Gerhard Ade covers Real Estate around Seattle and more.
For the past five years, Gerhard Ade has published the "View from the Street" a monthly newsletter he writes for his clients and friends. Appearing at the end of each month, Gerhard covers not only real estate but other topics that are close to his mind and heart. To reach a broader audience, Gerhard posts each newsletter on ReSeattle.com. Don't miss what Gerhard has to say and subscribe to his "View from the Street" right here!
Every home inspection reveals a surprise or two or many more.
The home inspection is part of almost every purchase and sale agreement. In a hot sellers’ market, some buyers forgo the inspection to make their offers more attractive. It’s a risky move in most instances and should only be used as a tool of last resort.
Home inspection is a broad topic. Today, I will concentrate on the general inspection and touch briefly on special inspections. The discussion of pre-inspection and seller inspection will have to wait for another day. I’ve written about inspections in my May 2011 newsletter. Perhaps it was the catchy title: Oh Rats, I didn’t know that.[Read more…] about Home Inspection: buyer beware!
Stay Home, Stay Healthy: Modifications for Real Estate Industry
Until today, real estate was considered a non-essential business under the governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. Today, common sense prevailed. Under certain circumstances, real estate is back in business. Specifically, agents can show homes in Washington by appointment to their buying clients. However, only two people can be inside the home at one time.
For example, your agent can show you this home now by appointment and then follow all these rules.[Read more…] about Show homes in Washington
Multigenerational living increases affordability
If you thought this was about the proverbial millennial still living in the parents’ basement you are wrong. That’s unplanned multigenerational living. I’m talking about homes that are intentionally designed or remodeled to accommodate two parties to live together under one roof. The two parties could be parents, with or without children, and their parents and/or grandparents. The two parties could also be unrelated.
Not enough homes
There is a shortage of homes in the Seattle area. There are not enough new homes being built. Most importantly, what is available is often not affordable. Multigenerational living arrangements are one way to address this issue. Others are traditional subletting and joining the Airbnb community. I will focus here on multigenerational living.
What are the features of a multigenerational home?
What makes a home multigenerational? In some instances, all that is needed is an additional bathroom located on the same level as the already available spare bedroom. At other times, an extra room such as a home office or rec room can be converted into a bedroom on the same level where a bathroom already exists. I should emphasize that ideally, these room additions should all be on the ground level.
A special scenario for creating an additional and separate living space is offered by split-level style homes. This may explain the new interest in this formerly unpopular building style.
A sure way to improve the value of your home
Adding another bedroom and/or bathroom with the idea of accommodating a separate entity is the surest way to improve the value of your home. I know from experience. One example was a home I listed in the Northgate neighborhood of Seattle. The owners had done a magnificent job of updating the home over the years and asked me if there was anything else they could or should do. Since there was a full bath on the first floor connected to a spare playroom I suggested converting that room into a small bedroom by adding a closet.
It works in the city.
What I had in mind was to make this already extraordinary 4-bedroom home even more attractive to buyers who would greatly value this ground floor feature. We were thinking of families who were accustomed to having the grandparents stay full or part-time to watch their grandchildren. I hasten to add that I never discriminate in my line of work and that a single man or woman would have been just as welcome to buy this home. As it happened, the buyer who purchased the home did so in no small part based on that one-room conversion.
It works in the country.
When something works, try it again. Here too, the homeowner had done everything to make the home as presentable as possible. I noticed a spare room with no door next to the downstairs bathroom. All we had to do was adding a door. Now we were able to list the Redmond Ridge suburban home as having five bedrooms. We received and accepted a very good offer on the day of the listing. The buyer had been waiting for a home to come on the market in the neighborhood. The family needed that extra bedroom on the ground level and they were able to live were people with similar preferences already lived.
But it may not please city hall.
When a split-level home, owned by one of my clients burned and needed to be rebuilt from the ground up, making the daylight basement separate living quarters seemed like the natural thing to do. Wrong! The city inspector would not permit a kitchen. While there was a second kitchen in that space before the fire, Bothell authorities disallowed the second kitchen arguing that the home would no longer qualify as a single-family residence! In light of the Seattle area housing shortage, this seemed rather odd. Also, some recently proposed and controversial Washington State legislation runs counter to this decision.
It will work in Newcastle.
Yesterday, I put a new home on the market. The MLS calls it a “2-story with basement.” I call it a home run. The Newcastle home was built in 2010 and was meant and permitted to have a downstairs build-out as separate living quarters with bed, closet, bath, living space, kitchen, and even laundry facilities. Alas, the plumbing and suitable electrical connection are all there but the build-out somehow never happened.
Our staging of the home showed the potential of the basement. All the buyer has to do, is add a wall to separate the bedroom with its closet from the living area, and a small kitchen. To illustrate the kitchen we used virtual staging. The listing went live yesterday at 5 pm. At 7 pm I received a text message from a real estate agent asking about the finish of the basement. He added, “I have buyers that need separate living space for their parents.”
That didn’t take long.
Could it work for you?
Whether you are looking to buy a multigenerational home or have a home to sell that may appeal to a certain buyer, don’t hesitate to contact me.
First published by Gerhard as his February 2020 View from the Street Newsletter.
So, you want to sell this home?
So, you want to sell this home? One of the keys to the exchange of real properties is how the deed is conveyed by the seller to the buyer. While the following examples deal with specific circumstances, understanding the broader principle of real property transfer will be beneficial to anyone.
Selling your Parents’ Home?
Taking care of an elderly parent often includes the sale of their home. Sometimes, that sale takes place after the parents have passed away. In both scenarios title and deed issues take center stage.
If the parent or parents are still alive and hold title to the property, the home can only be sold by a child or other relative who has power of attorney to do so. In the case of a living parent, there are two powers of attorney that make this possible:
- Specific Power of Attorney (for the property in question)
- Durable Power of Attorney (but it must include language regarding sale of real property)
To be valid, both of these Powers of Attorney must be recorded with the respective county.
In both cases, the listing agreement will show the name of the living parent(s) name(s) as the owner(s) and the signature of the authorized individual followed by “A.I.F.” which means “Attorney In Fact.” All offers and addenda follow this model of identifying the seller as the person who holds title to the property and the signatures/initials of the person acting as the A.I.F.
To have legal standing, getting a legal description from the title company is essential for all listings and transactions. In these scenarios, it is doubly so.[Read more…] about Wait, you can’t sell this home! It may not be yours.