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Boost Your Curb Appeal! 

Whether you're getting ready to sell your home or freshening it up for spring for yourself, it's important to include your outside space! Curb appeal is a top selling point, especially during open house season. If landscaping ideas escape you, here are some handy tips and tricks to get you thinking in the outdoors direction.


Landscaping Tricks for creating your personal oasis: 

  • Want to create a small retreat space? Use larger potted plants as a wall in a particular area to give your cozy nook the feeling of a room. Tall plants like bamboo are ideal for this purpose. Define your space even more with string lights, or a stone floor.
  • Need shade but have no trees? Add a large umbrella or sun shade, surrounded by large potted plants to shade your porch or patio. Or build a pergola and plant a climbing vine like wisteria next to the posts. This plant will climb up and over, providing shade.
  • Love the shore, but you're not near water? Add a bubbling water feature or creek bed through your garden. Create a sandy beach area in your yard for kids to play.
  • Want to attract birds and butterflies? Create an English-style country garden with stone paths, birdhouses and butterfly-friendly flowers. Add stepping stones where most people walk to keep thin grass from getting trampled. Start small and expand your garden yearly as you gain gardening expertise.


Plus, up your outdoor oasis with some out-there ideas: 

  • An outdoor wood-burning oven for making pizzas
  • A vegetable and herb garden
  • A camping-style firepit for roasting hotdogs and marshmallows
  • A backyard chicken coop
  • An outdoor kitchen complete with grill, fridge, sink and prep area


Landscaping Tips and Tricks for Selling: 

  • Keep up with mowing and edging the lawn every week.Water your lawn one hour before showings or open houses for a fresh look.
  • Inspect and repair irrigation system and outdoor faucets. Replace hoses.
  • Add a layer of mulch to flower beds, pull weeds and add colorful new plantings. Consider the amount of sun or shade in your yard as you choose which plants to add. Mulch too expensive? Try grass clippings from your mower as an alternative.
  • Power wash the outside of your house, and all the concrete surfaces, as well as wooden fences and decks. Repair cracks in concrete and rotted boards in fences and decks.
  • Professionally trim trees and bushes to their optimum size and shape.
  • Think about container gardens. Containers and their plants can be unique to your style, and the best part is, they're moveable landscaping! Repaint old pots with leftover house paint that matches and give them new life.

      Be creative and make your landscaping outdoors reflect your home's design, your climate and your lifestyle. As you plan your landscaping, keep these key pillars in mind to create an ideal space: privacy, lighting, cooling/heating, shade, greenery/color and gathering places or seating. Attention to detail and making spaces comfortable and inviting for yourself and your guests will give you years of enjoyment of your outdoor spaces — or make your home the most attractive listing on the market.




    Make Your Home Look Like Their Home! 

    You've decided to sell your house. One of the most important things you can do to your house to help it sell faster is to stage it. What is home staging? It's pretty much what it sounds like – you are turning your home into a home theatre – setting the stage for potential buyers to see themselves living there. When you get your house ready to sell using home staging, you're showing off its good points, and re-focusing attention away from its weaknesses. And most of all you're helping buyers walk in and never want to leave.  

    You know how fun it is to flip through a home furnishings catalog or website? That's what you're aiming for when you're home staging. Make it look like a catalog: clean, bright and spacious. Here are some tips to get your house showroom-ready: 


    Home Staging inside: 

    • Show off how much counterspace your kitchen and bathroom have by stowing away mostly everything. Make it hotel-room sparse, and add new hand soaps, and new towels and rugs to both rooms. Pare down items on coffee tables, bookshelves and walls.
    • Remove all photos of your family, kid's art and personal objects on shelves. You want people to imagine themselves in every room.
    • Less is more when it comes to furniture. Show off how much space each room has by paring down the amount of furniture in each room. You want potential buyers to be able to easily walk around. Group furniture into cozy conversation areas.
    • Add some sort of work space to one or more rooms. Home offices are a hot seller in the current market. Show off how a room or two can have dual purpose.
    • Stage a closet. Pick one bedroom closet and make it as neat as possible, using shelves, baskets and matching hangers. Scent the closet and leave it open to show off the great use of space.


    Home Staging outside: 

    • Power wash sidewalks, driveways and walkways as well as siding, bricks and stone. Make them sparkle like new.
    • Repaint your front door a bright, cheery color.
    • Replace your house numbers, mail box, welcome mat and your outdoor lighting if they are worn or outdated.
    • Add a fresh layer of mulch to your flower beds and make sure you plant new colorful flowers. Trim trees and bushes.
    • Set up a cozy outdoor sitting area on your porch, refreshing cushions and other fabrics if need be.


    More tips for making home staging really pay off at an open house: 

    • Add cut flowers to several rooms.
    • Scented candles add atmosphere. 
    • Make sure each room is light and bright – curtains open, lamps on. 
    • Erase any sign of your pet, and in fact, keep your pet out of the house during open houses or showings.
    • Add a luxury feel to bedrooms with plush rugs, fluffy comforters, extra pillows and fresh sheets. Style it like a hotel room.

    Potential buyers want to imagine themselves eating, sleeping and hanging out in your house. Make it easy for them to do just that. 



    The Home Improvement Projects With the Best ROI

    The nicest way to show your home that you care (not to mention practice some self-care) is to complete a few home improvement projects that will not only make you fall even more in love with your home, but in the long run will get you the biggest return on your investment. Where to start? Statistically the two most important rooms in your house that make it the most valuable are the kitchen and the bathroom.

    Can You Love Your Home Even More Than You Do Now? Absolutely!

    There are small and large things you can do to improve your quality of life in your kitchen and bathroom. From simply upgrading your shower fixture to a rain shower head (a highly coveted bathroom feature for potential home buyers) to a simple kitchen remodel that replaces the appliances and paint on cabinets, your bathroom and kitchen are the places to show your home some love right now.

    5 Sweetheart Makeover Investments That Will Payoff Later

    1. Simple Bathroom Upgrades: The return on your investment in your bathroom will be close to 100% should you decide to sell…but in the meantime you will be living the pampered life in your chic new bathroom. What's not to like about that! Update plumbing fixtures and lighting. Add a smart mirror. Switch out the vanity. Simply get new towels and rugs if nothing else – brightening and modernizing the room is the goal.
    2. Complete Bathroom Remodel: If baby steps won't cut it in your current bathroom, consider a total redo. Investing around $25,000 to redesign, modernize and turn your bathroom into the spa retreat you've always wanted won't just benefit you. In the long run, this type of remodel will get you an almost 93% return when you sell.
    3. Kitchen Deck, Porch or Patio Upgrade: Do you have a simple back door from the kitchen to the backyard? Invest $10,000 - $15,000 in a deck, outdoor kitchen patio or covered porch to make your cooking/eating space go farther. You'll never want to go out to dinner again when you've got a stylish, cozy dining area right outside your kitchen door to enjoy.
    4. Replace Your Windows: Not only can replacing windows make your kitchen and bathroom brighter, it can help you realize energy savings when you choose certified energy efficient models, up your curb appeal, and get you a 90% return on your investment later.
    5. The Grand Kitchen Redo: This is the highest ticket item on this list, but investing around $45,000 and getting a return of at least 90% on that investment if you sell, is a pretty attractive arrangement. Not to mention, you'll be enjoying the kitchen of your dreams. Make it an open concept with stainless steel appliances for highest return – and maybe you'll fall so far in love with your home at that point that you'll never leave.

    The 2021 real estate market was a bumpy ride, with random periods of waiting thrown in for good measure.    

    The year started off with a bang with surging prices and inventory down across North Texas. Housing inventory was down for two reasons:

    • Low interest rates – Low interest rates had an interesting effect of both encouraging people to buy a new home while also encouraging others to stay put. Those who stayed refinanced and renovated their homes, putting further downward pressure on housing inventory. Those who wanted to buy found few homes on the market.
    • Global building supplies shortage: The logistical disruptions of 2020 spilled over into 2021. This combined with the Texas recovery from February's "snow-mageddon" pushed the prices of building supplies ever higher.

    By September, the housing market was still tight.  North Texas home sales fell but prices continued to rise due to a lack of housing inventory.  North Texas saw record gains in home prices:

    "Dallas-area home prices jumped 25% year-over-year in September — the largest gain for the market in the history of the closely watched S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index."

    What will the new year bring?  Here are our three predictions for the housing market in 2022:

    • Winter, spring, and summer seasons are going to be just as busy as 2021. We will continue to see multiple offers and a housing shortage.
    • Interest rates are going to start creeping up starting at the beginning of 2022 and will continue increase to mid to high 3% by the end of the year.
    • Prices are going to start leveling out and late 2022 and 2023 should be much calmer for the housing market.

    If you have been thinking about selling your home, give us a call.

    If the timing is right and you are ready, so are we.


    Vacations are top-of-mind this summer, after everyone has been home for more than a year. We're all anxious to stretch our legs, see the sights and travel. Implement a few of these helpful tips for peace of mind on vacation.

    Securing Your Home:
    • Make sure all your doors and windows – even second-story ones – are locked. 
    • Add a broomstick or metal rod to the inside track of your sliding glass door.
    • Unplug the power to your automatic garage door to prevent access via a universal remote.
    • Lock the door between your garage and the interior of your home.
    • Make sure your exterior lights are all in working order. Pro-tip: add a timer and/or movement sensor.
    • Home security systems are great. Pro-tip: video security systems that you can monitor from your phone are even better.
    • Let your close neighbors know that you'll be gone and ask them to keep an eye out. Give them contact information for where you'll be on vacation.

    Planning Ahead for Maintenance:
    • Hire someone to mow your lawn while you are gone.
    • Ask a neighbor to bring your trashcans in while you are gone.
    • Ask a neighbor to water your plants and lawn periodically.

    How to Make it Seem Like You're Still Home:
    • If your blinds or curtains are usually open, leave them that way. (A closed-up look signals no one is home)
    • Put a few interior lamps on timers.
    • Ask a neighbor to drive your car around the block and park it in a different spot daily.
    • Ask a neighbor to collect your mail. If you'll be gone for more than a week, place a vacation hold on your mail with your local post office. Pro-tip: you can also request a vacation hold from FedEx and UPS. Or, if packages are expected, arrange for a neighbor to gather them.

    What Not to Do:
    • Watch what you post on social media. The best idea is not to post your vacay pics until you've returned. Or, only share photos with your close friend group.
    • Don't leave visible valuables in front of open windows. Move that computer.

    These are easy steps you can take to make sure your home is safe while you are away on vacation – so you can really relax and enjoy yourself without worrying. After being in your home every day for so long, it's time for you to let go for a few days. Just don't forget to lock up and keep your home safe.



    Summertime is finally here. If you made it thru Snowmaggedon with your pool pump intact, take some time to spruce up your swimming pool to make this the best backyard summer your family's ever had. 

    After last year, swimming pools have become a must-have item for homeowners. Having an inground pool in your backyard used to add an average of $22,000 to a house – this year a house with a pool in DFW could sell for $30,000 more. So, if you are one of these lucky swimming pool owners, here's your chance to make a big splash this summer AND increase the value of your home by making that pool shine.

    Think about your pool wish list. What would make your pool "extra" summery? You could add a pool heater or chiller which would regulate the temperature of the water. This will lengthen the swimming season for you and make you the envy of the neighborhood when you are still swimming in October.

    You can also spiff up your pool by adding:
    • Accessories like diving boards, volleyball nets and slides
    • More reasons to be outside with new floats, floating lights and outdoor speakers
    • Style with new finishes like ceramic tile and stone pavers 
    • Accessibility with additions like railings on the stairs or wider step ladders 
    • Safety features like a pool cover or an updated privacy fence
    • Durability and longevity by having your pool resurfaced or retiled
    • Beauty and ambiance to your pool area with landscaping or a water feature
    Once you have a vision for your upgraded pool and install all the extras, you'll be set to dive in and enjoy the Texas summer – on your new pool floatie with an umbrella drink in hand of course!

    This summer, people will be planning and enjoying their first vacations in a long time. DFW is located smack in the middle of a whole bunch of readily accessible day trips that families can take safely and easily to get out and see something different for the day.

    Take a small-town tour of the area to enjoy charming historic downtowns and nature attractions available just a short drive away. Slay the day by packing a picnic lunch or finding a patio restaurant in these destinations that are all less than two hours away from DFW. 

    Waco, TX
    Stroll the outdoor shopping district Magnolia Market at the Silos or ponder America's oldest soft drink at the Dr Pepper Museum. For outdoors fun, check out the Lake Waco Wetlands or the Cotton Belt Trail. And for the sports fans in your family, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum are sure to be a hit.

    Denton, TX
    Besides the UNT campus, visit the redeveloped historic town square and the free Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum built in 1896. Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center offers a cool spot for hiking. And don't forget to visit the whimsical Chairy Orchard, home to dozens of colorful, abandoned chairs.

    Granbury, TX
    Got dinosaur fans in the family? Visit Dinosaur Valley State Park to see fossilized footsteps and life-size dinosaur replicas. Another historic downtown square awaits complete with boutiques, restaurants, and even a saloon – as well as the Historic Railroad Depot. You can also spend the afternoon walking the nearby sandy beaches at City Beach Park.

    Lake Texoma, OK
    Known for water sports, this area is one of the largest reservoirs in the US. Get ready for hiking, biking, fishing and boating. The Crosstimbers Trail at Juniper Point, the Heard Museum of Natural Science and the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge offer endless adventure outdoors. 

    Whether you want to take a short tour or stay the whole day, there are several vacation spots that are within a few hours drive from the DFW area. Take advantage of those first few magical days of summer vacation and get outside!

    Spring cleaning season is upon us, and that can feel overwhelming. Whether you are preparing your home to sell, or starting your spring cleaning, break the process into smaller steps to make progress faster. 

    Each year during spring cleaning we renew our love for our home – and our commitment to keeping it beautiful – by eliminating clutter. Clutter happens when items don't have a "home" to return to – a bowl for your keys, a bookshelf for your magazines, a hamper for your dirty clothes. Walk through each room and gather all the items that you know belong somewhere else, make a home for them and put them there.

    Organize excess items into four groups: keep, recycle, donate or toss. Keeping your home clutter-free – and sticking to an organizational system – allows you more livable space, renews your sense of accomplishment, and ultimately means there is less to clean going forward. 

    Next, freshen up your space with a good cleaning and repair assessment. Clean the areas we all forget about like baseboards, vents and ceiling fans. Don't forget both the inside and outside of your windows and window sills. Sunny rooms are definitely a plus if you're selling your home. 

    If your windows have water damage, now is the time to get that repaired and repainted. Then think about adding new shades or curtains to enhance them. And bring the springtime outdoors in with a new potted plant or two.

    Take spring cleaning a step further by replacing worn out parts of your home. Add a new coat of paint to a room, or just paint one wall, a ceiling or a door in a bright color. Or rearrange the furniture in a room for a fresh look, and replace throw pillows or pictures. You might be pleasantly surprised to see your room from a new perspective with the same items.

    Window replacement, and kitchen and bathroom upgrades garner high returns when selling your home. Replace faucets, hardware, light fixtures and ceiling fans. Add energy efficient new appliances in the kitchen and laundry room. 

    Projects that are focused on modern style and energy efficiency are the remodeling projects to put on your to-do list this spring. Remodel your deck, your front door, your garage doors and your siding to get the best ROI when you're ready to sell.

    Renew, repair, replace or remodel as part of your home's annual spring cleaning, and you'll not only maximize your home's value and your profit when you sell, you'll benefit right now from your efforts. You won't need to necessarily tear down walls or floors to freshen up your space this spring. You can make simple changes here and there and feel good about spring cleaning this year.


    At The Slay Diaz Group, we feel like we work in a field full of 4-leaf clovers. We are so lucky! Lucky to get to do what we love and take care of our families at the same time. Lucky to meet new people and help them have luck on their side when buying or selling a home. And we're lucky to get to know so many amazing and talented service partners in the work we do every day.
    Last month, we shared some of our favorite small business loves with you in the hope that you too would fall in love with our favorites. This month, you're all the lucky winners of our amazing list of service partners. Since it is March, and St. Patrick's day is upon us, we'd like to celebrate these lucky charmers. How fortunate are we to have so many good people to count as friends.
    We hope you'll love them as much as we do. We certainly count ourselves lucky to know them.
    Texas Realty Inspections – Derrick Kennimer 214.533.5885
    Vanguard Inspections – Al Voelkle 817.948.3491
    Structural Engineering:
    Tommy Tolson - 972.783.9211
    Roofing & Gutters:
    Advent Roofing – Justin Suib 203.856.9377
    Greg Holloway - 972.740.8115
    Cool Connections – Joe Harding 469.374.1919
    McKam Electric – Max Johnson 972.571.0355
    Texas Plumbing Company – Jerry Brown 972.235.4169
    Vincent Construction – Vince Cook 469.556.4287
    Appliances, New & Repair:
    Rodenbaughs – Ronald Rodenbaugh 972.727.3454
    Blinds, New & Repair:
    Bloomin' Blinds - 972.490.4100
    Window Cleaning:
    Kangaroo Window Cleaning - 972.974.5720
    Sprinkler Repair:
    Lightning Irrigation – Chris Ewers 214.394.0552
    Pool Service:
    Pierce Family Pool Service – Robert Pierce 469.586.6233

    From your AC to your pool to that perplexing drippy faucet, our friends have you covered. If you are ready to tackle some home maintenance chores, give them a call and you will find yourself in the lucky position of finding a partner you can trust. 

    Bree's on-campus job is delivering food at SMU to students in quarantine and isolation. What a great opportunity for lots of exercise and fresh air!

    Emily competed her solo in Dallas at the Celebrity Dance Competition.  She and all her teammates danced beautifully and scored top awards for all their dances.

    Which one of us moved 33 times as a child? Who is the child of a teacher and a social worker? Watch our video and find out!

    Like and follow us on FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn today!

    Small businesses are at the heart of every neighborhood. They are the backbone to our economy. That's why we try to support small businesses each opportunity we get. Who doesn't, right?
    Ready? Here are a few of our favorite locally owned and operated small businesses:

    • The lovely flicker and gentle glow of a candle helps ease and soothe the mind. B's Knees Fragrance Co. candles are our favorite. They also sell reed diffusers and oils. All their products are made in the U.S.A.
    • The house made mac-n-cheese and devilled eggs at Big Al's Smokehouse BBQ are awesome! Their Bar-B-Cuterie trays are perfect for group lunches and small gatherings.
    • The darling and delicious cheesecakes from Cheesecake Society can be ordered by phone or online and are available for pick up or contactless delivery. Try the Pecan Praline. It is Jeanne's favorite.
    • Try Chocolate Angel's merengue cookies - they're yummy and gluten-free. They are hosting a Valentine's Tea at the Richardson and Plano locations. We heart this!
    • According to a study, people with a good hairstyle feel smarter and more capable at performing tasks as opposed to those who are going through a bad hair day. We agree. That is why we have a standing monthly appointment at Hair by Jennifer Henry.
    • Who knew some of the best Japanese food around could be found at a food truck? Try out the food at Hibachi Master. It will not disappoint.
    • We love a good drink! Try Lockwood Distilling Co in Richardson or eight|11 in Frisco for a relaxing way to unwind after work.
    • Dance not only builds flexibility and strength, but it also teaches emotional expression and empathy. PDT Dance Arts, with locations in McKinney and Prosper, is where Danée's daughter found her second home.
    • Flowers help stimulate a sense of pride and excitement with others, and release serotonin – whether you grow, buy, give, receive or admire them. Anything from Petals & Stems makes us happy.

    In late 2020, 67 percent of small businesses continued to experience negative business impacts tied to the pandemic, while 43 percent suffered "significant impacts," according to Alignable's State of Small Business Report.
    We remain steadfast and optimistic that consumer confidence will rebound mid to late 2021. Cheers to all small business owners! We salute your perseverance, tenacity, drive and passion.


    Finding a Home To Fit Your Lifestyle
    If you're a cyclist, but the home you're looking at is not near the Katy Trail, is it really the perfect home for you? When you're looking for the perfect home this year to fit your family, take into consideration that you're looking for more than just a house – you're looking for a home that is a lifestyle fit.  

    Scrutinizing more factors than just the house itself will make your next home purchase a better fit. You're not looking for help to get into just any house, you want help finding and securing the perfect house, on the perfect street in the perfect neighborhood. And that means checking the boxes on all the wants and needs on your lifestyle list. 

    We want you to love more than just your house.

    When you purchase a home, you're not just buying a house, you are buying into the neighbors, small business owners and amenities that make up that community. What does your ideal community look like? Does it have a cute little coffee place nearby? A fun boutique? Want a fishing pond in the area? A neighborhood that's really big into holiday lights? Neighbors with kids that are your kids' ages? If these things matter to you, they matter to us.

    The value of expertise like this can mean an easier transition for your family, better schools, a shorter commute, an instant set of BFF neighbors, a place to ride your bike every weekend, or even tacos within walking distance. 

    If you are thinking about finding your family's new dream home in 2021, let's connect! We've got the inside scoop on the perfect fit for you.


    It was a record-setting seller's market in DFW residential real estate during the first three quarters of 2020, and it doesn't look like that's going to change any time soon.


    During 2020, there were fewer homes available for sale in North Texas. Pair that with record low mortgage interest rates and record numbers of people interested in buying, and you have a strong seller's market. Homes sold quickly and often for over their asking price - 20% of homes in Dallas-Fort Worth sold above their list price in September.


    Altogether, the economic recovery in North Texas was being driven in part by the housing market. Experts are forecasting this real estate trend to continue to impact the economy positively in 2021.


    Will home prices continue to rise into 2021?


    Throughout the first three quarters of 2020, a record 99,078 houses were sold, 8% more than during the same period last year. Prices for these homes reached record highs. Dallas County saw median home sales prices up 17.4% from last year and Rockwall County reached a 21% increase by October. The Dallas residential real estate seller's market is projected to grow in 2021.


    If now is the right time to sell your home, we are ready to help.


    If you are thinking about selling your home, let's connect! We can make this strong seller's market work for you.

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