Reminder: Montgomery Magnet School Applications Due Soon

January 25th, 2010 categories: Montgomery, Schools
Just a quick reminder: If you're considering a Montgomery Public School magnet program for your child next year (2010-2011 academic year), get your applications in by January 29, 2010. Need an applicationclick heremagent school applications due Want to know more about magnet schools in Montgomery?  click here Have any words of wisdom for families applying for a magnet program?  Leave your thoughts in the "comments" box below. We'd love to have your feedback.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Wyndridge in Montgomery, AL

January 19th, 2010 categories: Montgomery, Neighborhoods
Tucked beside the large Wylnakes neighborhood in East Montgomery, AL is a little enclave called Wyndridge. It is a Lowder development, but does not feel like a contrived neighborhood.  While there is a mixture of large, medium, and smaller lots/homes, there are also custom homes, trees, and a feeling that Wyndridge has developed over time, rather than over night. I took the pictures above on a quick drive-through yesterday afternoon to give you a feel for the homes in the neighborhood. The homes in Wyndridge are on the pricier end of East Montgomery real estate.  Today (January 19, 2010) there are 14 homes listed for sale in Wyndridge ranging from $299,900 (2148 sq. ft.) to $689,900 (4885 sq. ft.). Neighborhood amenities include tennis courts, ponds and sidewalks, and landscaped common areas. Wyndridge is accessed off of Halcyon Boulevard, making it VERY close to the Shoppes at Eastchase, Peppertree shopping center, the Sturbridge neighborhood and I-85. Something unique to Wyndridge is the live children's nativity during the Christmas holidays.  Children from the neighborhood take part in recreating the nativity scene, and are joined by live animals brought in for the occasion. To see any of the homes for sale in Wyndridge, or any homes in the Montgomery area MLS, give us a call.  We'd love to help you with your house hunt!

Neighborhood Spotlight: StoneyBrooke Plantation in East Montgomery, AL

January 15th, 2010 categories: Montgomery, Neighborhoods
StoneyBrooke Plantation is a planned community in East Montgomery, AL.  I recently visited a friend's home in StoneyBrooke and realized I hadn't blogged it yet.  So here we go . . .

It's a Lowder Development (think Deer Creek and Woodland Creek neighborhoods on Vaughn Road), so if it seems very familiar, you're right. It's most unique feature is its proximity to I-85 - just off the I-85/Mitylene exit.   On the google map below, StoneyBrooke is red marker "A" (Deer Creek is "B" and Woodland Creek is "H").

google map

There is a large common area with a pond and picnic pavilion, plus a large playground.  The neighborhood is divided into pods according to lot size (50', 60', and 70' lots), and has sidewalks and landscaped "greenscapes" throughout.  There is no pool or neighborhood clubhouse. StoneyBrooke has existing homes for sale plus lots for building new homes.  As of today (Jan. 7, 2010) asking prices for the 6 homes available on the Montgomery Area MLS range from $192,000 (1655 sq. ft.) - $269,900 (2,433 sq. ft.). If you like new construction and a walkable neighborhood with amenities,  plus you want to be super-close to I-85, StoneyBrooke might be a good fit.  Give us a call - we can help buyers with any listing in the Montgomery Area MLS (and it costs buyers nothing more to have a Realtor working for them).

Frozen On Sturbridge Pond

January 9th, 2010 categories: Montgomery, Neighborhoods
Sturbridge, a popular neighborhood in east Montgomery, has two big ponds at its Vaughn Road entrance.  I was shocked to see that one of them is nearly completely frozen over in about half inch thick ice.
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Buyers relocating from up north might say, "what's the big deal?" But let me tell you, for central Alabama, a frozen pond is a rare occurrence.  This recent cold snap is breaking records.
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I was running errands with my kids yesterday in the Vaughn Road area and was surprised to see some bigger kids playing at the edge of the pond.  They were breaking off big hunks of ice and throwing them back on the iced surface.  We paused to take some pictures and the below video.  For Alabamians, this is surreal.
Hey readers - does anyone else have some good cold weather photos and videos, in Sturbridge or the rest of Montgomery? Leave a comment or reply below and let the rest of us see!

Neighborhood Spotlight: Cawfield in East Montgomery, AL

January 7th, 2010 categories: Montgomery, Neighborhoods
The dirt was moving in Cawfield this morning.  Yep - tractors were out pushing the red soil around in this east Montgomery neighborhood right off of Pike Road. Today (January 7, 2010) the Montgomery Area MLS shows there are 25 lots for sale in Cawfield for $59,900. There is currently one house built in the subdivision.  According to the MLS, all lots are at least 85' wide and there is a 2000 sqaure foot minimum for new homes. Cawfield is zoned for Halcyon Elementary, Georgia Washington Jr. High, and Jeff Davis High School Cawfield is next to the Lochshire neighborhood on the portion of Pike Road  between Vaughn Road and Hwy 80.  It's also close to Bridle Brook, Woodland Creek, and Merry Station, and right across Pike Road from Grace Episcopal Church.  It's about a 5 minute drive to the Shoppes at East Chase, the Chantilly Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and I-85. The subdivision was sold to a new developer in September 2009.  It should be noted that lots in Cawfield have a Montgomery street address and claim City of Montgomery sewer service on the MLS.  In this section of East Montgomery, neighborhoods/lots can be zoned for the City of Montgomery, Montgomery County, or the Town of Pike Road. It's kind of a patchwork, so if you have a preference, be sure to ask when looking for real estate in this area. If you're interested in building a new home in Cawfield, we're not the listing agent, but we can help buyers with any property in the Montgomery area.  Give us a call and let us help you make an informed real estate decision.

River Region Relocators: Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended

December 28th, 2009 categories: Buyer Tips
tax credit expandedGood news for homebuyers in the Montgomery, AL area . . . The $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers has been extended to April 30, 2010. The program has changed a little, though, from the initial incentive that expired November 30. If you want to know details, this Q & A article from The Wall Street Journal explains the revised incentive program well: "Q & A: The Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension." first time shoppersIf you're looking to purchase a home in the next few months and would like the benefit of a Realtor to do the legwork for you, give us a call.  It costs the buyer nothing, and it puts a professional in your corner.

In Montgomery, Even Anonymous Notes Put On Your Car Are Nice

December 22nd, 2009 categories: Dining, Montgomery
Today I took my kids to eat at one of our favorite lunch spots: Chappy's Deli in Peppertree Shopping Center. We had a great lunch and it was fun to be "off" of work. However, I guess I ruined someone else's fun today, because when I got back to my truck, I found this note tucked under the wiper:
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I guess I should be thankful there was no cursing. Actually it was pretty polite (see "please"). It is way too nice to submit to a site like PassiveAggressiveNotes.com. Here is my parking job, the shadow hurts the shot but you can see the offending entry on the white line:
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Here's a shot from directly in back. Snoopy is right, I broke the barrier:
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The irony is not lost on me that normally this time of year, Snoopy's in a great mood. He's on TV a lot, doing Christmas specials, etc. But here he is back to his dejected position on the dog house, looking straight up at what the person had to write. Clearly, I have disappointed him. I would like to say to this person: I was wrong. I did a bad job parking there. Please know I will pay more attention in the future. Maybe the moral to this story is that Montgomery is such a nice town, even the "nasty" notes people put on your car are pretty polite. Oh by the way..... Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!!

Montgomery Magnet School Gets Top Honors AGAIN!

December 11th, 2009 categories: Montgomery, Schools
LAMP does it again It's that time of year - time to apply for magnet and private schools for the 2010-2011 school year. If you're wondering what public magnet schools in Montgomery have to offer, consider the honors recently bestowed upon Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School (LAMP):

20th best high school in the NATION

and

4th best magnet school in the NATION.

That's pretty strong. "U.S. News and World Report" considered data from over 21,000 public high schools to come up with this ranking.  And it's not the first time LAMP and other Montgomery magnet schools have received such awards (see last year's ranking here).  Booker T Washington and Brewbaker Technology Magnet High Schools were also ranked nationally. Click here to read the entire Montgomery Advertiser article about these awards. FYI - Montgomery has public magnet schools for grades K-12.  For more information check out the MPS website. Applications are usually available on their website in mid-January and must be returned in early February. Related article: Head’s Up! School Registration in Montgomery is Around the Corner

Holiday Open House at Deer Creek – Tuesday, Dec. 8

December 7th, 2009 categories: Activities, Montgomery, Neighborhoods
deer creek gatheringSanta is making a stop this Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 pm at the Deer Creek Clubhouse!   There will be cookies and face time with St. Nick, plus, the Deer Creek Women's Association will be collecting unwrapped gifts for The Family Sunshine Center. One catch:  it's for residents of this east Montgomery, AL neighborhood only.  Since it's a pretty big neighborhood, there are two "shifts."  Check the homeowner's website to see if your family goes at 5:30 or 6:30pm. Hanston Snowman 2As a former Deer Creek resident, I can say that the homeowner's association does a great job of  providing fun, family- friendly holiday entertainment - year round (Easter, Halloween, 4th of July).  So if you live in Deer Creek, take a minute and drop by. If you're looking for a home in the Deer Creek area, let us help you!  It costs buyers nothing to have a Realtor do the legwork for you!

4 Reasons to love Farmhouse Kitchen at Hampstead

August 28th, 2009 categories: Activities, Montgomery
inside Farmhouse Kitchen in the Town of Hampstead in Montgomery, AL, is a gem of a restaurant. We knew it had a good chance of being cool simply because it's part of this unique East Montgomery development, but what about the food? We ate dinner there last night and it exceeded our expectations.  Here are 4 reasons we love Farmhouse Kitchen: service1) Staff - This has to be #1 on our list because the service and hospitality were excellent.   We ate as part of a large group, but the servers and staff took care of our every need with ease.  I even got a hug when we left!  It's not contrived hospitality - it's the real deal. 2) Food - We tried the shrimp and grits, and it was fabulous.  Easily one of the best renditions of this dish we've had.  The skillet cornbread that's brought to the table before the meal was fought over, and the homemade vanilla ice cream on top of our pecan pie was far better than any we've made in our own ice cream churn.
salad

Fresh tomato, cucumber and onion with vinaigrette

Shrimp and Grits in a HUGE bowl

Shrimp and Grits in a HUGE bowl

dessert

Chocolate cake

3)  Atmosphere - Open and casual, you would not mind bringing your kids for lunch or dinner.  The decor is simple and comfortable, but not hokey or contrived to be "country."  It serves a purpose and does not get in the way of the experience (which is the food). High Street 34)  Location - If you haven't been to Hampstead, head south on Taylor Road and take a tour.  We had fun walking the main street and enjoying the architecture before the rest of our group arrived. It's definitely an escape from the strip mall experience.  We both commented that it would be fun to live in Hampstead and have a great place to eat within walking distance. Forget chain restaurant, greasy, "country" cooking.  Farmhouse Kitchen is more like eating at your grandmother's. And the service is just as good! For a menu and hours of operation, click here.

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