The Most Read Blue Matter Blog Posts of 2014

Out with the old and in with the new. While everyone has their top lists of the past year, we wanted to share some of our most read posts in case you missed out on any of the home content we’ve shared in the last 365 days. Some of our top posts will be of no surprise while others just might make you want to take a second look.

Here are the most read Coldwell Banker Blue Matter blog posts for 2014:

  1. The #HomeRocks Awards – Celebrationg our “Home Sweet Home” ad’s debut on the Grammy Awards we opened up voting to the public for the best “home” song of the past year. Turns out a boy band called Midnight Red took home the prize and made this post our most shared content of the year with nearly 20k social shares.
  2. The Most Expensive Home for Sale in the United States – Nothing draws an audience like pictures of a $195 million home for sale in Beverly Hills.
  3. 16 Genius Storage Ideas You Probably Never Thought Of – Tips for finding a home for all the things in your home.
  4. 9 Overlooked Items to Prep Your Home for Sale – Thinking of selling your home in 2015? You’ll want to read this.
  5. 10 Pieces of Valuable Info to Gather Before You Sell Your Home – See comment for #4
  6. Home of the Week: A Piece of Paradise – Own a piece of Paradise…Valley.
  7. Expert Advice on How to Prepare Your Home for Sale – We asked our global network of real estate professionals to share their best tips for getting ready to sell.
  8. Coldwell Banker 2014 Home Listing Report – What’s a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home worth in over 2,000 markets across the country? Come find out.
  9. Home of the Week: Amenity Heaven in Irvine – Features one of my favorite listing videos of the year.
  10. Beautiful Glass Homes – These sellers do not throw rocks…ever.

Thank you for making this the best year yet for the Coldwell Banker Blue Matter blog and we look forward to sharing more amazing content for your home in 2015. Have a very happy and safe new year!

Header image courtesy of Flickr user Walter-Wilhelm

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Home Tip of the Day: The Best Baking Trick

To tell if your holiday roast is perfectly done, you can insert a meat thermometer. But, how can you tell if a baked good is ready to be pulled from the oven? Try this foolproof baking trick for all of your sweet treats.

For other clever home tips & tricks, subscribe to Coldwell Banker On Location to view the complete Home Tip of the Day video series.

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Home of the Week: Buckhead’s Most Palatial Estate

In our final ‘Home of the Week‘ of 2014, we move from a French inspired estate in Tahoe to one of the largest and grandest homes in the United States.

Located just down the street from the Governor’s Mansion on Atlanta’s most prestigious street lies one of America’s finest homes. This 9 bedroom and approximately 40,000 square foot mansion has been internationally recognized for its beauty and is reportedly the 12th largest home in America.

This $15.9 million estate has been featured in many famous films and was referred to recently by Yahoo as the “house who became a movie star” – and for good reason. Highlights of the home include a grand ballroom, cigar lounge, recording studio, two gyms and the fabulous 18 seat movie theater that I’d enjoy every single day. As if that wasn’t enough, the two acre estate features a resort like outdoor space and a wellness center with a 20 person steam room, tanning salon, massage parlor and hair and nail salon.

Click here to see more of this once-in-a-lifetime home listed by Debbie Sonenshine with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

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Home Tip of the Day: Holiday Ornament Storage

Sadly, it’s time for many of us to put away the holiday decorations. Storing your favorite delicate ornaments can be tricky without the right storage solution. Use this clever trick to keep fragile ornaments safe until next year.

For other clever home tips & tricks, subscribe to Coldwell Banker On Location to view the complete Home Tip of the Day video series.

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Real Estate Headlines with Pinterest, HGTV and Hawaiian Getaway

Congratulations! You’ve made it through 51 weeks of 2014. This is the last one. If there are any resolutions you haven’t gotten to yet, well let’s just say better luck next year. Now let’s close out 2014 in the best way we know possible, with a weekly dose of real estate headlines to start your week.

The Huffington Post thinks President Obama should’ve booked his Hawaiian getaway at one of these homes.

Is cheap financing for buying a home becoming vogue again?

Realtor.com has some tax considerations for home sellers in 2015.

CNBC has a list of the most searched real estate markets of 2014.

An HGTV host thinks you get a vacation house for free.

A New York City developer is selling condos using holograms.

Fast Company has a list of the most fabulous housing designs of 2014.

Does Pinterest hold the key to what housing design trends will emerge in 2015?

And finally, here are 10 of the most impressive tiny homes of the year.

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Theory about mulch being harmful to plants doesn’t ring true

Rumor has it that mulching garden beds or trees and shrubs could starve plants.

[...] it becomes available to plants once those microorganisms have used up enough soil carbon, “breathing” it out of the ground as carbon dioxide.

[...] this scenario – plants being starved of nitrogen – holds true when you mix a load of high-carbon, organic material into the soil.

[...] that rumor that plants will suffer from high-carbon mulches keeps going around, despite the field experience of agricultural researchers and many gardeners.

A garden, like any biological system, represents a complex interaction of energies, so sweeping generalizations don’t always hold. …read more

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Home Tip of the Day: The Must-Have Holiday Kitchen Appliance

The key to holiday entertaining is a relaxed hostess. If you’re hosting guests this holiday, this must-have holiday kitchen appliance will help you avoid running around the kitchen all day and most importantly, take time to enjoy your family and friends. (It also makes a great last minute gift, too!) Happy hosting!

For other clever home tips & tricks, subscribe to Coldwell Banker On Location to view the complete Home Tip of the Day video series.

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Family Traditions At Christmas

It always seems like the month of December flies by. We sometimes get lost in the flurry of gift shopping, wrapping presents, and preparing our homes for holiday gatherings. Before we know it, it’s December 25th and we can’t quite fathom how Christmas is already here.

I’ve always found Christmas Eve to be one of the most peaceful, enjoyable days of the year. Everyone finally slows down and is able to enjoy some quiet, relaxing moments at home. Here are some of my favorite personal family traditions:

1. Watching “It’s A Wonderful Life”
This is one of those movies that I watch with my family year after year and it never gets old. I love curling up with a mug of hot chocolate and enjoying this classic which always leaves me feeling more festive and appreciative!

2. Matching PJs
Yes, my sisters and I may all be in our 20′s, but we’ve always worn coordinating PJ’s on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. It makes for some really cute family photos, and a great cozy clothing option for lounging around all winter.

3. Baking with my mom
My mom is basically famous for her amazing chocolate chip cookies, and I always love spending the day “helping” her bake them (which means eating them as they come out of the oven). We always package a few tins up to bring with us to family gatherings, but my mom makes sure to keep at least one just for us!

4. Christmas breakfast
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the delicious breakfast we have every year after opening gifts. It includes French toast, sausage, eggs, fruit — pretty much anything you could imagine, we have! It’s by far one of my favorite meals of the year.

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? Leave us a comment below or tweet us and let us know!

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I’ll Be Home by Meghan Trainor Captures the Feeling of Home for the Holidays

What is the purpose of a home?

At its core home is a gathering place. Sure you sleep there, eat there and watch TV there, but home is one of the few places you can join together with those that you love to celebrate any occasion. Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and most of life’s major events center around home, and not just the physical structure, but the idea that home is the place where your loved ones come. There’s a certain joy in having others come to your home.

You may remember that joy as a child, but with my 4 boys being young I witness it every time someone comes to the door of our home. A spark of excitement lights in their eyes and the anticipated arrival of their cousins coming over is enough to make them sit patiently by a window. Did you catch that? 4 boys sit patiently. You know it’s a special occasion.

The holidays are, of course, one of the most prominent times where we gather with loved ones at home so when I came across this song I’ll Be Home by Meghan Trainor on my Spotify Christmas station, I knew it was something I had to share.

We’ve all heard various renditions of I’ll Be Home for Christmas which in my mind is one of the best Christmas songs ever written, but there’s something about I’ll Be Home that captures both the hopeful wishing that you will be able to make it home as well as the joy of being home for Christmas.

I’ll Be Home is all about wanting to be home with the ones you love and isn’t that what makes the holidays so wonderful? Sure I want Call of Duty for Xbox as much as the next person, but while gifts are fleeting memories made with loved ones last so much longer. Home is the canvas on which those memories are created.

While I enjoy being left alone to watch sports or be slothful at home, no one wants to be away from home and family and friends at Christmas. That’s why whenever I hear these Christmas songs about coming home for Christmas I can’t help but think of our men and women in the military who are not only away from the ones they love, but are also in harm’s way. They’re sacrificing Christmas memories for the sake of our freedom. When I think of it that way, it’s hard not to get choked up.

To all those headed home for the holidays, we here at Coldwell Banker wish you safe travels and a wonderful holiday season. And to those in the armed forces who are stationed overseas, we are hoping you get to come home soon.

Here’s Meghan Trainor’s I’ll Be Home.

Header image courtesy of Flickr user Chris_J

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