• 7 Ways to Cozy Up Your Home in Cold Weather

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    ShutterstockChange your table decor or mantle to incorporate the warm colors of the season.

    The following post is by BrightNest:

    Fall and winter can get a bad rap. We get it — outside your home, it’s cold, blustery, dark and (sometimes) dreary. Instead of getting blue, take advantage of the cold weather and turn it into a time to eat, drink and be cozy! With a few simple tricks, you can transform your home into a warm and inviting space.

    Here are seven ways to cozy up your home for cold weather:

    Light a Crackling Candle: If you don’t know what a crackling candle is, read this. Basically, wood-wick candles are the best way to simulate a wood-burning fireplace without any of the soot and smoke.

    Wrap Up in Wool or Flannel: Soft, plush textiles are essential when it comes to cold weather. In the bedroom, bring out your warm-weather, heavier fabrics (like this wool duvet) that will keep you nice and toasty. In the living room, add flannel or chunky wool throws and …read more  

  • How to Raise a Property Listing From the Dead

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    ShutterstockHas the listing on your for-sale home gone dead?

    In my past life as a real estate developer, I’ve had listings that died on the vine. Buyers stayed away in droves; weeks passed with nary a phone call or whiff of interest. Even in a good market, some properties are a beast to move. Maybe your house is one.

    That’s why I asked “Million Dollar Listing” stars Ryan Serhant (New York) and Chris Leavitt (Miami) how to raise properties from the dead. The Bravo brokers offered this advice.

    Serhant, who moves top-end properties in Manhattan, says massaging the sales price is the best way to revive a listing.

    Million Dollar Listing New York Premiere

    APRyan Serhant: “It’s always about pricing.”

    “It’s always about pricing,” Serhant says.

    Sellers mistakenly think that lowering a price from optimistic to realistic is a sign of desperation that turns buyers off. In fact, Serhant says, adjusting pie-in-the-sky prices to match the all-important neighborhood comps, signals that a seller finally is serious about moving his property.<br …read more  

  • Never Rake Leaves Again!

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    The Associated PressInstead of raking, Communities across America are asking residents to mulch leaves in place.

    Here’s the easiest promise you’ll ever make: I’ll never rake leaves again. Raking leaves wastes energy — yours and your community’s, which spends lots of tax dollars collecting and disposing of leaves each fall.

    Instead of raking, U.S. communities are asking residents to mulch leaves in place — taking a couple of passes over fallen leaves with their regular lawnmower or with a special mulching mower. Once the leaves are pulverized, they’ll decompose, sink into and nourish your lawn.

    Homeowners also can collect the shredded leaves in mower grass catchers, then scatter them around trees and flower beds as mulch, or add them to their compost pile.

    Westchester County, New York, estimates that it spends up to $4 million each year carting away 60,000 tons of raked leaves. So the New York suburb has instituted its “Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em” initiative to reduce organic yard waste.

    Not convinced that shredding leaves is right for you? Here are four reasons to give up raking. (Like …read more