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Three Projects to Increase Your Home's Appeal

by Sandi Pressley

If you’re thinking about selling your home there are some things that can be done to improve the presence of your home to draw in buyers. Your efforts could be rewarded with less market time and more money at closing. Here are three of the biggest projects you can tackle to bring in buyers.

Work on Your Curb Appeal

First impressions are extremely important. Your home should grab a buyer’s attention before they even walk in the door so it’s extremely important that your curb appeal it the best it can be. Pay attention to the details, make your home cleaner, prettier, and in better condition than all the others around it. Start by sweeping the walkway, driveway and the entry or porch of any debris or dirt. Get rid of broken tree limbs, leggy bushes and any wilted flowers, and plant new flowers in the garden or place them in pots on the porch. Power-wash the exterior of your home and have the windows washed. Touch up the paint around the home’s windows if it’s needed. Give the door a fresh coat of paint in a light modern color and replace any damaged door hardware.

Create Space

The biggest reason people move is to get more space, whether they’re moving up from an apartment or into a home larger than the one they had, they want more space to live in. If you’ve got a large home, you don’t have to worry about space too much, but you have to be careful. If you’ve got too much clutter around your home, buyers can think it’s smaller than it actually is, so make sure your home is as clean and decluttered as possible. If you have a smaller home you’ll have to do some staging and storing. Rent a storage unit and pack away any toys, home decorations, clothes and accessories that aren’t in use. Clear your countertops, tables and floors of all unnecessary clutter so that you’re left with the minimum of things necessary to operate in your home and move all items stored in closets and cabinets into your storage unit. There is a fee for the storage unit but you’ll make back the difference when your home sells.

Upgrade

Most buyers buy older houses because they are usually more affordable than newer homes. So unless you’re selling to a building contractor, chances are they want a home with the most possible updates. You may not want to put in a new kitchen or bathroom to sell your home but there are a few things you can do to appeal to the buyers. Replace the most outdated features like the appliances, countertops or the cabinet pulls. Get new towels, shower curtains and bathmats for your bathrooms and make sure you throw out all old soaps and sponges. And replace all your soaps with liquid products for easier storage. Cover older paint colors with newer neutral colors that compliment your flooring and architecture and repaint any faded white walls to give your home a newer fresher feel.

Remember that the most common house bought in 2013 was about 1,860 square feet and was built in the year 1996. Buyers aren’t looking a mansion and they don’t expect your home to be brand new, but they do want to see some pride of ownership from the seller. The more repairs, updates and tweaks you give the house the more convinced the buyers will be that they’ve picked the right home.

 

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Sandi's Hot Home Listing

1801 Irving Road1801 Irving Road, Albuquerque

Price: $1,275,000 Beds: 6 Baths: 5 Square Feet: 5,135

ONE OF A KIND PROPERTY! Exquisitely Appointed SINGLE LEVEL MULTIGENRATIONAL Custom Home! Nestled in desired Black Farms Estates, this 1.14 acre EXCLUSIVE dream home offers Elegance, Luxury & stunning Bkyrd! With over 5100SF, the open floorplan offers TWO HOMES under ONE ROOF W/FULL top-of-the-line KITCHENS/LAUNDRY ROOMS connected by an adjoining mudroom.

 

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Five Common Mortgage Mistakes

by Sandi Pressley

Most buyers find that the mortgage is the biggest monthly expense they'll have, but most borrowers do little to no preparation or shopping to find the best deal possible. A buyer can end up paying more money for their loans than is needed. Here are five of the biggest mistakes you can make when getting a mortgage.

Trusting Advertised Rates

Unless your credit is perfect, advertised rates are very unrealistic. In order to get a rate that good you’ll have to pay for points, which cost one percent of the total loan for each. Your lender will be looking through your credit very closely to find anything that can raise the rate, including qualifying you at the start of the transaction and running your credit a second time a few days before you close on the home loan. If anything has changed in your debt-to-income ratio you won’t be getting your low rate.

Not Comparing Lenders

Loan officers work for banks or savings and loans and are only able to offer you the packages that their bank or savings and loan offices offer. A mortgage broker is able to prequalify you just like a loan officer is and can look into different deals from various lenders. It doesn’t matter if you choose a loan officer or a mortgage broker, either way you are going to have to share personal financial information in order to get a rate. Most brokers will show you which banks and credit unions have offered what so you can pick the loan you like the most. If you’d rather look for yourself try visiting your bank, a savings and loan or a credit union but keep in mind that unless you give them your personal financial information and the permission needed to run your credit they won’t be able to give you an accurate rate.

Not Noticing the Terms

Even the advertised rates for those with perfect credit the price you see is not the price you’ll pay. The actual cost of the loan is the annual percentage rate, or APR and that includes fees from the lender. Comprehending loan terms is extremely difficult. There are many ways lenders can increase the fees. A processing fee, also known as a loan origination fee, pays the mortgage broker or loan officer so this fee can differ widely in price. One loan officer might charge more for pulling your credit than others. It will all be in your good faith estimate which you will receive after you’ve applied for the loan. The terms are negotiable so don’t worry about asking about the meaning of any fees or asking if they can be removed or lowered.

Waiting too Long for a Better Rate

Having a lower rate is great but you don’t want to lose the perfect home over .25% of a point in interest. No matter what your interest is you’ll be paying thousands of dollars in interest up front before you can make a serious advance in equity.

Don’t focus on your percentage rate and start working on building equity as fast as possible. Try making an extra payment every year or pay extra every month. This will help you counterbalance your rate. If your rates drop over the years, you have the option to refinance, though it’s not the best solution. You’ll have to pay title search fees, loan origination fees and those could add up to be the same amount of money you spent on closing costs the first time. You’d also be starting the amortization schedule over again with your payments going towards interest instead of the principal.

Picking the Wrong Type of Loan

The type of loan you pick depends on what the market conditions are and how long you are planning on staying on the market, not by how much money you need for your home. The current market favors fixed rates because of the rates rising from all-time lows. They may cost more than hybrid and adjustable rate loans, but the base amount is fixed and does not change, the only things that will change through the years will be your hazard insurance and taxes.

If you select an adjustable rate mortgage you are subject to the conditions of the market and while there is a cap on how high your rates can go it’s still a bit of a risk. If you’re planning on living in your home for more than five years get a fixed-rate mortgage. If you are going to sell your home sooner it’s risky. It takes most buyers five years to earn back their closing costs in equity.

When you’ve reduced the pool of lenders ask all of them to give you a quote on the same day. Rates change day-to-day so make sure you ask all your potential lenders on the same day.

 

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Sandi's Hot Home Listing

11600 San Rafael Avenue11600 San Rafael Avenue, Albuquerque

Price: $695,000 Beds:4 Baths:2 Square Feet: 3,950

SW meets contemporary in this Stunning Custom home offers an abundance of space. Thoughtfully designed 3900+ sq ft floor plan for optimal living and flexibility. Panoramic views of the Sandia & City lights. Wonderful sunsets. Flooded with light! Gated home on .89ac lot. Open Flpl w/4bdrm and Flexroom /study/office/exercise/game rm.

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Thinking of Flipping a House in Albuquerque?

by Sandi Pressley

Whenever you turn the TV onto the HGTV or DIY channels you’re likely to find a show or two about house flipping. They’re usually cautionary tales of people who overreach financially or make some big rookie mistakes, but most of the time the houses featured turn a profit of $30,000+ in just a matter of months. If you think that house flipping is something you might be interested in, here are a few things you should know before you start.

Be Aware of the Financial Risks

It may seem obvious that there is a bit of risk involved, but some people don’t quite understand the huge financial stakes that are involved. The first expense is the cost of acquiring the property, and while low or no money down financing options are easy to find, finding these from legitimate vendors is harder than you might think. And if you’re paying for the home yourself that means you’re paying interest and every dollar paid in interest adds to the amount you’ll need to make back on the sale of the home in order to make your money back. If you’re planning on paying in cash, you don’t have to worry about interest, but you will have to deal with carrying costs like HOA fees, property taxes and utilities.

If you don’t have the cash to buy a home to flip, the next thing you could try is home equity line of credit or HELOC. These are variable-rate, low-interest lines of credit that are secured by an investment property or your primary residence, usually HELOC rates are set about 1-2% over the prime rate. You’ll need to put the HELOC in place before you start to bid on any properties, but then you can bid on the home as if it were a cash deal rather than a financing deal. Lots of investors use hard money loans or other conventional mortgages to finance their flips. Because of higher interest rates and the points that have to be paid at closing both can reduce your net profit a great deal and are not generally recommended for flips unless there are no other options.

Location

It is extremely important that you find a home in a desirable location, find a neighborhood or city that people want to live in and purchase a house there. Remember to keep the convenience factor in mind, make sure that the home isn’t too far from local grocery stores, gas stations, or schools. You don’t want to invest in a home that’s too far from everything to be worth it.

Get a Realtor

Trying to get the best price for your flipped by yourself rarely works as well as you want it to if you aren’t familiar with the process. Figuring out disclosures and conditions without going to real estate school might be more difficult than figuring out which walls you can knock down without knocking your entire house down. The money spent on realtor commissions will be well spent for their skill set. More than just getting your house sold, a good real estate agent can help in other ways when flipping a house. They can help you find some great deals, help you connect with lenders and contractors and get you comps. Don’t settle for any broker, take your time and look around and find a good investor friendly agent.

Update Smarter

Knowing where and what to spend your budget on is one of the most important parts of a successful house flip. You want to make sure you don’t leave key areas without improvements but you also don’t want to over-improve for the neighborhood you’re in. Home improvements that increase a home’s value are things like kitchen upgrades, more closet space, green energy technology, the addition of a deck and repainting the exterior. Try to avoid improvements like the addition of a sun room, pools, or whirlpool baths as these don’t really add to the value of a home. This is another reason to use a realtor as they will be able to guide you through which upgrades would suit your neighborhood and budget best.

Use Good Quality Products

Make sure you don’t skip out on supplies. Even though it means more money being poured into your projects, lower priced products might not be high enough in quality to get the job done properly or allow you to sell the home for as much as you need.

Work With Good Quality People

All the people you work with during the flipping process can make or break the chances of it succeeding. Team up with people that you can trust and are qualified in their respective roles. A poorly qualified subcontractor that does a bad job on project can end up costing you thousands more to have it redone by a professional. On the other hand, if you’re capable of getting the job done yourself properly then you should do it yourself. But you’ll need to be sure you can do the job properly the first time. If you can, you can save time, money and you won’t need to invite contractors into your house.

Finding a flippable home in your housing market with a good chance of being a success is a difficult task. But with the proper help, tools and skills it is manageable.

If you’re in the market for a home contact the Sandi Pressley Team today.

 

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Sandi's Hot Home Listing

1423 San Rafael Avenue1423 San Rafael Avenue, Albuquerque

Price: $850,000 Beds:4 Baths:2 Square Feet: 5,430

INCREDIBLE & RARE PREMIUM LOT w/360 degree Unobstructed views of sweeping Sandia MTNS & city lights. This .58 AC Custom Home offers quality craftsmanship.Dream home delivers Elegance, Luxury & Serenity! With over 5400SF, the floorplan features great room w/raised T&G ceilings, Adobe accents thru-out, Travertine flooring, HI-end carpet+spacious sunroom & loft + 3 amazing view balconies. Gourmet kitchen highlights granite counters, Prof-Grade S/S Appl.-Chef's Dream!

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Make the Most of Your Curb Appeal

by Sandi Pressley

If your home is currently on the market or you’re just about to put it there, your curb appeal is extremely important, especially now that spring is here. The outside of your house is a buyer’s first impression of your home, so you have to make sure it’s a good one. If you’re planning on selling your home it’s important to make sure your curb appeal is up to scratch. When working on your home you might be a bit overwhelmed by all the work, decisions, time, and costs involved with the process of getting your yard buyer ready. Many think that since most landscaping work isn’t permanent, it’s not as important as some of the other projects they might have but you should really consider putting it near the top of your list. Here are five things you can do to improve your curb appeal to help your home put its best foot forward.

Remove Anything Dead

Get any dead trees, flowers or leaves out of your yard. Trim dead branches and rake up the winter leaves. As you remove things, fill in any blank spots with flowers, bushes, potted plants or yard art, but try to avoid any garden gnomes or pink plastic flamingos.

Mow the Lawn

If you have a lawn, mow it once a week to keep it looking its best. Don’t forget to spray or pull any weeds to keep the texture pleasant.

Trim the Hedges

Make sure your bushes are trimmed and not spilling onto your walkways or driveway. If they grow too fast to keep them maintained properly, you may want to just pull them up. You can always cover blank areas with gravel, wood chips, or mulch.

Improve the Landscape

Improve your landscape with tile, decorative stone, concrete, brick or wood to add some appeal to the softer elements like your flowers, grasses and plants. And make sure you don’t forget your porch! Bring in a splash of color with flowers and potted plants

Add Some Light

You don’t have to spend a fortune on landscape lighting. Get some lanterns to line the walkways or something to hang from a tree can to give your yard a stylish effect. Lighting not only highlights key areas of your yard, like trees and flower beds, it also provides a bit of extra security. If you’re still not sure where to start, check out your local hardware store with a photo or sketch of your home and ask for ideas. Let them know you’re planning on selling your home and you’re struggling with your curb appeal, you might get some great advice. If you think your curb appeal is ready to get your home sold, contact The Sandi Pressley Team today.

 

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Sandi's Hot Home Listing

24 Plaza De Sonadores Placitas24 Plaza De Sonadores Placitas, Albuquerque

Price: $275,000 Beds:3 Baths:2 Square Feet: 2,170

Immaculate single story home nestled on 2.1AC showcasing breathtaking 360 degree views~Pride of ownership!This open concept floorplan showcases 2 Heated Sunrooms-North & South side of home,2 living areas w/3 fireplaces, raised ceilings, family dining room. Gourmet Kitchen features stunning upgraded granite countertops & backsplash(2015),lovely cabinetry+ sunny breakfast nook-Chefs Dream!

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Are Fixer-Upper Homes Worth It?

by Sandi Pressley

Nowadays more and more people are excited to see the “fixer upper” and “flipped” properties. These have been played up by home improvement shows and articles showing owners who purchase poor homes in disrepair and reconditioning and repairing them to sell them for thousands more. The hosts on TV make it seem simple, but in reality it can be an extremely difficult experience, especially if you have little to no market experience.

Owners who purchase a home to flip often make the mistake of paying too much for the home without considering how much will be needed in the restoration and improvements. This problem shows itself when the owner tries to sell and the value of the home is less than what they’ve put into fixing it up in the first place.

There are homes that can be fixed up, flipped and then sold but you have to be careful, pay close attention to the market, and be able to assess all your restoration costs; if you’ve not had years of experience in this field it would be wise to find someone who does.

If you’d like to buy a home to fix up, contact The Sandi Pressley Team today.

 

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Sandi's Hot Home Listing

6812 Vista Del Sol Drive6812 Vista Del Sol Drive, Albuquerque

Price: $350,000 Beds:4 Baths:2 Square Feet: 3,860

Exquisitely Appointed Home in desired Montecito Estates!With over 3700SF, this open floorplan shows like a model-featuring cozy living area w/fireplace, 4 BDRMS (see loso)/3BA+loft & computer area! Gourmet kitchen offers upgraded cabinetry, corian countertops, upgraded appl, cooktop, double ovens(gas connection avl), pantry,breakfast bar&pantry.Addtnl amenities:upgraded thermostat system, Refrig Air, traditional tiered water fountain,oversized 2 car tandem garage(fits 3 cars).

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