Saturday, November 30, 2013

FOR SALE: Light Manufacturing Commercial Building + 1 Acre Lot

I recently listed this attractive commercial building for sale.

The building is 6000 SQFT and located at 1641 S. 1100 W. in the Marriott-Slaterville Commercial Park.  Freeway access is nearby.  The building sits on.94 acres with the rear portion of the lot fully fenced.  The interior is nicely finished with two offices and a common entry area.  The site is zoned for light manufacturing.  The rear part of the building has two large bay doors for moving product.

If you are in the market for a commercial building, CONTACT ME, and we can set up a private showing for you.  You can also reach me for further details on this property.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Things To Do In Idaho: Craters of the Moon Nat'l Monument

While traveling to Idaho this Thanksgiving, our family decided to take a day trip out to Craters of the Moon National Monument.  It is located about 90 miles east of Idaho Falls, Idaho on Hwy 20.  The park encompasses volcanic formations that are as recent as 2,000 years ago.  The sheer desolation and rawness of the place was awe inspiring.    

Given the park's remoteness and the fact it was the day before Thanksgiving, we were the only souls in the park.  The solitude was amazing.  

Here the wife and kids pose in front of Inferno Cone.

The harshness of the terrain is contrasted by Lost River Mountain range in the background.

Our next stop was at the spatter cones.  These were formed when globs of lava were spit out of a vent to form a nice conical shape around it.

The vent is deep.  When we explained what these vents were, the kids kept worrying we would be blasted with an eruption.

The park also has some very interesting heat and cold tolerant plants.  The ground temperatures can reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.  These plants are super hardy.

Here you can get a sense of the scale of this crater wall we descended along the Tree Molds Trail.  After returning to the trailhead we walked the Broken Top Loop.

The loops has a variety of interesting volcanic features.  It took a few moments to figure out what we were looking at.

Here you can see a "lake" of lava that has cooled.  Interestingly, this finger of the lake at the base of the hill marks the site of a vent that created Broken Top Cinder Cone.  The vent sprayed cinders into the air and the prevailing wind at the time blew them to the north east of the vent to create the hill.

There are a lot of limber pines growing on the north face of Broken Top.

Here is an overlook with a view to the east.  The volcanic flows and vent features span over 52 miles of central Idaho.

The kids were good sports except for a few less exciting parts of the trail.

Here the kids are posing in front of a lava bomb.  Notice its distorted shape.  It would have been hurled out of a vent as liquid lava.  While in the air it would form a teardrop shape.  You can see where the impact of hitting the ground compressed the bomb and formed a lateral crease.  Then as it came to a rest on its side while semi-solid, its 'tail' sagged with gravity.

There are some amazing color contrasts in the park as well.

 Here the purple crust of the lava flows contrasts the dark cinder cone behind.  

We found the collapsed roof of a lava tube and were compelled to explore.

If you explore a lava tube, be sure not to hit your head.  The roof is very unforgiving.

The kids enjoyed exploring the unique features.

At the end of the day, they were ready to go home.

The great thing about Craters of the Moon is that access is free and the trails are open as long as the service road is not covered in snow.  The only drawback was that the park had a perplexing attitude biased against humans which we discovered on our last hike.  Other than that, the solitude and unique landscape of the place was a great way to clear the mind and find awe in nature's creations.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ogden Rising: Weber State University Opens Downtown Building

One of the benefits to having a university in a city is the prospect of leveraging the connections between school and community to rejuvenate and improve economic activity in up and coming urban centers.

Such an effort was recently realized in downtown Ogden.  The Weber State Downtown building is located at 2314 Washington Blvd. across the street from The Junction.

The facility was restored after serving decades ago as an tractor dealership.  The floor planks are made of extremely think hickory.  Amazingly, the building was originally constructed to hold the massive tonnage of metal machinery on each of its three floors.  It shows in the support beams.

The facility will also serve as an incubator for tech companies and entrepreneurial students.

More great things are happening in Ogden!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

FOR SALE: Clinton Building Lot

I just listed this lot for sale in Clinton, UT.

Located at 614 N 1500 W., the lot is .24 acres in an area of new growth.

The lot has utility access and lines are ready to be installed.  

If you are looking for a lot to build your new home on in Clinton, CONTACT ME, and lets see if this one is right for your needs.

JUST SOLD! Eccles Historic District Lot

I just sold this lot in one of Ogden's premier neighborhoods:
The Eccles Historic District.

Located at 1052 25th Street, the lot sits adjacent to two architecturally significant homes built in 2007. 

The lot sits across the street from the Ivy Lanes reception center.

It also has a great view of Watermelon Park on Eccles Ave.

The architectural designs for the planned home are complimentary to the neighborhood.  The lot was purchased for $30,000 with a $10,000 down payment and seller financed note due in a year.  Congratulations to my buyers!

If you are looking for a lot to build a house on, CONTACT ME, and we will find the right space that makes sense for building your new home.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Going Nuclear: Walking Out of the Real Estate Deal at the 11th Hour

Real estate transactions happen by the good graces of a buyer and seller.  When both agree, a transaction happens.  The purchase contracts are usually written with deadlines in place as mileposts to mark the progress of the transaction.  Buyers are given the opportunity to discover information about a property and can renegotiate based on their findings.  To keep both parties interested in the transaction, the buyer will offer earnest money to the seller in order to prove seriousness.  If the buyer defaults on the contract, the seller has the right to keep the earnest money.  

Lately however, I have worked with a couple buyers who have seemed very willing to part with their earnest money.  For both of these contracts, the buyers had apparent last minute reasons for not executing their contract.  Unfortunately, in both of these cases, the prospects of this outcome were not revealed until a day or two before the closing was scheduled.  

When that happens, and the sellers have no idea that it is coming, it is a bad day.  Here is a video representation of what it looks like when the buyer drops this surprise on the seller:

The one aspect that both of these contracts had in common was a very long contract time.  One was two months and the other was just over three.  With time, these transactions became more volatile and blew up at the last second.  The lesson learned from this is that longer contract times should require larger earnest money amounts to keep the buyers motivated and the sellers compensated in the event of a buyer default.   


Victorian Restoration: Salvaging An Old Covered Porch

Last April I began work on an old covered porch attached to the back of one of our rental properties.  When the home was purchased, the porch had been whitewashed and made presentable.

 However, the structural defects of the porch roof became apparent immediately. One half of the roof had collapsed and had created a bowl.  Knowing that this was a serious project, the roof was patched and the can was kicked until last April.

  After 6 years of wear and tear, the porch was looking pretty sad.  I decided it was time for a makeover.

The first order of business was to remove the long 3x6 shingle panels that had been put on the roof.  Here you can see the tar line on the brick where the roof originally hipped into the exterior wall of the home.  The arched bricks behind my toolbox are over a former transom window that had been bricked in.

I began peeling back the layers to reveal the skeletal frame. I marveled at the craftsmanship (not necessarily the engineering) used in building the porch. The porch was constructed of rough hune virgin lumber and was built sometime in the 1910's.  The home itself was the home of Weber County's first County Commissioner after statehood, F.L. Vorhees, and was constructed in 1898.

Here you can see where the roof truss timbers broke over an interior portion of the home.

Here you can see where half of the of trusses had vertical supporting posts.  The other half were just toe-nailed into the decorative trim on the back wall of the home.  It is no wonder that the trusses collapsed under a heavy snow load years ago.

Once the trusses were removed, we see the old transom window clearly and a very interesting design on the bump out of the home.  It appears that the bricks were cut to create a lean-to roof structure.  However, there is no evidence of framing.  I imagine the original construction had cedar latch spanning the brick and cedar shake on top.  It would have been simple but effective for a pantry or root cellar type room.  

I removed the tongue and groove soffit next.  

Then the ceiling joists were removed. 

The screen frames were removed and we recycled the roof trusses to create new ones for the new lean-to roof over the pantry room.

Finally we cut down the supporting roof posts to make a nice decorative rail around the new open deck space.  Then we took a year off to recover from the work.  Recently, I hired my crack handyman to finish the job.  I needed him to build new stairs and paint the rail and deck. 

We are very happy with the outcome.  We used A100 Sherwin-Williams exterior grade paint with colors matched from the Eddie Bauer collection at Lowes.  Palm (green), Craft White, and Canoe (brown) were the colors selected.

The decking was tongue and groove planks and to keep it from decaying in the elements, we covered it with Restore brand deck paint with a Russet color.  It is very thick and protects the wood from further decay.  It also provides a nice walking surface with traction.    

It is nice to have one less project to work on.  Now on to the next...