Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Jackson12
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:44 pm

Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Jackson12 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:08 pm

A friend in Seattle discovered that a 7 story “ affordable housing” unit is being constructed on land directly behind her home, just beyond her small fenced yard and the alley. Besides the short-term inevitable construction noise and traffic, her home will have less natural light due to the way the windows face, the height of the new building, and other factors.

Shes not against affordable housing. She knows there is a great need in Seattle. But on a personal level, she wonders about potential financial effects of the housing units on her home’s value- if any, especially since her home would be losing the natural light as well as losing a view of trees and greenery

Her home value is a concern because she plans to move within the next couple of years. She’s wondering if she should move sooner. She has about a 6 month window of time before construction starts.

Would she really face a financial loss if she stayed put and sold after the unit was constructed? In Seattle, even fixer up homes can get breathtakingly high prices ( compared to home prices in many other places I know, including my city) .

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 18758
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by dm200 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:15 pm

Jackson12 wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:08 pm
A friend in Seattle discovered that a 7 story “ affordable housing” unit is being constructed on land directly behind her home, just beyond her small fenced yard and the alley. Besides the short-term inevitable construction noise and traffic, her home will have less natural light due to the way the windows face, the height of the new building, and other factors.
Shes not against affordable housing. She knows there is a great need in Seattle. But on a personal level, she wonders about potential financial effects of the housing units on her home’s value- if any, especially since her home would be losing the natural light as well as losing a view of trees and greenery
Her home value is a concern because she plans to move within the next couple of years. She’s wondering if she should move sooner. She has about a 6 month window of time before construction starts.
Would she really face a financial loss if she stayed put and sold after the unit was constructed? In Seattle, even fixer up homes can get breathtakingly high prices ( compared to home prices in many other places I know, including my city) .
Those factors are the same whether poor folks live in the building or it is billionaires living there.

Jackson12
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:44 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Jackson12 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:21 pm

This is true . And I found references which indicate affordable housing units have no effect on home value so I think she should focus on the way her homes natural light and view may affect a sales price,. https://www.trulia.com/research/low-income-housing/
Last edited by Jackson12 on Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

runner540
Posts: 753
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:43 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by runner540 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:22 pm

She shoukd talk to several local realtors and get their input. But my guess is that the plans are not secret insider information, and savvy potential buyers will take that into account no matter when she sells.

This is a clear example of why an investment in a single dwelling is risky and undiversified.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 18758
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by dm200 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:24 pm

runner540 wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:22 pm
She shoukd talk to several local realtors and get their input. But my guess is that the plans are not secret insider information, and savvy potential buyers will take that into account no matter when she sells.

This is a clear example of why an investment in a single dwelling is risky and undiversified.
From the OP, this is a personal resident - not actually intended as an "investment".

User avatar
celia
Posts: 8480
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by celia » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:25 pm

Yes, I would think she is facing an upcoming loss. Think of it this way. If there was another house exactly like hers and priced the same as hers, would a buyer want to buy the one in the shadow of a high-rise or the one that isn't?

Apparently she has not been active in the local zoning and property use before this. She likely has been mailed notices of changes and ignored them. I think she would now want to find out from the city what the current state of the changes are and how she can give her feedback of how it will impact her property value. Besides shade, she will likely be facing parking issues in the area (especially if her garage is on the alley), noise (late night parties, crying children), people looking down over you while you (and your kids) are in your yard, graffiti, increased crime (drugs?, homeless sleeping in the alley or their cars), and other problems that come with high density rentals.

She can start by calling her councilperson to point her to the correct department(s). She should also get together with her neighbors since this will affect them too. Our area faced this recently and the homeowners fought back and won.

runner540
Posts: 753
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:43 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by runner540 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:32 pm

dm200 wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:24 pm
runner540 wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:22 pm
She shoukd talk to several local realtors and get their input. But my guess is that the plans are not secret insider information, and savvy potential buyers will take that into account no matter when she sells.

This is a clear example of why an investment in a single dwelling is risky and undiversified.
From the OP, this is a personal resident - not actually intended as an "investment".
Don't want to derail the thread with semantics, but I used the term "investment" because the OP said friend is concerned about financial "loss", home value, and the market with breathtaking prices.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 18758
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by dm200 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:34 pm

celia wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:25 pm
Yes, I would think she is facing an upcoming loss. Think of it this way. If there was another house exactly like hers and priced the same as hers, would a buyer want to buy the one in the shadow of a high-rise or the one that isn't?
Apparently she has not been active in the local zoning and property use before this. She likely has been mailed notices of changes and ignored them. I think she would now want to find out from the city what the current state of the changes are and how she can give her feedback of how it will impact her property value. Besides shade, she will likely be facing parking issues in the area (especially if her garage is on the alley), noise (late night parties, crying children), people looking down over you while you (and your kids) are in your yard, graffiti, increased crime (drugs?, homeless sleeping in the alley or their cars), and other problems that come with high density rentals.
She can start by calling her councilperson to point her to the correct department(s). She should also get together with her neighbors since this will affect them too. Our area faced this recently and the homeowners fought back and won.
Who knows? In out high real estate area - there are affordable housing units being built. No negative impact. Often, in high demand areas, these things reduce the availability of single family homes.

User avatar
Mlm
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:00 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Mlm » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:37 pm

More than likely she or her realtor would be required to disclose this information to any potential buyer.

Gnirk
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:11 am
Location: Western Washington

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Gnirk » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:36 pm

Mlm wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:37 pm
More than likely she or her realtor would be required to disclose this information to any potential buyer.
Not in my experience. It's up to the buyer to do their own research, especially if you are looking at a house near a lovely field or even a vacant lot, and you have a view when you look through the lot. In Seattle, you can buy a condo with a beautiful view of the mountains or water, and if there is a low, older building across from you that doesn't block your view, it may soon be gone and a high-rise built on that property. There goes the view and the sunlight.

Many years ago,I had a house on Queen Anne Hill with a view (across the one-story house next door which was significantly lower on the hill than ours), and several years after we sold the house, I drove by and the owners had built a second story on the house, blocking the view.

Views, and sunlight, are seldom guaranteed, even when the zoning doesn't change.

drk
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:33 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by drk » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:01 am

dm200 wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:15 pm
Those factors are the same whether poor folks live in the building or it is billionaires living there.
Right. I'm skeptical that a seven-story luxury building would be kinder to her light.

User avatar
triceratop
Moderator
Posts: 5723
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:20 pm
Location: la la land

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by triceratop » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:04 am

celia wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:25 pm
Yes, I would think she is facing an upcoming loss. Think of it this way. If there was another house exactly like hers and priced the same as hers, would a buyer want to buy the one in the shadow of a high-rise or the one that isn't?

Apparently she has not been active in the local zoning and property use before this. She likely has been mailed notices of changes and ignored them. I think she would now want to find out from the city what the current state of the changes are and how she can give her feedback of how it will impact her property value. Besides shade, she will likely be facing parking issues in the area (especially if her garage is on the alley), noise (late night parties, crying children), people looking down over you while you (and your kids) are in your yard, graffiti, increased crime (drugs?, homeless sleeping in the alley or their cars), and other problems that come with high density rentals.

She can start by calling her councilperson to point her to the correct department(s). She should also get together with her neighbors since this will affect them too. Our area faced this recently and the homeowners fought back and won.
It’s possible that OP doesn’t care about stopping the project. One may want to be aware of the effects that affordable or new housing may have on their financial situation without wanting to stop such a project. I will not say more for fear of crossing a line into politics.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

Bfwolf
Posts: 1809
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:19 am

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Bfwolf » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:05 am

Yes, it will probably affect her property value. Whether she can "scam" a potential buyer who doesn't realize what's going to happen, I don't know.

An interesting podcast on the subject. https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2018 ... y-backyard

Jackson12
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:44 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Jackson12 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:09 am

drk wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:01 am
dm200 wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:15 pm
Those factors are the same whether poor folks live in the building or it is billionaires living there.
Right. I'm skeptical that a seven-story luxury building would be kinder to her light.
This is true and she was also wondering about the effect of increased traffic. In her neighborhood< things are already getting busier and the traffic denser. A large unit, even with dedicated parking, could affect local traffic and even driving time,, especially during rush hour. .

drk
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:33 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by drk » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:15 am

Jackson12 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:09 am
This is true and she was also wondering about the effect of increased traffic. In her neighborhood< things are already getting busier and the traffic denser. A large unit, even with dedicated parking, could affect local traffic and even driving time,, especially during rush hour. .
I understand your not sharing, but I'm curious where her house is. There are few residential areas in Seattle zoned for anything but single-family housing, let alone seven-story buildings. Besides, assuming that it's apartments, most of the residents will likely commute via public transit.

Jackson12
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:44 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Jackson12 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:31 am

triceratop wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:04 am
celia wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:25 pm
Yes, I would think she is facing an upcoming loss. Think of it this way. If there was another house exactly like hers and priced the same as hers, would a buyer want to buy the one in the shadow of a high-rise or the one that isn't?

Apparently she has not been active in the local zoning and property use before this. She likely has been mailed notices of changes and ignored them. I think she would now want to find out from the city what the current state of the changes are and how she can give her feedback of how it will impact her property value. Besides shade, she will likely be facing parking issues in the area (especially if her garage is on the alley), noise (late night parties, crying children), people looking down over you while you (and your kids) are in your yard, graffiti, increased crime (drugs?, homeless sleeping in the alley or their cars), and other problems that come with high density rentals.

She can start by calling her councilperson to point her to the correct department(s). She should also get together with her neighbors since this will affect them too. Our area faced this recently and the homeowners fought back and won.
It’s possible that OP doesn’t care about stopping the project. One may want to be aware of the effects that affordable or new housing may have on their financial situation without wanting to stop such a project. I will not say more for fear of crossing a line into politics.
I’m the OP and not financially affected by this as I don’t live in Seattle.

My close friend does. She can’t stop the project. It’s a done deal and she was notified by letter yesterday. She is not opposed to affordable housing. She believes Seattle definitely needs more.

By the way, families who make as much as $54,000 qualify for this housing. That income is not that far off from what we live on ( 2 adults and a special needs individual who gets some government aid) because we sock away what we can in savings and investments. We don’t feel like we’re struggling. The cost of living in Seattle amazes me. But that’s a digression.

My friend’s concerns are financial and focused on how the new housing unit could affect her home’s value. She has a job with a company which has several branches in the U.S and she had planned to leave Seattle in the future. But She did not foresee a promotion and recent job transfer because she hasnt held her current job all that long.

She has some flexibility about the timing of the transfer. She hasn’t lived in the house all that long -less than 3 years. Even so, the home’s value rose significantly because home prices seem to keep soaring in her neighborhood. She simply wants to get a decent profit.
Last edited by Jackson12 on Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
eye.surgeon
Posts: 382
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:19 pm
Location: California

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by eye.surgeon » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:33 am

A low income housing development was built directly adjacent to my main 4 story office building. It's a major headache. Cars in our parking lot get routinely broken into. Drug dealing is done in the open. The police visit daily. Our dumpsters get picked over regularly. The residents take no care for the rental units and what is actually a newer building than my office already looks twice as old--the landscaping is all dead, windows are broken out, cars are abandoned and in various states of disrepair/disassembly in their parking area. Graffiti is all over. No one seems to actually have a 9-5 schedule, I suspect there is little if any employed residents. Several windows in my building have been shot out with pellet guns. If I were your friend I would move like yesterday.
"I would rather be certain of a good return than hopeful of a great one" | Warren Buffett

Goal33
Posts: 651
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:30 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Goal33 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:52 am

Nobody can predict anything...

If Seattle real estate goes up overall by another 50%, maybe this place will only go up 49% due to the affordable housing being built. I wouldn't worry about it...
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

User avatar
Tamarind
Posts: 1162
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:38 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Tamarind » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:58 am

This is incredibly market-specific (like so much in real estate). My gut suggests that in dense high-price markets like Seattle, increases in density would tend to make an area more valuable and desirable. In the long run, her value would go up simply because the cheaper infill lot is no longer available.

That said, there'll surely be a period during construction when she would have a harder time selling (both because of the noise and construction mess and because people will be hyper-attuned to the politics of the project). If that intersects with her plans to leave she might want to try to sell sooner.

simas
Posts: 287
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:50 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by simas » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:14 am

Jackson12 wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:08 pm
Would she really face a financial loss if she stayed put and sold after the unit was constructed?
yes, most likely - the 'affordable housing' is created at expense of people like her. I lived in Chicago for decades and can tell you it is a very bad thing for your neighborhood which is also reflected in your house values. the secondary impact would be things like school quality (which also in turn impacts the neighborhood) and flight of anyone who can afford to elsewhere

however,the real question is what she is willing to do about it - being 'concerned' means absolutely nothing is you are not willing to take action
- she can organize and try to stop the project that would impact her financial well being including equity
- she can move , the sooner the better
- she can try for something else but I am not sure what that would be

if she is not willing to do any of the above there is no point of being 'concerned', it is just noise and waste of her time and energy

Dagwood
Posts: 1025
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:26 pm
Location: MD

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Dagwood » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:31 am

It is not politically correct to say it but yes this type of thing has the real potential to negatively impact school quality and the neighborhood generally. If it bothers you, you should move. Where we live, you can opt out of those problems but it requires you to spend $1mm plus on a home. We do not want to be house poor and do not view our house as an investment so we will stay in our neighborhood so long as it is safe. We send the kids to the local parochial school to avoid the issues in the schools as it is far cheaper than tying up additional money in a more expensive size home and the associated debt service.

User avatar
Cycle
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: USA

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Cycle » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:53 am

Deleting my anti-Nimby rants.
Last edited by Cycle on Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

simas
Posts: 287
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:50 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by simas » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:42 am

Cycle wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:53 am
If it were up to NIMBYs, all housing would be SFOs... And all cities would be horrible unwalkable places, requiring cars to drive our lazy selves everywhere.

People want their own personal version of everything. Why do I need public transit when I can have a 4000lb piece of machinery fabricated every 10 years and let it sit unused 95% of the time? Why do I need a park when I can put a swing set in my big yard? Why do I need a local hotel when I can just build a few extra bedrooms that sit unused 99% of the time? Etc etc
and once you are done with your rant- how is it benefiting OP? it is very easy to spout BS when you have others to pay for your fantasies with their livelihood and in some cases their lives. also, the issue is not SFO or no-SFO the issue is 'low income' which means very specific statistically significant changes to your neighborhood. if you want to live in that area come to Chicago (or Detroit, or well known areas of any major city) and try to live in place that gets 4000 shootings a year _very_ focused in few geographic areas .. there are plenty of high density developments that are highly beneficial to properly values (restaurants appear, shops, smaller businesses, etc), it is the 'affordable' part that is the issue.

OP, move if you cant stop it.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 18758
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by dm200 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:45 am

In this jurisdiction (and some neighboring ones) many buildings with affordable housing have many units that are "market rate" - which spreads out the lower income families somewhat.

Jackson12
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:44 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Jackson12 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:27 pm

simas wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:14 am
Jackson12 wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:08 pm
Would she really face a financial loss if she stayed put and sold after the unit was constructed?
yes, most likely - the 'affordable housing' is created at expense of people like her. I lived in Chicago for decades and can tell you it is a very bad thing for your neighborhood which is also reflected in your house values. the secondary impact would be things like school quality (which also in turn impacts the neighborhood) and flight of anyone who can afford to elsewhere

however,the real question is what she is willing to do about it - being 'concerned' means absolutely nothing is you are not willing to take action
- she can organize and try to stop the project that would impact her financial well being including equity
- she can move , the sooner the better
- she can try for something else but I am not sure what that would be

if she is not willing to do any of the above there is no point of being 'concerned', it is just noise and waste of her time and energy
She is planning to move. Actually, it’s now beyond the planning stage. She’s been promoted, a surprise given the earlier timetable they’d given her for promotion...but a welcome surprise. So she’ll be moving but the timing has flexibility. Until then, she’s a semi- mobile worker and training her replacement. And doing minor work ( painting, tweaking curb appeal) before listing the home.

The “concern’ is whether the building would negatively impact her home’s value to buyers

bill88
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:22 am
Location: Virginia

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by bill88 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:32 pm

No home buyer ever asks their realtor to find them a house with a 7-story building looming over the backyard.

So it's hard to see how the house resale value doesn't take a hit. And it could make it a lot harder to sell, even at a lower price.

She should get her realtor's feedback on the current and future value of the home. And perhaps explore that job transfer, if she has the option.

Assume the 7-story building is a known fact to all realtors in the area, so assume her potential buyers will know about it. Still, better to sell now than after construction begins or the building is up. It's one thing to know the building will come, it's another to actually see it, :shock: and the impacts from it -- on neighborhood traffic, and anything else.

Her house has appreciated, so now's the time to sell. I think she'll take a hit on the price due to the pending project being known, but I think she'll take a bigger hit if she waits til it's up -- let alone during construction (noise, vibration, construction traffic, dust, etc.
Bill | | (Formerly bill99)

bill88
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:22 am
Location: Virginia

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by bill88 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:40 pm

Cycle wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:53 am
If it were up to NIMBYs, all housing would be SFOs... And all cities would be horrible unwalkable places, requiring cars to drive our lazy selves everywhere.

People want their own personal version of everything. Why do I need public transit when I can have a 4000lb piece of machinery fabricated every 10 years and let it sit unused 95% of the time? Why do I need a park when I can put a swing set in my big yard? Why do I need a local hotel when I can just build a few extra bedrooms that sit unused 99% of the time? Etc etc
Wait! I've got a solution. Cycle, why don't you buy OP's friend's house. That way, you can be the virtuous YIMBY, living in the shade of the 7-story edifice behind you! :D Problem solved!
Bill | | (Formerly bill99)

Goal33
Posts: 651
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:30 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Goal33 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:27 pm

bill88 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:32 pm
She should get her realtor's feedback on the current and future value of the home. And perhaps explore that job transfer, if she has the option.
Do you expect the realtor to offer anything aside from now is the best time to buy or sell?
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 18758
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by dm200 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:38 pm

Goal33 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:27 pm
bill88 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:32 pm
She should get her realtor's feedback on the current and future value of the home. And perhaps explore that job transfer, if she has the option.
Do you expect the realtor to offer anything aside from now is the best time to buy or sell?


Right! Just like asking a barber if you need a haircut!

strbrd
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:39 am

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by strbrd » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:48 pm

If a new seven-story building is going up where there was previously a smaller building in Seattle, it's very likely this area is part of the recent upzone to create affordable housing in Seattle. (See https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-ne ... s-adviser/.) If your friend's property is on the same block, was it also upzoned? This could INCREASE her property value a ton, as a developer might consider razing her house and putting in a profitable multifamily structure. Also the alley reference makes me think this could be a very central area of Seattle. Her property values have probably gone up so much in the last three years she shouldn't be worried about anything. (Source: Zillow's estimate of the place I bought in Seattle three years ago.)

As OP noted, the "affordable" metric in the recent Seattle legislation goes up to what are median incomes or far above median incomes elsewhere in the country. The friend is probably going to be getting fairly middle-class neighbors.

Less natural light across an alley might also be *good* for cooling in hotter and hotter Seattle summers (most houses don't have AC).

My not-a-real-estate-agent perspective would think it's better to wait until construction is over to sell. Buyers may be turned off construction noise or the prospect thereof.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 18758
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by dm200 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:01 pm

Another thing that is happening in our HCOL area is that several churches (with older and declining membership) are arranging the demolition of their buildings to be replaced by multistory affordable housing. Some neighborhoods are happy and supportive and some are not. Then, they use a part of the new building as their (now smaller) worship space.

Atilla
Posts: 1257
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Atilla » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:18 pm

I can't see this as a positive to your friend's property value. Best case scenario is there is not too much harm.

How the affordable units are allocated to tenants and the building is managed will be key. If it's a 7 story high rise full of section 8 tenants, she's doomed.

I can tell you first hand, section 8 neighborhoods go downhill fast and take the neighborhood public schools with them - I live in one. The elementary school down the street had test scores go from mediocre to absolutely awful in 5 years.

Either take her chances, or sell now before construction begins.
The Village Idiot - here for your entertainment.

User avatar
Tamarind
Posts: 1162
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:38 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Tamarind » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:26 pm

strbrd wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:48 pm
If a new seven-story building is going up where there was previously a smaller building in Seattle, it's very likely this area is part of the recent upzone to create affordable housing in Seattle. (See https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-ne ... s-adviser/.) If your friend's property is on the same block, was it also upzoned? This could INCREASE her property value a ton, as a developer might consider razing her house and putting in a profitable multifamily structure. Also the alley reference makes me think this could be a very central area of Seattle. Her property values have probably gone up so much in the last three years she shouldn't be worried about anything. (Source: Zillow's estimate of the place I bought in Seattle three years ago.)
This. But if she wants to move anyway, she should either do so before construction begins or be prepared to wait until it is done. Selling a house next to a construction zone is challenging no matter the value of the property or what is being built.

User avatar
celia
Posts: 8480
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by celia » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:52 pm

celia wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:25 pm
Besides shade, she will likely be facing parking issues in the area (especially if her garage is on the alley), noise (late night parties, crying children), people looking down over you while you (and your kids) are in your yard, graffiti, increased crime (drugs?, homeless sleeping in the alley or their cars), and other problems that come with high density rentals.
I listed these, not as societal/neighborhood concerns, but as things that can affect her property value. If the proposed building was to be one or two stories high, it would just be another apartment building. But a 7-story building has people living on top of each other, literally.

Someone else mentioned an item I forgot and that is the impact on the schools. Many people choose a house, partly based on the quality of the local schools. I don't see how this building will improve the schools, but, more likely, the school would start to score lower.

CurlyDave
Posts: 735
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:37 am

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by CurlyDave » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:03 pm

bill88 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:32 pm
...Assume the 7-story building is a known fact to all realtors in the area, so assume her potential buyers will know about it. Still, better to sell now than after construction begins or the building is up. It's one thing to know the building will come, it's another to actually see it, :shock: and the impacts from it -- on neighborhood traffic, and anything else...
+1

The house has its highest possible value right now. The impact of construction and then low income housing is only theoretical right now. Many people are not capable of anticipating the future well. Someone will buy because of a bargain price.

User avatar
Cycle
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: USA

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Cycle » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:09 pm

bill88 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:40 pm
Cycle wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:53 am
If it were up to NIMBYs, all housing would be SFOs... And all cities would be horrible unwalkable places, requiring cars to drive our lazy selves everywhere.

People want their own personal version of everything. Why do I need public transit when I can have a 4000lb piece of machinery fabricated every 10 years and let it sit unused 95% of the time? Why do I need a park when I can put a swing set in my big yard? Why do I need a local hotel when I can just build a few extra bedrooms that sit unused 99% of the time? Etc etc
Wait! I've got a solution. Cycle, why don't you buy OP's friend's house. That way, you can be the virtuous YIMBY, living in the shade of the 7-story edifice behind you! :D Problem solved!
Deleting my anti-Nimby rants
Last edited by Cycle on Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
bottlecap
Posts: 5855
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by bottlecap » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:18 pm

Honestly, I wouldn't sweat it. It's Seattle. Subsized housing is necessary precisely because of all the restrictions on building. Those restrictions aren't going away and therefore existing home prices aren't likely to trend down.

Maybe your friend's short term value will not be as good as it once was, but that's baked into the cake already.

Overall, as an existing homeowner, she's going to do fine. Just not as fine as the richer folks who made enough in campaign contributions to successfully preserve their natural light.

JT
Last edited by bottlecap on Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 18758
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by dm200 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:19 pm

Frankly, in my neighborhood - all I would care about is the size and location of the building (and related) - whether affordable or not.

Xrayman69
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:52 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Xrayman69 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:45 pm

strbrd wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:48 pm
If a new seven-story building is going up where there was previously a smaller building in Seattle, it's very likely this area is part of the recent upzone to create affordable housing in Seattle. (See https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-ne ... s-adviser/.) If your friend's property is on the same block, was it also upzoned? This could INCREASE her property value a ton, as a developer might consider razing her house and putting in a profitable multifamily structure. Also the alley reference makes me think this could be a very central area of Seattle. Her property values have probably gone up so much in the last three years she shouldn't be worried about anything. (Source: Zillow's estimate of the place I bought in Seattle three years ago.)

As OP noted, the "affordable" metric in the recent Seattle legislation goes up to what are median incomes or far above median incomes elsewhere in the country. The friend is probably going to be getting fairly middle-class neighbors.

Less natural light across an alley might also be *good* for cooling in hotter and hotter Seattle summers (most houses don't have AC).

My not-a-real-estate-agent perspective would think it's better to wait until construction is over to sell. Buyers may be turned off construction noise or the prospect thereof.
Agree. If this were my property and I had the means to hold and wait I would. Once the building is up and the other construction is completed the property is now a limited resource (not the building).

In Seattle it is my understanding they have a “affordable housing” issue. As result the term affordable housing is a ver6 vague term. 1 bedroom unit in a new building market rate depend8ng on neighborhood may be as high as. 2300 month. Thus affordable would be 75% of the market rate. Still would not likely diversity the neighborhood dramatically despite “best” intention.

There are extensive rules improved by the city council of that limits rentals by small business owners and thus the “gold rush” from developers over the past 5 years. The developers are mandated to have “affordable “ housing.

There is a lot of emotional impact in Seattle regarding issues related to housing affordability and homelessness, commuting, congestion, techies and their “high paying jobs” driving up the cost of living etc.

I suspect that the market realities of limited supply drives up cost, as opposed to driving down real estate costs.

The OP may be getting input from “gold ol days” neighborhood desires, as opposed to realities of continuous “progress “ (albeit for better or worse depends on your perspective). The reality is that land in Seattle proper is limited and thus a valued commodity. Land in the surrounding counties is much cheaper and sparse but 2 hour commute. Pick your poison or desire.

ConcernedKid
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:59 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by ConcernedKid » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:39 pm

OP,

If your friend is in one of the "close-in" Seattle neighborhoods, chances are the effect will not be too great. Most of the new construction within the city limits consists of very vertical townhomes with four units built on what was the lot for a single family home. Chances are the area where the high rise will be built has a "Notice of Land Use" sign with a description of the building that will be constructed. Buyers will know that there will be a 7 story building in the backyard. Your friend can to the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections home page and look up the specific project. http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/ http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/shapingseattle/map.aspx The website will have the design proposal, project timeline and relevant meetings regarding the project.

Your friend may decide to sell, but it may be difficult to find something reasonable in the area at this time. I've heard the market is softening a bit but it's still high compared to where it was just a few years ago. It may not be worth it to move.

User avatar
bottlecap
Posts: 5855
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by bottlecap » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:43 pm

Also realize that a lot of "affordable" housing in decent areas is bought up by professionals with temporarily low incomes. It may not be the case if the whole building is subsidized, but many times only part of the development is subsidized and that gets bought up by people whose incomes were low last year due to things like school attendance, but will be quite high for the foreseeable future.

It does not help with her view or light, but perhaps isn’t quite as detrimental to the value as she fears.

I’d be quite rich if I was as savvy as some of my former colleagues in this regard...

JT

Jackson12
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:44 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Jackson12 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:55 pm

ConcernedKid wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:39 pm
OP,

If your friend is in one of the "close-in" Seattle neighborhoods, chances are the effect will not be too great. Most of the new construction within the city limits consists of very vertical townhomes with four units built on what was the lot for a single family home. Chances are the area where the high rise will be built has a "Notice of Land Use" sign with a description of the building that will be constructed. Buyers will know that there will be a 7 story building in the backyard. Your friend can to the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections home page and look up the specific project. http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/ http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/shapingseattle/map.aspx The website will have the design proposal, project timeline and relevant meetings regarding the project.

Your friend may decide to sell, but it may be difficult to find something reasonable in the area at this time. I've heard the market is softening a bit but it's still high compared to where it was just a few years ago. It may not be worth it to move.
The move will be out of state and you a lower cost of living area< probably in the Midwest.. Her employer has national offices and she is tired of the HCOL in Seattle. She loves much about the state but not the traffic and not the expenses. Her real estate taxes keep jumping. So there’s that, too. Of course a buyer won’t like that either.

e5116
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:22 am

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by e5116 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:08 pm

Ironically, I have a 54-unit five story building that overlooks my backyard and I like it. Admittedly, it was there before I purchased my home and is comprised of $200-$300k condos (which is probably "affordable housing" in Seattle!) And my city actually requires developers to have a certain percentage of units be for low-income residents and susidized by the other units and it's definitely not a <$54k "low income" crowd! But I digress.

Why do I like the condo building overlooking my yard?
1. Provides shade in backyard (I prefer my yard to be shady in the afternoon/night)
2. Blocks street noise from a busy street and visually blocks it as well
3. Well maintained and snow plowed alley
4. It used to be a commercial warehouse, so residential condos are preferred

Obviously, those are specific to my situation and probably don't apply to your friend, but my point is that it may not have as much of an impact as you think... You never know, hard to predict. I'd move based on larger life factors and not let a new building drive the decision making. Can't control it anyways....

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 14359
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Watty » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:28 pm

A couple of things that I have not seen mentioned;

1) The new development, and others in the area, may overload the the schools with kids that move into the new housing.

2) In a hot housing market houses with "issues" may not be greatly impacted since potential buyers are scrambling to buy any house. It is true that an identical house a few blocks away might be more desirable but in a hot real estate market there might not be many better houses available. If the housing market is bad in a few years when they want to sell the house there could be a glut of houses on the market which could make that house much harder to sell then.

Jackson12
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:44 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by Jackson12 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:25 am

e5116 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:08 pm
Ironically, I have a 54-unit five story building that overlooks my backyard and I like it. Admittedly, it was there before I purchased my home and is comprised of $200-$300k condos (which is probably "affordable housing" in Seattle!) And my city actually requires developers to have a certain percentage of units be for low-income residents and susidized by the other units and it's definitely not a <$54k "low income" crowd! But I digress.

Why do I like the condo building overlooking my yard?
1. Provides shade in backyard (I prefer my yard to be shady in the afternoon/night)
2. Blocks street noise from a busy street and visually blocks it as well
3. Well maintained and snow plowed alley
4. It used to be a commercial warehouse, so residential condos are preferred

Obviously, those are specific to my situation and probably don't apply to your friend, but my point is that it may not have as much of an impact as you think... You never know, hard to predict. I'd move based on larger life factors and not let a new building drive the decision making. Can't control it anyways....
Speaking just for myself and not my friend, I would not like to lose any privacy and have many windows overlooking my yard. But that’s just my fake. I have friends who are content living in townhomes where they have no private outdoor space, at least as far as being protected from a neighbors view.

Our home has a wooded view and we aren’t likely to lose it because we own a nice portion of the woods behind our home.

My friend has a privacy fence that has worked well to keep neighbors from watching her if she’s relaxing on her outside patio or tending her small flower garden. The main issue will be the shade and loss of light- and that will happen.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 18758
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by dm200 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:54 pm

In our single family neighborhood, where lots are about 6,000 sq ft - we could have a new, tall large house build within 10 ft of the line and have 30-40 ft house built there. That happened to our neighbor next door.

User avatar
CaliJim
Posts: 2984
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:47 pm
Location: California, near the beach

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by CaliJim » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:33 pm

Life pro tip: talk with city planners before making a big purchase! What is the general plan for the neighborhood? How are the properties zoned?
-calijim- | | For more info, click this Wiki

User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 2605
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Post by unclescrooge » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:02 pm

Jackson12 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:31 am
triceratop wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:04 am
celia wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:25 pm
Yes, I would think she is facing an upcoming loss. Think of it this way. If there was another house exactly like hers and priced the same as hers, would a buyer want to buy the one in the shadow of a high-rise or the one that isn't?

Apparently she has not been active in the local zoning and property use before this. She likely has been mailed notices of changes and ignored them. I think she would now want to find out from the city what the current state of the changes are and how she can give her feedback of how it will impact her property value. Besides shade, she will likely be facing parking issues in the area (especially if her garage is on the alley), noise (late night parties, crying children), people looking down over you while you (and your kids) are in your yard, graffiti, increased crime (drugs?, homeless sleeping in the alley or their cars), and other problems that come with high density rentals.

She can start by calling her councilperson to point her to the correct department(s). She should also get together with her neighbors since this will affect them too. Our area faced this recently and the homeowners fought back and won.
It’s possible that OP doesn’t care about stopping the project. One may want to be aware of the effects that affordable or new housing may have on their financial situation without wanting to stop such a project. I will not say more for fear of crossing a line into politics.
I’m the OP and not financially affected by this as I don’t live in Seattle.

My close friend does. She can’t stop the project. It’s a done deal and she was notified by letter yesterday. She is not opposed to affordable housing. She believes Seattle definitely needs more.

By the way, families who make as much as $54,000 qualify for this housing. That income is not that far off from what we live on ( 2 adults and a special needs individual who gets some government aid) because we sock away what we can in savings and investments. We don’t feel like we’re struggling. The cost of living in Seattle amazes me. But that’s a digression.

My friend’s concerns are financial and focused on how the new housing unit could affect her home’s value. She has a job with a company which has several branches in the U.S and she had planned to leave Seattle in the future. But She did not foresee a promotion and recent job transfer because she hasnt held her current job all that long.

She has some flexibility about the timing of the transfer. She hasn’t lived in the house all that long -less than 3 years. Even so, the home’s value rose significantly because home prices seem to keep soaring in her neighborhood. She simply wants to get a decent profit.
She should contact the builder and let him know that at some point she would be willing to sell him hey house so he can build more affordable housing on it.

Post Reply