Archive for the Property Info – Customer Service Category

Introducing Ticor Tech Farm

Ticor Tech Farm

We are excited to announce Ticor Tech Farm, an automated way of organizing your focused areas of prospecting, marketing, and lead generation.  With Ticor Tech Farm’s live property data and rich insights, FARMing just got a whole lot better!  The old ways of managing static mailing lists, generating neighborhood reports, and engaging potential sellers are a thing of the past. 

Request a Demo

Ready to find out more? Complete the demo request form here and we will contact you to show you how you can leverage Ticor Tech Farm.

Has Your Farm Become Stagnant?

With Ticor Tech Farm, our dashboard analytics allow you a quick 360 view of your farm giving you the ability to make insightful and effective business decisions.

Download a Ticor Tech Farm Flyer here.

The Old Way of Farming

In the past, farm lists were generated based on our clients’ specific search criteria and delivered via spreadsheet or mailing label format, providing a snapshot of information from a moment in time.  The challenge with this approach to generating farm lists is that neighborhoods are fluid as home owners are continually buying and selling. Thus, farm lists would require regular maintenance, otherwise ownership information and sales stats would become increasingly less accurate as time goes by.

New! Dynamic Farming with Ticor Tech Farm

Ticor Tech Farm has live property data and eliminates the need for the tedious process of manually updating ownership and sales information in your farm lists.  In other words, once farms are loaded into the system, they will automatically be updated as new information is recorded with the assessor. This is a huge time saver and enables real estate professionals to make insightful business decisions based on current information.  

What Do I Get With Ticor Tech Farm?

  • Instant access to the detailed property data
  • Automatic updates for any changes on new ownership
  • Manage multiple farms on one site
  • Easily import/export detailed farm reports
  • Gain a competitive edge by analyzing your farm

What Does It Cost?

Price per farm is $2.10.  Premium data options are available for a fee.  Contact your sales executive for more information.

Pocket Profile – New Interactive Map Search Feature

Property Profile App - Pocket Profile
We are pleased to announce the latest generation of the Ticor Pocket Profile App with major updates designed for time savings and intuitive & interactive map search functionality.
Simply tap the map to retrieve a property profile!

Find Pocket Profile in Your App Store

Search “Pocket Profile” to find it in your Apple or Android app store.
Get Pocket Profile for iOS
Get Pocket Profile for Android

Improved Search Capabilities

Robust Search Capabilities:

  • Search by property address
  • Search by APN
  • Search by property owner
  • Take a photo search
  • Interactive map search
  • Access your past profile searches
  • Contact your Ticor Title Sales Executive
  • Email a property profile

Tap the Map to Search

The interactive map search makes researching adjacent or nearby properties easy! Click any property within view to access basic information or a complete property profile. Move or zoom the map to explore and search.

Easy Access to Recent Searches

Save time accessing previous searches with the “Recent Searches” feature. Properties that you last searched are available in one click.

How to Get an Account

The Pocket Profile app is connected to the TicorExpress.com website and uses the same username and password. If you already have a TicorExpress.com account, you’re ready to go. If you are a new user, please contact your Ticor Title Sales Executive for exclusive access to this powerful time-saving research tool!

Announcing the Ticor Intelligence Report

Intelligence-Report--
We’re excited to introduce the Ticor Intelligence Report to our Puget Sound area clients & partners.

intelligence-report-200The Ticor Intelligence Report is designed to help you generate leads, increase referrals, and provide meaningful local market data to your clients and prospects.

Be the local market intelligence expert for $25 per year!

Generate Leads

Post and promote your reports on Facebook and Twitter. Print and share your reports at open houses. Upload reports to your website. It’s easy to get your area-specific reports in front of prospective buyers and sellers.

Look Smart

Your weekly Ticor Intelligence Report will quickly become your new best friend.Now, when someone asks you, “How’s the market?”, you can answer them confidently, with specific details. Your buyers and sellers will love you for helping them make smarter decisions about pricing, market timing and more.

GET STARTED

Getting Started takes just a few moments. Contact your Ticor Title Sales Executive for more information today!

The Property Tax Annual Cycle in Washington State

There are few things in life that are as certain as taxes, especially when it comes to buying, selling, and owning real estate.  In this article, we’re going to take a specific look at common questions relating to property taxes, including when they are due, when they may be paid, how they’re calculated, and what tax relief programs are available.
Click Here to View a PDF version of this infographic.Property-Tax-Annual-Cycle-graphic

 

The Property Tax Timeline

Property taxes have a timeline that is different than most other taxes or bills that we pay. Let’s take a look at the facts:

  • Taxes are due twice a year, but towards the middle each cycle
  • First half taxes are due at the end of April and cover January through June
  • Second half taxes are due at the end of October, and cover July through December
Click  the following link to download a printable version of the Property Tax Annual Cycle Infographic.

Property tax proration

Because taxes are due toward the middle of the period they cover, a real estate seller may receive a refund or pay prorated taxes depending on the closing date.  For example, a sale that closes in March will have both parties paying prorated taxes: the seller pays for January 1st to date of closing, and the buyer pays from the closing date to June 30th. A closing that happens in May, would give the seller a refund for prorated taxes from the closing date to the end of June, since the seller would have paid in April for the entire first half of the year.

Can property taxes be paid in advance?

When are taxes due?

1st half are due the last day of April, 2nd half are due the last day of October. King County mails out a statement in the middle of February.

Taxes for the second half of the year can be paid in advance, but the first half can’t. Washington State law (RCW 84.56.010) doesn’t allow county treasurers to collect property taxes until February 15 of the year that they are due. So the first half is typically payable any time between Feb 15th and April 30th; and the second half is typically payable any time between Feb 15th and October 31st. It is not necessary to have a tax statement to mail in with your payment. If you decide to mail in your payment without a tax statement, you must write your tax account number on the check. Mailed payments must be postmarked on or before the due date otherwise they will be considered late.

How are property taxes calculated?

How taxes are calculated

The two factors used in the calculation of taxes are the assessed value of the property and the levy rate for that area. Levy rates are represented in dollars per thousand, so to calculate the tax amount multiply the assessed value by the levy rate and divide by 1,000.

The property tax for a given parcel are based on a fairly simple calculation: multiply the total assessed or taxable value of the parcel by the levy rate for that parcel’s neighborhood. In addition there can be fees added by the county to cover specific services like noxious weed control.

Last Year’s Assessed Value x This Year’s Levy Rate = Tax Amount Due

What determines the levy rate?

The levy rates are determined by a number of factors, including the results of voter-approved levies. Property taxes usually aren’t certified until the middle of February, even though the assessments were mailed out the previous year (which often causes confusion). In other words, the assessed valuation statement you get in the 2ndhalf of this year has no effect on the taxes you are paying this year. The valuation will be used in the calculation for next year’s taxes. You won’t know the actual tax you will need to pay for 2016 until the county certifies 2016 taxes in the middle of February, even though 2016 assessed values have been available for months.

Assessed value vs. taxable value

The assessed value is typically the same as the taxable value except in cases where the taxpayer has applied for and received an exemption. For example, senior and disabled property owners may qualify for tax reductions. In some cases home improvements may qualify for a 3-year exemption for taxes on the value of the improvement. For more information on possible exemptions or tax defererals, contact the Assessor-Treasurer for the county in which the property is located.

What tax relief programs are available?

Here are some examples of tax relief programs and special classifications that may be available in your area:

  • Open Space Classification for Agricultural land, Timberland, and Natural preserves.
  • Designated Forest Land Classification for timberland parcels 20 acres or more.
  • Historical Restoration Exemption for historical significant property undergoing restoration.
  • Improvement Exemption – Single Family Dwellings a temporary exemption of valuation of additions to single-family dwellings.
  • Destroyed Property Claim adjustment to the valuation of destroyed property. (King County – please note this program is handled by the Admin department, for further information please contact them at 425-388-3038).
  • Property tax exemptions for senior citizens and disabled persons
  • Full tax deferrals for senior citizens and disabled persons.
  • Exemptions for qualifying property owned by non-profit organizations.
  • Property tax deferral for those with limited income.

Property tax resources:

King County property tax resources

King County Assessor-Treasurer hotline: (206) 296-3850
Find your tax parcel account number: King County tax parcel search
See or print a tax statement: View or print King County tax statements here.
Make online payment: Pay King County Property Taxes Online
Make checks payable to: King County Treasurer
Mailing addresses for property taxes: King County Treasury 500 Fourth Avenue, Room 600 Seattle, WA 98104

Pierce County property tax resources:

Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer hotline: (253) 798-6111
Find your tax parcel account number: Pierce County tax parcel search
See or print a tax statement: View or print Pierce County tax statements online here.
Make online payment: Pay Pierce County Property Taxes Online
Make checks payable to: Pierce County
Mailing addresses for property taxes: Pierce County Budget & Finance P.O. Box 11621 Tacoma, WA 98411-6621

Snohomish County property tax resources:

Snohomish County Assessor-Treasurer hotline: (425) 388-3433
Find your tax parcel account number: Snohomish County Tax tax parcel search
See or print a tax statement: View or Print Snohomish County tax statements online here.
Make online payment: Pay Snohomish County Property Taxes Online.
Make checks payable to: Snohomish County Treasurer
Mailing addresses for property taxes: Snohomish County Treasurer 3000 Rockefeller Ave, M/S 501 Everett, WA 98201

Spokane County property tax resources:

Spokane County Assessor-Treasurer hotline: (509) 477-3698
Find your tax parcel account number: Spokane County Tax tax parcel search
See or print a tax statement: View or Print Spokane County tax statements online here.
Make online payment: Pay Spokane County Property Taxes Online.
Make checks payable to: Spokane County Treasurer
Mailing addresses for property taxes: Spokane County Treasurer
PO Box 199
Spokane, WA 99210

Recorded Documents Now Available Via Ticor Pocket Profile App

Pocket Profile

How to Get the Ticor Pocket Profile App

To get the Pocket Profile App, visit the App Store on your Apple Device or the Google Play Store on your Android.

You Will Need a Username/Password

Once you have installed the app on your mobile device, you will need a Pocket Profile account login to access property information for your area. Your Ticor Title Sales Executive can provide you with a username and password.

Recorded Documents via Mobile

We are excited to announce that our Ticor Pocket Profile app now provides access to recorded documents (Deeds) for properties in King County, Pierce County, and Snohomish Counties. Access to recorded documents and full legal descriptions after hours, on weekends, and on the go saves time and may help avoid certain business delays for our Lending and Real Estate partners! Pocket Profile puts document access in your hands.

What is the Ticor Pocket Profile App?

Quite simply, the Ticor Pocket Profile App enables users to access property profiles from their Android or Apple mobile device. Users have the option to search for properties by address, owner name, parcel number, nearby properties, or even by taking a snapshot of a house.

What’s included in a Property Profile report?

Property profile reports include

  • Property Profile – With Legal Description, Property Characteristics, Sale Loan Info, Assessor / Tax info
  • Transfer History (Now with Recorded Documents!)
  • Area Sales Analysis
  • Nearby Properties
  • Neighborhood Demographics
  • Public Schools Report
  • Private Schools Report
  • Plat Map

How to Access Recorded Documents

The five steps below illustrate how to access recorded documents

Step 1.
Search for a property.

property-profile-search-1

Step 2.
Select a property from the list of results.

property-profile-search-2

Step 3.
Select Transfer History

property-profile-search-3

Step 4.
Select the Document Number option.

property-profile-search-4

Step 5.
The Recorded Document Appears.

property-profile-search-5

 

Questions or Comments? Contact us or share below!

Ready, Snap, Go! – Take A Photo & Get A Property Profile

We’re excited to announce a feature update for the Ticor Pocket Profile app that allows users to access a property profile by simply snapping a photo of the subject property from a mobile device! This new time-saving feature can be used when previewing properties with clients, at open houses, or when driving through a neighborhood.

How to use the new “Take a Photo” property profile feature:

1. Log in to the Ticor Pocket Profile app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device.

2. Select the “Take a Photo” search option from the menu at the bottom of the app.

3. Snap a photo of the property that you would like information about and confirm by selecting the “Yes” button.

4. Tap the property address to access the property profile, sale loan history, assessor information, plat map, and more.

What’s included in a property profile

Property profiles via the Ticor Pocket Profile app include:

  • Owner information
  • Property characteristics
  • Brief legal description
  • Sale loan information
  • Assessor information
  • Transfer history
  • Plat map

Property profiles may be shared via email directly from the app.

Other ways to access property profile information

Example of the “Near Me” feature in Ticor Pocket Profile app.

Ticor Pocket Profile app also allows users to search for properties via parcel number, address, owner name, or by using the “Near Me” feature. The “Near Me” search feature uses the GPS location on your mobile device to provide a list of property results near your current location. The app will display a map with several red pins representing nearby parcels. Tap one of the pins to access a property profile for that parcel.

How to get the Ticor Pocket Profile App

The Ticor Pocket Profile app is available via the Apple App Store for iOS devices or Google Play for Android devices. In order to use the Ticor Pocket Profile app, you will need an account which can be provided to you by your Ticor sales executive. Property profiles in the Puget Sound region are provided at no charge to you.

Download Ticor Pocket Profile for iOS devices here
Download Ticor Pocket Profile for Android devices here

Related articles

Ticor Pocket Profile app overview and video review
Ticor Agent 2.0 closing cost app

Questions or comments? Please share below!

Leverage MyTicor.com to Better Qualify Short Sale Opportunities

how to research loan history for a short sale

Short sale transactions currently make up approximately 20%-30% of the total transactions in the Northwest. Because that number is expected to increase, savvy real estate professionals are equipping themselves with the tools necessary to efficiently handle more short sale transactions than ever before.  In addition, we are seeing loan servicers provide tools, structure, and education for the purpose of making the debt settlement process flow more efficiently for all parties involved.

How to Access Loan History Info

Click the image below to download the loan history flow chart. Research Loan History - Short Sale Tool

At Ticor, we recognize that one of the key tools that real estate professionals need is loan history information that includes recorded documents (deeds) for local properties.  With this information, a short sale specialist can better understand which loans are attached to the property as well as which names (and how they’re spelled) are on the loans.  The benefit to the real estate professional is they will be better equipped to help facilitate the completion of the short sale package in a timely manner as required by the loan servicer.

Listed below are the steps to accessing loan information for a specific property via MyTicor.com

  1. Log in to MyTicor.com.  Click the Property Information Button/Link
  2. Search for a property by address or owner name
  3. Choose “Enhanced Report” to access loan history on the subject property
  4. Scroll to view Property History & Mortgage Records
  5. Recorded documents may be viewed, saved, or printed.

If you would like access to the property information available via MyTicor.com, please contact your Ticor Sales Executive.  If you do not currently have a Sales Executive, please call (800) 215-8404.

We will be happy to serve you!

how to research loan history for a short sale

Condo, Townhome, PUD, or Plat? What they are, how they’re different, and how they’re identified.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52847686@N07/5082458589/

Condo, Townome, PUD, or Plat.  How to tell the difference - http://www.flickr.com/photos/52847686@N07/5082458589/

Sometimes questions arise as to the exact nature of certain residential properties: It looks like a house but is it a condo, a townhome, built on a lot in a plat or what? Should I use a Residential Purchase & Sale Agreement or a Condominium Purchase & Sale Agreement form when I write up an offer?  No worries! Your Ticor Customer Service team is happy to help you clear up this sometimes murky issue.  Below are some tips to help you identify which type of residential parcel you’re working with.

Download

Click the image below to download a printable version of this article.
How to tell the difference between a condo, plat, townhome, or PUD

Look at how it was recorded:

In the same way that you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t simply look at a home and know whether it’s part of a condo or some other form of subdivision (a/k/a “plat”). The answer may be found with how it was first recorded.

Look for land ownership differences:

The primary difference between a condo and other forms of development is the ownership of the land.

Condo:  An owner of a condo “unit” owns their dwelling but not the land it’s built on. In fact, condo owners typically don’t even own the walls, just the surface of them. Unit owners collectively share interests in the  “common elements”.  Typical common elements include interior hallways, building exteriors, elevators, landscaping, and recreational amenities like swimming pools. Parking may be assigned to specific units, may be held as separate tax parcels, may be common elements, or may be a combination. In Washington State condominiums are created under the provisions of the Washington Condominium Act (or the earlier Horizontal Property Regimes Act).

Plat: 1.) Generic term meaning any type of recorded subdivision.  2.) Specifically a recorded division of detached, single family homes.  Homeowners in a plat own the parcel of land and the structure(s) built on it, and may or may not also have an interest in common areas.  Common areas may be owned in percentage by some or all of the homeowners, or may be held by the Homeowners Association as a separate entity.

A PUD (Planned Unit Development – not to be confused with Public Utility District) is a type of subdivision where the homeowners individually own their lots, plus jointly belong to an association which owns and maintains significant common areas like streets and sidewalks.

Look at covenants and recorded plat documents

In each case, recorded plat documents and covenants typically specify the terms of  what is owned by the individual homeowners and what are common areas.

Your Ticor Customer Service team will be happy to provide legal descriptions, property profiles, or plat documents for you.

Sample legal descriptions

  • Lot 45, Hawthorn Park, according to the plat thereof recorded under Recording Number 200208285002, in Snohomish County, Washington.
  • Unit 422, Building 1, Queen Anne High School Condominium, Survey Map and Plans recorded in Volume 211 of Condominiums, page(s) 13 through 31, inclusive; Condominium Declaration recorded under Recording Number(s) 20051115002874 and amendments thereto, in King County, Washington.
  • Lot 13 and South 2.67 feet of lot 14, Marsh Commons PUD. according to the plat thereof recorded in Volume 144 of plats, page(s) 9 through 11, in King County, Washington;

Townhouses can be any of the above!

Townhomes (common-wall or zero-lot-line homes) can be recorded as a condominium, a regular plat, or a PUD.  It is also common in urban areas to see a residential lot short platted into several separate lots with a townhouse on each lot and perhaps a shared driveway. Townhome short plats include specific language about maintenance of the shared elements.

Here are some sample legal descriptions that can give a clue about how the townhomes were recorded:

  • Unit 11704, Silvercrest Townhouses Condominiums, a Condominium according to Declaration recorded under Auditor’s No. 9105310689 and amendment thereto recorded under Auditor’s No. 9110210556, and Survey Map and Plans recorded under Auditor’s No. 9105310690, in Pierce County, Washington.
  • Lot(s) 165, Silver Firs Townhouses, according to the plat thereof recorded in Volume 59 of Plats, page(s) 109 through 114, in Snohomish County, Washington.
  • Unit Lot B, Seattle Short Subdivision No. 3006904, recorded under Recording Number 20080205900009, in King County, Washington.

Quiz:

See if you can spot which of these photos is in a Condo, Plat, or PUD? (Three question quiz inserted below shows a picture and a multiple choice answer)

Enter your name and hit the ‘start’ button to take the 3-question quiz!

Property Tax Appeals and Exemptions

property tax appeals and exemptions

property tax appeals and exemptions

This time of year usually brings a renewed interest in property taxes. We’ve written about the property tax annual cycle before.  Today we’re going to address the question of tax appeals and exemptions.

Is it possible to reduce what I pay for property taxes? 

Download

To download a printable version of this article, click here.

For many of us the answer is probably no.  There is an appeals process plus a number of programs where property owners may qualify for exemptions or deferrals.

Property Tax Appeals

Each county provides specific information on appealing your property tax valuation. This information will include instructions on how to appeal, when you may appeal, what evidence you will need to provide, tools for gathering information, and a description of the appeals process.

You may qualify

According to the King County Department of Assessments, there are more than 26,000 senior citizens and disabled persons that qualify for exemption yet they have not enrolled.

One of the more common reasons to appeal is a change in property value.  For this reason each county provides free databases (or online search tools) that you can use for locating sold properties that are comparable to yours. If you can find similar properties that sold for less than the assessed value of your home, it may be worth your time to appeal your valuation.

Comparable Sales – Comparable sales are properties of a similar lot size, quality, living area, age, and added details like view or waterfront. If you are planning on appealing your property tax valuation, you may be required to list comparable sales that support your request on your appeal petition.

Errors in your property description – From time to time the assessor may make errors in the description of a property. Any errors in how your property is described should be noted in your petition. You can also provide other documentation such as pictures, repair bids, or geology reports if there are structural or site problems that would reduce market value.

Property Search tools

It’s the law

State law requires the Assessor to value all taxable property at 100 percent of its true and fair market value in money, according to the highest and best use of the property.

King County Property Search
Pierce County Property Search
Snohomish County Property Search

Information on appeals
King County Property Tax Appeals
Pierce County Property Tax Appeals
Snohomish County Property Tax Appeals

Property Tax Exemption & Deferral Programs

Some taxpayers may qualify for tax exemptions or tax deferrals. Exemptions generally provide a reduction in the amount of taxes due, whereas deferrals provide temporary relief by applying the deferred taxes as a lien against the property.

Below are a few categories of exemptions & deferrals provided by the Washington State Department of Revenue. The county assessor administers these programs and is responsible for determining if applicants meet the qualifications. Questions about these programs should be directed to the county assessor’s office.

Deferrals
Property tax deferral program for senior citizens and disabled persons
Property tax deferral program for homeowners with limited income

Assistance in the form of a Grant
Property tax assistance program for widows or widowers of veterans

Exemptions
Property tax exemption for nonprofit organizations
Property tax exemption program for senior citizens and disabled persons

Finally, there is a large list of other possible deferrals & exemptions available through the county assessor that may be available for a qualifying property depending on it’s condition, historic significance, or how it is used.

Siri Property tax response

What would siri have to say about saving on property taxes?

Some examples are:

  • Homeowner Improvement
  • Flood and Storm Damaged Property
  • Current Use Open Space
  • Current Use Forest Land
  • Historic Property
  • Designated Forest Land
  • Character building benevolent, protective or rehabilitative social services
  • Veterans and relief organizations
  • Libraries
  • Orphanages
  • Day care centers
  • Nursing homes and hospitals
  • Schools and colleges
  • Art, scientific and historical collections
  • Fire companies
  • Humane societies
  • Musical and artistic associations
  • Public assembly halls
  • Certain public authorities
  • Sheltered workshops for the disabled

As a reference, here are some resources for King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.

King County

Address Department of AssessmentsProperty Tax Advisor Office516 3rd Ave, Room 1236Seattle, WA 98104Toll Free: 1-800-325-6165 ext. 5-6330TTY: 206-205-6338

Fax: 206-296-0948

taxadvisor@kingcounty.gov

Exemption Questions (206) 205-6330
Website Appeals
Comparable Sales Comparable Sales

Pierce County

Address Assessor-TreasurerAnnex (Public Services Building)2401 South 35th Street Room 142Tacoma, WA 98409(253) 798-6111pcatr@co.pierce.wa.us
Exemption Questions (253) 798-6111
Website Appeals
Comparable Sales Comparable Sales

Snohomish County

Address Assessor’s OfficeFirst Floor, Administration Building East3000 Rockefeller Ave, M/S 510Everett, WA 98201425-388-3615contact.assessor@co.snohomish.wa.us
Exemption Questions (425) 388-3540
Website Appeals
Comparable Sales Comparable Sales

Zoning questions? Here’s how we can help…

Is my property subdividable?
Can I start a home-based business here?
Are there height restrictions?
Zoning Map Example - Seattle

Buyers or sellers may ask questions like the ones above. The answers may often be found deep in the zoning code for a particular neighborhood or parcel.

Verify zoning jurisdiction

When questions about land use or zoning come in to our Ticor Title Customer Service team, the first thing we’ll do is verify which jurisdiction the property is in. This is important because zoning can be under the jurisdiction of a city or the entire county. There’s no point in calling Pierce County Planning and Land Services if the property is inside the city limits of Tacoma and vice versa.

To make matters more complicated, the same zoning code designation could be used by more than one city, and it could mean different things in different jurisdictions. (For example, R-4 in the city of Bellevue has a minimum lot width of 65’ while in Covington the minimum lot width is 30’. Setbacks, minimum dimensions, and height restrictions may be very different from city to city, even if they use some of the same codes.)

Your Ticor Title customer service team can help connect  you with  the right department where an engineer or technician will be able to answer your client’s questions with authority!

Connect with the right department

Click the image to download a printable version of this article.

It’s important to get the facts. Your client may be basing important decisions on the answers to their questions.  Zoning and related issues are subject to changes due to annexations and/or changing regulations. You or your client will want the most current and direct information possible. Your Ticor Title customer service team can help connect you with the right department where an engineer or technician will be able to answer your client’s questions with authority!

In some cases, the zoning classification may not be exactly what you or your client was hoping for. Fear not. There may be options. Check with the jurisdiction to see if they might allow a variance for a specific parcel. If all the neighbors in an area agree, it may also be possible to request a rezone that would affect a whole block or neighborhood. (Link to Map 1) In cases where the surrounding zoning is all like-kind, it may be harder to get a variance or rezone than if the neighborhood is a patchwork of different zoning codes.

King, Pierce, and Snohomish zoning resources

Consider CC&R’s

In addition to zoning regulations, another possible factor to consider may be CC&Rs. A change that fits within the current zoning code regulations may be prohibited by a property’s CC&Rs. For example, a property that is zoned SF 5000 in the City of Seattle may have maximum height of 30’ in the zoning code but the same property may also have a recorded view easement or plat covenants that limit homes on the lot to a single story. When the various regulations conflict, the rule of thumb would be to abide by the most restrictive among them.

To see the unincorporated county zoning on a map, check out these great sites:

Often cities will provide mapped zoning information as well, often in a PDF format. Here are a few examples:

Often cities will provide mapped zoning information as well, often in a PDF format. Here is a link to a great site with links to city web sites and municipal codes:  http://www.mrsc.org/codes.aspx

Be thorough in your research

As with many property issues, there’s more to than story than meets the eye. The information provided by your title company is usually just the tip of the iceberg. Buyers and sellers should always perform  thorough research before making any big plans or decisions. In fact, it might be a good idea to consult with a land use attorney.

Do you have thoughts or questions? Please share by commenting below!

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Kent, WA 98031
844-MY-TICOR

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