Real Estate Scams to Avoid

Homes are big investments. Even renting takes a deposit, first month’s rent and you have to move all of your belongings. With dealing with real estate agents, insurance, moving and looking for the property itself, a lot of people can let their guard down.

Real estate scams have been happening in New Mexico all the way back to the days of the Wild West. The key is to learn about the new ones and prepare yourself for the old ones.

Re-finance scam—if you own your home, you have probably received countless directly mail pieces in your mailbox. They have different promises, but if you are going to do anything make sure it is with a reputable company.

Loan modification scammers appear like the real thing. They promise a new low rate. Everything looks good until they ask you for “processing fees,” which could be tens of thousands of dollars. Don’t ever pay fees that are outside of the scope of work.

Rental scam—most renters shop for a new apartment online. The only problem with that is, the listing they could be viewing may be fake. The unit might be real, but someone copied the listing and is trying to sell it for themselves. Or the unit could be in another state. Even if you show up, the con person will tell you it’s getting painted so you can’t go in.

Make sure you know who owns the unit and don’t put any money down until you have walked through the apartment.


Military Members: Buy or Rent?


With rentals in Clovis and Portales, we are no strangers to working with those who serve in our military to provide both home and apartment rentals. We understand that there are unique circumstances and processes that our military members go through when buying or renting a home near base.

Many of our rentals and homes are located nearby the Cannon Air Force Base, 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron and US Army National Guard office. We have worked with these bases over the years to provide the highest quality homes to those serving our country.

The process of renting or buying a home while in the military can be complicated. Inexperienced realty agencies or realtors can make that process even more complicated. When you work with Combs’ Properties, you can count on us to make sure you make the best decision. There are certainly different benefits to buying or renting a home, and that conversation needs to occur with an experienced company present. If you are wondering whether or not to buy a house or rent, check out this article that covers the basics.

Buying a home comes with plenty of benefits for anyone. The tax write-offs and investment gains are just a few. For some, moving from base to base frequently makes the process of buying a home very difficult. This is why renting for military members has become a popular option. While you aren’t investing in your home, you get the benefits of a home at a lower cost and lower risk.

If you are looking to buy or rent near your base, you want an experienced company working with you. We have grown to become the largest privately-owned rental agency in Roosevelt and Curry counties because we have shown the people here time and time again that we work to serve them. Reach out to us online or call at 1-800-898-3043

People and Businesses to Notify Once You Change Your Mailing Address

Whether it’s your first time moving, or you haven’t moved in a while, you might not be in the know about how many people or businesses you’ll need to contact and give your new address to when you move. But don’t fret, as we’ve listed who to contact below to assist you with your change-of-address process.

    • Post office (set up forwarding address with your new address or P.O. box; NOTE: There could be a small fee for this)
    • The local DMV (Department/ Registry Motor Vehicles) for vehicle registration purposes
    • Local Voter Registration
    • Employer (so they know exactly where to send your future paychecks [if you don’t do direct deposit] and tax forms)
    • Your bank or credit union
    • Your accountant
    • Your lawyer/attorney
    • Loan issuers/student loan companies/Financial Aid issuers
    • Investors
    • Pension plans
    • All your insurance companies (life insurance, health insurance, dental insurance, auto insurance, homeowner or renter’s insurance, and other insurance [motorcycle, boat, etc.])
    • Your utility companies (gas, water, electric or solar power)
    • Your Internet service provider
    • Your cable or satellite provider
    • Your cell phone carrier
    • Your home services (garbage service, lawn or gardening service, pool services and any other home keeping or cleaning services)
    • Your (or your children’s) doctors and dentists
    • Veterinarian (if you have pets)
    • Babysitter or dog sitter (or other pet sitters)
    • Any magazines you’re subscribed to
    • Subscription boxes (or meal services)
  • Retail club or loyalty programs (think of your local grocery stores, big box stores or bulk product stores you have cards with)
  • Your church
  • Your children’s school & the school’s Parent-Teacher Association
  • Girl/Boy Scouts or other youth organizations
  • IRS (Internal Revenue Services; this is only if you have ongoing correspondence with them; they can find you otherwise)
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs (if you’re a veteran)
  • INS office (Green Card, visas, work permits) if you’re an immigrant or temporary visitor
  • Your streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Rhapsody, etc.)
  • Online shopping services (like Amazon)
  • Online GPS/mapping services (such as Google Maps)

This is list is not necessarily comprehensive, so if a person or another business or association wasn’t mentioned above, it doesn’t mean you don’t still need to contact them. (e.g. your therapist, an Alcohol Anonymous sponsor, professional memberships and/or licensing boards, etc.). Make sure all your bases are covered.

Many of these change-of-address notifications are free, but there could still be a fee associated with certain federal or local government-related changes (likely with your driver’s license and potentially with the U.S. Postal Service). Do your research to see what, if anything, you need to pay for those.

List of Things to Do During (and After) a Rental Walk-Through, Part I

You’ve finally found the rental home you want to live in, and you’re ready to move in. But before you sign your lease, you need to do a walk-through. Here’s what to remember.

  • Do a walk-through of the actual apartment you’ll be living in, not the model. You need to know what’s wrong (and what’s right) with your potential living space before you move into it.
  • Use your cell phone or a camera to take photos of any visible damage or other problems. Use flash when necessary (or use a flashlight if your flash feature isn’t working). These photos will be proof if and when you decide to sign the lease.
  • Check the front door locks when you’re walking in. If they seem faulty, speak with management and discuss replacing them. Make sure to get a key for each lock. Also make sure the front door is properly sealed.
  • Check the other doorknobs to see if they are indeed secure. They might need to be fixed or replaced.
  • Look for any cracks, holes, stains, dents, chipping, peeling, as well as signs of mold, mildew and other water damage on or in the floors, walls and even the ceiling.
  • Look for proof of a bug or rodent infestation. This includes holes, chew marks and small droppings.
  • Play a little with the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom areas. (You might want to turn on the shower as well.) Take notice of the water pressure, whether or not there is hot water, and any weird sounds coming from the pipes.
  • Flush the toilet in each bathroom to make sure they flush properly and don’t have potential flooding issues.
  • Check the bathroom mirror for any discoloration or cracking, and check to see that the medicine cabinet and any additional drawers open and shut properly.
  • Make sure your kitchen pantry and drawers open and close without any issues.
  • If your rental comes with a refrigerator and any appliances, check each of them out (and turn on if necessary) to make sure they meet your needs and standards.
  • Go in every room and flip each light switch.
  • Bring your phone charger and plug it into different outlets around the rental. Make sure the outlets are working.
  • Make sure your windows have screens. If not, and you choose to move in, screens will need to be put in. Also open and shut the blinds, as well as any and all windows in the rentals. If you can’t easily open or shut a window, it could be a problem in the future, particularly for safety reasons (such as fumes or fire safety).

Moving to Clovis because of PCS Orders? Here’s your guide.

When you get PCS orders, there’s a ton of questions you have about your new base and what the area is like. With multiple military bases located around Clovis, New Mexico, receiving PCS orders that bring you to Clovis is not an uncommon situation. So what can you expect when you move here? Let us answer a few important questions for those moving to Clovis, New Mexico.

  1. Weather

As expected, the weather in Clovis leans on the warm, dry side. During the coldest months, Clovis rarely sees temperatures below 30°F. During the hottest months, temperatures generally don’t reach above 90°F. It’s not quite Florida, but expect warm weather year-round.

Also be sure to anticipate very little rainfall. New Mexico receives an average of 10 – 20 inches of precipitation in a given year, making it the fourth driest state. Compare that to the state-wide average annual precipitation of 30 inches and you can understand the climate well. If you’re coming from another state, check out this to compare rainfall to your state.

  1. Things to do

Within your first week here, you’ll be asking “What is there to do around here?”. You can find a list of activities here if you’re curious about what’s going on in Clovis. There you’ll find museums, zoos, bowling alleys, malls and escape rooms. If you’re wondering what to eat, you can find the best restaurants in Clovis here. You’ll see there is a medley of Mexican, Barbeque, American, Thai and more.

  1. New Mexico laws and culture

Food and weather are only two small parts of life in Clovis. What about the people and the culture of New Mexico as a whole? Both Hispanic and Indian cultures are deeply rooted in New Mexican life. You’ll find these influences in the arts, food and architecture. In sports, look out for the rivalry between the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State schools. If you’re a hunter, you’ll find that hunting game birds is popular in the fall. There’s a lot to discover about the culture of Clovis and New Mexico, but you can start here if you want a comprehensive guide.

If you’ve received PCS orders that are taking you to Clovis, reach out to us at (575) 742-2627 to receive guidance on moving to the area. We have been doing business in Clovis for over 30 years, dealing with many military members along the way.

Home Financing Right Now

Are you in the market for a new home right now? Maybe you don’t even consider yourself in the market to buy because you don’t believe you can get the right kind of financing?

There are credit checks, down payments, varying insurance costs, high loan rates—the list goes on and on.

Combs’ Properties understands how hard it can be for average people in New Mexico to buy a new home. That’s why they want you to buy through them.

There never are huge closing costs. On average, you costs at closing won’t exceed $1,000. When you buy an owner-financed home from Combs’, only a small down payment is required. You could be moving your furniture into a house for as little as $1,000 down.

If you have a credit card you can even use that for your down payment. Or your tax refund. There are many ways to get you the house that you need and want.

Check out some of the properties offered by Combs’ now right now:

Real Estate Myths Exposed

Buying and selling real estate doesn’t have to be a big confusing hassle. A lot of times, people feel overwhelmed because they aren’t aware of certain laws and were taught to believe some things that just aren’t true.

Here’s a quick overview of some classic real estate myths and what you can do to be better prepared:

The listing price is accurate—there’s an old saying, something to the extent of, “the value of something is what someone is willing to pay for it.” So just because a house is listed for $1 million dollars, doesn’t mean it is worth that much.

Check out the values of the properties around the one you are interested in possibly purchasing. That will at least give you a gauge as to what others thought the value was. You can use it as a bargaining tool if nothing else. Offer what you think is fair.

It takes a long time to sell—you can get cash for your property right away with the right company, like Combs’. If you need a quick turnaround time, then getting cash for your home is the way to go.

You lose your equity in taxes—you don’t have to lose what you have built. Invest in 1031 real estate so you can keep your equity.

Home Buying and Selling Tips, Part II

Whether you are buying or selling a home, the process has several steps. But those steps don’t have to result in a headache, leave you in the middle of a bad deal or make you settle on a home you didn’t really want.

It all starts with listing your home. Real estate agents can be helpful, but understand, if you are selling, you will have to pay a commission. A lot of people in New Mexico want to streamline the process and/or keep all of their earned equity for themselves.

If you are having trouble selling your home through a real estate agent or by self-listing online, then consider getting cash for your home. Combs’ Properties pays cash for homes in Portales and Clovis.

Usually, money can be given directly to you within 24 hours, so if you want your home sold right away, consider Combs’.

Do you have investment properties around town and want to get out of that business? Maybe you are moving, what another property or maybe being a landlord just isn’t for you? Combs’ will buy your rental property as well. Single-family homes, duplexes and fixer-uppers—all can be purchased by Combs’.

Another thing to consider is getting the real and fair value for your home. Combs’ can give you a realistic quote that isn’t steered by taxes or commission incentives. Just call 800-898-3043 for your free estimate today.

Quick Real Estate Tips

There’s one thing they are not making any more of: land. That’s why property is such a huge enterprise, both in the corporate and private sectors. When it comes time to buy or sell a property in Clovis, Portales or anywhere in New Mexico, there are little tricks and tips that can save you a lot of hassle down the road.

It starts with a great real estate agent. Get an agent that you can trust and that isn’t too pushy or worried about their commission. Let them help you with general questions and they should have a great understanding of the neighborhoods.

When you actually start looking for home, the next thing to consider is the age of the home. If it is older, you need to be concerned with the infrastructure. Check the HVAC, plumbing, if there is a well, inspect the water and look at your roof and foundation.

If it is a newer home, consider what company built it and their reputation in the area. Combs’ Properties, for example, has been providing luxury duplexes and townhomes, investments properties and new home builds since 1985. They have the experience and reputation to help you find the home of your dreams.

Once you’ve found it, it’s time to do all the paperwork and close on the property. Read all of the closing documents beforehand, so nothing catches you off-guard. You will also save time and have a better understanding of everything that is being discussed.

Buying a home can be a stress-free process, just put in a little foresight and things will work out a lot better.