13 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

Whether you’re selling now, planning to sell in the future or just want peace of mind, there are always steps you can take to increase the value of your home.


Following is a list of items that will attract buyers and make the place you call home even more special.


1. Home Office

The growth of technology has made it possible for people to work from their homes more often. By updating your current home office or designating a space to create one, you show your home’s full potential.

4428 Greenbriar Drive | Dallas | $1,798,000


2. Master Suite

A master bedroom with its own bathroom is an expected amenity. If you don’t have one, try to find the budget (and space) to create one, focusing on amplifying storage space.

2630 Misty Meadow Drive | Propser – Gentle Creek | $829,000


3. Family Room

Everyone needs a comfortable, open space to fill with family and friends. Make sure your room looks and feels inviting, and filled with plenty of natural light. Also, a fireplace is always a plus.

1095 Arches Park Drive | Allen – Waterford Parks | $464,900


4. Kitchen

The kitchen can either make or break your home. Staying reasonable with materials and design will almost always guarantee your money back on a remodel.

7337 Blairview Drive | Dallas | $529,500


5. Bathroom

Have you ever heard of a home having too many bathrooms? How about too few? If your home has fewer bathrooms than bedrooms, it’s time to think about adding another full or half-bath. Additionally, if your current bathroom has seen better days, consider an update that’s simple and clean.

829 Melba Street | Dallas | $389,900


6. Windows

Did you know, on average, 30 percent of your home’s energy is lost through its windows? If your windows are in bad shape or you’re looking to impress buyers, upgrading to energy-efficient windows will not only save time and money for you, but also for your buyer.

3804 Villanova Street | University Park | $2,675,000


7. Basement/Subterranean Level

Though it’s not the most common feature in D-FW, a subterranean level can add major value to your home. If the ceilings aren’t too low, a subterranean level is an ideal space for an office, playroom or media room.

4626 Dorset Road | Dallas – Strait Lane Estates | $6,500,000


8. Deck

These days, outdoor space is a premium. On average, the edition of a deck provides a 76 percent return on investment. Typically, they’re not too expensive to build and create an entirely new living space.

4600 Stanford Avenue | Dallas – Briarwood | $850,000


9. Landscaping

An overgrown and poorly maintained yard isn’t appealing to anyone. Liven it up with some color, height and possibly a designated seating and/or entertaining area.

6739 Lupton Drive | Dallas – Preston Hollow | $2,575,000


10. Paint

A few coats of paint is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to update your home. If you’re selling, keep things light and neutral so that buyers can easily imagine their things in your space.

4415 Woodfin Drive | Dallas – Rockbrook Estates | $1,625,000


11. Flexibility

Your house is yours to make your own. If you think you may sell in the future, try not to over customize. Buyers need to be able to see themselves and their things working in your home, so try not to pigeonhole your spaces.

5192 Havasu Drive | Frisco | $469,000


13. Exterior

1443555734_454078-5009-spanish-oaks-dr-frisco-tx-High-Res-2.jpgThough we’ve been told to do otherwise, people do judge homes based on curb appeal and first impressions. Put the best foot forward by sprucing up your home’s landscaping, exterior paint, siding, and garage doors.

5009 Spanish Oaks | Frisco – Starwood | $2,798,000





Tackle Summer Bugs

Tackle Summer Bugs

Recent showers and flooding have created the perfect habitat for those pesky summer bugs. Below are some sure-fire ways to prevent the common bites, stings and nuisances.



Unfortunately, Texas’ number one culprit is here to stay. Aside from the traditional insect repellants and home remedies, it’s best to treat this problem at its source — water.

Turn over empty pottery to prevent from collecting water, drain plant saucers and fix any leaking outdoor faucets. Mosquitoes often lay their eggs in stagnant water so, the less, the better.


Although relatively harmless, these small creatures create quite the inconvenience with their constant swarming. Plus, you never know what germs they may be carrying as they travel from place to place.

If you garden, you want to make sure your fruits and veggies are staying fresh outside. If you happen to notice rotting or mold, act fast and pluck them out, then turn your soil or mulch to allow any moldy layers to dry out. As with mosquitoes, be diligent in draining any standing water and drying out any moisture. With Texas humidity, the drying process may take a while. In this case, sprinkle a bit of sand on top of your soil, something very discouraging to gnats.


To prevent bees from establishing a colony in or around your house, it’s important to remember these three things: food, water and shelter — bees’ keys to life.

Again, with any other summer bug, stagnant water must be kept to a minimum. Drain pots and repair any faulty irrigation systems. And if you have bird baths or pet bowls outside, mixing in 2 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water will discourage any bees from setting up shop near your house.

Plan an exterior inspection and eliminate any potential nesting sites. Cover holes, chimneys and animal burrows. Make sure windows and screens are tightly fitted and sealed. If you have any debris in your yard, such as old tires, cardboard boxes or old appliances, throw them out. Bees seek out such items for nesting sites.

Removing flowers as a source of food is not recommended. In fact, it’s very important for bees to pollinate many plants, including crops. If you have a colorful garden, not to worry. As long as you have their other two resources tamed to a minimum, you’re in tip-top shape for the summer.


Like humans, slugs seek out shade on sunny days. And like many other bugs, they love moist areas.

To prevent slugs from damaging your plants and leaving their slimy evidence, get rid of any hiding places. Think cool, dark and moist. Try irrigating your lawn in the morning, instead of the evening. By doing so, you’ll allow plenty of time for plants and soil to dry before the sun sets.

To protect plants, spray surrounding areas with soap and water. You can also create barriers around your plants, such as rocks, wire or anything rough and abrasive to slow them down.

Lastly, slugs have no bones. Therefore, they can fit in any crack or crevice they set their eyes on. Seal any cracks and cover any holes you notice throughout your house. By doing so, you not only eliminate the potential for slugs, but for other bugs as well.

10 Tips for Picking a Paint Color

10 Tips for Picking a Paint Color

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


1. Bring in Inspiration: Take along an existing pillow, piece of fabric, or photo of your space. This will help you make more informed decisions.


2. 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.


3. Take Home Testers: All the 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 you with enough paint to give you an idea of what it would really be like to live with the color.


4. 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 so you get the chance to see how the colors look morning, noon, and night. Make sure to mark them with identifiers so you’ll remember which one you liked best.


5. 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.


6. Do What You Love: Start with a color you love, even if it’s not popular at the moment. Doing this will assure you’ll love the color for years to come. Just remember, your favorite color comes in a range of hues.


7. Lighten Up: If you’re afraid a hue may be too dark, ask the mixer to do a 50% 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.


8. 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.


9. Go Bold: Small rooms that are visited more rarely, like a library or half-bath, can be done in stronger colors that make a statement.


10. 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 also 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.

How to Invest: Home Remodel Trends

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On April 1, the Texas Association of Realtors released the 2015 edition of their Texas Remodel Valuation Report. For those of you considering a remodel in your home, it’s time to tune in and listen up.


In this report, TAR outlines a most profitable home remodels based on recoup costs of more than 20 different projects in 2014. These are further broken down by profitability nationwide, marketwide, and in four Texas cities. Here’s a quick summary of the projects that will get you the most bang for your buck in the Texas region, Dallas, and nationwide:



Curb Appeal is King: Nationally and in Texas, projects that boost curb appeal have the best return on investment, or ROI. Replacing the entry door, garage door, siding, windows, and roofing all ranked highest on this list.

Practical Remodels: Projects that improve a home’s functionality or sustainability were among the most profitable for the second year in a row, significantly more so than upscale remodels and additions.

Increase Livable Square Footage and Sustainability: Basement remodels, wood deck additions, and backup power generators were also popular.



5 Most Profitable: Roofing replacement, vinyl window replacement, basement remodel, steel entry door replacement, garage door replacement

5 Least Profitable: Sunroom addition, home office remodel, fiberglass entry door replacement, upscale garage addition, upscale composite deck addition



5 Most Profitable: Steel entry door replacement, stone veneer accent, midrange garage door replacement, siding replacement, and upscale garage door replacement

5 Least Profitable: Sunroom addition, home office addition, upscale master suite addition, upscale garage addition, midrange bathroom addition

Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

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After spring cleaning is done, many people get the itch to change things up. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing and the time is right to implement a fresh, new look in your home. There are a lot of ways to go about this, but we have found that the simplest changes can make the biggest impact without costing a fortune. Here are our favorite ideas for breathing new life into your home this season.


Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

1. Pillows: Decorative pillows on couches, chairs, or beds add pops of color, texture, and layered interest. Try purchasing pillows that allow you to change their covers throughout the year. (Featured property: 4005 Rosa Road, Dallas)


Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

2. Accessories: If you’re someone who likes decorative details, change them out. Spray paint some ordinary bookends for a pop of color, pick up some fun new coasters, or switch up the books you have on display. Simply exchanging items between rooms can have a big impact visually. (Featured property: 2615 Brookside Court, McKinney)


 Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

3. Art and photos: Switch out old photos, paint or buy new pictures frames, rearrange art from one room to the other- all of this will enliven your home. (Featured property: 10106 Caribou Trail, Dallas)


Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

4. Plants: Bring new plants into the house and change up the ones outside. A small pot of basil in the kitchen or new planters on the front porch add color and interest. (Featured Property: 4708 Crooked Lane, Dallas)


Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

5. Outdoor: Freshen up your front door mat, address numbers, patio cushions, or add a floral wreath to the front door. All of these will brighten your curb appeal and make coming home feel like a new experience. (Featured property: 211 Rio Grande Drive, Irving)


Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

6. Paint: If you want to stick to a budget, keep it simple. Paint the front door a bright color, put some chalkboard paint on a small section of one wall, spray paint a lamp or a few bar stools. Paint is a moderately cheap way to update that can be changed with your mood. (Featured property: 4161 Shady Valley Drive, Arlington)

The Future of Home Characteristics 2015

The Future of Home Characteristics 2015

In December 2014, the National Association of Home Builders conducted a nationwide survey of builders to determine home trends for 2015. Some of their findings are in line with what we’ve seen in the past, but some may surprise you.


The 10 Most Likely Features in Typical Single-Family Home in 2015:

1.Walk-in closet in master bedroom

2. Laundry room

3. Low-e windows

4. Great room (Kitchen-Family room-Living room)

5. Energy-Star rated appliances

6. 9′ feet+ in 1st floor ceiling

7. Energy-Star rated windows

8. Programmable thermostat

9. 2-car garage

10. Granite countertop in kitchen


The 10 Least Likely Features in Typical Single-family Home in 2015

1. Outdoor kitchen (cooking, refrigeration, & sink)

2. Laminate countertop in kitchen

3. Outdoor fireplace

4. Sunroom

5. Two-story family room

6. Media room

7. Two-story foyer

8. Walking/Jogging trails in community

9. Whirlpool in master bathroom

10. Flooring on main level: Carpeting


Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry

One of the best parts about getting to look at pictures of houses all day is picking up on new trends. One of the hottest trends we’ve noticed over the last few months is contrasting cabinet colors. Islands have stepped into the spotlight and are being treated like their own element. No longer are they beholden to the color choices made for outer kitchen cabinetry.


This mix-matching shows up most often in brown and white, but we’re loving this new design trend no matter what color scheme it comes in. It adds a dynamic interest to a kitchen and allows homeowners and designers to step out of the box with cabinetry, an area in which most tend to play it safe.


Check out a few of the kitchens in which we’ve found this trend popping up around DFW, they may just inspire a weekend DIY in your home!

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^1066 Woodford Drive, Keller

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^6940 Hickory Hill Circle, Argyle

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^7204 Ripley St., McKinney

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^10715 Dixon Branch Drive, Dallas

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^9427 Monteleon Court, Dallas

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^1315 Sunset Ridge Circle, Cedar Hill

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^7022 Pasadena Ave., Dallas

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^4060 Chimney Rock Drive, Prosper

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^6838 Stefani Drive, Dallas

Now Trending: Contrasting Cabinetry^1122 Amy Drive, Allen

Interior Lighting: How To Do It Right

Did you know that lighting is one of the most important elements in your home? We’ve talked about the importance of natural light, but interior light is just as important. When natural light isn’t available, due to lack of windows or time of day, the mood and brightness of your home is dictated by interior lighting. Additionally, light fixtures are a large part of design and personal style. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your lighting:


1. Diversify: Use multiple sources for light so that the ambiance just right. Think about a mix of recessed ceiling lights, chandeliers, sconces, floor lamps, table lamps, and under mounted lighting solutions. A combination will throw light in different directions and create more generalized glow.


2. Focal Points: Use task lighting and directed light to highlight art, plants, dining tables, and unique decor.


3. Dimmers: Consider installing dimmers in entertaining spaces like dining rooms, media rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms. Being able to set the mood for a meal, movie, or cozy night by the fire makes a high difference.


4. Read the Room: Different rooms call for different lighting heights, sizes, and illuminations. For example, overhead lighting makes more sense in a kitchen than is does in a bedroom. Smaller lamps, sconces, and delicate chandeliers are better suited in bedrooms and bathrooms than large living spaces.


5. Which Watt?: Always follow the instructions on your light fixture for maximum wattage, but don’t be afraid to take it down a notch. If the light fixture is more for decor than actual illumination, consider using low-wattage bulbs, which use less energy. Typical wattages range from 40 (for reading) and 80 (for putting on make up), but this wattage can be achieved with multiple fixtures.


6. Decor: The fixtures you choose have an impact on your space visually as well. Make sure to keep the overall look and feel of the room in mind when selecting fixtures, but don’t be afraid to go bold. A statement floor lamp or chandelier is the perfect way to pack a big punch of style with just one piece of decor.


DFW homeowners clearly know the importance of interior lighting, just look at great examples found in our homes for sale. From modern to victorian and floor lamps to recessed lighting, there’s a lighting solution that will “brighten” your home and mood in just the right way.

Interior Lighting: How To Do It Right

^6838 Stefani Drive, DallasInterior Lighting: How To Do It Right

^9427 Monteleon Court, Dallas (For Lease)Interior Lighting: How To Do It Right

^1412 Teaberry Court, PlanoInterior Lighting: How To Do It Right

^12744 Hawktree Road, FriscoInterior Lighting: How To Do It Right

^2411 Laguna Lane, ArlingtonInterior Lighting: How To Do It Right

^6316 Caroline Drive, FriscoInterior Lighting: How To Do It Right

^12744 Hawktree Road, FriscoInterior Lighting: How To Do It Right

^1412 Teaberry Court, PlanoInterior Lighting: How To Do It Right

^1823 Canyon Court, AllenInterior Lighting: How To Do It Right

^5055 Addison Circle #204, AddisonInterior Lighting: How To Do It Right

^8000 Choctaw Lane, McKinneyInterior Lighting: How To Do It Right^7022 Pasadena Ave., Dallas

Images via Ebby.com & Shoot2Sell

Tackle Spring Clean 2015

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Daylight Savings Time is the perfect reminder that it’s time to get down and dirty for an annual spring cleaning. A good, deep clean puts everything back in order and restores peace of mind that your home is in tip-top shape once again.


Set aside some time, perhaps a long weekend, to knock out the spring cleaning list, organized by room, below. If you can enlist your family members or roommates for help, the work will be done before you know it! You can click below to enlarge the list and print it out.

Takle Spring Clean 2015

7 Ways to Stay Warmer This Winter

7 Ways to Stay Warmer This Winter

In light of the icy weather we’re having this week, we thought it was a great time to remind you of these 7 tips.


This time of year can be hard on efficiency and bills because cooler temperatures force the thermostat up and foggy days have us closing the blinds. Instead of giving in to higher bills, try out some of these techniques for a warmer winter at home.


1. Your Thermostat: If you have the funds and the ability, call an expert if the latter is not true, install a programmable thermostat. Programming your thermostat to let the temperature drop a bit while no one’s home and heat up when you return is an easy way to save a lot on heating bills. Also, remember that studies show that cooler temperatures make for a better night’s sleep.


2. 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. At night, and in rooms that don’t get sunlight, keep curtains closed to keep more heat inside. If you’re home is particularly susceptible to heat loss, consider investing in insulated window dressings.


3. Fireplace Rules: While a fireplace may feel like a great way to keep warm, they are actually notoriously inefficient. Gas fireplaces can add significantly to your bills and both they and woodburning fires allow cold air to come in in other areas of your house. It is especially important that you keep the flue closed when the fireplace is not in use, otherwise it’s like opening a window.


4. Fan Flip: Ceiling fans don’t necessarily have or need to go off during colder months. If you flip the directional switch on your fan and turn it on a low speed it will push the hot air in your home, which naturally rises, back down. This trick is most beneficial in room with high or vaulted ceilings.


5. Mind the Gaps: Check your windows and doors for cracks, gaps and openings. Simply holding your hand up to the base of a window can reveal a strong current of air exchange. Replace any broken glass, framing, and caulk where necessary.


6. Close It Up: If you find yourself spending more time in some rooms than others, simply close doors to trap the heat. Additionally, if there are some rooms you never use, shut the door and vent to direct the heat where it needs to go and save on heating bills.


7. Add Layers: This means to your floors and to yourself. Rugs keep heat from escaping through the floors and will keep your feet warmer. If you’re really looking to save, stop worrying about heating the house and throw on a pair of fuzzy socks and a warm sweatshirt. Add blankets to your bed and bundle up instead of heating your entire home.