Home/Real Estate


  • Design it, and keep it local

    We are fortunate to practice here in Santa Fe, a place that thrives on the ingenuity and talent of our local creative community, and is inspired by the deep well of culture, history and landscape. It is rewarding to continuously partner with collaborators who share the understanding we have of our clients, aesthetic references, and shared resources.

    • Updated: January 31
  • Property Management: For tax savings, check out cost segregation

    It’s tax season, which means it’s time to put together the tax file for the accountant of tax forms as well as your own bookkeeping records for lines of businesses and investments.

  • A crazily multihued listing

    This Nambé property on the market is the embodiment of the word “unique.” On its 40 acres is a rambling collection of buildings, adding up to 53 bedrooms and 46 bathrooms. One old house, known as the Jail House Ranch, is on the National Register of Historic Places. There’s also a beautiful chapel full of hand-carved benches, and a “Western town” section complete with a saloon.

  • A new tool to rate water efficiency

    Those of you who may have built or bought a new home in the City of Santa Fe over the last few years may be familiar with the terms “HERS Rating.” HERS (Home Energy Rating System) is a tool for measuring the energy performance of a home. It has become the standard method across North America for ranking homes in terms of energy efficiency. Much like the MPG (miles per gallon) rating on a car, a HERS rating describes how energy-efficient a home will be. But energy performance is not the only way to quantify a home’s efficiency.

  • All about Realtor designations

    Have you ever wondered what some of the letters following Realtors’ names, such as CRS, GRI, and ABR, really mean? The letters represent designations or certifications that acknowledge the experience and expertise a Realtor has achieved in various sectors of the business. Realtor members spend a significant investment of time and resources in professional education. Many of the courses or programs that they participate in help them earn these special designations. Certain designations have production requirements to further demonstrate expertise and/or mandatory re-certification.

  • Artful beauty underfoot

    I have been asked the question many times in my career whether the rug should be the first decision in designing a room’s interior. This is a variable and is determined on an individual basis; it is unique to each space and each individual for whom I am designing. Other designers may have a different point of view and may begin the design of each room with a rug. There is no right or wrong to this question. Rugs are definitely an important part of the design of any room.

  • Blossoms in late winter?

    February may give us a nice dose of floral therapy just in time for Valentine’s Day, but the rest of the month can seem downright dismal, especially for gardeners. It’s still cold, white frozen patches sit on top of places where things once flourished, and every now and again you could swear you see something green popping up, only to realize it’s probably a leaf.

  • Builder's commercial credentials tapped for house project

    Photo credit Linda Johnson/Swell Design

  • Corrections and clarifications

    In last month's story about the National Park Service building, José Cisneros was cited as a former State Monuments director. In fact, before his State Monuments position he was a longtime Park Service employee, including in the Old Santa Fe Trail Building.

  • Disinfecting private wells

    For public water systems, disinfectants are widely and successfully used to protect public health and to ensure that water is safely conveyed to the most distant connections. But for private well users, additional protection such as ultraviolet (UV), chlorination, or ozonation may be required. We estimate that about 10 percent of our well-water customers opt for the more convenient UV disinfection systems. That percentage is probably equally divided between customers who simply want the additional peace of mind and customers who have experienced unpleasant health issues from waterborne organisms. Medical professionals, when diagnosing the cause of intestinal complaints, do not always immediately correlate microbiologically contaminated well water with its possible symptoms.

  • Market moving slowly upward

    The supply of homes for sale in the Santa Fe area was down a significant 8 percent in the 4th quarter compared to a year ago. Barbara Blackwell, 2015 president of the Santa Fe Association of Realtors, said that tightening of inventory has helped to restore “more competitive” prices. “Looking back over the entire year,” she said, “interest rates remained lower than expected, helping to attract buyers. The improved housing affordability coupled with new FHA lending products may entice more new homebuyers to purchase this year." On the downside — barriers to a greater degree of recovery — are student loan debt, sluggish wage growth and a lack of sufficient mortgage liquidity, according to a year-end report from the association.

  • Recent single-family building permits

    Single-family building permits issued by the City of Santa Fe during the month of December included the following:

  • Sitting comfy

    A selection of chairs from several Santa Fe showrooms.

  • New tools can take the backache out of snow removal

    That familiar refrain of winter is back. Do you hear it?

  • Market Ready: How do I stage a bathroom for showings?

    Question: How do I stage a bathroom for showings?

  • Spouses Selling Houses: 2015 off to a good start

    The Santa Fe Association of Realtors recently published the market statistics for the fourth quarter of 2014, and the data show growth in almost all markets, which bodes well for 2015. Overall, the inventory levels have dropped, and year-to-date new listings were down almost 5 percent.

  • Consumers still warming up to idea of ‘smart’ homes

    At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev., this month, LG unveiled a series of household appliances that can receive, interpret and send texts: a washing machine that, when asked, reports how much time is left in a cycle; or a refrigerator that alerts the owner when food is about to expire.

  • Do-it-yourself radiant floor heating

    You and I both know that Old Man Winter’s arrival brings you those ice-cold bathroom and man-cave floors.

  • Government policy change aims to help first-time homebuyers

    Uncle Sam wants to make it more affordable for Americans to buy their first home.

  • Mortgage Matters: Getting a mortgage? Specialist can help

    We should all do mortgage planning before we purchase or refinance our homes. This is a process of evaluating our mortgage options in the context of our overall financial goals. Remember, your mortgage is probably your largest liability, and for many, their home is their largest asset. This type of analysis will pay financial dividends. How do we do it and can we get assistance with the analysis?

  • About those title-commitment issues

    When you receive your commitment, verify the proposed insured on the schedule A. It may be you or another designation. Look for the contract sales price and compare the loan amount to your contract. If it is all cash then no need to worry about the loan amount. The boxes should be checked for an owner's title insurance policy and loan policy, if not paying cash. Check the estate or interest in the land described and referred to in the commitment (fee, leasehold, etc.). Look for a date and time. Look at the land description. It should not be an address; it should be a complete legal description. If these items do not appear on your commitment Schedule A, you should ask your attorney, Realtor, and escrow agent why they are not there.

  • An open letter from new president of SF homebuilder association

    As the new year is now underway, I wanted to make a brief announcement and shameless plug for a local nonprofit so important to our home and housing industry. It is a great honor to steward the efforts of the Santa Fe Area Home Builder’s Association’s exceptional board of directors for 2015. The good work of SFAHBA encompasses such a diverse and far-reaching effect on our local community. SFAHBA is recognized as one of the most progressive and effective local homebuilding associations in the country.

  • Another resolution or new mindset?

    Every year at this time brings a new list of New Year’s resolutions as we make new goals and promise ourselves to change our behavior in some way for the better. When it comes to being socially networked online, we could probably create an endless list of all the activities we think we must be doing. Here are some things I hear often: I will finally get on Facebook. I will update my profile on Linkedin. I will stop Tweeting about everything I do. I will not check Facebook when I am on a date. I will not pin everything I see on Pinterest. I will connect with my customers. I will learn Google+. I will remember everything I post stays online.

  • Barbara Blackwell new SFAR pres

    As the New Year rolls in, the Santa Fe Association of Realtors (SFAR) welcomes a new team of leaders. Barbara Blackwell, affiliated with Keller Williams, will serve as SFAR’s president. Barbara’s colleagues recognized her as the Realtor of the Year in 2012 for her service to the industry and community. At SFAR, Barbara has served as a member of the board of directors, chaired the Community Services Committee, and served on numerous other association committees. She views herself as a service-oriented Realtor who has been with the same core real-estate agency since 2003 through several name changes or acquisitions.

  • Fools for fabric

    We frequently venture into the realm of fabric and its many facets. For many furnishings projects, we start concept development by sifting through our specialty fabric bins (sorted by color), pulling a handful that speaks to us. We spread them out on the work table to play and prune our selections, until we feel we have captured the visual essence of the client and project. This becomes our start.

  • Let's focus on that resolve

    Ah, New Year’s resolutions. So easy to make, so hard to keep. There are many strategies you can employ in 2015 that have the potential to significantly improve your net worth. Don’t procrastinate. What you do in the next month may have long-lasting impacts.

  • Sacks named to Barker partnership

    Warren Sacks, who entered the real-estate business just a decade ago, recently accepted a 20 percent minority interest in Barker Realty|Christie’s Int’l. Real Estate. Formerly the firm’s vice president, he is also now its chief operations officer.

  • Save Old Santa Fe Trail Building!

    The sign at the front entry of the historic National Park Service building on Old Santa Fe Trail says, “Building access by appointment only.” That’s a new situation for the adobe office building that has long also been a cultural resource open to the public. It formerly had a superintendent, a trained uniformed staff, a general management plan, a cultural landscape plan, an interpretive plan, exhibits, brochures, and an active program of public education, according to a briefing paper prepared by Jerry L. Rogers.

  • The Applegate legacy

    Frank Applegate left a profound impression on the city of Santa Fe and is considered by many to be the godfather of Santa Fe Style. Born into a farming community in central Illinois in February of 1881, Applegate had established himself as a serious sculptor by fall of 1914. He trained at the University of Illinois and then at the Académie Julian in Paris and became a professor at the School of Industrial Arts in Trenton, New Jersey. The tale of how he came to live in Santa Fe starts out like many other stories, as a short visit to a little town in Northern New Mexico.

  • Three bridges named 'significant'

    On Oct. 28, the Historic Districts Review Board acted quickly on a trio of proposals from the Old Santa Fe Assocation. The H-Board designated three downtown bridges as historically “significant,” the highest level of protection after the “landmark” status that is held by a few structures such as Rosario Chapel and the Gross Kelly Warehouse. Newly designated are the 1934 Don Gaspar Bridge and the 1928 Delgado Street Bridge over the Santa Fe River, and the 1920 Bridge of the Hidalgos over the Arroyo Mascaras.

  • Working in 'a fine madness'

    In 2012, architect Vahid Mojarrab, WAMO Studio, won two sustainability awards — from the U.S. Green Building Council-New Mexico and from ECOHOME — for an energy-efficient residence called VOLKsHouse. Mojarrab hopes to break ground this winter on VOLKsHouse 2.0, which he says “will push the technology up to the limit.

  • corrections and clarifications

    • In the Illuminations feature last month, the price of the “Light Bench” offered by Molecule Design was incorrect. It is $790, not $450.

  • Cool, functional tinware: Elegant addition to dining table

    TOKYO — An elegantly curved wine glass, a slender champagne flute and a standard beer tumbler — imagine these drinking vessels made not of glass, but of tin. Tinware, which glistens softly due to the slightly uneven texture of the cast surface, gives a refreshingly cool and dazzling impression.

  • DIY is in their DNA

    Some people build their own doghouses or treehouses. Jacob and Melissa Brillhart’s DIY project was a little more elaborate: They hand-built a 1,500-square-foot house.

  • Our Water Quality: On the adjudication of private wells

    For many local residents, the term “adjudication” brings to mind the Aamodt settlement. For information about that topic, I refer you to Santa Fe County’s Aamodt website, which also provides a link to the proposed Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System. Find it at www.santafecountynm.gov/county_commissioners/daniel_mayfield/aamodt_outreach.

  • U.S. new home sales fall 1.6 percent in November

    WASHINGTON — Sales of new U.S. homes fell in November, evidence that recent job gains have yet to boost the housing sector.

  • Holiday sleepover solutions

    One of the nicest things about the holidays can be the chance to see friends and family from far away. In some cases, that means finding sleepover space in your home.

  • Your Money’s Worth: Mayor, Creative Santa Fe director comment on prosperity

    We have witnessed an amazing few years in real estate, moving from the national mortgage/real estate crisis to the housing recovery in many parts of the country. In recognition of that recovery, the Federal Reserve Board ended its aggressive $85 billion-a-month government bond-buying program in October. However, the world is waiting to see how well the U.S. recovery continues without the Fed pushing funds into the bond markets in order to keep rates artificially low to help stimulate the economy.

  • Acorn Deck’s kit homes blur the line between the indoors and outdoors

    ACCOKEEK, Md. — Jane Gould lives in what could roughly be described as an upscale, upsized 21st-century version of the old Sears kit home.

  • Buying a home? Do a landscape inspection

    Prudent house hunters usually await the results of a professional inspection before buying their dream home. All too often, though, one of the biggest contributors to a home’s value is neglected: the landscape. And that can prove costly.

  • A glossary of regional building terms

    adobe - sun-dried earthen bricks; and a house made of adobe bricks

  • A storied estate in Abiquiú

    The Native American presence on this land goes back at least a millennium and the written record brings us up to the early 1700s. In that time, siblings Rosalia, Juan, and Ignacio Valdes filed a request for 7,578 acres on the Torres grazing grant.

  • Homewise building new project on north side

    “It is truly beautiful out there. Whenever I’m at one of the models, it’s like, Wow, what a view.” This is Mike Loftin, chief executive officer of Homewise, talking about Tessera, the nonprofit’s newest project. “What I’m most excited about is that you have a more affordable option now to live on the north side.” Tessera, located northwest of Santa Fe, adjacent to the Aldea subdivision, was started seven years ago by builder Michael Hurlocker. He and architect Bob Zachry built several contemporary-style homes before recession pressures caused Hurlocker to give the 146-acre property back to the bank. Homewise quickly picked it up and is proceeding to build its first homes.

  • How about a topiary for the holidays?

    The final month of the year is upon us, providing one more opportunity to adorn our homes in a seasonal motif. No matter what you celebrate, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, there are many choices to accent yards and interiors with fresh pines, ribbons, ornaments, and lights. From religious vignettes to blowup Santa Clauses and reindeer, the sky is the limit in December.