Worldwide Wanderlust: More CENTURY 21 Homes From Around The Globe

Whether you like to travel the globe or just go places in your mind, you won’t be able to resist taking a virtual tour of these international estates. Have a look at these amazing homes. (And if it’s love at first sight, see the full listing at CENTURY 21® Global.)

Thailand

Golfers beware – you’ll never want to leave this villa located next to Palm Hills Golf Course. The Terracotta tiled terrace faces the 17th-green and a lake. Inside the house are cathedral ceilings, an onsite water-purifying system, and an air-conditioned wine cellar.

 

Costa Rica

Imagine hiking tropical trails and returning to this San José home. Detailed with granite countertops, hardwood floors, and outdoor stone paths, these rooms provide a comforting space and great views of one of Central America’s greatest natural treasures.

Belgium

This charming 7 bedroom hideaway is an escape to Belgian farm country. Recently renovated, the exposed beam ceiling and chandeliers provide an authentic old world experience with modern conveniences. Plus, there’s plenty of garden space to enjoy!

 

Jordan

View breathtaking sunsets from either of the outdoor terraces in this Middle Eastern villa. Residents and guests alike will be wowed by the underfloor heating, the soundproof windows, and the indoor swimming pool with ozone filtration system. And to complete this oasis, there’s parking for up to 10 cars.

 

France

In the city of art, this Parisian condo offers a canopied studio space in the courtyard. But if you’re not artistically inclined, it’s still possible to enjoy access to a Jacuzzi, gym, or a cinema room. Large skylights give you a perfect view of surroundings from Paris’s 8th District.

 

That concludes the worldwide tour. Thanks for joining us on this trek, and now you don’t have to worry about jetlag as your return to your daily life. Though if you’re still craving more international listing, see all there is to offer on CENTURY 21 Global.

Recommended Reading:

-Worldwide Wanderlust: CENTURY 21 Homes from Around the Globe

-Worldwide Wanderlust: Portland

-Worldwide Wanderlust: Maine

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Benefits of Working With a Real Estate Agent

Choosing a house to call a home is one of the most important decisions people make. Working with a real estate agent can make the home buying or selling process easier and more efficient. We spoke with agents affiliated with the CENTURY 21® brand to find out why you should work with an agent.

What is one reason why a buyer should work with a CENTURY 21 Agent?

-Helen Hunt, CENTURY 21 Homes and Investments: “I can have your home marketed internationally. We are the best real estate brand in the country.”

-Sarah Gravelle, CENTURY 21 Real Estate Center broker in Puget Sound: “Access to resources at our ready – CENTURY 21 Real Estate can assist a client locally or around the world. Free phone apps allows the client to see what is on the market as it changes, drive neighborhoods, search and share listings and questions with their broker.”

-Jerry Tuscano, CENTURY 21 Elite, New Jersey: “Forbuyers we have an easy to use, full featured mobile app that we can share with a buyer in less than a minute and can start being used right away! Complete with a mortgage calculator and area stats and pictures of area where house is located.”

What is one reason why a seller should work with a CENTURY 21 Agent?

-Helen Hunt, CENTURY  21 Homes and Investments: “Professional, trained, serious about your future.”

-Sarah Gravelle, CENTURY 21 Real Estate Center broker in Puget Sound: “All the unmatched tools and forms of communication to expose the seller’s property to the largest market provide great value.”

-Jerry Tuscano: CENTURY 21 Elite, New Jersey “For sellers we have the best Marketing platform at our fingertips that can be also be used on a mobile device. Marketing their property in an instant.”

Make informed decisions faster so that you can start enjoying your new home sooner. CENTURY 21 Agents have the marketing expertise, tools, resources, and research to help you make a house a home.

 

Recommended Reading:

-Buying a Home: 5 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent

-Myth vs. Fact: Home Buying

-5 Tips for First Time Homebuyers

 

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10 Cool Places to Get Wet

What makes a water lover’s paradise? Beaches, rivers, lakes and water parks. These towns offer plenty of fun water activities.

1. New Braunfels, TX (population 51,804)

Hold on to your bathing suit! The Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, on the banks of the Comal River, is home to Master Blaster, a 1,000- foot water coaster. It also holds the title for the best U.S. water park, according to The Travel Channel.

2. Lake Havasu City, AZ (population 56,603)

Boaters on Lake Havasu can cruise under London Bridge, which was moved here from England’s River Thames in 1971. Each year this lake’s blue waters attract 2.5 million visitors, including the stars and film crew of the Bravo TV series “The Real Housewives of Orange County.”

3. Malibu, CA (population 13,041)

World-class beaches and unparalleled ocean vistas are two of the reasons celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and Robert Redford call this town home. Even if you don’t have the bank account for a multimillion-dollar mansion, you can still dip your toes into the water at Zuma or Surfrider, two of Malibu’s 24 public beaches.

4. Mackinac Island, MI (population 500)

More than a million vacationers a year head to this island to soak in its Victorian charm. But you’ll have to cross Lake Huron in a ferryboat. Here horses rule the roads.

5. Lake Ozark City, MO (population 1,931)

The jewel of this resort community is the Lake of the Ozarks, which boasts a 1,100-mile-long coastline—longer than California’s. During July Fourth celebrations, take your boat onto the lake to watch four different fireworks displays burst over the water.

6. Nantucket, MA (population 10,000)

Swimming options are plentiful on this island, with its signature 17th-century architecture. Craving some surf? Head to the south shore to splash in the Atlantic. For calmer waters, aim your bike north toward Nantucket Sound.

7. Annapolis, MD (population 36,603)

Guide your sailboat toward this historic port city that’s home to the U.S. Naval Academy. And don’t miss the Wednesday Night Races from April through September, when 150 boats zip across Chesapeake Bay.

8. Duck, NC (population 500)

The population of this town—part of the spectacular Outer Banks, a chain of barrier islands along the Carolina coast—swells dramatically with summer beach-goers. Climb the historic 1875 Currituck Beach Lighthouse to grab a bird’s-eye view of the Atlantic.

9. Jackson, WY (population 9.631)

White-water rafting is a popular adventure on the Snake River, which winds through Grand Teton National Park. The most exciting rapids: Lunch Counter, Big Kahuna and Rope.

10. Key West , FL (population 25,478)

Snorkelers and scuba divers will barely have time to dry off between excursions to the area’s underwater caves and coral reefs, including Sand Key and Kedge Ledge.

Advice from an agent affiliated with the CENTURY 21® brand

Backyard pools don’t always make a big splash with potential buyers. But some might simply be nervous about maintenance. Sallie Bradford with CENTURY 21 H.T. Brown Real Estate in Annapolis, Maryland, encourages sellers to purchase a one-year home warranty for the lining, pump and more. “You give peace of mind to the buyer,” Bradford says.

 

Recommended Reading:

-Landscaping 101: Great Grass Alternatives

-The Secrets to a Perfect Staycation

-Worldwide Wanderlust: Homes From Around the Globe

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Evidence That Buying a Home Can Be Just Like Dating

Overwhelmed with the idea of buying a home? It can be a lot to handle, so try thinking of home-buying like dating. It’s a process that’s sometimes frustrating, but ultimately you’ll be glad you held out for “the one.” Here are some things to remember.

Make sure you’re worth the investment.

“Are you homeowner material” is kind of like, “Are you boyfriend or girlfriend material?” Banks, like dates, aren’t going to take a chance on someone they don’t see a future with. That means a credit score above 600 will increase your chances of getting approved for a homeowners loan.

It’ll cost you money.


Think of it as a “wine and dine” process – you’re going to have to woo a loan program with a down payment 3.5 to 20 percent of the price. After that, it’s common practice to spend about 30% of your gross income on your mortgage.

Compromise.

Your relationship with the seller will be one of compromise – price and closing details are something you’ll probably have to go back and forth on. If you’re unsure of how much you should be offering, read our guide on how to determine an appropriate amount.

Accept that nothing’s perfect.

The home for you probably won’t be perfect. But overall, will the home make you happy the way a true love can? Remember, if you can change your mate’s habits, you certainly can tear down a wall or redo a floor to get exactly what you want.

Trust your friends.


Think of your CENTURY 21® Real Estate Agent as the friend who will help guide you through the process. They’ll introduce you to prospects, give you advice, and just generally be your support until you sign and close.

The road to home-buying isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Just remember that with the help of these steps, you’ll be living your happily ever after in the home that suits you.

Recommended Reading:
- Buying a Home: 5 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent
- Myth vs. Fact: Home Buying

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Modern Homes for Your Modern Family

If you love sleek lines, glass walls, steel, and open floor plans, a modern style home may be right for your modern family. According to House Plans, “Modern style designs offer clean lines, simple proportions, open plans and abundant natural light, and are descendants of the International style of architecture, which developed in the 1920s. Flat or shallow-pitched roofs, large expanses of glass strong connections to outdoor space, and spare, unornamented walls are distinguishing characteristics of modern home style plans.” According to iMatchDesigners, modern style interiors are characterized by clean lines, minimal decor, materials like metal and glass, and lack of clutter.

These stunning CENTURY 21® homes are perfect for your modern family.

1. This Miami apartment has sleek lines, minimalist decor, floor length windows, and a great deal of natural light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. This Miami home has an interesting and unique architecture. The inside of the home has straight lines and minimalist decor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. This modern home has a uniquely shaped pool, bright lights, and lots of windows!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. This Austin, TX home is an excellent example of modern style architecture. The interior has clean lines, unique shapes, and minimalist decor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No matter what kind of modern home style you prefer, there’s a place for every modern family to call home.

Recommended Reading:

-Kitchen Design Inspiration from CENTURY® 21 Homes

-Worldwide Wanderlust: CENTURY 21® Homes from Around the Globe

-The 5 Best “Man Caves” For Watching Football

 

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Watch & Vote: #C21ReadyToSell With Jolie Kerr

Today the CENTURY 21® brand is excited to launch a new video series with cleaning expert and The New York Times best selling author, Jolie Kerr.

This six part video series, #C21ReadyToSell, provides homebuyers and real estate professionals with the ultimate guide to cleaning and staging a home to sparkle and sell.

In addition to these helpful tips and tricks, once you’ve watched all six videos you can visit www.century21.com/aboutus/mediacenter/askacleanperson and vote for your favorite video to be entered for the chance to win a $250 gift card.

Watch, vote, enter and then share your favorite pro tips on Facebook and Twitter by tagging @Century21 and using the hashtag #C21ReadyToSell.

You can also send your personal cleaning and staging questions to Jolie via Twitter, @JolieKerr. To purchase her book, “My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag . . . And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha” click here.

Which #C21ReadyToSell video is your favorite?

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8 Things You May Have Thought When Your In-Laws Stayed Over

You love your in-laws. They are your family. Still, when they come over on short notice you always feel unprepared.

We’re not pointing any fingers but you may have thought one of the following things while you were smiling, listening to the story they tell every year, or cooking a meal you know they’ll hardly touch.

1. How long are they staying?: He said they were just staying the weekend but that never happens. It’s always so much longer… At least it feels that way. Maybe I’ll fake sick Sunday afternoon to make sure they leave on time. Yes, that’s it! I’ll watch that Ferris movie to plan my strategy.

2. Anything that can go wrong, will: That is just my luck, isn’t it? Either the kids will get sick, someone will have to work later than usual, the house will flood, or the world will end. Nothing can go right if the in-laws are here, that is just not how life works. They call that Murphy’s Law; I call it Murphy’s In-Laws.

3. Cooking Criticism: Last time I slaved in the kitchen, “the chicken was overcooked and the pasta was undercooked.” I’m sure someone will have something to say this time, too. I think the cooking powers-that-be curse me when my in-laws are here.

4. Clean, Clean, Clean: I wonder, if I had hired a cleaning service to come in and take over the house, would it have been noticeable? The house would be cleaner than usual so they might suspect something. That might open a whole other can of worms, so maybe I’ll just clean myself. If only I had a bunch of birds following me along cleaning, like a certain princess who lost her shoe. I wonder what the prince’s in-laws were like. They probably loved the good lady’s chicken.

5. Wine, Wine, and More Wine: I should probably run to the liquor store and pick something up… for them, not for me. I swear, these six bottles of wine are for my in-laws, not for me. I swear, I’m opening the first of them right now even though they don’t arrive until this weekend FOR THEM, NOT FOR ME.

6. Where are those gifts?: I know I put that ceramic elephant they got us for Christmas three years ago in the attic, but which box is it in? I thought I wrote it down the last time they visited so this wouldn’t happen again. Ok, now let me practice my “I love it and look at it every day” face.

7. Please don’t bring that up: I know that his/her ex still lives down the block from you. No, I do not want to hear about their new job and how they look better than ever. Please just don’t bring it up, please.

8. Good attitude: Lots of smiles and a clear head. If I remember to be nice, all will go well — hopefully. After all, in-laws can smell fear.

You finally understand the line, “to have and to hold you, to honor you, to treasure you, to be at your side in sorrow and in joy, in the good times, and in the bad, and to love and cherish you always. I promise you this from my heart, for all the days of my life (Traditional Wedding Vows).” Even this weekend.

Recommended Reading:

-5 Stages of Having Your Kids Home from College

-Moving Advice You Should NOT Take from People in Stock Photos

-7 Reasons You’re Secretly Jealous of Your Dollhouse Family

-5 Zombie-Proof Houses Your Family Won’t be Caught Dead In

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8 Things You May Have Thought When Your In-Laws Stayed Over

You love your in-laws. They are your family. Still, when they come over on short notice you always feel unprepared.

We’re not pointing any fingers but you may have thought one of the following things while you were smiling, listening to the story they tell every year, or cooking a meal you know they’ll hardly touch.

1. How long are they staying?: He said they were just staying the weekend but that never happens. It’s always so much longer… At least it feels that way. Maybe I’ll fake sick Sunday afternoon to make sure they leave on time. Yes, that’s it! I’ll watch that Ferris movie to plan my strategy.

2. Anything that can go wrong, will: That is just my luck, isn’t it? Either the kids will get sick, someone will have to work later than usual, the house will flood, or the world will end. Nothing can go right if the in-laws are here, that is just not how life works. They call that Murphy’s Law; I call it Murphy’s In-Laws.

3. Cooking Criticism: Last time I slaved in the kitchen, “the chicken was overcooked and the pasta was undercooked.” I’m sure someone will have something to say this time, too. I think the cooking powers-that-be curse me when my in-laws are here.

4. Clean, Clean, Clean: I wonder, if I had hired a cleaning service to come in and take over the house, would it have been noticeable? The house would be cleaner than usual so they might suspect something. That might open a whole other can of worms, so maybe I’ll just clean myself. If only I had a bunch of birds following me along cleaning, like a certain princess who lost her shoe. I wonder what the prince’s in-laws were like. They probably loved the good lady’s chicken.

5. Wine, Wine, and More Wine: I should probably run to the liquor store and pick something up… for them, not for me. I swear, these six bottles of wine are for my in-laws, not for me. I swear, I’m opening the first of them right now even though they don’t arrive until this weekend FOR THEM, NOT FOR ME.

6. Where are those gifts?: I know I put that ceramic elephant they got us for Christmas three years ago in the attic, but which box is it in? I thought I wrote it down the last time they visited so this wouldn’t happen again. Ok, now let me practice my “I love it and look at it every day” face.

7. Please don’t bring that up: I know that his/her ex still lives down the block from you. No, I do not want to hear about their new job and how they look better than ever. Please just don’t bring it up, please.

8. Good attitude: Lots of smiles and a clear head. If I remember to be nice, all will go well — hopefully. After all, in-laws can smell fear.

You finally understand the line, “to have and to hold you, to honor you, to treasure you, to be at your side in sorrow and in joy, in the good times, and in the bad, and to love and cherish you always. I promise you this from my heart, for all the days of my life (Traditional Wedding Vows).” Even this weekend.

Recommended Reading:

-5 Stages of Having Your Kids Home from College

-Moving Advice You Should NOT Take from People in Stock Photos

-7 Reasons You’re Secretly Jealous of Your Dollhouse Family

-5 Zombie-Proof Houses Your Family Won’t be Caught Dead In

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Instagram Tips for Real Estate Agents

Instagram is a social media platform that allows people to share and edit photos. More than 100 million people use Instagram every month, making it a valuable space to engage with potential, current, and past clients. Use Instagram to showcase listings, promote your personal brand, and generate leads.

Here are a few best practices for Instagram.

1. Optimize Images: Instagram is a visual platform so the most important best practice is that the images are visually appealing. Whenever possible, take photos when there is natural light and take photos that are clear and focused. One of the unique features of Instagram is the ability to edit photos. Users can apply filters and make advanced edits to components like brightness, saturation, contrast, and warmth. There is also wide variety of third party editing tools such as Snapseed and Afterlight. These apps provide even more editing tools and features.

2. Utilize Hashtags: If you caption your photo with a hashtag such as #RealEstate #Listing or #HouseForSale, your followers will able to click it and track all photos captioned with that hashtag. Using hashtags is an essential and necessary part of boosting engagement and creating a following on Instagram. It allows people to find and follow you in a simpler way. People can also search for hashtags and photos will come up in search. This is a great way to get noticed as a user!

3. Engage with Followers: Follow and engage with other users. You can find people to follow by searching hashtags that interest you. Once you’ve followed people engage with them by liking posts and leaving meaningful comments.

4. Analyze Timing: Timing matters on Instagram. There are times of the day when your community is more active. It is important to know when your followers are online so you can interact with them and, hopefully, get more engagement on your photos. Most communities are more engaged at night so consider posting pictures in the evening. You can track your most engaged time of the day by using Iconosquare, a website that analyzes your Instagram statistics.

5. Create Videos: Videos are a newer feature to come to Instagram. You can take a short video tour of your listing to give buyers a look before even entering the home. If they like what they see, they can contact you immediately to set up a time to meet. Potential clients may also be so impressed with your innovative new media skills that they will call you when they are ready to buy or sell a home.

6. Promote Posts: Share your photos on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and your blog to create maximum engagement and exposure.

7. Use Instagram Photo Maps: When posting a photo to Instagram, you have the option to add location, essentially adding it to your photo maps. The photo will show up on an actual map, allowing your followers to see where you have taken the most photos. This will allow you to show your knowledge of certain areas and neighborhoods and the exact location of any listings.

Now that you know these best practices you can apply them and grow your Instagram following. Interested in learning more about how social media can help your career? Read our best practices for Twitter, Pinterest, and SEO.

Recommended Reading:

-Home Office Essentials

-Productivity Tips for Working from Home

-Picture Perfect: How to Take Great Photos of Your Home

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Ask Our Expert: Christopher Lowell’s Advice for DIY Curtains

 

Custom curtains are so costly. Got any good tips for do-it-yourselfers?

—Sara Boling CENTURY 21 Boling & Associates, Inc. Myrtle Beach, SC

New window treatments can offer a whole new look that will re-theme any space with a brand new attitude. And yes, you can do it yourself! My top three rules for success:

• When choosing drapery fabrics, keep them solid or texture-driven but pattern-free. Pattern is the first thing to date a room and can easily overwhelm or compete with the rest of the room’s decor.

• When in doubt, keep it simple. Straight, well-constructed panels are often enough.

• Mount your rods as high to the ceiling as possible. Then extend them at least a foot past the casings on both sides. This will prevent the curtains from shrouding the window and make the room seem bigger.

The layered look can save money by helping reduce heating and cooling bills. Here’s how to do it:

• Use great fabric panels for the look only—meaning they remain stationary.

• Inside the window casings, add coordinating woven, cellular shades or blinds to handle light and privacy issues. This way you protect your fragile fabrics from repeated open-and-close usage, letting the inside shades do all the heavy lifting.

• Don’t worry about lining the curtains (which is good for the budget-minded), but be sure to weight them so they hang properly.

CHRISTOPHER LOWELL, an Emmy Award-winning interior designer and TV host, is known for doable design advice that nets stunning results.

Recommended Reading:

-How to Style a Gallery Wall

-How to Style Your Home on a Budget

-A Day in the Garden: Paint Palette

-How to Style a Bookshelf

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