Deadline Is Here For Registering Rental Properties With 10+ Units

Schack1_bigLast October the City of Seattle passed the Rental Regulation & Inspection Ordinance that aims to establish a standard for cleanliness and healthy living conditions for all rental properties in the city, and the deadline for the first phase – registering properties with 10 or more units in preparation for inspections – is tomorrow, September 30. Inspections are expected to begin early next year, and inspectors will be looking to make sure that all carbon-monoxide and smoke detectors, locks, windows, hot and cold water, and a heat source are working; making sure there are no infestation issues; and that walls, roofs, and ceilings are in good condition.

The ordinance was put in place after a 2009 survey revealed that an estimated 10 percent of the 148,000 rental units in Seattle had “moderate to severe” physical problems. Over the next two years, most rental properties in Seattle will be required to register and subsequently be inspected, with the exception of owner-occupied properties where an individual room is being rented out, and “accessory dwelling units” that are occupied by an immediate family member of an owner. Units that already have inspection reports on file will not need to be re-inspected.

The city is hoping the ordinance will encourage owners to keep rental units up to the same minimum standard and deal with maintenance issues without having to rely on tenant complaints. Units will be inspected at least once every 10 years, and eventually prospective renters will be able view an online database of all registered properties that have passed inspection. Read more about the program here.

If you are interested in renting in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.

Kennydale Rental Home: $3,995

Kennydale

This extraordinary neighborhood home, featuring stunning views of Lake Washington is now available for rent! This home has a great open floor plan, rich hardwood floors,and walls of windows, creating a bright atmosphere throughout. This home features granite counter tops stainless steel appliances, two master bedrooms, a beautiful backyard and is truly an entertainer’s dream. Home is close to parks, beaches, boat launches, shopping, restaurants and I-405. For more information on this or other Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today!

Status: For Rent
Beds/Baths: 4//3
Price: $3,995/Month

Proposed Bill Would Make Micro-Housing More Expensive To Build

Thousands of tiny apartments, often called “apodments”, have been built in Seattle over the past several years, and they haven’t been a huge hit with many neighbors who live near them. More akin to dorm rooms than to traditional apartments, many of the units are only 150 square feet – about the size of a parking space – and occupy tall, narrow buildings that are often out of scale with the neighborhood and usually don’t provide any parking for residents, even in densely populated areas of the city such as Capitol Hill.

Micro Apartment sketch from Biz Journal

Micro Apartment sketch from Biz Journal

But the Puget Sound Business Journal is reporting that a new bill proposed by a Seattle City Council committee would put in place new regulations that could dramatically curtail this type of building. Under the new legislation, micro-housing would be subject to the Design Review Board, which can cost developers an extra $200,000 (currently they do not have to go through the design review process); units would have to be a minimum of 220 square feet; and builders would have to provide some parking spaces and possibly bicycle parking areas. The council vote on the new legislation is scheduled for October 6.

If you are interested in rentals in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.

Seattle One Of Top 10 Most Expensive Cities For Renters

housing-marketIf you’re a renter in Seattle you don’t need telling that it costs a pretty penny to live here, but we now have census data that confirms our rents are up there with the most expensive in the country. The Seattle Times is reporting that Seattle finally cracked the top ten on the list of cities boasting the highest median rent, with a cost of $1,172 per month.

Between 2010 and 2013 rents here also saw the steepest increase of the top 50 most populous cities in the U.S., having risen by $113 per month (including utilities), or 11 percent. $1,172 is the median cost of what renters are currently paying in Seattle, so it does not reflect many newer apartment buildings that are listing un-rented units for much higher prices. Surprisingly, the number of renters in Seattle has kept pace with rising rents – in 2013 there were 307,000 renters here, a 13 percent increase from 2010.

Click here to see a chart of the top 10 most expensive cities for renters. If you would like more information on renting in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.

Walkability Score- What is it and why does it matter?

Pioneer Square Pergola

Pioneer Square Pergola

Walkability- it’s a word that some of you may be familiar with already, and one that real estate marketing often uses. But what exactly does it mean?

Used by Walkscore.com, it’s intended definition is to indicate how easily and readily connected a property is to the neighborhood and community around it. For instance, is the nearest grocery store within easy walking distance? Or would it be necessary to drive there?

The higher a property’s Walk Score (or Transit Score or Bike Score) on a scale of 1-100, the more connected the neighborhood is with the property. Take this chart example. But what makes a community walkable?

  • A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it’s a main street or a public space.
  • People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.
  • Mixed income, mixed use: Affordable housing located near businesses.
  • Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.
  • Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street, parking lots are relegated to the back.
  • Schools and workplaces: Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
  • Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.

Now, why is this score important? It’s generally known that those who walk more, whether it’s just a few steps or hundreds of steps a day are generally healthier than those who don’t. By walking more, not only do you get outside, but you also use your car less, and thereby reduce your carbon footprint. If you were able to find a property in a highly walkable area, you might be able to forgo the car altogether!

And here’s some great news: Seattle is rated as one of the most walkable cities in the U.S.! With a Walk Score of 71, a Transit Score of 57, and a Bike Score of 64, Seattle is the 8th most walkable city, with it’s most walkable neighborhoods being Downtown, the Denny Triangle, and Pioneer Square.

How important is the walkability of the neighborhood to you when looking for a new property?

Downtown Condo Rental: $2,650

olive 8 pool

This  condo boasting urban living at its finest in the coveted Olive 8 is now available for rent! Enjoy the spectacular water and and city views through glass walls and the private balcony while entertaining from your Chef’s kitchen, complete with stainless steel appliances, granite, custom lighting and cabinetry. Take advantage of the world-class amenities of the Hyatt Hotel such as room service, fitness center, 65′ saline lap pool, spa, valet, and housekeeping. Walk to shopping, theaters, and restaurants. Easy access to I-5, light rail and SLU streetcar. For more  information on this and other Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today!

Status: For Rent
Bed//Bath: 1//1
Price: $2650/Month

Lower Queen Anne Rental: $2,150

QA sarah hill

Rare opportunity to live in a historic, Tudor-style 4-plex in lower Queen Anne. This unit features old world charm with hardwood flooring, ceramic tiles, and original detailing throughout. This is the only unit on ground floor, and has one sizable bedroom and a large office that can easily be used as a second. Features include spacious living areas, a formal dining room, bright kitchen with a dishwasher, sun room, and full bath. Just minutes to Metropolitan Market, Gates Foundation, Opera House, and restaurants, this is the perfect neighborhood rental! Rent includes one reserved parking space, and there is storage and washer/dryer on-site. If you’d like more information on this or other Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.

Status: For Rent
Bed//Bath: 2//1
Price: $2,150

Laurelhurst Rental Home: $4,995

Jac_004

This charming Laurelhust home is warm and inviting and full of character, and available for rent! The property is very private with a beautiful English Garden, and the interior has been carefully remodeled with an artistic eye for detail. Features include handmade Mosaic fireplace, and vaulted ceilings in the dining room and arched Spanish style in the living room. The kitchen is a dream for entertaining with a large gas stove. The home has distinctive hardwoods and custom mill work. Upstairs bedrooms are all light and airy, and each has a balcony. For more information on this, or other Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today!

Status: For Rent
Bed//Bath: 3//3
Price: $4,995

Arthur Erickson Designed Rental Home: $7,000

highlands

This beautiful Arthur Erickson designed residence in the Highlands sitting on 8+ acres is now available for rent! A masterpiece of space & light, this home features tall ceilings, and lustrous white polished concrete & glass ceiling lend a fantastic backdrop to luxurious & elegant living. If you love mountain & sound views, swimming & reflection pools, and a sculptural meadow that  enhance rich woodland setting, this home is the perfect city escape for you. If you’re interested in this or other Seattle neighborhood rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.

Status: For Rent
Bed/Bath: 4//4
Price: $7,000

July Seattle Rentals Real Estate Recap

King County rental activity was up the last three months with 334 leased properties in July compared to 324 in June and 243 in May according to stats from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.  No surprise, as the summer months are often the busiest  in the rental business.

Highlands Rental Home

Highlands Rental Home

For the most part these numbers are down from the same time last year with 384 leased properties last July, 348 last June, but a whopping 329 last May in King County.  Currently, there are 385 available King County rentals on the NWMLS, with 82 in neighborhoods within 7 miles of the downtown core.  The current highest asking price is $15,000/mo for a 5 bdrm./6 bath single family home in Denny Blaine. If you’re interested in Seattle Rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.