Jeff Rense lives in a 2600-square foot cedar house–which he describes as “modest”–on a five-acre parcel of land outside Ashland in southern Oregon. The Jackson County Assessors Office puts the 2011 value for tax purposes at $516,000. This compares to a 2010 value of $652,000, and a 2009 value of $803,000.
The property is a short drive from Emigrant Lake (swimming, boating, water-skiing); Mount Ashland (sightseeing, hiking, skiing); and the city of Ashland, population 20,000.
A private shared access drive off the main road leads to the property. Near the entrance gate is an 860-square foot, three car garage. The main house, along with a separate 480-square foot guest house, is located next to a one-acre stand of mature trees. Irrigation from the local district (TID: Talent Irrigation District) runs through the property and feeds three ponds, one with an island and connecting bridge. There is also a small rock waterfall. The land slopes slightly north, and there are far-reaching views to the surrounding mountains.
Rense plans to have a ridable miniature railroad built on his property: at present the track bed has been surveyed and graveled, and a train tunnel constructed.
In 2004, Rense applied to have a 28’x28′ Terra-Dome underground “storage” structure built. According to the planning office, construction was due to start in November 2010, although it is not known if this has commenced.
Additional photographs of Jeff Rense’s property:
Rense purchased the five-acre property for $449,000 in March 2000, and describes the land at the time of purchase as “a few dry, weed and thistle-covered acres”. One will note from the photographs that the stand of mature trees covering about a fifth of the parcel were obviously there long before the year 2000. Likewise, the pond at the southwest corner of the property was also there at the time Rense purchased the property, as was the irrigation system feeding it. This makes Rense’s description sound rather misleading.
The original house was 3600 square feet and had been built in 1980. During renovations–begun shortly after purchase–Rense discovered that the house had not been built to code. He hired a structural engineer who recommended that the house be either remedied (at an estimated cost of $90,000 to $110,000) or replaced.
The house was deemed unsafe to inhabit. Rense describes what happened next:
I… was able to upgrade the GARAGE into a minimum legal living structure, built a bedroom and bath in it for my child and we moved into it… We had to live in that garage for the next seven years.
Let’s clarify something here. Although it is unfortunate that Rense purchased a real estate “lemon”, and ended up out of pocket because of it, his description of having to live in a “GARAGE” is a bit melodramatic. In fact, the “GARAGE” was actually a 1400-square foot studio/office with attached garage that had been built in 1985. Rense had the garage end of the building converted into a large bedroom (the garage door was removed and a door & window installed). The studio/office part of the building–already equipped with a bathroom–was fitted with a kitchen and an additional window. The insulation was upgraded and electric heaters installed.
Looking at a photograph of this “GARAGE” (above left), one would be hard-pressed to think of it as anything but an average-size bungalow.
In 2002, Rense applied for and received a reduction in property tax because of the original house’s structural problems.
Rense chose to dismantle the original house rather than take remedial action; this happened in 2004. Part of the house was salvaged for use as a guest house.
In 2008, the new 2600-square foot cedar home was built, along with a three car garage. The guest house–part of the original, dismantled house–was moved in 2005 to a different part of the property.
The 1400-square foot studio-office-garage conversion was no longer on the property by 2010.
In 2000, Rense filed two lawsuits regarding the defective house. The defendants were:
- the previous owner of the property
- the realty company who handled the sale
- the owner of the realty company
- the sales agent involved with the sale
- the home inspector Rense had hired 
The structural defects of the house were only discovered after Rense began exterior renovations. It seems unlikely that the previous owner would have known about the substandard construction: the house had been built in 1980, the previous owner purchased it in 1991, and sold it to Rense in 2000.
In 2005, the judge dismissed the case against the previous owner. The realty company would only say that the case against them was “settled.”
The case against the house inspector went to arbitration and in the end, the inspector’s insurance company paid out $5,700.
Rense apparently did not bring legal action against the contractor and builders of the house, or the county inspectors who approved the defective construction. It remains a mystery why he never sought redress from those who were most likely to have been found responsible for the house’s failings.
Jeff Rense had the misfortune to buy a house with serious structural issues. Fortunately, his generous income afforded him the means to not only build another house, but to fashion the property into a beautiful country estate–the kind of place that many, if not most, of his readers and listeners would never be able to afford.
Of course, Rense is entitled to spend his money as he chooses. However, one can’t help but wonder if the donations he solicits are truly helping him keep his website and radio show viable, or if instead they provide a bit of icing on the cake of his very comfortable existence.
Previous: The lifestyle of Jeff Rense
 Reply 1–‘Jeff Rense’s Abuse of Power & Trust’. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
 Reply 2–‘The Hidden Jeff Rense’. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
 Jackson County, Oregon property records.
 Jackson County, Oregon court records.