Christine Valvano was introduced to Taos when her daughter called and said that she was moving here.
At that time, Valvano was living and working as a real estate agent in Long Island. She and husband Steven Johnson came to visit and before long, they too were making the move to Taos.
The first six months were a time of transition and some culture shock. “Here was this vast land of big sky and sage brush,” says Valvano. “Seeing the Río Grande opening up as we came around the horseshoe curve was so dramatic,” she remembers. Everything was so different than her native New York. She came to appreciate the beauty, outdoor adventures and art scene.
Within a year, another daughter had moved to Taos and her first grandchild was born. Valvano suspected she was here for good. “I knew that this was what I wanted to have in my life,” she says. Before long, there were three more grandchildren born.
After being here for four years, she and Johnson established Salsa Realty. This, too, was a new experience for Valvano despite her 14 years of experience on Long Island. “In New York, we wore suits and heels and the houses were very easy to find from their addresses,” she says. “When I came here there were few street signs and directions were still given in terms like: go to Fred’s barn and turn right when you see the horses.”
Because Valvano has experienced the joys and challenges of relocating, she can help others who are transitioning to a new life in Taos. “I have more compassion. I love showing people around and sharing the culture. It makes me feel happy,” she says.
Building a circle of friends and community involvement
One thing Valvano missed when she first came to Taos was her circle of friends from New York. As she began working in real estate here, she met many buyers and sellers who became part of her new circle of friends.
She’s found ways to become part of the community and was board president at Stray Hearts and has continued to be involved. “I’ve fostered many dogs and always ended up adopting them,” she says.
Trends and advice
When asked about the trends in Taos real estate, Valvano says that prices here are not shooting up as fast as in big cities, where sky rocketing prices will bring price corrections down the road. “In Taos, the prices have risen more gradually, and people are excited that they can afford more house when they relocate from a city,” observes Valvano. Interest rates are still affordable for first time homebuyers and people buying up. She recommends purchasing now while interest rates are still good.
For sellers, she points out, “For many households, the kitchen is the center of the home and a hub of activity. Giving an outdated kitchen a face-lift will help to increase the marketability of the home.”
Why Salsa Realty?
With 35 years of experience in real estate, Valvano has the knowledge and perseverance to serve her clients. Whatever issue arises, she finds a way to address it and go the extra mile. The sale is closed and everyone is happy. “I’ve had a good year,” she says. “Most of my business is through referrals through clients that I worked with in the past.”
Homes, land, and an exclusive dream house listing can be seen at salsarealty.com. Her clients say that Valvano is straight-forward, yet personable and passionate. She has helped them find everything they were looking for in a home. “Christine is a wonderful agent and we would definitely recommend her to others looking to buy or sell a property. She has a vast amount of experience and knowledge in the industry and her passion of real estate shines through in every conversation and interaction you have with her,” says client Scott Barady. Valvano is excited to share her experience of Taos as the soul of the southwest with its wild rivers, national forests, art, culture and the Taos Pueblo with its history and vibrance.
“I appreciate the trust that my clients show in me. It takes a huge amount of trust to allow someone to sell your house or help you find a new one,” says Valvano. “I can help you fulfill your dream. Come see me at Salsa Realty.”
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