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Buying a Home in 2019 - Tips for Success

by The Hat Team


Are you planning to become a home owner in 2019?  If so, it’s important that you educate yourself about the real estate market so that you know what steps to take to successfully find and purchase the right home for you.

With the continued shortage of homes for sale, buyers need to be prepared for competition with other home buyers as homes will likely get many offers.  That being the case, it is vital that serious buyers put their best foot forward from the very start.  Their first offer will need to be their best one in a situation where there are likely to be multiple offers, because they may not have an opportunity to negotiate.  Unless you intend to pay cash, the best thing you can do is to get Pre-approved for a Mortgage Loan before you start shopping for your new home.  This will let buyers know that you are serious and that you can afford the purchase price.  Remember that in a seller’s market, homeowners are calling the shots and it’s not a time to take risks.  It’s also worth mentioning that the best offer might not be the offer of the most money.  Sellers will take into account the financing and likelihood of a successful closing. The more cash in the offer, the more likely the loan will close.

As a buyer in this market it benefits you to be flexible when it comes to a closing date. The best strategy is to have your Realtor find out from the sellers when they would like to close.  If they need to close by a certain date, they may pass on an offer if those buyers can’t close by that date.  Being flexible about when you want to take possession of the house will help you stand out to sellers as well. Sometimes sellers might need a little extra time to move out and if you can work with them, they might accept your offer over someone who needs to move in right away.

Be ready to make an offer right away. When a house comes on the market that you would like to bid on, have your pre-approval letter ready.  Take a look at the home as soon as possible and if it’s right for you, have your Realtor make an offer as soon as possible. This is not a time for a low-ball offer. A Realtor who is very familiar with the market can help you decide on the right amount to offer. In fact, one of the most important things you need to do to prepare to buy a home is to hire a professional, experienced Realtor like Sandra Nickel to assist you in the home buying process.

Finally, don’t wait!  Home prices are rising, as are interest rates. So, if you’re planning on becoming a home owner this year, now is the time to start your home search! 2019 National Housing Forecast

If you are in the market to sell or buy a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of professionals assist you with all your real estate needs! Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Building Wealth by Investing in Real Estate

by The Hat Team

 

Investing in real estate is a time-tested way to successfully build wealth.  While there are many ways to invest your savings, investing in real estate is unique in that it offers cash-flow, liquidity, profitability, and tax and diversification benefits that other investments do not.  If you’ve been thinking about how to build wealth for your retirement, you would be smart to consider investing in real estate. Diversification and Real Estate Investing

There are four primary ways to make money in real estate:

  1. Appreciation. When a property increases in value, you have real estate appreciation. Sometimes is happens due to changes in the market and other times it may be due to upgrades made on the property.
  2. Cash flow income (rent). Cash flow income is a nice perk of real estate investment that you don’t have in other types of investments.  It is generated when you purchase a home or apartment building or an office building and rent them out.
  3. Real Estate Income.  This is income earned by people who earn commissions through real estate transactions or buy property managers who oversee the operations of rental properties.
  4. Ancillary Real Estate Income - This can be a huge source of profit.  Things like application fees, vending machines and laundry facilities are money makers that go beyond the monthly rent.  Increase Your Bottom Line - Supplementing Rent with Ancillary Income

While there are certainly Risks of Real Estate Investing, there are a lot of benefits that outweigh the risks:

  1. Real estate is something that people who grew up lower to middle class are familiar with.  They may not have been exposed to things like stocks and bonds, but they likely know the importance of owning a home.  Buying a home is an investment that is reachable for them.
  2. Having an investment that you can see; something that is tangible, is psychologically important.
  3. You have the control in a real estate investment.  You don’t have to worry as much about being defrauded the way you might when entrust your money to someone else to invest for you.
  4. You will reap the benefits of tax advantages.
  5. You can Leverage Your Debt to buy more real estate and increase your net worth.

Whether you are thinking of purchasing a home for yourself and investing in your own future by building equity or you are considering buying property to rent out, investing in real estate is great way to build wealth!

If you are in the market to sell or buy a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of professionals assist you with all your real estate needs! Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Design Trends that Will Make Your House Shine in 2019!

by The Hat Team


With new trends endlessly popping up, it can be challenging to decide what home design projects are worth your time and money.  It will serve you well to research what trends are timeless and what trends have gone by the wayside before investing in updating your home, especially if you are getting ready to put it on the market.  To simplify that process for you, here is a list of five of the hottest home design projects for 2019!

  1. Vintage Lighting - Think less exposed lighting and more pendants and sconces. Brass and copper finishes will also be popular.  Changing light fixtures is a great way to change the whole look and feel of a room.
     
  2. Millennial Pink - Already a hit in the fashion world, this trendy hue is making its way into home décor in unique and creative ways in 2019.  This serene color softens any room and mixes well with other colors and metals.  15 Millennial Pink Accessories for Your Home
     
  3. Copper Accents - Say goodbye to rose gold - popular in 2018, and hello to copper for 2019.  The red and orange tones of copper add an earthy hue to any space. Copper Accents
     
  4. Bucket Sinks - Sometimes called a “trough sink”, the bucket sink is another vintage design trend that designers believe will make a huge comeback in 2019.  Farm-house inspired, these sinks will add a touch of nostalgia and personality to your kitchen and/or bathrooms.
     
  5. 70s Chic - You may have heard the saying “everything old is new again”, and that is so true for 2019!  Along with many other old design trends coming back in style, such as velvet and geometric patterns, the 70s era is going to be well represented in the new year.  Warm palettes, funky textures and abstract silhouettes will make your home feel groovy!

These are just a few of many Home Design Trends that can give your home a whole new aesthetic, and if you’re selling, make it more desirable to buyers in 2019!

If you are in the market to sell or buy a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of professionals assist you with all your real estate needs!  Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Photo Credit: trenddesignbook.com

519 Thorn Place: Low Maintenance Living in Midtown!

by The Hat Team

519 Thorn Place, Montgomery, Al 36106

MLS# 444814

2 Bedrooms | 1 Bathrooms | 1,589 sqft | Thorn Manor


The best of lock-it and leave-it living! This 2nd-floor condo at sought after Thorn Manor in Old Cloverdale in Midtown Montgomery.  This home boasts charm and character with a spacious layout. Large living room is light filled and plenty big to entertain in. Cozy front sunroom has wonderful views and is great for morning coffee, relaxing, or reading a good book. Dining room has antique built-in china cabinet for displaying your collectibles. Open galley style kitchen has lots of counter space and great storage. Two well-proportioned bedrooms share a hall bath. This unit even comes with a covered parking space out back, and has access to common courtyards and gardens. And, sellers just put in a brand-new heating and cooling unit! Move in ready, so call your favorite agent for a tour and start packing your bags.

Buyer & Seller Guides Fall 2018

by The Hat Team

1827 Ridge Ave. #6,  Montgomery, AL 36106 

MLS#438580

2 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,282 sqft | Historic Old Colverdale

Here is the perfect opportunity to own a true urban style condo right in the heart of Historic Old Cloverdale, just a short walk from dining and entertainment districts! With sleek lines and wide-open spaces, this low maintenance unit allows you to spend all your free time enjoying life. Relax on your very own private New-Orleans-style balcony, or enjoy the beautiful private inner courtyard from the huge picture window in your living room. Kitchen updated within last 10 yrs with granite and new appliances. Large main bedroom has great closet space. Loft area has guest bedroom/bath and a niche area for desk/home office. And, never worry about yardwork or grounds maintenance because that is included in the monthly condo fee! 

618 Mary Ann Dr, Montgomery, Al 36109 

MLS# 437018

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 2,018 sqft | Johnstown

Lots to love in this move-in ready Johnstown home on oversized lot. Ample sized living room and dining room, and spacious greatroom with stone fireplace and wall of built-in bookshelves. Kitchen has sunny breakfast area and updated countertops and stove. Plenty of parking in the back, plus huge back yard with tall pines. Wonderful neighborhood and close to shopping and dining, and zoned for Dalraida Elementary! 

1164 S McDonough St, Montgomery AL 36104 

MLS# 438223

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 3,064 sqft | Garden District

Play VisualTour‚Äč

A Live-Work Opportunity That Has Stood the Test of Tiime! Firehouse 9 is an exceptional and unique property, not only for Montgomery, but nationally, having been featured in magazines, books and television shows. Its notable renovation and rejuvenation has maintained the 1917 historic character, retained the original floor plan, and incorporated modern and up-to-date conveniences. Firehouse 9 is constructed of solid materials that surpass the standard of most buildings: 16” exterior masonry walls, old-growth timber interior framing, thick plaster finishes and bead-board ceilings. If you are looking to simplify your home and work routine, enhance your sense of identity, and want something different from the normal package of room names wrapped up in gypsum board and brick veneer, Firehouse 9 may be right for you. And, yes, it still has the fire pole!

Calling All Investors: 301 Bowling Green Drive

by The Hat Team

301 Bowling Green Drive, Montgomery, AL 36109 

MLS# 437096

4 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,650 sqft | College Grove

Calling all investors/flippers! Here is your opportunity to make $$$ on this spacious <span class="ContextualSpellingAndGrammarError SCXW90153456" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: transparent; background-repeat: repeat-x; background-position: left bottom; background-image: url(" data:image="" gif;base64,r0lgodlhbqaeapedaabvzdnvzdnv="" waaach5bauaaamalaaaaaafaaqaaaiinc2qchykqgeaow="=&quot;);" border-bottom:="" 1px="" solid="" transparent;="" background-color:="" inherit;"="">4 bedroom home in College Grove. Great bones, just needs cosmetic updating (kitchen, baths, finishes, flooring.) Separate living spaces, four bedrooms, plus enclosed porch and inground swimming pool. Large storage building. Roof is less than a year old, so that won't be an expense to the next owner! 

1319 Pampas Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117 

MLS# 436914

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,985 sqft | Woodmere

Pristine custom built one owner home in Woodmere. This spacious ranch is in immaculate condition! Wonderful living areas with the eat-in kitchen open to the large family room, huge sun room overlooking the shaded deck and nice sized bedrooms. Attached two-car carport and situated on a private pie shaped lot. You can move your family right in!  

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