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Thread: Arizona??

  1. #1
         
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    Arizona??

    Ok everyone..first of all I am new here...this is my first post...I have read through some of the posts on here and see a lot of people seem to like Arizona. My husband and I are looking for some where to move. Right now we have two little ones and one on the way. We want some where warm to live...but I don't want some where in GA, FL, TX, OK, KS...CA is too expensive for my blood and have heard a lot of AZ being both warm, but still cool in the winter. And on the affordable side. Is this true...?? And does anyone know of good, nice, clean, low crime cities to move too. Since we will be spending the rest of our lives there I hope and have children...I want something on the smaller side, but not far from the big city at all...affordable and low crime. Any one have any ideas of cities I could look into?

    Any information would be so helpful....Thank you in advance for all replies!


    ~B~

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
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    I am a longtime Arizona resident. I have lived somewhere in this state for 22 years. Most of that was in the Phoenix area (Phoenix, Glendale, and Tempe.) Most people know the metro Phoenix area and think the whole state is like that, but it really isn't. Arizona has a varied climate. I have traveled much of Arizona and been to many a small town in the state. Arizona is still a very rural place outside of Phoenix. Sadly, Tucson is becoming more like Phoenix every day.

    Flagstaff is a place people don’t really think of when they think of Arizona. It is located a few hours south of the Utah border and a few hours from the Grand Canyon. Population is small and it is surrounded by National Forests, National Parks, and Indian lands. The summer is warm, 80's and 90's, but winter is cold and snowy. Northern Arizona University is located in southern Flagstaff. In the summer, the students are replaced with tourists (Grand Canyon), hikers, bikers, and people escaping the heat in Phoenix. My family has a retreat in the Coconino Forest just south of Flagstaff and it is very nice to get away from Phoenix in August.

    Tucson is surrounded by mountains and is quite beautiful. It is sprawling like Phoenix, but does maintain its desert somewhat better. Some subdivisions lack fencing and keep the desert, but they are mostly older. Mt. Lemmon is very close, over 9K feet, and is very popular for outdoor recreation. One thing I miss about Tucson is the plethora of outdoor activities that Phoenix lacks. A short (1-2hr) drive from Tucson is the Mexican border and Nogales.

    Phoenix (also known as “The Valley” or “ The Valley of the Sun”) is the capital of Arizona and its main metropolitan area. It is sprawling all over the place. The City of Phoenix itself is just one of twenty plus cities that comprise the built area, but it is the largest city and houses Maricopa County and State offices. The centers of most of the cities are older, but housing really took off after WWII. Historic homes are not common here. The urban heat island effect keeps making Phoenix warmer at night and is my least favorite part about the area. There are nights now when the temperature doesn’t go below 100. :B The hottest months are June and July. In August and September we have monsoon season. I’ll spare you the technical definition, but it generally means, lightning, wind, dust, and humidity. The monsoon season is my least favorite time of year. The high humidity with the high temps makes it very uncomfortable. Give me the dry heat!!! Basically when you open your oven and feel that hot blast of air, that is what stepping outside in summer is like. Consequently the Phoenix dress code is pretty relaxed. Short sleeves and pants are common at most businesses with some allowing shorts. If you like cookie cutter subdivisions you can live anywhere. If you like character neighborhoods, there are a few, but the nice ones are pretty popular and homes sell quickly and have appreciated more rapidly of late it seems. My wife never wants to leave the state, though she has considered outside the Phoenix area. My guess is we will be here until the water runs out.

    If you want more specific info reply or PM me.

  3. #3

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    M.U.,

    Like Ludes, I lived in the Phoenix area for 22 years; unlike Ludes, I left 10 years ago for the Front Range of Colorado.

    If you can tolerate the heat in the summer, you're rewarded with just splendid weather from October through April. I had citrus trees in my yard there - pure heaven to go yank off an orange or a grapefruit for breakfast!

    You can get a lot of house there for the money. That's been the "draw" there for a seemingly unlimited stream of out-of-staters.

    But the downside is the sameness of the architecture and the endless sprawl across the Salt River Valley. After living in Colorado and upon my return, I find the place uninspiring.

    But there are pockets which are pretty habitable - my last 10 years there were spent in Tempe - a town with a lot of attributes - the University, an older pre-mall commercial district, etc. Tempe also had a good school district, too.

    I'd recommend you and your husband take a trip - in summer - to check it out. There's only so much you can do over the Net which can't replace a good firsthand field observation!

    Good luck!.

  4. #4
    I liked downtown/central Tucson when I was living there. The University's proximity allows for the unique situation of older housing stock to be left in an area that's both low cost and low crime. Lots of interesting single family houses on sand lots with enough space for a car but still in walkable neighborhoods with everything close-by. Tucson also has the highest percentage of bicycle commuters in the country, and tons of bike-friendly provisions all over the city.

    Dispite being further south, it's usually a bit cooler than Phoenix. It's still never cold during the day though. Only after the sun goes down in the Winter.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Miles Ignatius
    Like Ludes, I lived in the Phoenix area for 22 years; unlike Ludes, I left 10 years ago for the Front Range of Colorado.
    How odd. My 22 years here is split by a 6 year stint in Colorado Springs. I went back and was saddened by the way the area I used to live in developed.


    But there are pockets which are pretty habitable - my last 10 years there were spent in Tempe - a town with a lot of attributes - the University, an older pre-mall commercial district, etc. Tempe also had a good school district, too.
    I live 3 miles from downtown Tempe. They have now made part of the Salt River a controversial artificial lake. It is turning out to be popular and is developing a rowing population. (No gas motor powered craft allowed.) Tempe did manage to build and enormous mall at I-10 and I-60, plus the area beteween Elliot and Ray along I-10 is a big box haven. South Tempe is much like the rest of the valley, but North Tempe is more like you describe. We'll see how North Tempe changes with light rail.

  6. #6

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    I guess someone needs to throw in a negative view. Having lived there for 3+ yrs, I feel entitled that to point out that Arizona has the most negative social indicators of any Western state: poorly funded schools being chief among them, along with high rates of crime, drug addiction, etc, etc. It is not a place I would even consider going with kids.

    Politically, the state is (despite a token D governor right now) beyond conservative. It actually makes Utah look just slightly liberal. The differences between southern Arizona and southern California have essentially vanished (gas is cheaper, but the air in Phoenix is often worse than in LA).

    Perhaps the worst thing about AZ is the transiency (I recently discovered that there are 90,000 winter "snowbirds" in Yuma County alone) and the predominance of old folks who come to die someplace warm, and thus have no ties to the community, no real understanding of local politics, etc. This provides plenty of voters who just follow the party line, and leaves the development community firmly in charge of the political scene.

    The landscape is great - at the right time of year - but socially and politically, AZ is a wreck.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by movingup
    I have read through some of the posts on here and see a lot of people seem to like Arizona.
    Are we reading the same board?

  8. #8

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    Like Trains Passing In The Night.....

    Quote Originally posted by ludes98
    How odd. My 22 years here is split by a 6 year stint in Colorado Springs. I went back and was saddened by the way the area I used to live in developed.



    I live 3 miles from downtown Tempe. They have now made part of the Salt River a controversial artificial lake. It is turning out to be popular and is developing a rowing population. (No gas motor powered craft allowed.) Tempe did manage to build and enormous mall at I-10 and I-60, plus the area beteween Elliot and Ray along I-10 is a big box haven. South Tempe is much like the rest of the valley, but North Tempe is more like you describe. We'll see how North Tempe changes with light rail.
    Ludes:

    Quite a coincidence!

    I share your observations about how the Springs developed; ditto for south Metro Denver, which is where I'm at. When I got here in 94' I was excited about the possibilities for the place, but the way new development has occurred has squandered a lot of opportunties in my view. On the other hand, there are some interesting infill projects going on - Lowry AFB, Stapleton airport, etc.

    Thanks for the update on Town Lake in Tempe - I'll have to check that out when I get back to town {of course after a pilgrimage to 4 Peaks Brewing Co] and I'm glad to hear they're committing to Light Rail - where is that going to run?

  9. #9

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    Whereabouts in Michigan are you moving from?

    The huge sprawl people here are talking about might not be an issue - in fact might help you feel more at home - if you are from many parts of the state. Arizona is one of the only states I have yet to visit, but I have to say, you can't get much more sprawly or big-boxey than most of the populated areas of Michigan are right now. So like I said, you might feel right at home.

    I hope this doesn't come across as sarcastic, I'm being sincere...!

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ludes98
    Phoenix (also known as “The Valley” or “ The Valley of the Sun”) is the capital of Arizona and its main metropolitan area. It is sprawling all over the place. The City of Phoenix itself is just one of twenty plus cities that comprise the built area, but it is the largest city and houses Maricopa County and State offices. The centers of most of the cities are older, but housing really took off after WWII. Historic homes are not common here. The urban heat island effect keeps making Phoenix warmer at night and is my least favorite part about the area. There are nights now when the temperature doesn’t go below 100. :B The hottest months are June and July. In August and September we have monsoon season. I’ll spare you the technical definition, but it generally means, lightning, wind, dust, and humidity. The monsoon season is my least favorite time of year. The high humidity with the high temps makes it very uncomfortable. Give me the dry heat!!! Basically when you open your oven and feel that hot blast of air, that is what stepping outside in summer is like. Consequently the Phoenix dress code is pretty relaxed. Short sleeves and pants are common at most businesses with some allowing shorts. If you like cookie cutter subdivisions you can live anywhere. If you like character neighborhoods, there are a few, but the nice ones are pretty popular and homes sell quickly and have appreciated more rapidly of late it seems. My wife never wants to leave the state, though she has considered outside the Phoenix area. My guess is we will be here until the water runs out.

    If you want more specific info reply or PM me.
    I think we're at the point we don't want to leave AZ either (I know, my dream of being a Canadien is slowing slipping through my fingers). The school systems are getting better, and as long as ther're better than Texas schools we'll stay out here.

    We just signed the papers to buy our first home, and although it's farther out that it sounds like you'd want to be, it's a great area and we got a screaming deal on 1700 sqft. I've got mountains a few miles away with hiking trails, a golf course 2 homes away, and pretty decent weather year round. (And ludes wasn't kidding about sticking your head in an over- seriously, turn it up to broil for about 15 minutes and then open it up and leave your face there for2-3 minutes.. my eyelashes melt when I go outside in the summer! ).
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Miles Ignatius
    Ludes:
    Thanks for the update on Town Lake in Tempe - I'll have to check that out when I get back to town {of course after a pilgrimage to 4 Peaks Brewing Co] and I'm glad to hear they're committing to Light Rail - where is that going to run?
    4 peaks...ahhh to have great beer. The light rail line will run down Apache then cut through downtown Tempe on its way over to Washington/Jefferson where it runs to downtown Phoenix. The only thing that is disappointing is that they going to build a third bridge between the Mill Avenue Bridge and the current heavy rail bridge.

    Map:


    Valley Metro Rail

  12. #12
    DA Monkey's avatar
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    Because of the great need of planners down here, if you are considering a move, cast your eyes over Brisbane, Qld.

    Wonderful and warm most of the year, close to some of the best coastline in the country, reasonable housing prices, good employment opportunities 9great if your a planner) and a whole host of other things. Possible the best argument being is it is full of australians.

  13. #13

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    Thanks!

    Quote Originally posted by ludes98
    4 peaks...ahhh to have great beer. The light rail line will run down Apache then cut through downtown Tempe on its way over to Washington/Jefferson where it runs to downtown Phoenix. The only thing that is disappointing is that they going to build a third bridge between the Mill Avenue Bridge and the current heavy rail bridge.

    Map:


    Valley Metro Rail
    Ludes, I'm looking forward to it - I'll weave in a ride on the light rail on the the way to the 4 Peaks!

  14. #14
    I lived in Phoenix for about a year. I like the look of Arizona and the desert is gorgeous and unique. Urban-wise, I kind of felt bored there, but I would probably like it better as an older, more-mature adult that was more settled down. I was involved in landscape architecture there and it was completely fun with the desert botanica. Here are some pics!




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