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8 Steps to Buying a House in New Mexico

Whatever your experience in the housing market, it's wise to consider all the variables when deciding to purchase a home. Our in-depth guide to the New Mexico housing market covers everything from housing market trends to choosing a realtor and the costs involved in buying a home.
Whatever your experience in the housing market, it's wise to consider all the variables when deciding to purchase a home. Our in-depth guide to the New Mexico housing market covers everything from housing market trends to choosing a realtor and the costs involved in buying a home.

House hunting and buying a new home can feel like another full-time job. In a seller’s market, you need to jump on new listings ASAP, so plan on checking the MLS daily. Once you’ve made an offer, brace yourself for the avalanche of paperwork. All of this work is a lot easier if you have an experienced agent working full-time on your behalf.

Until you’re ready to talk to an agent, our in-depth guide to home buying in New Mexico lists everything that a home buyer should know before starting their house hunt. When it’s time, reach out to Clever to be connected with an experienced, local agent in New Mexico.

How to Find a New Mexico Buyer’s Agent

Not only is a house typically the single largest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime, you have to live with that decision every day. So why leave the process up to chance? Mistakes could not only cost you thousands of dollars, they could impact your quality of life for years to come. Before you start touring homes, hire an experienced buyer’s agent.

Local agents have spent years learning about the housing market in your area. They’ll know the details on affordable neighborhoods, what will make your offer attractive to a seller, and can tap their network to find houses before they’re even listed. If you’re unsure what you’re looking for, they also know the right questions to ask you clarify your must-haves in a new home.

Negotiating is a skill that few people use on a daily basis, but an experienced real estate agent can truly earn their commission when you’re at this stage of the home buying process. A good agent manages the flow of negotiations without offending the seller or jeopardizing your ability to buy the home you love.

Clever recruits agents to join our network who are top-rated in your area. They come from nationally recognized brands such as Keller Williams or Century 21. If you’re not quite ready to enter the market, they’ll meet with you for a no-obligation consultation. To learn more about how an agent can help you in the housing market read our post What Does a Real Estate Agent Do for a Buyer?

New Mexico Housing Market Forecast for 2019 — and Beyond

Home values in New Mexico grew 8.4% in 2018, and the growth will continue another 4.0% in 2019. Last year, median home values in New Mexico grew to $196,300. Homes spend an average of 100 days on the market or just over a quarter.

Most of the growth in home values in New Mexico has been in areas near the oil and gas industries, particularly in Carlsbad. Inventory shortages have helped increase prices, and if you’re looking in a lower price range it’ll be much harder to find a home.

First-time home buyers have started trading up to accommodate their expanding families, and millennials are expected to take out over 45% of mortgages this year. If you’re a young family looking for a cheap house, you’ll have a lot of competition.

Read our deep dive into the housing market forecast for 2019 to learn more.

Best Time of Year to Buy a Home in New Mexico

Seasonal fluctuations can swing your home’s price up or down by 10%. While New Mexico doesn’t have terrible, snowy winters which discourage people from moving, most families do still want to move before school starts.

The best time of year to buy a home in New Mexico if you’re looking both for a good amount of inventory but not a ton of competition is after late July when prices start to drop. Start your search a bit earlier, have your goals clearly defined and pre-qualify for a mortgage so that you’re ready to offer on a home you like the moment you find one.

If your goal is to pay the lowest possible price for your home and considerations like school don’t concern you, shop for house in late fall to winter. Any homeowners still trying to sell their house will be more open to reasonable offers, though there will be less inventory to choose from.

For more in-depth information, read our post The Best Time to Buy a House in New Mexico.

Calculate Your Property Taxes in New Mexico

To calculate your property taxes, county assessor’s take a percentage of your home’s value. Special levies for new roads, schools, or fire stations, levies in some cities and counties which can increase your property tax rate over others in the state. The county assessor determines your home’s fair market value.

Property taxes in New Mexico are some of the lowest in the United States. The average effective property tax in the state is 0.76% compared to a nationwide average of 1.19%. New Mexico keeps property taxes low by capping annual increases to your home’s appraised value to just 3%. Even in a hot market, with housing prices shooting up, you’ll have some protection against tax increases.

Home values and levies cause differences in rates between cities, which you should keep an eye on if shopping in several neighboring cities. For example, the average effective property tax rate in Catron is 0.26%, but in nearby county Sierra it’s 0.0%. These differences translate into thousands of dollars saved or spent on property taxes for a home that has the same price.

Discuss typical property taxes with your agent when assessing the overall cost of homeownership, and ask if your agent is aware of any proposed rate increases or other factors which could change the situation. If you want to calculate potential property taxes yourself, read How to Calculate Property Taxes.

How Much Are Closing Costs for Home Buyers in New Mexico?

Closing costs reimburse the professionals who help with the paperwork and filing of all the details on the sale and purchase of your new home. Many professionals could be involved in a smooth sale, from someone who researches your title to a land surveyor. Commons fees are title transfer fees, points paid on your mortgage, appraisal fees, realtor’s commissions and more. When calculating how much it will cost you to purchase a new home, don’t forget to include these costs.

In general, buyers will pay approximately 3% of their home’s sale price in closing costs. For a home sold at the median value for New Mexico, that would be $5,889. New Mexico doesn’t charge any real estate transfer taxes, another way they keep property taxes low for homeowners.

Closing costs vary based on a number of different factors, not just where you buy but the mortgage lender you pick or homeowner’s insurance company. When you work with an experienced real estate agent, they can educate you about these differences and guide your home search to areas that meet your criteria and budget.

As a buyer, you don’t have to pay 100% of the closing costs, and you might be able to negotiate them with the seller if they’re desperate to sell. To learn more, read Who Pays Closing Costs on a House?

Clever Will Help Pay Your Closing Costs!

A home buyer rebate program helps cover closing costs. Your agent rebates it to you from their commission. In Clever’s Home Buyer Rebate program, home buyers are eligible to receive a $1,000 rebate when they buy a home over $150,000.

Agents in Clever’s network offer full-service and will work on your behalf to help you find the perfect house. They’re top-rated in your area, both in sales and satisfaction, and come from major brokerages such as Century 21 or Keller Williams.

To learn more or talk to an agent, fill out our online form. A Clever representative will be in touch to answer any questions and get you started on the path to home ownership in New Mexico.


Jamie Ayers

Jamie is the Director of Content at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents and helps you save thousands on commission. In the past, Jamie has managed columns for clients in a variety of leading business publications, including Forbes, Inc., CEO World, Entrepreneur, and more. At Clever, Jamie's primary goal is to provide home sellers, buyers, and investors with the information they need to successfully navigate the ins and outs of the real estate industry.

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