Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Little New York



Sunny Days: 330
47100 Affordability
90100 Schools
60100 Diversity
83100 Safety

I grew up in New Mexico, and the older I get, I have less need for contemporary culture and big cities and all the stuff we are bombarded with. I am happier at my ranch in the middle of nowhere watching a bug carry leaves across the grass, listening to silence, riding my horse, and being in open space. -Tom Ford

The Best Thing About Rio Rancho?

The Promise of Suburbia

The promise of Rio Rancho is the promise suburbia has offered Americans for 70 years. A chance to escape “the city” and buy a home where you feel safe and the schools are good and there is room for the kiddos to run and play. Setting aside the occasionally misguided sense of greater safety in suburbs than cities, we can tell you that homes are generally more affordable in Rio Rancho and the schools are excellent.

Review of living in Rio Rancho from a local:
Same situation as you. Moved from DFW to North RR. Absolutely no regrets. It is a bit Trumpy, but being from TX, I got used to Idiocracy. It's quiet and you get a LOT of bang for your buck housing-wise. 30 min to downtown, 45 to Santa Fe. Just triple check for High Speed (Fiber) internet at the specific house location you are looking at. It is touch and go what streets have it and which don't.

For more reviews of what living in Rio Rancho is like from locals check out: The Buzz

The Worst Thing About Rio Rancho?

The Dreariness of Suburbia

The most common complaint about Rio Rancho is how pure a suburbia it remains well past the time most have converted to building their own commercial districts and feeling like they’re small cities themselves. Rio Rancho has largely failed at this and so it really is just street after street of homes with some big box stores nearby.

**Here's a local with a pov on living in Rio Rancho: **
it's not bad, it's just "boring." i put that in quotes because there's not a lot to do, but albuquerque is right there and can be reached basically instantly, so it's irrelevant if you have a working car. it's a republican town, and therefore cop heavy, they will ticket you for going 45 in a 40.

Lifestyle of Rio Rancho

So all the basics of a suburb happen here. Blocks lined with relatively affordable homes, filled with families that appreciate the sidewalks, parks, great schools and for the most part safe streets. For commercial experiences you have to go into Albuquerque which has a lot happening but there are no walkable social experiences so your local lifestyle is about your kids and the schools.

If you want to see what's happening in Rio Ranch check out the calendar of events:

Worklife of Rio Rancho

Rio Rancho is truly a bedroom community with the exception of Intel. If you scan the boards of people talking about actually working within the city limits then 9 out of 10 will be talking about working at Intel. If you aren’t working for the chip giant and you aren’t a WFH’er then you’ll likely be doing a commute into Albuquerque. Locals claim that is a drag as traffic is apparently brutal but that’s where the bucks are made, primarily in mining, gas and oil extraction, and quarrying.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Buying a Home

Rio Rancho is called Little New York because so many retirees from New York ended up here and the NY license plates are on cars throughout the city. There are also growing numbers of Texas plates as the cost of living in North Dallas and other popular suburbs has grown young families desperate to buy a home move to Rio Rancho to find that little suburban paradise.

Neighborhoods in Rio Rancho

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Cabezon is a popular neighborhood for families. It’s appeal starts with the big Cabezon Park that sits in the center of the area. The Park is also a Community Center with kids camps and activities, pet events, playgrounds, pool, football field, picnic and grill spaces and overall just plenty of room for the kiddos to play. The neighborhood also has plenty of affordable homes and excellent schools.

Chamiza is another popular choice, a bit more upscale than Cabezon. Bigger homes, bigger yards and an extremely safe area where the kids play outside (except in the heat of the summer) and the families have quick and easy access to the walkable grocery stores and restaurants.

  • Cabezon
  • Chamiza
  • Enchanted Hills

The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho


Much of the traditional housing options in Rio Rancho draws retirees. Single story homes and retirement facilities are aplenty here. If instead you’re looking for more of a retirement community/neighborhood then check out The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho They refer to it as a Life Plan Community and it has a lot of services if you’re looking for more than just a retirement home. Library, Art Galleries, Media Center, Dog Park, Fitness Center, Indoor Pool and Hot Tub, Beauty Shop and even a Gardening Area for residents to grow what they like.

  • The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho