Thursday, December 30, 2010

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called "Opportunity" and its first chapter is New Year's Day
Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Moving - Do it yourself basics

Grab your strongest buddies and move your stuff. If you've got the time and determination to pack and move yourself, you can get behind the wheel yourself. Here's a quick look at how to approach your move.

First, follow the next three steps:

·Decide what size vehicle will accommodate all the household goods you'll be moving.

· Decide what equipment and supplies you need: hand truck, furniture pads, dish-pack boxes, wardrobe boxes, bubble wrap, tape, padlock, sofa and chair covers and mattress covers.

· Reserve your rental truck, equipment and supplies at least three days before you plan to pick them up.

Price Scale

Money can determine if you move, when you move and how far you move. When it comes to the cost of renting a moving truck, the price is determined by your parameters, geographically speaking. To talk the moving talk, check out the types of moves below and then consult your local truck rental services.

Local (Less than 50 miles but within the same state.) Pricing is based on an hourly rate, numbers of miles driven and equipment rented or supplies purchased.

Intrastate (Greater than 50 miles, but within the same state.) Pricing for intrastate moving is based on a flat, one-way rate, mileage charge and equipment rented or supplies purchased.

Interstate (To a different state.) Pricing for interstate self-moving is based on a one-way rate, mileage charge and equipment rented or supplies purchased.
© Copyright 2000,

Are you thinking of buying or selling in 2011? Call on the Grove Team to assist you with all your home buying and selling needs. Reach us direct, (817) 337-0000.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ask a Texas REALTOR

The Grove Team, Keller Williams Realty joins campaign to spread the truth about Texas real estate “Ask a Texas REALTOR®” informs consumers about statewide market conditions, encourages consumers to learn more from local Texas REALTORS®

Would you wear a poncho in Texas because it’s raining in New York? Like the weather, the national real estate market cannot be compared to what’s happening in Texas and Texas REALTORS® are doing something about it.

It’s easy to let the doom and gloom of the national news give Texans the wrong impression about their real estate prospects. While we’re not immune to national economic conditions, we’re certainly insulated from them and remain one of the healthiest real estate markets in the country – facts many Texans are simply not hearing.

Texas’ strong job growth, diverse economy and enduring real estate values make economic conditions in the state significantly better than national averages, facts the “Ask a Texas REALTOR®” campaign emphasizes. In addition, the campaign encourages consumers to consult with a Texas REALTOR® to learn more about their local market conditions and to evaluate their own personal situation to make sound decisions.

According to Brooke Hunt, chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS®, “Texans hear figures like ‘prices are down 23 percent’ and they don’t know that news pertains to Arizona or California. In fact, average sales prices in Texas are unchanged from 2007 to 2008. Texans deserve to know that, which is what the ‘Ask a Texas REALTOR®’ campaign is all about.”

To learn more about the “Ask a Texas REALTOR®” campaign or get the truth about Texas real estate for yourself, visit

Considering buying or selling? Contact the Grove Team to discuss current market trends in Northeast Tarrant County. Our team of REALTORS is on hand and ready to assist you with all of your real estate needs.

Reach us direct (817) 337-0000, online at, or by email Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Here is to hoping you are surrounded by love and warmth this holiday season.

Merry Christmas

From the Grove Team
Keller Williams Realty

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Federal tax credits set to expire by end of year

(ARA) - Putting off that home improvement project? Waiting too long could be detrimental to your wallet.

On Dec. 31, the federal tax credit worth up to $1,500 for energy-efficient home improvements will expire, leaving procrastinating homeowners out in the cold - or at least chilly from their old, drafty windows.

In addition to tax credit savings, many window sellers are offering savings on qualifying windows during October.

Shopping for replacement windows

The first rule of thumb when shopping for new sustainable windows is to understand what the labels mean, and to read them carefully. Windows that bear the ENERGY STAR label are proven to reduce heating and cooling costs, and are National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) approved for U-factor (the rate of heat loss through the window) and solar heat gain (how well the window blocks heat from the sun).

To meet the federal tax credit requirements, windows must achieve a .30 U-factor and .30 solar heat gain coefficient, and this information should be clearly marked on the windows. But to ensure the long-term performance of replacements, there are a number of other factors that should be considered, including condensation resistance.

The existence of condensation on windows is a sign that a window is inefficient. This can even occur in newer, poorly constructed windows and will lead to other problems, including mold and damage to curtains, walls, carpet and the window itself. Most importantly, moisture can lead to seal failure and the need to replace the entire window system.

Some NFRC labels include condensation resistance (CR), which is reported on a scale from one to 100, and measures the ability of a product to resist formation of condensation on the interior surface of the product. The higher the CR rating, the better that product is at resisting condensation formation. While this rating cannot predict condensation, it can provide a credible method of comparing the potential of various products for condensation formation. This rating is not required to be posted on new windows - so be sure to do your homework if it isn't there.

The primary component to watch for to prevent condensation is the spacer - the window component that separates and seals the two panes of glass. According to the NFRC, an important step toward reducing the potential for condensation is the use of a warm edge spacer system that reduces the conductivity through the edge of the window.

A survey conducted by the Alliance to Save Energy found that 64 percent of homes in the U.S. have single-pane windows, which contribute up to 35 percent of energy wasted in buildings. In cold climates, energy-efficient, dual-pane windows with low-e coatings can reduce heating bills by as much as 34 percent. In warm climates, they can cut cooling costs by 38 percent.

For more energy-efficient window buying tips and tax credit information, visit

Consider other improvements to your home before putting it on the market? Contact the Grove Team - we are here and available to assist you with all of your home buying and selling needs. Reach us direct, (817) 337-0000 or online,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Don't let your holidays become an opportunity for criminals

For many of us, the holidays are a mixture of fun and frantic shopping, joyful times and a hectic pace. Criminals, however, see the holiday season as full of opportunities - the perfect time to take advantage of seasonal chaos.

"With everything going on, the holiday season is no time to let your guard down when it comes to home security," says Jim Boots of Protection 1 (, the largest privately owned security company in the U.S. "Criminals know that our holiday habits can leave our homes, belongings and personal information vulnerable. It's important to be vigilant throughout the year, and especially during the holidays. According to the FBI, there's a burglary every 14 seconds in the U.S. And, with homes and cars filled with new gifts and gadgets, the holidays are an especially lucrative time for thieves."

Fortunately, by taking some simple precautions, you protect your home, purchases and identity from predators this holiday season.

Secure your home

"Burglars know many people travel during the holidays, and many more will leave brand-new, valuable merchandise in their homes when they're out," Boots says. "A criminal is more likely to target a home that looks vulnerable. The best thing homeowners can do to protect their homes is to make it clear to burglars that their house won't be an easy mark."

Reduce the risk of burglary by:

* Putting inside and outside lights on a timer to make your home look occupied while you're away.

* Keeping bushes, trees and decorations from obscuring the view of your front door from the road.

* Suspending newspaper and mail delivery if you'll be away for several days.

While you're keeping bad guys out, don't overlook fire safety as well. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the top days for home candle fires, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Christmas trees account for 200 fires annually, resulting in six deaths, 25 injuries and more than $6 million in property damage, the administration's statistics show. Remember, never leave candles burning and don't overload electrical sockets with decorative lights. However, should there be an accident a monitored alarm system automatically dispatches the fire department just in case you're away from the house, asleep or unable to respond.

Stay safe when you're out

Thieves know our holiday shopping habits and can make us vulnerable to theft while we're out and about. From breaking into cars to "shoulder surfing" for credit card information and PIN numbers, criminals take every opportunity to brighten the holidays for themselves. When holiday shopping, keep these safety tips in mind:

* Never leave shopping bags, wrapped gifts or other valuables visible inside the car. Always place them in the trunk. Thieves are more likely to break into a vehicle if they can see the loot in it.

* Carry only the credit card you need and one piece of ID when shopping. Leave your Social Security card at home or in a secure place.

* Be aware of who might be looking over your shoulder as you type a PIN number.

* Never allow a store clerk to take your credit card out of your sight.

"By taking some precautions, homeowners and shoppers can ensure the holidays stay bright for themselves and their families - and not for criminals," Boots says.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Selling your home in 2011?

Tips to add value during winter months

Major home renovations can be overwhelming, but there are a few fundamental repairs that can update your home's appearance and increase its value. If you're planning to sell your home in 2011, take advantage of the colder winter months to prepare your home for a spring sale by focusing on a few key projects:

Make a first impression.
The entryway is the first up-close encounter a potential homebuyer will have with your home. Manicure your front yard and update or even replace your front door to complement your home's exterior. Select a rich, dark stained wood or bold white door to draw attention to the main entry and add personality to your home. If your door is already in great shape, consider a simple replacement of weak or older-looking hardware that will impress buyers at first sight.

Get cookin' in the kitchen.
Experts agree that a kitchen can significantly impact a home's perceived value. An outdated kitchen can be a deal breaker for many homebuyers. Naturally, then, it's the place you might spend the most amount of time updating. To increase the appeal of your kitchen, consider investing in updated, matching appliances that match the style of your kitchen. Some manufacturers even offer replacement panels to update the exteriors of older appliances.

Next, if you can't afford to add new cabinetry, change out the hardware so the knobs, drawer pulls and handles match your decor and add a modern flair. Adding technology-driven fixtures, including built-in water filtration systems, garbage disposals and faucets is another great way to increase the room's appeal.

Update and upgrade light fixtures.
Lighting is key. It can drastically change the look and feel of a room, and lighting fixtures are affordable and relatively simple to install on your own. Shop discount stores and home improvement depots to find a statement piece to add spice to your living room. A beautiful ceiling fan with lighting can serve double-duty to update your family room. Remember, well-lit and bright rooms appear larger and more open.

Step on it.
Flooring is one of the first things that potential homebuyers notice. Make sure you dust, vacuum and clean so that you show off the flooring to its best advantage. If you have hardwood floors, polish and protect your flooring so that it gleams when potential buyers step into the home.

Whether you're trying to sell your home this winter or simply want to update its look, you don't have to wait until the spring thaws. When the cold weather drives you inside, take advantage of the time to make attractive upgrades that can increase the appeal and value to your home.

When you are ready, contact the Grove Team direct, (817) 337-0000 - our team is available and on hand to assist you with all of your home buying and selling needs.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Posted by the Keller Police Department

In an effort to keep our family and friends safe this holiday season, the Grove Team would like to share updated information from the Keller Police Department related to credit/debit card awareness.

Source: Keller Police E-Safe News

Hello Keller!

Radio Frequency Identification:

RFID: This stands for radio frequency Identification. While it sounds complicated, our advanced world is making this a part of debit/credit cards, passports, products you buy in department stores and much more.

The question is, "What does this mean to me?"
If you possess a credit or debit card or other card you carry in your wallet that has an RFID chip it can be stolen. Clever hackers can quickly read the chip and have it transmitted to their computer or data storage source. Once there it can be sent to hundreds or thousands of contacts. The reading of the chip can be done by a scanner that will be hidden. There are many credit/debit cards that do not use RFID chips. Most cards having the implant chip will have a symbol on the card resembling a sound wave. There are products on the market, such as a special made credit card sleeve that will block the scanner.

The Keller police urge everyone to be vigilant in their fight against crime and to be aware.

If you have any information about the above listed crimes, please contact the Keller police at 817-743-4522.

Have a safe day!

Scott Bradburn /Community Relations Officer
Keller Police Department
Phone: 817-743-4533

Credit Scores - Why should you care?

The FICO scoring system was created in the 1950s by Fair Isaac Corporation and has been the standard for lenders since the 1980s. FICO credit scores typically range between a low score of 300 and a high score of 850. Under the FICO system, securing credit becomes less expensive for borrowers with higher scores (those who represent the least risk) and more expensive for borrowers with lower scores (those who represent the most risk). In fact, when it comes to a mortgage, a lower credit score could easily cost a consumer hundreds or even thousands of dollars more in interest every month and throughout the life of the loan, compared to the same loan with a higher score.

For example, using a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage at $300,000 a person with a credit score between 720-850 could expect an APR of around 5.038% and a mortgage payment around $1677/month. Using the same criteria, a person with a credit rating between 620-674 could be looking at an APR around 6.850% and a monthly payment at $1966/month. Generally, scores below 620 are not considered for this type of loan.
Source: (30 year fixed-rate mortgage on $300,000) as of March 11, 2009.

This clearly reveals the relationship between higher FICO scores and lower interest rates and monthly mortgage payments. Of course, interest rates are determined by many factors but the bottom line is that individuals with low credit scores will pay nearly three times more in interest than those with strong credit scores.

Are you or someone you know considering buying or selling? Contact the Grove Team, (817) 337-0000. We are available to assist you with each step of the process.

Visit us online, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

November Homes Sales



Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Mail for Heroes

There is still time to participate in the Holiday Mail for Heroes program of the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes. This is a program designed to collect and distribute 1 million holiday cards for American service members, veterans, and their families in the United States and around the world.

All card must be postmarked no later than TODAY, Friday 12/10 and sent to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Cards should be signed. No inserts, no glitter, no long letters.

Thank a solider this holiday season!

Color the new year with trends for 2011

What's in store for home decorating in 2011? No matter what your taste, you'll have no problem finding a hue in the 2011 forecast of popular paint colors to fit your lifestyle ... and your tastes.

"The 2011 color forecast contains some extraordinarily versatile and contrasting hues that have been inspired by everyday life," says Donna Schroeder, color marketing and design manager for Dutch Boy Paints. "The depth and range of what we're predicting to be next year's most popular colors provide extensive options for adding accents to a room, changing themes and styles, or even completely redecorating from scratch."

All of next year's color trends hues can be found within Dutch Boy's innovative Color Simplicity System. The five 2011 trend palettes are as follows:

Worn. The appreciation of old and naturally rusted or decayed items is prevalent in Dutch Boy's first palette. The passage of time is held sacred, and beauty is seen in all things weathered from time and the elements. There is a strong influence of holding onto heritage as we continue to move forward and look to the future. A true appreciation of craftsmanship and natural materials and finishes abounds. As such, rusty colors that emanate deep warmth are featured. These include: Brick Fleck, Bittersweet Orange, Nature's Way and Chestnuts Roasting.

Rebirth. Sustainability and the respect for the environment are now a lifestyle. There's a sense of personal responsibility when it comes to nature. This is reflected in these saturated and wholesome colors. Rich greens are nature inspired and warm golds mirror the vegetables found in a farmers market. Colors in this palette include the following: Aubusson Vine, Endless Ocean, Brilliant Impression and Nectar.

Wonder. Escapism and nature-in-the-extreme drive the next trend. There's a definite need for fun and fantasy to satisfy that inner child that's in all of us. This trend comes to life with colors such as bright fuchsia, deep blue and cheery aqua, all balanced by a nature-inspired green. You'll find a hint of 80s influence here, but the combinations are much newer to the eye. Colors include the following: Moonlit Sky, Rockets, Merlot Grape and Victory Red.

Functionality. On the flip side, there are those who embrace a truly practical way of living and look into the depths and layers of nature. Within this trend, texture is key and colors are soft and faded. Windswept and washed effects and monochromatic layering set this palette. Colors include the following: Boardwalk Blue, Composed Bloom, Spruce Hollow and Range Brown.

Abyss. The last 2011 trend revolves around technology. Here, technology influences a stripped-to-the-bone or cellular level of design. The color palette reflects a void element, as we move into the future and become ever more reliant on online and virtual communication. Colors are neutral and gray and include the following Dutch Boy hues: Gargoyle Shadow, Fresh Linen, Pursuit of Happiness and Piccolo.

Are you considering buying or selling in 2011? Contact the Grove Team, (817) 337-0000...our team of buying and selling specialist are available to assist with all of your real estate needs!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

House Price Declines Hitting Most States

This winter will see a softening of prices in most parts of the country. If you are considering selling your home in the near future, you should set an appointment with a real estate professional that has experience in your local market. That being said, we want to explain the magnitude of the challenge.

The FHFA just released their third quarter House Price Index. In the titled they claimed: U.S. House Prices Fall 1.6 Percent in the Third Quarter; Declines in Most Parts of the Country

What is the FHFA HPI?

Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) explains their pricing index this way: The HPI is a broad measure of the movement of single-family house prices. It serves as a timely, accurate indicator of house price trends at various geographic levels. It also provides housing economists with an analytical tool that is useful for estimating changes in the rates of mortgage defaults, prepayments and housing affordability in specific geographic areas. The HPI is a measure designed to capture changes in the value of single-family houses in the U.S. as a whole, in various regions and in smaller areas. The HPI is published by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) using data provided by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Bottom Line

The majority of states have experienced weakening in house values. Many experts predict this will continue throughout the next several quarters. If you are considering selling in the near future, speak with your agent soon to determine where prices are headed in your neighborhood.

Areas in Northeast Tarrant county the Grove Team for the most up to date information on your home value. Direct (817) 337-0000 or visit us on the web,

Courtesy, Dana Hinson - Benchmark Mortgage (817) 875-1165

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Construction Updates - North Tarrant Express

Construction and plans continue to move forward throughout Tarrant County's highways.

The DFW Connector project that encompasses much of the 114-corridor through Grapevine continues with completion projections in 2014. For more information and updates, click on
DFW Connector Project.

Work on the North Tarrant Express for the Loop 820 and TX-183 expansion. In the months ahead, you can expect some work around the IH 35W/IH 820 interchange, as crews prepare pad sites for heavy equipment. For continued updates on the changes, visit North Tarrant Express for more information.

Continue to check back with our blog for updates and information as it becomes available! Are you in the expansion zone and ready to start the process of shopping for a new home? Contact us at the Grove Team, (817) 337-0000. Our team of Buyer Specialist are ready to assist you with each step of the process.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Local Seasonal Events

Looking for something fun to do getting ready for the holiday season? Here are a few local events to check into...

Holly Days at Keller Town Center

6 to 9 p.m. • Friday, December 3
Keller Town Center • 1100 Bear Creek Parkway

The Christmas Season gets off to a grand start on Friday, December 3 at 6 p.m., on the Plaza at Keller Town Center. Many activities to thrill young and old alike from the Holly Jolly Light Parade, lighting of the community Christmas tree and awaiting Santa's arrival to tubing down a two-lane tubing hill of snow. Bring on that holiday spirit enjoying entertainment, gingerbread house decorating or making crafts in the Jingle Bell Zone.

Santa's Workshop

9 a.m. to noon • Saturday, December 11
Keller Senior Activities Center, 640 Johnson Road
$15 per child

Children, ages six through twelve will have a fabulous time from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, December 11 making holiday arts and crafts, decorating cookies, singing, playing games, and more. Mom and dad will have a chance to make preparations for the big day and deliver lists to Santa. This workshop fills very quickly, so register early! Cost is $15 per child.

City of Southlake and Southlake Town Square

Entertainment including Carriage Rides, Photos with Santa, Letters to Santa, Face Painters, and Live Entertainment.

Elves Workshop, North Richland Hills

The North Richland Hills Recreation Center will hold an Elves Workshop on Saturday, December 4. This event is open to children ages 3 to 6. The cost is $16 per child. Session I will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Session II will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will enjoy singing holiday songs, making festive crafts, decorating sugar cookies and a visit from ol’ Saint Nick. Each child will take home a photo with Santa. Space is limited. The Recreation Center is located at 6720 NE Loop 820. To register your elf for this special event, call 817-427-6600.

Ornament Workshop, North Richland Hills

The NRH Recreation Center will offer an Ornament Workshop on Saturday, Dec. 11 for children ages 4 to 8. The cost is $16 per child. From 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. participants will get into the holiday spirit by making ornaments using wood, plaster, paint and lots of imagination! Space is limited. The Recreation Center is located at 6720 NE Loop 820. To register your elf for this special event, call 817-427-6600.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why is a home inspection so important?

You have just executed the contract on your new home and are thrilled that in just another 45-days you will have a new place to call your very own.

Emotion often affects your decisions throughout this process, and makes it hard to imagine there are any problems with your new home. As a buyer, you need a home inspection to ensure you have the opportunity to learn about all aspects of your home. The relatively small investment before the end of your option period allows you, the buyer, the piece of mind to proceed to closing on this great investment.

A home inspection conducted by a licensed inspector is a visual inspection only. General home inspectors look at what they can see. This includes the major systems within the home - plumbing, electrical, HVAC, foundation, and the roof. In the event the home inspector discovers something beyond the scope of their inspection, as the buyer you have the option to contact a specialist for further inspection.

As your team of real estate professionals, The Grove Team is here to walk your through each step of the process.

To learn more about general home inspectors and inspections in Texas, visit the
Texas Association of Real Estate Inspectors website for more information.

Are you considering buying or selling a home? Contact the Grove Team direct,
(817) 337-0000 to get started.

Visit us online,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Third-Quarter Metro Area Home Prices Hold

Third-Quarter Metro Area Home Prices Hold
Source: NAR (National Association of Realtors)

About half of metro areas tracked in the third quarter continued to show modest home price increases from a year ago, despite a sharp decline in home sales after the tax-credit deadline, according to the latest NAR survey. In the third quarter, 77 out of 155 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) had higher median existing single-family home prices in comparison with the third quarter of 2009, including 11 with double-digit increases. In the third quarter of 2009, only 30 MSAs experienced annual price gains. The national median existing single-family price was $177,900 in the third quarter, down 0.2 percent from $178,200 year over year.

This is great news! Although interest rates are seeing a bit of an increase, they are still historically low.

Are you or someone you know considering buying or selling a home? Now is still a great time to act - contact the Grove Team to learn more!

Direct (817) 337-0000 or by email,