ALBUQUERQUE HOME SELLER TIPS

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

ALBUQUERQUE IS STILL ON TOP!

The most recent CNN story referenced a list of housing areas that would be on the decline in the next year - well Albuquerque was NOT one of them! You can see, we are forecast to be on top for yet another year!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Albuquerque is Another Hot Spot

Published: 08.06.2006 Orbitz: Albuquerque will be a hot spot soon By Erik Siemers SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE World travelers, take note: Albuquerque should be on your list of must-see places. And don't forget Iceland. That's the advice offered by travel experts from the online travel agency Orbitz, who predict that Albuquerque will become a top destination in the next five years, along with Reykjavik, Iceland; New Orleans; Shanghai, China; and Cape Town, South Africa. Happy mayor It's another list that's got Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez cooing. "The old days of people coming to Albuquerque only as a means of getting to Santa Fe really will be done over the next five years," Chavez said. "It doesn't mean people won't still go to Santa Fe, but it will be a day trip away from their stay in Albuquerque." A marketing dream Albuquerque's standing on prominent national lists has become a marketing dream come true for the city. Albuquerque in May topped Forbes magazine's annual list of Best Places for Business and Careers, which resulted in Chavez being interviewed last month for a program on the Fine Living Network cable channel. Pushing for more air carriers The Orbitz distinction, which is part of the travel site's five-year anniversary celebration, gives the city ammunition for pushing more air carriers to provide service to Albuquerque, Chavez said. Chavez said he'll be adding the news to a presentation he'll give in a few weeks in Guadalajara, Mexico. City officials are still working to secure direct flights from Albuquerque to Mexico. "We can go to Frontier (Airlines), or the Mexican carriers, and say, 'We're one of the top five destinations over the next five years,' " Chavez said. " 'Wouldn't it be nice if they go there on your airline? As a matter of fact, how can you avoid not having your airline come here?' " All content copyright © 1999-2006 AzStarNet, Arizona Daily Star

Friday, July 28, 2006

Albuquerque named top five destination hotspots by Orbitz

New Mexico Business Weekly - 5:25 PM MDT Wednesday Online travel site Orbitz has named Albuquerque as one of the top five future tourist destination hot spots. Albuquerque made the list along with Reykjavik, Iceland; New Orleans; Cape Town, South Africa; and Shanghai, China. However, it did miss Orbitz's list of top five domestic and international destinations during the past five years. Topping that list was Chicago, London, Las Vegas and Cancun, Mexico. Albuquerque was cited for its "hot climate and variety of world class resorts rising in the area," according to an Orbitz release. The International Balloon Fiesta was also cited as a must-see attraction, as well as the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and Old Town's San Felipe de Neri Church. Orbitz is the third largest online travel company that offers a wide variety of travel products, including airline tickets, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. It launched its Web site, www.orbitz.com, in June 2001. It was named the independent travel Web site with the highest customer satisfaction rate by J.D. Power and Associates

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

HOLLYWOOD COMES TO ALBUQUERQUE

The Albuquerque Tribune By Erik SiemersTribune ReporterJuly 24, 2006 A Hollywood studio unveiled plans this morning to build a 50-acre film production campus at Mesa del Sol that could employ up to 2,000 people. Culver Studios of Culver City, Calif., began work last week on what they're calling Albuquerque Studios: a full-service site for film, TV, music videos, commercials and digital media processing. (Pacifica Ventures via U.S. Newswire) "Most of the movies that are not made in Hollywood are made in Canada," Nick Smerigan, executive director of Albuquerque Studios and a managing director with Pacifica Ventures, owners of Culver Studios, said in a news release. "This facility will bring a significant number of these productions, and the jobs that go with them, back to the U.S. where they belong." The studio's owner, Pacifica Ventures, plans an initial $75 million investment in the south Albuquerque development. The company will first have 75 permanent jobs, but that's expected to grow to 2,000 once in full production. Another 900 jobs are expected to be generated from the studio's construction, according to a news release from Mesa del Sol. Work began last week on the first of eight sound stages, to be joined later by production office space, post-production suites and room for set construction. The studios will also have room for set construction, set storage and a large back lot, according to the news release. In total, it's more than 500,000 square feet of buildings. "The availability of quality land, the close proximity to the Albuquerque airport and the incentives offered by the state of New Mexico were the deciding factors," Smerigan said in the news release. (Pacifica Ventures via U.S. Newswire) The state offers a 25 percent tax rebate on in-state spending by film or TV production, along with four-year interest-free loans of up to $15 million for qualifying companies. The studio's development is expected to speed construction of retail services within the 12,900-acre Mesa del Sol. The Forest City Covington NM, LLC, development is projected to bring about 30,000 homes and new job and retail centers to the city's southeast quadrant. Melanie Majors, a spokeswoman for Mesa del Sol, said every home will be within one mile of a village center that will incorporate retail services. Those centers were intended to be phased-in as the development progressed. (Pacifica Ventures via U.S. Newswire) But Albuquerque Studios employees are expected to move in by mid-January, making the need for retail services more immediate, she said. The first village center is expected to begin within a year to 18 months, Majors said. Michael Daly, Forest City's chief operating officer, said that could also include a boutique hotel. According to its Web site, Culver's California studios are the home of classics like "Gone With the Wind," "The Andy Griffith Show," and "Raging Bull" among others. Copyright 2006, The Albuquerque Tribune. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lofts in Albuquerque’s first skyscraper to cost half-million — minimum

PMBy: Todd Dukart In a city where the average home sells for about $190,000, the cheapest loft in Albuquerque’s oldest skyscraper will cost more than $500,000. Crews are finishing the Banque Lofts inside the old First National Bank building, which was built in 1922. The 27 luxury lofts come with a doorman, valet parking and concierge service, along with a plush interior. “It’s a product that you cannot get anywhere else,” said real-estate agent Alicia Feil with Coldwell Banker Legacy. “It’s time for Albuquerque to have a product like this.” Board of Realtors Director Nancy Kennedy says Albuquerque can support high-end real estate like these luxury lofts. A $1 million loft covers two stories with 2,000 square feet of real estate. That works out to $500 a square foot. Owners say four lofts have been sold, and it should take about a year to sell the rest.

Westland reaches deal for $250M

By Associated PressJuly 21, 2006 Posted 1:10 p.m. The Westland Development Corp. board of directors has accepted a California development company's offer to buy 55,000 acres of Westland property on the West Side for more than $250 million. The deal, which is subject to approval by Westland shareholders, involves land given to Spanish settlers in the early 1700s as the Atrisco Land Grant. The land grant was incorporated in 1967 into Westland Development, which manages the land holdings for thousands of heirs. Westland announced the agreement with SunCal Companies of Irvine, Calif., on Thursday. Steve Greyshock, a spokesman for SunCal, said the company is interested in developing housing on the Westland property. A special shareholders' meeting to vote on the sale is expected before September. Westland has 794,927 shares, each of which counts toward a vote. Two-thirds of the votes must favor a sale for it to go through. James Aranda of Concerned Heirs of Atrisco said his group is opposed to any sale of Westland. The group has about 200 members, but it's not clear how many shares it controls. "People are willing to sell out their heritage for, what, $10,000? What is that? It's nothing," Aranda said. Westland attorney Robert Simon said the agreement with SunCal gives Westland the right to talk with other people interested in making legitimate offers for the land. The agreement also establishes a cultural heritage fund paid out as $1 million a year for the next 100 years and the creation of Atrisco Oil & Gas LLC, a company that will handle oil and gas exploration on the Westland property. In the past year, three companies had bid on Westland. Westland originally had announced plans in August to sell the land to ANM Holdings Inc. for about $200 a share. Sedora Holdings of Nevada pushed the per-price share to $305, up from $280 offered by SunCal. SunCal upped the price to $315 a share June 7, and Sedora failed to counter the offer by the July 17 deadline, according to a Westland news release.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

County housing prices up, market steady

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 Clara Garcia News-Bulletin Staff Writer; cgarcia@news-bulletin.com Looking for a home in Valencia County? You'll probably be paying more than $100,000. According to the Southwest Multiple Listing Service (MLS), there were 748 homes sold in Valencia County in 2005 at an average sale price of $154,880. In 2004, 655 homes sold at an average of $133,504. These figures do not include new houses being sold by builders or homes sold directly by homeowners. There are still bargains available, especially if you're willing to live a little farther from the freeways heading to Albuquerque. Valencia County's housing market remains steady as home sales and average sale prices increased during June compared to a year ago, according to figures released this week by the Valencia County Board of Realtors. Some 142 previously owned homes sold in the county during June compared to 108 for the same period last year, according to Phyllis Laureta, president of the Valencia County Board of Realtors. "The numbers are not changing all that much," Laureta said. "We've been pretty stable. When you look at the active listings, there's not a big change. In Valencia County, we're still in a seller's market. Overall, from last year to this year, our inventory has been pretty stable so we're still in a good and relatively stable market." According to Olinda Reneau, the chief appraiser for the Valencia County Assessor's Office, the number of new homes built in the county continues to grow at a rapid rate. In 2004, there were 241 homes built compared to 326 in 2005. There were 495 new homes were added to the property tax rolls for 2006, which run a year ahead. So far, 288 newly constructed homes have been reported for the 2007 assessments. The market is determined by supply and demand. The more properties for sale, the better for the buyer. "If we have less than six month's supply, then the sellers can be pretty firm on their prices," Laureta explained in an interview Monday. "They have to be reasonable, but they can be firm. So buyers aren't in a position where they can come in and offer $20,000 less than list price and expect to get it because there aren't a whole lot of homes out there for buyers to look at and choose." Currently, there are 295 site-built homes listed in Valencia County — a four month's supply, Laureta said. Therefore, buyers can't be really aggressive in their bargaining and sellers can expect to get a fair market value close to the appraised value on their homes. According to Laureta, Valencia County's housing market typically changes rather slowly. She said while the average sale price of homes has increased over the past several years, the county has been a market with gradually appreciating home values. "The average sale price doesn't measure appreciation. It only measures the ability of the consumer to buy," she explained. "Appreciation is measured by what homes in a neighborhood sold for several years ago compared to today. The average sale price indicates the ability of the consumer to purchase; and the very low interest rate made it possible for the consumers to purchase a higher price home because it kept the monthly payments low." The most important thing for buyers to know is how much their monthly mortgage payment is going to be, Laureta said. The market has been able to see a higher average sale price because of the lower interest rate. Laureta estimates that the appreciation rate of homes in the county increases between 3 to 5 percent every year. When interest rates averaged at 5.5 percent in 2004, the market experienced the largest increase in home sales in recent history. When interest rates go up, it puts a lid on the appreciation values because it slows down the buyer's capability to purchase. "Now, we're up around 7 percent," Laureta said. "Historically, that's still a very good interest rate." Laureta, who is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Los Lunas, said Valencia County's appreciation rate is slower than that of its neighbors to the north. Albuquerque has experienced a more rapid appreciation rate compared to Valencia County, but their market also has tended to cool more, she said. "They're seeing a fluctuation of homes staying on the market longer. I think stable markets are good because they're good for the economy, they're good for homeowners and home buyers. I think we're blessed when we have a more stable market." Currently, homes are selling, on average, within four months in the county. While there are properties that take longer to sell, it's not uncommon when homes sell the same day that they're put on the market. While the re-sale inventory has not fluctuated dramatically, site-built homes listed at less than $100,000 are getting harder to come by. In June, a total of 12 homes in that category were listed compared to 35 during the same month last year. "There's hardly anything left under $100,000," Laureta said. "We used to be able, in Valencia County, to find homes for less than $100,000 in the resale residential market. "In the resale market, I'd say that has been the biggest change," she said. "Right now, to buy a home ready to live in, you're going to have to look over 100,000. "If someone is looking for a house for less than $100,000, we may have to look at either a manufactured home or certain areas of the county such as Carson Park, Rio Communities or the Belen area. There are very few homes under $100,000 in Los Lunas. And a buyer will be hard pressed to get into new construction under $145,000." According to the June figures, there were 59 homes listed for resale in the $100,000 to $150,000 range, 68 in the $150,000 to $200,000 range and 54 homes in the $200,000 to 250,000 range. Thirty-eight homes were listed in the $250,000 to $300,000 range, 45 in the $300,000 to $350,000 range and 20 homes selling for more than $500,000 Reneau estimated that the average cost of the new homes being built in Valencia County range in price between $180,000 to $190,000. She also reported that 90 percent of the new homes, most of which are located in Huning Ranch, have been sold. "The county is growing rapidly," Reneau said when asked if the volume of new homes is increasing. "Most of it has to do with the subdivisions by the freeway in Los Lunas. A lot of people are buying for access to the freeway — it's an ideal area." Reneau said the overall cost of homes is on the rise because of the supply and demand of the local housing market. She said more and more people are moving into Valencia County. "We're seeing a lot of out-of-state money," she said. "There was one particular investor from California who bought a lot of the homes (in Los Lunas) to rent." Similar to the Albuquerque market, the price of property bought and sold in Valencia County varies from area to area. A home with an identical floor plan in a home in Las Maravillas is going to be thousands of dollars less than the same model located in the Village of Los Lunas. Easy access to the freeway is one factor, Laureta explained. People are willing to spend more for that convenience. Location definitely dictates value of the home. "If you look at homes in Meadow Lake and El Cerro Mission, those are our depressed markets and you can really buy a lot of house for your money there," she said. "But I always tell potential buyers who call on an (advertisement), if the price looks too good to be true, there's a reason. There is a reason it's priced the way it is and location has a big impact on how much a home will sell for." There are other things that impact the price of a home such as the amenities, the quality of the construction, the condition of the home. When Realtors do a market analysis, they choose homes of a similar age and condition sold in the past six months in a two-mile radius. This is how they can tell homeowners what potential buyers would pay this for their homes. So what time if the year is best to buy and sell a home? According to Laureta, in Valencia County, as well as in other areas across the country, the busiest time is during the summer months. "A lot of people, especially if they have to change school districts, like to do it before school starts," she said. "We tend to have stronger activity in late spring and early summer months. We do sell homes year round — in fact, we have had people move into their homes a week before Christmas." The need to sell or buy a home is usually dictated by the individual need of the consumer. Realtors sell and list homes all year, but the summer months are typically stronger. While the MLS listing doesn't provide numbers of newly built site homes, Laureta said there have been a large number of homes built and sold in Huning Ranch in a short period of time. The new construction has actually been positive for the resale market in Valencia County because often, people who are living in older homes are deciding to buy the new homes, she said. "That supports the resale market as well," she said. "It's actually been positive for us." Laureta projects that the population in Valencia County will continue to grow as people living in Albuquerque and other parts of the metro region seek a more rural atmosphere. "People in Albuquerque have already moved to the west and to the east, so I think we're going to see the population move out this way," she said. "I believe the commuter train will have a positive impact as far as having new people come in. It will make it possible for people to live in Valencia County and work in Albuquerque and as far away as Santa Fe. "Both Belen and Los Lunas are doing a wonderful job in trying to attract industry to provide employment. It seems to me that these two municipalities are working hard to keep people working and living in Valencia County," she said. "We have a lot of people living here and working in Albuquerque. Our prices here are still more affordable. A lot of people move here because they want a more rural lifestyle."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Eminent Domain Limited in Rio Rancho

Eminent Domain Limited in Rio Rancho The Rio Rancho City Council recently voted to pass restrictions against seizing residential homes or commercial businesses for redevelopment. The city has used eminent domain to seize property at least twice in the last two years and attempted a third time in February 2006, but failed after meeting strong resistance from property owners. Opponents call the process a political tool to coerce property owners and reward developers. Read the full story about the council’s unanimous vote in New Mexico Business Weekly. ****************************

GOOD NEWS FOR SCHOOLS!

Good News for New Mexico Schools New Mexico has received more than $12 million from the US Education Department to increase the number of charter schools in the state, the Associated Press reports. The funds will be made available over the next three years to plan, design, and create the new charter schools. State Public Education Secretary Veronica Garcia says 90 percent of the federal money will go to charter schools in the form of planning and implementation grants. The state agency also will work to improve the approval process for charter schools and make sure that parents and students are informed about charter school options. Read NAR’s look at the effect of charter schools on neighborhood quality of life.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

ALBUQUERQUE SHAKING OUT AS NEW BOOMTOWN

By Amy Wolff Sorter WWW.GLOBEST.COM Tonjes ALBUQERQUE- With its state motto being "the Land of Enchantment," New Mexico conjures up images of sprawling vistas and colorful buttes with a river thrown in here and there. What it might not conjure up, however, is a growing population with a booming residential and commercial development in its wake. New Mexico in general and Albuquerque in particular have entered the business and real estate consciousness as a strong location for growth and development. Sandia National Laboratories, under its Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Application project, is developing a 400,000-sf spread in three buildings, valued at approximately $500 million. Intel Corp. is undergoing a $750-million upgrade of its campus. And just south of the city, the 12,900-acre Mesa del Sol, under the development of the Forest City Covington NM LLC, is taking shape as one of the largest master-planned developments in the US. Vacant land on the west side is being snapped up for future office and mixed-use development. And, this is just the tip of the iceberg. "There's a lot of stuff going on here," laughs Gary Tonjes, president of the Albuquerque Economic Development Inc. He and Sul Kassicieh, associate dean for the Anderson School of Management at University of New Mexico say that growth in Albuquerque is not necessarily news because it's been going on for awhile, thanks to the strong government-backed companies in town, but it's accelerated in the past two years. Kassicieh, who also serves as the university's endowed chair of economic development, says the combination of venture capital flowing into the area in the past decade--combined with smart decisions by the state government and organizations supporting technology development--have encouraged businesses and people to move to the area. "It also doesn't hurt to be listed Number One for business and careers on Forbes' Magazine poll," he adds. Kassicieh tells GlobeSt.com that entrepreneurial development, in the form of suppliers for government and the technology industry, is helping to drive growth in the real estate sector. "I think we'll see a lot of the larger companies here wanting their smaller buyer-suppliers around here," he predicts. Tonjes agrees with Kassicieh, but adds that suppliers will be more willing to have a location as their customers' volume picks up. Tonjes also believes the ingredients for growth have been around for awhile, but the 2004 relocation of Eclipse Aviation from Scottsdale, AZ to Albuquerque, helped to fuel interest in the region plus brought new jobs. In addition, the personal income tax level was cut to 4.9% from 8.2% which, when teamed with other incentives, have made the city very attractive to businesses and people. But, is there a possibility of too much in too short a time? Kassicieh says there is a concerted effort by Albuquerque leaders to work toward planned growth. "On the one hand, you want to encourage a business-friendly atmosphere and give new companies space," he says. "On the other hand, you worry about destroying the aesthetic part of the city. It's a hard tug of war, but I think the city has been doing a good job to figure out the issue." Tonjes tells GlobeSt.com that the growth isn't out of control just yet although there's been thought given to the situation. "There are certainly some policy makers and people who want to make sure we don't lose the character that people love about Albuquerque," he says. "Everyone wants to be sure the development done here is of high quality."

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The New Rail Runner!

Rail Runner to begin abbreviated route Last Update: 06/28/2006 10:13:00 AMBy: Reed Upton The Middle Rio Grande’s commuter rail line is within weeks of beginning service, but it will have fewer stops than it will when full service begins. On July 14th the Rail Runner will begin offering service from downtown Albuquerque to Bernalillo with stops at Alvarado Station, Paseo del Norte and US 550 in Bernalillo. Missing will be stops in downtown Bernalillo, Los Lunas and Belen. “I would have preferred to have the whole corridor in place,” said executive director Lawrence Rael, “but construction schedules being what they are, negotiations with the Burlington Northern (railway) did not occur as quickly as we would have liked.” Officials estimate the train will make the run from downtown Albuquerque to northern Bernalillo in 18 minutes. When the trains initially begin running there will be no charge. Come October, a one-way trip aboard the Rail Runner will cost $2.

HOTEL RATES WILL BE GREAT!

Report says Albuquerque hotels a bargain this summer New Mexico Business Weekly - 2:18 PM MDT Wednesday Albuquerque will have some of the lowest hotel rates in the nation this summer, according to a report by PKF Hospitality Research. The average room rate in Albuquerque will be about $67.95, according to the summer edition of Hotel Outlook by PKF and Torto Wheaton Research. This puts the Duke City behind markets such as Tucson, Ariz. and Columbus and Dayton, Ohio. New York will have the highest average room rate at $200.28, followed by Honolulu and San Francisco. Overall across the country, hotel rooms will be harder to find compared to last year and travelers will pay more for these rooms, according to the report. "Given the increasingly sophisticated yield management practices within the hotel industry, the high occupancy rates are enabling managers to more aggressively quote the highest room rates," said Mark Woodworth, president of PKF, based in Atlanta. That's good news for hotel owners, but not consumers, he added. Despite high gas prices, people will continue to travel, he added. But they will seek out more economical accommodations. Thus the report forecasts a rise in revenue per available room (RevPAR) in limited-service hotels and a bigger rise in occupancy rates for those properties than for full-service properties.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

CASHING IN ON THE LAST HOT SPOT!

Cashing in on the last of the hot spots. Spotlight: Albuquerque Keep your head during a boom and you'll keep more of your gains over the long run. By Amanda Gengler, MONEY Magazine reporter May 17, 2006: 4:27 PM EDT NEW YORK (MONEY Magazine) - In early spring a TV news report on KASA Channel 2 in Albuquerque noted that the housing market nationwide was slowing down, with mortgage rates and inventory rising and demand slackening. "Now with all that said, by all accounts here in New Mexico things are still red hot," quipped Greg Zanetti, a local financial adviser. "But we are usually a little behind national trends." The Archibeck family economized when renovating their 1961 Albuquerque home, maximizing their return on investment. Indeed, Albuquerque missed much of the great bull market in houses. Between 2000 and 2004, median prices appreciated no more than 5% a year. But as other sunbelt cities are cooling, Albuquerque has started sizzling. Call it the rolling boom. As high home values price buyers out of one area, they move to new cities. Thus the San Diego bubble begat the Phoenix boom, and Las Vegas led to a bull market in Reno. Now those booms, and one in Santa Fe, have rolled into Albuquerque. "Even though our prices have gone up, we are still much more affordable than other areas," says Cathy Colvin, president of the Albuquerque realtors board. Booms do roll over, however. Housing prices in Phoenix, for example, could decline nearly 20% over the next 51/2 years, according to Moody's Economy.com. So even if prices are still rising in your market, you'll want to make decisions with an eye to holding on to as much of your equity as possible once the easy gains have been made. Go Where Land Is Scarce Certain neighborhoods appreciate faster than others. In Albuquerque, expansion to the north, south and east is restricted by mountains, Indian reservations and an Air Force base. This helps explain why the little remaining land in already developed areas has increased in value more than some of the new developments to the west, says David Murphy, publisher of SalesTraq of New Mexico. Consider the West River Valley, a small, highly coveted locale. It backs up to the Rio Grande and feels like the country, yet it's five minutes from a major mall. Robert and Heather Drager bought an acre there seven years ago. Still in their twenties at the time, they couldn't afford to build a house. So for four years they lived with their parents and house-sat for friends to save money. "Obviously, we really wanted this neighborhood," says Rob. In total they paid about $250,000 for their land and 2,000-square-foot house, about $100,000 more than they would have shelled out in Rio Rancho, a fast-growing community to the west. The sacrifice paid off. The Dragers' area has appreciated at more than double the rate of Rio Rancho. Today they wouldn't consider selling for less than $450,000, an 80% gain. Other hot neighborhoods these days: city centers. Young professionals and baby boomers with suddenly empty nests are moving to downtown areas, lifting real estate values in the process. It's a phenomenon that's hardly unique to Albuquerque; it's happening in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Cleveland as well. Prices in Albuquerque's Nob Hill area have jumped about 30% since 2004, and that section of town was rising even when the rest of the market was flat a few years ago, according to local agent Linda DeVlieg. "This neighborhood is walking distance from shopping areas, restaurants and night life -- even my work," says clothing boutique owner Emma Del Frate, 39, who's listing her Nob Hill home for $335,000 and has bought a larger, $500,000 house around the corner. Finding the house proved difficult. Emma and her husband Victor, 38, searched the area for a year and a half with no luck. So they got inventive. In December 2004 they left a note on the front door of a house that looked attractive, asking the owners to call if they ever wanted to sell. The following summer they did. By year's end, the Del Frates were in serious negotiations. The house needs some updating, but the couple say they'll be conservative when it comes to renovating - no ripping out walls and relocating rooms. Which leads to a second strategy: Don't Go Crazy When You're Remodeling "Even in a rising market, you actually can over-remodel," says Everett Collier, president of the remodeling industry's trade group. Consider kitchens, which give one of the highest returns. According to Remodeling magazine, the average price for a minor kitchen remodel is $15,000. You recoup 99% of the cost at sale. When the price tag climbs to $82,000 for a high-end remodeling job, your return drops to 85% of the cost. That's why Janine Archibeck and her husband Michael opted to work with their existing floor plan. "A larger master bathroom would have been nice," says Janine of her 3,700-square-foot home in Albuquerque's Near Northeast Heights area. But not for the price: at least $25,000. Janine, 38, and Michael, 39, were certainly willing to invest in their architect-designed 1961 home, which they bought in 2002 for $320,000. In addition to replacing fixtures and appliances, and adding glass to brighten the place, the couple turned their backyard into a paradise that features a heated pool, a pool house and a canopy that shades a sitting area near the outdoor fireplace and grill. What they didn't do, says Janine, was knock down structural walls. "All the bathrooms are in the same place," she says. "We didn't have to move any plumbing." The Archibecks spent $190,000 on interior renovations and could easily have spent twice that had they decided to expand the home's footprint, says their architect, Jon Anderson. Today the home is worth at least $750,000. The moral: Build a breakfast area or an apartment-size bathroom because you want one, not because you figure that in a fast-rising market, the more you spend the more you'll make. The boom will fade, and then your gains will depend on how wisely, not how much, you invested.

Monday, June 26, 2006

ALBUQUERQUE BIG ON PARKS!

Thu Jun 22 10:12:25 2006 Pacific Time Jacksonville, Albuquerque Have Largest City Park Systems; New Facts on City Parks Released WASHINGTON, June 22 (AScribe Newswire) -- The 56 largest cities in the United States have a total of 745,000 acres of parks, with Jacksonville, Fla., and Albuquerque, N.M., each leading the list of largest city park systems, according to a new study of urban parks released today by The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a nationwide nonprofit which works to protect parks and open space. For total size, Jacksonville is number one, with almost 98,000 acres of parks and preserves, including water preserves. In addition, when measured on an acres-per-capita basis, Jacksonville also ranks first with 126 acres of parkland for every 1,000 residents. However, when parkland is measured as a portion of the total size of the city, the leader is Albuquerque, with more than one-quarter of its land protected as public open space. The TPL study found that the nation's most visited city park is Central Park in New York with 25 million users a year. And the group found that the largest single city park in the country is the 24,000-acre Franklin Mountain State Park in El Paso, Texas. The results conclude an eight-month study by TPL's Center for City Park Excellence (CCPE), the nation's leading source of data about urban park systems. The CCPE releases new numbers annually. The results are available on the Web at http://www.tpl.org/cityparkfacts . With cities rebounding, many people are giving attention to their once-beautiful park systems, said Harnik. There is sudden interest in gathering information to help cities allocate resources more efficiently and equitably. Other cities which devote a high percentage of land to parks and open space include San Diego (22 percent of land area), Washington, D.C. (19.7), San Francisco (19.3), and New York (19.1). Cities with large amounts of parkland per capita include El Paso (44.5 acres per 1,000 residents), Austin, Texas (39.2), and Kansas City, Mo. (38.7). TPL began quantifying city park systems in 2000 with the book "Inside City Parks." In addition to studying acreage, TPL also compiles information on recreational facilities, park employment, the historical growth of systems, and a variety of budgetary measures. Of the 56 cities, San Francisco spent the most on its parks in fiscal year 2004 (the latest year available) with an allocation of $276 per resident. Other leading cities that year included Washington, D.C. ($264), Seattle ($238), Cincinnati ($166) and Chicago ($163). The range of spending is large, with the top city devoting eight times as much per resident as the lowest-funded city. In many ways, the budget numbers are the most significant, Harnik explained. Without allocating sufficient resources, it is almost impossible to create or maintain an outstanding system. In compiling its numbers, TPL counted all the parkland within each citys limits (but not in the surrounding metropolitan region). Acreage includes not only municipal parks but also those run by federal, state, county and regional agencies. In New York, for example, the 28,840 acres run by New York City Department of Parks and Recreation are supplemented by six state parks and more than 7,000 acres of National Park Service land. TPL also divided the cities into four groupings by density levels, comparing the older, more tightly-packed cities; the newer, more sprawling cities; and two density groupings in the middle. Each type of city seems to use its park acreage differently, making cross comparisons difficult. (However, since spending levels are not related to density, budgetary information was not broken into sub-groups.) TPL determined financial rankings by analyzing both the operating and the capital expenditures of all the park agencies serving a city (while subtracting non-park costs like running stadiums, zoos, aquariums or museums). In some cities, such as San Francisco, spending is higher because park agencies include state and national parks within the city boundaries. Revitalized cities need revitalized park systems, said Harnik. They help clean the air, reduce stress, improve health, diminish crime, increase tourism and property value, and provide an alternative to sprawl. Parks are the urban land issue of the 21st century. TPL's Center for City Park Excellence, begun in 1994, supports the creation and rehabilitation of city park systems through research, data collection, evaluation, skill-building, fundraising, garden and playground construction, and land purchase. The Trust for Public Land, established in 1972, specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. TPL depends on the support of individuals, corporations, and foundations. For more information, visit TPL on the web at http://www.tpl.org .

Friday, June 23, 2006

REAL ESTATE MARKET'S SOFT LANDING

Real estate prices won't decline substantiallyFriday, June 23, 2006By Glenn Roberts Jr.Inman News Delores Conway, USC's Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast SAN FRANCISCO -- Unless there are substantial job losses, the real estate market appears on track for a soft landing, said economists for University of Southern California's Lusk Center for Real Estate. "We don't believe the housing market is going to fall off a cliff. We don't really subscribe to the hard-landing story," said Stuart Gabriel, Lusk Center director, during a presentation Thursday at the annual PCBC event, a conference for home builders held at San Francisco's Moscone Center. This is, however, a time of "stagflation," or economic stagnation coupled with inflation, Gabriel said, and the real estate market is losing steam -- with a general slowing in price-appreciation and sales. Higher interest rates and energy costs, and reduced refinancing activity are also taking a toll on consumer spending, which has sunk from about 3.9 percent in 2004 to a current level of about 3 percent. Despite this, Gabriel said it's unlikely that there will be a major shrinkage in house prices, given the strength of employment numbers. Interest rates, though marching up, are not high by historic standards, he said. The situation was a lot different in the early 1990s, when job losses contributed to a major downturn in the real estate market. Gabriel said that the impact of job losses in the aerospace sector hit Southern California's real estate market hard during that period. "Barring that sort of event we don't expect significant falloff in house prices," he said. Likewise, job losses in the construction and real estate-related industries during this slowing period should not cripple the housing industry, said Raphael Bostic, director of the Master of Real Estate Development program at USC and a Lusk Center expert. Gabriel's forecast calls for the economy to slow to a 3 percent to 3.5 rate of real gross domestic product growth for the remainder of the year after a rate of about 5 percent in the first quarter. Delores Conway, director of USC's Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast who also participated in the presentation, said that in California, rising home prices appear to be driving more housing activity to central areas. "The population is shifting in California more toward the center of the state, where we tend to have more affordable housing," she said. Some major markets in the state, such as Los Angeles, are still seeing high levels of price appreciation, though sales activity is down from a peak. "The number of sales has declined very significantly in all the cities," she said. The apartment market, meanwhile, has rebounded in some areas as shrinking housing affordability has diminished the pool of potential home buyers. "People are in some sense being priced out of the market," she said, while there are year-to-year rental increases of 7 percent to 10 percent in some Southern California markets. USC economists noted that condo markets -- particularly in formerly frenzied areas such as San Diego and Las Vegas -- might be the most vulnerable to changing market conditions. Conway said that some proposed condo projects will actually be built out as apartments because unit sales fell short of expectations. "This is particularly true in San Diego, which has been a bit of a bellwether and a bit of a leading indicator for the rest of the cities," she said. There is no evidence of price declines in any California markets at this point, though, "If we do see price declines, where we would probably look for them first is in the condo markets," Conway said. Bostic said, "I've been concerned about downtown San Diego for a long time, particularly in the condo market." He also said the luxury real estate market may feel the weight of the housing slowdown more than the general market. But he said he is generally bullish on the housing sector, and he noted that the Lusk Center is not predicting a recession. "I don't think price declines are likely at all, absent significant job loss," he said. As available land dwindles and housing affordability worsens in California, Gabriel said he expects that buyers will increasingly gravitate toward multi-family dwellings. Regulators have turned their attention to the popularity of unconventional home loan products and the risk that such products could pose, though the Lusk Center experts said they expect the use of such products will not have a substantial negative effect on the housing market. ***

SELLING YOUR HOME

Have you ever wished a real estate agent would write a book telling you how to sell your home? Well, I'm doing it - and it will be available later this year. If you would like to reserve your free copy (to the first 50 people who request it!) please email me at Linda@RealEstateInABQ.com or call me at 505-271-6328 and leave your name and phone number - I will get back to you right away. It has lots of helpful hints about what helps, what doesn't, and little "secrets of the trade". I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

UNM gets $9 million for south Albuquerque land

Last Update: 06/21/2006 3:51:24 PMBy: Associated Press ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - Regents of the University of New Mexico have inked a deal selling more than 3,000 acres for Mesa del Sol. That’s a long-planned development of nearly 13,000 acres in southeast Albuquerque. The university sold its acreage for $9 million to Forest City Covington, which is developing Mesa del Sol, which could be home to up to 80,000 people in 50 years. In the next few years, Mesa del Sol is forecast to have 500 to 800 houses by 2008. About $7.5 million of the sale signed Tuesday will go to a scholarship fund. UNM also kept 280 acres in Mesa del Sol for its own uses. (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Forest City to co-develop N. Mexico project

Forest City to co-develop N. Mexico project Linked articles » Retail growth in store for Forest City » Forest City unit buys out N.Y. project partner » Forest City to develop Virginia 'lifestyle' center Related Links Forest City Enterprises Inc. By LESLIE STROOPE2:09 pm, June 21, 2006 A joint venture between Cleveland-based real estate developer Forest City Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: FCEA) (NYSE: FCEB) and Covington NM LLC has spent $9 million to purchase 3,000 acres in Albuquerque, N.M., from the University of New Mexico.Forest City Covington NM LLC’s land buy comes as part of a mixed-use development agreement the entity signed with government and university officials in 2005 to develop 9,000 acres at the Mesa del Sol site over “several decades,” according to a Forest City Enterprises statement. Forest City Covington has the option to buy the remaining 6,000 acres of land from the New Mexico State Land office, according to the statement."Mesa del Sol demonstrates our commitment to develop large, mixed-use projects in growth markets," said Forest City Enterprises president and CEO Charles A. Ratner in a statement."We are excited about this long-term development opportunity and are pleased to reach this significant milestone of purchasing the first 3,000 acres,” he said. “Building on our experience at University Park at MIT in Boston and Stapleton in Denver, our vision for Mesa del Sol is to create a new, sustainable community within the thriving city of Albuquerque."The University of New Mexico will use the $9 million towards an endowment fund established for student scholarships at the school, according to a Forest City Covington NM statement.A message left at Forest City Enterprises was not immediately returned.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

AMERICA'S SMARTEST CITIES!!

America's Smartest Cities 10 Albuquerque Here is the biggest surprise in the top 10. Albuquerque doesn't get the credit it deserves for brainpower. It's the home of the University of New Mexico, and it's less than 100 miles from Los Alamos National Laboratory, a center for nuclear, biomedical and energy research. Percentage of city adults who stopped at each level: Earned a graduate and/or professional degree: 13.4% Earned a bachelor's degree: 18.4% Earned an associate degree: 5.9% Went to college, but didn't earn a degree: 24.2% Graduated from high school: 24.1% Dropped out of high school: 14.1% Summary of results Rankings for 53 biggest cities Bottom cities Previous

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

California firm buys Albuquerque tech company

New Mexico Business Weekly - 2:43 PM MDT Monday NTS Technical Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Technical Systems Inc., has acquired B & B Technologies Inc. in Albuquerque. B & B designs and integrates test, measurement, automation, data acquisition and control systems. Over the past 14 years, it has developed relationships with defense, aerospace and commercial companies such as Sandia National Laboratories, Honeywell (NYSE: HON) and General Dynamics (NYSE: GD). National Technical Systems (Nasdaq: NTSC) is an engineering firm based in Calabasas, Calif. Lance Butler, CEO of B & B, says his firm's services are complementary to those of NTS. The two companies work for many of the same customers, Butler says, doing adjacent services but not overlapping. "We build test systems and they do testing," he says. B & B, which has been in business for 14 years and has 13 employees, will stay in Albuquerque, Butler adds. The acquisition by NTS was attractive because it gives his firm the leverage of a large company, Butler says, and allows him to bring his firm to the next level. B & B will be a division of NTS and will eventually change its name to TSE, or Test Systems Engineering. Butler declined to discuss the financial aspects of the deal.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

GREEN BUILDERS COMING INTO THEIR OWN

Green-built homes come into their own By NANCY SALEMScripps Howard News Service 31-MAY-06 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- In home building, green is the new black. No more weird architecture, clunky solar panels and wacky materials. Green building has been ushered into the mainstream by a construction industry and public concerned about energy conservation and health. "It's the right thing to do," says Jim Folkman, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico. "We're responding to the marketplace, which is demanding more green products and a healthier environment." Albuquerque raised its profile in the national green scene last week when the board of the Home Builders of Central New Mexico voted into place a green building certification program that follows new guidelines set by The 230,000-member National Association of Home Builders unveiled new guidelines for its green building certification program at the association's National Green Building Conference in Albuquerque in March. Albuquerque, through the Build Green New Mexico program approved last week, is one of a half-dozen U.S. cities that are pilot programs for the national association's green building blueprint. "We'll learn what to do right, what to avoid," says Steve Hale of Hale & Sun Construction Inc. in Albuquerque, past president of the Home Builders of Central New Mexico. "We'll help get it implemented in the field." Green building's stamp of approval was a long time coming. It began as a movement about 15 years ago, and for years was associated with homes made of rammed earth, straw bales and used tires and aluminum cans. The single goal was to conserve as much energy as possible. With rising power costs and greater concern about indoor air quality and health, green building moved into the mainstream the past six or so years, builders say. "Our message is that a house doesn't have to be strange to be green," says Kaycee Coffman of the Home Builders of Central New Mexico. The new guidelines take a comprehensive approach to green building, awarding points that add up to levels of performance: bronze, silver and gold. Builders earn points in dozens of ways, in seven categories: lot design, resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, global impact, and operation, maintenance and homeowner education. For example, choosing an infill site earns nine points, using recycled-content building materials earns three points and installing an energy-recovering ventilator earns 10 points. A minimum number of points must be reached in each category to achieve a bronze, silver or gold level home _ to assure a balanced, whole-system approach, builders say. "It's performance-based," Folkman says. "It's systemic. Not just an item here or there. It comes together as a system and operates better. The end is greater than the sum of the parts." The average green-built home is about 40 percent more energy efficient than required to meet federal standards, builders say. The goal, though, is not just an energy efficient house, but a healthy one. Better air quality eases allergies and respiratory conditions. Green building systems bring fresh air into a house from the outside, run it through a heat exchanger and filter it, so the house has clean, fresh air all the time, builders say. Old-style green homes were sealed tight to conserve energy, with no exchange of air, creating an unhealthy environment, they note. Homes built under the new program are tested and certified. "Our reputation is behind this," Folkman says. "We want to make sure that when a house reaches a certain standard that it does perform at that level." Ray Tonjes, an Austin, Texas, green builder and head of the national association's green building subcommittee, said a bronze-level home, if planned properly, can be built for roughly the same price as a non-green home. The added costs at higher levels don't generally rise above 5 percent, he says, and are offset by savings in energy and water bills. "What we find is once our members _ builders _ engage in the concept, it's a very easy sell," Tonjes says, "because it really is common sense." Builders say the demand for green homes is growing. "I'm getting more calls every day from people who want lists of green builders," Coffman says. Nationally, in 2000 there were about 2,500 green-built homes; that number jumped to 14,600 in 2004, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Folkman estimates 7 percent to 10 percent of the Albuquerque area home building industry is using green techniques (About 7,000 homes were built in the metro area last year.) The other 90 or so percent are at least 50 percent to 70 percent of the way to achieving the bronze standard, he says. "It's the exception today, but in 10 to 20 years the bronze level will be the building standard," Folkman says. He says the carrot is the marketing. "Join this program, put in the extra effort to get started and see how it works for you," he says. "We will be pushing our (certification) logo. It's something people will recognize. I think it will very quickly snowball. Builders won't want to be second fiddle if they see our logo on the competition." Tonjes says the irony of green building is that it harkens back to historic construction techniques. "A lot of historic architecture dealt with the climate," he says. "For example, houses were oriented to the prevailing breezes. "We got away from that type of architecture because energy was so cheap. Now we're back. Sixty-dollar-a-barrel oil will do that." (Contact Nancy Salem of The Tribune in Albuquerque, N.M., at www.abqtrib.com.)

Friday, May 26, 2006

NEW APPLE STORE COMING TO ALBUQUERQUE

Exclusive: Apple Retail Store planned for Albuquerque, New Mexico Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 11:56 AM EDT Several job listings have appeared on Monster.com this morning for positions in an Apple Retail Store slated for the ABQ Uptown "shopping destination" that's under development in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Note: "ABQ" is the code for the city's airport and also a colloquialism for the city.) Albuquerque straddles the Rio Grande and is the largest city in the state of New Mexico. The city proper had a total population of 448,607 (as of the 2000 census) and metropolitan area has a population of approximately 715,000 and includes the city of Rio Rancho, the third-largest and fastest-growing city in New Mexico and one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.Apple currently does not have any retail stores in the state of New Mexico. Monster.com lists "ABQ Uptown" in the Apple Retail Store job descriptions here.ABQ Uptown includes residential units (rental/for sale), office space, retail, hotel, restaurants and entertainment venues in a high-density urban context. The first phase retail component currently under construction. ABQ Uptown's online store directory does not yet list Apple Computer. And Apple's own Retail Store pages make no mention of an Albuquerque location... yet. A search of Apple's online Job openings likewise shows nothing regarding retail store positions in Albuquerque, New Mexico.You can watch ABQ Uptown's construction progress via live webcam here.[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "ndelec" for the heads up.]

Monday, May 08, 2006

ALBUQUERQUE GETTING ALOT OF NATIONAL PRESS!

Last week Fortune® Magazine voted Albuquerque as #1 for BEST CITY TO DO BUSINESS AND START A CAREER! #1 Albuquerque, N.M. Population: 793,000Job Growth: 1.1%Income Growth: 3.0% Big Employers: University of New Mexico, Sandia National Labs, Kirtland Air Force Base, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Intel. Median household income has shot up 19% over the past two years to $49,000, helping Albuquerque claim the No. 1 spot, up from fifth place last year. Even with a highly educated workforce, business costs are still the lowest in the country, 24% below the national average. Our top-ranked metro, Albuquerque, N.M., has the lowest business costs in the country, 24% below the national average. New Mexico's capital also benefited from an educated population and rising household incomes. To calculate living expenses, Economy.com considered housing, transportation, food and other household expenses. In the rankings, we also examined job and income growth, as well as migration trends over the last five years. Bertrand Sperling, a consultant in Portland, Ore., analyzed crime data for us and developed an arts and leisure index that tracks things like museums, theaters, golf courses and sports teams. He also gauged the education of the workforce and assessed the presence of top colleges in the area. Today, Kiplinger® has voted Albuquerque as #3 for MOST AFFORDABLE AND FUN - KIPLINGER LIFESTYLE REPORT 50 SMART PLACES TO LIVE -- A TASTE OF THE TOP TEN We asked our readers to describe their ideal place to live. Your answer: You want cities that are fun, vibrant and affordable. So we at Kiplinger's Personal Finance sent our writers in search of 50 smart places to live that fit your criteria. Here are our top ten. As you'll see, each city has a distinct flavor. Have a taste: 3. ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. What We Loved: Miles of trails in the city along the Rio Grande's undeveloped banks and through cottonwood forests. More than 300 sunny days a year to enjoy cycling or hiking. Albuquerque's skyline is more about the sky than the line. Sunsets are big events in this city near the Sandia Mountains. The range was named after the Spanish word for watermelon, a nod to the pink hue the mountains turn at dusk.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Home builders would chip in for new schools

By Susie GranTribune ReporterMay 2, 2006 Posted 1:45 p.m. Albuquerque home builders are going to help build schools, too. A memorandum of understanding proposed to Albuquerque Public Schools calls for developers to pay the school district $2,000 for each new home, said Brad Winter, the district's administrator in charge of school construction. The district will use the fee revenue to build schools and renovate others in the neighborhoods where the homes are built. Winter praised the Homebuilders Association of Central New Mexico for the deal, which will help keep a proposed property-tax hike at a minimum. "They are the guys who stepped up to the plate on this," Winter said. Revenue from the development fees are projected to hit between $40 million and $50 million over three years. The school district will collect the fees. All new subdivision plats submitted to the city Planning Department will have to be signed off by the district, Winter said. The district previously announced it will ask voters in September to authorize a general obligation bond issue, which would hike property taxes and raise funds needed for completing two high schools and a middle school on the booming West Side. Winter said district officials have not decided on the amount of the tax hike. A recommendation on the increase will be ready for the Albuquerque Board of Education to consider May 11. At that meeting, the board will consider a range of measures to raise money for the new schools, including the home builders' fee and tax increase, as well as sales of district-owned property and other approaches. Members of the Albuquerque Board of Education Capital Outlay Committee today unanimously approved the proposed memorandum of understanding with the home builders. "This is a major step forward," said Robert Lucero, West Side board member. "This is the first time the home builders and developers have sat at the table and said, 'Yes, we want to help Albuquerque Public Schools.' " The fees would be collected starting in 2007, Lucero said. In February, developer Bob Murphy offered land and dollars for new schools in Quail Ranch, a West Side development where 4,000 homes will be built in the first phase northeast of Paseo el Norte and Paseo del Volcan. Murphy also was instrumental in the home builders' agreement with the district, Lucero said. The full school board will vote on the measure at Wednesday's meeting.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

ALBUQUERQUE TO BE ON HGTV!!

Albuquerque featured on cable network New Mexico Business Weekly - 1:12 PM MDT Monday The city of Albuquerque will be featured on the cable television network Home & Garden Television, better known as HGTV. On April 26 and 27, the Duke City will be among six markets around the country to be included in the weekly show "What You Get for the Money." The episode will compare what kind of house buyers can purchase for $200,000 in areas including Belleville, Ill.; Chelsea, Mass.; Birmingham, Ala.; Gainesville, Fla.; and Baltimore, Md. "HGTV continues the 2006 trend for spotlighting the historic lofts, a unique urban residential development in the heart of EDo [east Downtown]," says a news release issued by EDo Spaces, referring to the Lofts at Albuquerque High project, which is listed by the brokerage firm. Rob Dickson, the qualifying broker of EDo Spaces and the developer of the residential project where the original Albuquerque High was located, will be one of six guests on the show. The loft project, according to the release, recently was featured in Sunset, Fortune and the upcoming issue of Kiplinger's magazine. Air times for the upcoming show are April 26 at 10:30 p.m. EDT/PDT and April 27 at 2:30 a.m. EDT/PDT. Some 80 million U.S. households subscribe to a cable service that carries Home & Garden Television, says its Web site. HGTV is wholly-owned by The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP), which also operates the Food Network, DIY Do It Yourself Network and Fine Living cable channels.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

RADIO INTERVIEW

Just had a wonderful chat with Margaret Rome of Baltimore - on her radio program All About Real Estate a radio program channel 680am www.wcbm.com I love talking to her as a fellow Cyberstar® and fellow real estate broker - she always has the greatest ideas and a zest for the business. You can find her site at www.HomeRome.com Great talking to you today Margaret!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

RIO RANCHO UPDATE

Wanted: Retailers for Rio Rancho residents By Abby Roedel New Mexico Business Weekly Updated: 8:00 p.m. ET April 9, 2006 It's hard to believe that a town with a population of more than 70,000 people still does not have a Starbucks -- but you only have to look to Rio Rancho to find such a place. What's more, there is no furniture store, no men's or women's clothing store, not even an electronics store. To put it mildly, the community northwest of Albuquerque needs retail to support all of those new residential rooftops. Because of the dearth of shops doing business there, Rio Rancho has the lowest per-capita gross receipts tax base of any city in New Mexico with a population of 5,000 or more, says Jim Palenick, Rio Rancho's city manager. That statistic is particularly striking, considering that Rio Rancho's average household income of about $66,000 per year is one of the highest in the state. "Rio Rancho is bringing great wealth to other communities in the state and now it's time to bring it into our community," adds Palenick. He might be getting his wish, as the city is finally getting some new retail developments. One of the newest retail centers slated for the city is a 17,000-square-foot center at the southwest corner of Golf Course and 11th Avenue called Golf Course Plaza. The developer, David Soule, expects to start construction within the next six months. A second phase will include about 12,000 square feet of additional office space. Eric Schoen of Eric Schoen & Associates is the leasing agent for the property. "I'd like to help keep jobs and services close to where people live and cut down on some of the traffic," says Soule, whose land development company, Rio Grande Engineering, will occupy one of the office spaces at Golf Course Plaza. The Cabezon community, located near Golf Course Plaza, had 1,105 homes as of March 2006, according Jan DeMaggio, owner of DataTraq, which tracks new housing starts in the Albuquerque metro area. Although there are no signed leases to date, Soule would like the new plaza to have a real neighborhood feel, with tenants such as a coffee shop and a hair or nail salon. Rates are expected to start at $13.50 on a triple net lease. While any new retail in Rio Rancho is a positive, Palenick still would like to see more projects come online in the central and northern parts of the city, where most of the new homes are going up. The Northern Meadows community, for example, has 3,200 households and doesn't have a single grocery store or gas station in the immediate vicinity, says Palenick. Last year, there were 3,084 permits issued for new homes in Rio Rancho, adding more than 8,000 residents. And that number is only expected to increase in 2006. MSNBC.com The city of Rio Rancho recognizes the trend and has taken the imbalance between rooftops and retail into its own hands with its plans for a new city center and arena -- a $100 million investment that will give the city some of the stores and restaurants that its residents crave. The arena is expected to open in the fall and a new city hall will then follow in June 2007. And Palenick anticipates that four years from now, a good portion of the downtown core will be fully developed. But, even then, he thinks the retail in the city still will be playing a significant game of catch-up. © 2006 MSNBC.com URL: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/12248775/

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

WHAT IS ALL THIS "ZILLOW"?

In the last few days, a new Web site launched with great fanfare but spotty performance. When CNN included a story about it on their evening news, the site couldn’t keep up with the hits. Why all the fuss? Zillow promises to give homebuyers and sellers up to date and complete information about the value of their home and comparables in their area. Some have suggested this will make real estate agents obsolete because people will be able to price their own homes to be competitive. The early returns are that the site’s information is incomplete and sometimes wrong, which makes the suggested price ranges they give hard to justify. In some cases, the range is optimistically high, and for others, I’ve negotiated sales higher than their top amount. The site depends on public records for its data. But public records will not show factors, like recent additions and improvements or the condition of the interior, that affect price. Public records can also be wrong; a friend of mine checked her house and said she wants that fireplace she’s supposed to have, but will not give up the second bathroom they didn’t count. If the information about a house is wrong, how valid is the price estimate? In time, the site will undoubtedly improve, but for now – caution. IN ALBUQUERQUE, SALES PRICES ARE NOT OF PUBLIC RECORD, SO THEIR RESULTS ARE VERY INACCURATE! There is no question about real estate agents becoming an endangered species because of this or any other site. Price is only one factor in buying or selling your home, and getting to the settlement table means avoiding traps and overcoming obstacles. A top agent will be experienced at: negotiating the terms of your contract, making sure only qualified buyers troop through your home, meeting and dealing with appraisers, and working with home inspectors and title companies to be sure you are protected from start to finish. Buying or selling a home is an emotionally-charged transaction. Now more than ever it pays to have an experienced professional on your side. Embrace the benefits of new technology, but don’t fall into the trap of believing it will replace market knowledge and personal service. The end of real estate agents? Not any time soon. Margaret Rome Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage5907 Berkeley AveBaltimore, Maryland 21209

The Party Is Not Over!

Real Estate: Is the party over? Exclusive forecasts for the 100 largest markets. December 16, 2005 By Ellen Florian Kratz, FORTUNE NEW YORK (FORTUNE) -- Everybody from Los Angeles to Boston -- your mom, your doctor, your dry cleaner -- is puzzling over which way the nation's real estate market is headed. Up or down? Bubble or not? It's a debate that's been raging for years, and recently that there have been clear signs of a slowdown. It's unlikely, however, that the housing market will come to a screeching halt. To get a clearer picture of how things may play out, FORTUNE turned to Moody's Economy.com and home property-valuation service Fiserv CSW. The researchers crunched numbers on the 100 largest metropolitan regions in the country, and the results of their analysis appear in the table below. Nationally, the overall outlook seems reasonable: 7 percent appreciation for 2006 and flat for 2007. But markets that have seen the greatest appreciation over the past five years appear to be vulnerable. Indeed, at some point in the next two years, according to the forecast, a third of the nation's 100 largest metro areas (accounting for 60 percent of the U.S. population) are expected to see modestly falling house prices. Real estate bear markets often come in the form of steady declines over many years, rather than sudden sharp drops. As inflation gradually gnaws away at the value of nominal home prices, regular folks might not take much notice. But in the long run the loss of wealth becomes all too real. From 1989 to 1997, for instance, Los Angeles residential real estate dropped more than 40 percent in inflation-adjusted terms. The nation's most perilous regional market, according to the forecast data: Las Vegas, a speculator-infested hot spot. Prices there are projected to deflate by 7.9 percent next year, the year after by another 5 percent. For newcomers to the market and those with low-money-down deals who may have overleveraged themselves with adjustable-rate mortgages, even a 2/7/2006 modest downturn could mean financial jeopardy. Click on column headings to re-sort. Click on city name for in-depth statistics. Rank Metro Area State Median home price Projected growth 2006 Projected growth 2007 1 San Antonio TX $129,900 8.30% 7.00% 2 Jacksonville FL $164,700 8.10% 2.50% 3 El Paso TX $107,100 8.10% 7.10% 4 Little Rock-North Little Rock AR $115,700 7.80% 7.20% 5 Baton Rouge LA $133,800 7.60% 3.80% 6 Richmond VA $191,800 7.40% 3.30% 7 Virginia Beach-Norfolk- Newport News VA $193,100 7.30% 1.00% 8 Nashville-Davidson- Newport News TN $157,300 7.10% 6.70% 9 Houston-Sugar Land- Baytown TX $139,800 7.00% 6.60% 10 Memphis TN $147,600 7.00% 6.50% 11 Allentown-Bethlehem- Easton PA $247,400 6.90% 1.20% 12 Oklahoma City OK $116,900 6.90% 6.00% 13 Birmingham-Hoover AL $152,500 6.90% 5.40% 14 Albuquerque NM $166,700 6.50% 6.10% 15 Columbia SC $133,200 6.40% 5.40% 16 Fort Worth-Arlington TX $125,700 6.30% 5.00% 17 Syracuse NY $109,400 6.20% 5.40% 18 Dayton OH $116,500 6.10% 5.60% 19 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission TX $71,000 6.10% 6.20% 20 Salt Lake City UT $165,700 6.10% 3.40% 21 Austin-Round Rock TX $161,800 6.10% 5.00% 22 Tulsa OK $116,600 6.10% 6.20% 23 Pittsburgh PA $113,000 6.00% 5.00% 24 Cincinnati-Middletown OH $146,200 6.00% 6.60% 25 Albany-Schenectady-Troy NY $176,700 6.00% 4.50% 26 Dallas-Plano-Irving TX $155,500 5.90% 6.30% 27 St. Louis MO $134,900 5.80% 4.10% 28 Toledo OH $116,400 5.70% 5.00% 29 Greenville SC $141,300 5.70% 5.00% 30 Sarasota-Bradenton- Venice FL $314,300 5.60% -3.60% 31 Indianapolis IN $121,700 5.60% 5.40% FORTUNE: Real estate growth forecasts (by rank) Page 2 of 5 2/7/2006 32 Wichita KS $107,200 5.50% 4.80% 33 Columbus OH $150,700 5.50% 6.00% 34 Akron OH $117,600 5.40% 5.30% 35 Buffalo-Niagara Falls NY $96,400 5.40% 5.30% 36 Knoxville TN $140,100 5.40% 5.20% 37 New Orleans-Metairie- Kenner LA $149,100 5.40% 6.60% 38 Rochester NY $111,200 5.30% 6.80% 39 Raleigh-Cary NC $183,100 5.20% 5.10% 40 Philadelphia PA $199,400 5.10% 0.50% 41 Charlotte-Gastonia- Concord NC $172,800 5.10% 5.50% 42 Louisville KY $134,800 5.00% 4.60% 43 Milwaukee-Waukesha- West Allis WI $210,900 4.80% 2.50% 44 Tampa-St. Petersburg- Clearwater FL $193,700 4.80% -0.50% 45 Greensboro-High Point NC $145,100 4.80% 5.50% 46 Kansas City MO/KS $154,600 4.70% 4.10% 47 Poughkeepsie-Newburgh- Middletown NY $265,000 4.60% 0.80% 48 Youngstown-Warren- Boardman OH $83,400 4.50% 5.30% 49 Gary IN $127,300 4.40% 3.40% 50 Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor OH $142,800 4.30% 5.10% 51 Omaha-Council Bluffs NE $136,100 4.30% 4.10% 52 Lake County, Kenosha County IL/WI $259,100 4.20% 1.90% 53 Atlanta-Sandy Springs- Marietta GA $165,300 4.20% 4.00% 54 Honolulu HI $570,400 4.00% -1.00% 55 Orlando-Kissimmee FL $226,400 3.80% -0.50% 56 Grand Rapids MI $137,300 3.60% 2.90% 57 Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach FL $356,600 3.10% -4.50% 58 Springfield MA $197,900 3.00% 1.20% 59 Portland-Beaverton- Vancouver OR/WA $234,600 3.00% -0.70% 60 Baltimore-Towson MD $249,100 2.90% -0.80% 61 Tucson AZ $220,900 2.90% -4.00% 62 Camden NJ $210,800 2.70% 0.80% 63 Denver-Aurora CO $244,800 2.60% 2.50% FORTUNE: Real estate growth forecasts (by rank) Page 3 of 5 2/7/2006 64 Wilmington DE $231,000 2.50% 1.70% 65 Seattle-Bellevue-Everett WA $335,500 2.50% 1.00% 66 Tacoma WA $222,700 2.30% 0.60% 67 W. Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach FL $386,200 2.10% -3.90% 68 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale AZ $238,100 2.00% -3.70% 69 Warren-Farmington Hills- Troy MI $196,000 1.90% 0.80% 70 Washington-Arlington- Alexandria DC/VA $404,900 1.80% -3.40% 71 Hartford-West Hartford- East Hartford CT $257,600 1.80% 0.60% 72 Miami-Miami Beach- Kendall FL $343,700 1.80% -5.50% 73 Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn MI $120,100 1.60% 2.00% 74 Newark-Union NJ $407,000 1.50% -1.80% 75 New Haven-Milford CT $280,300 1.40% 0.60% 76 Worcester MA $287,800 1.30% -0.30% 77 Edison NJ $387,900 1.20% -2.90% 78 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet IL $264,900 1.10% 0.20% 79 Cambridge-Newton- Framingham MA $448,800 0.80% 0.00% 80 Minneapolis-St. Paul- Bloomington MN $234,600 0.70% 0.70% 81 Bridgeport-Stamford- Norwalk CT $472,500 0.40% -1.30% 82 New York City-White Plains-Wayne NY/NJ $504,800 0.10% -3.50% 83 San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City CA $766,000 0.10% -2.90% 84 Bethesda-Gaithersburg- Frederick MD $444,500 0.00% -0.50% 85 Boston-Quincy MA $422,900 -0.10% -1.40% 86 Essex County MA $380,600 -0.20% -0.70% 87 Stockton CA $423,100 -0.30% -5.90% 88 San Jose-Sunnyvale- Santa Clara CA $720,900 -0.40% -3.90% 89 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks- Ventura CA $480,300 -0.70% -5.00% 90 Oakland-Fremont- Hayward CA $651,300 -0.70% -4.40% 91 Fresno CA $340,800 -0.80% -2.80% 92 Bakersfield CA $286,300 -0.80% -3.00% FORTUNE: Real estate growth forecasts (by rank) Page 4 of 5 2/7/2006 93 Providence-Fall River- New Bedford RI/MA $292,800 -1.10% -2.20% 94 Sacramento-Arden- Arcade-Roseville CA $372,900 -1.20% -5.10% 95 Los Angeles-Long Beach- Glendale CA $412,900 -1.60% -6.30% 96 Nassau-Suffolk counties NY $461,300 -2.00% -4.20% 97 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario CA $362,800 -2.60% -6.80% 98 Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine CA $682,300 -3.10% -6.10% 99 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos CA $598,700 -3.40% -5.70% 100 Las Vegas-Paradise NV $296,000 -7.90% -5.00% Find this article at: http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/re_growth_forecast FORTUNE: Real estate growth forecasts (by rank) Page 5 of 5 http://cnnmoney.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=FORTUNE%3A+Real+... 2/7/2006

Albuquerque Commercial Real Estate

Albuquerque Commercial Real Estate Boom · Albuquerque is numero uno among the fastest-appreciating markets, according to a column in the Dec. 12 issue of the weekly California Real Estate Journal. The column, written by Craig Thomas of Torto Wheaton Research, ranked Detroit second and Jacksonville, Fla., third. Tucson was sixth. · Albuquerque is the sixth best investment market for commercial property, according to a Dec. 11 article in The New York Times. The article, which credited Moody's Investor Service for the rankings, said the Duke City trailed behind Los Angeles, New York City, Orange County (Calif.), Honolulu and Washington, D.C. Copies of the articles were provided by Aaron Hazelrigg, president of Centurion Properties and a self-described "newspaper junkie." Albuquerque Journal, Business Outlook, February 20, 2006

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Our Market is still Great!

Just listened to a CNN report about how the housing market is dying. Not here. Just some anecdotal things - today I'm talking to my buyer's agent...telling her that it is supposed to slow down. She says "I hope so, I can't believe this is supposed to be the slow season, when does it really start?" We laughed. If this is slow, I will need another ME in order to cover things this spring. My office manager said the same thing - "still just as many packages coming across my desk, if this is the SLOW season, I will have to hire someone this spring." You see, Albuquerque is a new destination for the individual wanting to live in the beautiful Southwest. Our weather is unbeatable, our amenities many. Our prices are still reasonable, and lifestyles are fun and carefree. Did you know that many of the marathon runners who run the Boston Marathon and Olympic Marathon come to live here to train? It's because you can literally run 24/7, 365 days a year, in high altitude - what a dream for outdoor lovers. Fishing? All within an hour of Albuquerque. Ski buffs - 20 minutes from Albuquerque, 3 hours to Taos. The list is endless. So, if anyone thinks it's going to be slow here - just call me. If you can get me to answer the phone. I might be writing another real estate deal.

Friday, January 13, 2006

ALBUQUERQUE MARKET IS STILL BOOMING!

Thursday, January 12, 2006 Retail Center Comes to West Side By Rory McClannahan Journal Staff Writer The West Side will be getting a new retail and office center in the next couple of months. Construction on the Shoppes at West Park, located on the northwest corner of Paradise and Eagle Ranch, will begin construction the first week in February, said Mike Novak, one of the center's developers. The center will have about 12,000 square feet of space. Novak said about half of the space has been leased, although he could not reveal what businesses would be moving in. Novak did say, however, that the offices will be occupied by professional types of businesses, such as doctors, accountant and insurance agents. The 8,400 square feet of retail space will be occupied by mostly service businesses. Novak said he expects the construction to take about four months. NOT TOO LATE: If you didn't get into the real estate market in 2005, it's still not too late to buy in. Despite predictions that the housing market bubble will pop this year, the market in the Albuquerque metro area, including the West Side, is looking good. So good, in fact, that Fortune Magazine has rated the Albuquerque metro area as the 14th best market in the country for real estate. Albuquerque came in first for metro areas in the West. The top 10 in the country are all in the South. That is misleading, however, because El Paso came in at No. 3 and it is nearly as far west as Albuquerque. The top metro area in the country is San Antonio, Texas. Las Vegas, Nev., came in at No. 100. In its evaluation of the top 100 housing markets, Fortune is predicting that home prices in the Albuquerque metro area are likely to increase by 6.5 percent this year and another 6.1 percent in 2007. In the West, Salt Lake City is the only other metro area expected to see a rise in home prices through 2007. The West was once a "paradise for speculators. But the chickens may be coming home to roost," the magazine states. If the predictions are true, homeowners in the Albuquerque metro area can expect higher returns on sales.

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I believe in a consultative approach to buying and selling homes.  Albuquerque is my home and I love the gorgeous surroundings, the breathtaking scenery and blue skies that are everywhere.

I love the pueblo style homes and the contemporary masterpieces that our artists have created - everywhere there is beauty!