Of the many cities in the U.S., more and more people are moving to Albuquerque, NM. With a population just over 560,000 (2020), Albuquerque ranks in the top 50 most-populous cities in the country (#32) and is seeing consistent growth each year.
Why are people moving to Albuquerque?
Albuquerque (ABQ) is New Mexico’s biggest city and the “highest (altitude) metropolitan city” in the United States. Albuquerque spans a large metropolitan area, including nearby areas of Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Placitas, Corrales, Los Lunas, Belen and Bosque Farms. In fact, the Albuquerque metropolitan area is the 60th largest metro area in the United States.
New Mexico attracts new residents from all over the country thanks to the beautiful landscape and 310 days of sun each year. The state’s rich history, plentiful outdoor recreational activities and great quality of life are all reasons why people are choosing to move to Albuquerque, New Mexico. There’s so much this city has to offer! Below are 10 reasons moving to Albuquerque might be a good decision for you.
1. The cost of living is reasonable
One of the most important things to know before moving to Albuquerque is the cost of living. Of the 388 metropolitan areas in the United States, Albuquerque ranks number 43. When you take into account that the city is the 60th largest metropolitan area in the country, it’s easy to see the cost of living is reasonable in relation.
The cost of living in Albuquerque, New Mexico is 2.70% lower than the national average. On average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $739. The median household income in Albuquerque is just over $51,000 and the median home price is over $207,000, indicating a high rate of livability in ABQ. Both income and home prices have also risen over the last year (2020).
2. Moving to Albuquerque means getting four seasons
Albuquerque is fortunate to have sun an average of 310 days per year, even though there’s a distinct four-season climate. You won’t need to forgo winter or a beautiful summer in Albuquerque. Expect mid 80s and higher during the peak summer months, with nighttime lows dipping into the 40s during the winter season. Rainy weather doesn’t linger in Albuquerque—there are only an average of 61 days per year that experience precipitation. The weather in New Mexico offers the best of all worlds and may be the top reason people move to Albuquerque!
3. The landscape of Albuquerque is stunning
Living in this city means beautiful sunsets, stunning lights and scenic landscaping. The Sandia mountains hug Albuquerque, while the Rio Grande flows through the city itself. Sandia Crest is the high point of the mountains east of the city. This location offers an incredible panoramic view of more than 11,000 square miles. Talk about a view! To get there, take the 2.7-mile aerial tramway to Sandia Crest—it’s the longest aerial tramway in North America. While you’re there, snag a bite to eat at the peak or base of the mountain.
If you love outdoor recreation, you’ll be happy with the broad variety of open spaces in Albuquerque—everything from state parks to natural landmarks; not to mention, the star-gazing potential. Albuquerque and New Mexico offer great stargazing, thanks to the protected land of the state.
The architecture here is distinctly New Mexican, and you’ll find Adobe- and Pueblo-style homes everywhere. Beyond the architecture, there’s adobe everywhere. Adobe is an ancient building material that’s well suited to New Mexico’s arid climate. It’s used in both old and new buildings alike, and pretty much everywhere you could imagine. It might take some getting used to!
4. Parks cover the city
Speaking of wide-open spaces and outdoor activities, Albuquerque leads major United States cities in the percentage of the city that’s covered by parks. Parks make up over 25% of the city! Find a park near you with this easy park locating tool.
One of the most beautiful and interesting parks is Petroglyph National Monument Park, which runs 17 miles alongside Albuquerque. Most of the petroglyphs found here were created between 1300 and 1600 AD. The images were mostly carved by Native Americans and Spanish settlers as the population in the area was increasing. The petroglyphs in the park have a deep spiritual and cultural meaning to natives of the area. Visit the park to learn more about the petroglyphs, take scenic hikes, and even experience audio tours.
5. Native American culture influences Albuquerque identity
The culture of Albuquerque is a unique blend of Mexican, Native American and Spanish influences. It’s because New Mexico is home to 22 different Native American Indian tribes, including the Navajo, Jicarilla Apaches and the Mescalero Apaches. There are 19 pueblos in the state, as well as three different reservations—Sandia Pueblo is just 14 miles north of Albuquerque. It’s safe to say, Albuquerque is a great place to explore Native American culture and history.
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is located in Albuquerque. It’s a great way to check out the culture and history of New Mexico’s 19 pueblos. Head to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center to see traditional dance performances, art demonstrations and experience special events year-round.
6. There’s no shortage of yearly festivals and cultural events
The annual International Balloon Fiesta, held in early October, is a great example of the yearly festivals Albuquerque offers. Locals and visitors alike look forward to watching hundreds of hot air balloons take off! Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta is the world’s largest hot air balloon festival—truly a sight to behold.
The New Mexico State Fair heads to Albuquerque every September. Did you know this State Fair is ranked number six in the country in terms of attendance? It’s absolutely massive! There’s also plenty of events, from Indian and Spanish art demonstrations to horse racing, with much more for attendees to do and see.
Finally, Old Town hosts the San Felipe Fiesta every year in late spring. The fiesta honors the San Felipe Church, built in 1706 and used as a fortress to protect settlers from Indians. The San Felipe Fiesta is a fun way to celebrate Albuquerque with some of the best local entertainment, while spending some time in Old Town.
7. Experience Old Town, founded in 1706
What’s Old Town, you ask? A tourist favorite, Old Town is a storied part of Albuquerque’s unique history. It’s the original site where Albuquerque was founded and, even though it’s centuries old, it still looks like the original town. Adobe buildings span 10 blocks of Old Town, surrounding the Old Town Plaza, reminiscent of the Spanish colonial influences that settled the area. Today, four flags fly over the Old Town Plaza: the standards for Spain, Mexico, the United States and the New Mexico State flag.
More than its historic significance, there’s always something going on in Old Town. From holiday festivals to cultural events, there are so many ways to experience the history of Albuquerque here. If you’re moving to Albuquerque, expect to spend plenty of time here.
8. Albuquerque has different neighborhood hot spots
Albuquerque has a bunch of different hot spots and neighborhoods, each with its own unique identity. If you’re moving to Albuquerque, chances are you’ll settle in one of these great locales. If you’re up for exploring, there’s Old Town, Downtown, Westside, the Balloon Fiesta Park and many others to investigate. Albuquerque truly has a diverse identity, and it’s evident in each of the personalities and scenes present in its many neighborhoods.
- Balloon Fiesta Park
- Barelas and South Valley
- Indian Pueblos and Reservations
- Midtown and University
- Nob Hill
- North Valley, Los Ranchos, and Corrales
- Old Town
9. Breaking Bad is set in Albuquerque
For fans of the show, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise: Albuquerque is home to AMC’s Emmy Award-winning series Breaking Bad. The series is both filmed and set in this city, which means there’s no shortage of real-life locations to check out and tour. Breaking Bad was such a hit that it’s attracted international interest in the ABQ area. Even cast members say they feel “at home” here. Breaking Bad isn’t the only popular show filmed in this city, either; Marvel’s Avengers was also filmed in Albuquerque!
10. You’ll never be hungry after moving to Albuquerque!
The cuisine of New Mexico spans all different types of food, from Mexican to Native American and everything in-between. Albuquerque benefits from a unique blend of cultural influences in the local cuisine. It’s not like Mexican food and it’s not like Tex-Mex: the food here is strictly New Mexican. In other words, it might take a little getting used to! There are incredible international eats, too. You can’t miss Yanni’s Mediterranean Bar and Grill while you’re in the Nob Hill area.
What makes New Mexican food so distinct and delicious? It’s all about the signature ingredients: red and green chilies. It’s important to get a taste for both. In fact, servers at restaurants will often ask, “red or green?” Even local fast-food joints get on board—McDonald’s offers a Green Chile Cheeseburger!
Thinking of moving to Albuquerque?
Have you fallen in love with ABQ yet? Considering moving to Albuquerque? There are a dozen neighborhoods that make up Albuquerque, and any one of them could be perfect for you. Let Myers & Myers Real Estate help you explore homes for sale in Albuquerque and the surrounding suburbs. Who knows: you might just find a place to call home in ABQ!
Check out homes for sale in Albuquerque, homes for sale in Rio Rancho, homes for sale in Corrales, homes for sale in East Mountains, homes for sale in Valencia County, and homes for sale in Los Lunas to see how we position your home to sell at the best possible price.