Utah Real Estate Survival Guide

Helping You Navigate Our Local Real Estate Market

Archive for the tag “real estate”

2011 Salt Lake Housing Forecast Breakfast

Please let me know, by January 5th, if you would like to join me! I have four extra tickets available for non-Realtor® guests. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home, this event would provide much more relevant, decision making information than the news you get from any of the national media outlets. All real estate is local, and this is OUR local housing report.


… 2011 Salt Lake Housing Forecast Breakfast on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 8 a.m. at the Little America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City.

This year Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS, will speak on recent developments in the housing market and the direction home prices are headed in the next 12 to 24 months.

In addition, a housing forecast by James Wood, director of the University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, will be distributed. This report will offer a glimpse of what is in store for Salt Lake County in 2011.

Seating is limited. The deadline to register is Wednesday, Jan. 5. Members are free. $25 for guests.


Are Senior or “55+” Restricted Communities Legal?

I had a sign call on one of my listings yesterday. This particular home is located in Cozy Dale Retreat, and, as the subdivision name would imply, an adults-only community. One member of the household (who also must be an owner of record) has to be at least 55 years old.

In talking with this potential buyer, she told me that she had a 28 year old son who had just had a kidney transplant and that he would be living with them. When I told her that it was prohibited in this particular community, she pulled out the “familial status” card.

Point #1: Excerpt from the Fair Housing Act, Sec. 802. [42 U.S.C. 3602] Definitions

(k) “Familial status” means one or more individuals (who have not attained the age of 18 years) being domiciled with–

(1) a parent or another person having legal custody of such individual or individuals; or
(2) the designee of such parent or other person having such custody, with the written permission of such parent or other person.

The protections afforded against discrimination on the basis of familial status shall apply to any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.

With her voice increasing an octave or two, she proceeded to tell me that it was also “age discrimination” and that it is illegal.

Point #2: Excerpt from the Fair Housing Act, Sec. 807. [42 U.S.C. 3607] Religious organization or private club exemption

(1) Nothing in this title limits the applicability of any reasonable local, State, or Federal restrictions regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling. Nor does any provision in this title regarding familial status apply with respect to housing for older persons.
(2) As used in this section “housing for older persons” means housing —

(A) provided under any State or Federal program that the Secretary determines is specifically designed and operated to assist elderly persons (as defined in the State or Federal program); or
(B) intended for, and solely occupied by, persons 62 years of age or older; or

(C) intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 years of age or older, and–

(i) at least 80 percent of the occupied units are occupied by at least one person who is 55 years of age or older;
(ii) the housing facility or community publishes and adheres to policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent required under this subparagraph; and

(iii) the housing facility or community complies with rules issued by the Secretary for verification of occupancy, which shall–

(I) provide for verification by reliable surveys and affidavits; and
(II) include examples of the types of policies and procedures relevant to a determination of compliance with the requirement of clause (ii). Such surveys and affidavits shall be admissible in administrative and judicial proceedings for the purposes of such verification.

And finally, she told me that she was fighting with two other home owner associations because the age restriction was discrimination and “illegal”. It was at this point that, rather than continuing to try to educate (and debate with) her, that I told her that there was a legal procedure to create an age restrictive subdivision in Utah and, if the community wasn’t created properly, then their age discrimination could potentially be illegal, but that this was not the case at Cozy Dale Retreat. This resulted in a fairly unceremonious “click” on the other end of the phone.

Point #3: Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 (HOPA) excerpt:

The Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA), signed into law by President Clinton on December 28, 1995, amended the housing for older persons exemption against familial status discrimination. The HOPA modified the statutory definition of housing for older persons as housing intended and operated for occupancy by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit. It eliminated the requirement that housing for older persons have significant services and facilities specifically designed for its elderly residents. It required that facilities or communities claiming the exemption establish age verification procedures. It established a good faith reliance defense or exemption against monetary damages for persons who illegally act in good faith to exclude children based on a legitimate belief that the housing facility or community was entitled to the exemption.

Thanks for reading – hope you’ll share.

Your SRES® Senior Real Estate Specialist,
Kim Novak, RE/MAX Masters
(801) 726-1443

How to Buy in Today’s Buyer’s Market

Buy like you’ll have to sell tomorrow.
Avoid buying someone else’s mess.
Buy with the future in mind.

1. Buy like you’ll have to sell tomorrow … the formula is pretty straight forward.

Part One: The cost of selling a home in today’s market is approximately 10.5% of the sales price. 6% real estate commission, .75% title fees, .75% tax proration and 3% seller assistance with the buyer’s closing costs.

Part Two: The effect of the previous quarter’s appreciation or decline in market value, based on comparable homes in the neighborhood.

Example: If the market value of similar homes in the neighborhood declined 2% in the previous quarter, you would ideally want to negotiate an ultimate sales price 12.5% under the CMA (comparative market analysis) prepared by your Realtor®. On a home where the CMA = $200,000, goal would be to purchase at $175,000 plus whatever you are asking the seller to pay for YOUR closing costs.

Note that I did not refer to “list” price. The homes that are selling today are already priced below the median price of comparable homes actively listed.

2. Avoid buying someone else’s mess … the stains on the carpet are only the tip of the iceberg

I always tell my clients that what happens at the front door sets the tone for what to expect in the rest of the house. Even the “banks” have figured out that they simply cannot sell foreclosed properties as-is. That’s why the vast majority of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac/Homesteps owned homes aren’t put back on the market until they have 1) fresh two or three tone paint 2) new floor coverings and 3) new appliances.

Homebuyer’s Tip: Budget for three times the amount that you think you will need to get a “fixer upper” to the stage that you would be proud to live in. Trust me, you will discover hidden (expensive) defects in a home that has been, on the surface, neglected. There are very, very few “fixer uppers” that need only “cosmetic” repairs.

3. Buy with the future in mind … never say never

Yes, you will move again. Or, at least, prudence would dictate that you plan for the day that you may want to or need to. Here is a checklist of features and amenities that cannot be “repaired”, but matter for resale:

~ location, location, location
~ situs = view, exposure, street type, lot size
~ schools (even if you don’t have kids)
~ master bath – double sinks, private water closet
~ bedroom level laundry
~ square footage (size matters)


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