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Old 01-19-2013, 05:13 PM
12 posts, read 58,616 times
Reputation: 32



I'm considering moving to Arizona. I'm leaning towards Tucson. I'm 25 years old, and looking to potentially enroll in school, and eventually open a business. I don't care about having a huge social life, mainly want a quiet life with a cozy apartment. Not much of a party person and I'm not a drinker so I don't care about the night life too much. I love heat and hate the humidity. So I think Arizona is for me, and Tucson seems like a better choice than Phoenix.

So, I've heard great things and awful things about Tucson. Not much in between. I've heard there are no jobs, crime, nobody speaks English and that they're not friendly towards outsiders. Then I've heard that's absolute nonsense.

I'd like to hear from people living in Tucson, or any part of Arizona. How do you think I'd like it? Do you think I'd be able to get a job? I don't currently have a degree, but a wide variety of experience. I currently work at a pawn shop, and a detox facility. I've heard Tucson has a ton of call centers, and I do have call center experience. I'm also an EMT, though my license is only for Utah (where I am now)

As long as there is enough in the city to get things I need, like shops, Walmart, etc.. Maybe a mall... A decent boxing/mma gym to workout at?

What are the rent rates like? I'd just get a studio or one bedroom. Are most apartments pet-friendly?

I know this post is kind of all over the place, just looking to get any helpful info I can. Basically, do you think I'd be able to land SOME kind of job that pays at least 9-12$/hr get a room to rent or cheap apartment, etc.

Thanks in advance guys.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:16 PM
Location: Metro Phoenix, AZ USA
17,914 posts, read 43,398,231 times
Reputation: 10726
Have you read through the threads in the Tucson forum here? You'll get some variation in opinions there too, but also some answers to your questions. I'd start there, and ask any more questions you have about Tucson in that forum. If people want to suggest other cities in AZ to you, this thread is the place for that.

I will suggest, in terms of some of the info you have received, that the idea that "no one speaks English" there is ridiculous, as is the idea that they are not friendly to "outsiders" there (or elsewhere in AZ) Thousands of people in Tucson came from somewhere else, much like the other cities in AZ.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:15 PM
Location: Dallas, Oregon & Sunsites Arizona
8,000 posts, read 17,328,019 times
Reputation: 2867
Well, let's just say Tucson isn't Massachusetts.

Take all you claim you heard and take the middle. That would be more like the truth.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:13 PM
12 posts, read 58,616 times
Reputation: 32
Yes, I've read through many of the threads on here, along with various other resources such as reasons to/not to move to AZ. Trying to do as much research as I can. Guess this was a good way of talking to some people on a thread that wasn't old. Thanks for the info

And Steve, it not being Massachusetts is definitely a good thing. I hated Massachusetts my whole life and left as soon as I turned 18 :-P
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:29 PM
Location: In the hot spot!
3,941 posts, read 6,722,170 times
Reputation: 4091
I think you'd like Tucson based on what you wrote. However, the only true way to know for sure is to visit the place. Tucson is a lot more laid back than the Phoenix area and UofA is a decent school. Every city has its good and bad points so you have to find the balance for yourself. I would think you could find some sort of work there with your experience. You seem open and willing to try new things which I think would benefit you. Please don't listen to the extremes about the place. There are TONS of English-speaking people of all ethnicities in Tucson! Good luck.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:19 AM
Location: Tucson
205 posts, read 729,514 times
Reputation: 378
I'm a newcomer to Tucson and not even there permanently yet but can offers some initial observations. First, coming from the DC area, the people in Tucson seem like they're from another planet - friendly, helpful, courteous and actually seem to enjoy their jobs, not matter what they do for a living. Been treated with respect by just about every employee we've come in contact with and even fast food workers have gone out of their way to be helpful.

The whole English/Spanish thing is amazing to me. I've met more Latino people who speak English that I have in the DC metro area. My impression is that an awful lot of the immigrants in Tucson actually take pride in being there and go out of their way to learn the language. I've also found that the legal immigrants are much more anti-illegal immigration than most Caucasians. Their attitude seems to be that they did it the right way, others can also. Doesn't mean there isn't a large illegal population - I suspect, but don't know, that there is.

I follow the crime statistics pretty carefully and the concentration seems to be in property related crimes versus violent ones. I come from an area where it's not a question of was there a murder last night but rather how many. Obviously the drug culture has a great deal of violence and because of it's proximity to the border, it's inevitable that this sometimes spills over to the Tucson area. However, my attitude is that if you aren't involved in that culture, you are unlikely to be involved in any of the violence associated with it. The property crime side does require some vigilance that would be required in any major city and it also requires carrying of the property insurance to protect your valuables from loss.

Can't help with the rent aspect but can tell you that housing costs in general are lower than many major metropolitan areas. I know from reading here that rents are all over the board depending upon location, amenities, size, etc...

Employment seems to be the toughest nut to crack. Tucson has not done a good job of attracting clean industries IMHO and thus there aren't a lot of well paying, white color type jobs. Lots of retail (several big malls and tons of strip malls) jobs, service industry and customer service positions. I'm retiring and so employment isn't an issue but if I was young and seeking a career, I suspect I could get frustrated by the prospects in Tucson. However, employers will always hire the best person for a job and if you distinguish yourself and your capabilities, then your chances increase dramatically.

I don't know the laws in Tucson/AZ regarding pawnshops but do know that can be a highly lucrative business if you know what you're doing. Maybe look around for a pawnshop that is owned by an older person who may be looking forward to selling it some day. Go to work for them, learn their shop and then maybe one day buy it from them via monthly payments to them which provides them retirement income and a way for you to buy an established business on the installment plan.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:31 AM
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Tucson is a pretty friendly town and part of the reason is there are so many people who have come from other places. Depending on where you locate you can probably find everything within two miles of your house. I live on the eastside of town and rarely travel to other parts of town. The Geico call center which is near here will be hiring 300 more workers. For someone like you I think one of the better areas of employment is a job at one of the hospitals. Health care is a big deal here in Tucson. Its the only place I have ever lived where I see people shopping in their scrubs after work. The apartment rents are reasonable and some are pet friendly.

A lot of the apartments include the cost of air-conditioning in the rent so that inflates the rent a little bit. Heres a link to an apartment that has everything you need within a mile or two of it. You could even walk to the Geico call center or ride a bike in a couple of minutes and have a dog. Tanque Verde Apartments, 7671 e tanque verde rd tucson az 85715 - Walk Score Apartments
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:21 AM
444 posts, read 1,351,522 times
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I moved to Tucson when I was 22 and had no job. I ended up with a job at a call center but hated it and ended up leaving after a few months. Worked out though, because I then got a job in the industry where I wanted to work and have worked since. There are jobs; you just have to keep trying and keep your eyes open and your demeanor agreeable (for the potential leads you may meet). Pay is lower than other cities but the cost of living is also much lower. But I had a fantastic time living in Tucson and it worked out as a really good life choice.
Working for the university may be the most ideal for you, as it pays relatively well (more than you'd make at a call center, most likely), is pretty stable in that it's somewhat difficult to get fired, and - if you're full-time - you get a tuition waiver which makes it almost free to go to school there. But, because of that, UA is much harder to get into for employment. Don't just apply for UA jobs. The downside of UA is that they usually require a bachelor's degree for most of their jobs.
I don't know where the "Tucson is unfriendly" comes from but, if it's the same people who say no one speaks English there, then they either do not understand the city at all or are just straight out lying. Living there, I did notice there was this dynamic of "I've lived here xx years" and they use it as sort of an argument about why you're wrong about whatever you're saying. That gets a little annoying, but I never interpreted it as unfriendliness, and it was mostly in regards to civic or political things. I mean, we moved to Indiana for a job, and I had no idea how unfriendly people could be. I don't know if it's just a cultural difference or I just keep encountering jerks, but it makes you realize how friendly Tucson really is once you live somewhere that's definitely not friendly.
For apartments, you should be able to get something decent at about $400 - $500 per month, and not be living in a crime-ridden complex. I would try to stay away from large complexes though. Where you live in town, I think, should be dictated by where you work. You don't want to be commuting long distances unnecessarily. Tucson's still a medium-sized city, so the geography is pretty spread out. When you do sign a lease, sign it for 6 months, if possible. That way, you're not committed to some place that you hate so that, when you do learn more about the city and your way around, you can just leave.

Hope that helps.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:34 AM
Location: Southern Arizona
9,600 posts, read 31,688,287 times
Reputation: 11741
WOW, Eddie . . .

With your positive attitude I am certain you will not only survive in Tucson . . . you will be very successful.

I relocated to Tucson from California about 15 years ago and my only complaint is that I wish I had done it sooner. I found a job in literally hours and a decent place to live in about a week and I have a feeling you'll do even better than I did.

By the way, what's your budget for an apartment? I would guess the low's in a good convenient area are in the $400 to $500 range and the highs are around $1000 or possibly more.

Good Luck
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:21 PM
12 posts, read 58,616 times
Reputation: 32

Every answer has been incredibly helpful. I'm truly thankful to everyone who has taken the time to post here and help me out with information. Moving to a new place where I know nobody is a scary endeavor, and the amount of helpfulness I've seen here, and from people I've talked to about possible living arrangements, I have no doubt that people are indeed friendly.

Tom, it's great to get the perspective of another east coaster. I'm from Massachusetts myself and was in a pretty crappy area myself where I've had my windows shot out in a drive by and have watched a man get shot, and many other incidents of that nature... Which is why I laugh when people here in Utah say I live in a 'ghetto' area. Also, the shop I'm at now, I love and we've talked about me managing it when they retire which is awesome, but that won't be for a very long time.. At least another 10 or so years.. And as much as I love my shop I don't want to be almost 40 making $10/hr lol But yes buying an established one from someone wanting to retire is a great idea and probably a much easier approach with significantly less risk involved than starting my own from scratch.

Borregokid: Wow thanks for the apartment link... Geico was going to be one of the first place I applied to. I heard they start at about 14, which I could definitely live with.. I live pretty good at $10 right now.. I mean, I'm not living like a king, but I have a place to live, food, internet, two cars and am able to go out pretty regularly, so I could be doing a lot worse. And yes, if I can get reciprocity for my EMT license I'd definitely aim for hospitals and ambulances to work for. Ah I miss working in scrubs!! So comfortable and there's no choosing clothes involved :-P

Coatimundi: We're on the same page with the lease thing.. I usually won't take a place where I'm required to commit for a whole year. And I'm glad you were able to get established there and are in an industry you enjoy. $400-$500 is what I was hoping for in terms of rents... $500 is what most studio apartments are out here.... I'm a bit spoiled though.. When I moved to South Carolina, I had a one bedroom house with a fenced in yard and it was only $325 a month.

Bummer - Wow thanks! I try to keep a positive attitude.. I figured I came here to Utah at 19, with a lot less.. Only about $300 and slept on someone's floor til I got a job and got on my feet.. So with having some money saved, potential job prospects and a vehicle I think I'm ahead of the game.. And yes, jobs are definitely available, you just need to grind it out and work hard at it. I believe in the law of averages.. If I apply to enough, one of them will come through. I've left Utah a couple times, and each time I've come back it never took more than a week to start working. As for my budget, it all depends on what type of job I end up getting, but lower the better

Thanks again everyone.
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