Archive for the ‘ Selling a Home ’ Category

548 Hermit Falls Dr SE Rio Rancho

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
May 28th, 2014

3 Bedrooms; 2 Baths; 1886 SF; 2 Car Garage

This gorgeous Charter built home in the heart of High Resort Village is second to none. The kitchen has been transformed with silestone counter tops, stainless steel appliances plus a new sink and faucet. In the living room and hallways the flooring is bamboo wood. Everywhere else but the smaller bedrooms there’s beautiful custom ceramic tile. On cold winter nights you can enjoy the gas log fireplace in either the living room or master bedroom. Outside, have coffee on the brick and concrete patios and admire your flower garden. This home is special. Come take a look! – See more at:

2221 Deer Trail Loop NE Rio Rancho

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
February 5th, 2014

4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1858 Sq Ft (approx)

Clean, spacious, energy-efficient and polished… This beautiful Artistic built home in Los Milagros is ready for a new family. The appliances come with it, including a stainless steel refrigerator and a front-loading washer/dryer pair. There’s push button recirculating hot water in the baths and kitchen, and super efficient hydronic forced air heat. If you spend time in your garage, you’ll love the fully finished, painted and trimmed look, with an epoxied floor. The metal roof is highly rated and there’s lots of blown in insulation below it. This is a real find at a super price! (Not a short sale.)

SOLD! – The Webbs

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
June 14th, 2013

Michelle and Kelley Webb talk about selling their home in Rio Rancho.

Ask Mark & Sheila: Polybutylene Pipes Burst… Who Is Responsible?

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
March 27th, 2013

Q: My house had to be completely replumbed at a cost of thousands of dollars. I was told that inferior pipes were installed by the builder (Amrep). My neighbors are going through the same thing and it’s not the cold weather causing their pipes to suddenly burst. One of the plumbers told me that the cause of all this was actually that the water pressure in the neighborhood was too high. Doesn’t this make the Water Company responsible for all these breakages? We have no way to recoup this tremendous expense as homeowners insurance does not cover this loss. Can you research this problem? PL in Rio Rancho.

A: This is such a common question and concern of Rio Rancho residents, we’re going to spend some extra ink to give you and your neighbors the full story. You did not explain what happened in your home that caused you to replumb it. Usually if a pipe in the wall bursts without outside influence, homeowners insurance companies will cover the loss. They usually won’t replumb the whole house, they’ll just repair the break and any water damage.

Based upon the info you supplied, you probably had polybutylene pipe in your home prior to repiping. Originally referred to as ”The Pipe of the Future”, polybutylene is a semi rigid gray colored plastic pipe which allowed Amrep and other builders across the country to build homes a little quicker and at a lower cost than if they used copper plumbing. Polybutylene pipe had been used successfully in Europe and Asia for many years before a variant of the product was installed in 6-10 million structures in the U.S. The variant used a slightly different material, which was not as durable. In Amrep’s case, during the first few years of use the plumbers doing the installation had issues with making the crimp connections properly. If their tools were not correctly calibrated, they could make too loose a connection, making a future leak likely. If the tool was set a little too tight, they could overstress the pipe at the connection. Eventually microfractures at that joint could become macrofractures, causing a failure. Over time, the installation problems were solved, and the crimp-on connections were changed from plastic bands to copper ones.

The primary failures in plumbing systems in the Amrep homes changed from failures at the crimp connections to mid – pipe failures, often inside walls or under concrete slabs. The theory is that chemicals used to disinfect city water cause a breakdown in the material. The pipes flake and disintegrate from the inside out, making it impossible to know where a failure will occur. It is also known that the pipe does not react well to high water temperatures, usually found within 10 feet of a water heater. Pipe close to the water heater should be copper, or other material which is not so temperature sensitive and then transition to plastic pipe, if that is what you have.

In 1995 a large class action lawsuit against Shell Chemical Company and several other pipe and fitting manufacturers was settled prior to trial and a fund of over $1 Billion was set up to make repairs and to replumb homes that qualified. For many years plumbers put their children through college with the money paid out from this settlement. Not all claims made were legitimate, and there was a lot of misinformation out there. The time for claims to be made under this settlement has now expired, so you can no longer make a claim for reimbursement.

Insurance companies have different attitudes when it comes to polybutylene pipe. Several of the major companies will not knowingly insure a home plumbed with this material. Others have no restriction against it initially, however, if you have a sudden plumbing failure and make a water damage claim, most will pay the claim and then may cancel your insurance policy. If you totally replumb your home with another type of pipe, they may continue to insure the property (unless they determine that the cause of the plumbing failure is likely to reoccur). If you make two water damage claims against your homeowners policy in a five year period, you may not be able to get homeowners insurance at all without paying two to three times the premium amount for a high risk policy. This is one reason to think twice before reporting a loss to your insurance company if the amount of damage is near or below your deductible. They won’t pay you anything and you’ll still get a strike against your claims history.

We talked with Larry Webb, Rio Rancho Utility Division Manager about the water pressure issue. Depending upon where you live, you could very well have higher than normal water pressure at your home. Rio Rancho is hilly in many areas. To get water to homes at the top of a hill, they may have to boost the water pressure at the main. Homes on the same main line near the bottom of the hill would experience higher pressure. Normal water pressure for a home is between 65 and 80 psi (pounds per square inch). According to Mr. Webb, city ordinance authorizes the utility to supply water at between 30 and 125 psi. We have personally seen homes in town where the water pressure was at 125 psi, but never higher. The thing is, if your pipes are in marginal condition, water pressure at the higher range could increase your chance of a leak or an outright plumbing failure. We have actually seen homes where they had a blowout due to high water pressure, had repairs paid for by their insurance company, then had another one within a couple months. To keep this from being an issue, residents where the water pressure is high should consider installing a pressure regulating valve behind the water meter on their main water line. Estimates we got ranged from $250-400 for a plumber to install one. You should also install a thermal expansion tank on your water heater at the same time. When a pressure regulating valve is installed, your home becomes a “closed system”. When you heat the water in your water heater, it expands. If you do not have an expansion tank, this can over pressurize your plumbing, risking damage. This is a $50 part, and takes a couple hours to install. This is cheap compared to dealing with a leak or other plumbing failure, and would have kept the aforementioned homeowners from having a second blowout.

You said that you had replumbed your entire home, but did not share what type of new pipe was used. Here’s a little guidance for your neighbors who might need to do so in the future: There are three types of pipe commonly being used for re-pipes in this area. The gold standard was and still is, Type L copper pipe. This is slightly thicker than type M, and will probably last longer. The cost of copper has shot up in recent years, and proper installation requires some skill and experience, as joints need to be made using solder and a torch. It is pressured rated at 582 psi at 100 degrees Fahrenheit and 475 psi at 200 degrees. If the home is on a raised foundation and the plumbing is in a crawlspace below, be sure to secure the access, as thieves have been known to tear out copper plumbing for the scrap value if they can get to it. Copper pipe is very thermally conductive, and is subject to damage from freezing. The second type of pipe is AquaPex, or Pex pipe, which is cross-linked polyethylene. It is flexible, easy to install, and can often handle freezing temperatures without damage. The joints are crimped in a way similar to polybutylene. AquaPex is rated at 200 psi at 80 degrees and 100 psi at 180 degrees. When used for hot water, if your pressure is too high, you could be exceeding its rated capacity. Most new homes today are being plumbed with this type of pipe. The third type in current use (and the cheapest) is CPVC. It is a white, semi-rigid plastic pipe which is very similar to polybutylene in many ways. It is installed using glue on fittings. It is rated at 480 psi at 73 degrees and 96 psi at 200 degrees. It is sensitive to UV exposure, so it needs to be kept out of sunlight. Over time it can become brittle, so it might not do well if exposed to very cold temperatures. Neither of the plastic pipes should be used where animals or vermin might be able to access it, as they could gnaw through it.

All the plumbers we talked with were in agreement about one thing: No type of pipe lasts forever. While copper pipe sometimes lasts 30-50 years under ideal conditions, plastic pipe may only last 20-25. In some parts of Albuquerque, copper pipe can deteriorate and fail in only 5 years if installed underground, due to the PH of the soil. You need to pick the product which is best suited for your home and your budget, install a pressure regulating valve and an expansion tank if needed, and understand that your home may very well outlast the current plumbing.

Ask Mark & Sheila: How Will HP Layoffs Impact Local Housing Market?

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
February 15th, 2013

Q: My house has been for sale for a couple months. I’m worried that with the layoff of 200 Hewlett Packard employees the local real estate market will be flooded with competition for me. Am I right to be concerned? Nicki in Northern Meadows.

A: First let us say that our hearts go out to the HP employees that have been laid off or who soon will be. Unfortunately, whenever a large employer has to adjust its workforce, people’s lives change, and sometimes their home will too.

We’ve had some experience with this situation in the past with Intel layoffs of up to 1,000 people. Here’s what happened then: Many of the families where someone was laid off were two income households. Though it may have been tough, there was still income to the family while the laid off party looked for another job locally. In a high percentage of cases, the family stayed in their home. Where a decision was made to sell and move away, it sometimes took a long time to decide, further stretching out the process and lessening the impact on the market.

Some employees were renters on 12 month leases, with others on a month to month basis. They were free to move if necessary when their lease was up. Perhaps a few properties went back on the rental market as a result.
In the case of HP, the layoffs may take until the end of October 2013, so the effect on the real estate market will be spread out. Some employees may move with their jobs, but that number has not been disclosed.

The HP facility in Rio Rancho opened in late 2009. Since home prices in the Rio Rancho area have steadily declined since then, employees who purchased a home then and who did not make a substantial down payment are likely to be upside down (owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth). This could result in some homes being marketed as short sales, some homes being lost to foreclosure, and others being rented to cover the mortgage while the owner moves on.

There are just over 600 single family homes for sale currently in Rio Rancho. Because there are multiple paths people will be taking in dealing with the layoff, and their timetables will de different, our best guess is that the number of homes on the market will potentially increase at most 5% at any one time. This is not a big change and should not impact your sale.

Ask Mark & Sheila: Obamacare Home Sale Tax

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
February 15th, 2013

Q: My husband and I are considering selling our home in 2013. We are concerned about the 3.8% “home sales tax” which was buried in the ObamaCare bill. Our home is worth about $200,000 and we’ve lived in it for five years. A tax of $7600 would probably take almost half the profit from our sale. Is there a way to keep more of our profits? Marie in Rio Rancho

A: We have good news for you. You should get to keep all the profits from your home sales! There has been a lot of misinformation disseminated about this tax. Although we are not CPAís, the National Association of Realtors has produced several publications explaining it. We will use an example from their materials.

First, the tax is not on home sales, but on investment income – interest, dividends, rents (after expenses) and capital gains (less losses). There are also exclusions and income limits before the tax is applied. For instance: If your adjusted gross income as a couple is under $250,000 (or $200,000 for an individual) the tax would not apply. If you don’t make this much money, you can stop reading now. For the 3% of the population nationally that does earn this much, let’s go on. Say you sold your primary residence for $825,000. If you purchased it for $300,000 ten years ago your taxable capital gain after taking your $500,000 couple’s personal residence exclusion would be $25,000. ($825,000 – $300,000 = $525,000 – $500,000 exclusion = $25,000 capital gain.) The 3.8% tax would apply to this amount and you would pay $950. That’s not too bad after a $525,000 profit, right? These calculations get a little trickier when dealing with rental income from investment real estate, so we won’t go into that. This is why you have a CPA!

Bottom line, only a small percentage of people make enough income to even consider this tax law. Even those only need look at their investment income, not their earned income, or income from employment. Good luck on your home sale.

6515 Desert Spirit NW Albuquerque

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
December 17th, 2012

5 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths, 3108 Sq Feet, 3 Car Garage

Former Tiffany model home with all the bells and whistles! 2×6 Framing, Pella Windows and Doors, GE Monogram Stainless Steel Appliances, Beautiful Slate Tile, Vigas and Latillas, Custom Cabinetry, Granite Counters and Window Sills throughtout! The back yard is fully landscaped with an Extended Patio and Outdoor Fireplace. The garage is finished with an epoxied floor. The utility room is equiped for 2 pairs washers and dryers. This home is truly a showplace and a warm haven for your family.

2425 Manzano Loop in Rio Rancho, NM

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
September 19th, 2012

4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, 2671 Square Feet, 2 Car Garage and RV Space

Large and light, this home can accommodate a big household, plus an artist, craftsperson, woodworker or anyone that needs a large heated workshop or studio! Located adjacent to open space and within 200ft of the Rio Grande bosque, this home shines with fresh paint inside and out, new carpet, and tile in baths and the kitchen. There are 2 living areas, plus a large 18×14 den, office or home theater. The 3 car garage has one RV height door and is deep enough to handle an RV up to 24.5 ft long.

1914 Western Hills in Rio Rancho, NM

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
September 10th, 2012

3 Bedrooms plus a Den, 2 Bathrooms, 2187 Square Feet, 2 Car Garage

With 3 bedrooms, a den and large living spaces, this home has lots of space for your household. Features like hot water recirculation for instant hot water, double ovens for holiday cooking, 2 kitchen pantries and solid surface kitchen counters set this home apart. The double door refrigerator has water and ice at the door. There are recessed lights, upgraded fixtures, a kiva style gas log fireplace, a covered patio and a fully landscaped back yard. Visit this one before it is gone!

304 2nd Street in Rio Rancho NM

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
June 19th, 2012

3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, 2000 Square Ft

The owner of this home put $10s of Thousand$ into upgrades. Now it is YOUR turn to enjoy them! The kitchen remodel is to die for, with all stainless steel, top of the line LG appliances, solid surface counter tops and shiny decorative metal backsplash. Out back, the covered patio is just the beginning of the entertainment space, which includes a hot tub, gardens of flowers and pathways. There are vegetable gardens, a storage shed, back yard access and Mountain and City Light VIEWS!

2230 Cortina Loop SE in Rio Rancho, NM

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
June 7th, 2012

3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, 2249 Square Ft

You will love this spacious townhome in a gated community in Cabezon. Just steps to a park, close to walking trails and a community pool. There is a beautifully upgraded kitchen with granite counters, a pantry and stainless steel appliances. Upstairs there is a quiet loft, upgraded lighting, decorator paint and large bedrooms with walk-in closets. Outside, a concrete patio spans almost the width of the lot!This home has lots of space and loads of personality for you to enjoy! Come see it!

6316 Crabtree Court NW in Albuquerque NM

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
June 7th, 2012

3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, 1596 Square Ft

This one of a kind townhome is tucked away in a cul de sac near the Petroglyph Monument. With stainless steel appliances, granite tile counters, custom maple cabinetry, unusual architechtural features and hand carved vigas inside and out, you won’t find anything like it elsewhere! The spacious 3 car garage can be a great workshop, complete with radiant heat and its own half bath. The home is energy efficient, with heating and cooling costs well below average. Come take a look!

3909 Saint Andrews Dr. SE – Rio Rancho NM

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
May 24th, 2012

4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, 3465 Square Ft

Do you have a big household? Then this may be the house for you! This custom home sits on a half acre lot that backs up to Chamisa Hills Golf Course. The owners have invested in this home, so you will not need to. You will love the long granite counters in the huge kitchen, the stainless steel appliances, the pellet stove in the spacious family room and the tiled wet bar. New windows and sliding doors were recently installed, significantly upgrading the homes energy efficiency and beauty.


Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
October 28th, 2011

River’s Edge III is the newest and last subdivision of the River’s Edge neighborhood in Rio Rancho, NM. Located between Pat D’Arco Highway (Hwy 528) and the Rio Grande bosque, there are just under 600 homes, many of which have unparalleled views of the Sandia mountains and the river. Amrep Southwest developed the neighborhoods, building about 500 homes in the third subdivision, and selling most of the lots facing the bosque to custom and semi-custom builders for more expensive homes. One of the big attractions of living in River’s Edge is the easy access to the bosque walking trails, although you will find dozens of locals walking the streets of the neighborhood at dawn and at dusk, when it cools off.

Rio Rancho, NM Home Sales – Quantifying the trend in graphs.

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
September 7th, 2010

Much time is spent on analyzing and trying to predict the housing market. Below are some  home sales statistics for the Rio Rancho, NM housing market compiled by Al-tos Research, a California firm that specializes in housing research for cities all across the U.S. As you see, the median sale price in the Rio Rancho, NM market has been dropping pretty consistently over the last 12 months. Their proprietary Market Activity Index, which combines inventory levels, absorbtion rates, changes in median sale prices and other factors gives a snapshot as to whether the market indicates a “buyer’s market” or a “sellers market’. A number near 30 on their scale, would indicate a market in balance. A lower number, as is currently displayed indicates a definite buyer’s market right now.

Rio Rancho Home Sales

The Days on Market chart can actually be deceiving, as it only tracks the time that homes which have sold are staying on the market. Hundreds of homes which never sell at all, are not factored into this statistic. The Price per Square Foot chart is useful, as it mirrors the overall price movement in the market. As you can see in the last chart, the inventory of Rio Rancho, NM homes has moved up since January. Of course, this change influences all of the other graphs, as a higher inventory most often causes downward pressure on prices, and increases the buyer’s market condition.Rio Rancho NM Home Sale Stats

Al-tos Research offers their statistical services to home buyers and sellers nationwide.