We are so excited to be able to share information about the communities that we love with you. Whether you are new to Lincoln County, or you have lived and/or visited the area for the last 30 years, this blog is where you will be able to find up-to-date information on local places & events, community happenings, real estate trends and statistics, home owner tips, buyer dos and don’ts and so much more!
The members of Your Ruidoso HOME Team have all lived in the area for at least 10 years, (with some living here as long as 40 years), so we truly are local experts. The Team also very diverse interests, so we are able to share a wide variety of information, from the best hiking trails, to the best Green Chile Cheeseburger, to interior design or fireplace safety tips.
This page will be a work in progress as new content will be added weekly, so be sure to check back often. Whether it's a heavy read full of mouth-watering figures or a delightful quick tip or new place to eat Your Ruidoso HOME Team has you covered.
It can be a cookout space, lounge area complete with a brightly colored umbrella, or a display of potted plants. For whatever purpose you use your wood deck, it requires regular maintenance and upkeep to be able to provide you with years of pleasure. The key to preventing long-lasting damage to your deck is spotting and repairing the most common problems early on. With a little attention - and this helpful checklist of maintenance must-dos - you can keep your deck looking as good as it did the day it was constructed.
Pine needles, spills and bird droppings diminish your deck's good looks and can attract unwanted flies and insects. By scrubbing away stuck-on debris with warm water as needed throughout the year it will help keep unwanted growth down and prevent attracting unwanted flies / insects. You should also clean the entire deck at the start of every season using either with a wood-safe soap or a good power washer at its lowest pressure setting to quickly spray away dirt and grime. It's fine to let your deck air-dry on its own after cleaning or a rainstorm, as long as you remove outdoor accessories that retain moisture on the deck's surface. Make sure that outdoor rugs or doormats are quick-dry rubber and always place saucers underneath potted plants.
Do you remember how your redwood deck looked and felt when it was first installed or when you bought the home? Its color was warm, and the wood was soft and smooth underfoot. Over time, natural woods, including redwood, cedar, and teak, can start to feel rough and turn silvery gray. Fortunately, the original hue is merely hiding just beneath the surface. Simply sanding a deck made of natural wood will remove its weathered layer and restore the original color.
Apply a penetrating sealer annually after a thorough cleaning to protect your wooden deck from the elements for the next 12 months. Wait until the deck has completely dried and been sanded (if desired), then use a product that repels water, offers UV protection, and contains a mildewcide. Make sure you get the right kind of sealer for your deck. Natural woods require specific sealers. If your treated-wood deck looks faded, you can opt for a combination sealer and stain to refresh its appearance and protect it at the same time.
Wood decking swells and moves with humidity and temperature fluctuations. As a result, an older deck that has nails used in deck construction can become loose, resulting in raised naillheads. Instead of hammering the nails back down, pull them out and replace them with decking screws. If your deck is made of treated lumber, use plastic-coated ACQ-compliant screws. For a natural wood deck, choose screws with a corrosion-resistant coating.
Even when chemically treated, wood can warp over time. This problem is particularly common with longer boards like decking planks. More than simply detracting from your deck's appearance, these defects can cause guests or family members to trip and possibly fall. Replacing the entire plank is the best choice. However, if only a small section is affected, you can get by with cutting the plank back to the center of a joist and installing a replacement section.
Weather extremes, loose fasteners, and kids' horseplay can all take a toll on a deck's railing. Once a rail is wobbly, it takes more than just a few screws to stabilize. For beefed-up lateral support, add a vertical post between existing support posts. Secure the new post by bolting it to the deck's rim joist and to the railing.
A deck that settles, tilts, or slopes is showing signs of post failure. Inspect posts positioned nearest the lowest point of the deck. Your next steps will depend on the extent of the damage.
For a slipping post: If a support post has slipped downward in the center of a concrete footing, jack up the deck until it is level and bolt angle iron support brackets at the post's base.
For a rotting post: If a support post is rotting at the base, you'll have to jack up the deck and completely replace the post. Mount the new post in an iron post bracket secured to the top of the concrete footing.
Buying a fixer-upper is like having a baby I have been told. I may not have had a child, but I have had fixer-uppers and they demand all your free time. If you only have a few spare hours a week and plan on doing the work yourself, you are asking for trouble. You will need at least 1 long full day of work per week to make any meaningful progress. Do you have that kind of time already set aside?
If you're planning on hiring professionals or family... letting them do all the work, please do not think your spare time won't be spent. You will still need several hours every week to handle meetings, make selections and of course write lots of checks.
Buying a fixer-upper can be a cash-intensive operation. Many that purchase a fixer-upper end up living in an unfinished construction project for far too long because the money needed to complete isn't there. It's important to have a plan, a budget and at least a decent amount of funds put back prior to getting into anything major.
Another money gotcha can be financing. If the basics for living are not available in the home traditional financing can be nearly impossible. That higher cost of alternative financing can eat into the financial benefit of the entire project. This is why so many good fixer-uppers go to cash buyers who are often investors looking to flip the home for profit.
Your new house is going to be one of your largest and most important assets. Therefore you really don’t want to do lousy work. You will want your finish work; painting, trim, caulking, windows and doors to look excellent when you have finished. Time for a bit of honesty - do you have the skills to do that? If not, can you force yourself to be patient while you learn? It’s far better for you in the long run to caulk your kitchen twice or even three times, than to do low-quality work. Remember the saying the devil is in the details? When you get ready to sell or refinance down the road, those little quality differences will make a very tangible difference in your return on investment (ROI).
Speaking of return on investment, you will want to know ahead of time how much this is going to cost. What is the real purchase cost, including closing costs, fees, insurance and interest payments with your time-line before you improve anything. Next how much will those improvements costs? Consider materials, labor, professional fees from those such as architects. Then what it will cost to sell the property once completed. There are many spreadsheets available online to help you keep track.
Knowing all of this "after" an appraisal is very valuable when making your decision to purchase. The last thing you want to do is to place yourself into a negative equity situation. Remember the movie Money Pit? Funny movie, not as funny when you live it.
It can cost more, take longer and sell for less than you think. Are you prepared for those potentials? Can you financially keep the property and pay on the mortgage until the market has righted in order to make a profit given the interest you will be paying doesn't eat it in the end?
If a fixer-upper has been on the market awhile and is still available, there might be a good reason. Look closely be careful and do your due diligence. Remember a good fixer-upper will sell fast.
It is always fun and exciting to float along in a cloud seeing your perfect dream home or amazing visions for a property. Always remember to keep a steadfast focus keeping distractions at bay and one toe on the ground for making smart financial decisions, these two choices will take you far in the right direction. For those that have done fixer-uppers, you hear tales about loving it or the despair of the project and how unhappy they were. It is something you love or hate - which side will you be on?
As more and more of us are getting rid of clutter, removing excess belongings there seems to be an overwhelming result of finding a feeling of peace. Most of it is just stuff like the broken appliances or toys you never got around to repairing, the overflowing junk drawer, the items you were planning on using for something in the future, the outfits lurking in your closet that are older than a Jonas brother or you wore in high school. So why does it make you feel so stressed when you think about tossing them?
It's not all in your imagination though. A 2013 Huffington Post survey found that clutter was a major source of anxiety for Americans-ranking as high as unanticipated expenses and not having enough time for loved ones. "Clutter zaps your energy and knocks down your self-esteem, because it's a constant reminder of what you haven't done." says professional organizer Melissa Levy of Declutter + Design. A 2015 Princeton study found that the more "objects in the visual field" there are (ie: clutter) the harder the brain has to work at ignoring it. "I see this over and over; ignoring clutter causes mental fatigue" says Barbara Reich, founder of Resourceful Consultants, a professional organizer.
It may seem easier to look the other way than to deal with a bursting closet that you don't have time for, but all of that stuff eventually eats into your time. The average American reportedly spends two and a half days each year looking for lost items among all their belongings. I think I spend a good 3 days a year looking for my keys.
Clutter steals your sleep - a study performed in 2015 by St. Lawrence University found that a cluttered bedroom distracts you and messes with your sleep keeping you awake at night.
Clutter also can cost you money - a 2017 report from the Self Storage Association found that nearly 1 in 10 families stash their excess in a storage unit equaling an annual loss of $39 billion dollars according to Sparefoot's industrial statistics for last year.
How, then, to break free? The first step, say experts, is to realize that it's not about the stuff. It's about the feelings you have around the stuff! "Clutter is stress;' says Star Hansen, a professional organizer from Los Angeles. "Stress comes from anything that's emotionally unresolved in our lives, and clutter is unresolved. All the things you own are an expression of your past, future, hopes, dreams, loved ones, heartbreaks, successes and failures, so when you have hundreds of these items together in one space, it can be overwhelming. It's like a bunch of people yelling at you!"
De-cluttering isn't just about reordering your pantry though which can be helpful in making a grocery list. It's about bidding farewell to all of the unfinished business you've been hanging on to from your childhood, relationships and even former jobs. professional organizer Melissa Levy says "So instead of fixating on what's in your junk drawer think of getting organized as an opportunity to evaluate exactly what you have, how you're utilizing your space and how it reflects your current lifestyle. Then it's a lot easier to tackle."
When paring down triggers guilt there's a reason, Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" has sold close to 2.5 million copies in the United States. Ms. Kondo's advice is simple but revolutionary: she tells readers to group their stuff into categories, such as clothing or books, then hold each object in your hands and ask yourself "Does this spark joy?". This question is quick, decisive and incredibly effective. Either something sparks joy or it doesn't and you know it right away.
More often than not, our stuff sparks guilt. How about that bulky armoire your Aunt left you that you secretly can't stand but she loved it. It will not dishonor you Aunt's memory if you give it to Goodwill. In fact, your Aunt would probably be horrified to know that every time you looked at the armoire, you felt a combination of fretfulness and guilt. In the words of Melissa Levy "Remind yourself that just because you're finding a new home for someone's clothing or furniture doesn't mean you're leaving that person behind. They will always be a part of you, even when their things aren't." Then there is also the guilt over an expensive-but-useless buy, like the dress that cost half a paycheck yet hangs there in your closet, unworn, year after year after year. "The first thing you learn in business school is to ignore sunk costs. How much you paid is less relevant than how much space it takes up in your closet and that it serves as a daily reminder of the mistake you made buying it. There's a psychological cost to keeping it, so the sooner it goes, the better."
"Often people buy things for the life they hope to have one day, rather than the one they actually have. Call it "aspirational clutter" the clothing that's a size too small, the gym equipment in the basement that hasn't been used in years but serves as a drying rack for laundry. Ultimately, looking at this type of clutter is a constant reminder of failure and is very depressing for people" says Barbara Reich. "Picture that gym equipment as a toxic, undermining friend, waiting in silent reproach for you to open the basement door. Why keep it in your space?
People who hang on to aspirational clutter", adds Star Hansen "are clinging to both the past and a future, idealized version of themselves. In other words, everything but the present. I tell clients to ask themselves, 'Does this item fit the life I am living right now?'" she says. "Commit fully in the current life that you're in. If you're a mom with three kids and never wear those expensive stilettos gathering dust in the closet, sell them on Facebook and get a cute pair of sneakers for the school run. If you haven't used that bread machine since you bought it 10 years ago, give it to someone who will. It's OK that you never got around to making bread. That's what grocery stores are for."
If you're still reluctant to pare down and declutter, a highly effective motivator is to picture your loved ones shoveling out your teeming house after you're gone. Author Margareta Magnusson was struck by this thought after enduring the deaths of her parents with her and her husband subsequent frustration with sorting through their possessions. In her international best seller
'The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter' Magnusson maintains that people should start thinking about death cleaning right about the time that they start contemplating their own mortality which tends to be in your in midlife. "Death cleaning" may sound morbid, but it's not necessarily sad. Magnusson says the process is a reminder of who you are and how you see yourself, and it provides clarity on what you'd still like to do with your life. It also keeps you flexible for life changes such as downsizing a house or relocating for a job. She urges us to involve others when purging, to advise and hold us accountable. If you're wavering on something, she writes, a helpful thing to ask yourself is, "Will anyone be happier if I save this?" Often the answer is no. Your dusty box of Saved by the Bell VCR tapes and collection of garden gnomes might be meaningful to you but not to anyone else. As Magnusson writes, "A loved one wishes to inherit nice things from you, not all things from you."
We all know this, but it's worth repeating: happiness is derived from your relationships with loved ones and the experiences you have. It doesn't come from stuff. In fact, studies have found that people who are focused on materialistic interests like buying more and more things are at higher risk for being anxious, being unhappy and having low self-esteem. How, then, do we determine what items are truly valuable? Hansen says to "look for 'connecting items' things that connect us to our purpose, items that connect us to our loved ones or things that bring us joy" as she describes them. "You can tell if something falls into this category if it makes you feel a sense of freedom and enthusiasm."
All the experts say that when people conquer the chaos, they feel lighter to the point of giddiness. More important, they're markedly less stressed. Tidying up is life changing: gets you more sleep, frees up extra time, amps productivity, gets you and or your family out the door faster, helping you feel more in control. It gives you a fresher, cleaner space. In my world it prevents arguments when I'm not frantically hunting for my keys. Having an orderly home can boost your social life, some people are so ashamed of their jumbled homes they stop inviting friends over.
It can even improve your eating habits: a 2013 study by the Association for Psychological Science found that people who worked in a well-organized space were twice as likely to reach for an apple over a candy bar than those who worked in messy spaces. Being in a clutter-free room doesn't mean you have to live in a vast, cold space though either.
"I think being organized has this false connotation that your home must be austere, void of meaningful belongings and perfectly put away at all times," says Levy. "That's not it at all." Instead, she says, it means having a serene nest, a calm, restful place to catch your breath, think and pay attention to what's important in life. It helps you be the best version of yourself.
When to begin? We suggest, long before the closing table. Once you place an offer on a property begin a file system. This can be either physical folder or digital copies, as long as it's a safe place to keep important documents related to your real estate transaction. You may need to resurface these documents post-closing if an issue occurs. Remember to keep the ones that include ALL signatures and/or initials. A document signed only by one of the parties involved will not assist you should you need it.
Usually found at the beginning of a contract outlining the working relationship agreed upon between you and your selected buyers broker.
Since this is a legally binding document it is high on the list of documents to keep. It will outline all the key aspects of your real estate transaction, including price, deadlines and contingencies. If there are other forms mentioned in the agreement pertaining to your transaction be sure you keep them, including but not limited to; counter offers, addendum, supplements or additional contingencies lined out.
You will want to retain any written statements made by the seller that disclose important or relevant information about the property. Sellers are required to disclose about any known issues and defects.
This report provides a thorough analysis of the current condition of the home and flags any potential problems that might arise in the future.
For financed properties, a home appraisal is an important part of the mortgage process. They provide a third-party opinion of the value of the home. Very handy if you need to dispute the assessed value figured by the county. For instance, if your property tax goes up, you may be able to leverage your appraisal report to have your assessment re-evaluated.
Title insurance provides coverage for past problems related to the title chain of a property. These can include hidden risks due to forged signatures, missing mortgage discharges or even probate issues, some which are unknown at the time of closing. In the rare chance that a dispute arises, it is best to have your policy available to protect your claim to title.
Mortgage lenders require that you obtain homeowners insurance. After all, the lender has significant interest in your home and wants to see the asset protected. Insurance can cover a large variety of issues - from theft and vandalism to fire or wind damage.
If you purchased a newly constructed home, a builder's warranty comes from the builder for 1 year. Even for a used home a home warranty can be purchased as part of the agreement to cover malfunctions of certain items like heating and cooling systems, plumbing or appliances. If something fails during your home ownership, you will want to refer back to your warranty coverage plans. Utilizing a warranty can help bolster repair expenses.
If you are purchasing the property with a mortgage you will receive a closing disclosure often referred to as CD. Legally you must receive this multiple page document 3 days prior to closing. This document provides details about your loan and closing costs. Plus, you may want to hang onto it for when tax season rolls around as some aspects of your loan maybe tax deductible.
Your deed will be recorded at your county registry. This document states the transfer of ownership from the seller to you and in what name.
Good news is some of these items you can track down through different sources. If you selected the right brokerage to assist you in purchasing your property they will have most documents readily available, typically short of the properties appraisal and your homeowners insurance policy.
As unfortunate as it can be when homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments and must face the possibility of losing their home - short sales and foreclosures provide the home owner a way of moving on financially. Though these terms are often used interchangeably, but are actually quite different. Short sale and foreclosures have many differences with varying timelines and financial impact on the homeowner so here is a brief overview-
Remember the term upside down? A short sale comes into play when homeowner needs to sell their home but the home being sold has a lower value than the remaining balance owed on a mortgage. The lender can allow the homeowner to sell the home for less than the remaining balance that they owed, freeing the homeowner from the financial predicament. On the buyer side a short sale typically takes three to four months to complete and many of the closing and repair costs can be shifted from the seller to the lender. The HAFA program was created to help speed up the process for both buyers and sellers.
Unlike a short sale a foreclosure means the bank already began the process of repossessing the home after a homeowner can no longer make payments. This is more financially damaging to the homeowner for obvious reasons. After the bank has foreclosed on the home which can take up to 930 days for a government loan in New Mexico, then the bank can sell the home in a foreclosure auction. For buyers, foreclosures are riskier than short ales, because the homes are sometimes only available sight unseen and/or with out any warranty nor inspection. Bringing many unknowns to the table for a buyer.