MORIARTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A project called Villa Encantada will bring “cottage homes” to Moriarty. It is an effort to get more people to move to a smaller town while providing them with an affordable place to call home.

“This is a good opportunity and a good option in lieu of renting,” said President of Stillbrooke Homes, Scott Henry.

Just over a 30-minute drive from Albuquerque, Scott Henry with Stillbrooke Homes said building in Moriarty is a big opportunity – especially as the market in Albuquerque continues to get more expensive. According to the real estate website Zillow, the cost of homes in Albuquerque is typically $100,000 more than in Moriarty.

Stillbrooke Homes mentioned they are in an agreement with the former governor, Toney Anaya, who was looking for a home builder to create affordable housing on lots he owned in Moriarty. Now, the company is doing just that.

“We saw a real opportunity, especially starting with these prices. The regulatory fees, the small-town community, the schools, the lower crime, all those things really added to the appeal of building these homes here,” added Henry.

The homes run from $199,000 and start at 1,150 square feet. Stillbrooke Homes started construction in February and mentioned some of the homes have already been sold. They hope to build 61 homes in the first phase and plan on a second phase where the homes are expected to be more expensive.

Stillbrooke Homes cut costs during phase one by buying supplies in bulk and creating only four different plans for the homes, which range from two-bedrooms to four-bedrooms.

The mayor of Moriarty, Ted Hart, told KRQE News 13 that the city has a major housing shortage, and new housing is needed. He said the area has seen new residential water connections, and more are planned. They have also received several new business applications in the last six months.