Real Estate Headlines for Last Week in March

A house with a moat? Yes, please.

March is almost gone. Spring is just about here. Easter bunnies are popping up all over the place. But before April showers start to come our way here are some real estate headlines for this last week in March:

 

Photo via Curbed.com

 

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Meet the New coldwellbanker.com – Pocket Edition

The New Touch & Non-Touch Version of coldwellbanker.com

I don’t know if it’s just me but doesn’t it seem like technology and innovation seem to operate in dog years? What happens in a calendar year or two is really more like 7 and 14 years worth of  new technologies, data infrastructure, social networks, mobile devices, enhancements, software, so on and so forth. I might be exaggerating a tad bit (am I?) but we all know that “things” are moving lightning fast and consumers are expecting their favorite brands to offer experiences that are in lock-step with what’s new and relevant. Fall a step or two behind and they’ll keep moving without looking back.

In 2008 we became the first national real estate brand to launch a version of our website tailored specifically for mobile devices. With the boom of applications for smartphones and tablets, many in the industry prophesized that mobile web browsing would go by the wayside but our numbers and recent industry data suggest that the complete opposite is true. In 2011, we saw a 111% year over year increase in visits to our mobile websites*. Microsoft Tag released an infographic last year that stated that by 2014, mobile internet usage should overtake desktop internet usage. Yes, the app and mobile website will coexist and play a major role in our lives for the foreseeable future.

With all this mind, we’ve gone ahead and completely overhauled our mobile website offering to better align them with our other platforms. They’re easier to use and navigate, they look better and have new functionality that only the Coldwell Banker brand can offer to home shoppers. Here’s some of what we’ve done:

  1. Completely redesigned navigation and look & feel for a better user experience. It looks and works GREAT.
  2. Integrated tens of thousands of listing, agent, office, spotlight and community videos from Coldwell Banker On Location
  3. Ability to share agents, listings and offices on the top Social Networks
  4. Added a “Search Nearby” feature
  5. Created unique separate experiences for touch devices like the iPhone and Android and non-touch devices like the Blackberry
  6. Added the ability to search by map and more!

Simply type coldwellbanker.com into your mobile device’s browser and we’ll do the rest. We’ll serve up a website tailored specifically for your device as well as millions of listings, well over 80,000 agents, thousands of videos and a whole lot more. Check out our promo video below and happy home searching!

*Internal Coldwell Banker analytics

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A Jersey Bachelor Pad for Tim Tebow

Earlier this week we helped Peyton Manning out by offering some suggestions on places he could call home in the Denver, CO area so it’s only fitting that we offer the same services to the quarterback that he displaced. Tomorrow afternoon, Tim Tebow will officially become a member of the New York Jets. While New York is the city the Jets are given credit for representing, in actuality it’s New Jersey where Tebow will spend most of his time.

The Jets practice in New Jersey. Their home games are played in East Rutherford, NJ. And most of the coaches and players reside in the Northern New Jersey area. So instead of looking across the Hudson River, we at Coldwell Banker Real Estate have a few options for Mr. Tebow to consider:

23 Cathedral Avenue; Florham Park Boro, NJ
The New York Jets practice facility is located in Florham Park, NJ which is actually just minutes from the Coldwell Banker corporate HQ. This is where Jets players spend most of their time for training camp, weekly practices and even meeting to review film so it makes sense for Tim Tebow to have a place nearby. Tebow is not one of the higher paid players in the league so this affordable 4 bedroom place makes sense. It’s got a yard, a pool in the back and enough space that he can turn one of the 4 bedrooms into a gym. The white picket fence out front also seems to suit Tebow perfectly. One thing to point out is that one of the rooms will need a decorating makeover as it’s currently decked out in New York Giants memorabilia. Coldwell Banker agent, Peggy Lee Peterson, currently has the home listed at $489,000.
400 9th Street; Hoboken, NJ
Tebow played college football at Florida and has been in Denver the last few years, so now that he has the chance he may want to be closer to the greatest city in the world without having to pay Manhattan real estate prices. Here’s a bachelor pad in Hoboken that could suit him. It’s a unique unit that actually has a circular great room with 8 south facing windows that sets this condo apart from others. The building has a gym and it’s within walking distance of NYC transportation. Plus at $560,000 list price, it’s a good deal in a very popular New Jersey neighborhood. On top of that another great New York QB lives not too far away. Coldwell Banker agent Curtis Crystal is the listing agent for the property.
110 South Street; Morristown, NJ
Last but not least is what I think might be the perfect bachelor pad for Tim Tebow in Morristown, NJ. Morristown is minutes from the practice facility in Florham Park and a short train or car ride to the Meadowlands for game day. It’s a a very walkable, historic city in Northern, NJ. This 2 bedroom condo is right near the center of town and is a corner unit that was recently renovated in 2008. It has a den and media room which is perfect for Tebow to study game film. It has two bedroom suites so Tebow could have family and friends stay with him when need be. It’s a gorgeous place and ironically is down the street from several Colonial era landmarks and churches.

So there are a few options for Tim Tebow to consider. Which one do you think he should pick? Cast your vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments:

Take Our Poll

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Real Estate Headlines for the First Week of Spring

How'd you like to live in a glass house?

Spring is already here. In the Northeast it’s unseasonably warm and I’m loving every minute of it. So before my allergies kick in I’m going to enjoy these moderate temperatures and hope you will too along with these real estate headlines:

  • Have you seen Cube Housing before? Evidently it’s a big thing in Montreal and Rotterdam.

Photos: SantambrogioMilano

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A Place in Denver for Peyton Manning to Call Home

Peyton Manning is headed to the Denver Broncos. His options were plenteous, but the former MVP decided he needed some higher elevation to improve his chance at winning another Super Bowl. While Manning’s move will garner more press than most, it still requires him to do what every person has to do when the move because of a new job…they have to find a place to call home.

Manning has been residing in the Miami area this offseason and Coldwell Banker has plenty of places there we could show him, but we also have a ton of properties in the Denver, CO area that might be to his liking. Here are some options that the new Denver QB might want to consider:

1800 Lawrence Street #505; Denver, CO
Peyton doesn’t have a long term contract in Denver so he may prefer a condo over a single family home as he will have less upkeep to deal with. This 2 bedroom, Manhattan-esque condo has a clean, contemporary design to it and features a walk-out balcony, a continuous ribbon fireplace with limestone and a concealed state of the art multimedia center behind a wall in the living room. It’s just enough space for Peyton to host one of his brothers when they’re in town for a visit and an onsite gym for those post-game workouts. Coldwell Banker agent, Suzy Whittemore has the home listed at just under $1.5 million.
329 Madison Street; Denver, CO
While the condo above is nice, we realize that Peyton has a large family. Mom and dad like to come and see games every once in a while. Eli and his wife might want to hit the slopes. And of course Peyton has to have his new offensive line over from time to time to thank them for keeping him upright once the season starts. So he might need a bit more space. Well this 5 bedroom, 8 bath home has space. 8,146 square feet of space to be exact. This home has a gated courtyard, a great room kitchen with fireplace, and a rare junior main floor master retreat which would be perfect the parentals. Family room has a 58 inch bulit-in TV with surround sound system for watching game film. The second floor has a master suite with fireplace, deck with mountain views and a 7 piece bath. I don’t even know what that is, but it sure sounds like something I want. Coldwell Banker agent, Julie Gelfond, has the home listed at just over $2.77 million but with Peyton’s signing bonus I think it’s within his price range.
6682 E Cornell Ave; Denver, CO
And finally there’s this 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2,300 square foot home. Sure it doesn’t have the super high-end amenities that the previous two do, but it has something special that might just suit Peyton Manning. It’s located on a corner lot in the coveted Hutchinson Hills neighborhood and has tons of room both inside and out with a large family room and outdoor living space. But the key is this home is just a few blocks from the infamous Bible Park. According to Coldwell Banker agent, Brendan Bartic, Bible Park is “a 70 acre park of which approximately 35 acres are developed…and contains four football fields.” FOUR FOOTBALL FIELDS? Now if there was ever a place for the top QB in the NFL to call home, this might be it.

So Peyton Manning, if you see this post and you’re interested in one of these places or any of the amazing Coldwell Banker properties in the Denver, CO area just let us know. Oh and Tim Tebow…we have a great relocation division as well…

 

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Real Estate Headlines for March Madness

Home of Univ. of Kentucky coach, John Calipari

It’s no secret that I love this time of year. Spring is just about here. Basketball is on almost 24/7. And filling out brackets becomes a national craze. So here are real estate headlines to kick of this week of March Madness:

Picture courtesy of FanIQ.com

 

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Here’s to Pets

Meet Thor and Jager

“Here’s to pets…and all the things that make a house a home.”

Meet our big Blue Weimaraner, Thor (Nordic God of Thunder, his name when adopted),  and our Shorthaired Pointer pup, Jager (“hunter” in German).   They are two in a long line of dogs in my life since I was two years old, and they are an integral part of the value of our home for my wife and me.

Pets, whether they’re dogs, cats, or other, are special to so many of us and we couldn’t imagine a life without them.   Their unconditional affection, eternal forgiveness (at least with dogs… I’m not so convinced about cats…sorry cat owners, but I’ve been there, too), and ability to make the day’s stress  melt away with the wag of their tails renders them incredible companions and quasi therapists.

Now there are plenty of renters out there today with pets, but based on a recent experience I can once again confirm that pets and homeownership go together best.   When moving from Florida to New Jersey 18 months ago, we originally intended to build, so we purchased a home site and went looking for a house to lease during construction.   In search after search, whether online or in print, we were all too often faced with disappointing restrictions on pets.  Periodically we’d find a landlord who would allow a “small” dog with a larger deposit down, but small doesn’t apply when you have two dogs with a combined weight just shy of 200 pounds.

Although we finally found a house to rent, I believe Thor and Jager knew something wasn’t right.  This was temporary.  This wasn’t home.   We’re all creatures of routine, and relish our independence and privacy.   We all prefer to set down roots and bask in the familiar.

And we could learn a thing or two from our pets.   You see, over these last few years, they didn’t become obsessed with the latest newspaper articles on prices or ponder daily fluctuations in household equity.   They were just concerned about whether dinner would be on time and which one of them would get the prime sleeping spot in front of a sun drenched window.   A long-term perspective will eventually show they were the wiser.

Ultimately, we decided not to build, but instead purchased a charming older home on several acres where Thor and Jager can while away the hours scouting for anything furry that moves.   And at the end of the day, they can curl up in front of the fireplace with the assurance of knowing they are finally home again.  So can their dad…..

Take a look at the Coldwell Banker TV spot titled “Pets.”

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2012 Coldwell Banker Bracket of Affordability

March Madness is back and so is the 2012 version of the Coldwell Banker Bracket of Affordability. For the last few year we’ve filled out our bracket based on which schools have the most affordable housing market based on median sales price. Some years we do better than others, but this year our champion has a fighting shot.

Michigan State, which resides in East Lansing, Michigan, is our champion and represents the most affordable market in the field of 68. Actually Michigan is well represented as Detroit is the runner up. Notre Dame and Syracuse make up the other two members of our Final Four.

As we filled out our brackets, we decided to take a look at how many Coldwell Banker listings are also in the college basketball spirit. Here’s what we found:

  • 1,874 of the current listings on coldwellbanker.com have basketball in the description
  • 13 homes for sale reside on Duke Street, but not a single listing has the phrase “Tar Heel” in it
  • 46 detail pages reference the term “hoops”
  • Sadly, there are no Coldwell Banker listings in Brackettville, TX
  • Eagle & Tiger are the two most popular mascots in NCAA basketball and 1,035 properties on coldwellbanker.com make reference to “eagle” while only 158 refer to “tiger.”
  • And finally, 730 homes for sale promote the fact that they contain a “man cave,” the perfect room for any hoops fan.

You can download a PDF version of the 2012 Coldwell Banker Bracket of Affordability here. Best of luck to your favorite college team and enjoy the madness that is March!

 

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Here’s to Kids

Matthew & Michael enjoying home

“Here’s to kids…and all the things that makes a house a home.”

Through Tom Selleck’s voice on the new Coldwell Banker commercials, we are reminded just how important our children are in defining our homes.  We share their joys, their disappointments and yes, let’s face it, age a little more each day when their playful moments together erupt into their inevitable fights.  Family game nights, movie nights, homework at the kitchen table, bedtime rituals… it all happens in our home.

There is no denying we live for our kids and our homes are THEIR castle.

In my case, our castle got a bit bigger last year.  After years of saving and getting the courage to do it, we did a renovation.  Our house is a 1950 construction that simply didn’t have a lot of space.  My wife and I, along with our two boys (10 & 7) previously spent most of our time in a 8 x 12 rectangular room that housed the couch – which was really a loveseat -  and TV.  Usually it was two on the couch and two on the floor.  As the boys grew, we realized we needed more room.

Some asked us why we wouldn’t move to a larger house.  That was an easy one to answer.  We are “roots people” and we love our neighborhood and love our house.  So that left the daunting task of an addition.

And we had to move out for five months.

This began my own personal rent vs. buy journey.  To me, there is no comparison.  Homeownership wins.   But because of the recession, we are reading a lot about the rent vs. buy decision.  There are even terms being thrown about like “rentennials,” a supposed generation that will refrain from homeownership because they believe it doesn’t make economic sense.

But if you only look at homeownership through the eyes of appreciation vs. stock market returns, I believe you are missing the key point of homeownership – the emotional side and the ability to make your house a home.

The apartment we rented was nice.  It was a one-bedroom across town from our house (actually the rent was more than our mortgage).  It had a sizeable loft where the boys slept.  The landlord was a good guy.  Yet it wasn’t ours.  It wasn’t home.  The heat was overpowering and the windows leaked cold air.  The stairs creaked.  The walls were so thin we watched TV on mute after the boys went to sleep.  There was nothing I could do about it, and it’s a good thing we didn’t have our dog, Allie, yet cause most apartments, including this one, wouldn’t allow pets.

And the boys, we spent five-months trying to keep them on “mute,” constantly reminding them to be quiet so we didn’t bother the man living below us.

I couldn’t wait to go home.  And it’s not because I just hated paying rent…the thousands of dollars I’ll never get back.

And because we owned our home, we were able to make it better.  We knocked down walls to open it up.  Our kitchen now looks into the new family room and we have a new master bedroom and bathroom.  The colors we chose on the walls are great.  And our new big-screen TV on the wall just sparkles.  The pride – and that clearly is a personal emotion – that I have in our home is off-the-charts.

And let me tell you, our boys are now back to being loud…just like they should be!

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Here’s to Kids

Matthew & Michael enjoying home

“Here’s to kids…and all the things that makes a house a home.”

Through Tom Selleck’s voice on the new Coldwell Banker commercials, we are reminded just how important our children are in defining our homes.  We share their joys, their disappointments and yes, let’s face it, age a little more each day when their playful moments together erupt into their inevitable fights.  Family game nights, movie nights, homework at the kitchen table, bedtime rituals… it all happens in our home.

There is no denying we live for our kids and our homes are THEIR castle.

In my case, our castle got a bit bigger last year.  After years of saving and getting the courage to do it, we did a renovation.  Our house is a 1950 construction that simply didn’t have a lot of space.  My wife and I, along with our two boys (10 & 7) previously spent most of our time in a 8 x 12 rectangular room that housed the couch – which was really a loveseat -  and TV.  Usually it was two on the couch and two on the floor.  As the boys grew, we realized we needed more room.

Some asked us why we wouldn’t move to a larger house.  That was an easy one to answer.  We are “roots people” and we love our neighborhood and love our house.  So that left the daunting task of an addition.

And we had to move out for five months.

This began my own personal rent vs. buy journey.  To me, there is no comparison.  Homeownership wins.   But because of the recession, we are reading a lot about the rent vs. buy decision.  There are even terms being thrown about like “rentennials,” a supposed generation that will refrain from homeownership because they believe it doesn’t make economic sense.

But if you only look at homeownership through the eyes of appreciation vs. stock market returns, I believe you are missing the key point of homeownership – the emotional side and the ability to make your house a home.

The apartment we rented was nice.  It was a one-bedroom across town from our house (actually the rent was more than our mortgage).  It had a sizeable loft where the boys slept.  The landlord was a good guy.  Yet it wasn’t ours.  It wasn’t home.  The heat was overpowering and the windows leaked cold air.  The stairs creaked.  The walls were so thin we watched TV on mute after the boys went to sleep.  There was nothing I could do about it, and it’s a good thing we didn’t have our dog, Allie, yet cause most apartments, including this one, wouldn’t allow pets.

And the boys, we spent five-months trying to keep them on “mute,” constantly reminding them to be quiet so we didn’t bother the man living below us.

I couldn’t wait to go home.  And it’s not because I just hated paying rent…the thousands of dollars I’ll never get back.

And because we owned our home, we were able to make it better.  We knocked down walls to open it up.  Our kitchen now looks into the new family room and we have a new master bedroom and bathroom.  The colors we chose on the walls are great.  And our new big-screen TV on the wall just sparkles.  The pride – and that clearly is a personal emotion – that I have in our home is off-the-charts.

And let me tell you, our boys are now back to being loud…just like they should be!

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