Live Chat Regarding Tenant Rights and Landlord Issues

chatThe Seattle Times will be holding a live chat held today at 1:00pm regarding tenant’s rights and landlord issues. Discussions will include advice on issues such as how to avoid conflict regarding housing-cost increases as well as deposit losses. Jonathan Grant, Executive Director of the Tenants Union of Washington State and the Rental Housing Association of Puget Sound, Chris Benis, will be joining in on the conversation.

You can send in any questions you may have to reporter Alexa Vaughn at avaughn@seattletimes.com before the chat as well as during the chat.

DSA Density Report Shows Spike in Downtown Residential Growth

The DSA has released a detailed report of all of the benefits of the density of Downtown Seattle, and their findings examine everything from employment and residential density, to the effect on transportation and farm growth. Downtown residents only make up 4% of the city’s total land mass, but you might be surprised by some of the impressive stats showed compared to the rest of Seattle. By encouraging growth in residential and employment density, the benefits may finally  outweigh the challenges. seattle now

They’ve documented that the efficient use of space should contribute to our area’s jobs, salaries, and revenue. Downtown density also increases transportation efficiency through increased public transit, and a more efficient system. The DSA’s report also indicated that there are environmental benefits to downtown density, a direct result from a decrease in carbon emissions from downtown workers and residents. You can view the full DSA report online, check it out for more information. You might be surprised to find that the downtown area is 4 times as dense as the rest of Seattle!

Redecorating on a Budget? 5 Ways to Spice Up Your Home

If you’re looking into a full family room update with new furniture, a fresh coat of paint, and accessories beginning the process can be very exciting, but also quite expensive. If you’re getting tired of looking at the same space everyday, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the difference a little change can make. The folks over at Zillow have compiled a list of a few changes to consider when redecorating on a budget that won’t break the bank. The first change that can surely drastically change the look and feel of the space is giving it a fresh coat of paint – and if you have a large family room that will require alot of paint, try painting only an accent wall to spice things up. A splash of a vibrant color on one wall can create a drastic change, and is relatively affordable. Try neutrals if you’re painting the whole room, and try something bold or bright if you’re choosing an accent wall. EC3

Updating the mill work can be a game changer many don’t initially think about when beginning the decorating process, but new crown molding, or larger baseboards can really make a difference. Choosing a new rug can also spice up a room, even a new rug layered over your carpet can define a space. New furniture can of course completely change the look and feel of your room, and your wallet, but try searching for a new end table, or painting your coffee table a new bright color. You can also update accessories like pillows on your couch, or new lamps on your table to change the look and feel of the larger pieces of furniture. Without fail, getting rid of the items you don’t like or need in your room and cleaning it up can really make a huge difference as well. For more decorating tips on a budget, visit Zillow.

Seattle One of Five Top US Cities for Electric Car Sales

carSeattle is the third U.S. city to dominate the electric car sales market. The top five metro areas, in order of market share size, include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York and Atlanta which together make up more than half of all the electric vehicle sales in the U.S.. Four of the states, including Seattle, have incentives for purchasing electric vehicles. It is surprising that Atlanta has more plug-ins than Portland or Seattle. Both Portland and Seattle do not rank in the top five for new hybrid vehicle sales.

How Does Seattle Stack Up in Priciest City for New Parents?

Any new parent can tell you that having children will cost you a pretty penny, but which cities will have new parents reaching deeper into their pockets? According to the Seattle Pi, the average cost for that first year for new parents is around $26,000 in the US after insurance, upgrading the house to make room,daycare and other expenses. Most parents factor in the cost of diaper runs, baby prepping the home and feedings etc, but some have trouble wrapping their head around the bigger expenses like expanding the home. seattle now

In Pi article, an agent reportedly reviewed the cost of adding an extra room, nine months of childcare, out of pocket cost for prenatal care, and first year of post delivery healthcare, as well as everyday items like diapers, strollers etc. when figuring out which US cities are the priciest for new parents. The stats are in, and the results might surprise you. The most expensive city for new parents was listed as San Jose, Calif. with a total cost for the first year reported to be $41,600. Out of the 20 cities listed, Chicago was the least expensive city for new parents, with a first year cost reported to be $25,500. Where does Seattle stack up among these cities? Seattle was listed as number 13 on the list, with an average first year cost reported to be $27,400 for new parents. To view a list of other US cities cost for new parents, visit the Seattle Pi today.

DSA letter to Mayor requests action upon rising violence downtown

sdp rangersThe Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) has a sent a letter to Mayor McGinn requesting something be done about the rise in violence in Downtown Seattle. In the letter DSA asks that there be more park rangers available and present at all city parks as well as additional bike and foot patrol officers on the streets throughout the city. These recommendations stem from not only the rising violence but also the fact that with increasing economic stability and population growth comes more revenue which should allow the city to be able to provide services to keep the city clean and safe.

August 11-17 is Westlake Park Family Fun Week

Photo courtesy of downtownseattle.com

Photo courtesy of downtownseattle.com

The second annual Westlake Family Fun Week is being produced by the Metropolitan Improvement District and Seattle Park & Recreation and is sponsored by Children’s Research Institute. Kids can enjoy activities such as face painting, bouncy house and Pacific Science Center Hands on Activities. Other fun entertainment will include Bubbleman, Bremen Green Puppet Show and music from Casper Babypants and Rolie Polie Guacamole. The event is held in Downtown Seattle’s Westlake Park August 11th – 17th from noon to 2pm. The event is free.

30 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates on the Rise

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For the 2nd week in a row the 30 year fixed mortgage rates rose from 4.24% to 4.28% quoted on Zillow marketplace. According to Zillow, the rates peaked at 4.42% last Thursday, and then hovered around 4.26-4.29% before dropping to the current rate. Rates are reported to have risen last Thursday, but Friday’s reports had erased any gains, leaving the week to remain largely unchanged. Today’s rates reflect 4.25% for the 30 year fixed, and on Tuesday, the 15 year mortgage rate was quoted at 3.29%. Where will the rate be at tomorrow? Check in with Zillow’s marketplace for up to date rate changes throughout the week.