Alamogordo, NM Real Estate News

By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
Well this was a rarity!  We haven't had snow here in Alamogordo, NM, in December is ages.  The weather this time of year is usually very mild and pleasant during the day and cool at night.  Last week, Tuesday to be exact, we got hit with 6 inches of SNOW!  In the desert, mind you.         The reason this is so unusual is that we sit at an elevation of 4300 ft. at the foot of the Sacremento Mountains, the southern-most range of the Rocky Mountains.  Just 45 minutes from our town of Alamogordo is Sierra Blanca (White Mountain) which is over 12,000 ft. above sea level.  The jet streams and weather usually pass right over our little basin area and dump lots of snow and rain on the mountains.  Sierra Blanca is usually white covered most of the winter from late November till early April.  Thi...
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By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
At times we have questions from home owners when we go over the listing agreement with them and we get to the paragraph that discusses the commisson is, "Why do I have to pay the sales tax on your commission?".  In that paragraph it states that the homeowner is responsible for the commission and the applicable Gross Receipt Tax.   In the state of New Mexico, Gross Receipt Tax is paid by the consumer of certain goods and services.  New Mexico is actually one of the few states that charges taxes on services performed.  Many home owners misunderstand this tax and think that they are paying our taxes since it is associated with the commission.  In realty, however, this tax is passed on to the state and is paid by the person who pays for the service.  As an analogy, if you took your car to a...
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By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
I have been doing a lot of research lately on the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating.  It seems that there are a lot of tax advantages to an S Corp. status but the paperwork may be too much of a hassle.  I am thinking of setting up my business as an LLC.  In the state of New Mexico it is referred to as a Limited Liability Company and not a corporation.  The way I am understanding the information I am studying, once I have set up the LLC then we can use the S Corporation status to take advantage of the tax savings.  There is still a lot I don't know about this.  I am sure there are blog posts on this subject, I just have to do the research.  This is the time of year I start planning for next year and this is one of my goals, re-structure my business to reduce taxes and keep be...
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By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
Well, I took a break from blogging.  I haven't been here in a while and I really missed it.  Now that the tax credit incentive has been up-dated it is a good time to let everyone know that now is a good time to buy a home.  Business has slowed a little bit here in New Mexico.  Our numbers are a little lower this year than this time last year.  Through November last year we sold 593 site built new and re-sale residential properties.  Through November of this year we have sold 525 units.  Not too bad but things could definitely improve.  Sales always seem to slow down this time of year, good time to work on my business plan for 2010.  I just had a short sale fall through and am still fuming over it.  It seems the house went into foreclosure while they were reviewing our offer.  One depart...
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By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
I just attended a Tax Strategy seminar with Sandy Botkin, CPA, Esq., sponsored by the Tax Reduction Institute.  What a great seminar!  Lots of good ideas on how we can use the deductions the IRS allows to save money on our taxes.  This seminar was not cheap but the strategies presented will save more than enough money to pay for the seminar.  If you ever have a chance to attend one of Mr. Botkins seminars I urge you to go. There is no reason for any one in business to eat a meal by themselves and not claim it as a business deduction.  He showed us how to make most if not all our travel business deductions.  Our automobile is also a great means of tax deductions on our returns.  Just a lot of great ideas.  Go to there web site and find out when and where the next seminar is located and G...
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By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
As I write this, Congress is trying to decide whether to extend the first-time home buyers tax credit.  As I understand it, NAR is supporting extending the credit through April, 2010, keeping the credit at $8,000 and allowing everyone, not just first-time home buyers, to utilize the tax credit, with certain restrictions.  From what I have noticed and read, the first-time home buyers tax credit has stimulated the market quite well.  It only goes to follow that if they extend this credit it will help the housing industry and the market all over the country.  I know that some critics of this measure have complained about fraud but isn't this evident in all aspects of business.  Some people will try to "abuse" the system no matter what.  I don't think we should punish or restrict the majori...
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By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
Well, October is almost gone and its time to get back to work.  October is always a busy month for me but not in real estate.  I guess you could call it my Vacation Month.  I usually try to visit my family and friends back in the Southeast in October because the weather is so nice.  I just got back from a visit there and had a great time with my daughter in Lebanon, TN, just outside Nashville and got to meet her fiance.  We played a little golf, went to the Tennessee/Auburn football game (they have season tickets), and visited the BB King Restaurant & Blues Club in downtown Nashville, what a treat.  BB King is still one of my favorite blues musicians.  I then visited my sister in Benton, TN, just north of Chattanooga and spent some time with my parents who live in Cahutta, GA, near Dalt...
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By Tim Lewis, e-Pro, CNE
(ERA Simmons Real Estate, Ltd.)
For many months, we've been told to brace for an influx of families moving to the Alamogordo, NM / Holloman AFB area from Las Vegas, NV, as well as from several other military installations.  The families are finally arriving and many of them seem to have a hard time understanding why they have had to practically give their homes away when the sold in Las Vegas (or in most cases, their homes still havn't sold) and why Alamogordo sellers aren't giving their houses away.  Knock on wood, Alamogordo / Holloman AFB area almost seems to have been insulated from the economy problems that have affected the rest of the United States.  Sure, we've seen home prices take minor hits.  In most cases, a relatively small decrease.  Sales got a bit slower, but most of us didn't have to re-learn real est...
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By Tim Lewis, e-Pro, CNE
(ERA Simmons Real Estate, Ltd.)
I am hearing different things about the first time home buyers credit.  Does anyone have an insight they'd like to share with the rest of us.  I've heard the next first time home buyer credit may be written for military home buyers only.  I sure support our troops and want them to have an opportunity to buy.  I am retired from the Navy and my wife and I have owned homes from the time we were 21 years of age.  What I wouldn't have done for a deal like our folks our being offer now.
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By Tim Lewis, e-Pro, CNE
(ERA Simmons Real Estate, Ltd.)
Each year our hot air balloon weekend continues to be so much fun.  Everyone has the opportunity to get an up close view of the balloons or even help crew for some of the balloon pilots.  The skies held back the rain and the winds were mild... nothing short of perfect weather for a perfect day of ballooning.  Click on the links below the pictures to see photo videos of both days. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnlBn0v-hU4     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWQS56Yd0ls    
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By Debbie Alton
(Affinity Real Estate)
Well, it was another great weekend in Alamogordo. There were so many things to choose from, the wine festival, the White Sands Balloon Invitational, high school football games and more. My family and I have had a tradition of attending the Balloon invitational for many years now. We always wake up early, early on Saturday morning and either head out to White Sands or pick a local park to view the take off of the hot air balloons. I am so grateful to the organizers of this wonderful event. We get to enjoy the beauty of these giant balloons right here in our own Alamogordo. This year we chose to park our blankets and lawn chairs at Washington park and were treated to 20-25 different balloons lifting off in and around this beautiful park. Our favorite was probably the giant cactus...you ju...
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By Debbie Alton
(Affinity Real Estate)
I went to a REALTOR luncheon on Tuesday and heard about some really great stuff going on at Holloman AFB. Did you know that Holloman has a $1.3 million dollar impact on Otero County every day? WOW that is a lot! The base is busy inprocessing about 90 people every two weeks right now. These are the airman coming to us for the Predator and Reaper missions. Holloman is authorized to receive 865 people. Cool. Holloman has 15 of the F22's on station right now and we are still on track to receive all 40 aircraft. What does all this mean? It means our real estate market is GREAT and my inventory is sold. Do you have a house for me to sell? I need to share my marketing plan with you to show you my SUCCESS. Call or text Debbie Alton 575-430-8101.
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By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
I just got back from our RANM (Realtors Association of New Mexico) Fall Conference in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  The Board of Directors at RANM has voted to not raise our dues for 2010.  They decided to re-allocate funds to the operating account so that dues will not have to be increased.  This is good news for all realtors in New Mexico.  We had our regular Legal Update from our RANM attorney, Ashley Strauss-Martin.  She does such a great job keeping us informed of all the legal requirements regarding forms and such.  She emphasized the importance of the FIRPTA forms, the new Tax Levy information forms and the new TILA/RESPA changes that have occurred and are set to take place January 1, 2010.  RANM really works hard to keep us informed.
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By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
Some real estate agents look at FSBO's as scary, mean ogres who want nothing to do with nasty real estate people!  Most of the time, in my experience with FSBO's, these are the do-it-yourself'ers who think they can save money by selling their home themselves.  These are the same people who think they can hang a door, install carpet, change their own oil, etc.  After futile attempts at some of these tasks they realize that they need a professional.  According to NAR statistics, the same is true with FSBO's.  After weeks and months of advertising their own home with a simple yard sign, placing an ad in the local real estate magazine or newspaper or on a FSBO web site, they come to the hard reality that they need a professional, someone who can screen buyers for pre-approval, someone who ...
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By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
This report from "The Buyers Rep" is good news for real estate agents across the country.  I know that real estate is always local but national trends, especially those that are published, have always helped buyers and sellers in every location.    To quote the article: As the primary reason for moving, No. 1 on the list was to live in a bigger/better home (26 percent), followed by living in a better neighborhood or area (24 percent); to be closer to family/friends (12 percent); living in an area with a lower cost of living (9 percent); or a move that was sparked by a change in marital status (6 percent). Moving because of school, job loss, retirement or foreclosure each garnered 3 percent or less. These facts indicate that more and more people are seeing the benefits and rewards of buy...
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By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
When working with buyers my patience is sometimes tested to the limit.  Some are so picky!  They want a three bedroom, two bath, 2000 square foot home with a two-car garage, large back yard, new appliances and all for less than $150,000!  Oh yeah, don't forget the nice neighborhood, close to schools, shopping and the hospital, not to mention that they also want the seller to pay their closing cost!  Wouldn't it be great if we could act like this guy!  Check out the video and watch a real pro in action. I know ethically we can't intimidate people or force them into deciding what house to buy but can we pressure them just a little or maybe tell them that we have already seen 20 houses in this price range and they all look like this one, SO DECIDE NOW!  OK, I know, I will continue being p...
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By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
I just completed by ABR training and am an Accredited Buyers Representative now.  The training was good.  I can now add three more letters to my title along with my GRI.  I have enrolled in the e-pro course and am currently taking those courses on line every morning for an hour or so before I start work. I love the fact that there is so much information and eduction available.  I have taken a few CRS elective classes also and am amazed at how much a person can learn from the experiences of others.  I don't believe you can have too much education.  The GRI courses included different aspects of the real estate business, from pricing property properly to crunching the numbers for investment property.  ABR dealt with buyers mostly but re-enforced my belief that a buyers broker agreement wi...
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By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
I recently held an open house (sellers idea) on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.   I had three couples come through, all "looky-loos"!  These couples are career open house visitors.  We see them every Sunday making the rounds.  They usually criticize the home.  They will nit-pick every little thing about the home, including the price, and then thank you for allowing them to visit.  It is getting to the point where I will not encourage an open house for my sellers and explain that there are better ways to market the home.  It is hard to convince some that there is a better way, especially if they visited several open houses before they bought their home.  I explain to them that the majority of open house visitors do not buy the homes they are visiting but are simply comparing floor plans, p...
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By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
We lost a true artist and genius this week in Les Paul.  Growing up in Alabama, Les Paul was an icon.  With the invention of the electric guitar and multi-track recording, he established himself as a pioneer in the rock and roll music industry.  He was from humble beginnings and kept that attitude and trait throughout his life.  I saw him in an interview recently where he said he was truly amazed how famous his guitars have become.  He never expected to be as popular as he was, even though he was real talented.  His work and ideas will live on.
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By Lebron Little, GRI, ABR, e-PRO
(ERA Simmons Real Estate)
My wife and I took a day trip last Saturday to Ruidoso, NM, and then drove down the mountain through Alto to Carrazozo, NM, doing our regular thrift store and antique shopping.  We were disappointed that many of the antique stores in Carrazozo were closed but we stopped in at the Carrazozo Bar and Grill and I had the best Green Chili Cheeseburger I have had in a long time.  When we got there we noticed quite a few "Harley's" in the parking lot but that did not deter us.  When we went in we were right in the middle of a charity auction held by a local group.  The bikers were very energetic, to say the least, but they were very polite and decent.  We got several good laughs at their antics and jokes toward each other. The bar and grill is decorated "Old West" style with a bar and tables a...
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