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0 comments on “6 Benefits of Small House Living”

6 Benefits of Small House Living

When I first moved into a bigger apartment, I was really surprised that I missed my first TINY apartment…a lot! Not because it was my first place, but because it was so easy and fast to clean! (I could vacuum it with a hand-vac, ha!). Plus I had a place for everything and everything was in its place; it was my perfect little dollhouse.

Although I’m older now and in a not-too-huge house of my own, there’s much to be said about small-home living. Here are just a few benefits:

1. Gain TIME – It’s easier and faster to maintain.

A bigger house has more nooks and crannies to gather dirt and dust and STUFF that gathers its own dirt and dust. Having a small home allows you to keep it super clean and tidy with minimal time and effort, freeing your time for what you really want to do: gardening, biking, spending time with friends, studying, crafting, traveling, you name it.

2. A small house is less expensive.

It isn’t just the purchase price that’s less, but also the heating and cooling bills, maintenance costs, insurance, and taxes. That adds up! What are some goals you have that could be met faster if you didn’t have such a huge mortgage or maintenance costs?

3. Closeness encourages closeness.

You can’t help but be close to people you’re literally close to! You’ll never regret spending dinner with your kids and spouse close together at a table talking and enjoying a meal. In a 3,000 SF house, it’s easy for one person to spend it playing games downstairs while another spends it watching a movie upstairs. Where’s the connection there? When you’re together, you can’t help but to start chatting, sharing, or just enjoying each other’s company in silence (my favorite, haha!).

4. Easier to sell later.

Smaller homes are in more demand than big expensive ones because a wider range of folks can afford them – Generation Z just starting out, empty nesters, first-time homebuyers at any age, middle income families, and just plain frugal folks (that’s me). You’ll really appreciate the fast sell when you need to relocate to another state for a job or family. OR, keep it as a rental. Smaller homes make great rentals. Plus because your mortgage is smaller, the going rental rate is likely enough for your renter to cover all of it PLUS enough to put aside for repairs and maintenance. That’s a great way to build real estate equity for free!

5. Less likely to accumulate clutter.  

For me, physical clutter is mental clutter. Living in a small home means one is more likely to give away stuff that’s no longer needed but useful to another.

6. Reduced commute.

Houses in the city cost more but they’re also closer to work for many. What does a reduced commute mean to you? Maybe more time with the spouse and kids? More time to get to the gym? More time to work on your side gig? Less irritation with traffic? Decide on being content with a smaller home and you’ll get closer to the city and perhaps closer to some of your time management and financial goals.

0 comments on “Free Community Cleanups for Pierce County Residents”

Free Community Cleanups for Pierce County Residents

This is an awesome service if you live in Pierce County for cleaning up your property and neighborhood free of charge! Check out the link below for dates, times, and more information on what to bring (and what not to bring) for donation and recycling:

https://www.piercecountywa.gov/4392/Community-Cleanups

0 comments on “Seattle Fees Going Up for Landlords”

Seattle Fees Going Up for Landlords

Rental Registration and Inspection Fees

Beginning in 2019, all rental properties located within the City of Seattle will be required to renew their rental registration license. We recently learned the city is proposing drastic changes to the fee and licensing requirements. The below information is proposed and any changes must be approved by the city council.

First, the city is proposing to amend the renewal cycle to a once every two year renewal. Previously, the program required renewal once every five years.

Second, the city proposes changing the fee schedule to “create a more equitable fee structure” and to “better align fees with the work performed.” In 2014, rental properties were charged $175 per building plus $2 for each additional unit in the rental property. For a 100 unit property, the cost was $373 for five years.

The city is proposing to increase the fee to $70 per building and $15 for each additional unit. The proposed increase would require a $1,610 license every two years in a 100 unit building.

Additional changes are being proposed and include new fees. We are assessing opportunities to engage members of the Seattle City Council to further discuss this proposal.

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– Courtesy of WMFHA
Washington Multi-Family Housing Association

0 comments on “Puget Sound Energy: Pipeline Rupture!”

Puget Sound Energy: Pipeline Rupture!

PSE News Update

A pipeline rupture near Prince George, British Columbia has disrupted natural gas flow from Canada, creating a major disruption of gas supply to the Pacific Northwest, including Puget Sound Energy. At present, there is no estimated time for return to service. This incident could affect PSE’s ability to supply natural gas to customers’ homes and businesses. Although PSE’s supply of gas has been impacted, there is no damage to the PSE gas system or safety hazard to our customers from the pipeline failure in Canada.

PSE is asking customers to help conserve natural gas and electricity. Customers can set their thermostats at a lower setting and limit the use of hot water, such as dishwashing or clothes washing, and other natural gas and electric appliances through Wednesday.

PSE is doing all we can to maintain our natural gas system operations, and we’ll provide updates as we learn more from our supplier. For electric generation, PSE is switching natural gas generators to alternative fuels.

0 comments on “Your Rights as a Property Owner and the Seattle Waterfront LID”

Your Rights as a Property Owner and the Seattle Waterfront LID

seattle_waterfront

The City of Seattle is in the process of creating a special tax assessment property owners as part of its Waterfront Seattle project. Known as a Local Improvement District (LID), the tax would apply to commercial and residential properties in the 98101, 98104, 98164, and 98122 zip codes. The purpose of the LID is to pay for improvements to the waterfront after the removal of the Viaduct, including a $110 million bridge.

The City is seeking $200 million from property owners in the LID area to pay for certain improvements to the Waterfront. Some owners will pay as much as $8 million in additional property tax associated with the LID. In 2013, the City of Seattle budgeted the entire project to cost $700 million. Now with a shortage of labor, and increased cost of raw materials, it is anticipated the cost will soar well above this $700 million marker.

The city has estimated the special benefit and formulated a preliminary assessment of each residential and commercial property in the LID area. Undeveloped or under-construction properties have a much smaller special benefit.

Many concerned property owners have been meeting for the past two years to find common ground, alternative funding opportunities, and reduction of the overall LID. Though this group has made progress in negotiating a reasonable agreement with the Mayor’s office, the City Council can do what they wish with any agreement, or create their own path.

Property owners have many concerns about this project, including its budget, the opportunity for the city to levy a supplemental assessment if (when) the project exceeds its budget, on-going operations, and maintenance funding, and safety. Property owners along the waterfront have fallen victim to years of construction disruption because of the seawall replacement, Colman Dock renovation and more. More importantly, there is a strong possibility the tax-hungry City Council could see the Local Improvement Districts as an opportunity to fund pet projects across the city.

Challenging a special benefit and preliminary assessment can be difficult, because the special benefit is, simply put, “voodoo economics.” However, if owners of 60% of the value of the special assessment (in this case $120 million) “protest” the formation of the LID, the LID fails and the special assessment is defeated. This is a property owner’s strongest tool to take a stand against ever-increasing property taxes and paying for something in which you may not receive a special benefit as a property owner. The “protest” is a simple letter, sent to the City of Seattle’s Clerk. Protests can be sent immediately. Protests are revocable but must be resubmitted within 30 days after the creation of the LID. It is anticipated that the Council will vote on the formation of the LID on October 8

Please forward this email to the owners of your properties in the affected area to consider whether they may be affected but this supplemental tax assessment and wish to file a protest. Please contact Brett Waller at brett@wmfha.org or (425) 656-9077 with any questions.

– courtesy of WMFHA (Washington Multi-Family Housing Association)