Real Estate Information Archive


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Happy Fourth of July Montgomery!

by The Hat Team

“America is best described in one word--freedom” Dwight D. Eisenhower

flagAs Americans, we celebrate Independence Day on July 4th to honor our nation’s birthday and the Declaration of Independence. It is day replete with parades, cookouts, picnics, waving flags, and fireworks--and a heavy dose of patriotism.


  • JULY 4, 1776: The Second Continental Congress completed its work on the Declaration of Independence.
  • JULY 8, 1776: Independence Day was first Celebrated in Philadelphia on, and the Liberty Bell was sounded on that day.
  • JULY 4, 1804: The first public celebration was held at the White House
  • JULY 4, 1826: Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on this day.
  • JULY 4, 1941: Independence Day was first celebrated as a federal legal holiday

“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right with America.” Bill Clinton


Ever been to Liberty, MO? How about Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty, or East Liberty--all in Iowa? And then there are the eleven places with Independence in their names and five which feature Freedom; Freedom, CA, is the largest of these. Five more towns sport the word America, but only one can lay claim to Patriot, and that is a spot in Indiana with a population of 202.

Did you know that there is a one-gun salute fired at noon on July 4th on every capable military base? It is called the Salute to the Union.


And there are specific rules about displaying it proudly and properly.  Here you can brush up on the do’s and don’t's for honoring Old Glory.

Be sure to take time to honor our military and their families for the sacrifices they make each and every day so we can be free! Something as simple as saying ‘Thank you’ can make a Vets day!


Having a cookout or picnic with friends and family? Think about foods that come in patriotic colors--white snow cone cups filled with red and blue berries, or use the three colors to make napkins which you tie with red, white, and blue patterned shoelaces instead of napkin rings. Be sure to offer hot dogs, hamburgers, cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, and watermelon for an all-American meal. Maybe even Mom’s apple pie to top it off! Get many delicious recipes and grilling ideas and safety tips.


Nearly every U.S. city or town offers an exciting fireworks display to end the day’s festivities, and we’re never too old or too young to ‘ooh and ah’ at the spectacle. Some notable shows are held at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the Charles River in Boston, Mt. Rushmore, the Rose Bowl, and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Perhaps the longest celebration is fittingly held in Philadelphia--a 9 day festival culminating in back-to-back fireworks!

George Washington once said, “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” Do remember, however, that such a plant needs to cherished, taken care of, nourished, and protected by each and every American.


Montgomery AL Real Estate: 737 Park Ave

by The Hat Team

Montgomery AL Real Estate:

737 Park Ave, Montgomery AL 36106
MLS# 285283m

Stress will fade away when you relax on the expansive screened front porch of this wonderful Old Cloverdale home. Calming park-like setting feels like you are in a different place...when actually you are within walking distance of all the Cloverdale action! Big rooms, open feel, and great flow make for great entertaining, and the cook in your family will love the updated kitchen. Shady back yard is as tranquil as the front, and don't miss the heated and cooled workshop/exercise room and 1 car garage with quaint side porch. Classic craftsman features with modern updates...who wouldn't want to live on Park Avenue! 

Learn more about 737 Park Ave and other Montgomery Real Estate by visiting

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Midtown Montgomery Real Estate Sales - May 2011

by The Hat Team

Despite the ups and downs of the housing market, home owners and non-owners alike consider owning a home essential to the American Dream according to a survey conducted on behalf of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) by Public Opinion Strategies of Alexandria, VA, and Lake Research Partners of Washington, D.C.

The survey results show that Americans see beyond the immediate housing market to the enduring value of homeownership. An overwhelming 75 percent of the people who were polled said that owning a home is worth the risk of the fluctuations in the market, and 95 percent of the home owners said they are happy with their decision to own a home.

One of the more striking aspects of the survey results is the intensity of sentiment among potential voters, according to Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners. “People believe overwhelmingly that owning a home is an anchor to the American Dream,” she says. “It’s an anchor to your retirement, and it’s an anchor to your personal economic well-being.”

Among the other survey results:

73 percent said owning a home is one of their goals
• Homeownership and a retirement savings program are considered by voters to be their best investments.
• 80 percent of home owners would advise a close friend or family member just starting out to buy a home.
• Saving for a down payment and closing costs is the biggest barrier to homeownership.
• Americans believe that owning their own home is as important as being successful at their job or being able to pay for a family member’s education.

Owning a home is not just a commodity to people. It is a core value.

Now take a look at how the Midtown Montgomery real estate market performed in May.

Midtown Montgomery real estate sales statistics for May show the average sales price decreased by 10% to $150,975 when compared to May 2010.  The number of homes sold decreased by 51% in May.  The median sales prices decreased by 6%, while market times increased 15% or 18 days.  The highest selling home price decreased by 36%, and the lowest selling home price increased by 59%.

Midtown Montgomery May 2011 May 2010
Homes Sold 22 45
Average Selling Price $ 150,975 $ 166,925
Median Selling Price $ 111,450 $ 118,900
Days On The Market 121 103
Highest Selling Price $ 480,000 $ 750,000
Lowest Selling Price $ 12,500 $ 5,100

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.

Pros and Cons Of Buying a New Montgomery AL Home

by The Hat Team

Considering buying a newly built Montgomery AL home? Here are some things to think about.


  • HOME WARRANTY: Generally this warranty is good for one year and covers heating, cooling, and electrical systems and plumbing. Some also cover appliances.
  • INCENTIVE PROGRAM: Many builders use incentives, both large and small, to attract buyers. Examples include vacations or furnishing for your Montgomery AL home. Note: these incentives are often offered only if you use the builder’s lender.
  • CUSTOM DESIGN: If you become involved with the builder early in the building process, you may have a say in the home’s construction--from customized features to flooring to colors.
  • FASTER CLOSING. No titles to search.
  • SAFETY/HEALTH: No worries about old wiring. lead paint, or asbestos.
  • LESS MAINTENANCE: Materials used in the exterior of a new home do not require yearly painting.
  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Less waste, and thus lower bills.


  • HIRE A BUYERS REAL ESTATE AGENTwooden home who is experienced in new home sales. A strong realtor negotiating on your behalf can save you thousands!
  • CHECK OUT THE BUILDER: Talk to those already living in the new community. Find five or six homeowners who have purchased a Montgomery AL home from him in the past five years. Ask what they like and don’t like about their houses. Has he been responsive to problems? Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are complaints against him.
  • EVALUATE THE BUILDER’S LENDER: Some builders own their own lending company and therefore don’t offer you the best deal . Beware of being locked into using that lender in order to qualify for incentives. Request that the lender guarantee its Good Faith Estimate.
  • HIRE A HOME INSPECTOR: Even if you have a one year warranty on your Montgomery AL home, some problems won’t surface until that service has expired.
  • GET LEGAL ADVICE: Have a real estate lawyer check your purchase agreement to make sure you are protected and to explain your liabilities and commitments.

Montgomery Real Estate For Sale: 3228  Lexington Road Montgomery, AL 36106


This unassuming tudor-style cottage has some awesome architectural detailing! Classic barrel-vault ceiling and lots of natural light in living room give a feeling of openness. The "moorish" style fireplace between the living and dining rooms seems to "float" and has a unique niche built-in for a treasured piece of sculpture. Wide central hall is a great place to show off an art collection and is even big enough for furniture. If you like retro, you will flip over the hall bath with its original yellow and black retro tile that looks like it came from the Chrysler Building in New York! Off the living room is a private side courtyard that leads to an open backyard with plenty of space for kids and pets to play. Unfinished basement is a great storm shelter and could be a cool space to store wine. Recent improvements include new roof, French drain system, fresh paint, and new double pane window in the living room.

Learn more about 3228 Lexington Road and other Montgomery Real Estate by visiting

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The Greening Of Your Montgomery AL Home

by The Hat Team

As you may already know, the addition of live plants in your home is a frequently used decorating tool which creates a relaxed atmosphere, adds visual impact, and fills empty spaces. But did you also realize that “bringing nature inside” actually makes your Montgomery AL home a healthier place?

Indoor environments are filled with dangerous volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) given off by furniture, paint, plastics, adhesives, carpets, insulation, furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, and building materials--but don’t despair! One NASA study found that common houseplants--in addition to absorbing carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen, and providing humidity--can improve indoor air quality by removing up to 87% of air toxins from your Montgomery AL homelight bulb in 24 hours.

Once interior pollutants are decreased in your home, you and your family will most likely experience fewer coughs, colds, headaches, sore throats, and less fatigue by as much as 30%. Studies have also shown that the presence of green houseplants generates a calming effect on the inhabitants, especially children. One study in England found that restlessness and behavioral problem among children in rooms containing plants was reduced by 70%! Also, since green plants absorb noise, they help relax the nervous system, thus lowering stress levels.

So what plants to choose? All houseplants improve the quality of indoor air, but some are particularly effective purifiers. Many of these originated in the tropics in low light, so they are efficient at processing and absorbing gasses needed for photosynthesis. Most are also insect resistant and are fairly easy to grow. Especially popular are the following:

  • Mother fern
  • Boston fern
  • Philodendrons
  • Palms
  • Ficus
  • Peace lilies
  • Ivy
  • Rubber plants
  • Spider plant

Mix it up and have a variety of types. Don’t ignore corners; not all plants need to be near a window. Take care of your plants so they can do their job; keep the soil/root area clean and avoid overwatering, which can cause mold!

Montgomery Real Estate For Sale:1254 South Hull Street Montgomery, AL 36104


Hang Onto Your Heart! You'll have to see it to believe the grandeur for the price. Huge, light-filled rooms, most with beamed ceilings and double French doors. 8 fireplaces (7 decorative, vented gas logs in living room.) Granite countertops, stainless appliances, inlaid wood floors AND almost new tankless water heater AND new roof being installed momentarily. Live like a king and/or queen on a commoner's budget in Montgomery's historic Garden District.

Montgomery Real Estate For Sale: 2638 Girard Street Montgomery, AL 36106


Just 2 blocks from all the action! Literally walk (or crawl) home from Sinclair's, 1048, Bud's and El Rey; or stroll to the Capri and the new Cloverdale Playhouse! This cute-as-a-speckled-puppy cottage has been updated and is move-in ready! Traditional living room and dining room live like an "old house", and great big den/family room addition on the back has a more contemporary feel. Corner lot affords space and privacy. If you like being outdoors, you will love the back yard! Great patio, cool arbor, koi pond with water feature, mature shade trees, and beautiful landscaping invite you to just relax. More "green spaces" on the side and between the house and garage make great play areas as well. Convenient, affordable, updated, and ready to move into...make plans to see this home TODAY!



Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for Your Montgomery AL Home?

by The Hat Team

Because of today’s economic situation, rapidly rising health care costs, and falling retirement and savings account balances, many seniors are feeling financial stress. Looking for relief from their monetary woes, over 600,000 seniors have taken advantage of the FHA’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), better known as a reverse mortgage.

mortgageA reverse mortgage is a special type of home loan based on age, equity, interest rates, and the value of your Montgomery AL home, a reverse mortgage allows you to not only forego paying monthly mortgage rates but also to receive money (as long as at least one borrower lives in the home) on a continuous monthly basis, for a fixed period of time, or in unscheduled installments as needed.

To qualify for a HECM, the FHA requires that you own your home outright or have a low mortgage balance that can be paid from the loan’s proceeds, be at least 62 or older, and that you continue to reside in your Montgomery AL home. Single family homes and 1-4 unit homes with one unit occupied by the borrower are eligible. The same holds true for HUD approved condos and manufactured homes that meet FHA standards.

A reverse mortgage differs from a home equity loan in that you do not make monthly payments, and it is available to you regardless of your income. The amount of the HECM is based on your age, the current interest rate, and the appraised value of your Montgomery AL home.

When you or the last surviving homeowner moves from the house or passes away, you or your estate has approximately 12 months to repay the loan amount, with fees and interest, to the lender. Any remaining equity after a sale will belong to you or your heirs. If the proceeds of the sale are not enough to cover the loan, the lender, not you or your heirs, must take the loss.

There are four ways to receive your money:

  1. Lump sum--all the cash at closing
  2. Tenure--equal monthly payments as long as the house is the principal residence.
  3. Term--equal monthly payments for a fixed number of years.
  4. Line of credit--funds available to draw on at any time.

Note: the borrower can “mix and match” any of the above plans and can use the money for any purpose.

As with all government programs, you need to give careful consideration to all of your options. In fact, potential HECM borrowers are required to receive some type of consumer pre-counseling about the program. You can find an HECM counselor online at or by calling 1-800-569-4287. You can also contact the National Council on Aging at 1-800-510-030 or online at. BEWARE of reverse mortgage companies who charge a fee to refer you to a lender! It is best to work only with lenders who are members of the Better Business Bureau and the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders, organizations which adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards.

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9




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