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Old 04-13-2006, 09:40 AM
2 posts, read 42,971 times
Reputation: 13


Hey guys,

Well, my family is seriously considering relocating to Tucson. We currently live in Chicago and have been here all our lives. Our house is basically sold and we're looking to make the move in about two months. Foolishly, we don't know enough about our destination, thats why I'm here. I've been reading ALOT about Tucson and from it, have gotten a lot of mixed feelings. Understandably, its like any city where it has good parts and bad parts; however, I'm having trouble getting a clear feel for where to look for a house and where to definitely not look for one. Further, would our budget (barely $200k) prevent us from enjoying 'a good part' of Tucson? My mother is a single parent of three, a 9 and 16 year old, and myself. Obviously, looking for an area with a good grade school and high school. She has a bachelors and masters in social services, in case that helps anyone give suggestions. I've already requested information from the University of Arizona for transfer.

We're looking for somewhere safe, affordable, reasonably close to grocery/shopping areas, and good schools. Any and all discussion is greatly appreciated!!! We're trying to become as informed as possible before making this life-changing decision.

And honestly, if my description leads anyone to believe Tucson may not be for us at this time, please feel free to say so, we are not "set in stone" to move there. We find it attractive and its greatly peaked our interest, but those of you who may know better, feel free to direct us away. Thanks!
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Old 04-27-2006, 02:42 PM
Location: Tucson, AZ
1 posts, read 39,836 times
Reputation: 11
Two suggestions:

1. Stay away from the south side (crime and gangs).

2. You won't find much in town for $200,000 for a family. You may have to try the suburbs around the area.

Hope that helps,

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Old 05-06-2006, 10:46 PM
4 posts, read 59,057 times
Reputation: 16
I've lived in Tucson since 2000 and I love it here. Much better than the Phx area, which is too large, too crime-ridden and much too hot and dirty in the summer.

Tucson has more of an old town feel. It's nickname is the Old Pueblo. There is much more of a border town atmosphere, and there's so much excellent Mexican food here, it's tough to decide where to eat.

If you're looking at schools, perhaps you will be able to transfer to the U of A. Though a private university, it is large and contains a medical and law school. Their engineering dept. is top notch, too. Many grads go on to work at Raytheon and other large aerospace and engineering firms here in Tucson.

If you want a "nice" neighborhood, look to the NW or North side of town. 200K will get you a nice house in 85741. Maybe a town house or condo in 85742. The nicest zip in town is 85737 (Oro Valley), but houses run $400K-sky's the limit there. There are some newly renovated condos going in at the Starr Pass and Silverbell area (not too far from the U of A) under $100K.

Best wishes!

PS- I work in South Tucson. Despite what you may hear, I think it is oine of the safest parts of Tucson. Lots of times, people are afraid by that which is unfamiliar to them. South Tucson is very reminiscent of a city in Mexico. This throws many Anglos, but it should not be misconstrued as being an unsafe place. The people of South Tucson are warm and gracious and the food is excellent, my friend. Viva South Tucson!
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Old 06-17-2006, 03:42 PM
4 posts, read 70,524 times
Reputation: 9
First, the mexican food doesn't come close to what it should be. Anyone from Mexico, New Mexico, or Texas will tell you this. The locals who know real mexican food don't at most of the "mexican food restaurants". Your only hope for something decent is in the south side (try Mi Nidito's).

Yes it's true that the south side is mostly safe, depending on who you are and what time of day it is. If you are from the south side, then yes. If you are an anglo not familiar with the area, better not go there past dark.

The economy is average, the summers are very hot (be sure to be near a pool) and the traffic in the winter is really bad (snowbirds) Tucson is a town for the older, ready to retire. I wouldn't raise children in Tucson. There isn't much for them to do until they are over 21. Hard crimes aren't that bad,(though it is on the rise) but petty crimes are 70% higher than the avg. city (car theft, break-ins, etc.) Teen pregnancy is one of the highest in the nation, high school drop-out rate is very high, meth use is amongst the highest in the nation, and you've got heavy drug trafficking due to it's proximity to the border.

The fall, spring, and fall are pleasant compared to the winters of north and there are some very nice sunsets and lightning displays during monsoon season. The foothills offer some nice hiking and a few small waterfalls to look at. Mount Lemon is about 45min -1 hour from downtown, and there are some small lakes about 1.5 hours south. There really isn't much else though, and one could do just about all there is to do in the area in just a couple of weeks. All in all, I think Tucson is a nice place to visit, retire, or attend college, but not a great place to raise a family.
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Old 07-11-2006, 12:52 PM
5 posts, read 51,355 times
Reputation: 11
Default Regarding the Children .....

I have been living in Tucson since 1987 from Long Island NY. Over 20 years here and 2 kids later (10&14) I would much rather raise them in NY. The crime here is growing and for the size of the city its unbelievable. There isnt boroughs in Tucson, there is just the Southside, Northside, Eastside, Westside, SW side & Central. All are a melting pot for every walk of life with trailers & manufactured homes on the same block if not right next door to a custom built home or an old beat up duplex. We have no highways thru the city and the roads suck. Unless you can move to the far northwest side ( few can) I would rethink Tucson and check into Phoenix areas like Chandler, Goodyear, Avondale and possible Casa Grande. Tucson has become unaffordable with a lack of affordable housing for the middle classes.

Trust me , I have seen it grow over the time I have been here and with Mexico so close, we are also losing work to the illegals. Good luck to you and your family, I hope this helps.

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Old 07-16-2006, 03:36 PM
Location: Southern New Jersey
175 posts, read 476,765 times
Reputation: 398
Default Tucson

Hi-I lived in Tucson for over 10 years total, and here's my observations.

Weather is the primary draw- over 300 days a year of sunshine. Yes, it gets VERY hot in the summer, but you either like the heat or hate it. Typical summer day-30% humidity in the early am to about 2-3% humidity in the afternoon.

Homes-yes, a 200,000 home can get you into a "decent" neighborhood-and Tucson does indeed have good neighborhoods and bad ones.

Economy-jobs are pitiful in pay-most people are used to 8.00-9.00hr jobs, and most employers seem to think that 8-9 bucks an hour is a "livable" wage. There's a LOT of illegals living in Tucson(and rest of state) so that brings wages down. There's a lot to do in Tucson, a variety of night-life and sports and shopping.

Driving in Tucson is HORRENDOUS !!! People drive wickedly crazy there-and it takes 45min-1 hour to get from one side of town to another-there's only surface streets and no major arteries(highways) to make commuting easier.

Would I recommend Tucson-yes, if you have a GREAT job lined up- or are retired-or have a lot of money saved. It's not a cheap town to live in-but the major dividend is the weather.
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Old 07-17-2006, 01:23 PM
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
95 posts, read 555,706 times
Reputation: 93
I've lived in Tucson for a year and work at the University of Arizona. I'm also in a graduate program there. It's a public university and a good school, but tuition is increasing and it can be difficult to establish in-state residency. Parking at the university is limited and expensive. The city is relatively biker friendly with a lot of bike lanes on streets, and many students bike to school.The area around the university has within walking distance a lot of hangouts for college students.

I live in Oro Valley, which is a small town right outside of Tucson on the NW side. I really like it, except for the commute. The Tucson police department published a report in the local newspaper showing crime statistics in the various areas of the city at the time I was looking for places to live, and the south side seemed to be the highest crime area. Most crime reported in the news occurs in central and south Tucson. Car insurance is relatively affordable here- something I was surprised at due to the proximity to the border. There are nice areas scattered throughout Tucson, but the NW and N sides of town seem to have the best neighborhoods. Traffic in the city is awful due to congestion and the highway is not convenient for most people. Marana is a small town on the NW side near the highway that seems pretty nice and is growing.

You can find a decent place for $200K if you look hard enough, but for something really nice, you're looking at $350K+. Housing prices have increased significantly in the last few years supposedly from Californians moving here.

Arizona leads the country in identity theft, and a lot of that is due to a large meth problem. Mail theft is a concern.

I don't know much about the schools, but a couple teachers I've spoken with have said that classes often can't progress because there is a large percentage of non-English speaking students in the school system (15-20%).
Tucson is not ethnically diverse; the majority of people are hispanic or white. Some friends of mine have found this frustrating for raising children. The city is probably a lot smaller than most would expect and the job market is not the best.

It does get very hot here in the summer but I believe that 105 here is much better than 85 in the Carolinas or Virginia Beach. It's very dry except for the monsoon season in July-August that brings afternoon/evening storms, but the humidity is nothing like the east coast or Gulf of Mexico area. One thing I find annoying is that from about September to November the mornings are cool (at times slightly above freezing) and the afternoons are in the 80s. We have the most incredible sunsets and the lightning storms are also beautiful.

Hope this helped.
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:45 PM
1 posts, read 39,826 times
Reputation: 10
Default Good Cities to live in??

I too am looking at potentially moving to Tucson. It looks like everyone is in agreement that North or NorthWest Tucson are the nicer areas of town. I would like to do some housing searches on Realtor.com or similar sites, but don't know the zip codes in the N/NW, community names or any outlying cities in those areas that I could search for. Any info appreciated.
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:52 PM
286 posts, read 1,430,527 times
Reputation: 199
Originally Posted by pditty View Post
I too am looking at potentially moving to Tucson. It looks like everyone is in agreement that North or NorthWest Tucson are the nicer areas of town. I would like to do some housing searches on Realtor.com or similar sites, but don't know the zip codes in the N/NW, community names or any outlying cities in those areas that I could search for. Any info appreciated.
Not sure if this link will work, if it doesn't, Google "Tucson zip codes map" and a link will come up for a PDF file. http://www.ci.tucson.az.us/planning/...ty/wardzip.pdf
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Old 08-21-2006, 08:27 PM
3 posts, read 44,705 times
Reputation: 12
Originally Posted by pditty View Post
I too am looking at potentially moving to Tucson. It looks like everyone is in agreement that North or NorthWest Tucson are the nicer areas of town. I would like to do some housing searches on Realtor.com or similar sites, but don't know the zip codes in the N/NW, community names or any outlying cities in those areas that I could search for. Any info appreciated.
I am relocating my family in 5 days to tucson ( NorthWest) from Long Island New York, if you need any info, please e mail me at NYMedicMom@yahoo.com I will help you out as much as I can

Good Luck
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