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

40,000,000 Americans were on the move last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For some, the decision came on the heels of a life change like a new job, relationship or baby. For others, warmer temperatures or a cheaper cost of living was the reason for change. Whether these 40 million were upsizing, downsizing or just “rightsizing” for their lifestyle one thing is for sure, there were quite a few cities with revolving doors of people coming and going. For the second year in a row our nation’s capital took the top spot on both lists. Similar to last year, Washington D.C. wasn’t the only city to show up twice. Chicago, San Diego, Phoenix, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Seattle were also cities that certainly kept moving trucks busy.

Planning a move in the next few months? We think you will find these three resources especially helpful:

11 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Moving Company

10 Things You Need To Know Before Moving With Pets

How To Plan For a Successful Move with Children

 

 

 Infographics courtesy of NorthStar Moving Co-Founder Laura McHolm

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Roh Habibi of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage to Debut on Million Dollar Listing

The Bravo network has announced that Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage agent Roh Habibi, who works in the San Francisco Pacific Heights office, will be starring in its new television series, “Million Dollar Listing San Francisco,” debuting this July.

The San Francisco version of the show, which will begin airing July 8 at 10 p.m., is the fourth installment of the popular “Million Dollar Listing” television franchise. Bravo introduced Habibi and the rest of the cast at a special media event in Los Angeles that included E! News, Access Hollywood, TV Guide and other entertainment news media.

Habibi began his real estate career just three years ago after leaving JPMorgan, but he has been a fast-rising star with Coldwell Banker. Last year, he placed in the top 6% of all San Francisco REALTORS®, ranking 255th out of 4,100 agents in the city. Click for a sneak peek of the show.

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8 DIY Projects To Beautify Your Backyard

As the weather warms up, you can’t help but daydream about spring evenings relaxing outdoors and summer nights filled with star gazing and bon fires. Since we couldn’t help it either, we rounded up some of the most exquisite outdoor living features to inspire your warm-weather upgrades. The best part? All of these are completely DIY!

How to build your own firepit (A fan favorite for homeowners who love to entertain!)

Image: Kathleen/Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home}

Believe it or not, this DIY is not as tough as it sounds. As long as you’ve got the flat, dry outdoor space, concrete blocks or pavers, and about 3 hours to spend, you can add an outdoor feature that will ensure warm happy nights and lovely afternoon BBQ’s this season. (Directions here)

How to create a vertical porch planter

Image: Jill/Sew a Fine Seam

Whether you’re looking to add some additional privacy, or just to upgrade your pretty factor, this vertical planter turns fresh greenery into a faux wall for your porch. Upcycle an old fence, or buy some inexpensive sturdy wire, to easily hang tiny buckets of flowers, succulents, herbs, or whatever your green-thumb desires. (Here’s how to do it)

How to screen in your outdoor space

Image: Lani/Simply Fresh Vintage

Lounge in the fresh air or dine al fresco, without the worry of creepy crawly critters. Though this outdoor upgrade could cost a fortune if you hired a professional, doing it yourself with this 3-step tutorial will save you money, and greatly increase your outdoor enjoyment this season. (Find the How-to Here)

How to upcycle a garden walkway

Image: Donna/Funky Junk Interiors

Turn a stack of shipping pallets into a beautiful and simple garden walkway, perfect for taking a stroll through your vibrant flower beds. No matter the path’s length, a garden walkway will add instant charm to your yard. (Get directions here)

How to make a teapot fountain

Image: Julee

Bubbling fountains and streaming water features are an excellent way to give your outdoor areas some rich ambiance and a pleasant soundtrack. You can turn vintage containers and pots into adorable water features with a fountain pump and some tubes, like this sweet pouring tea pot. (Here’s how to make it)

How to update a boring link fence

Image: Barb/Our Fairfield Home and Garden

If you’ve already got a property fence in place, but you’re not such a huge fan of how it looks, try this easy DIY to upgrade your exterior style. With this genius fix, you can go from boring chain link to beautiful and soothing bamboo in just one afternoon! (Directions here)

How to make and hang mason jar solar lights

Image: Dee/ThirftDee

Here’s one to put at the top of your “What to Do with Mason Jars” list — homemade solar lights to turn any outdoor space into a nighttime-friendly retreat. Simply attach the solar lamp mechanism to the jar lids and voila! Easy and energy-efficient garden lighting. (Tutorial here)

How to build your own wood sandbox 

Image: Carrie/Kenarry: Ideas for the Home

Everything else will help to turn your backyard or other outdoor spaces into a grown-up’s paradise, but what about your youngsters? When it comes to childhood play, nothing is quite as fun as digging, piling, and building in the sandbox. Follow this clever how-to to DIY your own perfect children’s play place. (Here’s how it’s done)

For more amazing outdoor ideas, inspirations, and how-to’s, take a look at our Outdoor Living page on Hometalk!

 

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6 Must Add Items to Add To Your Spring Cleaning List

Guest Post by Andrea Davis

To prepare your home for the warm months ahead, you’ll need to remove all of the dust, debris and other leftovers from the winter. As you clear the landscape and start washing the interior and exterior of your home, it’s important to get a checklist together. Here are some tips for spring cleaning your home inside and out so you don’t miss a speck of dust:

#1 Deep clean carpets.

Carpets and furniture accumulate a lot of dust and debris, so it’s time to deep clean them. Look at having your carpets cleaned by local services — either steam cleaned or shampooed. Some brands of vacuums are steam cleaners, so you can deep clean your carpets yourself. If you do invest in a steam cleaner, you’ll need to put down towels where family members can walk until the carpet dries.

Clean your upholstery according to its material. You’ll need to separate carpet cleaning from upholstery cleaning, unless professionals offer both as a package. Make sure you keep children and pets off the upholstery and carpets until they dry to avoid getting stains on clothing and chemicals on paws and hands.

#2 Vacuum!

If you choose not to have your carpets deep cleaned, then you need to get the vacuum out. Be sure to get every inch of your carpet with the vacuum cleaner. You may need to use the extension to reach the nooks and corners where the vacuum brush cannot go. You will also need to move furniture to clean where dust, debris, food particles and grime may have built up.

Be sure to dust before you vacuum, so any remaining particles will be removed by the vacuum and its extension. Even lightweight dust can end up on the floor following the use of a cloth or a duster, so it’s better to get the last of it with your vacuum post-dust.

#3 Dust fans, ducts and vents.

It’s also time to look at your ceiling fans and air ducts. Over time, your ducts, vents and fans will get dusty. So tackle these projects now before you turn on the A/C or the ceiling fans. You have two approaches:

  1. Get on a ladder to reach your ceiling fans and ducts or vents with a duster.
  2. Hire a professional to clean your ducts and ceiling fans.

If you go the DIY route, be aware of the safety precautions associated with cleaning ducts, vents and ceiling fans on ladders. You don’t want to break bones during this process. If you hire a professional, note the cost to clean ducts and vents is usually between $250 to $450.

#4 Examine your coils.

The refrigerator condenser coil builds up dust over time. If there’s too much debris, the coil can overheat and cause the fridge to stop working. You don’t want spoiled food, so address this problem now. You can use a brush or vacuum extension to get rid of the easy-to-reach dust and grime. For anything that’s hard to reach, you can slowly pull the fridge away from the wall and vacuum or sweep the rest of the dust. You might also find food and trinkets that have fallen behind the fridge since the last time you cleaned the coils.

#5 Organize everything.

Organization is the key to springing into the season and cleaning rooms. The best place to start is the closet. Look at everything you have and decide what really matters. Throw away or donate items like:

  • Rarely worn clothing
  • Too-small or worn away shoes
  • Broken jewelry
  • Old ties
  • Worn down hats

Once everything you don’t need is in garbage bags, look at what’s left. How do you want to organize it? By color? By season? Find the most efficient way for you and then apply this to other rooms like the bathroom, kitchen, basement and garage.

#5 Wash your siding.

Your siding took a beating this winter from snow, hail and wind. In the worst cases, it might have formed cracks and ended up with missing pieces that need repair. In other cases, it might just look worn down. To renew and revitalize your siding for the spring, consider having it cleaned by a power washing professional. They use a machine with a nozzle that sprays hot, steamy water onto your siding, getting rid of all that nasty grime. This process prevents potential mold growth and keeps your siding from cracking or chipping from dirt buildup.

You can also rent a pressure washer and do this as as DIY project but be aware that it’s a dangerous job. You can hurt yourself, not to mention your doors and windows, if you aim the pressure washer incorrectly. You can also strip the paint right off the siding if you’re not careful and aim too close. In short, it’s best to leave this to the pros.

#6 Gutter Maintenance

Over the winter, snow and wind blew leaves and branches off your trees onto your roof and into your gutters. Without mesh, your gutters and downspouts may have a lot of built-up debris. To prevent moisture from improperly draining, you need to clean out the gutters now. You can get on a ladder and use hand rakes. You can also have your gutters professionally cleaned for $100 to $200. Gutter cleaners can also point out damage to your gutters and downspouts that you can address and repair.

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

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How to Create Great Floral Arrangements at Home

One of the easiest way to make your home feel happier is by adding fresh flowers. For me, the local farmer’s market is the best place to find gorgeous flowers at an affordable price. Once I get home I pull out my vases and get to work. This is where things get a little tricky sticky! Yes, sticky! 

The secret to creating a great floral arrangement? It’s all about the scotch tape! By creating a grid of tape you can control the position of the flowers and keep them from falling all over the place. This is EXTRA helpful for large vases that have an odd shaped or wider opening (like a bowl).

Step One

Fill the vase with water. (Sometimes I forget this and it gets a little tricky to get the water in after the tape has been placed)

Step Two

Dry the top of the vase off with a paper towel.

Step Three

Create a tape grid across the top of the vase. If the opening isn’t large you may need to cut the tape strips in half to make them thinner.

Step Four

Start arranging the flowers into each box starting from the center and then working your way out. If the stems are thin you may be able to fit multiple flowers in a box.

Step Five

Enjoy as your flowers stand up tall and look beautiful!

 

 

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10 Simple Tips for Spring Landscaping

Guest Post By Andrea Davis

Now that the winter chill is no longer nipping at your heels, it’s time to assess your landscaping and see what you can do to revitalize it for the spring ahead. It’s imperative that you start working on the lawn now, while you can take advantage of the mild days and hire a landscaping professional (if you need to) before they’re all booked solid through the summer. Here’s what you need to do to get your yard in shape for the season:

1. Due to the harsh winter that hit most of the United States during the early part of the year, there’s a good chance your trees and shrubs were damaged by ice and snow. You’ll need to inspect them for cracks, broken limbs and other problems. Use shears and other tools to get them back in shape — or have them professionally trimmed and pruned, which costs between $200 and $650, depending on the number of trees and shrubs.

2. Because of the snow, winter climate conditions and seasonality, you will need to rake debris away from the grass. It also helps to control thatch on the lawn. You don’t want a buildup of more than ½ an inch. This also gives you a chance to look for matted areas, which could be a sign of snow mold. Raking the lawn also gives it a chance to breathe again.

3. Over time, your lawn might become compacted — especially with a lot of traffic or excess debris. In such cases, you will need to aerate the lawn. You can do this as a DIY project by poking holes in the soil and loosening it up, or you can have a professional aerate the lawn for $50 to $200, depending on square footage.

4. If you find a lot of matted patches and bare areas in your lawn, it might be time to apply more seeds to fill those neglected spaces. This is known as overseeding and is usually another task recommended in the fall. You can do it in the spring if absolutely necessary though — particularly if you have a lot of bare patches — by applying a nitrogen fertilizer atop the seeds. Then be sure to water and keep an eye on the soil to see if the areas grow. This could be harder to do in hot, humid climates, so consult with a lawn care professional before buying too many supplies.

5. To reinvigorate your lawn for spring mowing and gardening, you should add fertilizer. You can use compost or chemical fertilizers, depending on what you think is best, what falls within your in budget and what professionals recommend. It’s recommended that you use less fertilizer in the spring than you would in the fall if you have a cool-season grass. Otherwise, you’ll increase the potential for diseases and weeds. Only apply a light seasoning to help your lawn get some nutrition.

6. Now is also a good time to apply some pre-emergent weed control, which acts as a barrier against weed seedlings. You should do this before applying organic fertilizer and continue to do so through the summer.

7. Regardless of whether you use organic or chemical fertilizers, you should also apply mulch in any flower beds and around trees to help them retain moisture during the early spring months. It also helps to decrease the temperature of plant roots and insulates them should there be an unexpected freeze during the spring. On a visual level, it adds a neat look and separates the bed or tree from the landscape without requiring bricks or rocks. Never apply more than 3 inches of mulch.

8. Before you start mowing the lawn, be sure to sharpen the blades. You can have a professional do this or complete it as a DIY project. If you pursue it as a project, remove the spark plug and then take the blades off. You want to be sure and cut the grass, not tear it. Tearing grass can brown the blades and promote fungus growth.

9. If you have a sprinkler system, now is the time to start inspecting it for any damages and hire a professional to perform repairs. This is also the time to have the system reactivated, which costs between $50 and $100.

10. Now that you’ve performed all the maintenance, repairs and other preparatory measures, think about plants. You’ll want to think about species that are compatible with heat and drought, depending on your environment. If you have perennials that are overgrown in one area, now is a good time to transplant them. The possibilities are nearly endless — it just depends on your budget and time.

If you are planning to sell your home this spring, here are more tips on front yard landscaping for the spring real estate market from Quicken Loans. Just be sure you keep your landscape in top shape, regardless of who it’s for. It saves you money in the short- and long-term, and it looks good too!

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

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How To Clean Your Kid’s Toys

Bacteria and toys are a scary, but common, combination. Keep your kids safe with these simple cleaning tips and tricks for their most beloved toys.

Legos

 In February 2015, Lego replaced Ferrari as the “World’s most powerful brand.” (Brand Finance) Knowing this, chances are if you have children, then you also have plenty of legos laying around your house.  To keep these little pieces of plastic germ-free simply toss them in a garment bag and into the washing machine or dish washer.

image via Gettin’ By

Teddy Bear

Is your child’s Teddy beary dirty? Get rid of scary bacteria by giving Mr. Bear a quick bath in your washing machine. The perfect time to do this is while your child is at school. Have a teddy with batteries? Try these tips.

image via webmd.com

Bath Toys

Rub a dub dub…let’s get rid of that dirty crud! Wet bath toys can become grimy with mold. Make sure your kid’s are having clean fun by washing these toys often. The cleaning pros from The Maids® suggest using bleach. “Simply allow the toys to soak in a bleach bath overnight. To make, mix ¾ cup of bleach with one gallon of water.  Rinse toys with water multiple times then allow to air-dry. The bleach will evaporate and all you’ll be left with are clean toys!”

image via microsoft.com

Having a cleaning tip or trick for your children’s toys? Please share with us in the comments below.

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Hot Colors for Your Home in Spring 2015

One of the greatest joys of making a house a home is personalizing it. A simple, and affordable, way of doing is by adding colors. But have you ever really thought about the impact and role colors play in your home? The importance of choosing the right palettes goes far beyond aesthetics which was elegantly articulated in Elsie de Wolfe’s book, The House in Good Taste, where she wrote “we must consider the effect of color on our nerves, our eyes, our moods, everything.” When I look for home decor inspiration I often find myself wandering into the world of fashion as I believe home and fashion trends are very much aligned. This is why  I turned to the titan of the color trends, Pantone Color Institute®  to answer the question, “what are the hot colors of Spring 2015?”

This season, cooler and softer color choices with subtle warm tones follow a minimalistic en plein air theme, taking a cue from nature. -Pantone Color Institute®

Colors like yummy and cool Tangerine Orange and Custard Yellow to gorgeous pastels like Lavender Herb Purple and Strawberry Ice Pink make it hard to choose just a few. The hot neutral color that continues to hold them all together? Gray…glacier and titanium to be specific. Wondering how to make these colors work in your own home? Here are some examples from homes currently listed for sale from coldwellbankerpreviews.com

Tangerine + Custard

This beautiful Bahamian villa is pure paradise! We love how the tangerine and custard pool accessories add to the casual island elegance of this serene getaway.

See more of this Ocean Club Estate listed with Coldwell Banker Lighbourn Realty.

Glacier Gray + Aquamarine + Lavender Herb + Tangerine

Sometimes a view can set the stage for a room’s color palette. In this case, the gorgeous aquamarine water of Miami Beach is a perfect compliment to this bedroom’s bold, yet sophisticated multicolored theme. from the soft tone of the lavender herb bedspread to the pops of tangerine in the curtains and couch, every element of this room screams fun in the sun. Finally, the neutral glacier gray bedside lamps tie everything together.

See more of this Miami Beach penthouse listed with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate.

 Scuba Blue + Treetop + Strawberry Ice + Marsala 

This magnificent country French estate certainly takes a cue from nature from the strawberry ice and marsala colored roses to the forest green appliances and sea colored backsplash.

See more of this Pacific Palisades, CA home listed with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. 

Custard 13-0720 + Sandstone 16-1328

This room, which happens to be part of Villa Sorriso (the crown jewel of Napa Valley), does a wonderful job of marrying shades of custard and sandstone all the way from the ceiling right, down to the tint of the wood and finally to the hue of the light from the lamp. What really ties in the color scheme though, is the pop of color from the throw pillows.

See more of this Napa, California mansion listed with Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley.

Aquamarine 14-4313 + Scuba Blue 16-4725

Two beautiful blues with nautical names couldn’t have been a better fit for how this Martha’s Vineyard homeowner spruced up their luxurious wrap around porch which has both park and water views.

See more of this Oak Bluffs, MA home listed with Coldwell Banker Landmarks Real Estate.

Looking for more interior design inspiration? Check these homes out.

The post Hot Colors for Your Home in Spring 2015 appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

7 Easy Easter DIY Decorations

Easter is right around the corner, which means that we’re getting close to decoration crunch time. If you’d like a shortcut, you can get all your Easter decorating done in one weekend, or even one evening, with these 7 easy Easter decoration DIY’s from Hometalk bloggers.

Stained Glass Eggs

Image: Jessica/Mad in Crafts

Turn plain glass ornaments into spectacularly colorful Easter decorations. Gather up these crafty materials, and have a vase full of stained glass eggs, perfect for your coffee table or tablscape, in just ten minutes. (See how they’re done here)

Tulip Wreath

Image: Christina/The Frugal Homemaker

 Whether your weather is turning to spring or stuck in winter, this gorgeous floral wreath will add fresh color to your home and make passers-by smile. Make sure to use craft store flowers, so that this front door decoration will last all season long. (Here’s how it’s made)

Mossy Bunny Garland

Image: Jessie Jane/Lilyshop

For a cute and quick decor upgrade, hang a string of dressed up bunnies cut from sheets of crafting moss. Indoors or outdoors, this Easter garland is a great way to spread some green and some charm all at once. (Learn how to do it here)

Chevron Ribbon Table Runner

Image: Maryann/Domestically Speaking

Add some sweet and simple decoration to your Easter table, with a rustic burlap table runner laced with bright ribbon accents. Choose whatever color best fits your home’s decor, or go classic Easter, with a pastel palette. (Get a better look here)

Aged Flower Pots

Image: Heather and Vanessa/At the Picket Fence

Everyone knows that the best way to decorate for spring is to bring in plants and greenery, but you can take that a step further, with aged flower pots that turn your houseplants into works of art. Give your Easter home a vintage vibe, with this easy terra cotta aging DIY. (Crafting directions here)

Decorative Hand Towels

Image: Taryn/Design, Dining + Diapers

 Add a drop of Easter charm to your kitchen with understated bunny-toting hand towels. These functional decorations are a cinch to craft, and they’re perfect for refreshing your kitchen space for spring. Not to mention, they’re super cozy. (See how she did it here)

Easy Easter Centerpiece

 

Image: April/House by Hoff

Turn some extra Easter eggs and a strip of leftover ribbon into an easy centerpiece, perfect for displaying in a large white platter or on a cake stand. To add a little nesting, arrange your eggs on a bed of bits of moss and straw, bunched up burlap, or some festive confetti. (Here’s how to set it up)

For more quick and easy Easter decorating ideas, check out all of the awesome ideas, inspirations, and how-to’s on Hometalk!

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6 DIY Pet Supply Organizers That Will Look Great in Your Home

Can you honestly say that you’re happy with your pet supply organization at home? Don’t worry — you can love your pets, but hate dog food bags stowed in the corner, or coiled leashes on your coffee table. Like people, pets have lots of stuff, but unlike people, they don’t quite know how to keep it tidy. Lucky for them, you do, and with these 7 DIY organizing ideas, you can!

Re-purrrposed Dresser

Dresser for cats

Image: Hometalker Jasmin / Gypsy Barn

If you’ve already got an unused dresser, or you know a good thrift shop nearby, make your kitties a feline heaven, complete with lounging space, private litter area, and drawers for their favorite things. (See how it’s done here)

Multi-purpose Crates

Pet Crates

Image: Hometalker Paula / Sweet Pea

If you’re looking for a stackable solution to organize and save space at the same time, try these organizing crates with chalkboard labels. DIY your own or repurpose some you’ve already got, to add the perfect storage bins to a corner of your pantry or closet. (Here’s how they’re made)

Stylish Food Storage

DIY Cat Food Container

Image: Hometalker Maggie / Polka Dots in the Country

Pet food boxes and bags aren’t the most attractive home decor, so why not add a little style to your storage? Make your own pet food buckets, for a chic organization method that’s not only easy to use and refill, but looks great even when it’s just left out on the counter. (Learn how to do it here)

Organized Feeding Station

DIY Pet Feeding Station

Image: Hometalker Beca / Creative Dominican

Add a raised feeding station to your home, with plenty of room underneath for food containers. Keep everything organized, with sweet labels or name tags, so that your fur baby gets the meal it likes best. (Building directions are here)

Designer Litter Center

Litter station

Image: Hometalkers Denise and Leslie / Chaotically Creative Co.

You can hide an unsightly litter box in plain sight, by adding a pet-accessible area to a regular storage cupboard. Just because you’ve got a closet full of pet supplies, doesn’t mean it has to look like it’s gone to the dogs. (See how they did it here)

Coat, Key, Leash Rack

Leash Hook

Image: Hometalker Kathleen / Dreaming of DIY

If you’re starting every walk with a hunt for the leash, you need a leash organizer. Hang a coat rack near your door, or, for added organizing motivation, add a special pet-themed leash rack. You can even add a cute plaque or label marking your pet’s name below his leash. (Here’s how!)

If you want more great DIY pet ideas, check out all the how-to’s and inspirations on Hometalk!

Have you heard about our Homes for Dogs project? If not, check it out here.

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