Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

Selecting Plants and Flowers for Home Garden

by The Hat Team

Many of us select plants for the garden at our Montgomery, AL home based on their visual effect—color, height, size of blooms, etc. And so we should, as the sight of our plantings should be pleasing to our sense of sight. As we plan our garden, however, we should also be aware of the other four senses—and include plants which appeal to each of them.

SMELL: Aromatherapy is a powerful practice. With nothing more than a simple scent, the brain can be triggered to remember long forgotten memories, emotions, and feelings. With that being said, it is important to carefully select the flowers you want in the garden of your Montgomery, AL home. With a few simple choices, you can create your own "memory lane' or relaxing oasis. In terms of fragrance, it’s hard to beat roses or lavender. Wisteria and jasmine are scented climbers which can really enhance the sensory pleasure of a garden, and amaryllis belladonna and spirea both add pleasant scents.

SOUND: Few of us associate the sense of sound with our garden, but the rustling of long grasses and the chirping of birds add a much-appreciated dimension. To attract songbirds, use fruit-bearing understory trees like dogwoods and service berries and shrubs such as viburnums and hollies and introduce low growing perennials and dwarf shrubs like creeping juniper and cotoneaster. You can also plant vines, ground covers, and sunflowers to increase chirping and tweeting.

TOUCH: Texture in garden design refers to the surface quality of the plant. Plant textures range from delicate and fine to coarse and bold. The feel of the foliage in your Montgomery, AL home’s garden is not the only element of texture, however, as the texture can change with the play of light and shadow and even with viewing distance. Plants with thread-like leaves call out to be touched, so consider adding cosmos, baby's breath, asters, and grasses. In addition, iris and lamb’s ear will each provide softer tactile experiences.

TASTE: The world of herbs is nearly without limits. Think about basil, chives, rosemary, chamomile, cilantro, mint, and parsley, to name just a few tasty garden additions. Consider, too low bush blueberries or ligonberries. Lesser known, but equally valuable as salad additions are the flowers of the hibiscus shrub, columbine, and daylilies.

Some of the plants you have selected for your garden will serve more than one purpose and will appeal to more than one sense, so be sure to sniff, feel, taste, listen to, and view each of them!

Courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Expert Sandra Nickel.   

Happy Memorial Day!

by The Hat Team

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

National Moment of Remembrance

To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

Courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Expert Sandra Nickel.   

Montgomery AL Home for Sale:

410 Nottingham Rd, Montgomery, AL 36109

MLS# 416496

3 bedrooms | 1 bath | 1,040 square feet | Forest Hills

One family has owned this well-built brick home for the last 51 years and it shows!! Sitting atop a nice elevated lot, it has always given the owner a great sense of security. Hardwood oak and pine floors throughout. Kitchen has beautiful red oak counter tops. Three good size bedrooms and one original hard tiled bath with a new refinished original tub. Seller has updated the electrical with a new box that contains circuit breakers. Recent HVAC has also been added for your enjoyment and peace of mind. Nice terraced rear yard contains spacious storage building for tools and lawn equipment. Mature landscaping including crepe myrtles, azaleas and many more varieties of plants! Seller is leaving refrigerator, washer and dryer. A perfect starter home where you won’t have to buy a single appliance. Owner has purchased another and is ready to sell. Give us or your favorite agent a call to see this great property today!

Marketed by Montgomery AL Realtor Frank Powell, Sandra Nickel Hat Team!



3 Mistakes First-Time Buyers Make (and How to Avoid Them)

by The Hat Team

There are a few mistakes that many first-time home buyers make. Here are three of the most common mistakes and how you can avoid them when purchasing your first home.

Mistake #1: Assuming your credit is good.

The information in your credit report determines whether you can get a loan — and how much interest you will have to pay – so it pays to be certain your credit reports are accurate.

Check your credit reports for free from all three credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to make sure everything is correct. If you find errors, contact both the credit reporting company and the information provider (the person, company or organization that provided information about you to a credit reporting company) involved in the errors and ask them to fix the credit report errors.

Mistake #2: Getting pre-qualified, not pre-approved, for a loan.

It’s far better to be pre-approved for a loan than to be pre-qualified. Here’s why…

With pre-qualification, your lender does a preliminary evaluation of your ability to pay for a home and gives an estimate of the mortgage amount they’ll give you. The lender does not verify the information you provide.

Mistake #3: Allowing emotions to influence your decisions.

Buying a home is an investment. It needs to be treated as any other investment. You don’t buy stocks because they are pretty and you shouldn’t pick your home that way either. Make sure the home you buy fits your needs and allows you room to grow over the next few years. As with any sound investment, time is the key to a good return.

If you are a first-time home buyer, I would be happy to help you find (and get the best price for) your first home.

Courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Expert Sandra Nickel.   

Sprucing Up for Spring

by The Hat Team

It is that time of the year again, spring has sprung. As you begin thinking about spring cleaning, don’t forget to include the homes exterior in your plans. Whether you are selling your property or plan on calling it home for awhile, every house could use a boost in curb appeal. Curb appeal creates the first impression of your home. If selling your home, curb appeal reflects how well the property is cared for and intrigues buyers to take a look inside. Curb appeal is also a way to showcase your personality and create welcoming scenery for your guests. Spring is the perfect time to spruce up your home’s exterior. The following tips will help you attain enchanting curb appeal.

Start With A Checklist

The first step to enhancing curb appeal is to determine what needs improvement. Take a walk around the outside of your home pretending that you are a potential buyer and take note of things that could possibly impair your first impression. Be sure to consider all factors from possible missing shingles on the roof to rotten wood around windows or doors.


If your home does not receive routine yard maintenance, a through clean up can make all the difference. Start by removing debris, giving the grass a fresh cut, eliminating weeds, and trimming over grown bushes or trees. Keep in mind that bushes should never exceed the height of window sills or extrude growth beyond the threshold of sidewalks. Use a pressure washer to clean the exterior of the house, making sure to leave all windows sparkling. Replace any rotten wood and touch up chipped paint.

The Front Door

Establishing a welcoming entry can really improve the first impression of a visitor or potential buyer. Make sure the pathway and porch leading to the front door is well lit. Use decorative porch fixtures that compliment the color of the house and other hardware. Lining walkways with solar powered garden lights gives the yard a vivid glow after dark. Make the front door a focal point by repainting it a warm, inviting shade that contrasts from the siding and shutters. Use a classic shade of red or go bold and try yellow. 


Courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Expert Sandra Nickel.   

Mother's Day Wishes!

by The Hat Team

The Person who has done more for you than anyone in the world!

A halo that reflects a life of wisdom, kindness, and caring. Eyes that sparkle with pride and show how much she believes in you. Shoulders that have been slept on and wept on and carried a world or two. Arms that never run out of hugs. Hands that know just when to hold on and when to let go. A mind filled with amazing things, from fairy tales to family tails and long-ago stories of you. A smile that can jump right into your heart and warm you faster than hot chocolate. A heart of gold that holds more love than you can possibly imagine.

Courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Expert Sandra Nickel.   

Montgomery AL Home for Sale:

440 Clayton St, Montgomery, AL 36104

MLS# 416323

2 bedrooms | 2 baths | 1 half bath | 2,077 square feet | Hanrick

This early 20th century home will take you back to a bygone era of front porch/balcony sitting, garden entertaining, and elegant Victorian living, without the worry of outdated systems! Wiring, plumbing, insulation, kitchen and baths have all been updated.  Soaring 14 ft ceilings, pocket doors, and original vintage gas lamps that have now been electrified are just a few of the age-old architectural details found within. Long covered back porch overlooks extra deep lot. Basement partially finished and with relatively new full bath could make stunning master suite or efficiency apartment. This quiet, historic neighborhood is within walking distance to Downtown dining and activities.

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


Montgomery AL Home for Sale:

1731 Winona Ave. Montgomery, AL 36107

MLS# 415656

3 bedrooms | 2 baths | 1,320 square feet | Capitol Heights

Nice updates abound in this adorable Capitol Heights cottage just minutes from everything happening Downtown. The open plan blends living room, dining room and into an updated kitchen.  Hardwood floors are throughout, so no carpet to worry about. Outdoor lovers will appreciate the spacious covered front porch as well as the more private rear deck overlooking a lovely yard and water feature. Great price, so stop paying your landlord’s mortgage and start building equity in your future! Ask us or your favorite Realtor about NO MONEY DOWN financing and lender credits towards closing costs. This is a deal you don’t want to miss!!

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


Home Buying Made Easy

by The Hat Team

If you are currently in the market for buying a house, then you are likely already aware of just how difficult it can sometimes be.  There are many stressors throughout the process that can make the home buying process seem anything but easy.  Below are a few ways that home buying can be made a bit easier if you do your part to put them into action.  

  1.  The first and most important thing you need to do before looking for a home to buy is to find an agent.  The reason this part is the most important is because buying a home is a huge financial obligation and you want to choose the right person to help you with such a big decision in your life.  A good way to find an excellent Realtor is to talk with your friends and family members that you trust to see whom they have used in the past.  Once they give you a few suggestions, you can meet each one and see which one best matches your personality wishes.  You will be spending quite a bit of time with this person so you want to make sure that you get along beautifully with them.   

  1. The next step in home buying made easy  is to find a lender.  Many times you can find out from your Realtor about what lenders they tend to use or who they think can be the best match for you and your particular situation.  If your Realtor doesn’t lead you to the best match, again you can talk to your friends and family for suggestions.   

  1. You then need to make sure your credit is as clean as it can possibly be.  Lenders can many times give you a bit of guidance in this area so that you can get approved for a loan.   

  1. It is important that you get pre approved for a loan before you go out searching for the home of your dreams.  The lender that you choose will help you to know exactly how much of a house you can comfortably afford before you get your heart set on one.  

  1. Lastly, figure out exactly what you are looking for in a house.  Make a list of your wants and desires in order of their importance.  This will help to guide you in your home buying  adventure and will help avoid wasting precious time.   

These are just a few ideas on how to make the home buying process a bit easier.  Once you do your part to put all of these in motion you will be well on your way to finding the home of your dreams.   


Courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Expert Sandra Nickel.   

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9




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