5 Unique Homemade Mother’s Day Gifts

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Don’t forget Mother’s Day is May 10th this year! As we discovered last year, Home is Where Mom is. So, why not give Mom a little piece of home this Mother’s Day? These 5 unique homemade Mother’s Day Gifts are guaranteed to show her how much you care.

Lemon Sugar Scrub via Living Locurto – Mom deserves a little R&R. Give her a spa day at home with a DIY lemon sugar bath scrub and then leave her alone long enough to take a nice relaxing bath.

Coasters

Tile Photo Coasters – Give mom a gift that’s worth a thousand words and serves a practical purpose. These tile photo coasters are an easy do-it-at-home Mother’s Day Gift that will make Mom smile every day over her morning coffee.

Chalkboard Flower Pots

Chalkboard Flower Pots via Learning, Creating, Living – In the Victorian era, it was believed that each flower had a meaning. Give flowers new meaning by writing a note to Mom on it’s pot. Mom will love the sentiment and the sweet smell of fresh flowers in her home.

wine bottle

Toast to Her - Add one of these free printable wine bottle labels to a great bottle of vino and toast to what a great Mom she’s been.

how-to-transform-any-picture-into-a-watercolor

Give her the gift of Home – Home is where Mom is, so why not give Mom home? Find out how you can create a watercolor painting of your house in 4 easy steps.

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A Smart Look at Home Innovation

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Smart home technology has come a long way over the past few years. Whether it’s an app that allows you to keep your home safe and secure, a device that permits you to easily adjust lighting and temperature or something else altogether, many new products and systems have been created that have made living in our homes safer, more comfortable and more convenient.

But what are the biggest current trends in the realm of smart home technology? What is currently in the works that is going to further alter how we live in our homes? And what is in store for the future of the connected home?

Coldwell Banker Real Estate is working with CNET, the world’s largest and most trusted online source of consumer technology news and reviews, to explore answers to these questions in a panel at today’s REAL Trends Gathering of Eagles Conference. Courtney Cochrane, global vice president of media sales and magazine publisher at CNET, will moderate the panel, which is titled “A Smart Look at Home Innovation” and will feature executives from LG, Lutron, Nest, Sengled and Tesla.

A recent survey of more than 500 sale associates associated with Coldwell Banker informs the questions that will be addressed on this panel. Nearly 60 percent of sales associates surveyed said they are seeing more smart home features in listing descriptions than they did two to five years ago, and one in three sales associates noted that properties with smart home features and technologies sell faster than homes without them.

Additional inspiration came after Coldwell Banker attended the 2015 International CES earlier this year. “At CES, it was evident that smart home technology is becoming a must-have item in homes across the country,” said Sean Blankenship, chief marketing officer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “We met with a number of leading companies in this space and are excited to bring their expertise to the REAL Trends conference to present a deeper look at the connected home and various trends as smart technology continues to evolve based on homeowner needs.”

Today’s panel will focus on innovations these brands are seeing right now in smart technology – everything from light bulbs and dimmers to electric cars and thermostats to reimagining the way we do age-old household chores such as laundry and dishwashing. As the connected home industry rapidly evolves, the panelists are also going to talk about what the future could look like – and what that means for real estate professionals everywhere.

The panel will start at 6:45 p.m. ET / 4:45 p.m. MT. Join the conversation by following along with the hashtags #GOESmartHome and #GOE2015 on Twitter. Coldwell Banker will also host a live-stream of the panel via Periscope, which you can access through @coldwellbanker.

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Be the Good Neighbor Guy or Gal in NYC

Part of being a good neighbor is becoming a friendly neighbor. The thing is, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to become friends with your neighbors, especially when you live in NYC and even more especially when you’re a grown-up. Kids make friends with each other two seconds after laying eyes on each other, but, due to a plethora of reasons, many adults have learned to approach new friendships with the apprehension and wariness of a cat. Some blow off going out of their way to making new friends altogether. They’ll either wait until it happens by chance, or they’ll stick with the ones they have.

You may think it’s too much of an effort to make friends with your neighbors, but having good relationships with our neighbors is what makes coming home so great. Having a friendly neighborhood vibe can make a building seem a lot less lonely. It can even go so far as to make neighbors more likely to work together when issues arise, instead of attacking each other, or look in on each other if something seems amiss. Wondering how to break the ice? Read on for a few tips.

Pay Attention to Your Resting Face

You don’t have to go down the street with an insane grin plastered across your face, but you can at least make sure that your resting face isn’t scaring people away as they approach you. You may be thinking, “Oh, there’s that guy who lives on the third floor.” But your face may be saying, “Get away from me.” You don’t have to smile if you don’t want to, but you can make sure you’re not wearing an expression that is scaring your neighbors away from reaching out and saying hello.

Introduce Yourself

This may seem like the hardest thing in the world, but try and introduce yourself. You’ve probably been there; you see the same people in the elevator every morning, you exchange awkward smiles or make small chit-chat about the weather. When the elevator door opens, you blurt out, “Have a good day,” but you never exchange names. Next time, introduce yourself. Knowing each other’s names helps break the ice and paves the way toward being a good neighbor. You might not end up becoming building besties or elevator buds forever, but it will be a lot better than awkward chit chat.

Host a Get-Together

One thing you can do to become friendly with your neighbors is to suggest hosting a get-together. Hosting it with one or two other neighbors can take the pressure off of you. Once you land on a date, you can ask everyone to bring something along. Throw in a few bottles of wine, spirits, juices, sparkling waters, food, and some good music, and you’ve got a party on your hands. Invite some of your own friends to the mixer so that you feel less awkward. Let people know they’re under no pressure to attend and that it’s just a way to connect.

Remember, when it …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Best Real Estate Online Resources to Apartment Search a NYC Neighborhood

A wonderful way to begin the home and apartment search for the perfect place to purchase or rent in New York City, is by using online resources to research NYC neighborhoods. With so many localities and boroughs it can get extremely confusing and frustrating. Online tools lets you view school statistics, local shopping, and transportation, as well as averages costs to buy or rent.

Resource Tools

Free tools on the web can allow you to pinpoint locations in your search for a place to live by matching your desires and requirements for New York City living. Do you have a family with an important need for close proximity to schools, or perhaps you want to be in a neighborhood with a happening night life or an abundance of shopping or recreation choices? Is living close to public transportation essential or maybe you are looking for a location that offers parking? Online tools will help narrow and refine your choices during your NYC apartment search.

Rentometer

Wondering if the rental you are looking at is the right price, Rentometer can be your guide. Simply put in the address you are searching with the rental price and number of bedrooms and you will receive rental comparison results instantly. The results will let you know if the rent is reasonable or over the top based on rentals in the nearby area. Rentometer also offers a resource center and blog to help with moving and renting advice.

Walk Score

If you’re looking for the best neighborhood in your apartment search that is convenient for walking, then Walk Score is the perfect tool to use. Type in a location or address in their search and you will get a walk score telling you how walk friendly the neighborhood is for running errands. In addition, you can see “great nearby places” such as schools, parks, stores, and more, as well as a commute report. Walk Score also gives you peace of mind with information about crime and safety.

Google Maps

Google Maps may be the place to go for directions, but it really offers so much more information for those in the midst of a search for an apartment in New York City. Just plot in the address or region that you are searching in and Google Maps will allow you to view local shops, restaurants, places of interest, and transportation nearby. What is great about Google Maps is that it determines distances and precise directions to schools and locations that you will be visiting regularly to make sure that the location you seek is the optimal place for you to live.

Using these online resources can assist in the quest for the perfect rental abode to fit your unique requirements. Whether searching alone or with others, by beginning the apartment search online, and doing your homework, you will be able to head out to look at apartment locations with confidence. Enjoy the search of finding your place in the Big Apple that will be the perfect …read more

Via: Coldwell Banker Blog

    

Home of the Week: A Sprawling Georgian Estate in Greenwich

In our newest ‘Home of the Week‘ we move from Linda Hogan’s estate in Simi Valley to a stunning brick Georgian in Greenwich, Connecticut.

This 13,000 square foot home built in 1985 offers up everything you could ever hope for in a home, and more. Marble in-lay floors, regal columns and a grand round staircase give off a sense of grace and grandeur that’s immediately felt as soon as you walk through the front doors.

The interior of this 8 bedroom and 8 bathroom home is immaculate and highlighted by oversized limestone fireplaces, custom crown molding, french doors that lead to patios and big windows that flood the rooms with light. The cherrywood library, spacious formal living room and dining rooms are fabulous, but everyone eventually gravitates towards the breathtaking kitchen. This flawless kitchen boasts granite countertops, a double island, custom cabinets and a drop down breakfast nook near a bay window that would make for the perfect breakfast each morning.

The lower level of this property is home to an elegant wine cellar and theater. Through a set of french doors you’re lead to the beautiful pool and patio area. The home rests on 13 acres and is seriously perfectly suited for entertaining. Besides the pool, you’ve got a pool house, formal gardens, a greenhouse and even an observatory. When winter hits, the outdoor fun doesn’t have to stop. The property features a full-sized hockey rink that converts to a tennis court during the summer! This is just one more feature of opulence and grand living that rest on this already enchanting estate.

Click here to see more of this amazing home listed by Tamar Lurie with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

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How to Avoid Home Buyer’s Remorse

My fiancé and I recently purchased our first home–a monumental milestone in the journey of growing up. We live in an urban market where homes sell like hot cakes and split-second offer decisions are the norm. We had only been looking for a few weeks when we found what we knew was the right one for us — a two story townhome with a small backyard, an extra bedroom and plenty of charm (exposed brick and all!) But, after we made the offer and the home was ours, we suddenly had a moment of panic. What had we just done?!

Within 10 days we had made the offer, negotiated the price and conducted the home inspection. The process only seemed to speed up from there with mortgage approvals and closing. It felt like we had blinked and when we opened our eyes, we were homeowners. Now, I know that the process is not always as quick for everyone and empathize with those that spend months and even years searching for the perfect home.

But, one thing that I think is inevitable during the home buying process is doubt. It’s human nature. We all question big decisions: picking a university, accepting a job offer, selecting a baby name, buying a home. Our way of making sure that we’re doing the right thing is to weigh the pros and cons.

But, sometimes even after we’ve made the decision and we’re convinced it’s the right one, we can still experience a little doubt. The negative result that can sometimes come out of this careful weighing of options is that once we do make a decision, we can’t help second guessing ourselves.

Here are 3 tips to avoid Home Buyer’s Remorse:

1. Stop looking! – While those email alerts from real estate websites are helpful during your home search, seeing what’s new on the market will only add to your doubt. Mulling over what could have been can only result in buyer’s remorse. Stop searching, you’ve found the one!

2. Get to know your neighborhood – For us, one of the biggest adjustments was leaving the town we had grown to love, but learning about all of the new hot spots, meeting our new neighbors and trying out new things has helped us come to love our new neighborhood, too.

3. Make it yours – It’s up to you to make your house feel like home. Decorate your new home with personal touches that truly make it your own. Add family photos or pictures from your latest vacation. Give the walls a fresh coat of paint. Start a list of projects, like switching out the front door, that will make the house truly feel like home.

Remember, you weighed the pros and cons and picked this house for a reason. Now all it needs is a little love to make it feel like home. For more home buyer advice or to look for a home in your area, visit coldwellbanker.com.

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Step Inside the LA Home of Dodgers All Star Yasiel Puig

He needed room for his dog to roam, more space for entertaining and shorter commute to the office. Sounds like the typical reason any person would be looking to buy a home. But it’s also what made Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder, Yasiel Puig, buy his new home in LA.

In the first video of the new season of the Coldwell Banker Home Field Advantage video series, Puig takes us inside his LA home and shares what is it about home that makes it so special to him. He talks about being a normal guy and he’ still amazed at how people react to him when he sees them on the street. But that to him is still part of what makes living in LA so special.

Puig also talks about calling Cuba home and how the food and playing dominoes are some of the fondest memories he has of his birthplace. But now that he’s in LA, there’s no other place he’d rather call home.

Watch Yasiel Puig give us a tour of his home in the video above and then check out the lineup of baseball players, legends and celebrities that will be part of the Coldwell Banker Home Field Advantage series with MLB.com every Monday for the next few months at blog.coldwellbanker.com/homefield..

Header image courtesy of Flickr user Ron Reiring

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Harris County Master Gardener spring sale and symposia

Harris County Master Gardener spring sale and symposia: preview 8 a.m., sale 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Harris County Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 3033 Bear Creek; 281-855-5600, hcmga.tamu.edu.

Organic Pest Control: sponsored by Urban Harvest. 9-11:30 a.m. at Welder Hall, University of St. Thomas, 3800 Montrose; 713-880-5540, urbanharvest.org. $30 members, $45 nonmembers.

Quail Valley Garden Club backyard tour: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Quail Valley subdivision, Missouri City.

Easy Herbs, Easy Recipes: with Ann Wheeler and Chris Crowder. 10 a.m. at the Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball; 281-351-8851, arborgate.com.

Vertical Gardening: 10 a.m. at Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond, 281-937-9449; 2 p.m. at Enchanted Gardens, 6420 FM 359, Richmond, 281-341-1206; myenchanted.com.

Easy Care Flowers, Top Picks From Proven Winners: 10:15 a.m. at Cornelius Nursery, 2233 S. Voss; corneliusnurseries.com/events.

Texas Month-by-Month Gardening: presentation, book signing with Harris County horticulture agent Skip Richter. 1 p.m. the Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball; 281-351-8851, arborgate.com.

Sugar Land Garden Club’s 16th annual spring garden tour: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., rain date May 9.

Summer Vegetable Gardening: sponsored by Urban Harvest. 9-11 a.m. at University of St. Thomas, Welder Hall, Room 115, 3812 Yoakum; 713-880-5540, urbanharvest.org. $30 members, $45 nonmembers.

Edible Plants: with Master Naturalist David Renninger. …read more

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Can You Guess the Top 10 Cities Americans Are Moving To and From?

40,000,000 Americans were on the move last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For some, the decision came on the heels of a life change like a new job, relationship or baby. For others, warmer temperatures or a cheaper cost of living was the reason for change. Whether these 40 million were upsizing, downsizing or just “rightsizing” for their lifestyle one thing is for sure, there were quite a few cities with revolving doors of people coming and going. For the second year in a row our nation’s capital took the top spot on both lists. Similar to last year, Washington D.C. wasn’t the only city to show up twice. Chicago, San Diego, Phoenix, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Seattle were also cities that certainly kept moving trucks busy.

Planning a move in the next few months? We think you will find these three resources especially helpful:

11 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Moving Company

10 Things You Need To Know Before Moving With Pets

How To Plan For a Successful Move with Children

Infographics courtesy of NorthStar Moving Co-Founder Laura McHolm

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Expert Open House Tips for Buyers & Sellers

Spring is the busiest time in real estate. A quick drive around the neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon will attest to the fact that that also means it’s open house season. So, whether you’re a buyer reserving 1-4pm every Sunday for visiting open houses, or a seller spending your Saturday preparing for your own open house, we have a few tips to make sure you get the most out of this popular real estate tool.

For sellers, it’s all about the prep work. A few extra steps like having professional photos taken and cleaning up storage areas can go a long way in making your home appeal to potential buyers.

For buyers, a little homework is required as well. Come prepared to the open house with a “buyer toolkit,” complete with measuring tape, smart phone and plenty of questions.

In the below video, Coldwell Banker agents Frank Isoldi and Paula Clark share their expert tips for both buyers and sellers at a real estate open house.

Whether you’re looking to sell your home, or buy your first, visit coldwellbanker.com for more resources on the real estate process.

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