Tips for Enjoying the Big Game at Home

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Now that we have all moved past Deflategate, we can focus on preparing for the Big Game!

Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks…

vs

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

As you set up for your party, be sure you have enough seating for your guests.

Next, be sure to set up snacks…

Lots and lots of snacks!

Seriously, you can’t have enough snacks. Looking for some recipe ideas? Try here.

If you really want to go all out then you can even get your pets ready for the game

Once your guests start to arrive, entrust your remote to someone who will not be tempted to flip through the channels. It’s BIG GAME day..it’s all about the football!

You may be tempted to get up during the commercial breaks, but stick around because sometimes this is the most entertaining part of the day.

Well, maybe not as entertaining as watching Rob Gronkowski.

Don’t forget to catch the half time show. Katy Perry will be rocking the stage.

In the second half…anything can happen. Let’s hope for a close game!

Now would be a good time to put out some desserts.

Last but not least remember, if your team loses the Big Game…don’t be a poor sport.

Need more ideas? Check out “5 football party ideas that will score big”

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Checking in with The Jills of Sunny Miami

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It’s been a while since we last checked in with powerhouse real estate duo Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber, also known as The Jills of Coldwell Banker, so we decided touch base to see what they’ve been up to.

Earlier this week, The Jills were all set to travel from Florida to visit Fox’s New York City studios. But then Winter Storm Juno derailed their plans. So instead, they stayed in sunny Florida and stopped by the Miami Fox studios to appear on Fox Business Varney & Company. On the show, The Jills spoke with host Stuart Varney, who dubbed the duo “The Champions out of Miami.”

Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot The Jills took on set and posted to their Instagram.

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And below are some of the duo’s current favorite Miami listings. After this week’s storm in the Northeast, a trip to Miami sounds pretty great to us! Check out the listings for inspiration for your next vacation or second home.

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1. 5446 N Bay Rd Miami Beach Check out this property on DuJour.com!

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2. 26 Indian Creek Dr

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3. 7752 Fisher Island Dr

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4. 7737 Atlantic WY

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5. 85 Palm Av

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6. 2920 N Bay Rd

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Apartment Renovation in NYC: How to Do It Right

An apartment renovation in NYC can be every homeowner’s dream — and nightmare. On the one hand, homeowners are excited about turning their homes into the spaces they’ve always dreamed about, but they’re also worried about the possibility of costs spiraling out of control. If you’re planning a renovation on your New York apartment, keep these tips in mind.

1. To create your budget, add up your projected costs … then double it.

Budgets written down on paper make total sense, but they often don’t anticipate everything that could come up during the reno. You may discover that your subflooring is severely damaged and needs to be replaced before you can even think about laying down that Brazilian walnut flooring you’ve had your heart set on. Or maybe there’s heretofore undiscovered water damage that will need to be repaired. If you haven’t set aside a cushion for the unexpected, you could find yourself spending a lot more than you’d planned. By automatically doubling your estimated budget, you’ll be able to anticipate and deal with any unexpected expenses.

2. First do what you have to do, and then you can do what you want to do.

The phrase “Work now , play later” can totally be used when it comes to your NYC apartment renovation. Whether you’re putting together a $10k job or you’re planning to drop half a million dollars on your renovation, it’s natural that you want something that reflects all of your hard work (and money) with an obvious aesthetic upgrade. Everyone loves the sexy part of home renovations — picking out the Carrara marble countertops, or deciding between an AGA or a Wolf range, or figuring out which Farrow & Ball paint shade will best show off your fabulous living room while bringing out the color of your eyes.

But while there’s nothing cool about, say, spending $30k on a plumbing upgrade, If your apartment needs under-the-hood fixes, make those first. There’s no point in “putting lipstick on a pig.” Take care of the plumbing issues, electrical problems, or any damage that’s causing issues with your apartment. It may mean slicing some of the budget for the more cosmetic fixes or postponing some of them, but in the end, you’ll be thankful you did. If you ignore glaring structural issues with your apartment, you’ll pay much, much more for them in the long run — and fixing them later might even mean having to tear out your precious aesthetic upgrades in the process.

3. Consider using less expensive materials.

You may have your heart set on an all-marble kitchen, but mixing some of your surfaces with a less expensive material like butcher block can save you several thousand dollars or more. If you find that you have to spend more than you thought on structural and behind-the-scenes issues, be creative when it comes to your aesthetic fixes.

4. Don’t go cheap when it comes to contractors.

You may think that if one plumbing contractor gives you a bid for …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Master Gardener-sponsored fruit sales continue

Harris County Master Gardeners’ Open Garden Day and Soil and Composting Workshop: 9–11:30 a.m at Harris County AgriLife Extension Service, 3033 Bear Creek; 281-855-5600, harris.agrilife.org/hort.

Sponsored by Organic Horticulture Benefits Alliance. 4-8 p.m. at United Way, 50 Waugh; register at ohba.org. $55 members, $75 nonmembers, includes dinner.

Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Parking:

Part of the Third Sustainable Landscape Conference, sponsored by Mercer Botanic Gardens. 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Big Stone Lodge in Dennis Johnston Park, 709 Riley Fuzzel, Spring; 281-443-8731, themercersociety.org. $135 members, $150 nonmembers (includes continuing education credits); $112 members, $125 nonmembers (noncredit).

Harris County Master Gardeners’ Fruit Tree Sale and Symposia: 8 a.m. plant preview, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. sale at the Harris County AgriLife Extension Service, 3033 Bear Creek; 281-855-5600, hcmga.tamu.edu.

Gunters’ Heirloom Vegetables: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball; 281-351-8851, arborgate.com.

Secrets of Managing and Installing Your Landscape: with Norman Arnold, owner of Glorious Gardens and Landscapes.

Galveston County Master Gardeners’ Fruit, Citrus and Vegetable Sale: 8 a.m. plant seminar, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. sale at the Wayne Johnson Community Center, 4102 Main, La Marque; 281-534-3413, aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu.

Houston Area Urban Forestry Council event co-sponsored by the Harris County Flood Control District, Texas A&M Forest Service and CenterPoint Energy. 10 a.m. at the Harris County Flood Control District retention basin, 7600 block of W. Little York; 713-688-8931, 713-688-8932, haufc.org.

Brazoria County Master Gardeners training program: 9 a.m.-3:30 Thursdays, Feb. 12-April 16 at 21017 CR 171, Angleton; register by Monday feb. 2 at 979-864-1558, brazoria.agrilife.org. $120.

Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners’ Fruit Tree Sale: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Campbell Hall, Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Red Bluff, Pasadena; hcmga.tamu.edu.

Brazoria County Master Gardeners’ Fruit and Citrus Tree Sale: 8 a.m.-noon at the Brazoria County Fair Grounds, 901 S. Downing, Angleton; 979-864-1558, brazoria.agrilife.org. …read more

Via: Gardening

    

What you need to know about the December Housing Numbers

As you settle into 2015, take a look back to see how real estate rounded out the year in 2014. Today the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its December existing-home sales report, revealing positive trends for 2015. Total existing-home sales totaled 5.04 million in December 2014, above last year’s December number by 3.5 percent.

In 2014 total sales reached 4.93 million, a 3.1 percent decline from 2013 (5.09 million), but the median existing-home price for December was $209,500 which marked the 334th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains!

December’s percent share of first-time buyers was 29 percent, up from a year ago (27 percent). For the second straight year, first-time buyers represented an average of 29 percent. Additionally, December’s report revealed that thirty-one percent of homes were on the market for less than a month!

2014 was a good year. And here’s to hoping that 2015 is even better. As you sip your hot chocolate, dream of warm weather and start planning your dream house, take a look at these listings in the median sales prices across the country.

Northeast median sales price: $246,600

Midwest median sales price: $159,100

South median sales price: 184,100

West median sales price: $299,600

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Home Tip of the Day: Protect Your Sprinklers this Winter

Winter weather can wreak havoc on your lawn. To avoid costly repairs to your sprinkler system next spring, use this easy Home Tip of the Day to protect your lawn sprinkler heads from snow and ice damage.

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: A Stunning Condo in the Fifty Shades of Grey Building

In our newest ‘Home of the Week‘ we head to Seattle for a look at a stunning condo located in the prestigious Escala building – made famous by the wildly popular Fifty Shades of Grey series.

One look inside of the Escala and you’ll know why fictional billionaire Christian Grey owned one of the units in this 30-story glass tower. Perfectly located on the 20th floor, this 1,600 square foot residence harmoniously combines classical design principles with contemporary aesthetics that give off a radiantly hip but sophisticated feel.

The $1.25 million property with two bedrooms and baths is outfitted with the finest appliances and finishes discerning homebuyers have come to expect. Any home can boast beautiful design, but what takes this home to a whole other level is how it invites the beautiful Seattle skyline into your life. The floor to ceilings windows let in tons of natural light along with those priceless mountain and downtown views. You don’t have to stay inside to enjoy those views either, as you can relax on your very own private terrace and appreciate all the beauty that surrounds this iconic Seattle residence.

Owning a home inside of the Escala has its perks. The property comes equipped with a slew of world-class amenities like a fitness center and yoga studio, private theater, wine cavern, 24 hour concierge and even a dog run! When you’re not enjoying a dip in the pool or watching a movie in your own theater, you have the best of Seattle right at your doorstep. The home is ideally located right by Seattle’s prime retail and theater district, which means there’s always something fun to do.

Click here to learn more about this iconic home listed by The Franz Diessner and Joe Overland Team with Coldwell Banker BAIN.

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5 Organization Ideas That Double As Home Decor

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I can tell you from 3+ years of apartment living that you really need to get creative with your home storage. One tiny closet and a small storage unit in the basement is all we’ve got, so that whole “a place for everything and everything in its place” saying definitely doesn’t always apply to our situation! I made it my mission to come up with some creative storage solutions that would also double as home decor. These ideas will help you to fool people into thinking your small space is artsy & creative rather than cluttered and crazy! Read on for some decorative organization ideas:

Found on ezzly.hubpages.com

No towel racks in your tiny bathroom? No worries! Hang a few decorative baskets on the wall, roll up a few towels, and you’ve got yourself instant storage which also looks pretty darn snazzy.

Found on craftriver.com

Attaching shower rings to a hanger is the perfect solution for storing scarves or men’s ties. You could either hang this inside your closet, or on your door and display the pretty fabrics & prints.
Ikea Expedit Decor, DIY Kate Spade Inspired Ikea Storage Boxes, kids room decor, decorative storage boxes. The cuban in my coffee

Found on thecubaninmycoffee.blogspot.com

If you can’t fit many furniture pieces in your bedroom, a bookshelf can be a lifesaver in terms of giving you abundant space. Store items like socks, T-shirts, and hair accessories in decorative boxes and file them away in your bookshelf. It not only looks great, it helps you keep track of everything!
Stop digging for Q-tips, searching for the right eyeliner, and untangling curling iron cords. The key to a calm start to the day is having everything organized and at the ready in the bathroom.

Found on countryliving.com

Mounting mason jars to a wooden board will instantly give your bathroom a “chabby chic” feel, while keeping small items like Q-Tips, toothbrushes, cotton pads, and makeup brushes all in one place.
Lucite coffee table, xl gold tray, perfect accessories, light grey sofa.

Found on livesimplybyannie.com

A decorative tray is the perfect way to keep your coffee table from getting cluttered with books, coasters, plants, or other accessories.
What are some creative ways you’ve come up with to keep your belongings organized in your home? Tweet us a picture or tag us in an Instagram photo – we’d love to see your great ideas!

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DIY Bathroom Renovations: Tips and Tricks to Know

It’s no wonder why Metroplex homeowners love taking on DIY bathroom renovations: It’s where we get our day started, and it’s where we can retreat into a tub full of bubbles or a steamy, relaxing shower.

Yes, the bathroom can be a blissful place — especially when it’s tailored to your specific preferences. And while you can easily invest thousands in a bathroom remodel, you don’t have to. You can spiff up your space on a budget with these simple tips and tricks for DIY bathroom renovations.

Get Painting

A new coat of paint is an easy way to freshen up any space. While most bathrooms are a shade of white, don’t be afraid to choose a bold color. Not only will it instantly transform the look and feel of the room, but it will also make your bathroom more appealing and modern. Scroll through this gallery for some inspiring paint ideas.

Explore Useful Storage Options

Are you living with endless clutter on your bathroom countertops? Most of us are. Corral all those odds and ends in pretty containers like mason jars or tuck them away in stackable drawers. Inside the shower, install a hanging shower caddy for your shampoos, shower creams, shave gels, and the like. These storage strategies can give your bathroom an easy (and affordable) new aesthetic appeal.

Make a Statement with Tile

Updating the tile has a big impact in DIY bathroom renovations. The tiling is one of the first things you notice when you step into the space, and it can set the tone for the entire bathroom. Vinyl or ceramic tiles are most popular in bathrooms because they’re water resistant and easy to clean. You can also think beyond the flooring with your tile, and install a mosaic tile backsplash above the sink or on the shower wall. This adds a simple pop of character and color to the bathroom without overwhelming the eye — or your budget.

Finish Up with Accents

Think about investing in a few new pieces to complete your DIY bathroom renovations. Small things like a new shower curtain, wall hangings, or bathroom rug will make the space feel fresh and updated.

Embarking on a bathroom renovation on your own doesn’t have to be complex or expensive. With a few small updates and tweaks, your bathroom can be a beautiful, relaxing, and glorious retreat for you and your family. Ready to get started? Check out this handy checklist for DIY bathroom renovations.

Image Source: Flickr

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Real Estate Headlines with Beyonce, Minecraft and 3D Printing

So we’re a little late with real estate headlines this week. It happens. But it wouldn’t be a week on the Blue Matter blog without a weekly dose of real estate headlines. Here you go…and you’re welcome.

It appears a new flock of foreign real estate developers are hitting US shores.

According to economists, the housing market is about to pickup

…but maybe not for new home construction.

The most expensive one-bedroom flat in London just went on sale for £10 million.

Hong Kong has the least affordable housing in the world, but would you guess #2 is a city in Canada?

The New Yorker questions if Zathbog of Planet Cibwarv is inflating U.S.housing prices. Yes, that’s a headline.

Yesterday, January 20th, was the best day to get a deal on a Toronto home. Sorry, you missed it.

Geeks vs. Pop Stars? Did Jay-Z and Beyonce get outbid by the creator of Minecraft for their potential LA home?

And finally, could 3D printing and land reform help solve housing problems?

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Via: Coldwell Banker Blog