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Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

Our mission at Justin Udy & Team Real Estate is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Don’t Make These 3 Common Homebuyer Mistakes

If you are using a loan to finance your home purchase, there are three mistakes you need to avoid if you want to close on the property.

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In this market, 90% of homebuyers get a loan, while 10% of buyers pay cash. If you are getting a loan, there are a few things you need to know.

It’s always crazy when we get to a closing table with a buyer who has an amazing income, great credit, and a good job only to find that they are denied from getting the loan.

The buyer then loses their earnest money and any money they spent on appraisals and inspections, not to mention the emotional investment they made in the home. If you want to get the keys to your next home, there are a few things you need to remember.

First of all, don’t make any large purchases. Don’t buy a car or any furniture. Big purchases put a balance on your credit card, which could be a red flag for lenders. Big purchases also push your ratios, which could impact your credit score. Avoid buying any big-ticket items. I would be very careful about spending over $100, and I would avoid spending over $500 altogether. You can always buy furniture once you have the keys to your home.

Also, let’s say you buy the furniture and something else happens to cause the deal to fall apart. Now, you’ve not only lost your home, but you’re also stuck with a couch you can’t return. Just wait until you actually close on the property until you buy any furniture.

Wait until you have the keys in your hand before you make any large purchases.

Secondly, make sure you stay at your job. I’ve seen buyers quit their job just two or three days before closing. In order to buy a home, you have to have income to pay the mortgage. The bank usually verifies your employment the day of closing or the day before, so don’t quit your job the same week you close.

Even going on sabbatical or medical leave can negatively affect your closing. If you are not actively working, getting a paycheck, and making money, you won’t be able to get into that home.

Finally, don’t start applying for additional credit. If you start applying for different credit cards, your credit score will be affected. Applying for more credit also raises a red flag for the lender. They may wonder if you are applying for credit because there is an issue with your income.

Ultimately, the best thing you can do is just sit tight until you close on your home. Don’t apply for credit, don’t make any major job changes, and don’t buy a boat or a car or furniture. Just hold on until you have the keys in your hand.

Here’s a little bonus tip as well: Make sure that the down payment can be refunded. Deadlines can be moved and closing can be delayed, so make sure you are flexible with those. If the deal does fall through, make sure you can get your money back.

If you have any other questions about buying a home in our current market, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

What 5 Strategies Must You Follow to Get the Home You Want?

As a buyer, there are five things you need to do to get the house you want
in our current market.

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Buying a Salt Lake City home? Search all homes for sale

At the end of June, U.S. News & World Report named the greater Salt Lake area as one of the 10 best places in the nation to live in terms of home affordability, job opportunities, and the cost of living. Because we’re in a location where values continue to grow, there are five strategies you as a buyer need to follow to win in this market.

For most people, the biggest fear they have when moving on to their next home is being able to find that home in the first place. To be prepared and to combat any uncertainty, you must first get pre-approved. This will give you the ability to purchase the home you want after you sell your current home.

Second, you need to have your agent do a market analysis for you so you’re correctly evaluating the homes on the market and whether they fit your pre-approved budget.

Be ready to move quickly if you
see a home you like.

Next, you need to prep your current home for the market. The home preparation method we use for our buyers, for instance, includes our 75-point photography checklist, home staging, and our pre-inspection checklist. All this is done to make sure your home is ready to go, ready to show, and ready to sell.

After that, be knowledgeable about the market so you know how to deal with multiple offer situations. We educate all of our buyers about this subject so their offers are the ones getting accepted.

Lastly, be ready to move quickly. In our market, if you see a home you like, there are probably three or four others who like it as well. If you adhere to the four previous points mentioned above, you should be able to get the home you want.

If you have any other questions about what you need to do in order to move into your next home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How Does Our Utah Market Compare Nationally?

Compared to the rest of the country, our real estate market is growing faster. Barring significant changes, we’ll continue to grow.

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How has our Utah market done so far this year? What can we expect from it moving forward throughout the rest of 2017?

You may hear many different things about our market, but this update focuses on both its current state and how it compares to the rest of the nation on a year-to-date scale. To make this comparison, I used data from many different sources, including CoreLogic, the National Association of Realtors,, and our local MLS.

According to CoreLogic, our national market is anticipated to rise 6.7% by the end of the year. Year to date, it’s already risen 5.8%. This increase doesn’t mean what you might think it does for your home’s value, though, because CoreLogic takes into account average price points for the market. More specifically, the price range they used to calculate this increase was from $262,000 to $263,000.

When we talk about certain numbers regarding appreciation and growth, how they apply to your home’s value depends on its location, size, price range, and the four rules of real estate we’ve discussed before—curb appeal, kitchens, baths, and amenities.

From a national perspective, we have a very good market that’s seeing growth. If we scale it back to our local market, we find that Utah as a whole has gone up 10.7% over the last year. The Salt Lake metro area itself has gone up 8.8%. The only other state that’s experienced higher growth so far is Washington at 12.7%.

What makes our Utah economy so much different? People are moving here, staying here, and values are going up.

Nationwide, the average days on market for a home is lower than in Utah, but in our local market, inventory levels aren’t supporting the number of buyers. At this time last year, we had more home sales nationally than we do now. To quote Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, “Lower-priced listings continue to be scooped up, but severe shortages are keeping many buyers on the sidelines.”

Basically, people get frustrated when they can’t find the home they want or they feel like it’s unattainable. As more buyers shy away, this means more opportunity for listings and builder inventory continues to be very strong.

Utah is the No. 1 destination for millennials. We were also ranked in the top 10 as far as the most employed states in the nation. On a national level, the unemployment rate is right around 4.9%. Locally, we’re at 2.9%. There are a few reasons for this gap, the foremost of which is we have one of the highest job-growth markets.

Our team has closed more than 130 transactions so far this year, and the average price point for all those homes is around $282,000. Inventory levels are low compared to where they have been because large portions of it have been bought up, which has caused values to go up.

People are moving here, staying here, and values are going up.

Interest rates, though, are still at a historic low, which brings up an important point—the terms of the market are just as valuable as the price of the property. Based on our current interest rates, properties are very affordable to the average income earner. In fact, it’s more affordable to buy a home than it is to rent—the percentage of income needed to afford median rent is at 29.2%, while the percentage of income needed to afford a median home is only 15. 8%.

If you’re in the market for a home, consider the following options.

First, use the link above that lets you search all homes for sale in your zip code so you can get a sense of appreciation rates in your area and what’s happening on a per-zip code basis.

Second, if you don’t own a home and are considering buying, think hard about taking advantage of these extremely low interest rates. Sometimes we hear about historic low interest rates but fail to see the value in them, but because they’re so low in relation to home values, they’re making those same homes more affordable.

The market could correct at any time, and you’re more likely to see that affect other parts of the country because they don’t have the economic growth we do and they don’t have the jobs we do. The stimulus we’re seeing and the amount of migration we’re experiencing make us different. Barring significant changes, we’ll continue to grow. 

You can see the changes to accommodate housing right here in Salt Lake city. There are 350 square foot micro-units being built downtown because there isn’t enough inventory. There are also 65-acre developments being built in Spanish Fork. In short, we’re one of the best places in the country to live.

If you have any questions about our year-to-date market or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to talking to you soon.