Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

Fabulous Front Porches

by The Hat Team

When driving around looking at houses one of the first things you will notice are the front porches.  They are a reminder of the “good old days” and evoke feelings of nostalgia and comfort.  Front porches foster a sense of community, enabling neighbors to spend time out from behind closed doors where they can get to know each other.  There’s nothing better than summer evenings spent on the shady front porch with an ice-old beverage, listening to the crickets chirp and enjoying the gentle twinkling lights of fireflies.  Big front porches are great gathering places, providing an “outdoor living room” where neighbors can join you and impromptu parties can take place. But they can also be private; the perfect spot to snuggle into a comfy chair and read a good book…or even take a nap out in the fresh air.  And if you’re planning on selling your home, a well-appointed front porch provides fantastic curb appeal and is a big draw for potential buyers!

Perhaps you have a front porch that needs a little update, or maybe you are looking for a home that has one. Either way, here are some ideas for creating your own personal outdoor haven or gorgeous gathering place on your front porch:

  • Use a Bold Color Palette

Bold tones and bright hues can brighten up a dreary front porch and turn it into vibrant, delightful space. Outdoor rugs, painted furniture, or colorful cushions are all items that can add a pop of color to your front porch. 34 Colorful Porch Ideas

  • Think “Comfy”

It’s nice to have a beautiful front porch, but if it’s not comfortable, you probably won’t spend much time there.Use overstuffed cushions, add extra pillows, and be sure to have tables close to seating so you have a place to set your drinks.

  • Add a Lighted Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans pull double duty on a front porch. They not only provide the much-needed function of moving air, but they also provide illumination as the sun goes down and dusk turns to dark.Add to the charming aesthetic of your porch by choosing a unique fan/light fixture. Outdoor Ceiling Fans

  • Hang Artwork

Most porches offer a lot of wall space that often goes unused; the perfect spot for some artwork.Use your imagination and add paintings, framed photos, or sculptures that bring you joy.

  • Decorate with Flowers

Flowers and plants serve multiple purposes when used on a front porch.They provide color with beautiful blooms, create a soft transition from landscape to house, and if you plant the right flowers and plants, they will help to keep pesky insects away.Use window boxes on your railings, containers on your floor, and/or hanging baskets from the ceiling. 12 Plants that Repel Unwanted Insects

Spring is the perfect time to update and decorate your front porch so you can enjoy it during the warm seasons.  If you’re looking to purchase a home that has a desirable front porch contact Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of professionals and start your home search today. Give them a call at 334-834-1500!

Photo Credit:

Step by Step Guide to Painting Your Front Door

by The Hat Team

Want to Boost Your Curb Appeal  without breaking the bank?  Painting your front door is just the thing to brighten up the front of your home and it’s a project you can tackle yourself.  Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started on this fun DIY project:

- Pick a weekend to select your color, purchase supplies and complete the task. Make sure the weather will be appropriate. Paint needs to dry, so clear, sunny days with mild temperatures are best.

- Choose a color. If you’re not sure what color you want to use, you can purchase small samples in several colors and paint them on the door to get an idea of what you might like.  Look at them throughout the day to see how they look as the light brightens and dims.  Once you have chosen your favorite hue, you can then purchase what you will need to complete the project. For an exterior door that has been primed, you will need about one quart of paint.

- Make sure you use the right kind of paint. If you don’t have a glass or storm door that protects your front door from the elements, you are definitely going to want to use exterior paint. (Difference Between Exterior Paint and Interior Paint).  Paint with a glossy finish is best because it not only stands out, but also holds up against nicks and scrapes better than flat or eggshell paint.  Most importantly, make sure to note if you are using latex or oil-based paint.  When you need to touch up the paint in the future, you should never use oil paint over latex or vice versa.  Also, be sure that your primer has the same base as your paint.

- Prepare to paint. You can paint your door in place or remove it from the hinges if you have a glass or storm door to keep insects and such from finding their way inside.  You can also use a tarp to cover your doorway if you don’t have a storm/glass door. Remove all hardware from the door.  Using a wet rag, clean the door, and then use a sander or sandpaper to smooth it out.  If you are painting a different color, you will need to prime it first. 

- Now you are ready to paint! Begin by applying the Primer. Cover the entire door using a roller for application.  After the primer dries, it is finally time to paint. If the door has trim work or small details, use a paintbrush to go over them.  You can use a low-nap or foam roller to paint the whole door, but a paint brush will give you a lovely, hand-painted look.  You can also just use a paintbrush for the final coat to give it that look.  Make sure the door is completely dry before reattaching the hardware and rehanging the door if you removed it to paint.  Voila! You are done and you just spruced up your curb appeal!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Montgomery area, call Sandra Nickel at 334-834-1500 and let her and her Hat Team of professionals put their skills and expertise to work for you!

Photo Credit:

Curb Appeal on a Budget

by The Hat Team

When selling a home, curb appeal is one of the most important factors in attracting buyers.  Your yard and the front of your home are the first thing they will see, and while nobody should judge a book by its cover, many people do. The appearance of the outside of the home can determine if a potential buyer will even be willing to look at the inside.  So, attractive curb appeal is vital to getting your home sold.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get great curb appeal.  There are many small, inexpensive home improvements that can be done to create a look that will impress!

  • Give a fresh coat of paint to the front door, trim or shutters.

Nothing will brighten up your home’s façade like a bright, fresh coat of paint!Costing only about $30 a gallon you can get a lot of bang for your buck.Choose a bold hue that will stand out, while still complementing the overall color of your home.

28 Inviting Colors to Paint a Front Door

  • Add some creative new house numbers.

Installing some new house numbers will not only look good, it will also make it easy to find! Be creative and utilize materials that will match the finish of your exterior light fixtures.Make sure the numbers stand out!

  • Change exterior lighting.

If your light fixtures are looking shabby, it’s time to replace them. Consider the design of your home and look for fixtures that add both function and style. Save yourself some time by using fixtures that have the same mounting system as the ones you will be removing.

  • Replace your mailbox.

Whether your mailbox is by the road or attached to your house, it can either add to or take away from your curb appeal depending on how it looks. You can find a new mailbox for as little as $20.This quick project will go a long way toward improving the look of your home.Just make sure you are following city/county/HOA regulations when installing it.

  • Install flower boxes.

If you want to add some color to your home exterior, there is no better way to do it than with flowers!Try adding some inexpensive flower boxes to your front porch railings or under your windows.You can even DIY them in an afternoon! Choose flowers with colors that will complement your home.

15 Planter Boxes You'll Want to DIY Right Now

Are you ready to list your house for sale this spring? Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of professional Realtors can answer any questions you may have about preparing your home to sell.  Give them a call today at 334-834-1500!

Photo Credit:

Staging Helps Get Top Dollar

by The Hat Team

If you’re considering selling your home in the near future here are some things to be thinking about. Staging your home most commonly refers to paying attention to how your home shows on the inside to buyers. Curb appeal refers to how it looks to buyers on the outside. Staging and curb appeal are often thought of as separate issues.

stagingHowever, if you think of them together the results will often be more than just the sum of the parts. The things you do to improve on by staging and curb appeal may even enhance your enjoyment of your  home for the time before you sell. Let’s consider staging for selling in this blog…

There are a of lot things you can do yourself without spending big dollars, especially if you start well ahead of selling.Streamlining is a new term that encompasses “de-cluttering.” Things that we all get used to living with do not always make a positive impression on a buyer. So, look around your living environment and be honest about what you could maybe do without, especially for the short term.

You might find that you would enjoy a little less stuff around right now. That includes things that are in storage. If you haven’t used something in 2 or 3 years maybe you could do without it? For the things that you really do want to have handy, is there a better way to store them? Here are some easy staging ideas you can do yourself.

Talk with your favorite Realtor to get some suggestions. They may even know a reasonably priced staging professional who can help. But, if you’re the type to do it yourself there are all sorts of tips on the internet. A good start is to do some planning. Make a checklist for yourself to help organize the effort for the big picture.

Also think about things that can make a big impression. An example of a high impact effort that looks at both indoors and outdoors is dressing up the entry into your home. That idea and 12 other tips are included in an article you can access here. Work your way through your checklist and keep thinking inside and outside together. Over a relatively short period of time you’ll find you are making significant changes toward selling your home.

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

10 Tips For Creating Curb Appeal In Your Montgomery AL Home

by The Hat Team

If you’re trying to sell your Montgomery AL home this spring, curb appeal is a crucial element in attracting busy home buyers. In this buyers’ market, outside “staging” has become as important as interior preparation for a successful showing, as drive-by lookers often make the decision not to investigate further if they are unimpressed with the exterior of your property. It is important, therefore, that yhouseou consider the following tips:

        1. Clear away leaves, fallen branches, and summer residue to enhance appearance and ensure safety.

        2. Remove and replace brown or dead plantings in beds. Think about adding perennial creeping plants and those with colorful foliage and/or berries to add color, shape, texture, and interest to your yard.

        3. Clean out gutters and downspouts for both looks and safety purposes.

        4. Mulch plant beds. This action helps plants retain moisture, protects them from freezing, and adds appealing colors and textures to the property of your Montgomery AL home.

        5. Prune and thin trees and bushes. Three purposes in doing this: the health of the plants, human safety, and esthetic appearance.

        6. Inspect edging and replace that which is rotting or broken. Decorative brick, concrete, or metal edging can be quite attractive.

        7. Replace worn-out or dated light fixtures, door hardware, house numbers, and mailbox. Think about using those made of copper, bronze, or brushed nickel for an interesting and appealing effect.

        8. Install outdoor lighting. By doing so, you will ensure the safety of nighttime buyers as well as highlight the beauty of your Montgomery AL home. Use lights along pathways, in trees, on garage doors, in flower beds and as a means to illuminate your front door.

        9. Replenish any fading or peeling paint (on doors, trim, and steps), rusty railings, or rotting wood.

        10. Keep seasonal decorations simple. Choose holiday décor that will enhance your home rather than detract from it.

These ten tips for creating curb appeal can easily transform your home into one that attracts would-be buyers and invites them to come inside.

How To Make Your Montgomery Home Inviting To Buyers

by The Hat Team

Although the interior of your home may be lovely, you can’t use that fact to your advantage if potential buyers don’t come inside to see it. The majority of house shoppers are influenced by first impressions, and, according to the National Association of Realtors, nearly 50% of them make their decision about your Montgomery home before stepping through the door. Ensuring that prospective buyers will want to see more doesn’t have to be time-consuming or cost-prohibitive; there are numerous ways to strengthen your home’s curb appeal, to capture the interest of buyers, and most likely increase the selling value.

montgomery homeWhen selling your Montgomery home, appearances are important. The exterior of the house should be attractive and in good condition, and the well-maintained grounds should be pleasing to the eye. The first thing to do is to look at the exterior objectively. Assess the color scheme (siding, trim, brick, roof) and determine if the architectural features of your house are in keeping with the rest of the neighborhood.

  • Perhaps the easiest way to boost curb appeal is to clean. Pressure wash to remove mold and mildew from siding, decks, walkways, and driveways. Make sure that your windows sparkle and remember to wash the screens. Gutters, too, may need cleaning--or replacing. Investigate snap-fit vinyl systems, decorative rain chains, or even a copper system for a high quality look.
  • Another way to generate interest in your Montgomery home is to pay attention to the grounds. Remove weeds, keep lawns mowed, and trim shrubs and trees. Add color by planting flowers and mulching (now available in a variety of colors) around plants and bushes. Prune areas which may appear overgrown or obscure architectural features which should be showcased and look at your landscaping design with a discerning eye.
  • Consider adding more trees--for three reasons. In addition to making the grounds more attractive, tree cover can also result in lower utility and water bills and increase your home’s selling value. Shop for trees which grow well in Montgomery, provide variety in color and texture (fruit trees, Japanese maple and birch trees, for example), and are water efficient. Most area nurseries will gladly offer expert advice in selecting trees to improve your landscape plan.
  • An inviting entrance will also impress buyers. Your front door may need repainting or replacing since it should be an attractive focal point of your property. Think about color and design as well as hardware when making improvements. Polish or replace knobs, knockers, doorbells, and kick plates. Purchase a distinctive welcome mat and investigate the need for outdoor lighting. Porch, garden, and walkway lights not only enhance the landscape’s appearance, they also help to provide safety and security (a good selling point!).
  • And finally, spruce up the front porch or landing. Brightly colored plant/flower containers and hanging baskets add pizazz, as do a freshly painted porch floor and outdoor furniture. An eye-catching entranceway certainly helps ensure that buyers will gladly accept your invitation to come inside your Montgomery home.

What's your Montgomery home worth?

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6




   cdpe    crsHat Lady on Zillow