Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 10

Feel Safe at Home with These Security Tips

by The Hat Team


Let’s face it - it can be a scary world.  Your home should be a safe-haven for you and your family.  While safety can never be guaranteed, there are steps you can take to make your home feel secure.  Here are some tips for making your home as safe and secure as possible:

  • Light it up!  While there is no reason to fear darkness itself, it is true that when bad things happen to people, they often happen under the cover of darkness.  So, brightening up your surroundings can help discourage people from lurking around your home.  Install energy-efficient bulbs in your outdoor lights and keep them on when it’s dark, or have motion sensors so that lights come on when there is movement near or around your property.  At night, keep some lights on inside so your house doesn’t appear completely dark.
  • Close window coverings when it gets dark.  You may not be able to see what’s going on outside in the dark, but people outside can clearly see in your house if your windows are exposed.
  • Get to know your neighbors. You certainly won’t feel safe if you are surrounded by strangers!  Knowing your neighbors will provide you with the security of having someone to call on if you are feeling unsafe. 15 Ways to Get to Know Your Neighbors
  • Keep emergency numbers handy.  Many people use mobile phones exclusively these days, so it’s a good idea to create contacts for emergency numbers so all you must do is touch a screen or push a button to call for help.  If you haven’t gotten rid of your landline yet, you may want to consider keeping it for safety reasons.  With a landline call, a 911 operator will receive your location immediately, whereas it might take a bit longer to pinpoint your location with a cell phone.
  • Eliminate hiding spots.  Make sure your shrubs are trimmed and well-spaced so that they don’t provide hiding spots for burglars.
  • Don’t hide a key outside.  I’ve locked myself out enough times to know that it is a good idea to have a spare key somewhere, but people looking to invade your home will find it no matter how well you think you have hidden it.  Instead, leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor.
  • Make sure you have quality locks.  The lock is the weakest part on a door.  You will want a grade 1 or grade 2 dead-bolt lock that penetrates the door frame.  It’s important to have a strike plate that is made of solid metal or brass.  The 9 Best Door Locks of 2019
  • Use signage to scare strangers away.  Whether or not you have a security system (or a big watch dog) you can place signs in your yard or by your doors that say you do.  You can also have a no soliciting sign to discourage salespeople (or someone pretending to be a sales person) from knocking on your door.
  • Invest in a security system.  There are many options for home security systems. Do some research and choose the one that works best for your family.  Many security companies will come out and inspect your home to give you an estimate of what you will need and how much it will cost. Nobody wants an added household expense, but feeling of being safe in your home is priceless!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of Professionals assist you with all your real estate needs! Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Photo Credit: bobvila.com

3328 LeBron Road, Montgomery, Alabama 36106 

MLS# 457239 

2 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,842 sqft | Cloverdale/Idlewild

Bring your contractor and you can make this spacious Cloverdale/Idlewild home a showplace! She is in rough shape now, but with some imagination and $$ it has great potential. Excellent opportunity for an investor who is experienced in fix-and-flip. Sold strictly AS-IS, and seller has no knowledge of roof condition, systems, or structure. 

1503 S Hull St: Investor Opportunity in the Garden District!

by The Hat Team

1503 S Hull Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104 

MLS# 457180 

3 Bedrooms | 1 Bathroom | 1,514 sqft

 


Calling investors! If you are looking for a solidly built brick home in the Garden District to add to your portfolio, look no further. This three bedroom one bath home with nice updates, positive cash flows at $850/month with good tenant in place. Lease runs through 2/2020. Great opportunity for any investor looking for income producing property. Roof is only several years old, electrical upgrades in 2001, new water heater, and complete kitchen remodel 2018 to include new cabinets/countertops, and new appliances. 

5 Tips for Selling a Home Out of State

by The Hat Team


Best case scenario – you sell your old home and buy your new one at the same time. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way. Chances are you might find yourself in your new dream home while still having a house several states away that needs to be sold.  Selling a house from out of state has its challenges, especially when you are unpacking a new home, settling into a new job and establishing your routine in a new place.  But making a successful sale is not impossible.  Here are 5 tips to help you sell your home from out of state:

  1. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL REALTOR WHO IS EXPERIENCED WITH OUT OF STATE SALES

When hiring a Realtor to handle the sale of your home in your former city, you will want to find someone who has experience with out of state sales.The right listing agent will be experienced in communicating with clients remotely and will be able sell your home quickly.You are going to want to find someone that will keep you up to date with what is going on with your property; someone you can rely on to respond to your phone calls and emails in a timely manner.

  1. FIND A PROFESSIONAL TO STAGE YOUR HOME TO SELL IT FASTER

Since you have already emptied out your former home for your move, staging your home will need to be left in the hands of someone in your previous city.Hiring a professional stager (your Realtor can recommend one) will go a long way toward getting your house sold for the best possible price. Per a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes that are staged sell faster and at higher prices than those that are not staged. Staged Homes Sell Faster

  1. BE SURE THAT CLOSING FROM OUT OF STATE IS AN OPTION

Before you move, take the time to think about how you are going to close on your current house from out of state.Many attorneys require you to be at the closing table in person, so it’s important that you seek one who is willing be more flexible.The cost and inconvenience of having to go back to your previous city for a closing can be avoided if you find someone who will allow youto sign the closing documentsin your new city with a local notary present.

  1. BE THE LIASON FOR YOUR TEAM MEMBERS

Unnecessary back and forth between the people involved in the sale of your house can be avoided by making sure your team has all the documents/paperwork they need throughout the process.You will also want to provide contacts for all your team members so that they can communicate without you as the go-between.

  1. LET YOUR TEAM DO THE WORK

Now it is time to hand over control to your Realtor and the rest of the team so they can handle the sale for you.Some people may find it difficult to relinquish control, but when you are in your new home in another state, you need to place trust in your team to get the job done! 4 Signs You Can Trust Your Agent to Sell Your Home

If you are moving away from the Montgomery area and need a trustworthy, experienced Realtor to sell your home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of Professionals do the work for you!  Give them a call today at 334-834-1500!

Understanding Important Tools in Real Estate: Comparables

by The Hat Team


If you are not familiar with real estate terms, the vernacular can be confusing and overwhelming.  It truly is like learning a new language!  But we are here to help. Today we will talk about comparables (or comps). 

Comparables (comps) is a real estate appraisal term that refers to properties that are similar to the property of which the value is being sought.  They are properties in the same area that are around the same size, in similar condition, and have similar features.  Whether you are buying or selling a home, you can learn a lot by comparing similar homes. 2 Important Facts About Real Estate Comparables or Comps

Buyers will use comps to help them decide what price to offer on a home, while sellers will use them to determine the best list price for their home.  Realtors utilize comps on a regular basis to keep track of the local market.

One major key for a comp is proximity.  When trying to price a home or find out its value, it’s vital that the homes you are comparing it to are close by.  The market can be different in other locations, so the comparable property should be as close as possible.  The same neighborhood is best.  If the same neighborhood isn’t an option, you can branch out, but not too far.

Homes that are currently “pending” make the best comps.  This is because a deal has already been made on a pending home, so it reflects current stats on the market, which fluctuates frequently.  When looking for comps, it’s important to stick with sales in the past three months and never more than six months ago.  If a home was sold over six months ago, that data is not up to date with the current market.

Another important aspect of a good comp is the home’s features.  It’s vital that the homes being compared have similar features.  Consider things like views, upgrades, number of bedrooms, location of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, square footage, size of lot, etc. How to Find Real Estate Comps to Determine House Value

Keep in mind that there may be information that your Realtor is privy to that you are not when it comes to comparables.  If you don’t understand why a similar home is determined to be worth more or less than yours, your Realtor can explain it to you.  There are many conditions that can influence the value of a home. Also remember that comps are estimates, not appraisals.  They are not written in stone, but they are a useful tool for both buyers and sellers.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of Professionals assist you with all your real estate needs!  Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Photo Credit: mashvisor.com

501 Martha Street: Renovated Cottage Hill Dream Home

by The Hat Team

501 Martha Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104 ‚Äč

MLS# 455366

2 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 2,094 sqft | Cottage Hill

Play VisualTour

Your dream home awaits in historic Cottage Hill! Just steps from bustling downtown, this totally renovated cottage has old world charm and character with modern updates and features. Welcoming front porch is one of the owner's favorite spots to unwind and visit with friends and neighbors. Spacious living room and dining room have soaring ceilings and plenty of wall space for artwork! Cook's dream kitchen with quartz countertops and custom milled heart pine floors has cozy built in sitting nook, and access to the private rear deck. Full bedroom, bath, and walk in closet share the downstairs space, while the cool master suite encompasses the entire second floor. Master space includes sitting area perfect for sectional and tv, or would make a great home office area. Large walk-in master shower boasts rain shower head and the custom-made poured concrete sink with high end faucet feels like you are in a high-end NYC hotel! Laundry area off master bath has additional storage...a rarity in vintage homes! Systems all updated within the last few years, so all you need to do is pack your things and move in.

1615 S Court Street: Lovely Garden District Cottage

by The Hat Team

1615 S Court Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104

MLS# 455599

2 Bedrooms | 1.5 Bathrooms | 1,645 sqft | Garden District

If you have lots of books or collectibles, this Garden District cottage boasts tons of built in bookshelves, book cases, and storage shelving all over the house! Small, low maintenance front yard welcomes you with lovely established plants, flowers, and shrubs. Once inside, the home flows nicely from living room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast room, and central hallway. Cozy screened porch off dining room is a perfect place to unwind and read, and big back den/study has floor to ceiling shelving. Two spacious bedrooms and a bath are on the main floor, and just a few steps up the cool "nautical" ladder is over 900 sq ft of additional heated and cooled living space (gas wall heater and window AC unit.) The second floor is quite open and has areas for sleeping, artists studio, home office, and a full bath. Just off the second floor is a quaint balcony that overlooks the private back yard. Back yard features mature shade trees and a wired workshop with covered front porch for more outdoor living. Close to downtown, Maxwell, two major hospitals, schools, colleges, and churches! 

Listing Your House for Sale? Fix it Up First!

by The Hat Team


If you want the best price for your house, you may have to do some repairs before selling it. Potential buyers will be willing to spend more for a home that doesn’t need a lot of work.  Here are 5 important things to fix before selling:

  1. Exterior - When was the last time the exterior of your house was painted?  Is the paint faded and chipping?  Is wood rotting around the windows?  Is your front door dingy?  First impressions matter when it comes to selling your home and buyers will get their first impression when they see the outside of your house, whether in pictures or in person.  Don’t forget the landscaping.  A well-kept lawn and simple, but clean flower beds will go a long way toward creating an enticing aesthetic for your property. The Importance of the First Impression of a Home
     
  2. Interior Paint - If the walls are looking a bit shabby and the trim a bit grimy, painting is a quick and easy fix.  The same applies if you went through a crazy color phase a few years back and decorated with hues that might not appeal to everyone.  Choose neutral colors that will allow buyers to focus on the spaces without being distracted. Paint Colors that Sell Houses Faster in 2019
     
  3. Kitchen - The kitchen is one of the most important rooms people focus on when looking at a house.  So, if yours is looking run-down you will want to update it.  It will be worth the investment to replace appliances that are on their last legs or putting in a new granite counter.  Or it might be as simple as repainting cabinets and adding shiny, new handles.
     
  4. Bathroom - Nothing turns buyers off faster than an unsightly bathroom.  Sparkling, clean fixtures and a fresh coat of paint will go a long way toward impressing someone searching for their dream home.  Inexpensive touches like a decorative mirror or a lovely picture on the wall will add to the ambiance without breaking the bank.
     
  5. Flooring - If your carpets are stained or thread bare, it is worth your while to replace them. The same applies if your vinyl floors are in bad shape.  Hardwoods are always popular, but you may want to consider getting them refinished if they are looking old and scruffy.

It may seem counter intuitive to spend money on repairing or fixing up a house you are getting ready to sell, but at the end of the day, it will not only help you sell your house faster, but you will get a better price for it too!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of Professionals assist you with all your real estate needs!  Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Photo Credit: realsimple.com

Saving Money 101

by The Hat Team


The best way to save money is to live on a set budget.  Whether you are living paycheck to paycheck or you have some “fun” money left over each month, knowing where your money is going will allow you to see how much you can save each month. If you are new to budgeting, managing your money may seem complicated and overwhelming.  You not only have to be organized, but you must make challenging decisions about how to spend your money.  But there is good news for you.  You don’t need fancy financial apps on your phone or extensive spreadsheets with dozens of categories of spending to see where your money is going.  You simply need to follow the 50-20-30 rule!

The 50-20-30 rule assists you in building a budget by using three spending categories. 

  1.  50% of your income should go to living expenses and essentials including rent, utilities, groceries and transportation.
     
  2.  20% should go to savings, investments and debt-reduction payments.
     
  3.  30% of your income should be used for flexible spending. This includes everything you buy that you want, but don’t necessarily need such as travel, going out to movies etc.

Top Ten Debt Relief Programs 2019

Remember that the percentages for essentials and flexible spending are the maximum amounts you should spend.  If you use less income in these categories, you will have more to put into your other financial goals.

Here is how to start the 50-20-30 budget.  First, determine exactly how much money you bring home each month. This will be the amount on which you will base your 50-20-30 split.  Then track your spending. Every penny of it, from your rent payment down to the coffee you stop for on the way to work in the morning.  As you are analyzing your spending, split it into the 50-20-30 categories.  Once you see what you are spending where, you can make the needed adjustments to ensure you are falling into the 50-20-30 parameters.  If you find you are spending too much on things that you want, but don’t need, that’s when it is time to cut back. The 8 Best Expense Tracker Apps of 2019

The 50-20-30- rule works because it provides a simple way to track your spending so that you can pay your bills, add to your savings and have money left over for fun stuff.  It keeps you on the straight and narrow so that you can begin to meet your financial goals.  If you stay the course, you will eventually achieve financial stability.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of Professionals assist you with all your real estate needs!  Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Photo Credit: Kiplinger.com

3143 Gilmer Ave: Renovated South Hull Cottage!

by The Hat Team

3143 Gilmer Ave, Montgomery, AL 36105

MLS# 455364

5 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms | 1,852 sqft | South Hull District

A feast for the eyes! This just-renovated South Hull cottage welcomes you from the street and treats you to beauty and quality throughout. Brand new kitchen boasts new countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a nifty gas range with steam cleaning feature. Gleaming hardwood floors and a new neutral paint job make it move-in ready. Brand new central heat and air. Surprising closet space for an older home. Even a workshop downstairs behind the attached garage. Screened porch and covered parking at the rear. Seller soliciting offers so call your agent to see this one today!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 10

Syndication

Categories

Archives

   cdpe    crsHat Lady on Zillow