Three Steps to a Spring Miracle: An Organized Closet

109 Fall Breeze Trail Travelers Rest, SC 29690

By Co-Founder NorthStar Moving Company Laura McHolm

The official start of spring is just around the corner! Most of hope, that spring will bring us warmer temperatures but it also brings us the task of spring-cleaning. Each year we dream of starting the new season off with a cleaner, brighter and more organized home. Sound like a miracle? Well, it can all come true with one simple “miracle” closet.

109 Fall Breeze Trail Travelers Rest, SC 29690

You may already think your closet is a miracle because it holds everything you ever bought. But, can you find that hot little black dress for a last minute date night dinner for two? Do you really need to keep your wedding dress right in the prime real estate of the center of your closet? With one weekend and these simple step-by-step tips on how to create a true “miracle closet” you will be more organized. Life will just be that much better for you in 2015. Think of all the time you’ll save this year by not having to dig through your stuff. You’ll no longer be the “person who is always 10 to 30 minutes late.” Instead, you’ll have more time to focus on the important things in life like spending treasured time with your loved ones. Follow these three steps to create your very own miracle closet, the launching pad for a clutter free spring 2015!

Step One: Empty and Sort

  • Empty everything out of the closet onto the floor. I mean everything!
  • Create four piles: keep, give away, recycle and store.
  • Having trouble letting go of nostalgic items? Ask yourself: When was the last time I wore or used this? If you can’t remember, get rid of it.
  • If the item is just too difficult to part with, put it in a clear plastic box or bag with today’s date and place it in your store pile. If you go back to use it in the next few months then you earned the right to keep it. If not, it’s time to give it away and let someone less fortunate enjoy it!
  • If the item is something you use or wear only during one season a year, it can go into storage. Think of your closet as prime real estate that needs to be accessed daily and your storage as the summer vacation or winter chalet home for your stuff.
  • Look at your give away and recycle piles, ask yourself: Could someone else use this item even if I can’t? If so, donate it to a charity. If it is too worn, add it to this week’s trash or recycle pile.

Step Two: Box and Label

  • Take photos of each item in your to store pile. Print out two copies of each photo.
  • Next, box up all of your items in the storage category be sure to include cedar balls to keep the moths away. Place one copy of the photo on the outside of each box with today’s date and the second copy …read more

    Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

        

What Happens During the Appraisal Process?

As we’re trending out of a down market, it is more important than ever to pay close attention to what happens during the appraisal process. The role of the appraiser is to report to the bank whether your home is worth what the buyer is paying. Work with your selling agent to notify the appraiser of everything that’s most important about your home, including square footage, upgrades, special features, and location.

In the below video, Ronnie Aiosa with the Boswell Aiosa Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage discusses what you can expect during the appraisal process when selling your home.

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

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Understanding the Pros and Cons of Staging a Home

The following is a guest post from Patti Stern of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

The first step to getting a home sold quickly and for top dollar is choosing a real estate professional whose expertise can help to successfully market a home. One of the most important things a trusted real estate agent will recommend is the service of a professional home stager to bring out the best in a home. However, many sellers are still hesitant and need to be convinced why staging is a worthwhile investment. The following are some key points to consider when deciding whether to stage a home before listing.

  1. Higher Sale Price vs. Possible Price Reduction.
    Staging will boost a home’s perceived value. According to The International Association of Home Staging Professionals, 95% of staged homes sell on average in 11 days or less and for 17% above the asking price compared to those not staged, in a similar market. Since a move-in ready home that a buyer can visualize living in will most likely sell for top dollar, the money spent upfront to hire a staging professional is a fraction of the cost of just one price reduction.
  2. Fast Selling Time vs. Stress From Not Selling.
    The longer a property remains on the market, the lower the offers will become and the more stress it will bring. Staging will set a home apart from the competition and attracts buyers who are ready to move quickly on a sale. In addition, top-notch photos taken after a home is staged to market a listing on the internet will spark the interest of those buyers initially shopping online.
  3. Third Party Objectivity vs. Emotional Burden.
    When depersonalizing a space, a professional stager will use their expertise to take the burden off of both the real estate agent who is uncomfortable with possibly offending their client as well as the seller who may have a hard time detaching from their home. A stager will manage all aspects of the recommended improvements from de-cluttering to removing sentimental photos so the seller doesn’t feel overwhelmed emotionally.
  4. Knowledge and Efficiency vs. Wasted Low Return on Effort and Investment.
    The benefits of staging go beyond just making a space attractive. If a seller with a good sense of style decides to tackle certain aspects of staging themselves, they may not understand what is priority in terms of the features that will be marketable to the largest possible audience. A professional will have a better understanding of what will inspire an offer and can therefore make suggestions for alternative furniture placement or paint colors that will enhance a room’s original architectural features and charm.
  5. One-Stop Shopping vs. Hiring Multiple Workers.
    Hiring a full-service stager who has a team of professionals on standby to manage the entire process and deliver the home ready for market is key. The staging team can coordinate a comprehensive and detailed plan to de-clutter, paint, repair, update and ultimately sell the property. This convenience gives the seller less details to worry about.

For more examples of …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Ultimate Spring Break Homes Currently Listed by Coldwell Banker

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Now that spring has sprung, it’s time to ask yourself an important question: where should you head for spring break? With so many amazing tropical destinations to choose from, we’re sure whatever location you choose will be full of sunshine and plenty of relaxation.

These homes, currently listed by Coldwell Banker Previews International, are exactly what you imagine when the words “spring break” come to mind. Check out the images below to start daydreaming about a place where time moves slower and stress is non-existent, and make sure to click on each picture to check out the full listing!

Paradera Executive Villa Paradera, Aruba

Ocean Club Estates, Bahamas

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Waterfalls Royal Westmoreland, Barbados

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Villa Casuarina South Sound, Cayman Islands

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French St. Martin

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Aquamare Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Which one of these homes is your favorite? Leave a comment below & let us know where you’d like to sit back and relax for spring break!

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Home of the Week: A Modern Energy Efficient Home in Montana

In our newest ‘Home of the Week‘ we move from a waterfront home in Alabama to an environmentally friendly home nestled in the foothills of the Bridger Mountain range.

Located ideally in Belgrade, Montana in the heart of Big Sky Country, you’ll find this truly unique $2.3 million estate. The modern construction completed in 2008 virtually erases the line between the interior space and the sprawling Montana landscape that it is privileged to be surrounded by.

The home enjoys 360 degree views of peaks, ranges and soaring mountains from nearly every corner of this purposefully bright and airy estate. At the core of this sophisticated 4,100 square foot home is a gigantic Great Room that is punctuated by a fully equipped gourmet kitchen. If you look closely at the polished concrete kitchen counters, you just might see real fossils embedded within the countertops.

The 3 bedroom and 4 bath home takes its responsibility to the environment and sustainability quite seriously. This is highlighted by solar panels clearly visible on the roof of the structure, the stone fireplace built from boulders salvaged from a nearby quarry and the oversized windows you see everywhere that let in a constant stream of natural soothing light. Simply put, you would be hard pressed to find another home in Montana that harmoniously blends luxury, design and sustainability in such a thoughtful and impactful way.

Click here to learn more about this beautiful home listed by David Everett with Coldwell Banker RCI Realty.

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Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Every Home Has a Story

When you look at the life of your home, whether you have been there for 10 months or 50 years, those walls are filled with stories. Memories are embedded within the hardwood floors. Laughter can be heard in the doorways. And tears leave their mark in the entryway.

Our homes are an extension of who we are and it is where the greater story of our lives is written. In our latest TV commercial, called “Catch,” Coldwell Banker Real Estate is sharing one such story of home and how it shapes the person we become. And our story begins in the backyard with a simple game of catch.

I know some of my most vivid memories of home are not necessarily within the confines of the four walls where I ate and slept, but rather the outdoors. Wiffle ball tournaments in the backyard, playing epic games of HORSE in the driveway, water gun fights on the deck, and of course playing catch with my dad in the front yard. While these memories are my own I’m sure many of you reading this had it remind you of your own memories of home.

Those memories that people can relate to are the reason why we allow home sellers to share their stories on coldwellbanker.com through words, photos and videos. Because who knows the story a home can tell better than the ones who lived there? By working with a Coldwell Banker agent a seller can allow potential buyers to envision how their own memories can be made in that home through experiencing what the seller has to share.

Take a look at the ad below and see how we’re sharing one simple story that many can relate to and then visit coldwellbanker.com/stories to find other tales of home and learn how you can tell yours when you’re ready to sell only at coldwellbanker.com.

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Home Tip of the Day: A Party Decorating Idea for Backyards

Today is the first official day of Spring and them means backyard entertaining is right around the corner! Here’s a unique and very easy way to spruce your yard up for a party or gathering.

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

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Harmless April Fools Pranks to Play at Home

jeep

I have been a prankster from the time I was young. I started with simple classic pranks like wrapping a rubber band around the kitchen faucet sprayer…come on you know you have done this. As I grew older I rallied my college roommate, who happened to love pranking as much as I do, and we turned everything in the boys apartment down the street upside down. This included big things like couches and chairs to smaller details like everything in their kitchen cabinets and fridge.

They retaliated by wrapping my entire car in tin foil and saran wrap:

FAIL…this took me forever to undo!

Sadly for my husband, I am still a kid at heart and feel the need to torture him by playing pranks like throwing cups of cold water into the shower instead of handing him the towel he asked for. I run away giggling like a 5 year old. I know, I know..I am horrible. (haha)

As April 1 approaches I knew I had to compile a list of harmless pranks to pull at home this April Fools. Just remember, be ready for pay back!

Breakfast Surprise!

Put blue food coloring in the milk the night before April Fools’ Day, and watch your children’s’ eyes widen in surprise the next morning. (Via Martha Stewart) Instructions here

Worst Soap Ever!

A little clear nail polish and you are good to go!

via buzzfeed

Broken Remote

Cover the remote sensor with a piece of tape. This is especially funny if they change the batteries and it still doesn’t work.

Who Cut the Power?

In a world of cell phones this one may be tough, but it’s a classic. Tape down the phone button so the person who picks up the receiver will think the line is dead. (Via Martha Stewart) Instructions Here

Blue Water

This is by far our favorite. The results of this prank aren’t permanent (or toxic) but the memory of the look of shock on a family member’s face when they turn on the faucet will live forever. (Via Martha Stewart) Instructions Here

Click here for 11 more pranks from Martha Stewart.

Let Them Eat Cake!

Make the best looking meatloaf cake using mashed potatoes as the icing! Click for Recipe.

Frozen Cereal

Nothing like Frosty Fruit Loops on April 1st! Learn how to do it here.

Sweet Grilled Cheese

You won’t have to say “cheese” to make your “victim” smile once they sample this lunch look-alike. Click for Recipe.

Fruit Chew Green Beans

Don’t be too proud if your kids eat these green beans — they’re made of candy. Click for Recipe.

YOUR Head in a Jar!

This is NOT for the weak at heart. Learn how to pull of this incredibly creative prank here.

Are you …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for Hectic Weeknights

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Wake up. Commute. Work. Commute. Gym. Shower. Dinner. Bed. Repeat.

Sound familiar?

Chances are you have a variation of that schedule during the week, and it’s probably way more hectic than that if you have kids. I admit that sometimes (okay, most of the time) it feels like dinner is an afterthought for me. I’m so focused on everything else I have going on that I forget how important it is to plan healthy meals.

Recently my friends have been talking about their slow cookers and how much of a lifesaver it is to have their dinners cooking during the day while they’re at work. When they finally get home at the end of the day, they have a hot, healthy dinner all ready and waiting. I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of it before, but rest assured I quickly added one of these handy gadgets to my wedding registry and can’t wait to start using it!

Here are some of the yummy slow cooker recipes I can’t wait to make:

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Image via FoodNetwork.com

Slow-Cooker Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna With Romaine Salad

Image via RealSimple.com

French Dip Sandwiches

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Image via SouthernLiving.com

Red Chile-Chicken Tacos

taco

Image via rachaelraymag.com

Header image via Amazon.com

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3 Easy Steps to Create a DIY Wreath That Looks Great Year-Round

Heart Wreath

After the holidays are over, and the ornaments and lights have been packed away, your house may need more nonseasonal decorations to freshen up your decor. If your front door or fireplace mantle looks bare, a DIY wreath is one quick and easy way to add a personal and welcoming touch to your home. Follow these three steps to design to craft a wreath guaranteed to dress up your home year round.

Step 1: Choose Your Base

Wreath-making begins with a base to give proper form and shape to your decoration. Most wreaths are round, but square wire wreaths or heart-shaped foam also works well. Foam bases can be wrapped with colorful fabric or ribbon. Grapevine coils are a standard found preformed into a circular base in most craft stores. Grapevines work especially well as a base for a floral wreath or one using greenery to create a natural look.

Image Source: Flickr/Selena N. B. H.

Step 2: Choose Your Decorations

Once you’ve decided on a base, select the color scheme and style of the wreath that fits best in your home. If you’d like to add a colorful focal point to neutral walls, choose bright fabrics or felt. To personalize a wreath for your front door, add wooden monogrammed initials that can be purchased at a local craft store. Other fun decorations include sea shells, felt flowers, and curled paper or ribbon. And, of course, in Philadelphia, sports related themes incorporating Eagles’ green or the Phillies’ red and white are popular. If you’re looking for a DIY wreath to create with your kids, consider using something edible, such as gumdrops or marshmallows attached to a foam base using toothpicks.

Step 3: Assembly

Depending on your chosen wreath materials, you may need to employ a few assembly techniques to complete your craft project. A hot glue gun works well for foam or grapevine bases. Wreath ties or floral wire will allow you to attach flowers or other ornaments to wire wreaths and can be easily disguised. If you’re using foam, spray-on adhesive is also worth a try for a fast way to attach a number of items.

A DIY Wreaths is a quick and inexpensive way to personalize your home decor after taking down the holiday decorations. In addition to creating a wreath for yourself, they also make a great personalized gift for your favorite new homeowners to hang on the front door of their Philadelphia home.

Main Image Source: Flickr/Karen Cox

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Via: Coldwell Banker Blog