Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 20

Best St. George, Utah Pizza Joints

by Jeremy Larkin

When going on vacation to an unfamiliar town, It’s always easy to call Domino's or Pizza Hut and just get pizza that you always have delivered to where you are staying. But then one wonders, where is a good pizza place in St.George?

Not saying that Domino's or Pizza Hut isn't good pizza, but there are so many unique pizza places in St.George that if you were deciding on pizza, you might want to try these places to try something different!

The Pizza Factory: One of the oldest pizza places in St.George. There are two locations of Pizza Factory: one on Red Cliffs Drive and one on the Boulevard. The one on the Boulevard is the oldest Pizza Factory ever! There is also a Pizza Factory Express on Sunset in St.George for a quick order of their delicious food! They are known for their homemade pizzas and their delicious bread twists! Order one huge pizza for the family to share, or individual pizzas for each person to have their own! www.stgeorgepizzafactory.com



Peir 49 Pizza: Known for their San Francisco style pizzas! Certain pizzas have a sourdough crust that is so delicious! Their different gourmet pizzas will make you dying to try every single one of their pizzas! http://www.pier49.com/​


The Brick Oven: Has a very authentic taste to their pizzas due to the fact that the oven is an old fashioned brick oven. All of their pizzas are cooked to perfection, and will taste like your eating pizza from an old town Italian restaurant! www.brickovenrestaurants.com


Roys: An Italian restaurant that uses only locally grown produce to make the more quality food. They have been in business for 25+ years, and they have always been known for excellent food, service, and atmosphere! www.royspizzaandpasta.com/


Riggatti's:  These guys are the "newest" comers to the St. George pizza market, and they ARE SO GOOD! Honestly, it's my favorite pizza joint any more - really. They wood-fire their product and cook it thin. It just kind of melts in your mouth. Check them out here: http://riggattis.com/ 

No matter how you slice it - yes, pun intended, pizza is just plain good stuff, and St. George has some pretty darn good offerings. Still not sure? Shoot Jeremy an email directly and he'll be glad to chat: larkin@gostgeorge.com.  Enjoy!

St. George Pests! What is Integrated Pest Management?

by Carson Hunt, H&& Pest Control

Pest control, everyone needs it, but what is IPM? Well, here in St. George the temperature is warming and the bugs are starting to move around. Whether you own a business or want protection for you home, the most effective and green friendly method of keeping pests outside is to choose a pest management professional that follows an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan.

IPM is a process involving common sense and sound solutions for treating and controlling pests. These solutions incorporate three basic steps: 1) inspection, 2) identification and 3) treatment.  Treatment options vary from sealing cracks and removing food and water sources to pesticide treatments when necessary.

Most importantly, IPM requires a partnership between you and your licensed pest professional. In working together, you can have the peace of mind that your business and home will be protected against pest-related health and property threats.

IPM Treatment and Inspection Techniques

When it comes to pest management, there are very few “standard operating protocols.” Instead, your pest professional will assess YOUR unique situation to develop a comprehensive cure to your pest problem, which could include any of the following techniques:

  • Applying pesticides
  • Using various trapping devices
  • Emptying trash containers frequently
  • Keeping trash containers clean both inside and out
  • Keeping full trash bags tied securely and placed in outdoor garbage storage areas
  • Cleaning outdoor garbage areas to remove debris
  • Using tight fitting lids and/or closed dumpsters to store garbage outdoors.
  • Emptying sink strainers and running the garbage disposal frequently to prevent food build up in the drain area
  • Washing dishes immediately after meals to prevent pests from consuming food residue on dishes
  • Cleaning food particles and grease from kitchen appliances (toasters, ovens, microwaves, ovens, stoves, and refrigerators)
  • Storing pet food in re-sealable containers
  • Limiting the amount of time that pet food and water dishes are left out
  • Storing food products in plastic snap-lid containers or kept in the refrigerator
  • Vacuuming and sweeping floors and furniture regularly, especially around eating areas such as kitchens and living rooms
  • Cleaning food storage areas and shelves regularly, where pests may be harboring
  • Sealing gaps around plumbing, wall outlets and switch plates to prevent pests from migrating from infested units to others, and much more!

 By doing your part to fulfill the Integrated Pest Management plan you are taking an active approach to keep pests from walking through your doors.  More than just a pest "band-aid" that doesn't address the problem, IPM works as a cure.  We at H&H Pest Management believe in the IPM process and we believe that by working together, your home or business will be properly treated and pest free.

 For more about IPM and to see videos of IPM in action check out whatisIPM.org.  As always feel free to contact us at H&H for any questions regarding your pest control concerns.

 

By: Carson Hunt

St. George City Golf Club

by Kendall Clements, Escape Properties

St. George City Golf Club is a “need-to-play” type of course. One of the biggest activities in Southern Utah and surrounding areas is golfing. Therefore, we have some amazing golf courses around town that are worth going to if you are the type of person that loves to golf.

St. George golf club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Located in an area known as "Bloomington Hills", this is one of St. George's favored golf courses. This course is very unique in the fact that this one is run by the St. George City itself. It's been running for 30+ years and is considered a "traditional" 18-hole course. Because it is an older course, the fairways are wide open and greens are less risky. 

The price for an 18-hole game is between $22-$33, depending on the time of year you decide to go golfing. They also have many events to choose from! So come to St. George and try golfing here for yourself! 

For more information, go to http://stgeorgecitygolf.com

 

Kendall Clements is the owner of Escape Properties in St. George, Utah, a firm specializing in fully furnished vacation rentals. Kendall is a super guy and knows a great deal about Southern Utah. You can contact Kendall at (435) 414-1524, kendall@Escape2StGeorge.com, or visit him at http://www.escape2stgeorge.com/

4th of July in Dixie! - Larkin Group Local's Spot

by Jeremy Larkin

As many of our friends and clients know, not only was I born and raised in Utah's Dixie, so was my wife, so was my Father. While we tease him about being one of the original "Pioneers", he has certainly been around to see some changes and has instilled his love of the area in his children.  

He grew up on old "Flood Street" and when I was a kid it still "flooded!" Then of course the City came along and installed nice drains and took the fun away...

 

We know and love this town and decided to begin sharing the sites, sounds, people and culture that make St. George, Utah special. Whether it's an evening at Tuacahn, a visit to old St. George City pool, or a King Burger and fries at Larsen's Frostop, we want to broadcase to our friends and clients the little things that make Dixie "Dixie."

 

Sometimes we will talk real estate, sometimes we won't, but we commit to bringing you great insider knowledge & culture about Washington County.

Our first clip comes from the annual 4th of July celebration at the Sun Bowl & Vernon Worthen Park. Enjoy!

Tuacahn's "Les Miserables" does not Dissappoint

by Jeremy Larkin

Ok, it's time for a break from the monotony, doom & gloom of the real estate market to point out an absolute TREASURE sitting right here in Utah's Dixie. It is one of the perfect examples of why living here is so great! It is, of course, the Tuacahn Outdoor Ampitheatre & Center for the Arts.

For those who haven't been there, Tuacahn is located near the mouth of Snow Canyon State Park in Ivins, Utah ("St. George, Utah" for easy reference). Imagaine a 2000-seat ampitheare tucked up in a canyon below 1500' towering red sandstone cliffs....yes, it is amazing.

I just saw a sold-out performance of Les Miserables for the 2nd time this summer and was even more blown away than the first time! f you are familiar with the show, these 2 to the left absolutely stole the show as the characters they portrayed most often do in any casting of the program.

I've seen the show in London & Las Vegas and quite frankly, this was surprisingly comparable. My brother has seen it in even more venues and said the same. We ran into old friends now living in Huntingon Beach, CA who were absolutely mind-boggled at the setting & performances.

My brother & father were arguing about who should pay for the tickets. Many thanks to the winner (or loser) of that argument!

I'm going to make sure I see Big River before the season is out, (October 17 for Big River, the 18th for Les Mis). You should too!

 

Aspiring First-time Home Buyers who have been sitting on the proverbial real estate fence may see their "ship" coming in this year in the form of a new Federal Housing initiatives.

In the latest move by the U.S. government to stop the national housing & economic bleed, first-time buyers will be able to take advantage of a temporary tax credit of up to $7500.00.

The stipulations look like this:

-Home must be purchased between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009

-Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for full credit

-Only primary residences qualify (no 2nd homes, rentals, etc)

It's no doubt that one of the challenges the encomy faces in getting jump-started is that of fewer financing options for today's buyer. The Media isn't helping either, but despite their mass over-dramatization of the issue, we have to expand rather than contract to beat this current situation. One of the best ways to do that is to get first-time buyers off the fence and into the equity-producing tax shelters we call home ownership.

Don't Forget New FHA Limits
One program that has made a HUGE comeback this year and, quite frankly, seems to work on 99% of the deals I've seen it used in, is the FHA loan. New loan limits for FHA will be the greater of $271,050 or 115% of an area's median home price.

Conforming loan limits for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will be the greater of $417,000 or 115% of the an area's median home price; up to $625,000. In Washington County this will be $417,000.

Get detailed info here: http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/.

 

I work on a regular basis with a large volume of “expired listings.” As a matter of fact, these clients account for 25% of the Larkin Group’s total sales volume. These are Sellers who spent 3, 6, perhaps even 12 months on the market and their listing term finally “expired” without the home selling.

 

We’ve had tremendous success helping these individuals the next go-around in getting their home sold, which means that I also spend a fair amount of time communicating with potential clients from this group.

 

There are many characteristics that the expired listing sellers share, the main two being that #1 – they still own their home, and #2 – they are NOT HAPPY about still owning their home. They make lots of frustrated accusations about ‘why’ the home didn’t sell….the agent, the market, the brokerage, the weather, the neighbors, even their ex-spouse.

 

However, can I share with you the absolute #1 thing I hear from that group, bar-none? “We are just going to wait for the market to come back...and besides nothing is selling anyway!”

 

Why do they think the market will magically bounce back say, next year? Two reasons:1. Because it would financially benefit them if there were a quick recovery and… 2. because the market has never done this in Washington County before, therefore most people are in denial about the reality of the situation.

 

Homes ARE Selling

First of all, things ARE selling and the world hasn’t come to an end.  225 listings sold last month alone. Add to the fact that there are actually TWO sides to every transaction, (buyer and seller), and you are looking at 450 individuals who bought or sold on a monthly basis!  

 

But I digress…..Many Sellers are frustrated with the disparity between what they thought their home was going to be worth and what is actually is. They are concerned about a “paper” loss, if that makes sense. They want to ‘wait it out’, yet they may be waiting a LONG time. Am I saying that it is a bad time to buy? Well not necessarily at all. I’m just pointing out that statistically, Sellers may be looking for a pot of gold in terms of a short turn-around to real estate values.  Allow me to statistically prove my point.

 

If you look back over the past 10-20 years, US home appreciation has never been above around 6% on a year over year average.

                  US Home Appreciation over past 10 years

Along comes the recent housing boom and we start seeing 30%, 50% or even higher appreciation! As a matter of fact, it was 73% in Washington County over the past 5 years to be exact. The problem is that at the same time, wages were NOT increasing at those rates, and many buyers were getting into loans they could not eventually afford.

 

Fast forward to 2007/2008. Those same buyers now have their loans “resetting” to much higher interest rates, the respective profession they work in is suffering due to the housing market so their personal income is down, and the their home is now worse significantly less than what they paid for it.

 

Add that to the fact that many of the very buyers they need can’t purchase their home because they are waiting to sell their own homes, or can’t qualify for a loan in the current mortgage climate. It’s a vicious cycle, quite frankly, and one that most civilians (a.k.a “Sellers”) haven’t fully considered. Hence their (misguided) optimism.

 

And why should they have considered it? They are, of course, civilians, not real estate professionals. It’s not their job to consider it. It’s mine, and that of other real estate people who take themselves seriously.

 

Segway back to the comments about historical home appreciation. Can anyone really believe that we will EVER see that kind of appreciation again? And if so, is it really going to happen immediately following a real estate crash? No, it’s not.

 

So as Sellers consider their options and look forward to a future market recovery, they should consider the following:

  1. Home values will have to stop falling before they can rise.
  2. When they do stop falling they most likely will remain static for a period of time….could be months, could be years!
  3. Then they will start creeping back up at a conservative pace, say 3-6% annually.

That all summarized, you can clearly see that hoping for your home to be worth more, or even as much as today in the next 12 months is wishful thinking at best.

 

Prognosis:

At the end of the day Sellers may do as they see fit. They are adults and can make their own decisions. For those who don’t need to sell, please leave your home off the market! You're just clogging up the pipes so-to-speak. But my advice to those who want to “wait” for a shorter-term, miraculous turn-around to a currently frigid real estate climate would be this: pack your long-johns, it’s gonna be a cold winter.

"Amazing Deal!! Buy an Oak tree for $209,900 and we'll throw in the home behind for FREE!"

And yes, this DID come from the Washington County MLS by the way. I shall leave the agent nameless because I think he actually is a decent guy, but seriously! Am I the only one who notices the picture of the kitchen in a million-dollar home using Grandma's vintage polaroid camera with all of the shades drawn and the lights off?

It's amazing that even in a true Buyer's market, where Sellers really need and deserve the best marketing possible, Agents continue to reach new lows with their marketing standards. This is an off-shoot of another incredibly entertaining topic, "Worst Realtor Head-Shots", which can be saved for another day.

If you want some REALLY good laughs though, I can't compete with our Friend Norm Fisher in frigid Saskatoon, Canada who has taken the time to create the following website, "Unbelievable Bad Real Estate Photos of All Time." Go ahead and enjoy that one for a moment.

Another Great "Worst MLS Photos" site: http://therealestatebakery.com/category/worst-mls-photos/.  These make the 2 I've inserted here look great.

National Association of Realtors research shows that 85% of home buyers now begin their home search online, and that 24% end up buying a home that they specifically found online. Yet agents seem content to apparently take in excessive amounts of alchohol prior to memorializing a beautiful home like the one below as it tips over and crashes down the hillside into the St. George Historic District Below.

 This stuff is just another example of exactly why Real Estate Agents get such a bad rap for doing poor or no work.

Million Dollar Views!.................$35 camera.  

 

Anyone else who has seen some classics out there in your home searching? I will continue to update this post as long as we keep finding them.....which we always will. We can really have some fun by posting all of the bad MLS/ Real Estate Photos you send to us. Shoot them over to me at larkin@exitredrockrealty.com. (They will be pictured below)

 

 

4/21 - Phenomenal 2 Bed / 2 Bath Condo.....CAUTION: Extreme Radiation Present!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5/13 - I actually had a buyer client of mine email me today and ask "what kind of damage is that, fire damage?" No, it's not. It's a piece of crap photo of an otherwise beautiful home. Whoops.

 

 "No Officer, I have absolutely NOT been drinking.......hey who do you know who needs to buy or sell real estate?.............."

 

 

 

You know I wasn't going to write an offer on this home, but now that I see this picture......"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This home is ACTUALLY listed at $1.7 million.....too bad the photographer snapped this shot right as he/she was knocked to the floor by the mobs of people wanting to buy $1.7 homes right now...(the 35 mm Camera was not damaged however)

 

 

This is peculiar........and a great marketing piece!

But wait, there's more! I'm going to throw in the toothpaste if you write a full-price offer TODAY!

Can Increased FHA Loan Limits Help Washington County Sellers?

by Jeremy Larkin

I've been away a few days and apologize for not getting this info up quicker.  This is fantastic news for residents of any county in the Nation, and specifically for Washington County buyers.  For a complete list of limits for all Utah counties, click here: https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicostlook.cfm

The FHA was established in 1934 to help borrowers, particularly those with low incomes, purchase homes by guaranteeing banks that those loans would be repaid should the borrower default. But the agency's loan limits have generally lagged behind those of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and as home prices climbed dramatically and lenders with looser underwriting standards proliferated the agency became less and less of a player in the mortgage market.

As a matter of fact, FHA insured loans have been mentioned as a possible escape hatch for borrowers who may be unable to make payments on their current adjustable rate mortgages when their interest rates reset over the next year, but that plan has its' challenges.

FHA financing is NOT the same as subprime financing.  It provides financing to borrowers with some credit issues and lower down payments, but it requires documentation of income and strives to prevent “payment shock” where a buyer jumps from a low rental payment to a high mortgage payment

This is good stuff, and in addition to the benefit of current mortgage rates (which I commented on HERE), this will allow many more buyers to realize the dream of home ownership in 2008. 

As a specialist in working with expired listings, I have been asked multiple times in recent weeks, "can this increase help sellers in Washington County?" The jury is still out. The real challenge lies in the fact that according to Lawrence Yun, chief Economist for NAR, as many of 80% of today's Buyers are also SELLERS trying to sell their current home before being able to buy. Ouch.

I better start out with the following disclaimer: I KNOW you are all thinking, "but Jeremy, of course you want us to buy now....you're a dirty Realtor!".....

And yes, you'd THINK that was the case, but I'd like to hope that I'm above car salesman-like sales tactics, and if you are thinking about buying Washington County Real Estate for investment or to live in long term, you'd better pay attention to this post, and in more detail, the Time Magazine Article titled "Ignore the Headlines...."

On one hand I can't see this market not declining further, yet John D. Rockefeller made the following logic famous when he said: "The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets."  And running it is!

Allow me to share the following excerpt from the article:

Consider a typical home that sells for $218,900. You put down 20% and get a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at today's rate of 5.5%. Monthly principal and interest come to $994.31. Let's say that 12 months from now the same house goes for 10% less, or $197,010. But by then the recession is history and the Fed is jacking up rates to stem inflation. If mortgage costs rise a point, to 6.5%, your monthly payment would be $994.94 and you'd have saved nothing. Meanwhile, home prices might steady and sellers might become less willing to negotiate. And you have spent a year living someplace you'd rather not be.

To make matters worse, you'll have just spent 1 more year in a place you don't like! 

Here it is - read it and give me your thoughts!

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1713483,00.html 

 

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 20

Syndication

Categories

Archives

Contact Information

Photo of Jeremy Larkin - The Larkin Group Real Estate
Jeremy Larkin - The Larkin Group
Keller Williams Realty
50 E 100 S, Suite 300
St. George UT 84770
435.767.9886
Fax: 435-359-5085

St. George Real Estate - Your premier destination for St. George,Utah Real Estate Listings, Home Values, MLS Search, REO/Foreclosure Info &  St. George Real Estate Statistics.  Serving St. George, Santa Clara, Ivins, Washington, Hurricane, LaVerkin, Toquerville & more! Specializing in REO/foreclosure properties, frustrated Sellers, First-Time home buyers, and Investors. Looking for the most LOCAL St. George, Utah real estate information available? Your search is over!