If you're considering a move to New Mexico, you'd better decide your answer to the official state question, "Red or green?" The answer determines what color of chile you'll get with your dinner when you order the local New Mexican cuisine. The issue signifies the importance that the chile industry has on the economy of the state—it's the number-one cash crop for New Mexico. It's also a signal of the local culture here; New Mexicans are proud of their native culture and cuisine.
New Mexico's official nickname is the Land of Enchantment, which gives you a hint at how beautiful and captivating this state is. Breathtaking desert and mountain landscapes, amazingly clear skies, and vibrant art, music and dance all combine to make this an enchanting land.
Minerals are the state's richest natural resource, providing a significant portion of the state's income. New Mexico is a leading producer of uranium, potassium salts, copper and other minerals. New Mexico is also known for its energy research and development. Looking for a job as well as apartments? Government jobs are plentiful here. The state's largest single employer is the federal government, which provides at least one quarter of New Mexico's jobs, many of which are related to the military. The state houses several air force bases, national observatories and laboratories.
There are outdoor activities to suit every taste, from rock climbing and caving, to ballooning and hang gliding, to skiing and ice skating, to bird watching and stargazing. With its clear skies, thin high-altitude air and absence of light pollution, New Mexico is one of the best places in the world to survey the night sky. Newcomers from cities like L.A. and New York are amazed at the beauty and brightness of New Mexico's sky.
The largest city in the state with nearly 500,000 residents, Albuquerque is a commercial, industrial and transportation center for the area, which is rich in timber, livestock and farm area. Kirtland Air Force Base, which develops special weapons as well as electronic and industrial research, is located nearby. The area attracts high-tech industries that come here for the wide-open spaces and dry weather, helping make Albuquerque one of the fasted expanding cities in the nation. The city's pleasant, year-round climate is one of its best attributes. Summer brings warm temperatures and low humidity, while winter is mild and mostly sunny. It does snow on occasion, but it rarely lasts more than a day or so. The overall cost of living in Albuquerque is 18% below the national average, which comes in handy when looking for affordable apartments for rent. There are over 70,000 apartment rentals in the city, with the average monthly rent for apartments running at $600.
The city of Santa Fe, New Mexico's state capital, lives up to the state's reputation for warm weather by blessing residents with more than 300 days of sunshine every year. The exotic blend of cultures, combined with the clean air and excellent quality of light, has attracted artists to this area since the early 20th century. Today, the art community is still thriving, and Santa Fe has become the nation's third-largest art market after New York and L.A. In general, Santa Fe is a relataively expensive place to live, but the good news is that there are plenty of apartment rentals to choose from. There are 25 complexes with 30 or more apartments for rent, and seven complexes with 200 or more units. The largest concentration of apartments can be found in the areas of Zia Road, Airport Road, St. Francis Drive, Rodeo Road and in the southern part of town. Average rent for one-bedroom apartments is $525. If you have limited funds to spend on apartment rentals, take a look at the West Alameda and Guadalupe neighborhoods, which tend to be more affordable than other areas of the city.