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Old 11-07-2009, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Florida
49 posts, read 108,004 times
Reputation: 20

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we are a married caucasion couple- me 41 -him 33. He is a mechanic by trade we have 2 dogs. He works. I was a substitute teacher but it did not require college wehre we lived. So I guess that would make me a homemaker?

I would like to know some basic stats about phoenix since we are considering moving. It will be hard since I love the ocean but it will be nice not to be cold anymore since we live in the far northeast.

I have osteoarthritis and "supposedly" fibromyalgia so I guess the heat is good for me?

I want to live somewhere where there is cheap rent, good pay, low taxes, plenty of work as well as convenience ( a mall) and nature in close proximity.

sunny days, mild weather, Good hospitals, low crime, safe neighborhoods, friendly people, volunteer opportunities, new age stuff, varied (non denominational? christian) religions and rich with history. (I like old houses and buildings)

I need to know how much it costs to register a car and get a drivers license and what cooling bills run on average also how much gas costs and what you pay for a gallon of milk and fresh produce. Silly comparisons but it helps me to make an informed decision lol

There has to be a movie theater (drive ins are AWESOME though there are few left in the US and I doubt there is one nearby) A lake nearby or a stream or somewhere to get my feet wet and last, don't want to be the minority where ever I move to.

I know I am looking for the garden of Eden lol but your input would be great!

I lived in the south and loved the weather, the ocean and the friendly nature of the people there. But the hospitals in the north and the wages and job opps outshined the south by a longshot!

This will be a huge move for us. Thanks in advance for your response!
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Old 11-07-2009, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ USA
17,916 posts, read 43,585,618 times
Reputation: 10736
Well, you are asking a lot.

The economy here is not in very good shape right now... jobs are not in abundance. Cost of living is somewhat lower here than in the northeast, perhaps, but wages are lower, too. Unemployment is an even bigger problem in the smaller cities that may have the proximity to nature you want. Smaller cities don't have malls, except for Prescott and Flagstaff. Moving here (anywhere in AZ) without a job would be a mistake, in my opinion.

Taxes here are generally lower than in a lot of other places, but again, wages are somewhat lower too. It's had to tell you what a gallon of milk costs, as it's the item most often placed on sale, and I don't buy it unless it is. You will see a gallon on sale for $1.50, normal price $3.00 plus. Gasoline tends to be around the national average, sometimes a few cents higher, sometimes lower.

A driver's license doesn't cost much at all, I honestly don't remember. Vehicle registration is based on a formula, so it varies. Older cars cheaper than newer ones, the price goes down each year as the car ages.

If you loved the south, it's VERY different here, in terms of geography, climate, etc.; I don't know where you lived there, but wages here are likely closer to what you found there than in the northeast. While there are friendly people here, the overall atmosphere is not like the classic "southern hospitality".

I think you are going to need to prioritize what's important to you. You want so many things, that it's hard to give you direction.

Last edited by observer53; 11-07-2009 at 06:25 AM..
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Old 11-07-2009, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Florida
49 posts, read 108,004 times
Reputation: 20
Thanks for the input. I looked on CL and the want ads and there does seem to be more mechanic ads for that area. The state minimum wage is .75 cents less than here. It appears that the cost of living vs. the wages kind of balances out and even appears a bit better than here. I had a hard time finding sales tax data for Ma. I am keeping an open mind and looking at the big picture. If we move it will not be until next spring.
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Old 11-07-2009, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,855 posts, read 66,003,532 times
Reputation: 19380
I moved from Misssissippi to Utah, so my experience may be somewhat similar to what you would have. The first thing you will notice is NO humidity. It is truely a blessing to me. People in the western states are more independent, it seems to me. If you get a 12-month averging plan for your utilies, the lack/lower cost of heating in the winter will even out the cost of cooling in the summer.

But I would not move w/o a job lined up!
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Florida
49 posts, read 108,004 times
Reputation: 20
The thing is my husband is English and his certification, though equivilent to being ASE certified is not recognized in the USA. Once we get settled we will look into ASE cert. I am on unemployment and have been since July so worst case scenario I continue getting 300 a week until I exhaust it or find a job, whichever comes first.

He is an excellent mechanic with lots of experience and is well liked by all who meet him. I don't think he will have trouble finding a job. Also I plan on going with a couple thousand dollars after tax time since this is the last time I can claim my daughter who just got married. We will come with a vehicle and our clothes and dogs mainly. I will make sure we have a place lined up but it is hard to get a job 2600 miles away! I guess I believe in karma and that some higher power is watching over us so we may have a bit of a struggle at first but we will manage somehow. The economy is bad everywhere.
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:28 AM
 
4,861 posts, read 9,352,161 times
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We moved to Phoenix from Michigan and then back again when dh's job in AZ abruptly ended. Here are my comparisons, FWIW:

Food, clothing, eating out, and other expenses are very similar in MI and AZ. You live in MA, so I don't know if you have Kroger supermarkets, but if so, out in AZ Kroger is Fry's--same company, same prices, heck, some of the products even had Kroger labels on them. As far as other shopping venues, the stores in AZ were identical to the stores here in MI, almost surprisingly so. Wal-Mart, Target, JCPenney, Walgreens, Cricle K, Best Buy, Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Office Max...and ditto the restaurant chains. In fact, it's kind of funny because although the outside landscape varies drastically between the two states, when you are in a store or restaurant in AZ, if you don't look out the window, you could be in suburban Detroit. I think that that is the case in most cities today, though.

My experience with the people in AZ was that they were either very friendly or very unfriendly, not much middle ground. We had a terrific neighbor across the street in our neighborhood who still emails me from time to time but neighbors on both sides of us who wouldn't even make eye contact, much less speak to us. Someone that we met in AZ told us that people in the Phoenix area don't tend to build strong relationships with their neighbors, because the population there is so transitional that people move too much for that. I don't know about that, but I do know that the best way we found to make friends there is to get involved in something--a club, church, whatever, and find like-minded people who share a common interest with you. If you don't then during the hot season, just as in the cold season here in MI, you will never see your neighbors and it can get pretty lonely.

Wages in AZ are probably quite a bit lower than in MA, because they are quite a bit lower than MI. Also, good luck trying to find a job. I'm not trying to discourage you, but listen to the locals on this forum when they tell you that the employment picture in Phoenix is not any better than anywhere else and definitely have a secure, full-time job lined up before you even think about relocating. It is quite expensive to move across the country, and not something that you want to have to do more than once in quite a while (as we had to!)

If you like the ocean, you will probably miss the sight of fresh water, as Phoenix, by nature of being in the middle of a huge desert, has little of it. We lived in NW Glendale, and one of the things that we found funny was how you would drive over a dry gulch and there would be sign next to it that said "Agua Fria River". My dh's boss told him that the river is dry almost all the time, and only fills with water when it rains. Coming from a state abundant in fresh water supplies, that amazed me. There is a beautiful, man-made lake, Lake Pleasant, about half an hour's drive north of where we lived that offers boating and fishing. Someone told me that there are a few other lakes in the area too.

One thing you will find if you move to AZ from the NE is this: you will miss the greenness of where you live now. AZ is beautiful in its own way, and I in no way want to take away from that, but man, oh man, I was SO happy to get back to green shade trees, expansive grass, and even weeds along the roadside, lol! When we first returned to MI, it seemed almost tropical after living in the desert. There are green, grassy yards in AZ here and there, but mostly there is desert landscaping, because it can be expensive to water your grass--BTDT. The palm trees are gorgeous, and I miss them, but I am much happier to live where there are oak and maple trees that offer shade and turn gorgeous colors in the fall.

I think this post got too long. Suffice it to say: go to AZ for at least a week. Drive all over the Phoenix area, both good areas and bad. Secure a job, first and foremost. There is not a lot of hiring going on in the Phoenix if your dh would happen to lose his job, and it would be awful to get out there and find yourselves unemployed right off the bat.

Oh, and to give you an example of the cost of auto registration, my 2006 Grand Caravan minivan cost $289/year to register. My driver's license was only about $30. Car insurance is high in Phoenix because there is a lot of auto theft there due to the proximity to the border. My dh's pickup truck got stolen in broad daylight in a busy parking lot with the doors locked, so the thieves are bold and obviously experienced. Get an alarm system for any vehicle that you own out there.
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:38 AM
 
930 posts, read 2,428,938 times
Reputation: 1007
Well you mentioned sunshine so I will give my 2 cents. When I moved here 16 years ago my top 3 priorities were 1) sunshine 2) sunshine and 3) sunshine. It affects your mood unbelievably and anyone who says differently is in denial.

This would be the sunniest place on earth.
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Florida
49 posts, read 108,004 times
Reputation: 20
wow thanks for the posts. The thing about the sun is for the first time in my life I am suffering from a vitamin d deficiency! I moved here 2 years ago from Ga and that is part of the problem! No sun and SAD does not help! No antidepressants for me I think the sun will cure what ails me lol

I am nervous about the prospect of moving so far but life is about taking chances. I will miss my mom and my kids but my boys never come to see me anyway and my daughter lives in Hawaii. I will , however miss my mom terribly since she lives the next town over and I am sure my hubby will miss the friends he has made here.

I wish I knew people there and that there was a "sure thing" waiting there but you know there is no such thing as a sure thing right?
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:28 PM
 
10 posts, read 22,230 times
Reputation: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ukusagirl39 View Post
wow thanks for the posts. The thing about the sun is for the first time in my life I am suffering from a vitamin d deficiency! I moved here 2 years ago from Ga and that is part of the problem! No sun and SAD does not help! No antidepressants for me I think the sun will cure what ails me lol

I am nervous about the prospect of moving so far but life is about taking chances. I will miss my mom and my kids but my boys never come to see me anyway and my daughter lives in Hawaii. I will , however miss my mom terribly since she lives the next town over and I am sure my hubby will miss the friends he has made here.

I wish I knew people there and that there was a "sure thing" waiting there but you know there is no such thing as a sure thing right?
how come you dont try out hawaii. lots of sun there too and you have family? there is such a thing as too much of a good thing and IMHO there is too much sun here. strike a balance instead
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Florida
49 posts, read 108,004 times
Reputation: 20
Well that would be nice but it is more expensive to live there. My daughter is there because her husband is in the Navy
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