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

Guest Blog via NorthStar Moving Co-Founder Laura McHolm

Have you moved to a city because it offered warmer temperatures, cheaper cost of living, more job opportunities, or simply to fulfill a dream? They are all common desires and clues as to where Americans move, and why we pick up and leave a city.

The team at NorthStar Moving recently compiled the Top Ten Cities Americans Move To and Top Ten Cities Americans Move From. Can you guess which metropolises made the list?

The city with the biggest revolving door is the capital of our great nation, taking the #1 spot in both lists. In fact, many of the cities make both lists, with the states of California and Texas have  the most cities on the lists. Check out the two lists illustrated in their infographics below to see how many you guessed right!

Top 10 Cities Americans Move To

Moveto Can You Guess the Top 10 Cities Americans Move To and From?

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Top 10 Cities Americans Move From

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4 Quick Ways to Make Your Home More Attractive to Buyers

Guest Post by Andrea Davis

The time has come to sell your home—are you prepared? Do you need quick solutions to get top dollar for your home? Depending on its age and location, preparing a home for prospective buyers can be as simple as a few touch-ups or as involved as a few remodels and additions.

If your realtor thinks the house just needs a few changes, then don’t spend thousands of dollars on needless upgrades. By performing these quick fixes to increase its appeal, you’ll not only stand out to buyers, but you’ll also have fewer surprises after their inspection:

1.      Declutter

Clutter is not appealing to anyone, least of all prospective buyers. By depersonalizing your home, buyers will be able to walk through and get a feel for themselves living in the house. It’s also a good opportunity for you to decide what goes with you and what might need a new home in a secondhand store.

2.      Paint your walls

Painting your walls is inexpensive to you and refreshing for prospective buyers walking through the home. Repainting allows an opportunity to paint over any patches, paw prints, hand prints or other problems that could detract from room appeal. Stick with neutral colors like whites, greys and browns because buyers may want to personalize the house with colors of their own after purchase.

3.      Optimize your lighting

Walking through a home at nighttime or in the middle of the day requires good lighting to get the best look at every room. This means you should have plenty of natural light through windows or additional lighting. Invest in lighting for the low price of $130 if a room is particularly dark and clean windows to get the sunlight streaming in. LED lights are a good idea because they’re just as bright as fluorescents but not as hard on the eyes. They’re energy efficient, and they don’t emit buzzing.

4.      Enhance curb appeal

Your house needs to stand out to buyers from the moment they drive up. This means the landscape must look appealing from the sidewalk to the front door. You can hire professional landscapers if needed to design the most appealing lawn for prospective buyers if you’re uncertain about doing it yourself. Trim or prune trees and bushes to be the right length and height during buyer inspections. Also be sure to keep flower beds well-maintained and mow the lawn regularly during the duration of the sale.

Andrea Davis is the editor at HomeAdvisor, which connects homeowners with home improvement professionals in their area for free.

See more of the beautiful Colorado home listed above here.

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5 Reasons You Should Care Who Sells Your Home

sellers e1396978807952 5 Reasons You Should Care Who Sells Your HomeSelling your home is a big deal. Most people sell a house only a few times in their entire life, and they want it done right and through the right person. You might think real estate agents are all the same, but it’s important to consider why you should care who sells your home.  After eight consecutive years as the #1 Agent / Group in the State of Wisconsin for Coldwell Banker, Karl Volkman has some insight.

Here are 5 reasons you should care who sells your home.


1.) This is Your Home

Whether you’ve lived there 2 years or 28 years, this is a place you called home. Take the time to find a good, honest real estate agent. You need a good person to help you find your home a good home.

Tip: Have a conversation with your potential real estate agent. Do they take the time to get to know you?


2.) Compassion

Selling your home can be an emotional process and you want someone who will understand that. Your real estate agent should take the time to explain things to you and answer any and all questions you may have.

Tip: Let your real estate agent know how you’re feeling. It will help him or her make the process as smooth as possible.


3.)  Marketing Strategy

Does your real estate agent know how to market a home and is willing to put in the time and effort to effectively market your home. A lot goes into selling a home. Are they going to fill you in on the marketing strategy?

Tip: Ask your real estate agent what their marketing strategy will be for selling your house.


4.) Open Communication

Ask your real estate agent the best way to communicate with them and how often they’ll communicate with you. How available will they be to you? And on the flip side, how available will you be to your real estate agent?

Tip: Remember your real estate agent has a life, too. If they say not to call them after 6pm on weekdays, it’s important to respect that and call them the following day.


5.) Honesty

You need someone who is honest. Someone who will tell you the challenges they may face selling your home and how they plan to overcome them. Or, if they believe you need to price your home higher or lower, they’ll carefully explain why so you understand.

Tip: You expect your real estate agent to be honest, so make sure you’re honest with him or her.


The Karl Volkman Group is led by a hands on 30+ year real estate veteran while the agents themselves average 19 years of experience. 8 Consecutive years #1 Agent/Group in the State of Wisconsin for Coldwell Banker.

Karl Volkman’s Google Plus

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Selling a Home Through a Child’s Eyes

In February of 1987 my parents made the journey from St. Barnabas Hospital to our home in Livingston NJ. To this day my mom says it was the most nerve-wracking car ride of her life. It was the day they brought me home for the first time. They have lived in that same house for the past 27 years…AKA my entire life.

By now you have probably realized this post is not in fact written by a “child” but by a 27 year old who just had a “bomb” dropped on her. Just a few months ago, my parents told me of their plans to move. I was outraged. How could they do this? This was OUR home. The home that we spent nearly three decades in. It is filled with memories of “firsts,” backyard BBQs, holidays, family dinners, laughs, love and so much happiness. It is the home that I left as a “Jacob” and returned as a “Listanski.” (picture above from my wedding morning) This was the home that I wanted MY children (one day) to play, grow and explore in.

I won’t lie.  My stomach hurt when my parents told me.  My heart was broken.

For as long I can remember, my parents have been talking about moving but never acted on it.

High school wasn’t the right time. Those are the years where girl teenage friendships are already stressful enough. My parents gave me the incredibly generous gift of paying for college so that certainly wasn’t the right time for them. Then, after college, I returned home and happily reclaimed my childhood bedroom. So that wasn’t the right time either.

After I moved back home it only took me a year to get engaged to my college sweetheart and we moved into an apartment exactly 2 turns and 6 minutes away from my childhood home. I thought to myself, this is it, they are finally going to make the jump…but they didn’t.

Fast forward three years ahead and I purchased my first home, ironically 3 turns and 4 minutes away from my childhood home.  I guess they realized that I wasn’t going to come back home.  It was time.

But how could they do this to me? How, NOW, after all this time could they move? And then it hit me. My parents have moved into the phase of their life that real estate professionals call “empty nesters.” They don’t need a big house anymore, they are tired of taking care of a large property, they want something new and you know what…they deserve it. They deserve it more than anyone I know. They are building a beautiful townhouse that they have always deserved. For years they have put aside their dreams of moving for my own comfort and I couldn’t thank them enough for that.

Despite my heart being crushed that later this year I will have to bid my only childhood home goodbye I couldn’t be happier for them to begin this new chapter of this life together.

Have you gone through a similar experience? Any words of advice before my final farewell?

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VIDEO: Top 5 Tips For First Time Home Sellers

Guest Post by Jessica Edwards

What are my Top 5 Tips for First Time Home Sellers?

1. Remember that the outside is just as important and in some ways more important than the inside. The outside is the first impression and sets the tone for the property tour inside.

2. Be prepared to spend some money on repairs.  You will be expected to address some items needing repairs. In some cases,  a little money can go a long way.

3. Know the number and know your bottom line.  Make sure you know what your mortgage payoff really is and what your closing costs will be.  You also want to make sure you know your numbers if you are going to be buying as well.  If you are selling and buying something else you need to meet with a lender on the purchase before you sell your home because it will effect your negotiating ability.

4. Know your agent and the brand or company that they work for.  Don’t just choose an agent without looking into the real estate company and brand they work and on the flip side don’t just choose any agent because of the company.  All agents work differently.

5. Be prepared for showings.  Make some preparations and plan ahead of time for last minute showings and certain days of the week.  Maybe let you spouse be in charge of some days and you the others if you both work or be sure to enlist the help of a stay at home mom or friend if you need pets removed during showings and you can’t always get home.  A little preparation and planning on the front end will make a world of difference in getting those buyers in your home.  And after all we have to get them in to get it sold!

Check out more great advice for home sellers and buyers from Jessica Edwards with Coldwell Banker Seacoast Advantage.

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Home Sellers Don’t Make These Top Mistakes!

Guest Post by Kristina Clement Wilton

Thinking about selling your home? Don’t fall victim to any of these common seller mistakes.

Here are a few helpful tips on how to avoid making costly mistakes when selling your home:

1. Putting your home on the market before it’s ready: Get your pre-sale work done PRIOR to listing (painting,new carpet, declutter, financing)

2. Incorrect Pricing: Price is determined by the market so be sure to price it accordingly the first time. If too high– you will help sell comparable homes before your own which may result in a price reduction and the loss of potential buyers. At the same time if it is priced too low your potential profit will suffer. Working with a real estate professional with help you to determine the right price for your home.

3. Getting Too Emotional: When you decide to sell, it is important to accept that it is no longer your home. You may be advised to do some cosmetic work or staging, it can be difficult but don’t take it personally.

4. Stretching out buyer negotiations: It is important to reply immediately to an offer. When buyers make an offer they are, right then, in the mood to buy. Don’t give them a chance to keep looking because you waited too long to reply.

5. Selling without a professional: surveys show self-sellers often make less money from a sale than sellers who use a real estate agent. Avoid costly mistakes, let a professional handle the sale of your home. We know the ins and outs of selling homes.

Kristina is a real estate professional with Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Centre in Newmarket, ON.

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Work Out While You Work at Home

I am constantly multitasking both at work and at home…sometimes to a fault. Whether I am juggling two computer screens, my cell phone and an ipad or tweeting while I watch TV it seems like I can never JUST do one thing at a time. When I stumbled across this picture recently posted on Victoria Beckham’s twitter page I couldn’t help but fall in love with the idea of working while working out.

VB e1396284231729 Work Out While You Work at Home

I began thinking about all the hours I sit at work and thought it would be amazing if we could have something like this available to us at our home office in Madison, NJ. To my surprise, our parent company Realogy, already had one and it was sitting downstairs barely used! In less than a week we had it brought up to our side of the building. In fact, as I type this sentence I am using it and I have to say it is a nice change from sitting.

treadmill e1396285642527 Work Out While You Work at Home

This particular model goes up to speed 2 which is a nice brisk walk but slow enough to stay focused on the work I am doing. While I can’t say I would do this for more than 30 minutes at a time I do believe it is a great way to get in a quick (light) exercise. For me, the combination of moving and being in a place other than my desk really got my creative juices flowing.

I posted the picture above on my Facebook wall and got an incredible amount of interest from friends and family. Some were amused, some confused and some even shared it on their wall cc’ing their managers asking for one in their own office.

I believe this would be a great addition to any office, including at home. I found the model below on Amazon for under $500 which I believe is a pretty good deal. If you struggle to find the time to break away from work to get in a work out then I believe you will love this option.

treadmilldesk e1396285372667 Work Out While You Work at Home

Available on Amazon

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Hidden Luxury Market Hot Spots

While Beverly Hills, Aspen and New York City are known playgrounds for the rich and famous, other luxury hot spots have managed to stay just under the radar to the national audience. Released today, the inaugural Coldwell Banker Previews® Luxury Market Index uncovers the hottest luxury real estate markets in the U.S.  According to this index, Woodside, Calif., home to venture capitalists and international entrepreneurs, was the top performing luxury market for 2013.

The Index analyzes U.S. cities with at least 25 home sales of $1 million and higher in 2013, ranking the top performing cities based on metrics like annualized sales in units, volume and average and median sale price.   

lmr e1396377391890 Hidden Luxury Market Hot Spots

Not surprisingly, three of the top five cities on the index are in the center of the technology universe – Silicon Valley.

Woodside, the top-performing city on the index, is an affluent equestrian neighborhood near Stanford University and just 30 minutes from the corporate headquarters of technology giants Apple, Facebook and Google.

1 e1396386216458 Hidden Luxury Market Hot Spots

This Coldwell Banker Previews International Property in Woodside, CA is currently listed with Scott Dancer with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

“Silicon Valley is the center of the technology universe, and buyers are flocking to our market to be a part of it,” said Scott Dancer, a sales associate affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Woodside, Calif. “Inventory is very tight in markets like Woodside, a reserved community with many homes hidden down long tree-lined driveways and private lanes. With inventory so low, we’re also seeing the ultra-wealthy flock to other surrounding suburbs in the region, including Portola Valley, Hillsborough and Atherton depending on their lifestyle needs.”

Second on the index is Bal Harbour, Florida, a small community situated on the northern tip of Miami Beach.  This exclusive neighborhood is known for its gorgeous ocean views and unbeatable high-end shopping. Bal Harbour’s small size – the entire municipality is less than half a square mile – means buyers must pay a premium for its unique character and amenities.

“Waterfront destinations have always been popular among affluent homebuyers, and the Miami area is no different,” said Jill Hertzberg, who joins Jill Eber on the team of The Jills®, affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Miami Beach, Fla. “Bal Harbour is ideally situated on the northern tip of Miami Beach and attracts well-established buyers with its high-rise luxury condos, breathtaking beaches and high-end shopping.”

While cities with long-standing name brand recognition such as Beverly Hills and Miami Beach may always be the center of luxury living, the new Luxury Market Index highlights markets just outside of other well-known areas, offering a highly desirable lifestyle, and perhaps a little bit more privacy, for high-end buyers.

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25 Incredibly Gorgeous Modern Chandeliers

A chandelier can add more than just light to a room, it can become a focal point and a piece of art. These 25 chandeliers certainly do both. Which is your favorite?

 

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Your Pet Called. They Said Buy This Now!

Wish you could let your fur baby know you love them while you are away from home? Well, with PetChatz, you can communicate with Fido or Fluffy whether you are at work, on vacation or just out running errands.

PetChatz, a Greet & Treat® videophone, is a new way to interact with your pet but it costs a pretty penny. For $349 you can connect with your pet from your computer, table or smart phone. This “joyful sensory experience” lets your pet see, hear and taste your love. Yes, you read that right, taste…PetChatz enables you to dispense treats remotely.

Here is a look at how it works:

PetChatz Your Pet Called. They Said Buy This Now!

petchatz technology Your Pet Called. They Said Buy This Now!

PetChatz® products are currently available for purchase in their online store and coming to retail pet stores nationally in late Spring 2014. You can pre-order your $349 PetChatz here.

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