Stunning retreat just minutes from the heart of Mesilla
Written by JOSHUA BYERS
Photography by DONICIO MADRID
Leaving the heart of Mesilla, you wouldn’t expect to find such an exclusive retreat so quickly. But before you know it, you’re turning down a private driveway lined with Cypress trees and pampas grass on each side. It’s a short drive but one you won’t forget, no matter how many times you travel the rough- ly quarter mile to 4601 Snow Road in Mesilla. Surrounded by 796 Western Schley pecan trees on 19.8 gated acres, it’s not surprising to hear Owner Dr. James Kerner says it feels like living in an “oasis in the desert.”
While a 10,000 square-foot home may seem like a lot, no matter where you’re at it seems cozy. Every area exudes warmth, so whether you’re in the designer kitchen or custom-built library, it just feels like home.
Despite all of the bells and whistles in the home, James said coming home to his wife, Jamie, and kids still tops his mind after work.
You enter into a hallway with direct access to the kitchen and immediately feel the sense of home: Family meals in front of the Kiva fireplace in the kitchen, dinner with friends in the dining room to your left. It’s not hard to figure out why this is a luxury listing.
Built in 1998 by a family from Germany, the home boasts attention to detail in every corner from the custom Vigas, hand-carved door jams to the two foot thick walls. When asked which feature of the home was most unique, James and Jamie, had to think about it before determining the hand-crafted wooden railing on the staircase fit the bill. “It’s one beam that goes all the way up and the previous owner who built the house had to let it soak in water to get it to loosen up enough to be able to bend it into the right shape,” James said.
In keeping with exquisite features, when they added the stunning 1,000 square foot Library, they included antique Tibetan doors and hand-carved wooden beams. The library offers a separate office, bathroom and a spacious full outdoor porch. The upstairs Library has a separate entrance which makes entertaining easier and a full outdoor porch. When adding the Library, James also expanded the existing 3-car garage to easily accommodate 6 cars. “It just didn’t seem right for a home of this size to only have a 3-car garage,” he said.
Living in the home for more than 10 years, James embarked on a number of significant improvements: Along with the Library/Garage addition, they have added a fifth bedroom suite, new tile floors and expanded the kitchen island. Just outside of the kitchen is a large walk-in pantry and a functioning wine room, which could hold more than 500 bottles.
Awaking to the sun rising or being lulled to sleep by the moon rise over the magnificent Organ Mountain is easy in the grand master bedroom. In addition to a large master bath and sauna you can walk outside of the master bedroom and you’ll find one of the most expansive upper level decks to view the Mesilla Valley and +.
Each of its five bedrooms is an en suite, including one on the ground level which could be used as an in-law quarter. The second-floor exercise room has a hot tub, shower, dry sauna and a porch which overlooks the pecan orchards.
A ‘power room’ houses the water softener, commercial boiler, solar panel control unit and the radiant floor water system. Dual sinks in the laundry room and a shower — where the dogs usually get cleaned up — put convenience at the forefront of living in the home.
This home sings energy self-sufficiency, with large Pella windows that let in ample amounts of light. A study off the master suite has a spiral staircase leading to the roof, which is where you’ll find a 63 panel, 15.12 KW solar panel system, meaning you won’t pay a dime to heat and cool this expansive home. Add in radiant floor heating and walls that are nearly 2-feet thick and you’re in an extremely energy efficient home. There are also five Kiva fireplaces in the home, including one in the tiled back patio, another on the upstairs roof- deck and one in the kitchen.
Within the 19.8 acres is a paddock of approximately 0.4 acres. “It’s also set up for horses too, if someone wanted to do it,” Jamie said, adding the previous owners had horses.
With their children growing older and not using the pool, James decided to put in a state-of-the art, lighted basketball/paddle tennis court. “It’s a lot less work and maintenance than the pool,” he said.
As a dermatologist, James said he feels like he’s met his calling in the Mesilla Valley, an area that’s underserved when it comes to his specialty. “I like treating skin cancer and there’s more than I can handle here,” he said. “I treat 2,000 skin cancers a year, plus all the other types of things people get. It’s been great to take care of people here.”
“We’ve had office parties, weddings, and concerts here,” James said. “The home allows us to have great get-togethers. One of my kids, Danny, is a musician in Austin, TX, and he had a concert here two years in a row and we had 30-40 kids over.” But Danny and the other ‘older’ children have moved on and so now it’s just two children, Lori and Josh in the house, so as a couple they decided it was time to make a change and leave behind their desert oasis.
The new owners won’t simply be purchasing an immaculate home, they’ll be acquiring two rental properties—a 1,686 square-foot three bedroom home and a 1,035 square-foot two bedroom home. Being a landlord isn’t as difficult as it’s portrayed to be, James said, but that’s coming from someone who said working the pecan orchards was just a “hobby.”
Important to the property is the 796 tree pecan orchard on the 19.8 acres. For the first 7 to 8 years, James did all of the pecan orchard work himself, running the disc and tractor, but since adding services at his clinic, he had to cut back on his profitable hobby. “I thought it would be kind of a cool thing to do what the locals do here and I was looking to buy a place in town but a pecan farm seemed about as local as it could get,” he said. The trees are mature and with pecans in demand around the globe, they can provide a stable annual income.
James and Jamie got engaged on a plane ride from the Caribbean island of Saba back to St. Maarten. “It was such a Mickey Mouse airline that the co-pilot took our picture,” James laughed. The couple currently has a vacation home on the island they rent out, but being in their Snow Road home beats all other options.
“We just want to make changes because we’ve got two kids out of the house now and it’s a big place, so it’s just time,” James said. “We love it in the Valley but it’s time for something new.”
ABOUT THIS HOME
4601 Snow Road
SQUARE FEET: 10,000 sq. ft.
CURRENTLY OFFERED AT:
19.8 gated acres, 2 additional homes on the property, surrounded by approximately 796 pecan trees, concrete and steel truss construction, radiant fl heating, 63 panel solar photovoltaic system, 2.5 acres of desert gardens with a tennis court and paddock.
Bill Carpenter and Duane Jokinen 575-202-2300/575-640-8766
Steinborn & Associates Real Estate 575-522-3698