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Old 10-02-2008, 01:14 AM
7 posts, read 15,291 times
Reputation: 17


I've just finished college in New England, and I'm seriously considering picking up and getting on a plane to somewhere other than here. I've been poking around for a fair while now, slowly but surely trimming the list down to one option, and that option is Albuquerque.

Stumbled across this site in my travels, saw the helpful community assisting others with similar moves, and figured I'd take my turn at picking your brains! (Actually, I'm amazed at how many "moving sight-unseen to ABQ" threads I've seen - I've read back quite a ways through the moving/relocation forum - makes me feel a little bit better about this, to know I'm not the only one crazy enough to attempt it!)

So my situation is this: While eventually, like most, I would like to be making absurd amounts of money, right now - day one - my standards are very low. If I have to work at a frigging Taco Bell at first to keep food in my mouth and a roof over my head, I'm willing to do that short term. Long term I'm confident I'll be able to manage better, and I'm not too elitist to do what has to be done, so, all things considered, I'm less worried about employment than maybe I should be.

What concerns me most is housing, and housing is what I created this thread to ask about. First I will explain what I am worried about, and what I am not worried about...

Firstly, I am in no way shape or form concerned about luxury. The smaller and emptier (thus, hopefully, cheaper) the studio apartment, the better. I can fit the current whole of my possessions in a frame pack, and I live a very sparse lifestyle by choice, even where something other is available. Pools, tennis courts, workout rooms... not even in the picture. Of course, I would like the place not to be falling apart...

Secondly, being male, in good shape, not possessing anything particularly worth stealing to begin with, and coming from a place with worse crime than most sections of Albuquerque are liable to have, I am also less concerned about the part of town I live in than I otherwise might be (though, unlike in the case of luxury, I would choose a nice area over a not-so-nice one, all else being equal).

Thirdly, although I have had a car in the past, I am currently without, and, truthfully, loving it. I've always hated driving. Probably will have to bow to necessity eventually, but a car is not likely to be in my immediate future. Therefor, wherever I stay would need at least some reasonable access to the ABQ RIDE (or whatever the local name happens to be). I'm a mass transit vet, so there will be little to no learning curve there, and my research indicates ABQ mass transit should be good enough for my purposes. Further, I love to bike, and I've been making about a three mile round trip walk to my local grocery store for the last two years, simply because I enjoy the walk, so my feet and psyche can handle a little self-locomotion.

Fourthly, I am paranoid by nature, so I always like to leave myself safety nets within safety nets. In this case, the largest net would be a return to New England, where I have a well developed family and social network, and a job waiting for me should I decide to take it. For this reason, and considering that I have a limited (though not entirely pathetic) store of funds to work with, I'm hoping to find a place where I can sign a lease for somewhat less than 12 months (a one-month recurring would be ideal, but I recognize this may not be feasible in most areas), so that should, for whatever reason, things in ABQ fall through, and I'm forced to utilize my safety net, I will not have committed myself to a long-term lease that I cannot get out of.

This fourth concern may not be anything anyone here can help me with - I only mention it in the interest of completeness.

So the summary is this:

I'm looking to rent a studio apartment. Price comes before any measure of luxury. Quality-of-area/crime and access to bus routes are important, but I have more leeway in these regards than some others might.

Hm... now that I read back over all of this, it occurs to me that I've made my requirements sufficiently general so as to be, possibly, useless for narrowing-down purposes. Let me try this again...

Looking for a dirt cheap (with respect to size and amenities - I'd rather not have parts of my apartment falling on me in my sleep), short term rent in a passable/reasonably nice area. Are my requirements mutually exclusive, or does such a thing exist in Albuquerque (and if so, what parts of town would be the best places to look)?

Thanks, all, in advance, for any suggestions, direction, websites, etc. that can be offered!

Last edited by SMTBSI; 10-02-2008 at 01:38 AM..
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:26 AM
Location: Burque!
3,557 posts, read 10,227,406 times
Reputation: 859
Cheap = SE ABQ (think Gibson)
I only know of one apt complex off the top of my head: The Pearl. It's actually pretty nice... kind of a domus design with an interior courtyard with large water feature.

I have noticed most studios in ABQ are trending in the <$500 range. Although I don't think many do the month-to-month thing.

You may also want to look into casitas... or garage apartments. They are listed every now and then on Craigslist.

Hopefully somebody else will have input.

I'll keep thinking... good luck!
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:59 AM
Location: Colorado Springs
1,633 posts, read 3,746,281 times
Reputation: 498
You should have no problem finding something in the south UNM area if you are ok with a studio, you might have to sign a 6 month lease, but if you are lucky (and very very polite) you might be able to talk the owner down to a three month or month to month lease.

I know there is a 300SF Studio for $475 including utilities and laundry on Coal & Yale near Smiths which would be perfect.
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:36 AM
Location: San Antonio
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Also look on the Albuquerque Craigslist, under "housing" and then "sublets and temporary".
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:00 AM
7 posts, read 15,291 times
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Originally Posted by yukon View Post
Also look on the Albuquerque Craigslist, under "housing" and then "sublets and temporary".
Thanks -

I've been poring over the Craigslist listings, but I'm gradually coming to the conclusion that I can read all I want about the parts of town and whatnot, but until I've visited the place, ridden the mass transit, seen the neighborhoods, and taken a look at some places in person, it's all speculation.

Case in point: apartment reviews. I've been trying to find independent accountings of some of the complexes in ABQ, but no matter how thoroughly you look... Photos are entirely untrustworthy, and if the reviews are over a few months old they may count for nothing as managements are constantly changing. One person's "stay-away-at-all-costs" part of town is considered very passable by another. And to top it all off, I checked out reviews of the apartment complex a family member of mine has been living in for the past 15 years to use as a barometer - a place that I happen to know as a fact is, if not the ritz, in a decent part of town, clean, and well managed and maintained - and it was nearly universally panned.

What more can one do but go and see for one's self?

As time goes on, my pickiness level is dropping rapidly. At this point, I feel that if I could find a cheap place with a very short term commitment and a minimum of roaches, I'd be perfectly happy, as at least it would serve the important function of giving me more time to work with, in order to explore the city and, if need be, find a better place.

I know one-month-recurring's exist here and there... if I could just stumble across a passable one, I'd be willing to absorb the price hike in order to mitigate some other concerns; my intuition is that if I'm placing cash in their hands at the beginning of every month, they're going to be considerably less picky about my current employment... am I in for a rude awakening?

Last edited by SMTBSI; 10-03-2008 at 01:18 AM..
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Old 10-03-2008, 11:45 AM
Location: Østenfor sol og vestenfor måne
17,916 posts, read 24,405,603 times
Reputation: 39038
Well roaches won't be a problem for the next several months.

You are right, until you get on the ground here, you won't know what areas/situations will appeal to you. Based on what you have written, I would look in the University Heights area and generally speaking, avoid apartments; mainly because apartments in the UH are generally slovenly. A modest house/duplex/cottage(casita) is a relatively inexpensive alternative.

In addition to craigslist you can look in the Daily Lobo classifieds which often has a lot of house/apartment listings. It is the UNM newspaper and I believe it has an online presence.

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Old 10-09-2008, 12:03 AM
Location: Denver, CO
5,610 posts, read 23,333,046 times
Reputation: 5447
SMTBSI, man you are the exact opposite of me! I just graduated college (undergrad) too. I spent months on this forum agonizing about whether or not I should move to Albuquerque, went there 3 times in the last summer, including one special exploratory trip just to see Albuquerque, still couldn't make up my mind, then kind of put it on the back burner. But obviously I still keep thinking about the place! I admire your free living spirit-- the ability to say F- it all, I'm going to live where I please! I've still thought about doing that. If anything it will be an adventure you'll be able to always talk about-- I say what do you have to lose? With a college degree, I'm sure you will be able to find something better than working at Taco Bell, as you say.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:57 AM
Location: Colorado Springs
1,633 posts, read 3,746,281 times
Reputation: 498
I say go for it! I left England in my 20's after having the American Dream instilled in me. I flew into NYC with $600, a suitcase full of clothes and the town "Wildwood" on a piece of paper given to me by people online as a place where British folks went for their summers. 2 Bus journeys later I arrived as the only Englishman in an Irish town and haven't looked back since. Admittedly it was scary at first and there were a lot of very hard times but as long as you keep looking forward you will be fine. I stayed for three months before returning home then moving permantly after the next football season. New Jersey was my home for 5 years before moving to ABQ.
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