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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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July 31, 2008 7:30 AM

The case of the missing agent

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: I found my real-estate agent through a Web site. Now that we've found a house and I've signed a contract with the seller, my agent is ignoring my e-mails and phone calls regarding follow-up details. Who should I contact if I still cannot find her?

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

July 28, 2008 3:40 PM

Upset condo owner searches for a higher power

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: Is there a public ethics agency where a condominium homeowner may file a complaint concerning an autocratic homeowner board president and a property manager where they conspired to recall two homeowner board members who did not agree with the property manager's proposed annual budget?
A civil suit cannot be considered since homeowners' funds would be used to defend the case. (The Washington Real Estate Commission was contacted without success.)

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Comments | Category: Condos and condo associations |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

July 24, 2008 8:00 AM

Too many sellers, too much competition, vex home seller

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: I'm retired and must sell my home and move to a warmer climate for health reasons. But my real-estate agent says the market is slow because there are so many for-sale homes. He says many owners don't really need to sell. This is making it hard for those of us who do. What can be done to discourage these sellers?

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July 23, 2008 7:30 AM

When former condo board members won't let go

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: Our condo's former board of directors made questionable decisions regarding very serious financial matters. The new board is trying to recover from this matter, but some now-former board members won't let go. Their demands are constant. How can we get this situation under control?

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Comments | Category: Condos and condo associations |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

July 17, 2008 7:30 AM

Unsuccessful house seller considers trading homes instead

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: We've relocated to Seattle, but have had no success selling our two waterfront houses near Houston. Is it reasonable to try to trade them instead for a home in Seattle?

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

July 16, 2008 7:30 AM

Why didn't PMI save lenders?

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: I keep reading about the subprime mortgage meltdown, the subsequent foreclosures and lenders going out of business. I thought that private mortgage insurance (PMI) was supposed to protect lenders when borrowers defaulted. Why hasn't it?

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

July 10, 2008 7:00 AM

Contractor's damage has neighbor fuming

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: The contractor building town houses next door has undermined and damaged our fence. I've called and written to him twice. No response. How can I prevail upon him to restore our fence to its previous condition?

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

July 9, 2008 7:00 AM

Issues plague lease-option to buy home

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: After we signed a lease-option agreement to buy a house we discovered the seller never obtained a permit to add a third bedroom and that room's construction is so poor a wall moves when pushed. We're afraid this could doom an inspection and sale. Do we have any options other than walking away?

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

July 2, 2008 1:00 PM

What happens when a condo has no board of directors?

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: Our condo complex is having difficulty getting volunteers. What happens if no one takes on board responsibilities? Do we have a property management company take over, and if so what are the ramifications?

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Comments | Category: Condos and condo associations |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

July 1, 2008 12:15 PM

Change in building height worries homeowner

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: The city of Anacortes wants to rezone my neighborhood to lower the maximum building height from 35 to 25 feet. Is there any precedence in Washington for this type of action where current zoning law has been in effect for 30 years and changes would benefit one group -- owners who currently have a view -- at the expense of those who planned to build above 25 feet to get a view but would now be prohibited from doing so? Are these property owners entitled to compensation for loss of property value? Is this zoning change considered a form of eminent domain, or is it just a use of "police power?"

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Comments | Category: Home improvement |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

Recent entries

Jul 31, 08 - 07:30 AM
The case of the missing agent

Jul 28, 08 - 03:40 PM
Upset condo owner searches for a higher power

Jul 24, 08 - 08:00 AM
Too many sellers, too much competition, vex home seller

Jul 23, 08 - 07:30 AM
When former condo board members won't let go

Jul 17, 08 - 07:30 AM
Unsuccessful house seller considers trading homes instead

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