5 Steps to a Dream Vacation Home in Santa Fe

The front entrance to a home on Palace, Santa Fe

Whether you vacation in the summer or the winter, you’re going to love having your own little piece of the Land of Enchantment when you buy a vacation home in Santa Fe. Before you can soak up the sunshine in the golden Southwest, you need to figure out how the purchase is going to fit into your finances and your long-term life plan. Here are five steps to keep in mind as you look for your dream vacation home in The City Different.


1. Take Your Time

You may want to jump in with both feet right this minute. We’d advise against that. Take your time and get to know the Santa Fe real estate landscape. You’ll need to do some on-the-ground research and tour Santa Fe neighborhoods to find the right one for you. You may want to shop for resale value, seeking out homes in areas with a strong promise for appreciation. We can help you on both counts. You can also check out our Market Reports. It has quarterly reports on both the residential and luxury market for Santa Fe County.


2. Talk To Your Potential Neighbors

Talking with some people who live in the neighborhoods you’re considering is a good way to make sure this is where you want to spend your time off. You can learn what the neighborhood is really like and get a sense of who lives there all year and who owns a vacation home. This is the time to ask local residents about nuts-and-bolts questions like winter driving conditions, where they buy their best cup of coffee, and their preferred hiking routes. Some compounds get together for celebrations like Fiestas, which can help you determine great times to visit.


3. Fit It Into Your Financial Plan

Buying a second home comes with many of the same responsibilities as buying a first home. Consider the asking price as well as all of the other expenses: mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities, and so on. Don’t forget furniture costs, too—those cowhide rugs don’t buy themselves! Once you estimate the total cost of buying a vacation home, look at your budget. Make sure that you can comfortably cover the expenses of a second home.


4. Take Advantage of the Differences

Buying a vacation home is a lot like buying a primary residence, but it’s not exactly the same. Here are some differences that you can take advantage of:


  • You can arrange a time-share deal with friends or family.
  • You have a first home to tap into as a line of equity.
  • You can rent the home out to tenants when you’re not there.


5. Think About Renting, First

Finally, before making the decision to buy a Santa Fe vacation home, it’s not a bad idea to find a rental property in the neighborhood so that you can take the area for a trial run. This is a wonderful way to experience the Old World feel and extraordinary natural beauty that Santa Fe offers.