March opens with busy gardening weekend

Tomato and pepper sale: sponsored by Harris County Master Gardeners. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (8 a.m. preview) at Harris County Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 3033 Bear Creek Drive; 281-855-5600, hcmga.tamu.edu.

‘Texas Tuff’ Landscape Plants – Blooming and Beautiful: with Master Gardener Sandra Devall. 9-11:30 a.m. at Galveston County Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 4102 Main, La Marque; 281-534-3413, aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston.

Berry production: with Texas A&M specialist Monty Nesbitt. 10 a.m. at the Calendar Garden, 30730 Old Hockley Road, Magnolia; 281-259-8555, calendargarden.com Free.

Secrets to Your Best Tomatoes Ever: with Tom LeRoy. 10 a.m. at Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond, 281-937-9449; 2 p.m. at Enchanted Gardens, 6420 FM 359, Richmond, 281-341-1206, myenchnated.com.

Compelling Organic Gardening Questions and Popular Veggies: with Bob Randall. 10 a.m. at Kingwood Garden Center, 1216 Stonehollow, Kingwood; 218-358-1805, kingwoodgardencenter.com.

Bird Hike: sponsored by Coastal Prairie Chapter-Texas Master Naturalist (binoculars, appropriate clothing recommended).

Let’s Talk Herbs With Attitude: with Ann Wheeler. 10 a.m. at the Arbor Gate FM 2920, 15635 Tomball; 281-351-8851, arborgate.com.

Avocado, Citrus and Sub-tropical Fruits: sponsored by Urban Harvest. 7-9 p.m. University of Houston location to be announced; 713-880-5540, urbanharvest.org. $24 members, $36 nonmembers.

Garden Expo @ Brookwood: with Randy Lemmon, headline speaker. 10:30 a.m. in the Café at Brookwood Community, 1752 FM 1489, Brookshire; lunch reservations required, 281-375-2100, brookwood community.org. $21.95 plus tax. …read more

Via: Gardening

    

February’s Most Popular Homes From Coldwell Banker’s Pinterest and Instagram Accounts

Most Liked 1 e1393340496690 Februarys Most Popular Homes From Coldwell Bankers Pinterest and Instagram Accounts

Thousands of people visit Coldwell Banker’s Pinterest and Instagram accounts daily. They come for decor and design inspiration, for their fix of beautiful properties, and for information about some of the hottest listings in real estate. We’ve compiled a visual list of the homes that were the biggest hits on our social media accounts this month. Check them out below!

1. Atlanta, GA

One of the most palatial estates in Georgia! This Coldwell Banker Previews property is listed for $15,900,000.

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2. Carlsbad, CA

Most Liked 2 e1393341331583 Februarys Most Popular Homes From Coldwell Bankers Pinterest and Instagram Accounts

An amazing oceanfront estate on the California coast. This Coldwell Banker Previews International Property is listed for $29,000,000.

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3. Aspen, CO

Most Liked 31 e1393346335454 Februarys Most Popular Homes From Coldwell Bankers Pinterest and Instagram Accounts

A remarkable custom home that has incredible views of the city and mountains. This Coldwell Banker Previews property is listed for $29,900,000.

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4. Oconomowoc, WI

Most Liked 4 e1393342381785 Februarys Most Popular Homes From Coldwell Bankers Pinterest and Instagram Accounts

A French country inspired home with Italian flair. This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $2,450,000.

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5. Beverly Hills, CA

Most Liked 5 e1393342863659 Februarys Most Popular Homes From Coldwell Bankers Pinterest and Instagram Accounts

You won’t find too many other backyards that are as incredible as this one! Listed with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for $11,495,000.

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6. Beverly Hills, CA

<img alt="Most Liked 6 e1393343744232 Februarys Most Popular Homes From Coldwell Bankers Pinterest and Instagram Accounts " src="http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Most-Liked-6-e1393343744232.jpg" width="450" height="448" …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Expert Advice on How to Prepare Your Home for Sale

door Expert Advice on How to Prepare Your Home for Sale

Getting ready to sell your house? We asked our global Coldwell Banker network for their best advice for those prepping their homes. Check out what they had to say.

Get Inspected

“Get the home inspected and address any necessary repairs now before it becomes an issue during negotiations.” says Susan Heckman, Marketing Coordinator for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. At the same time you should also check with your town to ensure there are no open permits on your home.

Believe me, I know how scary the word inspection is but this is one of those things that will hang over your head until it gets done. Make the appointment and get it off your mind now.

Curb Appeal Matters

The first impression of your home is incredibly important. Buyers who have the ability to do a “drive by” will and if what they see on the outside doesn’t look good then chances are they are going to skip on checking out the inside.

“Buyers sense “Pride in Ownership” from the moment they drive up and want to be the people who love their home. Make it feel like a place to “come home from work to”, “raise a family in”, “retire into.” It’s important to demonstrate the benefit of the features, not the features themselves. That’s what HOME is all about. Convey the dream.” -Alec Schwartz, Coldwell Banker Preferred

Stand in front of your house and determine what areas of your front yard and home look tired. For some it might just require quick fixes. For example, “a quick coat of paint will make your entrance sweet and inviting” says Teresa Congioloso with Coldwell Banker Pryor Realty, Inc.

Whatever it is that your home needs start thinking about it now. “Start clearing away the outside from any winter debris. Getting the home ready for a beautiful spring yard takes time, and shouldn’t wait until its already spring to start” says Lauren Lehr from Coldwell Banker Conroy Marable Holleman. Once you do the work have your real estate agent come over and take the listing photos, that way your hard work is captured on camera and your home is presented to potential buyers at it’s very best.

Pay attention to every detail from small things like the mail box all the way up to your landscaping. Here are some ideas on how to improve your curb appeal for less.

Transition into Spring

Andrea Geller, with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Chicago, suggests removing all signs of winter. “Once you have removed dead foliage from the outside, bring your attention to the inside. Get rid of auxiliary heaters. If you live in a condo make sure the hallways have been cleaned of trails of salt from boots. The remnants of winter in the common areas give the impression to potential buyers that the association does not properly maintain the building.”

Take this time to swap out …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Inside the 60th Annual Winter Antiques Interior Design Show

Georgian Mirror Inside the 60th Annual Winter Antiques Interior Design Show

The following is a guest post from noted interior designer Brian del Toro

For those interested in the decorative arts, interior design and fine arts, the annual winter antiques show in New York City is an exhibition not to be missed. With exhibitors from all over the US and Europe, it allows the discriminating connoisseur the opportunity to view and shop from each dealers best pieces, collected all year long to be presented here. Some have likened the show to shopping in a museum. Even if one’s pockets aren’t deep enough to purchase, the chance to see the caliber of the items presented here is astounding.

The more show stopping pieces exhibited here can be the focal points of fabulous rooms, or the smaller accessories can add depth and extra shine to a room to finish it off, like a great earrings or beautiful watch to a well-tailored suit. Antiques like these add a graciousness or a sense of quality to a room, and can be mixed with more contemporary items. Everything in a room does not have to be as precious as some of these items, but can actually stand out when paired with simpler, more tailored items of much lesser cost.

Antiques like these also add a very particular note to interiors that reflect their owners taste and sophistication. They add polish and uniqueness to rooms and make them truly special and unique. Like any type of art, unique pieces like these will hold their value while giving their owners years of pride of and enjoyment for many years.

Some of my favorite items include an amazing French, art deco red lacquer gueridon, circa 1940 inlaid with eggshells on oak legs with bronze details at the Carolle Thibaut Pomerantz booth. It would be lovely between a pair of chairs floating in a room so one could appreciate it completely. For $40,000 it could be the prize in a modern New York City room.

Hyde Park Antiques, a New York institution for 18th English Furniture, has a Georgian Mirror, which would be stunning over a mantel, and could be in both a traditional or more contemporary setting. At $35,000 it is jewel.

Charles Catteau Vases Inside the 60th Annual Winter Antiques Interior Design Show

I love beautiful pottery, and Maison Gerard never disappoints in its collections. Among many lovely things, they have a stunning collection of art deco vases by Charles Catteau, made in Belgium in the 1920′s. They range in price from $5200-8600.

Wendel Castle desk Inside the 60th Annual Winter Antiques Interior Design Show

Megan H Gallery has my favorite piece of the whole exhibit: a show stopping biomorphic desk and chair designed by Wendell Castle. It is a piece of sculpture, made of Vermillion wood, and was made in the US, in 1965. The price is show stopping too, at $650,000. I’d love to see this a …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

And the Winner of the Best Coming Home Scene in Movie History Is…

A journey back to earth from the dark edges of space is overwhelmingly viewed as the greatest coming home scene in movie history according to our readers. Apollo 13 launched a commanding lead early and held on to the top spot in our Oscar season poll.

With over 2,000 consumers participating, the historical film was able to more than double the second place scene which was from The Wizard of Oz. The biggest surprise for me was the fact that the homecoming in Home Alone finished dead last. Really? Such a great film and great scene. Oh well.

While we’re handing out awards, the Academy will be doling out Oscars on Sunday night where Coldwell Banker will debut its latest ad entitled Your Home. You can get a sneak peek of it here or tune in on Sunday night, March 2nd to watch it from the comforts of your home.

The post And the Winner of the Best Coming Home Scene in Movie History Is… appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

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Malibu vs. Manhattan: A Leonardo DiCaprio Home Showdown

Bathroom Malibu vs. Manhattan: A Leonardo DiCaprio Home Showdown

At just 39, Leonardo DiCaprio already has a litany of spectacular and legendary performances to his credit. Despite all of the historic roles and performances, the “Best Actor” Oscar has mysteriously eluded him – until now; or at least that’s what Hollywood “insiders” think. Everyone with an “in” seems to believe he will take home the Best Actor Academy Award this Sunday for his portrayal of the infamous Wall Street criminal/tycoon Jordan Belfort.

If you just so happened to see ‘The Wolf of Wall Street‘, then you could attest to the fact that his performance was so good that he was basically unrecognizable – he really became Jordan Belfort. With that being the case, we’ll use real life Leonardo DiCaprio vs. Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort to help answer an aged old debate in real estate circles:

Would you rather live in a house on the beach or in an ultra-modern penthouse apartment in the “big city”?

The Contenders:

The City – Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in the Oscar nominated film worked his way from a 700 square foot apartment to a stunning airy penthouse right smack in the middle of Manhattan. The Wall Street tycoon/rule breaker had bad ethical taste but sure knew how to pick a home. It features 3 bedrooms nestled in the 2,500 square foot sprawling apartment that’s currently for sale for $6.5 million. The home capitalizes on its privileged position by offering up floor to ceiling glass walls that let in unbeatable New York City views.

The Beach – Real life Leonardo DiCaprio has a much better moral fiber than his Jordan Belfort; but he has just as good a taste in homes. In December of 2013 Leo sold his beachfront Malibu compound for $17.35 million – a home he had owned since 2002. Set on a private deeded beach in Malibu, this property has a stunning main home and two guest houses as well. It has 7 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms and a Great Gatsby-esque deck perfect for entertaining and soaking in those year round rays.

So the question must be asked. City or beach? Would you rather wake up and enjoy your private waterfront oasis, or would you rather own a castle in the New York City sky? Let the battle begin!

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

Bedroom Malibu vs. Manhattan: A Leonardo DiCaprio Home Showdown

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Dining Room Malibu vs. Manhattan: A Leonardo DiCaprio Home Showdown

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Kitchen1 Malibu vs. Manhattan: A Leonardo DiCaprio Home Showdown

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Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Home of the Week: An Award-Winning Home in Kelowna

In our newest ‘Home of the Week‘ we shift our attention from a Rancho Palos Verdes home to an award-winning masterpiece in Kelowna, British Columbia.

Concrete, glass and heavy timber combine to create an over 10,000 square foot palace on Okanagan Lake. This $8.8 million home is a “looker” – so much so that in 2013 it took home the prestigious Pinnacle award for master suite design, luxury pool design and single family home design.

The home’s aesthetic is punctuated by all glass walls that let in an abundant amount of light and mountain and waterfront views. The property has 4 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms and top of the line amenities and appliances throughout.

I can just imagine heading out to the outdoor space and taking in those captivating mountain and lakefront views from the infinity edge pool or from the outdoor living room and spa area! Click here if you’d like to see more photos of this beautiful home listed by Jane Hoffman with Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty.

The post Home of the Week: An Award-Winning Home in Kelowna appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

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How to Deal with Ice Dams in Your Gutters

If you live in an area where snow falls each winter and the temperature dips below freezing this time of year, chances are you may have to deal with ice dams at some point. Not sure what ice dams are? It’s when ice builds up in your gutters forming a dam that prevents water from flowing off your roof and forcing it to find other places to go – likely inside of your home.

What makes me an expert on ice dams? Well, let’s just say I’ve felt their wrath this past winter and have exhausted all avenues to try and deal with them.

The biggest issue with ice dams is that because water can’t flow off of your roof it finds any crack or crevice to go in which often causes leaks in your home’s ceilings, water to flow from windows and even the insides of your walls. I’ve experienced all three this past month and it is zero fun. Zero fun.

To help you avoid my own painful homeowner experience here are some questions and answers to consider when winter wields its frostiness at your home’s gutters.

How do I know if I have ice dams?
Easiest way to tell is if you look up at your gutters and see a string of icicles hanging off them. While they look picturesque, this is a tell-tale sign that ice dams might be a problem.

How do I prevent ice dams from forming?
There are a couple of things you can do. Some are easy. Some take some preparation:

  1. Clean your gutters – gutters with leaves or debris in it freeze faster than clean gutters.
  2. Insulate your attic – ice dams can form faster when your attic isn’t well insulated and the roof actually melts the snow faster than the snow in your gutters. A properly insulated attic can help with that and also keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
  3. Check the age of your gutters – a lot of newer gutters have built-in measures to help avoid ice dams from forcing water to flow back into your home. If you have gutters that are 20+ years old, you may want to consider updating them if ice dams continue to be a problem for you each winter.

I have ice dams! What can I do?

  1. Fill a tube sock with rock salt and lay it across the ice dam so a part of it hangs off the gutter. What this hopefully does is form an avenue for water to flow off the roof.
  2. DO NOT try and chip the ice away. You will likely ruin your gutters or worse your roof.
  3. If water is coming in your home at a particular spot and there’s an attic above where it’s leaking, try taking a box fan into your attic and having it blow air at the point where it is leaking. The cool air can freeze the leaking water if it’s cold enough outside. Not a guarantee that it will work but worth a try if you’re desperate.
  4. If you …read more

    Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

        

5 Design Trends from ‘American Hustle’

Pine Township 5 Design Trends from American Hustle

To many Hollywood insiders, the race for the “Best Picture” award for this year’s Academy Awards has come down to ’12 Years a Slave’ and the 10 time nominated film, ‘American Hustle‘. Centered around the 1978 “Abscam” scandal, the film features a world class cast set in a perfectly recreated late 1970s landscape – colorful shirts, perms, velour couches and all.

As is usually the case with all things design, we seem to revisit the past often and use it as inspiration for the clothes we wear and furniture we buy. Over the better part of the last 7-8 years, our obsession with 1960s vintage fashion, music and home decor has dominated the American aesthetic. As the 1960s craze tapers off a bit, the colorful and diverse palette of the 1970s has begun to creep its way into design and the wildly popular and superbly art directed ‘American Hustle’ has only fanned those flames.

Here’s a look at 5 interesting home design and decor trends from American Hustle to keep an eye out for in 2014:

The set designer of ‘American Hustle’ attempted to highlight “Rosalyn’s” over-the-top personality by designing a home for her with an equally bold aesthetic that still felt real. While you’d be hard pressed to find a home with such bold decor choices in it; the patterned wallpaper is a trend we’ve seen in more and more homes hitting the market. Take a look at this $925,000 home in Pine Township, PA that highlights the return of this oft forgotten trend.

Bold Pops of Color 5 Design Trends from American Hustle

Amy Adams’ character is less rooted in the more blue collar design trends of the 1970s and instead opted for more clean and timeless choices in her home. While her NYC apartment is dominated by stunning oak floors and white sofas, she wasn’t afraid to add spice to her spaces by adding bright pops of color. Of all the trends from the 70s that have begun to make a comeback, bright color choices is the one catching on in a big way. Take a look at this stunning $3,950,000 estate in Bainbridge Island, WA for a spot on example.

Washington home 5 Design Trends from American Hustle

Carpet Makes a Comeback 5 Design Trends from American Hustle

Carpeted floors seem to have gotten a bad wrap over the past decade or so for being hard to clean and easy to dirty. With that being said, they are pretty comfortable to walk on and they do add a certain warmth and coziness to a room that’s hard to get with solid wood floors. Carpet aficionados fear not, it appears as if there may be a comeback imminent! Take a look at this stunning $3,395,000 home in Minnetonka, MN for an example of the the resurgence of …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Real Estate Headlines Featuring Lena Dunham, Zombie Properties and More

It’s the last week of February. March is about to make its debut in 2014 and the hope of warmer weather is sneaking into our minds. Before you start wondering what your New Year’s resolutions were, here’s your weekly dose of real estate headlines to start your week:

This is Money has 6 tips for home buyers as the property market heats up in the UK.

While The Walking Dead reigns supreme on TV, zombie properties are not so great.

What is the greatest coming home scene in movie history? (my vote is for Apollo 13)

Is student debt preventing a speedy housing recovery?

Now this is timely and useful: tax breaks that every homeowner should know about.

January housing numbers just came out. Here’s the low down on what you need to know.

Bloomberg thinks home shoppers should have an easier time this spring.

Double-height living rooms are some of the biggest real estate “wants” according to BrickUnderground.com.

What are the worst things you can do before buying a home?

And finally, star of HBO’s Girls, Lena Dunham, former Tribeca pad is for sale.

The post Real Estate Headlines Featuring Lena Dunham, Zombie Properties and More appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

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Via: Coldwell Banker Blog