8 Delectable Backyards Designed for Outdoor Dining and Entertaining

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We’ve spoken at length about the joys of having a functional outdoor living space for your home. For those who enjoy entertaining, a backyard that accommodates guests for a dinner party is nonnegotiable.

Some backyards are ideal for hosting and toasting, but what features are mouthwatering must-haves for dining al fresco? Plenty of space, warm lighting, and a gorgeous view are all big assets for making a backyard a delicious destination. But the most important feature? A large table where guests can gather and enjoy each others’ company.

To savor these fleeting days of summer, we rounded up eight luxury backyards tailor-made to entertain dinner guests. The following assortment of properties offer the crème de la crème of outdoor dining—all slightly out of our price range, but inspirational nonetheless. We promise you’ll eat them right up.

319/322 North Atlantic Drive, Lantana, FL

Price: $19,900,000
Tasty tidbit: The Florida coast is full of luxe estates boasting beautiful backyards, but this one caught our eye because of the open outdoor kitchen and dining area, with a front-row seat for the sunsets. The massive 18,000-square-foot property is located on the decadent-sounding Hypoluxo Island.

This private estate on Hypoluxo Island gives you front-row seats for the sunset. l realtor.com

2460 Sage Canyon Rd, Saint Helena, CA

Price: $7,999,000
Tasty tidbit: This Napa Valley estate belongs to Pat Kuleto, one of the world’s most innovative restaurant designers. He’s had a hand in shaping more than 150 restaurants, so this backyard could possibly be the most ideal setting for hosting a dinner party.

If this estate meets the standards of the designer and restaurateur Pat Kuleto, you know it’s going to be great for entertaining. l realtor.com

421 Broome St Penthouse, New York, NY

Price: $65,000,000
Tasty tidbit: New York City and outdoor space don’t always go hand in hand, but this terrific terrace proves you can have it all. In total, the four-story penthouse in the heart of SoHo has 3,700 square feet of private exterior, along with skyline views that will (hopefully) justify that astronomical price tag.

A SoHo loft with a view of the NYC skyline l realtor.com

250 Enchanted Way, Sedona, AZ

Price: $12,500,000
Tasty tidbit: This 10-acre desert estate—called Vista Rossa—boasts jaw-dropping views of the Red Rock mountains. Built right next to the Coconino National Forest, it would be perfect for hosting guests year-round, thanks to Arizona’s arid climate.

Vista Rossa is cradled in the Red Rock mountains of Sedona. l realtor.com

8170 Laurel View Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Price: $11,950,000
Tasty tidbit: This backyard is one of the most charming we spotted—thanks to the sheltering greenery and the twinkly string lights that form a whimsical canopy above the dining area. This home in the Hollywood hills is quite large, with a 7,000-square-foot interior and nearly half an acre of outdoor space. Props for the extra bench seating for less formal dinner affairs.

The ultimate private backyard dining experience in the c l realtor.com

403 Doyle Dr, Lafayette, LA

Price: $1,875,000
Tasty tidbit: This rustic, French-style outdoor living space gives off vibes of Provence, but it’s actually part of a (relatively) modestly priced Louisiana home. The rest of the house is beautiful, but the spacious dining area is clearly the star of this home.

A French Provençal-style garden lends itself well to owners who love to cook and entertain. l realtor.com

8415 SW Soper Road, Vashon, WA

Price: $14,995,000
Tasty tidbit: Situated on the largest island in Puget Sound, this seaside chateau is just a short ferry ride away from Seattle. Judging by the home’s close proximity to the water and its breathtaking views, it was clearly designed with outdoor entertaining in mind.

On Vashon Island, you can have a waterfront dining experience right in your own backyard. l realtor.com

1301 Bella Oaks Ln, Rutherford, CA 94558

Price: $6,950,000
Tasty tidbit: Imagine enjoying a superlative meal—with world-class wine—right in the middle of a vineyard. We wouldn’t expect anything less from a luxury home in Napa Valley! You can see the picturesque backyard dining area under the vine-covered pergola on the right in the photo below.

Could there be anything more “Napa Valley” than enjoying a meal surrounded by vineyards? l realtor.com

 

Posted by Natalie Way on realtor.com

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Happy Puppy Drags Sprinkler Through Doggy Door, and Chaos Ensues

The #1 Reason to List Your House for Sale NOW!

If you are debating whether or not to list your house for sale this year, here is the #1 reason not to wait!

Buyer Demand Continues to Outpace the Supply of Homes for Sale

The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun recently commented on the current lack of inventory:

“Inventory coming onto the market during this year’s spring buying season– as evidenced again by last month’s weak reading – was not even close to being enough to satisfy demand. 

That is why home prices keep outpacing incomes and listings are going under contract in less than a month – and much faster – in many parts of the country.”

The latest Existing Home Sales Report shows that there is currently a 4.1-month supply of homes for sale. This remains lower than the 6-month supply necessary for a normal market, and 6.1% lower than last year’s inventory level.

The chart below details the year-over-year inventory shortages experienced over the last 12 months:

Anything less than a six-month supply is considered a “seller’s market.”

Bottom Line

Let’s get together to discuss the supply conditions in our neighborhood so that I can assist you in gaining access to the buyers who are ready, willing, and able to buy right now!

 

Posted by The KCM Crew

Ready to sell? Visit our website HERE to get started!

14 Items That Will Make Moving Day Go Smoothly

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For first-time home buyers and seasoned homeowners alike, moving day is a major drag. Sure, it’s exciting to start the next chapter of your life in a brand-new place, but the process of moving is often a grueling, exhausting ordeal. Aside from having to sort through literally everything you own, you also have to deal with the physical side of moving: packing boxes, lifting furniture, and deep-cleaning your house.

So to make moving day as pain-free as possible, you’ll want to have specific household items at the ready.

“Move-in day can be pretty nerve-wracking; there’s a lot to do,” says Paul Travaglini, a real estate agent at Century 21 Seaport in Winthrop, MA. “My advice is to try to take it slow, and to make sure you have some necessities handy.”

We spoke with experts and rounded out the ultimate checklist of things you’ll appreciate having on moving day. These items will help you get settled sooner and ultimately make a smooth transition into your new home.

1. Bottled water and food

You are likely be starving after hours of cleaning and moving, and won’t want to make a trip to the supermarket. Have some water bottles on hand, and get easy-to-make food, such as pasta and sauce, for the first couple of days, while you settle into your new home.

2. Boxcutter

3. Cleaning supplies

You’ll want to give your house a good scrubbing before you move in. “Don’t forget paper towels and other cleaning supplies in case the house is dusty,” says Travaglini. Bring your supplies from your old home, or head to the store and buy soap, floor cleaner, sponges, a mop, bucket, window cleaners, a vacuum, bathroom cleaner, and a toilet scrubber.

4. Closet hangers

You’ve made sure your new home is spotless. Now make sure your clothes aren’t wrinkled. (You’ll thank us for this one.)

5. Cooler with ice

This is a good idea if the previous owner didn’t leave a fridge, and yours hasn’t arrived yet.

6. Furniture sliders

Even if you have movers, you may want furniture sliders, the little things that go under the legs of chairs and couches and allow you to slide them easily without scratching your floor. You can pick them up at any hardware store.

7. New front-door lock

That ceremonious moment when you’re handed the keys to your new home is exciting. But you can’t be sure who else has a pair. Plan ahead and buy a new front-door lock, and set an appointment with a locksmith to change the locks or rekey the doors. You can have them come by on move-in day or shortly after.

8. Lamps

Don’t spend your first night in your new house in the dark! Pack up all the lamps and light fixtures you’re planning to keep from your previous home and have them readily available. “Some rooms don’t have overhead lighting, so lamps will be very helpful,” says Rita Patriarca, a real estate agent at Re/Max Encore in Wilmington, MA.

9. Lightbulbs and batteries

These are other items you can usually buy in bulk. Most large retail and hardware stores carry bulbs in various wattage and shapes.

10. Toiletries

Personal hygiene might be the last thing on your mind on move-in day, but make sure you have soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and anything else you need. Moving day is a sweaty experience, and you’ll need a shower when you’re done. Plus, your new home will attract neighbors and friends. You’ll want to smell and look nice. Right?

11. Trash can and trash bags

If you plan to keep your trash barrel outside of a cabinet and you have a pet, it’s a good idea to get one with a secure top. You don’t want Fido or Tabby getting into the trash.

12. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

You never want to go a day living in a house without property smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check the house on move-in day to make sure you have enough detectors. Test each one to make sure the batteries are working.

13. Sticky notes

Mark down where you want things. It’s a good idea to label where you want your furniture, TV, dining-room table, etc. You can do this by writing on a sticky note and leaving it where you want the items located. This will help the movers know where to put everything.

14. Your favorite beverage

Whether you prefer champagne, Dr. Pepper, or Maker’s Mark, get yourself your favorite beverage to celebrate your new home. Toast yourself, your significant other, your kids, your friends and family, and everyone else who played a part in the move. You’ve earned it.

 

Posted by Les Masterson on realtor.com

How to Water a Lawn, and When: Odds Are, You’re Doing It All Wrong

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Wondering how to water a lawn? Sadly, it’s not quite as simple as just turning on the sprinklers and walking away. The number of times you water your lawn throughout the year and how much water you give the grass matter—so if you’re foggy on the details, allow this latest installment of our Lawn Lover’s Guide to show you the ropes!

Read on to learn how to water a lawn, and when, how often your grass needs water, and a whole lot more to amp up your lawn care.

Why you should water your lawn

Grass may not be as difficult to maintain as a vegetable garden, but if you want to keep your yard looking green and gorgeous, you can’t just treat it with benign neglect. Aerating, seeding, and watering your lawn are all part of keeping your curb appeal intact.

“When you don’t give your lawn enough water, it grows with shallow roots,” explains Don Botts, the president of Quality All-Care Services, in Bonner Springs, KS. “This can stunt the growth of your grass and make it harder for your lawn to survive severe temperatures or disease.”

If you stop watering your lawn entirely, warns Chris Bartells, owner of Green Mountain Turf Sprinkler Repair in Lakewood, CO, you’ll start to notice brown patches emerging in a matter of weeks, as the grass begins to lose moisture.

“Pretty soon, your lawn will be more brown than it is green, the soil will harden, making it harder for water to penetrate it when you do water it, and will likely need a reseeding if you ever plan on restoring it to its former glory,” Bartells says.

There is one exception to the watering rule: If you live in a climate where it rains regularly or you’re going through a rainy spell, it’s OK to skip out on watering your lawn—it can actually be more harmful to your grass to overwater, increasing the risk of grass disease.

That said, you probably need to water your lawn, so let’s talk about how to do it the right way.

When to water your lawn

Before you even think about hitting the grass with a steady spray of water, you’ll want to make sure you know the best time of day to do it. Although many folks assume night time is best, most experts will tell you that’s a myth.

“There are a lot of people who are surprised to find out that watering your lawn at the wrong time of day can have such an impact,” says Botts. “Watering at night often means that water will sit on your grass overnight, which can lead to disease.”

Another no-no? Watering in the hottest part of the day. Although you may think your thirsty lawn wants a drink midday, the heat will cause evaporation to happen quickly, before water has had a chance to reach the roots of your grass.

The best time of day to water is in the morning, if possible some time between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m., Botts says. 

How to water your lawn if you have sprinklers installed

If you’ve moved into a home with sprinklers already installed in the lawn, you’re in luck. They will do the bulk of the work for you.

Bartells suggests placing a few empty cans of tuna or cat food in the spaces between your sprinkler heads, then turning your sprinklers on, allowing them to run for 15 to 20 minutes.

“Then measure how many inches of water is in each can, using a ruler,” Bartells suggests. “Average that by the amount of time you ran your system, and you should end up with a pretty good estimate of how long your lawn needs to be watered to get the full inch or two of water that it needs [per week].”

Depending on your soil type, you may want to water your lawn all at once, or break it into two or even three equal applications throughout the week. Longer stretches of watering are better for the lawn than quick daily sessions.

“You want deep roots, but watering them for short amounts of time daily instead of watering them for 20 minutes or so once a week or every other day is like splashing them with water without actually letting them drink it,” says Bartells.

How to water your lawn (without installed sprinklers)

Watering your lawn when you don’t have sprinklers means more work for you, but just looking at that gorgeous greenery will ensure that hard work is worth it.

Botts advises investing in a rain gauge, so you can determine just how much water your lawn is getting from nature. If it’s less than 1 to 3 inches, you can set up a rotating sprinkler (the type kids like to run in and out of during the summer works well), setting it in one part of the lawn for 15 to 20 minutes, then moving to spots that weren’t reached and allowing it to run again for 15 to 20 minutes and so on. The tuna can trick works here too, and will help you gauge just how long to run the sprinkler.

If you don’t have a sprinkler, you can use a hose, with the nozzle attachment set to “sprinkle.” Be sure to move around the yard, hitting all areas of your lawn with the water.

If your lawn has clay-based soils, you’ll want to water once a week, Botts says. If you have sandy soils, you’ll probably need to water every three days or so.

“If there are sloped areas in your lawn where water runs off quickly, spots where the afternoon sun roasts harder than others, or areas that are heavily shaded, you may have to pay extra attention to make sure that your lawn is getting enough water,” Botts adds.

 

Posted by Jeanne Sager on realtor.com

9 Summer-Ready Pools to Daydream About

You can practically smell the sunscreen and chlorine from here.

If you can’t make it oceanside this summer, a cool and refreshing backyard pool is the next best place to be.

Check out these nine gorgeous swimming pools — any of which would be perfect for a summer staycation.

Sleek and modern with clean lines, this Los Angeles, CA, pool looks like the perfect place for a romantic midnight swim.

Photo from Zillow listing.

The high temperatures of St. George, UT, are no match for this chic desert pool with views of the mountains.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Simple but luxe, this pool in Toluca, CA, has more than enough room to host friends and family for a summer pool party.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Seamlessly blending into its tropical surroundings, this infinity pool in Longboat Key, FL, offers a luxurious place to relax at the end of a long day.

Photo from Zillow listing.

In Johns Island, SC, the natural surroundings create a lush background for a few laps on those hot summer days.

Photo from Zillow listing.

This Santa Rosa Beach, FL, pool boasts its own built-in hot tub for ultimate relaxation.

Photo from Zillow listing.

A tropical getaway or someone’s backyard? Who can tell! This pool in Key West, FL, oozes island charm.

Photo from Zillow listing.

With a classic shape and design, this lakeside Seattle, WA, pool provides plenty of space to soak in the summer sun.

Photo from Zillow listing.

 

Posted by Jamie Birdwell-Branson on Zillow

 

 

 

 

4 Reasons Why Summer Is a Great Time to Buy a Home!

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.2% over the next year.

Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have increased by half a percentage point already in 2018 to around 4.5%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by nearly a full percentage point by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

 

Posted by The KCM Crew

Ready to buy? Click HERE to find your next home!