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Have a Happy Halloween in Albuquerque

by Sandi Pressley

Get ready to have a scary good time in Albuquerque this week. If you're looking for fun and safe ways to celebrate the holiday this week in Albuquerque, you'll be please with all the events coming up. Here's a few Halloween events to help you and your kids make this a week to remember.

Halloween in Old Town

Oct 31, 2019 | 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM

Historic Old Town
200 N Plaza St. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104

Enjoy a free, family-friendly evening with music, costumes and candy. Halloween in Old Town is a fun, safe place to trick-or-treat. Stroll through the plazas for candy from participating local merchants, enjoy music on the gazebo and get your face painted to complete your costume. 

Trunk or Treat at Balloon Fiesta Park

Oct 31, 2019 | 05:00 PM - 08:30 PM

Balloon Fiesta Park
9401 Balloon Museum Drive NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
505-768-6043

This Halloween, kids and families are invited to Balloon Fiesta Park for the first ever Trunk or Treat event for monsters of all ages. Bring your bike and helmet or walk from trunk to trunk. A longer biking route will be available - those who dare to make the trek will be rewarded with treats!

Operation Great Pumpkin

Oct 30, 2019 | 05:00 PM - 08:00 PM

Cesar Chavez Community Center
7505 Kathryn Ave. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108
505-256-2680

This family friendly event is free for all ages. Carnival Games, a Haunted House, a Costume Contest and much more.

Boo at the BUGarium

Oct 31, 2019 | 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM

ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden BUGarium
2601 Central Ave. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Boo at the BUGarium celebrates the wonderful world of arthropods with special interactive exhibits just right for Halloween: “Worm’s World”, “Spider Station”, “Build-a-Bug Table”.

Underwater Pumpkin Carving

Oct 31, 2019 | 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

ABQ BioPark Aquarium
2601 Central NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104

Watch divers in the Shark Tank carve pumpkins, sea turtles snack on  bits and curious fish swim through spooky eyes and triangle noses.

 

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween in Albuquerque!

Looking to sell your home for the right price in Albuquerque? Let us help you sell your home in Albuquerque and get the right price. 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!

2612 Espanola Street, Albuquerque, NM 87110  $170,000

3 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 half) / 1140 Square Feet

HUGE LOT with BACKYARD ACCESS and custom gate in the NE Heights! Conveniently located close to Uptown, Trader Joe's, shopping, restaurants & parks! 3BDR/1.5BA/1CG featuring a large open great room with huge picture window and tile flooring! Remodeled kitchen with new soft-close cabinetry & crown molding, Quartz countertops! Beautiful shade tree in the front yard and oversized backyard with plenty of room for pets, backyard access, custom metal gate and covered patio for Summer BBQs!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

 

Home Fire Safety Awareness

by Sandi Pressley

A home fire is a scary thing to think about, but it's something that can happen at any time to anyone. So it's important that we all take the time to plan, prepare, and think about fire safety. Even a small fire can cause significant damage and injury.

Here are a few fire safety tips and facts for you and your family to keep in mind.

Fire Safety Facts

  • On average, seven people die in home fires every day. 
  • Fire departments respond to an average of 355,400 home fires each year.
  • Cooking appliances are the leading cause of home fires.  
  • 65 percent of fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors. 
  • It only takes 30 seconds for a small fire to spread. 
Fire Prevention Tips
  • Keep lighters and candles out of children’s reach.
  • Test your home’s smoke detectors at least once a month. 
  • Keep fire safety equipment in your home. Fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and escape ladders are common home fire safety items.
  • Identify any fire safety hazards, such as lint left in dryers, plugged in heating appliances, and cleaning your chimney. 
Safety Checklist
  • Make sure your smoke alarm and batteries are working each month. 
  • Get interconnected smoke alarms so when one sounds, they’ll all sound. 
  • Create a home fire escape plan that shows two ways out of each room. 
  • Practice your family’s fire escape plan at least twice a year.

Making a Fire Evacuation Plan

  1. Find all of your home’s possible exits. Start by drawing your home’s floor plan. Spot at least two exits in each room. Make sure each exit is clear from clutter and easy to open in case of an emergency. 
  2. Install smoke detectors in your home. Alarms should be installed in hallways and inside of every bedroom on every level of your home so it’s easy to hear when sleeping. 
  3. Be prepared when you hear the alarm. If you hear your smoke alarm sound, leave immediately. When exiting, stay low to the ground to inhale less of the rising smoke. 
  4. Keep loved ones in mind. If you have elders or infants in the home, have a plan to get them to safety and assign one family member to help them ahead of time. 
  5. Stop, drop and roll. If your clothes catch on fire during an evacuation, Stop, Drop and Roll. Stop where you are, drop to the floor, and roll while covering your hands and eyes until the flames are gone. 
  6. Choose a place for everyone to meet safely. Make sure everyone knows how to get there. Call 9-1-1 once you’re in a safe place. Memorize phone numbers just in case you’re not at the meeting location to let family members know you’re safe.
  7. Don’t go back inside. If you left family members or valuables behind, don’t go back towards the fire. When you call, let the dispatcher know so firefighters can handle the rescue. Wait until firefighters say it’s safe to go back to the home. 

Looking to find the perfect home in Albuquerque? Let us help you find the perfect home in Albuquerque. 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!

7 Chamisa Road, Placitas, NM  $468,000

3 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 half) / 2500 Square Feet

Southwest Style custom home on incredible 2 acre lot with stunning views. Exquisite tile & woodwork throughout. Well appointed kitchen with SS appliances, granite counters, large pantry and island. New Carpet in 2019, new Paint in bedrooms and entry 2017, Refrigerated air, raised ceilings, open floor plan, skylights and lighted niches make this home perfect for entertaining. Private master suite has private balcony access, double sinks w/jetted tub, separate shower and a huge walk-in closet. Backyard has covered patio, water feature, fire-pit and mature landscaping. Over-sized 3 car garage, water softener, central vac system, upgraded sinks and faucets, brand new septic in 2013, the list just goes on!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

 

Home Improvements That Stretch Your Dollars the Most

by Sandi Pressley

There's really no limit when it comes to all the things you can do to improve your home. But as you can imagine, some home improvement ideas are better than others and more financially smart.

Here are a few home improvement projects that make sense financially and will offer great financial return when you sell you home.

Crown Molding

Crown molding is a great way of adding depth to any room. It's both elegant and relatively affordable. There are hundreds of options to chose from. You can stain it, paint it, or just use it strait.

Modern molding also can be found in flexible materials such as foam, making it even easier to install. And if you really want a great effect, you can get molding with built in lighting that casts a soft glow.

If you know how to do it yourself, this will cost about $1.50 per foot. But make sure you already know how to install molding. You can hire a pro for about $8 per foot if you don't have the experience.


A couple of tips about molding:

  • Proportions are important. If your ceiling is lower than 9 ft, then go with a simpler style so you don;t overwhelm the room.

  • Don’t forget entryways, doors, and windows: Bump up the trim around these areas to give rooms a completed and expensive feel.

Hang Quality Ceiling Fans

How old are your ceiling fans? If you can't remember, that means you should thing about modern fans. This is also a great way to update a room and not spend a ton of money.

Some tips about ceiling fans:

  • Hang 7 to 8 feet above the floor.

  • If you’ve got a low ceiling, buy a hugger ceiling fan that’s flush-mounted.

  • Go for the biggest Energy Star-rated fan that will fit the space.

  • Choose quality. You’ll get better cooling results, less noise, and good looks at a digestible price point of $200 to $600.

Upgrade Your Insulation

You can't see this improvement, but you will probably feel it. And your wallet will be a little more full as well.

Add Some Creative Storage

Storage is always a good thing. If you think you've found all the places you can in your home for storage, then try to be creative to find your home's hidden storage possibilities.

Here are a few ways to think outside of the toy box:

  • Open drywall to create storage cubbies between your wall’s studs.

  • Install platform storage that hangs from your garage ceiling.

  • Even stairs can give you more storage. One clever mom repurposed an old chest of drawers and created storage within a basement staircase.

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!

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

Dangers of Not Backing Up Your Income Tax Documents

by Sandi Pressley

Millions of Americans will remember to do their taxes just in time to sprint to the April 15 finish, fists stuffed with W2s and receipts. But if you're a homeowner, wrangling income tax paperwork, or other home records is a marathon, not a sprint. Even more than repainting your house's facade or mowing your lawn, keeping important docs organized year round is a crucial part of home maintenance — it can save you $ and protect you from the Tax Man.

Here's what could happen if you don't keep accurate records and back them up.

You'll Pay More Taxes Than You Should

Homeowners get access to various deductions and credits based on payments for owning, financing, and maintaining a home. If you don't maintain your records, you may miss out on some of these major tax benefits:

1. Real Estate Tax and Mortgage Interest Deductions. "A homeowner's biggest tax break generally comes from his or their monthly mortgage payments since, for most folks, the bulk of that check goes toward interest, and all that interest is fully deductible on Schedule A," says Kay Bell, tax analyst at Bankrate.com. Property taxes are also deductible.

What You Need: Your annual statement from your mortgage company, which usually includes property taxes. If you pay your real estate taxes directly, the bill from your local unit of government.

2. Home Improvement Deductions: Improvements made for purpose of accommodating disabled residents can be included in medical expense deductions. Energy costs for certain medical-related improvements may also be partially deductible. 

What You Need: Receipts and a letter from a doctor.

3. Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Upgrades: Installing new energy-efficient systems (that meet Energy Star guidelines) like insulation, a roof, windows, water heater, or furnace can earn you a credit to offset your tax liability. 

What You Need: Receipts and certification from product manufacturers.

4. Home Office Deductions: If you can deduct the costs of a home office , you will need to prove you paid those expenses. For example, if your home office takes up 10% of your home's square footage, you can deduct 10% of your home insurance and utility costs. But you need proof you paid those bills. 

What You Need: Bank statements, bill receipts, insurance receipts, your mortgage documents, and any other documents of related expenses. If you're self-employed, you'll be taking this deduction on Schedule C.

You May Have Trouble Selling Your Home

It's not just the IRS that requires paperwork. Ryan Fitzgerald, a REALTOR® in Raleigh, N.C., and owner of Raleigh Realty, recently ran into proof of ownership issues when a seller hadn't backed up his paperwork, nearly causing a delay in the sale of his property.

"The original deed was filed with the wrong county in North Carolina. The original bank was sold to another bank, and there were several refinances in between that caused confusion as well. The original paperwork could not be located by the purchasing bank, and since the original bank was no longer in business, the seller was freaking out about the sale not being able to go through," recalls Fitzgerald.

"The buyer's attorney needed to prove that my seller did indeed own the property outright, and could not do so without the original deed," he says. "This all could have been avoided if there were duplicate documents backed up."

What You Need: Your home's deed, or deed of trust if you have a mortgage that needs to be paid off.

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!

326 Atrisco Drive SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105  $189,000

2 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 0 half) / 1570 Square Feet

Check out this incredible opportunity! Precious 2 BR Adobe with separate Casita! Lovingly restored, the main house boasts wood floors, newer water heater, newer metal roof and refrigerated air. With beautiful landscaping surrounding, the separate casita has a kitchen, full bath & combo sleeping/living area. This oversized lot - greater than a 1/2 acre - also boasts irrigiation from the Atrisco Ditch and great open space!! Both the main house & casita have a solid Air BnB rental history. Don't miss this one!

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

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

Packing Hacks That Make Moving Less Awful

by Sandi Pressley

No matter how you slice it, moving is exhausting. Packing up, moving, and then unpacking an entire house is the worst.

Yet there are ways you can cut down on all that aggravation, effort, and anxiety. Here's a few pro tips that can help during your next move.

Do a Pre-Pack Photo Shoot

Here's an idea that can save your memory and sanity. Trying to remember where all those cords go and how you had your bookshelf looking so good can get mind-numbing when you mix it in with the rest of the process.

Save yourself some grief by taking pre-packing photos of all those things that were hard to arrange int he first place, so you won't have to figure it out again. With photos in hand, you’ll be able to recreate it all in record time.

Corral Cords With Toilet Paper Rolls

There's nothing more frustrating than not being able to find extension cords when you need them during a move. You know you've seen them laying around, but where?

When you pack, wind up each cord in a 6-inch coil, then insert it in a toilet paper roll. You’ll have lots more room in the box, and no tangled mess to unpack later. Just remember to clearly label the box!

Create a "Moving Toolbox"

Keep all your moving tools, such as your Sharpies, packing tape, box cutter and such together in a “moving toolbox” that you can take from room to room as you pack. This will keep you from misplacing small essential items when your house is full of boxes.

Tape Appliance Cords to Their Homes

You could be exploring your new neighborhood, but you're too busy trying to find the right power cord for your appliances.

You can save more time by taping the plug to the appliance it belongs to. Then go get a taco on the corner with your reclaimed time.

Use Your Towels, Blankets as Packing Materials

Another way moving day gets frustratingly extended? Your third trip to the store to buy more bubble wrap.

Kudos on treating your breakables with care, you don’t need the store-bought stuff. Pot holders, oven mitts, and even those old paper and plastic grocery bags you were planning to recycle make great packing materials. Also consider towels, pillows, blankets, the kids’ stuffed animals — whatever’s soft!

Color-Code Boxes

If you’re paying movers, really get your money’s worth by making it easy for them to deposit every box in the right room.

Assign a color to each room, then mark that color on the outside of each box. Before movers arrive, add the correct color label to each room’s door. They’ll love the simplicity, and you’ll love not having to haul everything that was supposed to go in the office out of the playroom.

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!

10215 Alexandria Road NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122  $299,000

3 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 half) / 1639 Square Feet

Gorgeous backyard! Impeccably maintained ONE LEVEL 3BDR/2BA home with so many updates! Updated Andersen windows & patio door (2008), aluminum patio cover & extended outdoor patio (2015), furnace (2016), sidewalk to backyard (2015), water heater (2011) and so much more! REFRIG AIR! Light, bright & open floor plan with skylights, TWO living areas, kitchen is open to the family room with access to the covered patio, features an island, roll-out drawers, pantry, dec backsplash & sunny bkfst nook! Master suite has walk-in closet & linen closet. Incredible outdoor living area with a large covered patio, beautifully landscaped yard with grass, shrubs, trees & mountain views!! Close to schools, parks shopping, Trader Joe's, foothill trails!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Did You Know Dirty Light Bulbs Waste Energy?

by Sandi Pressley

Do you know all the places where you waste energy? We may think we know where all the energy wasting hot spots are, but have you thought about dirty light bulbs?

Dirty light bulbs and fixtures not only waste energy, but if you're selling your home in Albuquerque, they can detract from the cleanliness of your home when it's being shown.

True, cleaning light fixtures isn't everyone's favorite job. You need a stepladder and a steady hand. But it's a necessary task that should be done at least every few months.

Dirty bulbs shed 30% less light than clean ones, says the U.S. Department of Energy. Add a dusty, dead-bug riddled cover, and you’ve got an automatic dimmer, whether you want one or not.

Light Bulbs

Light bulbs have much longer lifespans than they used to, thanks to LED and CFL technology. So obviously they'll get dirtier and need cleaning from time to time.

Wipe bulbs with a dry cloth, not wet. Water can get into crevices and damage electronics. Also, don’t spray cleaning solutions directly onto the light bulb, which could damage the bulb. Turn off the electricity to the fixture before messing with the bulbs.

Ceiling Fixtures

Bugs and ceiling fixtures go together like PB&J and is just as messy (and far less tasty). Remove fixtures and soak in a sink with soapy water. Dry and shine with a microfiber cloth.

Don't put glass fixtures in the dishwasher. The glass is not designed to be dishwasher safe and can damage both the fixture and the dishwasher.

Recessed Lights

Dust with a long-handle duster, such as a Swiffer, that traps dust and cobwebs. For a more thorough cleaning, wipe the insides of canisters and the bulbs with a microfiber cloth or a slightly damp rag.

Before cleaning, make sure the electricity is off and the bulb is cool.

Ceiling Fans

Dust the lights on ceiling fans when you clean the fan blades. When a bulb goes out and you have to climb a ladder anyway, clean globes and bulbs with a microfiber cloth. If the globes are really dirty, take them down and clean with soapy water or a cleaning solution.

When removing or returning globes or bulbs, be sure not to steady yourself by grabbing fan blades, which will turn if touched.

Tricks of the Trade

1. Dryer sheets are low-cost alternatives to microfiber clothes. They’re great for dusting bulbs.

2. Wear goggles when dusting or spritzing overhead fixtures to prevent dust or cleaning solution from hurting your eyes.

3. If you’re having trouble removing the bulb in a recessed light, cut a 12-inch strip of duct tape, and fold it over the bulb so that the ends act like handles that are easier to grip than the glass.

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!

10215 Alexandria Road NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122  $299,000

3 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 half) / 1639 Square Feet

Gorgeous backyard! Impeccably maintained ONE LEVEL 3BDR/2BA home with so many updates! Updated Andersen windows & patio door (2008), aluminum patio cover & extended outdoor patio (2015), furnace (2016), sidewalk to backyard (2015), water heater (2011) and so much more! REFRIG AIR! Light, bright & open floor plan with skylights, TWO living areas, kitchen is open to the family room with access to the covered patio, features an island, roll-out drawers, pantry, dec backsplash & sunny bkfst nook! Master suite has walk-in closet & linen closet. Incredible outdoor living area with a large covered patio, beautifully landscaped yard with grass, shrubs, trees & mountain views!! Close to schools, parks shopping, Trader Joe's, foothill trails!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

How to Decide to Pay Off Your Home in Albuquerque or Invest

by Sandi Pressley

Looking for something to do with extra cash? If you own a home in Albuquerque, you could pay off your mortgage. Or you could invest your money in something else. Which option is better?

There's been no shortage of debate on this matter, with great arguments on either side. But in the end, it's a decision that will have a huge impact on your finances.

Which way should you go?

You need to consider these variables:

  • Your home’s current market value
  • Your mortgage interest rate
  • Home appreciation in your area
  • Your income tax rate
  • Expectations for inflation
  • An assumed rate of investment return

certified financial planner named Justin Goodbread analyzed these variables by sung national averages in order to compare various scenarios between investing and paying off a mortgage.

As it turned out, the math favored investing. But the math isn’t the only thing you should consider. It also depends on your own situation. Goodbread offered two rules of thumb to decide:

You should pay off your mortgage early if you’re a conservative investor, in a low tax bracket with a high mortgage interest rate.

And you should invest if you’re a more aggressive investor, in a high tax bracket with a low, 30-year, fixed mortgage interest rate, and if you’re younger than 50.

What are some reasons to keep your mortgage?

  • Maintaining liquidity.  Paying off a mortgage will leave you without a cash cushion in an emergency.
  • Your home’s value isn’t affected by a mortgage.  The value of your home will increase over time. But this will not affect how much you owe on your mortgage.
  • Mortgage interest is inexpensive. Your mortgage is secured by your home’s value, and this keeps interest rates much cheaper than credit cards and personal loans. Even better, the interest is tax deductible.

Of course, in the end, the choice of investing vs paying off your mortgage is one you should make carefully.

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!

17 Juniper Hill Loop NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122  $579,000

3 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 half) / 2770 Square Feet

Heaven in Sandia Heights! Views! Serene, light filled sanctuary, within this spectacular custom built home by Kjell Slaan. This spacious home has soaring ceilings, light filled rooms, walls of windows with magnificent Mountain and city views. Pride of Ownership. Two living areas w/Fireplaces. Nice sized kitchen with breakfast nook, ample cabinet space, island w/cooktop, flows into dining room. Three generous bedrooms. More views from Master suite. Wonderful outdoor entertaining spaces. Membrane roof/2015. Septic ASU advance treatment/2006. Newer Windows. One owner GEM. Nature brings serenity to this home with the Vibrant New Mexico sky. Discover the wildlife such as deer, rabbits, eagles, hummingbirds, & squirrels. Close to shopping, restaurants, trails, mountain biking, tram, I25.
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Heaven in Sandia Heights! Views! Serene, light filled sanctuary, within this spectacular custom built home by Kjell Slaan. This spacious home has soaring ceilings, light filled rooms, walls of windows with magnificent Mountain and city views. Pride of Ownership. Two living areas w/Fireplaces. Nice sized kitchen with breakfast nook, ample cabinet space, island w/cooktop, flows into dining room. Three generous bedrooms. More views from Master suite. Wonderful outdoor entertaining spaces. Membrane roof/2015. Septic ASU advance treatment/2006. Newer Windows. One owner GEM. Nature brings serenity to this home with the Vibrant New Mexico sky. Discover the wildlife such as deer, rabbits, eagles, hummingbirds, & squirrels. Close to shopping, restaurants, trails, mountain biking, tram, I25.

 

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Avoid These Moving Mistakes When You Buy a Home in Albuqueruqe

by Sandi Pressley

Whether you're moving to or from Albuquerque, it can be a very stressful and exhausting time, even if all goes as planned. And since things rarely go perfectly when you move, that stress can go through the roof. Even though you can't expect everything to go as planned, there are mistakes that can be avoided that will make it worse.

Try to avoid making these following mistakes during your move:

Not Planning

Planning for your move is realy key to avoiding stress. The moment you know you're moving, start planning. The more time to plan, the better. When it comes time to move, then you should be ready for the unexpected. If you fail to plan, this can lead to disaster. Sure, there are times when you have to move suddenly. But in most cases, you should have enough time to plan.

Moving Everything

You don't have to take verything you own to your new home. Most people accumulate items they don't need over time. So take this opportunity to declutter and get rid of extra things you won't need in your new home.

Separate those items into donations, items to sell, items to recycle or dispose of, and items to move. Then when moving day comes, you'll have less to deal with and more room on the moving truck.

Spending Money on Packing Material

If you're trying to save money, there's no good reason to spend a ton of money on packing materials that will only be used once and then disposed of. If you need boxes, check with local stores to see if they have any that haven't been broken down. If you can find newspapers laying around, that makes for great padding. You may still need to buy some materials, but you won't need as much.

Not Making a Moving Survival Kit

If you're moving a long distance, it's a good idea to put together a survival kit with a change of clothes, toilet paper, snacks, medication, water, and other essentials you may need.

Not Keeping Track of Expenses

You can write off your move from your taxes, so make sure you save receipts, bills of lading, and estimates to use on your tax return next year to deduct your moving expenses.

Keep these tips in mind, and hopefully you can relieve some stress during your next move.

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!

1619 Camino De La Sierra NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112  $550,000

3 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (3 full, 1 half) / 3415 Square Feet

Wonderful one owner custom home by Carlson Builders. Located in S foothills on approx acre of beautifully landscaped property with amazing view. This home has Hurd windows, custom cabinetry through out, GE Monogram/Jenn Air appliances, butcher block island, custom pantry, 3 cars plus carport, cedar closet, gun room, hidden closet. Even a detached workshop/studio. A 25'x39' great room for all occasions . Plantation shutters, two master suites. This home was built to stay, with post stressed concrete slab and a Garden room, and so much more. Minutes to hiking, biking, freeway and shopping.

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

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