Friday, June 15, 2012

Utah Forclosures Number 10 on the list--- Good News!!??!!

We have moved from the to 5 in the nation to the 10th spot. Doesnt sound like good new but we were once number 1. I would like to see us make it to 51st with everyone back on there feet and moving into the future.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's foreclosure rate is the 10th highest in the nation.

Data released Thursday by RealtyTrac Inc. shows that one in 592 Utah housing units saw a foreclosure filing in May.

That's an improvement from April, when Utah had the 7th highest foreclosure rate — with one in 419 homes seeing a foreclosure filing.

Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, California, Illinois and Florida had the highest foreclosure rates in the nation.

Nationally, RealtyTrac reports just under 206,000 properties had a foreclosure filing in May.

That compares with fewer than 189,000 homes in April.

The firm says the foreclosure increases in various states illustrates that the housing market is still on a bumpy ride toward recovery.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

5 worst 'healthy' fast-food kids meals revealed

SALT LAKE CITY — Some of our favorite foods have made the list of the five worst "healthy" fast food kids' meals.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine released the list as the summer season begins.

Javier Suarez is a father of two and said he sometimes takes his kids to eat fast food.

"The thing is that I know they are bad, but when you are in a hurry at the end of the day, you have to feed him," he said.

The committee said that foods listed as healthy really are not.

"It isn't a healthy meal if the cheeseburger's still on the plate," says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. "Fast food companies are trying to pull the wool over parents' eyes."

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Chick-Fil-A's grilled nuggets kids' meal

The Five Worst "Healthy" Fast-Food Kids Meals according to PCRM:

1. Chick-Fil-A's grilled nuggets kids' meal: contains the same amount of cholesterol as a Big Mac, according to the list.

"It's processed, they add salt to cook and preserve the food and it's also the sides and the drink," said Kasie Fondren-Jorquera, a registered clinical dietitian.

Fondren-Jorquera is a mother of three and knows the pressures of having to feed everyone on the go.

"I'm not saying that fast food can't be used as part of a normal, healthy diet, but it should be used every blue moon and in case of an emergency," she said.

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McDonald's cheeseburger Happy Meal

2. McDonald's cheeseburger Happy Meal: Contains more sodium than 13 orders of McDonald's kids fries, even though they have added fruit, according to the committee.

Nutritionists say adding apples to a meal that's already unhealthy is not going to solve the problem.

"In addition to gaining weight, it can increase their blood pressure, they start gaining fluid and overall," Fondren-Jorquera said, "it's not setting them up for a healthy lifestyle later in life."

3. Sonic Kids' Jr. Burger Meal: Contains more sugar than two Twinkies.

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Burger King's hamburger Kids Meal

4. Burger King's hamburger Kids Meal: Doctors say it contains almost as much cholesterol as six slices of pork bacon.

5. Denny's Build Your Own Jr. Grand Slam: Contains almost 100 more milligrams of sodium than the government recommends children consume at breakfast.

Dietitians advise teaching kids to reach for healthier options.

"We want to teach our children healthy eating habits now so when they are older and we let them go, they are eating healthy then also," Fondren-Jorquera said.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Top 10 Home Improvement Myths

Not all home improvements are created equal. Even in a seller’s market, it’s important that homeowners make the right investments that will yield higher returns. As you guide your clients toward a profitable sale, make sure you’re an expert on the top 10 home improvement myths so you can prevent your clients from believing them.

Father’s Day is next week, and Dad is sure to get a few tools or gift certificates to a home improvement store that he’ll be itching to use, so make sure your clients are in-the-know before then!


Top 10 Home Improvement Myths

1. Any remodeling project will add value to your home.

While many remodeling projects will add value to a home, some can be seen as a negative by future buyers. For instance, combining two smaller bedrooms to create one larger bedroom may better fit one homeowner’s lifestyle today, but it may cause the home to lose value in the eyes of a future buyer who needs the two separate rooms.

2. Buying the highest-quality materials attracts more buyers.

Installing high-end materials may seem like a wise decision, but it can backfire. For instance, using the most expensive tile in a bathroom may create an impressive appearance, but value-conscious buyers may opt for a more affordable home if the seller has over-improved compared to others in the neighborhood.

3. Adding square footage always adds value.

A better way to think about this statement is to insert the word useable into the sentence. Finished attics and basements – even if considered liveable by local standards – may not be attractive to a buyer if they are not finished to the same standards as the rest of the home.

4. Colors and textures – safe and simple is better.

Keeping a home “vanilla” so buyers can choose their own style and décor might be a safe bet, but it ignores the fact that most buyers just don’t have the ability to visualize the home differently. Without splashes of color and mixtures of texture, sellers can lose value to others that have taken the time to consult with an interior designer.

5. Inside improvements are better than outside improvements.

Not necessarily. If a home’s exterior has been neglected or doesn’t offer a good curb appeal, a buyer might stop there – and then the seller’s efforts on on the inside may not net them any more dollars. To get the biggest bang for their remodeling buck, sellers should start from the outside and work their way in.

6. Adding a bedroom is better than adding a bathroom.

It depends on the starting point. If a seller only has one or two bedrooms to start with, adding a bedroom before adding a second bath is probably a wise choice since most buyers are more attracted to three-bedroom homes. On the other hand, if the home already has three bedrooms and only one bath, the sellers’s next investment should probably be in a new bathroom.

7. Paint hides a multitude of sins.

Dry rot? Fungus damage? Mold problems? Carpenter ants? Termite issues? Nothing a can of paint can’t fix, right? Wrong! Not only does this practice violate disclosure laws in most states, it can set sellers up for liability after the sale, as most buyers will want the sellers to foot the bill for these hidden issues.

8. Converting a garage to living space is a great trade-off.

Nope. A garage conversion is almost always viewed negatively by future home buyers unless the sellers replace the lost garage with another parking and storage space of equal size.

9. Sellers can save money by doing improvements themselves.

For some homeowners, wiring a new lighting fixture or plumbing a new dishwasher is a no-brainer, but for others it may end up costing more later if they have to have the work redone by a professional. Another consideration is local and state laws regarding remodeling work: In many states if a buyer has purchased a home to remodel and resell, they must either hold a contractor’s license or hire a contractor to do the work for them.

10. Pools add value to your home.

This is only true in areas where pools are must-have amenities. In most areas of the country, pools have more limited appeal – and the idea of maintaining a pool for ten months out of the year when it can’t be enjoyed won’t appeal to most buyers.

Becoming an informed home owner is the first step in making wise and profitable decisions when it comes to choosing the right remodeling projects. But don't stop here. Talk to remodeling professionals, contractors, home improvement specialists, and local agents about what amenities are coveted most by home buyers in your market.

by Trulia Staff