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  • A lot of people drive around without insurance. It’s about 17 percent of the motorists in Washington, according to the latest report from the Insurance Research Council. That means we are the seventh worst state in the country for uninsured drivers. While it’s against the law to drive without insurance, uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage are optional in Washington. Insurance companies must offer you this coverage, but you can decline it. The Northwest Insurance Council indicates that the cost of adding uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to a policy is typically between 5-10 percent of your annual premium.

  • Puget Sound soon will be off limits to sewage from ships, boats or other vessels, under a new rule that takes effect on May 10. Maia Bellon, director of the state Department of Ecology, established the new no-discharge zone following a five-year comment period and approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The new rule bans the discharge of any type of sewage, treated or untreated, within Puget Sound. Vessels looking to empty their loads will need to use a pump-out station or wait until they are out of the no-discharge zone. In establishing its first no-discharge zone, Washington joins 26 other states and more than 90 other no-discharge zones in the nation. The no-discharge zone will include all marine waters of Washington state east of a line between the New Dungeness and Discovery Island lighthouses, north to the Canadian border and as far inland as the fresh waters of Lake Washington, and all the water bodies that connect Lake Washington to Puget Sound. The state Department of Health expects to upgrade or open approximately 1,000 acres of commercial shellfish beds for harvesting near marinas after the establishment of the no-discharge zone. During the five-year study period, a draft proposal drew more than 65,000 favorable comments and about 525 comments expressing opposition or concern.

  • Austin, Texas, ranked number one for the second year in a row (and Seattle ranked number 10) as the top place to live in the United States, according to new rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. The magazine ranks the 125 largest metros based on affordability, employment prospects, and quality of life each year. The top 12 best places to live in 2018 are: 1) Austin, 2) Colorado Springs, 3) Denver, 4) Des Moines, Iowa, 5) Fayetteville, Ark., 6) Portland, OR, 7) Huntsville, Ala, 8) Washington, D.C., 9) Minneapolis, 10) Seattle, 11) Nashville, and 12) Grand Rapids.

  • It’s not just the size of your roof, the price of a new roof is based on a number of factors according to a report published in The type of roofing materials you choose and the type of warranty you get, play a big role. The slope of the roof can make a big difference. According to Angie’s List, it costs more to replace a very steep roof because it requires greater staging and safety equipment, and in some cases, different materials. How many layers of shingles are there on the roof that need to be removed? The price is typically based on time and disposal charges. And of course, the price will go up if any of the plywood needs to be replaced. When preparing an estimate, the contractor will also look at obstacles, such as chimneys, skylights and box vents. Limited access to the roof can also be a factor. Angie’s List says it’s not necessary to replace the soffits or gutters when replacing your roof. The contractor just needs to be careful not to damage the gutters when they’re removed. Keep in Mind: No reputable roofer will give you a quote without coming to your house, examining the roof and going inside the attic. More Info: The Real Cost of a New Roof.

  • With last year’s market for existing home sales being the strongest since 2006, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2018’s Best Places to Be a Real Estate Agent. To determine the best markets for real-estate agents, WalletHub compared more than 170 U.S. cities across 18 key indicators of a healthy housing market, ranging from sales per agent to annual median wage for real-estate agents to housing-market health index. According to the report, the top ten places to be a real estate agent are: 1) San Francisco, 2) Seattle, 3) San Jose, 4) Fremont, 5) Oakland, 6) New York, 7) Santa Rosa, 8) Denver, 9) Nashville and 10) Vancouver, WA. San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle were noted in part because listings have the fewest days on the market, 38, which is 4.3 times fewer than listings in Miami, the city with the most at 165.

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