Matterport, What A Great Service

Technology advances can be wonderful. That comment especially applies to those of us who sell real estate. It used to be that my favorite invention of all time was GPS. For me it has saved me hours of extra time. Not wanting to look stupid or inconvenience my buyers I used to travel to all of the locations we would be visiting the day before, just to make sure I knew the route. GPS made navigating a breeze. (Of course the GPS on my iPhone is a step up as it even talks the directions to me as I go.) Now I discover matterport camera. Matterport, What A Great Service

Well, the matterport camera may have just taken over as my favorite. Here is the dollhouse view of Canyon Road Towers 401 and the dollhouse view it creates. Even this is amazing. From dollhouse you click on a room and you are taken there. You can move throughout the come as if you were right there.

The photo below shows a room view. You can travel throughout the home, see it all, by clicking your way through the home. It functions similar to Google Streets.


It also creates a to scale floor plan of the home. Don’t ask me how it does it, it seems impossible, but below is one of my listings plans that was created by matterport. How handy this is illustrated by a text I received this morning from the new buyer of Zion Summit 1004 who requested a floor plan to scale. Hot dog, where I often have to decline as they aren’t always available, he got this. I am still flabbergasted that this was created by a camera.

Here are some links to some of our most recent Mattterports

My guess, is that you will insist on this service whenever you put your home on the market. It is now another of the standard marketing tools I provide my sellers. It comes at a cost to me, but it is so worth it.

Here are two examples of the benefits because people can virtually walk through the home online. They see everything, ceiling to floor, wall to wall.

  • More people can see it. I have sent the link out to 100’s of my contacts. I am getting feedback that they love it. Two have been forwarded to people out of the country. One is telling me they approve an offer being made and they haven’t even seen it.
  • The second is a convenience factor. One negative thing is having people walk through your home day after day and hour after hour. Even when agents are instructed to give the seller a certain amount of notice it is not unusual to have someone knock on your door with, “I am sorry but my client wants to see it now?” Can we please do a last minute showing? Please, pretty please? What are you to say, you want to sell the darn thing. So many are just looky lou’s. Now they see it virtually on line before asking to see your home. The net result is that those that disturb you are pre qualified as to their interest.

Another Windermere marketing benefit is its international reach. We are a member of one of the premier international marketing sharing groups who have a world wide reach of buyers. This is accompanied by our Living Magazine which is targeted to local and out of our market qualified buyers.

I am committed to my clients and welcome the opportunity to assist you.

Larry Cragun – Windermere Real Estate

Condominium and Residential Specialist

Posted on February 10, 2019 at 8:48 pm
Larry Cragun | Posted in Featured Properties, Matterport Shows, Vendors I Recommend, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged ,

What? They Won’t Allow Your Puppy? No Dogs No Cats?


Soon after Kathleen and I moved into our condominium at Starpoint I noted the fact that we had to put up with rules and regulations as well as the actions of our neighbors.  I coined the phrase, “welcome to the condominium project”.

There were no pet restrictions. As a result the common areas were the potty place for some of our inconsiderate neighbors. That courtyard smelled badly after awhile and we had to give up worrying why the plants were dying and the ground dug up. What bothered me the most was when a new next door neighbor moved in. I met her in the elevator, I should say I met her and her dog in the elevator. “Is that a pit bull I asked”. ‘Yes, but she is harmless was her answer”. OK, how should I react? I have heard the pit bull tales. The no animal restriction policy got so carried away that I say no wonder some properties don’t allow them.

But they restrict cats too? How come these harmless loving animals are restricted? Note, I am a cat lover. We had two cats that lived to be over twenty. We couldn’t part with them. Waiting for them to die to move, and then the emotional pain of them getting so bad they had to be put away was terrible. But rules are rules, probably just some of the rules that may bug you when “joining the condominium project”.

Since it’s a common question, are pets allowed I am going to publish the Salt Lake City Condo developments that do and don’t allow pets.

I am referencing those which begin at $200,000 in price. Most under that price do not have pet restrictions.

Do allow: (Note: Some allow but with size, number of, or other restrictions. Some allow cats but not dogs). Contact me if you want to sort out what would work  in your situations.


  • The Presidential Club
  • Northridge Heights
  • Belmont Downtown Condos
  • Brickyard
  • Broadway Park Lofts
  • Broadway Tower {Under 20#’s}
  • Country Club Ridge
  • Meridien
  • Oak Crest
  • The Metro
  • Avenues Condo
  • The Presidential Villas
  • Parc Gateway
  • Parc 7
  • Liberty Park Place
  • One and Nine
  • Salt Creek Condo
  • Mayflower
  • Millcreek Terrace
  • Millcreek Hollow {Under 20#’s}
  • Patrick Lofts
  • Old Farm
  • Highland Springs
  • Laurelhurst Condo
  • Highland Springs
  • Monte Carlo
  • Northpoint Estates
  • East Point Lane
  • Urbana on 11th Condo
  • Wasatch Towers
  • Westgate Lofts
  • Wolf Hollow

Don’t allow:

  • American Towers
  • Aztec
  • Bonneville Towers
  • Canyon Crest Condo
  • City Crest
  • City Creek Regent
  • City Creek Richards
  • Canyon Road Towers
  • Eagle Springs West
  • Garden Towers
  • Governors Plaza
  • Terrace Falls
  • Forest Glen
  • Trevi Towers
  • Royal Oaks
  • 838 Condos
  • Zions Summit
  • 99 West
  • Wilshire Condos
  • Forest Glen, maybe small with a loophole

This is not complete yet as some of those listed in the MLS do not state yes or no to pets. I will work on updating this information as fast as I can.

Posted on December 1, 2018 at 6:26 pm
Larry Cragun | Posted in Pets |

All Reverse Mortgage Lenders Aren’t The Same

All Reverse Mortgage Lenders Aren’t The Same. The product is the same but there can be important differences. I write this to help you make a good decision when you decide to go the reverse mortgage route as my wife and I just did.

Kathleen and I went through an interesting process. First we decided to get serious about an over 55 community in Daybreak. The builder owned their own mortgage company and had incentives to use them. We went through the pre qualification process with their reverse mortgage loan officer. My preferred FHA and conventional lender has a reverse mortgage specialist and we considered them. I was approached by another lender who heard we were in the market and we considered him. Finally we considered Reverse Freedom and Chad Peck. We had been to an informational lunch presentation with Chad and were impressed.

If you follow the articles I post here you will likely remember that Kathleen and I owned a large mortgage company in Washington State. With that background I knew the reverse mortgage pluses and potential minuses and wasn’t prone to be turned off by the nay sayers with their “don’t do a reverse mortgage they are bad” comments. (Even from some of our children”). In situations like ours it is a perfect product.

The main reasons people choose a reverse mortgage are as follows: 1- To use their equity to create a monthly cash flow to supplement their monthly income. 2- To pay off a small mortgage, again having no monthly payment, thus eliminating the mortgage payment. 3- To purchase without having to pay for the entire purchase, again having no monthly payment. (The older you are the less you put down).

Our situation was #3. We didn’t want a monthly payment and we didn’t want to pay cash for the full purchase price. Here is where each lender we spoke with was different. How much we had to put down varied by as much as $40,000 from the least desirable option to the most desirable option, which turned out to be Reverse Freedom and Chad Peck.

In wanting to know why the difference I learned that interest rates charged determine the down payment. A reverse mortgage is an FHA guaranteed product. FHA/HUD set the rules as they do not want have to reimburse the lender for a foreclosure. I learned that the higher the interest rate the lender is charging (even though it is deferred indefinitely) the more cash equity you must have. So what created the $40,000 lower down payment for us was because Reverse Freedom was charging us a lower interest rate.

In important areas: All Reverse Mortgage Lenders Aren’t The Same

Because we selected Reverse Freedom we couldn’t compare the service, follow through, and competency one to another. I will say that I having closed over 5000 loans I am totally aware of what is quality in these areas. Top of the line service, follow through, and competency would be my description.

To reach Reverse Freedom you phone them at 801-921-4663 or Chad’s cell: 801-809-3872. Here is the link to their website:

For other articles on this topic that I have written click here



Posted on November 14, 2018 at 6:11 pm
Larry Cragun | Posted in Reverse Mortgages | Tagged

Avoid Wire Fraud

Avoid Wire Fraud. Criminals disguised as trusted professionals, are prowling for transactions that may be vulnerable.

It is important to take the proper steps to avoid wire fraud by managing the transfer of money for your purchase.

The common way this can happen is to discover who you will be wiring money to (title company) and send you instructions to the wrong account – the fraudsters account. Once this happens  your money is irretrievable.

Accessing your email is how they discover where you are to send them money, they then spoof you with a fake letterhead with fake instructions.

Not receiving the instructions by email is a protection. Having the instructions sent to you with a password to open the attachment is another way of protection.

My main recommended title company, First American has a most secure process that they have just implemented called secure portal. Within the Secure Portal, they can electronically sign opening paperwork, download wire instructions, and communicate with their closing team without relying on risky emails.

We simply provide our clients’ email and phone number when opening escrow and they take care of the rest in a most secure process.

Do it right, calm your fears, and stay secure. Don’t take this risk lightly and avoid wire fraud. There need not be a tragedy if you take the serious and cautious steps to protect yourselves. By the way, text is more secure for communication than is email.

Another say to protect yourselves is to setup your email with a two step process to access your email. The simple way to explain this process is that to open your email you need two things: something that you know and something that you have. 1- you know your login credentials and 2- you have your cell phone. When logging in a message is sent to your phone asking you if this is you. You must acknowledge to get in. Windermere is requiring all of its agents to have the two step setup.


Avoid Wire Fraud


Posted on October 30, 2018 at 5:04 pm
Larry Cragun | Posted in First American Title, Larry K Cragun, Purchasing A Home or Condo, Windermere Real Estate |

A Summary Of Positives Of Various Downtown Salt Lake City Condos

Garden Towers is seen in the drone shot at the vey bottom. It is about 38 units. The owners manage it themselves. Notice on the roof is the garden. On each corner is a Bar B Q. It has a gazebo and several places to just hang out. The roof can be reserved. Their is a variety of units and floor plans and some are terrific.

Canyon Road Towers is to the right in the photo. It is larger, 185 units, and very popular. It has an indoor swim pool and exercise room. It has two social rooms. It has tennis courts. It is well managed. Some of the units are in original condition and some are remodeled. Some of the views are spectacular.

Zion Summit is directly north of temple square, two towers behind the LDS conference center. The swim pool is outdoors. It has a large entry which invites socializing. Zion Summit seems to encourage socializing, even has a social committee.

All three of the buildings are popular for the easy access to temple square and City Creek Mall.

American Towers, South of City Creek, is very popular with those that are wanting a downtown city feel. Theaters are next to it as well as great places for eating out. Its rooftops are a great place to entertain and hot tub with a view. It is large enough to afford full time security. It has racquetball courts.

Terrace Falls is on 3rd Ave directly behind Garden Towers. The facility has a shop to die for. Some of the floor plans are great for people wanting two master bedrooms. Terrace Falls is a terrific property.

Trevi Towers abuts Zion Summit. Most of the floor plans are large and the units facing South have wonderful views. It has an indoor pool.

This website has great search engine. I invite you to search in the search bar or to take advantage of the quick and useful links searches which I have established. Some are by building and some by location. I enjoyed it when one of my colleagues called me “the condo king”. I have sold condos from North Ogden to Daybreak. Selling condos is not like selling houses. I you to encourage you to choose me in helping you buy or sell a condo.

This link goes to the category that pulls up all of the articles I have written about condos: click here.

Posted on October 29, 2018 at 10:02 pm
Larry Cragun | Posted in American Towers, Canyon Road Towers, Garden Towers, Terrace Falls, Trevi Towers |

We At Windermere Give Back

Greetings from the Windermere Foundation!

With the close of the third quarter, I’d like to provide an update about our fundraising efforts through the Windermere Foundation. So far this year, we’ve donated $1,214,576 to non-profit organizations in communities throughout the Western U.S. that provide services to low-income and homeless families. During the third quarter, the Windermere Foundation collected over $742,226 in donations; 70 percent of which came from individual contributions and fundraisers, while 30 percent came from donations through Windermere agent sales transactions. This brings the grand total to $37,151,731 raised since 1989!

If you would like to learn more about how the Windermere Foundation is supporting low-income and homeless families, you can read the latest Windermere Blog. This quarter’s blog features the Foundation’s support of continuing education scholarship programs. I encourage you to share this blog on social media and with your clients, so they can see how your generosity is helping others in your community.

Thank you for all you do to support the Windermere Foundation! Together, we are able to make a real difference for those in need in our local communities.

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit


Christine Wood
Executive Director
Windermere Foundation

Posted on October 25, 2018 at 4:43 pm
Larry Cragun | Posted in Windermere Real Estate |

Mortgage Bait & Switch Or Not?

RE: Internet mortgage company using mortgage bait and switch, or not.

As a real estate agent I DO NOT LIKE when a borrower is using an internet mortgage company to process their loan. These big companies have no long term relationship with me and therefore have no reason to make my buyers their highest priority.  My vendors, mortgage etc. treat my clients like they are their most important borrowers.

With that as a background I refer to the article heading Mortgage Bait & Switch Or Not? I am referring to a radio advertisement that has been running for quite a few days promoting that they have a program with the concept of locking your loan now and being able to pick a lower rate at some future date, providing that interest rates go down in the future. (All mortgage brokers have this option)

The pitch sounds great. The details not so great to most borrowers. The reason for the pitch is to get you to contact the advertiser.

My first days as a loan officer were for a large bank. They advertised a rate or program heavily. We were required to take the phone calls. It was not uncommon for the rate to have climbed by the time they published the quoted in the newspaper rate. However once I had them on the phone, gathered 15 minutes worth of information the consumer was so tired of the process that they stayed with us even if the rate or program had changed. In my history it took only a couple of experiences where I refused to take these calls.

I believe that is what the objective is for this new advertising program, which is to get you to contact them.

The pitfalls of locking now with a promise of a lower rate in the future is that you pay for this attractive program. You either pay with a higher rate or with fees. My experience in originating hundreds of loans is that the costs were not worth it. Another catch is the terms for the relock may be undesirable. You may have a specific period of time that you can exercise the re-lock or it may be available if you are about to close. I don’t remember one person finding this program one they wanted once they knew the facts.

The internet mortgage company running these ads do not care if you end up with the rate lock program. The reason is obvious to me, it is like a mortgage bait and switch, anything to get you to call.

Posted on September 12, 2018 at 9:54 pm
Larry Cragun | Posted in Mortgages, Purchasing A Home or Condo | Tagged

Should Your HOA Be FHA Approved?

Should Your HOA Be FHA Approved? I recently dealt with an HOA where the HOA board debated on whether or not to renew their FHA approval. FHA will not make a loan on a building that isn’t approved. VA usually follow FHA. The approval process is in depth. FHA reviews the financial condition, the number of rentals, is in in a floor plain, is it properly insured, etc.

The approval must be updated and is good for two years. The board can start the renewal process six months prior to expiration and can go back within six months of expiration.

My efforts to persuade the board was based on the benefits to buyers:

There are two reasons that buyers use FHA: 1- to do a reverse mortgage 2- to have more lenient
mortgage underwriting. The prices in CRT and the size of the monthly dues virtually eliminates any FHA
buyers from using a typical 30 year mortgage to purchase here.
Benefit of FHA reverse mortgages to the HOA: STABILITY. People have to buy with about 50% down.
Using conventional financing it can be as low as 5%. With a reverse mortgage the lender will foreclose
on them if the HOA notifies the owner is delinquent on their HOA dues. The 50% down rule virtually
assures that you have an owner with a great deal at stake. The underwriting process gives reasonable
security that the buyer/borrower can pay their taxes and HOA dues with verifiable income.
FHA condo project requirements: The Building must be primarily residential, contain at least two
dwelling units – No more than 25% of the property’s total floor space in a project or unit can be used for
non-residential or commercial usage – No more than 10% can be owned by one investor or entity – no
more than 15% can be more than 60 days past due on their HOA dues – at least 75% of the units must
be owner occupied.

RE benefits for the building: 1- Demand – The more in demand a property is the more the value. Eliminating a source of financing
reduces the potential value. Mike Kline asked me to prove that FHA was a positive not a negative to CRT.
To me the way to measure that is value. The more in demand a property is the more the value.
Eliminating a source of financing reduces the potential value.
2- Restricting rentals: FHA does not encourage rental owners. The borrowers on reverse mortgages
must commit to owner occupancy. The HOA must account for the rental percent numbers which is one
of the main reasons for the two-year renewal process. Some of the buildings denied FHA have received
a denial because of too many rentals. Zion Summit and American Towers as an example.
3- Endorsement: Many knowledgeable buyers and/or their agents understand the FHA approval means
that important issues have been reviewed buy HUD. These would include too many rentals, a law suit on
the HOA, poor reserves, issues that might arise from the HOA meetings minutes, and any item they
consider a red flag.

The vote went 3 to 2 to renew. A homeowner and the HOA attorney made a different point that swayed the yes voters. That is, when times are tough having the ability for you to sell your home FHA may be critical.


Posted on September 9, 2018 at 11:01 pm
Larry Cragun | Posted in Condominiums | Tagged ,

All HOA Fees Don’t Cover The Same

HOA Comparisons

Clicking the link above opens up a spreadsheet that I created for one of the downtown Condominium Home Owners Associations. (HOA) They were interested in comparing the fees and what they cover of other associations. Not all condominium projects are listed in this spreadsheet, but many of those downtown are included.

If you are moving from a house to a condominium you will probably discover that the costs add up to be quite similar to what you are now paying.

Benefits that  you can’t really monetize is the convenience of not having to maintain a home; yard work, snow removal, building maintenance, etc. You do give up total control which led to an article, “Welcome To The Condominium Project”.


Posted on July 2, 2018 at 4:44 pm
Larry Cragun | Posted in American Towers, Canyon Road Towers, Condominiums, Garden Towers, Terrace Falls, Trevi Towers |

The Wrong Loan Officer Can Get You Into Trouble

Why do I title this article, The Wrong Loan Officer Can Get You Into Trouble? The shady ones don’t always look like this.

I write this because of a phone call I received from a very worried woman who knew that I used to own a large mortgage company.

She had committed loan fraud and that fact was just thrown at her by the company she did the mortgage with. She was terrified over the phone call she had just received.

She was guided into it by her loan officer. At the time it didn’t seem like a big deal to her, as it was explained to her she was just fine, so she thought.

The fraud was this: she and her husband refinanced their primary residence with this mortgage company. The interest rates were great at the time, it was a smart idea, they had purchased the home years ago with a VA loan and the refi paid that loan off.

A month later they went out and  purchased another home using their current VA eligibility.

The events, refi and purchase, started the fraud. Investment properties have different underwriting rules and benefits. One big difference is that there is a higher interest rate on an investment property.

They turned the home they did the refi on into a rental. Now we have the fraud.

I asked her if she had all of the paperwork signed at closing. The answer was yes. I asked if they had signed an addendum warranting that they would remain in the home as their primary residence for at least a year. The answer turned out to be yes.

But…… she said when discussing the possibilities with their loan officer they were guided that they weren’t certain at the time they would be buying another home and renting this one out. They were told that since it wasn’t certain that it would be ok.

Now I refer back to the title of this post, “The Wrong Loan Officer Can Get You Into Trouble.” As far as the Feds go the intent is obvious. They purchased a new home 0 down VA 30 days later. It’s a pretty obvious crime. (Even if they did this months later, it is still loan fraud)

The lender came to her in a panic. The loan officer no longer works for this mortgage company. They must believe that they have some liability. Loans are usually sold to an investor. The investor in reviewing this loan found the fraud and rejected it. The mortgage company is now offering to refinance the fraudulent loan to a non owner loan at their cost. They will lose over $10,000 to make this old loan go away.

I have suggested to them to be cooperative with the mortgage company, it seems like it will suffer the costs to get rid of this fraudulent loan. I also referred them to an attorney that is a mortgage industry expert to guide them through these next days, and hopefully not with future problems.

My advice to you is to always use a loan officer that is personally recommended and introduced to you by a full time real estate agent. There are a few flakes out there and this person found one. There are some great loan officers in the business and they usually work with real estate agents. Real estate agents are demanding. They want loan officers that deliver what was promised, as promised.

Take note on my statement above, “deliver what was promised, as promised.” This is outside of fraud. It refers to delivering your loan on time to stay under contract with a seller. This refers to deliver the terms you were promised. One real estate branch broker sourly told me that, “too many transactions the buyers are told all along, the loan is ok and then at the end, “sorry not ok’.

I always refer my clients to Aaron Morgan, a producing branch manager of Academy Mortgage. (801-560-8162)To follow my proposed procedure, make sure I let him know that you are contacting him.

I use the cute little fraud guy to depict the Wrong Loan Officer by license with


Posted on June 4, 2018 at 5:50 pm
Larry Cragun | Posted in Mortgages, Purchasing A Home or Condo, Vendors I Recommend |