Albuquerque Real Estate with Joe Brooks

November 14, 2008

Client Testimonials

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — joebrookshomes @ 6:43 pm

Client Testimonials


Joe Brooks
Keller Williams Realty
9201 Montgomery
Albuquerque, NM 87111
Equal Housing Opportunity.


I wanted to write you an email and be sure to thank you for all of your hard work representing Celeste and me in our home purchase. We appreciate your professional approach from the beginning and all of your follow through to the end.

In our case, we were challenged, both with finding a house that not only met our expectations and price range, but in competing with the other offers made during our selections. You were very good at accommodating us with the many homes we elected to view and in our making multiple offers. And the encouragement you provided was noticed too.

I think what was most impressive to me was your integrity throughout the completion of our transaction. We could not have anticipated a warranty issue, but you were there to both coordinate and complete those tedious third party arrangements. All in all, you left us with a confidence, not only in our home purchase, but in our realtor selection.

Well done Joe. And thank you for a positive experience.

Best Regards,

Brandon Chavez and Celeste Debari
Albuquerque, NM

Joe Brooks was extremely helpful, friendly, and looking out for my best interests. I would definitely recommend him to anyone.

Andrew Calvin

Rio Rancho


During the transition of selling/renting one house to buying a new house Joseph Brooks was our agent and he did a superlative job resolving difficulties that cropped up during the upside down housing market. He was an expert in all phases of this experience. He was readily available 24/7. He was timely showing us homes for sale as well as setting up home viewing for the house we were selling. Multi-tasker. Mr. Brooks was very professional in steering us thru financing, resolving problems unexpected and was there for us at the title company ensuring everything was done right at closing. Mr. Brooks is a professional in the truest sense of the word. Highly recommend. You will be thankful you did.

Tommy H. Rutherford


About Joe Brooks Albuquerque Realtor

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — joebrookshomes @ 6:38 pm


Joe Brooks

Who Am I?
Meet Joe Brooks
I believe the old saying that “People buy from people”.

My background before launching my own business in real estate was a long journey. It all began in Nebraska, where I graduated from The University of Nebraska with a degree in Communication Studies and Business Administration. After college I took a position with a corporation called Aramark – a very large worldwide management company. I enjoyed working for a large corporation at the time, and gained invaluable experience in managing all aspects of a business and customer service. My time with Aramark took me all over the country trouble shooting different accounts. I traveled a lot and it started to wear on me.

When Aramark moved me to Albuquerque, I fell in love with many things about the foothills area, including the weather. I decided I wanted to invest into real estate in the beautiful foothills area of Albuquerque. My experience, however, was a very negative one. I felt my Real Estate agent did not keep me informed, and did not take very good care of me. He did not keep my best interests in mind.

After that, I became very interested in real estate here in Albuquerque. I wanted to know the rules and regulations, what was right and what was wrong. I wanted to become a Realtor with integrity. One that could be a trusted advisor, and not allow others to have the same experience that I had. So, I threw everything to the wind.

I am now part of a great company called Keller Williams Realty

I am constantly striving to learn more to be the best Realtor I can be

I have had training in the Short Sale Process

I have had training to become a Certified Residential Specialist

I am a member of the Board of Realtors

I am a member of the Board of the New Mexicans for Nebraska

I have my CNE Designation (Certified Negotiation Expert)

Your Realtor,
Joe Brooks

Joe Brooks
Keller Williams Realty
9201 Montgomery
Albuquerque, NM 87111
Equal Housing Opportunity.



October 26, 2008

Do you qualify for a Short Sale. Call before it is too late.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — joebrookshomes @ 7:26 pm

If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure, be sure to talk to a real estate broker Joe Brooks that is experienced in short sales and has the knowledge and tools in place increase the chance of success.

We are full service Realtors serving the greater Albuquerque and offer a free phone consultation to determine if you may qualify for a short sale. e-mail to set up a time at

October 9, 2008

There is money still being lended out there!!!

Filed under: News — Tags: , — joebrookshomes @ 8:41 pm
Happy Thursday.
I received the following information from a lender friend of mind.  So if you are worried about not being able to get a loan read below.  As always feel free to call me if you have any questions.  Your ABQ Realtor Joe Brooks  505 977 3474
Home sales up 7.4%
Realtors’ data show pending U.S. home sales up 7.4% in August
FED cuts prime by .5%…….
Hey everyone: just wanted to let you know that we hear a lot of questions like ‘is there any money for mortgages?’ from the general public. The fact is there is money to lend….

Unfortunately the media is far more an influence in what goes on in this country than they should be.  I am pretty sure that many people throughout the country are under the impression that there is very little mortgage money to lend and probably little or no down payment assistance.  I think pretty much everyone in the industry knows this is not true.  But now, in addition to the fact that sales are slow, we are moving into what is normally a slower time of year, and many other economic factors are weighing on things, we have to overcome the perception that it is next to impossible to get financing.
There is money for mortgages.   Yes, the guidelines have become more strict.  But then, let’s face it, they needed to be.  We are, in essence, going back to the future.  That is a reality of the changing landscape.  For those of us who have been in the industry for some time it is going back to the basics of years ago.  For those newer in the industry look for those who have been around for some time and use their experience to assist you. 
The government programs are there and they are just fine.  Yes it is a little more work, but the homebuyer education and counseling that is required is extremely valuable and entirely worthwhile.Education is what will help keep people in homes and motivate people to buy during these times of lower home prices and interest rates.
If this is true, what money is hard to get then?
The money that is really tight (although not the only one) is the short term credit that business use to operate in lieu of cash flow timing. Here’s an example:If I have an order for 10,000 widgets, I may get a down payment from my buyer( or maybe not, if the customer is an A+ client,), but I need to obtain raw materials and pay WIP(work in process) costs on credit until my Accounts Receivables acquire the completed payment. This is a normal way a business ‘leverages’ credit to reduce the amount of cash reserves it maintains to ensure positive cash flow.The credit markets here are tight with the failures of Lehman Brothers and others….
The stock market and economy react negatively as businesses may slow down because of this…
I am taking apps and obtaining financing for clients the same as always….there are credit score bumps to rates, underwriters are scrutinizing files,etc.. but no one I knows has had a loan denied for LACK OF FUNDS FROM LENDER!!!!!!!

Stay positive…..spread the good news as well….

October 3, 2008

Revised Downpayment and Maximum Mortgage Requirements

Filed under: News — Tags: , — joebrookshomes @ 8:18 pm

























WASHINGTON, DC 20410-8000



September 5, 2008



For your information.


Call if you have any questions …..


Joe Brooks



SUBJECT: Revised Downpayment and Maximum Mortgage Requirements

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 revised the National Housing Act to:



Require that the mortgagor “shall have paid, in cash or its equivalent…an amount equal to

not less than 3.5 percent of the appraised value of the property….”;




Eliminate the variable loan-to-value limits that were based on the combination of the

property value and the average closing costs of the State where the property is located (also

known as “downpayment simplification”); and




Limit the total FHA-insured first mortgage to 100 percent of the appraised value, and

require the inclusion of the upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) within that limit.

This mortgagee letter provides guidance to mortgagees regarding the revised downpayment and

maximum mortgage requirements for single family mortgage to be insured by FHA. Please also

note that this mortgagee letter rescinds, in their entirety, the following: ML 2003-01; 2000-44; and

98-29. These instructions also replace the maximum loan-to-value percentage charts on pages 1-7,

1-20, and 1-24 of handbook HUD-4155.1 REV-5, and page 4 of ML 2008-13.


Additional Information Regarding the Revised Downpayment/Maximum Mortgage

Requirements and Downpayment/Mortgage Amount Calculation Examples:



Effective Date:

The revised downpayment requirement as described throughout this

mortgagee letter takes effect with all new FHA case number assignments on or after

January 1, 2009.




Closing costs:

Closing costs may not be used to help meet the minimum 3.5%

downpayment requirement. Closing costs are not considered in the mortgage

amount/downpayment calculation for purchase money mortgages.





For purchase money mortgages, the LTV is 96.5 percent, i.e., the reciprocal of the

3.5 percent downpayment requirement. The examples that follow will use 96.5 percent and

apply it to the lesser of the appraiser’s estimate of value or the adjusted sales price. The

examples do not include UFMIP or closing costs to be paid by the borrower.





Premium pricing:

FHA will continue to permit premium pricing, as described in

paragraph 1-9J of handbook HUD 4155.1 REV-5, to pay the closing costs and prepaid





Combined loan-to-value ratio (CLTV

): When combined with the FHA first mortgage,

government subordinate liens are not limited to 100 percent. When a unit of government or

an instrumentality of one is offering downpayment and/or closing costs assistance in the

form of secondary financing, the CLTV can exceed 100 percent of the appraised value. The

guidance in paragraph 1-13 of handbook HUD 4155.1 REV-5 remains in effect




Calculation of the maximum mortgage:

The maximum mortgage is calculated by

applying 96.5 percent to the




of either a) the appraiser’s estimate of value or b) the

contract price for the property minus any required adjustments.

Example 1

Sales Price: $218,000 Appraiser’s Estimate of Value: $220,000

Maximum Mortgage: $218,000 x 96.5% =




Downpayment: $218,000 – 210,370 =




The maximum mortgage shown does not include any upfront mortgage insurance

premium, and the example does not consider any closing costs that must be paid by

the borrower.



Seller Concessions:

Sellers are still permitted to provide financing concessions up to 6

percent of the sales price. Amounts exceeding six percent must be subtracted from the sales

price (or value, if less) before applying the downpayment percentage multiplier. Other

inducements to purchase, as described in the mortgage credit analysis handbook (HUD-

4155.1 REV-5) must also be subtracted from the sales price or value, as appropriate, in

calculating the maximum mortgage amount/downpayment. In such cases, the actual

downpayment is increased by the amount of the inducement.

Example 2

Sales Price: $218,000 Appraiser’s Estimate of Value: $220,000

Gift Card worth $3000 Adjustment to Sales Price: $218,000 – $3000

Maximum Mortgage: $215,000 x 96.5% =




Downpayment Calculation: $218,000 – $207,475 =




The calculation of the maximum mortgage requires that the gift card value, which

was provided by the builder at closing, be subtracted from the sales price and, thus,

the 96.5 percent applied to $215,000 rather than $218,000. The downpayment, of

course, is calculated by subtracting the mortgage amount from the actual contract

sales price.




Specialty products with higher LTVs:

Section 203(k), Section 203(h) for disaster victims,

and FHA’s Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) programs are not affected by the LTV limit.

All existing policy guidance regarding the rehabilitation program under Section 203(k),

including streamlined (k), mortgage insurance for disaster victims, and the EEM program

remain in effect. (Please note that a separate mortgagee letter announcing higher EEM loan

limits will be published.)




Refinance transactions

: Refinances, including FHASecure refinances, are not subject to

the 3.5 percent downpayment requirement since there is no “downpayment” on a refinance.

The LTV will be calculated, as it has been, by dividing the loan amount prior to adding the

UFMIP by the appraiser’s estimate of value. However, the loan amount, including the

UFMIP, may not exceed 100 percent of the appraiser’s estimate of value for all new case

number assignments made on or after January 1, 2009; this will result in various refinancing

products including rate-and-term, FHASecure (including refinances of both non-delinquent

and delinquent mortgages), streamlined refinances, and cash-out refinances having possibly

different LTVs before adding the upfront mortgage insurance premium.

Example 3

Appraiser’s Estimate of Value: $220,000 UFMIP of 1.5%




Maximum Mortgage before adding UFMIP =




Maximum Mortgage w/UFMIP = $216,749 + $3251 =




LTV before UFMIP: $216,749/$220,000 =




This example assumes that the borrower’s payment of the existing first lien, closing

costs, amount to establish a new escrow account, discount points, etc., yield an

amount before adding the UFMIP of at least $216,749. Any shortfall would require

payment in cash. If less is needed to extinguish the existing mortgage and pay

associated transaction costs, a lower amount is required before adding the UFMIP.

Cash-out and FHASecure refinances have lower LTVs as described in ML 2008-13.

(The amount of mortgage before adding the UFMIP can be determined by adding

the insurance premium percentage, in this example1.5%, to 100% and then dividing

that result into the appraiser’s estimate of value ($220,000/1.015 = $216,749

(rounded up)). The resulting amount substitutes for the “LTV ratio applied to

appraised value” instructions in handbook HUD-4155.1, paragraphs 1-11A1 and 1-


If you have any questions regarding this Mortgagee Letter, call 1-800-CALLFHA.






For illustrative purposes only. UFMIP percentages will vary.

September 22, 2008

Understanding the buyer

Filed under: Selling — Tags: , , — joebrookshomes @ 8:16 pm

Understanding the buyer

 As the month of Sept. is winding down there is still 7300 homes on the market for sale.

As the seller, you can control three factors that will affect the sale of your home:


  • The home’s condition
  • Asking price
  • Marketing strategy


However, it’s important to note that there are numerous other factors that influence a buyer, and you need to understand these consumer trends when you enter the sellers’ market. The more your home matches these qualifications, the more competitive it will be in the marketplace. Your ABQ Realtor Joe Brooks can advise you on how to best position and market your home to overcome any perceived downsides.


Unfortunately, the most influential factor in determining your home’s appeal to buyers is something you can’t control: its location. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, neighborhood quality is the No. 1 reason buyers choose certain homes. The second most influential factor is commute times to work and school.


While some buyers want to simplify their lives and downsize to a smaller home, home sizes in general have continued to increase over the decades, nearly doubling in size since the 1950s. Smaller homes typically appeal to first-time home buyers and “empty nesters,” or couples whose children have grown up and moved out.


Preferences in floor plans and amenities go in and out of fashion, and your real estate agent can inform you of the “hot ticket” items that are selling homes in your market. If your home lacks certain features, you can renovate to increase its appeal, but be forewarned: That’s not always the right move. Using market conditions and activity in your neighborhood as a gauge, your agent can help you determine whether the investment is likely to help or hinder your profit margin and time on the market.

 For more information in this subject contact Your Albuquerque Realtor Joe Brooks at 505 977 3474 

May 20, 2010

April 2010 Market Report

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — joebrookshomes @ 9:52 pm

Just wanted to share the April Monthly Market Stat for the Albuquerque Area.

Monthly Highlights

•678 single-family detached homes were reported sold for April 2010, the highest number of April sales since 2007.

•Pending home sales for single-family detached homes are up 52.03% from the previous year and increased 18.01% from the previous month. April 2010 is the 2nd month this year that pending home sales passed the 1,000 mark.

•The median sale price for single-family detached home sales held steady at $175,000 for the 2nd consecutive month.

April 27, 2010

First Time Home Buyers in the greater Albuquerque Area – Still Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — joebrookshomes @ 1:34 am

With 6 days remaining until the deadline for the first time home buyer credit, as a first time buyer you might be thinking that it is too late to take advantage of the $8,000 credit if you have not already started the process. 


Here is a to do list and schedule for you to follow to get the credit.

Tuesday – Give Joe Brooks Realestate Team a call to get the process started.  We will get you into contact with one of our lending partners that will be able to pre-approve you over the phone.

We can schedule an appointment with you for a consultation on Tuesday Evening or Wednesday.

On Wednesday, we can assist you in finding a list available properties that match your qualification and wants and needs.  We can be out looking at properties on Wednesday or Thursday.

On Thursday, We can finalize the viewing of properties and decide upon a property to make an offer upon.

On Thursday or Friday, we can negotiate the offer with a Seller and ratify a contract, well within the time frame for the credit.

It is not too late, give us a call and we can help put some of Uncle Sam’s money in your pocket.

While you are waiting to call on Tuesday you can check out these Homes for sale in Albuquerque.

April 27, 2009

Albuquerque Foothills Home for Sale

Filed under: Uncategorized — joebrookshomes @ 9:05 pm



Also Check out the community website

First Time home buyer Tax Credit 2009 information

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — joebrookshomes @ 9:01 pm

From Your Albuquerque Realtor Joe Brooks “The realestate guy”


505 977 3474 or


I just wanted to outline the information about the tax credit to you all.


$8,000 First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit


As per the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009


Feature                                                 The Facts


Amount of Credit               Maximum credit amount is 10% of the value of the home,

not to exceed $8000


Eligible Property                       Any single-family residence (including condos), that will be used as a primary residence.


Refundable                               Yes! This credit is no longera reduction of income tax liability, but a dollar for dollar tax reduction.  A purchaser will receive a refund for any unused amount when the tax return is filed.


Income Limit                            An Individual who files a form 1040 status as single (or head of household) are eligible for the tax credit if their income is no more than $75,000. Individuals who file a joint return may have no more than $150,000 in income.  The credit phases out if income exceeds these limits up to an eligibility cap of $95,000 for individuals, and $175,000 for joint returns.


First-time Home buyer Only     Yes! All purchasers may not have owned a home in three years previous to purchase.


MFA Bond Program                       Purchasers who utilize the NMMFA Bond Program are now eligible to receive this credit!


Recapture                                 If the home is sold within 3 years of purchase, the entire amount of the credit must be repaid.  Borrowers should consult a tax advisor to provide guidance relevant to their specific Circumstances.


Effective Date                           Purchases on or after January 1, 2009 and before December1, 2009   

February 17, 2009

Albuquerque Foothills History

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — joebrookshomes @ 10:21 pm

Here is some great information about the albuquerque foothills.  Don’t forget to check out the community website


Albuquerque’s Environmental Story

Educating For a Sustainable Community

The Built Environment – A Sense of Place

The Foothills Community

by Paula Donahue

Geology, Geography, Flora and Fauna

Map of Foothills BoundariesThe foothills lie between the Sandia Mountain’s sharply uplifted, pink granite, western face and Albuquerque’s east mesa. Their fan shaped mounds of granite gravel are easily eroded. Rushing water from mountain streams carves them, and road and house construction rearranges them. People value them for their proximity to the wilderness, the views of the city they provide, and their own quiet beauty.

In protected areas such as the Cibola National Forest, City Open Space, and on other undeveloped land, mule deer and jackrabbits move from arroyos to rises sparsely covered by pinon, juniper, and oak. In spring, deep fuschia cholla flowers and yellow prickly pear cactus flowers dot the landscape. Arroyo banks sprout Apache plume, chamisa and four-wing salt bush. Pine scents the air. Chickadees, jays, and other birds split the quiet with their calls while hawks catch thermals to circle above in the brilliant blue sky. Solitude and introspection are possible here.

City Playground

City Open Space and the Cibola National Forest conserve natural resources, and environmental features provide opportunities for outdoor education and recreation, shape the urban form by preventing development, conserve archaeological resources, provide trail corridors, and protect the public from natural hazards.

The foothills have long been a popular recreational spot for Albuquerque residents.

Bear Canyon or Whitcomb Springs could be negotiated in a one-day round trip. Each had pure, cold running water, free from pollution, and pine trees and undergrowth that furnished wonderful camping places. On the Fourth of July, it seemed that half the town’s population would go to the mountains–on foot, on horseback, by buggy and wagon. . . Bear Canyon was especially popular as it was the closest. Along the lower stretches of the live strea m were cottonwoods, box elders, pinon, and cedar, while farther up were pines and quaking aspen. Perishables were kept cool in the stream. The two or three waterfalls in the stream were everyone’s delight. To us children, these were wonderful times, even if we had to walk to get there.
A Boy’s Albuquerque by Kenneth C. Balcomb

Network of Trails

Photo of Sandia Mountains FoothillsHiking and horseback riding are encouraged in the Cibola National Forest and on a developing city and National Forest Foothills trail for hikers, equestrians, and mountain bicyclists. The Foothills trail will eventually stretch from north of the Simms Open Space Park to Interstate 40 (I-40). National Forest trailheads at Embudo Canyon (the eastern end of Indian School Road) and Embudito Canyon (east on Montgomery Boulevard, north on Glenwood Hills to entrance) begin in City Open Space and lead to other trails in the Cibola Forest’s mountain wilderness and eventually to Sandia Crest. Picnic tables are provided in some of the Open Space areas.

A developing city recreational trail network provides routes for walkers, bicyclists, equestrians, and people with disabilities. The Tramway Boulevard trail is a key part of the network.

Trail and boulevard land acquisition and design were coordinated. The portion of the trail in the Foothills Community was built in the early 1980s.

The trail helped define the character of the foothills area and spurred the construction of other trails throughout the city. Native landscaping, good design, and connection to arroyo trails, neighborhoods, commercial centers, and schools have made it a very popular route for walkers, bicyclists, rollerskaters and others.

Tramway Boulevard-Foothills Artery

Tramway Boulevard was intended as part of a limited-access loop road that was to encircle the city. The Tramway Corridor plan was adopted in the late 1970s, and southern sections of the boulevard (between I-40 and Montgomery) were built in the early 1980s.

From its inception, Tramway was envisioned to be a multiple-purpose corridor accommodating drainage, utilities, a trail, and vehicles. Its right-of-way of 300 ft. is wide enough to accommodate either a high-occupancy lane or fixed rail in the future.

Human History

The oldest evidence of human development found in the foothills is several small pueblos from the 13th century. Archeologists call this period of development Pueblo 3. Many of the petroglyphs on the volcanic escarpment on the west mesa were also created during this period.

The east mesa and foothills were used as communal grazing lands by Spanish settlers living in the valley. In the book, Shining River Precious Land, An Oral History of Albuquerque’s North Valley by Kathryn Sargeant and Mary Davis, North Valley residents recall how the foothills were still used as grazing land in the early 20th century: “The farmers down in the valley drove their cattle through this common trail (Ranchitos Road) up to the common grazing grounds on the Elena Gallegos Grant.” (John Jacobson, 1920s and 1930s) “My grandfather, Eulogio Barela, had two or three hundred head of goats up at Bear Canyon. They were among the last ranchers in the canyon; traces of their homestead are still there.” (Ernesto Barela, early 1900s)

In 1938 Albert Simms, a dominant landowner, rancher and farmer in the North Valley, acquired the entire eastern half of the Elena Gallegos Land Grant from James Norment. Norment had acquired the 17,000 acres of land for back taxes in the 1920s. The land lay between what is now Montgomery Boulevard and the Sandia Pueblo boundary and included some of the east mesa, the foothills and Sandia mountains up to the crest. The Elena Gallegos lands were later given to the Albuquerque Academy, providing the financial backbone of the school’s endowment.

Farmers Wanted: Up Against the Mountain at Candelaria–Albuquerque Journal classified ad, 1979

Photo of Housing DevelopmentThe city annexed land west of Tramway Boulevard between 1940 and 1949. Land south of the Embudito Arroyo and east of Tramway was annexed between 1960 and 1969. The High Desert area north of the Embudito Arroyo was annexed in the 1990s.

Some of the Foothills community was subdivided as early as 1954 (Rebonito Subdivision 1954 – 1994). Most was subdivided in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The High Desert is the most recent major subdivision.

The area is generally characterized by residential subdivisions west of Tramway and low-density residential areas in the more rugged foothills east of Tramway. Tanoan is an early Albuquerque example of the phenomenon of gated communities spreading across the U.S.

West of Tramway residential subdivisions are platted within the half-mile grid of the arterial street system. East of Tramway pockets of limited-access, cul-de-sac residential development are separated by the foothills and drainage-ways. Pedestrian and vehicular access is circuitous within the residential neighborhoods, but Tramway and the trail system provide direct access between areas. Neighborhood commercial businesses are located at major intersections along Tramway. (Community Identity Program, Final Report, March 1995)

In 1995 there were fifteen neighborhood associations representing about half of the Foothills area.

Population growth in the Foothills Community brought demand for city services. Park land was dedicated with housing subdivisions. Libraries, schools, and police substations continue to be planned and built.

Plans and Policies

The City of Albuquerque Open Space program began with the 1969 city goals program. Early efforts to preserve open space included formation of the volunteer Open Space task force.

Photo of Home  Housing subdivisions encroaching on the Sandia mountain foothills spurred a public effort to preserve foothill open space west of the Cibola National Forest boundary. The city began buying foothills parcels in early 1970s. Local interest in preserving open space is so great that in the early 1990s the John B. Robert neighborhood association participated in buying the remaining portions of private land in the Bear Canyon Arroyo floodplain between Juan Tabo and Tramway Boulevards in order to convey it to the city’s Open Space program.

The City’s Bear Canyon Arroyo Corridor Plan was adopted in 1991 to provide policies, regulations and project proposals to guide trail development, open space acquisition, and drainage design along the Bear Canyon Arroyo and other nearby arroyos and arroyo tributaries. Several miles of trail have been completed and others are being designed for construction.

In 1973 a Sandia foothills master plan was adopted by the city. It was amended and became the Sandia Foothills Area Plan in 1978. The area plan was amended again in 1981 and 1982. The plan contains policies to control drainage, erosion, and development in the area east of Tramway between the Embudito Canyon on the north and the military base on the south. The following examples of policies are paraphrased:

  1. Streets are to be designed parallel to contour when possible and not to convey surface water drainage.
  2. In most cases, construction projects cut and fill are not to exceed a 2:1 ratio.
  3. Developments requiring flood protection are not permitted before temporary or permanent drainage-protection facilities are built.
  4. Buildings are not to exceed 26 ft. in height
  5. Commercial zoning and development east of Tramway Boulevard and north of I-40 is to be neighborhood oriented (C-1 zoning) and sized so as o be supported by anticipated area residential development.
  6. Overall development density is not to exceed three dwelling units per gross acre. Planned unit or cluster development is encouraged. (A gross acre includes utility and drainage easements and streets.)
  7. Land above a demarcation line in the Foothills Master Plan generally has slopes of 10% or more. This area is intended to be purchased by public agencies to protect development below, preserve the land in its natural state and prevent development and the extension of utilities.

Sculpture of BearsIf public agencies are unable to purchase the land in a reasonable amount of time, development is allowed if a developer can demonstrate that a future resident can be protected against landslide, flood, and fire; if developers pay for the true cost of extending public water, sewer and other services; if street grades do not exceed 12%; and it permanent drainage facilities are in place. Utility extension shall be determined as part of the normal Capital Improvements Program for the city.

Other public policies protecting the foothills are found in the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Comprehensive Plan. When adopted, the Open Space Facility Plan will also provide guidelines for open space facilities in the foothills.

Two sector development plans direct development in the northern part of the Foothills Community. The Academy/Eubank/Tramway Sector Development Plan adopted in 1980 is for the area between Eubank, Tramway, San Antonio, and the Bear Canyon Arroyo. The High Desert Sector Development Plan adopted in 1994 is for the area between Simms Park Road, the Embudito Arroyo, Tramway and the Cibola National Forest.


Copyright © 2008, Friends of Albuquerque’s Environmental Story
If you would like to live in this area contact the foothills realestate expert Joe Brooks,   505 977 3473

October 8, 2008

Important Safety Tips from Joe Brooks

Filed under: News — Tags: — joebrookshomes @ 6:21 pm


Better safe than sorry. This month’s edition is all about protecting yourself! After all, if you don’t make sure your accounts and information are safe… who will? And in today’s hyper-technical world where everything from bank accounts to business communications are available online, one of the best ways to protect yourself is to make sure you create strong, unique passwords. The article below describes the characteristics of secure passwords and provides a step-by-step formula for creating them.
Making sure your credit card accounts are safe is another important step to protecting yourself. Especially, when you consider a new scam that criminals are using to charge money on your accounts… even if your cards are safely tucked in your wallet. Read the article below to make sure you know how to look for and guard against this new credit card scam.
This information is important for everyone, so please forward these articles on to your friends, coworkers and family members. And if you need any help or advice, please call or email any time.

 Passwords are crucial to accessing your personal accounts and information. The problem is: We all have so many accounts that we worry more about remembering our passwords than we do about making sure they actually protect our data from hackers. So we end up using passwords like our mother’s maiden name or child’s first name. But even if you add a few numbers to the end, those types of passwords are easy to break. And that means your data isn’t safe.
The tips below can help you avoid the most common password pitfalls and even implement a few new ideas that will make your passwords easy to remember…and hard to break!
Strength Training
A well-protected password is not only unique, but also hard to guess. How do you do that? It’s pretty simple really. Just follow this advice:
Use a random string of characters. That means no sequential letters or numbers. None.

Make it looooong. The longer the better–even up to as many as 10 to 14 characters.

Switch things up. Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, along with a few numbers mixed in the middle or end.

Don’t use substitutes. Using “@” for “a” or “1” for “I” may look good to you, but most hackers are smart enough to break those substitutes rather quickly.

Avoid easy targets like words straight out of the dictionary or things like family names and birthdays.
Multiplication Facts
Most of us cheat when it comes to passwords. We have trouble remembering our passwords, so we come up with two or three that we can remember and use them everywhere. But you should avoid the temptation. The fact is, once a password is compromised, all of your accounts are vulnerable. There’s no way around it, you need a way to create and remember multiple passwords–a different one for each account!
Sure-Fire Technique for Memorable, Unique Passwords
For all the advice above, good passwords come down to two things: they’re easy for you to remember, and they’re hard to break. Implementing the tips above can make your passwords hard to break, but what about remembering them–especially if you have a unique password for every account? Here’s a sure-fire tip to help!
1. Think up a phrase. Instead of a common word or family member name, think up a unique phrase that only you know. For example, you may think up something off the wall such as “I Like Short Hair Too.”
2. Make it an acronym. In our example, “I Like Short Hair Too” would become ILSHT.
3. Add Complexity. Remember those substitutes you’re not supposed to use with dictionary words? Well, you CAN use them with your acronym. For example, “I Like Short Hair Too” can become “1 Like $hort Hair 2” which makes: 1L$H2. You can also use upper and lower letters to make it 1L$h2. The point is to be creative, but in a way that you can easily remember it.
4. Make it unique. A password is only really unique if you use it for one account and one account only. So you can’t just use 1L$h2 for every account. And, in reality it’s still too short. Here’s the key to the whole process: Mix in additional letters and numbers that are unique to each account. For example, if you’re logging into a “gmail account” you can use the “gm” and “@cct” (for acct) to make: 1L$h2gM@cct. Then, for a Netflix account, you may use: 1L$h2Nf@cct.
Of course, these are just examples. You’ll want to be creative and think up your own acronym and ways to add unique characters for each account. And then keep that little secret to yourself so no one will be able to guess your account passwords.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll have passwords that are tough to break, unique to every account, and easy to remember!

 We’ve all heard about high tech online and email scams that are used by criminals to trick consumers out of their money. But now, some scammers are relying on good old low-tech skills to steal money from consumers… sometimes without being detected for months!
Authorities are reporting increased “credit card shaving” activity. Credit card shaving–or resurfacing–occurs when a criminal essentially creates a duplicate credit card using numbers from other cards.
Here’s how it works…
Criminals obtain valid credit card numbers (either by purchasing a list of numbers from a black market dealer or by stealing numbers from other sources, such as financial paperwork). Then, criminals use a razor blade to shave the raised numbers off of expired credit cards or gift cards. Once the numbers are off, criminals re-arrange those numbers into the order of a valid credit card number and glue them back onto a clean-shaven card. Finally, the criminals use a knife or a pen to scratch the magnetic strip on the back of the newly created card, so that store clerks have to enter the number manually rather than swipe the card.
It’s all very low-tech, but very effective! Especially, when you consider that the victims have no idea they’re even being robbed. And why should they? Their actual credit cards haven’t been stolen… they’re safe and sound in a wallet or purse.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
First, spread the word about this type of crime. That means telling your friends, family members, and even your local merchants. Experts agree that the best line of defense is at the store register. After all, these card numbers need to be entered manually by a store clerk. If the clerk is perceptive and takes a minute to inspect cards for evidence of mismatched and crooked numbers or even traces of glue, many of these types of crimes could be stopped before they begin.
Second, monitor your accounts. All too often, people file their credit card bills or check card statements without really inspecting them. To help protect yourself, make sure you take a few minutes to examine what charges are listed. If anything looks remotely suspicious, look into it. You can start by checking it against your recent purchases, and if anything looks suspect, get in touch with your credit card company and the merchant for help in tracking down the issue.

 The material contained in this newsletter has been prepared by an independent third-party provider. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment, financial, real estate and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, there is no guarantee it is not without errors.

As your Trusted Advisor, I always want to make sure you are clear on all details of the home buying or selling process. If you or someone you know are interested in purchasing or selling a home, give me a call today!


Have a Great Wednesday


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