Socorro County, New Mexico

Rio Grande Estates

Acreage Range 1-1.38 Acres
Price Range $1,950-$2,950
Photograph of Hemingway Land Company property

Notes about Purchasing

The page you are currently reading is what we like to call a "master information page" which we create for subdivisions where we have a larger volume of inventory than normal. We provide this as a way to concentrate all of the available information about this region, and the properties within it, into one page where buyers can better learn about the zoning, road conditions, availability of utilities and any of the other salient details we feel a prospective landowner would want to know. We also use this page as a way to present important details about all of the available properties within the region, this way potential buyers won't have to click from listing to listing.

For anyone interested in purchasing land in the subdivision profiled here, we encourage you to read over the information provided to better compare and contrast individual listings and ultimately choose the one that is best for you. While you cannot purchase a specific property on this page, the table of available listings linked below will give you the opportunity to navigate to individual listings pages, where payments options will be presented, and purchases can be made.

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Subdivision Details

Location & Size


Rio Grande Estates is located just south of Belen off of Highway 60 in the shadows of the Manzano Mountains. Situated just forty miles south of Albuquerque, this master-planned subdivision was platted out and pinned back in the 1960's with the vast majority of the region subdivided into one acre parcels.

Socorro County, New Mexico

1 - 5 Acres



Legal Information


When we speak of property we typically use an address -- 123 Main Street for instance. 

As most vacant land does not have a physical address, however, county governments will identify it in other ways, such as a "legal description", a parcel number or a tax code. The information provided in the table to the right are the ways in which the various state and county agencies will identify this specific parcel of land. These signifiers are important to have when speaking with these agencies - whether they be the assessor, the zoning office, or even the local utilities - and may prove invaluable when initiating conversations about whatever research a buyer intends to do.

Whenever one exists or has been assigned to the land, the physical address will be included in this table.

See Individual Listing Pages

See Individual Listing Pages

See Individual Listing Pages

$20.00 per lot

Access & Utilities


All parcels within the Rio Grande Estates subdivision have legal access, as roads and easements were allowed for in the original Plats of the area. Additionally, because this region boasts a largely arid climate, few of the roads have become impassable because of overgrown brush or washed out from rain, meaning that with rare exception, most all of the roads can be driven by any vehicle type. As is to be expected, some areas - particularly those closer to Highway 60 - are easier to get to than others, and some roads are easier to drive on than others.

Power can be found running the length of Highway 60 and servicing some of the roads and home sites closest to that area. The further north and south you go within the subdivision, the less of a presence those utilities will have, though you will encounter the occasional home site being serviced by a power pole and utility box. Because city utilities have not yet been extended into the further parts of the subdivision, solar energy may be a necessary but affordable solution for those electing to live outside the range of local utilities. Anyone developing land in this region who wants to get power extended to their property and would like to investigate cost is encouraged to contact PNM, the local utility servicing this region.


See Individual Listing Pages

See Individual Listing Pages


See Individual Listing Pages

See Individual Listing Pages

By Well, Catchment System or Holding Tank

By Septic/Alternative

Zoning & Restrictions


Zoning: Socorro County has no formal zoning ordinance, and per their own government website "does not restrict the use of real property" within the county boundaries.

This fact alone makes the area ideal for anyone with an RV who's looking for land they can vacation to, camp on, or park and live on for lengthy periods of time without being disturbed by local constables enforcing zoning ordinances. This also makes the area fitting for other types of "unconventional" dwellings such as earth ship homes, tiny homes and shipping container homes, typically difficult to get permitted elsewhere. 

No HOA: Rio Grande Estates has no HOA and there are no annual dues associated with land ownership.

Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions: In addition to having no HOA, Rio Grande Estates has no covenants, conditions or restrictions (CCRs) recorded with the County. This means there are no subdivision restrictions on land use either.

Disclosure: Prospective buyers are encouraged to keep in mind that while Socorro County has no formal zoning and the subdivision has no recorded restrictions, land in this region will still be subject to state-wide laws, building codes and environmental regulations. This is especially true as it pertains to how waste is disposed of and wells are drilled and installed. The NM EPA oversees septic permits and the State Engineer is responsible for well permits and are two organizations you or your contractor will deal with eventually. State regulations aside, however, Socorro County remains one of the most ideal places in New Mexico for developing land with as few ordinances to conform to as possible.

No Formal Zoning Designation





Title Info


Free & Clear





Special Warranty Deed

Notary Close


Helpful Links


The Hemingway Land Company does our best to represent the properties we list as accurately as possible. Our research, however, will always be limited. 

Because of this, included in the table to the right is a list of the relevant state and county governments, agencies and authorities as well as local utilities (and all their respective websites and contact information) which should help to answer any questions a buyer may have about developing this specific property.

Whenever possible it is best to speak with these agencies first as they will always be a far greater source of information about the local region and the regulations which govern it.  

(575) 835-0714
See Website For Details
(575) 838-5700 ext 1251
(505) 827-2855
Created by Past Customers of Hemingway Land



Rio Grande Estates Inventory History: Hemingway Land has bought and sold hundreds of lots in the Rio Grande Estates subdivision and we typically boast a revolving door of property here. Anyone looking to expand their parcel boundaries is encouraged to review our master spreadsheet of past and current inventory to see if we have now or have had in the past land which is adjacent to yours. NOTE: Adjacent lots are best identified by knowing the Unit/Block/Lot of your own property.

Rio Grande Estates Property Owners Facebook Group: Even though this subdivision was first created in the 1960's, the region has sat largely undeveloped since. Within our time selling land here, however, a number of like-type individuals looking to build unconventional structures and/or live an off-grid lifestyle, have purchased property from us, relocated and begun to develop the region and the sense of community within it. While there is still a great deal of undeveloped land here and plenty of privacy, a number of our past buyers have created a Rio Grande Estates Facebook group for those who own land here or are looking to relocate to help better educate people on the region. This group of land owners also acts as an excellent resource for things like surveyors, well drillers and fence builders. 

Adjacent Parcels: It should be noted that because this region was first subdivided almost entirely into 1 acre parcels, it is very difficult to find larger acreage here. For those looking for anything bigger than 1 acre of land you'll need to purchase adjacent lots which total the amount of land you're looking to develop (2 acres = 2 lots, 3 acres = 3 lots, so on and so forth). Prospective buyers should be aware that combination lots are very difficult to come by here and the larger the property you require, the less likely it is to exist. While Hemingway Land has sold a number of adjacent lots in this region (including lots combos as large as ten acres) that is the exception and not the rule in a subdivision platted like this one. In circumstances where we have two neighboring lots, they will always be sold together as they are inherently more valuable. 

Photography Disclosure: Unlike our other listings, the properties being sold in Socorro County's Rio Grande Estates are being represented with photos from different regions of the subdivision and are not property-specific. As Hemingway Land has purchased and had photographed so many parcels throughout this area - and because there is little observable difference in the roads, topography and scenery - we have elected to reuse past photos. It should be noted, however, that this is not something we would do if we didn't have hundreds of images from nearly every intersection in the subdivision. While we feel this serves as a reasonable representation of the properties, any prospective buyer looking for a more precise sense of the exact parcel is welcome to scout any property we have in inventory. 

Subdivision FAQ

No. This entire area was subdivided over sixty years ago into mostly one acre lots. There is nothing larger, and the only way to get something larger is to purchase adjacent lots. 

Only where listed. If we have two 1 acre lots that are adjacent and could equal 2 acres, we will sell them that way. The same goes for three or four adjacent 1 acre lots.

If you look at the property list we have linked on this page you’ll see the Legal Descriptions of the properties. These are written logically. Unit 1, Block 1, Lot 1 would be adjacent to Unit 1, Block 1, Lot 2. So on and so forth. If you’re looking at two properties wondering if they’re adjacent, simply review the legal descriptions.


The lots closest to the Highway (the 60) have the best road conditions because they’ve been traveled the most. That being said, because of the largely flat land and arid climate in this region, none of the roads are particularly difficult to drive and with rare exception, most can be navigated in any vehicle type.


Anything in Units 1, 2, 14, 15, 16 and 31.

Anything in Units 9, 10, 11, 32 and 33.


Socorro County has no Planning & Zoning Department and they have no county wide zoning ordinance dictating what can and can not be done with or parked on land in their county. In fact, on the one county government website that addresses this topic, they specifically say “Socorro County does not have a zoning or permitting ordinance. At this time there are no County regulations or restrictions on the use of real property…”. Additionally, counties like Socorro tend to defer to whatever covenants and restrictions exist within a subdivision, and this subdivision has none. Because of this, it means that land owners in this region do not have to deal with the typical zoning and permitting hurdles or requirements for minimum square footage or time limits for RV usage common in most all other parts of the state. Additionally, there is no HOA monitoring how you use the land or forcing you to conform to some arbitrary architectural aesthetic nor charging you dues every twelve months for the privilege of owning land or living there. In short, Rio Grande Estates is one of the few regions in New Mexico that offers land owners the opportunity to build what they like and live in whatever fashion they so desire.

Well, keep in mind, there’s federal law, state law, environmental law and New Mexico building codes and if your plans for the land violate any or all of these, you can expect to hear about it from someone, we’re sure. As always, we encourage our customers to do the necessary due diligence PRIOR to purchasing.

Not throughout the subdivision, no, but the closer you get to the highway, the closer you’ll get to the more established areas that have power lines on every - or most every - road. And while there are few rows of power lines the further north you go into the subdivision, there are a number of people living throughout the region who have power poles and meters servicing their homes. Buying and building closer to the highway and the more established area, or even closer to the lone home sites in the less developed regions may make hooking up to the grid easier and more affordable to manage.

As PNM is the utility company that services this region, we encourage anyone with questions about getting power to their land to visit their website or contact the PNM offices at (888) 342-5766.

It should also be noted, however, that solar has become an increasingly affordable alternative in recent years.

Water table depth is a difficult thing for us to be precise about. That being said, there are a number of homesteads in this region, many of which have wells. This suggests to us that the water table is fairly accessible and getting a well drilled out here would not be prohibitively expensive. As always, however, we encourage our buyers to contact local vendors (people who drill wells professionally) and inquire with them as to the typical drill depth and cost.

Our photographer always seems to have good service when he’s in this region.

Yes. Please do. We encourage anyone who’s going to buy from us to view the land they’re interested in prior to purchase.

No. We’re investors, not realtors. Additionally, we have no office in New Mexico nor staff on standby waiting to give people guided tours.

It’s easy. Each listing page will have an interactive map you can study to locate both the property as well as the best route to take to access it. In addition, there are a number of mapping apps which can help with locating vacant land or land which doesn't have a formal address. MapRight is one our photographers use all the time and recommend highly. 

In addition, anyone purchasing from us will be provided with GPS coordinates for the four corner points and center of the parcel. While these are not a substitute for having the land professionally surveyed, they can provide a reasonable sense of the property's location.


Not recently and not by us, no.

This entire region was platted out years ago. Stakes or pins may have been used to mark property boundaries but it’s questionable whether they still exist or can be found. While they may be there, we’re not making that guarantee to our buyers.

The GPS coordinates we give you to locate the lots are fairly accurate and should get you to a location that will give you an excellent sense of precisely what chunk of land it is that you’d be buying. For a specific sense of where the lot begins and ends, it is ultimately best to hire a local surveyor.

Three reasons:

1 - For our purposes of creating listings, we have software that tells us everything we need to know about the property’s size, shape and location.

2 - We never know if our end buyer will want or require a survey.

3 - If the survey costs us $1,000 we’re simply going to increase the price of the land $2,000. Hence, it’s ultimately cheaper for the buyer to pay for the survey themselves.

Yes, in the Maps & Boundaries section of each individual listing page there will be plat maps of the region. Please note, however, as there are thousands of lots in this subdivision - even when magnified - these are not the easiest things to read.

No. For that you’ll have to inquire with the County Clerk’s office.

Simply click the ‘Buy Now’ button at the top of the individual listing page of the property that interests you most. 

Not anymore. We used to but too many people would default after only a few payments. Additionally, because of the demand for land in this region, and the demand among serious cash buyers, we haven't had a need to. 

If financing is being offered on a specific parcel, the terms of that agreement will be enumerated on the individual listing page. Simply click the 'buy now' button of that property that interests you to see if terms are offered and what those specific terms are. 

Yes, just like when you finance a home or a car.

Additionally, it should be noted that you will pay the most only if you pay it off as slowly as humanly possible.

Where financing is offered, our contracts contain only pre-payment incentives and no pre-payment penalties.

Additionally, every contract will come with a 90-Days-Same-As-Cash clause.

If you pay us all the money at once, it will be deeded into your name immediately. If you elect to finance the land, we will not deed it into your name until such a time as all the payments have been made. Until that time, the land contract will be the document that demonstrates your equitable interest in the property.

As soon as you give us money, it’s yours to do with as you please.