Tuesday, June 30, 2015

This is the perfect in town, close-to-everything condo! Walk to shopping and to Baskin Robbins! Ultra charming and efficient design with 920 (exterior) sq ft, 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths, laundry room, dining area and dining counter. Wonderful open kitchen with quality wood cabinets and granite tile counter tops. Spacious living room with gas kiva-style fireplace. High ceilings with vigas, recessed lighting with dimmers and ceiling fan. Master bedroom has access to the back patio and a nice walk in closet. Stained concrete floors. Private backyard with covered brick patio. 
MLS 97119 $199,000

Monday, June 29, 2015

Pending Home Sales Hit Highest Level In Nine Years In May

credit: Peter Dazeley/getty images
credit: Peter Dazeley/getty images
The number of contracts signed to buy previously-owned homes rose again in May to reach its highest level in more than nine years, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.
NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, which tracks contract signings (as opposed to closed sales), rose 0.9% in May to a level of 112.6. (An index of 100 represents an average level of contract activity.) That level was 10.4% higher than in May 2014, when the index stood at 101.9, and marks the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year gains. May’s index level is the highest since April 2006, when the measure stood at 113.7. May’s numbers fell in line with expectations of economists surveyed by Bloomberg ahead of the release.
“The steady pace of solid job creation seen now for over a year has given the housing market a boost this spring,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “It’s very encouraging to now see a broad-based recovery with all four major regions showing solid gains from a year ago and new home sales also coming alive.”  He also indicated that 2015 may be the best year for home sales since the recession.
However, a lack of supply continues to push prices higher at a rate that Yun considers unhealthy. Price increases have slowed compared to last year, rising 4.1% year-over-year in March, the latest report from S&P/Case-Shiller. But Selma Hepp, Trulia’s new chief economist, predicts that prices could rise at much faster rates by year’s end. Evidence in support of that prediction: the median existing-home sales price was up 8.9% year-over-year in April and7.9% year-over-year in May, according to the National Association of Realtors. 
The continued rise in pending sales does suggest a healthy demand for homes. Pending sales are considered a more timely gauge of the market than other reports because they are forward-looking, based on contracts signed as opposed to closed transactions. (Closings generally come one to two months after a contract is signed.)
Taken together, reports released in June suggest a housing market with plenty of appetite and not enough supply, though builders are stepping up to meet the growing demand. Groundbreakings on new homes fell 11.1% in May compared to April but building permits hit a new eight-year high. Tomorrow S&P/Case-Shiller will release its data on how prices for single-family homes are moving. The volatile new home sales report jumped 19.5% year-over-year in May, a 2.2% tick-up from the prior month. Sales of previously-owned homes hit their fastest pace in nearly six years in May, driving prices up by 7.9% year-over-year.
“Housing affordability remains a pressing issue with home-price growth increasing around four times the pace of wages,” Yun noted. “Without meaningful gains in new and existing supply, there’s no question the goalpost will move further away for many renters wanting to become homeowners.”
Pending home sales in May rose on a year-over-year basis in all regions across the country, but were down on a monthly basis in the Midwest and South. The index tracking pending contracts in the Northeast rose 6.3% in May from April to 93.9, while the Midwest index fell 0.6% in to 111.4. The Southern index fell 0.8% to 127.8, while the Western region’s index rose 2.2% in to 104.5.
On a year-over-year basis, all regions of the United States increased contract signings in May: the Northeast by 10.6%, Midwest by 7.8%, South by 10.6%, and West by 13%.
The national median sales price for existing, or previously-owned, homes for 2014 rose 5.7% to $208,100, well below the rapid, 11.5% gain seen in 2013. NAR has bumped up its forecast for the change in national median existing-home prices for 2015 to 6.7%. Total existing-home sales for 2015 are forecast to be around 5.24 million, or about 6.1% above 2014. Last year sales finished 2.9% below 2013 levels (5.1 million) at 4.94 million.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


NEW LISTING! "Old Taos" Pueblo Revival Home Near Historic Taos Plaza
The kind of property you drive by and yearn to see! Located in historic downtown Taos with a large 1.3 acre lot, this 4886 sq ft home embodies the gracious character of days gone by. 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a cozy office (library?) and a large office/studio, this home has the room to do anything! Originally built in 1953, then remodeled in 1989 and again in 1997. Elegant front entry with huge divided light windows facing the mountain, open to the main living room with fireplace. Open kitchen with work/dining island, pantry and planning desk. Cozy family room off the kitchen with dramatic fireplace. Formal dining room. Spacious master suite with built ins, romantic fireplace, walk in closet and sumptuous five piece bath. 3 additional, spacious bedrooms. The previous one car garage is now a large office/studio space and leads you to additional storage room, mud room, and a nearly enclosed, over sized, 2 car carport. Beautiful oak wood floors. Soft gentle curved walls. Wood ceilings with vigas. Divided light windows. Beautiful grounds front and back! All the elements of “Old Taos” in a gracious home, walking distance to shops, galleries, restaurants and the Plaza. This is the one! Adjacent 1.3 acre lot available for purchase.
MLS 97081  $938,000

7 Arroyo Del Alamo Taos,Nm MLS#93090

774 County Road 69 Dixon. NM MLS#96757

Uptick in residential real estate investing in 2015: Part 1 A closer look at investment trends Cheryl Jensen by Cheryl Jensen mail.cheryljensen@gmail.com JensonCheryl Jun 25, 2015 A healthier real estate market in 2015 has driven the enthusiasm and optimism of investors and encouraged them to buy more, which is contributing to sustained market growth. Investors adapt to a healthier market In an upbeat and healthier market, investors are showing strong optimism and increasingly focusing on properties with a higher price tag. Price Ranges Considered - 2014 - 2015 Price Ranges Considered – 2014 – 2015 | Image source: http://goo.gl/N1Dpbu Some interesting facts to note here include: Higher price bands As compared to 2014, more investors are focusing now on higher-priced houses; however, properties worth $40,000 and less are getting less attention. Real estate experts attribute this behavior to increasing property prices and picked-over inventory. It’s noteworthy that as the price band goes north, the number of investors considering homes in that range also increases significantly. In fact, recent research shows a 63 percent increase from 2014 of investors looking at houses worth more than $200,000. When taking a closer look at the demographics of investors, it was found that the more active prospective buyers search the full spectrum of housing prices to locate the deals of their choice. However, investors who bought fewer than seven properties typically searched in the sub-$100,000 ranges. Investment portfolio growth Experts predict investor portfolios will grow in 2015. Last year’s survey found that 38 percent of investors planned to buy four or more houses in 2014. Although a follow-up to these prospective buyers a year later revealed that only 25 percent actually bought the predicted four or more properties, investors are exceptional energized about buying more properties this year. Thanks to strong optimism of retail investors, as many as 49 percent are planning to buy at least four houses this year. This is a significant increase compared to 2014 when 25 percent actually bought four or more houses. The number of investors planning to buy 11 or more houses in 2015 has jumped to 17 percent, up from 12 percent in 2014. Investors Planning to Buy Houses in 2015 Investors Planning to Buy Houses in 2015 Broadened property searches Fewer investors are searching for local property deals as compared to last year, and less than 50 percent are saying they would consider searching citywide. The trend shows that finding local property deals is getting tougher and forcing more investors to look statewide and even beyond this year. There was a 3 percent growth since last year of investors looking statewide and elsewhere. Florida is found to be the most popular choice of investors opting for homes outside their home state. This shows that investors now prefer higher-priced houses irrespective of whether it is located within their home state or elsewhere. Top 10 States for Residential Investing Top 10 States for Residential Investing When it comes to financing options, they are found to vary by geographic distance. However, irrespective of whether an investor buys in- or out-of-state, cash is the preferred mode of financing. Looking for smaller spaces There are a number of investors interested in smaller spaces rather than large bungalows. People move out of the city and settle down with kids. But then as children grow and move out, they might find their home to be too large to stay. This is when they prefer moving back into the city in a comparatively smaller space. Market ripe for rapid growth The total household income of a median investor in the U.S. is in the range of $100,000-$125,000, which is twice as much as the median income of $53,000. Still, investment income contributes just a tiny part to their total income, with a quarter of all investors making less than 10 percent of their total household income from investing. On average, 36 percent of total household income was from residential investing, which showed that investing doesn’t quite pay all the bills. But it sure is nice to have additional passive income to augment an investor’s primary income. Stay tuned for “Uptick in residential real estate investing in 2015: Part 2″ tomorrow, which will discuss what investors need to grow their businesses. Cheryl Jensen is a writer at Total Atlanta Realty. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook. Email Cheryl Jensen.
Student loan debt stymies home sales Experts say millennials aspire to homeownership, but will likely get there later than other age groups Andrea V. Brambila Andrea V. Brambila andrea@inman.com InmanAndrea Jun 25, 2015 MIAMI — In the real estate industry, all eyes seem to be on millennials: Will they or won’t they buy homes? New research from credit bureau Equifax suggests that student loan debt is what’s keeping many in this cohort from taking the plunge into homeownership. Student loan debt among twenty-somethings — the typical first-time buyer age group — has more than doubled in the last decade to $369 billion. The average debt load clocks in at little more than $26,000, according to Dennis Carlson, deputy chief economist at Equifax. Carlson spoke on a panel, “Mortgage Availability for Millennials and Other First-Time Buyers,” Wednesday at the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) conference. “Equifax data suggests that the conventional theory — millennials are the rental generation and uninterested in home ownership — is only a part of the story,” Carlson said in a statement. “Importantly, large amounts of student debt and less than stellar job prospects for recent college graduates make the dream of home ownership shine less brightly than in the past. But we also see indications that they will eventually want the family, the car, and the house that older generations desired, just with a significant delay.” Another panelist, Wells Fargo executive vice president Franklin Codel, noted that a recent Wells Fargo survey found that 93 percent of millennials say they want to own a home in their lifetime. 93% of millennials say they want to own a home in their lifetime. CLICK TO TWEET When asked “Are you thinking about buying in the next two years?” those answering yes went up “tremendously,” especially for African American and Hispanic younger people, Codel said. Renters’ no. 1 reason for not buying a home was “too much debt/not saved enough,” Equifax said, citing the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Survey of Consumer Expectations. More than half of respondents — 55.7 percent — gave that answer, compared to only 7.9 percent that said they worried home prices would fall. Among the under-30 crowd, mortgage debt has fallen for those with and without student debt, but more for those with student loans than without them, according to data from Equifax and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In 2014, 20.9 percent of twenty-somethings with student debt had mortgage debt, down from 33.2 percent in 2006. For those without student debt, those figures were 21.7 percent and 29.6 percent, respectively. The labor market also plays a role. Those earning less than $30,000 annually are at the highest risk for defaulting on their loans, Equifax said. With each additional $10,000 in income, the delinquency rate is reduced by 20 percent, the credit bureau added. Even for those with steady jobs, Equifax data indicate that young workers struggle to make timely payments on their student loans even as late as four years into a job, whereas older workers improve their payment performance, the company said. Another panelist, realtor.com chief economist Jonathan Smoke, noted that student loans aren’t the only thing holding millennials back. “I think it’s a balance sheet issue,” he said. Fifteen percent of millennials are under-employed, meaning that they are working part-time, but would like to be working full time, he said. And still more have taken jobs that don’t require a college degree, but will nonetheless help them get by — but don’t pay enough to allow them to buy a home. Nonetheless, Smoke sees hope in the people visiting realtor.com. The 25-34 age cohort is officially the cohort most likely to buy a home, he said, citing realtor.com user surveys. That cohort represents about 13 percent of the population, but 21 percent of realtor.com traffic, Smoke said. As the labor market improves and millennials continue to form households, Smoke and Carlson were optimistic that millennials would heed the siren song of homeownership. But in order to hear that song, young people should be encouraged to reach out to a professional — whether a real estate agent, lender, or someone else — to get rid of some of the misconceptions people have about purchasing a home, Codel said. “Many still believe you need [a] 20 percent [down payment] to buy a home,” he said. Wells Fargo’s survey showed that many borrowers don’t fully understand how down payments, credit scores and income requirements will impact their path to homeownership. “You don’t have to have a $100,000 a year job or $50,000 a year job to afford a home,” Codel said. Agents can also help potential homebuyers with some common sense advice, Carlson said: “They need to be thoughtful about the home they buy and the payments they take on.” Email Andrea V. Brambila.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How low can you go? Underwater homeowners want to know By Amy Swinderman , Thursday, 11 June 2015 - 10:00pm More than 4 million homeowners owe their mortgage lender at least 20 percent more than their homes are actually worth, according to the startling results from Zillow’s first-quarter Negative Equity Report. Although home values are forecast to continue rising, and the number of delinquent loans are dropping, this progress is having little impact on the national negative equity rate, according to the report. And although spring and summer are always the busiest buying and selling seasons — and there is currently high demand for homes in the bottom third of the market — a disproportionate number of homeowners can’t afford to sell to buyers looking for homes in their price range, the report concluded. The national negative equity rate dropped to 15.4 percent in the first quarter. A year ago, the rate was 18.8 percent. The rate of negative equity improved in all of the 35 largest housing markets in the first quarter of 2015, a sign that, metro-by-metro and home-by-home, the country is continuing to recover from the lax lending rules and subsequent housing market bust of the last decade, according to the report. “It’s great news that the level of negative equity is falling, but what really worries me is the depth of negative equity. Millions of Americans are so far underwater, it’s likely they may not regain equity for up to a decade or more at these rates,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. According to the report, about 7.9 million homeowners were underwater at the end of the first quarter. The rate of underwater homeowners is much higher among the homes with the least value. More than 25 percent of those who own the least valuable third of homes were upside down, compared to about 8 percent of the most valuable third of homes, the report found. Some markets are seeing this more than others. In Atlanta, for example, 46 percent of low-end homeowners were underwater, compared with 10 percent of high-end homeowners. In Baltimore, 32 percent of low-end homeowners were in negative equity, compared to 9 percent of those who own the highest-value homes. “Because negative equity is concentrated so heavily at the lower end, it throws a real wrench in the traditional housing market conveyor belt,” Humphries said. “Potential first-time buyers have difficulty finding affordable homes for sale because those homes are stuck in negative equity. And owners of those homes can’t move up the chain because they’re stuck underwater in the entry-level home they bought years ago. The logjam at the bottom is having ripple effects throughout the market, and as home value growth slows, it will be years before it gets cleared up.” Among the 35 largest housing markets, Las Vegas, Chicago and Atlanta had the highest rates of homeowners in negative equity. A smaller share of homeowners are upside down in Miami and Detroit, but homeowners there are more deeply underwater. In both places, over 60 percent of homeowners in negative equity were more than 20 percent underwater. The report predicts that the negative equity rate among all homeowners with a mortgage will fall to at least 14.1 percent by the first quarter of 2016. “In the meantime, we’ll be left with volatile prices, limited inventory, tepid demand, elevated foreclosures — and a whole lot of frustration,” said Humphries. zillow-underwater-june2015 Email Amy Swinderman.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Secret to success? Leverage your strengths and shore up your weaknesses By Brian Buffini , Tuesday, 9 June 2015 - 2:00am We all have strengths and weaknesses. There are things that we find easy to do and things that simply don’t come naturally to us. The key to achieving success in life and business is learning how to leverage and utilize the strengths that we have while managing and containing our shortcomings. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re putting this into practice: Know your strengths Everyone can say what they’re bad at — but what are your gifts? Often, your strengths can be difficult to identify because they’re so natural to you that you don’t recognize them as anything special. In fact, the first time you might realize you have a gift is when you see someone struggling with a task and you can’t understand why they’re finding it so difficult. It can take time and hard work to figure out what your strengths are, but identifying and then using them is vital to success. Play to and leverage your strengths Don’t get distracted by what your competitors are doing or chase activities that don’t chime with you. Instead, figure out the tasks you are good at, and leverage them. If you’re a people person, for example, then maximize this in every way you can. It’s crucial to focus on your strengths — work hard at them, practice them and protect them. The most successful people find what their strengths are, match them with something they enjoy doing and then go do it. Identify and shore up your weaknesses We’re all human, so it goes without saying that we all have weaknesses. You don’t have to focus on your shortcomings, but, to be ultimately successful, you must evaluate what they are and then legislate for them. Identify and acknowledge your weaknesses and then put a support system in place. That might mean hiring an assistant or leaning on other professionals for advice and help. As President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what needs to be done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” Delegate, don’t abdicate Just because you’re not good at something doesn’t mean that you get a hall pass. Yes, you must delegate and systematize your shortcomings, but you don’t have license to abdicate total responsibility. Stay disciplined Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. If you make the commitment to delegate certain activities, then follow through. Allow those who you’ve appointed to support you to get to work and make their own mistakes. How you play to your strengths and shore up your weaknesses is in direct proportion to how you can grow, both personally and in business. So concentrate on what you’re good at, delegate what you’re not, and you’ll be well on your way to having your best year ever. Brian Buffini is the chairman and founder of Buffini & Company. You can follow Brian and Buffini & Company on Facebook. Email Brian Buffini.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Tract B1 Francis Road El Prado, NM 87529 MLS#96931

Hay! Grow your own! 2.49 acres of lush, irrigated pasture land in El Prado on a quiet, peaceful street. Pueblo Lands bordering both the north side of this property (on Francis Road) and south side of this small, tidy enclave of ranchette properties. See survey. This 2.49 acres has electric service (100 amp service now but set up for future 200 amp service) a 250' well and well house and a 1440 sq ft, 30 x 48 pole barn with power on a poured concrete slab and two garage doors. The ditch has been carefully and expertly designed and maintained for maximum effectiveness of flood irrigating. Stunning pastoral setting with a Sangre de Cristo mountain range backdrop. Best of all, you are just a short distance to town for work or provisions! Sensible restrictions, horses allowed. Built a house and guest house or studio here! Electric, telephone and NATURAL GAS are at the lot! Fiber Optic is nearby. This is it! Don't delay this property is priced right! (Francis Road is a county road, driveway into the four lot enclave is private with a road maintenance agreement. Equipment in barn available for purchase as a package, price to be determined.)  
MLS 96931 $200,00
See all the details at www.enchantedtaos.com

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

LEADERSHIP  206 views

Peak Performance: Why Stress And Anxiety Are Your Best Friends

If you have butterflies in your stomach, invite them into your heart.
–Children’s author Cooper Edens
One of the most important research findings of recent years is that stress doesn’t necessarily damage your health and your ability to get things done. Often it’s the natural energy booster that allows you to achieve peak performance.

Richard Shelton, a noted psychiatrist at the University of AlabamaBirmingham, has noted that stress can fire up neurons in the brain and focus the mind on the task at hand; they can also improve immunity and teach resilience, as he told Health magazine in 2014.

Kelly McGonigal, a Stanford researcher and author of the newly published The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It, has admitted to doing a recent u-turn on stress, from writing and speaking on its dangers to evangelizing about its benefits. Her change of heart began when she noticed data in 2011 that suggested that stress only damages your health and happiness if you believe it’s going to damage your health and happiness. “Viewing stress as harmful interferes with people’s ability to use stress as the resource that it actually is,” she would go on to argue in her new book, which builds on a popular TED talk she gave in 2013.
She found that oxytocin, the much-discussed “cuddle hormone” that warms your heart when you hug someone, actually is produced in stressful situations. It helps you turn a freeze-or-flee mindset into a productive one. It puts you in a social state of mind and opens you to getting assistance from other people. It’s a Mama Grizzly inspiration to remember the loved ones or the values that you’ll fight for, no matter the cost. And it even protects your cardiovascular system while you take on the challenge.
Many experienced athletes or performers intentionally use pre-performance anxiety as rocket fuel to motivate themselves, to kick into what
McGonigal calls “challenge response” mode. Magic Johnson used to call the NBA playoffs “Winning Time.” Other athletes fully understood it was win-or-go-home time too, but they tried not to think about it, lest they choke. But by embracing the stakes playfully and passionately, Johnson propelled himself to higher levels of performance than those who tried to treat championship Game 7s as “oh, just another game.”
I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.
–Artist Georgia O’Keeffe
Anxiety is an inevitable part of life, and success typically requires embracing it (or at least tolerating it) rather than avoiding it. McGonigal writes of how a fear of flying robbed her of many experiences she coveted, until she decided she’d fly even though she was afraid. She doesn’t now love flying, but she manages. (I think about how I needlessly narrowed my career options because of anxiety in high school about doing math; if I’d accepted the fear and survived the math, I may not be a math whiz today, but I’d have many career paths open to me that aren’t now open.)
McGonigal notes in her book that she saw many athletes harness stress to “get jacked” for their games, yet those same people would be spooked by an exam in English class. In one case, the stress helped them perform, and in the other case it now corroded clear and confident thinking. But the stress hadn’t changed—only their relationship with it had.
The research by McGonigal and others confirms some ancient wisdom from my favorite leadership and life guru, Lao Tzu:
The best athlete wants his opponent at his best. The best general enters the mind of his enemy. The best businessman serves the communal good. The best leader follows the will of the people. All of them embody the virtue of non-competition. Not that they don’t love to compete, but they do it in the spirit of play.
Tao te Ching [Steven Mitchell’s paraphrased translation]
It’s not easy, and it’s certainly not automatic, to see a threat that terrifies and paralyzes you and to see it instead as as a fun or meaningful challenge than. But consider Nietzsche’s observation that “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” Indeed, McGonical suggests that the most powerful way to embrace stress is to focus yourself on the “whys” of your own life. In other words, be ever-mindful of the people and the causes that bring your life meaning, the people and causes that you’d defend with your very life.
“Chasing meaning is better for your health than trying to avoid discomfort,” McGonical observed in 2013. “Go after what it is that creates meaning in your life and then trust yourself to handle the stress that comes with it.”
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