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Avoid These First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

by Sandi Pressley

Avoid these common first time buyer mistakes

Are you thinking about buying your first home in Albuquerque?  If so, there’s a great deal of things to consider. But don’t let that intimidate you. Many first time buyers make the same mistakes, but if you learn from what they did or didn’t do, you can avoid making them. Here’s a few major mistakes that first time home buyers make and what you can do to avoid doing the same thing.

Picking Out a House Before the Mortgage

The very first step in buying a home is making sure you have the financing for it. If you can’t find the right mortgage, there’s no point in picking out a home. Many first time buyers tend to start looking at homes first because it’s more fun than talking about money. The problem is that when they find their “dream home”, then if they can’t get the financing, they’re disappointed because they can’t afford the home.

To avoid this, talk to a lender and at least get pre-qualified for a loan, or even better, pre-approved before you start looking at homes.  This makes everything go much more smoothly, for both you and the seller.  You know how much you can offer on a home and what price range you can afford.

Not Looking at First Time Buyer Programs

Usually first time buyers don’t have as much money saved for their down payment and closing costs. This leads many people to the conclusion that they have to wait to buy a home until they have a huge down payment.

You can avoid this mistake by talking to a lender about programs such as Veterans Administration or U.S. Department of Agriculture loans that don’t require a down payment. You may also qualify for a Federal Housing Administration loan that only need a down payment of 3.5%. Even some conventional loans have down payments as low as 3%. You never know until you ask.

Draining Your Savings

Most first time buyers need to buy older homes, as they obviously cost less.  But that means there may be repairs to be made down the road, or perhaps right away. If you don’t have enough in your savings to cover these costs, it could end up putting you in a financial hole.

Make sure you save enough to not only cover the down payment and closing costs, but enough to take care of repairs that may come up later. This can be easier if you have a lower down payment.

Not Having the Home Inspected

Buying a home without having it inspected can be a huge mistake. You have no idea what hidden damage there can be in a home without an inspection. Some buyers feel that if they waive the inspection that it will give them an edge on other buyers.  But if you end up buying a home that needs major repairs, it ends up being a bad deal anyways. 

The simple solution is to hire a home inspector of your own choosing.  This way they won’t have any bias toward the home seller or your agent, and can give you an honest assessment.

Buying your first home can be a positive experience if you take the time and make wise decisions with the future in mind. 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!

204 Camino De Las Huertas, Placitas, NM  $499,000

3 Bedrooms/ 4 Bathrooms (2 full, 2 partial) / 3645 Square Feet

Strategically sited on elevated lot to take advantage of 360 views! NEW Synthetic Stucco! Extended backyard living that includes covered patio w/outdoor kitchen grille/hood/cabinet/tile counters, Kiva Fireplace, incredible views, perfect to relax or entertain. 

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

What to Consider When Building a Deck

by Sandi Pressley

Do you want to add a deck to your home so that you can enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Albuquerque area? There’s no better way to indulge in the great outdoors of New Mexico.  But of course, as with any luxury, it will cost you. How much?  According to Remodeling magazine’s “2018 Cost vs. Value Report,” based on a national review of costs based on a 16x20 deck with pressure-treated joists, a built-in bench and planter, a wood deck on average can cost around $10,000, while a composite deck can set you back almost $18,000. When it comes down to it, the cost of your deck will be affected by 3 factors - size, style, and the contractor.  So how can you get an idea of how much your deck will cost?

How much does it cost to build a deck?

A number of factors will affect the final cost of any deck. Professional installation is a major factor, assuming you don’t possess the skill to build the deck yourself.  Figuring out the installation costs will go a long way to determining the final cost. According to Andrew Wormer, editor of Professional Deck Builder magazine: “For every dollar spent on materials and supplies, expect to spend another dollar to have it installed.” Some contractors cover both labor and materials in their quote.

Planning Your Deck Installation

Set Limits: Make sure to check with local Albuquerque building codes before you start planning your deck, as it may affect costs, along with the size of the deck.  Have you considered maintenance costs?  If you decide to use synthetic materials, they may cost more up front, but they don’t need as much maintenance, costing lees overall.

Budget: Determine what your “wants” vs your “need” are when it comes to a deck.  You need to set a limit on the total price you’re able and willing to pay. Also, how big will the deck be relation to the size of your home? The deck needs to be proportional.  You don’t want to have a large home with a tiny deck. And if your home is smaller, an elaborate deck also may not look the best. Also, check with your homeowner’s insurance to see about the need for additional insurance for your deck.

Find the Right Contractor:  Make sure you do thorough research of deck installation contractors in Albuquerque. Try to get quotes from at least 3 contractors so that you get a fair price.  Also check online reviews, and ask potential contractors for photos of past projects.  You should also check with your local building department to make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured.

Reducing Costs

If you need to shave some off some costs, there are a few things you can consider. You can reduce costs by reducing the overall size of the deck, along with using the right materials up front. Untreated decks cost less to install, but more to maintain. The reverse is true for composite decks. Also, if you build during the fall or winter, it could save you more, as contractors have fewer jobs and may be inclined to reduce their costs.

Building a deck is a great way to increase the value of your home, both in how you enjoy living in it now and in the future when you decide to sell it. Check back on our blog every week for more real estate and home care advice.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

12201 Mountain Haze Road NE, Albuquerque, NM  $750,000

5 Bedrooms/ 6 Bathrooms (3 full, 3 partial) / 4438 Square Feet

Luxury awaits you in this fully renovated and remodeled home in the sought after neighborhood of Primrose! 5 spacious bedrooms each with own bath, as well as a 20x17 Casita with private entrance and 3/4 bath! Outdoor kitchen, fire pit, mature landscaping and raised flower beds will make your backyard BBQ's a blast!  

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Honor Those Who Serve This Memorial Day Weekend

by Sandi Pressley

Memorial Day is fast approaching, so now is a good time to plan for the weekend if you haven’t already done so. It’s also the unofficial start of summer, giving us even more to celebrate. Albuquerque is the perfect place to both remember our veterans and enjoy the freedoms they fought for. Here’s a few events we can look forward to this Memorial Day Weekend in Albuquerque and the surrounding area.

Memorial Day Ceremony at New Mexico Veterans' Memorial Park

This special Memorial Day ceremony at New Mexico Veterans' Memorial Park features patriotic music and guest speakers. The ceremony takes place from 10am – noon on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day Ceremony in Rio Rancho

This remembrance ceremony will honor both those service members and first responders from the community.  The ceremony for service members begins at 11am at the Veterans Memorial Park, featuring speeches from the mayor and military personnel.  There will be a dedication ceremony after the ceremony for the new Metro Area First Responders Monument.

New Mexico Philharmonic Concert at the Zoo

The New Mexico Philharmonic brings it’s "Hooray for Heroes" concert to the Albuquerque Biopark Zoo. You can eat your picnic in the grass while enjoying American favorites along with the Jackie McGehee Young Artists' competition winners. The concert takes place on Saturday, May 26, at 8 p.m. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. There will be pre-concert entertainment for early birds and military discounts.

Albuquerque Blues and Brews

Round out the Memorial Day weekend with Blues and Brews, featuring top blues bands and non-stop samples from local craft breweries.  Have a great time with raffles, games, a cocktail bar and much more. All this happens on Sunday from 2pm – 6pm.

Have an Amazing Memorial Day Weekend!

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

12201 Mountain Haze Road NE, Albuquerque, NM  $750,000

5 Bedrooms/ 6 Bathrooms (3 full, 3 partial) / 4438 Square Feet

Luxury awaits you in this fully renovated and remodeled home in the sought after neighborhood of Primrose! 5 spacious bedrooms each with own bath, as well as a 20x17 Casita with private entrance and 3/4 bath! Outdoor kitchen, fire pit, mature landscaping and raised flower beds will make your backyard BBQ's a blast!  

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Round Out May With These Fun Events in Albuquerque

by Sandi Pressley

Round Out May With These Fun Events in Albuquerque

There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Albuquerque, and May is no exception.  Even though the month is coming to a close, there’s still plenty of things to do.  Here’s a few events coming up to look forward to.

DOWNTOWN GROWERS' MARKET

Robinson Park
7:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Occurring every weekend until Nov 3, this family oriented event is one of the longest running markets in New Mexico.  In addition to the freshest produce around, you’ll find delicious prepared food, local live music, arts and crafts, and fun activities. Admission is free and donations are accepted to help keep the market running.

RAIL YARDS MARKET

Sundays 10am-2pm

Celebrate New Mexican culture as you browse through hundreds of food, farm, artisan, and healing vendors, along with live music and educational zones for the kids. This weekly market runs until October 3. Admission is free.

8TH ANNUAL ABQ BEER WEEK

Multiple Venues
May 24, 2018 - June 3, 2018

This 10 day event brings together the community to enjoy all the great local craft beers brewed in Albuquerque.  With over 70 educational events around the city, there’s plenty of brews to go around. These events will be sure to get your more involved and excited about the craft brew scene in Albuquerque.

ALBUQUERQUE WINE FESTIVAL

Balloon Fiesta Park
Visit site for times as they vary.

If local beers are not quite your thing, then you can enjoy the Albuquerque Wine Festival this memorial day weekend. In addition to the best wineries from around the state, you’ll find great food, arts and crafts and live music. And it’s set in the relaxed setting of Balloon Fiesta Park.

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

 

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

1625 Los Alamos Avenue SW, Albuquerque, NM  $489,000

3 Bedrooms/ 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 partial) / 2775 Square Feet

Beautifully situated in Coveted Albuquerque COUNTRY CLUB NEIGHBORHOOD! Near parks and bike paths, and just blocks from downtown. Warmth and Charm exudes thru-out. Don't miss out on this one! 

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Add New Life to Your Home with an Indoor Garden

by Sandi Pressley

For centuries, indoor gardens have been used to add color and life to homes of all kinds.  It’s not just looks that describe the benefits of planting an indoor garden.  Caring for an indoor garden is also a great way to deal with stress. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or have been gardening for years, following a few basic tips will help you get a greener thumb.

Some might think that because they haven’t had success in the past with plants that they don’t have the “green thumb” their parents had. Better Homes and Gardens, all the way back in 1939, had this to say regarding that belief: “Mother's and grandmother's plants grew, not because of green thumbs, but because they were treated as living, feeling beings that required the same common-sense care as the canary or any other house pet."

You really just need some basics to have a thriving garden.  Sunlight and water are an obvious must have, but also consider other factors such as nutrients, cleansing and care to deal with the dry environment of your home. After you take care of these basics, then you’ll be on your way to growing a splendid garden.

Let There Be Light

It’s important to place plants in your home according to how much light they need.  Plants vary in how much natural light they need. Older homes, especially Victorian era designs, were made in such a way that natural light was plentiful, and as such plants could thrive. So if you live in a Victorian home, then finding enough light won’t be a problem. The challenge of newer homes and apartments is that there are fewer natural light sources, which can make it more of a challenge. But don’t let a little challenge stop you.

Finding windows that face south is the preferable location for most plants.  There are more hours of light for your plants to soak up what they need for photosynthesis. If you only have windows that face North, try going with plants that require minimal light, such as a fern, spider plant, or African violet. Pothos don’t need any light to thrive, in case you have very little to no natural light available.

Get With the Program

You also need to make sure you have a good care schedule for your plants.  Try to do research on the specific plant and what it needs. You need to make sure you have a schedule to water and feed your plants with plant food or fertilizer.  You also need to clean the leaves of larger plants with a damp cloth periodically. Also check for mold or pests as this will indicate if your routine is effective. Make sure to trim or thin out your plants on occasion.  Larger plant s may also need to be repotted in larger pots as they grow.

If your schedule doesn’t permit this level of commitment, why not start with plants that don’t require as much attention? Cactus, succulents, or bamboo plants are ideal choices. Succulents are a popular choice as they are easy to care for and offer unique textures and colors.

Of course there’s more to consider when it comes to having a thriving indoor garden. But with planning and patience, you can succeed. Join us on our blog every week for more home improvement tips and Albuquerque area real estate news and advice.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

1625 Los Alamos Avenue SW, Albuquerque, NM  $489,000

3 Bedrooms/ 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 partial) / 2775 Square Feet

Beautifully situated in Coveted Albuquerque COUNTRY CLUB NEIGHBORHOOD! Near parks and bike paths, and just blocks from downtown. Warmth and Charm exudes thru-out. Don't miss out on this one! 

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Has the 2018 Tax Reform Affected the Housing Market?

by Sandi Pressley

During the past few months, many people and new sources were speculating that the 2018 tax reform would adversely affect the real estate market. A number of sources were reporting a potential for double-digit price depreciation because of changes in the tax code. It was even suggested that there would be a significant drop in buyer demand. The dream of owning a home in America was feared to hang in the balance.

Here we are after the first quarter of 2018, and now we can start looking at the numbers and get a feel for the impact of the tax reform on the real estate market. Here are a few important questions we can ask.

1. Has tax reform killed off home buyer demand?

Taking a look at the Showing Time Index which “tracks the average number of buyer showings on active residential properties on a monthly basis” and is a “highly reliable leading indicator of current and future demand trends,” it’s evident that the number of home buyers has actually risen each month over the last three months and is even higher than it was for the same months last year. This shows that buyer demand is going up, not down.

2. Have the tax changes affected America’s belief in real estate as a long-term investment?

A few weeks ago, Gallup released its annual survey that asked Americans which asset they thought was the best long-term investment. This is what the survey showed:

“More Americans name real estate over several other vehicles for growing wealth as the best long-term investment for the fifth year in a row. Just over a third cite real estate for this, while roughly a quarter name stocks or mutual funds.”

It was also shown in this survey that there has been no real change of the percentage of Americans who believe real estate is a good investment in the past year.

3. Has the homeownership rate been negatively impacted by the tax changes?

In her latest “Z Report,” Ivy Zelman helps us to understand that the 2018 tax reform didn’t damage the homeownership rate. In fact it helped it.  She explains it this way:

“We have been of the opinion that homeownership is most highly correlated with income and the net effect of tax reform would be a positive, rather than negative catalyst for the homeownership rate. While still in the early innings of tax changes, this has proven to be the case.”

4. Will the reforms in the tax code cause home prices to tumble over the next twelve months?

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights Report, home prices will appreciate in each of the 50 states over the next twelve months. Appreciation is projected to be anywhere from 1.9% to 10.3% with the national average being 4.7%.

As we’ve proceeded through the year, we can see that the dire predictions of the 2018 tax reform have not affected the real estate market adversely. If you’re ready to buy or sell a home in Albuquerque, let us help. You can search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest real estate updates for Albuquerque and the surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

3713 Glen Canyon Road NE, Albuquerque, NM  $275,000

4 Bedrooms/ 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 partial) / 2020 Square Feet

Well Cared for Holiday Park Home! Desirable Open Concept Floorplan-Great for Entertaining or just hanging out. Open Chef Inspiring Kitchen features a high performance THERMADOR duel fuel, drop in range. Backyard features; NEW patio cover, shady tree & shrubs. 

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Take Your Mom to A Delicious Brunch This Mother's Day

by Sandi Pressley

It’s time once again to show our dear moms how much we appreciate them, and what better city to do so than in Albuquerque? Sunday May 13 is the perfect day to celebrate mom, with all the great brunch specials available throughout the city. You’ll find a wide variety of options for any taste and budget. So make sure you make arrangements now to reserve a table at one of these tasty destinations for a special brunch with mom.

Artichoke Cafe

11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Enjoy exquisite dishes such as quiche Florentine, Sicilian baked eggs, salmon crepes, steamed artichokes, roasted garlic, crab cakes, charcuterie plate, soups, salads, and various entrees.  Top it all off with strawberry shortcake. Entrée selections feature poached salmon, pan roasted duck breast, baked ham, mushroom ravioli, prosciutto wrapped scallops, veal scaloppini and steak Diane.

El Pinto

10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

If local flavors are what you’re looking for, then El Pinto is the ideal place for Sunday brunch. Brunch items feature local dishes such as green chile cheese biscuits smothered in green chile white gravy with a side of choriz.  Or try the eggs Benedict, which includes eggs and pork loin on a green chile biscuit with a red hollandaise sauce.

Forque at Hyatt Albuquerque

11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

For the buffet lovers, you’ll find a variety of great buffets at the The Forque Kitchen and Bar at the Hyatt downtown. You’ll find breakfast items at the omelet and waffle stations, along with fresh fruits, breafast meats, eggs, potatoes and more. Or enjoy other buffet favorites like cured meats, salads, smoked salmon, grilled and chilled shrimp, tuna tataki, and orzo salad.

Tamaya Resort

10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

This delightful Sunday brunch buffet offers a crepe station, salads, chilled shrimp and crab claws, cheese and fruit platter, house cured salmon and assorted petite pastries. There’s also a carving station with prime rib, honey dijon pork loin and baby squash and asparagus. The chef's specialties offered are smoked pork, orange poppy seed pancakes, poached eggs, grilled chicken, green chile saffron poached salmon, and an assortment of vegetables. To top it all of there will be an extravagant dessert display.

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

Have a happy Mother's Day!

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

6437 Dorado Beach NE, Albuquerque, NM  $295,000

3 Bedrooms/ 2 Bathrooms (2 full, 0 partial) / 1652 Square Feet

Hard to find one story townhome in the gated community of Tanoan's Torrey Pines!! Private courtyard and landscaped backyard! Master bedroom split floor plan. Excellent location in the FAR NE Heights, close to schools, parks, shopping, Whole Foods & Trader Joes!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Misconceptions About Home Buying

by Sandi Pressley

Are you ready to buy your first home in Albuquerque? If so, it can be an exciting time.  But times change, and some of the things that were true in the past about home buying are not true anymore.  There are also a number of misconceptions circulating that can confuse a home buyer, whether it’s your first home or your fifth.

What are some of the misconceptions of buying a home?

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

Many home buyers think you still need at least 20% down to get approved.  Yes that may have been true a few decades ago.  In fact, at one time only people with perfect credit and 20% - 50% down could buy a home.  That’s why the government created the Federal Housing Administration and offered “FHA Loans”. These days, the FHA will back a loan from a home buyer with a credit score as little as 500 and a 10% down payment. If your credit score is higher than 580, you only need 3.5% for a down payment! Certainly it’s easier to afford buying a house than it used to be.

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

You simply can’t afford to not use an agent.  Yes they get a 3% commission.  But you’re not the one that pays that fee as a home buyer.  Instead it’s the seller who pays that fee and it’s part of the selling price. Don’t think you’re getting a discount by not using an agent, as they can help you get a lower price. They will also take care of all the paperwork, appraisals, inspections, and other matters that are part of the process. You need their expertise to guide you through this difficult transaction.

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

Sure we’ve all seen the TV shows where people buy an ugly home and turn it into their dream home. And sure they make it seem so easy.  But in the end, all of these repairs take time and money.  And usually the case is that people end up getting tired of all the renovations and don’t end up loving their new home. So if you need to tear down the walls to make a home look good, then perhaps you should find a better choice.

If you’re ready to buy your first home in Albuquerque, let us help you make it a reality.  We’re happy to answer any questions about the process and make sure you have the right information going into the home buying process. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest real estate updates for Albuquerque and the surrounding areas.

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

6437 Dorado Beach NE, Albuquerque, NM  $295,000

3 Bedrooms/ 2 Bathrooms (2 full, 0 partial) / 1652 Square Feet

Hard to find one story townhome in the gated community of Tanoan's Torrey Pines!! Private courtyard and landscaped backyard! Master bedroom split floor plan. Excellent location in the FAR NE Heights, close to schools, parks, shopping, Whole Foods & Trader Joes!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

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