My New “Official” Blog Site

Finally… I have got my site up and running. I have moved all of my posts to that site and will be posting regularly there. Thanks for the great free site WordPress. Had a blast here and look forward to pressing more words on the new site! Click the image of my new site below to be magically transported there!

utahREpro Website


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Utah REALTORS Take Their Issues to the Hill

Utah REALTORS Head to the Capitol

Approximately 60 Utah REALTORS spent their afternoon discussing issues vital to the housing market with their Members of Congress. The afternoon started with a state caucus meeting with Jamie Gregory, one of NAR’s Chief Lobbyists, walking us through the major talking points of the day. Then it was off to Capitol Hill to meet with Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, and Congressmen Jason Chaffetz, Rob Bishop and Jim Matheson.

Utah REALTORS on Capitol StepsThe meetings were a tremendous success and we are fortunate in Utah to have a congressional delegation that gets it when it comes to the importance of homeownership.

One of the special highlights of the day was finishing our visit with Senator Mike Lee and then being invited to the Senate Chambers to watch him present his budget bill on the Senate Floor.

Utah REALTORS in the Capitol RotundaFollowing the close of the Senate session, we had the amazing opportunity of a private tour with Senator Lee’s chief of staff, Spencer Stokes. The Capitol was empty and we had the opportunity to enjoy the rotunda with no one else around. There is certainly something about standing in these hallowed halls and quietly soaking in the history and importance of this special place.

Inside the Capitol RotundaSpencer was such a gracious tour guide, showing us amazing places such as the President’s Room, the House Chapel, and a very special visit to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Room. The staff there was wonderful and shared many interesting and insight stories about what happens in that room.

My evening ended on a high note with a private dinner at the Capitol Hill Club with my Congressman, the Honorable Jason Chaffetz. I had a great time discussing a variety of things ranging from the Presidential Election to everyday life with him. As always, it’s a great opportunity to come to Washington DC and spend quality time with our elected officials.

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Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial

mlk memorialDid you know there has been a new addition to the many memorials surrounding the Washington DC area since our last Midyear meetings? This particular memorial should hold a special place in the hearts of the REALTOR family as NAR is a major sponsor of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. Situated on a four-acre site along the Tidal Basin, the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial is adjacent to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial.

If you find yourself with some free time during your stay at Midyear, you will definitely want to visit this memorial. To learn more about the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial please visit

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Staging Your Home For A Spring Sale

Staging your home for spring sale

Any home stager will tell you that “staging is staging” and the principals remain the same throughout the year—keep things clean, clutter free and colorful. But that doesn’t each season comes without its own brand of staging magic.

For spring, there are a number of things you can do both inside and outside to take advantage of the beautiful weather.

Barb Schwarz, creator of Homes Staging® and CEO of, suggests adding splashes of color to your porch with potted flowers. She favors larger pots placed on each side of the front door bearing tulips or daisies with greenery in the middle.

Bringing spring colors into a home is just as easy, especially with accessories like throw pillows, area rugs, artwork, towels and bedspreads.

staging your home for spring“Change accessories and the whole house changes,” Schwarz said. Swap-out decorative pillows on a sofa for a fresh, new look. “This year nature colors are really in; green is really big and hot orange is an accent that is strong.”

Designers recommend using other knickknacks that speak of spring, such as pears, eggs, sea shells, nature, leaf patterns in fabrics, wicker, real leather and rust metal as contrast.

Schwarz said it’s also a good idea to replace the drapery panels in a home or office. She recently changed a den from a daisy pattern in blue to cream plain panels that went from ceiling to the floor “and the whole room looked bigger and more elegant,” she said.

Of course, all rooms in the house are important and there are ways to liven up each one as the spring season blooms. You want the buyer to buy the whole house, not just one or two rooms staged, so it’s important to create a cohesive design.

Yet don’t forget your “great outdoors.” Clean up your yards, remove fallen leaves and dead plants, and trim bushes and hedges.

Indeed, spring brings more buyers so take advantage of all that the season has to offer.


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America’s Healthiest Housing Markets

LendingTree, LLC, has produced the results of their recent findings on America’s Healthiest Housing Markets. The report evaluates and weighs seven critical housing market elements:

  1. Americas Healthiest Housing Markets DataDebt to Income
  2. Unemployment
  3. Home Ownership/Vacancy
  4. Equity
  5. Past Due
  6. Foreclosure
  7. Loan-to-Value ratios

The full detailed report can be found here ->

Their infographic below shows the strength of the Great Plains region’s housing markets. We are very excited here in Utah to be ranked 6th on the list!

America's Healthiest Housing Markets

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February 2012 Utah County Housing Statistics

Housing StatisticsPending home sales posted a tenth straight month of double digit increase, sitting at 564 which is up 37.9% this February. Closed sales are back up with a 7.7% increase, sitting at 337 sales last February and 363 sales this year. This should continue to increase with the high pending home sales.

Inventory and new listings continue to decline. February new listings were down 9.1%. This has pushed our total inventory down 25.1% and our months supply of inventory is also down substantially to 6.7 months, a 33.7% decrease from last year at this same time.

Utah County February 2012 Utah Housing Statistics

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January 2012 Utah County Housing Statistics

Housing StatisticsPending home sales posted a ninth straight month of double digit increase, sitting at 478 which is up 23.8% this January. Closed sales did dip slightly with a 4.8% decrease, with 333 sales last January and 317 sales this year. This should rebound though with the jump in pending home sales.

Inventory and new listings continue to decline. January new listings were down 10.7%. This has pushed our total inventory down 22.8% and our months supply of inventory is also down substantially to 7.0 months, a 31.3% decrease from last year at this same time.

Utah County January 2012 Housing Statistics

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2012 Utah Valley Home Expo

Utah Valley Home and Garden ExpoDon’t miss this year’s 
Utah Valley Home and Garden Expo:

March 23 & 24, 2012
11 am – 8 pm 
UCCU Events Center
at Utah Valley University

Utah Valley Home and Garden ExpoUtah Valley knows the best way to create your perfect home is to attend the Utah Valley Home and Garden Expo at the UCCU Events Center in Orem, Utah. Packed with exhibits, experts and ideas on home improvement inside and out, the annual Home Expo is the premier home event in Utah Valley. The Expo focuses on the latest decorating and remodeling trends in the industry. Whatever it is, you’ll find it here. And look for many Expo-only incentives to ready your home for not only a fantastic summer, but to be your pride and enjoyment year round.

The 2011 Spring Home Expo is Friday and Saturday, March 23rd and 24th. Each year nearly 12,000 visitors enjoy Utah County’s largest Expo. Expect another great show including good food, exhibits from nearly 200 top home-oriented businesses, free prizes, play areas, seminars and much much more.

Nearly 200 great exhibitors
Family activities including childrens areas
Free seminars and home ideas
Food and refreshments
Door prizes (valued at over $200 per prize) hourly
And much more…

Here’s your FREE tickets, simply click and print as many as you need:

Utah Valley Home Expo Ticket

This year don’t miss your opportunity to qualify for Utah’s Amazing Home Race and win $10,000 for a down payment – sponsored by Prudential Utah Elite Real Estate. Visit our booth at the entrance of the expo to learn more!

Utah's Amazing Home Race

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Don’t Be A Cookie Thief!

The Cookie Thief BookThere’s a great little book called “The Cookie Thief” by Kirk Weisler, and his story hits a little too close to home for me. I say that jokingly, of course I am not a cookie thief… or am I? Kirk’s book is called “A semi sweet tale about a crime we too often commit”.

The story goes a little something like this:

A businessman buys a box of cookies at the airport and sits next to a man as he waits for his flight. Suddenly he notices the man eating HIS cookies. He slides his cookies away from the man and grabs one to eat himself. But this doesn’t deter the Cookie Thief, he grabs another cookie! They alternate back and forth until there is one cookie left. They look at each other, then the Cookie Thief reaches down and breaks the cookie in half, giving the businessman the larger half. The Cookie Thief then gathered his bags, smiled, and then walked away.

This left the businessman frustrated and angry, how could the Cookie Thief have done this, eating what was clearly not his. And then to split the last cookie in half and smile and walk away! Suddenly the flight was called and the businessman turned to gather his bags and find his box of cookies sitting safely sealed on his suitcase!

I’ll be the first to admit that there have been times in my life and my business where I’ve been the REAL Cookie Thief! No, I’ve never stolen cookies, except for the freshly baked ones my wife has made! But, I have done exactly as the businessman has done and jumped to conclusions or assigned blame without knowing all of the facts.

Kirk finishes the book eloquently with this great rhyme:

“How any cookie crumbles – is really up to you & me
If a choice alone can lock us up – then it can also set us free
We can choose to rush to judgment – we can choose to scream and shout
Or we can choose to give a greater gift – The Benefit of the Doubt!”

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10 Common Errors Home Owners Make When Filing Taxes

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