Water Conservation

Chatting with a friend the other day, I got to thinking about Utah’s dry summer and how everywhere you turn people are talking about conserving water. Regardless of dry or wet seasons, it is a good habit to get into. Not only will it save you money, but it is good for the planet as well, and who can argue with wanting to help the earth?

Here are some tips on what you can do to conserve water:4589192384_946c547201_z

Kitchen use. When washing your pots and pans, let them soak for a while instead of running the water. Not only is this good to safe water, but it saves you from having scrub them. Try to limit how often you run the dishwasher (make sure it is full before you run it) and if you can let things air dry the better.

The great outdoors. Try to skip a day or two between watering, especially with your grass. Allowing grass to dry out between watering allows the lawn to grow deeper roots which makes it more durable and conserves water.

For more information and to find out what you can do to save water and perhaps get a rebate on water conservation, check out www.weberbasin.com

The Legend of Timpanogos Cave

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Mt. Timpanogos seen from Silver Glance Lake. Via Wikipedia/Mount_Timpanogos.

Mount Timpanogos is one of Utah’s most popular hiking and climbing destinations in Utah? In such a beautiful part of the state, the hike up Timpanogos is marked with waterfalls, mountain goats, gorgeous conifers, and rocky slopes.

Did you know, when viewed from Heber Valley, Mount Timpanogos resembles the profile of a sleeping woman. Legend has it that an Indian maiden died of a broken heart after her lover was killed. Although there are no evidence to support the story, it is still a fun tale to tell to attract visitors to the stunning mountain range.

If you are looking for a fun thing to do with the family (although probably not with little kids) come and hike Timpanogos. While you are up there, be sure to take a tour of the captivating Timpanogos cave with its beautifully decorated rooms, rock formations, and hear the stories of cave exploration and preservation.

What is one of your favorite hiking trails?

http://www.summitpost.org/mt-timpanogos-ut/151365
http://www.nps.gov/tica/index.htm

Growing Abundant Fruit Trees

Fruit trees are a great addition to any backyard. Not only are they stunning with their spring blossoms, but they provide additional and free food. To grew an abundant fruit tree, it is important to give your tree some extra TLC to ensure it healthy to produce the delicious fruit.

SMfruittreeWhen you are choosing your tree, some things to look for are; a strong, straight trunk with well-distributed branches. Choose a tree with hardy roots and remember fruit tree roots do not like to planted in heavy, damp soil but in a more preamble soil.

It is also recommended that you fertilize your fruit tree a year in advance to keep your tree healthy and producing hearty fruit buds. A great time to fertilize is around mid-July, dig a small trench around the tree, about half way to the drip edge, and pour a diluted mixture of cow manure or comfrey in it. For the first year, to increase your trees fruit production, break off the blossoms to allow your tree to put off more shoots.

Share your tips for growing abundant fruit trees with me. Do you have a favorite fruit tree?

Window Replacement: When Is It Time?

If your windows are no longer shielding your home from the elements, filtering the noise, or are just doesn’t contribute to your curb appeal, then it may be time to replace them. There are a lot of benefits for window replacement which include, but are not limited to, energy savings, aesthetics, and weather resistance.SMflowerpots-house-window-2539

When it comes to replacing your windows you have a lot of options to consider. Single or double hung windows are the most common, but there are casement, awning, and slider windows. According to Energy Star, installing qualified windows in your home can lower household bills by 7-15%. Did you know you might be able to get a tax credit for 10% for energy savers such as new windows and insulation?

When choosing the best windows for your home, the general rule of thumb is you get what you pay for. It is good to read reviews, consumer reports, online forms, and company websites about various windows and ask around. What windows do your friends and family have? Which windows are the best for the climate you live in? What area of your home gets the most sun?

Hiring a contractor to install your windows is also very important to make sure the job is done correctly. Before hiring someone it is good to have a list of questions to ask them. Angie’s List recommends you get at least 3 detailed bids and be sure to check the laws in your state. Some states limit the amount a contractor is allowed to charge you.

Are you happy with the windows in your home? What do you like best about them? What would you change?

Finding the Best Hiking Trails in Utah

sun-rising-over-utah-canyonsUtah is a great place for many outdoor adventures during all times of the year. With all the unusual warm weather for this time of year is easy to start planning all the hikes you want to go on.  There are so many wonderful hiking trails in Utah to explore such as Donut Falls TrailBells Canyon TrailWaterfall Canyon and Angels Landing ~ to name a few.

Remember before setting out, it is important to pack a backpack with a map or guide book, plenty of water, fuel (load up on those high energy power bars) and first aid. For a full list of items to bring check out this helpful site.

Another thing to keep in mind before heading out is to check the weather so you can be prepared or adjust your plans as needed. Always inform friends and family about where you are going and when you expect to be back. Carry out what you brought in ~ keep the outdoors clean for next person.

What are you doing for the 4th of July weekend? What are some hiking trails in Utah that  you enjoy?

Time Management – Setting Your Priorities

Do you ever sit down to complete a task only to find the hours have passed and you have accomplished nothing? Is procrastination your best friend? It is easy to get distracted with gettinggreen-alarm-clock-1391422612n8N things done especially when you haven’t mapped out all the tasks you need to finish. Time management is one of the greatest skills you can develop to organize your priorities and complete the most important tasks.

Start by creating a daily plan of all the jobs you need to work on (and complete) the night before. This gives you time to make sure you have the necessary information (phone numbers, notes, etc.) already to go so you don’t waste time searching for them.

For more time management tips and tricks, check out Eat That Frog (Tracy) and The 4 Hour Work Week (Ferriss).  I’ve found these books to be helpful and interesting when it comes to setting goals and managing time better.

What are some of your time management techniques?

Renting Vs Owning: What Is Best for You?

When it comes to buying a home, there is a lot to consider and weigh to make sure you are making the best choice. If you are still deciding if you should move from renting to owning, here are a few more things to take into consideration.smlight-bulb-3229-830x550

First thing, when you own your home you have more freedom to decorate, remodel, and/or alter the landscaping to fit your style. In addition to the flexibility to enhance your home, you gain a pride of ownership and belonging within the community. Last, but certainly not least, are the financial benefits of being a homeowner.

In an article put out by Keeping Current Matters, they looked at the financial benefits of why now is the best time to buy. Breaking it down why not is the best time to buy, financially, consider your dream home costs $250,000 today, at 4.41% interest, your monthly principle and interest mortgage payment would be $1,253.38. Then let’s say you decide to wait to own for another year, with the rates and prices increasing, the same home costs $270,000, at a 5.7% monthly interest. That makes your monthly payment at $1,567.08; a $313.70 difference in monthly payments. Now looking at it over the long term (30 years) you would have saved $112,932 over that time by buying now.

For some, the idea of taking on a mortgage can be intimidating, but consider this, no matter what you are paying on a mortgage ~ either yours or your landlords ~ regardless (unless you live with your parents). Taking that into consideration, wouldn’t you rather be paying on a mortgage that will benefit you in the long run not someone else?

A few other things to consider is that rent can always go up, whereas with your mortgage, it is a fixed payment. In addition, your mortgage payment could be tax deductible and you can build equity in your home.

What is holding you back from moving forward to buying your own home? Give me a call today at 801-774-1687 to find out what I can do for you to help you find your dream home.

Understanding the Home Buying Process

Right now, the benefits of owning your own home far outweigh renting. In addition to the pride of ownership, owning your home is a great investment, has tax advantages (in most cases), and allows you to build equity.  When moving forward with the purchasing a home, it is important to understand the home buying process to make sure you get the most out of your investment.

  • Hire a real estate agent. Hire a qualified agent to help you find your dream home and make the whole buying process easier. Real estate agents are here to help you, answer your questions, and make sure nothing is overlooked.
    • Shop for mortgage rates and terms. Even a half of a percent difference could mean huge savings for you in the long run. Speak with a mortgage lender to better understand the rates and what you qualify for.
    • Prequalify for a loan. If you go in to the home buying process knowing how much you can afford can make all the difference and let sellers know you are serious about moving forward in the home buying process.
    • Visit properties. Take time to shop around, see what you like and don’t like. Your real estate agent can be a huge help here by finding properties that will meet your placeit (1)needs and stay within your budget.
    • Research. Take the time to tour houses and talk with your agent about what features can help or hurt the resale value of your home. Take note of what you liked and didn’t like so you have a more concrete picture of what you want/need in a home.
    • Make an offer. Once you have narrowed in on your dream home, you will want to make an offer. Utilize your agent to help you negotiate and handle the financial and contractual side of the dealings.
    • Arrange a home inspection. After the offer has been accepted, you will want to set up a home inspection. Be sure to hire someone who is certified to check the home for leaks, cracked walls, or foundation problems. Note, you can negotiate repairs as part of the purchase.
    • Close. This is where you sign the final paperwork and receive the keys to your new home.
  • Prepare for your life in your new home. Now you can relax and get comfortable in your new home. Unpack and make the home your own.

Do you have any questions about the home buying process? Be sure to leave a comment and I will get back to you.

Growing Your Success

What does success look like to you? Do you see yourself as a success? In today’s world, we seem to emphasize success on how much money you make, if you are famous or not, but what about the teacher who inspires their students to never give up or the person who helps their neighbor?

Regardless of how you define success, if  you want a rewarding life you need to know what you want. What drives you to accomplish 14464606763_5473161990_zthings that keep moving your forward? Keep challenging yourself by setting new goals and discovering what you are capable of (and exceeding your wildest expectations).

According to Tony Robbins, life coach and motivational speaker, recommends that you to develop daily rituals to creating the life you want and giving power to your goals. Look at your goals, or the challenges you are facing in your life, and break them down into little bit size rituals. What could you accomplish in your life if you completed a small task every day? Remember the old saying, “how do you eat an elephant? One bit a time.”

What is one thing you would like to achieve in 2014? What is something you can start doing today to make your dreams come true?

Luxury Home Buying 101

When it comes to investing in a luxury home, many high-end properties are not listed on MLS or search engines. So how do you find the luxury home of your dreams? Hiring a qualified real estate agent who knows the market for luxury homes is the besSMapartment-design-inside-4703t person to talk to. In some cases, the agent may have inside information about a listing before it hits the open market.

When looking to buy a home, it is important to know the loan process for luxury homes typically take longer than a smaller mortgage. For a guidance on moving forward in the home buying process, the best person to speak with is a mortgage lender about what loan would be best for you, your purchase range, and much more. Many real estate agents recommend having your financing approval early on in the home buying purchase.

Be clear on what you are looking for and do your due diligence. Just like with other properties, it is important to take time to properly inspect the luxury home prior to purchase. This can take a little more time as specialized home inspectors may be required.

Are you interested in a luxury home? Give me a call today 801-774-1687 to further discuss what you are looking for.