Monday, August 30, 2010

Rental scams on Craigslist. Be aware.

Craigslist is a great resource to find deals and acquire items from locals, but be wary, it’s not the safest or most unfailing place to do business. Here’s a reason why; last week the Seattle Times reported a man was scamming locals out of rent money. His name was Paul Bakovich, a Sammamish dweller, who was posing as an eastside apartment owner to collect deposit money from innocent renters. Bakovich’s scam left him with nearly $5,500 dollars. Thankfully, he was eventually caught by local authorities. Craigslist users should be aware of this kind of thing because it isn’t the only rental scam on craigslist. There are countless reports of similar stories all over the country. One scam ran almost an entire year before victims realized they had been ripped off. An ad was posted on craigslist for a “Summer rental in the Hamptons” which was posted in the fall. Interested parties would tour the summer house, pay a deposit, sign a lease and then go on their way assuming that come summer, they would have a rental in the Hamptons. This went on during Fall, Winter and Spring and affected numerous people until Summer when all of the victims showed up at the same house. Surprised, the victims discovered that the man who posted the ad was working under a false name and of course, was nowhere to be found! This was a very clever scam and, unfortunately, it can happen anywhere and everywhere. If you choose to use craigslist to find a rental, pay close attention-you don’t want to fall victim to a scammer. Below are some some tips to help you avoid rental scams on Craigslist.

• Stay away from off season renters.
• Check tax records to make sure the person renting you the home is the actual owner of record.
• If the price seems to good to be true, it probably is.
• Check with a local real estate broker, they will help find you a rental at no cost.
• If it ask you to wire funds, it’s a scam.
• Never send money via mail.
• Be wary of sub-letting; make sure the person has the authority to do so.
• If the person wrote a heart wrenching story about how their mother is dying in Saudi Arabia and is out of the country, it’s a scam!
• Any listings that mentions Nigeria.
• Use common sense.
New ways to scam people are developed every day. Go with your instincts and if you unsure refer to craigslist’s “Avoiding Scams & Fraud” forum.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Waterfront Living

Time and time again we get clients looking to find a condo rental in Seattle that has a view. After all, the top two reasons for downtown/belltown living are location and views. Most realize the higher the condo rental, the better the view, and consequently the more expensive the condo. Renters are finding that they simply can’t afford that style of living. Sometimes renters come across impossible deals that are almost too good to be true, like two of the condo rentals Ewing & Clark have currently listed. What’s the cost of living ON the waterfront with some of the best views Seattle has to offer? No more than $2400-and that’s for two bedroom condos!! These rentals are located at the beautiful Seattle condominium building Waterfront Landings, and the name says it all! Located on Alaskan Way, Waterfront Landings’ residents enjoy breathtaking sunsets with views of the Olympic Mountains and Elliot Bay. The building is mere steps away from historic Pike Place Market and a variety of Seattle restaurants and entertainment. Real estate agent Merrily Jacobs has listed a 2 bedroom, 1,378 sf condo and agent Ridge Marshall has a listed a 2 bedroom, 1,121 sf fully furnished condo. Both rentals are ready for move-in! Please contact one of these real estate agents today and be able to call this wonderful building “home”.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Rental in Windermere

Located in the beautiful Windermere neighborhood, Ewing and Clark’s newest rental, listed by Our Distinctive Home Shop agents Jane Powers and Betsy Terry, is not one to forget! With views of Lake Washington and Mt. Rainier, the home is available for rent from October 1st until June 1st, 2011. The fully furnished home (including electronics and linens!) has 3 bedrooms, an office, recently remodeled bathrooms, a new kitchen and a fenced backyard. The home is close to the University of Washington and located on a quiet, 12,000 sf lot. Don’t miss this one of a kind opportunity and contact an agent today.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Plans for new building in Seattle

Goodman Real Estate submitted plans to build a 16-story apartment building in Seattle’s downtown core. The Building will be called Colman Tower and consist of 208 residential units and 6 stories of parking and commercial spaces. The building’s concept will be geared toward the “Seattle Yuppie”, a term used to describe the young urban professional. The building will stand where an empty 86 stall parking lot currently sits. This ½ an acre parcel is worth well over $4 Million. The value will only continue to grow once a new building is placed on it. It’s a great investment for Goodman Real Estate, having owned this property for the past 10 years and placing a building where the proposed Alaska Way tunnel may start. Once the Viaduct comes down it is only going to raise property values for those near it. These are some of the first plans seen in the Seattle core since the market crash of 2008. The Seattle apartment market is stable, which is why we are slowly seeing more of these plans around the city. One example is Queen Anne’s newest project, the Avalon Apartments, which is currently under construction. Another company submitted plans to build a mixed-use building for a hotel/condominiums, but has now converted to apartments to obtain financing. It’s a wonderful sign to see business building in our city once more.