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Old 11-17-2012, 10:45 PM
 
11 posts, read 65,622 times
Reputation: 22

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I am considering a move from where I live now (Iowa) and a friend who has family in Arizona suggested I consider going there. I have lived in many states already thanks to my last job which moved me around a lot. The closest I came to living in Arizona was the Las Vegas area, although I visited Arizona several times.

I do not like large cities, and so Phoenix and Tucson are out of the question. The area I am focusing on is the Lake Havasu City/Bullhead City/Kingman area. I do realize these are very hot areas in the summer, even by Vegas standards (Kingman being slightly cooler), so I am prepared for that.

My situation is somewhat unique.

I am 32 and single. I have an untreatbale, but stable eye disease. I do receive some disability benefits, but also can do certain part time jobs. My experience is in the hospitality and retail industries. I also do not drive. I use public transit and taxis sometimes, and walk a lot. I am used to walking 2-3 miles each way to work at times.

I have done some research and this is what I have found so far regarding issues that matter to me.

Public Transit...Decent for cities this size based on my own experiences, all 3 are about the same in terms of hours. The all run til about 7 or 8 at night, somewhat less on Saturday, and not at all on Sunday.

Cost of Apartments...I have found some really good deals through various property management companies. Very impressed on what I can get for what I can afford. All 3 cities have places I can afford, although Kingman seems to have less choices, simply because it is the smallest I guess.

Sidewalks...Since I walk a lot, this is important to me. All 3 seemed to be pretty well sidewalked. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Crime...I need to feel safe when I am walking and home alone. From what I have read, the general opinion seems to be that Lake Havasu City is the nicer/safer city of the 3. I have read good and bad things about Kingman, and more bad than good about Bullhead City.

Jobs...This is where things get uncertain. I have a job with a national retail chain that is in all three cities. I may be able to transfer, but maybe not. So I may be moving with only my disability check and savings to start. The unemployment rate for the entire county does not look great. Of course, I will only be wanting a part time retail or hotel job, so I do not know what the market will be like for those jobs. I have seen some hiring posted online, but don't know if it is really legit. Bullhead City would appear to be the most obvious place, because they simply have more retail than the other two, and you have the Laughlin hotel industry across the river. Of course, the Bullhead City bus system does not go to Laughlin.

City Layout...The more compact the better, but it seems to be a toos up. Lake Havasu looks somewhat compact in town, but I know their new mall and Wal-Mart are several miles north of town and would definitely require the bus or a taxi if I worked up there.


So I guess I am looking for opinions on these places given my situation. In particular, which one, if any, would be better for part time jobs? Which one would have the best city layout for walking around, and where would I feel safest? Is there a lot of random crime, or is it mostly domestic and avoidable if you stay away from the problem-causing people? Are people more or less tolerant of newcomers in any one of these places?

I am not committed to this area, just looking for some thiughts if I should even consider it and make a visit.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:48 PM
 
2,174 posts, read 3,449,829 times
Reputation: 1690
Kingman. Four season climate with easy access to Vegas and the High Country while being 30 miles from the CO River.

Bullhead City is hotter than PHX in the summer and the only entertainment is across the river in Laughlin. A lot of methheads and general lowlives seem to set up shop in BHC from various trips to Laughlin. I think Kingman is a better spot in general from a climate standpoint. Cost of living is comparable to BHC but it is 100 in the summer. Not 115 like it is in BHC. I have little respect for Lake Havasu City. Completely in the middle of nowhere halfway between Blythe,CA and Laughlin,NV. A place for CA Yuppies and their kids to party on the lake with little other than tourism to offer. It's not close to I 10 or I 40 so I would put that way down on the food chain.

Last edited by magnum0417; 11-17-2012 at 10:57 PM.. Reason: add on
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Western AZ
209 posts, read 353,657 times
Reputation: 209
I would advise you to visit all three for a period of a week or more in each. This is what I did 15 years ago when I moved to Arizona. I was not impressed with Kingman or Bullhead but liked Havasu from my very first visit. I chose Havasu and have never regretted it. Still visit Bullhead and Kingman when necessary, but I made the right move.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Bullhead City, AZ
27 posts, read 68,475 times
Reputation: 41
I live in BHC and read all of the rhetoric about the "methheads", "how hot it is", and "nothing to do" before I moved here. All I can say is that BHC is 60 sq miles.... so dont live in the 5 sq miles where the lower income people live. Played golf all summer long and didnt have any issues with the heat. There is more to do here than any of my 41 years in Michigan which had the great lakes at its disposal. Not sure how picky people are, but BHC is very adequate to live and raise a family.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:31 PM
 
11 posts, read 65,622 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneal46 View Post
I live in BHC and read all of the rhetoric about the "methheads", "how hot it is", and "nothing to do" before I moved here. All I can say is that BHC is 60 sq miles.... so dont live in the 5 sq miles where the lower income people live. Played golf all summer long and didnt have any issues with the heat. There is more to do here than any of my 41 years in Michigan which had the great lakes at its disposal. Not sure how picky people are, but BHC is very adequate to live and raise a family.
Which part of Bullhead City is the 5 square miles to avoid? (Location, street boundaries?)
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:30 PM
Status: "You know damn well he's a crook." (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: San Jose, CA
8,674 posts, read 16,608,575 times
Reputation: 9851
It sounds like they're talking about the area known as the Riviera. It's the oldest part of town, originally populated with mostly seasonal use cabins. It's now run-down and very inexpensive which sets the bar pretty low on the kinds of people that live there. In general, neighborhoods in small desert towns are pretty transparent. If they look good, they usually are good, and vice versa. The poorest neighborhoods are the ones that have the most drug problems and petty crime. Bullhead has some great neighborhoods. So does Kingman and Havasu for that matter. I think any of these towns could serve you well. It really depends on what you like. I lived in Kingman for five years until recently. It runs about 10-15 degrees cooler than Havasu and Bullhead which is great in the summer, and not as good in the winter. Not that Kingman winters are bad mind you.

You really need to visit all three towns yourself to get a feel for them. Maybe you can hook up with a realtor who will show you the neighborhoods. It's always best to visit with a local person who knows the town. I think most people who dog on any of these towns base their opinions on a quick drive through, or maybe just stopping for gas. You really need to get out into all the neighborhoods before you really know what a town is like.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Bullhead City, AZ
27 posts, read 68,475 times
Reputation: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by simplelife1 View Post
Which part of Bullhead City is the 5 square miles to avoid? (Location, street boundaries?)
Stay east of 95 and north of Ramar... or to make it easy... anywhere on the parkway is excellent. That is at least half the city to work with.

There is also a very nice neighborhood called Arroyo Vista that is on the south side of town just east of 95. Many families with kids live in there.

One thing that is hard to beat in BHC is the view, especially at night. Vista views from the parkway never get old.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:29 AM
 
Location: Mohave Valley, AZ
219 posts, read 322,140 times
Reputation: 271
You can actually go south of Ramar a bit and be safe. Fort Mojave is safe, and it's pretty central.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:15 AM
 
1,137 posts, read 1,415,773 times
Reputation: 1809
Interesting... Poor folks do drugs.....
quite often it is the football player, the good looking cheer leader who does drugs, not the weirdo with long hair who lives his/her own live.......
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Austin, Tx.
18 posts, read 46,662 times
Reputation: 30
We recently faced this exact same question...which to choose?

Decisions, decisions...They each have their own unique characteristics and so, as the man said, it depends on what you like or want in a place you live.

We chose Kingman!
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