Monday, September 30, 2013

FOR SALE: Victorian Restoration Project Home Plus Commercial Building

I just listed this interesting home in Ogden.

It is a highly unique property with a lot of potential.  Not only is there a fantastic Victorian home on the parcel but it also has an old grocery store out front.  Located at 2002 Jackson Ave., it is just a couple blocks below Harrison Blvd and is in the Taylor Canyon Elementary School boundaries.  It is just across the street from the cute Victorian homes on Dutch Row which runs north on Jackson Ave. to 19th Street.

This property may make an excellent project for someone wanting a work-live lifestyle.

 The store building is 735 SQFT.  The home is two story and has 2,287 SQFT with two bedrooms upstairs and a bed on the main level.  It has two open decorative porches and a two car garage.  Both buildings sit together on a .15 acre lot.

The interior has all of its original woodwork and Victorian charm still intact.

If you are in the market for a victorian restoration project with the option of having your own commercial space on site, CONTACT ME, and I can get you more details.

FOR SALE: Ogden's Painted Lady - Seller Financing Available

This beautiful architectural gem just came on the market.

Located at 2683 Jefferson Ave., the property is listed with John Barker at Real Estate Exchange.  I happen to be good friends with the seller.  So, with his written permission and John's good graces, I have been allowed to present this home to you for consideration.

Located at 2683 Jefferson Ave, this home sits in the coveted Jefferson Historic District neighborhood of Ogden.  The home is 4205 SQFT with 3-stories of living space and a basement.  It sits on a bluff with excellent views of the western skyline and the city.

In the 1930's the home was foreclosed on and subdivided into apartments as was common practice at the time.  It currently houses 8 units.

The property would make a wonderful residence when consolidated back to its original floor plan.  Fortunately, the original plan is on record in city archives.

The seller of this property is offering seller financing with 20% down payment.  Ogden City also offers unit consolidation funds up to $10,000 per unit eliminated.  That means that up to $70,000 is available to help restore this home back to its original glory.  Also, the State has tax credits available for work performed on historic homes.  For high income folks, that means that funds used to rehabilitate the home could be credited toward state taxes due for the year and future years.

If you are interested in details about this home, CONTACT ME, and I will answer your questions.  

JUST SOLD! Mid-Century Breadbox Flip Home

I just sold this property that I renovated with my business partners.

You might remember the home as this sad little hamlet back in May.  

The total reconstruction of the home took us just over two months to complete.  We put in a brand new kitchen and updated the bathroom.  We also had to rearrange the laundry setup.  You can see a tour of the home before construction here.  Here is video of the home afterwards:

The home sold for $98,000 while paying 3% of the purchase price in closing costs for the buyers.  If you are in the market for a home like this, CONTACT ME, and I can show you the next project home that will receive these same upgrades.

Monday, September 23, 2013

JUST SOLD! Roy Brick Rambler

I just sold this home to buyers who were referred to me by previous clients.

Located in Roy, this home has 6 bedrooms and 3 baths and is 2,250 SQFT. We placed an offer on this property the last week in July.  My clients were renting and due to some loan qualification guidelines, we set the closing date toward the middle of September.

Our initial offer was $145,000 and the seller countered at $148,000 with them  paying $4,380  in buyer's closing costs.  We accepted and placed the home under contract.

As we proceeded through the inspection, it was determined that the home would need a new roof.  That was going to be a major setback to getting my clients their loan.  Fortunately, the sellers were willing to work with us.  We renegotiated the sales price of the home to $155,850 subject to a new roof being installed by the sellers.

The roofers completed the job just a couple days before closing and my buyer's were able to end the transaction with a decent mortgage payment and a fit home to live in.

Congratulations to my buyers!  If you are looking to purchase a home, CONTACT ME, and let's make your buying experience a positive one.              

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Things To Do In Utah: Hiking Adam's Canyon

I called up my friend Mark this week and suggested we go on a hike.  He recommended Adam's Canyon east of Layton.  I am glad he did.

The hike starts out at a trail head just east of Hwy 89 next to a retention pond.  It is located about a mile and a half south of SR 193.  The trail is very sandy and follows switchbacks for the first little bit as the trail gains elevation.  After a while it levels out and meets the Bonneville Shoreline trail.  The views of the valley were great.

Once in the canyon, the trail follows Holms Creek.  The scenery begins to become more interesting as rock features and vegetation change.  There are large rock outcroppings and obstacles to crawl over as the trail ascends.

  At the top of the traditional trail is a 40 foot waterfall.  It provided a very nice place to take a break.  The waterfall is about 1,180 feet above the valley floor.

However, we weren't done with our hike.  We came to explore some less traveled areas of the canyon.  To the north of the waterfall was a chute that we climbed. 

We climbed about 200 feet to the crest of the ridge above the waterfall.  Then the trail became very interesting.

The trail then heads northeast along the creek and descends into heavily vegetated area.

Along the way I nearly stepped on this baby rattlesnake.  He had come out to warm himself.  I am sure he appreciated my close up flash photography.  

There is a very nice camping area along the creek on this section of the trail. 

The leaves also were beginning to show their fall colors.

The trail ultimately came to a dead end and we turned around.  However, not before slipping into the creek a couple times in pursuit of false leads.    

Our total trip time was about 5 hours but we took it at a leisurely pace.  This is definitely a great hike...and only about 25 minutes from Ogden.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

JUST SOLD! Ogden East Bench Rambler

I just closed on this listing with a seller.  We listed this home in July for $129,900.  The home is located at the top of the east bench just a stone's throw from the mountain trail system.  It is only a 2 bedroom 1 bath configuration.  The home had been used as a rental for the past 7 years.

The first day we listed it we had 4 showings.  Immediately, attention was drawn to some TLC items (paint and finish work) that needed some touch up.  We placed the home off market for a week as we addressed those items.  By the time we placed it back on the market things had slowed down a bit.  It took another month and we finally received an offer.

The original offer was for $115,000 and asking for $3,450 in closing costs.  That was a pretty big discount off our asking price.  They were clearly fishing.  After some discussion with the buyer's agent, we agreed to $127,000 and included $5,000 in seller paid closing costs.

Finally, the lender guidelines called for some adjustments to the closing cost concessions and we concluded the transaction at $125,700 with $3,700 in closing costs being paid.

Congratulations to my sellers!  If you are thinking of selling your home, CONTACT ME, and lets put a marketing plan together for you.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

JUST SOLD! North Ogden Condo

We just closed on this condo which I had listed for a client.  This concludes the liquidation of my client's inventory of condos in the Sunbrook complex in North Ogden.  Back in 2010 my client hired me to dispose of her portfolio of 6 units in the community.  Our first transaction was a sale to a young married couple of one of the ground level units.  Later, we put a package transaction together for 4 units which sold to an area investor.  Finally, we sold this unit to a young married couple.

After letting our listing rest for a while, we relisted the it for $89,900 in April.  At the end of May we reduced the price to $86,900.  The first week of July we recieved an offer for $79,900 and asking for $3,150 in closing costs while all being subject to the sale of the buyer's home.  We countered at  $83,000.  The buyers accepted.

We waited a while for the buyers to sell there home.  When they did, we agreed to allow them to rent the condo while we were still under contract.  Sometimes this can be an awkward arrangement but it worked out well in this instance.  I wrote up a lease agreement for the buyers to sign and they began paying $700/mo. rent while we plodding through the purchase process.

However, we hit a significant bump when the appraisal came back.  The appraiser indicated that value was $81,000.  That was $2,000 less than our agreement and was a deal breaker for my client.  We informed the buyers that they had a couple options: A) Continue to rent the property but the rents would need to be increased $25 or B) They could find the $2,000 to bridge our gap and conclude the purchase of the property.

The buyers decided it was in their best interest to bridge the gap and we concluded the transaction at $83,000 without further incident.

If you are thinking of liquidating your investment portfolio or selling your condominium, CONTACT ME, and I can show you what your property is worth.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Recipe for Disaster: Landlord Leasing Foibles

Several years ago I brokered a transaction for a seller who was in trouble on a duplex.  The property needed repairs and they were strapped for cash.  On top of that, it was in the midst of the market collapse of 2008.  So, to make the transaction work, we seller financed the property to another buyer.

Unfortunately, the buyer recently returned the property to the seller and gave up on trying to make the place work.  Adding to the woe, the buyer did not make the improvements to the property that they indicated they would make when the transaction was consummated.

The seller-now-owner of the property called me up and asked me to handle the management of the place.  The duplex had existing tenants and lease agreements we were inheriting.

One of the unique features of these units is that they are exceptionally large.  Each unit has 5 bedrooms, 2 kitchens, and three bathrooms.  The place really should be a fourplex.  However, the city only authorizes it to be used as a duplex.

This odd floor plan poses some problems.  First, it is optimal for large families.  However the parking is limited for such a large space.  Secondly, the large space attracts large groups of unrelated individuals as well (i.e. college students, roomates, etc.)  However, zoning laws only allow for up to 3 unrelated individuals to live in the space.  So, these units really find themselves in an awkward and inefficient corner of the market.

To illustrate the point, rent was late from one of the tenants.  Only half the rent was paid from August, the month we transitioned into managing the property.  So, today I went to the property to post the Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit notice.  To my surprise one of the tenants was in the driveway and expressed relief to be getting the notice.  She indicated she wanted a copy of the lease as well so she could go to a local charity and ask for help.  I returned with a copy of the lease a couple hours later for her.

One of the unique characteristics of the lease was that it was really two leases for two separate individuals to inhabit the same space.  I thought this was odd for the previous property manager to write it this way.  The situation was that a mother and daughter were each going to live in half the space with their children and/or friends.  Each was signed up to pay half the monthly rent of $1100. In an awkward effort to bind the leases together, the previous landlord used this document.

So, when I went over today to give the paperwork to the mother, she told me she couldn't cover the rent and that they would have to move. Apparently, her daughter who was the other lease tenant, moved out a while ago.  I agreed to let them leave due to the impossibility of rent being paid and the fact that the previous landlords left us with a very messy and ambiguous lease situation to unwind.

In a worst case scenario, if one of the tenants didn't pay, even with this awkward document written by the previous landlord, the other could possibly continue to live there as long as they paid their share of the rent.  But, since they are in a roommate type situation without separate living spaces, the likelihood of finding a replacement tenant to pick up the other half of the rent becomes very unlikely.  Thus, once one tenant vacates, it becomes an unsolvable situation.  The existing tenant has a strong incentive to continue to pay their half of the market rents while also obstructing the leasing of the space to another roommate.

The bottom line is that splitting up one space with two separate leases is bad policy.  Rather, I recommend putting all the roommates on one lease agreement.  They are all held equally responsible for the lease, even if they leave, and that makes evictions and accountability very easy to manage.  

If you are considering renting your property out and have thought of hiring a manager, CONTACT ME, and I can show you how we make owning income property a worry free experience.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Landlord Quandary: Long Lease vs. Short Lease

As a landlord signing a lease with a tenant, is it better to get a long lease from them or a short one?  Some landlords only have their tenants on month-to-month contracts.  While others might have a tenant in a property with a lease agreement for years.  This latter case is particularly common with commercial property.

Interestingly, in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, rents became an issue that government took an interest in.  At that time, the Church of England was governed by the Monarch and by extension, the Parliament.

One of the problems the Church was facing was that its was leasing property, typically farm land that it held, for exceptionally long lease periods.  These leases would bind the church to a fixed rent amount for an extended period into the future regardless of changing market conditions.  So, Parliament acted and micromanaged the Church's dealings in this regards.  The book Commentaries on the Laws of England has this to share on the subject:

"...the mischief was, that they let long and unreasonable leases, to the impoverishment of their successors: the remedy applied by the statute was by making void all leases by ecclesiastical bodies for longer terms than three lives or twenty one years. Now in the construction of this statute it is held, that leases, though for a longer term, if made by a bishop, are not void during the bishop's life; or, if made by a dean with concurrence of his chapter, they are not void during the life of the dean: for the act was made for the benefit and protection of the successor. The mischief is therefore sufficiently suppressed by vacating them after the death of the grantor; but the leases, during their lives, being not within the mischief, are not within the remedy." Book 1 p.88
So, as you can see, limits were placed on leases for 21 years or 'three lives'.  Bishops and Deans who initiated leases were excepted from the law.

As a residential landlord, long leases can lead to a decline in income due to the natural phenomenon of inflation.  As the cost of all things increases over time, rents that stay the same lose their real value.  If repairs cost $100 today and become $300 in 20 years, the landlord who keep rents the same under this scenario will have a more difficult time affording the repairs.

So, it stands to reason that as the markets fluctuate, leases should mirror the changes in supply and demand.  I encourage landlords to raise rents as market conditions dictate.  Sometimes rents will stay the same while the property condition deteriorates over time.  I hope this isn't the case for you; but, it is something that can be observed in the marketplace.  If you are acting as a landlord, be adaptable to the marketplace and you will be rewarded.  Long leases might work in some circumstances, but my experience has shown that a yearly reassessment of rents is always a good business practice.