Posted by: phillipsre | October 13, 2016

Housing Market, Homelessness and the Weekend Storm

rainy-houseIt has been a busy week in the news, housing prices continue to go up, the homeless issue has been a topic of discussion for a number of news sources and everyone is getting ready to prepare for a big storm starting tonight and continuing over the weekend. This article from the Seattle Times has some highlights of the news from the week. If you are looking for some information on how to deal with the impending storm, click here for weather forecasts or how to prepare.

Posted by: phillipsre | October 6, 2016

How to Make Your House Smart


If you are an iPhone user and have recently updated your phone with the new iOS 10 you may have noticed a new app on the home screen titled Home. This new feature, the Apple Home Kit, provides users the ability to manage a number of important tools around your home while you are away, all from your iPhone, iPad and even your Apple Watch. This article from highlights the 7 different high-tech features this new app can help with. The main areas the app can control are with lights and heating and cooling. Additionally, if you connect Internet enabled cameras you could check in on kids or pets at home and make sure everything is under control.

Beyond the Apple Home Kit app, there are number of other companies that are currently making products and technology that will help you create a smarter, high-tech home, check out this link for more ideas on how to upgrade your home with some 21st century gadgets.

Posted by: phillipsre | September 29, 2016

What Renters Need To Know

for-rentThis article from The Daily Sun News outlines a few important facts that every renter really needs to know. First thing first, read the ENTIRE lease – don’t just skim it. It is a legally binding document and you need to be sure you understand all of it, and if you don’t, ask questions to the landlord or property manager. It is your right to understand everything.
Investing in renters insurance is also a great idea to keep your personal items safe in case of any type of disaster that is out of your control.
The last suggestion in the article reminds tenants to do a thorough inspection upon move in. Most landlords or property managers will do a walk through with you but it is also a good idea to take photographs and let them know if you see any other issues in the first few days after move in, that may have been missed in the inspection.
It is also a good idea to be clear on the date your rent is due each month and how your landlord wants payment. Overall, it is important to ask any questions you might have so that you are clear on the expectations when you move in, so no surprises come up down the road.
Posted by: phillipsre | September 22, 2016

Education and Designations for Property Managers

howtogetlicensed2If you are in the property management business and are interested in advancing your career or continuing your education, you might be interested in the CAPS certification program. The Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor (CAPS) program from the National Apartment Association Education Institute teaches the critical property management principles and techniques used by a professional supervisor. This program is offered through Washington Multi Family Housing Association, and Phillips Real Estate’s Jesse Miller recently completed the program. Click here to read more about the program and see the interview of Jesse discussing the program and its benefits for real estate and property management professionals.

Posted by: phillipsre | September 15, 2016

Rental Cap For Condominiums To Help With FHA Financing

iStockPhoto_CondoBuilding_squareOver the summer, President Obama signed into law the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (passed by unanimous vote in the US House of Representatives), this act will change the FHA requirements for condominium certification. Specifically, the new law requires the Secretary of HUD to issue additional guidance for the owner-occupied percentage requirement within 90 days of the law’s enactment, which will be around November 1, 2016.

If the secretary does not issue any such guidance in the 90-day time frame, the percentage requirement will automatically reduce from 50% to 35%. The secretary could issue guidance requiring more than 35% on a project-by-project basis, however, but the overall purpose of the law is to relax current FHA requirements and make FHA financing more available to condo buyers and developers. For more information about this new requirement and read the full article, click here.


Posted by: phillipsre | September 7, 2016

Microhousing Complex Coming to Seattle

Current plans report that a new microhousing community is coming to the Roosevelt area. This article from the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, states that a 12,000 square foot area in the Roosevelt neighborhood has been purchased to a developer. The developer site explains that plans have been filed with the city to build a seven-story congregate residential project with 178 units and no parking. The developer describes the units as having “private bathroom, convenience center with sink and small refrigerator/freezer, microwave, bed and other built-ins for your convenience.” To learn more about this new community click here  and read more and get links to the developer’s site.

Posted by: phillipsre | August 31, 2016

A House Torn Down Every Day to Make Room For Bigger Ones


Photo Credit: Erika Schultz/ Seattle Times

We are all aware of the super busy and competitive housing market in Seattle, but was it clear that a lot of these houses that are being purchased are actually just being torn down (or taken down to the studs for remodeling) and then new, bigger, boxier houses are coming up in their place. This article from Seattle Times reports that Seattle on average now sees one home tear down every day. More houses have been demolished and replaced in the past 18 months than in the four previous years combined, a review of property data shows. And this is not just a trend in Seattle, houses and natural areas in the suburbs are also being torn down and torn up to make way for bigger houses and more condos. For more information on how this works, who is responsible for some of the work and a few before and after photos, click here for the full article. 

Posted by: phillipsre | August 25, 2016

Seattle Votes for Affordable Housing

homelessIn the August 2nd primary, Seattle voters signed on to a $290 million property-tax levy for low-income housing, which is twice the amount approved seven years ago at the tail end of the Great Recession. Proposition 1 will cost home owners about $100 annually, most of this new money is to be spent on building, renovating or preserving about 2,150 units of rent- and income-restricted housing. This levy is positioned to help provide housing for very low-income people, those earning less than 30 percent of the area’s median income. For more information on the levy, click here to learn more. 

Posted by: phillipsre | August 23, 2016

Home Bidding Wars May Be Calming Down In Seattle

SOLDYes, the Seattle housing market is still hot as ever and it is still a sellers market, but new reports show that the bidding wars and crazy competition may be cooling down a bit. This article from Geek Wire highlights a July report from Redfin showing that new housing inventory in the region is up 7.6 percent from July 2015. Buyers in the Seattle area have been dealing with many struggles when looking to buy a home including bidding wars, multiple cash offers, homes selling way over asking prices and plenty of other contingencies that make it hard to even get in the home buying game. Although the market isn’t slowing down considerably, the new report shows that there will be new inventory on the market and as the summer winds down, so will a lot of house hunters. For the full article and to learn more about the July housing market and the current state of the industry, click here.

Posted by: phillipsre | August 18, 2016

Home Improvement Projects for Renters

Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

Once you have found the right property, signed the lease and started to move in to your new rental property, you may feel like you want to make your new rental feel a bit more like home. The challenge for renters is that you do not own the property and a lot of times you will need the landlords approval before initiating any home improvement projects. This article from Better Homes and Gardens has some simple temporary or take-it-with-you projects that will maximize style, storage, and function in your on-loan home. Remember, when anything is semi-permanent, you may need to get your landlord or property manager’s approval, but in most cases if you are adding value to the property, it should not be a problem at all.

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