Searching for an Apartment from Afar? Tips for the Long Distance Search!

Moving into a new place can be stressful in itself, but searching for a new home from across the country can seem like a mountain too big to tackle. When you don’t know alot about the city you’re moving to, it can be hard to find the right resources and search tools, but here are a few tips that should ease the process. rent

First, utilize your network. Do you any friends colleagues, or family living in or around the new city? There is usually someone within your reach, who at least knows someone who knows something about the city and can offer some free advise. Using social media to expand your reach is also a good resource; it can’t hurt to ask the Facebook realm if they have any advice on where to start. It is also important to do your research on the best neighborhoods that suit your needs. Before you start randomly browsing rentals, it will help to know which neighborhoods make the most sense for you; are they close to schools, parks or work? What is the crime rate? How does the transportation look? All good things to look into prior to search actual listings.

If you can afford it flying out to scope out the neighborhoods in person is really the best way to determine if you’ll feel at home there. One weekend is a very short period of time to try and fit in apartment hunting, but if you contact the right real estate management company, someone should be available to show you around town. Your local real estate expert should also be able to work with you remotely to find the right place for you, and your family. For more information on relocating, contact your local real estate expert today.

Residential Towers Planned for Bellevue Square

According to an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal, Kemper Development has plans to build two 14 story residential towers in Bellevue Square. Kemper’s plans also include¬† 250,000 sf of retail space, and the residential buildings would be constructed over a three story podium, and would include 168 units in each tower. Along with the commercial space, there are also plans for a 55,000 sf common area, and 1,820 below ground parking stalls.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr chrispa_666

Photo Courtesy of Flickr chrispa_666

This will mark the first housing units at Bellevue Square, which is the fourth largest mall in this region. According to the Journal, when Kemper purchased the land for expansion, they said they would be using the property for parking, and would eventually redevelop the space into a mixed-use luxury retail project. Stay tuned for updates on development.

Seattle Ranks #2 in Cities Where Renters Rule!

While renting might sometimes feel like you’re flushing a hefty portion of your income down the drain, as it turns out, renting might make the best financial sense for a few years. According to a reporting from Zillow’s breakeven horizon metric, (a system measuring the number of years it takes after buying a home is more financially beneficial than renting) Seattle ranks # 2 in the top 10 cities where renters actually might have the financial edge over homeowners. rental

Zillow’s results were found by taking the period of time calculated with the net cost of buying a home, and also the costs of renting that same home. The results show the average and median breakeven points at the city and metro areas. Seattle ranked 2nd only to NYC, and advised renters in New York City need not feel rushed into buying, unless you’ll be staying for at least 5 years, as it generally makes more financial sense to rent a flat within the city limits. The average breakeven point for Seattle homeowners is 4.3 years, so renting for the short term, might be the best financial option. More information on Seattle Rentals can be found here.


Soaring Rental Home Market Could be Good for Renters

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Photo credit:

More and more rental homes in the surrounding Puget Sound are becoming owned and managed by big investors and hedge fund companies; could this be a step in the right direction towards home-ownership for renters? According to the Seattle Times, a National study suggests yes! A study by Wall Street Analysts suggested that somewhere between $7 billion and $9 billion dollars in distressed family homes have been purchased over the past 5 years, and turned into rental homes by these big name investors. Unlike your average ‘mom and pop’ rental investor, these guys are buying dozens and on occasion hundreds of properties at a time through short sales, foreclosures, etc.

Although single family rental homes have always been a part of the rental scene, the involvement of these large scale companies is really allowing the category to take off. According to a different study,¬† single family homes account for 52% of all rental units in the country; 27% of all renters nationwide. The study also suggests that the boom in rental homes isn’t just a good opportunity for first time home buyers, but also those affected by the bust. About 60% of rental home tenants have expressed interest in buying in the next 5 years, compared with 44% of apartment and multifamily building renters. The study’s synopsis showed that single family rental homes are going to continue to be a growing part of the housing market, and a safe bet for future home buyers. For more information on the study, visit the Seattle Times.