town Music

Created to encourage and foster live music throughout Park City and Summit County, Mountain Town Music presents 200 shows a year in venues that range from rodeo grounds to your neighbor’s back yard. Most of their programming is free and they have an extensive education and outreach program in schools throughout the county.

Environment

Recycle Utah

Also known as the local recycling center, Recycle Utah is committed to reducing waste and preventing ground water pollution in the community. The center is open Monday through Saturday and provides a number of educational opportunities, workshops and special events on topics ranging from composting to recycling your grandmother’s gold watch. By recycling over 40 different items, Recycle Utah helps households, resorts, other businesses and corporations responsibly reduce waste.

Mountain Trails Foundation

Trails are kind of Park City’s thing. As the local non-motorized trail advocate, the Mountain Trails Foundation maintains and develops the trails in and around Park City. You would be hard pressed to find a local that didn’t enjoy the trail report on the radio every morning. Just hearing about conditions, views and blooms brightens everyone’s day. And if radio isn’t your thing, they also provide updates on their website and social media accounts.

Swaner Eco Center

A striking museum and education space located on 1200 acres of open space mark the gateway to Park City at Kimball Junction’s Swaner Eco Center. The LEED Platinum Certified center has won a number of awards for environmental sustainability and serves as a learning and information center for the preserve. This playground for wildlife and people alike boasts 10 miles of trails that can be enjoyed by bikers, hikers, birdwatchers, snowshoers and photographers.

Social Service

National Ability Center

The mission of the National Ability Center is “to empower individuals of all abilities by building self-esteem, confidence and lifetime skills through sport, recreation and educational programs.” They offer a wide range of programming like snow sports, horseback riding, hippotherapy, rock climbing, swimming, archery, hockey and water sports. They have specially designed equipment to accommodate people of all abilities and work hard to include all family members in activities. The center works hard to serve people of all income levels and to keep programming costs minimal.

People’s Health Clinic

Local medical providers and concerned community members formed the People’s Health Clinic in 1999 as a way to serve the area’s uninsured. Started in a medical van that traveled throughout Summit and Wasatch Counties, the organization now has a permanent home in the Health Department Building at Quinn’s Junction.

Other

Friends of Animals-Utah
Furburbia
My dog, Kit, whom we adopted from Furburbia / FOA.

Friends of Animals has found homes for over 12,000 pets. They operate in the Rescue & Rehabilitation Ranch. When dogs and cats are healthy, happy and ready for a forever home, they are transported to Furburbia, a pet center located in the Tanger Outlet Mall. Be forewarned, these animals are cute and will warm the heart of even the most hardened pet foe.

Park City Education Foundation

The Park City Education Foundation does a wonderful job of raising money and providing grants to high impact programs that empower teachers and students alike and make the Park City School District one of the best in the state. Funding programs in areas like nutrition, technology, robotics and language immersion has shown to have impacts and high rates of success.

Thanking Our Park City Nonprofits

The list of Park City nonprofits we love shows the high level of achievement that we all enjoy simply by living in Park City. While we walk on the trail, listen to a concert or spot the spring’s first Sandhill Crane, it’s easy to forget that there are a number of folks behind the scenes, making this all possible. Not only do these wonderful organizations create the enjoyable culture and social programs that we enjoy, they create talented leaders and teams among us.

How can you help Park City’s nonprofits? Let us count the ways. Contacting any one of these organizations is the best way to learn how you can support in a hands-on way. I enjoy volunteering my time on the Board of Trustees for the Park City Education Foundation and also support Mountain Town Music as a sponsor.

In the last few years, the annual Live PC Give PC event each fall gives donors like you the opportunity to show your support for the nonprofits you love.

Please note that we love all of our wonderful Park City organizations; this is just a quick list. Which nonprofits do you love most that we missed?

New and Coming Soon to Park City

For a small town, Park City sure has a lot going on. Is the flurry of activity due to the feeling of spring in the air, or is it that Park City is simply a happening place? Keep reading so you don’t miss a beat. Here you’ll find the skinny on juices, clay works and gondola rides.

My Liquid Garden

My Liquid GardenFresh and organic, this is Park City’s new juice shop. My Liquid Garden is located at 1241 Center Dr. in the Newpark neighborhood, next to Best Buy. Stop in before your next bike ride around the Swaner Preserve or call in an order for pick up or delivery (435) 604-0293.

Clayhouse Studios

“Play Dirty!” is their tagline, which means that this studio must be full of fun. There is 3,000 square feet of state-of-the-art equipment in this teaching studio and gallery. Clayhouse offers a number of classes, memberships and workshops designed to meet the needs of the complete novice to the professional artist. Located at 1241 Center Drive, right next to My Liquid Garden, it’s a one stop shop to rejuvenate your taste buds and your creative spirit. Visit www.clayhousestudios.com or call (435) 487-9200 with any questions you may have.

Armada Skis, Inc.

A major ski gear retailer has plans to move its corporate headquarters to Park City. Company directors were enticed by Utah’s business environment and the easy access to world-class skiing opportunities. Armada was founded in 2002, in Costa Mesa, California and hopes to provide at least 50 new jobs in the Summit County area in the next eight years.

Park City Coffee Roaster in the Park City Library

Book worms and coffee lovers can finally unite in what might be Park City’s most beautiful partnership. Park City Coffee Roaster was recently awarded a three year contract to operate a small coffee shop in the revamped library facility once the renovation is complete. The coffee shop will take up about 300 square feet of space just inside the new main entrance. They will also sell juices and baked goods and plan to create a loyalty program for frequent library patrons.

Alzania Wine Dinner at Chimayo

One dining option that is strikingly absent from the Park City restaurant line-up is Spanish. Fortunately, Chimayo offers a temporary remedy. Wait no longer and make a date with Spain. For one night only, April 17, Chimayo presents a Wine Dinner with Jose Manuel. A five course wine dinner featuring hand crafted wines by Jose Manuel of Bodegas y Vinedos Alzania paired with Chef Arturo Flores’s award winning cuisine. Please contact Tracey Lee at tlee@billwhiteenterprises.com for reservations. Seating is limited.

PCMR Interconnect Gondola

Hot off the press! The proposed Park City Mountain Resort Interconnect Gondola has been approved. In a meeting last week, the Park City Planning commission voted unanimously in favor of the Interconnect Gondola; a major factor in a series of $50 million worth of upgrades that Vail Resorts plans to do on the mountain. The eight-passenger gondola will travel between the base of the Silverlode lift at PCMR to the Flatiron lift at Canyons Resort, spanning some 1.5 miles.

Park City Boxing

AlpenfitWant to learn something new or perfect your skills? An Olympic boxer is now teaching boxing lessons at AlpenFit, located next to Rite Aid. 1996 Olympian Shane Heaps says anyone can learn boxing, so put on your gloves and get in the ring! Drop on by or call (435) 214-9255 for info.

Park City Brewery

Last but not least, there’s a new brew in Park City. Who says Utah’s liquor laws don’t allow for awesome craft beer, wine and spirits makers? Right now you can find the suds in a few local bars and restaurants such as Maxwell’s, and they’re expected to be in stores this summer.

Did you think your Park City life was great? Was your ski day full, your après-ski smoldering? Well it looks like with these new updates it will only get better. Spring has sprung, so grab a coffee and a guidebook and hit the trail. And don’t forget to reserve your sillas (seats) for your sweetie for a Spanish night on Main Street. Enjoy!

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.

Sources:
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?
A. TBD

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.