Rx For The Busy Parent: Simple Tips To Reduce Stress And Feel Your Best

Few Americans Are More Time-Strapped Than Parents.

seattle home inspectionFrom the moment the alarm chimes, it can feel like a race to get through the day. From prepping for school or day care, to finalizing school projects and running to after-school activities, there’s hardly a moment to spare! And with career demands, the stress of being a busy parent can really set in and negatively affect the body in many ways.

Luckily, some simple tips can help you reduce stress and feel your very best while being a good mom or dad to your family. Dr. Keri Marshall, a licensed naturopathic doctor who specializes in pediatrics, women’s medicine and chronic disease management, understands the high demands of modern parenting. She offers some important tips that all parents should consider to help reduce stress and improve overall health and well-being. [Read more…]



Maintaining Your Seattle Real Estate Home Investment

Home ownership is an important investment that can create both a sense of pride and a place in The World That Is All Your Own.

seattle home inspectionWhile the investment in purchasing or building your own home is sizeable, letting your home fall into disrepair can be even more costly. However, home maintenance doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following a few simple steps and making maintenance a regular activity, you’ll not only preserve the quality of your home, but you’ll likely save money over the long term.

Keep A Regular Maintenance Schedule

Whether you’ve just moved in or have lived in your home for decades, it’s important to establish a regular routine to maintain your home. Some tasks should be checked off the list regularly, while others are more seasonal. [Read more…]



Bathroom Design: It’s All In The Details

It’s Most Likely One Of The Top Reasons You’ve Been Putting Off That Bathroom Makeover Or Remodel – You’re Not Sure Where To Begin.

Seattle Home Inspection What Should The Decor Be Like? Do you want a pedestal sink or a furniture-style vanity? Will you incorporate any water-saving faucets or fixtures? And, with all the decisions to make, will it all look good together and still perform well?

These questions, and many others, should be at the top of your list when you start mapping out your next bathroom project. Luckily, many manufacturers have made it easier in recent years for you to answer those questions in a painless, affordable way.

“We’ve created several complementing suites of fixtures and faucets,” says Kevin McJoynt from Danze, Inc. “The elements of each collection were literally made for each other, which makes your job easier.” [Read more…]



Simple Home Fix-ups You Can Complete In A Weekend Or Less

While You May Not Know The Term “NOWISM,” You More Than Likely Live It.

seattle home inspectionWith our fast-paced lives, this term, coined by www.trendwatching.com, a leading trendscouting website, describes the trend of the consumer’s need for instant gratification. We want fast service, fast answers and fast results.

And, of course, this need for fast fixes extends into our homes. Luckily, no matter how pressed you are for time, you can spruce up your house by focusing on simple projects that can be completed quickly … in a day or a weekend. Don’t delay – check these easy and affordable projects off your to-do list today and soon your home will be perfectly prepared and instantly updated. [Read more…]



Cypress Siding Provides A Natural Choice For Today’s Seattle Real Estate Homes

Seattle Home Inspection Across the country, cypress siding is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners who are looking to add value, durability, and a lifetime of good looks to their homes.

Even as new high-tech siding materials flood the market, Chuck Harris of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association, www.cypressinfo.org, says homeowners continue to treasure the inherent beauty of nature’s purest building material, genuine wood.

“When homeowners are first acquainted with cypress siding, they are immediately impressed with its rich grain and texture,” he explains. “They like it even better when they learn that, unlike pressure-treated wood or composite materials, cypress is innately durable thanks to a preservative oil that nature itself puts into the wood.”

Architect Frank Harmon of Raleigh, N.C., agrees and says cypress possesses many qualities he prefers in a material that will be exposed to the elements. “Cypress weathers well, resists decay, and is friendly to the touch,” he notes. “Used in siding applications, cypress will easily last 100 years with proper care and maintenance.” [Read more…]



Six Easy Ways To Improve Your Kitchen, Bathroom And Bedroom

Good Lighting Is Not Something Most People Think Much About Until They Don’t Have It.

Seattle Home Inspection Living in a well-lit room is a much more pleasurable experience than trying to cook, read, entertain or do just about anything in a dark, shadowy space.

The American Lighting Association Offers These Tips For Improving The Lighting In Your Kitchen, Bathroom And Bedroom:

* Add To Your Task Lighting. Many bathrooms and kitchens have plenty of overhead light, but are often lacking when it comes to task lighting, says David Martin, designer with lighting manufacturer Hubbardton Forge. “At the kitchen sink, for example, you can eliminate shadows by including two sources of light.” The result is a workstation with easier-to-see spaces that alleviate eyestrain.

* Include Mood-enhancing Lights And Dimmers. “Places such as bathrooms and bedrooms – once mostly functional – now serve as an extension of our living spaces,” says Todd Phillips, owner and senior designer with Quoizel Lighting. The lights in those rooms should be both hardworking and mood enhancing. For example, inexpensive, easy-to-install cove lights in the kitchen can provide soft illumination after mealtime and cleanup. Additional lights placed at a bathroom vanity and aimed out toward the face can help brighten grooming tasks and offer awakening morning light. A bonus: Those controls can help accommodate varying levels of natural daylight, too. [Read more…]



Selling Your Seattle Real Esatate Home? A Great Deck Spruces Up The Curb Appeal

Seattle Home Inspection Curb appeal is integral when selling a home, but when the trees are bare and the ground is covered in dirty snow, the winter months can make it very difficult to showcase your home’s attractive landscaping.

But smart sellers know that taking extra steps to care for and present a home’s exterior is a worthwhile investment, particularly during the real estate off-season. There is one improvement you can make that will help boost your home’s outdoor appeal no matter what the season: a deck.

When potential buyers visit your home in winter, they might not be able to envision how green and lovely your backyard will look come spring, but they will be able to see with their own eyes what a deck adds to the home’s living space. Decks, patios, sunrooms and porches have always been popular with homebuyers, but real estate agents say that too often these spaces are neglected or not used to their best advantage. [Read more…]



Kitchen Trends For 2013: ‘Revamping Kits’ Offer High-End Results

seattle home inspectionIf You’re Tired Of Looking At Your Outdated Kitchen, But Feel Replacement Would Be Impractical, You’re Not Alone.

In 2013, consumers will be trying to find the beauty in the beast. Projects that help the old look new will be the next big makeover trend – especially in the kitchen where remodeling becomes more pricey.

“Revamping kits” that refinish countertops, cabinets, and appliances are already in growing demand. Here are three top kitchen kits that can easily, quickly and affordably help your existing kitchen look high end.

Granite remains the No. 1 choice for kitchen remodels, but the standard cost of granite runs from $50 to $110 a square foot (including installation). While there’s nothing functionally wrong with laminate, Corian and Formica, they’re not always what homeowners are looking for. So if your countertops need an uplift without a hefty price tag attached, try granite paint. [Read more…]



Ten Lucky Home Decor Trends For 2013

Despite Its Negative Reputation, The Number 13 Doesn’t Always Have To Be Unlucky.

Take these top 10 decor trends for 2013 from design experts, manufacturers and trend forecasters across the country. They’re fresh, fun and sure to bring good fortune to any home.

seattle home inspectionA Splash Of Color

Industry leader Pantone’s annual fashion color report sets the tone for home decor as well as clothing, and the spring 2013 report is no exception. Its softer-hued palette of Dusk Blue, Lemon Zest, African Violet, Grayed Jade, Linen and Tender Shoots is emboldened by Monaco Blue, Poppy Red, Emerald and Nectarine. Marc Thee, founder of the No. 1 residential interior design firm in the country, also sees a move toward pure color palettes such as cream and sea glass, khaki and white, or neutral with a pop of yellow.-

Not Your Mama’s Wallpaper

Repositionable wallpaper is a decorating mainstay, says Todd Imholte, president of Murals Your Way, whose website, www.muralsyourway.com, is the top online destination for wall murals worldwide. The company’s10 collections of peel-and-stick wallpaper are available in such themes as Vintage, Dots, Flower Prints and Mostly Modern, and can be removed and reused hundreds of times without losing their adhering qualities. Because the company offers color matching, customers can match their repositionable wallpaper to an existing paint color, updated decor or the new Pantone color palette. [Read more…]



Preparing Your Credit Profile For The Spring Real Estate Season

Seattle home inspectionWhen You Are Out Shoveling Snow And Scraping Ice Off The Car’s Windshield, Winter Can Seem Like An Eternity.

 Yet when it comes to your credit profile, house-hunting and the spring real estate season is just around the corner.

“Warm weather will bring an increase in homes on the market and buyers shopping, so it pays to take steps to make sure your credit profile is in the best shape possible if you’ll be looking for a house come spring,” says Barrett Burns, president and CEO of credit score model developer VantageScore Solutions. “Real estate experts are already predicting that this spring will be an important season for the industry, with mortgage rates still low and prices creeping back up. In addition to other criteria such as down payments and income, a good credit score can make a big difference when it comes to getting a mortgage at favorable rates.”

VantageScore Solutions recommends home buyers start now to prep their credit profiles before the spring real estate season arrives in March and April.

Here are some tips and tidbits to keep in mind as you’re working toward qualifying for a mortgage loan:

* It Is Essential To Know What’s On Your Credit Report Before It Will Be Viewed By Potential Lenders. Make sure your credit report is up-to-date and accurately reflects your credit behavior. You can obtain your report at AnnualCreditReport.com, the only official site where you can obtain your report every 12 months for free from each of the three major credit reporting companies (CRCs), which are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. And you can access your credit score through all three CRCs from the same website for a small fee.

* Creditors Are Interested In Seeing How You Manage Credit, And The Consistency Of Behavior Counts. In addition to paying your bills on time every month, avoid applying for any new credit between now and the time you will apply for a mortgage. Almost every credit score “inquiry” from a lender is recorded with one or more of the three national CRCs. This can result in a decrease to your VantageScore credit score by 10 to 20 points.

* Keep In Mind That Some Lenders Will Pull A Credit Score At The Time You Apply For The Loan, Then Again Just Before The Loan Closes. You want to avoid credit score reductions during that time frame, which can occur if you take on unnecessary credit. Also be sure all payments on existing debt are made on time during this timeframe.

* Shop Around For Mortgage Options Before You Actually Apply. Understand lenders’ qualifying criteria so you know where you may need to improve. Once you’ve done your research, go ahead and apply to multiple lenders all at once. Multiple applications at the same time will register on your credit report as a single inquiry – as long as they’re all within 14 days of each other – and will have minimal impact on your score.

* Different Lenders Use Different Scoring Models And Different Models Can Have Different Score Ranges. For example, the VantageScore model’s range is 501 to 990. You may or may not be able to find out from your potential lender which model they use. What’s important is where you fall in the model’s score range, which tells you how your score compares to others.

Finally, Burns says, don’t worry too much over small fluctuations in your score. “It’s possible for your score to be 772 on Thursday and 765 on Friday,” he says. “It may be back up to 770 the next week. The changes are likely due to updates to your credit files and expiring data. Remember that consistent, responsible behavior is more important than small ups and downs in your credit score.”- –

For more information and tips on how to get your credit ready for spring real estate season, visit www.VantageScore.com or test your knowledge about credit scores at www.CreditScoreQuiz.org, which was created by VantageScore Solutions along with its partner, Consumer Federation of America. Both websites are completely free and neither display any advertising nor collect any personal data. Both the online quiz and a corresponding brochure are available in Spanish at www.creditscorequiz.org/Espanol.

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