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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

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

Are you buying a home for the first time in Albuquerque and trying to figure out how to save for that crucial down payment? You're certainly in good company. Saving for a down payment is a struggle that many first time buyers have. But younger buyers have been getting creative, suing modern methods to help save money.

One creative way that young buyers have been using to save money is crowd sourcing. This method is really starting to gain traction, and it's a great way for family and friends to help you buy your first home in Albuquerque.

Here's how they do it. When the young couple gets married, instead of a wedding registry or buying traditional gifts, they invite guests to contribute to a “Down Payment Fund." The new couple may already have the things they need to start a new life. What they really need is a new home to put it all in. It's the perfect collective wedding gift!

When you do the math, it works out, since most weddings average about 120 guests. The average gift costs about $186. That would give the new couple over $22,000 for a down payment! Of course this figure could vary greatly. But as any newly wed couple knows, anything helps. And those who contribute to the fund know it's going to be used wisely.

And as you've already no doubt guesses, there's online services to do this, such as HomeFundMe. These services make it easy for friends and family to contribute. Plus the ones contributing can decide if their gift is  ‘conditional’ or ‘non-conditional’ on the beneficiary buying a home.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article report, “about 400 borrowers have used HomeFundMe to help buy homes since the program launched in October and on average, they raise about $2,500.” The article goes on to show that these funds are used by the borrower along with their own savings to help them reach the down payment.

The other major factor helping new home buyers is programs that let first-time buyers make a down payment of as little as 3% such as with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan programs. Also, FHA programs require as little as 3.5%, and VA Loans are often approved with 0% down!

Gone are the days when you had to come up with a whopping 20% down. And with this creative solution, now even more first-time buyers in Albuquerque can make owning a home a dream come true.

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!

7508 Calle Montana NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113  $419,000

5 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 half) / 3000 Square Feet

Beautiful 5 bedroom Stillbrooke in highly desirable planned community! The main level offers a grand open floorplan that seemlessly connects the living spaces. Cathedral ceilings & Clerestory windows lend to the light, bright family room w/cozy fireplace; A chef inspiring kitchen will delight featuring gorgeous granite counter tops, ample cabinet space, large pantry, eat at kitchen island & sunny breakfast nook. Master suite is situated on the main level at the back of home for optimal tranquility with backyard access, spa like en suite & huge walkin closet. Upstairs features a loft/den, three more large bedrooms, & another full bathroom. Enjoy the tranquil water feature in the professionally landscaped and fully walled backyard.

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

When you buy or sell a home in Albuquerque, the home inspection is a critical part of the process. A home inspection benefits all parties involved in the transaction, as it reveals what the condition of the home is and what needs work.

How can you get the most from your home inspection?  Here’s the steps of the process and how you can maximize the results.

Why Have Your Home Inspected?

If you’re selling a home in Albuquerque, the home inspection gives you the opportunity to make needed repairs, and as such, list your home for a higher value. Your home will also sell faster with fewer issues. Most people in Albuquerque want to buy a turn-key home rather than a fixer-upper.

Make sure you do your research when you hire a home inspector. The internet is a powerful way to look at reviews and work history. If you find a home inspector with a good track record, but they cost more, it’s worth it.

During the Home Inspection

Make sure you’re there during the inspection. This way, the inspector can show you the issues in person and explain options for repair. You can also ask questions and take photos. This will also help you learn about what to look for when you buy a home in Albuquerque.

Recheck and Take Notes

After your home is inspected, go back over the issues for a closer look. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, this will help with negotiations. Then you can increase or lower the asking price depending on the repairs needed.

Discuss and Negotiate Repairs

For home sellers, you can either do the repairs before the home is listed and ask for a higher price, or you can skip the repairs and lower the price. It all depends on how much time you have to put into it.

If you’re the buyer, you can ask for an asking price deduction that is equal to the estimated cost of repairs if you’re buying the home as-is. Another option is to suggest that the current owner get repairs done and then you buy it after a re-inspection following the repairs. This would be best for very expensive repairs such as for changing the entire roof or re-plumbing the entire home.

A good home inspection can make the difference between a smooth transaction and a disaster.  Make sure you find the right inspector and be involved in the process.

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

Should You Buy a Second Home in Albuquerque?

by Sandi Pressley

Is buying a second home in Albuquerque something you’ve considered? Buying a 2nd home for retirement or a vacation home can be a great investment, as well as an indicator you’re planning well for retirement. And since finance rates are low, now is a great time to buy.

The big question though is why you should buy a 2nd home in Albuquerque? Answering this question will help you see where your priorities are.

You Can Afford It

Can you really afford a 2nd home in Albuquerque? Usually, people buy a 2nd home after their children leave home and they’re headed for retirement. People tend to earn more or have more saved up by this point in life, giving them more financial freedom.

A Good Investment

Buying a second or retirement home in Albuquerque can be a great investment. But there are risks. Try to choose a home in an area that is growing, which can improve the property value over time.

Comfortable Retirement

As we’ve noted, usually its individuals in their 40s – 50s that tend to buy 2nd homes. Most people are planning for retirement or at least thinking about it by that age. Owning a second home can be a great way to plan for retirement.

Let’s say you want to retire to a community with a sunny beach? Why not search for a home in the area you want to retire? That way you’ll already have the home and it will have increased in value until then.

Tax Benefits

If you own a home, you have to pay taxes on it, so of course we need to talk about the tax benefits. The good news is that you can write off the property taxes on a second home. And it doesn’t matter if it’s an investment, rental, or for your own use. You can also deduct interest, insurance, and depreciation against your home’s value.

Buying a second home may not be for everyone. But if it’s something you can do, take time to consider the advantages and disadvantages before you make the big 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!

7508 Calle Montana NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113  $419,000

5 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 half) / 3000 Square Feet

Beautiful 5 bedroom Stillbrooke in highly desirable planned community! The main level offers a grand open floorplan that seemlessly connects the living spaces. Cathedral ceilings & Clerestory windows lend to the light, bright family room w/cozy fireplace; A chef inspiring kitchen will delight featuring gorgeous granite counter tops, ample cabinet space, large pantry, eat at kitchen island & sunny breakfast nook. Master suite is situated on the main level at the back of home for optimal tranquility with backyard access, spa like en suite & huge walkin closet. Upstairs features a loft/den, three more large bedrooms, & another full bathroom. Enjoy the tranquil water feature in the professionally landscaped and fully walled backyard.

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Common First Time Home Buying Misconceptions

by Sandi Pressley

Buying a home for the first time can be an exciting time in your life. However, there are misconceptions floating around that may give you cause for concern. Maybe you’ve heard things from family or friends that could deter you from buying your first home. But what was true about home buying years ago may not be the case today.  What are some of the misconceptions of buying a home?

  1. You need a 20% down payment to get a mortgage.

A few decades ago this was true. In fact, you needed almost perfect credit and had to pay 20% - 50% down for a mortgage.  To make it possible for more people to own a home, the government created the Federal Housing Administration and began offering “FHA Loans”. The FHA will now back a loan from a home buyer who only has a credit score of 500 and a 10% down payment. And for those with a better credit score of than 580, you only need 3.5% for a down payment! This is a big reason why more people can afford to buy a home today.

  1. You Can’t Qualify For a Mortgage With Student Loans

Having student debt doesn’t mean you can’t get a mortgage. Lenders look at your total debt-to-income ratio to see how much you make each month compared to all of your debt, no matter who you owe. So if you’re handling all of your debt responsibly and can still afford the payments, that’s what matters.

  1. You can save money by not using a real estate agent.

More people use a real estate agent today than ever before. You may think that agents are just out for the money. Sure they get paid for their services with a 3% commission.  But you don’t pay that fee as a home buyer.  Instead that fee is part of the selling price. Don’t be lured into thinking that you’ll save money by not using an agent. And don’t forget that they will also take care of all the paperwork, appraisals, inspections, and other matters that are part of the process. Imagine having to do all that by yourself. Let a professional with years of experience handle the process.

  1. It’s cheaper to buy a home that needs a lot of renovating.

Perhaps you’ve been inspired by TV shows that make it look like fixing up a house is the way to go. They make it almost look easy, but don’t be fooled. All of these repairs take time and money and in the end you may end up getting tired of all the renovations. So if you need to renovate the whole house to make it livable, it may not be the best choice.

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!

6708 Baker Avenue NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109  $205,000

2 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 half) / 1529 Square Feet

Excellent location! 2BDR/2BA/plus office townhome in Los Trechos! Many updates! REFRIGERATED AIR! Updated furnace, water heater and ROOF! Updated stucco (2013) Two large bedrooms plus a beautiful built-in office addition with cabinets & desk. Light & bright atrium for plants! Bath features a therapy tub! Kitchen has bkfst nook and all appliances stay! Private patio can be accessed from the master bedroom and living room. Convenient location close to shopping, restaurants, parks and transportation!!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Sandi Pressley and Her Team Get Rave Reviews

by Sandi Pressley

Since 1979, Sandi Pressley has been making dreams come true in Albuquerque. In fact, Sandi is the #1 Top Producing Realtor for 33 consecutive years, not just in Albuquerque, but all of New Mexico! You only need to hear what her happy home buyers and sellers have to say about Sandi and her team to know why. Here’s a few of the hundreds of comments that people have made over the years about their extraordinary experience buying or selling a home in Albuquerque with Sandi Pressley and her team.

“Sandi and her team are the ultimate tools to engage when you are looking to make a move in real estate. We have used Sandi and team twice now, and would never consider anyone else. Sandi’s team is very honest, thorough and professional. Great recommendations for any modifications that need to be addresses, backed up with excellent (and reasonably priced) contract professionals to handle any aspects. “
- Kelly

“Very impressed with efficiency and professionalism of the entire team. “
- Ystesund

“Sandi and her team were knowledgeable, responsible, and a pleasure to deal with the entire way. I would recommend Sandi Pressley and her team to anyone needing to sell their home. “
- McDonald

“I have been working with Sandi for many years. I am so happy we closed on a property. So now to sell my property and buy one in town. So much to look forward to! Working with Sandi is like working with my sister!”
- Bilbo

“Sandi's team is phenomenal and we would not consider working with anyone else! Our agent Kat Jacob handled our listing and sale with excellence and we sold in 4 days. Thanks Sandi!”
- Church

Sandi Pressley sold our home in the most satisfying real estate transaction I've ever experienced, and I have bought and sold twenty homes in my lifetime. She clearly established her competence during her initial meeting. The house sold to the second party viewing it. Neighbors down the street attempting to sell a similar home for several months immediately hired her to represent them. However the remaining very significant factor motivating this recommendation is the tremendously effective and service oriented team she employs to shepherd the seller through the settlement process. To repeat the words I said to her, she is a treasure. “
- Reilly

These outstanding recommendations only scratch the surface what people are saying about The Sandi Pressley Team.  Check out our testimonials to read all the great things Sandi’s clients have to say.

If you want to have the same amazing experience buying or selling your next home in Albuquerque, give us a call at 505-263-2173 to speak with Sandi Pressley and her team today!

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!

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

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

Oversized .46 Acre Corner Lot! BACKYARD ACCESS! 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

What are Appraisal Contingencies?

by Sandi Pressley

Here's the scenario: You're buying a home in Albuquerque, and the seller has accepted your offer.  The contract is signed and you've paid the deposit.  Then you have the home appraised and it turns out that the home is worth less than what you offered. And now the bank won't grant the mortgage.  So how do you avoid this kind of situation? Appraisal contingencies are the answer.

What are appraisal contingencies?  They are conditions that have to be met on a real estate contract before it becomes legally binding.  Most real estate contract include these conditions:

  1. The appraisal contingency: This states that the home has to be appraised at the sale price or higher.  This will help keep the mortgage from falling through.
  2. The finance contingency: This mandates that the deal is based on the bank granting the loan.
  3. The inspection contingency: The home must pass inspection.

These conditions must be met in a specified time.  If they aren't then there's no deal and you get your deposit back.

The appraisal contingency works like this: the bank hires an appraiser to assess the fair market value of the home.  This value is based on similar Albuquerque homes in the area, and is referred to as comparative sales, or comps. The bank will only loan the amount that the home is appraised for.  So if the appraisal is lower than what the seller is asking and they refuse to lower the price, you can walk away from the deal and get your money back.

So you might wonder if this is the same thing as a finance contingency. The finance contingency can sometimes cover the same things. If the bank refuses to write a mortgage based on a lower appraisal, then you can leave the deal.  But the bank may agree to a smaller loan that meets the finance contingency. In that case, the seller can demand that you pay the difference.  So if you don't also have the appraisal contingency, then you're left having to come up with that extra money, or be in breech of contract and possibly lose your deposit. And that's why you should have both the appraisal and finance contingency in a contract.

What if the appraisal is too low and you still want the home?  You can ask the bank for another assessment, as well as present evidence that represents what you believe makes the home worth more.

Should you ever enter a deal without contingencies? In this hot Albuquerque real estate market, sellers can entertain offers from multiple buyers.  The easier the deal is for them, the better chance you have of getting the home.  But you run the risk that you won't get the loan you need. In the end, it's up to you, based on the market and what risks you want to take either way.

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!

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

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

Oversized .46 Acre Corner Lot! BACKYARD ACCESS! 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

If you bought a house in Albuquerque, or any area for that matter, with no maintenance issues at all, that would certainly be a rare occasion. Usually most homeowners find a something that needs to be fixed in a home within the first couple of months of purchase.

And if you’ve already settled into your Albuquerque home, getting answers to these key questions will help you get to work putting the shine on your castle. Ask the previous owner, your agent, and your new neighbors for helpful answers.

Has There Ever Been a Busted Pipe?

Broken pipes are more common than many people think. Water damage caused by a frozen or burst pipe is a leading cause of homeowners insurance claims, at around 22% of all home insurance losses, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

What pipes can you expect to burst? Typically, the ones that burst more are exposed water pipes in unheated basements and crawl spaces, along with exterior faucets.

Old washing machine hoses are also a cause of water damage.

A good inspector in Albuquerque usually can tell if water damage has occurred, and any damage should be disclosed by the previous owner at the time of sale.

The big fallout from water damage is moisture problems you won’t see — behind drywall and trim — which can lead to mold. If you know there’s been a major leak, a mold remediation pro ($200 to $600) will tell you if mold is present and the steps required to remove it.

Any Infestations of Termites, Carpenter Ants, or Other Pests?

In Albuquerque and New Mexico, there’s a wide range of pesky critters that can plague a home. These can include ants (carpenter, fire, harvester, and the like), cockroaches, fleas, silverfish, and termites.

If this was an issue in a home you bought, this should be disclosed by the previous owner at time of sale. But even if the owner dealt with a past infestation, that doesn’t mean the little buggers have been totally eliminated.

Whatever conditions made your house ripe for infestation in the first place — a slow leak under the house, soft rotting wood that attracts insects — may still be present. Plus, many infestations aren’t confined to one house. It may be a neighborhood-wide problem.

Be proactive, because the average cost of a termite extermination treatment around the perimeter of a 2,500-square-foot house is $1,700 to $3,200. Repairs to wooden framing, sheathing, and siding can run from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

What are Monthly Utility Costs?

You can’t get away from paying utilities, so know what your monthly budget is up against. Be sure to get an average cost — not the lowest monthly bill — and ask when peak months are.

While you’re at it, ask what kind of energy sources your house appliances use — gas, electric, propane, or a combination. That’ll help you understand where you might upgrade to energy-efficient appliances to save energy costs.

Remember that energy savings starts with the simplest of tasks, like sealing air leaks.

Has the Sewer Ever Backed Up?

As properties age and trees and other plants get bigger, roots find their way into sewer lines between a house and the street, causing clogs. It’s a mess for sure, and most homeowner insurance policies don’t cover damage from backed-up sewers.

Plan to have the sewer line cleared (about $150) every other year.

For $40 to $50 per year, you can add an endorsement to your insurance policy to cover damage from a backed-up sewer.

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!

1824 Bold Ruler Road SE, Albuquerque, NM 87123  $425,000

4 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (3 full) / 4650 Square Feet

Seller paid lot premium for over sized corner lot. Original Owner built and upgraded Raylee-Vantage home. No PID!! Fantastic 4650 sq ft 4/5 bedrooms plus huge family room upstairs perfect for home theater, pool table.1 Spacious bedroom and full bath plus office area on main level. 5th bedroom currently used as exercise room. 2 large living areas , formal living and huge formal dining room. Kitchen is a dream with beautiful sile stone counter tops, island, and sunny breakfast nook. Kitchen opens on to spacious family room with fireplace. Master suite has private balcony, double sink, jetted tub, sep shower. Beautifully landscaped front and back, bubble drip and sprinklers designed for low maintenance, wonderful covered patio. Over sized 3 Car Garage, Home is immaculate, shows like model!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

 

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

 

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