• A Must Have on Your “To Inspect List”

    To inspect or not inspect… the side sewer

    Recently, Ali and Jason were buying a home in the Ruston area of Tacoma, and having their home inspected, they were given the  dilemma of should I, or shouldn’t I expend the money for a sewer inspection.  As luck had it, they chose the correct answer.  And, yes we did have the sewer video  scoped.   Luck continued on their side, as it turned out in the scoping, that  54 feet of their sewer pipe was crushed and trapping solids in their lines…

    For  the mere cost of $220 it saved them the cost of replacing and going through the side sewer nightmare. That nightmare can run from $5,000 to $20,000, dependent upon the fix.

    Apparently, homes built before 1950,  the piping of choice was clay or Orangeberg, a tar paper consistency, which over time tends to blister, erode, and crush down, leaving the homeowners with a basement or home backed up with a sewer overflow hazard.

  • Calling All Rental Owners

    In thinking about what to write this week, explaining what a 3 day notice is and how to use it came to my mind.  Most of my investors really struggle with serving a notice to their tenants.  Do not be afraid!  Once you have dealt with this notice, you will see how easy it is to use.

    A 3 day notice is the legal notice you give to a tenant when they are late in paying their rent.  The notice is a pay or vacate notice and they are always mean sounding.  But it covers your tail as a landlord especially if you have to walk through the whole legal process.  Think of this notice as a reservation of your legal rights.  The 3 day notice is the start of the legal process.  You serve the notice after your lease’s grace period is over.  For our rentals, the grace period is up on the 5th of the month.  On the 5th, I fill out the notice, send copies to my servers for posting on the house and mail a copy of the notice.  The notice gets posted to the door or served to the tenant on the 6th.  Then I have to wait 3 days.  If the tenant has not called me or paid the charges, then I proceed with the legal process.

    You are probably wondering do I always serve the notice?  My answer back is absolutely!  If one of my tenants has not paid the rent, you can guarantee I will be completing a notice for them.  Even if I talk with them and make an agreement, I always serve the notice.  Most of the time I try to forewarn the tenant about the notice and let them know if they abide by our agreement, then the notice will be satisfied.  Often, this is as far as the process goes.  Then we can all move on to next month.

    As a landlord, this notice is the only way to protect yourself from a tenant who fails to pay the rent.  This is the first step on the legal process and the only way to start the process, too.  Like I tell all my investors, “Never be afraid to serve the notice when the rent is late, regardless of the reason behind it”

     

  • Calling All Rental Owners

    Over the weekend, I had a great discussion with a property manager about some common questions I get concerning tenants.  This particular discussion lead to a question I hear frequently.  “My tenant is not great about paying on time, but does pay the rent.”

    My mantra is a firm but fair policy.  Our leases provide a 5 day grace period for paying the rent, which is due on the 1st of the month.  If the tenant pays within the grace period, there is no late fee.  If the tenant pays after the grace period, there is a $60 late fee plus a daily fee.  The way a landlord protects themselves is to have a policy of always send out a 3 day notice for non-payment of rent(regardless of the reason).  This is the landlords only protection to start a legal process if the tenant does not pay.  In the 13 years of managing properties, I have found if I stick to the terms of the lease, my tenants pay on time or they will communicate with me about what is going on.  The other lesson I have learned (the hard way) is to be very consistent with 3 day notices!

    Stay tuned for more rental management tips…

  • Calling all Rental Owners

    Over the last years, I have been actively involved in the management of rental properties.  It always shocks me to talk with rental owners who have a few properties that seem to be doing alright, but they always dread the phone call at the beginning of the month or chasing the tenant about the rent.

    In searching for an informative way to help our investors become experts at their rental management, I have decided to share some tips on what I have learned as a manager.

    If you have any specific questions you would like answered, feel free to email me at beccac@realtywest.com

  • “Flipping” is what you make it!

    Dunn_County-old_farm

    Everyone wants to “flip” a property for a quick profit…

    “Flipping” a property can mean a variety of different things.  For some, “flipping” means contracting professionals to remodel an investment home and selling it as soon as the work is done.  For others, “flipping” means to hold onto the property until the market naturally increases the property’s value.

    How long should you hold onto a property to avoid higher taxes?  What do you need to know before you start down the real estate investment road?

    The Realty West Properties team has helped hundreds of investors find the right formula for the right pay off.  Call us today and let us help you get started.

    Realty West Properties

    206.242.2627

    realtywest.com

  • Crispin’s Story: The Bubble Popped but You Can Still Come Out A Winner

    Crispin bought the house pictured below for less than half the price it brought 5 years before!

    It had sold for $355,000 4 years before.

    In a luxurious neighborhood of Renton, with over 2,000 sq ft, needing only the slightest touch ups, it cost $165,000.

    It has doubled in value in less than 3 years.  Susie scoured the market for 6 weeks to find this trophy for Crispin. He dutifully examined all the properties that came close but knew right away when they had found the right one!

    ~ Article by Realty West Broker Susie Watkins

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  • Curb Appeal

    Location, Location, Location! Isn't that what real estate is all about?
    Mostly.

    But when listing a house for sale, while location is greatly important, we sometimes forget about how a buyers eye is drawn to perfection.  With that in mind, how is your curb appeal.  Have you even thought about what your house looks like to someone else?

    With that in mind, how is your curb appeal.  Have you even thought about what your house looks like to someone else?

    As a professional in the industry, it is very easy for me to gloss over the worst house in the neighborhood and see the value it possesses, but lots of buyers aren’t ready to handle or tackle the challenge of a “fixer.”

    When wanting to get top dollar for your house, take a moment to sit back and look at your house through the rose colored glasses of a potential buyer.

    Is the lawn mowed?  Have the bushes and trees gotten trimmed?  As Diane would ask, “Is the roof clean or is it green?”

    These few simple things really make all the difference.  It will invite more potential buyers to tour your house.

    Needs Help

    All Cleaned Up

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  • First Time Homebuyers Renovate In Mt. Baker

    Have you ever heard the saying, “luck is preparation meeting the moment of opportunity.”? Every time I walk through the front door of Kate and David Zimmerman’s home I am reminded of it.

    (more…)

  • ……Think Again

    In the long run buying costs less than renting. Look at it this way: Every time you pay rent, you are paying towards somebody elses’ mortgage. Every time you pay mortgage, you are paying yourself.

  • Where to find contractors in your neighborhood.

    Porch.com

    What’s Porch?

    Porch is a website (and app!) as well as a local Seattle start-up.  Porch allows you to look up historical information your property.  Perhaps more importantly, this helpful tool shows you the repair, renovation and update projects performed in your neighborhood.  You can see what was done, which professionals did the work (as well as their ratings) and get a quote for your project.  A simple, quick way to research contractors near you!

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