Kirkland, Washington Property Management
Do you own property in the Kirkland, Washington area that you are managing yourself? Are you considering purchasing investment property in the Kirkland area? We have prepared the following information so can make an informed decision related to buying your rental property and Kirkland property management.
Kirkland’s Local Profile
Kirkland, Washington is home to 85,763 people, and for local property investors, it offers a combination of family friendly schools and parks, plenty of local jobs through big corporations in and around the area, and plenty of culture and nightlife for families and singles alike. Together, these factors combine to make Kirkland a great place to live, and in fact, Kirkland was ranked #19 out of 50 of the safest places to live in Washington, with a crime rate some 49% below the Washington average.
Neighborhoods – Kirkland is home to multiple neighborhoods and each brings their own charm, culture, local activities and schools to the table.
• Finn Hill
• Juanita Neighborhood
• Evergreen Hill (Greater Kingsgate Area)
• Totem Lake
• North Rose Hill
• Moss Bay
• South Rose Hill/ Bridle Trails
• Central Houghton
You can see the official neighborhood borders on Kirkland’s map of neighborhood associations here.
Education – In addition to multiple neighborhoods, Kirkland is home to some of the top rated schools in the state. Plus, with 25 preschools, 24 elementary schools, 22 middle schools, and 12 high schools, there are plenty of education choices in the area. Kirkland is part of the Lake Washington School District, and 2 of the district’s choice traditional high schools are located right in Kirkland. Kirkland is also home to the Lake Washington Technical College and Northwest University, and borders on Bastyr University, which it shares with Kenmore.
Parks & Trails – Kirkland offers a rich array of culture, including parks, trails, and public art and works. Parks make up approximately 25% of the city’s area, and include a total of 11 areas, strategically placed to allow visitors and residents to enjoy the city, the waterfront, and the woods. These combine with many walking trails and paths, including the 5.75 mile Cross Kirkland Corridor. The city offers a map of parks and trails to help you identify those nearest to your property.
Buying a Rental Property in Kirkland, Washington
The first thing to think about when considering purchasing a rental property in Kirkland is where to buy. The general rule is the closer you get to Lake Washington, the higher rents are and the easier the property is to lease. A one bedroom condo near the water in Kirkland will generally be easier to rent than a similar unit a few blocks off of the lake. The positive features of the waterfront condo in terms of rent and rentability will need to be balanced against the fact that it will likely be more expensive than a similar property in another area. There are also neighborhoods and areas in Kirkland such as Totem Lake and Rose Hill which are relatively close in proximity to each other, but each having its own unique characteristics.
After considering where to buy, the next logical question is what to buy. If you are a first time investment property owner, with a relatively small amount of money to invest, you might prefer a single family home or condo, or a smaller multi-unit property. This is especially true if you plan on managing the property yourself. The larger the building, the more complex the tenant-related issues can become. A great option for a first time investor is purchasing a duplex and living in one of the two rental units.
What can you expect to get for rent in Kirkland?
4 bed/2 bath, 2,500 s.f. single family home – $2,220-$3,200 depending on area and amenities
2 bed/2 bath – 1,000 s.f. condo – $1,265 – $1,595 depending on area and amenities
Managing a Rental Property in Kirkland, Washington
Once you have purchased your Kirkland rental property you need to decide whether you will manage the property yourself or hire a professional Kirkland property management company. The answer lies in personal preference, budget, the amount of time a person has to dedicate him or herself to the issues that may arise and a person’s aversion to risk. A professional property management company like SJA Property Management can relieve a rental property owner of all aspects of managing a property. Tenant screening, lease preparation and signing, rent collection, maintenance handling are just a few of the property management related issues that are routinely handled by a professional property management company. While it may, for the sake of saving money, appear to make sense to manage your own property, you may find that the trouble is just not worth the extra money. The aggressive marketing campaigns which are implemented by professional property management companies will likely result in your rental property being rented out more quickly than if you attempt to handle it yourself. So the money you think you are saving may be eaten up in one month of unnecessary vacancy.
Property management in Kirkland is, from a legal standpoint, thought to be much easier than property management in Seattle, for instance. Seattle passed an ordinance some time ago called the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance that affords tenants in Seattle many rights that they do not have in other cities like Kirkland. While Kirkland may not have a law like the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance to contend with, it does have its own city ordinances and Washington State landlord/tenant law that must be complied with.
Other helpful links:
For more detailed information on any of the issues discussed above, please contact one of our SJA Property Management real estate and property management professionals at 425.658.1920.