4 Key Tips for Using Home Decor Stores Online

If you’re ready to decorate your NY apartment, home decor stores online can be a godsend. Online shopping has made it possible to simultaneously buy a toaster, bake a chocolate babka, and binge-watch Sherlock, all while dying your hair and dressed in yesterday’s jammies and your old bunny slippers. If you’re in the process of furnishing your home, online shopping can turn what was once an arduous and unbelievably booooring task into something fun, exciting, and relatively effortless.

On the flip side, if you’re not careful, online shopping can turn your furniture-buying experience into an extraordinarily expensive, headache-inducing exercise that drains and then empties your patience and your wallet.

1. Comparison Shop Before You Drop (Your Cash)

Just because you can buy it online doesn’t mean you should buy it online. Say you found the Chesterfield sofa of your dreams at an online store called Chesterfields-R-Us.com. You should still do a little more Googling to see if the sofa is being sold anywhere else for a cheaper price. You may discover that the Chesterfield in question is being sold at WeLoveBritishSofas.com for nearly a third less than the other site is charging. Factor in shipping costs, too. Chesterfields-R-Us.com may offer free shipping if you spend over a certain amount, while the other site may charge a hefty shipping fee that erases those 33 percent savings you were so gung ho about.

2. Always Measure Before Buying That Treasure

There probably isn’t a worse feeling in the world (at least when it comes to furniture shopping) than the one that descends upon you when you realize that that one-of-a-kind Chesterfield sofa you ordered won’t even fit into your apartment. Before you buy, pull out the measuring tape to make sure the item can make it through your door. Then measure the rooms that they’ll go into to ensure that they’ll fit inside the space. Make sure you take note of height, depth, and width. You need to know how far the item is going to jut out into the room. If you don’t, you might have to hire a furniture doctor to disassemble your new item, bring it into the house, and reassemble it — a process that will set you back a few hundred dollars.

3. Stay Logged into Social Media So You Stay Up to Speed …

You may be one of those people who avoid social media the way paleo dieters avoid donuts, but buying furniture is one time you should be prepared to cross your digital picket line. By monitoring business Facebook pages or signing up for alerts from top retailers, furniture stores, and flash sale sites like One Kings Lane, Chairish, and Gilt, you’ll be the first to know when things like top-of-the-line furniture, kitchen items, and home accessories go on sale. And we’re talking about brands like Frette, Mitchell Gold, Ralph Lauren, and Cuisinart that can go for as much as 50 to 70 percent off — and maybe even higher. It’s all about …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

10 Do It Yourself Projects You Can Do in a Weekend

Do It Yourself Projects: Paint

You’re probably staying inside more now that it’s cold out. Why not spend some of that time improving your NYC apartment? Here are 10 easy do it yourself projects that you can finish this weekend!

Image Source: MorgueFile

1. Create a Standout Accent Wall

You may not have time to paint a whole room, but why not paint a wall? A feature wall is a great way to add a little pop to your home. Choose a fun color that complements your existing decor. Are you feeling a little more brave? Instead of painting, hang up some wallpaper.

2. Hang a Rotating Gallery

Create a simple photo gallery in minutes. A couple hooks securely fastened to the wall and some string are all you need. Use clothespins to hang your favorite photos. Rotate the pictures frequently for an ever-changing gallery.

Do It Yourself Projects: Plants

Image Source: MorgueFile

3. Decorate with Plants

It’s dreary outside, so bring a little warmth inside with plants! Succulents and cactus plants are a great option and easy to care for. Show one off in a terracotta pot decorated with a little paint. You could also create your own terrarium. Have a black thumb? Add color to your apartment with fake flowers.

4. Show Off Memorabilia

Shadowboxes are a fun way to gather and show off keys, vintage camera, postcards, and more. Use an old frame for your shadowbox and fill it with some of your favorite memories! Check out Darcy Miller’s scrapboxes for inspiration.

Do It Yourself Projects: Chalkboard

Image Source: MorgueFile

5. Make Your Own Chalkboard

Another way to use a beautiful vintage frame is a do it yourself chalkboard. Cut a piece of heavy cardboard or wood to fit any frame of your choice. Coat the cardboard with a few coats of chalkboard paint, and project is complete! Use the chalkboard to share your weekly meal plan, a monthly calendar, or a simple inspirational quote.

6. Add Inexpensive Art

Even if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, you can create a beautiful piece of artwork. All you have to do is frame scrapbook paper or fabric. Have fun changing the paper as the seasons change.

7. Create a Hidden Charging Station

Are your cords driving you crazy? Create a hidden charging station in a spare drawer. Drill a hold in the back of a drawer, and then add separators to keep the drawer organized. Then pull your cord through the hole. Now you can charge your phone right in the drawer.

8. Update Your Cabinets

You may not be able to redo your cabinets in a weekend, but you can definitely change the hardware. This is one of those do it yourself projects that ceates a huge impact with very little effort.

9. Dress Up Your Curtains

Keep your home warm this winter with curtains. Open them during the day to let in sun and heat, and close them at night to hold warmth inside. Dress up a boring pair of curtains with …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Dog One of Twenty Thousand

20,000 homes for 20,000 adoptable dogs in 2015

That is the goal of our Homes for Dogs project that was announced in conjunction with our Home’s Best Friend commercial which debuted during the Academy Awards.

Within just three days of launching our campaign we got word that dog #1 of 20,000 had found his new forever home. Not only did this adorable pooch hit the doggy jackpot by finding such a loving family but his name just happened to be BLUE, the color of the Coldwell Banker brand. Can you say kismet? Meet Blue and his new owners Gina and Emily and find out their incredible story.

Want to give an adoptable dog, like Blue, their chance at a loving forever home? Click here.

The post Dog One of Twenty Thousand appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

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Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

The Yard Sign Goes Up…What Happens Next?

You’ve decided to sell your home. You’ve interviewed real estate agents, asking these 4 important questions. You’ve prepared your home for sale by making updates and repairs. You’ve even staged your home for optimal viewing. The yard sign is firmly planted in your yard. What happens next?

Ronnie Aiosa from the Boswell Aiosa Group at the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage explains what to expect next in the home selling process. From using a lockbox for security, to the difference between a broker caravan and public open house, we cover all of the next steps after the yard sign goes up.

For more home seller resources, or to search for a real estate professional in your area, visit coldwellbanker.com today.

The post The Yard Sign Goes Up…What Happens Next? appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

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6 New Homeowner Mistakes You Must Avoid

Guest Post by Home Advisor

Congratulations! You’re embarking on an exciting, new adventure — owning your first home! As you get ready to sign the papers and start living in your new abode, it’s crucial that you don’t ignore some major missteps first-time homebuyers have made in the past. By taking prep steps ahead of time to avoid these common mistakes, you’ll be well on the way to settling into your new home for years to come.

#1 Ignore Over-the-Top Features

Sellers may have invested in some upgrades to make their home more appealing to potential buyers, including first-time homeowners. However, some major home upgrades might not be all that appealing after first glance. Swimming pools, for example, are high maintenance and expensive to repair, and they’re only functional for a few months out of the year, depending on where you live. Landscaping with multiple bushes, trees and various flower beds that require a lot of maintenance and care are another you don’t want to invest time and money in. There’s also a wine cellar — this sounds amazing at first glance, but there’s a lot of care and work that goes into its maintenance. Look for the features you know you’ll want to use and maintain before you look to sign any papers.

#2 Don’t Waive a Home Inspection

Never waive a home inspection. It may seem like a good way to cut costs in the home buying process, but spending $310 to $380 to hire a home inspector could save you from spending thousands later on major issues in the home. Home inspectors can reveal issues like:

  • Roof leaks
  • Exposed electrical wires
  • Cracks in the foundation
  • Plumbing leaks and cracks
  • Problems in the heating and cooling system
  • Holes in the interior or exterior walls

If these problems are discovered before you purchase the home, you might be able to compromise with the seller on fixing them ahead of the sale. If not, you might have to look for a different house to buy.

#3 Handle the Small Fixes

If you decide to move forward with a home that has a few problems, don’t underestimate the small fixes. For example, a leaking or running toilet might seem like a small problem, but it can become a major one if you aren’t careful. Running toilets not only waste gallons upon gallons of water, but they can also lead to bathroom flooding. Call a plumber to fix it as soon as possible. Also budget for other small problems like flooring, HVAC and roofing maintenance. These expenses can run up to $1,000 or $2,000 if not more, depending on the extent of the problem in some cases. So be sure to cushion your bank account.

#4 Understand That Some Projects Aren’t DIY

There are some new homeowner projects that are right for do-it-yourselfers. Painting, decorating, fixing some small holes in the wall with caulking — those are all affordable, easy and quick (if you follow instructions). However, there are some projects you should never attempt to do on your own. Call in …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

January Existing-Home Sales Top January 2014 Sales

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Existing-home sales for January 2015 were higher than January 2014, which represents the fourth straight month of year-over-year growth, according to the National Association of Realtors January Existing-Home Sales Report.

These year-over-year gains occurred despite a drop in total existing home-sales from December 2014 (4.82 million) to January 2015 (6.07 million). Inventory tends to be lower in the winter, so some buyers may be waiting until spring home buying season when the snow is thawed and more homes are on the market.

Prices continue to rise, which is a positive indicator for stronger buyer demand. The median national existing-home price in January was $199,600, marking the 35th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.

Below is the region by region price comparison of median home prices. As you usher in spring, start looking at new places you could see yourself living and check out these listings from around the country!

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The post January Existing-Home Sales Top January 2014 Sales appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

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Real Estate Headlines with China, San Francisco and Steve Martin

Welcome to the last week of February! Oscars have been handed out. College basketball season is coming to its climax. And before you know it there will be Easter candy in your cabinet. But before the thought of eating a whole box of peeps makes you gag a little bit, let’s start your week off on the right foot with your weekly dose of real estate headlines.

Are lenders beginning to ease requirements for getting a mortgage?

In case you missed it, Coldwell Banker is committing to find homes for 20,000 adoptable dogs this year with Adopt-A-Pet.com.

Everybody focuses on indoor staging, but outdoor staging should not be overlooked.

Does China have a real estate bubble?

We don’t like the sound of this, but San Francisco may have a pet housing crisis.

How’s this for a deal? Buy a condo. Get free Uber.

RISMedia asks why are real estate seasonal trends important?

Bet on these home improvement in 2015.

And finally, Steve Martin is selling his ’70s era concrete fortress of a home.

The post Real Estate Headlines with China, San Francisco and Steve Martin appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

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‘Home’s Best Friend’: Pawsitively Adorable Outtakes

If you were one of the millions of movie buffs watching the Academy Awards last night then chances are you saw Victor, Layla, Max, Cotton and a handful of our other favorite rescued dogs in our ‘Homes Best Friend‘ commercial. What you didn’t see was the hilarity that ensues when you have over 20 dogs on a set performing tasks like jumping up for bubbles and looking sad when they really want to run around and eat treats all day.

As you can see, these pups put their acting shoes on and delivered some Oscar worthy performances, but not before doing some pretty hilarious things first. Here’s a behind the scenes look at some of our favorite outtakes from the filming of ‘Home’s Best Friend.’

The post ‘Home’s Best Friend’: Pawsitively Adorable Outtakes appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

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Via: Coldwell Banker Blog