Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tips for keeping your home healthy

(ARA) - Maintaining a healthy home is critical for your family's welfare - especially now as the weather cools and you begin to spend more time indoors. Applying a few simple solutions now will ensure your indoor living environment is safe and healthy for seasons to come.

Reduce toxins

Less desirable weather may make fall and winter seem like an ideal time to tackle your indoor painting projects. However, you need to be mindful of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in many interior paints and finishes. VOCs are one of the biggest threats to indoor air quality; they include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have both short- and long-term health effects. For indoor jobs, select paint with low or no VOCs to keep your air fresher. Additionally, some houseplants such as ivy and gerbera daisies can help to naturally remove VOCs from your indoor air.

Clean your indoor air

Ragweed and pollen will trigger allergy symptoms for millions of people this fall; however, the worst allergy triggers are often found inside the home. Installing a whole-home air filtration system can help to remove indoor allergens including dust, mildew, pet dander and pollen from the air you breathe. For example, the AccuClean (TM) System by American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning removes up to 99.98 percent of the allergens from your filtered air, so even if it's allergy season outdoors, your indoor air is crisp and clean.

Prevent mold

During the cooler fall and winter months, people tend to seal up their homes and spend more time inside, which traps moisture and humidity - both significant contributors to indoor mold growth. Maintain healthy indoor humidity levels by venting bathrooms and clothes dryers and using an exhaust fan while cooking. Install an air humidifier to provide year-round control of your indoor moisture level, and keep your home at 50 percent humidity or lower to reduce the chance for mold growth.

Watch out for CO

Protect your indoor living environment from carbon monoxide or CO by installing CO detectors or alarms throughout your home. This fall, make sure your home's heating system, including items such as a furnace or heat pump, vents and chimney, are inspected and serviced by a professional contractor. And, if there is a fireplace in your home, open the damper before lighting a fire to help prevent the buildup of potentially poisonous gases inside of your home.

Keep a seasonal routine

Most homeowners already know it's important to test their smoke alarms on a monthly basis, but how often do you change the alarm's batteries? One way to keep track of alarm maintenance is to make battery changing a seasonal activity. For example, beginning this fall, replace the batteries in your smoke alarms (and CO detectors), every time you reset your clocks.

By taking these simple steps now, you'll create a safer and healthier home, allowing your family to relax and enjoy all the delights the fall season has to offer - both outdoors and indoors.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Video Tour - 1201 Rollie Michael

JUST LISTED by the Grove Team

Visit 1201 Rollie Michael, Fort Worth

Offered by the Grove Team, $375,000

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Four simple ways to modernize your home decor

(ARA) - If you're like many people, your home interior could likely use some updating. But you don't need to hire a professional designer to modernize your home decor. No matter how much of a decorating novice you may be, a few simple updates can give new life to your living space and bring your home to the forefront of interior design.

Modern colors

Color is a key aspect of interior decorating, and paint is one of the easiest, most cost-efficient ways to update your home interior. To give any room a clean and contemporary look this season, take some hints from the professionals.

Pratt & Lambert Paints recently announced its 2012 Color Trends, which are divided into five palettes: Enough, Expressive, Instinctive, Essence and Echo. Pratt & Lambert's Color + Design team identified these colors as their top picks for the modern home, and Color + Design Manager Donna Schroeder says the Instinctive palette offers a number of great options for fall. From Cafe Cubano to Dusty Mink to Garnet, Schroeder predicts nature-inspired shades will pop up on ceilings, trim and walls everywhere. And with Pratt & Lambert's Quart-Size Color Sampler option, you can test out your choice before painting the entire room, ensuring a look you'll love.

Ground level

Just because the floor is under your feet, it shouldn't be last on your list of interior updates. You know that old carpet is ugly, but it will also overshadow more modern elements in the room.

Natural materials like granite and hardwood floors are popular, but their high cost may limit how many rooms you can update. Fortunately, stylish options are available that won't break the bank. For instance, luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is available in hundreds of styles that mimic authentic wood and stone to give your home a modern, lavish look for less. With a wide range of brands, price points and installation options available, LVT is a great choice for anyone in need of a flooring update. Plus, LVT is more durable than some other flooring options, so you can enjoy new-looking floors for longer.

Time to reflect

Mirrors are an easy and inexpensive way to inject personality into a room. Hang a large square mirror to open up a small space, or arrange a number of smaller mirrors in a fun pattern to create an artistic statement.

With endless framing options available, you're sure to find a match to complement any room's style. A thin, simple rectangular frame will create a contemporary look, while an ornate metal frame gives an oval glass a traditional, old world feel. Or, for a completely clean and modern effect, frameless mirrors come in a wide variety of shapes and edge designs.

Brighten up lighting

New lighting can change the entire feel of your home's interior, and there are seemingly endless options to help you brighten up a room. Recessed lights create a clean look that can open up smaller rooms or highlight an area such as a photo or piece of artwork. Table and floor lamps can act as artful vessels of light, adding colors and patterns to a bland room. And hanging lighting, such as a unique chandelier, will bring interest and personality into a room while serving its functional purpose. To give your new lighting a sustainable side, energy-efficient light bulbs will save you electricity costs and last longer than standard bulbs.

Don't let your hesitancy to redecorate leave your home in the past. With these four easy updates, you can renew your living space and give your home a new, modern feel.

Are you or someone you know ready to buy/sell real estate? Call your local market experts, the Grove Team at (817) 337-0000 or to schedule your customized appointment today!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Updated video tour - 709 Ashley Drive

Visit 709 Ashley Drive, Hurst

Price reduced to $218,900

Friday, September 23, 2011


Join us this Sunday from 1:00 - 3:00

709 Ashley Drive, Hurst

Offer by the Grove Team for $218,500

Friday, September 16, 2011

A video tour - JUST LISTED, 3721 Apple Springs

3721 Applesprings Drive

Fort Worth, TX 76244

Offered by the Grove Team, Keller Williams for $222,500

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Guest Blog - Affordable Designs

A big Grove Team THANK YOU to Lindsey with Affordable Designs in Azle for contributing to our blog this week. Looking for professional interior design? Contact the ladies at Affordable Design to schedule a consultation today, (817) 444-6075.


There are a few myths about design that I would like BUST! So often we think that because of one thing we cannot hire a designer, or have a nice home. And while not everyone has the budget for a designer, everyone CAN have a nice home.

Myth #1: I live and use my home. I don't want to feel like I am in a museum.

Having a nice home doesn't mean it's so stuffy and expensive that you can't touch anything. You should always feel comfortable in your home and it should be a reflection of you and your family. However, you don't want that reflection to say "messy and outdated" either! There is a balance between stuffy and no style. Find your inspiration, get organized and make your house your home!

Myth #2: I have kids, so my house can't be nice.

Kids are not a good excuse for a home with no style. The main key to a beautiful and functional home with kids is organization and a reality check. Use bookshelves with baskets to hide toys or even a large basket on the floor. Don't have white furniture and keep the glassware high or put it away. And, this may seem obvious to some, keep your house picked up. Have kids pick up when they are done with things and for those that aren't old enough, let them see you doing it. A tidy house always seems "nicer" than one with your things strewn all over the place (this also goes for homes without kids!)

Myth #3: I want new window treatments and bedding, but can't afford custom right now. I guess I have to wait.

FALSE! Stores have come a long way with their draperies and bedding! Ready made draperies are a cost efficient option for an easy update. Grommet drapes cut down the cost of hardware, too (no rings!). When it comes to bedding, you don't have to grab the bed in a bag. Take different pieces from different collection to make your own unique combination. Ready made does have to mean ordinary!

Until next time - Lindsay

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Video Tour - 3425 Sedaila Ranch Road

Just listed by the Grove Team, Keller Williams

3425 Sedaila Ranch Road, Fort Worth

Offered at $147,500

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Meet Lucky Dave Folsom

First National Bank in Southlake hosted the Southlake Chamber's Business Exchange on September 1, 2011. At least fifty people attended to enjoy the hors d'ourves and business casual atmosphere the bank provided. Attendees mingled and exchanged ideas and business contact information. Among those present from the bank were Sara Thomas, Senior Loan Officer, who specializes in residential loans, and Matt Hall and Jason McMahon, Vice Presidents in Commerical Lending. Jason McMahon spoke of the bank's flexibility and local decision-making ability as reasons to consider doing business with First National Bank in Southlake when considering your next loan.

As a bonus, door prizes were offered, and Dave Folsom of Keller Williams Realty won the big prize. Check out his video to hear all about it!

The next business exchange sponsored by the Southlake Chamber will be held on October 6, 2011. Click this link to visit their site and find out more

Fun, surprising cost-saving home improvements

(ARA) - Who wouldn't like to save money on utility bills this winter? But have you ever considered some of the more common energy-efficient home improvements - like insulating your hot water heater or replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent - and thought "dullsville"?

Sometimes the act of saving money just isn't fun enough on its own. Fortunately, you can make home improvements that will trim your utility bills and boost your home's appeal at the same time. Here are four fun home improvements that are surprisingly energy efficient as well:

1. Buy a new dishwasher - Or clothes washer. Older appliances were not only built to be less energy efficient, they can lose what little efficiency they had as they age. If your appliances are more than 10 years old, they likely use more energy and water than newer models, especially new models that are Energy Star qualified.

Dishwashers purchased before 1994 use an additional 10 gallons or more of water per cycle than a new Energy Star qualified model, according to And if you don't have a dishwasher at all, don't think of buying one as just a luxury. Energy Star says you'll save 5,000 gallons of water and knock $40 per year off your utility bills if you give up washing dishes by hand - not to mention 230 hours of your time.

2. Beautify your bathroom - Kitchens and baths sell homes, but they're also the rooms where the most water gets used and wasted. Old fixtures and faucets are among the top water-wasting culprits in a home. You can conserve water by turning off the tap when you brush your teeth, but that water savings goes down the drain if the toilet runs constantly when you leave the room.

Replacing leaky fixtures can reap significant water savings. Energy Star says a leaky faucet can waste gallons of water. Just one drip per second can waste up to 1,661 gallons of water in a year, according to You can also conserve water by installing a low-flow showerhead, which can save you as much as 5 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower. Many manufacturers now offer stylish, water-efficient faucets and showerheads.

3. Let the sun shine in - A venting skylight is a fun way to fill your home with nourishing natural light and passive ventilation, but did you know it's also energy efficient? Installing a venting skylight can help you lower your electric bill by reducing your dependency on artificial light and electric fans. Natural light has been tied to a host of health benefits, including improving mood. A skylight not only enhances the energy efficiency of your home, it adds decorating flair and could make you feel better about living there.

They're also relatively low-cost when it comes to "luxury" home improvements. You can get an Energy Star qualified "No Leak Skylight" from Velux for about $1,000 per unit for a remote-controlled electric venting model that closes automatically should it rain. Log on to to find a local installer for a customized cost estimate.

4. Install a fireplace - Zone heating the areas of your home where you spend the most time can reduce your home heating bill by 20 to 40 percent, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association. Installing an energy-efficient fireplace or a stove is a great, appealing way to zone heat the rooms you use the most.

What's more, this type of heating can be "greener," if you use renewable fuels like cord wood, pellets or other plant-derived materials in your high-efficiency stove or fireplace. As for the fun quotient, it's hard to top a fireplace for a home improvement that adds warmth and appeal to a room.

Saving money can be doubly exciting, when you opt for energy-efficient home improvements that also enhance enjoyment of your home.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Restrictions on HOAs

In the last legislative session, there were several bills passed which limit the powers of HOAs (homeowner's associations). We'll cover specifics in future posts, but in general the new limits to HOA power are as follows:

  1. Apply payments to actual dues before fines and attorney fees;

  2. Improve voting rights for residents;

  3. Mandate more transparency and access to meeting minutes;

  4. Make it harder for HOAs to foreclose;

  5. Narrow HOAs' rights to prohibit religious displays, flags, and solar panels.

These changes give homeowners and residents more flexibility in the use and enjoyment of their own property. Good idea.

Thinking of buying or selling a home? Call on the Grove Team today to schedule your appointment with a real estate professional today! Contact us at the office, (817) 337-0000 or find us online,