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Staging Your Home on a Budget

by The Hat Team


Chances are, if you are getting ready to sell your home, you are also preparing to purchase a new home. So, the last thing you want to do is spend more money on your current property.  However, you certainly want to get the best price possible when selling it, and per the National Association of Realtors, for every $100 invested in staging, the potential return is $400. As you can see, it will pay off in the end to stage your home to entice potential buyers.

Some people will hire a certified staging professional to get the job done.  While it might seem easier than doing it yourself, it is not the only way to get that SOLD sign planted in your front yard.  There are some simple, yet effective home-staging hacks that won’t break the bank:

  • Roll Out a Welcome Mat - Sounds simple, right?  It is!  First impressions mean everything when selling your home.  Also, prospective buyers tend to linger by the front door before the real estate agent opens the home for viewing, so an inviting entrance is crucial. A new welcome mat can cost as little as $15.  Purchase a modern mat that compliments the style of your home.  To further enhance the entryway, add a little green with some fresh plants.  An enticing entrance will make buyers want to see more!
     
  • Mount Mirrors in Strategic Spots - Every home has spaces like a dim hallway or small space that lacks natural light.  To spruce up these areas, hang a few mirrors.  They add extra light to rooms that look dark, and create an illusion of space. They will pack an extra punch if placed next to or directly across from a window because they will pull in more sun.  For a more decorative look, create a collage of several mini mirrors in different shapes and sizes rather than just slapping one large mirror on the wall. You can find inexpensive mirrors at craft stores and discount home stores. How to Use Mirrors to Create More Space
     
  • Set Tables and Serving Areas for Entertaining - A home filled with friends, food and laughter is a happy one!  Paint a picture of what entertaining in your home will be like for potential buyers.  Keep it simple, but aesthetically pleasing.  Lay out cloth napkins, wine glasses and solid plates in the dining room. Use matching mugs and bowls in the kitchen to produce the feel of family meals.
     
  • Replace Personal Photos with Art Work - Over the years, you have turned your house into a home by decorating with family portraits and personal mementos.  But potential buyers are going to want to be able to envision themselves living there and that is hard to do with your family members present in the form of pictures in every room.  So, get a head start on packing up your house by putting your pictures away and replacing them with art work that compliments the style of the home.  You can find inexpensive art at discount stores or you can print beautiful landscape photos to put in frames.
     
  • Make the Bathroom Look Elegant with White Linens - Spruce up your bathroom with crisp, fresh, all-white linens.  White towels, bath mats, and shower curtains give the room an instant update.  They inspire the feeling of a luxury spa without spending a lot of money.  Take it a step further by including some "spa like" displays. Simple additions like an orchid, candles and special soaps will go a long way. Spa-Like Bathrooms
     
  • Arrange Decorative Scenes - Decorative displays can give a cozy, lived-in ambience to a house.  Assembling classy vignettes of colorful vases, lanterns, books, plants, baskets, and other items atop dressers, counters and bookshelves will make a house feel more like a home. Group items in odd numbers and in varying heights and shapes while keeping them in the same color family. You will be amazed at what you can find to use in your house, but if you need to buy some things, you can mix in inexpensive pieces from craft and discount stores.  Done properly, these displays will have people feeling like they are looking at rooms right out of home décor magazines…and that is a sure way to impress prospective buyers. Staging Your Home with Inexpensive Decor

If you are in the market to buy or sell 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: realtor.com

739 Felder Ave: Gorgeous Old Cloverdale Colonial

by The Hat Team

739 Felder Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106 ​

MLS# 452990

5 Bedrooms | 3.5 Bathrooms | 3,221 sqft | | Cloverdale

 

Play VisualTour

 

They don't build 'em like this anymore! Here is your opportunity to live in Old Cloverdale among some of the most beautifully restored homes Montgomery has to offer. Grand scale, high ceilings, transoms, hardwoods and more. Huge deep lot... Features five spacious bedrooms with the main being located on the first floor.. Wonderful upgraded kitchen by current owner..... Relaxing side porch...Roof replaced in 2009 per seller. Fabulous location....See it with your favorite agent or give us a call today...

3018 Pelzer Ave: Don’t Miss Out on This Morningview Beauty!

by The Hat Team

3018 Pelzer Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36109

MLS# 454063

3 Bedrooms | 1 Bathroom | 1,216 sqft | Rosemont Heights

 

Move right in this adorable Morningview beauty! Perfect for a first time home buyer, this home should be first on your list. Recently updated kitchen with open cabinets, new counter tops and new appliances. Fresh paint inside and out, beautiful hard wood floors, nice sized bedrooms, darling bath and laundry room! Check this one out today! 

Using Plants to Prevent Pests

by The Hat Team

This time of year, many of us enjoy spending time outside in our yards. Whether we are playing, dining, doing yardwork or simply relaxing, our time outdoors can be ruined by nasty pests.  There are many remedies for getting rid of annoying insects, but if you are looking for natural ways to do the job, here are several plants you can put in your yard that will repel unwanted insects.  While they will not guarantee an insect free environment, they will help!

BASIL

Basil repels house flies and mosquitoes.  Use containers for planting basil by your house doors or in any outdoor areas where you like to relax and entertain.  It will serve more than one purpose because you can also use the fresh basil in your cooking!

LAVENDER

This pretty plant repels moths, fleas, mosquitoes and flies.  Its pleasing, sweet fragrance appeals to humans, but the bugs hate it! You can place bouquets inside your home to keep flies away.  Outdoors, plant it in sunny areas or near the entryways of your house to keep those areas pest free.  Check out the Everything Lavender website to find out how you can use lavender oil to make your own mosquito repellent.

LEMONGRASS

Lemongrass contains the natural oil, citronella, which is commonly found in candles that are used to keep mosquitoes away.  Ornamental lemongrass can grow up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide in one season.  It is an annual that does well in a pot or in the ground in sunny, well-drained locations.  Its aromatic, narrow leaves can be used in chicken and pork dishes and to flavor soups and salad dressings.  Many Asian recipes call for lemongrass.

MINT

Another plant that mosquitoes don’t like.  It’s best grown in pots rather than in the ground because it spreads aggressively.  Once established in a garden, it can be difficult to remove.  The leaves can be used to flavor minty iced tea. Containers of mint strategically placed in the garden or on the patio will assist in keeping nearby plants insect free. Fresh Mint Iced Tea

ALLIUMS

If you have a vegetable garden, beautiful, tall alliums will help keep insects out of it.  Considered a broad-spectrum natural insecticide, plants in the Allium family repel several insects that plague vegetable gardens, including slugs, aphids, carrot flies and cabbage worms.

CHRYSANTHEMUMS

The ingredient in chrysanthemums that makes them so effective as an insect repellent is pyrethrum.  Roaches, ants, Japanese beetles, ticks, silverfish, lice, fleas, bedbugs, spider mites, harlequin bugs and root-knot nematodes all will avoid chrysanthemums.  Pyrethrum is used in America’s most commonly available home and garden insecticide sprays. You can make your own bug spray using chrysanthemum oil, but make sure you know the risks of using it first. Uses of Chrysanthemum Oil

PETUNIAS

These whimsical beauties repel aphids, tomato hornworms, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers and squash bugs.  Some people think of them as “nature’s pesticide”.  Popular because of their availability in a variety of bright colors, they require minimal maintenance and can be grown in numerous locations including beds, containers and hanging baskets.

If you are in the market to buy or sell 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 credits: Pinterest


Congratulations!  You’ve just moved into your new house!  It’s exciting, but it’s also a huge transition.  It takes time to make a new house feel like home. Here is a guide to help you get started:

  1. Be active.  If you have moved to a new area where you don’t know anyone, you may be tempted to isolate yourself.  After all, you have unpacking to do and maybe a new job to start. But try to resist that temptation.  Staying socially, physically and communally active triggers significant feelings that create the sense of home.  Make sure you take time to exercise; join a community such as a church, the school PTA or a book club and shop locally to get to know your surroundings.
     
  2. Surround yourself with living things.  A move can be difficult, especially if you are grieving the place you left.  It’s not uncommon for people to become depressed after moving to a new home.  Combat those feelings by cultivating relationships with living things. Start a garden, spend time with your children and pets or volunteer in the community.  Volunteer Opportunities in Montgomery
     
  3. Comfort yourself with colors.  Decorate with a palette of colors that lift your mood.  Choose colors that promote calm, happy feelings.  For example, earth tones create a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere that evokes feelings stability, reassurance and ease, while light pastel colors stimulate feelings of peacefulness, calm and cleanliness. 14 Calming Paint Colors
     
  4. Surround yourself with the familiar. Even before you are completely settled into your home, placing familiar items such as family pictures and heirlooms in your new space can make it feel more like you.  Some other ways to make you feel at home: cook favorite meals, burn candles with favorite scents and/or play your favorite music.
     
  5. Unpack. This may seem obvious, but it’s not unusual for people to still have boxes cluttering the house months after moving in.  Take your belongings out of the boxes right away and begin decorating and arranging furniture. The sooner you do this, the sooner this once strange place will feel like home! The Best Way to Unpack After Moving

If you are in the market to buy or sell 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: pinterest.com

16 Brittany Drive N: Move-in Ready Home!

by The Hat Team

16 Brittany Drive N, Elmore, AL 36025

MLS# 452746

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,872 sqft | Brittany Place

This wonderful Brittany Place home has been meticulously maintained and is ready for new owners. Floorplan has plenty of entertaining and living space, with great room open to formal dining room. Sunny breakfast room features a breakfast bar, and is open to the wide galley style kitchen. Kitchen has plenty of counter and cabinet space, and is one of the current owner's favorite features of the home. Split bedroom design has two guest rooms and a bath on the front side of the house, and spacious master at the rear for privacy. Master bath features jetted garden tub, separate shower, and split vanities! Master also has large walk in closet. Out back you can relax on the screened-in porch or entertain out on the open deck. Low maintenance back yard means less lawn care and more YOU time! Just across the street is the neighborhood gazebo and party pavilion, shared by all residents in Brittany Place. And, for added space, you can purchase (separately) the vacant lot to the right of the home. Call listing agent for details.

Marketed by Montgomery Al Realtor Billy Young, Sandra Nickel Hat Team

3033 Willow Lane: Beautifully Updated Home!

by The Hat Team

3033 Willow Lane, Montgomery AL, 36109

MLS# 452731

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,344 sqft | Forest Hills

You must see the upgrades in this beautiful Forest Hills home! Gleaming hardwood floors greet you as you enter the very spacious Great Room with vaulted ceilings, extensive crown molding, incredible trim and marble fireplace, built-in bookcase. This split floor plan features a large main bedroom that leads to a wonderfully updated bath with decorator tile, granite counter tops... Two nice size bedrooms are located on the right side of the house with an updated bath between them. New carpet in all three bedrooms. Fabulous updated kitchen, decorator hard tile floors....refrigerator remains... breakfast bar... and a very large dining area that leads to an incredible 14 X 32 screened porch that looks high over a wooded back yard. What a peaceful place to relax! Nice covered front porch, additional patio and a well-manicured mature front lawn makes this home complete!

Marketed by Montgomery Al Realtor Frank Powell, Sandra Nickel Hat Team

3608 Princess Ann Street, Montgomery, Al 36109

MLS# 452086

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,883 sqft | Hillman Heights

One family owned since 1961!!! Dalraida school district!! Open kitchen/ den concept...Very nice updated baths. Stack washer and dryer inside the home are included.  Hardwood floor in living/dining and hardwood under carpet in bedrooms. The covered patio is wonderful for cookouts and viewing landscaped fully fenced backyard. Double driveway with single covered carport.  Extra-large utility room can double as a workshop. Owner is retiring and relocating... let us or your favorite realtor show this great value and wonderful home today.

Marketed by Montgomery Al Realtor Frank Powell, Sandra Nickel Hat Team

 

Getting Away from It All in Alabama

by The Hat Team

Memorial Day is around the corner and with it comes the unofficial start of the summer vacation season.  If you’ve been thinking about where you can go to “get away from it all” this summer, you won’t have to venture far.  From relaxing coastal beaches, to historic inns and B&Bs, Alabama is home to many wonderful places to visit for a weekend getaway. Here are 5 of best weekend getaways in Alabama:

  1. Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa - Located in the charming little beach hamlet of Point Clear, AL, this resort offers a relaxing, entertaining oasis to guests of all ages and interests.  It boasts two exceptional golf courses, a 20,000 square-foot Grand Spa, a fabulous pool complex for kids of all ages, ten tennis courts, and miles of white sand beaches stretching along Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast.  You’ll enjoy dining at the Saltwater Grill seafood restaurant, and the Grand Steakhouse.  Elegant rooms and suites are beautifully decorated and include all the amenities you could ever want - free Wi-Fi, LCD TVs, a coffeemaker, fridge, and a work area with an ergonomic chair.

Photo Credit: historichotels.org

  1. Magnolia Springs B&B - This romantic Inn is set on a tree-lined street in the heart of Magnolia Springs, Alabama.  Charm oozes from this historical landmark which offers beautiful accommodations, scrumptious homemade breakfasts and a tranquil ambiance that makes it impossible not to relax.  Ideally located for exploring the area, you can venture out for a scenic drive to nearby Mobile Bay on the Gulf of Mexico, or play golf at one of the several courses in the area.

Photo Credit: magnoliasprings.com

  1. Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa - If you’re looking for elegance and romance, this is the place for you.  This resort offers 259 guest rooms with private balconies and lake views.  Upgrade to a high-level room and enjoy scenic views and a private Jacuzzi.  Lots of activities are available from jogging/walking trails, to a saltwater swimming pool, to a well-equipped fitness center. Indulge in a relaxing spa treatment, or just kick back and admire the breathtaking Alabama views.

Photo Credit: engagedbirmingham.com

  1. The Hotel at Auburn University - Located on the Auburn University Campus, this is the premiere hotel facility for all things Auburn.  Filled with charm, it offers sleek guest rooms and suites with top-of-the-line amenities for their guests, like premium linens, flat screen televisions, and walk-in rainfall showers.  You can upgrade to a room with a private living room and wet bar. Enjoy upscale dining onsite at the Mediterranean restaurant Ariccia Trattoria, and kick back and relax while listening to jazz at the Piccolo cocktail lounge.  Other amenities include an outdoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness center and the 22,000-square foot Dixon Conference Center.  There is a lot to do and see in and around Auburn, so check out this list of the 15 Best Things to Do in Auburn Alabama.

Photo Credit: agoda.com

  1. The Mistletoe Bough Bed & Breakfast - How could anyone resist a place called The Mistletoe Bough?  This quaint, romantic bed and breakfast offers a choice of five different rooms and suites with private bathrooms and Victorian-style décor.  Relaxation is the name of the game whether you are strolling through the lovely gardens or sipping sweet tea while sitting on the wraparound veranda.  Historic downtown Alexander City and several restaurants are walking distance from the B&B. But don’t worry about breakfast, because a buffet is served every morning in the Victorian dining room. Complimentary coffee, tea, and cool drinks are available throughout the day.

Photo Credit: m.alexcityoutlook.com

If you are in the market to buy or sell 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!

3115 Lexington Road: Cloverdale Cottage with Manicured Yard

by The Hat Team

3115 Lexington Road, Montgomery, Alabama 36106

MLS# 452469

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,620 sqft | Cloverdale 


Cloverdale/Idelwild for under 100k!!! 1920's cottage with three bedrooms and two baths ... If you can live with a kitchen from the 1960's and some other needed updates this could be a great entry level livable next home... Features a detached garage and rear deck... manicured yard ...Have us or your preferred agent show you this diamond that needs some polish 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 1570

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