Rezoning Plan Released For SLU

Monday evening, Seattle officials released their plans for rezoning in the South lake Union area, with the anticipation for the influx of residents and workers coming to the area. The plan estimated 12,000 people moving to the neighborhood with over 22,000 jobs over the next ten years provided by amazon and other local companies.

The proposal includes an array of requirements listed below but not limited to:

  • Increasing the current building height restrictions
  • Preserving the current Cascade Neighborhood (one of the oldest in Seattle) and creating a new residential community along 8th Ave North of Denny Park
  • Establishing new development standards to ensure new towers are spaced to preserve public views through the neighborhood
  • Strengthening incentives to preserve landmark properties and existing open spaces
  • Creating a new incentive to build a new public school to serve the city center

For an extensive overview of the South lake Union rezoning proposal, and incite from Mayor Mike McGinn visit

How is Your Cost of Rent Determined?

There are several factors that come into play when owners, landlords, and housing boards decide how much to rent a particular space for. In Seattle it can be assumed that since inventory is low, the cost of rent is rising and will continue to do so for the next few years. The Seattle Transit Blog has an interesting take on how your rental price is determined, and why that price was decided maybe even before your apartment was built!

According to Seattle Transit, construction costs, and debt accumulated are taken into consideration, as well as what the market will hold when determining the set rent. They suggest that the cost of rent is decided before the unit is finished being built. There is a supply and demand factor in the housing price decision. If inventory is low, rent is high, but if there is a surge in construction maybe the quality of housing will decrease and renters will wind up eating extra costs. Seattle Transit suggests that if all goes well in the construction process, and attracts prospective tenants, we should be seeing an increase in supply and lower costs in housing production. Read the full story to gain a better understand of all the bells and whistles that come into play when deciding that final rental rate. Understanding that there are many factors at hand and wrapping your head around what those factors are should open the flood gates for new ideas to cut costs for renters and builders alike.

Zillow’s List of Easy Mistakes to Avoid When Renting Your Property

Renting out your property can be a smart investment to make some money, but it’s not always easy; there are several mistakes that many owners make that can actually wind up costing more out of pocket money in the long run. There is no 100% guarantee to weeding out bad renters, but taking the extra steps during the screening process can avoid potential trouble down the road. Zillow has compiled a list of 5 common mistakes to avoid when renting out your property:

1)Proper Documentation– make sure that you’ve put together a signed lease agreement, and make sure that the agreement comes with all of the bells and whistles to cover your house.

2) Discriminating Prospective Tenants – Protect yourself from an legal trouble by familiarizing yourself with fair housing laws, and make sure that your listing isn’t excluding any specific group.

3) Neglecting Proper Insurance – Renting out your space puts you in a vulnerable position for accidents, and leaning back on only homeowners insurance might not be enough to cover you if something were to occur. Protect yourself by looking into Landlord insurance.

4) Failing to Disclose Important Information – If you are aware of mold, asbestos, etc. on your property, be knowledgeable of  information you are required to disclose.

5) Being Too Lenient on Screening – Choosing a reliable responsible tenant is highly important, requiring a credit check isn’t a bad idea to rule out any tenants who might cause a problem down the road.

Novelty Hill Redmond Rental: $3,995

This recently updated traditional Novelty Hill home in Redmond is available for rent! The home has mature landscaping, spa, an outdoor fire pit and a gas heated in ground pool sitting on a little less than an acre of land. The remodeled kitchen has lovely granite counter tops, and is adjacent to an expansive family room. This 4 bedroom 2.5 bath has a huge rec room upstairs, and also comes with all the bells and whistles for an at home theater! This listing is conveniently located to the Redmond Watershed Preserve, the Village at Redmond Ridge Shopping Center and the Golf Club at Redmond Ridge. For more information on this rental, visit Ewing & Clark.

Status: For Rent
Bed/Bath: 4/2.5
List Price: $3,995

Seattle Designer Gives Her Tudor a Makeover

When Seattle Designer Judy Tall finalized her divorce, she packed up her belongings in Mercer Island and began the move to her newly purchased Tudor in Denny Blaine. According to the Seattle Times, she fell in love with the neighborhood and her master bedroom with an abundance of natural light, but wasn’t 100% sold on the rest of the place. She waited a year before remodeling, and says that “you have to know how you live in a house, and what works and what doesn’t.”

Photo Courtesy of Seattle Times, Tall’s expansive master bedroom

Before Tall became an interior designer she was an acupuncturist, and tries to brings elements of healing into play with her design concepts. She told the Times that whether you’re moving into a new space, or someone recently moved out or in, there are several emotions that come into play when redesigning or remodeling your home. Tall said that a large portion of her clientele chooses to remodel because they’re going through a life transition, and that’s just what she was going through when she decided to redo her home in Denny Blaine. From her choice in tranquil paint colors, to the picture rail below the coved ceiling, Tall tried to make each and every room in the place more cozy and comfortable for her to live in. She believes that every change serves a purpose, and should bring great joy to a living space. For more information about her Tudor design, visit the Seattle Times.

Economic Downturn Makes Things Tough on Renters and Property Managers

We all know how the economic downturn has effected our own lives, and those across the nation and last week Zillow put together their findings on just how much the economy has affected renters and property managers alike. It’s weighted on property managers to fill rental properties, but with fewer and fewer eligible renters out there it’s become quite difficult to fill that void. New renters who had previously seen their homes go into short sale or foreclosures have been forced into the renting, and might not have alot of recent rental history, or any at all; making it increasingly hard for property managers to decide if they would be responsible tenants and be able to pay their rent on time.

There doesn’t seem to be a quick fix to the solution, and property managers might just have to wait until the economy stabilizes; but Zillow has graciously come up with a list of things new renters can do to speed along the process. For more information on rentals available in the Seattle area, click here.

Bosa Starting Construction Soon On 2 Condo Towers

photo courtesy of the Daily Journal of Commerce

Bosa Development Corp is planning on beginning the first construction phase of a gigantic condo project within the next two weeks. There will be two 41-story, 335 unit condo towers in the Denny Triangle Regade, just a block or so away from where Amazon plans to build three office towers. According to the Daily Journal of Commerce Bosa’s president Natale Bosa said “construction will be done in two phases on a  full block site between Battery and Bell streets and Fifth and Sixths avenues.”

The construction plans include 36,000 sf of retail space below the two towers, a swimming pool, lounge area and exercise room, and 900 parking stalls. The project will cost roughly $350-$400 million, and the first tower is scheduled to open at the end of 2014. If the market turns around, and the first tower fills, the second tower will begin. The is the first condo development to be built downtown in five years! For more information, visit the Seattle Times.

Curious How Much Your Rent Has Risen? Rental Prices: Past and Present

Do you find yourself wondering what your rental cost would have been, had you moved into your basic one bedroom apartment 3 years ago? Me too! The cost of rent in the Greater Seattle area has steadily risen over the past few years without inventory changes, although builders are starting to pick up where they left off, and apartment building construction is now on the rise all over the city. If you were to take a look at the cost of living in your neighborhood, say in 2007, how much do you think your overall cost of living would change? Well we’ve got the results! Seattle Metropolitan has the stats and the changes might make you resent your non waterfront view home. For instance, the average cost of rent in the Ballard neighborhood back in 2007 was $755, and today the same unit costs around $1,188. Ouch! Take a peak at your neighborhood, you might wish you could rent a time machine.

Zillow Reports Home Values See High Monthly Increase

Attention Homeowners: there is hope after all for your beloved family home that holds more personal value than net worth! Last week, Real Estate website Zillow reported that both national home values and rent both rose in the month of April. According to Zillow, home values rose nationwide 0.7%, marking the largest month to month increase in value since 2006, and April is also the second month in a row for the value to increase! While King County home prices are on the rise, rent is also steadily climbing; of the 178 areas covered by the Zillow Real Estate Market Reports, 78% felt a rent increase. The housing recovery appears to be headed in the right direction overall, even though a weighted number of Americans still have homes with mortgages that are underwater, or risk foreclosure.