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!

September Rentals Update

ridge downtown rentalSeptember rentals were only slightly lower than August this year in King County. The Northwest Multiple Listing Service data tells us that while there were 287 leased properties in August, September statistics are showing 281. This is only a small change as we enter the fall season. Among these rentals are two luxury penthouses in Bellevue. One of these rentals, a 4-bedroom, 4.25-bathroom penthouse of nearly 4,800 square feet, leased for $17,500 a month. The other luxury penthouse, just as stunning but with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and around 3,500 square feet, leased at a monthly price of $14,900. While these particular luxury rentals are at a distance from Seattle, there were still many other rentals available within the city itself, and all of them in a much lower price range. The NWMLS shows that 19 out of these 281 listings were located in central Seattle and the prices ranged from a low of $1,225/mo to a high of $6,500/mo. The median price for a rental in central Seattle was around $2,200 per month for a 1,200 square foot, 2-bedroom apartment. With this wide range of rental availability and rents slightly lower than summer there still many opportunities to find a King County rental that’s right for you. If you are interested in leasing a property or investing in Seattle or King County properties, please contact an agent today to get information on availability.

King County Rental Market: June Recap

Featured rental: 1375 32nd Ave. S

     Featured rental: 1375 32nd Ave. S

King County rental activity was up in June from May with 299 leased properties, according to stats from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.  This number is down from the same time last year, when there were 324 leased properties in King County.  Currently, there are 283 available King County rentals on the NWMLS, with 74 of those in neighborhoods within five miles of the downtown Seattle core.  The current highest asking price is $10,000 per month for a 2 -bedroom, 2.5-bath condo in the Four Seasons Private Residences in downtown Seattle.  If you are interested in renting in the Seattle area, contact us today!

Rental Market: Vacancy Down, Rent Prices Up

Demand for rental properties in King and Snohomish counties does not seem to be waning, despite average rents having risen 10 percent over the year. Apartment vacancy rates are at their lowest point in at least 10 years, at 4.05 percent, according to Apartment Insights Washington, though in some neighborhoods the rate is much higher. Ballard has the highest vacancy rate in the area at 17.3 percent (though this is down from a vacancy rate of 45 percent for the first quarter of 2015), and as of June 4 there were 600 apartment units under construction in the neighborhood and 450 more permitted, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. In the King/Snohomish county area as a whole, there are 22,948 rental units under construction, up 42 percent from last year. Predictably, average rent in the King/Snohomish region is highest in Seattle, at $2,226 per month, followed closely by Bellevue, where the average is $2,000 per month. For the region as a whole, the average rent is up to $1,408.

If you are looking for a rental home in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today!

Random Rental Safety Inspections Begin This Month

Apartment KitchenLast year, the city of Seattle implemented the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (RRIO), which requires all Seattle landlords to register their rental properties and have them inspected for basic maintenance compliance, and this month random inspections will begin. While the city has previously relied on renters registering complaints as a way to ensure landlords are performing maintenance, the ordinance aims to establish a system of regular checks on properties to make landlords are adhering to basic standards across all units. The 2009 American Housing Survey reported that an estimated 10 percent of the 148,000 rental units in Seattle had “moderate to severe” physical problems. The new requirements apply to units in both apartment buildings and rental houses.

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the Department of Planning and Development is planning to inspect about 2,000 units this year, with a goal of inspecting 6,000 annually going forward. Inspectors won’t be showing up unannounced – landlords will be given 60 days notice to make sure they’re complying with the RRIO checklist, which includes items such as ensuring there is a functioning heat source in every habitable room and bathroom, no leaks in roofs or windows, and making sure all toilets flush. Properties will be inspected at least once every 10 years.

The DPD is hoping the clear guidelines will increase awareness among landlords and rental property owners of what basic standards are for their rental properties, and decrease the reliance on tenant complaints.

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

Seattle Rents Up 32% Since 2009

eastlakeccSeattle renters don’t need to be told that housing costs have risen dramatically over the past several years – that reality hits home when they write that rent check every month – but some might be surprised to learn just how far they’ve climbed. Rental rates here are up 32.38 percent since 2009 – more than twice the national average of about 15 percent – while incomes have only grown by 11 percent over the same time period. The only city with a greater increase was New York City, which saw a staggering 50.7 percent spike.

In a press release, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says that not only are renters feeling the squeeze, but home ownership and its guarantee of set monthly housing costs is becoming further out of reach due to rising home prices and stagnating incomes. Yun suggests that increased new-home construction aimed toward entry-level buyers would help renters transition to home ownership and take pressure off the rental market.

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

Madison Park Rental Home: $5,650/Month

Madison Park rental homem

This lovely one level Madison Park home sits in the quiet Canterbury location near Madison Park Shops, restaurants and parks. Amenities include easy access to Downtown, freeway and the Eastside. Beautiful finishes include oak floors, cathedral ceilings, and a new kitchen with family room. The fenced garden boasts lovely plantings and hot tub. This spacious home has an attached two car garage that also includes a large workshop. Gardening included. Prospective tenants will need first and last month’s rent, plus one month’s rent for the security deposit. If you’re interested in this or other Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today!

Status: For Rent
Bed/Bath: 3/2.5
Price: $5,650/Month

Proposed Bill: 90 Days Notice For Some Rent Increases

housing-marketMost renters have probably experienced it – opening your mailbox to find a notice that your rent is going up. Often, increases come in $50 or $100 increments, but in Seattle’s booming rental market, some are seeing their rents rise by $1,000 or more at a time. Most renters can’t absorb these exorbitant hikes, and Washington State’s Landlord Tenant Law only requires landlords to give 30 days notice for rent changes (60 days in the City of Seattle), giving tenants a short window to find a new home. But according to Crosscut, Washington State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) is planning to introduce legislation that would require landlords across the board to give 90 days notice if they raise rents by more than 10 percent. The notification period for increases of 10 percent or less would remain at 30 days. For renters who don’t have much cushion in their savings account, this would give them more time to save up enough cash for move-in fees such as first and last months’ rent and a security deposit. According to King-5, the Rental Housing Association of Washington will fight the bill.

Kohl-Welles will also introduce legislation to prohibit landlords from discriminating against potential tenants on the basis of their participation in a government assistance program such as Section 8, which provides rent vouchers for households making 30 percent or less of the area’s median income. The bill would be aimed at landlords who either prohibit those in such a program from applying for housing altogether, or who don’t give them equal consideration with those not enrolled in an assistance program.

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

 

Madison Park Rental Home: $4,500/Month

mp rental

This three bed three bath Madison Park home is a perfect location, is now available for rent! Three bedrooms are located on the 2nd floor & 2 baths. The Office features views on the 3rd floor, and master bedroom has 3/4 bath and a fireplace. On the main floor, you’ll find an updated kitchen, family room, dining room, living room, & powder room. The yard space is truly amazing! There’s a large deck off the kitchen and family room, and two side patios on the South side of the home. The laundry room is located in the basement, and there is a two car garage parking off the alley. *Looking for a short term lease – 3 months* All rooms are furnished except one bedroom. For more information on this, or other Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.

Status: For Rent
Bed//Bath: 3//3
Price: $4,500/Month

Eastlake Rowhome Rental: $3,250

eastlakecd

This  3 bed 2.5 bath London-style rowhouse in the desirable Eastlake neighborhood is now available for rent. Many upgrades include slate entry, hardwood floors and slab granite counters and chef quality appliances. Features such as a beautiful kitchen with breakfast bar, separate dining room, sunken living room with fireplace and 10ft ceilings offer attractive living. Luxurious top floor master suite has five-piece bath, large walk-in closet and view deck. Light & bright end unit with beautifully landscaped front yard. Minutes to Downtown and walking distance to Amazon & South Lake Union. If you’re interested in this, or other Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today!

eastlakecc

Status: For Rent
Bed/Bath: 3//2.5
Price: $3,250