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Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-05-2007, 07:27 PM   #1
 
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Looking for info about New Mexico

Is there anyone that can tell me about living in New Mexico? My first two choices of areas to move to when my wife retires are Las Cruces & Albuquerque and I would appreciate to hear any pros or cons about living there.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-05-2007, 08:59 PM   #2
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

I had a boss that retired to Silver City, New Mexico in 2000. I think it has become quite popular as a retirement spot. I understand there is a small college. He sold his house in California for $600,000 and bought a bigger one on horse property for $150,000. But that was then, this is now. I believe its in northern New Mexico. Supposed to be good weather year round. Might get a little snow. Just a thought...
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-05-2007, 10:34 PM   #3
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

I have lived in NM since I was 3 years old, for the record, Silver City (which I lived in until I was 12) is in the southern part of the state . Its a bit to small for my tastes, but could be a nice place to retire "rural".

Las Cruces isn't to bad (also southern part of the state). Weather in both of those is warm to hot and very dry. I'm not a fan of Las Cruces, to much Desert weather for me. Albuquerque can be nice (Still will be warm and dry, just not as bad as the southern half of the state). We sold a 2300SF 2.5 acre house in the Sandia Mountains (east of Albuquerque) 2 years ago for $300K and bought a little 1200SF house in the city for 150K. (Older 1950's houses)

We are in a decent neighboorhood, someplace I feel safe letting my kids play out in the front yard... if they were a bit older, I'd let them wander the streets alone. If you are looking to spend alot of money on a house, you can get to about $600-800K, but much beyond that, and your getting into 'speciality houses'. (Down by the river or up in the foothills, 5000SF+ types of houses). You can get a very nice house for $250K-300K in a great neighborhood.

The other option if you don't have to travel into Albuquerque for a job, is the "west side" the city of Rio Rancho which is west of Albuquerque (across the Rio Grande river) has good housing costs and would be a nice place to live if you don't have to drive into Albuquerque every day.

Albuquerque is in my opinion the "right size city". Not to big, not to small. You can get across it in 30 minutes or less (usually less). Weather is nice, you can mountain bike almost year round, and when you can't Mountain bike, usually you can get onto the road bike with out to much weather trouble. There is also a real (10K) mountain that has a ski area right next to the city, so in the winter, you can Ski, summer you can MTB there (or the 200+ miles of trails around the area). So you get alot of outdoors activities that are with-in 20 minutes.

Hope that gives you a flavor.

Laters,
-d.

ps.
Actually it sucks, and nobody should move here.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-06-2007, 04:51 AM   #4
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

I have only been to New Mexico once for any length of time, for a friend's wedding and then a vacation moving north from Albuquerque. Northern New Mexico is the only place in the US where I have felt unsafe from a personal security standpoint. I was paranoid enough that I was afraid at one point to be at a rest stop with only one other car there in the middle of the day because of previous situations that I had encountered. I talked to different friends there about this who had moved from California, and they both agreed that this is an issue for living there.

It gets coooollllddd at night in that desert climate. Even southerly Las Cruces has three months where the average low is below freezing. I hate cold weather. Of course, some like it. I would like the coldest night of the year to be above 60!! I dislike the cold nights here in San Jose, California, too, and it is not nearly as cold as NM.

I noticed that the health insurance market is not as well developed (fewer choices) in NM as in some other states, presumably due to lack of population. So make sure you know what your options are in that department.

With all that said, I found a lot to like about NM. It is an awesome place to explore nature. And I like what the previous poster said about Albuquerque (although I couldn't believe how many people just ran red lights there, many after stopping and thinking about it -- one of them rear ended my rental). Albuquerque is the nation's highest capital, even higher than Denver.

Then again, NM was the only place that I thought that I might possibly want to move to which my current health insurance is NOT portable to -- I would have to undergo underwriting again with a different health insurance company.

Kramer
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-06-2007, 09:51 AM   #5
 
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate it.

I will have to check to see if our health insurance has providers in NM.

Silver City is third on our list.

According to weather charts I have seen average high temps during summer in Las Cruces is in the mid 90's which with the low humidity. I'm aware it gets pretty cold there during the winter but since no place is ideal I would make that concession although I do prefer it a lot warmer.

As for crime, every city has it's bad areas and you have to be smart enough to stay away from them. I was born and raised in very rough part of New York City and I still have the street smarts to be aware of my surroundings.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-06-2007, 10:37 AM   #6
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

I lived in Albuquerque/Bernallio for several years when much younger and I have visited/traveled through the state a number of times. Most of the state is supported by the government. That includes research, military and Indian reservations. When you get outside of Albuquerque, there are LOTS of Indian reservations and Indians drive a number of city economies.

Albuquerque is growing west and the west side is prone to dust storms. I would personally never live there again if I had an alternative. If you are ERing I'd suggest the east side of town or even on the east side of the Sandias. I'd suggest looking into Ruidoso, Santa Fe or Taos. There is a significant income tax but very low property taxes. Housing costs are reasonably high but that depends on where you are coming from.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-06-2007, 10:46 AM   #7
 
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

2B,

Ruidoso is too touristy and gets too much snow for my liking. The cost of housing in Taos & Santa Fe is too expensive for us.

I hope to take a trip to NM to check it out for myself. I have heard about the winds in various parts of the state.

The original place we wanted to move to is Prescott, AZ but the influx of retirees & Californians have driven the cost of housing there through the roof.

The desire for low humidity and milder winters limits our options.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-06-2007, 11:53 AM   #8
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

This is a great site for that type of research:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-06-2007, 02:35 PM   #9
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger
Ruidoso is too touristy and gets too much snow for my liking. The cost of housing in Taos & Santa Fe is too expensive for us.

I hope to take a trip to NM to check it out for myself. I have heard about the winds in various parts of the state.

The desire for low humidity and milder winters limits our options.
If "too touristy" is a major objection, forget New Mexico.

Depending on how mild a winter you want, you might consider NW Arkansas or SW Missouri. The humidity isn't real low all of the time but when it rains you don't get a dust cloud like I've seen in Albuquerque.

It can get real cold in Albuquerque. Farmington is probably a lot cheaper than Albuquerque but still very touristy.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-06-2007, 03:14 PM   #10
 
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPT
This is a great site for that type of research:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/
Thanks. I've been going to City Data for a long time, it's a great site.

2B,

AK & MO are not for me. I don't want to head south or to tornado territory. As I said I will go to NM and see what it's like. Outside of San Diego I know of no places that have ideal temperatures all yea round.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-06-2007, 04:41 PM   #11
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

My wife and I have traveled in NM for many years now, and tried living in Silver City for the better part of 2005. Of course we knew Taos and Santa Fe well already, but ruled them out due to high costs of living and (to our taste) harsh winter temperatures. Summers in Silver are high 90's but bone dry and cool off into the 50's at night; January highs are are around 53 with lows around freezing.

Silver is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of place. Small (~12,000) but bustling, as it is actually the "big city" for a huge surrounding area of very small towns. It is above all REMOTE - which will likely keep it from ever being spoiled, but which also causes some major logistical headaches, should you ever need to leave to do ANYTHING. It is 3 hours to the nearest airport - either El Paso or (better) Tuscson. And it is much closer to those cities than to Albuquerque or Santa fe - 4 and 5 hours away, respectively. For us the remoteness and cultural issues made us leave, but we still think it is a great town and know many people who are very happy there.

The weather, if you like sunshine, warm summers and mild winters, is excellent, and the hiking and bicycling is the best I have seen anywhere in the U.S. (I've lived in Boulder, Colorado for the better part of 3 decades and Silver's outdoor resources make Boulder look like Detroit, just to give you an idea). There's a small but strong progressive community, gay community, and alternative religious options (Sufis, etc.) are big there.

Silver has lots of art galleries and some very cool people, but the dominant cultural backdrop against which the relatively few but very visible early retirees, artists, etc. show is basically working class miners and ranchers, with a strong Hispanic influence. There is a lot of poverty, NM has the biggest drunk driving problem in the nation, is one of the poorest states overall. I mention all this because too many people's impressions of NM are based on brief visits to places like Santa Fe, which are in no way representative of the state as a whole.

Silver has been thoroughly discovered and real estate has gone up dramatically in the past few years, but it still affordable for "equity refugees." A decent house in a good part of town would be $180,000-250,000 now.

Food wise, hope you like green and red chili - hot! - 'cause other than burgers that's what there is to eat there. There is a great specialty food store and wonderful co-op, but the restaurant scene could be a bit of a shock. It is high desert - not good soil for growing much, so here as elsewhere in NM nearly all food comes from far away, which affects freshness, quality and prices.

Las Cruces is HOT and physically not very attractive in my opinion, and though it is only 1.5 hours from Silver has so little going on culturally that you're pretty much forced to drive to Tuscson and spend and overnight when you want a big city hit.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-06-2007, 07:18 PM   #12
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

I had a work assignment in NM and have visited the state a number of times. In general, I thought the upside was access to some unspoiled natual beauty and the arts and culture of Santa Fe. On the downside, it's just too cold for me (even Las Cruces which, though is in southern NM, is at a pretty high elevation and is cold in winter... for me anyway) and I couldn't quite shake the sense of being somewhere a bit behind the times and isolated.

I did some research on relocating there for ER but it's just too chilly and isolated IMO. Tucson, for instance, would be a better match for my tastes.

Other random thoughts.... enjoyed the chilis and Mex food, many areas of Abq seemed visually very unattractive, Abq has a nice airport with good selection of Southwest flights.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-07-2007, 10:20 AM   #13
 
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

Uh oh it's starting to sound as if I'm running out of options. Well maybe in four years I'll be able to find some alternatives. I'm still going to visit there to see for myself. What we find suitable may not appeal to other people and vice versa.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-07-2007, 10:36 AM   #14
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

Also, go to Sperling's Best Places (.com) and citytowninfo.com. Those, along with city-data.com, should do it.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-07-2007, 08:57 PM   #15
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

I drove through Albuquerque as the sun was setting coming from the east. Man it sure made the whole city look beautifully. Its one of those cities that stuck in my mind driving cross country.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-10-2007, 06:39 PM   #16
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

Just returned last night from Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos. 39 degrees, snow and hail in May....no thanks! Housing looked reasonable, depends on the climate you need/like. Beautiful, high desert terrain...lots of outdoor activity.
Good Luck,
Chris
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-10-2007, 07:54 PM   #17
 
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

Chris,

Today's 6:00 news said the temp in Santa Fe was 70.

I just checked Albuquerque's temp and it is 79 and in Taos it's 69.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-11-2007, 03:47 PM   #18
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

Yes, they said it was unusually cold last weekend, especially in the higher elevations....supposed to be in the high 80's this weekend....very unpredicatable. It was actually in the low 30's last Sat evening and snowing hard. Sunday was a hard hail storm, by the time we got back down to Albuquerque (lower elevation), the temp was upper 50's.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-18-2007, 01:23 PM   #19
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

I've spent a lot of time in New Mexico for work over the past couple of years and haven't been overly impressed. The people are generally pretty friendly but much of New Mexico is rather depressed economically. Las Cruces has a few nice areas and is close to the El Paso Airport in case you need to fly somewhere. But you'd better like deep, scrubby desert.

Santa Fe is expensive, kind of snooty, and the traffic problems going into the center of town have become worse over the years. And you'd better like snow. Lots of it.

CalifDreamer is right--Tucson and environs offer more for the money, overall weather is better, the saguaro cactus makes for beautiful desert scenery. But choose your neighborhood carefully. Summers are hot, no doubt, but winters are magnificent. Wonderful from mid-October through May. Rest of the year, crank up the AC and sit in the pool.
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico
Old 05-18-2007, 02:34 PM   #20
 
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Re: Looking for info about New Mexico

Hi Travler,

Thanks for the info. I've been told that there are some places in and around Las Cruces that are green and I have seen photos to back it up.

What do you think about the Albuquerque area?

Norm
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