Seeking Advice From New Mexico Dopers-How To Plan Extended stay

I would like to spend 6-8 months in northern New Mexico. I always loved the Taos/Santa Fe area, but I really cannot afford pricey SF. I would like to rent a small house or apartment ina rural town, but be close enough to drive into town.
I plan to spend a lot of time walking around, and want to really get into the life style.
Any ideas of how to look for an extended stay place? I’d like to move in in spring, and stay till December.
Thanks in advance!

Make sure your passport is up to date. :slight_smile:

Mr. Athena and I did this a few years ago. We ended up spending 3 months in Santa Fe, but considered Taos and places in between.

Both Santa Fe and Taos are pricey, but some of the little towns in between much less so. Check out places like, just start looking and following links and you’ll find 'em easy enough.

My advice to you is if at all possible, go there and check out the place you want to rent. We had a decent time there, but the rental we had turned out to not be exactly as described (MUCH smaller) and the owners were a nightmare (stuff broke, they not only didn’t fix it, but ended up accusing us of breaking it and refusing to give our deposit back. Found out afterward that this was a common occurrence with them.)

In retrospect, I’d do the following:

  • make sure important details are in writing, and verify they are as described within a day or two of getting there. Our rental was supposed to be 1400-1500 feet, it was 900. We suspected it was smaller than described when we first got there, but didn’t verify. We would have never considered it had we known it was only 900 square feet. 2 months later we were feeling VERY cramped, but at that point it was impossible to do anything about it.

Another thing we should have complained about early on was that there was construction going on in the courtyard while we were there. Not a huge amount, but there was one piece that was an eyesore the entire time. We weren’t told about it before we showed up, and though it seemed OK the first week, 2 months in we were sick of looking at it.

So I guess what I’m saying is, don’t blow things off if they’re not right when you first get there. What seems OK the first day or two may be annoying in a few weeks.

  • Make sure you don’t pay everything up front. Our agreement was along the lines that we paid the security deposit and last month’s rent, then the first and second month’s rent on the first day of the month. That seemed OK at first, but when you actually think about it, we ended up paying 100% of what we owed 30 days into the deal. When we started having problems - the dishwasher broke, the washer broke - we had no real bargaining power because we’d already paid everything.

  • I’d try to rent a place that’s mostly a rental from now on. Part of our issue with the owners is that it was their home half the year, and they rented it out the other half of the year. As such, they were incredibly emotionally attached to the place. Anything that went wrong was OUR fault because their house was PERFECT.

  • Avoid northern New Mexico in the spring if you don’t relish the thought of house centipedes. This was truly the breaking point for us - after dealing with broken appliances, broken water mains, and crazy owners, the centipedes started coming. They’d crawl out from everywhere at night, and we found 'em in our bed. Yikes! I’m not typically freaked out by bugs, but these guys are horrific.

So overall, we had a great time, but it was also a learning experience. Good luck!