Backyard Cottages In Seattle

I wrote a blog earlier about Backyard Cottages in Seattle or Detatched Dwelling Units.  Since then, I’ve had numerous questions about them. 

Whether you are considering a Backyard Cottage on your at least 4,000 square foot lot as a rental property, for an elderly family member, or a grown child you need to know the max square footage the structure can be is 800 sq ft.  This includes any carport, attached garage, or storage. 

You can decide to go through a contractor and architect or get a panelized or modular fabricated design.  Fabricated is the fastest, and designed much like building blocks.  Panelized takes a little more time and can be more customized.  

It’s no secret adding a Backyard Cottage on your property can add extra monthly income.  However there are some costs involved.  Here is a link to a handy worksheet that breaks down Hard Costs and Soft Costs.  Example of a Hard Cost is demolition or site preparation.  A Soft Cost is a mortgage, or fees for utility hookups.  Which aren’t cheap, by the way!  Seattle City Light  recommends separate electricity meters.  This will save you way more money in the long run.

Make sure you save room for a parking space for your Backyard Cottage – this is a requirement!

For more information regarding Backyard Cottages and self help steps to diagrams, permits, and more – this site wins, hands down.

Check back frequently to www.cooperjacobs.com for our Backyard Cottage listings in Seattle City Limits.

Queen Anne Real Estate Update Halfway through 2010

Queen Anne real estate has been pretty busy this year so far!

There have been some Queen Anne short sales and Queen Anne foreclosures, but thankfully for  the most part they aren’t affecting our market as much as other Seattle neighborhoods are seeing an impact.

Single family Queen Anne residential sales – Queen Anne homes in this category: there are currently 87 Queen Anne homes for sale (excluding floating homes in Westlake) ranging from $289,950 to $7,200,000.  The median price of a Queen Anne home for sale in the Seattle MLS right now is $769,950 and average dollar per square foot is $317.13.  Interesting homes of note to me in this batch is the hugely remodeled Fred Betts House at 700 W Kinnear which you can view in it’s earlier state while being lived in by Mr. Betts here.  The other real beauty is at 120 Prospect St – it reminds me so much of the Ballard Mansion!  It is a gorgeous classical Georgian Colonial and right in the heart of the Southeast Slope and only a block and a half east of Queen Anne Ave. right before Prospect curves up into Bigelow.

Queen Anne Mansions & Queen Anne Boulevard – a couple notes: I love Queen Anne mansions and homes on Queen Anne Boulevard are unique to other Queen Anne homes in a couple different ways.  Queen Anne Boulevard is a trail that covers many streets as it circles the picturesque crown of beautiful Queen Anne.  Many of the homes that align Queen Anne Boulevard appear to have large yards, but the fact of that matter is that in some cases unsuspecting buyers (and agents for that matter) have purchased (or sold) a home on Queen Anne Boulevard only to find out that the new buyers do not actually own a large portion of the front yard.

Queen Anne Boulevard is part of the parks system and the land surrounding much of it is also public land. This was not a pleasant surprise I am sure for someone buying on the Boulevard and finding a jogger or walker resting in their flower bed, but the Boulevard has great benefits, too – think of it as living front row to one of Seattle’s great trail systems or living along the crown jewel of the neighborhood of Queen Anne.

Pending Queen Anne Homes for sale in The MLS: There are a few categories of Pending in the NWMLS so I will go over each.  Pending Inspection is just how it sounds and there are 9 Queen Anne homes under contract ranging from $359,950 to $1,180,000 with a median price of $529,500 and an average days on market of 93.  Pending BU is a status that is for homes pending and waiting to close, but for some reason the owner or agent is asking for a back up.  This does not always mean that there is trouble with the first deal.   In some cases it is a tactic of the listing agent to attract more potential buyers to sell other homes to (sorry I call it how it is since I have seen this first hand a few times while selling a particular property.).  There are 2 Pending BU Queen Anne homes on the market in the low $400k range.  The other homes that are pending are just waiting to close – they have gone through any potential inspections, etc.   These range in price from $299,000 to $2,495,000 with a median price of $744,500 and average days on market of 37 days.

Sold Queen Anne Real estate in the MLS: These are Queen Anne sold homes in the last 30 days out of the NWMLS and compiled as they are above by me.   Twelve Queen Anne homes for sale in the MLS have sold in the last 30 days – these are single family homes and do not include Queen Anne co-ops and condos.   These sold homes which have closed in escrow range in sales price from $472,500 to $1,515,000 with a median sales price of $777,500.  They wer eon the market an average of 74 days with a low of 4 and high of 211.

Let us know if you need help buying or selling Queen Anne real estate.  We are happy to help you get your Queen Anne home ready for the market so that it will be included in these sales numbers in the future:)  As you can see from the numbers above, Queen Anne homes for sale come in all ranges and there is no clear trend as to what is selling except for price , condition, marketing, and presentation.  Contact us here: Queen Anne Realtors

Queen Anne Top Selling Home Improvements On A Budget

Top 5 Selling Improvements On A Budget: You should know putting a new roof or stainless steel appliances in the kitchen won’t necessarily sell your home faster and you definitely won’t recoup the cost.

So what does help improve our home when it’s up for sale that won’t cost an arm and a leg?

Number 1:  CLEAN UP.  I mean take your home to the next level.  Hire a pro and give it a deep cleaning.  Remember how great it looks and smells afterwards?  Keep that up with a weekly clean (either you or a pro) and it will really pay off with first impressions.  Also make small repairs, ie: broken outlets, door latches, flaws that the buyer views as signs of deeper problems.

Number 2:  STORE YOUR CLUTTER.  $100 a month for a storage unit (or a good friend or relative’s use of their garage) to store those holiday decorations, extra kitchen pots and pans, arts and crafts, and extra clothes in the closets.  It will make your house look bigger, brighter, and more valuable.

Number 3:  TIDY THE YARD.  Again, first impressions and curb appeal.  It’s not necessary to uproot the junipers and jack hammer the cement pathway.  Simple put color spots or planters in empty places, rip out any weeds and mow any grass.

Number 4:  PAINT.  Interior and exterior.  It’s likely to cost less for you to do it before selling.  You’ll recoup more in the long run.

Number 5: REPLACE HARDWARE:  Instead of remodeling that kitchen, just paint cupboards and pick out new hardware.

For most, the value added is a mere fraction of the cost.  So it’s in your best interest to do these small steps above by honing in on attention to detail for a greater return.