10 Reasons We Love Buying Land in New Mexico

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10 Reasons We Love Buying Land in New Mexico

Bart Waldon

The Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, has been charming people for centuries with its diverse landscapes, rich cultural history, and endless sunshine. This Southwestern state, spanning colorful deserts, river valleys, mesas and mountains, has long attracted adventurers, artists and those seeking wide open spaces.

In recent years, New Mexico has also seen growing interest from land buyers thanks to affordable prices, investment potential and wonderful lifestyle perks. Whether you want to build a vacation home nestled in nature, set up an RV camp, launch a business or retire in paradise – New Mexico land has wide appeal.

An Overview of New Mexico

New Mexico became the 47th state in 1912, after existing as a territory for 62 years. This state is the fifth largest by area, covering 121,590 square miles. Much of the land is rural and undeveloped, with vast tracts preserved in national forests, parks, monuments and wilderness areas. Major public lands include White Sands National Park along with Carlsbad Caverns and Bandelier National Monuments showcasing incredible natural features.

The state’s population of 2.1 million residents mainly centers in cities like Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe and Roswell. Native American communities like the Navajo Nation also dot the New Mexico landscape. This is a state proud of its diverse cultural heritage – with Spanish, Mexican, Wild West and Native influences. Charming towns offer authentic trading posts, adobe architecture and art galleries galore.

1. Affordable Pricing on Raw Land

Compared to many other states, New Mexico has exceptionally affordable vacant land pricing. In fact, land values here are around 30-50% cheaper on average than neighboring states. This allows buyers to scoop up 5-10 acre parcels for well under $50,000 in many rural counties. Of course, pricing varies based on size, location, terrain and improvements. But overall, buyers find attractive land deals.

As a company purchasing and selling land for 5 years and completing over 100 transactions, Land Boss notes the market has affordable options whether you want desert acreage near Las Cruces, riverfront near Taos or forested mountain land near Ruidoso. Careful shopping and negotiating allows buyers to find good land values in their preferred area.

2. Low Property Taxes

Another perk for New Mexico land buyers is low annual property taxes, especially for vacant tracts. By state law, land is assessed at very reasonable rates compared to the actual market value. So, holding raw land has modest tax expenses of just a few hundred dollars annually in most counties. This makes owning recreational or investment land quite affordable long-term.

Specific tax rates depend on the county, but run below 1% of assessed value for vacant land. So, a 5-acre parcel assessed at $5,000 would have a yearly property tax bill around $30-$50. That’s music to buyers’ ears! And developed land with a home or business also sees reasonable property taxes thanks to state caps on how quickly assessments can increase after sale.

3. Plentiful Recreational Opportunities

For outdoor enthusiasts, New Mexico is a true playground with year-round recreation ranging from skiing, hiking, hunting, fishing, motorized off-roading, camping and more. Having your own piece of land lets you build a cabin right near prime recreation areas or set up an RV basecamp to enjoy nature at your leisure. Or you can lease land to other recreation fans to earn income.

National forests like the Santa Fe, Carson, Cibola and Gila cover nearly a quarter of New Mexico. Plus, vast tracts fall under Bureau of Land Management jurisdiction. So, there’s no shortage of public land adventures to be had. But securing your own private parcel allows more flexibility and privacy. Buyers report the central and northern regions offer great private land recreation options.

4. Excellent Return on Investment Potential

In addition to lifestyle appeal, New Mexico land also garners buyer interest for its investment upside potential despite low buy-in costs. Certain markets like southeast New Mexico have seen land values rapidly appreciate over the last decade. Driven by oil and gas industry growth plus construction of massive facilities like the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), values per acre have doubled or tripled in some counties.

Savvy buyers target land with oil/gas, water resources, commercial development or mineral potential. Or they focus on scenic parcels in high-growth recreation counties that will likely see ongoing value increases. With tourism and retiree interest expanding, markets near Santa Fe, Taos and Las Cruces make strategic long-term plays. Conducting due diligence, partnering with local real estate pros and patiently holding land lets buyers realize excellent ROI.

5. Business-Friendly Land Use Regulations

Entrepreneurs also snap up New Mexico land to launch commercial ventures – taking advantage of pro-business state incentives and land use policies. Many rural counties welcome agriculture, hospitality, renewable energy and other job-creating projects. So, building a campground, RV park, glamping resort, farm, ranch, solar farm or other venture can thrive thanks to accommodating county rules.

Permit and impact fees for new buildings are also modest compared to other western states. Water rights access processes are clearer than neighbors. And New Mexico tax policies allow struggling properties to reduce valuations, unlike some states that tax based on highest and best use potential. All of these business-friendly frameworks make commercial land development quite attractive.

6. Generous Incentives for Film Industry

The film and television industry also fuels demand for New Mexico land. Generous tax rebates of around 30% on production spend, plus low costs, sunny weather and spectacular scenic backdrops have made this state Hollywood’s go-to destination. Netflix, NBCUniversal, AMC and others run major studios and projects here.

So, industry professionals relocating to work on shows for several months at a time want easy access to rural land for RVs, campers and temporary housing needs. Other support services like set construction companies and prop supply outfits also purchase industrial land for expanding local operations. This rising film sector brings very positive impacts for New Mexico land values and economic growth.

7. Retirement Haven Amenities

With average winter highs of 50 degrees and endless sunshine, New Mexico draws retirees and snowbirds seeking active lifestyles and affordable cost of living. Artsy and eclectic towns like Taos, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe are perennial top retirement locale lists. Excellent healthcare options, senior recreational programs, tax benefits and vibrant local cultures cater to retirees.

Having your own land lets you custom-build an eco-friendly straw bale home, adobe casita or manufactured home tailored to retiree needs. Or you can lease land to RV travelers and snowbirds passing through annually. Retirees love holding land near enchanting towns that supports their hobbies like gardening, horseback riding, hunting and more with low expenses. New Mexico lets buyers create their paradise.

8. Off-Grid Living Potential

For those seeking independence off the electric and utility grid, New Mexico has superb solar and wind energy potential. Wide open spaces allow generous build-out of off-grid tiny homes, straw bale constructs, yurts and alternative structures without restrictive oversight. Wells access abundant groundwater most places. And the climate lends itself to rainwater catchment systems and outdoor living.

Buyers report areas like Taos, Silver City, Deming and even more remote desert and mountain towns welcome eco-conscious families and builders. Codes look favorably on sustainable housing using composting, greywater systems and renewable energy. Groups wanting to establish intentional communities, ecovillages and retreat centers have settled happily in New Mexico.

9. Wealth of Historical & Cultural Attractions

History buffs also love owning New Mexico land surrounded by centuries of stories. Native ruins and rock art date back over 5,000 years. Spanish conquerors and missionaries left enduring architectural and religious legacies. Wild West towns saw gunslingers like Billy the Kid. And sites like Los Alamos and Roswell figure heavily in atomic and extraterrestrial lore.

The state’s culture equally fascinates – blending Native, Hispanic, Anglo and other influences seen in artwork, music, cuisine, festivals and faith traditions still thriving in local villages. So, your land lets you immerse in petroglyphs, missions, wagon trails, galleries and more. With so many museums and colorful villages to explore, history leaps to life owning a piece of New Mexico.

10. Dry Climate Ideal for Many Conditions

Finally, New Mexico’s high desert climate proves ideal for buyers managing certain health conditions. Most of the state sees only 10-15 inches of annual rainfall, mostly in summer monsoons. Winters average just an inch of precipitation monthly with very low humidity. So those needing dry air – ideal temperatures for arthritis, fibromyalgia, asthma and more find relief.

The sunshine also draws buyers wanting to harness solar power for health needs or reduce seasonal affective disorders. And clean air and low pollution levels yield positive impacts lacking in big cities. For health-conscious buyers, owning rural land lets them control water and air quality for better living. A few acres in New Mexico can do wonders for wellbeing!

Get Your Land of Enchantment Paradise

As you can see, tremendous reasons abound for buying land across New Mexico whether for vacations, retirement, off-grid living or strategic investment. The state truly offers endless magic and intrigue. At Land Boss, we help buyers find their perfect property every day – negotiating deals for investment or lifestyle interests. Check our website to browse listings across counties or contact us for buying advice. We proudly call New Mexico home and would love sharing insider tips on the vibrant local markets!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What kind of terrain and landscapes can I find in New Mexico?

New Mexico is an incredibly diverse state encompassing deserts, mesas, river valleys, volcanic peaks and more across different geographic regions. So, buyers can find relatively flat, open desert acreage or rugged forested mountain lands with either high or low elevation.

2. What is the process for buying vacant land in New Mexico?

The process mirrors most real estate purchases requiring research to select your parcel, conducting due diligence like inspection and title review, making an offer, negotiating price and terms, securing financing if needed, and finalizing the transaction via a deed filing. Real estate agents and companies like Land Boss help navigate the buying process.

3. Can I put a tiny home, RV, manufactured home or other dwelling on land I buy?

Usually yes, but you’ll need to research zoning restrictions based on factors like parcel acreage, existing structures/easements, utility access, road frontage, flood zones and whether agricultural exemptions apply. Most rural counties allow alternative housing, but some only permit conventional builds.

4. What are property tax rates like on New Mexico land?

Tax rates on vacant land average below 1% of the assessed value, which is calculated based on things like recent sales data. So, a 5-acre tract assessed at $5,000 value would likely see just $30-$50 yearly tax expenses. Developed land has variable rates but property taxes remain affordable.

5. Is financing available for buying vacant land in New Mexico?

Yes, banks and private lenders offer land loans in New Mexico with rates and terms dependent on credit profile, down payment amount and other qualifications. Owner financing from a seller is also possible. Companies like Land Boss pay cash for deals so no bank loan is required, which provides a nice incentive.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.


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