Park City Real Estate News, Market Trends, and Other Useful Information.

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings and financial tips and tricks. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

May 19, 2020

Tips for Bringing a Pro Into Your Bubble

Tips for Bringing a Pro Into Your Bubble

 

Tips for Bringing a Pro Into Your Bubble

While everyone is home trying to stay healthy, a lot of people have taken to trying to do things around the house on their own. This has helped homeowners keep busy when they have little else to do. Unfortunately, some jobs are just too big for a DIY; for these jobs, you’ll need to bring someone in to tackle the issue.

This can be anxiety-inducing if you’re still trying to practice proper social distancing and avoiding contact with others. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risks when bringing someone into your home. Not only will these steps keep you safe, but they will also protect the worker who has to come in to do the job.

 

Schedule and Screen

When scheduling a service call, don’t be afraid to ask whether anyone at the company has been sick recently. While it won’t guarantee that the service person isn’t ill, knowing whether there have been ill employees in recent weeks can give you an idea of how well the company is managing social distancing and keeping its employees safe. There’s a good chance that you’ll have to answer similar questions, so the company shouldn’t have any problems with the questions that you ask.

 

Open Everything

Before the service call arrives, open any doors, cabinets, or other barriers between the worker and what they’ll be working on. If there’s a wall panel or other necessary covering that needs to be removed, go ahead and take that off too, provided that you can do so safely. The goal is to eliminate as many possible contact points that the service person would otherwise have to touch or open. Once they arrive, explain what you’ve done and ask them to let you close everything back up. This will allow them to come in, do the job, and leave without touching every door, panel, or similar objects in your house.

 

Keep Your Distance

Social distancing is critical when someone new is coming into the home. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and the worker, and try to avoid being in the same room once they’ve started their work. Greet them, see if they have any questions once they arrive, and find ways to busy yourself elsewhere. You can check in periodically to make sure that they don’t need anything, but be sure to do so from a distance. It may be helpful to wear a mask while they’re in the home as well, which they should be doing already.

 

No-Contact Payment

If possible, opt for a no-contact payment option or request that an invoice is mailed to you. If you’re able to pay online, this is likely your best option; you can make a payment from your computer or smart device without having to hand anyone your credit or debit card. If online payments aren’t an option, you may be able to pay over the phone or through some other no-contact method.

There are still no-contact options available if you aren’t able to use a card for your payment. If you’re paying with cash, put the money in an envelope and place it somewhere that the person making the service call can easily pick it up. The ideal way to do this is to have part of the envelope hanging over the edge of a table or other piece of furniture so that they can pick it up without actually touching your furniture. This is also a situation where writing a check can come in handy, as you can fill it out and then leave it to be collected without having to bother with an envelope.

 

Clean Before and After

Before the service worker arrives, take the time to wipe down the area they’ll be working in with sanitizing wipes. This will present a clean, safe environment for them to work in that they will surely appreciate. Once the work is finished and they’re gone, go over everything again and clean up to remove any germs that might have traveled in with them.

 

Stay Calm

While this is a stressful time, it’s vital to reassure yourself that it’s possible to have a service call while also staying safe. Keeping your distance and reducing possible contact points will go a long way toward keeping yourself and your family healthy. You wouldn’t be calling in someone if it weren’t necessary right now, so treat the situation with the respect that it deserves, and you should be fine.

Posted in COVID-19
April 27, 2020

New Real Estate Rules Under Social Distancing

New Real Estate Rules Under Social DistancingNew Real Estate Rules Under Social Distancing

Buying or selling a home can be stressful, even under ordinary circumstances. Unfortunately, the current state of the world is far from ordinary. The housing market is feeling the crunch, as fewer buyers want to get out and shop for a home, and fewer sellers want to take a risk with selling. I am not saying that nobody’s buying and selling, of course; the market is just going through some changes.

One of the most significant changes revolves around how buyers and sellers are handling social isolation and social distancing. If you’re thinking of selling, or are in the market to buy, here are a few new “rules” to keep in mind when entering the real estate fray in the era of self-isolation.

 

Increasing Online Presence

One of the big changes to the real estate process is an increased dependence on online resources instead of in-person shopping. This change includes REALTORS posting lots of pictures and videos of properties online, but many sellers are taking things even further than this. Recorded virtual tours, online conferences to allow buyers to ask questions about the property, and even live stream walkthroughs with a seller or agent showing the property are all increasingly popular options to supplement or even replace in-person showings and conferences.

 

Fewer Open Houses

Open houses are a popular way to show off a property to many potential buyers, but in the current crisis, these events are a big no-no. In many locales, open houses aren’t even allowed under state and federal guidelines. In states that are not explicitly banning, many sellers are still hesitant to hold an event that would bring multiple people into close contact with each other. Online “virtual open house” conferences are popping up as one option to adapt to this, letting multiple potential buyers come together on Zoom or a similar video conference service at the same time to get a better feel for the listed property.

 

More One-on-One Time

As convenient as online access and virtual tours are during the current isolation period, few if any buyers would sign on the dotted line without getting a chance to see a property in person. To accommodate this, many sellers and agents are meeting with potential buyers by appointment only. These appointments let the prospective buyer get a good look at the property in question. Simultaneously restricting the size of the meeting as much as possible and making these appointments with the understanding that if any participant feels the least bit under the weather on the day of the meet-up, then it will need to be rescheduled for another time.

 

Respecting Social Distancing

Even when buyers and sellers do meet up, the process is usually a little different than it used to be. Social distancing rules are generally respected, meaning that everyone involved should stay at least six feet apart at all times to prevent potential infection. Discussions about the property and general Q&As are more likely to occur outdoors in the open air, and any greetings or introductions skip out on traditional handshakes. Masks, gloves, shoe covers, and hand sanitizer are commonly available on site. Many sellers go through and open all of the doors and windows to both maximize airflow and to allow interested buyers access to the entire house without having to touch doorknobs or other surfaces to see inside.

 

Closing Remotely

Remote closing negotiations are becoming much more common, taking advantage of video conferencing to bring everyone together without actually having to be in the same room. There may be some instances where people have to meet up to sign the paperwork, but digital signing is more common because it removes that point of contact. Even when people do come together for closing and signing, it’s much more likely that everyone will utilize social distancing and that both parties will use their own pens instead of sharing.

 

 

 

April 23, 2020

Developing Your Isolation Routine

 

Developing Your Isolation Routine

Social isolation can be difficult, especially if you're not used to it. It sounds easy on the surface: Stay home! If you're cut off from the social contact and day-to-day routines that you're used to, though, this can have a significant negative impact on your mental (and sometimes physical) health. If you've been struggling with isolation, here are a few things to keep in mind as you develop a routine for your "new normal."

 

Assessing Your Needs

As with most things, the very first thing that you need to do is stop and look at what you need in your day. Make a list, check it twice, and see what exactly you need to include in your day-to-day activities while you're in isolation. Be sure to include not just those tasks you do every day but also things that need to be done less frequently, such as refilling pill planners or getting the laundry done. Once you have a list, plan out your schedule a week at a time on a calendar for easy reference.

 

Avoiding Distractions

If you have to work from home for the first time, you might be surprised at just how unproductive you are when working from home. Some people flourish in the work-at-home environment, while others discover that the problem with working from home is that home is where you keep all your favorite distractions. Establish office hours for yourself, both to prevent others from bothering you and stopping yourself from wandering off in the middle of the workday. For ease of reference, place your office hours on your calendar too.

 

Add Some Activity

Just because you can't get to the gym doesn't mean that you've got to give up your exercise routine. Lift weights at home, go for walks or jogs (while maintaining social distancing), check your streaming services for workout content, or buy dancing or exercise-related video games for your favorite console. While you probably won't be able to replicate the same experience that you get at the gym, even a little bit of activity every day will still do you a ton of good. For that matter, if you just set the alarm every hour to remind yourself to walk around the house, you'll still be doing yourself some good.

 

Get Out of the House

Just because you can't go anywhere doesn't mean you have to sit inside all day. The weather's getting nicer, so you should spend some time outside if you can. Maybe it's a great time to prep a garden, get your yard in shape or order the supplies you need to put up some bird feeders. Some sunlight and fresh air every day will do wonders for your well-being, both mentally and physically.

 

You're Not Hungry; You're Bored

Don't fall victim to the "Quarantine 15." It's easy right now to sit around the house and eat more snacks than you usually would because you don't have much else to do. Take a stand against overeating by finding better things to do with your time. You can also add healthy snacks and other better-for-you alternatives to your next shopping trip, replacing processed chips and candy with fruit and vegetable options.

 

Mind Your Mental Health

Isolation is very stressful, especially if you live in an area that's experiencing a large outbreak of COVID-19. All that stress, prolonged over weeks or even months, can have a substantial negative impact on your mental health. Add in the loneliness and depression that can occur as a result of social isolation, and you could be looking at some very rough times mentally. Find friends or relatives to call or video chat with to talk about your issues, and don't be afraid to seek out telehealth options for mental health as well.

 

Maintaining Your Routine

Don't assume that things will be the same from week to week. Take some time every weekend to go over your routine from the previous week, figure out what worked well and what didn't, and adjust your routine for the upcoming week accordingly. This is new to all of us, so it's ok if you need to change things up every week during your isolation. Just take things a week at a time and remember that even if you have a bad week now, you'll always have an opportunity to try again next week. 

 

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Posted in COVID-19
April 21, 2020

How to Design the Perfect Space for Learning at Home

How to Design the Perfect Space for Learning at Home

 

For the time being, school is taking place at home. While your children might already be set up with everything they need for the virtual classroom, it’s essential to give them their own learning space where they can concentrate and maintain at least some sense of normalcy for the remainder of the school year. Here are a few tips for designing the perfect space for learning at home. 

 

Set Up for Success

If your children don’t already have their own work area, it’s probably time to do some online shopping for desks. Working at the kitchen table is only a temporary solution, and you’ll be thankful when they have a designated space to study during the day. Additionally, a comfortable pair of headphones and reading lamps are essentials that they’ll need when learning online or doing homework in the evenings.

 

Recreate the Classroom

Try to create a learning environment that they’re accustomed to. In addition to a proper desk and chair, that means having organizers for their pens and pencils, as well as shelves and storage space for textbooks, art supplies, and any other items. It’s also a good idea to set them up in an area where there won’t be any distractions like television or video games. Hanging up their artwork or mounting a chalkboard on the wall can help to make it feel more like school.

 

Include Different Areas

During a typical day at school, kids benefit from a change of scenery, and this helps to avoid monotony. If you have the space for it, a cozy reading area with bean bags can help to provide them with some much-needed time away from the desk while still being studious. Similarly, a designated arts and crafts station is another way to mix it up, so they don’t go stir-crazy sitting in one spot for the entire day. 

 

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Posted in COVID-19
April 20, 2020

The Best Tech for Keeping Your House Clean

The Best Tech for Keeping Your House Clean

The Best Tech for Keeping Your House Clean

Smart home technology can improve many aspects of our lives, from entertaining to lowering energy usage. These days there’s perhaps no more significant benefit than the ability to keep your living space clean. While maintaining a healthy and germ-free environment is always essential, it’s now a top priority to stay safe. Here are a few of the ways that the latest home technology can assist in this effort.

Smart Faucets

Faucets tend to collect more germs than the rest of the home, with everyone touching them regularly. While you might be washing your hands often, any bacteria that are on your hands when you turn the sink on will spread there. That’s why a touch-free faucet that turns on and off with motion sensors or voice commands can help to reduce the spread of germs in your home. 

 

Air Purifier

At the time of writing this, the jury is still out as to whether the coronavirus can be transmitted through airborne particles. While the WHO organization has stated that initial evidence suggests the virus is not suspended in the air for extended periods, it can’t hurt to have an air purifier with HEPA filtration in your home. In theory, these advanced systems would be able to remove any virus particles from the air.

 

Steam Cleaners

One concern the media raised is that the virus could potentially get on your clothes and then brought into your home. While this does not appear to be a conventional means of transmission, there’s still much research to be done before a definitive conclusion is made. In the meantime, you can breathe easy with a steam cleaner like the Samsung AirDresser, which is touted for being able to eliminate 99.9 percent of virus particles. 

 

Smart Security

Many high-end homeowners rely on their smart security systems to keep them safe, but they probably didn’t expect it could help to keep them safe from a virus. When considering that you can unlock your door without touching the deadbolt or instruct a delivery driver to leave a package at the door without having to interact directly, these state-of-the-art systems are giving us a whole new reason to appreciate them. 

 

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Posted in COVID-19