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Jan. 17, 2014 - What are Clerestory Windows?

Clerestory Windows, pronounced clear-story, are not really a type of window but a position of window. Here in the Seattle Area clerestory windows are often narrow and wide. What actually makes them clerestory windows is not the shape or size of the window, but that they are placed high in the room and usually above the average ceiling height. The roof line is usually raised at that point as well so that the windows bring in additional natural light, but usually someone of average height cannot see into them from outside and from inside all you can see through them is the sky.

Here is an example from a condo I just helped a client sell in Kirkland. The owner had installed blinds over these and there were closed. Usually you would not put blinds on clerestory windows at all, and I had the owner go up and open the blinds that were closed.

Usually best if there are no blinds or window treatments at all on clerestory windows.

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Jan. 11, 2012 - Seattle Real Estate - Final Walk Through

Should the Home Buyer do a Final Walk Through? CAN the buyer do a final walk through? In order to do a Final Walk Through...the home should be EMPTY. Pretty meaningless if the seller's belongings are still in the house.

In the Seattle Area, and most "escrow" states, the Final Walk Through is not as automatic as it may be in "settlement" States. In fact reportedly at least 50% of homebuyers do NOT do a Final Walk Through. A much higher % do a Final Walk Through in non-escrow (Settlement) states.

That is primarily because in a Settlement State, the buyer signs on the day of closing. In an Escrow State like WA and CA, the buyer signs in advance of closing, and sometimes in advance of the seller moving out. And as I said in the beginning of this post, doing a final walk through before the seller moves out is pretty meaningless. Trying to do one while the seller is up to their eyeballs in packing and moving out, is considered pretty darned rude. 

How does that matter? Maybe it shouldn't...but it does. Mostly because the buyer loses their leverage...if indeed they really have any leverage in the first place, once they have signed off on all the paperwork.

Many agents shy away from doing a Final Walk Through because they are concerned about managing the result.

Just because a Buyer can DO a final Walk Through...doesn't mean they can STOP THE CLOSING if they are unhappy about something. Even if the included refrigerator "took a walk on accident", does the buyer have the right to say they are not going to close? Or do they merely have the right to close, and then file a small claims action regarding the missing refrigerator?

One might ask how a refrigerator can be missing "on accident", but it can happen, especially if the sellers have professional movers and are already in their new location. It could be an error of the moving company to have loaded it on to the truck, when they were supposed to leave it in the house.

You should DO a final walk through, especially if the house was furnished when you made an offer and the last time you saw it.

But do wait until it is EMPTY, and don't mistake being able to DO a Final Walk Through...with being able to complain about...most anything...to the point where you think you can refuse to close escrow on the day scheduled, if you are not happy about something.

You usually still have to close...or be in Breach of Contract...and risk losing your Earnest Money deposit, if you refuse to close on the day scheduled in your contract. One exception might be...and I think rightly so...if the seller is still "sleeping in his bed" and hasn't packed or moved out on the day of closing, unless the contract provided for possession to be AFTER closing...which is not recommended, or normally the case.

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Jan. 6, 2012 - How to Choose a Seattle Real Estate Agent - Part 1

How do you select a Real Estate Agent who will add value to your Home Buying or Home Selling process is a question often asked...and rarely answered well. It must never be answered really well...because people keep asking this question. So it goes without saying that they must not be happy with the answers that are available online. :)

In this Part 1 - I will start with a Buyer of a Home.

What is this home "worth". It is important to note that many agents who work primarily with homebuyers or exclusively with home buyers often don't have a clue, because they are always "negotiating" off the List Price.

The List Price having been decided by either the Listing Agent or the Seller of the home.

If the Asking Price is wrong...and you negotiate really well...you still LOSE! 

Move away from an agent who says they are a "great negotiator", but knows didly about how to value a house that doesn't already have an Asking Price attached to it...and they are many.

The Biggest Mistake a Homebuyer makes is that they ask other buyers for a recommendation, or they choose an agent who other buyers said offered a pleasant and happy experience in their Home Buying Process.

The truth is that buyers really like happy...but spending hundreds of thousands of dollars should not feel like a jaunt in the Park...it should give you a massive headache!

IF...you are paying close attention to all of the things you need to know, before spending hundreds of thousands of dollars...it likely will not be fun. Plenty of time for "fun" when you pop the cork in your new home. The process is a huge financial decision...and most fun agent is not likely the best choice in that regard.

Back to the topic. The first step in choosing a Buyer's Agent is to ask them for info on homes they have listed, including the ones they DID NOT sell!

The sign of an agent who can't value a property for you to insure you are not OVER paying for a home is in the Listings they did NOT sell...not in the ones they DID sell. ...and clearly not an agent who never priced a home that has sold.

Almost NO ONE...buyer or seller...asks for a list of homes that the agent listed and did NOT sell. 

WHY? Because the lists of How to Choose an Agent are almost always written...by an agent. Haha...they are not going to list " the criteria of homes NOT sold in their How To Choose an agent.

REMEMBER AND IMPORTANT - I am talking about choosing a Buyer's Agent here. Not a Seller's Agent. What is THIS home worth is more important to a buyer...than to a seller.

If you hear these words from an agent...RUN like the wind! "A house is "worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it".

EXCUSE ME??? That's like saying There's a Sucker Born Every Minute! 

********

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Jan. 5, 2012 - How Much Does It Cost to Buy or Sell a House?

I just wrote a lengthy post on The High Cost of Buying and Selling a Home, and while I apologize for linking to it here, it is something every homebuyer should read before making an offer, and every home seller should read before listing a house.

In fact...before you even buy a house...you should know how much it is going to cost you to sell it later...before you decide to buy a home. It's no Chump Change! It costs a LOT more to sell...than to buy.

http://raincityguide.com/2012/01/05/the-high-cost-of-buying-a-home-selling-a-home/

If you have questions, be sure to ask them over on Rain City Guide vs here on my blog. This blog is really not set up well for comments, and I likely will miss it unless you post it there vs here.

 

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Oct. 26, 2011 - Seattle Starter Home Styles - One Story w/Basement

A One Story with Basement homestyle if fairly typical of many "starter homes" in Seattle. Here is a basic breakdown of one of those homes, and a full post I wrote over on Rain City Guide with some other important tips about understanding this basic home style.

 

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ARDELL DellaLoggia of Sound Realty on Seattle Real Estate process and market including Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond, Green Lake and most areas around the top of Lake Washington North of Downtown Seattle. Phone: 206-910-1000 - Mailto:ARDELLd@gmail.com

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