Expert Tips for Finding the Perfect Neighborhood To Buy In

Guest Blog Post by Heather and Steve Ostrom

What’s the square footage, how big is the yard, is there enough storage in this house? These are all important buyer questions, particularly when you’re trying to determine what you want and need out of your next space that you will call “home.”

While we agree your home should rock, it is important to also factor in the neighborhood you will buying into as well. Buyer property searches are typically geared towards specific criteria in a house, helping us laser in on the “perfect space.” But what we can’t always observe online, that’s equally important, is how a day in the life would be like at your new house.

What’s important to you, in the area you live? Is it the quality of life, is it the commute, or is it the neighborhood’s amenities? Here are some of the important questions we encourage buyers to ask themselves, when on their journey for the perfect home and neighborhood.

So where do we begin as a buyer? First, make a list of what’s important to you in a home, and in the community you’re targeting. We feel, discovering what an average day is going to be like at your new place, is an important part of the research in finding a home that’s perfect for you.

Second, communicate to everyone involved in the transaction your goals in a new home: your trusted and local real estate agent, your lender, and to your trusted friends and family (or even co-workers). Sometimes they can point out items you may not have thought about, particularly if they live there … things that you love, what things might drive you nuts (or that your favorite coffee shop is only a mile away from that cute home you have been checking out).

Third, once everyone is on the same page of what you want in a home and your community … it’s time to head out to the homes in your target area, and see how the neighborhood functions. Once you find a home that seems to be “the one” … part of the research portion, could include talking to the neighbors, or perhaps doing a trial work commute, or talking to small business owners and restaurants. People love to talk about their area.

So what are you waiting for? Start making that list, talk to your trusted real estate agent, and let’s find the right home AND neighborhood for you. … Oh and P.S. If you’re in our area, make sure to invite us over for your neighborhood block party, we hate to miss a good get-together. ;-)

Steve and Heather Ostrom are with Coldwell Banker Sun Ridge in Roseville, CA. Check our more great videos from the Ostrom team here.

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Quick Tips for Repairing Doors

front door Quick Tips for Repairing DoorsWhen’s the last time you replaced the doors of your home? I’m guessing never. It’s something we don’t really think of. They’re just there. They open. They shut. So what if there are a few dings in them from children, door stoppers or rambunctious pets.

But I’m guessing if you look at your doors the chances are you know there’s are few imperfections on them. Who wants to deal with replacing or even fixing doors? Well, what if it wasn’t that difficult?

The video above from the folks over at eHow Home shows some simple tips on how to fix those door cracks and dents using wood putty. Wood putty costs maybe a few bucks and the time to fix it is minimal.

So watch the video above on repairing doors and make the doors to your home all that more welcoming.

 

Header image courtesy of Flickr user Cristiano Betta

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This is Home with Rapping Kids

thisishome This is Home with Rapping KidsThe Coldwell Banker Life, Camera, Action YouTube contest provided some amazing videos of kids, pets and homes from across the country. Actually the videos with pets vs. the videos with kids was pretty much a 50/50 split. The 10 finalist videos were all pretty amazing. It was fun to see the different takes on what makes a home so special. Some were touching. Some were humorous. But the winning video was just plain adorable.

I dare you to watch this video without smiling. The $25,000 grand prize winning video above is called “This is Home” but affectionately here at the Coldwell Banker office we refer to it as “Rapping Kids.” It’s quite simply one of the sweetest and entertaining videos about home that you’ll ever see.

The video comes to us from the Johnson family of Henderson, NV where dad, Jeff, is a schoolteacher and his wife, Suzanne, runs her own business out of their home. Their twins, Liam and Elle, will turn 4 in December and have easily the brightest music career imaginable ahead of them.

I talked with Jeff about the inspiration for the video and he said the song was something he was actually working on for a few months and when he heard about the Coldwell Banker contest it gave him the motivation to finally complete what he had started.

As you can imagine choreographing twin 3 year old’s while also trying to get them to sing the right words is quite a task and the video take more time than expected to get done which didn’t give them much time to get votes before the contest ended. But thanks to a late push in voting by friends and family their video was able to make it into the top 10 finalists.

We wondered how a high school social studies teacher manages to find time to create rap songs and shoot music videos, but Jeff explained this is something he enjoys doing as projects. Well Jeff, this project just paid off.

The Johnson family moved into their current home just over 2 years ago when they quickly realized their home at the time that had only 2 bedrooms wouldn’t quite work for their growing family. So the winnings from the contest they hope to put towards redoing their backyard as they’ve had some plans for it in their minds but didn’t think they’d be able to see them come to fruition.

I’m hoping their plans involve a water slide and perhaps a basketball court, but whatever they end up doing I’m sure Liam & Elle will love it.

Take a look at the video above to see “This is Home” and add a smile to your day. And if you really want a smile, watch the video below and see the kids’ reaction to being told they won the contest:

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Favorite Videos from Life Camera Action Contest: Dear Poppy

dearpoppy Favorite Videos from Life Camera Action Contest: Dear PoppyYesterday we highlighted an adorable and playful take on an “open house” that was submitted as a video in the Coldwell Banker Life, Camera, Action contest. Today, we’re featuring another video that missed out on becoming a top 10 finalist, but might be one of the most touching videos that was submitted.

“Dear Poppy” is a simple story told through black and white photos and simple title screens, but is sure to stir your emotions. It shares the journey of one couple who found each other, then their dream home, but it wasn’t until someone else came into their lives that their house became a home.

Take a look at “Dear Poppy” and have some tissues nearby just in case. I’m not saying that I need them…ok maybe I did.

You can watch the top 10 finalist videos at youtube.com/coldwellbanker and come back tomorrow to see who will be named the $25,000 grand prize winner!

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World’s Most Expensive Homes: Quixote Winery Estate

quixote winery Worlds Most Expensive Homes: Quixote Winery EstateNapa Valley. Those two words immediately make you think of vineyards, beautiful scenery and good eating. The capitol of wine country in California also is home to our next episode in the Coldwell Banker series, World’s Most Expensive Homes.

Today we go inside the Quixote Winery Estate to see a home that is truly one within its surroundings as well as explore the amazing winery that is the only Friedensreich Hundertwasser building in America. 

Set on a lake and positioned perfectly amidst the vineyards for its winery, the Quixote Winery Estate is one of the most unique properties you’ll come across in the Napa Valley. Listed by Cyd Greer with Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley, the home not only offers the luxury of your own winery, but also some pretty spectacular views.

Check out Episode 4 of the Coldwell Banker series World’s Most Expensive Homes by watching the video above.

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World’s Most Expensive Homes Hits the Virgin Islands

estate at spring bay Worlds Most Expensive Homes Hits the Virgin IslandsIn the Coldwell Banker web series World’s Most Expensive Homes, we’ve started off in the U.S. visiting the Versace mansion in South Beach and then hiking up to Aspen to explore the incredible Jigsaw Ranch. Now in Episode 3, we step outside the continental U.S. and head to the Caribbean to visit the paradise of St. Thomas.

The Estate at Spring Bay is the focal point of this latest episode which contains some of the most incredible and beautiful footage ever displayed in a real estate video. From the private beach to the multiple pools to the ridiculous sunset views, the Estate at Spring Bay is the definition of paradise. 

Listed by Amy Land-de Wilde with Coldwell Banker Island Affiliates, this home is an island treasure. Step inside the Estate at Spring Bay by watching Episode 3 of the World’s Most Expensive Homes from Coldwell Banker.

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A Look Inside “The Emirati Home”

The first ever Coldwell Banker International Film Festival kicks off today over at films.coldwellbanker.com. Over the course of the next three weeks, we’ll be showcasing short films from filmmakers across the globe that share with us their answer to the questions, “what’s the true value of a home?”

The first video of the inaugural film festival comes from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). When you think of the UAE, Dubai is probably the first city that pops into your head with its exotic resorts and magnificent skyscraper. But in this film, entitled ‘The Emirati Home’, filmmaker Siddharth Seth shows us how hospitality and entertaining play a central role in any Emirati home.

When we asked Siddharth about his inspiration for the film he remarked:

In the United Arab Emirates, over 80% of the population consists of expats. In spite of this peculiar demographic, the Emiratis, or the local citizenry, through their rich cultures and tradition have managed to maintain a very strong identity of their own. But more importantly, these figures prove that the Emiratis are splendid hosts. They are extremely welcoming and make it a point to make people from all different nationalities feel absolutely at home in the Emirates.

‘The Emirati Home’ is a tribute to the ‘Emirati’ hospitality and way of life which is a combination of the traditional and the modern, the familiar and the unfamiliar.

‘The Emirati Home’ also has one of the most memorable lines of the entire film festival. The narrator remarks that “it’s common to see a father teaching his son to ride a bike…only after he’s first learned to ride a camel.”

Take a look at what the true value of a home means in the United Arab Emirates in this first video of the film festival over at films.coldwellbanker.com.

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Win $25,000 in the Coldwell Banker Life, Camera, Action YouTube Contest

What’s more entertaining than seeing kids and pets on video? America’s Funniest Videos has made a living off of it. Now what’s better than winning $25,000? Not much. So why not combine these two great things into one amazing contest? Well that’s exactly what we’ve done with the Coldwell Banker Life, Camera, Action YouTube contest.

From August 22, 2013 through September 22, 2013 you can submit a video to the Coldwell Banker YouTube channel (http://youtube.com/coldwellbanker). What we’re looking for is a tour of your home from the perspective of a child or pet or having them share what makes your house so special that it can be called home. Videos should be no longer than 2 minutes in length.

lifecameraaction Win $25,000 in the Coldwell Banker Life, Camera, Action YouTube Contest

When you submit a video you’ll then be able to vote for your video once a day, every day for the length of the contest. Share the videos with friends, relatives, and complete strangers to get as many votes as you can. On September 22nd when submissions close, the 10 videos with the most votes will be made finalists and have their videos reviewed by a panel of judges to determine who will be the $25,000 grand prize winner!

So dust off that camera or flip that smartphone on to video mode. Grab your kids, your dog, your fish or your ferret and start making a video. Who knows? It might just be worth $25,000.

For full contest details and to submit a video, go to youtube.com/coldwellbanker.

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Behind the Scenes in Napa at Coldwell Banker World’s Most Expensive Homes Shoot

Today, the Coldwell Banker video crew is setting up at an amazing luxury property in Napa for the next episode of the World’s Most Expensive Homes video series.

Our first episode took us to South Beach, then episode 2 was in Aspen. We just wrapped episode 3 in the Virgin Islands so now it’s time to relax a bit and see the laid back atmosphere in Napa. We’re at an extraordinary property that includes not just an incredible home but a vineyard as well.

IMG 2331 e1376929385614 Behind the Scenes in Napa at Coldwell Banker Worlds Most Expensive Homes Shoot

In the picture above you can see the grapes are ready for harvest and below our host, Christina Collard, is ready for her closeup in front of the pristine private lake that the home offers.

IMG 2334 e1376929536546 Behind the Scenes in Napa at Coldwell Banker Worlds Most Expensive Homes Shoot

But we’ve also got a little surprise in store. Watch the video below to see an exclusive sneak peek of the brand new toy we’re trying out for this video.

While it may look like an Insecticon Transformer, it’s not. Or is it? Certainly looks like one in the picture below.

IMG 2336 e1376929602891 Behind the Scenes in Napa at Coldwell Banker Worlds Most Expensive Homes Shoot

This episode of World’s Most Expensive Homes will debut next month, so stay tuned for the release of future videos in the coming weeks.

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How to Fix Up Furniture for a Garage Sale

hammer How to Fix Up Furniture for a Garage SaleIt’s summer and garage sales, yard sales and whatever they call it in your neighborhood abound. Every home owner probably has at least one piece of furniture that they want to get rid of, but you can’t justify selling it at a decent price because it needs some work.

So instead of just giving it a way why don’t you spruce it up just a bit and still be able to sell it. That’s where our friends at eHow.com come in. In the video above they’ll show you how you can quickly fix up that old piece of furniture and still sell it at a decent price so you aren’t just giving away something you probably paid good money for.

I know a coffee table in my basement that could use this. Take a look at the video above and share your tips in the comments.

 

Image courtesy of Flickr user justinbaeder

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