Tag Archives: Arizona

Adding Davis, California to the Potential Moving List

Sara is not convinced yet, not convinced of California at all really, but I am adding Davis to the potential places to move list. I am not sure yet where it is on the list, but for review:

  • Davis
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Wellington, New Zealand
  • Greater Phoenix area… though I far prefer Prescott, which is a bit out of the Phoenix area, but much, much cooler, but still with plenty of sun
  • Baltimore/Washington/Alexandria area
  • Many other areas that I am forgetting because I am tired

Davis achieves a few goals: Warmer than here without it being Phoenix hot, and a good deal of sunshine. The UC Davis has a huge agriculture program, and Sara would like to go back to school especially an agriculture type program. Davis is Leftist-Liberal, which isn’t either of our deals, but beats the heck out of the Neo-Conservative of lots of other areas, especially here. Speaking of which, it isn’t Canton. It is close to Sacramento and San Francisco is only an hour and a half away. The Cost of Living is a more difficult thing to calculate. Most cost of living calculators seem to suggest it would be cheaper in Phoenix, but the salaries in the Sacramento area are noticeably higher resulting in a smaller loss of disposable income in comparison. Lots and lots of bikes in Davis.
In the end who knows where we’ll end up.

On Moving

Okay, so we have a 5 year plan to move out of the US.
We have a few main points of looking at so far…
Wellington, New Zealand. I would prefer somewhere along the Kapiti Coast if I could get a job there as well since it is so far from Wellington’s CBD, but still part of the Wellington Region.
Vancouver, Canada. Not sure where specifically to look at here. I was thinking North Vancouver, but that really depends on the job location.
To that list I keep thinking of adding Melbourne, Australia. Continue reading On Moving

If We Were In…

I haven’t played the If We Were In (insert city name here) Right Now game for a while.
Here the high is actually 46 with a low of 36. By the weekend the temperature will drop to 28 for the low with 40 for a high. Fairly mild for this time of year.
For other cities:
Auckland: High 68, low 55. The weekend 66/55.
Christchurch: High 50, low 40. The weekend (normally using Friday to mark the actual temperature on all these, save the NZ cities which use Saturday such as here) is 68/51. Not bad for being in the foothills of the Southern Alps of course it seems most of NZ has mild weather all year long until you move up into the Southern Alps itself.
Phoenix: High 69, low 48. The weekend warms up to 71/50.
Prescott: High 58, low 25. The weekend is 57/26. They are up fairly high in the mountains there so…
Vancouver: Looks like here. High 41, low 36. The weekend gets colder with a high of 37 and low of 21. For how far North they are, that seems fairly mild, though it is a coastal city with a warm ocean current running by it.
Wellington: High 64, low 53. By the weekend basically the same, though Friday chills down to 59 for a high with a low of 50 and Saturday warms back up to 64/57.

Boo on Arizona

I just learned that Arizona has banned Zillow from it’s estimates on property values in Arizona. I find this odd, seeing that it is an estimate and costs appraisers nothing, so it doesn’t protect them from anything, nor does it protect consumers, but hurts them in the end. You don’t hire an appraiser for each house you look at, but the last house that you really want to buy in order to meet the mortgage lender’s requirements to get the loan. Heck, lots of houses, such as mine don’t even have an estimate so its a real crap shot if you can even get an estimate from Zillow on the home’s value. The estimate is just a tool for the consumer to use to see a rough idea of the home’s value compared to its asking price, or if they just saw an ad with no price, an idea of what to expect the cost to be. By narrowing a buyers choices down quicker, it allows the buyer to make a decision quicker and therefore get to the point of hiring a real appraiser sooner.
Another company, Redfin is apparently in trouble in Washington over Multiple Listing Service related issues. Some agents apparently even refuse to show a buyer a house, or let the seller know somebody is interested in the house, if somebody finds a house via Redfin. In the area’s where Redfin’s rebates are not blocked by a crazed law, it is Redfin that looses money off their portion of the fee (the refund 2/3rd of the money back to the buyer for the down payment, closing costs or whatever). The seller’s agent still gets their full commission. I mean, if Coldwell started giving only a 1% commission to it’s brokers, would Century 21 refuse to allow a Coldwell client the house they are being paid to sell? I would be highly upset if the agent I hired to sell my house refused to show the house to any serious potential buyer just because they found it via the Internet, or another agent that gave a part of the 6% fee I pay to the buyer. Heck, I am paying 6% to sell my house, my agent still gets 3%, so who cares if the buyer’s agent gives up a portion of their 3%? I don’t understand realtor’s objections to it. Readfin helps only if you know more or less exactly where you want to live. If you don’t know an area well, you will probably still end up hiring a realtor to help you find the kind of home you want in the kind of neighborhood you want. It takes a lot of research to find what is a good neighborhood, good schools and the like down to the street level, and for that you really need a real estate agent, and Redfin doesn’t replace that research at all. I live in a poor neighborhood, but you really have to go a few more streets down to find the really bad area, all part of the neighborhood. So an Internet search of this area would probably show it to be worse than it actually is at this street, a good realtor would know this and be able to point it out to a potential buyer. If when we move to Arizona, and if we had the money to buy a house, I would rely on a realtor, probably the one I was already in touch with, to help find a house. Sure, I could scan the newspaper ads and the Internet for a house, but that tells me nothing of the area. I have been to decent enough neighborhoods where one street is bad, but the rest of it is good. No way you’ll find that information online… Of course perhaps this was the objection in Washington to Redfin, which apparently allowed people to add reviews of homes or something like that. While apparently not part of the MLS, it was listed with it… Perhaps people were adding this kind of information that only a realtor would be able to give you. Still, the only time it hurts traditional realtors is if both the buyer and the seller are using Redfin (for the seller, Redfin charges a flat rate). I would guess that if the seller is using Redfin, and a buyer is using a traditional agent, the buyer would have to pay their 3% fee, unless Redfin splits their fee.
I personally doubt the seller’s agent business will go down much, regardless of what happens in the Internet world (access to the MLS listings alone is reason enough to keep seller’s agents around). It will go down some to be sure, but not a great deal. The buyer’s agent business will dwindle down a lot, but as I noted there are plenty of cases were they are still needed. The Internet isn’t something to fear, but to embrace.
If Arizona is blocking Zillow, I am sure they will take actions to block Redfin when, and if they try to come there. Boo Arizona. Boo on hurting the consumer. Boo for protecting nobody in the case of Zillow.

Another if We Were in Arizona Right Now Moment

Yep, still on the desire to move to Arizona thread. However, if we were there, we wouldn’t have an NBA team in the final four, unlike here, where Cleveland actually made it to the final four. I think we should do okay against Detroit, so Cleveland may finally have a team in a championship game for the first time in however long it’s been since the Cavs, Indians or Browns have made it to a final game. Good job to Phoenix though for making it this far, it would have been cool to see the Cavs vs the Suns, kind of our current home vs our future home. Maybe next time.

My Top Spot

I just took an online quiz, and my Top Spot came out Phoenix, followed by Lake Havasu City, Arizona, St. George, Utah, Charleston, South Carolina, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Greenville, South Carolina, Tucson, Arizona, Yuma, Arizona, Ocala, Florida, with Bryan-College Station, Texas rounding out my top 10. It would be nice if you could exclude areas such as the Carolinas, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and a few others it recommended along the way.

I Just Noticed…

I just noticed now that the Ron Paul Rescue US blog, which I check out daily, along with the Daily Paul, is out of Phoenix (Rescue US, not Daily Paul), our hopeful future home. Wish I could go to your next meetup folks. I’ll sadly be at work and miss the debate (not to mention in Ohio not Phoenix 😉 ), so I’ll probably catch a YouTube posting of it, or record it on the ol’ DVR (small unrelated aside, a DVR that isn’t TiVo nearly sucks… TiVo spoiled me and I want it back). Anyhow, cool to see a nice Ron Paul community in Phoenix.
Okay, it’s 2:30 am here, so random posts are to be expected. I am going to bed… 🙂

Yet Another Arizona City I Am Looking At

I recently also added Buckeye, AZ (go there using Google Earth), another suburb of Phoenix, to the list of Arizona cities I may move to that I mentioned before. It is one of the fastest growing areas of Phoenix and will likely become the largest suburb of Phoenix (if not the largest suburb in the United States according to the article above). So now would be the time to get a good home and have it soar in value… of course prices are already high, but it looks like the overall cost of living is lower there then other parts of Phoenix. Based on future outlook, I would have to say of the Phoenix area cities, this may be my top choice now. The problem is, most of the jobs I would want are on the South East end, which means a long commute through Phoenix. However, if we were able to actually buy or build a home there, it would be a great investment and probably worth the drive.
The more I look at it, the more I go, if Phoenix, then it has to be Buckeye.
If I could, I would go to Verrado (Wiki entry, official site), which is a development area in Buckeye. Wow… I want a house there now…

If We Were In Arizona Right Now

We wouldn’t be freezing this morning. The temperature in Chandler, AZ right now, according to our friendly Yahoo! front page (they get their info from the Weather Channel) is 57 degrees, with a high of 91… Here the greater Akron/Canton area it is 48, with a high of 67 with strong storms coming. Of course if I had the money to live in Prescott, I probably would, and there right now it is 47, so I guess we are a bit better off here, but the high is a far more preferable 75. Of those parts of Arizona we are considering moving to, we would have far more sun than here. The greater Phoenix area gets about 300 sunny days, and Prescott gets about 277 sunny days, compared to Canton having 169 sunny days a year. In exchange for less sun in Prescott, you don’t get as hot as Phoenix.
Of course the cost of living is far more in both areas than here, but the job market is far better… heck the In-And-Out Burger starts at what I make here with a computer job. The future job growth rate in Phoenix is 17.20%, compare that to Canton’s 4.60%… yes that is negative, and that is with data compiled before the Hoover shut down. (As an aside, Prescott’s future job growth is 20.7%.)

More Arizona

While if we do move, we’ll probably move to the Chandler area so that we can work in the Phoenix area. Prescott is the area that appeals to me most, but, unfortunately moving there, or Payson, or anywhere that far seems to limit my career options. Anyhow, here is a little song about Prescott. Not exactly my style of music, but it shows the area off.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFCMltIKcns[/youtube]
If you go to the Prescott, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and click the video link, then fill out the form, you’ll get to see a better overall look at the town.
Meanwhile, things are still on hold here until we can figure a way to make up the difference between the mortgage cost, and what the house would likely sell for… well that and the fact we need a reliable car. I already have had people in the Phoenix area offer to help me find a job and sell me a home… I probably would have to skip buying for a while until I built up enough to make a down payment, no more zero down stuff as that adds too much to the loan and one of the reasons our current house cost more than it would probably sell for… Then again, the tax auditor values it more than the mortgage amount… of course they always appraise higher than actual value to make more taxes.

Arizona

It is time again. Time to consider relocating from this dying city, and dying faster now that Hoover is closing shop, and move to a better place. Something warmer and sunnier.
Before we go on our tour, make sure you get Google Earth, perhaps one of the coolest tools around, as I’ll have a “(Go there)” link after each city that will take you there using Google Earth. If you don’t have it yet, you’ll find yourself playing it for hours, so I’ll see you when you get back. Your browser may give you a warning about if you want to open or allow the link, just say yes, and Google Earth will fly from wherever you have it open at, or where it is currently located to the new location. There you can get a short Wikipedia article and more.
Arizona is the place under consideration at the moment. What parts of Arizona? Here is the city/town list:

The Greater Phoenix area (go there). Some have advised us to stick to the East end, and most of the suburbs we were considering were on the East end. The negative side with Phoenix and it’s suburbs? The heat… which Sara will consider living with just to get the much needed sun.
Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix (go there). Which according to Money Magazine is the #3 big city to live in ((link, you’ll need to navigate to the “Best Big Cities” link and follow it to Mesa.) This was the first area I actually considered once we decided to look at the Phoenix area.
Scottsdale, yet another suburb of Phoenix (go there). We quickly discounted this one due to the fact it costs a ton to live there. However, if we could afford it, it would be cool (well not cool in the heat factor sense…)
Sara suggested somewhere between Phoenix and Tucson as to have quick access to both cities.
Chandler, yet another suburb of Phoenix (go there). Intel is one of the big employers here, and you can bet I already sent a resume there… actually the only resume I sent to anybody in Arizona at all yet. A bonus for me, there is are a couple In-N-Out Burgers there (Wikipedia article on In-N-Out Burger) there. Finally a chance to see if it lives up to the hype… not as important to Sara or Ari as they are vegan. 🙂
Tempe, yep another suburb of Phoenix (go there), which Sara and I both could have sworn we saw as Temple for a long time… Just one of the suburbs we might consider. Home to yet another famed burger joint, this one the Heart Attack Grill. And no, the burger joints in these two suburbs are not part of the criteria of if we would locate to these areas. 🙂
Gilbert, another suburb of Phoenix (go there).
Outside the general Phoenix area we have:
Prescott (go there), pronounced “press-kit.” This is a mile up in the mountains, and 1 1/2 to 2 hours from Phoenix. Much, much cooler than Phoenix, but I am not sure the high tech jobs are there, though with how nice it looks, I would gladly work outside of my career if I could comfortably live there. It looks like the night skies would be outstanding, plus it gets you that much closer to some of the major attractions in Arizona while staying reasonably close to Phoenix for day trips to the big city. It is the #3 small town according to Money Magazine (link, you’ll need to navigate to the “Top 5 Towns” link and follow it to Prescott).
Payson (go there). I haven’t really looked at this place too much, but it looks nice. It is also in the mountains, but moves you Northeast from Phoenix rather than Northwest as Prescott. It is about 15 minutes closer to Phoenix it according to Google Maps than Prescott.
Of course one has to consider Sedona (go there) Unfortunately, I don’t think there are too many job options outside tourism, which would be fine if a job could be found that makes a living there. It is however, one of the most beautiful places to visit or live.

Some employer options in the area beyond Intel. GoDaddy, Google, Motorola, Raytheon, US Airways, Honeywell and host of others beyond the usual large retails places. All part of the reason the area is growing fast.