Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 10

Must Love Dogs: How to Find a Dog Friendly Neighborhood

by The Hat Team

When searching for your new home you want to make sure the neighborhood is a good fit for everyone in the family, including your pup. You will likely be looking for a nice yard, but it’s important to look beyond the property line. The type of neighborhood you end up in can make a huge difference in the quality of life for you and your fur babies. Here are a few signs that you have found a dog friendly environment:

  • There are more groomers in a two-mile radius than hair salons…walk in appointments welcome!
  • Restaurants and shops have water bowls and treats for visiting pups.
  • Pet waste stations are abundant.
  • The local dog park is always busy with happy pooches frolicking with friends.

Here are some more serious things to think about when considering the home and neighborhood that will work best for you and your pets:

  • NEIGHBORS WITH DOGS.  They will be more understanding if your dog occasionally barks and are more likely to be helpful should you need someone to let your dog out or walk them while you are away from the house.
  • PET SHOPS.  Areas with a lot of pets mean that there will be pet shops conveniently available.
  • SIDEWALKS. A neighborhood with sidewalks is idea for dog-walking.  Bonus point if they have waste stations too.
  • DOG PARKS. These are especially nice for urban areas. Check if there are off-leash hours or dog runs, or at least grassy areas where pups can run and play.
  • MEET-UP GROUPS. Check and see if there are local meet-up groups available for playdates with other families with dogs. This is a great way for you to make friends as well!

If you are looking to move to the Montgomery area and want to find a pet friendly neighborhood, contact Sandra Nickel at Homes for Sale in Montgomery  to start your home search today!


Photo Credit:

1483 S Perry St, Montgomery AL 36104

MLS# 428721

4 bedrooms | 3 baths | 3,251 square feet | Garden District

This Garden District home in Midtown Montgomery offers grand living on a large scale! Space abounds in this turn-of-the-century beauty with tasteful modern updates. Classic high coffered ceilings are present in the living room, parlor/music room (with giant pocket doors that really work) and banquet-sized dining room. The family-style updated kitchen opens to a big breakfast area with built-in seating and a light filled den/keeping room with cozy fireplace. This space overlooks a beautifully landscaped side courtyard with brick terrace. Also on the main level you will find a full bath and a den/study that could be (and currently is being) used as a first-floor bedroom if needed. The second floor has a large master bedroom, tons of closets, and an updated master bath with dressing area. Rounding out the upstairs are three more bedrooms, a nice hall bath, and a staircase to the third-floor attic area with endless storage and a large cedar-lined walk-in closet for off-season clothes. Don't miss this opportunity to own one of the Garden District's grand old dames.

Marketed by Montgomery AL Realtor Billy Young, Sandra Nickel Hat Team!

Upsizing - Now is the Time in Montgomery, AL

by The Hat Team

We hear a lot about people downsizing and simplifying, but if you are looking for a larger home, now is a great time to sell your smaller home and move up to something that better suits your wants and needs.  Perhaps you have a growing family and need more space, or an additional income-earner has joined your household or maybe you have enough equity in your current home that you can now afford your dream home. Whatever the reason, movin’ on up is an exciting prospect!

Ok, now let’s contain that excitement a bit and think about what it means to purchase a more expensive house.  First, just because you can afford something on paper, doesn’t mean you should commit all your resources to the most expensive property on your radar.  It would behoove you to take a thorough look at your current budget and then play with the numbers a bit to determine how much more you’re willing to spend each month on a higher mortgage payment.  A dream house is wonderful, but being house-poor is not.  Think about your lifestyle and don’t make the mistake of getting into a financial bind that doesn’t allow you to do the activities you enjoy.

When financing your new home, you have a couple of options.  If you haven’t sold your current home yet, you can choose a home equity loan or a bridge loan to make the down payment on the new home.  A home equity loan allows you to borrow against your current home’s equity and is usually less expensive than other loans.  A bridge loan is a short-term loan that is used until you can obtain permanent financing.  Because they are short term, the interest rates on them will be relatively high.

Before you put your house on the market and commit to purchasing a new one, educate yourself about the prices of houses in the areas where you will be selling and buying. Whether it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, a professional Realtor will be able to assist you in navigating the process.  The goal is to sell high and buy low, and in today’s market that is an achievable dream!


Photo Credit:

Valentine's Day Wishes!

by The Hat Team

Courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Expert Sandra Nickel.   

What Inspires Love at First Sight for Home Buyers

by The Hat Team

Perhaps you have imagined your dream house.  You’ve pictured it in your mind and can only hope that you can find it in real life.  Some buyers have to look for a long time before finding the home of their dreams, but others know right away. When reality matches the vision you have for your home, you might fall in love at first sight. Here are some things that make buyers know they had found “the one” the moment they see it:

  • A gorgeous front porch. Nothing says “welcome home” better than a beautifully appointed front porch.  A creative front door with porch railings painted a complementary color are a great way to draw a potential buyer into a home. That first look can make or break the interest of buyers.
  • Standing out among the crowd.  That neighborhood full of “cookie cutter” houses may be the right area for you, but you don’t want your house to look like everyone else’s.  A home that stands out is the one for you.  For example, maybe that one white brick house in a sea of red brick houses is just different enough to make it the right one for you.
  • Layout. Open concept has been popular for a long time, but maybe your dream house affords more privacy.  When you walk into a home that has defined rooms that serve specific purposes, you have found what you have envisioned as the perfect home for you.
  • The great outdoors.  Perhaps the inside doesn’t matter quite as much as the outside to you.  Despite the imperfections in the house itself, that huge, beautiful yard is all you ever wanted.
  • Good bones.  If your dream house is one that you design yourself, then you might just fall in love with a fixer upper that has good bones.  Just make sure to educate yourself about what it will take to make the vision you have for your home a reality.

There are many things that can make a buyer fall in love with a house at first sight. A professional Realtor like Sandra Nickel can help guide you through the process of finding and purchasing your dream home.  Give her a call at 334-834 1500 let The Hat Team of Realtors help you today!


Photo Credit: East Bay Homeless

1503 S Hull St, Montgomery AL 36104

MLS# 428393

3 bedrooms | 1 bath | 1,514 square feet | Garden District

This classic Garden District bungalow just needs a little TLC to become a dream home. Situated on a corner lot, across from the beautiful Episcopal Church of the Ascension, this home offers a unique front porch to enjoy the views of the church and bell tower. Home has hardwood floors, spacious rooms, arches and transoms, and a cool vintage double-drain-board porcelain sink in the kitchen. You will love the many heirloom shrubs and flowering trees in the front and back yards. Conveniently located in Midtown Montgomery, this home has great bones, a 1-yr old roof, and tons of charm!

Marketed by Montgomery AL Realtor Billy Young, Sandra Nickel Hat Team!

1503 S Hull St


221 Bowen Bend, Wetumpka AL 36093 - Spacious Home in Desirable Mitchell Creek Estates!

MLS# 426987

4 bedrooms | 2 baths | 1,634 Square Feet | Mitchell Creek Estates

Welcome to desirable Mitchell Creek Estates! Nestled in the curve on a quiet street you will find this lovely 4-bedroom, 2 bath brick home in pristine condition in REDLAND ELEMENTARY school district. The spacious great room has beautiful hard wood floors and a wood burning fireplace. The recently updated kitchen has beautiful granite, designer back splash, breakfast bar and side by side refrigerator. The best part might be the outdoor living space with screened porch, deck, huge flat yard, and the 27-foot diameter above ground chemical free ionized POOL that is easy to maintain and care for. Perfect for parties for the kids, entertaining friends or just relaxing after work. Plenty of storage in attached carport and detached storage building. Just minutes away from East Montgomery, I-85 and qualifies for the USDA loan program.

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

221 Bowen Bend Wetumpka AL



1323 S Court St, Montgomery AL 36104 - Beautiful Bungalow in Historic Garden District

MLS# 428305

2 bedrooms | 1 bath | 1 half-bath | 2,210 square feet | Garden District/Cloverdale

Located just one block from the AL Governor’s Mansion in Midtown Montgomery, the charm and character of this 1920's home is sure to impress! Brick arched front porch welcomes you into spacious living spaces. Large living room boasts period lighting, high ceilings, fireplace, and beautiful dentil molding. Bright sun room off the living room makes a great multi-purpose space and could serve as a third bedroom if needed. Big family style kitchen has plenty of cabinets and counter space. Main bath has wonderful original porcelain tub, updated vanity and a separate walk-in shower. Rear entry area is perfect mudroom/utility room and has one of the coolest service sinks you will ever see. Back yard is plenty big and has a driveway off the side street, Linden, and a detached one car carport. Priced right and just waiting for a new owner. Current zoning also will allow for this home to be used as an office.

Marketed by Montgomery AL Realtor Billy Young, Sandra Nickel Hat Team!

Using a Gift as a Down Payment - What You Need to Know

by The Hat Team

Coming up with the money needed for a down payment on a house is not easy for many people.  Some are lucky enough to have someone (or several people) give them cash as a gift to go towards purchasing a home.  No doubt, that is a wonderful thing!  But there are guidelines that must be followed when using financial gifts for your down payment.

Using gifted funds to buy a home is not as simple as it sounds.  First, the money can’t come from just anyone.  Lenders want the money to come from a family member, such as a parent, grandparent or sibling.  You can also receive gifts from your spouse, domestic partner or significant other if you’re engaged to be married.

You may or may not be able to use gifted money for your entire down payment. It depends on the type of loan you are seeking.  If you are taking out a conventional loan, all your down payment can come from a gift, if you are putting down 20 percent or more.  If you are putting down less than 20 percent, you must include some money of your own.  With FHA and VA loans, the entire amount can be gifted unless your credit score is less than 620, in which case you will have to come up with 3.5 percent of the down payment yourself. No matter what type of loan you apply for, you can only use gifted funds to purchase a primary residence or a second home.

In addition to there being restrictions about who can give you money, you will also have to prove that the money is a gift.  You will need to provide a gift letter that includes the name of the donor, their relationship to you, the date and amount of the gift and a statement that says the money is given with no expectation of repayment.  Both you and the donor must sign the letter. 

While it’s not necessary, it is a good idea to have the gift in your bank account prior to applying for a loan. That way when your lender looks through your bank statements for the previous few months, they will already see documentation of the gift.

If someone has given you money to go toward a down payment, Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of real estate professionals can help you find your dream house.  Give them a call today at 334-834-1500!

Montgomery AL Home for Sale:

460 Caldwell Pl, Montgomery AL 36209

MLS# 428206

2 bedrooms | 2 baths | 1,501 square feet | Dalraida

This pristine patio home in desirable Dalraida is just what you have been looking for. Great for entertaining, it has a formal dining room, large kitchen with sunny breakfast nook AND a breakfast bar! Spacious living room has high ceilings and gas log fireplace, and plenty of wall space for furniture and art. Split plan has private guest bedroom and bath at the front of the house, and large master bedroom at the rear. Master bedroom has plenty of closet space, and newly installed French doors leading to private courtyard. Master bath has garden tub, separate walk-in shower, and double vanities! Out back, you will enjoy a covered patio, and storage galore with an attached storage room and a detached storage building! Private drive allows rear access to off-street parking. Roof was replaced about a year ago, so that is something you will not have to budget for, for many years to come! New laminate flooring throughout most of the house is great for allergy sufferers who can’t deal with carpet, and perfect for indoor pets! Call us or your favorite agent and don't miss out on this one!

Marketed by Montgomery AL Realtor Billy Young, Sandra Nickel Hat Team!


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 10




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