1818 Farms in Mooresville, AL: “The Way Life Used to Be”


A few years ago, a friend of mine named Natasha McCrary told our  ladies’ church group that her family was starting a small farm to raise babydoll sheep.  “My son fell in love with them and the kids have been wanting to get a few babydolls.  We thought it would be a great family adventure” was what she answered when we incredulously asked her where they got the idea to start a commercial farm with babydoll sheep, chickens and the like…


The McCrary family has been a part of Mooresville, AL for generations.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Mooresville, it is an exquisite historic town just minutes from both downtown Huntsville and downtown Decatur along Interstate 565.  As you pass the Mooresville exit, you’d never guess that beyond the treeline on that bare stretch of road before the I-65 interchange is a beautiful example of yesteryear.  An old brick church – one that welcomed President Andrew Johnson back in the 1800’s – still stands today, as does one of the oldest Post Offices in Alabama, though it’s hours have been cut back along with it’s larger city counterparts.  Mooresville is so picturesque, it has been used as the setting for movies such as Disney’s 1990’s movie “Tom and Huck.”

The small babydoll sheep operation was sure to be just a lark – a short lived dabble in all things farm related, right?  Still, our industrious friend had a glimmer in her eye, a plan in her head and enough gumption to make it all come to fruition.  What is so amazing is how the farm has become a culinary, medicinal, social and agricultural masterpiece as well.

Selling farm fresh eggs, lavender bath bombs, herbal lip balm, candles and more, 1818 Farms has become it’s own brand.   But the family and the animals are the real stars of the show.

Kroaker and Justice

Natasha’s  posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram bring an insta-smile to your face as you watch the Great Pyrenees watchdogs, Kroaker and Justice.  Or the babydoll sheep – especially the beauty queen they call Farrah Fawcett.

These days, 1818 Farms hosts birthday parties, ladies’ luncheons and training classes for entertaining, cooking and holiday crafts.  Take a look at their website www.1818farms.com when you get a chance and you’ll know why having such a special and beautiful place nearby will always make you happy in Huntsville…

kids at 1818


Blossomwood Holiday Tour of Homes 2012!



Posted by  on Monday, December 3, 2012 · Leave a Comment

blossomwood tour of homes 2012Have you ever salivated over great home ideas on various websites like Houzz or Pinterest? Well, Blossomwood Elementary’s PTAhas decided to give you a little “Pinterest in Person” with it’s annual Holiday Tour of Homes on Sunday, December 9. Five homes will be opened from 1:00 until 5:00, showcasing fantastic home renovation ideas, decorating examples and design expertise.

2012 Blossomwood tour of homes- 1000 McClung

Home at 1000 McClung Avenue


The first house is the Covington home at 1000 McClung Avenue. This home was rebuilt on the site of the old Dilworth home. What is interesting about this property is the design for the lot. Located on the corner of California and McClung, the home was designed with the garage on the back with a large side porch and side yard fronting California.

The yard is a great outdoor room with pergola, fireplace, canvas curtained sitting area and brick enclosure wall. Modern amenities like storm shelter (inside a butler’s pantry) and spacious greatroom open to the kitchen will make this property a must-see.



Event information:

Date: Sunday, December 9th

Time: 1-5pm
Location: Homes throughout Blossomwood
Cost: $15 in advance (see stores below) or $20 day of the event (tickets available at each home)

Purchase Tickets: In person at Valkenburgh & Wilkinson REALTORS (204 Gates Avenue), Railroad Station Antique Mall (Jefferson Street across from the Veteran’s Memorial), Lawren’s (on Madison Street) and Blossomwood Elementary School

A Chat with Santa – my new Huntsville post on Our Valley Events.com



Posted by  on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 · Leave a Comment

santa's village huntsville alabama

Posted by  on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 · Leave a Comment

When I was a kid, my eldest sister, Vicki, played a trick on me. She told me that the box on the wall in our foyer, the one with the chimes on the sides, was a microphone straight to the North Pole and that Santa’s use of microphones into people’s homes was how he knew if kids were good or bad.


The more I thought about it, the more it made sense! Every house I visited from then on had a box just like ours, in a convenient, middle-of-the-house location. What was more, no kid I asked had any idea what on Earth the box was for! So, in the sweltering Alabama months of July and August, I would worry that Santa must be bored. Surely he would enjoy having someone to talk to (or so I told myself). So I pulled up a chair under the microphone and started a conversation…

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Parade of Homes 2012: See my guest blog on Our Valley Events.com


parade of homes huntsville, AL


For many, the word “parade” signifies floats, firetrucks with city dignitaries or celebrities waving, marching bands and radio stations blaring their playlists. But to fellow REALTORS, builders and developers, “parade” means something very different… Each year, the Huntsville/Madison County Builders Association coordinates a spectacular array of new construction homes of various prices and sizes as well as remodeled homes during the annual Parade of Homes.

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Fall colors and Maple Hill



Sunday, October 15, 2012 was the annual Maple Hill Cemetery Stroll in historic Maple Hill Cemetery, located between the Twickenham and Blossomwood areas of Huntsville. Hundreds of people gathered at the cemetery to view the beautiful fall foliage and were greeted by local Huntsvillians dressed up as famous historical figures buried at Maple Hill. Mollie Teal, LeRoy Pope, Gov. Bibb and others could be found throughout the grounds, weaving their wonderful tales for the benefit of the Huntsville Pilgrimage Association. According to their website, the Huntsville Pilgrimage Association states that Maple Hill was “established in 1818 when the city of Huntsville purchased two acres of land from Leroy Pope. Maple Hill Cemetery now extends almost 100 acres and houses the graves of many historic and political figures. Located in the heart of downtown Huntsville, from Wells Avenue south to McClung Avenue, it includes more than 80,000 graves. More than 350 grave markers have been restored to date thanks to proceeds from the annual Pilgrimage Home Tour and the generous donations of community and school groups and individuals.” If the number of cars lining the downtown and Blossomwood neighborhood streets (even in the rain),was an indication of the success of the event, this year’s stroll may be the best one yet! Huntsville is full of so many areas like Maple Hill that are opened to the public that our citizens feel a kinship to the land, the trees and the history of Huntsville. I love to drive by this cemetery everday, as strange as that sounds, because it reminds me of my loved ones lost who are buried there beneath the spectacularly beautiful and majestic hundred year old trees in the valley of Monte Sano. Fall and Spring are the most beautiful seasons in Maple Hill. The pink and white dogwoods bloom in April and it really does make you realize that all that was seemingly dead will rise again, just like those wonderful trees.


The fact that Huntsvillians have found a way to preserve the history found in this grand old place and that Huntsvillians care enough about their area that they will brave a rainy day to join others in this Cemetery Stroll is a big reason that I am happy in Huntsville. The foliage doesn’t hurt, either… 🙂

Tell me about healthcare reform and the 3.8% tax on home sales…?


Many clients have contacted me regarding the healthcare reform act, scheduled to begin in 2013, and a provision within it regarding a 3.8% tax on some real estate transactions.

The following is a link from the National Association of REALTORS, regarding scenarios and implications to homeowners or real estate investors.


Also from NAR:
Top 10 Things You Need To Know About the 3.8% Tax

1) When you add up all of your income from every possible source, and that total is less than $200,000 ($250,000 on a joint tax return), you will NOT be subject to this tax.

2) The 3.8% tax will NEVER be collected as a tax on real estate of any type, so you’ll NEVER pay this tax at the time that you purchase a home or other investment property.

3) You’ll NEVER pay this tax at settlement when you sell your home or investment property. Any capital gain you realize at settlement is just one component of that year’s gross income.

4) If you sell your principal residence, you will still receive the full benefit of the $250,000 (single tax return)/$500,000 (married filing joint tax return) exclusion on the sale of that home. If your capital gain isthese amounts, then you will include any gain above these amounts as income on your Form 1040 tax return. Even then, if your total income (including this taxable portion of gain on your residence) is less than the $200,000/$250,000 amounts, you will NOT pay this tax. If your total income is more than these amounts, a formula will protect some portion of your investment.

5) The tax applies to other types of investment income, not just real estate. If your income is more than the $200,000/$250,000 amount, then the tax formula will be applied to capital gains, interest income, dividend income and net rents (i.e., rents after expenses).

6) The tax goes into effect in 2013. If you have investment income in 2013, you won’t pay the 3.8% tax until you file your 2013 Form 1040 tax return in 2014. The 3.8% tax for any later year will be paid in the following calendar year when the tax returns are filed.

7) In any particular year, if you have NO income from capital gains, rents, interest or dividends, you’ll NEVER pay this tax, even if you have millions of dollars of other types of income.

8) The formula that determines the amount of 3.8% tax due will ALWAYS protect $200,000 ($250,000 on a joint return) of your income from any burden of the 3.8% tax. For example, if you are single and have a total of $201,000 income, the 3.8% tax would NEVER be imposed on more than $1000.

9) It’s true that investment income from rents on an investment property could be subject to the 3.8% tax. BUT: The only rental income that would be included in your gross income and therefore possibly subject to the tax is net rental income: gross rents minus expenses like depreciation, interest, property tax, maintenance and utilities.

10) The tax was enacted along with the health care legislation in 2010. It was added to the package just hours before the final vote and without review. NAR strongly opposed the tax at the time, and remains hopeful that it will not go into effect. The tax will no doubt be debated during the upcoming tax reform debates in 2013.