Articles Tagged "Holidays"

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December
15

Holiday Celebration Tips: First Holiday Season in a New Home

Holiday Celebration

If you're spending this holiday season in a new home, our real estate agents think a special celebration is in order. A new home is a perfect excuse to try out some new holiday traditions. Try out these ways to celebrate in your new home or to help you get to know your new neighborhood. 

Host a Holiday Housewarming 

Everyone loves a festive gathering, so celebrate your new home by hosting a housewarming party filled with holiday cheer. Start by decorating the front of your home with holiday string lights and sparkly tinsel that illuminates the trees. Next, welcome guests with a front walkway lined with candy canes, reindeer, or baskets of poinsettias that lead to a holiday wreath on your front door. When guests step inside, be sure to offer a tour of your new place!

Deck the Halls

Even if you don't plan on hosting a party, you can still decorate your new space! The holiday season is the perfect time to showcase your new home to family and friends, so feel free to deck the halls with special things that create a warm welcome and holiday atmosphere:

  • Adorn the Christmas tree with bubbling lights, colorful glass ornaments, hand-made keepsakes, a tree-topper, and wrapped gifts

  • Decorate the mantle with fresh greenery, pine cones, and holly berries

  • Light up the fireplace with a roaring, warm fire

  • Put on your favorite holiday playlist

  • Scatter holiday scented candles throughout the house

  • Throw holiday quilts over sofas and chairs

Enjoy a Holiday Light Show

Looking for some holiday cheer around town? Raleigh has some amazing holiday light show events you don't want to miss, so bundle up and head to a couple that will fill the night sky with a beautiful holiday glow. If it's your first holiday season calling Raleigh home, stop by these light shows:

  • Nights of Lights
    Nights of Lights is a drive-thru holiday light show in Dorothea Dix Park. A 1.3-mile route winds through the park filled with towering, illuminated oak trees, elaborate light displays, and local artworks. November 26th - December 24th, 2021, 6 p.m - 9:30 p.m. General admission is $20 per car.

  • Magic of Lights
    This light spectacular is held at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek on Rock Quarry Road. Magic of Lights features a one-mile holiday light display with LED technology and digital animations, including the Blizzard Tunnel, 12 Days of Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, and Winter Wonderland. November 19th - January 2nd, Sun - Thurs: 5 p.m - 10 pm, Sat & Sun: 5 pm - 11 p.m. Advance admission: $20 - $32, At the gate: $30 - $40.

Welcome the Holidays with Music

Raleigh is home to one of the country's most beautiful concert halls, The Durham Performing Arts Center. Why not celebrate your new home with a special holiday concert that warms the heart? During December, the Performing Arts Center is hosting 3 wonderful holiday musicals:

  • A Christmas Carol: December 15th - December 19th,
  • A Hip Hop Nutcracker: December 26th
  • A Christmas Story: December 28th - January 2nd

Performance times and ticket prices vary by which day you attend. Mark a date on your calendar and purchase your tickets online, but don't procrastinate because tickets go quickly for holiday musicals.

There's no place like home for the holidays! If you're considering buying or selling a home in Raleigh, contact us for information and prices on properties in desired areas.

    December
    8

    7 Tips for Being a Great Host This Holiday Season

    Holiday Hosting Tips

    Time with friends and family is an exciting part of the holiday season. Was your home volunteered for this year's holiday gathering? While hosting an event can be stressful, our real estate agents recommend following these tips to be a great host this holiday season. 

    1. Make a List
      When you have a slew of things to do, it's easy to forget an ingredient or neglect one of your chores. A to-do list is essential when you're hosting a holiday gathering. If you're hosting multiple events, consider purchasing a dry erase list. This lets you keep the tasks that you generally always need to complete before an event (so you won't have to rewrite the list each time) and add tasks that are unique to a specific gathering. 
    1. Prep Your Food Ahead of Time
      Even a simple food spread can take hours to make when you're cooking for a lot of people. Alleviate the stress of food preparation by making what you can ahead of time. Baked goods, dips, soups, stews, and casseroles all keep well and can be prepared the day before. 
    1. Pick the Right Set-Up
      The setup for your gathering should make it easy for guests to get their food and beverages without crowding everyone in the same spot. It should also provide ample opportunity for conversation. An option suited to many homes is to put the drink table, main course table, and an appetizer/dessert table in separate spaces. Set your drink table up in your living room or foyer. Most people will want drink refills throughout the evening; this makes it convenient for them to grab a beverage while minimizing lines and crowding. Your main food table can go in the kitchen. Depending on your home's configuration, set the dessert/appetizer table up in the dining room or another area in your living room. Check that each table has everything guests need.
    1. Avoid Cleaning Areas That Don't Matter
      A tidy host isn't necessarily a good host. Don't spend time cleaning areas that your guests are unlikely to visit. For example, the doors to your childrens' bedrooms and laundry room can be closed to conceal any messes. It's reasonable to get your deck and front porch tidy and inviting, but don't stress about organizing your garage or picking up the yard. Have a large empty bin on hand to quickly remove clutter and out-of-place items the day of your event. A clutter bin also works well when you're adding your home to the list of Raleigh homes for sale and you need to quickly clean up before a showing.  
    1. Set the Mood
      Sound and scent instantly change the atmosphere in your home. Play seasonal music (consider instrumental versions if you're concerned about the noise level) and light a festive candle to create an inviting environment for your guests. 
    1. Make Time for Your Self
      Give yourself a dedicated chunk of time the day of your gathering to get ready. You don't want to worry about greeting your guests with wet hair and an unkempt outfit. Instead, stop your preparations a couple of hours before your event to dress and freshen up so that you feel confident and put together when your guests arrive. 
    1. Thoroughly Stock Your Bathroom
      Grab a basket to stow bathroom essentials for your guests, like toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, air freshener, mouthwash, extra hand towels, hand soap, and lotion. If something runs out during your party, your guests can quickly find what they need without rifling through your cabinets and drawers.

    Want a home with more space for your holiday events? Contact us today to start your search!

    December
    1

    Turkeys for the Triangle 2021

    Turkeys for the Triangle

    Are you ready to give back to neighbors in need and support the community you love this holiday season? Holiday meals are essential to the experience of the season, and our Turkeys for the Triangle program is focused on providing holiday meals for food-insecure people in the Triangle.

    This year, you can help us feed more than 20,000 people in local communities during the holidays. The HPW Foundation partners with a variety of local non-profits, churches, and homeless shelters to distribute turkeys to those in need.

    In the 18 years since our Turkeys for the Triangle initiative was founded, it has donated more than 38,000 turkeys and helped feed over 160,000 people for holiday meals. Funds are raised through the sale of $5 raffle tickets during the holiday season, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the purchase of turkeys.

    Turkeys for the Triangle was established by Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston Founder and Chairman Don Walston, who said:

    "It breaks my heart to know that there are families in our local communities who struggle to put food on the table, especially during the holidays when so many of us are celebrating with special meals. Turkeys for the Triangle is our answer to that sad reality; it is a way our company, our clients, and our kind neighbors can give to the greater good, to feed those in need."

    How to Contribute to Turkeys for the Triangle

    Throughout the holiday season, our HPW team will be selling $5 raffle tickets to support Turkeys for the Triangle. Are you ready to lend a helping hand, and help a community member create holiday memories this year?

    It's easy to purchase your tickets today online, and we appreciate your support! Tickets are available now at our Turkeys for the Triangle website for $5 dollars each or 5 tickets for $20, with some outstanding prizes available for raffle winners.

    Turkeys for the Triangle 2021 Raffle Prizes

    With each raffle ticket that you purchase, you will gain an entry to win one of the many great prizes available this year:

    • Grand Prize: Trip for Two to Destination of Choice (Up to $2,000 Value)

    • 6-month Membership to Winc.com Wine Club

    • Tandem Sky Diving for Two

    • Apple Watch Series 6

    • $500 Target Gift Card

    • 65" Flat Screen TV

    • Weber Grill

    • iPad Mini

    • Yeti Cooler

    Are you ready to support a great cause, and give back to your community for the holidays? Purchase your tickets today at TurkeysfortheTriangle.com! Or contact our team for more information. 

    November
    17

    Your Guide to Holiday Home Staging

    Staging Tips

    Are you thinking of selling your home during the holiday season? While this is a busy time of year, it can actually be a great time to sell. If you stage your home appropriately for the holidays, the cozy, celebratory vibe can really appeal to potential buyers. Our real estate agents have plenty of tips for staging a home at the most wonderful time of the year.

    • Keep Exterior Decorations Minimal
      Curb appeal is important when selling a home. So while you do want to decorate your home for the holidays, you don't want to go overboard. Stay away from giant inflatables and other dramatic holiday decorations this year. Keep it simple with a few lights to accentuate the best element of your landscape, a festive wreath on the door, and maybe some garland on the porch. 

    • Accentuate the Fireplace
      If your home has a fireplace, make it the focal point of your holiday decor. Fireplaces make people feel warm and welcome, especially around the holidays. Some snowmen on the mantel, a garland, and some simple white lights paint a stunning scene.

    • Don't Let Decorations Take Over
      When decorating the inside of your home, make sure your decorations accentuate what's there rather than overwhelming it. For example, choose a smaller tree that fits next to the living room sofa rather than a huge one that forces you to rearrange the furniture. Add a couple of holiday figurines to your dining room table, rather than replacing the whole table with a red and green one. You want potential buyers to be able to imagine what the home looks like outside of the holiday season, too.

    • Don't Change the Color Palette
      Try to choose holiday decorations that coordinate with the room's existing color palette. If red and green decorations clash with a room, use silver or blue ones instead. Use muted burgundy instead of red in rooms with more natural color schemes. Use brighter colors in brighter rooms. A cohesive color scheme makes people feel more comfortable in a space.

    • Go Easy on the Scents
      Scents are a common element of home staging. And the holiday season is the perfect occasion to use scents like pine and fresh-baked cookies to your advantage. However, you don't want to go overboard and overwhelm your buyers. Some people are susceptible to scents. To avoid making your space too smelly, opt for potpourri over spray air fresheners and essential oil diffusers. A nice, pine-scented, or cinnamon-scented potpourri will add a gentle, holiday-inspired scent that's not headache-inducing.

    • Keep Things Less Personal
      When you typically decorate for the holidays, you might display family photos from previous years or personalized ornaments that your kids made in school. But making a home feel too personal can turn off buyers. It makes it harder for them to picture themselves living in your home. Stick to non-personalized decorations when staging a home for the holidays. 

    • Don't Block the View
      Potential buyers want to look through windows and see what view they get to enjoy. So, make sure your holiday decorations don't block that view. Don't put any decorations on your windows. A few lights around the window frame or a bow at the top is more than enough.

    There are plenty of buyers looking for Raleigh homes for sale around the holidays. If you're thinking about selling your home this season, keep the staging tips above in mind. Contact us to learn more about our real estate services and how our agents can make selling easier.

    November
    24

    Mark Your Calendar for These Holiday Events in the Triangle

    Holiday Events

    It's the most wonderful time of the year, and our real estate agents want to help you make the most of it. Mark your calendar for these exciting holiday events taking place in December around the Triangle.

    • Winterfest '21 - Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary, NC 27609
      The air near Cary homes for sale will be filled with the joyous sound of classic holiday carols at Winterfest '21. For the twelfth year, the Cary Town Band will be performing a selection of your favorite holiday tunes. The audience will also have a chance to vote for five or six singalong songs. Winterfest '21 is set for Thursday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. 

    • Lights on the Neuse - Boyette Family Farms, 1620 Loop Rd., Clayton, NC 27527
      Enjoy an old-fashioned holiday for the whole family at Lights on the Neuse. Leave the driving to someone else as you take a 20-minute hayride through the glittery lights at Boyette Family Farms, not far from Clayton homes for sale. Afterward, head to Santa's Sweet Shoppe for hot chocolate, coffee, kettle corn, and DIY s'mores kits. Lights on the Neuse runs through Friday, December 24. Visit the website for days and times. Tickets are $10 per person.

    • Santa's Reindeer Roundup Express - New Hope Valley Railway, 3900 Bonsai Rd., New Hill, NC 27562
      Kids can help Santa find his nine missing reindeer during the 50-minute ride on Santa's Reindeer Roundup Express, just minutes from New Hill homes for sale. Special holiday scenes set up on the train, alongside the tracks, and in the rail yard make great photo opportunities. The Roundup Express leaves the station weekends through December 18. Visit the website for the schedule. Admission is $15 for adults and 13 for kids ages 2-12.

    • Christmas Parade - E. Academy St. & S. Fuquay Ave., Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526
      What's a holiday without a parade? Cap off a day of viewing Fuquay-Varina homes for sale at the town's festive Christmas Parade, held in the historic downtown area. The route begins at the intersection of E. Academy St. and S. Fuquay Ave. Bring folding chairs and blankets and arrive early to get the prime viewing spots. The parade kicks off at 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 5.

    • Historic Holiday Festival - Wake Forest Historical Museum, 414 N. Main St., Wake Forest, NC 27587
      A perennial holiday classic is the theme of the inaugural Historic Holiday Festival at the Wake Forest Historical Museum, right down the street from Wake Forest homes for sale. "It's a Wonderful Wake Forest!" features the Calvin Jones House done up in holiday finery as It's a Wonderful Life plays in the museum auditorium and local musicians provide entertainment. Food, drinks, and seasonal wreaths will be available for purchase. The festival takes place Saturday, December 4 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. and admission is free.

    • A Vintage Christmas - NC State Fairgrounds, 985 Youth Center Dr., Raleigh, NC 27607
      Find one-of-a-kind gifts your family and friends will treasure at A Vintage Christmas. More than 120 vendors will have upscale vintage art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, and other great items. Live music and food trucks round out this unique event, right by Raleigh homes for sale. A Vintage Christmas is scheduled for Friday, December 10 and Saturday, December 11 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, December 12 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission is $5 -$15.

    Where is your perfect Triangle home for the holidays? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston for help with your year-round real estate needs. 

    October
    27

    7 Safety Tips for Trick or Treat

    Halloween Safety

    October is in full swing, meaning it's time to make your Halloween plans. If your evening includes a trick-or-treating session, our real estate agents suggest following these guidelines to ensure that all your little ghosts and goblins remain safe:

    1. Opt for Flame-Retardant Materials
      When choosing or making a Halloween costume, look for flame-retardant materials. Some people like to use a real candle in their jack-o-lanterns, and it's common for festive individuals to light a few candles to fill their homes with a seasonal aroma. If a child accidentally brushes against an open flame, a flame-retardant costume will decrease the chance of injury and prevent the flame from spreading. 
    1. Check That Costumes Fit Well
      Your child's costume should be comfortable and allow them to freely move around. See that pants, skirts, and robes are hemmed to the appropriate length so that they don't accidentally trip over them. If the costume includes a mask, make sure that the eye holes are positioned in the correct location and don't obscure their vision. Any accessories, like a broom or sword, should be small enough for the child to carry without dragging them on the ground. 
    1. Go Over Trick-or-Treat Etiquette
      Even if they've gone trick-or-treating numerous times, make sure kids remember the proper etiquette. Remind kids to only go to homes with the lights turned on. Encourage them to stay on designated walkways and avoid walking through the homeowner's grass or flower beds. A "please" and a "thank you" are fantastic ways for kids to show appreciation to neighbors handing out treats. 
    1. Check That Kids Have a Light Source With Them
      With so many kids out and about and adults and older teens heading to Halloween parties or haunted houses, it's essential for anyone walking at night to be well-illuminated. See if you can incorporate glow sticks or reflective tape into your child's costume. Or, add a few strips of reflective tape to their costume to ensure drivers can see them. In a pinch, a flashlight is an easy addition to keeping children illuminated. Make sure that the batteries in the flashlight are new so that it lasts the whole evening!
    1. Convey Your Expectations
      If you have older kids who want to go on their own, convey your expectations before they set out. Go over a pre-approved route. Remind them to stay in a group with other children, and see that they have a cellphone on them in case of an emergency. Let your kids know when you expect them home, and make sure they know not to enter any homes. 
    1. Hold Off on Enjoying Any Treats
      Kids should avoid digging into their bag of candy until the night is over for multiple reasons. It's a smart idea to go through their candy at the end of the night and remove anything that's come open or appears to have been tampered with. Check that all of their candy is suitable for their dietary needs. Small candy is a choking risk for small kids, and even older kids can inadvertently swallow candy when they're walking. 
    1. Stow Electronic Devices
      Keep any electronics (like tablets and mobile phones) stowed until the evening is over. This prevents the device from becoming a distraction while kids are trick-or-treating. 

    Ready to start looking at Raleigh homes for sale? Contact us to get started!

    August
    9

    Book Lovers Day: Books Set in the Triangle

    Raleigh Books

    Reading is a wonderful way to gain new perspectives on familiar topics. Not only is the Triangle a desired location that people want to move to, writers often use this area as a backdrop for their novels. See the Triangle through new eyes in these books that our real estate agents will be reading to celebrate Book Lovers Day on August 9th

    • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
      Young adult fiction isn't just for kids anymore. Relatable themes and engaging stories have made these books popular with readers of all ages. In Legendborn, author Tracy Deonn draws on her childhood in North Carolina, along with her love of fantasy. Main character Bree Matthews, reeling after the death of her mother, escapes to a residential program for gifted high schoolers at UNC-Chapel Hill. After witnessing an attack, Bree uncovers the existence of the titular secret society, which may have a link to her mother's death.

    • Cabins in the Laurel by Muriel Earley Sheppard
      Get an intimate look at mountain life in the early 20th century in Cabins in the Laurel. After the author and her husband moved from New York to the Toe River Valley in 1928, she set out to become acquainted with her neighbors, and these friendships form the basis of the book. Adding to the realism are 128 breathtaking pictures from noted Chapel Hill photographer Bayard Wooten.
    • Dying to Be Thin by Kathryn Lilley
      Durham's reputation as a weight-loss mecca gave rise to the nickname "Fat City." Kathryn Lilley cleverly uses this background in Dying to Be Thin, the first in her series of "Fat City Mysteries." Lead character Kate Gallagher hopes to lose weight. Kate's efforts inadvertently put her in the middle of a murder, and she discovers a talent for crime-solving that takes her life in a new direction. Subsequent titles include A Killer Workout and Makeovers Can Be Murder.

    • Naked by David Sedaris
      David Sedaris became a beloved contemporary humorist with witty, self-deprecating essays about his quirky life. Naked, the first of his books to hit the New York Times best-sellers list, includes stories about growing up in suburban Raleigh. Sedaris's colorful family includes younger sister Amy, a popular actress and comedian in her own right. In relating tales such as his mother imitating his nervous tics in front of amused teachers, Sedaris shows an ability to find humor in awkward and painful moments.

    • Blue Blood: Duke-North Carolina: Inside the Most Storied Rivalry in College Hoops by Art Chansky
      It's no secret that the Triangle has many basketball stories to tell! Blue Blood: Duke-North Carolina: Inside the Most Storied Rivalry in College Hoops offers a front-row seat to the most fascinating moments throughout this storied history. With exciting tales of fights, feuds, and controversy, the book sometimes reads more like fiction than real life. The forward is written by ESPN college hoops guru Dick Vitale. This rivalry has such a rich legacy that it spawned a sequel in 2018.

    Create your own story in the Triangle. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston for up-to-date information on the best Raleigh homes for sale

    December
    22

    5 Ways to Give Back in Raleigh This Holiday Season

    Raleigh Nonprofits

    The holiday season seems to fly by, and it's easy to get caught up in all of the festivities. Unfortunately, between the shopping and parties, many of us lose sight of the real spirit of the season. This is a special time of the year symbolized by good tidings and cheer. Our real estate agents encourage you to give the gift of compassion, kindness, and charity this holiday season by giving back to our Raleigh communities.

    1. Donate Gifts
      Make someone's holidays extra special by donating gifts to local children and families. There are plenty of families living paycheck to paycheck that cannot afford to purchase gifts for their family members. Make sure everyone has a gift to unwrap this holiday season by donating a special gift or wrapping paper to these organizations:
    1. Donate to a Food Pantry
      As you sit down for dinner with family and friends, please remember that there are those in our community who go to bed hungry each night. While it might not seem like much, small pantry or cupboard staples like canned veggies, bread, rice, and toiletries are vital necessities that many are left at home without. Before filling your own plate, consider feeding the hungry with donations to these local food banks:
    1. Don't Forget About Animals
      There are many residents throughout the Raleigh area that need our love and support. Unfortunately, some of these residents also include animals. Our local animal shelters are full of cats, dogs, and other pets who deserve loving homes and support.
    1. Give the Gift of Life
      Now more than ever, it's important that we come together to preserve the health of every resident of Raleigh. There are many sick and injured men, women, and children in our hospitals who are in dire need of blood transfusions. Consider donating blood to one of our local donation centers. Your blood can save up to three lives and be used to combat a variety of diseases.

    2. Volunteer
      If you can't afford to give any possession or monetary donation to those in need, you can still help by donating the gift of your time. Countless organizations throughout the Raleigh area need volunteers to serve our community. Consider canceling a shopping trip and instead spend an afternoon volunteering:

    We hope you take a moment this holiday season to express your kindness to those in need. Remember, every act, no matter how small, can make a huge impact on someone's life. As always, feel free to contact us if you need assistance selling or buying Raleigh homes for sale.

    December
    9

    What Kind of Christmas Tree is Best For Your Home?

    Raleigh Christmas Trees

    With the holiday season in full swing, it's time to select a Christmas tree for your home. A real Christmas tree is a charming option that instantly lends a festive touch to your space. Our real estate agents know that a home with gorgeous decorations appeals to potential buyers. 

    Not only does a real Christmas tree fill your home with the seasonal smell of pine, but it helps support the local businesses who grew, transported, and sold the tree. Here are some guidelines to follow to help you pick the best Christmas tree for your home. 

    1. Know Your Options
      There are a few different varieties of trees commonly sold as Christmas trees. The Balsam Fir is a popular choice in many households; this variety is the most fragrant alternative, and it only sheds a small number of its needles. If you have lots of space and want a full Christmas tree, consider a Douglas Fir. The Douglas Fir boasts a lovely pyramid shape and soft needles. Make sure that you're ultra committed to watering your tree, as the Douglas Fir requires more water. Maybe you like to add a lot of ornaments to your tree. The Frasier Fir is preferred for it's stiff, strong branches capable of holding a tree full of decorations. If a green tree doesn't quite suit your aesthetics, check out the Colorado Blue Spruce. Its needles are a bluish-silvery hue and look fantastic in a room adorned with winter-themed decor. The Eastern White Pine is a great choice if you're sensitive to smells and prefer a tree with minimal fragrance. However, it also has soft needles that aren't capable of supporting many ornaments and decorations.
    1. Measure the Space Where You Plan to Put the Tree
      Your next step is to measure the space where you plan to set up the tree. When choosing your tree's home, make sure that it's away from any heat sources (like a radiator or open window) or open flames (such as a fireplace or candle display). Once you've selected your spot, measure the height (leaving room at the bottom for the tree holder and at the top for the tree topper), width, and depth. Jot these measurements down and take them with you so you can ensure that any potential trees are a suitable size. If you're adding your home to the inventory of Raleigh homes for sale, make sure that you don't overcrowd the space. Having too much decor or furnishings in one area will actually make the room appear small. 
    1. Understand What to Look for at the Tree Lot
      Besides meeting your preferences for size and variety, there are some other requirements your tree should meet. Look for a tree with bright, shiny needles; steer clear of trees that have brown, dull needles. Give the branches a shake. If a lot of needles fall off, move onto the next tree. Take a few of the needles in your hands and crush them. They should have a fragrant, fresh smell. 
    1. Keep Your Tree Hydrated
      Regardless of which type of Christmas tree you choose, ample hydration will ensure that it looks amazing the entire season. Once you get your tree home, give it plenty of water, and check the water frequently. Most trees are a little dehydrated when you get them home and will initially use more water until they can stabilize their water levels. 

    Want a home with more space for holiday decorations? Contact us today to explore your options!

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