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News at Coldwell Banker Mid-America Group, Realtors®

12 Trending Designs to Bring Into Your Home Today

Monday, July 31, 2017

Good design is all about the little things. A seemingly small decision or maneuver can pay off to create something big and captivating. We've noticed some design moves so clever that they make the entire room stand out. Consider including one of these ideas in your next project. 

1. Bold countertop and backsplash color. If you get inspired by colorful spaces, let this Australian home be your muse. You may not think that a vibrant green countertop would work, but one look at its combination with an equally vivid green backsplash and light wood cabinets, and you could become a convert.

Laminate countertops are making a comeback, and they’re an affordable option that you can customize in any color you want.


2. Disappearing dining table. Dining space can be hard to come by in some homes. In this 835-square-foot condo, a suspended and recessed compartment beneath the TV opens to reveal a slide-out shelf that extends to create a desk or table surface.


3. Accent wall to hide the TV. Despite some reports that feature walls are fading, interior designer, color specialist and Houzz writer Jennifer Ott argues that’s just not the case. “I continue to evangelize for accent walls because they are one of the quickest and easiest ways to inject your own personality into a space,” she writes.

A black- or dark-painted feature wall can make unwanted elements disappear, as is the case in this living room, where the black screen of the TV is virtually nonexistent.

4. Window wrapped in tile. Graphic tile is a great way to bring pattern and movement to an otherwise white kitchen. But another terrific tip is to wrap that tile all the way around a window on the backsplash wall to give the appearance of a wallpaper effect.

See more backsplashes with graphic tile

5. Black marble countertops. Interior designer and Houzz writer Yanic Simard showed us the versatile beauty of black marble with all the ways it can be used to bring drama and elegance throughout a home. One highlight: countertops. “A dark stone counter makes an excellent pairing with a deep cabinet color,” he writes. “You can break up the darkness with a light backsplash and some shimmering metallic accents. Nobody will want to eat in the dining room again.”

See more reasons to love black marble

6. Field tile feature wall in the shower. Using encaustic tile to cover an entire bathroom could get costly. A more affordable option is to create a smaller feature section in your shower with a solid-color border. Keep the rest of the tile simple, such as white subway, and you’ve got a stunning, affordable design feature.


7. Decorative shower drain. In the same shower as the previous photo, move your eyes down from the graphic feature wall and you’ll find this decorative shower drain. It goes to show that no matter how insignificant an element is in your space, there’s always room to have a little fun with design.


8. Ceiling treatment. Just as looking down at the shower drain can spark a little creativity, so too can looking up to the ceiling. The homeowners of this Florida home hired a custom artist to paint a scene depicting the night sky.

Read more about this fun children’s bathroom

9. Outdoor furniture indoors. This little design trick is worth repeating time and again. If you live by the water, have kids or pets, or are involved in any activity that may cause abnormal wear and tear on your furniture, consider upholstering your pieces in outdoor fabric. It’s easier to clean and holds up better to active use.


10. Old shutter as a display board. If you have a home office, chances are you have some sort of display board for mementos, notes and reminders. If you prefer not to drill, hammer or pin anything into your walls (hello, renters), consider leaning an old shutter against the wall behind your desk, and use clips to secure things.


11. Wall-hung storage system. Sometimes a bulky storage case or bookshelf can take up a lot of visual and physical space. To keep the floor area free and clear, try a customizable wall-mounted shelf system like the one shown here. You can get creative with the size and location of each shelf to create a functional configuration that can work around almost any fixed element.


12. Mirrors behind shelves. Every designer has a bag of tricks to bring life and style to a room. Here, a designer used antique mirror to add a reflective element to a richly hued living room in London.

7 Reasons Buying Beats Renting

Monday, July 31, 2017

Why Buying a Home is Better than Renting
Conventional wisdom used to state that buying a home is always a great investment. But after the housing crisis, many people who saw their equity sliced in half began questioning this logic.

That’s unfortunate. In most parts of the U.S., home buying is still a better decision than renting for people who plan to remain in the space for at least 4-5 years or more, both for financial and emotional reasons. Let’s explore some of these factors in-depth.

Price Security in Home Buying
Historically, prices tend to rise over time. For example, a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, and a semester of college tuition cost more today than they did in 1990.

Your mortgage payment, however, is one constant you can rely upon. If you hold a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly principle and interest (P&I) payment remains the same, regardless of how prices are moving in other industries. (Your property taxes and homeowners insurance may rise.)

Price consistency offers the advantage of planning for the long-term future. As a homeowner, you can anticipate your monthly housing costs in 5, 10 or 15 years.

As a renter, you can’t lock in this type of security. As prices climb, landlords raise the rent to meet the current market. In fact, some landlords write rent escalation clauses into their leases, systematically raising the rent annually.

If you’re renting with a month-to-month lease, your landlord may announce a price jump with only 30 to 60 days of advanced warning, depending on the laws in your area. This puts renters in the difficult position of needing to either find the additional funds or scramble to secure new housing with little advance warning.

Investment – Cash-on-Cash Return
As a homebuyer, the outlay of a small down payment can give you the opportunity to make outsized gains.

Hypothetically, for example, imagine that you put a 20 percent down payment on a $100,000 house. The price rises 5 percent, to $105,000. You would earn $5,000 on your initial outlay of $20,000 – a return of 25 percent. This is known as cash-on-cash return, and homeownership can make this type of gain accessible to the average person.

Forced Savings
A home can be a type of “forced savings.” Each month, a portion of your mortgage payment is returned to you in the form of equity. The longer you own your home, the more equity you build – both via mortgage payments as well as in potential value increases.

Renters don’t have this luxury. Many of the pro-rental arguments hinge on the assumption that money “saved” (either via lower monthly payments or through alternate uses of the down payment) would be invested in the stock market.

Realistically, though, what’s the likelihood that a renter would invest that money, rather than spend it on a trip to the Bahamas? And if that money were invested, what’s the likelihood that a renter wouldn’t panic during the next crash and sell at the bottom of the market, turning paper losses into actual losses?

A home functions as ‘forced savings,’ helping you build equity. Like a personal trainer, it keeps you accountable.

Flexibility with Home Improvements
As a homeowner, you can have the freedom to upgrade your home to your heart’s content – without carrying risk or ongoing financial commitment.

If you get a bonus at work, you can celebrate by installing hardwood floors or renovating the bathroom. If you suffer a financial setback, you can defer your plans to remodel the kitchen.

Renters don’t hold this flexibility. The only way they can upgrade their living space is by moving, and this entails both hassle and commitment.

Homeowners, by contrast, can upgrade their home piecemeal as they accumulate cash over the years. Home improvements are a one-time expense that doesn’t require continuous commitment.

Pride of Home Ownership
You wouldn’t invest hundreds of hours cultivating an exquisite garden in a rental property. You wouldn’t hang wallpaper or replace the light fixtures on a rental property.

As a homeowner, you can take pride in crafting, personalizing and perfecting your home. The space can truly morph into a reflection of you, in a way that a rental property never could.

Neighborhood Connection
As a homeowner, you’re more likely to become involved in your local community. There’s a stronger chance that you’ll join the neighborhood association, organize potlucks or block parties with your neighbors, coach a local sports league or volunteer at the local school.

While it’s possible that you’ll get involved with the community as a renter, you’ll also likely feel an emotional barrier that stems from knowing you might move in a year or two. Committing to an area for the long-term can inspire you to invest more time and energy into improving the neighborhood and connecting with the surrounding community.

Meet the Builder- Vaughan Homes

Monday, July 31, 2017

Vaughan Homes wants to build your next home. Check out 5112 NW 12th Street, Ankeny, for the latest home or view the link for a completed home. Details at!

A Dog Owner’s Guide to House Hunting

Monday, July 31, 2017

Life at home should always be great – not just for the humans who live there, but for the furry members of the family, too! When looking for a new home, it’s important to consider how the move will impact the quality of your dog’s life as well as your own. Here are some tips for knowing what to look for when you are house hunting with a dog.

1. Is There Enough Space in Your New Home?

It’s very important to consider the size of your dog when you are house hunting. If you buy a smaller home or a townhouse/condo, having a Great Dane might be completely out of the question. If you have a big dog or plan on bringing one into your family, make sure there’s enough room for all family members – both humans & canines alike!

2. Do You Have a Yard or Nearby Outdoor Area?

Exercise is extremely important for most dog breeds. Make sure to scope out the property around your potential new home. Is there a fenced-in yard? Is there enough space to put up a fence if you wanted to? If the answer to both of those questions is “no”, make sure the neighborhood is safe enough where you can walk your dog any time of day without worrying about lots of traffic.

3. What is the Proximity of Your New Neighborhood to Your Job?

What time do you leave for work? What time do you get back to your house?  Does your new commute allow you to keep this same schedule and tend to your dog’s needs? If not, and you will need to leave earlier or come home later than your dog is used to, you should consider hiring a dog walker to come in halfway through the day. This way, your dog will still get the proper exercise and attention he or she needs, and won’t have to change their schedule too much. This will help ease the transition for your pet and make the move easier on everyone involved.

4. Are There Parks & Recreational Spaces Nearby?

If your dog is used to weekend hikes or running free on a nearby field, consider this when choosing your new home. Are there similar recreational areas close to your new home where you can bring your dog?

5. Is the Neighborhood Dog-Friendly?

When looking for a new home, try to scope out who your new neighbors will be. Are there lots of families who also have pets? If so, you and your dog will probably feel right at home! Do your research to find out if the town you’re considering is dog-friendly.


Everyone deserves a home. For the past two years, we have worked with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa to help find homes for more than 20,000 adoptable dogs. Learn how you can get involved with our #CBStory of giving back at

Welcome Adam Stark!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Please welcome Adam Stark to our Metro office in the East Village!

Adam is a Drake University graduate who has spent the past 10 years working in the furniture and mattress industry in both sales and management. He currently works at Slumberland Furniture as a sales associate, and is excited to be transitioning into a real estate career.

During his free time, Adam enjoys being outdoors enjoying the fresh air. Some of his favorite outdoor activities are boating, biking, running and snowboarding. Outside of work, he is involved in grassroots political organizations specializing in creating awareness of local political matters and increasing voter turnout.

Adam looks forward to a career where he will have a greater work-life balance, as well as forming more meaningful, long-lasting relationships with his clients.

Adam can be reached at (515) 705-8821 or


Welcome Liz!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Please join us in welcoming Liz Broadus to our Ankeny office!

Liz is married with five kids - three girls ages 16, 14 and 12 and two boys ages 4 and 1 - and has lived in Iowa since 2007. She is originally from California and joined the military at age 18. She has also worked for Wells Fargo as loan processor and is currently a childcare provider.

Most of her free time is spent maintaining her family life, whether it's band or sports. She also enjoys gardening and exercising. Liz is involved in Relay for Life every year because her four year old is a survivor. She is also a Dance Marathon Family associated with the University of Iowa and tries to attend most of their functions.

"I'm looking forward to starting a new career of helping people find their home whether it is the first one or last one," Liz said of her new role with Coldwell Banker.

Please reach out to say hello at or (515) 556-1912.


Word of Advice Wednesday- 5 Financial Reasons You Should Buy

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Kate Anderson covers the 5 Financial Reasons You Should Buy in today's Word of Advice Wednesday!

Welcome Connor!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Please welcome Connor to our Northpark office in Johnston/Urbandale!

Connor spent most of his life growing up in Cedar Falls and went to college in Cedar Rapids. He has spent the last 4 years in the Des Moines area and loves the area, especially "all of the amazing restaurants throughout the metro".

Connor lives with his girlfriend Megan and their daughter Quinn. Megan is a sous chef at Proofrestaurant downtown. Quinn is almost 2 and is a ball of energy. In their free time, they enjoy relaxing at home or at the park, seeking out exciting food in all the different restaurants, and going to the farmers market. Connor also loves to play golf in the warmer months, watch football in the fall, and snowboard in the winter. 

"Through my career here at Coldwell Banker, I wish to meet lots of new people, make strong life long relationships, and to grow my business quickly," Connor said. 

Welcome, Connor! Say hi to him at 515-224-8525 or

Welcome Jodie Beach!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Please welcome Jodie Beach to our Metro office in the East Village!

Jodie is a national speaker on business etiquette and owns her own company Jodie Speaks - We are are very excited to add her to our team!

You can send a welcome to Jodie at or (515) 556-2415.



Welcome Michael Targoff!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Please welcome Michael to our Northpark office in Johnston/Urbandale!

Michael was born and raised in Cedar Falls, but has been living in the Des Moines area for 2 years now and loves it.

He is married to his wife Melanie and has 2 fur babies, Leo and Roshe (pronounced ROW-she). Leo is a Morkie (Maltese/Yorkie) and Roshe is a Golden Cockapoo (Golden Retriever/Cocker Spaniel/Poodle).




In his free time, he loves relaxing with his wife and pups, playing golf, and playing video games.

"With real estate here at Coldwell Banker, I am hoping to make many lifelong connections and take off very quickly in the industry," Michael said about his new career.

We already know he will be a great fit! Welcome!

Reach out to Michael to say hello at 515-224-8586 or!
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