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April 2016

March 2016

Own an Investment Condo or Thinking About Buying One?

If you own a rental condo right now or are thinking about investing in one there are many factors you should consider and several important laws to keep in mind to ensure you are running your real estate investments successfully.

2015 Seattle Condo Rental Market Statistics (provided by Cassie Walker-Johnson with Windermere Property Management/Lori Gill & Associates)

Important Laws that Have Changed 

  • The Rental Registration & Inspection Ordinance (RRIO) is now in place and requires that all rental properties be registered with the City of Seattle by the end of 2016 (the deadlines for registration are based on the number of rental units and zip code)
  • Owners need to provide their tenant(s) with a copy of the current rental registration
  • Once registered, the properties will be inspected at least once every 10 years by a qualified housing inspector chosen by the owner or by the city inspector
  • A property owner cannot evict a tenant if the property is not registered with the City of Seattle under the RRIO
  • If an owner wishes to occupy their rental unit or have a family member occupy their rental unit and there is a tenant in place, the owner now has to give the tenant written notice at least 90 days prior to the end of the rental period (this used to be 60 days notice)
  • If the owner desires to sell their condo rental unit, and the tenant is in a month to month tenancy, you will need to get the tenants voluntary willingness to move.  The new city regulation does not provide owners of condominiums the right to evict a tenant for purposes of a sale of the property.  I think this is a big miss, personally.  Single family homeowners have this right, so I'm not sure why a condo owner does not have the same right.


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Join us for Condos Over Coffee 3/30 - Open Forum Coffee Chat

Condos over Coffee Logo with WritingCONDOS OVER COFFEE - March 30th

WHEN: March 30th 7:30 to 8:30am
Victrola in Capitol Hill (Pike Pine location)
TOPIC: Open Forum

This month join me at Victrola coffee shop in Capitol Hill's Pike Pine corridor for an open discussion forum meant to focus on your questions and things most timely for you. Come sip some java or tea and get the answers you've been looking for. This month’s Condos over Coffee is ideal for those who have any lingering questions they have been dying to ask about the condo market but just haven't asked yet. Now is your chance!

Feel free to email us in advance or leave a comment here with your questions and we’ll add them to the list of topics to try and cover.

Please RSVP here so that we can make sure to save a seat for you. Friends, family and/or colleagues are welcome to stop by too, so pass the word along!

Oh, and coffee's on me! So stop by on your way to work and get your burning questions about real estate answered.

Next month’s Condos over Coffee will be on April 27th and will be a discussion on prepping your condo for the market.

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

How Interest Rates Affect Your Purchase Power

With talk of interest rates creeping up over the next few years we thought it would be powerful for buyers out there to see how the interest rate you get affects the price of a home you qualify to purchase.
If you are on the fence about buying now, remember to consider the affect that increasing interest rate will have on what you can afford in a condo.

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

Luma Hard Hat Tour

LUMA 1 Bedroom A webWe took a hard hat tour of the model units that are completed in Luma Condominiums on First Hill, located at 1321 Seneca St . The model units are #209, a 861 square foot one bedroom one bath home facing north and #301, a 1,189 square foot two bedroom two bath home, that is a corner NE facing unit.

We were impressed with the finishes and layouts of the model units. I feel they most resembled and had the feel of the interiors at Enso condos in South Lake Union, and both being designed by Weber Thompson is likely the reason for this. The interior design at Luma just received the 2015 International Interior Design Association's INawards People's Choice award so we are not the only people who found the interiors pleasing.

The layout of #209 was great for a one bedroom with large spaces, a walk-in closet and plenty of room for your dining table. It was a great size for a one bedroom, although it does lack it's own deck space. As for #301, we really liked that the dining space was its own space and not just a long narrow living room/dining room combination we see so often in shotgun style condo units. The bedrooms and their baths were also on different sides of the unit, which was also a nice layout choice. Although Luma doesn't have curtain wall construction, meaning no floor to ceiling windows, there was plenty of light streaming into this corner home and not having windows to the floor gives you more flexibility with furniture placement. The 9 foot ceilings also made the condo feel larger and airier. (more photos below)

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New Potential Condo Building Proposed in Belltown

Caron RenderingThere is a new potential condo building proposed in Belltown that will share the tower with a hotel. It is being proposed as 17 stories with 68 condos above an 88 room hotel, without parking. The project will be located at 2121 5th Ave just a few lots north of the Martin apartment building.

I welcome more condo inventory to our in-city condo market, but I'm concerned that current lending guidelines have some tough limitations on mortgage loans within a condo building that has a large percentage of the total size as commercial space (aka a hotel, retail grocery store, etc). Lessons to be learned from 2200 Condos, Enso Condominiums, and Madison Tower Condos, to name a few. Oh and did I mention, no parking! Curious to see how this one comes to market.

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

Caron Architecture Rendering