VIRTUAL TOURS TOUR OUR LISTINGS ANYTIME

Articles Tagged "homeowner tips"

Kirby Chandler Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
Allen TX | 8 Posts
Buying a House | 7 Posts
Coming Soon! | 2 Posts
Coppell, TX | 1 Posts
Covid | 1 Posts
Covid-19 Update | 2 Posts
Dallas TX | 15 Posts
DFW | 5 Posts
DFW Real Estate | 30 Posts
Economy | 42 Posts
Exurb Counties | 2 Posts
Financial News | 1 Posts
Forth Worth TX | 1 Posts
Frisco TX | 5 Posts
Home Appraisals | 1 Posts
Home Prices | 6 Posts
Home Sales | 4 Posts
Home Showings | 1 Posts
Homebuyers | 1 Posts
Homeowner Tips | 1 Posts
Homeownership | 5 Posts
Housing Starts | 5 Posts
iBuyers | 1 Posts
In The News | 4 Posts
Inflation | 1 Posts
Las Colinas TX | 1 Posts
New Build | 1 Posts
Plano, TX | 2 Posts
Relocation | 1 Posts
Renting | 1 Posts
School News | 3 Posts
Taxes | 4 Posts
The Economy | 4 Posts
Zillow | 1 Posts
Dallas | Fort Worth | Jobs | Home Sales | Coppell | Flower Mound | Real Estate | Frisco | Relocation | Moving | New Construction | New Building | Home Prices | Home Prices | New Contruction | Growth | Forclosure | fort worth | search for homes | Schools | Taxes | Dallas-Ft Worth | Growth | 55+ Retirement Communities | Frisco | Byron Nelson | New Construction | Jobs | Texas | Schools | Little Elm | Little Elm | Frisco | DART | Commuter Rail | Public Transportation | Argyle | Lantana | New Construction | Fort Worth | Real Estate | RE/MAX | Real Estate | Southlake | RE/MAX | Sales | Agents | Coppell | Carrollton | Plano | Frisco | Irving | Relocation | Dallas | Dallas-Fort Worth | Housing | Real Estate | Economy | buying a house | buying a home | home buying tips | Grapevine | Selling a house | Las Colinas | Valley Ranch | DFW neighborhoods | Southlake TX | Selling a Home | area information | Denton TX | homeowner tips | First-time Home Buyer | RE/MAX DFW Associates | purchase offer | Buying a condo | First-time Buyers | Millennial Buyers | Baby Boomers | Retirement Community | Kitchen Remodel | Increase Home Value | Local businesses | Financing a home | For sellers | Painting tips | Downsizing | Homeownership | For buyers | Anna TX | Melissa TX | Rockwall TX | The Market | Zillow | Renting | DFW Metroplex | Interest Rates | Covid | Pandemic | Omicron | Homeschool | Christian Schools | IBuyers | Investors | Showings | Listings | Homebuilding | inflation | Homebuilding Permits | Home Showings | Appraisals | Exurbs | Suburbs
June
20

Add These Gadgets to Your Kitchen

Kitchen tips

A beautiful, functional kitchen is one of the home's greatest assets. If you love cooking or wining and dining company on the weekends, investing in the kitchen is a great way to wow your guests.

Cooking just happens to be one of our favorite hobbies, and our real estate agents are always investing in the latest and greatest kitchen gadgets. But what kitchen gadgets will you actually utilize, and which ones will just collect dust? If you're looking to enhance your cooking skills or just make things more convenient, here are some of the best gadgets to add to your kitchen:

  • An Air Fryer
    Love the taste of crispy, deep-fried cuisine, but don't love the calories? An air fryer might be a great option for you. You can air-fry almost any type of food, and the entire process is quick and easy. This gadget makes cooking a delicious dinner a breeze.
     
  • An Immersion Blender
    If you're looking for a quick and easy way to blend smoothies, soups, and stews, invest in a good immersion blender. Traditional blenders can take up a ton of counter space, but immersion blenders are small and easy to store. 

  • A Waffle Maker
    Waffles are the staple of any brunch, and a nice waffle iron makes them super easy. Use it to serve up some fresh, tasty waffles to your friends on the weekends. Waffle irons can take up some storage space, so if your cabinets are too small, it might be time to upgrade to one of these Dallas homes for sale.

  • A Manual Food Chopper
    Looking to break up ground beef in the frying pan? Lose the spatula and invest in a manual food chopper instead. These gadgets make it simple to separate meat, and the best part is -- they don't damage your cookware. 

  • A Spiralizer
    Spiralizers have traditionally been used to thinly cut pasta, but now they're the go-to item for creating your own zucchini noodles, sweet potato noodles, or even creating thinly sliced potatoes. This gadget makes it super easy to prepare healthy meals.

  • An Electric Kettle
    If you drink a lot of tea or enjoy pour-over coffee, an electric kettle will change your life. Just fill it up with water, plug it in, and press the button, and you have boiling water in just a couple of minutes.

  • An Electric Can Opener
    Sometimes a manual can opener can be tricky to use and can occasionally get stuck. An electric can opener takes away the unpredictability of opening a can by making the process quick and easy.

  • The Traditional Toaster Oven
    The basic toaster is limited in its functionality, so it might be time to upgrade to the toaster oven. These small, compact appliances fit nicely on the counter and can not only make toast but can also be great for heating up any leftovers.

  • The Instant Pot
    You're sure to find Instant Pots in the kitchens of many of these Fort Worth homes for sale. So many people swear by The Instant Pot -- it makes cooking super easy. This revolutionary kitchen appliance is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and food warmer all in one. You can put almost anything in The Instant Pot.

Cooking is fun and easy when your kitchen is equipped with the best gadgets and appliances. For more tips on how to make the most out of your kitchen, contact us today.

May
9

Tips for Buying Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor Furniture

Nothing makes a house feel more like home than setting up a cozy outdoor living space. Not all patio furniture is created equal, though, which means your choice has to be a careful one. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents on how to choose the perfect outdoor furniture.

  • Choose the Right Size 
    Sizing is important, especially if you have a small patio space. Before you start shopping for furniture, measure the space for your outdoor furniture and sketch out a quick drawing of what the space looks like, along with the measurements. Take a tape measure with you as you shop, too, so that you can measure everything rather than just eyeballing it. Outdoor living spaces are highly popular in Dallas homes for sale, but the sizes of these living spaces can vary widely, so it's important to choose your outdoor furniture specifically for your space.

  • Keep the Weather in Mind
    Anyone shopping for Fort Worth homes for sale knows that weather is hard on outdoor furniture, so it's important to choose patio furniture with the local weather in mind. Cycles of strong sun and precipitation fade fabric, disintegrate stitching, and cause wood to crack and dry out. If your furniture is on a covered patio, shielded from sun exposure and precipitation, you won't have to worry about it as much, but if it's exposed to the weather, look for fade-resistant cushions and sturdy furniture that won't require a lot of upkeep.

  • Plan for Storage
    Speaking of the toll weather takes on your outdoor furniture, you can reduce this by storing your patio furniture during the off-season and putting away the cushions between uses. You can purchase covers to protect your furniture, cushions, and all when you're not using it, but keep in mind that the covers will likely need to be replaced periodically due to the same weather concerns you're protecting your furniture from. Moving the furniture indoors during the off-season is an option too, but requires the storage space to do so. An outdoor storage trunk makes a great solution for storing cushions between uses and keeps everything nearby for when you need it.

  • Make Your Decisions Based on Comfort
    There are two kinds of outdoor furniture available, and they both have their own distinct purposes: those chosen for looks and those chosen for comfort. There's nothing wrong with choosing patio furniture for looks, especially if you're staging your home for sale or setting up an idyllic tableau in your yard. But if you plan to spend a lot of time chilling on your patio, choose that furniture for comfort. Opt for big, sturdy furniture with thick cushions and a design that allows you to kick back and relax.

  • Balance Quality with Budget
    Most of us have a budget to watch when we pick out patio furniture, but it's important not to sacrifice quality when staying within your budget, or you'll find yourself replacing your outdoor furniture much sooner than planned. Opt for heavy-duty, weather-resistant furniture with fade-resistant cushions. If this is out of your budget now, buy a piece at a time, watch for sales, or search for used furniture listed for sale in your area. High-quality furniture will be worth the investment, as it'll last for years to come.

Well-appointed outdoor living spaces are good for more than just your own personal enjoyment: They help to sell your home, too. Contact us today.

April
18

Kitchen Features Bakers Will Love

Baking Updates

Do you love baking but wish your kitchen was more functional for your culinary needs? Or, do you want to create a space that makes it easier for you to bake your favorite dishes?

By making a few simple changes to your kitchen, you can improve the functionality and efficiency of your kitchen. Our real estate agents know that many of these projects will make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Here are some features and additions that we recommend to make your kitchen more baking-friendly. 

  1. Add Storage Accessories to Your Cabinets for Your Sheet Pans and Baking Equipment
    If you have to dig through your cabinets to find a specific piece of baking equipment, outfit your cabinets with pullout shelves or drawers. This makes it easy for you to find the pan or baking sheet you're looking for without having to pull every single item out. Pullout shelves also work well for housing heavy appliances, like your stand mixer or bread machine, when they aren't in use, so you have more counter space. 
  1. Integrate Open Shelving into Your Kitchen Design
    Open shelving is an excellent way to store and display items that you frequently use when baking, like measuring cups and mixing bowls. If you have any bakeware with a gorgeous design that can also function as decor (like ceramic pieces in a vibrant color or print or items in a seasonal holiday print), open shelves are a terrific option to show them off. Or, perhaps you have cookbooks or family recipes that you utilize during your baking sessions. Open shelves work well for housing cookbooks or even displaying a written family recipe as a decorative piece. Many buyers find open shelving appealing, making this a smart addition before you add your home to the inventory of Fort Worth homes for sale
  1. Opt for Pull-Out Cabinets to Store Baking Ingredients
    If you're willing to consider more dramatic upgrades, pullout cabinets are a versatile addition that enables you to set up a more functional baking station. While pullout cabinets are frequently used for trashcans, another idea is to use them to house baking supplies that you might purchase in large quantities, like different types of flour and sugar. The design of a pullout cabinet is perfect for housing containers to store your baking ingredients. Another benefit of adding pullout cabinets is that they're a buyer-friendly upgrade when you add your home to the list of Dallas homes for sale
  1. Set Up a Kitchen Island
    A kitchen island is an excellent alternative for expanding your counter space so that you have more room for preparing your recipes, decorating cakes and cookies, and sampling your finished product. While you can install a kitchen island that utilizes your current cabinets and counters, this isn't your only option. Many furniture retailers sell rolling kitchen islands that add extra prep space and allow you to move the island according to your culinary needs. 

Want a home with a larger kitchen so that you have additional space for baking? Contact us today to get started!

February
21

7 Tips for Creating a Vertical Garden This Spring

Vertical Garden Tips

Limited on yard space? Consider building your garden "up" instead of "out" this spring.

Vertical gardens are a beautiful touch to any home, and they're very much in style this year. Vertical gardens consist of greenery suspended to a vertical wall, frame, or panel. Think of an ivy wall but with a wide assortment of plants. There are also super easy to build and maintain and can give your exterior a unique appeal. Some of our favorite Dallas homes for sale have had well-maintained vertical gardens that really impressed buyers.

Our real estate agents love exterior design trends that include vertical gardens, so they offered to pull together some tips to help you with yours this spring:

  1. Choose The Right Location
    Location is everything when it comes to a vertical garden. You'll want to choose a wall that is not only accessible but also receives a significant amount of sunlight. If you have a wall that could use a makeover, a vertical garden could also be a good way to conceal blemishes.
     
  2. Create A Sturdy Frame
    Your vertical garden needs to consist of a strong frame that can support pots, planters, or other soil containers. However, your garden is only as durable as the frame you select. Use thick, strong wood or even PVC pipe. Flimsy, thin pieces of wood or loose wire can lead to chaos when strong winds or storms roll in. Your structure also needs to be strong enough to support the weight of your plants.

  3. Protect Your Wall And Foundation
    Your vertical garden is going to need to be watered frequently, so it's important to take the necessary steps to protect your outer wall. Attaching a protective backing layer allows you to protect your building from any damage caused by ongoing water exposure. Also, consider adding a pooling tray to the bottom of your vertical garden. This will prevent water from pooling near the foundation of your home.

  4. Choose The Right Plants
    Not all plants are suited for a vertical garden. Since you're building up, you'll be limited on soil depth. Consequently, you'll need to choose plants with shallow roots. Aim for plants with roots that don't exceed 6 inches beneath the surface. Leafy vegetables and most popular flowers will work well.

  5. Give Your Plants Support
    Many plants don't grow vertically on their own, so they'll need a bit of extra support. Use fasteners, clips, and stakes to help keep your plants growing upward. This will be critical to keeping your plants healthy and your garden looking good.

  6. Choose The Right Watering System
    Watering a vertical garden can be a bit difficult, as gravity pulls water to the ground before it has a chance to soak into the roots. Consequently, you may need to water your vertical garden more frequently. Using a hose or a sprinkler system will work; however, a drip irrigation system will help evenly distribute water across the soil and provide the water a better chance of soaking into the soil.

  7. Prune Often
    Like any garden, your plants are going to need regular maintenance and upkeep. Vertical gardens often don't receive the same amount of sunlight as a horizontal garden, so it's important to keep adequate space between your plants and prune and trim regularly.

If you're looking to make your home stand out among these beautiful Fort Worth homes for sale, a vertical garden is a great addition to your exterior. For more landscaping tips, contact us today.

July
12

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Kitchen

Dallas Kitchen Upgrades

Love to cook? If so, you may be looking for a dream kitchen among Fort Worth homes for sale. You probably have some good ideas about what you want in a kitchen, but our real estate agents have some insightful advice that might make you reconsider what you're looking for. For instance, many homeowners think large when it comes to kitchen space, but experts say it's more important for your kitchen to be organized than to be expansive.

Make the most of your kitchen with these upgrades.

  1. Create a Good Workflow
    Gathering guests in the kitchen while you cook is a definite trend, but you want to arrange things so your guests can enjoy visiting and not be in the way. Place them nearby where they can enjoy a drink or some snacks, but not where you have to work around them. Plan for your cooktop to be out of the flow of traffic; take that a step further and locate the trash or the bar away from the cooking flow so you don't have to dance around obstructions. By the same token, you want essentials nearby, such as the refrigerator, pots and pans, most favored utensils, and cooking ingredients.

  2. Invest in Good Counters
    You want good quality counters, but that doesn't mean you need to invest in the most expensive materials. For instance, granite is popular, but it requires considerable upkeep and can scratch easily. Another popular material is soapstone, which is soft and can be scratched, but it's not delicate. It also ages nicely and can stand high heat. Compressed recycled quartz is a popular choice that stands up to wear and comes in several choices.

  3. Go for Quality Cookware
    Forget those 20-piece cookware sets. Rather, buy piece by piece and only buy what you need. For instance, you're likely going to use a frying pan or skillet more than, say, a saucier, so do invest in one that's of good quality. But investing in an inexpensive non-stick skillet for daily egg cooking isn't a bad idea. You can save the quality piece for the gourmet dishes, and just let the non-stick go when it wears out.  

    A cast-iron skillet is one way to acquire a quality piece that doesn't cost much. These last forever. You might also want to invest in a fully clad pot, which means it's composed of three layers of bonded metal. These pots are known for even transmittal of heat, which translates to nice browning instead of hot spots.

  4. Think Bold
    While white kitchens with a bold pop of color or two have prevailed over recent years, the trend may be shifting to more adventurous colors. For instance, bright blue cabinetry might call to you, as might a green marble countertop or a backsplash that makes an eye-catching statement. If you know you're staying in your current home, choose the colors that appeal most to you.

  5. Consider Sustainability 
    The throw-away syndrome is something we all need to lose, and no better place to start than in your kitchen upgrade. As you look to redo your kitchen, shop for quality, artisanal, sustainably made items that will last a lifetime. For example, consider adding quality food storage solutions to get rid of plastic wrap usage.

Still looking for a home complete with the perfect kitchen for all your culinary adventures? Our agents can help. Contact us today.

May
10

Small Ways to Give Your Home Office a Boost

Home Office Tips

Whether you're permanently working from home or just want a space where you can create in peace, it's important to set up an inviting home office that you look forward to working in. Our real estate agents also find that a home with a home office is more appealing to potential buyers. You don't have to undergo a complete renovation to update your home office; instead, check out these simple ways to give your home office a boost. 

  1. Add Fresh Paint to the Space
    The color of a room significantly influences the room's atmosphere and overall appearance. In general, lighter tones of gray, blue, and green work to create a soothing atmosphere for your home office. Some research indicates that a green hue enhances concentration. An additional benefit of light colors is that they reflect light, making your home office appear larger. If you're adding your home to the list of Fort Worth homes for sale, this will help maximize the home's appeal to potential buyers. 
  1. Declutter the Room
    It's distracting to work in a space that has a lot of excess stuff. Go through the room and get rid of anything that doesn't have a purpose or that doesn't suit your current needs or aesthetics. If you are setting up your office in a shared space, such as your home's living room or basement, invest in organizational materials (like bins, cube storage, and shelves) to ensure non-work items are contained in an aesthetically pleasing way. 
  1. Make Your Home Office Ergonomically Correct
    Invest in materials that keep your body healthy and comfortable while you work. An ergonomically correct desk chair is a must. Ideally, the chair will provide ample lower back support and encourage good posture so that you keep your spine and neck in alignment. If you're constantly looking down at your computer, invest in risers so that your screen is at eye level. Don't forget lighting! When you're writing or reading, a desk lamp is essential for proper illumination. 
  1. See That the Space is Functional
    Your home office should be set up in a way that boosts your efficiency. Do you like to display your reports or paper graphics? Invest in a corkboard so that you don't take up precious desk space. Or, are you a frequent memo maker? A whiteboard is a must-have for your work area. If you use books or manuals, check that you have a bookshelf to contain and organize them so that you can quickly find what you need. 
  1. Incorporate Life into Your Office Decor
    Indoor plants improve your concentration, enhance your home's air quality, and provide an easy source of decor for your room. When you list your home with other Plano homes for sale, plants will instantly make your home more inviting to prospective buyers. They also give your office a homey atmosphere. 

Searching for a home with a larger space for a home office? Contact us today to explore your options!

March
15

What You Need to Know Before Starting a Home Improvement Project

Home Improvement DFW

Renovating or updating your home is an exciting prospect. Whether you plan on living there a while longer or are fixing it up to sell soon, doing much-needed updates can be satisfying. Before you get too carried away, though, here are a few words of caution from our real estate agents.

  1. Choose your contractor carefully.
    Remember that a lot rides on your choice of contractor. This person will oversee your project, so it needs to be someone who is on board with your vision. It also should be someone who is good at what they do, so check online reviews. It's a good rule of thumb to interview several contractors and look for someone who will be a good fit for your project, understands your budget, and will be able to deliver as promised and on time.

  2. Expect the unexpected.
    That being said, always expect the unexpected, and build a little wiggle room into your budget and your timeline. You don't know what your contractor and his crew will find once they start work. The original plan may need to be changed or some issue could require attention before the work can continue. If you build a little extra into your overall plan, changes in cost or time frame won't hurt as much.

  3. Do the kitchen first.
    There are several reasons why you should do the kitchen first. First of all, it's likely to inconvenience you the most, since you won't have a kitchen to cook in. You can set up a temporary kitchen station in another room, where you can do simple food prep. But more importantly, kitchen updates have the biggest impact on your home's value. Dallas homes for sale that feature clean, modern kitchens show and sell the best. Plus, those updates feature the most functionality, so you'll likely enjoy them the most during whatever time you have left in the house.

  4. Be honest with yourself before DIYing.
    It can be tempting to save yourself the money and do the work yourself, but be honest with yourself as to whether you have the required knowledge, experience, and skill to DIY it. If you overestimate your ability to DIY your upgrades, you'll detract from your home's appeal and leave the buyer to clean up the mess. Be honest with yourself, and if you don't know enough to make the job look professional, then leave it to the professionals.

  5. Know whether you're selling or staying. 
    If you're designing updates to enjoy while you live in the home, your goals are going to be different than if you're updating a home in order to join the list of Fort Worth homes for sale. Renovations for yourself will of course be targeted to your personal preferences, whereas renovations prior to selling need to be more neutral so that they'll appeal to a wide range of potential buyers.

If you're looking to sell your home soon, home improvement projects are a great way to boost its appeal to buyers. For more information about what upgrades sell the best, or to speak to an agent, contact us today.

February
8

Storage Solutions You'll Want in Your Home

Home Storage SolutionsNo matter how big a house is, we seem never to have enough storage space. The problem might be you just haven't unlocked the secrets of a good storage strategy.

If you're considering homes among Dallas homes for sale or Fort Worth homes for sale, and you're wondering if the storage will be sufficient, just keep these tips in mind for how you might expand the storage space in your new home.

  1. Over-the-doorway shelving. 
    Bet you didn't know you had all that potential storage space right over the doorway. Install open-air shelves over the doorway in bedrooms, bathrooms, and above double doors. Depending on the type of room where the shelves are installed, you can place plants, decorative dishes, and pottery, or treasured mementos.

  2. Under-the-bed storage bins.
    Don't let that space under your bed go to the dust bunnies. Acquire long, flat storage bins and stow things such as holiday gift bags, tissue, and wrapping paper; or even off-season clothing. 

  3. Hooks for measuring spoons and cups.
    Don't you get fed up looking for measuring spoons and smaller-size measuring cups in your drawer full of miscellanea? Now you can put your hand right on them by installing hooks inside your kitchen cabinet doors and hanging them within easy reach.

  4. Drawer organizers.
    Utilize these to help organize your kitchen. Drawer organizers work well if you put some time into planning what you need to access before you buy the organizers. Make sure you measure your drawers as well! 

  5. Storage bins for cabinets.
    Same as for drawer organizers: think about what you want to place in storage bins before you buy them. For instance, maybe you have some spices you'd like to have right at hand, so you acquire a bin for the pantry where you can place them in rough alphabetical order. Storage bins in cabinets should work well for all the smaller items in the kitchen, such as packets of gravy or dressing mixes, a box of bouillon cubes, a baggie full of orphaned tea bags, sweetener packets, whatever. Obviously, storage bins for your bedroom closets will be larger so they can hold your shoes; maybe in your office, a storage bin would be useful for rounding up all those power cords and chargers you can't seem to throw away.

  6. Excess stuff.
    You know you need to get rid of stuff you never use, but it's hard. We suggest once a year going through your possessions and doing a fearless assessment of what you're likely to need or can let go of without regrets. Some of it can go in the trash or the recycling bin; the rest, such as clothing or furniture in good repair, can go to charity. 

  7. Outdoor storage shed.
    This is one of the best solutions for relieving indoor crowding. Try to arrange stored items with a top to bottom plan by stacking seldom-used items on the bottom, and stuff you might need in smaller containers near the top. Think about what you'll want to get at (holiday decorations for instance) and place them so you can access them as needed. 

All these small changes will add up and provide you and your family more space so you can live more comfortably in your home.

Need more tips? Our real estate agents can help. Contact us today.

September
28

Driveway Driving You Crazy? 4 Ways to Improve It

Driveway Types - Homeowners - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Even though most homeowners use their driveways every day, it's a commonly overlooked area when it's time for home maintenance and upgrades. If your driveway is starting to show its age or is need of a little TLC, you have a few options to get it looking its best.

Before you add your property to the inventory of Dallas homes for sale, taking care of any driveway issues will ensure your home shows well with potential buyers and help you maximize its value. Here are some options to help you improve your driveway.

  1. Repair the Bad Spots in Your Driveway
    If you have crumbling areas or small cracks in your driveway, one way to improve its look and smooth the surface is to repair these bad spots. As long as the cracks in your driveway haven't damaged its foundation and are relatively small, you can repair them with a product intended for use in driveway crack repair.

    For areas with more intensive damage, you may be able to fill the holes with patching material. While this material will help you even the surface of your driveway, it usually only lasts a few years and it won't look as nice as your original driveway. 
  1. Resurface Your Driveway
    Resurfacing involves replacing the top layer of your driveway (versus removing and replacing the entire thing). It's a cost-effective option for homeowners whose driveways are in need of more surface-level extensive repairs.
    Your driveway will look brand-new, and the results will last for years. It's also possible to add colors or patterns when you have your driveway resurfaced. However, resurfacing isn't a good alternative if you have any foundation issues that you need to remedy. 
  1. Replace Your Driveway
    Keep your overall budget, maintenance preferences, and ideal aesthetic in mind when choosing a new driveway. For example, gravel is a cheap, eco-conscious alternative, but it tends to suit homes with a rustic aesthetic the best. It also needs to be replaced every year or two. A brick driveway offers a classic look and can last for 20 or 30 years. However, it should be pressure-washed and re-sealed once or twice a year to keep it clean and protected from the elements.

    If you're tired of your current driveway's appearance or if it has structural problems that you need to fix, replacing it will enable you to remedy these issues. You have a lot of options to choose from should you decide to replace your driveway. Some of the top alternatives are:
    • Concrete
    • Gravel
    • Asphalt
    • Paving Stones
    • Bricks
    • Crushed stones
  1. Upgrade Your Driveway
    Give your home optimal curb appeal by upgrading your home's driveway. Our real estate agents know that homebuyers value storage, and this includes space for their vehicles. Increasing the size of your driveway will make your home more appealing and ensure there's ample room for all your recreational vehicles

    Or, you might prefer to upgrade to a customized look by adding a cobblestone or basalt driveway. While less common driveway options require a skilled contractor to ensure their quality, they help your home stand out from other properties in your neighborhood. 

Ready to explore other homes in your area? Contact us today to get started!

June
15

Your Kitchen Reno Doesn't Have to Break the Bank

Easy Kitchen Remodel - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Kitchens pose a unique challenge when you're looking to update your home. They have to be highly functional workspaces and feel inviting. Completely renovating a kitchen would involve removing built-in cabinets and moving major appliances—an expensive and disruptive endeavor. But you can give your kitchen a whole new look on a modest budget. The Dallas homes for sale that we show can serve as inspiration, but you should also consider the following ideas. 

  • Shed New Light on the Subject
    Changing your lighting can make a world of difference in the look and feel of your kitchen. A fixture with a ceiling fan can cool things off in the summer. Under-cabinet lighting can make it easier for you to work if your counter space is mostly under wall cabinets. If you have a flush-mounted ceiling light, changing the fixture may be as simple as unscrewing the old and attaching the new.

  • A Hint of Tint
    Paint is a tried and true method of changing the look of a room, but when that room has built-in cabinets and flooring that is designed for high traffic and water resistance, your options change a bit. The kitchen ceiling and area above the backsplash, however, are ideal for pastels, brights, and if your painting skills are up to it, subtle trompe l'oeil effects.

  • Backsplash Changes Are Back
    Your backsplash needs to be durable and water-resistant, but it doesn't need to be boring. Stamped tin or copper will add a romantic gleam to a kitchen, and tiles of varying materials and colors can be used to create a colorful mosaic-like effect. If you'd like to show off bold appliances, however, subway tile provides a backdrop that won't overpower them.

  • Show Your Metal 
    Form and function can unite when you update your cabinet and drawer pulls. In the kitchen, you need cabinet hardware that will allow you to get the flour when your hands are sticky, oily, or wet. Changing the hardware will update your kitchen's look and make your kitchen easier to use.

  • Put On A Show 
    Decorative elements need not involve permanent or extensive changes. Choose embroidered or printed kitchen towels to give your kitchen a vintage touch. Display your most beautiful china or bakeware on open shelves. Place pots of herbs in the window for their color and scent, and to have them ready for the clipping in a recipe. A floor mat designed for kitchens can add a needed pop of color and be kind to your feet if you've been on them all day. Small decorative elements can be ideal if you're not ready to make a commitment to more extensive changes. 

Our real estate agents have long admired the impeccable style of DFW-area kitchens. We'd love to chat with you about your home. Contact us soon.

May
11

Dallas: Find Your Inner Green Thumb

Gardening Tips - Dallas - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Gardeners are so lucky in the Dallas area. With a little bit of effort, you can grow vegetable crops almost all year long in our warm, sunny climate. That long growing season is also great for producing abundant flowers that nourish butterflies in spring, summer and fall.

Our real estate agents can help you find just the right gardening spot among all our Dallas homes for sale.

In the meantime, here are some things to know about gardening in North Texas, and some recommendations for spring and summer planting.

Lone Star Weather: Tough on Gardeners

Weather in North Texas tends to be changeable, and that's truer than ever in these warmer times. During our recent spring, we've seen 95-degree days, followed by a norther that sent the mercury plummeting down to the 30s. Those sudden changes can be tough on gardens, so research plants carefully before you buy. The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service in Dallas should be your go-to source for sustaining your garden through inclement weather. 

Garden experts abound in North Texas and can advise you on protecting plants from sudden frosts or too much summer sun. For instance, situating plants sensitive to frost by a sunny wall in a warm microclimate can help, as can erecting a vine-covered trellis to shade plants prone to withering from harsh afternoon sun. 

Also, watch out for exposed locations where fierce spring winds may wreak havoc, drying out or breaking your tender vegetables or flowers. Planting or erecting windbreaks can help.

Pests

It's warm here most of the year, and in summer, it's downright hot. Warm climates usually have an abundance of garden pests and diseases that plague gardens, so be prepared. While some gardeners may adopt a regimen of spraying with chemicals, organic gardening experts support more earth-friendly methods such as using organic fertilizer, compost, and mulch; using organic applications to control garden pests and diseases; and planting plants adapted for our climate. 

How to Plant

One of the best garden designs for our area is the raised bed. Raised beds keep plant roots from bogging down in our clayey soils during wet spells. A 4-foot by 6-foot frame (these are available commercially) can get you started.

Double dig your planting spot to get rid of any rocks or roots. Place the frame, making sure it's level and bracing it to keep sides from bowing. Fill it with layers of garden soil and compost, then plant plants, seeds, or seedlings. Cover with mulch. Add extra beds if you have room.

Best Plants for North Texas

When choosing plant material, you'd do well to study Texas A&M's recommendations for EarthKind landscaping. The recommended plants stand up to the heat and drought of North Texas, having lower water needs than many other plants. 

  1. Vegetables
    After March 12, which is considered the last date for frost in our area, you can plant cucumbers, lima beans, tomatoes, corn, squash, peppers, radishes, and snap beans. In late April, plant watermelon, eggplant, okra, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin.

    In July, plant sweet and hot peppers, okra, and tomatoes to harvest in the fall.

    In August, plant broccoli, parsley, okra, onion, squash, collards, and watermelon for the fall.

  2. Flowers
    In May, plant hot-weather annuals, including periwinkles, salvia, zinnias, coleus, and portulaca. June annuals might include purslane, caladiums, Mexican heather, begonia, and hibiscus.

    In August, plant perennials that flower in the fall, including Mexican mint marigold, rain lilies, and chrysanthemums. 

We can help you find a dream home in Dallas where you can make your garden grow. Contact us today.

April
27

What's That Noise? Common House Noises and How to Fix Them

Common House Noises - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Creaks, groans, bangs, clanks—houses make all kinds of weird noises. Most of them aren't anything to worry about, but some could indicate a serious problem. Our real estate agents have just about heard them all, and we're here to offers some advice on how to identify and fix some common house sounds.

  • Whining Windows
    Chances are you've heard the ghostly sound of wind whistling through a drafty window. It can be downright unsettling if you don't know what it is, but once you've identified the source, leaky windows are usually an easy fix. In most cases, all it takes is a bit of caulk or weather stripping to seal air leaks around old windows, though if you live in an old house with a lot of drafty windows, you might want to think about replacing them to improve energy efficiency.

  • Scratching in the Walls
    If you hear something that sounds like scratching or scurrying inside your wall, you probably have some uninvited guests. Pests like squirrels, mice, and rats—even raccoons in some cases—are the likely culprits. If so, it's best to call an exterminator as soon as possible. Critters like these can chew through siding and insulation, and may even chomp on electric wires. 

  • Clanking Radiator
    Old radiators make sounds that range from faint scrapes and clanks to loud bangs that can wake you up every time the heat kicks in. The usual cause is poor drainage, leading to condensed steam getting caught in the pipes. You can solve the problem by inserting some wooden shims under one side of the radiator so that it's tipped slightly back toward the boiler.

  • Mysterious Running Water
    It's normal to hear running water inside your walls when someone turns on the sink, flushes the toilet, or runs the dishwasher. It's not normal to hear running water when no water-using appliances are on. The first thing you should check is the toilet tank to see if it's running. If so, it's an easy fix using this tutorial. If not, locate your home's main water shutoff valve and turn it off. If that puts a stop to the running water sound, that probably means you have a leak somewhere and should call a plumber as soon as possible. 

  • Rattling Pipes
    If your water pipes make a rattling sound when in use, it probably means they aren't anchored correctly. Try this: wrap the pipes in rubber pipe insulation, and use metal pipe straps every four feet to anchor them to the wall.

  • Furnace Whistling
    We sometimes hear reports of furnaces making a "whistling" or "sucking" sound. As a general rule, if your furnace starts making a new and alarming sound, you should probably call an HVAC professional as soon as possible. But that whistling sound is most likely the result of a simple clogged air filter. When that happens, the furnace will try to pull air around the filter, which puts a huge strain on the system. Remember to change your filters once a month during the heating season!

  • Bubbling Water Heater
    It's generally recommended that all homeowners drain and flush out their water heater every six months. If you don't, it can result in a lot of sediment buildup at the bottom of the tank. All that sediment will eventually start to come loose, resulting in a bubbling or crackling sound when the water heater turns on. 

Contact us today to learn more about diagnosing common household noises. We've spent years connecting families with beautiful Dallas homes for sale, and we're here to help with all your home ownership questions. 

June
25

Homeowners: Ask These 5 Questions Before You Downsize

When to Downsize - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Moving into a smaller home can be advantageous on many levels depending on your circumstances and reasons why you're choosing to do so. But it's not right for everyone, and depending on your particular situation, it may actually be more of a burden than an advantage. 

Our real estate agents have put together this list of five questions to ask before downsizing.

  1. Can I afford to downsize?
    It makes logical sense that moving into a smaller home will be cheaper, whether in monthly mortgage payments or in utilities and upkeep. But doing so can be somewhat misleading, especially if you're in an area where home prices are rising.

    If you've lived in your home long enough to stack up some substantial equity, and you can either swap payment for payment or use the proceeds from the sale of your existing home to purchase your new home outright, then downsizing makes sense.

    Where downsizing can get you in trouble is when the home you're purchasing costs you far more, or your payments stretch out beyond the timeline you've established.

  2. Will I pay capital gains tax?
    Along the same lines as above, selling a home you purchased two or three decades ago will likely be far more valuable now than it was when you purchased it. As a result, you may be on the hook for the proceeds from selling your existing home.

    The IRS allows for exemptions in capital gains of $250,000 for single filers or $500,000 for those married filing jointly. Anything above those thresholds will incur a 15% capital gains tax, plus, depending on what tax bracket you fall under, your taxable income could be far greater.

    It's best to consult a financial professional or accountant if you think the sale of your home could incur capital gains tax.

  3. Am I using the space in my current home?
    Downsizing usually comes to mind when homeowners realize they're not using all of the space in their home. Naturally, you want a home that feels comfortable and has adequate space, but a home with cavernous living areas and empty rooms may seem like a little much.

    If this sounds like your situation, then it's probably time to downsize. Take into account all of the things you'll be moving and precisely what you want in a future home, then start shopping!

  4. Am I ready to downsize?
    Readiness to downsize is a function mainly of emotion and willingness to start fresh in a smaller dwelling.

    Emotions can run high when looking to move out of a home you've made a life in, but rest assured that many more memories will be made in your new home. When it comes to willingness, you'll likely have to part with some furniture, possessions, and generally get ready to live in a smaller space. Coming to that point can take some time, but you'll grow comfortable with the idea of living in, and with, less.

  5. Are my costs mounting?
    Higher utility bills, growing tax rates, and increasing home repairs may be the thing that takes you over the edge when deciding to downsize.

    All of these things will factor into your fixed income later in life (if you're looking to retire) and can potentially become a burden if you don't have some financial flexibility and options at your disposal. If your costs are getting to be more than you'd like, then downsizing is right for you.

If you're looking for Dallas homes for sale, then contact us to speak to one of our agents to start shopping for your perfect forever home.

April
27

Boom: Hispanics Lead Housing, Income Surge, Poverty at Record Low

Hispanic Population Growth By 2060Latinos are finding their economic legs under the Trump administration, leading the surge in home ownership and income growth and record low poverty rates, according to two comprehensive new surveys.  While they remain far behind whites in income, they have seen their third consecutive year of income growth and have a higher workplace participation rate, according to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and the Hispanic Wealth Project. 

 

In two studies just released, the groups also provided revealing details about Latinos and their growth in America. For example, by 2060, nearly one of every three in the U.S. will identify as Latino.  The reports detailed Hispanic housing and economic trends and found most signs rapidly improving.  What's more, the group's goal of nudging overall Hispanic income up is showing signs of success. The group said that within the next five years, Hispanic median income will triple.Hispanic Homeownership rate

 

The group listed the positive trends in its income report:

  • For the fourth consecutive year, Hispanics increased their rate of home ownership, reaching a rate of 47.1%. In 2018, Latinos added 362,000 homeowners which is the highest number of owner households added for Latinos since 2005.
  • In 2017, Hispanics saw the third consecutive year of income growth and the highest of any demographic.
  • Between 2016 and 2017, Hispanics increased their real median income by 3.7%. Latino families making an annual income over $200,000 increased from 2.1% in 2011 to 3.8% in 2017, and the percentage of Latino millionaires more than doubled between 2013 and 2016.
  • Poverty rates reached a historic low for Latinos. Simultaneous to median income growth, Hispanics have lowered their poverty rate for three consecutive years. With a poverty rate of 18.3% in 2017, Hispanics reached their lowest level since poverty estimates for Hispanics were first published by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1972.

Hispanic Income Growth

  • Latinos have significantly higher labor force participation rates. Hispanics are employed at a rate of 66.1%, compared to 62.9% of the general population. The Hispanic unemployment rate was reduced by over 7 percentage points between 2009 and 2018, from 12.1% to 4.7%, respectively.
  • Latinos continue to drive small business growth. Between 2014 and 2016, the number of Latino-owned employer firms increased by 13.1%, accounting for 23.8% of the net growth of all employer firms during that period.
  • Participation in retirement accounts for Latinos is increasing. Between 2013 and 2016, Hispanics increased their rate of retirement account ownership from 25.1% to 29.7%, and the value of their retirement accounts increased by roughly 40.4%.
  • Washington Examiner, April 23, 2019
April
16

Texas Senate Passes Homeowner Property Tax Overhaul Bill

Currently city and school districts can raise taxes 8% a year without voter approval.

This new bill, passed by the Texas Senate, and now heads to the House, would limit the increase to 2.5% per year.

AUSTIN — Legislation that would slow property tax increases for home and business owners cleared the Texas Senate on Monday, after the sole Republican opponent of the bill stepped aside to allow the vote.

The vote was a victory for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a longtime proponent of property tax relief and champion of the Senate bill. He was again pitted against his political foil, Amarillo Sen. Kel Seliger, the only Republican who openly opposes the bill. Seliger held it up for weeks before changing his mind Monday morning and voting to allow the debate to proceed.

"Today is a historic day," Patrick said after the vote. "We heard a lot of comments from the floor ... from those in opposition who were concerned about cities and counties and their budgets. We're concerned about the people's budget — that's what we're concerned about."

Senate Bill 2 passed 18-12 with Seliger joining the Democrats in opposition. One senator, Brownsville Democrat Eddie Lucio, was present but did not vote. The bill will be debated in the Texas House, which has written its own version of the priority legislation, a week from Wednesday.

Authored by Houston Republican Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a former tax assessor-collector, SB2 would slow property tax growth by limiting how much revenue local governments and school districts can collect each year. It would not make tax bills smaller.

SB2, which was changed on the Senate floor Monday, caps property tax revenue growth for counties, cities and special taxing districts at 3.5% a year, up from 2.5% in the original version. School districts would stay capped at 2.5% a year; however, they are getting a boost of new funding under separate legislation this session.

The cap could be exceeded if taxing districts hold elections and voters approve the increase. Currently, local governments can increase property tax revenue by up to 8% a year without an election.

  • Dallas Morning News, April 15, 2019
October
25

Selling Your Texas Home This Fall? Get It Ready With These Tips

Prepare Home Fall Sale

Dallas homes for sale enjoy some of the most beautiful autumn conditions anywhere in Texas. Our real estate agents love every minute of it – and we also love helping people get homes ready to put on the market during one of the best times of the year.

No matter whether you're considering selling your home or want to spruce things up, there are several things you can do to be prepared. With a little effort at the start of the season, you can keep your property clean and neat.

A little work today can save you on repair bills and other troubles later! Plus, the weather couldn't be better for it.

Let's look at things every Texas homeowner should do to get ready for fall.

Getting Your Yard and Property Ready for Fall

  • Winterize Your Sprinkler System
    Drain all the water from your sprinklers. This is done by turning off the water supply through closing the main valve to the sprinkler system, then opening each one of the manual drain valves until all the water drains out. This prevents water from freezing and cracking your pipes.

  • Clean Out Your Gutters
    When gutters are full of leaves, it can lead to lasting problems for your roof. Improper drainage of fall rains may cause water to seep into the ground at the foot of your home and damage your foundation. A complete cleaning before leaves start falling makes life easier.

  • Check Up on Your Weather Stripping
    Weather stripping will naturally develop some gaps around doors and windows. It's essential to fix these; resolving them improves your home's energy efficiency both in cool and warm weather. This only takes a few minutes per window and is a great DIY project.

  • Inspect Your Window Caulking
    While you're looking at weather stripping, check out caulking around windows, too. Remember, windows don't last forever: They warp over time by expanding and contracting when the weather changes. Windows older than ten years should usually be replaced.

  • Inspect Your Roof
    Your roof doesn't require quite as much attention as the rest of your exterior, but it's still a good idea to have someone take a look at it every two to three years. No matter the time of year, you should get a roof inspection after every major storm system.

Getting Your Home's Interior Ready for Fall

  • Clean the Carpets
    A professional carpet cleaning is a great way to evict any sand that's gotten into your carpets as a result of summer gatherings.

  • Deep Clean Everything
    If you have the time and energy, now's the perfect chance to start over with everything clean in the kitchen and bathrooms.

  • Check the Furnace
    It's probably time to change the furnace filter. Ideally, you should also get an expert to give your system a maintenance check.

At RE/MAX DFW Associates, we're proud to be one of the largest RE/MAX companies in the United States. We're not just the largest in Texas, but #1 in the US Southwest. We've gotten there with a combination of expert advice and stellar service.

If you've been thinking about making your move to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, we can help you. We'll work with you every step of the way to answer your questions, help you avoid setbacks, and get you to closing fast. 

Contact us today to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder