The Seattle property management team at SJA Property Management has prepared this page for those of us who are contemplating the purchase of an investment property in Seattle, or other Eastside Puget Sound area. The information shared here will also help you to decide whether or not to manage your Seattle area property on your own or hire a professional Seattle property management company. Our goal is to help real estate investors to make an informed decision about purchasing, managing, and leasing their home or other investment property.

Our goal is to provide you with relevant and useful information that will help guide your decision making, without drowning you in data. Everyone’s situations and preferences are slightly different. Quite often the most efficient and effective way to get your questions answered is to talk one-on-one with a Seattle property manager who has years of experience to draw upon. SJA Property Management provides free, no-obligation consultation on any and all matters related to real estate and property management. Please do not hesitate to call us at 425-658-1920 or email info@sjapm.com for your free consultation.

Purchasing Seattle Investment Property – Is it a smart investment?

Investments that are more conventional, such as the stock market, are usually harder to handle due to their irregular nature out of our control. A much more stable, controllable, and coherent investment includes that of multi-family real estate property. Despite going through some of the most unfavorable economic circumstances in recent years, Seattle rentals are relatively stable and occupancy rates remain incredibly low. Since the Great Recession, rent and property values have skyrocketed in Seattle as well as most other areas in the Puget Sound Region.

Despite going through some of the most unfavorable economic circumstances in recent years,
Investments that are more conventional, such as the stock market, are usually harder to handle due to their irregular nature out of our control. A much more stable and controllable investment includes that of multi-family real estate property.

If you obtain a good property you intend to rent out in an adequate neighborhood, your investment should not be underperforming by any standards. A small multifamily real estate property is one of the safest long term investments you can make in the neighborhoods in and around Seattle. Single-family investment properties are also the same, but the quality in that investment is measured more in the location of the neighborhood and a multitude of different factors.

SJA Property Management’s philosophy is that there is never an excuse for a vacancy. We are capable of maximizing our property management clients’ returns and validating the idea that Seattle rentals and real estate investments are the most optimal investments right now. Our effect of reducing property-related expenses and the limitation of vacancies can assure you that a Seattle real estate investment is the right move.

What to Keep in Mind When Purchasing Seattle Investment Property

After you make the commitment to invest in Seattle area real estate, it’s important to consider the specific rental property location. How much should I pay and what type of rental property should I purchase? SJA Property Management is here and willing to help you answer those questions.

Where to buy in Seattle

Seattle is a large cosmopolitan city with many neighborhoods and suburbs. Typically, the closer a property is to the heart of the city, the higher rents and property costs are.

However, this does not mean that these prices mean better returns for Seattle rental property investments. At SJA Property Management, we have seen that in some cases high rent prices can also link to higher vacancies. SJA Property Management does recommend purchasing an investment property in areas that have a history of strong rental property investment opportunities; Ballard, Magnolia, and Fremont are just a few examples. In each of these places, there is a healthy balance between rent, purchase pricing, and factors for the vacancy. We also look at property management opportunities in anticipated Puget Sound neighborhoods outside of Seattle which currently include areas of Bellevue, Redmond, and Kirkland.

How much can someone expect to invest in a good Seattle, Puget Sound rental property?

The amount you spend on your real estate investment will vary depending on a variety of things. What sort of cash flow do you want or need? What is your expected return on investment? How much money will you keep aside to have unexpected repairs and property improvements? How much money do you have for the down payment?

Do not worry if you do not have a lot of money on hand for your new real estate investment. This may mean you have to search a little harder to find the deal for you but there are still plenty of properties that are for sale by the owner, bank owned, or in a state of foreclosure. All of these types of real estate properties can have more flexible terms and lower prices than your standard investment property deal.

Currently, normal investment property financing here in Seattle and much of the rest of the country will require a downpayment of 20%. As an example, you will be required to put down $80,000 on a $400,000 investment. While you possibly can find financing for the purchase of a Seattle area real estate investment with a down payment lower than 20%, it’s typically a good criterion to keep in mind when making the decision to purchase your Seattle or Puget Sound rental property. Having 20% to put down will put you in a good position and also provide a good start on the path to successful Seattle area rental property investing.

Prices for a duplex in Seattle shows a pretty broad range, from just a few hundred thousand to millions of dollars. As you can imagine, the properties at lower prices will likely be in the less desirable areas of town. On the positive side, these listings are at a price point where the average person will not be left out seeking a Seattle area rental property.

It is important to our SJA Seattle property managers that they find a well fit, financially viable investment property. This is a priority for each and every SJA property management client. We take pride in ensuring that investing in a rental property is not a financial stretch. if you do not feel appropriate with the long term investment potential and initial price point, you might be happier putting your money somewhere else.

Is it better to hire a property manager or be my own property manager?

While you can manage a rental property on your own, you may want to take serious consideration about hiring an experienced and local Seattle property management company instead. In making this decision, you will also want to consider personal preference, aversion to risk, budget, how much time you have to dedicate yourself to the issues that may arise with property management, and the endless list of associated landlord responsibilities.

There are a number of aspects to property management; maintenance of the property, screening tenants, preparing leases, and collecting rent are just a few of the issues that come up in property management. All aspects of property management can be taken care of by a professional property management company like us at SJA Property Management, including the unexpected 24/7 landlord responsibilities.

While it is true that you may be able to save money by managing your rental property on your own, you may find that it is just not worth it. As an example, one month of a vacancy in your rental can easily consume any money you saved. A property management company like SJA property management is always ready to aggressively market any rental property that will likely lead your rental property to get rented out more quickly than if you handled it yourself.

A local Seattle property management company will also help you handle unique laws and ordinances. For example, Seattle has passed a collection of laws called the “Just Cause Eviction Ordinance”. These new laws give Seattle tenants many rights they do not possess in other Washington State cities. One of the most important considerations in taking on the role of landlord and property manager is the consideration of the time investment in becoming familiar with the content of the ordinance where your rental property is located. The risks and costs related to violations are substantial and are devastating to your investment.

SJA Property Management recognizes how many Seattle real estate investors will decide to manage their rental property. Please do not be afraid to call us if you need help with any property management issues that you are unable to deal with. Our Seattle property managers and property management team is willing to take care of you free of charge on any kind of property management problem that comes your way. You have a friend in the Seattle real estate space, and we can be reached at info@sjapm.com or 425.658.1920.