Face it: you want to live here.

Have I mentioned that I love it here? I do. And you will, too. We have such a unique community in Saratoga Springs, Utah. People from all around the country who felt in their gut that they needed to move here. It is so common, that I just assume now that everyone who lives here experienced the same feeling. We knew we belonged here the second we walked into our current home. We just knew.

Come be our neighbors! We would love to show you why Saratoga Springs is booming. It is a lovely place to live, for many reasons. Plus: we are supposedly getting a COSTCO! Can I hear a “aw YEAH”?!

Here are two beautiful residential listings that are fully finished homes, ready for you!

In Summerhill Subdivision…

5 bedroom 3 bathroom home on Honeysuckle Drive

 

View from the front porch. Utah Lake and Timpanogos.

Link to information about the lovely home above…  utahrealestate.com/1444256

 

In Hawk’s Landing Subdivision…

Beautiful beach-style home on Osprey Trail

View from the Master Suite

Link to more information about this beautiful home… utahrealestate.com/1445673

 

There are two lakefront properties left of the four we listed this spring, right on the water in Lake Cove Subdivision. One is 1/3 acre and one is almost 1/2 acre. Both are stunning, and you can bring your own builder! If you need assistance finding one, I can help you with that!

I know, right? It’s like a dream. Just reduced to $259,000 for almost 1/2 acre of lake front property. utahrealestate.com/1434528

And, right next to that gorgeous property, sits this incredible 1/3 acre lot…

Just reduced to $189,000 utahrealestate.com/1434540

If you have a home or property you would like to buy or sell, I am here for you to help provide the best service possible.

I love my clients. I really have the best! I am honored to help them achieve their dreams in real estate.  Call me, text me, or email me if you have any questions or are in need of an agent who cares about YOU. I would love to help! Thanks!

My family in 2016.

Heather Johnson, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate – Influence Partners in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

801-369-4841

heather@bhginfluence.com

5 Reasons You Want to Live in Saratoga Springs, Utah

Saratoga Springs, Utah, incorporated as a city only twenty years ago, is growing faster than ever before. HomeSnacks ranked Saratoga Springs as the No. 1 fastest-growing city in Utah. 

 

Here are 5 reasons you want to live here.

1. VIEWS

Located north and west of Utah Lake, Saratoga Springs is a unique city, with insane views of Utah Lake and gorgeous Mount Timpanogos across the lake.

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Photography by Niki Martins of Saratoga Springs, Utah

 

We have lived here for over eight years, and these views never cease to take my breath away. We love to have company over for a BBQ or to sit around the fire, enjoying the views. Just come see. Seriously. Come see. I know we don’t look like much from over there, but once you’re on the west side of Utah Lake, you’ll see it.

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Photography by Niki Martins

2. RECREATION

Easy access to Utah Lake for boating, fishing, SUP (stand up paddle boarding), canoeing, and ice-fishing (that one is for my neighbor, Scott) makes it convenient and incredibly fun to live here. The public Marina, located in the south end of Saratoga Springs, is getting an overhaul at the moment. They are dredging it to clean it up and make it deeper.

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Friends on the Lake. No fun at all.

If you are a runner, hiker, or ATV/UTV kind of person…we have it all. Access to Israel Canyon is easily obtained at the top of Stillwater Drive.

We love to use the nearby Jordan River Trail. You can park near Inlet Park, and jump on the trail! Paved trails follow Redwood Road through the south area of our city, used by many for running or biking with kids.

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My little fam, ready to ride on the Jordan River Trail

3. IMPROVED ROADS

About a decade ago, residents were throwing parties because we finally had a stoplight by the Smith’s.

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Okay, so this ISN’T Redwood Road, but you get the gist. Photo from The Weather Channel

We deal with a bit of traffic every morning and evening with the weekday commute on Redwood Road. We have tried to patiently wait for some changes to come. Okay, maybe we haven’t been THAT patient.

AFTER many-a-public-outcry, UDOT listened. UDOT is gearing up to build wider and smarter roads, so we won’t have to endure the extra twenty minutes of the one-lane of parking-lot-esque commuting on Redwood Road, hopefully in the near future. We are all grateful that our community is finally getting what we have needed for years.

See Saratoga Springs’ Transportation Master Plan Here

“As the City’s population grows, there are additional planned arterial roads that will assist the region to keep up with the traffic demands of large populations. There is an additional north-south arterial roadway west of Redwood Road that is planned to carry traffic out of the foothills and north to I-15. There are three planned east-west arterial and collector roads that will also connect with I-15 and should assist traffic getting through the City to I-15 to the east.” – Saratoga Springs City Website

4. PROPERTY VALUES ARE GOING UP

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Homes in Saratoga Springs are selling for 4.23% more this quarter than they did in the 1st quarter of 2016. The median sales price in the 1st quarter of 2016 was $324,200. The median sales price in 2017’s 1st quarter was $337,900. (Source: Wasatch Front Regional Multiple Listing Service).

Saratoga Springs’ growth is in such a wide array of areas: businesses, developments, parks, and much more. Take a drive out here to see for yourself. Property is a hot commodity at the moment. The secret is out, and people are moving here for a variety of reasons, but there is a lack of inventory at any given moment. You may see that there are around 100 homes on the market, and think I’m crazy. (About half of those listed are new construction). Schedule to view about 5 of them this weekend. You’ll wind up seeing only 1 or 2, as the others might be under contract by then. The good news for those who are a bit too picky for this fast-paced market: we have several new developments here if you want to build a home.

5. THE PEOPLE

Don’t be looking at the tears in my eyes as I get a bit sappy. Geez! I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful the people are in Saratoga Springs. They are hidden gems. Quiet, everyday people, who love each other and serve without need of praise or reward. We had the help of several neighbors, day after day, as we put in our yard. We have seen, over and over again, the love and kindness of these wonderful people.

Here are just a few of the good guys… and this event below is just one illustration of what our neighbors do for one another.

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Volunteers after the flooding in 2012.

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Kids from our neighborhood, thanking all who helped with the clean up efforts in 2012.

We have been through a lot more together in this new city than you might expect. In 2012, we had a horrific fire in the hills to the west of the Jacobs Ranch area. Soon after that, we had a storm that caused a massive amount of water and debris to come down the mountain, ripping through our neighborhood. (Don’t let this scare you, there have been remedies put into place that will prevent this from happening again.) Video compiled by Thomas Erickson, who is one of the reasons our city is as strong as it is.

The reason I share this with you is to give you a glimpse of how a community pulls together in the face of extremely scary situations. Miraculously, the hail stones chased kids indoors to watch out the windows from the safety of their homes. Almost a dozen homes’ basements filled up with mud and debris, but nobody was trapped or hurt. I still think about this with awe. Thousands of volunteers and donated supplies, equipment, food, love and hugs were shared over the months that followed. For those of us who were able to pitch in and help, we will be forever strengthened by the experience.

One thing that sets us apart from other cities: our grit. We stick together. We are there for one another.

You can’t place a limit on people like that. Bring on the growth.

Saratoga Springs is ready for you.

 

Written by Heather Johnson, resident of Saratoga Springs, Utah, and Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens – Influence Partners in Pleasant Grove.

Sources:

HomeSnacks

Niki Martins Photography

UDOT

Saratoga Springs City

Goodreads

Deseret News

Waterfront Property in Saratoga Springs, Utah, Ready to Build your Dream Home

In the gorgeous Lake Cove community near the marina in South Saratoga Springs, Utah, these beautiful properties await your custom dream home. Bring your own builder. Watch this video on YouTube as well.

influenceListed by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate – Influence Partners, Pleasant Grove, Utah.

Heather Johnson, listing agent 801-369-4841 heather@BHGinfluence.com

4 properties available: 3 right on Utah Lake, and 1 across the quiet road, Spinnaker Bay Drive.

See the listings on the MLS below.

utahrealestate.com/1434528

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utahrealestate.com/1434538

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utahrealestate.com/1434539

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utahrealestate.com/1434540

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Lake Cove Properties listed by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate – Influence Partners, Heather Johnson, agent: Lot 1, 11, 12, 13

Map lots for sale (2)

Curb appeal is more important than you think.

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Improved curb appeal makes the difference.

As real estate agents, we often find a nearly perfect home for our buyer, one that we know is made for them. We pull up to the front of the home, excited to show them the home of their dreams. But sometimes, our clients say, “Nope. Drive on!” (or something like that), and don’t even get out of the car.

If I cannot convince them to give it a shot, I ask if I can take a few minutes to slip in to see the home and leave a card, so I can provide feedback for the listing agent.

I cringe as we drive away, knowing full well that if my clients had taken a few minutes to view the interior, they possibly would have made an offer on the home.

Here’s the deal. They didn’t like something about the exterior. Maybe it was a big deal, like extremely outdated and damaged stucco, but I probably would not take them to a home like that. Usually, the reasons they give for not being interested in viewing the interior are similar to the following: “it’s too plain”, “not enough trees”, or “I hate the color of the door”.

How do you know what improvements need to be made? Here is where your listing agent comes in.

You have hired us, so put us to work! This is a basic service that we love to do! It is no sweat off our back, and it is just a part of what we do. We recognize it will create a more efficient sale, so please do not hesitate to ask for our opinion. Involve us from the start, so you don’t jump into large-scale projects that may be unnecessary. We can save you effort, money and time spent by providing you a short list of what little fixes will do the trick.

Throwing it back…

When my husband and I were newly married, about to sell our first home, a small condominium in Palm Desert, California, we enlisted the help of an incredible real estate agent. (Dave is still rocking it, 15 years later… Check out his gorgeous properties here.)

We just knew he would tell us to completely demolish the bizarre roman bathtub in the bathroom, replace hardware everywhere, repaint the whole condo…etc. We were so nervous, because we did not have the resources or the time for all of the fixes we thought he would recommend for us.

Well, you know what? He walked through and suggested the most simple, small fixes needed to prep our home. He told us to add a fresh plant here, a little caulk on the cabinetry there, and repaint a small bathroom. We were shocked. That’s it? So, no major remodeling needed? Sweet!! We did exactly as he recommended. Our condo sold in three days. This experience was eye-opening for me. I realized what a huge benefit it was to have our dedicated agent at our side, through the whole process.

Disclaimer: of course, if your home is older, and in need of giant repairs/renovations, you might have a bigger project on your hands. But most homes have potential that can be found with only a handful of improvements.

Trust your agent’s expert opinion. Don’t be afraid to ask for it! We love to help you achieve your goal of selling your home, and want it to be as simple and smooth as possible.

Curb appeal counts for more than you would think. Best wishes for quick and painless pre-listing improvements!

Thanks, Heather Johnson, REALTOR ® with Better Homes and Gardens® – Influence Partners in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

heatherjhomes.com

For more tips on how to get the interior of your home in shape, check out my post here.

For some fun before and after pics of some extensive curb appeal makeovers, check out BHG’s post here.

4 Reasons Having Cold Feet in Winter is Unnecessary

“Wait until spring.”

It is not good advice, and completely misleading, yet you hear it from self-proclaimed experts all the time.

Sweet winter home

It is freezing outside in Utah. You are ready to sell your home, but are holding off, believing that buyers “only search when it’s warm”. One problem…

You’re dead wrong.

I have scheduled most of this week to view homes in various price ranges with clients, and yours isn’t one of them. #ohsnap #sorrynotsorry

Okay, so maybe I’m a being a bit harsh, but I’m right. Why should you get over having cold feet about selling your home in the winter? Check out these 4 darn good reasons:

1. Buyers don’t have cold feet in the winter.

2. Your home will SHINE in the winter.

3. “But the weather…?” Not a problem.

4. Inventory is down. Take advantage of that fact.

Let’s explore each of these shocking realities, one at a time.

1. Buyers don’t have cold feet in the winter.

Sellers often do.search-online

Gather ’round, kids. Let’s have a little chit-chat about what you are up to, late at night, when you really should be asleep: searching online for your next home, or making plans for your next home….so are thousands of other potential buyers.

But do you know what those potential buyers aren’t finding in their search? Your home. They could be, and they should be.

2. Your home will SHINE in the winter.

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Many potential sellers have been led to think, “if I wait until the spring, I’ll be able to sell super fast.” However, there may be an influx of listings in the spring, adding to the pool of homes that look and feel a whole lot like yours. Jump the gun, and list your home ahead of the surge.

And, as a showing tip: make sure your home literally shines with light by cleaning the windows, replacing lightbulbs, turning on outdoor lighting for showings in the evening, and opening the curtains/blinds.

3. “But the weather…?” Not a problem.

Although the Utah mountains have been dumped on this winter, there isn’t much snow on your roof. Buyers are still looking, whether it is cold or hot outside.

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As a real estate agent, I am prepared to keep my buying clients comfortable, warm and happy through our home search days. Once your home is on the market, stage your home to feel inviting, the cold weather won’t be a problem. Shovel the pathways and set the thermostat to a comfy temperature to create an atmosphere of warmth in your home. (It will take even more effort in the spring, as you’ll have your entire yard to fuss over as well).

Also, if your agent’s online marketing strategy is effective, many buyers will be able to get a great feel for your home during extreme weather, without having to view your home in person. If your listing agent does it right, online marketing can make all the difference. If your agent does nothing but list your home with a low-quality photo on the MLS, you have been duped. There are so many possibilities and options for online marketing and other strategies to get your home in front of all who are searching.

4. Inventory is down. Take advantage of that fact.

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Numbers nerds: unite. Let’s check out some stats. The Utah Association of REALTORS® publishes Utah’s home sale statistics for the nerds in the room (me). From November 2015 to November 2016, inventory dropped an astounding 23.7%, new listings dropped 8.6%, but the drop in inventory led to a rise in the median sales price by 6.4% during that same time period. (source: http://utahrealtors.com/news-center/housing-statistics/monthly-indicators-report/ accessible to Utah REALTORS®).

If you wisely choose to list your home in the winter, your home will stand out, likely attracting the buyers who are looking for your home, no matter the weather.

Call me for a consultation on the listing of your home in Utah. Thank you for stopping by!

heather-9Heather Johnson, REALTOR® with Better Homes and Gardens – Influence Partners in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

801-369-4841

heatherjhomes.com

 

Some helpful links about selling in the winter:

http://time.com/money/4083196/winter-home-sale-tips/

https://www.veteransunited.com/realestate/5-tips-selling-a-home-in-winter/

http://bhgrealestateblog.com/staging-winter-home-sales/

http://www.ferrispropertygroup.com/blog/ways-to-stage-your-home-in-the-winter/

Photo cred of the beautiful home in the main pic above… http://skonahem.com/inspirerande-hem/vintervackert-modernt-sekelskifte/

The 3 Most Overlooked Ways to Impress Buyers

Your home is for sale. Congratulations!

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As a seller, you probably will stress every day to keep your home clean. I have been there. It is not as easy as it seems, especially when you still occupy the home, or you have kids or pets. You have to stay ahead of the mess. Every. Single. Day.

It happens, what you’ve been waiting for: your real estate agent schedules a showing.

Panic-mode.

Simply *cleaning* is not enough. What more can you do to be sure that the time you spend before a home showing (prepping, cleaning, gathering up kids/pets and leaving for a few hours) is worth it?

Try out these 3 tips to drive up your potential buyers’ positive impressions:

1. Hide away all dirty laundry, clutter & garbage.

2. Put away most of your family’s pictures.

3. Bring out the good scents. 

Let’s take a closer look at these…

Number 1. Hide away all dirty laundry, clutter & garbage.

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When you are used to living in your home, you may not be thinking about the way others may like to live, or see the way you live, relative to cleanliness. A filled laundry hamper or overflowing garbage will likely be off-putting and gross to potential buyers. View your home with different, scrutinizing, eyes. Look for the most effective ways to de-clutter shelves, surfaces, and floor. Limit small knick-knacks, even if they are your favorite items.

Number 2. Put away most of your family’s personal photographs.

ts-78486658_collection-of-framed-pictures-on-console_s4x3-jpg-rend-hgtvcom-966-725Potential buyers should be able to easily feel comfortable and welcome in your home. If there are any personalized photographs or artwork that detract from the buyer feeling that this could be their “home”, you may lose them on the first look.  HGTV agrees. Check out this article.

Number 3. Bring out the good scents.

home-scentsThis one may be one of the MOST valuable tips you can receive when preparing to show your home. No matter how perfectly pristine your home may appear, a nasty smell will completely shut you down. Pet owners and parents with small children should be especially conscious of smells that you may have grown accustomed to, but home buyers are not. Eliminate ALL signs and smells of pets or stinky diapers. Have freshly-baked cookies on the counter, with a note that states, “please take one, thank you for visiting our home,” spray every room with a gentle air freshener, or simmer seasonal potpourri on the stove prior to the showing (turning off the burner before leaving). Here are 15 yummy home scent tips from “Homestead and Survival”.

These tips will take some time, energy and effort, but it could mean the difference between a sale, enabling you to move on to your new home, or having to fight your way through dozens more showings that only end in disappointment.

Thankheather-9.jpg you for stopping by. I hope this article was helpful to you. Sincerely, Heather Johnson
Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate – Influence Partners in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
heather@BHGinfluence.com

Also, check out these helpful hints.

5 Etiquette Rules Every Seller Should Know

15 tips from the Krazy Coupon Lady

The Beauty Around Us

Living in Saratoga Springs, I get to see this view. Every. Day.

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(photo credit: Niki Martins Photography)

Okay, so we might not see double rainbows every day, but come on. That mountain and lake. You cannot tell me that you don’t want to see the view from here. It is insane.

I have lived in Saratoga Springs for almost 8 years. We moved here in the Spring of 2009.

The housing market has changed immensely since that time. We had no neighbors. All of the homes sat empty for years. So many people were trying to tie up a short sale or foreclosure, and get into homes for cheap.

Now, the market is looking great, and my neighborhood has filled in nicely, with some of the most diverse, genuine, and helpful neighbors. My kids love it here. It is not just about the views. It is the people of Saratoga Springs that have made our family so grateful to live here in this lovely community.

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Choosing a neighborhood can be challenging. So, how did we know this was where we were supposed to be?

The answer was simple: we could feel it as soon as we walked into our home. Really. Jonathan and I looked at each other and didn’t even have to say a word. We just knew.

You may not know yet exactly what, where, or why you are looking for a new home. I would love to make it easier on you.

If you don’t know where to start, just call me. I’m so happy to answer any questions you may have, and help you to pinpoint exactly the home you dream of having. I’ll do my best to protect you and watch out for you at every turn.

Contact me at 801.369.4841

heather@BHGinfluence.com

heatherjhomes.com

I want to help you to see the beauty around you, wherever you want to be.