Homes with History – El Fidel Hotel, Las Vegas, NM

El Fidel Hotel
Las Vegas, New Mexico

By Adrienne DeGuere, Editor and Office Administrator, Sotheby’s International Realty

El Fidel Hotel

El Fidel Hotel

Built in 1923 on the Plaza of downtown Las Vegas, the first significantly sized settlement on the Santa Fe Trail trade route, stands El Fidel Hotel, located on the site of previous incarnations of hospitality establishments dating back to the 1880s.  Placed on the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties in 1976 and on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, El Fidel remains a grand example of Spanish Colonial Revival style.
Lobby of El FidelReplete with the history one would expect of a hotel dating back to the iconic “Wild West” days of the American Frontier, including a shoot-out in the lobby between a judge and a newspaper editor in 1925, the property has been well maintained in keeping with its architectural legacy.

With eighteen guest rooms, a restaurant, and a stately lobby graced with ceramic tile floors, arched windows, and rich woodwork, El Fidel offers a unique property in a revitalized historic small city just east of the state’s capital.

Exclusively represented by DEANNE OTTAWAY



Artful Beauty Underfoot

By Lisa Samuel, Owner, The Samuel Design Group

2013-06-05 12.34.23-1
I have been asked the question many times in my career whether the rug should be the first decision in designing a room’s interior. This is a variable and is determined on an individual basis; it is unique to each space and each individual for whom I am designing. Other designers may have a different point of view and may begin the design of each room with a rug. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Rugs are definitely an important part of the design of any room.

There is a vast array of rugs in today’s marketplace. The fiber used to make rugs varies from natural to synthetic. I prefer natural fibers like wool, cotton, hemp, sisal, banana silk, and a variety of grasses. In addition to the various fibers available there are various styles to choose from as well; such as flat weave or pile and many others.  Each of these fibers has specific characteristics and is therefore more appropriate for a specific use or style. Fine wool rugs that are hand knotted are very desirable and at the top of the price range. A very fine wool rug can take up to 1,000 days of work by a highly skilled weaver. A 9’ x 12’ rug is 108 square feet and 15,552 square inches. If the rug has 800 knots per square inch that would equal 12,441,600 knots! A highly skilled weaver can tie up to 12,000 knots per day. Fine rugs truly are a work of art and worth every penny spent.

Rugs can anchor a seating area in a large room, as well as add color and texture and warmth to any interior space. Consumers can be rather confused about what rug to choose or if they might choose carpet versus a fine rug. Rugs are either woven by hand or are machine loomed and range widely in price. Style and color are also a wide variable. Oriental rugs are generally produced in Russia, Turkey, India, Iran, Tibet, Pakistan, China, and Nepal. Persian rugs refer to a sub area of the Orient. When referring to a Persian rug, the area referred to is more specifically the “Old Persian Empire,” whose borders changed over its thousand year existence. Since 1979, Iran has been the modern day equivalent of Persia. Persian rugs are regarded by collectors as the finest rugs of all oriental styles of rugs. Genuine Persian rugs are hand knotted and their individual design reference specific townships and cities where they are created. Rugs produced in these countries are genuine oriental rugs and are handcrafted and, of course, are one of a kind. I consider them to be long lasting investments that become something one would pass along from generation to generation. With proper care, investment rugs will last a life time.

A professional interior designer can be of great help in determining the style, color, and size of the rug or rugs that would be right for your lifestyle, design, and budget.

Join Lisa and her guests on the first Sunday of each month for “Stylemakers By Design.” This live radio show is the monthly 2nd hour broadcast of All Things Real Estate and can be heard beginning at 1pm (Mountain Time) on Santa Fe’s 1260-AM and 101.5-FM, as well as via a stream of the show on Go to for more information about the radio program and to also connect with The Samuel Design Group.

How Do You Select an Architect?

By Craig Hoopes, Principal, Hoopes + Associates Architects

Most people go to architects because they cannot find a home for sale that meets their needs.  Perhaps there are not enough bedrooms or large enough spaces for the family.  Perhaps they need special spaces for their work at home or for a collection.  Maybe they are looking for something special.  Maybe they are re-envisioning their lives now that the kids are grown.

So how do you find the architect that will help you create the home that you want?  After all, in a very short amount of time you will be selecting someone whom you are trusting with what is probably the largest single investment you will make.  The first thing to do is create a list of architects that you think might be interesting to work with.  The easiest way to start is to ask friends who have built a home and now live in homes that you like or that you feel were successfully designed for your friends’ needs.  Augment this with an internet search for architects in your area and a search in local shelter magazines.  Call the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for a list of architects that do residential work.  Not all architects are, nor are they required to be, members of the AIA, but it is a good resource.  Lastly, do not be afraid to knock on the doors of houses you have admired in your community.  Owners of architect-designed homes usually love to talk about their project.

Once you have assembled a list of architects whose work you like, weigh the results and narrow the field down to the top five or fewer choices.  Every architect wants to feel that they have a chance at getting your commission, so don’t make the field too large.  Arrange interviews with the top candidates.  Ask how they charge for their fees.  Ask if your project schedule fits into their schedule and who in the office will be handling the project (larger firms may have an assortment of players, smaller firms may have higher principal involvement).  Ask to see their portfolio; make note of the houses that you like.  Ask for a list of references – clients as well as contractors.  You will want to know whether your architect ‘plays well with others’ in all parts of the project.  Once you have done that, narrow the field again to two or three and ask those architects to take you through one or two houses of their work that you liked in their portfolio.

Walking through spaces, you will get a sense of flow and proportion and light that may not reveal themselves in photographs.  After the walk-throughs, rank the architects again.  Call the references that you requested at the interview.  Call all references.  Chances are the architect will not have given names that (s)he thinks would give a bad recommendation; however, clients may open up to you about what they feel went right and what they feel went wrong.  Determine whether those issues that may not have gone smoothly are important issues to you.  Do a final ranking.

As an architect I have found that the most successful projects have been those where the client feels at ease talking about anything.  If you feel at ease with the architect, and you feel the architect is at ease with you, you will be able to better express your needs.  This also makes it easier to discuss some of the business issues as well should they crop up.  Be clear in your expectations; the architect will then be able to tell you whether those expectations can be met.  Spend time with the architect reviewing the contract.  And, most importantly, take time selecting your architect.  After all, you will be spending a lot of time with this person. These things will help make sure that you will have an enjoyable process designing your new home.


Consignment Gallery Q & A

Say Hello to 2015!

By Stephen Etre, Co-Owner
Stephen’s, A Consignment Gallery

(An Interview with Managing Editor Rey Post)

Q. I guess it’s an understatement to observe that 2014 has been a banner year for the gallery, correct?

A. Yes, Rey…put simply, this past year has been one of the very best for us across so many fronts.

Q. In what ways and why?

A. Well, general business with our loyal customers, as well as new clients, has set records for our gallery. The number of clients, plus the dollar volume we enjoyed from the sale of antiques, furniture, home accessories, jewelry, estate items, and so much more – was at an all-time high in 2014. In addition, the number and quality of estate sales we handled for a variety of clients established a new bar for us to achieve in coming years.

Q. And I know from commentary you have offered in 2014 on the “All Things Real Estate” radio show, that your annual Spring and Fall Sales Events were highly successful.

A. Yes…and the number of people who came to the gallery for these events –which we have done now for about 30 years – also increased, especially among out-of-town visitors. I believe that all of these successful sales figures are the direct result of an improving economy, plain and simple.

Q. And that correlates to an improving year for real estate sales in the greater Santa Fe region.

A. Yes…you know that when you and your real estate broker colleagues are seeing greater home buyer and seller activity, our gallery also realizes increased consumer activity, as people either use us for home staging, and/or to divest themselves of home furniture and accessories (or to buy new items for a recently purchased property).

Q. We are characterizing 2014 as a year when the real estate market locally reached a level of “stability” from the years of challenges we in the trade realized after the financial meltdown of 2008. And we are projecting some additional improvement in homes sales for 2015. I guess you are anticipating a good New Year for business at the gallery?

A. Indeed. Since our success is highly correlated with activity among local  home buyers, sellers, and owners, we are expecting a strong 2015 for business at Stephens, A Consignment Gallery.

Q. I guess that’s about the best way you could ever hope to enter the New Year!

A. You bet, Rey…and we wish everyone else in our community similar success in 2015 and invite them to come join us at 2701 Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe and see all that our gallery has to offer!

September 2014 Home Sales

Real Estate by the Numbers

By Abigail Davidson CRS, ABR, SRES, CLHMS, CNE, Broker Associate, Sotheby’s International Realt

graphThe following information has been compiled to provide you with updated information on sales in Santa Fe and its surrounding areas for September, 2014. These statistics are for all Santa Fe residential home sales including single-family homes, condos, and townhomes.

There were a total of 167 home sales in September up from August, which was a total of 157.  Prices ranged from $44,000 to $2,270,000.  Total sales volume for September was $73,413,575, up from August which was $66,606,180.  The average sold to list price held steady at 96.8 percent. 66 percent of the sales were cash transactions. These transactions accounted for 44 percent of the total sales volume.

The average sales price in September was $439,602, up from August, which was $424,243.  The median sales price for September was $ 337,500, down very slightly from August’s median of $338,000.   The average number of days on the market in September was 161 and August’s was 154.

Here is how number of sales per price-band reported in September 2014:

  • 86 homes sold for under $350,000
  • 31 homes sold from $350,001 to $500,000
  • 39 homes sold from $500,001 to $1,000,000
  • 11 homes sold from $1,000,001 to $2,270,000

The biggest increases were in the $500,000 to 1 million range and the over $1,000,000 range.



Homes with History – The Lesnett House

147 Gonzales Road Lincoln, NM

By Adrienne DeGuere, Editor and Office Administrator, Sotheby’s International Realty

lesnit1In Lincoln, a small, historic village nestled in the Rio Bonito river valley of southeastern New Mexico, discover The Lesnett House, a territorial home built in 1878 that stood during the tumultuous Lincoln County War of 1878-1881. Sherriff Pat Garrett, famed for killing Billy the Kid, once owned a portion of the property and Billy the Kid himself is rumored to have hidden in a flour barrel while being pursued by soldiers from Fort Stanton.  Listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and designated as one of three historic Lincoln homes remaining in private ownership, the 4,500 square foot home and studio offers 22” thick adobe walls, 12’ coved ceilings with vigas, white plaster walls, and wood and Saltillo tile flooring.  Zoned for residential and commercial use, the property includes 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a kiva fireplace on .84 of an acre.

Exclusively represented by MARY JOY FORD

Condominium Owners: Research Your Insuring Requirements!

By Vincent Marciano
Residential & Commercial Condominium & Homeowner Association Specialist
ADV Insurance Agency

Condominium insurance is a special insurance designed to fit the specific needs of condo owners. Condo owners need to take into consideration additional coverage for the building based on their condominium association’s master policy and coverage.

Condominium Association Master Policy

Your condominium association will insure the building and its common elements based on one of three approaches: 1) bare walls, 2) single entity (original specifications), or 3) all-in.

• “Bare walls” means that the association will insure only the building including walls, the roof, floors, elevators, etc. The association is not responsible for insuring anything inside your unit such as appliances, cabinets, carpeting, wallpaper, interior partitions, plumbing, wiring, and bathroom fixtures, among others.

• “Single entity” coverage means the association is responsible for all real property, but only the cost necessary to return the building and units to their original condition using materials of like kind and quality.

• “All-in” statutes differ from original specifications in one major respect. The association is not only responsible for all real property, but it is also charged with insuring unit owner-installed upgrades.

Determining How Much Coverage You Need

As you’re evaluating how much insurance you need for your unit and possessions, keep the following questions in mind:

• What is the association responsible for insuring? What am I responsible for insuring?

• How much coverage do I need for loss assessment?

• How much coverage do I need for my possessions?

• Do I have replacement cost or actual cash value coverage for my possessions?

• What does the liability coverage include?

• Do I need earthquake or flood coverage?

Finally, make sure you understand exactly what your policy covers. Review it at least once a year to make sure you stay adequately covered.


How Planet Forward Helps the Real Estate Community

Rod Gesten, Co-Founder & CEO
Planet Forward, LLC

planet-forward-your-moveAs some of you may be aware, Rey Post’s All Things Real Estate Program on KTRC 1260 AM in Santa Fe was co-hosted by me, Rod Gesten, of Planet Forward LLC for the first hour. The theme of the show was centered on how businesses in the local community assist owners, buyers, and sellers in the real estate community. Obviously it is not easy to serve any community as a business, as opposed to doing volunteer work, unless you are given the opportunity or create opportunity for which your company is needed. Let’s discuss.

To our way of thinking, whether you offer a product or service in any community, you must do what you say you’re going to do, show up, and complete delivery on time. It has become a ritual among many companies to ask consumers to accept four-hour windows in which products and services may be delivered. This is unacceptable to us and disrespectful to clients whose time is also valuable. It is just as bad to show up two hours late with excuses or not at all. This is what telephones are for.

Another annoying practice is to tack on additional costs to the original quotation. Charges such as delivery, travel, or extra time needed to perform a task should be thought about and discussed up front. With minimally 60 percent of our clientele coming from the real estate community and many of those being repeat customers, we cannot afford to ‘surprise’ people in that way and dismantle their trust in us.

A community of owners, buyers, and sellers of homes and buildings has common concerns and needs when it comes to their real estate. For example, things break and need repair. Other items cost owners a lot of money each month in the form of recurring bills.  Sometimes people want to plan an improvement but have no idea what the cost can range.

Let’s take the first situation. People buy and sell houses as a matter of course. Situations change, people want to downsize, whatever the reason. If you’re a buyer, you want to be sure that you aren’t falling in love with a flawed product; have items corrected or have room to negotiate a common ground before the purchase. If you’re a seller of a property, you are not motivated to improve your home or building to perfection before the sale. This is why it is so important to have somebody evaluate the symptoms listed in, say, an inspection report, find the causes, and produce alternative value solutions that everybody can agree to.

In another case, let’s say an owner wanted to save money by being his own contractor for services out-of-pocket. He’s got a cousin or an uncle that is skilled in a few things and is willing and able to do a lot of the grunt work himself. He gets to a certain point in the process and finds that he is out of money and there are finishes to complete and top-outs on electrical and plumbing fixtures yet to go. His wife is frustrated and wants the project, which is 6 months later than promised, completed so she can move in with the kids. The owner doesn’t have the skill sets it takes and not being familiar with local codes, has no idea what it is going to take to gain a Certificate of Occupancy from the local governing body. At this point, it would be handy, to say the least, to know of a licensed contractor who can speak to local authorities about code issues, develop a cost of completion estimate for lenders, and complete tasks as intended in a professional manner.

With respect to monthly costs, wouldn’t it be handy to know a local company that does free online assessment of energy usage in your home, using utility data from your own bills in order to compare your home’s performance to a neighbor’s? Further, what if this company were able to examine your home and explain the best value alternatives for lowering your bills instead of throwing money away on ineffectively small return fixes?

These are just a few of the activities that Planet Forward performs for its clients. It’s allowed for great relationships with other vendors, lenders, and brokers as well. In today’s world, things have become so specialized that no one entity can be everything to everybody. That is why professional relationships are so important in order to successfully serve all players in the real estate community.

July 2014 Home Sales

Real Estate by the Numbers

By Abigail Davidson   CRS, ABR, SRES, CLHMS, CNE
Broker Associate, Sotheby’s International Realty

The following information has been compiled to provide you with updated information on sales in Santa Fe and its surrounding areas for July, 2014. These statistics are for all Santa Fe residential home sales including single-family homes, condos, and townhomes.

There were a total of 170 home sales in July, up from June, which was 161.  Prices ranged from $65,900 to $2,625,000.  Total sales volume for July was $74,319,368, up from June which was $67,022,452.  The average sold to list price was 96.73 percent. 37 percent of the sales were cash transactions. These transactions accounted for 40 percent of the total sales volume.

The average sales price in July was $437,172, up from June, which was $416,288. The median sales price for July was $345,000, up from June’s median of $310,000.  The average number of days on the market in July was 168 and June’s was 188.

Here is how number of sales per price-band reported in July 2014:

  • 86 homes sold for under $350,000
  • 39 homes sold from $350,001 to $500,000
  • 35 homes sold from $500,001 to $1,000,000
  • 10 homes sold from $1,000,001 to $2,625,000

There was an increase in sales in the $350,000 – $1,000,000+ ranges.


Finding the Right Family Home

By Ron Blessey, Private Mortgage Banker, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
NMLS ID # 214672

The goal of all parents is to provide a stable home environment for their children. Finding the right home configuration with all the features that fit the family’s lifestyle can be a process. Some buyers look at many homes over a period of months to find the perfect nest for their family.

These days it is not unusual for both parents to work. In some cases, both parents are salaried employees and receive a specific income every month for the services they provide their employer. In other cases one or both parents are self-employed. In that case, a two year average of their income is needed. And, of course, there could be a combination of salaried and self-employment income for me to document for my underwriter.

All good and responsible parents keep excellent records of all their financial documentation. When presented with the list I compile of the documentation I need, it is easy for the borrowers to collect what they have on hand and supply it to me for my file. I can then provide a program tailored to their needs and qualifications, as this is one of the most important parts of my job.

Much like a parent, I listen intently to what my clients want in the way of a mortgage and advise them on how they can qualify for those terms. The initial interview I conduct provides me with the information I need to make a determination for that client. On the other side of this process are the borrowers who should always articulate their wants and needs. Never shy away from asking questions throughout the process; after all, borrowing money to buy or refinance a home is an educational exercise.  Part of my job is to educate borrowers in how the process works and why we ask for documentation throughout the process, which is an integral part of getting loan approval.

At the successful closing of every loan I produce I can look back with satisfaction knowing I have done my job to the utmost and provided those clients with a loan that has met their expectations.