Santa Fe Real Estate and Community News

You've reached the blog for Santa Fe Realty Unlimited. Thank you for your visit. In this Blog, we intend to give insight into real estate and help educate the consumer in order to allow them to make great real estate choices. Real estate, in our eyes, is the backbone of our community. It provides a solid secure investment and a place to call home and raise our families.  We at Santa Fe Realty Unlimited are dedicated to our clients and finding the best solutions to help them with their real estate needs. So please feel free to browse the content on this page and reach out to us if you have any questions whatsoever. Also, If you have a topic that has to do with buying or selling or real estate in general. whether it is in Santa Fe or at the state level of New Mexico or even nationally or internationally, We love a challenge so please do not hesitate to bring it up. Thanks for reading and we hope to hear from you soon.

April 15, 2024

3 Ways To Discover What Your Home Is Really Worth

Three useful strategies to help you determine your home’s value.


Whether you're considering selling, refinancing, or simply curious about your property's value, understanding how to determine your home's worth is crucial. Today, we'll explore three essential strategies to help you unveil the mystery behind your home's market value.


1. Research comparable sales (comps). Analyze recently sold properties in your neighborhood that are similar to yours in terms of size, features, and condition. Look for properties that have sold within the last six months. They provide the most accurate reflection of the current market. Pay close attention to factors such as square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and overall condition. Adjust the value of your home based on any significant differences. Take into account the proximity to amenities, schools, and public transportation.


2. Get a professional appraisal. While researching comps can give you a good estimate, a professional appraisal provides an authoritative and impartial assessment of your home's value. Appraisers consider various factors, including the property's condition, recent improvements, and the overall real estate market. Clean, organize, and address any necessary repairs before the appraisal to present your property in the best light. Inform the appraiser of any recent renovations or improvements that might positively impact your home's value.


“Determining your home's worth is a crucial step.”


3. Utilize online valuation tools. Various online tools and platforms like Zillow can provide quick and convenient estimates of your home's worth. While these tools may not replace the accuracy of a professional appraisal, they can serve as a useful starting point. Different online tools may provide varying estimates due to differences in algorithms and data sources, so consult multiple platforms. For a more accurate online estimate, use our valuation tool here.


By using these strategies, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of your home's market value. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be better equipped to make informed decisions regarding your property. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out by phone or email.


Posted in Selling Your Home
March 11, 2024

3 Ways Interest Rates Are Critical for Your Home Purchase

Here’s what you need to know about how interest rates affect real estate.


By now, you’ve probably heard a ton about interest rates, especially as they relate to the housing market. People talk about them like they’re life and death for our housing market, but why is that? Recently, I’ve received a lot of questions from clients about how interest rates actually affect our housing market, which is why today, I’m sharing three of the biggest impacts of interest rates in real estate:


1. Interest rates affect mortgage payments. When you hear about the Federal Reserve raising or lowering interest rates, they aren’t directly changing mortgage interest rates. However, the two numbers are closely related, and mortgage rates tend to follow federal interest rates pretty closely. This means that when interest rates go up, it becomes more expensive to borrow money for a mortgage. Due to these higher mortgage payments, it becomes more expensive for non-cash buyers to purchase homes. Similarly, homes become more affordable when interest rates decrease. 


2. Interest rates affect home prices. Since housing affordability is directly related to mortgage interest rates, demand tends to be greatly affected by rates. This means that if interest rates rise and demand falls as a result, housing prices will be likely to decrease—or at least stop increasing. On the other hand, lower interest rates are associated with rapidly increasing home prices. For example, this is what spurred on the great housing market frenzy during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


"There are opportunities in every housing market, no matter what interest rates are."


3. Interest rates affect housing activity. Since rates affect home affordability, demand, and home prices, they also affect activity. Many homeowners don’t like to move when interest rates are high, especially if they have a lower rate locked in with their current mortgage. As a result, homes tend to spend more time on the market when interest rates are higher, and they fly off the MLS when rates are low. 


While it may sound like it doesn’t make sense to move at all when rates are high, the truth is that there are a lot of creative solutions to higher-rate markets. Plus, there are a few unique benefits to moving when rates are higher. For example, competition tends to flood the market when rate decreases are announced. If you want to beat the rush and get started on your next move, please call or email me. I am always willing to help!

Posted in Selling Your Home
March 7, 2024

3 Reasons Why Waiting to Buy a Home Might Cost You

Here are the top three reasons why you should consider buying ASAP.


Are you contemplating the significant milestone of buying a home but feeling unsure about the timing? In today's ever-changing market, it's natural to question if now is the right moment to dive into homeownership. Let's explore three key reasons why purchasing a home now, rather than later, could be a beneficial investment:


1. Home values appreciate over time. One of the strongest arguments for buying now is the historical trend of increasing home values. Despite short-term fluctuations, real estate has consistently proven to be a solid long-term investment. By entering the market sooner, you can capitalize on any general market uptick, positioning yourself for potential appreciation.


2. Navigating interest rates. Currently, we find ourselves in a high-interest-rate environment, which might seem daunting. However, the future trajectory of interest rates is unpredictable. If rates rise further, buying now secures a more favorable deal. Conversely, if rates drop, you can always refinance, locking in your purchase price and loan amount while benefiting from lower rates.


"While the decision to buy a home should never be rushed, there are compelling reasons to consider making the move now."


3. Building equity now vs. renting. Choosing to buy a home now sets you on the path to building personal equity. In contrast, continuing to rent contributes to someone else's equity. Homeownership is a cornerstone of wealth-building, with many millionaires attributing their success to real estate investments. By paying off a mortgage, you not only reduce your loan but also potentially benefit from market appreciation, turning your living expenses into an investment in your future.


While the decision to buy a home should never be rushed, there are compelling reasons to consider making the move now. Whether it's the potential for home value appreciation, navigating current interest rates, or starting to build your own equity, each factor plays a crucial role in your journey toward homeownership. If you're ready to discuss real estate investments and wealth-building, I'm here to help. Feel free to reach out via phone, email, or visit my website anytime for more information.

March 18, 2022

How Will 2022 Inflation Affect Buyers?

Here’s the impact that inflation may have on homebuyers this year.


Inflation has been in the news quite a bit lately, so many of you are wondering if that means you should hold off from purchasing a home. If that describes your situation, there are a few things to consider. 


The first is affordability. If you’re struggling to pay your rent, current mortgage, or may struggle with the extra costs of a home purchase, you may want to wait and see what’s going to be best for your financial situation. You want a nest egg to fall back on, just in case. That being said, over the last 30 years, home values have outpaced inflation. Purchasing property is a great way to protect your money; history shows that you won’t lose out by purchasing a home. 


In 2021, inflation increased by about 7.5% in the U.S., but housing markets rose by around 20%, depending on the area. Some of the major housing authorities such as Fannie Mae, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and Zillow are predicting an 11% growth in home price appreciation this year, and some are predicting much higher rates. Even if inflation continues at 7% or escalates to 10%, housing appreciation will beat it. 


"Over the last 30 years, home values have outpaced inflation."


Despite the upward trajectory of prices, it’s still an excellent time to buy. Interest rates are destined to climb a little, but even if they do, you’ll still win out due to inflation. Rents will also tick up with inflation, along with multiple other things, but according to the data, historically, housing has been a good hedge against inflation. 


If you have questions or would like to discuss your particular situation, I’m always available to provide advice or help in any way I can. Just call or email me; I would love to help you.

Posted in Buying a Home
Dec. 9, 2021

What Is Earnest Money?


Here's what earnest money is and how it can sometimes be refundable.


I’m often asked about what earnest money is and whether it’s refundable. It’s a deposit made when you write a contract. It goes to the title company and is held until closing. Earnest money secures the contract and tells the seller that you're serious about purchasing. In our area, it's usually about 1% of the purchase price.

Earnest money is refundable in several cases. There are contingencies built into almost every contract such as inspections, appraisals, loans, surveys, and title work that will let you get your earnest money back.

If those contingencies are removed and you change your mind at the last moment, that would be a situation where you most likely would lose your earnest money. Be sure about the house you're purchasing, investigate it during your contingencies, and be sure that you'll get your financing. Don’t make any big purchases at the last moment that could change your financial situation if you're under contract.

I'm here to help you navigate the nuances of contracts to make sure that you and your earnest money are safe. If you have any questions, please give me a call at 505-603-2435. I look forward to hearing from you.

June 2, 2021

How To Buy and Sell at the Same Time

Here's how you can go about buying and selling at the same time.

Today I'm talking to you about how to buy and sell at the same time. A lot of sellers are looking to upgrade or change their living situation. This means buying another home once they're able to sell their current one. This presents a couple of challenges, mainly with financing. Here are a few tips for how to buy and sell in this market:

1. Buy first then sell. If you have the ability to purchase a new home while you still own the first one, that's always the easiest thing to do. That gives you the time to move out of your old home at your discretion and the ability to look around for a new one.

2. Make a contingent offer. We can make an offer on your new home contingent on the sale of your old one. The issue is that in today's seller's market, a contingent offer is not as strong when you're competing with non-contingent buyers. You have to put in a strong offer to win. If your current home is already under contract, that's great, but it also means that you're short on time.


"A lot of sellers are looking to upgrade or change their living situation." 

3. Leaseback. We can put your house on the market, sell it, and negotiate a leaseback so you can live in your old home for 30 days. This allows you to sell the home and free up your equity and credit so you can qualify for a mortgage and have the ability to look for a new home over the next couple of weeks. This is a great option in today's seller’s market.

4. Sell then buy. This allows you to free up your credit, get that equity out, and then start looking for a home. The issue with this is that you're going to have to move not once but twice and find some temporary housing.

If you're looking to do anything in real estate, I'm always here to help. I'd love to sit down, go over things with you, and figure out your best option. Give me a call at 505-603-2435. Have a great day.
May 13, 2021

Make Your Offer Stand Out With These 3 Tips

These three tips will help you stand out as a buyer.

Today’s market is a seller’s market, which means sellers generally hold the advantage over buyers when it comes to negotiating. Homes are selling quickly, for top dollar, and with multiple offers. With so much competition out there, you need to know how to make your offer stand out. Here are a few tips to make that happen:

1. Make a high earnest money deposit. If you’re going to make an offer on a property, you’ll have the chance to deposit a high earnest money amount. This will show the seller you’re truly dedicated to buying their house. This fee is also refundable if you decide you don’t like the house or end up not purchasing it for whatever reason (inspections, loans, contingencies, etc.), so you’re not risking anything by putting a lot down. 

"Homes are generally selling for 5% to 10% above their list prices, so come with your A-game and make your best offer first." 

2. Be flexible with your closing and occupation date timelines. With everything moving so quickly in this market, sellers are often stressed out as well. By allowing the seller to extend their occupancy for a week or two past closing so they can figure out how to move into their next property, you’ll really stand out among the competition.

3. Make your best offer first. Unlike previous markets, there’s no such thing as negotiating downward in this one. I still get calls from buyers wanting to offer below list price, and that just doesn’t work in today’s market. Homes are generally selling for 5% to 10% above their list prices, so come with your A-game and make your best offer first. There are things your Realtor can do in this case to help your cause.

For example, my team and I have been using escalation clauses in some of our buyers’ offers. We’ve also gotten creative in other ways. One of our recent buyer clients owns a cleaning service, so they made an offer to their seller that included two free deep cleanings for their next house. Another one of our buyers even offered a seller free pizza for six months! The point is, think of what you can do to differentiate yourself from other buyers.

Above all, give my team and me a call and let us help you negotiate. We’d love the opportunity to help you find and close on your dream home. If you have any other real estate needs, feel free to reach out to me as well. I look forward to hearing from you. 
Jan. 27, 2021

What Has Low Inventory Done to Our Market?

Here’s where our market stands as we dive deeper into 2021.

In addition to the usual market update, today I’ll give you an overview of where Santa Fe Realty Unlimited stands as a company.

We have about 30 people working for us, and last year we sold 153 homes in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Most of those took place in Santa Fe, but we achieved a milestone by opening an office for Albuquerque Realty. This has not only been a huge success, but it’s also enabled us to help customers who’re moving between markets.

We’re seeing this happen frequently due to Santa Fe becoming more expensive to live in, and we’re happy to help anyone making this type of transition. If you find yourself facing this situation, give us a call and we’ll craft a strategy according to your needs and timeline—whether that means buying first and then selling or vice versa. 2020 was indeed a great year for us. We’re growing as a team and taking on new agents all the time.

"It's a great time to sell your home." 

As far as the northern New Mexico housing market is concerned, inventory is very low, which is great for sellers but tough for buyers. As of the recording of this video, there are just 415 single-family homes available in the entire Santa Fe MLS, which is a small percentage of what is normally available. Santa Fe itself has just 215 listings ranging in cost from $188,000 to $16.5 million.

In the Albuquerque area MLS, there are 998 homes available, which is down slightly compared to the 1,000+ we saw the week before. Of those 998 listings, just under 700 are located in Albuquerque proper, Corrales, Los Ranchos, and Rio Rancho.

If you’re a seller, it’s obviously a great time to sell (if you have a place in mind to move to). If you’re a buyer, it’s important to be aggressive. You need to be ready and willing to see homes the day they're listed because many of them are getting multiple offers and selling for over asking price. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that interest rates are very low, so you can get money cheaply.

Whether you’re thinking of buying or selling in our market, reach out to my team and we’ll help you get started right away. If you have any other real estate needs, feel free to call or email us as well. We look forward to speaking with you.

Posted in Real Estate News
Oct. 12, 2020

Q: Have You Been to Santa Fe’s Great Parks?

Let’s take a look at three of Santa Fe’s awesome city parks!

It’s a little known fact that Santa Fe has almost 100 parks, 68 of which are developed, while 26 remain undeveloped. The city also boasts over 170 miles of walking trails.

The first stop on our city park tour is
SWAN Park on the south side of Santa Fe (0:25 in the video above). The park, whose name is a pleasant acronym for Southwest Area Node, lies between Jaguar and Tierra Contenta. It has playground equipment, recreational fields, and a picturesque setting. There’s beautiful grass to relax in and ample trees to hear the breeze. 

"Santa Fe boasts over 170 miles of walking trails." 

Next, let’s head over to the basketball courts at Ragle Park (1:00). As you can see, basketball is not my forte—but I’m an all-star at real estate! In addition to basketball courts, Ragle Park has baseball fields, walking trails, playgrounds, and it even has a concession stand for busy sporting events. This lovely spot on the east side of town is also home to my daughter’s favorite playground structure in all of Santa Fe (check out the three-tiered clubhouse at 1:23). 


The last—but not least—stop on our city park tour is the iconic Fort Marcy Park on the north side of the city. This park has an athletic complex with a full-size swimming pool, a gym, and locker rooms. It’s also home to our world-famous Zozobra marionette and the Sante Fe Fuego, our semi-pro baseball team. Fort Marcy Park offers plenty of playground equipment and exercise equipment for adults. 


For more information on Santa Fe parks and recreational facilities, click here. If you need any help with or advice on real estate matters, please reach out to me by phone or email anytime. I look forward to hearing from you!

Posted in Community News
July 16, 2020

Q: What's Our Approach to Keeping Sellers Safe?

Here’s how we ensure that you can still sell your home safely.

As our state reopens, more and more buyers want to see homes again. With COVID-19 still a big concern, how do sellers stay safe when people view their homes? Here are the steps my team and I are taking. 

First, we require everyone to wear a mask when entering one of our occupied listings. The day before the recording of this video, a potential buyer got very upset because we asked them to fix their mask during their viewing. They ended up leaving the home, but that’s okay—my seller clients, in this case, are older and their safety is more important than someone else’s comfort. 

"We ask anyone who wants to view one of our homes in person to take a Matterport tour of the home first." 

We also require any visiting buyers to wear gloves because let’s face it: People have a tendency to touch surfaces without realizing it. After that, we require them to put disposable booties over their shoes. We provide trash cans for buyers to dispose of these items when they’re done viewing the home. 

Lastly, we’ve invested in a Matterport camera that allows us to showcase 3D models of the insides of homes. This means you can walk through each room from the safety of your own computer. We ask anyone who wants to view one of our homes in person to take a Matterport tour of the home first. Since 2D pictures can be deceiving, this gives you a much better spatial understanding of the home. 

If you’d like to see one of our available homes, you’re interested in listing your home, or have questions about our Santa Fe real estate market, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m here to help.