Updated: Jan 27, 2020
A Quick History:
Los Alamos, New Mexico is recognized as the development and creation place of the atomic bomb - the primary objective of the "Manhattan Project" by Los Alamos National Laboratory during World War II. Since the initial housing boom during WWII, housing development has happened a lot slower in comparison to that of the currently climbing population growth. Homes that were initially intended to be only temporary homes for Los Alamos National Laboratory employees, have now become permanent homes with expanded units attached.
Today in Los Alamos:
In 2019, there are 5,249 households and an average household size of 2.23 people. There are 5,863 housing units, and the median value of owner-occupied housing units is $281,500. Median gross rent is $920/month.
Working in Los Alamos:
Los Alamos National Laboratory is the area's largest employer with approximately 10,500 employees, and is foundational to the economy of Los Alamos, with an annual budget of about $2.45 billion. Approximately 40% of the laboratory's employees live in Los Alamos, while the remainder commute from Santa Fe, Española, Taos, and Albuquerque. About 66% of the people who work in the national laboratories commute daily to the lab; some take the Atomic City Transit, Rail Runner Express, use the Park and Ride, or carpool with other employees by using the blog postings to find other potential carpoolers. If you've ever tried to drive 'up the hill' to Los Alamos around 5:00pm, you'll soon discover how many Los Alamos workers are displaced and are having to make the commute for work.
Commuting to Los Alamos for Work:
The Los Alamos Townsite and White Rock are both located on flat mesa tops separated by steep canyons. This location was chosen for its relative inaccessibility to help protect the secret activities of the Manhattan Project. Building and development is limited due to these steep cliffs and limited space between the canyons. With only 5,249 homes and a population of 12,019 people, many commuters flood the roads to town morning and evenings for work. As the town continues to expand with new start up laboratories such as Pebble Labs, UbiQD and Los Alamos National Laboratory releasing information about their current on-boarding of 1,000+ employees per year for 2020, the need for housing in Los Alamos has never been greater.
What does this mean for you, the Los Alamos home owner?
Broker Jenna's Opinion: Los Alamos is currently a seller's market and the Los Alamos homeowners are at a great advantage in 2020. After reviewing 2019 sales in the Multiple Listing Service, it appears many listings have sold well over their asking price, some upwards of over 20%. Due to the shortage of housing options available and the increase in housing demand only getting worse, now is the time to be a homeowner or seller in Los Alamos. Sell your property in Los Alamos now while homes are being priced at all time high, email me to send you comps and to to help you find the best buyer for your property: Jenna@ExitAdvantageNM.com
Should I buy in Los Alamos or should I commute?
Many Los Alamos workers end up settling in Espanola, Santa Fe or surrounding communities and find themselves in a much different housing market altogether. After shopping the housing market with my spouse myself, we decided to be one of the commuter families, so I am a great resource to speak with in you are considering joining the commuter's train up the hill to work!
For almost half of the price of other Los Alamos homes, we got nearly twice as much land and space in Espanola, then we would have gotten in Los Alamos. We choose a beautiful property adjacent to the Rio Grande on a half acre with a refurbished 100 year old adobe home. We have ample parking, water rights and an entire raised bed gardening area - none of which were an option for us in Los Alamos. For us these benefits outweighed a 20 minute drive. We don't mind the scenic drive and love having bonfires and growing our own food. We live where the ranching is good and soils are fertile! With only a 20 minute commute to Los Alamos, my spouse and I are most delighted with our choice to live on a farm instead of a more tightly packed neighborhood.
Where should my kids go to school?
If education is your interest for your children, Los Alamos being known for a high concentration of PhD's, Engineers and Scientists, there is no better place in New Mexico to send your children to school! So if you have young ones, I encourage prospective buyers to seek our places to accommodate their children's educational needs. Los Alamos also has a fantastic weekly farmers market in spring and hosts many local events for every season from Live Concerts at Ashley Pond to the annual Science Fair. Los Alamos is an extremely family-friendly town full of historical monuments and local happenings.
How do I find a house in Los Alamos or surrounding areas?
As a Real Estate Associate Broker in the Los Alamos area, I can personally guide you through the current housing prospects here in Los Alamos. Or, I can take you down into the valley areas nearby to discover more options too! Santa Fe is a great option too! There are many options for the person relocating to Los Alamos. If you are searching for a place to live, contact your local relocation specialist, Jenna@ExitAdvantageNM.com
For any of your Northern New Mexico housing needs, I would be glad to be of assistance to you to help you find the perfect situation for your families needs.
Contact: Call me direct at 505-333-9705 (cell) 505-500-8222 (office)