Thursday, June 30, 2011

Albuquerque Homes for sale - Restaurant Review!...sort of.

One of the best parts of my job, along with helping people buy and sell Albuquerque real estate, is staying in touch with clients that I have worked with. Today I had the the privilege of driving downtown to eat lunch with a good friend and past client (it was a good transaction and our friendship survived!).

My friend works in downtown Albuquerque, so he knows all the new places that open up and, today, I benefitted from it. One new place that has been open for about two weeks is "bRgR" (pronounced case you didn't figure that out). He describes it as a hip burger joint. Since I didn't know quite what that was, so I was excited to find out.

This hip burger joint is on Central and 3rd on the northwest corner. It's not very big so we arrived early to beat the lunch rush. The interior is a little difficult to describe. Lots of grays and reds and there was a bar right in the middle with a few local brews on tap. In the back of he restaurant is the kitchen and grill where you can see the grill masters (sounds better than cooks) making the meals. It was very clean and not too big, which was good. Kind of an industrial feel with high ceilings and you could see the duct work. Because it was on a corner of the street, windows surround the restaurant, which lends itself to a ton of natural light. It feels very open and big despite the actual size.

The menu was pretty unique. About a dozen beef burger choices (including Kobe burgers) which ranged from $6 to $8, which I thought was a great price point. The only bummer was that fries and onion rings were separate but only $2 per serving of each. They also had sweet potatoes tots which had a hit of chipotle, which we couldn't figure out if it came from the actual tot or the ketchup. Either way they were a good way!

They also had a few "exotic" choices which included Yak (I had no idea it was legal to eat Yak), Bison, and Kangaroo. When I saw these I immediately looked to see if they had a Koala appetizer. I hear their meat is very tender!...that was a joke.

With all the interesting choices before me I chose a yard bird burger! AKA, chicken burger. I know. Pretty sad. But even that was completely unique. It was actual chicken ground up and mixed with, what looked like, spices and possibly a few peppers. The patty was topped with a white cheddar sauce, apple smoked bacon and avocados. It was fantastic! I don't think I have really had chicken done like that and it completely agreed with me. The portions were perfect as well. Over all, a great place to eat. Both of us walked out of there spending about $15 each and that was with drinks and one side each which we could have done without. Not too bad.

So, the next time I am out showing Albuquerque homes for sale, I will try to make it a point to visit bRgR. Definitely worth the trip!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Corrales Real Estate, an Albuquerque Local's View

I am, by no means, a Corrales local. I don't know all the strict official and non-official rules for the area (other than go just one mile over the speed limit through the town and you will get a ticket!). I only know a handful of people that live there. They all seem to love the area and once they get in, they never seem to come out of the village. What I can share is a NE heights boy's unfiltered point of view of the area.
While growing up in Albuquerque, I can remember visiting the village of Corrales from time to time. It was usually on a weekend during the summer to visit one of my father's or mother's friends who lived in the area and it was usually for a huge BBQ, or an exciting event like riding horses on someone's property.

The actual car ride at the time seem to take about 30 minutes and the area was considered very rural. I guess when you really have nothing to compare it to, rural was what it was! I recall thinking it felt as through we went somewhere of a greater distance. It didn't feel like we were only 30 minutes from home. The city was nowhere in site. All we could see were enormous cottonwood trees, adobe homes and lush fields of green being grazed by horses. It really was special considering we lived near the base of the mountains and were used to seeing a desert landscape.

The area still feels the same to me even now, except the drive is even shorter (15-20 minutes from our home in Albuquerque acres west). The village itself is fun to visit from time to time. The quaint restaurants and shops make it feel like I am on a little vacation...even if i am searching Corrales real estate. One place I enjoy in particular is "Village Pizza". They have an all-you-can-eat buffet that has pizza so good that you think you are getting the better end of the deal. The "Indigo Crow" is another popular place that several locals enjoy. The cottonwood shaded patio off the main makes this cafe a perfect place to chill during the hot summer evenings and sip a brew or glass of wine. Or, if you are feeling a bit on the purist local side you could chance the local watering hole, "Tiajuana Bar" your own risk.

That's just a quick little view on Corrales. Of course it is much more complex than that and if you would like more info on Corrales homes for sale, please contact The Albuquerque Real Estate Group. Enjoy the video!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Albuquerque Homes For Sale - other financing options

We are not in a "One sizes fits all" world. Not when it comes to clothes, vehicles, homes ect. and the same goes for financing a home. Not all mortgages are created equal and not every lender has access to the same programs. It is very possible that a buyer can't get financing through through a lender. Sometimes you have to think outside of the box.

This is where owner financing may be a opinion. A seller in need may decide to offer financing to a potential buyer for their home. To make this worth their while, the seller often requires a 10% (at least) down payment, a monthly payment to cover principal, interest, taxes and insurance. This entire payment is calculated and based upon an interest rate that is, of course, agreed upon by both parties. Then there is a call date (typically 3-5 years). This is when the entire loan is "called" and the buyer pays off the loan to the seller in cash or gets another loan to pay of that original loan (did you follow that?).

Now, why would any seller want to offer owner financing or a REC (Real Estate Contract) for Albuquerque Homes for sale? Glad you asked. There could be a number of reasons. Sometimes the buyer doesn't want to sell their current home or can't qualify with a lending institution so they will seek owner financing. The buyer could be self-employed, divorced without credit of their own or haven't been at their job long enough OR buying as an investment. Basically, if they cannot get qualified by a lender and can obviously afford the home, REC's are a great option.

Keep in mind, the seller should definitely do their homework first and have a credit check done and reassure that the buyer has the income to make the monthly payments. If the buyer does not cooperate, cut that one loose ASAP! Realtors can run searches in the Albuquerque MLS to try and find homes that offer seller financing. Also, if there is a home that is not advertising this type of financing, ask your agent to get with the listing agent to see if its an option. A lot of sellers may not even know this is a option until it is presented to them. You just never know. It could be a great opportunity for sellers to make money if they do not need their proceeds from the sale of their home right away. This just might be the perfect fit!

by Tim Fish

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Money or repairs - Albuquerque homes for sale

The question may boil down to "would you like the repair allowance in the form of a credit towards your closing costs or would you like the repairs done?"

Once inspections have been completed on a home in escrow, the buyer will more than likely ask for a few (or a lot) things to be repaired or addressed. Usually within the purchase agreement for a homes for sale there is an amount that is agreed upon before the inspections occur that is allotted for repairs. Now, this amount is entered into the agreement under the assumption that the home has no major issues. If there are major issues, then its back to the drawing board but that is a completely different blog...

Instead of doing the repairs the seller may just try to throw money at the problem to make it go away, which is perfectly find and sometimes works. By telling the buyer they can have $1500 in closing cost credits may mean that the buyer doesn't have to use all the money they have saved on closing costs. Maybe they can buy the new TV that they (usually he) has had their eyes on that would look amazing in the new living room!....and that's pretty much the problem there.

If the money is spent on a TV, then those much needed sewer line clean-outs (for example) would most likely be pushed further and further down the timeline until it is a major issue and the problem doubles or triples in cost. Which is something I would totally do but do as I say, not as I would do!

For the buyers, the best thing to do is to get the issues repaired because it is very easy to get use to the the current problems and not fix them. As time passes, the harder it will be to pay for that one issue that seems to be okay until it becomes a major issue and the money is spent else where.

For the sellers the best thing to do when selling ABQ real estate is usually give the buyer the money towards the buyer's closing costs or come down off the price of the home. That way they don't have to worry about the unknown which could be the cost of the repair being more than expected and the seller's can deal with the scheduling of the repairs.

by Tim Fish

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Albuquerque Homes for sale - Thoughts on Sewer Line Inspections

I recently sold one of the several Albuquerque homes for sale (my listing) and the buyers were concerned about the sewer line from the home. The age of the home was 50+ years and there was a big tree in the front yard so the inspection was a great idea. The major concern was not only the age of the sewer line but a possible root intrusion that may have occurred in the years past.

The best way to actually see the condition on the line is to hire a professional to scope the line with a fiber-optic camera and digitally video record the inside of the sewer line. Once this is done the inspector will distribute the video to all parties involved and then a decision will be made as to whether the line should be replaced or not. The problem is, who should you hire to scope the line?

If the inspector is not a licensed plumber, someone may end up paying more to have the line scoped again. Often times (this happened twice to me in the past 2 months) the unlicensed inspector will make comments like "could be corrosion" or "could have root infestation" or "may have to be replaced". Comments such as these can raise false red flags and replacing a sewer line can be expensive, like $5k expensive.

Now that this unlicensed inspector has made the comments, the buyer immediately goes on the offensive and wants the line replaced because the guy filming the line has commented, in the video, that he "thinks" the line should be replaced. Now we have to get a second opinion and some plumbing companies charge for second opinions. You may get lucky and have a company accept the first video but they will, more than likely, charge for the time.

So, in my case (both times) this inspector, who was chosen because he was cheaper than the licensed plumber, said that he thought the lines should be replaced. And, in both cases, the line needed to be re-scoped only to have the plumber say that the line was just fine. I think the first, unlicensed inspector should leave his mic off and maybe write his findings down in the written report OR explain to the buyers that he can only give opinions OR become a qualified plumber.

So, when searching through Albuquerque MLS and the home is older, it is a good idea to get the sewer line scope by a licensed plumber

by Tim Fish

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Albuquerque Real Estate and the short sale

It saddens me to see all those families that can no longer make the payments on their home. I have discovered that it is a very confusing time for them. When the payments are late not only are the mortgage companies calling but every foreclosure investor in the city seem to be calling hoping to be able to buy the home owner's redemptive rights in hopes of future profits. I'm sure there seems like no there is no way out!

The good news here is there is a process for Albuquerque Homes For Sale that can save you money and perhaps significant heartaches later; the Short sale.

The process is often long and frustrating, and demands the expertise of someone who knows the ins and outs of negotiating with the Lenders involved. It is an exact process in most cases. There are forms that need to completed before the short sale can even be considered. But once those forms are complete the process can begin.

The goal of all the parties involved is to sell the property for an amount that will satisfy the creditors. In other words they negotiate! The seller never receives any of the proceeds but their burden is removed and life becomes normal again.

Depending the on the reason for the short sale, many sellers are able to find another home in the Albuquerque MLS and purchase another home in two years.

There are three points I want you to hear:
1. There is a way out of the problem,
2. It is an exact process requiring a knowledgeable facilitator
3. You need a negotiator on behalf of the transaction and to move the transaction along.

Should you find someone that is in this situation, or if you are in this situation of needing a way out from under your mortgage, we can help. Our team for short sales include a Title Company trained in the short sale process and the needs of the lenders, an attorney that negotiates the sale with the lenders assuring that the process moves forward, and me to market the property to attract the buyer that will begin the entire process.

I want to help. Please feel free to refer my name and contact information to anyone needing these services.

And for all your real estate needs remember to contact The Albuquerque Real Estate Group!

by Tim Fish

Friday, June 10, 2011

Verbal negotiations regarding Albuquerque homes for sale

From time to time I will find myself working with another fellow Realtor and negotiations can turn to talk rather then tangible contracts when dealing with Albuquerque homes for sale. Its very easy to get caught up in but, as they say (I have no idea who "they" is), it gets lost in translation. The first red flag is "we have a verbal acceptance!" Thats neat but it doesn't mean anything until it is written down and all parties sign. It is my opinion that it all should be written down and presented to the respective seller and buyers.

If two Realtors get together and start the ol' he said she said, things can get ugly real quick and no one is to blame but them. Things could be forgotten or misinterpreted. It is always good practice to get it down on paper and have each of the parties look the papers over and try to find any corrections that can be made because buying a house is kind of a big deal.

Just a quick tip on things that could be going on that can be made aware of. Whenever someone puts a document in front of you, read over it carefully to make sure that the Realtors didn't miss anything because it does happen. We're not robots (not yet but Steve Jobs is working on it) and we do make mistakes from time to time when helping you find Albuquerque Real Estate.

by Tim Fish

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Important Albuquerque Real Estate News!

I have been told by my lender that it is very likely that FHA will lower it's loan limits for Albuquerque homes for sale to $200,150 on September 30, 2011! Currently the FHA loan limits for Albuquerque real estate is $271,500! What that means is roughly 60% of the current buyers looking in the Albuquerque MLS market will not be able to purchase homes$210,000-280,000 price range!! Sellers in that price range are looking to possibly loose 60% of the buyers that currently exist because those buyers will no longer be able to take advantage of the FHA program because of the lower limits on September 1!!

What to do? Well, if you are a buyer that will be utilizing the FHA program you should step up your house hunting efforts and buy now so you do not go past the September deadline. If you are a seller you should be very realistic on the pricing of your home so I you do not lose potential buyers that will not be available after the September deadline.

No one knows with absolute certainty that the FHA limits will or will not be extended. Those in the mortgage business anticipate the deadlines to be upheld. The way we see it is if your are going to buy this year then do it now, if you must sell this year then do it now as well. You can't go wrong unless you pass the September 1st deadlines and the limits are lowered.

Our desire is to be your trusted Real Estate Advisor, and to pass useful information along as we hear it. As always, if you need additional information please remember to contact "The Albuquerque Real Estate Group"

by Tim Fish

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Albuquerque Real Estate - to pre-inspect or not

I was recently given advice to have listings pre-inspected before they hit the Albuquerque MLS which, at first, was a foreign idea. Several questions went through my mind like "But the buyer is suppose to pick the inspector. That would be a waste of my seller's money" or "Buyers will think that we are bullying them into using our inspector." All legit reasons, right?

Then it was explained to me that a seller, by knowing what is really going on with their home, can take alot of the post-inspection negotiations out of the buyers hand. In other words, a seller by knowing that the electrical panel needs to be replaced (for example), can prepare for that way ahead of time and not have to make a quick decision or come down on price. The buyer is less likely to back that seller in a corner and they can head the problem off at the pass.

Now, here is one catch that I found with that whole scenario. If the inspection is given to the to the buyers before an offer is made, a buyer can sit down, read the inspection, then say they want the electrical panel replaced and still allow a separate amount for a repair allowance. If the inspection was done after the offer was made, the the repairs could be negotiated out of the repair allowance, not as a separate cost to the seller.

Now, if its a big item like a faulty electrical panel or a bad sewer line, chances are the seller is going to have to replace that item any way. These are just a few thoughts on the whole "pre-inspection" concept for Albuquerque Real Estate.

by Tim Fish