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Unread 01-12-2011, 07:33 PM   #1
skydiver30960
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Weigh in on AZ cities!

Hi folks. Completely non-Jeep thread here, but I thought this would be a good place to get opinions I could trust.

I'm trying to get into an employment field that has lots of opportunities in the southwest, especially AZ at the moment. I'm looking at jobs in Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma.

If you are from these areas (or anywhere else in AZ or NM for that matter) tell me what you think! I'm interested in quality of life, stuff to do (other than wheeling of course), and crime issues. Are you happy where you are? Trying to get out? Whatever comes to mind.

About me: Married, no kids, no plans for kids, middle class, don't own a home but want to buy one, mid 30's, like to go out once in a while but don't need huge singles/club scene.

Thanks!

Ike

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Unread 01-14-2011, 01:19 PM   #2
-Zona-
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Avoid Sierra Vista.
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Or Zona because he reminds me of charlie sheen
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Unread 01-14-2011, 01:38 PM   #3
GrizzlyBear67
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Talk about a potentially charged topic!

We lived in the Phoenix area (Anthem/New River) for a little over 2 years. Moved there from Southern Cal. I visited and or lived in all of the western states and AZ is my favorite by far. But....

I wouldn't recommend living there if quality of life is high on your list. It wasn't the rattlesnakes on the door step, scorpions in the house or 115 degree temps (at midnight) that bothered us. It was the crime and general attitude of the folks we came in contact with on a daily basis. For starters, most were migrants from the midwest and northeast or California, it was rare to meet an actual AZ native. Extremely aggressive drivers, litter, poor school experience and high crime caused us to look elsewhere.

If we were to move back (and every winter we think about it), we would pick Scottsdale, Carefree/Cavecreek areas. That area seemed to be a little slower and people were a bit more friendly in our experience.

This is not a total dig at AZ, like I said, we loved so many things about the state, it's just the bad experiences with the people there far outweighed the positive.
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Unread 01-14-2011, 03:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by GrizzlyBear67 View Post
Talk about a potentially charged topic!

We lived in the Phoenix area (Anthem/New River) for a little over 2 years. Moved there from Southern Cal. I visited and or lived in all of the western states and AZ is my favorite by far. But....

I wouldn't recommend living there if quality of life is high on your list. It wasn't the rattlesnakes on the door step, scorpions in the house or 115 degree temps (at midnight) that bothered us. It was the crime and general attitude of the folks we came in contact with on a daily basis. For starters, most were migrants from the midwest and northeast or California, it was rare to meet an actual AZ native. Extremely aggressive drivers, litter, poor school experience and high crime caused us to look elsewhere.

If we were to move back (and every winter we think about it), we would pick Scottsdale, Carefree/Cavecreek areas. That area seemed to be a little slower and people were a bit more friendly in our experience.

This is not a total dig at AZ, like I said, we loved so many things about the state, it's just the bad experiences with the people there far outweighed the positive.
Cliff notes: The Valley sucks. Avoid it except for Cardinals games.
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Or Zona because he reminds me of charlie sheen
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Unread 01-19-2011, 12:55 PM   #5
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Yuma is great of you like sand and heat more than people. Pheonix is good if you liek peeple more than dirt. Tucson is AOK. As a skydiver you should check out Marana north of Tucson. as for employent in az try the border patrol or you could always be a smuggler
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Unread 01-19-2011, 06:46 PM   #6
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Marana is allright.
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Unread 01-22-2011, 08:55 AM   #7
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I live in Phoenix in the west valley, it's honestly not too bad. Not the most ideal place to live but it's quiet around my house. I have to commute to scottsdale for work everyday which is a 30-70 minute drive depending kn traffic which is horrible sometimes. People to not know how to drive here in az.

I haven't had any issues with crime yet, but some kids shot a hole in my window with an airsoft gun when I left my jeep parked at a gas station for a bit.

If I were to move it would be out toward the desert more. I want yto get out away from everyone and be able to do whatever out there. In the city and new developments you need to watch out for the crazy hoa fees. They try to rape you on those. My parents just bought a house in Goodyear, and they tried to collect back due hoa fees from them because the house was just sitting empty for months, and out of the 10 or so houses on the street over half are empty.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 10:22 AM   #8
gsaxe
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hoa's grrrrrr
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Unread 01-26-2011, 08:31 PM   #9
fueljunkie
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Prescott area has been good to me for over 40 years. Great weather and 4 wheeling.
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Unread 02-13-2011, 10:27 AM   #10
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I'm up here in Williams. I know that's not in your requirement, but I just wanted to throw in here. Williams and the Grand Canyon area is totally seasonal. We depend on the tourist traffic for our survival. Mosy people that work in this industry have multiple part time jobs. I kept 4 employees through the winter just so I would have a base to start the new season. January and Feb. most business shut down. My office is only open 6 hrs per day. It will generally start picking up in March and slowly build and peaking in late July. So one has to make or break your season in 6 months.
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Unread 02-13-2011, 07:24 PM   #11
randyd
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Rio Rico is a good area, expecially if your law enforement woorking down here!! Home prices pretty darned good.. I know a good real estate agent to work with...
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Unread 02-22-2011, 05:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzlyBear67 View Post
Talk about a potentially charged topic!

We lived in the Phoenix area (Anthem/New River) for a little over 2 years. Moved there from Southern Cal. I visited and or lived in all of the western states and AZ is my favorite by far. But....
Wow, if you found Anthem and New River to be high crime, you have issues...

Nice cozy giant pre-planned community on the edge of town? Central Phx, now that was bad...

As to the original question: I lived in Arizona for about 22 years, moved around off and on, here is my list:

Casa Grande: I went to High School here, it was a dry little speck in the middle of nowhere when i was there, the only things to do in HS were cruising a 3 mile strip, drinking and sex, sounds fun but gets boring after awhile. Fast forward to about 2002, they started to build during the boom and the town now has some decent restaurants, a real movie theatre, a halfway decent mall, and some decent houses. Being located almost directly in the middle of the route from Phoenix to Tucson puts you 45 minutes or so from either city, so it's a good place to live if you work in either city, but don't want to live there. Also has some decent industry because of its location.

Flagstaff: I lived here twice. It's beautiful, but not the best laid-out city, traffic really sucks in the middle of a working day because of the busy rail line(50 trains a day when I moved out in the mid-90's, they were talking about 75 a day, that's one every 20 minutes). A LOT of great places to ride out there though, we used to live on a Forest Service road and would ride at night, hop in my Jeep and just drive, turning onto the smaller roads when we wanted to get deep into the woods, and taking the larger when we wanted to come back out, never knowing where we'd end up. 60 miles one night before we touched pavement. Now being a college town, the cost of living is insane, and the income sucks. Factoring those in together, when I moved, it was actually the 3rd most expensive city in the country to live in. Very low vacancy rate on rentals, houses are expensive, and if you don't want to do a job for the wages they're offering, there is always someone else. Another plus though is that Sedona is only 1/2 an hour away, and Oak Creek Canyon is an amazing drive.

Tucson: I've never lived here, but if I ever come back to Az, this is probably where I'd live. It's smaller than Phx, and a few degrees cooler, You have the mountains right next to the city, and the desert runs right through many parts of the city, giving it a more rural look. Traffic can be a bear, due to the fact that the only freeway goes around town, not through it. Major crime is supposed to be lower, due to the fact that a lot of the old mobsters retired there and used their muscle to keep the really big stuff out, don't know if this is exactly true, but I have seen evidence that the mob DID actually retire there, so maybe the rest is true.

Phoenix: Hot, dirty, high crime, NOT my favorite place on the planet. Most of the neighborhoods in the Valley get regular flyovers by the Ghetto Bird, although the eastern valley isn't so bad. Mesa, Chandler, etc... Houses are cheap right now because they got totally slammed by the recession, but this means sometimes entire streets of empty houses, so it's kind of depressing. Phoenix is also HOT. I mean HOT, HOT, HOT. It usually starts hitting high 90's in March or so, son it's up to the 100's, then the teens, and it doesn't stop until late October, early November. It's also the world's largest urban heat island, so there are nights where you won't see it drop below 100... The official readings are usually more like 98 or so, but the thermometer at your house will beg to differ... You also go months and months without any rain to speak of, this makes summers really drag. When the rains come, though, they are amazing. The monsoons are like acts of God. It will rain for 20 minutes or so and the streets will be flooded, and there will be trees down. The season last for 3-6 weeks, although usually not that long, and ion a good year, you will see these kick-*** storms every other day. Phoenix has alot to do, but it's a major trade off. I would stick with at least some of the nicer areas, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Mesa, etc... Phoenix itself has become a foot-blistering blight, IMHO. One upside is that swimming pools are the norm in Phx, which helps through the summer.

One More:
Bisbee: For pure personality, you can't beat Bisbee. An old mining town(Actually around the turn of the 20th century, it was the largest city from St Louis to San Francisco), the town is filled with history and quirks. It's a few hours southwest of Tucson, about 10 miles or so from Mexico. SMall town all the way, the 4th of July parade is one where people get in squirt gun fights with the firefighters on the firetrucks. It's full of New Agers and artists, but has some really good restaurants and bars. For years, my family and I drove down for 4th of July just because it was so fun. Down side is that you almost have to be an artist or a work from home type, there is no real industry to speak of, and all the other jobs would be working at the shops and restaurants. There are supposed to be a lot of really cool Jeep trails in the mountains around Bisbee though, and you aren't really too far from the Chiracaua Mountains either.

There you have it, a rather long winded 2 cents. Hope it helps!
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Unread 02-22-2011, 06:33 PM   #13
GrizzlyBear67
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In my original post I was referring to the Phoenix area in general but here was our take on Anthem:

In two years there were two body dumps, one on New River road and the other at the end of Anthem Pkwy, two AZ highway Patrol shootings on the 17 near Anthem Pkwy, a serial burglar at the community center, rampant vandalism, misconduct at one of the middle schools that I can't describe here, bomb threats at the High School and a shooting at the Sonic. On the weekends the outlets were full of people that appeared to be immitating the dress and actions of gang members. I'm sure I was just misunderstanding them of course. I could go on but I try not to dwell on the negative so much, that's just what I remember off the top of my head that happened in the two years we lived there.

It's a shame because it does have the appearance of a beautiful community as you pass through. A lot of good people live there and it seems like a eutopia at first but I think the crime of Phoenix spills over.
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Unread 02-22-2011, 07:34 PM   #14
randyd
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Well theres Patagonia the Meth capital of S Arizona. And Sonoita if you like lots of wind.. Think big wind generator
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Unread 02-22-2011, 08:41 PM   #15
skydiver30960
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Thanks for the input everyone! I got a job in Tucson, so I guess that's where we're going. Already over the wheeling that awaits me!

Ike
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