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Pets…..Why Niche Realty Associates Recommends You Allow Them In Your Rental

Because 75% of tenants in the Seattle real estate market have a pet, Niche Realty Associates, www.nicherealtyassoc.com, encourages property owners to allow pets. Of course, always have a Pet Addendum that clearly spells out pet expectations, pet rent, and reparations for damage.

Let’s talk about the pros and five cons of renting to tenants with pets…..

Pros of Pet-Friendly Property Management

Since we constantly hear about all of the problems animals cause for landlords, you may not be as familiar with the benefits of allowing your tenants to have pets.

Here are six good reasons to allow pets on your property:

Larger Prospective Tenant Pool: Firepaw.org states that almost 50% of renters own a pet (this percentage is 75% in the Seattle rental market). Therefore, if you make your property pet-friendly tenant as you will have a larger group to choose from.

Pet Owners Make More Money: According to Practical Apartment Management, by Edward N Kelly, 65% of pet owners earn over $50,000 a year. You should run a credit check to help determine if this money will go toward paying the rent.

Longer Tenancy: Pet owners typically stay in a rental longer because it can be harder for them to find other pet-friendly options.

Responsible Pet Owners Are Responsible Tenants: If someone is mature enough to take good care of an animal, there is a good chance they will treat your property with the same respect.

Charge Higher Rent: Look around your area. If there are not a lot of pet-friendly properties, tenants will have fewer options, and you may be able to charge slightly higher rents if you allow pets due to the increased demand.

Happier Tenants: Animals can help reduce stress. Having a pet around can make your property feel more like a home for the tenant.

Cons of a Pet-Friendly Property Management

You are probably more familiar with reasons not to allow your tenants to have pets.

Four of the most common problems pets cause are:

Damage to Your Property: Animals can scratch the floors, chew up carpets and have accidents on the carpets or wood floors.

Disturbing Neighbors: Dogs barking, birds squawking, and four-legged animals running around the apartment can disturb other tenants in the property, as well as outside neighbors.

Liability: There is a risk of the animal biting other tenants or neighbors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that dogs bite 4.7 million people a year, with 800,000 of those needing medical attention.

Pet Odors: Accidents inside the unit or in the building common areas will cause odor.

Follow the Fair Housing Laws

Yes, there is a Fair Housing Law regarding pets. Even if you have a no pet policy, you cannot violate the housing rights for the disabled who require an animal for their well-being. You can ask for a note from their physician verifying their need for an assistance animal.

The definition of “disabled” is broadening every day. Service dogs for the blind or paralyzed used to be the norm. This law has now expanded to allow animals for groups such as the clinically depressed and those with post-traumatic stress because the animals can provide emotional support.

Check Your Insurance Coverage and Liability for Animals

Consequently, You will want to check your insurance policy to find out what type of coverage you have if you decide to have a pet-friendly property. Make sure you know the amount of liability coverage your policy includes. Ask your insurance company if there are any limitations or exclusions to this coverage, such as if they have a list of dog breeds they consider to be “dangerous breeds,” which will not be covered under the policy.

Include Your Pet Policy in Your Lease

You should include a pet addendum in your lease and require every tenant to sign it. This policy should clearly state your pet policy (whether or not you allow animals) and your expectations of the pet owner. Make it clear that by signing the lease, the tenant agrees to these terms and if they violate these terms, it will be considered a breach of contract.

The decision to make your property pet-friendly is not one that should be taken lightly. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of allowing pets so you can decide what is right for you and your property. Remember to adhere to the Fair Housing Laws and to adopt the same policies for all tenants so you will not be accused of discrimination.

Welcome to Beautiful Seattle and the Pacific Northwest!

Whether you are making the first move into your new home or you figure that you already know the ins and outs of navigating a new place, it’s always a good idea to have a reference list handy when planning out your agenda. Moving may often seem like a hassle, but it doesn’t always have to be. Knowing which relocation resources are at your disposal is the first step to making a smooth move! From your old place to the move on the road, and finally to your destination, we’ve mapped out a few handy things to take note of to ensure that your relocation runs issue-free.

 Research and Planning

There are so many resources available for finding the best new place to call home, so don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed! By using a multi-step process to find a space that will meet your criteria, it shouldn’t be difficult in the beginning to narrow down the general area, then neighborhood you’d be interested in according to your needs.

Pick Out and Prioritize Your Parameters
It can be hard finding the perfect place that fits your budget and other needs, but it makes it easier when choosing which factors matter most to you, then ranking them by importance. This might include the cost of living, employment, amenities, crime rates and school rates, weather, and whether your assumed area lies in an urban, suburban, or rural area. Here are a few internet resources that may be helpful:

http://www.seattleschools.org/

http://pugetsoundindependentschools.org/

http://www.seattlearchdiocese.org/schools/

Finding the Right Fit
Once you’ve found these key pieces of information, it’s time to dig a bit deeper. Finding and joining Facebook groups or forums belonging to your choice area, as well as searching government and city websites will give you a general idea of how good of a fit the community you are joining will be for you. Feel free to reach out to realtors in the area for advice and resources. Chances are that they’ll know the area you are researching inside and out and can act as a valuable resource. Here are a few internet resources that may be of help:

https://www.seattlechamber.com/

http://www.shorelinewa.gov/

http://www.edmondswa.gov/

https://www.bellevuewa.gov/

http://www.kirklandwa.gov/

Research your Resources
For some, convenience is key. It helps to know the grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and other places that you may frequent in your new neighborhood.

Making the Move

Choosing the right moving company to fit your needs will give you the peace of mind that your valuables will arrive safely, on time, and in good condition – within the budget, you planned for. There are several factors that go into selecting your preferred service. If you’re moving into a small town or county, many go local and opt for family run moving services. In bigger cities, there are several nationally established and trusted movers that will easily do the job with the track record to prove it. These include:

http://www.professionalseattlemovers.com/

http://super-friends-moving.com/

http://www.ecomoversmoving.com/

https://www.uhaul.com/

https://www.bekinsmovingandstorage.com

Budgeting Your Time

Uneven leasing periods, multiple moves, or scheduling conflicts often create unprecedented stress when things don’t go as planned. It’s always helpful to have a storage space service in mind to give yourself time to sort out the nitty-gritty. Some storage companies make it easy to pay with online billing and other options, so be sure to look into what would be most convenient for filling in any gaps. This way, your most valuable things that are too big to haul around, like furniture, will be kept safe and sound. A few reliant storage companies include:

https://www.publicstorage.com/washington

https://www.urbanstorage.com/self-storage/wa/seattle/urban-storage-capitol-hill/

https://www.urbanstorage.com/self-storage/wa/seattle/magnolia-bridge-self-storage/

http://greenwoodheatedstorage.com/

Settling In

It’s always a good idea to do a bit of research beforehand to know how to best acclimate to your surroundings. Taking a look at the different neighborhoods in the area, the education system, schools, and nearby shops and stores is a great way to strategize what things to bring or leave behind. Reach out to family or friends in the area and browse the city or county website to get a glimpse of the new life you’ll have once relocated.

Adjusting to a new environment can be daunting, but you can feel like you’re part of the community by subscribing to your local newspapers or magazines – even without having moved in yet. While you might not be able to get it to your doorstep just yet, keeping up with community news is a great way to see what is happening at a glance! Mark in any fun events, sales, or exhibits that you don’t want to miss on your calendar, so you have things to look forward to when you arrive.

https://www.seattletimes.com/

http://www.shorelineareanews.com/

http://www.bellevuereporter.com/

http://myedmondsnews.com/

Queen Anne – A Prestigious Seattle Neighborhood

A Little History on this Great Neighborhood

 Originally called Eden Hill, this neighborhood was one of the last to be completely developed because, well, it’s steep. As you can imagine, the base was the first to be built upon, but nobody really wanted to deal with trekking up to its top to build a home. In fact, land developers tried a “two-for-one” deal, where you could get two plots of land for the price of one if you built a house immediately. Can you imagine something like that happening today?! Once the issue of roads and transportation was solved, however, the area quickly populated. Sadly, no queen ever lived here. So many built Queen Anne style houses, the entire neighborhood adopted the name.

Well, it depends where you are on the Hill. Lower Queen Anne backs up to the Seattle Center (which includes the Space Needle, Key Arena, Science Center, etc.) and is close to all that downtown has to offer. East and West Queen Anne, which meet in the middle at the top of the hill, are both great residential areas that share a common business district along Queen Anne Avenue. North Queen Anne, which faces Fremont, is home to Seattle Pacific University and has a quieter feel.

Depending on who you ask, Lower Queen Anne may or may not include the Seattle Center, but let’s pretend for a moment that it does. In that case, there are about a gazillion events and attractions to keep you busy—BumbershootFolk LifeIMAX theaterChildren’s TheaterKey Arena (Rat City Rollergirls, or Seattle Storm anyone?), the Bite of Seattle, etc. etc. etc. Even if you eliminate that area, there are still tons of cool local restaurants and bars: Uptown EspressoOzzie’s Karaoke BarPeso’s, and Buckley’s sports-themed bar. Don’t even get me started! If this neighborhood had a central nervous system, Queen Anne Avenue would be the spinal cord; it runs straight through the middle and is where most of the important stuff happens. Up at the top of the hill, there are about 10 blocks’ worth of unique and charming places to peruse. Though there are great places to nosh—El Diablo (ask for your latte Cuban-style, with caramelized sugar), the famous How to Cook a Wolf, or the down-home 5 Spot with their rotating menu—there are many other things to do! Check out the stellar view of downtown Seattle and Mount Rainier from Kerry Park. Or relax and play a board game before you buy it at Blue Highway Games, where the motto is “Unplug and Reconnect.” Love it!

Niche Realty Associates are experts in Seattle residential property management.  If you own a home that you’d like to rent or if you’re new to the area and would like to live in Queen Anne (or any of the wonderful neighborhoods Seattle has to offer) please contact us at (206)483-7788.

Allow Us To Lease Your Rental Property

Niche Realty Associates is one of Seattle’s preeminent property management firms.  With over twenty five years of management experience, we are here to help you get the most rent for your home while thoroughly screening and acquiring only the best tenants.  Take the hassle out of finding and screening good tenants but letting Niche Realty Associates property managers do the hard work for you.

We’d love to put one of these signs in your yard!

Seattle Property Management

Tips for Selecting a Property Manager

How do you balance the stress of renting out a property with the monetary benefits associated with property ownership? Seattle property management may be the answer. If you’re interested in having someone else manage your Seattle rental housing, here are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting a property manager.

  1. Make Sure You Understand the Fees

If a property manager tries to get you to sign a contract before you fully understand the monthly fees, run the other way. The best property management companies will always make sure the management fees are clearly disclosed before any contract is agreed upon.

  1. Ask About the Applicant Screening Process

The best property managers screen applicants and perform background checks to help protect your investment. Screening applicants can also lengthen periods of residency so you don’t have to worry about finding new residents for your property as frequently.

  1. Look for Managers That Collect Rent

Collecting rent is one of the most stressful aspects of owning a rental property. The best property managers will relieve this burden from your shoulders by offering rent collection services.

Protect Your Investment

Hiring a property management company is a good investment, especially if you don’t have the time and resources to manage the property on your own. Niche Realty Associates can help protect your Seattle real estate investments and perform time-consuming services like rental collection and applicant screening. To learn more, please contact us at 206-483-7788 or fill out our online form.

Updates to Make Your Rental Property Shine

 

12 Rental Property Improvements You Can Make for Under $500

1. Paint

You may not be able to paint a whole house for $500, but you can enhance key rooms and create accent walls. Trending colors this year may include grays, beiges, greens, and pinks.

2. Change Out Flooring

The same applies to flooring. In cheap rentals, you may be able to use vinyl or focus on small, key areas of flooring. Putting new flooring in small entry areas and bathrooms or replacing the carpet in that one ugly bedroom could make a big difference in renting quickly and for more money.

3. Patch the Roof

Roof leaks can cause major havoc with rentals. They can quickly deteriorate your asset, cause ballooning repair bills, add to the maintenance interaction burden with tenants, and can lead to damage of renter belongings, which you may be on the hook for. In many cases you don’t need a new roof, just patches.

10 Landscaping Tips for the Family-Friendly Home

4. Add Smart Home Tech

Add some trendy new tech to make renters feel great about their choice. That could be smart locks or smart thermostats, better wifi, or new Google Home devices.

5. Bring in a Bar

You may be able to expand countertops or bring in a standalone bar, which really adds to the excitement and emotional appeal of a place.

6. Resurface Cabinets

Replacing kitchen and bathroom cabinets can be expensive and a lot of work. Instead, look at options for resurfacing existing ones.

7. Add a Backsplash

Kitchen backsplashes can make a massive difference in the appeal and perceived value of a home.

8. Consider Flex Office Space

Working from home is fast becoming the new norm. Many remote workers soon find that working from the sofa isn’t as effective as they expected. You may not want to reduce bedroom counts by turning one into a home office. However, you may be able to create some flex space with a cabinet, pantry, or Murphy bed that enables quick changes between daily living space and the office.

work-from-home

9. Finish the Garage

Finished garage spaces add a big “wow” factor and more value. Even on a tight budget, you may be able to finish walls, add flooring, install storage, or put in office furniture.

10. Replace Hardware

Replacing front door and cabinet hardware can have one of the best returns of any home improvement.

11. Stage the Home

Staging can be powerful for marketing rentals. You can do this virtually for less than $500—or bring in some extra furniture or rented furniture temporarily.

12. Replace Appliances

Appliances are a big deal to renters. Replace microwaves or dishwashers that are broken, consider adding a washer-dryer, or lease new appliances as a staging move. You can choose whether or not to include the appliances for the duration of the lease.

Niche Realty Associates is Opening Doors for You!

Welcome to our brand new website!

Calling all investors, home owners, renters, movers and shakers……Niche Realty Associates is a full-service real estate company in Seattle, WA.  Although the business is new, our associates have over 25 years of real estate experience.  We are taking all the best practices we’ve learned over the years and applying them to our own real estate firm to provide THE BEST service in town!  Sales, property management or relocation services we handle it all seamlessly.  Our firm specializes in the Seattle Metro area as well as south Snohomish County.

More blogging to come.  Stay tuned!