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Archives: August 2019

Kicking Clutter to the Curb: Transform Your Home with These 4 Decluttering Tips

We’ve all been there. One day, you look around your house, and there’s just So. Much. Stuff. Stuff in boxes, stuff on the walls, stuff in the corners—just…stuff. If you’re gearing up to sell your home, you’re going to have to deal with all that accumulated clutter eventually. Luckily, there are plenty of simple strategies for getting the job done! 

Arm yourself for the Crusade Against the Clutter, and use these top tips to transform your home before selling.

Start Early

A to-do list.

If you aren’t prepared, things can quickly get overwhelming. After all, you’re not only getting your home ready to sell, but you’re also packing things up, finding a new home, and dealing with your finances. It makes sense that decluttering your home isn’t first on your list, but it’s one of the most important steps! 

Before you list your home, you want the space to be ready to wow buyers from the second they walk through the door. If you kick off your decluttering months in advance, you’ll be in much better shape come listing time. 

Expand Your Storage

An organized silverware drawer.

For many people, clutter accumulates simply because they don’t know what they actually have. An easy way to fix this issue and make your home more organized is by coming up with an intentional storage solution

Hit the store and pick up some sliding storage and plastic tubs, then label each unit and keep it stored anyway until needed. That way, you’ll know exactly what you have and where it is. Never worry about misplaced holiday decorations or a surplus of school supplies ever again! Plus, a lot of your stuff will already be neatly packed away come moving time.

Take It Little by Little

A man and woman carrying boxes.

Decluttering can be a long process, filling up nights and weekends and free time—especially if you put it off until the last minute. Luckily, if you start ahead of time, you’ll have the luxury of taking it little by little. And not just one room at a time—we mean really little, like an hour or two hours spent on just the kitchen cabinets or bedroom closets. 

You can even make it fun! Get everybody in the house together and play a game of 12-12-12. The rules are simple: walk through the house and find 12 items you want to keep, 12 items you want to get rid of, and 12 items you want to sell/donate. You’d be surprised how quickly you can reduce your clutter after a few rounds, and it only takes a couple of minutes!

Make it FAST

Clutter.

For the last tip, we’ve gotten the inside scoop from professional organizer, Peter Walsh. Walsh says that decluttering is as simple as remembering this short acronym:

Fix a time. Plan ahead, and find a time that works for everyone in the house—and make attendance mandatory!

Anything not used in twelve months. If you haven’t used it in a year, then you probably don’t need it. Ask yourself a few questions: Do I need it? Is it valuable to me? Is it worth the space it’s taking up? If no, then kick it to the curb. 

Someone else’s stuff. Still have that borrowed tupperware? Give it back. Holding onto things that family members have left behind? Send it their way. If it’s not yours, find a new home for it!

Trash. It’s easy to get sentimental and hold onto things that are well past their expiration date (metaphorically speaking). Don’t be afraid to take the plunge—and maybe even go overboard—and trash some of your older belongings. If you don’t want to go full in and trash it, then you can always donate it to a good cause. 

Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Decluttering is just one small step in the selling journey—albeit a fairly time-consuming one. Luckily, we’re here to help you carry the load! Give us a call to learn a few more tips for getting rid of your clutter and staging your home for success.

In the meantime, feel free to explore our additional selling resources, like our neighborhood sold report and Comparative Market Analysis, and let us know when you’re ready to get started!

A Hidden Gem in Northern ABQ: Explore this Harvest Lane Home

Recently remodeled with an exceptional price tag, 2628 Harvest Lane NW is tucked away in Northern Albuquerque, removed from the hustle and bustle but close enough to be Downtown within minutes.

With a stunning stucco exterior and nearly 3,000 square feet in space, every room of the home was carefully designed to impress. Get a look at a few of our favorite details of 2628 Harvest Lane NW, and give us a call to see more in person!

Luxurious Gourmet Kitchen

The kitchen at 2628 Harvest Lane NW.

When it comes to kitchen space, we might have a bit of culinary envy. Marble, granite, and wood accents, tie the space together, and the stainless steel appliances are all top-of-the-line models.

Windows line the walls, allowing for ample natural lighting to flood the room, and the center island is the perfect place to enjoy a tasty weekend brunch!

Rustic Living Space

The living space at 2628 Harvest Lane NW.

The living areas of the home feature dramatic soaring pine ceilings and banks of oversized windows. Every morning, the sunlight reflects off of every surface in the room, creating a bath of warm natural lighting.

In the corner, you’ll find a rustic, wood-burning furnace, perfect for huddling around on those rare chilly nights. If you need to unwind after a busy day, the living space will hep you get centered.

Warm Master Suite & Bath

The master suite at 2628 Harvest Lane NW.

You’ll find that those lovely pine ceilings from the living space are also present in the master bedroom, accented by light green walls to give the room a classic outdoorsy feel. Just off the master suite, you’ll also find a private deck that looks out onto the peaceful surrounding natural area.

The master bathroom carries through the similar design elements, like the raised pine ceilings and wood accents, and also features a spacious dual-sink vanity equipped with modern lighting.

Work-from-Home Office Space

The office space at 2628 Harvest Lane NW.

Need to call in sick for a day or finish a few things up after hours? You can comfortably work from home thanks to the office space on the ground floor! Built-in cabinets and shelves line the walls, so you’ll never run out of space for storage.

Not sold on the idea of a home office? No problem! The space has the potential to transform into anything, from an art studio to a playroom.

Cozy Outdoor Space

The backyard at 2628 Harvest Lane NW.

The backyard of 2628 Harvest Lane NW has to be one of our favorite parts of the home. Verdant trees and bushes dot the yard, hiding the rustic coyote fencing that lines the property. A small shed sits in the corner of the lot, perfect for storing your extra gardening supplies!

The home also offers a spacious cement patio, covered by the deck off the master suite. Enjoy the sounds of singing birds and chirping crickets every night under the warm glow of the Edison bulbs! If you’re an outdoors lover, this space was made for you.

Ready to See More?

There’s plenty left to explore at 2628 Harvest Lane NW—why not see it for yourself? Give us a call today, and we’ll set up your private showing ASAP.

In the market to buy a home in Albuquerque but still not sure what you’re looking for? Use our buying resources and specialized search tool to get started, and let us know if you have any questions!

Discover the Serenity, Sights, and Sounds of Life in Alvarado Gardens

Tucked along the lazy banks of the Rio Grande, minutes from the buzzy hub of arts and culture in Downtown Albuquerque, surrounded by natural beauty on all sides—that’s where you’ll find the Alvarado Gardens community.

If you’re looking for a home that combines natural beauty and city convenience, your search is over. Get to know a little more about this charming community in Albuquerque’s North Valley—your new home is waiting.

Explore the Great Outdoors

A tree by a waterfront.

Even though the Alvarado Gardens neighborhood is minutes away from Downtown Albuquerque—around 10, to be exact—the unique location of the neighborhood is anything but metropolitan. The cozy residential streets are lined with vibrant trees and small, verdant bushes and shrubs.

Along the boundaries of the neighborhood, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to get outside—especially considering the community backs right up to the banks of the Rio Grande. Next to the river, there’s winding nature trails to explore, wide-open space at the Rio Grande Nature Center park, and tons of aquatic activities on the water. The park also offers things like bird watching, self-guided exhibits, and scenic overlooks (perfect for a weekend picnic).

Hang out in the Community

Hot air balloons.

Albuquerque is known for some pretty iconic events, but the Neighborhood Association of Alvarado Gardens also stays fairly active throughout the year! You can expect anything from yard sales to block parties, all within the streets of the community.

Since the heart of the city is close by, it’s easy to navigate traffic and attend the highly anticipated annual events, too. Of course, the International Balloon Festival is a can’t-miss, bringing hundreds of giant hot balloons to the skies and hundreds of thousands of visitors to Albuquerque. Other highlights during the year include the New Mexico State Fair and the Downtown Growers’ Market.

Indulge in Local Flavors

People at a restaurant.

Looking for a quick bite to eat or a romantic spot to enjoy dinner? You won’t have to travel far from your front door to find it. Range Cafe is just down the road and serves up breakfast all day long—their huevos con queso is a flavor explosion. For a refined night out, check the French fare at nearby D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro. Finish things off with a local brew from Ponderosa!

Of course these are just a few of the closest options—there are plenty more restaurants to explore throughout the city. You should also check out Mary & Tito’s ( a local institution since the 1960s), the famous tacos at Garcia’s Kitchen, and the modern fare at Restaurant Antiquity.

Travel to the Heart of the City within Minutes

Albuquerque at night.

One of the biggest perks of Alvarado Gardens has to be the way the neighborhood perfectly meshes peace and quiet with city access. Downtown Albuquerque—where you’ll find major spots like Old Town, several diverse museum, and the Albuquerque Convention Center— is just 10 minutes away from the tree-lined serenity of Alvarado Gardens.

Not only that, but NM-45 and I-40 are just a few blocks away, meaning you can quickly and easily travel to anywhere in the area, from Cibola National Forest to Santa Fe.

Find Your Home in Alvarado Gardens

We’ve only scratched the surface of all that life in Alvarado Gardens has to offer. Why not explore more for yourself? Take a look at our in-depth guide to life in the neighborhood and the city, browse our buying resources, and give us a call when you’re ready to find your new home here.

Mortgage 101: What To Know Before You Apply

Everybody loves talking about mortgages. They’re fun, easy to understand, and a great icebreaker, right?….Wrong. Thanks to their lengthy process, technical jargon, and confusing options, mortgages have a bit of an intimidating reputation—but it doesn’t have to be that way!

If you’re in the process of buying a new home and dreading the mortgage application process, here’s what you need to know to keep things running smoothly. 

Know How Much You Can Spend

A person holding up money.

If you’re feeling antsy about getting started and want a general idea of how much loan you might qualify for, consider the 28/36 rule, or the Debt-to-Income ratio—AKA what most lenders use to help calculate your mortgage. 

Essentially, the 28/36 rule means that your monthly mortgage payment shouldn’t be more than 28% of your gross income. Additionally, your outstanding debts—like mortgage, car loans, student loans—shouldn’t account for more than 36% of your gross income.

Get Your Finances in Order

Statistics on a laptop.

Not seeing the numbers you were hoping for after calculating your Debt-to-Income ratio? Then, hopefully, you’ve given yourself a little time to shift things in your favor. Paying off loans, improving your credit score, avoiding big purchases—these will all help you change those numbers. 

Of course, completing those tasks is a little harder to do in practice than in theory, so you may have to take a look at your budget and see where you can cut out some extras—at least temporarily!

What You’ll Need to Apply

Paperwork.

In the weeks before you plan on applying for a mortgage, you should start collecting all of the documents you need. Since a lender will be telling you exactly how much money they’re willing to loan, they’ll need a comprehensive understanding of your finances beforehand. Start gathering things like:

  • W2s/tax returns
  • Photo ID
  • Your two most recent pay stubs
  • Current and prior addresses
  • Asset information (retirement funds, 401(k), stocks and bonds, other investments) 
  • Gift letters

Depending on the lender you choose, you may need additional documents, so consider calling in to double-check beforehand. 

Find the Right Mortgage

Three women pointing at a laptop.

Once it’s time to start thinking more concretely about applying for a mortgage, you have several options to consider. While all the mortgage options out there could easily fill a whole blog post on their own, here’s a quick rundown to give you a general idea:

  • Conventional/Fixed-rate:  The interest rate of a fixed-rate loan won’t change over time, making it a popular choice for its predictability. Conventional loans typically require a 20% down payment or mortgage insurance for smaller down payments.
  • Adjustable-rate: The interest rate of adjustable-rate mortgage will fluctuate over time, sometimes lower than fixed-rate, sometimes higher. There is a cap in place so the rate doesn’t get too out of control, but ARMs are typically more popular with those who plan to refinance.
  • FHA: If you are struggling to come up with a down payment, you may have options with an FHA mortgage. Provided by the Federal Housing Administration, these loans come with a low down payment requirement and built-in mortgage insurance.
  • USDA: Live in a rural area? Then check out your USDA eligibility! A surprising amount of areas qualify for USDA loans, even if you aren’t living in the countryside. Plus, USDA loans don’t require a down payment and offer lower insurance premiums.

These aren’t the only options you’ll have, just the most common. If none of these sound right or you aren’t sure which to choose, just ask your lender!

Choose the Right Lender

When it comes time to decide who to work with, you’ll have to do your research. Each lender is different, meaning they’ll likely offer you different rates, charges, and loan options. 

Luckily, we’ve been working in real estate around the area for years, so we know exactly which lenders are right for which buyers. If you need a few suggestions before you kick off your search, just let us know! 

Still Have Questions?

That’s okay—we get it. Applying for mortgage is confusing and challenging, especially if it’s your first time. If you have any questions about the process, we’re here to help. 

Ready to start looking at a few homes in your price range? We can help with that, too! Check out our specialized search tool to narrow down your options, and give us a call to start seeing a few in person!

Let’s Get Started

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