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October
11

Get To Know Your New Neighborhood With These 5 Tips

New Neighborhood DFWAfter weeks or months of browsing Dallas homes for sale, visiting open houses, negotiating with sellers, and dealing with the exhausting relocation tasks, you're finally in your new home. It's time to make your new place feel like home and settle into your new surroundings. For some people, this could fall into place when your new neighbors see your moving truck, but in most cases, you have to put in work to get acquainted with your new surroundings. All it takes is a positive attitude and willingness to make it work out. Here is our real estate agent's list of 5 top strategies to help you get familiar with your new neighborhood.

  1. Introduce Yourself to Your Neighbors
    Getting to know the people who live around you can help you feel settled in your new environment and your new routine. Within the first days of your move, it's a good idea to introduce yourself to the people next door. Tell them you are a newcomer and ask questions about your new neighborhood. You'd be surprised at how friendly your neighbors are. Be polite and keep your first interaction short. If you need recommendations or useful information about your new area, approach your neighbors again, offer some homemade cookies, and start a friendly conversation. 


  2. Take Frequent Walks
    The most straightforward piece of advice is sometimes one of the most effective. If you want to get to know your neighborhood, go see it for yourself. Taking frequent walks is an excellent de-stressor during or after the unpacking process, and it will also give you a chance to observe daily life in the community. Take your children to the nearest playground or go to the nearest gym to meet other parents or fitness enthusiasts. If you have a dog, take them for a walk in the nearest park.


  3. Join a Local Club or Community Organization
    One of the best ways to settle into your new neighborhood is to immerse yourself in the community. You can join local clubs, charities, and other community organizations, depending on your values, interests, and skills. This is a great way to meet like-minded people from the neighborhood and make friends. A polite introduction is all that's needed. Volunteering is also a great way to take an active part in bettering the neighborhood and learn about some of the issues that shape the community.


  4. Find the Locals' Favorites Spots
    Dining and entertainment hangouts can be a key to the true neighborhood vibe. Thanks to online resources such as Google and Yelp, it's easier than ever to find the best restaurants, bars, local attractions, museums, recreation centers, entertainment venues, and more. This will help you meet people from the neighborhood and feel like one of them.


  5. Shop Locally
    You can definitely find a box store in the area or buy your things online, but that little corner shop is something you'll find right in the neighborhood. So, whether you need to make a quick trip to the local café for a much-needed caffeine hit or a visit to the hardware for a few nails, you'll need to know where all the stores are. Shopping locally helps you engage with your new neighborhood while bolstering it at the same time.

As stressful as moving can be, getting to know your new neighborhood is an amazing opportunity to welcome new friends, find new passions, and explore the world with a fresh set of eyes. Still looking at Fort Worth homes for sale and aren't sure if you've found your dream spot? Our team can help. Contact us today for more information.

January
11

How to Make Your Home Smarter this Year

Smart Home DFW

Have you thought about jumping on the bandwagon and making your home smarter in 2021? If not, maybe you should. There are so many ways smart features increase your home's comfort, security, and efficiency that a smart system bears looking at. What's more, if you're listing your home among Dallas homes for sale or Plano homes for sale, you might include the smart system and appliances as a selling point.

In case you're not familiar with all the features you could have with a smart system, let's look at a rundown.

  1. Smart Home Assistant
    The smart home assistant is the foundation for any smart system. There are two that dominate the market: Amazon Echo with Alexa and Google Home with smart speakers. Similar to the way they work, these devices control all the other smart devices in your home, from lights and doorbells to security alarms and cameras.

  2. Smart Hub
    If you go with a smart speaker without a built-in hub, you'll need a smart hub for automating all the smart devices in your home through only one app. A couple of the best are the Smart Things Hub and the Hubitat Elevation Home Automation Hub.

  3. Lighting
    No need to get up. Add smart bulbs and control the lights through your phone, either by voice or touch. Still at the office? Turn on some light for the dog remotely. Change the mood by changing the color of the light if you opt for RGB lighting.
  4. HVAC Thermostat
    Manage your home's environment from near or far with a smart thermostat. Use an app on your smartphone or tablet to control the temperature; depending on if you have an in-house humidifier, you might even be able to raise or lower humidity. Some systems can sense your approach and raise or lower the temperature for your comfort. Need an analysis of your energy usage? A smart thermostat can do that as well.

  5. Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
    Smart smoke detectors not only detect smoke but send a message to your phone that there's a problem.

  6. Garage Door Opener
    Let workers in your garage when you're away with an app on your phone. Did you forget to close the garage door? No problem. You can close it remotely as long as you can access Wi-fi.

  7. Smart Security Features
    A complete smart security system should include indoor and outdoor cameras, door locks, lighting, and even the doorbell. Here's how these features play into your overall security strategy:
    • Indoor camera -- There are many reasons to monitor what's going on inside your home, from watching a babysitter or cleaning employee to monitoring your pets' activities to recording a break-in.
    • Outdoor camera -- Again, you want to be able to record who comes up to your front door and what they do. The Nest outdoor security camera comes with night vision and has a built-in microphone and speaker; plus, you can use the app for the Nest to view live footage on your smartphone.
    • Door lock -- These devices do away with the need for keys; you can unlock them via your smartphone or with a fingerprint or a pin.
    • Doorbell -- These come with a camera that lets you see who's ringing the bell and communicate with them through your phone. Some devices have the ability to recognize your visitors.

Our real estate agents can help you upgrade your home and appliances to create a more convenient, efficient, and secure smart system. Contact us today. 

September
15

Texas Home Sales Are Slowing as Prices Are Rising

Texas Home Sales Update

Texas has been one of the fastest growing housing markets in the country in the last few years. The state has led the nation in homebuilding and Texas' major metros - Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin - have had big increases in the number of preowned home sales. But the latest snapshot of the Lone Star State's hot housing market is a mixed bag. While statewide home sales rose almost 3 percent in the second quarter from 2017 levels, sales in the D-FW area slowed for the first time in years.  And sales barely rose in the Austin area, according to the latest data from the Texas Association of Realtors.

"The demand for housing remains at an all-time high, but statewide we're seeing a slower rate of increase in sales compared to previous quarters due to the lack of inventory of properties for sale," Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University said. Rising prices and higher mortgage rates have also dampened buying in some neighborhoods. Even with the dip in sales, the D-FW led the state in second quarter home sales by real estate agents with 28,934 properties changing hands.

D-FW home sales were 0.8 percent lower than in second quarter 2017. Statewide median home sales prices rose by 4.4 percent in the period ending with June. D-FW had the biggest jump in the number of homes for sale in the second quarter of any major Texas metro area. The number of homes on the market in North Texas grew by 14 percent, according to the Realtors.

  • Dallas Morning News, September 13, 2018 (online)
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