The not-so-humble abode

 

Jeff Rense's cedar home in Ashland, Oregon, built in 2008 (Photo: Jackson County)

Jeff Rense lives in a 2600-square foot cedar house–which he describes as “modest”[1][2]–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.[3]

Jeff Rense property--aerial view (click to enlarge)

Jeff Rense property--bird's eye view from west (click to enlarge)

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.[3] 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.

Jeff Rense property--train tunnel (click to enlarge) (Photo: Jackson County)

Rense plans to have a ridable miniature railroad built on his property: at present the track bed has been surveyed and graveled,[2] and a train tunnel constructed.[3]

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,[3] although it is not known if this has commenced.

Additional photographs of Jeff Rense’s property:


History

Rense purchased the five-acre property for $449,000 in March 2000,[3] and describes the land at the time of purchase as “a few dry, weed and thistle-covered acres”[1]. 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.

Original house--structurally deficient & demolished in 2003 (click to enlarge) (Photo: Jackson County)

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.[3]

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.[1]

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.[3]

Former studio-office-garage converted to living space. This is the building Rense describes as a "garage." He lived here until the cedar home was built in 2008. (click to enlarge) (Photo: Jackson County)

Floor plan of studio-office-garage conversion to living space, which Rense describes as a "garage." (click to enlarge) (Diagram: Jackson County)

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.

Lawsuits

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 [4]

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.[4]

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.

Conclusion

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


Sources:

[1] Reply 1–‘Jeff Rense’s Abuse of Power & Trust’. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
[2] Reply 2–‘The Hidden Jeff Rense’. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
[3] Jackson County, Oregon property records.
[4] Jackson County, Oregon court records.

  10 Responses to “The not-so-humble abode”

  1. I had previously heard Rense (on his radio show, I believe) describe the terrible hardships he and his daughter were forced to endure due to the home’s sad state and the fact that he had to move the 2 of them into the garage.

    That 1400 SF ‘garage’ is not the garage that I envisioned. In reality, it is hardly a difficult living situation – 2 people in a 1400 sf residence… excuse me… I mean ‘garage’ (though 1400 SF might seem awfully small if your roommate is J Rense).

    As to why Jeffery did not sue the builder of the home, likely the Statute of Limitations had expired. Likely as well in the county’s case, too. Otherwise I have no doubt ‘Mr. Sue U’ would have gone after them as well.

  2. Oh, lastly it should be noted for those unaware…

    Jeffery is NOT an Oregon native. He’s another Californian who did his part to run that state into the ground; sell his property; and move North to a land where his money (and others like him) greatly inflated housing prices for native Oregonians.

  3. I truly respect the idea of supporting “honest journalism” but now have no doubts about his true agenda (fleecing anyone he can).

    Years ago, while still a supporter, I had poked around the net to learn about his back-ground and found surprisingly little information — should have realized that was a red flag. Now, at last, the truth has surfaced. I did like a couple of his contributing writers which was largely why I thought he was legitimate — the integrity of a few contributors for him to hide behind. I haven’t been back to his site since his juvenile “monsieur le pig” piece which was quite revealing of his caliber “journalism” — I don’t know how anyone who read that could still believe he’s an “award winning journalist.”

    The evidence that he bilks his supporters and ex-wives (and anyone he can sue) is plain to see for those who really want to know. He used to have a quote on his site that went something like “truth does not fear investigation”… it is abundantly clear that Jeff fears investigation and will litigate to stop it.

    I suspect the reason he didn’t sue the county inspectors is because they cut his property taxes by nearly half which amounts to a huge gain.

  4. Shameful.. I have been taken in twice giving additional funds to help fund a radio show and web site that I was led to believe desperately needed help. All the time I was just helping to fund the Rense estate train project, and also assisting with the landscaping of his lifestyle and extensive gardens. I think that people deserve nice things for working hard and long hours, but don’t keep whining on about “woe is me” when it quite obviously “ain’t so”.

    Rense comes across on air as so humble, and so smooth and sincere, and so in need of our extra donations – and that those funds will be put to immediate use furthering the cause of truth and freedom both on air, and on the Internet.

    A large percentage of donations is obviously being spent on lawyer costs to squeeze even more from others and to try and block freedom of speech when it is directed against him.
    The truth will not set this person free, In Jeff’s case the truth will sink his ship and I hope the water is very- very cold.

    When you travel through life stomping over everyone else without any concern as to the damage you do to them, “the law of returns” will eventually kick in, and the wheel will have turned full circle.

  5. Someone(s) really should hoist Jeff Rense, the professional hukster, on his own petard by suing the wazoo out of him. How about his 9 ex-wives and countless ex-girl friends banding together in a class-action lawsuit for financial fraud?

  6. Well howdy folks,

    I suppose the only true direct information Rense is supplying, with his phony radio show personality, is on how to feed the illuminati and duped the brainwashed drones that blindly feed him. He sure shows me that anyway.

    Nice house though Rensey Boy… What do you do for an encore beg donations to pay for a hot tub and six call girls?

    Me to Rensey Boy…. “Hey Rensey Boy the new world order is upon us what shall we do?” Rensey Boy to me… “Err.. well Matthew simply lie through your teeth..errr then build yourself a country estate and hide on it, but only after you scam all the muppets in the truth movement with bullshit information and fantasy.”

    May you reap what you sow.

  7. Very nice, I wouldn’t think that a rag-tag radio network and website could result in this level of living standard.

  8. No mercy for a narcissist! The best thing is to expose him and let him run in his own ditch. Dont give him anything, avoid him anytime. The problem is that many dont know much about him. So expose him and the rest will go how it should. My mother-in-law is a narcissist too. He is the same as those devilworshippers and money lovers on christian TV.
    He will reap what he sows. Its all just business to him. He doesnt care about truth, only about him.
    The same with Alex Jones, he is working for the Vatican! This makes the Bible be true that this whore in Rev. 17 is ruling the world and also these so called “zionists”.

  9. I was a regular listener several years ago, but never a fan. It was to hear his guests. I found him to be intolerably racist. Did his comments never bother anyone else? Jim Marrs had to correct on one occassion after he said a nasty comment about spanish-speaking people. Do you have to be a person of color to be offended? I’m glad other people are seeing this creep for who he is, but what took you so long? He’s been spouting racism for years!

  10. I just wish he’d change that weird picture of himself on his website. That hair and granny glasses . . . aaaa haaaa haaaaa !

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