Frequently Asked Questions
Created Specifically for Real Estate Brokers

Last Updated — january 23, 2017

Fort Lawton welcomes the Broker community. We are committed to your full participation in the sale of a Fort Lawton home to your buyer. This FAQ is divided into topics to help you quickly find answers to common questions. Some questions may appear in multiple sections depending on the topic.

We will routinely update the FAQ with new information. All new information will appear first in the topic area. We will not delete any questions, so you don’t have to save old versions. All of the questions and answers will be retained from the first home sold to the last.

If you have additional questions please give us a call at: 206-669-6857. It’s our aim to make the deliberative process as easy as possible for you and your clients. 

Section 1: Purchase Process and Home
Ownership at Fort Lawton

+ Q: Does a buyer have to work with one of Fort Lawton’s preferred lenders?

It is preferred but not mandatory. All qualified offers will be accepted.

+ Q: Where do I get specifics on lot lines and square footage for each home?

Please refer to the Unit Lot Subdivision maps and the home and lot matrix, which are all available at the sales office. If your client is interested in a specific home, please contact us at 206-489-3559.

+ Q: Where do I get interior measurements of the floor plans?

You will want to refer to the floor plan sheets which are generally true by plan type. Each home is distinct so there may be minor differences from one address to the next but for general purposes, the floor plan sheets are a great estimate.

If your client is interested in a specific home, please contact us at 206-489-3559.

+ Q: Are there any property assessments by the municipality?

Purchasing a home at Fort Lawton is no different than purchasing a home in any Seattle neighborhood. As a property owner you are obligated to pay all levies, bonds and other related city property taxes. There are no special city taxes for living at Fort Lawton.

+ Q: Will a survey be provided for each home?


+ Q: Which utility provides the electricity, water and sewer?

Like all homes in Seattle, the City of Seattle provides the electricity, water and sewer.


Section 2: General Questions
about the Interior Spaces

+ Q: Where do I get interior measurements of the floor plans?

You will want to refer to the floor plan sheets which are generally true by plan type. Each home is distinct so there may be minor differences from one address to the next but for general purposes, the floor plan sheets are a great estimate.

If your client is interested in a specific home, please contact us at 206 489 3559.

+ Q: What is the roofing material for the homes?

All composition roofing has been replaced by CertainTeed “Hatteras”, 235#/square composition materials with a 40-year warranty. This is a custom home quality material specifically required and approved by the Landmarks Preservation Board.

Standing seam metal roofing has been added to porch extensions to match the existing roofing as replacement must be in kind.

+ Q: Is there natural gas in the homes or natural gas connections?

Yes, there are both.

+ Q: Could a home buyer replace a wood burning fireplace with a gas fireplace? Would the venting be permitted by the Landmarks Preservation Board?

Interior improvements are not governed by the Landmarks Preservation Board, so virtually any interior improvement is allowable that does not change the exterior form.

Regarding exterior venting, we can’t guarantee how the Landmarks Preservation Board would respond to that specific request. In our restoration efforts, we have the found the Board to be understanding about modernizations that don’t pretend to be historic and were thoughtfully designed. For example, new boiler exhaust, electrical meter panels, etc.

+ Q: Describe the quality of the insulation in the exterior and party walls?

Insulation varies depending on the construction of each home. Wherever exterior or party walls have been opened, we have installed thermal insulation. The floor framing between the basement and first floor has been filled with thermal insulation. All new construction such as back porches, roof extensions, etc. are fully insulated consistent with today’s standards.

It is important to note that the original construction of the party walls included three layers of lath and plaster, separated by two air gaps. These performed very well, but we upgraded them by installing a sound attenuating foam in each wall stud cavity of the entire party wall. So each party wall now consists of three layers of lath and plaster, one layer of sound attenuating foam, and one air gap.


Section 3: General Questions about
the Exteriors, Maintenance and Landscaping 

+ Q: Are lots with easements a liability for the owner? Who pays for damages if someone is hurt on the playground or on someone else's property?

The HOA carries liability insurance that includes coverage of the amenity easement areas. Each Owner and the Association agree to indemnify, defend and hold the owners of the lots burdened by the easements harmless from claims arising from use of the easements.

+ Q: Please confirm a list of pesticides and/or other chemicals used for landscaping will be subject to approval of the homeowner.

We did not put any parameters around /herbicide pesticide use in the HOA nor is it addressed in the City’s Fort Lawton Design Guidelines. The guidelines do reference a Discovery Park Vegetation Management Plan which discusses herbicide use and makes specific recommends. A copy of that plan is at the sales office for review.

If the HOA wanted to contractually obligate a landscaper or pest control contractor not to use certain types of herbicides or pesticides that could be considered within the private property. The HOA can’t obligate the City for the public land.

+ Q: Are homeowner’s permitted to install wireless fences for pets?

Yes. There are no restrictions regarding wireless fences.

+ Q: Was there work to the foundations, or new drainage installed and if yes, where does it drain?

We have not exposed foundations or installed new foundation drainage or retrofits.

We have and will install all seismic upgrades in each home, which are designed by a professional engineer and permitted through the City of Seattle. In addition, all the work is fully inspected before covered by drywall. Most of the seismic improvements are behind the drywall.

+ Q: What is the restoration process for the wood siding?

Siding was inspected for moisture damage and replaced as needed. Any areas with bare or peeling paint were properly prepared before painting.

+ Q: Is there any evidence of underground oil tanks?

Not to our knowledge.

+ Q: Please confirm that the street lighting for Officer’s Row complies with residential neighborhood codes.

Both Montana Circle and Officer’s Row were built and maintained by the Federal Government, which is not subject to city building codes.

Our preservation program does not include new street lighting beyond what currently exists. We have observed that when fully occupied, most residents utilize their porch lights. In addition, the carport, garage and indoor illumination will add to the ambient lighting throughout the neighborhood.

+ Q: Will bicycles be permitted to be stowed and parked on porches? Also, please confirm there are no restrictions for bikes on lawns.

The City’s Ft. Lawton Design Guidelines is silent on bike storage; there is no restriction.


Section 4: Questions about the
Home Owners Association (HOA)

+ Q: What does the HOA cover?

Basic maintenance, landscaping, insurance and professional management are all included. Additionally, each homeowner’s dues will include a monthly contribution toward reserves for items like painting, roofing, etc.

+ Q: Does the HOA landscaping also take care of the large trees on private lots at Montana Circle and Officer’s Row? Does this include branch trimming and cleaning-up fallen leaves?

Yes, it is all included.

+ Q: Who will be on the HOA Board? How many people total and what is their role?

After the transition date, the HOA board will consist of five directors, all members of the association, elected by neighborhood owners. Their role will be to administer the affairs of the association, with the assistance of a professional HOA manager. These affairs include approving budgets, expenditures and addressing other matters of interest. For more specifics please refer to the Master Declaration and Bylaws for details. A copy of HOA bylaws can be reviewed in the sales office.


Section 5:  General Questions
about Discovery Park / Ft. Lawton

+ Q: Are you aware of any plans to develop the structures outside of homes at Montana Circle or Officer’s Row?

In January 1977, the Seattle Landmarks Board created the Fort Lawton Historic District located in the heart of Discovery Park. The historic district has four separate zones. Zones one and two include the parade grounds and chapel area. These areas are owned and managed by the City of Seattle as a passive park. They are designated as open areas where visitors can experience the natural setting. (Zones three and four are Montana Circle and Officer’s Row.)
The city has declared that all six buildings in zones one and two are to be maintained in a compatible, passive nature with the park. Only the exteriors of the buildings are to be preserved. Interior spaces do not need to be maintained or finished in any manner. No infill or new construction, temporary structures, fencing or seasonal decorations are allowed in zones one or two. The paint colors must be maintained and any repairs must be in kind to the historical character of the buildings. The six buildings that fall under these conditions are:

  • The administrative building (1902)
  • The band barracks building (1904)
  • The civilian employees quarters (1908)
  • The guardhouse/ jail building (1902)
  • The post exchange/gymnasium (1905)
  • The quartermaster stables (1908)

Information provided has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but cannot be guaranteed.  Seller reserves the right to modify without notice.