Taos, New Mexico
Sited amid cottonwood trees on nearly 5 acres in the charming neighborhood of El Salto, Casa Sara is just 10 miles from Taos Ski Valley. The estate boasts a main house, a guest house, an artist's studio and a garage. Seco Creek runs through the southside of the property, which also has a duck pond, a small apple and apricot orchard, as well as captivating views of the El Salto Mountains.
Built and designed by owners Rick and Sara Edelman in 1995, the estate is inventive: The interior of the main house-a 2,984-square-foot Taos/Pueblo-style adobe-flaunts Mediterranean accents, while the 1,000-square-foot guest house is traditionally Southwestern. Custom-designed with stenciled cove ceilings, white flagstone flooring, pine cabinetry, East Indian pillars and a hand-carved marble bathroom, the main house is a live-in work of art reflecting the cultural mosaic for which Taos is known. There are three bedrooms, three baths and a blend of eclectic features, including William Morris tiles in the kitchen, custom-made antique furniture in the living room and several hand-carved doors. The gourmet kitchen has all stainless-steel modern appliances and brightly colored cabinets (painted to match the tiles). There are two fireplaces: one with a hand-carved mantel in the living room and a kiva in the master bedroom. And while radiant in-floor heat will keep your feet toasty, the hot tub on the back patio will warm your muscles after a day on the hill. The guest house has two bedrooms and one bath. The 450-square-foot artist's studio-an open working space with large windows-could even be transformed into an apartment. Casa Sara is architecturally stunning, even slightly eccentric. The furnishings are not included in the price of the estate, but can be purchased as much of them were specifically designed for the interior. And, if you're really ambitious, this property could be turned into a great bed and breakfast.
PROS Midway between Taos' two prime attractions-skiing and art galleries-Casa Sara is a mere 15-minute drive from both the town and the slopes. With its two homes, more than 16 people can sleep here, making it a strong rental property.
CONS The main house isn't the most practical ski retreat and would need to be skier-ized. There is neither a mudroom nor a closet for skis. And the existing one-car garage would benefit from an expansion to accommodate another car and additional storage.
Location 73 El Salto Road, Arroyo Seco, N.M.
List Price $925,000
Bedrooms 5 Baths 4
Total Square Feet Approximately 4,500 Time On Market 9 months
Listing Broker Evan Blish, Piñon Investments of Taos Real Estate, P.O. Box 400, Arroyo Seco, N.M. 87514; (505) 776-1688; Fax: (505) 776-1688; www.taosnet.com.