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Home/Real Estate

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  • The next big influencer of home design: China

    Like many who’ve recently come into money, China’s taken a circuitous route to identifying a sense of personal style. Having experimented with an eyebrow raising more-is-more sensibility for the past decade, new Chinese style has confidently settled into a more restrained and elegant influencer of global home design trends.

    • Updated: October 18
  • Recent building permits issued

    Marguerite Gordon, 14 El Nido Tecolote. $390,000.

  • Regarding 'emerging contaminants'

    Emerging contaminants are chemicals that have been detected at trace levels in drinking-water supplies (but not in Santa Fe, to my knowledge) and for which the risks to human health are not established. Included in this category are human and veterinary drugs, OTC drugs, natural and synthetic hormones, personal-care products, endocrine-disrupting compounds, herbicides, pesticides, and fire retardants. What is actually “emerging” about these contaminants, which have been present in our water as long as people have been using these products, is our developing contaminant awareness made possible by advances in analytical detection.

  • Permaculture in Practice: The reign of rain

    Water has always meant business, and its control affects the course of history. Sumer employed water-project profits to build Earth’s first civilization. Aristotle urged Greeks to “to construct great and ample receptacles for rain water.” The Romans maintained an extensive hydrological infrastructure, but in A.D. 537, the Ostrogothic army successfully finished off the city (and its empire) by obstructing aqueducts.

  • A 7-step program for furniture rehab

    Kelly Millspaugh Thompson has two trucks, shelves full of paint cans in more than 30 colors, a political science degree she never uses and a passion for refurbishing furniture.

  • Our Water Quality: Pointers for buying a property with a well

    I am frequently asked if we see a lot of wells going dry because of drought and presumed lack of aquifer recharge. Actually, no. A much greater recent problem is the increasing frequency of homeowners who have purchased properties without properly evaluating the water and who then go into sticker shock upon realizing the unbudgeted and potentially great price of treating the water. Properties served by private wells require a higher level of due diligence.

  • Reverse mortgages poised for rebound

    WASHINGTON — Advertised as a path to an affordable retirement, federally insured reverse mortgages are showing signs of a rebound, drawing the scrutiny of regulators seeking to reduce historically high default rates that have cost the government billions.

  • Ask a Designer: Tween bedroom balancing act

    Decorating a baby’s room is all about what Mom and Dad want. But decorating a bedroom for a “tween-age” child is more complicated.

  • Heated driveways: Goodbye to the snow shovel?

    While the rest of the neighborhood was digging out, Alex Geier had little problem leaving his Hinsdale, Ill., house around 7:30 each morning last winter, no matter how much snow had piled up during the night.

  • Buyers changing how we do business

    Recently, I thought about a new car. I began searching the major car sites online. Instead of finding information, I discovered home pages that were commercials. I wanted information, yet, these sites and the emails that followed wanted to sell me a car in a nanosecond. The sales agents chose to sell rather than inform and build trust. I went to their sites for information, not to be sold.

  • Endorsements to your title insurance policies

    Did you know there are additional coverages that are available on the owner's title insurance policy? Did you know you can ask for specific coverages? A better question is, do you know about the different title insurance products that are available when you purchase residential real estate? It is cafeteria-style if you know what you need.

  • For the guests

    Guest bedrooms are often the neglected rooms in the rear or upstairs of a home, behind closed doors, and filled with stuff. With an abundance of summer activities in full swing and the upcoming holidays, ‘tis the season for out-of-town guests, so now is an ideal time to give your guest bedroom(s) a discerning overview.

  • Gala to benefit APNM

    BOX: If you are unable to attend Animals and Architecture, consider contributing to Animal Protection of New Mexico, Inc., P.O. Box 11395, Albuquerque, NM 87192-0395.

  • Get active. Think passive.

    One of the founders of the permaculture movement, Bill Mollison, sets a high bar for property owners. “Every drop of water that leaves our system is a failure in our system,” he once told me. It is difficult to live up to this standard with active water-harvesting alone. Tanks will inevitably fill up, and most precipitation in many sites will not make it into a given cistern. Passive water harvesting is the act of storing precipitation, roof runoff, or stormwater directly in the soil. In addition to roofs, precipitation from roads, parking lots, sidewalks, pathways, patios, and earthen slopes — be they steep or gentle, vegetated or denuded — are all fair game for wise landowners in the desert.

  • Inside out and outside in

    Harvested rainwater is used predominantly for irrigation and occasionally, with treatment, for drinking water. There are other uses, too, but most of the time, this pure and precious resource is allowed to just run down the street. We need to rethink how we use this limited resource by exploring ways to use and reuse outside water inside the house and inside water outside the house.

  • Realtor designation bulletin

    The National Association of Realtors (NAR) and its affiliated institutes, societies, and councils provide a wide range of programs and services that help members increase their skills and knowledge. The association and affiliates award designations and certifications for various industry sectors upon completion of required courses. Each of these bulletins in Home|Santa Fe Real Estate Guide highlights a designation or certification along with those members who have achieved this distinction. You will also find a list of Realtor members who have earned other designations or certifications since January 15, 2012.

  • Recently issued single-family building permits

    Eric & Kerry Roybal, 1832 Cristobal Ln. $300,000.

  • What are overlays?

    For years, mortgage brokers and Realtors have thought that satisfying the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac underwriting guidelines would secure the loan approval. But actually this step is merely one part of the approval process. Lenders have a trick up their sleeves which is little known by the public and even those in the mortgage business. It is called the “overlay.” What is this and why do we need to understand it?

  • What to do, what to do?

    We all know that the Federal Reserve Board has pushed billions of dollars into the bond markets over the last few years to keep rates down and stimulate the economy. The Fed has always said that this measure, known as “quantitative easing” (QE), was temporary and that as soon as the economy recovered sufficiently the infusion of funds would end. The year 2015 has been proposed as the target for the end of QE.

  • Yardman takes top award in Parade of Homes

    Green Star photos credit Lee Klopfer

  • Artist riffs (respectfully) on church forms

    Since the mid-1980s, Roberto Cardinale has created replicas of about 500 American and European buildings, most of them churches. Look at his portfolio and it’s easy to see he loves the old churches of New Mexico.

  • Exterior decorating: Updating with paints, trims

    Color and decorative pieces can improve the look of a home outside as well as in. Add trim boards, columns or porch accessories and you can dress up the facade of a house, improving its value and curb appeal.

  • Magic of staging: Six easy fixes to make you like your house better

    Home stagers are the people who sweep through homes going on the market and make them look uncluttered and cozy without a huge investment of time or money.

  • Market Ready: Staging with children

    Question: We have three young children, so staging our apartment before each showing can be a challenge. What’s the bare minimum we should do?

  • Property management: Debt vs. equity financing

    An important decision for any investor wishing to purchase a commercial property is how to structure the financing of the proposed purchase. Can the investor pay with cash? Does he want to leverage the property, and if so, to what extent? This decision can have impacts beyond what most investors think. Not only can it affect your taxes, but it can also affect the return you receive on any given estimate. Understanding how debt financing can impact an investment is a very important aspect of any commercial transaction.

  • Décor in all its facets

    Fans of crisp, modern architecture and clean-lined shapes will love one of this fall’s strongest style trends: faceted décor.

  • Recent home, land sales

    July 19 - Aug. 18

  • Property management: Find great renters by being proactive

    ‘‘My home has been vacant for too long and it is nearing the end of August. Why is it not renting?”

  • Summer veggies were just the first round

    In the heat of summer, it’s hard to imagine that the weather will ever be cool again. And with dry weather, it’s hard to imagine it becoming rainy again.

  • Living roofs take root in wine country

    Odette Estate, which opened recently, is part of a small but blossoming trend of green-roofed wineries.

  • Water Energy Nexus: Graywater — how does it fit?

    A couple of months ago I wrote about the use of graywater and received many questions on the subject. Is leftover dishwashing water graywater? What are the possible uses of graywater? Can I mix rainwater and graywater? How important is graywater in a water conservation plan? Is graywater reuse legal in New Mexico? The list goes on. It is great to see the interest in this unique resource.

  • The next great light bulb

    NEW YORK — As of Jan. 1 this year, the 60-watt incandescent light bulb — that classic of the genre; the Edisonian ideal; the signifier that illuminates in your mind’s eye when you’re asked to picture “a light bulb” — was banned forever. Perhaps you prepped by hoarding a box of bulbs in the back of your closet. Or perhaps this news took you by surprise, and you now live in fear of the moment the beloved incandescent in your bedside lamp flickers out.

  • Title News: Make sure you understand restrictive covenants

    When enforced, restrictive covenants — deed restrictions that apply to property in a specific development or subdivision — protect property values. The original developer usually puts them in place. Ask for a copy of the covenants immediately if your intention is to buy. Ask for them before executing a purchase agreement. Read them — know them — before you ever consider a change or improvement. Know if you can have horses, chickens and pets. Know if you can build the monster RV pad, mother-in-law casita, detached garage or fence.

  • Buyers don't need 20 percent up front

    What is the biggest misconception about mortgages? The down payment. I can’t tell you how often I hear some version of this statement: I want to buy a home but my (friend/cousin/neighbor) says I have to have 20 percent for a down payment. Hold that thought and let’s see how true it is.

  • Buyers hip to online home search

    Today, the front-page focus is about an uptick in consumer confidence and the housing market recovery. What is missing is the rest of story about how consumers have dramatically changed how they approach buying a home.

  • Designer inspired by botanicals

    It may seem strange talking about fashion in a column dedicated to gardens, but if you take a close look at the work of internationally acclaimed fashion and textile designer Patricia Michaels, you will understand. Nature is not only a dominant theme, it is the driving force behind all that she does and represents. From her “Waterlily” Native name and logo to her signature eagle-feather scarves and petal-shaped parasols, her reverence for all things living and growing is evident.

  • Healthiest gains in Tesuque last quarter

    “What in the world is going on with the real estate market?” we are often asked. It has been a conundrum and it can cause a great deal of consternation for real-estate brokers and homeowners alike. The statistics just published by the Santa Fe Association of Realtors for the second quarter of 2014 show us a mixed bag. While closed sales were up almost 3 percent from this same time last year, the pending sales declined nearly 39 percent. The median sales price also declined roughly 4 percent from this same time last year to $288,621, while the average sales price remained virtually the same. New listings saw a 3.5 percent decline with 1,253 homes coming on the market for sale while the inventory of homes ticked upwards almost 6 percent to 2,353 units available.

  • Knock down carbon footprint with good building

    Last month we discussed the critical implications that the construction methods of our homes and buildings has on the causes of climate change. The energy consumption of our buildings is the largest single source of greenhouse-gas emissions across our economy. The building sector also provides us the largest source of low-cost and easily attainable reductions in energy consumption and thus greenhouse gas emissions with existing technology. In many cases, the climate-friendly options for our homes are those that also save us money over time: improved insulation, high efficiency lighting and heating, and solar technology. No futuristic, yet-to-be-discovered technology needed.

  • Listen to your loan processor

    Loan officers may disagree, but the most important ally a borrower has in the loan finance process is the processor. When applying for a home loan, make friends with the processor. It will pay dividends.

  • Power-rowing for the children

    July was an exciting month for sports fans. Germany won the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and LeBron James announced that he was going home to Ohio and the Cavaliers. This month, Dearest Readers, we have our own athlete, Gavin Sayers (Santa Fe Properties), who will himself be making history when he spends two days rowing the mighty Mississippi with his old friend and rowing buddy John Pritchard, a 1980 Olympic silver rowing medalist. A native of England (yes, Possums, that refined British accent is real), Gavin was a member of the prestigious Leander Club, Henley-on-Thames, which is where he and John first rowed together.

  • Realtor profile: Alan Ball

    This interview series focuses on the people in Santa Fe’s real-estate industry. Alan Ball is an associate broker with Keller Williams Realty and a longtime blogger; his blog address is www. santaferealestateconsultant.com.

  • Wastewater: demand exceeds supply

    If you have any doubt about the importance of reclaimed wastewater in the City of Santa Fe’s water portfolio, I urge you to read the comprehensive 2013 Reclaimed Water Resource Plan, www.santafenm.gov/using_reclaimed_wastewater. It was prepared by Claudia Borchert (former Water Resources Coordinator, now Director of the Santa Fe County Public Utilities Division) in collaboration with a working group of dedicated and diverse community stakeholders.

  • Clearing closets, with help from an app

    After Brenda Edmondson lost 50 pounds over the course of a year, she wanted to buy a new wardrobe. But first, she needed to get rid of her old clothes.

  • Market ready: For Bathroom fixtures, hold the mustard

    Question: The toilet, sink and tub in my bathroom are all a very retro shade of mustard. Should I replace them before putting my apartment on the market?

  • So you’ve decided to rent out your home? Some tips

    Cynthia Kent and her husband, John, didn’t set out to be landlords, but career choices made it necessary.

  • U.S. home price gains slow for sixth straight month

    WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices rose in May from a year earlier at the weakest pace in 15 months as sales remain modest in the spring buying season.

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