Laurel Summerfield reflects an individual, and unfortunately, very inaccurate opinion about Los Lunas and the Valencia County. I am a 28 year resident of the county, raised 3 children here and have been involved with the local Real Estate market for the past 7 years. Our kids attended the schools here and they all received good education and, scoring well on the national ACT and SAT examinations, were all able to earn scholarships to the state colleges here. When they attended college, they were well equipped to compete with students from around the country at these universities. The schools here perform well above state averages and are consistently improving in comparison to national averages. How do I know this? I spent 13 months on the Los Lunas Schools Board as a representative of District 5. I would match the administration, faculty and staff of Los Lunas Schools with any school district in the Southwest.
While it's true that the Valencia County Sheriff's office is terribly underfunded, each Municipality within the county has it own police force, and there is also the presence of the New Mexico State Police. As I wrote earlier, crime statistics are published annually by each entity, and unless something has changed, are published annually in the Valencia County News Bulletin. In my time living here (in Meadow lake for 10 years, on El Cerro Loop for 10 years and now in Tome for the past 8 1\2 years), I have had no more problems than people who I've spoken to who live in the city of Albuquerque. Because of the understaffing of the Sheriff's office, areas inside the bounds of the municipalities have better law enforcement and lower crime rates. In fact, Bosque Farms has one of, if not the lowest, crime rate per capita in the entire State of New Mexico.
Laurel must have a slow car because, driving the speed limit, I can get to Presbyterian Hospital or the "Big I" from my house south of Los Lunas in 20 - 25 minutes and to Cottonwood Mall on the West side in 45 minutes. The Northeast Heights is 30 - 40 minutes away.
Valencia County Does has a dog population problem largely because of lax pet laws here that attract people from the city who can come and be reckless and negligent with their pets. Hopefully that will change soon. Even so, I feel safe riding my bike along the network of irrigation ditches, and have had fewer and fewer encounters with dogs that are not contained.
I'm sorry that Ms. Summerfield is disappointed with the area, but I think her lack of experience in this part of the Nation has skewed her perspective. The West is different, and refreshingly so in my opinion. I can look in almost any direction and see mountains. I can travel 30 minutes - 2 hours in any direction and find some of the most interesting cultural and historical places in the Southwest. There is world class fishing, hunting, sightseeing, birding, and hiking opportunities readily accessible from Valencia County. Of course it's not perfect here, but the good far out weighs the bad.
Perhaps the best thing about the Los Lunas area is that you can find a home here that gives you room to breathe and be among great neighbors. If you want to choose a cramped lot in a subdivision, you can do that anywhere. But in the semi rural areas of Los Lunas and Valencia County, you can find a good sized lot in a nice neighborhood for a very good price compared to other places in the nation. I hope you don't let inexperienced people like Laurel change your mind about looking for homes here.
If you need more assistance with information or help locating a home, please don't hesitate to contact me. As a licensed Realtor, I can help you with any home in the area, including those that are for sale by owner.