Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

Home-selling For the Holidays

by The Hat Team

The holiday season is officially upon us.  We’ve watched the parades, eaten the turkeys and started the shopping!  It can be a stressful time of year under the best of circumstances, but if you have your house on the market, you might be feeling a little more anxiety than usual. With so much going on, it might seem like the worst possible time to be trying to sell your house. But don’t despair…selling a house during the holidays is not an impossible dream.  In fact, it can be a great time to show your house at its very best! Follow these tips to help you successfully sell your house this holiday season:

  • Feel free to decorate, but don’t go overboard.  You want your home to look its best while still enjoying your personal touch.  Avoid large decorations that can be overwhelming or distracting.  Remember that potential buyers want be able to envision your home as their own.
  • Make your home feel inviting. If it’s cold outside, make it warm and cozy inside. Play soft, classical music and offer homemade holiday treats. If potential buyers are comfortable, they will spend more time in your home and will be able to appreciate all its best features.
  • There will be motivated buyers this time of year. If people are house hunting during the holidays, they probably have a good reason for doing so. For example, they may be relocating for a job or investing for a tax deduction.  If they are on a deadline, they will be highly driven to find a home quickly.  It may be worth it to do the extra work involved in showing your home during the holiday season.
  • Price your home to sell.  A home that is reasonably priced for the market will make buyers feel merry and bright.  Many real estate agents advise sellers to initially price their home to sell rather than making small price reductions over time.
  • Provide photos that show your home year round.  Yards and landscaping aren’t always at their best during the winter months.  Make sure that potential buyers see the beauty of your home during other times of year when the grass is greener and trees and flowers are in bloom.
  • Create a video tour for the web. You might get less foot traffic during the holidays due to the busyness of the season.  By posting a video tour, you may attract house hunters who don’t have time to physically go to your home.

If your house is on the market this holiday season and you have questions about the best way to present it to potential buyers, don’t hesitate to call the professional Realtors at Sandra Nickel Hat Team for advice at 334-834-1500.

Happy Thanksgiving!

by The Hat Team

‘Tis the Season to Give Back

by The Hat Team

The holiday season is the perfect time of year to show how grateful we are by helping others in need.  Not everyone will spend the holidays in a warm home surrounded by loved ones, but those of us that will can make the season a little bit brighter by donating time, food and gifts to those less fortunate.  To make it a little easier for you to do so, here is a list of places where you can volunteer or make donations in the Montgomery area:

The Salvation Army of Montgomery AL - The Salvation Army serves the most vulnerable citizens in our community in many ways. You can help by making a donation or by volunteering your time and energy.

Hands on River Region - Adopt a family in need through the Christmas Clearinghouse Project. Through this program you can provide for the needs of one family and make their Christmas a little brighter.  You can also build a care basket of items that food stamps and public assistance don’t provide for.  If you don’t have time for either of those options, monetary donations are always welcomed and appreciated.

The Friendship Mission Inc. - The Friendship Mission’s goal is to assist homeless people in becoming self-sustaining in the local community.  They need your help.  Contribute to their ongoing needs which provides people with basic necessities.  You can also donate items and shop at the Friendship Mission Thrift Store where all proceeds go directly to the improvement and expansion of their shelters and programs.

The Montgomery Area Council on Aging - This organization serves seniors in the River Region area of Montgomery, Autauga, Elmore, Coosa, and Tallapoosa counties.  Their flagship program is Meals on Wheels.  Volunteers deliver hot, nutritious meals to over 400 senior citizens who cannot prepare their own meals.  They not only provide much needed nutrition, but they also give daily social interaction as they check on the welfare of their recipients.  They currently have a waiting list of over 200 seniors who need your help. Volunteer here.

Midtown Montgomery Home for Sale: 3526 Bankhead Ave, Montgomery AL 36111

MLS# 424476

5 bedrooms | 4 baths | 3,865 square feet | Edgewood

Wonderful family home in desirable Edgewood! Need lots of room to spread out? Look no further! This house has a lovely updated kitchen with granite, stainless appliances including a double oven with warming rack, work island and is open to the Florida room/den. The spacious master addition has its own office, coffee bar, doors to the patio and a huge master bath with double walk in closets, split vanities and garden tub. The original master is on the opposite side of the house with a cool retro bath with custom built-ins. The living room and dining room have parquet floors and stone fireplace, and hard tile, Mexican tile and wood floors in the rest of the house - no carpet at all! The lovely brick patio overlooks a huge back yard with mature trees. Great location in Midtown Montgomery! Check it out today!

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


De-Stressing for the Holidays - Tips for a Peaceful Holiday Season

by The Hat Team

  1. Don’t Strive for Perfection – Put down the Martha Stewart magazine and focus on what is important.  What is the point of having perfect decorations, meals and gifts if you are not enjoying yourself? Martha has a full staff to help her decorate, bake and shop.  Stop killing yourself trying to create an image of a perfect holiday and let yourself EXPERIENCE the season. Pick and choose what you want to do. Baking with your kids, decorating the tree…whatever makes you happy.  You don’t enjoy entertaining guests? Then don’t do it. Keep it simple and enjoy!
  2. Shop Online – Avoid traffic, parking garages and crowded malls by doing your shopping online.  If a trip to the mall during the holiday season is something you look forward to, then by all means, go for it! But if fighting the crowds is not your thing, then put on some comfy pjs, fix yourself a cup of hot cocoa and shop until you drop…only you won’t actually drop because you won’t be so tired!  Shopping online will also save you a lot of time which you can use for RELAXING. Check out this site for unique gifts: Uncommon Goods
  3. Delegate Responsibilities – Who said you must do it all yourself?  If you have older children, have them decorate the tree. If you have guests coming over, make it a pot luck…you provide the main course and have them bring side dishes and desserts. Have your spouse pick up what you need from the grocery store on the way home from work. With everyone chipping in, chores and events won’t feel so overwhelming.
  4. Find Ways to Save Time – Here are some ideas for saving time during the holiday season:
  • Don’t be afraid to say NO. Stop wasting time on activities you don’t want to do. Learn to Say No
  • Purchase pre-printed holiday cards and envelopes.
  • Keep your decorations simple.
  • Make a list of what you need at the store so that you can complete your shopping in one trip.
  1. Be Compassionate – The joy that comes from doing something kind for others may be all you need to relieve the stress that accompanies the holiday season. 

Take care of yourself and stress LESS!

Happy Veteran's Day!

by The Hat Team

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"--President Woodrow Wilson

So began President Wilson in November 1919, when he dedicated Armistice Day, November 11, to the cause of world peace and to honor the sacrifice of the US military after World War I. Nineteen years later, a legal holiday was officially signed into being, and in 1954, the name was changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all veterans. Veterans Day differs from Memorial Day in that it celebrates living and dead US Veterans, and pays tribute to their sacrifices for the freedoms in this country.

Ceremonies, parades, and special events dedicated to honoring our veterans happen all over the country, and what better way to pay tribute than to attend an event in our local area?  See the links for more information!

All National Parks admission is free on Veterans Day Weekend
Montgomery River Region Veterans Day events
Veterans Appreciation Week Montgomery Zoo 

Creating Traditions in Your New Home

by The Hat Team

If this is your first holiday season in your new home, it is a perfect time to start some new traditions!  When you move, you don’t leave everything behind.  You bring your belongings and your memories and yes, your family rituals.  But a fresh start in an unfamiliar house is just the inspiration you need to begin unique traditions that will make this house truly feel like home.

Check out these fun ideas for creating new traditions:

  • Take and annual family photo. Choose a theme or a pose that you can recreate every year.  Label the photos with the date and create a photo book or framed collage with them.  It will be so much fun for your family to see how everyone changes through the years. Creative Family Photo Ideas
  • Incorporate a cultural tradition.  No matter what holiday you celebrate, you will find a cultural tradition to go with it.  Make it a family activity to research your heritage and make new discoveries about how your ancestors celebrated. Multicultural Holiday Celebrations
  • Gratitude. Sometimes we take all that we have for granted. A wonderful way to experience the holiday spirit is to express gratitude.  This can be a fun and meaningful activity for the whole family.  Go outdoors and find a branch to use to hold your “leaves of gratitude”. Cut leaves out of colorful paper and each day have family members write something they are grateful for on a leaf. Then hang the leaves on the “tree” to create a beautiful reminder of all that is right with your world!  Gratitude Tree

If you are still in search of the perfect house to make your new home, contact Sandra Nickel and the Hat Team for all your real estate needs!

Montgomery AL Real For Sale: 2019 Clubview Street

by The Hat Team

Montgomery AL Real For Sale:

2019 Clubview Street, Montgomery AL 36106

MLS# 424033

Formerly an art gallery, an office, and a daycare, this commercial/business building could have many uses. Great reception, conference room, and open spaces to two private office/rooms with doors, and a full bath. plenty of parking in the front. Relatively new metal roof, aluminum siding, and almost new HVAC. Great location among other thriving businesses.

Energy and Money Savers for Winter

by The Hat Team

With energy costs on the rise, it is essential for a homeowner to stay on top of all they can in order reduce their heating and utility bills during the cold Winter months. Here are some things consumers can do on their own at little or no cost to keep money in their pockets every month.

  • Check windows and doors for drafts. Seal spaces with caulk or weather stripping.
  • Look at all of the utility-entry places around the outside of your home, and fill around pipes with insulation or cement, if practical.
  • Close the foundation/crawlspace vents as soon as temps get colder than 40°. This helps protect water pipes from freezing as well.
  • Go into the attic and inspect your insulation, or consider adding insulation if you haven’t taken that step. This can cut your energy costs and pay for itself in a few years.
  • Check ductwork for places where it may have come apart and repair—this job may be better for a service person to undertake.
  • The sun can be used to help keep the house warm by simply keeping curtains on the south side of your home open during the day.
  • Hanging thicker panels or thermal curtains can help insulate around windows as well.  If you don’t want to change curtains, easy-to-install cellular shades allow light to shine through while insulating your windows. 
  • Plastic sheeting is inexpensive and easy to install on drafty windows or unused patio doors, and just as easy to remove when Spring arrives. Kits are available at hardware and home improvement stores.
  • Have your furnace serviced before it’s time to use it, and replace your filters once a month.
  • Close the damper in the fireplace when you're not using it.
  • Install a programmable thermostat--if heating with a heat pump, make sure the thermostat is the type specifically for heat pumps.  Program the thermostat for the lowest temperature setting that your family is comfortable while at home, preferably in the 60° range. Turning it down 10°-15° at night and using an extra blanket will calculate to big savings on your energy use and costs.
  • Using a humidifier is not only healthier, it can cut down on heating costs. The more moisture there is in the air, the warmer you feel.
  • If you use ceiling fans, make sure they’re turning clockwise on low speed to pull up cool air, and circulate the warm air that collects near the ceiling.
  • Thinking about changing your home’s heat source? Do it before the cold weather sets in.  Check out the many different products available to help you make this decision.

The Department of Energy states that simply turning down the thermostat is the number one money-saver. For every degree it’s lowered, consumers save approximately 3% on heating costs.  Lowering the temperature may mean wearing a sweater and socks inside, but the money you can save outweighs the bulky clothes.


Photo credit:Pure Green Lawn and Tree Professionals 

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9




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