This is Accurate


Perfect for Parties

When I look at real estate listings I am struck by how the most frequent selling point for any home is: "it's perfect for entertaining". No matter the size of the place, or the way it is configured, its main feature is that it is always perfect for having lots of people over.

Apparently the sole reason you have a home is to host events. You must have to actually live somewhere else.

Is that what I want in a place to live? A party venue?

Our current house will be marketed that way when the time comes -- its open floor plan and nice finishes and tall ceilings and kitchen counter bar and spacious layout are all perfect for entertaining. Yes they are.

Our lifestyle is so at odds with that idea. Yes, we host Thanksgiving some years, and our adult children have come for Christmas a handful of times over the years, but not often. Book group comes twice year and we sit in the living room. We've had another couple over for dinner occasionally. But the vast majority of the time…

Real Estate Agent

We interviewed a real estate agent to put our house on the market and so the process has begun.

Yikes! Are we really doing this?

I had planned to interview three agents, and had picked out several to consider, with a plan to compare each to the other.

But the very first guy is the winner and I'm not going to interview any others.

He anticipated all our concerns, answered every question, convinced me he could negotiate, and he was a good fit personally. He "gets" what I think are the unique assets of our house and how to sell it for us. He was very observant.

He nailed his market assessment of our home at exactly the price I came to after an entire winter of online research and comparing homes and evaluating similar sales.

He'll take 5% commission rather than the standard 6%. He knows how to sell a home with solar panels. He can play up the qualities of our site and our large lot and placement, and the beauty of our gardens without driving away condo buyers.
For Sale:b…

Should We Rent?

The logistics of selling this house at exactly the same time that we find a new home, remotely, across the country is formidable. It seems more realistic to put this house on the market, and if it sells in the next few months before we find a home in Santa Fe, we'll rent a place out there until we do find the right place to buy.

But finding a rental is almost as daunting as finding a home for sale, and timing is still an issue.

I like this one:

It's on a gravel lane but it's in town, backing up to an open walking park near the Santa Fe River. We could afford it . . . just.

It's big. It has a three car garage, totally unnecessary for us, but it would eliminate the prospect of storing all our goods and furniture offsite while we look for a place to buy. Plenty of room in a three car garage to park all our stuff until we figure things out.

It's new and clean and roomy, and just like what we have here. The colors suit. The back yard and patio are okay, but it's a r…

Selling Anxiety

What is so different this time about selling a house?

I have sold homes only a few times, all in Connecticut, but there was never any issue -- you tidied up, made the bed, and put the house on the market.

In each case my house had a good offer within a week, the buyers asked for some fixes from the inspection, and then I moved. There was always a profit from the equity.

This time I am filled with anxiety. We have spent an entire winter preparing and I am convinced no one will even look at our house and anyone who looks won't want it. I'm overwhelmed with trying to fix and upgrade everything to make it look appealing to reluctant buyers.

We still have not contacted a realtor yet. The house is not ready.

Why do I have such reservations this time? In the 13 years since we last moved, a lot has changed:
It's no longer a seller's market here. Houses in our price range stay on the market for up to a year or more. Neighbors who have sold in the past couple years told us it wasn…

Aldea . . . But Maybe Not.

One of the first areas that attracted me when looking at houses in Santa Fe was the community of Aldea, west of town, up in the hills. But.

I found this condo, a little high at $360,000, and when we visited in January the realtor took us to tour this home. It was perfect in every way -- small, efficient, newer finishes, good layout, two bedrooms and a small den.

It had most of the touches I wanted, such as an angled fireplace (though not a traditional kiva) and rounded log viga beams.

For a small condo, it had tall spaces, great windows, and a big kitchen with nice finishes. There was a detached two car garage and extra parking behind.

It had a courtyard patio that I thought was charming with some interesting plantings. Nice and shady, but small. The feeling of enclosure was pleasant, not confining.

The views in the entire area are spectacular. This condo fronted a pretty park, and had mountain views out the back that were awesome. The condo-maintained landscaping all over the neighbo…

What We're Looking For

I've looked at so many realtor photos of Santa Fe homes since last fall, and we spent a whole day in January going inside homes, so I am steeped in visions of New Mexico houses.

I've seen so many attractive pueblo type decors and I've gone over tons of floor plan layouts of adobe style homes, picking out what I like, what I think would work for us, and what intrigues me.

I keep coming back to one conclusion: the house I want there is exactly the house we have here.

No matter how cute a casita is or how cozy it looks or how centrally located, I keep gravitating toward newer homes with big windows, high ceilings, new kitchens and open layouts. I want a cohesive neighborhood, clusters of houses that are varied but share a common look.

I want what we have now.

There are many reasons for our move, but one of them was to change our lifestyle dramatically. I wanted a smaller urban house, and it wouldn't matter if there was a garage or lots of storage because we were going to …