Small is the new green

Increasing environmental awareness along with economic and demographic trends favor smaller house sizes. Many cities are doing their part by updating zoning codes to allow cottage housing and small backyard cottages (detached ADU's) on residentially zoned lots. Seattle and Portland are two cities which allow backyard cottages up to 800 sq. ft. in size. These small houses provide opportunities for families, while increasing housing stock density and diversity. Continue reading for more information about small house design and Seattle's backyard cottage ordinance or contact us to find out if your lot is eligible for a backyard cottage.

Wednesday, March 31

Northwest Cities that allow backyard cottages (detached ADUs)

A number of northwest cities have modified their zoning ordinances to allow detached ADUs. They appeal to families because they provide opportunities to grow or to provide rental income. They appeal to cities because they provide additional housing options and increase density. For a brief overview of some of the ordinances in Washington State check out this link to the City of Lynnwood.

Friday, March 26

Backyard Cottage Map

The City of Seattle has recently expanded the existing backyard cottage ordinance. The new ordinance allows backyard cottages in all Seattle neighborhoods on single family zoned lots that are at least 4,000 square feet. There are other specific requirements; contact us to find out if a backyard cottage will work on your lot.

To learn more about your lot click on the following link.


Enter your address in the upper left hand corner
Zoom in to your lot
Right click on your lot and click the green more link
On the upper left hand corner under under base zone it will say if a detached accessory dwelling unit is allowed. No? Don't despair, you have gained some valuable information. We can help you determine what options are available to you.


info@microhousenw.com

Wednesday, March 24

Google adds bicycle map function

The much anticipated Google bicycle mapping function has now arrived. By now everyone should know that bicycling is a great carbon free method of getting around. It has now gotten easier, well not really easier, but at least least there is one new application to encourage get people out of their cars. Check out a bike map of your commute today.  In the last year microhouse staff have completed 2,550 miles of carbon free commuting by walking or biking to work.

new google bicycle map read more

Monday, March 1

How Do I Finance My Backyard Cottage (DADU)?

What is the best way to finance a backyard cottage? Here is advice from Joseph Lancaster at Verity Credit Union.

Construction loans are very hard to come by these days so the easiest option for someone looking to finance a cottage is to get a home equity loan (aka second mortgage) on their current residence.  At Verity Credit Union, we currently pay the closing cost for all home equity loans (not including appraisals if deemed necessary) and have very competitive rates. 

HELOC’s (Home Equity Line Of Credit) are great options for people building cottages because they work like credit cards: you have a credit limit (say $100,000) and a balance that your payment is based on (minimum payment is interest only). Our HELOC’s range from 5.5% to 6.5% APR depending on the Combined Loan to Value ratio (CLTV) of the home.  Apply soon, as Verity currently has an Intro Rate Special on HELOC’s: 4.49% APR through June 30, 2010 (reverts to qualified rate on July 1, 2010). 

We also have two fixed rate home equity loan products: a 15 year fixed loan and a 30/15 fixed loan, which is amortized over 30 years to keep the payment down, with a balloon payment due after 15 years.  These fixed rate products start at 6.24% APR and with 3 possible discounts of 25 basis points each your rate could be as low as 5.49% APR.  The rates of our fixed rate products are based on CLTV and credit score and have no annual fee. 

For more information please contact me, Joe Lancaster, at 206-315-6718 or JosephL@veritycu.com.