New Mexico’s Homewise Opens Innovative El Camino Crossing

A new housing community that aims to counter the high real estate costs in New Mexico’s capital celebrated its grand opening on Feb. 24 and 25.

El Camino Crossing by Homewise Inc. is located near the intersection of Siler Road and Agua Fria Street, offering “high-quality, high-value, energy-efficient single-family homes” that are difficult to find amid Santa Fe’s high housing costs.

Read the full article at ABQ Biz First.

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El Camino, or “The Way” in Spanish, is an apt name for El Camino Crossing, Santa Fe’s newest attainably-priced housing community. El Camino Crossing, located in the Siler Road/Agua Fria corridor, opens February 24 and 25 and provides a way for Santa Feans to access new high-quality, high-value, energy-efficient, beautiful housing, features often difficult to find among the high housing prices in the City.

The first phase of El Camino Crossing features 40 residences as well as a community park/playground, live/work options, and opportunities for local businesses to develop a presence. All residences have options including type of garage and the addition of studio space. The burgeoning Siler Road area offers access to biking/walking trails and is in the Salazar Elementary/Milagro Middle School/Santa Fe High School districts. Housing options range from a 525 sq. ft. 1-bedroom, 1-bath option from $199,000 to a 1,481 sq. ft. 4-bedroom, 2-bath option from $289,900. Each home will include a solar photovoltaic system as part of standard construction. Each home will also be equipped with a low-water usage washing machine along with water efficient toilets and plumbing fixtures as standard features. Low-water usage landscaping will be installed as well. El Camino Crossing will be built to Build Green New Mexico Silver standards.

The second phase of El Camino Crossing will feature live/work units geared toward creative entrepreneurs who need affordable spaces to both live and work. Homewise will offer 30-year fixed-rate financing for these entrepreneurs to purchase the units, allowing them to lock in an affordable price for their two biggest monthly expenses: housing and work space. This is particularly important in Santa Fe, which is a high-housing-cost community. Entrepreneurs are hard-pressed to afford the high cost of housing on top of the cost to rent work space. The live/work units will affordably address both needs of these small local businesses.

“El Camino Crossing reflects so many of Santa Fe’s unique values and needs” said Mike Loftin, CEO of Homewise. “It provides reasonably-priced housing, revitalizes a neighborhood, supports local businesses, promotes creative entrepreneurship and values sustainability.”

To ensure El Camino Crossing meets community needs and desires, Homewise partnered with MIX Santa Fe to build community, collect input, and expand reach around the project. MIX is a local organization offering a forum for professionals and entrepreneurs to connect and collaborate in ways that make Santa Fe a more vibrant place to live and work. Through the partnership, Homewise and MIX engaged stakeholders, gathered input through focus groups, assessed potential demand and gathered and analyzed community input around El Camino Crossing. The plans for adding neighborhood friendly businesses such as locally-owned restaurants, as well as the design and functionality of the live/work units are largely based on the feedback from the MIX focus group and surveys. The focus groups and surveys also showed that potential clients greatly preferred the opportunity to buy a live/work unit rather than rent. Local residents and entrepreneurs interested in the community have overwhelmingly reported that the local community will benefit from this plan through a significant increase in the quality of life for neighborhood businesses, residents and visitors.

At the February 24 and 25 grand opening of El Camino Crossing, all models will be available for tours and some of the first El Camino Crossing homeowners will be available to talk about the transformative power of homeownership.

Homewise, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that works throughout New Mexico to help create successful homeowners. Homewise empowers and supports clients on their path to homeownership through each step of the process with financial education and coaching, real estate services, affordable mortgage lending and down payment assistance, and refinance and home improvement lending. Since its founding in 1986, over 15,000 households have attended financial workshops. During that time over 3,600 people have purchased homes, over 2,000 have made energy efficient home improvements, more than 600 have refinanced their mortgages and the organization itself has built over 600 high-quality, affordable homes.

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