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Homes and Real Estate

American Home Week
Information and advice for today's home seller and buyer
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Green Builder Homes:
Cut energy costs; reduce pollution; conserve resources
Inspiring Homes Highlight of Hospital Fund-Raiser
Splendid homes and incredible food are the draw for the seventh annual Raspberry Home Tour, but it's the kids at Carrie Tingley Hospital and their families who benefit. The yearly fund-raiser will be held Sept. 16. Four beautiful houses two of them in Bernalillo and two in Corrales will be open to ticketed guests. A sumptuous brunch will be served at each of the homes, with each of the featured chefs including at least one dish containing raspberries. (August 25)

Cantabella Lots in Ventana Ranch Selling Well
A quarter of the lots were sold at DR Horton's Cantabella in Ventana Ranch before construction started. "We found the right product for the right area and it's really taken off," said Kathyrn Rhoades, vice president of the builder's Albuquerque division. (August 26)

Tierra Oeste's Quiet Has Fast Access to Downtown
Bob Buthod believes KB Home's latest West Side subdivision, Tierra Oeste, has a special quality among Albuquerque's new homes. (August 19)

Scott Hauquitz Likes the Joy of Custom
With custom houses springing up all over Albuquerque, it's not easy to stand out from the crowd. "In this area of construction high-end homes there's so much competition," said Scott Hauquitz, owner of Keystone Custom Homes. "There's a lot of excellent building out there. So you have to put the newest and most up-to-date things in each house." (August 12)

Building From the Bottom Up
For Michael Carlisle, it simply makes dollars and sense to start at the bottom. It's what he preaches to his customers at Hacienda Custom Homes. Carlisle encourages new homeowners to put in a full, finished basement, which can be done for significantly less money and effort than constructing a similar room above ground. (August 5)

Builder Aims To Break City Record for Starts
The never-achieved peak of one company building 1,000 homes in a year in Albuquerque will stand another year. But Artistic Homes plans to make a concerted assault at the high figure in 2002. (July 29)

Builder Designs House To Take Apart, Move
ANGEL FIRE Kurt Umholtz wanted to build his family a small vacation home on property he owned among the pine trees in northern New Mexico. (July 22)

Builder's Own First House Led to Business
When Michael Sanchez set out to build his first house more than 25 years ago, he couldn't have done it without the help of his family particularly his pregnant wife, Kathleen. (July 15)

Prize-Winning Remodel Alters 90% of Home
CORRALES When undertaking a major remodeling project, Robert Slattery prefers that his clients move out of the house for the duration. (July 15)

California Code
After years of preparing land for residential development in the Albuquerque area for other builders, American Southwest Homes Ltd. has begun its own subdivision, Encanto Village. (July 8)

Built With Surroundings in Mind
EAST MOUNTAINS Michael Spiller and his family have some roots in the East Mountains. They have lived in the area as long as he can remember. (July 1)

All the Extras
RIO RANCHO Perhaps the first thing that strikes one about Mason Mayhew is his age. And, the second impression is that age doesn't really matter all that much. Although Mayhew is just 23, he already has almost five years of experience as head of Mayhew Homes. He has already completed two subdivisions on the West Side and is now tackling Rio Rancho, with 22 lots in the Trinity Estates development on the bluffs overlooking Corrales. (June 24)

South Valley Jewel
Wayne Lujan got his education on the job. A high school dropout, Lujan went to work to help his family. But that experience turned into a career as a contractor and proprietor of his own business, Ram Construction. (June 17)

Kim Brooks Returns to Ventana Ranch
Ventana Ranch has welcomed a new builder with a familiar face. For Kim Brooks, it's good to be back. Brooks, as president of Mesa Vista Homes (which was bought out by KB Home several years ago) was among the original builders in Ventana Ranch, a planned community on Albuquerque's far West Side. (June 10)

Off the Beaten Path
RIO RANCHO Tim Brennan's experience in custom-home building and with high-volume builders has given him solid grounding for his latest venture. Brennan and his new company, Homes at Sara's Meadow, have an 88-lot subdivision on the bluffs overlooking Corrales and the Rio Grande bosque. The first phase, which is well under way, will have 39 homes. (June 3)

Week Salutes Homeownership
The New Mexico Partnership in Homeownership is sponsoring several events around the state to promote National Homeownership Week, which is Monday through Friday. (June 3)

Dreams Fulfilled
Fighting the elements every year in the Midwest finally became too much for Arlen Kamstra, who left his home in Iowa in search of a friendlier building climate. He discovered Albuquerque about 10 years ago and found it to be the perfect building location, with mild winters and dry summers. (May 27)

After Work
RIO RANCHO Leonard Farfan's day begins at 2 a.m., when he heads off to the local Albertson's grocery store for his job in receiving. When he finishes that, he goes on to his next job building houses. (May 20)

Cul-de-Sac Quiet
One of the selling points of Roger Smith's La Chamisal del Norte development in the North Valley is the security. The 40-lot, gated community is directly behind a Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department substation. (May 13)

Watering of Trees Not as Simple as it Sounds
Water your trees? Sounds simple, doesn't it? But in a region that stresses water conservation, turning the hose on a tree that seems to be doing fine is probably way down on your list of priorities. (August 18)

Insects Spreading Curly Top to Tomato, Chile Plants
Things are not looking rosy in the tomato patch. The infamous curly top virus more properly called beet curly top geminivirus (BCTV) is back. (August 4)

Awnings, Trees Keep Sun Off Your Back
You've got your Bermuda shorts and sunglasses on and a giant glass of extra icy tea in hand. But you step outside onto your patio and take a seat on your lawn chair only to turn back around and head inside to keep the swamp cooler company. (August 4)

Glowing Lanterns Illuminate Back Yards
The strings of clear, twinkling lights around your neighbor's patio might not be leftover holiday decorations. (July 28)

Garden Club To Sell Xeric Plants in August
Just in time for the fall planting season, the Xeric Garden Club of Albuquerque is holding its annual plant sale Aug. 11 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Albuquerque Garden Center. That's at 10120 Lomas NE, just off Eubank. (July 28)

Author's 'Guerrilla Gardening' Advice Mostly PC
With a name like "Guerrilla Gardening, How To Create Gorgeous Gardens For Free," the new book by Barbara Pallenberg automatically made me suspicious. (July 28)

Transplanting Cactus Can Be Sticky Situation
Here in the desert, many people enjoy making room in their gardens for prickly pear or cholla cactus. Their lovely blooms attract hummingbirds, they are waterwise and they look about as low maintenance as you can get. (July 21)

Cottonwood Requires Water
Q: I have a beautiful cottonwood tree in my front yard that is 40-50 years old. Every year I struggle to keep the leaves on, using the least possible amount of water. Do you have any idea how to conserve water and still keep my cottonwood alive? Diana Quinn, Albuquerque (July 21)

French Drains Help With Water Woes
Gary M. Marquez and his family moved into their North Valley home in November 1991. "We had good snow that year," Marquez recalls, "and there was a good snowpack. Once it started melting, I knew we'd be in trouble."

Trees Cut Energy Bills, Winter and Summer
A well-planned landscape not only adds to the aesthetic value of a house, it can improve energy efficiency -- another selling point should you decide to put your home on the market.

Going It Alone
Owners who sell their homes without the help of a real estate agent are looking to save on expensive commissions, but some find it's not as easy as they thought.

N.M. Gives You More Fix-Up for Your Buck
If you remodel, you're likely to recoup most re-do expenses when you sell your house. And even if you don't sell, remodelers say, an overhauled room brings enjoyment that can't be measured in dollars and cents.

Appraiser Will Put Price Tag on Home
There are times when homeowners want to know what their home is worth -- if they're selling, refinancing, contesting taxes or even divorcing. Enter the real estate appraiser, a person trained to look at the house and figure out its value.

Refinancing's Harder But Still a Good Move
If you want to refinance or get a second mortgage, there's some good news and some not-so-good news. On one hand, the drop in interest rates does not have to be significant to make a difference for the average homeowner. But getting those lowest rates isn't as easy as it used to be.

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