• Avoiding the pitfalls of repairing a rented home

    By: KIRO 7 STAFF

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - We're hearing from more people who are renovating their rentals, to make an affordable place more comfortable and functional.

    That's what  Dr. Tami Meraglia did when her office rent spiked.

    She moved her Medi-Spa practice into a large Queen Anne home, to create the perfect place for her to live and work.

    “It’s a block from my old location,” Meraglia said.

    And she spent tens of thousands of dollars “ fixing mold, replacing windows [and] put in new heating.”

    She thought her contract with the owners was solid.

    But a problem with the agreement could leave her out all the cash she invested.

    Some renters have found that their time and money ends up increasing the value.

    Attorney Matt Hansen says there are more people settling into new rentals, just to find they can't afford them very long    

    Look what a difference one year makes: According to website rentbits, which scans listings, over the last year, Seattle rents as a whole - are up more than 6 percent.

    But where Dr. Meraglia is (zip code 98119) is up 14 percent.

    In a really hot neighborhood like Columbia City (98118) - a jump of 68 percent.

    At the end of lease terms, you'll start to see landlords who come back in and reassess the value of their property.

    So if the price goes up, the money you sank into your place might have helped price you out of your place by bumping up its value.

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