Make A High-Impact Design Statement With Houseplants


houseplants

 

Your living environment can impact your health, happiness and quality of life. Houseplants add to your health and wellbeing, as well as enhance overall aesthetic, improve indoor air quality and humidity, and reduce stress while promoting focus.

 

Bonsai

Bonsai can be difficult to care for, but make a bold décor statement. Their artful, winding forms add new areas of interest to a thoughtfully designed living space.

 

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreen produces tropical foliage and even tolerates poor lighting, dry air and drought. It grows best at room temperature, making it an ideal choice for living room décor.

 

Fruit Tree

Several types of fruits can be grown and harvested indoors, including figs, lemons, limes, avocados and bananas. A number of dwarf plants can survive and thrive in a large pot in a well-lit spot in your living room.

 

Parlor Palm

Parlor palm is designed to be grown indoors and survive well under low light and poor growing conditions. It purifies the air and adds a vintage touch to any setting.

 

Succulents

Small but striking, succulents come in all varieties of shapes, colors and sizes. Succulents are low-maintenance and work well in any home setting.

Spring Has Arrived


 

After cooler-than-normal temperatures, it’s welcome news that we’ll be enjoying the mid-70s this weekend in North Texas.

 

And, you can bet that with our spring weather potential buyers will increasingly be out and about discovering homes for sale across the region. Not surprisingly, those with the best “curb appeal” are often the first to sell.

 

Buyers often pass quick judgment on a property based on its drive-up appeal. A small investment in time and money to spruce up your property’s appearance could mean fewer days on the market and a higher sales price.

 

Below are a few areas in particular on which you should focus:

*  For a burst of color, plant spring flowers.

*  Tidy up your gardens.

*  Remove glass from light fixtures around your home’s front door and clean thoroughly.

*  Wash down your front door. If the sun has faded the paint, consider repainting.

*  Clean and polish your front door’s hardware. Replace it if necessary.

*  Check your house numbers. Are they still in good shape and visible from the street? If not, replace them.

*  Wash the windows. If this isn’t your strong suit, hire a professional.

*  Check your roof to make sure no shingles are missing or damaged.

*  Remove debris from your gutters and drain spouts.

*  Clean your patio furniture. You want potential buyers to be able to visualize your outdoor living area’s potential.

 

If you’re considering listing your home, contact an Ebby Associate to learn more about how to prepare it to sell in today’s ultra-competitive market and how Ebby Halliday Realtors will market your home, both locally and globally, to produce the most-favorable results for you. To get started, visit the award-winning ebby.com.

Luxe Eco-Friendly Laundry Accessories


Eco friendly clean

 

Laundry is a dirty subject when it comes to waste production. High energy and water usage, coupled with plastic waste and byproducts make the task even more of a chore.

 

When laundering your clothes, there are small actions that make the job a little cleaner and greener. Opt for a cold-water wash on full loads to save energy from heating up the water. And, as much as possible, forego machine drying clothes. Both actions will save on the utility bills and make your clothes last longer while helping the environment.

 

We’ve selected nine products to keep your laundry routine more eco-friendly and luxurious simultaneously.

 

Luxury Eco-Friendly Laundry Accessories

XL Whimsical Hamper | The Little Market | $218

Hampers may hide dirty clothes, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful, too. This hand-woven hamper is made from cattail stalks and recycled plastic and was made by the Wolof Weavers of Senegal. The unique shape would enhance any space.

 

Luxury Eco-Friendly Laundry Accessories

Pennsylvania Woodworks Clothes Drying Rack | Amazon | $139.99

Air drying clothing saves clothes, especially delicates, from the rough and tumble of a machine. This hardwood drying rack is made in America and is made to last a lifetime. Plenty of space is available for the family’s entire wardrobe.

 

Luxury Eco-Friendly Laundry Accessories

European Wooden Ironing Board | Williams Sonoma | $129.95

Who knew you could feel like a chic European while ironing? This ironing board is made of FSC-certified solid beech and pine wood, meaning the wood is responsibly sourced from managed forests.

 

Luxury Eco-Friendly Laundry Accessories

Chi Steam Iron | Amazon | $99.99

Chi, a leader in prestige hair care, has transitioned its ceramic technology to make your clothing just as polished as your coif. The titanium-infused ceramic, along with 400 steam holes, ensures a perfect press upon first pass. A quality iron will last years and eliminate the need for buying lower-quality replacements.

 

Luxury Eco-Friendly Laundry Accessories

Signature Detergent Gallon | The Laundress New York | $56

Pods may be convenient, but so are economy sizes. The Laundress’ cult-classic Signature Detergent is available in a gallon size for up to 256 washes. One pump is enough for one load, so no need for exact measuring.

 

Luxury Eco-Friendly Laundry Accessories

Rowenta Handheld Garment Steamer | Amazon | $50.99

If you don’t want to deal with the multi-step task of ironing, opt for a handheld steamer. Steaming is a great alternative to dry cleaning, which can sometimes use harmful chemicals to sanitize your clothes. The Rowenta steamer kills 99.9 percent of germs and dust mites on different fabric types.

 

Luxury Eco-Friendly Laundry Accessories

Guppyfriend Washing Bag | Patagonia | $29.75

Plastic may not be apparent on clothing, but with each wash microplastic fibers can be washed away into rivers and oceans. Place any synthetically-made garment (nylon, rayon, polyester, acrylic, acetate) inside the Guppyfriend and watch the microfibers collect inside the recyclable polyamide bag. Toss the waste into the trash and away from water sources.

 

Luxury Eco-Friendly Laundry Accessories

The Unscented Company Wool Dryer Balls | goop | $19

Seemingly innocuous, dryer sheets are often made of polyester and create a lot of waste for a single-use product. Forego the sheets entirely and use wool dryer balls instead. Wool dryer balls cut down on wrinkles, static and drying time, because they create air pockets between your clothes as they tumble in the dryer. The wool lasts for over 500 loads and can be backyard composted at the end of its lifecycle.

 

Luxury Eco-Friendly Laundry Accessories

Bumerang Hanger | Ikea | $4.49

What better way to end your laundry routine then by hanging your wardrobe on matching hangers. Ikea’s wooden hangers are not only inexpensive and durable, but the wood is sourced from sustainably managed forests in Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Germany and Russia.

7 Etiquette Rules for Home Sellers


7 Etiquette Rules for Home Sellers

 

If you’re trying to sell your home, you’ve probably scrutinized it, staged it, and scrubbed it down as if the folks from Architectural Digest were stopping by for a cover shoot. OK, so it’s in immaculate shape — but your home isn’t the only thing under scrutiny here. You are, too. That’s right: No matter how nice your home is, your behavior can also affect how buyers feel about making an offer.

 

Below are seven etiquette rules sellers should follow to show their home — and themselves — in the best possible light.

 

Leave — Sure, you’re dying to know if prospective buyers will love what you’ve done with the kitchen, but Realtors agree sellers should not be there lurking in the shadows during an open house or showing.

 

Take your pets with you — You may think your dog is the cutest ever, but not everyone is bound to share that opinion. In addition to having allergies, some home shoppers may not be in the market for a run-in with an animal they don’t know.

 

Move your car — Make it easy for visitors to park and view your home. No one likes parking issues. Having them is a sure way to get a viewing off to a bad start.

 

Offer some refreshments — House hunters can get parched and peckish. You can help. Putting out a few small bottled waters in a bowl of ice is always appreciated, along with some light, easy grab-and-go refreshments such as mints or cookies.

 

Be patient waiting for feedback­ — Of course, you’re dying to know what buyers thought of your home, but that information may not flow back to you instantaneously. It’s reasonable to ask for feedback from your Realtor after the showing, but understand it may take a day or two for the buyer’s agent to respond.

 

Don’t be greedy — Who doesn’t want top dollar for their home? But an unwillingness to negotiate can kill a possible deal and keep your home on the market long after you were hoping to be unpacking at your new place.

 

Listen to the professionals ­­— If your Realtor has some suggestions for improvements that may help sell your home faster, take them to heart but don’t take them personally. Keep emotions out and listen to what a licensed, trained, professional has to say about your house.

 

To find the right agent for your residential real estate needs, visit the award-winning, mobile-friendly ebby.com.

Tips for Picking the Perfect Paint


Sophisticated pastel bedroom interior

 

If you’ve ever had to pick a paint color, you know one thing to be true – the options are endless. Choosing the right color can be an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these 10 tips to take on the paint aisle with confidence.

 

Bring inspiration – Take along an existing pillow, piece of fabric or photo of your space. This will help you make more informed decisions.

 

The right light – Make sure to view your paint or paint chips in natural light to ensure you’re seeing the color correctly. Paint looks different under artificial light, so try holding the chip near a window or painting a sample on your wall first.

 

Take home testers – All major paint retailers now sell paint in small, tester sizes. These are perfect to take home and try out before committing to a full gallon of paint. The small amount will provide enough paint to give you an idea of what it would really be like to live with the color.

 

Try multiple shades – If you’re having trouble choosing, buy multiple testers and paint side-by-side squares on your walls. Live with them for a few days to see how the colors look morning, noon and night. Make sure to mark them with identifiers so you’ll remember which ones you liked best.

 

Choose your drama – Take a look at the color wheel for inspiration. Colors close together will make a room calm while those farther apart add drama.

 

Do what you love – Start with a color you love, even if it’s not popular at the moment. Doing this assures you’ll love the color for years to come. Just remember, your favorite color comes in a range of hues.

 

Lighten up – If you’re afraid a hue may be too dark, ask the mixer to do a 50 percent tint of the color to lighten it up. Custom colors can also give a room a designer look, but make sure to jot down the specifics of your color for future touch-ups.

 

Room to room – If you have rooms that are open to one another, avoid choosing radically different colors, which will make the spaces feel chopped up and small.

 

Go bold – Small rooms that are not visited often, like a library or half-bath, can be done in stronger colors that make a statement.

 

Spraying vs. rolling – Rolling may be the most popular choice, but it’s also the most time consuming and requires touch-ups more often. On the other hand, spraying results in a more high-end, professional look that cuts painting time in half. You can rent high-volume, low-pressure sprayers at most home-improvement stores. With both options, make sure you properly cover the areas you don’t want painted.

4 Weeknight Meal Planning Tips


Cook taking ready chicken from the oven

 

“What’s for dinner?” It’s everyone’s favorite question on a Monday evening.

 

Planning your meals ahead of time can help make weeknights run more smoothly. Follow these four tips to make all your weeknight meals a breeze.

 

Plan Ahead

Avoid last-minute trips to the grocery store and stick to a schedule by planning your meals in advance. Consider making one night a week a “clean out the fridge” night, and do your best to eat any leftovers or use items that are nearing the end of their shelf life.

 

Use Your Leftovers

If you don’t want to eat your leftovers exactly as they are, do your best to repurpose them into new dishes. Yesterday’s roasted chicken can be tomorrow’s chicken tortilla soup. Leftover sautéed vegetables become a breakfast frittata. That stale bread will make perfect breadcrumbs.

 

Prep Ingredients

If assembling or heating up a meal is all you have time for, consider preparing in advance. In fact, some recipes taste better the second day! Freeze leftover soups, stews and sauces to take out and defrost at a later date. If your goal is to stay away from the freezer, then simply chop or marinate everything the night before or in the morning, and you’re already on your way to a faster meal.

 

Get Your Groceries Delivered

Don’t have time to get groceries? Check with your local grocer to see if they offer a delivery service. Or choose another delivery service like Instacart or Amazon Fresh.

 

Happy weeknight meal planning!

9 Ways to Have Fun on a Rainy Day


A little boy looking downwards behind a rain-streaked window while his mother sits in the background

 

When North Texas weather is gloomy, it presents the perfect time to stay inside. Here are nine ways to tackle boredom and make the most of your rainy day at home.

 

1. Must-See Movies
Cross movies off your “must-see” list on a rainy day. Bonus points if you make popcorn!

 

2. Make a Fort
Move some furniture and get creative, draping sheets and blankets across to build a cozy fort in the comfort of your own home. Add some pillows and snuggly blankets on the inside and you have the ideal place to hide from a rainy day.

 

3. Cook or Bake
Try out a new cookie or cupcake recipe, or put on a yummy soup or stew. Your home will be filled with the delightful aromas of whatever you create!

 

4. Cool Crafts
If you know the upcoming weather forecast is less than ideal, prepare in advance by gathering materials together for the craft or DIY project you’ve been meaning to try.

 

5. Play Some Games
Pull out some of your favorite board or card games to keep the whole family entertained. Hide-and-seek or a scavenger hunt are also options for some old-fashioned fun.

 

6. Spa Day
Give yourself an ultimate spa day and feel refreshed — even if it is gloomy outside. Some self-care favorites include lighting candles and taking a bath, putting on a face mask and painting your nails or massaging lotion onto your feet and slipping on fuzzy socks until all the moisture is absorbed.

 

7. Organize Your Life
Channel your inner Marie Kondo and get ahead on a slow day by tidying a room or tackling some of those to-dos. From organizing your closet or family recipes to finally putting those old photos in an album, there are plenty of tasks perfect for when it’s raining outside.

 

8. Plan a Vacation
Stuck inside all day? Plan that vacation you’ve always wanted to take. Think: somewhere warm and tropical.

 

9. Read a Book
With life’s daily commitments, it can be difficult to make progress on your latest good read. Take advantage of a less-than-sunny day and finish that book you’ve had on your nightstand for ages.

 

Act Now to Get Ahead of Spring Home Market


Act Now to Get Ahead of Spring Market

 

Year-over-year home sales for January and the relatively low inventory of homes available to purchase indicate there is no reason to wait until spring to list your home for sale, according to Chris Kelly, president and CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies.

 

“The latest numbers from North Texas Real Estate Information Systems offer a compelling case for sellers who would like to get a head start on their potential competition,” Kelly says.

 

A few of the highlights from the NTREIS numbers for January 2019 vs. January 2018 include:

 

*  The average sales price for a North Texas home rose 2.8%.

 

*  The average percent of original list price sellers received was 95.2%

 

*  The average days on market was 57 days.

 

“These numbers make it clear that the winter of 2019 offers a great climate in which to list a North Texas property for sale,” Kelly says. “Potential sellers should act now to get ahead of the traditional spring market.”

 

If you’re considering listing your home, contact an Ebby Associate to learn more about the real estate market in your neighborhood and to find out what your home is worth in today’s fast-paced market. To find the ideal agent for your residential real estate needs, visit the award-winning, mobile-friendly ebby.com.

Texas Homeowner? Don’t Miss the Opportunity for Savings


Texas Homeowner? Don’t Miss the Opportunity for Savings

 

Among the many benefits of living in Texas is the Lone Star State’s Homestead Exemption law, which allows a partial exemption from local property taxes for your primary residence.

 

Applications for property tax exemptions are filed with your local appraisal district. The general deadline for filing an application is April 30.

 

The Application for Residential Homestead Exemption is available here. A list of appraisal district addresses and phone numbers is available here.

 

If you have any questions regarding residential real estate, Ebby Halliday Realtors and our respected Associates are ready to serve you. To find just the right professional for your real estate needs, visit the award-winning, mobile-friendly ebby.com.

5 Ways to Warm Your Home for Less


cozy by the fire

 

Cold weather can test your home’s efficiency and, sometimes, significantly impact your wallet. Instead of giving in to higher energy bills, try these five tips to stay warmer this winter.

 

Your thermostat

Programming your thermostat to let the temperature drop a bit while you’re away and heat up when you return is an easy way to save big on heating bills.

 

Let the light shine

Draw back curtains and blinds during the day to allow the sun to come in. A sunny day, even a cold one, will heat up rooms a few degrees.

 

Fan flip

Ceiling fans don’t necessarily need to be off during colder months. If you flip the directional switch on your fan and choose a low speed it will push the naturally rising hot air in your home back down.

 

Mind the gaps

Check windows and doors for cracks, gaps and openings. Replace broken glass, framing and caulk where necessary.

 

Close it up

If you spend more time in some rooms than others, simply close doors to trap the heat. Additionally, if there are rooms you don’t use, shut doors and vents to redirect heat.