Flu Season Etiquette Tips From The Emily Post Institute

Seattle Home InspectionWhen The Flu Hits, Manners May Not Be The First Thing That Comes To Mind.

Yet, good “flu etiquette” and hygiene can go a long way in helping to prevent the spread of influenza. While most Americans recognize that the flu virus spreads easily, they admit to sometimes forgetting their manners when they have the flu: a 2011 survey of more than 1,000 Americans found that three out of four Americans (75%) would go to at least one social situation if they had symptoms of the flu (out of a list of seven).

Influenza, or “the flu,” is a contagious viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs which occurs most often in the late fall, winter, and early spring. Flu is a serious infection which is associated, on average, with more than 200,000 hospitalizations due to flu related complications and can lead to thousands of deaths every year in the United States. [Read more…]



Click With Confidence: Three Tips To Protect Your Privacy When Shopping Online

Bellevue Real Estate If the growing online shopping statistics from the past few years have been any indication, buyers will again be flocking to online retailers this holiday season – perhaps in larger numbers than ever before.

However, as people become increasingly savvier as Web shoppers, awareness and concerns about online privacy and safety have also grown. As many as 91 percent of consumers say that they’re concerned about privacy when shopping online. Frequent news stories about consumer information being sold or mishandled have helped contribute to an atmosphere of mistrust, and more than half of consumers say they don’t trust businesses with their personal information.

For those who love the convenience and choice that come along with online shopping, there are a few ways to ensure that your information is kept safe and private.

1. Read Privacy Policies. You’ve probably seen them countless times, but how often have you actually read a privacy policy? If you’ve shopped without reading, you’re certainly not alone. While 97 percent of websites have a privacy policy, those documents average nearly 2,500 words – which is almost twice as long as the Declaration of Independence. It would take the average person at least 10 minutes to read that, and not too many online shoppers want to spend that much time. However, reading the privacy policy will give you the details about what a site is doing to keep your information safe. [Read more…]



Winterize Your Home In A Weekend

Preparing For Jack Frost’s Arrival Can Send A Shiver Down Any Homeowner’s Spine.

Bellevue Real Estate A long to-do list for getting your home ready can feel overwhelming, leaving you wondering where you’ll find the time and resources. But, with some optimism, easy tips and access to a few rental tools, you can winterize your home in just one weekend, leaving plenty of time to enjoy autumn’s splendor.

Prepare Your Lawn And Landscaping

Cold temperatures cause grass and other plants in your landscape to go dormant. Spend a few hours preparing your lawn for beautiful greenery next year.

Start by aerating. Renting an aerator is a cost-effective and efficient way to reduce thatch and provide extra space in the soil for water and oxygen to reach the roots. Find a local American Rental Association (ARA) member store near you by visiting RentalHQ.com. After aerating, spread a quality winter fertilizer to give your grass the nutrients it needs to grow strong. If you live in an area with harsh winters, remember to cover roses and delicate perennials so that they are protected. [Read more…]



Travel Tips For A Joyful Holiday Season

Seattle Home InspectionYou’ve managed to navigate the holiday crowds at the post office, the mall and the office party, but you still need to get over the river and through the woods to gatherings with family and friends.

Before you hit the roads, rails or skies this holiday season, dash through these helpful tips to make your trip as jolly as possible and, while you’re away, help you get a good night’s sleep.

* Be Prepared: Don’t forget the necessities for the inevitable travel delay when packing your luggage and gifts. Pack each child a personal travel bag with surprise snacks, new books, small toys, art supplies and a travel-sized blanket and pillow. Bring yourself a book, crossword puzzle or correspondence to catch up on. Whether it’s a canceled flight, delayed train or road construction, planning ahead to keep your family occupied during these hold-ups ensures you will all arrive at your destination in a festive mood. [Read more…]



Clearing The Air: What An HVAC Cleaner Should Really Do In Your Home

Foreclosed Homes Seattle Those Statistics About Indoor Air Pollution And It’s Relation To Respiratory Problems Convinced You It Was Time To Get Your Heating, Ventilation And Air Conditioning System (HVAC) Cleaned.

You were even looking forward to the increased energy efficiency that a clean system can provide. But $49 and one very noisy service call later, you’re still sneezing and you haven’t seen any dip in your energy bill.

What Happened?

“A very low service charge may indicate the service provider isn’t performing a thorough cleaning and maintenance of your home’s entire HVAC system,” says Matt Mongiello, president of NADCA, the HVAC Inspection, Maintenance & Restoration Association. “He or she may have done nothing more than blow air through the ducts and clean off vent grills inside the home. A cleaning performed to NADCA standards – which are cited by the EPA as a best practice – encompasses much more than just the ductwork.”
[Read more…]



Make Your Home Smarter And More Efficient This Winter

Foreclosed Homes Seattle The Coldest Time Of The Year Can Also Be The Busiest.

With holiday entertaining, overnight guests and winter getaways, it can be hard to ensure your home heating and other systems are performing for optimal comfort and efficiency. In addition, the Department of Energy reports that no matter what-energy-source you use, heating this winter will cost more, an important consideration since heating and cooling typically makes up about 54 percent of your utility bill.

Now, thanks to new home automation technologies, you can run your home in a smarter and more cost-effective manner than ever before – from wherever life takes you – even from a smartphone, tablet or Web connection. [Read more…]



Home Remodeling Tips For Baby Boomers Entering Their Golden Years

Seattle Real Estate As America’s 77 million-strong baby boomers reach retirement age, one thing is absolutely clear — they are not going to quietly retreat into their golden years.

The most active generation in America’s history wants homes that will support their active lifestyles, and homes that will accommodate the challenges boomers will face, from bad knees, to working from home, to taking on grandchildren.

That’s why building and remodeling homes for aging baby boomers represents one of the biggest trends in the home improvement industry today. It’s primarily in response to how baby boomers view themselves, many of whom don’t believe ‘old’ starts until a person turns 80, according to a Del Webb survey. While many boomers see themselves running, cycling, downhill skiing for many years to come, the reality is that aging creates physical challenges, ranging from arthritis to stiffness to balance issues that could result in debilitating falls. Expecting so much of themselves, many are starting to rethink the design of their homes to accommodate their changing lifestyles. [Read more…]



Selling Your House Begins With Making Essential Home Improvements

Seattle Real Estate BlogIf you want to sell your house in this economy, good luck! Selling any real estate is going to be problematic at best.

You may be wondering if certain home improvement projects might add value to your home. This is often the case, but you have to carefully analyze each possible project to make sure it’s really a good investment. This article will present some home improvement projects and repairs that can definitely help you sell your house much more quickly. [Read more…]



How to protect your landscaping during the snow season

Seattle Real Estate BlogYou work hard on your lawn and landscaping during the spring and summer.

Now it’s fall, and time to get ready for winter. You know the drill – move houseplants indoors, make sure your plants are well-watered before the ground freezes, clean up the beds and remove annuals, cut back perennials, put down mulch. [Read more…]