Commonly known as “the Land of Enchantment,” moving to New Mexico offers residents breathtaking desert landscapes, beautiful snow-capped mountains, sprawling national parks, and affordable living. Sitting in the Southwest United States bordering Arizona, Texas, Colorado, and slivers of Utah and Oklahoma, you’ll find plenty of Southwest charm in every New Mexican city.
It’s an attractive destination for those looking to move somewhere with a rich history, warm climate, laid-back vibe, and a vivacious art scene. Here are the top eight reasons to move to New Mexico and why you should make New Mexico your new home.
1) New Mexico’s remarkable national parks and monuments
If you’re a sucker for National Parks, moving to New Mexico will surely fill your cup. The state has numerous national monuments, parks, trails, and preserves, all protected by New Mexico’s national parks service. The state’s monuments are especially intriguing, containing archeological sites left behind by the Pueblo peoples. Each monument offers a fascinating insight into the people and culture that have shaped the state.
A few popular national monuments include the El Malpais National Monument, the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, and the Aztec Ruins National Monument. The Carlsbad Caverns National Park, located in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert, is home to over 100 natural caves and caverns for you to tour and stand in awe. The White Sands National Park, not far from Sante Fe, offers visitors an experience like no other. With a sea of shimmering white sand dunes as far as the eye can see, it perfectly captures the beauty of New Mexico. Here you can also partake in activities such as hiking and sledding for a one-of-a-kind experience.
2) Relatively low home prices and property taxes
Low home prices are one of the key reasons some people move to New Mexico. The median home sale price in the Land of Enchantment is just over $455K, while the median sale price in the United States is nearly $390K. Be sure to calculate how much home you can afford in New Mexico before beginning your home search. Plus, New Mexico’s property taxes are some of the lowest in the country, meaning more money in your pocket to explore your new state.
3) New Mexico’s diverse landscape
New Mexico is known for its desolate, diverse, and dramatic desert landscape, famous for its red rocks and old highways. But did you know there are also mountains, forests, and rivers? It is home to the Rocky Mountains and the Rio Grande river, perfect for year-round recreation. New Mexico is also a perfect place to stargaze, a widely popular pastime for residents and tourists alike.
4) Cost of living
The cost of living is another common reason to move to New Mexico. In fact, living in New Mexico costs 11.6% less than the national average, making it a desirable moving destination. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the cost of living varies throughout the state. For example, Santa Fe, NM, has a higher cost of living than Albuquerque, NM, primarily driven by home prices, with a difference of over $190K in median home sale price. The median cost of a home in Santa Fe sits at $490K compared to $299K in Albuquerque. Make sure you’re choosing the right city for your budget.
5) Recreational activities
New Mexico is never short on things to do and events to attend. One of the most popular events takes place every year in October, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. This is the largest hot air balloon event in the world. There are also many opportunities to enjoy painting, dancing, and going to local theaters.
If you’re the adventurous type, whitewater rafting on the Rio Grande is a popular activity during the summer months, along with other outdoor options like hiking, biking, kayaking, climbing, rafting, fly-fishing, and horseback riding. Stargazing is also a popular pastime to experience the state’s magical beauty. During the winter months, you can find plenty of snow and ski resorts throughout New Mexico.
6) New Mexican cuisine
New Mexican cuisine is a unique blend of Spanish, Mexican, and Native American cooking traditions. Dishes tend to have an earthy palette with sparks of spice. Some popular New Mexican dishes include green chiles, Carne Adovada, Calabacitas, and hatch chile relish. New Mexico also has a notable wine industry with some of the highest quality wines in the nation including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc. And don’t forget to try the state’s official cookie, Biscochitos, a delicious butter sugar cookie spiced with cinnamon and anise.
7) New Mexico’s history & culture
New Mexico has a long history beginning with the Pueblo peoples who built cities and advanced irrigation systems. Today, the ruins of these cities can still be found throughout the state as National Parks and Monuments. The Spanish began building settlements in the 1590s in hopes of mining silver. Santa Fe, the oldest capital city in the United States, was founded between 1607-1610, and from 1721 until the Mexican War, New Mexico was part of independent Mexico.
In the late 19th century, boomtowns began to develop wherever gold was discovered, leaving behind ghost towns across the state. New Mexican culture is prevalent everywhere you look – from the artistry and architecture to the music and cuisine. It’s a relatively laid-back and friendly state, so if you’re looking to move to a city with a slower pace of life than Boston, Chicago, or New York, the lifestyle might be all the reason you need to move to New Mexico.
8) Warm climate
New Mexico is known for its pleasant climate. Summers are warm, with an average high around 88 degrees, while winters can get quite cold and snowy, with an average low of 20 degrees in January. The state sees plenty of sunshine year-round and is known to be one of the sunniest places in the U.S., with nearly 300 days of sunshine per year. You’ll never tire of finding a new reason to love living in New Mexico.
Median home sale price data was pulled from the US Housing Market resource during March 2022.