Moving to New Mexico: State Relocation Guide

Picture this: You are looking to move to a new location with a rich history, great food, and a warm climate. But you also want to enjoy a laid-back lifestyle with low average monthly costs. Living in New Mexico offers all of this and more. 

New Mexico is filled with vibrant big cities, charming rural areas, and everything in between. The Land of Enchantment has the Rio Grande, the breathtaking Sandia Mountains, and White Sands National Park for those who love outdoor adventure.

When moving to New Mexico, you can also count on a promising job market, plenty of diversity, and restaurants serving up tasty Mexican dishes in every town.

Whether you live in major cities like Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe, or small towns like White Rock and Placitas, New Mexico has an atmosphere that almost anyone can enjoy. 

But moving to a new state can be a daunting task, and there are many things you should know before making the big leap. This informational guide will give you all the essential details you need to help you move to New Mexico with confidence. 

New Mexico Climate

New Mexico has an arid climate, so you won’t experience much humidity or rainfall for most of the year. However, during the summer monsoon season, and to a lesser extent in late spring and early fall, you can count on a few good heavy spots of rain and thunderstorms.

Given the variety of terrain, individuals moving to New Mexico should expect some variability in temperatures. If you live in the mountains, you can expect cooler temperatures than you’d get in the valleys. 

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July is typically the hottest month of the year. People living in New Mexico can expect average temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-90s.

New Mexico has dry heat, so even when the temperature is high, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable. You’re not going to have to worry about muggy summer weather as you’d experience in other sunny states like Florida and Georgia.

In fact, the weather is a good reason to move to New Mexico. Living here, you can count on warm and sunny weather for the majority of the year. 

During the winter months of December through February, New Mexico can get pretty cold. The average temperatures range from 29 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Southern New Mexico is too warm for snowfall, but residents in the central and northern regions will see snow in the winter. 

Taxes in New Mexico

New Mexico has some of the lowest property taxes in the United States. The national average is 1.07%, and New Mexico’s average property tax rate is 0.78%.

However, what you’ll pay depends on which county you live in. New Mexico uses property taxes to help fund its education system and government, so you know your tax dollars are being put to good use.

New Mexico homeowners can expect to pay around $1,950 in yearly property taxes. This is significantly lower than the national average. 

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When purchasing goods in New Mexico, you’ll also pay a 5.125% sales tax. This is the state sales tax. When you add average local sales taxes, you’ll end up paying closer to 7%.

Overall, New Mexico has reasonable taxes, which can help you save more of your income and enjoy a high quality of life as a resident.

New Mexico Cost of Living

New Mexico’s overall cost of living is significantly lower than the U.S. average. The state has lower costs than the national average in all categories except for utilities (which barely exceeds the average at 100.4).

This is good news if you’re planning to move to New Mexico. Your average monthly costs will be modest, which can be a welcome relief if you’re moving from a more expensive state like Connecticut or Oregon. 

lowest average median home value

New Mexico State Relocation Guide


Housing is affordable in most of the state, especially in rural areas. McKinley County has the lowest average median home value at $64,000. However, residents living in this county will pay the highest average property tax rate at 1.75%.

On the other hand, Santa Fe County has a high median home value of $292,000 but a lower property tax rate of 0.56%. Bernalillo County, home to the populous city of Albuquerque, has a median home value of $194,300 and a moderate property tax rate of 1.05% 

The average salary for New Mexico residents is $53,675 per year. This is the equivalent of an average hourly rate of $26. New Mexico’s average salary falls below the national average of $66,665/year. 

New Mexico State Relocation Guide

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Given New Mexico’s growing economy and its low tax rate, a lower than average yearly salary may not be a deal-breaker for potential New Mexico residents.

When moving to New Mexico, you’ll have plenty of job opportunities. The major industries in the state are the oil and gas industry, aerospace and defense, and tourism.

There are also plenty of jobs in standard industries like healthcare and education. No matter what field you’re in, you can find something worthwhile in the Land of Enchantment!

New Mexico Healthcare

New Mexico’s health services rank low when compared to other states. New Mexico residents receive decent quality healthcare (#24) but less than ideal access to healthcare services (#38) and public health (#36). These statistics combined place New Mexico as 33rd in the country for healthcare overall. 

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BeWellNM is New Mexico’s insurance marketplace for residents looking for coverage. Low-income adults in New Mexico who are pregnant, blind, disabled, above the age of 65, or have dependent children under 18 years old may qualify for New Mexico Medicaid services. 

New Mexico Education

New Mexico ranks last in America for its quality of educational services for Pre-K through 12th grade. For higher education, the state is 24th. 

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The New Mexican government has acknowledged a problem with their low-quality education, and the governor is working diligently to improve the state’s education services.

New Mexico has dedicated 30% of property tax revenue to public school spending. Still, with low property tax rates, this is not enough to improve schools across the state quickly. 

However, there are still good options for public schools regardless of the state’s poor academic rating. La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, for example, was rated the third-best school in New Mexico. 

When it comes to higher education, students will find plenty of quality schools. New Mexico is home to the University of New Mexico, which is 196th in the country. New Mexico State University is another potential option for college students, with a ranking of #227.

Students who are looking for a liberal arts education could attend Saint John’s College – this Sante Fe college is ranked #75 in the nation for its liberal arts program. 

Notable Highlights

If you know only one thing about New Mexico, it’s likely the 1947 Roswell UFO incident. Residents living in Roswell, New Mexico reported seeing a flying disc that crashed within the city limits.

This was so monumental that even the FBI investigated it! To this day, the source of this flying object remains unidentified. But that doesn’t stop Roswell citizens from analyzing the phenomenon. The city has its own International UFO Museum and Research Center.

This New Mexico museum is dedicated to explaining the details of this mysterious event and investigating the possibility of extraterrestrial life. 

Are you looking for other flying objects in New Mexico? Visit the Balloon Fiesta Park, where you can play golf, fly model airplanes, visit hiking trails, or enjoy live music.

Once a year, the park hosts the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. This nine-day festival launches hot air balloons on 78 acres of land. Guests of the balloon fiesta can expect to see 500 different hot air balloons launch sporadically during the morning, noon, and night. 

New Mexico is home to Taos Pueblo, one of three UNESCO world heritage sites in the state. Taos Pueblo is a Native American community in Northern New Mexico.

photo of Taos Pueblo New Mexico

Visitors are welcome to visit this historic village and discover information about the Red Willow tribe and Native American culture.

However, this community is incredibly private. There are strict rules to follow regarding the indigenous people residing here. As long as you are respectful to the Red Willow tribe’s community, you will be invited to learn about their rich history spanning over 1,000 years.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is another UNESCO world heritage site located in New Mexico. The limestone caverns have developed for over a million years after a nearby sea reef evaporated.

The park has a long history. Early Spanish settlers mapped the land, and there are 1,000-year-old Native American artifacts found on site. New Mexico lives up to its “land of enchantment” namesake with this awestriking national park. 

Lastly, learn all about Native American culture in New Mexico by visiting the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Here, visitors can experience indigenous cuisine, view artistic murals, and buy authentic Native American art pieces. 

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center holds weekly events and workshops that showcase indigenous books, traditional native dances, and informative lectures.

Best Places to Live

Before discussing the best places to live, let’s talk about some essential tips for moving to New Mexico. With these helpful hints, moving to a new state will be easier than ever! 

  • Prepare for warm weather — Unless you are moving to Northern New Mexico in the winter season, you should expect warm and sunny weather. Pack appropriate clothes and consider donating your winter gear, unless you want to keep some outfits for ski trips. 
  • Pack your boxes wisely — Boxes will shift and slide during transport, whether you are using a box truck or a delivery service. Label boxes according to their contents and wrap fragile items with care. 
  • Find a safe place for documentation — Your medical records, social security card, birth certificate, and other essentials should stay with you at all times. You will need these items to establish a New Mexico driver’s license. 
  • Transport your car — Driving far distances can put unnecessary strain on your vehicle. Consider using shipping services to ensure your vehicle arrives safely at your new location. 

Now that you know how to prepare for your move, let’s explore some of the best places to call home in New Mexico.

Los Alamos

Los Alamos is the highest-rated town for individuals and families looking to move to New Mexico. Los Alamos provides residents a dense suburban feel with a moderate population of 12,666 residents.

This area has beautiful scenery and great parks, making it perfect for hikers and rock climbers. Los Alamos has a highly rated school district, and 42% of the population has a Master’s degree or higher. 

In addition, this town is home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. This laboratory is federally funded and helps different government agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. 

White Rock

White Rock, New Mexico offers a quiet, small-town lifestyle. With a population of 5,751, you won’t find a lot of entertainment and dining options, but the town is very safe, making it a great choice for retirees and families.

Located in Los Alamos County, White Rock’s residents are primarily conservative retirees. Compared to other school districts in New Mexico, White Rock has excellent public schools. The estimated median household income for individuals living in White Rock is $135,964. 

Nob Hill

Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the neighborhood of Nob Hill offers a mix of suburban and urban areas. This location is popular among young professionals, and most residents rent their homes for an average of $1,000 a month.

Nob Hill doesn’t have a lot of families the percentage of individuals with children is 11%. This area is known for its vibrant community and abundance of restaurants and coffee shops. 

Sandia Heights

Bernalillo County is home to Sandia Heights, a suburb of Albuquerque with a small population of 3,571 residents. Sandia Heights is considered a rural area where people go to enjoy their retirement. The residents tend to vote conservatively, and 97% of people own homes at an estimated value of $465,700. 


Eastside is another suburb of Albuquerque with a dense suburban feel. The majority of residents are young professionals looking to start a family.

Out of the top five places to live, Eastside has the largest population by far: 162,145 residents. It is also one of the best places in the state to raise a family.

Their public school system rates well, and more than half of the population holds a college degree. You’ll find plenty to do here, whether you like outdoor activities, the arts, or an active foodie scene.


Living in New Mexico has its perks and downfalls. The state is home to delicious Mexican cuisine, various ethnic groups, and low rental prices.

The climate is warm and sunny, so if you love blue skies, moving to New Mexico might be perfect for you. There are also many opportunities to learn about Native American culture and the rich history of this area. 

However, in the United States, New Mexico is the lowest-rated state for education quality for grades Pre-K to 12. In addition, New Mexico doesn’t rank favorably for its public health or access to healthcare. 

Regardless of why you decide to move to the Land of Enchantment, Guardian Auto Transport will be here to help you transport your vehicle to New Mexico or ship to any state. After answering some questions about your prospective move, our expert team will provide you with a quote to transport your vehicle to its new location.

Guardian Auto Transport will ensure that your car arrives safely, giving you the freedom to focus on your move.

Reach out today and get your instant quote.

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