On Friday, we entered New Mexico over Raton Pass from Colorado. In my own opinion, Raton Pass is one of the most scenic ways to enter the state; the beauty is breath-taking. Our route took us south past Raton, Springer, Wagon Mound, and Las Vegas. West of Las Vegas, we took state road NM3 from I-25 south to I-40. We had never been on this road before …what a wonderful scenic pretty trip; after we move we will take this road again and get pictures.
At I-40 we went west to Cedar Crest(in the mountains east of Albuquerque), where we had an appointment with the fourth builder we are considering. He took us to a home way up in the mountains, where he is doing a large addition. It was beautiful, BUT we were a little concerned when he told us this addition has been under construction for over a year and is still not finished. In talking with him at length, we got the impression that he is a perfectionist who works very slowly at his own pace. He looks at each job as a personal project, which is commendable but left us feeling he would be doing this for his satisfaction, and not to build us a good affordable home in a timely manner. The other consideration was that we asked for a bid weeks ago, and he seemed to not even be close to having one ready. Sadly, we crossed him off our list.
On Saturday, in Santa Fe, we met with a real estate agent, Kent Jones, who spent the entire day with us, taking us to see 14 available homes in Eldorado that met all of our criteria. We saw some really beautiful homes, including about 4 that appealed to us A LOT. Later on, running the numbers, we realized that we can purchase a much bigger and nicer home than anything we could build. All of these homes are move-in ready, and have some features it would take us a long time to get incorporated into a new home. Also, the sheer fact that buying a home would save us all the headaches and stress and hassle of building, is certainly appealing to us, especially living out of state as we do. Best of all, we were very pleased with what we saw that day.
I guess those two days really made up our mind for us. Although it means giving up our dream house that we have designed and selling our lot that we have owned for 15 years, buying an existing home is going to be the answer for us.
Our latest plan is this: return to Santa Fe in the early spring to look at the homes available at that time, and finally make our decision on a house to buy. Here in the Midwest, we will put our home up for sale around the same time, hoping it will sell quickly. That would make the target date for our move approximately May, 2008. Having some decisions made, especially the schedule, gives us a real goal to work towards.
SANTA FE OR BUST!