Best and Worst States: Pros and Cons of Living in New Mexico

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New Mexico became the 47th state of the union in 1912. New Mexico ranks fifth among the 50 U.S. states in terms of total area. Colorado bounds it to the north, Oklahoma and Texas to the east, Texas and the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora to the south, and Arizona (which was part of the Territory of New Mexico from 1850 to 1863) to the west. New Mexico joins Arizona, Utah, and Colorado in the only four-way meeting of states in the United States at its northwestern corner. 

It was initially an outpost of the Spanish colonial period and grew to become one of the largest sheepherding centers in the area. The Mexican military eventually established a presence in New Mexico in 1821, helping to build churches, government buildings, homes, and a central plaza. The Old Town sector of the community preserves and makes this area accessible.

Are you thinking of relocating to New Mexico? Here are some of the pros and cons you should consider:

1. New Mexico's median home value is competitive.

The population of New Mexico is currently around 2 million. New Mexico has a population of about 25 percent. Therefore, you'll be able to get into an area of the market that sees some movement in a room with little demand for properties. Santa Fe is one of the few cities in the country outside of Denver with new home construction limited, with home prices around average national values.

The average price of a home is about $182,000. 900 square foot apartments rent for about $840 per month if you prefer to rent. According to the report, the state and city rank 33rd in affordability in the country.

2. New Mexico is home to a rich mix of cultures, ethnicities, and identities.

New Mexico is home to over 70 different races. When you move to New Mexico, you'll find a medley of Middle Eastern, Asian, Native American, and other cultures all rolled into one. It creates a colorful mix in the southwest that is captivating and lively.

However, once outside of Santa Fe and New Mexico, there are severe issues with generational poverty. Food scarcity is a significant problem in rural areas. Educational opportunities are inferior. The atmosphere of the city is chill, but traveling outside of it will break your heart.

The following are the cons:

1. The job market is struggling in New Mexico

In general, moving to New Mexico without a job can be a disadvantage. Most years, the unemployment rate hovers around 6%. It gets even worse if the national economy is experiencing a downturn; for some reason, New Mexico can reduce some of the impacts. The state is ranked 43rd in the nation when all economic opportunities are considered in determining how well the state does at creating jobs.

2. Some people struggle to get used to the weather.

Although New Mexico has a high elevation above sea level, its desert location means it has warm average high temperatures all year long. Most years, it stays in the 80s from June to September, but it starts to drop around mid-October. With temperatures that struggle to remain above freezing in December and January, these are typically the coldest months. Each year, there are about eight days of snow. If you can get used to the heat and the summer rains, then this city can be a fun place to live.

Bonus: Here are more fun facts about New Mexico which you might find interesting!

  1. Grants were known as the "Carrot capital of the country" until the process of cellophane wrapping began, and California took over the title. More recently, Grants was known as the "Uranium capital of the world" and produced the bulk of the Nation's uranium supply during the post-World War II and Cold War era.
  2. New Mexico is one of the four corner states. It is bordering at the same point as Colorado, Utah, and Arizona.
  3. The Palace of Governors in Santa Fe, built-in 1610, is one of the oldest public buildings in America.
  4. More than 25,000 Anasazi sites have been identified in New Mexico by archeologists. The Anasazi, a great civilization that was the Pueblo ancestors, was around for 1300 years. Their significant classical period lasted from 1100-1300 AD.
  5. The state of New Mexico shares an international border with the country of Mexico.
  6. The Yucca leaves, New Mexico's state flower, can make rope, baskets, and sandals.
  7. 1/4 of New Mexico is forested, and the state has 7 National Forests, including the Nation's most significant, the 3.3 million acre Gila National Forest which includes the Gila Wilderness.
  8. The largest fire in the state's history was ignited on May 4, 2000, in the National Park Service's Bandelier National Monument. A controlled burn meant to clear away dry brush and prevent future wildfires leaped out of control due to high winds. Twenty-five thousand people, including all the residents of Los Alamos, were forced to evacuate their homes.
  9. In 1950 the little cub became the National Fire Safety symbol Smokey. The Bear was trapped in a tree when he's home in Lincoln National Forest was destroyed by fire. In 1963, in Smokey's honor, the New Mexican legislature chose the black bear to be the official state animal.
  10. The word "Pueblo" describes a group of people, a town, or an architectural style. 19 Pueblo groups speak four distinct languages. The Pueblo people of the southwest have lived in the exact location longer than any other culture in the Nation.

If you have lived or traveled in New Mexico, please share with us your experience while in the state! Hit the comment section below!

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Mexico

https://www.noradarealestate.com/blog/albuquerque-real-estate-market/

https://acl.gov/sites/default/files/programs/2016-11/New%20Mexico.pdf

https://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2021/05/06/whats-keeping-people-out-of-new-mexico-workforce.html

https://www.50states.com/facts/new-mexico.htm

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