What Are The Pros And Cons Of Living In Taos, NM?


Living In Taos, NM Pros And Cons

New Mexico is one of the most beautiful states, especially if you’re a fan of desert living. The gorgeous scenery and beautiful sunsets make this place a must-see for people who love the spiritual vibrations of this part of the world. Taos has often held a mysterious reputation among locals. Unsurprisingly, people from all over the United States have considered moving here. There are pros and cons to this region that are worth noting.

Taos is a highly diverse and friendly city that is known for its festivals, great food, and beautiful sights. It’s a dog-friendly town that attracts creatives. However, the low pay, high crime rates, slow internet speeds, and high cost of living make this tourist-friendly location difficult to live in long term. 

If you want to move to Taos, you’re not alone. This is considered to be one of the prettiest places in the Southwest. Even so, there are a lot of things you should weigh in on before you go.

What Are The Pros Of Living In Taos, NM?

You don’t end up becoming one of the most popular tourist locations in a state without at least some kind of draw to the place. People who find Taos to be paradise tend to love it for the reasons below.

Friendly, Diverse Locals

It’s often said that America is a “melting pot,” but few places have the diversity that Taos boasts. People here seem to go out of their way to make friends. It’s actually hard to be unfriendly here. Everyone has a smile on their face and is looking to bond with one another. This makes it a great place for people who want to meet new friends.

In terms of diversity, the town is fairly evenly split. You will see people from almost every ethnic and religious background. So, it’s actually pretty hard to stand out here. We mean that in the best way possible.

Festivals And Great Food

Believe it or not, Taos isn’t a big city. It’s a sparsely populated town that has around 5,000 people in it. Despite that small size, it’s become a major New Mexico hotspot for festivals and cultural activities. Almost every week, you’ll find an art event, a festival, or a farmer’s market that you can check out.

Needless to say, there’s a lot of great places to go when you want to get a taste of the community. In fact, you’ll probably see a lot of tourists in your day-to-day. If you are a fan of Southwestern fare, then you’re going to adore living here for that reason alone. Oh, and one other thing you might notice? Taos loves dogs. If you love pups, this is a great place to live.

A Hot Arts Scene

A lot of people who have found their success in Taos have done so by opening up their own companies. Most frequently, the companies in question have arts and jewelry involved in their making. Since Taos is a pretty popular art spot, many locals end up making a decent living this way. Besides that, it’s actually one of the most common ways towards financial stability in the area.

If you’re a fan of the arts, you’re going to feel at home here. This place is famous for helping people connect with their inner artistic side. With that said, a lot of the more successful artists choose to follow their calling full-time since it often beats the wages they would get from a standard job.

What Are The Pitfalls Of Living In Taos?

Trust me when I say it hurts to admit that Taos has more problems than it does perks in the eyes of many people. I wanna live in New Mexico pretty bad! However, I’m paid to write the truth rather than what I wish was the truth. These issues below are what people tend to dislike about Taos.

Rough Economy

Taos is a tiny town, and there aren’t many major companies there to give people jobs. Sadly, this means that most people here are very low income and that the unemployment rate rests at a rather alarming 10.50 percent. In terms of income, the median household income is $29,300. This puts it well below the national median of $63,000 and also means that you will see a dip in income if you end up moving here.

While searching up information on Taos, we noticed that many people mentioned that a typical wage here is $10 per hour and that unemployment is pretty common. If you are hoping for a big break in terms of your career, then you might want to rethink moving to Taos. It’s not that type of town.

High Crime Rate

Crime is an issue here, and while it’s not the worst town in terms of crime, it’s still a major problem. Though the overall crime rate is above the national average, violent crime is below the national average. You’re not going to see many calls to the cops over shootings or assaults here, simply because that’s not the way that things are done here. However, property crime is a problem.

Burglary is around 803 per 100,000 residents—far above the national average. Theft is roughly double the national average at 4,175 per 100,000. As a result of all the poverty among locals, there is a strong inclination towards property crimes simply because they need to make ends meet. One good thing to note about Taos is that the crime here isn’t gang-related. It’s poverty-related, which is easier to cure.

Drug Use

Taos is great if you have a love of the outdoors, but there’s only so much else you can do here. As a result, a lot of the locals end up getting bored and start drinking their time away. At times, this can escalate to hard drug use. Many locals have noted that people tend to end up developing addictions as a result of this problem.

If you are dedicated to sober living, the boredom that some feel might turn you to drinking as a pass time. It’s best to come here with a plan in mind as a tourist. If you want to stay here long-term, it’s best that you try to find your own entertainment that is far, far away from drugs. In recent years, an opioid epidemic took hold of certain pockets of the town.

High Housing Costs

This is a strange issue, considering how low the wages are here. Tao’s housing costs are extremely high considering the local economy. The median home price is around $260,000. In most parts of the country, this puts Taos squarely in the average range. However, it’s important to remember that Tao’s median household income doesn’t even scratch the $30,000 a year level.

This means that buying a full house is not actually affordable for most people who live in the city. Those homes are mostly used by people who want to have a winter home here, or who want to start up an Airbnb. At times, they also tend to be inherited or by people who own businesses in and around the city.

Though housing is generally completely out of the question, rent isn’t much better. The average rent in Taos is around $700. This means that many people who have the median income for a family here also will struggle to make rent.

Related Questions

What is the Taos Hum?

The Taos Hum is a strange paranormal phenomenon that has plagued that area for years. It’s a strange, continuous hum that only a certain percentage of people can hear. People who can hear it claim that it’s a low, buzzing hum that can be somewhat distracting. Some people who hear it also get physical side effects as well.

The physical side effects of the Taos Hum include headaches, blurred vision, as well as nosebleeds. However, having symptoms like nosebleeds is exceedingly rare. No one knows what has caused the Hum to begin, nor do they know why the Hum has such a strange effect on people.

What is the layout of Taos like?

Though Taos is often called a city, the truth is it’s more like a small town. The layout is very sparse and suburban. While it’s not a totally rural area, this region is deeply spread out compared to a typical town. This means that you may need to allot some time for traveling back and forth to just about everywhere.

Does Taos have a lot of public transportation?

Due to the small size of the town, Taos doesn’t really have enough demand for a serious public transportation infrastructure to be made. Besides, the area is out in the middle of the desert, which means that most people won’t find much to transport themselves to nearby. As a result, there’s not really any kind of public transit worth noting in Taos.

If you want to move here or visit here, it’s best to have a car at your disposal. Otherwise, you might find yourself unable to do anything aside from stay at home and order Grubhub.

Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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