Welcome to Medusa Properties!

The philosophy behind this site is one that I live my life by: that less really IS more. And that if you give people good information, they can make good choices.

I wanted a site where people looking for quality vintage apartments in the Houston or Salt Lake City areas can see what I have to offer, can browse through my upcoming availability, and can get the accurate, up-to-date information that they need to compare my units to others that are out there for lease in the same neighborhoods. No hype. No flash. No annoying background music. If you see something you like, great. If not, you are on your way in two minutes.

Strangely enough I am a landlord only by circumstance. I buy and restore old buildings because I love the processes of design and construction--and truly believe in the concepts of restoration and recycling. My aim in all things both personal and professional is to consume the minimum to produce the maximum. And, truth be told, I do enjoy the sounds of saws buzzing and nail guns popping--and the smell of freshly cut lumber. I'm that guy who will pull over to the curb and wrangle a cool, eight foot long Art Deco sofa into the back of my truck on heavy trash day, spend a month and $800 restoring it to perfection--then sell if for $500--just to keep it from ending up in the landfill. It's my nature. I can't help it. (Believe me, I often wish that I could!)

Ultimately everyone has to make a living somehow. Little did I know, 20 yrs ago, sitting in those college calculus, art history, and statistics classes, that one day I'd be using those skills on a construction site. I think a lot of people see a guy sweating his ass off on a job site and think, "Poor guy! Should have gone to college." Be careful about making assumptions. Some of the sharpest, most successful guys I've ever met are in this business. Guys who just like being outside, moving around all day, using their hands, using their muscles, and using their BRAINS in a very real way--for practical problem solving. It's true that we don't have 401Ks or Blue Cross or two weeks off for good behavior every year. But we've got something we value more: creative and financial freedom. (Well, that and the freedom and cash flow to travel around the world for months at a time--which really doesn't suck.)

So... once or twice a year I buy something old, something gnarled, something abused--something hopelessly crooked--but always something that was once useful, beautiful or interesting. And then I gut it. I take it apart brick by brick. I think about it for a while. Then I put it back together again... stronger, straighter, and hopefully more beautiful and more useful than it was before. In the case of houses, I usually sell them. In the case of apartment buildings, I typically keep them and rent them out.

Before I starting restoring these old buildings I was a partner in a mortgage company. I had a place near the beach in San Diego, some land in Costa Rica, and plenty of money in the bank. And I was only 25. But at the end of the day all I really got paid to do was make copies and shuffle paper around. I had no real pride in my work. (I mean, a mortgage is a mortgage, is a mortgage. No one ever said, "Dude! That was a BAD ASS mortgage you just got for me!") All I really had to show for a month's work was a folder full of forms three inches thick and a fat commission check. File the folder, deposit the check, REPEAT. Not the life for me.

Ranging from the 1890s to the 1950s, all of my units would fall under the category of "vintage" or "historic". I am a slavish devotee of natural materials like wood, glass, steel, concrete and stone. I eschew carpet, vinyl, laminate, and any other synthetic material that I can possibly avoid. Beige, tan, off-white, bone, baby's breath, mother of pearl, ecru--and every other non-colors--are NOT in my palette. Love it or hate it, you won't see my style anywhere else--and you won't see the finishes we do in my units anywhere else either. Because we custom build just about everything... from the simple Art Deco crown molding we use to the extra deep, zero radius, stainless commercial kitchen sinks we have custom fabricated, to the custom, period cabinets we build in our own shop: pretty much everything is one of a kind. And no two units at any of my projects are exactly alike. As we progress through the building from unit to unit we vary the design and finishes in a variety ways, improving & tweaking as we go from one unit to the next. Repetition is boring. (Though, admittedly, much more economical.)

From a management standpoint, I run all potential tenants through the same fair but rigorous screening process--focusing more on the person as a whole and how they will fit into the overall culture of a particular property than on anything as arbitrary as a simple credit score or debt-to-income ratios. That being said, I doubt any other landlord has higher standards for their tenants than I do. (Click the "Applications" tab above for more details.)

Or, click on the "Vacancies" tab above and scroll down through the units that I have coming up for rent. That page is always up-to-date and the headline of each property indicates the city (either Houston or Salt Lake) where it is located. For example: "Classic 1920s 4-Plex in Montrose (Houston, TX)".

*** (No matter how tempting it might be, DO NOT click on the properties for Salt Lake City if you are moving to Houston--or vice versa. Undoubtedly you will find the perfect apartment--in the WRONG city! :)

Have fun out there on the site. I hope you find something perfect for your situation. If not that, then perhaps just a bit of inspiration.


Jared Meadors

Medusa Properties

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