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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    149

    What's it like in Arizona?

    My wife and I have thought about moving to the phoenix area off and on for a few years now that the kids are grown up. I really like the Flagstaff area because from the pictures it reminds me of where I grew up but worried about a job for me there. I have lived in Oregon my whole life but we feel it might be time to move. The taxes are getting out of control here and the meth problem is even worse that everything has to be locked down or it will be gone.
    This is going to sound odd but what are the scorpions like there? We read that you have to check your shoes and pillowcases, etc. Is this true? A little spoiled where we live, just have brown recluse spiders that I spray for every year.
    How bad are the summers? We are used to fairly moderate temperatures with a lot of rain. Summers do get around 100 with some humidity here but it is short lived.
    Crime and drugs bad there? The crime here is getting worse as the tweaker population gets worse. Meth is a huge issue here that the cops just shoo them away when they are causing trouble and not arresting them. Theft is horrible here to the point I try to not leave anything outside. Lawnmowers, shovels, hoses, etc. Wake up every morning wondering if my garage was broken into the night before or if our cars are still in the driveway in one piece.
    What would be good areas of phoenix to live in? I work for Caliber collision as a body tech and can transfer to any area there.
    The most important of all. How is the car culture there? I know I will have a long drive to do any hillclimbs so how is the road racing there for in between? Is there clubs that let you run track days with them? I used to be extremely involved in Oregon racing clubs (President or Vise president of a couple racing clubs)and want to get back into it.
    Thank you in advance. I would love to hear about the areas and any info you would like to share good or bad.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    167
    Uhmmm it is hot, like an oven. From May to September. Scorpions are not that big a deal. Sure there are plenty, but they are fairly harmless.

    We have Caliber here in the Dallas Texas area. I live in the suburbs north of Dallas. Good schools, low crime, no state income tax. It is hot here too...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, NJ
    Posts
    4,208
    Country Flag: Swaziland
    In for more feedback. Looking to get out of new jersey in a few years
    Scott from NJ.

    Vent Windows Forever! ... My junk, featuring the Red Dragon ... NastyZ28 ... NJ Camaros & Firebirds

    Feather-light suspension, Konis just couldn't hold
    I'm so glad I took a look inside your showroom doors

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    149
    I like Texas but my wife doesn't. We both really like New Mexico but jobs are very scarce there for me. From what I have read the car culture in Pheanix is really good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Sun City West, AZ
    Posts
    631
    Country Flag: United States
    I have one more house to get sold and I will be gone from California to Arizona for the very same reason as the original poster has stated. I am looking forward to the move. There are a lot of things to do all year around. Looks like I may have to rent at first then buy into something. I made a couple of offers on a couple of houses in Litchfield Park but, it didn't work out for various reasons so I am waiting for the release of a new development in Goodyear. Also, I looked at an existing small development in Wittmann with 1 acre lots that have plenty of room for building a large RV Garage. I'm not sure that I want to live that far out from the conveniences. It is about 20 miles to a grocery store. I have about 12 miles now and I am not looking to extend that.

    There a lot of major sports activities like baseball spring training, etc. The autocross events are held at the Arizona Motorsports Park on Camelback east of the 303. Also, there is NASCAR in Avondale, Good Guys twice a year in Scottsdale at West World and various car club activities. I think there are about 7-8 Corvette Clubs in the area.

    I think it will be a great place to live and play all year around. I'm not worry about the heat and when it gets that bad, I'll just hook up the trailer and travel to various autocross or Time Trial events throughout the country during that time.
    --
    Kenny Mitchell
    [email protected]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Posts
    420
    Country Flag: United States
    My sister lives in Scottsdale just outside Phoenix... summers are brutally hot.
    I could not live there, but I could live in Flagstaff.
    1969 Camaro SS, 350(NOM), M21, 12 Bolt Posi, 01B (Jan 69) LOS Build

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    N. Scottsdale
    Posts
    240
    Country Flag: United States
    I moved the family to AZ in 2011 after living in Florida for 15 years (before that Michigan & Connecticut). The obvious downside of living here is the summer heat, which can be brutal if you have to work outdoors during the day. The upside to the summers is lots of folks leave town, so you can get around a lot quicker than when snowbirds are here, there's never a wait at nice restaurants, and you an go to the movies and have the theater all to yourself. Of course, you don't have to drive far to get out of the heat if you wish (Flagstaff up north, and Pinetop/Show Low to the East). Although we spend time in San Diego and visit family back in Minnesota and New England during the summers, I actually like it here that time of year. The airport is convenient, not typically busy, and roads are very good, so very easy to travel. We live in N. Scottsdale in an area of 5 acre lots pretty high in the hills, and we're typically 7-10 degrees cooler than in town, so we can sit outside in the evening during the summer and relax. I have a big air conditioned shop on my property so I can work on my cars during the summer in comfort. During Oct-April it's amazing here weather wise. We spend tons of time outdoors. The area we live in is a like a giant state park--really nice hiking and bike trails. As stated above, there are tons of car things to do here--auctions, huge cruise-ins, Good Guys, car club events, Wild Horse Pass Raceway, etc. The trip to Inde Motorsports Ranch in Wilcox, is about 3 hrs away, and worth the trip if you like road courses. Lots of amazing drives too--up north through backroads to Prescott, Jerome, Cottonwood, Sedona...or SE through Apache Junction, Superior, Globe. In sum, I like living here a lot. Though, my opinion might be colored by the fact that I work indoors and we're able to escape the summer heat when we choose to, and we also live in a really nice low-density area with no crime to speak of.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    600
    Country Flag: United States
    Some of the questions I would ask are what are you expecting for a home? Do you want to be in the big city or more open outside of the city? A couple people have replied saying Scottsdale, which is nice, but also one of the more expensive places in the valley to live. There are other places that are more affordable that are also nice, Chandler & Mesa for example. I tend to prefer the East valley over the West valley, less crowded and nicer in my opinion. The valley is a really big place, it is easy to get overwhelmed when looking. Flagstaff has a pretty bad drug problem like Oregon, just a heads up.

    The biggest thing is the heat, however most people are over exaggerating how bad it is (or don't live in it). Yes, it is hot from May-September, but honestly it is only really bad from July-September because of the monsoons. That's when it gets humid & 100+ degrees. When it's not humid, even if it was 110* during the day it will cool off in the evening to the low 90s and feels nice. Swamp coolers work fantastic for garages in the summer due to the low humidity. You learn to live with the sun, don't stop walking until you're in shade, do outside work early, etc... It can be 100* but when you stand in the shade with a light breeze it is not hot.

    Scorpions are not a big deal. Some people find lots, I've found less than 10 my entire life at my parents house and none at mine in Yuma. Even if you get stung, it's not much worse than a bee. Most people don't even go to the doctor. Snakes are only an issue when you get out of the city into the desert. Even then, everywhere is different.

    The winter is when you realize why you want to live in AZ. It gets more crowded because of the snow birds, but the weather makes up for it. It is usually 60s-70s for the high & sunny all winter with some occasional rain. Beautiful. While the rest of the country is frozen and putting cars into winter storage we get to enjoy driving around with open windows and tops down. You can drive your car year round here if you have AC.

    The car scene is good. Good Guys twice a year, all the big car auctions come through every year, lots of smaller shows all over most weekends. The Pavillions in Scottsdale is the longest running weekly car show in the US, every Saturday the place is packed. Cars and coffee happen all over and are great. SCCA is active in the valley & Tucson, Wildhorse Park has lots of events. If all else fails, there are lots of nice roads outside the valley to drive. Most roads in the city are in good shape except for the older parts of Phoenix & the west side.

    I've lived in AZ my entire life, if you have more questions feel free to ask and I'll do my best to help.
    Nelson
    1969 Chevelle "Cone Smasher" Family Project
    https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...uot?highlight=

    1984 "Rustang" GT, 5.0, 5 Speed Project
    https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...T-(Slow-Build)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    358
    I was a part time AZ resident for nearly 15 years. I loved it out there compared to CA. The weather was about the same as Socal. Ya it gets hot like everyone else says but you just learn to deal with it. It gets up to 120 where I live in CA anyways so not a huge difference. The thunder storms are awesome to watch. Ohh and if you arent used to some wind, get used to it.

    The wild life never bothered me either. Ya there are scorpions but most of them you dont have to worry about. Its the small clear ones that are deadly but mostly to just animals. They glow at night so you can see them. Maybe it was just the area I was in but there were a lot of skunks. The snakes tend to stay away from the city. It was rare that one would come into the yard. Lizards, those things are everywhere!

    What I really like is that if you dont live in a main city, the cops/BLM are really laid back, unless you are speeding. You can drive your off road vehicles on the street legally, no smog test to deal with and dirt cheap vehicle registration. Then there are the gun laws, basically none. Go drive out to the middle of desert and have fun. You wont be bothered. Once my kid gets a little bit older, I plan to move back to AZ full time.
    1970 VW Bug - Just your average mid engine Bug
    @Frankinbeetle on Instagram

    New track toy - 06 Evo - E85 and lots of boost

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, NJ
    Posts
    4,208
    Country Flag: Swaziland
    So AR is ok with old cars, emissions and such?

    I suspect if we moved there the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. What is considered the east valley?

    So there's a monsoon season? Is flooding an issue? What about dust issues? Just trying to understand the environment besides heat.
    Scott from NJ.

    Vent Windows Forever! ... My junk, featuring the Red Dragon ... NastyZ28 ... NJ Camaros & Firebirds

    Feather-light suspension, Konis just couldn't hold
    I'm so glad I took a look inside your showroom doors

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    149
    Thank you for all the great information! It gives my wife and I some more to look into.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Mesa, Az
    Posts
    186
    Moved to Mesa 40 years ago from Iowa! YES it's hot for a few months. Did you see the temps in the midwest this winter! No thanks! Mesa, Tempe, Chandler , Gilbert has lots of property's that have good size lots and extra garages already built. Car culture is top rated year round!! I drive my cars even when it's 110 plus degrees and AC works perfect. Technology today for fuel systems and cooling systems are readily available. No excuse to drive a car that overheats!!!
    -Paul
    1969 Camaro "Reckn8"- LS7/C4 Front and Rear
    1965 Oldsmobile F/85 LS6 W/Maggie, 6-speed,Ride Tech, Baer brakes
    1978 Blazer 2 wheel drive with LS power

    1971 Chevy C/10 Factory A/C long bed

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Peoria, AZ
    Posts
    1,573
    Country Flag: United States
    We relocated from the outskirts of Kansas City to the Phoenix area a year and a half ago. The thing about Phoenix is it is HUGE!! There are neighborhoods you don't go to after dark, neighborhoods that won't let you in without a million dollar ante and lots of everything in between at all levels. We looked pretty hard everywhere before moving as we had a specific needs and we ended up in the NW valley in Peoria. It is newer up here and mostly residential...but main reason was for the well built home and perfect size RV Garage on a larger lot but still close in to everything.

    The way I look at the hot summer months is they are not nearly as bad as the brutal cold winter months we left behind. Havent thought twice about the decision...we love it here.

    The car culture here is amazing! I've met so many people thru car stuff and the best part is it goes on pretty much year round. There is something for everyone as well, from road racing to off road, bikes to side x sides...you name it, if its done with an internal combustion engine, its done a LOT within hours of here.

    If you ever have specific questions, just ping me and Ill do what I can to belp. I know exactly what its like trying to pick a new completely different place to call home.
    Lance
    1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Sulphur, La
    Posts
    391
    If I may ask a question in your thread...
    I work in industrial engineering mostly petrochemical plants. I am a "Senior Instrument and Electrical Designer". Do they have jobs for me in these areas that ya'll speak of?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    N. Scottsdale
    Posts
    240
    Country Flag: United States
    There is emissions testing in the greater Phoenix and Tucson areas, but older cars (15 years old I believe) can be exempt if insured as a collector car.

    East Valley is generally defined as Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Queen Creek, Ahwatukee...Scottsdale (just north of Tempe & Mesa) is sometimes thrown in there as well because it's east of Phoenix, but it's a big area so most consider it separately (approximately 30 miles long 10 miles wide). To the east of Scottsdale is Fountain Hills, and to the north of Scottsdale is Carefree and Cave Creek. Fountain Hills, Carefree and Cave Creek are nice alternatives to Scottsdale--quieter and less expensive, but still close enough to everything. To give you an idea of driving times, I live in North Scottsdale (near Jomax and Pima) and my drive to my office at ASU in Tempe takes me 30-35 min depending on traffic. I used to live on the edge of Scottsdale and Fountain Hills, and the drive was about the same. There are areas and times when traffic can be pretty bad, but not LA bad. That said, there is a ton of development expanding outward beyond the loop (101) so traffic will only get worse over time.

    There is a monsoon season that starts in the summer. The storms are not as regular as in Florida, but the rain, wind and thunder storms can be more intense. There are occasional dust storms that leave dust everywhere, but not a difficult cleanup unless you do something stupid like leave your garage doors open (as I did once). The washes fill up and become dangerous during storms, but only if you don't know to stay out of them when it's raining or about to rain.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    149
    It is a lot of thinking and research when thinking about moving to a different part of the country and leaving everything and everyone we know. I had a shop last year fly my wife and I down to California to see if we liked it or not. Couldn't get past the car laws and forest fires so put that off of our list.

    Quote Originally Posted by CSG View Post
    If I may ask a question in your thread...
    This is great info so far, so glad others are wondering besides me. Ask away!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    391
    Car laws? 1974 and older are exempt. They don't even look at them ever. That's about as good as you can get if you go classics.

    I have thought about moving from CA prior to retiring - need to be on west coast near a major airport. I don't think I could deal with the summers in the desert unless at elevation - but then you are not so close to a major airport. I was thinking about Vegas out near Lake Mead and then get a summer place up in Gig Harbor WA. I found some pretty amazing houses with massive garages as big as my whole house in San Jose that I could get into and leave room for a decent smaller house in WA. Leave the cars in Vegas. Seems to be a good car scene there and it's not a far drive to Phoenix where my parents live in the winter and to go to a few car events. Might have to get a hot rod to leave in Seattle if I did that :-) Maybe the 2016 vert could stay up there if it's a summer place. Get another vert for winters in the desert.
    1971 Camaro - 406 / T56
    2016 Camaro SS convertible
    2018 Colorado 4x4

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Jonesboro, Arkansas
    Posts
    2,288
    Country Flag: United States
    I don't live in Arizona but I spent a week there a few years back. I spent the night in Flagstaff and it was in the sixty degree range at night and when I got up. Drove to Phoenix two hours later it was 115 degrees. It's hot no doubt but it's different. I live in Arkansas where when it gets to 100 degrees with all the humidity it's stifling. I liked Arizona, I could see me living in Flagstaff. There are varmints everywhere, you got to learn to live with them. Here we have (our state bird) the mosquito, timber rattlers, cotton mouth, and copperhead are the snakes we watch for. Mostly those are out of the city, well, except for the mosquitos they're everywhere.

    Carl Wilson
    1968 Camaro - T-56 6 speed - 383 Stroker, 2014 Mustang GT seats

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    3,012
    Country Flag: United States
    First time I drove to Phoenix was in January of 72 and I was driving a 56 Chevy with no or very little heat. I was bundled in many layers of clothes as I drove from Kansas to Phoenix along I40 through sub zero temps and lots of snow. Once I reached Flagstaff and turned south on I17 towards Phoenix I was removing layers of clothes as I drove. The temps went from sub zero in Flagstaff to mid 70s by the time I arrived in Phoenix. Again, this was January. Phoenix is beautiful weather in the winter and hot as hell in the summer but it was a dry heat. I have heard that in recent years there are so many swimming pools in the Phoenix area now that they are actually raising the humidity in the summer over what it was 45 years ago. There are days in Phoenix where planes cannot take off from Sky Harbor fully loaded due to the excessive heat and low density air. Personally, I liked Phoenix and if I had an opportunity I would consider moving back there. Pointless side story here, after living in Phoenix for a little over a year the 56 Chevy was stolen one day while I was at work and I had to buy a replacement DD which is when I purchased a clean used 68 Camaro later to be named Dust Off.

    The wife and I also lived in Albuquerque for five years and loved that area. Albuquerque is a mild climate with occasional snow in the winter but rarely gets much below freezing and seldom gets much over 90s in the summer with something on the order of 300+ days of sunshine annually.
    Steve Hayes
    "Dust Off"
    68 Camaro

    Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary, that's what gets you!
    "Jeremy Clarkson"

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    149
    We both love Albuquerque but the work is not there for me. One shop chain there monopolized the autobody industry. :(
    I am a little worried about the heat there during the summer being out in the shop trying to work in it for a living.
    In the early 90's moved to southeast Missouri and I know what you mean about the mosquito's. Lucky they can't team up or they could carry someone off. lol

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