Enjoy a cup of Cocoa at Meyer Coffee in Heber, Utah!

On these beautiful sunny days between snow showers there is no where better to grab a cup of cocoa than the Meyer Coffee Company in Heber, Utah!

This amazing coffee company has everything– including a delicious offering for breakfast and lunch.  And can I just say that there cocoa is my absolutely favorite!  It seems like all winter I was going there at least  twice a week to enjoy one.  I’m not sure how they make it, but it is just so good.

And, a few weeks ago I even enjoyed a breakfast burrito! It was served very quickly, as of course I was in a rush, and very very good! Which makes Meyer Coffee the perfect stop for me to visit during my busy days with clients.  And of course, it’s the perfect spot to bring clients!

So..if you’re in Heber or driving thru on your way from Park City to Provo, give it a try.  You’ll love their coffee and their baked goods and the owners are as just so kind and friendly.  It’s the perfect small town cup of joe!

 

Meet the Suss Cookie Company in Midway, Utah

What’s super fun about closing a deal and selling a home! Seller and Buyer gifts!! I love to leave a little surprise for all of my clients and those gifts usually come from one of my favorite bakeries and this week I’m featuring the Suss Cookie Company in Midway, Utah!

What’s so special about these cookies….they are YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!! So many flavors, and baked to perfection.  So soft and chewy…my favorite is the Peppermint…they only offer this fantastic cookie during the holidays, but boy…I’m not sure I could eat more of them than I already do at the holidays!

But so many other flavors to fill your palette.  And their helpers are so sweet and wonderful just like the cookies.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do!  You can even order online as they ship everywhere!

www.susscookieco.com

Enjoy and eat cookies!

Mommy & GG Visit the Biathalon at Solider Hollow, Midway, Utah

A few weeks ago my sunshine and I headed out to visit the Biathalon at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center in Midway, Utah.

WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!

I felt like I was in Europe…so many fans…so excited about this amazing athletic feat.  It was inspiring, exciting and just made us want more!!

If you haven’t experienced this type of event, I highly encourage you to attend.  Just watching these athletes was life changing.  I cannot believe what amazing shots they are!

You’ll also want to visit Soldier Hollow because of their incredible tubing- it is WAY FUN!  And of course, it’s a wonderful place to skate ski and snow shoe.  There’s a beautiful trail that offers just about everything.  And a place for a quick meal or snack.

Come Visit Beautiful Midway!!

 

MEET THE PARK CITY NORDIC BETTIES

 

Last year I decided to give Skate Skiing a shot.  As I had driven around town, I kept seeing skate skiers out on the various tracks in and around Park City and thought…man…that looks challenging.  After speaking to a few locals who encouraged me to give skate ski a try as well as one of my closest friends who is an excellent skate skier, I decided to give it a try.  But I wasn’t sure how to get started.

Then a friend mentioned a women’s skate ski group known as the Nordic Betties.  I had seen their hats and gear around town but had no idea what they were about.  So I did some googling and learned that they were a group of women skate skiers who were invested in teaching skate ski to skiers of all levels.  I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try so I signed up for their six-week beginners course.

We met the first time at White Pine Touring’s track at the Park City Municipal Golf Course.  I went ahead and rented gear for the first time not having any idea of what to buy or how quickly my skill level would adjust.  We headed out for the first time with about 10 other women ranging in age from 40-65, some moms that I new from other groups in Park City and the others women who I would get to know.  Well, the first day was challenging.  It was a lesser snow year and some of the tracks were a bit icy to start.  But it didn’t take long to get a little bit of a groove going as I was starting to figure out the technique.  And to boot, it was FUN!  This group of girls were in it for fun and a good athletic work out, which it definitely was.

Each week we would meet and learn new techniques and practice in various conditions, good or bad…and I quickly learned that if I could skate in last year’s conditions, this year was going to be incredible.  So I did my best to get out three times a week to try to learn the technique and get some fresh air.  It was just wonderful to enjoy winter in a new way!

So this year, I signed on for their 10 week course for Intermediate Level 1.  It’s a new group of girls, same teaching Betties which is great because of the consistent reinforcement of their teaching, which is outstanding.  I had a chance to get out about 4 times before the class started and boy did it help.  We’re now about to begin the 5th week and I’m really feeling like I’ve gotten a better understanding of the techniques and an actual groove with the rhythm of the skiing method!  It’s beyond exciting to be doing something new and gaining skills in such a great environment.  The snow has been incredibly good this year, a complete difference from last year, so I’ve really been able to incorporate what I’m learning.

The girls at the Betties are just amazing.  Such incredible athletes and are also getting to be great friends.  Plus this year with a new group I’m making new friends and few friends are in the group so we’ve been out training on our own as well.  I’d encourage anyone interested in this amazing sport to give it a try.  Once you gain the endurance, the technique just floats.  And frankly, I’m just hooked.  This is such an amazing way to experience the outdoors and you really do feel like the mindset transports you to adventure.

And, what’s more they’ve taught me so much about the skis and how to care for them.  What’s wonderful is that they even did a waxing clinic with Inge’s husband the other night so I’m sharing a video from that for those of you who might be interested in caring for your own skis.

If you’re wanting to give it a try, check them out here:  www.nordicbetties.com

You’ve still got time to get in this season!

 

THE MILLION DOLLAR DIFFERENCE: HOW REAL ESTATE MAKES AN IMPACT ON FINANCES

To help provide you with great strategies for your financial future, I’ve invited Forbes Financial Blogger and great friend of mine, Nancy L. Anderson to create an informational article on the benefits of Real Estate as an investment in your future.  I hope you all enjoy the article and Nancy’s perspective on living and prospering.

THE MILLION DOLLAR DIFFERENCE:
HOW REAL ESTATE MAKES AN IMPACT ON FINANCES

This is a guest article by Nancy Anderson, CFP, Financial Writer at Acres of Acorns – Financial Strategies for Late Starters and lover of real estate, saving money and skiing in Park City.

Owning real estate is key to growing your net worth.

Here’s the issue:  Housing is expensive – very expensive. Housing costs comprise take up much of a worker’s monthly income.  The Consumer Price Index (CPI) pegs “housing” at 38% of monthly income. So close to 40% of your paycheck goes for housing every month of every year. When you rent, that money goes into a black hole.  Your rent payment is going to pay for someone else’s (your landlord’s) mortgage payment.  Sadly, as a renter, that payment never ends. Renting is cheaper at first but more expensive later.

When you own your home, it’s more expensive at first and more economical later.  To buy a home, you pay a downpayment as well as property taxes, insurance and water/garbage services.  Owning costs more upfront. You take care of the upkeep, too.  The phone call you made to your landlord when the dishwasher broker is no longer.  You get to repair and replace everything yourself. In the long run, owning your home can be a huge a moneymaker — a cornerstone asset in your financial plan.  If you want to grow your net worth, adding real estate is important.

In fact, over the past 30 years as a financial planner, all of my clients, with very few exceptions, own their home versus renting one.  In one of my favorite finance books, The Millionaire Next Door, author and researcher Thomas Stanley, shared found a common trait among millionaires is they own their own home.

Let’s compare renting versus homeownership:

For our case study, let’s compare buying a $360,000 home with a 30-year fixed mortgage payment of $1,500 with $300/mo. in taxes and insurance.  The downpayment is $60,000 and our homeowner pays $1,800/mo to live in the house. Our renter pays less at $1,500 a month in rent. Since a renter has no downpayment, maintenance or upkeep costs, their total cost is $1,500.

How renting impacts your finances.

Let’s start with our renter.  We’ll call her Amber. Amber pays $1,500 a month for rent that goes up by 2% each year.  Simple math tells us she pays $18,000 in rent the first year. When the rent increases by 2% the next year, she forks out $18,360 in rent the following year. This 2% increase is no big deal to Amber but it creeps up over time.  But by year 30, Amber is paying $2,700 a month — $32,600 a year in rent – almost double what she started with. Over 30 years, she has paid out a whopping $745,000 in rent. That’s a big drag on her net worth.

Contrast this to Lisa who purchases a home. Lisa’s down payment was $60,000 and she got a fixed mortgage for 30 years.  All in with taxes and insurance is $1,800 a month. Simple math tells us she pays $21,600 a year.  With a 30-year fixed mortgage, Lisa’s payment is frozen in time. While rents go up, her payment is fixed. Her property taxes and insurance may increase along the way but her major payment, her house payment, is fixed. Fast forward 30 years and Lisa makes her last payment.  Her cost all along has been $1,800 a month but now she owns the home free and clear. Over 30 years, Lisa paid $648,000 in mortgage payments plus her down-payment of $60,000 so she paid in a total of  $708,000. The key difference here is she owns the house.

Resource:  Calculate your monthly payment with this mortgage calculator

At year 30, our renter and homeowner are looking at very different financial scenarios. At year 30, Lisa’s mortgage payment is zero.  Her taxes and insurance are $300/mo. (Her property taxes may have gone up a bit but we’ll not over complicate our case study.)  Her cost of housing is $3,600 a year compared to Amber’s at $32,600 a year to rent. Lisa’s house went up in value, too.  If she paid $360,000 for her home today and it increased in value by 4% per year, the value of her home is $1,017,000.

Resource: Check out this Rent versus Buy calculator from Realtor.com.

Lisa is sitting on a million dollars worth of equity in her home AND lives mortgage free!  Amber, our renter, is still paying rent and has no equity. Lisa, our homeowner, made her last mortgage payment and the equity in her home is a valuable asset.  With no house payment, Lisa has about $30,000 more a year to spend. She could retire earlier and travel.  With less drag on her cash flow, she could buy a new car for cash.  She’s got an extra $30,000 a year and equity in her home. The bottom line is she has more wealth and more options.

Buying a home versus renting a home is a million dollar difference in net worth. Buying a home costs more in the beginning but pays off tremendously later.  Start saving up for that down payment!

Nancy L. Anderson, CFP

As a 30-year Certified Financial Planner (TM) Professional and retirement writer for Acres of Acorns (for late starters to retirement planning) and  Forbes.com with over 6 million page views, she’s helped millions of people with ideas and tips on saving and investing for retirement.

FEATURED COMMUNITY: BLACK ROCK RIDGE

We’re thrilled to be featuring the luxury condos at Black Rock Ridge! These stunning units are located a quick six minute drive from Main Street, Park City with pricing starting in the 390s!  The MGP team and our clients are loving these upscale and amenity rich properties that are absolutely perfect as an investment or primary residence. Fifty-two of the one hundred and ninety-four properties have been released and reservations are going quickly.  Previously only advertised by word of mouth, these unique properties are a true hidden gem in a very desirable area.

For those considering Black Rock Ridge as an investment, we’re excited to report that when complete the condos will include an on-site property manager with a running lobby. Future development includes an indoor ice rink that will bring in hockey tournaments throughout the year to keep your units rented year-round beyond the ski season!

For those seeking the perfect primary residence, you’ll be delighted by the endless amenities that accompany a Club Black Rock membership including two year round heated outdoor pools, hot tubs, fitness center, game room, sauna, steam room and towel service!

All of the residents and renters, regardless of Club Black Rock membership, will have access to heated underground parking, outdoor parking, the restaurant, market, and spa that will eventually be in the commercial portion of the building. With an estimated completion in the second half of 2019 there is no time to waste. Act now and end 2019 living the mountain lifestyle!

Learn more about the Condos at Black Rock Ridge: https://blackrockridge.com/condos-gallery/

 

HEARTH AND HILL RESTAURANT

The other night my wonderful husband and I had the pleasure of having a dinner date, which took a miracle to get a sitter, at Park City’s newest restaurant- Hearth and Hill in Kimball Junction.

Here is the low-down on this new culinary delight!

We started our meal with a few of their small plates- Tuna Crudo and their short rib, oxtail tostadas….YUM YUM YUM!  The flavor in the dressing of the Tuna Crudo was a tangy drizzle of deliciousness.  From the first bite to the last.  I highly recommend it.  And Jared LOVED the short rib tostada…great flavors married in a beautiful presentation.

We followed our appetizers with dinner- Jared enjoyed the carnitas while I enjoyed their home made veggie burger.  Apparently they do their best to work in farm to table with fresh local produce and meats when possible.

I highly recommend this wonderful spot.  Great ambiance, the service was EXCEPTIONAL for the area and amazing food from start to finish.  The peanut butter desert sandwiches were scrumptious!!

 

CHRISKINDLE HOLIDAY MARKET

Last week we had the company of some friends from Las Vegas who arrived just in time for one of Salt Lake City’s biggest holiday festivals- the Chriskindle Holiday Market at Heritage This Is the Place.

No kidding, it was fun from the moment we arrived! First we took the train tour of the property- it’s such a great train ride because it offers so much history about Salt Lake City and the families that first settled in the area.  In addition, there are lots of farm animals around such as horses and goats and cows that Giada just LOVED IT!

There was a great visit with Kris Kringle, amazing German food.  No kidding, Salt Lake has one of the largest German populations I’ve encountered and it is so wonderful to find Bavarian Pretzels made fresh, bratwurst with sourkraut, more sweets than you can possibly eat and fresh gingerbread!  And we just love the culture.  It’s so refreshing to experience a holiday event that really transported us to Munich!

There’s about 100 independent shops with booths to buy everything from scarves to authentic hand puppets like Giada is wearing!

If you’re new to the area, I’d encourage you to check it out. We really had so much fun.  Lots of holiday characters, a Christmas parade, friendly guests and so much more.  And what’s wonderful is that this weekend, you can experience the same type of Swiss market at the Zermatt right here in the little town of Midway.  There will be music, events and so much fun.  One more reason to love living in the Heber Valley!

Happy Holidays!

MIDWAY TREE LIGHTING

 

This past weekend mom was visiting, and we were having family.  As her trip came to a close, it seemed to be time for the Midway Town Tree lighting.

It was as though the entire town was in attendance as they lit the giant Pine tree out front of the Swiss town hall in Midway.  Santa and Mrs. Clause were there to kick off the festivities and offered a great photo op as Giada told him what she wanted for Christmas…she said clearly….”I want a VIOLIN”??? We were both like….”say what?”  Oh lord…..not sure where this is going, but I already have a drum set in my house. Now a violin?

They had a sleigh ride as as well as food trucks!  Cucina Rustica made their amazing home made pizzas, Lola’s was there slinging burgers and fries and a few others.  And to boot, we ran into our closest friends who stopped Giada for a moment of caroling to sing her Happy Birthday!

If you missed it this year, there’s always next year, but just one more special something that makes the Heber Valley such a beautiful amazing place.  In a word; Community.  Happy tree lighting to you and yours!

 

WASATCH COUNTY DAY OF THANKS

This past weekend, we were lucky enough to participate in the Wasatch County Day of Thanks hosted by the Wasatch Community Foundation.

What a wonderful local experience.  As a first time sponsor, I had never gone before so wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.   Well…I can certainly say that this family had a great time at this event.  When we arrived we were greeted by our wonderful friend and host Tom Fowler who quickly gave us the run down on how the event operates and how many families this event feeds.  In addition, the event provided a coat drive to provide families with warm winter attire at no additional cost.  The entire coat drive was created and all donations were collected by a young local working on becoming an Eagle Scout.  It was incredible how many coats were there.  This community is so giving it never stops amazing me.

Tom invited us to grab a plate of food so we could enjoy dinner and we were served by such a friendly group of volunteers.  After we were all served, we decided we’d better find a seat and the only table available had a young man seated there with about 8 seats remaining.  We quickly approached him and asked him if we could join him. He generously said of course! Absolutely!  We all introduced ourselves and before we knew it, we were having a great conversation with Hassan.  He was traveling gaining an education in Sports and had landed in the Heber Valley and UVU specifically.  He was a breath of fresh air.  So friendly.  We had a great dinner that started as strangers and ended as friends.

And…not to mention..the Cowboy Poetry group provided great local music that really warmed the soul.

I’d encourage all locals to attend this event.  It’s simply a great way to get to know your neighbors, and truly, that’s what building a community is all about.  People helping people and treating each other as family.   May your thanksgiving be wonderful and filled with love.

 

 

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