Dear Friends, Clients, Business Associates and Neighbors,
February 2024, marks the 94th edition of Eco Lifestyle and Home Newsletter produced by Kachina Mountain Realty. We offer Real Estate & Lifestyle news in the email newsletter covering Santa Fe, Taos County and beyond.
In this edition, we offer the following:
- Lifestyle: Harmony
- Real Estate Market Update
- Santa Fe Real Estate News
- Taos County Real Estate News
- Home Decor Insights
- Sierra Updates!
- Calendar of Event Links for Santa Fe, Taos Ski Valley, Taos County & all around New Mexico
- Entertainment Links for Santa Fe, Taos County & around New Mexico
Harmony is achieved when the outer relationship between who we are and the world around us is in alignment. We experience harmony when we get in touch with who we are and what matters most, and then make those things a priority in our lives.
The word “harmony” comes from the Greek word that means “joint, agreement, concord.”
Another definition of harmony states: “Harmony is the combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce a pleasing effect.” The term harmony is used to refer to notes that, basically, come together to make a whole. Chords are several notes played together to form the basis of many harmonies. A choir is filled with dozens of voices that all blend together to make a sound. If the voices all sound good together, we marvel at their harmony.
Harmony is about unity, consensus & fellowship, all coming together for the greater good.
Living in community requires harmony in the midst of differing viewpoints, ideas, needs & reactions. Just like a talented conductor, it takes a skillful facilitator to bring the variety of viewpoints to a consensus.
When I look around at various planned communities, I sometimes see non-harmonious & contentious issues dividing communities; such as political polarization, debates about solar installations, the “chicken wars” of Eldorado or the anti barn restoration that was so divisive at The Sea Ranch in California. When community health is threatened by such disruptive issues, solutions need to be found that nurture & strengthen a critical mass of common community interests; as needed to maintain the harmonious balance that healthy communities require.
Creating harmony is to be at peace with one’s immediate relations, those with whom one must live with every day. Calm silence, sincerity, & courteous words, whether one is agreeing or disagreeing with others, bridges the gap between differing viewpoints.
Humanity faces many unavoidable challenges that require our best defense without us creating additional unnecessary problems between ourselves. Kindness is the greatest catalyst of harmony.
Our country is very divided as we head into a political season of the 2024 elections. Discourse is being sown deliberately by the news media (it sells), by the politicians (it promotes their causes), by conspiracy theorists (it how they pull people into their web) and by those wishing to cause chaos (it helps their political agenda). All around us the division, anger, and distrust is evident in every social forum. People are becoming enraged, negative and despondent and it shows in the daily fabric of our lives everywhere we turn. Road rage is rampant, shootings are a regular occurrence and many seem to think they should share their opinions without thinking of the consequences. Social media has become dangerous to a healthy society because it often erodes empathy. We are now living with an unprecedented level of polarization as political divisions are sowing distrust and a few outspoken extremists dominate the social media chat waves.
I think of what the Buddhist response is to discord: every unskillful act, stems from three negative qualities of the mind that cause most of our problems—and most of the problems in the world: Greed, Ignorance and/or Fear.
Tips to Create Harmony:
- Realize that if you are at peace with yourself, then it is easier for you to be at peace with others & your community.
- Resolve conflicts with patience, tolerance, & communication. Education is the key to understanding & resolving issues.
- Recognize that people have individual lifestyle preferences when it comes to things like food, fragrances, fashion, & entertainment & that sometimes one person’s trash might be another person’s treasure.
- Recognize the abundant potential that exists for us to be adequately sustained through cooperation & an intelligent management of our resources.
- Seek to enjoy life & seek to allow others to do the same.
- Education into real facts, not alternative facts, is the key to creating harmony within yourself and for others.
Acceptance is the ability to see that other people have a right to be their own persons with their own feelings, thoughts and opinions across many issues. You do not have to agree with their values and acceptance doesn’t make your own values less valid.
Empathy and Compassion
Empathy is simply the ability to step into another’s shoes in order to understand that they have feelings and value.
The best way to mainstream tolerance is through education about how to be a global citizen and teaching peaceful coexistence.
This is the year to help make a difference. Start locally with your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, community. Get involved in positive ways to create more harmony.
Thank you for reading our newsletter & feel free to pass it on to other kindred spirits. ~ Dianne McKenzie & Sierra
Real Estate Market
from The MR Report
The biggest challenge for home buyers in the new year will be affordability, reports the Bright MLS 2024 Housing Forecast, released just before the holidays.
The good news is that slowing home price growth, falling interest rates (from 22-year highs), and more properties coming to market as life events cause people to sell combine to create a rise in home sales and more options for buyers. That said, market activity is still projected to be below normal levels, with higher mortgage rates and a greater number of negotiations per sale.
The key takeaways from the Bright MLS Forecast include:
- Mortgage rates: Expect them to fall below 7% in Q1, meaning a slow spring as buyers watch expectantly. Rates should hover between 6-6.5% before settling at 6.2% by December.
- Existing home sales: The new year should tally 4.6 million sales. That’s up 12.1% from last year’s record low, but still below a typical year.
- Uptick in sellers: Homeowners nestled in their sub-4% mortgage rates will be prompted by life events (changing family and/or financial circumstances) to list their homes. This should lead to a 7.6% increase in inventory by year-end, bringing 2024’s inventory just 8% shy of 2019’s pre-pandemic numbers.
- More inventory and more buyers: This one-two punch should keep home prices stable. Bright estimates the median U.S. home price rising just 1.5% to $394,200.
- Lower home prices in some markets: California and Florida will especially benefit from growing affordability challenges and an increase of new homes.
The affordability factor will hit first time home buyers especially hard. Affordability worsened significantly in 2023, with both mortgage rates and home prices rising. Bright suggests that sellers can help cushion this impact by offering financial help, such as closing cost assistance, to get new owners into the market.
More good news: Indianapolis, Buffalo, and New Orleans lead the list of ten metro areas in which home prices will increase by 5% or more. Unfortunately, Miami, San Diego, and Las Vegas lead the list of metro areas where home prices will drop by 5% or more.
With all that in mind, Bright cautions there are still some wild cards coming. A short, mild recession is expected, and while it shouldn’t impact the housing market, ongoing global conflicts could exacerbate the US recession risk. Plus, government standoffs and domestic political discord may add to consumer anxiety.
On the home front in Santa Fe & Taos, the market looks steady for the next few months. The first quarter of the year is usually slow for real estate sales. ~Dianne
Santa Fe Real Estate News
Aldea Real Estate Stats
2024 Stats: Sold, Pending, Listed
SOLD: 0 Homes, DOM 0 | 0 Lots, DOM 0
PENDING: 3 Homes | 0 Lots
LISTED: 10 Homes, Avg $912,780 | 5 Lots, Avg $600,000 for all 5 lots
Aldea de Santa Fe consists of 345 acres, with 205 acres of perpetual open space with 13 miles of walking trails, basketball & tennis courts, community center, (which offers yoga classes, exercise equipment & gathering space for events), a local cafe, superbly located in the high-value northwest corridor of Santa Fe County, with easy access to Highway 599, all just 10 minutes from downtown Santa Fe.
Las Campanas Real Estate Stats
2024 Stats: Sold, Pending, Listed
SOLD: 1 Homes, DOM 73 | 1 Lots, DOM 593
PENDING: 6 Homes | 1 Lots
LISTED: 16 Homes, Avg $2,954,050 | 27 Lots, Avg $259,000
Las Campanas is the only luxury master-planned community in Santa Fe. Stretching across 4,700 acres surrounded by pristine high desert, the community is comprised of exclusive neighborhoods. Las Campanas is also home to The Club at Las Campanas, where members can enjoy two award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses, the 46,000 square foot Hacienda Clubhouse, a peerless Equestrian Center and the Fitness & Tennis Center, which includes a luxurious spa.
There are currently 16 homes for sale in Las Campanas
- 0 Homes under $1,000,000
- 16 Homes over $1,000,000
There are currently 27 Lots for sale in Las Campanas
- 1 Lots under $100,000
- 26 Lots over $100,000
Marketing Properties, Not Just Listing Properties
If you are thinking of selling your property, why not list it with a realtor who will market the property, not just list it in the MLS? By actively marketing your property, the property gets the most exposure to other realtors and to the general public through online blogging, email campaigns & the typical MLS exposure.
Call me, Dianne, 505.603.9300, to discuss your property needs, or for a tour of Lots & Homes in Aldea, Las Campanas and the Santa Fe region. Taos Office: 575.776.7576
Taos Real Estate News
2024 Stats: Sold, Pending, Listed
*SOLD: 6 Homes, DOM 154 | 3 Lots, DOM 288
*PENDING: 25 Homes | 17 Lots
*LISTED: 59 Homes, Avg $1,013,008 | 153 Lots, Avg $275,596
* Areas tracked:
Lower North, Upper North, West North, Town of Taos, Taos Ski Valley, South West, South East
See map for areas »
Taos is very different than Santa Fe in many ways. With a population of 5,763 people and many surrounding neighborhoods, Taos is the 39th largest community in New Mexico. The greater Taos area is made up of several unincorporated areas and neighborhoods that separates out as if they were their own destinations or towns. Unincorporated areas around Taos have distinctive names that represent the ancient traditions of naming a place for a stream or topographic feature. Arroyo Hondo, Arroyo Seco and El Prado are all such places. These are not towns and have no political jurisdiction, they are simply places that help folks zero in on a very specific neighborhood. Within Taos itself are many such neighborhoods that may comprise no more than six “blocks.”
Selling real estate in Taos county is challenging for sellers, buyers and realtors, as the typical closing time for a property averages 90+ days, compared to under 30 days in Santa Fe. I have closed properties in Santa Fe under 20 days. There is a shortage of title companies which the realtors can work with in Taos. The back log of properties waiting to close often creates buyers to back out and leave the sellers in the same cycle for closing when the next offer comes in. Many buyers become frustrated as their lenders charge additional hold fees or back out all together. Below are some statistics that highlight the problem.
As of August 26, 2022, Pioneer Title has opened an office in Taos at 204 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Suite A, Taos NM 87571, telephone: 866-294-4100. It remains to be seen if closing times will shorten in the coming months, but it is progress for realtors as well as sellers and buyers in Taos County.
I receive inquiries almost daily from out of town buyers who are researching homes in the Taos area. These buyer profiles are looking to live in a safe community, with a country atmosphere, small homes, with flexible spaces. They are wanting to move to the area, but can’t find the properties that offer amenities that don’t include huge HOA fees. They want walking trails, localized eateries, a small grocery store, community activities and a sense of neighborhood. They are either downsizing their home and retiring or wanting a second home. They are wanting to go smaller, but the quality of their lifestyle and home features are upscale. “Does such a community even exist?” they ask.
In the coming months, I will be featuring such a community.
If you have been thinking about selling your home, now is probably a good time. Inventory is low and the demand for quality homes is up.
If you been looking to buy a home, you are probably frustrated with the lack of quality homes on the market at any price point.
Call our Taos Office: 575.776.7576
Home Decor Insights
Light Up Your Life!
I know I am obsessed with pretty fairy lights. I love the soft light that they give off and the ability to change the colors, depending on my moods, the seasons and the occasions. I reluctantly take down the decorated Christmas ornaments from our indoor trees at the end of January, in time for the next celebration month of February, but leave the lights up all year. I think every month and every season needs to be celebrated, therefore requires decorations that relate to fairy lights, garland and wreaths.
Recently I discovered Lumina of London Confetti String – Colorful Decorative Fairy Lights. I had to buy them. They just captivated my sense of celebration. I hung them above a window so that I could see them every evening. The light is bright white, brighter than I normally choose, but they light up the room and make me feel like celebrating. With all the news in the media, these lights make me smile.
I always decorate the house with hearts for the month of February…. Adding these confetti lights may stay up throughout the year!
Happy Valentines Day!
Make sure you find something special to celebrate this February!
CFO, (Chief Fun Officer)
Our 4.10 year old female silver standard poodle
January 1-30, 2024
We have had several snow storms in January. So excited to see the snow fall. We all love the snow season, it’s the best time of the year. With all the playing outside in the snow, we have realized that Sierra needs serious warm jackets that fully cover and protect her while she plays catch with John. The fleece jackets we have used are hand-me-downs, bought on sale and do not fit Sierra.
Her purple boots are great for walks in the snow, but for running in the snow for longer periods, see needs the Muttluks boots that cover her carpal pads to keep them from bleeding. Fortunately, we have Muttluks Yogi used in 2001-2003 on our sail boat.
We have learned that the RuffWear jackets will really protect her underbelly and keep her warmer. We have ordered new jackets that should arrive soon.
I weigh & measure Sierra once a month, so here are her stats as of January 2024: 14″ collar, girth: 24″, height to shoulder: 25″ weight: 34lbs.
You really need to watch Sierra’s videos as they capture her spirit!
Here is the link to Sierra’s Videos »
Sierra’s 1st video explains who she is and her new role at Kachina Mountain Realty. In Sierra’s 2nd video she talks about Dianne’s role at Kachina Mountain Realty in the era of COVID-19. In Sierra’s 3rd video, Sierra talks about selling and buying real estate during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Sierra’s 4th video she talks about how staying safe in the era of COVID-19.
As you probably already know, Sierra is the CFO (chief fun officer) at Kachina Mountain Realty. Sierra talks to you today about using your imagination in Sierra’s 5th video. When Sierra turned 2 years old on March 18, 2021, people asked what she sounded like now that she was older. While she does not have a lot to say right now, she is quick and to the point, as she starts her 2nd year as CFO, in Sierra’s 6th video. Currently Sierra is not recording videos at this time.
Calendar of Events
New Mexico has long been a center for arts, culture, classes and gourmet food. With such a strong art market, there are hundreds galleries to explore and experience, along with a wide selection of thriving restaurants. Our Museums feature culture, history and traditions of the region and the world. Santa Fe, Taos County and beyond have something scheduled every day & night of the week, all year long.
If there’s one thing you can count on when spending time in New Mexico, it’s the treasured experiences and wide selection of entertainment: music venues, great sporting events, theatrical and musical entertainment as well as year-round festivals.
From festivals, music concerts and dance performances to theatrical offerings by local and touring groups, the performing artists work hard to keep its locals and visitors entertained by both New Mexico performers and acclaimed stars from around the world.
About Kachina Mountain Realty
I am passionate about real estate development. I consider myself a “Dream Maker”, and strive to help my clients manifest their dreams and lifestyle goals.
I believe that, “…the dreams which accompany all human actions should be nurtured by the places in which people live and work”.
To promote this possibility, I encourages my clients to develop and share their dreams and lifestyle goals as part of the process of selling, buying or investing in property.
I have over thirty years of business experience as an executive producer, web architect, social media marketer, business developer, architecture assistant, real estate marketing developer and real estate consultant.
I am a licensed real estate qualifying broker for Kachina Mountain Realty & an accredited ACRE® real estate consultant. I have worked in the Santa Fe & Taos real estate market for years. I specialize in working with buyers and sellers who are looking for a solid real estate investment.
Contact me, Dianne McKenzie, for your real estate transactions & let me help you manifest your dreams!
I am readily available by cell phone, text, (505.603.9300) & email. I return calls promptly, seven days a week!
Taos Office: 575.776.7576