Building Modular, a viable option for many.

What is a Modular Home?

Unlike site-built homes, modular homes are built in a factory setting, shipped in pieces to a location, and assembled on a foundation. This process decreases construction time, provides a weather-controlled environment for the materials and building, and allows you to customize your home. Modular homes have come a long way in the past decade. They aren’t just your standard, ugly double wide that you are used to seeing. Modular Homes can be customized to fit almost any style whether it be a log home, adobe, farm house or modern; if you can imagine it, they can build it!

Basic Steps before building

Before your home can be ordered, you will need to find a location to place the home, and obtain any necessary permits. Knowing the building codes for your specific location will be useful when obtaining such permits. While you wait for your factory home to be built, you will make preparations for the foundation. Perhaps one of the most important steps of site preparation before your home arrives is connecting the utilities correctly. Discussions on whether you will hook in to a municipal sewer system or septic system will also be had.

Price Differential

Modular construction tends to be cheaper than stick-built homes by an average of 10 to 25 percent. This is because mass-produced materials on an assembly line, cut down costs as factories buy supplies in bulk. The cost of labor is also less because you don’t have to send individual carpenters, plumbers, and electricians to individual construction sites. Furthermore, a faster build time saves money too!


Modular homes appraise the same as their on-site built counterparts do. Modular homes are permanent structures and are generally assessed as real property. Thus meaning, taxes on modular homes are the same as site-built homes. Modular homes are built to the same building standards that traditional site builder must meet. Modular homes can be customized and vary in style and size just like stick built.

A Few Cons to Consider:

  • You’ll need to purchase the land first.
  • Cannot be built on subdivisions.
  • You’ll need to build out a foundation, add electrical hookups, plumbing, and sewage on-site.
  • Not all manufacturers are the same — you’ll need to do research on which company to choose.
  • You may need a construction loan at first to finance the modular home, which is only good for one year.
  • Once the home is attached to the foundation on-site, you’ll need to convert the construction loan into a longer-term mortgage by going through the home loan process.

In Conclusion, building modular has become a much more viable building solution for many looking to build their own home. This is especially true in rural areas where resources to contractors are limited. The ease of ordering, timeliness in which it can be completed and lower cost, are all appealing factors to building modular.

The Continental Divide – byway from Mexico to Canada.

Congress established the Continental Divide Trail, also known as the CDT, in 1978. One of the largest conservation efforts in the history of the United States. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) is much more than just a line on a map: it is a living museum of the American West. The trail stretches 3,100 miles across the US from Mexico to Canada. This trail spans roughly 5 states including: New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, northern Idaho and Montana. From the deserts of New Mexico to the alpine peaks of the northern Rockies, the Continental Divide Trail winds its way through the stunning and diverse landscapes of the central United States.

What is the Continental Divide?

The headwaters of our nation, spring from the Continental Divide. Imagine a line running the entire length of North and South America. This line runs north to south along the very highest elevations of these continents. It connects the peaks of the Rocky Mountains with the Andes in South America. Rain or snow that falls on these peaks will flow either to the east or to the west, eventually ending up in the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean. The map below shows how water flows from the Continental Divide into streams and rivers, eventually making their way to the oceans. Many of the US’s largest rivers begin as a trickle of water near the Continental Divide.

Cross Section of the Country

Indigenous peoples of North America were the first people to live along the waterways of this divide. The CDT follows the footsteps of Geronimo, tribal people and ancient traders. This route is sparsely populated with more wildlife than people to encounter. In addition, it is one of the most significant trail systems in the world. It’s the highest, most remote, and, in many ways, most challenging of our National Scenic Trails. Furthermore, this trail provides a window into the rich history of the West, from the history of indigenous peoples to westward expansion. The southern starting point of the CDT can be found at the Crazy Cook Monument near Hachita, New Mexico. The northern endpoint of the trail: Waterton Lake on the Canadian border.

Best Time to Hike

Depending on which direction you are travelling will determine when to start. Traveling northbound? You would want to begin early April to beat the summer heat of the southern states. Travelers coming from the north, typically head out mid June after the snowpack melts in Glacier National Park. Be sure to pack accordingly! This trail crosses through several diverse ecosystems, ranging from desert to snow-packed mountains, all at elevations above 4,200 feet! For instance, the arid desert land of Northern New Mexico quickly turns to lush, rocky mountains in Colorado. More so, the further north you travel, snowy mountain passes of Montana will be a stark contrast to where you started your travels. As this hike gains popularity, more resources become available. Be sure to do your research and plan accordingly!

The Future of the CDT

96 percent of the Trail is located on federal land managed by the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, or the National Park Service. Along with several other conservation non-profit organizations, these organizations work tirelessly to maintain the lands this trail passes through. In conclusion, The Continental Divide Trail has been specially designated as a National Scenic Trail by Congress to ensure that the scenic beauty will be conserved for generations to come. It’s more important now than ever to help minimize your impact on the environment. Make sure you know and practice the Leave No Trace Principles during your hike.

Escape the City!!!

The new urge to move to rural areas

There’s been evidence of urban Americans moving out of the big cities en route to rural locations. Perhaps its those looking to do something different. Perhaps its those who can no longer afford the big city taxes, rents, etc. Either way, the potential for a mass exodus from big cities, post Covid, is a real one.

It Makes Sense

Greater population density makes social distancing nearly impossible. Large concentrations of people in offices, apartment complexes, etc., do not leave much room for spacing out 6 feet apart. Conversely, rural communities makes social distancing not only easier, but practically automatic. This is due to the lower density environment.

Quemado, New Mexico

Advantages vs. Disadvantages

If you can handle the stark differences in lifestyle changes rural living brings, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages in our opinion.

Cleaner Environment
  • Less Traffic = Better Air Quality
  • Cleaner Food Too! You have a choice to shop more locally or in smaller markets instead of large chain grocers. Plus, it is easier to grow your own food in rural areas.
Less Expensive Housing

While the increase in ones value of their home is something to be celebrated, those increased values also come at a cost. For one, property taxes increase. While you may get a profit on the sale of your current home, the next one you purchase will likely be even more expensive. That is, unless you move more rural!

For what you sell your home for in a metropolitan area, you are likely able to purchase a home in a more rural location for cash! Homes in rural areas are a fraction of the cost of a similar property in a large city. Lower purchase price equates to lower mortgage payments, thus meaning – more cash in your pocket for the things you enjoy.

Remote Work is a Real Option for Many

While working remotely has been around for the past few decades, it has gained popularity in the past year given the circumstances surrounding Covid-19. It is proving to be beneficial for both businesses and employees. Brick and mortar offices are expensive to maintain. Many businesses are realizing this is an expense they can do without, thus giving the employees the ability to work from anywhere in the country.

A Few Obstacles do arise with going rural

While there are many advantages that might favor a move to a rural location, the move would also bring about challenges.

Limited Access to Technology

Many rural areas have difficulties providing high speed internet or even cell service. This can prove detrimental if needing to work remotely from home.

Lack of Social Outlets

If you are moving from a big city where you have become accustomed to the conveniences of fast food, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, etc., this move to a rural location might give you a bit of culture shock.

The Gatherin’ Place Cafe – Pie Town, NM
Education Options for Children

The quality of public schools vary from one community to another when dealing in rural areas. You may only have one option for miles. The flip side to this is that you are moving your child into a community that is slower paced and more personal. Private school options may be obsolete as well in more rural areas.

Aside from grammar school, colleges and universities are likely further in proximity as well.

In Conclusion…

There are many convincing arguments to make the move to a more rural location, but the challenges are of a similar strength. It’s possible to plan for them as long as you do your research before you make the jump. With social unrest and urban crime rate spiking, many want to make sure they are safe and prepared for the future.  If this pandemic has you thinking about moving to a more rural area, to put some land between you and your neighbors, the possibilities are endless all across the country, especially here in New Mexico!

New Mexico Dark Skies – A Gateway to the Stars

New Mexico is not called the Land of Enchantment for no reason. It’s truly dark skies are something mesmerizing to be relished. Whether you are an astrotourist or a novice star gazer, there are few places in the world to view night skies like in rural New Mexico! High elevation + low population densities make New Mexico the perfect place to see the stars.

Did you know that New Mexico was one of the first states in the US with a law to protect our night skies? As a result, New Mexico is home to several Gold and Silver-Tier Dark Sky Parks. Visit to see just a few. One of which was the first international Dark Sky Sanctuary in the Northern Hemisphere, located right here near us in the Gila National Forest – Cosmic Campground. As darkness falls, planets and stars emerge.

Experience unobstructed views in all directions from almost anywhere in rural New Mexico. Learn the celestial cultural practices of the Puebloan people or take a laser-guided constellation tour at one of the Dark Sky Parks. Or, if you are lucky enough to call New Mexico home, pull up a chair on you very own back porch and check out the universe above.

If observing the world above is of interest to you, there are several groups that gather for monthly/yearly star parties. The “Enchanted Skies Star Party” offers a unique astronomy experience that can’t be beat. The Amateur Astronomy Club meets every month at Oliver Lee State Park.

Lets not for get about Observatories

New Mexico is also home to several observatories, the Very Large Array being one of them. Located off Highway 60, between Datil and Magdalena, you will see a mass of huge radio dishes—27 of them, to be exact. Galaxy, black holes; researchers are using the Array to study all sorts of astronomic objects.

Comet NEOWISE – seen March 27, 2020

With dry climate and clean air, New Mexico’s clear nights make for a memorable star gazing experience! They have over 300 clear nights per year, and you will clearly see the brilliance of the skies. Come see what the constellations hold for yourself in New Mexico!

Looking to re-locate when you retire? How the pandemic has expedited that for many retirees.

Have you been thinking of relocating when you retire?  Many have a bucket list or dream of owning a homestead or ranch. Or possibly something off the beaten path once you no longer have to participate in the workforce. If this is you, you are like millions of Americans. Americans work their entire life to be able to set themselves up for retirement come age 65.

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, this time frame may be shortened for many looking forward to their retirement dreams! Several companies have added the option for employees to work from home for the rest of their career. This includes Twitter, which has said its employees can keep working from home “forever.”

What does this mean for those wishing to retire?

“The pandemic was unexpected, working from home was unexpected, but nonetheless many companies realized that workers can be just as productive working from home,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. What does this mean? Well, this means we may begin to see a boost in people buying retirement homes before their retirement.

This also includes RV’ers. An estimated 1 million Americans have chosen to retire in an RV, spending at least part of the year on the road. It’s not just Baby Boomers that are gravitating to this way of life. Many millennial’s are also embracing the minimalist idea of living life on the road. For a small investment (the cost of your recreational vehicle), you could be living mortgage free anywhere in the US.

Quemado Lake, NM

When choosing on where to live, retirees have cited three areas to be of the most importance: proximity to family, cost and health care. Another huge factor retirees look at is the weather. There has been a general migration to warmer climates like Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico for their more temped weather conditions.

People are taking advantage of the freedom to base their decision of where to live not solely on proximity to work. This opens the door to numerous possibilities. Do you buy a small plot of land? With land prices at an all time low, folks are able to leave the big cities and secure themselves a nice slice of rural heaven! Couple that with the low cost to build modular or post up in an RV and the options are endless. Visit to see how to become a landowner and plan for your future retirement!

6 Reasons to Buy Land

There are several reasons why investing in land is a great investment, but in this article we will just focus on 6. When thinking of your traditional investment opportunities, many do not even consider the option of purchasing land. Understandably so – people aren’t always willing to think outside the box when it comes to their money. Here are 6 reasons that may make you consider being a land owner:

1. Land is a Finite Resource

Land is scarce; meaning, we aren’t making any more of it. In fact, due to development, we are running out of it. Couple that with a growing population and eventually this finite resource will be used up. Buildings can be demolished and replaced, land cannot.

2. No Management Necessary

Aside from paying property taxes and possibly Association dues, there are no management costs for carrying land. There are no upkeep costs, no property managers to worry about or pay. Land is the well behaved “Golden Child” of investing. In its natural state it will always be worth something.

3. No Depreciation

Land cannot depreciate because it cannot be destroyed or moved. Regardless of what the global economic situation is, you will always have something tangible that can be sold. Land is less costly to buy than developed real estate, simply because there’s nothing there (aside from the raw land obviously.) There are no improvements or additions to it that make it more or less valuable.

4. Versatility Options

Whether you want a piece of property for recreation, something to build on, farm or graze animals – land gives you a wide range of options. If none of these options appeal to you, you can always rent it out. Land gives you the opportunity to be creative and mold property how you want.

5. Land is Great to Hold Long-Term

Land is a smart long-term hold, allowing you to win the benefits of rising values. This is especially true if you buy in an area that’s due to expand and grow. However, it’s for the patient, smart investor, someone who is willing to hold for the long-term or pass it on as a legacy. You can hold it for a lifetime and leave it as part of an inheritance. There is a slew of possibilities while you hold the land that can be income producing as well whether it be farming, sign space rental, cell phone tower leases, etc.

6. Land is Easy to Buy

Land buying is typically quite simple. Like many things these days, the entire process can usually be done online. You can purchase when and wherever in the US you want! When purchasing land, you don’t need to rely on an expensive bank loan or mortgage. You might not need to take out any loan – you can always pay cash! A lot of private sellers, like our company, Southwest Properties, Inc., offer easy financing terms that make it easy to buy land on any budget. Plus, we do not require credit checks!

To recap, vacant land is one of the most overlooked and misunderstood real estate investments in the world. Land is a tangible, finite resource that is easy to purchase. Land requires no maintenance and is easy to purchase, even more so to own over a long period of time. The simplicity and stability that comes with owning the right piece of land can give you serious peace of mind for your investment. Arguably, land investing could be the most powerful strategy you use to build up your portfolio!

Covid Crisis Creates Work Space with a View

Since its explosion in to our country at the beginning of 2020, the Covid-19 crisis has forced many businesses to re-think how they do business. From the large commercial buildings housing hundreds of employees, to the small mom and pop shops. Companies have had to re-evaluate how their employees interact. Not only with each other, but with their customers. Businesses are now realizing that they can afford to do without the overhead costs of brick and mortar office spaces.

The ability to work remotely has some workers reconsidering where they’ve chosen to live. The Pew Research Center has said more than one-fifth of U.S. adults have either changed their residence, or know someone who has, due to the Covid pandemic. For instance, college students have left campus to return home to avoid overcrowded dormitories. Laid off workers whom are now unable to afford their current housing have been forced to move. And many are leaving communities they feel are unsafe.

Relocation becomes a real possibility for many

This trend to move away from urban areas and into more rural areas does not appear to be a fleeting one. If you’re lucky enough to work from home, the new question arises of where will home be? The appeal of more time with family and less time commuting seems to be quite appealing for millions of Americans.

With a work window view like these, who could blame them?!

Millions have been working from home since lock-downs began in the spring. As a result, some companies are now looking to do this permanently. HR professionals believe remote work will continue to grow even as the pandemic subsides. Home buyers are now seeking out larger homes and properties as the demand to be socially distanced expands. Importantly, as remote work and learning continue, the need for more space at home seems to be a real one for many families.

Will the remote-work model be the new normal? Will the ability to work remotely encourage people to sprawl even farther into exurban locations, far from the city? We think so, but only the future will tell.

If you are looking to relocate, consider buying land in New Mexico! Beautiful vistas and wide open spaces are what you will find.