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Old 02-21-2015, 04:51 PM
 
1,640 posts, read 2,259,527 times
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Just bear in mind that your biggest monthly expenses after housing will most likely be transportation and utilities -- quite different than in New Jersey.

Gas and auto insurance will be cheaper in Arizona than in New Jersey, and there are no tolls in Arizona. However, living in the Phoenix area, you will be driving significantly more for basic amenities than in New Jersey, so you will find yourself filling up your tank more often. While cars in Arizona don't rust due to the lack of humidity and salt used to deice roadways, you'll be putting more wear-and-tear on your vehicle by the sheer act of driving more frequently and for longer distances. Because the Phoenix metro area is one of the most recently developed major metro areas, it's one of, if not, the most spread out metro area in the entire country.

Vehicle registration costs are quite high in Arizona, too, mostly because the state imposes a "vehicle license tax" (VLT), which is essentially a property tax on vehicles. It's calculated based on the vehicle's age and MSRP, so older and/or less expensive vehicles will have a lower assessed VLT. However, if you drive a newer and/or more expensive vehicle, prepare to dish out a few hundred to the Arizona MVD for the first few years your vehicle is registered in the state. Also, this is not a cost you can pay in installments like in other states -- it's an upfront cost you must pay as part of your registration fees at the MVD when you register your vehicle. I don't think New Jersey imposes a property tax on vehicles like some other states in the Northeast such as Connecticut and Rhode Island, but I'm not 100% sure.

Also, while you may not use the heat all that much during the wintertime in Arizona, especially during your first couple of winters, you'll probably break-even with regard to utilities. Unlike New Jersey, you have to *HAVE* to run the A/C in your home from early May to early October at the very least, probably longer for a newcomer from a colder climate. Keep in mind that "summer" in Phoenix begins around May 10th and ends around October 5th, when daytime high temperatures are >100f and the evenings offer little, if any, in way of a "cool-down." That's not even taking into consideration the "shoulder months" when daytime high temps. regularly peak between 85-100 degrees, but at least during the shoulder seasons, it cools off at nighttime.

Finally, keep in mind that lots of businesses seem to overcharge for basic services like dry-cleaning, oil changes, dental cleanings, etc. in the Phoenix area. I attribute that to the fact just about every person you meet in the Phoenix area is from elsewhere originally, so no one really has a context or gauge for how services, especially infrequently utilized services, should be priced given wages/salaries and other COL factors of the area as well as national averages for comparable goods/services. This leads to lots of asymmetrical price information among consumers in the Phoenix area, allowing many sellers to overcharge. This is more of an issue for those who are more price-sensitive such as retirees and other lower-income individuals.

Oh, yeah -- Arizona has a state income tax, too. It's low compared most states that impose a state income tax, but it's still there.

These costs probably won't make or break your bank given your monthly income, but there definitely worth taking into consideration, especially since most of them are somewhat "hidden." Early congratulations on your retirement and best of luck in your relocation,

8to32
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:17 AM
 
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Luckily im years out, so ive got so much to take into consideration. I didnt know that about the car registration. Typically ive been paying 46 a year. Ive saved so much on gas cuz i live very close to work. I guess electric would be the biggest expense because since i will be retired, being home will be the biggest comfort i would encounter. And i love me some cold air in the summer.. lol

I know my food costs will go down living alone and other costs im sure as well. Ive seen so many different towns people have been giving. Theres a lot to sift thru. Im going to be coming out in June and checking everything out for the next couple of years so i should be good to go.

I remember a few years back where we had over 20 days in the 90s and hit 100 a few times and if you compound that with the humidity it was brutal. We even left work because it was so hot. If i can get thru that, im sure i can make it in Az.
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Old 02-27-2015, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,248 posts, read 9,879,227 times
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You could live on that in Cottonwood AZ in a mobile home - or just outside of CW in Clarkdale - there is a mobile home park there with a lot rent of around $350 per month including trash and sewer I believe. Homes there go for $10,000 to $40,000 and it's well kept and has views.

It's close to Sedona and Jerome and you could do day trips to Phoenix, Flagstaff and Prescott when you need more.
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:30 AM
 
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Just curious, why do some of the mobile home parks have furnished homes ? Plus they mention some of the things are negotiable. Why did the previous people just leave their stuff there ? After viewing some of the homes on youtube i just hated the smothering feeling i got. Everywhere i turned there was another home on top of me.
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:43 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley
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Probably because they are moving out of state or cross country and don't want the hassle, or to pay a fortune to move their things.

At $2,000 per month to live off, what kind of acreage did you expect?
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,776 posts, read 10,481,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SjRick View Post
Just curious, why do some of the mobile home parks have furnished homes ? Plus they mention some of the things are negotiable. Why did the previous people just leave their stuff there ? After viewing some of the homes on youtube i just hated the smothering feeling i got. Everywhere i turned there was another home on top of me.
Another reason I couldn't live in a 55+ park. If your income is $2,000 mo. you could afford to buy a nice home on a big lot. At least 1/4 acre, which is what I'm buying. There are homes out there for under $100,000 but, I admit, they are getting fewer and fewer. I got lucky with the one I found. I've watched the inventory shrink over the past year, and prices go up, so I jumped on it while I could.

Were those homes being sold furnished or were they just photographed that way so you could see what fits and what doesn't?
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:56 PM
 
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Congrats on your home. When looking at the mobile home videos they are surrounded by other homes. I guess it is just something i would have to get used to i suppose. You are right about them going quickly, i saw one that was perfect for me, however, im still working for 3 more years,,lol so i have to stop looking.

You are right about not forcing myself into a box when i do have other options out there. Theres way more youtube videos out there for various towns in the area. I did look at Cottonwood, but it doesnt appeal to me. Its kind of like a ghost town.

The one thing i did like was the 75 mph speed limit. lol However some roads dont have shoulders to drive on to in case of emergency, I find that dangerous. Plus with all the distances between towns i most likely will have to get a car good on gas.
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Arizona
1,599 posts, read 1,510,914 times
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Hi there. I didn't read through all the responses, but wanted to share our experience. We are a family of 5 living off of $2200 a month in Chandler. It's incredibly hard, but if it's doable for us, then I think you as a single person can manage just fine. We were lucky enough to buy a house when the market was way, way down. We probably wouldn't be able to get by if that hadn't of worked out for us. We also don't have car payments (paid cash for used through private buyer) or cable bill (we watch our shows on our computer), but have expenses you won't like gymnastics classes and constant clothing upgrades for kids . If you can keep your mortgage/rent below $800 and can shop smart then you'll be just fine.
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
518 posts, read 748,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuregurl View Post
You could live on that in Cottonwood AZ in a mobile home - or just outside of CW in Clarkdale - there is a mobile home park there with a lot rent of around $350 per month including trash and sewer I believe. Homes there go for $10,000 to $40,000 and it's well kept and has views.

It's close to Sedona and Jerome and you could do day trips to Phoenix, Flagstaff and Prescott when you need more.
Wow that looks like a great value! To be so close to the Valley and those other hot spots! I guess I've never really looked at housing costs outside of the The Valley and Tucson (where I've lived)

I'm increasingly getting an itch to get out of the big city but stay in Arizona. I like The Valley but these places look tempting.... and you can still head down to Phoenix as you say it's not too far. I really need to take a visit and see more of this state outside of our PHX/Tucson. The Bullhead City/Kingman area I've been too looked pretty interesting as well as well as part of Southern AZ south of Tucson. But I haven't seen too much in between and I need to. We have so much to offer and see in Arizona!

Last edited by Bruce Jackpot; 03-02-2015 at 02:23 PM..
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:52 PM
 
344 posts, read 545,681 times
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The small town of Ajo has a lot of people exactly in your boat. I lived there for 5 years and still visit often. You could purchase one of the old company homes (many in terrific shape) have decent TV and internet, go to Rocky Point once in a while to kick around the beach. You would be able to have friends your age and I dare to say some from your area. Medical is a pretty decent clinic and the County Parks and Rec has quite a few activities. Send for a copy of the Ajo newspaper The Ajo Copper News and take a look.
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