Seattle Property Management
Buying Seattle Investment Real Estate – Seattle Rentals
SJA Property Management, a leading Seattle property management company, shares important details for those considering investing in rental property within Seattle’s Puget Sound area. There is no safer, long-term investment than rental properties in neighborhoods around Seattle than multi-family real estate rental properties, including duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, townhouses, apartments, and condominiums. The same can be said for Seattle area single-family rental property investments. Still, the quality of the real estate investment will be dictated by the neighborhood and various other factors. Even in the middle of the worst economic conditions of our lifetime, rental property rents are increasing, and occupancy rates are meager. While the stock market and other, more traditional, investments fluctuate based on factors that are generally out of our control, multi-family real estate investment properties are much more stable, understandable, and, therefore, controllable. If you own a well-maintained rental property in a decent neighborhood, there is no reason for your asset to underperform financially. Our philosophy at SJA for Seattle property management is that there is no excuse for a vacancy – ever. By limiting vacancy and reducing your rental property-related expenses, SJA Property Management can help maximize our clients’ returns. We believe that multi-family real estate in the Seattle area is an excellent consideration by those owning or considering making rental property investments in Puget Sound.
Buying Seattle Rental Property – What to Consider
Once you have made the decision to invest in Seattle rental properties you must first consider where you are going to buy, how much to spend and what type of property to purchase. Whether you want to invest in Seattle or other Puget Sound area, SJA Property Management can help. We are commercial and residential real estate experts and a leading Seattle property management company.
Where to buy in Seattle
Seattle is a large city with many suburbs and neighborhoods. The general rule is that the closer you get to downtown Seattle, the higher the rents are. Higher rents, however, do not necessarily equate to a property being a great investment. High rents may mean high vacancy and a corresponding high purchase price. When considering an investment property in the Seattle area, leading Seattle property management company, SJA Property Management, generally recommends buying an investment property in proven (in terms of real estate investment) neighborhoods such as Ballard or Magnolia where a good balance is struck between the purchase price, rents, and vacancy factors. We are also bullish on up-and-coming cities like Bothell which, while not technically in Seattle, is only a short commute to downtown Seattle.
How much should I expect to invest in a rental property?
The answer to this question will depend on several factors including the amount of money you have for a down payment, the money you have in reserve to cover unforeseen repairs and improvements, and the return and/or cash flow you want or need. If you have little money on hand or in reserves you are not necessarily precluded from investing in real estate, you just must put in more effort to uncover the deals. There is still plenty of bank-owned, foreclosed, and for sale by owner deals out there which can have lower prices and more flexible terms than your standard deal.
If you have cash in hand and would rather not spend your time finding the diamond in the rough, then you are in a good position. Currently, standard investment property financing will require a 20% down payment. So, on a $400,000 investment, you will need to come to the table with $80,000. You may be able to find financing with a lower down payment, but 20% is a good rule of thumb. A recent search of duplex listings in Seattle shows the range in listing price going from $146,300 to $5,060,000. The lower-priced listings are, as you would imagine, not in the best parts of town but, on the positive side, are at a price point where the average investor will not be excluded.
SJA and our Seattle property management team prides themselves on finding an investment property that is a good fit, both financially and otherwise, for our clients. Investing in property does not need to be a financial “stretch”. If you cannot invest and feel comfortable with your initial investment and the long-term potential, then you are better off putting your money elsewhere.
Should I hire a property manager or manage the property myself?
Once you have purchased the rental property you will then need to decide whether you will manage the property yourself or hire a professional Seattle property management company. The answer lies in personal preference, budget, the amount of time a person has to dedicate him or herself to the issues that may arise, and a person’s aversion to risk. A professional property management company like SJA Property Management can relieve a rental property owner of all aspects of managing a property. Tenant screening, lease preparation, and signing, rent collection, maintenance handling are just a few of the property management-related issues that are routinely handled by a professional property management company. For the sake of saving money, it may appear to make sense to manage your own property. Most people find that the trouble is just not worth the extra money for Seattle property rentals. The aggressive marketing campaigns which are implemented by professional property management companies will likely result in your rental property being rented out more quickly than if you attempt to handle it yourself. So the money you think you are saving may be eaten up in one month of unnecessary vacancy.
Seattle is unique and, from a property owner or manager’s standpoint, more difficult to manage as the city has passed a tenant-friendly set of laws called the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance. The Just Cause Eviction Ordinance gives tenants many rights that they do not have in other cities in Washington State. If you plan on managing your own property you should make yourself intimately aware of the provisions of this ordinance as the risks and costs related to non-compliance are substantial. Our goal is to help you avoid all unnecessary Seattle property management fees.
SJA Property Management understands that many of you, for financial or other reasons, will decide to manage your Seattle rental property on your own. If you are managing your own property and issues arise that you are not sure how to handle, please call us. Our team of skilled Seattle property managers will be more than happy to consult with you, free of charge, on whatever property management-related issue you are dealing with. Our reputation is backed by our Seattle property management reviews, so don’t be afraid to contact us! We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, our contact page of our property management website, or simply call us at 425-658-1920.