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Montgomery Real Estate Blog

The Hat Team


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Midtown Montgomery Home for Sale:

3040 Merrimac Dr, Montgomery AL 36111

MLS# 422400

4 bedrooms | 2 baths | 2,017 square feet | Gladlane Estates

This immaculate Midtown Montgomery home has been meticulously maintained and is move-in ready! With plenty of room to spread out, you will enjoy two separate living areas and 4 ample bedrooms. Wall of built-in bookshelves in the den/family room allows you to store all those books and keepsakes. Den/ family room also is bathed in natural light from double windows and a skylight! Large fenced yard on a corner lot ideal for pets or playtime. Outdoor living is ideal on the covered porch, and don't miss the large storage room off the carport perfect for workshop, home crafts, or man-cave. Roof and HVAC are relatively new.

Marketed by Montgomery AL Realtor Billy Young, Sandra Nickel Hat Team!

Preparing to Sell Your House: Getting Organized

by The Hat Team

If you are planning to put your house on the market, there is no time like the present to start getting organized for the process of staging, showing and moving out of your home.

Begin now by following the tips listed below and you won’t feel so overwhelmed when it’s time for that first open house!

  • Eliminate Piles before you sell.  Some of us suffer from "flat surface syndrome" .  If there is a flat surface, it’s covered with “stuff”.  Now is the time to eliminate any of the “stuff” cluttering the horizontal surfaces in your home. Things such as mail, magazines and other odds and ends that are piled on the tops of tables, desks and shelves should be removed. 
  • Clear out storage areas.  If your closets, bookcases, pantry, and other storage areas are overstuffed, this is a red flag for potential buyers that screams, “not enough storage!”.  Keeping a minimum number of items in your house will leave the impression that there is a generous amount of storage in your home.
  • Get rid of excess. Eliminate or pack up items that you won’t need before you move.  For example, only keep enough dishes, towels, sheets, toys etc. that you will use during the time your house is for sale. Why have ten sets of sheets in your linen closet when you will only need one or two?
  • Remove seasonal items.  Pack away things that are only used during other seasons.  If you are selling in the fall/winter, pack away your spring/summer clothes.  You can also pack away off-season holiday items. 
  • Throw things away. If it’s worn out, broken, rusty, stained, torn or incomplete, it is time to let it go.  If your belongings look shabby and old, your house will look that way too.  Don’t hesitate to throw such items away.
  • Donate items you no longer want or need.  When you are cleaning and sorting items, if you come across things that you don’t use now and won’t use in a new home, donate them.  There is no point in packing and moving something you will never use.  But if it’s in good shape, someone else will get use out of it.
  • Sell before you sell. If you find that you have many items to eliminate from your home, think about selling what you don’t store, throw away or donate.  You can sell at a yard sale, bring items to a consignment shop, or list items online.  But have reasonable expectations regarding how much money you can make; don’t overprice.  Remember the goal is to dispose of as many things as possible.
  • Rent a storage unit.  Move large items/equipment that you don’t use often to a storage unit.  It can also provide space for packed boxes to give you a head start in preparing for your move.
  • Improve curb appeal.  Remove any clutter (toys, lawn ornaments, garbage bins) from your yard.  The outdoor spaces provide the first and last impression for potential buyers and as such, it is important that they look neat and tidy.

Moving can be stressful, so don’t wait to start preparing.  Get a head start before putting your house on the market!

Midtown Montgomery Home for Sale:

3149 Lebron Ave, Montgomery AL 36106

MLS# 422468

3 bedrooms | 2 baths | 1,831 square feet | Cloverdale

Trying to find that perfect Cloverdale/Idlewild 3 bedroom, 2 bath? Look no further! This move-in ready home has a lovely living room and dining room with beautiful hard wood floors, and a fabulous newly renovated kitchen with granite and stainless appliances. All these rooms flow nicely for entertaining or just hanging with the family. Relax on the back deck overlooking the large back yard or the awesome screened porch. This Midtown Montgomery home is oozing with charm and is perfectly located within walking distance to all your favorites, especially the concerts in the park. Check it out today!

Marketed by Montgomery AL Realtor Lauren Layfield, Sandra Nickel Hat Team!

Mortgage Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

by The Hat Team

Deciding to buy a home is exciting. But it can also be overwhelming, especially for first-time home-buyers.  There is so much to think about. Before you start your home search, you should find a mortgage lender who can help walk you through the home-buying process.  Follow these mortgage tips and you will be prepared to purchase the home of your dreams!


With a little homework, you will be able to find the best lender to help walk you through the home-buying process.  Ask us, we know the good guys and gals. Interview lenders. Find out what their closing time averages are and look up customer satisfaction rates.  This is likely the largest financial investment you will ever make, so be sure that the lender you choose is right for you both personally and financially.


There is a difference between what you can afford and what you are willing to spend.  Many factors play into this decision.  Your lifestyle, the size of home you’re looking for, and other expenses should all be considered.  You might be shocked by what the numbers say. Chances are you won’t want to spend as much as you qualify for.  So, work out a budget first and don’t overestimate what you can afford.


The last thing you want to happen is to find the perfect home and not be able to make an offer because you haven’t been pre-approved for a loan.  Taking the time to do this now will save you time and grief in the future.


Now is not the time to make large purchases.  Avoid taking out new lines of credit.  Don’t purchase a new car or apply for a new credit card.  Make sure that you are not adding to your credit card balances.  Remember that your debt to income ratio is a vital piece of the mortgage puzzle and can be a deal breaker if you go over your limit.  Save large purchases for after closing day.

  1. DON’T RUSH!

Now that you’ve got all your ducks in a row, the fun begins.  Take your time searching for the right home.  This is a financial investment that you will be living with for a long time, so don’t settle.  Sandra Nickel and The Hat Team Realtors can answer any questions you have about purchasing your first home.  Give us a call today at (334) 834-1500.

Autumn Home Maintenance

by The Hat Team

Autumn is a season of change.  Leaves change color and fall from the trees, days get shorter and temperatures get cooler.  Yes, it’s really coming—we promise!  It’s also a good time to take care of home maintenance projects to prepare your home for colder weather.  Follow these autumn home maintenance tips and your house will be nice and cozy this winter:

  • Clean gutters and downspouts. This should be done regularly to keep them clear of debris. You won’t have to do it as often if you install gutter guards.
  • Check the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks for any holes or rotting.  Fill holes using caulk or replace wood if necessary.
  • Give your roof a thorough inspection.  Look for shingles that are curling, buckling or cracking and replace them.  If there appears to be a great amount of damage or if your roof is just worn out from age, it’s time to replace the whole thing.  Hire a licensed professional if you’re not sure.  Make sure to also check for leaks around skylights, pipes and chimneys. 
  • Hire a service to inspect and clean your wood burning fireplace and chimney and to make any necessary repairs to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Cooler temperatures and lower humidity make autumn a good time to paint the exterior of your home.
  • Filters for your furnace and heating system should be cleaned and replaced.  Have a licensed heating contractor come out to inspect and service your gas heater or furnace.  Regular maintenance will keep it running proficiently and save you money on your heating bills.
  • Check doors and windows for leaks and drafts both inside and out.  Fill in cracks with caulking or install weather stripping.
  • Test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and put fresh batteries in them.  These are potentially life-saving devices and it is vital to take good care of them.

Check these tasks off your list now and you will be able to enjoy a warm and comfy winter!

Don’t know reliable people to contact?  Just give us a call because we do!

Montgomery AL Home for Sale: 7304 Glencoe Ct, Montgomery AL 36117

by The Hat Team

Montgomery AL Home for Sale:

7304 Glencoe Ct, Montgomery AL 36117

MLS# 421203

3 bedrooms | 2 baths | 1,527 square feet | Copperfield


This pristine 3/2 has fresh paint and new carpet and a nice open split bedroom floor plan. Large eat in kitchen with lots of natural light. Great room with vaulted ceiling and fenced in back yard with detached storage and patio. Great location convenient to shopping, AUM and I-85. Check it out today!

Marketed by Montgomery AL Realtor Lauren Layfield, Sandra Nickel Hat Team!


Letohatchee AL Home for Sale:

5576 W Hickory Grove Rd, Letohatchee AL 36047

MLS# 421221

3 bedrooms | 2 baths | 1,248 square feet | Letohatchee

Twenty acres of private living in South Montgomery County with a pool and greenhouse. 2015 double wide mobile home with large front and back porches. Home features 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, ceiling HVAC vents and crown molding throughout. Long driveway places home at end of property, on a rise with nice views. Some hardwoods and cleared area;  small stream at east side of property. Property has fenced dog yard and partial fence around entire property. Two outdoor pole lamps! Salt water pool and hot tub for relaxing. Deer and hunting! Near Hyundai plant! All this for less than 150k!! Give us or your favorite agent a call to see today!

Marketed by Montgomery AL Realtor Frank Powell, Sandra Nickel Hat Team!

Choosing a Self-Storage Unit - What You Should Know

by The Hat Team

Whether you are downsizing and need a storage unit to hold belongings you don’t have room for in your home, or you are putting your house on the market and need to store extraneous items so you can stage your rooms to sell, you want to choose one that will best suit your needs while keeping your valued possessions safe and secure.  Here are some questions to ask before choosing a storage unit:

  1. What are you looking for in a storage unit?  Do you need a large or small one?  A storage unit manager can help determine what size unit you need if you provide a list of items you intend to store there.  Will you want climate control?  Units with climate control are more expensive, but if you are storing delicate items, it will be worth the extra cost to keep them safe should temperatures greatly fluctuate.
  2. Where is the storage facility located?  Will it be convenient for you to get there? Storage facilities located in highly populated areas tend to be more expensive than those in more remote areas.  If you are storing things long term and won’t be visiting the unit frequently, choosing one located in a remote area may be less expensive for you. But if you are going to need access to your things on a regular basis, you will want one that is located close to where you live or work.
  3. What are the business hours of the facility?  Not all storage facilities are open 24/7.  You will want to make sure that you can get into your storage unit during hours that suit your needs.  Find out if their business hours work with your schedule or if they offer on-demand access.
  4. What kind of security do they have?  The fact that you are willing to pay to store your belongings means that they have value to you.  You want them protected.  A well-run storage unit facility should have at least some of the following security features:
  • surveillance system that includes cameras and alarms
  • a strong fence surrounding entire facility
  • a gate that only provides access to people authorized to be there
  • security guards
  • smoke detectors, fire alarms and sprinkler systems
  • well-constructed units built with safety and security in mind (good ventilation to prevent mildew, raised floors in case of flooding, solid doors with strong locks)
  1. What is the condition of the facility?  Observe the facility to see if it is kept clean and tidy.  Ask about pest control and look for any evidence of infestations. Make sure there are loading docks and equipment available to you and that there is sufficient parking near the units.  Check it out at night to see if it is well-lit.  Ask how many units are currently rented. If the number is low, that is a red flag indicating that something might be wrong.
  2. Do they offer theft and damage insurance coverage for your possessions?  For peace of mind, it is important that they do.

The most important thing to remember is that you should never choose as storage facility without seeing it in person first.  Visit a few and take notes on the positives and negatives of each. Making an informed decision will be the best way to be sure that your treasured personal property is in good hands.

Midtown Montgomery Home for Sale: 3549 Melton Rd, Montgomery AL 36106

by The Hat Team

Midtown Montgomery Home for Sale:

3549 Melton Rd, Montgomery AL 36106

MLS# 420835

4 bedrooms | 3 baths | 1 half-bath | 2,823 square feet | Vaughn Meadows

Situated at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, this one owner home is ready for its next family. From the wrap around covered porch, you step into a lovely foyer with formal living room (that would make a great office) and dining room on either side. The eat-in kitchen has granite counter tops, breakfast bar and built-in buffet. Large family room has brick floors, built-in bookcases, wet bar and wood paneling on the fireplace wall. Master suite is downstairs with 3 bedrooms upstairs, one with en-suite bath and two connected by a Jack and Jill bath. Tons of storage everywhere and don't miss the rec room/converted garage off the laundry room (perfect for a den/playroom) with even more storage space. Centrally located in Midtown Montgomery and close to everything!

Marketed by Montgomery AL Realtor Lauren Layfield, Sandra Nickel Hat Team!


Making Your Home Safe for Children

by The Hat Team

The statistics for household childhood injuries are staggering.  Over 3.4 million children experience some kind of accidental injury in the home each year.  While there is no way to guarantee child safety at home, there are certainly many things you can do to help prevent accidents and injuries.  Here are some tips for childproofing your home:

  1. Use safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas to help prevent poisonings and other injuries.  Keep dangerous items such as medicines, household cleaners, lighters, knives etc. locked up. Even things with “child resistant” packaging should be kept in areas that children cannot access.  Child resistant does not mean child proof.
  2. Safety gates can be used to prevent falls down stairs and to keep children out of areas with possible dangers.  When installing a gate at the top of stairs, make sure that it is bolted to the wall.  Make sure you purchase gates that meet safety standards.
  3. To avoid burns, install anti-scald devices on your showers and faucet heads. 
  4. Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home.  It’s important to check them frequently to be sure they are working properly.  Change the batteries at least once a year.  Many people change the batteries twice a year when the time changes in the fall and spring.  Carbon monoxide alarms should be used in your home as well.
  5. Corner and edge bumpers on tables and fireplace hearths will help prevent injuries if a child falls against them.
  6. Children are very curious and it would be no surprise to find them trying to stick things into plug outlets.  Prevent electrical shock by placing outlet covers in outlets that you use. Make sure they fit snugly and are not easy for a child to remove. They should also be large enough that they won’t be a choking hazard should a child get one out.  If there is an outlet that you know you won’t be using, covert it with an outlet plate. 
  7. Make sure that your window coverings are safe for your children.  Cordless window coverings are best, but you can also follow these tips for safety if you have window coverings with cords.
  8. Large pieces of furniture and appliances can tip over and crush a child.  Make them secure by anchoring them to the floor and/or attaching them to the wall.
  9. If you have a pool or spa, it is vital that you have it surrounded by a fence that is at least 4 feet tall and includes a self-closing, self-latching gate. Doors that lead out to the pool or spa should have alarms on them to indicate if someone has opened them.  A pool alarm adds another layer of protection. 

Again, while childproofing your home will not guarantee safety, it will go a long way toward protecting your children from injuries or worse.  The peace of mind you will have knowing you have done everything you can to protect your children will be well worth the effort and time put into making sure your home is as safe as possible.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 1406




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