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Old 04-13-2009, 03:49 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
107 posts, read 1,157,665 times
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My husband said the cost of living was higher in Phoenix than where we are living by quite a bit. It's like a 15% difference or something he read. We live in the Omaha area. Ya our housing is less but dang you guys have some awesome prices right now, especially on foreclosures. I went to Mesa in July last year and was at the grocery store a couple times. Not much difference there I can tell. Our electric bill is on a fixed monthly rate of $150 which totally sucks here, it isn't much more there is it? We keep our house at 68 in the winter and probably higher 70s or even low 80s in the summer. Gas is about $35. Our gas prices for cars is $1.89 right now. Unfortunately in my smaller town internet runs me $80 and Direct TV $85 ish. So what's so different? Enlighten me.

Rebecca
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:20 AM
 
267 posts, read 835,209 times
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Well Phoenix is a pretty big city. I think it's what, the 5th largest city in the U.S.? Depending on what area of the valley you are talking about (you mentioned Mesa), the prices are going to change a lot. You are right, though, prices on homes are great right now.

Electricity can be high here in the summer. The AC will work hard to keep a home at 78 when it's 115 outside. Gas prices here are about the same as you said right now. I've seen as low as $1.79 though. My cable internet is $49, and I don't have cable tv but I know they offer package deals for cable, internet and phone through Cox that isn't bad. It's pretty hit or miss here with certain things. I came from Los Angeles, and for example to get your nails done here is MUCH more than it is in L.A., and my mom says cigarettes are much more here than in L.A. (I wouldn't know because I don't smoke). So I think it just depends.
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
35,882 posts, read 45,950,764 times
Reputation: 24569
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmomof3 View Post
My husband said the cost of living was higher in Phoenix than where we are living by quite a bit. It's like a 15% difference or something he read. We live in the Omaha area. Ya our housing is less but dang you guys have some awesome prices right now, especially on foreclosures. I went to Mesa in July last year and was at the grocery store a couple times. Not much difference there I can tell. Our electric bill is on a fixed monthly rate of $150 which totally sucks here, it isn't much more there is it? We keep our house at 68 in the winter and probably higher 70s or even low 80s in the summer. Gas is about $35. Our gas prices for cars is $1.89 right now. Unfortunately in my smaller town internet runs me $80 and Direct TV $85 ish. So what's so different? Enlighten me.

Rebecca
Most of the COL is in the housing prices. Maybe the comparisons were based on the prices of the past couple years. Like you said, there are some foreclosures available that are very low priced and if you can get one of these then your cost of living will be lower for as long as you live in it. I agree that there is not a huge difference in food, fuel, and even services no matter where you go. It's mostly houses and taxes.
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Cypress, TX
587 posts, read 1,313,235 times
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Yeah, the only other thing I can think of is health care, which tends to be a bit higher here.

As for utilities, those are probably much more. I don't know how big your house is, but we pay close to $400/mo in the summer to cool our home and about $150/mo in the winter to cool it.

On the electric and gas company's equalizer plans (they average it out so you don't have wildly varying bills throughout the year), we pay $260/mo for electric and $77/mo for gas.

Again, don't know how large your house is, but I have found utilities to be much more expensive than in the Midwest.

According to Sperling's Best Places, here is the Cost of Living rundown comparison between Mesa and Omaha (keep in mind that some of this info regarding housing is probably a little outdated). The average for the US is 100 in each category.
  • Overall Cost of Living: Omaha 81 / Mesa 97
  • Groceries: Omaha 92.3 / Mesa 104.2
  • Health: Omaha 98 / Mesa 117
  • Housing: Omaha 48 / Mesa 85
  • Utilities: Omaha 125 / Mesa 104 (INTERESTING!!!)
  • Transportation: Omaha 100 / Mesa 106
  • Misc: Omaha 97 / Mesa 97
So I would agree with the above poster that there isn't that much of a difference, since the housing is likely less than this indicates (though it can't be too far behind, because during the boom, it was showing us over 100 on housing, so it has adjusted some).
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Omaha
2,716 posts, read 6,553,345 times
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Also keep in mind cost of living and median household income usually show a direct correlation between the two. So, your income should be a bit higher in Phoenix(if you’re staying in the same industries)
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:01 PM
 
162 posts, read 513,235 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmomof3 View Post
My husband said the cost of living was higher in Phoenix than where we are living by quite a bit. It's like a 15% difference or something he read. We live in the Omaha area. Ya our housing is less but dang you guys have some awesome prices right now, especially on foreclosures. I went to Mesa in July last year and was at the grocery store a couple times. Not much difference there I can tell. Our electric bill is on a fixed monthly rate of $150 which totally sucks here, it isn't much more there is it? We keep our house at 68 in the winter and probably higher 70s or even low 80s in the summer. Gas is about $35. Our gas prices for cars is $1.89 right now. Unfortunately in my smaller town internet runs me $80 and Direct TV $85 ish. So what's so different? Enlighten me.

Rebecca
moved to phoenix from Lincoln last yr, and yes, some things are more expensive here compared to back in NE. On the other hand, some things are cheaper. For example, gas is usually cheaper here. Right now its 1.72 and relatives in NE said its 2+ right now...

Water: This should be a no-brainer. If you live in a desert, water is going to be more precious and hence, more expensive. My wife and I spend about $60/mo for water, sewer, fees, ect.. I think in NE, the price is about $15/mo. Underground aquifer, (if it even exists here??) is likely an 1/8 of the size as the Ogalalla!!

Electricity: This is also more expensive. Our rental house is 1800sf, 10K gallon pool, (pump runs 8hrs nite), thermostat at 84 during day in summer, 78 at night. During the winter, I could prob. count the number of times the heater actually ran; very little. Monthly bill in the summer got to $230 and in winter was around $115.

Gas: Not very many neighborhoods even have gas piped into them; Just bought a house in Ahwatukee, (purchase price was 45% of what it was in 2006!!!!!!!!!) and it doesnt' have gas; neither did out rental house.

Car insurance: Be prepared for this one!!!!!!! Both my wife and I are in mid 20's, perfectly clean driving records, drive 2000 and 2005 cars. We have full 100K/300K coverage and it costs $180/mo, total. Back in Nebraska, I think I paid around $30/month, and here its $90!!!

Groceries: About the same; in fact, if you shop around for deals, (espec. at fresh-n-easy) it can be cheaper.

Going out: About the same, maybe a bit more. But then again, your options for enertainment are almost unlimited. Clubs, sporting events, resturants, resturants, resturants and more resturants, shopping, art districts, traveling museum exhibits, the list goes on and on.

All in all, yes, it is more expensive, but not by much. Also, as another person explained, you will likely make a bit more $$ at your job here also, so in that regard, its probably about the same cost.

Last edited by dbean; 04-13-2009 at 03:24 PM..
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:43 PM
 
17,846 posts, read 40,157,880 times
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$70.00 a month for WATER alone? Where do you live, and how much water are you actually using? My bill for water use, sewer and trash pickup doesn't reach 70.00 in total. My reaction to the water portion of my bill is always-- why is it so CHEAP?
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:25 PM
 
162 posts, read 513,235 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by observer53 View Post
$70.00 a month for WATER alone? Where do you live, and how much water are you actually using? My bill for water use, sewer and trash pickup doesn't reach 70.00 in total. My reaction to the water portion of my bill is always-- why is it so CHEAP?
edited above post; it is actually $60 and that includes water and sewer. Still expensive compared to where I used to live, IMO
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Arizona
824 posts, read 2,210,779 times
Reputation: 605
Sometimes cost of living data overstates real-world differences seen by frugal (or even some not-so frugal) people. APS has one of the highest kw hour rates in the country. We use quite a bit of electricity at that high rate, and there are limits to how much one can reduce those costs.

Housing costs are important, and historically, the Phoenix area has had cheap rental and owner-occupied housing due to ample supply of land and relatively inexpensive labor. The housing bubble of the 2000s temporarily changed the owner-occupied price levels.

The cheapest gas prices in the Phoenix area (Costco for me) tend to fall about a nickel less than the media/AAA reported national average. That was not the case for a long period following the Kinder-Morgan pipeline break in 2003, when gas was briefly unavailable at any price.

Grocery prices do not vary as dramatically as some may think. Sure, if you shop in a tiny urban store with little competition, prices generally are higher. But due to national competition from places like Wal-Mart Super Centers (go WMT, go! ) and Costco, I find prices to be competitive whenever I shop at out of town (large) grocery stores. For example, when I was visiting relatives last year in a wealthy NYC suburban area in Westchester County, I found overall grocery prices to be pretty similar. Depending on the current sales, some items were much cheaper there.

If you keep Direct TV or Dish Network, your prices will be identical.

If you pay $80 for high speed internet alone, then that will be cheaper here.

Whether you have a natural gas bill at all will depend on your particular residence.
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Cypress, TX
587 posts, read 1,313,235 times
Reputation: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbean View Post
Gas: Not very many neighborhoods even have gas piped into them; Just bought a house in Ahwatukee, (purchase price was 45% of what it was in 2006!!!!!!!!!) and it doesnt' have gas; neither did out rental house.
I found this interesting as all three homes we've owned here have had gas heat. One in Chandler and two in Goodyear. Both of our Goodyear homes have had gas stoves.

Almost every listing I see in the Avondale/Goodyear/Litchfield Park/Buckeye area lists gas heat.

This being said, I decided to do a quick scan of the MLS for Zip 85044 (Ahwatukee) and the first 20 listings all had electric heat.

So I guess it depends on the area! Learn something new every day!
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