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Keep Calm and Cool On…

As we all know here in Texas, summers can be brutal. But there's more you can do inside your home to keep the temperature down — other than just turning up the AC. So what else can you do to stay cool and maybe save on your electric bill?


5 Easy Ways to Cool Yourself and Your Home in Summer

  1. Have blinds on your windows? Flip those blinds up to still let the light in, but reflect the heat of the sun back outside.
  2. Ceiling fan blades should be set to spin counterclockwise. This pushes the air down and creates a cool breeze.
  3. Turn down the water heater a few degrees! This will save energy to heat the water constantly.
  4. Turn off lights and shut doors to rooms you're not using, while at the same time closing the vents in those rooms. Only cool what you need to cool.
  5. Take a cool shower in the late afternoon, when you're feeling the hottest. This will decrease your core temperature, and your wet hair will keep you cooler while it dries.


5 House Cooling Tips That Require Some Effort

  1. Experiment with the settings on your thermostat. Even a degree change can save you money on your bill, without you feeling the difference.
  2. Switch the lightbulbs in your home to Fluorescent, LED and lower wattage bulbs that will use less power, emit less heat and still give you the light you need.
  3. Instead of running clothes through the dryer, consider hanging them to dry. Run your dishwasher and do your laundry at night when your home's temperature is lower.
  4. Clean the condenser coils of your AC to make sure they're running at optimum efficiency. Make sure you get an AC tune up and change the filter. You definitely don't want your AC to fail on you in the middle of a Texas August.
  5. Instead of using your oven, use microwaves, stovetop or a toaster instead to keep your kitchen cooler. Even better? Grill outdoors!


5 Serious House Cooling Tips

  1. Make sure you have shades on your windows, blocking any excessive sunlight. Inspect windows and doors to the outside for cracks and leaks.
  2. Insulate, insulate, insulate. Not only should you insulate your attic and add a radiant barrier, you should insulate your ductwork to increase the effectiveness of your air conditioner.
  3. If you are replacing your roof, consider a lighter color and make sure you choose an energy saving reflective product. Consider investing in solar panels to power your AC and appliances and keep your electricity bills lower.
  4. Landscaping can be key to keeping your house cooler. Trees on the sunniest sides of your home will block that heat from ever hitting your house. Adding a shade structure, pergola or patio cover can help cool your home as well.
  5. Paint the inside and outside of your home using light, bright colors. Light colors will reflect the heat while still providing light to be able to see. Darker colors just absorb the heat, whether that's on the outside of your home, or in a sunny room.


If all else fails, go run through the sprinkler!


spring cleaning

Our Spring Cleaning Checklist

Don't let spring cleaning intimidate you this year. Tell it who's boss. And that's you!

First, assess what you don't need around your house anymore and get rid of it. Springtime is the perfect time to declutter. You'll feel lighter, and less clutter will make your home seem bigger. Bonus? Less to clean! Then, start with the basics like vacuuming floors, dusting wooden furniture, and wiping down high-use kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Those are the must-dos. And instead of trying to do all of this at once, just tackle one room a day to make it a manageable task. When you break cleaning into 15-minute chunks, it's never overwhelming.

Once you've gotten the basic clean done, then move on to details like these:


Spring cleaning extras inside:

  • Clean all your windows and window frames, blinds, curtains, and shades included.
  • Wipe down baseboards, crown molding, and vents.
  • Vacuum your upholstered furniture (find some spare change in the sofa!).
  • Switch out your closets – winter clothes for warm weather ones – and arrange neatly by type and color for easier access.
  • Give often-neglected nooks like closets, kitchen cabinet shelves, ceiling corners, attic floors, and basements a simple once-over.


Spring cleaning extras outside:

  • Don't forget to clean all your windows on the outside of your house too.
  • Power wash sidewalks, driveway, and walkways as well as siding, bricks, and stone. This is a task we're sure your kids will have fun helping you accomplish.
  • Clean up your flower beds and add a light layer of mulch along with new plants.
  • Sweep up your porch, patio, and any outdoor living spaces. Remember, they are rooms in your house too!
  • While you're spring cleaning, don't forget your car. Wash and wax, and thoroughly clean the inside as well.


More tips for making your home and your belongings feel new again:

  • To bring spring inside: Add cut flowers to your dining room table.
  • For less cluttered bookshelves: rearrange your books and group them by color.
  • To add a touch of the latest color trend: Simply replace your sofa pillows, or your bed throw pillow with new ones.
  • Easy room re-do: Move your pictures around, or repaint the frames.
  • Add colorful flowers in containers to your front porch area


It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the thought of cleaning your house top to bottom. But, freshening up for spring around your house, might only take a little effort here and there if you break everything into little tasks. Get the help of your family members, and sooner than later, you'll make your home feel new like spring — inside and out.



Buying your first house can seem like an overwhelming process. Appraisals, offers, interest rates, oh my! One of the most important parts of the process is getting a realistic handle on the costs.

Before you start looking for a home, assess your personal finances. Be ready for not only a mortgage, but the on-going expenses of owning a home. Things like property taxes, insurance and repairs can be more than a first-time buyer might expect. Start by estimating the real costs of buying that house.

Before You Buy:

  • Down Payment – The bigger your down payment, the less you'll have to borrow for the mortgage. And, a 20% down payment removes the extra PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) fee. There are down payment assistance programs available for some buyers – do your research.
  • Pre-Approval – Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Your total housing expenses generally shouldn't be more than 30% of your income – and in fact, mortgage lenders will look at this ratio during the approval process. Work on boosting your credit score to qualify for a better interest rate.
  • Interest – Do some quick math to see how much interest you'll be paying over the life of your loan ahead of time. Interest can cost close to an additional 74% of the initial loan! (That's estimating a 30-year loan with a 4% interest rate.) Good news? Interest is tax deductible.
  • Earnest Money – You may give the seller a nominal amount to demonstrate the seriousness of your intentions. Then if you buy this home, the money will be applied to your closing costs.
  • Inspection – The buyer pays for an inspection directly to get an accurate report on the condition of the house.

The Day You Buy:

  • Closing – Be ready for the closing costs. These are the costs you will pay on the day you sign on the dotted line. This number can be in the thousands.
  • Moving – You may need money for moving costs. Not just for movers, but for take-out food until you can unpack and cook in your home and cleaning supplies.

After Your Buy:

  • Taxes – Look up the taxes for your house in the public records of the tax assessor's office in your area. This will give you an idea of what you'll pay every year, and it can sometimes be hefty depending on where you live. Taxes can be broken up and paid monthly with your mortgage or paid in a lump sum once a year. More good news? They can also be tax deductible.
  • Insurance – This will be a yearly expense and can range into the thousands. You won't be able to buy your house without proof of insurance.
  • Repairs – You never know when or if something is going to need to be fixed when you own a home. You can mitigate some of the typical expenses (like HVAC, plumbing, appliances) with a home warranty. Sometimes sellers will include a home warranty in the package when you buy their home.
  • Maintenance – You will at some point paint your house. Mow your lawn. Plant flowers. Think about some of these costs short term and long term, and plan for them.

Knowing how to estimate the costs of homeownership ahead of time can help you manage your expectations and reduce your anxiety. Make your home buying experience more productive and much less stressful by asking for help along the way from your favorite local Realtors – us!


Whether you are buying or selling a home, now is a great time to act.


In North Texas, the supply of homes offered for sale is the smallest since January 2018. And there are even more buyers actively looking for homes to purchase. Why is this big news? Glad you asked!


Ready to upgrade to a bigger house, or move to a different area of town?


You've added a kid or sent one off to college. You're interested in a more urban lifestyle. You want to live on some acreage off the beaten path. We know where the hidden gems are right now, and will help you sell your home quickly and then secure one of the few choice properties on the market that fits you perfectly – leveraging the equity in your current home to match your family to an even better one. Plus, mortgage rates have fallen below 3% and are likely to go up after the new year.


Homes are selling quickly and often for more than their asking price. Texas is no exception. The housing market is under-supplied, and the shortage is rising:

  • Active listings in Dallas County decreased 19.9% from June 2019 to June 2020. But the number of homes sold increased by 8.6%.
  • There has been a 36% decrease in month's supply of inventory in Collin County from June 2019 to June 2020. Closed sales in Collin County increased by 9% during the same time frame.
  • The numbers are even more drastic in Kaufman County, where active listings decreased by 22%, while homes sold increased by 47.7%.


Have you been in your moderately priced house for a while now?


Your house is the most in demand; and you're most likely in a strong equity position. Selling your home while the interest rates for buyers is low and the pool of houses to choose from is also low, puts you in a very favorable position. Demand for houses is driving bidding wars and multiple-offer scenarios, and houses are selling quickly.

Selling and buying a home can be challenging. Let us make it easy for you!

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