How to Get the Most out of Visiting an Open House

Open House season is almost upon us as soon many a home seller will open their doors for home shoppers to have their own private walk through. While many an open house sign will be seen on street corners across the country are they really worthwhile?

In this segment from NBC’s Open House, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage agent, Sandro Dazzan, talks about a few misconceptions of open houses and how to make the most out of your open house experience.

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Real Estate Headlines Featuring Buffy, H&M, Brackets and More

So apparently you won’t be winning $1 billion in Warren Buffet’s NCAA Tournament challenge so that dream island you were looking to purchase is no longer an option. Since we’re headed back to reality we might as well start the week with your weekly dose of real estate headlines:

Bigger Pockets shares 10 ways to look for investment properties.

You want to know who picked Dayton over Ohio State and Mercer over Duke in the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament? The 2014 Coldwell Banker Bracket of Affordability.

96% of counties in the US are showing better real estate market conditions than 4 years ago.

Which real estate markets have seen the largest increase in median home prices?

Does it really pay to have your home keep up with the Joneses?

The government apparently won’t make you put your home on stilts.

Buffy is selling her Bel Air home. And by Buffy I mean, Sarah Michelle Gellar.

An economist tries to predict what’s in store for housing in 2014.

And finally, would you believe H&M has a line of home decor products?

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Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Spring is Here. So What Do You Need to Know About Latest Housing Numbers?

The following is a guest post from Jessica Chen.

It’s officially spring and while the temperatures hesitantly begin climbing upward, I can without a doubt say that I’m ready to ditch the bitter cold and snow for sunshine and May flowers. With springtime, also comes a sense of renewal and beginning as we sweep out the old and look forward to the new. It’s no wonder so many people begin looking to buy homes during this time of year. The recently released February existing-home sales report from the National Association of Realtors reflects this trend as we head into spring.

With rising prices and the chilly weather, home sales declined 0.4 percent to an annual rate of 4.60 million in February compared to 4.62 million in January. The severe temperatures and snow contributed to February’s pace of sales – the lowest since July 2012.

On the bright side, total housing inventory at the end of February rose 6.4 percent up from January, and 5.3 percent above what it was just one year ago. With more homes on the market this spring, now is the perfect time to purchase, but homebuyers must act fast – the median time on market for homes in February was 62 days, down from 67 days in January.

Take a look at how home prices across the U.S. compare with one another:

  • Northeast: $237,800
  • Midwest: $140,900
  • South: $163,400
  • West: $279,400

As we bid farewell to the winter doldrums, check out the below home listings to celebrate the start of spring!

  1. Take a blast from the past in this Annapolis, MD colonial on the National Register of Historic Places
  2. Enjoy a stroll through the flower garden at 6 Twin Oaks Court in Spartanburg, SC
  3. Relax with a view of the river at this Mount Pleasant, MI retreat
  4. Start the spring anew at 120 Fox Street in Cary, IL
  5. Get lost in a good book at this Oregon City, OR home‘s tucked-away garden oasis

Header image courtesy of Flickr user stella12

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Fern sale will offer hardy and tropical types

19th annual Herb Society of America (Pioneer Unit) plant and gift sale: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at Festival Hill, 248 Jaster, Round Top; 979-249-3129, festivalhill.org.

Backyard Basics -Vegetable Production: sponsored by Fort Bend Master Gardeners. 9-11 a.m. at Fort Bend Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, 1402 Band, Rosenberg; fbmg.com; register at 281-342-3034 or brandy.rader@ag.tamu.edu. $15, $25 per couple.

Rain barrel workshop: sponsored by Galveston Bay Foundation and the city of Galveston. 9:30 a.m. at the McGuire-Dent Recreation Center, 2222 28th, Galveston; 281-332-3381, galvbay.org/rainbarrel. $30.

Farm Babies: with John Berry. 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Wabash Feed and Garden Store, 5701 Washington; 713-863-8322, wabashfeed.com.

Planting Trees and Shrubs: sponsored by Kingwood Garden Center. 3-4 p.m. at Lone Star College Atascocita Center, 15903 W. Lake Houston Parkway; register with kwall@LoneStar.edu. $20, free for Lone Star affiliates.

Texas Gulf Coast Fern Society plant sale: 2-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. March 29, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. March 30 in booth 561 at the Texas Home and Garden Show, George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas; tgcfernsoc.org.

Memorial Northwest Ladybugs Garden Club annual garage and plant sale: 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. at the Memorial Northwest Community Center, 17440 Theiss Mail Route Road, Spring; 281-320-0489, 281-370-3939.

Spring gardening seminar: 9-11 a.m. at Harris County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, 3033 Bear Creek Drive; 281-855-5600, harris.agrilife.org/program-areas/hort. $15. …read more

Via: Gardening

    

The Most Beautifully Manicured Lawns and Landscapes

ig badge view 24 The Most Beautifully Manicured Lawns and Landscapes

I usually don’t pay too close attention to what goes into landscaping and maintaining a property–that’s usually my dad’s forté. I can however, appreciate the beautiful final product: a gorgeous, seemingly, endless patch of vibrant and healthy green grass trimmed to perfection. I also have learned to love the specific scent of a fresh cut lawn. My father, who once owned a successful landscaping business, even used to have a cologne that actually smelled like, believe it or not, a just mowed lawn. A perfect yard is truly a sense of pride for a lot of people, specifically my dad. So because it’s Spring, the time when many start to plan their landscaping schedule, here are some flawless lawns and landscapes that are a must see! For more incredible photos, uploaded daily, check out our Instagram and Pinterest pages.

Coldwell Banker

1. Mechanicsburg, PA

This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $2,650,000.

2. Seattle, WA

Lawns 2 e1395247070569 The Most Beautifully Manicured Lawns and Landscapes

This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $2,980,000.

3. Knoxville, TN

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This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $999,900.

4. Greenwich, CT

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This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $6,750,000.

5. Chelen, WA

Lawns 6 The Most Beautifully Manicured Lawns and Landscapes

This Coldwell Banker BAIN property is listed for $825,000.

6. Wayzata, MN

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This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $4,750,000.

7. Pacific Palisades, CA

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This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $8,295,000.

8. Edgewater, MD

Lawns 9 e1395248633772 The Most Beautifully Manicured Lawns and Landscapes

This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $3,750,000.

9. Mamaroneck, NY

Lawns 10 e1395248856882 The Most Beautifully Manicured Lawns and Landscapes

This Coldwell Banker Previews International property is listed for $9,950,000.

10. Holland, MI

Lawns 11 e1395249089656 The Most Beautifully Manicured Lawns and Landscapes

This Coldwell Banker Woodland-Schmidt property is listed for $2,995,000.

For more, visit coldwellbanker.com

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How to: Naturally Eliminate the Odor from your Washing Machine

ig badge 16 How to: Naturally Eliminate the Odor from your Washing Machine

It is easy to forget about washing your washer. But the reality is the washer does get dirty and consequently smelly. What’s worse is that the smell, which is typically musty in character with hidden notes of dirt, can also permeate through your clothing. Gross! Luckily, there are a couple of natural ways to help eliminate the yucky odors.

First, try to never leave a load of laundry in the wash for a long period of time. That means, putting a load in before bed or before you head out for the day probably isn’t as great idea as you thought. The damp clothes sitting in such a tight space invites mold and mildew, which contributes to foul smells.

Photo via Pinterest

Second, when not using your washing machine try leaving the door open and the drawer where you insert detergents open. Again, this allows air to ventilate prohibiting the growth of odor causing bacteria. (Side Note: You may want to skip this if you have children or small pets.)

Lundry 2 e1394813973297 How to: Naturally Eliminate the Odor from your Washing Machine

Photo via Pinterest

Third, monthly or even bi-monthly run a hot wash with just 2 cups of vinegar and a couple teaspoons of baking soda. These natural ingredients will definitely help to cut down residue, odor, and kill bacteria. Afterwards, pour some vinegar on a warm damp cloth and wipe down your washing machine once more just to be thorough.

Laundry 3 e1394814314510 How to: Naturally Eliminate the Odor from your Washing Machine

Photo via Pinterest

By following these steps you will ensure that your clothes and washing machine will stay fresh and clean.

If you despise doing laundry, we have a feeling you will also enjoy this post “11 Ways to Make Doing Laundry Less Dreadful.

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Realtor Mag Agrees, Color is a Must in 2014!

ig badge 16 Realtor Mag Agrees, Color is a Must in 2014!

I don’t know about you but I am (figuratively) jumping for joy because Spring is finally upon us! If you are like me, you’ve already begun opening the windows at your house to air out all of winter’s remains. Spring is about rejuvenation so adding small details to your environment like a little bright paint, some new furniture, or fresh flowers is really the best way to waken your spirit.

If you’re looking for an idea on how to renew your space first consider how you can add some color. Even Realtor Mag agrees that in 2014, decor and design is all about eclectic color schemes.”After years of beige and whits grabbing all the attention as a way to appeal to potential buyers, many home owners now opting for more varied colors. Color forecasters agree that gray, especially a warmer hue, is the “it” gal in home design for 2014.” (Realtor Mag)

I understand that having a red or yellow accent wall could be overwhelming for some. If this is the case, as you’ll see referenced in the photos below, implementing small decor pieces like a bright frame or chair is a great start. For more incredible photos and design inspiration visit Coldwell Banker’s Instagram and Pinterest Coldwell Banker pages.

Calming purple lawn furniture.

Photo via Pinterest

Color 4 e1394805419638 Realtor Mag Agrees, Color is a Must in 2014!

Regal violet walls.

Photo via Pinterest

Color 5 Realtor Mag Agrees, Color is a Must in 2014!

Various hues of pink to brighten this guest bedroom.

Photo via Pinterest

Color 2 e1394805744276 Realtor Mag Agrees, Color is a Must in 2014!

A neon yellow staircase.

Photo via Pinterest

Color 3 Realtor Mag Agrees, Color is a Must in 2014!

Dandylion yellow furniture and decor.

Photo via Pinterest

Color 8 e1394805999384 Realtor Mag Agrees, Color is a Must in 2014!

Natural lighting and an orange couch.

Photo via Pinterest

Color 9 e1394806112606 Realtor Mag Agrees, Color is a Must in 2014!

This pastel blue definitely makes this work space inspiring.

Photo via Pinterest

Color 13 Realtor Mag Agrees, Color is a Must in 2014!

An interesting way to spice up ordinary picture frames.

Photo via Pinterest

Color 14 e1394806244987 Realtor Mag Agrees, Color is a Must in 2014!

Interesting bedside lamps with great pops …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Home of the Week: A Gentlemen’s Ranch for SXSW

Each year near the start of March, the best and brightest of the independent film, music and digital world descend on Austin, Texas for a two week epic conference known as SXSW (South by Southwest). With thousands hitting the airports and returning home after the two week conference ended this weekend, we stay down south and take a look at a magnificent estate in Spicewood, TX – right outside of Austin.

Listed for $2,649,000, this “Gentlemen’s Ranch” is located on over 18 acres of versatile land inside the highly sought after Granite Ridge gated community. The ample grounds offer up extensive outdoor living spaces that would make for some serious family “get-togethers”. The large covered patio includes a fireplace, grill, refrigerator, sink and granite countertops! That’s just the kitchen outside, imagine how fantastic the kitchen inside the house is!

When you’re finished enjoying your outdoor kitchen or the pristine pool and jacuzzi; the interior of the main house will leave you inspired, relaxed and entertained. Top notch amenities and finishes like high ceilings, herringbone floors and wood beams and trusesses make the home feel upscale and luxurious, but warm at the same time. I’m not the world’s greatest cook by any stretch, but who wouldn’t want to cook up gourmet meals in a kitchen that would make Five-Star chefs blush?

Everything about this retreat is delightful and unique. Either enjoy the plentiful grounds of this estate, or kick back in the inviting and strikingly beautiful interior of this phenomenal home – I’d be happy either way! Click here to see more photos of this amazing property listed by Sue Ellett with Coldwell Banker United, Realtors.

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From Roofs to Cubes, Harnessing the Power of the Sun

Lately I’ve been noticing interesting gadgets and stories related to solar power. It first started with this awesome window mounted electrical socket by Yanko Design. I envisioned sitting at the airport finally being able to stop searching endlessly for a place to plug-in and charge up. After doing some further research on the product (because I seriously wanted to purchase it), I’ve since learned from KCET contributor Chris Clarke that it it’s scientifically impossible for it to work. Bummer, right?

But then I came across a power cube called e-QBO, a modular cube that collects energy from the sun to provide power to public spaces. “During the day, the panels soak up sunlight and stores energy in battery packs, which can then be used by anyone to charge electronic devices and provide Wi-Fi,” states Valentina Palladino from theverge.com. I’m rooting for the team at T