ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Polished granite countertops, views of the big New Mexico skies, manicured yards with welcoming patios, freshly painted walls, spacious rooms. Oh, the benefits of a new house.
Whether you’re in the market or not, here’s your chance to check out some of the metro’s newest homes in the Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade. This season, it features 30 homes, according to Lana McClure, vice president of operations for HBA of Central New Mexico.
The Homes of Enchantment Parade takes place over two weekends, April 24-26 and May 1-3. Potential home buyers can check out the homes by hopping in their cars and planning their route either from a map on the website (paradenm.com) or by accessing a free app from either the iTunes store or the Google Play store. The website also provides directions to the homes, as well as details and pricing. Or call 344-3294 for information. The parade is free.
The homes featured on this tour range from $239,788 to $1.2 million, and 18 builders are taking part, McClure says.
The parade, organized by HBA of Central New Mexico, includes homes in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, the East Mountains, Corrales and more. The HBA is an organization of more than 590 members from all sectors of construction and remodeling, according to the organization’s website.
“One of the things we have seen is (that) a lot of areas are appealing to baby boomers,” McClure says.
Boomers from around the country, she says, are looking to relocate to New Mexico for the mild climate.
And, builders are designing communities specifically for the age group of 55- to 75-year-olds, says Jacque Petroulakis of the Pulte Group. The communities include an on-site team that organizes and plans activities.
Among the amenities this age group seeks are open living spaces, plenty of closet space – and a wet bar.
In Albuquerque, the Del Webb Mirehaven subdivision in Ladera Heights, which is off Unser and north Interstate 40, has boomers in mind, says Jolene Montoya, marketing coordinator for Pulte Group New Mexico. The home that is part of the parade is 2,504 square feet and $477,385 with upgrades. Homes in the gated subdivision range from $231,990 to $304,990, depending on the model and amenities, Montoya says.
Focus groups held by the Pulte Group found that baby boomers are seeking homes with features such as two master suites, raised dishwashers and miles of walking trails, Montoya adds.
With the longer, warmer days, it’s the time of year to start spending more time outdoors. And builders have taken note of that over the past few years, making sure outdoor living spaces are often part of the building package, HBA’s McClure says.
Some trends that parade-goers will notice are that lots of people are planning to stay right where they are and instead of looking for a bigger house, choosing to add on and/or remodel what they’ve got, McClure says.
One address in the parade is that of a remodeled home in Corrales. But it isn’t your usual add-on. Deb Short, owner and general contractor of Vineyards Homes, has worked on the property’s more than $200,000 in custom touches for months.
From adding a dry sauna and new tile flooring to building a home theater and workout room, “there isn’t a wall we haven’t touched,” Short says.
Even the back porch has a complete outdoor kitchen with a fireplace and pizza oven. The home’s square footage totals 4,899, of which 808 square feet were added on, Short says.
“I’m finding today that people are getting deals and putting the difference in to remodeling,” she says.
Though this particular remodel is quite extensive – and expensive – Short wants to reassure homeowners that remodels for smaller properties don’t cost as much.
Carl Sanchez, a builder with Infinity Homes, has a home in the parade located in Nature Pointe, a gated subdivision made up of two-acre lots in Tijeras. The Tuscan-style home features granite and tile throughout, as well as high-end stainless steel appliances.
Homes in Nature Pointe, which also features an 18,000-square-foot clubhouse outfitted with swimming pool, racquetball courts and more, start at about $450,000, Sanchez says. Sanchez’s featured home has been sold but was on the market for $620,000, he says.
Though the idea of having to drive that extra few miles to get home in the East Mountains sometimes deters buyers, Sanchez says he finds the drive home to be relaxing.
“There’s lots of green,” he says. “It’s a nice place to live.”