Thursday, December 19, 2013

Upgrades vs. Maintenance: A Continual Showdown

For many years now there's been a constant banging of the drum of what equates Maintenance/Upgrades.  Some of the time its subjective, some of the time its objective, and the other third is completely off the wall.  We see sellers many times try to get buyers to pay for everything that they've done to get the house in selling shape.  But its not going to work that way when the activities that were engaged in were maintenance of the house to keep it in working order.

Let's go with a few quick examples that make sense (hopefully):
Repairing or Replacing the home's roof.  This is wear and tear.  Loose shingles, storm damage, water leakage...This is basic maintenance.  If the seller decided not to sell, they would still have to make the repairs to keep the house running.

Lawn care & exterior house cleanliness.  This is another maintenance issue. Keeping landscaping looking nice, weeding, making sure the grass is cut below a certain level (prevent rodents & snakes from hiding in and attacking passerbys).  Trash being kept out of sight when its not collection day.  Any other items which may need to be stored and not flowing over the yard (tools, projects, escaped items from trash).  Its all maintenance to keep the house looking good, and also in this case sometimes within city limits you can be fined for an untidy yard.  No one wants to walk next to five foot grass which holds surprises.

Now the flip side:  Appliances, CounterTops, and Remodeling are just a few examples of Upgrades.  Appliances can be upgrades to more energy efficient and high quality stainless steel models instead of the old plastic energy hogging devices.  Changing from the old style of 50's & 60's countertops to something definite and substantial such as granite is a major upgrade that works well with new kitchen cabinets for that extra storage which everyone seems to need.  Remodeling.  Remodeling can really be an upgrade if done correctly.  Completely redoing a bathroom making it a full bath from a 3/4 bath and having nice double vanity and whirlpool tub.  Bringing new quality landscaping to a bland yard with no excitement.  Adding an entertaining deck to the patio can be included if done right.  These are just a fraction of upgrades that can be done.  But the main point here is that Upgrades are only Upgrades if the work has been done with quality in mind, and not haphazardly.  This subpar work leads buyers to know they'll either have to do serious maintenance upkeep or scrap and redo all over again with the knowledge it'll cost them extra.

Whether the Upgrades you do to your home bring any value with it is another story completely...and we'll save that for another day.

Today's Tidbit:  Everyone have a Merry Christmas, and be safe out there.  We know the driving tends to be a bit hectic.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Friday, December 6, 2013

Its Raining, Take the Time...

As we know its going to be raining for a while so we thought to send out a note on taking the time to look for water damage inside the house.

When its raining is the perfect opportunity to check for wet spots, or previous ceiling damage from water leakage through the roof.  Normally when ceiling damage happens such as the pictures below, there are two major causes.  (Roof experts can probably get more in depth and explain additional causes). One cause can be of moved, damaged, or torn/blown off roof shingling allowing for easy access for the rainwater to make its way inside.  Another cause can be of damaged, torn off, or rotted fascia on the side just underneath the roofing area. Moisture can flow in or rainwater can be blown in by winds into this area.  Any rain damage you have has a possibility of turning into mold, so it is recommended that you keep an eye on the damaged area and fix the problem if able to do so.  Minor water damage is less painful than mold infestation.

Another aspect of rain damage is the damage it can do to wood flooring.  Now everyone would love to have wonderful wood flooring such as the picture below shows.

However, once the rain settles in or a large amount of moisture (humidity) comes in and is captured, the wood will begin to swell and warp.  While not easily noticeable at first, the damage very quickly becomes evident.  Buckling and warping are the effects of the wood flooring swelling with moisture; In some cases depending on if a house has been vacant and uncared for, the wood flooring can go through a cycle of drying out and releasing the water into a very dry atmosphere and when the surrounding area is humid again the wood recaptures the moisture.  If any of this happens and you manage to capture it early, seek the assistance of a professional to see if you can minor repairs to the affected area.

Today's Tidbit: Take the time to look around.  You'll never know what you'll see when its raining.  Sometimes you might see that hidden damage, and it could save your pocketbook in the long run especially if you plan on putting your house up for sale.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Choosing the Right Water Heater for You, Helpful Information to Know

Every once in a while, the most trustworthy of home essentials goes bad.  Either through the product reaching the end of its life or a problem/accident.  The end result is still the same, the search for a replacement.  So in this post, we decided to break down this large volume of information and try to give quick bites of info about one of the true essentials of the modern home: A Water Heater.

A water heater in its easiest explanation is something that we overlook everyday.  We know water comes out of the faucet and when we want, it comes out hot.  But the trusty water heater is behind it all.  It heats the water for kitchen sinks, washing machine, mudroom sink, bathroom sinks, showers, etc.  It is the standard when we need gallons of water heated quickly.  But take it away and we're left with just plain, cold water.

Let's dig a little deeper into water heaters and see what they offer, you might be surprised.

There are three major determining factors of the Water Heater: Fuel, Water Storage, and Space.

There are several different types of fuel that water heaters use but the two Main ones are electric and gas. (Gas being either Liquid Propane or Natural Gas).  Electric Water Heaters have a large variety of gallon sizes for homes, have options for high efficiency, are the least expensive, and uses heating elements to heat the water.  Gas Water Heaters are more energy efficient than Electric Water Heaters, but are more expensive, and uses a burner to heat the water (storage nearby around the water heater can be a fire hazard), and there are less options for size availability than Electric.

Water Storage:
This next part is where it can get tricky and throw people for a loop.  You can either have tank water heaters or tankless.  Tank water heaters physically hold the water as it heats, (whereby you can actually see a 50 gallon water heater) and the tankless heats the water as it passes through the heating coils and does not physically hold the water.  However, for tankless water heaters it is very important to know your flow rate.  Your flow rate may have an impact on the tankless water heater you get.  For either Tank or Tankless the amount of people living in the house and the number of bathrooms is a good indicator for the Gallon Size Tank or Gallons/Minute Outflow Rate that the home might need.

This is where you determine the location of where the water heater will be placed.  Sometimes it can be placed in the exact spot as the old one, sometimes another spot is preferred when the size of the water heater is changed.  Before you choose which water heater you will have, remember to measure the area in which you want the heater to go.  This measurement will go along way to not having problems later on in terms of fitting the new water heater in. In some areas, the tall tank water heaters will not fit and can be substituted for large width low water heaters, and still hold the same amount of water.

Remember we recommend any installation and change over into a new water heater or major appliance to be done by a professional so they can fix any problems that occur on the spot and well as have it done correctly the first time.

Today's Tidbit:  Yes, we know that Water Heaters don't really pop into one's mind (only when buying a new home) but its still useful information that we gladly pass on to help those who are in the quandary of information overload when going through looking for a new Water Heater.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving or How We Learned to Love it All!

Thanksgiving is quickly coming upon us and we have multitudes to be thankful for.

First our family and friends who have supported us as we have supported them.  You bring great memories and fun times with any occasion and brighten our moods when we are down and add that extra sunshine on fantastic days.

Our clients, without our clients we are nothing.  We can only hope that we can continue to provide you with the best of service as we have in the past.  May your Thanksgiving be full of warm memories and bountiful food.

And our coworkers including other agents, attorneys, inspectors, loan officers, and home warranty specialists. We thank you for being there and working together to help all of our clients as they work through the real estate world.  We lift our glasses to you.

Thanksgiving Tip: Always remember to save room for dessert.  You don't want to overstuff yourself with food when there's more goodies left to come.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone from The Carol Jacobs Team!

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Friday, November 15, 2013

Stumbling Across A Fantastic Recipe - Nutella Brownies

We know this is outside the realm of real estate however...this week we found a fantastic recipe for Nutella Brownies.  We tried them out and could not believe how good they were.  Very light and fluffy!  We urge all Nutella lovers as well as Brownie lovers to give this recipe a try!

1 Cup Nutella
1/2 Cup all purpose flour
1/5 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla flavoring
1/4 cup of melted butter (salted)
OPTIONAL: Choco chips, coconut, pecans can be added to mixture if wanted.  We did plain.

Gather materials and ingredients. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease baking pan (MUST DO).

Combine flour, baking soda, salt in bowl. Set aside for now.

Beat eggs, Nutella, butter, vanilla, and brown sugar together until forming a smooth mixture.

Add flour mixture gradually into the Nutella mixture. Combine well.

Move batter from bowl into greased 8 inch pan and bake for 30-35 min.

Wait for brownies to cool for at least 20 min before cutting.

Let us know how your batch went!  Ours was fantastic and its about to be gone by the end of today!

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Everyone have a safe and Happy Halloween

For an event that has been celebrated in one form or another for at least over 400 years,  Halloween and its variants have brought untold amount of fun, mischief, mystery, awe, solemness, and fright.  It is a unique mix of religious, secular, remembrance, costume, and food.

This time, Halloween looks to fall on a Thursday and possibly have showers and thunderstorms so many will go early for trick-or-treating to try and beat the weather.

So whatever you plan on doing or how you're spending your time have fun and be safe.  Happy Halloween everyone!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Winterization or Don't Let the Dollars Float Away

With the Temperatures deciding to drop quickly this week into possibly below freezing territory, we decided to put out a quick and informal checklist just for you to get started on.  Add your own ideas to this list as this is only a jumping off point.  Being here in the South, I'm sure we're going to be missing several big things that would be an automatic to put on the list in a more deeply colder area such as Minnesota or New Hampshire.

Check your HVAC and make sure its working correctly.  There is no use in waiting for it to conk out in December or January if it can be prevented.

If you have a chimney and use it, make sure its checked out for the safety of everyone living in the house.

Clean your Gutters.  We've said this before under fall cleaning but as we know it takes forever for some leaves to fall off the trees and they'll do it when they're good and ready.  Sometimes we have a problem with sleet and the leaves in the gutters are just in the right spot to be exposed to the elements to refreeze the water that's left behind.  And  if you have lots of leaves in the gutter and they're all frozen its possible that the gutter won't be able to hold the weight and it could come crashing down.  But its better to be safe than sorry and avoid other damages.  And remember if it seems to risky for you to do it, get others who can do it or use a professional.

Winterize your hoses and exterior faucets.  Make sure you get all the water out of your hoses (hang them up & put away) and sometimes just a simple cover of Styrofoam can work to protect the faucet by covering it and attaching it to the house exterior.

Check the weatherstripping and caulk on windows, doors, and any other place where there are holes, gaps, and bad seals.  The heat loss can cost you extra money that you won't even realize!

Now an easy one which many people won't realize.  Smoke & Carbon Monoxide detectors.  Make sure they are working and change their batteries.  Fall/Winter are the months in which all the windows are closed and sealed and there's no movement of air to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.  Remember it is odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas that can kill while people are sleeping.

Remember this is just a starting off point.  Get involved yourself and see what you can find to get your house ready for the colder months.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Friday, October 18, 2013

Last Weekend's Roundup

Just a quick post on last weekend.  The Team went out last weekend and popped in at several spots around Huntsville in the many events which were ongoing.  (And thankfully for the good weather)

Friday, the Team strolled Bridgestreet in the morning for a few hours before settling in the afternoon at The Gem, Jewelry, & Mineral Show at the VBC.

Saturday, it seems everyone was at the Huntsville Ghost Walk to hear the stories and see the historical homes during the 2.2 mile trek.  When our group led by Robert Reeves came back to the starting point, there were many more people on the four corners waiting for their turn to go for the 8PM Start.  The amount of people that came out was overwhelming to see.

Sunday, we enjoyed ourselves immensely at the Maple Hill Cemetery Stroll.  Like the Huntsville Ghost Walk on the previous day, Maple Hill Cemetery was completely packed full of people.  The crowds which surrounded the Huntsville Historical Figures where bustling at the seams.  The Black Widow of Hazel Green, Elizabeth Dale Gibbons could even have her pick of any of the multitudes of men in attendance.
We even managed to take a nice picture of Mary Bibb as she talked about herself and her tomb behind her.

Mary Chambers Bibb 
(Photo by Carol Jacobs Team)

All in all it was a very fun weekend but exhausting to try and make all the wonderful events.  Going to all the events was well worth it for both self enjoyment, involvement in the community, as well as interacting with other people we met along the way.  So if something like these events comes again we'll go again, and we can only hope you will as well!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Autumn Cleaning - The 2nd Coming of Spring Cleaning

Many people do not realize that Spring Cleaning comes twice a year.  The first being Spring, and the second being Autumn.  Autumn cleanings don't really make an impact as much as Spring cleaning due to the fact that they're not as invasive and prolonged.  Where as Spring can take a week to two weeks, cleaning in Autumn can be more along the lines of a few days.  It takes place right when the first chill hits the night air.  And Autumn Cleaning does not include the chore of raking and bagging all the leaves.  That is its own event.

Let's get started shall we?

Clean windows, drapes, carpet, patio, sidewalk, porch, bedding.  This is everything that pollen and allergens can stick to.  No reason to keep them around, and now is a good as time as any to get rid of them especially if you have sinus/allergy problems.

Change your bedding and wardrobe for cooler months.  Do it now, so you won't have to throw blankets and clothing around later from the attic or hall closet where everything else winds up.

Change your HVAC air filter.  Many people forget to change this one regularly.

Outdoors? Begin cleaning up the patio, from furniture, dead plants, and summer clotheslines everything has a time and with the onset of cooler weather its best to either move them to a discrete place like a shed, or throw away if no longer of use.  Make it appear clean, also makes it much easier when the leaves really start falling in that you don't have to maneuver around obstacles.  Speaking of leaves, remember to check your gutters regularly for leaf blockages or nests on the top sections of the gutters and the downspouts.

If you can think of any more have at it.  Just remember not to overdo it!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Next weekend activities, for Oct 11-13

It seems like there are many events which fall on next weekend of Oct 11-13 and because of the team's busy schedule we may not get a chance to get the information out.  Here are just a few of them to go to.  The team will try to hit at least three of these wonderful events.  If you see the team show up with new jewelry, pictures, fresh vegetables and looking full of food, you will know what happened.  Best thing that can be said about these events that people don't realize that these events are mostly local with a possible exception of a few vendors at the Gem and Mineral Show.  A few vendors might come from the edge of the Tennessee Valley or outside of it.

Huntsville's Maple Hill Cemetery Stroll  10/13/13 from 2-4:30PM
Usually more than 80 historical figures among the 80,000 dead tell their story throughout the afternoon in a delightful experience of walking, listening to stories, and listening to music.

2013 Gem, Jewelry & Mineral Show Oct 11 & 12 10AM-6PM & Oct 13 Noon-5PM
A great experience for finding great jewelry, loose gems, and fun table and corner placements.  With many vendors and possible combinations of jewelry, this visit is definitely worth it.

Huntsville Ghost Tour 6PM on weekends Fri & Sat
Fun stories of Huntsville's first residents, intrigue, murder, and scandal.  These walks make you go back for weeks on end to hear something you may missed.

Madison City Farmers Market 10/12/13  9AM-1PM
1282 Hughes Road, next to Discovery Middle School.

Inaugural Downtown Street Food Gathering Oct 11th  6-9PM
Complete with Food Trucks and Music by Goat Hill String Band, Parking behind Regions Bank.

Today's Tidbit: Get out with friends and family and enjoy the fall harvests and parties.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dangers of Lead Based Paint in Homes

Many posts we do are more uplifting and fun, however this one today is of a more serious nature.  Let's talk about Lead in the Home.  There are homes across the country which still have the lead paint on walls.  Since 1978, lead has been banned in its use as a ingredient in household paint.  Previously, lead was used as a faster drying agent, good durability so as not to have to paint as often, and the ability to be moisture resistant.  Now why the ban on lead in household paints?  Mainly because of its toxic nature.  They are especially toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.  In children, this lead can be disastrous in their early development especially when they are surrounded by it in a lead walled environment.  Any paint chips or cracking of the paint into dust consumed or inhaled into the system is a serious concern.

With older homes, agents have a duty to ask whether or not there is lead based paint on the walls and sellers must disclose if there is or is not lead to the best of their abilities.  Regardless of is or is not, there is a Lead Based Paint Pamphlet produced by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development that agents distribute to clients.  This Pamphlet is a very important source of information which includes "The What", "The How To", "What Do I Do", and "Who Do I Contact?"  If you are selling your pre-1978 home or buying a home constructed before 1978, please remember to read this Lead Based Paint Pamphlet to protect you and your family.

Today's Tidbit:  Remember the Romans of millennia gone by used lead pipes, utensils, jewelry, and cosmetics.  No doubt this hastened the onset of lead poisoning of many of it citizens.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Highlighting A Property: 196 Shadowbrook Lane

Today we look over a property: 196 Shadowbrook Lane

This lovely home is a 3 bedroom ranch house on a dead end street giving much privacy with the woods beyond.

This home has a wonderful family room with a wood burning fireplace, double treyed ceiling, ceiling fan, and wood floors which extend through to the hallway and into the master bedroom.

 The master bedroom has wood floors plenty of light, ceiling fan, walk in closet and master bath.

The back deck is a lovely place for entertaining beneath the views of Chapman Mountain.

This nice backyard provides plenty of space for flowers and a large garden.

Views a plenty from this house whether it be from the front yard, back yard, or driving down the street.  This wonderful location within the Chase Shadow subdivision provides both privacy and solace beneath the rolling hills.  Currently on the market for $ 139,900.

Click for Virtual Tour!
Play VisualTour

For more information call 256-651-7444.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Absurd, Crazy, and Interesting Design Ideas

Recently we had a client come and ask about possible ideas for their new house.  They wanted it to be special and not look like every other house that was out there.  We could only give so much information such as go to antique stores, specialty stores, and regular discount stores.  You never know what might pop up and by using what you see together it could make something that was specially unique for their home.

Now another suggestion we had besides brick and mortar businesses was to get a few ideas from online.  A few websites specially called out to them, but one in particular they took an interest in.

This one in particular had them asking us a multitude of questions that really should be answered by builders, architects, and gymnasts.  Buzzfeeds' 36 Things You Obviously Need in Your New Home was an web article that came out in July of this year.  Now not everything pleased them, but they did find a few thoughts from the site to spark their imagination for their kitchen and backyard.

Check out the article yourself and see if you can get anything that sparks your imagination!

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Updates to City of Huntsville and Chamber of Commerce Websites

As Huntsville continues to be the 2nd largest metro area in Alabama, the city has started a more proactive approach towards putting information online.  Now not many have noticed recently, but the City of Huntsville has now put city laws on an online database for everyone to see.  On the City of Huntsville's main front page, the JavaScript link is located at the bottom left.  Also included in their eGov links are forms, taxes, court and police records, etc.

Also the Huntsville Madison County Chamber of Commerce website has updated their maps section to show schools, parks, recreation, dining areas, industrial parks, arts, and more.  If you get a chance check it out!  One can only expect the chamber to add more to these maps.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Friday, September 6, 2013

State of Alabama ranked at #4

Quick post for Friday!  Just reported by & Area Development Online Alabama has come in at #4 for the Best States to do Business.  Alabama follows Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina.  This is just another feather in the hat for Alabama which continually ranks year in and year out as a wonderful place to do business! Auto Manufacturing, Aerospace, Biotechnology, Port Commerce, among many other economic entities.
Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Just This, That, and the Other: Labor Day, Football, Gaming & Maglev Train, you know the usual...

Well everyone is back in their places after the Labor Day Weekend, also the first weekend of football season.  So its a just a little bit slow picking up the pace again.  Who would have thought that Oregon State, ranked #25 at the time, would have been the first team to choke?
But then again, it seems its always got to be someone on that first weekend that everyone talks about.

So how is everyone enjoying September so far?  We should be seeing the beginning of a temperature slide through the month allowing for everyone to get outdoors more and not feel completely hampered by the heat.

For the video gaming buffs out there, the release dates have been confirmed for the Playstation 4 and XBOX ONE.  11/15/13 for Playstation, and 11/22/13 for XBOX, both US releases dates.

For the tech people: Japan just showed off their new 300+MPH Maglev train to reporters on its test track.  Possible future upgrade to Japan Railways?

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Thursday, August 29, 2013

125 Lovvorn Lane, Huntsville, AL 35806 - New Listing

Unique one of a kind custom designed home not another home like it! An entertaining masterpiece. This home has everything, you name it, its got it! It is an absolute must see. Windows galore, light & bright. 7 Skylights, storage galore, custom glamour bath, 12FT foyer, light fixtures replaced, house has had continual update. Huge entertaining deck, landscaped/fenced backyard, make your day see this house!!

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A little bit of Jack and Ghosts

Everything has been really busy and only have time for a short post for today.

Just released this afternoon by the Tullahoma News is that the Jack Daniels Distillery in nearby Lynchberg, TN will be undergoing a $100 Million dollar expansion with 90 new jobs added to the 450 they currently have.

Also the Huntsville Ghost Walk will be doing their very first tour of Madison starting tomorrow starting at 6pm at the Bandito Burrito.  For more information please go to Huntsville Ghost Walk website.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Video Game Real Estate - What are those Castles going for?

Quick post with lots of fun included:  Recently and ongoing, another real estate website Motovo decided to jump into video games and do some pricing of some of the gaming world's most famous real estate.  Its an amazing read of location, amenities, and distressed properties.  Certain properties that stand out are Zelda's Hyrule Castle, Dracula's home in Castlevania, and Princess Peach's castle in Super Mario Bros.  While these guesses are full of silliness and taken tongue in cheek, its still great for everyone to see what the logic process goes through to get the actual price.

Take a look for yourself:

Castlevania                   Hyrule Castle            Super Mario Bros: Princess Peach's Castle

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fantastic New Huntsville Real Estate App is Out!!!

The Great New Huntsville Real Estate App is out.  Search on the go with this new mobile app!!  Wonderful functions and search abilities both by list and map and also looks a commercial properties and rentals!  Take a look and input my code when you install it!!: KW20TM0R4

For Apple users:

For Android users:

Searching has never been so easy by list or mapping out your search.  Check it out for yourself!! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Huntsville on 2 More Best Cities List

Huntsville is right near the top of two more lists that have come out recently.

One is Best Places in the South for Computer Programmers.  Huntsville ended up at #2 on that list right behind Melbourne-Palm Bay, Florida.  Also above both Atlanta and Dallas.

The other list came out earlier is the Top Metro Areas for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) graduates.  In this one, Huntsville came in at #3 under San Jose, CA, & Washington DC/Arlington/Alexandria Metro, but still above San Francisco, Boulder, Seattle, and Boston.

As more of these lists come out, we will continue to publish these to show what an excellent place the Huntsville Metro Ares is to live!

Today Tidbit:  Next week is Alabama Restaurant Week, check in and see what great deals are at our own great restaurants!

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Landscaping, Mortgage News, and a Link

Landscaping is a tool to accentuate the home, not hide it among a jungle of assorted plants, flowers, and overgrown herbi-monsters.

Good landscaping can always be seen right off the bat.  It can provide a soft touch to ease the rigid house exterior, or it can be used to push the voice that this house is of some importance with a bordered driveway, or guided walkway to the front door.

How your landscaping is shaped, flows, and whats in it says much about you and your home.  Do you have many holly bushes adjoining the front porch warning people to stay away?  Or do you have lambs ears giving a welcoming feeling to your guests?

Remember minimal landscaping is much better than an overdone circus of a yard.  There's one just off of South Parkway that screams for a vendor to be selling cotton candy.

Quick Excellent Reminder of Landscaping Mistakes by HGTV.

Mortgage News:  Word is coming from Phoenix where President Obama will speak about restructuring Freddy Mac & Fannie Mae or possibly shuttering them altogether.  These nationalized companies still hold a large amount of mortgages as well as foreclosures. This brings the big question: mortgages might be easier to unload but how will the current foreclosures they have on their books be moved out when they use a system of local agents to handle the marketing of the properties.  Not many private companies will want to jump and accept the responsibilities of foreclosures with the maintenance that comes with it, but if no takers will this be passed off to each of the states for more local control?  Just a question that remains unanswered for now.

Link to Popular Mechanics Strange Homes.

Today's Tidbit:  Use times of constant and heavy rains to check for roof and garage leaks in walls and ceilings.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Little Fun for Today: Summertime Treats and Kitchen Toys

Today's post pops into some Summer fun: treats and toys.  Treats as it for picnics and parties and Toys as in kitchen gadgets we love to play around with and experiment with.  These were found on the websites of Southern Living and Better Homes & Gardens.  There's quite a few of these recipes we might try out, including the hand pies, fudge pops, and key lime cheesecake bars.  A few of these cool treats sounds just right for some of these warm days.  If anyone has tried these recipes out before or does try them out, comment below and let us know how they turned out.

Today's Tidbit: Sometimes one of the easiest things to make during summer can also make you feel better.  Make yourself a tall glass of lemonade loaded with ice.  Let sit until the glass really has cooled with the ice before drinking.  Not only refreshing, but also can put a smile on your face with its tart and tangy taste.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Many New Business opening their doors in the Huntsville Metro Area

With Huntsville's westwards expansion to County Line Road and beyond, new businesses have moved in and have been created.

Rendering by Colonial Properties and Trust, managing Promenade Pointe

Promenade Pointe is a  perfect example of all the businesses starting to flourish.  Promenade Pointe is 1/2 mile East of County Line Road, but West of Balch and lies on 53 acres of land previously annexed by the City of Huntsville.  Currently in the shopping district there is Walmart, Panda Express, Zaxby's, and Car Wash Express.  New and just moving into the Pointe are IHOP, Firestone, and Family Security Credit Union.  Also mentioned moving in are Sports Clips Hair Salon, Stevi B's Pizza, Lisa's Nail and Spa, and Urban Chez Restaurant.  There is also a possibility of having a Verizon Wireless right off of Balch as well.

This was only Phase 1 of the master developers plan for the area.  Phase 2 is said to be on the western end of the development and will be 80,000 sqft of commercial space.  Phase 3 will be an apartment complex on 27 acres.

Today's Tidbit: In a new survey that was just released, the top two Automotive Manufacturing States are Tennessee, and Alabama respectively.  Alabama has risen from #7 to #2 with and expansions of Mercedes Benz, Honda, and Hyundai.  

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Outdoor Nature Places to Visit & US Army Soldier Show

Today's post comes from a reader who asked about outdoor nature places for hiking, fishing, and just to go be with the large expanses of nature.

Being that Huntsville is one of the cities with the most green spaces in the country, there are plenty of places to go in the city, metro area and for day trips outside the city.

Below are links we have assembled for going outdoors and getting into nature and being a part of different activities and observe the wonderful green scenery.

Huntsville Botanical Garden
Madison County Nature Trail on Green Mountain
Land Trust of North Alabama
Big Spring Park
Maple Hill Cemetery
State Parks of Alabama
Monte Sano State Park
Lake Guntersville State Park
Cathedral Caverns State Park
Alabama Vacation Guide

Today's Tidbit:  Another part of The Carol Jacobs Team went out to the US Army Soldier Show Wednesday night and it was fantastic.  A superb performance of singing, dancing, and acting.  The stage had wonderful lights props, and soldiers that really had you believe they were professionals at everything they did.  The music, singing, and dancing cut across all boundaries from country, rap, jazz, dance hall, Disney, rock, pop, and musicals.  Here is the rest of the Tour Schedule for the US Army Soldier Show!

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Quick Review of Concert in the Park: 7/22/13, US Army Materiel Command Band

Part of the Carol Jacobs team went to last night's Concerts in the Park on a whim and were pleased with the turnout, environment, and fun.

Put on by The Arts Council Inc of Huntsville, AL & the Department of Recreational Services of Huntsville, AL, was moved indoors because of the rain during the day and possible rain later on.  The relocated event took place in the South Hall of the VBC, on the south side of the VBC Arena.  The hall was completely air conditioned and over 95% brought their lawn chairs and folding chairs while the vendors sold food and drinks.

The MC for the evening was Steve Johnson of WHNT who introduced everyone from the band to guests to present honors to the band.

Once the the music started, it began with several jazz pieces then moving to the title track from the movie "1941" and the Olympic signature piece "Fanfare for the common man" among many others.  The performers were looking very sharp and their instruments were completely sterling with shine that could be seen in the far back of the hall.

Intermingling with the crowd were also reenactors dressed up in different period uniforms from nurses from the Vietnam and WWII era, to Vietnam Recon soldiers and WWII infantry.

The large crowd gave applause after every set and enjoyed themselves thoroughly.  With a concert this nice, free, and easy access to the event everyone was pleased to have made it.

We eagerly look forward to going to more Concerts in the Park.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Few Huntsville Summer Events as of 7/18/13

There's a few great summer events going pick what you want to do and go!

Historic Huntsville Foundation is back with Movies In The Park on three Friday's this summer 7/26, 8/9, and 8/23 in which they will be showing E.T., To Kill a Mockingbird, and Back to the Future.  There was a vote on 6/20 at the Sidewalk Arts Stroll to pick the movies.  The movies begin at sundown in Big Spring Park behind the Huntsville Museum of Arts.
Historic Huntsville Foundation

Florence's amazing WC Handy Music Festival is back again from 7/19-7/28.
Information on the Event through the WC Handy Festival Website
Daily Schedule of the WC Handy Festival

The Huntsville Ghost Walk is still going on.  On Saturdays at 6pm leaving from Harrison Hardware Store in Downtown Huntsville.

The Madison City Farmer's Market is on Saturday 7/20 in the morning from 8-12 beside Discovery Middle School located at 1282 Hughes Rd, Madison.

US Space & Rocket Center Armed Services week providing free admission to military families. 7/21-7/27, 9am-5pm.

Concerts in the Parks has the US Army Materiel Command Band on 7/22, 6:30-8pm at Big Spring Park.

US Army Soldier Show is on 7/23-7/27 at 7pm at the VBC Concert Hall.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Alabama breaks into another Top Ten Poll: Pro-Business State

Alabama broke into a top ten list of being a pro-business state.  The research was done by Pollina Corporate of Park Ridge, IL and co-published by the American Economic Development Institute.

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Friday, July 12, 2013

Huntsville ranked in another Top Ten!

This time Huntsville is ranked at #10 in the Top Metros for Keeping Cool during the Heat.  The study was done by Apartment Guide.  The study was done by looking at air conditioning units, swimming pools, and ceiling fans.

Top Metros for Keeping Cool This Summer
Find the perfect apartment with Apartment Guide!

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

A Few of Our Listings for 7-12-13

Today we're just looking at a few listings we have on the market:

8 King Georges Way
Absolutely stunning home inside and out in the subdivision of Lake Forest with a view that stretched out over the lake.

Located inside the Luxury Gated Community of Cedarhurst, this home boasts two luxury master baths fit for a celebrity!

131 Fred Atkinson
This amazing ranch home has beautiful hardwoods that welcome you and a wonderful back deck for quiet evenings.  This home is not to be missed!

Huntsville Metro Area Homes

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cleaning up after rains, winds, and storms...

After a few weeks of very busy activity in and outside the office, its time for a new post and a few pictures of last nights angry lightning storm.  This of course coming after the heels of what seems like a week and half of constant rain.

These fantastic photos were taken by WHNT's Mike Wilhelm.

After heavy rains and some winds its possible that some branches or limbs may fall.  Now it is best to make sure its cleaned up and moved towards where the city can pick up.  If left alone, multiple problems may ensue.  If the limbs are heavy and there has been a good deal of rain, you could be soon finding that the ground has become sunken in with the weight on top.  Experience shows that it only takes the smallest amount of dropped weight to make an impact on the looks of the yard for the dent in the ground to be easily seen.  Leaving the debris unattended can also provide a home for may insects including ants, termites, wasps, and spiders.  Never a good combination anytime as soon they could spread to the house.  After more rains come, moss and mold can build up on the debris itself and also harbor decaying rot.  This rot is always clearly evident by the deep musty smell.  Also check for mushrooms, their growth is an indication of decay.

Causes of Wood FungiFile:Fungus on Log in Garston Wood - - 313089.jpg

Remember get rid of the problem before it starts!

Today's Tidbit: If you have wood piles of lumber make sure they're out in the open for easy drying after rains. Never keep them leaning against the house, and keep up with them so there are no insects setting up a colony in the dark places where you can't see.  Keep it tidy!