Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Real estate


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Home Forum Extra

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

* Sorry, no personal replies.

E-mail | 206-464-8510 | RSS feeds Subscribe | Blog Home

May 28, 2008 12:03 PM

Novice landlord needs advice

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: As a result of a temporary job transfer, I need to rent out my home here for about three years. Do my insurance agent or mortgage holder need to know this? Can I require my tenants to mow the lawn and pay the monthly cost of the alarm system? Can I make scheduled walk-through visits four times a year? Finally, it looks like if I join the Rental Housing Association I can have it act as property manager. Would I have to form a business first?

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Renting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 27, 2008 11:37 AM

Steep hillside worries uphill neighbor

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: A shrub-covered bank at least two stories high separates my home from my neighbor's. Apparently the property line is near the top of the bank. Which owner is responsible for damages if there's a landslide? Is either responsible for putting in a retaining wall? I think the other house will soon be torn down and replaced. I'm concerned about what could happen then to the hillside.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Neighbor to neighbor |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 22, 2008 11:48 AM

Mortgage woes?

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Any readers have recent stories to tell about new mortgages or refinances either being easy to get or hard to come by? Anyone encountering any surprises in qualifying for a loan or closing a purchase because of lending issues?

I'd like to hear from you.

Comments | Category: Other |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 20, 2008 5:33 PM

Messy homeowner has neighbors up in arms

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: Most of our neighbors in Brier keep their houses up. The exception is the family next door. Their yard is full of junk, their front porch is falling down, they're raising chickens under a tarp in their backyard (the smell is horrendous) and rats from their yard come into ours. Several neighbors have tried talking to this family and been met with hostility. What are our options?

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Neighbor to neighbor |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 19, 2008 4:09 PM

Tenant violates lease; landlord in quandry

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: We own a small apartment building in Seattle. Our lease requires quiet hours after 10:30 p.m. and bans renters and their guests from smoking anywhere on the property. One tenant is breaking the rules by holding loud parties until 2 a.m. where there's smoking. This tenant refuses to acknowledge other tenants' complaints, and I get stuck in the middle trying to act as mediator. What's the best way to enforce the rules?

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Renting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 14, 2008 9:00 AM

Lack of written payment record worries tenant

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: After more than a decade I'm thinking of moving out of my apartment building, which recently was sold. However I don't have a receipt for the first/last months' rent or the damage deposit. I never had a lease so obviously there's no written record there. The only recorded information I have is in my check register; my bank cannot provide a copy of long-ago checks. Is my check register a sufficient legal document to prove to the new landlord that I paid the last month's rent and deposit?

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Renting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 13, 2008 2:35 PM

Overgrown easement impairs driveway access

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: We have a 15-foot driveway/utility easement with our neighbor. Large trees and bushes in the easement portion of that neighbor's yard are interfering with our ability to use this driveway. The neighbor won't trim them. Can we trim the bushes on the easement to preserve our ability to get to our house?

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Neighbor to neighbor |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 9, 2008 1:00 PM

A time of uncertainty

Posted by Bill Kossen

A constant topic at this week's meeting in Dallas of the National Association of Real Estate Editors has been the volatility of the housing market. Even the experts are in a quandary about what will happen next.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Other |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 9, 2008 12:40 PM

An expert's view of the housing crisis

Posted by Bill Kossen

With the nation in an economic slowdown, if not a recession, what's ahead?

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Other |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 8, 2008 10:00 PM

Seattle's apartment boom expected to cool

Posted by Bill Kossen

Seattle currently is one of the country's top 10 markets for apartment construction, and it's also one of the 10 strongest for apartment demand.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Renting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 8, 2008 9:30 PM

Down-payment assistance controversy

Posted by Bill Kossen

With home sales sluggish, many sellers are contributing cash toward the buyer's down payment as a way to land a sale. That's a win-win, right?

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Buying or selling a home |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 8, 2008 8:50 PM

Home sales to pick up, slowly

Posted by Bill Kossen

The sluggishness of early 2008 home sales should abate later in the year as mortgages become somewhat easier to get, Charles McMillan, president-elect of the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Buying or selling a home |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 7, 2008 3:00 PM

Renter fears pot-growing neighbor

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: How can I get out of my apartment lease? The people living in the unit next door were growing pot, and just a few days ago someone shot four bullets into their door. The police were called and I ended up talking to them in the parking lot at 1 a.m. The situation is really scary. What can I do?

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Renting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 6, 2008 4:15 PM

Homeowner wants house demolished

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: We need to tear down our house in Kirkland. Do you know of anyone or any organization that will do this at no or low cost?

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Other |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 1, 2008 9:30 AM

Homeowner worried about stability of WaMu mortgage

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: I have 10 years left on 15-year fixed-rate mortgage with Washington Mutual. With WaMu having financial difficulties, should I consider refinancing with another company?

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Other |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

Recent entries

May 28, 08 - 12:03 PM
Novice landlord needs advice

May 27, 08 - 11:37 AM
Steep hillside worries uphill neighbor

May 22, 08 - 11:48 AM
Mortgage woes?

May 20, 08 - 05:33 PM
Messy homeowner has neighbors up in arms

May 19, 08 - 04:09 PM
Tenant violates lease; landlord in quandry

Advertising

Marketplace

Advertising

Advertising

Categories
Calendar

February

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Browse the archives

October 2008

September 2008

August 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008