We all have a story behind why we chose Santa Fe to be our home. Some of us came for the art, culture and events, others for the food. Some of us came to escape discrimination and found this sanctuary city as a safe place to live openly. No matter where we came from and why we stayed, we all have one thing in common; we LOVE Santa Fe. As part of our Santa Fe Home Buyer Stories series we recently interviewed Santa Fe resident Greg Betts.
What led you to look at Santa Fe as a place to live?
We moved from Middle Park, California which is in the Bay Area near Palo Alto. I lived in California pretty much my whole life and my partner Glenn, who is originally from Austin Texas, lived in California for 30 years. We both recently retired. We have been coming to Santa Fe as tourists and visitors for the last 28 years and we have enjoyed coming here for Indian Market, Fiestas, Christmas time and other festivities. We have always found Santa Fe to be a beautiful place in terms of a welcoming place, as well as being a physically attractive city with lots of parks and open space and trails, as well as a city with a lot to do.
That’s interesting because you’re coming from a big, diverse area which you would think has a lot more going on than our small city. But I guess that shows how much art, culture and events we have going on.
If you look at the newspaper they have the Pasa picture on the front page that demonstrates how everyday there is a great concert, lecture, hike, party at the Plaza, something is just going on everyday. We live close to St. John’s College; not only do they offer continuing education classes but you can walk down the hill and see something like a lecture from Supreme Court Justice Sandra Sotomayor. That [type of event] doesn’t really happen in the Bay Area.
Do you feel like it wasn’t a step down in terms of things to do moving from the Bay Area to here?
No, not at all. We are very glad to have the Opera, the symphony, and theater arts in San Francisco but we found that there is so much here with the Ballet, the Opera, pretty much everything the Bay Area has.
We think of the Bay Area has having a large and active LGBTQ+ community. Do you feel Santa Fe’s community is about the same or maybe a little different in ways?
It’s about the same. We’ve gone to Friends of Dorothy a few times. Currently events like the Gay Pride Parade and the associated fair on the Plaza, and events sponsored by the Santa Fe Community Foundation for their envision fund have been a great opportunity to meet people in the community and be able to plug in to gay activities.
We’ve always felt that what makes Santa Fe unique is there isn’t a gay area or district, that for the most part it is an embracing, open community. Do you feel that has been your experience moving from California to here?
I do agree with that. We haven’t had a hesitation about being open in the community and have felt in the two years that we have lived here no discrimination at all.
Once you were sold on moving here, what was the home buying experience like?
It was a good experience. We actually rented a tiny casita for three months to get a little taste of Santa Fe to make sure we knew what we were getting ourselves into with the community and weather, stuff like that.
We were pleased to find the diversity of houses at different price points in Santa Fe. It was very helpful working with Mark to get to know the neighborhoods, which after moving here we are really glad we moved to the area by St. John’s College. It’s close to the Plaza, to the college and to a number of trailheads for us to hike. It was very helpful that Mark showed us a variety of houses around town so we got a taste of the different areas.
People forget how easy it is to be active in the outdoors here because of our close proximity to the mountains and all the great trails for hiking and mountain biking.
It really is amazing, the miles and miles of trail networks in and around the city. We are also close to other places if we want to jump in the car and drive to places around, such as Abiquiú, if you want to get out of town. There are just so many great places all over Northern New Mexico!