Team Reba joins board of Renton Chamber of Commerce

I am humbled and honored to announce that Reba Haas of Team Reba at RE/MAX Metro Realty Inc has been voted into a 3-year role as Board Member of the Renton Chamber of Commerce. As an involved community member and part of the RCC already, Reba is expanding her role in supporting the Renton community by serving on the board.

With prior involvement in the Business Development Committee and Education Committee, this appointment will help deepen ties to the local area and help provide a voice for our clients on the issues that are important to them.

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Upcoming Team Reba home buying classes in Seattle for summer 2014

We’re deep into summertime around here and the real estate locally is buzzing like crazy with activity. This is the time of year a lot of people are relocating or moving within an area to take advantage of the weather and kids being out of school.

As always, Team Reba is focused on helping educate the public about the home buying and lending processes and we’ve recently booked 3 new class dates for the Washington State Housing Finance Commission sponsored course.

July 26th – 10am to 3pm Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (West Seattle)

August 16th – 10am to 3pm RE/MAX Metro Realty office (Eastlake neighborhood of downtown Seattle)

September 20th – 10am to 3pm Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (West Seattle)

Please feel free to forward this class information to anyone you know who is interested in purchasing in the coming year or who may not have purchased for some time. There will be multiple speakers presenting on a number of topics. See below!

Home Buyer Steps Workshop:
Home Buyer Steps is a Workshop approved by Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC). The Home Buyer Steps Workshop is 5 hours and designed to provide participants with a Step by Step guide to the Home Buying process. Once completed you will receive a certificate of eligibility to apply for down payment assistance or a Mortgage Credit Certificate if your income qualifies you. This class is perfect for ALL first time home buyers and those who haven’t purchased in many years.

Together, we will help you understand and have working knowledge of:

1) Your Credit Score and its impact on your financial life.
2) Creating and working on a Budget
3) The Home Inspection Process
4) How to Find Realtor’s and Loan Officer’s with your best interests at heart.
5) How to protect yourself from Predatory lending and Poor Realtors
6) Reading a Good Faith Estimate, Truth In Lending, and other essential documents.
7) Understanding what Escrow and Title are with industry speakers on the topic, along with available home warranty programs.
8) Going over all your different loan options.
9) In Depth on the Mortgage Credit Certificate, Home Advantage, and House Key Programs.

Our Workshops are done free of charge by local industry experts who volunteer to help you take the next step. We are happy to help you along the way and will answer all your questions. Upon completing the workshop you will feel more confident as a consumer and empowered in your path to home ownership.

Sign up at with which date you’re interested in attending to assure all participants have take home materials available!

Find Out More at

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Buying an owner occupied duplex or triplex? Some things you may want to consider….

The following is a prior exchange between me and a family member of a client of mine.  After discovering it in my email inbox again recently, it seemed to me that it would be useful to share with more than just my counterpart in the exchange. The discussion is around his potential purchase of property in CA and he’s only bouncing ideas off of me since I am not licensed in CA, but up in WA State.  He’s aware that licensing for different areas means there are several items I cannot speak on with regard to their contracts, laws, etc.  But, this exchange (start from the bottom up) was a good example of what we discuss here with client when they’re considering buying owner occupied rental property.  It’s a bit long, but worth the read.  Enjoy!

I’m glad you found it useful. If your area has a landlord/tenant type organization similar to the Rental Housing Assoc. up here, they often teach these types of classes. I found this already on the City of Oakland website:


Definitely have been enjoying the sun but need to be out enjoying it more – had a much too long band rehearsal yesterday (1130-6) that took up more sun time than I wanted. :)  But, it’s gorgeous again today…


My blog also frequently has information about rental property and other tips for landlords that can be of help understanding issues, but it’s geared toward WA only. If you can find something similar for your area, it may be a good resource. Here is a sample of an article I’ve written:



Take care and good luck with this one!  Let me know if you have any other questions.



Reba Haas

Team Reba of RE/MAX Metro Realty

—–Original Message—–

From: Peter

Sent: Monday, May 06, 2013 9:13 AM

To: Rebecca Haas

Subject: Re: Oakland Houses


Wow! Thank you so much for the detailed response, Reba. I’m thinking of looking for a class or two on the ins and outs of being a landlord, but this outline is terrific help to get me started.


Hope you’ve been doing well and are enjoying all the recent Northwest sun!


All the best,


Hi Peter,

Taking on a duplex has, like anything, pros and cons. Depending on the difference of price and what you can get for rent then it can often be a nice offset to you paying the full mortgage and/or provide some additional income while allowing other write offs on your taxes (as long as your income qualifies).

Here are some considerations and I’ll split them out in two scenarios:

If it’s currently rented (1 or both sides):
• The contract should stipulate that you get to review any outstanding leases and the terms therein and agree to those terms because you’ll be taking them over.
• If you need a tenant to move out to allow occupancy for you, then you should decide which unit you intend to reside in and put a requirement in the contract with the seller for them to give that tenant notice. Otherwise you wait till you close then YOU have to give them notice and then wait another 30 or so days for them to vacate.
• If one of the units is already leased, then be asking your mortgage broker about the difference (if any) in down payment required from you and any other qualifying standards. Typically rentals only have about 75% of the actual rent applied to help offset the debt to income ratios.

If it’s not rented out at all:
• The lender will look to you for 100% of the qualifying of the payment. If you can easily and comfortably do this, then that’s good and having a renter will help you offset your costs.
• If you’ve never been a landlord before, you’ll need to get familiar with the laws for your State and local city to find out if there are any special considerations you’ll need to have when renting.
• Being a landlord requires that you be responsible for following Fair Housing laws and much more, so don’t just grab any lease off the internet and do proper interviews with prospective tenants. Usually you have to get a membership or find someone who can do the credit/background checks needed for vetting out a tenant. I use here in WA the Rental Housing Association of Puget Sound ( and I’m sure there is something similar in your area. Landlord/Tenant rights can be a big deal, and they’re tough on landlords in Seattle, so be sure you’re comfortable with being a landlord.

Other considerations:
• Are the utilities split on the units so that a tenant would have to pay their own? If not, then be sure to set up rents that allow a comfortable margin for increased utility costs. The current owner should be able to provide those as part of the financial due diligence of your contract.
• Be aware that in many municipalities that you must hold trust funds of a tenant’s deposit outside of your personal banking accounts. I have a separate account entirely for my rental properties.

I’m a fan of people using rental property to increase their net worth and offset their income – I do it myself and have 6 units currently being rented. Some are easier to handle than others as my duplex has very easy tenants who pay all their utilities, pay rent on time, and they’ve been there for years. My 4-plex is a higher turnover property so it takes more money, even though rents are lower, but I keep an apartment there so even if it breaks even, it’s cheaper than me spending money on hotels when I see my family and I get tax write offs.

Be aware that if things go wrong in the other unit, you’re the one in many cases paying for the repairs. But, if the damage is a direct result of the tenant you may be able to have them cover the costs. I also recommend renter’s insurance as a requirement of tenants at certain properties.

Reba Haas
Team Reba of RE/MAX Metro Realty

—–Original Message—–
From: Peter
Sent: Sunday, May 05, 2013 3:36 PM
To: Rebecca Haas
Subject: Oakland Houses

Well it has been a bit of a crazy ride down here in the bay, Reba, but I’m once again thinking about making an offer on a house down here. I’m a little concerned though only because the property I’m currently looking at is a duplex with some income potential, and I really have very little idea about how I should think about this new sort of scenario (the loan would be for around $150,000 more than my previous cap).

I’ve talked with my broker of course, but it would also be nice to hear your educated and unbiased opinion. If you might have just five or ten minutes to chat this week (or maybe this is something we could just chat about thru email?), I would greatly appreciate your time.

Thanks so much,

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Skyway Duplex – short commute to downtown Seattle

One of our Team Reba clients has put her rental property on the market, it’s ready for either owner occupied or continuation as a full rental. This could be a perfect owner occupied investment in one unit (one tenant is month to month on lease) or can continue as is, with excellent property management already in place. Location is great for downtown Seattle commuters, or perhaps Renton, Burien or the Kent Valley. Close to SeaTac as well for anyone who needs to do frequent trips to the airport.

Rebecca Haas

Office: 425.970.3697

Cell: 206.910.3429

Office Fax: 206.576.0673

Website or Mobile:



5160 S Augusta St
Seattle, WA 98178
MLS#: 631822
Price: $215,000
Bedrooms:   4
Bathrooms:   2
Community:   Skyway
Well maintained duplex is fully rented & ready for new owner. Not a short sale, this property has excellent professional management which collects rents & utility surcharges. With Seattles 3% vacancy rate this is a well-priced option near downtown for a long-term strong investment opportunity. Closed sale comes with First Americans 1-year home warranty on property for buyer. Sited on SF9600 zoning.
General Features

2 Story
Year Built
Lot Square Footage
Approximate House SqFt
Parking Type
Off Street

Building Features

Roof Type
Foundation Description
Poured Concrete
Wall to Wall Carpet

Exterior Features

Property Features

Site Features
Cable TV
Gas Available
RV Parking

Lot Details
Corner Lot
Paved Street

Utilities and Taxes

Sewer Connected


School District

The information being provided is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All information must be verified by the purchaser.

Listing information courtesy of: RE/MAX METRO REALTY, INC.

This property search is part of the RE/MAX Pacific Northwest website. Listing information is courtesy of the WA-NWMLS and RE/MAX Pacific Northwest. Property information is based on available data that may include MLS information, county records, and other sources. Listings marked with this symbol: provided by Northwest Multiple Listing Service, 2014. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Properties subject to prior sale or rental Information has not been verified by agent and should be verified by buyer.

© 2001 – 2014 Reliance Network and RE/MAX Pacific Northwest. All rights reserved. US Reg. Copyright TX-5-910-991, TX-5-910-992, TX-5-910-993, and TX-5-910-994. Each RE/MAX Office is Independently Owned and Operated. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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What is included in the house you’re buying in WA State?

There are important items to consider in your offer besides just the price and earnest money. What is included can be a hotly contested issue, especially if people involved in the sale aren’t paying full attention to the paperwork.

Annie Fitzsimmons from the WA Association of REALTORS explains:

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5 simple questions to test your financial literacy

I just got 100% of the test when I took it myself, but let’s see how the rest of you do!

Simple Financial Literacy Test

Honestly, I was a little sad to see the statistics at the end of the typical respondent’s outcome on the test.  I’ve got contacts all over the USA and the world and would love to hear from you on how you did. Be sure to put in the comments what you scored (if you dare!).

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Team Reba June 2014 real estate newsletter

Here is a link to my “June Real Estate Update“:

This Newsletter is full of interesting and useful information that I think you will enjoy whether you are a buyer, seller, or homeowner.

This month’s issue includes topics such as:

“The Importance of Seller Disclosures”;
“Set The Stage For A Super Home Sale”;
“The Critical First Two Weeks of Marketing Your Home For Sale”;
“The Top Five Homebuyer Regrets”;
“What You Don’t Know About Credit Reports”;

Plus a roundup of May real estate activity as well as much more advice and information.

I hope you enjoy this monthly newsletter. If you have any comments, please e-mail them to me. Or, if you would like to see a certain topic covered in future months, let me know that too!

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Home buyer’s class Sat, May 31st 2014 at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle

Team Reba is proud to partner up as volunteer co-speakers with Eric Aasness of Wells Fargo at another Washington State Housing Finance Commission home buyer’s class at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle (4408 Delridge Way SW) from 10am – 3pm. You can send a reservation request to if you, or someone you know, would like to join us this Saturday. Bring a sack lunch and drinks, breaks will be provided throughout the day.

We have 5 people signed up now, but seats are still available! Now is a great time to get educated as interest rates are expected to start rising in 2015 and beyond once certain legislation sunsets at the end of this year….

More info on the program is at the link below:

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