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15 Things to Know Before Moving to New Mexico

15 Things to Know Before Moving to New Mexico

New Mexico has attracted residents drawn to its beautiful landscape and weather. If you’re thinking of moving to New Mexico, there are some tips that can help you prepare for the transition. Check out our list of 15 things to know before moving to New Mexico to see why it might be the best place to live for you.

Ready to move to New Mexico and find a house? Find out how much house you can afford.

1. New Mexico Is Rich In Culture & History

If you’re in New Mexico, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in history. A good place to start is Bandelier National Monument, where you can see signs of human habitation dating from 11,000 years ago. Petroglyphs and cliff dwellings will give you a glimpse into the lives of some of New Mexico’s first residents.

Additionally, New Mexico has a welcoming culture that is a unique blend of multiple influences such as Native American, Mexican, and Spanish. You can immerse yourself in these cultures and find ways to be a part of a unique but thriving community.

2. The New Mexico Is Laid Back

New Mexico is famously laid back. You won’t find too many sharp elbows in the state, and the pace of life is slow. If you’re moving to New Mexico and don’t know anyone who lives there, it should be relatively easy to make friends among the open and easy-going residents of the state. The mix of cultures makes for a very welcoming environment throughout the state.

3. New Mexico’s Landscape Is Picturesque

15 Things to Know Before Moving to New Mexico

The stark beauty of New Mexico is a source of artistic information to many. You’ll find plenty of artists living in New Mexico, and signs of some of the giants of the art world who have spent time in New Mexico. The most famous example is, of course, Georgia O’Keefe but you can find amazing landscapes across the state that can help inspire your creativity.

4. Adobe Is Used Everywhere

If you’re not a fan of adobe, which is sun-dried brick, then living in New Mexico might take some getting used to. Buildings old and new use the material, in various shades. The ancient building material is well suited to New Mexico’s dry climate and many view it as beautiful in its own right, after spending some time in the state.

5. Cost of Living Is Reasonable

Compared to all other states, New Mexico ranks in the top half of both the most affordable states to live in and the state with the lowest average taxes paid per household. This makes it a state that isn’t overpriced and is reasonable in order to experience some of the other great things on this list.

Check out our New Mexico income tax calculator.

6. Hot Air Ballooning Is Very Popular

15 Things to Know Before Moving to New Mexico

Every year, New Mexico plays host to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. It’s a multi-day event that includes a competition, a Balloon Cam, special performances, and more. Fleets of colorful balloons against the New Mexico sky are a sight not to be missed. Even outside of the fiesta, you can enjoy a hot air balloon ride for much of the year to see some of the picturesque landscapes from the sky.

7. Celebrations Are Always Happening

We already mentioned the fiesta of hot air balloons, but it should be mentioned that there is nearly always a celebration happening. New Mexico is home to alien festivals, crane festivals, and even wine festivals. If you like celebrating things in large groups then you may have found your tribe.

8. Home prices are affordable in New Mexico

Looking for an affordable home? The median home value in New Mexico is about $246,000. So if you’re looking for a place where you can buy a home and get on the property ladder, New Mexico is a solid option. Plus, New Mexico property taxes are some of the lowest in the country.

Check out New Mexico mortgage rates.

9. New Mexico Has a Long History With Wine

The vines in the state of New Mexico are some of the oldest in the country as they’ve been cultivated since around the 1630s. The state houses, possibly, the country’s most unique and independent winemaking region. If you enjoy tasting different wines and being a part of that culture then this can be a great place for you to call home.

10. New Mexico Is Home to a World-Class Star-Gazing Experience

New Mexico’s clean air and clear skies make it a great destination for star-gazing. The protected land in the state means you won’t be troubled by light pollution like you are in so many more densely populated states. Chaco Culture National Historical Park, in the northwest corner of New Mexico, and Clayton Lake State Park, in the northeast, are both designated International Dark Sky Parks. Most places in the state make for good star-gazing experiences.

11. New Mexico Has Very Clean Air

The state is known for its clean air, no matter where you are. Even in the largest cities within the state, the air has a low amount of pollution. New Mexico cities are constantly ranked nationwide for having low air pollution, making it a great location for those that are very environmentally-friendly or who are looking for a healthier place to live.

12. Albuquerque Provides Big-City Amenities

15 Things to Know Before Moving to New Mexico

With a population of over 550,000, Albuquerque has some big-city amenities for those who crave them. There are museums and cultural centers, historic districts, theaters and more. If you want to move to New Mexico without committing to small-town life, Albuquerque can be a good choice.

13. Keep An Emergency Kit In Your Car

In New Mexico, there are long, empty stretches of road between towns. The temperature can be extreme, too, so you don’t want to be unprepared if your car breaks down. It’s a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your vehicle that includes water, blankets and other essentials.

14. There Is a Lot of Sunshine

There are roughly 325 days of sunshine per year in New Mexico’s capital of Santa Fe and 280 in Albuquerque. The average in the U.S. is about 205, which makes the average city in New Mexico far ahead of most places. If you love sunshine then you won’t find a shortage of it, but if you love rain then this might be the best spot for you.

15. Cuisine Is Distinctive & Delicious

15 Things to Know Before Moving to New Mexico

Thanks in large part to the culture and history of the state, the cuisine is unique and very delicious to many. The variety is better than most states and provides something unique for your tastebuds almost all the time. If you like spicy food then you’re in for a real treat because New Mexico is home to some of the best green chiles in the world.

Bottom Line

At just over 2 million, the population of New Mexico is not huge, leaving plenty of wide-open space for hiking and star-gazing. If you like a laid-back lifestyle and a desert climate, and an affordable place to live then we’re guessing you’ll love the diverse state of New Mexico.

Next Steps

  • Before you move to New Mexico, it’s a good idea to understand how the change will impact your budget. A financial advisor can help you navigate big life changes like a move. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • If you’re thinking about buying a home when you move, it’s important to know your new state’s mortgage rates. You can compare New Mexico mortgage rates to national mortgage rates using SmartAsset’s comparison tool.

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