Customer Service

by Ron Blessey, Senior Mortgage Banker, People Bank NMLS #214672

In this ever changing environment, expertise and great service is what any buyer should expect. On the expertise side, your loan officer has to be registered with the National Mortgage Licensing System. Anyone that is offering you terms for a mortgage must be registered. You can check to see if the person you are speaking with is a qualified professional by going onto the NMLS consumer website at

Service is another issue that should be at the forefront of any consumer’s decision when choosing a lender. Peoples Bank in particular offers a high level of service through every step of the process. As a Senior Mortgage Banker, I am the coach that is responsible for interacting with the guest, my processor, and our underwriters. Communicating in a timely fashion clearly what is expected and what documentation is required throughout the process is what I do best. In a purchase transaction the added communication between me and the realtors is also key to ensure the flow of information.

Every deal is different. There are specific elements that need to be addressed and documented per our underwriting guidelines. I am particularly fortunate to have the ability to easily discuss and work out details of a transaction with my management and underwriting staff. This is critical more than ever in the current environment with all the new enhanced rules that have been put into place.

I believe the consumer is entitled to a high level of service and expertise whether you are buying or refinancing.

If you are a buyer, call me to discuss what loan products are available and what the process requires so you have a clear idea of what you can afford. Prior to a property being identified, I can offer a preapproval that is good for 90 days. Once the property is found and under contract, we can complete the transaction in a timely fashion.

Ron Blessey is a regular co-host on All Things Real Estate radio show.  For show schedule please visit


Susan Sumner and Las Campanas Compadres

By Lawrence Becerra, Chairman, Las Campanas Compadres

Las Companas CompadresLas Campanas Compadres offers therapeutic riding and swimming lessons to people with special needs at the world class facilities of The Club at Las Campanas. Lessons are free and 100 percent supported by private donations.

The program is made possible through the generous support of volunteers who work with our accredited instructors: Karen Evans, our riding instructor and Dave Caldwell, our swimming instructor. Each lesson is a 1/2 hour private tutorial lesson. Volunteers can be asked to be a side walker, lead walk a horse, help students get prepared for their riding and swimming lesson, and just be helpful in general. No experience is necessary – just a big heart.

The positive therapeutic effects of hippo therapy for people with special needs are substantial.  LCC’s transferring/lifting equipment makes the riding experience safer. While LCC’s volunteer side-walkers help the rider with positioning and balance throughout the lesson, the riding program’s special adaptive saddle is supportive enough to allow riders to sit on the horse without a back rider. The LCC swim program offers students a creative way to simultaneously strengthen and relax their bodies.

Susan Sumner has been a volunteer since the inception of the program in 2007.  She also serves as an LCC board member. Susan’s disposition is engaging and allows her to connect with the students and parents to make the most of their experience.

“I originally volunteered as I grew up riding horses and believed this would get me back to the barn.  It couldn’t have been further from the truth…although I certainly got back to the barn and to the pool, my experiences with the students and their families was truly life altering.  I began the first lesson feeling as if I was giving back, but what I received from the joy we share with the students when they connect to the horses gave me so much more.   My entire perspective changed.  I realized that these special needs students certainly have challenges in their day to day lives, but their abilities, determination and perspective provide lessons for all of us as we approach our own challenges.  John Romero and his parents, without question, are my heroes.  Not a week goes by that I am not thankful for all they and this program have given me.

The great part of this program is that the commitment on the part of the volunteers is really flexible.  You can commit 30 minutes once a month, or one hour each week…it is really based on your availability.  Whether we are part of riding or swimming lessons, we can take a few minutes each week to interact with these students.  It is not only rewarding…it is fun.”

For the past five years Las Campanas Compadres has held a triathlon fund raising event on the grounds of The Club at Las Campanas. This year’s event will feature a sprint tri for adults and a mini tri for juniors. This is the charity’s only fund raising event and its success ensures the continuation of this worthwhile program. This year’s event will be held on Labor Day, September 1. Expectations are for 200 participants.

To learn more about the event, or the program and how you can help, please visit, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to providing therapeutic riding and swimming instruction to people with special needs.  Las Campanas Compadres is being profiled as part of the All Things Real Estate “Unique Destinations” series.


Why Are Silicone Roofs Better for New Mexico?

By Justin Kibbe  Vice President, Fix My Roof, Inc.

Roof-Feb14Silicone Roof Coatings outperform all traditional roofing systems used on flat and low-pitched roofs throughout New Mexico, so it’s easy to understand why more and more New Mexicans are making use of this roofing technology and its 40-year track record of success.

Read through this list of Silicone Roofing attributes, and decide for yourself whether or not you think Silicone Roofs are better for New Mexico and better for your home!

1. Eliminates the need to tear off and replace existing roof.
2. Can be applied to most roof surfaces, even those in poor condition.|
3. Provides a seamless, durable coating.
4. Waterproof – standing or ponding water is not a problem.
5. Maintains flexibility at extreme temperatures (-100°F to 500°F). This is especially important in New Mexico, with its freeze/thaw weather pattern and the dry desert heat.
6. Reflective white color reduces cooling costs.
7. Unaffected by ozone and UV.
8. Breathable membrane prevents moisture entrapment.
9. Protects underlying roof.
10. Does not support mold or mildew.
11. Excellent hail and impact resistance.
12. Solvent-free material is virtually odorless.
13. Saves up to 75 percent in application and maintenance costs compared to traditional roofing methods.

If your roof has trouble standing up to the New Mexico elements, a silicone roof will protect you and your family. If your budget has trouble keeping up with summer cooling costs, a silicone roof will protect your wallet. If your conscience has trouble justifying a roof that contributes to the local heat island, a silicone roof will make your home the environmentally friendly model of the neighborhood.

To schedule a Complimentary Roof Assessment of your roof, call Fix My Roof at (505) 919-8011, visit us online at, or come visit our booth at the 2014 Santa Fe Home Show on April 5th and 6th, 2014.

Justin is a regular contributor to the All Things Real Estate radio show, visit for air times.

A Title Company for Life?

By Steve Riemann, NM State Training Director, Fidelity National Title Insurance Co.

fidelityToo often, customers think our job is over when the closing of the purchase is completed and the title policy is issued.  That is not the case.  We prefer to think of you as a client for life.  There are so many needs and/or issues that come up that we can be of assistance to you in the future.

Maybe you now want to sell that property; we can help with that and make sure you get the maximum discounts on title work. We will also have your surveys and all related documentation from your first closing.

Perhaps you are considering refinancing the property, or adding an additional mortgage (HELOC or 2nd loan) on the property; we can help with that.

Perhaps you need to transfer the property to your Trust or to a spouse or partner, or even your LLC.  Or perhaps you want to consider a Transfer on Death Deed, conveying the property to someone after your death; we can help with all of that.

Maybe you need copies of your plat, or deed, or covenants, or maybe it’s tax time, and you can’t find a copy of your Settlement Statement to give to your accountant; we can help with that.

Perhaps you are considering a lot line adjustment, or a lot split; we can help with that.

Maybe you have just paid off your mortgage (woohoo!) and want to check to make sure the lender has released your mortgage of record; we can help with that.

Perhaps you are granting an easement to your neighbor, or getting a variance for some improvements; we can help with that.

Maybe you just need a friend.  We can help with that, too.  After all, we consider you a client for life!

Real Estate Marketing

Increase Your Success Rate through Data Mining, a Guerrilla Marketing Tool

By Ken Dettebach, Gateway Marketing LLC

Last month, my wife Pam and I went to Del Charro Saloon, a restaurant just off of Santa Fe’s famed Plaza, for a green chili cheeseburger. Sitting across from us were Jim and Gloria from Denver, Colorado. We introduced ourselves and exchanged cards.

This was their 5th visit to Santa Fe in search of a place in which to retire. They asked how we liked Santa Fe. After extolling the pros and cons, I asked about them.

She was a dental hygienist educator and he had his own high end construction company which he recently sold. He was a Rotarian, belonged to three boards (which he described), is a member of the home builders association, likes fly fishing and hunting, and is an antique car buff.  Jim and Gloria both said that wherever they moved to, they would want to get involved in the community.

When we left, we had a profile of both Jim and Gloria that could be used to search their history. So, what is the point of this story?

Today we have the ability to define the minutest detail of our prospects (including even looking at their existing house), to qualify them, and to create a library of information to use in conversation.

The first step of all research is to write down what you already know. So, write down what you now know about your prospective customer. The next step is to write down what you don’t know. Determine what information is already available. Much of the information you seek is probably online.

How effective would it be, then, to put together a group of like-minded locals to meet Jim and Gloria in a casual setting to answer questions and describe how their interests would prosper in Santa Fe?

When I set up the telemarketing program in the initial stages of Las Campanas, Santa Fe’s well known golf and equestrian community, we brought prospects into Santa Fe for weekends of golf. The above method of Guerrilla Marketing was highly effective.

Stay tuned – Jim and Gloria are now in the hands of a realtor. We’ll see if they buy.

For great marketing and real estate info tune in to All Things Real Estate, weekly from 12-2pm MST.  Learn more at

Rey’s Real Estate Message

New Beginnings In 2014

By Rey Post, Managing Editor & Associate Broker
Sotheby’s International Realty

All Things Real Estate radio showWe launch into the New Year with cautious optimism about an improving economy and real estate market. Regions of the country are seeing significant improvements in the number of home buyer and seller transactions as we move further away from the financial meltdown of 2008.

 As was reported in the Sotheby’s International Realty “Market Update” for the fourth quarter of 2013, the Santa Fe real estate market ended last year on a positive note continuing a trend set in the last two quarters of the year. According to the Santa Fe Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, this local market ended 2013 reflecting a slight increase in both the number of units sold as well as a slight increase in average sales price.

 To be sure, an improvement in a number of general economic factors—including the national employment rate and the quality of jobs created—are essential to sustaining steady growth in our housing market. However, given the fact that there is true value in Santa Fe real estate, combined with the reality that mortgage interest rates continue to demonstrate historic low percentages, for those who are qualified to secure a home loan, there could not be a better time to explore getting your piece of the American Dream.

 2014 is also going to be a banner year for the “All Things Real Estate” (ATRE) platform of real estate news and information tools: the weekly radio show, monthly newsletter, and website (

 The ATRE radio show continues to provide some of the most timely and useful real estate information available to home buyers, sellers, and owners all over the nation. Each Sunday commentators from disciplines that make up every real estate transaction offer observations and counsel that speak to issues consumers ask us to address. Under our “Unique Destinations” show series, the program also offers the latest news on people, places, and events that impact our economy, culture, and real estate market. Our popular remote broadcasts of the live program will also be in full swing in 2014, as we air the show from a variety of real estate related venues and events that are attended by thousands of consumers.

I LikeThe show broadcasts for two hours every Sunday (12-2pm Mountain Time) on two Santa Fe radio stations (1260 KTRC-AM and KVSF-101.5-FM) and also streams to a national audience on Whenever possible, we also stream video of our remote broadcasts, turning them into “mini-TV broadcasts,” highlighting the venues and events that serve as the locations for the shows. The ATRE show is also gaining an ever-increasing following of fans on Facebook (, as well as via Twitter (

The ATRE newsletter has also entered 2014 in a new blog format, allowing us to communicate with a much wider universe of people interested in the latest news, trends, and information about every facet of real estate (go to the blog posts of all ATRE articles:

 Besides being a source of commentary for the ATRE radio show, our family of corporate supporters also serves as the backbone for articles contained in the ATRE newsletter/blog. These professionals represent some of the most knowledgeable and experienced people who practice in the field of real estate. For more information about the companies who play a regular role in offering the best in real estate news and information, please go to the homepage of the ATRE website:

 And speaking of the ATRE website, as the New Year progresses, we will be making some changes to this popular destination, making it more interactive with consumers and broadening the range of useful material offered. Whether it’s via the website, the radio show, or newsletter, we want to continue to provide our Sotheby’s International Realty broker colleagues with a unique avenue for sharing information about property options. Via our “Featured, Distinctive and Homes With History” categories, ATRE offers some of the finest in real estate listings available to home buyers.

In June 2009, ATRE was introduced to consumers. Since that occasion, the weekly radio show has expanded from one to two hours of commentary and now broadcasts nationally on The monthly newsletter has grown into a popular source of information and is now presented in a blog format, read by thousands of people all over the country. The website, which is linked from a variety of sites and via social media, has become a “go-to” destination for timely real estate information and news.

Of course, it truly does “take a village” to organize, format, and present all of the material that ATRE offers to the public and besides the strong support that the Hutton Broadcasting/ team offers to the radio show side of the equation, we need to thank the highly professional marketing staff of the Santa Fe brokerage of Sotheby’s International Realty for the vital role they play in making ATRE a success. Most significantly, this newsletter and other moving parts of the ATRE platform are made possible via efforts of Adrienne DeGuere, our Editor (who is also a Sotheby’s International Realty Office Administrator), as well as Mike Root, whose title as IT Support at Sotheby’s International Realty hardly describes the range of assistance he offers across multiple elements of ATRE.

For me, personally, I am very proud of how ATRE has matured and as we mark our five-year anniversary this June, I know quite a few people join me in pledging that we will make 2014 a year for greatly enhancing what we offer to consumers. Real estate transactions have become more complex than ever and every home buyer, seller, and owner deserves every opportunity to be fully educated about the process. We want to make sure that ATRE brings value to achieving this goal.

So, for now—and until next month—I wish you good luck and fortune in “All Things Real Estate.”

Consignment Gallery Q & A

The Start of a New Year!

By Stephen Etre, Co-Owner of Stephen’s, A Consignment Gallery
(An Interview with Managing Editor Rey Post)

ETRE-1Question. You mentioned on a recent broadcast of the “All Things Real Estate” radio show that 2014 is starting out in a positive way for the gallery.

Answer. After more than 30 years of operating the gallery, I have witnessed many different business cycles in Santa Fe. The start of this New Year is evidencing a continuation of the steady economic recovery that we witnessed in 2013.

Q. A significant amount of your clientele comes from the real estate community – home owners, buyers and sellers, as well as real estate brokers, interior designers, and lawyers administering estate transactions. Given this reality, do you have an impression about the status of the Santa Fe real estate market as we start 2014?

A. Yes, my impression is that as you and your broker colleagues have seen an increase in buyer and seller activity over the past year, correspondingly, the gallery has experienced increased activity. Sellers use us as a source for home staging activities, while buyers of new homes rely on our array of items to furnish their properties.

Q. And estate sales are a major source of activity for the gallery with each passing year, correct?

A. The gallery has a long-time relationship with estate lawyers, banks, and executors who turn to us to help facilitate the sale of some of Santa Fe’s finest collections of antiques, art, and one-of-a-kind items including heirloom jewelry. Though estate sales are driven by a special set of circumstances, we have found that they are occurring quite regularly, as people find them to be an effective method for marketing unique collections in certain homes.

Q. And to support your customer activities at the gallery in 2014, you have added some new enhancements, correct?

A. As you know, Rey, in 2013 we actually made some structural changes to the gallery’s outside façade to enhance our curb appeal to customers. We also added an “immediate placement” policy to the display of new arrivals at the gallery, so that the floor of our facility is constantly offering brand new items to meet consumer demand. And yes, we enhanced our already well-regarded gallery staff with new professionals who bring a level of knowledge and expertise that our clients seem to really appreciate.

Q. You also launched into 2014 with a new web presence for the gallery that I must say is quite attractive and very user-friendly!

A. Thanks for the plug about this element of our ongoing marketing efforts. We are very proud of our newly designed website which is not only visually appealing, but is constantly changing to provide our customers with the latest news about gallery offerings. For anyone who hasn’t visited our site in a while, I invite them to take a look at:

Q. So, all in all, you are entering the New Year with your normal high level of optimism!

A. I couldn’t say any better than that, Rey, and I look forward to helping every home buyer, seller, and owner throughout 2014.

Stephen Etre is a regular guest on All Things Real Estate,

Property Management Report

HOA Act 2014

By Tom Simon, Managing Member, Westgate Properties, LLC

The New Mexico HOA Act became the law of the land on July 1, 2013 and prior to July 1, 2014, HOAs currently in existence are obligated to record a notice of the association with the county clerk of the county in which the affected real property is located.  How do you do this?

For those who require assistance with this, WestGate Properties can provide you with a form and counsel you on how to do this properly.    The following elements must be included in the Notice:

  1.  The name of the association as recorded with the Secretary of State.
  2. The address of the homeowners association.
  3. The name of the management company, if any, which is responsible for preparing the disclosure certificate.
  4. The contact information for the person or entity responsible for preparing the disclosure certificate.
  5. The recording date for the subdivision plat. (This will be on the recorded plat.)
  6. The recording data for the declaration governing the lots within the development. (This usually refers to the Book and Page, which information is found on the recorded declaration.)
  7. The certificate number assigned to the homeowner association by the Secretary of State’s office.  This information can be obtained from the following link, or, go to and follow the links.

Once the document is signed by the authorized representative of the homeowners association and the signature acknowledged before a Notary Public, then the document must be recorded with the county.

According to New Mexico State Senator Tim Keller, one of the sponsors of the HOA Act, he may be seeking to clean up certain provisions in the Act.  These issues are legal and technical and too long to include here.  Please contact me if you would like more details.

Tom Simon is a Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA), Association Management Specialist (AMS) and Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) and Managing Member of WestGate Properties LLC.  Email him at 

Home Builder Perspective

Home Construction Process

By Kevin M. Skelly, President, K.M. Skelly, Inc.
NAHB Graduate Master Builder |Master Certified Green Professional

KM Skelly IncIn the previous two segments, we discussed two different ideas that will assist in making your next construction project memorable (for all the right reasons) – (1) Client/Contractor Relations and (2) Setting Expectations. In this issue, we think it’s important to highlight Project Scope and the proper use of Change Orders.

Project scope and change orders go hand-in-hand throughout a project. Project scope should be defined early, and managed throughout the project to avoid what is known as ‘scope creep’- the incremental expansion of the scope of a project, which may include and introduce more requirements that may not have been part of the initial planning of the project[1]. ‘Scope creep’ occurs often during projects when scope is either (1) not clearly defined, or (2) not referenced throughout the project.  There are many consequences of ‘scope creep,’ but the most common is a probable delay in the completion of the project. Owners and contractors should work together to identify items that do not fall within the scope of the project and generate change orders to document additional work that has or will be completed, which may result in a change in price, have an impact on the project timeframe, or both.

Change orders should be used to identify and document any work to be completed that is not considered ‘in scope,’ regardless of whether the change will come with additional fees or not.  A proper change order should include at a minimum: date, description of the work (as best as possible) to be completed, estimated or fixed fee cost (increase or decrease), how the change will impact the estimated date of completion, and it should be signed by all parties prior to making the change.

To conclude, keep your project scope in check! Use change orders to identify and document tasks or areas of the project that do not fall in scope to avoid ‘scope creep.’ Maintaining project scope and using change orders properly will go a long way in ensuring that your project comes in on time and on budget.

[1] “Scope (project Management).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Jan. 2014. Web. 25 Jan. 2014.

Real Estate by the Numbers

November 2013 Home Sales

By Abigail Davidson CRS, ABR, SRES, CLHMS, CNE
Broker Associate, Sotheby’s International Realty

graphThe following information has been compiled to provide you with updated information on sales in Santa Fe and its surrounding areas from November 1, 2013 to November 30, 2013. These statistics are for all residential home sales including single-family homes, condos, and townhomes.

There were a total of 131 home sales during this time period ranging in price from $40,000 to $7,000,000 (highest sale for the year).  The number of sales this month of 131 was down from 156 homes sold in October 2013. Total sales volume for November was $65,989,565, down from $71,870,652 in October 2013.

The average sales price in November was $503,737, up from the average sales price of $460,709 for the month of October. The median sales price was $350,000, up from $348,000 in October.  The average number of days on the market was 156, which is less than the 161 average days on the market for October.  Here is how number of sales per price-band reported in this month:

  • 64 Homes sold for under $350,000
  • 29 homes sold from $350,001 to $500,000
  • 27 homes sold from $500,001 to $1,000,000
  • 11 homes sold from $1,000,001 to $3,950,000

The 1 million plus range continues to be strong: 11 this month, 12 in October, 13 in September. The 500K – 1 million is also slighter higher at 27; last month it was 24. There were 25 less total sales this month. High end is starting to move.

For more insights on the real estate market, visit