Dear Friends, Clients, Business Associates and Neighbors,
September 2020 marks the forty-fifth edition of Eco Lifestyle and Home Newsletter produced by Kachina Mountain Realty. We offer Real Estate & Lifestyle news in the email newsletter covering Santa Fe, Taos Ski Valley, Taos County and beyond.
In this edition, we offer the following:
- COVID-19 UPDATE
- Lifestyle: Change
- Real Estate Market Update
- Money Matters
- Santa Fe Real Estate News
- Taos County Real Estate News
- Home Decor Insights
- Sierra Updates!
- Calendar of Event Links for Santa Fe, Taos Ski Valley, Taos County & all around New Mexico
- Entertainment Links for Santa Fe, Taos County & around New Mexico
Update on COVID-19
COVID-19 is not going away soon. All around the country, places that opened up are seeing spikes in those effected by the virus. While New Mexico has opened up many businesses, we still need to wear face masks, practice social distancing, and wash hands for at least 20 seconds. I also urge people to wear disposable gloves while grocery shopping and touching surfaces outside your homes. We can not become complacent and start relaxing. Even if you catch the virus and have only minor symptoms, people are reporting lung damage and other horrible side effects many months later. Some people have got the virus twice and are permanently effected.
City of Santa Fe Passes Law Requiring Face Coverings with Penalties
Public Health Emergency Order Clarifying that Current Guidance Documents, Advisories, and Emergency Public Health Orders Remain in Effect July 13, 2020
These sacrifices are the best contribution that each of us can individually make to protect the health and wellbeing of our fellow citizens and the State as a whole. In accordance with these purposes, this Order and its exceptions should be narrowly construed to encourage New Mexicans to stay in their homes for all but the most essential activities.
Face masks will be with us for the next year or more, so why not have several on hand. Some people are wearing face masks as part of a fashion statement, with coordinated face masks to work with their clothing. Others are buying very expensive tech face masks, which can look very hip. Our face masks are very simple. Recycled 2 layers of cotton fabric with 1 layer of non woven interfacing, a nose bridge, and adjustable/replaceable elastic around the ears.
Making Face Masks For Family, Friends & Clients
Since March 2020, my sister, Valarie McKenzie, and I (Dianne McKenzie) have been making face masks for family, friends, neighbors and clients to be worn during the COVID-19 pandemic. Valarie lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, working as a massage therapist extraordinaire at the Bellagio Spa and is an amazing healer. She, like most of us, is basically out of work, as the Spa is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. While realtors are considered essential businesses (most buyers & sellers are on hold for now), massage therapists are not able to work on clients. So during our “down time”, we started making face masks to give away for free.
Valarie and I come from several generations of seamstresses. Our Nana, was a “select gown” dressmaker in New Zealand and taught me to sew at a very early age. Our mother sewed all our clothes until I was in middle school, when I learned to sew all my own clothes. I was 25 years old before I bought my first “store bought dress”. Valarie learned to sew on her own. While we now live several states away from each other, we talk on our cell phones (FaceTime) almost every day.
We decided that since we both had a stock pile of fabric on hand, and had extra time to volunteer, that we should start sewing face masks. We have experimented with several designs and we are now settled on our version 4 of our face mask project. We have had lots of delays in making the masks working on a part time basis, as supplies for fabric, interfacing, elastic and nose bridges have been on back order from all internet sources.
Our version 4 face mask is to be worn when one is around other people. The face masks are designed by Valarie & Dianne, made with love, and 3 layers of washable fabric, including internal interfacing, for added protection. Wear your mask when you are out in public and routinely wash/dry. Together and part time, we have made over 150 face masks & are giving them away for free to family, friends, neighbors & clients (and anyone who needs a face mask, please contact me).
The face mask in our version 4 has a metal nose bridge that should be adjusted to fit your face. Try not to bend the nose bridge back to flat, as it will break if molded too frequently. The adjustable ear loops can be tightened, loosened or replaced as needed. The face mask should be worn so that the ear loop seam is on the inside of the mask.
Sierra, our silver standard poodle, has also become involved in our face mask efforts, by participating in several talking videos where she explains the importance of wearing face masks when around other people, social distancing, washing your hands frequently and stay-at-home precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can view her talking videos at: http://DianneMckenzie.com/sierra/
PayPal Donations Needed for Face Mask Making
I have run out of some basic materials for now, therefore, I am taking a break from face mask sewing until we can fund our face mask making project (about $200 is needed for basic supplies, more to purchase additional fabric, once we run out). We are not purchasing any more materials until we can raise the money to keep making face masks. Once we reach our goal, we will order supplies and we will continue to make face mask and give them away for free to anyone who needs a face mask. While we each have the time to make the face masks, we need our own personal financial resources to go to our living expenses during this pandemic, especially since we do not know how long the pandemic will last and what the outcome will be. If you want to contribute to the material costs of making face masks, you can donate supplies and/or funds by contacting us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or donating funds to our Paypal Account:
What are your needs? How can we help you?
Resources & Links:
|Santa Fe Information:||New Mexico Information:|
|Santa Fe Information »||https://nmhealth.org»|
|Taos Information:||US Centers for Disease Control:|
“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are to what you could become.”
Change is all about evolving, growing, transforming.
- to make a shift from one to another
- to make radically different
- to become something else
Thriving in times of change…
How do you respond to change?… More often than not, we tend to react rather than respond. Change brings up fear, worry, the unknown, & is often unsettling by its very nature.
Change Is Often Frightening
We resist change, but fear of the unknown can result in clinging to status quo behaviors, no matter how bad things are.
Change Must Be Positive
Being Is Easier Than Becoming
Slower Is Better
Everything has its own natural speed; when altered, unpleasant things happen. Change is most effective when it occurs slowly, allowing behaviors to become automatic.
Know More, Do Better
Surprise can be disastrous for people in transition. Knowing more about the process of change allows the feeling of more control over it.
Change Requires Structure
Many people view structure as restrictive, something that inhibits spontaneity. While spontaneity is wonderful for some activities, it can be method for sabotaging change.
Practice Is Necessary
Practice is another key approach to change. When we invite change, such re arranging the furniture layout, organizing closets & draws, getting rid of unused items, we practice changing the way we live.
“Without change there would be no butterflies.”
Thank you for reading our newsletter & feel free to pass it on to other kindred spirits. ~ Dianne McKenzie
Real Estate Market Update
Local New Mexico Guidelines for Real Estate Showings
COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Open Houses
Please adhere to the following recommendations to minimize the exposure of REALTORS®, clients, and the public to COVID-19. These guidelines are for the protection of Sellers, Buyers, Realtors and the general public.
Prior to an Open House
- Virtual Tours for a property should be recommended before any in-person showings
- Discuss with seller the precautions that will be taken and adhere to any specific requirements requested
- Maintain one entry into a home
- Turn on lights, open closets, cabinet doors & window coverings
- Open doors and/or windows to allow outdoor ventilation
- Sanitize any possible touch points or common surfaces
- Create a log for visitor names and contact information
- Provide masks, sanitizer & disinfectant wipes
- Post sign at door with guidelines & include Broker contact info
During an Open House
- Require all visitors to complete the contact log
- Allow a max of 5 people (including broker) to tour at one time
- Allow only one group to tour at a time
- Require all visitors to sanitize hands and wear masks
- Require visitors to maintain 6 ft of social distancing
- Instruct visitors to avoid touching any surface in the home
- Restrict visitors from using the bathroom facilities
- Sanitize common surfaces after each visitor group
- Maintain the visitor log and request that visitors inform their Broker if they fall ill within 14 days of viewing the property
- An additional person in attendance should control entry and review guidelines with new arrivals
These guidelines are subject to change as the COVID-19 situation is changing how we do business and we all need to adapt to any new restrictions set forth by the New Mexico Real Estate Commission
For more information, visit NAR’s Showing Guidance Reopening »
Housing Market Heats Up While Mortgage Rates Are Down
Even tough there are government shut downs across the country and many school districts are opening with remote learning only, the Taos and Santa Fe real estate market is seeing a spike in home sales.
Historically low interest rates have dropped to below 3% while refinancing has also showed a run on mortgage companies. With stay-at-home order in place around the country, many people are working from home and are looking at moving out of the big cities.
Homes sales are up 36.8%, new listings up 4.93% and closed sales are up 17% compared to July in Taos. With the 14 day quarantine for visitors from out of state, short term rentals have decreased, causing owners to consider long term rentals. Taos and Santa Fe have had a shortage of long term rentals for several years and now the market is even tighter. The supply of house on the market is very limited at this time. It remains to be seen what this autumn and winter will reveal. There are many unknown factors for the coming months. Will there even be a ski season, because of social distancing and COVID-19? Will the pandemic get much worse this winter? Right about now, a crystal ball would be very handy in helping determine the next 6 months.
Santa Fe Real Estate News
SOLD: 26 Homes, DOM 42 | 0 Lots, DOM 0
PENDING: 8 Homes | 2 Lots
LISTED: 8 Homes, Avg $572,187 | 1 Lots, Avg $65,000
Aldea de Santa Fe consists of 345 acres, with 205 acres of perpetual open space with 13 miles of walking trails, basketball & tennis courts, community center, (which offers yoga classes, exercise equipment & gathering space for events), a local cafe, superbly located in the high-value northwest corridor of Santa Fe County, with easy access to Highway 599, all just 10 minutes from downtown Santa Fe.
Current Listings August 30, 2020:
Las Campanas Real Estate News
SOLD: 42 Homes, DOM 118 | 37 Lots, DOM 229
PENDING: 20 Homes | 7 Lots
LISTED: 37 Homes, Avg $2,015,213 | 57 Lots, Avg $219,341
There are currently 37 homes for sale in Las Campanas
- 4 Homes under $1,000,000
- 33 Homes over $1,000,000
There are currently 57 Lots for sale in Las Campanas
- 14 Lots under $100,000
- 43 Lots over $100,000
Marketing Properties, Not Just Listing Properties
If you are thinking of selling your property, why not list it with a realtor who will market the property, not just list it in the MLS? By actively marketing your property, the property gets the most exposure to other realtors and to the general public through online blogging, email campaigns & the typical MLS exposure.
Call me, Dianne, 505.603.9300, to discuss your property needs, or for a tour of Lots & Homes in Aldea, Las Campanas and the Santa Fe region.
Taos Office: 575.776.7576
Taos Real Estate News
*SOLD: 115 Homes, DOM 162 | 42 Lots, DOM 511
*PENDING: 80 Homes | 29 Lots
*LISTED: 87 Homes, Avg $728,972 | 189 Lots, Avg $220,899
* Areas tracked:
Lower North, Upper North, West North, Town of Taos, Taos Ski Valley, South West, South East
See map for areas »
Recently, I have received inquiries from out of town buyers who are researching homes in the Taos area. These buyer profiles are looking to live in a safe community, with a country atmosphere, small homes, with flexible spaces. They are wanting to move to the area, but can’t find the properties that offer amenities that don’t include huge HOA fees. They want walking trails, localized eateries, a small grocery store, community activities and a sense of neighborhood. The are either downsizing their home and retiring or wanting a second home. They are wanting to go smaller, but the quality of their lifestyle and home features are upscale. “Does such a community even exist?” they ask.
In the coming months, I will be featuring such a community.
If you have been thinking about selling your home, now is probably a good time. Inventory is low and the demand for quality homes is up.
Call our Taos Office: 575.776.7576
Home Decor Insights
Ever wonder what happens when you have a home staged? In this post I share all the details of a past project to reveal everything that can go into preparing a house for sale…
I worked on this beautiful pueblo contemporary style home in Santa Fe in winter of 2019 and kept track of all the steps so I could share them here. It’s important to note that this house had multiple offers, and was under contract within nine days of listing at a price well above the comps for that particular neighborhood to date—which is another way of saying all the preparation efforts paid off!
It all started back in 2016
Even though I staged the house in 2019, I first met with the homeowners nearly three years prior. They were already working with their broker, Dianne McKenzie from Kachina Mountain Realty and she brought me in to discuss the logistics of home staging.
Then something happened that often does in real estate, the buyers decided to put off selling their home. In this case, they wanted to wait until their daughters had both gone off to college. A fair enough consideration — and since the initial meeting went well, I knew I’d be hearing from them before long.
Initial meeting — take two
Then in December of 2018, the home owners were ready to sell. I met with them and the broker again, and explained what I do as a home stager.
I told them that in addition to staging the home, I could coordinate everything from:
Donation or disposal of unwanted items
Assessing and coordinating repairs
Bringing in art, furniture, and decor for staging
Cleaning every inch for a show-ready home
I also introduced them to Michelle Moreland, professional organizer and owner of The Lone Arranger. Michelle would spearhead the organizing and decluttering — donating and consigning furniture, décor and artwork. (She would also act as my right-hand person, since the work was starting when I’d be out of town!)
For the second phase of the meeting we walked with the homeowners through the house. We took photos and noted all the items they wanted to keep and items they wanted to get rid of. We took measurements and talked about the repairs that would be needed.
Their living room was beautiful, but there was this huge bookcase separating it from the front room. I thought if we removed it, we could bring in more light and enlarge the space. The homeowner agreed with the idea.
We get the job
At the end of the meeting, the homeowners were convinced. They told us — the realtor, the organizer and me — to provide estimates. It looked like the project was getting a green light.
There was a lot of work to be done, but the sooner the house went on the market the better so we came up with a realistic timeline to make sure everything would be photo-ready by mid-February.
I presented a staging proposal, showing them the benefits of home staging — and how it’s infinitely better than trying to sell a vacant house. I explained my rental and services fees and worked out a date for the move-in of the staging materials.
We signed the staging agreement and then it was time to get to work.
Michelle (the organizer) started working with the client, orchestrating the pre-move work. I scheduled a handyman, giving him instructions on the removal of the bookcase, along with other small repairs the house needed. A landscaper showed up and began the process of getting the yard ready.
Out with the old, in with — the repairs
After the client hired movers, Michelle organized items into what would go to storage, what would go to the consignment shops and what would be thrown out. This was the time when I was out of town so Michelle was calling or texting me daily as we coordinated the process.
Once the furniture was out, we started on the repairs. Over the course of five weeks, we worked with local pros to make improvements like:
Repairing the Diamond plaster walls
Re-staining cabinets and doors
Replacing burned out light fixtures
Fixing cracks in the flooring
Resealing the flagstone and cement
Cleaning the yard
Laying gravel and landscaping cover
Rescreening the windows
Cleaning each room from top to bottom
So much work had been done, and we hadn’t staged a thing! This is partly why I put this post together — staging is so much more than just putting some art on the wall and bringing in a sofa or two.
For this three bedroom, three bath house I headed into my warehouse to select the right inventory. I picked a color palette for the house of soft blues, cream and grey. I chose coordinating artwork, accessories, floral and décor to set the stage in the now vacant — and fully repaired — home.
You could eat off these windows
Just prior to bringing in all the furniture and decor for staging the whole house was subjected to a deep-clean. We made sure the windows, mirrors, and any other glass or shiny surface was spotless, and the whole house was free of fingerprints and debris. (Not easy considering the rainy, snowy and windy weather we’d been getting all that February.)
Move-in day & photography
It took my crew about six hours to load up, transport and set out all the needed inventory. For a 3,000 square foot house (with a small on-site guest house) that included:
Two dining room sets
Two bedroom sets
And a whole lot of lighting, artwork and décor
For two days I worked with my crew to set up the house. We hung artwork, staged the interior AND exteriors. I made sure the flow of traffic felt right, the rooms felt comfortable, the arrangements were pleasing to the eye, and that there was enough negative space to rest the gaze. I made sure everything balanced and harmonized well and had the right contrast of texture. I also wanted people to notice the excellent architectural details and design of the house, so I placed décor to guide their attention.
Then the photographer arrived to capture all the different views of the home and a beautiful house went on the market.
Closing the deal
The first open house was on February 24. Forty people showed up. Two firm offers went in — it would have been three but another potential buyer had an issue with the stairs. There was a broker and agent tour on February 27th with numerous agents walking through.
Just nine days after it went on the market the house was under contract, with many potential backup offers. The list price was $750,000 — and the client accepted a full price offer. Afterwards the client retained me to manage a few more details at the home until the sale closed.
Every project is unique
In sharing the process for this home it is important to point out that every property has it’s unique needs and timing when preparing for a sale. Some homes require fewer logistics and some require so much more. It is impossible to determine the potential scope until I see the home in person or, as I’ve been doing more since the advent of COVID-19, arranging for a thorough digital walk-through. There’s no question though that investing a bit up front in the preparation and staging process can yield positive financial results for the seller, and an improved property for the buyers to enjoy.
505-699-4989 | homestagingsantafe.com
For ideas on decorating with spring in mind, check out Pinterest and explore a whole new way to spend your time online and check out my Pinterest page: KachinaRealty Happy pinning!
CFO, (Chief Fun Officer)
Our 1 year old silver standard poodle
Sierra: August 1-31, 2020
With COVID-19 still raging on, we are all social distancing. which means for Sierra, no dog classes or going down town Taos to practice her socialization skills. We are just starting to work on her service dog training and she had her first experience at walking through Lowe’s Home Improvement store with a shopping cart. She was great, a bit nervous of the cart at first, but handled being around the cart with all the noise. She got excited when someone wanted to greet her, so we will work on the jumping up issue at home.
Sierra has been with us now for just over 1 year, 3 months. This past year has gone by so fast and Sierra has changed so much from the tiny 8 week old tiny puppy to now almost a full grown standard poodle. We adore her, as she adds joy, entertainment and love.
I weigh & measure Sierra once a month, so here are her stats as of August 18: 14″ collar, girth: 23″, height to shoulder: 24″ weight: 33lbs.
Summer is has been pleasant this August and Sierra has become obsessed playing catch with her ball and fetching it from her wading pool. She also really loves running through her tunnel.
You really need to watch Sierra’s videos as they capture her spirit!
Here is the link to Sierra’s Videos »
Sierra’s 1st video explains who she is and her new role at Kachina Mountain Realty. In Sierra’s 2nd video she talks about Dianne’s role at Kachina Mountain Realty in the era of COVID-19. In Sierra’s 3rd video, Sierra talks about selling and buying real estate during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Sierra’s 4th video she talks about how staying safe in the era of COVID-19.
Sierra’s web page: www.diannemckenzie.com/sierra
More photos will be continually posted on her own web page, so check back monthly, as we chronicle her life with us!
Calendar of Events
New Mexico has long been a center for arts, culture, classes and gourmet food. With such a strong art market, there are hundreds galleries to explore and experience, along with a wide selection of thriving restaurants. Our Museums feature culture, history and traditions of the region and the world. Santa Fe, Taos County and beyond have something scheduled every day & night of the week, all year long.
If there’s one thing you can count on when spending time in New Mexico, it’s the treasured experiences and wide selection of entertainment: music venues, great sporting events, theatrical and musical entertainment as well as year-round festivals.
From festivals, music concerts and dance performances to theatrical offerings by local and touring groups, the performing artists work hard to keep its locals and visitors entertained by both New Mexico performers and acclaimed stars from around the world.
About Kachina Mountain Realty
I believe that, “…the dreams which accompany all human actions should be nurtured by the places in which people live and work”.
To promote this possibility, I encourages my clients to develop and share their dreams and lifestyle goals as part of the process of selling, buying or investing in property.
I have over thirty years of business experience as an executive producer, web architect, social media marketer, business developer, architecture assistant, real estate marketing developer and real estate consultant.
I am a licensed real estate qualifying broker for Kachina Mountain Realty & an accredited ACRE® real estate consultant. I have worked in the Santa Fe & Taos real estate market for years. I specialize in working with buyers and sellers who are looking for a solid real estate investment.
Contact me, Dianne McKenzie, for your real estate transactions & let me help you manifest your dreams!
I am readily available by cell phone, text, (505.603.9300) & email. I return calls promptly, seven days a week!
Taos Office: 575.776.7576
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