Eco Lifestyle And Home News – September 2018
Dear Friends, Clients, Business Associates and Neighbors,
September 2018 marks the twenty first 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 Ski Valley, Taos County and beyond.
- Lifestyle: Well-Being
- Real Estate Market Update
- Money Matters
- Santa Fe Real Estate News
- Taos County Real Estate News
- Home Decor Insights
- Aeowyn’s Dog Treats
- 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
physical happiness and
ease of well-being.”
– Loving Kindness Meditation
We all seek well-being. Cultivating well-being in our lives comes in many forms. For some, it comes from being in nature, spending time in ones art studio, playing with ones dog, spending quality time with friends and family, succeeding in business, being healthy etc.
Regardless of ones definition of well-being it all comes down to 3 things: mental happiness, physical happiness, and ease of well-being. It is really that simple.
Mental happiness gives us peace; peace from worry, peace from fear, peace from anger, peace from delusions, peace from grasping. Physical happiness takes in all aspects of our physical well-being: enjoyment of health, freedom from physical pain and suffering, and harmony with our bodies, having plenty of nutrition and food. The ease of well-being is a bit more complex to grasp. For me, “ease of well-being” means accepting what is, staying in the present moment, cultivating equanimity. The thoughts of “joy”, “happiness”, “loving kindness” come to mind.
Experiencing well-being doesn’t have to come from the big successes in life. Well-being can be experienced in small fragments: noticing the watchful kindness in your dogs eyes, pausing to notice the sunset or experiencing the quiet of the sunrise, watching someone you love sleeping, savoring the taste of a meal.
If I waited for the big moments in life to be happy, joyful, or at ease, life might just pass me by without really noticing all the joy that is around me in the smallness of events.
So how do we cultivate more well-being? For me, it comes from a meditation practice that helps me be mindful. For others it might be through exercise, or playing a musical instrument, walking in nature etc. Finding well-being in the daily small events and really noticing them, celebrating them, pausing to experience them, is essential to cultivating a life of well-being.
May you cultivate physical happiness.
May you cultivate ease of well-being.
Thank you for reading our newsletter & feel free to pass it on to other kindred spirits. ~ Dianne McKenzie
Real Estate Market Update
Nationally, new home sales are sluggish.
According to Realtor.com:
“Sales of newly-constructed homes missed the MarketWatch consensus forecast of a 640,000 pace and revisions to the prior several months were mostly downward. July’s pace was the lowest since last October. It stood 1.7% lower than June sales, but 12.8% higher than a year ago.
The median price of new homes sold in July was $328,700. That’s only 1.8% higher than the median price in July 2017.
year to date, sales are 7.2% higher than the same period last year. The recovery is still going on in the new-home segment of the market, and it remains grudgingly slow.
Builders are increasing their pace of construction but slowly. Tariffs are going to increase input costs, making the road ahead more difficult for the housing market, which desperately needs fresh supply.
What they’re saying: The slowdown in housing is becoming acute enough that even the Federal Reserve is watching. Minutes from the central bank’s last meeting show policymakers discussing housing starts and permits, as well as sales of new and existing homes.
“Housing activity in general has retreated from levels that were temporarily boosted by 2017 natural disasters –hurricanes and wild fires— that forced displaced households to seek alternative housing. The housing sector is also undergoing an adjustment to affordability that is less attractive than it was for most of the cycle, as well as changes in the treatment of SALT deductions in the federal tax code. That is the bad news,” said Ward McCarthy, Jefferies LLC economist.
“The good news is that there is no evidence of the type of imbalances that could cause a sharp downturn, such as heavy inventories and/or rising mortgage default and delinquency rates. We also note this is not the first temporary slowdown in housing activity this cycle.”
Market reaction: Investors are also taking note. Shares of most big builders are down by double digits since the start of the year. PulteGroup, Inc. shares have lost about 12%, while Taylor Morrison Home Corp.’s stock has declined 19%.”
By Francis Phillips
Owning a home can bring many benefits. From being able to paint the interior or exterior the color of your choosing to landscaping to conducing large-scale renovations, homeownership brings choices. In addition to the options you have, as a homeowner, you are also making a substantial financial investment. To make the most of the opportunities homeownership provides, consider these 5 excellent ways to build equity in your home.
Before we share the ways, let’s start with the basics. “Equity” can be a confusing term for some. Equity is defined as the calculated difference of the property’s current fair market value and the borrower’s existing outstanding mortgage balance. It represents the value of the owner’s interest in a property beyond any liens against it.
Equity can provide homeowners a valuable long-term investment. It can serve you well when it comes time to sell your home and overall provide a financial resource should other needs of life arise. Here are few methods you could use to help increase the equity you hold in your home:
1. Start at the beginning. Making a larger down payment when purchasing your home can start you off with a bigger investment in your new home. It can be a bit of a tricky choice because the number of buyers who have a large amount of reserve funds to use for a down payment are few. During the time it may take you to save for a large down payment, the market may change to increase home prices, making the goal harder to achieve. You’ll want to just consider putting down an amount that creates a substantial start to your home equity while not overextending yourself for other important factors like your monthly budget and setting up your home with the essentials.
2. Sometimes more is better. If you’re able to increase the amount of your monthly mortgage payment, this can help increase the amount of equity in your home. Be sure to verify with your mortgage servicer regarding this option to make sure the credit is applied correctly and also ensure there are no prepayment penalties. Ways consider adding to your mortgage payments include:Add the amount equivalent to one twelfth of your monthly mortgage payment. At the end of the year, it will have added up to an additional month’s payment.Figure out a base additional amount that still keeps your monthly budget comfortable and add that to your monthly payment.
3. Shorter v. Longer. If you can afford the payment, refinancing into a shorter-term mortgage than what you have now can help build equity in your home faster. The monthly mortgage payments are higher than longer than longer terms (sometimes making it more challenging to qualify), but the shorter overall loan term provides savings on the interest paid and is a way to add equity to your home.
4. Extra! Extra! Through your life, you may find some “extra cash” headed your way. Whether through a bonus at work, birthday or holiday gifts or an inheritance, the additional funds could possibly be put towards your mortgage balance. As with other options involving added amounts to your payments, you’ll want to verify with your mortgage servicer that there is no penalty and that it is put towards the principal, not the interest.
5. Renovate Wisely. Conducting some home improvements can add value to your home. While you’re spending money on the process, you can reap nice rewards for you investment. You’ll just want to be sure to choose projects that demonstrate a stronger return. Not every renovation project pays off in the end. It’s good to consult with a real estate professional before diving into your home improvements. Online resources can also be helpful such as Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value which compares the average cost of popular remodeling projects in light of their resale value in housing markets across the country.
However you choose to build the equity in your home, we at First Choice Loan Services are ready to assist you. Homeownership is a long journey, and we are here to help you every step of the way! Contact me to determine the options well suited for your unique needs!
Francis Phillips, Senior Mortgage Loan Originator
Mortgage rates move daily. Stay connected and informed! Visit: Mortgage News Daily »
Santa Fe Real Estate News
Real Estate Snapshot:
New Santa Fe Listing
Single Story Home For Sale in Vista Primera Santa Fe, New Mexico
7516 Kachina Loop
Single Family Home | 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths – 1,694 sqft | Price: $360,000 | MLS #201803926
Located within the private, coveted and gated family community of Vista Primera, this charming single story, 1,694 sqft, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage, Pueblo style home reflects the traditional Santa Fe Style. The welcoming private entry front yard offers extensive landscaping and a soothing water feature.
You enter the front door by passing under 100 stars, into a small foyer that opens to a spacious living room with a wood burning kiva fireplace, complete with beam ceilings. The bright and open living/kitchen/dining area is perfect for entertaining. The sunroom, currently used by the owner/artist as a studio, would make a great home office, crafts room or a simply an oasis in which to read and watch the local bird activity.
The entire property is lovingly maintained and landscaped with low-maintenance drip system, mature trees, perennials and water features of both pond and a fountain. The back yard is reminiscent of a secret garden with an ample patio for BBQ’s – a great place for morning coffee and to watch the birds. Southwest ambiance abounds as you dine al fresco in the garden adjacent to a water feature with the seasonal sounds of visiting birds, setting the mood in this tranquil retreat, complete with mature landscaping in a serene natural garden setting.
A wonderful sense of seclusion and privacy is in store for you, in this exceptional home that artfully engages the feeling of a sanctuary with shade trees and a bubbling fountain inviting outdoor gatherings, while upholding the Santa Fe traditions of gracious living, at an affordable price.
According to the real estate pundits, the coming wave of residential sales in 2018, is in view lots with new construction. To prepare for this wave, it is a good time to buy a lot in anticipation of the real estate surge. There are very few and far between quality view lots for sale on the west side of Santa Fe and these the best!
Currently, I have 5 of the last and best remaining Aldea view lots. 2 lots have already SOLD, 1 PENDING!!! If you have ever considered building your Santa Fe dream home, now you have some amazing view lots in which to choose. Aldea is 98% built out and up until now, there have not been a lot of choices for view lots, as most have already been built on. Now you have a great selection of view lots in which to choose to build your dream home, before they are all gone! Prices will go up in Spring 2018, so buy now and save!
For more information visit the website: Aldea Lots For Sale »
5 Aldea Lot For Sale — Only 5 Remaining!!!
The Barranca Lots: 2 Remaining View Lots!
9 Camino Barranca | Lot Size Acres 0.180 | MLS #201700363 | Listing Price: $97,500
7 Camino Barranca | Lot Size Acres 0.180 | MLS #201700364 | Listing Price: $97,500
Avenida Frijoles 2 View Lots
Avenida Aldea View Lot
Arroyo Privado View Lot
2018 Stats: Sold, Pending, Listed
SOLD: 20 Homes, DOM 81 | 1 Lots, DOM 323
PENDING: 5 Homes | 0 Lots
LISTED: 7 Homes, Avg $584,284 | 9 Lots, Avg $80,722
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 News
2018 Stats: Sold, Pending, Listed
SOLD: 29 Homes, DOM 147 | 14 Lots, DOM 22
PENDING:13 Homes | 7 Lots
LISTED: 54 Homes, Avg $1,464,886 | 71 Lots, Avg $123,000
There are currently 54 homes for sale in Las Campanas.
- 17 Homes under $1,000,000
- 37 Homes over $1,000,000
There are currently 71 Lots for sale in Las Campanas.
- 30 Lots under $100,000
- 41 Lots over $100,000
Las Campanas recently announced the release of the first new custom home neighborhood in over 10 years! Black Mesa, is their new 44 acre neighborhood consisting of 25 larger, estate sized mountain and golf view properties. The minimum size home in this section will be 2,500 sqft, with lots ranging from 1.02-2.58 acres. The property contains a centerline crest that rolls down in both directions off the roadway, creating dramatic unobstructed views.
Overlooking the sweeping mountain vistas of the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains, Las Campanas’ new Black Mesa neighborhood offers a unique collection of homesites boasting the largest lot sizes in the best section of the Las Campanas property with awe-inspiring mountain views and centrally located to their finest amenities: golfing and the Hacienda Clubhouse.
Let me take you on a tour and arrange a stay at Las Campanas!
$1,000 Gift Card Offer
When you choose me to be your Real Estate Agent/ REALTOR®, I will give you a $1,000 Gift Card to the place of your choosing upon successful closing of your Las Campanas Developer Homesite in Las Campanas in 2018*.
A gift card allows my buyers to use it for the purchase of goods or services. It is a thank you from me to you, for trusting me with the most important transaction: the closing of a Developer Homesite in Las Campanas.
- *Offer cannot be combined with any other offers
- *Offer does not apply to past transactions
- *Offer not valid or assignable to third-parties
Pulte Homes in Las Campanas
$500 Gift Card Offer
When you choose me to be your Real Estate Agent/ REALTOR®, I will give you a $500 Gift Card to the place of your choosing upon successful closing of your Pulte home in Las Campanas in 2018.*
A gift card allows my buyers to use it for the purchase of goods or services. It is a thank you from me to you, for trusting me with the most important transaction: the successful search, negotiation and the buying of your new Pulte home in Las Campanas in 2018.
- *Offer cannot be combined with any other offers
- *Offer does not apply to past transactions
- *Offer not valid or assignable to third-parties
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 Real Estate News
Real Estate Summary For Taos Area
Experience the Quintessential Authentic Taos Adobe Compound
Main House & Casita: 4 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms | 2 Kitchens | 2,024 sq.ft. Interior living spaces | 1,107 sq.ft. exterior living spaces
TCAR MLS#: 101801 | SFAR MLS#: 201802629
Priced to Sell: $380,000
The main dwelling is a charming 1,574 sq.ft. single story territorial style home with 18” thick walls and traces its history to about 100+ years old. Well maintained and lovingly remodeled with modern conveniences, this property possess the following features: city water & sewer, natural gas, granite countertops, stacked washer/dryer, thermopane windows, multiple skylights, forced air heat, gas–log Jøtul stove for additional comfort and ambiance. Diamond plaster walls throughout, with nichos, vigas /wood ceilings, Saltillo tile, wood plank & stone floors, custom arched wood doors, antique style lighting fixtures, and eat-in country kitchen where culinary delights will create memorable experiences.
Southwest ambiance abounds as you dine al fresco in the 563 sq.ft. 15’ deep recessed portal (covered patio with skylight) adjacent to a water feature “stream” with the seasonal sound of a flowing acequia, setting the mood in this peaceful oasis, complete with mature landscaping in a serene natural garden setting. Separate fenced outdoor spaces include an additional south facing portal with yard, a north side portal at the entrance of the home, and an east side yard with a storage shed, useful for gardening or recreational equipment and is included. There are plenty of possibilities to customize this landscape by adding a greenhouse, small orchard, vegetable/flower garden, children’s play area or simply enjoy the graciousness of this very adaptable bucolic setting.
The delightful 450 sq.ft. casita is located over part of the main home with its own private exterior stair access with a pleasant 218 sq.ft. viewing deck overlooking the treetops and the lovely Ranchos pastures, where you can peacefully enjoy a glass of wine as the sun sets or a cup of coffee as the sun rises. Rent the self-contained romantic attic apartment casita or use as a personal guest space or office/studio. Amenities include: covered parking, gas-log heat stove, wood plank floors, cozy kitchen, stacked washer/dryer, large skylights, new porcelain fixtures, a sit-in tub with shower, wainscoting and plenty of charm.
This enclave is a perfect investment opportunity for full time or vacation living, excellent location for vacation rental or investment property rental. Several of the rooms in the main house open to the portals with exterior doors and would make an excellent home office or art studio. Ample parking is provided for residents and their guests. Live in one, rent the other or use as a home office, guest house or art studio, the options are flexible and endless! Property has a great rental history.
This quiet neighborhood compound is conveniently located within walking distance to Ranchos de Taos historic district, close with shops, restaurants and is rich in history. Just 4 miles north to the town of Taos, there are more restaurants, shops, galleries, museums, 15 minutes to Taos Pueblo, 25 minutes to Taos Ski Valley, 5 minutes to the Taos country club & golf course, 15 minutes to the Gorge on back roads, this enclave is also convenient to traveling south to Santa Fe & beyond.
View lots of photos: visit the property»
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.
Recently, I have received inquiries 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. The 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.
Home Decor Insights
I really love contemporary design. Clean lines, large glass windows, simple forms that allow the inside of the home to merge with the outside environment. I realize I live in New Mexico, where more traditional homes are the norm. Small apetures, large overhanging portals, rambling rooms and lumpy pueblo designs reigns as the overall architecture theme here. After living in these homes and touring hundreds, I really miss clean lines, open spaces and sleek simple finishes.
There is one development in Santa Fe that combines the Santa Fe style with a contemporary twist and that is La Mirada, developed by Michael Hurlocker. The homes blend into the New Mexico landscape and at the same time the landscape blends into the homes.
This style of architecture, when designed sensitively, offers a clean efficiency in design. The buildings settle in the landscape and invite outdoor living throughout the homes environment.
John, my husband of Comet Studios & GaiaQuest, is designing homes that have have a contemporary architectural style. I am looking forward to living in our home, that still feels like it belongs in New Mexico, at the same time belongs to this era. I know I am not alone in my need for a contemporary feel to a home, as I hear my clients discuss their desire to find a home that blends with the times and respects the local traditions. The balancing act is rather delicate, if taken too far into the contemporary, one alienates its sense of place. Most of the existing homes here in Taos & Santa Fe have the traditional New Mexico architectural style, very few have taken the leap into the contemporary style. It will be interesting to see how the contemporary style will blend into the landscape.
In this column, I will be addressing contemporary design trends over the next coming months and sharing some ideas and resources.
Aeowyn’s Dog Treats
Aeowyn is the inspiration for this dog treat recipe book. Her enthusiasm and her keen intense interest while we cook, has greatly encouraged our recipe development. While she loves to watch us cook, she prefers to taste test everything. We have confined her taste testing to vegetables, fruits and dog treats. She prefers not to share her treats or her toys, being that she is our “only” dog.
However, if you would like to receive Aeowyn’s Dog Treat Recipe e-booklet, please send me an email for your free copy.
- 2 cups peanut butter (non salted, no sugar)
- 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pie filling)
- 1 cup of beef broth
- 2 cups rice flour (or any flour)
- 1 cup rolled oats, uncooked
- 1 cup flax seed meal
- ½ cup wheat germ
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds chopped
*Parchment paper for rolling out the dough, pizza cutter, ruler for cutting straight lines & a dog to snoopervise.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Mix the wet ingredients: peanut butter, pumpkin, beef broth in a bowl.
- Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl: rice flour, flax seed meal, wheat germ, rolled oats, & chopped pumpkin seeds. Combine all the ingredients. Divide into 4 balls.
- Roll out dough ball between parchment paper, 1/16”-1/8” consistent thickness in rectangular shape to fit baking sheet. Discard top parchment paper, use for next baking tray. Transfer rectangular shaped dough with the bottom parchment paper to baking sheet. Use pizza cuter to cut dough in parallel strips to create a checkerboard of 1” squares. Use a ruler to help cut straight lines.
- Bake 30-35 minutes slightly brown & crunchy. If you prefer a softer treat, bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. This recipe uses 4 baking sheet/trays.
These treats are very tasty. Recipe makes enough treats to fill a little more than 3 quart storage container with some to share with dog friends & keep in tins around the house. You can keep the dog treat crisps up to 1 week at room temperature in an airtight container or in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 weeks.
Posing with her treats is the least favorite part of the process, as she is anticipating eating all of them at once. She can get rather bored with the photo shoots unless she is rewarded for her patience.
So far she has never rejected a recipe. Her favorite treat is the one she just ate!
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!