Annual Chicago Coldwell Banker Charitable Foundation Breakfast

A flood may have postponed our initial Foundation Breakfast for the Chicagoland area on April 18, but nothing could stop us from celebrating our record setting check presentations with our giving partners on May 13 in Rosemont. This brief video is just a glimpse of some of the amazing work that is being done by our partners with the funds lovingly raised and given by our leadership team, sales associates and employees.

The Coldwell Banker Charitable Foundation has raised over $600,000 since its inception in 2007. We’re happy to report $180,000 was raised in 2012 alone. Our primary purpose is to support local housing-related charities that directly benefit the needs of the people and communities we are privileged to serve.

For more information on the Coldwell Banker Charitable Foundation, visit givehousing.com and Like us on Facebook. We care. We support. We give back. 

I Love ‘Beautiful Things’

– Guest blogger,Val Barbatelli, Manager, Coldwell Banker Downtown Milwaukee and North Shore offices

val-barbatelliI love beautiful things! It’s a blessing most days and occasionally, a curse. It is a gift from my mother, most notably, who had a love for art, fashion and lovely things for the home, among other things. Her reputation for stellar taste is legendary among her family and wide circle of friends; it was something she was born with much to our delight! So I give full credit to my Mom for this love of beauty and decorating a home!

Home is a place where you are the curator of your own unique collection, a daily reminder of what you love, love to look at and of course, what you might like to change. Whether it be your barcalounger, invented by an Italian by the way, your special glassware from your Grandmother, special woodworking tools from your uncle; that amazing chair from the estate sale, the list goes on and on. As curator of my eclectic collection, I am constantly seeing new things I might like to add to my home, many of which tend to be out of my reach at the time. Oh well, not to worry, there are always more beautiful things to come…

Some of the daily inspiration I receive is from a gorgeous piece of Haitian art given to me by my mother because she knew I was crazy about it! It makes me smile every day.

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A very old chest from China; I love the ancient wood and hefty handles and drawer pulls. It’s stunning!

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The website fab.com is one of my favorites and this red heart lamp lights up my kitchen and reminds me of those I care about…

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This Fornasetti plate is at once sad and touching and I am not above things that are a bit edgy. Sometimes guests are not sure what to think of it.

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I could go on and on but let’s take a walk down the decidedly unadorned hallway to the Bathroom. I moved in 7 years ago and said then; I am going to redo the bathroom! Have I? No! Why? Good question…

It’s one I could get all philosophical about but why complicate things unnecessarily? The bathroom is the ugliest room in the house, an eye-sore really. It needs work, to say the least, a gut job at the other end of the spectrum. What’s a girl to do? So it begins endless daydreams and research to help me decide what to do. I have so many ideas, it’s crazy! Do I gut the room and expand it using part of the closet from the bedroom? Take out the tub and do a great shower with sexy fixtures. (Can fixtures really be sexy? Kohler thinks so.) Do I want a double sink or should it remain single? (Does that say something about my love life?) I love glass tile and have it all picked out from Oceanside in California, talk about beautiful and expensive! Maybe just keep it classic, white subway tile and then that lighting fixture from Design Within Reach I’m nuts about. You get the picture…

Daydreaming is fun and there is no shortage of wonderful things to ponder when figuring out what to do with my bathroom. If I ever sell this house, I have to do something to it!

What will I decide, when will I decide, that remains to be seen. In the meantime, I have many items that inspire me daily; they give me sustenance keeping me happy and sated. I love coming home each and every day, in fact, I look forward to it!!!

Stayed tune for the next installment of ‘Beautiful Things’ when once again the world of possibilities for my home will be explored!!

The Dream Place to Work

— Jean T. Land, Senior Manager, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Metro West Office 

If an agent were to ask me if he/she should join my office, I would say:

Coldwell Banker I am a non-competing manager and nothing gives me more job satisfaction than to mentor, coach and help an experienced agent to the next level or to launch a new agent to a successful career.

Our office is staffed with a strong administrative team who supports us with “knock your socks off” marketing, extraordinary transaction management, organized systems and gives us “truly remarkable service.”

We have a creative, positive and energetic atmosphere. In spite of being independent contractors, we are a team — we are a family — we thoroughly enjoy an environment where both teamwork and individual achievement exist and thrive.

Our office culture and environment is dedicated to our agents’ success and embodies integrity and professionalism while giving agents the independence they desire.

My Real Estate “Aha” Moment

– Sherri Larson, Senior Manager, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage West Bend

Sherri Larson | Senior Manager | Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage |I read this story today, and it reminded me of a very particular time in my life. I would like to share it with you:

“One day an entrepreneur took his young sales manager up to a magnificent estate overlooking a beautiful river.

He then took him up on the highest peak on the property, put his arm around him and pointed down and said: “Look at that stunning home and gorgeous swimming pool! How do you like those fabulous tennis courts? Take a look at those beautiful horses in the stable. Now all I want you to do is continue to meet the high standards and goals I’ve set for you and someday, son… someday all this will be mine.”

I actually had a boss say something very similar to me early in my work career…and it was that exact moment, my “aha” moment, when I decided that I needed a career where I could be my own boss. Real estate was the perfect solution for me. I have the opportunity to help people achieve the dream of home ownership, serve my clients in the best possible way, keep an open mind, learn something new every day, and find personal satisfaction in a job well done.

My real estate career has taken me in directions I never planned, and has introduced me to many people, situations and places. I have met and made many friends, and have had the opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest people anyone could hope to meet.

It all started with that “aha” moment….and I have never looked back.

Create a Woman Cave in Your Home

– Brooke Balco, Communications Specialist, Coldwell Banker Central Region

A place where moms can check out from reality and check in to peace and quiet.

Tranquil Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has the perfect gift idea- the gift of peace and quiet! Every woman, mother or not, should have a place in their home where they can take some time to themselves to unwind and do something they enjoy, whether that means reading a book, soaking in the bathtub, or planting flowers.

The first step to creating a “woman cave” in your home is to get inspired. Look through images of your dream home to get your creative juices flowing and see what is realistic for your personal space. Here are a few inspirational ideas to get started:

Create a cozy nook

To create a perfect place to cuddle up and read a book, knit or take a nap, the key is to look for a space in your home that is removed from noise and clutter. This can also be the perfect way to transform an awkward corner, windowsill or loft space into a comfortable area for a little relaxation. Some of the best spaces for a “nook” are next to a fireplace, near a large window filled with natural sun light, or even on your balcony.

Cozy Library

This charming Lincoln Park single family home boasts a magnificent library with a wood burning fireplace flanked with built-in bookshelves. Flooded with light form the large bay window, this room is the ultimate retreat for quiet time! The vintage home also offers two offices, five bedrooms and four full bathrooms! It is listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s DelGreco Team for $1,385,000.

Me Time in this cozy nook

Get creative and transform an unused den, extra bedroom or office space by adding plush décor to design an intimate setting, like in this Gold Coast home. By adding a canopy and daybed in the room it creates the perfect ambiance for some “me time”. This dream home also includes a wood paneled library, chef’s kitchen, and roof top deck. It is currently for sale for $643,500, listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage agent Terry Forrest.

Enjoy a spa day

Every woman dreams of a luxurious spa bathroom in their home, so why not make your dreams come true? There are several do-it-yourself projects that can make you feel like you are away at a spa, such as replacing bath fixtures and faucets, painting the walls, updating your bathtub with a whirlpool spa, and adding natural materials such as teak, bamboo and stone to your décor.

Spa like bathroom

This extraordinary Lincoln Park home makes you feel like you’re at a country club. The master bathroom includes a spa marble bath with double vanity, glass surround steam shower, and a separate whirlpool tub. You also can’t miss the natural light shining through filling the room with sunshine. This 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom single family home is currently for sale for $2,095,000, listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage agent Jennifer Ames.

Luxurious bathroom

The master spa bath in this fully renovated Bucktown home screams luxury! This enormous space includes a spa bathtub, sauna, storage space, double sinks and loads of natural light. The home also has four outdoor spaces, including a garage roof deck! It is currently listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Dorger McCarthy Group for $829,000.

Create an outdoor oasis

Need some fresh air? Enjoy yourself while making the most of your outdoor space by planting a serene and tranquil garden. To get started, here are a few tips: choose an area that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day, plant a variety of flowers for a colorful display, and do your research before breaking ground . Also, plan ways to enjoy your outdoor oasis by incorporating outdoor furniture or a pond to create a comfortable place to hang out and enjoy the beautiful flowers.

Outdoor space

A look inside (and outside) this Lincoln Park home will surprise you when you discover the unbelievable two-story garden and green house. It is currently listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage agent Chaz Walters for $1,079,000.

Golf, Fun and Fundraising

By Linda Schubring, Racine Manager

Coldwell Banker GolfOur Coldwell Banker office in Racine, WI is the proud sponsor of an annual golf tournament called the Coldwell Cup. This tradition began when the local school board, after crunching some numbers about 17 years ago, said that sports programming for our schools might have to be discontinued. The benefits of sports are limitless, they learn self esteem, teamwork, social skills and so much more.

So, after that shocking announcement, we created this golf tournament to help the schools continue with sports programming. The proceeds raised at the golf tournament go to the sports programs of our six local high schools. Every year we remain committed and involved with our community and are pleased to announce that 2013 will be our 16th year for the tournament. It will take place on May 18, 2013 at Ives Grove Golf Course. This is a 27 hole, 2 partner tournament and we are gratified to have continuing support from the golfing community, amateur and professional. Registrations are open until May 14 this year or until all spots are filled. Because of our dedicated Realtors and staff, to date we have raised over $45,000 for our local schools! Thank you to all who have helped us reach this remarkable achievement.