Green Homes for Sale - Rio rancho, New Mexico Green Home

Rio rancho, New Mexico — Green Home For Sale

Home and attached guesthouse designed by a Sandia Labs engineer and his Spanish wife, has been continuously upgraded since construction and represents an eclectic blending of efficiency and European styling, with exquisite views of Albuquerque and the Sandia mountains. PV solar provides 24/7 power with LIFO batteries and Generac Ecogen propane backup generator. 

Listing ID: 20604

  • Accessible Home
  • Energy Efficient Home
  • Green Home
  • Sustainable Home
  • Off the Grid
  • Photovoltaic (PV)
Asking Price (USD) $360,000
Annual Property Tax $2,000
Annual Utility Cost $500
Home Area 2,290 sq ft
Bedrooms 4
Bathrooms 3
Total Property Area 1.3 acres
Year Built 2007

Property Description

This property resides within the city of Rio Rancho in an area of excellent schools, and within walking distance to bus stops. Nearest neighbor about 1/2 block away. The property consists of a home completed in 2007 and a guesthouse and covered patio, 2 car garage and carport, completed in 2010. The home features passive and PV solar, an extensive rainwater harvesting, transport, and collection system, as well as a greywater system. Hardwire internet access is available at the property through providers and phone and internet access is provided by nearby towers. The home is developed with the idea that all systems have multiple backups to maintain electric and water availability 24/7 in any weather conditions.

Passive solar components include a long south wall mostly filled with double-paned windows along with an overhang designed to shade the windows from the summer sun. Additional clerestory windows provide heat for the covered patio area. Windows provide ventilation and ceramic tile flooring help store heat from windows. Active heating/cooling components are as follows: Propane radiant heating of the main house with control over 5 separate regions. An efficient woodstove in the main room, next to the master bedroom. Heating in the guesthouse is provided by a small woodstove.  Active cooling in the main home is provided by a large Mastercool swamp cooler, centrally controlled with ducts throughout the home. Additionally there are two upducts to help cool the roof. There are also many ceiling fans and the home has maximal ceiling insulation, 2x6+ walls throughout, and insulating blinds. The guesthouse is all electric, using an 8 gallon electric hot water heater on a programmable timer and portable magnetic induction hotplates for cooking. 

The PV electrical system consists of 2KW moveable Mitsubishi panels, an Outback inverter and controller, with 2 new 6.1KWh LiFO batteries (10yr full replacement warranty) for storage. A propane Ecogen Generac generator provides power backup an initiates automatically through communication through the Outback system, which, in turn, is monitored through an inexpensive wifi hotspot while offsite. An additional mobile propane generator is also included by the seller for backup in case the Ecogen is down for maintenance. The PV system has been maintained and improved for a number of years by a local solar expert and provided electricity 24/7 to tenants for a number of years. 

Rainwater harvesting provides water for the complex. Components are: a roof area of approximately 4000 sq. ft equipped with gutters for collection into a number of black plastic water collection tanks. The partially buried collection tanks communicate with a central tank via an underground PVC tubing, and water is transferred to the main tank by gravity, an underground electric transfer pump, or sump pumps (backup). Water from the main pump is then transferred by gravity to a subsurface Grundfos pump, coupled with a 20 gallon pressure tank to reduce cycling, which provides water on demand at normal pressure throughout the complex. A set of filters removes particles from the water down to 1 micron. The total capacity of the collection tanks and the main tank is about 6500 gallons, sufficient to provide for 3 tenants without ordering water, if well-managed under normal climatic conditions.

A greywater system was designed in the house and guesthouse, meeting Rio Rancho building standards. Greywater gravity feeds to a partially buried collection tank which, in turn, is pumped via a sump pump to provide water for trees and plants. 

Amenities: Ranch styling through use of large rough cut pine southside window frames. Jacuzzi bath and marble floor in the main bathroom, granite countertops, oak cabinets, and island in main kitchen along with new large efficient fridge, solid wood doors, walk-in closets, two brick patio areas, Sierra Pacific French doors in closed patio area, retainer walls for garden areas, large parking area, and access road maintained by city. High elevation of home offers a great view of Albuquerque and the Sandia mountains. The home is situated to enjoy watching hot air balloons during the balloon fiesta in Albuquerque.

Designed for improvement/expansion: 1.The design of the main house unislab is 6+ inches thick, to accommodate the use of a solar hot water heating (large heat mass) to replace the present propane furnace. 2. The guesthouse slab has tubing for radiant heating installation. The propane gas line extends to the tubing outlet so only a furnace is necessary. Also ducts are available for a/c installation. At one time, the home had a 1 KW wind turbine. The underground electrical cabling is still in place for emplacement of panels or a wind turbine to the southwest of the house. The covered patio area is entirely insulated except the ceiling and a propane line is available for a furnace to be installed in this area. This would increase the heated area of the home to 3152 sq. feet.   

The last 4 photos are of the attached guesthouse, which is like an independent all-electric studio apartment. Hot water from an 8 gallon electric hotwater heater in the garage on a timer, and the stove is two magnetic induction hotplates. 

What makes your home a Green or Healthy Home?

The home is highly insulated, with most heating coming from passive solar during the winter.  The significant collection area and capacity of the rainwater harvesting system generally can provide for three people during a normal year of rainfall, if well-managed. Local suppliers can supply potable water, if needed. The home was engineered with the idea of being as independent as possible, and with care, the use of propane may be minimized. 

Neighborhood Description

The home is part of an new upscale community in Rio Rancho. An arroyo separates homes/ or lots without access to utilities on the east side, where our home is located, from the west side in which utilities are available. The west side is currently expanding with upscale new homes.  Lots are large in area, 1+ acres. The nearest store is located 2 miles away. There are a number of nearby churches. Desert wildlife may be observed from the home and the immediate areas is semi-rural. 

Market Area

A Walgreen's/gas station is located about 2 miles from the property and a Walmart superstore, shopping center, and stores and restaurants at about 3 miles. Rio Rancho is the 3rd largest city in NM, and all services are provided there. It is very spread out.

School District

Good school district. Earnest Stapleton Elementary (7/10 Great schools rating)

Eagle Rancho Middle school (6/10 Great schools rating)

Rio Rancho HS (8/10 Great Schools rating)

Busing to schools available.


Laid back, semi-rural community. Large homes/lots in the area, but a clear view south for a few blocks from the house. Nearest neighbor about 1/2 block away.

Home Type or Land

Single Family - Single Level

Location of Home or Land


Elevation of Home


Building Details

Air Quality

Agriculture in Area No
Industry in Area No
Air Pollution in Area No
Pesticide Free Yes
Fragrance Free Yes
Cleaned with Green Products Yes

Interior Environment

Heating System Hydronic Floor Heat (radiant)
Solar - Passive
Wood Stove
Cooling System Passive Cooling
Swamp Cooler
Ventilation System Other
Part of Cooling System
Whole House Filtration None
Whole House Vacuum No

Energy & Water

Energy System Off the Grid
Photovoltaic (PV)
Water System Rain Water Collection
Wastewater System Septic System

Construction Information

Construction Type Wood Framing: 2x4, 2x6, etc.
Wood Timber Frame
Exterior Finish Stucco
Interior Finish Gypsum Board - Sheet Rock
Wood - Solid
Interior Paint Low VOC
Floor Material Tile
Roof Material Metal
Window Material Vinyl or Vinyl Clad
Wood Dual Glazed
Insulation Material Fiberglass

Garage / Car Port

Garage / Carport Yes
Garage Type Attached
Number of Cars 2
Garage Area 400 sqft

Contact Information

Carl Axness

703 Acicate PL NE
Rio rancho, US 87124 US