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Seattle Times business reporter Elizabeth Rhodes posts the answers to your real estate questions as they pop up during the week. Join this ongoing discussion, which also features reader reaction to real-estate articles appearing throughout The Times.

Home Forum, Seattle Times, P.O. Box 1845, Seattle, WA 98111

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October 23, 2008 8:00 AM

Homeowner lacks big down payment

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: We'd like to buy a home in a better school district and keep our current paid-off home as a rental. Our problem: we don't have enough cash for a large down payment. Will a lender OK a small down payment because we have a paid-off property?

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October 22, 2008 8:00 AM

Mold, broken dishwasher vex tenant

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: After moving into our rental house, we discovered the dishwasher didn't work. Several months later the landlord has done nothing about this. We also discovered the house has mold, which the landlord will neither get removed nor allow us to remove and then deduct the work from our rent. What are our options?

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Comments (0) | Category: Renting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

October 16, 2008 8:00 AM

Who pays homeowners association special assessment?

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: My sister wants to sell her home. Her homeowners' association just said that all residents must pay for their neighborhood's water-system improvements. If her house sells before this improvement money is due, who's obligated to pay it -- my sister or the new owner?

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Comments (0) | Category: Homeowners associations |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

October 15, 2008 8:00 AM

Predicting the mortgage crisis

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: In April 2006 you quoted a local appraiser who predicted home prices here would rise substantially in 2006 and 2007. How could an experienced appraiser not have seen how the impending mortgage crisis would affect our housing prices?

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October 10, 2008 4:00 PM

Wandering tree roots disturb sidewalk, threaten sewer line

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: Trees planted in our neighbor's parking strip are raising our sidewalk and starting to do the same to our driveway. We're concerned this could affect our sewer line. However the neighbor won't do anything about these trees because he says they're not on his property. So do we have any recourse?

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Comments (0) | Category: Neighbor to neighbor |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

October 10, 2008 7:00 AM

Understanding new condo reserve study requirements

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: Our condominium association is struggling to understand the new law requiring us to have a professional reserve study. With the exception of financial hardship, is it mandatory we have this study? Are there other exceptions, perhaps related to the number of units or age of the building?

Can we forgo a study if we have our accountant certify our reserves are sufficient to meet expenses? And if we don't have a reserve study done, does this open our association to liability if an owner decides to claim it impairs the marketability of his unit?

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Comments (0) | Category: Condos and condo associations |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

September 29, 2008 3:57 PM

Collecting delinquent condo dues

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: When homeowners in our large condominium association fall behind on their dues, our recourse has been to lien the property. Realistically, are there other avenues of recovery we could pursue? Perhaps take them to small-claims court? Or turn them over to a collection agency?

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September 29, 2008 3:51 PM

Property line dispute has neighbors in stalemate

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: My neighbor has claimed about a two-foot strip of my property and erected "no trespassing" signs along it. He says I'll be sued if I don't respect this boundary. I've had a survey done, which shows that my original boundary line is correct.

However, this neighbor has removed the new survey markers and says he'll cut down the trees in the disputed area. I showed him our state law requiring him to get a surveyor to replace the markers. He says he won't do it. What agency can I contact to enforce these laws?

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Comments (0) | Category: Neighbor to neighbor |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

More from this blog

Recent entries

Oct 23, 08 - 08:00 AM
Homeowner lacks big down payment

Oct 22, 08 - 08:00 AM
Mold, broken dishwasher vex tenant

Oct 16, 08 - 08:00 AM
Who pays homeowners association special assessment?

Oct 15, 08 - 08:00 AM
Predicting the mortgage crisis

Oct 10, 08 - 04:00 PM
Wandering tree roots disturb sidewalk, threaten sewer line

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