A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Old house talked about at council meet

Written March 14th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

The vacant house at 732 S.W. Fourth in the sunshine of Tuesday afternoon.

What’s likely to happen with this vacant old house in Albany’s Monteith Historic District now is a little clearer after the subject came up before the city council Wednesday night.

The house is in pretty poor shape and had been the target of city enforcement action for the past several years. The city of Albany has more than $85,000 in municipal liens against it, almost all of it in unpaid fines and interest against the former owners, a mortgage company, for keeping a derelict property.

The address, 732 Fourth Ave. S.W., is one of several properties listed on a semiannual report on code enforcement actions that went to the council Wednesday. Councilman Dick Olsen asked about the house, and he and the city staff talked about it briefly.

The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) owns the property. A deed on file at the courthouse says Fannie Mae bought the place on Dec. 17 for $155,000.

Fannie Mae is working with Coldwell Banker real estate, the council was told. Somebody with Fannie Mae in Denver has also tried to reach City Attorney Sean Kidd about getting the city liens reduced. So far they haven’t connected,  though. For cleanup work at the site, the city is owed $2,753. The rest of the roughly $85,000 total the city says it is owed consists of fines and interest.

Eventually, once the liens are settled or negotiated down, Fannie Mae presumably will try to sell the property, probably as is.

The house, dating from the 1880s or 1891 depending on the source, needs extensive repairs inside and out. The city attorney told the council that exterior work would require approval of the city Landmarks Advisory Commission.

The house has a pretty neat shape and no doubt would be a boon to the neighborhood, rather than a blight, if somebody could find it worthwhile to buy and restore it as a single-family residence, the way some nearby homes have been restored in recent years. (hh)

9 responses to “Old house talked about at council meet”

  1. J. Hanschlatter says:

    What if it were to be torn down and replaced by a series of nicely-designed, architecturally accurate, aesthetically delightful ADUs?

  2. thomas cordier says:

    take a picture of it, and tear it down. put the pic in Albany museum

  3. S. Whittle says:

    Perhaps the City could “accidentally” issue a Knockdown Order and seek RFP. Then, on the day of destruction, the City Human Interface would simply print out a copy naming the 732 4th address. The contractor does the dirty work. The City relieves pressure from the ugly boil of a house. Fannie Mae collects on the insurance and everyone but the Landmarks Commission will be jolly well pleased. Our government leaders must begin thinking more outside the box.

  4. Derek W says:

    I would be interested in this as a project but I don’t see how it could pencil at the price price of admission, even if the fines/interest were waived.

  5. Casper Jim says:

    Turn it over to FLIP THIS HOUSE

  6. Jred says:

    We need to Save these OLD HOMES!! Come on people!!

  7. Leroy says:

    My mother inlaw owned this house she went with a reverse mortgage and the company bought extremely high insurance that they required her to pay back. Sewage has spent years in that basement from trees breaking into the waste line. The floor plan is not original and it was not done by a contractor. the previous owner did that work himself so. Paying the 80 thousand and lifting the structure and removing the basement replumbing re electrical recreate original floor plan. A wise man wouldn’t do it, if for, no other reason the view is sewage treatment plant accross the street, and some days there is a mist from that plant.


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