Appeal Your 2013 Salt Lake County Property Tax Bill

Did you receive your property tax bill a few weeks ago and thought the value was too high? Your chance to appeal the value is September 15, 2013, or 45 days from mailing the notice. I am including the link to the appeals for to the Board of Equalizations website so you can start the process. If you need sold comparable homes go HERE and fill out the information about your home, and I will get a market analysis to you within a day. Remember, the comparable properties must be as close to January 2013 as possible to be acceptable for appeal.

Posted on August 16, 2013 at 11:52 am
Marvin Jensen | Posted in Taxes | Tagged ,

The Shortage of Home Inventory in Salt Lake County

There is a shortage of home inventory Salt Lake County….. Today, looking at the inventory of homes and condos for sale there are 4267 units. Also today, there are 2248 home and condo units Under Contract. A rule of thumb to measure the health of the market is supply and demand. Supply and Demand is snapshot of the current market and how long would take to absorb the current inventory. A healthy market will have an absorption of 5 to 6 months of inventory. This supply and demand ratios keeps prices in check. If there is not enough inventory for the number of buyers, prices will increase. If there is a glut of inventory and not many buyers, prices will decrease. See chart below.



Based on the figures I gave you about the snapshot of todays market, we have approximately 2 months of inventory! This is at the extremely low range of the spectrum, which has and will cause extreme upward pressures on home prices. The chart below come from the National Association of Realtors for May of 2013. This reflects a national trend. 

So what does this mean for a buyer or a seller, and what is expected in the coming months? Today, the sellers have the upper hand in the negotiations process. There will be little, if any room for a buyer to negotiate in price. There will most likely be multiple offers on the same home. The only thing that is keeping home prices from heading back to pre-bubble prices is the role of Appraisers and banks. They allow certain appreciation levels on sold comparable properties, so we are seeing small steps in appreciation based on what banks will allow. The second reason, that will play a larger role, is the negative equity home owner. The current negative equity loan count from Fannie May for April of 2013 is approximately 10,400,000 units. These are homes that are essentially locked up from the market pool because buyers are waiting for the market to improve before they even think of selling. So as prices appreciate, more and more of these homeowners will start putting there homes on the market. This should ease the upward pressure as time goes by. 

Currently, in Salt Lake County, the negative equity is approximately 25% according to Zillow. See the interactive map below for other counties along the Wasatch front. When will this negative equity number be absorbed? Experts don't have a timeframe, and only say that the inventory in dwindling monthly. So stay tune for more updates as we see changes in our local market…. I will report it here.


Posted on August 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm
Marvin Jensen | Posted in home appreciation, home ownership, Market Conditions, Salt Lake Real Estate, statistics | Tagged , , ,

Did You Miss the Housing Price Bottom in Salt Lake City?

The news lately has been filled with housing price appreciation… With all the numbers flying around it's hard for the average person to make sense of what this all means. How does this affect me?! There are a few of scenarios you need to understand. First, is year over year price appreciation, second, price appreciation from the bottom, third, the number of units sold and lastly, prices as compared to the top of the market.

If you've been following the news, just about every week there are articles about how prices are up. A lot of these numbers are year over year appreciation for a particular month, say June, compared to June of the previous year. They also like to throw in the number of units sold, this is the number of units sold year over year, or sometimes month over month. If you don't read the article carefully, these numbers can be very confusing and misleading. 

The following chart shows the median price of a home at the top of the market in Salt Lake City only. It shows the median home price at the peak of the market at $223,751. Four years later in 2011 we saw the lowest median price of $177,204. (these numbers are year over year starting in January and ending in December, except 2013 which will be year to date, June). A price drop of 20%. Some parts of Salt Lake County experienced closer to a 40% price drop, mostly newer construction south and west of the city center. See chart below.

Something I want to point out in this chart is where housing prices are so far in 2013. They are 10% lower than they were at the peak. 

Below is an example comparing the number of housing units sold. This graph shows that the peak of the number of units sold was in 2005. A full 2 years before we started to see the housing prices start to fall. As you can see there was a 48 percent drop in the number of units sold, NOT price change…. this is big difference.

I also want to show you how housing prices in other parts of the country compare to Salt Lake City's. The following charts show the 20 city Case Shiller index. As you can see, every single city is still below their peak home prices, even though some have experienced over 20% appreciation!


Here is a map of the 20 city index for better visual comparison on which parts of the country are fairing better.


So, the question in the title of this blog is did you miss the housing price bottom? Yes you did…. The good news is that the market is far below the peak prices we saw back in '06 and '07. Should you be considering purchasing if you have been on the sidelines waiting? That depends on your situation, and only YOUR situation.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know below…. What's the best situation for you now? Call or email me and we can schedule an appointment to review what is best for you.


Posted on August 2, 2013 at 8:41 pm
Marvin Jensen | Posted in home appreciation, Home Buying, Market Conditions, statistics | Tagged , , , , ,

The Mortgage Interest Rate Game

The Mortgage Interest Rate Game…
As many of you know, interest rates have started to creep upward, well, they jumped upward, within the last 30-45 days. As they have started to settle back to around 4.3%, this range has been a lot higher than it was in the mid 3% range. Most economists believe the 3% interest range is gone for the foreseeable future, maybe our lifetimes. So what does this mean for you? 
This is what we know. If you are a buyer, your buying power has eroded to the tune of a few hundred dollars per month on a $250,000 home. Put simply, you will pay $200 more per month for the same home you could have purchase in May of 2013. Or, if your monthly budget was say $1,000 per month for a mortgage, your purchasing power just went down by about $25,000. See the attached chart for a payment table based on purchase price vs interest rates. If you are a seller, at some point, rising interest rates will eat into your equity. We are not seeing this yet, but it will happen as rate continue their upward march.
Where are they headed? 
"Doug Duncan,the Chief Economist at Fannie Mae said “I don’t think the Fed ultimately would be troubled with a 6.5 percent mortgage rate".
Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s Vice President and Chief Economist,said this. “As the economy continues
to improve we expect to see continued upward movement in long term interest rates.” “At today’s house prices and income levels mortgage rates would have to be nearly seven percent before the U.S. median priced home would be unaffordable to a family making the median income in most parts of the country.” 
Most experts don't think rates will reach these levels until late 2014, but based on 2 chief economists at the companies that purchase mortgages from your bank, these numbers are not unexpected.
What will happen if I wait to purchase? See the attached payment schedule based on purchase price and interest rates.
Historically, interest rates have averageg about 8.69% since 1972, so 4.3% is still quite good, and if the economists say that 6.5%-7% isn't unlikely, this is still better that the averaqe of the last 40 years. But, why wait if you can lock in your interest rate in the mid 4% range for the next 30 years? As you can see from the chart below, it can add up to tremendous savings over the life of the loan to start sooner rather than later, if your situation permits.
If you think you may be affected by these events… call me to discuss your particular situation, I'm sure we can figure out the best approach for you.

Posted on July 29, 2013 at 8:11 pm
Marvin Jensen | Posted in Financing, Interest Rates, Mortgage | Tagged , ,

Windermere Joins with 360Modern


For those that love modern homes want a real estate brokerage that specializes in modern homes, a new team has emerged just for you! Windermere Real Estate and 360Modern have teamed up to bring you and incredible opportunity to showcase your modern home for sale, or to search exclusively for a modern home to purchase.

360modern™ is an exclusive marketing program that focuses solely on the purchase and sale of Modern homes. It is our belief that the unique characteristics of Modern architecture requires specialized marketing to target buyers who are actively searching for Modern homes. Qualifying homes are also featured on the website, providing enhanced online exposure that is unique to the 360modern™ program.


Posted on July 22, 2013 at 10:01 pm
Marvin Jensen | Posted in Cool New Things, Mid Century Modern, Modern Homes, Windermere | Tagged , , ,

Featured Mid Century Modern Home in Salt Lake City


Kitchen ideas, bathroom ideas, and more ∨


From a designer chair and desk to bulletin boards and credenza, create your dream home office.
Search for fun counter stools, clocks, sectionals and storage dressers to spice up your basement.



Posted on July 19, 2013 at 7:00 pm
Marvin Jensen | Posted in Mid Century Modern | Tagged

MLS Fail of the Day

Notice the highlighted comment: "Professionally landscaped, Park like setting" This must be one of those low maintenance landscapes that you pave over… saves on water!


What has your Realtor done for you today?

Posted on July 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm
Marvin Jensen | Posted in MLS Fail | Tagged

MLS Fail

Today is July 17, 2013. This listing shows about 8 inches of snow in the yard. it didn't snow last night! Today it is predicted to be 100 degrees, I'm sure this snow will melt… question is, will this seller get an updated picture?


What is your agent doing for you today?!

Posted on July 17, 2013 at 8:44 am
Marvin Jensen | Posted in MLS Fail | Tagged

Salt Lake City Homes for Sale and Sold, June 2013

Salt Lake City Homes for Sale and Sold, June, 2013




Salt Lake City, UT Homes for Sale have seen steady price improvement month to month as well as year to yearas inventory levels remain at all-time lows.


The Numbers Month to Month and Year to Year

The median sales price for Salt Lake City, UT Homes for Sale was $259,950 in June 2013 compared to $254,900 during May 2013 and $211,900 June 2013.

The number of Salt Lake City, UT Homes for Sale that sold was 363 in June 2013 vs. 387 in May 2013 and 349 that sold June 2013.

There are 526 Salt Lake City, UT Homes for Sale that are in contract which represents 62% of the overall available inventory of 835 homes.

A few highlights of the current Salt Lake City, UT Homes for Sale are shown below and represent a nice cross section of properties available, in contract and that have sold.


This Months Most Expensive

The most expensive of all Salt Lake City, UT Homes for sale this month is listed at $2,795,000 and includes bedrooms, bath and has 6899 sqft. What I loved about this home is the swimming pool and private back yard(schedule a showing).   Circle Way


This Months Least Expensive

The least expensive of all Salt Lake City, UT homes for sale came in at $89,900 and would be a great home for a first time homebuyer or an investor looking for a rental property with positive cash flow. It has 1 bedrooms and 1 bath with 1128 sqft and could use a little updating  (schedule a showing).


This Months Must See

There were some great Salt Lake City, …

 Click to see the full report

Below are highlight properties for Salt Lake City Homes for Sale and Sold, June, 2013. See more at the full report:
  Highlights Maps & Local Schools  
Status: Coming Soon
Princeton Ave, Salt Lake City, UT
Listing Courtesy of: Windermere Real Estate

Status: Active
1988 S 1100 East #406, Salt Lake City UT
Listing Courtesy of: Windermere Real Estate

Status: Pending
946 East Lowell Avenue, Salt Lake City UT
Listing Courtesy of: Windermere Real Estate

Status: Just Sold
1370 Harvard Aave
Listing Courtesy of: Town & Country

Status: Just Sold
1431 Glenmare ST
Listing Courtesy of: Plumb & Company

Status: Just Sold
1424 Indian Hills
3 BATHROOMS [ 2 FULL, 1 (3/4th) ]
Listing Courtesy of: The Group

See the Full Salt Lake City Homes for Sale and Sold, June, 2013
Search All Homes For Sale


What is Your Home Worth?

Homes Close to Where You Work

Marvin Jensen
Windermere Real Estate
Information valid as of July 16, 2013. Please contact us for the most current information and status of these properties.


Posted on July 16, 2013 at 9:19 pm
Marvin Jensen | Posted in Just Sold, Market Conditions, Salt Lake Real Estate | Tagged , ,

MLS Fail

I'm starting a new MLS Fail section because I want to show sellers what to avoid when listing their home with an agent. Please look at the agents past marketing samples and make sure they use a professional photographer, or you may end up with something like this:



I see examples everyday that I can't believe are real…. but they are… and remember, this costs you money!



Posted on July 15, 2013 at 6:32 pm
Marvin Jensen | Posted in MLS Fail | Tagged