Saturday, August 31, 2013

Holy Edifices: Ogden's Historic Churches

Our historic chapel in Ogden has been under renovation for the past two years.  We will be rededicating it in just over a week.   The occasion has spurred an awareness of the many other chapels dotting Ogden's historic neighborhoods.  So, I took some time to hunt them down and put together this video montage.

With the exception of one church, all of these chapels were easy to find since they occupied corner lots at intersecting  streets.  They do make prominent end caps for a streetscape.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

JUST SOLD! Walking Dead Zombie Fourplex

I just sold this property at 2210 Jefferson Ave which is to be demolished:

Now wait, why would someone want to demolish such a darling twin home from the 1880's?  Well, as fate would have it, it has aged very poorly over the years.

After a hideous fire in 2001 that burned the stop story off the building, the home was scabbed together to look like this:

The property has had a sordid history since.  Its final chapter has been involved in foreclosure involving a notorious local real estate "guru" who leveraged the place up and then walked away.  It has taken the bank nearly three years to complete the foreclosure.

To add to the complexity, my buyer put the home under contract only to discover that the seller (the bank) had not recorded their trustees deed to take ownership of the property.  It took us three months of not-so-subtle encouragement to entice the seller to hunt down the paperwork so we could conclude the transaction.  In the end, we closed on this zombie fourplex with cash for $109,900.

Except for a menacing squatter who lived in the property for a few months before our neighborhood worked with police to have him arrested, the property has been vacant for years.  The property will be scraped and room made for the next chapter in Ogden's resurgence.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

JUST SOLD! 3 Bed 1 Bath Craftsman Gem

I just closed the sale on this listing located at 465 20th St. in Ogden.

This home was another property that we renovated back in 2007.  The sellers have been there 5 years and are building a new historic style property a few blocks away.

We listed the property in May for $104,900.  After quite a few showings and two months on the market we dropped the price to $99,900.  Shortly thereafter, we received an offer for $95,000 with the buyer asking for $3,000 in closing costs.  We counteroffered at $99,000 with no concessions.  Finally, after a lot of back and forth negotiations on the phone, we came to an agreement at $103,500 with the sellers paying $3,600 in closing costs.  

We had to make a repair to the coal chute in the basement prior to closing.  Other than that, it was a smooth transaction and my clients are on their way to building their new home.  Congrats to my sellers! 

If you are considering selling your home, CONTACT ME today!  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

CHARTS: Sales Up! Up! Up!

Let's take a look at how the market is faring this summer.  Queue the first chart please...

Here is our sales chart. The white line is our 1-year moving average. As you can see, sales volume bottomed out in 2011 and has been increasing year over year since.  A significant portion of 2011's sales were distressed or bank owned transactions.  Once those cleared the market, confidence in the marketplace improved and sales volume has increased steadily since.  

Here is that trend reflected in a Y-o-Y percentage chart comparing the change in sales over the same month the previous year:

As you can see the trend has been in a positive direction for a couple years now.

The good news is that the market is liquid again and buyers and sellers are transacting in a functional marketplace.  So, if you are considering selling your property, now is a good time to do it.  If you want to know what the market is doing in your neighborhood, CONTACT ME, and I will show you what is happening where you live. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

JUST SOLD! Vintage Cottage Bungalow

I just closed on the sale of this listing at 2031 Jefferson Ave. in Ogden.

This home was my very first 'flip' property in Ogden. The home has 3 beds and 1 bath. We purchased it 2005 for just $30,000. It was dead-on-arrival when we bought it.  After rehabbing the home, we sold it to a young married couple who lived in it for about 5 years until a job transfer took them out of town.  I managed the property as a rental for them for the past couple of years until they decided to sell it recently.

We listed the home at $79,900 in March and a month later lowered the price to $74,900.  Another month passed and we received an acceptable offer.  However, that contract fell through due to some flaky out of state buyers.

A couple weeks later we received another offer.  This offer was full price with no concessions.  The buyer is an investor who intends to revamp the home again but this time to a much higher standard than our 2005 renovation.  The neighborhood welcomes the improvement.

If you are thinking of selling your home, CONTACT ME and let's see what your home is worth in today's market.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Oddities: A Look Back At Weird Property Taxes

I have been reading recently and came across some interesting information about property taxes from the days of yore.  We have to credit the English for their rigorous methods in collecting taxes.

For instance, in 1066 A.D., when William the Conqueror swept in from Normandy in France and vanquished king Harold, William adopted most of the English form of governance.  One of his great achievements was to perform a census on England's people and property so it could be taxed.  The statistics were condensed in a book called the Domesday Book.

Back then, people who owned homes were assessed a tax.  How was that tax assessed?  It depended on the number of chimneys you had in your home.  Each chimney was levied a certain amount.  Since central heating and air condition were 900 years in the future, if you wanted to have a warm room in your house, you had a fireplace in it.  Thus, fireplaces, and their accompanying chimney's became a measure of wealth and value for the property.  Large manors had many chimneys.  Cottages had maybe one.  This became known as the Hearth Tax.

Fast forward to the 1800's in the United States.  Have you ever wondered why old store fronts are so narrow yet the building space is very deep?  Back then, property taxes were assessed not on square footage but on store frontage.  So, the wider your storefront, the more you would pay in taxes.  Thus, there was an incentive for shop owners to build their stores as long and skinny as possible to avoid paying the tax while still benefiting from the square footage.

Finally, comes another oddity from the same era.  Many times in older Victorian homes, closets are very hard to come by.  Why would these people build homes without closets?  Well, it turns out that it was an innovation to work around property taxes.  At the time, residences were taxed based on the number of rooms in them.  Closets were included in that count.  So, rather than pay the tax collector each year for a place to hang your shirt, people used armoirs and forsook the closets.

Today, in Weber County, we are taxed based on approximately 1% of the market value of the house or land which we own.  Today's taxes are much more equitable in my opinion and prevent the unintended consequences of people modifying their property to avoid them.