Driving Through Wynlakes: What to Expect on Your House Hunt

April 20th, 2010 categories: Montgomery, Neighborhoods

If you’re relocating to Montgomery, AL, you might hear of a neighborhood or see a house online, but you may not get a good feel for the  area.  And loving your neighborhood is as important as loving your home.

That’s why ThreeRiversRecon takes pictures and video to give you out-of-towners (or across-towners) a close up look at East Montgomery.

I drove through Wynlakes today and took pictures of some homes that are currently for sale (not all the homes for sale – this is a big neighborhood!).  I did this not-so-much to sell you a particular house, but to aid in the broader process of honing-in on a particular neighborhood.  These homes are listed by many different Realtors in the Montgomery area, and some are FSBO’s.

These pictures are meant to answer questions like:

  • Do I like the style of this neighborhood?
  • Does this size home meet my needs?
  • Could I see my family living in a home like the ones I see?

We’d love to help you find your home in Wynlakes, or any home in the Montgomery Area MLS!  Let a ThreeRiversRecon real estate agent do the legwork for you.  Give us a call or contact us using the yellow “Contacts” tab.

House Hunting in Wyndridge: What to Expect

April 14th, 2010 categories: Montgomery, Neighborhoods

Loving your neighborhood is as important as loving your home.  If you’re relocating to Montgomery, AL, you might hear of a neighborhood or see a house online, and you want to know more about the area.

That’s why ThreeRiversRecon takes pictures and video to give you out-of-towners (or across-towners) a close-up look at East Montgomery.

I drove through Wyndridge today and took pictures of some homes that are currently for sale (not all the homes for sale – this is a big neighborhood!).  I didn’t do this to sell you a particular house, but to aid in the broader process of honing-in on a neighborhood.  These homes are listed by many different Realtors in the Montgomery area, and some are FSBO’s.

These pictures are meant to answer questions like:

  • Do I like the style of this neighborhood?
  • Does this size home meet my needs?
  • Could I see my family living in a home like the ones I see?

For even more Wyndridge info and neighborhood amenity pictures, click here.

We’d love to help you find your home in Wyndridge, or any home in the Montgomery Area MLS!  Let a ThreeRiversRecon real estate agent do the legwork for you.  Give us a call or contact us using the yellow “Contacts” tab.

Neighborly Surprise in Lochshire: Growing Goodwill

April 13th, 2010 categories: Neighborhoods, Pike Road

IMG_0465

It’s fun to write about little happenings like this- it’s a real peek into the character of a neighborhood. Something you can’t tell from the MLS.

This Lochshire homeowner is just passing along a kindness, it appears.

While jogging in Lochshire today, I passed by this display of young vegetable plants, set out by the curb in this Pike Road neighborhood.  I came back in my car and found another neighbor had discovered this surprise as well.

If you want to know more about Lochshire in Pike Road, or any other the neighborhoods in East Montgomery, give us a call.  Let one of our  knowledgeable Realtors help you find just the right place to call home.

BTW – we picked a jalapeno pepper plant. THANKS! We’ll let you know when they’re ready!

Nancy’s Italian Ice Is A Hit In East Montgomery, AL

April 13th, 2010 categories: Activities, Dining, Montgomery

Autrey's establishmentIt’s a high of 80 degrees today and my kids want Nancy’s  Italian Ice – blue Italian ice to be exact.

I do too!

If you haven’t been to this great little sweet shop in the Winn Dixie/Sturbridge shopping center on Vaughn Road, you need to go.  Nancy’s passes our test for 3 reasons:

1) It really tastes good (the kids will eat all of it).  The Italian ice comes in fruity flavors, plus, there’s gelato (like a dense ice cream), soft serve ice cream, and baked goods like cookies and cupcakes.  Someone under 6 at our table immediately ate the icing off the cupcake we bought (imagine that) so I didn’t get a lick of icing, but the cake was more like a pound cake than a regular cake = excellent!!  The baked goods are made in the store each morning.

2) It is reasonably priced.   We don’t like taking out a loan to go to the ice cream shop.  At Nancy’s, the kid’s “little owl” cup is $0.99.  The servings are huge. You get a lot of mileage out of a trip with prices like that.

3) It’s a locally owned, family business.  It’s fun to support them.  And from what we gathered on our last trip, a lot of Montgomery families are also having fun supporting them!  The after-school traffic was steady, and it was nice to gather and visit with friends.

Thanks, Nancy’s, for adding some more local flavor to east Montgomery!

If you’d like to find a home near great restaurants and shops like Nancy’s, give us a call.  We can show you any property in the Montgomery Area MLS, and it costs buyers nothing to have a Realtor on your side!

Bermuda Grass Wins Again: One Yard Owner’s Battle in Montgomery

March 28th, 2010 categories: Buyer Tips, Montgomery, Pike Road

my yard does not look like thisIf you are relocating to Montgomery, AL and plan on buying a home, lawn care will likely be part of that package.

The Feed Lot has products that will help you take care of it.

In this neck of the woods, Bermuda grass is the ground cover of choice.  It has a fine blade, is invasive, and varieties are used for golf course and football field turf.  Whether you care for it or not, it’s probably in your East Montgomery yard.

Upon moving to Montgomery, we built a house and battled weeds in our Bermuda lawn for 5 years.  When properly treated, it has a slick, highly manicured look, and weeds stick out like a sore thumb.  Our neighbors had effortless, immaculate lawns.  We had no kids and time to kill.   We fertilized,  we fretted.  We constantly had weeds.

The difference?  They had their yards sprayed by a lawn service and we didn’t.  Or, rather, we wouldn’t.  There was principle involved.  We didn’t need to pay someone else to keep our tiny yard tidy.  Where’s the fun in that?

The clover finally did us in.

Wait – isn’t this post supposed to be about The Feed Lot?  Stay with me . . .

So we called in the folks at Southern Lawns and got on their program that involved spraying fertilizer “stuff” on our lawn 3 or so times a year.  It was magical.  The weeds were gone.

Fast forward another 5 or so years: a new house, bigger yard, same problems.  We loved our experience with Southern Lawns and highly recommend them, but once again, we’re on a mission to do it ourselves.

IMG_0217Someone recommended The Feed Lot as a great resource for weed control products that actually work.  It’s the real-deal hardware/country store on Meriwether Road in Pike Road.

So we’ve gotten the “pre-emergent” fertilizer down that’s supposed to kill the crabgrass . . .

We’ll let you now how it goes . . . In the meantime, we’re Realtors, so give us a call if you need help finding your next yard (and home) in the Montgomery area.  We’d love to do the legwork for you!

Check Out the New Wilson YMCA in East Montgomery

March 11th, 2010 categories: Activities

I took a fun tour of the new Wilson YMCA in the New Park neighborhood of East Montgomery today.  For those of you who have yet to see it, I’ve posted a few pics below.

Where I grew up, the YMCA wasn’t a huge program, but the YMCA in Montgomery is a big part of daily life.  There are 15 locations in the River Region offering facilities for group exercise, athletic fields, water parks,weight rooms, gymnasiums – and the list goes on.  A lot of youth sports (football, soccer, basketball, etc.) are played through the YMCA, and childcare (“Childwatch”) is offered at some locations.

So what’s the new Wilson facility like?  The first distinguishing factor is that it is part of the new development, New Park, off of Ray Thorington Road.  It is right behind the new Wilson Elementary School, and shares its gym with Wilson students during the morning hours.

Right now it has a gym, a weight room, a group exercise room (one class per day, M-F), and a Childwatch area.  It sits on 16.5 acres so there is room to expand – in the lobby are the site plans for other phases of development that include a pool and water park area.

Childwatch hours at the Wilson Y are 8:30-10:30 am and 4:30-7:00 am.  You can let your young children play in this area while you exercise. Y basketball teams are meeting in the gym on weeknights for practice.

One of the reasons the YMCA is such a big deal in Montgomery is the membership fee:  a family membership costs $59 a month ($100 sign up fee), and members can use all 15 facilities.  Members pay only 1/2 of the registration fee for sports programs, too.

For more information about a YMCA membership, go to ymcamontgomery.org.

Must Stop Cafe – A Wetumpka Winner

March 1st, 2010 categories: Dining

If you live or work in Wetumpka, or are just passing through, you need to know about a great little “meat and three” place that just opened up on 231, close to Riverside Chevy.  The Must Stop Cafe is a winner in my book.

must stop cafe

They are having a soft opening so lunch was free when I went by there today. A friend tipped me off, but don’t think the free eats affected my review.

must stop cafe wetumpka alabama

They started us off with “orange rolls” which were basically an orange flavored cinnamon roll type thing. Yum.

meat and three restaurants in wetumpka alabama

They have a daily menu, country style or meat and three style, whichever you prefer. I got the country fried steak, purple hulled peas, and okra. It came with cornbread, they didn’t even ask. I like a place where they assume you want cornbread!

Mine was really good. The steak was not too bready. The peas were fresh and not overcooked. The okra was good, but the real surprise was the mac and cheese. I was expecting the normal runny deal but it was more like grannie’s mac and cheese casserole. It was firm and cheesy, not runny. Excellent.

inside picture of must stop cafe

According to their website, they officially open on March 2, 2010, so maybe the days of free lunch are over. But I can tell you – I will be back!

Clean Up Montgomery, AL: FREE Garbage Collection Sites

March 1st, 2010 categories: Activities, Montgomery

Montgomery County Pick Up DaysIn case you misplaced your flier, here are the Montgomery County, AL, monthly clean-up dates.  On the last Saturday of each month, you can dispose of that large stuff you’ve been wanting to get rid of, but won’t fit in your trash can for regular, weekly pick up.

Yes!  So long broken basketball goal that has been sitting behind my fence for a year and a half !  The flyer says there will even be workers at each site to help you unload the stuff you bring.  Won’t it feel great to kiss that pile of junk goodbye (in a legal and responsible way)!

Montgomery County Pick Up Days 2(This service is REALLY helpful to those who move into a different house in 2010 – if you’ve moved recently you know the kinds of stuff you are left with . . .)

All locations will be open  from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Here are the DATES (again, these are the last Saturdays of each month of 2010):

January 30, February 27, March 27, April 24, May 29, June 26, July 31, August 28, and September 25.

Here are the LOCATIONS:

Hope Hull: Vacant grocery store at railroad tracks (Wasden Road)

Mount Meigs/Pike Road:  Belser Blvd. in Bridle Brook subdivision OR County Lot Office across from The Feed Lot

Pine Level:  Pine Level Park (across from Sikes and Kohn)

Pintlala: Pintlala Elementary School

Ramer:  Transfer Station (County Road 12, Hickory Grove Road)

For more details about exactly what can and cannot be unloaded (toxic waste, items with freon, etc.) click here or call (334) 832-1210.

For those who live within the Montgomery city limits, your bulk trash is collected every 1st and 3rd Saturday from 9:00 am – 2:30 pm at city Public Schools.  Call (334) 241-2750 or click here for more info.

3 Reasons A Midtown Montgomery Family Moves East

February 25th, 2010 categories: Montgomery, Neighborhoods

Higgs to SturbridgeThe “H” family has successfully sold their midtown Montgomery, AL home in a historically slow market. They are in the driver’s seat now.  There are some good real estate deals to be had. They’ve got the dough.

Out of all options laid out before them, they chose a home in the Sturbridge neighborhood in East Montgomery.

I was just curious.  So I asked them.  Here’s why. . .

1) “Well, I hate to say this as my #1, but we got a really great deal on this house in Sturbridge. When you add up the square footage, the age of the home (built in the 1990’s, a lot newer than our mid town home was) – it was just a great buy.  It had been on the market for a long time – maybe other buyers couldn’t see past the dirty carpet.  It needed a little cleaning, but we were glad to do it for the price we paid!”

2103_5411)   “Sturbridge’s location: it is in East Montgomery, but it’s still close to the rest of Montgomery.  It’s so easy to hop in and out of the neighborhood.  I can get to Target, Publix, the dry cleaners, Jalapeno’s Mexican restaurant and I-85 in about 5 minutes.  We made the leap from ‘Midtown’ to ‘East Montgomery’ knowing that some things like church and school would be a little farther from the new home than the old home, but Sturbridge is still a really conveniently situated place.

3) “The location of our house within Sturbridge was a big deal.  It’s at the end of a cul-de-sac on a street that dead ends into the neighborhood playground.  We feel comfortable letting our kids play with neighbors up and down the street.  Because its a dead end street, there’s not much traffic, and like I said, at the end of our street is a playground, the neighborhood clubhouse and pool, plus a huge green space for the kids to play in.  Not a bad place to be.”103_5412

Thanks for sharing your story, H family!  Enjoy your new home and new part of town. Anyone else have a story to tell . . . . ?

If you’d like to know more about Sturbridge, or any East Montgomery neighborhood, give us a call.  We can show you any property in the Montgomery Area MLS, and we’d love to help you find your next home!
Click here for another family’s story about choosing a home in Sturbridge.

Not all Pike Road is Pike Road: Do Your Research

February 15th, 2010 categories: Buyer Tips, Montgomery, Neighborhoods, Pike Road

Just because you’ve driven past Chantilly Parkway on Vaughn Road does not mean everything that lays before you is part of the Town of Pike Road, AL.  Even passing through the light at CVS on Vaughn and Pike Roads is not a clear threshold to the municipality of the Town of Pike Road.

It’s just not that simple.

Pike Road Town Limits Map

The map above (from the Town of Pike Road website, click on it to enlarge) shows the patchwork that is east Montgomery County.  The map below (from the City of Montgomery website) details city trash pickup days, and on the lower right hand side of the map the patchwork of Montgomery City/Montgomery County/Town of Pike Road is evident here, too.

City of Montgomery Trash Map

How does this affect the east Montgomery house hunter?

For example, you could research a home on Saw Tooth Loop in the Woodland Creek subdivision.  The neighborhood is across Vaughn Road from Bridle Brook, which is a Town of Pike Road community.  The street address for homes in Woodland Creek say “Pike Road, AL.”  But this home is actually zoned for City of Montgomery amenities: sewer, trash, schools.  Unless current zoning changes, it would not be zoned for a future Pike Road School.  Confusing?  Sure.

symbol for Pike Road zoning

In 2008, in the neighborhood of Merry Station, all but one of about 20 homes were incorporated into the Town of Pike Road.  One home was zoned Montgomery County.  How did the homeowners figure this out?  They had to do a little research.  That home has since been incorporated into the Town of Pike Road.

So why does it matter? Different reasons for different buyers.  Some might prefer City of Montgomery services?  Some might want to be zoned for the possibility of a future Pike Road school system? And designations can sometimes be changed . . .

The main point if that if you have a preference, you’ll need to do a little digging.  Looking at the street address alone will not suffice.

The folks at the Town Hall in Pike Road are a big help.  So is having a knowledgeable Realtor working for you.  Give us a call and let us do the digging for you.

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