Friday, January 27, 2012

Video Tour - 5048 Harney Drive

5048 Harney Drive, Fort Worth
Trinity @ Heritage

Upgraded with tons of features, this is a MUST see if you are looking for three bedrooms, two baths and a separate study in the Heritage Addition, Fort Worth.

Call the Grove Team, Keller Williams to schedule your personalized showing today!

(817) 337-0000

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Existing home sales are on the rise

When you turn on the national news you might believe the real estate industry is in full distress and stagnate.

Myth: Very few homes are selling.
Myth: No one can get a mortgage right now.

The National Association of Realtors released their Existing Sales Report, revealing a positive outlook on the real estate industry. According to the report, an average of 12,109 homes sell in the United States EVERYDAY.

In addition, when you look at properties purchased with a mortgage the numbers are also encouraging - 72% of the transactions closed are with a mortgage. Break that down into numbers, 8,719 of the 12,109 transactions are people qualifying for a loan to buy their home.

Fact: Homes are selling...and they are selling in NE Tarrant County too!
Fact: Almost 3/4 of the buyers in the market are obtaining a new mortgage.

Are you ready to start the buying or selling process? Call the Grove Team, Keller Williams Realty to start your personalize real estate experience.

(817) 337-0000

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Consumers becoming more credit savvy with new services & resources

(ARA) - The uncertain economy has reminded many Americans of the importance of keeping an eye on their financial health. Fortunately, technology and new federal regulations have made it easier than ever for consumers to keep track of two very important elements of their financial well-being: their credit report and score.

Every consumer has access to their credit report, which can be reviewed for free once a year at In addition they can also purchase their credit report from the three major credit bureaus at any time online. Reviewing your credit report and understanding what "good" credit looks like can feel a bit overwhelming, but resources are available, and whether you choose to spend the time yourself or enlist the help of an expert, the choice is up to you.

While learning what's on your credit report and how it impacts your score is easier than ever, sometimes understanding that information is not so simple. In fact, more than a third of adults (37 percent) say they don't know their credit score, and 64 percent have not ordered a copy of their credit report in the past year, according to a 2009 survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Times are changing, however, and more consumers are expressing an interest in credit education.

"The unpredictable economy significantly changed consumer awareness and attitudes toward credit," says Andrew Sheehan, senior vice president for Experian's consumer information services. "We found more consumers asking Experian for assistance in taking a more active role in understanding their credit."

Experian responded by launching its Credit Educator service, which provides participants with a one-on-one telephone based education session with a U.S.-based agent. The consumer receives a copy of his or her Experian credit report and VantageScore, as well as a detailed review of each section of the report, a discussion of how credit works, how items on the report affect the credit score, and guidance for maintaining a healthy credit profile.

What's on a credit report?

A credit report is a snapshot of your financial behavior. It includes identifying information such as your full name, and current and previous addresses. It also contains information about your credit history, like current and past credit accounts, payment history, bankruptcies and delinquencies.

Credit bureaus collect this information from a variety of sources, including banks, mortgage companies, credit card companies and public records. Generally, this information is updated monthly.

How is your credit score calculated?

While it may appear as simply a number, scoring formulas are very complex and take into account a variety of factors to provide a number that summarizes the historical credit information on a credit report. Each of the three major credit bureaus uses their own formula to calculate your score. Generally, credit scores are based on these key factors:

* Your payment history

* The ratio of credit used to credit available

* The types of credit accounts you have (mortgages, credit cards, auto loan, etc.)

* Late payments

* Negative reports like late payments or delinquencies

A credit score is generated at the time of an inquiry, so that it will give the most current snapshot possible of your credit standing.

How can you improve your credit score?

Because there are many different credit scoring systems with different scales, a "good" credit score depends on the scoring system used by your particular lender. However, you can get a very good idea of whether you have a "good" credit score by getting a credit score and report from Experian. If you have a "good" credit score from Experian, you likely will have a "good" credit score with your lender.

The national average VantageScore is 749 (out of a possible 990). VantageScores between 700 and 799 are considered "C" scores, with "B" and "A" scores falling in the ranges of 800 to 899 and 900 to 990, respectively. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to be able to qualify for credit at better interest rates and terms.

If you want to improve your credit score, paying your bills on time is the single most important thing you can do. Delinquent payments and collections can have a significant negative impact on a credit score.

Maintain low balances on credit cards and other "revolving" lines of credit. Apply for and open new accounts only if you really need them. Pay off debt rather than just moving it around, and once an account is paid don't automatically close the account. Closing it can lower your ratio of available credit to credit used.

Thinking of buying or selling soon? Your credit will affect that the real estate experts on the Grove Team, Keller Williams Realty for referrals to local mortgage specialist that will be able to guide you through the process. Find us online, or call us (817) 337-0000.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Open House Event - Carriage Gate, Keller - SUNDAY!

The Grove Team, Keller Williams Realty is hosting an OPEN HOUSE EVENT this weekend in the Carriage Gate Addition, Keller. Two homes, two corner lots, open and ready for you to visit!

Check out the video tours for each home open this weekend -

Sunday, January 29th, 2:00-4:00pm.

640 Cardinal Lane, Keller
Offered at $165,000
Three bedrooms, two baths, formal dining

637 Shady Bridge Lane
Offered at $219,900
Four bedrooms, two and a half baths, formal living and dining

We'd love for you to take a moment to stop by Sunday. For more information on these two homes, call the Grove Team, Keller Williams.

(817) 337-0000

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Introducing the newest member of the Grove Team...DOTTIE PAHLMANN

Hey everyone!!

My name is Dottie Pahlmann....and guess what...I'm a Grove Girl!!! Yes its true!! I am the newest member of the Grove Team, Keller Williams!

I am so excited to be working with this amazing team. Known for their excellent customer service and 'go to' attitude, its no doubt why I feel honored. Our team growth means that not only will you continue to receive outstanding service but we have the capacity to provide personal time and attention to all your friends and family!

As experienced agents we can help you with your real estate needs in 2012. Its an amazing time in the housing market and having agents that are staying 'in the know' through education on the latest, is critical!! So happy me and can't wait to meet all of you! Call us today, there is someone looking to buy your home and I have the key to your dream home!

Dottie Pahlmann
Buyer's Agent
Grove Team, Keller Williams Realty

Cell (817) 301-6396
Office (817) 337-0000

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The numbers are in...Grove Team Production and Statistics 2011.

Percentage of Grove Team listings that sell in 30-days or less =

Total closed units Year to date =

Total closed volume Year to date =


Grove Team Average Days on Market for listings =

Grove Team average List to Sales Price =

The Grove Team is currently ranked #17 for production in the MLS Board out of more than 800 agents

The Grove Team is currently ranked #4 for production in the Southlake Keller Williams office out of more than 300 agents

The Grove Team had a record year in 2011 - without you, our family, friends, clients, and collegages we could not have done it. Looking ahead to 2012 we are excited and ready to go. Are you or someone you know thinking of buying or selling? Call the experts on the Grove Team, (817) 337-0000. Find us online,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Today's boomers downsize homes, but upsize the amenities

(ARA) - Say goodbye to the McMansion. According to a leading real estate website,, 2010 was officially the year that homes over 3,200 square feet ended their dominance and appeal. But don't think that downsizing means downgrading. In fact, homeowners are looking to upsize their amenities to help them enjoy every inch of their homes.

And, while many different generations are following this trend, Boomers are a unique group, looking to enjoy their smaller nest now that the kids have flown the coop - yet ensure that their homes are filled with the many amenities they'll require for their golden years.

Anything but basic baths

While they may purchase a smaller floor plan, mature adults are looking for ways to turn ordinary rooms into extraordinarily indulgent experiences. In the bath, that means the ultimate spa experience - from elaborate showers to heated floors and towel warmers. But when it comes to the bathroom, it's just as important to keep it safe. Luckily, safe can also equate to stylish. Try installing comfortable seating for the shower with a beautiful fold-down shower seat made of teak and aluminum; or updating common bath accessories such as a paper holder, towel bar or shelf with a new integrated version that combines each accessory with a grab bar for added safety.

"Our goal is to make every bath a safe bath. And, for savvy homeowners looking to incorporate safety at any age, it's essential we provide products to meet their safety and style requirements," says Laurie Birko, Moen Home Care brand manager. "Our newest products, such as our Fold-Down Shower Seat and Grab Bars with Accessories look like decorative pieces rather than safety devices, so homeowners no longer have to choose between safety or style ... they can have both."

Kitchens that cook ... and more

Different generations have very specific desires in terms of creating a kitchen to meet their needs, and according to findings from the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence, boomers are looking for kitchens with amenities that will assist with entertaining. These upgrades may include cooktops with special-purpose features, such as a built-in grill or wok; commercial or professional-grade appliances; a built-in coffee pot connected directly to plumbing or an oven that dramatically reduces cooking times without microwaves.

Bedrooms that sizzle

Mature adults still know how to spice up their bedroom with hot amenities, including fireplaces, heated mattress pads and large-capacity warming cabinets for blankets, robes, towels and clothing. Convenience-based bedroom trends include a laundry room off of the master suite, remote-controlled window treatments and voice controlled lighting and electronics, making your mature boudoir much more magical than your childhood bedroom.

The greater outdoors

No-mow lawns have sprouted up as a time-, water-, fuel- and money-saving alternative to the traditional lawn. These lawns have been around for over a decade in parks and other public spaces. Now they're catching on with homeowners - particularly with the growing population of second-homeowners who don't want to spend their precious getaway weekends mowing the lawn. They're also becoming popular with mature adults who are simply tired of the rigors and high cost of constant lawn upkeep.

For homeowners in colder climates who are tired of the hassles and hazards of snow removal, driveway heating systems are an ideal amenity. Radiant driveway heating systems provide heat similar to indoor in-floor heating systems. Heat is delivered with either electric cable (electric systems) or by hot water pumped through plastic tubing (hydronic systems) compacted in the surface. Most driveway heating systems have automatic smart sensors that turn the systems on when it begins to snow, providing great consistency and reliability for snow removal, whether you're home or not.

And, with safety always a concern - both indoors and out - driveway heating systems are not only convenient; these systems are potentially lifesavers, helping prevent heart attacks, frostbite and back pain commonly associated with snow removal. Driveway heating also helps reduce injuries due to slips and falls, and possibly liability due to such accidents.

Regardless of the size of your home, whether you build new or buy used, filling your empty nest with hot amenities will help to make your golden years as good as gold. For more information about Moen Home Care bath safety products, visit

Are you thinking about downsizing, but want to upsize on the amenities too? Call the Grove Team, Keller Williams to start your real estate experience today! (817) 337-0000 or find us online,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Retaining walls and pavers add curb appeal to your front entry

(ARA) - Front-porch entertaining is making a comeback in America's neighborhoods, thanks to homeowners' renewed interest in beautifying the front entries of their homes. The days of uninspired concrete front stoops have passed, giving way to elegant combinations of freestanding walls, columns and matching pavers to create welcoming entrances that also serve as gathering places.

Front-entry makeovers that are both eye-catching and functional are one of the hottest trends in landscape design these days.

"Decades ago, neighbors would often retire to their front porches in the evening and gather together for conversation with neighbors up and down the street," says Lonnie Sekeres, designer at Villa Landscapes in Oakdale, Minn. "That practice is returning as families spend more time entertaining at home and getting to know their neighbors. A creatively designed front entryway can help facilitate that."

It doesn't have to be extravagant either. "Doing something as nominal as adding a paver walkway and freestanding wall - along with a new take on plants to accent certain areas - can do a lot to freshen up your curb appeal on a modest budget," says Sekeres.

New concept, old look

Many homeowners face the challenge of updating a home that looks a bit stuck in the past, but a front entry facelift can be an easy solution. Villa Landscapes transformed a rambler's small and mundane concrete-slab front stoop into a sweeping paver patio and pergola-covered entryway defined by Versa-Lok retaining walls and columns. The stunning result changed the entire look of the home.

"The original house had a 4-foot-wide step to access the front door," explains Sekeres. "The owner wanted to provide more useable space for traffic flow through the front door while creating a sense of an old-fashioned front porch. In addition, he wanted to use materials that would complement the existing home and also be low-maintenance."

Versa-Lok retaining walls in a charcoal-blend color were used for seat-height freestanding walls and columns to create the new porch space. Paving stones in a matching color were used for the patio and walkway surface. The formerly boring square front stoop was transformed into an attractive rounded step that protrudes from the patio, flanked by two columns and faced with a veneer made from slicing off the back of a retaining wall block. The curved lines of the step are repeated in the walkway and in a round raised-bed garden.

The pergola extends from the front of the house, supported by white pillars mounted inside freestanding columns.

"What began as a cold and somewhat clumsy entrance to the house is now a bright and inviting gathering place that adds a contemporary look to what could have been a dated home," Sekeres concludes.

Front-yard entertaining

Sekeres gave a another family's home a facelift with a handsome hardscaped front-entry courtyard graced with fresh plantings. A plain concrete sidewalk was replaced with matching pavers to create a fresh look for the home with a new, more neighborly entertaining space.

"The entry had overgrown plants in some areas, bare spots in others. While it's a beautiful house, it had lost its curb appeal and was in dire need of attention," explains Sekeres. "Besides sprucing up the look of their home, the clients also wanted to have a spot out front to sit and chat with the neighbors as they passed by."

The solution was a raised patio that extends from the existing front step to the middle of the yard. The patio is buttressed on the outer sides by freestanding Versa-Lok retaining walls accented at two corners with stylish matching columns.

The patio and sidewalk are paved with Willow Creek paving stones in a cobblestone pattern and color scheme that complements the walls and the home's existing brick exterior. A variety of new plantings around the wall and patio soften the hardscaping.

"We come out here in the evening and it's not 10 minutes before someone sees us and stops over," one of the homeowners beamed. "We just love it."

For more information on how you can give your home a front-entry makeover, contact Versa-Lok Retaining Wall Systems at (800) 770-4525, or visit

Are you looking for a new patio to begin your entertaining? Call the real estate experts on the Grove Team, Keller Williams...(817) 337-0000 or find us online, to learn more about our team and how we can help you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bill Filed to Limit Foreclosure Deficiencies

Congressman Ed Towns has filed a bill in the House of Representatives to standardize and limit a lender's ability to file for a deficiency judgment after a foreclosure. A deficiency is the difference between the amount a bank receives at the foreclosure sale and the amount the homeowner owed. Many consumers do not realize that a bank or other lender may file for a judgment for the deficiency for four years in Texas.

The differences between states can vary from six years to complete bans on deficiency judgments. This difference creates confusion among consumers who have already been through the a demoralizing loss of their home.

The unprecedented number of foreclosures in recent years has revealed inconsistencies and weaknesses in the foreclosure process. Lenders should be able to foreclose in appropriate situations, but the process must be fair and transparent.

Did you know the Grove Team can help homeowners in distress? Call our team today to learn about options to avoid foreclosure...(817) 337-0000 or find us online,

Monday, January 9, 2012

Guest Blog - Bill Adcock

John R. Talbott, previously a Goldman Sachs investment banker, is a bestselling author and economic consultant. When it comes to the housing market he is also a prophet. When housing prices started to skyrocket in 2003, he published The Coming Crash in the Housing Market correctly warning us that a real estate bubble was forming. Then in January 2006, he called the absolute peak of home prices in the US by releasing a new book, Sell Now! The End of the Housing Bubble.

Mr. Talbott, the person who accurately predicted the housing bubble and its bust, now has a new prediction – IT IS THE TIME TO BUY A HOME! In a recent article, Homes – Buy Now!, Talbott simply explains:

“I have been waiting for more than five years to offer this advice. It is now time in most cities across the country to buy a new home or refinance your existing home with thirty-year fixed rate mortgage debt.”

He goes on to explain that his conclusion is based on four different metrics, all of which favor buying today:

•Home Prices Relative to Peak Prices During the Bubble

•Home Prices Relative to Construction Costs or Replacement Costs

•Home Prices Relative to Incomes and Rents

•Home Prices in Real Terms, Not US Dollar Terms

Bottom Line

If the person who called the real estate bubble and its bust says now is the time to buy, I believe it is time to buy.

Thank you for the
Share this with your customers now….

Yours to Count On,


Bill Adcock
Branch Manager NMLS#572242
817-538-3858 Mobile 855-844-9467 EFax

Friday, January 6, 2012

Top home decor trends for 2012

(ARA) - From warm woods and creative colors to memorable murals and tailored textures, interior designers and industry experts predict 2012 will offer a multitude of options for those interested in giving their homes a fresh look. Even better for today's cost-conscious consumers is that many of the trends are easy and inexpensive.

The facts about furniture

According to Emmy Award-winning home design expert, author and TV/radio personality Christopher Lowell, upholstered furniture coverings are being driven more by texture and less by prints. Yesterday's bulky, stationary pit sofa will be replaced by lower backs and seats along with smaller "footprint" pieces clustered into conversation groups for more flexibility and ease of interaction. Stacy Garcia of Stacy Garcia Design Studio sees a movement of woods from very dark mahogany and espresso to lighter and mid-toned woods, with raw, natural walnut, cherry and white oak being especially prevalent.

Make a statement

For homeowners interested in adding life and personality to a bedroom, living room, family room or office, a decorative wall mural is a quick, cost-effective way to go, explains Todd Imholte, president of Murals Your Way, whose products have been featured on the TODAY show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Divine Design, Man Caves and Moving Up. With 25 mural categories including Disney, famous artwork, cities and cityscapes, nature, and sports, as well as the ability to create murals from favorite photos, the choices are virtually unlimited. The company also recently launched a repositionable wallpaper line.

The right touch

According to Lori Dennis, interior designer, author and upcoming star of HGTV's new show The Real Designing Women, next year's textures and fabrics will include iridescent metallic woven within fabric; strong patterns and bold prints; modern floral; tailored woven fabrics like tweed, herringbone, plaid and houndstooth; velvet/velour, sumptuous dupioni silk, and faux fur. Natural fibers such as bamboo, jute, eucalyptus, cotton, silk, wool and cork will remain popular, adds DeAnna Radaj of Bante Design LLC.

A splash of color

Deborah Wecselman of DWD Inc. suggests starting with neutral hues of taupe, beige, cream, grey, black and white, and then adding unexpected pops of color with bold accessories from bright yellow paintings to royal blue vases. Dennis echoes this vibrant color spectrum, with rich jewel tones like emerald, amethyst, sapphire, ruby, garnet and citrine along with deep teal, fuchsia, honeysuckle, coffee and gold.

Light up your life

According to Bradburn design team manager Martin Lucki, lighting options will include linen shades with clean tailored lines and a play toward texture. Lamp bodies will be made of carved reclaimed woods deftly finished in soft, neutral tones that showcase the natural wood grain. Beverly Hills designer Christopher Grubb of Arch-Interiors Design Group, who considers decorative lighting "the piece of jewelry in a room," recommends architectural sconces for applying makeup or shaving to avoid the shadows cast by overhead lighting.

Please tread on me

Kitchen designer/blogger Susan Serra sees a renewed interest in woven or knotted textures on rugs with "back to basics" motifs that harken back to simpler times. These rugs are easy and cheerful to live with, make a design statement, and serve as interesting foundations for rooms with upholstered or casework furnishings most often seen in neutral colors. Lowell also sees a trend toward investment area rugs on tiled floors or those resurfaced with wood or faux wood veneers for better wear and tear and a greater perceived home value.

Decorating on a dime

According to artist/designer/author Pablo Solomon, people will continue to look for unique, cost-effective ways to improve their homes. They'll buy and restore secondhand furniture, swap artwork and accessories with friends, and use yard sale proceeds to purchase new items for their homes. Consignment stores and estate sales will be hot in 2012, adds best-selling author and home design expert Lauri Ward of, with people discovering the benefits of buying older, distressed pieces that are well made and affordable. Chairs and sofas that can be reupholstered or slipcovered, and cabinets for storage, will be sought for their quality as well as the aesthetic interest they add to modern rooms.

Are you or someone you know considering buyer/selling a home in 2012? The Grove Team is here and ready to be your real estate professionals. Give us a call, (817) 337-0000 or find us online,

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fixing your credit is doable

If you find yourself with less-than-good credit, you are not alone. Business Insider, an online business news website, reports that one in 50 households owes more than $20,000 in credit card debt. Coinciding with this alarming figure, the site further states that more than 2 million Americans look to credit counselors each year to avoid bankruptcy.

Before your finances fall into the bankruptcy category, you can take steps to help turn your bad credit around. Just ask James Cheslek, dean of academic affairs at Brown Mackie College - Albuquerque. Cheslek is a retired corporate and trial law attorney who helps college students with bad credit get back on track.

"If you want to be successful, it is important to not let credit card debt get out of control," Cheslek says. "Many people get frustrated because their credit is not up to par. They don't realize how easy it is to fix. It may take some time, but it is doable."

Step one: Request a free copy of your credit report.

Every American is entitled to a free copy of their credit report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Each of the three reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion - is required to provide it once every 12 months, if you ask for it. To order your free copy, visit, or call (877) 322-8228.

Step two: Read your credit report carefully for inaccuracies.

"Spend some time figuring out what all the symbols mean. Learn what's good and what's bad," Cheslek says. "Reporting companies get information from creditors. They simply take the information and add it to your report."

Step three: Dispute inaccuracies.

The FCRA further states that a reporting agency must correct any inaccuracies on your report. To dispute an item, notify the reporting agency of the inaccurate information. "They must investigate by forwarding your information to the company that provided the disputed item," says Cheslek. "When any information proves incorrect, the FCRA calls for all three reporting agencies to remove it from your credit report."

Step four: Request verification of debt.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) gives consumers rights against debt collectors. "Here's the deal," Cheslek continues. "Debt collectors buy old debt for pennies on the dollar. They call and tell you they are collecting on behalf of another company. However, the company that originated the debt has written it off and retired the file."

This may be the best kept secret in America. The FDCPA entitles you to write to the original company and ask for verification of the debt. They have 30 days to complete the process. Usually, they can't find the file or verify the amount," says Cheslek . "You may need to send follow-up letter to the credit reporting agencies to say, 'Take this off.'"

Step five: Once your credit is fixed, keep it fixed.

Cheslek offers the following rules of thumb to follow in the interest of keeping a good credit score:

* Pay bills on time. Late payments add fees to the balance owed.

* Change the payment due date if the current one is inconvenient.

* Pay more than the minimum due, even if just a little.

* Do not skip any payments. Skipped payments lead to bad credit.

* Do not close old accounts. Creditors look at how long you've had credit.

* Keep one account with no balance.

* Do not apply for loans you don't need. Every loan request shows on your credit report for two years; a denial becomes a negative mark.

The Grove Team, Keller Williams Realty is ready to be YOUR real estate team! Contact us today to schedule your personalized appointment.

(817) 337-0000

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Living large in smaller spaces: The shrinking, changing American home

(ARA) - The American home may be shrinking, but not the Great American Dream. Americans are still living large, just doing so in smaller spaces.

To some trend-watchers, the downscaling of the American home comes as good news. Architects, designers and social observers say our willingness to resize our floor space means Americans are rethinking the way we really live and how we use whatever space we do have. Home, they say, has become less about impressing others and more about making ourselves happy. And since we are mostly baby boomers - that tidal wave of Americans born between 1946 and 1964 - who have long been accustomed to getting what we want, happiness is often defined in terms of luxuries and personal amenities.

"Natural materials like American Hardwoods are redefining the word 'luxury,'" says Linda Jovanovich of the American Hardwood Information Center. "Hardwoods bring richness and warmth to even small rooms, whether it's used on the floors and walls, or crafted into built-ins. Custom hardwood furnishings like bookcases and cabinets make a home personal, yours alone, and isn't that the ultimate luxury?"

This new definition of luxury - top-quality, mostly natural materials, careful attention to architectural details like natural wood window frames and mouldings - is one that architect and author Sarah Susanka agrees with. And what Susanka thinks matters.

In 1998, her professional hunch launched what has become the "build-better-not-bigger" movement, when she published the first in her best-selling series of "The Not So Big House" books.

Her mantra is indeed, think smaller, and she also believes that "luxury comes from the materials we surround ourselves with. Beauty comes from natural materials. You can see where they come from - in the grain, the veining. The more natural the materials, like real hardwoods and granite, the more content you are. There's a quality you can't name, but you can feel it."

Gale Steves, author, editor and design industry consultant sums up a similar concept in her book about "Right-Sizing Your Home." According to Steves, "Right-sizing is about making the best use of the spaces you have for the way you live." She suggests these ways to best enjoy the shrinking and changing American home.

* "Create a room within a room," Steves advises. Her ideas begin at floor-level. Install hardwood flooring throughout to unify the spaces and make them look larger, then use area rugs to define separate areas. Lay hardwood on the diagonal to set off special architectural features. Create a "rug" under a dining table with an inset frame of contrasting hardwood. Or outline an entire room with two courses of contrasting hardwood.

* More ideas: Use a sectional sofa to delineate an intimate seating area within an open floor plan. And - of special interest to the many boomers who are eschewing retirement - find a standing wood-panel screen to create privacy or isolate a work space, say, in a bedroom office area.

* And don't forget to make it sustainable. Living green is a high priority for the anti-McMansion generation. As Susanka sees it, we should think of the 21st-century house as "a well-tailored suit: you use less material, but it fits you perfectly."

So while the size of the "average" U.S. home may be shrinking, remember that it's more about space that works and that satisfies the psyche in the process that defines the ultimate in luxury. Think custom kitchens with pro-quality appliances, posh home-spa baths, stone countertops and the beauty and warmth that only come with hardwood flooring, cabinetry and millwork.

For more information on American Hardwoods, visit

Are you ready to start your new home search? Contact the Grove Team, Keller Williams to schedule your customized appointment with a buyer specialist today!

(817) 337-0000