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This article has been written by Diane Enright, 
a gay friendly Realtor in Taos, New Mexico. 
Diane Enright can be reached online at



Creative housing with a Southwest flair

By Diane Enright

Throughout 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.

Even 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.

Taoseňos 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.

Other 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.

These 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.

We 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.

With 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.

Nationwide, 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.

With 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?

Diane Enright is an Associate Broker with Prudential Schantz Realty
 in Taos, New Mexico.  She can be reached at 800-530-8899






This article has been written by Diane Enright, 
a gay friendly Realtor in Taos, New Mexico. 
Diane Enright can be reached online at