FROM THE HEART OF
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 condominium.
New 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 future.
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 condo hunting.
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