High Performance Building + Design
Taos, NM


Discover Why People Are Escaping To The Southwest.

Today’s Taos Real Estate Market Is Booming. Here’s why.

Taos and Taos Ski Valley offer prime real estate, plenty of space for social distancing, and tons of outdoor activities.

Everyone is seeking the best place to live out these strange Covid times. Big cities seem dangerous and claustrophobic. Less populated areas that offer hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities seem like the perfect antidote.

What We Consider The Best Place To Live Has Changed

The recent attraction of big city living peaked in the 1990s and begin declining by the mid-2010s. Before the pandemic, young adults were already leaving large cities. In small and mid-sized cities, housing is more affordable and daily life is easier.

But the pandemic has accelerated this trend. Los Angeles lost about 35,000 people in 2018. From February to July of 2020, about 26,400 people left the city. About 110,000 people moved from New York during that same period. Largely, these people are going west and south.

We want more personal space due to the pandemic, but other factors have influenced this change. Well-paid local employment is no longer the key factor in choosing where to live, as more jobs hire remote workers. And many jobs that were once in-office have become remote, because of the pandemic. Now people who work for companies headquartered in San Francisco, Seattle, or Denver can keep their salaries but go somewhere with less density. These days, many people only need strong wifi to do their jobs.

In Covid times, access to hiking and biking is a much bigger draw than access to clubs and bars. And as record-breaking fires, floods, and hurricanes become a seemingly annual event, people are reluctant to build a million dollar house in areas that experience frequent natural disasters.

So what makes the best place to live in 2021?

  • Natural beauty
  • Lots of space
  • Outdoor activities
  • Farmers market
  • Culture, charm, and community
  • Low likelihood of natural disasters

Taos Is The New Best Place to Live…Here’s Why.

Taos County has 20 different communities, ranging in population from about 70 to 6,000, and diverse terrain that ranges from open desert to snowy slopes. A notable absence of chain stores and a plethora of local boutiques and restaurants set its walkable neighborhoods apart from their big city counterparts.

But we’re not the only ones who think Taos is fantastic. In 2016, Outside Magazine named Taos in its list of the 16 best places to live.

Hiking, Biking, Skiing, & Paddling—Taos Has Natural Beauty & Tons of Outdoor Activities

Taos light is known for inspiring legendary photographers and painters, such as Georgia O’Keefe and Ansel Adams. Sunset here is an event, every single evening. We average 283 sunny days a year, and you’ll be tempted to spend nearly all of them outside. Summer, spring, and fall are temperate and dry, while winter is chilly and can be snowy.

Want to live on a forested hillside with spectacular valley views? Taos County offers that. Prefer a valley, surrounding by magnificent mountains? Taos County has that too. Seeking wide open space and big, big skies? We’ve got it.

Taos Ski Valley is a world-class ski resort with some of the most diverse terrain in North America. Skiing never gets old here, whether you’re a beginner or an expert.

Taos County has hundreds of miles of trails, including day hikes and overnights. You can hike through desert, or to gorge overlooks, or along the banks of the Rio Grande.

The Rio Grande is renown for trout fishing. Paddleboarding, kayaking, whitewater rafting, canoeing, and funyaking are also fantastic ways to get on the river.

You can soak in hot springs, go road or mountain biking, rock climbing, hunting, horseback riding or even float above the Rio Grande in a hot air balloon.

Additionally, the Taos Field Office for the Bureau of Land Management oversees over 594,000 acres of public land, full of archeological and heritage sites. Much of this land is available for hiking, camping, rafting, and hunting.


Taos is Rich in Native Culture & Supports a Thriving Arts Community

Taos is a hippy utopia of earthships and agriculture but also, a sleepy retirement community. It’s a bastion of art history, nourishing a current art community. As home to the Pueblo Indians, Taos County is some of the oldest inhabited land in North America. And Taos bears the Hispanic hallmarks (and annual fiestas) of nearly three centuries of Spanish colonization.

Taos Pueblo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been continuously occupied by Indigenous people for 1,000 years. The Pueblo hosts unique events all year long, including nearly a dozen feast days and multiple Native dances and ceremonies. The Christmas Eve bonfires are among the most popular of the Pueblo’s events.

Taos Art Colony was founded in the early 20th century and hosted dozens of influential European and American artists. Its legacy is dozens of galleries, museums, and opportunities to learn new art skills.

Taos Keeps Getting Better—Which Is Why It’s The Best Place To Live

As working-age adults move to Taos while maintaining their remote jobs, the area’s demographics are skewing younger. A younger population means more entertainment opportunities.

A billionaire hedge fund owner bought Taos Ski Valley Resort and made massive improvements. Most recently, the resort addd an ice skating rink that will host off-season concerts. (Taos has the only ski resort in North America to earn B-Corp status, which requires extensive reviews of environmental stewardship and social responsibility.)

Today, Taos is a place with a solar-powered local radio station, that hosts summer farmers markets and music at The Plaza. It’s the kind of place where big-venue bands as diverse as Trombone Shorty, Sting, and Mumford & Sons play small-venue concerts. And new locally owned businesses are opening, even amidst a pandemic.

Taos Real Estate Is Hot

For a long time, Taos has been considered a mythic place. Its magic was known in some communities—primarily art and boho circles—but mountain enthusiasts headed north to Utah, and its Native culture was largely unknown. Now the word is out—Taos is good and getting better.

Because of this, Taos real estate is in high demand and low supply. People want more space, more nature, and a better quality of life than they can have in major urban areas. The “Zoom Boom” has reached us, and according to local relators, people from far-off cities are buying Taos property sight-unseen.

It’s is a seller’s market, but many of the Taos homes on the market haven’t been well-maintained. If you want certain amenities or a true luxury home, you’ll probably need to custom build. In Taos Ski Valley, new owners often demolish run-down cabins sitting on prime real estate and start from scratch.

Many of us who have spent our lives here think that Taos is the best place to live, hands-down. If you’re considering a pandemic migration you won’t regret, once we’re all vaccinated and living normal lives again, Taos is definitely a place to look into. It will make you love your “new normal,” now and in the years to come.

Picture of Jed Magee


Owner operator of Magee Design Works.

Jed has become one of the premier designer/builders in Taos and has evolved specializing in high performance custom homes. Jed’s skills bring an eye for design details, a comprehensive understanding of construction and balanced approach to quality & cost.

These buidling resource articles will help answer many of the questions you will want information about before you start the design/build process.