Homes For Sale In Albuquerque Blog

 

July 22, 2013

Things to Consider Before Buying a Home

    Before buying a home try to eliminate any surprises. Inspections, utility bills and a little bit of research will provide information you need to make a wise decision.     A good  REALTOR will also know important information and can direct you to the right people and resources in the process of purchasing your home.   

     “14 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home,” by realtor.com advises reading through recent newspaper archives to learn about your potential neighborhood. If major construction or crime is happening in your area the newspaper may inform you of it. Determine how much money you’ll spend on utilities and taxes by asking for utility bills and recent tax bills. According to the article summer cooling and winter heating bills may put you over the edge financially and property taxes may be considerable because of schools.     

     The other 14 items include checking out the surrounding area and making a visit to the city hall. Take a drive on the streets around your home and see if the area is safe or not. During the drive take a detour at the city hall to find out the property’s zoning and if there are any easements.   

     Ask your REALTOR questions and decide what you must have in a home and what you can live without. Take a little time to gather all the information you need before purchasing your home. Once you’ve bought the home enjoy it and read a previous post on moving tips.

July 20, 2013

Placitas, New Mexico

     The peace of rural living is easy to come by in New Mexico with acres of open high desert to enjoy. Placitas, conveniently located near Santa Fe and Albuquerque is far enough away to escape city life and close enough to get the city resources you need.   

     Homes are available in Placitas with spacious lots that allow distance between neighbors. Look out to panoramic views of the Sandia Mountains and desert with the sounds of nature rather than traffic. The small village is empty of the busyness and noise of the city.   

     The homes follow traditional designs of Pueblo, Spanish Colonial, Territorial, Mountain Gable and Energy Revival according to a 2003 document outlining the village’s architectural design guidelines. Abodes featuring internal earth tones and an adobe finish perfectly blend into their surroundings.    

    The village also entertains residents with the Placitas Artists Series exhibiting the sounds and sights of musical and visual art. Yearly tours display the work of local artists and custom homes. The local library also hosts fun events for the family.    

     Several listings are available for viewing at www.homesforsaleinabq.com/placitas/.  Find a home that fits your price range. A mortgage calculator and estimated monthly payment can be found on each listing page. See if the house suits your tastes with excellent pictures that display the rooms and yard. If you’d like to build your own casa three land lots are available on Camino Del Cuervo.  A 1.9, 2.3  or a 3.6 acre lot.    

     Find a home in the beautiful village of Placitas. Take a look online at available listings and contact Kevin Ramos to take the next steps.

Posted in Buying
July 19, 2013

Renovations That Pay

     Price tags appear in the minds of home owners when the word renovation is said. Renovations can help sell a home, but you don’t want to put in more than you’ll get out of it. Starting with a budget and researching various prices and sales will help limit the amount of dollars spent.    

     CNN Money’s article, “Nail your home renovation budget” provides several tips to an affordable renovation. The article begins with a budget based on the percentage value of the room you are renovating. Each room is a percentage of your home’s total value. The kitchen accounts for 10% to 15%, the bathroom 5% to 10%, half baths 5% and a complete basement or attic 10% to 15% according to the article. To determine the appropriate cost of renovation take the room’s percentage and multiply it by your property value. That price is how much you should plan to spend.    

     To stay under budget the article suggests not moving or removing walls and doing your own demolition and painting. It also advises going with more simple designs for countertops and purchasing used rather than new items. A used item may still be in excellent condition and come with a less intimidating price.    

     Do a quick search on Google and you’ll find numerous resources on how to decrease the price of renovations. Save money by taking time to plan and think about purchases. If you’re trying to sell your home speak to your REALTOR about what renovations will increase the value of your home.  Albuquerque is full of great homes that are older and need some updating.  The right upgrades will help you house sell faster and for a higher price, but make sure to find out what renovations net the highest return on investment.  Also make sure that you are picking finishes that will be appealing to a wide range of buyers.

 

 

CNN Money- “Nail Your Home Renovation Budget”
Money Talks – “16 Tips to Save on Home Remodeling”
This Old House- “21 Ways to Save On Your Remodel”
Bankrate- “5 Tips to Save Money on Home Renovations”

July 17, 2013

Albuquerque High Schools

     Quality school districts are a determining factor in the purchase of a home. For home buyers unfamiliar with their chosen city and its schools a helpful resource is New Mexico’s school report cards.     

     The New Mexico Public Education department has released the grades for all New Mexico schools. The grades ranging from A-F are based on state standardized test scores, improvement in those scores from year to year, and attendance according to the Albuquerque Journal. The high schools, the journal explains, are also graded for participation and success in AP classes, the SAT and ACT, and other programs for college and career bound students.   

     The Journal article, “State’s New Grade” explains the difference between the grades and AYP (annual yearly progress). Each year a school must achieve greater test scores in order to meet AYP. If those test scores are not met the school fails. In contrast the state’s new grades take into account the improvement of test scores from year to year instead of whether or not a specific score was met.    

     The article lists the top Albuquerque high schools: A schools – Albuquerque High; Cibola; Eldorado; La Cueva; and Sandia. B schools – Del Norte, Manzano, Valley and Volcano Vista.    

     The journal has written several other articles concerning New Mexico schools and scores. To see a listing of each school’s grade and other information go to the public education website at http://ped.state.nm.us.    

     Research the schools in your chosen area and find a home that fits both you and your children. Your REALTOR can recommend schools and districts that are well known academically.

Posted in Buying
July 16, 2013

New Mexico Landscapes

     When buying a home in New Mexico it’s great when you find one with a view. The state’s motto, the land of enchantment, is well earned with its long stretches of high desert mirrored by brilliant blue skies.

     Find a home in Corrales with views toward the Sandia Mountains and watch the sunrise above or the clouds rolling over the peaks like snow. Drive home to Los Lunas between the green fields of the farmers or the marches with feathery stalks blowing in the wind. In Placitas look out to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and sagebrush covered hills. Whatever city you choose you’re sure to find excellent views there.    

     Along with an excellent view New Mexico has a diversity of architectural styles. Adobe homes are a traditional style of the southwest and are found in numerous cities including Placitas, Corrales and Albuquerque. Pueblo adobe homes are according to Taos Properties defined by a flat roof, wooden beams and arched doorways. Tuscan inspired adobe homes display terra cotta colors and terracotta tiled roofs according to Taos Properties.    

     Su Casa Magazine created a glossary for architectural terms and designs associated with the Southwest. The glossary briefly explains Pueblo Revival, Mission Revival, Territorial and Contemporary Southwest styles. Southwest style features defined in the glossary include a portal (covered porch supported by posts), kivas (rounded fireplace in the corner of a room) and vigas (large beams that protrude through exterior walls).    

     The enchanting southwest fulfills any home owner’s wish of having a home with character and a reason to open the blinds. Talk to your REALTOR about homes with views and what type of architectural styles are found in that city.

Posted in Buying
July 15, 2013

New Mexico Universities

     New Mexico universities have expanded their campuses to include Albuquerque, Rio Rancho and Los Lunas. More choices now exist for those who want to live near campus.

     The University of New Mexico’s main campus is in Albuquerque with two smaller campuses in Rio Rancho and Los Lunas. Depending on your preference the Albuquerque location is a busy area. Numerous restaurants and shops are within walking distance of the campus and downtown Albuquerque is a few minutes away.

     The Los Lunas and Rio Rancho campuses are in more undeveloped areas. The Rio Rancho campus is near V. Sue Cleveland high school and housing developments. The city is continuing to expand, and this area still has large uninhabited stretches of land that display the beauty of the high desert. The Los Lunas campus is several miles from Main Street in a quiet area near tome hill. The area like Rio Rancho is in a less populated area with no traffic, or buildings obstructing your view of New Mexico’s spectacular sunsets or lightning storms.

     CNM has three locations in Albuquerque: Westside, Montoya and South Valley and a Rio Rancho campus. The many areas of Albuquerque differ in terms of employment opportunities, traffic patterns, school quality and other factors. The Rio Rancho campus is right down the street from UNM’s campus.

     Rio Rancho is also home to New Mexico Highlands University. This campus is in the heart of Rio Rancho. Homes and restaurants are within walking distance of the campus and you are minutes away from Corrales and Albuquerque.

     For students or professors in search of the right college in a great area New Mexico provides plenty of options. Speak to your REALTOR about your preferences and he will help you find an area that suites you.

July 12, 2013

Fire Danger

     A fire is a frightening thing for any home owner. The loss incurred is irreparable. Your pictures, keepsakes and the home that held so many memories are gone in minutes. Insurance cannot give you back all that you lost, but it’s a great help. It’s important to know what your insurance covers before such an event occurs.   

     Of the 360,000 residential fires in 2010, 166,000 were cooking related, 46,000 were fireplace-related and 26,000 were due to electrical malfunctions according to the U.S. Fire Administration. We are all at risk to losing our homes to fire, but homeowner’s insurance covers that loss.   

     CNN Money covered this topic in a helpful article that provides important insurance details in the case of a fire disaster. Following is some highlights from that article. Homeowner policies cover the replacement cost of the home. Mortgage Lenders require that home owners carry a policy that covers the amount of their loan. It’s wise to take out a policy beyond that amount. Evaluate your home owner policy on a yearly basis and update your policy to cover the increase of value to your home especially after renovations and any increase in building costs.   

     Your policy will also cover destroyed contents such as a computer. You can choose a policy that covers the cash value of your computer, or that covers the replacement cost of your computer.  The contents of your computers are not covered however so make sure to backup all of your information on a routine basis.  Cloud based storage options are readily available and will save the contents of  your computer on an offsite server to recovery if you ever need it.  Certain high-cost items may not be covered on your home owners insurance policy as well so if you have any of these items make sure to have them added to your policy. The contents outside your home such as trees, shrubs and other landscaping are typically covered by your policy.    

     With a standard policy your home will be replaced with a standard home. If you have a home that is historical or has special features those costly features will likely not be covered under a standard policy. To more sufficiently cover those things consider an extended or guaranteed loss policy.    

     Talk with your insurance agent about the details of your fire coverage and find out exactly what is included.  Every year to an audit of your home owners insurance policy to make sure that everything you want covered is.  Every one is susceptible to fire danger, but areas in the Metro Albuquerque area can be prone to additional risk from wild fires.  Areas with dense vegetation like Tijeras, Placitas and Los Lunas can have an additional risk.   When looking for a home your REALTOR can point out potential risks to specific homes and can inform you of hightened risks in particular areas.

CNN Money: “Wildfire: Insurance when all is lost.”

July 11, 2013

Historic Corrales, New Mexico

     The Village of Corrales preserves the old west beginnings of New Mexico. Horseback riders are a common sight. The corner store, Frontier Mart, even has a horse hitch and water trough. Agriculture and livestock are encouraged with large lots of land, and restored historic homes keep the past in view. The historic home, Casa San Ysidro, dating back to the late 1800s is a display of late architectural styles and historic artifacts.    

     Located off of Corrales Road, by San Ysidro church, the home is a construction of Greek Revival and Spanish Colonial architectural styles. Home buyers often want a home with character. This home may offer some inspirational ideas with its adobe walls, beautiful wood doors and spacious great room. The home also has a special addition: a chapel. In the past chapels were common additions to large homes.     

     Viewing the home's architectural charms is only part of the tour. The couple who spent four decades restoring and reconstructing the home were avid artifact collectors. The home is a museum to Spanish Colonial New Mexican style items and 19th century Victorian fashions. The displayed items include furniture, ironwork, textiles, pottery, jewelry and more. Come to Corrales and escape the summer heat as you take a tour of the Casa. All of this information about Casa San Ysidro, tour times and more are available at www.cabq.gov.

     Old Corrales is a pleasant place to live for anyone looking for a home with country character. Dirt paths, goats, horses, farms, and lots of space are available in this historic village.  Anyone looking to buy a home in Corrales will find a wide variety of homes for sale  in varying  price points.  Corrales offers the convenience of shopping and access to highways while having the feeling of being in another time.  If you would like to explore the idea of buying a home in Corrales let us know and we can send you a list of homes for sale in Corrales that fit your criteria.

Posted in Buying
July 10, 2013

Free Things to do in Albuquerque

     What can you do in Albuquerque for free? In this tight economy people want to have fun without spending their entire paycheck. With plenty of outdoor amusements and city events it's possible to have a free or inexpensive day in Albuquerque. Your free day could look something like this.   

     Get up bright and early to catch your lunch. Albuquerque's Tingley Beach is open to all anglers and is stocked with catfish in the summer and rainbow trout in the winter. The only price included is the fishing license you'll need to bring with you. It's required for anyone over 12 years of age. Strengthen your fly fishing skills at the southernmost pond. The fly fishing pond is catch and release only. There also are some bait and hook rules which you can read at www.cabq.gov.   

     After eating your fish lunch decide whether you would like to stay inside or explore the outdoors. If you prefer an air conditioned room then UNM is your next destination. The university has four museums with free admission. Learn about anthropology, meteorites, biology or art.   

     If you prefer a little more outdoor adventure take out your GPS and track down geo caches. Geocaching can take you to some unexpected places in Albuquerque to find the hidden cache.  Find the cache coordinates at www.geocaching.com, plug them into your GPS and start the search! Or you can leave the geocaching behind and take a hike on one of the numerous trails in Albuquerque. Find a list of Sandia trails at www.itsatrip.org  

     To end the day pack a kickball, some water balloons and sandwiches and drive with some friends to an Albuquerque park. To see a full list of parks go to www.cabq.gov. The website will also tell you if the park has shade structures, tables, a play area and basketball courts.   

     Find your home in Albuquerque and get acquainted with all the fun things it has to offer. Whether you're on a budget or have some extra cash to spend you can have a great day in the city.

Posted in Things To Do
July 9, 2013

A Perfect Day in New Mexico

     If you could plan the perfect day what would you do? With all that Albuquerque has to offer you can keep your summer days busy. Here are some eventful ideas for those in the Albuquerque and Rio Rancho area.

     Drive north to Rio Rancho and order a bagel sandwich from Bagel Deli Bakery on Rio Rancho Dr. SE. The bakery has a large selection of bagels. Salt bagels toasted and buttered with turkey meat in between is a very tasty option. Don’t eat the bagel there. Get your sack lunch ready and drive to the Sandia Tram.

     The tram located off of Tramway Blvd. takes you on a scenic journey to the top of the Sandia Mountains. The 10,378 foot high view, according to the tram website, is an incredible sight. Find a place to relax and take it all in as you eat your delicious bagel sandwich.

     Once your eyes and tummy are full take the tram down and get ready for the next destination! New Mexico summers are very dry and hot. Usually the temperatures stay in the 90s but there are some 100 degree days. One way to cool down is to get wet. The West Mesa Aquatic Center has three pools to choose from: an Olympic pool for long laps, another indoor pool with a large water slide, and an outdoor pool with two water slides. Find out times and more information about the aquatic center at www.cabq.gov.

     For dinner enjoy Persian and Mediterranean fare at Pars Restaurant. Try traditional Mediterranean dishes such as falafels, gyros and souvlaki. As your seated you can choose a regular table or sit at one of the traditional Persian tables, a very low table two feet or so above the floor, with a cushion for your seat.  

     End the day seated on a large picnic blanket with some candy as you watch a movie under the stars at an Albuquerque park. The movie series runs throughout the summer at a chosen Albuquerque park. The movie schedule can be found at www.itsatrip.org.

     Make your home and perfect day in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Corrales or surrounding areas. To find all the fun things that the cities have to offer go to convention and visitor bureau websites at www.itsatrip.org and www.rioranchonm.org.

Posted in Things To Do