10 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Summer


Warmer weather is here, which means it’s time for backyard barbeques, evenings spent on the patio, gardening, and playing catch with the kids. Break out the home maintenance checklist. We’re here to help you get your home ready for summer with these tips. 

1. Get Your A/C Tuned Up


While there are some great DIY projects on this list, getting an A/C tune-up isn’t one of them. You should call in a professional for this task. Just as you need to get your furnace tuned up every fall, you need to get your A/C tuned up before temperatures spike in the summer.  An A/C tune-up includes inspecting and cleaning components and connections inside your A/C, and it’s important because the technician should be able to tell whether your A/C will need repairs soon. With regular tune-ups, you can help avoid unexpected breakdowns and A/C issues. If your home warranty doesn’t cover your A/C system, check out an American Home Shield® home service plan today. 

2. Conduct a Home Energy Audit 


Now is the time to learn more about your home’s energy profile and what you can do to improve its energy efficiency. A home energy audit can tell you whether and where your home is drafty, for example, or if you need more insulation and where to install it. Whether you have it professionally done, or do it yourself, it’s worth it – and your local utility company may offer an incentive for homeowners to have this done.  

3. Install a Smart Thermostat 


This is a great time to install a smart thermostat so you can keep your home cool while also being more energy efficient. A smart thermostat lets you program your HVAC to cool your home only when you’re in it, so you’ll save a bundle on cooling costs while still staying comfortable on even the hottest days. 

4. Get Ready for Bugs 


Many species of insects go dormant during winter and early spring due to the colder weather, but they come out again in full force as soon as temperatures rise. Before the bugs come out, get ready for their return. Take steps to keep the bugs away, such as cleaning up piles of leaves or other debris near your house, sealing cracks in doors and windows, and inspecting window screens for holes. If you want to put out pesticides or other repellants, now is the best time to do so.  

5. Check for Water Leaks 


The summer months bring more than heat – they can also bring storms and flooding. Check your basement for signs of water leaks. Clear out grates or drains near your home so that water is directed away from the foundation. If dirt has settled around your home, or your home is at the bottom of a hill, water will run towards your foundation. Install grates to direct water away. 

6. Clean the Gutters 


If you only clean your gutters once a year, do it in the spring or early summer, so that they can most effectively direct the rain of summer storms away from your siding and foundation. Ideally, you should clean your gutters twice a year – once in the spring or summer, and again in the fall. 

7. Reseal Your Doors and Windows 


Now is the time to inspect your doors and windows for missing, cracked, or peeling caulk and reseal them to prevent water leaks and draftiness. If you have wooden window frames, check to see if they need to be repainted. You can also take this opportunity to repaint your front door, if necessary, and wash your windows.  

8. Aerate, Dethatch, and Overseed the Lawn 


Okay, so this is three things, but they all go together, and they’re all equally important to helping your lawn look its best in the summer months when you most want to use it. Your lawn may not need to be aerated, dethatched, and overseeded every year – if it looks healthy and lush, it’s probably fine, especially if it’s newly installed. But take the time to do it at least every two or three years, so your lawn stays healthy and oxygenated. It will make a big difference!

9. Spruce Up Your Garden Beds 


This is a great time to weed, mulch, and plant in your vegetable and garden beds, and if you’re looking for summer crafts for kids, there are plenty of gardening tasks they can do. Kids love playing in the dirt, growing things, and helping out. They can help pull weeds, spread mulch and compost, and even plant seeds or seedlings. 

Related Article: Summer Gardening for You and Your Family 

10. Clean Your Patio Furniture


Soon you’ll want to entertain friends, relatives and neighbors outside, so it’s time to drag the lawn furniture out of the garage or remove the furniture covers, and knock the cobwebs off. Use a power washer or a hose to clean chairs, tables and other pieces of lawn furniture. Don’t forget to wash the cushions! You can also take steps to protect your patio furniture so that it lasts longer. 

Don’t let summer catch you unprepared. Get your home ready for warm weather so you can focus on enjoying yourself and your loved ones.  

DIY tips are for informational purposes only. Please be sure to take the appropriate safety precautions and ensure your project complies with any applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulations.

Star Spangled Snacks

These Fourth of July-themed snacks are sure to have you seeing fireworks before the show even starts! 

Star Lit Skewers


*1 watermelon

*1 pkg. blueberries

*1 pkg. skewers

*1 star shaped cookie cutter


  1. Cut watermelon vertically into 1 inch slices. 
  2. Use star shaped cookie cutters to cut watermelon slices.
  3. Thread blueberries onto the skewers, topping each one with the watermelon star.
  4. Chill and serve.

*Feel free to use any combination of fruits you like. You can even add marshmallows!

Patriotic Pretzels


*1 pkg pretzel rods

*1 pkg. red candy melts

*1 pkg. blue candy melts

*1 pkg. white candy melts

*1 pkg. star sprinkles


  1. Melt each color of candy melts until liquid.
  2. Dip pretzel rods into melted candy and let sit until hardened.
  3. Drizzle the remaining colors onto the cooled rods and add sprinkles to make more fun.

Fourth of July Jello “Firecrackers


*3 oz. pkg. blue Jello

*1 pkg. Cool Whip

*3 oz. pkg. red Jello

* 1 jar stemmed maraschino cherries


  1. Follow the directions on the blue jello package and divide them evenly amongst serving cups. Chill until hard.
  2. Add a layer of cool whip on top of the blue jello. Cool until hard.
  3. Follow the directions on the red jello package and pour on top of the layer of Cool Whip.
  4. Top with a cherry and chill until hard.

Red, White and Blue Donuts


*1 dozen donuts

*1 pkg. red candy melts

*1 pkg. blue candy melts

*1 pkg. white candy melts

*1 pkg. patriotic sprinkles


  1. Heat each package of candy melts until liquid.
  2. Drizzle the donuts with the desired colors, add sprinkles immediately.
  3. Cool until hard and serve.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

No time in recent history has tested our resolve like the previous year’s events: a pandemic, an election year, and a devastating winter storm.

As we commemorate Independence Day, let us celebrate our enthusiasm in liberty and our individual and collective acts of bravery and heroism. We have overcome so much and continue to endure in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.

Alexander Hamilton, “The Farmer Refuted” February 23, 1775

Fourth of July Celebrations By County

Collin County

Red, White & BOOM! | McKinney | July 3

Festivities include music, food, kids’ activities, a concert, and a fireworks display. 

10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

All American 4th & Fireworks | Plano | July 4

The in-person event begins at 6 p.m. at Red Tail Pavillon (formerly Oak Point Amphitheater). Fireworks will also be live streamed on The City of Plano’s YouTube page. 

6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Dallas County

Kaboom Town! | Addison | July 3

The renowned freedom flyover and fireworks show is back! Tickets are required for entry into Addison Circle Park. 

5 p.m. – Midnight

Fair Park Fourth | Dallas | July 4

The free event offers live performances, “dancing water” shows at the Esplanade Fountain, food trucks, concessions, and spectacular fireworks. Fair Park gates open at 6 a.m.

6 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Independence Day Celebration | Duncanville | July 3

Enjoy a parade in the morning and come back in the evening for a night of great music, delicious food, fun, and fireworks. Wristbands are required for entry into Armstrong Park and can be picked up at the Recreation Center.

Parade | 9 a.m.

Celebration | 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Independence Day Celebration | Irving | July 4

“Irving Brings Back the Spark”. Free parking and shuttles are available from the Toyota Music Factory to the Levy Event Plaza. Enjoy food vendors, a kids’ fun area, a beer garden, and performances by Alex Aguillar and Downtown Fever followed by fireworks. 

6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Denton County

Fourth of July Jubilee & Parade | Denton | July 3 & 4

Gather at the Denton Civic Center for activities such as bull riding, rock climbing, food trucks, a petting zoo, Liberty 5k Run & Walk, and more. The Yankee Doodle Parade begins downtown. No fireworks display in 2021 – stay tuned for 2022! 

All Day

Independence Fest | Flower Mound | July 4

This free event, located at Bakersfield Park, will feature concessions, a kids zone, car show, a lot of exhibitors, and a great fireworks show. Live music performed by Le Freak and headliner Josh Abbott Band.

5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Freedom Festival | Lewisville | July 4

A community tradition for over 20 years, this FREE event features bounce houses, carnival games, food trucks, and music. A fantastic fireworks show is the highlight of the evening. Located at Castle Hills Village Shops and Lake Avalon.

5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Grayson County

12th Annual Lights on the Lake | Sherman | July 2

Get ready to rock the night away with a FREE Rick Springfield concert at Pecan Grove Park West followed by an incredible fireworks show.

4 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration | Denison | July 4

Blue Eyed Murder will be the featured entertainment. Children can enjoy the splash pad and playground.  Munson Stadium is limited-capacity but will stream on Facebook Live “Denison Live”.

7 p.m. – 9:45 p.m.

Henderson County

Thunder over Cedar Creek Lake Airshow | Gun Barrel City | July 3

A spectacular air show that will amaze you with aerial acrobatics and an up-close and personal experience with fighter jets. The entire performance takes place over Cedar Creek Lake.

5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Kaufman County

Independence Day Celebration | Forney | July 3

This free event, located at Forney Community Park, will include food trucks, bounce houses, games, and a magnificent fireworks show. 

6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Navarro County

Freedom Festival | Corsicana | July 4

Come out to I.O.O.F Park for family-fun activities, food trucks, live music by The Pontiax, and fireworks!

6 p.m. – 9:45 p.m.

Palo Pinto County

PKCC Hell’s Gate Fireworks Show | Graford | July 3

Possum Kingdom Lake in Graford, Texas. Hosted by the Possum Kingdom’s Chamber of Commerce 

Time TBD

Parker County

Boomin’ 4th | Hudson Oaks | July 4

Celebrate freedom at this highly choreographed fireworks show – one of the best low and high aerial displays in North Texas. Prophets & Outlaws headlining.

Time TBD 

Spark in the Park | Weatherford | July 4

Headliners Blue Oyster Cult and opening act Texas Clearwater Revival at the Heritage Park Amphitheater! Fireworks set to launch at 9:30 p.m. 

6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Rockwall County

Independence Day Parade & Fireworks | Rockwall | July 3

The parade will begin at Utley Middle School and end at Dobbs Elementary School. In the evening, gather at Harry Myers Park East for live music and fireworks.

Parade | 11 a.m.

Celebration | 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. 

Somervell County

4th of July at the Lake | Glen Rose | July 4

Pack your coolers (no glass), chairs, and floats and grab a spot at the lake to watch the annual fireworks show presented by the Somervell County Water District. Wheeler Branch Park gates open at 7 p.m. Live music by Brady Hulsey. 

7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Tarrant County

Independence Day Fireworks & Parade | Arlington | July 3 & 5

The fireworks show is set to begin July 3 at 9:30 p.m. in the skies over Globe Life Field. On July 5, starting at 9 a.m., head downtown for Arlington’s oldest, longest running Independence Day parade. This year’s theme is Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

July 3 | Fireworks | 9:30 p.m.

July 5 | Parade | 9 a.m. 

Fort Worth’s Fourth | Fort Worth | July 4

The largest fireworks show in North Texas is at Fort Worth’s Fourth. Space out along the banks of the Trinity River at Panther Island Pavilion and enjoy an evening of food, live music and fireworks. 

6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Mansfield Rocks Weekend | Mansfield | July 2 – 4

Mansfield Rocks promises all the excitement of past Rockin’ 4th events with family activities, live music, food, and fireworks. Free shuttles are provided from Mansfield ISD’s Newsom Stadium

6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Southlake Stars and Stripes | Southlake | July 3

Join the festivities at Southlake Town Square. Activities include a kids corner, games, live entertainment, delicious eats, and fireworks. 

6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

This North Texas Fourth of July roundup is brought to you by our Core Services partners – Prosperity Home Mortgage, Texas Premier Title, and Home Team Insurance.

At Ebby Halliday, we’re proud to offer a one-door approach to your real estate needs. With brokerage, mortgage, title, and insurance services under one roof, you’ll enjoy the easiest and most secure transaction available. When combined with the personal touch of one of our local expert agents, it simply is an unmatched experience. 

Get started today at ebby.com

Prosperity Home Mortgage: phmloans.com

Texas Premier Title: txprem.com

Home Team Insurance: hometeaminsurance.com

The Weekly Wrap-Up

Are you searching for a new home? Take a look at some of this week’s fabulous featured properties.

3007 Ridgecrest Drive | Southlake | $2,050,000

2326 Perkins Road | Arlington | $2,645,000

175 County Road 1270 | Kopperl | $989,900

606 Lakepoint Loop | Pottsboro | $899,000

5225 Tennington Park | Dallas | $725,000

268 Annadale Lane | Gordonville | $724,900

4827 Stony Ford Drive | Dallas | $699,900

5718 Lightfoot Lane | Frisco | $635,000

1600 Booker Lane | Plano | $594,900

1721 Shumard Oak Lane | Irving | $554,999

To view more spectacular homes for sale, visit ebby.com.

The Weekly Wrap-up

Are you searching for a new home? Take a look at some of this week’s fabulous featured properties.

Home at 1100 Broad Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas

1100 Broad Avenue | Fort Worth | $10,950,000

Home at 1250 Shady Oaks Drive in Southlake, Texas

1250 Shady Oaks Drive | Southlake | $3,299,000

Home at 5502 Monterey Drive in Frisco, Texas

5502 Monterey Drive | Frisco | $2,790,000

Home at 5818 Club Oaks Court in Dallas, Texas

5818 Club Oaks Court | Far North Dallas | $1,999,999

Home at 5333 Highflyer Hills Trail in Frisco, Texas

5333 Highflyer Hills Trail | Frisco | $850,000

Home at 5160 Statesman Lane in Frisco, Texas

5160 Statesman Lane | Frisco | $779,000

Home at 7002 Merrilee Lane in Dallas, Texas

7002 Merrilee Lane | Lakewood | $749,000

Home at 3831 Turtle Creek Boulevard, No. 10G in Dallas, Texas

3831 Turtle Creek Blvd., No. 10G | Turtle Creek | $679,000

Home at 2204 Chunk Court in Dallas, Texas

2204 Chunk Court | Lower Greenville | $575,000

Home at 5335 Holland Avenue in Dallas, Texas

5335 Holland Avenue | Dallas | $525,000

Home at 6213 Crested Butte Drive in Dallas, Texas

6213 Crested Butte Drive | Far North Dallas | $431,900

To view more spectacular homes for sale, visit ebby.com.

Cozy Fall Fireplaces

The cooler weather approaching presents the perfect time to warm up by a crackling fire.

Whether indoors or outdoors, relaxing by these fireplaces is the quintessential way to spend a cool, crisp evening. And, they’re all currently on the market. (Chestnuts not included.)

1250 Shady Oaks Drive in Southlake, Texas

1250 Shady Oaks Drive | Southlake | $3,299,000

3007 Ridgecrest Drive in Southlake, Texas

3007 Ridgecrest Drive | Southlake | $2,150,000

4919 Swiss Avenue in Dallas, Texas

4919 Swiss Avenue | Old East Dallas | $2,100,000

308 Kings Lake Drive in McKinney, Texas

308 Kings Lake Drive | McKinney | $1,899,000

14800 Winnwood Road in Addison, Texas

14800 Winnwood Road | Addison | $1,775,000

4901 Buena Vista Drive in Frisco, Texas

4901 Buena Vista Drive | Frisco | $1,775,000

7171 Helsem Bend in North Dallas, Texas

7171 Helsem Bend | North Dallas | $949,999

3236 Koscher Drive in Grand Prairie, Texas

3236 Koscher Drive | Grand Prairie | $869,900

3416 Pheasant Court in Flower Mound, Texas

3416 Pheasant Court | Flower Mound | $849,000

7120 Yardley Lane in Plano, Texas

7120 Yardley Lane | Plano | $775,000

566 Moonshiner Springs Trail in Broken Bow, Oklahoma

566 Moonshiner Springs Trail | Broken Bow, OK | $750,000

8935 Vista View Drive in Dallas, Texas

8935 Vista View Drive | Lake Highlands | $730,000

1809 Waterford Lane in Richardson, Texas

1809 Waterford Lane | Richardson | $649,500

7248 Walling Lane in Dallas, Texas

7248 Walling Lane | Northeast Dallas | $559,500

18509 Gibbons Drive in Dallas, Texas

18509 Gibbons Drive | Far North Dallas | $554,900

To view more delightful homes for sale, visit the award-winning, mobile-friendly ebby.com.

The Weekly Wrap-up

Are you searching for a new home? Take a look at some of this week’s fabulous featured properties.

Home at 50 Picadilly Park in Frisco, Texas

50 Picadilly Park | Frisco | $2,850,000

Home at 441 Chapel Downs Court in Southlake, Texas

441 Chapel Downs Court | Southlake | $1,949,000

Penthouse at 3525 Turtle Creek Blvd. in Dallas, Texas

3525 Turtle Creek Blvd., No. 22-A | Turtle Creek | $1,150,000

Backyard oasis at 6929 Elmridge Drive in Dallas, Texas

6929 Elmridge Drive | Northwood Hills | $1,050,000

Home at 5965 Caroline Drive in Frisco, Texas

5965 Caroline Drive | Frisco | $975,000

Home at 3112 Royal Sydney Court in Plano, Texas

3112 Royal Sydney Court | Plano | $965,000

Home at 7306 Azalea Lane in North Dallas, Texas

7306 Azalea Lane | North Dallas | $870,000

Home at 7601 Bantry Circle in Dallas, Texas

7601 Bantry Circle | Far North Dallas | $715,000

Home at 4255 Shady Bend Drive in Dallas, Texas

4255 Shady Bend Drive | North Dallas | $698,000

Home at 4062 Park Lane in Dallas, Texas

4062 Park Lane | Midway Hollow | $599,000

Home at 6527 Arborist Lane in Dallas, Texas

6527 Arborist Lane | Northeast Dallas | $519,900

Home at 10019 Apple Creek Drive in Dallas, Texas

10019 Apple Creek Drive | Lake Highlands | $347,777

To view more spectacular homes for sale, visit ebby.com.

Fabulous Fall Patios

Looking for the perfect place to enjoy this fall weather? We’ve got you covered.

Backyard patios are the ideal spot to cozy up with a blanket, sit by the fire, light up the grill – or all three. Enjoying nights and weekends in one of these patio spaces would be a fall dream. 

Patio at 4611 Bobbitt Drive in Dallas, Texas

4611 Bobbitt Drive | North Dallas | $3,600,000

Patio at 3007 Ridgecrest Drive in Southlake, Texas

3007 Ridgecrest Drive | Southlake | $2,300,000

Patio at 1116 N Canterbury Court in Dallas, Texas

1116 N. Canterbury Court | Kessler Park | $1,395,000

Backyard patio at 911 Woodview Drive in Prosper, Texas

911 Woodview Drive | Prosper | $1,329,000

Patio at 1506 Main Street in Southlake, Texas

1506 Main Street | Southlake | $1,147,500

Patio at 979 Private Road 1562 in Stephenville, Texas

979 Private Road 1562 | Stephenville | $959,900

Patio at 3416 Pheasant Court in Flower Mound, Texas

3416 Pheasant Court | Flower Mound | $849,000

Patio at 17133 Club Hill Drive in Dallas, Texas

17133 Club Hill Drive | Far North Dallas | $795,000

Patio at 566 Moonshiner Springs Trail in Broken Bow, Oklahoma

566 Moonshiner Springs Trail | Broken Bow | $750,000

Rooftop patio at 1016 Liberty Street, No. 7 in Dallas, Texas

1016 Liberty Street, No. 7 | Bryan Place | $674,900

Backyard patio at 2829 Montreaux in The Colony, Texas

2829 Montreaux | The Colony | $549,900

Patio at 2717 Lakesedge Drive in McKinney, Texas

2717 Lakesedge Drive | McKinney | $429,000

To view more exceptional homes currently on the market, visit the mobile-friendly ebby.com.

The Weekly Wrap-up

Are you searching for a new home? Take a look at some of this week’s fabulous featured properties.

Home at 2000 Willow Bend Drive in Plano, Texas

2000 Willow Bend Drive | Plano | $4,599,900

Home at 4919 Swiss Ave. in East Dallas, Texas

4919 Swiss Avenue | East Dallas | $2,100,000

Home at 1776 Prince William Lane in Frisco, Texas

1776 Prince William Lane | Frisco | $1,999,900

Home at 6987 Bob O Link Drive in Dallas, Texas

6987 Bob O Link Drive | Lakewood | $1,375,000

Home at 1433 Cottonwood Valley Court in Irving, Texas

1433 Cottonwood Valley Court | Irving | $1,220,000

Home at 7820 Merit Lane in Plano, Texas

7820 Merit Lane | Plano | $899,900

Townhome at 2811 Thomas Ave. in Dallas, Texas

2811 Thomas Avenue | Uptown | $755,000

Backyard at 1925 Kings Pass in Heath, Texas

1925 Kings Pass | Heath | $725,000

Home at 1809 Waterford Lane in Richardson, Texas

1809 Waterford Lane | Richardson | $649,500

Home at 15509 Crown Cove Lane in Frisco, Texas

15509 Crown Cove Lane | Frisco | $549,950

Residence at 2600 W. 7th St., #2638 in Fort Worth, Texas

2600 W. 7th Street, No. 2638 | Fort Worth | $464,000

Home at 5712 Baltic Blvd. in Plano, Texas

5712 Baltic Boulevard | Plano | $425,000

To view more spectacular homes for sale, visit ebby.com.

10 Fall-ready Porches

October is in full swing and fall weather can’t come fast enough.

From enjoying the crisp autumn air and watching colorful leaves fall to spending afternoons with coffee and a good read, consider these front porches for every occasion.

Front courtyard and porch at 11515 Hillcrest Road in Dallas, Texas

11515 Hillcrest Road | North Dallas | $2,990,000

Front porch at 1600 Shady Oaks Drive in Southlake, Texas

1600 Shady Oaks Drive | Southlake | $1,897,000

Front courtyard and porch at 4000 Hanover Street in University Park, Texas

4000 Hanover Street | University Park | $1,595,000

Front porch at 1116 N. Canterbury Court in Kessler Park, Texas

1116 N. Canterbury Court | Kessler Park | $1,395,000

Ranch-style home at 979 Private Road 1562 in Stephenville, Texas

979 Private Road 1562 | Stephenville | $959,900

Craftsman-style home at 5247 Miller Avenue in Dallas, Texas

5247 Miller Avenue | Vickery Place | $949,000

Front porch at 505 Heard Street in McKinney, Texas

505 Heard Street | McKinney | $875,000

Front porch at 7905 Three Forks Trail in McKinney, Texas

7905 Three Forks Trail | McKinney | $599,999

Front courtyard and porch at 1421 S. Travis Circle in Irving, Texas

1421 S. Travis Circle | Irving | $595,000

Charming home at 1911 Greenhaven Drive in Richardson, Texas

1911 Greenhaven Drive | Richardson | $399,900

To view more delightful homes currently on the market, visit the mobile-friendly ebby.com.