The market is only getting hotter!

According to Seattle Times on May 22, 2014:

From July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013, Seattle grew by 2.8 percent — the highest rate among the 50 most-populous U.S. cities. Seattle added nearly 18,000 residents in the one-year period, bringing its population to about 652,000.

Census: Seattle is the fastest-growing big city in the U.S.

This data show 46 out of the 50 major cities grow last year – this is no accident. When economy recovers, large companies provide more job opportunities and naturally these jobs are in larger cities.

Followed by Seattle, Sammamishhas 2.2% population increase, and Auburn 2%, Richland 1.7% (where is Richland??) and Redmond(1.7%).

Currently there are 3.61 million residents in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area. Among this figure, 57,000 are new residents who just moved to the area.

What does this mean to real estate market in Seattle? Like my mentor, Shiao-Yen Wu, said to me before, “everyone needs a roof on top of their head.” Whoever is thinking about purchasing a home in Seattle feels it, homes are closing fast and more and more expensive. Classical supply-demand effect.

I would say, for young investors who just started, get a little further away from the city to avoid bidding war. I am looking to buy my first investment property in suburb area 10-15 miles away from Seattle 🙂

 

via Census: Seattle is the fastest-growing big city in the U.S..

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Ugly house on 25th Ave in Bryant

It’s funny how house conditions change within 2 blocks. We see some fancy fancy cute houses around the block of 65th and 25th Ave, and off the sudden, when you get to 75th, things change! Lots get bigger, houses get lower, lawns turn boring.. I was looking at this short sale house on 75th and 25th Ave a month ago. It would make a excellent rental property given its bright large square rooms, and private back yard. Yesterday when I drove by it from school, I saw a sad looking house, more specifically, a vacant looking house right across street from the short sale house. Hmm. Time for some title checking and door knocking you say? 🙂

Seattle Apartment Rental vacancy drop – rental price for 1BR $1,800+!

Dupre Scott Apartment Advisors – Rental market & development trends.

I am learning many things from this post – which has been quoted by the Puget Sound Business Journal this morning.

1. Rents up!

Overall, including the addition of new construction over the past year, rents climbed the most in the in-city Seattle market, up 8.3% since September 2012. Excluding the new units added last year and so far this year, rents rose 5.1%. 

The average in-city rent is $1,459, but that includes all unit types. The average one bedroom apartment is $1,417 and two bedroom two bath apartments average $2,210. Both of these averages are pumped up some by addition of new units. Rents in in-city properties built in the past half dozen years average $1,802 and $2,676 for one bedroom and two bedroom two bath apartments respectively.

I just rent out a 5BR split level earlier this year for $2,500. The property is in Maple Leaf, with great entertainment back porch and spacious bedrooms. Now I just feel I rented it out for too low..

As I mentioned before, I share my house with housemates. This is called a rooming house. I rent out the masters bedroom for $1,225, downstairs sunny basement room for $900, and a small bedroom for $550. Now I feel I am getting too little for them too.. Am I to greedy?

2. When to renew?

Sept is great time to list your rental!

 No matter how the market goes, you find Sept always a great time to list your property. You get the most rent and fastest contracts.

I found this report applicable for single family residence as well. The data may not reflect everything, but the trend in renter activities should be very close.

Hot and Burning HOME OWNER!

HELLO MY FRIEND!
Let me tell you one thing. Owning a home for the first time just is just like the first time you get your ear pierced – black hole! I just want to keep throwing money at it: buy furniture, fix garden, add a yard, how about a new patio… It’s bad, my friend. 😛
This is part of me looking for excuses not to update this blog for almost 2 month! It’s my dad’s fault! Daddy visited me late July, built me a fence, cleared and leveled part of my back yard – daddy rocks. 
(Isn’t he the cutest ever?)
So to get back to my marketing plan. First of all, I must register an account with Bigger Pocket! Check me out and add me https://www.biggerpockets.com/users/Fei_InSeattle!
I plan to start marketing within 2 weeks, 10 post cards a week, resend every 3 weeks. I will keep you posted on my marketing results! 

What to Expect From a Lender in Closing

Trust me.

I am currently going through underwriting with my lender. This is a 5% down conventional loan on a $415,000 house.

Oh yes they call your boss. (or your HR)
Oh yes they ask for your employment verification form.
Did your parents help with the downpayment? Oh yes they want to know how did they make that money and they want to see their bank statements too.
Are you self-employed? Oh yes, they need twice as much documents as that a regular employee.
Did you use inspection report to bargain with the seller? Oh yes they want a contractor to sign a letter saying everything is okay, and they will fix that this week.
Conditional approval? Congrads, they are going to come back for more.

Have you borrowing!

(I am so doing seller financing from now on.)

Landlord – are you terrified of vacancy?

Oh yes you do.

A good landlord should:
– have a professional accounting system (so you know your money is being recorded properly)
– have a legal binding lease agreement (so you know your rights are protected)
– have a move-in & move-out inspection form (so you don’t have to argue about carpet cleaning/junk removal)
– have a reliable handyman (so you know the service is fair and trust-worthy)
– is available to gossip with you when needed!

🙂 Befriend your landlord!

(Landlords, these conditions applies to you as well.)

Power of Delegation – Virtual Assistant

Can’t believe it! I actually hired a virtual assistant from the Philippines!

I have delegated some of my “busy works” to the assistant so that I can sit back and do my marketing! So far the assistant has been doing a great job. She saved at least 3 hours of my time so that I were able to go see 2 houses today and run some bank errands 🙂

What is virtual assistant? What can he/she do for you? My virtual assistant is helping me with simple research, graphic edit, and document edits work right now, in the future, I will ask my virtual assistant to respond to phone calls to collect buyer & seller information, compile background reports, etc!

A good virtual assistant is punctual, professional, and he/she can communicate effectively. If you are interested, let me know. I am happy to introduce you!