Real Estate Information Archive


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Montgomery AL Real Estate For Sale: 341 Winthrop Ct

by The Hat Team

Montgomery Homes For Sale:

341 Winthrop Ct, Montgomery, AL 36104
MLS #315478

Stunning Renovation in Garden District!

Incredible Craftsman style renovation on one of the Garden Districts best kept streets. Beautiful reclaimed columned mantle greets you upon entry into large formal living room with built in book cases. Gas logs for cozy nights by fireplace. Huge formal dining adjoins with widows on two sides with lots of sunlight. Three nice sized bedrooms and refinished floors will be the perfect complement to your furnishings. You will enjoy 18 inch hard tile flooring in kitchen as well as almost new appliances, cabinets, granite counter-tops, tile back splash, flush can lighting, bead board wainscoting and ceiling. Wonderful eat-in area off kitchen is conveniently located next to French doors to covered area perfect for cook outs. Back deck has commanding view of treed and private rear yard. Stunning main bathroom will wow you with nice fixtures, hard tile floor, vaulted ceiling, jetted tub and unique antique vanity with double sinks. Almost forgot to mention a real front porch for sitting and watching neighbors pass. Current owner has added a spacious detached out building that matches house for all your outdoor and yard things. Seize the opportunity to buy that rare vintage home with all the new things you would want in an old one. One year warranty included. Easy to show! Give us or your favorite agent a call today!

Marketed by Montgomery Alabama Realtor Sandra Nickel, Sandra Nickel Hat Team.

Is Your Credit Score a Big Deal?

by The Hat Team

Is your credit score a big deal? If you want to buy a home, it’s a huge deal!

Your credit score will determine if you can get a loan. It will also determine how much you can borrow and what your interest rate will be! To buy a home with a mortgage loan you must have a strong credit score.

credit scoreThere are three primary sources for credit scores in the US: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. They all use the FICO system. These are the most used sources by creditors.

FICO developed the computer software the major credit scoring companies use. FICO scores range from 300 to 850. However, many creditors consider 500 to be the bottom of the acceptable range.

Your score is a measure of your credit-worthiness and determines the interest rate that you will pay for a loan. It’s not unusual for a creditor to obtain all three of the major scores and average them. A very good score is 700, and an excellent score in 750.

The primary factors that determine your score are:

  • payment history (35%)
  • debt/amounts owed (30%)
  • age of credit history (15%)
  • new credit/inquiries (10%)
  • mix of accounts/types of credit (10%)

65% of the total score is determined by only two factors: payment history and amount of debt owed. You must have a good history of paying your bills on time. And you must be very careful about how much debt you have relative to your income!

That last point is extremely important when borrowing for a home mortgage. As of 2014 the federal regulations governing mortgage lending have changed. Borrowers can no longer carry total debt of more than 43% of gross annual income, including the mortgage debt! Lenders are going to be very strict about adhering to that ratio. There are serious consequences for the lender not doing so.

Many actions you take affect your score. Most people don’t think about:

  • unpaid medical bills and parking tickets can lower your credit score
  • heavy credit use can lower your score, even if you pay large balances off in full in a short time
  • credit scores drop if you sign up and use store cards for initial discounts

For more advice about managing your credit, click here.

Looking forward to buying a home? Educate yourself, manage your credit score, and know your credit score before your lender does.

Information courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Experts Sandra Nickel Hat Team REALTORS!

Midtown Montgomery Real Estate Market Trends for Jan 2015

by The Hat Team

Even though most people start their New Year’s resolutions on January 1, some people add resolutions as the year progresses. For some, that goal is realizing the dream of homeownership. Beginning the process of buying a home can be daunting, but it is easy enough to begin working on the first step – saving for a down payment. According to the National Association of REALTORS®' 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 65 percent of home buyers utilize their savings account for a down payment; however, buyers find many other ways to finance a down payment, including selling stocks or bonds, relying on gifts from friends or relatives, retirement funds or using the proceeds from another home sale.

Beginning to build savings should be a priority for potential buyers because it can take some time. According to NAR’s report, it took half of buyers a year or less to save for a down payment, while another 19 percent said it took between one and two years to build their savings account. Additionally, 29 percent said they needed more than two years to save.

Take a look at January 2015's real estate sales statistics.

January 2015 Midtown Montgomery Real Estate Market Update

Midtown Montgomery real estate sales statistics for January 2015, show the number of homes remained the same as January 2014. The average sales price decreased by 45.53%% to $97,298 for the month. The median sales prices decreased by 49.5% to $68,300, and market times increased by 15 days.  The highest selling price decreased by 51.64%, and the lowest selling home price increased by 52.31% compared to $6,500 from January 2014.

Midtown Montgomery  January 2015   January 2014
Homes Sold 24 24
Average Selling Price $97,298 $178,619
Median Selling Price $68,300 $135,250
Days On The Market 154 139
Highest Selling Price $309,500 $640,000
Lowest Selling Price $9,900 $6,500

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 AL Real Estate For Sale: 3321 Cloverdale Rd

by The Hat Team

Montgomery Homes For Sale:

3321 Cloverdale Rd Montgomery AL 36106
MLS # 315362

Classic Cloverdale Cottage!

Three bedrooms and two baths everyone desires! Walking distance to all the restaurants, Independent Capri Theater and Cloverdale Playhouse! Cozy screened in front porch for relaxing. Beautiful hardwood floors throughout the home. Nice fireplace and bay window in living room give it charm. Great updated kitchen. Incredible rear deck for entertaining and all in good condition! Detached garage will hold your car or all your miscellaneous clutter! Give us or your favorite agent a call to see this home in a great location today!

Marketed by Montgomery Alabama Realtor Sandra Nickel, Sandra Nickel Hat Team.

Montgomery AL Home Real Estate For Sale: 601 Cliff Rd

by The Hat Team

Montgomery AL Home for Sale:

601 Cliff Rd Montgomery, AL 36109
MLS# 315387

Updated Home With Open Floor Plan!

Great space with updates! This nicely updated home has a wonderful open plan, so whether you are in the kitchen, dining, or living areas, you can see and be seen! Great breakfast bar and large opening from kitchen into living space make this perfect for entertaining. Addition room off living area could be large 4th bedroom (it has a walk-in closet) or bonus living space. Both bathrooms have been updated, and the new master bath boasts a large walk-in shower. Quiet neighborhood, and convenient to schools, shopping, and dining. Oh, and it IS in the Dalraida Elementary district!

Marketed by Montgomery Alabama Realtors, Sandra Nickel Hat Team.

4 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes NOT To Make

by The Hat Team

First-time homebuyers owe it to themselves to do a lot of research about the finances of buying a home. Here are four first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid.

oops1. Spending the maximum amount on a mortgage a lender will loan.

Lenders often qualify buyers based on incomes and debt-to-income ratios without considering how much the borrowers spend on other budget items.

Financial experts recommend that consumers decide how much they want to spend each month on housing before meeting with a lender. It’s up to you to know your budget and to not just jump at a mortgage amount that a lender says you can afford.

2. Not getting pre-qualified.

This should be the first step toward homeownership. Many first-time homebuyers wait until they are ready to start house hunting before contacting a lender.

Buyers need to get pre-qualified early enough in the process so that they can make changes if they need to or correct errors on their credit report. Some first-time buyers may need to spend up to a year saving more money, increasing their incomes or cleaning up their credit before making an offer on a home.

3. Underestimating the importance your credit score.

While most consumers know it's important to have a high credit score, not everyone understands how costly a low score can be. Mortgage lending is done with a tier of interest rates and terms based on consumer credit scores. Learn about credit scores the minute you start working. Many websites provide information about how to improve your credit score.

And remember, even after a mortgage approval, you must avoid applying for new credit or taking on new debt, because a second credit check is now often required before settlement.

4. Choosing the wrong mortgage product

Many first-time homebuyers opt for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage only because it is an industry standard. Alternatives to a 30-year-fixed sometimes make more sense. For example, buyers certain they will be relocated by their companies within five years may find a 5/1 ARM could be a much better mortgage.

Homebuyers eager to build equity in their homes or who are older and want to live mortgage-free in retirement should consider a 15-year fixed-rate loan or even a 10-year mortgage to reach their goals.

Do your homework and don’t jump at a mortgage because it will buy you a bigger home.

Information courtesy of Montgomery AL Realtor Sandra Nickel, Hat Team Realtors.

Montgomery AL Real Estate For Sale: 1623 Forest Ave

by The Hat Team

Montgomery Homes For Sale:

1623 Forest Ave. Montgomery AL 36106
MLS # 314583

Excellent Office Space!

Reduced 13K!! Owner wants it Sold!! Nice, nice, nice, office space! Five rooms and a nice size reception area at front with counter. Near Jackson's Hospital, Alabama State University with easy access to I-85. Men's/ Women's bath, plumbed space for full bath. kitchenette, newer carpet and paint. HVAC system is less than 2 years old. Parking for 10+ cars, Large storage building in rear

Marketed by Montgomery Alabama Realtor Sandra Nickel, Sandra Nickel Hat Team.


1/2% Could Make a Big Difference

by The Hat Team

Over 50% of homebuyers don’t shop to find the best interest rate for their mortgage.  While a buyer would rarely purchase the first home they look at, they will accept the rate and terms offered by only one lender.

.5 percentWhile the borrower and the property affect the rate and terms that a lender may offer, it is not to be said that all lenders will offer the same terms and rates to the same buyer.  Credit score, home location, home price and loan amount, down payment, loan term, interest rate type and loan type all affect the interest rate but different lenders can interpret this information differently.

Shopping around to compare rate and terms for a mortgage is a reasonable exercise considering that a half percent lesser interest rate could not only lower the payment but the cumulative interest that is paid while that loan is outstanding.

Some borrowers don’t shop the mortgage because they are concerned that having their credit checked multiple times could adversely affect their credit score.  The credit bureaus take this into consideration when several requests are made by the same category of lender in a short period of time.

Check to see the difference 0.5% could make in the mortgage you’re considering by using the calculator provided by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Contact your real estate professional for a list of trusted mortgage professionals to consider.


Information courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Expert Sandra Nickel, Sandra Nickel Hat Team.

4 Compelling Reasons To Buy a Home

by The Hat Team

According to Fannie Mae the top five reasons people buy a home:

  • To have a better place to raise their children
  • A place where their family can feel safe
  • To have more space; Freedom to renovate to their own taste
  • Being a homeowner is a better investment.

home buyersDoes this hold true for you? Well, let’s take a look at these reasons to get a broader perspective…then you decide for yourself about being a homeowner.

1. To have a better place to raise children and family can feel safe…

This can very subjective and involves a lot of factors. It boils down to community and personal preferences. What is the look and feel of a community where you could see yourself living? The school system and convenience to shopping are important. Local government services provided such as emergency services, hospitals, fire, police, utilities, etc. must be considered. Is there a neighborhood watch, public parks, a community center with activities for everyone in the family, etc.? Try making a list of all the things important to you and use it evaluate where you’re searching for a home.

2. To have more space…

This is also somewhat subjective, but can be looked at analytically as well. Much depends on your lifestyle and the size of your family. There are large and small apartments, and large and small houses. Much has to do with how much space you would like to have versus how much you can afford. And this also really flows into the next topic…

3. Freedom to renovate for your own taste…

Whether you want to add on or simply renovate within existing walls, “freedom” is a huge factor in deciding to buy a house. Buying is not for everyone. Renting is a very good option for a lot of people. But the freedom to do as you please with your home is a powerful motivator. Here’s where lifestyle comes into play. It costs more to own a home than to rent. The money saved by renting can arguably be used to support a different lifestyle, which is also a form of freedom. Only you can decide.

4. Owning is a better investment…

There is no doubt that at the end of a renting cycle you walk away with no financial benefit except for the money you have saved in the process. How that savings compares with what you have when you sell a house you have owned is the question. And the answer is “It all depends.” Being a homeowner costs money. But, a lot of the money spent owning a home potentially can be recuperated. A homeowner is also building equity every month they make a mortgage payment. In that sense home ownership can be viewed as a huge savings fund.

If freedom is your primary key factor, buying real estate and becoming a homeowner is definitely to be considered!

Information courtesy of Montgomery AL Realtor Sandra Nickel.


Montgomery AL Real Estate For Sale: 1948 Graham St

by The Hat Team

Montgomery AL Home for Sale:

1948 Graham St – Montgomery, AL 36106
MLS# 315039

If you can be patient, you can own this sweet cottage on a sought after street for a lot less than you'd expect! Desirable open-space floorplan created in 2005 total restoration, which included foundation repair according to structural engineer plan. Master bedroom boasts walk-in closet, luxury bath. Detached building has heat/cool pump which makes it ideal for a home office or studio. Short sale so be prepared for a wait--it'll be worth it!

Marketed by Montgomery Alabama Realtor, Sandra Nickel Hat Team.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 11




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