Natural Swimming Pools: More Beauty, No Chemicals

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Kitchen Paint Colors: 10 Handsome Hues to Consider

For many of us, the kitchen is the heart of the home — a room in which we greet the day, make important plans and break bread with family and friends. Given the significance of this gathering place, it seems like a given that the colors used to decorate it should be both energizing and easy to live with. Which hue is right for you? The choice is a personal one, but we’ve found 10 inspirational examples to point you in the right direction.

Apple green

Laminate, Island, Marble - simple, Breakfast Bar, Traditional, Raised Panel, Window seat, One-wall, Undermount, Painted Wall Mural

Source: Zillow Digs

You may have spotted apple green paint in a kitchen before, but probably not on the ceiling! Used overhead, this happy hue casts its glow around the room.

Pale straw

Corian, Farmhouse, Breakfast Bar, Traditional, French, Flat Panel, U-Shaped, Balcony, Pendant

Source: Zillow Digs

Yellow is one of the most popular paint colors for the kitchen, and this faint hue is as welcoming as a spring garden. Glass-front cabinets and marble counters can also underscore the cheerful ambiance.

Rich red

Granite - simple, Bamboo, Breakfast Bar, Eclectic, Flat Panel, Glass Panel, L-Shaped, Undermount

Source; Zillow Digs

The color red is thought to stimulate our appetite, so it’s a natural choice for the kitchen. Keep the look playful by mixing in coordinated patterns and details like the curtains, lampshades and cabinet knobs.

Moss green

Source: Jolly Home

A color that’s easy to live with, moss green evokes the great outdoors. For a cottage look, white cabinets and butcher-block counters are also a pleasing combination with these walls.

Warm beige

Craftsman, Rustic

Source: Zillow Digs

A few shades deeper than classic off-white, beige in the kitchen creates a sophisticated atmosphere. Add warm wood tones, decorative tile or granite countertops to liven things up.

Sunflower yellow

Bamboo, Breakfast Nook, Crown molding, Traditional, Sandstone, Flat Panel, Glass Panel, Undermount, Chandelier

Source: Zillow Digs

How can you give a traditional farmhouse kitchen an edgy feel? Paint the walls — or the cabinetry and woodwork — an unexpected color like this wake-me-up hue.

Foggy gray

Contemporary, Traditional

Source: Ryan McKinney

There’s something glamorous about using gray in the kitchen, especially when combined with marble counters and industrial-style light fixtures. Notice the varying shades of paint — lighter on the walls, darker on the work island.

Bold black

Granite - simple, Island, Breakfast Bar, Modern, European, U-Shaped

Source: Specht Harpman

The secret to success with black walls in a kitchen is to balance them with ample white elsewhere in the room. A dramatic stove hood and sizable work island do the trick.

Robin’s egg blue

Traditional

Source: Stephen Alexander

Soothing and playful all at once, this pale shade of blue is ideal for a family kitchen with whimsical details. For a more traditional look, pair the color with white cabinetry as shown above.

Tangerine

Granite - simple, Island, Crown molding, Breakfast Bar, Craftsman, Flat Panel, L-Shaped, Undermount, Flush/Semi-Flush Mount, Pendant

Source: Zillow Digs

An accent wall in this eye-catching hue is well suited for a modern kitchen, but the cheerful color would be equally comfortable in any decor.

This article was originally published by Marie Proeller Hueston of BobVila.com on Zillow Blog. To see the original article, click here.

Bob Vila is the home improvement expert widely known as host of TV’s This Old House, Bob Vila’s Home Again, and Bob Vila. Today, Bob continues his mission to help people upgrade their homes and improve their lives with advice online at BobVila.com. His video-rich site offers a full range of fresh, authoritative content – practical tips, inspirational ideas, and more than 1,000 videos from Bob Vila television.

7 Luxury Home Features That Buyers Demand

Nearly 40% of home buyers are thinking about upgrading to a house on the high end of the market, according to a recent Realtor.com® survey on luxury homes.

Even though every luxury home depends on the whims of the owners, builders, and dreamers behind these decadent digs, there are a few features consumers have deemed most important. A chef’s kitchen, vibrant views, and an expansive master bedroom suite were cited in the survey as the most important features by buyers considering a luxury purchase.

With those luxurious attributes in mind, we scouted out a few high-end features in homes currently on the market. These properties are all asking $2 million or (much) more, but if luxury is what you want, these places deliver…

1. Views – 385 Golden Oak Dr – Portola Valley, CA – $5.1 million

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

 

2. Chef’s Kitchen – 11459 Bellagio Rd – Los Angeles, CA – $18,995,000

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

 

3. Outdoor Kitchen – 5551 E Orchid Ln – Paradise Valley, AZ – $4,295,000

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

 

4. Water Slide – 7724 E Santa Catalina Dr – Scottsdale, AZ – $2,299,000

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

 

5. Full Bar – 24127 Long Valley Rd – Hidden Hills, CA – $3,549,000

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

 

6. Infinity Pool – 2095 Temple Hills Dr – Laguna Beach, CA – $12,888,000

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

 

7. Outdoor Living Room – 570 Allendale Rd – Pasadena, CA – $5,995,000

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

 This article was originally published by Erik Gunther on realtor.com. To see the original article, click here.

Dome Homes for Sale

In a sea of homes with perpendicular walls, dome homes offer a unique architectural twist. These homes can also be a smart investment: The geodesic dome shape makes them highly energy efficient and can be powerfully protective against stormy weather.

Here’s a sampling of these unique structures currently on the market.

Beaverton, OR

17220 SW Kemmer Rd, Beaverton, OR
For sale: $479,250

from Zillow

from Zillow

This 4-bedroom, 3-bath home consists of two domes, offering 3,865-square-feet of living space on a 1-acre lot. The interior is warm and inviting, with various wood features and a multi-level family/media area.

from Zillow

from Zillow

North Myrtle Beach, SC

503 2nd Ave S, North Myrtle Beach, SC
For sale: $321,600

from Zillow

from Zillow

This charming and sturdy 2,850-square-foot home has a variety of desirable features. This 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom home garnered a WalkScore® rating of 89/100, and the assigned schools are ranked 7/10 and above by GreatSchools. The outdoor pool and hot tub pavilions add to the home’s appeal.

from Zillow

from Zillow

Black Hawk, CO

165 Laura Ave, Black Hawk, CO
For sale: $225,000

from Zillow

from Zillow

This quaint, 1,567-square-foot home may be small in size, but not in style. The interior is vibrant and welcoming, and the exterior has comfort with an expansive patio and hot tub.

from Zillow

from Zillow

 

Arlington, WA

14805 313th St NE, Arlington, WA
For sale: $363,000

from Zillow

from Zillow

The open kitchen, custom tiled baths and refinished hardwood floors give this 4-bedroom, 3-bath home a luxe look. A children’s bedroom, adorned with painted clouds and kites, adds an artistic and playful element. The 2,988-square-foot home is on a fenced 5-acre lot, complete with a private waterfall and creek frontage.

from Zillow

from Zillow

Stockton, NJ

22 Seabrook Rd, Stockton, NJ
For sale: $549,900

from Zillow

from Zillow

This eclectic gem is located at the end of a long drive, situated on a 5.71-acre lot with lush foliage, open fields, an expansive patio and a pool. The 1,320-square-foot home has an open floor plan consisting of 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

from Zillow

from Zillow

Paso Robles, CA

2395 Nacimiento Lake Dr, Paso Robles, CA
For sale: $749,900

from Zillow

from Zillow

Have you ever dreamed of living in wine country? This 1,800-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 3-bath home boasts a 360-degree view of the surrounding vineyards and foothills. A solar heated spa and covered shooting range are among the amenities found on this 33-acre lot.

from Zillow

from Zillow

Sedona, AZ

7625 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ
For sale: $985,000

from Zillow

from Zillow

This 3.53-acre compound contains of 10 colorful domes, with 4,949 square feet in total living space. The 3-bedroom, 3-bath home has been rendered as “one of the most recognizable homes in Sedona,” due to its avant-garde design and fame from television shows such as “Extreme Cribs.” Notable features include a secluded pool and a living room with an indoor water feature.

from Zillow

from Zillow

New Paltz, NY

116 Canaan Rd, New Paltz, NY
For sale: $1.2 million

from Zillow

from Zillow

This 2,400-square-foot oasis is nestled in a peaceful, natural setting, only taking up a fraction of the giant 28-acre lot. The 3-bedroom, 3-bath home’s interior has a stylish, minimal feel, complete with soaring ceilings and a deck curved around the circumference of the home.

from Zillow

from Zillow

Sharona Ott is a freelance writer for Zillow. Read more from her here.

This article was originally published by Sharona Ott on Zillow Blog. To see the article source, click here.

For a Home Upgrade, Should You Move or Improve?

What do you do when your family outgrows your house, or when the quirks of the place you once found charming aren’t so charming anymore? 

Is it smarter to move or improve? Here’s some advice to help you decide.

Selling Has Gotten Easier

Existing-home sales were at their highest levels since 2006, and the median home price hit $197,100 at the end of 2013.

Right now, it’s taking just over two months, on average, for homes to sell. If you’ve been holding back on selling, waiting for the real estate market to recover, you may find it’s recovered in your area.

As you prepare your home for sale, consider what homebuyers want right now. Hint: energy efficiency. Demonstrating that your home is weather-sealed is a great selling point.

Also, if you’re only up for a minimum amount of work, focus on curb appeal (which REALTORS® say is critical to attracting buyer attention), your kitchen (even tweaks can make a big difference), and pricing your home right. The offers will come.

More Tips

  • Take a look at homes for sale in your market to get an idea of what you can get for your money today.
  • Get prequalified for a mortgage so you know how much you can spend.
  • Ask your REALTOR® to send you current listings from your target neighborhood.

Improving Has Gotten Pricier

During the economic slump, home improvement spending slowed, so contractors were willing to cut deals to stay busy. Today, they’re less willing to bargain on price and too busy to accept low-profit jobs.

In addition, the cost of construction materials may be going up. In a recent National Association of Home Builders survey:

  • 81% of contractors were concerned about rising materials prices
  • 65% were concerned about rising labor costs

As a general rule, improving your home costs less than trading up. But it depends on what kind of improvements you want to do.

Figure paying somewhere between $100 and $200 a square foot for new construction or a major remodel, depending on the scope of the project and labor costs in your area. For instance, a two-story addition with a family room, bedroom, and bathroom costs a national average of $155,365, according to “Remodeling” magazine’s “2014 Cost vs. Value Report.”

Now more than ever you need to make sure that you invest your money wisely. In other words, will your $75,000 kitchen remodel increase your home value by $75,000—or by anything close? Not likely. But at resale you may be able to recoup some of your remodeling costs. For guidelines, check out the Cost vs. Value Report, which gives the national average annual cost and payback figures for 35 popular remodeling projects.

To assess what’s right for your particular house, let your neighborhood be your guide. If there’s any chance you’ll move within the next 10 years, keep your improvements in line with those of other houses on your block, or risk losing the money when you sell. Of course, don’t discount your enjoyment factor. If it’ll make you happy to install an in-ground pool in a neighborhood without pools, go for it.

Critical Considerations

Your house isn’t just your largest investment, of course, it’s also the place where your family lives. Financial considerations aside, the question of whether to move or improve should be decided by the things you can’t change about your current home:

  • School district
  • The amount of traffic on your street
  • Size and layout of your yard
  • Commute time
  • Access to markets and malls
  • Neighborhood quality of life

If you love the spot, improving makes sense. But if a different location would be an improvement in its own right, then trading up could be the way to go.

This article was written by Oliver Marks and originally published on HouseLogic.com. 

A former carpenter and newspaper reporter, Oliver Marks has been writing about home improvements for 16 years. He’s currently restoring his second fixer-upper with a mix of big hired projects and small do-it-himself jobs.

Why Isn’t Your Home Selling?

If the listing for your home hasn’t been attracting buyers for a few weeks in a fast-paced real estate market, or for a few months in a slower one, you certainly have good reason to be worried.

Why Isn't Your Home Selling?

A home doesn’t sell due to a variety of factors, some of which you can control and some of which you can’t.

Let’s start with the things you can control, which also happen to be the most important elements of any home’s appeal to buyers: price and condition.

Price Your Home Right, From the Start

A good REALTOR® will help you determine the correct price for your home based on a thorough comparative market analysis (CMA). The reason it’s so important to price your home appropriately from the beginning is that a home that’s priced too high will languish on the market without any offers.

Even if you lower the price later, you will have lost the momentum of the initial listing period and buyers will assume there’s something wrong with the home. Eventually you may sell it, but more than likely the final sales price will be lower than your correct initial price would have been. Price your home too low and you have lost out on potential profit.

Your price should be based on current local market conditions, not on what you need to pay off your mortgage, what your neighbor sold her place for a year ago, nor your guesstimate of what your home is worth. Your REALTOR®’s CMA will look at recent sales, homes that didn’t sell and were pulled off the market, and current listings to guide your price decision.

Condition of Your Home

Regardless of your local market conditions, buyers have high expectations for your home, beginning with the exterior. While you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money, you do need to raise the level of your home’s curb appeal with some sweat equity. Pull weeds, trim the grass, plant a few flowers and perhaps paint your front door to make sure prospective buyers don’t decide to drive away.

Inside, your home needs to be consistently clean, neat, decluttered and depersonalized so that buyers can visualize themselves living there. Your REALTOR® should be able to suggest ways to  prepare your home for a sale, which, by the way, is nothing like the way you live in it. Your kitchen counters should be cleared, your bed always made and your dishes always put away in case a buyer wants to visit.

Marketing Your Home

When you choose a REALTOR®  to list your home, make sure you ask about photos and a marketing plan. The majority of buyers look online first at properties so it’s crucial that your home has multiple professional-quality photos that make it look as enticing as possible, and that your home appears on multiple websites so buyers can see it. A listing without a photo or with one badly lit photo isn’t likely to generate many offers.

Make Your Home Available

One of the more challenging aspects of listing your home for sale is that you must make it available to buyers as easily as possible. Buyers prefer to see a home without the owner there, so make sure there’s a lockbox at your property and that you allow nearly unlimited access to prospective buyers.

Overcome Challenges

Sometimes market conditions or a specific flaw in your home make it tougher to sell as quickly as you would like. Your REALTOR® can help you evaluate the market and let you know if you need to offer particular incentives, such as closing-cost help. If your home has an awkward floorplan or is located on a busy street, you and your REALTOR® can come up with ways to emphasize its positive aspects and deemphasize any negative aspects, such as by staging the backyard or highlighting the renovated kitchen.

This article was originally published by Michele Lerner on realtor.com. To see the original article, click here.

Soaring Over St. Louis, a Lofty Penthouse

This week’s penthouse soars over the Gateway to the West. Located in downtown St. Louis, this stunning penthouse condo in the Louderman Lofts Building is on the market for $3,500 a month.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

With 3,696 square feet of living space spread over three floors, these luxury digs have plenty of room to stretch out. The Louderman building was built in 1915 and converted into condominium lofts about 10 years ago. Consistent with the building’s pedigree, a renter will find vintage details and touches combined with the modern conveniences in the unit’s kitchen, three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

This premium penthouse also comes with access to a decadent deck perfect for parties and entertaining. With over 900 square feet, you could entertain over 50 guests while taking in views of downtown, Busch Stadium and the mighty Mississippi River.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

Listing agent Justin Taylor says the place is perfect for a “young professional or empty nester” looking to experience the downtown vibe in this bustling area.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

“We haven’t seen any new developments downtown, so there’s a lot less supply on the market here in St. Louis,” Taylor said. “This is a gorgeous unit in a building that’s totally occupied, so it’s not going to be on the market for long.”

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

This article was originally published by Erik Gunther on Realtor.com. To see more listing photos and the original article, click here.