Why are building costs so high?

We are hearing more and more how people are shocked at how expensive it is to build a new home in Utah.

It was recently reported that much of that is due to the $3.6 billion project to build a new Salt Lake City airport. They are spending between $50-$70 million per month on the airport construction and have a work force of 1,750 tradesmen. They can pay more for materials and labor and offer incentives to attract building crews away from home building projects… Last month no one could buy rebar in the state of Utah because the airport had bought all of the supply available. Construction on the airport will continue until projected 2024.

Brand new construction homes have felt this impact. The cost of building a custom home is between $170-$200 per square foot in Utah right now (including the lot). A production “tract” home will cost less, between $120-$135 per square foot.

“Experts say the trend is being driven by several factors, including dwindling availability of undeveloped land, rising costs of building materials, and a shortage of construction labor, particularly in skilled trades.”

If you are looking to build a brand new home or purchase/sell an existing home, we would love to help! Call or text us today!

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Is it Time to Move?

Dear Clients & Friends,

Our team is often approached by people who love their current homes but just frankly need a change.

Are you among them?

If so, how do you know when it’s the right time to move?

1. The Space is Driving You Crazy!

Find you can’t move around your home comfortably anymore? Maybe your closets are stuffed to the gills, and your kids are sleeping 4 to a room instead of 2. Or, maybe your problem is that your house it too empty…the kids have left, you don’t entertain as you used to, the parents are moving in with you, or maybe you’ve gone through a divorce. Whatever the case may be, space (or the lack thereof) is a good indicator that a change is needed.

2. It’s Time to Relax

Communities like Springville, Spanish Fork, and Saratoga Springs are becoming increasingly popular in UT county as the pace of life is slower there. Less congestion, larger lots, neighborhood parks, and great views, all while being close enough to the action as needed, contribute to the laid back feel. Home values are a little less, and programs like the USDA loan make it possible for some to purchase a home $0 down (USDA Loan Program).

3. Crime and Lack of Punishment

Have you or your neighbors been egged? Maybe there was a breakin a few doors down, or porch pirates have been stealing Amazon packages off your porch. We never want to imagine it’ll happen to us, but when it does, it leaves you feeling insecure and wondering if your home will be next. Neighborhoods are in a constant state of flux, especially with changes in the market, and if several homes suddenly end up vacant, it attracts squatters and vandals.

4. The Road is Making You Rage

Is your work commute killing you? In UT county there is a REAL problem with traffic. The last time the US Census Bureau evaluated it, the average commute time in Utah county was 21 minutes, but that was back in 2013 and the census bureau has not recalculated it since. Utah county builds and expands like it’s its job, and we all know traffic is getting worse, especially around major points of commerce and population like Point of the Mountain, Pioneer Crossing, and University Pkwy in Orem. Adding to that, studies have shown that sitting in traffic day after day can actually shorten your life! That said, giving up a little space to be closer to work is a valuable exchange for many people.

5. The Schoolhouse Doesn’t Rock

Is it time for your kids to change schools? Just like real estate, school quality is never static. Maybe you’re hearing things about a great new charter school, or the new principal at your current school isn’t making the sweeping changes they promised. Using sources like GreatSchools.org or SchoolDigger.com can help narrow in on a better choice. Our team has had many clients who have made the daily sacrifice to drive their kids to a great school a half hour or more away to give their children that educational head start and a great environment, but that drive is in return costing their family valuable time, effort, and money.

Whatever your specific case may be, our team would love to help you relocate if the time is feeling right.

We can help you evaluate the current market so you can make the best choice for your family. Call or text us today!

Best wishes,
Ashley, Emily, Lori, And Kim

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2018 Paint Trends

What paint color trends have been the most popular in 2017, headed into 2018?

In Utah right now, we tend to see a lot of “safe decorating” with light greys and whites.

However, the courageous have been decorating with popular accent colors such as Emerald Green, Dusk Blue, and Lilac Purple, among others.

The key to using them well includes mixing “masculine” and “feminine” tones and accents to provide balance, as well as making sure other paint colors and fixtures in the room are complementary, for example pairing a dark slate paint color with ivory trim and a copper pendant.

Here is a link of creative ways these vibrant colors are used throughout homes:

Click Here

If you are looking to making a change in 2018 or purchase an investment property, we would love to help.

Our team sold over 100 homes in 2017 and has the customer service skills and industry knowledge to help your transaction be as smooth as possible!

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2017 Parade of Homes Trends

Dear Clients & Friends,

Here were the top trends from the 2017 Parade of Homes:

1. Brick Accent walls in kitchens, family rooms, and also in fireplaces


2. Free-standing tubs in master bathrooms


3. Geometric tile patterns in bathrooms and over kitchen stoves


4. Glass cabinet doors with designs in master closets, kitchens, and great room built-ins


5. Brushed gold hardware in kitchens and master bathrooms


6. Medium Brown Wood laminate floors (They hide dirt and go with almost everything!)


7. Geometric floors in small spaces such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and offices.


8. Light fixtures with exposed light bulbs


9. Little “Costco Doors” in garages that connect to kitchen pantry make it easy to put away groceries


10. Floral wallpaper in small spaces like hall bathrooms and laundry rooms


11. White marble, quartz, or granite countertops


If you are looking for a new home, please give us a call. We also specialize in investments.

Ashley Jensen and Associates

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Healthy Utah Economy

Did you know that the average monthly mortgage payment for a single family home in Utah county is $1,739? That is based on the average purchase price of $325,000. Owning a home is more affordable than people think!

It is a great time to buy a home or investment property because interest rates are still low. Right now, a 30 year fixed mortgage is around 4% for a primary home. Interest rates will continue to rise this year, so if you buy quickly, you can take advantage of these great rates. In 1990, the average was 10.13%! So, we are lucky today that is so “cheap” to borrow money.

A lot of people worry that if they buy now, they will be paying at the top of the market price. It many ways this is true. Many homes prices have finally come up to pre-recession levels of 2006. However, one big difference today is that Utah is one of the top states in the country for job and population growth. We have SUCH a shortage of inventory on the market for homes priced up to $450k.


Experts anticipate that it will take several more years for supply to match demand. One great thing about all of the job growth in Utah is that incomes are rising too, which makes it more “Affordable” to purchase a home. The median UT county household income yearly is approx. $62,180, making a mortgage payment roughly 33% of a family’s annual income.

If you are looking to purchase or sell a home in 2017, we would love to help. We have the skills and expertise to win bidding wars. We also invest thousands of dollars in grass roots advertising campaigns that help us uncover homes that are not on the market but would sell-particularly in Provo and Orem. No one will work harder or smarter for you than us!

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Spring Trends 2017

We are often asked about current design trends so wanted to send out what is in vogue right now! If you are thinking of doing some updating/cosmetic changes to get your home ready to sell, we’d love to talk!

Grey Toned Flooring

Quirky Lighting (chandeliers, pendants)

Subway Tiles (backsplashes, accents)

Bronze & Gold Accents (no brushed metals)

We would love to help any of your friends or family looking to buy or sell a home or investment property this Spring!

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Ashley’s List

Dear Clients & Friends,

My team and I are often asked for recommendations for anything from antique dealers to painters to lenders. We have a compiled a list of the best tradesman we have found or that have been recommended to us by clients. We feature our preferred tradesmen on “Ashley’s list” on our website: click here to see the list.

Also, you can have access to these same tradesmen by downloading an app called HomeKeepr: click here. That way you have our recommendations at your fingertips!

If you need a tradesman or contact not categorized on the list, call us today to see if we can refer you to someone!

It is still a great time to buy or sell in Utah. We would love to help you list a home or find your next property. Contact us today to get started!

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Silicon Slopes

Over the next 5 years there is going to be much change at the Point of the Mountain in Utah also called “Silicon Slopes” because it is becoming the high-tech center of Utah.  The Utah State prison is going to be relocated west of the Salt Lake City Airport, which will leave its current location ripe for development.   In the surrounding North Salt Lake Area there will be 20,000 acres of land that will be projected to be used to high-tech company campuses such as Google.

Theresa Foxley, the deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development has said, “If we do this right I think this can be an absolute jewel not only for the state but the country in attracting the best talent, marquee companies, and creating a real culture within the state that’s exciting, vibrant, dynamic and diverse,” she said.

This is a prime time to purchase investment properties in the area because this redevelopment will bring thousands of jobs and people from out of state-which will only continue to drive up home prices.  We would love to help you find one today!

Here is a website that shows the latest in update at the point of the mountain redevelopment:  https://pointofthemountainfuture.org/

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Staging to Sell

This year, I have had the opportunity to help many people sell their homes in Utah. I often get asked for staging advice and here are a few tips that I can offer. We have all heard the tips that you have to remove family pictures when you want to sell a home and paint the walls white, but I actually don’t think that it’s completely true.

More importantly you need to create open spaces and declutter a home so it feels clean and spacious. Often countertops and mantles are filled with papers, picture frames, books, and so forth that keep a buyer from seeing the beautiful tile or woodwork.

Or, rooms are so filled with furniture, rugs and decorations that the buyer doesn’t notice the high ceilings, big windows, or large size of the room. Eliminating about 1/3 of the items in a house generally creates effective staging.

Another very important aspect of staging a house is deep cleaning. Make sure the floors shine, carpets have been professionally cleaned, bathrooms and kitchens sparkle and smell clean. Buyers love the feeling of a clean house!

Also little handyman fixes are important: make sure there are no loose door knobs, closet doors are on their hinges, drawers open properly. Little things go a long way!

If you are thinking of selling your home, my team and I would love to help!

Best wishes,
Ashley Jensen and Associates

Ashley Jensen, Emily Jones, Lori Summers, Kathryn Isom, & Rob Borden

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Rising Utah Home Values

Dear Clients & Friends,

Real estate is a lot like seasonal change: unpredictable, up-and-down, at times welcome, at other times not. Recently here in Utah County, especially over the last year, we have seen home prices rise as inventory has fallen. Those two factors make for a seller’s market.

This year, the Wasatch Front has seen an almost 9% increase in median home price from 2015 (click here for more info)! That’s huge as the typical national real estate price increase year to year is 3-4% on average. You can read more recent studies on our market here.

What does this mean for you? If you have been considering selling your home, now may be the time. Presidential elections historically influence the real estate industry along with all other industries, and who knows if this time next year you could get the same price you want for your home.

Thinking of selling your home as a “for sale by owner”? You may want to watch this first.

My team and I are happy to present you with a complimentary home evaluation so you will know what your home is worth in today’s market. If you are a previous client of ours who has bought a Utah home with us, watch for one in your email inbox soon!

Best wishes,
Ashley Jensen, Emily Jones, Kathryn Isom, Lori Summers, Lisa Leach, & Rob Borden

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