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!

Downtown Condo Available For Purchase and For Rent

A luxurious 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, plus den condo in the beautiful Madison Tower Condominiums in Downtown Seattle. Atop Hotel 1000, this southwest corner unit features sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains, the Puget Sound, and Seattle’s cityscape. Beautifully finished with top-of-the-line appliances throughout. Resort-style amenities available including:

  • Room Service
  • Full-Service Spa
  • Exercise Room
  • Library
  • Meeting/Conference Rooms
  • Virtual Golf
  • 24hr Concierge
  • BOKA Restaurant
  • Resident-Only Rooftop Deck
  • Valet Parking Available for 2 cars

Status Available for Purchase & Rent
Area Downtown Seattle
List Price Listing Price: $1,795,000

Rental Price: $7,500 a month

Bed/Bath 2 beds/ 2.5 bath

Rent or Buy?

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.

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!

Walkability Score- What is it and why does it matter?

Pioneer Square Pergola

Pioneer Square Pergola

Walkability- it’s a word that some of you may be familiar with already, and one that real estate marketing often uses. But what exactly does it mean?

Used by Walkscore.com, it’s intended definition is to indicate how easily and readily connected a property is to the neighborhood and community around it. For instance, is the nearest grocery store within easy walking distance? Or would it be necessary to drive there?

The higher a property’s Walk Score (or Transit Score or Bike Score) on a scale of 1-100, the more connected the neighborhood is with the property. Take this chart example. But what makes a community walkable?

  • A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it’s a main street or a public space.
  • People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.
  • Mixed income, mixed use: Affordable housing located near businesses.
  • Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.
  • Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street, parking lots are relegated to the back.
  • Schools and workplaces: Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
  • Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.

Now, why is this score important? It’s generally known that those who walk more, whether it’s just a few steps or hundreds of steps a day are generally healthier than those who don’t. By walking more, not only do you get outside, but you also use your car less, and thereby reduce your carbon footprint. If you were able to find a property in a highly walkable area, you might be able to forgo the car altogether!

And here’s some great news: Seattle is rated as one of the most walkable cities in the U.S.! With a Walk Score of 71, a Transit Score of 57, and a Bike Score of 64, Seattle is the 8th most walkable city, with it’s most walkable neighborhoods being Downtown, the Denny Triangle, and Pioneer Square.

How important is the walkability of the neighborhood to you when looking for a new property?

Tech Cities See Rise in Rent and Residential Costs

Madison park rental

Madison Park Rental

If you rent in Seattle, your pockets have certainly felt the rise in rental rates over the past few years. According to a report by Trulia, so have renters in other large tech cities. After dissecting housing reports Trulia found that prices were generally 82% higher in big tech hubs compared to other large metro cities. While engineers and and highly paid coders are well paid in the industry, the cost of living increase is still making it difficult to afford to live in these cities and bridge the affordability gap. According to the report, 48% of homes listed in these tech cities were affordable to the middle class based on the median household income, compared to 63% listed in other metro areas.

There are also huge variances even in affordability among the big tech hub cities: 14% of homes in San Francisco compared to over 60% in Washington DC and Raleigh. The big year over year increases in asking price were up in the top 10 tech cities, with a high rise of 24.4% in Oakland, and a low of 6.5% in Raleigh. Seattle’s asking price was up 16.6%, which was above that is San Francisco and San Jose. The rise in rent has also been prevalent in these tech hubs, with a standard 2 bedroom renting for over 37% more than in metro cities, and a year over year rise in Seattle has seen a 9.2% increase. If you’re looking for affordable housing in the Seattle area, contact your local real estate agent today.

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.

Don’t Lose Your Dream Home to Another Buyer

As a renter, it’s possible you’ve toyed with the idea of buying, browsed available homes in your price range, or taken advice from friends and family in Real Estate. A word of advice of you’re ready to take the leap; don’t let your dream home be the one that got away. In your home search, you want to have no regrets and be absolutely certain that you’re the perfect match, and you don’t want to lose the right one to another buyer because you clammed up at the last minute.

Maple Leaf Bungalow

Make sure your financials are in order whether your paying cash or getting a mortgage, and be prepared to provide your real estate agent with your proof of funds right away so they have that information on file when you submit an offer. Be positive this is a home you’ll be happy in for the long haul, and although you’ll likely have to compromise on certain issues, do your homework and make sure it has everything you and your family will need. With low inventory in the Seattle Market and the Puget Sound area, know that you’re not the only one likely interested in your home. There is potential for bidding wars, so if you know the time is right make an offer when you’re ready.

The Renter’s Essential Toolkit

When you find the right rental, making it look like home is an essential part of calling it home. Just because you don’t own your humble abode, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have good toolkit around for emergency repairs, home improvement needs, and decorating! Many new renters don’t think of keeping these household items around until they need them, so here is a thorough list of must-haves to consider getting now before you run into stressful situations.

  • Power Drill
  • Screw Driver set
  • Duct Tape
  • Hammer
  • Extension Cords & Power Strips
  • Wire
  • Flashlight
  • Small Ladder
  • Hose
  • Level
  • Scissors
  • Fasteners & Hooks
  • Pliers
  • Light Bulbs

You never know when you’re going to run into a DIY situation, so it’s always best to be prepared beforehand, and you might even feel a boost in self esteem after accomplishing  something on your own!

The Renter’s Essential Toolkit

When you find the right rental, making it look like home is an essential part of calling it home. Just because you don’t own your humble abode, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have good toolkit around for emergency repairs, home improvement needs, and decorating! Many new renters don’t think of keeping these household items around until they need them, so here is a thorough list of must-haves to consider getting now before you run into stressful situations.

  • Power Drill
  • Screw Driver set
  • Duct Tape
  • Hammer
  • Extension Cords & Power Strips
  • Wire
  • Flashlight
  • Small Ladder
  • Hose
  • Level
  • Scissors
  • Fasteners & Hooks
  • Pliers
  • Light Bulbs

You never know when you’re going to run into a DIY situation, so it’s always best to be prepared beforehand, and you might even feel a boost in self esteem after accomplishing  something on your own!