Monthly Archives: September 2014

Home Tip of the Day: How to Get Wax Out of Your Votive Candle Holder

Few things set a calm and serene ambiance like candles set inside of your votive candle holders. While the candles look great while they’re burning, it often takes five hours to clear the wax from the bottom of your candle holder.

Our newest ‘Home Tip of the Day‘ shows you how a simple can of non-stick canola spray can ensure the wax will pop right on out next time your candle burns out.

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Home of the Week: Five Properties in One in Cohasset, Massachusets

In our newest ‘Home of the Week‘ we stay on the waterfront, as we move from a compound on the San Juan Islands to a stunning portfolio of properties right on Cohasset Harbor.

This $44.9 million dollar estate comprising five unique properties, combines a one-of-a-kind family home, successful business interests and unsurpassed yachting and boating opportunities. This is seriously one of the most prized pieces of real estate you can find anywhere.

On an over 9 acre peninsula just 25 miles south of Boston, the main residence boasts an impressive 20,000 square feet of interior living space that draws upon the heritage of historic stately New England homes. What results is an elegant and flawless melding of old and new. The 10 bedroom and 7 full and 4 bath mansion enjoys stunning views of the harbor from nearly every room and is absolutely perfect for entertaining. A few lively sets of tennis, swimming in the pool or private beach and al fresco dining are just a few of the ways you can pass the time on those perfectly cool New England days and nights.

In addition to the main residence which can be purchased separately for $22 million, the estate also has the Cohasset Harbor Inn, which offers up 54 suites sprawling across 55,000 square feet. The Cohasset Harbor Inn is also home to a popular new restaurant and events facility. Rounding out the offerings are Atlantica & Old Salt House, which is a renowned restaurant complex and wedding destination. The Mill River Marina, which was recently renovated to include an expansive deck and rail launching system also comes with this unique set of properties.

Click here to see more of this phenomenal ‘Home of the Week’ listed by Jonathan Radford with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

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Popular Dallas Suburbs: A Look at Frisco, Prosper, Little Elm, and McKinney

There are a number of benefits to choosing Dallas suburbs for a place to buy a home. In most instances, houses in the Dallas suburbs yield more space per square foot than urban residences. Many residents enjoy increased outdoor space, such as more abundant parking and larger yards. Additionally, those seeking a quieter, more secluded place to live favor suburbs to crowded inner city areas. Certain areas such as towns, villages, and suburbs of Collin and Denton counties are seeing rapid growth — especially the suburbs of Frisco, Prosper, Little Elm, and McKinney. Let’s take a closer look.

Frisco

Seeing about a 1,400 percent increase in population between 1990 and 2007, Frisco has become one of the most popular and well-known Dallas suburbs. Sandwiched between McKinney and Plano, Frisco offers easy commuting throughout the Metroplex, since it provides easy access to major toll roads such as the Dallas North Tollway and Highway 121. Frisco offers townhomes, apartment complexes, and single-family homes in a variety of price ranges. Residents of Frisco with children enjoy a selection of public and private schools.

Prosper

Located about six miles north of Frisco and straddling Denton and Collin counties, Prosper is an up-and-coming, fast-growing suburban community. With an independent school district, record-breaking growth, and the groundwork laid for future commercial and retail development, D Magazine ranked Prosper as the 11th best suburb in the entire Metroplex. The town is home to an abundance of single-family homes with master-planned subdivisions and custom-built homes on small parcels of land.

Little Elm

Like other Dallas suburbs, Little Elm is right in the “growth corridor” of the Metroplex. Offering single-family homes in nearly every budget, Little Elm has a number of subdivisions of newer homes. Those who enjoy outdoor activities and aquatic sports appreciate Little Elm’s proximity to Lake Lewisville, along with the town’s public parks. Plans are currently underway for a new master-planned community called Union Park that will provide 2,400 new single-family homes and 100 acres of communal green space.

McKinney

This suburban city is the county seat of Collin County and is located far northeast of the Dallas city limits. The city of McKinney has experienced rapid growth (it’s the county’s second-most populous city, after the city of Plano) and has appeared on national lists as one of the best cities to live in multiple times. Offering multi- and single-family housing, McKinney offers residential suburban living for almost any budget. Due to its size, the city boasts a number of public parks, sports complexes, restaurants, and retail establishments. McKinney’s historic downtown area is a favored place to dine and shop as well.

While living in the suburbs can make for longer commutes for Dallas-area workers, the Metroplex’s system of toll roads and highways provide for efficient travel most of the time. Dallas suburbs in Collin and Denton counties offer unique advantages, such as more space and a slower pace of life than living in Downtown and Uptown areas. If you’re interested in learning more about these suburbs, consider paying a visit to each area or calling a local real estate agent for more information on community and residential amenities.

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The Best Websites for Affordable Art

Art is an important thing to consider when decorating your NYC apartment, or any home. It lends personality to a space — especially rental spaces, which are often blank slates. Some find the idea of starting an art collection to be an intimidating prospect. However, there are many websites offering affordable art which can bring a unique look to your home.

Minted

Minted‘s art marketplace makes them a great resource for affordable art prints from independent designers. Some of the art they sell is limited-edition, which is nice because this way it won’t be something that a lot of people have. Minted offers their prints in a range of sizes, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something that fits both your budget and your space.

Society 6

In addition to many other home accessories, Society 6 sells affordable art prints in many different styles. It offers framing, as well as the option of buying the print as a stretched canvas, which can be a great and different look. You can search their large selection by art type and color, so that helps to narrow down the options. Many artists choose to sell their prints through this outlet, including NYC-based Sarah D. Tolzmann of Note to Self.

Etsy

As a source of affordable art, Etsy is unparalleled! Their selection is vast, and they offer a huge amount of typography prints, painted pieces, photography … basically, any type of art that you can think of. One popular Etsy artist is Jessica Durrant, who paints watercolors in an ethereal, feminine, and unique style. In her Etsy store, she sells extremely affordable prints — check out her rendition of the NYC skyline.

Lifestyle Blogs

Many blogs have branched out into selling art prints on their own sites as well. The Everygirl, a popular lifestyle and career website for young women, offers typography prints, as well as a series of simple letterpress drawings of national monuments like the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben. Letterpress can be an expensive feature, but The Everygirl’s prices are very reasonable. They also offer a few beautiful photography prints of Paris. Made by Girl is a lovely print shop (the e-commerce counterpart to Jen Ramos’ Made by Girl blog), and sells fun, feminine prints that have been featured in many magazines and websites. Their “LOVE” prints are particularly popular, especially since they work in a variety of spaces, such as nurseries, home offices, and more.

Stationery Sites

Many stationery sites that sell gorgeous paper items also sell art prints. Rifle Paper Co. and Sugar Paper are two great examples. Rifle’s whimsical and distinctive art prints are based on illustrations by the site’s co-creator Anna Bond. Sugar Paper’s aesthetic is feminine, but absolutely chic and simple.

In short, you don’t need to visit galleries or buy original paintings to start an art collection. You can always do those things when the timing is right, but in the meantime, don’t let those walls sit empty! Peruse the websites above and pick out a few pieces that appeal to you. You may be surprised to find how much these pieces of art inspire and uplift you on a daily basis.

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Getting Your Potted Plants Ready for Cooler Weather

Now that the evenings have dipped into the low 60s in most of the U.S., it’s time to begin your potted garden transition. If you’re like me, you have tons of terra cotta containers spread out on your porch or deck, and maybe a few scattered in the yard. Now’s the time to devise your plan. Here are four steps for finding new indoor homes for your potted garden during the cooler season ahead.

1. New Spaces. Set aside this weekend to clear out new indoor spaces for your potted friends. The south, southeast and southwest corners of your home receive the most light so look to these rooms first when deciding your cooler season redecorating layout.

2. Light a Fire. The south area of your home is the Fame and Reputation center in Feng Shui. Fire is the element for this bagua, and wood fuels fire so your plants will do well here. Think about borrowing a floor lamp from another room to add more light so your plants continue to thrive indoors this season.

3. Creepy Crawlies. You’ll want to inspect and treat your plants for any insects before you bring them indoors. Of course using natural remedies versus toxic chemicals is the way to go.

4. Temperature Check. Now that you have your new space ready, be sure to bring in your potted plants a few weeks before you turn on the indoor heating. Your plants need some transition time.

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Harvesting Your Organic Garden Before the Cold Season Hits

After spending so much time caring for your organic garden, pulling weeds and watching it grow, it would be a shame to not reap the fruits of your hard labor before the cold season hits. Philadelphia cold can come suddenly and unexpectedly, so have your plan in order well in advance. Philly homeowners with gardens should keep an eye on the 10-day weather report for the week ahead to take note of any changes and schedule your harvesting day.

Know What’s Ready for Picking

The first detail that you need to consider before harvesting your organic garden before the cold season hits is whether or not the veggies are ready. Here’s a list of common vegetables and how you’ll know that they’re ripe for the picking:

  • Green beans: Should be firm, vibrant green, and about the diameter of a pencil. When you snap them in half, the seeds inside will likely be small and underdeveloped — this is normal.
  • Broccoli: Heads are deep green and still compacted. If yellow buds start to show, harvest immediately.
  • Carrots: Leave carrots in the ground the longest but before the ground goes cold. They are ready when they have bold deep coloring and are large (at least 6–8 inches long). You may see their “shoulders” coming up a bit from the ground.
  • Cucumbers: Cucumbers are ready to harvest when they reach the size you desire, but they should be picked before they change colors from green to yellow.
  • Corn: Pricking one of the corns should produce a substance that’s milky-colored, not watery and clear. The outer husk should be soft and brown or dark green.
  • Peppers: You decide what size is right for picking your peppers, even if they haven’t reached their full color yet. Some will continue to ripen after picking if you keep them in a warm room.
  • Tomatoes: Harvest tomatoes when they reach their full red color.

Turbo-Charge Your Garden with Fish Fertilizer

In advance of your harvesting day, give your organic garden a quick boost by feeding it with a strong fish-based fertilizer. Look for a product that has a 15-1-1 mix (15 parts nitrogen; 1 part each of iron and zinc). Spraying your organic garden with this fertilizer will improve your chances of getting bigger vegetables for picking in a shorter time before the cold season hits.

Schedule a Full Day for Harvesting

After a long day at work, the last thing you’ll probably want to do is spend your evening picking vegetables for hours. Try to set aside a full day for harvesting before the cold frost hits Philadelphia. Harvesting can be a fun activity (and a learning moment) for young people. Philly and the surrounding suburbs are well-known for being community-oriented, so why not get your neighbors involved on picking day — especially if you know you’ll have more vegetables than you can eat? Get family members, friends, and some of the friendly neighborhood kids to help you with your harvesting activities, and turn it into something special.

The often intense, hot summer temperatures that are characteristic of Philadelphia are great for your organic garden, but the chilly frost that comes in late fall or early winter definitely is not. So be sure to to grab your delicious vegetables before the cold season hits.

Image Source: Flickr

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Home Tip of the Day: How to Make Your Guests Feel at Home

We already gave you our secret for being the perfect guest. Now, we divulge the secret to being a great host. In today’s Home Tip of the Day, we share a few simple tricks that will make your guests feel at home (or even better, a hotel!). Do you have your in-laws staying for the holidays? Are you hosting old friends for the weekend? Try these simple touches and they may never leave!

If you’re looking for other clever home tips & tricks, subscribe to Coldwell Banker On Location for the complete Home Tip of the Day video series.

If you have a handy home hack, we’d love to hear! Post your tip on the Coldwell Banker facebook page.

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Has Gen Y Gone to the Burbs?

Gen Y…”They Know What They Want and They Want It Now!” But what is it that this up and coming group of buyers are attracted to? Elise Ramer, Senior Public Relations Specialist with NRT Florida teamed up with Felise Eber to provide some insight.

Felise Eber, a prominent team member of The Jills, the #1 Coldwell Banker team worldwide (and sister to Jill Eber), first spotted an emerging trend that could be a gamechanger in Miami and other real estate hot spots.

Miami Beach is a bastion for young singles, who flock to South Beach for its white sandy beaches, trendy night clubs, international flavor and sleek modern condos. But the trend toward high-tech condos with stunning beach views is taking a surprising shift – Gen Y buyers are beginning to move toward traditional single family homes.

Felise has has closed five Alton road properties in the past year, and increasingly these are sold by Baby Boomers and being snatched up by Gen Y buyers.

What is driving these younger affluent buyers to more traditional properties?

Location, location, location

A recent report from the National Association of Realtors revealed Gen Y places the highest preference compared to other generations on convenience to jobs. As buyers start to have children in school, the quality of school districts and convenience to schools starts to have a larger importance.

“These Alton Road homes are the middle of everything,” said Eber. “You are blocks from Lincoln Road, close to the up and across the street from the Miami Beach Golf Club. Buyers can ride bikes to the beach and just drive across the causeway to the new Miami Design District.”

Felise has noticed an increase in showings of her properties to families with children. The proximity to wonderful schools like North Beach Elementary and ample childcare facilities make Alton Road extremely desirable to affluent younger couples who are just starting their families.

Historical Homes in Need of Love

Many of the gorgeous 1920′s homes on Alton Road have been lovingly cared for and had the same owner for decades. But as their owner’s grow older, the desire and energy to maintain these gems dwindle.

“Today’s younger buyers were brought up watching renovation shows on HGTV, so they’re scooping up several Alton Road properties in need of some TLC,” says Eber. “They see these properties as a good investment and enjoy putting their own personal stamp on it.”

Eber points to a beautiful Alton Road property that underwent a complete renovation and exemplifies old Miami glamour with modern luxuries.

Counseling Alton Road Sellers

Eber has become an expert on working with multigenerational buyers and sellers.

“Often the sellers are older couples who are moving on to the next chapter in their lives. They’re usually downsizing and looking for something with less maintenance,” said Eber. “It’s almost like the buyers and sellers are switching places. We’re seeing more mature sellers flock to the condos that used to be dominated by younger buyers, who are now looking more and more to traditional homes. Of course, Gen Y still loves the condos, too!”

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5 Ultimate Entertaining Homes

Bowling

All of us remember that one friend growing up that had the ultimate party house. Maybe he had a pool or a basketball hoop or the latest gaming console. While we’ve grown up a bit since then, we still love a great party. These 5 Ultimate Entertaining Homes take the house party to a whole new level.

The Bowling Lane

This home spared no expense in the fun department. It certainly strikes the right cord with us!

The Firepit Pool

On a cool night this would be THE spot! Take a quick refreshing dip in the infinity pool and then warm up around the fire pit. Rinse and repeat!

Concessions

theater

The (Real) Home Theater

This home takes home movie to a whole new level. Pick up junior mints and a soda at the in-house concession stand, plop down in one of the plush red velvet cinema-style seats and launch your own private screening.

Command center

The Command Center

I don’t know about you, but when I was younger I dreamed of being an astronaut. I built a “space shuttle” in my closet. This command center is my childhood fantasy come to life. This interactive space ship arcade was built for playing video games! The entire unique home in Weston, MA has plenty of fun features, including an indoor basketball court, media room and art-inspired decor throughout.

Court

The Game Center

Practice your jump shot or your serve on this multi-tasking home court. Can’t you just picture your fans cheering you on from the second floor balconies?

If you can dream it, we can find it. Start your home search on coldwellbanker.com.

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5 Philadelphia Neighborhoods That are Worth Checking Out

If there’s one thing you should know about Philly, it’s that it’s a town of neighborhoods. Philadelphia neighborhoods each have their own distinct flair and personality. Whether you’re thinking of buying a home in Philadelphia to be closer to your job or because you love what the city has to offer, make sure to start by checking out the five neighborhoods below.

Rittenhouse Square

If you want to live in the heart of downtown Philly, Rittenhouse Square is the neighborhood to check out. It’s near pretty much everything, including transit (regional rail and subways), restaurants, and shopping. You’ll find plenty of places to hang out after work, from bars to coffee shops — and if you’re looking for a place to get down to work, co-working spots include Benjamin’s Desk and CultureWorks. The neighborhood is named for one of the original parks included in the design of the city by William Penn.

Passyunk Square

You’ll find plenty of excitement in Passyunk Square. The main avenue through the neighborhood, East Passyunk, has been undergoing a bit of a makeover in recent years, thanks to the restaurant rennaissance happening on its main drag. It’s now home to a number of popular, highly praised restaurants and quirky shops, such as Era Atomica (a vintage store specializing in mid-century housewares) and South Philly Comics. While located in South Philadelphia, the neighborhood is well-served by public transit, including buses and the Broad Street line. It also has metered and permit street parking. Scope out the South Philly Co-Op Workspace if you’re looking for a place to get down to business.

Fishtown

Like Passyunk Square, Fishtown (located northeast of Center City) has seen a bit of a revival, owing to some major improvements made along Frankford Avenue, its central thoroughfare. A number of restaurants have opened up on the avenue recently, including beer garden Frankford Hall, operated by well-known restaurateur Stephen Starr. The neighborhood is also easily accessible by the Market-Frankford elevated subway stop or, if you have a car, by I-95.

Newbold

While Philadelphia neighborhoods like East Passyunk and Fishtown have gotten a lot of attention recently, Newbold has stayed a bit more under the radar. Located directly to the west of Passyunk Square, the neighborhood has a lot to offer, including housing prices that are lower than in other parts of town, quick access to the downtown part of the city by subway or foot, and a few restaurants and bars. Newbold doesn’t have its own supermarket, though it is home to a community garden and a weekly farmers’ market.

Fairmount

The Fairmount section of Philadelphia, sometimes referred to as the “Art Museum Area,” is a great place to live if you enjoy being part of the action. For culture lovers, it’s a stone’s throw from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the tree-lined path to the museum. The area also borders Fairmount Park, which offers plenty of walking, running, and biking trails, as well as picnic spots and fishing spots. If you need to head out of the city to get to work, the neighborhood is near I-76. A few buses will take you from Fairmount into Center City, where you can hop on the regional rails out of the city.

No matter your reason for wanting to call Philadelphia home, the great variety of neighborhoods means you’ll almost certainly find one you love.

Image Source: Flickr

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