Buying A Home In Seattle, Bellevue, Or The Surrounding Area
Using our expertise, professional knowledge, and just plain hard work to help you find the perfect home in the best neighborhood.
Why Use A Realtor
Not every real estate agent or broker is a Realtor. That term and the familiar block "R" logo are trademarked by the National Association of Realtors can legally be used only by those that are Realtor members through their local association of Realtors.
Who Pays For The Realtor
Because of the way commissions are structured in Real Estate, Realtor representation fees are usually paid for by the seller, so you have an opportunity to benefit from using a Realtor without an out-of-pocket expense.
What Does This Mean For You?
While all Realtors are also state-issued licensees as agents or brokers, there's a significant difference between a real estate licensee and a Realtor. Every Realtor takes on an oath to advocate the stringent, enforceable Code of Ethics with Standards of Practice that promote the fair, ethical and honest treatment of all parties involved in a Real Estate transaction. In other words, we've taken on a pledge to look after our clients best interests in every and all negotiations.
What You Can Expect From Us
As your Real Estate team, we'll listen attentively to your needs and suggest neighborhoods and subdivisions most likely to fit them, monitoring the market and informing you immediately of suitable homes as soon as they appear on the market. Once you find a house you believe you can call home, we then work diligently to negotiate and secure your choice.
First Time Home Buyers
The Russell Real Estate Group includes Realtors specializing in helping first-time home buyers thrive in the real estate market, completely dedicated to making the home buying experience, educational, easy, and fun while positioning our buyers to win the home of their dreams.
Investing In Real Estate
Many factors go behind the financial calculations required to qualify a property as an investment. Our experience, market expertise, and knowledge allow for us to correctly and thoughtfully guide you to properties that are a good fit for your budget, timeline, and requirements. Contact us to learn more about how we can impact your Real Estate Investing.
An investor must know the market in which he or she is searching for property in or hire an expert to help.
For investors seeking an income stream from rental properties, the most important aspects to consider are property location and market rental rates.
According to Investopedia, These are the top 10 things you should consider when searching for the right rental property.
- Neighborhood: The quality of the neighborhood in which you buy will influence both the types of tenants you attract and how often you face vacancies. For example, if you buy in an area near a university, the chances are that your pool of potential tenants will be mainly made up of students and that you will face vacancies on a relatively regular basis (during summer, when students tend to return home).
- Property Taxes: Property taxes are not standard across the board and, as an investor planning to make money from rent, you want to be aware of how much you will be losing to taxes. High property taxes may not always be a bad thing if the neighborhood is an excellent place for long-term tenants, but the two do not necessarily go hand in hand. The town's assessment office will have all the tax information on file, or you can talk to homeowners within the community.
- Schools: Your tenants may have or be planning to have children so that they will need a place near a decent school. When you have found a suitable property near a school, you will want to check the quality of the school as this can affect the value of your investment. If the school has a poor reputation, prices will reflect your property's value poorly. Although you will be mostly concerned about the monthly cash flow, the overall value of your rental property comes into play when you eventually sell it.
- Crime: No one wants to live next door to a hot spot for criminal activity. Go to the police or the public library for accurate crime statistics for various neighborhoods, rather than asking the homeowner who is hoping to sell the house to you. Items to look for are vandalism rates, serious crimes, petty crimes and recent activity (growth or slow down). You might also want to ask about the frequency of police presence in your neighborhood.
- Job Market: Locations with growing employment opportunities tend to attract more people – meaning more tenants. To find out how particular area rates, go directly to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics or your local library. If you notice an announcement for a new major company moving to the area, you can rest assured that workers will flock to the area. However, this may cause house prices to react (either negatively or positively) depending on the corporation moving in. The fallback point here is that if you would like the new company in your backyard, your renters probably will too.
- Amenities: Check the potential neighborhood for current or projected parks, malls, gyms, movie theaters, public transport hubs and all the other perks that attract renters. Cities, and sometimes even particular areas of a city, have loads of promotional literature that will give you an idea of where the best blend of public amenities and private property can be found.
- Building Permits and Future Development: The municipal planning department will have information on all the new development that is coming or has been zoned into the area. If there are many new condos, business parks or malls going up in your area, it is probably a good growth area. However, watch out for new developments that could hurt the price of surrounding properties by, for example, causing the loss of an activity-friendly green space. The additional condos and/or new housing could also provide competition for your renters, so be aware of that possibility.
- The number of Listings and Vacancies: If there is an unusually high number of listings for one particular neighborhood, this can either signal a seasonal cycle or a neighborhood that has "gone bad." Make sure you figure out which it is before you buy in. You should also determine whether you can cover for any seasonal fluctuations in vacancies. Similar to listings, the vacancy rates will give you an idea of how successful you will be at attracting tenants. High vacancy rates force landlords to lower rents to snap up tenants. Low vacancy rates allow owners to raise rental rates.
- Rents: Rental income will be the bread and butter of your rental property, so you need to know what the average rent in the area is. If charging the average rent is not going to be enough to cover your mortgage payment, taxes, and other expenses, then you have to keep looking. Be sure to research the area well enough to gauge where the area will be headed in the next five years. If you can afford the area now, but significant improvements are in store and property taxes are expected to increase, then what could be affordable now may mean bankruptcy later.
- Natural Disasters: Insurance is another expense that you will have to subtract from your returns, so it's nice to know just how much you will need to carry. If an area is prone to earthquakes or flooding, paying for the extra insurance can eat away at your rental income.
Every state has good cities, every city has good neighborhoods and every neighborhood has good properties, but it takes a lot of footwork and research to line up all three. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you invest in Real Estate.