I'm starting in on my first thorough edit, so I thought I'd search for all the 'filter' words and tackle those.
My question is: the word seem. There are times when I believe it to be the right word for the situation. Sometimes my MC makes an observation, but knows she doesn't have all the facts, would it 'seem' to her to be X?
Example: "I don't mean to seem ungrateful, but" Or "They entered what seemed to be a residential area." (She's never been here before, so she isn't sure.)
I suppose in the second example I could go into a detailed description of the area, but it's not that key to the story. Sort of like not naming minor, one time characters. I just want to give a 'feel' so the reader can walk through to the more important bit to follow.
I'm I being too literal? e.g In practical terms, I should try to avoid filter words, but there are times they are just the right word?