Thursday, April 28, 2011

JUST SOLD! Bargain Bread-Box Cottage

I sold this home today to a great family here in Ogden.  They were looking for an investment-priced property that they could move into with some minor TLC.  Our search brought us to this house which, ironically, is less than a block from where they live now.

The story behind the sale is more eventful than most.  First, with the home being listed at $55,000, we found ourselves in a "highest and best" bidding situation as multiple buyers placed offers on the home.  We originally offered $55,000 but raised our price to $60,000 with earnest money increased from just $500 to $1,800. We also were using an FHA loan to purchase the property and asked the seller to contribute $1,800 towards the buyer's closing costs. Our offer prevailed.

As we started our due diligence, our inspector noticed some things wrong with the property and so we asked for a $2,000 price concession to bring us to a $58,000 purchase price.  The seller (asset manager for the bank) verbally agreed but then balked because he believed that the FHA appraisal would require further repairs.  Essentially, he was betting that there would be $2,000 in FHA required repairs. We ordered the appraisal.  In a bitter-sweet moment for my buyers, our appraiser reported that no FHA repairs were needed.

This situation led us to explore some ways in which we might induce the seller to reduce the price the $2,000 that we had originally requested.  The problem was that there was no incentive for the seller to do so.  All of our contingency deadlines had expired by this point and my buyers would loose their earnest money if they walked from the transaction.  I proposed to my buyers that if it was possible to close early, we might be able to persuade the seller to reduce the price in exchange for an early settlement deadline.  After consulting with our loan officer, the buyers agreed to take this approach.  We sent an addendum requesting $2,000 off the purchase price in exchange for closing 10 days early.  The seller quickly agreed!

Congratulations to the buyers and also a special thanks for being patient while we navigated the clumsy bureaucratic process of purchasing a bank-owned property.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

JUST SOLD! Diamond In The Rough

I just sold this REO home to an investor. I will be consulting with him to assist in restoring, rehabilitating, and reselling the property.  This home has all the great features you want in a historic property from 1908: 12 foot ceilings, original casing and moldings, hardwood floors and more.  It also has all the features you don't want in a home: gnarly and inefficient electrical, lots of urine stains and odor, a bad roof, no bathroom, and other oddities.

We anticipate the fix-up process will take 60 days or so.

The property came on the market at $45,900 and I worked with a friend and neighbor (who happens to live in this home I restored just two doors from this property) to purchase this house as a fix-up rental.  We had trouble finding hard money lenders who would lend against this home and, ultimately, we disengaged from trying to purchase it.  I then discussed this property with one of my investor-clients who was looking for a project and we placed a cash offer at $40,000.  The bank countered us at $45,000, we countered back at $40,000, they then countered us at $43,000, we countered back at $40,000 again.  The bank finally capitulated except with a 7 day inspection period which we begrudgingly agreed to.  Our inspections found quite a few boogie men in the home so on the last day of our due diligence deadline we asked for a $5,000 reduction to $35,000.  The seller took three days and countered us back at $37,500 the day before our settlement deadline.  We agreed and closed today.  We were able to purchase this dead-on-arrival home for 19% off list price.   The anticipated rehab budget is $30,000. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Urban Gardens: Ogden's Oasis Community Garden and Pioneer Ward Garden

One of the movements in recent years has been to create green spaces in urban centers where residents can cultivate their own produce.  Certainly, current economic realities make gardening an inviting activity.  Today I thought I would feature a couple of urban gardens that are already existing in Downtown Ogden.

The first garden I would like to discuss is the Oasis Community Garden located on the 25th block of Monroe Blvd. in Ogden.

This garden is open to the public and has been an ongoing project for the Junior League and other stakeholders in the community.  It boasts a drip system of irrigation which maximizes efficient water use.  This is a good thing too since the garden requires the use of city culinary water.  

If you are interested in using the Oasis Garden for your own produce or would like to contribute so that others may do so, here are the forms to get you started (click to enlarge and print):

The second example of urban gardening in Ogden is the Pioneer Ward Garden.

This garden has been operating for several years as part of a multi-purpose self-sufficiency effort within our ecclesiastical congregation.  The garden is located on the 20th block of Adams Ave. 

Typically members of the congregation interested in gardening will select plots to manage and use.  Also, those who may be receiving food or financial assistance from the congregation may receive a plot to help provide for their needs.  Often, those receiving help may be asked to volunteer time to periodically weed the garden. 

Fortunately, the garden also comes endowed with a turn-of-the-century water well which provides for all necessary hydration via a more modern pump system.  Unlike the Oasis Garden, this garden is not open to the general public.  However, if you feel that you really would like to garden here instead, I can set up an appointment for you to visit with two enthusiastic young men wearing black name tags who would be more than happy to share the qualifications required to plant in the Pioneer Garden - grin!

Wherever you choose to garden, let's hope for green thumbs and bountiful yields this growing season.   

Friday, April 22, 2011

Historic Property Scavenger Hunt

For all of you historic home enthusiasts, or for those of you looking for something wholesome and fun to do with the family, may I recommend participating in the Ogden City Historic Property Scavenger Hunt.

Photos of various historic buildings in the city have been taken and it is up to you to correctly identify the addresses of the buildings in the photos.  Entries will be included in a lottery for prizes which include gifts from local restaurants and a surprise grand prize for those who can correctly identify all of them.

Here are the forms you need (click to enlarge and print):

Hint: Some of these buildings and their corresponding addresses have been featured on this blog.

Entries are due by 5pm May 17, 2011.  You can turn them in at city hall.

Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weber River Flooding 2011

The Weber River crested last night (hopefully for the last time this year) and I took my camera with me while on the way to an appointment to catch some photos.  I thought Fort Buenaventura would be a good place to take some photos since the Pioneers quickly moved from that location due to flooding in the 1850's.

Miles Goodyear Park was nearly covered in water.

At the kayak park under the 24th Street viaduct, the water was raging. Here is a video:

Camping at Buenaventura Park will be a muddy experience for quite a while. 

A trip down 21st Street in Ogden reveals that some businesses have been affected.

Let's hope the weather cooperates and we can get water levels to recede.  It looks like more is rain coming soon though.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Things To Do In Ogden: Snowshoeing to Malan's Peak

The wet spring weather has given me a bit of cabin fever.  The same weather has also blanketed some of my favorite hiking trails with snow.  So, rather than let mother nature keep me pinned indoors, I decided to dust off the snow shoes get some hiking done.  My good friend Chad Phillips with Secure American Title trekked up the hill with me today.

Our hike began at the top of 27th Street in Ogden.  At the present moment it appears that the streets are torn up for water main repairs.  So, be mindful of where you park.

The hike starts out rocky and the trail is dry.  However, as you enter Taylor Canyon the trail becomes more muddy and patches of snow appear. 

We were overtaken by a couple of guys that were headed to the top to B.A.S.E jump off.  Unfortunately, we were so slow we missed their jump and didn't get a photo of them.  Here is a photo of Chad with Ben Lommond peak in the background.

Once the switchbacks started up the hill the trail became packed with ice and snow.  The temperature was very low early on and the snow was crunchy.  It made for easy work with our snow shoes on.

As we pressed on, the temperature began to fluctuate significantly.  In the shade it was below freezing while in the sun it was well above.  Layering clothes proved helpful on the hike. 

The views were well worth the effort.

In many places, the trail was so depressed into the snow that it made more sense to snow shoe on level undisturbed areas.  Here I am below at Malan's Peak with Mt. Ogden in the background.

Below is a large photo of the city from our elevated vantage point.  Click to enlarge and see if you can spot your home. 

Finally, there are signs that Spring is really here.  We found this spider crawling all over a snow field.

If you decide to make this hike make sure you have enough layers and that your snow shoes are good.  The snow became slushy and slippery on the way down.  Be careful because there are a few spots where an untimely slip would mean falling a couple hundred feet down snow fields.  Just be prepared and you will have an enjoyable time.  Happy hiking!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

JUST SOLD! Affordable Craftsman Bungalow

We just closed yesterday on this home I listed:

We originally listed this 2 bed 2 bath home in January for $72,900.  The first week in March we lowered the price to $69,900.  About a week later we received an offer for $62,000 which included all my client's staging furniture.  We countered at $67,500 which the buyer accepted and finally closed this week.  Congrats to both buyer and seller!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

JUST SOLD! Craftsman Bungalow Short Sale

Yesterday we concluded a short sale on this home I listed.

The sellers of this property were faced with an untimely relocation out of state and were upside down on the home.  I managed to work with the lender on a reduced payoff of the existing mortgage.  Fortunately, they were easy to work with. 

We received a cash offer of $50,000 in November but the buyers disengaged by January due to a lack of funds.  In February we received an offer of $60,000 from an owner-occupant buyer. The seller's lender quickly accepted the terms and we moved forward to closing. 

The buyer used FHA financing to acquire the home so the seller agreed to give permission to the buyer to make all necessary repairs.  In this case, the home and garage needed new trim paint which the buyer dutifully completed.  Congrats to both buyer and seller.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

FOR SALE: 1.3 Acre Potential Commercial Zoned Lot - Ogden Valley

I recently listed this very interesting parcel in Liberty, Utah

This lot is at the heart of Liberty, Utah and is zoned AV-3 (click here for more zoning information) for future commercial development. It is located at the corners of 4100 N and 3500 E.

The property is stubbed for culinary water, gas, and electric utilities.  Septic tanks are already installed.

Located just moments away from Wolf Mountain skiing and minutes away from Powder Mountain Ski Resort.

This is a fantastic opportunity to own land in a prime location.  Develop now or land bank for later use.  Contact me with questions and price information.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ogden Redevelopment: Update April 2011 - LDS Temple, Hotel, IRS and More...

Many folks that I talk to are unfamiliar with Ogden or have an outdated perception of our city.  So, today I thought I would highlight some of the improvements being made presently or soon to be made which are just a part of the long procession of rejuvination projects that have occurred over the last decade. 

The Junction

The Junction is a mixed-use development that sits where the old Ogden Mall used to be.  Larry Miller saw the opportunity in the city and built a Megaplex Theater which you see in the right of the photograph.  There are restaurants, condos, and apartments in this relatively new development. 

Across the street from the Megaplex sits this lot which is slated to be developed into a new Hotel sometime in the near future.  I anticipate ground breaking sometime later this year.  In the background is Ensign Plaza which was built by Property Reserve Inc. and houses top end tenants.  Vacancy is up due to economic conditions; but, when the building fills, another plaza like this building is to be built just north of the Temple lot.

New IRS Building

The IRS is constructing a new facility at the corner of 24th St. and Lincoln Ave. to dovetail with it's existing facilities in Downtown.  The completion of this structure will add about 750 jobs to the job base in the center of the city and should be a boost to surrounding businesses.  The new structure will be 116,000 SQFT and will cost $21 million to construct.  It is expected to be finished in early 2012.

LDS Temple Renovation and Mixed Use Development

The LDS Temple closed on April 1st and will be torn down to make way for a new non-wedding cake styled structure.  You may be interested in the before and after pictures provided by the church.  It will be a great addition to the downtown area. 

Also, in December the church purchased the Ogden Lodge and just recently finished demolition.  It is rumored that this site will be the home of future mixed use - street side retail stores with upper level lofts and condos for residential living.  This will be a remarkable and positive change of use for this site.  The Ogden Lodge became a flop house in the 1970's when I-15 first opened and superseded Highway 89 (Washington Blvd.) as the main thoroughfare of travel.  

Weber-Morgan Annex

The Weber-Morgan Health Department is constructing a new annex building adjacent to it current facility.  The structure is replacing the old Standard Examiner building which was recently demolished.

New Parking

This may seem like a silly issue but parking happens to be the biggest constraint to the economy in Downtown Ogden.  Improvements were recently made to this parking lot across the street from the Junction.  Common sense access was added from 23rd Street.

The original entrance was via this scary alley way and through a concrete maze.  The parking lot was also gravel and unpaved.  Is it any wonder folks chose not to use it?

These are just some examples of what is happening in the down town corridor of Ogden.  There will be more announcements and other constructions projects coming.  I will keep you posted as things develop.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

FOR SALE: 2 Bed 1 Bath Craftsman Home

Here is an excellent starter home or investment property.  2 bedrooms and 1 bath.  Complete remodel just finished.  Granite countertops, new appliances, two tone paint, refinished hardwood floors, new hardware and more. Call or email for pricing.  Appliances included.  Located at 3250 Lincoln Ave.