Friday, November 13, 2015

Location, Location, Location

So where are Seattle buyers flocking? Let's take a look at Seattle neighborhoods with the highest number of real estate transactions for single family home sales in the last 30 days:
Ballard/Green Lake - 150
West Seattle - 140
North Seattle - 87
SE Seattle - 61
Central Seattle - 52
Queen Anne/Magnolia - 43
SODO/Beacon Hill - 37

What if an investor wanted to pick up a property in the hottest Seattle neighborhood? How does the investor recognize a good opportunity? Let's take a look at listings in the Ballard/Green Lake area of Seattle.

The median home in the highest demand area of Ballard/Greenlake was a 3BR, 1.75BA 1660sf home that sold for $577,800 ($27K over list price) in 7 days. That's $348/sf. So let's look for listings that are most similar to this house.

Of the four comps with 1500-1820sf, only two fall within an acceptable price range of $273 - 332/sf. The least expensive listing has a mortgage of less than $50,000, which provides an opportunity for seller financing on the purchase. Offers were to be reviewed within seven days of listing, so it is fair to assume that there will likely be quite a bit of interest and competition for this home.

There are two properties that have the required number of beds and baths, but are shy of the square footage of the median sales home. One of these is bank-owned, priced at a very affordable $293/sf, and will be reviewed by the bank during a specified five-day period. This is also likely to go quickly, and for more than the asking price.

What about the properties that only have one bath, but have the right number of bedrooms and square footage? There is one property, priced competitively at $279/sf, which only has one bath, but it has four bedrooms. Could one of these bedrooms be converted to another bathroom, increasing the desirability of this property? It has over 1700sf, so it seems like it might be possible to add a bath. How many buyers overlook it, simply because it has only one bath? This problem appears to be easy to solve as an investor.

Better yet, this property is an estate sale, and there is no mortgage on it. Showing requires an appointment, and it is on a busy street. Photos show that it has not been professionally staged, and supplements state that the buyer must dispose of items in the house. How about making a seller-financed offer, and doing a quick rehab?

Then there is this interesting new listing for a 2BR, 1.5BA house, too small to match up with the features an investor might seek in this neighborhood....except for the fully finished 4-car garage....Are you thinking what I am thinking? Why not convert some of that garage space into finished living space, for an ADU that generates some income?

So even in the highest demand areas of Seattle, it is possible to find properties that might suit a savvy investor.

Happy Investing!

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