Moving To New Mexico – 2022 Cost of Living & Relocation Tips
Looking to make New Mexico your new abode? We might be able to help as we list down everything there is you need to know. Known and hailed as the Land Of Enchantment, the state of New Mexico in southwest America became the country’s 47th state when it gained statehood in 1912. There are over two million people living in the multicultural state which boasts a beautiful blend of Native American, English, Spanish, and Mexican influences. This might be one of the best places in the US where you get to experience diversity in its real sense.
This state is overloaded with natural scenic beauty that includes mesmerizing landscapes like in the photos on your table calendar, varied wildlife, stunning deserts, snowclad mountains, etc. New Mexico has an exceedingly rich history as well. A hub for the adrenaline junkies, the state offers multiple options like kayaking, cycling, horseback riding, rock climbing, hiking, and much more. All of this comes together to make people fall in love with New Mexico. And since you’re looking to settle down in the state, we have another good news for you. The cost of living in New Mexico is significantly lower than in most other states.
Let’s jump right in and see what other factors are there to consider before finalizing your decision of moving to New Mexico.
Weather In New Mexico
The pleasant climate of the state is one of its strong points when it comes to attracting people to settle down or for a vacation. The average elevation of New Mexico is roughly 5,700 feet above sea level with its highest point being the Wheeler Peak at around 13,000 feet and the lowest point at the Red Bluff Reservoir at 2,800 feet approximately. The varied topography ranges from snow-covered mountains to vast deserts. While the western and southern parts of the state experience arid climates, there’s an alpine climate in the north and the east.
New Mexico gets 278 sunny days a year which is way more than the national average of 205. The average rainfall in the state is 15 inches, much less than the national average of 38 inches.
The winter season in New Mexico lasts for around 3 months from December to February as the temperature drops below freezing in many parts of the state. The average daily high temperature during this period is 49°F while the average daily low temperature is around 25°F. January is the coldest month of the year in New Mexico. The temperature falls to as low as 0°F in the mountains. The snowclad mountains offer activities like skiing and snowboarding to anyone looking for some adventure.
New Mexico’s summers last for three months starting in June and ending in August. During this period, the average daily high temperature is around 90°F while the average daily low temperature is 63°F. July is the hottest month in the entire year for New Mexico. However, the evenings remain pleasant for the most part of the summer season. These three months are also regarded as the best for river-rafting, hiking, and biking.
The month of March marks the beginning of the spring season in the state. The season, lasting for three months till May, is the driest of all the four seasons with only a 19% chance of rain. The average daily high temperature during the months of spring is 65°F while the average daily low temperature is 33°F. This time period is more pleasant before the summers arrive with high temperatures. Also, spring proves to be the windiest time of the year in New Mexico.
The months of September, October, and November comprise the fall season and are considered the best time to visit and enjoy in New Mexico. The average daily high temperature during the fall season is 85°F while the average daily low temperature is 65°F. The fall in New Mexico is quite similar to its spring season except that there are no storms during the fall. In addition, the state celebrates a lot of festivals during these three months like the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque and San Geronimo Day in Taos Pueblo.
Transportation In New Mexico
The best way to move around in New Mexico is by your personal car but obviously, not everyone has that option. However, if you’re someone who has a car and likes to drive long distances, it’s highly recommended that you get your car checked thoroughly beforehand. Be extremely careful or else, you can find yourself in trouble in case your car breaks down in the middle of a desert.
Speaking of public transportation, New Mexico is serviced by the NMDOT (New Mexico Department of Transportation), which offers rail and road services. Here they are!
The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is a state-owned and operated commuter rail system that serves the cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. It is administered by the NMDOT and a regional transportation agency called Rio Metro Regional Transit District. The Rail Runner Express is operational seven days a week with eight round trips daily.
Amtrak is a passenger railroad service that provides both medium and long distance intercity rail services in the US. It runs three national network trains in New Mexico.
- The Southwest Chief runs west to east and back once every day and passes through the stations in Gallup, Albuquerque, Grants, Lamy, Raton, and Las Vegas (not to be confused with the one in Nevada!)
- The Sunset Limited connects Lordsburg and Deming along with Los Angeles, New Orleans, El Paso, etc. It runs in both directions three times a week
- The Texas Eagle is a 1,306-mile passenger train route serving the central and western US. Except for when Covid-19 restrictions are in place, the train runs daily connecting Los Angeles, Deming, and Lordsburg to the cities in other states.
New Mexico is disliked for its roads and bridges which are in dire conditions.
ABQ Ride is the largest public transportation system in the state of New Mexico. The local transport agency serves the city of Albuquerque and operates multiple bus routes.
Greyhound Lines is the largest intercity bus service in the US. To travel long distances in New Mexico, this is the most convenient and the most affordable option. Its buses pass through all the major cities like Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Gallup, etc.
Albuquerque International Sunport is the largest airport in New Mexico. Apart from this, the three most important airports are Lea County Regional Airport, Roswell International Air Center, and Santa Fe Regional Airport. All of these airports are served by major domestic and international airlines.
Job Market In New Mexico
The GDP of New Mexico is $100.77 billion (in April 2021). Although this state has not been the best in the US for job hunting, there is a positive sign of change recently. A number of industries have started performing well like financial services, healthcare, construction, tourism, agriculture, mining, food processing, etc. Some of the top employers in the state are the federal government, Walmart, The University of New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Ernest Health.
The healthcare sector deserves a special mention since there are a lot of new opportunities available like for physical therapists and personal care assistants. New Mexico’s unemployment rate stands at 5.6% whereas the national average is 3.7%. You could say that the unemployment rate is a bit worrying but the tide has just recently started to change and the job market is improving.
Real Estate In New Mexico
Buying A House
According to Zillow, the median home value in New Mexico has jumped 19% from January 2021 to January 2022 and currently stands at $272,362. When you compare this to the median home price in the US, you find out that it’s cheaper to buy a house in New Mexico than in the rest of the states. The national average is $325,677. Apart from this, the state has some of the lowest property taxes in the country. Its average effective property tax rate is 0.78%.
Also See: Property Tax Rates By State | 7 States with Lowest Taxes
Renting A House
If you’re not ready for homeownership for any reason, you can always become a renter, especially in New Mexico where the prices are unbelievably low. The average rent for a studio apartment in the state is $598. Similarly, it is $691, $845, and $1,180 for 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom apartments, respectively.
This might concern you just a little bit if you compare the crime rate of the state with the national average. According to NeighborhoodScout, New Mexico has violent and property crime rates of 7.74 and 28.27 per 1,000 residents, respectively. On the other hand, the national median for violent crimes is 4, while it is 19 for property crimes.
If crime is a major factor for you to choose a city, consider moving to safe cities like Alamogordo, Santa Fe, Corrales, and Las Vegas.
Cost Of Living In New Mexico
If you skipped to this section before reading anything, that’s absolutely cool. We get that this is the most important factor in relocating your life. But still, make sure to get to the rest of it as well; there’s a lot of crucial information there. Having said that, this will probably be the best part of the entire article. One of the least populated states in the US, New Mexico’s cost of living is on the lower side. It scores 87.5 on the cost of living index which is way below the national average of 100. What this means is that everything from housing and utilities to transportation, healthcare, and groceries is going to be cheaper than in most other states.
The population of the state is 2,159,832 and the median household income in New Mexico is $48,059. While the average utility bill for the country is $236 per month, it comes down to roughly around $205 per month in New Mexico.
Education In New Mexico
The one thing that puts New Mexico in a bad light is its education system. Over the years, the state has consistently been among the least performing ones when it comes to quality education. The bright side, if we may say so, is that there are many public school districts, colleges, and universities in the state and education is quite affordable.
Top Rated New Mexico Schools
- Hubert H Humphrey Elementary, Albuquerque
- Desert Willow Family School, Albuquerque
- South Valley Academy, Albuquerque
- Los Alamos High School, Los Alamos
Top Rated New Mexico Colleges And Universities
- The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
- St. John’s College, Santa Fe
- New Mexico State University, Las Cruces
- Navajo Technical University, Crownpoint
See Also: Best Neighborhoods In Albuquerque For Singles And Young Professionals
Best Cities To Live In New Mexico
The town of Los Alamos is home to over 13K people and always tops the list of best places to live in New Mexico. Situated at the foothills of the Jemez Mountains, the town has got everything whether it is the low cost of living or the great facilities and amenities. Los Alamos boasts abundant scenic beauty and is known as an excellent place to raise a family. The weather remains pleasant round the year with the summer temperatures averaging around 70°F.
If we compare the stats of Los Alamos to the state of New Mexico or the US, the results might look unbelievable. While the median household income in New Mexico is $48,059, it is more than double in Los Alamos at $107,031. The violent and property crime rates in San Diego are 1.90 and 5.01 per 1,000 residents respectively, which means it’s significantly lower than the crime rates of New Mexico and the national average.
Median Home Value: $383,518
Monthly Median Rent: $1,232
With a population of 564,559, the city of Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico. The huge number of people has resulted in the emergence of Albuquerque as a cultural hub in the state. There are people from the Hispanic community and apart from that, there are Native Americans and people from the origins of Europe, Italy, Germany, etc. Albuquerque has a healthy job market and a low cost of living just like New Mexico. As opposed to the case in the state, the quality of education in Albuquerque is high. Among the cities of New Mexico, it has one of the best teacher-student ratios of 1:14.
The flip side of such a huge population is the unfortunate crime rate. The city has violent and property crime rates of 13.38 and 49.90 per 1,000 residents, respectively.
Median Home Value: $286,465
Monthly Median Rent: $1,161
Also Read: 10 Best U.S. Cities to Rent in Right Now | 6 Loneliest Cities in the US | Best Neighborhoods in Albuquerque for Families
There are 8,588 people living in the suburb called Corrales, New Mexico. Located on the west bank of the Rio Grande River in Sandoval County, Corrales is in close proximity to Albuquerque. The residents of the tight-knit community celebrate numerous festivals and organize get-togethers though out the year. Most of the population is young since only 14.5% are senior citizens. Unlike the average in New Mexico, the cost of buying a house in the suburb is exceptionally high. Corrales has low violent and property crime rates of 1.30 and 7.30 per 1,000 residents, respectively.
Median Home Value: $620,934
Monthly Median Rent: $1,094
Our Take On New Mexico
Just like most of the states in the country, New Mexico has its plus points as well as its flaws. The biggest attractions of the state are its low cost of living, affordable housing, pleasant climate, and gorgeous views. The people are quite relaxed but at the same time, they’re full of energy. New Mexico presents a beautiful blend of many different cultures which can be important to some of you. After having underperformed in the job sector for a long time, things in New Mexico seem to be changing for the better. The downside of the state is its education and the crime rate.
We’re quite confident of having cleared most of your doubts regarding moving to New Mexico. Need moving quotes? You can get them here!
FAQs On Moving To New Mexico
What Is New Mexico Famous For?
New Mexico’s low cost of living is going to make you want to move in right away. But apart from that, the state is famous for a huge number of things like the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, national parks, national monuments, and the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites — Taos Pueblo, Chaco Canyon, and the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
What Is The Crime Rate In New Mexico?
According to NeighborhoodScout, New Mexico has violent and property crime rates of 7.74 and 28.27 per 1,000 residents, respectively. The national median for violent crimes is 4 while it’s 19 for property crimes.
How Much Money Do I Need To Live Comfortably In New Mexico?
The cost of living in New Mexico is considerably lower than the national average which means you have to pay lesser than most US residents for utilities, food, groceries, houses, etc. A person who stays alone can be at comfort in New Mexico by making around $27,000 every year.
Also See: Top Cheap Moving Companies in the USA