11 Craziest New Mexico Homes

Get ready to question the laws of physics. These private homes have such wild architecture you have to wonder if Dr. Seuss had a hand in their design.

Here’s 11 unique, innovative New Mexico homes that really stand out.

The Residence of Architect Bart Prince

Built in 1983, this funky-looking Albuquerque house goes by many names: “The Spaceship House,” “The Hovercraft House,” “The Bug House,” and “OMG WTF is that?”

It’s the residence of New Mexico architect Bart Prince (3501 Monte Vista Blvd. NE), who designed many amazing houses and community centers in New Mexico.

“On the top level are a series of translucent water tubes which are part of a passive solar heating system. There are two spiral stairs which serve the upper area and connect it to the living room and studio. A masonry tower, added in 1990, provides library and drawing storage space,” reports Albuquerque Business First.

Next door (3507 Monte Vista Blvd. NE) is another structure that’s more angles than curves, but still has the same cantilevered style. It’s said to be Prince’s studio.

The Camouflage House

“The Camouflage Home,” or “The Flintstone House” as locals call it, seems to almost disappear into the surrounding rocky desert landscape.

Designed by Santa Fe jeweler Norah Pierson, this 2,300-square-foot home in Lamy isn’t actually made from rock at all. It’s covered with a polyurethane spray foam that’s usually used as insulation to give it a stone-like look and then tinted it to match the environment.

The Turbulence House

The Turbulence House, created by architect Steven Holl (2001-2005), sits atop a windy desert mesa in northern New Mexico.

“The form allows turbulent wind to blow through its center. The stressed skin and aluminum rib construction is digitally prefabricated in Kansas City then bolted together on site. A total of 31 metal panels, each with a unique shape are fabricated to form the ‘shell’ of the house,” writes Holl.

The Mead/Penhall Residence

Albuquerque’s Mead/Penhall residence, designed by Bart Prince (1992-1993), is “built on the last vacant lot in a previously developed neighborhood with existing houses on three sides.”

Sometimes called “The Cigar House” due to its shape, the residence “is lifted above the site to take advantage of the distant mountain and valley views. The plan of the house resulted from a response to the clients who wanted to provide for their collection of art and antique furniture in a contemporary environment.”


The Modern Ruin

“The Modern Ruin” is the name of a house and studio in Agua Fria Traditional Village (3094 Agua Fria), just outside Sante Fe.

Sharing a piece of property with a family member’s house, a green house, chicken coops, and a garden, the new structures designed by Autotroph Design (2011) embody the area’s traditional adobe architecture and its modern industrial infrastructure.

According to Autotroph Design, the goal was to convey a modern ruin — “clean, elegant form with a weathered, hand-hewn feel.”

“Additional factors informing the design include a rooftop deck reached via the single upstairs bedroom, with space for a future green roof. Water catchment and gray water reuse are key to maintaining cottonwood and aspen trees, limber pines, native grasses and restoring the property’s historic orchard.”


The Scherger/Kolberg Residence

This Albuquerque house designed by Bart Prince (2001-2005) even has its own website. The house takes advantage of the views from the base of the mountain.

“The site backs up to a national park and offers great views of the mountain as well as the city below. The plan of the house wraps around a center courtyard that is used for the main entrance. Sloping roofs and large windows extend the view.”

The Earthship Biotecture Houses of Taos

An Earthship is a type of passive solar house made of natural and recycled materials (like earth-filled tires), designed and marketed by Earthship Biotecture of Taos.

They’re designed to work as autonomous buildings using thermal mass construction and natural cross ventilation assisted by thermal draught to regulate indoor temperature. Earthships are off-the-grid homes, minimizing their reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. They’re built to utilize the available local resources, especially energy from the sun.

You can find most of them along Earthship Way, just outside of Taos.

The Fu Residence

The Fu Residence in Rio Rancho is another Bart Prince design (1999-2002). Sometimes called “The Snake House,” it’s located on Huron Drive, just north of Northern Boulevard.

“This site slopes gently from west to east toward the Rio Grande valley in the near distance and the Sandia Mountain range beyond,” according to Prince’s website.

The Sage House

“The Sage House” in Taos, designed by architect Jon Anderson and Antoine Predock(2006-2008), has panoramic views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

According to Predock’s website: “The Sage House is organized along a simple arc, focusing views outward to the dramatic landscape. An internal courtyard, sheltered from prevailing southwestern winds with walls, an earthen berm and an orchard, completes the inscribing arc.

Designed for a renowned local chef, the house contains a restaurant quality kitchen and spaces for large social events. The central spaces are organized around the courtyard so that the house can be opened to the landscape for warm weather parties. The courtyard contains a central fire pit and is shaded by trellises for summertime use.”

The Whitmore Residence

The Whitmore Residence, or “Glorieta House” as Bart Prince dubbed it (2001-2004), is in Glorieta, New Mexico.

The house sits on the side of the hills in the distance. Prince writes that it’s “a beautiful site of several acres bisected by the adjacent Galisteo River and the Santa Fe Railroad.

The various spaces of the house cascade down the gentle slope in small increments, which total 20 feet in elevation from the lowest to the highest. The central living pavilion is separated from the master suite at one end of the house and the guest suite at the other end by courtyards which provide exterior sleeping areas protected from rattlesnakes and coyotes.”

The Dome Homes

These curious spherical shells are comprised of building materials like Airform, an inflatable balloon-like base structure, steel-reinforced concrete, and polyurethane foam.

Monolithic, the Italy, Texas-based creator of these unique houses, designed a 1,000-square foot sphere in El Prado, New Mexico (35 April Way). The structure comes with all the standard home appliances and heated floors.

But it’s not the only dome home in-state. There’s a teensy 320-square foot, solar-powered dome home in neighboring Taos (211 Camino De Lovato).


2015 Remodeling Costs vs. Value – Less is More

This story is from the National Association of Realtors magazine – Jan 2015

2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value: Less Is More

Smaller replacement projects, particularly those that enhance curb appeal, remain the most cost effective way for sellers to improve value.

With home price gains slowing in most parts of the country, sellers will be looking for ways to get top dollar for their listing. Cleaning and staging make a big difference. If you want expert cleaners hire a cleaning service Nassau County, to come help you. But for some sellers—such as investors seeking to bring a property up to neighborhood standards before the sale—remodeling work may be the ticket.

What Is the Cost vs. Value Report?

The Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, produced by Remodeling magazine in cooperation with the National Association of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Magazine, provides estimated costs for 36 midrange or upscale home-improvement projects, along with the percentage of cost that owners can expect to recoup when they sell. Projects range from a new garage door to a master suite addition. Check out the ADS Automatic Door Specialists website for garage door solutions. Believe it or not, but garage door is a vital part of your home’s value.

Project costs for the 102 markets surveyed for the 2015 report were provided by RemodelMax, a publisher of estimating tools for remodelers, using Clear Estimates remodeling software. NAR members provided the expected value of the projects at resale.

To learn more and see all 36 projects broken down by region and market area, go to this site or CostvsValue.com.

Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, ©2015 by Hanley Wood LLC. Republication or re-dissemination of the Report is expressly prohibited without written permission of Hanley Wood, LLC. “Cost vs. Value” is a registered trademark of Hanley Wood LLC.

As the 2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report makes clear, large-scale jobs aren’t likely to return sellers their full cost. But there are improvements worth doing in anticipation of an upcoming sale. Some will return almost 100 percent of their cost. Others may not have as great a payback, but they can improve the market position of the property in relation to the competition. (Think about the impact of beautiful kitchen photos on online home shoppers.) In addition, several pricier projects can provide owners with a few years of enjoyment while still offering a decent payback down the road.

As a general rule:

Simpler, lower-cost projects tend to return greater value. The national average cost for a steel door replacement was $1,230, for example. That’s the least expensive project on the list, and it ranks highest on the payback scale, returning 101.8 percent nationally on average. In fact, in 43 of the 102 markets surveyed, REALTORS® said the new vinyl siding door would recoup more than 100 percent of its cost. Other projects expected to top 100 percent payback in multiple markets: the midrange garage door replacement, the upscale garage door replacement, the midrange wood window made it to the best replacement windows for Louisville KY list, and the minor kitchen remodel. Notice a pattern? With the exception of the kitchen job, they’re all replacement projects. In general, replacements cost less and provide a bigger payback than remodels or additions. If you need a garage door replacement, visit United Garage Doors.

First impressions are important. The replacements that offer the greatest payback are the ones that are most obvious to buyers when they first view a house in person or online, such as new door or garage door. Siding replacement also provides great value at resale—particularly this year’s one new project, manufactured stone veneer,  which is expected to recoup 92.2 percent of its cost nationally on average.

Kitchens still offer the most remodeling bang for the buck. The only remodeling job breaking into the top 10 in terms of payback is the minor kitchen remodel with a national average cost of $19,226 and a national average payback of 79.3 percent.

Top 4 projects nationally in terms of cost recouped:

1. Entry door replacement (101.8%)
2. Manufactured stone veneer (92.2%)
3. Garage door replacement (88.5%)
4. Siding replacement, fiber cement (84.3%)

Expect bigger payoffs in the West. In addition to reporting national averages, Remodeling magazine breaks down Cost vs. Value data by Census region. In the Pacific region—which includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington—six projects are expected to top 100 percent payback. The nearest competitor is the East South Central region—Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee—where two projects are expected to top 100 percent payback.

Just how much sellers can expect to recoup from home improvements depends on the job and the region of the country they live in. There are also factors that vary from house to house and sale to sale, such as what updates are typical for the neighborhood, the quality of the work, and how important the improvement is to a particular buyer. And while you can’t apply this data directly to any specific house or neighborhood, you can use the Cost vs. Value Report as a starting point in discussions with buyers and sellers about the cost and value of remodeling.



More Sales, Higher Prices in 2014

Local markets see more home sales, higher prices

Posted: Thursday, January 8, 2015 7:00 pm | Updated: 8:10 am, Fri Jan 9, 2015.

By Bruce Krasnow
The New Mexican |

Home sales in Santa Fe finished 2014 on an upswing, as data for the fourth quarter show both a higher median price and more closed sales than in the same period the previous year.

Overall closed sales in the city and county rose 3 percent in October, November and December, while the median price of a home sold climbed 8 percent, according to the Santa Fe Association of Realtors.

 Thursday’s data also show that the median price of a home sold in the city of Santa Fe increased 11.5 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with a 2.9 percent increase in the unincorporated area.

Sales in the northeast part of Santa Fe, where the median price is $724,500, were especially robust, climbing 57 percent from 26 closed sales in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 41 in same quarter of 2014, according to the association. Sales in the higher-end neighborhoods likely benefited from a climb in the stock market, which hit record levels at the end of 2014.

For the 2014 calendar year, closed sales in the combined city-county market totaled 2,226, just 90 more than sales in 2013, or an increase of 4.2 percent. The median price over the year dropped 1.7 percent to $295,000 from $300,000 a year earlier. The year saw better sales in the first and last quarters and a more sluggish summer.

Association President Barbara Blackwell, a broker with Keller Williams Santa Fe, said inventory tightened a bit in the last three months of 2014, falling 7 percent, and that helped prices. “Interest rates remained lower than expected, helping to attract buyers,” she added in a statement.

Heading into 2015, interest rates have remained low, and that should increase affordability for more buyers, Blackwell said. Additionally, first-time buyers should benefit from lower down payment requirements.


Eldorado Real Estate Report – 2014

Here is the 2014 Eldorado Real Estate Report. The graphs below illustrate the increase in sales activity for the year.
148 Eldorado homes sold in 2014. In 2013, 129 homes sold and 125 sold in 2012.
 – 50 active listings in December, 13 sold. With the exception of last January, sales activity was steady for the remaining 11 months.
– $149 was the average price per square foot in December. Remember it depends on the size of the house, age and the quality of the finishes. The larger the house, the lower the price per square foot. This has ranged from $149 – $173 last year.-140 were the average days on the market last month.

– 96% is the sales price vs. listing price for December. This is the listing price when the property went under contract, not the original listing price, which may have been higher. This has ranged from 94% – 99% for the last 3 years.

– 355K was the average listing price in December. The average sales price was 306K.

– 3.8 months of inventory – which means the length of time it would take to sell all the homes listed in Eldorado at the current rate of sales. Eight months indicates a healthy real estate market, so Eldorado still remains a very popular neighborhood.
TrendVision TM

Published January 2015*

Location:   Eldorado (area 14)
Prepared for you by: Lisa Smith, 505-570-5770
Number of Homes For Sale vs. Sold (Jan. 2014 – Dec. 2014)

Average Price per SQFT (Jan. 2014 – Dec. 2014)

Avg Days On Market & Sold/List Price % (Jan. 2014 – Dec. 2014)

Average Price of For Sale and Sold (Jan. 2014 – Dec. 2014)

Months of Inventory Based on Closed Sales (Jan. 2014 – Dec. 2014)