Utah Ghost Town Is ‘Wonderfully Peaceful’ Opportunity for Buyer Who’s Unafraid

Utah ghost town for sale

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There is something to be said for having your own space to get away from it all. After all, who hasn’t thought aboutheading for the hillsto escape the rat race?

If you’re looking for just the right patch of land to make this dream a reality, consider purchasing the former Maple Creek Mine property, which is currently a ghost town. A very reasonable $225,000 gets you 154 acres of forested land and former mining town in Helper, UT.

It’s quite affordable, says listing agent Mike Metzger. Some people are paying that for a little city loft.

Maple Creek Coal Co. opened the mine in 1927. Itwas in operationuntil a fire in 1931,but two different companies later operated the mine.

Ghostly structure
Ghostly structure

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Surrounding wilderness
Surrounding wilderness

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The foundations of approximately 30 old buildings are still in place, as are remnants of a tramway that once ran through the mining town. The coal vein has long been tapped out, but old roads and trails still wind through the trees amid wildflowers, crumbling stone walls, and rusting pieces of metal.

A country road provides year-round access to the property, which is covered with maple trees. Thetrees are rare for this part of Utah.

The opening to the abandoned coal mine is also on the property,but it’s been boarded up for safety. Roughly four or five spotson the large spread are perfect for building cabins. The area is also home todeer, elk, moose,and possibly bears.

Stone building
Stone building

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Potential treasure?
Relics are scattered throughout the property.

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Treasure hunters will enjoy finding relics scattered throughout the property.

Their trash is our treasure nowadays, says Metzger, who has found old tricycle parts, a fireplace, mining generator hood, and tram cables amongother items on the property.

The Western Mining and Railroad Museum is also located in Helper,andSalt Lake City is two hours away by car.

It’s got some amazing history, and I have no cellphone service when I’m showing it so it’s wonderfully peaceful, says Metzger. It’s just cool.

One potential buyer is considering rebuilding the old mining town and turning it into a ghost town attraction. Those who are easily spooked need not fret, though: A buyercan also usethe propertyas a private recreation area. Ghosts, begone!

The post Utah Ghost Town Is ‘Wonderfully Peaceful’ Opportunity for Buyer Who’s Unafraid appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com.

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7 Tips on How to Find a Good Real Estate Agent

Tips on How to Find a Good Real Estate Agent

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Whether you’rebuying or selling a house, understanding how tofind a good real estate agentis essential. Your agent will help youthrough all steps of the process and answer the myriad technical, tactical, and financial questions that arise, so you don’t have to waste hours Googling into the abyss. A good real estate agent will also have a clear handle on the ins and outs of the housingmarket in your area. Below are some of the best places to turn to find someone you know you can trust.

1. Find the agent with the most listings

One simple, somewhat passive way to find the bestreal estate agentis to identify which agents have the most listings in your area. Experience with many clients indicates a certain amount of ambition and hustle. Be warned, however.

If they have the bulk of the listing in your community, what priority do you think they will assign your home and yet another listing? asksJason Opland, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Realty in Columbus, OH.

2. Get referrals from family and friends

Another common strategy for finding an agent is through word of mouth. Ask your family, friends, and neighbors whom they recommend.

If people close to you have used an agent they liked, then you’ll probably like them as well, says agentAmy McDonaldof Triplemint in New York City.

Be sure to explicitly ask Wouldyou use the person again? saysDenise Shur, a Realtor with 1:1 Realty in San Jose, CA.Shur also thinks hiring a friend or family member as an agent could work if you reasonably believe they will look out for your interest like nobody else will.

3. Get a referral from your previous agent

If you’removing to a new area, you could reach out to your previous agent for a referral.

My brokerage has a network of agents we use across the country, and we can refer you to someone who would likely be a good fit, says McDonald.

4. Ask a relocation specialist

A cross-state or cross-country move can be daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with any real estate agents in the area.

Your best option is to contact an agent who specializes in relocation and works with agents from across the country and has access to agent performance and production reports, says Opland.He says a relocation specialist can collect information onthe type of property you’re looking for and use that to match you with a top professional in your area.

5. Look for community leadership

Here’s an outside-the-box approach: Look beyond the performance numbers and find agents who have actually invested in the area.

Work withsomeone who believes in your communityand does more than sell homes-someone who participates in local schools, developing businesses, or charities, says RealtorRodney Camrenof Keller Williams Realty Intown in Atlanta. Someone who is really investedwill sell more than your home-they’ll sell your entire community when the potential buyer presents themselves.

6. Evaluate what ‘good’ means to you

Your ideaof a good real estate agent is probably different from someone else’s, so it’s important to make a list of qualities you most desire in the person you hire to sell or find you a home.

‘Best’ is a very subjective term, saysAlex Cortez, a Realtor with Island Sotheby’s International Realty, in Makawao, HI.

Does good mean they’re the most ethical,havethe highest sale volume, orhave the greatest experience? Do you want an agent who takes charge, or one who focuses more on making you feel heard? Is customer service the highest priority?

Keep in mind, you will be communicating with your agent for (potentially) several months as you search for a home, submit an offer, and go through theescrowprocess, says Cortez. It would be in your best interest to find an agent with whom you have a natural rapport.

7. Make surethe agent’slicense is up to date

Before you sign with an agent, there’s one more thing you should check:the agent’s license. To check that the license iscurrent, go to your state’s real estate department website and look upthe agent’s name. You will also be able to see if the agent hasfaced any disciplinary action.

The post 7 Tips on How to Find a Good Real Estate Agent appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com.

This week in property management news: October 16, 2017

property management news

Why online reviews matter; Five things to look for before investing in a rental property; Vacant properties on the rise in NYC; And, Airbnb beginning to develop branded apartments.

Why those online reviews matter

Nearly 62% of potential residents use apartment reviews and curb appeal during their beginning search for a rental. Rental Housing Journal shares the importance of online reviews.

Five things to look for before investing

Realtor.com shares 5 things you always want to search for before investing in a rental property.

Vacant properties on the rise in NYC

NYC landlords are facing more and more pressure to lower rents as vacancy rates rise. HousingWire shares the latest.

Airbnb developing branded apartments

Newgard Development Group of Miami is partnering with Airbnb to develop the company’s first ever branded apartments.

The post This week in property management news: October 16, 2017 appeared first on Buildium.

Do Home Seekers Need to Sign a Contract to Tour Homes?

Do Home Seekers Need to Sign a Contract to Tour Homes?

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It’s human nature forfolks to want to sneak a peek at their neighbor’s open house-even if they’re not truly home seekers looking to buy. Trust us, stopping by to grab a cookie and gawkis something we’ve all done (or at least thought about doing).

Casuallookers can wander in without so much as leaving their name, but if you’re actually serious about buying a home, do you have to sign a contract with abuyer’sagentbefore making the rounds to visit homes for sale?

You certainly don’t need to be with an agent to drop in on an open house-and visiting a few can help you refine what you’re looking for, which in turn helpsyour future agent help you.

Butsmart buyers willreach out to a real estate agentto help with the process, saysSteve Ujvagi, owner of Atlanta-based Keller Williams Results Team.

Assuming you, as a buyer, have found an agent who is kind, sane, hardworking, and knows the local market. It would be in your best interest to commit to that particular agent, he says.

Theremight be some agents who are fine spending days with a client with no contractual obligation, but othersmight refuse to work with a buyer who won’t sign one,Ujvagi notes.

Whyhome seekers should sign a contract with an agent

Once an agent knows you have committed to working exclusively with him, you are likely to seehis level of servicerampup.

A contract confirms that the buyer has essentially committed to making sure the agent gets paid fortheir efforts, Ujvagi explains.

And in return for that loyalty, the agent shoulddo allhe can forthe client, making the contract a win-win for both parties.

Yes, the contract is binding

But, wait! Let’s say you’ve signed with one agent butyou meet another agent who would love to represent you. Sorry, the contract between the buyer and agent is binding for the designated amount of time (usually three to six months). Technically, you can work with multiple agents as long as you haven’t signed anexclusivity agreementwith someone.

Risks of not signing a contract

If youdodecide to consult more than one agent, proceed with caution.

If you work with more than one real estate agent, chances are none of them will put forth much effort because you may purchase through another agent, saysBeverley Hourlier, an agent with HC Realty in San Diego. They will work harder for you when they know they’ll eventually get paid for their efforts.

And here’s a reality check: You probably won’t find your dream home any faster byasking multiple agents to search listings for you.

All real estate agentshave access to the same information through their multiple listing services,Hourlier says.

How to avoid a misunderstanding

Any agent who is trying to work with you should ask questionssuch as Are you currently represented by an agent? and Have any other agents shown you homes? saysDenise Shur, a Realtor with 1:1 Realty in San Jose, CA. But if not, you, as the buyer, can bevery clear with an upfront statement such as I will let you know if I choose you as my buyer rep; I am currently interviewing other agents, too.

But if you still feel unsure about signing a contract to look at homes, consider asking for a short-term arrangement to make surethe agent isa good fit.

The post Do Home Seekers Need to Sign a Contract to Tour Homes? appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com.

37 Real Estate Closing Gifts for Millennials

Real estate closing gifts have become standard in the industry. With that said, the most important aspect of a real estate closing gift isn’t necessarily the gift itself, but the message behind it. That message should be to welcome a client to their new home and not simply serve as a thank you. Millennials, as you know, are also not your run-of-the-mill clients. They’re busy, tech-savvy, and know what they want.The type of gift you choose and when you give that gift has a major effect on how your service will be remembered, so it’s important to get it right – especially for this shrewd demographic.

Real estate agents want to provide a service that results in referrals. Ultimately, it’s the easiest way to generate new business. Since giving a closing gift is one of the last interactions you’ll have with your client, it’s especially important. A framed photo of you with the message, ‘tell your friends’ is not going to fly – so we have some suggestions.

To help jumpstart your creativity, we’ve chosen some of our favorite real estate closing gifts for millennials. Scroll on to see our top 37!

woman gift - real estate closing gifts

Help create a smart home

The mentality toward technology has shifted from a luxury to a comfort. Electronic gifts can help a new homeowner feel comfortable and supported as they settle into their new home. Take your real estate closing gifts to the next level and show just how in-the-know you are.

1.Echo Dot or Google Home Mini

These virtual home assistants are voice-activated and help with everything from ordering online to controlling the kitchen lights. An ideal new home helper.

2.Nest thermostat

The thermostat you can set from your phone. This real estate closing gift isn’t only a convenience but a money saver.

3.Roku/Chromecast/Fire TV Stick

Give the gift of streaming shows and movies instantly. Perfect for that first post-move night on the couch.

4.Mesh Wi-Fi router

An upgrade to traditional routers, these devices get Wi-Fi into all corners of the house. They’re great for a client transitioning from an apartment.

5. LED lighting strips

Simple to cut and affix below kitchen cabinets, around bathroom mirrors, or out on the deck. Simple and energy saving.

led kitchen lights -real estate closing gifts

Party like it’s 1999

It’s always a bonus when someone asks a homeowner, ‘where’d you get that?’ And when your closing gift makes it onto a person’s holiday wishlist, you know you’ve hit the nail on the head!

6. Firepit

It’s a creative and fun closing gift to help a client make the most of a backyard.

7. Portable speakers

Especially for summer move-ins, a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi enabled speaker that’s good for indoor and outdoor use will be much appreciated.

8.Bocce balls or other yard games

Best played on a freshly cut lawn,Bocce has bounced back into popularity. Great closing gift for a family with kids.

9. Polaroid camera

Polaroids are back with a vengeance. You can even take the first shot of the new homeowners on move-in day. Did you say memorable real estate closing gift? We thought so!

10.Homebrew starter kit

Extremely engaging and actually quite simple, this is a hands-on closing gift for the do-it-yourself type client.

11. Grill set

If your client is an avid griller, this is a must.A practical closing gift for agents to give that will see real use.

grill set - real estate closing gifts

To help graduate from Seamless

Cooking makes a home feel like – well, home. These real estate closing gifts run the gamut from functional to practical to fun. Instead of buying a pizza, help your new homeowner get started on making their own!

12. Pizza stone

Perfect for the oven or the grill, a pizza stone is a step ahead of ordering takeout as a gift. It’s also a great way to help put their new kitchen to good use.

13.Soda stream

A staple of so many modern homes, a soda stream lets you make soda without all of the extra sugar.

14. Glass Tupperware set

A great closing gift for expecting families, glass Tupperware skips the BPA and are microwave safe.

15.Sous Vide

Pronounced sue-veed,this amazing tool allows you to cook meat or vegetables in a water bath to the perfect doneness. The device has become popular with new cooks and is a swanky addition to the modern kitchen.

16.Spiralizer

Veggie noodles anyone? Zucchini, carrot, or even cucumbers! Veggie noodles, Zoodles, whatever you call them are a healthy twist on a classic dish.

17.Instant-pot

A true multi-tasker, this device combines the slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, saut/browning pan, and warming pot. It’s the hippest kitchen appliance on the market.

18. Subscription to Blue Apron

The first few meals in a new home can be overwhelming. This service delivers all of the ingredients for a delicious meal right to your client’s door. Blue Apron is a real estate closing gift that relieves the pressure of cooking in a new kitchen.

19. Spice rack, complete with spices

A nice complement to a countertop and fully functional. While the spices may come and go, a spice rack can last the life of the home.

spice rack - real estate closing gifts

To entertain like a boss

Start your client’s housewarming party off right with some of these party/decorating closing gifts. Whether you’re at the party or not, you can still be the talk of it. You may want to run the idea of alcohol as a gift by your client before you spring for it, but once that’s confirmed, it’s a great way to impress.

20.Cocoa Runners

A real estate closing gift for the sweet-toothed client. Order them a subscription box that sends them monthly bars of chocolate. Yes, you heard that right!

21. Decanter

Giving a bottle of wine as a real estate closing gift seems kind of boring to us. But a bottle with a decanter, now that is stepping it up a notch!

22. Drink cart

What is old is new again. Perfect for the hipster millennial who loves their five o’clock cocktail.

23. Whiskey stones

Whiskey cubes are an easy gift set for a classy celebration. Put them in the freezer and make a toast.

whiskey stones - real estate closing gifts

To help make adulting easier

A new home can be exhausting. Once the adrenaline wears off, reality can come creeping back in. These real estate closing gifts take a little of that pressure off a new homeowner and help them enjoy the little things that make their new home feel special.

24.Bouquet of the month club

Because nothing says new home like freshly cut flowers.

25. Appointment with an interior designer

This gift won’t be perfect for everyone, but at this point, you’ve spent a ton of time with your client and probably have a good sense of the projects they want to tackle first. Have a client that can’t stop talking about crown molding and backsplashes? Bingo! This will be the perfect closing gift for them.

26.Roomba

Your clients just purchased a home and are probably exhausted. They deserve to put their feet up. Plus, who wouldn’t want robot vacuum?

27. French press or a trendy pour over coffee maker

Have a coffee-obsessed client? A generic Keurig machine won’t cut it. Help feed their addiction with a trendy caffeine machine.

french press - real estate closing gifts

To appreciate their furry friend

If your client is moving with a pet, they will appreciate anything that helps them adjust to the new space. Plus, a gift that’s not directly for the homeowner can be the most sentimental. Make note of the animal lovers and help them pamper their pet.

28.Barkbox

Not familiar with Barkbox? If your clients have a canine child they definitely will be! Trust us, it’s the perfect real estate closing gift for any parent.

29. GPS tracker for dog

If it’s a new neighborhood for your clients, that means it is for their furry friend, too. In case Fido takes a wrong turn, make sure he makes it back home safe.

30. Pet carrier

Best given before your clients move into their new home. A lush pet carrier for the right client will warm their heart.

31. A pet bed

Because Fluffy deserve to enjoy their new digs just as much as his owners.

dog bed - real estate closing gifts

To help them rest easy

Sometimes the most overlooked or altruistic things are the most appreciated. Show your clients you’re thinking ahead and have their best interest at heart. These closing gifts promote professionalism and will end a job well done on a high note.

32. Title lock subscription

Help your client protect themselves from title fraud. It’s not a pleasant topic. But it’s peace of mind that they’ll appreciate.

33. Donations to local charities

Donating to a local charity on behalf of a client is not only a feel-good real estate closing gift for them, but will also allow them to become familiar with charities and organizations in their new neighborhood.

34.Fire resistant safe

We all hope they won’t need it, but just in case.

35. Green cleaning products

Moving into a home is the perfect time to go green while keeping the place looking new.

36.LED flashlight

LED bulbs last significantly longer and use less energy than traditional bulbs, so you’ll be changing the batteries in your flashlight less. And during a power outage who want to be digging through kitchen drawers for spare batteries? Not us.

37.Cordless drill

For those clients who are tackling that renovation on their own, cordless power tools are the perfect real estate closing gifts.

BONUS #38 Updater

Any real estate agent who offers Updater to their clients knows what a great closing gift it can be. Updater has all of the tools to get them on track for a stress-free transition to their new home. With a customized timeline outlining the steps of each specific move, Updater is the perfect closing gift to help any client stay organized.

cordless drill - real estate closing gifts

A gift to remember

You want your real estate closing gift to be personal, but you also don’t want deciding on a gift to be a process that takes away focus from your business. A few solid ideas, bookmarking pages on Amazon, and creating calendar notifications that can remind you of when to pick up or deliver a gift are great options for staying organized.

So when the keys are handed off and the papers are signed, your agreement with the client is resolved, but not complete. You both did it! They’re in a new home and you’re off to help the next homebuyer, but a lasting relationship between buyer and agent can still be cemented.

As a real estate agent, when you give a strong closing gift, you begin your post-close relationship. They have your phone number and may have even added you on social media, but what you want them to remember is your hard work going forward. A closing gift is more of a symbol than a statement of that hard work.