Oct. 28, 2020

Freeze Alert

FREEZE WARNING AND PRECAUTIONS

 

Greetings!

 

Winter is coming!  Water pipes in your home may freeze and burst if immediate action is not taken prior to the drop in temperature.  Below are some essential tips to avoid damage to your home due to broken pipes: 

 

HOW TO PREVENT FROZEN PIPES 

·         Disconnect and drain water hoses

·         Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers

·         Turn off the sprinkler system

·         If the temperature drops below 20 degrees, keep one or two faucets running slowly at all times. Water running through the system will prevent the line from freezing

·         Keep the cabinet under the kitchen sink open so warm air can flow around the pipes 

 

HOW TO PREP THE INSIDE OF YOUR HOME FOR WINTER WEATHER 

·         Turn ceiling fans on low in reverse (clockwise when looking up) to circulate warm air

·         Inspect fireplaces and chimneys before using and have them cleaned if necessary 

 

HOW TO PREP THE OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME FOR WINTER WEATHER 

·         Bring potted plants inside

·         Cover any outside plants with sheets, towels, or blankets

 

Also, we strongly recommend that you make sure your homeowners or renter’s insurance is up to date to cover liability and unexpected damage from water, fire, windstorm, etc. to your personal belongings.  The owner and management company assume no liability for personal loss.

 

If you are a tenant, please contact your landlord or property management company immediately if you suspect a pipe has frozen or burst!

 

Oct. 5, 2020

Leaves Are Falling, Home Prices Are Not!

Just wanted to let everyone know that the housing market is still very strong. Although the market took a slight drop in April and May while everyone tried to figure out the pandemic and how to handle home showings, it has come back stronger than ever. The summer brought back more of a normal housing market with many homes receiving multiple offers.  Inventory has been slightly lower with the coronavirus still lingering, but homes are still selling at a quick pace. We anticipate the housing market in the Dallas area to remain strong for the rest of the year.  

 

 

 

Oct. 5, 2020

Local Pumpkin Patches

Pumpkin Patch

  

Sept. 19, 2020

Millennials and Home Improvement

 

Millennials are getting handier around the home since COVID-19 lockdown measures began, according to this new survey.

A recent poll of 2,000 homeowners found that compared to other generations, millennials have been the busiest, with 81% having tackled a home improvement project since March.

This survey examined the various home improvement projects that American homeowners have completed while stay-at-home orders have been in effect—and why they chose to take them on in the first place.

Two-thirds of the respondents say they tackled their project to save money while 49% simply needed something to keep themselves busy during lockdown.

Overall, the average homeowner has attempted four different home improvement projects since March and saved an estimated $160 simply by attempting to complete a project themselves.

Not only have these projects kept homeowners busy, they have also led to new hobbies; 73% of those who tackled a home improvement project on their own revealed that afterward, they felt resilient enough to keep taking on more projects and 67% of homeowners look forward to tackling more projects in the future.

It’s projected that most of these future projects will be holiday prep related. Holiday-prep projects include bathroom and kitchen renovation, filling driveway cracks, fixing the patio landscape and replacing countertops and kitchen floors.

 For the full article click here.

Sept. 19, 2020

“Groovy” Chocolate Sheet Cake

A Texas sheet cake from the 70’s, which is why it’s called “groovy”.

 

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Makes one 13 X 9 inch cake

 

 

Ingredients

 

For the cake:

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), plus 1 tablespoon for greasing the pan

2 cups sifted flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

eggs, beaten

 

For the frosting:

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

7 tablespoons whole milk

3 cups powdered sugar

1 pinch salt

1 teaspoon rum extract (you can also use vanilla extract)

1/3 stick of unsalted butter, melted

 

Directions

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 13- x 9- x 2-inch pan with 1 tablespoon of butter.

 

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler.

 

In a separate saucepan, melt the 1/2 cup butter over medium heat along with 1 cup of hot water and bring to a low boil. Mix in the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Take off the heat.

 

In a medium-size bowl, combine the sifted flour, sugar, and salt.

 

Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture and combine well with a wooden spoon.

 

Add the sour cream, vanilla, and baking soda to the mixture and combine well.

 

Add the beaten eggs and mix until they’re fully incorporated.

 

Add the batter to the greased cake pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick or knife into the center, and it comes out clean.

 

Let cool completely before frosting.

 

 

For the frosting:

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.

 

In a medium-size bowl, mix the milk and sugar gradually.

 

Add the salt and rum extract to the milk-sugar mixture and stir until combined. Then add the melted chocolate and stir until combined.

 

Add the melted butter and mix until fully incorporated.

 

Let the frosting cool slightly, before spreading on cooled cake.

 

For more detailed instructions and more photos see the full article here.

June 7, 2020

House Hunting During COVID-19

Many changes are now in effect that could actually make the overall home buying process easier, safer, and quicker. The new norm has become more of a semi-contactless process. We have seen a lot more electronic signing of documents and even electronic delivery of option and earnest money. The most important thing is to ensure the safety of all parties involved and respect the requests of individual homeowners while viewing their personal homes.

There are, however, a few changes that will take some getting used to. For example:
        1.      Some families are delaying putting their home on the market, so there is less inventory than we are used to this time of year.
        2.      A few homes only allow for a virtual tour. So, you may not always have the benefit of a physical inspection.
        3.      Mortgage lenders have tightened up their lending standards during this economic uncertainty. So, it could be a little more difficult to obtain financing right now.  It is always best to get the pre-approval from your lender prior to house hunting.

The home buying process has changed, but there is still a great deal of opportunity! With historically low interest rates and the busy summer season being upon us, we are confident you can still find your dream home, even in a pandemic!

Please let us know how we can help you!

June 7, 2020

This Summer is the 2020 Real Estate Season!

In 2020, Summer is the new Spring
Homebuyers are jumping back into the market as stay-at-home orders are starting to lift.  The busy spring real estate season is shifting into the summer because many families put their plans on hold, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, summer is the new spring for real estate.

What’s the Opportunity for Buyers?
Due to historically low interest rates, buyers are coming back to the market, even with forced unemployment and stay-at-home orders. With mortgage rates at such low levels, there is more incentive than ever to buy a home this summer.

What’s the Opportunity for Sellers?
Many sellers were waiting out the spring season to see what the market was going to do. Although more people are now putting their homes up for sale this month as compared to last month, current inventory is still well below last year’s. Buyers are definitely looking. If you have been thinking of selling, now could be the perfect time.

One Plus Realty is committed to help you navigate both buying and/or selling, even during this pandemic.

May 6, 2020

How to Celebrate Mother's Day While Social Distancing!

Mother’s Day is almost here and for many families that means celebrating apart. 

This year, you will need a mix of love and extra imagination to make your Mom feel special.  Below are a few ideas to Celebrate Mother’s Day While Social Distancing.

 

Send a Video

Record a video listing the many reasons you appreciate your mom or be silly and sing her favorite song!

Window Visit and/or Drive-By

If you are lucky enough to live close by your Mom, then you can pack up and do a window visit or drive by.

Watch a Movie Together

You could decide on a time and day then pick out a movie or TV show that you want to watch together. Pop some popcorn and video chat so you can interact with each other.

Family Video Chat

Arrange a time that your Mom and your family can visit together. You can use Skype, Facetime, Zoom or Alexa.

Send her a Gift

You could go “old-school” and use snail mail! There is just something that is very special about a handwritten letter or card. You could also have your Mom’s favorite food delivered to her home or send her flowers.

Activity Gift Boxes

If you want to do more than virtually chat, add an activity!  Send your Mom a gift box with a fun activity like a DIY candle making kit, a terrarium gift kit or a personalized paint-by-number canvas.

At-Home Spa Day Kit

There are plenty of spa day gift boxes you can buy that your Mom will like. Keep it simple by providing a face mask, bubble bath, candles and maybe a nice bottle of champagne or her favorite drink.

 

Send a Care Package

Collect all of your Mom's favorite items and send them to her.  Grab her favorite snacks, candles, a book from her favorite authors, her favorite wine, a gift card to her favorite store ... the options are endless.

Keep in mind that Mother’s Day might look different this year. However, no matter what is going on in the world it doesn’t take away from the love you have for your Mother. It’s not what you “get” on Mother’s Day. It really is just nice to hear, “I love you, Mom. Thank you.” That is way more than enough.

Feb. 23, 2020

10 Commandments for Home Buyers

 

 1. Thou shall not change jobs or become unemployed.

 2. Thou shall not buy a car, truck or van unless you plan to live in it.

 3. Thou shall not use your credit cards or let your payment fall behind.

 4. Thou shall not spend the money you have saved for your down payment.

 5. Thou shall not buy furniture before you buy your house.

 6. Thou shall not originate any new inquiries on your credit report.

 7. Thou shall not make any large deposits into your bank account. If you will receive a gift, talk with us first.

 8. Thou shall not change bank accounts.

 9. Thou shall not co-sign for anyone.

10. Thou shall not purchase anything until (WAY) after the closing.

 

*Committing any of these acts can dramatically alter your credit score or debt to income ratio and can even block your chance of closing on your home purchase.

 

For more details see the full article here.

 

Jan. 18, 2020

Inspiring Goals for 2020

 

Personal

Listen more. Talk less.

 

Family

Reach out to a distant relative.

 

Social

Spend less time on social media, and more face to face time with those who matter most to you.

 

Home

Owning less is better than organizing more.

 

Work

Be more proactive, and less reactive.

 

Health

Make your health a priority. Drink more water. Eat more greens.

 

Financial

Although money cannot buy happiness, there is something to be said for the peace of mind financial stability can bring.

 

Travel

Prioritize experiences over things. The future is uncertain. Have all the amazing experiences you can while you can!