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3 Common Foreclosure Questions

by The Schnoor Team

It is understandable to have questions when coping with a new and challenging situation, especially when a home is at stake. The reality is that millions of homeowners across the country are finding out that they have more questions than answers.


​We hope that the following information will help you better understand the circumstances. If you have further questions not addressed below, or would like additional information resources, feel free to Contact Us.

Do I qualify for a short sale?

The qualifications for a short sale include any or all of the following:


1. Financial Hardship - There is a situation causing you to have trouble affording your mortgage.
2. Monthly Income Shortfall - In other words: "You have more month than money." A lender will want to see that you cannot afford, or soon will not be able to afford your mortgage.
3. Insolvency - The lender will want to see that you do not have significant liquid assets that would allow you to pay down your mortgage.

What is a mortgage modification?

A mortgage modification is a process through which your mortgage lender changes any or all of the following:

• Your interest rate
•Your principal balance (through a reduction)
•Your loan terms (example: from an adjustable to a fixed rate)This process can allow borrowers to stay in their property when they can no longer afford their current mortgage payments.

Why would a lender modify my mortgage?

Lenders have realized that in some cases it is better for them to work with current borrowers to lower payments or possibly improve terms in order to keep homeowners in their properties. The average foreclosure can cost a lender from 35-50% of the value of a property, so keeping borrowers in their homes is a good option for everyone.

Need Foreclosures assistance or want to see a list of foreclosure homes? 

Contact Us Today!


 

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5 Trees You Dont want in your Yard

by The Schnoor Team

Silver maple (Acer saccharinum)
A fast-growing, large shade tree, the Silver Maple is widespread in the eastern half of the United States. The downside comes from its tendency to grow so quickly, which makes the wood weak and prone to splitting and breaking. Couple that with a shallow, invasive root system that has become notorious for cracking driveways.

Ash (Fraxinus)
The very popular Ash is both sturdy and weather resistant. Its root system is not invasive and is rarely trouble. So why is it on this list? The Emerald Ash Borer. This tiny beetle loves the Ash as much as we do and is quickly making these trees short-lived headaches. You could invest quite a bit trying to battle the beetle and still not win.


Root Damage

Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides)
The Aspens white bark and beautiful leaves are what attract most people to the species. Unfortunately, its root system is extremely insidious. Once established its root system tries to turn into new trees at an astonishing rate. In fact, the largest living organism in the world is a Colorado aspen root system called Pando. It weighs 6,600 tons and is thought to be 80,000 years old. Try digging that out!

Hybrid Poplars (Populus)
Hybrid poplars are created by cross-pollinating two or more poplar species together. The result can be a fast-growing tree that looks good in your yard - for a while. Hybrid poplars are especially susceptible to diseases, beetles, and most won't last more than 15 years.

Willow (Salix)
One of the most recognizable tree species, the willows unique appearance sets it apart from most trees. The long, slender, swaying branches are absolutely breathtaking. Once again though, the root system is water-hungry that terrorizes your lawn and is aggressive that makes it an enemy of sewer lines. On top of that, the wood is fairly weak, prone to splitting, and usually last less than 30 years.

Get Experience On Your Side!

Contact Us Today!


 

 

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First Time Home Buyer: When To Buy & When To Wait

by The Schnoor Team

First time home buyers usually have the same first question. Should I wait until I find the perfect home or settle in a timely manner? This question has a surprisingly easy answer. For your first home, buy a home that fits your needs at a price that you can handle. ​


Your first step should make a list of everything you NEED in a house. It’s going to be really hard for your first home but you’ll want to REALLY differentiate yours wants from your needs. Now have your real-estate agent conduct a search based on your list of criteria. Narrow the search results down to your favorites. Some things you’ll need to think about when deciding if it meets your needs are:

Number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, garage space, type of lawn, traffic, noise level, noise level, school reputations, and distance to stores.

We have prepared a checklist to fill out for each of the houses you have your eye on. Click Here for the checklist!

As with any negotiations, it’s not wise for you to try and outbid your competition on EVERY home you see. Bid reasonably and eventually you will win.

The upshot of this blog is: buy the house you need at the price you can afford!

Still hungry for more information? Fortunately, we have just the thing for you. Check out our website dedicated to giving first time home buyers like you all the information you need to make buying your first home a smart, well-informed, and pleasant experience. You can also follow us on facebook and twitter.

Need help Buying your First home?

Contact Us Today!


 

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NM True Presents: Flavors of Albuquerque​

by The Schnoor Team

The Albuquerque area is packed full of both food and culture. With a history filled with three-hundred years of the blending of the Ancient Puebloans and Spanish settlers, Albuquerque's cuisine is a delicious culmination of both cultures topped off with its own unique twist.Today, the smoke-kissed flavor of freshly roasted green chiles and the earthy fruitiness of red chile sauce are essential to our favorite dishes, like breakfast burritos, stacked enchiladas and stuffed sopaipillas.

Check out this episode of New Mexico True TV "Flavors of Albuquerque​"

Can't get enough? Want to Relocate to Albuquerque? Then Contact Us Today!

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9 home renovation ideas to increase livability

by The Schnoor Team

Conventional wisdom, as it relates to houses, is often too much convention and not enough wisdom. Every year, somebody publishes a list of which conventional home improvements will give you the best (or the worst) return on your remodeling investment. Remodel a bathroom. Replace your siding. Don't build a swimming pool. Paint everything neutral colors. Sit up straight. Get a haircut. Call your mother. If return on investment (ROI) is why you bought a home, or why you're remodeling one, you can stop reading now. Because the rest of this article isn't for you. Three, two, one ... still here?

You invest in your home to improve livability first, not value. If you get more value in the process, consider it a bonus, but don't make ROI your prime directive. Otherwise, you'll end up like the potential client who came into my office a few years ago with a three-page, single-spaced typewritten (as in made with a "typewriter") list of things he wanted in his house. His list included this line: "A large dining room, near the kitchen. Although we don't need or want a dining room." Why would he want to build a room he didn't need? Because he's thinking of things to make the house valuable, instead of things to make it livable. So let me rephrase the remodeling-ROI question this way: What are some cost-effective ways to improve the livability of your house?

Here's my short list:

1. Walk-in pantry instead of kitchen cabinets
Kitchen cabinets are expensive. Half of them are up high on the wall where they're hard to reach, and the wall space they take up could be better used for windows. A pantry takes up less space, stores a lot more, is much easier to use, and costs less to build.

2. Comfortable shower instead of big bathtub
A shower takes up less space, uses less hot water, and is far more sanitary than a big tub.

3. Group windows together facing best views instead of scattering them around the house
Got a great view somewhere? Bring it into the house with lots of glass. Take excess windows from bedrooms and bathrooms and use them to connect the inside of the house with the outside.

4. Keep ceiling heights reasonable for the room size
"Volume" ceilings do not automatically make better rooms. They just make taller rooms, rooms that are harder to decorate and more expensive to heat and cool.

Instead, focus attention on a view, a large fireplace or other element -- and away from the ceiling height. Use wall trim and multiple paint colors to break up the volume of the room and create the illusion of height.

5. Spend more time planning, and less money building


6. Consider the simple elegance of the box-form house
Subtlety and restraint used to be virtues in home design. These days, far too often, inexperienced designers attempt to attract attention to their homes by adding more stuff: more gables, more materials, more bay windows, etc. Others know that proper proportion, scale and details are what turn heads.

The simple box-house is a classic American form that's survived 150 years of stylistic changes. Greek Revival, American Four-Square, Tidewater Georgian ... all simple boxes. Great proportions, great details ... done.

And here's a bonus: The box-form is easier and cheaper to build, and because it encloses a larger volume in less perimeter, it's less expensive to heat, cool and maintain.

7. Share part of the master bath
This isn't for everyone, but it really tightens up the budget and the floor plan. Make the toilet and a sink in the master bath accessible to the rest of the house, instead of building a separate half-bath -- it won't be used much by you during the day, and rarely by guests at night.

Why have two baths when one will do?

8. Spend it when you have it, not before
Sure, it'd be great to have those granite counter tops now, but your budget's tight and granite is 10 times the cost of laminate tops. So how about putting in nice laminate tops now, and replacing them with granite in five years when you have the cash? You can easily do the same with light fixtures, flooring, window treatment ...

9. Compartmentalized bath -- two baths in the space of 1 1/2 baths
Each kid doesn't need a personal bathroom, but does need privacy and room to share. A compartmentalized bath puts two sinks in one room and the toilet and tub/shower in another, so three kids can use the bath at once and keep a little more harmony in the family home.

I doubt any of these ideas will ever make a magazine's list of "Best Remodeling ROI" projects. But every one saves you money over a more "conventional" design strategy, and every one increases the livability of your home.

Looking to Sell your home? Get experience on your side and contact The Schnoor Team Today!


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Albuquerque Things To Do: Sandia Peak Tramway

by The Schnoor Team

 

Set in the heart of the state, Albuquerque is New Mexico’s biggest city, and gateway to this striking region along the Río Grande. Here you’ll find abundant Native culture, a lively entertainment scene, filmmaking hotspots, dining, shopping, and the third longest clear tramway span in the world, at a length of 7,720 feet. 

The tramway climbs the steep western side of the highest portion of the Sandia Mountains, from a base elevation of 6,559 feet to a top elevation of 10,378 feet. A trip up the mountain takes about fifteen minutes to ascend 3,819 ft, and the normal operating speed of the tram is 12 miles per hour. About four "flights" leave every hour from the base and top departure stations. The view from the tram includes all of Albuquerque and roughly 11,000 square miles of the New Mexico countryside.

At the top of Sandia Peak there are many year-round recreational options. The High Finance Restaurant is directly adjacent to the top tram terminal and offers scenic views. Many Forest Service trails offer recreational hiking, backpacking and nature hikes to visitors. Additionally, the tram terminal is located at the top of Sandia Peak Ski Area which is on the opposite side of the mountain from the tramway and the city. Skiing is available in the wintertime, and during the summer over 26 miles of mountain biking trails are available. 

Thinking About Relocation to Albuquerque, NM?

Contact The Schnoor Team Today

 

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6 Mortgage Mistakes You Can Make

by The Schnoor Team

Getting an affordable property at a great rate can make you feel as if life couldn't be any sweeter. But ask anyone who bought a house with a mortgage they didn't understand and couldn't afford, and they will likely tell you their house has brought them nothing but frustration and tears. Here are the top 6 mistakes buyers make when purchasing a home.

1: Not reviewing your credit first

Before you go to your first open house, you need to get a credit check. You can find free credit report services online, some of the major ones are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You're entitled to one free credit report from each agency each year, make use of these tools to be familiar with your credit background and score. You'll need your credit score to be in tiptop shape if you want the best rates. According to the Federal Trade Commissions' in 2013 they found 5 percent of consumers had errors on their report that could result in less favorable loan terms. If you're among that 5 percent, you want to the find the error and correct it before applying. If your credit score simply stinks, you can try these tips for raising it fast.


2: Failing to get pre-approved

The next mistake you can make when applying for a mortgage is failing to get pre-approved. Getting pre-approved by a bank is one way to avoid the heartbreak that comes from falling in love with a house you can never buy. It may also give you an edge if there are multiple offers for the same property. A seller may feel more confident selecting a bid from someone with a mortgage pre-approval rather than a person who hasn't even begun the process.
However, don't get carried away by whatever pre-approval amount you receive from the bank. Remember, what the bank thinks you can afford and what you can actually afford may be two different things. A lot of people lost their homes in the Great Recession because they were given loans they couldn't pay back. Don't make the same mistake.


3: Not shopping around for the best rate

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states nearly half of mortgage borrowers don't shop around and that's a big mistake. Even seasoned comparison shoppers may search for the best deals on their soap, their furniture and their car, but then don't look for a better mortgage rate. It may be convenient to use your primary bank for a mortgage, but that could also be expensive if its rates aren't competitive. According to Bank of America, for every 0.25 percent you can reduce your loan on a $200,000 mortgage, you'll save $30.55 per month. Over a 30 year period that can add up to a lot of extra cash.


4: Ignoring mortgage fees

While you're investigating rates, check out the fees on available mortgages, too. Most mortgages come packed with fees of all kinds, and while some, such as your county recording fee, are likely fixed, others are completely negotiable.

Before your closing, you should be provided with a good faith estimate of the fees. Ask your lender to review what they are for and then see if you can negotiate a lower price. These are a few of the fees likely to have the most wiggle room:

  • Loan origination fee
  • Application fee
  • Broker fee
  • Underwriting fee

5: Not having cash for a down payment

Not having a down payment can be a mistake for two reasons. The first is that it can sink your prospects of getting a mortgage. After being bitten by the housing market crash, traditional lenders shy away from giving mortgages to those bringing nothing to the table. But even if you can find a program that will allow you to get a mortgage with little or no money down, you could still be making a mistake. Remember how the housing market crashed from 2007-2009? Property values plunged and suddenly homeowners found themselves owing more than their homes were worth. When those owners then lost their jobs or otherwise couldn't keep up on their payments, they often found themselves without a prayer of refinancing or selling their property As a result, many ended up on the receiving end of a foreclosure notice. While nothing is guaranteed, putting 10-20 percent down on your house can reduce your chance of ending up in the same position.

6: Not understanding your mortgage terms

Underwater mortgages weren't the only problem facing homeowners during the Great Recession. An untold number of people also lost their houses simply because they signed on the dotted line without understanding what the heck their mortgage entailed.For example, people thought they'd hit the jackpot with interest-only loans that let them buy houses beyond their wildest dreams. However, they apparently didn't understand or overlooked the fact that their monthly payment would hit the stratosphere five years later. What's more, those five years of payments wouldn't give them a bit of equity in their home.
Adjustable rate mortgages, known as ARMs, operate under a similar structure. Homeowners were fine for the first few years when their mortgage rate was fixed and low. Then it reset to the current market rate and that affordable monthly payment suddenly didn't seem so affordable anymore. A 2008 report from the Federal Reserve Board found more than 75 percent of the subprime loans issued from 2003-2007 were "short-term hybrids" that work like ARMs. By 2008, more than 21 percent of these subprime loans were seriously delinquent.

The moral of the story is to always understand what you're signing up for. It's not enough to know what your monthly payment is today. You also need to ask if the interest rate can change and if so, when and by how much will it increase. If you're not comfortable with the loan terms or don't understand them, it's better to walk away than make an expensive and potentially life-altering mistake.

Need help finding the right home financing? Let The Schnoor Team Help you!

Visit our Home Finance Guide Now, Just click the link or give us a call!

 

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Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Contact Information

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The Schnoor Team
6711 Academy Road NE, Ste B
Albuquerque NM 87109
Jon: 505.385.2154
Jeanne: 505.328.6060
Fax: 505-892-7733

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