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!