Monthly Archives: November 2010

CSI: Seattle Market Stable

Today’s Case-Shiller Indices Report for Seattle reports that the September index stands at 145.07, down almost a point from August, and virtually the same as January 2010’s 145.09.

According to our stats, the average sales price of single-family homes in Seattle for October was $471,900; the median sales price $390,000.



A Tiny Apartment Transforms in 24 Rooms

How awesome is this? Architect Gary Chang’s 344-sf apartment in Hong Kong can be reconfigured, on the fly, into twenty-four rooms. Watch the four minute video, read a profile in the New York Times,  or visit his website.

Don’t Let Your Home Freeze To Death!

OK, that’s not a real problem, but with the weather forecast predicting temps in the 30°s and lower, you NEED to get out there and make sure the cold weather doesn’t create a disclosure issue for you down the line!

  • Make sure your roof gutters aren’t blocked! No joke, folks; I remember when we had our new roof put on and the snazzy new gutters, I looked out the back window during a rain storm, nodded thoughtfully, went to the basement and found water. GRRRR!
  • Turn the water off to your hosebibs or stick a $5 styrofoam insulator on them! Water expands when it freezes, and when your hosebib cracks open, it could be ice geysers in your yard. If you’re lucky, you’ll just have to replace the bib. $5 is cheap, friends.
  • Use foil tape ($5/roll) to seal duct joints! This can make your heating system 10-20% more efficient, and did we mention the price?
  • Clean heating registers and change the furnace filter! Same idea. If it’s harder to push hot air through the ducts, you’ll be creating a very warm space right around the furnace, and not so much wherever you happen to be. Less than $5!
  • Put a carbon monoxide detector near the furnace! Let’s face it, CO makes you stupid; if you’ve got a gas or oil furnace and you think you don’t need one . . . !
  • Check for drafts by putting a tissue near any suspect areas, then seal them! Why heat the outdoors?

And, while we’re on the health-and-safety bandwagon,

Get fresh batteries for your smoke detectors!

Congratulations, Mr. Cy Young!

Felix Hernandez, the 24-year-old ace of the Seattle Mariners’ pitching staff, was voted the American League Cy Young Award winner today, baseball’s highest honor for individual pitching performance.

The vote went: 21 for Felix Hernandez, 4 for David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays, and 3 for C. C. Sabathia of the New York Yankees.

We love you, man!

Goodbye, Dave Niehaus.

We are baseball fans, and have been season ticket holders here in Seattle since about 1990.

We are saddened to learn of the death of Dave Niehaus, who had been the Mariners’ lead announcer since their inception in 1977 and is a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Dave was the “Voice of the Mariners” to generations of Seattle baseball fans, and we miss him already.

Thank you, Dave. You were truly one of the greats.

Death To Flying Things! 2 Mariners Win Gold Gloves!

Ichiro Suzuki and Franklin Gutierrez won baseball’s coveted Rawlings Gold Glove Award this week, this award is given to the best defensive players at their position.

For Ichiro, this is his tenth Gold Glove award, behind only Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente who have won twelve each, and tying Ken Griffey Jr and Al Kaline for third place among outfielders since 1959.

For Franklin, this is his second award; he led American League outfielders this year in fielding percentage: a perfect 1.000 with no errors and 413 putouts.

Congratulations, Ichiro and Franklin!

The True Cost of Using Credit Cards

Back in January of 2009, Steven Levitt (Freakanomics) wrote a blog post in the New York Times to report on a student’s website,

The article may have caused a brief ripple, newswise, but has clearly not done much to change Americans’ paying habits.

We ask you to reconsider. Americans spend $50,000,000,000 on credit card processing fees every year – three hundred and thirty dollars or so per household, twenty-eight dollars a month just on credit card processing fees.

This affects your local businesses, as credit card fees are one of their biggest line-item expenses, after rent and payroll. From the True Cost of Credit website:

The average local pizzeria (not a big chain) pays $11,213 each year in credit card processing fees (details) – enough for a new delivery vehicle.

Or enough to keep the lights on and the rent paid for a few extra months a year.

If you love your small neighborhood business – pay in cash. It will help them keep their doors open during these tough times.