Saturday, December 30, 2006

Let it Snow!

Careful what you wish for! After a snowless year last year, we were really hoping for some good snow this year - for skiing purposes of course. Well, it has been snowing now for 2 1/2 days straight, and so far we have over two feet of snow. And, it is still snowing with more to come. All the major highways are closed. Santa Fe is not great when it comes to plowing - so many of us are stuck in our homes. But, it's a forced rest - and kind of nice actually. Here's what it looks like right now. I've told many people that it hardly ever snows in Santa Fe...and when it does, you never need a shovel since it melts by noon. Oh well...sorry!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Day Trips from Santa Fe - Tent Rocks

If you are not from New Mexico, chances are you may have never heard of Tent Rocks. As you can see by the picture, it's an awesome site of ancient rocks, worn down by the elements over millions of years. A short hike will take you to the top, where you can look out over the valley and see an array of strangely shaped rocks and outcroppings. Only 45 minutes from Santa Fe, it's definitely worth a trip.

Ski Santa Fe Lands in Top 20

Ski Santa Fe lands at #14 in Conde Nasts "Top 20 Ski Resorts". Read about it here. Ski season opens on Friday of this week!!! If you have never skiied at Ski Santa Fe - now is the time to think about a trip. The views alone are enough to make you want to return again and again. Not to mention the great skiing - for beginners, intermediates, and advanced. Oh...and they have one of the best Green Chile Chicken stews in town!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New Mexico Ranks 12th in House Appreciation

New Mexico was ranked 12th among the 50 states for the rate of increase in house appreciation for the period ended March 31, 2006. For period ended June 30, 2006 Santa Fe is ranked 81 among the 275 metropolitan statistical areas for percent change in house prices with MSA rankings. Read the full article here:

In other news - it finally snowed in Santa Fe!! We have about 3 inches on the ground, and it looks like a winter wonderland. The ski basin got 7 inches, and they are making snow fast and furiously. Let it snow!

For more Santa Fe real estate news and listings, go to:

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving in Santa Fe

The weather here is as delightful as can be for the Thanksgiving holiday. Every day has been sunny, mild, in the mid 60's with cool mornings and cool evenings. If you plan to visit Santa Fe, be sure to dress in layers. Unfortunately, there has been no snow, and so the Santa Fe Ski Basin will not open on Thanksgiving as planned. The reason there is a picture of snow here (which by the way is from the top of the mountain from a snowier year!) is wishful thinking.

On another note, the City of Santa Fe is proposing a Real Estate Transfer tax. The prop0sal has met with a good deal of opposition. Read more about it by clicking on the link.

And finally, a day in the life of a realtor. Being a realtor has it's share of pros and cons. The pros - all the wonderful people you meet. All the great real estate you get to see. The ability to work for yourself, make your own schedule, and answer to no one but yourself. In Santa Fe, the sheer beauty you see when driving just about anywhere.

And then there are the cons. Some of the people you meet are just whacko. Some guy came into town last week because he had decided to move to Santa Fe and start his life over (his wife kicked him out of the house for various reasons - red flag number 1). It was a busy week for me, but I carved out time for him - since it seemed that he was eager to buy a house. I spent over 3 solid days with him - arranging over 20 houses for him to see, and driving him from house to house. His reaction: "too new, too old, too funky, too modern, and too nice" (on the latter, he told me he did not deserve a house this nice - red flag number 2). The entire time, he was a bundle of contradictions. "I like Santa Fe, I don't like Santa Fe, where are all the single women?" The guy was hardly a catch I might add.

Finally, after the third day, he decided that the next day he would like to see two of the houses again. I told him fine, but only if he had made the commitment to actually move here. He said that yes, he wanted to go back and choose between the two houses. I told him that I would pick him up the next morning.

When he got in the car he started saying "I don't know if I like Santa Fe....I couldn't find a coffee shop...and I went to a bar last night and there were hardly any people there". Well now, there is a good reason to decide whether to move somewhere. Despite his comments, we went to the two houses. The listing agents for both houses met us there, and talked up the houses. He really liked the first one, and realized it was about the nicest house you can get in his price range. I finally let him off at his motel (what a sad sack this guy was...) and he said "I'll have to think about it. I can't make decisions very fast." I thought to myself "I don't think you can make any decisions period!" He was sucking the life right out of me.

I went home, glad to have the afternoon off. An hour later he called me. "OK" he said, "I want to buy the first house". "Are you sure?" I asked. "Yes - let's do it RIGHT NOW." I met him at my office an hour later. Two and a half hours later, the sales contract was signed by him. I faxed it to the listing agent and went home. There was no more time left in the day for me to salvage. But hey...I just wrote a contract - so I was feeling good. Yes, the time I had spent with him had been painful, but it looked like it would be worth it in the long run.

The next morning, he was scheduled to leave. I was gone all morning showing properties to a delightful couple (what a difference!). I was out in the boonies, where my cell phone had no coverage. As I was driving back to Santa Fe, marveling at how beautiful everything was, (as I always do), I saw that my phone had a message. It was the sad sack. "Hopefully you didn't present the offer yet because I think I have changed my mind...I'm not sure I want to live in Santa Fe anymore. Can you hold on to the contract for a few days - I need to think about this." I guess I was not surprised. I was just blown away that he could waste my time like that - over 3 full days - when in reality, he was never sure he was going to move here in the first place! How about making the decision first before bringing other people into your life and wasting their time?

I called him back. Told him the contract had already been faxed and we already had a counter offer. He had made up his mind though, and the fact that he had used me to squire him around town for days did not phase him. he'll goes back to his dark, depressing studio apartment in another city and state - probably more depressed than when he got here, and feel bad because he was afraid to make a commitment.

Why do I share this? Realtors are people too! (well, most of them) We have lives and families and other responsibilities. But, I guess you need to be a realtor to really understand that. I will never get the time back that I wasted on this guy. Yes...I feel used and abused. But, once again, I learned a little more about human behavior.

Thanks for listening to my rant. After this whole thing happened, some locals told me some important things about Santa Fe. You do not choose Santa Fe - Santa Fe chooses you. And it also has a way of chewing up and spitting out the people who cannot truly appreciate the wonder that is the City Different.

I've lived in 5 countries and 4 states. There is no better place in the world as far as I am concerned than Santa Fe. There is a magic here that is intangible - but everyone who lives here can feel it.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

October brings the balloon fiesta to Albuquerque. If you are lucky enough to have a cousin who lives there (I do!) you can drive down from Santa Fe the night before, and wake up at the crack of dawn to watch the mass ascension. It rained all night,but cleared up early in the morning just in time to see the balloons. There were hundreds of them. They come from all over the world for Albuquerque's clear air and perfect winds. It's quite a sight. Just another reason why living in this part of the country is so wonderful!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Another day in Paradise

Today is one of those glorious Santa Fe days that reminds me why I love this place so much. Cool temperatures. Clear blue skies. Whitecapped mountains. It just doesn't get any better. Driving around town today, seeing the mountains against the sky, seeing the hustle and bustle in the plaza - just makes me happy to be alive. This place is just so damn beautiful. At dawn. In the afternoon. At dusk. At night with the twinkling stars. How many places can you still see the Milky Way from?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The leaves are turning

Every year I take a ride up to the top of Tesuque Peak (where Ski Santa Fe is located) to see the fall colors. The road winds up the mountain for 15 miles until it reaches the top. On the way up, you go through giant fields of aspen trees. The golden yellow aspen trees against the clear blue sky is an amazing sight. The leaves look like little silver dollars and make a gentle rustling sound with the wind.

This picture is from the top of the mountain - about 12,000 feet up. Talk about a nice picnic spot. The mountains in the distance are the Sandia (by Albuquerque) and the Ortiz mountains to the left (by Madrid). The beauty of this place never ceases to amaze me.

The rains have stopped for now. The days are clear and warm. The nights are cool and crisp. Winter is on the way.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fall in Santa Fe

It's that time of the year again. The aspens are turning yellow, orange and gold, and the air is crisp and clear. The mountains are snowcapped (skiing is right around the corner!). The mornings are cool, the days warm and the evenings even cooler. Just another reason why Santa Fe is such a wonderful place to live. Have I mentioned the skiing? Ski season starts around Thanksgiving at Ski Santa Fe. Most people don't realize that Santa Fe has a top notch ski area, and have some of the best snow makers and groomers in the country (for those rare winters when it doesn't snow - like last winter!). If you buy a seasons ticket in August, it will be half price. Need ski equipment? No problem. Santa Fe hosts a "ski swap" each year. It's chock full of last years' merchandise from ski store vendors from the southwest. Skis, boots, ski clothes, and everything else are available. The prices can't be beat. I digress. I meant to talk about fall, but fall always reminds me of winter, and winter means skiing!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Retiring in Santa Fe

Santa Fe - a magnet for baby boomers. Most boomers start by saying "I'd like to retire early". I got a call the other day from someone who told me "I've paid my dues, and it's time for me to get out of the rat race". Whether one is ready to retire, or just dreaming about it, Santa Fe is a perfect choice for a better quality of life. Keep in mind - this is not South Florida. Retirees here are very active! And, they tend to look young and be in great shape. It's something about the air. Let's take a look at all the great things Santa Fe has to offer:

- Weather: About as close to perfect as one can imagine. 300 sunny days a year. No humidity. Beautiful seasons. Cool summer nights. Mild winters (with great skiing nearby!)
- Food: Being a chef in Santa Fe is akin to being a rock star. They even have a magazine here devoted to the local chefs. Food is taken very seriously here. The choices are numerous. The only thing they don't have yet is a great Thai restaurant.
- Shopping: Walking around the Santa Fe plaza, and down the streets around the plaza is a delight. The amount of boutiques and shops will dazzle you. Bring lots of are sure to see things you like.
- Entertainment: Almost every restaurant and hotel here has live music regularly. Even the local pizza place and burrito place (Bumblebees has some great jazz!) In addition, there is the world famous Santa Fe Opera, as well as the Lensic Center for Performing Arts.
- Arts: It's no secret that Santa Fe is one of the art capitals of the world. Walk down Canyon Rd and peruse the many art galleries. Take in the numerous sculptures all over the city. It's overwhelming how much good art there is here!
- Physical Beauty: No matter where you go in Santa Fe, you can't help but notice the towering mountains that surround the city, and rise up in the distance. The vistas are awe inspiring.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A Gray Day in Santa Fe

All of a sudden, the weather went from summer to fall. I actually wore a fleece this morning when I went on my bike ride. We're getting the remnants of the hurricane that hit Cabo. It's raining mostly in the south, but there are thick black clouds hanging over Santa Fe that look like they are laden with water.

Because Santa Fe has had a stronger than usual monsoon season this summer, there are flowers blooming everywhere. Fields full of wildflowers. Yellow and red flowers lining all the roads. They've seen flowers growing this summer that they have never seen before in Northern New Mexico! In the last two years alone, we have lived through a severe drought, one of the driest winters on record and one of the wettist summers on record. Go figure. But you know what? No matter what the weather here, it's ALWAYS beautiful. I read a great quote today: "The only people who don't complain about going home, are the people who live in Santa Fe." It's true.

Short Term Rentals in Santa Fe

The debate continues. Read today's article in the Santa Fe New Mexican:
Task force endorses short-term rentals

Visit for all the latest Santa Fe listings

Air Conditioning in Santa Fe

I always find it amusing when people from out of state come to Santa Fe, and are shocked to learn that a good number of our homes do not have air conditioning. I guess when you are coming from Phoenix or the East Coast, it's hard to believe that one could live without AC. Well, this is just another reason why Santa Fe is so unique. Our days in the summer get warm, but very rarely is it hot. Humidity is practically nil here. There is almost always a breeze. At night, the temperature goes down 30 degrees, making it extremely comfortable. You can sleep with the windows open, smell the pinon, and hear the birds in the morning

New Mexico Existing Home Sales Rise 6.2 Percent Despite National Downward Trend

Another interesting tidbit on the state of the market in New Mexico.

Despite an overall decline in existing home sales in the second quarter of 2006, 20 states showed increases in sales activity from a year ago, according to the
National Association of REALTORS®. After Alaska , the best performance in the western region was New Mexico, where existing home sales rose 6.2 percent. NAR President Thomas M. Stevens said that since interest rates have been trending down in recent weeks, buyers have a “window of opportunity in the market.”

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It's 6:00 AM and it's raining. It's not often that one wakes up to rain in Santa Fe. Today is one of those days. Normally at this time the sun is reflecting beautiful pinks and oranges on the clouds as it rises up behind the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. I guess we can't have beautiful sunny weather ALL the time...just close to all the time. Hopefully, we'll see some water running through the Santa Fe River today. And hopefully, the reservoirs will go up another foot.
Remember when you were a kid and you would draw a thunderstorm? Big fluffy cloud, rain coming down, and a big lightning bolt? That's exactly what the thunderstorms here look like.

New Mexico - Still Going Strong

Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find information about the Santa Fe Real Estate Market, local Santa Fe Restaurants, events of interest, general Santa Fe musings, and of course, the weather. We are currently experiencing one of the most active monsoon seasons in years. You've probably seen it on the news. After a long drought, we welcome the rain here with open arms. Everything is green and lush - hills that were once brown are now sprouting what almost looks like green grass! The reservoirs are filling up. And the sweet smell of pinon is intoxicating. If only I could bottle it.... is the housing market in New Mexico? Check out this article - if you scroll to the bottom, you'll see that New Mexico is among the states with the biggest increases in existing homesales. While the rest of the country flounders, New Mexico homesales have increased by a healthy 6%!!

A Cooling Market? See the states with the biggest housing increases

Baby boomers continue to look to Santa Fe as an ideal place to retire. And why not? With over 300 days of sunshine, no humidity, beautiful winters (great skiing!), the arts, the opera, the food, and of course, the physical beauty, it's no wonder.

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