Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Real Estate Market Updates - Northeast Tarrant County

Real Estate Market Updates - Northeast Tarrant County

With the beginning of school in late August, the majority of families with children searching for a new home have found one or made other living arrangements. As these buyers exit the market, there may be a decline in the frenzied bidding wars we saw in spring and summer. However, today’s market continues to be a brutal one for buyers and a gift for sellers.

Our advice remains the same for the remaining two quarters of the year: If you can sell now, do so as rapidly as possible for the maximum price. (Nonetheless, properties with obvious flaws and those in disrepair sell much more slowly, if at all.) If you are purchasing, be prepared for some frustration with a lack of selection and steep prices.

See available inventory for the Northeast Tarrant County area on our website.

If you are considering buying or selling or know someone who is, please call us. We would appreciate the opportunity to be of service to you or anyone you know.

Grove Team, Keller Williams
(817) 337-0000

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ensure Air Quality in your Keller home

Ensure Air Quality in your Keller home

Cooler weather is on the way to North Texas. You might think the seasonal demise of pollen-spewing flora, coupled with more time spent indoors, means allergy and asthma sufferers - not to mention the rest of us - can expect to breathe easier. Not so - if the air inside your Keller home is polluted.

Indoor pollutant levels can actually be two to five times worse - and sometimes more than 100 times worse - than what's outside your house, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When temperatures dip, North Texans tend to spend more time inside and homes stay closed up as we attempt to keep warm, heated air inside. Exposure to indoor air pollution can cause a host of health problems, and it can be especially worrisome for people with existing respiratory concerns. What's more, bad air can even cause damage to your home.

Here are four gasp-worthy problems that can stem from poor indoor air quality, and simple ways you can deflate the risk to your health and home:

1. It can make you sick.

Indoor pollutants from radon (a naturally occurring gas) to dust, and volatile organic compounds (from furnishings and wall paint) to household chemicals and cleansers, have been associated with a number of health concerns. While the link between indoor air quality and respiratory ailments may be obvious, some of the other potential health effects are not.

Other problems associated with poor indoor air quality range from headache, nausea and dizziness to fatigue, dry eyes and skin, fatigue, fever and even hearing loss.

What you can do:

Take steps to remove stale, polluted air from inside your home or office. Good ventilation can make your home more comfortable and healthier. Opt to use a skylight for ventilation while you also reap the benefits of natural light. Energy Star-qualified solar powered fresh air skylights, can provide passive ventilation and abundant natural light. Passive ventilation through the natural chimney effect of skylights is a great way to remove fumes, odor and humidity from kitchens and bathrooms, and freshen air in other living areas of the home. What's more, adding an energy-efficient, remote-controlled solar powered fresh air skylight complete with solar blinds can qualify you for a federal tax credit of 30 percent off the installation and equipment costs.

2. It can damage your home.

Excess moisture is one of the most damaging aspects of poor indoor air quality. Humidity not only creates breathing difficulty for people with existing respiratory problems, but it can promote the growth of mold and mildew, too, as well as lead to structural rot throughout the home.

Mold can be a major problem, causing significant health woes. If mold is present in your home, you may need to undertake costly repairs to remove it. What's more, moisture can cause rot in areas of the home you can't immediately see, such as inside walls, around windows or door frames and in the attic. Rot weakens a home's structural integrity and may also require expensive repairs.

What you can do:

Always run vent fans in bathrooms and kitchens when you'll be generating humidity. Supplement mechanical venting with passive airflow from fresh air skylights. If you live in a particularly damp climate, consider installing a dehumidifier on your heating, ventilation and cooling system to remove excess moisture from the air inside your home. Be vigilant for signs of mold and have any problems handled by a professional.

3. It can contribute to higher energy bills.

Many of the pollutants that irritate your lungs and sinuses can also stress your home's HVAC system by clogging filters. Clogged air filters force your heating and cooling systems to work harder to achieve their purpose. The harder they work, the more energy they consume. Reports suggest a buildup of dirt in a home's HVAC system is a source of inefficient operation and system failure. If your HVAC system is 10 years old or more, it may already be less efficient than a newer model, and indoor air pollutants can decrease its efficiency even more.

What you can do:

Regularly change your HVAC system's air filters. Set a reminder on your smartphone to prompt you when it's time to change the filter. If your HVAC system is older, consider upgrading it. Upgrading to a newer, more efficient system could save you hundreds of dollars a year in heating and cooling costs.

Whether it's selling your home or finding a new one, we have designed this site so that you can quickly and easily locate the information you are looking for. The Grove Team's client-centered approach results in the best possible outcome for you. Please contact us now to begin the process of achieving your dreams in home ownership.
Office (817) 337-0000
Find us on FACEBOOK

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Five fixes for kitchens in your Keller home

Five fixes for kitchens in your Keller home

No matter if you're an aspiring chef or TV dinner connoisseur ... if the look of your kitchen makes you want to dine out - it may be time for an upgrade. The kitchen should be the heart of your Keller home: it's where you entertain, hold family meetings and even pay bills, so why not take it from "make-do" to "magnificent?"

Nothing reinvigorates a home in North Texas like a newly remodeled kitchen; however, the costs to completely remodel this room can add up quickly. In fact, kitchen projects can often range from less than $20,000 to more than $100,000, so it's best to think of renovating this space as an investment. Here are five "must-do" updates to ensure your kitchen will earn compliments from everyone.

1. Add character with color

Even the most lackluster space can be energized with color. Paint the walls or hang new curtains in a bright fabric. Or for a bigger statement, consider painted cabinets. To save you time and energy, manufactures now offer cabinets in a wide range of beautiful - and colorful - painted finishes. If considering a bold cabinet shade like blue or red, pair with complementary colors like brown or white - it will be easier to switch up the decor and add accent colors down the road.

Sticking with a neutral color scheme? You can still make a statement and add warmth with a colorful mosaic tile backsplash. These backsplashes can instantly brighten a space and are now easier than ever to install. Plus, a glass backsplash is easy to clean, so you don't have to worry about food splatters getting on walls.

2. Faucet facelift

The sink area is among the most hardworking of kitchen spaces, and the faucet in particular, gets the most grueling daily workout. Because of its constant use, updating the faucet will immediately improve the function and look of your prep space.

Contemporary styling could be the fastest growing kitchen style in 2014. To easily obtain this look, the new Tilt pullout kitchen faucet from Moen is the ideal choice for homeowners wanting to create a sleek and chic statement at the sink. Tilt offers compact, modern styling that works well in any size kitchen. It's also offered in two on-trend finishes: Chrome and Spot Resist Stainless, which helps the faucet stay visibly cleaner, longer.


 And don't just stop with the kitchen faucet ... fixtures such as built-in soap dispensers or beverage faucets can further the functionality and improved styling at the sink. In fact, research shows that more than one-third of homeowners remodeling their kitchens are interested in beverage faucets with filtration systems, as well as matching soap dispensers. Many products on the market are helping homeowners fulfill these wishes with a modern lines of soap dispensers and beverage faucets. With the range of products Keller home owners can find designs that suit them, be it modern or traditional designs in matching finishes, elegantly coordinating with the rest of the space.

3. Amp up accessories

Much like fashion, accessories can make a room; think of hardware as the finishing touch to make your space feel polished but also serve a purpose. To start, easily answer the age-old question: "where's the dish towel?" Most homes don't have a convenient place dedicated to hanging this necessity in the kitchen. For a stylish solution, install accessories such as hooks, towel bars or towel rings on the side of an upper cabinet, the end of the island or in other work areas. Next, think of the sink - accessories such as colanders and cutting boards can now fit seamlessly into the sink to help make meal prep and clean up a breeze.


4. Enhance lighting

Lighting is a critical element in kitchen design, both for its decorative and functional benefits. But not all lighting is created equal; the best way to enhance the room is to install custom lighting to suit your kitchen's needs. It can also make the space look roomier and more elegant. With styles ranging from incandescent bulbs with vintage glass shades to ultra-chic halogen cones, hanging pendants are popular ceiling fixtures for the kitchen. For an instant update, install pendants over an island or countertop where the low-hanging fixtures won't interfere with traffic flow.


5. Add personality

Adding something beautiful like a bouquet of flowers, new linens or a colorful new tea pot will bring life into the space. You can also jazz up your kitchen with lively artwork. Whether it's a professional painting you love or fun vintage posters, artwork helps complete your renovation. For a more personal touch, hang a grouping of family photographs, or frame some of your children's more colorful artistic creations for a vibrant and charming display. Or, make artwork functional by painting an old framed mirror with chalkboard paint to display grocery lists, menus or your favorite quotes.

Before starting demolition on your kitchen remodel, make sure the design is a reflection of you.  By following these five steps not only will you have a kitchen that complements your lifestyle, you will also draw plenty of compliments from family and friends.

Whether it's selling your home or finding a new one, we have designed this site so that you can quickly and easily locate the information you are looking for. The Grove Team's client-centered approach results in the best possible outcome for you. Please contact us now to begin the process of achieving your dreams in home ownership.

Office (817) 337-0000
Find us on FACEBOOK  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Beat the heat: Simple solutions for keeping outdoor spaces cool and comfortable in Keller

Beat the heat: Simple solutions for keeping outdoor spaces cool and comfortable in Keller

Are DFW's summer temperatures causing you to retreat from your favorite outdoor spaces? Decks, patios and other outdoor areas should be enjoyed throughout the year, but heat, sun and humidity can quickly make being outside intolerable during the dog days of North Texas summers. The good news is that keeping outdoor spaces comfortable and cool doesn’t have to be a challenge – in fact, it can be quite simple.

Beat the heat and take back your favorite outdoor areas by utilizing these helpful solutions to some of the most common challenges of being outdoors during hot weather:

Challenge:Scorching sun
Solution: Strategic shading

 Shade can reduce heat considerably, but in order to maximize the effect shade has on your outdoor space, evaluate sun patterns to identify the hottest areas. After doing so, you can strategically implement shade features for maximum effect. For example, umbrellas and awnings add instant shade and ambience when placed to block the noon sun. Trees and shrubs provide a permanent solution that grows and fills in over time – good for afternoon sun and privacy. Vine-covered trellises offer a seasonal solution that blocks sunlight and aligns well with the natural elements outdoors.

Challenge: Sweltering temperatures
Solution: Portable evaporative coolers

 Even with shade, outdoor heat can be unbearable. Fortunately, you can quickly cool outdoor spaces like patios, garages, greenhouses and work areas with evaporative coolers. A portable evaporative cooler can provide a cooling effect by as much as 30 degrees Fahrenheit in spaces up to 700 square feet. These products use advanced technology, water and the ambient air in order to cool an outdoor space.  The best part? They won’t leave you wet like misters or simply blow around hot air like a fan.

Challenge: Uncomfortable furniture
Solution: Cushions/new materials

 Furniture is a necessary part of a comfortable, inviting outdoor environment – even if it’s just a few chairs for relaxing. The problem is popular wrought-iron and metal furniture can become griddle-hot in the summer sun. Cut the burn and maximize furniture use all year long by covering metal furniture with cushions made from a durable, breathable material like cotton. Or, if it’s time to invest in new furniture, opt for pieces made from alternative materials like wicker, light-colored plastic and wood that tend to reflect the sun and stay cooler to the touch.

Challenge: Blistering flooring
Solution: Shade and rugs

 Summer weather can heat outdoor flooring to blistering temperatures, making it nearly impossible to go barefoot outside. Bring the heat down to toe-safe temperatures with shade and outdoor rugs in light colors that reflect the sun. Not only do rugs in pastel shades keep feet comfortable, they also add some color to brighten outdoor spaces in cheery summer shades. Opt for one large area rug or place a few smaller rugs throughout the space where foot traffic is heaviest. Bonus: rugs help collect sand and dirt from feet so less gets tracked inside.

Challenge: Phantom heat
Solution: Seek the source

 If you feel like you’ve done everything possible to cut heat but your outdoor spaces are still uncomfortable, look for phantom heat sources. For example, grilling is a popular summertime activity, but grills put off a ton of heat even after they have been turned off. Try moving the grill away from lounging areas and downwind from where people are located and see if it helps reduce the heat in your area. Any other appliances that produce heat – like mini fridges in outdoor kitchens – should be energy efficient and located a comfortable distance from where people congregate.

Hot weather challenges can be frustrating. A few simple steps today can help lower the temperature in outdoor spaces so your family can enjoy time outside even during Keller’s hottest days of the year.

Whether it's selling your home or finding a new one, we have designed this site so that you can quickly and easily locate the information you are looking for. The Grove Team's client-centered approach results in the best possible outcome for you. Please contact us now to begin the process of achieving your dreams in home ownership.
Office (817) 337-0000
Find us on FACEBOOK


Monday, August 11, 2014

Inferior Interiors - Common Mistakes, Part 1

Inferior Interiors - Common Mistakes, Part 1

Regardless if you are considering selling your home in the Keller, Southlake, North Richland Hills, or Alliance areas, a few design mistakes can mean the difference between enhancing your space or hampering it. 

Consider steering clear of these common design choices so you can enjoy your living experience or be a step ahead from your competition when selling. 

1. Colossal Furniture:  Consider your space at home before purchasing your new trendy piece of furniture.  Remember, the retail stores are huge buildings with high ceilings and very special lighting.  People commonly purchase furniture that is too large for their space.  Try marking off the area with painter's tape before your final purchase so you will know how your room will accommodate your new furniture. 

2. Room for Rugs:  Area rugs are a great way to enhance your space and help make that final pop...but not when the rugs overwhelm the room.  Remember, rugs are meant to ground a furniture group.  Legs of chairs should sit on the run; in your dining room the rug should accommodate the table and chairs even when they are pulled out.  Selecting the right rug will even make the space in your room appear larger. 

3. Don't be afraid of the light:  This doesn't mean you have to have all of the lights on for the film crew.  Layer your lighting - ambient with accent lighting.  Adapting the correct lighting will create the mood you wish to convey for that room. 

4. It's Art:  It is common for people to hang their favorite piece too high on the wall.  Try to keep it at eye level - smaller pieces can go even lower.  Use this rule of thumb - when hanging art above a piece of furniture, measure it 8" above the top of the piece. 

5. Matching Pieces:  When shopping it is the default to stick with pieces that match because they lack the confidence to go outside that box.  The result?  Boring, usually neutral rooms.  Create spaces that speak to your personality - don't be afraid to mix and match. 

Stay tuned later this week for more tips and tricks to creating your design space. 

Whether it's selling your home or finding a new one, we have designed this site so that you can quickly and easily locate the information you are looking for. The Grove Team's client-centered approach results in the best possible outcome for you. Please contact us now to begin the process of achieving your dreams in home ownership.

Office (817) 337-0000
Find us on FACEBOOK
Source: Kathryn Marsh, Kathryn Interiors

Friday, August 8, 2014

Tips on how to give your Keller home an annual checkup

Tips on how to give your Keller home an annual checkup

There's no better time than now to give your Keller home the attention it deserves. Give it an annual checkup before cold weather arrives to help add comfort, save energy and cut home maintenance in the long-run.


When inspecting your home's windows and doors, here's what to check:

Inspect interior and exterior finishes: Over time, paint and stain can weather away. Flaking or peeling may mean that it's time to refinish or replace the unit. When replacing windows or doors, consider factory prefinished wood or fiberglass options, or vinyl options that don't need painting or staining, to save time and money.

Look for damaged exterior surfaces or signs of leaks: Check your sprinkler system to make sure it's watering your lawn and landscape, not soaking your windows or doors. Cracked or deteriorated wood may be a sign of water penetration. Leaks can linger and affect interior walls, floors or ceilings, so look closely for discoloration or other moisture signs.

If you spot a problem, track its trail: For example, discolored trim around a window might actually be caused by moisture entering a ways away. With a leaky roof, water may run down inside the wall and appear at the window. Contact a reputable North Texas professional for help in making home repairs.

Clear windowsills and tracks of dirt and debris: Sand, leaves, insects or pine needles stuck in weather-stripping can affect the performance of your windows and doors. Open the windows and clean the opening with a soft brush, like a dry paint brush or vacuum attachment. Do the same for sliding patio doors.

Try opening and closing: Open your windows and doors to make sure moving parts work, and units close properly. Replace worn or broken parts.

Inspect weather-stripping: Re-attach loose weather-stripping around windows or doors, and replace material that's ripped or torn.

Replace or repair broken locks: If locks feel loose or don't work smoothly, replace them. Keep windows and doors locked when not in use. Locks help hold doors and windows tightly, to lock out rain, wind, snow and insects.

Inspect weep and breather holes: Weep holes in the exterior of windows, allow excess moisture to escape, while breather holes allow air exchange within certain components. Clear blocked holes of dirt or debris with a wire or toothpick.

Check exterior sealants and caulk on and around windows and doors: Pay attention to areas susceptible to rain, water and extreme sunlight. Remove damaged material and reapply sealant.

Feel for signs of air leakage around the window or door: Improperly installed windows or doors can be drafty, decrease energy efficiency, and allow unwanted moisture into your home.
Whether it's selling your home or finding a new one, we have designed this site so that you can quickly and easily locate the information you are looking for. The Grove Team's client-centered approach results in the best possible outcome for you. Please contact us now to begin the process of achieving your dreams in home ownership.
Office (817) 337-0000
Find us on FACEBOOK

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Checklist for Summer Storm Safety

Checklist for Summer Storm Safety

Spring time in North Texas is known for sometimes fierce weather, but the summer can also bring thunderstorms and sometimes tornadoes to the area. 

Here are some tips to stay safe when you live in Keller, Southlake, North Richland Hills, and Colleyville -

1. Plan your response:  In a thunderstorm, if you're outdoors, take shelter in a sturdy building.  In the event of a tornado, seek shelter in the interior of the building away from windows and exterior walls.  An interior bathroom or closet is always a good choice. 

2. Remember the 30/30 rule for lightning safety:  The first 30: if there are 30 seconds or less between seeing the lightening flash and hearing thunder, go inside immediately.  That means lightning is close enough to hit you.  The second 30:  wait 30 minutes after the last lightning flash before going outside again.  Lightning is dangerous.  An average of 62 people are killed by lightning every year.

3. Avoid downed power lines:  If you see a power line that has fallen or is hanging low, do not go near it.  Call 911 and let the professionals take care of it.

4. Inside precautions:  Remember when you were growing up and your Mom said to stay out of the bath during the storm?  That still rings true today.  Even inside, it is wise to take precautions.  Avoid doors and windows, use wireless phones and stay off the land line, and unplug sensitive electronics. 

5. Backup generators:  Although it isn't as crucial an investment here in our area as it may be in others, if you have one be sure you have plenty of fuel and it is wired properly.

6. Prepare a lights out kit:  Power outages happen; sometimes lasting for hours and even days.  Be prepared with flashlights, extra batteries, a battery powered weather radio and food that does not require refrigeration or to be cooked.  Also include water, medicines, baby and pet supplies plus a first aid kit. 

7. Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings:  Make extra ice if you can and avoid opening the doors if you don't need to. 

8. Remember the 3 C's - Car, Cash, and Cell Phone:  Fill your car's gas tank, pick up some extra cash from the ATM in case of power outages and keep a full charge on your cell phone.  Most cell carriers offer a battery power pack for many phones on the market too. 

Keep in touch with local weather conditions through the network stations - most even have weather apps you can download to your smart phone and tablet. 

Remember, the Grove Team is not just your local real estate professionals.  We are available as a local resource for all things in Northeast Tarrant County too. 

Whether it's selling your home or finding a new one, we have designed this site so that you can quickly and easily locate the information you are looking for. The Grove Team's client-centered approach results in the best possible outcome for you. Please contact us now to begin the process of achieving your dreams in home ownership.

Office (817) 337-0000
Find us on FACEBOOK

Friday, August 1, 2014

An expensive future...Donations for Dylan David

An expensive future...Donations for Dylan David

It was the end of Dylan's first shift at his dream job as a EMT/Paramedic in Granbury when fate took a tragic turn.  Dylan dozed off and drifted into on coming traffic resulting in a collision with another vehicle.  Suddenly, Dylan, a first responder trained to help others in this situation found his life was in the hands of someone else.  The occupants of the other vehicle were not seriously injured, but Dylan was badly hurt. 
Dylan survived, but his injuries have resulted in the amputation of his left leg above the knee, a splenectomy and the removal of a portion of his intestine.  Dylan's conviction is unwavering - he is determined to recover from this and get back to doing what he loves working as an EMT/Paramedic. 
What lies ahead now is an expensive future.  The medical bills and a prosthesis that will sustain Dylan's activity level and ability to return to his job as an EMT are very expensive.  Sadly, his family is discovering that insurance companies deny the majority of claims for prostheses.  
A donation fund has been set up in Dylan's name, visit "Dylan's Recovery - One Step at a Time" for more information.