The Cache Valley Real Estate Market Has Recovered!

On this fine Lamountain hikebor Day weekend – as we busy ourselves with canning tomatoes, roasting peppers and watching football – I wanted to share the EXCITING NEWS!

The Logan/Cache Valley Market has officially recovered – Home Values are back to the 2008 prices with an average sold price per foot of $85!  (of course, this is averaging new and old, large & small home sales).  Newer homes fetch a higher price per foot, as do single-level homes and more luxurious homes.

In the past 6 months (March 1, 2015 through August 31st, 2015)  850  single family homes sold in Cache Valley – that is 22% more than the same time period in 2014!  No longer is it just homes under $200,000 that are selling..In fact 6.5% of the homes that sold the past 6 months were priced over $400,000!  (A year ago it was less than 1%).

The market has changed from a buyers market to a balanced market – and is moving towards a sellers market.  We’re experiencing multiple offers on homes and 33% of homes that sold went under contract in less than a month (total average days on market is 101 days –  with more expensive homes experiencing a higher average days on market than less expensive homes).  Almost without exception, homes that went under contract quickly were clean and well-maintained.

Another interesting fact: 13% of buyers in the fore-mentioned time frame were cash buyers! When Mortgage rates are at an all-time low (currently below 4%), and buyers are still purchasing homes with cash – this indicates a very strong confidence in Real Estate versus the stock market or other investment avenues.

Home inventory has remained at an all-time summer low…because the market is very balanced – with an equal number of homes being listed as homes being purchased.  This tight inventory poses a challenge for buyers – they must be pre-qualified financially before they go to see homes as they should be able to react quickly when they find a home that fits their needs.  The days of slowly pondering have passed. Buyer competition is fierce.  (Buyers of course need to remember that any purchase can be contingent on them thoroughly checking out the house after an offer is accepted).

Sellers, if you have been thinking about up-sizing, now is the time!  Clean smaller homes  (under $200K) are selling like hot-cakes, and the inventory of larger homes is good. Building is also a great option… check out the Cache Valley Parade of Homes next week to see the latest trends.

Please call me (435-770-9407) if you want to know what the current value is on your home.  I would be happy to perform a market analysis for you.


Cache Valley Real Estate Market Update – through May 2015

I’ve been neglectful in reporting on the Cache Valley Real Estate market…. That neglect is purely due to lack of time (or poor time management), not because of mediocre movement or a lack of positive news.

The local Cache Valley market is GOOD!  The number of homes sold this year through May (496) is 19% higher than Jan-May of last year, and the average sale price has increased to $189,483 with an average price per foot exceeding $80.  The price per foot averages are aIMG_4470lmost back to 2009 prices (great news for sellers!) with foreclosure and short sales decreasing nearly to pre market-crash frequency.

The number of residential homes for sale has not exceeded 540 at any time in 2015 (very low – especially for the summer months).  This is not indicative of a housing shortage, but a very strong/balanced supply and demand.  Well maintained, well priced homes are selling quickly – with an overall county average days on market at just 118 days, and in the past 2 months, 37% of homes listed went under contract in less than a month!!  There are still plenty of homes for buyers to choose from, but buying decisions need to be made fairly quickly to avoid missing out on the right home.

Homes in all price ranges have been selling well, however homes priced over $500,000 – because of a higher-than-normal inventory and a smaller buyer pool-typically have a longer “days on market”.

If you’ve been contemplating up-sizing or downsizing, the timing may be right.  Interest rates are still low (hovering in the low 4% ranges) making home buying very affordable.  Lending guidelines are tight, but not unreasonable.

If you want to know the value of your home, please feel free to call me for a comparative market analysis, and I am always ready-willing to help with any Real Estate needs!  (I am now with Youngblood Real Estate, but still have the same phone & email… 435-770-9407


The truth about on-line home valuations….  

The truth about on-line home valuations in Utah (i.e.… Zillow zestimates, Trulia estimates)


I frequently get calls from friends and clients – confused or upset because they saw a “zestimate” that valued their home at $25,000 below what we have it listed for or $10,000 below (or above) what they purchased it for…. Sometimes they’re excited because they think it will be justification to contest a property tax bill.

While offering an additional good marketing tool, sites such as Zillow and Trulia access information that is incomplete and therefore inaccurate.  Utah is a non-disclosure state – meaning sales prices are not public information.   Even in full disclosure states such as Colorado – where sales information is readily available, the MLS is the only really accurate valuation resource– providing important additional information such as square footage on each level of the home.  (Main level square footage is more valuable than 2nd floor footage – which is more valuable than below-grade space).

Real Estate professionals are able to access information from the MLS – evaluating home sales of homes comparable to yours in size, style, age and condition – including the very important square footage per floor comparison; thereby arriving at a reasonably accurate home valuation.  Appraisers perform an even more in- depth evaluation of “sold” comparisons –thus providing an even better assurance of  home value.

In summary:  Don’t stress (or celebrate) about a zestimate or any other on-line look up home evaluation.  If you need to know what you home would sell for right now, call your knowledgeable Realtor – ask her or him to please look at your home, take some time to pull and evaluate comparable “solds” and voila – you’ll find out within reasonable accuracy what your home is worth.

As a buyer, why should I use a Realtor?

For your protection

Buying a home is a very important and expensive purchase – probably the most important purchase you will ever make. It’s very important to have someone help you who is educated in all the facets of real estate.

Unlike hiring an attorney to represent you, it’s one of the few instances in life where you can have professional representation and you don’t even pay for it.  Realtor fees are typically paid by the home seller.  Brokerage commissions are split by the Realtor listing the property, and the Realtor bringing the buyer.  As a buyer, it is generally in your best interest to have a Realtor representing YOU versus using the listing agent who represents the seller.

Realtors have knowledge & CONNECTIONS

A competent Agent knows the market and will do research on the value of homes you’re interested in. If questions arise about properties, they do the necessary research with county records, cities, etc… they’ll find the answers to questions about animal rights, water rights, covenants etc…allowing you to make a well-informed purchasing decision.

They have connections with other professionals.  They can direct you to qualified lenders, reputable inspectors, contractors etc…

         They’re trained Professionals

  1. Real estate professionals take classes continually to make sure they’re educated on all new laws, procedures, forms etc…
  2. They have experience. .. The first time doing anything is always rocky and uncertain. experience helps take away the rockiness.
  3. Realtors pay dues for full access to the MLS (multiple listing service)- they can access and research all of the properties for sale (not just those from a particular brokerage), share listings via the internet, and then physically show you homes that interest you.
  4. Realtors are able (time allowing) to preview homes before you see them…saving you time if you’re clear on your parameters.
  5. Paperwork…They know what forms and contracts are needed and will make sure they’re filled out correctly and legally.
  6. They will manage the transactions and dates for you.
  7. Maybe most importantly, a trustworthy Realtor will negotiate the best terms for YOU. After you find that perfect home, research will be performed to determine the true market value of the home, ensuring that you know what you’re buying, and you don’t overpay


A competent, honest Realtor is invaluable in making your home purchase a smooth, safe and happy transaction.  If you’re thinking about purchasing a home I would appreciate your consideration when choosing a Realtor.  Terri Sizemore 435-770-9407

The Best Day!

Winter Glory
Winter Glory

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year”.

As I reflect on the:  many joys, some difficulties, embarrassing moments, successes, failures, new friends, fun days,  and blessings experienced in 2014 I have to say THANK YOU GOD FOR YEAR PAST, AND HURRAH FOR NEW ONE COMING!

Helen Keller- so familiar with every kind of difficulty –  profoundly expressed a New Years Resolve:

“Your success and happiness lies in you.

Resolve to keep happy,

and your joy and you

shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”

Happy New Year!

Logan/Cache Valley Real Estate Market is strong!

December sky
December sky


Though I evaluate local sales statistics  (pertaining just to Cache Valley) weekly, I’ve been neglectful in giving timely updates on the state of the market this year.  Several past clients have recently chided me – promoting this article…

The market here is doing well…Not winning any races, but on a steady, upward climb. The number of residential homes sold year to date is very slightly less than last year, but home values have increased by nearly 4% over last year and are nearing 2009 prices with a median price per foot of $79.

The median home sale price rose clear up to $175,000 the 2nd quarter of this year!  In 2011 the 2nd quarter median home sale price was just $155,000.  This figure does not reflect actual home value (ie… price per foot), but does show that larger, more expensive homes are selling again – see the breakdown below.  Year to date there have been 57 home sales above $350,000 – compared to some markets that’s certainly not impressive, but compared to 2010 & 2011 when sales above $350,000 were in the single digits – its great news for people desiring to sell a larger home.

Cache Valley Home Sale Price Breakdown 2014

Sales Price Under $150,000 (36% of total sales), Sales Price $150,000 – $200,000 (31%), Sales Price $200,000 – $250,000 (17%), Sales Price $250,000 – $300,000 (8%), Sales Price $300,000-$350,000 (4%), Sales price over $350,000 (5%).

The fact that both home values & median homes sales prices are rising is even more positive when you consider the number of new homes being built.  I haven’t had the opportunity to see new home permit stats for the year, but I know through personal interaction with many builders here that they are having a stellar year.  The market is truly improving when both new-builds and existing home sales are thriving.  Land sales have also been hot… exact numbers are hard to determine because sales in developments are often not reflected on the MLS, but in the past two years parcel sales of the lots listed on the MLS have been very good.

BUYERS:  The market is getting better, but home affordability is still extremely strong – In Cache Valley you still get a lot of home for the money, the interest rates are below 4% for a 30 year fixed with good credit, and the inventory is great!

Please call me if you want any further information on the market, need an evaluation on your home, are ready to purchase or have any other Real Estate needs.  Terri Sizemore 435-770-9407

Should I Purchase a Rental Property?

Investing in Real Estate can make terrific sense, but as in all investment strategies – there is some inherent risk…

Here is a brief summary of things to consider when purchasing a rental property:

  • Personal Finance considerations: Lenders typically require 25% down on an investment property mortgage (caveat -if part of the rental property is your primary home – as in a duplex where you live in one unit and rent the other unit out, loan programs such as FHA with as little as 3.5% down are available).  Interest rates will also be higher than the rate available on a primary residential mortgage.  Your credit, income, assets and debt ratios all factor in on the interest rate offered.  As with all mortgages, closing costs will be associated (plan on 3% of the loan amount).   It’s wise to have a large “nest egg” saved up to cover vacancy loss, improvements and repair costs.  Money desperation can facilitate unwise decisions in accepting “risky” renters – leading to serious money woes.
  • Personality considerations: Ask yourself, “Do I want to be a Landlord?”  Landlords have to screen for tenants.   Will you be able to say “No” when you need to?  Will you be able to be firm about collecting rent?  How do you feel about doing/ or hiring out repair work?  Using a property management company is a very good option (one I recommend) if you don’t want to be a landlord.  Most management companies charge around 10% of the rental income (becoming another financial consideration).
  • Property considerations: Budget will dictate some things, but when evaluating properties consider the neighborhood and associated demographics.  Properties near the university are in high demand (low vacancy), and often can glean higher rents (depending on the condition of the property), but also may have higher turn-over and more repair costs.  A single family home near a school may provide more rental stability and lower turnover once rented but may be harder to rent initially.  The age, size, condition, location and amenities (garage, laundry, yard etc…) of the property will influence potential rental income as well as the potential outlay for maintenance.
  • Investment considerations: Return on investment (ROI) a profitability measure that evaluates the performance of a business by dividing net profit by net worth,   cash flow Income less expenses, risk, and tax implications are all important aspects of investment considerations.   

Cash flow example:  

                     1900 sq. ft, 3BR, 2 BA single family home in North Logan

                     $160,000 (negotiated seller paid closing costs $4800)

                     25% down            $40,000 

                     Loan                      $120,000 @ 4.75% interest

          Payments             $626 + $100 per month tax & insurance = $726/mo

         Potential rent      $1150/mo – less 10% management fee =    $1035/mo

         Gross monthly cash flow:   $309   ($3708 per year)

                                  9.27% ROI, excluding vacancy loss & repairs – (an unknown)   

Additional tax advantages & appreciation of the asset (Real Estate has traditionally appreciated at a rate of 3 -4% per year, although we all know this is not a fail safe assumption) May make this purchase a very desirable investment decision.