Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Shopping From The Comfort Of Your Mongtomery Home

by The Hat Team

According to a national poll conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance, 68% of all Americans make purchases online. If you have not yet done so or are sometimes hesitant about online shopping because of security concerns, use the following tips to develop and maintain good cyber-shopping habits.

  1. santaMake sure that all security browsers on your computer are current and self-updating. The computer in your Mongtomery home is only as safe as you make it.
  2. NEVER give out your social security number!
  3. Use only secure and reputable websites. Secure websites add the letter “s” after http on their order page. Another indicator is a closed lock seen at the bottom of your screen.It is safer to use a website you’re familiar with or one found using a well-known search engine. You should also look for a physical address and customer service phone number, although those things are not always a guarantee of safety. To check on the reliability of a site, contact the Better Business Bureau.
  4. Limit the personal information you provide. In fact, because merchants sometimes sell your email address, you may wish to create an email account that you use only for online purchases. Also, use the same credit card for all online purchases to aid in tracking fraudulent transactions or a security breach.
  5. Check out shipping and handling charges before ordering. Merchants often add as much as 10%-15% of the product’s cost to your order.
  6. Print out copies of your order, shipping confirmation, etc. on your Mongtomery home computer.
  7. Be familiar with the return policy. Are returns allowed at all? Is there a time limit? Is there a “restocking” fee for returns? Who is responsible for paying shipping and handling on returns? If return information is not posted on the website, request that it be sent to you.
  8. Pay with a credit card. Paypal and debit cards require an immediate reporting of fraud in order to get your money back. Also, your liability for fraudulent credit card charges is zero when the card is used online. Check with your credit card company to see if they offer a virtual card, which masks out your real account number.

Cyber-shopping is fast and convenient. It provides you with a vast array of products from which to choose in the comfort of your Mongtomery home and allows you to shop at any hour.. Buying online can be an efficient and pleasurable experience if you remain web-wise and security-savvy.

Ho Ho Holiday Season In Montgomery!

by The Hat Team

christmas treeYes, it’s that delightful time of year again, the time of shopping, decorating, baking, counting down the days, carols, entertaining, and making merry with friends and family. It’s a time of hustle and bustle--with so much to do in so little time! And so…it must also be time for some Christmas tips and time-savers to help you enjoy the holiday just a bit more--and to give you an excuse to sit down for a minute or two while you read this message! In an attempt to make life a little easier, I’ve organized my hints and suggestions into general categories. Unfortunately, this is the only thing I seem to be able to organize, as my own house is strewn with unwrapped gifts, un-hung decorations, and recipes for unbaked goodies! Maybe tomorrow…

SHOPPING AND GIFTS:                                                   

Little known trivia:  7/10 of all dogs in Britain receive gifts from their owners.

Who doesn’t like to save money? Sites for valuable coupons, codes, deals, and rebates for hundreds of stores.

Out of ideas? Need something unique like a ‘I Love You’ stones, a wine chiller, a deluxe valet or birthstone ornaments? will surprise you with its offerings. Prefer something whimsical, geeky, or spiritual? Then go to

There are ideas for those who are budget conscious and those with champagne taste. Many online shopping sites offer free shipping, and some will even gift-wrap for you!

Remember, you can rarely go wrong with a book and is a great source of seasonal favorites, new releases, or the perfect book for just about anyone, young or old.

Little known trivia: There are two Christmas Islands in the world--one in the Pacific and one in the Indian Ocean.


Little known trivia:  The first tree tinsel was real silver cut into thin strips.

Looking for new ideas to freshen up the holiday decorations in your Montgomery home? Think about displaying seasonally dressed teddy bears, hanging small ornaments on house plants, using cookie cutter or foil-wrapped walnuts as tree ornaments, and tying ribbons and bows to the stems of wine glasses and around the handles of cutlery . These ideas and 95 more can be found at

santaGet suggestions for suggestions on both indoor and outdoor decorating, making wreaths, and creating themed trees. The site also includes some unusual centerpieces, such as a child’s pop-up book, an arrangement of green apples, cinnamon, and greenery, and colorful balls made from Christmas light bulbs. Ever thought about a sugar plum tree?

Little known trivia: 77 million Christmas trees are planted each year.

And speaking of trees, did you know that 5 miles of lights are used to light up Rockefeller Center?

You can also have a virtual visit to the White House tree in the Blue Room. And you just can’t miss the singing tree!

Singing! How could I omit the MUSIC category?


Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself around you like a shawl. - Bess Street Aldrich

The sounds of this holiday are like no other with pealing bells, children’s shrieks of delight and excitement, rustling gift wrap, whispered secrets and wonderings, and ever the Christmas songs inviting us to sing along in joy and celebration. In addition to the singing tree, you can join in, listen to, or hum with seasonal tunes. Think to about joining or forming a group to go out caroling some evening.

Perhaps it’s time for a lighthearted Christmas poem before we continue on our holiday journey.

Fall of the Snowman by Paul Curtis

Here is a thought of little worth
Snowmen start their fall to earth
From Heaven above unassembled
And like the snow globe it resembled
But if a snowman were then desired
Some assembly would be required.

Okay, back to the subject at hand. Now for…


cookiesLittle known trivia:  Many parts of Christmas trees (pine, spruce, and fir) are both edible and nutritious!!

The traditional Christmas dinner in 17th century England was a boar’s head served with mustard.

Ah, breathe in deeply and savor the smells and tastes of the holidays! In addition to gingerbread men, sugar cookies, and baked ham or turkey, what about trying eggnog bread or Christmas soup?

Whatever is served at a traditional Christmas dinner, meat is probably the main attraction, and what good is that to the vegetarians.  Here are some ideas to mix and match for a vegetarian Christmas menu.

Decorating cookies, making colorful Rice Krispy treats, and enjoying a holiday meal together are all great family activities--and all are delicious!

Feeling challenged in the baking department? These how-to videos will make you a pro!!

Christmas good luck superstitions around the world include: finding a pickle or spider web ornament on the tree, kissing under a sprig of mistletoe, and eating an apple or sprinkling bird seed outside your door on Christmas Eve.

And yet another poem--


When I was a child
I believed in Santa Claus
When I got older
I didn’t believe in Santa Claus
When I became a parent
I was Santa Claus
Now I have grandchildren
I look like Santa Claus

What a perfect segue to the next category!


The web is overflowing with activities, crafts, games, puzzles, stories, coloring pages, and the like for the younger set, all designed to entertain the kiddies and help them wait for Santa to arrive.

To that end they can keep an up-to -the-second countdown, check the ‘naughty and nice’ list, read Santa’s blog, send your pet’s email to Santa.

The little ones will also enjoy playing Rudolph’s Christmas Quiz Game, getting Santa’s autograph, coloring Christmas pages, watching the Rudolph cam, and playing ‘YuleSearch’.

And don’t forget to track Santa’s Christmas Eve journey!!!!

As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is. Eric Sevareid

Christmas is the time to let your heart do the thinking. Patricia Clafford

Yes, this is indeed the time for…


No time to write out Christmas cards? To send holiday e-card greetings to friends and family

And speaking of greetings--and gratitude--Xerox has a web site that lets you send a message of thanks to soldiers currently serving in Iraq. This is a FREE service and only takes a minute to choose a design (3 of which are Christmas themed) to send. What a great way to spread the spirit of the season!

Look to your community to extend the spirit of giving. Donations of money, food, clothing, and time will always be welcomed by the Salvation Army, local charities and relief groups, and church outreach programs. Modeling generosity, commitment, and caring is one of the greatest gifts you can ever give your children, and your own Christmas will be enhanced by doing so.

And with that thought, dear readers, I will close with warm wishes for peace and good will to all--for I, too, still have gifts to wrap, decorations to hang, and goodies to bake.


Midtown Montgomery Real Estate Sales Statistics - Oct 2010

by The Hat Team

Nearly eight out of 10 Americans believe buying a home is a good financial decision, despite ongoing challenges with the economy and housing market. That’s according to the 2010 National Housing Pulse Survey, an annual report released by the National Association of Realtors®.

The survey, which measures how affordable housing issues affect consumers, also found job security concerns to be the highest in eight years of sampling, with 70 percent of Americans saying that job layoffs and unemployment are a big problem in their area; eight in 10 cite these issues as a barrier to homeownership.

Despite economic uncertainty, 68 percent of those surveyed still believe now is a good time to buy a home; while that number is down from last year (75 percent), it’s up from 2008 (66 percent) and 2007 (59 percent). Lower home prices and record-low mortgage interest rates may be attracting buyers to the housing market – more than one-fourth of renters said they are thinking more about buying a home than they were a year ago. Sixty-three percent of renter respondents said that owning a home is a priority in their future, and nearly 40 percent said it was one of their highest priorities.

Lower home prices have improved affordability. Let’s take a look at October home sales and see how improved affordability is affecting our local housing market.

Midtown Montgomery real estate sales statistics for October show the average sales price decreased by 18% to $106,826 while the number of homes sold decreased by 24% from 2009.  Median sales prices dropped 43% and market times increased 14% or 7 days in 2010.


Homes Sold
25 33
Average Selling Price $106,826 $130,053
Median Selling Price $65,000 $114,750
Days On The Market 108 93
Units On the Market 3,178 3,178

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

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

Montgomery Real Estate For Sale: 2128 St. Charles Avenue Montgomery, AL 36107

MLS #280250

This family-sized historic home sits in one of the BEST blocks in Capitol Heights, AND one of the highest points in Montgomery. Seldom do you find a split bedroom plan in an older home, but this one delivers! With three bedrooms and a bath on the front side of the house, and a large master bedroom addition off the rear den/family room, parents can have separation from the rest of the family. And, if you're outdoorsy, you will enjoy waving to neighbors from your front porch swing and fun cookouts or plain old leisure time on the raised rear deck. Big fenced back yard is great play space for the kids, and perfectly pet friendly. Come home to the best of all worlds in a family friendly neighborhood...minutes from the City's BOOMING downtown riverfront area!

Learn more about 2128 St. Charles Avenue and other Montgomery Real Estate by visiting

Search all Montgomery Real Estate and homes for sale.


Montgomery Real Esate For Sale: 431 Clanton Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104

MLS #280235


This charming Garden District bungalow has a few surprises! If you like traditional Craftsman feel, you will be smitten by the living room with hardwood floors, built-in bookshelves, and bay window with a window seat! The formal dining room features fireplace with antique mantle and gorgeous coffered ceilings. Kitchen has recent updates like granite tile countertops and new appliances, and a HUGE pantry! Enjoy casual meals in the sunny breakfast room overlooking private walled rear deck. Master bath with jetted garden tub looks like something you would find in a much newer home. Second bedroom is tucked away in the rear, has a private bathroom, and its own private entrance (perfect for room-mates). Upstairs is a HUGE bonus room that could easily be a third bedroom (has a walk-in closet and a full bath), playroom, game room, or tremendous walk-up storage. House takes up most of the lot, so yard work is an ease. Great neighbors plus convenient to dining and shopping in Cloverdale. Seller is motivated, and has priced this one as a DEAL! 

Learn more about 431 Clanton Avenue Drive and other Montgomery Real Estate by visiting


Search all Montgomery Real Estate and homes for sale.



Keeping Your Montgomery Home Safe During the Holidays

by The Hat Team

The scene we often envision at this time of year is one of family and friends sitting around a blazing fire with a brightly lighted tree, stockings hung from the mantel, and colorfully wrapped gifts adding to the cozy and festive atmosphere of your Montgomery home. A setting lovely to imagine--and to experience--but also one which requires awareness and safety precautions. Fires occurring during the holidays claim the lives of more than 400 Americans each year, and approximately 2 to 3 people per hour are treated in an emergency room due to “decorating” falls and other seasonal injuries.

At the time of year when lists--gift lists, menu lists, activities lists, and to do lists, e.g..--play such a large role in our lives, it is also necessary to establish a safety checklist to ensure an accident-free holiday for your family, guests, and even your pets. Suggestions for taking precautions include the following:


  • cookieInspect lights for damage and link no more than 3 strands together. Use only UL approved and only as directed--indoor lights should not be used outside. Beware of overloading outlets. Don’t leave on when you’re not home.
  • If you prefer a live tree, make certain it is fresh when you buy it and water, water, water!
  • Use non-flammable or flame retardant decorations.
  • Never leave lighted candles unattended, near combustible materials, or within reach of children or pets. Make certain to extinguish them before retiring for the night.


  • Place the tree in your Montgomery home at least 3 feet away from the fireplace.
  • Keep a screen in front of the fire to prevent flying sparks.
  • If you hang stockings from the mantel, be sure to remove them when the fireplace is in use.
  • Choose your decorating materials carefully, avoiding combustibles whenever possible. Make certain that ribbons and/or greenery are far from the flames.
  • Never burn wrapping paper in your fireplace and risk a flash fire.


  • When entertaining friends at your Montgomery home, be certain that you have childproofed your home--not just to protect breakables but also to protect young ones from matches, chemicals, or medicines.
  • Make sure that outside walkways and steps are well lighted at night.
  • Use nightlights in hallways and bathrooms.
  • Add non-slip mats in your tub and shower--and possibly grab bars for the older set.


  • Avoid feeding the cats or dogs which also reside in your Montgomery home food such as rich and fatty fowl meat, onions, grapes, raisins, or chocolate.
  • Do not give animals turkey bones as they will splinter and cause great damage.
  • Keep all trash out of reach. Better yet, take it outside frequently.
  • Because the arrival of guests, noise, and constant activity of the holidays can be quite stressful for a pet, be sensitive about giving it a quiet place and time alone. Exercise or play time is also useful, especially before company arrives.
  • As with children, keep pets away from lighted candles, fireplace flames, and the kitchen while cooking is going on.

Got all that? If so, relax and enjoy the season!

Update On the Foreclosure Fiasco

by The Hat Team

As the foreclosure saga continues, the situation becomes more and more complex, compounded in part by revelations of additional irregularities and by the outcry for congressional intervention. Obviously, the current snarl of accusations, litigation, and investigations is having a negative effect on Montgomery real estate.

Demand Stalled

dollar signAlthough the number of foreclosures continue to rise, the market for such homes has stalled, with many houses being removed from the selling market. In addition, would-be buyers of short sales and foreclosed properties are hesitant to purchase Montgomery real estate which might have dubious or incomplete documentation, thus decreasing the number of loan applications being received by lenders. Recent buyers of those types of properties are also affected, as they are often uncertain that they have a clear title to their newly purchased real estate. Their only recourse at this point is to go to another title company and request a title insurance quote.


So what is being done to resolve these problems? Recently the attorneys general of all fifty states agreed to conduct a serious joint investigation of the scandal. In addition to trying to reform the foreclosure system, they also have a goal of forcing banks and lenders to institute widespread loan modifications to help beleaguered homeowners. They intend to negotiate with lenders to create a nationwide fund to compensate borrowers who can prove they lost their home in an improper foreclosure, and they hope to force lenders to dedicate more funds to modifying the loans of homeowners who have missed payments and to bar those lenders from foreclosing while such modifications are being negotiated.

In addition, the Congressional Oversight Panel has now entered the foray, echoing concerns of consumer advocates and financial analysts, as has the Senate Banking Committee, chaired by Senator Chris Dodd. The latter body will hold hearings on the matter and is urging all parties involved to work together to find a solution for the housing crisis without delay.

And last, but certainly not least, impacted homeowners have begun to fight back in earnest. They are filing lawsuits which accuse lenders of failing to properly vet documents, foreclosing on homes already in a modification program, and a myriad of other unjustified and even illegal actions. And while these suits may provide necessary recourse for the injured parties, they will also delay those foreclosures which are actually justified.

Not Going Away

It is evident that the foreclosure fiasco is not going away and that there is no quick fix to reassure owners of Montgomery real estate, but at least the situation continues to be publicized and investigated, so an eventual end may be in sight. Stay tuned…

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7




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