Real Estate Market

Midtown Montgomery Market Trends

First-Time Homebuyer’s Checklist: Are You Ready to Buy?

The decision to purchase your first home is not one that should be made lightly.  It is an important, life-changing decision that should be given serious consideration.  So, before you take the plunge into searching for the prefect home, here are some questions you should ask yourself to make sure that you are ready.

- Can I afford a home?  The first step is to determine if you can afford to buy a home based on your current financial situation.   Using a Home Affordability Calculator will help you figure out how much you can afford by plugging in your income, debt and the amount of a down payment you will be able to make.   You will now have a number for the highest amount you can afford and what the monthly payment will be.

 - Is it better for me to rent or buy?  Using a Rent vs. Buy Calculator will allow you to crunch the numbers. You can enter the current amount of rent you’re paying (or how much you would be able to pay) and the zip code where you want to live. The calculator will provide a comparison of the cost of buying a home versus renting in that area.  You will also be able to see which option is more cost effective over time.

 - How long will I live here?  If you plan to stay in a home for a long time, it is generally better to buy versus rent. If you’re going to be living somewhere for a short term, renting might be the better option.  The reason is that when you buy a home you will likely have to pay closing costs which can total in the thousands of dollars.  In addition, most of your early mortgage payments go toward interest rather than paying down the principal, which is the actual amount you owe on the home.  A good rule of thumb is that home buyers should stay put for at least five years.  Otherwise, renting may be better.

 - Are you saving for retirement?  Retirement may seem a long way off to young home-buyers, but it is important to start saving early.  It’s not a good idea to neglect your retirement accounts to “save” money to put down on a house.   Consider meeting with a financial counselor who can help you find a balance in saving for retirement and saving for your first home at the same time.

 - Am I ready for the responsibility?  Owning a home is a huge responsibility.  With rentals, you can call your landlord to fix things that aren’t working in the home, but as an owner, it’s all up to you.  You need to be sure that you have the time, willingness and resources to keep up with home and yard maintenance.

Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of professional Realtors at Homes for Sale in Montgomery AL can assist you in the process of determining if you are ready to purchase your first home.  Give them a call at 334-834-1500 and get started today!

Spruce Up Your Outdoor Spaces with Concrete Stamping

A plain slab of poured concrete for a patio may be common, but it is boring.  However, recently, there has been a newly gained respect for using concrete as a decorating element in floors. counters and other applications.  Landscapers are taking this age-old material and giving it a new look using a Stamping Process to create patios that look like natural slate or fieldstone at a fraction of the price these high-end materials would generally call for.

Stamped concrete has been around for a long time, but older methods used molds that were more like cookie cutters.  New methods use natural sources which create a more realistic finished product.  There have also been advances in the various coloring methods that are available. The prevailing one is a dry, powdered form, called a Dry Shake Floor Hardener, which also serves to firm up the poured concrete prior to stamping.  After applying the hardener, a release agent is applied which allows the latex molds to be pulled up without sticking to the concrete.  These agents come in an antique finish that when stamped into the joints and crevices of the concrete, create a realistic, three-dimensional appearance.  Once the concrete has hardened, a sealer is used to not only protect the porous concrete from possible staining, but also to enhance the color of the finished patio.  In wet areas, such as pool decks, an anti-slip ingredient can be added for safety.

There are so many patterns and colors available for stamped concrete that you can be creative and have fun designing your patio. Not only will it make outdoor entertaining more fun for you, but it is a home improvement that will give you a return on your investment when you sell. Here are five budget friendly stamped concrete ideas:

- Don’t be square!  Take advantage of the fact that concrete can be poured in any shape.  You can use stamped concrete in small spaces, but why not jazz it up?  Incorporate curves or go from a square to a half-circle.  You can even shape the concrete to flow with the landscaping.

- Add a border. If stamping all the square footage of your concrete is too expensive, then consider just stamping the border.  A patterned border frames the concrete, giving it a finished look.  Borders are an inexpensive way to embellish plain concrete.

- Keep color simple. Coloring your concrete with multiple colors can greatly add to the cost of the project. You can save a lot of money by using one color.  It will still be prettier and make a greater impact than a plain, gray slab.

- Saw cut and texture. A concrete contractor will be able to tell you if it’s feasible to cut a pattern and then use a texture skin for pattern.  Your contractor can create grooves in the concrete and then a texture skin can be applied to give a 3-dimensional look.

- Expand the area you’re stamping.  Extend unique, fun patterns beyond the patio onto the driveway, walkways and steps.  Get more for your money by stamping in multiple places to create a holistic look rather than just splurging on one single area.

If you are making home improvements to sell your home, contact Sandra Nickel at 334-834-1500. She and her Hat Team of Professionals can help you decide what improvements will get the best return on your investment!

Photo Credit: remodelingexpense.com

Midtown Montgomery Market Update

3 Tips for Making Your Dream of Buying a Home Come True

  • Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check is one of the best ways to save without thinking much about it.
  • Living within a budget right now will help you save money for down payments while also paying down other debts that might be holding you back.
  • What are you willing to cut back on to make your dreams of homeownership a reality?

From the KCM Crew for Buyers

Midtown Montgomery Market Update

Midtown Montgomery real estate sales statistics for April 2018 show the number of homes sold fell by 4.3% when compared to April 2017.  The average sales price decreased by 24.8%, and the median sales price decreased by 7.8%. Market times decreased by 4 days.

Midtown Montgomery April 2018   April 2017
Homes Sold 44 46
Average Selling Price $112,189 $149,246
Median Selling Price $104,000 $112,850
Days On The Market 128 132
Highest Selling Price $295,000 $639,000
Lowest Selling Price $15,000 $14,000


For the latest Midtown Montgomery real estate market conditions in your area, please call me at 800-HAT-LADY or visit HomesForSaleInMontgomeryAlabama.com.

Information is provided by the Montgomery Area Association of Realtors and is deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

   cdpe    crsHat Lady on Zillow