Living in Taos - Taos Real Estate

Northern New Mexico is a special place, but what’s it really like being here? If you’ve ever considered buying real estate in Taos or buying a home in Taos, we can help you learn more about what it's like to live here.

For the Curious: More Taos History

This land of towering mountains and broad mesas has been inhabited by man for approximately 8,000 years. During prehistoric times, nomadic hunter-gatherers roamed the valley. The ancestors of present-day Pueblo Indians, the nomads, eventually adopted a sedentary lifestyle, becoming the first farmers of the region.

Taos Pueblo, thought to be the oldest continuously inhabited structure – from 800-1,000 years – evolved into a trading center by the 13th century. The “trade fairs” of that time drew members of the Apache, Navajo, Kiowa and Comanche tribes, and caravans from Chihuahua, Mexico.

Taos Valley changed dramatically with the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century. When their search for gold yielded only the glint of straw in adobe structures, the New World conquerors began to colonize the valley. Attempts to dominate the Indians and convert them to Christianity, and the inevitable intermarriage, resulted in rebellion. In the Revolt of 1680, Pueblo Indians rose against their Spanish masters and drove them out of the Rio Grande Valley. The Spanish would not reconquer the region for 12 years. Despite the hostility between Spanish and Indian, they had to join forces against marauding tribes from the north and west in an uneasy interdependence.

Yet another newcomer emerged in the 18th century with the arrival of French and American traders. Taos, no more than a tiny mountain village, was transformed into a bustling trade center as wagon trains, frontier scouts and Mountain Men gathered.

Rapid-fire change continued. Following New Mexico’s entry into the United States as an official territory in 1847 came another Indian revolt. Territorial Governor Charles Bent and 20 others were killed in a bloody massacre.

The once geographically-isolated village became more accessible when the Atcheson, Topeka and the Santa Fe Railroad reached Santa Fe. The era of American’s love affair with the West had begun. As tales of the region’s beauty spread, tourists, writers and artists from the east discovered Northern New Mexico’s uniqueness. Some settled permanently.

In 1898, two artists with a broken wagon wheel ushered in the period that would lead to Taos’ reputation as a world-famous art colony. That tradition continues, as does the legacy of the primary three cultures of Taos: the Indian, the Spanish and the Anglo.

A Brief History of Taos

Taos County has a multicultural history which is diverse and reaches back at least 8,000 years with evidence of prehistoric settlement sites through Spanish exploration and colonization. Taos is unique and distinct in the history of New Mexico and the United States. It is one of the longest continuously inhabited regions in the country.

The "Old Spanish Trail" was used by Mexican and US traders from about 1829 to 1848 to bring goods from New Mexico to California and back. The multiple routes of the trail followed paths established by the Utes and other tribes for many years.  Taos history is filled with colorful characters who helped make Taos what it is today. From trappers and traders to wealthy heiresses, remittance men, legendary artists, and far-sighted entrepreneurs.

Now a  thriving tourist destination, Taos is one of the most popular locations in New Mexico. It is the beauty, the culture, the people that make Taos and Northern New Mexico the Land of Enchantment. Seated on the high-desert mesa at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos is rich with art and steeped in history. Home to Taos Pueblo, the Village of Taos Ski Valley and a colorful array of surrounding communities