Tiny House Movement Q & A

In today’s fast-paced, complicated life many look for ways to simplify. Some even advocate that moving into a smacanstockphoto10371016ller home means having a bigger life.

So what is tiny living?

In a nutshell, the tiny house movement is a way of life. People adjust to smaller spaces and fewer possessions in order to save money while focusing on building relationships and lasting experiences.

What is a tiny house?

The average home size in 2016 ranged from 2,400 to 2,600 square feet. Tiny homes typically offer anywhere from 65 to 400 square feet.

How much do they cost?

A relatively high-end tiny house costs around $20,000 to $30,000 to build yourself. These numbers include buying a brand new trailer, professional construction plans, appliances and other brand new materials.

How to build for less?

  • Use recycled materials
  • Use less expensive materials and appliances that are still reliable of course
  • Complete all labor yourself with the help of family and friends
  • Avoid costly mistakes by doing your due diligence when researching and designing
  • Be patient and find a good deal on the perfect trailer instead of purchasing a new one

Benefits of a tiny home?

  • Less time cleaning
  • Less time spent maintaining
  • No clutter means it’s easier to find your belongings
  • Monthly bills are cheaper
  • Cozy and easy to manage living space
  • Better for the environment


Do you want to know more about accommodating families with tiny home living? Check out this blog from TinyHouseTalk.com

Tax Returns – Beneifts of Homeownership

girl-1561943_1280Was 2016 a big year for you where you finally became a homeowner? Well, guess what, you may qualify for some excellent tax benefits. This year, before you file your taxes, here are some deductions to be aware of:

  • Home-improvement loan. The interest on a home-improvement loan is deductible, according to the IRS, up to $100,000. However, any part of the home loan which is above 100% of the loan-to value (more than the value of the property) is not deductible.
  • Property tax. In most cases, property taxes are tax-deductible with the exception of your attorney, appraisal fees, title insurance, credit card reports, and other items on a settlement document. If you have any questions, consult your tax account.
  • Energy-efficient tax credit. If you made energy efficient improvements to your home, you may qualify for a tax deduction. Talk with your tax account to determine is this credit is still available.
  • Renewable-energy tax credit. Another tax credit to be aware of is the Renewable Energy Efficiency Property Credit. Under this tax credit, you may be eligible for a tax credit up to 30% (per cost of equipment, installation, and so on).

If you are ready to make the move towards homeownership and want to see what tax benefits you may quality for, give us a call today. We are here to help you find your dream home and start your journey as a homeowner.

4 Winter Home Improvement Projects

The weather outside may be frightful, but simple home improvements are oh so delightful this time of year. Aside from a fresh coat paint and a plethora of flooring projects, these four projects are sure to get you up off the couch, increase your property value and get you through the remaining colder months faster.canstockphoto2028844

  1. Organizing

When Spring arrives and the weather warms up, you will thank yourself for already going through all of your piles of junk. Decluttering and organizing is a great winter project. In fact, January happens to be “Get Organized Month.” Don’t try to tackle the entire house at one. Devote time every week to decluttering and coming up with organizational solutions for each space throughout your home.

  1. Bathroom touch-ups

If your grout is gunky, your tub is lined with unsightly mildew or your sink its hopelessly outdated, it might be time for a bathroom touch up. Bathrooms offer a great winter project as they provide an escape from the cold and can be enjoyed all year long once they are complete.  You can frugally remodel your bathroom by replacing the faucet and other hardware, thoroughly cleaning or even re-grouting the tile and applying a fresh coat of paint.

  1. Backsplash install

Backsplashes are to kitchens; as peanut butter is to jelly. They’re essential for getting that perfect combination. Take your kitchen up a notch with a backsplash install. A flashy or textured tile can add color and life to a plain scheme. The right backsplash also will accessorize and emphasize your countertops, cabinets and appliances.

  1. Drab-to-fab door overhaul

Refurbish and dressing up your interior doors can have a lot of visual impact on your home. Replacing the doors completely can quickly become costly. Consider these DIY alternatives to really shake things up. You can paint or stain them a darker color as dark doors often look more expensive. Colored doors also look much more modern and whimsical than traditional wood. Updating the hardware and changing the doorknobs also provides an inexpensive fix for outdated doors. You can add or replace the molding around your doors to create dimension and provide an elegant look and feel to the space.

Questions You Must Ask When Searching For Your New Home

When it comes to finding your dream home, it can take some time to find the perfect place just for you. There are so many factors which go into finding the right home and the home buying process. As you begin your due diligence in researching the area and getting know your potential neighbors, finding the right schools, hiring a real estate agent, and making sure the home you fall in love with is in your price range (check out this great calculator tool).


Before you move forward towards homeownership, take some time to chat with a loan officer to find out what kind of mortgage you can afford. If you’re not sure you can afford a home, you should also take some time to chat with a mortgage officer. There are various loans you may qualify for so make sure you get pre-approved first.

As you continue down the path towards homeownership, ask yourself these questions—

  • Why is the home for sell?
  • Are there some issues with the home you should be aware of?
  • What do you like most about the neighborhood? What don’t you like? Can you leave with it?
  • How long has the home been vacant? Why?
  • What is the water pressure like? Insulation in the attic?
  • How many drawers are in the kitchen? Is there enough counter space for you?
  • Do all the electrical outlets work?
  • Is the front door well insulated?

Your home is a place you can take pride in. Take some time now to find the best fit for you, something you can see yourself living in. Write down all the questions you have, what you can’t live without, what you’re willing to compromise on, and so on.

As you move down this path, let us help you find your dream home. We are here to answer all your questions and to assist you in finding your new home.

Origins of Thanksgiving

We all know the story of how the pilgrims and Native Americans “broke bread” at one of the very first Thanksgivings. They shared the first autumn harvest feast in 1621 with many more to come. We can learn more about the origins by first examining Thanksgiving at Plymouth and then discovering when Thanksgiving became an official holiday.



The Mayflower, a small ship, left Plymouth England in September 1620. The ship carried 102 passengers consisting of a variety of religious separatists seeking a new home to freely practice their faith. The New World promise of wealth and prosperity lured others aboard. The Pilgrims settled across Massachusetts Bay one month later.

The first year proved to be brutal for the colonists. Many suffered from exposure, scurvy and disease outbreaks. Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast in November 1621 after the Pilgrims’ first successful corn harvest. He invited a group of the colony’s Native American allies. This gathering is considered to be America’s first Thanksgiving even though those words may not have been used at the time.


National Holiday

The evolution of a Thanksgiving holiday began during the American Revolution. In fact, the Continental Congress designated one or more days of thanks per year. In 1789, the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States was issued by George Washington. He wished for Americans to express their gratitude for the favorable outcome of the war for independence and successful ratification of U.S. Constitution.

New York with several other states following suite officially adopted an annual Thanksgiving holiday in 1817. However, each of the states celebrated on different days. Sarah Josepha Hale, author of nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” launched campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1827. In the midst of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln answered her request in 1863 and scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday of every November.

Official Thanksgiving was celebrated the last Thursday of November annually until 1939. President Franklin Roosevelt attempted to move the holiday up a week to stimulate retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan was met with fierce, passionate opposition. He eventually and reluctantly signed a bill making the final Thursday the official date for the Thanksgiving holiday.

New Construction Advice

New ConstructionToday’s market has no shortage of cheap, previously-owned homes to pick through. But you have decided to buy a new construction home or have one built to your liking. Despite all of the benefits of buying a new construction home, you will want to make sure you do it right with these seven tips.

1. The Right Agent

A great agent to help you navigate the new construction buying process will have specific experience with builders and buyers in the area. However, they should not be affiliated with the builder. Builders and real estate agents often maintain relationships, but you will want someone to look out for you best interests.

2. Research the Builder

Searching reviews, testimonials and news online might be the best place to start. After that, you can visit other developments and talk to homeowner’s that have worked with the builder. Remember that most builders will have both satisfied and unsatisfied customers. Don’t get turned off by one bad review. Look for trends and cover your concerns in the purchase agreements.

3. Creative Negotiations

You can negotiate other factors besides price as most builders are opposed to lowing their prices. Other options include asking the builder to pay closing costs or performing upgrades at no additional charge.

4. Everything in Writing

Make sure that everything has been negotiated, agreed upon and written in contract form before you sign anything. If you are purchasing an incomplete home, it is important to ensure that you specify in writing how you want the home finished. Keep in mind that verbal conversations are not binding.

5. Remember that you don’t always get what you see

Fully finished, decorated and staged model homes aren’t a true representation of what comes standard from builders. All of those fancy upgrades like stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors come with a price.  Avoid sticker shock when touring the home. Ask the guide which features are standard and which are extra.

6. Guarantee Please

When buying a home that is not completely finished you will want to ensure that you have guarantees the home will be ready on time. Some new construction homes even come with warranties covering the home up to a year for anything they may have overlooked.

7. Home Inspection

Going along with their warranty, newly built homes often have problems too. Hire an inspector to make sure everything is safe and up to code before moving in and signing off. Typically, builders allow the buyers to conduct an independent inspection and agree to repair code compliance issues. However, they do not include a provision that allows buyers to walk away without losing their deposit.

Haunted Houses In The Area

halloween-pumpkin-carving-faceI don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things about Halloween are the haunted houses. There is nothing like going through some of these spook houses and having a good scare (or laugh—depending how you go through them). This year, get your scare on by exploring some of these haunted houses around Utah.

  • Halloween Insanity. Located in Syracuse, this is a free haunted house open to the public. Running from October 17-31, 2016, this is a fun haunted house which changes each year.
  • Deads End Yard Haunt. This residential attraction located in Logan, Utah, which includes witches, werewolves, and other haunting spooks that are sure to thrill. Come and enjoy a night of spooks!
  • Castle of Chaos. Head on over to Midvale for a night of thrills and chills. This haunted attraction is known to give you nightmares.
  • Fear Factory. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Fear Factory is a popular place for unusual accidents and has a long history of twisted past. Enjoy a night of entertainment and scares with live bands, concessions, and some undead visitors.

Want to know more about other Haunted Houses around the area? Make sure to check out some of these haunted destinations.

Have a favorite Haunted Houses? What is your favorite thing about Halloween? Share your stories and thoughts with us. We love to hear from you.

Getting Your Yard Ready for The Winter

We are moving closer to winter and, as each day ticks closer to our first snowfall, now is the time to prepare your yard for the cold months ago. To help you prepare, here are some steps to start taking today to ensure your yard survives (and thrives) over the winter. frost-on-grass-1358926_640

Lawn care. Even though the temperatures are cooling down, mowing your lawn is still important. While you’re at it, take a moment to aerate and fertilize your lawn to ensure it has the necessary nutrients to survive the winter ahead. In addition to making sure your lawn has the nutrients it needs, it’s equally important to rake up your leaves as they begin to fall. Unraked leaves will lead to fungus which can kill your lawn and may lead to health problems.

Winterize your sprinklers. Utah can have some serious cold months so it’s critical you winterize your sprinkler system so it doesn’t crack or burst. To do this, turn off the water and push the excess water out of your pipes with an air compressor.

Prepare your soil. As we move further into the autumn months, add some manure to your flower beds, especially around the plants that need a little extra protection, which can be absorbed throughout the winter.

Cover your air conditioner. While you’re preparing your yard, don’t forget to winterize your air conditioner. Use this time to wash out any dirt and debris from your unit, check pipes, and wrap your unit with visit a plastic or vinyl cover. As your close down your AC unit for the winter, this is also the perfect time to check your furnace and change your filters.

Have some tips to add? Tell us about it below in the comments.

Labor Day Activities and Sales in (and around) Davis County

If you didn’t already have plans this weekend (and even if you do!), you need to check out these fun activities and wallet-saving deals!


Hit up the South Davis Labor Day Triathlon

The will hold the race rain, snow or shine! The course in in true triathlon order starting with swimming, on to biking and wrapping-up with the run. The show starts 8 a.m. so be there or be square! For more information, please visit their website.

Family First Monday’s at Station Park

Although this event happens the first Monday of every month, it is something to do this Labor Day. Bring the family out from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for free games, activities, entertainment and discounts.

Multi-Exhibit at Bountiful Davis Art Center

The Mulit-Exhibit is great spot to get up close and personal with local artwork. The work will be displayed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for your viewing pleasure! For more information please visit their website.

Around the area:

Free Red Butte Garden Admission Day

Free Park City Miner’s Day Celebration

Swiss Days, Onion Days, Peach Days, Blue Moon Festival and Jazz Festival

For more information, (and other discounts) visit Coupons4Utah.


Post Labor Day Mini Book Sale

The Monday after Labor Day, the Davis County Library System is hosting a mini book sale at the Davis County South Branch Library located in Bountiful. The book sale will offer a quality selection of titles in “limited quantities at bargain prices.” Hardbacks, books on CD and DVDS will be one dollar while paperbacks are just 25 cents! Don’t miss this deal and remember to bring cash or check.

Utah Symphony

The Utah Symphony also is having a Labor Sale where you can choose any three or more performances to save 20 percent! The sale runs from August 28 through Labor Day. Tickets start at $18, $14.40 after discount is applied. For more information, please visit their website.

Check it out! All of these stores have Labor Day Sales Events:

Trimming Your Trees For The Fall

leaves-970188_640Right now, as we move into the cooler months, it’s tempting to want to prune your trees and bushes. However, the autumn months are not a good time to prune. Trimming your trees in the fall can lead fungi to spread in their spores, which slows down their ability to heal wounds caused by cuts. This is also a time when trees are starting to go dormant (preparing for the winter months ahead) and pruning them will result in a spurt of regrowth.

Instead, wait until the summer months to prune your trees and bushes. This will allow you to remove the old and dead branches without causing excess stress to your trees. When pruning your trees and shrubs, don’t make the cut too close to the trunk of the tree. Also, you don’t want to cut too far from the trunk which may leave an ugly stub and allow insects easy entry.

There are other important things you can do to help prepare your yard for winter. Apply some fertilizer, spread cool-weather grass seed, and aerate your lawn to protect it over the cold months. In addition, take some time to ensure the water in your sprinkler systems is pushed out and your air conditioner is properly stored.

The more you can do now to prepare your yard (and home) for the winter months the better. You never know when the snow will start flying and the more prepared you are the less surprises you’ll have.

Have something to add to the list? Tell us below in the comments about some of the things you do to help get your yard ready for the winter.