Thursday, December 31, 2009

Daniel’s 10 New Year s Resolutions and some Predictions

1.       I will try to be positive, not saying anything negative about anyone,  will find the nicest things to say all the time, and have  and have a smile on my face…………… until about  mid March when my family and friends thinks my behavior is not natural and encourage be to be “realistic”. Then I will go back to being realistic.
2.       I make and keep my plan to pay down all my short term consumer debt, until that thing that I needed that I wasn’t planning to buy, or wanted to buy is needed to be purchased.
3.       I will try to update Facebook with relevant and meaningful posts, until I forget and update my Farmville status.
4.       I will work diligently to make my lived environment a better place, by recycling, reusing, and conserving.   Should I keep burning wood in my woods stove to save gas?  Should I turn the lights out and go to bed early and get up early?  I don’t think so.
5.       I will try to be in better shape and loose weight , through November 2010, until Fumiko follows all the 1940’s cookbooks and uses lard in everything  and it starts to rain and I stop biking, and become a computer  chair potato.
6.       My Farmville becomes supper mighty awful big plantation, before I realize that the time I spent should have been growing imaginary food, but real food.
7.       I will post on real estate blogs   and will meet some really interesting people who will want to buy and sell real estate.
8.       After becoming LEED AP, in OM, I actually use it as a member on a team to certify buildings.
9.       My construction project this year will be limited to completing the projects I have started or have promised to do.
10.   Travel this year will be from Pullman to Hiroshima with Coupeville on the side.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Columbia City Station

Columbia City Station
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 21, 2009

How to find a a great piece of real estate

Here are eight basic questions that you should ask your self.

1. What kind of real estate do you want to buy?
Commercial or residential?
Fee simple or condo?
House or town house?
Small or large?
Investment or enjoyment?

2. Who is buying the real estate?
Is this for yourself?
Do you need to include someone else in the decision making?

3. What purpose are you buying a property?
To start a life or fulfill a goal?
For long term or short term?

4. Where do you want to buy?
Where is your job?
Where are your friends?
Where are your activities?

5 When do you want to buy?
Are you trying to sell your house?
Are you in a lease in an apartment?
Can you stand you roommate one more month?

6 What is your price range?
How much can you afford or how much do you want to spend?
Do have a financial plan or have you talked to a banker?
What kind of financing: Conventional financing with down payment

7 How will you search for a property?
On the internet or word of mouth?

8 Who will help you buy your property?
A friend at work or a professional?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

How green is my wood stove.

I am not sure how "green" my wood stove is? The wood stove insert in the basement is kicking out a bundle of warmth right now, but when it is not burning, it is a conduit for cold air from outside. It is an older stove and the flue is not tight fitting, and the fire box is small, so can't leave a big log burning. I have to burn small scraps of wood. Last summer I collected l that would have been thrown away from various construction projects, so the fuel is somewhat green. Probably the best practice would be to insulate the basement walls. The problem is that it is hard to be motivated in July to insulate

Market Update

This summary includes Rainier Beach, Upper Rainer Beach, Dunlap, Pritchard Beach and Kubota Gardens, with a north boundary from Kenyon, south boundary of Bangor, east boundary 62nd Ave South, and West Boundary of Martin Luther King Way, using the information available on the NWMLS.

Residential listings
Number of Listings 38
Low $ 124.900
Median $ 331,975
High $1,900,000

Multi-family Listings
Number of listings: 6

Low $ 350,000
Median $ 539,900
High price $1,249,000

Vacant or Development Listings
Number of Listings 12
Low price $ 99,000
Median $ 160,000
High price $1,999,950

Condo listings
Number of Listings: 19
Low $ 45,000
Median $143,950
High $310,900

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mayor Elect McGuinn is holding a town hall in Rainier Beach

Mayor Elect McGinn is holding a town hall in Rainier Beach High School this evening.  I will be attending to  ask questions about how economic development can be brought to the valley.

Just added a market conditions report as a gadget

You may want check out the attached market conditions report. 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Flood Plain Maps of Green River Valley

  These maps from the Army Corp of Engineer's are pretty interesting.  

The flooding which may occur if we have a perfect storm or alignment of the moons is pretty staggering.    I was driving in the Kent Valley last week end  and there is a lot of commercial warehouse space that is for lease. I don't know if the potential flooding is scaring tenants away or just the general state of the economy.  If the Howard Hanson dam is not fixed before the businesses start to expand, those businesses will expand elsewhere.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rainier Beach House Rented

This house is currently rented.  Thanks you for your interest.
The green house on S Fletcher Street, in Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle, has 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. There is a washer and dryer, carpeted floors, and a small storage shed in the rear yard.
It is located on a hill high above the surrounding streets, which provides some views of nearby Lake Washington and the surrounding neighborhood. The house has very large yard, the front yard is partially fenced and the rear yard is fenced. You may have a dog, and a dog door is available if your dog likes the ability to go in and out on their own.
The house is close to buses including the 7,9,32,36,39,42,48,106 and 107. Some offer express service to downtown. It is about a1/4 mile walk to the Rainier Beach light rail station.
The house is old but clean, and is value priced to reflect this. This will make a very nice home to someone looking for a quiet and private place to live.
Driving to downtown Seattle is possible in 12 minutes without speeding. Walk to buy groceries at SAARS or new Safeway. Numerous bus routes stop near here
There is off street parking which is accessed by a shared driveway.
It is available now, so please drive by and take a look. Please email if you are interested in more information or to schedule a time to look inside. My email is and phone number is 206 310 2190.
Credit check is $45, Please good credit and verifiable source of income.

Daniel Bretzke,
Better Properties Real Estate
South Seattle Real Estate and Rainier Beach Real Estate Blog at
Mailing address:
PO Box 1151, Mercer Island, WA 98040
Cell phone: 206 310 2190
Fax 206 219 6691

Rainier Beach Apatment at Mar Vista, Rented

Large 2 Bed, 1 Bath, lake Washington view apartment
1 block from Lake Washington near restaurants
Washer and dryer in unit
Off street parking
Granite counter tops in kitchen
Vinyl double pane windows
Electric baseboard heat
Wood Floors
View Deck

Bike access to Seward Park Avenue 1/2 block
Off street parking
Bus stop for 48, 9 and 7 on the same block Easy walk to 9,32,36,39,42,106 and 107 bus routes.
½ mile walk or connecting buses to Sound Transit Light rail station at Rainier Beach.

Easy walk to new Safeway, SAARS, King Donut, Payless drug, pool and library

Drive to downtown Seattle in 14 minutes.
Renton, Ikea and Southcenter just a few miles further South.

9215 56th AV S, apt 7

If you would like an appointment, e-mail at is great. You can also call my cell at 206 310 2190

This is a no smoking unit.
Credit check is $45, Please good credit and verifiable source of income.

It is currently rented. I Please email if you are interested in more information or to schedule a time to look inside. My email is and phone number is 206 310 2190.

Daniel Bretzke,
Better Properties Real Estate
South Seattle Real Estate and Rainier Beach Real Estate Real Estate Blog at
Mailing address:
PO Box 1151, Mercer Island, WA 98040
Cell phone: 206 310 2190
Fax 206 219 6691

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Market Update

My market summary areas that includes Rainier Beach, Upper Rainer Beach, Dunlap, Pritchard Beach and Kubota Gardens, with a north boundary from Kenyon, south boundary of Bangor, east boundary 62nd Ave South, and West Boundary of Martin Luther King Way, using the information available on the NWMLS. I have been keeping track of this area over the past three years. The number of homes on the market for the past three years has ranged from 50 to almost 90. Right now there are 51 active listing on the market.
I think the market reached the bottom six months ago. This was the point there were more distressed properties on the market, and if they sold, they sold near the land value. Today’s market includes mostly homes ready for occupancy. There are only a few “fixers” on the market. The market knows that if they want a house sold quickly it needs to be move in ready, with few repairs.
The asking price for homes is about 20% less than six months ago. The real difference is in the quality of the homes on the market. The homes on the market six months ago needed major work, now the homes are mostly move in ready. Homes on the market today are in better condition, cheaper, and there are fewer in supply. As the supply is reduced, new home and new town homes and remodeled bank owned homes will keep the supply constant over the next year.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rainer Beach Market Summary As Of 10/26/09 with six months comparison

Rainer Beach Market Summary As Of 10/26/09 with a six months comparison.
This summary includes Rainier Beach, Upper Rainer Beach, Dunlap, Pritchard Beach and Kubota Gardens, with a north boundary from Kenyon, south boundary of Bangor, east boundary 62nd Ave South, and West Boundary of Martin Luther King Way, using the information available on the NWMLS.

Currently there are 51 active residential listings on the market, down from 71 six months ago.
Low $143,550 down from $145,000
Median $ 324,950 d0wn from $388,500
High $1,900,000 down from $3,385,000

Currently there are five multi - family houses on the market, down from 6 six months ago.
High price is $2,490,000 up from $1,890.000 six months ago
Median price is $1,399,000 up from $465,969 six months ago
Low is $371,00 up from $344,950 six months ago

Currently there are 12 vacant residential development lots on the market.
High price $ 1,999,950 down from $495,000
Median $ 160,00 down from $224,450

Currently there are 9 condominium units on the market, up from 7 six months ago
High price $ 310,900 down from $499,000
Median $ 120,750 down from $344.,895
Low $ 45,000 down from $203.950

The market price for a starter home starts off at $185,00 for a small two bedroom two bath room starter.
A nice family sized home can be had for $237,000 which has just had a price drop of $18,000 for a remodeled Fannie Mae owned home. This home sat vacant over a year, then toward the end of summer it was cleaned up, painted and put on the market. The house is being sold below the assessed tax value of $302,000. Price per square foot is $162. The house has been on the market for 38 days.
A new townhome can be purchased for $229k to $260k walking distance to the light rail.
A new single family detached home can be purchased for $325k.
A house with a view can be purchased for $360k
A lake Washington water front home can be purchased for $650k
A six thousand square foot Lake Washington water front estate can be purchased below assessed value at $1,900k.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thinking of selling your home in Renton? What I can offer you.

I have done some research on the selling prices of homes in the east Renton neighborhood near Renton Technical College. The prices of house that have sold in the last 30 days range from $190k to 253k. The homes that are ready condition and require little work receive on the average a higher price than ones that are either bank owned or where owners have not prepared them to sell.

A house which is not completely ready for someone to move into, such as one needing yard work and minor repairs is in the middle of the range. Houses at the low end of the range are vacant and bank owned properties. Properties at the high end of the range are vacant remodeled homes.

You may ask why you should list your home now. There are advantages of listing your home and having it on the market place for a reasonable time. It allows a wider market place to review your home, compare with others, and for the future owners to make a decision. There are a lot of people who are sitting on the fence right now, waiting for the perfect home. The end of the year is approaching and people are trying to close a home to receive the credit for first time homeowners. .

If you chose to list with me, this is what I will do for you.

• I will list the home on the Northwest Multiple Listing Services, which allows the greatest exposure of your home.
• I will also list the home with pictures on Zillow with at least 10 pictures of your house, and purchase a banner advertisement. I am currently listed as a “Zillow All Star”, for my participation and listing on Zillow.
• I will list on and Trulia, an internet real estate web sites, and will purchase a banner advertisement.
• I will write about your home on Facebook, and Twitter, both internet social networking groups.
• I will write about your home on my real estate blog.
• I will put a weekly ad on Craigslist that targets first time home owners.
• I will hold one open house on either a Saturday or Sunday, which will be advertized via craigslist ad, and on the multiple listing site. I will install a sign in front.
• I promise to review all offers with you within 24 hours of receiving them.
• I will have a Northwest Multiple Key Box installed on your house along with instructions of how other agents can contact you for a showing.

For this service I will list your property for a 5% sales commission. 3% would go to the selling agent, and 2% is shared between my office and I.

In terms of pricing I suggest that we start at the highest end of the range. Depending upon amount of showings and general interest, I would suggest lowering the price until there is interest, at which point we try different ways to market the property. After twelve weeks on the multiple listing and with price drops and advertising, your house should sell.

If you have any questions please call. I look forward to helping on the sale of your home. .


Daniel Bretzke

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Where is the market going?

Where is the market going?  Can we really get out of this slump?  
People have spent a lot of imaginary money created from rising value of their stocks and houses, and now that source has dried up.  Once enough people have paid off their debts or saved money, they will start to move, get new jobs, upsize or down size, then the housing market will become more fluid. What made prices go up recently was the availability of easy credit. With that gone, now people have to save a down payment, and have good credit. In two or three years, we will be back to pricing homes based upon the value of the land plus construction costs. Supply and demand will be balanced in some markets. I think the Seattle market will return to balance very soon, as people do not sell their homes or vacant land until they need to do so, thus supply is limited. Builders are only building new when they have a sale or when they have cash to build, thus supply is limited.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

2845 S Alaksa is pending

2845 S Alaska has received an offer which has been mutually accepted by both parties. When the property first went on the market, it was the middle of summer. People would stop buy the open house and like the place, but would say, that they just started looking. The pricing was set at what a similar house sold for in 2007, $449,000 would have seemed a reasonable price in the days of cheap credit, and any old house selling for $250k. This is 2009, and of course that price was too high, but how do you determine the market price? In this market, testing interest and price points is very important. There is one philosophy that if the property is priced right at the beginning, it will sell quickly, and that a property is marked if there are constant price drops. This may be true in some market conditions, but I don’t think this is true on this property.
When the price was over S400k a few people looked at it. One agent who brought someone through, ended up buying a house in the 400k price range, but one that had already been discounted 100k.
When the price fell below $400k there was interest, but it seemed like the people in this price range could afford a bit more and wanted more.
When the price fell below $350 a lot of interest picked up, with agents and clients starting to talk about making an offer. The sub $350k price point picked up a whole set of different buyers. People were looking, and they were starting to ask the question, Should I make an offer? When agents called me, they asked, is the house still available? So five days after the price was sub$350k, an offer was mutually accepted.
If you ask the question, what would have happened if the house was put on the market originally at $350k? Would it have sold in five days? I don’t think so. I think people want time to make big decisions about buying a house. People are getting used to the idea that house can be on the market for a couple of months, and they can look at others, think about it and consider.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Redfin web site for listing

I was looking on Redfin, and found that the Columbia City Station house was listed under a search as most popular in 98108 zip code. Check out the link

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

2845 S Alaska St house is finished

Check out the finished house at 2845 S Alaska Street. This house is finised and is ready for you to move.

The Columiba City Light Rail Staion is only a few hundred feet away. The trains are far enough that you don't hear them, but close enough that you can see one train go by, and know that you will be able to get the next one.

If you work down town and you love living in Columbia City, this is the place for you.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Apartment Rented

This apartment is the place for you if…

1. You have a dog that needs a nice yard. The yard is fenced and offers a great place for a dog, or a cat to hang out during the day while you are at work.

2. You want a quiet place in the city with a yard. This yard, is two levels, the lower level has a grass area and trees. The side yard you can grow veggies, as it is southern exposure great for your tomatoes.

3. You enjoy taking baths, as the apartment has not only a claw foot tub but a large jetted tub. Don’t ask me how the place got two bathrooms right next to each other, but lets say that we did not want a shortage of bathroom space.

4. If you want to be walking distance to downtown, great bike commute via the I-90 bike path.

5. If you want to be near blue dog park.

6. If you and your roommate don’t want to worry about splitting utility bills, at $1100 this includes all utilities including cable. You have to pay your own phone.

7. If you hate doing laundry, as there is a washer and dryer in the unit

8. If you love afternoon sun, the place has great afternoon sunlight.

This apartment is not for you if..

You want a large gourmet kitchen. The kitchen has a microwave, stove, dishwasher, disposal, but… it is small.

You want a standard walk up apartment building, with a standard lay out.

I am looking for someone who will love living here. The last tenant lived her over five years, and was sad to leave...

Call Daniel at 206 310 2190, to schedule a time to see the place. Please send an email with more questions. Thanks

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rainer Beach Empowerment Meeting

I went to the Rainer Beach Empowerment Council. There were representatives from Seattle Department of Transportation, King County Transit, and Sound Transit. Seattle talked about the sidewalk projects and the transit restricted parking zones. I was most interested in this the sidewalks, as I received a letter from the city, and I responded, but still I have not received a response. In some ways I think that SDOT does not pay much attention to Rainier Beach, but they did come to the meeting. I would like to see more action. Metro was great. They explained the changes to the bus system that are coming. I sent my from in about the bus changes when they first sent it out. It makes sense to adjust buses to take advantage of the light rail. The sound transit presentation was ok, but the power point presentation didn’t work. The issue that everyone was interested in was the fee structure, but there was little information on it.
The meeting continued, but I had to leave. I will probably go next time.

Credit Crisis

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

Monday, March 16, 2009

2845 S Alaska St

Check out the light rail rom the upstair hall window. At least in the winter, you will be able to see when the train is leaving the station.

The roofer was just finishing the roof when I took the picture. Just in time before the rains started on Saturday. Plumbing has been installed and was under test over the weekend. Structual inspection on Monday. Wednesday windows and siding will start. By the end of next week it will start to look like a real house.

Mc Mansions Presentation

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by danielbretzke

Rainier Beach You Tube Video on March Property

I created a video on Youtube which is about Rainier Beach Real Estate showing some homes and parks. The following is the linkg

Sunday, March 15, 2009

McMansions Presentation

The following is a presentation on McMansions. Sorry no music, but it is interesting on the topic of large houses on small city infill lots. Check it out on author stream

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sold and Pending House Since first of year in Rainier Beach

Sold Activity since the first of the year

Seven house have been sold.
The lowest was $160,00 which the last list price was 169,000. The house started off last year at almost twice that much. The owner wanted to sell it so he could build a new house for himself next door. This house was not a short sale or foreclosure, but it did need some work, but not enough that it did not pass a FHA inspection. Small lot, big cute older house, with a small view of the lake this house sets the low end of the market.

The highest was sold for $267,999, the last list price was $280,000. It started off last year at $335,475. It was originally listed in 2007 for $405,00. This was at the height of the real estate boom, but it never sold. This home sold right after the first of the year. This house needed some updates, but was livable. This home set the high end at the first of the year.

There are 8 home pending sale. These are interesting as there is a mix of very nice homes waiting for a short sale to close, or fixer houses that need inspections or work orders. The prices range from $124,000 to $514,900. This range in pricing and in housing type indicates that there are all types of buyers looking, and they are starting to say, this is the bottom, time to buy.

Rainier Beach Market Update 3 11 2009

Rainer Beach Market Summary As Of 3/11/09

This summary includes Rainier Beach, Upper Rainer Beach, Dunlap, Pritchard Beach and Kubota Gardens, with a north boundary from Kenyon, south boundary of Bangor, east boundary 62nd Ave South, and West Boundary of Martin Luther King Way, using the information available on the NWMLS.

Currently there are 61 active residential listings on the market.
Low $160,00
Median $ 319,950
High $1,950,00Average
Price per Square foot is $203

Currently there are four multi family houses on the market.
High price $1,890.000Median $465,969
Low $344,950
Average Price per Square foot is $149

Currently there are 6 vacant residential development lots on the market.
High price $1,299,00
Median $619,975L
ow $399,888

Currently there are 12 condominium units on the market
.High price $1,344,000
Median $389,990
Low $47,500
Price per square foot is $378

Rainier Beach is Getting More Sidewalks

I got an letter in the mail about the City of Seattle putting some new sidewalks in front of my house. I checked the web site and found that they are going to put sidewalks not only down my street, 50th Ave S, but on some other streets in Rainier Beach. This will be a great improvement. My only concern is that the installation of the sidewalks will affect my parking, as most of the parking is straight off the street. The sidewalks will improve the drainage, as I had problems with the street water running down into my driveway. I built a berm to keep it out in the street, but berms are so tacky, and they break apart.

There are some good things happening in Rainier Beach

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Progress on 2845 S Alaska St Seattle

The house has been framed except for a portion of the roof. The Magnolia tree is in the perfect location, just outside of the door. A curved path will lead from the street to the porch. I noticed that there are a lot of crocus coming up in the front yard area by the fence.This house will look like it has been there for years, but it will new this year.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mar Vista Flyer

Check out link at

9 Unit Apartment for Sale $840,00 Rainier Beach

Check out the listing for the Mar Vista apartment. The Mar Vista Apartments is a well maintained stable apartment building that will offer a solid 6% CAP rate on existing rents. Purchase this building from the second owner, who has replaced the windows, added a pitched roof, installed washers and dryers in each unit. The apartment has views of Lake Washington, is close to bus lines, shopping and restaurants. With parking and separate entrances for each unit, this will make an excellent future condo conversion.

Monday, March 2, 2009

2845 S Alaska St

This week got the second floor framing and sheeting complete. With one day of snow, and a lot of extra blocking under each floor seam, this is good progress. Next week should start looking like the final form.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Rainier Beach Market Summary

Market Summary
Rainer Beach Market Summary As Of 3/01/09 This summary includes Rainier Beach, Upper Rainer Beach, Dunlap, Pritchard Beach and Kubota Gardens, with a north boundary from Kenyon, south boundary of Bangor, east boundary 62nd Ave South, and West Boundary of Martin Luther King Way, using the information available on the NWMLS.

Currently there are 57 active residential listings on the market
Low $160,00
Median $ 378,171
High $1,950,00
Average Price per Square foot is $208

Currently there are three multi family houses on the market.
High price $1,299,000
Median $465,969
Low $399,888
Average Price per Square foot is $162

Currently there are 6 vacant residential development lots on the market.
High price $1,299,00
Median $399,950
Low $169,000

Currently there are 12 condominium units on the market. High price $499,000 Median $344.,895
Low $115,00
Price per square foot is $412

State of the Market, Seattle Real Estate

What is the state of the market? I hear on the radio and read in the newspaper that housing prices are continuing to go down in price. I read that people are being laid off from their jobs. How much farther will prices fall? The stock market is off, with the DOW average being more the 50% off from the high. Housing prices in Seattle area are down 16%. Some people fear that houses will be 50% off from the peak, so why not wait until that $500,000 house is $250,000? Can it happen? The stock market went down by that much, so why can’t the housing prices go down that much. In fact, in some areas of the country real estate prices have already fallen by 50%.
What are the factors that affect housing prices in Seattle? The biggest factor in determining the price of a house is demand. Supply is a factor, but supply is influenced by government regulation and financing. In Seattle, there is a limited availability of land. Another factor in the supply equation is the time it takes to acquire permits. With falling profits, some builders will wait until their current project is sold before they start a new one. With limited supply to begin with, and reduced production, the supply of finished houses will be diminished.
The biggest source of demand is population growth. In areas, such as in Florida or Arizona, population growth is based upon the idea that more people will move there to retire. Along with the retirees, construction and service workers would come to work. When the stock market takes a hit, people who have saved money to buy a retirement house fear they can’t afford one. Retirees stay where they are. They don’t move, and if they haven’t retired, they may even keep working.
So let’s say that some of those retirees live in Seattle. They don’t want to buy or sell a house in Seattle, or anywhere else, they just want to hang tight. This segment of the population doesn’t want to buy or sell a house. This equates to less demand.
Population growth also occurs each year when children finally leave the home and rent an apartment. With entry jobs being competitive, and experienced workers competing for these entry level jobs, some younger people decide to stay at home or share a house. Seattle has a lot of two and three bedroom dwelling units occupied by a single person. A great way to save money is to double up, or rent that empty room. When roommates are sharing a space, they are not creating additional demand for entry level housing.
Growth in population occurs when people move from one place to another. Seattleites like living in Seattle. They may travel, go away a couple of years, but they usually return. Other people move to Seattle for jobs or school. Some stay, some leave, depending upon if they keep a job, find friends or have family. Seattle is popular because of the climate and the natural environment. The existing population is stable, but the growth comes from new people moving here. With a couple of major employers laying off people some of the draw bringing in new people is reduced. Demand is reduced for a whole range of housing types.
So when the retirees, decided that they have worked and saved an extra year, when that sharing a small apartment with someone gets old, and some of the people who left return, Demand will come back. My prediction is that in fall of 2009, demand will be back, supply will be lower, and prices will go up. You may find a house that was 30% over priced be available at 50%, but any house where the house payment is equal to it’s equivalent rent, will be sold quickly.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Conforming Loan Limits

According the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the conforming loan limit for the S Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue (Metropolitan Area) for one unit home is $567,500, a two unit home, $726,500, a three unit home $878, 150 and a four unit is $1,091,350.
What a great time to purchase your first multi unit apartment building, that is for those wanting to be a first time owner occupied property investor. My second home was a four -plex purchased on a FHA loan with a 3% down payment. The interest rate was 7%. I had some learning experiences managing three other tenants, but in the long run it has been profitable. Rents have gone 50% in the 12 years of ownership, which is better than a lot of other investments. Here are two of my rules about investing in multi-family property.
1. Only buy a property that you could live in yourself. You may have to do it and the tenants you attract are ones that may be similar to your likes.
2. Only buy property that you can drive by on a daily basis. I don’t drive by daily, but the idea is that the property needs to be close enough to your life, that you can drive by it daily. There have been times that I have made multiple visits in a day, If the property was a 50 miles away, I doubt that I would have dealt with problems effectively.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Freedom Home Inspections,

Today I talked with my friend Chuck Laizure, who has been doing home inspections for about five years. His company Freedom Inspections Services. Chuck is also experienced in civil construction inspections. Although he is based in CleElum, WA, he is available for home inspections in Rainier Beach. Being based east of the mountains allows him to have a lower overhead, thus a very competitive home inspection service price. His phone number is 509 263 7064, or 509 674 5255, or you can reach him at Give Chuck a call for a competitive estimate.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

From WFOS about Feng Shui

The new house at 2845 S Alaska street is being built to accommodate elements of Feng Shui. The door location has been moved to allow an interior space to put shoes and coats. The door does not line up with the stairs inside. Another aspect of Feng Shui is vegetation. The lot had a very large Mangolia tree. It is a beautiful tree. These trees take years to mature and bloom. According to the Site wofs. The magnolia flower is “is a symbol of purity and a single magnolia tree planted in the front garden is said to attract great contentment” The idea the flowers symbolize happiness are used to attract good feng shui.

Another aspect of Feng Shui, is that a post or large tree should not block the door way. At 2845 S Alaska St, the tree, being there a long time, will be off to the side of the door. To counter this pointing effect, the sidewalk to the house will be curved to provide a softening effect to the harsh post of the tree. The fact that the “tree” is a magnolia, will also help deflect the sharpness of the location of the tree.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

2845 S Alaska St Progress

Some progress has been made the house at 2845 S Alaska St.

First floor has been framed. Next week should show some progress.

Market Summary

Rainer Beach Market Summary As Of 2/20/09This summary includes Rainier Beach, Upper Rainer Beach, Dunlap, Pritchard Beach and Kubota Gardens, with a north boundary from Kenyon, south boundary of Bangor, east boundary 62nd Ave South, and West Boundary of Martin Luther King Way, using the information available on the NWMLS.

Currently there are 59 active residential listings on the market
Low $160,00
Median $ 329,950
High $1,950,00
Average Price per Square foot is $208

Currently there are six multi family houses on the market.
High price $1,890.000
Median $465,969
Low $344,950
Average Price per Square foot is $162

Currently there are 6 vacant residential development lots on the market.
High price $1,299,00
Median $399,950
Low $399,888

Currently there are 10 condominium units on the market.High price $499,000Median $344.,895
Low $115,00
Price per square foot is $412

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Seatttle Real Estate Asbestos in the Home

Seattle Real Estate Asbestos Exposure Prevention Tips

The path to home ownership will bring many happy and memorable moments to individuals and families. Homeownership is a wonderful accomplishment that also brings additional responsibilities.

In the world of real estate, there many decisions to be made and information that needs to be accumulated. Potential Seattle home buyers in Rainier Beach or those seeking to remodel homes should be aware that many homes built before 1980 can still contain asbestos.

Asbestos exposure can cause health concerns but it must be known, that not all exposure leads to a related illness. With proper preparation and cautions, you can assure you and your family is asbestos free. Located on the Pacific Northwest of the United States, asbestos use entered the state due to the variety of industries stationed there. Oil refineries, chemical plants and paper mills all utilized the mineral for its flame resistant and durable qualities.

The known affects of asbestos exposure have been documented since the early 1900’s. It was not until the late 1970’s that the fire retardant insulation was banned from being manufactured in the United States (mostly).

Asbestos exposure can cause a severe lung ailment known as mesothelioma. This rare form of asbestos lung cancer accounts for nearly three percent of all cancer diagnoses in the country.

Mesothelioma treatment is unfortunately almost always unsuccessful and physician prognosis is poor. The asbestos scandal was one of the joint corporate and industry cover-ups in the 20th century. Research has indicated it can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years for mesothelioma to develop, making mesothelioma prognosis a difficult task.

If any suspected asbestos is present, the best advice is to leave it alone, as this can break down its fibers to move airborne. Hiring a professional inspector who can determine the validity of danger is a good first step. Sometimes, the best option is no action at all. However, if removal is needed in homes, work places and public facilities, it must be performed by a licensed abatement contractor who is trained in handling toxic materials. The Washington Department of Ecology provides detailed information to citizens, schools and public facilities about the health hazards of asbestos. The organization also accredits individuals who perform asbestos abatement and removal projects.

Once the removal process is completed, green insulation alternatives should be given serious consideration. These alternatives include: cellulose, cotton fiber and lcynene. The United Nations Environmental Program states that the use of recycled building materials such as cotton fiber insulation can reduce energy use by 25 percent annually. The numbers continue to improve as more eco-friendly options become available. With a lackluster economy, these kinds of figures have attracted those who were unaware of eco-friendly construction.

2845 S Alaska St, A new house is being built

These two pictures show the pouring of the foundation of the new house being built by West Pacific Development at 2845 S Alaska St. This house although not in Rainier Beach, is two hundred feet from the Columbia City light rail station, thus you can visit Rainier Beach any time you want. Look forward to more pictures as this house is built. The house will be on the market mid June. If you are interested please contact me. Thanks

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rainier Beach Rental,

It is a two bedroom one bath 1940’s house. It is about 800 square feet. It sets back and up from the street. The fenced back yard well be a favorite place for you and your dog to hang out enjoy summer in Seattle.

Viewings can be arranged for Saturdays mornings and other days by appointment. Call Daniel at 206 310 2190 for an appointment.

2 bedroom,
1 bath
Dogs ok with additional deposit
Cats ok
8x8 outside storage
Good buses to downtown Seattle,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Houses near coffee shops

In Seattle there are nice coffee shops in many neighborhoods, and there are great homes near them. Today, after a long walk today, I had a great cup of coffee in Mt.Baker at Mioposto. There is more to a coffee shop than coffee. A great coffee shop has food, light, and people watching. A great neighborhood as some of the same qualities, and the best neighborhoods include various price ranges and style of houses. In the next couple of months, when Seattleites come out of the cold and bloom into spring, there will be an amazing number of good deals on great houses. If you are interested in something in Southeast Seattle, I will be willing to talk to you about other great coffee shops and homes.

Investors start to buy again

I think the current market consist of two types of homes. The ones that are ready for move in by a new owner and the fixers. The ready to move into properties do not even require cosmetic fixes. The owner has cared for the property and prepared it for sale. These properties have gone down in value, but they will sell, to owner occupied buyers with sizable down payments with loans obtained loans from conservative bankers.
The fixer type of home is the bank owned property, or in various states of foreclosure, or the failed fixer upper. Five years ago these were bought by small experienced investors who put sizable down payments and took substantial risk in the investment. Over the past five years the price for the fixer has almost matched the ready to move into house price. The anticipation by everyone, including the banks, was that the price would go higher. Now that the banks are no longer financing based upon potential 20% yearly increases in house prices, these fixer houses can only be purchased by the experienced and well capitalized investor.
If the market price of houses in a neighborhood is $500k, and they lost 10% in the last year, the neighborhood is now at $450k. The investor and the bank are now anticipating another potential decline of 10%, in the next year. The finished market price in this neighbor hood will be $405k. An investor builder wants to make between 15% and 30% profit on a project. If the estimated sales price of the fixer is $405k, with $80k remodel and holding costs, $40 sales costs, the investor breaks even at a $285 purchase price. Thus the profit is based upon how low the investor can purchase the house from the bank. At $225 or $200, the profit margin is adequate. A year from know, when the house is on the market, the price may be 10% higher, thus in the $450k range. The neighborhood price starts to go up, and the cycle begins again.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

New Construction in Rainier Beach

I checked out some properties today. Mike Knutsen has listed a nice large house at 10035 61st Ave south. With five bedrooms and 3 baths, and a very large entry way this house will be popular. The price of $419,950 is in the range of other new construction in the area. There are few new houses in this area. Do you think this is a good deal. Leave me a post.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Now with Better Properties Real Estate

Today was also the day that I made the switch to Better Properties Real Estate.

This change will allow me to provide my clients a favorable commission structure based upon you needs. Let’s talk about real estate. Leave a post or give me call at 206 310 2190.


Today I attended the Seattle RE Bar Camp.

The session that I suggested, Neighborhood tracking, was an nice group of real estate professionals who are interested in tracking and following neighborhoods. One interesting topic was walk score I checked out my Rainier Beach Neighborhood. The initial score was a 63, which is judged as somewhat walkable This is an odd as I thought Rainier Beach was very walkable. But I noticed that the score is drive by Google maps, and Rainier Beach has not been updated. The task at hand is to update the google maps for this area. Are you game?

Monday, January 26, 2009

2009 New way to view the market, "Ready" or "Investor"

Rainier Beach 2009 January Market Update

Now that the New Year is here, I have decided that this year things will be better. How do I know this? I don’t but I will keep track of my little part of the Seattle Real Estate world, Rainier Beach.

The market has changed, so instead of keeping track of number of houses sold and at what price, I will keep track of the number of in two major categories, “Ready” and “Investor”. “Ready” are the houses which are ready to move into. “Investor”, are the homes which need an investment of time and money.

“Ready” homes are the ones where they buyer can move in with out any major issues. Lenders will be willing to lend on these houses because they are in good shape and less likely to be devalued by some major system going bad. The buyers will have good credit and good jobs, and if they are buying in this market, they are confident that their choice is correct, and they are not over paying for the house. The houses that qualify for this are the ones that are new and some completely remodeled homes.
“Investor” homes are the ones which need time and money after it is purchased. Banks are requiring larger down payments on homes needing work, and require evidence that the purchaser is capable in both skill and financial resources to bring the home up to a “Ready” state. These homes could be bank owned homes, failed remodel projects, tear down homes, or even vacant land.
So the break down for this week in Rainier Beach search area.

Of the 62 house on the market there are 28 "Investor", which need repair, bank owned, estate or otherwise not ready to move into based upon my evaluation of the property. The average listing price for these $285,00. The 34 "Ready" houses or townhouses which in my opinion could be ready to occupy without any major work or resolution of problems has an average listing price of $400,007.

If you are curious about any of the houses listed for sale in my Rainier Beach search market, either to purchase as an investor or as a new resident, please give me a call. We can discuss or view select properties for a comparison.