Profile picture for Nrdalert

Realistic Expectations - home purchase in Seattle

I have lived in Seattle for 10 years always rented. Am now in a position where I am making enough to save for a down payment, but will not be able to afford a home above 300k. That's being generous. My ideal situation is to buy a small bungalow(700 sq ft to 1100sgft) that needs work and build into it over time. I do not need granite/stainless/upscale, just good bones.
Looking into 203k mortgages, first time homebuyer, etc. but still the outlook is murky to say the least. What options do I have? I am paying mortgage level rents and sick of having my life dictated by rules of other ( no pets, no paint), but feel as though there aren't many places available to update. What is realistic here? 
 
 
 

 
  • June 22 - Seattle
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (14)

An agent should be willing to give 110% to find you the home that will suit your needs financially.  There are options available to you and I'd recommend talking to a licensed realtor.  If you need further assistance, feel free to contact me.
  • July 13
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Greetings,

I would not get too caught up by the why it has not sold.  There's no telling what any seller might accept, it's very obvious that this house is not priced very well in this market or it would have been sold. There are too many factors to assume or list why a property is listed at a certain price. A general rule of real estate is that it will sell at the right price.  

Most major rehab projects are avoided by home-buyers (especially in neighborhoods like this one: highly desirable at higher price points and larger homes) because they do not feel comfortable with doing the work.  Builders/flippers are looking for projects that meet a certain level of return on investment (within a certain amount of time) and if they believe a project does not have it they will not spend the time doing the work.

It is a puzzle but there are many resources available that can help you along the way.  A good agent can help you get more information, understand the process, put you in touch with good professionals and help you make your plan.  A good mortgage lender can help you understand the process and finances as well.

All the best and please follow up with any additional questions or interests.  
  • June 25
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for user9595408
Good to know about the lot information.  That was one thing I was wondering about/ planning on doing at some point. So I guess that makes sense as to why it hasn't sold yet. 

I'm glad I asked. Sounds like I have more homework to do, first of which is finding out realistically what I can afford and going from there.  Sounds like there are options, but it's a bit of a puzzle to put together.
  • June 25
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Greetings, 

What you've laid out is a great plan for you to, over time, get the perfect house for you.  A 203K can help you get the house fixed up, you can even use it to buy appliances and finishings.  Then you can work on bigger projects like designing additions, landscaping, etc... You definitely want to make sure that you find the right house that you can grow into. 

Here is a link to the Seattle Department of Planning and Development that has a lot of great information on single family houses.  As you can see in the case of this particular house there may be a good opportunity to build additions to the house.  This house is zoned SF5000 and the lot is less than 5000sqft.  Which means that you can have up to 50% lot covered by a house.  There are restrictions to the dimensions related to the front, rear and side.

You want to make sure that you have done the right due diligence if this is the plan for you.  Please continue to ask questions and I'm very happy to answer them.  This sounds like an exciting housing endeavor for you.  Given the large geographical range that you could buy there are a lot of potential opportunities even currently on the market.  I wish you all the best.
  • June 24
  • 3Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Yes, that is a fixer, and it has some real challenges, which is probably why it hasn't sold yet. One issue is that there's a limit to how much you can expand upon a house on a small lot, and the other, of course, is the cost of rehabbing and the value afterwards.

Every property does have its price, however!
  • June 23
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Have you thought about a duplex? Live in one half, rent out the other. I believe that a portion of the rent will be considered in the total loan you qualify for. Your "half" of the property may be larger than what you could get if going the single family route. Something to discuss with your loan officer and your realtor.
  • June 23
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Nrdalert
643008

Hi everyone! Thank you for the responses and recommendations. I'll definitely look into this. As an example of what I think a fixer upper would be is MLS#643008. I would use the 203k loan to get it to a fairly livable condition, then put some sweat equity into it. Neighborhood is important, but I am willing to look in "up and coming" areas to start my real estate journey and am focused on south of mountlake terrace north of White Center. 

Sounds like I need to do some realtor interviews? Or brokers? I really appreciate the info.
  • June 23
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

The first step is talk to a loan officer about your situation and at that time you will be able to go over several scenarios.  Once it is determined that you are able to afford a home, going through a pre-approval process would be worth going through so that when you do go out an look for a home, you are ready to compete in this competitive market.  Look up Connie Uy Ly here on zillow she has great experience in the Seattle area.
  • June 23
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Greetings,

First off, congratulations on beginning your move to transition toward buying a home.  To get right to it the other responses are spot on.  A 203K rehab loan will help you only in the short term (max ~6 months to complete repairs) and the amount will roll over into your principle mortgage loan.  This can be a really helpful way to get into a house that you can afford.

If the downpayment is a challenge to afford a higher price point you can receive a family gift that can be put toward your down payment.  If a gift is not an option for you then you will most probably have to have a broad search area (south of I90 and north of n90th st, the east side will be tough too).  Condoes can be priced lower but the Home Owner Dues can push the monthly payment way up to be comparable to a more expensive house.  Also extensive renovations on condoes and even townhouses are pretty limiting. 

There are other factors though, if you're just looking for a 1 bedroom house there are a few on the market right now.  So you're best bet is to talk to a lender (local lenders are great for putting together a plan) and get your financial options laid out (this can be a very quick process) and then talk to a local broker about your goals and start looking.  Please don't hesitate to ask any follow up questions. 

  All the best!
  • June 23
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

It depends on where. North of I-90, almost certainly not.

Rehab loans aren't going to allow you to "build into it over time," they have hard and fast deadlines and expect the work to be done very quickly.

But, you CAN do it, and Eagle is a good company, so talk to Dave and see where your finances are, and he can probably help you get started on a good path!

You can do it!
  • June 22
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for daveskow
1) become  pre approved  for the maximum you are comfortable with  ( in order to make sure you can get financing  if and when you need it )…I can assist  with this  if you haven't already done this 
2) contact a local realtor  to see what  type of homes  that 300K can buy in king county   ( likely not much in king county nut  likely some options in  north and south areas of county )
3) be prepared  to make an offer on a property should you locate one 
4) investigate the  fha 203K option  with a lender  to learn  how this works and would look 


thanks 
  • June 22
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for nwhome.us
:)

It depends entirely on the level of your expectations!

I have clients (looking for 6 months) who can't find anything at $800,000 and clients who find a home (listed at $200,000) in just 2 days.

What are the current boundaries of your search?
  • June 22
  • 2Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for wetdawgs
Seattle is a competitive market at the moment.   There are a few small homes less than $300,000 within Seattle boundaries (e.g. this link)  and more if you go outside Seattle north, south or east.  

Because of the competition, you need to have your finances in strong shape with an excellent down payment and a strong pre-approval (not a random unknown internet player, but a lender well known in the area).

here's a link to Zillow's buyer's guide - very useful to describe the process from start to finish.



  • June 22
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Steve Rizika
Good Morning:

It really will depend on your location requirements. There will be neighborhoods where you will be priced out, and plenty of other quality neighborhoods where you will be able to find what you are looking for

I know I sound like a broken record, but you should really find a real estate broker that understands your needs, has the time/desire to work with you, and connects with you.  We can help you find the right financing, act as a knowledgeable sounding board, and be a central clearing house for the resources to help you find the best financing scenario--there are programs out there too numerous to list here.  We really do much more than just "sell."

Our services are free and carry no obligation. We will also let you know if home ownership is just not possible at this moment and what you can do over the next months to get there.  Persistence and Patience does pay off!

In any case, any broker on this forum would be happy to chat with you including myself. 
  • June 22
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.