West Seattle Homeowners & Renters

Here’s your opportunity to have your voice heard regarding parking in your neighborhood!

West Seattle Homes - Seattle Area Homes for Sale

Much discussion has been going on about West Seattle parking, in general, as well as in the Fauntleroy area.  If you’d like to take a brief survey and provide your opinion and feedback before the end of business day on Thursday, March 26, 2015, do it!

The survey asks if you are a homeowner or tenant. It would like answers regarding parking, your public transit use, whether you favor more parking enforcement or the establishment of RPZ (restricted parking zone for the neighbors).

I entered my own information and offered how I use West Seattle.  I pick up dog food at Petco.  My husband and I eat at restaurants.  We buy antiques, clothing and home decorating items.  We are NOT going to take the bus to get there. But that’s just us.

My input included suggestions for either parking garages which could be obscured to make neighbors happy, or the construction of garages at SODO with a shuttle service that could take people to the Junction or to Fauntleroy to hop a ferry.  Fewer cars parking on the street?  Maybe they’d consider it, especially during the summer season.

What are YOUR ideas?  You’ve got a day or so to speak up.  IF you want to know the results, you can offer your email.  Otherwise, you are submitting the info anonymously.

Do you own a West Seattle home?  Are you a tenant looking to buy something in West Seattle?  Each of you have specific set of needs that someone with knowledge of the area and real estate experience can offer.  Call Rita Harris, Broker.  She’s an original Seattleite and will have answers for your questions. Don’t waste time.  Just call her…

#WestSeattleParking, #WestSeattleHomes, #WestSeattleTenant, #RitaHarrisBroker

Primo Sammamish Property is SOLD!

What does a church and 3 local colleges have in common?
Answer: 22 acres, an existing structure and a cool $6.1 million!

Seattle Area Homes 4 Sale - Sammamish Property Sale Pending

Yep.  That’s right.  When it comes to real estate, we all know it’s about “location, location, location.”  In this case, the now defunct Mars Hill Church that was located in the highly desirable “hood” of Sammamish, is selling off assets.  This include the 31,000 square foot structure (with accompanying 330 stalls of parking) and 22 acres of some strategically sited land.  What’s that saying again?  Oh yeah…”They don’t make dirt any any more….”

So, with this very tempting morsel right in the heart of residential real estate, it has been hard for city officials to pass.

Originally, the property had been listed for nearly $9 million, but rumour  has it that the price was reduced twice due to the limited development potential within the residential zoning.  Enter the city officials who are “god” (little g this time), want to control the land/structure/development, and gathered together letters of intent from 3 colleges: Cascadia, Bellevue CC and Lake WA Institute of Technology, which are a bit further away from Sammamish, and who’d be willing to operate satellite locations onsite in Sammamish.

Should cut down a bit on commute too, I would guess, since three high schools are right within reach of the property.  Kids who are part of the Running Start Programs have been driving to the colleges much further away.  Now, if it all comes together, they’ll be stayin’ in da hood to attend closer to home.  That’s a good thing, right?

If the deal comes together in the end, Seattle Times writer Lynn Thompson says that the city will be taking the funds from existing reserves.

What do I think of this?  Well, convenience certainly gets a nod, but traffic and noise impact come to mind for me.  As a homeowner, if you were tolerant of having a mega church nearby, you could reason that the traffic and noise would be only on Sundays and maaaaybe one more day in the week at night for bible study or whatever.  Now that it’s going to be a satellite for the colleges, how would YOU feel about this?

If you’re ready to jump ship, I know of a good agent.  Call Rita Harris, Broker of WP & Associates.  She’ll consult with you about your needs and come up with a plan of action to your satisfaction!

Photo credit: NWSign.com

Solar Panels on Seattle Homes?

Crikey – With all the rain we have, you’d think people wouldn’t install them, but what happens when you go to sell that charming Seattle home?

Seattle Homes 4 Sale - Solar House Seattle

(Photo credit: ReStore.org)

I read an article in the Seattle Times wherein the writer was commenting about the fact there is a growing trend here with Seattle Homeowners to go more “green” and recapture those dollars lost to power consumption.  The solar panel companies are springing up everywhere and they offer these super deals with no up-front costs to you.  You have a 15 year payment plan that is affordable in your eyes.

Then someone in your family gets a job promotion and you go to the sell house.  Whoops!

Many buyers are wary about the solar panels with reason – How long are they warrantied? What if there is newer and better technology in the next couple of years and these panels are obsolete?  What if the panels DON’T save as much as you/the solar company said? What if I don’t want to pay on YOUR panels for the remaining 12 years?  These buyers are now asking sellers to do a lump sum payoff of the solar contract (that could run you $12-$30k), so they don’t have to incorporate that into their monthly expenses.  After all, the buyer is likely paying far more for the house than you did and will have a higher mortgage payment overall.  Adding the cost of solar panel payments may not be in the budget.

Apparently, these issues are popping up all over So Cal.  Several transactions or real estate sales are falling apart because the terms and qualifications to assume the lease of the solar panels was prohibitive to the next buyer.  Over-all, it would’ve been smarter to just buy the panels, rather than lease. Wait… didn’t my dad tell me that about cars too?

Here’s the closing feedback from the Seattle Times reporter, Ken Harney:
“Take-aways from all this? Top on the list: Be aware of the potential complexities that can occur when you lease, rather than buy, solar panels. If you opt for a lease, understand your long-term obligations, and talk to your current utility company about the savings claimed. Most important, if you’ve got a leased system and plan to sell, contact the leasing company well in advance to learn about their lease transfer and buyout options. That way you’ll be ready if prospective buyers have problems with your panels.”

Do YOU already have solar panels on your house and now you’re thinking of selling?
Are you trying to decide if it’s worth the investment?
Call me and let’s chat further.  With the contacts I have, I might be able to provide you with the information you need to have options and make a smart decision.

Sunny Smiles from SeattleAreaHomes4Sale!

Jason Terry Sells Seattle Area Home

Seattle’s Franklin High School graduate, Jason Terry, who plays for the Houston Rockets, is selling his luxurious residence!

Basketball legend Jason Terry sells his Seattle area home!
(Photo taken by Carl Bortalami)

Pssssst!  Did you catch the news?  The elegant home is sited on Mercer Island, just across Lake Washington from Seattle.  According to the Seattle P.I. article, it is on the market for $2.4m.  It features all the usual bells and whistles one would expect in an elegant home, such a media/theatre and such.

I’m delighted to see that a Seattle Home Boy had a residence of this caliber right in our midst and that he was true to his community roots.  No details where he’s moving or why as yet.  It’s being represented by Sothebys.  Now I’m curious as ever to peek at the inside!  I’ll be checking to see what the touring instructions are going to be in the listing.

Want to see interior pictures?  Here’s the link to the house on my company’s website.  Be patient while the “white box” loads the images:

If you want to read the P.I. article, then here’s that link:

If YOU have a Seattle area house or investment to sell, let me know.  You can go out on Trulia and see the comments I have from satisfied customers about my service.  I would be honored to discuss your specific circumstances with you so you can evaluate the feedback and make a good decision.  I look forward to the opportunity…. Rita Harris, Broker

Seattle Housing Shortage: Notice of Land Use

Will more Seattle condos and apartment buildings be constructed in order to handle the housing demand?  

Seattle Housing Shortage: Notice of Land Use

If the city’s leaders have anything to do with it, yes.  But will the neighborhoods allow it? What happens to Open Space?

This second question came into a discussion today when we learned that Seattle City Light intends to sell off several power substations to the highest bidder.  They don’t care who buys, just for the highest dollar.  (Wait… isn’t City Light owned by the city?)  This same city put forth a Climate Action Plan back in 2003, which calls for more open spaces, carbon reduction, tree canopy, etc.  I know because I was one of those Seattle homeowners who planted a slew of trees along my street’s parking strip to help with that tree canopy!

Why is this push by developers so massive?  Well, at a 6% increase in Seattle’s real estate property values and being one of the nation’s “hottest markets,” it’s little wonder that our developers are looking for in-city locations to plop more construction.  Did you  know that on a mere 4,750 square foot lot in a given location in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, a developer is allowed to construct 33 units?  That is a huge building for a tiny footprint of land!

The neighborhoods themselves are not getting enough advanced notice of these sell-offs before they see a “Notice of Land Use” popping up and cranes moving into position.  Would YOU want this next to your home?

Now a very vocal new group calling themselves “Seattle Green Spaces Coalition” is trying to save these spaces that City Light wants to auction off to (presumedly) mostly developers.  The idea would be to allow for more community gardens, space for artists, allow the bees and birds to continue to have their nests and way with the plants in the old space around the City Light lots.  Whatever the community in which one of these substation resides, decides they want as use for the land.  It’s not privately owned.  It’s being paid for all these years, by us, the residents and consumers of electricity.

How do you feel about this?  Would you as a City of Seattle Resident support verbally, financially, letter-writingly (is that even a word?) the notion that we could save some of these little niches in the community to be used as WE see fit?  If we don’t speak out or write letters now, then what are your options when more construction comes to your street?  Will you be moving?  If you DO decide to move, keep Seattle Area Homes 4 Sale in mind.

Seattle Homes: Benefitting in 2015!

Do you remember 2006, or is that a distant memory?  

Seattle Mid-Century Brick

Here’s a newsflash – Due to the pent-up demand for housing, Seattle hasn’t seen this kind of traffic and number of pending sales since around 2006!

While houses and condos ARE coming on the market in a steady way, there is still not enough inventory to satisfy the needs of those who are moving to our area, let alone those already here looking to transition from rental units into homes.

What can be done, you say?

For one thing, it would be lovely if lending institutions could let-up on the regulations a bit so that developers/builders who are willing to create multi-family condos & townhomes,  CAN afford to build again.  Seattle has experienced a number of tall stacks going in, but not all of these are condos  Often, they are very small apartments.

Want to read the short article by Marc Stiles of the PSBJ?  Here’s the link:  http://bit.ly/SBJ2006 about Seattle real estate for sale.

If you’re a seller and you would entertain an opportunity for a private, no obligation consultation about your property’s value,  contact me.  

We can discuss how you take take advantage of this market for serious wealth building!

Classic Colonial Homes – Seattle

Classic Colonial Seattle

Do you love elegant, Georgian rooms? This is a gorgeous example of deep crown and doorway mouldings, along with stylish furniture decorating.

If you love this style, there is a more affordable version on Seattle’s Capitol Hill and just listed in the last few days by a friend of mine! For you folks, I am always available and have time to meet you if you’d like to take a peek. No appointment needed to see the interior. Want to come along? eMail me or phone me….  http://www.seattleareahomes4sale.com/contact/ 

‪#‎HousesInSeattle‬, ‪#‎SeattleHousesForSale‬, ‪#‎SeattleRealEstateListings‬,‪#‎ColonialHomeInSeattle‬, ‪#‎GeorgianBrickHomeSeattle‬

Own a Piece of History? Kurt Cobain’s Family Home on The Market

Holy Smokes! When did Aberdeen, WA
become the hot-bed of real estate values?
Probably while we were sleeping….

Curt Kobain - PSBJ

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Kurt Cobain’s family home in Aberdeen is now on the market (again), this time for a mere $400,000. Here’s the link to sneak a peek:

Are YOU A Landlord in Seattle? Know Someone Who Is?


This tidbit of news might be helpful to them to know, now at tax time, so feel free to share the info! I pulled it directly from a property management firm in our area:

“Under the Small Business Jobs Act, landlords are required to report to the IRS payments of $600 or more to a vendor or service provider in the course of the year. This is done by issuing a 1099-MISC form. This requirement started in 2011 and includes payments to service providers such as plumbers, carpenters, yard service providers and repair people. The Form is provided to the IRS and to the service provider. This requirement applies to both residential and commercial property.

Landlords need to obtain the name, address and taxpayer identification number of the service provider, using Form W-9 or a similar form.”

*BTW – Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.

Home Prices in Mountlake Terrace, WA (Near Seattle)

Psssst! Know someone who lives in Mountlake Terrace?

Their newspaper just released this week the comparison news that “Mountlake Terrace home prices have increased by 8.8 percent, sales up 23.1 percent.”

Nice little piece of gossip to share, right?


‪#‎SeattleHomesForSale‬, ‪#‎SeattleRealEstate‬, ‪#‎AvailableSeattleHomes‬,‪#‎SearchSeattleHouses‬