“Life Elevated.” That’s the Utah logo. Although better than, “Utah, a Pretty Great State,” it does make the current Proposition 2 even more ambiguous. Either way, and completely separate from the current proposition in question, I decided to take that suggestion to task the past couple of weeks and staycation in this elevated state (again, not the one in legislation, but the one suggested in the more recent logo). As it turns out, we really do have quite a bit to offer here.

The first part of my staycation took place a couple of weeks ago. I have a friend who lives and works in Japan. We have kept in contact through Facebook, but other than infrequent messaging, I haven’t seen her for about 17 years. During that time, she got married, had two children and got divorced. Last week, she and her two girls came to visit. They had done the Disneyland thing first, so we only had three days with them here. I had pulled up the Utah tourism website so I could give her some suggestions of things to do. Here was her response: “We want to see the magnificent natural landscape. Go to the Rocky Mountains, a resort and hiking. Go to the shopping mall and a supermarket and to your sister’s pool.” We did it all and we had a blast doing it. All of that was within an hour driving distance from home.

The next weekend, I took my kids and their spouses down to southern Utah. I used my upcoming birthday as an excuse to get them to come. A couple of them aren’t into hiking, so when it came time and one of them wanted to opt out, I reminded her that it was my birthday and this is all I am asking for.

It worked. (I plan to continue to use that to get everything I want with all of them for the next several weeks). We hiked the narrows, climbed up Snow Canyon, accidentally went four-wheeling in my Honda CRV, received many accolades from fellow ATV and side-by-side drivers (who happened to actually be equipped to travel up that road), got stuck and then backed all the way back down. We went swimming in a pond (also by accident) and attended an amazing performance of “The Prince of Egypt” at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts.

In between, I had been showing a couple of homes in various mountain locations throughout northern Utah. The buyers want a second home — somewhere they can just escape to in a couple of hours and relax and take in all that this elevated state has to offer. It’s not a bad idea. I’ve lived here my entire life and yet, in the last two weeks, I have seen and experienced things I have never seen and experienced, and I consider myself fairly adventurous.

This holiday weekend, I am scheduled to show second homes near a local resort town to another client. Once again, they’re a local family that just wants an occasional escape.

Having frequently sat atop my high horse and preached the fundamentals of good financial investing when it comes to real estate, I realize that even a suggestion of looking into purchasing a second home just for “fun” would be contradictory, but hear me out for a brief moment.

The adventures I just had with my family and friends can’t have a price on them. I know ... it sounds like a credit card advertisement, but I’m not advocating going into debt for this extra home. There are so many ways to go about purchasing a second home that could turn out to be a win/win economically as well as emotionally.

A close friend of mine pooled in with two other siblings to buy a second home. They just schedule it in advance when they plan to use it. Another client recently purchased a small but very affordable cabin in the mountains that they visit on weekends and, since it’s not hooked up to utilities, costs very little to maintain. The clients I am going out with this weekend plan to use their second home as an Airbnb when they are not using it themselves. See? Plenty of options.

Either way, Utah is far more than a pretty great state for a vay- or stay-cation. In fact, for the last two weeks you could say that I lived “Life Elevated.”

Jen Kirchhoefer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 or jenkirchh@gmail.com.

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