We’ve been looking for land over the last month, but nothing quite intrigued us more than some land for sale right in the Albuquerque area. It is about 20 acres of agricultural land out in the middle of nowhere. It was quite surreal traveling down a busy street in Albuquerque, making a right and traveling about nine miles out into the vast open mesa. As I looked around while driving 10 miles per hour down a very bumpy dirt road, I felt as if we had entered a place totally different than the Albuquerque we’ve gotten to know over the last year.
There are no street signs and the land is not developed. When I called the realtor for directions to get to the land, this is how it went:

Realtor- “When you get to the dirt road, set your odometer to zero and travel west for nine miles. Then when you reach nine miles, make a left turn and travel two more miles…then you are there. Do you have a four wheel vehicle? You will need it because it is pretty steep over there.”

That was all the information that could be provided at the moment, so we took those directions, set our odometer and got to our intended destination. Nine miles down a bumpy dirt road and looking everywhere was flat land. Then as we approached the plot of land we saw so much beauty. We drove our car to the top of a ridge and parked there. Getting out of the car, the first thing that welcomed us was a big mess of garbage. It is well known that many New Mexicans think that the west mesa is the perfect dumping ground. I was heart broken to see such a site. A lot of the garbage that we saw was pretty fresh. There were old chairs and mattresses, large five gallon buckets of paint, old tires, carpet, and broken bottles everywhere. But the garbage hardly dissuaded us because all we could see as we looked around were 360 degree views of all the mountain ranges. It was absolutely breathtaking.

As we walked the property, we took in all the land had to offer, both the natural resources as well as the human resources. We started to take some mental notes of what we found as well as documenting it on video. We don’t view the garbage problem as a big one especially since the broken glass can be put into the earthen plaster, and the tires can be used for some foundation purposes in outbuildings we’ll be erecting. There were more resources in terms of tires and broken glass than actual garbage, so we looked at that as a plus.

What we loved the most about the land was the ridge. Traveling down the ridge is sharp and steep, but seeing all the places where the water cut through the land creating channels and waterways made us really excited. It makes the job of catching and collecting water so much easier. We have many questions about the land that need to be answered like:

  1. Are there covenants and restrictions on the land?
  2. What kind of animals are permitted
  3. What is the soil composition
  4. How high is the water table
  5. Will we be able to build a Pueblo Revival style home completely out of earthbags
  6. How many other outbuildings and dwellings are we allowed to build on the land

We will be utilizing permaculture and rain water harvesting principles to turn our high desert homestead into an oasis no matter what land we end up purchasing. Tomorrow I’ll be calling the realtor back to let her know we are interested in the land and to get the land plat. From there we will be going often to observe the land, see where the water flows when it rains, and begin plotting the land. We’ll be doing this for each of the properties we find so that we can have a better idea of whether a particular piece of property will suit our needs or not.

Of course I didn’t mention that there is no house on the land. Our plans are to have a five bedroom, 2010 sq. ft. fiberglass yurt as our temporary home until we finally build our main home. We are leaning more towards a yurt rather than a mobile home because of how mobile homes negatively affect my health as well as my grand daughter’s health. Not to mention they are just plain cool. LOL We feel the yurt will be a wonderful transition home. Here is a link to the yurt site we are considering using:


We didn’t want to go with a traditional yurt that was more like a tent than a home. This place will serve as our house until we complete our permanent home and that could be more than a few years from now. We want to be comfortable, have some space for everyone, and feel somewhat safe at night from wolves, coyotes, snakes, scorpions, bobcats and mountain lions, drunk humans with semi automatics on a binge out in the mesa having a “good ol’ time”, and the natural elements like extreme winds and snow.

Here are some more photos of the land as well as a video we took on Saturday:

Sometimes life in the high desert can be cruel