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 June 1, 2019 at 1:44 am
Larry Cragun | Category: American Towers, Canyon Road Towers, Condominiums, Garden Towers, Terrace Falls, Trevi Towers

Luxury Condominiums In Salt Lake City Utah

As of this posting there are nine luxury condominiums in Salt Lake City Utah on the market. We define Luxury as priced at $1,000,000 or more. Why that price? It is the required price to fit into our membership into the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Luxury Portfolio International. See this article 

Six of these homes are downtown, one is in up by the Hogle Zoo (Donner), and two are in the Avenues. I have one potentially coming on line right around 1 million with a stunning view and one that is a very large unit, yet only two bedrooms. The view is spectacular.

To get a current search for 1 million or more, condo, Salt Lake City, click here.

About the Condo’s at  City Creek. Two of these six in downtown are in the three condominiums around the shopping center. They are posh. Most are small. One in todays search is square feet at $1,150,000. The larger unit is priced at $1,895,000. It is 3 bedrooms and 2296 square feet in size. The developer tells us that they are now over 90% sold out. If you drive by after dark you will notice that far less than 90% have their lights on. One might therefore conclude that many of the owners own as sometimes marketed as a “Perfect weekend retreat” Some are so small that it’s likely that the purpose is to be a perfect weekend retreat. All come with parking stalls, a few have two, and some stalls are more prime than others.

See more about downtown condos in this link, click here.  

Posted on March 10, 2019 at 12:06 am
Larry Cragun | Category: Condominiums, Luxury Homes

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 | Category: Condominiums | Tagged ,

Featured Home Of The Month – May 2018

crt1.pngFeatured Home Of The Month – May 2018 123 E 2nd Ave #401 downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. Canyon Road Towers. In addition to the number of bedrooms, this corner 3 bedroom condo has the two most important features when it comes to price and popularity; great condition and view. Location helps the value but when comparing units within a building, especially an older building, these two things can make a huge difference in value.

Canyon Road Towers was built in 1976 as was Zion Summit. Many, should I say most, are in original or near original condition. I have seen people have to spend over $100,000 to upgrade one of these condominiums. Many have spent less but $50,000 to $80,000 is typical.

This featured home of the month for May has been nicely updated. The fireplace is rally quite unusual and quite nice. It is in great condition.

The view is surprising for being on the 4th floor. It is a corner unit, facing West and North. The view is the setting to the West. Some may say the higher the better. In this case you can be sitting on a couch with a beautiful setting to see the park and Temple Square. I refer the West view on both 4th and 5th floor units as the setting. I actually prefer these views to those on the higher floors, even the 13th floor. Yes, they are higher up but the higher ups miss the setting.

To the North the view is to the Capitol. A home is in this view but at night the Capitol building lights up and is just great.

The parking stall for this unit is indoors and one flight of stairs down. (3rd floor parking level). It’s real close to the door you exit this floor, easy and convenient. The storage unit is just a few steps from your parking stall.

Aha, you can walk through the condo on line. Here is a link to a 360 Matterport tour click here.

This tour will save you time, if you like it on line you will love the visit. If you don’t like it online, you won’t waste time with an unnecessary visit.

It is rented until the end of July for $1850.00 per month. The tenants are very cooperative. I do need an appointment to show it.

Posted on May 12, 2018 at 8:43 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Canyon Road Towers, Condominiums, Featured Properties

How Many Condo Parking Stalls Do You Need, And Why Would You Need Them?

How Many Condo Parking Stalls Do You Need, And Why Would You Need Them? How Many Condo Parking Stalls Do You Need?

How Many Condo Parking Stalls Do You Need? This lady has three parking stalls. How Many Condo Parking Stalls Do You Need, And Why Would You Need Them? Does she have three because she needs the space? Note the storage units on both sides. No one is likely to ding her car when loading or unloading storage are they? Her car is in nice shape, so that’s a good reason, right? Maybe she just likes it this way. May we call this reason 1

Mind you purchasing an extra stall in a condominium building can be a difficult quest, in some buildings a costly one. In American Towers you can only own one stall but it’s easy to rent one. That may work. In both Canyon Road Towers and Zion Summit each unit has one parking space attached to the original condo declarations.  You can find them on line at their website. Both of these buildings have several extra stalls with actual tax ID numbers. Where those in the original declarations cannot be legally transferred to another person, the deeded ones can be sold to another owner of those buildings. What should they sell for I am often asked? The answer is that depends. One answer I usually give is don’t sell. With that advice being rejected a few times I have seen them go from $5,000 to $50,000. In one building Kathleen and I lived in we paid $25,000 for an extra stall.

Why do I say “don’t sell”? Having sold a lot of condo’s, lived in 5 in our married life, and having showed many times more than I have sold I am confident that you greatly reduce the numbers of people that would by  your condominium should you not have that extra parking stall. There are in fact numerous potential buyers where having one stall is the only reason they won’t buy your unit. (It’s very much like those whose dog is part of the family and your building doesn’t allow pets.)

Resale value then becomes the biggest reason to have a second stall after your own need should you need it for your own use. Having plenty of room to park your car, well that might be listed as number three.

Larry Cragun – Windermere Real Estate

Residential and Condominium professional.



Posted on April 26, 2018 at 5:27 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: American Towers, Canyon Road Towers, City Creek Condos, Condominiums, Zion Summit | Tagged ,

Six Popular Downtown Salt Lake City Condominiums

Six Popular Downtown Salt Lake City Condominiums. There are more and I have links to many on this site and more coming. But I call these the “big six” because I find them the most popular with my buyers.

I number these on the map from 1 to 6 and they are as follows:

  1. Zion Summit
  2. Canyon Road Towers
  3. American Towers
  4. Trevi Towers
  5. 3 City Creek Properties
  6. Parc Gateway

Two additional good options on smaller buildings is 1- Terrace Falls is on the street behind Canyon Road Towers, (on 3rd ave) and is also a good option.  Click here for info and search on Terrace Falls: Terrace Falls – 158 E 3rd Ave – Click Here

and 2- Garden Towers which is next to Canyon Road Towers: Click here Garden Towers – 141 E 2nd Ave – Click Here

Below the photo are links to commentary and the ability to quickly search for listings that are currently for sale in these properties. When clicking those links the search results will possibly include nearby condos of similar details.

Posted on April 5, 2018 at 8:28 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: American Towers, Canyon Road Towers, City Creek Condos, Condominiums, Terrace Falls, Trevi Towers, Zion Summit | Tagged

What Sets The Values In Canyon Road Towers?

What Sets The Values In Canyon Road Towers? This question is relevant to most condominiums, especially high rise condominiums.Values In Canyon Road Towers is an important topic.

  Canyon Road towers to the left – Zion Summit below

1- The common real estate phrase is location – location – location, I insert view -view – view. That definitely applies to condos. Condominiums in downtown Salt Lake City go for more than a similar condo away from town. Location is applicable within Canyon Road Towers. It is one of four factors that affect values. Units in Canyon Road Towers fact North, South, and West. There are corner units, some fast two directions as well. To the South the view is of the city. To the West the view is to parks, the west city, and Temple Square. To the North is to the Capitol. Most people feel the North view is the least desirable. I might say that this is a similar paradigm to Zion Summit regarding view. The better the view, the more it will cost.

2- Condition is a big issue. Canyon Road Towers, and again also, Zion Summit were built in 1976. The word for many units is DATED. Old looking kitchen cabinet are a yuk. Re-facing the originals, not a great upgrade. As of this writing a condo is on the market that is in the best condition of any to be sold in the last few years. It’s asking price is $317,500 (unit 813 listing # 1505034) . Click here for Canyon Road Towers Listing.  This link will take you to all current Canyon Road Towers units on the market. It will show up in this link as long as it is for sale. The interior photos will help you get the point on the condition. Note: it might be  hard to discern between the common area photos and those of the condo.

This unit is likely to sell close to its asking price because of the condition. To compare, a similar unit sold for $235,000 18 months ago. (same view and same floor plan. Yes it was 8 months ago, but the difference in condition was significant.

3- Size of kitchen. This as well as numerous units in Canyon Road Towers have the narrow galley kitchen. Not every buyer will accept that. The photos provided kind of downplay the galley look.

4- Size of unit. I showed listing #1505034 to a couple who have been tracking every condo for sale in Canyon Road Towers for about a year. Finally they loved the condition of the condo. After an hour in viewing the unit they decided that it was too small.

There are basically 4 floor plans in Canyon Road Towers. The majority are 2 bedrooms. All have at least that and all have two bathrooms. The value in the larger units is significant.

I am a large producing condo agent for both buyers and sellers. My website shows 20 example listing for sale and past sales. I am familiar with almost every condo property in Salt Lake City. I strive to be the type of non pushy, expert, and full service agent. I will be glad to assist you with any questions that you may have.

To all Canyon Road Towers current listings, click here.

Larry K Cragun – Windermere Real Estate

Residential and Condominium Professional.

Posted on March 12, 2018 at 7:03 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Canyon Road Towers, Condominiums, Zion Summit

One and Nine Condos


One & Nine Condos: As the address might hint, one and nine is on the corner of 1st east and 9th South, a convenient location to downtown Salt Lake City. It is close to the U Of U, hospitals, shopping, downtown, restaurants, and bus lines.

Unlike most of the downtown condos you may have a pet in One And Nine. It must be under 20 lbs. (no Great Dane’s then papa).

Newer than many in downtown it was built in 2008. The mix in unit sizes varies and as of this post their is one on the market that is 1I924 square feet for $579,120. It is on the 3rd floor with a deck and windows looking out to 9th Ave. It is 2 bedroom and 2 baths. There is a utility closet in the hallways as many in Salt Lake City have and that square footage is part of the stated square feet of the unit. The search on my website is excellent. Use it to see if this or others you might like are for sale. Also, the neighborhood news feature is great. If you subscribe you receive a monthly report with maps on what is for sale and what has sold in that zip code.

Amenities include Fire Pit in a nice setting, gym room, and secure underground parking. HOA for this unit is $294 per month which covers maintenance, snow removal, storage area, trash, and water paid. Features are double pane window, outdoor lighting, walk in closet, and others including granite countertops.

The current listing says it is FHA approved. It is not. Currently in that zip code the only FHA approved condos are Arlington Place, Armista, Aztec, Bonneville tower, The Wilshire, Trolley Place, and University Heights. What is significant about FHA approval is that FHA financing can be as low as 3.5% down. Another important factor is that approvals are for 2  years. Each renewal requires an FHA review of the condition of the building, analysis of how many are rented, a review of the HOA minutes to see if important negative issues are being discussed, and it is a nice stamp of approval those not approved do not have.

One And Nine has a stucco issue going on. Driving buy you will see the evidence of repairs. Also, there have been issues with the original stucco installation. (not an unusual problem). The entire building has been assessed and affected areas are being professionally repaired. All units are assessed to deal with this cost. Sellers are agreeing to pay their entire portion at closing.

Something many more recent developments that I don’t like are on this building in that there is a reinvestment fee.  The fee will be equal to 5% of the purchase price. This is like a transfer fee but more costly. One & Nine Condos


Posted on March 4, 2018 at 11:52 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Condominiums

Condominiums, Condos, & Temple square and City Creek

Condominiums, Condos Temple square City Creek. Many buyers are looking to be an easy walk to Temple Square and City Creek. Hopefully this article will help you analyze the possibilities if  you too are in the mode to live near Temple Square and or City Creek. In a separate article I will give a statistical report on these properties.

I will address six properties. These are the closest in. Thee are City Crest, The 3 developments abutting City Creek Mall, Canyon Road Towers, Zion Summit, Garden Towers, and Terrace Falls. All of these are a close walk to Temple Square.

Most but not all of my business comes from downtown Salt Lake City. So far this month I sold a condo in Draper and a home in South Jordan but my marketing focus is condominiums. There is an advantage in dealing with someone who is experienced in condominiums. They are a different transaction with different issues than a home, a little more tricky I would describe it.

I hold a lot of open houses on my listings which brings me a lot of questions. Besides the features and conditions from one condo and building to another a question always arises about the LDS Church. Is a non Mormon going to feel funny or shunned is a common worry. What Ward will I go to is an LDS members question. Understand that it is a Federal crime for an agent to push to or away from a home based on religion, as well as other factors. As it is a common concern and question I  will here give my experience to these questions.

Condominiums, Condos, and Temple Square

Note that a lot of people want to live near Temple Square that are LDS. Almost as often people want to live in these six buildings for other important reasons. City Creek shopping and employment for example. The miles of walking trails and the parks are  two others.

OK,  here are some general comments on the buildings in the featured photo, going from left to right. All are secure buildings with secure parking.

City Crest. This building has the fewest units of the six. Currently there are no units for sale.  In the last 12 months 3 units sold here. The prices were  $267,00 for   12 59 square foot condo, $265,000 for a 1389 sq ft unit, and $277,500 for a 1380 sq ft unit. It and the City Creek properties are the shortest walk to both Temple Square and City Creek Mall. Will not last ! Great opportunity to own an updated SW corner unit in City Crest. Located 1/2 block from Temple Square or shopping at City Creek. The lobby is small and not as impressive or enjoyable as all of the other buildings of these six. The LDS members attend church at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

City Creek Properties: There are three buildings in this development. All are very high end luxury and priced accordingly. Many have incredible views. Here is a write up of one that is currently for sale: The best of City Creek. Stunning southeast-facing unit in SLC’s newest high rise; panoramic valley & mtn views. Fitness room, club room; access to nearby event room & pool. Just steps to shops, restaurants, arts & entertainment. Landscaped walkways with creek, waterfalls & fountains. The prices here are up to and over $500  per square ft. The LDS Ward is the 14th Ward attending church at 142 West and  200 North, close to the Conference Center.

Canyon Road Towers: Built in 1 976 and has 184 units. The prices here are usually determined by size, condition, and view. Some of the views are spectacular. Many need updating, and some have a smaller floor plan with a galley kitchen.  Check the market report for current prices. There are a few 3  bedroom units in this property which is rare in downtown Salt Lake and they are they are in high demand. This building is an easy walk to Temple Square and City Creek, fairly level all the way and almost as close as City Crest. LDS members also attend church at the Joseph Smith Memorial building. It has an indoor swimming pool and tennis courts.

Zion Summit. This is a twin tower building rising high above the LDS Conference Center. I recently had three closing there and currently  have two listings. People who live here love it. It is a very social building with seemingly something going on almost weekly. I think that is  one reason why many so many love living here here. Most units have amazing views, especially those facing South over the city. There are a couple of features that hold some people back:  1- there is a common washer dryer serving each floor. The units can be remodeled to provide a washer but not a dryer. 2- Most are one bedroom units which some agents market as a two bedroom. The tax records call these units two. These are about 1200 square feet so for being a one BR they are large. The LDS Ward is the 14th Ward attending church at 142 West and  200 North, close to the Conference Center.

Garden Towers is a small development, under 40 units. Like Terrace falls the units can be larger in size than Canyon Road Towers or Zion Summit. Their is an assortment of sizes but most are at least 1400 square feet. None  are on the market at this time and four were sold in the last 12 months. The LDS members attend church at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

Terrace Falls is just a little farther away in location. These units are usually more expensive than all other buildings except the City Creek properties. They are larger, most over 2000 square feet which sets them apart. If you like projects Terrace falls has the most amazing shop for common use. These LDS members attend church at the Stake Center  just up the hill.

The feedback I have received from clients that are non LDS is that they love living in these properties. All are welcome. I even sold one in Canyon Road Towers to the Baptist Church to place a missionary couple. It has to be obvious being so close to the LDS Temple and the Family History Centers that that is the motivation for many. It is not the motivation for all.Downtown Salt Lake City is just a great place to live.

I encourage you to contact me if you are interested in Condominiums, Condos, & Temple square and City Creek.

Larry Cragun – Windermere Real Estate

Residential and Condominium Professional

Posted on January 23, 2018 at 7:29 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: City Creek Condos, Condominiums

Governors Plaza Salt Lake City

Governors Plaza Salt Lake City: Governors Plaza in Salt Lake City has some special features. The social area, exercise room,  and swimming pool stand out as the finest found in a condo property in the city. Some have two parking stalls which is rare in downtown Salt Lake City.

Some have views that will take your heart away. Some units are special.

It is a nice 5 block walk to all downtown amenities. There is an on-site manager, and property and is  very secure.

Governors Plaza sits behind the impressive office building on South  Temple.

The grounds are impressive and well kept year around.
The unit sizes vary.

It truly is an impressive condominium. Some of the units are pricey and you can often find one priced in the $300’s. I recently sold one that was not on the market for $950,000.00. It is an amazing unit.

Governors Plaza is a bit east of the downtown action (5 blocks) The address is 560  East South Temple, 84102. It is an impressive building from the moment you approach it. It’s lobby adds to the great impression. Some of the units have breathtaking views. The unit size is varied.

Here is what others have said about Governors Plaza:  Easy 5 block walk to all the downtown amenities. On-site manager, underground parking, swimming pool, exercise room, conference center, and floor to ceiling atrium available for social gatherings. Recent updating of hallways, entrance, and lobby. Add a secured building with parking and bike storage, a car wash station, and you have a fabulous place to live. Did I say that it had an impressive lobby? I did. It also has one of the best indoor swimming pools. The workout area is to die for. No, don’t die, please. Governors Plaza is walkable to downtown. It is nine blocks east of City Creek and Temple Square. It’s a level walk. Some of the units are really high end, some of the views are breathtaking. Some of the units are smaller and without views.

The condos are behind the office building. The landscaping is top notch.

The parking is great, guests can park behind the office building and there is plenty of guest parking.

The lobby is like no other in town. You could hold a convention in the lobby.

The swim pool is the best in town, indoors and long enough to swim laps.

Their are onsite employees.

The work out room is also the best in the downtown Salt Lake City Condominiums.

Yes, Gordon B Hinckley did live there.

No I don’t live there, but yes you would love living there. I promise that you will. You can click Governors Plaza in the quick links to determine what is currently for sale.

Larry Cragun Windermere Real Estate

Residential and Condominium Professional

Posted on January 22, 2018 at 6:15 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Condominiums, Governors Plaza