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Tucson and/or Albuquerque
Old 07-16-2012, 08:48 AM   #1
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Tucson and/or Albuquerque

We've spent time in both of these places but never lived in either long-term. Would appreciate hearing from anyone who lives or has lived long-term in either place about plusses and minuses.

Hiking and biking rank high on our lists of enjoyable activities, and I know there's plenty of both in/near these cities. Everytime we've been in ABQ the winds have been howling, but that may just be timing. Clearly New Mexico would get the nod from most for better overall climate, but after 2 years of living in Mexico we might handle summer heat better than winter cold.

We like the lost fixed costs and quiet of a mobile home in a 55+ community, and clearly for that Tucson has far more choices than ABQ. The alternative seems to be to rent or buy a small casita in the bikable/walkable parts of downtown, and from what I can tell ABQ real estate values have held strong while Tucson is still a post-collapse buyer's market.

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Old 07-16-2012, 09:44 AM   #2
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Several of my former colleagues have purchased homes in Green Valley, AZ, just south of Tucson. They love it there.

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Old 07-16-2012, 10:55 AM   #3
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I was going to reitre to ABQ until personal problems stopped me. Tucson gets very, very hot during the summer and I would think it's hard to pursue biking or walking.

Another place I think you should consider is Prescott AZ!
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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I live about 80 miles from Tucson but travel there frequently. It usually get's high ratings for being bicycle friendly, plenty of good hiking nearby. You will want to spend a summer in Tucson before making any long term commitments to make sure you can handle the heat. It's usually 5-10 degrees cooler than Phoenix but still hot. Vail is a community just east of Tucson and claims to be at a higher elevation than Tucson and about 5 degrees cooler. Now is probably a good time to pick up a house in Tucson, the housing situation in Phoenix is starting to turn around and Tucson will likely follow. Can't help with mobile home communities, the few I've seen just looked to seedy and unsafe. And I should add that downtown Tucson never appealed enough to me to want to live nearby. You will get much better value for your money on the outskirts of town.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:32 PM   #5
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Visited Tucson a number of times at all different times of the year. I concur it's hot! However, very pleasant in the winter. Lot's to see & do in the area & within a reasonable drive. I've never lived there, though. Never spent more than 2 weeks at a time there, so can't attest to residing permanently. Personally, I'd give it a try, based on my previous experiences. However, wife is dead set on living in Lousiana or Texas, so.......
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:51 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone.

We found the revitilized part of downtown around 6th Street in Tucson to be quite charming, albeit perhaps by contrast to the "L.A. in the desert" feel of many other areas. We don't want to be in the car all the time so wouldn't consider any of the outlying areas.

Have spent time in Prescott and it's lovely but quite small without much going on. Would probably choose areas south of Tucson but at altitude (e.g. Bisbee, Cochise Stronghold area) if we were going to go that route.

Thanks again to all for the feedback!
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:18 PM   #7
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I live in Tucson now. The area around 6th that you mention has changed and is changing a lot. They are building a light rail into downtown and a great deal more. It gets political to characterize the changes as good or bad but things are/will soon be a lot different that they were just a couple of years ago. I'd suggest a return visit before making any commitments.

Biking and hiking are still great here. Tucson is bike friendly but the drivers...not so much. I bike a lot but am very selective about where I ride as are most people I think.

I used to travel a lot to ABQ and I love that place. But I don't think it is as bike-friendly as Tucson. I also think Tucson has more diverse hiking opportunities close by although northern NM has some great spots as well, perhaps just a bit farther apart.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:31 PM   #8
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Regarding the Tucson real estate market...

I'm certainly no expert but I do pay attention. Prices in some areas have held up quite well. For a buyer that means you're not getting much discount from the 2007 peak. We live near the university and have seen a couple of houses near us sell for very high prices lately, more than similar ones sold for before the burst.

The area you mentioned would be the downtown, Armory Park, or West University neighborhoods. They are being impacted by the downtown development so I would expect prices to be kind of chaotic. You'll have speculators buying places and also people just wanting to get out because they have doubts about what the redevelopment will do. Personally I don't think much will change in the long run. Downtown, a lot of businesses have closed including the major hotels. The redevelopment district is in lawsuits with the city and under federal corruption investigation.

But, none of that necessarily degrades the charm you liked and could work in your favor for prices. You'll just need to be patient and very selective. You'd need to go a few miles from that area to find decent mobile home parks but there are lots of charming old houses from the early 20th century in the area you like.

Good luck and let me know if you have any specific questions I can help you with.

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