Wednesday News Links

This is an interesting comparison of Seattle’s current density to density of other cities around the world.  It’s a handy reference for trying to imagine what increased density limits for future residential construction in Seattle might look like in practice.

MIT’s Treepedia project lets you compare the relative greenery of different cities, and Seattle is currently ranked at the top of cities they’ve studied.

It looks like Teatro ZinZanni will be closing in March.  If you haven’t gone for this staple of the Seattle entertainment scene, you might want to make that a priority soon.  Otherwise, you’ll have to go down to San Francisco to check them out.

The Creating Homes Seminar is next week.  There are only a few seats left, so if you want to attend, register now.

Upcoming Event: Creating Homes

Whether you’re a polycule, platonic friends, a collaborative family, a married couple taking a unique approach to property ownership, or an extra-terrestrial seeking knowledge of human laws and culture, there is a lot of value in understanding how property and home ownership works, and how you can tailor it to your family’s needs.  This seminar co-taught by Jessica Eanes and Nathan Cliber and full of practical advice tailored to the attendees.

Jessica has been working professionally in real estate for over six years and done a lot of work with non-traditional families, and Nathan is a Seattle-based family law attorney with a focus on alternative family structures.  Both have offered similar seminars in the past, and are super excited to team up for this offering focused on home and property ownership.

The seminar will be happening at Office Nomads on February 1, from 7-9pm.

Registration fees are $40 for individuals or $30/person for groups of two or more attending together.

Housing is a Human Right Panel

Last Thursday evening I braved the (not-yet-existent) snow storm to go to the Housing is a Human Right panel hosted at the Seattle Central Library.  It had a really good mix of panelists; Sandra McNeill from T.R.U.S.T. South LA, Elena Perian from the Benson East Support Group Board (a community in Kent), Andy Reicher from the Urban Homsteading Asstance Board (based in New York), and Wyking Garrett from the Africatown-Central District Preservation & Development Association (in Seattle).  The panel was hosted by Mike O’Brien from the Seattle city Council, and Rebecca Saldaña from Puget Sound Sage.

The discussion gave a really good overview of some of the projects going on in and around Seattle, and putting those in context with approaches finding success in other cities.  With Seattle and King County’s huge homelessness problem, and the difficulty in finding affordable housing (to rent or own) in the city, these are issues I’m particularly interested in.

Unsurprisingly, I found Wyking and Elena’s contributions to the panel the most exciting.  They both shared stories of successes they’ve had with their work so far, and plans for future projects that seem like excellent options to have in Seattle’s housing development mix.  With inventory in the area remaining extremely tight and the natural effects that’s having on the market, it’s great to see efforts targeted toward helping people stay where they are and retain ownership in their communities.  Real estate is all about location, location, location, but healthy, strong communities are a lot of what makes a location.

The even capped off a year of discussion on the “housing is a human right” theme and was recorded for a podcast, so if you’re interested, keep an eye out for that.  I highly recommend it, whether your interest is in housing, models of property ownership, or development in the Puget Sound region.

Reminder: June Home Buyer Education Seminar

We’re just a couple weeks out from this seminar, and advanced registration is very useful.  I’ll go ahead and quote the previous announcement for an updated description.

This is a great class to take, especially for first time home buyers.  It covers a ton of material, including whether you should buy, how to budget, how to get a mortgage, and how to find a house.  The class is free and doesn’t come with any obligations.  I literally will not even send you a “Thanks for coming,” after the class unless you explicitly give me permission to.  This is about giving you information that’ll help you make the right choices for you.

It also meets the education requirement necessary to qualify for WSHFC commission programs.  If you’re a challenged buyer (meaning low income, low savings, or shaky credit), these programs can be a huge help.  The class is worth going to on its own, but this is a big bonus.

The class is happening in the big meeting room of the Rainier Beach branch of the public library.  This time I’m teaching with Jan Watkins from AP Mortgage.  RSVP to me for a seat and I’ll get you registered.

June 23, 2:30pm – 7:30pm
Rainier Public Library
9125 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

Upcoming Home Buyer Education

I’m happy to announce two upcoming dates for home buyer education classes sponsored by the Washington State Housing Finance commission.  Both sessions will take place in the big meeting room at the Rainier Public Library, and I’ll be the broker half of the two part Loan Officer / Broker team for both.

This is a great class to take, especially for first time home buyers.  It covers a ton of material, including whether you should buy, how to budget, how to get a mortgage, and how to find a house.  The class is free and doesn’t come with any obligations.  I literally will not even send you a “Thanks for coming,” after the class unless you explicitly give me permission to.  This is about giving you information that’ll help you make the right choices for you.

It also meets the education requirement necessary to qualify for WSHFC commission programs.  If you’re a challenged buyer (meaning low income, low savings, or shaky credit), these programs can be a huge help.  The class is worth going to on its own, but this is a big bonus.

The room space is generous, but not infinite, and we have to make sure we bring enough material for all attendees, so if you’d like to come, please register ahead of time.  You can do that by contacting me by phone or email.  (Check the bottom of this page for contact info.)  The dates and times for the classes are below.

April 23, 11:00 am – 4:30pm
June 23, 2:30pm – 7:30pm
Rainier Public Library
9125 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

Upcoming Event: Home Buyer Education

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission has a lot of opportunities for first time and low income home buyers to help them get into homes.  This kind of help can be especially helpful when trying to buy in the tough market in and around Seattle.  For purposes of many of these programs, looking in these areas, low income means under $96,000 for the household.

To qualify for the programs, buyers have to take a five hour buyer education seminar.  I’m one of their certified instructors for these seminars, and I’ll be co-teaching one with Joshua Horner of Caliber Home Loans at their East Lake location.  The event will be from 11-5 and RSVP is required.  Contact me if you’d like to attend – seating is limited, but I’ll start a waiting list if we fill up.

Creating Homes: The Follow Up

The first Creating Homes seminar was last Thursday at the Leary Traveler, and I’m quite pleased with how it went.  It definitely wasn’t perfect (I need a different venue for next time!) but I didn’t expect to achieve perfection the first time.  I think everybody who came got something out of it, and the feedback was enthusiastic and positive.  I’m going to spend the next couple weeks taking notes and making plans, and then I’ll announce the dates for the next one.

Thanks to everybody who came out and spent their Thursday night helping me make something special.

Creating Homes

You don’t have to look far to find news articles about how younger generations are approaching home ownership and household formation.  This is definitely something I’ve seen in working with my clients.  Gone are the days where every potential home owner is a member of a married couple with kids.  I see friends, roommates, multiple families combining resources, just to name a few of the more common variations.

Breaking out of traditional molds to find a situation that works for you is awesome, but it can also be daunting.  Most advice and infrastructure out there is built expecting a married couple with kids, and when you don’t fit that mold, it can be hard to figure out what to do.

CreatingHomeFlyer

That’s why I’m super excited to announce a pilot of a new seminar, “Creating Homes.”  It’s meant to be a pragmatic informational session about the different options, challenges, and strategies out there for people who are doing something a little different.  I’m especially pleased because Patrick McAuliffe is an accountant and most of the questions I can’t answer for my clients are of the, “You should talk to an accountant,” variety.

If you’d like to come, please to RSVP.  I’ll look forward to seeing you there!