Rental Re-Design Tips!

Many Seattleites are choosing to rent out their home rather than selling. At times renovations and revamps can be too pricey for home owners when wanting to get the most out of selling their home. Many homeowners are looking to keep their home in their family for future generations. Whatever the case may be it can be difficult trying to make a home feel like yours. Some landlords wouldn’t mind you to do a little decorating, but some might.

With customization options at a minimum, apartments/houses often never quite feel like home for many renters. Living with your landlord’s choices for wall colors, flooring materials and finishes can leave renters feeling dissatisfied with their surroundings. But there are some things you can do to make one of the most important rooms in your rental – the bedroom – feel less like a hotel and more like your own restful and relaxing retreat. Using some inspiration from the designers at Zillow, here are some ideas:

To start with, overhead lighting in apartment buildings is usually not the most flattering, but since you most likely can’t change the main fixture in your rental, invest in table lamps or floor lamps to give your bedroom a nice glow.  Stylish lamps can often be found inexpensively at stores such as Target or TJ Maxx.

Giving walls a fresh coat of paint is one of the cheapest and simplest ways to personalize your bedroom, but many landlords are not ready to let you wield a paintbrush of your own. Check in with them first, and if you get the go-ahead, a soft grey or classic white will give you a serene space that is also a blank canvas for the rest of your personal touches.

Once you’ve painted, pick up some new bedding in your favorite color palette to add some interest to the room. Along with a nice set of sheets (Target also carries inexpensive sets that feel much more luxurious), you have an opportunity to make a statement with your duvet cover and unique throws and pillows.

Can’t paint your walls? Paint your furniture or add some adhesive wallpaper! Take an old, tired dresser, give it a good sanding and dress it up with whatever color paint you’d like. Paint the whole thing, just the legs, just the top, it’s up to you! Heavy, dark furniture tends to weigh a room down, especially if there is little natural light, so adding some color in the form of furniture can be a major upgrade and is budget friendly. Temporary wallpaper is all the rage for rentals. Do your research and find the best temporary wallpaper! Check out Pinterest for inspiration!

Now you’ve got some ideas, so get decorating!

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

Seattle Homes for Rent

If under 2,000 square feet isn’t enough for your next rental, then check out these homes for rent! These homes both have lots of windows to let the much needed sunlight in, and places and spaces to soak it up!

The Highlands

Spacious modern stucco residence in beautiful private setting amongst impressive conifers & magical landscape. Fine teak millwork accentuates the contemporary design & open, rich architecture. Vestibule with round atrium window is a striking venue for art display, and opens into the main floor rooms with floor to ceiling windows. Huge kitchen, five expressive fireplaces, private master suite, lower level with perfect game room & guest suite. Pool, sport court, fountain, just in time for summer!

Available for $9,500
6 bedrooms / 5.25 bathrooms
9,010 square feet

The Highlands: 149 Moss Road NW, Shoreline (MLS# 1088538)

North Capitol Hill

Stunning craftsman on North Capitol Hill. Wood floors and natural daylight throughout. Excellent woodwork, recently renovated kitchen with granite countertops top-of-the line appliances w/east-facing views of Portage Bay. Master bedroom includes fireplace, &luxurious master bath. Lower include separate entrance with second kitchen.

Specific Rental Requirements:

  • All 18 and over applicants must apply
  • Min 750 credit score
  • No co signs
  • 2 car max
  • No negative references
  • No late payments

Available for $6,200

5 bedrooms / 3.5 bathrooms

3,960 square feet

North Capitol Hill: 2818 Broadway E, Seattle (MLS# 1067866)

Seattle Named 5th Most Expensive City In US, But Is Not Most Expensive City In Washington

It’s not a news flash that the real estate scene in Seattle has exploded in recent years. The Emerald City has gone from a town most people outside the state only associated with coffee and flannel, to the tech capital of the US (save for our friends in Silicon Valley). As home to some of the biggest tech names in the world and a booming job market to match, it’s fair to say there’s might not be enough housing to meet demand. Or, at least to meet demand AND your budget.

High rises, apartment buildings and condos are going up all over the city, and soon, our beloved skyline will be dotted with more and more buildings and towers, making the Seattle of just 10 years-ago look almost unfamiliar.

Seattle has recently made headlines as one of the most expensive places to live, get this, in the world. That’s right, recent data has placed Seattle’s rent rates at 5th highest in the nation and, supposedly 9th highest in the world! However, San Francisco and New York still dwarf us, tying for number one most expensive, world-wide.

Those of us who are Seattle Natives know that the average rental rate in Seattle has increased fairly dramatically in the last few years, but it’s interesting to note that, while Seattle’s rents have been on the rise, they don’t quite top the list of highest rents in the state.

According to recent data from Apartment List, Seattle ranks at number 5 in the state for highest rents, with the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment at about $1,650.

Surprisingly, Mercer Island tops the list of cities in Washington for highest rents. A one-bedroom on Mercer Island goes for an average of a whopping $1,890 per month. No one said Island living was cheap, I suppose.

Filling in the gaps between number 1 and number 5 on the list are Bellevue at number 2 with an average of $1,860 per month for a one-bedroom (not a whole lot lower than their neighboring Island), Redmond at number 3 with an average of about $1,690 monthly rent for a one bedroom and Kirkland at number 4 with an average monthly rent of $1,660 for a one-bedroom.

Seattle and the Eastside are not the only places in Washington with rising rent rates. Tacoma tops the list nation-wide for fastest growing rent with a year-over-year growth rate of 7.7 percent. Seattle comes close, but not close enough to that figure with year-over-year rental rate growth at 5.3 percent.

Staggering growth aside, Tacoma is still a bargain in the rental market compared to Seattle, with a one-bedroom in Tacoma going for an average of $1,000 per month. For those of you keeping score, that’s a savings of $650 compared to Seattle.

But, proving that some things really don’t change, the cheapest places to live in the Evergreen State are still East of the Cascade Mountains. You can get a one-bedroom for only $600 per month in Walla Walla and it’s not much pricier in the State’s second largest city, Spokane, at around $630 per month.

What a difference a mountain range makes…

Seattle Ranked Among Highest Rent Paying Cities

for-rent-signIt’s no secret that Seattle is one of the hottest cities in the country for young adults in their 20’s and 30’s and beyond. That’s not surprising information given the influx of tech related jobs with popular companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Expedia and many more in and around the area. Add to that a fabulous art and music scene, incredible restaurants driven by award winning chefs and breath taking views, and you’ve got a recipe that has had more young people moving to the Emerald City than ever before.

In spite of  this consistent growth in the city, Seattle has still managed to elude Zillow’s annual Top Ten List of highest rent paying cities in the country,  instead sitting pretty for the last 4 years at #13. That is, until now. Seattle has placed at #10 on the list for 2015, knocking Philadelphia out of a spot it has firmly held on to for the past 4 years. That means that the Big Kahuna of the PNW is up there with the likes of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, to name just a few.

Perhaps surprisingly for some, the list states that Seattleites paid a whopping $10.2 Billion (yes, you read the right) in rent between November 2014 and November 2015. Couple that with the estimated 20,000 more people who found employment in that time and it starts to make sense, and while it may be easy and even logical to assume the tech boom is responsible for all this, it’s not alone.

Tech companies have experienced a 5 percent increase over the last year, which is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s the construction industry that takes the cake, with an estimated 6.7 percent increase over the last year. Developers in Seattle have been rushing to meet the housing demand of the city (with 10,425 apartment units recently completed or under construction and about a 25 percent increase in apartment inventory over the past three years), but it’s not likely to be quite enough or to help ease rental prices.

“It’s unlikely we’ll see any real rent relief in Seattle any time soon,”  said CEO and co-founder of Cozy Gino Zahnd. “While there’s plenty of new construction, these projects tend to focus on luxury units. Nationwide, we aren’t seeing many new units targeted at middle-income earners.” And though Seattle has plenty of high earners eagerly looking for housing, Zahnd says “Demand will likely remain high, as long as Seattle’s biggest employers continue to expand,” and notes that it’s unlikely we’ve reached a point of saturation, particularly on the high end.

Zahnd also points out that while the construction boom has brought many new jobs to the city, it is unlikely that these construction workers are living in the high-end luxury units they’re building. “Sure people are coming for these construction jobs, but are they living in the luxury high rises they’re building?” he said. “Even with no data, I’m almost certain they are not.”

In any case, with all these new jobs, a housing boom and being ranked among the countries ‘Big Boys’ for the first time, it seems Seattle is finally beginning to be taken seriously as one of the major cities in the country, a fact locals have know for quite some time.

August Update: Seattle Rentals

eastlakecc

The last month of summer saw a small drop in rentals in King County this year. According to data found on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service there were 287 leased properties in August of 2015 with the average rental price being just over $4,000/mo. Statistics for King County show a slight decrease in rentals; 334 in August of 2014 compared to this year’s 287. As the number of leased properties dropped, prices for these rentals have steadily increased. The highest rental of the month this year was leased at $9,500/mo for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment in the heart of downtown Seattle. Last year, some comparable downtown apartments had been leased for closer to $8,000/mo. For those interested in investing in rental properties it’s a great time to profit on the demands of the increasing rents in the King County rental market. Get in touch with an agent today to find out how you can benefit!

Wall Street Jumps Into Seattle Rentals Market

bellevue rental

First-time home buyers often save for years in order to amass enough cash for a down payment on a home, but in the past couple of years, potential buyers have found themselves outbid by Wall Street investors with no shortage of readily available cash. According to The Seattle Times, firms such as The Blackstone Group have formed subsidiaries that buy large numbers of entry-level homes, often for less than $300,000, and renovate them for the rentals market. These firms are often able to pay all cash and close on the property much more quickly than a regular home buyer could.

According to market researcher RealtyTrac, major investors made at least 7 percent of all single-family home purchases in the Seattle area in 2013, buying 3,100 homes throughout the year. Blackstone’s Invitation Homes subsidiary alone bought at least 1,585 homes in 2013. Analysts do not see a slowdown in investor-purchased properties, and predict Wall Street could funnel $20 billion a year for the next few years into financing these purchases.

Neighbors who live near these homes are worried about the impact they will have on their neighborhoods as a whole, seeing investor-owned properties being neglected or violating housing laws or homeowner association rules. Some experts say these renovated properties could have an overall positive effect on neighborhood homes values, but that the increasing investor demand for rental properties could hurt regular home buyers by driving up prices.

For more information about Seattle rentals or real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

 

 

 

 

 

Ask and You Shall Receive: Rental Perks You Might Get if You Ask!

In general, the terms of your rental contract tend to be in your landlord’s hands. Most apartments do not come with extra services like a concierge, room service, or much housekeeping. While typical rentals do not come with such amenities, there are added bonuses available you might receive, if you just ask for them. What is an extra parking space worth? In most apartment buildings, spaces are limited to a per apartment space, but there are usually one or two spots tucked away in back, or an extra storage space nobody is using. If these things exist, there is definitely not enough to go around for everyone in the building, so how does one acquire these? You may have to put your name on a waiting list, or  pay an additional monthly fee, but the spot could be yours if you ask for it. rent

If you’ve found the perfect rental that has everything you’re looking for, but is clearly outlined in the fine print that your beloved dog Chappy isn’t welcome to live in the building, don’t walk away just yet. It’s worth asking if there are any exceptions to the policy, as sometimes a landlord might just own a few properties and not be familiar with all of the fine print himself. If you explain that your pet is well behaved, and provide references that backup the fact that you’re an excellent neighbor, you might just walk away with a lease; although you might be looking at a little higher rent, or a pet damage deposit. If you’re an existing tenant, and wish to get a pet, you might have a greater shot at getting accepted, as you’ve already proven to be a responsible tenant, and your landlord most likely won’t want to lose your lease. You can also ask if the property management company offers any incentives for referring a friend – does your girlfriend need a place to live? Bonus for you if you refer her to your landlord and they give you some cash in exchange for her business. At any rate, nothing is never worth asking; as and you might receive! For more information on Seattle Rentals,click here.

Queen Anne Rental: $2,250/Month

nate

This spacious one bedroom condo in the coveted Le Parc condominiums is now available for rent! The one bed, 2 bath space has a lavish master bath with a sizable tub and his and her sinks, walk in closet, beautiful fireplace and a lovely terrace overlooking the downtown skyline, with Space Needle views. Le Parc sits in a prime Queen Anne location, on a quiet street overlooking the Bhy Kracke Park. This unit has a  den, secured parking, and does not allow pets or smoking. If you’re interested in this unit, or other Seattle Rentals, contact your local Real Estate Agent for more information today.

Status: For Rent
Bed/Bath: 1&2
Price: $2,250

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.

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.