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Buying a home in Albuquerque should be an investment that gives you safety and security, along with financial security. Before you buy a home in Albuquerque, you should make sure you can afford the mortgage and that it fits in your budget.

Prepare a Detailed Budget

The standard rule of thumb says that you can afford a home that costs 2 to 3 times your gross income for one year. In other words, if you earn $100,000 in a year, you should be able to afford a home between $200k to $300k.

There is one problem with this rule. It doesn't factor in your monthly expenses and debts. If we use our previous example of $100k per year income, and you have $1000 monthly debt payments, this leaves you with less money to pay the mortgage.

You should prepare a family budget that takes into account your ongoing monthly bills for everything — credit cards, car and student loans, lunch at work, day care, date night, vacations, and savings.

Now you can see what's left to cover the costs of owning a home, such as your mortgage, property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and community association fees, if applicable.

Factor in Your Down Payment

Having enough for a down payment is also an important factor to consider. It's simple: the higher the down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage costs will be. If you put down at least 20% of the home’s cost, you may not have to get private mortgage insurance, which protects the lender if you default and costs hundreds each month. That leaves more money for your mortgage payment.

The lower your down payment, the higher the loan amount you’ll need to qualify for and the higher your monthly mortgage payment.

But, if interest rates and/or home prices are rising and you wait to buy until you accumulate a bigger down payment, you may end up paying more for your home.

Consider Your Overall Debt

Lenders generally follow the 43% rule. Your monthly mortgage payments covering your home loan principal, interest, taxes and insurance, plus all your other bills, like car loans, utilities, and credit cards, shouldn’t exceed 43% of your gross annual income.

Here’s an example of how the 43% calculation works for a home buyer making $100,000 a year before taxes:

  1. Your gross annual income is $100,000.
  2. Multiply $100,000 by 43% to get $43,000 in annual income.
  3. Divide $43,000 by 12 months to convert the annual 43% limit into a monthly upper limit of $3,583.
  4. All your monthly bills including your potential mortgage can’t go above $3,583 per month.

You might find a lender willing to give you a mortgage with a payment that goes above the 43% line, but consider carefully before you take it.

Use Your Rent as a Mortgage Guide

If you currently are renting, then you can use an online calculator to compare the costs of renting vs owning a home to see which makes the most sense for your financial situation.

If you’re struggling to keep up with your rent, buy a home that will give you the same payment rather than going up to a higher monthly payment. You’ll have additional costs for home ownership that your landlord now covers, like property taxes and repairs. If there’s no room in your budget for those extras, you could become financially stressed.

Also consider whether or not you’ll itemize your deductions. If you take the standard deduction, you can’t also deduct mortgage interest payments. Talking to a tax adviser, or using a tax software program to do a “what if” tax return, can help you see your tax situation more clearly.

Search for your dream home in Albuquerque with our easy to use home search. Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

7904 Charger Trail NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109  $375,000

4 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (1 full, 2 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

 

Negotiate Your Best House Buy in Albuquerque

by Sandi Pressley

Buying a home in Albuquerque can have moments that can get emotional. Yet it doesn’t need to be that way. If you stick to a plan and follow the lead of your agent, you can get through this. Although your agent may offer advice, it’s ultimately you that needs to make the final decision.

Here are six tips for negotiating the best price on a home.

Get Prequalified for a Mortgage

Prequalifying for a mortgage does two things – it shows the seller that you’re serious about buying their home and that you can afford it. This also put you in the lead of those who don’t take this important first step.

Ask Questions

Questions are a good thing. Ask all the questions you want. You need to know many things about the home and seller you’re interested in. What's the seller's motivation for selling? What is their financial position? Are they facing foreclosure or a short sale? Have they already purchased a home or relocated, which may make them eager to accept a lower price to avoid paying two mortgages? Has the home been on the market for a long time, or was it just listed? Have there been other offers? If so, why did they fall through? The more signs that sellers are eager to sell, the lower your offer can reasonably go.

Work Back From a Final Price to Determine Your Initial Offer

Decide beforehand what you're willing to pay. Then you can work back from that number to make an initial offer. If you bid too low, you may offend the seller. If you bid too high, you may end up spending more than you need to.

You agent can work with you to compare homes in area that have sold recently to come to a fair initial offer.

Avoid Contingencies

Sellers don't like taking chances. Nobody does for that matter. So keep the bid free of complicated contingencies, such as making the purchase conditional on the sale of your current home. Try to keep contingencies for mortgage approval, home inspection, and environmental checks typical in your area, like radon.

Remain Unemotional

Remember that buying a home is a business deal. Treat it that way. Consider any movement by the sellers, however slight, a sign of interest, and keep negotiating.

Each time you make a concession, ask for one in return. If the sellers ask you to boost your price, ask them to contribute to closing costs or pay for a home warranty. If sellers won’t budge, make it clear you’re willing to walk away; they may get nervous and accept your offer.

Don't Let Competition Change Your Plan

Great homes and those competitively priced can draw multiple offers in any market. Don’t let competition propel you to go beyond your predetermined price or agree to concessions — such as waiving an inspection — that aren’t in your best interest.

Search for your dream home in Albuquerque with our easy to use home search. Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

3504 Yipee Calle Court NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120  $259,000
$499,000
6309 Dorado Beach NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111  $349,000

4 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (1 full, 3 half) / 2281 Square Feet

Tanoan Torrey Pines! 4BDR/3.5 BATH! NEW TPO ROOF! (2018) So many updates including REFRIGERATED AIR! NEW HVAC (2016)! PELLA WINDOWS! (2013) RE-STUCCO! UPGRADED KITCHEN & MASTER BATH! NEW FRONT DOOR (2018)! Floor plan features office/study/bedroom on main level, formal dining, open living room featuring French doors to outdoor patio, wood tile flooring and cozy fireplace! Updated kitchen features granite counter tops, double oven, pantry, breakfast nook and access to the outdoor patio! Master suite features an updated over-sized shower, double sink vanity & built-in organizer walk-in closet. One bedroom suite has its own private bath! Beautiful New Orleans style back patio, perfect and private for entertaining family & friends!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Should You Buy That Fixer Upper in Albuquerque?

by Sandi Pressley

Buying a fixer-upper, if you buy the right one, can really be a great investment. If the right things are wrong with a house, it can become both your dream home, as well as earn a great deal of equity.

You don't need to be a DIY guru wither. Patience and time are all that's needed.

Here's how you can tell if that home you're looking at fixing up is worth it.

Evaluate the Price

A fixer-upper should be priced as such. Try not to fall in love too quickly with a home that “just needs a little TLC.” make sure you do your research and make sure the price is right for the work needed.

Also look at other homes in the neighborhood to see how much they sold for and how much work they've had and how fancy they are. you don't want to over-improve for the neighborhood, as this could affect the selling price in the future if you decide to sell.

Start Evaluating What Improvements Are Needed

An ideal fixer-upper is a home that offers a lot of opportunities for “instant equity." This means that if your turned around and sold the home right away, you would get your money back.

Some improvement tasks can be as simple as painting or landscaping, which you can accomplish with sweat equity.

Other tasks may require the work of professionals and cash to pay them. It’s those projects you want to carefully evaluate against the home’s price.

Which Hire-a-Pro Projects Add Instant Equity?

Some home improvement projects that require a pro stay at the top of the list of things that will be worth the cost instantly.

Based on data gleaned from the “Remodeling Impact Report” (RIR) from the National Association of REALTORS®’, if these three projects are on your fixer-upper’s list of must-haves, then you may have found your dream equity-builder:

  • New roof
  • Hardwood floors
  • Insulation

While those three are pretty safe bets. Almost any project can be worth it with a fixer-upper if the price is right. For example, a complete kitchen renovation can cost $65,000 and recover only about $40,000 when you sell. But if the fixer-upper is discounted enough, think how amazing it would be to cook in a kitchen you designed yourself.

Evaluate Your Ability to Deal with Disruption

Whether you’re a DIY Jedi or content to let the pros handle the remodel, if your patience is shorter than your potential home’s to-do list, a fixer-upper may not be a good choice.

Renovating a bathroom alone can take two to three weeks. Add hardwood flooring, a new kitchen, and siding, and you’re looking at a whole summer’s worth of rehab.

When considering a fixer-upper, evaluate the limits of your emotional energy as well. Inevitable project pitfalls and delays can be wearing. Only if you have the time, patience, and emotional endurance for a fixer-upper will it be a good fit for you. And only you can determine that.

But if you can budget your time and money, and employ the right fixer-upper strategies, you might find yourself with a double reward: A home that’s worth far more than you paid, and the joy of knowing you helped get it there.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

3504 Yipee Calle Court NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120  $259,000
$499,000
3504 Yipee Calle Court NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120  $259,000

2 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 half) / 1920 Square Feet

Superb Town home nestled on the Bosque! Very well maintained, newer carpet '16, new low flow, comfort height toilets in all bathrooms! Newer furnace/AC '12, upgraded granite counter tops with widened bar in kitchen. Breakfast nook, stainless steel appliances, and pantry. Beautiful tongue and groove ceilings, loft with latillas and sola tub lighting. Master suite is large with double sinks, separate shower and garden tub. Backyard features pergola, water feature, turf, covered patio and you own personal gate to hiking/biking trails and the bosque. Minutes from shopping/restaurants and so much more!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Things Every New Albuquerque Homeowner Should Have

by Sandi Pressley

Being a new homeowner is quite a learning experience. No matter what the project you try to tackle, it seems like there's always something that will catch you by surprise.

Yet if you have the right items handy, then you can be better prepared for any scenario. By stocking your home with these following items, you'll be ready for any new challenge as a new homeowner.

Wet-Dry Vacuum

You’re gonna be spilling stuff. Look for a wet-dry vacuum that can handle everything from paint to nails and small stones.

(The Right) Fire Extinguisher

Most people don't realize there are more than one type if fire extinguisher. In fact, there are five different types of fire extinguishers with different uses, from extinguishing cooking oils to wood and paper. Check the U.S. Fire Administration’s guide to make sure you get the right one for your home.

Extension Cord Organizer

No one likes to deal with tangled cords, especially extension cords. You can save yourself time and hassle with cord management devices. You can also make your own with a pegboard, hooks, and velcro straps to keep each cord loop secure.

Either way, your cords will be knot-free and easy to find. And be sure to include a heavy-duty extension cord in your organizer that’s outdoor-worthy. You don’t want to really have to use that fire extinguisher.

Big-Kid Tools

Odds are you already own a bunch of the basics: drill, screwdriver, hammer, level, tape measure, wrench, pliers, staple gun, utility knife, etc. But home ownership may require a few new ones you might not have needed before, including a:

  • Stud finder. You can make as many holes in the walls as you want now. Use the stud finder to figure out where to hang those heavy shelves so they’re safely anchored.
  • Hand saw. Much easier (and cheaper!) than a power saw, you can get a good cross-cut saw for smooth edges on small DIY projects.
  • Ratchet set. Every bolt in your new house belongs to you, so you’d better be able to loosen and tighten them when needed. Crank that ratchet to get to spots where you can’t turn a wrench all the way around. Great for when you’re stuck in a corner.
  • Pry bar. Get one with a clawed end to pull nails and a flat end to separate drywall, remove trim or molding, and separate tile.

Tool Kit

You’ll need something to carry all those tools around from project to project. Create a tool carrier using a tool bucket liner and an old 5-gallon bucket. Or invest in a handyman belt filled with the basics to keep on hand in the kitchen.

Confidence

With a little self-confidence — and some YouTube tutorials — there’s (almost) no DIY project you can’t master.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

3504 Yipee Calle Court NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120  $259,000

2 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 half) / 1920 Square Feet

Superb Town home nestled on the Bosque! Very well maintained, newer carpet '16, new low flow, comfort height toilets in all bathrooms! Newer furnace/AC '12, upgraded granite counter tops with widened bar in kitchen. Breakfast nook, stainless steel appliances, and pantry. Beautiful tongue and groove ceilings, loft with latillas and sola tub lighting. Master suite is large with double sinks, separate shower and garden tub. Backyard features pergola, water feature, turf, covered patio and you own personal gate to hiking/biking trails and the bosque. Minutes from shopping/restaurants and so much more!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Upcoming Events in Albuquerque

by Sandi Pressley


As Spring is just around the corner, it's time to get out and have some fun this March and April in Albuquerque. Here's a few upcoming events that are sure to put some spring in your step.

RIO GRANDE ARTS & CRAFTS SPRING SHOW
March 8, 2019 - March 10, 2019
EXPO New Mexico, Lujan Exhibit Complex, 300 San Pedro Dr. N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87108

185 fine artists and craftsmen come from all over the country to Expo New Mexico for the Rio Grande Spring Show. Marking the state’s first major art event of the year, this juried indoor festival focuses on fine arts and crafts while offering something fun for the whole family! You can shop a colorful variety of works in all mediums, from leather and pottery to jewelry and woodwork, while also enjoying artist demonstrations, foods sampling, and live entertainment. 

19TH ANNUAL REVOLUTIONS INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL
March 9, 2019 - March 30, 2019
Tricklock Performance Laboratory, 110 Gold Ave. S.W., Albuquerque, NM 87102

NEW MEXICO UNITED'S INAUGURAL SEASON
March 9, 2019 - October 19, 2019
Albuquerque Isotopes Baseball Club 1601 Avenida Cesar Chavez S.E., Albuquerque, NM 87106

Come watch New Mexico’s pro soccer team as they take soccer, the state and every single fan to the next level.

SOUTHWEST CHOCOLATE & COFFEE FEST
March 16, 2019 - March 17, 2019

The nation's largest festival dedicated to chocolate, coffee, and gourmet foods featuring the finest chocolatiers, coffee roasters, candy makers, bakers, breweries, wineries, and gourmet food companies. Live entertainment, professional cooking demonstrations, and a dedicated Kids Zone with free activities.

2019 FIESTAS DE ALBUQUERQUE
April 6, 2019
Old Town Plaza 200 N Plaza St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Celebrate Albuquerque's birthday and enjoy the history and traditions of our city with free children's activities, live artist demonstrations, local food, shopping, and fun for the whole family. Fiestas de Albuquerque will feature live entertainment performed by a variety of local talent including headliner, Gonzalo.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

1005 Quincy Street SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108  $210,000

3 Bedrooms / 1 Bathrooms (1 full) / 1105 Square Feet

UNM South 3BDRs/1BA/1CG HUGE BACKYARD!!! WOW! Beautifully REMODELED KITCHEN with Quartz countertops, new cabinetry, SS appliances, recessed lighting! NEW ROOF! (2018) Updated windows! Hardwood floors!! Huge backyard features a pergola covered patio, grass, trees & mature landscaping & walled for privacy & plenty of room to entertain family & friends!! Excellent location UNM South, close to parks, schools, shopping, UNM & Nob Hill!!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Spring Cleaning Must-Dos for Home Chefs

by Sandi Pressley

Spring is coming up soon, and so are the spring cleaning projects. One of the tough spots can be the kitchen, especially if you cook regularly.

Even if you don't clean the whole house, it can feel like you did after tackling the tough spots in the kitchen. That can definitely be the case if you love to cook and bake.

Here are four things all home chefs should focus on for a cleaner, more organized kitchen:

Cleaning the Cracks and Crevices of Appliances

The devil is in the details they say, and that is certainly true for appliances. The nooks and crannies of your appliances can be tough to keep free of grime, even if you do wipe them down regularly.

These spots include knobs, grills, exhaust filter on the range, door crevices and rubber linings on the dishwasher and fridge, and the individual parts of small appliances.

You can usually put range grills and filters in the dishwasher. But if you can't, then good old elbow grease and a cleaning brush, baking soda, and soap do the trick. If you have a really grimy range hood filter, you might try boiling it in water with 1/2 cup baking soda. Your appliance knobs could also do well with a soapy soaking, then scrubbing with a brush and baking soda.

Organizing by Zones

You're no doubt used to the way your kitchen is organized. Maybe it's been the same way since you moved in. But have you thought about reorganizing your kitchen according to tasks? Think about what you do in your kitchen every day, from brewing coffee to food prep to washing dishes.

Once you do this, then unload, wipe down, and reload your cabinets, placing items that are used for a similar purpose together (French press and coffee mugs; knives and cutting boards, etc.) in the area where they will be needed.

Eliminating Outdated Staples

Now it's time to check expiration dates. You may be surprised how long that bottle of soy sauce has been in the fridge. Check all the staples in the fridge and cupboard to see if any are expired.

This also applies to dried spices. Spices lose their effectiveness after about a year. Having a fresh supply of spices will make your recipes zing, and will make more room in the cupboard.

To avoid waste in the future and save money now, buy small amounts where bulk spices are sold.

Washing Grocery Totes

Speaking of rancid, when was the last time you cleaned your reusable grocery bags? Studies have found bacteria easily transports from bag-to-food-to-refrigerator, increasing the chances of food poisoning and cross-contamination.

Throw them in the washer or wash by hand with hot soapy water.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

1005 Quincy Street SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108  $210,000

3 Bedrooms / 1 Bathrooms (1 full) / 1105 Square Feet

UNM South 3BDRs/1BA/1CG HUGE BACKYARD!!! WOW! Beautifully REMODELED KITCHEN with Quartz countertops, new cabinetry, SS appliances, recessed lighting! NEW ROOF! (2018) Updated windows! Hardwood floors!! Huge backyard features a pergola covered patio, grass, trees & mature landscaping & walled for privacy & plenty of room to entertain family & friends!! Excellent location UNM South, close to parks, schools, shopping, UNM & Nob Hill!!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Bad Habits New Albuquerque Homeowners Need to Break Now

by Sandi Pressley

Bad habits can be hard to break. It's so easy to start a bad habit since we may not realize it's bad in the first place. When it comes to owning a home, bad habits can be costly. Here's  a few habits that would be good to break.

Taking Long, Steamy Showers

Who doesn't love a long hot shower? It may be good for your body, but long showers build up steam that is also great for mold and mildew. Make sure you run the exhaust fan or open a window during and after your shower. Every few months, make sure to scrub the grout.

Compulsively Buying Bargains

When it comes to household items, it's better not to go cheap. In fact, budget buys might cost you more in the long run. Those dollar paintbrushes may look like a good buy, but they will usually leave annoying streaks, requiring a costly do-over.

And when it comes to buying appliances, spend a little more — especially if you plan on selling your home soon.

Running a Half-Full Dishwasher

Sure, it's nice to have clean dishes every morning. But if you don't do a full load, you're wasting water.

It's true that dishwashers save more water than handwashing. Yet most machines will use the same amount of water no mater how full the load is. In the end, you're wasting water and can cost more on your utility bill.

Mega-Mulching

Don't go overboard with the mulch around your tree, as this can suffocate your tree, causing root rot and inviting invasive insects.

Your trees can add a lot of value to your home. Each one can add $2,000 or more to your home’s value while saving on energy costs. Protect your valuable trees by packing mulch loosely, letting water filter properly toward the trunk.

Going on a Remodeling Rampage

You don't need to launch into remodeling the moment you buy your home, unless it really needs it to be lived in. Take time once you move in to get to know your home and all of it's quirks before you renovate.

For example, lets say you remodel your kitchen, then discover the original layout would have worked better for parties. Or you pain a room your favorite color, only to discover that the natural light makes it not so much your favorite color.

Packratting

It's easy for things to pile up, especially in the garage or shed. There's always that "what if" when it comes to getting rid of things we don't use. Many people use a 6-month or 1-year rule - if you don't use an item in that time, ditch it.

Decluttering can seem like such an insurmountable goal — even though every jam-packed square foot is space you can’t enjoy.

If the task seems impossible, start small.

Just remember: Breaking habits takes time and patience. But it's worth it.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

1120 Edith Boulevard SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102   $202,000

 

3 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 partial) / 1413 Square Feet

Welcome this one story Hip cottage, bungalow style, built 1908 in the urban South Broadway Neighborhood. Home features 2 covered porches, historic front faces west and east facing back. Over sized lot for the area, and entire property is fenced. Original wood floors. Home offers 3 bedrooms, and 2 baths. 3rd bedroom currently being used as an office. Newer updates include, ROOF, windows, evaporative cooler. This home is not to be missed!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

$499,000

Everything to Know About the Pre-Approval Process in Albuquerque

by Sandi Pressley

No doubt, you've already hear about being "pre-approved" if you're planning on buying a home in Albuquerque. Yet many people don't fully understand the process.

What is Pre-Approval?

In short, being pre-approved for a mortgage means that the lender decides if you're eligible for a loan and how much you can borrow. This decision is based on your finances and credit rating.

Why Do I Need to Get Pre-Approved?

Being pre-approved is necessary for a number of reasons. It gives you clearer picture of how much money you need to complete the buying process. The more you put down, the lower your monthly payments will be. You will also get a better idea of how much you can afford for the total price of the home.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that the loan product that a friend used will work the same for them. Even though that's a possibility, it's not safe to assume so. No two loans are alike, just as no two lives and circumstances are alike.

Loan products also have different costs, such as varying lender origination fees. Your loan officer can work with your to learn the costs of a loan and how the loan process works.  This will give you a good idea of what costs to expect.

Knowing these things will make you more comfortable when deciding on a home to buy. It also shows sellers that you're serious about making an offer, giving you an edge over buyers who haven't been pre-approved.

Getting Pre-Approved is Easy

Pre-approval is an easy process, so there's no reason not to do it. You just need to know how much money you make, assets, and debts.

What Will My Lender Need to Check During Pre-Approval?

  • Your credit score. Yes, your lender will then have to pull your credit. Don’t worry, pulling your score once shouldn’t affect your score. 
  • W2s or 1099s
  • Pay stubs
  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements
  • Account statements
  • Your list of monthly expenses

Gathering all these documents can feel like busy work and is typically the hardest part for you. 

If you want to have an idea of whether you’ll get pre-approved before choosing a lender, a good first step is finding out your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. Your DTI ratio helps a lender understand how much of your monthly income goes to paying debt and what you have left after those debts are paid. You can calculate the ratio by dividing monthly debt payments by gross monthly income.

The lower your debt-to-income ratio is, the better. A lower DTI will make you seem less risky to lenders.

Although each loan product is different, most lenders would prefer your debt-to-income ratio to be at 36% or lower.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

1120 Edith Boulevard SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102   $202,000

 

3 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 partial) / 1413 Square Feet

Welcome this one story Hip cottage, bungalow style, built 1908 in the urban South Broadway Neighborhood. Home features 2 covered porches, historic front faces west and east facing back. Over sized lot for the area, and entire property is fenced. Original wood floors. Home offers 3 bedrooms, and 2 baths. 3rd bedroom currently being used as an office. Newer updates include, ROOF, windows, evaporative cooler. This home is not to be missed!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

A Romantic Dinner Awaits in Albuquerque

by Sandi Pressley

Love is in the air tonight in Albuquerque! If you haven’t made plans yet for this Valentine’s Day, then it’s not too late. In fact, you can still get away with a romantic dinner in Albuquerque any time this week (just bring an extra flower or two). Albuquerque is filled with romantic places to dine to make this a Valentine’s Day to remember. Here’s a few of the top rated places to have a romantic dinner.

Antiquity Restaurant

The ideal setting for a romantic night out, Antiquity Restaurant features fresh seafood, charcoal-grilled steaks, fowl, lamb, veal and other delights. Set in Old Town Albuquerque, this dining experience is sure to be an evening to remember.

La Crepe Michel

The French certainly know about romantic food, and La Crepe Michel brings that experience to Albuquerque. Whether you're in the mood for crepes or other classic French entrees and desserts, you’ll find it all here. The dining room is dripping with French ambiance, completing the experience.

Apothecary Lounge

Located on the Hotel Parq Central Rooftop, the Apothecary Lounge is the perfect place to have a drink with your sweetheart as you gaze upon the lights of the city. And if you come just before sunset, you’ll get a perfect view of the sun going down with all its radiant colors. What could be more romantic?

Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro

This romantic dining experience is located in historic Nob Hill, reflecting the urban ambiance of the area. You can sit at the exhibition bar and watch the show in the kitchen as they create the culinary delights of the evening.  The Cellar Bar offers an extensive wine list and premium cocktails in an intimate setting, for those who want a little more privacy.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

1133 Santa Ana Avenue SE, Albuquerque, NM 87123 $499,000

 

4 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 partial) / 3550 Square Feet

Incredible backyard for entertaining family & friends with the great room & game room opening on to the covered patio, pool area and beautiful landscaping! Separate wings, 4BDRs, 3BATHs, TWO living areas, formal dining and large game room with built-ins, cabinets & wet bar! Refrigerated Air! Pool & electric pool cover! Lots of windows and skylights make it light, bright and open! Kitchen features a built-in oven, gas cooktop, built-in cabs, tile flooring & bkfst nook. Oversized master suite opens on to the covered patio & features a jetted tub, separate shower, double vanity and walk-in closet. Conveniently located close to the golf course, shopping, easy access to KAFB, Sandia Labs, downtown ABQ!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

$499,000

Ways to Restructure Your Mortgage and Save Thousands

by Sandi Pressley

Have you been considering restructuring your mortgage? If so, you no doubt have a good reason for doing so. Most people restructure their mortgage in order to free up funds for a purchase, reduce monthly payments, 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

The term “banker’s secret” was coined around 40 years ago by Marc Eisenson who promoted a cost-saving idea. It's 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.”

The way it works is this. 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.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

1133 Santa Ana Avenue SE, Albuquerque, NM 87123 $499,000

 

4 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 partial) / 3550 Square Feet

Incredible backyard for entertaining family & friends with the great room & game room opening on to the covered patio, pool area and beautiful landscaping! Separate wings, 4BDRs, 3BATHs, TWO living areas, formal dining and large game room with built-ins, cabinets & wet bar! Refrigerated Air! Pool & electric pool cover! Lots of windows and skylights make it light, bright and open! Kitchen features a built-in oven, gas cooktop, built-in cabs, tile flooring & bkfst nook. Oversized master suite opens on to the covered patio & features a jetted tub, separate shower, double vanity and walk-in closet. Conveniently located close to the golf course, shopping, easy access to KAFB, Sandia Labs, downtown ABQ!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

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