And then suddenly, a knock on the door...
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
In the 14 years we’ve been in Santa Fe, we’ve moved A LOT. Now, I’m the first to admit that I am one of those rare individuals that actually likes moving. My parents were small business people but made supplemental income in real estate, since my Dad was also an appraiser. When they’d sell the house we were living in and my brother and I would cry “WHY?” the answer was inevitably, “Because we have a buyer”. An entrepreneur is, after all…an entrepreneur. No matter what they’re selling.
While moving out of a home we loved was sometimes painful, decorating my new bedroom was super fun for me and it absolutely sprouted my passion for design. I also formed early recycling habits because I came to see moving as a rebirth of sorts - a time for donating what I didn’t need or use as well as a time to clean, rejuvenate and reinvent the rest.
Fast-forward back to now. It’s no secret that Santa Fe can be a difficult place to live. Case in point: the day we opened our store, we got a letter from our then landlords at home, saying they had “no choice but to raise the rent because it was SO FAR below market rate.” (Suspicious timing, at the least.) Of course, having just taken on a huge commercial lease commitment, we felt WE had no choice but to move. Before that, we moved because our landlord wouldn’t repair or replace broken appliances. Another time, we had a mice infestation; the time before that, mold, etc., etc., etc.
While we’d previously bought & sold five houses in southern New Mexico and Arizona, home ownership in Santa Fe, had completely eluded us due to a run-on sentence of reasons. Too expensive, not livable, everyone else has cash, nothing in our price range, too far out of town, needs too much work, trouble qualifying because we’re self-employed, bad neighborhood, etc., etc., etc.
But, late this summer, something truly unexpected happened. We received an unsolicited, realistic opportunity to buy a house. We’d of course been thinking about moving anyway because we desperately wanted to lower our overhead but also needed more room. A tall order, indeed. So, we’d quietly looked for months but found that during the last year while we had our heads buried in the business, those aforementioned “market rates” had gone through the roof.
Needless to say, we took our newfound opportunity very seriously. We started by asking ourselves all the important questions:
Were we ready to buy a house? Spiritually, YES. Financially, NO.
Did we have the guts to make (what might be to some) a ridiculous offer? YEP.
If accepted, could we pull together enough funds for down payment and closing? THINK SO.
Could we handle an hour commute (the home is in TAOS)? For home ownership, YOU BET.
Did the house fit our needs? Currently, NO. There’s no garage and Robin’s a carpenter.
Is there room to build what we need? YES.
Is it our dreamhouse? NO.
Can we strap on our overalls and turn it into a beautiful place to live? HELL, YES!
So, to make a long, drawn-out explanation of a story short, we are thrilled beyond belief to inform you that next Monday, WE ARE CLOSING ON OUR NEW HOUSE!!! In Taos.
What will this mean for the business? Hopefully, nothing. But, realistically:
We’re currently closed on Sundays and have staff on Mondays so we’re only looking at a five-day commute. We can do that.
We may have to come to town everyday during the holidays, but we can handle that.
There may be some days we can’t make it here because of inclement weather. We’ll just take a snow day when we need to and everyone will get used to it. It’ll be fine.
If it snows while we’re here and we can’t get home? We’ll stay over with my Mom or brother. IT WILL BE FINE.
As you may have guessed, as a carpenter/designer couple, we have BIG PLANS. We’re under no illusion that this will be our “forever home” but we’ll do our very best to make it look like a million bucks, for however long we’re there. Right off the bat: we’re looking at installing hardwood, re-configuring the kitchen, scraping the popcorn off the ceilings (yep, 70’s ranch) replacing the gas heater/stove with a funky vintage cone-shaped fireplace we found, and hopefully, by next summer, will be underway on a combo guest house/garage and French doors leading out to a back deck. It will be A LOT of work but it’s 100% the kind of work we L-O-V-E. We are abundantly grateful for this opportunity.