Tom and Kim Kirschbaum fell in love with Las Cruces and discovered a retirement dream come true
After living most of their lives in the Midwest, Tom and Kim Kirschbaum decided to explore new vistas for their impending retirement in 2010. Since Kim’s parents had owned property in Edgewood, New Mexico, the couple were familiar with some of the great things New Mexico has to offer.
“We were enchanted with New Mexico and promised ourselves to begin a new future here,” says Tom. “The Edgewood property was beautiful, but impractical for our needs. Even worse, it snows in the Edgewood area!”
After years and years of back-breaking snow shovelling, Tom definitely did not include that chore in his retirement dreams. After three trips to the northern New Mexico area, Tom and Kim eliminated that part of the state from their list of possible locations, but hadn’t ruled out the southern area.
“My beautiful and smart wife had heard of Las Cruces,” says Tom. “So we headed south on I-25, not knowing what we might find. As we approached Las Cruces from the north, we were awestruck when we first saw the Organ Mountains.”
Enchantment at first sight
Las Cruces definitely made an impression on the Kirschbaums, and by the end of their vacation, they were actively looking for homes in and around the city.
“Dreaming of snagging a lot with a mountain view, we stumbled into the Willows at Picacho Mountain on our last day of vacation,” says Tom. “As we were gazing over the Mesilla Valley, a friendly fellow pulled up behind us and asked if we were interested in knowing more about the development.”
That friendly fellow was Bob Pofahl, CEO and self-appointed chief tour operator at Picacho Mountain. After a fascinating afternoon listening to Bob explain the vision behind the community and enjoying the beauty of the desert terrain, Tom and Kim were intrigued and decided to extend their trip for one more day to talk further with Bob and Karen Pofahl.
“Before leaving late that afternoon,” says Tom, “they suggested we return to the Willows and watch the sunset light on the Organ Mountains. That did the trick! The next day we selected our lot, discussed the house plans, and signed a letter of intent to buy and build.”
“Thus began our enchantment with Las Cruces, the Willows, and Picacho Mountain.”
Of course life and circumstances can delay the best of plans, so it wasn’t until 2017 that the Kirschbaums were finally able to see their retirement dreams come to fruition. Once the process got started, however, things really got exciting for them. Having a dream is one thing; seeing it built from the ground up, even though they were following the progress from their home in the Midwest, was an exhilarating adventure.
“We were so excited as we received daily emails and photos of our house,” says Tom. “Friends and relatives warned us against building a house 1300 miles away. However, we had done our due diligence and were confident in partnering with the Pofahls throughout the process.”
In August, the couple returned for a walk-through and to pick out their custom features. Karen Pofahl and Billie Haynie were essential during this part of the process and helped guide them through each selection and onto the final touches of their new home.
The final push to their forever home
Billie became their true hero during the last leg of the journey to get their home ready by the end of the year. She put together a comprehensive punch list of items that needed to be addressed before they took possession and helped keep things on track.
“As building process novices, we put total faith in Billie’s ability to take the lead and help us,” says Tom. “She challenged the builder to finish the house by the Friday before Christmas, and she made it happen! Billie was invaluable in getting our new house move-in ready, acting as our advocate.”
Tom and Kim were delighted to spend their first Christmas in New Mexico in their brand new home — a retirement dream come true at last. The team and Picacho Mountain worked tirelessly to make sure each detail was just right — and just in time!
“We have been very blessed to to count as friends Billie, Bob, and Karen,” says Tom. “We love our new Willows home, and look forward to many years in Las Cruces with our new friends.”