"Land of Enchantment"
15+ acres, of beautiful wooded, scenic land, with lots of views, abundant wildlife (including elk & deer), with good fishing available within 20 mi at Ramah Lake, clean air, beautiful skies, varied topography, and wide-open spaces. This in many ways epitomizes what “The Land of Enchantment” is all about.
But...this is not just a piece of "raw land" there are many "improvements" which make it very 'unique' for those seeking to buy property in New Mexico.
(What makes this particular property 'Unique'?)
The obvios answer would be the cave. The cave is indeed a very unique feature, with immeasurable possibilities; but it is a feature which has been added to what would be the "inherent" attributes of this locale. So beyond that, and fundamentally more important for anyone seeking all the attributes mentioned, (remote, private, tranquil) is the fact that this property is abutted up to BLM land...the entire western boundary. Giving the property a huge buffer zone, and eliminating the encroachment of any future developement. In addition; there are (2) roads entering the property, both of which terminate at this BLM boundary. This enables the ability to gate, (close off) these roads, affording a situation which eliminates any unwanted traffic, or encroachment onto the property itself. Also the topography associated with this locale, is such that the primary area (where one would more than likely live), is in a small valley which totally eliminates any visual, or audible intrusion from surrounding areas. All in all...this is as about as private and secluded as one would hope to find, and coupled with the ease of access...quite ideal...the end of the road.
Central western New Mexico, (Zuni Mountain region), approximately 135 mi west of Albuquerque; 55 mi SW of Grants, NM; 20 mi SW from El Morro National Monument; 65 mi SE of Gallup, NM. (see maps).
In addition to the inherent enticements that come with the area and this property specifically, there are many natural and cultural attractions within a reasonable distance from the property. (Local and Natural Attractions)
For many people considering remote living for the first time, there are many considerations that should be taken into account, but they are more often than not, overlooked and ultimatlely these things are discovered/realized after it is too late...you have already invested all of your resources, time, and aspirations, and are now left with the problematic situation of not being able to live the way that you had imagined, and now that your resources are depleted you are unable to do so. If you are seriously considering buying a land parcel think carefully about what it would take to actually "live" there.
Anything that has been done to enhance a piece of land to make it 'habitable', or additions which facilitate actually ‘living’ on a piece of land, would be considered “improvements”, and there are many such additions here:
1) Number 1 consideration/necessity...there is water. There are many parcels of very beautiful/desireable land available on the market at any given point in time, but there are very few with water, (what must be the primary consideration when purchasing land). and at todays rates, the cost for drilling a well, and outfitting it with a pump and providing power, would be betwen $15-20,000. (additional info on well)
2) Secondarily, there is a cave. I have found that I am not the only one who fantasizes about living in a cave, seems to be something 'primal' in many of us. (additional info on cave)
3) Living space - One of the added bonuses with the property is a converted bus. (additional info on bus)
4) Storage building - This is something which is also an essential piece in living on a piece of land. Without a place to store tools, materials, ect., life can be very frustrating and bring about lots of wasted effort. (additional info on storage building)
5) Redwood Deck - There is a redwood deck and wood fired hot tub. (additional info for deck)
6) Telephone - (additional infor for phone service)
7) Electric - Another primary consideration when buying property. (additional info on electric)
8) Fencing - (additional info on fencing)
Aside from the numerous improvements, this is inately a very unique parcel of land, situated in a small private valley, abutted to BLM land, and located at “the end of the road”…affording a very private, quiet, and secluded environment. While it is that this parcel is 15 acres, it gives the impression of being much larger due to the topography, which affords absolute privacy, and the fact that the western boundary is BLM land, and the vastness of area that encompasses. The feeling here is one of living in the “wilderness”, with all of the amenities one would want to live comfortably.
Located in the "transitional zone"; pinon pine, juniper, ponderosa pine, and gambel oak, comprise the majorityof the vegetation. The elevation is approximately 7,350’, and has an elevation gain on the property itself of approximately 125’, (Google Earth calculations). The majority of the property has a S to SE exposure, affording many ideal sites for passive solar applications.
Even though it is that it is remote, secluded, and private; it is also very accessible in terms of ability to come and go in almost any weather situation. There are two roads entering the property. One is graveled to within ¼ mile of the entrance, and the other is a bedrock road, which is essentially all weather. These secondary roads are accessed by all weather, gravel county roads.
The entire western boundary is abutted to BLM land, thus both roads, (running east to west) entering and terminating on the property, end at this boundary, creating (again) a very private situation, as well as seclusion from encroaching interference or undesirable elements, also allowing for the gating of the roads to prevent unwanted traffic.
When carefully considered, I am sure, (many have expressed the thought) that this is in many ways and 'ideal' piece of property, comprising beauty, serenity, privacy, remoteness, and accessability, that is very difficult to find.
So…whatever your criteria for the ideal remote, self-sufficient living situation may be (?) chances are very good you will find it all here, with the added benefit of having pretty much everything in place to enable you to move onto and live there now, with a minimum of effort or cost on your part (relative to your own personal criteria/preferrences).
Most people considering this for the first time, are unaware of the costs and impediments…the “reality”, involved in actually living remotely, and are generally quite unprepared for the eventualities encountered. Safe to say, most, (if not all) of the difficulties one would encounter, or would have to overcome for this, have been taken care of. It has a living space, a storage space, facility for electricity (solar) as well as the availability of grid power on the property, underground phone connection, but the most important of all…it has water! A solar powered well which will provide you with the very basic of needs (water) in any eventuality, (save the sun going dark), and one of the most unique of 'extras'…the cave. This is very different from purchasing 'raw land', and beginning from the “beginning” with all of the learning processes that that presents…all that’s left is simply “personalizing” it.
I have given a great deal of thought and consideration to the pricing and sale of this property. I have offered it for sale previously and have had an overwhelming response, and even some 'almost sales', (this is a very unique parcel) but I have (as yet), not sold it. I am now very anxious to sell, as I have other interests/obligations which the sale of this property will facilitate accomplishment. I am therefore making a drastic price reduction, pricing it at an amount far below what I know it to be worth, but to expedite the sale, I am willing to settle for $53,000. In deferrence to this price reduction, this would be a cash price.
I realize that there are those who are possibly unable to facilitate a total cash buy, and have inquiries about 'owner financing'. Again after careful consideration, I have come to a place where (for the right person) I would be willing to accept a minimum down payment of 30% ($15,900) with the outstanding balance to be paid within a 2 year period @ 4.75% interest. If the remaining balance were to be paid within the 1st year from the date of contract, I would be willing to waive the interest.
If you are interested and feel like you would like additional information, or would like to discuss the purchase of this property, please contact me ( Click Here ) and I will provide you with whatever information you may need, as well as arrange to view it.
Title and Taxes
The title to the property is clear, without encumbrances, and ready for transfer. Property taxes are $173 annually and are current.
The well, which produces good drinkable water is 220’ deep, cased with 4” PVC well casing and utilizes a 24V pump powered by a photovoltaic system, (solar), and is currently configured to operate "PV direct", meaning that the pump, pumps when the sun is shining. There are no batteries within the system, but these, in deference to your needs/desires could be added. I have utilized storage barrels and pumped water during daylight hours and then siphoned it off when needed.
The advantages of a solar powered pump as opposed to a conventional electric pump: If your water is pumped with either a generator or 'grid power' you are "energy dependant". In the event that the grid goes down, you are not able to pump water, and if you are relying on a generator, you are also "energy dependant" having to purchase gasoline or propane to run that generator. Both gasoline and propane are expensive, require transporting to your site, and dangerous. With solar power, no matter what happens with any other energy source, as long as the sun shines, you will have power to pump your water.
The pump utilized, (Shurflo 24V) is approx. 15 years old, so it comes from a period in time when the technology was relatively new for deep well water pumping. The technology today is much more advanced and the pumping capacities have been greatly improved. Having said that, this pump operates continuously at 1.5 gpm ,this is approx. the same volume as what flows from your tap with a municipal water system (1.5-2 gpm) and was rebuilt recently and used very little since that time, as no one has been on the property to pump water. Realistically, I would say that the PV aspect of the system needs replacing. This would involve maybe $600 for fresh new solar panels for a system that would be good for another 20 yrs at least. (back)
The vision for this project was an underground dwelling with all of the light, air and ambiance of a ‘conventional’ dwelling, with the addition of all of the security, low maintenance, and atmosphere that can only be achieved inside the earth. Inclusive in the vision, was a window adjacent the entrance, (which is a SE exposure) and a 10’ diameter opening (shaft) emerging in the ground above the main chamber, affording the ‘flow through ventilation’ as well as an ample light source for the interior. The tooling used to bring this project to it’s present state is available, and in excellent condition if desired. So all that would be necessary is some creativity, and a measure of ‘sweat-equity’.
The cave is an excavation of approximately 35’ deep which is a “work in progress”. All of the preliminary planning/work has been done, as well as a retaining wall which contains the tailings/overburden from the excavation to this point, to provide a flat/level area outside of the cave entrance, which is approximately 12’ deep x 20’ wide, which could be utilized in many different ways. The interior is now configured as essentially a passageway, which is winding and elevated to approx. 4’, utilizing steps to ultimately provide for a warm air updraft situation, drawing fresh air into the chamber itself and venting it out through the roof. The dimensions of the entrance are presently 7’ high x 4’ wide, with the ceiling height maintaining that dimension throughout. The width from the entry to rear varies from 4’ to approx 7’ in the middle, which provides a landing area. The overall depth at this point in time is approx 30-35'. The stone formation itself is of a dense sandstone which carves well and is also very stable, lending itself to the possibility of a multitude of design capabilities.
For those who are possibly new to the idea of living in a rock, or don't have much experience in the realm of cave dwellings and are curious about what is possible, I am providing this link to the site of someone who, although I have dreamed of creating a home in rock most of my life, he did indeed inspire me to take my dream to the next step, (I searched for 8 years for the place that felt "right" for me to do this) and while I didn't actually complete the dream, the process did indeed fill me... Ra Paulett of Northern New Mexico. A long time cave digger and the subject of an Oscar nominated short documentary for 2014. (click here)
I have had people ask about utilizing the cave as a dwelling and what, (if any) building codes might be involved that endeavor. New Mexico is the only state in the country that has provisions for "experimental housing". Thanks to the effort of Michael Reynolds, (Earthship guy) who spent 2 years dealing with the state legislature, there is now in place a provison for "experimental housing" which circumvents most of the code requirements for conventional housing. This is documented in the film "Garbage Warrior" which is available to see on YouTube. (Garbage Warrior)
There are now lots of resources available for information on this subject. I have located many of these resources, and would be happy to pass them along to anyone interested. (back)
One of the added bonuses with the property is a converted bus. This has been set up in such a way as to afford a very cozy/comfortable dwelling, including a photovoltaic (solar) system with 1,800 watt inverter, running water, and a wood stove. The interior is all wood and has the feeling of the inside of a boat. The living area (front part of the bus) is approx. 8’ x 12’ with a table, a bed, and plenty of cabinet/drawer space. The rear of the bus is approx. 8' x 11' which was used as work/storage area this is also houses the battery bank for the solar system, (which will at this point in time require replacing). This has been facilitated by 10, 6v, 220 ah, deep cycle golf cart batteries which I have gotten 11 years service from, at a cost of $500-600. I have additional photos I can send on request. (back)
There is a corregated metal building approximately 8' X 16' which was a construction site storage facility, which was portable and on wheels, (trailer chasis). The wheels have been removed and it now sits on blocks so it is "semi-stationary". This makes a very good storage facility for keeping tools, ect. out of the weather. (back)
Outside of the bus is a 12’ x 12’ redwood deck with a built-in wood fired hot tub. This is one of the "luxury" features of the property. Soaking in the warm water under the crystal clear sky at night, is an experience to be indulged in frequently. One of the creature comforts not given much thought when envisioning living in a remote environment, but what comes to be one of the most valued. (back)
There is an underground telephone line to the center of the property, which was installed at a time when such a thing was economically feasible, (subsidized by the govt.) at this point in time the cost would be prohibitive. Also, there is a 'strong' cell phone signal available on the property. (back)
As stated, the well is operated on solar power, and the bus also has a 12v photovoltaic system which incorporates an 1,800 watt inverter, (which is plenty adequate for essentially 'anything' you might want to operate).
There is also "grid’ power available on the property, but in as much as I only utilized solar power from the photovoltaic system in place there, it has never been actually connected. There is a power pole located on the NE boundary, and also to the E of the property, so it would only be a matter of placing the appropriate number of poles to the desired location, (the distance to closest pole is approx 675' to where power would more than likely be desired), with that being the only cost involved, aside from whatever service configuration would be reqired at the termination point. By my calculations (relative to the configuration of the existing poles) this would take 2 poles. The existing lines were placed some 20 years ago, therefore circumventing the initial cost of having the lines brought in.
This is an aspect of purchasing a remote land parcel which (again) many people don’t account for when considering buying remote land. Possibly it is not a consideration for many, but the option of utilizing grid power as a primary, or even as a backup power source, and which can also be utilized in 'net metering' (the ability to sell back to the power company, excess power generated from your solar or wind power systems) is a valuable asset, relative the potential initial cost of bringing power from the nearest existing lines, which can in many cases with remote land be several thousands of feet away, possibly even miles away, and you are financially responsible for costs incurred in the bringing of the power to your property. (back)
The entire perimeter of the property is fenced. The majority of that being T-posts, which had a single strand of electrified wire, which is now down and would require replacing if desired. The remainder of the fence (W boundary) is barbed wire and wooden posts. (back)
There are many natural and cultural places of interest which are within a reasonably short distance from this property, affording one the opportunity for easy access to some of the most significant points of interest in New Mexico and the Southwest. Below are links to just a few of these: