Safe Halloween Celebrations for 2020

By now, nearly everyone has heard that the CDC is discouraging traditional trick-or-treating practices this year. Even though we can’t do the usual door-to-door routine, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate. After all, Halloween is a time for connecting with your community, and there is certainly more than one way to do that!

Here are a few of our ideas to celebrate: 

Host a socially-distanced neighborhood pumpkin carving contest

This is inspired by the Neighborhood Art Walk that one of our agents, Joilyn Anderson, hosted back in April. Create a flyer for everyone in the neighborhood inviting them to carve a pumpkin. Invite them to set up their pumpkin at the end of their driveway or sidewalk on a certain day and time, and neighbors can then walk down the middle of the street to see the art pieces while maintaining social distancing. 

Another idea with this same concept is a door decorating contest, where each of your neighbors is invited to decorate their door with Halloween themed decorations. 

One-way trick-or-treating

 

If you’re not quite ready to give up on the concept of trick-or-treating, you can individually wrap goodie bags and line them up on a table at the end of your driveway or yard for families to grab and go with zero contact.

If you want to monitor your table and converse with those who stop by, make sure to wear a mask and social distance. For an extra level of protection, provide hand sanitizer on your table as well. 

Monster Egg Hunt

Photo from TingedBlue.com showing some ideas for monster eggs.

Take a tip from the Easter bunny, and turn your Easter eggs into little monsters and other icons typical of Halloween.

Fill your eggs with candy, and hide them around the house for your kids to find. Let them dress up and then send them searching throughout the house. They get all the fun of finding the goodies while remaining safe and socially distant. 

Find some inspiration and ideas for decorating with these spook-tacular egg designs

Scavenger hunt

Easily give your family a way to get outside and look around at Halloween decorations, while remaining safe by creating a scavenger hunt. Give your family a list of Halloween-themed items to find, and check off a list as they admire from a distance. 

Open-air costume party

You don’t want to miss out on the fun of dressing up for Halloween, so get dressed in your Halloween finery. Part of the fun is seeing everyone’s reactions to your costume, right? 

Bring your friends and family together in a spacious outdoor area that allows for social-distancing, and have a fun time dancing, talking, and adopting the mannerisms of your characters all night long. 

This idea can easily be moved to a virtual event if you and your family are at higher risk. 

Outdoor spooky movie night

A favorite pastime of many Halloween enthusiasts is watching as many scary movies as possible during October. Others watch Hocus Pocus on repeat. 

No matter which camp you fall in, gather your friends and family in your backyard to socially distance on blankets and camp chairs while they watch a spooky movie projected onto a screen. You can all enjoy the movie together while staying safe. 

Here are some tips for how to set up an incredible outdoor movie night

This idea can easily be moved to a virtual event if you and your family are at higher risk. 

Extra tips for parents

If you’re taking your kids on a trick-or-treating run, scavenger hunt, neighborhood contest, or other fun neighborhood events, follow current recommendations and take extra precautions to keep your family safe. 

  • Have your kids wear a face mask—incorporate it into your kid’s costume to make wearing the mask fun
  • Have a parent or other adult accompany children of any age to hold them accountable for mask-wearing and social distancing
  • Avoid congregating around doorsteps, porches, or tables
  • Use hand sanitizer after receiving candy from each house
  • Do not eat candy while trick or treating
  • Have kids wash their hands as soon as they get home, and take a shower once they remove their costumes
  • Set trick-or-treating candy aside for a few days (common research and belief is that COVID-19 can live on plastics and similar surfaces for up to 3 days)

Posted on October 6, 2020 at 10:34 pm
Adam Frenza | Posted in Living | Tagged , , , , ,

Easy Ways to Improve Curb Appeal

First impressions are always a big deal, whether it’s a job interview, a first date, or even a home that you are looking to buy. The exterior of a home is the first thing that a buyer sees when looking at your home. Here are a few easy ways that you can improve your home’s curb appeal. 

 

1. Clean your Sidewalks and other hardscape areas

 

No one wants to drive up to a home that doesn’t look well maintained. One of the quickest and easiest ways to instantly improve curb appeal is to clean your hardscapes and sidewalks. 

You can accomplish this by sweeping up any branches, leaves, feathers, dog hair, and such things that have made their way onto your decks and sidewalks. You can also take a further step to scrub hardscapes with a brush, soap, and warm water–This is the best way to deal with stains. Power washing is not advised for many hardscape materials, as it can often damage pavers, but it can be useful for some decks. Be cautious when using this method. 

 

2. Power wash your exterior

 

A clean and polished exterior is necessary for your home to make the best first impression possible. 

Power washing is a quick and satisfying way to get your home exterior cleaned up, but make sure that you’re only power washing the materials on your home that cannot be seriously damaged, like any electrical elements, wood siding, old mortar, windows, etc. 

Here are some tips to use pressure washer safely

 

3. Try out a new color palette

 

If your home exterior looks like its stuck in the 1970s, your home may not make the top of the list for curb appeal. Freshen up your exterior with a fresh coat of paint. 

Here are some top classic home exterior color palette options

  • White, Grey, and Red (1122 E Harvard Ave., Salt Lake City, Utah)

  • Mocha (1973 W Gray Hawk Cir., St. George, Utah)

  • Beige and Brown (169 E Hollybrook Cv. Draper, Utah) 

 

Find more inviting color palettes here

 

4. Get your lawn healthy

 

Here are a few ways to help you get your lawn to be the healthiest lawn on the block, drawing all eyes to your curb. 

  • Aerate your lawn to help break up compacted soil. 
  • Water your lawn deeply and less often. 
  • Use natural lawn fertilizers. 
  • Cut your grass to the right height–different species of grass need different cutting heights. 

 

5. Add flowers or flower boxes

 

Flowers and flower boxes add color and visual interest to your home and when done well, give you a huge curb appeal boost.

Keep things colorful and eye-catching, and vary the heights of your plants. If you are using flower boxes, keep the theory of “thrillers” (tall, statement plants and flowers), “spillers” (plants that spill over the edge of flower boxes or pots if that is more your style), and “fillers” (surface area plants that fill in the gaps). 

 

6. Plant Trees

 

With a similar theory to adding flowers, trees add additional landscaping elements to your curb appeal, and add shaded areas perfect for relaxing on a hot summer day. 

 

7. Add outdoor lighting

 

One of the best ways to make sure you have some serious curb appeal is to make sure your home can be seen no matter the time of the day! Make sure you have some porch lights and light your walkway with some simple solar light fixtures, which are affordable and easy to install. 

 

8. Upgrade your mailbox

 

Even the most appealing houses can be brought down by a dingy mailbox. Make sure yours doesn’t have any signs of rust or damage. 

 

9. Coordinate your hardware

 

Small details can make a huge impact. Even if your potential buyers don’t notice explicitly, matching hardware will give your home a nice, well-put-together appearance. 

Match your metals for your doorknobs, locksets, porch lights and address numbers. If you don’t have address numbers, get them! Make sure that your numbers are easy to see and make a serious decor statement. 

 

10. Add outdoor furniture to your front porch

 

If you are lucky enough to have a front porch, make sure that it is inviting and appears just as livable as the inside for maximum effect. 

Keep to a simple bench and throw pillow for small porches, or if you have a larger porch, add a dining set, or an outdoor couch and coffee table to complete the look.

 

No matter how you choose to improve your home’s exterior, keep in mind that the best way to improve curb appeal is to make it as attractive as can be. Take a careful look around to determine what improvements you believe need to be made, and ask your local Windermere Real Estate agent for their expertise on the kinds of improvements that are getting homes sold faster in your area. 

 

At Windermere Utah, we are proud to keep you up-to-date on the latest news, events, and listings. Be sure to keep checking back in here at the blog, and don’t forget to follow us on social media.

 


Posted on August 12, 2020 at 3:50 pm
Adam Frenza | Posted in Living | Tagged ,

Best Summer Outdoor Activities in Utah

One of the best things about Utah is the exceptional access to outdoor recreation. Many of us have hiking and biking trails right outside our doors (or within a 30 minute drive of our house). 

Here are a few of our favorite activities that you can do solo or bring along some family and friends! There are so many more as well, so don’t hesitate to reach out to your neighbors, or real estate agent to discuss some of their favorite summer activities as well. 

 

Hiking

 

Utah is full of plentiful hiking spots. There are trails all around the state spanning from the Logan area all the way down to St. George and Kanab. 

Here are a few favorite hikes from around the state:

Delicate Arch Trail – Arches National Park (Moab)

A hike to one of Utah’s most recognizable landmarks is on the bucket list for any Utah local, and for many visitors. It can be scorching hot in summer, but it is a wonderful sight once you arrive at the arch. 

Mount Timpanogos – American Fork Canyon (American Fork)

There are two trails that lead to Mount Timpanogos, and the peak is the second tallest in the state. If you have time, check out Timpanogos cave while you are there. 

Donut Falls Trail – Big Cottonwood Canyon (Salt Lake City)

Donut falls is a great trail for families. The trail is wide with only a slight elevation gain, making the trail perfect for all ages. This trail is particularly beautiful in mid-July and August when the wildflowers are blooming. 

Mount Olympus Trail – Mount Olympus (Holladay)

This trail is more challenging than most of the others on this list due to the steep incline of the trail. Once you make it to the top, you can easily see why this is one of the most rewarding hikes in the Salt Lake valley as you are rewarded with absolutely stunning views. 

Adam’s Canyon Trail – Adam’s Canyon (Layton)

Adam’s canyon brings you to a 40 ft. Tall waterfall at the end of the trail with a small pond. It is perfect for a view of the city, and a great place to take n some of the views around Holms Creek. 

Armstrong Trail – Silver Star (Park City)

This trail is a perfect option as the distance of the hike can vary based on the route you take. The trail is a great option for hot summer days as it has lots of tree cover and provides great views of Park City. 

Iron Mountain Trail – Iron Canyon (Park City)

Iron Mountain is a local favorite. It’s a relatively short hike, perfect for an after-work hike to clear your mind. While it is a short out and back trail, the elevation will give you a workout. The trail leads through gorgeous aspen groves, and at the top you will get a fabulous view of downtown Park City and several of the ski resorts. 

 

Biking

 

Biking is another extremely popular outdoor activity in Utah. There are plentiful trails for mountain and on-road biking throughout the state. While the state is mostly known for mountain biking there is a strong road cycling culture. Just take a look to UCI-sanctioned pro cycling event the Tour of Utah

Here are a few top choices for whichever option you prefer. As Utah is quite mountainous, this is far from being an extensive list. 

 

Road Biking

Parowan Gap Loop – Cedar City

This is a natural mountain pass that was used by the Fremont and Anasazi Native Americans. The route is dotted with petroglyphs and leads through some classic desert landscapes. 

Utah Lake – Provo/Orem

Part of this route makes up Stage 3 of the Tour of Utah, following the western shores of Utah Lake. This lake is a popular destination for locals in Utah County. 

Emigration Canyon – Salt Lake City

This a very popular local ride. You ride from Salt Lake City up to a national historic landmark and back out to Salt Lake City. The route through the canyon was used by pioneers traveling into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. 

Empire/Guardsman Loop – Park City

While this ride is a heart-pumping ride through steep uphill climbs, you are rewarded with some stunning views overlooking Deer Valley Resort and the canyons. 

 

Mountain Biking 

Wasatch Crest Trail – Salt Lake City

This is a singletrack snaking along the top of the Wasatch Mountain Range brings you through aspen glades and alpine meadows. There are many options to riding this trail, with point-to-point access from Guardsman Pass to Millcreek Canyon or Big Cottonwood Canyon. 

Thunder Mountain Trail – Panguitch

Just outside of Bryce Canyon National Park, the Thunder Mountain trail provides a challenging ride through the stunning landscapes around Red Canyon. 

Mid Mountain Trail – Park City

Mid mountain is designated as an IMBA Epic Ride. This trail covers 22 miles and 2 ski areas in the Park City areas. There are several options for accessing the trail, and once you’re there you make your way through dense patches of pine and aspen trees before racing meadows filled with wildflowers. 

 

Swimming

 

Swimming is a great way to cool down on one of Utah’s hot summer days. There are plentiful swimming pools that you could enjoy, or splash pads, if you aren’t one for dipping into a pool. You could stop there, but why would you want to?

Many of Utah’s mountain lakes are watersheds that don’t allow swimming, but there are several that allow swimming and other watersports. Here are a few of the lakes, reservoirs, and natura swimming spots: 

Lake Powell – Glen Canyon Recreational Area

While Lake Powell isn’t technically a lake, it is a go-to for Utah locals and tourists alike. With stunning views created by the location in the middle of Glen Canyon, Lake Powell is a great destination for swimming, houseboating, wakeboarding, fishing, kayaking, and many other water-based activities. 

Lower Calf Creek Falls – Boulder

Just a short distance from the small town of Boulder, the lower falls are 130 feet high with a deep swimming hole. It takes a bit of a hike to get there, but the pool is always nice and cool. 

Pineview Reservoir – Huntsville

Just 2 miles north of Huntsville, this is the summer lake you have always dreamed of. Calm waters are perfect for any of your water-based activity needs. There are both paid and free areas, as well as some great sandy beaches to relax in between your swimming sessions. 

Jordanelle Reservoir – Park City/Heber City 

Another of Utah’s picturesque reservoirs, this reservoir allows swimming and boating in the mountainous areas between park city and Heber. 

 

Zip Lining

 

If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie, Zip Lining may be the option for you, bringing our aerial adventures to life. There are a few locations throughout the state where you can jump on a zip line. 

ZipRider – Snowbird Resort (Near Sandy)

The ZipRider at Snowbird Resort allows you to see the beauty of the canyon in a different way as you climb to the top of the 50 foot tower then fly down the zip-line cables at 30 mph. 

Zipline Utah – Heber City 

Zipline Utah features a few options for traveling through the sky on a series of zip-lines and aerial bridges. Don’t forget to book an adventure down the Screaming Falcon, Zipline Utah’s longest and fastest zip line, spanning over 3900 feet and reaching speeds of 60+ mph. 

Zip Line Tour at Utah Olympic Park – Park City

Featuring the option between two ziplines, the Utah Olympic Park allows you to see some of the most spectacular views of the Olympic Park. You can take a more leisurely ride, or step it up a notch with one of the steepest ziplines in the world to emulate the speed and force of a world-class ski jumper. 

Raven’s Rim – Moab

Raven’s Rim offers several zipline tours and aerial bridges perfect for any adventure lover. These tours offer exclusive views of the high-deserts of southern Utah. 

 

Paddle Boarding

 

Stand-Up paddle boarding (SUP)  is becoming a highly popular activity in Utah. Here are a few of the best places to get started on your SUPer adventure (get it?). 

Great Salt Lake – Salt Lake City

The Great Salt Lake is not a highly trafficked paddle boarding area, but it is one of the most recognizable parts of Utah as a whole. Grab your board and head out to Antelope Island to get on the lake, and enjoy the nature and the buoyancy caused by the salt water. 

Oquirrh Lake – Daybreak

Paddleboarding is perfect on Oquirrh lake because of the calm and cool water. It is ideal if you live in the area, and you get fabulous views of both the Wasatch and Oquirrh mountains, making it the perfect location for a sunrise or sunset session. 

Jordanelle Reservoir – Park City/Heber City

Jordanelle Reservoir is also a perfect paddleboarding location due to it’s calm waters and gorgeous scenery. If you’re an experienced paddleboarder you can leave the no-wake zone and take advantage of some of the waves that boats and other watercraft leave behind. 

Utah Lake – Provo/Orem 

As Utah’s largest freshwater lake, Utah Lake attracts many visitors. It has many amenities close by, and is a fabulous family destination. 

Sand Hollow State Park – Hurricane

Utah’s newest state park is highly trafficked, but is an easy 15 minutes from St. George. The warm blue water and red sandstone make for an extremely picturesque experience. 

 

Visit a National Park 

 

Utah is home to many Nature Preserves, National Forests, and State parks, but to get the full Utah experience, you really need to visit one of Utah’s 5 national parks. They all feature magnificent red sandstone canyons and rock formations that make for a perfect photo-finish for any adventurer. 

Arches – Moab

Arches National Park is full of iconic arches with over 2,000 natural stone arches to explore,  like Delicate Arch-Utahns love that one so much that we put it on the license plate! 

Bryce Canyon – Bryce

With many canyons, amphitheaters and bowls carved into the landscape, you can marvel at the beauty from a high plateau or hike deep into the canyon floors. 

Canyonlands – Moab

Featuring countless canyons and buttes, you can see four districts divided by the Colorado and Green Rivers.  

Capitol Reef – Torrey

In the heart of red rock country, this hidden treasure includes cliffs, canyons, dome, bridges and the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline that extends almost 100 miles. 

Zion – Springdale

Explore the paths that Native Americans called home and where pioneers traveled to settle the west. 

 


Posted on June 5, 2020 at 6:45 pm
Windermere Utah | Posted in Living | Tagged , , ,

Summer Home Maintenance: A Guide

We know it can be difficult to know when to do all of those home maintenance tasks. With summer at our heels her in Utah, here is a guide to the top home maintenance tasks to complete in summer.

  • Inspect Air Conditioners – You know how hot it can get here in Utah. Perks of living in the desert, huh? Clean air conditioning filters in window units, dust off those ceiling fans, and consider a tuneup if you have central A/C.
  • Check Detectors – Every few months, check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly and have batteries.
  • Clean your Vents – Spring brings in allergy season, which can be rough. It can bring all of that pollen into your vents, along with the usual buildup of dust and grime. Get in there to make sure you’re getting fresh air. Don’t forget the dryer vent and exhaust duct. the lint trapped in there can be a fire hazard if not properly maintained.
  • Clean the Gutters – It may not be glamorous, but it needs done. If you didn’t do this one on your spring checklist, it’s time to do it now. Clean out any leaf buildup and standing water. In the short term, these attract mosquitos and other pests. In the long term, they can damage your gutters and pull the whole system away from your house.
  • Prep Water Systems – However you plan to water, figure it out and get your systems set up.
    • Check Hose and Faucets – A good starting point is to check hoses and exterior faucets for any leaks. Pinhole leaks in hoses can be repaired with electrical tape.
    • Plan Your Watering Schedule – Train your garden and lawn to endure dry days by watering deeply a few times per week to promote the growth of deep, strong roots.
    • Test Sprinkler Systems – If you have a sprinkler system, check to make sure all of the heads are in good shape and test before you plan to water to make sure there are no leaks in the underground system.
  • Check Your Deck – Examine your deck for signs of rotting and fix any nails that are pulling up, and check if you need to re-seal your deck by sprinkling water on the boards. If the water beads up, you’re fine. If it soaks right in, it’s time for a seal.
  • Analyze your Roof – Utah’s ever-changing weather can be hard on your home’s head. Get up on your roof (or have someone do it for you) to check for missing and loose shingles, mold, and anything else that looks unusual. It’s better to do small repairs every summer than have to replace the whole roof.
  • Spruce up the Siding – Peeling paint and chipped siding can allow all of those summertime bugs to get into your house. Walk around your house and look for any problem areas. If you clean up, paint and repair issues now, you can avoid bigger projects in the future.
  • Porch Polishing – Sweep porch floors and mop floorboards with all purpose cleaner.
  • Wash Windows – If you didn’t do it with your spring checklist, it’s time to do it now. Get your Windex ready.
  • Landscaping – Add a layer of mulch to keep weeds down and help the ground retain it’s moisture and deadhead your annuals and perennials.
  • Clean Your Grills – Everyone loves a good backyard BBQ. Make sure you’re ready by cleaning your grill before you need to use it.
    • Gas Grills – Turn your heat up to high and let the grill cook with the lid closed for 30 min. Allow the grill to cool, then brush off with a grill brush.  Don’t forget to clean out the drip pans.
    • Charcoal Grills – Empty the grill completely and wipe off any residue. Clean inside and out with hot water and liquid dish soap and leave to air-dry completely.
  • Keep the Dirt Away – Make sure to put out a doormat at all doors to make sure all that muck stays outside where it belongs.

 

Do you have any cleaning or maintenance tips that are prefect for summer? Share them with us in the comments below!

 

At Windermere Utah, we are proud to keep you up-to-date on the latest news, events, and listings. Be sure to keep checking back in here at the blog, and don’t forget to follow us on social media. 

 


Posted on April 30, 2020 at 10:52 pm
Windermere Utah | Posted in Living | Tagged , , , ,