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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 1592

2972 Old Farm Road: Easy Living in Midtown

by The Hat Team

2972 Old Farm Road, Montgomery, AL 36111 

MLS# 459084

2 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,500 sqft | Westminster Townhomes

Looking for pristine, low maintenance, lock-it and leave-it living in Midtown...this one's for YOU! Situated on one level for easy access, this two bedroom two bath charmer has smooth surface flooring throughout most of the house (carpet in bedrooms only.) The kitchen has been beautifully updated with gorgeous granite and stainless appliances, and opens to a sunny breakfast room. Good sized living room with fireplace opens to spacious dining room that overlooks a private interior courtyard. Both bathrooms have been nicely updated as well, and master boasts large walk-in shower and two walk in closets! Rear access leads to an attached two car garage with some additional storage space. Convenient to shopping, dining, and I-85 for quick access to Downtown and Maxwell AFB. Call your favorite agent for a personal tour of this lovely single story townhouse! 

Helping Your Parents Move in Their Golden Years

by The Hat Team


There comes a time in everyone’s life when a large family home is no longer needed.  Some people choose to downsize when they reach the empty nest stage, but others stay on until they must move due to circumstances beyond their control. This can be very challenging when it entails moving senior parents out of a home they have lived in for many years.  Even as an adult, it is difficult to see your parents in a vulnerable position of having to leave behind a home filled with memories.  But there are some ways to make it a little easier and less stressful. Here are some tips to help you successfully move your senior parents with as little drama as possible:

  • Focus on one or two mementos to represent your best memories.  When you are packing up your parents’ home, you are likely to come across many items that remind you of your childhood.  It will be tempting to take it all home with you.  Stop and remember that you have likely already gone years without seeing these items.  Create a “keep” pile and after you have sorted through everything, go through that pile and choose a couple of items that are most meaningful to you.  If your parents are downsizing to a much smaller place, help them do the same thing so that the new home will not be overflowing with stuff.
     
  • Use technology to save things.  While it may be emotionally challenging to get rid of items, you don’t have to get rid of them completely. You can take photos of them.  Take pictures of the interior and exterior of the home before you start packing. As you go through boxes, take photos of the many things that have been saved over the years like concert tickets, programs, school reports, children’s artwork, etc.  Then create a photo album that your parent can look at any time. This makes a lot more sense than transferring boxes of treasures from one home to another where they will only be looked at the next time there is a move. 5 Ways Technology is Helping Us Preserve Family Memories
     
  • Don’t seal the boxes until you are done packing up every room.  The best way to make the “move-in” easier is to organize everything during the “move-out”.  For example, pack everything that will go in the new living room into boxes labeled living room. This will obviously include items from the current living room, but it might also include items found in other places in the house.  If you find some photos packed away in the garage that your parent wants to hang in the new living room, you will want to put them in the living room boxes. You don’t want to have to open boxes that have already been taped up and sealed.  So, leave some boxes open until every room has been organized and packed and then when you are sure everything is in the right place, seal them up for the move. A Room-by-Room Guide to Packing Your House for Moving
     
  • Consider trading in the old for the new.  It’s easy to hang on to old furniture that has been in your house forever when you have remained in the same home the whole time, but sometimes it makes more sense to get new things for a new home.  Maybe the old furniture is worn and scratched, or maybe it’s simply too big for the new place. Whatever the reason, a fresh, new look might be just the thing your parent needs to help let go of the past and enjoy a new home where a whole new set of memories will be made.

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: andrewsmoving.com

What You Need to Know About Selling a Home When Divorcing

by The Hat Team


Moving is one of the top five most stressful life events. Divorce ranks in the top five as well.   Put those two together and you have a meltdown in the making.  If you and your spouse own a home together and you are divorcing, you are going to have to figure out what you’re going to do about the house.  This can be challenging under the most amicable of situations and can be devastating when there is bitterness and fighting.

Since your home is likely the greatest asset that you share, selling it is often necessary when parting ways.  Sentimental value may entice one or the other of you to want to keep the home, but financial implications may keep you from doing so.  Understanding how divorce affects the sale of a home is crucial.  The emotional aspect of splitting up your family can sometimes impair your judgement but making a poor decision regarding your home can have lasting ramifications, long after the divorce is finalized. 

Whether one spouse wants to buy out the other and keep the home or both want to sell and split the equity, selling a house while getting divorced is a rocky road that needs to be navigated intelligently.  When two people are willing to deal with each other in a peaceful, respectful way, it certainly makes the whole process easier. But often this is not the case in these situations.  Division of a home is not simple. 

When each spouse contributed to purchase the home - even if one paid more than the other - you are both going to want your fair share out of it.  Ideally, you will be able to work with an attorney or mediator to come to an agreement out of court, but if you can’t, a judge will decide for you.  This can be a very unpleasant experience for all parties involved.  If both your incomes were factored in the purchase of the house, chances are when you split that in half, neither of you can afford it on your own. If that is the case, the best solution is to sell the home and divide the assets.  There are also tax implications that should be considered when you are trying to decide if you should sell before you divorce or after. Capital Gains Tax and Divorce: How to Preserve Your Biggest Home Sale Tax Break

Should one of you decide to stay in the home, there are a couple of different ways to make that happen.  First, if you have the financial means to do so, you can take over the mortgage by refinancing.  This means you must qualify for the loan and be able to make the monthly payments on your own.  Your ex-spouse will be completely out of the picture.  Another way is to continue co-owning the property.  Perhaps you have children and want to keep them in their home. While this is the least disruptive option, it is precarious and requires a lot of trust.  It would have to be a very civil and friendly divorce for this to work because both parties will be responsible for the mortgage and upkeep of the house.  The bottom line is that if you plan to stay in the home, you better be sure you can afford it.  It would be prudent to work out a budget before you make the decision. 5 Simple Steps to Create a Successful Budget

With all the financial and emotional issues that get wrapped up in the sale of a home during divorce, it’s crucial that you know what you want prior to meeting with your Realtor. It is best for you to meet with your attorneys for them to guide you through the process of deciding how to split the equity. Once you have that done, seek out an experienced Realtor like Sandra Nickel, who will gently guide you through the process with as little stress as possible.

Photo Credit: quickhomeoffers.com

3255 Le Bron Road: Beautiful Move-In Ready Cloverdale Home!

by The Hat Team

3255 Le Bron Road, Montgomery AL 36106 

MLS# 458498

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 2,581 sqft | Cloverdale

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Wonderful Cloverdale Idlewild home looking for it's next family! By simply stepping onto the front porch, you will immediately feel at home. With over 2500 sq ft, there is plenty of room to spread out in the living room, dining room, den/family room and sunroom (currently used as the most adorable nursery). Lovely updated kitchen with stainless appliances and breakfast nook. The upstairs main suite has his and her baths, huge bedroom and large walk-in closest. Awesome deck overlooking great back yard with small screen porch and breezeway to double attached carport with lots of storage. Only blocks from the park, restaurants and entertainment. Check it out today!

Feel Safe at Home with These Security Tips

by The Hat Team


Let’s face it - it can be a scary world.  Your home should be a safe-haven for you and your family.  While safety can never be guaranteed, there are steps you can take to make your home feel secure.  Here are some tips for making your home as safe and secure as possible:

  • Light it up!  While there is no reason to fear darkness itself, it is true that when bad things happen to people, they often happen under the cover of darkness.  So, brightening up your surroundings can help discourage people from lurking around your home.  Install energy-efficient bulbs in your outdoor lights and keep them on when it’s dark, or have motion sensors so that lights come on when there is movement near or around your property.  At night, keep some lights on inside so your house doesn’t appear completely dark.
  • Close window coverings when it gets dark.  You may not be able to see what’s going on outside in the dark, but people outside can clearly see in your house if your windows are exposed.
  • Get to know your neighbors. You certainly won’t feel safe if you are surrounded by strangers!  Knowing your neighbors will provide you with the security of having someone to call on if you are feeling unsafe. 15 Ways to Get to Know Your Neighbors
  • Keep emergency numbers handy.  Many people use mobile phones exclusively these days, so it’s a good idea to create contacts for emergency numbers so all you must do is touch a screen or push a button to call for help.  If you haven’t gotten rid of your landline yet, you may want to consider keeping it for safety reasons.  With a landline call, a 911 operator will receive your location immediately, whereas it might take a bit longer to pinpoint your location with a cell phone.
  • Eliminate hiding spots.  Make sure your shrubs are trimmed and well-spaced so that they don’t provide hiding spots for burglars.
  • Don’t hide a key outside.  I’ve locked myself out enough times to know that it is a good idea to have a spare key somewhere, but people looking to invade your home will find it no matter how well you think you have hidden it.  Instead, leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor.
  • Make sure you have quality locks.  The lock is the weakest part on a door.  You will want a grade 1 or grade 2 dead-bolt lock that penetrates the door frame.  It’s important to have a strike plate that is made of solid metal or brass.  The 9 Best Door Locks of 2019
  • Use signage to scare strangers away.  Whether or not you have a security system (or a big watch dog) you can place signs in your yard or by your doors that say you do.  You can also have a no soliciting sign to discourage salespeople (or someone pretending to be a sales person) from knocking on your door.
  • Invest in a security system.  There are many options for home security systems. Do some research and choose the one that works best for your family.  Many security companies will come out and inspect your home to give you an estimate of what you will need and how much it will cost. Nobody wants an added household expense, but feeling of being safe in your home is priceless!

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: bobvila.com

3328 LeBron Road, Montgomery, Alabama 36106 

MLS# 457239 

2 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,842 sqft | Cloverdale/Idlewild

Bring your contractor and you can make this spacious Cloverdale/Idlewild home a showplace! She is in rough shape now, but with some imagination and $$ it has great potential. Excellent opportunity for an investor who is experienced in fix-and-flip. Sold strictly AS-IS, and seller has no knowledge of roof condition, systems, or structure. 

1503 S Hull St: Investor Opportunity in the Garden District!

by The Hat Team

1503 S Hull Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104 

MLS# 457180 

3 Bedrooms | 1 Bathroom | 1,514 sqft

 


Calling investors! If you are looking for a solidly built brick home in the Garden District to add to your portfolio, look no further. This three bedroom one bath home with nice updates, positive cash flows at $850/month with good tenant in place. Lease runs through 2/2020. Great opportunity for any investor looking for income producing property. Roof is only several years old, electrical upgrades in 2001, new water heater, and complete kitchen remodel 2018 to include new cabinets/countertops, and new appliances. 

5 Tips for Selling a Home Out of State

by The Hat Team


Best case scenario – you sell your old home and buy your new one at the same time. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way. Chances are you might find yourself in your new dream home while still having a house several states away that needs to be sold.  Selling a house from out of state has its challenges, especially when you are unpacking a new home, settling into a new job and establishing your routine in a new place.  But making a successful sale is not impossible.  Here are 5 tips to help you sell your home from out of state:

  1. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL REALTOR WHO IS EXPERIENCED WITH OUT OF STATE SALES

When hiring a Realtor to handle the sale of your home in your former city, you will want to find someone who has experience with out of state sales.The right listing agent will be experienced in communicating with clients remotely and will be able sell your home quickly.You are going to want to find someone that will keep you up to date with what is going on with your property; someone you can rely on to respond to your phone calls and emails in a timely manner.

  1. FIND A PROFESSIONAL TO STAGE YOUR HOME TO SELL IT FASTER

Since you have already emptied out your former home for your move, staging your home will need to be left in the hands of someone in your previous city.Hiring a professional stager (your Realtor can recommend one) will go a long way toward getting your house sold for the best possible price. Per a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes that are staged sell faster and at higher prices than those that are not staged. Staged Homes Sell Faster

  1. BE SURE THAT CLOSING FROM OUT OF STATE IS AN OPTION

Before you move, take the time to think about how you are going to close on your current house from out of state.Many attorneys require you to be at the closing table in person, so it’s important that you seek one who is willing be more flexible.The cost and inconvenience of having to go back to your previous city for a closing can be avoided if you find someone who will allow youto sign the closing documentsin your new city with a local notary present.

  1. BE THE LIASON FOR YOUR TEAM MEMBERS

Unnecessary back and forth between the people involved in the sale of your house can be avoided by making sure your team has all the documents/paperwork they need throughout the process.You will also want to provide contacts for all your team members so that they can communicate without you as the go-between.

  1. LET YOUR TEAM DO THE WORK

Now it is time to hand over control to your Realtor and the rest of the team so they can handle the sale for you.Some people may find it difficult to relinquish control, but when you are in your new home in another state, you need to place trust in your team to get the job done! 4 Signs You Can Trust Your Agent to Sell Your Home

If you are moving away from the Montgomery area and need a trustworthy, experienced Realtor to sell your home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of Professionals do the work for you!  Give them a call today at 334-834-1500!

Understanding Important Tools in Real Estate: Comparables

by The Hat Team


If you are not familiar with real estate terms, the vernacular can be confusing and overwhelming.  It truly is like learning a new language!  But we are here to help. Today we will talk about comparables (or comps). 

Comparables (comps) is a real estate appraisal term that refers to properties that are similar to the property of which the value is being sought.  They are properties in the same area that are around the same size, in similar condition, and have similar features.  Whether you are buying or selling a home, you can learn a lot by comparing similar homes. 2 Important Facts About Real Estate Comparables or Comps

Buyers will use comps to help them decide what price to offer on a home, while sellers will use them to determine the best list price for their home.  Realtors utilize comps on a regular basis to keep track of the local market.

One major key for a comp is proximity.  When trying to price a home or find out its value, it’s vital that the homes you are comparing it to are close by.  The market can be different in other locations, so the comparable property should be as close as possible.  The same neighborhood is best.  If the same neighborhood isn’t an option, you can branch out, but not too far.

Homes that are currently “pending” make the best comps.  This is because a deal has already been made on a pending home, so it reflects current stats on the market, which fluctuates frequently.  When looking for comps, it’s important to stick with sales in the past three months and never more than six months ago.  If a home was sold over six months ago, that data is not up to date with the current market.

Another important aspect of a good comp is the home’s features.  It’s vital that the homes being compared have similar features.  Consider things like views, upgrades, number of bedrooms, location of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, square footage, size of lot, etc. How to Find Real Estate Comps to Determine House Value

Keep in mind that there may be information that your Realtor is privy to that you are not when it comes to comparables.  If you don’t understand why a similar home is determined to be worth more or less than yours, your Realtor can explain it to you.  There are many conditions that can influence the value of a home. Also remember that comps are estimates, not appraisals.  They are not written in stone, but they are a useful tool for both buyers and sellers.

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: mashvisor.com

501 Martha Street: Renovated Cottage Hill Dream Home

by The Hat Team

501 Martha Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104 ‚Äč

MLS# 455366

2 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 2,094 sqft | Cottage Hill

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Your dream home awaits in historic Cottage Hill! Just steps from bustling downtown, this totally renovated cottage has old world charm and character with modern updates and features. Welcoming front porch is one of the owner's favorite spots to unwind and visit with friends and neighbors. Spacious living room and dining room have soaring ceilings and plenty of wall space for artwork! Cook's dream kitchen with quartz countertops and custom milled heart pine floors has cozy built in sitting nook, and access to the private rear deck. Full bedroom, bath, and walk in closet share the downstairs space, while the cool master suite encompasses the entire second floor. Master space includes sitting area perfect for sectional and tv, or would make a great home office area. Large walk-in master shower boasts rain shower head and the custom-made poured concrete sink with high end faucet feels like you are in a high-end NYC hotel! Laundry area off master bath has additional storage...a rarity in vintage homes! Systems all updated within the last few years, so all you need to do is pack your things and move in.

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