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?