Blessed with breathtaking desert panoramas, tempting cuisine, mild winters, and lively communities, New Mexico makes a great place to live. But does it make a cheap one? It does - providing you choose the right area to live in. Like every state, New Mexico has its expensive parts and its affordable parts. If you do your research in advance, you won't have a problem keeping to a budget. If you can't be bothered to do your own research, don't worry. We've gone ahead and done it for you. Without further ado, here are the ten cheapest places to live in New Mexico.
10. Silver City
Silver City is small (its population was around 10,315 by the last count), affluent, charmingly bohemian, and quite a lot cheaper than a lot of other similarly desirable places. The historic center is a delight, with enough things to see and do to make up for its small size. Thanks to great schools and equally excellent job opportunities, it's a huge hit with families. The unemployment rate is low, as are the property prices - if you're looking for somewhere to get your foot on the ladder without spending a fortune, you'll struggle to find better.
9. Rio Rancho
Rio Rancho's median home price of $172,400 is quite a bit higher than most of our other entries, but so is the median income of $59,243. The end result is a city with one of the best home price to income ratios in the state. Other benefits to living here include a good selection of parks, a well-respected school system, a robust economy, and scores of trails and recreational opportunities.
Compared to some of our other entries, Bloomfield's median home price of $149,200 seems quite high on first reading. But when you consider most residents are earning around $52,030, it gets a lot more reasonable. The average rental price is even more enticing than the home value to income index- providing you don't want 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, and a jacuzzi in every one of them, you'll not have too many problems in finding something for just $760 per month. Even leaving aside the low prices, Bloomfield is a hot destination, with some great job opportunities, decent schools, and excellent recreational opportunities at the nearby Trail of the Ancients.
The impressive stalactites in Carlsbad's underground cave system may draw the tourists in, but it's the low prices, the excellent job opportunities, low crime, and well-regarded school system that tempts some of them to stay. With a strong economy centered around oil, natural gas, and potash mining and an average home price of just $107,300, Carlsbad is cheap, cheerful, and most definitely worth considering.
Some places are heaven for homebuyers but hell for renters. Other places are the opposite. Gallup, meanwhile, is all things to all people. If you decide you'd rather keep your money to yourself than hand it over to a landlord, $132,000 should be enough to get you a decent family home. If you'd rather keep your money in your landlord's pocket for a little while longer, expect to part with just $732 per month for an apartment. With all that extra disposable income you'll have to play with, you can expect to have a high old time of it checking out local attractions like the Navajo Code Talkers Museum, Red Rock Park, and Zuni Pueblo.
5. Las Cruces
Back in 2016, Only in Your State named Las Cruces to its list of "10 Cheap Yet Great Places to Live in New Mexico." 5 years on, it's still cheap, and it's still great. With just under 100,000 people to its name, it offers residents some great perks, including temperate weather, plenty of amenities, and lots of outdoor recreation in the nearby Organ Mountains. In fairness, the cost of everyday essentials is a little higher than in some other parts of the state, but the low cost of housing and healthcare costs keeps things attractively affordable.
You're going to love, love, love Lovington if you like small-town charm and tiny prices. With a population of just 11,491, the city might not boast the 24/7 lifestyle of some of the bigger metropolises, but it's still got enough things to see and do to keep you occupied. Job opportunities are plentiful, with enough of the highly paid type to keep residents comfortable on a median income of $51,620. If all that wasn't enough to wet your whistle, the median home price of $116,800 just might.
Roswell may be best known for strange happenings, but as Home Snacks says, there's more to the city than alien landings and conspiracy theories. The fifth biggest city in New Mexico has the kind of low, low prices no one could say no to. For just $105,100, you could land yourself with a very attractive three-bedroom property in one of the cities nicest areas. You might have to put up with UFOs on your roof and little green men in your basement, but a good price is a good price.
Named by Liveability as one of the most affordable cities in New Mexico, Hobbs is a great town with some great prices. In addition to boasting family favorites like top-rated schools and a low crime rate, it also has excellent wining, dining, and shopping options, a ton of recreational opportunities (including a chance to bet on the gee-gees at the Zia Park Racetrack), and a strong economy with plenty of jobs in the oil and gas industries, agriculture, and nuclear, wind and solar production. As for the prices, they're as low as low can be, with the average home price coming in at a tiny $104,900.
Grants is cheap as chips and twice as tasty. Located around 75 miles west of Albuquerque, the city offers a little something for everyone, including great hiking for outdoorsy types around El Malpais National Monument, some great shops for spendaholics, a good selection of highly paid job opportunities for the career-minded, and something for everyone at the world's first (and only) simulated uranium mining museum. The cost of living is the best part though: with the average home price coming in for just a little over $100,000 and the cost of living a full 19 percent less than the national average, you won't need to earn a fortune to enjoy the finer things in life.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson