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.

Discover the Difference a Realtor Makes


Home Sweet Home Welcome Mat, Moving Boxes, Women and Male Shoes and Plant on Hard Wood Floors.

 

The North Texas region’s attractive quality of life, strong economy and low cost of living ensure D-FW will continue its steady rise to prominence among the world’s leading metropolitan areas in 2019. If you want to join in on the fun as a North Texas home buyer or seller, now is the time to start looking for a Realtor.

 

This process is different for everyone, but below are a few things to keep in mind:

 

Experience – Look to agents who have put time into their career and the neighborhoods in which they work. This can mean different things, like trusting someone who has spent years in the business or someone who grew up in the area.

 

Personality and interests – Try to do some background work on a potential agent. Many have bio pages, LinkedIn accounts, social media pages, and online reviews. All of these can be helpful, but remember that not having one or the other doesn’t have a direct correlation to how “good” a Realtor is.

 

Career type – Is being a Realtor the person’s full-time career? If you’re on a time schedule, you’ll want to pick someone who’s in the industry full-time.

 

The numbers – If you’re a buyer, don’t choose an agent just because their commission is lower. If you’re a seller, don’t choose them just because they agree with you on how much your home should be listed for. We’ll say two things to justify these points – you get what you pay for, and, in real estate, there’s no telling how much your home will really and truly sell for at the end of the day.

 

Age – Don’t dismiss an agent based on their age, young or old. What makes an agent the right fit for you is not often their age, but their love of their profession, dedication to you, and the points listed above.

 

Need a good place to start looking? Check out our office locations and search all of our wonderful Realtors at Ebby Halliday Realtors, the No. 1 real estate company in Texas by sales volume.

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home


Multifunctional interior with green chair

 

At the start of every year, we set goals for our health, well-being and even finances. But what about for the home?

 

These home-improvement resolutions will help make your home cleaner, more gorgeous and enjoyable in 2019.

 

laundry room

Clear Clutter

Take the time post-holidays to clear items you no longer wear, use or love. Start room-by-room to keep it manageable, stay organized to avoid duplication and donate any excess to charity. Lightening your home’s load will make it look instantly cleaner and support less-fortunate families in your community with those items taking up precious living space.

 

High Angle View Of Weekly Cleaning Plan Form

Cleaning Schedule

Divvy up daily and weekly tasks for maximum tidiness. Complete chores daily, like dishes in the dishwasher, dirty clothes in the basket, clean clothes in the closet — everything in its place. Clean the entire house weekly with ease using a portable cleaning caddy stocked with supplies, an apron for easily accessible tools and focusing on one type of cleaning task at a time.

 

smart screen with smart home with modern dining room

Safety + Efficiency

Ensure your home is safe by replacing smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries. Don’t forget to test for radon and check bathroom, attic and dryer vents, also. Lower your bills and lessen your footprint by installing LED bulbs and low-flow showerheads, adjust or schedule thermostats, run only full loads of dishes and laundry, power down or unplug items not in use, water less and compost more — to name a few tips.

 

Angle view of living room

Rearrange to Entertain

Get a fresh new look for hosting friends with a few updates. Adding plants is a cost-effective update that also helps clean the air. Pick an accent color for your entertaining space and add it throughout with a vibrant rug or a stylish throw pillow. And, of course, the timeless trick of rearranging furniture brings new energy to any space.

 

Holiday Hosting at Home


Good food puts you in a good mood

 

Whether a catered dinner or a cocktail party, hosting elegant holiday gatherings should be more fun than stressful. Here are a few tips for putting together a delightful party to celebrate winter holidays with family and friends.

 

Make a list

From guests to groceries, write down all the details and preparations for the party, including the type of event. This will help you stay organized and ease the stress of last-minute loose ends.

 

Menu prep

Create a holiday menu (think easy-prep recipes) and cook ahead of time. Less time in the kitchen means more time mingling with guests. For catering, ensure orders are placed and confirmed well in advance.

 

Sips for all

Set up a self-serve beverage station complete with sodas, garnishes, infused liquors, recipes and nonalcoholic options for guests to help themselves.

 

Deck the halls

Decide on decorations — less is more in the name of serving space — like small accents, festive florals, bowls of ribbons or seasonal ornaments and a string or two of twinkle lights for good measure.

 

Play some tunes, open your home and enjoy good company!

 

Prep Your Fireplace for Winter


cozy fireplace

 

Cooler weather is here and it’s time to get your fireplace roaring again. Before you fill your home with the warmth and scent of a crackling fire, there are some precautions to take.

 

Check the Chimney — Have you called a chimney sweep recently? Experts recommend having your chimney cleaned once a year. A fireplace is only as good as its chimney, so inspect the exterior structure to make sure there are no issues.

 

Open the Flue — Ever started a fire and had the room fill with smoke? If you’re new to fireplaces, you may not realize that this happens when the flue is closed. Simply look up and reach for a chain or lever to open it up before you light the fire.

 

Vacuum — A quick vacuuming of the flue, smoke shelf and the surrounding hearth is the last step in preparation for fabulous fires in the coming months.

 

If you’re going to be without a fireplace this winter, we have plenty of homes that could have you curling up by the fire in no time. Below are a few. To see all of our incredible homes for sale, visit the award-winning ebby.com.

 

25-braewood

25 Braewood Place | Far North Dallas

 

4370 PALM DRIVE

4370 Palm Drive | Caney City

 

2221 KING FISHER

2221 King Fisher Drive | Westlake

 

4774 BYRON

4774 Byron Circle | Irving

 

800 ROCHESTER

800 Rochester Lane | Southlake

 

10964 CROOKED CREEK

10964 Crooked Creek DrivePreston Hollow

Pricing a Property is Serious Business


Pricing a Property is Serious Business

 

Strategic pricing is the key to selling your home at an attractive price in an acceptable amount of time. While many brokers will gladly list your home, the reality is if it is not properly priced your home may sit on the market month after month and actually help sell competing properties.

 

At Ebby Halliday Realtors, our Associates take pricing your property very seriously. Your Ebby Associate will utilize Multiple Listing Service data to create a Competitive Market Analysis that estimates a market-value range for your home based on the recent action of buyers and sellers in your neighborhood. A few of the factors your Ebby Associate will consider when estimating your property’s market value:

 

* Successfully sold homes – Lists the selling price of recently purchased homes comparable to yours.

 

* Competitive properties for sale – Since they are not yet sold, the market value is undetermined, but they are important, as buyers most likely will view and compare these properties with yours.

 

* Pending sales – Though they have not yet closed, homes under contract are a good indicator of value in the current market.

 

* Failed to sell – The listed price of these homes suggests what potential buyers will not pay.

 

If you’re curious about what your home is worth in North Texas’ competitive housing market, visit the award-winning ebby.com, where you’ll find just the right real estate professional for your needs.