Monday, November 29, 2010

Archeology Dig: Treasure In My Basement

The wife had me on task with a honey-do list this weekend.  One of my chores was to reorganize the basement space of our home.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with our home, it was built in 1908 by Henry H. Hudman.  He was the Vice President of Pingree National Bank.  He was also the Treasurer for the Blackman Griffin Co. which was a produce and ag-business wholesale located at 25th St. and Ogden Ave.

An interesting feature of our homes is that we have 1000 SQFT in our basement with rock walls, 8 foot ceilings, and dirt floors.  It's been an awkward space to use since none of us like tracking dirt back up into the rest of the house.  Up until Saturday, we used it as a dumping ground for things we didn't want to see or worry about. 

While cleaning up some debris I found this card in the dirt:

It's a business card from the early 1900's.  It's fascinating to think that its been sitting there for 100 years in the dirt and is still in this great shape.  I also found a bunch of itinerary cards for train travel too.    

If you are careful and lucky, you can find some interesting historical gems in your old home.

Note:  $100,000 capital in 1908 is the same as $2.35M capital today.  It was quite a big business.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

JUST SOLD! Art Deco Cottage

I just closed on this home that was renovated by an investor and purchased by a great young couple from Salt Lake City.  This 3 bed 1 bath home was originally purchased as a bank owned property for $48,000.  It was dead on arrival.  After some major upgrades, the home was resold for $104,000.  Here is the before and after video for your enjoyment:

I have a couple more historic restoration homes coming on line soon. If you are in the market for an affordable home with architectural appeal and fine finishes send me an email.

Friday, November 19, 2010

JUST LISTED! Vintage Craftsman Bungalow

This is an exciting listing at 2044 Jefferson Ave. in Ogden.  It has been in the same family since it was built in 1926.  Interestingly, it has been a rental property its entire existence.  This home is also a sister home the one next door which the owner/builder lived in as a primary residence.  I sold that home last year to a young couple from Salt Lake City.

This property will need a complete restoration (i.e. new kitchen, bath, flooring, electrical, plumbing, furnace, paint) and it will doll up beautifully when finished.  Lots of original woodwork, hardware and Art Deco features.  Two bedrooms and 1 bath with 1100 SQFT on the main level and 350 SQFT in the basement.  List price is $55,000.

If you are interested, email me for further details and a link to an interior video tour.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Hotel Coming to Downtown Ogden

The Standard Examiner reports today that Western States Lodging had entered a development agreement with the city to construct a $13 million 120-bed hotel on the corner of 23rd Street and Washington Blvd..  The crews should begin construction in June 2011 with completion sometime in Fall 2012.  The construction will include a below ground parking garage that will be owned by the city.

This is more good news for the Junction Project and this should help reduce vacancy as other businesses move in to accommodate the additional bedroom guests that will be arriving.

Monday, November 15, 2010

JUST SOLD! North Ogden Condo

I listed this condo back in July and we finally closed this week on a sale.  The buyer's were a young couple looking for a starter property.  We closed at a sale price of $89,000.  I have more of these 2 Bed 1 Bath condos available so if you are interested, please let me know.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

WHOOPS! 350ft. Chimney BooBoo

When demolishing giant chimneys, make sure your charges are placed and time right.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

AAH! Bed Bugs In Weber County!

After work today I visited someone I know who has tenants in their basement.  These tenants are highly educated and work in respectable professions.  This evening they notified their landlord that they discovered bed bugs in their basement apartment.  Yikes!  Bed bugs have arrived in Weber County!

Apparently the tenant noticed a "rash" this morning on his arm.  He dismissed it until he came home and noticed that his sheets were spotted with blood...a common indicator of bed bugs.  He also noticed black dots on the headboards and the sheets.  This was evidence of bed bug eggs.  Then they caught a live one.  I looked at the critter and sure enough it looks like a bed bug that you would see online somewhere.

The tenant today thew away his mattress and bedding.  What an expensive problem these insects create! Interestingly, he is unsure where he made first contact with the bugs but somewhere between public transportation, a hotel stay a while ago, and public buildings, they hitched a ride home with him.

For a quick review of the facts on the problem, click here.

So, sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fed Survey On Lending

The Fed published a report on lending standards and surveyed banks on their lending practices.  Here is an interesting excerpt on residential loans:

Questions on residential real estate lending. On net, small fractions of domestic banks reported having tightened standards on both prime and nontraditional mortgage loans, marking a reversal from the slight net easing reported in the July survey for prime loans. The tightening of standards on prime mortgage loans was largely accounted for by smaller banks; large banks, on net, left standards about unchanged. Both large and other banks reported a net tightening of standards on nontraditional mortgage loans. Continuing a pattern seen since the start of the financial crisis, fewer than half of the respondents reported having made such loans. Modest net fractions of banks reported weakening demand for both prime and nontraditional mortgage loans to purchase homes.A modest net fraction of banks reported that standards for approving HELOCs hadtightened over the past three months. As with prime residential mortgage loans, that tightening in standards was largely accounted for by smaller banks. A small net fraction of respondents also reported having reduced the size of HELOCs for existing customers. On net, banks reported a slight weakening in demand for HELOCs.

So it looks like the banks are betting on more economic stagnation.  I do think the last comment on demand for HELOCs weakening is funny.  The banks have arbitrarily reduced the size of their client's HELOCs.  Is it any surprise their customers don't want more of that kind of loan product? Duh.   

Real Estate Wisdom From George Washington

I recently finished reading George Washington's Sacred Fire by Peter A. Lillback.  It was an excellent book.

I found a quote from Washington about landlords which I thought was insightful:

"From long experience I have laid it down as an unerring maxim that to exact rents with punctuality is not only the right of the Landlord, but that it is also for the benefit of the Tenant, that it should be so; unless by uncontroulable events, and providential strokes the latter is rendered unable to pay them; in such cases he should not only meet with indulgence, but, in some instances with a remittal of the rent.  But, in the ordinary course of these transactions, the rents ought to be collected with the most rigid exactness."

Our Founding Father makes the case for collecting rent from your tenants on time.

Friday, November 5, 2010

JUST SOLD! Renovated Victorian Cottage

I listed this home in September and a buyer finally closed on the purchase last week.  The seller of the home purchased it as a fixer-upper with cash for approximately $45K.  Our resale price: $94,000.  We also threw in $2,600 in closing costs for they buyer.  The home is 3 beds, 1 bath, and about 1200 SQFT.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

VICTORY! Utah House District 9

In one of the most hotly contested races in the state last night, I was elected to serve downtown Ogden in the Utah House of Representatives.  The final vote was 53.4% in our favor.  I am honored to serve and I am excited to bring Ogden into the spotlight.  If you need to contact me about any legislative issues, please don't hesitate to email or call me.  I am ready to get to work.  Let's make Ogden great!