• 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”


  • 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

    Contact Susie

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  • Curb Appeal

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

    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.


  • ……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.


    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!

  • Loan Originator Wendy Atencio

    Some people go above and beyond to make sure you succeed.  For several years now, Wendy Atencio at New American Funding has done just that.  The Realty West Properties family can work with any lender, but it is the rare few like Wendy who make the process a smooth sailing pleasure.

    To say thanks we want to highlight Wendy’s hard work and commitment to excellence.

    Thanks Wendy, we love working with you and consider you part of the family.

    Wendi Atencio:

    WA NMLS-115791

    CO 1000033047
    Senior Loan Originator Regulated by the Division of Real Estate

    Email: Wendi.Atencio@nafinc.com
    Phone: (206) 412-0131

  • Realty West Investor Philosophy

    Our team at Realty West Properties has helped dozens of families grow their investments from their first starter home to a full fledged real estate portfolio.  We don’t take short cuts or believe in ‘too good to be true’ tricks.  We simply offer tried, true and time tested advice in how to build wealth through a successful real estate investment portfolio.

    Nowadays everyone wants to get rich quick!  “Flip” a property and quit their day jobs.  However, we have a couple sayings in the Realty West Family.

    When you “buy low” you ensure you are buying something you can afford in addition to your living expenses.  It can be difficult to see a home purely as an investment and one of the most common mistakes people make is “investing” in a second home they themselves want to live in.

    An investment property is something someone else lives in.  The rent should pay for more than the mortgage so that you can afford to ride the waves of the market value until it’s time to “sell high”.  And selling is where you make your money in real estate.

    There's only one rule to becoming a successful real estate investor:

    We want to work with people who are excited for the potential success and earnings of real estate’s long term investment opportunities.

    It’s never to late or early to start.  Give us a call, we’d love to help you at every step along the way!

    Find a broker who’s strengths go hand in hand with your journey.

    Learn more about our Family of Real Estate Professionals and the Realty West philosophy.

  • The Selling Process Can Be Complicated!

    The selling process isn’t easy to understand.  That’s why you need a broker!  To get a better idea of what we mean, check out this wonderful infographic brought to us by the financial planning application, Mint.com.

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