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March 2014 / Santa Fe Calendar of Events

by Susan Orth
What's happening in Santa Fe.
Courtesy of Susan Orth & Isabella Luconi
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Santa Fe March Calendar of Events

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More good news in Santa Fe-home prices to rise

by Susan Orth


More good news in Santa Fe
CNN Money has rated Santa Fe one of the top 10 markets for rising home prices.

Low inventory, sales are way up and prices are starting to rise.

Don't miss out, if you are considering a home 'In the Land of Enchantment', give us a call today. 

Where home prices are rising fastest

CNN Money

The tide is already starting to turn in some U.S. housing markets, with home prices in these 10 metro areas expected to climb anywhere between 10% and 21% by the end of next year, according to Fiserv.

10. Santa Fe, NM


Median home price: $248,000

Drop since market peak: 17.1%

Forecast gain through 2013: 10%

Santa Fe not only has cleanest air in the nation, but it also should see some healthy gains in home prices as well, according to Fiserv.

This state capital in the high (located 7,200-feet above sea level) country of central New Mexico wasn't hit half as hard by the housing bust as some other parts of the nation. Helping to lift prices is Santa Fe's thriving economy.

With a population of just under 200,000, unemployment is at a low 5.5% making it one of the top 10 metro areas for jobs. The city is also attractive for other reasons: It's a center for visual and performing arts, with a major dance company and the famous Santa Fe Opera.

Santa Fe 2012

by Susan Orth

Santa Fe makes the lists...again!

November 2012

No. 2  Americas Favorite City Travel/Leisure
Santa Fe, the No. 2 favorite
outperformed most other cities when it came to cultured, mellow pursuits, such as checking out art galleries (rated No. 4), appreciating architecture, and browsing the top-rated independent shops.

October 2012

Conde Nast - Santa Fe a Top Travel City

For the 20th year in a row the knowledgeable travelers who subscribe to Conde Nast Traveler magazine have voted Santa Fe one of their favorite travel destinations in the U.S. Santa Fe was selected as the third most popular travel city in the U.S

August 2012 lists Santa Fe #7 (the top US city) as a "top 10 international destination" for art and architecture. The list, in order, includes Paris, Florence, Vatican City, Berlin, Amsterdam, St. Petersburg, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Sydney, and Tokyo.
July 2012 Santa Fe is the small city with the best food in the country, according to the Rand McNally/USA Today"Best of the Road Rally."

JUNE 2012

CNN Money Best Places to Retire Now.
April 2012

2012 Santa Fe Cleanest Air in US

According to the American Lung Association's "The State of the Air 2012" report released April 25, 2012, the Santa Fe-Española Metropolitan Statistical Area was the only city in the country to be ranked cleanest in all three categories of pollution measured in the report: short term particle pollution, long-term particle pollution, and ozone pollution.

April 2012
Travel + Leisure magazine has ranked Santa Fe among America's Favorite Cities, one of the greenest cities in the U.S., and gave it first place for "cultural getaway."
Santa Fe also ranked high for independent boutiques and for fine dining.
January 2012 Santa Fe is one of the "10 Great Sunny Places to Retire" - AARP
December 2011 Santa Fe tops the list as "The Most Artistic City in America" in The Atlantic Cities
December 2011 Santa Fe ranked #11 in the "15 Best Housing Markets for the Next 5 Years," Business Insider.

Retire Here, Not There: New Mexico

by Susan Orth

Retire Here, Not There: New Mexico


Retire Here, Not There: New Mexico

Priced out of Scottsdale and Sedona? Try the "next Arizona."


For decades, the 65-plus crowd has flocked to Arizona hotspots like Scottsdale and Flagstaff. But with prices in these retiree-friendly markets soaring, a growing number of retirees are looking east to what some call the next Arizona: New Mexico.

What many retirees are finding is better deals, say experts: The median home in New Mexico costs just $150,000 and the cost of living is 5% lower than the national average. And for those retirees set on living in the Southwest, the state can be far less expensive than much of Arizona. Santa Fe -- though not exactly cheap at 18% above the national average -- has a lower cost of living than Scottsdale (29% above average) or Sedona (37% above average). Plus, retirees like that taxes in New Mexico are relatively low -- income tax tops out at 4.9% and real estate taxes are below average.

Residents say "The Land of Enchantment" also lives up to its name, with jagged snowy mountains and dense forests in the north, and wide swaths of pink-and-orange deserts as well as white mesas (table-top-shaped cliffs made from the mineral gypsum) further south. All provide hiking, skiing and great vistas. "New Mexico has more attractive weather and appears less expensive and more culturally diverse than Arizona," says Doug Nelson, founder of TCI Wealth Advisors in Santa Fe.

But retirees can't just plunk down anywhere. The state is one of the least populous in the country with just over two million people. Large chunks of land are virtually uninhabited. In these stretches, when you do hit a town, it's bound to be tiny and remote. Furthermore, 18.4% of the state's residents live below the poverty line, compared to 13.8% for the nation as a whole, and the number of doctors per resident in the state is significantly lower than the U.S. average (197 physicians per 100,000 population in New Mexico compared to 221 nationwide, according to Sperling's Best Places).

Still, residents say the 47th state has much to offer retirees, including unique cuisine, art and architecture, thanks to the state's Native American and Hispanic influences.

Here are three destinations advisers say are worth checking out.

Taos: For the artsy skier
[smnprtaos]Getty Images

Resort center and main base of Taos Ski Valley

After years in Los Angeles, 65-year-old Jeanne Kitzman decided it was time for a move. "It was between Sedona and Taos," she says. She liked that both were artsy communities with outdoor activities. In the end, Taos won out. She liked the friendly, open nature of the people there and the low-key spirit of the community. "I can walk into any store and have a meaningful conversation with someone," she says. And Taos doesn't feel as ritzy as Sedona, she says. "It isn't overflowing with mall shopping, just unique boutiques and plenty of arts."

Taos is probably best known for its skiing. The Taos Ski Resort is one of the most popular in the state, with good reason: The diverse terrain offers 110 trails and a vertical drop of 3,274 feet. Then there's the amazing combination of 305 inches of annual snowfall and 300 days of sunshine per year. These same mountains also offer abundant hiking, camping, river-rafting and even llama trekking, says Joan Griffin, a spokesperson for the area.

There are plenty of other charms in Taos as well, including pueblo architecture, dozens of art galleries and a small-town feel. Plus, there are also two well-respected golf courses in the area. "Being at 7500 feet makes the ball go further, so you can improve your golf game just by moving," Griffin jokes. (On the flip side, be aware that Taos, at 7,000 feet above sea level in the city and 12,000 at the ski mountain, is not the perfect altitude for everyone.)

The town has a hippie-ish, new age vibe. "It's a very spiritual and healing place," Griffin says. "There are all sorts of practitioners, classes and opportunities to grow at every level." That may be part of the reason Taos has always been a mecca for artists. Georgia O'Keefe and Agnes Martin have both called Taos home. Today the town has roughly 60 art galleries, many offering art classes and volunteer opportunities for seniors.

The town's history is also a point of interest. The Taos Pueblo is the longest continuously inhabited pueblo in the country. The Pueblo Indians have lived there for more than 1000 years and still live there today without running water or electricity. Interested retirees may attend tours and events, including traditional Pueblo ceremonies.

There is one drawback. Taos is a bit remote with the Sante Fe airport a full hour's drive away. For more options, Albuquerque is two hours away.

Santa Fe: For the offbeat intellectual
[smnprsantafe]Getty Images

New Mexico Museum of Art

This town is pricey, at least by New Mexico standards. The cost of living is nearly 18% higher than average and the median home is priced at nearly $300,000. But, residents say the Sante Fe lifestyle is worth every penny, especially if you're looking for art and culture. Santa Fe has the fourth largest art market in the country in terms of sales, according to the University of New Mexico Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The annual international art fair, Art Santa Fe, attracts thousands of enthusiasts and dealers from around the globe. For residents, the town offers 240 galleries -- many of which stay open late on Fridays providing appetizers and wine. Probably more than 10% of Sante Fe's population is involved in the art world, says Steve Lewis, a spokesperson for the Santa Fe Convention & Visitor's Bureau. This arty vibe is one of the reasons the city is nicknamed "City Different."

Sante Fe is also the city of reinvention. Experts say there's a reason why so many songs and books are set in this desert bohemia. "We get so many people who come here and want to do something completely new," says Lewis. For many, it's the right place to finally have time to paint or draw all morning, write that novel they've been pondering for decades, or to volunteer at one of the areas' dozens of art and history museums, he says. A retiree who is artsy and intellectual "will be at home here," says Sabato.

The town itself is a mix of a relaxed vibe and big-city sophistication. Retirees often spend the day hiking in the Santa Fe National Forest, just seven miles from downtown, or biking in the nearby Rocky Mountains. Top the day off with Santa Fe's trademark cuisine derived from Native American and Spanish influences.

Sante Fe is home to a major medical center. The Albuquerque airport, which serves 10 major airlines, is about an hour's drive.

Las Cruces: For the golfer who loves variety

New Mexico State University's golf course

Las Cruces is, in many ways, a city of contrasts. It is nestled in the verdant Mesilla Valley but also at the crossroads of two deserts. It is flanked on one side by the Organ Mountains, which seem to erupt from the grasslands, and on the other side by the meandering Rio Grande, which sits on swaths of flat land.

The culture is also full of contrasts. Pueblos, Apaches and Navajos have called this land home for centuries and their influence (and language) is still strong in the area. But so are European influences. Nowhere is this mix more evident than in the native crafts -- everything from hand-woven Native American ponchos to modern silver jewelry -- sold at the local craft market on Main Street downtown. Meanwhile, Spanish is as common as English here and pueblo architecture abounds. Plus, you can't beat the low cost of living here -- the median home costs just $146,900 and the cost of living is nearly 8% below the national average. True, Las Cruces is a bit isolated. The nearest airport is 40 miles away in El Paso, TX.

Resident say that two big draws make up for the remote location. There's plenty of great golf and Mexico State University is right here, says Chris Faivre, a spokesperson for the Las Cruces Convention & Visitors Bureau. The University offers an orchestra, a new performing arts center, a large sports program and dozens of continuing education courses. Plus, there are four year-round golf courses with greens fees far less than those in Arizona, says Faivre. You can play at courses like the New Mexico State University course, where the NCAA men's and women's championships and tournaments are played, or the Picacho Hills Country Club, which has twice played host to the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA).

Reinvent Your Life in Retirement in Santa Fe

by Susan Orth

Santa Fe made it to yet another US News and Money Report Ranking! This time, it's been featured as one of the 10 Best Places to Reinvent Your Life in Retirement.

The article cites all of the reasons you probably already know about from reading the Santa Fe Home Store Blog...

  • Many Santa Fe Homes and buildings boast Unique Spanish-Pueblo architecture style codified into law
  • Santa Fe is the third largest art market in the country
  • With 300 galleries and dealers and over a dozen major art museums including the Georgia O'Keefe Museum and the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe serves as an art lover's paradise.

The retirement years are a time to reinvent yourself. You are ending one point in your life and turning over a new leaf. Santa Fe does serve as a great place to find new hobbies and passions or maybe revisit old ones.  There are so many volunteer opportunities within the art community - from the art museums to the art markets. Activities like golfing, nature walking, and Native American culture are all ideal for the retirement age.

Dance in the streets at the Plaza...

Enjoy a Jazz concerts at St. John's College...

Enroll in a Southwestern cooking class

These are the kinds of activities that make one feel like a kid again, no matter how old you are.

If you are closing into your retirement years and are looking for a new place to call home, then maybe Santa Fe Real Estate is for you.  Give me a call and I can show you some beautiful Santa Fe Homes - whether you want to be in the Historic Downtown Santa Fe right in the heart of all the action, or in Los Alamos Santa Fe where you can find a home miles from civilization - Santa Fe is the perfect place to begin new life adventures.

Susan Orth
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
City Different Realty

Phone: 505-310-4133
Email: [email protected]
Santa Fe Homes
Santa Fe Real Estate Podcast

Fresh Air: Santa Fe's Most Valuable Asset

by Susan Orth

When looking to move to a new place, you often think to look for qualities like recreation, education, transportation, vocation, etc. Santa Fe Real Estate has all of these qualities, in spades. But not often does the mind wander to the air quality of a place. Well in case you were curious, Santa Fe has got that quality in the bag too.

Santa Fe was rated number 2 in the Top 25 Cleanest U.S. Cities for Year Round Particle Pollution by the American Lung Association. Most cities are polluted with a noxious mix of chemicals and particles that can damage your lungs and even shorten your life.

The average adult takes 15 to 20 breaths a minute. Your nose, throat, windpipe and lungs brings air into the body with every breath. Once in the lungs, the oxygen from each breath is taken into the bloodstream and sent to all of your body's cells. So it goes without saying how important it is to keep these breaths of air as clean as possible.

Bad Air = Bad Health = Short Life.

World-renowned art, museums, attractions, breathtaking beauty - Santa Fe Real Estate has a lot of great qualities. But when all is said and done, breaths of fresh air might be one of its most valuable assets.

If you are looking to move to a "City Different" that offers a breath of fresh air, please give me a call. I can help you find a beautiful Santa Fe home, in the midst of the mountains, where you can breath in nothing but clean, chemical-free air.

Susan Orth
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
City Different Realty

Phone: 505-310-4133
Email: [email protected]
My Featured Properties
Santa Fe Real Estate Podcast

Sante Fe Among Best Places to Thrive After Fifty-Five

by Susan Orth

Santa Fe, New Mexico proudly ranked in the top ten most popular and affordable places in America to retire!  Climate, recreation and hobbies, cost of living, and convenience strongly influence the decisions of most later-life moves.  So what are the most popular locations?

     1. Bend, Ore.
     2. Napa, Calif.
     3. Fort Meyers, Fla.
     4. Fayetteville, Ark.
     5. Las Vegas
     6. Sante Fe, N.M.**
     7. Punta Gorda, Fla.
     8. Phoenix
     9. Santa Cruz, Calif.
     10.Burlington, Vt.

The best place for you to retire, however, and the order of priorities will completely unique.  While this list provides an idea of where the greater retirement population is settling, you’ll want to evaluate your own personal preferences and rank each item’s importance level. Coming in at number 6 on the list with 20% growth in the 50+ population is our own Sante Fe!

So why are retirees choosing the Land of Enchantment?  Artistic foundations, world-class dining, shopping, high air quality, gorgeous views, and warm temperatures are strong enough arguments to entice anyone!  Santa Fe is very popular among active members of the retirement community, with vibrant culture, friendly people, and outdoor activities year-round. In addition to the quality of life, the average list price range is an affordable $350,000- $415,000.  

Safely in the middle, Sante Fe may not be the most affordable, but gladly it has so much more to offer!  Justified by sunshine, recreation, art, fine Santa Fe real estate, and an overall fine quality of life, more and more retirees are finding Sante Fe worth the move!  If you’re thinking of relocating to Santa Fe, contact me today for more information on the ‘City Different’ and Santa Fe real estate!

Susan Orth
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
City Different Realty

Phone: 505-310-4133
Email: [email protected]
My Featured Properties
Santa Fe Real Estate Podcast

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Contact Information

Susan Orth
City Different Realty
518 Old Santa Fe Trail #190
Santa Fe NM 87505