Pro: It is a friendly small town.
Con: It is somewhat isolated. The closest city is El Paso, Tx which is 2 ½ hours away.
Pro: There is no rush hour. It takes fifteen minutes to drive from one end of town to the other.
Con: Not much to see in those fifteen minutes.
Pro: The Pecos River runs through part of town with a park and two golf courses on it.
Con: Part of the river is lined with unkept businesses. The city takes very little advantage of the river. There are no businesses that would draw people to such a scenic part of town.
Pro: Housing is pretty inexpensive. My husband and I purchased our first 3bd/1bth home for $38,000 in 2003.
Con: There’s not much to choose from in the way of housing. Very little new development. What is considered a nice neighborhood in Carlsbad wouldn’t be considered nice elsewhere.
Pro: Job growth has taken place since renewed oilfield work in recent years. Even young people can earn $20 an hour laboring in the oilfield. Nursing jobs are also widely available.
Con: Not much opportunity. There isn’t a lot of variety in the way of employment. Technical jobs are nearly nonexistent. The oilfield has dotted our dull landscape with oil rigs and pump jacks.
Pro: The Bureau of Land Management has quite a bit of land here, so there’s lots of country roads to drive down with seasonal hunting.
Con: It’s flat with cactus. Not to mention oil rigs and pump jacks.
Pro: New Mexico is proud of its culture. “Red or green chile?” is usually asked of most newcomers. The red and green chile here can’t be beat.
Con: Carlsbad has very little in the way of culture or restaurants, not to mention shopping. It is pretty “hicksville”.
Pro: Carlsbad advertises itself as a retirement community.
Con: There is not adequate healthcare available here. Most people travel to Roswell (1hr 15min away) or Lubbock, Tx (3hrs away) for decent healthcare.
Pro: The Christmas on the Pecos is a 45min. boat ride that is taken down the river to see the holiday decorations on the lawns of riverfront homes. It is pretty neat.
Con: It’s also pretty cold, and the ticket prices have become ridiculous since 2006 when one of the cities boats was lost to arson. It used to be $7. In 2007 it was $17.
Pro: We have four distinct seasons, including snow.
Con: It’s the desert. Our summers are very hot and dry.
Pro: In all my years living here, I have seen no discrimination toward any particular race. People are pretty accepting and very friendly. You have your occasional grouch, but for the most part, people keep negative opinions to themselves.
Con: Cultural diversity is minimal. It is a fairly small town, so everyone knows everyone else’s business. The city leaders are too busy worrying about their own pockets to do what is best for the town. You don’t see much forward thinking.
Pro: The town is fairly conservative and family oriented.
Con: With nothing in the way of youth-oriented activities, there is a huge problem with teenage pregnancy and it has become an acceptable part of our local scene. And as with most cities these days, we have our own drug problem. We have a fair amount of crime for a small town, but people tend to feel safe.
Ultimately, I wouldn't recommend life in Carlsbad to anyone. My husband and I are looking to relocate within the next few years. We love a small town atmosphere but we need more activity and opportunity.