Edy Kizaki

Should You Consider Buying a Home Warranty?

August 13, 2012 in Buyer's Handbook, First Time Home Buyers

Sometimes a home buyer will ask me if they should consider getting a home warranty when they purchase their home.  Or sometimes the seller is offering one with the sale of their home, especially if some of the appliances or systems are not that new.  And sellers often ask their agent if they should provide it, if they want to add an extra sparkle to their house to make it more attractive to buyers.

A home warranty is different than homeowner’s insurance (which your mortgage holder will require if you’re financing the purchase).  It is simply some coverage on appliances or systems (such as heating or plumbing) in case they break down.  It is much less expensive to buy when you are doing so right at closing, and it is renewable every year if you wish.  What is it, what exactly are the benefits, and do you really need it?

Whether you are buying a home in Seattle or the Eastside, unless the appliances and systems are brand new, consider what a home warranty will provide for you.  Buying a home is so complex that this relatively minor issue can get swept under the carpet, yet it can save you money and trouble later.  There is no one answer as different companies offer them.  Each package is slightly different in cost and what is covered, here are some links to check out some of the the different home warranties offered:

Home Warranty of America

Fidelity National Home Warranty

American Home Shield

I also want to add that Joe’s Plumbing Company is rated a pure 5 stars on Yelp with 30 reviews (Seattle).  I have not known anyone who used them personally but please let me know if you try them… I will do so too if I ever have a plumbing need and post back here.






Edy Kizaki

Eastside Summer Camps, a Pocketful of Fun Choices

May 26, 2012 in Bellevue, Eastside for Kids, Relocation Resources Online

Can See the ForestGood morning, Campers!  And would-be campers, too.  One good place to get started if you are still arranging your summer camp activities is Bellevue Parks and Recreation, which offers day camps and activities in a wide variety of ages and focuses, including Drama, Arts, Language, day camps, mini-horsemanship camps, adaptive recreation, science and technology, “adventure”, and sports and fitness.  Hummm… wondering about that “adventure!”

On checking, it seems that overnights are available for older campers which feature things like skateboard Getting to Know Horseshiking, mountain climbing camps, and others.  We live in one of the most beautiful spots in the country for outdoors sports!  We have amazing resources and amazing people devoted to enhancing and developing your kids’ experience of life, in a summer season that is sweet as honey, with long long evenings that can be devoted to outdoors activities, and a parental schedule that usually does not include being off for three months of the year.  The answer?  Give them their own little slice of heaven, summer camp offerings created to delight and inspire.

Here is just a sample, and you can check their website for the complete downloadable guide:

  • Bellevue Youth Theater Day Camps
  • Kelsey Creek Go-Go with Van Gogh Art Camp
  • Abracadoodle Doodler Camp
  • Masters of the Art World…Drawing Fundamentals
  • Manderin Chinese, Korean, and Spanish Language Camps for Kids
  • Kelsey Creek Day Camp (Planting on the Farm, Pirates’ Hidden Treasures, Animals on the Farm, Wonders of Science, Make a Splash, etc.)
  • Fundamentals of Horsemanship
  • Games With Horses
  • Mad Science Academy of Future Space Explorers
  • Science Sleuths
  • LEGO Junkyard Challenge
  • Moviemaking 101
  • DigiPen Exploring Art and Animation
  • San Juan Islands Whale Watching
  • Summer Rock Climbing Camp
  • Skateboard Camp
  • High Adventure Camp (camp in the Cascades)
  • Skaters in the Woods (3 day backpacking skating adventure)
  • Cheerleading Camp
  • Beginning Fencing Camp
  • Kendo Camp
  • Pro Baseball Summer Camp
  • UK International Soccer Camp
  • Mini Sports Stars Summer Day Camp

Other Eastside Camps to Explore:

Wilderness Awareness School… (half and full day summer camps, overnight, adventure, etc.)

Chess 4 Life School Summer Camps (only chess, or chess + music, chess + sports, chess +martial arts, etc.)

Rain City Fencing Center Summer Camps (started year 2000)

DigiPen Technology Summer Workshops (grades 5-12)

Grand Slam Baseball Camps (in Enumclaw)


I will add more to this list as we find them, and please let me know of any good ones.




Edy Kizaki

Seattle Area Snow Day Traffic Webcams

January 18, 2012 in Ballard, Seattle Lifestyle

Seattle Street view in snow

Snow Day in Seattle

If you are going out in Seattle despite what has been billed as the “worst” storm in Seattle history (ask the kids and you may hear it’s the “best” storm) you will want to check on the weather conditions, and please see the last paragraph for links to live webcams that will be useful during this ice storm and also all year round!

In any case, the weather has ended up being a little less ferocious than at first thought.  The

snow people

I made Snow People while Daniel sledded at Whitman Middle School

National Weather Service has revised its predictions and now we are told that we will have up to 6 inches by 2 p.m. today.  The schools are closed for day 2.  Last night we got the usual recorded call from Seattle Public Schools which told us there would be no school again today for the second day.  The kids will be taking advantage of another day of fun in the snow, at the nearby parks.  For us, there are slopes at Whitman Middle School that are steep enough to keep us there till we are like popsicles.

But if you’re planning to make it in to work or even out for a quick grocery run the street conditions will be top of mind.  Seattle Department of Transportation has a new website feature, 22 live traffic video cams placed strategically around the city, and for route planning the site should be of some help.  SEATTLE TRAFFIC CAMERA WEBSITE.  On the Eastside, if you’re in Bellevue, try this BELLEVUE TRAFFIC CAMERA WEBSITE.  Another useful set of webcams can be found at this site, SET FOR KIRKLAND.  If you flip through the cams, the next one is set at Shorecrest High School in Shoreline.   It might also be helpful to check out  WSDOT list of webcams which includes Issaquah, Lynnwood and Redmond and also Seattle and Bellevue.

If you know of some Kirkland webcam and anything about Woodinville, please let me know.