Alicia Valdez Abrums, between Art and Real Estate


Photo: Chimayo Trading Del Norte

Alicia Valdez Abrums is a native New Mexican. She was raised in the Pojoaque/Española area, where her grandparents owned and ran the Pojoaque Cantina, also known as The Line Camp. “My roots are here inNew Mexico,” she said. “I lived inArizonafor a while, but nothing could replace my place of birth.”

When she returned toNew Mexico, Abrums started working at the La Fonda Hotel inSanta Fe. “It was a great job with good benefits, but every chance I got, I would take a week off and go somewhere” she said. “I’ve always been a free spirit and being tied down to a desk 8 hours a day and 5 days a week wasn’t for me.”

Her interest in Real Estate started early in her life. “My father was a Realtor and a Real Estate appraiser and when I was a little girl, he would sometimes take me with him to inspect houses. I thought it was fun—being outside, running around, meeting new people… Real Estate was something I’d always been exposed to and I decided to get my license.”

Abrums’s style is relaxed, the opposite of high pressure. “I don’t want to sell people a house that they don’t love or aren’t excited about because there’s a good chance that, in the end, both buyer and seller will be unsatisfied,” she said.

She figures out the top 3 things that are most important for her clients and starts from there. She feels that it is also important to explain to both buyers and sellers that a lot can happen from the time they make or receive an offer to the time they sit down to close.

“In the end, I’m here for my client and I do my best to make each transaction run as smoothly as possible,” Abrums said.

She has been licensed since 2002 but decided to slow down after having her son.  “Which conveniently enough was when things started to slow down in Real Estate,” she said. Abrums has two kids and her husband runs the Chimayo Trading del Norte art gallery in Ranchos, a store that carries Native American art,Pueblopottery, Mata Ortiz pottery, Navajo rugs and fine art. “Now that both my kids will be in school I have more time to focus on Real Estate,” she said. “The market is picking up and I think the timing is good.”

Abrums seesTaosas a special place. “People fall in love with it so much that they end up wanting to stay,” she said. “They establish a romantic connection withTaosand just want to be here and become a part of it, and it’s nice to help them achieve their dreams.”

But the fact that there are no two houses alike inTaoscan make transactions more complicated than in big cities. “Not only might the homes be unique in style and construction, but they may also have their own particular set of circumstances that could take time to work through. It can make it more challenging for the appraisers, the Realtors and the title companies. “Sometimes, you need to have a lot of patience,” she smiled. “And no matter how diligent you are, unexpected things can come up at any time throughout the process of closing a transaction.”

She has a few words of advice for aspiring Realtors. “Be prepared to work hard if you want to be successful. People have this idea that you get you license and suddenly you’re making all this money, but it takes more than that. Remember that we’re Realtors, not attorneys, appraisers, surveyors, title companies or bankers.  Help your clients get the answers they need from the right people.”

As for her future goals, Abrums would like to designate a space in their gallery just for Real Estate transactions, since she is needed there as well.  “With Real Estate, when you are not out showing property, most of the work is done on the Internet, communicating by phone or email,” she said. “In the gallery, there’s a lot of downtime so one thing doesn’t interfere with the other. Another advantage is that many people who come into the gallery may also be interested in owning a home here.”


To contact Alicia Valdez Abrums, Qualifying Broker and Owner, call Casa Bonita Real Estate 575-770-7977 or 776-1314 Or email her at,

To learn about Chimayo Trading Del Norte, visit