Buying a new house can be a daunting task anywhere, but here in the Taos New Mexico area, there are numerous considerations that you probably wouldn’t ever think about in most other areas.
Know Before You Buy Your Taos House
When looking at Taos houses for sale by owner or through a real estate office, here are some things you will want to know to assist in your search:
1. In most areas, homes are often build in tracts or subdivisions with city or municipal services for water or sewer, paved roads, and unambiguous covenants or restrictions. You typically don’t need to worry about things like septic systems or wells, or deed restrictions on top of County or homeowner association restrictions, or about thinks like historic land grants. For Taos houses however, all of these can factor into the property.
2. When looking for a Taos house, you will obviously focus on the home itself and all of its features, but you will also want to pay attention to other often less obvious factors. Things like lot size and outdoor living spaces and privacy, surrounding properties and the neighborhood, the location of the property and its proximity to conveniences that are important to you, and road conditions and access to the property.
3. You will want to make sure you understand the situation with utilities and services being provided to your Taos house as well. Is the house on the local town or community water system or is it on a private or shared well? If it is on a shared well, who is the well shared with and what are the responsibilities and obligations of all those sharing the well? Is the house on the town or community sewer system or is it on a private septic system? And again, if it is on a private septic system, what does this mean to you?
4. Is the house in a Homeowners Association or HOA, and if so, how much are the monthly dues and what do the Covenants and Restrictions say – i.e., what are you allowed to do, or more particularly, what are not allowed to do? You will want to review these Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions to answer questions like, are you allowed to have pets, or are you allowed to rent out your house, or how many vehicles are you allowed to park on the property and where?
5. When buying a Taos house, you will want to make sure to review the survey or improvement location report (ILR) for the property so you understand where your property boundaries are and to look for items like possible encroachments onto or off of the property or potential easements across part of the property benefiting another property owner. While you may not be able to do anything about some of these issues, at least you are aware of them before you finalize your purchase.
6. You will want to find out about things like the property taxes and utility costs for the house. Calculating these expenses into your monthly house expenses will help you determine if you can actually afford the house you are considering.
Other Taos House Considerations
These items will at least give you an idea of some of the information you should be looking at when looking for a house in the Taos area. With these things in mind you should now start thinking about what Taos house styles suit your taste. Not all styles appeal to all people, so if you understand what appeals to you, it will assist you and your Realtor® in your search.