Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Get your pool ready for safe family fun

(ARA) - As the weather starts to warm, you can't help but stare at your backyard pool, anxious to begin a new season of memories with friends and family. No matter the season, pool safety should always be top of mind where children are concerned. With safety barriers - or layers of protection - in place between the home and the pool, you can experience the pleasures of backyard swimming pools and feel confident that children, grandchildren and visitors will be safeguarded from pool accidents.

It's impossible to watch your children every second of every day. There are times when a parent or caregiver is distracted by answering the phone or door, household tasks or checking email. Unfortunately, accidents tend to happen very quickly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1 to 14. The CDC reports that in most cases, the children involved were out of their parents' sight for less than five minutes.

The good news: Drowning can be prevented. Barriers help buy those few minutes needed to see where children are after you've momentarily lost sight of them.

Numerous studies have shown that an isolation fence separating the home from the pool can prevent 50 to 90 percent of all toddler drownings. Only an isolation fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate in proper working order will prevent children from getting into the water without your knowledge.

Liability can become an issue if a visitor is injured. Homeowners can improve the safety and security of their pools or spas with isolation fencing with self-closing, self-latching gate hardware by D&D Technologies (

Magnetically triggered latches like D&D's self-latching MagnaLatch have been shown to offer safe, reliable operation, latching even when locked in the open position. Pool gates must also be self-closing, and D&D's TruClose hinges feature a tension adjustable enclosed spring so gates need no hazardous external spring.

Rust-free gate hardware by D&D Technologies is available under the Stanley or National Hardware brand through select Lowe's stores or online at and other hardware retailers.

If you have a pool, you have a responsibility to safeguard it. There is no substitute for vigilant supervision. But there are additional steps you can and should take to keep everyone safe - including these.

* Never prop a gate open for convenience or during pool parties. It's simply not worth the risk.

* Always ensure that doors from the home are locked, alarmed, or fitted with child-safety latching devices.

* Ensure that pet doors are secured or open into an area that is isolated from the pool.

* If the house forms one side of the barrier, doors leading into the pool area should be protected with alarms that produce a loud sound when the door is unexpectedly opened.

* Power safety covers that meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards can be very effective if closed whenever the pool is not in use. Manually operated covers tend to be left open; closing them frequently requires two adults.

* Ensure children in the home learn how to swim, and that adults know CPR. CPR can make the difference between full recovery and brain damage or death. If anyone else will be supervising kids in the pool, make sure they learn it, too. Impress upon babysitters that they must follow your safety rules.

* When children are in the pool, designate a "water watcher" to maintain uninterrupted supervision of children in the pool at all times.

* When not in use, keep toys and other objects out of the pool area, and don't use chlorine dispensers that look like animals or toys that will attract children.

With layers of protection between your home and your pool, you can give your family years of safer relaxation and enjoyment, and build some great family memories. For drowning prevention tips, visit or Take the pledge and tell others about the Simple Steps that Save Lives at

Are you in the hunt for a new home that has a pool this spring? Call on the Grove Team, Keller Williams to start your home search today! Our team of buyer specialist are here and ready to find the right home for your family. Catch us at the office, (817) 337-0000 or find us online,

Friday, February 24, 2012

JUST LISTED - 13713 High Mesa, Fort Worth

Just listed by the Grove Team, Keller Williams Realty

13713 High Mesa Road

Fort Worth, 76262

Offered at $132,500

From the attractive front door, to the spacious rooms, to the neutral colors, this well maintained home has so much to offer. Featuring three living areas and two dining areas, this home has ample space for entertaining. Solar screens, light fixtures, and ceiling fans have been added. The roof was replaced in 2010 and interior paint updated just this month!

Call the Grove Team, Keller Williams Realty to set up a tour today! (817) 337-0000

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Video Tour - 930 Rush Creek Road

Just Listed by the Grove Team, Keller Williams

930 Rush Creek Road, Keller
Open this Sunday, February 26th, 3:00 - 5:00

Completely renovated by TK Homes, LLC...located in popular Hidden Oaks Addition, Keller. Featuring four bedrooms, split floorplan, two living and two dining. Visit our open house this weekend or call the Grove Team, (817) 337-0000.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Video Tour - 317 Shawnee Trail, Keller

Just Listed by the Grove Team, Keller Williams

317 Shawnee Trail, Keller
Open this Sunday, February 26th, 3:00 - 5:00

Another quality renovation by TK Homes! From new flooring, granite in the kitchen AND baths, new light fixtures and so much more...this home is move in ready. Featuring more than 2,000sqft on a huge lot, stop by this weekend to view this awesome new Keller property.

(817) 337-0000

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

3 Predictions for Distressed Properties in 2012

Brain Summerfield, Realtor Magazine

"Its hard to know exactly what will happen with foreclosures, REOs, and short sales in the coming year. However, there are certain things regarding distressed properties that can be predicited with some level of assurance, " says Andy Firoved, CEO of CounselorDirect, a technology company that specializes in automating processes for various government foreclosure-prevention programs.

Firoved's clients include housing departments in states with the hightest unemployment and biggest declines in home values - the so-called "Hardest Hit." Here are three of his prognostications for 2012:

Prediction #1 - Government home owner assistance programs will get more effective.

They failed early on because of a combination of poor promotion of the programs and arcaen, overly bureaucratic processes. "However, the word is getting out now, and people are starting to get assistance, " Fivored says. "These programs are starting to find higher-level efficiences as well."

Prediction #2 - The nuber of evictions will stay the same or even go down.

While the number of evictions that have taken place over the past couple of years seems high compared with healtier economic times, they actually aren't as high as they could be. Why? For one thing, banks are hesitant to pursue foreclosures because of the robo-signing issue, which still hasn't been settled. Also, many banks simply don't have the will or the resources right now to evict all of those borrowers.

Prediction #3 - Banks will get creative in dealing with REOs and delinquent home owners.

According to Fivord, banks will accomplish this by working out special deals, such as leasing foreclosed and bank-owned homes to their former owners. They may even allow foreclosed-on and delinquent borrowers to continue living in homes without making any payments - at least in the short term - because they want properties mainteained for eventual resale.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's never too early or too late to take control of your finances

(ARA) - "Silly season" - the months of campaigning that lead up to a presidential election - is well under way, and it's a sure bet the country's money, finances and spending habits will be favorite issues for politicos of all persuasions. But while the debate and rhetoric is sure to be heated on both sides of the political fence, taking control of finances - specifically, your personal ones - is something worth considering this year.

"It's never too early or too late to educate yourself about your finances and to take control of your spending and saving," says Dr. Willie White, program chair and accounting instructor at Everest College in Aurora, Colo. White offers four tips to help get you started:

1. Assess your finances

Make a list of all sources of income and expenses, including: mortgage payments, rent, utilities, car payments and insurance and credit card payments.

If you recently experienced a significant change in your personal or financial life, then you may also benefit from consulting a financial professional. Even if you have to pay some money up front, a professional financial manager can help you identify possible tax breaks, or advise you on possible debt management strategies.

Dr. White also advises you to get a copy of your credit report; you can access it for free by visiting

2. Organize your finances

After you've assessed your situation, make a monthly budget with concrete, manageable goals. Set aside a certain time each week devoted to managing your finances, and automate as many of your payments as possible.

If you are not sure how much you currently spend, then you should keep a "financial log" for one month, in which you record all expenses on discretionary items such as food, gas, clothing, etc. Transition to online payments. "Paying your bills on time not only will save you money by helping you avoid late payments, but it is a crucial first step to building your credit score," says White. Moving to automatic deductions not only makes sure your bills are paid on time, but can also save you time and hassle.

3. Start saving

"There is only one rule to saving - spend less than you earn," says White. The key to saving is to create and commit to a reasonable budget that includes manageable savings goals. If possible, have a set amount go directly to your savings account by automatic deposit.

To make the most of your saving, White suggests you see if your employer offers a 401k as part of your benefit package, which allows you to deduct savings automatically and actually reduces your taxable income. If your employer offers a matching 401k option, maximize your savings to take full benefit of the matched amount.

4. Deal with your debt

For many, credit card debt can seem overwhelming, but there are a number of steps you can take to feel in control of your payments again. "Your first step can be to cancel credit cards with annual fees," advises White.

Dr. White also urges you to consult debt consolidation companies, which gather debt from various credit cards under one umbrella account, and help you reduce monthly payments.

However, the most important piece of advice Dr. White offers is to get informed. "The more you know about your finances and your options, the better consumer and investor you will be," says Dr. White.

Taking control of your finances is the first step to buying your new home. When you are ready to start the home buying process, call the buyer specialist at the Grove Team, Keller Williams Realty. Are you not sure where you are finanacially? The Grove Team can put you in touch with a mortage professional to put together a plan for your home buying future!

(817) 337-0000

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spring into 2012 with the hottest colors for your home

(ARA) - As you anticipate what exciting things this year will bring, you might notice your home decor has been left behind. Fortunately, you can easily beautify and modernize your home using hints from design experts on the hottest color trends. Don't worry that you'll need to break the bank - simply updating the shades of your walls can create the feel of an entire new home without the cost of buying one. And you'll enjoy starting the year in fresh, contemporary surroundings.

"Our world has become increasingly complicated and fast-paced in recent years, to the point that many people are now taking steps back to re-evaluate their lifestyles and consider what's truly important," says Donna Schroeder, Dutch Boy Paints manager of Color + Design. "As we look back to simpler times, we also see how design and style have evolved. Dutch Boy's 2012 color forecast is based on this reflection and the self-expression of what people find meaningful. This year's diverse color trends are rich and full of history, helping people create spaces that truly show their inner selves."

Featuring five groupings of the hottest colors in home decor, the Dutch Boy color forecast offers options for any room or personal taste. The 2012 trends palettes are as follows:

Whether it's the search for enlightenment or just the best cup of organic coffee within 20 miles, the path is about more than the ground covered. The Ethereal collection floats above other color palettes, airy and atmospheric with tea-stained and faded hues evocative of the lightness of the sky under the midday sun. Light colors from this palette include Epidermal, Faded Mint and Feather Lite.

Primitive. A meandering path through the forest takes us past colors only to be found in nature. Deep barks, shocking citrines and raw earth inspired the natural colors of this palette. The Primitive colors are as mysterious as the shaded canopy of the woods that inspired them. Suffused with energy, they speak to growth, regeneration and life. This natural palette includes Raw Garnet, Symbiotic Green and Indigenous Teal.

Fundamental. We've walked far away from the beige computer housings of the 1970s, only to find the hues from this budding technological era coming back full force. Retro office meets geek chic for a new take on '70s style, as seen in this grouping. The Fundamental color palette makes full use of classic, contrasting neutrals like beige and gray - designed to work as the perfect foil for bold main accents of green, orange and vibrant blue. Basic colors in the Fundamental palette include Ink Blue, Aged Cognac and Rudimentary Beige.

Pastimes. It's time for a road trip back in time to motels boasting refrigerated air, a gallon of gas that cost a dime and the game of miniature golf that was every family's obsession. The Pastimes color palette is filled with exuberant shades reminiscent of lazy summer days at a lake house without a television, or the intensity of the circus coming to town. It's American culture from the 1940s and '50s - a simpler time, an antidote to the fast-paced buzz and hum of modern technology. Bright Pastimes hues include Clown's Nose, Kiddie Pool and Orangesicle.

Compose. A street of dreams with a focus on soft femininity and vintage 1930s floral fashions are at the heart of the Compose color palette. Rich, dark hues are offset by bright pops of color that despite their origin in an earlier era, look fresh and new. This is a collection that worships the creative being in all of us, and encourages self-expression through home decorating. This inspired palette contains shades such as Purple Pencil Skirt, Lip Stain Pink and Theatrical Teal.

Choose any path to fit your home, whether it's a light, shimmery mint from the Ethereal palette, or a natural natural green from the Primitive palette. Using these cues from the color professionals, you can ensure your home enters 2012 in style.

Did you know the Grove Team, Keller Williams works with a professional stager with our listings? If you are considering listing your home for sale this spring, contact the listing experts today! Find us at the office, (817) 337-0000 or online,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Choose the right homeowner's insurance for your lifestyle

(ARA) - Are you a first-time home buyer? An established homeowner? An empty nester? Whatever stage of life you're in, it pays to make sure you have the right insurance - and you're not paying for coverage you don't need.

Homeowner policies can be customized to fit to your lifestyle, so you're not automatically paying for coverage on home upgrades you don't have, such as security systems, expensive jewelry or antique collections, says Charles Valinotti, senior vice president with insurer QBE.

He says regardless of lifestyle stage, there's one type of coverage everyone should have - insurance to replace possessions in their homes. "If the home is destroyed, contents will be replaced at today's value."

Here's a summary of other essential insurance coverage to fit your lifestyle:

When you're new to home-buying

You've closed the deal on your biggest purchase yet and you need sufficient protection, even though you don't have many belongings. You'll need insurance for the structure of your home, as well as against common disasters, such as fire, severe storms, vandalism and theft. Extra liability insurance is a good idea in the event someone is hurt in your home.

"Remember to add coverage as you make improvements costing more than $5,000 or add TVs, computers, stereos and furniture to your home's inventory," says Valinotti.

When you're an established homeowner

You've moved into a home that fits your family's needs and is filled with belongings you've acquired - such as family heirlooms, artwork and expensive jewelry or rugs - that typically aren't covered by a basic homeowner's policy. Make a home inventory video to document your personal property and keep the video in a safe place away from your home, like in a bank safety deposit box.

"Established homeowners should consider buying an insurance policy 'floater' or 'rider' to cover these special items," Valinotti says.

When you're an empty nester

Not only have your children moved out to work or attend school, you've scaled down your lifestyle. Valinotti suggests that now is the time to reassess the value of your home and your possessions. "If your children have taken their things with them, such as furniture, laptops or televisions, you may need less coverage than you did before," he says. Thinking about starting a home business now that the kids are gone? If you work at home, you may need a supplemental liability policy that covers your work-related activities. If you decide that you're finished with your homeowner responsibilities and want to rent an apartment or condominium, remember: You still need insurance coverage.

Valinotti recommends talking with your insurance agent about what protection is essential for your specific stage of life. "That way, you'll be sure to have enough coverage to return to your current lifestyle should you experience a major loss," he says.

Do you have more questions on homeowner's insurance? Call the experts at the Grove Team for information and contact information for local insurance partners in the area!

(817) 337-0000

Monday, February 13, 2012

Great information on price changes across the country

Thank you Bill Adcock for the continued information!

Bill Adcock

Sr. Loan Consultant NMLS#572242
817-538-3858 Mobile 855-844-9467 EFax

"Delivering a Better Experience"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Plan now for home improvement throughout the year

(ARA) - If you've finished making your holiday gift list, don't put the pen and paper away just yet. While the holidays take up a lot of attention right now, it's also a great time to look a bit further into the future. With the new year just around the corner, planning for home improvement projects now can help you prioritize and budget.

Spending more time indoors at home might be bringing some potential projects to your attention. Maybe you've noticed fraying carpet under your toes, chipped paint on a window frame or a paint color that feels outdated - whatever needs to be addressed should get marked down on your fix-it list.

Give yourself a deadline for completing the list and then call a household meeting to start prioritizing. One of the most important things you can bring to that meeting is an idea of how much you can afford to spend. Given that the economy is still lagging - and many people are feeling that pull on their pocketbooks - it's wisest to avoid going into debt to accomplish everything you want to do.

Setting a home improvement budget gives you parameters to work within as you weigh the importance of each project on your list. However, you should also come to the table with a reasonable idea of how much it will cost to complete each of the tasks you want to finish.

Armed with your list and your budgetary figures, go through each item, weighing the pros and cons of both doing it now and letting it wait. You'll inevitably have a lot of options, including putting things off and saving more money throughout the year, or investing some money in repairs now and letting your savings grow for midyear projects. Naturally, you'll also need to consider the constraints of weather on your projects - if you want to put on a new deck, you'll have to wait until at least spring. Consider the fact that an outdoor project might feel a lot more necessary when warmer weather arrives than it does now.

Your long-term plans for your home should also come into play. If you're planning on selling anytime soon, consider carefully whether the projects you plan on doing will pay off at sale time. Additionally, if you plan on catching a buyer's eye, take an objective look at what might help you make the sale. If you're working with a Realtor, you might even want to discuss with them the best fix-ups and repairs within your budget.

Will 2012 be the year you start the home buying or selling process? Call the local experts on the Grove Team, Keller Williams Realty to get started today. Find us online, or call the office (817) 337-0000.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How much house can you afford?

Are you ready to begin the home buying process? Contact the team of buyer specialist on the Grove Team, Keller Williams to start your customized home buying experience today!

Call the office, (817) 337-0000 or find us online today,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Just Listed - 9704 Rancho Drive, Fort Worth

Check out the newest Grove Team listing - 9704 Rancho Drive in the Deerfield Addition of Fort Worth! Call the Grove Team, Keller Williams today to schedule a showing of this awesome home!

(817) 337-0000

Friday, February 3, 2012

Simplify your life with gadgets for the home

(ARA) - Nowadays, our lives are more hectic than ever. But you can pare back your to-do list with some innovative products that make household tasks a little bit easier.

* Skip the morning visit to your neighborhood cafe and brew the perfect cup of coffee at home. Making a pot of coffee takes extra work - grinding beans, measuring grinds and water, brewing and eventually cleaning the pot - and there's often extra coffee that goes to waste. Automatic, single serve coffee machines make it easy to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee, tea or other warm beverage with very little effort.

* Universal remotes are no longer just for the home entertainment system. Newer remotes enable total control of the various electronics throughout your home. Ranging from simple to sophisticated, universal remotes can control your lighting, thermostat, security system, pool and more. Verve Living Systems, for example, offers a controller that provides you with the option of programming up to 10 combinations of controls for lighting and temperature, making it easier to save energy.

* Even in the bathroom, gadgets such as electronic toothbrushes and razors make grooming simple and efficient. Earlier this year, Delta Faucet launched Touch2O.xt Technology on bathroom faucets, which enables you to activate the flow of water with a simple tap anywhere on the spout or handle. The technology also features a sensing field around the entire faucet for entirely hands-free activation. The hands-free mode makes it easier to conserve water during quick tasks, such as brushing your teeth or washing your hands, because the faucet will automatically shut off when hands are removed from the sensing field.

"Our research and development team conducts extensive research during product development, examining ways in which people interact with their faucets," says Ali McKinney, product manager at Delta Faucet. "This technology provides a cleaner, more efficient way to work with water."

* Who says you need electronics to have a high-tech experience? Updates to the shower can be intimidating, but adding a handshower can provide greater functionality and an improved experience and doesn't have to be a hassle. The In2ition two-in-one shower, also from Delta Faucet, offers the ability to enjoy water from the showerhead, integrated handshower or both at once for water exactly where you want it and flexibility to accomplish other tasks, such as bathing children, washing pets or cleaning the shower. Plus, installing the In2ition is no more complicated than switching out a standard showerhead.

* Almost every personal device doubles as a camera these days, but who has wall space for all those framed photos? A digital picture frame makes it easier to keep the photos around your home up-to-date and saves the time and money you would spend ordering and printing new photos. Even more, you can upload hundreds of pictures and set the frame to rotate the images on a slideshow. The latest digital picture frames have a range of style options, memory and fun image-sharing features.

Whatever your need, there's likely a product, technology or application that can help turn even the most mundane everyday tasks into easy and enjoyable experiences.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Easy, affordable weekend spruce-up projects you can tackle this spring

(ARA) - When it comes to home improvement, most of us have two "to-do" lists: the things we need to do, such as paint the shutters and clean out gutters, and the list of those we want to do, such as fun and easy projects that add visual interest or practical enhancements to the outdoors. Since our budgets for both lists are usually limited, it makes sense to seek out projects that are easy, affordable and that create the most impact in a short amount of time.

Spring outdoor projects often show up on both lists. Upgrades can provide a welcoming retreat for your family, or can improve your home's marketability and appeal to potential buyers when it comes time to sell. Fortunately, it's easy to find simple projects that take only a weekend and a modest budget to accomplish.

"Adding elements like planter boxes and raised garden beds is a great way of creating impact without a huge commitment of time," says home improvement expert Mark Clement, co-host of "My Fix it Up Life" which airs nationally, on iTunes, Blog Talk Radio and at

Clement offers some easy tips to help guide weekend projects that anyone can build:

Raised bed gardens. Some of the most abundant vegetable, herb and cut-flower gardens grow exceptionally well in raised beds because there is less soil compaction and they allow for excellent drainage. While raised beds are extremely functional, they can also add style to your yard and garden. Their organized appearance lends a structural element, particularly if you construct them with quality materials like cedar.

"By carefully selecting the right materials, your garden bed will last longer and look better. Western Red Cedar is a good choice because it is easy to work with, rot-resistant, and it ages beautifully and maintains its shape and strength over the years, even when exposed to extreme weather," Clement adds.

Window and planter boxes. An easy and fun green project, wood planter boxes can be built in an afternoon. Whether arranged in a group or hung as window boxes, they instantly add a warm texture and welcoming touch to your front porch or backyard deck when filled with foliage. This project allows do-it-yourselfers to inject some personality that transforms the look from simple to elaborate and tie into the character and style of your home.

"Even if you've never built a box, you can create a classic look by adding a bit of thin trim to the top and bottom of the box," Clement says. "You can also buy wooden brackets to support the window box for a more traditional look."

Simple structures. For those looking to tackle a bigger project, invite friends over and make it a do-it-yourself project party. From small decks to barbeque platforms, or front door arbors to backyard gazebos, gather friends to help assemble projects that create new spaces and places to entertain or dress up your outdoors. "I love to make things that give my yard and home a finished touch," Clement says. "And making something as a project makes it truly yours and a part of your home - something you can be proud of and really enjoy."

Power washing your deck, play equipment and even your furniture is also an easy, low-commitment, low-cost way to spruce up your outdoor environment. You can buy or rent a power-washer and accomplish the job in a day. Clement does advise to carefully follow the manufacturers' instructions when using a power-washer, as too much pressure can cause damage. "If used properly, it will brighten up the space like you wouldn't believe," he adds. "If you're really ambitious, add a clear finish or dark-colored stain to your wood deck and the neighbors will think it's brand new."

Finally, Clement's top tip this spring is simple: Have fun. Share your experience and project photo with friends and family via Real Cedar's Facebook page.

For detailed steps on how to construct these projects, visit: