Thursday, December 27, 2012

Real Estate Mortgage Rates for Lenders in the Huntsville Metro Area

Here are the latest Real Estate Mortgage numbers for the Huntsville Metro Area.  Still not to bad so that clients will still get a good deal from mortgage lenders.

30-year fixed
15-year fixed
5-Year ARM
Yearly cap
Lifetime cap
Last Update
REDSTONE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION 3.375/0 2.75/0 2.250/0 2/5 NA/NA NA/NA 27-Dec-2012 9:15:58 AM
First Bank Mortgage Partners 3.25/0 2.5/0 2.375/0 2/5 2.875/0 2.875/0 27-Dec-2012 8:24:31 AM
First Commercial/Synovus 3.250/0 2.625/0 2.375/0 2/5 2.875/0 3.000/0 26-Dec-2012 2:50:25 PM
South Bank 3.000/0 2.375/0 2.375/0 2/5 2.75/0 2.75/0 26-Dec-2012 1:37:37 PM
Progress Bank 3.125/0 2.5/0 2.375/0 2/5 3.125/0 3.125/0 26-Dec-2012 9:44:32 AM
WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE 3.125/0 2.25/0 1.625/0 2/5 2.875/0 2.875/0 24-Dec-2012 3:14:18 PM

Today's Tidbit:  What are you doing for New Years? is showing what the area offers for New Year's Eve.  More events can be found here at Our Valley Events.  Whatever you do, just make sure you do it safely and be careful out there, but have a great New Years!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2012 Christmas Holiday Travel & Thoughts

Today's post will just be a short one.  Thursday and Friday will be the busiest time for people as they leave on their journey towards their Christmas destination to loved ones and holiday destinations.

There are thoughts to be left with as people come in and out of the Huntsville Metro Area:

Be patient this holiday season, everyone's just trying to get to their destination.  We will have enough delays with highway and airline  travel, we don't need to be impatient with each other.

Remember that there are many people who are worse off than we are.  Either through sickness, personal tragedy, or unemployment.  We must be grateful with our families for what we have and pray for those who need help around us.

Lastly, we must be careful with our own health.  This may be the season for having fun, but we cannot over exert ourselves.

This is a time of stress and a time for fun for many.  Let's just try to make it a little less stressful and a lot more fun.

Today's Tidbit: A quote from one of the world's greatest writers: 

"How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?" 
William Shakespeare 

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Thursday, December 13, 2012

And Now a Message from the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve decided to make an appearance today to announce something that they haven't before.  The group put an actual number on when interest rates will begin to rise.  That number which triggers everything is the Unemployment Rate at 6.5%.

Now to get the Unemployment Rate at 6.5% there are two things that need to happen: 1) The current path we're on showing a decline in the unemployment rate is being caused by many people abandoning the workforce.  Meaning less people being counted in that rate.  So just a few more additional millions without jobs will push that number to the target of 6.5.  Or 2) The economic engine starts and actually begins to run and sector growth improves to begin hiring of several hundreds of thousands of people.  This is the least likely option right now due to a) stalemate in Washington D.C., b) economic worries in the private sector about over-regulation from previous government bodies, c) lack of reserve funds by small business to hire, and d) lack of consumer faith in wanting to separate themselves from their money leading to lack of revenue stream to companies.

Officials have said they don't expect to see the Unemployment Rate hit 6.5% until after 2015, so until then interest rates will be low across the board.

Today's Tidbit:

With cities undergoing innovation and rebuilding over the old, we must keep in mind the historical districts which make up a piece of the heart of a city.  Often times the new owners pays tens of thousands just to keep them up to code with the city historical commission.  Remember, pieces of a city's past shouldn't be forgotten.  There's much history hidden within each house and neighborhood.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Weather Influence and Past Impact on Huntsville Metro Real Estate

The Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Market is like a magnet for major weather events.  From tornado outbreaks through floods and to the winter variety, Huntsville has managed to deal with more than its fair share of problems that weather has thrown its way.

When Tornado Outbreaks happen around the Huntsville Metro Area they are usually confined to several spots that get hit time and time again.  In the past few decades ( 1974, 1989, 1995, 2010, and 2011 ), these tornadoes have managed to touch down and do a varying extent of damage.  Places like Anderson Hills subdivision in Harvest, along the Tennessee River between Decatur and Huntsville, and Airport Road have seen considerable damage when tornadoes ripped through their areas.  Many homeowners insurance will cover damage from tornadoes.  However when ALFA tried backing out of paying their clients due to the mass enormity of the break out in April 2011 which hit many different states and cities, the media raked the company over the coals in what left ALFA in a horrible PR situation.

Every now and again flooding becomes a major issue in the Huntsville area.  Areas affected are usually Aldridge Creek, Downtown Huntsville by the Von Braun Center on Monroe Street, and the low lying areas in deep South Huntsville near Redstone Arsenal.  To help people to know if they need flood insurance or want to find out about the area's flood capabilities there are Flood Studies released by the City of Huntsville. The City of Huntsville has also put out an interactive map which overlays flood prone areas for 100 year flood zones, 500 year flood zones, etc.

Blizzards, Ice Storms and your basic snowfall are actually more common than flooding.  There have been many times in the past decades where the conditions became just right for a breakout of the cold flurries to come and build up.  The years of 1963, 1993, 1996, 2010, and 2011 immediately spring to mind.  These years several inches of snow fell causing the city to be shut down for a minimum of a few days.  This can be done due to the lack of snow clearing equipment in this southern city as well as the drivers high lack of experience in driving in hazardous conditions.

Today's Tidbit:

When severe weather is in the area, don't shrug it off.  The least you can do is be aware of the situation.  It could help you in the long run if an emergency breaks out.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Monday, December 10, 2012

Relocating to Huntsville Alabama and how to navigate the real estate market

Relocation is never an easy process.  There is so much to think about and so much to do.  There's finding a new home, selling the current home, packing up the family, moving the family, unpacking, finding schools & universities, finding entertainment areas, other recreation & fitness areas, grocery stores, etc...

These can be a real stressful headache if not planned out in advance or taken a step at a time.

Relocating to the Huntsville Metro Area has some benefits.  The people are friendly and willing to help newcomers, good schools and universities are plentiful, many shopping districts large and small, and a wide variety of recreation space in terms of parks, sports, and other entertainment recreation.  Almost every person can find their individual niche within the community.

In-depth information can be found with the wonderful services of the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce who always do a great job of putting together booklets such as 2012 Guide to Huntsville/Madison County:  A Smart Place to Live, to Work and to Play.

Today's Tidbit:
Relocating to the Huntsville Metro Area is common, as seen in the multiple Base Re-Alignment and Closure movements which had people moving from both St. Louis and Washington D.C. Metro Areas in the past two BRAC movements.  It is also seen in the corporate moves of major tech and aerospace companies like Boeing, Raytheon, and Northrop Grummon. 

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Carol Jacobs Real Estate Team takes a Night Out in Huntsville

On Friday and Saturday nights the The Carol Jacobs Team went out to support local university The University of Alabama in Huntsville as it took on Team USA Under-18 Team in ice hockey at the Von Braun Center Arena.  Team USA is comprised of the most talented ice hockey athletes headed to the top universities.  UAH lost on Friday 6-2 and tied Saturday 1-1.  Next week UAH takes on Finlandia University.

After Saturday's game, the team took a walk through the Tinsel Trail over across the way at Big Spring Park.  Decorated trees filled with lights and pictures, as well as other ornaments sponsored by businesses, corporations and families.  If you get the opportunity take the small walk.  Its behind the Art Museum and small ice skating rink.  Included sponsors of trees included our very own Keller Williams, UAH Alumni Association, UA Alumni Association Chapter Madison County, Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce, The Greater Huntsville Humane Society, Downtown 47, and more.
Photo Courtesy of Sarah Cole/
Today's Tidbit:
Take the opportunity to go out and interact with others.  Not only does this provide a good feeling of meeting others and networking, but it also allows you to see events and places you wouldn't normally go.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Moving Day in the Wintertime, Huntsville Real Estate style

Today with the weather being still in the warmish zone comparably speaking its best to talk about something before it happens.  Moving in the Winter weather.  With Real Estate in the Huntsville Metro Area, winter can be highly erratic as warm fronts and cold fronts battle it out from 60 degree shorts weather to temperatures in the 20s with a strong northern wind bringing windchills even lower.

Its the lower temperatures we're worried about.  The build up of ice & sleet is more of a hindrance in our area than snow.

  • Make sure the walkway is free of any slick spots or debris.
  • Use cardboard or plastic matting to protect major walkways from bringing mud, ice, and water into the house.
  • Make sure you have warm refreshments on hand for yourself and movers if you have them.  In this less than ideal environment its nice to be considerate.
  • Plastic sheets, garbage bags, or coverings to protect electronics, furniture and other valuables that may have problems with the cold, rain, etc.
  • Make sure you have utilities turned on in your new home.
  • Make a back up plan for you and your movers.
  • Travel slower than usual on the roads, icy spots will ruin your moving experience as well as any other items of importance.

Events of below freezing moving day are rare here in the world of Real Estate in Huntsville, however we have been known to be thrown a curve ball once or twice by mother nature.  Just keep an eye to the sky and ground once every 10 years and you'll see something big.

Today's Tidbit:

The Coldest days in Huntsville was at -11 degrees F on Jan 21st 1985 and Jan 30th 1966.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Growth and Redevelopment

Occasionally great news happens in the community and it must be shared with everyone.  This is no difference.

Raytheon's new missile production plant is now open in Huntsville.  This plant is one of the largest investments that Raytheon has ever made.  Redstone Arsenal beat out 70 other locations nationwide for this 70K sqft building.  This will lead to expansion and more jobs coming to Huntsville in the near future.  Two thumbs up for this project.

Next is an educational event.  The Huntsville City School System has decided to overhaul the overcrowding and aging Grissom High School in South Huntsville.  Now a new choice would have to be made based on location.  Keep the current location south of Carl T. Jones and on Bailey Cove or move to a new location on Weatherly near Redstone Arsenal and have twice the space currently.  According to school officials, moving to Weatherly would save 4M dollars in city taxpayers money and take two years less to build.  Staying in the same location on Bailey Cove would mean the new school would be constructed at the same time as students are there learning.  Probably mean the school would be built in phases forcing the students to keep moving to a new location when a new phase is about to begin.  This would also lengthen the construction project costing more money.

Today's Tidbit:

If you have a yearning for owning a motorcycle or know someone who does, then here's some information for you.  This Saturday Dec 1st, 11 motorcycles will be auctioned off by the Internal Revenue Service.  Friday will be used as an open house for viewing.  For more information you can view the IRS page for this auction.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Post-Turkey Day Low - What you can do now.

So here we are after the turkey day and the shopping days.  Everyone should feel sated or low that the excitement is now past and everything is returning to a type of calm.

If you're a seller you can use this opportunity to take a look around and get your house into the holiday mood.  Make it inviting.  The holiday time always gives everyone a little better boost of mood.  Why not enhance their experience by showing you care instead of a sterile house with no decorations.  You can do this by doing some livening up of the living room.  This is the comfort room to show off and make a big splash.

You only need small things to make a big impact going beyond the tree.  Some simple ideas would be stringing garland across the mantle of a fireplace.  Small candles on the coffee table or small poinsettias in empty spots.  Wreaths on doors or windows.  Pine cones in a bowl on the coffee table.  A beautiful quilt draped on a couch or chair.  Christmas cards in the open.  Right out in the open have candy canes & peppermints in a jar for family, friends and visitors.

Remember you're not only doing this for family and friends but also to their guests they bring with them to visit you.  Make them feel warm, comfortable, and able to have a fun time.

Today's Tidbit:    Some information for locals on upcoming event.
  • 12/01/2012 - 12/01/2012
  • Times: 4:30 PM, open to the public until 11 PM
  • Address: Big Spring Park, West Huntsville, AL 35801
  • Phone: (256) 361-9275
  • Admission: No admission charged
Featuring a total of 200 small trees, 4 large flagship trees at each entrance & the city of Huntsville's tree in the center of the trail.
Trees will line the sidewalk & be fenced in, so the trail will be fully paved.  The trees will be lit  every night especially Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & New Year's Eve.
This year will also include performances every Friday & Saturday night & Sun. afternoon in the gazebo.
 To sponsor a tree visit or

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving FYI Tips

Ah the week of Thanksgiving, full of stress, food, and family.  What more could you ask for.  Several tips for this week to remember before Thursday:

Make sure your appliances are working.  Nothing more embarrassing than having food you can't cook.

Make sure they're clean to avoid cross contamination.  This is the one that can lead to stomach virus' and food poisonings.

Make sure you have plenty of garbage bags, carry out bags, soap, aluminum foil, and napkins.

Make sure there's plenty of room in the fridge.

Make sure the kids are away from the prep and cooking area.  Not only can they get in the way, but can also cause accidents with hot frying pans, ovens, and anything else that could be touchable.

Lastly, try to make sure everyone's in a good if not great mood.  A thankful time of year leaves many of us reflecting on the past as well as the here and now.  Sometimes its easy to get somber with past memories.  A little effort to lightheartedness goes a long way to making sure everyone feels comfortable.

Everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Today's Tidbit:

Lewellen Jones (1760-1820), American Revolutionary War Hero is buried on the campus of The University of Alabama in Huntsville behind Morton Hall.  Cousin to Martha Washington & relation to Patrick Henry, Jones found himself quickly promoted to Captain.  Served w/ George Washington at Valley Forge before ultimately purchasing land and establishing Avalon Plantation on the land in what is now known as The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mortgage Rates

A simple posting today about Mortgage Rates...

Mortgage Rates recently have been moving incrementally both up and down and currently they're hovering around the 3.0 range.  Here are some lenders and their rates in both the 30 year fixed and the 15 year fixed.

Supreme Lending 3.25 & 2.75
Wells Fargo 3.0 & 2.25
Progress Bank 3.0 & 2.5
Redstone Federal Credit Union 3.375 & 2.75
First Commercial 3.125 & 2.625
National Bank of Commerce 3.125 & 2.50

It is still a buyers market and they can afford to be picky with these rates.

Today's Tidbit:  Huntsville, Alabama is the 39th largest city in the nation in land area.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Friday, November 9, 2012

Veterans Day 2012

This Sunday November 11th 2012 is Veterans Day.  For the occasion, we here at Curb Appeal have made a simple Ecard to share with all.

Today's Tidbit:  The City of Huntsville's many merchants are offering deals for Veterans and their families.  For a list of information click HERE.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Home Curb Appeal

Today's post is a short one on Home Curb Appeal.  Houses should have an appealing draw to them.  They should not face the road angrily, or have a feeling that passers by would be attacked.  They need a soft touch of elegance, a breeze of simplicity, and a welcoming uncluttered attitude.

As markets fluctuate between buyers and sellers markets, you must never turn down an opportunity for the home to be seen.  Any turn off such as trash or toys in the front yard, chalk drawings on the driveway, holes in the house (or any other exterior damage), dying or cut up trees, etc...are all instances where those first impressions can be ruined.  And its with those first impressions that a sale can be made.  If the buyer didn't like what they saw the first time around, its highly doubtful they'll come back for a return visit.

Homes must be pristine in appearance.  Ready at a moment's notice.

Take this EXAMPLE on 172 Manor House.  Its clean, decorated nicely and without any obstruction to the eyes.

Today's Tidbit:

Huntsville Hospital is built on two burial grounds, the earliest being a native american cemetery and the other being a black and white cemetery in the 1800s and early 1900s.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Home Improvements - The Yay or Nay of it all.

Home Improvement can be a tricky issue when it comes to putting the home on the market.  Some sellers have that perfect touch of making it stand out beautifully.  Others feel that its best to let the next occupants improve what they want on their own.  And yet still others believe they are master design gurus, which we all know how that turns out.

Improvement in the home should always be something that the majority of the buyers will appreciate.  Don't make upgrades which will hurt the viability for the property to sell.

Take a look at necessities first.  Aged & faulty wiring, corroded pipes or faucets, and holes in walls and or doors are examples of items that need to be prioritized.  Take care of these problems as they could lead to something more later such as fires and leaks causing water damage.  Ascetics isn't as important as functionality where safety is concerned.

Experts and websites such as HGTV & Homes and Land agree across the board that improvements in the kitchen and master bath are all positive.  It also makes the most sense as these two areas are heavily used combining for wear and tear.  Beyond these remember do as it deems necessary.  Anything major you can take care of ahead of time could save in the long run.  Not everything will add value either, just because it fits your taste doesn't mean it is loved by everyone else.

This week's tidbit:

Alabama's first public water system was built in 1823 in Huntsville and was called Huntsville Waterworks.  Pipes were made out of hollowed out cedar trees and the reservoir was a wooden storage tank.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The First Step - The Beginning of Curb Appeal

The First Step is always the hardest, and in this case the opening of a blog is also reason to celebrate.  With another tool to help Carol Jacobs connect with her clients and the public in general it can't help but be a good thing.

The Real Estate of Huntsville has always been an interesting creature.  Reaching out into different counties with home values covering the thousands to the multi-millions, farms and ranches to condos and gated communities, the Huntsville Metro Area has managed to hold everyone together for the continued growth for the community, jobs, and upward mobility.

For quick local info on the city take a look a these quick links:  Huntsville Wikipedia  Huntsville City-Data  Official Huntsville Website

In the past few years, the rest of the country real estate market has been bludgeoned to death by the Great Recession.  Huntsville has been lucky enough to withstand most of it.  This is why many people have relocated here to get into better financial position and also for the excellent community that the city provides.

So come on back to this blog for new information and tidbits of Huntsville information from its history and from the here and now.  This weeks tidbit:

In 1884 Frank James stood trial in Huntsville for the armed robbery of an army paymaster near Muscle Shoals.  This celebrity trial would be known as the Trial of the Nineteenth Century.  Reporters came from nationwide to get the details of the Frank James trial.  This circus would end as the civil war veteran jury acquitted James on all counts and he walked out of the Huntsville courthouse free.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes