Thursday, September 27, 2012

FOR SALE: Victorian Project Home - Commercial Zoned - Seller Financed

I just listed this property for sale in Downtown Ogden.

The property is over 2000 SQFT and is located just two blocks from Historic 25th street.  The address is 321 27th St.  The area is zoned CP-3 which allows for a variety of different uses.  This property may make a good boutique shop with living upstairs, or an office, or simply a residence.

The owner is willing to seller finance the purchase of this property to allow for a buyer to renovate it for use.  The interior has been stripped and is ready for electrical and sheetrock.  Here is a video walk-through of the property with my comments:

If you are interested in details on current pricing, financing terms, and property specifics, please CONTACT ME.

Avenue or Boulevard? Which Pays More?

A recent Housingwire story caught  my eye as it discussed differences in house prices based on the name of the street the house resides at.  Trulia did some analysis on 10,000 homes across America to determine what road suffixes were the most desirable versus the least.  Here is the list:

I find this chart funny because in Weber County the Boulevards are definitely NOT the places you want to live.  Washington Blvd. and Harrison Blvd. are some of the cheapest housing you can find due to their 5 to 7 lanes of high speed traffic. 

It is interesting to see how other cities have chosen to name their streets and how that has correlated to their value.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

WHIPSAW: Charts Say We Are In A Seller's Market!

It has been a while since I looked at the charts for Days On Market (DOM).  This metric is used to determine the average number of days a home is on the market before it sells.

Since sales have been robust and inventories have been down, I thought it would be worthwhile to see how this showed up in the the DOM chart.  The chart is frankly shocking:

The red line shows a 12 month moving average to help see past seasonal volatility.  However, notice where I have placed the circles.  In August 2012 our DOM was 59 days.  This is remarkable because the last time the market was this fast was between November and December of 2007!  And unlike back then, today we are trending in the opposite direction. 

There is another interesting distinction about the current market trends.  Notice that since 2011 we have hit several months of homes reaching 120 days or greater.  Our most recent high reading is as recent as March of 2012 at 122 days.  August's reading of 56 means a 66 day drop...the largest and fastest change in days on market in the past 12 years!

So what could be driving this remarkable shift in market conditions?

First, I think that since inventory levels are so low, the limited supply has meant that quality homes are quickly snatched up.  There is a lot of overpriced junk out there, but those won't sell and they don't count in these statistics.

Second, I think that there has been a lot of pent up demand for housing.  Even though new construction has stood still the past few years, our population has continued to increase.  Also, the proportion of qualified buyers in the market has increased with the population and that has created demand for homes.  Renters are converting back into buyers...though not on the scale we saw in the bubble period.

Third, the market is tuning into the fact that the worst of the price declines are behind us.  Prices hit a floor around November 2011.  Since then we have seen mild appreciation and stabilization in prices.

So what does this mean?

The bottom line is that sellers are more likely sell their homes quicker in today's market than they have been in the past five years.  Of course, they have to have equity in their property and the home has to be in decent shape.  But, if these two conditions are met, there appears to be a great opportunity to sell right now.

If you want to see what your home is worth, CONTACT ME, and let's see how fast we can sell your home.      

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gallery: Do It Yourself or Don't

I found a few photos I have taken recently while showing homes.  The improvements (or rather improvisations) that people do to their homes never ceases to amaze or entertain me.

First, there is the deadbolt placement on the front door:

Either the owner used their foot to unlock the door or the children had keys and needed easy access to use them. 

Next is an interesting improvisation with items found at the hardware store.  How many uses can you think of for a hinge?  Would you ever consider a hinge as part of your plumbing?

Presto!  Who knew that a hinge and a couple bolts could morph into a convenient leaky pipe-fixer thingamabob? 

Finally, the greatest innovation I have seen lately is ordered to suit for convenience.  Going to the grocery store is a hassle and time consuming.  Life would be way easier if food just grew in your kitchen.

Bingo!  Just throw seed on the dirt (after removing those annoying subfloors), lightly moisten, and you will have a bountiful harvest of fun foods in your former kitchen in no time. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Restoring Old Homes: How to Screen a Porch and Strip Hardware

We have been slowly restoring our home.  One of the projects that has been on the back burner for several years is our back porch.  When we purchased the home, the back porch screens had been vandalized.  They were also made of chrome frames.  We quickly discarded them and never got around to putting in their replacements.

Finally, I had a couple weekends to work on the back porch.  To put the screens back in place, I purchased a roll of tight mesh black screen at Home Depot.  I used my staple gun to stick the screen to the existing wood frames with 1/4 inch staples being sufficient for the job.

Obviously staples are not pretty to look at.  I searched for some trim strips and came up with some hemlock 1.5 inch pieces that seemed to work well.  After two coats of paint, they were ready for installation.

I got the hemlock strips up with 4d nails on the frames and 3d finish nails for the door.  After that, I pulled the original copper hardware out of storage and gave it a bath in Goof Off.  That helped soften up the coats of paint that cloaked the metal finish.  A rag and some very fine steel wool did the trick of removing most of the paint.

NOTE: Rubber gloves break down with Goof Off so I just used some sandwich bags to keep it off my skin.  If you leave it on your skin too long your skin turns into a giant callous.  Believe, me. I know.    

After about fifteen minutes of buffing the paint off, the pieces were ready for installation.

The finished product is quite rewarding. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Photo of the Day: HVAC Craziness

One of my associates sent me this photo of a home he drove by recently.

Interior ductwork is such a nuisance!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Rental Repair: Skewer My Sewer

As with all rental properties, they need repair from time to time.  As a landlord, you hope that the big ticket items are in good shape.  Roof, plumbing, and electrical are systems which need to work in order for you to be in business.

Recently I had the plumbing on one of my rental properties go bad. The home was constructed in 1911.   The main sewer line leading out of the home had backed up several times in a year.  I called a technician and we scoped the line.  Here is what we found:

Those white concentric rings you see in the top photo are joints in the clay pipe used for the sewer line.  The reason we can see them is that they have been infilled with roots.  Lots of them.  The bottom photo shows just how much they can grow.

Given how many problems were were having with the line, I was not surprised but I was still disappointed.  It meant we needed to replace the line.

One of the problems for us putting in a new line the traditional was that it would require taking out some huge 100 year old trees in our park strip.  It also would require cutting all the way to the opposite side of the street where the city sewer main sits.

Fortunately, I called Jay at Utah Pipebursting and he had the perfect solution.

The pipebursting method breaks apart the existing pipe where it sits in the ground via an auger.  At the same time the pipe is being broken apart, a new solid piece plastic pipe is pulled through the opening.  Instead of trenching scores of feet through the yard and street, the pipebursting method just requires holes to be dug at the end points.

In our case, the sewer line zig zagged back and forth beneath the home.  It required that a hole also be dug in the basement as well.

The entire replacement took about 12 hours to complete.  We patched the hole in the basement and the property now has a functional sewer line.  Whew!

If  you are contemplating replacing an old sewer line, contact Jay at Utah Pipebursting.  He can be reached at 801-920-3178.  I highly recommend them and it is highly affordable.