Relocating to Santa Fe: Everything You Need to Know

Santa Fe has long been a tourist destination because of its rich history, art culture, amazing weather, and cuisine, but now it is also becoming a popular place to live. If you’re thinking about relocating to Santa Fe, there are a lot of great reasons to move here. 

Santa Fe, the oldest capital city in the country, provides the perfect balance of big city and small-town living. With a population of 87,000, you get the best of both worlds. It’s large enough to have everything you need close by, but not so big that you’re dealing with high crime, traffic, or pollution.

The city has so much to offer. There are plenty of local shops, restaurants, and fun things to do in Santa Fe, sunshine nearly year-round, and then there is the food! Santa Fe offers a blend of traditional Spanish and Native American cuisine that you will truly appreciate.

If this sounds like the right place for you to live, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about relocating to Santa Fe.

Interesting Facts About Santa Fe:

There are a lot of great reasons to move to Santa Fe. Here are a few interesting facts about Santa Fe:

  • Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the United States.
  • Santa Fe is home to the oldest church in the US – San Miguel Mission.
  • Santa Fe’s full name is La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís.
  • Santa Fe is home to the Meow Wolf Art Complex.
  • Santa Fe is the third-largest art market in the US.
  • Santa Fe was home to famous painter Georgia O’Keefe.

Relocating to Santa Fe: Here are a Few Stats You Should Know

  • The average salary in Santa Fe is $59,907 or $29 per hour
  • Santa Fe rental market is one of the tightest in the country, with a 2% vacancy rate.
  • The average home list price in Santa Fe is $641,808
  • The average property tax rate is 0.0057% of Assessed Home Value
  • The average monthly electric bill for a 2,000 sq. ft. home is $66
  • The average monthly gas bill for a 2,000 sq. ft home $117
  • Average cost of full-coverage auto insurance for one car is $1,471
  • The average commute in Santa Fe is 16.9 minutes

What is the population of Santa Fe, New Mexico?

Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico and the fourth-largest city in the state. It’s home to 87,000 people, with a median age of 44 years old. It has a slightly older population than other areas of New Mexico. 

Now that more people are working from home, remote workers are moving to Santa Fe as part of the “zoom boom”. They are choosing to relocate to Santa Fe because they like the beauty, proximity to nature, diversity and culture of the area.

While the demographics of Santa Fe are changing as more people move into the area, here’s a breakdown of the city’s population.

  • 52.5% Female and 47.5% Male
  • 4.3% are under 5 years age, 18.1% are under 18 years
  • 23.7% are 65 years and over
  • The total housing units in Santa Fe are 73,551

What is the weather like in Santa Fe, New Mexico?

Santa Fe is a great place to live because it has a dry climate where you can experience four different seasons. However, unlike some areas of the country, in Santa Fe, you get to enjoy an average of 325 days of sunshine. The warmest it gets here is in July and August when the temps reach 80-90°F.

  • Santa Fe has an average of 325 days of sunshine compared to the US average of only 205 days.
  • May 26th to September 16th is Santa Fe’s warm season, with an average daily temperature of 75°F
  • November 22 to February 21st is Santa Fe’s cold season, with an average daily temperature of 48°F.
  • Santa Fe averages only 14 inches of rain a year
  • Santa Fe averages 32 inches of snow a year

Relocating to Santa Fe: Top Ten Reasons to Move to Santa Fe

There are a lot of great reasons to move to Santa Fe, but here are the top ten reasons you will love living in Santa Fe!

1. The sunny weather

Santa Fe offers beautiful weather to its residents and tourists. With very little rainfall, and an average of 325 days of sunshine. The area also has a desert climate, which means it’s not as humid as other cities. The beautiful weather attracts tourists and art lovers. In Santa Fe, you get to escape the pollution of city life, and enjoy the fresh, crystal-clear desert air.

2. The unique food

Santa Fe is a wonderful city known for New Mexican food. This cuisine is very different from traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex food. If you have never tried New Mexico food, you will love the authentic New Mexican food in Santa Fe! 

Once you have lived here for a while, you will be able to answer the most popular question here in New Mexico – nope it’s not is New Mexico part of Mexico? It’s, “Would you like green or red chile?” If you don’t know the answer yet, that’s okay. You’ll have plenty of time to decide.

3. The art culture

There is always something cool going on in Santa Fe. Art is an integral part of Santa Fe’s culture, and it is known as one of the largest art markets in the country. You can find amazing art tucked into the city’s restaurants, shops, and galleries. There are also several symphony orchestras and performance centers throughout the city. 

4. Its interesting history

Santa Fe is the oldest European settlement west of the Mississippi River. Founded thirteen years before the Mayflower Pilgrims settled in the Plymouth Colony, Santa Fe was originally built by Spanish colonists. Today you can visit many historic buildings in the city, including the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and the Governor’s Palace, which are both original structures dating back to the 1600s.

5. The Santa Fe architecture

Santa Fe is a beautiful city full of architectural history. The historical adobe-style architecture is one of the top reasons why people want to move to Santa Fe. These historical buildings are blended with other architectural styles, giving the city a unique and interesting appearance.

 Newer buildings have taken their place in the city, but the city’s government protects the history and architecture in Santa Fe with laws that govern new construction in the city. New construction in historical areas of Santa Fe must fit with the architectural style of the area. The city’s historical roots are loved and protected by its residents and local government.

6. Things for the kids to do

Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a perfect destination for tourists and retirees. However, it is also a great place to raise kids. There are plenty of attractions and educational opportunities for children. 

Some of the best are Meow Wolf Art Complex, the Harrel House Bug Museum, and the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. With these attractions and the terrific weather in Santa Fe, children can enjoy many outdoor activities like riding bikes, hiking, and playing outside with friends.

7. It’s a great place to retire

Santa Fe is one of the best places to retire in the world. The city is uniquely positioned to accommodate retirees because of its lovely weather, friendly people, and beautiful scenery. They can retire in one of Santa Fe’s many luxurious homes, while still experiencing the benefits of Santa Fe’s low cost of living.

Retirees are relocating to Santa Fe because they can enjoy a quiet lifestyle while feeling safe in this beautiful city. Active adults can also enjoy the great outdoors and the art scene.

8. The Santa Fe Opera

Want to see an opera? Santa Fe is one of the best cities in the world to see it! The city hosts several performances a year at its open-air cantina. You can bring your own food and drinks or you can grab a bite at any of the amazing Santa Fe restaurants before you go.

The Santa Fe Opera has been attracting opera lovers to its beautiful location since 1957. The Opera is dedicated to bringing the best of both classic and new operas to its audience. Some of the most beloved operas include The Barber of Seville, Tosca, and The Magic Flute, but they also features new operas written by some of the most respected American composers and librettists.

9. To explore the Land of Enchantment

One of the best reasons for relocating to Santa Fe is the chance to explore the land of enchantment. If you’re an adventurer, you will find the city of Santa Fe perfect for hiking, biking, and long walks in the park. The national forest is minutes away from the city and is a haven for nature lovers. There are also parks and open spaces within the city itself.

If you only think of Santa Fe as a vacation spot in the desert, you might not realize that New Mexico is also home to some of the most amazing ski resorts. One of them is located in the Sangre De Cristos Mountains, just 16 miles outside of Santa Fe. This is a popular destination for skiers from all over the US, but Santa Fe locals also love to ski the slopes.

Cost of Living in Santa Fe, New Mexico

  • The average monthly rent is $1,506
  • New Mexico sales tax is 5.13%
  • Santa Fe sales tax is 3.31%
  • The average property tax rate is 0.0057% 
  • The average monthly electric bill for a 2,000 sq. ft. home is $66
  • The average monthly gas bill for a 2,000 sq. ft home $117
  • The average cost of full coverage auto insurance for one car is $1,471

The Best Schools in Santa Fe

There are a total of 31 public schools in Santa Fe, 3 high schools, 5 middle schools, 5 combined middle and elementary schools, and 18 elementary schools (some are community schools). There are also approximately 49 private and charter schools in the Santa Fe area. These are the best schools in Santa Fe, according to reviews by Great

The Best Elementary SchoolsThe Best Middle SchoolsThe Best High Schools
Carlos Gilbert Elementary
Public, K-6 – 347 Students

Wood-Gormley Elementary
Public, K-6 – 340 Students

Pinon Elementary
Public, PK-6 – 545 Students

Acequia Madre Elementary
Public, K- 6 – 155 Students

Atalaya Elementary
Public, PK-6 – 313 Students
Academy for Tech & Class
Charter, 7-12 – 390 Students

Mandela International Magnet (MIMS)
Public, 7-12 -224 Students

El Dorado Community School
Public, K-8 -512 Students

Turquoise Trail Charter School
Charter, PK-7 – 559 Students

Pojoaque Middle
Public, 7-8 – 359 Students
Academy for Tech & Class
Charter, 7-12 – 390 Students

NM School for the Arts
Charter, 9-12 -213 Students

The Masters Program
Charter, 10-12 – 214 Students

Mandela International Magnet (MIMS)

Public, 7-12 -224 Students

Santa Fe High
Public, 9-12 – 1,536 Students

Things to Do in Santa Fe

Pros and Cons of Living in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Pros of living in Santa Fe

  • Beautiful weather
  • Art and music
  • Santa Fe cuisine
  • Diversity and Culture
  • Outdoor activities and nature
  • Strong sense of community
  • Slower pace living

Cons of living in Santa Fe

  • Higher home prices
  • Public school system is poorly rated
  • You will need lots of sunscreen
  • Dust and goatheads
  • It is a retirement area
  • Not a big nightlife

Santa Fe is a great place to live. But, you should know some of the best reasons to move to Santa Fe, as well as the biggest cons. The best things about Santa Fe are the stunning landscape, an abundance of art and culture, and delicious food. On the other hand, Santa Fe has a very competitive housing market and very few available rental properties, so finding a home you love may take some patience.