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Archives: January 2018

Jumpstart the New Year: 3 Goals for Your Home

A 30-day calendar with the number 18 circled in red marker.We’re almost three weeks into the New Year, but it’s not too late to develop goals for 2018.

Now is the perfect time to jump right in and start fresh in your current home! Need ideas? Here are a few real estate goals that you can achieve this year.

Fix Those Pesky Maintenance Issues

Maybe it’s a leaky faucet. Maybe it’s a drafty window. Maybe it’s a clogged shower drain. You can probably think of one or two issues off the top of your head that you haven’t gotten around to addressing yet. The New Year is the perfect time to get those problems fixed.

Reclaim That New-to-You Feeling

The longer you live in your home, the easier it is to let the clutter build up in your closets, attic, or garage. Make 2018 your year to reorganize!

A well lit living room with a flat screen TV on the wall, a beige couch under a window, and a wooden table in the center.

Don’t try to tackle these massive home organization projects in a weekend. Instead, follow these tips to slowly but surely reduce the clutter in your home:

  • Sort through one room (or one storage space) at a time.
  • Separate the items you want to keep, donate, and toss out.
  • Expand your storage space with shelves or over-the-door organizers.

Sell Your Home in 2018

If you have been thinking about selling your home, why not start your research early? The more information you have, the more prepared you will be when you finally list your home. Here are a few ways to start:

  • Hire a home inspector to identify any major maintenance issues — Call us and we’ll provide recommendations.
  • Learn more about the local real estate market — Ask us for a report of recent home sales.
  • Find out what your home is worth — Contact us for a complimentary evaluation.
  • Start cleaning and decluttering your home — Get in touch for additional ideas.

We’re Here to Help You Achieve Your Real Estate Goals

We have all the information you need to know about the local real estate market and the home selling process. Contact us today and we’ll provide you with our best resources.

Why We Give to All Faiths

Young boy sitting on a train platform reading.As members of the Albuquerque community, we believe in the power of giving back. Donating to local charity organizations is a core tenet of our real estate mission, because it enhances our community. Whenever possible, we like to make financial donations to a local charity that has helped thousands of New Mexicans.

All Faiths is a behavioral health agency that seeks to empower New Mexicans by “creating pathways to prevent and transcend the effects of trauma and abuse.” We believe in the work that they do because they have directly benefited the lives of children and families throughout New Mexico.

Continue reading to learn about some of the reasons why we donate $500 from every closing to this incredible organization.

All Faiths

The organization began as a grassroots effort in 1955. Eight women of different faiths and backgrounds joined together to create a committee to opening a center for children in need.

The home officially opened in 1956. During this first year, around 138 children were served. During the 2015-2015 year, the All Faiths Children’s Safehouse served more than 1,100 children who had been victims of abuse.

Children’s Advocacy

Two children smiling over a plant.At its center, All Faiths is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children. They do this by working as an advocacy group on behalf of children throughout New Mexico who may be suffering from trauma or abuse.

All Faiths accomplishes its goals by offering a number of different services to children and families and needs. They offer family wellness courses, investigation, outpatient treatment and therapy, counseling, and community based behavioral health.

In addition to these services, the All Faiths organization strives to continually improve its services offered. In part, All Faiths serves children and families by partnering with other agencies dedicated to children’s advocacy.

Doing Our Part

We support All Faiths because we believe that all children have the right to a safe and happy childhood. In addition, we agree with their mission statement and the work they do to improve the lives of children in New Mexico.

There are a number of fantastic charity organizations in New Mexico, but we felt most compelled to donate to All Faiths because of the sensitive work they do. They have a holistic approach to children’s advocacy, and offer custom solutions to children of differing backgrounds.

If You Have Any Questions…

Please reach out. We would love to chat with you about the many reasons we donate to All Faiths. You can also read more about their mission on their website.

6 Ways to Save for Your Down Payment

A 20% down payment is a significant chunk of change. But with enough time to prepare and a little bit of creative budgeting, you’ll be able to save up for your new home sooner than you think. Follow these helpful budgeting tips to get started!

Break Down Your Budget

Closeup of the black and white number keys on a basic calculator.While it’s never a bad idea to start saving for a down payment, it’s an even better idea to analyze your budget before you consider a home purchase. This will help you set realistic expectations and concrete goals.

First, make a list of all of your necessary monthly expenditures — rent, power, water, phone service, student loans, etc. Add these expenditures up and subtract them from your monthly take-home pay. Then, look at everything that is left over and consider what to cut back.

After you’ve taken a look at your spending, determine what home price range (and, consequently, a 20% down payment) you could comfortably afford based on your current monthly budget. Our handy mortgage payment calculator might help!

Set a Concrete Savings Goal

Once you have an idea of how much money you’ll need to put down toward your new home, set a timeline for your savings. For instance, if you need to save up $20,000 for a down payment and want to move in five years, consider setting a savings goal of $335 per month.

Use a finance app like Mint to track your spending and your savings. Apps like these may also provide you with your credit score, which is essential to receiving the mortgage you need.

Get Prequalified for a Mortgage

A calculator sitting next to a paper document, which is signed at the bottom.Setting goals based on your current spending is a great place to start. To take the next step to buying your new home, meet with a lender about prequalifying for a mortgage.

Prequalifying for a mortgage will let you know how much financing you may qualify for — and how much you’ll need to save for your down payment. When you talk with a lender, ask for the maximum amount of financing that’s available to you based on your credit score and financial history. This may open up a lot of options when you’re searching for homes.

Not sure how to find a reputable mortgage broker? Give us a call and we can connect you with a trusted local lender.

Find Creative Ways to Save Money

If you’re having trouble meeting your savings goals for the month, even after you’ve carefully budgeted for the essentials, find ways to cut out superfluous spending or think of ways to earn a little bit of cash on the side. For example, you can:

  • Sell gently used clothing and household items at a yard sale
  • Substitute a movie streaming service for cable TV
  • Collect your loose change in a jar and cash it in every month
  • Use coupons while shopping at the supermarket
  • Use browser extensions like Honey to save while shopping online

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

A young woman holding colorful shopping bags in her hand over her shoulder.Saving for a down payment is no easy task. Every time you reach a major milestone, be sure to congratulate yourself!

Obviously, don’t spend all of that money in one place, but feel free to treat yourself to something special to reward yourself for your hard work.

Consider Home Buying Assistance Programs

Are you still having trouble saving for a 20% down payment? It might be worth looking into home buying assistance programs, such as FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans.

How Can We Help You Achieve Your Goals?

We are always available to discuss your home buying plans. Connect with us and we can provide you with the resources and advice you need.