San Francisco Transplant Finds Santa Fe is ‘Just Right’

Of the many things I’ve learned in my years of creating happily ever afters with home sales in Santa Fe is that The Goldilocks Principle comes into play for so many big city transplants. Whether they come here from Atlanta or Dallas to downsize or from San Francisco or New York City to enjoy more space, The City Different seems “just right” for so many folks new to the Land of Enchantment.

One such modern-day Goldilocks is Susan Anderson, a former music industry professional who moved to San Francisco after the record company she worked for transferred her from her native Seattle. As a record industry professional, Susan’s life in The City by the Bay was fine. But the universe had other ideas.

“This was in the late 90s, right before online streaming,” Susan says. “Then the record business collapsed in the form we were all used to. CDs went away.” Faced with a dramatic change in the music industry, she decided to stay in San Francisco but transitioned into education. “My company downsized, and I had to pivot. So I went to school.” 


Time to Move

“After a few decades of teaching math, during the pandemic I had to retire. I wasn’t ready for it and realized during that time I needed to leave San Francisco. I didn’t have enough of a support system.”

Like many LGBTQ+ people, Susan set her sights on the California desert. “I looked at Palm Springs and worked with a real estate agent there, but it wasn’t right for me. I wanted a community with more culture,” she says.

She thought of her brother, who had moved to Albuquerque from the Bay area three years earlier. “When I was looking around for places to move, I came down to visit him,” she remembers. “I loved that Santa Fe is such an arts community. I loved that it has an opera company,” she told me. “And, of course, the landscape is so spectacular.”


Google to the Rescue

“I did internet research on gay realtors. And Mark was what popped up,” she remembers. Susan says that she felt an immediate connection with me when we began our early chats about her move. “When I met Mark, we started talking like we had known each other forever.”

Susan describes our newfound friendship. “I met Mark online in October of 2022. We did a long-distance house hunt. Mark kept in touch with options. I would have chosen a house if one came up that was right for me.”

By early May 2023, Susan came from San Francisco to see a modern two-story loft condo on the ground floor in the Railyard. She loved that it had a guest room and outdoor space. By late May, she had moved in.


A Perfect Fit

After only a few months in Santa Fe, Susan is already reaping the benefits of roomier living in a more manageable city. She likes the smaller, more laidback aspect of Santa Fe vs. San Francisco.

One thing she mentions is how much she liked our Pride this year. “Gay Pride was like a small-town parade and gathering in The Plaza. I liked it because it was small. In San Francisco, it’s four hours long!” 

She’s also enjoying having more room. “I’m coming from an apartment in San Francisco that had a panoramic view of the city but was less than 500 square feet.,” she says. “I wanted more space. And now I have a condo with a guest room, guest bath, and a patio.”

And she couldn’t be happier with her new neighborhood. “I like that it’s up and coming. It had a more industrial history to it. I like all the new development and that I can walk to the plaza,” she says. “There’s so much going on in the railyard in the summer.”

Susan is also pleased with the gay scene in town. So, in addition to helping her find a reliable auto mechanic and dry cleaner in the city, I like to keep her up to date on all the happenings. She’ll tell you I’ve even “introduced me to some of his gal pals.”

So, if you see anyone walking around Railyard with a surprisingly frisky 14-year-old dog named Edie, stop, and shake hands with your new neighbor Susan.