Street Cents

John Maynard interviews real estate investor and agent Richard Hagar about the housing market in this commentary, Street Cents.

Erin Hennessey

If you're planning to buy a house this year, closing on the deal will come with some changes.  The two biggies, says Seattle area real estate appraiser Richard Hagar, involve appraisals and the final approval of  your bank loan.

Erin Hennessey

With the economy picking up, housing sales have also been on the rise, including recreational property. Many of those ski chalets and charming cabins often include furniture.

Is it OK to include couches, lamps and things in a sale? Maybe, says Seattle real estate appraiser Richard Hagar, but you need to be careful.

A McLin / flickr

Should you vet a residential appraiser before letting him in the door? That's the question KPLU's John Maynard had.

"Ask questions!" says Richard Hagar, a Seattle-area real estate appraiser and educator. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Want to know the value of a house? There are plenty of online resources to help you find the answer, including popular sites like Zillow. But KPLU's John Maynard wants to know whether online sources for property values are enough to go on.

Richard Hagar

Apartments in the Seattle area are in high demand, but the retail space in many of the new mixed-use complexes are not filling up as fast.

Local appraiser Richard Hagar tells KPLU's John Maynard that there's a surplus of retail space and that's keeping the "for lease" signs up longer on vacant store-front windows.

Interested in buying a home that's on a register of historic places? If so, you could be stepping into a lovely slice of  history, but it's  likely you will be expected to help preserve and maintain it. This goes for stand-alone houses and condos that are part of a historically-significant building.

Erin Hennessey

Say you have out-of-town friends who are moving to Seattle. They want advice on whether to buy a house right away or rent first. What would you say to them? Seattle real estate appraiser Richard Hagar tells KPLU's John Maynard that he would urge them to buy right away.

Joey Cohn

The air above your house could be worth a lot of cash if you have a view that's enjoyed by others in your neighborhood.

If you have a low-lying home that sits on a bank overlooking Puget Sound, for example, chances are the neighbors on the hill behind you may want to pay you to keep you from building up and blocking their view.

Joi

Millennials are the most connected generation in history. In fact, The Pew Research Center calls them "history's 'always connected' generation, treating their handheld devices 'almost like a body part.'"

So when it comes to buying a home, Millennials (those born after 1982) are more likely to do most of their research online as well as communicate electronically. This extends to communicating with real estate agents. But real estate appraiser Richard Hagar says if you're buying a home, "talking" through texting  is useful only up to a certain point.

Ian Britton / freefotouk

Many of us have heard about houses and even hotel rooms that have been used to cook methamphetamine. But most of the time, the pictures of those crime scenes show a rundown house in a rural area or a seedy hotel that few of us would frequent.

Seattle Muicipal Archives

What exactly do our houses sit on? Seattle area real estate appraiser and educator Richard Hagar tells KPLU's John Hagar that it's not uncommon for office buildings and homes to be built on former garbage dumps. 

DoNotLick / flickr

What's ahead for Seattle when it comes to property values and density? Seattle-area real estate appraiser Richard Hagar tell's KPLU's John Maynard that San Francisco may have some of the answers.

vikisuzan / flickr

Stormy weather and high tides may add drama to a waterfront view but they can also lead to major property damage, especially  if your home sits close to the shore.

Fewer parking spaces in Seattle apartments likely to drive up prices

Dec 4, 2012
Erin Hennessey

As Seattle continues to focus on urban density, parking for those living within the urban core is becoming harder to find.

John Picken / flickr

If you buy a house and shortly after moving in you're surprised to find a big crack in the foundation or the septic tank bubbling over, wouldn't your first question be, "Did the seller know about this?" Seattle-area real estate appraiser Richard Hagar says it's bad news all around if problems are not disclosed before the sale. Surprises like this not only mean headaches for the buyer but more times than not they lead to  lawsuits for the seller and his real estate agent. So, what exactly should a seller disclose?

In many American communities, buying a home is now less expensive than renting. And with the economics tilting in favor of homeownership, many first-time buyers are jumping into the market.

After eight years of renting, Kitsy Roberts and her husband, Janko Williams, are practically giddy about their new Seattle home. And like proud parents, they are eager to show it off, from its historic details to its fresh paint.

Kevin Saff / flickr

In these tough economic times, it's always tempting to look for ways to bring in extra income. So how about fixing up your basement so that you can rent it out? It would be nice to have an extra $800.00 or so coming in every month. But are there questions that should be answered before moving forward? 

Loren Owensby / flickr

Remodeling can turn boring into wow but will it add to the value of your home? If your goal is to sell your home at a higher price after you doll it up, it pays to first ask some serious questions about the house, the land  it sits on, and the neighborhood.

As more people move into the Seattle area, the demand for housing goes up. And so does the style of housing with high-rise apartments and condos replacing older, stand alone homes. Real estate appraiser and educator Richard Hagar tells KPLU's John Maynard this trend is expected to continue, thanks to our relatively stable economy and mild weather. Both are factors for people moving here, as are the companies that continue to employ thousands of people such as Amazon and Microsoft.

Houseboats ahoy!

Jul 3, 2012
Courtesy of Cooper Jacobs Seattle Real Estate

There are not many places on the West Coast where you can find house boats. That means the supply is limited so they are usually in high demand. And don't forget the slips for the homes. Those can go for a pretty penny, too. A recent ad in the Seattle property listings featured  a piece of property on Lake Union that's 14 x 30 feet, 35 feet of water, with an asking price of $95,000.

There are apartments and condos. Then there are co-ops.  This type of real estate ownership is pretty common in large East Coast cities such as New York, Philadelphia and Boston, but it's not as common here.

Image courtesy Colliers International

Bored with regular, run of the mill houses? Looking for something unusual? How about buying a fire station or a church for a home? 

Seattle-area real estate appraiser Richard Hagar says although places like this could be fun to live in, banks are usually skittish about loaning money for anything out of the ordinary.

Images_of_Money

Since the 1970s, banks have been required to report any suspicious house purchases to the FBI. Now that mandatory reporting is netting mortgage brokers, too. Seattle area real estate appraiser Richard Hagar says that's a good thing since about 80 percent of home loans go through mortgage brokers. 

The Associated Press

KPLU's  John Maynard posed this question to Seattle-area real estate appraiser, Richard Hager: "If I sold a $2 million dollar house and paid the real estate agent his standard commission, then he'd get $180,000 out of the deal. Is that a negotiable situation?" Hagar's answer?

Adolph B. Rice Studio Collection / Library of Virginia

Is it true that there there's a bank vault out there full of cold, hard cash that's now available to people trying to refinance? That's what KPLU's John Maynard asked Seattle-area real estate appraiser Richard Hagar when he dropped by KPLU's studios recently. Without skipping a beat, Hagar responded:

"The good news is if you've missed some mortgage payments or you were in foreclosure, banks now have more cash available. And they've loosened up the purse strings a bit."

Steve Rhodes / Flikr

When most of us talk about condos, we’re usually referring to buildings with apartment units that are individually owned.  But as real estate appraiser Richard Hagar tells KPLU’s John Maynard, a condominium is technically a type of ownership.

So you can also "condominiumize" other types of property. Hagar says it's a hot trend for investors. 

Condo parking spaces

KPLU's John Maynard bought a condo in 2007 – at the height of the market. He took out an adjustable-rate mortgage that's "adjusting" in June.

That's turned out to be good news for Maynard, who's mortgage payment will go down considerably since interest rates are low right now and expected to be so for quite some time.

Some banks will pay you if you keep your foreclosed house in good condition. That includes things like  mowing your lawn and keeping your toilets and countertops spick and span.

Seattle-area Real Estate Appraiser and educator Richard Hagar tells KPLU's John Maynard that some lenders offer in the neighborhood of $2,000.00 to ex-homeowners  for keeping foreclosed property looking neat and tidy. 

It's a drawn out, frustrating process, but if you're willing to put in the time,  buying a home from a bank can save you a lot of money. Seattle-area real estate appraiser Richard Hagar tells KPLU's John Maynard that while it is mostly investors who seek out these properties, average home buyers can score great deals, too

Great deals on new homes can be found on the plains and near the planes.

That's the word from Seattle-area real estate appraiser Richard Hagar. New developments on the  flatlands of  Quincy, Wash., and the "loud lands" near Sea-Tac Airport are being built and sold at a pretty fast clip. Hagar tells KPLU's John Maynard there are some interesting reasons for that.

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