After almost three years of looking for a house, from Ventura to Prescott to Big Bear to Ojai to San Diego to Sonora to San Pedro to Durango to Santa Fe to….we have finally bought a house in Sandia Park, NM. The house is in the mountains just outside Albuquerque.
Last Friday we drove to Durango, CO to look at a house only to have it sold on the same day we were to see it. That is so typical of this market. Then we drove to see this house (Laguna Vista Trail) that we liked enough online that we had already made an offer sight unseen, but was contingent on us seeing the place. We arrived in the Albuquerque are a couple of days later.
We got progressively more depressed as we drove toward the house for the first time. Take Highway 40 east to Highway 14 (also known as the Turquoise Trail), then nine miles up to a little two lane road (La Madera) and up it for five more miles and then… turn off on a dirt road, go through a gate (by a trailer with a sign saying, “I have a shotgun and backhoe,” and then another mile on this dirt road to the driveway, which is another 300 yards long and we were there! I was thinking there was no way this was going to work.
Finally, we got to see the house for the first time in person. Well, judge for yourselves
Next morning, KR was still worried so we asked for another visit. After another hour, we went to another restaurant and made the decision – we would go through with the sale.
This house represents the weird circumstances that were required for us to afford a house we liked:
- Its remote. Very remote
- It was designed by an architect who started construction somewhere around 2000. He had a heart attack, died and the house sat unfinished for almost 15 years. The current couple bought it about 2 years ago and finished it themselves (he’s a contractor/engineer and she obviously has pretty good taste). Then their family situation changed and the wife needed to go back to Wisconsin and wanted to sell the house rather quickly.
- Its 2500 sq. ft. sitting on 5 acres in a a small development called Canon Alegre. It’s pretty much the highest house on the mountain
So, we signed on the digital dotted line and have now entered the escrow/closing phase that is characterized by two things: money and documents.
We left Albuquerque shortly after signing on the dotted line and headed south toward Puerto Vallarta. Crossing the border at El Paso was a new experience that went surprisingly well considering its the highest volume crossing in the U.S. First night was spent on a street in Hidalgo de Parral, just south of the Chihuahua state line with Durango. Next night was another street in the El Centro part of Durango (the city), and tonight we’re on the beach at Mazatlán. As is sooo typical of RVing, the air conditioning unit just went out during one of the nights we could really use it.