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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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September 24, 2008 1:23 PM

Just what do condo owners get to vote on?

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: What questions can a condo unit owner vote on other than electing officials? Can we require the right to have a vote or say on issues?

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

September 24, 2008 1:08 PM

Tenant wonders about displaying campaign signs

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: Seattle's Fair Housing Ordinance prohibits discrimination based on political ideology and activity. Does that protect tenants who put political campaign signs in their windows?

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

September 10, 2008 8:00 AM

Dead rats create repair bill headache

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: For almost two years several owners in my condo complex complained about a rat problem in one area of our common space. The association tried to solve it, but I feel there was some stalling on their part. So the problem ballooned into a $7,000 repair bill.

Our bylaws say "the units that benefit from repair or replacement must bear the expense." Shouldn't the entire association -- rather than just those owners most directly affected -- be responsible because the problem wasn't solved in a timely fashion?

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

September 9, 2008 8:15 AM

Ad for "preforeclosure" rental: too good to be true?

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: In searching for a rental, we noticed many houses advertised online are pitching themselves with low rent if you take over the mortgage payments. Is this safe?

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

September 4, 2008 8:15 AM

Failure to disclose leaky basement

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: My home's basement has had two major floods in the five years I've owned it. My real-estate agent and the inspector she recommended never disclosed the house was flood prone. I did notice 2-inch water marks on the doors just after I moved in, but I didn't think anything of them. What are my rights now?

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Comments (0) | Category: Buying or selling a home |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

September 3, 2008 8:30 AM

Seller wonders about need for green card

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: I'm in deep distress on my mortgage and need to sell. I've found buyers from my old country, but they don't have green cards. Do they need to have green cards to buy a house?

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Comments (0) | Category: Buying or selling a home |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

September 2, 2008 7:30 AM

Landlord stalls needed repairs

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: My son rents a house King County. There is a faucet leaking on the outside of the house. The water has begun to seep into one of the basement bedrooms. It is saturating the carpet and the drywall resulting in the growth of mold (or mildew). Also in another basement bedroom there is a door to the outside that is not weathertight. Water runs in under the door. I believe the landlord is required to repair both problems. There are other problems that indicate that there is no interest in maintaining the property. What do you advise?

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

August 29, 2008 7:00 AM

Landlord boyfriend ponders tax issues

Posted by Elizabeth Rhodes

Q: My girlfriend and I are living in the town house I own and she's paying me $500 a month in rent --something less than the going rate in our neighborhood -- plus half the utilities. How do I account for this taxwise?

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

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