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Santa Fe NM FAQ: Wildfire Risk For Buyers & Sellers

Real Estate Broker/Owner with eXp Realty LLC NM Broker License 16161

In 2022, being prepared for a wildfire is year-round in Santa Fe NM is beyond important, especially when your neighbor is the Santa Fe National Forest! This image from the spring of 2022 is of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range and Hermit Peak/Calf Canyon fire.  This view is from my neighborhood, the Vista Encantada S/D. Although this fire was not in Santa Fe County or the City of Santa Fe, the fact it happened changed the risk factors for a wildfire in many Santa Fe neighborhoods. This has changed both the availability and cost of home hazard insurance. Unfortunately, having a conversation about the wildfire risk in a particular neighborhood was not on the minds of many buyers, sellers or their Realtors and Brokers in the past Hot Market. Why?

Until this past spring, being a fire-adapted community was not top of mind. However, it was for insurance companies! Due to the 2022 fires, New Mexico has the 13th highest home insurance rates. The top 12 are in prime hurricane or Tornado Alley areas. In New Mexico, home insurance is not regulated by the state as is health insurance. It is a very competitive market and may now come as sticker shock. 

Home insurance has become not only location specific but also neighborhood specific in Santa Fe. Some people think wildfires are limited to the mountains or foothills. Not true. Often, if there is only one way in and one way out for traffic and fire engines or if the neighborhood has a high density of flammable vegetation, there is high wildland fire risk. 

What can a prospective buyer do? First, do not overlook the insurance contingency in your purchase agreement. Get an insurance quote in writing before the contingency expires.  Determine if there will be restrictions for second home or airbnb properties. Be proactive and learn more about Santa Fe's wildland urban community. Check the property address for any current climate risks on RiskFactor.com for flood, fire and heat factors. Ask your Realtor for local resources to make your future home fire safe. 

What should homeowners do? First, stop being complacent as our community is not the same as it was even 10 years ago due to development, water resources and changes in our environment. Next, review your insurance policy with your agent and discuss ways to make your property more fire safe.

In New Mexico, a homeowner can only purchase a replacement cost policy and not a cash value one. As construction costs continue to be impacted by supply chain issues and inflation, the bottom line is insurance cost increase and many homeowners can be underinsured. Find your property's risk at RiskFactor.com and begin conversations with your neighbors to improve fire safety in your neighborhood. Learn to keep Santa Fe, New Mexico and your home and community wildfire free by getting involved in your neighborhood. It's that simple. 

Now if you are sold on New Mexico and on the move, you can search for homes and find valuable real estate information, facts and news. Let's connect soon and maybe someday you live in as well as love Santa Fe.

Thank you for reading and/or commenting on this blog post by Emily Medvec.



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Our Santa Fe real estate market is a local one. Search All Santa Fe Listings Here and get results in both an easy list or map search. If you want to see a SOLD sign on your property or you want to make a lifestyle change by moving here, call me at 505-660-4541 to schedule your real estate consultation. No one has time or money to waste in this new landscape of real estate online without an experienced broker working for you. I am available to make a positive difference in your real estate experience. Remember dreams are made a reality only when you act on them. Emily Medvec

Today, I represent Sellers and Buyers in all price ranges in Santa Fe and throughout northern New Mexico. My focus is to use my experience, vision and strategies to find you opportunities and solutions. My goal is always to save you time and money whether you are selling or buying any type of Santa Fe real estate, including homes, land, town homes, condominiums, ranches and commercial property. Here are recent reviews from my past clients about my know-how and service. Until you are ready to Sell or Buy Santa Fe real estate, why not dip into my site and learn more about Santa Fe. Or let's connect now or certainly learn more about each other on Linkedin or Facebook or Twitter

Emily Medvec Copyright  All Rights Reserved 2007-2023

Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Emily- When we lived in South Fl, I remember our rates went up after one of the major hurricanes.  And it was understandable. Buyers though, do need to be aware of these added expenses. 

Nov 13, 2022 04:51 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Emily this is an excellent informational post for your state and local community!  Every home owner or buyer needs to give this serious thought. It's a very big deal.

Nov 13, 2022 08:39 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Emily I have nothing more to add than Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker  we have issues here with fires too and in all fairness there are solutions... called forest management that is being used all over western europe, Endre

Nov 13, 2022 11:18 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

These are great tips and resources for New Mexico homeowners and buyers. It's important to know all of the aspects of home ownership including fire safety/insurance.

Nov 14, 2022 05:07 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.   Thanks for sharing and enjoy your week!

Nov 14, 2022 07:37 AM