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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. 

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

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

3608 Princess Ann Street, Montgomery, Al 36109

MLS# 452086

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,883 sqft | Hillman Heights

One family owned since 1961!!! Dalraida school district!! Open kitchen/ den concept...Very nice updated baths. Stack washer and dryer inside the home are included.  Hardwood floor in living/dining and hardwood under carpet in bedrooms. The covered patio is wonderful for cookouts and viewing landscaped fully fenced backyard. Double driveway with single covered carport.  Extra-large utility room can double as a workshop. Owner is retiring and relocating... let us or your favorite realtor show this great value and wonderful home today.

Marketed by Montgomery Al Realtor Frank Powell, Sandra Nickel Hat Team

 

3349 Audubon Road: Home in Walkable Location!

by The Hat Team

3349 Audubon Road, Montgomery AL 36106

MLS# 452350

2 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,157 sqft | Cloverdale/Idlewild

Charming Cloverdale Idlewild cottage awaiting its new owner! This adorable 2 bedroom 2 bath home has fresh paint, new carpet, and hardwood floors. The kitchen has just been updated with new cabinets and counter-tops. New vanity in back bath and nice hall bath. Decent living space with the living room and back den. Walk to the parks, restaurants and entertainment.

533 Martha Street: Victorian Home Perched on a Hill!

by The Hat Team

533 Martha Street, Montgomery AL 36104

MLS# 451610

2 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 2,202 sqft | Cottage Hill

Perched high above Martha Street in the Historic Cottage Hill district sits this wonderful late 1800's Victorian home. Soaring ceilings, wide central hallway, transoms, and large rooms allow easy living in grand style. Breakfast room/keeping area at rear of entry hall has wall of windows overlooking private courtyard style back yard. Kitchen and bathrooms have been updated over the years, and the master bathroom on the second floor is eclectic and spacious. Bonus space upstairs could be converted to third bedroom, and makes a great addition to the master suite area. Rear off-street parking accessed from alley that runs off Hanrick Street. Just blocks (and walking distance) to exciting downtown and all of its nightlife, dining, and entertainment. Active neighborhood association (membership is strictly voluntary) sponsors numerous events/activities throughout the year.

516 Whispering Wind Way: Gorgeous Move-in Home!

by The Hat Team

516 Whispering Wind Way, Deatsville, AL 36022

MLS# 451858

4 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms | 2,076 sqft | Pinetuckett

Play VisualTour

Located at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac sits this gorgeous home in Pinetuckett! Built in 2006, this one owner home is in immaculate condition. The moment you step through the front door, you will see why this property will not be on the market long! The lovely eat-in kitchen has a large island, granite counter tops and stainless appliances and opens to the family room/den with built-ins. Multiple doors open onto the fabulous glassed-in & screened-in porch that stretches across the entire back of the house overlooking the beautifully landscaped private back yard. Whether rocking on the front porch, sipping coffee on the back porch, enjoying dinner on the screened in porch, or grilling out on the deck, if you like a peaceful setting this is a must see!

Charming Bungalow Home!: 3336 Lebron Road

by The Hat Team

3336 Lebron Road, Montgomery, Alabama 36106

MLS# 450903

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathroom | 2,486 sqft | Cloverdale

Play VisualTour

Hurry, this charming Cloverdale Idlewild bungalow can be yours just in time for the Spring Concert series in the park! You could listen from the front porch swing or walk a couple of blocks to enjoy what has become a huge event. Great old house features like tall ceilings, hardwood floors, wide hallway and even an upstairs bonus room. Updated kitchen with a breakfast nook and plenty of cabinets. Huge master suite with updated bath and walk-in closet. The best room just might be the side deck off the kitchen, perfect for morning coffee or an evening cocktail. Cute, cute, cute, come see this Midtown Montgomery home today!

Scaling Down for an Empty Nest

by The Hat Team


Facing the dilemma of what to do with your empty nest can be overwhelming. You are not only dealing with the emotional turmoil of no longer having your children at home, but now you have this BIG, empty house as well.  You might already be considering a move to a smaller house, but the thought of giving up the home where you raised your children has you feeling melancholy.  Your current home likely holds a lot of wonderful memories for you. But remember, it’s just a house. There are a lot of perks to downsizing:

  • Your house will be easier to maintain and you will spend less time cleaning.
     
  • You will spend less money on everything from your mortgage, taxes and insurance to your heating, cooling, and electricity. 
     
  • Having less debt will eliminate the financial stress that comes with a huge mortgage payment.
     
  • A home that doesn’t drain your resources and energy will give you peace of mind.  And that is priceless.
     
  • A smaller home has a positive impact on the environment because it requires less resources to build and maintain.
     
  • You will have more free time for living the life you want.
     
  • It will force you to declutter and cut back on your belongings and keep you from buying more. The Ridiculously Thorough Guide to Decluttering Your Home
     
  • If decorating is not your thing, a smaller house will make it less overwhelming for you.
     
  • When the time comes to sell, a smaller, more affordable home will appeal to a larger percentage of the population.

Scaling down doesn’t mean you should move into one of the tiny houses that are trendy right now.  It might be just going from four bedrooms/three baths to three bedrooms/two baths.  A professional Realtor can assist you in finding a smaller home that will suit all your needs and provide you with a happier, more peaceful lifestyle. 12 Life-Changing Benefits of Living in Small House

If you have an empty nest and you are ready to sell your LARGE home for a smaller 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!

Last Minute Valentine Date Ideas in Montgomery AL

by The Hat Team


If you turned the page on your calendar this morning and realized Valentine’s Day is only 2 days away, we’ve got you covered! Here are some Valentine's Day date ideas that range anywhere from the traditional romantic dinner to the out-of-the-ordinary.

1. Romantic dinner at the City Grill

The City Grill is a Montgomery staple. It is a beautifully appointed restaurant and a perfect choice for a romantic dinner. Reviews refer to the “City Grill as having the best menu in town. The wait staff is always good and knows their stuff. Nice appetizers and great deserts compliment some truly excellent main courses.”

2. Day at the Montgomery Zoo

Maybe a romantic dinner isn’t your thing but your special someone is an animal lover. If so, consider a day at the Montgomery Zoo. See the Zebras graze on the plains while elephants roam nearby. Discover over 500 animal residents from five continents, all housed in natural, barrier-free habitats. Consisting of over 42 beautifully landscaped acres, you’ll enjoy magnificent views of exotic wildlife and endangered species. Stroll through the Zoo on your own or ride on the miniature train, the Montgomery Zoo is a sight to see!

3. Scenic Boat Ride Down the Alabama River

The Harriott II Riverboat offers a wonderful dinner, dancing, and a romantic cruise down the Alabama River. This is a one of a kind experience and will show your loved one just how much they mean to you. The Valentine Day special includes a two hour intimate dinner cruise, surf and turf dinner, roses, commemorative champagne flute, live entertainment and cash bar access. This special is available Feb 14, 15, and 16.

4. Weekend at Gorham’s Bluff

Gracing the banks of the mighty Tennessee River, Gorham’s Bluff offers gorgeous views as far as the eye can see. The Lodge features splendid views of the Tennessee River form its expansive porch, rooms with stone fireplaces and a restaurant with candlelight dining.

However you celebrate, enjoy being with the special person in your life and Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you are in the market to sell or buy 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!

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