Zillow Advice RSS: Question-Discussion-Guide,Investing,WA http://www.zillow.com/advice/WA/home-buying-investing/question-discussion-guide/ Zillow Advice search results | Zillow Real Estate Minimum lot size to build a home at 4548 NE Totten Rd. http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Minimum-lot-size-to-build-a-home-at-4548-NE-Totten-Rd/551545/ Facts say lot is 2.4 acres,my understanding is lot minimum is 2.5 acres. Is there a grandfather clause for an existing mobile home?<br \><br \>0 replies Sun, 27 Jul 2014 02:46:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Minimum-lot-size-to-build-a-home-at-4548-NE-Totten-Rd/551545/ 2014-07-27T02:46:00Z down payment financing http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/down-payment-financing/541882/ I want to buy a house and don't have the down payment. I've asked a family member to go in with me. We've agreed on them paying the full down payment and i'll live in the house and make all mortgage/operating expenses. They'll have a room in the house for when their in town, which isn't often. (10 days a year). &nbsp;We've agreed that the no one can force the sale of the house for 2 years but after that if either party wants out we can sell or refinance. In return for the down payment at closing each party will get all the cash they put in the house including home improvements and any principle paid down. After all expenses are paid we will split all profits 50/50. I know that i'll be doing most of the home improvements since my family member doesn't &nbsp;live in-town but I get to treat the house as my own and make all the decisions on the property.&nbsp;<br/>Should i do this deal?<br \><br \>3 replies Wed, 21 May 2014 18:11:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/down-payment-financing/541882/ 2014-05-21T18:11:00Z Advice on building on inherited land. (L2 Zoning, 11, 200 sqft) - North Seattle http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Advice-on-building-on-inherited-land-L2-Zoning-11-200-sqft-North-Seattle/539169/ Hi everyone, My dad owns a small apartment building (4-plex) in North Seattle. The building is roughly 50 years old and doesn't bring in enough rent to cover expenses. There's a lot of unused land on the property and as a result the property taxes have more than doubled in the past 6 years. The value of the property is in the land.<br/><br/>We're contemplating building on the land, whether it's to tear down the existing structure and build anew (9 units) or build an additional multi-unit (5 units?) in the unused land. It is currently zoned as L2. I have almost zero knowledge about construction (Residential or otherwise). I guess I am trying to figure out how to even get started. a few questions<br/><br/>1. Is there a consultant or general contractor I can speak to get some idea around this? If so, any recommendations?<br/>2. Is the current zoning written in stone? is it possible to get the property rezoned to allow for the construction of more units? say L3?<br/>3. Is there a "for dummies" guide of some kind I can use for a project like this?<br \><br \>7 replies Sun, 04 May 2014 01:47:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Advice-on-building-on-inherited-land-L2-Zoning-11-200-sqft-North-Seattle/539169/ 2014-05-04T01:47:00Z Looking into investing in a du/triplex with not much credit established. Can father cosign? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Looking-into-investing-in-a-du-triplex-with-not-much-credit-established-Can-father-cosign/530908/ I'm quite young and really interested in investing. I've already put some money into non high risk stock, started a Roth IRA, and have been reading books about investing in real estate (in specific, I want to invest in a du or triplex, do some cosmetic repairs myself, increase rent and live in one and rent out the other(s). I'm not terribly concerned about down payment. But since I am so young and am not financially established, I think the chances of getting a loan are zilch. If my father cosigned, what would this mean for him in terms of finances, profit (if any), legality, etc? Thanks!<br/>(Also not looking for advice from established "adults" about how to use my money. Please just answer my questions. Thank you:)<br \><br \>8 replies Tue, 04 Mar 2014 19:05:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Looking-into-investing-in-a-du-triplex-with-not-much-credit-established-Can-father-cosign/530908/ 2014-03-04T19:05:00Z Is it a horrible idea to cash out an IRA for a down payment. Not a first time buyer http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Is-it-a-horrible-idea-to-cash-out-an-IRA-for-a-down-payment-Not-a-first-time-buyer/531958/ 5 replies Wed, 12 Mar 2014 05:44:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Is-it-a-horrible-idea-to-cash-out-an-IRA-for-a-down-payment-Not-a-first-time-buyer/531958/ 2014-03-12T05:44:00Z Interested in developing a low income mobile home park in Sno Co. http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Interested-in-developing-a-low-income-mobile-home-park-in-Sno-Co/178877/ I have looked at several scenarios: A Mobile home park makes the most sense from a cost/unit perspective, and ease of construction. I understand there are moratoriums that have been placed on exisitng parks. I'm wondering if a newly developed park could be structured in such a way where this would not be an issue. Need advice on process, zoning, favorable tax scenarios (if any), and drawbacks.<br \><br \>10 replies Thu, 18 Dec 2008 21:41:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Interested-in-developing-a-low-income-mobile-home-park-in-Sno-Co/178877/ 2008-12-18T21:41:00Z Seattle Townhouse vs Condo vs single family value appreciation http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Seattle-Townhouse-vs-Condo-vs-single-family-value-appreciation/502266/ Hi,<br/>Looking to understand in general what type of properties appreciate faster in value. How does the resale value of a townhouse compare to a single family home and a condo.I am currently in the market for a home and am looking to compare the above three types from a a pure resale value perspective.<br/><br/>I am currently looking for a townhouse in the Fremont, Queen Anne and Capitol Hill neighborhoods<br/><br/>Thank you<br \><br \>7 replies Wed, 17 Jul 2013 00:17:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Seattle-Townhouse-vs-Condo-vs-single-family-value-appreciation/502266/ 2013-07-17T00:17:00Z New to real estate looking for agent http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/New-to-real-estate-looking-for-agent/529714/ My goal is to get started rehabbing and selling homes and I am looking for an agent that can help me find, purchase, and sell properties. As I am just starting off I have limited cash for the area, but can secure financing without trouble, thus would need to start off with the less expensive areas.<br/><br/>I am looking for someone who is:<br/>* Proactive and immediately sends leads my way<br/>* Patient and eager to show many homes<br/>* Experienced finding homes beyond the MLS<br/>* Willing to help me find the right neighborhood and well-versed in those areas<br/>* Available on short notice to jump on leads<br/>* Comfortable presenting low-ball offers<br/>* Top-seller so we can get our properties sold quickly and for top dollar<br/><br/>Personal experience flipping properties is a plus.<br \><br \>5 replies Mon, 24 Feb 2014 05:15:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/New-to-real-estate-looking-for-agent/529714/ 2014-02-24T05:15:00Z Is this a good time to buy a condo for rental in the Seattle area? what area? I can afford $200K http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Is-this-a-good-time-to-buy-a-condo-for-rental-in-the-Seattle-area-what-area-I-can-afford-200K/492731/ I am interested in investing in real state in the seattle area. A condo seems to be a good option and I will be able to afford about $200K. What areas should I consider?<br \><br \>8 replies Fri, 17 May 2013 03:03:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Is-this-a-good-time-to-buy-a-condo-for-rental-in-the-Seattle-area-what-area-I-can-afford-200K/492731/ 2013-05-17T03:03:00Z How do you determine price per square foot? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-determine-price-per-square-foot/451288/ Hello,<br/><br/>Just curious on how you calculate the value of a home? I noticed the square foot value for a small spec home next to ours is $144 a foot and ours is $117. Our home is a cutome with top of the line mill work, granties, and appliances and the spec home is made of basic entry level materials with no upgrades. Thanks<br \><br \>10 replies Mon, 16 Jul 2012 23:18:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-determine-price-per-square-foot/451288/ 2012-07-16T23:18:00Z Foreign investor http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Foreign-investor/427462/ <div style="text-align: right;">I am a foreign investor looking to buy US property as an investment and would like to help on where to start. Some background - my budget is around US$200k and would likely pay cash for it. Seattle is a city I'm familiar with, so this is where I plan to start looking but am open to other options too.<br/><br/>These are some queries I have and would appreciate it if anyone could shed some light<br/>1. I'm thinking of incorporating a company, would it be preferable if it is a US LLC or an LLC incorporated in my home country?<br/>2. How long does the whole process take? I would likely to be able to stay for only 7-10 days and I know the closing process takes much longer. How would it work for foreign investors?<br/>3. How can I manage the property from afar? If I mandated a firm to manage my property how much would it cost?<br/>4. Would it be easier to buy a condo rather than a house? Are there restrictions against foreign corporations buying condos?&nbsp;<br/><br/>Many thanks</div><br \><br \>6 replies Tue, 03 Jan 2012 07:25:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Foreign-investor/427462/ 2012-01-03T07:25:00Z What is needed to change a duplex to a triplex? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/What-is-needed-to-change-a-duplex-to-a-triplex/501809/ I'm looking at a duplex right now. Rental on 1st and 2nd floor. There is a high ceiling unfinished basement that has a outside entrance and is plumbed. I would like to purchase this and live in the basement and remodel it. When I'm finished I might like to move out and buy a single family house. The property is in Seattle and zoned LR2. I don't know much about duplexes and I wanted to know what it takes to get the property re-designated to triplex once I'm finished and want to move out so I can legally rent the basement as well. I did some online research on the matter but I'm coming up short. Any help appreciated, thanks!<br \><br \>2 replies Sun, 14 Jul 2013 02:31:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/What-is-needed-to-change-a-duplex-to-a-triplex/501809/ 2013-07-14T02:31:00Z Are prices still rising in Seattle http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Are-prices-still-rising-in-Seattle/501498/ After price increases earlier in the year and now big interest rate increases - are prices still going up and competition going strong?&nbsp; Any sign of weakness?<br \><br \>4 replies Fri, 12 Jul 2013 03:50:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Are-prices-still-rising-in-Seattle/501498/ 2013-07-12T03:50:00Z My neighbour started to build a house identical of mine. http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/My-neighbour-started-to-build-a-house-identical-of-mine/500395/ My neighbour started to build a house identical of mine, with the same plan floor and same elevation.<br/>He is using the same contract builder that I used to build mine.<br/>Is the contract builder allowed to sell 2 houses exactly the same, side sy side?<br/>After my neighbour's house is completed, would the value of my property decrease?<br/>Thank you.<br/>Joe.<br \><br \>5 replies Fri, 05 Jul 2013 07:53:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/My-neighbour-started-to-build-a-house-identical-of-mine/500395/ 2013-07-05T07:53:00Z Should I purchase a Primary Residence or another Investment Property & Rent? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Should-I-purchase-a-Primary-Residence-or-another-Investment-Property-Rent/489004/ I purchased my first home 2 years ago in Bellingham, WA. The beginning of this year I was promoted and moved to Seattle for my new position. More about the house in&nbsp;Bellingham,&nbsp;it was a fixer short sale. We spent a little over 15k and did all the work ourselves. The home was purchased using a VA loan at a rate of 3.99%. Its currently rented for $1600 + utils, which is a net profit of over 25% - (minus any fixes for the month). I'm not in love with the houses in Seattle because you can't get much of a garage or yard unless you spend a ton of money or move really far out of town. Right now I'm living downtown and its easy to get to work and any ammenitie. My better half suggested we just purchase another rental property in Bellingham because we're planning to move back one day anyways. I told her this would only be difficult because we couldn't live in it for a year to fix problems and also pay a lower down. Whats everyones opinion on this. I see a few options:<br/><br/>(1) Buy a PR house in&nbsp;Sea (possibly rent or sell it when moving back)<br/><br/>(2) Buy a PR house in Sea (live in for a year or so and rent it out to establish rental income if the market is good)<br/><br/>(3) Rent in Seattle, Buy a I/P in Bellingham, fix stuff on the weekends and rent it out.<br/><br/>(4) Rent in Sea, refi Bellingham home to 15 year.<br/><br/>Ultimately our goals are to invest for retirement and financial stability. The rental market in Bellingham is good and so is Seattles. I'm just not sure where to go. The houses prices in Seattle are 200% higher than Bellinghams for the same house with less land. Thanks for any advice.<br \><br \>6 replies Mon, 22 Apr 2013 17:07:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Should-I-purchase-a-Primary-Residence-or-another-Investment-Property-Rent/489004/ 2013-04-22T17:07:00Z Where do I find the Zillow mortgage calculator for ROI on investment properties http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Where-do-I-find-the-Zillow-mortgage-calculator-for-ROI-on-investment-properties/489080/ 1 reply Tue, 23 Apr 2013 00:16:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Where-do-I-find-the-Zillow-mortgage-calculator-for-ROI-on-investment-properties/489080/ 2013-04-23T00:16:00Z For a new owner-occupied 2-4plex, how is rental income utilized with FHA for DTI? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/For-a-new-owner-occupied-2-4plex-how-is-rental-income-utilized-with-FHA-for-DTI/477467/ We are looking to buy a MF property (2-4plex) in the Seattle area. &nbsp;We are expecting 3.5% down, FHA. &nbsp;We own and are self-managing landlords of our first home out of state, it has negative cashflow of ~$50/month, -$451/month when following the 75% income rule.<br/><br/>Here's the question: &nbsp;I am told buy our LO that he can count 75% of the new (expected) rental income for any lease that is signed and lasts at least 12 months past the closing date. &nbsp;He says that this 75% figure is lumped in with our 'income' in the DTI ratios. &nbsp;Effectively, he says we can dedicate about $33 in mortgage for every $100 in rent. &nbsp;The problem is that he didn't do the math like that for our current property, he applied 75% of the income directly against the mortgage. &nbsp;Why the difference?<br/><br/>I've seen it said both ways on various internet pages, so can someone point me to a clear (and current) site from FHA that discusses this?<br/><br/>If we assume a fourplex at $1k/month each and a PITI payment of $3k, using one version of math, this property shows a monthly income of $3000*0.75, or $2,250, cost of $3k, so a net debt of $750/month to be considered against my other income. &nbsp;Using the other version, lets me count $2250 of income in the denominator of my standard DTI ratio with $3000 of cost in the numerator, this would mean ($3000) &nbsp;/ ($2,250+otherIncome), which is going to be a WAY worse DTI.<br/><br/>make sense?<br \><br \>0 replies Wed, 06 Feb 2013 03:36:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/For-a-new-owner-occupied-2-4plex-how-is-rental-income-utilized-with-FHA-for-DTI/477467/ 2013-02-06T03:36:00Z FMV http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/FMV/470314/ 2 replies Tue, 04 Dec 2012 06:49:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/FMV/470314/ 2012-12-04T06:49:00Z what are the top 10-15 real estate markets in puget sound? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/what-are-the-top-10-15-real-estate-markets-in-puget-sound/321772/ I am an investor and I am looking to find the areas in the Puget Sound that have the fewest days on the market.<br \><br \>5 replies Thu, 04 Feb 2010 21:13:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/what-are-the-top-10-15-real-estate-markets-in-puget-sound/321772/ 2010-02-04T21:13:00Z How do you see general Seattle area home values looking in five years? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-see-general-Seattle-area-home-values-looking-in-five-years/417053/ My take is that values will decrease about 5% in '12, be flat in '13, then begin to increase as the economy stabilizes a bit. I anticipate that a home in 2016 would be up about 16% over today's value. What thinkest thou?&nbsp;<br \><br \>4 replies Sun, 25 Sep 2011 23:55:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/How-do-you-see-general-Seattle-area-home-values-looking-in-five-years/417053/ 2011-09-25T23:55:00Z