Real Estate: A home in the mountains |

Real Estate: A home in the mountains

Buy them while they're hot

Attendees gather at The Retreat at the Park, a new housing development along Park Ave. near City Park, prior to a public walk-through of a couple units Wednesday morning, February 21, 2018. Attendees toured a two-bedroom unit as well as a refurbished historic home.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

This story is found in the 2019 edition of Milepost.

While online shopping seems to be taking over many sectors of the economy, there are some purchases that require more information and eyes on the ground to complete. Buying a home is one of them. “It’s more important than ever to have a realtor,” says Park City Board of Realtors (PCBOR) President Sheila Hall. “Local knowledge is the key.” With around 1,400 registered Realtors, there are a lot of brains to pick.

Without knowing the landscape, it can become confusing fast. Buyers need to know the difference between Silver Summit, Silver Creek, Silver Lake and Silver Star. There’s Aspen Wood, Aspen Hollow and Aspen Creek, and Snow Park, Snow Flower and Snow Country. In the long run, local expertise is a must, especially in this hot market. Each individual property has a number of factors to contemplate, such as style, location, age, amenities and condition.

There are some definite hotspots. “The Empire area in Deer Valley has seen a big increase in activity,” says Hall. “So is the Canyons Village. It’s great to see how bullish the developers are. Custom homes are now costing from $500 to $600 per square foot, and 18 months to deliver, making the resale market even more attractive and hence, pricier.” Silver Creek Village is another new development east of U.S. 40 in Summit County. “It’s a very good price point,” says Hall. “It’s exciting to see it come out of the ground.” Inventory is on the low side, however. “But it’s a good balance of markets,” she adds.

Jamie Hoppe is the new Chief Executive Officer for the PCBOR, and loves the area. She lives in Old Town, and says, “Summer seems to be busier than winter now.” She sees the opportunities and attraction in the Jordanelle area, as the economy expands regionally. “You can drive from the city and you won’t have a traffic light all the way to Mayflower,” she says.

“Interest rates are crucial too,” says Hall. “It makes $500,000 more affordable. Affordability means more than monthly payment.” But to many buyers, rates aren’t a factor, as about 75% of all sales are cash. Agents will also walk you through the important two-tiered property tax system in Utah: primary home owners pay tax on 55% of the value, while others pay on 100% of the assessed value.

William Winstead, the incoming PCBOR President, says, “This is a progressive type of growth. People invest in the lifestyle.” And many buyers bring their jobs with them, working remotely. As more people invest and live the Park City lifestyle, a realtor can also make sure you understand that city, county and school district lines can make a big difference. “People expect the same benefits of Park City,” says Winstead, when they move to an outlying area. It’s always best to lean on the pros.

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