7 Tips For Finding A New Home In Santa Fe

sunset in santa fe, new mexico
The secret is out: Santa Fe, New Mexico, has so much to offer.

The housing market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is even hotter than the weather right now, and perhaps no one knows that better than Amanda Godlove Erwin, one of the top brokers at Barker Realty. Santa Fe itself has so much to offer that it’s easy to understand why. “Active outdoor clients want to be closer to the many trailheads that are in and around our city. Arts-oriented clients tend to prefer the Canyon Road area. Opera fans love the Tesuque area. Younger tech industry clients are drawn to the Railyard District,” Erwin says. “Santa Fe has some amazing views of three different mountain ranges, and that is a priority for many buyers. Being close to the highly walkable Plaza area’s shopping and restaurants is one of the most frequent requests.”

So, if you’re looking to buy in the area, it’s important to get an edge. I recently spoke with Erwin who shared some tips for finding a home in Santa Fe.

barker realty office in santa fe new mexico

The real estate market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is moving as fast as ever.

If You Like A Home, Make An Offer ASAP

The market is as fast as it’s ever been in Santa Fe. “The inventory is one-third of what it normally is, so homes that used to be on the market for 30 or 45 days are getting multiple offers in 30 to 45 hours,” Erwin says.

Timing is everything, so don’t hesitate to submit an offer. Otherwise, the opportunity could be lost. “A property you saw and loved this morning is often under contract by dinnertime,” she says. “Be prepared to make an offer and be available to sign paperwork immediately upon finding the right home.”

contemporary landscaping in santa fe

If a home you’re serious about buying already has an offer, don’t fret — you may not lose it after all.

Don’t Panic If Your Offer Is The Backup Offer

“With the pace of the market, buyers are in a rush to put in offers — often sight unseen. The result is a higher percentage of transactions here don’t make it to close, and so backup offers are an important strategy in Santa Fe,” Erwin explains. If a home you’re serious about buying already has an offer, don’t fret — you may not lose it after all.

It’s also important to note that if your broker won’t submit your offer as a backup, it’s time to consider working with someone else. “I would question a broker that won’t put backup offers in place on your behalf.”

new mexico skyline

When it comes to investment properties, it helps to work with an expert with knowledge of zoning and restrictions.

Buying An Investment Property? Make Sure You Know All The Facts

If you’ve been considering buying an investment property to rent out in the short term or to list on a platform such as Airbnb or Vrbo? It’s essential to make sure you are only looking at homes that are legal for this purpose. “Lot sizes, zoning, water rights and rules relating to short-term rentals can be tricky in Santa Fe,” Erwin says. “Work closely with your broker to gain an understanding of your purchase that goes beyond just the home itself.”

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Look out for what’s to come. A home inspection is always a good idea.

Don’t Skip The House Inspection Before Closing

While having a home inspection in many locations isn’t always necessary, in Santa Fe a thorough home inspection is a must, according to Erwin. “Our 7,200-foot-high altitude is tough on the stucco exterior, and flat roofs are common here. This means working with your broker to get the right team of inspection professionals engaged during the inspection period is crucial in Santa Fe.”

building in santa fe

A wonderful local community and rich culture continue attract thousands of new residents to Santa Fe each year.

Find The Right Broker To Work With

While many buyers try to work directly with listing brokers because they believe it can save them money, Erwin strongly cautions against this. “You need your own advocate negotiating exclusively on your behalf. Buyers sometimes think they save money by working with the listing broker, but this is rarely the case.”

rock outcrop in new mexico

An experienced broker will help you navigate through the toughest home-buying terrain.

Choose A Seasoned Broker

Because the market is so fast-paced, finding a broker with lots of experience, especially one who has handled a large number of transactions in the past 18 months is a must. “Experience in this fast-paced market requires new and different skill sets than those that led to success just five years ago,” Erwin says.

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When it comes to financing, experts recommend you work with a local lender or a national lender that has an office in the area.

Avoid Out-Of-State Lenders

While cash is often king, Erwin tells all of her clients to work with a local lender or a national lender that has an office in the area. “Sellers in the current Santa Fe market are more likely to shift to a backup offer or go back onto the market than to offer time extensions when an out-of-state lender can’t get their appraisals done on time.”

Ready to start your home search in Santa Fe? Click here to see the latest listings from Barker Realty.


I am a writer, design expert, host of the podcast Bougie Adjacent, and comedic performer. I am absolutely fascinated by all aspects of décor and design. It once took me six months to choose a soap dispenser and I can’t even remember what it looked like. I like bright prints, southern exposure and any location you can call a “village or town.” There are currently over 100 episodes of House Hunters on my DVR.