Archive for January, 2008|Monthly archive page

2007 Park City Real Estate Transactions Reach Nearly $2 Billion

Home Prices Show Double-Digit Appreciation

30 January 2008 (Park City) – Big homes, big condos and big transactions led to a big year in 2007 for Utah’s premier destination ski area.

Find out about luxury Park City real estateIn the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2007, Park City real estate transactions reached $1.98 billion, an increase of 3 percent compared to $1.92 billion in volume a year earlier, according to a report released today by the Park City Board of Realtors.

“Our total volume in 2007 was the second best-ever year in real estate in Park City,” said Tyler Richardson, president of the Park City Board of Realtors. “I don’t think Park City real estate prices have peaked if we look at what has gone on in other resort destinations in the Rocky Mountains.”

The median price of single-family homes sold in Park City during 2007 climbed to $680,000, an 11 percent increase compared to $615,000 in 2006. Condominium sales in 2007 reported a median sales price of $559,750, a whopping 31 percent rise compared to $427,000 a year earlier. The median sales price of vacant land also climbed in 2007 to $549,000, up 17 percent compared to $470,000 in 2006.

While sales prices continued to rise, the number of single-family homes sold in 2007 fell to 828 units, a 13 percent decline compared to 957 homes sold in 2006, the report noted. The number of condominium sales showed a 3 percent drop to 778 units, down from 799 units a year ago. Land purchases dropped to 514 transactions, down 40 percent from 859 land sales in 2006. The average days on market for all types of listed properties increased in 2007 to 210 days, up 42 percent compared to 148 days the previous year.

The 2007 report included sales statistics of Summit and Wasatch counties and tracked sales volume, average sales prices and median sales prices. Sales figures varied widely among market segments and neighborhoods. Board President Richardson encouraged the public to talk to a local REALTOR® for a more complete analysis of the sales trends.

“The fundamentals for the Park City market are very good,” said Lincoln Calder, president elect of the Park City Board of Realtors. “The Park City real estate market has never been focused primarily on investment speculation.

People buy in Park City because it is a place they want to be and a place they want to bring their family and friends.”

Richardson indicated that the Park City area was less prone to the wild investment speculation that gripped many regions of the country, artificially driving up demand and prices. “People buy homes in Park City because they’ve got the income and they’ve got the ability to do it and Park City is the place that they want to be,” Richardson said. “They are making a lifestyle purchase, a family legacy purchase.”

Within Park City proper, the median sales price of single-family homes sold in Old Town climbed to $1.3 million, up 28 percent compared to $987,000 in 2006. The Prospector area witnessed a 28 percent increase in its median sales price – from $622,250 to $797,000. In Park Meadows, the median sales price rose to $1.6 million, a 14 percent increase compared to $1.4 million a year earlier. At Jeremy Ranch, the median sales price increased to $873,500, up 17 percent compared to $745,000. In Pinebrook, median prices fell to $748,000, down 2 percent compared to $764,950 in 2006.

The median single-family sales price in Kamas and Marion increased to $329,450, a 20 percent jump compared to $275,000 in 2006. In Heber City and Daniel (Wasatch County), median sales prices also climbed 20 percent, from $264,500 to $318,000. In Midway and Charleston (Wasatch County), the median sales price inched up 4 percent to $528,000 from $507,500 a year ago.

“Research tells us that the demographic trends look very positive for resort areas like Park City. Baby Boomers are now hitting their peak earning years and one of the main areas they are investing that income are second homes to enjoy with their family,” Calder said. “As more and more Baby Boomers invest in second homes, Park City real estate sales are likely to benefit.” In fact, according to the most recent data of the National Association of Realtors, vacation-home sales rose 4.7 percent to a record 1.07 million units in 2006 from 1.02 million units in 2005, while investment-home sales fell sharply, down 28.9 percent to 1.65 million in 2006 from a record 2.32 million in 2005.

“The demographics point to an increase in second-home ownership,” Calder said. “Park City has a lot of great things going for it. It is very easy to get to and from anywhere in the country. Delta Air Lines is adding an international flight from Salt Lake City to Paris this year. In addition to Park City’s world class resort facilities and year-round recreation opportunities, our community offers a wide range of cultural events including the Sundance Film Festival, Kimball Arts Festival, Park City Jazz Festival, the summer concert series and Eccles Center events just to name a few. There are a lot of great reasons why Park City is such a great place to be.”

If you would like to learn more about a private golf community being built in Heber City, Utah, contact the good folks at Red Ledges. This community is right next to Park City and Deer Valley real estate and has access to some great skiing, equestrian center, spa, adventure cabin, a Jack Nicklaus golf course, an on-site Jim McLean golf school and a Cliff Drysdale tennis academy.

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Tuscan-style is All the Rage

Old World Italian Architecture Gains Popularity in US

Old World aesthetics have recently been embraced by the United States. The proof is in the architecture! By far, the most popular housing style in the United States these days, including the Southern state of Texas, is Italiante, also known as Tuscan, the Lombard or simply, the bracketed style.

New homes in AustinTuscan-style home plans typically feature distinctive stucco exteriors and low-pitched barrel tile roofs. Tuscan-style designs may also include arched windows, raised entries and a courtyard in addition to the following:

  • Balanced, symmetrical rectangular shape
  • Tall appearance, with 2, 3 or 4 stories
  • Wide, overhanging eaves with brackets and cornices
  • Square cupola
  • Tiles
  • Porch topped with balustraded balconies
  • Side bay windows
  • Molded double doors
  • Roman arches above windows and doors

About the Tuscan-style

The Tuscan-style originated in England in the 1840s. Prior to that time, British homes were more formal and classical in appearance. With the picturesque movement, builders began designing elegant recreations of Italian villas. When this style was adopted by the US, it was reinvented again with an American twist. By the late 1860s, the Tuscan-style house was the most preferred architectural style for homes in the US, and it has maintained its popularity to this day. Why?

Historians say the Tuscan-style became prevalent for primarily two reasons:

  • Tuscan-style homes can be built with many different kinds of materials, and the style can be adapted to a wide range of budgets
  • New technologies have made the production of cast-iron and press-metal fast and affordable

If you’ve ever had the good fortune to travel to Italy, then you are already well-acquainted with the richness of the warm colors and beautiful style of this type of architectural design. Now, you no longer have to travel abroad to experience Italy; make your next house or give your current house a taste of Tuscany.

Take a moment to view an extensive photo gallery of homes that stress Tuscan design.

This article was written by Jeff Watson Homes, a custom home builder in Austin, TX who specializes in Tuscan home design. If you are looking to build a Tuscan home in Central Texas, drop Jeff Watson a line and he will be happy to talk to you about your ideas.

As a Design/Build company, Jeff Watson Homes can assure you get exactly what you are looking for. Whether you purchase one of our new homes for sale on our lot or let us help you design a new custom home to build on your lot, Jeff Watson Homes is committed to see that you remain satisfied every step of the way.

Superman Has a Great SEO Guy

Here in Metropolis, online advertising is at a premium. You have to make sure it is catchy and if it isn’t, you have to sign a superhero (or villain) to a contract to endorse your product. It’s a cut-throat world and in constant change.

So how does Superman stay at the top?

I’ll tell you how… he has a great SEO guy.

Mind you, the hero won’t tell me the secret identity of the genius behind his online image, but it is clear that he knows what he is doing.

Owning Keyword Phrases

It’s always important to own your keyword phrases especially your company name. If you don’t own this, then you are going to lose money faster than Lex Luthor lost his hair.

Superman’s SEO guy understands this and has spent hours ensuring that the word “Superman” points straight to the superherp. Open up Google and type “superman”. He owns the first three pages. Don’t you wish you could get the same for your client?

Try typing some other phrases.

  • “Superhero” – The third link should be to Wikipedia. Who is the first hero that they mention? Superman.
  • “big blue Boy Scout”, “dc” and “daily planet” – He is listed in the description of the first link.
  • Even if you put in “Lois Lane”, you get info about Superman.

To do this, you need good content, effective META tags and strong H1 tags. (And it helps if you save a school bus or two to get some good buzz.) This just goes to show that writing good content with great keywords can do you wonders.

The Importance of Good Link Campaigns

It also helps that Superman’s SEO guy has spent time building legitimate linking campaigns throughout the web, starting with Wikipedia. Inputting a legitimate page on Wikipedia became a goldmine! There are 8,756 pages linked to the Wikipedia page. Fourteen of these links are from inside Wikipedia, creating some excellent inner-linking campaigns. If you branch out and check all fourteen of these links, you’ll see that there are thousands and thousands of secondary links built in that eventually lead back to Superman.

Are Taglines or Mottos Important on the Web?

You bet they are! If you are known for a certain catch-phrase, then use it to your advantage. That’s what Superman does.

The Man of Steel? The Man of Tomorrow? The Last Son of Krypton? All of them lead to Superman.

Faster than a speeding bullet? More powerful than a locomotive? Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Even though all of these phrases contain common words, the SEO guy has spent years flooding the internet with the phrases in content near the word Superman. You can’t go to the web and type in those keywords without seeing Superman on the page.

The Love of the People

Because of his noteriety and high visibility, Superman shows up all over the place on forums and community message boards. Don’t forget that this can be extremely valuable. Those messages usually stay on the web forever and if you get a link in there, it will build history. Who knows? Maybe it will even gain you new fans.

History, History, History

Speaking of history, did you know that Superman is 70 years old? He’s also been on the internet since its inception and continues to build up his reputation with Google. I hope Google still knows who I am in 40 years. Heck, I hope they still know who I am in 10 years! You can’t buy that kind of history.

We can all take a lesson from this ingenious, unnamed guy who continues to retain his secret identity (until some villain uncovers it). He has taken basic SEO principles and applied them in a manner that is natural and unassuming. It’s almost as if he has super powers.

This article was written by Kimberly Carrillo, an SEO Specialist with IF marketing & advertising and IF Development and is also the resident comic book nerd of the company. Kimberly has spent much of her adult years reading comic books and continues to get annoyed when someone forgets to put them back in the protective bags. IF marketing & advertising is an agency in Austin, TX that specializes in making you and your website a superhero on the WorldWideWeb.

Tips for Small Business Success

Originally posted in Strategies, Austin Business-Journal, January 11, 2008

ASK THE EXPERTS

Jeff NovakHas your experience as a professional athlete been a blessing or a curse in the business world?

My experience as a professional athlete has been a blessing. Anyone who reaches the top of their profession, be it in sports or in business, understands what it takes to win. Proper preparation, dedication, sacrifice, hard work, accountability to your team, striving for a unified goal – all the things you learn in sports transcend athletics and become applicable in the business world.

Jeff Novak
CEO, IF Development
Former offensive lineman, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars

About Jeff Novak 

Jeff is the chief architect of business direction at IF Development . He is responsible for translating a client’s financial objectives into a master sales and marketing plan, complete with sales forecast, financial outlook, sales compensation plan, and identification of key marketing milestones. With the master sales and marketing plan in hand, IF Development clients have clear visibility to execution and measurement of the overall strategic game plan. Jeff Novak, who played out a career of eight full seasons in the National Football League as a hard hitting offensive lineman and is a possible future Hall of Famer, is known for his natural leadership and high moral standards. Along with Will and Tony, Jeff is also an active public speaker who is passionate about motivating young people, being a positive influence in his community, and being a person who delivers results with integrity.

Reviatalizing Yesterday: Is Urban Renewal Important to Residential Real Estate?

This is Part Two in our discussion about 2007 Real Estate Trends.
Read Part One: The Next Big Thing: Green Building

Another big trend in 2007 was urban revitalization.  In an effort to attract more people to move to their towns, city planners are remaking their downtown residential and business districts into inviting, accessible areas.

This could be something as simple as redoing the landscape to a full-blown renovation project on the town square.  Planners are also taking care to build parking areas and plan traffic around what they hope will be new hot spots of activity. 

Developers have an opportunity to find those hidden gems around the nation and start planning a residential development nearby that will offer access to these revitalized areas.

It takes a lot of research and you will need a good business network, but if you can find that part of town that you know is going to be the next Greenwich Village, then you have the perfect opportunity to put your name on the map.

For more information about Urban Revitalization, we recommend that you visit the Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org).  They have some great resources including a one-day conference called the Urban Marketplace which gives you the opportunity to look at some investment opportunities and hear more about urban strategies in neighborhoods.

Where do you go from here?

Once you find that special place to build your new development, you have months and maybe even years of work ahead of you. It can be overwhelming to someone new to the game and even to a veteran. Don’t try to do everything on your own! Be willing to find help to take some things off your shoulders so you can concentrate of creating a great space in the newly revitalized urban area.

Understanding what the market will accept is fundamental to a good real estate marketing program. A consultative marketing plan in our process will assist in establishing a baseline for all discussions with the development team as it relates to programming, product mix, product size, development schedule, etc. Need more help? Talk to a luxury real estate expert and find out what your next step needs to be.

Reference

Maltz, John. “Real Estate Trends for 2007.” The Queens Gazette. 27 Dec. 2006. The Queens Gazette. 6 Nov. 2007 <http://www.qgazette.com/news/2006/1227/features/020.html>.