Moving to Santa Fe

Greetings, intrepid explorers! Are you harboring dreams of the desert, a yearning for the rich culture, or perhaps being tantalized by the tantalizing chiles of enchanting Santa Fe, NM? You're in good company! Moving to Santa Fe, under the expansive crystal-clear blue New Mexico sky, can provide an intoxicating blend of stunning vistas, vibrant arts scene, and a deeply-rooted cultural heritage. But before you hitch your wagon and head southwest, our comprehensive guide promises to navigate you through the ins and outs of relocating to 'The City Different'. Prepare for adventure, prepare for Santa Fe!

Moving to Santa Fe, NM landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Santa Fe

1. Elevate Your Life

Picture this: crisp, clean air with a hint of pinon, bluebird skies that seem endless, and the beauty of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains serving as your daily backdrop. Welcome to Santa Fe, the highest and oldest capital in the U.S.! Sitting pretty at around 7,200 feet above sea level, the city offers a variety of outdoor activities all year round. Don't be surprised if you find yourself breathless (literally and metaphorically) during your first couple of weeks as your body adjusts to the elevation. Hiking, skiing, or even simple strolls in the city are bound to keep your spirits soaring and lungs healthy.

2. Feast on Southwest Cuisine

No Santa Fe list would be complete without salivating over New Mexican cuisine. Spicy and flavorful, the traditional dishes here make use of two typical ingredients: red and green chillies. While you're here, order like a local and opt for "Christmas style", which is a combo of both chilies. We promise, your palate will thank you later. Now, isn't that a spicy tip for you?

3. Immerse in a Bounty of Art and History

With its rich Indigenous cultures and Spanish colonial past, Santa Fe is a haven for history buffs and art aficionados. This thriving art scene features over 250 art galleries and studios. Make sure to visit Meow Wolf, an immersive, multi-media art installation that is, no exaggeration, something out of this world. Also, doll up for the annual Santa Fe Opera, which offers breathtaking open-air performances throughout the summer.

4. Santa Fe's Wickedly Weird Side

Amid all its natural beauty and rich culture, Santa Fe has a deliciously strange and somewhat hidden side. It's like the Stephen King novel of cities - velvety and enticing with a spooky undertone. There's folklore of La Llorona, the crying woman who haunts the Santa Fe River, lifting this city from the norm to the novel. Now, whether you believe in such tales or not is another story...

5. The Unpredictable Weather Dance

Newcomers are often surprised to learn about Santa Fe's weather foxtrot. It's common to have all four seasons dance through in a single day! Crisp mornings can quickly turn into warm afternoons, followed by a quick spattering of rain, before ending in a cool and cozy evening. Don't be flustered, this unpredictable weather just adds another layer of charm to life in Santa Fe.

6. Did You Say...Camel Rock?!

Now this might sound weird, but yes - Santa Fe boasts a 25 feet high camel-shaped rock formation! This unique geologic display is off Highway 84/285, so don't forget to pay this humped creature made of sandstone a visit. Don't worry, this camel doesn't spit. But it offers an Instagram-worthy backdrop that will have your likes coming rolling in.

In short, Santa Fe is an enchanting potpourri of unique flavors, panoramic landscapes, and cultural richness. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, foodie, history hound, or just an urban explorer, this high-desert city promises an extraordinary and wonderfully strange experience. Santa Fe's allure is yours to discover!

What to know before moving to Santa Fe, NM image
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Pros and Cons of Living in Santa Fe

Pros of Living in Santa Fe

Rich Cultural History

Santa Fe, as the oldest state capital in the US, offers a vibrant blend of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures. The city is filled with ancient ruins, historic sites, and museums that bring you back in time and provide subject matter for community events and activities.

Exceptional Art Scene

Known for having one of the country's most diverse and largest per capita art markets, Santa Fe is a haven for art lovers. It is home to hundreds of galleries, art schools, and museums, including the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, dedicated to the works of an American modernist artist.

Pleasant Weather

Santa Fe boasts a high-desert climate, which is marked by sunny days for most of the year and comfortable, cool nights. This allows for great opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, biking, and skiing.

Natural Beauty

Santa Fe is surrounded by the breathtaking landscape of high desert mesas and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The scenic views and opportunities for outdoor exploration contribute to the city's overall appeal and quality of life.

World-Class Cuisine

National Geographic has ranked Santa Fe as one of the best food cities in the world. Santa Fe's culinary scene offers unique, delicious, and world-class options, particularly for those who love Mexican and Native American flavors.

Cons of Living in Santa Fe

High Cost of Living

The cost of living in Santa Fe is notably above the national average, especially when it comes to housing. This can make it difficult for some people to comfortably afford to live, particularly those on a lower income scale.

Tourist Congestion

Santa Fe's rich culture, history, and beauty attract millions of tourists each year, which can lead to crowded streets and long waits at popular attractions and restaurants, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Remote Location

Santa Fe, while being a city, is still relatively isolated from other major cities, which can make travel challenging. It can take some time to reach larger metropolitan areas, which may not be ideal for those used to urban conveniences.

Altitude Adjustment

Located around 7,000 feet above sea level, Santa Fe's high altitude can take time for newcomers to adjust to. Some people might experience altitude sickness that can cause symptoms such as headache, fatigue, and dehydration.

Lack of Job Opportunities

While Santa Fe has a diverse economy, job opportunities can be limited in certain sectors. This means it can be challenging to find work unless you're working in dominant industries like tourism, government, and healthcare.

Modern day picture of Santa Fe, NM highlighting pros and cons of living in Santa Fe, NM

Is Santa Fe a Good Place to Live?

Santa Fe, NM is a great place to live because of its vibrant arts scene, fantastic food culture, and scenic beauty. You'll feel the historic charm at every corner, as Santa Fe is rich in cultural heritage and offers various outdoor activities like hiking and skiing. The atmosphere is perpetually relaxed and friendly, making it a real treat to build a life here.

What Is Santa Fe Famous For?

Art Scene

Santa Fe has an overwhelmingly rich art scene which is famous across the globe. The city is bubbling with hundreds of art galleries and multiple acclaimed art markets that display everything from traditional Native American art to contemporary pieces. Every corner you turn seems to lead to an artistic masterpiece!

Pueblo Style Architecture

Santa Fe is well-renowned for its unique Pueblo Style Architecture which lends a rustic charm to the cityscape. The traditional adobe structures and striking design elements reminiscent of the ancient Pueblo Native American culture, make it a heaven for architecture enthusiasts and tourists alike.

Santa Fe Opera

The Santa Fe Opera is said to offer one of the most exciting and adventurous opera experiences in the world. Set with a backdrop of a stunning high-desert landscape, the open-air theater hosts an array of world-class performances each year, helping to uphold Santa Fe's reputation as a significant cultural hub.

Scenic Natural Beauty

Santa Fe's spectacular natural beauty is truly a sight to behold, with its captivating desert landscapes, vivid sunsets, and panoramic mountain views. The city offers a myriad of outdoor activities, like hiking along the Dale Ball Trails or picnicking in the Hyde Memorial State Park, where you can enjoy Santa Fe's extraordinary beauty first-hand.

Capital building of Santa Fe, NM in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the property tax rate in Santa Fe, NM is around 0.70%, which is significantly lower than the national average rate of approximately 1.07%. This makes Santa Fe an attractive place for homeowners and property investors.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in Santa Fe as of 2023 is about 8.63%, a rate higher than the US average which stands at approximately 5.3%. This includes both the New Mexico state rate of 5.13% and additional local taxes.

Income Tax

In 2023, the income tax in Santa Fe, NM varies based on income, with rates ranging from 1.7% to 4.9%. These rates are comparable to the average US state income tax rates which fluctuate between no income tax and up to about 13%.

Housing Market

Santa Fe, NM housing market sees higher prices compared to national median, with the median home value soaring at $381,300. Remarkably, Santa Fe's rental rates also remain significantly high, with a median of $1,394 per month. Housing in Santa Fe has appreciated 91.32% in the last ten years, classifying it among the top 10% nationally for real estate appreciation. With a growing market trend and dynamic real estate sector, it's crucial for both buyers and renters to research and consider future housing trends before planning their investment in Santa Fe, NM.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Santa Fe, NM ranks higher than the national average. Key contributing factors include housing costs, which are reported to be substantially higher in Santa Fe compared to other cities. Additionally, transportation and healthcare are also a bit pricey. However, utility costs and groceries fare slightly lower than other parts of the country. Despite the higher costs, Santa Fe offers a rich cultural experience with its historical attractions, good dining scene, and excellent art galleries - making it a rather attractive place to live

Weather & Natural Disasters

Santa Fe, New Mexico boasts a semi-arid climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are warm but not excessively hot, with average highs below 90degF, while winters can be chilly with frequent snowfall. During spring and autumn, residents enjoy mild temperatures with remarkable foliage displays. The diverse weather affords Santa Fe with over 280 sunny days per year, a feature that transcends the national average. The city also experiences an impressive monsoon season from June through September, delivering valuable rains that cultivate its fabulous landscapes. Santa Fe's unique high desert location makes it immune to most natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes, though it has an increased risk of wildfires due to dry conditions and rich forest areas. Flash flooding can occur during the monsoon season, making these the main natural hazards in this stunning, atmospheric locale.

Typical weather in Santa Fe, NM

Economy & Job Market

* Government Services

* Health Care and Social Assistance

* Retail Trade

* Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation

* Education Services

Santa Fe, NM has a rich and diverse economy steeped in a blend of historical and modern influences. The state government services sector plays a leading role in the city's economy, contributing significantly to employment opportunities. High value is also placed on health care and social assistance, ensuring a robust and growing job market within this sector. Retail trade cascades colorfully through the city, with a strong emphasis on local handcrafted goods and Native American artistry, while Santa Fe's deep-rooted love for the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector enthusiastically struts across the city's economic stage like a proud peacock. Education services, a valued staple in Santa Fe's economic recipe, helps to prepare the future generations to continue brewing this unique concoction of economic vibrancy.

So, you're looking to start a new chapter in Santa Fe, NM? Here's a playful peek at what you need to know! The city has a lower unemployment rate compared to the national average, which is excellent news if you're job hunting. Most job seekers find opportunities within the government, healthcare, education services, or the arts sector, so these might be fantastic areas for you to begin your search. Cultural and creative industries are warmly embraced in Santa Fe, so if you've got a flair for the arts or a passion for history, you're likely to find a playground of opportunities here. Always keep in mind, this vibrant city is committed to supporting its small businesses and local artisans, so don't forget to check out these smaller scales opportunities that often hold the most character and charm!

Traffic and Transportation

Cruising around Santa Fe, NM is a Southwestern dream! With average commute times clocking in at a chill, stress-free 16.8 minutes, also known as the 'Santa Fe Short' in local parlance, you will have plenty of time to enjoy the mesmerizing landscapes along the way. But hey, if you want to just appreciate the cacti and rolling hills without steering, Santa Fe Trails, the local public bus system, will be your friendly chariot. It provides convenient routes across the city and acts like your private tour guide, without the chatter! Thinking about soaring higher? You can touch down at the Santa Fe Municipal Airport which offers daily flights. Just imagine, one moment you're cruising down the Paseo de Peralta, the next you're jetting off towards the clouds! Sweet, isn't it? This ease and accessibility make living in and travelling through Santa Fe a smooth journey!

What is the traffic like in Santa Fe, NM?

Best Neighborhoods in Santa Fe

1. Downtown Santa Fe

Everyone loves a good downtown scene, and Santa Fe delivers big time. Living here means you'll enjoy a blend of historic charm and vibrant urban energy, with an appealing mix of stunning plazas, quaint cafes, art galleries, and museums all within a walkable landscape. Downtown Santa Fe is a hub of festivities, with regular markets and traditional events that add color and spice to daily life in this neighborhood. Being popular among tourists, it's also the perfect place to meet new faces from all over the world.

2. East Side

Moving to East Side of Santa Fe means signing up for more than just a new zip code - you're opting into history, culture, and inviting landscapes. Streets are adorned with unique adobe homes, and the area offers a pleasant balance of quietude and activity. As if not enough, the sights are to die-for - lush gardens, views of the Sangre De Cristo mountains, the historic Canyon Road arts district, and the famous Santa Fe Plaza. Exploring nature parks never gets old in this neighborhood, it's a blissful slice of Santa Fe life.

3. South Capitol

Find yourself drawn by tree-lined streets and pueblo-style homes? Look no further than South Capitol. Nestled between downtown Santa Fe and the historic Railyard District, South Capitol is a serene residential area that oozes southwestern charm. At its heart lies the Roundhouse, the seat of New Mexico state government, but the neighborhood also boasts great schools, local eateries, and a welcoming sense of community. For many, living in South Capitol feels like coming home.

4. Guadalupe Historic District

Let's talk about an area where the old and new harmoniously coexist - the Guadalupe Historic District. Known for its railroad-themed murals and funky little shops, this dynamic neighborhood is enchanting. Here, you can spend your days exploring local markets, art exhibits, and an array of dining options. With close proximity to the Railyard district, living here also means easy access to an eclectic range of events and iconic Santa Fe landmarks. Indeed, Guadalupe Historic District personifies the city's evolving yet rooted character.

5. Las Campanas

A golf lover looking for a tranquil retreat from city life? Pack your bags for Las Campanas! This master-planned community boasts two Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses, tennis courts, a world-class equestrian center, and paths meant for peaceful walks. The homes are exquisitely designed with a nod to classic Southwestern architecture, surrounded by breathtaking, unobstructed views of mountain ranges. When you live in Las Campanas, everything feels like a luxurious vacation.

There you have it--a quick trip around picturesque Santa Fe! These neighborhoods all offer a unique taste of what life in Santa Fe has to offer, making them the creme de la creme of the city. Whether you're searching for rich history, vibrant arts, delicious cuisine, or a balance of it all, Santa Fe's top neighborhoods are ready to welcome you home.

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Things to Do

Santa Fe, the 'City Different,' is a kaleidoscope of colors, tastes, and experiences, with history, art, and culture at every turn. Home to world-class museums, surreal desert landscapes, and a culinary scene that'll keep your taste buds on their toes, Santa Fe truly offers something for everyone. So pack your bags, folks, because an adventure awaits!

1. Visit The New Mexico Museum of Art

Art fanatic or not, the New Mexico Museum of Art is surely a treat. This cultural hub exhibits an impressive collection of art, covering four centuries. Its Spanish colonial architectural style is a sight on its own!

2. Marvel at The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi

This iconic cathedral is a must-visit for its striking Romanesque Revival style architecture. The cathedral, named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, has stood tall since the 19th century and is a landmark of Santa Fe.

3. Hike the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Have the adventure of a lifetime at the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. The park is filled with bizarre, tent-like formations and breathtaking geological wonders. It offers trails for hiking, nature watching, and exhilarating bird spotting experiences.

4. Wander around The Plaza

The heart of Santa Fe, the Plaza, is a bustling marketplace where old meets new. Enjoy an array of shops, restaurants, and historical sites within walking distance. Make sure to check out the Palace of the Governors, where local artists display and sell their crafts.

5. Experience Meow Wolf

Experience art like never before at Meow Wolf's House of Eternal Return. This immersive and interactive exhibit offers a fusion of jungle gyms, mysterious passages, and art installations. You'll feel like Alice in Wonderland as you discover secret doors and spiral staircases that lead to different dimensions!

6. Unearth Santa Fe's Hidden Tapas Bars

Step off the beaten track to find Santa Fe's hidden tapas bars that are known only to locals and the most intrepid of visitors. Enjoy small dishes that deliver big flavors, paired with locally sourced wines. El Farol and La Boca are amongst the top contenders!

7. Spice-up at Santa Fe School of Cooking

Conquer the world of chiles at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Professional chefs guide you on a culinary journey to create your favorite local dishes from scratch. Not only do you get to savor a meal, but you also get to take a piece of Santa Fe home with you!

In a nutshell, Santa Fe is the place to be for culture vultures, culinary enthusiasts, outdoorsy adventurers, and everyone in between! Uncover the city's history, sample its renowned cuisine, hike its unique landscapes, and let the magic of Santa Fe captivate you. It is indeed a city that's more than meets the eye. After living here for a while, you'll surely consider it one of your greatest adventures!

Things to do in Santa Fe, NM?

Find Movers for Your Santa Fe Relocation

As you finalize your plans for settling into the vibrant and eclectic city of Santa Fe, remember to consider securing a reliable, affordable moving service. With Great Guys Moving, you gain access to a network of reputable, licensed, and insured movers who are committed to providing quality service at reasonable prices. By simply providing the basics of your move, we can connect you to the ideal companies for your needs, making it a breeze to obtain quotes. Why stress over the moving process? Chart a smooth course towards your Santa Fe adventure and request your free moving quote today with Great Guys Moving.

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