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Have you ever thought about selling your home during December? What's your immediate reaction to that?

I think the average person probably thinks that it's not worth listing their home during the holidays. After all, who could really be moving to Las Cruces when they have to worry about turkey, gifts, and new years?

Since it's holiday season, I thought I'd take this myth on with a list of 12 reasons that it's actually a good time to list your Las Cruces home for sale during
the holidays.

12. January is the most popular month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transfers can't wait until spring to buy, you need to be on the market during the Holidays to capture that market.

11. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.

10. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the holidays than they do during a working week.

9. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price.

8. Homes show better when decorated for the Holidays. Plus you can cook more cookies to make you home smell better.

7. Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, there will be less demand for your particular home! Less demand means less money for you. List now and make more.

6. Serious buyers have fewer homes to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you.

5. People who look for homes during the Holidays are more serious buyers.

4. There are options for you to sell your home and still remain in your home until after the Holidays.

3. One of the highest percentages of the ‘listing sold' to ‘listing taken' occurs during this time of year.

2. Throughout the holiday season, buyers will understand if you restrict showings during your personal family events.

1. When you sell during the winter you have an opportunity to buy during the spring, when more homes are on the market. This means you sell for more and buy for less, and this is one of the few times that this is likely.


Moving during the Holidays is easier on your children. School starts in January and they can make new friends right away as opposed to moving in the summer when they have to wait a few months.

You will be surprised at what your home is worth in this market!
The Evelyn Bruder Dream Team will help you find your Las Cruces home's approximate current market value. This CMA (Current Market Analysis) is absolutely free, there is no obligation, it is all via E-mail and it's just a click away.

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The 7 Smartest Home Improvements You Can Make

Living Room Upgrades

When you are planning to improve your home and are on a limited budget, it is important to spend efficiently to give you the best bang for your buck. Some improvements will stretch your dollar more and can even provide an excellent financial return in the future.

Here is our list of 8 budget friendly home improvement projects you can enjoy today and help you sell your home for more tomorrow!

Add the Finishing Touch of Molding

Decorative molding is a classic touch that frequently gets overlooked when many people are deciding on a home improvement project. The fact is that upgraded molding is still one of the best ways to dress up a room. This east improvement help give a room a finished and expensive look.

One of the wonderful things about molding is that you have hundreds of different options and styles. Whether you want a simple look or a very ornate look there is a style for you and we haven’t even gone over the color and materials. You can also get specialized features like built-in lighting!

The cost is very low if you DIY and averages around $1.50/foot depending on the kind of molding. If you hire out it is still averages only $8/foot which is extremely reasonable.

Install Quality Ceiling Fans

Modern Ceiling FanOnce upon a time, ceiling fans were considered an ugly, wobbly, necessity to combat rising energy costs. Not anymore! Over the last two decades, ceiling fans have become higher quality and also seen as a good investment.

Today, ceiling fan design has caught up with the times and come in an extremely wide variety of styles, colors, and price points. You’d be surprised just how refreshing it is to replace your old, noisy ceiling fan.

In general, the size of the fan blade matters more than the number of fan blades. With this in mind, it’s best to go for the largest Energy Star rated ceiling fan you can fit in your particular space.

Also remember, if you have a low ceiling, buy a hugger ceiling fan that is mounted flush with your ceiling.

Plant Some Trees

Let’s be honest, adding trees isn’t something that most people think of when they think “home improvement” but trees are like wine, they get better with age.

What improvements can a tree make? Well if you plant them on the side of your home that receives the most sun, the south side, you can save up to $250 annually on your cooling costs. The tree will also help protect your home from wind and the roots of the trees prevent erosion from downpours.

So what about the future?

According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers (CTLA), a mature tree could be worth up to $10,000 especially in urban areas. Also, a recent study of home sales suggests that homes with trees growing in front or near a house boosted its sale price by an average of $8,870 and shaved a full two days off of its time on the market.

Install a Patio

Now here is one that definitely comes to mind when you think Home Improvement. The Patio. Just don’t go overboard. Keeping it simple, functional, and beautiful will allow you to recover 30% to 60% of your investment when you sell your home. The moment you start adding in high-end outdoor appliances like pizza ovens and kitchens, you won’t get back what you spent on your investment.

Energy-Efficiency is the Name of the Game

The value of energy-efficient houses just keeps going up and up. A UCLA study examined the sales prices of 1.6 million California homes from 2007 to 2012 and found that homes with Energy Star, LEED, or GreenPoint certification had, on average, a 9% higher price.

That finding is echoed in NAHB’s report that surveyed homebuyers across the nation: Nine out of 10 potential buyers would select an efficient home with lower utility bills over a less efficient home priced 2% to 3% less.

One energy-saving home improvement project that not only saves energy but gives you tons of enjoyment, too, is converting a wood-burning fireplace into a gas one. If you like to crunch energy numbers, gas fireplaces have energy-efficient ratings as high as 77%, compared with wood-burning fireplaces that convert only 15% of wood’s energy into useful heat.

In fact, 39% of homebuyers say a gas fireplace is an essential or desirable feature of the next home they purchase. So when it comes time to sell your home, more than one-third of potential buyers will be looking for a gas fireplace. In the meantime, it’ll be paying for itself in reduced heating costs.

Clever Storage

Clever Storage for Home SellersStorage and built-in organization is always on the top of buyers lists. The trick is to add storage without taking away floor space. If you just add lots of storage without taking that into account, you end up with a cramped home.

So let’s think about ways to add storage without making the home seem smaller.

  • Open drywall to create storage cubbies between your wall’s studs.
  • Install platform storage that hangs from your garage ceiling.
  • Even stairs can give you more storage. One clever mom repurposed an old chest of drawers and created storage within a basement staircase.

Light Up the Outdoors

Exterior lighting is just as important as interior lighting. You can use this lighting to accent what you like most about your home and the light keeps potential burglars away. Installing motion-detecting lights can even lower some premiums of homeowners’ insurance. With advances in solar lighting, it is now easier and more cost-effective than ever to give your homes nighttime curb appeal a significant boost. According to some studies, almost 90% of buyers include outdoor lighting on their list of features they are looking for in a home.

There are many other improvements that you can make to that could help you sell your home. Download our sellers guide for more!

Home Sellers Guide - Bruder Real Estate Team of Las Cruces

Subscribe to the Las Cruces Real Estate Blog by the Bruder Real Estate Team

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5 Ways to Boost the Value of Your Home

There are plenty of ways to improve the value of your home whether you want to sell up or just invest some money into the place that you live.

Of course building an extension is one strategy, but that isn't exactly practical or affordable for the majority of people. So here are 5 alternatives which won't cost quite as much and can quickly add a little bit of value whilst at the same time making your home a little bit nicer to live in.


This is one of the simplest ways to quickly reinvigorate your home if it is looking a little bit shabby. You are never going to make a fortune just by painting a few walls of course, but if your decor is looking a little shabby, a fresh lick of paint can make your house a whole lot more salable and it will certainly pay for itself in terms of the cost.

Update the Exterior

Curb appeal really does matter and if the outside of the building is out of date or run down it could knock significant value off of your house, so consider putting right what you can, make sure your windows look solid, clean and are in fitting with the type of home (sash and case windows go great with cottage style homes) - replacing them if needed, make sure your guttering is all in place and consider re-painting your front door if needed.

Redo the Garden

Just as can the outside of your house, having a shabby and unkempt garden can cost your house a significant amount of money. Tidying up your garden doesn't have to be expensive, just having a well kept lawn and keeping it free from weeds might be all you need - but a nicely landscaped

Loft Extension

This is a slightly more expensive job, but it is certainly cheaper than a full extension and if you happen to have a good sized loft an extra bedroom can actually add significant value onto your home. The key is to use the space effectively, don't leave yourself with a house that doesn't make much sense - like having 4 bedrooms and only 1 rest room.

New Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your house in terms of value, and if your kitchen is looking a bit old or un-inspiring, getting a new one can often add significant value. If you are able to fit the kitchen yourself you can potentially make a profit, but even if you have to pay someone else, you will probably add enough value to offset the cost of the investment.

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450 ideaa to sell your home faster, selling a home in Las Cruces

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What A Seller Should Never Say!

What A Sellers Says Can And Will Sabotage a Sale!

Wherever possible a seller should not even be home or be the one to show their home to a potential buyer and their agent. However, situations do arise in which it is necessary for the seller to show their home. But, one of those reasons should not be a seller who just wants to be involved in showing off their home. The seller should leave when the buyer and their agent arrive. It is the incidental comments to, or answers to questions from, the buyer or their agent on the way out that can kill the sale.

Things a Home Seller Should Never Discuss

A buyer's agent will try to get every advantage in negotiating a sale for their client by pulling personal information out of a seller when the seller is willing to provide it.

All too often, sellers answer questions put to them by other agents because they don't see it as a mistake to provide what they feel is "just information". But what they can say to an agent or the buyer can have big implications.
Here are some things a seller should never talk about with a buyer, regardless of how innocent the topic might seem:

1.The present sales price.
2.The length of time the home has been for sale.
3.Why the seller has decided to sell.
4.The comparable sales prices of other homes.
5.Any price reduction considerations.
6.Things that might be wrong with the home
7.How many offers the seller has received.
8.How quickly the seller would like to close.

It is "Miranda" all over again: anything a seller says can and will be used against the seller when the buyer enters negotiations to buy that home. If a seller, for example, mentions that she hopes the home sells soon because she's under contract to buy another home, the buyer knows this is an opportunity to squeeze every concession they can out of the seller.

The best thing a seller can say to respond to any of those questions is:
You will have to ask my agent that question.

•Buuuutt, I just wanna know if you've had any offers yet.
Answer: You will have to ask my agent that question.

•Can't you tell me if your home has been on the market for 7 days or 7 months?
Come on, this is not a hard question!
Answer: You will have to ask my agent that question.

•If we wrote an offer today, would you be willing to reduce the price by $10,000?
Answer: You will have to ask my agent that question.

This is the reason you hire a real estate agent to sell your home. A listing agent is the buffer between the seller and the buyer, including the buyer's agent. Your agent earns their commission by protecting you and your investment.



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6  Mortgage Mistakes You Can Make

Getting an affordable property at a great rate can make you feel as if life couldn't be any sweeter. But ask anyone who bought a house with a mortgage they didn't understand and couldn't afford, and they will likely tell you their house has brought them nothing but frustration and tears. Here are the top 6 mistakes buyers make when purchasing a home.

1: Not reviewing your credit first

Before you go to your first open house, you need to get a credit check. You can find free credit report services online, some of the major ones are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You're entitled to one free credit report from each agency each year, make use of these tools to be familiar with your credit background and score. You'll need your credit score to be in tiptop shape if you want the best rates. According to the Federal Trade Commissions' in 2013 they found 5 percent of consumers had errors on their report that could result in less favorable loan terms. If you're among that 5 percent, you want to the find the error and correct it before applying. If your credit score simply stinks, you can try these tips for raising it fast.

2: Failing to get pre-approved

The next mistake you can make when applying for a mortgage is failing to get pre-approved. Getting pre-approved by a bank is one way to avoid the heartbreak that comes from falling in love with a house you can never buy. It may also give you an edge if there are multiple offers for the same property. A seller may feel more confident selecting a bid from someone with a mortgage pre-approval rather than a person who hasn't even begun the process.
However, don't get carried away by whatever pre-approval amount you receive from the bank. Remember, what the bank thinks you can afford and what you can actually afford may be two different things. A lot of people lost their homes in the Great Recession because they were given loans they couldn't pay back. Don't make the same mistake.

3: Not shopping around for the best rate

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states nearly half of mortgage borrowers don't shop around and that's a big mistake. Even seasoned comparison shoppers may search for the best deals on their soap, their furniture and their car, but then don't look for a better mortgage rate. It may be convenient to use your primary bank for a mortgage, but that could also be expensive if its rates aren't competitive. According to Bank of America, for every 0.25 percent you can reduce your loan on a $200,000 mortgage, you'll save $30.55 per month. Over a 30 year period that can add up to a lot of extra cash.

4: Ignoring mortgage fees

While you're investigating rates, check out the fees on available mortgages, too. Most mortgages come packed with fees of all kinds, and while some, such as your county recording fee, are likely fixed, others are completely negotiable.

Before your closing, you should be provided with a good faith estimate of the fees. Ask your lender to review what they are for and then see if you can negotiate a lower price. These are a few of the fees likely to have the most wiggle room:
    •Loan origination fee
    •Application fee
    •Broker fee
    •Underwriting fee

5: Not having cash for a down payment

Not having a down payment can be a mistake for two reasons. The first is that it can sink your prospects of getting a mortgage. After being bitten by the housing market crash, traditional lenders shy away from giving mortgages to those bringing nothing to the table. But even if you can find a program that will allow you to get a mortgage with little or no money down, you could still be making a mistake. Remember how the housing market crashed from 2007-2009? Property values plunged and suddenly homeowners found themselves owing more than their homes were worth. When those owners then lost their jobs or otherwise couldn't keep up on their payments, they often found themselves without a prayer of refinancing or selling their property As a result, many ended up on the receiving end of a foreclosure notice. While nothing is guaranteed, putting 10-20 percent down on your house can reduce your chance of ending up in the same position.

6: Not understanding your mortgage terms

Underwater mortgages weren't the only problem facing homeowners during the Great Recession. An untold number of people also lost their houses simply because they signed on the dotted line without understanding what the heck their mortgage entailed.For example, people thought they'd hit the jackpot with interest-only loans that let them buy houses beyond their wildest dreams. However, they apparently didn't understand or overlooked the fact that their monthly payment would hit the stratosphere five years later. What's more, those five years of payments wouldn't give them a bit of equity in their home.
Adjustable rate mortgages, known as ARMs, operate under a similar structure. Homeowners were fine for the first few years when their mortgage rate was fixed and low. Then it reset to the current market rate and that affordable monthly payment suddenly didn't seem so affordable anymore. A 2008 report from the Federal Reserve Board found more than 75 percent of the subprime loans issued from 2003-2007 were "short-term hybrids" that work like ARMs. By 2008, more than 21 percent of these subprime loans were seriously delinquent.
The moral of the story is to always understand what you're signing up for. It's not enough to know what your monthly payment is today. You also need to ask if the interest rate can change and if so, when and by how much will it increase. If you're not comfortable with the loan terms or don't understand them, it's better to walk away than make an expensive and potentially life-altering mistake.


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Evelyn Bruder
Evelyn Bruder Las Cruces Real Estate Dream Team
(575) 650-7224

141 Roadrunner Parkway Suite 141
Las Cruces, NM 88011

Steinborn & Associates Real Estate (575) 522-3698

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