Placitas Land and Homes
About Albuquerque

Albuquerque History

Albuquerque was founded in the year 1706. Albuquerque, known as the Duke City, is roughly 133 square miles in area. It is home to about 560,000. The elevation ranges from 4,900 to 6,500 feet, with an average elevation of 5,314 feet. The metropolitan area of Albuquerque includes the city of Albuquerque, the surrounding areas of Bernalillo County, and the communities of Rio Rancho and Corrales in neighboring Sandoval County.


Albuquerque enjoys four distinct seasons, but all are characterized by sunny days. Humidity averages a comfortable 43%. Temperatures ordinarily average a high of 77 degrees and a low of 42 degrees year-round. Annual rainfall averages about eight inches a year. Although Albuquerque receives snow several times each winter, annual snowfall averages a total of only 10 inches. Sandia Peak Ski Area, only a 30-minute drive from the city, averages 183 inches.

The Four Quadrants

Albuquerque is divided into four quadrants: NW, SW, NE and SE. The dividing line for north and south is Central Avenue which was once known as "Old Route 66." The east/west dividing line is Broadway Boulevard. Driving time across the city boundaries takes approximately 20 minutes.

NW - The Northwest Quadrant: This is the most diversified of the quadrants. It includes the North Valley area where prestigious residential and rural horse ranch properties parallel the east banks of the Rio Grande River. Across the river on the west side (referred to as the West Mesa) you will find traditional subdivision developments. The west side has been host to a major percentage of the city's growth in the past five years. Dozens of homebuilders offer affordable housing opportunities, some starting below $100,000.



SW - The Southwest Quadrant: This quadrant is primarily rural and agricultural and often referred to as the South Valley. However, there are areas located within this quadrant with residential subdivisions including the renown Old County Club neighborhood. Lushly landscaped and quiet, this neighborhood is considered one of the most desirable locations in the city.

NE - The Northeast Quadrant: Most of the expansion in this quadrant has been near the base of the Sandia Mountains. The Sandia Heights area has a high desert setting with spectacular views of the city lights. The northeast area is primarily residential and includes housing in a variety of price ranges. The University of New Mexico area is extremely popular and provides middle and high income housing. Some of the most affluent subdivisions lie within this area, including Sandia Heights, Tanoan, High Desert and Glenwood Hills.

SE - The Southeast Quadrant: In this quadrant you will find Kirtland Air Force Base which includes Sandia National Laboratory and the Albuquerque International Airport. Housing developments include Four Hills which has a desirable country club, the well-established Ridgecrest area and the refreshingly contemporary Willow Wood.

Duke City Facts

  • Albuquerque was founded in 1706. It is one of the oldest inland communities in the United States.
  • Albuquerque's elevation is 5,314 feet - the highest metropolitan city in the American mainland.
  • Within a day's drive of Albuquerque are nine national monuments.
  • Albuquerque is the Hot-Air Balloon Capitol of the US. The city hosts the annual International Balloon Fiesta - the largest international hot-air balloon competition in the world. The event lasts 9 days, features more than 900 balloons and 1100 pilots every year, and draws crowds of more than 1.6 million people.
  • The Rio Grande Zoological Park is considered one of the finest zoos in the country.
  • Cochiti Dam, 45 miles northwest of Albuquerque, is the second-largest dam west of the Mississippi.
  • The aerial tramway just east of Tramway Boulevard in Albuquerque stretches 2.7 miles up into the Sandia Mountains. It has the longest span of any tram in North America and the third longest of any in the world, and it is the longest single-span tram on Earth.
  • The median age in Albuquerque is 32.
  • Intel Corporation, whose plant in Rio Rancho is one of the largest employers in the state, is the world's largest producer of computer microchips.
  • Horse racing is the third-largest industry in the state of New Mexico.
  • In addition to containing approximately 1,000 miles of interstate highway, New Mexico also contains the oldest capital city in the US. (Santa Fe), the oldest continuously occupied city in the US. (Acoma's Sky City), and the largest known caves in the world (Carlsbad Caverns).

Albuquerque Schools

Distinctive Neighborhoods and Areas

  • Nob Hill and University Area: The Ridgecrest areas lies just south of the charming and historic Nob Hill District, which features some of the city's most enjoyable shopping and dining opportunities. Also nearby is the University area, which also offers proximity to the busy arts and culture scene of the city's college community.
  • Downtown: Even closer to downtown is the affluent and exclusive Huning Castle or Country Club neighborhood near the Rio Grande. Small, tightly knit, lushly landscaped, and quiet, the neighborhood is widely considered one of the most desirable residential locations in the city. Several less exclusive neighborhoods are also near downtown - many deeply rooted in the history of the city.
  • Northeast Heights: The city's Northeast Heights, which stretch into the foothills of the Sandia Mountains along the eastern edge of the city, contain several of Albuquerque's most upscale and affluent area - Tanoan, Glenwood Hills, Sandia Heights, Four Hills - but contains a wide variety of other neighborhoods as well, including many rental opportunities and condominiums.
  • The Valley, North and South: For a more secluded, rural setting, properties in the North and South Valley areas include many comfortable homes surrounded by massive cottonwood trees, expansive fertile acreage, and proximity to the Rio Grande. The South Valley tends to be more affordable, the North Valley more exclusive, but both areas offer short and very convenient commutes to work in the city. Adjacent to the North Valley, the village of Corrales, with an abundance of small crafts and antique shops (and superb dining options), offers many similar features.
  • West Side: The city's West Side also boasts neighborhoods such as Paradise Hills and development communities like Taylor Ranch, which abuts the Volcano and La Boca Negra parks - both Open Space facilities.
  • East Mountain Areas: Outside the city, the East Mountain area is gaining popularity with people who seek a more rural, scenic, and secluded alternative to city living. Communities such as Tijeras and Cedar Crest both feature cozy, neighborly atmospheres, easy commuter access to I-40, and green surroundings of tall-trees and soft grasslands.
  • Rio Rancho: Just northwest of Albuquerque, this planned community less than 30 years old is enjoying explosive growth and phenomenal economic development, mainly rooted in the recent expansion of the Intel Corporation microchip plant there. Rio Rancho's popularity has increased most sharply among first-time buyers and retirees drawn to the city's planned developments, attractive prices, and the Rio Rancho Country Club with its golf course and swimming pool.
  • Placitas: Northeast of Albuquerque off I-25, offers sites with more land, bigger homes, continuity of architectural style (the community embraces Pueblo and Territorial building styles), a bit more distance from the city, and overall higher prices. It has the convenience of a small commercial area containing an art gallery, a bank, a convenience store, a post office, an outstanding restaurant, and lots of privacy.
  • Bosque Farms/Los Lunas: two smaller towns just minutes away from Albuquerque off South I-25 which are rapidly gaining popularity as bedroom communities for Albuquerque commuters. For those who want to leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind and savor a more simple way of life these communities are hard to match.