Housing & Real Estate
Cannon family homes offers move in ready two-, three- and four-bedroom homes in both single-family and townhome styles. Located at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, residents enjoy a secure and comfortable hometown environment with the convenience of 24-hour maintenance, lawn care services and community events.
Homes offer exceptional features to include fully-equipped kitchens, patios/porches, fenced-in yards and a garage with driveway. Currently, all average utility costs, with the exception of telephone and cable television services, are included in the monthly rent. Community amenities include a fitness room, tennis courts, baseball field, volleyball court and a soccer field. The Neighborhood Center has a splash park. There are also basketball courts and playgrounds throughout the neighborhoods.
Cannon Family Homes is a privatized housing community managed and maintained by Balfour Beatty Communities. Information about housing services can be obtained by contacting the Community Office at 575-784-7141 or online at www.CannonFamilyHomes.com.
The historic railroad cities of Clovis and Portales offer newcomers ideal places to call home. The primarily agricultural locales balance the serenity of the Llano Estacado, or Staked Plain, with cultural attractions and recreational opportunities.
In 2017, an estimated 49,812 people called Curry County home, while around 18,847 people resided in Roosevelt County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Clovis is the county seat of Curry County; Portales is the county seat of Roosevelt County.
The counties’ communities give newcomers plenty of choices when selecting a home. Enlist the help of a reputable real estate agent to help you sort through the area’s home options. The Realtors Association of New Mexico is a central source of local real estate information and assistance. Those interested in purchasing a new home can find the expertise and professional services they need at www.nmrealtor.com.
Curry County, centrally located on the High Plains of eastern New Mexico, covers just over 1,400 square miles. The county celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009.
Elevation of the county is 4,280 feet, and this high altitude and the dry air contribute to pleasant days and cool nights. Roosevelt County lies to the south, Quay County to the north and the Texas Panhandle to the east. For more information, check out the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce website at www.clovisnm.org.
Clovis was selected as a townsite by Santa Fe Railroad engineers in the early 1900s. The city flourished, and today Clovis is home to a college, modern businesses and Cannon Air Force Base. Cultural attractions are varied, with museums highlighting everything from archeology to trains to rock ’n’ roll.
The city of Clovis’ 22.71 square miles are home to approximately 39,000 people. Mean travel time to work is about 14 minutes. Median rent is $809, and the selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $1,054.
The city of Clovis offers 17 parks and recreational areas encompassing 3,700 acres, including sports fields, a youth recreation building, a dog park, a skate park, indoor and outdoor pools, a splash park, a golf course and more. The city is also home to Hillcrest Park Zoo, the second-largest zoo in New Mexico.
Roosevelt County, also in eastern New Mexico, covers nearly 2,450 square miles. Elevation of the county is just above 4,000 feet, and so Roosevelt County enjoys a mild, dry climate similar to Curry County’s. Curry County lies to the north, De Baca and Chaves counties to the west, Lea County to the south and the Texas Panhandle to the east. The county has a significant archaeological site, Blackwater Draw, as well as a state park. For more information, visit the Portales Roosevelt County Chamber website at www.portales.com.
Portales started out as a dusty cow town in the late 1800s and incorporated in 1909, three years before New Mexico gained statehood in 1912. The city still thrives on agriculture, with a large dairy industry and crops that include the famous Valencia peanut. Visitors and residents will enjoy the easygoing nature of Portales, known as the “warm heart of the sunbelt.”
The city’s 7.06 square miles are home to approximately 12,000 people. Mean travel time to work is about 17 minutes. Median rent is $774, and the selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are approximately $968.
The city of Portales maintains eight public parks, a pool, a skate park and an athletic complex. Oasis State Park north of town offers camping, fishing and bird watching among groves of cottonwoods, plus several sand dunes.
Planning Your Move
Relocating to a new home can be one of the most stressful situations in life. Whether moving across town or the nation, preparation and organization make all the difference.
For military moves, visit www.move.mil for information about moving resources and to learn about the allowances and responsibilities of a military-sponsored move.
Decide whether to make your move a do-it-yourself operation.
For a DIY move, consider distance, labor help and the costs of renting the moving van, gas, lodging during the move and insurance. A transportable storage unit can bridge a professional and DIY move. When the unit is delivered to your residence, you load and secure it for transport and then unload it at your new residence.
Whatever the method, be sure to obtain as many quotes as possible from professional movers, as well as cost estimates for a DIY move. Next, compare the costs for each type of move, factoring in the stress and physical exertion involved. Ask any company you are interested in for references and use them to inquire about reliability and customer service.
Regardless of which method you choose, the first step should be to inventory your personal belongings. The list, with photographs of any valuables, will be important for both insurance purposes and to help keep you organized during transit.
Plan for one full day to pack each room — though the kitchen and garage may take longer. Make a rough estimate of your packing schedule and then add 50 percent more time. It always takes longer than predicted to pack. Toss or donate unused items to lighten your load. Visit www.goodwill.org, www.salvationarmyusa.org or www.clothingdonations.org for locations near you or to arrange a pickup.
Pack for success:
- Consider what you are packing and control box weight. Books should go in small boxes while bedding can easily fill a larger box.
- Wrap fragile items with cardboard dividers, tissue paper or air bubble wrapping.
- Use bright colors when wrapping small items so they don’t get thrown out accidentally.
- Use crumpled paper or newspaper to line the top and bottom of boxes.
- Tape a copy of your inventory list to boxes to identify what’s inside and where it should go.
Buying Versus Renting
The decision to buy or rent is the most important step in your relocation process. Purchasing a home entails a long-term financial and emotional commitment with various pluses and minuses. Advantages include the possibility of building equity and the freedom to design and decorate your property or landscape. And don’t forget the tax benefits. Disadvantages include upkeep, property taxes and fluctuating property values.
Renting, on the other hand, makes moving easier and someone else maintains the property. Amenities such as laundry rooms, exercise rooms, swimming pools and tennis courts vary from one rental complex to another. The main disadvantage is a loss of control over the residence. Some complexes, for example, restrict or prohibit pets and personal touches such as painting. And the landlord or property managers can also raise the rent with proper notice.
To determine your best choice, account for all of your needs, review your financial situation and research your options thoroughly.
Finding an Apartment
Be prepared when you meet with the leasing agent, property manager or owner. Bring a list of what you are looking for in a rental; it is important to be clear about your needs and to get all of your questions answered. You will also need to provide information and verification about your job, your income and your past rental history. Dress to make a good impression and treat the meeting like a job interview — be polite and arrive on time.
Before you sign a lease, inspect the apartment with the landlord. Look for the following problems:
- Cracks, holes or damage in the floor, walls or ceiling.
- Signs of leaking water, leaky fixtures or water damage.
- Any signs of mold or pests.
- Lack of hot water.
- Inadequate heating or air conditioning.
Use a written checklist with the landlord to document the condition of the rental before you move in, and keep a copy of the completed checklist to use when you move out.
New Mexico Legal Aid has created a renter’s guide available at https://nmhealth.org/publication/view/guide/278.
Buying a Home
Buying a home is a complex process and, as the recent housing crisis demonstrated, requires a thorough education on the part of the buyer. First, fully understand your financial position — credit score, available savings, monthly income and expenditures. Subtracting your expenditures from your income, for instance, will yield the amount you can afford for housing.
Be sure to account for all insurance costs associated with owning a home, possible homeowner association fees and property taxes in your monthly expenditures. Overall, loan rules changed in 2015, but according to www.ginniemae.gov (Government National Mortgage Association) and www.homebuyinginstitute.com (the Home Buying Institute) loan programs continue to vary on the percentage of your income that can be used for housing-related expenses. Lenders balance debt against income to decide if an applicant will be able to repay a loan. Most conventional loans require borrowers to have no more than 43 percent total monthly debt versus their total monthly income, though there are exceptions, such as for those with significant savings. The Federal Housing Administration has a two-tier qualifying system: FHA sets its top thresholds at 31 percent front-end debt (housing expenses as a percentage of income) and 43 percent back-end debt (all debt as a percentage of income) for a 31/43 qualifying ratio. Like commercial lenders, Veterans Affairs combines front-end and back-end debt for a 41 percent limit against income.
Next, research the different types of home loans to determine the right fit for your financial situation and discuss your options with a lending professional. Lenders are diverse today, and not all homebuyers obtain their mortgage loans through their banks and credit unions. For example, you may choose to work with an internet lender, a mortgage broker, a homebuilder or a real estate agency lender. To determine which lender is best for you, get recommendations from friends and family members and check credentials as well as Better Business Bureau ratings.
A preapproved loan before starting your search for a home can determine your spending limits and signal any potential issues in the way of receiving a loan. For any home loan application, the mortgage company will order a credit report, so it would be good to get a free report in advance to determine your credit status and make sure the report contains no erroneous information.
To order your free annual report from one or all of the national consumer reporting companies: Visit www.annualcreditreport.com and complete and submit the request form online.
Home Loan Application
To complete a home loan application you’ll need: photo IDs (such as a driver’s license); Social Security numbers; residence addresses for the past two years with landlord contact information if you rented; names and addresses of your employers for the past two years; your current gross monthly income; recent financial institution statements with names, addresses, account numbers and balances on all checking, savings, CDs, money market, bonds and mutual funds accounts; recent financial institution statements with names, addresses, account numbers, balances and monthly payments on all open loans (including student loans) and credit cards; addresses and loan information of all other real estate owned; estimated value of furniture and personal property; W2s for the past two years and current paycheck stubs; copies of all divorce decrees, child support documents or any other court proceedings that affect your financial status; verification of any child support payments; and evidence of any retirement or pension benefits. VA or military forms include: DD 214 (veteran), Form 22 (National Guard), DD 1747, Off-base Housing Authority (active duty) and Certificate of Eligibility (active duty).
For more information, visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/credit-and-loans.
Knowing your monthly budget and the amount of your loan is invaluable during the next phase, especially finding the answers to questions before the hunt for a home begins.
First, determine your home preferences. Does a single-family house, condo, town house or duplex best fit your needs and budget? Do you prefer a new home, an existing home or to build one? Though new homes generally cost more, existing homes may come with maintenance issues and renovation costs. How many bedrooms and bathrooms would you like? Do you want an attached garage? Will you live in the city, a suburb or the country? How close to work, school, shopping or public transportation do you want to be? Answers to these questions will greatly assist your search and the next stage — hiring a real estate agent.
The ideal agent will help find your ideal home and guide you through the purchase process. First, interview potential candidates to ensure they understand your needs, know your homebuying and neighborhood preferences, and are readily accessible.
Good luck and happy hunting!
New Mexico provides housing programs and incentives to help residents with home ownership. For more information, visit www.hud.gov/states and select “New Mexico” from the list.
The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority is a quasi-governmental entity that provides financing for housing and other related services to low- and moderate-income New Mexicans. For more information, visit http://housingnm.org.