Prudential Almon Realty will soon be Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Central Washington Real Estate

We are proud to announce that Prudential Almon Realty will soon be affiliated with the finest business organization in the world. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is part of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway company. They are rated world’s number one most respected company and we are pleased to move our success to an organization with such integrity, strength and knowledge.

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Protect Your Home from Radon

If you have recently bought or sold a house, you have probably heard of radon. This invisible, odorless and tasteless gas comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, and it rises through the ground and into the air. The air dissipates it enough that it is not harmful. But it also can seep into your home through cracks or holes in the foundation, where it becomes trapped and can become concentrated to unhealthy levels. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, responsible for more than 20,000 deaths a year.

Luckily, testing for excessive amounts of radon and alleviating the problem in your home is a simple process. You can purchase low-cost “do it yourself” tests or hire a qualified tester. If levels in your home are found to be high, a radon mitigation system can be installed, which is simply a vent pipe system and fan that pulls radon from beneath the house and vents it outside.

Radon levels can vary tremendously from home to home, and even in the same home from season to season. The EPA estimates that 1 in 15 homes have undetected high levels of radon. So if your home hasn’t been tested, it is probably a good idea to do so and make sure you are protected from this dangerous gas. Visit the EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/radon for a variety of publications and resources about radon.

Fact: Radon is heavy and collects in low areas. If you spend a lot of time in your basement, the EPA recommends you test your home for radon.

What Does Your Front Door Say About You?

We know that different colors evoke different emotions in people, but color experts say color can also be an indicator of your personality, even (or especially) on your front door.

“The front door is the focal point of the home,” says Debbie Zimmer of the Paint Quality Institute. “The color there sends a strong message – in the case of the front door, providing insight into how we view our home.”

Here is the message, according to the Institute, that you might be sending with your door of a different color:

Red – passion, vibrant and “full of life, energy and excitement”
Blue – sanctuary, calm, serenity, and relaxation
Green – health, safety, tranquility, and harmony
Black – power, sophistication, strength, and authority
Brown – warmth, stability and reliability (dark brown could signify desire for privacy or isolation)

If none of those colors work for you, also consider yellow (happiness, high energy), purple (dreamer, free spirit) or white (clean, organized). The best part is that if you try something and it just doesn’t work, changing the color is as easy as just painting over it.

Skip Napa. Visit Yakima Valley Instead!

Yakima Valley

Napa Valley sets the gold standard for wine regions in the U.S., with its farm-to table restaurants, award-winning wineries, and hotels so romantic you’ll swoon—but it’s not the only idyllic spot for a wine-tasting vacation. Washington’s Yakima Valley, the state’s oldest and largest wine region, has all the romantic trappings of Napa, but with a little less fuss and without the tour buses, traffic jams, and astronomical tasting fees that come with Napa’s popularity. Click here to read more…

Stud Space = Extra Storage

Are you limited by the lack of storage that comes with a small room? Fear not, you do have options! Between the studs that hold up your house and walls lies unused space that can be converted into built-in shelves or a storage nook.

Bookshelves — These could go in any room in place of shelving units.

Bathrooms — Keep clutter off your bathroom countertops by building in space for a few shelves to hold toiletries. Even recessing an area for your towels or bathrobe can make a small bathroom appear bigger.

Pantries — Take a look at unused wall space in your kitchen. Shallow shelves could be used to hold canned goods, spices or stemware. You could also use the recessed area to mount hooks and hang pots and pans.

Tip: Be sure to check for venting or wiring before starting this project.

Yay! Yakima has been named one of the top up-and-coming cities to visit!

Somewhere between quiet villages and metropolises that never sleep are these perfect up-and-coming American cities. With their revitalized downtowns, they’re savvy enough to brew smooth craft beers, land touring Broadway shows, and attract Food Network-caliber chefs. But they’ll welcome you with that unpretentious small-town warmth that automatically puts you at ease. Click here to learn more about 10 terrific little cities, from Chattanooga to Yakima, and plenty of reasons why each one is worth a visit.

Garage Security Tips

You may lock up your house like Fort Knox to keep you and your valuables safe, but the garage door is often overlooked in the process. Burglars can use this knowledge to their advantage to gain access to your house. So consider these garage do’s and don’ts as part of your home security plan.

Don’t leave your garage door opener in your vehicle. Do purchase a keychain remote opener and carry it with you.

Don’t leave your garage door open. Do consider installing a device that automatically closes the door after a set amount of time.

Don’t leave the door leading from the garage into the house unlocked. Do make sure it is as secure as your front door.

Don’t give burglars places to hide. Do install low-cost outdoor motion-sensor lighting around the garage.

Do frost or cover any garage windows so thieves can’t see what is inside or that your vehicle is gone.

Do put a padlock on the inside of your garage door when going out of town to ensure that the door cannot be opened.

Also keep in mind that most home invasions occur during the day in the middle of the week when no one is home. So always be sure to secure your house before leaving for the day.