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February
24

But Building Permits Boom in Far-Out Exurbs

Go further North young family, go further North!  The building permit decline didn't occur across the board.   January building permits jumped 87% in Anna.  Permits in Melissa also rose, from 59 in January 2021 to 89 in January of this year, which is a 51% increase.  Denton new home permits jumped 171%, from 77 in January 2021 to 209 in January 2022.  Sherman rose 69%, from 32 in January 2021 to 54 in January 2022.

  • Dallas Business Journal, February 16, 2022
July
12

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Kitchen

Dallas Kitchen Upgrades

Love to cook? If so, you may be looking for a dream kitchen among Fort Worth homes for sale. You probably have some good ideas about what you want in a kitchen, but our real estate agents have some insightful advice that might make you reconsider what you're looking for. For instance, many homeowners think large when it comes to kitchen space, but experts say it's more important for your kitchen to be organized than to be expansive.

Make the most of your kitchen with these upgrades.

  1. Create a Good Workflow
    Gathering guests in the kitchen while you cook is a definite trend, but you want to arrange things so your guests can enjoy visiting and not be in the way. Place them nearby where they can enjoy a drink or some snacks, but not where you have to work around them. Plan for your cooktop to be out of the flow of traffic; take that a step further and locate the trash or the bar away from the cooking flow so you don't have to dance around obstructions. By the same token, you want essentials nearby, such as the refrigerator, pots and pans, most favored utensils, and cooking ingredients.

  2. Invest in Good Counters
    You want good quality counters, but that doesn't mean you need to invest in the most expensive materials. For instance, granite is popular, but it requires considerable upkeep and can scratch easily. Another popular material is soapstone, which is soft and can be scratched, but it's not delicate. It also ages nicely and can stand high heat. Compressed recycled quartz is a popular choice that stands up to wear and comes in several choices.

  3. Go for Quality Cookware
    Forget those 20-piece cookware sets. Rather, buy piece by piece and only buy what you need. For instance, you're likely going to use a frying pan or skillet more than, say, a saucier, so do invest in one that's of good quality. But investing in an inexpensive non-stick skillet for daily egg cooking isn't a bad idea. You can save the quality piece for the gourmet dishes, and just let the non-stick go when it wears out.  

    A cast-iron skillet is one way to acquire a quality piece that doesn't cost much. These last forever. You might also want to invest in a fully clad pot, which means it's composed of three layers of bonded metal. These pots are known for even transmittal of heat, which translates to nice browning instead of hot spots.

  4. Think Bold
    While white kitchens with a bold pop of color or two have prevailed over recent years, the trend may be shifting to more adventurous colors. For instance, bright blue cabinetry might call to you, as might a green marble countertop or a backsplash that makes an eye-catching statement. If you know you're staying in your current home, choose the colors that appeal most to you.

  5. Consider Sustainability 
    The throw-away syndrome is something we all need to lose, and no better place to start than in your kitchen upgrade. As you look to redo your kitchen, shop for quality, artisanal, sustainably made items that will last a lifetime. For example, consider adding quality food storage solutions to get rid of plastic wrap usage.

Still looking for a home complete with the perfect kitchen for all your culinary adventures? Our agents can help. Contact us today.

March
15

What You Need to Know Before Starting a Home Improvement Project

Home Improvement DFW

Renovating or updating your home is an exciting prospect. Whether you plan on living there a while longer or are fixing it up to sell soon, doing much-needed updates can be satisfying. Before you get too carried away, though, here are a few words of caution from our real estate agents.

  1. Choose your contractor carefully.
    Remember that a lot rides on your choice of contractor. This person will oversee your project, so it needs to be someone who is on board with your vision. It also should be someone who is good at what they do, so check online reviews. It's a good rule of thumb to interview several contractors and look for someone who will be a good fit for your project, understands your budget, and will be able to deliver as promised and on time.

  2. Expect the unexpected.
    That being said, always expect the unexpected, and build a little wiggle room into your budget and your timeline. You don't know what your contractor and his crew will find once they start work. The original plan may need to be changed or some issue could require attention before the work can continue. If you build a little extra into your overall plan, changes in cost or time frame won't hurt as much.

  3. Do the kitchen first.
    There are several reasons why you should do the kitchen first. First of all, it's likely to inconvenience you the most, since you won't have a kitchen to cook in. You can set up a temporary kitchen station in another room, where you can do simple food prep. But more importantly, kitchen updates have the biggest impact on your home's value. Dallas homes for sale that feature clean, modern kitchens show and sell the best. Plus, those updates feature the most functionality, so you'll likely enjoy them the most during whatever time you have left in the house.

  4. Be honest with yourself before DIYing.
    It can be tempting to save yourself the money and do the work yourself, but be honest with yourself as to whether you have the required knowledge, experience, and skill to DIY it. If you overestimate your ability to DIY your upgrades, you'll detract from your home's appeal and leave the buyer to clean up the mess. Be honest with yourself, and if you don't know enough to make the job look professional, then leave it to the professionals.

  5. Know whether you're selling or staying. 
    If you're designing updates to enjoy while you live in the home, your goals are going to be different than if you're updating a home in order to join the list of Fort Worth homes for sale. Renovations for yourself will of course be targeted to your personal preferences, whereas renovations prior to selling need to be more neutral so that they'll appeal to a wide range of potential buyers.

If you're looking to sell your home soon, home improvement projects are a great way to boost its appeal to buyers. For more information about what upgrades sell the best, or to speak to an agent, contact us today.

February
8

Storage Solutions You'll Want in Your Home

Home Storage SolutionsNo matter how big a house is, we seem never to have enough storage space. The problem might be you just haven't unlocked the secrets of a good storage strategy.

If you're considering homes among Dallas homes for sale or Fort Worth homes for sale, and you're wondering if the storage will be sufficient, just keep these tips in mind for how you might expand the storage space in your new home.

  1. Over-the-doorway shelving. 
    Bet you didn't know you had all that potential storage space right over the doorway. Install open-air shelves over the doorway in bedrooms, bathrooms, and above double doors. Depending on the type of room where the shelves are installed, you can place plants, decorative dishes, and pottery, or treasured mementos.

  2. Under-the-bed storage bins.
    Don't let that space under your bed go to the dust bunnies. Acquire long, flat storage bins and stow things such as holiday gift bags, tissue, and wrapping paper; or even off-season clothing. 

  3. Hooks for measuring spoons and cups.
    Don't you get fed up looking for measuring spoons and smaller-size measuring cups in your drawer full of miscellanea? Now you can put your hand right on them by installing hooks inside your kitchen cabinet doors and hanging them within easy reach.

  4. Drawer organizers.
    Utilize these to help organize your kitchen. Drawer organizers work well if you put some time into planning what you need to access before you buy the organizers. Make sure you measure your drawers as well! 

  5. Storage bins for cabinets.
    Same as for drawer organizers: think about what you want to place in storage bins before you buy them. For instance, maybe you have some spices you'd like to have right at hand, so you acquire a bin for the pantry where you can place them in rough alphabetical order. Storage bins in cabinets should work well for all the smaller items in the kitchen, such as packets of gravy or dressing mixes, a box of bouillon cubes, a baggie full of orphaned tea bags, sweetener packets, whatever. Obviously, storage bins for your bedroom closets will be larger so they can hold your shoes; maybe in your office, a storage bin would be useful for rounding up all those power cords and chargers you can't seem to throw away.

  6. Excess stuff.
    You know you need to get rid of stuff you never use, but it's hard. We suggest once a year going through your possessions and doing a fearless assessment of what you're likely to need or can let go of without regrets. Some of it can go in the trash or the recycling bin; the rest, such as clothing or furniture in good repair, can go to charity. 

  7. Outdoor storage shed.
    This is one of the best solutions for relieving indoor crowding. Try to arrange stored items with a top to bottom plan by stacking seldom-used items on the bottom, and stuff you might need in smaller containers near the top. Think about what you'll want to get at (holiday decorations for instance) and place them so you can access them as needed. 

All these small changes will add up and provide you and your family more space so you can live more comfortably in your home.

Need more tips? Our real estate agents can help. Contact us today.

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