Soaring Rental Home Market Could be Good for Renters

Photo credit: www.third-estate.com

Photo credit: www.third-estate.com

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.

Arguments Over Mandating Section 8 Housing

Schack1_bigThere is a new apartment project being planned on Capitol Hill, on the corner of 14th Ave E & E Republican Street, that is said to be for renters looking for a boutique building to live in, with retail and a great walkable score. According to the Daily Journal of Commerce, new developers John Schack and Dugan Earl have formed a development and consulting  company in the Seattle area called Revolve, and will begin construction on their first project this summer. Finding the perfect site for the proposed 35 unit, 4-story apartment complex wasn’t easy. The dynamic due apparently spent 6 months analyzing  some 150 sites on Capitol Hill, Fremont, Ballard, Columbia City and West Seattle; all urban areas predicted to continue blossoming with renters.

While they were knee deep in the search, they ran into a road block, and a big one at that. According to Schack, “once a property is listed, it’s blood in the water for piranhas.” They found themselves coming in second, and being beat to the punch when expressing interest in any given project, so they found an alternative option. They approached sites that were of interest to them that were off-market, and purchased a 10,183-square-foot Capitol Hill site in November 2011 that is soon to be the home of their first project. The building will have 33 one-bedroom units, 2 studios, 19 stalls for below ground parking, a courtyard for entertainment, and a roof top deck. For more news to come on when the project will be leasing units, visit Revolve’s news blog.

Two New Developers Begin Apartment Construction this Summer on 14th & Republican

There is a new apartment project being planned on Capitol Hill, on the corner of 14th Ave E & E Republican Street, that is said to be for renters looking for a boutique building to live in, with retail and a great walkable score. According to the Daily Journal of Commerce, new developers  John Schack and Dugan Earl have formed a development and consulting  company in the Seattle area called Revolve, and will begin construction on their first project this summer. Finding the perfect site for the proposed 35 unit 4 story apartment complex wasn’t easy. The dynamic due apparently spent 6 months analyzing  some 150 sites on Capitol Hill, Fremont, Ballard, Columbia City and West Seattle; all urban areas predicted to continue blossoming with renters. 14th and republican st

While they were knee deep in the search, they ran into a road block, and a big one at that. According to Schack, “once a property is listed, it’s blood in the water for piranhas.” They found themselves coming in second, and being beat to the punch when expressing interest in any given project, so they found an alternative option. They approached sites that were of interest to them that were off-market, and purchased a 10,183-square-foot Capitol Hill site in November 2011 that is soon to be the home of their first project. The building will have 33 one bedroom units, 2 studios, and 19 stalls for below ground parking, a courtyard for entertainment, and a roof top deck. For more news to come on when the project will be leasing units, visit Revolve’s news blog.

Shoreline Rental Available: $1,799

nicole rambler

This lovely 2 bed, 1 bath rental home in Shoreline is now available! Located in a quiet neighborhood in a cul-de-sac, this rental is in a great location near shops, close proximity to a bus line, Shoreline Community College, Ronald Bog Park, among other attractions. The home sits on a large landscaped lot, with a fenced backyard, with a new deck, and hot tub! Inside the home, there are two fireplaces, hardwood flooring throughout, new tiling, and a recently updated kitchen and bathroom. This is a first time rental, and you can definitely see! For more information on rentals around the Seattle area, visit your local Real Estate Agent.

Status: For Rent
Bed/Bath: 2&1
Price: $1799/mo

Perks and Downfalls of Keeping old Facades in New Construction

A number of the architects and developers involved in planning new apartment and condominium buildings around the city have voluntarily kept old facades from previous structures to incorporate in their new designs, but most often just divert the decision to the city’s landmark board for the final decision. Many seattleites have almost come to expect historical structures to be saved with all of the new development and future project plans, but why would a developer want to keep a facade when the landmark board deems the older building not historically significant? There was an interesting article today in the Daily Journal of Commerce, that pinpointed similar projects like the 1915 Terminal Sales Annex building on 2nd and Virginia, which will integrate the front of the annex in the base of a 38 story building that has plans to possibly include 190 condos, 154 hotel rooms, and 6,100 sf of ground floor retail space.

Location if the 1915 Terminal Sales Annex Building

Location if the 1915 Terminal Sales Annex Building

In the past 20-30 years, there hasn’t been alot of interest in saving the older buildings, but within the last few years, there has been recent changes to city rules, allowing developers to build larger projects if they preserve the facades of their previous historical structures, that are at least 75 years old. In turn, alot of the new apartment developers trying to take advantage of the rule could run into extra costs, as keeping some of the older facades that aren’t as structurally sound as the new construction could pose issues. For more information on those new apartment projects incorporating historical structures, visit the DJC.

New Apartments Planned for Western & Vine

According to the Seattle Times, Seattle’s Schulster Group has recently put in the paperwork with City Planners for a proposed 12-story apartment building on the corner of Western & Vine Street in Belltown. The proposal is for a 132 unit apartment building that also includes 75 underground parking stalls.

The property is currently a parking lot owned Skyway Luggage. According to the Times, the Design Review Board is tentatively scheduled to review the project January 8th. Stay tuned for future updates!

Seattle University Gets Approval to Plan Expansion

Yesterday Seattle University received the approval from the City Council for a plan that would more than double the school’s square footage of campus space on Broadway & Madison St. Right now the University is spread across 2.04 million sf of the 4.8 acre campus. According to the Daily Journal of Commerce, the school’s master plan is designed to stimulate growth of the University over the next 10-20 years, and by 2028 the school hopes to add 2.1 million sf of classrooms, parking, housing, retail and other buildings.

The plan includes taller buildings, and expansion of the campus’ boundary lines, and campus officials have said that the plan is necessary in preparation for the projected growth of the university; an estimated 2,500 students by 2028. Will this affect the cost of rent in the area? Most likely, but officials will have plans for housing to accommodate the influx of students who want to live on campus as well. The city’s approval doesn’t necessary approve any specific projects, but does allow the University to continue planning.

Capitol Hill Craftsman Home Available

This lovely 4 bed 2 bath craftsman home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood is now available for rent! The home has a gourmet kitchen with an island breakfast bar for gathering around the kitchen. There is also a formal dining room, and large living room with hardwood flooring. The top floor hosts a master bedroom with a nice sitting area and two additional bedrooms, while the lower level has a family room and additional bedroom. Fore more information on this home or other Seattle Rentals visit Ewing & Clark.

Status: For Rent
Bed/Bath: 4/2.0
Price: $3,900

What Can You Rent for $1,500/Mo These Days?

If you’ve been renting or researching the rental Market in the Seattle area lately, you know that the cost of rent has continued to rise in recent months with inventory low and and high demand. But how do we compare the cost of rent to the rest of the US? Our friends at Zillow have sorted through rentals across the States, and compiled a list of what a typical rental, from single family homes to high rise apartment units will look like if your budget falls in the $1,500/Month price range.

In Miami FL,  for $1,495 residents can reside in a 3 bed, 3 bath 1,412 sf condo with lake views, and of course a sun deck to enjoy that Florida sunshine. In Las Vegas, one can rent a 2 bed 2 bath penthouse in a resort style apartment complex. Features include a large master, granite counter tops, and amenities such as a workout facility and pool and spa. over here in the Pacific Northwest, the Zillow folks have chosen a  2 bed 2 bath 727 sf West Seattle rental listed for $1,450 a month, with hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, and laundry facility in unit. This unit also has a built in sound system. How do you feel Seattle stacks up among other metro neighborhoods?

Is Ballard at Risk of Being Overbuilt?

According to the Seattle Times, there are 1,200 market-rate apartments in various phases of construction in Ballard, with hundreds more planned for the future. The question has come up for residents and those fond of the neighborhood: Is Ballard at risk of being overbuilt? Developers form Chicago and Virginia are building large high rise complexes where Jacobsen’s Marine and other longtime Ballard businesses once set up shop.

Sometime in 2014, when all of those building are completed, the number of units available in Ballard is projected to increase 70%, more than any other neighborhood in Seattle. And that doesn’t even include other projects that haven’t broken ground, another 750 or so that should be completed by 2015. During the recession few buildings were planned, and the last building completed in Ballard was built over two years ago. Developers are responding to the high demand for rentals today, with an influx of young adults who are looking for in-city living at a time when there’s little new inventory available. Analysts believe that in a year or so, when all of the new construction becomes available, supple and demand might be imbalanced, and the number of inventories might outweigh the demand. Rents will be lower and stabilize, and landlords might start throwing in bargains like a month’s free rent. For more information on the Ballard apartment boom, visit the Seattle Times.