How To Clear Space on Your Kitchen Counter

Is your kitchen counter getting a little crowded? Here’s a cool way to save space and give your kitchen a little gourmet looking decor by ditching your knife block for this:

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

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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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Roommates in NYC: How to Get a Good One!

craigslist storefront and sign

Ah, looking for roommates in NYC. If you could go back in time, race to your college registration office, and zap yourself out of going for that double philosophy/French lit major and instead go on a career path that would actually help you pay your bills, you would. As it stands, you know that in order for you to continue to pay for your fabulous NYC apartment — or even your kind of average one — you’re going to have to get a roommate. We’ve all heard the stories: New Yorker gets new roommate, new roommate eats pillows. These are the stories that make the news or hit the big screen, but the roommate experience doesn’t have to end up like that.

Choose Wisely

Getting a roommate is becoming less of a choice and more of a necessity in New York as the city becomes more and more expensive. It’s even true for people who are at a time in their lives when they traditionally would have been living on their own. Having a roommate can help you live in the neighborhood or the apartment of your choice. It’s not worth it, though, if living with a roommate causes you stress, anxiety, and depression. You need to put as much effort into finding someone to live with as you put into finding a home.

Choose a roommate with the meticulous detail you’d bring to filling out an eHarmony.com profile and the brutality with which you approach the Tinder app. It may seem cheesy to use the dating analogy, but it’s completely appropriate in this case. You’re looking for someone to live in your home with you, or you’re looking to live in someone else’s home. You need to be a perfect match.

  • Find out if they’re party people or if they’re the types that keep to themselves.
  • Ask them what their work schedule is like: Will they be working long hours out of the office night and day; do they work out of the home; or do they have a regular nine to five?
  • Determine if your potential roomies are the types of folks who jump up excitedly when you get home from work, patting a space beside them on the sofa, giggling with anticipation as they wait for you to share every bit of your day. Or if they’re the type that you’d never see even when you were in the apartment at the same time. Don’t waste your time; if it’s not a good match, left-swipe it.

Make Use of Roommate Services

There are several really amazing services out there that are designed to help roommates in NYC find each other. Some, like InsideDigs, help people who aren’t looking for roommates right away but who will be in the near future. People like Spareroom.com because hands-on administrators immediately flag questionable ads, saving roommate seekers precious time. You can place your apartment on the site, or you can look for a roommate on the site.

Craigslist … Yes, Craigslist

Image Source: Flickr/Anne Cloudman

Some people avoid Craigslist like the plague, but there have been some amazing scores on the site. The best way to approach Craigslist is to take every ad listed with a grain of salt. If you’re listing your apartment, be as clear as possible, and take as much information from potential applicants as possible before they show up to your home. Being as clear as possible on both sides cuts down on disappointment.

Main Image Source: Flickr/henrys54

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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 comes to making nice with the neighbors, you can’t control who ends up becoming a real friend and who ends up becoming a smiling/nodding buddy; that’s for Mother Nature, the Universe, God, Buddha, or tequila to decide. What you can do is try to make your relationships with your neighbors as friendly as possible. Doing so will make living in your building a whole lot more pleasant.

The post Be the Good Neighbor Guy or Gal in NYC appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

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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 home sweet home.

Image Source: Flickr/David Shankbone

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Will Echo be a Game Changer for Homes?

A new family member named “Alexa” may be arriving in your home this year. She’s smart, informative and always there when you need her.

While Amazon’s new Echo Product is no Rosie from the Jetsons, it is just another reminder that we are one step closer to a day when robots in the home will be the norm. Are we there yet? Definitely not, but as we learn more and more about smart homes the future looks bright smart. This product is just another affirmation that connected homes are no longer a thing of the future. Owners of this product can use Echo to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn on the fan or space heater while reading in their favorite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie – all without lifting a finger …or even raising their voice. (Is life getting easier or are we getting lazier…maybe a little bit of both.)

Here is the full list of Echo’s features:

Amazon echo is available by invitation only. If you want to get on the waiting this for this smart home product click here.

The post Will Echo be a Game Changer for Homes? appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

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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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Via:: CB United

      

How to Keep Boiling Water From Spilling Out

Have you ever stepped away from your boiling water, pasta or rice only to return to it pouring out all over your stove? Try this easy solution to ensure you prevent messy spills next time you’re cooking a delicious meal at home.

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

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Via:: CB United