Tips to Organize Your Tiny Kitchen

Is your tiny kitchen cramping your style? We often drool over beautiful pictures of expansive kitchens in Pottery Barn catalogs with huge dining rooms, and enough counter space to prepare a meal for the Seahawks defensive line, but most of us come home every night to cook our meals in kitchens a small portion of that size. Small kitchens can easily become disorganized, and not enjoyable to cook in, so here are a few tips from Zillow to clearing out the clutter, and redesigning your kitchen to better suit your lifestyle. Be careful not to crowd your small kitchen with huge appliances- work around the refrigerator, there are several companies that make smaller sized equipment such as slender microwaves that can save counter space. kitchen room

Efficient use of storage is also essential to keeping things tidy in a smaller kitchen, such as the use of recycle bins, spice drawers, and open shelving can also do wonders for aesthetic purposes. If you’re given the option to paint in your rental, painting the walls and ceiling the same light color can make the room appear larger than it actually is. Don’t have enough counter space for everything? Look into purchasing a rolling cart with a flat counter top and shelving below, that can be handy for cooking and extra storage, but can also be moved out of the kitchen when it is crowded. For more information on redesigning your kitchen space, visit Zillow.

Ballard Beachfront Rental: $4,500

Ballard rental

This lovely 2 bed, 1.5 bath beachfront condo is now available for rent in the Sunset Hill neighborhood. Located where the locks meet the Puget Sound, this top floor penthouse unit has private elevator access, an open floor plan with beautiful hardwood flooring, and high ceilings.The kitchen has granite counter tops, high end stainless steel appliances, and opens to the living/dining room area, which includes floor to ceiling windows, maximizing the views and light. The master bedroom has a walk in closet, laundry room, entertainment room, and one reserved parking space. The unit also features a large private deck. This rental is located within walking distance to downtown Ballard, and Golden Gardens. If you’re interested in this, or other Seattle Rentals, please contact your local real estate agent today.

Status: For Rent
Bed/Bath: 2/1.5
Price: $4,500

Seattle Rental Rates Continue to Rise

Over the past year, there has been more new construction for apartments than over the past two decades, but rental rates in Seattle seem to be unaffected. According to the Seattle Times, vacancy rates continues to remain low, and while the price retention doesn’t sit well with renters, the nearly 2,000 new apartments that filled quickly over the past year indicates a healthy rental market. Over the past few months the average rental rate rose to $1,190, and the vacancy rate in the city is set at 4.41%. Many are concerned that the overbuilding will affect rates, as a percentage of current renters are expected to become home buyers in the near future, but that didn’t seem to happen this year.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Many attribute this to the influx of employment opportunities in the city with Amazon Microsoft, and Google, setting the bar higher for an increase in employee housing, thus creating a greater need in Seattle’s rental market. The influx of new employees, combined with homes being taken off the market and put up for lease, has created a very healthy, thriving market, and it will be interesting to see where this next year takes us. For more information on Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.

Washington Park Rental Available: $6,000

wash park

This picture perfect 4 bed, 2 bath home in the heart of Washington Park is now available to rent! The home is updated throughout using the highest quality materials and construction. Features include spacious rooms, private outlook, beautiful oak floors, fine mill-work, remodeled kitchen and bathrooms, and a sunny private deck. This home is elegant and inviting, and could be yours to rent today. If you’re interested in this or other Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.

Status:  For Rent
Bed/Baths: 4/2.25
Price: $6,000


Loud Neighbors? Tips For Dealing With the Noise

If you’re renting an apartment, the reality of dealing with possible altercations from neighbors is always a possibility, and the reality of having to deal with a noisy neighbor at some point is very likely. Here are some helpful tips to dealing with the noise: blow horn

Confront your neighbor directly- and nicely- that you can hear their late night noise through your walls, and that you would appreciate it if they could keep the noise at a comfortable level after hours. It’s likely that your neighbor might not even know that they are being loud, and by bringing it to their attention, might resolve the issue right then and there. If you feel comfortable bringing it to their attention, it’s a good idea to come up with a compromise, so that you both feel comfortable for the outcome. Give them a heads up of your schedule, and when you’d like quiet hours, and ask them what their schedule looks like too so it feels like a two way deal. If you don’t feel comfortable confronting your neighbor directly, contact your management- if the noise is too much for you to deal with, it is a responsible decision to leave it to them to resolve the issue; after all, your landlord is the only one authorized to fix the situation. You should also check your lease, as most apartments have quiet hours in the evenings, and if your neighbors are breaking those rules, you’ll have even the more claim to contacting management. For more information on Seattle rentals, 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.

Downtown Seattle Condo Rental: $1,600

This 1 bed 1 bath NW facing downtown unit in Meridian Condominium is now available to rent! Gorgeous views of Lake Union, Downtown, Capitol Hill,  and partial views of Puget Sound. The kitchen has tile floor, with stainless steel appliances, beautiful slab granite counters with tile backsplash,  and maple cabinets. The living room has high ceilings and is carpeted; also has a lovely fireplace.

The kitchen has a cute breakfast bar area,  and floor to ceiling windows to maximize the view. The bedroom has a deep closet & connecting deck with the same view as the living room. Amenities of the building include 24 hour security & Concierge, an entertainment room, steam room, hot tub, theater, fitness center, and guest parking. Find more information on Seattle Rentals here.

Status: For Rent
Bed/Bath: 1&1
Price: $1,600

Tips To Find the Perfect First Rental

Thinking about moving out of mom and dad’s basement? Sometimes the thought of packing up and moving out can be just as exhausting as the experience, and the search for the right rental for you can be a long process. Thankfully our friends over at Zillow have put together some tips on ways to make the search a simpler process for the first time renter.  The first step on the list is to determine a comfortable price range for yourself, and your roommates if you’re planning on moving with others. rent

Now that you’re looking into costs, and determining what kind of rental suites your needs, it’s time to start saving. Security deposits can be expensive, as well as pet deposits, and the cost of moving your belongings can add up as well, depending on the distance of the move, among other things. You’ll also need to narrow down which neighborhood you’ll want to live in, and what qualities are most important to you in your surroundings. Is there public transportation nearby, how is the school district, is there a park or grocery store in the area? Be sure to be realistic as well, you may want to live in a roomy 3 bedroom condo, but is it feasible within your budget? For more tips on easing your home search, visit your local real estate company.

Perks and Penalties of Posting Negative Social Media Reviews

Have you had a bad run in with your property management company, that left a sour taste in your mouth? Maybe your landlord hasn’t come to fix that leak you informed them of three days ago, the shared laundry room has been broken for weeks, or you just can’t seem to get a hold of anyone when you really need to. We’re you pressed to jump on Facebook or Yelp to let the world know how you felt about the experience? Back in the days before social media, new tenants only learned of complaints via word of mouth or firsthand experience, but today we’re able to jump on the internet and have an extensive database of all the positive and negative experiences previous tenants have had with their landlords and property management companies. But before you resolve to bad mouth the company, be certain the information is presented fair and informative to the public. Yelp Logo

According to Zillow, people are beginning to get sued over posting negative comments for an online review, and the SLAPP lawsuits as their called (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) are gaining popularity. A number of states have anti-SLAPP laws to protect consumers, but many don’t, so before you post a comment into the abyss, do your research and make certain you will not be causing yourself more issues than necessary. Always tell the truth about your experience, comment with the intent to help others benefit from your review, and steer clear of opinions. For more information on this topic, visit Zillow.

Can Your Landlord Require You to Invest in Renter’s Insurance?

The quick answer is yes; an influx of landlords are requiring their tenants to have a renter’s insurance policy set in place, during the time of their tenancy. This must be addressed before the signing of a lease, and outlined within your lease. In other words, your landlord may not require you to obtain a policy half way through your lease term, but when your lease is up and it’s time to renew, they can add that within the requirements that need to be met for an updated lease. rental

While some renters don’t feel the need for insurance, there are actually benefits for both renters and landlords, as a result of having a tenant with renter’s insurance. The first good thing renters should know is that having renter’s insurance is relatively inexpensive, (usually between $125-$175 a year) and provides decent coverage, should something happen to your home. What can insurance cover you ask? Things like damage done to your home from flooding, fires, and people stealing your belongings to name a few, and when these things happen, it’s nice to not have to eat all of the costs, and have insurance providers take some of the weight off your plate. It can also provide some liability coverage should someone get hurt in your home, a dog bite, etc. If you’re interested in obtaining a policy even if you’re not required, it can really be a small price to pay, in the case of extensive damage. Calling your insurance provider to receive a quote is a good first step.