Easy Steps to Create a Cozy and Cost-Efficiant Home

cozyNow that the cold weather has arrived it is a great time to add a few steps in warming up your home in cost-efficient yet cozy ways.

Curtains are a great addition to the home. Some might think that curtains are outdated but there are many fashionable curtains available at great prices. The heavier the curtain the better. When closed the curtain can block the cold from drafty windows and help save you money on the heater bill.

Using the new Cree brand LED bulbs instead of incandescent and florescent light bulbs will save you money. They pay for themselves in a year and last will last nine more!

Replacing old thermostats with Nest brand thermostats can cut heating costs by thirty percent each month. They look better and are programmable. They track your habits and adjust accordingly as well as connect to Wi-Fi and can be controlled from your ipad.

Having hardwood or tile floors can keep your home cooler in the warmer months but can be a bit chillier on your feet in the winter. Add a thick rug to warm the space up and make it more comfortable.

By simply adding comfortable and soft upholstery fabrics to lampshades, curtains, or a heavy throw blankets will make a room feel warmer.


Is Seattle Becoming One of the Most Expensive Places to Live?

Have you noticed everyday prices on the rise around Seattle? A pint of beer for under $5 is scarce even around happy hour, and according to the Seattle Times, Seattle ranks #2 out of 304 cities in the US for most expensive city to get your hair cut- even more expensive than in Manhattan! With other rising costs in Seattle such as a Doctor’s visit, the cost of rent, and ever rising home prices, a standard haircut for $30 doesn’t seem so out of place.

According to the Times, living in Seattle is estimated to be 16% more expensive than living in the average urban areas across the United States. Out of the measured categories, (cost of housing, transportation, groceries, health care and utilities, and good and services) Seattle ranked more costly than the National average in all categories except utilities. Is Seattle really among the list of most expensive cities to live in the United States? According to the Cost of Living Index, overall Seattle ranks 34th for the 3rd quarter of 2012, still trailing well behind Manhattan, San Francisco, and even Juneau Alaska. But how far away are we from catching up to them?

Seattle Ranks High in Best 2013 Real Estate Markets

The nation’s real estate market is slowly recovering after the long haul, and 2013 is said to be the year for a turn around. According to the Seattle Pi, San Francisco is predictably the top city, but shortly behind with a secondary market is our very own Seattle. Investors are leaning towards Real Estate because despite the slow recovery they are still able to profit.

The Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report by the Urban Land Institute indicated that San Francisco landed the # 1 spot due to tech, trade, and quality of life in the city along with neighbor San Jose which ranked 3rd on the list. Seattle, along with Houston, was highly ranked because of the growing number of “echo boomers” or those 25-34 year olds. This group has increased by 20% in Seattle, and reflect the future homeowners in the area. Right now the statistics show that this group is currently willing to rent smaller apartments for higher prices as long as they have enticing amenities and close proximity to public transportation. When will the echo boomers make the transition to buyers? Predictably 2013. For more information on the Emerging Trends report, visit the Urban Land Institute.