The weather outside is frightful

Even here in Utah's Dixie, the weather is a bit frightful in winter, at least with the temperatures dipping into the 30s at night.

That's why it's ideal to have a hot tub to hang out in with cozy 104-degree water to keep you warm. So next time she says, "Baby, it's cold outside!" tell her it's plenty warm in the hot tub!

Quit giving landlords your money

Most Utah renters have seen large rent increases over the past two years and market indicators point to average rents continuing to increase in the near future. In 2020 and 2021,market bidding wars often locked first time homebuyers from nabbing their first home due lack of large cash reserves required to participate in the bidding wars.

In recent months, it has now become possible to buy homes with no bidding wars. First time buyers can get a home with $0 down, and all buyers can finally get homes with just 3-5 percent down without needing to bring extra cash to the closing table to settle a bidding war.

How to buy in a high mortgage rate market

While interest rates are hitting levels not seen in years, borrowing rates have finally cooled an overheated housing market and created conditions where buyers can get in homes without bidding wars and forfeiting safeguards like inspections and due diligence periods.

For the first time in at least 2 years we are seeing homes stay on the market and prices drop. While the interest rates can make for intimidating payments there are important tools like negotiating seller paid closing costs, seller paid concessions used to fund 2-1 buydowns, rate buydowns and utilizing 7-1 adjustable rate mortgages (these are all fancy talk for getting your monthly payment down).

At a later time, when we hope rates dip again, prices will rise. But if you're already in the home, refinancing can make your home purchase into a stellar deal in retrospect. Date the rate, marry the price!

Please note, all mortgage payment estimates are subject to fluctuating interest rates and personal credit rating.

Here they are, the Hot tub havens

#1.500 S Puerto Dr, Ivins

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Asking price: $399,000 Located in Padre Lakes and overlooking spectacular red mountains, this lovely 3 bedroom 2 bath home evokes a soothing resort-like feel. Enjoy a light and open floor plan featuring vaulted ceilings, ample storage, new flooring, and new A/C & furnace, all in wonderful condition. In a community surrounded by peaceful fountains, lakes, and palm trees, your own paradise awaits! Take advantage of many amenities: Clubhouse with indoor swimming pool, spa, exercise room, pool table, kitchen, and large entertaining area. Other HOA amenities: yard maintenance, tennis court, water features, green space common area. Property facts: 3 Beds, 2 Bath, 1536 Square feet, HOA $278, Built 2000 Rates estimated at 5.75%, price includes principal, insurance, pmi (if applicable), property tax and home insurance. Does not include HOA if applicable.

$0 Down: $2617 Monthly 5% Down ($20k): $2494 Monthly 20% down ($80k) $2017 Monthly

Listing, description, contact info and more pictures: https://www.utahrealestate.com/1853626?st_id=180655733&actor=4019269

#2. 446 E 1410 S #6, Washington

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Asking Price $875,000 Say hello to cozy curb appeal! This well-maintained and move-in ready home is sure to catch your eye. The interior feels open and airy thanks to an open floor plan, lots of windows, and cool colors that brighten up the space. You'll love the gourmet kitchen with a gas range, double ovens, a large farmhouse sink, and a hidden pantry and fridge. The well-apportioned laundry room sits behind a beautiful sliding barn door. Incredible and unique details abound throughout this property, from the built-in playhouse in the upstairs loft to the backyard paradise with a pool, hot tub, and custom rock slide. Property facts: 6 Beds, 4 Bath, 3940 Square feet, HOA $0 Built 2006 Rates estimated at 5.75%, price includes principal, insurance, pmi (if applicable), property tax and home insurance. Does not include HOA if applicable.

$0 Down: $5543 Monthly 5% Down ($42k): $5281 Monthly 20% down ($170k) $4268 Monthly

Listing, description, contact info and more pictures: https://www.utahrealestate.com/1844489?st_id=180655917&actor=4019269

#3. 2792 E Crimson Creek Dr. Washington

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Asking Price $699,000 The homes back yard is your own private retreat with no back neighbors and unobstructed views. The grand finale features of the home are the 3 car garage with lots of storage units, 6 person hot tub, custom swim spa for a great workout or for cooling off in the dead heat of summer and it is also heated, so you can enjoy this amenity year round with the spa, 224,000 BTU firepit, Security System and 10' X 31" covered patio for entertaining family and friends, and plenty of space on side of home for RV parking. This property has been impeccably cared for and is ready for it's new owners. Property Facts: 4 Bed, 3 Bath, 2504 Sq Feet, HOA $25 monthly $0 Down: $4568 Monthly 5% Down ($35k): $4352 Monthly 20% down ($140k) $3500 Monthly

Listing, description, contact info and more pictures: https://www.utahrealestate.com/1839589?st_id=180655917&actor=4019269

#4. 2083 W Montery Dr.

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Asking Price:$759,000 Property facts: 3 Beds, 3 Bath, 2400 Square feet Are you waiting for the perfect home on the Sunbrook Golf Course? Beautiful updated 3 bedroom plus den (library) for those that need an office or 4th bedroom! Outdoor Kitchen, Gorgeous Views, New Hardwood floors, appliances, hottub, new natural stone on fireplace. Guest bedroom suite walks out onto a darling courtyard. Giant master suite! Into wine? We've got the wine room for you...or it can easily be converted to storage. $0 Down: $4893 Monthly 5% Down ($4662): $3750 Monthly 20% down ($150k) $3768 Monthly

Listing, description, contact info and more pictures: https://www.utahrealestate.com/1839016?st_id=180655917&actor=4019269

#5. 504 E Telegraph St #34

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Asking Price:$379,900 This beauty cash flows as an Airbnb. Expected mortgages to total 38k-50k early and brings in positive cahs flow. Stunning Vida Sol Townhome. Seller's have been netting $54-55K Per Year on Short Term Rental Bookings. There are Already Loads of Bookings in the Coming Months; Bringing You Income Instantly. FURNITURE INCLUDED! *PS4 Gaming Console & Weight Set in Garage are Excluded* Top of the Line Furnishings will make any of your guests & your family comfortable during Vacation Stays. 6 Beds! Can Sleep up to 12 people. Along with a Massive Bonus Room Upstairs. Stunning Open Floorplan with Open Kitchen & Family Room. Quartz Counters, Stainless Appliances, Custom Two Tone Cabinets and Walk in Corner Pantry. Owners Closet under the Stairs. Incredible Outdoor Living as well. with Gas Fire Pit, Hot Tub, Sitting Area & Dining Area. Private Gate Access to Shared Space. Community Pool. Excellent Location with Access to the Hundreds of Miles of Walking and Biking Paths between Washington & St George. Property facts: 3 bed, 3 bath 1867 Square feet, $198 monthly HOA, $0 Down: $4243 Monthly 5% Down ($32.5k): $4042 Monthly 20% down ($130k) $3267 Monthly

Listing, description, contact info and more pictures: https://www.utahrealestate.com/1846579?st_id=180655917&actor=4019269

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Utah's Front License Plate Rule: Are You In Compliance?

Photo by Avinash Patel: https://www.pexels.com/photo/red-ford-mustang-544542/
Photo by Avinash Patel: https://www.pexels.com/photo/red-ford-mustang-544542/
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I just got a new vehicle and of course the dealer sent in for the new license plates that I could grace my new truck with (I went with the 'In God We Trust/United We Stand' plates).

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The other day my plates came in the mail and I went in to the garage to put them on.

I carefully placed the month and year stickers on the plate that would go on the back of the vehicle, then secured a screwdriver-wrench to take the placeholder off and put the plate one.

After a couple of minutes, the task was accomplished, and I grabbed the other plate and headed to the front of the truck to secure the tag on the bumper.

One problem: there was nowhere to put the plate.

No bracket. No screws. No predrilled holes. No blank spot at all, as a matter of fact.

Ford had decided my front bumper was too pretty to mess up with a silly license plate holder.

I had heard somewhere that a front plate was not necessary in such cases, so I decided to do what every red-blooded American would do -- I Googled it.

As it turns out, a front license plate is a requirement in the state of Utah. From the Utah Highway Patrol website:

Utah law requires that every vehicle registered in Utah, other than a motorcycle, trailer, or semitrailer, must have a license plate securely attached to the front and rear of the vehicle. Federal standards require that every vehicle manufactured for sale in the United States must have the capability of mounting a license plate on the front and rear of the vehicle. If you contact the vehicle dealer, they can obtain the necessary kit for mounting a front license plate.

Not only was I required to have a front plate, but the dealer has to provide a kit to make it so if the vehicle is not equipped for it.

So yes, you do have to get your front plate mounted and visible. Who knew?

Other plates available:

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LOOK: Most commonly seen birds in Utah

Stacker compiled a list of the most common birds seen in Utah from Project FeederWatch.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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