Real Estate Headlines for the Week of the MLB All Star Game

Ah the Mid-Summer Classic is upon us. The unofficial halfway point of the baseball season also ushers in what’s usually some of the hottest days of the year and the slowest days in sports. But before you choose to settle in or completely ignore the Major League Baseball All Star Game, here’s your weekly dose of real estate headlines:

How hot is the real estate market? Here’s an example of a 30% overbid on a home for sale.

Gen Rent? Try Gen Own. New report from National Association of Realtors shows younger generations are more likely to buy a home.

Trendy homes on tiny lots is the latest craze to hit the streets of Los Angeles.

Yahoo Finance explains how to buy a home for $15,000. Excuse me while I go memorize this article…

Foreclosures are at the lowest level in 7 years.

Would you invest $100,000 in renovations for a home…you rent?

TheBillfold has a really interesting first-hand account of what it’s like to buy a house with your boyfriend in the current real estate market.

How would you like to own a home that is partially buried…on purpose?

And finally Casa Sugar has some ideas on how to still use your fireplace as a design focal point even in the summer months.

How to Make Your Lawn Look Like a Baseball Outfield

outfield grass How to Make Your Lawn Look Like a Baseball OutfieldThe greatest lawn cutters on the planet earth work at Major League Baseball parks. The outfield grass at these pro stadiums is unbelievable. It glistens in the sun and has those perfect stripes in the grass.

As I watch baseball games from around the majors, with the exception of Colorado and Minnesota where apparently they like to still play April baseball in the snow, these fields look immaculate already and I wondered if there was a way to replicate some of their tactics on my own home’s lawn.

I did a little digging online and found this pretty entertaining and useful video from The video is relatively short and they share a pretty simple tip to enhance your lawn mower so that it can more easily create those great lawn stripes and patterns in your front lawn.

Take a look at the video above and let us know in the comments if you have some of your own tips and tricks to make your lawn look as good as a Major League Baseball outfield.


Image courtesy of Flickr user Paul Schultz

The Perfect Home for MLB Opening Day

Welcome to baseball season. Sure March Madness has its Final Four still to come and the NBA is winding down its regular season, but this time of year is special for baseball. The Major League Baseball season has begun. Stadium across the country today are filled with hope and wonder as every team starts their season with the goal of winning a championship. While the outfield grass is trimmed and watered, as homeowners we’re doing much of the same as we’re prepping our lawns for mowing.

Baseball is the American pastime and holds a special place in our hearts. And a monumental occasion, like MLB Opening Day, deserve a perfect place to enjoy it. So I set out to find the perfect home for baseball’s opening day. You’ll never guess where I found it…Woodway, WA. Continue reading

The Home of an Unlikely Baseball Immortal

At Colwell Banker Real Estate we like to say that every home has a story.  And we believe that when selling a home, Coldwell Banker agents have a unique opportunity to share that story and allow potential buyers to emotionally bond with a home.

Well today, Jo-Ann Reilly of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Briarcliff Manor, NY, has a great story to tell about her most recent listing at 1 Allen Street in Valhalla, NY.

The home, which was built in 1954 by former major league baseball catcher, the late Sal Yvars, who gained more fame 40 years after his playing career ended than he did from the 210 games he played with the New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.

In Pennant Races, the 1994 book by the New York Times’ Dave Anderson, Yvars admitted to playing a role in an intricate 1951 sign stealing process that ultimately culminated in the famous Bobby Thompson “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” home run that beat the Brooklyn Dodgers.

“I’m working with Mr. Yvars’ children in selling the home and learned a lot about his career from his son David,” Jo-Ann told me.  “When I first toured the house with David, I saw some of the great baseball memorabilia and even noticed the ‘SY’ in the wrought iron railings outside.  I’m not a baseball fan, but my 94-year-old father-in-law knows all about the Giants and was excited I had the listing.  It is a beautiful corner lot and well maintained, but the fact that it has such a wonderful history makes it unique.”

Homes for the 2012 MLB Playoffs

Ah, playoff baseball. A crisp in the night air and you break out your team hoodie or blanket as you head to the ballpark excited with anticipation for what the evening may hold. Or, as most of us will do, we’ll settle into our favorite seat on the couch with bag of chips in hand and enjoy the fall classic from the comfort of our homes.

I’ve mentioned before how home and baseball are intertwined in both their history and metaphors, but with the playoffs now in full swing we wanted to take a look at what homes might be a good fit for those prepping for the playoff race.

Turns out we found 17 different homes on that feature a batting cage either inside the home or in the backyard. How awesome would an indoor batting cage be for your future All Star? Forget the kids, how awesome would it be for the adults?

I’m not sure if Robinson Cano, Joey Votto or Matt Holliday even have one in their home. Speaking of Matt Holliday of the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals, he might want to check out this batting cage home in Frontenac, MO which isn’t too far from St. Louis. In addition to a batting cage, the home has 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a game room and space for him to put a trophy room together in case the Cards repeat.
frontenac missouri home for sale Homes for the 2012 MLB Playoffs
Baseball is truly our national pastime and you can see that in the fact that of the 17 different homes with batting cages they are located in 13 different states. While your favorite team may not be in the playoffs, I’m sure you’ll find yourself checking the scores this October and during those commercial breaks head on over to to see the batting cage homes and search for whatever baseball-inspired addition you’re dreaming about using our keyword search.

The Relevance of Home in Baseball

baseball The Relevance of Home in Baseball

America’s pastime is brimming with the concept of home.

Tonight is the mid-summer classic. The annual gathering of the best in Major League Baseball. The All Star Game. Whether or not you care for the game of baseball or not, you can’t deny that baseball, more than any other sport, is impacted by the concept of home. Think about it.

The iconic play in baseball is the home run. You have home plate. The official anthem of baseball has the line “root, root, root for the home team.” There are meticulously kept lawns in baseball. Watering the grass, and even the dirt, are a regular occurrence at major league game. And every baseball field has a fence around “the yard.”

The metaphor of home is undeniably present in the game of baseball, but beyond word play the sport and the concept of home is rooted deeper in the hearts of Americans. Americana & memories of home often have visions of playing catch in the yard with a parent. Little league is a longstanding staple of local communities. Wiffle ball is possibly the most played unofficial sport in backyards across the country. Baseball is home.

Even the greatest baseball movies convey this concept of home. Look at Field of Dreams. When it comes down to it, it’s a movie about a guy longing for one last time to play catch with his dad…in his backyard.

I’ve blogged before about how my best backyard memories are playing catch with my dad, home run derby with my neighborhood friends and weekly games of wiffle ball. On top of that I remember summer nights spent as a family watching baseball and getting to stay up late for to see the end of the game.

Chances are if you’re watching the All Star Game tonight, you’ll be viewing it in your home. In my opinion there’s no more appropriate place to watch it. Enjoy the mid-summer classic.


Image courtesy of Flickr user popofatticus


Home for MLB Opening Day

Get ready for baseball in your hometown

The opening day of the Major League Baseball season is upon us and to me there’s no sport that better relates to home than baseball. Think about it. Home is an essential part of the baseball vernacular. You’ve got home plate, home run, “root, root, root for the home team” is part of the infamous song Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and then there’s the insider vocabulary like “he covers a lot of real estate out in center.”

Not only that, but baseball is a game that for me brings back memories of home. Playing home run derby with the neighborhood kids or wiffle ball in the backyard or the Little League parade down the main street in your neighborhood are all memories of the home where I grew up and still resonate today with my own family.

Baseball also appears to be a marketable element in some homes for sale on 313 homes currently have “baseball” in the property description and 19 currently offer a “batting cage” as an amenity. In fact one property in Wichita, KS even offers a full baseball field with bases and an official pitcher’s mound to go along with a separate batting cage area for practice. Now there’s a lover of the American pastime.

It makes no difference who your team is. You may love the Bronx Bombers, the Chicago Cubs, the Anaheim Angels or even my struggling New York Mets, but the feeling is the same for all baseball fans. We’re happy to have the game we love back in action and we’re all planning how we can get to an upcoming home game.

So regardless of where you call home, I hope you’ll have some time today or this weekend to enjoy the game that always applauds when someone comes home.

Play ball.

Real Estate Headlines for First Week of April

Peek inside Derek Jeter's home

March Madness is done and so comes the April showers. Easter is almost here. Baseball is about to start. Golf is in full swing. And the stores are stocked with my favorite Cadbury Cream Eggs. Mmmmm. But before I lose my train of thought with dreams of chocolate and creamy filling, here are some real estate headlines to start off the month of April:


Photo courtesy of Flickr user nick step

Here’s to Backyards

Here's to backyards

There are plenty of reasons why people buy a particular home. Could be the size. Could be the location. But one element that’s often not talked about on a property description can be a major part of the enjoyment that a home gives. I’m talking about the backyard.

Backyards are memory makers. Don’t believe me? I asked my circle of friends on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to share their top memories of their backyards either as a kid or even today. The response was overwhelming. From childhood moments to memorable occasions to just relaxing, the backyard initiated an onslaught of stories.

Steve Ostrom from Roseville, CA talked about how his backyard as a kid was the perfect setup for wiffle ball field with a built-in swimming pool acting as out of bounds and a 7th inning stretch cool down. Others mentioned forts, games of tag and even riding the lawn mower with their parents. One friend even had a zip line in his backyard. I think I need one of those…

My friend, Lindsay, talked about a rock wall. Yes, a rock wall. It was something that her father and her built on the weekends around a tree in their yard. They carved their initials into it when they were done and now there’s a piece of her childhood forever entrenched in the yard of that home for generations to come to enjoy.

Some memories involved food (one of my favorite subjects) where the backyard played host to BBQ’s, family get togethers and even where they made homemade ice cream. And backyards have no limitation as far as seasons are concerned. Whether it was fall, winter, spring or summer, there were moments to be shared from all respondents involving pools, snowmobiles, sledding, piles of leaves and planting gardens.

For me growing up the backyard was a place where I developed my love for the game of baseball. The kids in the neighborhood would come play wiffle ball. My friends across the street, Jeffrey Goodman and Matt Ferrari, would come over and we’d play home run derby until it was time for dinner. I dented our neighbors garage enough times to have him take away tennis balls and broke my fair share of windows playing “tennis baseball.” (it’s basically baseball but you use a racket instead of a bat)

But some of the best moments were Sunday afternoons when I’d play catch with my dad. I used to plead with him to throw “diving catches” where I would stand on one side of the yard and he would throw a fly ball to the other side of the yard that would force me to dive and make a Ken Griffey Jr-esque catch. Avoiding trees while chasing down balls was all part of the fun. I can still see him running down balls in the street when I would try and overthrow some fastballs to him. Eventually I was forced to chase down the errant throws.

Usually our catch games would end with my dad trying to help my pitching control by throwing a “simulated inning” which normally ended with me walking the bases loaded. I had control issues.

Without a backyard I might have still enjoyed the game of baseball, but I’m absolutely sure that the reason I love the game today is because of the moments and memories made on that green grass in Succasunna, NJ.

While my own boys may not plead with me for “diving catches,” my wife and I chose a home that had a yard where we could be sure they would have their own moments to look back on.

So let me close with a video of our TV ad that we call “Backyards.” Here’s to backyards and all the things that make a house a home. Share you favorite backyard moments in the comments.

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