Register Your Rental – Changes to Seattle Short Term Rental Regulations

Starting on December 15th, all rental owners (both short-term and long term) will be required to register their rentals with the City of Seattle.

Watch the Video Here.

Us long-term rental owners are now settled into the fact that we must register our rentals every two years (pay attention to that, it used to be every five years!), and get our rentals inspected by a licensed inspector at least once every ten years.   And now the City of Seattle has decided all short term rentals (think AirBnB) must also be registered with the City unless the rental is your primary residence.

What you need to know:

If you need help navigating this process, feel free to email me at Christy@SeattleLivingSpaces.com and we can tackle it together!

 

When is the Best Time of Year (Statistically) To Buy a Home?

Right NOW is the Best Time To Buy a House

  I hesitate to even say this.  It seems like us Realtors are always telling you that now is a great time to buy.  Or sell.  And it seems confusing.  But you know me, I live and die by the data.  And the data is telling us that no matter how hot, cool, or cold the Seattle real estate market is or has been, the last few weeks of August and the first few weeks of September are the best time to be buying a home.

Watch the Video HERE.

 

In absolutely every year for the last the last 10 years (as far back as the NWMLS stores data), the month of September has had the most number of total available homes for sale.   September also happens to be the month where the number of pending sales (our strongest indicator of buyer demand) drops.  So that means we have the largest discrepancy between supply and demand in September.   And supply and demand is everything!

 

   So combine the greatest excess of supply, couple it with record low interest rates, and you have a rare window to really score a great home at a good price.   Wake up buyers.  NOW is your time!

Follow The Money – How to Spot Areas of Appreciation Early

We all want to know what the next “hot” neighborhood is going to be.  Seriously, If I had a time machine, I would go back to 2012 and buy all the 2 bed/1 bath houses in White Center and ALL the townhouses in Ballard.   But we don’t have time machines, so the best we can do now is to try and spot neighborhoods that are currently undervalued and are likely to appreciate at a rate that outpaces the rest of Seattle.

And the best way to do that is to follow the money.

Watch the Video Here.

The Office of Economic Development has announced $1.3 million dollar investment in neighborhood business districts in 2019.  These grants will specifically focus on creating and maintaining environments where Seattle small business can start and grow.  

But how does this relate to home prices?

  90% of home owners place living near “shops, coffee, groceries or dining” in their top 3 priorities when buying a home.  Neighborhoods with thriving business tend to have less crime, more community involvement and higher property values.  Historically, neighborhoods that are recipients of large amounts of federal or state funding tend to greatly outpace the rest of the area when it comes to increases in home, land and business value.  So when I say follow the money, I am implying that where government chooses to put its resources, is often a neighborhood that is poised for “comeback”.

 

The Neighborhoods Receiving the Most Funding:
  1. Chinatown/International District = $220,000
  2. Central District = $215,000
  3. MLK/Othello – $140,000
  4. Lake City = $123,000
  5. Rainier Beach = $110,000
  6. Capitol Hill = $90,000

And just for fun, let’s note the current median sales price for each neighborhood:

  1. Chinatown/International District = $585,000 (condos)
  2. Central District = $780,000 (houses)
  3. MLK/Othello – $548,250  (houses)
  4. Lake City = $418,000 (houses)
  5. Rainier Beach = $485,000  (houses)
  6. Capitol Hill = $405,000 (condos)

My prediction is that in 2024, these 6 neighborhoods will have outpaced price increases of almost all other neighborhoods.

Seattles “Newest” Neighborhood

You have driven past it one hundred times, but likely never even knew it was there.  Tucked behind the Whole Foods complex in Interbay is a 25 acre parcel that is currently used by the National Guard to store emergency response vehicles.  The National Guard has deemed that Seattle traffic is so bad, that it is no longer logistically sound to use this location to store emergency vehicles.

Watch the Video Here.

Imagine the possibilities!  We have a chance to get it right from the start.  I daydream of a beautiful blend of apartments, condos, townhouses and single family homes with small retail, doggie and human daycare, and cute little dry-cleaner all in one new urban village.   With the close proximity to the future light rail and current position on the Rapid Ride, this area is ideal for adventures in mixed use and density.   I’m so optimistic and excited about what this 26 acre parcel can become!

Quick Tip Tuesday – Recycle RIGHT

Seattle has the best intentions.  We want to reduce, reuse and recycle.  Our eagerness to recycle has actually created a recycling issue.  Why Seattle is full of “Aspirational Recyclers”, and why it is doing more harm than good:

The problem is, we are so eager to help the planet by recycling, that we recycle items that are NOT recyclable.  Industry-wide, about 20% of the items in recycling are garbage.  According to the Seattle Public Utilities website, these are the things you can recycle:

We can keep other stuff out of the trash.  SPU also has this handy graphic for how to properly dispose of other items:

  The biggest offenders causing problems at recycling plants are:

  • Single plastic bags (only bags combined together can be recycled)
  • Greasy pizza boxes (all food containers must be clean and dry)
  • Wet paper (this causes mold and ruins the whole batch)
  • Garden hoses (weird, I know.  But it came up in 3 different sources so it must be an issue!)