It’s that time of year again… The St. George Parade of Homes 2024!

It’s that time of year again… The St. George Parade of Homes 2024!

Here is what you need to know:

  • The Parade runs from Friday, February 16th through Sunday, February 25th.
  • Homes will be open from 10am – 7pm daily — closes at 5pm on the 25th.
  • There will be 30 homes located throughout Washington County plus 1 BONUS home.
  • When you purchase your ticket you will receive the magazine which contains the map/home addresses.
  • If you purchase your ticket on-line, you will be instructed how to obtain the map/addresses. Be sure to bring the e-ticket to any Parade home and you will receive a magazine and ticket lanyard. Maps and addresses will be available on-line, beginning February 18th to anyone who has purchased a ticket on-line.
  • You can also do a virtual tour beginning February 22nd – March 31st, 2024 when you purchase your ticket.
  • Wear shoes that are easy to take on and off as no shoes are allowed to be worn in the homes.
  • Wear socks (no bare feet allowed) and if you get there early enough in the week and day, you will be given a shoe bag to carry your shoes with you; however, bring an small bag just in case.
  • Parking may be limited at some locations so try to carpool if you can.
  • Weather can vary this time of year so be prepared for rain, random acts of snow and sunny days.

Welcome to our beauitful area! We look forward to hosting you to our town. If you need a bathroom pit stop, refreshments and/or reinforcements, please feel free to stop by our office, conveniently located off I-15 and the Sun River/Southern Pkwy exit: 4617 Pioneer Rd, Ste 100, St. George, UT 84790. We will have extra maps for you, water and snacks.

Enjoy!!

What You Should Know Before Buying Solar Panels for Your Home

What You Should Know Before Buying Solar Panels for Your Home

Although solar panels have been used on satellites since the 50’s, it’s only been in the last 5 years we have seen a 300 percent increase in solar panels on homes. However, education has lagged with the consumers. As a REALTOR with a GREEN designation, and a leader in my industry on green living topics, I have seen a variety of issues crop up with how solar panels are affecting the consumers negatively with their homes. Issues ranging from their inability to sell their home with the solar systems; having grossly mis-size the systems that are put on their homes by solar companies; solar companies going out of business and not fulfilling their warranties; and not being able to net meter with the local energy company.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge advocate for solar panels on a home and saving as much as possible in electrical consumption. The idea of living off the grid makes me giddy, however, many city laws prevent the consumer from being “off the grid”. In order to operate a solar system, panels are needed, inverters and racking the system for the ideal location, and being tied to the city electrical grid for energy storage and net metering. So, if the grid goes down, you will not be able to access the solar energy you are producing.

In order to determine the kilowatt-hour (KWh) size you need for your home, you would calculate your year’s consumption of electricity. The rule of thumb is to use a system that generates not more than your average KWh a year. I have seen solar companies put larger systems than needed on homes and it turns out more costly than needed.

You will find that solar companies get creative in making solar systems affordable. There are a variety of ways to finance a solar system, leases and even sell your energy back to the electrical company. In real estate, solar systems only add value to a home if the system is owned, not leased. An owned system is when you buy it with cash or get a loan on it to purchase it. A leased system is when it’s still owned by the solar company and you are leasing/renting the system. These systems are generally 10-20 year leases. If you sell your house in the meantime, the new buyer will be required to assume the lease – which opens a pandora’s box of issues depending on how the lease is written. If buyer doesn’t want to assume the lease than the seller/current homeowner is required to pay a fee to have the system moved to the next home they purchase.

Needless to say, if you are looking into putting a solar system on your home, be sure to do your homework and research to make sure you are getting the most efficient system. Pick a reliable company and that whatever you choose to do, it will suit your long-term needs. You can still harness this beautiful Southern Utah sun to your benefit and avoid common pitfalls.

Mini-Home Living: Creating a Smaller Footprint in our Environment

Mini-Home Living: Creating a Smaller Footprint in our Environment

For 8 months, I lived in a 29 foot RV bumper trailer with just a little less than 200 square feet of living space. I truly loved the simplicity of it and didn’t miss any of my personal items, except for my piano. I learned to downsize my closet to what I only needed and not buy so many grocery items! I had very limited storage and cupboard space in my mini-home. I found myself making use of my living space outside and soaking in the great outdoors. I enjoyed my quality of living while needing and consuming less.

Eight months ago, I sold my small home of 1300 square feet and packed most of my stuff up in a 10×10 storage unit. I thought I had done an amazing job of clearing out the clutter in this home and keeping it minimal. But it wasn’t until I had lived so minimally in an RV that I realized how much stuff of my stuff I didn’t need. As my helpers moved the items from my storage unit to the moving truck, I would stop them and read my labels and wonder how I ended up moving this stuff into the storage unit in the first place. I felt the burden grow larger and larger as each item was moved out of the storage unit. “What in the world had I stored for 8 months and why I am paying movers to move it from place to place?” I wondered. I started having them make a pile to aside for donation. Once everything was loaded up in the moving truck I stopped immediately at Goodwill and donated a 1/3 of my stuff I realized had no need for.

As a REALTOR, I have seen many clients feel the same burden when packing to move and going through their homes. Many times, I’ve seen family members go through the homes of their late relatives and get rid of EVERYTHING. We spend our adult lives accumulating items but for what reason? We have collections of things, items that have been passed down through families, HUGE pantries of food stuff. These items become a burden as we need larger homes to put them in, more garages, a storage shed, a storage unit and etc. There is incredible freedom in not having lots of things. I have found that I am able to keep my cost of living low and have the flexibility and financial freedom to do lots of things. I am able to save more and live simply. And most importantly, I have learned to enjoy the little pleasures in life.

I moved into another small space just recently – a 1200 square foot condo that will require little upkeep and maintenance. It has all the basic elements I need yet it doesn’t require a lot of things to fill it and I am able to live more sustainably, consume less in electricity, gas, water and other non-renewable items. By doing this, I am creating a smaller footprint in our environment and still able to enjoy all the wonderful things our 1st world country provides. I encourage you to do the same; evaluate the items you have collected and the spaces you have to hold these things. When was the last time you used it or even looked at it. In this world of consumerism, ask yourself, do I need this?

Indoor Air Pollutants in Your Home

Indoor Air Pollutants in Your Home

Little may you know, one of the key factors to green living is creating an indoor living space that is free of pollutants. Many of us are aware of our outdoor air pollutants but as consumers we are putting little effort into protecting our indoor living environment. In America, we spend about 50% of our time in our homes – this is an environment we can control.

If I asked you what are some common indoor pollutants, you may answer with asbestos, radon, carbon monoxide, tobacco smoke and mold. But there are other items that are contributing significantly to your indoor air quality that you can control easily. You won’t believe it……air fresheners and candles! Those decorative plug-ins that continuously release scent is continuously polluting your home. In fact, if you research it a little more, you will find that they are releasing carcinogens. Even if they tout themselves as green, healthy, organic, they can emit potentially hazardous chemicals. Also, the ingredients found in air fresheners are largely not disclosed. Best way to avoid the pollutants that air fresheners emit? Don’t use them at all.

 

In regards to candles, not all of them are toxic like air fresheners. The ones to stay away from are paraffin-based candles, which are the most popular kinds. They emit toxic chemicals like toluene and benzene. However, soybean and beeswax candles are an exception. Can I hear a “hallelujah”? I certainly enjoy the coziness of candles in the cold months of the years.

 

Other culprits are household products, such as cleaning products and hair products to name a few. Keep in mind it’s not just the scent that is toxic – it is the actual chemicals used in the products. To cut down on the pollutants from these products, I like to make my own cleaning products with vinegar, baking soda and essential oils. You can find some great and simple recipes online that will save you money and cut down on the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that you are putting in your home.

 

Even after taking all these measures, be sure to ventilate your home. Open windows and let the fresh air in. With extreme temperatures and heavy use of the furnace or air conditioner, take a break and open some windows for a couple of hours. That will make a bigger difference than using an air purifier. There are many other elements in the building material of the home that will also contribute to indoor air quality, but these simple measures listed above can easily improve your quality of living at home and create a safer and greener environment within your control.