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Albuquerque, NM

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StarStuff, I'm feeling the solidarity. I want to commute via bike to and from school, but I also have the option of having my fiancé drop me off (his office will be less than a football field away from campus). I'm not sure if maybe these aren't bike riding people, or the situation is that bad. Hmm...

 

The bus situation looks good. I don't mind a bus ride (I hadn't even thought of ZipCars). I'll likely end up bringing my car, but she's getting old and it's a long drive from Ohio to New Mexico. 

 

We're looking in the "northeast quadrant" area as well as Nob Hill. Do you know of any housing around there? 

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I don't know much about the 'northeast quadrant', other than that my initial scouting (via 'walkscore') indicated that it was less walkable than other neighborhoods.  Nob Hill is a walkable, pleasant, more upscale neighborhood; housing is more expensive than elsewhere, but it comes with close proximity to a lot of ABQ's retail and dining.  If you have a chance to check housing in either place out, I would love to hear your impressions! 

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Hey StarStuff. I'll let you know my findings--I'll be there this coming Thursday-Sunday in hopes of finding a place to live. I think we're going to end up closer to the Sandia foothills as the places seem bigger and I want a second bedroom for a home office. Plus, a pool would be nice as well as a gym facility. I'll definitely inform you of my impressions, though!

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How did the visit go?

 

From what I've heard about biking, it's totally possible AND a lot of people do it.  There is a Walmart maybe a block off Central to the east of campus.  So even if you can't find what you need at the plethora of stores that are located on Central close to campus, you can find it there.  And crime does look pretty bad when you check out the crime maps, but from what I've read it's not THAT unsafe. 

As for me, I will have a car, but I refuse to drive.  I'm tired of driving. I'm tired of parking.  I'll bike to school or take the bus.  I'm currently living in the middle of crack central (In a NICE neighborhood with LOW crime rates 1 block from a police station) so I don't rely on the statistics all that much. 

 

Anyway, I've been checking padmapper obsessively for a couple of weeks.  I keep waiting for a big surge of available places, but it hasn't happened yet. 

 

As for the people who are moving a long way, what are your plans?  Because my boyfriend's parents are possibly the most awesome parents ever, they're going to "road trip" with us which will allow us to rent a trailer instead of a UHaul.  I'm still worried about finding a place seeing as I can't really afford the $600 it would take to visit. 

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Has anyone else moved yet? I've been here for about 2 months and I love it! And it's totally bikeable so I don't know what those grad students were going on about.

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So great to hear that you're loving it, 'geographyrocks'!  I'm doubly excited to hear about how bikeable ABQ is.  I'll be moving there in just under 2 weeks, and I do expect to be biking a LOT once I arrive.  What part of town did you end up in?  Any other insider tips/highlights, now that you're already there!  

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I ended up moving just South of the University in University Heights.  I'm actually right next to CNM.  I highly recommend this area because there is easy access to everything.  Smiths is just minutes away as is a surprising number of really good restaurants.  Most streets have bike lanes that are larger than I'm used to.  Cars also tend to give you a wide berth...which can be both good and bad.  There are tons of side streets which makes taking short cuts really easy.  There are a lot of bike racks which is also nice. 

A couple of things:

The Smiths on Yale has all your basic food stuffs, but if you're use to a wider selection (like I am), you might be disappointed.  I tend to go to Sprouts once a week which is a local natural/organic market.  It's a little further from UNM, but I'm not sure the exact distance.  The prices on their fresh food tend to be cheaper than Smiths.  There is a huge farmers market downtown.  Even though the transportation system (bus) isn't great here, the most reliable routes are from Nob Hill/University to downtown so it's easy to get there via mass transit.  And since UNM students There is also a farmers market near the University at Presbyterian Hospital and one that is actually on campus when school starts. 

There is a Walmart on San Mateo which is 1-2 miles from UNM.  I heard it called the ghetto Walmart.  Avoid it at night.  The lines are RIDICULOUS.  I'm talking 10-15 people per lane with huge carts of stuff.  Also, I've had some bad luck with buying things that are missing parts. 

There are quite a few bums that hang out on campus.  I don't know if they'll still be there when school starts or if they go elsewhere.  I haven't been hassled (much).  There are also a LOT of bums downtown.  I've never felt unsafe though. 

If you are on the ground floor, be sure to pick a favorite roach spray.  Those suckers are HUGE here.  They wander their way inside through any cracks.  I have an organic/non-toxic spray that seems to keep them out for the most part.  I'd read about the roaches, but I don't think I was really prepared for how big and fast they are. 

Gas is cheaper in the SE compared to the NE.  It's generally $0.15 more expensive in the NE. 

BONUSES:

The zoo and museums have free and half price days.

The Isotopes have fireworks after a lot of their games.  (The stadium is right behind CNM). 

There are an amazing number of festivals.  I haven't been disappointed yet. 

They have both Chicago and New York style pizza here.  My favorite so far is Amadeo's.

There is a lot of food diversity around UNM. 

Nob Hill has all sorts of shops that are fun to go through.

There are cheap movies on campus (whoo!).

 

I think I've rambled long enough. lol

 

Edit: One last thing.  There are several weekly bike rides.  One starts at UNM.  A couple of weeks ago, there was a clothing optional one.  I didn't see it, but I'm sure it was amusing. 

Edited by geographyrocks

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This cockroach talk is going to haunt my dreams tonight.

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Anyone have insights on what ABQ is like for families with middle-school and high school aged children?

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Anyone have insights on what ABQ is like for families with middle-school and high school aged children?

 

You must, must, MUST be prepared to pay for private school. ABQ can be a great place for kids as long as you do the normal parenting thing and keep an eye on them to make sure they're not getting into trouble. But the public school system is among the worst in the country. I say this coming from 2 higher degrees in education and a stint as an educational researcher who has both family and a SO from ABQ... send the kids to private school!

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Yikes.  Are there any you'd recommend in particular? I wonder what cost is like for private schools out there.

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I don't think I agree that private school is the only option.  I'm from Santa Fe, and two of my siblings live in Albuquerque and have kids.  I don't think the public schools are all bad, although public schools in the state are going through kind of a crisis because of testing and teacher evaluations.  I work for the Santa Fe Public Schools, and I know APS has a huge number of openings.  But, schools like La Cueva and Rio Rancho in richer areas have decent reputations.  There may also be some interesting charter schools.

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Any suggestion on finding a place to live in ABQ? Are there any real estate agents that deal with renters in the city, or rental finders? I’ve got to find a place near campus, that will fit and allow me, my husband, our dog, and two cats. All while selling our home in Arkansas. I’ve been looking on Zillow, etc., but I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. 

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Decaf,

Housing is very tough in Albuquerque right now. My husband and I are new here and just got a new place in November (2019), and there were zero houses available for rent. I called several real estate agents and all the property management companies I could find. Although some had houses advertised, they were not really available when I called to check. Apartments are also scarce, and the prices have risen in about the last year or so. (There is a reason homelessness went up by 30% in ABQ in 2019.) We were in the NE quadrant, then they raised our rent from $1200 to $1600 for a nothing fancy, small two bedroom. We then moved over to the NW quadrant. My husband and I originally wanted to live near campus, but that is scary, and I don't recommend it. UNM has family housing a couple of miles south of the main campus. I went to visit and told my husband it was like the slums of Mumbai. Cracked sidewalks, buildings in bad shape, very shady neighborhood, etc. I asked a couple I ran into into how it was, and the reply was "many problems". I didn't need a tour to tell me that place was disturbing. It does have gates, but it took me approximately 30 seconds to put in a random code and drive in. It is very cheap though. However, they do not allow pets in the family housing. :(

In general, around campus is very dangerous. It has been rated the 2nd most dangerous campus in the U.S.A. https://www.koat.com/article/unm-negotiates-with-cops-while-study-says-it-has-second-most-dangerous-campus/29419350. A graduate student was shot and killed on campus about a year ago, and no one was charged. Stabbing reports are common around the campus. Crime in general has gotten very bad in Albuquerque. I have lived in a number of other states and countries, and I have never experienced the property crime, theft, and violence that I have seen here. Just today, someone in a "nice" rich area reported on NextDoor that they had a drive-by shooting and someone hit their house. The news has had a number of articles this past year on people getting shot in their homes while just sleeping or getting in and out of their cars. We had to get a P.O. box here, because they have a HUGE problem with mail theft. Mailboxes are just constantly broken into. At our last apartments, our downstairs neighbors left her car right outside her door for a minute to warm up in the cold, and someone got into the driver's seat to steal it! (It was quite the commotion, but she and her husband were screaming at him, and he finally got out and walked away. I could see it from my window.) We rented a garage at our new apartments, and within a couple of weeks, it was already broken into and my husband's tools and our camping gear was taken. People have been DRILLING into the gas tanks here. I don't even know if they steal the gas or are just out to do damage. Albuquerque is without a doubt the most crime ridden place I have every lived!

For housing options that are not around campus, look at the UNM shuttle routes and the buses, and see what is on those routes. UNM parking is a serious hassle, so I take the 790 bus that goes straight to UNM. Try Eagle Ranch apartments, which are right near the 790 line. They are not great, just so-so, but they were one of the few places that had anything available. My commute with walking to and from the bus stops is about 1.5 to 2 hours, but that is about the same as my classmates who can only get a parking pass for the south lot, which is a couple of miles south of the main campus. They have to drive and park there, then wait for the shuttle to take them to campus, and they don't really feel safe waiting in that area, even during the day. The 790 has a lot of UNM students and employees riding on it, so it is not a bad crowd like you get on some of the buses that run on Central. I am sorry for the bad news on housing and crime, but it is what I have found. 
 

Edited by Marybeth

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On 2/14/2020 at 8:21 PM, Marybeth said:

Decaf,

Housing is very tough in Albuquerque right now. My husband and I are new here and just got a new place in November (2019), and there were zero houses available for rent. I called several real estate agents and all the property management companies I could find. Although some had houses advertised, they were not really available when I called to check. Apartments are also scarce, and the prices have risen in about the last year or so. (There is a reason homelessness went up by 30% in ABQ in 2019.) We were in the NE quadrant, then they raised our rent from $1200 to $1600 for a nothing fancy, small two bedroom. We then moved over to the NW quadrant. My husband and I originally wanted to live near campus, but that is scary, and I don't recommend it. UNM has family housing a couple of miles south of the main campus. I went to visit and told my husband it was like the slums of Mumbai. Cracked sidewalks, buildings in bad shape, very shady neighborhood, etc. I asked a couple I ran into into how it was, and the reply was "many problems". I didn't need a tour to tell me that place was disturbing. It does have gates, but it took me approximately 30 seconds to put in a random code and drive in. It is very cheap though. However, they do not allow pets in the family housing. :(

In general, around campus is very dangerous. It has been rated the 2nd most dangerous campus in the U.S.A. https://www.koat.com/article/unm-negotiates-with-cops-while-study-says-it-has-second-most-dangerous-campus/29419350. A graduate student was shot and killed on campus about a year ago, and no one was charged. Stabbing reports are common around the campus. Crime in general has gotten very bad in Albuquerque. I have lived in a number of other states and countries, and I have never experienced the property crime, theft, and violence that I have seen here. Just today, someone in a "nice" rich area reported on NextDoor that they had a drive-by shooting and someone hit their house. The news has had a number of articles this past year on people getting shot in their homes while just sleeping or getting in and out of their cars. We had to get a P.O. box here, because they have a HUGE problem with mail theft. Mailboxes are just constantly broken into. At our last apartments, our downstairs neighbors left her car right outside her door for a minute to warm up in the cold, and someone got into the driver's seat to steal it! (It was quite the commotion, but she and her husband were screaming at him, and he finally got out and walked away. I could see it from my window.) We rented a garage at our new apartments, and within a couple of weeks, it was already broken into and my husband's tools and our camping gear was taken. People have been DRILLING into the gas tanks here. I don't even know if they steal the gas or are just out to do damage. Albuquerque is without a doubt the most crime ridden place I have every lived!

For housing options that are not around campus, look at the UNM shuttle routes and the buses, and see what is on those routes. UNM parking is a serious hassle, so I take the 790 bus that goes straight to UNM. Try Eagle Ranch apartments, which are right near the 790 line. They are not great, just so-so, but they were one of the few places that had anything available. My commute with walking to and from the bus stops is about 1.5 to 2 hours, but that is about the same as my classmates who can only get a parking pass for the south lot, which is a couple of miles south of the main campus. They have to drive and park there, then wait for the shuttle to take them to campus, and they don't really feel safe waiting in that area, even during the day. The 790 has a lot of UNM students and employees riding on it, so it is not a bad crowd like you get on some of the buses that run on Central. I am sorry for the bad news on housing and crime, but it is what I have found. 
 

this is hilarious. do not believe this person, this is a very skewed view of Albuquerque and the area around campus. I have lived within walking distance to campus for 3+ years never have had any crime happen, no break ins, no run ins with people. never have felt unsafe. Although I am from Los Angeles, I lived in a very nice area there and there is more crime reported in Albuquerque, my view as some from one of the largest cities in the country is that not much happens in Albuquerque so crime is overblown. Although the car theft rate is an anomaly. Campus is also very safe, I have stayed many late hours and have never had issues, if you feel unsafe you can request someone to walk you to your car or stop, but I have never felt the need to do that. Anyways just wanted to comment and say this is a not an accurate representation.

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