My wife and I will be moving there at the end of February. For people that have never been to Albuquerque how do you recommend they figure out the best place for them to live? Downtown, the NE Heights and Rio Rancho have positives and I'm sure some negatives. What should we experience in each area to figure out what part of town we belong in?

Also any recommendation on real estate agents? We've had good and bad in other places and it makes a world of difference.

BTW - This is a very cool site. Makes us even more excited about the move.

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Thanks Sophie. I have actually read through a lot of the posts and got some good information. What I was looking for are recommendations such as: spend a night downtown, a night in RR and somewhere in the NE to get a flavor or something along those lines. I can't quite tell if there is a "mini-downtown" or commercial area in the NE or is that just a bedroom area.
Can you please repost this link? It seems to be broken.
Darlene is right... that link is broken. Sophie is still posting so I hope she sees this and can repost the link.

Darlene - Welcome to town!
the dcf archives have been down for quite a while now - a hacking issue, iirc.
Bummer... China again? Trying to steal our Duke City knowledge?
I have actually used that technic before. Obviously there is a downtown area to ABQ... I'm guessing that there are other "mini-towns" or maybe they are real towns (RR) with a mini-downtown. We are big on living near an area where we can walk to shops, restaurants and some nightlife but don't necessarily want to live in the center of the party.
We chose Rio Rancho (a separate city a little northwest of Albuq.) because I have Environmental Illness and the winds are usually west to east, so when Albuq. has smog it doesn't blow toward RR and RR is higher than the valley areas where it settles. When we moved here, our list of criteria included the following: being close to food (grocery, restaurant, and spiritual), away from the noise and pollution of heavy traffic, not too close to sports areas or shopping where there are bright lights on all night, view of sunsets or mountains (plenty of these), back yard facing north with a wall protecting porch from westerly winds (you can sit out on rainy summer nights and watch the lightning storms north toward Santa Fe - this was serendipity). Make sure you find out about flood plains (flash floods) and the insurance required, before you buy, It's not usually a problem, but you should know about it. Also, consider the commute from home to work, there's traffic everywhere. If that hasn't scared you off, and I hope it hasn't, New Mexico is a great place to live with lots to offer from desert to mountains, lakes and rivers, mostly wonderful weather, the best art and artists anywhere! (Don't miss the NM Arts and Crafts Fair, at the Fairgrounds in June.) AND I think "Uncle Jess's" reply has very good advice.
Thanks a lot for the detailed information. You definitely gave us something to think about (flood plains, etc.). Do you have a commute to worry about from RR? If so, where to and how long does it take? There is a lot of discussion on that matter. I can't tell if it is that the town has grown and it used to be 10 minutes to everything and now people have 20-25 commutes that they aren't used to. I was in Los Angeles for 9 years and the past three in a town of 92,000 and I often hear compliants about traffic here but it isn't really that bad. Thanks again!
I've lived in three cities that top the list for traffic woes - LA, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington DC. I currently split my time commuting between DC and Albuquerque (by air). In my experience, Albuquerque traffic today is quite light when compared to traffic in Washington DC today. (DC traffic is nearly indistinguishable from LA, IMHO).

When I first moved here I was very confused because people would complain about traffic, but I only saw what I viewed as traffic on a few days a year, always in early October waiting to get into the Balloon Fiesta. There's more traffic now than there was ten years ago, but nothing that would stress out an Angeleno. I think where you live can make a big difference - traffic is worse if you have to cross the river during rush hour. (Rush hour traffic goes east over the Rio Grande in the morning and west at night).

Hope this is helpful.
Hi J.D.,
Let me be the first to welcome you to Albuquerque. I saw your post about moving to Albuquerque, moving to a new city can be a little stressful, but Albuquerque is a beautiful city with a large diversity in culture. I've lived here my whole life I lived in Phoenix for about a year, several years ago and did enjoy it but was happy to move home when the time was right. Our City is growing at a positive and quick pace, which is good for our economy. We also have several large corporations that are coming to Albuquerque which in turn provides a large amount of jobs. I am a Real Estate agent and like to stay up to date and informed on what is going on in Albuquerque.

As far as you looking for a specific part of town to live in, this all really depends on your specific needs. If you want to be in an area in a specific school district or shopping district or would like to be close to your work.

What I would like to do is send you a booklet we have for our out of state home buyers. It is filled with some very good information that could answer any questions you may have. If you don't find the answers you are looking for I would be more then happy to answer any questions.

I would like the opportunity to meet with you and your wife when you are in town so that I can assist you with becoming more familiar with the different parts of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho area and the surrounding metro area so you can make a decision on were you would like to buy your home specific to your needs.

Please feel free to contact me directly at

(505)550-5697 cell

you can visit my website and view my profile at www.ltreg.com. You can also do a search for homes on our website. if you would like to contact me via email you can do so at mandy@ltreg.com

I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Mandy Lovato
Associate Broker
Lee Taylor Real Estate Group
901 Rio Grande Blvd. H-260
Albuquerque, NM 87104
Office: (505)766-SOLD
Fax: (505)766-5222
Direct: (505)550-5697
Sophie: This is the third or fourth (Main page) posting of somebody thinking about or really thinking about 'hoods or having just bought a house - (the latter seems clique-ish) - we're about to be overrun with Fidelity and Schott professional types, so I can't imagine the DCF posting everyone who's looking for the scoop on neighborhoods or houses in the main blog section. There's plenty of realtor types who would be more than willing to send info and conduct tours (see above). (As a matter of fact, the DCF could make some serious change from referral fees - but I don't think you want to go that way.)

I would just suggest referring these (potential) newcomers to the "New to ABQ" section (so they can ask questions) and maybe holding a monthly get-to-know-each-other for DCF members at some local watering hole - wasn't a similar idea floated, something about a journalist eat/drink spot? I think these people just want to meet others who are like them.
I really like the monthly get to know DCF. As someone new to town I would be up for that.

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