Since 1995, I've been a broker in Northern New Mexico from Santa Fe and points north to all the towns and villages east and west of the Rio Grande.
Get to know Sandra Wright Page
Give me a call or email me if you need assistance with real estate north of Santa Fe. I've lived in Rio Arriba and/or Taos counties since 1982 and I've specialized in rural real estate since 1995. Whether it's a home owner needing a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) in order to make decisions regarding the sale of their home or a buyer who is deciding what area would make the best new chapter in their life, I can help. Water rights, septic issues, surveys, easements . . . all the issues that make rural real estate unique are subjects I've dealt with on a daily basis for over 16 years. Let me help you make your real estate dreams come true.
So you're ready to make a move, you've thought about a number of unique and interesting parts of the country and you've narrowed down the choices. Northern New Mexico is one of the possibilities you're considering.
Let me tell you why, when there came a time that I could live anywhere in the States, I chose Northern New Mexico.
I spent a number of years as a national craft magazine editor, starting three magazines from scratch for three different publishers. The first was in my home town of Ft Worth TX. That one went to over a million circulation in five years . . . a grand success. From there, another publisher offered me a deal to start a magazine for his company . . . trouble was it was in Milwaukee. Now Milwaukee is a great city, but I wasn't anxious to move there, so I said I would create a magazine for him, but on a free-lance basis. Lo and behold, he took that condition and that's when I packed up and moved to a place I had visited and loved . . . New Mexico. That was 1982, soon to be thirty years ago.
Finally, I lived in a place that offered great weather (the summer of 1980 cured me of Ft Worth forever with record-breaking high temps for most of the summer) and breath-taking scenery. Plus, I loved the diversity of the Native American/Hispanic/Anglo cultures that existed side by side throughout the area. The diversity created a tolerance for differences that I had not experienced where I was born and raised, and I found it very inviting.
When you go out to hear music or have a meal, you'll find yourself in the company of a wide variety of people from mountain men, hippies, Pueblo Indians, hispanic families, tourists in bermuda shorts . . . you name it, the room will be filled with a wide variety of folks and no one takes any notice of the differences . . . it's just a regular evening at the cantina as far as the locals are concerned.
My first home was on the banks of the Rio Grande in a tiny cabin in the equally tiny village of Pilar, about 20 miles south of Taos. The home was small and that first winter, it was COLD. Turns out that winter of 82/83 was setting some cold weather records for cold and snow. I learned how to cope and how to dress for colder climes, eventually added some better heaters to the house and survived that first year.
Next, I had an opportunity to move from a very small cabin to a really large old trading post just down the highway in the orchard village of Rinconada. It was a wonderful building with a gallery space on the front and a home built around a central courtyard in the middle. I was there for five years and made many improvements and upgrades while I was there. Then it was a fairly short stint in another big house in Taos, later an adobe again on the Rio Grande near Velarde . . . well, you get the picture. I was being a magazine editor in Milwaukee and a home remodeler in New Mexico! I loved both lives. For seven years, I spent two weeks every other month in Milwaukee and the rest of the time home in New Mexico.
In 1995, I took the plunge and went into real estate full time and I've never looked back. I always loved looking at houses and then figuring out how to make them the best they could be with the budget available, and now I do it every day . . . just for other people instead of myself. Nothing is more fun to me than taking a client around, checking out homes and discovering the pros and cons of each one and which one has the most potential for improvement and appreciation of those available at the time.
Over the years, I learned about water rights, irrigation, the centuries old acequia system. Water laws are the oldest and most important laws there are in this arid, high-desert state. One of the first question I ask potential buyers is, "Do you want dry or irrigated land?" It's a key question. If you want to grow food and have fruit trees, you need water. There is not enough annual rainfall in northern New Mexico to sustain crops. Yes, you can irrigate with a private well, but if you are on dry land, the soil itself most likely will not be suitable for growing unless greatly amended.
Another important question would be do you want to live in a remote, mountain location with lots of privacy and views or do you prefer a more intimate setting in a valley village where you have neighbors, often tied together by that same acequia system we talked about when deciding what kind of land you want. Villages are located along the banks of streams and rivers, the source of the water for the irrigation systems and therefore, aren't usually situated for the grand long mountain views. Each village has developed it's own character over the years. Some have attracted a large number of artists and craftspeople who have made a niche for themselves in the life of the village. Some have a cafe, a gallery, perhaps an elementary school and those attributes contribute to a feeling of community and give the inhabitants places to meet and know one another.
It takes someone who has lived and worked in the larger community to know the pros and cons of the choices to the major questions of where to locate, to build or buy a resale. To renovate an older adobe or perhaps construct something new out of strawbale, poured pumice or rammed earth.
You bring the questions and I'll do my best to provide the answers . . . or at least show you the options.
Call or email me today and let's get your adventure in the Land of Enchantment started!