Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rent Vs. Buying

Is it better to buy or rent these days? Check out this link that analyzes markets in major cities through-out the country. The results are shocking.

Click here to see the article

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bellevue’s Bravern switches to apartments

In the news today it was announced that there are plans to convert the Bravern Residences of downtown Bellevue into lavish apartments. The plan is to lease the 236 units located in the south tower for 18-24 months at prices between $1,200 -5,000. It’s an amazing deal considering Bravern’s original plan was to sell the condos at prices ranging from $320,000 - $6 million. The developer, Schneitzer West, feels that it is the best decision they can make with the current market conditions. In short, there is too much supply for the demand. This conversion isn’t uncommon. Just recently in the Seattle area, condominiums such as Rolling Street, Expo 62 and Moda also switched their buildings to apartments before opening.

The $1.6 billion Bravern project was designed for upscale, high-end living. Its original design consisted of two 33 story condominium buildings, two office towers and 305,000 sq ft of office retail space. The 2 residential towers sit atop the retail space. Some of the retail anchors include big names like, Neiman Marcus, Louis Viuitton, Jimmy Cho and the David Barton Gym. The towers are equipped with 25,000 sq ft of lifestyle and entertainment space. The areas include a terrace garden, private theater, garden house and views of the local Cascade Mountains. The conversion will turn the nearly empty tower into an area full of life. It is unknown at this time when these units will be available for rent.


Pioneer Square's efforts for change

According to the Seattle Times, Pioneer Square is soon to get a face lift. Pioneer Square is both a unique and historic area. It seems to be an attractive setting for tourists and visitors alike, but to the locals, it has become some sort of eyesore. The architecture is fascinating and buildings are original from 1890’s. Pioneer Square has an extraordinary ambience and has a unique mixture of design. Even with the district’s rare architecture and unoriginal setting, local businesses say something needs to be done to change how the locals view it.

Elliott Bay Book Company was once Pioneer Square’s largest commercial tenant. After recently relocating to Capitol Hill it took a large portion of its customers with it. The Pioneer Square Association has called in Washington State Main Street Program to help bring some help to revitalize the local economy, appearance, and image of the downtown commercial district by using the Main Street Approach. Through strategic planning and new design, the program hopes to give the historic district a new face and bring more locals to appreciate it. I’m sure making the area more inviting will bring more people to live there.

Find out more about Washington's Main Street Program at:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mcguire Apartment Controversy

Carpenter’s Tower LLC reported this week it will be tearing down its 25 story apartment building located in the heart of Belltown. 272 units must vacate by the end of the year. Incentives have been offered to apartment tenants. Three months money back rent if tenants move out as soon as possible.

The conflict still remains between who is at fault. McCarthy Building Company LLC, who built the McGuire Building, stated that the building is entirely safe and demolition can be avoided by proper maintenance and monitoring, but the Seattle Department of Planning and Development said it had reviewed engineering reports of structural problems of cable corrosion and agreed it should be demolished. The estimated cost to repair the building was $80 million. According to county records, the build was assessed at $60 million.

The Carpenter’s Union filed lawsuit against the McCarthy Building Company and its architects who designed the building. McCarthy Building Company in turn filed suit against its subcontractors. Trial dates are set for Sept.

The verdict of weather or not the McGuire building will come down is completely up to the owner, Carpenter’s Towers, who has made its point this week that’s what they want done.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A few tips for your next move

Tips for your next move

Make your next move with ease! Ask yourself these few questions. The answer will help your moving experience be more efficient and less time consuming.

I.Know your financial situation.

  • How much rent can you afford?
  • How much of a deposit can you afford? (Homeowners can ask for first month’s rent, last month’s rent, and a deposit. Pets are usually an additional deposit.)
  • What is your budget for utilities? (remember larger homes can be expensive to heat)

II. Know what areas you are willing to live in.

  • You may not always find the perfect home in one area. Find other neighborhoods you wouldn’t mind living in.

III. Know what your needs and wants are.

  • What are your needs? These are things you can’t live without (ex. 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, 2 car garage, etc.)
  • What are your wants? Things that are not a necessity, such as a view or a tennis court.

IV. Know when you need to move.

  • When is your current lease up?
  • How much time do you have to relocate?
  • Don’t start looking too early. Generally it is a good idea to give yourself 30 days to find a home. Landlords typically will give you up to 30 days to move in. In Washington State, tenants need to give 20 days notice before moving out and often tell their landlord 20-30 days in advance that they are moving out. Landlords typically want to fill the space without it sitting vacant. Thus landlords normally will not sign a lease for a property unless you are willing to move in within the next 20-30 days from signing the lease.

V. Talk with an agent.

  • Real Estate agents have access to most rentals on the market. It’s a good idea to give your local office a call. Usually it’s at no cost to you.

Demands for rental properties are high right now and rentals do lease fast. Try to be as flexible as possible and remember to follow these few tips.

Monday, April 5, 2010

What Does It Mean To "Go Green"?

Is seems the term “going green” is becoming more and more popular these days. So what does it mean to build green? Building green is designed to reduce the overall impact on human health and the natural environment. It starts from the very begin of a building cycle and continues though the life of the building. The process of building green is environmentally responsible and resource efficient during design, construction, maintenance and operations. New technologies are constantly being developed to make practices “more green”. The U.S. Green Building Council (WSGBC) has put together a green building certification program known as LEED. LEED is an internationally recognized certifications that verifies that a building was designed and built using strategies that are aimed at making a difference on the impact it makes on its environment. LEED is a voluntary certification the recognizes performance in these areas: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials & resources, Indoor environmental quality, location & linkages, awareness & education, innovation in design, and regional priority. Find out ways you can go green at