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Old 09-03-2012, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Tucson
174 posts, read 143,187 times
Reputation: 545

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Hi, everyone!

Next month I am moving to Tucson from small-town Maine. I am looking forward to the experience, but have some trepidation because I don't know Tucson, though I've been birding in the vicinity.

I'm a woman who doesn't drive. I'll be relying on Sun Tran to get to and from work at the University of Arizona. Being in my 40s, I'm long past student--even grad student--days, and so won't be looking at "student housing" such as might be found near campus. I am quiet and prefer my neighbors to be as well! Because I won't have the luxury of a vehicle to find and transport furniture, I need to move into a furnished place. My maximum rent is about $550. Less would be better. The area needs to be safe. Walking distance to some kind of grocery store, even just a corner store or 7/11, would be helpful, though I realize for most shopping I will probably have to rely on the bus. Walking distance to a bus stop is a must-have!

How difficult to find do you think such a place might be to locate? I have friends in the area but they own, not rent, and haven't really been able to advise me as much as I'd hoped.

I'm in the area probably for only a year, maybe 18 months, depending on how the job goes.

I appreciate the help and advice, and welcome the temporary change of scenery… though I will be missing my gardens at home! I am hoping to make up for them with hummingbird feeders. ☺
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:46 PM
 
Location: outer space
484 posts, read 845,105 times
Reputation: 393
Its possible to find a place at that price, but furnished makes it tougher. Try to stay with your friends for at least a few days while you check out some places. I suggest craigslist.

You still can have a garden here!
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
9,390 posts, read 26,668,065 times
Reputation: 10862
I agree with Robabeatle . . . a small apartment within your budget should not be a problem but furnished may be.

I live near the Tucson Mall and there are lots of both small and large Apartment Complexes, Shops, Restaurants and Bars in all directions plus it's a straight shot down either Oracle, Stone or First to the University on Sun Tran.

WELCOME and Good Luck.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:03 PM
 
2,056 posts, read 2,471,832 times
Reputation: 3799
Tucson has a pretty decent bus system. You'll be fine. The wife and I lived there w/o a car (we live everywhere w/o a car) and it worked OK. Two issues though. Tucson is blazingly hot in the summer. I mean real, real hot. Bus riders suffer more than drivers because you'll be standing in that sun waiting for the bus. Issue two is also bus related, and one of the reasons we left Tucson (along w/ the heat). The bus ridership leaves a lot to be desired! I swear, there were so many times when it seemed everyone wanted to talk about their p.o. LOUDLY. That stood for parole officer we found out, and they weren't kidding. Lots of jail bird types on the bus, more than any other city I ever lived in other than Albuquerque. So, some of those biggish headphones that are HI FI and well insulated to block out conversations will be a nice bus accessory. Some routes are worse than others, and you couldn't pay me to get on a bus headed south side. Living around the university area would help.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Tucson
174 posts, read 143,187 times
Reputation: 545
I'd like to thank everyone so very much for the replies, and apologies for my tardiness. Life kind of ran away with me for a while... I've been busy packing and otherwise trying to prepare for this move. I'll be in Tucson Tuesday night.

Fortunately, I no longer need to look for a furnished apartment. A colleague married recently, so he and his wife have furniture to spare! That relieved me of quite a lot of worry.

I'm looking forward to trying to garden (and feed the hummingbirds), so a patio or balcony is a "must." I was pleased to read in another thread that folks have success growing tomatoes. Other posts in that topic had been a bit dismaying.

The heat is indeed of some concern. My colleague reports having turned into a french fry just walking from the parking lot to the department building (c. 1/10 of a mile). I've endured heat in Egypt and Latin America, but those were different circumstances... not a daily commute where I was expected to look nice upon arrival at the other end. At least, though, I have months to adjust. I will definitely have to take that into account when finding a place, though. The complex I'm currently leaning towards (based only on what I've found online*) is on Speedway. That Sun Tran route would put me at the wrong corner of campus, giving me potentially a 3/4 of a mile walk (I think) if/when I can't hook up with the "purple" CatTran.

Smarino, that's an interesting point about the ridership. I hadn't thought about that! The last time I had to commute, I lived in New Jersey and was riding into Manhattan. All of the others on the bus were white-collar business/professional types. I wasn't expecting THAT, of course--I'm not naive!--but I consider myself now more prepared! I've heard about the south side and have been warned by others that it's no place I will want to live.

*I hope to find a place with a balcony or patio and washer/dryer or hookups in the unit. I'd pay a bit more in rent, especially if the surroundings are nice, to get the right place. I'm really a rural kind of person sometimes stuck in an urban life!
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