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!

King County Rental Update: October

shorewoodAvailable rentals this fall are dropping like the temperature outside as we take a look at the housing market in Seattle’s King County. As expected people are likely settling in for the winter months and not in search for a new place. With a significant drop in rented properties, Seattleites are seeing a whopping 47% decrease in October compared to the previous month according to data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. It’s typical to see this kind of change in the market throughout the season but what will that mean for the prices of rentals for those who are still in the market to rent? Are rental increases going to halt with less demand or will they continue to stay up? The MLS shows us that in October the highest priced rental property was a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home with 4,250 square feet of luxury living space. Stay tuned-in to Seattle Luxury Rentals and keep an eye on this rental market. Questions? Call a local agent today to take advantage of rentals or investment opportunities that could be available to you.

Amazon’s SLU Sale Is the Largest in the US for 2012

The mammoth $1.16 Billion Amazon sale of their South Lake Union headquarter went through last week, and was officially dubbed the largest commercial office sale of 2012, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. The stats are tracked by New York research firm Real Capital Analytics, and the Amazon transaction was recently ranked as the 27th largest commercial office sale in US history. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Amazon had plenty of incentive to close the deal prior to the new year; Amazon made a $51 million deposit that the company would forfeit if the transaction did not close this quarter. amazon

The sale certainly blows other substantial commercial transactions out of the park, with the next largest deal estimated at $868.6 million being a 1.2 million-square-foot building in San Francisco. The question still hangs in the air as to where all of the Amazonians will live around SLU once the expansion is full installed? Is there enough condos and rentals available in the neighborhood, or will it become overbuilt with highrises in upcoming years?

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.

Smart Tips For the First Time Home Buyer

If you’re a long time renter, and starting to examine the purchasing process, here are some helpful tips to ensure that you’re making a smart decision to purchase. It can be surprising how much work and effort goes into buying a home, and a smart decision would be to get qualified by a lender to determine which price range would be the most affordable, and to interview with a few Real Estate agents to find the perfect person to represent you in your first transaction. Once you’ve been qualified, and have a price range to aim towards, you’ll be able to check out different neighborhoods. It is also important to research your agent; have they sold multiple properties in the last year? Make sure your paired with someone knowledgeable in the area you’re looking to live, and someone with an up to date license.

Once you have narrowed down the price range, and right neighborhood, be certain that you’re looking for a property that you can live in for a minimum of five years. If there is nothing in your price range in the neighborhood you desire, it might be worth staying a renter and saving additional funds, so you can afford to buy in the area you want to live. An owner typically does not earn equity on a home until after 5 years, which is generally the breaking even point, according to Zillow statistics. Buying Real Estate can be expensive, risky, and time consuming, so make sure you do your homework, take your time shopping around, and take time to research the real estate market where you’re considering buying.

Seattle Ranks High in Best 2013 Real Estate Markets

The nation’s real estate market is slowly recovering after the long haul, and 2013 is said to be the year for a turn around. According to the Seattle Pi, San Francisco is predictably the top city, but shortly behind with a secondary market is our very own Seattle. Investors are leaning towards Real Estate because despite the slow recovery they are still able to profit.

The Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report by the Urban Land Institute indicated that San Francisco landed the # 1 spot due to tech, trade, and quality of life in the city along with neighbor San Jose which ranked 3rd on the list. Seattle, along with Houston, was highly ranked because of the growing number of “echo boomers” or those 25-34 year olds. This group has increased by 20% in Seattle, and reflect the future homeowners in the area. Right now the statistics show that this group is currently willing to rent smaller apartments for higher prices as long as they have enticing amenities and close proximity to public transportation. When will the echo boomers make the transition to buyers? Predictably 2013. For more information on the Emerging Trends report, visit the Urban Land Institute.

Seattle Home Show This Weekend

Are you thinking about updating your home, but having a difficult time coming up with savvy ideas for improvements? The Seattle Home Show is in town this weekend, and is the perfect place to gain inspiration for new home projects. The Home Show is the Northwest’s largest consumer home show with everything indoor and outdoor home related.

Photo Courtesy of the Seattle Home Show

The expo begins tomorrow at the Century Link Field Event Center, and will showcase hundreds of exhibits from builders, developers and re-modelers, with the latest models of new appliances, fixtures, and landscaping. There will be seminars throughout the weekend, and special events such as wine tasting to boot! Tickets are $10 in advance, or $12 at the door for adults,  and $7 in advance for seniors. All ticket pricing includes free parking at Century Link Field Event Center, and a free cup of F.X. McRory’s chowder. For more information on the Seattle Home Show, visit their website.

Fall is Here! Maintenance Tips to Safeguard Your Home

As you know fall in Western Washington can be quite wet, and it’s important whether you rent or own your home to take proper precautions to ensure your home is prepared for fall and winter conditions.

Photo Courtesy of Seattle Pacific University

You can check the foundation for cracks in caulking around the exterior where pipes and wires enter the house, and especially around windows and door frames in older homes, to stifle heat from escaping through the cracks! Be sure to tell your landlord if you notice anything problematic, because even the slightest crack can cause water to get in and freeze, sometimes resulting in extensive mold damages. Check with your landlord if the roof was checked recently for damages that could lead to leakage, and put away summer tools and lawn furniture. Ask your landlord if they’re going to clean your screen doors, and store for the winter, as winter conditions can damage these as well. For more information on how to best prepare your home in the fall, visit Zillow.

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!