Albuquerque homeowners stay put longer than most

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The hosts on HGTV always make it seem easy to take a fixer-upper needing some love and create a beautifully redesigned home in no time flat.

A real-life version occurred recently in Albuquerque where a Dreamstyle Remodeling transformation of a local home brought the company kudos from a national publication.

The company recently received the “Best Body of Work” award, the top prize, in the annual national home remodeling design competition presented by Professional Remodeler magazine. The winning project was a home in the Glenwood Hills neighborhood, and the work consisted of renovations to the kitchen, living room, master bedroom and master bathroom in the 3,300-square-foot residence.

Clients bought the outdated house in late 2016 and had Dreamstyle give it a top-to-bottom redo before moving in in spring 2017. “I am so honored that we won this award as it really shows that Albuquerque is on the map when it comes to home design nationally,” says Bobbi Goroum, Dreamstyle’s designer for the winning project.

Entries submitted by U.S. residential remodeling companies are judged on quality, design expertise, material choices, problem solving and creativity. Award winners are determined by a panel of 10 expert judges from the industry.

Earlier this year, Dreamstyle was ranked as the No. 1 full-service remodeler in the country by Remodeling Magazine.

Triple the space

Following nearly a year of planning and hard work, Passages International, which sells environmentally friendly urns, caskets and memorial products, has moved into a new facility at 4516 Anaheim NE. At nearly 30,000-square-feet, the new space triples the company’s previous footprint and allows employment growth, says a company official.

The new workspace also provides much-needed space for continued in-house product development and innovation, said Darren Crouch, Passages president.

“Our team is really excited about this new facility, he said. “It positions us perfectly to capitalize on expected growth over the next 10 years.”

The company hosts funeral professionals nationwide who visit and learn about its unique product line.

ABQ not so much on the move

Pre-recession, many American homeowners changed residences fairly frequently as they moved up the property ladder to larger and more expensive abodes.

Pulling up stakes has been less prevalent during the past decade, according to the National Association of Realtors. American homeowners went from living at the same address for a median six years in 2008 to 10 years beginning in 2014. That’s partly because so many found themselves unexpectedly underwater on their mortgages when the housing bubble burst, according to Realtor.com, a real estate listings website.

To find where owners are staying put for the longest and shortest periods of time, the Realtor.com data team identified the markets where folks are holding onto their homes the longest and where they’re putting properties back on the market in record time.

Albuquerque ranked No. 2 after El Paso, where homeowners are holding tight the longest. Average time between sales: 98 months.

The Realtor.com blurb describes the Duke City this way through the eyes of a local real estate agent: “Residents here don’t seem to have an overwhelming desire to trade up to McMansions. There’s a strong cultural bent to stay put,” says Ben Levin, an associate broker at Re/Max Select.

He contends that Albuquerque is a decidedly down-to-earth, family-oriented community. “People here are not so driven to own luxury cars and designer clothes,” he said. The where people moved the most often? Providence, R.I. Average time between sales: 33 months, according to Realtor.com.

Retirement state of mind

Realtor.com says New Mexico has another distinction when it comes to residential real estate: its state capital is the third-most expensive place in the U.S. in which to retire.

“I tend to describe our market as active semiretired. These are folks who are retiring a little early and may be looking at reinventing themselves,” says Nancy Lewis, a real estate broker at Santa Fe Properties, who is quoted in a recent Realtor.com article. She gets clients from as far as Croatia and Ireland who move to The City Different to pursue their interests by buying art galleries or becoming active volunteers.

Among the most popular communities for retirees is Las Campanas, a gated master-planned community with two golf courses, a spa and an equestrian center. Homes here start at $800,000, but can go well above $4 million. “They want to age in place,” Lewis says of the newcomers.

Steve Sinovic covers real estate for the Journal. He can be reached at ssinovic@abqjournal.com or by calling 505-823-3919.

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