What You Need to Know about the January Housing Numbers

The Northeast and Midwest have continued to battle snow and ice, leaving many of us wondering why we live here and not in the tropics of Florida, Hawaii or Southern California. As a New York City resident myself, I can attest that this has been the second-snowiest February in New York history. Alas, #polarvortex and #paxstorm are not so distant memories and winter is still among us for at least a few more weeks. We turned to the National Association of Realtors for its January existing-home sales report to get a pulse on the Northeast and other regions of the country.

Not surprisingly, there is a correlation between the unusually severe winter weather and home sales. The report showed a 5.1 percent decline from December, with January levels the lowest they’ve been since July 2012.

However, homes have been selling at a slightly faster pace. The median time on market for January was 67 days, compared to 72 in December. In fact, 31 percent of January home sales stayed on the market for less than a month. Additionally, total housing inventory also rose 2.2 percent, and unsold inventory is up 7.3 percent from a year ago. This is good news for buyers looking to get a head start on spring home buying and selling season.

Whether you are looking at sales or inventory, there is still less competition in the winter housing market, with the exception of those with warmer climates or markets with a strong demand year-round. Check out how the January regional prices stack up to see what a home in each region would generally cost you:

  • South: $161,500
  • West: $273,500
  • Midwest: $140,300
  • Northeast: $241,100

So starting today, we have only 27 more days until spring (but who is counting!) For now, let’s take a look at five listings where you can have a staycation year-round:

  1. Take in the 17 serene lakes at 5111Timber Chase Way in Sarasota, FL
  2. Get lost in the tropical landscaping at 1706 Sunset Dr. in historic Old Clearwater Bay in Clearwater, FL
  3. Catch the sea breeze from the nearby beaches at 87-1972h Pakeke St. in Waianae, HI
  4. Enjoy the lakeside sunset from 16630 Escavera St. tucked away in Lake Elsinore, CA (3-minute drive to the lake!)
  5. Stay warm by living near California’s Glen Ivy hot springs at 23215 Canyon Pines Pl. in Corona, CA

This was a guest post from Daniel Bullock

Header image courtesy of santantoniorealestate365.com

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Best Homecomings in Movie History: Apollo 13

apollo thirteen ver1 Best Homecomings in Movie History: Apollo 13

Houston, we have a problem.

You’ve probably said that phrase hundreds of times, but these were actual words uttered in one of the most desperate moments in US history. The Apollo 13 mission and crew were in despair. They didn’t think they’d be able to get home.

This scene from the movie Apollo 13 represents the longest journey home possibly in movie history. The great part is the crew did make it home while an entire nation held their breath.

What makes this movie moment so special is the fact that it’s a real story. We’ve all longed to go home. We’ve all probably felt a moment of despair when a flight was delayed or car trouble prevented us from getting home when we expected. But nothing can compare to the potential tragedy of being lost in space.

Coming home, not just to a house but to planet Earth, was a sweet a homecoming as one could imagine. My vote for best homecoming scene in movie history is most definitely from Apollo 13. Cast your vote below.

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

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Vegetable gardening classes highlight on weekly calendar

Teaching in the Outdoor Classroom: sponsored by Urban Harvest. 9-11 a.m. at Ridgecrest Elementary School, 2015 Ridgecrest; 713-880-5540, urbanharvest.org. $24 members, $36 nonmembers.

10 Most Effective Organic Solutions to Suburban Gardening: with John Dromgoole. 11:30 a.m. at the Kingwood Garden Center, 1216 Stonehollow Drive, Kingwood; 281-358-1805, kingwoodgardencenter.com.

Hands-On Planting the Spring Vegetable Garden: with Jeanie Dunnihoo, sponsored by Urban Harvest. 2:30-5 p.m. at Oberholtzer Hall, University of Houston, 4361 Wheeler; 713-880-5540, urbanharvest.org. $24 members, $36 nonmembers.

Open Garden Day: self-guided tours at 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., spring vegetable garden presentation and children’s activities at 10 a.m. in the demonstration gardens at Harris County Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 3033 Bear Creek Drive; 281-855-5600, hcmga.tamu.edu.

Soil – The Rest of the Story: sponsored by Kingwood Garden Center. 3-4 p.m. at Lone Star College – Atascocita Center, 15903 W. Lake Houston Parkway; 281-312-1750 or Kwall@LoneStar.edu. $20, free for Lone Star affiliates.

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. …read more

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Best Homecomings In Movie History: The Notebook

thenotebook Best Homecomings In Movie History: The Notebook

The Notebook (New Line Cinema) has deservedly earned its place as one of the greatest love stories of the 21st century. Its cultural significance and cult following has sky rocketed the film into popular company like: Casa Blanca (Warner Bros.), When Harry Met Sally (Columbia Pictures), Ghost (Paramount Pictures), Titanic (20th Century Fox) etc. What ties these films together is their perfect portrayal of how all-encompassing love can be. But what sets The Notebook apart is its absolutely heart wrenching, tear-jerking ‘homecoming’ scene when Allie returns to her true love, Noah. And for that reason, the film is being featured as a nominee for Coldwell Banker

Slideshow: 5 Homes from Cities Featured in ‘Blue Jasmine’

Harbor Road Hamptons Slideshow: 5 Homes from Cities Featured in Blue Jasmine

One of the more well made indie films of 2013 that featured some seriously stunning homes and locales in it is ‘Blue Jasmine‘, featuring an all-star cast led by Cate Blanchett. Nominated for three Oscars in total this year, the black comedy follows the mental breakdown of a Manhattan socialite who loses everything after her Bernie Madoff-esque husband gets busted by the authorities for fraud.

Seeing how Alec Baldwin and Cate Blanchett’s characters are among some of Manhattans most wealthy and “elite”, the film no doubt showcases and highlights the fact that New York City, the Hamptons and San Francisco have some of the world’s most luxurious and beautiful homes.

Here’s a look at 5 of our favorite homes from cities featured in the Oscar nominated film, ‘Blue Jasmine’.

This 3 bedroom and 3 bath home features 2,400 square feet of interior living space that opens up to views of Smiths Creek, Shinnecock Bay and the Ponquogue bridge. In addition to those great views the home comes with a private dock on a secluded beach and a waterfront pool that enables you to truly live that Hampton Bays lifestyle.

Click here to see more photos of this beautiful home.

With 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, this magnificently open and airy home is a sight to behold and absolutely Oscar worthy in of itself. The estate comes with a deeded sandy beach and is highlighted by a wall made entirely of glass that lets in inspiring waterfront views. The completely redone home looks extremely similar to the Hamptons beachfront estate Alec Baldwin and Cate Blanchett share in ‘Blue Jasmine’.

Click here to see more photos of this estate.

87th Street Slideshow: 5 Homes from Cities Featured in Blue Jasmine

Located on 87th street near Central Park, homes like this are a rare find in New York City these days. The meticulously renovated townhome features 6,500 square feet laid out over 5 spacious floors. in all it has 6 bedrooms and 7 baths, a chefs kitchen, imported oak floors, a media room and so much more.

Click here to see more of this New York City marvel.

San Fran Slideshow: 5 Homes from Cities Featured in Blue Jasmine

Set on one of San Francisco’s largest lots, this park like estate offers up secluded suburban living right in the middle of one of the world’s most exciting cities. It features 5 bedrooms and 6 baths inside of an exquisitely contemporary home. In the film, Cate Blanchett moves to her sisters small San Francisco home after the government seizes all of her assets – I’m betting she would have given just about anything to trade up into this gorgeous home!

Click here to see more off this home.

<img alt="1200 Broadway2 Slideshow: 5 Homes from Cities Featured in Blue Jasmine " src="http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/1200-Broadway2.jpg" width="552" height="310" title="Slideshow: 5 …read more

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Best Homecomings in Movie History: The Best Years of Our Lives

besty3 Best Homecomings in Movie History: The Best Years of Our Lives

Go ahead and search on YouTube for “best home coming movie scenes.” You know what shows up in the top 3 results? This very scene from the classic World War 2 film, The Best Years of Our Lives.

There is no greater sight to behold than a soldier coming home. Just thinking about stirs the emotions in my mind. This iconic scene from The Best Years of Our Lives takes that emotion to a whole new level as it depicts a father coming home from war and surprising not only his two kids at the front door, but his wife as well.

While the film is old and the quality is obviously not what we’re used to, there’s still something about seeing this vintage depiction that is timeless.

Vote for The Best Years of Our Lives below for the best coming home scenes in movie history or share which film you think we missed in the comments.

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

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Best Homecomings in Movie History: Wizard of Oz

This year marks the 75th anniversary of one of the greatest movies of all time, The Wizard of Oz. The classic film will be recognized and celebrated on March 2nd during the Oscars and I can’t wait to see what the producers have in store. (Side note: I am also excited to see the new #YourHome commercial debut during the show.)

In case you missed it, we announced the #YourHome Awards honoring the best homecoming scenes in movie history this week and I couldn’t think of a movie that deserves the award more than the Wizard of Oz.

I have heard and used the quote “There’s No Place Like Home” hundred of times but until I sat down to write this post I never really stopped to think how easy it is to forget just how special home really is.

“There’s No Place Like Home”

I began thinking about how much a familiar and comforting setting like home can sometimes be taken for granted. The simple pleasures of coming home are captured and celebrated in our most recent commercial “Home Sweet Home.” Moments like kicking off our shoes, sinking into “our spot” on the couch or soaking in a hot tub after a long day provide us with serenity that no other place on Earth can provide because there really is no place like home.

In the Wizard of Oz Dorothy gets a hard lesson and realized that in fact, the grass isn’t greener on the other side. It takes her a while but by the end of the movie she realizes that even though the colorful and exotic land of OZ looks much more exciting than her monochromatic home in Kansas, the only place she truly belongs is home. When she does return home she says

“Oh, but anyway, Toto, we’re home. Home! And this is my room, and you’re all here. And I’m not gonna leave here ever, ever again, because I love you all, and – oh, Auntie Em – there’s no place like home!”

and it is clear she appreciates her home and those in it in a way she never had before.

We should take a moment to appreciate Dorothy’s “homecoming” and revelation that there is no place like home and apply it to our own lives. We are sometimes so caught up in wanting bigger, better and more that we forget to stop and appreciate what and who we have in our life.

Do you think Wizard of Oz deserves to take home the first ever #YourHome award? Vote now and check back 2/27 to see which film wins.

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

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Vote for the Greatest Coming Home Scenes in Movie History

The Academy Awards season is upon as hit films from 2013 and many you’ve never heard of are nominated for various awards. We’re excited about this time of year because we are debuting our second TV ad of 2014 on the Oscars. So movies are top of mind for us of late.

As we looked across the films nominated for Best Picture, we noticed none of them had a scene featuring one of the greatest emotional moments that can be depicted on film – coming home.

The feeling of joy, raw emotion and delight that you experience when you come home is something we at Coldwell Banker hold very dearly. It’s a feeling we want everyone to experience, but sometimes just seeing it on film can conjure up those same emotions. Countless movies over the course of history have showcased this in some of the most memorable moments in Hollywood history. In fact there are way too many that we had a tough time picking which one is the best.

So instead we’re leaving it up to you. Below are 6 nominees that we think showcase very unique concepts of the feeling of coming home. From coming home from war to coming home from space to coming home from a fantasy world full of flying monkeys, there’s definitely a variety of homecoming scenarios to choose from.

The nominees are:
1. Dorothy Comes Home from The Wizard of Oz
2. Returning Home to Earth from Apollo 13
3. A Home Reunion from Home Alone
4. Allie Comes Back Home from The Notebook
5. A Soldier Returns Home from The Best Years of Our Lives
6. The Ending of Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Vote for your favorite movie scene below or if you think we overlooked one that should be in the top 5, let us know in the comments. Voting is open until 12 a.m. EST on 2/26. Vote as often as you like and we’ll unveil the winner right here on 2/27.

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

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Give Me A Snow Plow Robot

Winter refuses to go away for most of us even though we plead with it to be gone. So instead of making snow shoveling a chore, what if it were insanely awesome? How could that be? Just add robots.

This snow plow robot is only $8,500. Think of it as an investment. An investment in winter fun. Sadly they are currently out of stock, but orders are being taken if you want to get on the waiting list. The remote controlled robot can clear your driveway, sidewalk and front porch while sit in the comfort of your heated home.

It’s a must have. Find full details on the snow plow robot here.

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7 Home and Office Technology Trends from the Movie ‘Her’

Computer 7 Home and Office Technology Trends from the Movie Her

With multiple award show wins to its credit and 5 Oscar nominations, the upstart film of the 2014 awards season is Spike Jonze’s ‘Her‘ – a rather unconventional love story set in Los Angeles in the “near future”.

Besides the unconventional romance between Joaquin Phoenix’s character and a highly sophisticated new operating system named Samantha, the film is being lauded for the fully formed vision it creates for our world in 20-30 years.

With the technological advancements and the impact its having on our lives already, the filmmakers could have constructed an overly advanced imaginary future with impersonal shiny gadgets and gizmos. In lieu of creating a world in the “science-future”, Jonze and his team imagine a more accessible and warm world set in the “science-present”; where technology has significantly improved our lives but not taken them over.

With all that being said, things sure do change in “Her’s” near future, and some things miraculously remain pretty much the same. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting pieces of new home and office technology trends from the Oscar nominated film, ‘Her’.

The focal point of ‘Her’ is the relationship a down in the dumps (and soon to be divorced) man conjures up with a newly released Operating System named Samantha. As opposed to the clumsy interactions we may have with Siri, these new operating systems have what seems to be highly human consciousnesses. These computers have free will, call you when they want to talk, have a yearning to “see the world”, evolve and even have the ability to build deeply emotional bonds with human beings and other operating systems. In addition to developing romantic relationships, these new artificially intelligent computers can read you your email, write email on your behalf without your knowledge, go on dates with you and even do your office work on your behalf.

games 7 Home and Office Technology Trends from the Movie Her

In Spike Jonze’s near future, we still use hand motions and gestures to play games, but the games have gone from the TV screen to being projected as holograms that can take up an entire room. Imagine playing a hologram version of NBA 2K that takes up your whole living room!? In addition to videos games being holograms, they too seem to have developed an independent mind, as game characters react in real time to stimuli in the gamer’s room.

Office 7 Home and Office Technology Trends from the Movie Her

It’s 2014 and I already have to struggle to remember the last time I used a pen. This trend gets taken to the next level in 30 or so years as keyboards seem to join pens and pencils in the “we don’t need or use them anymore” bin. Voice activated technology in ‘Her’ seems to have completely done away with keyboards; saving thousands from …read more

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