Tuesday, November 03, 2009

New Seattle School Maps

Seattle Public Schools has released their recommended attendance maps. These maps show the schools to which students will receive an initial assignment, based on their address. You can look up your school's boundary map here.

For more information about the new Student Enrollment Plan for Seattle Public Schools, you can find the complete plan here.

Backyard Cottages Citywide!

The Seattle City Council unanimously voted yesterday to allow backyard cottages on all eligible lots in the city. The backyard "cottage" was originally restricted to just Southeast Seattle where it was approved in 2006.
Council member Sally Clark said "This is a smart and modest step to create affordable housing options, help someone pay their mortgage, get older on their property, or to make room for a son or daughter moving back home."

The backyard cottages are limited to 800 square feet in size and are prohibited on lots smaller than 4,000 square feet or in a Shoreline District. The owner must live at the property for at least 6 months out of the year. The 5-foot setbacks are still in effect and the total lot coverage of structures is limited to 35%. Also, homes that currently have an attached ADU (accessory dwelling unit) are not eligible for a backyard cottage.

For more information the entire bill can be found here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

More Condos Slated for Auction

Three more Seattle area condominium projects just announced they'll be selling units at an auction on Dec. 5th. Seattle Property Auction will be handling the sale taking place at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Seattle at 1:00pm on December 5th.

The three communities will be available to tour daily from 11am - 5pm starting today until the day before the auction.

Avaview Condominium - 9056 Mary Avenue NW
Six of the eleven 1 & 2 bedroom homes with minimum bids will begin at $150,000.
More Auction Info

Sunrise on the Lake - 13426 Greenwood Avenue N
Sixteen of the thirty-nine homes at Sunrise on the Lake will be up for Auction with minimum bids starting at $125,000.
More Auction Info.

The Summit - 900 Summit Ave E
All 14 homes at this newly remodeled complex in Capital Hill will be up for auction. Mimimun bids for these 1 and 2 bedroom homes will begin at $140,000.
More Auction Info.

*****Again, all three communites are open and available to tour daily from 11am - 5pm starting today through Dec. 4th. The auction is scheduled to take place at 1pm on Saturday, Dec. 5th, 2009 at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Seattle.

More information can be found here: www.SeattlePropertyAuction.com

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Safe Trick-or-Treat in Greenwood

Please come visit us on Halloween (Sat, Oct. 31) from noon until 3pm! We'll be at our Greenwood office handing out treats as part of the neighborhood safe trick-or-treating. We also still have some fantastic art on the walls from Jamie Farage that is available for sale and is very fitting for this time of year! Hope to see you there!

Rockwell Realty
8315 Greenwood Ave N
Sat, Oct. 31st, 12-3pm

Tax Credit Extended! *ALMOST!*

Senators agreed yesterday to extend the popular tax credit giving first-time homebuyers up to $8000. The plan was set to expire at the end of November, but the new proposal will extend it to buyers who are "in written contract" on a home by April 30th, 2010, and they have until June 30th to close the transaction. Now to clear up some confusion, nothing has been signed around yet so it is not quite official even though Senators have agreed.

In addition to first-time homebuyers, the program is now proposed to be opened up to repeat buyers who have owned their home for at least 5 years. The credit would be slightly reduced for repeat buyers at a maximum of $6500.
Opening it up to other buyers besides just first-timers is a great move and will hopefully help to stimulate some other price points a bit.

And just in case you still don't know what all of this is about, here's the cute video again that explains it! Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Viaduct Earthquake Simulation

I find the timing of the release of this video to be a bit questionable. With just a week to go before we go to the polls to cast our votes for Seattle's new mayor, this video might be accused of being political propaganda since the two candidates differ greatly on the big decision of rebuilding the viaduct or replacing it with a massive tunnel.

The general public may also be a bit misled since this video shows a good portion of downtown completely unscathed by such a massive earthquake (with the exception of a few broken windows), which we should all know wouldn't be the exact outcome. I realize the point of the video is to simulate what would happen to the seawall and the viaduct, but if you're not going to accurately depict what would happen to other buildings and areas of downtown that are built on top of "fill", then perhaps they should be left out of the video all together?

I also wonder...how would the proposed tunnel fare in such a quake?

Either way, not something us Seattlelites like to think about! Especially since most of us do NOT have any earthquake insurance! :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Foreclosures by State - Are Things Really Improving?

The Associated Press has released a great interactive map that charts the home foreclosure rate in all 50 states, every month from July 2005 until Sept. 2009. Take a look here.

In looking at this, it makes me question all of the media and hype that keep saying things are back on the upswing. Really? As far as Seattle goes, I feel like we have some specific neighborhoods and price points that are doing well, some multiple offer situations even, but overall I still think we have a long ways to go to be truly "recovered". Although if you look at the breakdown by "city" for Sept. '09, Seattle is faring much better than other major cities at 1 foreclosure for every 799 homes. Vegas on the other hand is 1 in 50, and the median average is 1 in 595 homes for the cities listed.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rockwell Realty is gettin' a new look!

We've been hard at work for the last few months on a new "brand" and identity over here at Rockwell Realty. Thanks to the folks over at Horsepower Design for their patience with us and their creativity helping us come up with a top notch brand!

We'll be unveiling the new look very soon, but just know that when a lot of real estate companies are tightening their belts and cutting back in this tough economy, we are striving to provide the best experience possible for both agents and clients alike.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New FHA Condo Guidelines Delayed

I just received news that the FHA condominium approval changes that was originally scheduled to go into effect on October 1st, but was then delayed to Nov. 7th, has once again been delayed until Dec. 7th?!

The letter from HUD states:

"Implementation of FHA’s new policy guidance for condominium project approval and condo unit financing will be delayed until December 7th 2009. The new guidance, to be issued within the next two weeks, will: 1) offer additional leniencies to address the difficult market conditions and 2) augment some portions of FHA Mortgagee Letter 2009-19, providing additional information and clarification."

This is very good news! It seems someone is finally realizing how these changes have the ability to kill an already struggling condo market.

Hopefully in 2 weeks I will have more details to report! Until then, let's just sit tight and cross our fingers that the changes will help enough! And for at least a little while longer...the "spot approval" still exists!

"Girls on the Run" Needs Running Buddies

Puget Sound's chapter of "Girls on the Run" is looking for volunteers to serve as Running Buddies for this year's 5K.

I'm a volunteer coach at Greenwood Elementary School this year and it is a blast! Please come join us in this year's 5K on Saturday, Dec. 12th -- it's non-competitive and you'll be helping an 8-11 yr old girl learn to live healthy and have a positive self image as she completes her first 5K, and we bet you'll have just a little bit of fun doing it too!

If you'd like to learn more about the program or other volunteer opportunities, please feel free to contact me (Stephanie) or go to the website: www.girlsrun.org

Running Buddies Needed
Fun & Inspiring Volunteer Opportunity!
Girl and her running buddy
Inspire, empower and have fun! Running Buddies are female volunteers who are paired one-on-one with a girl from the program to run/walk with her during the practice 5k and the New Balance Girls on the Run 5k. This volunteer opportunity is a low time commitment and highly rewarding!!! More info and how to sign up is available here.
We are still looking for 13 Running Buddies at the following program sites:
  • Hiawatha Community Center, W. Seattle - 5 spots
  • Old Redmond Schoolhouse, Redmond - 1 spot
  • Pathfinder School, W. Seattle - 6 spots
  • Thorndyke Elementary, Tukwila - 1 spot
New Balance Girls on the Run 5k
Save the Date!

New Balance Girls on the Run 5k LogoSaturday, December 12th 10:00am @ Seward Park
Come out to join GOTRPS for fun-filled community run/walk! This is the graduation event for our fall program participants and is open to community members. Men, women, girls, boys, small children in strollers and dogs on leashes are welcome to participate! For more event info and registration click here.