Thursday, March 25, 2010

Albuquerque Mayor Promotes Bicycle Safety

Mayor Richard Berry has adopted a new bicycle safety campaign called "Easy to Miss". The campaign, which includes a new website, billboards, mall and airport displays aims to raise awareness of drivers who share the roads with cyclists.

According to statistics, more than 100 bikers in Albuquerque are killed each year from accidents involving motorists who didn't see them until it was too late.

As recently as last June, mother and biking enthusiast Heather Reu was killed after being struck by a car. She left behind four small children and grieving friends, who came up with the idea for the campaign. Reu worked for a marketing company that partnered with the mayor to produce the billboards and website.

One of the billboards is designed to demonstrate how hard it is to see a bicycle until you are almost upon it...a picture on the sign has a biker that doesn't show until seen at a certain angle as a car begins to pass.

Bicycles are popular in our city, particularly in the neighborhoods and homes near Albuquerque's UNM campus. The campaign sponsors hope to make drivers in the University area more careful and on the alert.

Also in the works are more bicycle lanes throughout the city. Mayor Berry encourages bicycling and bike lanes, according to Chris Ramirez, City of Albuquerque communications director. He considers it a quality of life issue and wants Albuquerque residents to feel safer and enjoy biking. The website offers answers to questions of driving laws and safety tips for drivers and bikers.

Having a fun and healthy neighborhood for biking is often a deciding factor for our buyers looking for Albuquerque homes for sale. If you are interested in property near UNM or in a bike-friendly area, call us, or use our free Albuquerque MLS search!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Albuquerque Home For Sale by Owner - Will it really sell?

"FSBO" (pronounced fizz-bo).

This is a four-letter word for most Realtors, but not for the reasons most consumers might think. Many agents will look past a FSBO and pretend it doesn't exist when they are searching for homes to show a buyer. I've heard it referred to as "kinda like the obnoxious relative you see out with your friends and hope they go away before someone makes the connection". Beyond the obvious reason of commissions, why would a Realtor avoid the pitfalls of helping a buyer to purchase a FSBO? Glad you asked!

Despite the fact that an owner sponsored listing might be a bargain, an agent becomes twice as liable for legal and other problems. Also, a seller being represented by a professional Realtor is more willing to pay for inspections, repairs, and even closing costs. Those are major negotiating points, after all.

O.K., let's just pretend that you want to buy a FSBO home without a Realtor. You would save 6%, right? That's $12,000 on the average price of a home for sale in Albuquerque. Start with this...would you feel comfortable taking the seller's word on the condition of the home?

Do you consider yourself as a professional negotiator?  This isn't a car you're buying,  It's a HOUSE... the most expensive investment that most people make in their lives.

"But I have done it in the past.", you say. Neat. You can negotiate with this stranger all by yourself and save the commission dollars. you know all the new rules regarding tax levy disclosure? FIRPTA? Septic and well regulations? Does the seller know them? Do you trust him well enough to take this chance?

Who do you call for inspections?  Do you have an escrow officer at a trusted title company?  Do you have a mortgage officer? Is that mortgage officer up to date with all the new government regulations?  These are the things you have to consider with an Albuquerque home for sale by owner.

And the appeal of SELLING your home by yourself is definitely tempting. Realtors understand this. But how much are you going to save selling a product that basically repels the main group of people (Realtors) that represent the one group of people (qualified buyers) that you want your property exposed to?

The statistics speak for themselves: 92% of For Sale By Owner transactions FAIL - this is according to the Nation Association of Realtors.

If I was feeling that lucky, I would go put my 6-3% "savings" on red or black at my local roulette table. My odds would increase 6.25 times. It would make much more sense...and maybe I would make enough money to pay a real plumber to fix that faucet I've tried to fix myself that continues to drip, drip, drip all the time...:-)

### ~Tim Fish

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Albuquerque Job Market is Expanding

We happened to run across a new job listing in for Greyhound Bus Drivers in Albuquerque. That's kind of an ususual job that many folks might not think of on their own, but it looks to be a good one.

Greyhound was founded in 1914, according to their short bio. They provide not only passenger bus transportation, but also accept express package delivery and charter services.

Drivers (or Greyhound Motorcoach Operators, as they list the official job position) are expected to possess safe driving practices, the ability to be on schedule at all times, to excel in customer service, and be dependable and professional.

Requirements of the job include: professional dress, the ability to lift baggage and packages of up to 100 lbs, be on-call 24/7, and be away from home for stretches of three or more days when necessary. You would also have to be proficient enough with reports to do passenger counts, driving logs, and safety inspections. (They would love you to speak Spanish, but it's not a requirement!)

More job specifications include:
  • Be at least 22 years of age
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Minimum of three (3) year’s driving experience (Commercial or private)
  • Have a good character and positive work history
  • Consent to a background check and alcohol/drug screen
  • Pass a background check (MVR, Criminal Extended Employment Verification).
Your driving record must:
  • Have no more than two (2) moving convictions/accidents in the past three (3) years.
  • Have no more than three (3) moving convictions/accidents in the past five (5) years) (Speeding, tailgating, etc.)
  • Have no license suspensions in the past ten years (Suspensions for physicals, insurance lapses, failure to pay fine and failure to appear are exempt under the ten-year rule)
  • Have NO driving convictions related to alcohol or illegal drugs.
 This could be a unique new career path for our young people, or even pre- or post-retirees. An Albuquerque relocation is proving to be a very good choice as our economy tries to pull out of its problems and make a comeback. When you are ready to find a home, use our website to search the Albuquerque MLS, and then give us a call. With over 35 years of experience, we are Albuquerque real estate experts, and we look forward to helping you!