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Timeless Beauty by Amber Barnes

Timeless Beauty

Written by: Amber Barnes

Before Chip and Joanna Gaines popularized HGTV with pewter colors and kitchen islands, there existed This Old House on Alabama Public Broadcasting network. For those who have never had the guilty pleasure of immersing yourself on a lazy Saturday afternoon for an hour, the television program consists of a group of master craftsmen from the New England area who address different issues in older homes. Rather than quickly agreeing to tear down a wall or rip up heart-of-pine flooring, these craftsmen work to amend problems while also providing a historical context for the original work. We could also use a little of This Old House wisdom in Tuscaloosa with some of our older homes. Just the other day, I was touring a home built circa 1940’s with a client when she commented that the first thing to be done was to remove the wall between the kitchen and living room to make it into the trendy “open concept.” As we continued to tour the home, I continued to share information concerning the original builder, who was once a sought-after tradesman in Tuscaloosa known for his unique home accents. I did not even realize just how much I had known of the person and was more-or-less making conversation. By the end of the tour, the potential buyer had completely changed her mind about making any changes because she loved the charm of the cozy living room along with the traditional idea of a separate kitchen. “After all,” she said, “sometimes you just want to cook in peace.”

Another example is a one-of-a-kind listing I currently have nestled in the heart of Tuscaloosa. Built in 1970, it reminisces of a French country chateau complete with all the privacy and natural beauty befitting such an architectural style. The separate and formal dining room harkens back to a time of togetherness while the intricate inlay of oak walls mimics the ancient smoking room of Ashville’s Biltmore Estate. To the buyer who is quick to suggest a coat of gray to cover the mahogany stained oak, I would recommend a pause to gather information and history to better appreciate the unique craftsmanship of this traditional woodworking method. In fact, upon further inspection, one would see not only the beautiful striations of the oak wood but also a hint of something more. Perhaps a recessed hiding spot perfectly camouflaged and expertly constructed just behind one of those panels. Such unique characteristics are few and far between these days in the market of modern farmhouses. 

Truly, Tuscaloosa has a lot to offer in the way of new home construction with more opportunities being framed and roofed each day. However, in this market of “new,” let us not forget the timeless beauty of the old. We have numerous homes that while not boasting neutral tones and open floorplans have something perhaps greater to offer: a story. 

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Alice Maxwell

To know Alice Maxwell, Top Agent in Tuscaloosa AL, is quite frankly to love her. Vibrant and charming, she’s one of the region’s most successful REALTORS®. When asked about her sales, she sheepishly says, “Honestly, I’m not sure. I just take care of people. That’s what I love doing.” – Top Agent Magazine A Tuscaloosa Native, it’s this passion for people and knowledge of her hometown that has made Alice Maxwell a top REALTOR® in the Tuscaloosa area since 1993. She is quick to say, “I eat, sleep and breathe real estate. I love taking care of people!” It’s no surprise that clients quickly become lifelong friends, making her business one that is built on personal relationships, personal referrals and corporate relocations. By employing the latest technologies and marketing strategies, Alice does everything possible to ensure her clients’ properties are positioned and marketed for success. She and her team are committed to aggressively marketing their client’s listings, as well as finding the perfect home or condo for their buyers. To further assist her buyer’s need, she has a trusted network of professionals from inspectors, contractors, handymen to loan officers. Devoted to giving back to her community, Alice can often be found hammering at a new Habitat for Humanity house or feeding a group of students from Collegiate Recovery Community. She has served on the United Way Board, the Chamber of Commerce Board, and the Board of Directors for Capstone Bank, and as an Elder at First Presbyterian Church. She also serves her alma mater, The University of Alabama, as a member of the President’s Cabinet, Women of the Capstone, and Human Environmental Sciences Leadership Board. After earning her REALTOR® license, Alice earned her CRS, ABR and GRI designations. Since becoming a principal in Keller Williams Realty Tuscaloosa, she has participated in extensive training--recently completing Keller Williams’ signature training program, BOLD. Her knowledge of the industry paired with her knowledge of the Tuscaloosa market allows her to offer the highest level of service to each client. Because of her training and hard work, she has been named REALTOR® of the Year, and won the Arthur B. Pope award from the Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors. Alice is married to her high school sweetheart, John, and together they are parents of Anne, Davis and Stuart. In the spirit of the Maxwell tradition, all three children have pursued individual careers in different spheres of real estate. When not busy with real estate, Alice and Johnny are often found spending quality time with their five grandchildren, their dogs, close friends or Alice’s 89-year-old mother, Dee. It’s a full and busy life! Alice probably sums it up best saying, “If you had told me years ago that I would be where I am today, I wouldn’t have believed it. I just know that I work hard and I believe that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

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