Friday, November 14, 2014

Unlimited Designs

Unlimited Designs takes home 2 National Awards for Excellence in 2014 through the Architectural Precast Association (APA). 

Project : Gilbert AZ GFRC- Gilbert, AZ
Design : Architekton - Tempe, AZ
Manufacturer : Unlimited Designs - Salt Lake City, UT
Category : GFRC
Jury Comments : The versatility of GFRC is on full display with this inspirational design. Its ability to create complex, intricate and crisp detailing is apparent, and the color flexibility to match the architectural precast used elsewhere in the project make for a unified and seamless appearance. The technical detailing and shop drawing coordination must have been a challenge on this one. The project is beautifully executed!

Project : Anaconda Courthouse - Anaconda, MT
Design : Schlenker & McKittrick Architects - Helena, MT
Manufacturer : Unlimited Designs - Salt Lake City, UT
Category : Building Green
Jury Comments : There is no greener building than an existing building. The reuse of crushed sandstone from the original courthouse tower in the precast and GFRC replacement mix is ingenious and the final result looks seamless and beautiful. In addition to giving precast mix a color and texture similar to the original sandstone, the recycled content makes for a greener process.

The purpose of the APA Awards for Excellence program is to recognize excellence in design, manufacturing and craftsmanship of Architectural Precast Concrete structures and individual components.  Awards are made on the basis of APA established criteria which has evolved since the inception of the awards programs.  For more information on the APA and other project awards in 2014 please visit the following link:

Unlimited Designs |
 801-355-3221 |
780 North Warm Springs Road
Salt lake City, UT 84116

"Passion to Simplify Solutions"

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Home Inspections - New Potential Drug Hazard?

For a seller of a home, the Sellers Property Condition Disclosure section 20 "Hazardous Conditions" sub paragraph C specifically asks if methamphetamines are currently in the home, being stored in the home or being manufactured in the home.  My belief is that a user is not going to be as forthcoming about this as we would hope.  My thought today is to consider another potential drug use that may be of concern to a buyer, which is Marijuana.

In 2012 Colorado & Washington voters approved adult-use of marijuana and on the 4th of this month Alaska and Oregon voted for the legal use of recreational marijuana.  In addition 23 states allow the sale and use of medical specific marijuana (these 23 states include the four mentioned adult-use of recreational marijuana).

So what are the potential repercussions of growing marijuana in a home?
I have not found any research that says traces of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, can remain in the home due to the growing of marijuana.
To grow marijuana apparently a lot of water is used to keep the plants from dying, and thus the potential for a mold or mildew issue is the biggest risk I can see at this time.

Click here for my post on potential moisture issues: SPCD - Sellers Property Condition Disclosure

What do you believe is any additional downside or risk in selling or buying a "grow house"?

Up In Smoke
Brian Olsen, WWR

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Most Expensive Listings in Park City

When we think of winter destinations at the top of the list for a lot of people is Park City, UT. This charming little town located in Utah's Wasatch Mountains, it is located between three world class ski Resorts. Park City is also known for being home of to the Sundance Film Festival. 

The most expensive listing in Park City is a home $34,000,000

This home has 22,000 square feet with 12 bedrooms and 14 full baths. 

The home is situated on 60 acres with a 28 car garage.

This home has an indoor pool, fitness center and children's playrooms.

As of today November 12, 2014 there are an additional 461 homes actively listed in Park City ranging in price from the $34 million home mentioned above, to the least expensive listing for a timeshare at $5,000. (According to the Wasatch Front MLS)

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!
Brian Olsen, WWR 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

SPCD - Sellers Property Condition Disclosure

Took a client through a home yesterday and he noticed that below one of the windows in the unfinished area of the basement it looked wet.  We pulled the insulation back it was definitely moist and it was definitely very moist.  We looked in the window well and tried to see where the moisture would be coming from but couldn't see any difference in this window from any of the other basement windows.  My client really liked the home so I called the listing agent and he firmly said that there had been no problems with this home and they had never had water come into the basement.

As we left the house, my client walked over to the window well which had the moisture and there was a hose bib with a hose attached.  As he got close you could see that the bark and mulch of the landscape was floating in water.  He lifted the end of the hose and there was a pretty consistent stream of water coming out of the hose.

So does the seller need to revise his Property Condition Disclosure form 19. A. concerning their knowledge of any past or present water leakage?

After closing on the sell of their home, no seller wants a phone call from the buyer or the buyers attorney informing them that they didn't disclose something concerning which they should have had a reasonable knowledge.

Peter Lattin in a brief article found at  Utah Home Sellers: Disclosures Required Under State Law has a great summary for every home seller to review.  Take a few minutes reading this article and hopefully avoid spending hours and substantial finances defending yourself.

Have you had or made a claim of fraud in a real estate transaction?  How did you defend yourself or seek for damages?

Thanks for disclosing your experiences to help avoid possibly disclosure missteps.
Brian Olsen, WWR

Saturday, November 8, 2014

What is the Crime Rate in this Neighborhood???

As I research and show clients homes in different neighborhoods, I have been asked a number of time how the crime rate is in that neighborhood, to which I can't tell them even if I knew or I could be steering them and have problems with the state regulators.

For those wanting to know a little bit more about the crime rate across the country, Heather MacDonald, with The Heritage Foundation, just wrote this article, The Great Crime Decline.
It is some good information and gives an overall feel of the nations crime rate.  You will have to do more research to get the specific area in which you are looking to purchase, but I liked Heathers article about the decline in crime.  May I suggest it is because more people are turning to some form of religion?  The sad thing about this theory is that the statistics call the most recent period of religious growth the Great Decline (see The Great Decline: 60 years of religion in one graph, by Tobin Grant, Jan 27, 2014)

Whatever it is I'm glad it is happening.  Why do you think the crime rate is decreasing?

Remember to lock your doors.
Brian Olsen, WWR

Top 10 Winter Energy Saving Tips

We have started using our pellet stove and are waking up with a pretty good frost each morning.  The days are shorter and energy bills will be going up as we have the lights on longer and use additional heating appliances.
Here are some useful energy saving tips to help save a little.


Friday, November 7, 2014

American Fork Real Estate

In October 51 homes listed and 32 homes sold in American Fork. 

American Fork Real Estate: October 2014

The most expensive home currently listed in American Fork is listed for $5,500,000. This home was listed last fall, it has 9,918 square feet. The home includes 6 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 169.81 acres and almost $1.5 million in water rights. The homes also has a rental property.

The least expensive home currently listed in American Fork is listed for $23,000. This is a mobile home with 960 square feet. The home has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.

Right now there are currently 107 homes listed in American Fork, 4 of those homes just listed with in the first 4 days of November. 

If you want more information Real Estate in American Fork let me know!

Have a great day!

Brian Olsen, WWR 

 *pictures and information from and the Wasatch Front MLS

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Vegas Home Market & Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam

The Las Vegas home market value increased in 2013 by approximately 24% and the increase so far this year is approximately 20%, which is great for those with homes in Las Vegas that lost an estimated 62% in value from 2006 to 2012.  If you are in Las Vegas and aren't in the market for a home, take the short 33 mile drive to the Hoover Dam.  The Dam and new bridge are both engineering feats and well worth seeing.

From the ASME website here are some cool facts about the new bridge:
     The bridge has 30,000 cubic yards of concrete and 16 million pounds of steel
     The bridge has the world's tallest concrete arch span
     At 880 feet above the Colorado River, it is the 2nd highest bridge in the U.S.

The dam is also amazing and some fun facts that can be found at Hoover Dam Factoids for Kids:
     The dam is twice as tall as the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas
     Enough concrete was used that you could have built a 4' wide sidewalk around the Earth
     Lake Mead, formed by the dam, is the largest reservoir in the U.S.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Commode, Porcelain Thrown, Water Closet, etc.

One statistic says that the average person uses the restroom six times a day and in their lifetime will spend 1.5 years in the loo.  Why not spend that time surrounded in luxury.  These Luxury Baths, are taken from Coldwell Banker website. 

 [click for larger view]

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

10 Board Games to play this fall

In our family we love to play Board Games, especially as the days get shorting and colder. The standing rule in our home is "Dad has to win". My children were pretty respectful of that rule up to about the age of four and then it was everyone gang up on dad and beat him.  I'm a little competitive and so if I loose we have to keep playing best of 3 or best of 5 or best of 7....
Here is a list of 10 of our favorite games.  What is a favorite game of yours?

1. Blokus Game - Blockus is a fun game its played with 4 people. It's challenging enough that my older kids love to play it, but its also easy enough that my younger children can also play, which can be flabbergasting when your six year old wins and all he was doing was creating a cool design!

2. Ticket To Ride - This game has been played so many times at our house that the game board is in 3 different sections. In this game each player is given tickets with a challenge and to win you need to complete the challenge(s) before someone runs out of trains. This game is a little more challenging for the younger children, however they make great partners and play with the train pieces until they can put them on the game board

3. 5ive Straight - This game is very similar to Sequence but with a little twist. If you play with younger children this game has a very different dynamics than if played with adults. Either way it is a blast and can be very simple and fast or very challenging and long.

4. Spot It - This game is fun in its simplicity. Children of all ages can play this game. Its fun for adults and children alike. Such an easy thing to simply find a match.  But, the hard part is simply finding the match.

5. Dominion - This game is  for the pre-teens and up. It's a little to complex for smaller children to understand how to play. The main reason being that the game is never the same. Each game is different and challenging. When you first play the game plan on spending a while figuring it out. Once you have played a few games, it can go really quick and it is addicting.

6. Apples to Apples Party Box - The Game of Crazy Combinations (Family Edition) - When you play this game be prepared for lots of laughter and fun. Its a great way to make memories and everyone can play. If your child cant read then have them be on a team or simply read the cards for them.

7.   Rich Dad Cashflow 101 board game is a great game.  It is definitely for older children who will spend quite a bit of time using a calculator to stay on top of their investments.  Great education tool about investing.  Not as long as Monopoly, but it will take awhile, usually.

8.  Hand & Foot is a great card game, but a little too completed for young children.  You play in teams and you use a deck of cards for each player.  You are dealt 11 cards in your hand and 11 cards in your foot and the goal is to get rid of all 22 cards.  It is fairly complicated, but google the game and I'm sure you'll play it over and over as well.

9.  Backgammon is one of the oldest games and is estimated to go back to approximately 500 AD.  It is a great game and my six year old consistently beats me (contrary to the rule of the house).  It is pretty simple and though dice are included, so it is a lot of luck, there is definitely a strategy to the game.

10.  Probably one of the most played games in our home is Nertz.  It is a super fun game that children who are able to count and distinguish the different face cards will enjoy.  We use regular face cards and once my children got older we changed the rules a little to a version we named O Fim which in Portuguese means "The End" and made the game much more intense.  Instead of playing until your Nertz pile runs out we go until the first person gets rid of all their cards.  One additional version gets the adrenaline really pumping we call "Wild O Fim" and the average duration of the game is about 3 minutes (usually including some banged up knuckles, fingers and cards).

Monday, November 3, 2014

Man Caves & NFL Football

How are you enjoying the NFL season so far this year?  Following a home town favorite, Alex Smith, I've got my hopes set on Kansas and the deflected catch to Anthony Fasano while on the ground and then his lunge for a touchdown is a good sign for their road to the super bowel; in my humble opinion.

However, Arizona is doing amazing and marked another blocked field goal against Dallas.

Either way, where do you spend time watching sports or retreating from the world?  Do you consider your retreat a "Man Cave"?

If you are a serious "Man Caver" you'll want to check out the website and to get you started look at the 2013 Man Cave of the Year.

If you have a favorite man cave please share it so we can relish in the retreat others have created.

Here's to Cave Men everywhere!
Brian Olsen, WWR

Mold, Mildew, Fungus....

Mold, Mildew, Fungus....
Living in the dry climate of Utah we don't experience nearly as often the issues that come from too much moisture in a home.  However, Utahn's also love their basements for a cool retreat in the summer and for the storage of food preserves and we should all look closely for any possibility of mold issues before buying or renting.

Sellers of property are required by Utah law to disclose in the Sellers Property Condition Disclosure to answer the following question, "With the exception of any occasional accumulation of mold and mildew in bathroom shower, tub and sink areas, are you aware of any past or present mold on walls, ceilings, floors or any other interior portion of the Property?  If "Yes" please describe, to your knowledge, the nature and location of any such mold:"

During the Due Diligence period of a contract when a buyer has a licensed inspector go through the home, they will not typically perform a mold inspection unless you specifically ask for such, the cost for which is typically in addition to the basic inspection.

I've not had a client close on a home after which was discovered mold, however I have seen a lot of homes with mold issues which turned buyers away from the home.

Do you have a mold horror story?  How was it resolved?

Spores or no spores?
Brian Olsen, WWR
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