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!
When the pandemic first began there was a sense of concern for the real estate market as fears of another market crash arose. Earlier in the year, we did see a dip in the market locally and nationwide. We are now seeing a surge. Why is this happening? Well, it is a combination of a few different factors, supply, mortgage rates, and location.
Utah’s Perfect Storm
The Utah market has seen a massive surge this year. The demand for homes was already high pre-pandemic. As the year goes on, we are only seeing an increase in that demand. We are only seeing houses stay on the market for a median of 12 days. It takes half the time to sell a house today than it did last year. In the month of August 2020, 5,201 total homes were sold with a median price of $362,000.
The only downside we are seeing to this massive surge is the lack of inventory. While we have seen in the past that Utah has had a problem with inventory, and that problem has been heightened during this current time. When we compare the data from this August compared to last year, we can clearly see this shift. The market now has more pending sales than it has houses on the market, while last year it was the reverse scenario.
Utah has seen an increase in the number of people wanting to move here for various reasons, this increase in population, and the fact people are staying in their homes longer has led to a market where there are more buyers out in the market then there are sellers.
It’s not only Utah. We see similar trends across the country. The demand for real estate in the Utah market is increasing, but the inventory is starting to dwindle. To put it simply, homes are selling too quickly for the market to keep up. Specifically for Utah, there are 5,184 active listings and 9,995 pending sales. There is a 3 month supply at the current sales pace, which is well below the 6-month pace needed to keep a balanced real estate market. The national housing inventory has seen a decline including decreases in the inventory of newly listed properties. Due to this shortage, homes are selling up to 18 days faster than the year prior. There has also been an increase in the average price of a sale; 8.5% more than last year.
Even though we see a limited supply in the housing market, there is still a strong demand for the buyer’s side.
The biggest reason that people are so willing to buy homes at this time is because of the interest rates. According to Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner, In the August reports, for a 30yr fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate is at a shockingly low rate of 2.9%, last year the rate was sitting at 3.73%. These are historically low numbers.
With the housing prices rising and the interest rates being so low, you have to look at the difference between the price and the actual cost of the houses you are buying. Even though the house price is higher, with lower interest rates, the monthly mortgage payments are still comparable. With lower rates, it costs less to borrow money from lenders to get the money for your house. This means that buyers may be able to afford more house than initially expected, and is pulling buyers onto the market.
Why Does This Matter?
This high demand for homes is predicted to continue on throughout the year, and possibly carry over into 2021. On the buyer’s side, we see historically low-interest rates, which can help counteract the rising price of houses. On the other side, sellers are getting more for their listings than before with the increasing price of houses, and heavy demand will decrease the time needed for your home to sell. The main issue on hand is the housing shortage, and only time will tell how that will affect the market in the long term.
For weekly updates on the housing market, keep an eye on the Windermere Utah Facebook page, as every Monday we post “Mondays with Matthew,” a video update from our Chief Economist about the market.
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.
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
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.
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)
At 5 a.m. on September 15th, 2020, the early morning silence was broken by the sound of cheers and jet engines. This was the day of the grand opening of the brand new, $4.1 billion Salt Lake City International Airport. This marks a new chapter of travel for those coming and going to the Salt Lake Area.
After patiently waiting 3,163 days, everyone can now enjoy the new airport. Due to COVID-19 and the reduction of the passenger numbers flowing through the airport, about two years were saved in the construction process. On top of saving time, they were able to save an estimated $300 million. Additionally, Salt Lake City did not use any local tax dollars on the reconstruction project. This new rendition of the airport comes with many upgraded amenities and new perks travelers can enjoy.
A top priority for the construction of the airport was to capture Utah’s beauty and put it on display. When you first see the airport you can instantly see the attention to detail. The new terminal has native Utah plants in the landscaping, distinct colors to represent Utah inside and out, and added giant glass windows in the terminals for stunning views of the mountain backdrop of Salt Lake City. On top of that, there is a new art piece called The Canyon, a football field-sized art piece that shows Utah’s diverse topography and natural beauty.
The terminal hosts all-new dining and shopping experiences. When combined with some old favorites, you will find 58 total dining and shopping locations. The airport is lined with well-respected brands such as Shake Shack, Hip & Humble, LEGO, Uinta Brewing and so much more. While there are a lot of new additions, there are some familiar favorites like Cafe Rio, Squatters Pub, and XpresSpa. Whether you are running late and just need a snack and a magazine, or you have some time to unwind with a glass of wine and enjoy the shops, the new airport has checked the boxes.
Utah is a hub for those who love the outdoors, and most bring a lot of gear wherever they go. Luckily for them, the baggage claim system has been given a major upgrade. The new belts have been built wider to accommodate all of your oversized goods such as skis, snowboards, and golf clubs. This means that all of your luggage will now arrive on the same carousel. Seven miles of conveyor belts were built to transport bags across multiple checkpoints across the airport. With belts from the baggage claim to the parking garage, there’s no need to even carry or wheel your luggage.
Speaking of the parking garage, this one is all-new and much more advanced than you may expect. This state of the art parking garage features a camera-based sensor system that uses lighting to show the location of empty parking spots. On top of that, it doubled the old parking structures capacity with 3,600 spots. Pedestrian bridges take you from the parking lot to the terminal. Now, The flow of traffic should be much smoother.
This new airport was designed with efficiency in mind. The airport has received a gold star certification from LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The certification ensures that the building was built using energy-saving, water-efficient, and CO2 emission reduction strategies. This gold level certification is one that only 9 other airports in the U.S. have achieved.
Phase two of the airport reconstruction is set to be completed in 2024.
Why does this matter?
The redesign of the airport shows the growth and development of Salt Lake City as an up-and-coming urban area with greater influence in the world.
USA Today currently ranks Utah’s economy as the best of any state. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have suffered from soaring unemployment rates. Utah’s unemployment rate stands at 5.1%, which is less than half of the national average. Even before the pandemic, Utah had a far stronger economy than most of the country.
The strength of Utah’s economy paired with the pandemic causing surging rates of individuals working from home has groups from all over the country flocking to Utah for its unique outdoor opportunities and larger properties.
You can see the growth as you explore the state, with the great expansion of Utah as an international hub for business and technology. This new airport is one of the many steps that Utah is taking to ensure its place as a “go-to” destination in the future.
Staging your home is a way to get it ready to be seen by buyers to make them fall in love. It is an easy way to increase the likelihood of your home selling quickly. Staging is an effective method to get it closer to the standards and expectations people have about homes.
First of all, What is home staging? What does home staging mean? Home staging is the process of furnishing and preparing a home for sale on the real estate market. It’s as simple as that, but the process may not be quite as simple. Here are 10 ways that you can stage your house to make it ready to sell.
It should be no surprise that you need to clean your house before you try to sell it. Going through and cleaning your house from top to bottom will enhance the appearance of your home. It will send the message to the buyer that the house they are buying has been cared for and loved.
When you declutter your home it shows how much potential space is really in the home. Cleaning out cabinets and organizing your closets will allow the buyer to see enough space for their own belongings. Creating space provides more room for buyers to imagine their own lives in the home. It will also give your home a cleaner look, having knickknacks and piled cabinets can distract the buyer from what is really there.
Define Your Rooms
When you are staging your furniture, make sure each room has a purpose. By giving each room a specific function you can allow the buyer to see the full potential of the square footage your home provides. They do not have to use the room just like you did, but this allows them to imagine how they will lay it out if they do buy it.
When showing your home take advantage of the natural lighting you have. Make sure you open all of the blinds and curtains to really let your home shine. You should also use the lighting fixtures in your home to your advantage. If your fixtures seem outdated or are broken, replace them for a quick and cost-effective boost to your home’s appeal.
Your home is an extension of your personality in many ways. Making sure your house has character is what makes it your home, but when it comes to staging your house for sale you want to take away some of that personality. Taking down family photos and other personal belongings allows the buyer to picture the home as a blank canvas that they can make their own
Re-organizing the furniture in your home can help you adjust the flow of the spaces you want to highlight. When re-organizing furniture, it is best to focus on the main living space of the house. For example, you want to create a simple and easy flow between the kitchen, living, and dining areas so buyers don’t have to navigate through a maze of furniture.
Adding a fresh coat of paint to your house before you sell it can be a huge boost in buyer appeal. It will make the house feel much newer, even if it’s a classic Tudor built in the early 1900s. If you have wallpaper, taking it down and adding a fresh coat of neutral paint can be great. Most buyers will want to change it anyway, so doing this can let them see there is one less step to making the house their own.
Dirty floors are never something a buyer is dying to have when they are looking for their new home. Doing a deep clean of areas with carpet can be a great way to remove unknown odors and stains to give these areas a refresh. While changing flooring can be expensive, it can drastically change the feeling and appearance of your home, especially from a buyer’s perspective. Adding hardwood to the living spaces of your home is appealing to a majority, and it provides a neutral base, adding to the metaphor of a new home as a blank canvas.
Remove Signs of Pets
While you may have familiarized yourself with the scent and constant presence of your furry friends, buyers have not. Walking into a home with a strong pet odor could easily throw off potential buyers. Plus, having pet hair around can make your home seem dirty, even when it’s clean. A deep clean will help with reducing pet odors, hair, and dander. You may also want to move pet items such as dog bowls or litter boxes into the garage prior to a showing and take your furry friends elsewhere.
If you have a lot of neutral spaces in your home, go ahead and add some decor with a few splashes of color to highlight the rooms. Little spots of color around your home can really make it stand out, and it is appealing to the eye of those who will be walking through your home.
While this may seem like a lot, these home staging tips can make your life a lot easier when selling your home. With the combination of these tips and help from a trusted Windermere Real Estate Agent at your side, you can get your house ready to go to market in no time.
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
- All White (4471 Willow Creek Dr., Park City, Utah)
- 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.
The following analysis of select neighborhoods in the Park City real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you in making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere agent.
COVID-19 had a significant impact on employment in Utah, causing the loss of more than 144,000 jobs in March and April and raising the state’s unemployment rate to 10.4%. For comparison, peak unemployment following the Great Recession was only 8%.
That said, it appears as if Utah’s massive contraction in employment is behind us (at least for now). Employment in the state rose by 40,400 jobs in May, an increase of 2.8% in just one month, allowing the unemployment rate to drop to 8.5%.
Although it is certainly too early to say that we are out of the woods, we seem to be headed in a positive direction. That said, COVID-19 infection rates in Utah started increasing in June and may slow the economic recovery if the direction is not reversed. Regardless, I do not believe that it is likely to have a significant impact on the housing market.
❱ In the second quarter of 2020, 131 homes sold in the Park City area, a drop of 37.3% from the second quarter of 2019, and down 22.9% from the first quarter of this year.
❱ Home sales were a mixed bag, with increases in 4 neighborhoods but declines in 14. The areas that saw sales activity increase are all very small.
❱ The drop in sales came as inventory levels rose more than 300%. The most likely explanation is that concerns over COVID-19 outweighed the additional choice of available homes.
❱ Pending home sales were 15.6% lower than a year ago, but only 3.1% lower than in the first quarter. This makes me hopeful that the market will start to stabilize as we move through the balance of the year.
❱ The average home price in the Park City neighborhoods contained in this report rose 1.9% year-over-year to $1.159 million. Sale prices were 0.6% higher than in the first quarter of 2020.
❱ The most affordable neighborhoods in terms of average sale prices were Kimball, Heber North & East, Wanship, Hoytsville, Coalville, and Rockport. The most expensive were Upper Deer Valley Resort & Empire Pass, Promontory, and Thaynes Canyon.
❱ Prices rose in a majority of neighborhoods, with significant gains in the Promontory, Thaynes Canyon, Jeremy Ranch, and Lower Deer Valley Resort & Deer Crest neighborhoods. Annual sale prices dropped in seven markets, with the Canyons Village area experiencing the steepest decline.
❱ The Park City market is relatively small, but with some very expensive real estate. It will be interesting to see if COVID-19-related impacts persist or if we start to see a return to normal activity.
DAYS ON MARKET
❱ The average time it took to sell a home in the Park City area rose three days compared to the second quarter of 2019.
❱ The amount of time it took to sell a home dropped in nine market areas and rose in nine compared to a year ago.
❱ In the second quarter of this year, it took an average of 101 days to sell a home. Homes sold fastest in Summit Park and slowest in the Canyons Village neighborhood.
❱ The greatest drop in market time was in the Tuhaye/Hideout neighborhood, where it took 91 fewer days to sell a home than during the same period a year ago.
This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.
Clearly, the Park City housing market was still reacting to the influences of COVID-19 during the second quarter. I see demand, but the pandemic is still making the direction of housing uncertain. That said, I remain hopeful that we will start to get some clarity as we move through the balance of the year. Assuming the state gets new infection rates back under control, I can see the market start to perform at its potential in the second half of the year. As such, I am leaving the needle in the same position as last quarter.
ABOUT MATTHEW GARDNER
As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.
In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.
Originally posted in Park City Real Estate Market Update by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate
For new Utahns, there is one day of the year that may be a bit confusing and overwhelming because people take to the streets and everything else shuts down with no explanation. That day is coming up soon. It’s July 24th, better known as “Pioneer Day.” The day is full of celebrations that are deep-seated in Utah’s culture.
The date commemorates the day that Brigham Young first stepped into the Salt Lake Valley and told his fellow LDS pioneers that “This is the place.” Although the day has roots in the history of the Latter-day Saints, it is a celebration of all pioneers who settled in Utah.
Pioneer Day marks July 24, 1847, which is when the first settlers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. The day was first celebrated in 1849 with a commemoration concert by the Nauvoo Brass Band as they marched down Main Street in Salt Lake City.
Throughout the 19th century, celebrations of the day as a day of Independence and thanksgiving began. Celebrations included parades, devotionals, sporting events, feasts, dances, and reunions–all of which are celebrations similar to those hosted to this day. Some years celebrations were cut short by the entry of federal troops or were celebrated funeral-style for those pioneers who were imprisoned or lost along the way.
These celebrations did not become consistent until the 20th century when Pioneer Day was recognized as a state holiday. Since then, Pioneer day has become a secular holiday to celebrate all groups who migrated to Utah during the pioneering era with overarching themes of frontier life, and homeland.
How to Celebrate
Typical celebrations include the Days of ‘47 Parade (and float preview party), the Native American Celebration, Powwow, and Festival, The Days of ‘47 Rodeo, The Deseret News Marathon, etc. All of these events create an atmosphere of community and camaraderie.
The day almost always ends with huge fireworks shows throughout the state, with shows of similar, or larger scale than those seen on the 4th of July.
A large counter-culture movement has established “Pie and Beer” Day, a wordplay on “pioneer” for those who are primarily outside of the LDS faith and culture. Participants celebrate with either homemade or locally made pies paired with local craft beers. There are several versions of this celebration hosted throughout the state.
This year, celebrations may look a bit different. We won’t have big celebrations as usual, but we will still celebrate. Here are a few ideas for how to celebrate Pioneer Day from home:
Read Stories about Pioneer Life
There are plenty of historical and fictional accounts of pioneer life. Consider a few of these for some ideas on where to start:
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
Nearly Everything Imaginable: The Everyday Life of Utah’s Mormon Pioneers by Ronald W. Walker
I Walked to Zion: True Stories of Young Pioneers on the Mormon Trail by Susan Arrington Madsen
Make Homemade Butter
Get back to the basics by making butter, just as the pioneers would have. Here’s an easy recipe.
Make a Sweet Snack
Help your kids (or yourself, we don’t judge) make a tasty treat that is also educational by making a covered wagon complete with Teddy Graham driver. Check it out here.
Take a Hike
Hikes are a great way to get outdoors and experience the pioneer lifestyle. While things are a bit different now, that effort that you will put into taking a hike in the mountains is just the same as it was back in 1847.
For an extra pioneer day twist, hike Emigration Canyon as that is the route the pioneers took into the valley, or Ensign peak, where Brigham Young and other leaders climbed up the mountain to survey the valley and plan the layout of Salt Lake City.
Make a Candle
Pioneer life consisted of making a lot of things by hand. So get crafting and make a beeswax candle of your very own. Here’s a tutorial.
Play a few Pioneer Games
Pioneers were even more active than we are today, even the kids. Here are a few ideas for pioneer-era games that you and your family can play, like Three-Legged races, hoop rolling, hopscotch, kick the can, etc.
Pioneer day is about celebrating Utah and whatever you love most about living in this state, whether it be the history, the mountains, family, or something different entirely. It is a day for celebrating Utah’s uniqueness in whatever way you see best. It’s a celebration of why each of us here in Utah wakes up in the morning and says “This is the Place.”
Image Source: Canva
Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, many of us now find ourselves working from home. While it’s hard to complain about the commute, working from home can be an adjustment. For example, you may find yourself doing tasks around the house and suddenly you’ve missed several important emails. If you feel like you need some help being more productive while working from home, here are five tips to improve your workflow.
The best kind of light is natural light. Try setting up your workspace by a window. If that’s not possible, add a desk lamp or floor lamp to brighten your space. Not only will it help with visibility; it brightens your mood, which helps you to be more productive.
Remove distracting clutter. Take everything off your desk that you don’t need. Store it elsewhere or use shelves on your wall to display it.
If you find yourself cleaning throughout the day, set aside time specifically for these tasks. If you’re still waking up at the same time you did when working at the office—which studies show is a great strategy when working from home—using your would-be commute time to tidy up helps avoid those periodic distractions.
Bring the Outdoors In
Bringing plants into your home is beneficial for productivity and health alike. Greenery is a natural mood booster and gives life to a room. Plants naturally purify the air, helping you breathe easy as you make your way through the workday. Try arranging both hanging and potted plants to improve the mood around your workspace.
Change Your Chair
A chair that’s too tall, too short, or not comfortable is a fast track to back and shoulder problems that inhibit your workday and linger afterwards. Being in a stationary position for hours at a time requires the right kind of support to stay productive. Features to look for in a quality office chair include proper lumbar support, sturdy wheels, and an adjustable base that allows your shoulders to relax and your feet to rest flat on the floor.
It’s important to keep your home office professional and dedicated to your work. However, adding personal touches to the space will help you feel at ease. Position your work computer and phone front and center with any related work tools close by and handy. Adding pictures of loved ones, artwork, and inspirational quotes will help inspire you to generate ideas while working productively.
One may judge a city by its coffee shops. We’re not talking about the Starbucks and Dunkin’s of the world. We’re focusing on the smaller chains and local treasures that reside there. Finding a good coffee shop is like finding the perfect home. Once you find it, you know it’s the one for you.
Here are a few favorites in Salt Lake City that you could try.
878 E. 900 S., Salt Lake City, UT
Coffee Garden has an industrial-contemporary style with hints of artistic flair.
It has a distinctly home-like feel, which is likely why it has been deemed the “neighborhood living room.” They have been in the same location for 27 years, and it is the oldest coffee house of their style in Salt Lake City.
“We taught Salt Lake City what good coffee is supposed to taste like,” said owner Alan Hebertson. This is likely why it is such a popular destination for the coffee lovers all around. It has a small, quiet section perfect for a client meeting or work session. It’s quite popular among students at the university as well as a spot to study.
Their most popular drinks are their espresso-based drinks. This author has to agree because their Americano was divine. Their baked goods are another large draw, as the majority are made in-house.
They do not host any events, preferring to make sure the shop is open to all. They frequently support local artists and donate to schools and other events in the 9th & 9th area.
Campos Coffee Roastery & Kitchen
228 S. Edison St., Salt Lake City, UT
Campos Coffee Roastery & Kitchen is an Australian-born shop, with an open and bright modern-industrial feel. The large windows, skylights, and plant life create a lively and enlightening atmosphere for any client meeting, work session, or meeting with friends.
Hillary Merill, Operations Manager let us know about the large, specially-created front windows that can be opened for the optimal indoor/outdoor experience. The windows were designed and built by a company that makes airline hangers, significantly contributing to the industrial vibe.
Campos is a major coffee chain in Australia, but is currently in start-up mode in the U.S., with the only two locations, this one in Salt Lake, and the other in Park City.
Cappuccinos and other espresso-based drinks are also the most popular here due to the specific training that baristas receive on how to make the perfect cup. Another popular drink is the Australian Iced coffee, which is an Iced coffee made with gelato and whipped cream. They also feature many single origin single pours from limited release coffee beans.
Community events like public cuppings, summer BBQs and more are on their way, so you will want to keep up with them on social media to make sure you know as soon as these events get underway.
Sugar House Coffee
2011 S. 1100 E., Salt Lake City, UT
Sugar House Coffee is a hip and artsy space in the heart of Sugar House.
This shop makes our go-to list because of the warm and inviting atmosphere. Art and inspirational quotes line the walls, and the space is nearly always full of an exceedingly diverse group of people, from students to yoga enthusiasts and businesspeople.
Emily Potts, the general manager of Sugar House Coffee considers the place “the ‘Cheers’ of coffee shops,” as they aim to make everyone feel warm and comfortable. The mission of the coffee shop is to “[provide] the community with a public gathering space where everyone is safe to share their story.”
They succeed in bringing the community together by being a part of the Sugar House Art Walk, hosting live jazz music nights twice per month, a monthly book club, and a monthly open mic.
Why not try a warm and inviting drink like the Karmel Sutra, a white caramel mocha, as it is their most popular drink, and pair it with one of their food options. Food options include many vegan and gluten-free selections using products from other local businesses wherever possible.
Three Pines Coffee
165 S. Main St, Salt Lake City, UT
Three Pines Coffee is an ultra-small coffee shop with a retro vibe. It is ideally located on Main Street and is perfect for a pick-me-up when strolling the heart of downtown SLC.
Once inside, you are immediately drawn by their neon signage, vintage coffee machine and shelves full of vinyl. Look closely and you will spot the record player.
The shop is less than 500 sq. ft. and only seats about 13 people, creating an intimate coffee experience for those who decide to drink in-house. The owners, Nick Price and Meg Frampton say that the small size “allows us to really focus on the essentials,” like their coffee.
Their drip coffee is generally their most popular, with an espresso with milk following close behind. They like to “keep things simple, pure, and straightforward … [They] put a lot of time into achieving the optimum extraction and … best possible balance in flavor.” As the weather warms up, the most served beverage becomes their house-made cold brew.
Other local ingredients include locally-sourced whole milk, house-made almond milk, and house-made vanilla syrup.
The Rose Establishment
235 S. 400 W., Salt Lake City, UT
The Rose Establishment is another modern-industrial chic location just outside the Gateway in downtown SLC.
This shop has a small, yet inviting atmosphere, bringing modern touches to a building with a deep history. The space originated as a meat packing plant, and had a lot of lives since then, serving as a restaurant, plant shop, and even a personal residence before it’s current reincarnation.
Shaylee Syme, General Manager of The Rose Establishment says that their lattes and house-made signature drinks, as well as old-school standards (like a London Fog) with Rose Establishment twists make up some of the most popular drinks.
Their high quality coffee and food are some of the greatest draws.
The Rose Establishment will be starting up a gallery stroll in the next few months, and will be hosting other community events such as wine evenings. They are also available for private events. You could even host your wedding there!
Sugar Bean – Honorable Mention
1240 E. 2100 S. Suite 150, Salt Lake City, UT
Sugar Bean Coffee gets an honorable mention as Windermere Utah’s favorite in-building coffee shop. Sugar bean is located in the Redman building in Sugar House, sharing a home office with both Windermere Real Estate and Windermere Commercial Real Estate. When you come in for a cup, stop by to visit with our agents or say hi to our friendly staff.