With efforts in place across New Mexico to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, open houses are on pause for now in the Santa Fe area. We’ve turned up the volume on virtual tours and video walkthroughs to help our clients keep their real estate goals on track.
Increasing the use of such digital tools underscored what we always knew—there are always times when it’s not possible for homebuyers to view homes in person.
Santa Fe is a huge market for second homebuyers and people who are relocating to the area. While the “new normal” has spurred our agents to get more creative than ever, house hunting from a distance has always been part of the real estate landscape. When you can’t tour a home or a community in person, here are five effective ways to explore Santa Fe neighborhoods online.
1. Use Our Virtual Tours and Video Walkthroughs
Buyers are actively looking at homes to purchase right now. Our agents have expanded the use of video tours in our listings to allow buyers to walk through properties from the safety and comfort of their current homes. Did we say our agents have gotten more creative than ever? Many of our virtual tours include narration from the listing agent that gives the buyer an up-close-and-personal overview of the home and location.
2. Visit Community Resources Online
Buying a home means more than investing in a property. You’re also investing in a community. It makes sense to learn as much as you can about that community before making an offer.
In pre-internet days, homebuyers would get in the car and drive around to explore a community. They’d visit the library, investigate schools, and walk around the city center to get a feel for the place. You can do all that and more when you explore Santa Fe online.
Santa Fe Public Library It may sound old-school to check out the public library when you look for a home in Santa Fe, but we’re recommending a virtual visit now for two reasons. Number one: Even if you live in Santa Fe, all library buildings are closed as of this writing due to public health protections. Number two: Checking out the library gives you an instant measure of the quality of community services.
For example, does the library offer outreach activities, classes, writing groups, and programs for teens and children? A glance at the Santa Fe Public Library website will show you the answer is a resounding “yes.” Robust library programming is a sign of a flourishing, active community that strongly supports it residents. Explore Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library to dig deeper. You’ll see a roster of events and programs that include author meet-ups and book discussions.
City of Santa Fe Government Website Exploring the local government website is an excellent way of researching the level of services in any community. Just a sampling of what you can learn about Santa Fe from the city’s website includes the following:
- Santa Fe’s network of trails, both paved and wilderness
- City of Santa Fe trash and recycling services
- Santa Fe public transit route maps and schedules
- Santa Fe parks and recreation
Santa Fe Official Travel Site Not just for tourists and visitors, Santa Fe’s official travel site is one of the best in the Southwest. If you’re a would-be resident, this site is required browsing. From restaurants to outdoor activities to the Santa Fe Margarita Trail (we didn’t make this up), you can learn about it here.
The coronavirus epidemic has caused many places to temporarily close, but take a look at ways to virtually experience Santa Fe at Dream Now, Visit Later. Whether you live in the area or not, you can explore everything from online flamenco lessons to virtual tours with a local historian.
3. Join Online Community Groups
Nextdoor is an online neighborhood hub where residents can exchange information, recommend local businesses, and even search for a lost dog. You need a local and verifiable street address in order to sign up, so this resource is most useful if you already live in the area and are searching for a new home. With 164 neighborhoods on the Santa Fe Nextdoor site, you can explore everything from Agua Fria Village to Zocalo.
4. Use Google Street View
Use Google Maps Street View to take your virtual home tour to the next level. Pop a street address into the search bar and then drag and drop that little orange figure onto the map. You’ll get a high-res street view you can navigate in multiple directions—literally anywhere Google’s Street View camera car has driven.
5. Explore Santa Fe on Google Arts and Culture
Head to Santa Fe on Google Arts and Culture to take a virtual trip to such iconic Santa Fe destinations as the Dale Ball Trails and the Santa Fe Railyard. It’s the next best thing to experiencing Santa Fe’s jaw-dropping vistas and landscapes when you can’t get here in person.