Get to know your newest neighbors and get a newbie’s perspective on the best in local living!
Meet Sally Sorenson and Michael Best
Hailing From Madison, Wisconsin
MB: Madison is city some people go to retire because it’s very youthful, but I didn’t want to shovel snow anymore. We both love the Southwest, so took a little excursion, an exploratory trip. We went to Scottsdale because we have friends there, but it was too big, too hot. We went to Tucson and looked around the foothills, didn’t see anything that tripped our trigger. Then we went to Las Cruces. We’d never been here.
SS: We had read about it and saw it listed as a place for retirement, so we had it on our list and checked out listings online.
Full Service Realtor®
MB: Our realtor, Michelle Martin, put together a set of listings and drove us around. This was the first house we came to. We came through the front door, looked out the window, and said, “We want to live here!”
If we were going to live in the Southwest, we wanted it to look like the Southwest. We didn’t want to buy a house that looked like it could be in Des Moines. We like the colors; we like the style. It makes us wiggly how much we like it. Even though we didn’t know anyone or know the place, we knew we’d make the place work for us.
SS: Michelle did a fabulous job—finding us opportunities to volunteer, driving us around town, telling us about the hiking clubs.
MB: She sent us links and showed us Run Culture downtown. She’s really a jewel. When we decided we’d come down and do a gut check, Michelle organized a coming out party for us at Josefina’s Old Gate. She invited about 20 clients who had moved from different parts of the country and asked them to answer our questions.
Pulling the Trigger
MB: What did trip our trigger on the house we bought were the people who built it, Wayne and Kiki Suggs of Classic NM Homes. Wayne is the nicest guy in the world and Kiki is a beautiful, wonderful woman who is so talented. When we bought our house, there were a couple of things that were a little tight for us, like our office. We asked them if they would consider doing a little remodel for us. They said they don’t usually do that, but they would for us. They gave birth to this house, how much better would it be if they were able to do it? The parents of the house helped make the addition.
SS: We knew that when we stopped working, we’d want to get involved in the community. Really where you live it’s what you make of it, but I have never once had one regret about moving here.
MB: The first people we met when we got here, before we even knew our neighbors, were Michelle, Wayne, and Kiki. Our positive experiences with them made us even warmer and fuzzier about the town. We thought, if the first people we’ve met are that wonderful, we have to believe that the rest of the people are like that too—and we haven’t been disappointed.
We thought, if the first people we’ve met are that wonderful, we have to believe that the rest of the people are like that too—and we haven’t been disappointed.”
Meet Robert and Patricia Maestas
Hailing From Denver, Colorado
Back To The Sun
We’re originally from New Mexico; I’m from Espanola and my wife is from Mesilla. Her family is from Mesilla and her parents are still there. Her father was a farmer his whole life, raising pecans and pistachios and chile.
I was an intern at White Sands Missile Range and, when that ended, I went to Denver. She came up there with her federal job before we were married. We were in Denver for 23 years until she retired. It’s home to her here more than myself, she has her sisters and brother here and friends from a long time ago.
We decided to come back to Las Cruces because, while Denver is a beautiful city, it was too cold. We had snow and storm damage twice to our homes. We’re enjoying the winter! A lot of people complain about the wind, but we’ll take the winds any day over the snow and ice, the hail, and the long winters. We don’t mind the heat at all because the heat is better for our bodies.
The Dependable Builder
In Denver, we ran into shady contractors, once having a bad roof installed that had to be redone within a week. We couldn’t come out here from Denver right away, so we worked with a REALTOR®, Mary Montgomery, and she helped us find Michael Fraembs with Arista Development LLC. He has great customer service and stayed in touch with us the whole way since we couldn’t come down and see the construction ourselves.
We designed it all on the computer and the first time we saw our home and our lot is when they handed us the key. Micahel’s demeanor inspired trust that we had lost with our bad experiences with contractors in Denver. We interacted on a daily basis. I put a very high stamp of approval on our house. He used real-time software to show us updates with photos on our house.
I love our insulation; it’s given us a great Energy Star rating. We thought that moving to Las Cruces, our air conditioning and electrical bills were going to be outrageous, but the bills have hardly been anything.
Finding Friendly Faces
Being Hispanic, it’s really good to be around the culture here. And we really like the people in Las Cruces; everyone’s just so friendly. Right away at the post office, people in line started talking to us: “How are you? Where are you from?” and in Denver, we never spoke to anyone inside a post office! It’s like family even though it’s not. Everyone’s always saying, “Have a great day!”
It’s like family even though it’s not. Everyone’s always saying, ‘Have a great day!’”