Thursday, January 27, 2011

DEAD: HB 53 - Condominium Conversion Seismic Mandates

As many of you are aware, I am currently at the Capitol working on many issues affecting our state.  Part of my job is to sit on committees which "screen" bills to be heard on the House floor for a vote.

Yesterday afternoon a bill was presented to us which would require that owners of apartment complexes that were built before 1975 and wanted to convert the complex to a condominium form of ownership would be forced to conduct a seismic review and then upgrade their building to current seismic code.

      57-8-42. Seismic evaluation required if multi-level structure converted to
                 condominium -- Requirements if structure not in compliance.
                     (1) If a structure that is two or more stories high and was built before 1975 is converted
                   to a condominium under this chapter, the structure's owner shall cause a seismic evaluation of
                   the structure to be performed by a person licensed as a professional structural engineer under
                   Title 58, Chapter 22, Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors Licensing Act,
                   to determine whether use of the structure as a condominium would result in an unreasonable
                   safety hazard to its occupants.
                       (2) The person performing the seismic evaluation under Subsection (1) shall perform
                   the evaluation according to standards and requirements set forth in the code, as defined in
                   Section 58-56-3 , of the applicable compliance agency, as defined in Section 58-56-3 .
                      (3) If the seismic evaluation under Subsection (1) indicates that the structure is not in
                   compliance with an applicable standard, the structure's owner shall, before occupancy of the
                   converted condominium:
                       (a) review the noncompliance with, as applicable:
                       (i) the county in whose unincorporated area the converted condominium is located; or
                       (ii) the municipality in which the converted condominium is located;
                       (b) correct the noncompliance; and
                       (c) comply with applicable county or municipal requirements, including:
                       (i) submitting the converted condominium to an inspection; and
                       (ii) obtaining a required approval or permit.

You can probably guess how excited I was to hear this piece of legislation come forward.  The sponsor of the bill had no idea what costs this would impose on owners or what affect it would have on the marketplace.  The bill mandated seismic compliance regardless of improvements and was based simply on a change in ownership.   For those of you interested in hearing the discussion (and my comments) you can listen to the committee hearing HERE.

In the end, we poked so many holes in this proposal that this particular legislator killed his own bill by adjourning the meeting before we could vote on it as a committee.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Photo of the Day: Ogden's Painted Lady

When we first moved to Ogden 6 years ago, we lived directly across the street from this home.  Back then it was a horrid seven unit monstrosity that was a dingy cream color from a paint job 40 years old. 

My friend and neighbor Bruce Mouro decided he was tired of the tenant circus and condition of the property and moved into it as his primary residence.  He consolidated the home to just three units (with plans to turn it entirely back into a single family home) and began painting the exterior.  What a marvelous transformation!  You can find this beauty at 2683 Jefferson Ave.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Things To Do In Utah: Midway Ice Castles

I had the opportunity to visit the Ice Castles attraction in Midway, Utah.  It is a very cool experience...especially at night.  It cost $3 for kids over 3 years old and $5 for grown ups.   

The structures measure between 10 and 18 feet high right now.  The creator is constantly adding water to form new ice and they grow daily.  What you see here is only two weeks worth of ice growth.

The lighting creates an other-worldly experience.

Here is a shot I took looking straight up inside one of the "castles".

The kids enjoyed themselves.  Obviously, the ground is very slippery so make sure you wear good shoes.

Make sure you head to Midway before the end of February to catch this very interesting and one of a kind attraction.  Hopefully, we can convince this guy to come and create of of these things for WinterFest 2012 in Ogden.

Posted by Jeremy Peterson
Ogden Utah Real Estate Broker
Mountain Real Estate Companies

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2010: Disgraced Oddity

In preparing to organize my goals for 2011 I thought it would be good to look back at the year in retrospect.  It became apparent very quickly in this process that 2010 was no ordinary year in the business.

Part of putting a business plan together is understanding market share and sales dynamics.  As a Realtor, we typically like to see a "seasonal" cycle of low sales in the winter with a gradual crescendo in summer and then a gradual decline into winter again.  It's like a predicable sine wave.

 For fun, I put a chart together that stacks up 2010 against a more traditional year like 2003.

As you can tell 2010 is quite a divergence from a "normal" cycle.  Note that any sales figure below 200 homes is considered a lean winter type month. It was unprecedented for us to see sales this low, this consistently, for this extended of a period of time from July to the present.  And of course that big bubble in the first quarter of the year represents government meddling in the markets via the $8000 tax credit.

I am optimistic that 2011 will be much more predictable and it should be a lot easier putting a business plan together moving forward.

Here's to a prosperous New Year! 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

JOBS! CSN Stores Distribution Center Coming to Ogden

KSL reports that the online retailer CSN Stores will bring 266 jobs to a new distribution center that will be located in Ogden:

The Governor's Office of Economic Development Thursday announced Boston-based CSN Stores LLC will open a new western U.S. customer care operation and distribution center in Ogden.
CSN Stores is the third-largest online retailer of home goods in the nation, with more than 250 different shopping sites including,, and
In 2010, the company's sales grew more than 50 percent, surpassing $375 million, according to a news release.
During the next two years, the company will create up to 266 full-time positions in northern Utah. Also, new worker training will be provided to CSN employees by the Utah Department of Workforce Services and the Applied Technology College resulting in up to 163 new full-time jobs in the next decade.
In addition, to those positions, up to 700 additional jobs will be developed over the 10-year life of an incentive agreement with the Governor's Office of Economic Development.
 This is great news for Ogden!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

FAILURE: ModifyUtah

KSL reports that ModifyUtah, the mortgage modifier company based in Utah County, has closed it doors and is no longer servicing clients.  The article bemoans the loss of the company and laments all those homeowners negatively affected who may loose their homes now to foreclosure.

Why did ModifyUtah go out of business?  Here is what the story says:

According to a letter from the firm's attorney, Paxton Guymon, Modify Utah ceased doing business for several reasons, including "a significant portion of (its) customers have failed or refused to pay … for services provided, recently imposed restrictions impeding the company's ability to process or receive payments and lien holders unwillingness to work with loan modification companies.
The Federal Government's loan modification programs were an exercise in futility.  I know many people who applied for the program but I don't know any person that successfully modified their loan.  It was a bureaucratic mess and most of the folks couldn't qualify for the modification because their income was still too low for the payments.  This might also explain why customers didn't pay or wouldn't pay for services rendered.

That is why foreclosure is the best answer to this dilemma.  By wiping out the bad debt, house prices can be reset to affordable prices and those folks who lost their homes in the process can rent a home of equal caliber for less that their previous payments.  Foreclosure brings house prices (and their accompanying payments) back into the realm of affordability.  The situation may be stressful in the short term for these families but in the long term they will be better off.  This situation should also be a warning to all of us about the perils of excessive debt.       

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

JUST LISTED! Restored Craftsman Masterpiece

I just listed this beautiful Craftsman home.

Located at 1146 21st Street in Ogden, this 4 Bed 2 Bath home is an architectural gem.  It boasts both Craftsman and Arts & Crafts motifs in an eclectic blend unique to only a handful of homes in the city.  The home has been totally renovated from top to bottom with a special focus on maintaining the historic features of the home.  The home has all new structural upgrades like a new roof, new electrical, new plumbing, updated bathrooms, new flooring, new paint, new kitchen and more.  The home has its original woodwork, hardwood floors, and brass hardware which have been preserved.    A must see!  Contact me for current pricing.  Be sure to check out the video.

JUST LISTED! Affordable Craftsman Bungalow

I just listed this cute updated bungalow this morning.  It is a 2 bed 2 bath configuration.  The kitchen is new as well as all the flooring and paint.  It would be a great starter home or rental property.  Priced at $72,900.  Be sure to check out the video tour.

Monday, January 3, 2011

JUST LISTED! 1880's Victorian Mansion

For those of you looking for a quaint Victorian era mansion that is affordable, here is your chance to own a piece of history and be part of Ogden's hip up and coming historic neighborhood.

This home was built in the 1880's by Judge H. H. Rolapp who was an esteemed jurist in Salt Lake City.  This home is one of Ogden's oldest standing structures.  It is currently bank owned and priced to move at $49,900. Contact me for old Sansbury Fire Insurance Maps showing this home and old newspaper clippings regarding the original owners of this home.

Be sure to check out the video tour: