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Ways to Restructure Your Mortgage and Save Thousands

by Sandi Pressley

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

There are three strategies that can work to restructure your mortgage:

  • Send in extra money to pay down principal.
  • Recast your mortgage.
  • Refinance your loan.
  • Send in Extra Money to Pay Down Principal

The term “banker’s secret” was coined around 40 years ago by Marc Eisenson who promoted a cost-saving idea. It's simple: pay more per month than required on your mortgage. Eisenson says, “It was a secret that bankers knew, but didn’t share with their customers.”

The way it works is this. If you take out a $200,000 30-year mortgage at an interest rate of 6%, and just make the minimum payments, you’ll pay a total of $382,537.97 for your home, including interest of $182,537.97. However, if you send in just an additional $100 each month, you’ll save more than $49,000 in interest over the term of the loan.

And for the bonus: You'll pay the loan off over 5 years early! It's an easy way to restructure your loan without extra fees or hassles.

You can also pay off your loan early with a bi-weekly payment plan. Your bank can set this up, but they may charge a lot of money for this service. If you have the self-discipline to do this yourself, that's the way to go.

With this strategy, you make half your monthly mortgage payment every two weeks, which equals 13 payments a year instead of 12. With bi-weekly payments on a 30-year $200,000 loan, you’ll save more than $49,000 in interest over the course of the loan, and pay it off approximately five years earlier.

Other ways to easily do it yourself:

  • Make one additional mortgage payment per year at any time.
  • Divide your monthly payment by 12, and add that extra amount each month when you pay your mortgage.

Recast Mortgage for Lower Payments

Another way to restructure your loan is called to recast it. You'll need at least $5,000 to recast your mortgage. Recasting a loan changes the principle balance, not the interest rate or term.

Here’s how it works: You've been paying your mortgage for 10 years at 6%, with a monthly payment of $1,432.86. You balance is now $200,000. You contribute an additional $20,000 in the recast. Now your principle is $180,000, and you still have the remaining 20 years to pay it off at 6%. Now your new monthly payment has been reduced by $143.28, making the payment $1,289.58.

 

It will usually cost a fee for this service. The bank doesn't make anything from this, except retaining you as a customer. As such, they usually won't promote this method. Not every lender will recast a mortgage, but it never hurts to ask.

Refinance Your Loan

Refinancing a loan is the most common method of restructuring. In this case, you're replacing your current mortgage with a new one at a lower rate. If you took that same $200,000 balance on your 6% mortgage and refinanced into one with a 5% interest rate, you’d reduce your monthly payment from $1,199 to $1,074, saving $125 monthly.

Keep in mind that this method is the most challenging, so you need a good credit score and solid job history. There are also closing costs, which can run 3% to 6% of the loan amount.

These tips are appropriate if you’re current on your mortgage and have extra money. Struggling home owners should consider the government-sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) for mortgage restructuring.

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

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

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

 

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

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

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

How to Use Comparable Albuquerque Home Sales to Price Your Home

by Sandi Pressley

Do you know how much your Albuquerque home is worth? It will probably be about the same price as other homes in your neighborhood that have sold recently and are similar to your home.

These homes and their values are known as "comps", or comparable sales. Knowing the value of comps in your area in Albuquerque will give you the best idea of the current estimated value of your home.

Knowing how much homes similar to yours, called comparable sales (or in real estate lingo, comps), sold for gives you the best idea of the current estimated value of your home. The trick is finding sales that closely match yours.

What makes a good comparable sale?

The ideal comparable sale is a home that is almost the same as your house int he same subdivision. But that kind of scenario isn't as common. Here are other factors to consider:

Location:

The closer to your house the better, but don’t just use any comparable sale within a mile radius. A good comparable sale is a house in your neighborhood, your subdivision, on the same type of street as your house, and in your school district.

Home type:

Try to find comparable sales that are like your home in style, construction material, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, basement (having one and whether it’s finished), finishes, and yard size.

Amenities and upgrades:

How many upgrades does the comp have? Does it have the same amenities as your home, such as AC, a deck, or a pool? Does the community it's in have similar amenities?

Date of sale:

Home values fluctuate, so you can't use a value from a year ago. In fact, most lenders say that comparable sales can be no older than 90 days.

Agents can help adjust price based on insider knowledge

Of course, it's very difficult to find an exact clone of your home and neighborhood in most cases. That's where the expert advice of your agent comes in. An experienced real estate agent will examine the differences between your home and comps to adjust the value to match your specific home.

Your agent has certainly been in a lot of homes in your neighborhood, so they know all sorts of details about the comps in the area. They read the comments from other agents in the MLS (multiple listing service) and have heard what other realtors, lenders, closing agents, and appraisers said about the comparable sale.

More ways to pick a home listing price

If you’re still having trouble picking out a listing price for your home, look at the current competition. Ask your real estate agent to be honest about your home and the other homes on the market.

Next, put your comparable sales into two piles: more expensive and less expensive. What makes your home more valuable than the cheaper comparable sales and less valuable than the pricier comparable sales?

So you have to rely on your real estate agent’s knowledge of the local market to use a short sale as a comparable sale.

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!

9825 Greene Avenue NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114  $339,000

4 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 partial) / 2822 Square Feet

Resort style living is the setting for this Golf course, Custom Home, Shangri-La! Backs up to the Paradise Hills Golf Course. Light, bright and open floor plan. Upgrades Galore! Including Newer appliances, Newer hot water heater (2016), Reconditioned boiler system (2012), NEW Granite counters, Tile back splash (2018), Custom lighting, All the bells and whistles. Dream kitchen is spacious with breakfast nook, pantry and bar. Sensational landscaping with rock waterfall and fish pond accenting the backyard enjoyment. Fabulous fire pit and flagstone walkways, mature trees and a gate to access the golf course! Multiple decks and patios provide 360 degree views and numerous areas for outdoor entertainment. Garage is over sized, finished, with recreational area, workshop and storage!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

What Does Albuquerque Homeowners Insurance Cover?

by Sandi Pressley

Do you know what homeowner's insurance covers?

A basic homeowners insurance policy (called HO-1 in insurance lingo) covers your home and possessions if they’re damaged or destroyed by these things:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Windstorm
  • Hail (not available everywhere)
  • Explosion
  • Riots
  • Civil commotion
  • Aircraft  (and things falling from aircraft)
  • Vehicles (and things thrown from vehicles)
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism (although some policies exclude this)
  • Malicious mischief
  • Theft

Upgraded Homeowners Insurance

An upgraded policy (called HO-2) adds protection to your home and possessions from even more perils. You get protection from everything on the HO-1 list (above) plus:

  • Falling objects
  • The weight of ice, snow, or sleet
  • Flooding from your appliances, plumbing, HVAC, or fire-protection sprinkler system
  • Damage to electrical parts caused by artificially generated electrical currents (such as a power surge not caused by lightning). But damaged electronics such as computers aren’t covered.
  • Glass breakage
  • Abrupt collapse (say from termite damage)

That same list applies to the homeowners insurance you buy for a condominium or co-op (except then it’s called HO-6 instead of HO-2).

With HO-1, HO-2, and HO-6, what you see is what you get.

Other Things Homeowners Insurance Covers

In addition to covering your home, homeowners insurance also covers four more things:

1. Your outbuildings, landscaping, and hardscaping. If you have outbuildings, landscaping, or hardscaping, your homeowners policy most likely covers those for up to 10% of your policy amount.

Sometimes policies exclude damage to outbuildings, landscaping, or hardscaping caused by a particular peril (like wind).

2. Damage or loss of your personal belongings. Your homeowners policy covers your family’s belongings, even when you take them out of the house. If your child heads to college with a laptop and it’s stolen, that’s probably covered by your homeowners insurance policy.

A home insurance policy covers a lot of your personal belongings, but not necessarily everything.

Replacement cost means that the insurance company will pay the full cost of replacing an item once you show a receipt. Cash value means the insurance company will issue you a check for the amount that the laptop or sofa would have been worth when it was stolen or destroyed.

3. Temporary living expenses if your home is so damaged you can’t live in it. When you can’t live in your home, your homeowners insurance covers your living expenses, including hotel bills and meals. But, you can’t live in the hotel forever and eat lobster every night on the insurance company’s tab. Your policy will have limits on how long you stay and how much you can spend.

4. Injuries or accidents at your house. Homeowners insurance coverage includes liability – meaning it covers you when you or your family members cause injuries or damage. This coverage also pays when your dog bites someone (medical payments) or someone falls and injures themselves.

Add an umbrella policy to boost your liability coverage into the millions.

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!

9825 Greene Avenue NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114  $339,000

4 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 partial) / 2822 Square Feet

Resort style living is the setting for this Golf course, Custom Home, Shangri-La! Backs up to the Paradise Hills Golf Course. Light, bright and open floor plan. Upgrades Galore! Including Newer appliances, Newer hot water heater (2016), Reconditioned boiler system (2012), NEW Granite counters, Tile back splash (2018), Custom lighting, All the bells and whistles. Dream kitchen is spacious with breakfast nook, pantry and bar. Sensational landscaping with rock waterfall and fish pond accenting the backyard enjoyment. Fabulous fire pit and flagstone walkways, mature trees and a gate to access the golf course! Multiple decks and patios provide 360 degree views and numerous areas for outdoor entertainment. Garage is over sized, finished, with recreational area, workshop and storage!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Check Out These Hot Albuquerque Homes For Sale

by Sandi Pressley

As one of the top real estate teams in Albuquerque, we're proud to feature some of the hotest homes for sale in the area. Check out some of our top homes for sale in Albuquerque right now! And make sure to check out our full ist of Featured Properties on our website.

231 Graceland Drive NE, Albuquerque, NM 87108

Nob Hill Charmer! Great Opportunity!!! Make this one your own or your investment property. Situated on a large corner lot, this gem features both formal and informal living areas. Recently re-finished hardwood floors, wood burning fireplace, separate dining room or office/hobby space, plus classic details throughout. Enjoy warm summer evenings under the ample covered patio. Close to shopping, UNM & UNMH, transporation!


7709 Midge Street NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109

This Charming & Inviting Single Story Home in highly sought-after NE heights neighborhood showcases an open concept & functional floorplan delivering 2 comfortable living areas and sunny dining room. This light & bright home offers skylights, cozy Kiva fireplace adorned from the spacious remodeled kitchen delivering stunning granite counters, tasteful tile backsplash, updated appliances, sink/faucet & plenty of cabinet space. This 3 BDRM home is located in La Cueva district, close to shopping, restaurants & community center. Relax and/or Entertain in the oversized backyard with extended covered patio, low maintenance landscaping includes lilac, honey suckle & rose bushes all creating pleasing environment.

 

8309 Rancho Paraiso NW, Albuquerque, NM

You don't want to miss this picturesque almost 1/4 acre with backyard access. This is a fabulous 4 bedrooms home. Master is on the first floor. Spacious, well appointed kitchen. Light, bright wonderful family home. Pride of ownership is apparent. Balcony with fantastic views upstairs. Sought after neighborhood with easy access to all amenities. Don't wait to see this sensational home.


9825 Greene Avenue NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114

Resort style living is the setting for this Golf course, Custom Home, Shangri-La! Backs up to the Paradise Hills Golf Course. Light, bright and open floor plan. Upgrades Galore! Including Newer appliances, Newer hot water heater (2016), Reconditioned boiler system (2012), NEW Granite counters, Tile back splash (2018), Custom lighting, All the bells and whistles. Dream kitchen is spacious with breakfast nook, pantry and bar. Sensational landscaping with rock waterfall and fish pond accenting the backyard enjoyment. Fabulous fire pit and flagstone walkways, mature trees and a gate to access the golf course! Multiple decks and patios provide 360 degree views and numerous areas for outdoor entertainment. Garage is over sized, finished, with recreational area, workshop and storage!

Check back on our blog every week for our Hot Listing of the week, along with 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.

´╗┐Deciding on Windows for Your Albuquerque Sunroom Addition

by Sandi Pressley

Who doesn’t want a sunroom? It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the sun, and in the summer months in Albuquerque you can keep it cool while soaking up some rays.

When planning a sunroom, plan on using at least 20 or more windows. Therefore, you’ll need to make sure you chose the right style, material, and price point to keep within your budget.

Before you launch into this big project, make sure you ask some important questions to make the selection process easier.

How efficient do you want to go?

For a starting point, double-paned windows are the standard. They will cost you from $700-$1000 each. Double-paned windows have a low-emissivity coating that helps block heat from entering in the summer and escaping in the winter. But that’s not as efficient as you can go.

Triple-paned windows are filled with argon gas for more insulation, but they can cost as much as $500 more per window.

How should they open?

One of the great things about a sun room is to enjoy the fresh air on nice days. How your windows operate will determine how easy it will be to let that fresh air flow.

There are the five basic window types:

 

  • Fixed windows ($250 to $750 each) don’t open, and are typically used in solarium-style sunrooms (where the walls are made entirely of glass) or high up the wall in standard sunrooms, where you can’t reach them anyway.
  • Slider windows ($500 to $750) consist of two sash (framed panes) that move side to side, one in front of the other.
  • Casement windows ($250 to $500) are hinged on one side and open out when you turn a hand crank. That means you’re able to open the entire window, unlike sliders and double-hungs, which can only be half open. Still, when opened, casements can obstruct the yard—and the crank systems on lower-end units tend to break after a few years, says Annapolis, Md., home inspector Jim Rooney.
  • Awning windows ($250 to $500) are like casements turned on their sides, so the hinges are on top—and the window becomes a rain shield when open. They’re typically used high up in the room to allow warm air to escape.

 

What material do you want?

You’ll also want to consider what your windows will be constructed from—a decision that’ll dictate not only how they look, but how much maintenance they need.

 

  • Vinyl windows ($300 to $800) never need painting on the inside or out. They’re economical, come in white and a handful of other colors, and look good on a simple home. For an upscale house, though, vinyl can look a bit incongruous.
  • Wood windows ($400 to $1,000) offer a traditional, high-end appearance and can be painted to match the interior and exterior trim of your sunroom.
  • Clad windows ($500 to $1,200) are made from wood but are covered with vinyl or aluminum on the outside. That “cladding” is available in a range of colors and never needs painting, so you get the look of wood on the inside with a low-maintenance of a paint-free exterior.

 

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!

7709 Midge Street NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109  $219,000

3 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 partial) / 1418 Square Feet

This Charming & Inviting Single Story Home in highly sought-after NE heights neighborhood showcases an open concept & functional floorplan delivering 2 comfortable living areas and sunny dining room. This light & bright home offers skylights, cozy Kiva fireplace adorned from the spacious remodeled kitchen delivering stunning granite counters, tasteful tile backsplash, updated appliances (Refrigerator & Washer shall convey), sink/faucet & plenty of cabinet space! This is a MUST SEE!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Basement Insulation Can Lower Your Energy Costs

by Sandi Pressley

When most people think about insulating their home, the basement is a place that can be overlooked. You might think that since hot air rises, that the upper levels are the most important ones to insulate. That's true. Yet the basement can lose as much as 30% of your energy. If you stop that loss, you can save hundreds of dollars per year on heating and cooling costs.

Where to add basement insulation

There are two places to add basement insulation. You can treat the basement as an indoor space and add the insulation to the walls. Or you can treat it as an outdoor space and add it to the ceiling. If you chose the latter, you also need to close off all vents in the basement, particularly vents on your furnace unit and on exposed HVAC ducts.

Adding insulation to basement ceilings

Insulating your basement ceiling is a straightforward job. Use fiberglass batt insulation designed to fit between framing members. Figure a cost of $.50 to $2 per square foot to have a professional install 6 to 12 inches of fiberglass insulation.

Adding insulation to basement walls

Though floor insulation is more common, wall insulation has advantages over ceiling insulation:

  • Efficiency—ceiling insulation often is compressed by many wires, pipes, and ducts that inhabit the floor joists, reducing effectiveness.
  • Gained living space—insulating basement walls usually makes basements more habitable and usable on a daily basis.

Adding insulation to your basement walls requires one of two basic methods:

Build and insulate a stud wall

If you plan on using your basement to live in, building and insulating a stud wall is a great idea, as you can then run electrical and plumbing. You can then cover the wall with drywall and create a nice wall.

To insulate a stud wall, fill the stud cavities with regular fiberglass batt insulation. To prevent damage to the wall from trapped moisture, most building codes require installing a vapor barrier on the warmest (inside) side of the wall.

Install rigid foam sheathing directly against the basement wall

To prevent air infiltration and moisture problems, the seams between the rigid foam sheathing should be sealed with moisture-proof tape.

Codes often dictate that exposed foam sheathing be covered with an acceptable fire barrier, typically a layer of half-inch-thick drywall. Apply furring strips to the sheathing, then install a layer of drywall. Or, build a stud wall against the foam sheathing, fill the stud wall with unfaced fiberglass insulation, and cover with drywall. Both methods yield finished walls for your basement.

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  $380,000

4 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (1 full, 2 partial) / 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! 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! !

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

How to Be a Good Albuquerque Open House Guest

by Sandi Pressley

Open houses are a great way for home buyers and sellers to meet in a more relaxed setting. It’s your chance as a buyer to peruse your next potential home and see how you can make it your own. It’s really one of the most exciting parts of the home buying process. You definitely get more from open houses than just viewing photos online.

When it comes to home photography, you have to keep in mind that they are aimed to show the best of a home. Seeing the home in person not only reveals things the photos can’t show, but also allows you to view how you can make the home yours.

When you do decide to start going to open houses, you should talk to the people who will be living with you to decide what your wants and needs are. Then do some research (our website is a great resource), talk with your agent and lender. When you take these steps, you can then make a targeted visit with the homes you’re viewing. This not only gives you an advantage over other buyers, but saves you time.

So, before you start viewing, follow these tips to get prepared.

Make It Your Job to Know Which Houses Are “Open”

There are three ways to know when a house is available for viewing:

Ask your agent. We have details on specific properties and can keep you informed of open houses on our website.

And while you’re searching, be sure to jot down the location, time, and date for any open house that strikes your fancy. It will make it that much easier to plan times and routes for hitting as many homes as possible.

Get There Early (and Say Hi to the Neighbors)

Showing up early shows you're serious about buying. You can beat the rush as well and have more time to speak with the hosting agent.

And don't be afraid to ask questions. Many home buyers avoid talking with the showing agent. But the more you speak with them, the more you'll learn about that home.

If a house seems like a match, take a walk around the neighborhood. If you see neighbors out and about, try to talk with them about the neighborhood and get the inside scoop on what life is like there.

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

HOT HOME LISTING OF THE WEEK!

7904 Charger Trail NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109  $380,000

4 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (1 full, 2 partial) / 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! 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! !

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Home Remodeling Projects With Top-Dollar Returns

by Sandi Pressley

Not all home improvements are created equal. These will reward you the most when it comes time to sell.

Your home is in the perfect location, came at the perfect price, with the perfect lot.

But the home itself? Perfect isn’t the adjective you’d use. But you knew that moving in, and now you’re ready to start making it just right.

But where to begin? How about with data? Data is that friend who tells you like it really is.

Because while any home improvement that brings you joy is priceless, not all add as much home equity as you might expect.

The “Remodeling Impact Report” from the National Association of REALTORS® has tons of data on how much improvements cost — and how much of those costs you can recoup.

Here are the best five home remodeling projects with equity-building might:

New Roof

If you find yourself sprinting for the buckets when it starts to sprinkle, getting a new roof should be your No. 1 to-do. Measuring rainfall from the indoors isn’t cool.

The cost: $7,500

The return: 109% at $8,150

Considering it’s what’s between you and the elements, it’s a no-brainer.

Not sure if you need a new roof? Signs you might include:

  • Shingles are missing, curling up, or covered in moss.
  • Gritty bits from the asphalt shingles are coming out the downspout.
  • The sun’s shining through your attic.
  • You notice stains on ceilings and walls.
  • Your energy bill is sky high.

Hardwood Floors

You flip on the TV to see that your fave home reno-ing duo is it at again, flipping a ranch that’s stuck in the ‘80s.

They make it to the living room, pull back the dingy carpet to reveal hardwood floors in great condition. They’re psyched — and for good reason.

Hardwood floors are a timeless classic. Refinishing is a no-brainer. Neither will you regret adding new hardwood floors if you have none.

The cost to refinish: $2,500

The return: 100% at $2,500

The cost to buy new: $5,500

The return: 91% at $5,000

New Garage Door

No surprise that a garage door replacement project made it onto this #winning list — a new garage door provides a big boost for your home’s curb appeal at a relatively modest cost.

The cost: $2,300 (for a two-door)

The return: 87% at $2,000

There are options galore, too. A host of factory-finish colors, wood-look embossed steel, and glass window insets are just some of the possibilities that’ll give your doors bankable personality.

Better Insulation

Insulation is tucked out of sight, so it’s often out of mind — that is, until you’re forced to wear your parka indoors because it’s sooo darn cold.

The cost: $2,100

The return: 76% at $1,600 (plus the added savings on heating and cooling costs!)

New Siding

In any color! And never paint again.

Those are two of the three benefits of vinyl siding. The third, of course, is your home’s value.

But if long-time homeowners look at you funny when you mention vinyl siding, just tell them that today’s vinyl is way better than what they remember because of fade-resistant finishes and transferable lifetime warranties.

The cost: $13,350

The return: 75% at $10,000

Want fiber-cement siding instead? It also shows a strong payback of 83%. Although it’s the pricier option — you’ll spend about $18,000 with a payback of about $15,000 — it has one thing vinyl still lacks — the perception of quality.

And quality matters. Quality is the one of the most important traits that home buyers focused on when house hunting.

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!

231 Graceland Drive NE, Albuquerque, NM 87108  $189,000

2 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 partial) / 1530 Square Feet

Great Opportunity! Make this one your own or your investment property! Situated on a large corner lot, this gem features both formal and informal living areas; Recently re-finished hardwood floors; Cozy wood burning fireplace; separate dining room or perhaps office/hobby space; plus classic details throughout. Enjoy warm summer evenings under the ample covered patio. Close to shopping, UNM & UNMH, transporation!

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

You just never know where you're wasting energy. And the one place we don't really think about is dirty light bulbs and fixtures.

Having clean lighting not only can save energy and brighten your home, but is also a point to focus on when staging a home for sale.

Granted, cleaning light fixtures is a hassle that requires a stepladder and a steady hand. But it’s a necessary spring-cleaning chore that freshens your home and gives you the light you’re paying for. And you don't need to wait for spring to clean them. Winter is a perfect time to clean fixtures as well.

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.

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!

231 Graceland Drive NE, Albuquerque, NM 87108  $189,000

2 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 partial) / 1530 Square Feet

Great Opportunity! Make this one your own or your investment property! Situated on a large corner lot, this gem features both formal and informal living areas; Recently re-finished hardwood floors; Cozy wood burning fireplace; separate dining room or perhaps office/hobby space; plus classic details throughout. Enjoy warm summer evenings under the ample covered patio. Close to shopping, UNM & UNMH, transporation!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

How to Enhance Your Home With Lighting

by Sandi Pressley

Back in the "old days", all you could do to turn on a light was flip a switch or turn the dimmer knob.

Well, this is 2019 and times are changing. Now you can just tell the lights to come on, like on Star Trek. (Before you know it, we'll be able to tell our microwaves to heat up our Earl Grey tea.)

Smart lighting is becoming more a part of our lives, as it's increasingly more affordable. It's a household features that will let us use lighting to alter our moods, protect ourselves, and save a ton of energy and money.

Lighting Our Homes With a Purpose

Today's lighting designs are more about being a partner in your lifestyle than just turning on the lights. All of the lighting in your home can be on a single system that can be programmed in zones, each with it's own mood.  All of these zones can be controlled by wall units, a master panel, or an app.

So in addition to “Cooking” and “Romance” zones, you might have buttons for:

  • Outdoor Entertaining – patio and walkway lights illuminate.
  • Coming Home – triggered by a timer or a smart phone, the porch, entry hall, and kitchen lights come on.
  • Nighty-Night – lights in kids’ rooms slowly fade out as they fall asleep.
  • Vacation – lights turn on and off in random patterns.
  • Panic Mode – all lights in the house flash on and off.

All you need to do at the end of a long day is just call up an app, or talk to your smart home speaker, and change the mood. You don't even have to lift a finger.

Easing the Fear of Lighting Technology

"Oh no, not another hi-tech gadget in my life", some may say. Don't worry, smart zone lighting is easy to install. If you hire a pro, your home can be retrofitted in about a half day for around $1500.

You’ll get an easy-to-understand central control unit that “talks” with new switches, light fixtures, and bulbs that are specially made to receive wireless signals. You decide on your zones and, once everything’s set up, have the light throughout your house change intensity and color on command.

DIYers Can Zone Out, Too

Relatively low-cost mini-systems are coming to market that’ll let you install your own zones, even if your geekability quotient is near zero.

The Hue is a $199 do-it-yourself starter kit from electronic manufacturer Philips. It includes a wireless hub that plugs into your home router, and three LED bulbs that respond to wireless signals.

Once the hub and bulbs are installed, you control everything from your smartphone, setting up zones (called “scenes” by Hue), and choosing color combos from millions of possible hues. You can even add tricks, such as having your lights flash when one of your tweets is re-tweeted.

If you get hooked on your Hue, you can expand — additional bulbs are $60 each. And because it’s linked to your internet router, your hub can be accessed from virtually anywhere using your smart phone, tablet, or laptop. Working late? Delay your “Coming Home” mode for an hour — and save energy.

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!

2020 Mountaineer Drive SE, Albuquerque, NM 87123  $300,000

4 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (2 full, 2 partial) / 2370 Square Feet

Casual elegance in this Incredible 4BDR/4BA with hard to find attached casita/guest suite/man cave or office!! Master Suite is on the main level!! Soaring wood beam ceilings, light, bright and open! An entertainer's floor plan with lots of space for family and friends! Fully landscaped beautiful backyard. Close to KAFB, Sandia Labs, UNM, Foothills!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

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