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October 2013

Client Question of the Week – How Come My Parking Space Isn’t on My Deed?

“I just saw my Deed and my parking space isn’t on it? How do I know which space is mine and how do I know I really own it?”

High Res 023Dear Why Isn’t Parking on the Deed:

When purchasing a condo that has parking, it often concerns buyers when they do not see the parking space recorded on the Deed. The concern for you as the buyer, of course, is how you will guarantee that the parking space on your Purchase and Sale Agreement belongs to you if it isn’t on the Deed.

The most common method of recording parking spaces is to have the parking space assignments for all of the units in the building either included in the original Condominium Declaration or written up on an Amendment to the Condominium Declaration. You will often find this information on one of the Schedules that are attached to the recorded Declaration or on a Parking Assignment Amendment.  The buyer will receive a copy of the Declaration and all recorded Amendments as part of the Resale Certificate disclosure package they receive when they purchase the condo. All buyers of condominiums in Washington State are entitled to receive a Resale Certificate from the Seller and have 5 calendar days to review that document. So, that review period would be the time for you to double check which parking space is yours and even locate it in the building and make sure that your car fits in it.

There are always exceptions to this standard. We have seen parking spaces on Deeds and we have seen parking spaces that are simply assigned to the units at a Homeowner’s meeting with everyone agreeing to which one is theirs. Every building is different but the majority will assign the spaces per the Declaration as an Amendment to the Declaration.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Secrets to Picking the Right Condo in a Building

Whether it’s a new construction condo or a resale unit in an existing building, you should consider where the unit is within a building in relation to other building services, amenities and mechanical systems.  Here are some lessons learned from true life client experiences and feedback as well as our own experience living downtown in several builds over the years.

Here are my top 10 things to consider when buying a condo.  Ask yourself, “Self, in relation to the unit I’m considering…”

  1. Where is the garage door to the parking garage?
  2. Where is the trash chute?
  3. How close is the condo to the elevator?
  4. What is above me?
  5. What is below me?
  6. Where is my parking space and are there any obstacles in the parking space?
  7. Where are the amenities?
  8. Where is my storage locker and is it big enough for my lifestyle?
  9. Where are the trash room and the recycle collection area?
  10. Is there a roof terrace above me?

Loud Gym

Continue reading "Secrets to Picking the Right Condo in a Building" »


Potential Downtown Seattle Hotel-Condo Project at Stewart and Minor

Stewart and MinorAccording to a recent article in the Puget Sound Business Journal, the project previously known as Stewart & Minor, a hotel-condo building, might be resurrected.

In 2007, the Stewart & Minor hotel/condo tower was planned as a 150 room hotel with 14 stories of condos above.  They were planning on having 150 cube-shaped units that would be customizable in terms of adding mezzanine levels (or lofted spaces) within each unit, possible due to 16 foot ceiling heights that were potentially planned. We even participated in a focus group with the Developers back in 2007 so it is interesting to see this pop up again in the market.  (Photo of original design from 2007)

Today, the future of the development is not clear but the Developers, GIS International Group, said that they are pursuing a development on the site according to the PSBJ article. In other words we do not know what will be built on the lot but perhaps the old plan for a condo/hotel tower is still on the table.

We will keep you posted as we hear more.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Condo Review – Cosmopolitan in Downtown

Cosmopolitan in Downtown
819 Virginia St, Seattle

819_virginia_st_01
The Cosmopolitan is located at the nexus of Downtown, Belltown and South Lake Union putting it close to a ton of services, shopping and restaurants. This 34 story building has 250 residential units and 2 commercial spaces. It consists of studio, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom condo units.

The stats:

  • 250 units
  • 16 studios ranging from 419-537 square feet
  • 151 one bedrooms ranging from 719 - 1,176 square feet
  • 83 two bedrooms ranging from 1,186 - 1,919 square feet
  • Built in 2007
  • Most of the units have 1 parking space and only a select few have two spaces, about half have a storage locker
  • 19 units have sold in the last 6 months ranging in price from $185,000 to $640,000; at the time of this post 1 unit is pending at $515,000 and 7 are active ranging in price from $214,900 to $1,628,800
  • HOA dues include: garbage, concierge, earthquake insurance, amenities, master insurance policy
  • Amenities: 24 hour concierge staff, a facility manager, roof  top view deck with BBQs, gym, guest suite, business center, hot tub/sauna, party room and conference room

Continue reading "Condo Review – Cosmopolitan in Downtown" »


More Downtown Condo Dwellers Have Kids – Public School in Downtown Seattle?

As Downtown Seattle’s population continues to rise, so does the number of apartment and condo dwellers that have kids. In collaboration, the Seattle Public Schools, the City of Seattle and the Downtown Seattle Association conducted a feasibility study on the need to put a public school in downtown Seattle.

Here are some of the interesting stats they uncovered: School

  • Since 2008 the Downtown enrollment in K-5  schools has increased by 35%
  • Downtown is the most populous Seattle neighborhood without a neighborhood school
  • 265 children were born to Downtown parents in 2011
  • Downtown is one of the very few areas in Seattle that is more than a mile from a public elementary school
  • Projections indicate that by 2016 the Downtown K-8 population will be between 515-615 students
  • Downtown children enrolled in Seattle Public Schools at a much faster rate than was estimated

This study points to an increased need for a public elementary school in our Downtown core. I hope that this report’s findings will lead to a new Downtown school as the families choosing to raise their kids Downtown would certainly benefit from this addition and it would bring more jobs to downtown as well for teaching staff and faculty.

On a personal note, we have many families with children living in our building in South Lake Union and the presence of children is a nice addition to our community. We enjoy their energy and even have trick-or-treating in the building on Halloween. Downtown Seattle would highly benefit from the addition of an elementary school but whether or not it will happen is still yet to be seen.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Seattle Condominiums with Concierge Staff

If you are looking for a condominium in Seattle but need one specific amenity or another, we know it can be hard to locate that information. We will be writing a series of articles that each feature a different condo amenity that will help make it easier for you to narrow in on buildings that contain the key condo building feature most important to you.

We will start with highlighting buildings that feature concierge staff. A nice bonus for the residents, a concierge is there to collect your packages, greet your guests, and answer your questions about the building, call you a cab, make reservations at restaurants, amongst many other things.

Here are the buildings that currently feature concierge staff:

DOWNTOWN  Concierge

  • 98 Union
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Escala
  • Fifteen Twenty-One
  • Four Seasons
  • Madison Tower (shared with Hotel)
  • Market Place North
  • Newmark Tower
  • Seaboard

 BELLTOWN 

  • 5th and Madison
  • Arbor Place
  • Avenue One
  • Bay Vista Tower
  • Bellora
  • Concord
  • Continental Place
  • Cristalla
  • Ellington
  • Gallery
  • Mosler
  • Olive 8
  • One Pacific Tower
  • Parc
  • Seattle Heights
  • Trio
  • Vine
  • Waterfront Landings

 SOUTH LAKE UNION

  • 2200 Westlake
  • Enso

 FIRST HILL

  • Elektra
  • First Hill Plaza
  • Meridian

 BALLARD

  • Canal Station
  • Ballard Place

 What you will notice by the list is that you are more likely to find a concierge the closer you live to the urban city center and when living in a high rise building. There are very few buildings with concierge staff outside the Belltown/Downtown core and neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill, Fremont, Wallingford, and Pioneer Square are lacking any buildings with this amenity.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.