Relocating to Phoenix
Thinking of moving to sunny Phoenix, Arizona? If so you're not alone, thousands of people have moved to the Phoenix metro area in the last few years. There was such a high influx of people that housing prices skyrocketed (seemingly overnight in some cases more than doubling within a couple years). As time changes things, housing prices have gone down considerably in the last few years and there are a lot of choices when it comes to housing. All things considered, the Phoenix metro area is a fairly affordable area for how big of a city it is.
Important Considerations in any move include:
Why are you moving here? This may seem like a silly question, but really why are you moving? From personal experience, this is probably one of the most important questions to ask yourself when moving somewhere. If you truly want to move to a new area you are more likely to be happy there. If you feel like you're being pressured or forced into a move it is much harder to adapt. Unrealistic expectations is another reason for unhappiness-no city or state is utopia, they all have their issues. A move doesn't "fix" issues already present in your life, it can however provide you with a new start or it could be exactly what you are searching for. This is the risk people take in starting over in a new state.
People are creatures of habit and some have a hard time realizing that Phoenix is not Chicago, or Los Angeles or New York and never will be, it is Phoenix. A dusty desert city that mushroomed overnight into a large sometimes confused metropolitan city. Constantly comparing your new hometown to another area of the country will not make you happier living there. Love the city for what it is and work in the community to improve what needs improvement.
Perhaps you are retiring and find the Arizona lifestyle appealing, perhaps you want warmer weather, a job relocation or you are just searching for that perfect spot to live? Living in the "Valley of the Sun" can be a wonderful lifestyle if you wish to embrace the desert for the beauty it holds.
What is the weather like?
Most people realize that Arizona is hot in the summer, some just don't realize how hot it is and how that may affect them. If possible visit Phoenix in July so you have a better understanding of what the dry heat feels like. Similar to an unrelenting sauna temps on a Phoenix summer day routinely are in the triple digits for several months. Because of the low humidity 100 degrees is not as bad as it sounds, but once the temps reach 110 and above most people will agree it is pretty miserable. The swift monsoon rains will bring joy and higher humidity. By October you will pray for rain. November-April will bring much more pleasant weather, yes the weather during this time period is what makes Phoenix attractive.
Do not dispose of all your winter clothes. I know some people who have done this. It gets cold in Phoenix, cold enough you'll want that coat in January and if you ever plan on visiting Flagstaff, Sedona or the Grand Canyon you may want those gloves, hats and boots too.
Where will you work? Obviously you need some type of income to live, so finding a job is a of major importance. If you are lucky enough to be relocated for work, then settling in is a little easier. It is very hard to get a job in Arizona if you are living out of state. Yes it can be done, but it is difficult. Most employers around here want to know that you are already living and established here. This makes sense if you realize that many people that move to Phoenix, will move out within a year.
What about the crime? No one wants to live in a high crime area, the following links may be able to give you some guidance in this area. Phoenix Crime Stats
There are pockets of bad areas in every city, driving around neighborhoods you are considering living in is a really good idea. If you don't like driving around in a particular neighborhood at night, chances are you won't enjoy living in that neighborhood either. I like to go to the neighborhood shopping centers or parks. This will give you an idea of who your neighbors will be. Some well known pockets of not so nice areas include South Phoenix, McDowell Ave, and Maryvale area.
What can I expect?
Expect a laid back lifestyle where the weather is beautiful in the winter and spring and just hot in the summer. Expect to be able to golf in January. Expect fantastic outdoor opportunities within minutes from your house. Expect change-the Valley is always growing and always changing. Expect to be homesick sometimes, the grass isn't greener somewhere else, it's just different. Expect the first summer to be brutal, but you'll make it through.
Expect that it takes time to get to know a new area. Don't expect your neighbors to be overly friendly. Most likely half your neighbors are new to the area, so they are in the same boat as you. So many people complain that Phoenix residents are not friendly. This is too broad of a statement, and unfair. Why? People that live in Phoenix come from all over the country. Many of these people spent their entire lives in the same area before moving to Phoenix. Many are homesick, they are adjusting to living somewhere new. You cannot compare the friendliness of a neighborhood you've known for years to one that you just moved to.
After living in several states and numerous neighborhoods one thing is constant, people are only as friendly to you as you are to them. Period. The only way to get to know your neighbors is to actively engage in conversation with them. Take the first step and don't limit yourself to your immediate neighbors. The more active you are in the community you live in the friendlier people will seem. This is true anywhere you choose to live.
Some Basic Links that may prove helpful in your Move:
ABF Moving Truck- U pack and they drive.
Arizona Republic-Major Newspaper in Phoenix
Universities and Colleges: