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July 2013

Financing for Condo Building Construction Might Be Back

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle’s HomeStreet Bank will start to finance condo projects again.

01Despite all the cranes and construction we see everywhere in Seattle, most of these are not new condo buildings.  Since the market crash in 2008, no condo buildings have broken ground in Seattle other than Insignia Towers in Belltown being built by Canadian developer Bosa, who self-financed the project. However, with the current new construction condo inventory down to nearly nothing and the market heating up, developers are ready to build again but are held back by the lack of construction financing available to them. It appears that HomeStreet bank might just have the answer. According to HomeStreet’s Executive Vice President they are in talks to finance several deals in the Seattle area. According the article, one is reported to be in Ballard and another in a very urban location closer to downtown.  We are excited to hear more about these and will give updates as we learn more.

To us, this indicates a strong change to the market. Construction starts are always an indicator as to the strength of the real estate market and this is a good sign in terms of showing the strength and health of the current condomarket. Even though we don’t know if these deals will be brokered and buildings built, it is nice to see money return to the construction loan market and condo building scene in Seattle. And we think buyers would love to see new product out there!

Source: Puget Sound Business Journal


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


Client Question of the Week: Who Pays for Title Insurance?

“I just received my closing Settlement Statement and notice that there is a fee for Title Insurance on my seller’s side of costs. Isn’t that for the buyer to pay? Who pays for Title insurance?”

Dear Who Pays Title Insurance:

We get this question a lot actually. Why is there title insurance, what is it and who pays for it? So here is a summarized low down.

Title is the instrument by which we hold ownership of real property (real estate). If you have title to a property you own that property. Title insurance is a protection for lenders and homeowners against financial loss resulting from legal defects in or other claims against the property’s title. Title

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Condo Review - Madison East in Madison Valley

Madison East Condominiums in Madison Valley
2820 E Madison St


Madison East is a condominium building on E Madison Street in the heart of Madison Valley, sandwiched between Madison Park and Capitol Hill.  The location is near several restaurants, bars, cafes, boutiques, and being near Lake Washington Boulevard make it an easy commute to 520 Bridge for east side commuters to Bellevue or Redmond for Microsoft.  Madison Street also has good bus routes to downtown Seattle are also convenient.

The stats:

  • 17 units
  • 5 stories
  • Built in 2003
  • 1 bedrooms and 2 bedrooms
  • Range in size from 791 to 1,206 square feet
  • All units have 1 parking space and most also have storage lockers
  • 2 units have sold in the last year ranging in price from $297,500 to $350,000
  • There is 1 pending listing currently on the market at the time of this post
  • HOA dues include: water, sewer, garbage, master insurance policy

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Condo Review - Belltown Lofts in Belltown

Belltown Lofts in Belltown
66 Bell St, Seattle


Belltown Lofts is both the conversion of a 1908 warehouse as well as the addition of newer building built in 2000. Current key point of interest, I feel, for this building is its potential future benefit from the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct which is currently within about 12 inches of the noisy elevated structure. This should drastically improve the curb appeal, increase light, and reduction of noise in the immediate area once the deep bore tunnel is complete and the viaduct is removed.

The stats:

  • 62 units
  • Brick building is 3 (tall-ceiling) stories and the addition is 6 stories
  • Built in 1908 and 2000
  • 1 bedrooms and 2 bedrooms
  • Range in size from 550 to 1685 square feet
  • Not all have parking but some do have 1 space, only a few have 2 spaces
  • Some of the units in the brick side of the building are two level loft style units
  • 5 units have sold in the last year ranging in price from $170,000 to $600,000
  • There are 2 active and 1 pending listing currently on the market at the time of this post
  • HOA dues include: garbage, master insurance policy

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