Holidays

7 Reasons Fall Might Just Be the Best Time to Buy a Home | Realtor.com®

Spring and summer usually get all the real estate glory with lofty accolades as the best time to buy a home—and, of course, the busiest. Meanwhile, their seasonal sibling, fall, often gets tossed to the leaf pile by potential buyers who might think autumn is just about haunted houses and turkey dinners rather than house hunting.

via www.realtor.com


Realtor.com® October Housing Data Reveals Home Buying Season Isn't Over Yet -- SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

It's not over 'till it's over. This morning I wrote about signs of the upcoming hot spring market but don't overlook that homes sell every month of the year. Right now home sales are still moving along and inventory is low. We could have a suprisingly busy December.  More latwer on selling during the holidays.
SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Realtor.com®, the leader in online real estate operated by Move, Inc. (NASDAQ: MOVE), today released the realtor.com® National Housing Trend Report for October 2013. National housing data shows that the U.S. housing market is in a completely different position than this time last year, with solid price increases, steady inventory and strong demand continuing well into the fall season.

via www.prnewswire.com

 


How to Avoid Scams This Holiday Season

 Anyone can be the victim of a scam. However, there are several common sense ways to prevent being swindled:

  • Beware of pop-up ads online. While these ads may promise big savings, you’ll only receive steep monthly charges.
  • Your bank will never send you an email to verify your account or social security number. These email schemes are common and can look quite convincing. However, if you receive such an email, report it to your bank immediately.
  • Shred your paper statement. If you choose to receive paper statements in the mail, make sure you shred them when you’re finished.
  • Don’t do any financial transactions on a public computer. This includes everything from checking your statements to shopping online.
  • If you plan to shop online, purchase the latest antivirus and antispyware software and make sure you update it regularly.

Beware of these debit card scams
Many of the latest scams involve stealing information from debit cards. Common ways to steal or copy information from your debit card include:

  •  Card theft: The thief uses a special device that makes it appear as if your bank card is stuck in the machine. After you leave, they steal your card.
  • Double swipe: The thief, a staff member of the store or restaurant, swipes your card through a hidden device that duplicates the magnetic information.
  •  Copycat technology: The thief inserts a tiny device into the card reader of a cash machine or gas station to record your card and PIN data.
  •  Faux Machines: Thieves set up a phony ATM machine that records your card and PIN information and makes a duplicate card.

Unlike credit cards, where you’re only responsible for $50 if it’s lost or stolen, you may be held responsible for the unauthorized charges if you do not notify your bank within two business days. Sign up for online ranking and review your account balances daily for unauthorized charges.


Score Top Deals This Holiday Season

Here are some tips to help you take advantage of the significant discounts the season has to offer. This holiday season is right around the corner and you know what that means: Black Friday. While many people brave the crowds before dawn to capitalize on big savings from major retailers, others sleep in and surf the internet for similar deals. Whatever your strategy, this month's information will help you prepare for the holiday shopping season. The first page offers tips and tricks to help you score deals on gifts for everyone on your list. Page two provides valuable information about how to avoid scams and protect your credit and debit card information both in the store and online.

  • Make a list. Create a shopping list of items you hope to purchase on Black Friday, whether for you or the people on your holiday list, and stick to it.
  • Do your homework. Use a pricing search engine, such as http://milo.com, to find store deals in your area and to ensure that the product you want is in stock.
  • Compare sales. Go to http://pricegrabber.com to compare sale prices at different retailers and find the best deal.
  • Get sale information early. To get the inside scoop on Black Friday sales, join the email lists of your favorite retailers. Many companies send emails leading up to the sale to advertise deals and provide exclusive discount codes and maps featuring sale items.
  • Avoid the crowds and go online instead. Many major retailers, including Macy’s,Kohl’s and Wal-Mart, offer the same bargains online as they do in their stores. Check the retailers’ websites to find out when the deals will be available.
  • Score big on Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, with exclusive online discounts the Monday after Black Friday. Nearly 77% of online retailers send promotional emails to subscribers in the days leading up to Cyber Monday. If you're not on the email list of your favorite retailer, now is the time to join.

You won't find me out on Black Friday, but I do hope to have all my shopping done by Thanksgiving. Please share your Holiday Shopping tips in the comments section below!


Valentine's Day Newsflash! Cupcakes...the New Box of Chocolate

If you're looking for great Valentine's day ideas to love up that special someone here is a great list of idea to show the one you love how much they mean to you!

Cupcakes… the new box of chocolates. Cupcakes are all the rage… here are some local cupcake bakeries.

Bellevue has Cupcake Royale, www.cupcakeroyale.com; New York Cupcakes, www.newyorkcupcakes.com and Trophy Cupcakes, www.trophycupcakes.com.

Issaquah now has Confetti Cupcakes, www.confetti-cakes.com

Redmond has PinkaBella Cupcakes, www.pinkaliciouscupcakes.com

Renton has Common Ground Coffee & Cupcakes, www.commongroundcupcakes.com

In Seattle you can find several choices: Cupcake Royale, www.cupcakeroyale.com; Look Cupcake, www.lookcupcake.com; The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co., www.theyellowleafcupcake.com and Trophy Cupcakes, www.trophycupcakes.com; Wink Cupcakes, www.winkcupcakes.com

If your sweettheart doesn't have a sweet tooth, check out these unique ideas to show your affection.
For the traveler or adventurer look to www.xperiencedays.com, www.kerdowney.com, www.cloud9living.com for great ideas.

For the foodie head to www.swinerymeats.com, www.homebrewers.com, www.tastebudsmarketplace.com for tasty ideas.

For the techie or science lover do some sleuthing on www.npowerpeg.com, www.thinkgeek.com or
www.x-tremegeek.com.