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    Darlings,

  • Beware those summer peaks

    Summer is near, gardens are growing, and so is your water usage. Consequently, your water bill will increase. Santa Fe is blessed to have multiple water sources (the Santa Fe River watershed, the Rio Grande, and wells), but conserving water is a prudent habit in the arid southwest.

  • Campus renovation continues at NMSD

    Half of the old orchard at the New Mexico School for the Deaf was removed as part of ongoing campus renovations that have efficiency as one driving force. The northern part of the orchard was sacrificed in the name of access safety; in its place is additional parking and a bus turnaround for the school and the James A. Little Theater. The remaining orchard is still an important part of the school, said NMSD planning and projects manager Harold Moya during a late-May walkthrough with security manager Jerry Ortiz. “This was once a self-sustaining campus. We had our own cows, a dairy, and the orchard. We’ve reduced it by about 50 percent so we can take care of it better. We cut some of the older trees out and we put in an irrigation system. We still have harvest days and the kids pick apples and press cider.”

  • Golf event benefits suicide charity

    Two of our fantastic clients shared with us the secret of their successful marriage and it all came down to the definition, “A perfect marriage is when two imperfect people refuse to give up on each other.” Isn’t that wonderful? Let’s face it. We all have our warts and quirks and less than perfect days that would challenge anyone’s patience, but it is nice knowing you have somebody that won’t give up on you. Unfortunately, can that be said about all relationships, especially our relationships with the youth of today? It’s important that we make certain kids know that despite their imperfections, nobody is going to give up on them.

  • Our gardens love natives

    There are many paths to follow in the world of gardening. Some lead to orderly beauty or a unique collection of plants. Others may lead to too much work at great expense. I often think of choosing native plants for the garden as the path of least resistance. On the way to creating a native plant garden, you will discover plants with great beauty and unique characteristics. But you will also find that, once established, native plants need little attention from you other than admiration and some occasional weeding or pruning.

  • Recent home and land sales

    Sales data for the period April 19-May 18 from Santa Fe Association of Realtors MLS reports. Not all sales are reported.

  • Recent single-family building permits issued

    City of Santa Fe, month of April

  • South Capitol stunner on the market

    This handsome house is located on a wonderful corner lot in the South Capital district within walking distance of the Plaza. Architect T. Charles Gaastra and engineer James Gladding built it in 1928 for David Chávez, who was elected mayor of Santa Fe six years later.

  • Stone cold gorgeous!

    Selecting stone for your home remodeling or building project can be overwhelming and confusing. Let’s focus on countertop surfaces for the moment: natural stone such as granite, marble, soapstone, quartzite, or basalt, to name a few; or engineered stone, which is natural quartz combined with high-quality polymer resin and pigment — such as Caesarstone, HanStone or Silestone — all beautiful in their own right... the list goes on. You are most likely concerned about durability, cost, aesthetics, maintenance, and the impact on our environment. No wonder this can be perplexing.

  • The splendor of water

    There are many reasons why we love having water features in our outdoor environments. The appearance of a placid pool or pond is so relaxing, and it offers a great contrast to the (usually) arid landscape beyond. A small waterfall or bubbling fountain creates a wonderfully calming effect, perhaps encouraging daydreams of a rushing, clean mountain stream. Or maybe you just love fish, and the variety of birds that visit a pond.

  • The tie that binds

    Loan processing is truly the “Name of the Game” in the mortgage lending world. True, the mortgage broker attracts the business, takes the loan application, follows up with everyone involved through the process, and accompanies the borrowers to closing, but while all of this is going on, the processor diligently works through the system of underwriting to dot every “i” and cross every “t.” The processor is your go-between. You will wind up dealing with the processor as often as your loan officer.

  • 2016 is off to a good start

    There has been much written lately about the pronounced activity of our local real-estate market. We have heard some refer to it as a hot market, even a seller’s market. Certainly the homeowners of Santa Fe are due for a reprieve after suffering years of lost equity and exorbitant days on market. The Santa Fe Association of Realtors published its quarterly report a couple of weeks ago. Let’s take a closer look and see how Santa Fe fared for the first part of 2016.

  • A new water-conservation challenge

    I probably won’t be the first to remind you, but seasonal city watering restrictions began on May 1 and will end on October 31. During this time period, watering is permitted after 6 p.m. and before 10 a.m., seven days per week.

  • Backyard chickendom advances

    There was evidence—blood, body parts, feathers, paw prints, and holes dug by burrowing carnivores. Recent sightings abounded, too, of canine, feline, musteline, and avian suspects. But, in a larger sense, the killer’s name didn’t matter. The fact remained that I needed to refortify our henhouse. Pronto. Our new, six-bird flock would be getting too big for that stinky box in the garage, and soon we’d have to release our young fowl into the chicken yard.

  • Make the most of all your spaces

    The dynamic vistas in New Mexico afford great viewing pleasure from indoors and outdoors. The mild climate invites us irrevocably outdoors for at least nine months out of 12. We are truly blessed to live in such a glorious place! All around we see life springing up. Forsythias’ bright yellow blooms are among the early signs of warmer weather to come, which brings me to the subject for this month’s article: extending your living space to the outdoors.

  • Mary Colter was inspiration behind remodel

    The last phase of the La Fonda renovation is complete, or close to it, and the element that has received some early criticism is the glitzier lounge with its new rounded bar, modified ceiling, new furniture, and restricted access.

  • Pre-planning can make dream reality

    As spring takes hold of us here in Santa Fe, many dream-home hopefuls will decide to take the plunge and commit to getting their much anticipated custom home project under way. In our experience, there is nothing more valuable than some careful pre-planning to assure that the next steps you make will lead you directly to making that dream a reality while avoiding stumbling blocks.

  • Recent home and land sales

    March 19 - April 18

  • Recent single-family building permits

    Chapman Builders, 412 Plaza Lomas. $314,000.

  • Take advantage of local gardening pros

    All I wanted was a tomato. A filled-with-sunshine, juicy, red tomato. What could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot, as it turns out: poor soil, cold and windy springs, rodents, insects — all conspired against me. But I found help. I joined the Santa Fe Master Gardener Association. And so began an education that continues today as I strive to make my plot of caliche the source of something other than tumbleweeds.

  • The price of a stamp goes down, and other news

    Were you as stunned as I was when the Postal Service reduced the price of a stamp last month? For the first time since 1919, the price of a stamp went down instead of up. Crumpets, I’m now writing more letters instead of texting, because I’m trying to help our Postmaster General, Megan J. Brennan, offset the projected $2 billion in annual losses as a result of this.

  • Trending

    As designers in a vastly changing world, we are continually called upon to keep up with the forecasting of colors, trends, and expectations of the diverse and disparate population we serve. While we are aware of trends that drive interest and exposure in the marketplace, we also consider design issues that center around wellbeing. We are concerned with deeper issues of how we best navigate the challenges and opportunities presented to us, and how our spaces for home, leisure, and work support us to that end.

  • What water is right for what use?

    Water, water everywhere, but what is right for me? With water we do have lots of choices, and not all are created equal. You are probably wondering what I am talking about. What choices, what water?

  • Window of opportunity for buyers

    Sometimes events align to form a perfect opportunity. We have that opportunity today in Santa Fe real estate. What more can homebuyers ask for? The list of benefits awarded to buyers of Santa Fe real estate is growing. Never in the last many decades have they been in such a perfect situation.

  • Free well-water testing April 22-23

    If you are on a private well not served by a public water system, here is an excellent opportunity to get some baseline testing of your well water at no cost. This testing program is sponsored by the New Mexico Environment Department and the New Mexico Department of Health in cooperation with the City of Santa Fe’s Sangre de Cristo Water Division. The testing includes electrical conductivity, sulfate, pH, nitrate, fluoride, arsenic, iron, and manganese.

  • Gorgeous compound full of artistic history

    This gem of an Eastside compound has some serious historic credentials. It holds the homes and studios of two renowned artists: Willard Nash (1898-1943) and Glenna Goodacre. Nash was one of the five painters known locally as Los Cinco Pintores — and sometimes as the "five nuts in mud huts" because they all lived in relatively small adobe homes, and, being artists, lived and worked with some degree of artistic abandon. Nash built his house in the mid-1920s with assistance from artist and builder Frank Applegate and lived here until 1936. Some called Nash "the American Cezanne" and his work was even admired by Diego Rivera.

  • H-Board OK's Wolf restoration of Hinojos House

    On March 22, Santa Fe's Historic Districts Review Board gave a final OK to John Wolf's restoration plans for the Francisca Hinojos House. The historic adobe building on East Palace Avenue was severley damaged by a fire, and by firefighters' high-pressure water hoses, in early February 2013. And after setting open to the weather for more than two years, it is rather amazing that the hulk was still salvageable, but Wolf is enthusiastically anticipating the end result.

  • How low can we go?

    Santa Fe continues to decrease its gallons per capita (that's per person) per day water usage. As a community we are now under 100 gpcd. We can all be proud of our efforts to conserve water. However, several European countries are in the 60-70 gpcd range, so obviously there is room for improvement. But how low can we go?

  • Let's get into gardening!

    The weather's warming and many of us are eager to get our hands dirty, to get our gardens cleaned up and to plant colorful flowers and good food. Of course, this can be a challenge in Santa Fe County because of the poor soils, relentless wind and sun, rare rains, and plenty of gophers. Fortunately, there are scores of plants that like this environment, and hundreds more that can deal with it if we're careful about placement, soil preparation, mulching, and watering.

  • New life for a hovel of a home

    A small, decrepit building that was a garage once upon a time — in its better days — has been reborn. It's now what designer Claire Lange calls "a sweet, tiny habitation." The new unit at 118-B Moore Street is the newest part of a modest compound of habitations owned by Diane and Charles Goodman (Kokopelli Property Management).

  • Recent home and land sales

    Feb. 19 - March 18

  • Recent single-family building permits

    City permits, month of February

  • Slow it. Flow it. Grow it.

    Landownership comes with responsibilities. Sometimes it involves a snow shovel. Other times it’s weeds. As much as we love them, land titles mean mending walls, raking leaves, and mowing grass. Here in New Mexico, we are lucky not to have to worry much about the latter. Turf installation and maintenance is not only avoided statewide, but it’s also often scoffed at on private property. In public parks, plastic playing fields are slowly taking over real-grass ones.

  • The 15-year fixed is the winner!

    Do you want to own your home debt-free? Do you want to retire early? Everyone breathing says, “You bet.” So, here is what you need to do. Get a 15-year fixed amortization! With the 15-year, you begin significantly paying down the principal at a rate that is substantially lower than with the 30-year loan.

  • Realtor profile: J.C. Linson

    This interview series focuses on the people in Santa Fe's real-estate industry. J.C. Linson is a broker at Barker Realty/Christie's.

  • Fast, fast mortgage closing

    Closing your mortgage loan quickly makes everyone concerned Happy, Happy, Happy. Your Realtor will be beaming because you are. Your mortgage broker can add your file to the “Winning” drawer with a warm sense of accomplishment. The title-company closer can move on to the next successful transaction with a smile. The sellers, who wanted to close yesterday, have reduced their anxiety level from 100 to zero and can now have a glass of champagne and call the movers.

  • How large a tank is right for me?

    Once you have decided you want to capture rainwater, your next decision will be about the size of the tank you need. Consider the mathematics: the area of your catchment (roof) surface multiplied by the annual rainfall multiplied by 0.623, which is the amount of rain in inches per square foot.

  • NAR grant to aid local literacy

    The Santa Fe Association of Realtors has received a $2,300 micro-grant from the National Association of Realtors Placemaking program and will help make the Santa Fe community a better place to live and work by transforming a public space. The grant is intended to help Realtor associations partner with others to plan, organize, implement and maintain placemaking activities in their communities.

  • R.E. market sailing along evenly

    In late February, National Association of Realtors economist Lawrence Yun announced that the nation's housing market "has shown promising resilience in recent months, but home prices are still rising too fast because of ongoing supply constraints... The spring buying season is right around the corner and current supply levels aren’t even close to what’s needed to accommodate the subsequent growth in housing demand. Home prices ascending near or above double-digit appreciation aren’t healthy – especially considering the fact that household income and wages are barely rising.”

  • Realtor profile: Darlene Streit

    This interview series focuses on the people in Santa Fe’s real-estate industry. Darlene Streit is a broker at Sotheby’s International Realty. She was one of the founders of the Aldea de Santa Fe subdivision. In 2006, she and her husband, Tommy Gardner (now qualifying broker at Santa Fe Commercial Real Estate, LLC), founded Santa Fe Realty Partners, which was purchased four years later by Sotheby’s International Realty.

  • Recent home and land sales

    Sales data for the period Jan. 19 - Feb. 18 fro Santa Fe Association of Realtors MLS reports. Not all sales are reported.

  • Recent single-family building permits

    Univest Rancho Viejo, 101 Rancho Viejo Blvd. $121,480.

  • Task force proposes ord. changes

    Many of you have heard about the City of Santa Fe’s Short Term Rental Ordinance, or STRO, regulating the short-term rental market and vacation rental homes. A newly developed task force has been formed to reevaluate STRO and propose changes to the existing ordinance.