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Awesome sunsets, giant cultural heritage, 300+ days of sunshine and miles of art makes Santa Fe a perennial favorite on lists of Best Places to Live and Retire. The most recent accolades come from CBS MoneyWatch. The Ten Best Places to Retire talks up our abundant and accessible outdoor recreation, the iconic Opera house and the wide-range of outlets to exercise the mind and feed the spirit. No mention of our fabulous food or the myriad of locally grown or flavored creative wonders (Caldera Gallery, Wise Fool, Meow Wolf, Axle Contemporary. Or the tireless, Behind-the-Scenes activists for artistic expansion (The After Hours Alliance, Red Cell, Joseph SantaFe Pulse. But that’s just more for newcomers to discover.
“All those amenities will cost you: $380,000 is the median home price,” concludes
In 2010, Bloomberg Businessweek projected that Santa Fe would be among the Housing Markets that Will Be Strongest by 2014. Business Insider echoed that take in 2011 by declaring Santa Fe one of The 15 Best Housing Markets for the Next Five Years. Then, at the close of 2011, Santa Fe made Home.org’s list of the Top 9 Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2012. Home Sales are up and inventory is down and dropping, but depending on which index or forecaster you follow, over the next year, prices are either slated to rise or to fall. So, what should a Santa Fe Real Estate Agent say in response to that standard opener: How’s the Market?
It’s complicated, but it’s a good relationship with lots of promise.
For the Santa Fe Metropolitan area, Fiserv forecasts an increase of 1.6% in home prices from the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2012, rising to a 13.8% improvement from the second quarter 2012 to the second quarter 2013. Housing Predictor, on the other hand, thinks home prices in Santa Fe will drop another 4.3% this year.
We’re feeling a positive change. While prices are mostly flat to declining –local market measures reported a 12% drop in median home prices from the closing of 2010 through the end of the 4th quarter, 2011– demand is up. Third quarter, 2011, closed with a 21% decline in inventory. Home sales exceeded new inventory over the last few weeks of the fourth quarter. The absorption rate –the amount of time it would take to sell all the homes on the market at the speed at which they are currently selling– is dropping in the upper market tier.
Simply summarized by Altos research: “As the Supply and Demand trends continue… we are likely to see upward pressure on pricing.”
On December 7th, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, spoke at the Santa Fe Association of Realtor’s annual meeting. Of the stream of information in his presentation, “Economic and Housing Market Outlook,” three points stood out:
Numerous metrics point to substantial pent up Housing Demand
US Housing Starts are at their lowest levels since WWII. Existing Home Inventory is Falling even as distressed and shadow inventory flows in. Annual Household formation is trending upwards (US Population has increased by >27 million since Census 2000). There are more people, yet fewer homes.
Home Price Versus Rent: Price Change Potential
From 1980 to roughly 2003, home prices and CPI Rent Rates rose steadily in close companionship. The greatest gap between rents and home prices occurred between 2005 and 2007, with a spread 2/3rds that of the entire gain from 1980- 2003. Beginning in 2009, home prices crossed south of the line as rents held steady, starting an upward movement this past year. According to a recent analysis by The Economist, U.S. home prices are undervalued by 8% relative to Rent Prices. Investors take note.
Home Prices are Lower than Construction Costs
From 2000-2008, it was cheaper to build than buy. Starting in mid 2008, with one surge in 2010, it has been cheaper to buy than build. Add to that the challenge of obtaining a construction loan.
Barclay’s Analyst Sees [a] Housing Rebound Coming in 2012. So do the prognosticators at Fiserv Case-Shiller and RadarLogic. “Twenty five of the metropolitan areas surveyed [by RadarLogic] reported a 15.4% year-over-year increase in home sales in September, which is the largest gain for the month of September since 2003.” According to Fiserv, nationwide, home prices are expected to continue a decline until roughly midyear rebounding during the last half of 2012 into 2013. Of the 384 home markets it tracks, Fiserv expects 95% to see gains, even if modest.
Still, in Santa Fe, we have reasons to be optimistic. By Case-Shiller’s measure, “Santa Fe’s prices are down just 17.7% from the market’s peak in the fourth quarter of 2007.” The precision of that figure varies depending on location: some parts of town dropped more heavily; others took less of a hit. Yet overall, relative to the national market, Santa Fe weathered well. Our 5.4% unemployment rate compares enviably to that of many markets.
It’s a hot buyers’ market –we are the busiest we’ve been in years– but sellers can take heart: well-presented homes priced in line with the market are selling.
Whether you’re a buyer wanting to take advantage of terrific values or low interest rates, or a seller wanting an honest assessment of your home’s market price, we’d love a chance to show you how Santa Fe Real Estate Consultants can help you make the right decision based on your values and needs. Why Work with Us? Read what our clients have to say.
If I only had two words to describe my experience with Malissa and Joshua they would be “Never Better!!!!” Malissa and Joshua are extremely seasoned agents, professional and friendly, with expertise in all areas of real estate. I just moved to Santa Fe from Los Angeles and they have made my relocation experience easier than I would have ever imagined. They spent many hours with me showing me various areas & homes, but always keeping my price range in mind. When I did find a house that I liked, their expertise in negotiating was amazing. They knew exactly what to look for in the house as far as problems go and were there every step of the way to see that things were completed in a correct and timely fashion. The sale was quick and easy and best of all, I love my new home! Whether you are relocating from out of state or just moving across town, they are the agents to go to. Also, the team they recommended for my loan service was outstanding and even still, after being here for a month, they are still readily available to answer all my questions and concerns. Thank you Malissa and Joshua!!! —amyd5 (see Zillow for original review)
Joshua and Malissa are exceptional realtors. They found me my present house which is perfect for my needs. Their knowledge of the area and house construction is amazing. The buying process went so smoothly,and their negotiation skills saved me a large amount of money. They protected me and my interests fully. It was a wonderful experience. —cmodny6
Joshua Maes and Malissa Kullberg are unquestionably the cream of the crop and an amazing team. I have been extremely pleased with their representation of me as both a buyer and a seller of Santa Fe homes. Both Joshua and Malissa have developed a broad and deep knowledge of the many varying neighborhoods and housing types in Santa Fe, Taos, and nearby northern New Mexico markets. …and maintain a detailed and current knowledge of the highly variable and changing quirks of local real estate requirements … and operate with the very highest ethical standards. They have a gentle, no-pressure, keenly perceptive approach... Each also brings their own special skills to the table. I relied on [Joshua’s] advice and comprehensive referral list of excellent contractors to prepare my property for sale – we accepted a nearly full-price, all-cash offer within less than a week of listing. When searching for my next home, his renovation expertise was even more valuable. Joshua …is a skilled negotiator and a strong and determined advocate for his clients’ interests with other parties. Malissa is an excellent writer and prepares the …sales and marketing materials, using the services of their talented stager and photographer. The online package for my sale property was exceptional, quickly attracting many “views.” Malissa is highly organized and assures that client transactions keep moving along through the many detailed steps and stages toward a timely closing. Together, Joshua and Malissa are an unbeatable team; I felt very fortunate to have them represent me. They would be not only my first, but only choice in future New Mexico real estate transactions. —sclain (see Zillow for complete review)
Joshua and Malissa represented my wife and I both with the sale of our home and the purchase of our current home. We looked at homes for over a year until we found the one that felt right. We were able to purchase it for substantially under the list price and the price for homes in our area of town. When we listed our home with them, they sold it in 87 days for far more than the average list price for homes like ours. Joshua and Malissa are a strong team. They are honest, hard-working and knowledgeable. –Aileen & Marlon Castle
Malissa and Joshua are the most client-focus (and interesting) realtors we have ever met. We met them by chance at one of their listings.
My husband and I are deeply grateful to Malissa and Joshua for their expertise, understanding and support as we leapt into the decision to buy a new house in Santa Fe. I was convinced we could never move away from the mountains in Colorado; however, Malissa and Joshua listened to our criteria/fantasies and then gently presented homes to us. They guided us to possibilities, and, as true professionals, allowed us to freely decide what we wanted. As challenges arose, they stayed steady and creative. It was a work of extraordinary collaboration between them and among us. Barker is very fortunate to have two such good human beings, and gifted realtors, as part of its business family. Our deep thanks extend to them for making a dream visible and then real. Some of our friends say they want to join us in Santa Fe; if that happens, you can be sure we will recommend Barker Realty and Malissa and Joshua.
–Ann Cornfield and Bud Gidday
What can I say? You two helped make my 10+ year dream come true: owning a place in my “sweet Santa Fe.” I can never thank you enough for the delightful experience having you as my realtors and friends. In my many years of buying and selling real estate, you “got me!” This is the best buy yet. Thank you in so many ways. Thanks for your friendship, your vibe, your savviness and much more.”
Thank you for your services helping us to purchase a home in a city that was totally foreign to us … and what a deal that you found and negotiated for us!!! You guys made everything SO easy and smooth. We are extremely happy with the result. From day one, you made it your goal to help us find exactly what we were looking for, constantly posting and emailing properties that you felt matched our requirements and preferences, making insightful comparisons with other candidate properties, always going out of your way to make sure we had enough information, setting up appointments on short notice, posting artful virtual tours on your website, and just providing the friendly, trustworthy service that is often hard to find these days. You were extremely patient, always smiling and willing to help in any way possible. No matter what the obstacle was you found a way around it! You were not pushy to get the sale and always looked out for our best interests. Most notably, your after-sale support is further testimony to the scope and quality of your service and how much you care about our your clients’ ultimate satisfaction with their purchase. Anytime we or anyone we talk to is in need of buying or selling a house in Santa Fe, we’re DEFINITELY sending them to you. We will be references for life!!!
–Toni Dzubay and Robert Wall
“Malissa and her partner, Joshua, were the realtors representing the buyer of the home my partner and I were selling in Santa Fe in 2009. While it may not be common to write praises about the buyers realtor, I am genuinely inspired to do just that. The moment we met, I was fully aware that I was being blessed to be in the presence of two truly rare and extraordinary human beings. The quality of their character was apparent before they even spoke, and was affirmed with a steady flow of soul-full professionalism, skill, and integrity. Both Malissa and Joshua fully embody their devotion to care for everyone involved, which is what makes them shine bright and beauty-full in their line of work. I have been thrilled to recommend them to friends and clients, and look forward to the opportunity to do so over and over again. Thank you, Malissa and Joshua, for being major players in making the sale of our home a Pure Joy, and for bringing us a buyer that made our hearts truly content. I sing the highest praises of you as exceptionally gifted realtors, AND as fellow human beings.”
“Malissa has done a sterling job of finding properties that we actually wanted to look at — listening to and absorbing our needs and desires, and showing excellent candidates. She makes intelligent suggestions and raises issues that hadn’t occurred to us. Her integrity is superb: I trust her implicitly to look after the interests of her clients first. Excellent service from a trustworthy person.”
We want to thank you for the superior service you provided us during our recent visit to New Mexico. You were alert to our particular needs, organized, and went out of your way to introduce us to the area in ways we could never have done on our own! We have several friends in Washington who are considering moving to the southwest, and we will be happy to provide them with your name if they look at beautiful northern New Mexico.
–Joe Hiss and Yolanda Cifuentes-Hiss
Jim and I want to thank you for your excellent real estate brokerage services. We are more than satisfied, even thrilled, with the results. As a team, you listen and pay keen attention to the needs and wants of the client, do a thorough job of researching what the market offers, target appropriate properties so as not to waste everyone’s time, and have the patience of saints as we/the client hem and haw and change our mind. We appreciated that you took the time and effort to give us a broad overview of the areas around Santa Fe, helping us to understand the differences, and the pros and cons of each one. The property we have purchased, and at such a good deal, is due in great part to your persistence with the seller’s agent, and to your support of our concerns. You are a great team, complementing each other in many ways! Combining your talents and skills means you can offer your clients the best possible understanding of their needs in a new home, and the optimum means for getting them what they need. Congratulations! And thank you for everything you did for us.
–Jim and Sheila Kaplan
I can’t say enough about Joshua and his partner, Malissa Kullberg…. I was in the process of selling my house in Maryland when my real estate agent contacted them to help me find a place in Santa Fe. When we connected, I immediately felt a special bond with these two…they went above and beyond to get me out here in Santa Fe, despite many obstacles. They found me the perfect rental and did this out of the kindness of their hearts, as they told me I was the kind of person that Santa Fe would embrace and I had much to offer the community. I most HIGHLY recommend these two as real estate agents. You’ll enter as a client, but leave as a very satisfied friend. They are fantastic agents and sweet people.
–Carole Langrall, Freelance writer/stylist/designer: The Catalogues, Santa Fe New Mexican, A Garden of Earthly Delights
When my wife Kathy and I moved to Santa Fe from Sedona, Arizona, Joshua Maes worked hard to help us find and purchase our dream home. He understood the market and handled the negotiations of the purchase in a very professional manner. When it came time to sell, we didn’t hesitate to call Joshua. He and his business partner Malissa did another excellent job of marketing our home using a professional photographer, full internet coverage, professionally written color brochures and broker open houses. Joshua and Malissa did a market study and listed our home for a realistic price to sell and it sold for the price we asked. We went on and bought another home through Joshua and Malissa. It was a complex transaction but they negotiated a lucrative purchase. We are a professional couple and have no tolerance for laziness and/or incompetence. Joshua and Malissa are intelligent, hard working and know the Santa Fe market. We wouldn’t use anyone else to buy or sell a house for us.
–Bruce and Kathy Montgomery
During a time of intense personal crisis I had to sell my house and dreaded the thought of a slow and potentially nerve wracking process. I chose Malissa and Joshua as my real estate agents and never regretted that decision. They were professional , knowledgeable, and responded immediately to any questions or concerns that I had regarding the house, the market, and pricing. They were also very kind, thoughtful, and honest – qualities that I would expect from my closest friend but not from my real estate agents. That made all the difference for me because I really felt like they had my best interests at heart and no one else. I sold my house during one of the worst economic downturns and I know it was due to their hard work and persistence. Malissa and Joshua turned what could have been a very painful process into a story with a happy ending!
When we moved from California to Santa Fe, we had the distinct pleasure of working with Sotheby’s Realtors Joshua Maes and Malissa Kullberg. Joshua and Malissa led us through the entire process from viewing homes through inspections to settling into life in Santa Fe. They handled everything, including unanticipated issues, with brilliant expertise, skill and knowledge. After we moved in, they remained available and supportive as we adapted to a completely new city. Joshua and Malissa are not only the ultimate professionals, they’re caring and kind and always there to help. In a word, they’re fabulous! —Mary and Harry Nethery
What I really appreciated about working with Joshua and Malissa is how much they went beyond what I would have expected. Before my home went on the market, they came over and did yard work (trimmed hedges, weeded, etc.) and helped me figure out how to stage my home. They even painted my front vigas when that became an issue for the buyers. They really had my back during negotiations, working to get the potential buyers and their agent to be more realistic with regard to price. I was impressed with their professionalism and the steady level of communication.They always made sure I knew what was going on with the transaction. Joshua and Malissa have good ideas, energy and are easy to work with. I would definitely recommend them to my friends and family.
—Tara Pomo Smith
My family and I have a profound appreciation for the attention and care Joshua and Malissa showed in helping us purchase our home. Since the start, Malissa and Joshua were extremely helpful, patient, and eager to answer questions. Once we decided on a home, the purchase grew increasing complex and long, but not because of Malissa and Joshua, but because it was a short sale and through complications brought by the sellers and their Real Estate Agent. Joshua and Malissa remained positive, enthusiastically engaged, and most of all understanding of our eagerness to purchase our home. Joshua’s and Malissa’s partnership as a real estate team, their knowledge of the current housing market, lender options, and their unified passion help them find the right house for their clients. Eventually, we purchased the home we wanted. Our daughters are loving their new home. Furthermore, I’m happy to say we achieved our goal and dream. With Joshua and Malissa, as our realtors, we were blessed with a team of experience, understanding, but most of all with two agents who have the utmost care for their client needs. We extend a million thanks to both of them, and we HIGHLY recommend Joshua and Malissa to anyone looking to buy a home; you will be enthusiastically pleased!
When we started looking for a house, we chose to go with Josh and Malissa; they asked questions to learn what we wanted, pre-screened houses for us and worked tirelessly to help us find our house. If we ever go to sale our home or buy another home, I would call Josh and Malissa first. They definitely made the experience fun, easy and stress free.
–Doug and Tina Tawater
Ours was a very complex transaction. Malissa consistently went above and beyond to make it happen. We wouldn’t be in our wonderful home without her help. Very personable, professional, and magical! We recommend Malissa to our friends and family with enthusiasm.
–Kevin Tracy and Al Ellis
My wife and I purchased a house this spring under Malissa and Joshua’s gentle and thoughtful guidance. They gave us a great deal of very helpful information and solid advice that allowed us to arrive at the right house at the right price. We are extremely grateful for their hard work on our behalf and for the kindness and respect that they consistently showed us. They know their business and are caring, decent human beings to boot. It is hard for me to believe that there are many real estate agents out there like them. –-Caleb and Mina Thompson
We are very appreciative of you going the extra mile for us in getting both of our homes sold. –Jim and Anne Thompson
In November of 2012, Joshua and Malissa facilitated a real estate purchase for us. As we were purchasing from out of state, the name that came through my email was Team@SantaFeREC.com. Indeed, they were a team. While we were in Santa Fe, Joshua was the face of the team who met with us, gave answers to our queries and had a firm grasp of Santa Fe real estate. Malissa was the energy and attention to detail behind the scenes. She made queries that went beyond ordinary real estate matters, passed information and emails and even took on insurance issues. The knowledge base that comes with this team is reason enough to work with them but the friendly and attentive service is extraordinary.
Joshua and Malissa, thank you for your care and attention with our recent real estate purchase.
HGTV, the popular cable television network covering the spectrum of matters pertaining to home and garden, offers up its take on where to live in the City Different. This quick sketch guide to a few of Santa Fe’s distinctive and desirable neighborhoods includes the downtown areas of Canyon Road, Museum Hill, and South Capitol plus the outlying community of Eldorado.
While I have a few quibbles (I would never think to call the venerable old Eastside “Trendy” and was surprised to see an open prairie with buffalo as an iconic pic for the Museum Hill district), in the main, I thought HGTV did a good job of capturing the visual flavor and appeal of Santa Fe.
A mile and a half east of The Plaza, by Christo Rey Parish Church, Canyon Road makes a radical shift in culture and character. Canyon Road, the fabled arts district, is a densely developed, gently bustling stretch of galleries and restaurants. Cross Camino Cabra and Canyon becomes Upper Canyon: a mellow mix of homes, art studios, galleries and natural preserves.
At the base of Upper Canyon is the City of Santa Fe Hydropower Project. This renewable energy revival (read the story at EcoDaddyo.com) set on the site of the once decommissioned, historic hydro-electric plant, is surrounded by a charming park. Head north and observe Upper Canyon’s distinctive streetscape. To the east, many homes are set right on the street, without buffering curbs or boulevards in the manner of old European villages. On the west, the land rises quickly and the vegetation thickens. Driveways and roads spur off through the trees; a few homes can be seen perched above the roadway. As Upper Canyon climbs easily towards the Randall Davy Audubon Center –the end of Upper Canyon’s publicly accessible portion –houses are fewer and less visible. The perceived distance to Santa Fe expands, although the city itself remains quite close.
Just before the Audubon Center, where Upper Canyon meets Cerro Gordo, is the The Nature Conservancy’s Santa Fe Canyon Preserve and the trailhead for the 20 mile Dale Ball Trails. The Preserve’s 525 acres of open space includes a Bosque good for birdwatching and a 1.5 mile interpretative loop that details the site’s history and ecology. The Dale Ball Trails, a cooperative effort between city, county, the Foothills Trails Trust and private landowners, are popular with hikers and cyclists.
City-Data defines the Canyon Neighborhood to include Cerro Gordo, Upper Canyon, Camino Cabra, Canyon Road, Camino Militar, Esperanza Lane, South Armijo and Camino Pequeno. Its stats provide some window into the demographics of Upper Canyon Road.
Sold on Upper Canyon? 88 Canyon Hill Lane, active in the MLS (#201006276) at this writing, offers a rare chance to own 1.5 peaceful acres with a beautifully secluded fresh water Spring. Less than three miles from the the heart of downtown Santa Fe, this sylvan retreat includes two, separately-deeded lots, and a cozy, remodeled adobe with kiva fireplace, vigas, coved ceilings and a porch to capture the views. Convert the casita into a guesthouse and build your dream home or call this one bedroom, one bath, light-filled space home. A fenced yard with established fruit trees and carport/storage structure add value to this supremely well-priced treasure.