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 https://www.newmexico.org/darkskies 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 www.swproperties.com 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.

Fourth of July Band Concert – New Mexico Veterans’ Memorial

Last year, the New Mexico National Guard’s 44th Army Band performed a special Fourth of July concert at the New Mexico Veterans’ Memorial in Albuquerque. The band played traditional ceremonial music as well as performances by the saxophone quartet and the brass quintet. In addition, the first ever Military Mariachi Band performed for the audience.

The United Veteran’s Council is pleased to announce that the 44th Army Band will again present a Fourth of July concert at the Memorial.  The concert will be in the Memorial Amphitheater and will begin at 5:00 PM and last for approximately one hour.  We suggest you arrive early to facilitate parking.  Also, you are advised to bring chair pads, lawn chairs, or blankets for your personal comfort during the concert.

For this special event, the Memorial Visitor Center will be open and visitors are welcome to view the displays therein.

The New Mexico Veterans’ Memorial is located at 1100 SE Louisiana Blvd. SE.  For additional information about the Memorial and this event, please go towww.nmvetsmemorial.org and access the events calendar or call the Memorial office, 505-256-2042.

New Mexico Restaurant Week Returns! February 23 – March 2, 2014

NM-map

Now in its fifth year, New Mexico Restaurant Week is an 8-day culinary celebration featuring value-priced dinners and lunches, daytime cooking demonstrations, classes, and wine & spirits tastings held in Taos, Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  In addition, several hotels will feature special Restaurant Week lodging packages.

From Sunday, Feb. 23rd to Sunday, March 2nd, you can dine, drink, and discover in the Land of Enchantment! Check www.nmrestaurantweek.com frequently for 2014 restaurants, lodging, and events.

Don’t Get Burned Buying Firewood!

As the weather turns colder, New Mexico Department of Agriculture is reminding people who plan to buy firewood to know what to look for so they get their money’s worth.  NMDA’s Standards and Consumer Services Division regulates New Mexico’s Weights and Measures Law, which addresses how firewood and other commodities must be advertised and sold in order to maintain fairness in the marketplace for both buyer and seller.

“This time of year, you might see some roadside firewood sellers using some pretty loose terms – face cord, loose cord, Albuquerque cord, truckload, load, rack, pile – but none of these are actual legal units of measurement,” said Ray Johnson, SCS assistant division director. “Since it’s impossible to know whether you’re getting a fair deal or not when you buy firewood labeled in these ways, people should look for firewood sold by the cord or fraction of a cord.”

In fact, state law requires firewood to be advertised and sold by the cord or fraction of a cord. A cord is legally defined as 128 cubic feet of wood, commonly seen in a tight stack 4 feet wide by 4 feet high by 8 feet long with logs stacked parallel to one another. State law allows firewood sellers to sell lesser amounts of wood by weight, but the seller must declare the price-per-cord equivalent.

Things to keep in mind when buying firewood in New Mexico:

  • It is illegal to sell firewood in unspecified quantities such as load, truckload, face cord, loose cord, rack, or pile.
  • If firewood is sold by weight, the seller must declare the price per unit of weight and the equivalent price per cord. (This does not apply to firewood sold in packaged bundles of less than 100 pounds.)
  • The buyer should have the firewood stacked and measured while the seller is present.
  • Each delivery of firewood must be accompanied by a receipt or invoice containing the name and address of the buyer and seller, date of delivery, quantity delivered, identity of the commodity, and the total selling price.
  • If possible, the buyer should get the seller’s phone number and the license plate of the delivery vehicle.
  • Bundles of kindling wood or similar packages must be labeled with a statement of net content in terms of weight or measure.
  • The label must include the name and place of business of the packager or distributor and a word or phrase identifying the product.

SKI APACHE WILL OPEN ON SCHEDULE WITH THREE NEW CHAIR LIFTS AND $15 MILLION IN IMPROVEMENTS

Rendering of the new gondola at Ski Apache.

Ski Apache, the United States’ southernmost ski area known for epic warm-weather skiing and unbelievable views of the surrounding Lincoln National Forest, returns for its 51st year on Sierra Blanca with three new chair lifts for the 2012 season. The new season boasts a brand new Doppelmayr Gondola. Home to the first and only passenger gondola in the state of New Mexico, the new eight-passenger Gondola climbs 1,646 feet to the mountain’s peak in just eight minutes, almost twice as fast as its predecessor. The 2012-2013 ski season is anticipated to open Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22, and season passes are on sale now.

As the new gondola carries nearly 2,000 skiers and snowboarders up the ski resort per hour, two new Doppelmayr chair lifts, one triple and one quad, help Ski Apache achieve the highest lift capacity in the state with another 3,600 guests ascending the mountain per hour. Combined with its already immense snowmaking capabilities and an annual snowfall over 180 inches, Ski Apache is prepared to serve up another memorable winter to visitors from throughout the region.

“We are happy to invest in something that has proven such a valuable asset not just to the tribe but to the surrounding communities as well, particularly considering the effects on the region from the Little Bear Fire,” said The President of the Mescalero Apache Tribe Frederick Chino Sr. “During the 2011-2012 season, more than 130,000 people visited Ski Apache, and we look forward to seeing that number continue to climb with the addition of these new lifts. Not only do they expand our capacity for winter visitors but the new Gondola also enhances our summer recreation offerings with mountain biking and hiking. This considerable enhancement allows us to attract visitors to the area throughout the year. The Tribe recognizes the economic impact Ski Apache has on our neighbors and we are happy to make the investment to continue to grow our local economy.”

The Mescalero Apache Tribe has dedicated $15 million to the new chair lifts, and continues its ongoing commitment to such popular events as the Dummy Gelunde, Warren Miller movie premiere, Sisters on Snow, and terrain park competitions.

“We are proud of the investment our Tribe has made in Ski Apache for the upcoming season,” said Frizzell Frizzell Jr., chief operating officer for Ski Apache, Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino and Casino Apache Travel Center. “Last year was a record-breaking year on the mountain and the effects of the Little Bear Fire will not stop us from having another strong season. The new chair lifts and gondola will reduce lines and will give our guests the ability to spend more time skiing and snowboarding and less time waiting for a chair lift.”

Adding to the new amenities at Ski Apache, favorite events including the Torchlight Parade, Music on the Mountain, terrain park competitions, and the Dummy Gelunde Downhill Race return to the mountain, creating a winter wonderland full of fun and entertainment. New events for the 2013 season include Sisters on Snow, which appeals to women looking to improve slope-side skills from intensive instruction, and the Big Mountain Challenge for two-person teams of intermediate skiers and boarders, with prizes to the top six finishers.

Ski Apache is located in Mescalero, N.M. just 85 miles southwest of Roswell and two hours north of El Paso, Texas. Situated high in the picturesque mountains of Mescalero and resting at 11,500 feet with a vertical drop of 1,900 feet, Ski Apache’s dry, arid climate makes for optimal snow conditions for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Fifty-five trails are served by 11 lifts, including New Mexico’s only gondola. After a full day on the slopes, skiers can visit the main ski lodge for an afternoon snack, play a hand of poker at one of 12 video poker machines, or head down the mountain to the resort’s award-winning accommodations at Inn of the Mountain Gods. Featuring both fine and casual dining options, a sports bar, live entertainment, indoor pool, hot tub, and saunas, the Inn is a welcome retreat for skiers looking to rejuvenate.

Starting Thanksgiving Day the mountain is open seven days per week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All lifts and the gondola will be open by Christmas 2012 along with Ski Apache’s two terrain parks featuring five standard and one rainbow box, three flat rails, one battleship rail, one flat-down-flat rail and one A-frame rail. Lift tickets are $54 for adults, $47 for seniors (60 years and older), $43 for military personnel, $45 for teens (13-17 years) and $34 for children under 13. Group ticket discounts are also available in addition to individual ski and snowboard equipment rentals, $20 for adults and $12 for children. Lifts run daily including holidays and more than 100 instructors are available for lessons, along with Flaik GPS systems making it possible to locate children and guests on the mountain in real time, while also providing a chance to track the day on the mountain, recording information such as lifts used and runs explored.

For those who just can’t wait to see the fresh powder in all its glory, Ski Apache offers a live web cam, along with an interactive trail map, up-to-the-minute weather conditions and snow reports, also available via RSS feed and text alerts.

For more details on Ski Apache call 575-464-3600. For more information on Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino or its associated enterprises, visit