Considering buying in Rio Rancho? Here’s what you need to know:
Some of the upsides of living in New Mexico include a low cost of living, affordable housing costs, and a low crime rate. In addition, New Mexico has a temperate climate with hundreds of days of sunshine each year, a vibrant and diverse cultural scene, and beautiful landscapes. All of this is especially true in Rio Rancho.
Claims such as this are not just chamber of commerce hype. Many organizations that measure livability place Rio Rancho high in their listings. In 2023, Rio Rancho was named by Livability.com as one of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States. In 2020, Rio Rancho was named one of the 50 Best Places to Live in America by Money Magazine.
Is it expensive?
Living in Rio Rancho is quite affordable. In fact, according to Nerd Wallet, Rio Rancho is the eighth most affordable place to live in the United States.
Cost of living
When choosing a new place to live, the cost of living is a significant factor. In Rio Rancho, this factor is lower than the national average and lower even than many other cities in New Mexico. On a state and federal level, the overall average of housing costs, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and goods and services are reported to be less expensive.
According to research, Rio Rancho, New Mexico’s cost of living is 3 percent lower than the national average. Housing, utilities, and groceries also cost slightly less than the national average.
Many residents choose to live in Rio Rancho because it’s very affordable for a major city — the third largest city in New Mexico. The cost-of-living index (COLI) is a metric used to compare the affordability of a particular area to the rest of the country. The COLI for Rio Rancho is 93, which indicates it is 7 percent lower than the rest of the United States, which is affordable compared to other medium-sized cities in the country.
In 2023, according to real estate marketing sites, the median home sale price in Rio Rancho was around $357,000, which is up more than 5 percent over last year. The median listing home price per square foot was just over $200.
Excellent community for young adults and families
Rio Rancho is popular with young adults and people looking to start a family. The median age of residents of the city is about 38 years old. The typical family here has on average 3.3 people including children and parents.
The school systems in Rio Rancho are regularly well rated, which is important to families with children. The Rio Rancho school district is in the top three of the state.
There are numerous major employers situated in Rio Rancho, most notably Intel Corporation. Hewlett Packard, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, and Sandia National Laboratories also are situated in Rio Rancho. The many tech businesses, government labs, and manufacturing businesses provide job opportunities and a higher median income in relation to the cost of living.
While Rio Rancho is considered a bedroom community for Albuquerque and Santa Fe, it maintains a small-town feel. The services in the community are concentrated in a small number of areas, which simplifies shopping. It has attracted many of the large chain stores, providing local savings, and is within a few miles of the largest shopping center in the state: Cottonwood Mall.
Situated just outside Albuquerque, Rio Rancho’s lifestyle emphasizes outdoor activities, such as biking, birdwatching, golfing, and more. This area has a mild, desert climate that is perfect for outdoor activities. Summers are sunny and hot, while winters are mild with occasional snow. The climate provides outdoor enthusiasts with many choices of activities, such as:
- Rock climbing
The city is conveniently located near the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande River, so you can experience nature, history, and culture just outside your door.
What is the crime rate?
In 2021, the crime rate in Rio Rancho was lower than the national average in both violent crimes and property crimes — and lower than state averages. The chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime in Rio Rancho is reported as 1 in 532, as compared to 1 in 127 in the state.
Is Rio Rancho growing?
As in many areas in the Southwest, Rio Rancho is growing steadily. Rio Rancho is the third-largest city in New Mexico and one of the fastest-growing communities in the region.
The population of Rio Rancho is 104,046, according to the 2020 census, which is an 18.8 percent increase since 2010. The population density is slightly more than 1,000 residents per square mile, which is also up by close to 20 percent since 2010. Between 2010 and 2015, Rio Rancho’s population grew by more than 5 percent.