Summit County Property Tax Notices and How to Appeal


Sun Dog

Kyle Jenkins, Summit Sotheby’s International Realty Photographer

If you’re like me, you have or will soon receive your notice for Summit County property tax notices in the mail.

You are able to appeal the Market Value of your property if you feel as though it is unfairly inflated or valued incorrectly. For example, if your “This Year’s Market Value” is $500,000 and you think your home is more fairly valued at $450,000 (or you just paid $450,000 for it), then I would consider filing an appeal.

You have from July 31 to September 16 at 5:00pm to appeal Summit County property tax notices. Appeal Applications can be found at the Utah Summit County website, SummitCounty.org. They can also be accessed directly at http://www.co.summit.ut.us/assessor/boe.php.

I am able to help by providing comps to support your case in lowering the value.

If you feel that your assessed value is less than what your home is worth, it means lower property taxes and generally property owners do not appeal to increase their value. What the Board of Equalization shows as the value has no bearing on what your Market Value is.

Questions or Comments? Call or email me.

Summer and the 4th of July in Park City: Nothing is More All-American


Few spots on Earth can beat summertime in Park City, when back-to-back festivals and celebrations, coupled with ideal temperatures and blue skies, have truly made it the year-round community it has always claimed to be. Included is the epic 4th of July in Park City.

Throughout the summer, activities abound, especially those of the musical variety, with free concerts programmed nearly every night of the week. On Sundays, after spending the day at Park Silly Sunday Market, head out to Pinebrook for the return of the concerts at Quarry Village, sponsored by the new Billy Blanco’s Motor City Grill, which joins Park City restaurateur Bill White’s collection of restaurants, including Grappa, Chimayo, Wahso, Windy Ridge, Ghidotti’s and Sushi Blue. Wednesdays at 6 p.m., many locals head up to Deer Valley for the Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series, picnics and coolers in tow, while Thursday night it’s a toss-up between the kid-friendly concerts at Newpark, or the more refined (though also kid friendly) “Plaza Palooza” shows at Silver Star. Silver Star also hosts the “Park City Limits” music series on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer, while live music is programmed each Saturday afternoon on Main Street at Miner’s Park. Just pick a day, and the music maven in you can easily find his or her groove.

In many areas of Utah, July 4th receives scant attention compared to July 24th, or Pioneer Day, the statewide holiday celebrating the day Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley, which receives greater fanfare than Independence Day in most communities. Ever the rebel, Park City favors America’s birthday with a day-long celebration worthy of a Norman Rockwell painting, while Pioneer Day is a mere blip the average local’s radar.

Before getting into the dawn ‘til dusk activities for the 4th of July in Park City, the 3rd bears noting, since that’s when Canyons Resort holds its much-anticipated annual bash, complete with free music by the Soulistics at 7:30 p.m. and a massive fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. This year, Canyons shows its altruistic side by charging $5 for parking in the Cabriolet lot, with all proceeds going to People’s Health Clinic. Click here for all the details.

Another not-to-be-missed activity is the Oakley 78th Annual PRCA Rodeo, when small town charm mixes with big guns from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Running July 3- 6, tickets always sell out, so get yours early by clicking here.

Arguably the most patriotic July 4th celebration in the state, Park City’s affair begins at 7 a.m. with a Pancake Breakfast in City Park ($7 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under), continues with the Park City Ski Team 5K Fun Run at 8 a.m., while rugby games, live music and a BBQ take over City Park beginning at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., look for the annual F-15 fly-over, followed by the famous 4th of July parade, which starts at the top of Main Street, switches over to Park Avenue at the bottom of Main, and ends at City Park, with more than 70 floats strutting their stuff. From noon – 4 p.m., check out the food, beer garden and vendors in City Park, go home and take a nap (you’ll need it!), and then return for spectacular fireworks over Park City Mountain Resort at dusk.

Newpark Town Center (at Kimball Junction, by Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter) is also getting in on the July 4th action, with a 6 p.m. concert featuring Fox Street All Stars, while Deer Valley comes alive with the Latin-infused triple bill of Los Lonely Boys, Los Lobos and Alejandro Escovedo.

Be sure to sleep in the next morning to rest up for the Cole Sport Back Alley Bash beginning at 5 p.m. on July 5. A decades-old tradition and local’s appreciation day for KPCW 91.9 FM, the event moved from Cole Sport’s parking lot (or “back alley”) years ago to assume its new roost on the Town Lift Plaza. The music-laced event is free, with all food and beverage purchases benefitting KPCW.

From July 10 – 14, our quaint mountain town becomes a foodie’s paradise during the annual Park City Food & Wine Classic. Food artisans, wineries, breweries and distilleries come together to taste and sip their way through the weekend at individual events with cutie-pie names like “Mud, Sweat & Cheers,” “SUP & Suds,” “Pigs & Pinot,” “A Zinful Day of Single Tracks” and “Belgium Makes it Better.”

For additional epicurean adventures, beer aficionados can head up to Stein Eriksen Lodge each Tuesday for its popular “Hops on the Hill” event, while produce paramours can be found at the Park City Farmer’s Market every Wednesday at Canyons Resort’s Cabriolet parking lot (however, because of Canyons’ July 3 festivities, the market will be held on July 4th).
Exhausted yet? Wait until you see what August has to offer!

Condo Financing in Park City, Utah


Written by Amy Sharpless – Senior Loan Consultant at Academy Mortgage Corporation

Amy Sharpless is a local mortgage broker who intimately understands the intricacies of the Park City resort real estate market, and in particular, Condo Financing. She can broker loans, or write her own loans. Amy is approachable and dedicated to my buyer clients. She works tirelessly and consistently goes many extra miles to satisfy endless underwriting conditions, evening closings or initial client meetings on weekends. As a guest blogger, here she speaks to some of the fine points of condo financing in Park City.

Because of the resort nature of Park City, getting a loan for a condo can be tricky. There are basically three types of condos; Warrantable (can get a conventional loan), Non-Warrantable (does not qualify for conventional loan), and Condo-Hotel (just like it sounds; it is part of a hotel).

485 Windrift Lane
A warrantable condo in Park City

When a property is identified for purchase the first step I take is to determine which category the property falls into. This is done by researching the legal description (is it a condo, townhome, or planned unit development). In Park City it may appear to be a condo from the outside but it is legally a townhome or planned unit development, so different guidelines apply. The condo project is looked up on the Fannie Mae and FHA websites to see if it is approved by either entity. Currently there are no approved condos in Park City. The project is checked to see if it is on any lenders Do Not Lend List. Next I Google the property and look for any association with nightly rentals, hotels, onsite check-in desks, and hotel-type amenities. This gives me an idea of what some of the challenges a particular property might have.

Next, the HOA fills out a condo questionnaire. There is a limited review and a full review.

Limited review requirements: primary home or second home, 80% or less loan to value, established condo projects, approval done by an underwriter, no occupancy ratio requirements, and no more than 15% owners may be late on HOA dues.

Full review requirements: primary, second home and investment, 80% or more loan to value, 51% of project owner-occupied or second home, 10% of budget for reserves, no single entity can own more than 10% of project, established and new projects, no more than 15% owners late on HOA dues, and approval done by condo department at a fee.

A brief list of items that make a condo non warrantable: managed as a hotel, hotel conversions, hotel or motel in name, onsite registration AND nightly rental, restrict occupancy, timeshares, co-ops, houseboats, 20% + of space is not residential, single entity owns more than 10% of project, or the HOA is in pending litigation.

If a condo is warrantable, the buyer can get a conventional (normal) loan, fixed rate or adjustable rate at current market rates. If the condo is non-warrantable or a condo-hotel the loan will have to go to a portfolio investor. They typically requires 30% down and only have adjustable rates available at this time (3, 5 and 7 years). The rates are usually 1%+ higher than a conforming loan.

Contact me for more information or specific questions.

Amy Sharpless

Senior Loan Consultant (Sharpless/Hoyt Team)

Office 435-645-3923 – Mobile 435-640-1878 – [email protected]

NMLS ID: 294849 – License #: 5460939 – Company NMLS #: 3113 – State #: 5491140

It’s Closing Time … What Could Possibly Go Wrong?


In 1967, a pair of psychiatrists decided to assign a points value to the most stressful life events as an indicator of whether stress can make people physically ill. Among the items listed on The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale are the obvious contenders: Divorce, death of a spouse and imprisonment. Unsurprisingly, listed among the 43 “Life Change Units” are a series of situations that apply to real estate scenarios, including the acquisition of a large mortgage or loan, change in living conditions and a change in residence.

Though closing on a home does not specifically appear on the list, anyone who’s been on either the seller or buyer side of the process can attest to the stress it can cause, especially when the unexpected happens.

According to the Home Buying Institute, the things that can go wrong before closing day are numerous. As a buyer, some of the most important things to do (or not do) before the big day include:

  • Keep your financial situation the same was when you first applied for a loan. This isn’t the time to buy a new car, open a line of credit or withdraw/transfer money from your account, so create a voluntary spending freeze.
  • Acquire a cashier’s check for the amount enumerated on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement you’ll receive a few days before the closing date. This statement will have the finalized list of fees for which you’re responsible.
  • Be sure to have a homeowners’ insurance policy in place.
  • Avoid changing jobs before closing. If your income goes down, it will negatively affect your debt-to-income ratio, and entails many paperwork changes to the loan documents.


If possible, take a moment to review the documents prior to the big day for typos or incorrect information, either of which can delay closing time because they’ll need to be re-drafted. The money pros at the TheMotleyFool.com suggest previewing the aforementioned HUD-1 settlement sheet prior to the closing, as it lists all of the closing costs and loan details. This can be viewed at the Department of Housing and Urban Development site by clicking here.

MSN Real Estate notes that a common delay in closing occurs when one or more parties fails to bring an important piece of paper or ID to closing, so make a list of the essentials with your title agent and other real estate professionals, and create a file to bring with you that day.

When it’s finally time to close, push for an appointment early in the day to allow for the unexpected, and anticipate a crowd in the closing agent’s office. This can include the home seller, seller’s realtor, title company representative, attorneys (in certain situations), buyer and lender. In reviewing this ragtag crew of characters, it’s important to note that one of the things that can go wrong is having certain parties fail to show, such as just one spouse from a divorced couple appearing when the title is in both their names, or the failure any other party to show who didn’t realize they needed to be present.

Another delay can occur if the buyer doesn’t have the funds necessary to cover their portion of the closing costs, or if other mortgages have not been paid off prior to the closing transaction.

However, most closings go off without a hitch, with a smooth transition of property from seller to buyer, and the ceremonial exchanging of the keys signaling the end of an era and the start of a new beginning.

Summit Sotheby’s International Realty named to Real Trends 500


Park City, Utah (May 15, 2013) – Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, a luxury real estate firm in Park City, Utah, today announced it was included on the REAL Trends 500 list of the 500 Largest Brokers in the United States.

The REAL Trends 500 is an annual research report that identifies the country’s largest and most successful residential firms as ranked by closed transaction sides and separately by closed sales volume. Summit Sotheby’s International Realty was ranked #46 on the closed sales volume list and #159 on the closed transaction sides list.

“We are very proud of Summit Sotheby’s International Realty and all the firms in our network named to the REAL Trends 500,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “It is a tremendous achievement and a true recognition of the success of their organization.”

REAL Trends, Inc. is a leading source of analysis and information on the residential brokerage and housing industry. For more info visit: realtrends.com/products/rt500/real-trends-500-by-volume.

“We are honored to be ranked on the REAL Trends 500 as it is a testament to our sales associates and employees’s hard work and commitment to excellence,” said, Thomas Wright, principal broker/owner of Summit Sotheby’s International Realty. “With the support of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand, we are focused on serving the needs of our clients and helping them achieve their real estate goals.”

Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, which has offices in Park City, Salt Lake City and St. George, offers exclusive Sotheby’s International Realty marketing, advertising and referral services designed to attract well-qualified buyers to the firm’s property listings. The listings from Summit Sotheby’s International Realty also are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global Web site, as well as on the company’s local Web site, www.summitsothebysrealty.com

Summit Sotheby’s International Realty is located at 1750 Park Ave, Park City Utah 84060. For additional information, please contact 800.641.1884.

The Sotheby’s International Realty® network currently has more than 13,000 sales associates located in approximately 660 offices in 49 countries and territories worldwide. Each office is independently owned and operated. Sotheby’s Imprint has an agreement with Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC to provide print management solutions via the SI Premier Platform Portal to its network outside the United States.

About Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC

Founded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings, the Sotheby’s International Realty network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of theSotheby’s International Realty name and the development of a full franchise system. Affiliations in the system are granted only to brokerages and individuals meeting strict qualifications. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC supports its affiliates with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Franchise affiliates also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit www.sothebysrealty.com.

2013 Statistics from Park City Board of Realtors – First Quarter


Park City Board of Realtors
Press Release
April 26, 2013

Park City, Utah – 2013 Statistics from Park City Board of REALTORS® have just been released for the first quarter of 2013 showing the number of sales are up 17% from the first quarter of 2012. The sales dollar volume is up 28% over the same time-period last year, climbing from $239 million in Q1 of 2012 to over $306 million for Q1 of 2013. With 402 closed sales already this year, Mark Seltenrich, Statistician for the Park City Board of REALTORS® said, “This is the best first quarter we have seen since 2007.”

Inventory

The current inventory of active listings in the greater Park City area is lower than it has been since 2006. As of April 1st, there has been a 21% decrease in listings since April 1st of 2012. The current number of listings is down 47% since the high mark in July, 2008.

Distressed Sales

Foreclosures have become a less significant part of our market. Distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) now make up only three percent of active listings and accounted for only 13% of sold properties in Q1– down from 23% in Q1 of 2012.

Single-Family Homes

The number of sales for single family homes in all areas in Q1 increased 18% compared to Q1 of 2012, and the median sales price rose 30% to $619,500. The median price for single family homes in the Snyderville Basin and Jordanelle area was up 28% reaching $634,500 from Q1 of last year, though down slightly from the year-end 2012 figure of $649,000. The median price of a home within the city limits for the first quarter was $1,312,500, up 12% from the first quarter of 2012 and up 22% from the year-end 2012 figure.

Condominiums

Overall, condominium sales decreased 3% from Q1 of 2012; however, the number of sales inside the city limits was up 21%. The median sales price within the Park City limits was $639,000, which is down 18% from the first quarter of 2012—though well above the 2012 year-end figure of $522,500. While the number of sales in the Snyderville Basin and Jordanelle area was down 23% compared to the first quarter of 2012, the median price for a condo was $334,128, which is up 22% over the first quarter of 2012 and up 8% over the year end 2012 figure.

Vacant Land

Vacant land sales increased 45% in the first quarter of 2013 with 74 transactions compared to 51 transactions in 2012. Lot sales increased in both the city limits, up six sales (75%), and in the Snyderville Basin and Jordanelle areas, up 19 sales (73%).

The median price of a vacant lot, for all areas, fell 9% in the first quarter of 2013, dropping to $182,150 from $200,000 in 2012. Lot prices within the city limits climbed 10% from $468,000 in 2012 to $514,500 in 2013. Median lot prices in the Snyderville Basin and Jordanelle areas dropped from $237,000 in 2012 to $180,000 in 2013, a 24% decrease. “These lower prices will not be sustained and prices through the rest of the year should rise as there are far fewer lower priced lots on the market. Prices overall, although higher, are still a great value,” Seltenrich said.

Looking Ahead

Buyer activity continues to be strong, and historically sales in the first quarter of the year are slower than the remainder of the year. This means that competition for certain properties, especially single family homes under $500,000, will be harder to find. Though, with interest rates remaining historically low, today’s buyer has 43% more purchasing power than they did in 2006, as reported by Rick Klein of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

The low inventory is increasing the pressure on price. In some market segments, the absorption rate for a new listing is as low as 1.8 months on the market, while in others it is 144 months. Jeff Spencer notes that, “There are still specific areas within our market that are slower to respond to price increase and demand; therefore, opportunity still exists for good buys. It is important to consult your local REALTOR® to find out what the market is doing in your neighborhood.”

For further information, contact the Park City Board of REALTORS®

Jeff Spencer Marcie Davis Mark Seltenrich
President President-Elect Statistician
435.640.4770 435.602.9577 435.901.1561
[email protected]     [email protected]     [email protected]

Make Your Home Energy Efficient and Get a Tax Break


As this year’s dreaded TAX DAY looms ever closer, many of us will be looking for any way possible to reduce our tax burden. If you had invested in one of many possible ways to make your home energy efficienct back in 2012, you’d have one less tax deduction to uncover.

Energy Star LogoWhen Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 on January 3 of this year, they extended the tax credit for “incremental residential energy efficiency improvements.” That means homeowners can receive 10-percent credit (not to exceed $500 in total credits) for energy efficiency measures installed in both 2012 and 2013. According to the folks at ENERGY STAR (which, in case you didn’t know, is a joint effort of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, and U.S. Department of Energy), eligible measures to make your home energy efficient include:

  • Biomass fuel property
  • Central air conditioning units and air-source Heat Pumps
  • Electric Heat Pump Water Heater
  • Home Sealing
  • Insulation
  • Natural Gas and Propane Furnaces
  • Natural Gas, Propane, Oil Water Heaters
  • Windows
  • Window Film


To learn more about product eligibility, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewable and Efficiency, or the Tax Incentives Assistance Project.

By making energy efficient choices, you can lop off approximately one-third of your energy bill, while also reducing greenhouse gasses. And anyone who has visited the Salt Lake Valley this winter knows, firsthand, that something has to be done to reduce our carbon footprint.

If you’re ready to begin making energy efficient upgrades to your home, you can start by assessing your home’s energy use via ENERGY STAR’s Home Energy Yardstick. Then, use the Home Energy Advisor for recommendations on energy-saving home improvements, which are customized by zip code. They also have tips for remedying common household issues, such as cold floors in the winter, drafty rooms, ice dams and peeling paint. Find out how to address these issues by clicking here.

The original DIY channel, TLC, has compiled a truly exhaustive (as in, I became exhausted just reading it) list of ways to improve the efficiency of your home, but you might want to start by perusing Rocky Mountain Power’s Energy Efficiency Tools & Resources, which are a bit less daunting, and then complete the Department of Energy’s online home audit.

As springtime approaches, be sure to have your sprinklers inspected and reset by a professional, which can save hundreds of dollars on your water bill, while also preserving that rarest of high mountain commodities. Better yet, Xeriscape your yard using native, drought-tolerant plants and hardscaping. Park City Municipal Corporation has some helpful information on getting started.

Finally, do what our parents kept reminding us to do, and turn off the lights, close that refrigerator door, and turn down your thermostat to conserve energy. Park City school kids are currently participating in the annual Cool The Earth program, and it’s high time many adults learn what is becoming second nature for our youngest residents.

Dog Friendly Park City – Where Can Fido Run Free?


With the recent hullabaloo surrounding the possible move to restrict dogs in Round Valley – a favorite Nordic skiing spot among locals – a refresher on the places dogs are welcome is warranted. Though we’re a far cry from the days when you could find a few pooches snoozing under the feet of patrons at Main Street’s watering holes, your pup is still very welcome in dog friendly Park City, which isn’t at risk of losing its “Bark City” nickname any time soon.

Though there is a countywide leash law, dogs can frolic freely at the dog park at Quinn’s Junction. Located along Highway 248 on the road leading to the Park City Ice Arena, the park is relatively underutilized, possibly owing to the surface comprised almost entirely of wood chips. When compared to other dog parks, including the one at 700 East and 1300 South in Salt Lake City, a swath of grass would make this amenity much more appealing.

Another option is Willow Creek Park, where a trail wraps cleanly around the neighborhood and circles the park itself. Dogs should really be on-leash when near the playing fields, but you’ll often find dogs off-leash on the length of trail accessed directly across the street from the park’s parking lot. This is a connector of the scenic McLeod Creek Trail, which offers a flat, wide path from Park City to Kimball Junction, winding past the McPolin Farm on Highway 224, through wetlands and past livestock. Parking is available north of 224 at the Farm Trailhead, across from the iconic white barn.

For super social dogs, head over to the Park City Library on Park Avenue, where the hillside is often overrun by dogs of all breeds playing together, while the ponds in Lower Deer Valley offer a chance for Fido to cool off and get in a quick swim. Swimmers are also welcome at the pond located just west of Gorgoza Park along Kilby Road, while nearby in Pinebrook, the Alf Engen Trail is a fantastic place to achieve a great workout for both dog and owner. This trailhead is accessed via the parking lot that services the lower playground on Pinebrook Boulevard, but it should be noted that the area is home to many, many moose, and dogs who do not react well to
these creatures should avoid the area.

For more trail information, visit Mountain Trails Foundation’s website.

2012 Statistics from Park City Board of Realtors – Fourth Quarter


Park City Board of Realtors
Press Release
January 15, 2013

Park City, Utah – The year-end 2012 statistics from Park City Board of REALTORS® have just been released and they indicate an increase in the number of sales and total dollar volume, with inventory the lowest it has been in over six years. It also shows a slight gain in median prices compared to 2011. The total volume of real estate sold for the entire market area (Summit and Wasatch Counties) reached $1,240,542,783 in 2012 — a 15% increase over 2011.

Sales

The number of sales continued to climb in 2012 with a nine percent increase over 2011 in all property types combined, reaching 1,817 total transactions. This is up 61% over the low point in 2009.  The number of sales now surpasses the early 2000’s and is approaching the number of sales necessary to be termed a more balanced market. Sales for the year were very strong after the first quarter of 2012. Each of the last three quarters averaged over 150 sales more than the first quarter. Quarter Four is up 28% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011.

Inventory Levels

With only 1,879 active listings on the market for 2012 compared to 2,146 in 2011, the inventory level has decreased by 12%. The greater Park City market has consistently seen double-digit yearly decreases in the number of properties for sale since the high point of listings on the market in 2009. Based on an average of the past three months’ sales, this inventory represents about a 10-month supply — excluding the lots, it is at an eight-month supply for houses and condominiums. This is the lowest housing supply since the Park City Board of REALTORS® began systematically tracking the monthly active/pended listings in January of 2007.

Pricing

The median price, for all property types combined (single family houses, condos, vacant lots and fractional interest properties), has rebounded nicely in 2012 reaching $395,000 which is a 13% increase over last year, though this number is still below the median prices of 2010 and 2009. Median single family home prices continued to rise in most areas and had a five percent increase overall reaching $548,107. The median price for condos also increased seven percent to a median price of $343,000 for the entire market area.  Vacant lots had the best performance in 2012 with a 22% increase over 2011 reaching $213,750.

Within the Park City Limits area, median single family home prices show an eight percent increase over last year reaching $1,077,500. Condos are down three percent to $522,500 and vacant land is down two percent at $475,000. In contrast, within the Snyderville Basin and Jordanelle areas, the median price for a single family home is down five percent to $649,000, while condos are up 14% to $308,543, and vacant lots are up 51% to $249,500 over 2011. Significantly, even with an increase in the median lot price, the number of sales in 2012 was the same as in 2011, showing that though lots have gone up in price, the number of sales has not decreased.

Distressed Sales and Foreclosure Report

The number of distressed properties on the market has continued to drop through 2012 and the number of Notices of Default has decreased compared to previous years. Interestingly, the prices of distressed properties that come on the market are listed very close to market price or sometimes even above market. For the fourth quarter in Summit County, distressed sales accounted for only 13% of total sales which is down 31% from the fourth quarter in 2011, according to data compiled by Rick Klein of Wells Fargo Private Mortgage.

Year End Wrap Up

The Park City Real Estate market continues to strengthen with positive signs in the number of sales, dollar volume, pricing and inventory.  The combination of all of these factors points to a continued active market through 2013. In 2012 the number of sales averaged about 35 per week finishing the year with 1,817 total sales.  Mark Seltenrich, Statistician for the Park City Board of REALTORS® says, “If this rate continues through 2013, we would be looking at sales numbers approaching 2000, which would be a healthy pace for buyers and sellers.”

Prices have continued to stabilize, with most areas and property types seeing slight price increases. There were a few areas to buck that trend — most notably: condo prices in Old Town, down two percent; and home prices in Pinebrook, down 13%.  Seltenrich notes, “This could be due to buyers snapping up the lower priced properties due to a fear that once those units are gone, they will be replaced with higher priced properties.”

Looking Forward

Prices in our market have generally been falling for four straight years, with many parts of our market 40-50% below where prices were at the peak.  However the downward pressure on prices now seems to be over. Seltenrich cautions that “Price increases need to be justified by a proper evaluation of the property’s attributes, and just like the market of the past several years, a property needs to be properly priced in order to sell. An overpriced property will continue to sit on the market.”  With inventory levels in decline, there aren’t as many choices as in the past.

There continues to be strong buyer interest and activity, and the number of sales and prices will probably increase in 2013.  With specific neighborhoods responding differently to the current market, it continues to be very important to consult with your local Realtor to understand what the market is doing in your area. President of the Park City Board of REALTORS®, Jeff Spencer, adds that 2013 is off to a strong start, “Realtors are busy and writing offers. We’re looking forward to 2013 being an excellent year for real estate in Park City.”

Sundance Survival 101


There are few images more iconic than the oft-published pic of the Egyptian Theatre marquee, its black letters spelling out “Sundance Film Festival” as snow swirls down toward festival-going pedestrians on Main Street.

The photo you won’t see is one depicting the bumper-to-bumper traffic crawling at a snail’s pace down Deer Valley Drive, winding down Bonanza, and creeping toward the Eccles Center, where the bulk of premieres are scheduled each year. Though the annual 10-day homage to independent cinema can put even the most even-tempered local on edge, a little bit of planning can go a long way to ensure the best festival experience for residents and visitors, alike.

To begin, we all know Sundance is coming, so the best approach is to just deal with it. There is no better PR for Park City than Sundance, which translates to increased global awareness and, ultimately, higher property values. So make like a Boy Scout and be prepared.

One surefire way to avoid the traffic crush is to avoid Main Street, Prospector Square and Park Avenue. At all costs. Keep to the outskirts of town, approach Kimball Junction via I-80, and if you have to go to Prospector Square, approach via Hwy 40. That said, Main
Street can offer excellent star-gazing, plus there are a few lounges open to regular folks, even those without festival credentials, so if you’ve got time on your side, head to the heart of Old Town via Park City’s expansive network of free buses.

If you scored tickets during the locals’ presale, utilizing the free buses is a necessity, especially for screenings at the Temple and Prospector theatres. But parking is often available after school hours and on the weekends at Treasure Mountain Junior High and
McPolin Elementary, both of which are an easy walk to the Eccles Theatre.

But if you missed the locals’ ticket timeframe, it’s still possible to see a few flicks. Day-of-show tickets for screenings that haven’t already sold out are released each morning at the main Box Office at the corner of Heber and Swede Alley in Old Town, and wait list
options exist at each theater. Check out this Park Record article for details about the wait list. They tweak it each year, but essentially, it entails going to the theater 90-minutes before a screening and lining up to receive a number, then returning 30-mintues before
the screening, and lining up in the same order. After ticket and pass holders are seated in the theater, they begin to fill the remaining seats with folks from the wait list line. You must have the $15 for the ticket in cash, and the chances are pretty good you’ll get in for
films early in the day and later in the festival, but the chance of getting into the hottest premieres via wait list is usually pretty slim. Many of those films end up screening at the Park City Film Series, one of many local gems.

Finally, Sundance can be one of the best times to hit the slopes. While the hotels are at capacity and films are screening to sold-out crowds, the ski areas tend to be under-utilized. And with the recent round of snowstorms, Sundance 2013 can be a skier or snowboarder’s dream.