Most landlords value having long-term tenants, especially the ones that take care of the property, pay rent on time and don’t cause any problems. But at what price are you willing to let these tenants stay at your property? A recent article from the May issue of UPDATE from Rental Housing Association of Puget Sound, features an article from Phillips’ Director of the Residential Group, Julie Johnson. Julie has a few tips to share with readers on how to keep your tenants and make a profit at the same time. Read the whole article here.
Wallingford has some new neighbors – Wally Apartments are open for residents! This brand new building on Stone Way is stylish and cool, with beautiful attention to detail, stainless steel appliances, Sliding “barn doors” in some units, views of downtown and South Lake Union from your home, roof deck with 360 degree views, gas BBQ, and plenty of seating for friends (likely a hot spot to watch the 4th of July Fireworks over Lake Union!).
It’s Friday – schedule a tour for the weekend!
A recent report from Reuters states that homeownership in the United States hit a 17-year low in the first quarter as more Americans opted to rent, continuing a trend exacerbated by the collapse of the housing bubble. Economists said homeownership could decline even further given that about 10.4 million homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth and credit is still tight. It looks like we are still in a recession even though we have had signs of turning around. Another challenge for the housing market, which is a positive for the rental market is that Americans are choosing to rent over buy these days, something we have discussed in the past. We have seen the increase in apartment buildings popping up all over town and the idea of living without the debt of a mortgage sounds pretty appealing to some. We are also seeing that the a lot of the buyers in the market are investors. And economists said the shift in ownership means rentals may continue to drive the housing market recovery in the near-term.
A new state law went into effect January 1, 2013 requiring all multi-family units (and all single family homes at the point of sale) to have a Carbon Monoxide Detector installed in the immediate vicinity of the sleeping areas and on each level of the residence.
The media presented this new law as if only applicable to rental housing, however, it was recently made clear when area fire marshals began to inspect and fine owner-occupied condominiums for non-compliance that the new law applies to ALL multi-family units. Fire marshals began to inspect and fine condominium unit owners last month. Something to be aware of in any living situation you are in, owner, renter, etc.
Are you looking for a new place to call home? Would you enjoy a home that has a lovely view to enjoy each day? If so, we have some options for you!
For Lease in West Seattle, this amazing home has everything you would ever need and more! Beautiful views of the Puget Sound from almost every room, private wine cellar, exercise room and beautiful craftsmanship and updates through out, for more info, click this link: Beach Drive Home on the beach – view of Puget Sound ! For Lease – $8,750
For Lease in upper Queen Anne, this boutique condominium’s penthouse has spectacular views and is a stone’s throw from everything. Luxurious interior living spaces with custom mill work, coffered ceilings, white oak hardwood floors and vast amounts of storage. For more info click here: Renaissance Penthouse on Queen Anne – view of Lake Union ! For Lease – $5,300
For Sale in Lake Forest Park, this spacious home has unbelievable views of Lake Washington, Mt Rainier and Cascade Range. Circular floor plan, great for entertaining, large deck and patio. Beautiful modern kitchen with tile counter and stainless steel appliances. For details, click here: Lake Forest Park Home – view of Lake Washington ! For Sale – $499,000
There are many different HOAs and Condominium Associations out there and each of them may have a different way of taking minutes for their meetings. On average, most associations follow a general outline, but as pointed out by Gary Porter, a CPA that has been auditing homeowners associations and also wrote this helpful article in the recent issue of HOA Pulse News, a lot of the HOAs are doing it differently and in a lot of cases forgetting important information. In the article, he provides tips, outlines and a check list of suggested topics that should be included in the meeting minutes.
Today is Earth Day, it is also one week since the tragedy in Boston, we at Phillips would like to send out our thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by this horrible event.
Because it is Earth Day, we would like to honor and celebrate the earth by providing some tips on how to care for your earth, whether it’s a large back yard or a small outdoor space.
A few years ago, I needed a plumbing repair on a kitchen sink in one of our rentals. I had a list of plumbers to call however, no one could make it out to the rental for a couple of days. On top of that, the repair cost for a split hose in the sprayer was unexpectedly high. I was very dissatisfied with the whole experience. In order to avoid this in the future I came up with some tips on how to hire a vendor/contractor.
Choose your vendor/contractor before you need them. Why? Because if you have an emergency repair and need to find someone quickly (who is also licensed and will perform to expectations at a fair cost) you won’t have time to go through a lengthy selection process. The WORST thing you can ever do is pick someone from the Yellow Pages without any background knowledge of their qualifications and billing practices.
When choosing a vendor/contractor start with a referral. There are many places you can find a referral. The best place to look would be from RHA’s Service Directory located in each edition of Update or on RHA’s website. Another place to find a referral would be from other owners and managers who attend RHA events.
Before you hire a vendor/contractor ensure they are licensed, bonded and insured. In order to ensure a vendor is bonded you can check with the state and pay attention to the bond and license expiration dates. You can ask the contractor for a copy of their insurance, to confirm they carry current general liability insurance.
Business Longevity. When you can find a vendor/contractor who has been doing business for over 10 years under the same business name – you probably have a very good vendor. That’s not to say that a new craftsman can’t provide the same level of skill but it is something that could help you make an informed decision when selecting a vendor.
Meet with the contractor. When you meet the vendor/contractor look for “chemistry” or rapport between you and them and observe their level of professionalism. Courtesy, respect, punctuality and the ability to communicate are some of the most important attributes a contractor/vendor can have next to their basic competency. Actually, no matter how good someone is, if they don’t click with you on these points, don’t hire them. It is also important that the contract respect their work area, which is often a renter’s home, by leaving it secured and clean.
Ensure any contract you sign represents exactly what the contractor told you verbally. It should include a detailed scope of work which will be performed and a schedule through anticipated completion. Does the contractor offer a guarantee or does the product manufacturer offer a warranty for the work or product application? If so, make sure to get it writing as well. The contract should also specify what the payment arrangements are. You shouldn’t pay more than 30% of project cost up-front and final payment should not be required until completion of the job, and preferably wait to send payment after you have inspected workmanship. Timely payment from your end will help the vendor relationship strengthen.
Good luck with your next repair or project. I hope these tips help you to plan ahead for a more successful end result.
Written by: Julie Johnson, Director, Phillips Real Estate Services, Residential Group
Don’t miss this adorable rambler in Woodinville. Super close to Downtown Woodinville, this home has 3 Bedrooms and 1.75 Bathrooms with a fireplace, two car garage and is sitting on a HUGE corner lot. The house will also have a fresh new paint job and will be ready for you to move in by April 29th. Woodinville is a wonderful area to live in, this neighborhood is minutes from downtown where you will find tons of shopping, wineries, parks and great schools.
For more details on this great house, click on this link or call Aaron at 206 694 1782 to set up an appointment.