Monday, April 25, 2011

St. George Down Payment Assistance Program is Back!

The City of St. George's down payment assistance program is back and is
better. They have cut it down to $6,000. That will allow more people to benefit from the funds. $6000 is really about all that is needed anyway. Funding will be available in July. Although they are starting to take applications. Please let me know if you or someone you is interested. Call Paul 435-313-6708

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bloomington Hills - Little Valley Area Zone Change

Important: Progressive Contracting, Inc is applying for a zone change in the Bloomington Hills, Little Valley, Knolls area. They want a zone change in order to continue aggregate mining operation. How will this affect our home values, the noise levels in our neighborhood, and the traffic due to the construction vehicles moving in and out of our neighborhoods. If you would like to find out more information there will be a meeting at Little Valley Elementary on March 30th at 5:30 pm. Or you could call Progressive contracting and ask for John Wilson at 435-682-6662
To view specific area they are trying to change zoning. Click on Title of this post

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011 Economic Future for St George

The Economic Summit flew into the Dixie Center with the newly acquired Life Flight helicopter and ended with the official ribbon cutting ceremony at the new St. George Airport.
Lecia Langston, Regional Economist with Department of Workforce Services assured everyone that the economy is definitely starting to rebound. She cautions not to look for the inflated 10 percent annual job growth recorded during the height of the boom in Washington County, but more realistically to a growth rate of 4 to 5 percent over the next couple of years.
Vardell Curtis, CEO of Washington County Board of REALTORS stated that this year should be very good for first-time home buyers to shop. The three main ingredients that affect buyer affordability are mortgage rates, house prices, and income. With the first two at or near cyclic lows, buyer affordability is at the highest level in decades. The National Association of Realtors Affordability Index for the third quarter of 2010 reported one of the most affordable buying markets since the inception of the index in 1971. Curtis also stated that changes will be slow and subtle and there will be no big surprises in 2011.
Keynote Speaker, Dr. Charles Sorenson, spoke on the growth of the Intermountain Healthcare system. Most recently, the cancer treatment center added some of the best in radiation equipment in the state, and this year, the new Life Flight Helicopter was placed into operation.
Guest Speaker, Jerry Atkin, Chairman and CEO of SkyWest Airlines shared the story of the company’s humble beginnings to it’s present success
Today the airline boasts a fleet of over 700, serving both the western and eastern U.S., as well as three overseas charter lines.
The Summit’s “What’s Up Down South” presenters talked about future projects that will impact the economy in Washington County for the next 18 months. Local companies undergoing expansion efforts, bringing more employment opportunities into the community included; Cox Trucking, Design to Print, Red Rock Commons, ContactPoint, Healthcare Insight, Manufacturing U, and Dixie State College.
Litehouse, maker of salad dressings, snacks and other food products announced it would be setting up new operations in the Hurricane Industrial Park as part of their company-wide expansion efforts. New to Southern Utah, they plan to hire 60—70 employees in their first year of operation and as many as 100 over the course of the next three years.
Czarnowski Display Services, another new company expanding into the area will be providing approximately 50 new jobs when they begin their operations. A manufacturer of trade show exhibits and affiliated services will be locating in the Fort Pierce Industrial Park as they continue to service trade shows around the globe.
Along with Mayor, Dan McArthur, Governor Gary Herbert praised the airport’s opening. Governor Herbert stated that the St. George airport will be a catalyst of continued economic development and expansion in the State of Utah. “This is a great day for the history of St. George,” said Mayor McArthur. - Dixie Center and the Spectrum

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Buying a home now is a no-brainer

Question No. 1: Is now the time to buy?

Question No. 2: Is buying a house a good investment?

The first answer is easy: With a few exceptions, if you have 20% to put down and good credit, now is a great time to buy. That's been the case all year, and I'd argue that we're probably closer to the end than to the beginning of the really great time. Let me explain.

Back in January home prices had dropped 28% from their peak. More important, interest rates were at historical lows. By locking in a mortgage for 15 or 30 years on a value-priced home, you were getting an incredible deal, even if home prices decreased. (I took my advice and bought a New York City apartment.)
Most (and least) affordable cities to buy a home

At the time, I thought that prices and rates were more likely to rise than fall. I was half right: Home values have been inching up since the spring, but mortgage rates, incredibly, dropped further.

By August (the latest numbers available) the median home price had risen 1% over a year ago, but 30-year rates had dropped a half-point to 4.5%. Assuming 20% down and a 30-year mortgage, the total cost of owning a median-priced home is now down $16,000 from a year ago.

Home values may waffle over the coming year, but because Americans take out such large, long mortgages, rates are what really matter. And I am more likely to grow hair than see 30-year mortgage rates drop below 4%. It's far more likely that rates (and the cost of ownership) will rise.

Now for question No. 2: Is a house a good investment?
CALCULATOR: How much home can you afford?

First, it depends on what you mean by investment. If your definition is strictly about dollars returned, a house probably won't be a great use of your capital. If you bought the median-priced house today with 20% down, to recoup your total costs (and I'm not including property taxes and maintenance here) over three decades, the home's value would have to rise about 3% a year.

That's likely, but you'll almost certainly (we all hope) do much better than that in the stock market. The fact is, however, that that's the normal case for housing; the booms that began after World War II and in the late 1990s were the exceptions.
0:00 /2:38Buying a $250K house for $40K

Of course, there are places where you might do better. I bought my condo in Manhattan, a small island that, by virtue of the business done on it, has a sustained demand for property. And smaller, energy-efficient housing in cities or inner suburbs around San Francisco or Chicago is likely to be in higher demand than big, outer suburban homes with long commutes to Las Vegas or Atlanta.

According to urban and environmental planning professor William Lucy of the University of Virginia, this move toward urbanization in American housing is the reversal of a trend that's been in place since 1945. Keep it in mind when making your buying decisions.

That said, the key point to remember is this: Buying a fairly priced home at today's rates may be the best deal you will ever get. And who knows? It may even turn out to be a good investment. CNN Money

Thursday, October 21, 2010

St George, Utah Safest City to Live In US

Being in a safe community is one of the most important factors that buyers consider when purchasing a home, condo or any other type of real estate. So where are America's most secure places to live? The Farmers Insurance Group of Companies has released its third annual ranking of top 20 'Most Secure U.S. Places to Live'.

Bert Sperling, a database expert with, compiled the Farmers rankings based on data from 379 U.S. municipalities. Factors such as crime statistics, unemployment rates and risks of environmental hazards, terrorism threats, natural disasters and extreme weather conditions, were taken into consideration.

The communities were divided into three groups - large metropolitan areas (above 500,000 residents), mid-size cities (between 150,000 and 500,000 residents), and small towns (fewer than 150,000 residents).

According to the survey, the most secure community to live in the U.S. among large metropolitan areas are the adjacent communities of Boise City and Nampa (both in Idaho), which topped all large metro areas. Located among the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the area has one of the lowest unemployment rates and enjoys a wonderful climate.

Among the Mid-size cities, those with a population between 150,000 and 500,000, the safest community to live is Las Cruces, New Mexico. Las Cruces was the first among mid-size cities in low unemployment rate and favorable climate categories.

St. George in Utah topped all small cities with populations of 150,000 or fewer in the survey. The city has 110,515 residents who enjoy a mild climate, clean air and low annual precipitation. It also has the lowest crime rates of all the 379 communities surveyed. St. George stands first in employment rate among the 138 small towns in the Farmers study.

For more information visit

How Much Home Can You Afford?

When people decide to buy a home, the monthly payment is a crucial factor. That’s why one of the most important questions that potential buyers consider is: How much home can I afford?
Affordability is a combination of home price, interest rate, and down payment. And with rates at historic lows, homebuyers have the opportunity to get more for their money….but if rates go up even a little bit they could miss out.
Here’s a simple formula that drives that point home. In simple terms, every 1 percent increase in home loan rates decreases the buying power of an individual by 10 percent in home price. This means that if you qualify for a home priced at $200,000 today and home loan rates increase 1 percent, the amount you could qualify for would be reduced to approximately $180,000 to maintain the same payment.
If you could benefit from moving to a new home, don’t let this time pass you by. By making a move now before home prices or rates increase, homebuyers can get more for their money and still get the payment they’re comfortable with. And, for those people who are thinking about refinancing, today’s situation provides you with the opportunity to reduce your house payment.

A Bargaining Asset….Most people make the mistake of initiating their quest for a new residence by searching for homes they like. However, the correct place to start is to determine how much you can afford—and that means meeting with a loan officer to get pre-approved for a loan. When you work with your loan officer to get pre-approved, the lender will review your income and assets and the terms of the loan to determine the actual loan amount you will most likely qualify for. This instantly lets you know what your actual budget is.
When you begin home shopping, knowing what you can afford from the outset sets the scope of your home-buying strategy and will help you and your real estate agent better focus your efforts to find the best home for your money.
In a real estate market such as this one, your pre-approval letter becomes an incredibly powerful bargaining tool. While it is generally accepted that the current real estate market is a buyer’s market, home sellers are still being cautious about accepting offers, because so many buyers’ funding can best be described as “tenuous.” The last thing they want is an offer from a seller that doesn’t truly have the necessary funding.
With a pre-approval letter, the seller can have complete confidence that the offer you make will be one they can rely on. That kind of peace of mind can often result in a very happy transaction for buyer and seller alike.
Information courtesy of Jeanne Fenwick-Wall/WJ Bradley Mortgage Capital Corp.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Local Foreclosure News

Although the region has experienced thousands of foreclosures among all property types, it is believed that the region is poised to experience a sustained flood of distressed properties hitting the market until about 2013, according to Allan Carter of SUTC Developer Services. He further states that banks halted a number of foreclosures in recent months amid growing fears that saturating the market with additional distressed properties would result in further price drops.
Washington County’s foreclosure rate was 4.15 percent in July, surpassing the national average of 3.13 percent and the Utah rate of 2.22 percent for the month, according to the most recent data available from CoreLogic, a California-based real estate research group.
While thousands of distressed properties are set to hit the market, Carter said investors and individual buyers would likely absorb the additional inventory, as bargain pricing drives demand for bank-owned properties in Southern Utah. “There are enough people that are aware of the home sales going on,” he said. “I don’t think you’re going to see prices go down in St. George even with the influx of additional properties.”
Scott Kerbs/Spectrum