1000 New Mexicans Walk for Their Men

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
June 20th, 2010

On June 12, 2010 around 1000 participants converged on Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque for the 1st Annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Walk, dubbed the “Walk For Your Man”. Although 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes, a lot of  men avoid going to the doctor for a simple test for the disease. The event name refers to the fact that often wives and partners are the ones that get educated and push their men to go have a PSA test or other screening.  

The Prostate Cancer Support Association of New Mexico is a local non-profit that provides education, support, and encouragement to men and their families throughout the state in making informed decisions for the detection and management of prostate cancer. With state funding for their activities drying up, the organizers are hoping that this annual event will provide funding for their continued operations.

Joe DiazChief Meteorologist Joe Diaz on KOAT TV was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 — a disease that killed his father years ago. Joe, KOAT, and a number of other corporate sponsors pledged and delivered funds, supplies and marketing for this worthwhile event.  Joe has shared publicly how he dealt with the news, went through surgery, and how it all changed his – and his family’s – lives. Joe emceed the day and the station gave lots of air time to cover the event.

Joe’s wife Diane Diaz, who is a Senior Buyer Representative with the Mark & Sheila Real Estate Team at Coldwell Banker Legacy, raised hundreds of dollars in donations from Coldwell Banker Associates, staff and affiliates, including Legacy Mortgage. However, perhaps more importantly, the combined effort of all involved raised the awareness of the disease (and the need to get screened) of tens of thousands in the Albuquerque Metro area.

Rio Rancho, NM Home Prices Drop – Best Time to Sell?

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
June 14th, 2010

June 2009 - May 2010 Home Prices

The chart above shows the trend of list prices of homes in Rio Rancho for a year (ending May 31, 2010). As you can see, the Southern half of the city (87124) was slightly worse off than the Northern half (87144), with the average price being down about 10% year over year.  My guess for the reason that prices in 87144 did not drop as much, is that they had already dropped a lot more in the previous couple years due to a much higher inventory, and they are nearer to hitting bottom than the Southern half of the city.  Most home owners, when they see numbers like this would not consider this a good time to try and sell their home.  However, our analysis shows that we are probably 18 months away from hitting the bottom price-wise in Rio Rancho, or on the West side of Albuquerque. Although the exact number is hard to predict, an additional slide of 10% in market prices over the next year and a half in those areas would not surprise us.

Once we hit bottom, we believe the market will linger there for about a year. From then on, we predict modest increases in prices of 2%, 2.5% or 3% max per year for the following 4 years. If you were to graph that trend, it would look like a valley, with our current prices on top on one side, and prices just reaching the same level on the other side in 5-6 years! So, when trying to decide if it’s time to sell (or time to buy), you really have to look out several years. In many cases, the best time to Sell would be right now, vs another time in the next 5 years! It may seem counter-intuitive to sell when prices are down from their peak, but it’s still the best time we’ll see for some years to come….

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June 9th, 2010

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April Home Sales in the Albuquerque / Rio Rancho NM Metro Area Continue to Improve

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
May 28th, 2010

Recovery in the  Albuquerque / Rio Rancho Metro area residential real estate market continued during April. The 678 sales of single family detached homes closed during the month were a seven percent increase from March. The April sales performance represented a 25% jump from April 2009 and the best April sales figure since 2007. The number of pending sales was 1,271 during April. This was an 18% improvement from March and a 52% increase from April 2009. The 1st Time Buyer Tax Credit expired April 30, providing an incentive for buyers to get offers in place by that date. We believe that the tax credit may have increased April sales by as much as 30% over where it might have been without it. 

 During April, 1,869 single family homes were newly listed for sale, a 10% increase from March and up 28% from April 2009. The total number of single family homes listed for sale was 5,069 during April, down 6.1% from a year ago. Even as the number of new listings has increased, the total number of Albuquerque / Rio Rancho area homes offered for sale has declined during each month of 2010. For townhouses and condominiums, the number of new listings, pending sales and closed sales increased over April 2009. The increases were by greater percentages than for detached homes. A home sold during April was on the market an average of 74 days. That was two days less than during March and 11 days less than April 2009. Average and median sales prices for detached homes held steady as compared to April 2009. For April the absorption rate was 7.9 months, the lowest of the year. This means that at the present sales pace, it would take 7.9 months to sell all the homes currently offered for sale. The April 2009 absorption rate was 9.3 months.  The West Side of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho still have the most inventory.

How To Improve Your Credit to Get a Mortgage.

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
May 27th, 2010

If you have had credit problems, discuss them honestly with your mortgage professional. Responsible loan officers and underwriters know there can be legitimate reasons for credit problems, such as unemployment, illness or other financial difficulties. Unfortunately, if you’ve had these problems recently, lending guidelines won’t let them approve a mortgage for you. However, if your problems have been corrected, and your payments have been on time for a year or more, your credit may be considered satisfactory.

If you currently have an excessive amount of debt, there are four ways to control it:

1. If your credit is not in awful shape, you can reduce your other expenses, even if it means making hard choices or changing your lifestyle to fit your income. Consider any or all of the following:

Selling that second car;
Taking equity out of your home;
Applying for a non-secured signature loan at a credit union(they may have different lending standards);
Obtaining a loan from a relative;
Selling your home, paying off your debts with the proceeds and then renting;
Cashing out your 401K/retirement benefits or selling family heirlooms, jewelry;
Selling a kidney…  (well, maybe not the last one…).

2. If your credit is already damaged or one of the above isn’t an option, contact Consumer Credit Counseling Services or another credit repair service. Check your yellow pages for the local number. CCCS may be able to help you pay off your debts as if you were in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you don’t actually file for bankruptcy. (Be sure to check them out with the local Better Business Bureau, especially before giving them any money.)

3. If  a credit repair service is not a good match for your situation, you may want to consider bankruptcy. Claiming Chapter 13 bankruptcy takes longer than a Chapter 7, but your credit will end up in a little better standing. Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives you up to 5 years to pay off your debts. The disadvantage is that you’re in bankruptcy for up to 5 years plus your credit report shows your bankruptcy for 7 more years after you have finished paying off your debts.

4. If you are so far in debt that you can never repay it, then the best solution may be a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the least desirable from a credit standpoint, but you are typically out of bankruptcy in 6 months and you don’t have to repay any debt. The disadvantage is that this shows on your credit report for 10 years from the date of filing your bankruptcy. Lenders are starting to tighten their credit requirements, and you may have a tough time getting future financing.

If your situation dictates that you choose from items 2, 3, or 4 above, you can probably forget about getting a mortgage anytime soon. Lending requirements have gotten much stiffer lately, and even 1 or 2 “lates” on a credit record can derail your loan application today. However, if things really are that bad, the more drastic measures may be needed as a first step to getting back on track for the future. (Be sure to talk with a CPA and an attorney specializing in such matters before making your choice.)

If you’re debts are under control now, but want to improve your bad credit history, the most important step is to START PAYING YOUR BILLS ONTIME! There is no substitute for this simple, basic practice.

Remember, it’s the day your payment is received that counts, not the postmark date. Give the post office sufficient time (five business days-at least) to deliver your mail. Late payments may mean late fees, higher interest, and/or a negative mark on your credit report. If you’ve already filed for bankruptcy, and even after being relieved of your debt you still pay your bills late, lenders will probably not consider giving you new credit, let alone a mortgage.

Taking money from your retirement account or tapping the cash value of your life insurance policy to pay bills or living expenses may have serious implications you haven’t considered, so again, get advice from an expert before you take any major financial actions.

This information was supplied by Chris Russo, Loan Officer with Legacy Mortgage in Albuquerque. We highly recommend Chris. You can reach him at the Legacy Mortgage Website.

Meet your friends at the Idalia Road Marketplace in Rio Rancho!

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
May 23rd, 2010

The Idalia Road Marketplace is an outdoor shopping hub of great food, arts and crafts, music, entertainment, and local and organic fresh produce. The next time you’re looking for someplace different to go on a Saturday or Sunday morning, give IRM a try.  Don’t eat breakfast before you go… you can get a great breakfast burrito, a fruit smoothie, great coffee, and some luscious French pastries there! I visited today, and bought some fresh yellow squash, some HUGE Haas avocados and some fresh corn on the cob – all for about 30-40% less than the price I’d pay at  a commercial grocery store (they were bigger and fresher too)! This is the first outdoor marketplace in the Rio Rancho area, and the owners (Marc and Phyllis Calderwood) have gone all out to provide a great retail space for the vendors, and a pleasant and different experience for shoppers. Give it a try!

HUD changes the rules mid sale… Not fair!

Written by Diane Diaz
May 13th, 2010

So you’re a 1st Time Homebuyer who has played by all the rules, made sure you were under contract before April 30th, and you’re scheduled to close before June 30th of this year. By following the rules, you’ll be receiving the $8000 1st Time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit. Everything should be perfect, right????  Not necessarily…

 A client of mine in the Albuquerque area went under contract March 3rd to buy a Menaul Villas condo.  This condo is currently being built and is on track to be completed in time to close before June 30th.  So what’s the problem?

 The Listing Broker for the Condo Development informed me yesterday about a potential glitch that has come up.  Sometime after our contract was written (around the April 30th deadline for being under contract), the federal government changed the rules for condo phase approvals for FHA Mortgages.  This approval process used to take 2-3 weeks through FHA, but now they have decided this approval process will be handled by HUD (the Housing and Urban Development Dept.).  Now for the glitch…. The new process will take 4-6 weeks! How does this affect my client?  By doubling the approval time, my Client will most likely not close by June 30th, losing the $8000 Tax Credit.

 I’ve decided to write NM Sen. Tom Udall to explain our dilemma. I am asking him to look in to this situation to see what can be done. My client has played by the rules, but the rules were changed in the middle of the game!  This doesn’t quite seem fair to me.  Interestingly enough, this only affects Buyers of condos.  If you were purchasing a Single Family Home, this change has no effect whatsoever.

 Why would I go to these lengths to help my Client?  As a Realtor who works specifically with Buyers in the Albuquerque/Rio Rancho area, I am an advocate for my Buyers.  I am looking out for their best interests. Many times potential Buyers will walk into a new Home Builder’s Model and write an offer with the person behind the desk  – who works for the Builder! So if you’re looking for a new home, take your Realtor with you.  That way you’ll have someone there on your side!

 I’ll keep you posted about my progress on this situation in my next blog!

Albuquerque: The Unknown (What’s it like to live here?)

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
May 4th, 2010

    We came across this video today and just had to share… In May of 2007, Sony opened its Imageworks Animation Studio in Albuquerque to take advantage of state offered tax incentives and to participate in the burgeoning local film production industry. (Probably as a recruiting tool), this video was created to tell the story of the first 40 employees, who for the most part were moving to an unknown community.  The sentiments shared by the relocated animators, production staff and technicians mirror those of most people I meet who have moved here from out of state – they are pleasantly surprised and newly enthusiastic about their new home once they experience it. 

The film is 25 minutes long, but if you are considering relocating to the Albuquerque area, what’s 25 minutes of research vs the good information to be received?

(To play the clip full screen, click on the icon just to the right of the volume control.)

Rio Rancho, NM 87124 Average Listing Prices

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
April 26th, 2010
Rio Rancho NM Average Home Listing Prices

Rio Rancho NM Average Home Listing Prices