Thursday, December 27, 2007


A group of women volunteers will break ground on a new HABITAT FOR HUMANITY house Jan. 12 as part of Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity's Women Build project. The project is being underwritten by Lowe's Companies Inc. which is providing a $25,000 grant to co-sponsor the home. Lowe's also will provide free clinics on home construction basics for women participating in the build. The Women Build program brings women from all walks of life together to learn construction skills and then use those skills to provide more housing. Women interested in volunteering on the build can contact Habitat's volunteer coordinator, Winni DuBois, at (505) 265-0057 x103, or at Keep updated with more information on Albuquerque housing by going to my site at

Practical Tips To Secure Your Home

According to crime reports compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation one out of every six homes will be burglarized this year. By making it more difficult for intruders to get into your residence, you can greatly reduce your chances of being robbed. The more a burglar has to work to get into your home, the less chance you have of becoming his victim. There are several things you can do to make your home less vulnerable, below are some home security tips that are easy to implement, and will keep you and your family as safe as possible. • Trees located near windows or shrubbery that might shield a burglar from view can be major flaws in your home-protection plan. Consider your landscaping plan in light of your protection needs. • Keep all points of entry to your home well-lit. Consider installing motion-sensor lights on the rear and sides of your home and position them in out-of-reach places so they can't easily be turned off by a would-be thief. • Talk to your neighbors about any suspicious people or strange cars you notice lurking about. • When on vacation, set lights on timers or light sensors to turn on and off in the evening Also be sure to suspend newspaper delivery so papers do not pile up in front of your house • Be sure to have operational porch lights. Peepholes are important for allowing you to see who is at the door before opening it. Don't rely on the little chains which are often installed on doors to prevent them from opening more than a few inches. While no method is 100 percent effective against burglaries, you can use the above tips to decrease your chances of being the next burglary victim. If you need additional information about home security, contact your local Neighborhood Watch Program, Sheriff's Office or a local security service. For more information on protecting your home go to my site at

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bad Credit? You Can Still Buy A Home!

Do you want to buy a home but feel you cannot because you have bad credit? The reality is you are not alone and most people are embrassed and discouraged because of their poor credit history. The average American now carries about $8,000 in credit card debt and bankruptcy rates have soared over the past couple of years. In addition, filing for bankruptcy stays on your credit history for 10 years, and can significantly lower your credit score. The good news is that you can buy a home and there are many mortgage companies who specialize in working with consumers with bad credit. They can help you to get a clear picture of where you stand and what steps you need to take to achieve your goal of home ownership. However, keep in mind it is a good idea to do research and make sure you are dealing with a reputable company. It is always advisable to shop around for the best bad credit mortgage company in the market. The lending market can be broken up into two main segments, the prime, those with average to good credit who are not huge financial risks. Then there is the sub prime market, with those who have poor to very bad or no credit. Lenders can give ratings to a certain sub prime client giving them a rating from A-D: A being the best rating and D being the worst. When you fall into the C or D category, you are considered very high risk and more likely to default on a loan than that of a person with an A or B rating. Sub prime lenders generally give loans to even the highest of risk cases. They look at the same information that a prime lender would look at to evaluate the type mortgage you can have. They look at credit history, income, expenses and long term debt. Even if you do have foreclosures, bankruptcies, delinquent payments, and outstanding debt, they will take all of this into consideration. If you can show steady employment, a good income, an effort to pay back the money you owe and are doing it in a timely fashion, you are more likely to get a better rate than that of someone who is not taking any steps to fix their credit. Fortunately the sub prime market is extremely competitive, even for the worst credit cases, so you do not have to accept the first lender who offers to loan you money. Take your time, do your research and shop around and compare rates. Everyone makes mistakes, and buying a home is still an option regardless of your credit history. As long as the sub prime market continues to be competitive, you will have a huge advantage. Keep in mind however; it is important to take steps to repair your credit, and buying a home can aid in this. If you make you mortgage payments on time every month, then you can actually help to get your credit back on track. It is possible to buy a home and repair your credit at the same time! Take advantage of the opportunities you have at your fingertips.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Do It Yourself Home Improvement

Thinking of tackling some home improvement projects? You may be wondering, ‘can I really do it myself?’ The answer is “YES!” With a little research and some hard work, you can fix, repair, build on or enhance you home. Supplying your own elbow grease to a home improvement job is a worthy effort to save you money and boost the bottom line of value returned to your home. In addition, there is a certain satisfaction that results from completing a project with your own two hands. Even so, there are some guidelines you should try to follow to make the most out of your project. •Safety first! Always use eye protection and dress for safety: wear sturdy clothing, boots, gloves and be sure to wear a mask to avoid breathing dust and fibers. It is a good idea to also keep a good first-aid kit on hand. •Get the best. Build with quality equipment, materials and workmanship. Skimping up front means skimping on the boost-in-value end. •Before you undertake any do-it-yourself home improvement project, it's best to be aware of your limitations and recognize when it's time to throw in the towel and call in the pros. •Experts suggest you first start small and steer clear of your home's major components -- bearing walls, foundations, roofs, and major electrical, mechanical or plumbing work. •Consider your options. Instead of installing a new floor think about painting and. adding new fixtures instead. Maybe instead of expanding a room changing the lighting and adding a brighter decor scheme may do the trick. Small efforts for less money can often produce big changes. Many low-cost energy efficient home improvements, for example, come with cash-back opportunities in the form of lower utility bills, rebates and tax breaks. "Do-it-yourself" doesn't necessarily mean you have to hammer in every nail and fasten down every bolt. Some projects will require skills that are over your head or labor intensive. Hire a professional you can work with or enlist the skills of friends, neighbors and relatives. It is a good idea to do your homework and lots of research on the project you are about to tackle. For more information, and advice to help get you started, check out these helpful sites! FOR VENDOR INFORMATION CONTACT ME AT

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Things To Consider When House Hunting

When it comes time to buy a home there are some important factors to consider to ensure you make the right decision. You may want to buy a home in a particular neighborhood, or maybe you are looking for a large back yard. House hunting can be exciting, it can also be stressful and overwhelming. Use the tips below to help lead you in the right direction so make your experience a positive one and in the end find that house of your dreams! • Create a list. Think about what you and your family really need and want in your home. Focus in on the features you must have, would like to have, definitely don't want and would prefer not to have. Your goal is to find the right home for your family without falling in love with one that doesn't suit your needs. A good idea to get started is to think about what you like and dislike about your current home. • Location, location, location. You've probably heard this old real estate cliché several times, but the point still bears repeating. Location is crucial. How far are you really willing to commute to your place of employment? How close are the local schools, shopping centers, and other amentiites. Is the potential home next to a busy road or a commercial property? Keep in mind even a picture-perfect dream home can be a mistake if it's in an undesirable location, and a poor-location home can be a particularly bad choice if you anticipate reselling the home within a few years. •Prepare by doing your homework. The internet is a great source of information about recent home sales prices, market trends, homes on the market, neighborhood statistics and the home-buying process. Go surfing. Get educated and learn all you can to help you make the right decision. •Affordability. Before you begin your search you shoud get pre-approved, so you know how much money you can borrow you'll know the price range you can afford. In addition, it can save you a lot of heartaches from falling in love in something way beyond your budget. Once you know your pre-approval loan, double check it by considering your present circumstances, lifestyle and spending habits. Once your confident with how much you can afford to buy, concentrate on the properties within your budget. Don’t be tempted to look at more expensive properties. and buying more than what you can afford. •Be prepared to make an offer. House-hunting can be especially frustrating if you think you're not really emotionally or financially ready to buy a home. If you're not ready, don't put yourself through that experience. If you are ready, go through a blank purchase contract ahead of time so you'll know what decisions you'll face when you make an offer.

My Albuquerque Podcast

Please tune in every month for my new Albuquerque Real Estate Podcast and updates on the market at my site at My newest Podcast can be heard at Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Helpful Hints For A Easier Closing

Whether this is your first closing or if you have been through it before, closing on a purchase of a home can be stressful and all the paperwork can seem overwhelming. However, there are several things that you can do prior to the actual closing day that will help to ensure that your real estate transaction will go smoothly and help reduce the stress and anxiety. • Set the closing date that is best for you. Before you rush to set the date to close, consider that realize not all closing dates are equal. Be sure to sure to set a date that's in your best interest. Some things to consider: Does it give you enough time to prepare your move? Is it near the end of your lease so you won't pay unnecessary rent? Are there tax implications (if it falls at year's end, would you be better off pushing it to January)? • Gather all necessary documents and receipts. Organize all the items you need to take with you to the actual closing, you do not want to forget something and delay the closing. It is a good idea to create a file folder so you have everything in one place. Some items to remember to bring along are: your drivers license or other photo ID, proof of homeowners insurance-bring both the insurance policy and paid receipt, personal checks are not accepted for closing costs so be sure to bring a cashiers check or money order in the correct amount. In addition, if your loan requires that you must satisfy a specific condition in order to close, be sure to have proof that you have met lender conditions or contingencies. For example, if closing the sale on a previous residence was a condition of loan approval, you need copies of those closing documents to close on your new home. • Do a final walk through inspection. This is your last chance to view the property before taking ownership of it. Make sure everything is as you remember it (no new damages, all conveyed items present, etc.). Also, if you made the contract contingent upon certain repairs (based on the home inspection), now is the time to ensure those repairs have been made. Make sure that your contract allows you to examine the property within 24 hours prior to closing. If, during the walk-through, the buyers find major problems or violations of the purchase contract, they have the right to hold up the settlement until things are fixed. • Review all documents. A day or two before closing, you should review your final closing statement or HUD-1 Statement, whichever is used in your area of the country. Take the time to check and double check all the calculations and be certain that you are given credit for all your deposits and any other credits due to you from the seller or for other items agreed upon between buyer and seller. Go over all the lender and title and escrow fees, to be sure they are what you had been told and that you agree to them. Before signing your name to any closing documents, make certain that everything is correct, interest rate, fees charged and condition of the property.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Albuquerque Holiday Special Events

Now that the holidays are here, celebrate with New Mexico's largest city as we observe the holiday season with notable style and festivities. Take time to enjoy these events with family and friends. • 13th Annual Holiday Shop & Stroll in Historic Nob Hill. Enjoy music, food and special sales with over 50 shops and restaurants along the Nob Hill business district participating in the spirit of the holidays. Central Avenue will be closed to cars from Girard to Washington. A great way to get all of your early holiday shopping done in one area. This is a free event on December 6th, for more information call 255.5006. • Enjoy the Annual Holiday Stroll in Old Town, December 7th. This event features live entertainment, dancers, family activities, Santa Clause will be on hand and the lighting of the giant Christmas tree at Plaza Don Luis. For more information visit • Come enjoy colorful floats and custom cars and bands and more at Albuquerque's Brightest Holiday Event in Downtown . This year’s Twinkle Light Parade promises to be the best ever. The Twinkle Light Parade will light up the night starting at 5:15 pm , November 24th from the corner of 3rd Street and Central Avenue. • From November 24th to December 30th, visitors can enjoy the magic of hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights and dazzling holiday displays at New Mexico’s largest walk-through light show. Each year's the River Of Lights unveils a number of ingenious new sculptures and stunning displays designed and constructed by Albuquerque BioPark artists and craftsmen. • The Annual Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival Holiday show will be held November 30th thru December 2nd this year at EXPO New Mexico: Home of the State Fair. This fine arts and crafts festival features over 200 national artists and craftsmen, artists, demonstrations, entertainment, food and fun. National recognized as one of the 200 best shows in the country. Featuring the Holiday Crafts Station for kids and the Holiday Cookie Walk. This season promises many fun things to do, so get out there and enjoy. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Time For Thanks…And Giving

The season of giving is upon us! If you would like to donate or volunteer to help brighten the holiday for those in need, check out one of the many organizations that needs your help. •The Roadrunner Food Bank is one of our state's largest non-profit organization dedicated to ending hunger. They need your help with the 2007 Holiday Food Drive. Their goal is to raise over one million pounds of food to feed our hungry neighbors this holiday season. With many events and drives going on, there are several ways to participate, visit their website for more information at •Start a new tradition and volunteer to prepare and serve a holiday meal to those in need. Visit this site for a listing of all the organizations in the area that host a free holiday dinner and get hands on and help! •Visit the website and help feed the hungry for free! For every click on their site their sponsors will dontate to helping feed the hungry. You can also learn other free ways to help as well as how to donate money. Giving to your community and those in need makes the holiday complete. Enjoy the food and company of family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Helpful Tips When Moving With Children

Moving can be a stressful and difficult time for children as well as adults. When children are forced from their familiar surroundings they experience a vast array of emotions. Children can feel scared, angry, anxiety and grief when they learn they are moving. It is important to ease the transition into a new home, below are some helpful hints that parents can use is important for children, some tips for parents include: • Try to involve children in the moving decisions as much as possible. Involving children in the selection of the actual house, what room they will choose as their own and other decisions gives children a sense of empowerment over the situation. • If you are moving across town, take your children to visit the new home and explore the new neighborhood. • Also visit new schools to see if orientation programs are available for newcomers. • If you are moving to a new town or state, do as much research as possible about the area together. • After you have moved into the new house, attempt to get your children’s rooms together first before other rooms of the house so they have a comfort zone to go to with their familiar items. • When moving, there's a certain amount of disruption to regular schedules that you simply can't avoid. But once you've moved in, try to get back to your normal family routines as quickly as possible. This will help younger children, in particular, who need routines and more consistency. Having the same nap times, morning and bedtime routines, and meal times might be comforting. It is important to be realistic on how you expect your children to transition and adapt to the new home and neighborhood. It may take several weeks for a child to adapt and feel comfortable in their new surroundings. Every child is different so remember to be supportive and focus on the positive things that the new home offers, for instance closer to a park or more kids to play with in the neighborhood.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Albuquerque Museum of Art & History Offers Free Day

The first Wednesday of the month and every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, is free entrance to the museum. It is easy to find, located in a unique position—in the heart of historic Old Town and just across the street from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. The museum regularly features exhibitions, and from November 18, 2007 thru February 10th, 2008 Temples and Tombs: Treasures of Egyptian Art from The British Museum will be on display. The full range of pharaonic history, from shortly before the Third Dynasty, about 2686 B.C., to the Roman occupation of the fourth century A.D. The exhibition provides a rare opportunity to view renowned Egyptian masterworks and lesser-known treasures before their final return to The British Museum. In addition, you will also experience paintings, sculpture, artifacts, a sculpture garden and they also offer children and adult workshops. For more information visit their website at Don’t miss out on this great cultural bargain! The museum is located: 2000 Mountain Road NW Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104 Phone 505/243-7255 OPEN 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Tuesday - Sunday CLOSED MONDAYS AND CITY HOLIDAYS

Friday, October 12, 2007


With the media telling us 'The Sky is Falling', should you rent, or should you buy? Let's take a minute to find out - SHOULD I RENT, OR SHOULD I BUY?

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Bank of Albuquerque Mortgage What Are Piggyback Loans? Depending on the lender or broker you’re talking to, Piggyback loans are also called: a. Combo Loans b. 80/10, 80/15, 80/20, 75/25 loans Piggyback loans combine a 1st mortgage (usually 75 - 80% of the appraised value, to avoid PMI), with a “piggyback” 2nd mortgage (usually 10%, 15%, 20% or 25% of the appraised value). Both loans are closed at the same time, and through the same lender (at least in our case). Because the loans are closed at the same time through the same lender, usually the closing costs on the 2nd mortgage are minimal. Remember, because you have two mortgages, you will have two mortgage payments instead of one. What's the Advantage of a Piggyback Loan? Piggyback loans can be used effectively in three different ways: 1. Avoiding PMI charges. This is far and away their most popular use. PMI insurance is charged on any conventional 1st mortgage loan that exceeds 80% of the appraised value. By keeping the 1st mortgage amount at 80% or less, and taking out a 2nd mortgage for the remainder, you avoid the PMI charge. 2. Avoiding Cash Out Penalties on Refinances. Beginning in 2003, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased the loan costs on any refinance that used part of the proceeds to pay off a 2nd mortgage or for other purposes, if the LTV exceeded 70%. Again, by taking out a 1st mortgage for 70% of the appraised value, and doing a piggyback 2nd for the remainder, you avoid the cash out penalty. 3. Splitting a Jumbo loan into two non-Jumbo loans. Jumbo loans (loans in excess of $417,000) usually carry higher rates than non-jumbo loans. By taking out a 1st mortgage just at $417,000, and doing a piggyback 2nd for the remainder, you avoid paying the higher jumbo rates on either mortgage. Note that in all the cases above, it is not always beneficial to do a piggyback 2nd. It depends on a number of variables, such as: a. The rate on the 2nd mortgage. Second mortgage rates are almost always higher than 1st mortgage rates. b. The proportion of the loan that is 1st mortgage vs 2nd mortgage. As a general rule, the more of your loan safely contained in the (lower rate) 1st mortgage, and the less contained in the (higher rate) 2nd mortgage, the more beneficial a piggyback loan is. c. The PMI, cash-out penalty and/or Jumbo rate charge. The exact cost of whatever it is you’re trying to avoid. What Are the Types of Piggyback Loans? The first mortgage is just a normal 1st mortgage, fixed, ARM, etc. But the 2nd mortgage, depending on the lender and program, can come in two different flavors: a) A fixed rate for a specified period of time, just like your first mortgage, or like a car loan. Usually but not always, the 2nd mortgage will be for a shorter term than the 1st mortgage. b) A line of credit, where the rate and monthly payment vary depending on your balance, just a credit card account. For information contact: Bank of Albuquerque Mortgage Lisa Crain Phone: (505) 837-4214 Fax: (505) 855-7316

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Improvement in Mortgage Market Bodes Well for Housing in 2008 WASHINGTON, October 10, 2007 - Conditions in the mortgage market are improving for consumers, which should help to release some pent-up demand in early 2008, according to the latest forecast by the National Association of Realtors®. Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist, notes that widening credit availability will help turn around home sales. “Conforming loans are abundantly available at historically favorable mortgage rates. Pricing has steadily improved on jumbo mortgages since the August credit crunch, and FHA loans are replacing subprime mortgages,” he said. Yun said it’s important to place the current housing market in perspective, and that 2007 will be the fifth highest year on record for existing-home sales. “Although sales are off from an unsustainable peak in 2005, there is a historically high level of home sales taking place this year – a lot of people are, in fact, buying homes,” he said. “One out of 16 American households is buying a home this year. The speculative excesses have been removed from the market and home sales are returning to fundamentally healthy levels, while prices remain near record highs, reflecting favorable mortgage rates and positive job gains.” He emphasized all real estate is local with naturally large variations within a given area. “Markets like Austin, Salt Lake City and Raleigh have been outperforming recently and will continue to do well next year,” Yun said. “Other areas like Denver and Wichita will likely move up in the price growth rankings due to very positive local economic developments.” Existing-home sales are expected to total 5.78 million in 2007 and then rise to 6.12 million next year, in contrast with 6.48 million in 2006. New-home sales are forecast at 804,000 this year and 752,000 in 2008, down from 1.05 million in 2006; a recovery for new homes will be delayed until next spring. “A cutback in housing construction is a positive sign for the market because it will help lower inventory and firm up home prices,” Yun said. Housing starts, including multifamily units, are likely to total 1.37 million in 2007 and 1.24 million next year, down from 1.80 million in 2006. NAR President Pat V. Combs, from Grand Rapids, Mich., and vice president of Coldwell Banker-AJS-Schmidt, said, “Housing is still a good long-term investment, and we’ll be seeing a broad, modest improvement in home prices in 2008. With widely varying conditions, the best advice for consumers is to consult a Realtor® in their area to learn about local market conditions because supply and demand can change from one neighborhood to the next.” Existing-home prices will probably slip 1.3 percent to a median of $219,000 in 2007 before rising 1.3 percent next year to $221,800. The median new-home price should drop 2.1 percent to $241,400 this year, and then increase 1.0 percent in 2008 to $243,900. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is expected to average 6.4 percent for the next two quarters and then edge up to the 6.6 percent range in the second half 2008. Additional cuts expected in the Fed funds rate will help to keep mortgage interest rates historically favorable. Growth in the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated at 2.0 percent this year, below the 2.9 percent growth rate in 2006; GDP is likely to grow 2.7 percent next year. The unemployment rate is forecast to average 4.6 percent this year, unchanged from 2006. Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, is expected to be 2.8 percent in 2007, compared with 3.2 percent last year. Inflation-adjusted disposable personal income will probably increase 3.6 percent in 2007, up from 3.1 percent last year. The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. ____________________________________ National Association of Realtors, Press Release 10/10/07 To keep updated on all information about the Albuquerque, New Mexico real estate market, contact Linda at 440-7200 or

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Albuquerque's Ecbroker®

Whether you are buying, selling, retrofitting, or just looking for more information, please feel free to take advantage of all EcoBroker has to offer.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


NEW AREA CODE FOR NEW MEXICO COMING! On October 7, 2007 - the state of New Mexico will be split into two area codes. The northwest region of the state will retain it's current area code (505) and the rest of the state will get a new area code (575). This change will affect wireline and wireless services as well as other communications services. Why? We are running out of usable telephone numbers due to growth in state residents, communications service providers, available products, and additional lines, so the state needs to add a new area code to meet demand.

Friday, August 31, 2007


Real estate practices, customs and laws can vary significantly from state to state. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, it’s in your best interest to arm yourself with the most comprehensive, market-specific information available. Albuquerque Realtor® Linda DeVlieg agrees that “knowledge is power” for her real estate clients. That is what prompted her and Summit County Realtor® Ken Deshaies to collaborate on an informative new book titled “Get the Best Deal When Selling Your Home, Albuquerque, New Mexico Edition.” “For most people, their home is the largest single investment they will make in their lives,” Linda says. Also covered are important issues ranging from the role of the Internet in today’s tech-savvy market, to the Multiple Listing Service, Property Valuation, Market Conditions, Preparing Your Home For Sale, Screening Prospective Buyers, the Closing—Table, and finally, Preparing for Uncle Sam. The next section of the book speaks to prospective buyers. While the Internet provides a myriad of options for buyers to view potential homes, DeVlieg and Deshaies both agree that a Realtor® is your best bet when purchasing a home. An experienced “buyer representative” can save a prospective buyer countless hours of legwork by carefully screening homes according to the buyer’s search criteria. Realtors®, especially seasoned brokers, are skilled negotiators who will represent your individual needs, and negotiate the best deal possible. Also included in this section are details describing the entire home purchase process as well as mortgage options and credit issues. Get the Best Deal When Selling Your Home is a very easy read that plainly describes the ideal client/ Realtor® relationship and provides real examples of the writers’ experiences in their combined 30-plus years in the industry. Former clients open each chapter with a brief story related to the topic that is addressed in that chapter, and describe first-hand an experience they had when buying or selling their home. The book’s closing pages include an appendix with a glossary of terms and a valuable moving checklist. Industry professionals, home buyers and sellers alike, are praising the book for its no-nonsense readability, and favorably compare the experiences written about in “Get the Best Deal When Selling Your Home,” with their own. Linda DeVlieg is a Sales Associate with Coldwell Banker Legacy. She is a Certified Internet Real Estate Professional (e-PRO), an Accredited Buyers Representative and an Allen F. Hainge CyberStar™. In the new home construction arena, she earned the Pulte Homes Sales Associate of the year in 2005 and 2006. Get the Best Deal When Selling Your Home, Albuquerque, New Mexico Edition, is available through Linda’s website at For more information, contact Linda DeVlieg at Coldwell Banker Legacy at 505-440-7200 or toll free at 877-548-3942.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


The rise and fall of real estate prices has become such a national obsession, the stats really ought to be carried on the sports pages. Small wonder, as the number of Americans buying investment property has boomed in recent years. But with double-digit price appreciation slowing or vanishing from many markets, the question has become, what's next? "The entire country has benefited from declining interest rates," said John Burns, an Irvine-Calif.-based real estate analyst. "But what's been very interesting in the recent cycles is that investor activity has driven a lot of the behavior." Despite talk of a national real estate bubble, housing sales and prices are local phenomenon driven by the trinity of local job growth, the supply of new homes and affordability, Burns said. Add in wild cards like climate, rapidly-changing demographics and investor activity and markets throughout the nation behave in idiosyncratic ways. Markets that are growing A variety of influences have continued to create a good market in the southeast. Strong gains in home sales in 2005 for Mississippi (17.3 percent), Louisiana (22.9 percent) and North Carolina (17 percent) are expected to continue thanks in part to real estate that has not appreciated exponentially in the last few years. In North Carolina, Raleigh continues to be a good bet. It's got a strong and diverse economy and the kind of mild weather that appeal to transplants from throughout the nation. Ironically, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina has created both need and opportunity in Louisiana’s housing market, with New Orleans the hub of a building mini-boom. Mississippi's Gulf Coast is also expected to benefit, having lost more than 65,000 homes to the hurricane. In the west, it’s all about Texas (up 9.8 percent) and New Mexico (up 26.2percent). Albuquerque, N.M., with its affordable housing and scenic setting, has beefed up the local housing market. Refugees from Southern California's overheated real estate scene are making their way east, while the long, hot summers of southern Arizona, coupled with that region's rising prices, have attracted a growing number of Phoenix residents. Relentless hikes in oil prices coupled with a wave of Katrina refugees could well turn into a two-step for Texas, where Austin, on numerous most-livable-city lists, sends out a siren song. A steady building, a vibrant city center and a good local economy should help the region’s housing market buck the busted bubble trend. Markets that have peaked After a long run-up in prices and sales, the New York and Massachusetts markets in the east (down 2.2 percent and 5.1 percent respectively), the Midwest’s Illinois market (down .9 percent) and Oregon and Colorado in the west (down 8.9 and 2.9 percent, respectively) show signs of leveling. In New York’s suburban areas like Westchester and Duchess Counties, homes have begun taking longer to sell than in previous years. In the city itself, however, tight supply and high demand should help keep things on an even keel. Ditto for Massachusetts, where home sales in Boston have visibly slowed. The region’s continued strong economy; however, coupled with the historic high demand is good news for real estate watchers. In Illinois, Chicago residents may also see a sign of a slowdown. Although citywide prices didn’t skyrocket, investor enthusiasm managed to push the market to the straining point. With many homes currently overvalued, the Windy City could be forced to hunker down as prices slowly settle. Out west, Denver’s Rocky Mountain high has come to an end thanks to an abundance — an over-abundance, some say — of new homes and the lingering effects of. A softening economy. Bad economic news has also hurt Portland, where the burst tech bubble has had lingering effects. Slow-growth measures that kept a cap on new housing are the good news to come out of this high-priced region, making supply low enough to stimulate demand. Markets on the way down Written into every gee-whiz story about the magical real estate markets of Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada and Washington, D.C., was the question: How long can this last? The answer could come this year. Arizona’s growth dropped 22 percent in 2005, while California slowed by 19.2 percent, Florida and Nevada dropped 15 percent each and Washington, DC, posted a decline of 18.2 percent. With a phenomenal growth rate in the 30 percent range, sunny Arizona seemed eternally golden. Phoenix and Tucson, each of which put up astonishing numbers, are set for the equal and opposite reaction promised by Newton’s Third Law. Vacancy rates are high and analysts predict lower prices and slower sales as a result. Gambling on Nevada could be risky as well, where a building spree seems to finally have more than met demand. In California, the Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento markets appear to be ready for a correction. In L.A., renters have simply been priced out of the market. Steady building in the Sacramento area has finally outstripped demand. And while the Bay Area’s notoriously high prices won’t do a sharp tumble, a spate of “price reduced” signs in formerly hot neighborhoods could be a bellwether of what’s to come. Florida’s decade-long building boom may finally have caught up with itself, with the boom area around Orlando seeing a slow-down. Repeated hurricanes traveling through the center of the state have caused investors to rethink the area and a decade-long building boom is outstripping demand. In Miami, prices are topping out as investors wrestle with weather concerns and decide against homes that are sharply overvalued. The Washington, D.C. area could be facing a similar fate. Buyers forced to choose between pricey homes in the city and more reasonable real estate in the surrounding areas now have a bargaining chip that could drive prices down in the year to come. The Stats: Housing Markets to Watch Out For The Good The Not-So-Good The Getting Ugly North Carolina Massachusetts Arizona Louisiana New York California Texas Illinois Florida Mississippi Colorado Nevada New Mexico Oregon Washington, D.C. By Nicki Kipen, HOMESTORE.COM

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Today's Mortgage Market

Alot of stuff on the news today about the mortgage market! We had news today that a primary mortgage source went under, leaving 3 MAJOR mortgage companies in Albuquerque without ways to fund their loans. This is causing a slight nail biting within our industry today, but take some sedatives and know this - ALL IS NOT LOST! Stick with a good mortgage source and you won't have any issues. IT'S NOT ALWAYS PRICE BUT SERVICE AND RELIABILITY! Here's a word from my mortgage expert, Tony Valencia at Superior Mortage: To whom it may concern: In light of recent events I wanted to keep you informed on the state of the mortgage market in Albuquerque. First Magnus which has many smaller companies under its umbrella has shut its doors. These companies have stopped taking loan applications and funding of their loans until other resources can be located. Finding other lending resources is a tedious task and may take longer than expected to obtain. Superior Mortgage is a diversified company that offers many more than one product and investor. We don’t put all of eggs in one basket. We are here to help the Real Estate community weather this storm. Please show respect to our fellow mortgage bankers as we are all hoping for the best and keeping high hopes that the storm will not last too long. We can help your clients and will take transfers if needed. Sincerely, TONY VALENCIA SR. Loan Officer/Partner Superior Mortgage Services (505)468-1768

Monday, July 30, 2007

Home Prices Aren't Falling in Saturated Market

By Autumn Gray Copyright © 2007 Albuquerque Journal; Assistant Business Editor Patrick King started helping his brother look for his first home at the end of summer 2006. Their price range: $100,000 to $130,000. Their luck? They found one and only one in the Albuquerque metro area "that wasn't a total dump" after looking for almost a year, King said. The Kings' story flies in the face of recent headlines declaring that home sales are down, inventory is high, and buyers have the upper hand. In the Albuquerque metro area, the number of homes for sale is record-breaking. But, as the Kings and others like them are discovering, inventory and slow sales aren't pulling prices down— especially for entry-level homes. The Kings eventually found a 940-square-foot house, which they bought for $126,500. "We felt like we had to act quickly because things like that just don't stay on the market long," said King, who was acting on behalf of his brother, Michael, the head custodian at a West Side elementary school. He said most of the homes in that price range needed serious work. The one they bought is "way out in Rio Rancho— one of the early houses (about 20 years old) built out there by AMREP." It's really hard to find anything in the $150,000 range, and anything under $150,000 is very scarce. You're going to be looking at condos and townhomes. Albuquerque's oversupply of homes tends to appear in the $200,000 to $300,000 range. And houses priced at $1 million or more are also not moving. Those buyers "have dried up a lot.” Record listings The Albuquerque Metropolitan Board of Realtors reported a record 6,189 listings of resale attached and detached single-family homes as of mid-July. Throw in those that are for sale by owner or new and being sold by builders, and there's even more. That shatters the previous record set in August 1999, when existing home inventory stood at 5,310. Despite the number on the market, average and median home sales prices are getting more expensive by the month. That's "a direct result from (Hurricane) Katrina and its fallout," says David Murphy, publisher of SalesTraq of New Mexico, a subscription-only real estate database. "It was a natural disaster that was a breaking mechanism for the boom. It slowed down speculative buying." Katrina hit in August 2005, when the national and local housing market was going gangbusters. Home builders had been selling on paper a massive amount of homes at a record pace, sometimes getting contracts on five to 10 homes from a single individual wanting investment properties. But when the hurricane struck, material costs went through the roof and labor became scarce. Projects got delayed. By the time construction was completed on many of these pre-ordered homes, some investors had backed out leaving builders with more property than they could move. Others tried to rent them come 2006 but couldn't after a year of trying and were forced to sell. By then, interest rates began hovering around 6 percent, up from lows near 5.25 percent, and they've continued to climb to around 6.75 percent this year. Bucking the trend In such a saturated market, economic laws would expect prices to fall, like they have nationwide. Nationally, the median home price is down 1.4 percent from a year ago to $218,000, according to the National Association of Realtors. But in the Albuquerque metro area, the median price (the price at which half the homes were sold above and below) has risen $3,000 since April to $201,500 in June. Median prices are up $11,000 since January and are about $16,000 higher than a year ago when 3,602 resale homes— just more than half the number today— were on the market. Average prices, too, jumped from $243,023 in April to $254,298 by the end of last month. That's $15,000 more than last year, according to AMBR. One reason for the higher price is that the housing being built here has changed to appeal to more expensive tastes. That means the escalation of overall prices is as much a reflection of a shift in what's being built as it is on appreciation of existing homes. With granite countertops, intricate tilework, appliance packages and greater attention to interior architectural detailing now standard in many homes, base prices are increasing, pushing up the metro's prices as a whole. "Homes in general have become more high-end in the Albuquerque area," Murphy says. Drive through Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Los Lunas and Bernalillo, and you're seeing a trend toward more expensive subdivisions and more expensive homes. "Don't get the idea that we're in some super-hot appreciation market, because we're not," he says. You don't have to be too observant to notice homes languishing for months, their sales prices being slashed $5,000, $10,000, even $25,000, depending on the amount of time listed and the location. As always, some neighborhoods are selling more quickly and at higher prices than others. Realtors say many sellers simply priced their homes too high, basing the list price on appreciation they expected after seeing prices skyrocket in 2005. "A lot of sellers are that way, and lot of them are a victim of the amount of money they borrowed (when they bought during the boom) and can't afford to go to market levels," Coldwell Banker's Lee said. Custom features The trend toward high-dollar development started with the custom builders. The Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico's annual Parade of Homes has seen a rise in its million dollar and multimillion dollar mansions annually. Meanwhile, the majority of Albuquerque residents have relied on production builders for real houses at "regular" prices. But that, too, is changing. Even production companies popular with first-time home buyers appear to going more upscale. Take KB Home. It entered the luxury market locally this year for the first time with its Montecito Estates subdivision on the northwest mesa. With home prices starting in the mid-$200s and on up to the high $300s, the community is a departure for the company, known for catering to first-time home buyers. Spokeswoman Elisabeth Monaghan has called the homes "custom production" because options once considered custom— three-car garages, private courtyards, high-end appliances, raised-panel oak cabinets— are standard in some of the plans. Upgrades go a step further with cherry cabinetry, entryway medallions on the floor and home theaters. Monaghan says it's reflective of a demographic shift locally that includes more empty-nesters, more move-up buyers and more transplants. Joe LaMendola, vice president of sales and marketing at Centex Homes, says his company is seeing the same trend. "On the traditional Albuquerquean's wage, people can't afford to buy homes. "The people who are able to afford homes are coming from other places. They're coming to work at the Eclipses and places like that, with pockets full of money from appreciation on their homes elsewhere." Meanwhile, the price of entry-level homes of today have increased dramatically. As of July 20, the lowest price for a new home in Albuquerque was $121,490, and that was for 950 square feet on the Southwest Mesa, according to SalesTraq. That equates to $127 per square foot. In 2003, the lowest price was $80,000. In Rio Rancho, the bottom barrel price for a new home is $157,990. That buys 1,294 square feet, SalesTraq numbers show. Four years ago, the lowest priced new home cost $86,000. "Albuquerque has been less expensive (than Rio Rancho) for new homes in the past 24 months," Murphy said, adding that the first-time home buyer is going to find the best prices on the Southwest Mesa, where resale homes can still be found for less than $100,000. Michaela Trujillo, a teacher at Mountain View Elementary and recent first-time home buyer, said it was easy to get a lot of home on the Southwest Mesa near her price point of $200,000. The 24-year-old just closed on a four-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath Centex house totaling 2,700 square feet. It's in the new Anderson Hills subdivision on the Southwest Mesa, and she paid $215,000. Meanwhile, a comparable new home in the far Northeast Heights would be more than double that and possibly triple. As for the Albuquerque metro area as a whole, predictions are positive, with most in the industry expecting demand for housing to increase in 2008 and for prices to level off initially and then recover. "Barring a calamity, we will weather the (national) storm," Lee said. "We've never had any protracted time of price decline, ... in the last 30 years for sure." In short, says Hardison: "We're gonna be fine." By the Numbers • Prices on entry-level homes have increased as much as 80 percent in just the past four years. These reflect the lowest available costs for a new, single-family home. • While national home sales hit a five-month low in June, the number of sales in the Albuquerque area increased over the same period. However, this year overall is seeing a decrease in homes sold compared with previous years, when significantly fewer houses were on the market. Albuquerque Metropolitan Board of Realtors statistics show 1,011 homes sold last month; 1,248 sold in June 2006; 1,295 sold in June 2005; and 1,157 sold in June 2004. • The Albuquerque metropolitan area ranked 128th in affordability out of 219 cities for the first quarter of 2007. Statistics show the area has become more expensive comparatively since about 2005, after about a decade of relative affordability. • Realtors say the average time a home sits on the market is between two and three months, with those in the Northeast Heights selling faster than those on the West Side.

Monday, March 12, 2007


I've decided that a really useful thing to offer would be to share wonderful discoveries that I make when traveling around my area. Places to eat. Things to do. Great places to see. I may start a new blog for this - or just simply use this one - but here goes! GREAT PLACE TO EAT! If you find yourself in Espanola anytime soon (north on Highway 84 through Santa Fe, if you are going to Abique or Northern New Mexico) MAMACITAS PIZZA Not just for Pizza please! This place has the best hamburger anywhere around; the pizzas looked amazing, but I haven't tried it yet! Very clean, very simple surroundings, very cheerful help. SIMPLY GREAT!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

School board OKs land donation

School board OKs land donation By Susie Gran Thursday, March 8, 2007 By 2015, there will be a new elementary school in Quail Ranch on 15 acres donated by the developer. It's the historic deal school officials worked for three years to seal so they could stay ahead of West Side growth. The Quail Ranch schools will be the first built with financial help from developers, setting a precedent for Mesa del Sol, SunCal and other planned communities in the works, said Robert Lucero, a member of the Albuquerque Board of Education. "This is the best deal we've seen in a long time," Lucero said. But it's a deal several Albuquerque city councilors opposed, claiming the school board was contributing to urban sprawl, water shortages and traffic snarls. The board on Wednesday accepted Quail Ranch developer Bob Murphy's offer of $13.5 million, including the donated land, to help build an elementary and a middle school. Murphy said the school district is not the gatekeeper on growth and has a duty to provide schools. "I'm comfortable," he said of the deal. "This is the future. We're the first through here, but there will be the same discussions with many others." Three Albuquerque city councilors tried to sway the board to reject the offer and oppose "ill-advised growth." Councilors Debbie O'Malley, Michael Cadigan and Martin Heinrich, in a letter dated Wednesday, said, "By agreeing at this time to provide schools in Quail Ranch, APS will become a primary force for rapid unplanned growth. New schools foster new development." They said the Quail Ranch developer circumvented the city's Planned Growth Strategy, the long-term plan to assure growth benefits the city, by getting the City of Rio Rancho to annex the property. But Murphy - president of Sandia Properties Inc., which is developing Quail Ranch - said he was not involved in the annexation and came into the picture afterward. Phase One of the Quail Ranch Master Planned Community will have 4,500 homes on about 1,000 acres west of Paradise Hills and south of Rio Rancho. It is in the Albuquerque Public Schools district. Eventually, Quail Ranch will have 65,000 residents and clog the northwest mesa roadways, the city councilors said. "Studies predict near gridlock with the development of Quail Ranch," they said in the letter. School board member Gordon Rowe objected to the councilors trying to intervene. "For three years, we've known this is a huge problem," he said. "The city has ignored us, and now we finally get something done and the city is trying to derail it." Dolores Griego, one of the new members, urged the board to delay action on Murphy's offer. "There are still too many issues for APS to be at the forefront of this project," she said. Water and roads are not the school board's issues, Murphy and district administrators agreed. "We are legally bound to provide the schools," said Brad Winter, Albuquerque Public Schools executive director for facilities and planning. "We have to plan for growth." The board accepted Murphy's offer on a 4-1 vote (Griego opposed and Berna Facio abstained). Former board member Miguel Acosta, who spoke against Murphy's offer, said, "This is a developer-controlled board now. There's nobody up there to fight." © 2006 The Albuquerque Tribune

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

warning to consumers!

Federal Reserve Alerts Home Owners to Questionable Solicitations The Federal Reserve has distributed the following notice. “The Federal Reserve received complaints from recipients of direct mail solicitations that suggest there is a ‘Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) program’ that entitles certain homeowners to cash grants or equity disbursements. Some of these solicitations may be read to indicate that the Federal Reserve endorses or supports the offers they contain. These solicitations appear to be a deceptive effort to encourage consumers to apply for a mortgage loan secured by the consumer’s home. The Federal Reserve cautions the public about loan solicitations or other offers from lenders or mortgage brokers that offer consumers cash grants or equity disbursements as part of a ‘CRA Program.’ No such federal programs exist and these programs are not required by the CRA, which encourages depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, in ways that are consistent with safe and sound banking operations.” For more info, click here. To communicate with the Federal Reserve about this, contact: or call the CRA assistance line at: 202/872-7584.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


The West's best cities by the slopesWhy rush to the runs? These four ski-area gateways provide a delightful excuse to stop--and avoid the crowdsBy Dan LeethSpecial to the TribunePublished February 11, 2007

ALBUQUERQUEAn Old Town--and its spicy flavorsIn a land better known for salsa than snow, Albuquerque provides a spicy transition from chili powder to chilly powder.Where to stay:Check out Old Town, the historic center of the city. Footloose romantics will enjoy the Hotel Albuquerque (800-237-2133; with its walk-to-everything location.Families can book rooms at the nearby Best Western Rio Grande Inn (800-959-4726; Those in a quest for style should try the Hyatt Regency downtown (505-842-1234;, 2 miles from Old Town.Where to feast on regional fareRed or green? The official New Mexico state question refers to the flavor of chili smothering the local fare, and either can pack a mouth-warming wallop.In Old Town, try La Hacienda (505-243-3131) across from the Plaza. A few miles to the north stands Sadie's Cocinita (505-345-5339), an Albuquerque institution famous for its zesty fare. Icy margaritas help extinguish the fire.What to doOld Town offers adobe architecture, funky shops and the 1793-vintage San Felipe de Neri Church, oldest building in Albuquerque.Nearby, visitors can catch culture at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, get a buzz at the American International Rattlesnake Museum or take a radiant walk-through of the National Atomic Museum. The town also offers the Turquoise Museum, International Balloon Museum, Wheels Transportation Museum, Unser Racing Museum, and University of New Mexico Geology and Meteorite Museums.The Albuquerque Biological Park holds the Albuquerque Aquarium, Rio Grande Botanic Garden and Rio Grande Zoo. Finally, skiers visiting the Nob Hill District can get their kicks on a nostalgic stretch of Route 66.Don't miss"The Sandia Peak Tram," says Megan Mayo of the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau. "On a clear day you can see 11,000 square miles of New Mexico, which is pretty incredible."In the neighborhoodPetroglyph National Monument west of town features Indian rock carvings, and to the north are the remains of ancient native dwellings at Bandelier National Monument. Their distant descendants now occupy 19 pueblos around Albuquerque. Hot springs and waterfalls garnish the Jemez Mountains northwest of Albuquerque. Santa Fe lies an hour's drive to the north, and Taos stands another hour beyond.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Mayor Martin Chavez just passed an ordinance "no cell phone talking in your car without hands free device"....I'm all for this! Too many close calls when someone has one hand on the phone and one hand on the wheel, or sometimes not on the wheel!
I wish I was in the cell phone accessory business today!


Posted: 2/8/2007 9:56:00 AM Albuquerque buffed, fitness magazine says Source: AP ALBUQUERQUE -- Albuquerque had been listed as the fittest city in the United States in this month's issue of Men's Fitness magazine. That's up from the city's 13th-place showing last year. Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez said the city has a lot of options to keep people fit -- everything from gyms to hiking and biking. The magazine's nonscientific survey lists Seattle as the No. 2 fittest city, followed by Colorado Springs and Minneapolis. The magazine labels Las Vegas, Nevada, as the fattest city, followed by San Antonio, Texas; Miami; and Mesa, Arizona.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


International Science Fair Comes to Albuquerque Judges and volunteers needed The University of New Mexico is a major sponsor for “Creating a New Element,” the theme of the 2007 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, to be held in Albuquerque May 13-19. Events will take place at the Albuquerque Convention Center and Expo New Mexico. The weeklong event is the world’s largest pre-college annual science celebration. This event brings approximately 1,500 high school student finalists from more than 47 countries, regions and territories to compete for more than $4 million in scholarships, tuition grants, internships, scientific field trips and three grand prizes of $50,000 college scholarships. Student competitors or finalists compete for more than $4 million in scholarships and prizes during the fair. Major universities, government agencies, military branches and businesses come to recruit from the best pool of pre-college brains in the world. The event requires 1,200 judges and 600 or more volunteers to assist with the events. Judges must have a BA/BS and a minimum of six years of experience in one of the 17 categories; they must be available to judge on May 15 and 16. Volunteers are needed for a range of duties – from ushering at event, leading school children on tours, to helping finalists set up displays. Judges and volunteers can sign up on the event Web site: www.intelisef2007.orgUNM has rallied key personnel to assist with providing needed judges and volunteers. Included in the pool of volunteers will be “communication facilitators” to represent the 19 languages students will speak at the Intel ISEF. “Building a culture that appreciates and supports student research is our goal,” said Russ Fisher-Ives, one of the event’s co-chairs. “When the adults in the community actively encourage the kinds of activities that support students interested in learning about the world around them, we can remain competitive in the global market.”A local Host Committee, composed primarily of volunteers, will produce the event. Science Service, an organization in Washington, D.C., founded the science and engineering fair in 1950; Intel was given the title sponsorship in 1996. The event is held in a different city each year; Indianapolis was the site of the fair in 2006. The Intel ISEF 2007 will provide an economic impact of $8 - $10 million in revenue and utilize 16,000 room nights over the course of the week. While Intel provides the title sponsorship, the host committee cannot receive Intel funding directly to produce the event.For more information visit Posted by scarr at February 6, 2007 03:15 PM

Monday, January 15, 2007


By ASSOCIATED PRESSJanuary 15, 2007 ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority is trying to recharge the aquifer beneath Albuquerque.The small research project will examine how the area can take advantage of extra water that can be saved for the future.The $985,000 project, the first of its kind in New Mexico, will divert water from the Rio Grande in the heart of the city into an arroyo, where it will seep into the ground.The study will begin this fall and will use about 1,000 acre-feet of river water. An acre-foot, about 326,000 gallons, can meet the annual water needs of one to two U.S. households.The project will determine how long it takes the water to reach the aquifer and how much of it gets there, said John Stomp, manager of the city-county water utility.The idea of storing some water in the aquifer is part of the utility's long-range plan."Aquifer storage and recovery is going to be a big benefit to the state of New Mexico," Stomp said.Storing some water underground also would allow the utility to reduce the evaporation seen by regular reservoirs, he said.The utility already diverts some water for parks and other sites. The research project will release river water stored in a tank in north Albuquerque into an arroyo, where it will flow for half a mile or so, then dry up. The flow will be less than a foot deep.Some water _ 5 percent to 10 percent _ will evaporate as it flows, but the rest should seep into the ground.The researchers will use monitoring wells and other sensors to track the water underground. Officials believe gravity should pull it 300 to 500 feet below the surface, where it will meet the water table in the aquifer.Officials also believe the underground rocks should help filter the water, improving its quality naturally.Eventually, the city wants to take river water, already purified to drinking water standards, and inject it straight into the aquifer through wells.The research project requires state approval. Utility officials are meeting with the state engineer and the state Environment Department.___

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


When I first started running I just hated it, which is why I started doing it. Kind of like everything I do, I take on the thing I don't like doing and do it if it sounds like it's a good idea. Real estate, too - and believe it or not COMPUTERS! That's a whole other story, but believe it or not, I was the 'least likely people' to get involved with technology. I started "running" a few steps after walking awhile. Pretty soon I realized I was running more than walking; then I was into keeping track of distance; then miles, then I was running marathons. I did quite a few, and those days are not now, but I still run/walk/get out - just because it feels good. I haven't run double digits for quite awhile, but that's my goal for this year is to start putting in 10-12 miles once in awhile, just because I love the way that feels. I used to struggle through real estate by realizing it was a lot like running - one step at a time; some days feel better than others. Some days you get injured and you don't quit, you just heal and start again. Then, sometimes you win! I loved running races because it's the kind of competition that everyone 'wins' according to their own goals. My biggest inspiration was when I ran the NY Marathon in 1992 - after the finish line you take about a 3 mile walk through Central Park to get to where the taxis are. I had my 20 dollar bill in my pocket, hailed a cab back to my hotel; got upstairs, ate the candy in the 'finisher's' bag and rested for a few minutes, called my friends back home; took a shower, got dressed, walked to the Polo Lounge, met friends and looked out the window. There were still people finishing. I started crying because I realized these were the people who had REAL spirit - they had been running/walking for 8 hours or more. They were on crutches, wheelchairs, or just plain slow, but they were finishing. It took me 3.5 hours and I thought I wasn't going to make it mentally. That's when I realized that everybody has it in them to finish whatever their goal is, and everyone's goal is their 'win'. So, with that sappy story I can say that just have fun with getting out there and moving the old body, it's just the greatest therapy and reward - and everyone have a super 2007!

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