Tips For Moving To Arizona

For California-type weather without the California cost of living, Arizona is the place for you. People come from all over to live in this Mecca in the desert or heaven in the mountains.

Planning your move to Arizona depends on where you go in the state. The weather and cost of living in the state is extremely diversified, so it pays to study the specific region of the state to make sure you come prepared. The scenery is absolutely beautiful, but the weather can be brutal and gorgeous and unlike any other state.

The majority of the state's population lives in Phoenix with a population of over three million people. Sitting in a valley in the middle of the desert, Phoenix has summertime highs in the hundreds with 110 not being unusual at all. The winters are mild with freezing happening maybe two to three nights a year. Humidity jumps up during rainstorms, which happen very infrequently. Most of the year has less than 20% humidity making it an optimum environment for those susceptible to breathing illness. But be prepared to use bottles of lotion to dodge the scaly skin and use high SPF lotions and make-up to dodge the intense sun.

Phoenix is called the Valley of the Sun because of the tremendous amount of sunny days. And most of those are totally cloudless. Vast deep blue skies are trademark, and hats, sunglasses, and car windshield shades are necessities. Driving without shades of some sort results in harsh glare that can blind drivers. This same sun jettisons summer cooling bills and withers greenery. Windows require tinting, blinds, or heavy-duty shades to help hold down costs as well as avoid fading and rotting of carpets, curtains, even clothing and furniture. While 10 months of the year the weather is the key attraction for millions of visitors and snowbirds from Canada, those couple of summer months require attention. It is also home to Arizona State University with 57,000 students.

Dust storms followed by the infamous monsoons apply to Phoenix on south to Tucson. Orange haze from the south indicates the onset of such a storm with heavy rain, wind and sometimes hail close behind. Actually, it's this rainstorm that pushes the desert dust ahead of it, and the dust gives one warning to head inside for safety. These are not common but happen annually and provide 90% of the rain for the area.

Since a major part of Arizona is desert, water comes at a premium. The quality is hard and water softeners are common. Water conservation is preached with a passion, and lawn watering is carefully managed with drip irrigation systems. Man-made lakes are no longer legal to avoid putting more moisture in the air and to conserve water making water frontage an expensive investment. And the lack of humidity and steady sun create a human need to consume more water than most places to avoid dehydration. Residents keep an ample supply of bottled water, and few travel in the summer even to the grocery store without a bottle readily available.

Real estate in the Phoenix area is unique to that valley. Industry and commercial enterprises adore the city. The rapid influx of residents has resulted in a higher cost of real estate. Reasonable prices are available, but only at the cost of the commute. Communities continue to crop up on the outskirts of the city in the desert. The cost is still great if you move from California or a high cost city like Boston. But it compares as high for those moving from the average city with an average cost of living.



Tucson is the second largest city about 120 miles south of Phoenix, closer to the Mexican border. It has a less harsh climate since it has more mountains and a little higher elevation. Temperatures still range in the 100's in the summer but 110 degrees is often reserved for the Phoenix area and the desert surrounding it. Tucson real estate values are not quite as escalated as Phoenix, and it is home to the University of Arizona. The population is around half a million.

Flagstaff, about 120 miles north of Phoenix, sits in tall pines, mile-high mountains and cool temperatures. Skiers head there from all over the state in the winter. As a matter of fact, the mountain snowfall helps alleviate the water shortages for most of the state. Flagstaff has a small town atmosphere and caters to a tourist trade. It is home to Northern Arizona University, a small liberal arts college in the middle of town.

You never hear about the heat in the upstate, and instead hear about snowstorms, but overall the weather is quote moderate and most residents enjoy an annual trek up there. Craft festivals are common and enjoyed. Tourism is a major source of income for the town especially with its close proximity to the Grand Canyon.

All other towns in the state are quite small and while the cost of living is much more reasonable than the upper mountains of Flagstaff, city of Phoenix, or pockets of Tucson, the employment is quite limited. These areas need tourism to make ends meet.

Income taxes are fairly low in this state, and sales tax ranges from 6 to 8.5%. Real estate taxes also stand as reasonable as compared to most states. Many folks visit Arizona for a cost efficient vacation and retirees love the weather. Employment is excellent in the populated areas thus explaining the explosive growth.

For California-type weather without the California cost of living, Arizona is the place for you. People come from all over to live in this Mecca in the desert or heaven in the mountains. And don't forget that Las Vegas is a measly 300 miles away from Phoenix.

It's a cultivated, progressive state with a taste of Hispanic, Native American, and western flair. It's modern with a fairly slow pace. A place you can love to call home. Just bring water.

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