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Planning to Buy? Got a Plan for What Comes After?

by Sandi Pressley

Buying a home comes with a huge financial stake, a lot of responsibility, and even more fine print. While investing in this aspect of the American dream is exciting, it’s important to reflect on your current and future plans before buying. Here are five questions to consider:

What Are Your Goals for the Next 5 to 7 Years?

Are you happy with your job and feeling content with how your life is going? Do you anticipate any career, family, or financial changes in the next few years?

If you’re considering growing your family or changing careers, factor into your budget any anticipated changes, such as extra room for a baby or an income cut. That’s better than taking a financial loss by having to turn around and sell your new property. 

What Will It Cost to Both Purchase and Own Your New Property?

A general rule of thumb is to keep your PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) costs below 28% of your gross monthly income, while your overall debt-to-income ratio should be no more than 36%.

Are you buying a bigger space than what you currently have? Don’t forget to factor in increased heating and cooling costs. Also, plan for homeowner’s association dues if applicable. 

In addition to the funds you have for your down payment, don’t overlook the following expenses you’ll incur once you purchase your home: 

  • Moving costs 
  • Closing costs 
  • Home repairs 
  • Painting 
  • New appliances 
  • Fixtures
  • Furniture 

It is recommend to open a separate savings account in addition to your down payment fund to save for these expenses.

What’s Your Credit Score?

Your credit score is your financial report card, except it will follow you long after college. This number can either save or cost you thousands of dollars when it comes to locking in an interest rate on your mortgage. The lower your score, the higher your interest rate and the more you’ll pay to borrow from a lender. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest and the more money you’ll keep in your pocket.

If you have any issues on your credit report, tackle them as soon as possible. 

How Will You Handle Home Repairs and Maintenance?

Is there a lawn to mow or a pool to clean? Do you enjoy the idea of tinkering with appliances and fixing things around the house? Consider if you’ll DIY or delegate. If you’re a delegator, price services ahead of time to ensure there’s room in your budget. 

How Will Your Ideal Location Affect Your Monthly Nut?

It’s important to consider more than just the home price in your desired community. Will you be farther from or closer to work? How will your home’s location affect your commuting costs?

In addition to transportation costs, consider whether your food and utility costs will increase or decrease, and whether you’ll enroll kids in the local school district or opt for private schooling. 

Selling your home in Albuquerque? Get a FREE home valuation of your home today. Looking for the perfect home in Albuquerque? Our powerful home search feature will help you find the home of your dreams. And make sure to join us twice a week on our blog for more great reasons to buy a home in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. Follow us on Facebook for the latest Albuquerque real estate updates.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

1517 Eagle Ridge Terrace Road NE, Albuquerque, NM  $950,000

5 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (2 full, 2 half) / 4750 Square Feet

Incredible VIEWS & casual elegance abound in this one-of-a-kind home! Nestled into the Sandia Mtns enjoy resort style outdoor living with multiple patios, private courtyard & balcony with mtn views & city lights! Versatile floor plan with stunning views from the great room, sep family room, formal dining, office/study, addtl flex room plus a guest room w/full bath on the main level. Show stopping kitchen has beautiful cabinetry, granite, wood beam ceiling, bkfst bar, island, walk-in pantry. Large secondary bdrs w/ walk-in closets. Gorgeous Master Suite has a balcony w/spectacular views, kiva frplc, jetted tub, double vanity & oversized walk-in closet. Desirable cul-de-sac location, beautiful landscaping, private outdoor courtyard & patios w/fireplaces makes for true resort style living!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Take a Break at Albuquerque's Best Spas

by Sandi Pressley

Do you need a break from all the summer excitement? Albuquerque spas have just what you need to unwind the cares of the day, with some of the best spa and wellness centers in New Mexico. Here's a list of some of the best spas in Albuquerque to help take away your stress.

Betty's Bath and Day Spa

Offering refuge since 2000, Betty's Bath and Day Spa offers two outdoor hot tubs and saunas, massages, facials, restorative spa treatments, lounge and relaxation areas in a xeriscaped garden setting. They also feature a specialty boutique with natural and scintillating bath & body products as well as affordable accessories. You can also stay for a relaxing getaway in a private getaway for individuals, couples or small groups.

Rio Grande Body Works

Whether you want an individual or couple's session, Rio Grande offers a range of bodywork services. They work with youth as well as adults. You can find treatments such as Swedish massage, Lomi Lomi Hawaiian massage, reflexology, couple’s sessions, and more. Rio Grande also offers skincare services such as custom facials, express or in-depth peels, men’s facials, and acne facials.

LUMEN: Mind Body Float

At LUMEN : Mind Body Float, you'll receive transformative physical and mental experiences through Next-level flotation therapy and NeurOptimal brain training methodologies, along with ARX adaptive resistance exercise, Infrared Sauna, and Massage Therapy. Their center is a product of continual research and top-of-the-line technology.

Albuquerque Baths

Unwind with therapeutic services like salt glows and body scrubs,  traditional message, deep tissue message, foot treatments, hot stone message, and more.  Albuquerque baths is a spa designed for relaxation with a beautiful, comfortable and communal setting, where you'll find influences from many cultures that have a history of communal bathing, such as Japanese bathhouses, Russian banyas, Scandinavian saunas, as well as local hot spring resorts.

Essential Therapy Massage by Sara

Rated one of the best message therapists in Albuquerque, Sarah McDonald offers therapeutic messages that are tailored to your individual needs, making her an ideal choice for ongoing sessions. Her affordable pricing is helpful for those needing more frequent treatments. Sarah is a master at finding your tough spots and providing relief that lasts well after your session. Her personal service is second to none in Albuquerque.

Looking for the perfect home in Albuquerque? Our powerful home search feature will help you find the home of your dreams. And make sure to join us twice a week on our blog for more great reasons to buy a home in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. Follow us on Facebook for the latest Albuquerque real estate updates.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

1517 Eagle Ridge Terrace Road NE, Albuquerque, NM  $950,000

5 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (2 full, 2 half) / 4750 Square Feet

Incredible VIEWS & casual elegance abound in this one-of-a-kind home! Nestled into the Sandia Mtns enjoy resort style outdoor living with multiple patios, private courtyard & balcony with mtn views & city lights! Versatile floor plan with stunning views from the great room, sep family room, formal dining, office/study, addtl flex room plus a guest room w/full bath on the main level. Show stopping kitchen has beautiful cabinetry, granite, wood beam ceiling, bkfst bar, island, walk-in pantry. Large secondary bdrs w/ walk-in closets. Gorgeous Master Suite has a balcony w/spectacular views, kiva frplc, jetted tub, double vanity & oversized walk-in closet. Desirable cul-de-sac location, beautiful landscaping, private outdoor courtyard & patios w/fireplaces makes for true resort style living!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Are you selling your home in Albuquerque and have dogs? Of course you love your canine friends. But we have to face the fact that it can be harder to sell a house that smells like dogs or looks like pets have lived in them. You may have got used to the odors your dogs leave behind, but potential buyers will notice them right away.

How can you keep your house free of the smells from pets before you put it on the market?

Steam Clean Everything Fabric

Soft surfaces soak up the most odors. That means you need to steam clean everything that's fabric in the house.

Those silly dogs love to rub on everything, getting oils, odors, and fur on the fabric. So you need to clean carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, and even the drapes. This may sound extreme, but it could mean the difference between selling or not selling your home.

Grooming

No doubt you groom your dog regularly, so now is as good a time as any to get them groomed. But make sure you have it done professionally. That way it's a more thorough cleaning, and it will go down their drain instead of yours.

While your home is listed, regularly brush your dog outside to keep hair off the sofa or rugs.

Clean Tile-Floor Grout

Tile grout also sucks up pet stains and smells. You can steam clean grout to lift those stains and smells. If the grout is really looking bad, hire a pro to chip it out and put in new grout.

Get an Air Purifier

You may not notice pet odors since you've been used to them. Adding an air purifier with a HEPA filter will pull hair and dander out of the air and reduce that smell.

Most air ducts don’t need to be cleaned, especially if you change filters regularly. But if dander and fur seem to be taking over, hire a duct-cleaning company before putting your home on the market.

Use Enzymatic Cleaners

Enzymatic cleaners are specially made to remove pet odors. They're made from beneficial bacteria that eat stains and odors.

They’re formulated to get rid of a specific type of stain, so a cleanser that targets urine won’t be the same as one for vomit. Apply them liberally to stains regardless of how old they are.

Get Rid of Scratches

Pet toenails leave telltale marks on doors and walls. For walls and doors made of synthetic materials, you’ll just need to paint over the marks. If you have a wooden door, use wood-filler pen can fill in the scratches. On hardwood floors, rub out small scratches with steel wool or fine sandpaper followed by mineral spirits, wood filler, and polyurethane. For major damage, refinishing the hardwood is a good investment.

Absorb Odors With Charcoal

Charcoal is great for pulling moisture and odors out of the air. Place inconspicuous little bags of it in places your pets love most. Or, just strategically stash some charcoal briquettes around the house.

Spot Clean Furniture Daily

Keeping your dog off the couch isn't always possible, so cover your freshly-cleaned furniture with throws or pet covers, and wash them at least once a week. Vacuum rugs and carpets every day. Pet smells sink in fast.

Get a Sniff Test

You’ve scrubbed everything, and you think your house smells like a dog has never set foot in the door. Get a second opinion as to whether the odors are gone. You may be nose-blind. Ask your agent to walk through and give you an honest opinion.

Selling your home in Albuquerque? Get a FREE home valuation of your home today. Looking for the perfect home in Albuquerque? Our powerful home search feature will help you find the home of your dreams. And make sure to join us twice a week on our blog for more great reasons to buy a home in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. Follow us on Facebook for the latest Albuquerque real estate updates.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

1517 Eagle Ridge Terrace Road NE, Albuquerque, NM  $950,000

5 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (2 full, 2 half) / 4750 Square Feet

Incredible VIEWS & casual elegance abound in this one-of-a-kind home! Nestled into the Sandia Mtns enjoy resort style outdoor living with multiple patios, private courtyard & balcony with mtn views & city lights! Versatile floor plan with stunning views from the great room, sep family room, formal dining, office/study, addtl flex room plus a guest room w/full bath on the main level. Show stopping kitchen has beautiful cabinetry, granite, wood beam ceiling, bkfst bar, island, walk-in pantry. Large secondary bdrs w/ walk-in closets. Gorgeous Master Suite has a balcony w/spectacular views, kiva frplc, jetted tub, double vanity & oversized walk-in closet. Desirable cul-de-sac location, beautiful landscaping, private outdoor courtyard & patios w/fireplaces makes for true resort style living!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Extending The Lifespan Of Your Roof

by Sandi Pressley

The lifespan of a roof is affected by the workmanship and materials, along with weather conditions. But there are steps you can take to keep your rood in good condition longer. The roof is a major part of your home, and keeping it in good shape will save money in more ways than just the roof itself.

Avoiding Common Maintenance Issues

Small problems left unchecked can threaten the lifespan of a roof.

Here are some of the most common issues:

  • Sagging or overloaded gutters. Leaves and debris build up over time and can cause them to sag. Clean them to avoid water damage to the deck board and the boards under the gutter line.
  • Unattended roof debris. Branches and debris can especially build up during storms. Clean these regularly to prevent rot and other damage.
  • Unknown rot or weak spots. Every few years, get up on the roof or hire a professional to check the roof's condition up close and fix any issues.

Good Ventilation

Your attic can also affect the life of a roof. Poor ventilation can lead to many problems.

During the summer, a poorly ventilated attic can reach up to 160 degrees. This hot air can get through your insulation and heat up the rest of the home. This also affects the shingles, effectively frying them and leading to decay.

Insulating the Attic

Good insulation in your attic is also important to prolonging your roof's life. Insulating your attic properly will reduce the heat transfer and reflect the radiant heat away from your roof and adding to it's lifespan.

Mold and Moss

If you find mold on your roof, you can easily clean it with a diluted bleach solution. But if you don't, it won't affect the life of your roof. On the other hand, moss can trap moisture and lead to rot, so make sure you remove moss as soon as possible.

Preparing For Damage

No matter what you do, any roof will be damaged over time. Damage can really add up during storms. If you keep on top of the smaller issues as they happen, it can lead to better protection during inclement weather.

You also don't need a ladder to inspect your roof, just a pair of binoculars. If you notice anything amiss like missing, curling, or buckling shingles, arrange for a professional once-over.

Maintaining your roof is easy with a proactive approach. With proper attention, you can enjoy your roof for years to come.

Looking for the perfect home for sale in Albuquerque? Our powerful home search feature will help you find the home of your dreams. Join us twice a week on our blog for more great reasons to buy a home in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. And follow us on Facebook for the latest Albuquerque real estate updates.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

11701 Coyote Run Road NE, Albuquerque, NM  $748,000

4 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (2 full, 2 half) / 3271 Square Feet

Fabulous Home nestled in an idyllic, peaceful, gated community. Positioned to take advantage of exceptional mountain and city views! Open, light filled spaces capture you the minute you walk in this home!! This well thought out Lee Michael Multi-generational home can accommodate everyone!! The details and quality are evident! This home you must see!!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Signs Your Albuquerque Home Needs a New Driveway

by Sandi Pressley

When it comes to selling a home, curb appeal is everything. So if your driveway is showing its age, it can deal a fairly big blow to that appeal. Driveways can technically be functional for decades, but eventually need to be replaced. Your driveway is a major feature of your home that you should look at when selling a home and deciding what needs to be repaired or replaced.

Cracks

Cracks always form in a driveway over the years. A number of factors can make them worse, such as leaking gas, oil, or other chemicals.

Small cracks can be repaired as they appear. Yet larger cracks that are long or wide may show signs of more serious damage. If you have a tree near the driveway, the roots may be growing underneath and compromising the pavement. In this case you may even need to remove the tree to prevent further damage.

If you decide to make your own repairs, bear in mind that the repairs will be darker than the surrounding driveway, which also will take away from the curb appeal.

Potholes

Potholes are the next level of driveway damage to deal with. Potholes can do more damage than cracks, taking a toll on your cars.

Potholes can form when the ground beneath the drive expands and contracts. Over time, the driveway material starts to weaken and give way, forming a pothole.

Potholes can be repaired, but it won't solve the problem long term of the ground underneath contracting and expanding and making the pothole appear again.

Replacing your driveway is really the best solution in this case, especially for an older driveway. Newer materials are made to withstand these issues better than the driveway materials that were used decades ago.

Rough Appearance

The weather will always take its toll on the appearance of a driveway. Both the rain and the sun can cause damage, oxidize the surface, causing the color to fade.

To fix this, you could try applying concrete or asphalt sealant, which can help to restore the original look. But if the durability of the driveway has been affected, it’s best to go with a total replacement.

Lack of Resealing

If you have an asphalt or concrete driveway, it should be resealed every two or three years to prevent if from breaking and cracking. If this hasn't been done, you may need to replace your driveway if too many cracks have formed.

Past its Prime

Most driveways are past their prime after about 15-20 years. After that much time, your driveway may be suffering from all of these problems mentioned. At this point, repairs are also less likely to be effective.

Find the home of your dreams in Albuquerque with our powerful home search feature. Join us twice a week on our blog for more great reasons to buy a home in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. And follow us on Facebook for the latest Albuquerque real estate updates.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

11701 Coyote Run Road NE, Albuquerque, NM  $748,000

4 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (2 full, 2 half) / 3271 Square Feet

Fabulous Home nestled in an idyllic, peaceful, gated community. Positioned to take advantage of exceptional mountain and city views! Open, light filled spaces capture you the minute you walk in this home!! This well thought out Lee Michael Multi-generational home can accommodate everyone!! The details and quality are evident! This home you must see!!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Experience the Fresh Taste of Albuquerque Summer Farmer's Markets

by Sandi Pressley

If you plan on buying a home in Albuquerque, or you already live here, you don’t need to worry about where to find fresh, healthy local produce.  Albuquerque is bursting with markets featuring the best local produce and natural grocery items. And you can eat fresh and healthy in Albuquerque no matter what season it is, as there’s both indoor and outdoor markets to choose from. So get ready for an explosion of healthy fresh flavors, local crafts, and entertainment. Here’s some of the farmer’s markets you can enjoy in Albuquerque.

Rail Yards Market

Open May – October, this Sunday market is organized by the community and features local food, art, and music. You can explore hundreds of the finest food, farm fresh produce, arts, and healing vendors. Enjoy love music and learn with the whole family in the educational zones.  Located in the historic Blacksmith Shop in the heart of Albuquerque, it’ w here the whole community comes together to enjoy the fun and creative atmosphere.

Downtown Growers' Market

Running from April 15 – November 4 every Saturday in historic Robinson Park in downtown Albuquerque, this market has been a tradition since 1996.  Over 60 growers from the New Mexico area present the highest quality produce you can find anywhere. They also feature live music and yoga. And for those in need, they double EBT/SNAP benefits! And to further their contribution to the environment, they’re solar powered. Plus you can bike to the market and let Raynold’s Neighborhood Association provide Bike Valet Service for your convenience.

Los Ranchos Growers' Market

Located in nearby Los Ranchos, they feature both a Winter and regular farmer’s market.  The Winter Market runs from December – April and the regular market runs from May 5.  Each weekend the market has a special theme, such as Mothers Day Specials, Canine Celebration, Old Vehicle Day, and Solar / Sustainability Celebration.

Other place you can find fresh produce and natural items in Albuquerque include Sichler FarmsEl Mezquite MarketThe Fruit Basket of Albuquerqueand the Sprouts Farmers Market chain.

Join us twice a week on our blog for more great reasons to buy a home in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. And follow us on Facebook for the latest Albuquerque real estate updates.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

7904 Charger Trail NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109  $350,000

4 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 half) / 2828 Square Feet

NEW ROOF! (2018) NEWER CARPET & PAINT! (2017) Single story 4BDR/3BA/2G with TWO LIVING AREAS, formal dining, oversized eat-in kitchen plus sunroom! .25 ACRE LOT! REFRIGERATED AIR! Skylights! Wet bar and wood burning fireplace in the oversized family room! Large secondary bedrooms, walk-in closets! Master bath has updated wood tile flooring, double sink vanity and sep vanity! Spacious eat-in kitchen features lots of cabinets, newer oven and dishwasher (2017 & 2018). Beautifully landscaped yard with mature trees, grass and shrubs! Conveniently located in Academy Estates neighborhood, close to shopping, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Alb Academy, parks, schools & restaurants! Sandia High School district.

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Moving With Children

by Sandi Pressley

You’ve made your decision. You’re moving to Albuquerque. You even found a great house. Time to start packing. As well as tell the kids. It doesn’t matter how far you are moving. Moving at all can be an unpleasant event in a child’s life and can be overwhelming for any child. Not only is there the chaos of packing, kids are forced to say goodbye to friends, teachers, and the familiar comfort of their community.

For the children of military families, there are particularly acute challenges during relocation—or Permanent Change of Station. Military families relocate more frequently than civilian families (every two to three years, on average) and they tend to move greater distances. When military families move from bases to civilian neighborhoods, children often feel isolated from their peers, who can’t identify with the military lifestyle.

By preparing for the move in advance, keeping lines of communication open, and maintaining a positive attitude, parents can help their kids cope with the challenges of relocation. Here are some tips for ensuring that your child transitions smoothly from one home to another.

First Try a Family Meeting.

Before you prepare to relocate, talk to your child about what the move will be like, and what challenges might occur during the process of relocation.

Get some take out and have an enjoyable family diner, that way you can casually bring up the subject. This gives you a chance to slip into the conversation without too much upset and to let them know why the move is necessary. It’s also a good opportunity to let them ask their questions, so you can answer them and ease any concerns they will have.

Get Them Involved in the Process.

This is also a good opportunity to go through the house and clean out all the unnecessary stuff that that your family have picked up over the years. Get the kids to help you decide what can be trashed, donated or sold. Moving sale time!

Younger kids also benefit from transitional exercises before moving to a new home. Let your child help out with packing, or encourage her to choose the color of her new room. Involving children in the move in this way has the added benefit of making them feel in control at a time when events in their lives can seem out of control.

Encourage them to Learn More About Where Your Family is Moving.

Help them learn as much about their soon to be new community. Encourage them to do some of their own research. Help them check out the local schools and school district. A website of the local schools with pictures would be a great help and let them get an idea of where they’ll be attending school. You could also try to find a local online paper to help the whole family get a feel for the local people and issues.

Establish a routine

When unpacking all those boxes in a new home, keeping regular mealtimes and bedtimes might not be your biggest priority. But it’s important to try and establish a routine for your kids as soon as you get to the new location.

Are you planning to buy a home in Albuquerque? You can find the perfect home for sale with our powerful home search tool. Come back to our blog twice a week for more real estate advice and local Albuquqerue events. Follow us on Facebook for all the latest Albuquerque real estate listings!

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

7904 Charger Trail NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109  $350,000

4 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 half) / 2828 Square Feet

NEW ROOF! (2018) NEWER CARPET & PAINT! (2017) Single story 4BDR/3BA/2G with TWO LIVING AREAS, formal dining, oversized eat-in kitchen plus sunroom! .25 ACRE LOT! REFRIGERATED AIR! Skylights! Wet bar and wood burning fireplace in the oversized family room! Large secondary bedrooms, walk-in closets! Master bath has updated wood tile flooring, double sink vanity and sep vanity! Spacious eat-in kitchen features lots of cabinets, newer oven and dishwasher (2017 & 2018). Beautifully landscaped yard with mature trees, grass and shrubs! Conveniently located in Academy Estates neighborhood, close to shopping, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Alb Academy, parks, schools & restaurants! Sandia High School district.

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

DIY Appliance Maintenance Tips

by Sandi Pressley

You know how it goes. The washing machine quits washing, leaking all over the floor. A stove element stops working just before a big meal. The fridge dies and spoils the food.

These issues can be avoided or delayed with just a few easy DIY maintenance steps. And the good part is, you can do them yourself. Here's a few things to watch out for in taking care of your appliances and potentially save money.

1. Check Your Oven's Door Seal

Your oven can lose over 20% of it's heat if the door isn't sealing properly, creating a longer to cook time. Open the door and check the rubber or fiberglass gasket that goes around the edge of the door. If you feel any melted, torn, or broken areas, or if you close the door and find any leaks, replace the seal.

2. Check Range Filters

Metal filters can be washed in a dishwasher or by hand. Replace charcoal filters (don't wash them).

3. Clean Stove top Drip Bowls

Clean the drip bowls underneath your burner elements by pre-soaking them for around 5 minutes in cleaning solution. Wash by hand and place them back on the stove top. Try to clean them after spills so they don't get burned in next time the burner is used.

4. Clean Refrigerator Coils

Refrigerator coils can get clogged with dirt, dust and pet hair. This will restrict airflow and make it harder to keep it cool. Gently clean the coils once or twice a year with a vacuum. They can either be found behind the kick plate or in the rear.

5. Change Refrigerator Water Filter 

Old, over used water filters can expose you to harmful water. Make sure you change them every 3 - 6 months, depending on how much water, and brand, you use.

6. Repairing Rusty Dish Rack Tines 

Check your dishwasher racks for rusty tines. If you do find rust, it can easily be repaired with a sealant and replacement tips to cover the tines. This will keep your dishes and silverware from being ruined.

7. Maintain Your Garbage Disposal

Check your garbage disposal for any stuck items. Make sure the power is off and do not use your hands! Pour a combination of ice cubes and salt, or vinegar down the drain, then run cold water for 10 seconds and then turn on the disposal with the water still running. Never run the disposal without water. You can remove odors with citrus peels, or with odor removal packets sold in most stores.

8. Clean Dryer Exhaust

Always empty the lint catcher  between loads. Check for lint in the dryer exhaust by loosening the clamp and pulling the exhaust hose from the back of the dryer. Pull out lint with your hands or gently with a hanger. Vacuum before you re-attach the hose.

9. Check Washing Machine Hoses

You can prevent your washing machine from flooding by checking hoses for leaks. Check for cracks, leaks, or weak spots. As a rule of thumb, replace hoses every 5 years.

10. Clean AC Filters

Cleaning your AC filter every 2 - 4 weeks will increase your AC's life, as well as maintain efficiency. Vacuum reusable filters, and replace disposable ones.

If you follow these tips, you'll be able to avoid costly appliance repairs or replacements.

Looking for the perfect home in Albuquerque? You can find it today with our powerful home search tool. Visit our blog twice a week for more real estate advice and local Albuquqerue events and real estate news. Follow us on Facebook for all the latest Albuquerque real estate listings!

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

8320 Calle Petirrojo NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120  $750,000

4 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (2 full, 2 half) / 4844 Square Feet

Beautifully maintained and lovingly upgraded single level custom home close to the Bosque on 1 acre lot. Kitchen is well appointed with island,granite counters,dbl oven, Wolf gas cook top & sub zero fridge. Wide open floorplan, light, bright and cheery, perfect for entertaining. Stunning maple flooring, breakfast nook and formal dining room. Large master suite w/ sittingarea & luxurious bath w/jetted tub & sep. shower. Immaculate grounds w/covered patios, lush grass, 2 storage sheds & fountain to enjoy outdoor living. Newer appliances,hot water heater, water softener and so much more.

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Ways to Restructure Your Mortgage and Save

by Sandi Pressley

If you've thought about restructuring your mortgage, you no doubt have certain goals in mind. Maybe you want to free up funds for a purchase, reduce your monthly costs, or pay off the mortgage faster.

There are three strategies that can work to restructure your mortgage:

  • Send in extra money to pay down principal.
  • Recast your mortgage.
  • Refinance your loan.

Send in Extra Money to Pay Down Principal

Around 40 years ago, Marc Eisenson coined the term “banker’s secret,” which promoted a cost-saving idea. It's quite simple: pay more per month than required on your mortgage. Eisenson says, “It was a secret that bankers knew, but didn’t share with their customers.”

Here’s how it works. If you take out a $200,000 30-year mortgage at an interest rate of 6%, and just make the minimum payments, you’ll pay a total of $382,537.97 for your home, including interest of $182,537.97. However, if you send in just an additional $100 each month, you’ll save more than $49,000 in interest over the term of the loan.

And for the bonus: You'll pay the loan off over 5 years early! It's an easy way to restructure your loan without extra fees or hassles.

You can also pay off your loan early with a bi-weekly payment plan. Your bank can set this up, but they may charge a lot of money for this service. If you have the self-discipline to do this yourself, that's the way to go.

With this strategy, you make half your monthly mortgage payment every two weeks, which equals 13 payments a year instead of 12. With bi-weekly payments on a 30-year $200,000 loan, you’ll save more than $49,000 in interest over the course of the loan, and pay it off approximately five years earlier.

Other ways to easily do it yourself:

  • Make one additional mortgage payment per year at any time.
  • Divide your monthly payment by 12, and add that extra amount each month when you pay your mortgage.

Recast Mortgage for Lower Payments

Another way to restructure your loan is called to recast it. You'll need at least $5,000 to recast your mortgage. Recasting a loan changes the principle balance, not the interest rate or term.

Here’s how it works: You've been paying your mortgage for 10 years at 6%, with a monthly payment of $1,432.86. You balance is now $200,000. You contribute an additional $20,000 in the recast. Now your principle is $180,000, and you still have the remaining 20 years to pay it off at 6%. Now your new monthly payment has been reduced by $143.28, making the payment $1,289.58.

It will usually cost a fee for this service. The bank doesn't make anything from this, except retaining you as a customer. As such, they usually won't promote this method. Not every lender will recast a mortgage, but it never hurts to ask.

Refinance Your Loan

Refinancing a loan is the most common method of restructuring. In this case, you're replacing your current mortgage with a new one at a lower rate. If you took that same $200,000 balance on your 6% mortgage and refinanced into one with a 5% interest rate, you’d reduce your monthly payment from $1,199 to $1,074, saving $125 monthly.

Keep in mind that this method is the most challenging, so you need a good credit score and solid job history. There are also closing costs, which can run 3% to 6% of the loan amount.

These tips are appropriate if you’re current on your mortgage and have extra money. Struggling home owners should consider the government-sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) for mortgage restructuring.

We can help you realize your real estate dreams in Albuquerque with our powerful home search tool. And make sure to come back to our blog twice a week for more local articles about living in Albuquerque and real estate advice. Follow us on Facebook for all the latest Albuquerque real estate listings!

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

8320 Calle Petirrojo NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120  $750,000

4 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (2 full, 2 half) / 4844 Square Feet

Beautifully maintained and lovingly upgraded single level custom home close to the Bosque on 1 acre lot. Kitchen is well appointed with island,granite counters,dbl oven, Wolf gas cook top & sub zero fridge. Wide open floorplan, light, bright and cheery, perfect for entertaining. Stunning maple flooring, breakfast nook and formal dining room. Large master suite w/ sittingarea & luxurious bath w/jetted tub & sep. shower. Immaculate grounds w/covered patios, lush grass, 2 storage sheds & fountain to enjoy outdoor living. Newer appliances,hot water heater, water softener and so much more.

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

The Best Public Elementary Schools in Albuquerque

by Sandi Pressley

On our other website, we listed the best schools in Albuquerque according to Niche.com. That list showed the best schools on all grade levels. But there are so many outstanding schools in Albuquerque that we just can't contain them to one list. So here's a list of the top elementary schools in Albuquerque for your review, along with links to search for homes near each school.

Southwest Primary Learning Center
#1 Best Public Elementary Schools in New Mexico
#1 Best Charter Elementary Schools in New Mexico
#2 Best Public Elementary School Teachers in New Mexico

Southwest Primary Learning Center has 102 students in grades 4-6 with a student-teacher ratio of 21 to 1. According to state test scores, 42% of students are at least proficient in math and 37% in reading.

Find Homes For Sale Near Southwest Primary Learning Center

Coral Community Charter School
#3 Best Charter Elementary Schools in New Mexico
#3 Best Charter Elementary Schools in New Mexico
#8 Best Public Elementary Schools in New Mexico

Coral Community Charter School has 195 students in grades PK, K-6 with a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. According to state test scores, 32% of students are at least proficient in math and 42% in reading.

Find Homes For Sale Near Coral Community Charter School

Montessori Elementary School
#5 Best Charter Elementary Schools in New Mexico

Montessori Elementary School has 420 students in grades K-8 with a student-teacher ratio of 22 to 1. According to state test scores, 31% of students are at least proficient in math and 46% in reading.

Find Homes For Sale Near Montessori Elementary School

Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School
#1 Best Public Elementary Schools in Sandoval County
#14 Best Public Elementary Schools in New Mexico

Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School has 883 students in grades K-5 with a student-teacher ratio of 15 to 1. According to state test scores, 44% of students are at least proficient in math and 51% in reading.

Find Homes For Sale Near Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School

Our powerful and easy to use home search tool will help you find the perfect home near the best schools in Albuquerque. Visit our blog twice a week for helpful articles about living in Albuquerque and real estate advice. And follow us on Facebook for all the latest Albuquerque real estate listings.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

113 Buffalo Ridge Court, Placitas, NM 87043  $539,000

3 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 half) / 2700 Square Feet

Exceptional Custom Home nestled on approximately 2.5 hilltop acres with Sweeping 360 degree VIEWS! The courtyard entry welcomes the most discerning buyer into the light, bright great room with awe-inspiring wall of windows, & cozy fireplace-ideal for gatherings and/or relaxation. The Chef's delight kitchen boasts maple cabinets, kitchen island, built-ins, & eat at bar. Adjacent dining room walks out onto the tranquil outdoor covered portal. The upper level is dedicated to the Master retreat w/relaxing sitting area, builtins, spa like ensuite, & private balcony to take in the stunning views!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

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