HEART OF TAOS, NM
housing with a Southwest flair
the U.S., condo sales are making headlines – “Condo
Mania” – the “Condo Craze” as condominium sales, and
prices, eclipse single-family residences in many areas.
today most of us think of “condos” as high rise complexes
offering ownership of studios to penthouses, but Taos has
always offered something a little different, a little more
creative in housing. Visit
Taos Pueblo at the base of the sacred Taos Mountain and
you’ll appreciate the term “Pueblo” style as it relates
to our architecture and see the concept of clustered living
– even one atop another is nothing new.
Taos Pueblo is the oldest continuously inhabited Native
American pueblo in the U.S. and has been called our first
condo complexes like the Residencias de la Rio Pueblo on Upper
Ranchitos and Pueblo de los Sueňos on Kit Carson Road are
two newer complexes that reflect the Pueblo style and offer
kiva fireplaces, vigas, nichos, bancos and other traditional
Taos touches. On
tree-lined Burch Street, the new Villas de las Flores compound
boasts true adobe construction, vibrant colored plaster,
fireplaces and fountains all set amidst an artist’s palette
of flowers and trees.
have long been protectors of the environment and two, new,
in-town, developments are cutting edge.
Zuni 630 utilizes RASTRA® construction – a recycled
material with high R-value, water catchment for maintaining
xeriscaping in a village setting.
609 Zuni is more contemporary and features photovoltaic
grid tie-back power, grey water irrigation and European
on-demand hot water heaters.
Both are highly energy efficient and user friendly.
condo developments look more like homes; Los Arboles on Los
Pandos and Carabajal Point both provide condos homestyle (no
common walls) with a feeling of space and style.
Even Taos Ski Valley is seeing new development.
Wheeler Peak Condos will sit on-top-of-the-world in the
Kachina Village and offer ski-in/ski-out abodes.
new condos are well built and most feature southwest touches,
along with sub-floor radiant heat, thermopane windows, wiring
for Internet access and low-maintenance so association fees
are very reasonable. In
town complexes with as few as 3 to 4 units are common and
those with over 20 are more rare.
Each has its own unique flair.
are also seeing conversions like The Sonterra Condominiums on
Siler which were once popular short-term rentals and now
modestly priced condos. Look for more conversions in the near
prices ranging from just $32,000 for a studio at Quail Ridge
Inn to $650,000 for a 4BR/3BR home-style condo, there really is
something for everyone here in Taos.
the demand for resort properties and second homes has
continued to grow. One
of the catalysts for our strong market is the demographics of
the 77 million baby boomers entering the real estate market.
Many “boomers” are taking early retirement; many
are buying now for retirement later, and many because of the
Internet, Fed Ex, etc. can continue to work anywhere.
Small towns are “in” again.
A lot of our buyers are mobile.
They want to be carefree.
They don’t want maintenance, they do want to pick up
and leave at will. They
are buying condos. The
condo market is hotter than ever and nationally, the sales of
existing condos rose 13% in the first 3 quarters of 2003
according to the National Association of Homebuilders and
they’re projecting that this trend will continue.
According to the Real Estate Journal of The Wall
Street Journal, on a national basis condos have
appreciated about 33% since 2001 compared with 15% for
single-family homes. Condos
tend to be more affordable and even first-time home buyers are
prices ranging from just $90,000 at Quail Ridge Inn to
$650,000 for a 3 to 4-bedroom, home-style condo, there really
is something for everyone her in Taos.
Construction costs are going up.
The availability of land is dwindling.
Prices are going up.
Can you afford to wait?
Enright is an Associate Broker with Prudential Schantz Realty
in Taos, New Mexico.
She can be reached at 800-530-8899