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Albuquerque is tops again!

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MovieMaker magazine has named Albuquerque #8 for “Best Places to Live and Work” for 2015 in the big cities category. State incentives for the film industry and 310 days of sunshine are major factors. All places were rated according to six criteria: Film Production in 2014 (shooting days, number of productions, dollars generated), Film Community and Culture (film schools, festivals, independent theaters, film organizations), Access to Equipment and Facilities, Tax Incentives, Cost of Living, and a General category that includes lifestyle, weather, transportation and other “livability” categories.

Top 10 Cities for Working Women

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Top 10 Cities for Working Women

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | THURSDAY, JUNE 12, 2014

The number of working women has been on the rise for the past five decades, so Nerdwallet recently crunched the numbers to find out the best cities for women in the workforce. The publication analyzed 522 cities, factoring in women’s earnings, income equality, and population growth to come up with its list.

The following cities emerged at the top (included are the median earnings for full-time, year-round female workers in each city):

  1. Aurora, Colo.: $39,712
  2. Austin, Texas: $40,356
  3. Washington, D.C.: $60,116
  4. Albuquerque, N.M.: $38,537
  5. Fresno, Calif.: $34,4469
  6. Oakland, Calif.: $48,465
  7. Minneapolis: $42,331
  8. Sacramento, Calif.: $41,849
  9. Milwaukee: $36,020
  10. Indianapolis: $36,297

Source: “Best Cities for Women in Workforce,” Nerdwallet (June 9, 2014)

Comparison of Home Sale Prices in Albuquerque: 2013 vs. 2012

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Comparison of 2013 and 2012 Single Family Homes by Area

—2013 —

—2012 —

Area

# Sales

Average Price

# Sales

Average Price

$ Change

% Change

Sandia Heights

83

$377,166

77

$397,380

-$20,214

-5.1%

North ABQ Acres

119

$547,183

115

$514,486

$32,697

6.4%

ABQ Acres West

208

$344,482

214

$320,307

$24,175

7.5%

Far NE Heights

560

$269,186

452

$260,261

$8,925

3.4%

Foothills North

116

$513,855

106

$487,708

$26,147

5.4%

Academy West

265

$164,073

213

$168,330

-$4,257

-2.5%

UNM

213

$259,596

191

$262,171

-$2,575

-1.0%

Uptown

338

$155,992

291

$150,943

$5,049

3.3%

UNM South

184

$210,390

139

$196,634

$13,756

7.0%

Northeast Heights

684

$156,320

673

$147,806

$8,514

5.8%

Foothills South

192

$254,450

187

$250,643

$3,807

1.5%

Four Hills Village

81

$271,390

78

$249,394

$21,996

8.8%

Fairgrounds

127

$138,653

98

$126,769

$11,884

9.4%

Southeast Heights

194

$170,472

194

$164,816

$5,656

3.4%

Mesa Del Sol

10

$230,048

3

$240,403

-$10,355

-4.3%

Downtown Area

187

$199,994

164

$192,593

$7,401

3.8%

Near South Valley

147

$94,959

138

$92,506

$2,453

2.7%

Valley Farms

78

$179,836

90

$142,227

$37,609

26.4%

Southwest Heights

715

$110,296

669

$106,405

$3,891

3.7%

Pajarito

18

$116,843

18

$110,128

$6,715

6.1%

North Valley

210

$303,937

170

$286,881

$17,056

5.9%

Near North Valley

241

$233,055

180

$219,063

$13,992

6.4%

Far North Valley

14

$212,079

28

$332,391

-$120,312

-36.2%

West River Valley

24

$344,553

18

$331,231

$13,322

4.0%

Northwest Heights

494

$212,540

437

$204,906

$7,634

3.7%

Ladera Heights

455

$142,678

463

$134,064

$8,614

6.4%

Paradise West

465

$177,544

398

$164,482

$13,062

7.9%

Paradise East

358

$205,931

302

$195,989

$9,942

5.1%

Corrales

119

$497,848

103

$410,081

$87,767

21.4%

Rio Rancho S

301

$202,087

234

$205,420

-$3,333

-1.6%

Rio Rancho SW

9

$91,217

7

$87,718

$3,499

4.0%

Rio Rancho Mid

624

$164,135

469

$162,563

$1,572

1.0%

Rio Rancho Mid-N

225

$233,081

177

$223,529

$9,552

4.3%

Rio Rancho Mid-W

67

$92,130

38

$104,451

-$12,321

-11.8%

Rio Rancho N

199

$194,973

159

$202,538

-$7,565

-3.7%

Rio Rancho Cen

373

$136,075

240

$133,624

$2,451

1.8%

Rio Rancho NW

1

$81,383

0

$0

$81,383

N/A

Bernalillo/Algdones

100

$223,841

99

$235,910

-$12,069

-5.1%

Placitas Area

85

$403,479

83

$373,138

$30,341

8.1%

East Mountain

483

$195,386

456

$198,167

-$2,780

-1.4%

Valencia County

671

$125,034

520

$126,939

-$1,905

-1.5%

NEW RULES MAKE IT HARDER TO OBTAIN A MORTGAGE IN 2014

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During the years preceding the mortgage crisis, too many mortgages were made to consumers without regard to the consumer’s ability to repay the loans. Loose underwriting practices by some lenders contributed to a mortgage crisis that led to the nation’s most serious recession since the Great Depression.

In response to this crisis, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul act in 2010. On January 20, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) implemented new regulations and will also oversee enforcement of the rules.

The final rules contain two key elements:

ABILITY-TO-REPAY

The final rule describes certain minimum requirements for creditors to follow to verify that the borrower has the Ability-to-Repay the loan. At a minimum, creditors must consider eight underwriting factors: (1) current or reasonably expected income or assets; (2) current employment status; (3) the monthly payment on the covered transaction; (4) the monthly payment on any simultaneous loan; (5) the monthly payment for mortgage-related obligations; (6) current debt obligations, alimony, and child support; (7) the monthly debt-to-income ratio or residual income; and (8) credit history. Creditors must generally use reasonably reliable third- party records to verify the information they use to evaluate the factors.

Finally, to make sure consumers aren’t taking on more debt than they can afford, the debt-to-income ratio generally must be below 43%. At first, most lenders will not make loans to borrowers whose debt-to-income ratio exceeds the 43% rule. However, the rules will permit them if the bank is convinced that other factors, such as a high asset levels, justify the risk.

QUALIFIED MORTGAGE

The new regs set certain product-feature prerequisites and affordability underwriting requirements for qualified mortgages and vests discretion in the CFPB to decide whether additional underwriting or other requirements should apply. The final rule prohibit loans with negative amortization, interest-only payments, balloon payments, or terms exceeding 30 years from being qualified mortgages. So-called “no-doc” loans where the creditor does not verify income or assets also cannot be qualified mortgages. Finally, a loan cannot be a qualified mortgage if the points and fees paid by the consumer exceed three percent of the total loan amount, including title insurance, origination fees and points paid to lower mortgage interest rates.

An analysis by Goldman Sachs showed that, if these rules had been in effect in 2007, it would have prevented 59% of defaults. However, it would have also prevented 30% of the loans that did not default.

Here is how you may be affected by these new regs:

It may be tougher for borrowers to qualify if they have difficult-to-validate incomes, including those for whom tips, bonuses, commissions, rents or investments constitute a big part of their total income. One in nine Americans are also self-employed and self-employment income is more difficult to substantiate than is income from wages.

The 43% debt-to-income ratio will also prevent some borrowers from qualifying for the loan needed to buy the house they want.

Finally, the new rules will mean it will take longer to get home loans approved, especially early on. It will take lenders more time to get systems up and running to track and handle new documentation requirements. Lenders have had months to prepare. But loan officers, underwriters and compliance officers will need training on the new systems once they are implemented.

New Rules Allow Buyers with Foreclosures or Short Sales to Buy Again After One-Year Wait

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New lending rules now allow buyers who have suffered from a foreclosure or short-sale to qualify for financing. Recent revisions to Federal Housing Administration regs and technical updates to Fannie Mae guidelines have opened the door for many former homeowners to buy again just one year after foreclosure. Prospective homebuyers who couldn’t make their mortgage payments in full may want to talk to a real estate agent before deciding whether to try to purchase a home this year. San Diego-based company AfterForeclosure.com said that millions of banned borrowers nationwide will be eligible for a mortgage beginning in 2014.

Just a couple of years ago, there was a seven-year wait after a foreclosure, short-sale of bankruptcy. But now, Buyers who qualify otherwise but had a short sale or foreclosure on their record can now get financing under the Federal Housing Administration’s “Back to Work” program. New FHA regs will allow approval of many borrowers for a home loan just one year after a foreclosure, short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure or bankruptcy. FHA’s previous timeline was three years for a short sale and foreclosure and two years for a bankruptcy.

Eligibility for a loan hinges on whether borrowers suffered a specific financial event during the recession that, through no fault of their own, caused them to lose their home. For approval of an FHA mortgage, the prospective homebuyer must take a housing counseling class. People who walked away simply because their house was underwater will not qualify.

Here are the rules for FHA’s “Back to Work” program:

  • Foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy was the result of income or job loss beyond the borrower’s control.
  • The borrower has financially recovered from the event.
  • It’s been over one year since the foreclosure auction or short sale.
  • Borrower has completed housing counseling.

Albuquerque Ranked #1 “Best Beer Cities in U.S.”

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Albuquerque New Mexico is known for its cultural diversity, high desert and Rocky Mountain landscapes and blend of ranchers, artists, writers, scientists, educators and cutting edge research and manufacturing – and they love their brews. Residents enjoy mostly sunny days and have their pick of micro-breweries that always have fresh beer on tap.

Among the best are:

Chama River Brewing Company serves up six house beers, several of which have picked up awards at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. The River is a step up from your casual neighborhood brew pub with prime rib, quail and Ahi tuna on the menu. It’s ginormous copper-clad bar is a great place to check out the scene and see what other folks are drinking.

The barrel-aged Belgian ale called ‘From the Wood’ landed Marble Brewery a spot on Draft Magazine‘s “Top 25 Beers of the Year” list in 2010. That’s no small feat considering the brewery opened in 2008. Marble Brewery offers seven house beers and a changing variety of seasonal and other brews.

At Kellys Brew Pub they’ll help you make your own beer while you drink their beer. There are more than 20 micro-brews on tap at this large sports bar with a huge patio right neat Knobb Hill and the campus of the University of New Mexico.

And just outside Albuquerque, but close enough to claim, is Turtle Mountain Brewing Company in Rio Rancho, NM.  The beer menu here is always changing as the staff brews more than 40 different beers over the course of a year.

Here is Livability.com’s “Top Ten Best Beer Cities:”

  1. Albuquerque, NM
  2. Burlington, VT
  3. Akron, OH
  4. Kalamazoo, MI
  5. Missoula, MT
  6. Lincoln, NE
  7. Boise, ID
  8. Charlottesville, VA
  9. Louisville, KY
  10. Chattanooga, TN

“Local Love Bazaar” in honor or St. Valentine’s Day

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Join us at the first “Local Love Bazaar” in honor of Saint Valentine’s Day taking place on February 12th from 1:00-4:00 pm at 5321 Acoma SE (Off of San Mateo between Central and Zuni).

All items are lovingly crafted by these local artisans: Kei & Molly Textiles, RPotterStudio, Fab Lab Abq, Albuquerque Baths, Chocolate Cartel, Live Clay, Meltdown Studio, Self Serve, Paper Turtle, Janine Mahon, Katie Simmons, Maude Andrade Clothing, and NikkiZabicki Urban Fashion.

You will find the unusual, inspired, and endlessly desired. Come select hand-crafted gifts with a unique twist for men and women.

There will be gifts for all your sweethearts and tasty treats to keep you happy while you shop!

We hope to see you there!

New Listing – 1730 Hermosa Dr NE

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We just listed this Pueblo style home in Altura Park – which is a highly desirable neighborhood
In the UNM area. It’s a must see. Remodeled, beautiful backyard and fabulous location. Check it out on our featured listings.

Businessweek Ranks Albuquerque 15th Among America’s Best Cities

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Which Is America’s Best City?

Based on metrics like school performance, green space, and cultural amenities, Albuquerque, NM, ranks No. 15 in Bloomberg Businessweek.com’s first Best Cities ranking

Ask most people which city they would most want to live in and usually their answers would be shaped by such realities as proximity to their jobs and what they can afford. But suppose you could choose to live anywhere you wanted regardless of cost? What if you could live in a city that offered a wealth of culture, entertainment, good schools, low crime, and plenty of green space? Many people might opt for obvious choices such as New York or San Francisco, but great as they are, data reveal other cities are even better.

Businessweek.com spent months working with data that would help us to identify the best cities in the U.S. We looked at a range of positive metrics around quality of life, counted up restaurants, evaluated school scores, and considered the number of colleges and pro sports teams. All these factors and more add up to a city that would seem to offer it all. When we began the process we had no idea which cities would come out on top.

Better, Not Bigger

With help from Bloomberg Rankings, Businessweek.com evaluated 100 of the country’s largest cities based on 16 criteria including: the number of restaurants, bars, and museums per capita; the number of colleges, libraries, and professional sports teams; the income, poverty, unemployment, crime, and foreclosure rates; percentage of population with bachelor’s degrees or higher; public school performance; park acres per 1,000 residents; and air quality. Greater weighting was placed on recreational amenities such as parks, bars, restaurants, and museums per capita, educational attainment, school performance, poverty, and air quality. As living in great cities can be expensive, affordability was not taken into account.

The data for this ranking came from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sperling’s BestPlaces, GreatSchools, Onboard Informatics, RealtyTrac, Bloomberg, and the Trust for Public Land.

After Raleigh, the next highest-ranked cities were Arlington, Va.; Honolulu; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Irvine, Calif. Larger cities placed lower: New York was 14th, while Los Angeles ranked 53rd and Chicago 75th. The highest-ranked city with a population greater than 1 million was San Diego, at seventh. Washington, D.C., which has 588,433 people, came in sixth. Since some criteria were evaluated on a per population basis, places did not necessarily score higher for having a larger number of establishments or amenities.

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Albuquerque

America’s Best Places Rank: 15th

Population: 515,107

Mayor: Richard J. Berry

Why it’s ranked: With the Rio Grande running through and the Sandia Mountains to the east, New Mexico’s largest city is a picturesque and sunny place to live. The schools are great, unemployment is low, and Albuquerque has lots of park acres per person.

How it ranked:

Percent with bachelor’s degrees: 32.2

Percent under poverty level: 15.2

Median household income: $45,478

Violent crime rate: 769.3

Property crime rate: 5,491.5

School score: 73.33

Pro sports teams: 0

Foreclosure rate: .0079

Percent Unemployment: 7.3

Park acres per 1,000 residents: 61.5

Bars: 71

Restaurants: 1,115

Museums: 105

Colleges: 8

Libraries: 23

Air Quality Index: 90

Click http://images.businessweek.com/slideshows/20110920/america-s-50-best-cities/ to see which 50 cities placed highest in our ranking.


MEN’S HEALTH Magazine Ranks Albuquerque as one of “America’s 10 Leanest Cities”

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Maybe it is our great weather for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, camping, fishing and skiing. Maybe it is the green chili. But we were not surprised to learn that “Men’s Health” magazine ranked Albuquerque as one of “America’s Leanest Cities.”

To create the list, the editors of MEN’S HEALTH analyzed the following data:

  • The percentage of residents who are overweight
  • The percentage of residents who are obese
  • The percentage of residents who have Type 2 diabetes
  • The percentage of residents who have no physical activity (CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System)
  • The percentage of residents who eat fast food nine or more times per month (Mediamark Research)

Here are the top 10 “Leanest Cities in America”:

  1. San Francisco, California
  2. Burlington, Vermont
  3. Washington D. C.
  4. Seattle, Washington
  5. Austin, Texas
  6. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  7. Portland, Oregon
  8. Cincinnati, Ohio
  9. Denver, Colorado
  10. Aurora, Colorado
Read more at:

Fred Creek, Sandra Creek and Jolynn Doty-Beck

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