Can’t Stop Looking at This Glass-Bottomed Pool

A dip in the pool may be the last thing on many of your minds, especially for those of you residing in colder climates, but we couldn’t help but share this sleek contemporary in Olde Del Mar, Calif.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

Found atop a prime vista lot overlooking the Pacific Ocean just north of San Diego, the trophy property boasts a world of luxury and one of the more unique home features money can buy: a glass-bottomed pool that doubles as a skylight. Yes, for the tidy sum of $6.75 million, you can swim in this vanishing-edge pool and window bomb your housemates or guests.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

Beyond its fancy aqua portal, which lends the interior spaces a submarine-like hue, the 5,500-square-foot custom-built residence offers a mélange of modern-day technologies in an elemental stone, wood and metal package. A European-style kitchen features high-end appliances, custom walnut cabinetry and ocean views, and the living room and dining room feature a full-service bar.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

In terms of sleeping arrangements, the master suite, one of five bedrooms and five-and-a-half baths, comes well-appointed with dual vanities, a large walk-in dressing room and a spa-like bath and shower. Downstairs, a game and media room has its own refreshment bar and the skylight view of that swimming pool above.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

Linda Sansone of Linda Sansone & Associates is the listing agent.

This article was originally published by Neal J. Leitereg on realtor.com. See more photos and the original article here.

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How to De-Clutter Before Moving Day

Moving an overstuffed junk drawer or closets full of stuff you didn’t even know you owned doesn’t make sense. If you move yourself, you’ll have to pack and schlep all those extra things; and if you hire a moving company, you’ll pay more to move junk you won’t want in your new place.

To keep moving day as inexpensive and stress-free as possible, de-clutter your life before you start packing.

Give Yourself Time

Don’t wait until the day before the movers arrive to decide what to pack and what to get rid of. Instead, plan at least two weeks in advance. Mark out a few hours a day to tackle a different room or closet in your home. By working in smaller chunks, you won’t be tempted to just throw it all in boxes and be done with it.

Use Extras

If you stockpile household goods and toiletries such as toilet paper or shampoo, start using up the excess now so you’ll have less to bring with you. If you run out, buy a smaller size to get you through the move.

Start a Necessities Box

A necessities box includes everything you’ll need the day you move in, such as a roll of toilet paper, a box cutter, a hammer and nails. Mark the box and keep it with you while you move so you can dive right in without digging through all your boxes looking for a necessity.

Leave the Mementos for Last

It’s easier to get rid of a set of sheets you never liked than something with sentimental value. Leave the harder decisions for last, such as what to do with unused but sentimental gifts, so you don’t get frustrated with de-cluttering.

Use Three Boxes

For every room you tackle, bring three boxes — one for stuff you’ll keep, one for stuff to throw away, and one for stuff to donate or sell. As you go through closets and drawers, drop each item into one of the three boxes.

Employ the Practicality Test

If you’re not sure you should keep or donate something, ask yourself — honestly! — if you’ll use it. For example, set a time limit for clothes. If you haven’t worn something in a year, you probably won’t wear it again, so put it in the donate box. With sheets, towels or kitchen utensils, check for duplicates. While it might be nice to have three sets of sheets, one or two will do. Same goes for hand towels and spatulas.

Check Expiration Dates

Odds are good your bathroom or pantry contains a few items past their prime. Before you pack anything, check for an expiration date or think back to when you bought it. Spices can last for years but lose potency after six months or so. If you’ve have had that spice jar for a while, open it and smell the contents. If you don’t get a strong whiff of the spice, the jar can be tossed. In the bathroom, many makeup products such as mascara and concealer expire after a year. While it won’t harm you to use old makeup, this is a good time to toss products you haven’t worn in years.

Donate or Sell

Once you’ve finished digging through every room in your home, either sell what you don’t want or donate it to charity. You’ll finally be rid of that clutter and you’ll make a little bit of cash (or a tax deduction) to help offset your moving costs.

This article was originally published by Angela Colley on Realtor.com. To see the original article, click here.

Teepee Tiny Home in Cascade, Idaho

Tiny homes come in all sorts of small shapes and diminutive sizes, but few are as to-the-point as this teepee in Cascade, Idaho.

from realtor.com

The living quarters at this quaint $110,000 offering are tight – two bedrooms, a half bath, a kitchen and a wood stove are crammed inside a cozy cabin of 826 square feet and a bath house is found outside.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

Then again, when your life steers you to a teepee out in the middle of nowhere, it’s clearly less about the accommodations and more about the simpler things in life: clean air, a bubbling brook and a wood deck for rocking back and forth whilst taking in those pure mountain views.

from realtor.com

Rick Carr of Donnelly Idaho Realty is the agent for the little listing.

This article was originally published by Neal J. Leitereg on realtor.com. To see the original article, click here.

Quirky New Trends in Real Estate

As the housing market continues to recover, a bevy of interesting trends have been emerging in the sector, affecting everything from buyer and seller behavior to design and everything in between.

Quirky New Trends in Real Estate

Try before you buy

Want to spend quality time in the home you’re interested in buying? Perhaps spend the night and check things out before putting a single penny down? Real estate agents are now letting some qualified, serious buyers do just that! And this unusual strategy, which can ultimately help buyers make an informed decision, is catching on in markets across the country.

Dogs are people, too

Builders aren’t just turning to upgrades and financial carrots to help offset rising buying costs. They’re also getting more creative with the “extras” by taking pet friendly to a new level. In fact, some high-end apartment buildings offer pet food-centered room service menus, and in New York City, MiMA development’s Dog City will even walk, groom and arrange play dates for residents’ dogs.

Make Me Move

In a market that’s as tight as this one, sellers know they have the upper hand. And they’re capitalizing on the momentum by listing their “fantasy” price — the price it would take to persuade them to sell — using Zillow’s Make Me Move® feature.

Boutique-style closets            

While you likely know that screened porches and outdoor living rooms continue to interest homeowners, you may not realize that master bedroom closets designed with a coveted, boutique-like feel — think illuminated rods, compartmentalized storage, shoe walls, vanity areas and other focal points — are also becoming a virtual must-have, according to architects and high-end home builders.

This article was originally published by Vera Gibbons on Zillow Blog. See the original article here

6 Ways to Slash Moving Costs

Few things are as exciting as a new piece of real estate to call your own; it’s getting there that’s the problem. Moving is hard work, and expensive to boot.

According to the American Moving and Storage Association, an interstate move of 1,220 miles costs $5,630 on average. If you’re staying in state, you’ll pay $1,170 on average.

While we can’t make your moving day completely stress free, we can help you save some money with these budget-conscious tips.

1. Move Yourself

Renting a truck and moving yourself is the cheapest way to go, but if you’re not comfortable with that option, you can still cut costs by doing at least some of the moving yourself. Professional movers generally charge by weight, so you’ll save money if you pack up smaller items like clothes, dishes and home décor pieces and move them yourself in your car or a smaller rental truck and leave the bigger items such as furniture and fragile electronics to the professionals.

Moving.com: Free quotes from self-service movers — You pack, you load, they drive

2. Compare Costs

If you are hiring professional movers, get price quotes from at least three different companies. When you’re requesting quotes be sure to tell the movers the exact number of miles you’re moving, the estimated weight and size of your possessions, and any special needs you might have, such as fragile items. Finally, check websites likeAngie’s ListYelp! or the Better Business Bureau in your area for reviews and complaints on the moving companies you’re considering.

Moving.com: Free quotes from local and national moving companies

3. Move in Off-Peak Times

If your move date is flexible, schedule it during an off-peak time. Many families choose to move during the summer when their children are out of school, and the majority of moves occur at the beginning and end of the month. So if you’re hiring movers, you’ll pay more on the last Saturday of June or the first Saturday of August. Instead, plan your move during less popular times like the fall or early winter, and shoot for midweek. Moving companies won’t have as much work scheduled and you can find better deals.

4. Check Your Insurance

For an added fee, you can get insurance to protect your valuables while they’re being schlepped across town (or across country) by a mover, but you may not need to pay extra. Some homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies cover your stuff during moving. Check your policy or ask your insurance agent before you end up double-insured.

5. Don’t Pay for Moving Materials

At Home Depot, the price of a moving box ranges from 74 cents for a small, basic one, to $19.97 for a specialty TV box. Instead of paying for new boxes, start early and collect free ones. Friends, co-workers and family members are usually good sources of old boxes. You can also find heaps of boxes by asking grocery stores, big-box stores and gas stations in your area for their leftover shipping boxes. When it comes to packing, go old school and use newspaper or fabric items such as T-shirts to pack your valuables.

Moving.com: Moving.com Packing Calculator: Estimate the amount of boxes and packing materials you will need for your move.

6. Take Advantage of Tax Deductions

If you’re moving for a job, you might be able to deduct some of the expenses on your taxes. According to the Internal Revenue Service, full-time employees can deduct reasonable moving expenses if they’re moving 50 miles farther from their home than their old job. For more information on moving tax breaks, read Publication 521 from the IRS.

This article was originally published by Angella Colley on Realtor.com. To see the original article, click here.

A Modern Castle Tops Vermont’s Hawk’s Mountain

Behold Grahall Estate, a window-lined modern fortress atop Vermont’s Hawk’s Mountain, once a corporate conference center for a human resources firm and now on the market for $2.7 million.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

Found beside a pair of ponds on 10 acres in Cavendish, the medieval contemporary isn’t quite the magnitude of a Roman fortress or one of the many keeps in Eastern Europe, but it does offer a comfortable 6,500 square feet with six bedrooms and five full baths.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

Royal appointments include a rooftop patio with a barbecue, custom built-ins, and fireplaces on each of the castle’s five floors; while solar panels, batteries and a propane generator allow for a certain degree of off-the-grid operation.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

In a nutshell, it’s the perfect retreat for someone seeking to immerse themselves in their own “Game of Thrones” world, but with all the modern conveniences of the 21st century.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

Besides its place in corporate America, the unique castle property was previously offered as an $11,000-a-month vacation rental. In addition to the home itself, the listing notes that adjacent mountainside acreage and a nearby granite quarry are also available for purchase.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

Patricia Davis of Mary W. Davis Realtor & Assoc., Inc. has the listing.

This article was originally published by Neal J. Leitereg on realtor.com. See the original article here.

Minimalist Kitchen Design: Clean Look and Lines

“Less is more.” That’s the mantra of minimalists, who are drawn to styles and designs that use the fewest elements to create maximum effect.

Slick and uncluttered countertops and cabinetry create a minimalist look in this kitchen by RI Kitchen & Bath.

Clean lines and clear colors can lend a modern, sophisticated look to bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms — and even kitchens.

Kitchens? Yes, but if you’re like most homeowners, you’re going to have to adjust your thinking to get there.

Whether you need to chop, mix, steam, warm, broil, roast, blend, core, toast, slice, dehydrate, tenderize or even butter your food — there’s a gadget for that. Architect and author Sarah Susanka fears this obsession with small appliances and assorted doohickeys is more about cluttering countertops than it is about simplifying food preparation. Even worse, she says, is the fact that homeowners often believe they need gargantuan kitchens to accommodate all their culinary contraptions.

What’s the solution? Minimize.

Wide open spaces on countertops make for easy prep and cleanup in this kitchen by Hatfield Builders.

“People may have lots and lots of cookie sheets, but they really only use two,” she told the Green Living Journal. “Our mothers and grandmothers cleared out clutter. (Now), we keep bringing stuff in, but we forget we’ve got to also take stuff out.”

NW Home Designers incorporated this clever hiding spot for utensils into this kitchen’s design.

Scores of minimalism-related blogs espouse the virtues of living without a microwave oven and the need for one good chef’s knife rather than a set of seven.

For those who like the idea of clean-and-clutter-free but who may still want to reheat leftovers, we offer these first steps toward creating a kitchen that’s less encumbered:

  • Start with counters and then work your way through your kitchen, cabinet by cabinet and drawer by drawer. Ask yourself: Do I really use this item? If I use it less than once a month, is it really worth the storage space it’s taking up? If you have duplicates of an item (two sets of measuring cups, for example), do you really need them? Question every canister, every pot and every utensil. Give away items you’re sure you don’t want. If you’re not certain you can live without your stock pot, put it in a box in the basement or garage; if you don’t touch it in six months, chances are you don’t need it.
  • Just because you spent a small fortune on a small appliance doesn’t mean you must keep it. If you haven’t used your hot dog warmer, bread maker or milkshake machine in a year, it’s time to let go. If you wanted a milkshake, could you make one with your blender? Or even some old-fashioned stirring? Sell or donate the single-purpose appliances you’re not using and free up valuable kitchen real estate.
  • Even the most minimalistic of kitchens must be functional. Hide essentials behind cabinet doors to streamline the look.
  • Consider appliances with the clean lines of minimalist design. Plenty of sleek but simple kitchen suites are designed with a nod to the iconic age of American design. You might also look for major appliances that are true multi-taskers. For example, all-in-one ovens offer convection heating, can microwave and steam, and retail for about $1,000.
  • Avoid the cold and uninhabited look that can accompany extreme minimalist design by adding a splash of non-fussy color to your kitchen. Remember, though, that minimalist design generally relies on the use of a single color to unify a space.

This article was originally published by Mary Boone on Zillow Blog. See it here