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. 

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.

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?

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.

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.

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. 

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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