Condos Fill Affordability Niche in Bellevue

Housing prices keep going up and available inventory keeps shrinking . . . this combination continues to drive prices upward with no immediate relief in sight. With Eastside home values appreciating on average 10%+ per year, finding an affordable home can be challenging.

While the suburbs are popular with some buyers, the demand for urban living is on the rise. Buyers are seeking communities walk-able to workplaces, nightlife, arts and entertainment, transportation, schools ad parks. Downtown Bellevue checks off all those boxes which is what makes it an increasingly high demand place to live. While "affordable" may not be the first word that comes to mind when thinking about downtown Bellevue real estate, there are many condo communities in or within a block or two of downtown with homes priced under $500,000. So far this year 166 condos have sold in the 98004 zip code; 45% of those sold for under $500,000. There are less than 80 condos currently on the market in the downtown marketplace (about half of normal); nearly 20% are priced under $500,000. Expanding the search to condo and townhome communities within a mile of downtown significantly increases the choices and still keeps the commute to work, restaurants, shopping and events at less than five minutes.

Whether you're a first time buyer, relocating here for a new job, downsizing from a larger home or giving up the "burbs" for city living, its possible to find the right fit for your lifestyle without braking the bank.

Posted on August 19, 2015 at 6:57 PM
Robin Myers | Category: Bellevue, condominiums, home property values | Tagged , , , , ,

Condo Insurance – what you need to know

Condo insurance, what could be more boring.  Did you know . . .

Most homeowner associations carry a master insurance policy which covers damage to a community's residential buildings and parking structures. The HOA may also carry additional earthquake insurance. As a homeowner you need to understand what coverage falls under the HOA's master policy and what coverage you are responsible for having.

  • Mold is almost always excluded on the HOA general liability insurance policy. Other exclusions may include damage from water incidents, insects, animals, "acts of God" and vandalism.
  • While some condo insurance policies may provide some amount of coverage for damage within a unit, the HOA's general liability insurance policy almost never covers an owner's personal property.
  • Condo owners are strongly encouraged to obtain their own personal insurance policy to cover their personal property as well as provide coverage for items/circumstances not covered in the association's policy and deductibles. (Some HOAs may require owners to provide proof of insurance.)
  • Definitions of unit boundaries for HOA policy insurance coverage vs. owner policy insurance coverage can be found in the association's Declarations (also called the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions or CC&Rs.)
  • If a condo owner rents the condo, it is a good idea to require and obtain proof that the tenant has a renter's policy to insure the tenant's personal property.

If you are selling a condo, the HOA master insurance policy is one of the documents a seller must provide to the buyer. This document will be required by the buyer's lender and escrow as part of the buyer's loan approval and closing documents.

For more information about your condo's insurance coverage contact your association manager or your insurance agent.

Posted on July 30, 2015 at 11:37 PM
Robin Myers | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,