Slideshow: ‘Saw’ Star Betsy Russell Lists Home with Coldwell Banker

jilltuck Slideshow: Saw Star Betsy Russell Lists Home with Coldwell Banker

Betsy Russell, who is best known for her role in Saw as Jill Tuck (ex-wife of the Jigsaw Killer), has listed her home with Madison Hildebrand of the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Malibu, CA office.

This gorgeous home is a stark contrast from the home of the character she played in the one of the darkest and most twisted film series I have ever watched in my life. I still have nightmares about that darn head trap!

You may be surprised to learn this home is mobile after seeing the pictures. The listing names it as “One Of The Most Luxurious Mobile Home Parks in The World!”

Check out the full listing description here:

This home has also been featured on TMZ

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Garden clubs begin new season with September meetings

Herbs From Your Garden to the Dinner Table: with Lucia Ferrara Bettler of Lucia’s Garden, sponsored by Gardeners by the Bay. 9 a.m. at University Baptist Church, 16106 Middlebrook Drive, Clear Lake; Backyard Birds: with Ray Wolcam. 9:30 a.m. Nottingham Country Garden Club meeting at the Municipal Utility Building, 805 Hidden Canyon Drive, Katy; 281-579-7017, 10; Tier 2, landscape and garden plants, Sept. 19-Dec. Fall shrubs and tree planting clinic: 10:15 a.m. at Cornelius Nursery, 1200 N. Dairy Ashford and 2233 S. Voss; Includes educational programs, lunch, a nature-book sale, book signings and zoo entry. 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Houston Zoo’s Brown Education Center, 6200 Hermann Park Drive.

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The Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Rooftop Garden

For those of us who choose to live in cities, we often do so knowing that we’re trading the comforts of the large open spaces suburban homes offer in exchange for the conveniences that city life brings with it.

While our backyards may often be the size of a roomy closet (if you have a yard at all), many of us who reside in cities do secretly envy the bountiful home gardens that are the staple of many suburban front lawns and backyards. While higher tree to person ratios make many of us big city residents nervous, we actually do enjoy nature; contrary to popular belief. After all, who doesn’t enjoy laying in the grass under the tree with a good book?

An emerging trend has surfaced in big cities across the country that combat the lack of backyard space present in our beloved neighborhoods. We’ve seen an increasing amount of apartment buildings and even single family detached homes construct safe and walk-able roof decks with space for your very own private garden oasis. One can only wonder if this phenomenal development is the result of a longing to better connect with the great outdoors or for an inherent need to grow our own vegetables to avoid paying $10 for zucchini at Whole Foods.

If saving money by growing your own vegetables isn’t a big enough carrot for you, here are the top 5 reasons why you should have your own rooftop garden:

5. You’d only have to worry about your neighbors eating your vegetables

I often overhear frustrated coworkers speak about their ongoing battle with local deer for vegetable and garden supremacy. Unfortunately, when planting gardens in spacious yards, you often have to battle with the countless animals on the ground that would like no better than to munch on your juicy organic tomatoes or lettuce patch. If you’re serious about gardening and eating your own vegetables, planting them on your roof is a surefire way to avoid having them stolen by local wildlife. You may have to be on the lookout for the occasional bird or sneaky neighbor, but I’d sooner take my chances with my rooftop garden.

4. Enjoy some privacy

While most backyards offer some semblance of privacy with fences, your every off rhythm dance move and family gathering are on full display when you’re on your rooftop deck surrounded by other decks and neighboring buildings. Consider “planting a hedge of evergreens or running vines up a trellie wall” as a way to create private space and peace of mind.

3. Gardening is a great workout

With how busy life can get with demands from work and children, finding an hour or so a day to get to a gym or out to a park for exercise can be nearly impossible. For most, household chores are the sole source of exercise we’ll get in a day and gardening is one of the absolute best workouts you can get around the house. In fact, University studies show that gardening for just 30 minutes a day can …read more

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A Robot that Protects Your Yard from Intruders

patrolbot mark ii A Robot that Protects Your Yard from Intruders

Sick of varmints causing chaos in your garden? Inventor Steve Norris created a solution. Steve created PatrolBot Mark II which is a telepresence robot that will deter intruders using gentle deterrence in the form of a light, horn, or water sprayer.

“Being a telepresence robot, the PatrolBot Mark II is controlled from the comfort of its creator’s living room. The robot beams a live video feed of everything it sees back to Norris so he can keep up on all of the news from the yard. If he sees an unwelcome visitor, he can beep the horn, shine the light or (our favorite) spray the water gun to scare it/him/her away.” (gajitz)

Here is an example of PatrolBot Mark II in action:

While this rabbit is clearly NOT REAL we think this is a pretty neat little invention that can get rid of critters without causing them harm like harsh chemicals and other deterrents would.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

You can check out more of Norris’ work here

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Are Houseboats the Future of Upscale Living?

Guest Post by Rob Wachter

Seattle houseboats, made famous by the film Sleepless in Seattle, could be the future of upscale living. Imagine: a view of the downtown skyline from your living room. Or direct access to Lake Union in your front yard.

Rainn Wilson, Seattleite and star of the hit TV series The Office, was born on a houseboat in the 1960s. And, even though Tom Hanks only pretended to live there for the sake of the movie, he may have put Seattle houseboats on the map.

The city may be a hundred feet away from these homes atop Lake Union, but living on a houseboat has a different feel than the urban pace of downtown high-rises. Usually one-level, but sometimes as many as three, floating-home owners are a tight-knit community.

“It’s like living in a cabin in the winter and being at the beach in the summer,” Sue Nixon, a houseboat owner, said, when quoted in The Seattle Times.

Many of these simple houses built on rafts have been transformed into million dollar homes, like this one. The first homes belonged to workers in logging camps in the 1920s — the classic ones with round roofs and designed by people who made their living on the water. In the 1930s, there were over 2000 houseboats.

Since the 1930s, they’ve been home to respectable poor, rebellious Bohemian artists, college students and the wealthy. Today, only about 500 have remained.

“Floating homes are as much a landmark as the Space Needle for many.  Of course, everyone is drawn by the water and the peaceful setting in the midst of the city’s urban bustle…[But what people may not know is that] those on docks tend to become friends and neighbors who actually care for one another, ” said Beth Means and Bill Keasler on the website for the Floating Homes Association.

An exhibit at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) called Still Afloat: A Contemporary History of Seattle’s Floating Homes opened in June and is open through November 3, 2013. One of Seattle’s many distinct neighborhoods, houseboats on Lake Union have a history as old as Seattle itself.

For more on romantic luxury homes with character, check these out:

Guest Blogger Rob Wachter is the Inbound Marketing Manager for Coldwell Banker Bain. You can read more posts by Rob on Fences and Flowers.

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The Hunt for a Home: City vs. Suburbs, Part 2

lxtv openhouse The Hunt for a Home: City vs. Suburbs, Part 2

This morning we saw Lauren and Allen embark on their hunt for a new home and try to determine whether they should stay in the cityscape of Chicago or venture out to the suburbs. They looked at a really nice duplex in the Lakeview area of Chicago that offered them a little more room than where they’re currently at and was even close to some great amenities that both they and their new child could enjoy.

So now it’s time for them to see what kind of bang for their buck they can get outside the city and even have some more room for their growing family. It feels to me like Lauren is leaning more towards the suburbs while Allen wants to stay in the city. I usually know how that situation ends up. 9 times out of 10 the wife gets what she wants. But will Lauren like what’s in store in the suburbs?

Take a look at Part 2 of The Hunt and see what Lauren and Allen ultimately decide to do.

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The Hunt for a Home: City vs. Suburbs Part 1

lxtv openhouse The Hunt for a Home: City vs. Suburbs Part 1

Ah the age old question that has faced many a homeowner with a growing family: do you stay in the city or move to the suburbs? Do you forsake the hustle and bustle of the metropolis for the quieter, although seemingly less awesome, life in the “country.”

With the help of our friends over at NBC’s LXTV Open House, we followed a Chicago couple, Lauren and Allen, on their quest to answer that very question. They are working with Coldwell Banker agent, Karlina Mina with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the Chicago area, to see some options in each locale and ultimately determine where they’re going to put down some roots now that they’re more than just a carefree couple.

Will they choose life in the Windy City or make the move to a place with more space? In Part One of “The Hunt” Karlina shows Lauren and Allen a nice townhome in the Lakeview section of Chicago. This afternoon we’ll take a look at Part Two when Lauren and Allen head outside the city to observe life in the ‘burbs and ultimately make a decision.

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Happy 107th Birthday Coldwell Banker Real Estate

On this date 107 years ago, Teddy Roosevelt was nearing his sixth year in office as our great nation’s President, movies were still “silent” and Joe Dimaggio was still 8 years away from even being born! Also on this date in 1906, a young real estate agent in San Francisco named Colbert Coldwell started a company that would stand the test of time for the next century plus. That company is Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Indeed, much has changed since August 27, 1906, but one of the few constants over this period has been the Coldwell Banker brand’s commitment to “believing” – A 107 year-old commitment that we take seriously and that’s as strong as it has ever been.

We believe in many things here at Coldwell Banker Real Estate. We firmly believe in the true value of home and “all the magical things that come with it”. We believe in a home’s restorative powers after long days of work, in mini-super bowls with children in the backyard, in sharing quality time with family/friends during the holidays and so much more. But more than anything, with home purchases and sales often being the most complex, scary and expensive purchases of our lifetimes, we believe that earning and keeping trust is of the utmost importance.

As a “Boomerang Kid“, I entered the “real world” in 2009 when I moved out of my parents’ house and rented a home with my brother and a few friends. Having never owned a home, I knew about the Coldwell Banker “way” and their commitment to building trust by observing legends like Jim Gillespie and reading up on our rich history in “Preserving the Trust”. However, as I currently sit just a few week away from closing on my first home (::knocks on wood::), I can say that I now “feel it” firsthand as a regular homebuyer. I am in good hands.

So as we celebrate the 107th birthday of Coldwell Banker Real Estate with an amazing cake with flags and landmarks from a few of the 50+ countries we sell homes in; here’s to another century of “believing”.


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Real Estate Headlines for Back to School

Backpacks, lunch boxes and Snack Packs are making their annual comeback. Much of the southern United States is already back to school and the northern states are just starting to catch up. College kids everywhere are matriculating while parents are either crying or rejoicing. Probably a little of both. So before you worry about college tuition, here’s your weekly dose of real estate headlines to start your week:

$100 million homes are evidently making a comeback.

Our friends at Movoto have put a value on the Weasley homestead from Harry Potter. I think it’s undervalued at $660,150.

Zero Hedge thinks we have a bit of a housing conundrum due to the fact that rents are rising while incomes are falling.

While we’re on the topic of back to school, students in Florida see their biggest cost as being housing, not tuition.

Guess who’s loving the recent real estate market conditions? Diane Keaton, Jane Seymour and a few other celebs.

If you have money to burn, you may want to add these decorative hand sculptures from Jonathan Adler to your home’s decor.

RISMedia has 3 lessons you can learn from home flippers.

Dexter’s Michael C. Hall is selling his house for $2.35 million.

Lifehacker has tips on some ways to save for a home as well as a car and education.

And finally, Celine Dion is hoping the power of love and $72.5 million will sell her mansion. No word on whether you’re heart will go on after buying it.

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Your Walk Through List: Five Essentials

Most people know exactly what they want in a home. Too often, however, once buyers or renters attend an open house, the excitement of finding their dream home can quickly become overwhelming. The checklist consigned to memory can quickly vanish, allowing important factors to be overlooked. It’s a good idea to come prepared with a walk through list that includes the less-than-obvious details.


It isn’t uncommon to hear stories of backyard reptiles around the Jacksonville area. Rest assured, there are a few ways to avoid generating some of your own. Ponds that have plants poking through the water make good homes for alligators. Mossy, dirty water also provides an extra level of cover. On the walk through list, be sure to examine the outer perimeter of the pond for any signs of tracks, nesting, food, or trash that might indicate the presence of alligators.

Hurricane and Flooding Issues

While major storm damage will be very difficult for anyone to miss, some less subtle signs might be overlooked. Walk the perimeter of the house and look for any splits in the outer frame or foundation. Inquire about the elevation level and whether the land is prone to flooding or has suffered hurricane or flooding before. Jacksonville gets rain virtually every day, so it’s important to check the gutters to ensure that water runs away from the house.

Floors, Doors, and Windows

Make sure that all floor coverings are without ridges or seam gaps. Make sure to check the condition of carpets. Ensure the carpet is pulled tight and all seams match. Pay attention to the strength of the floor while walking around and notice any soft spots caused by flooding. Are there slightly faded patches of color in the carpet around the windows? These may indicate leaks.

The thunderstorm and hurricanes in Jacksonville can damage doors and windows. Test all doors and windows to make sure they open and close easily. Check the sides of the doors for light beams that might be peaking through. Take a look at door hinges for obvious signs of rust, looseness, or damage.

Appliances, Fixtures, and Surfaces

Investigate appliances. Does the refrigerator door shut tightly? Does the ice maker work? Will the oven heat properly? Politely test these appliances during the walk through.

Confirm that the house’s plumbing is in solid working order. Do the faucet and toilet operate correctly? Does the kitchen sink leak? Some parts of the Jacksonville area are prone to sulfur water. Test the bathroom and kitchen sinks for malodorous water. Simply let the water run for a few seconds; if the house does have sulfur water, the answer will appear almost instantly.

Basement and Attic

In these two floors of the house, check for dampness or leaks, mold or mildew, and for significant cracking in the foundation walls or in the floors. Typically, damage from Jacksonville’s flooding and heavy rain seasons is strongest in the basement, but it is important to examine the other levels of the house as well by checking for soft spots and cracks in the corner of …read more

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