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Arizona relo
Old 02-22-2021, 03:24 AM   #1
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Arizona relo

DW and I are considering a relocation to AZ after many visits there. We have relatives in Sun City and Peoria, but also enjoy Scottsdale, at least as tourists. We've travelled through most of the state and keep coming back to Maricopa county.



Can any locals describe the difference a new resident might experience in those towns? How fragile is the water supply for the next few decades?



Also, we're considering zero energy footprint houses and green building options. If anyone has specific recommendations on local builders there or developments, please suggest. We'd consider other cities if the right development was out there.
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Old 02-22-2021, 05:27 AM   #2
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If you do a general search on the issue of water supply in Arizona you will find plenty of information. It is not favorable.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:11 AM   #3
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I like Scottsdale but the cost to build a comparable house in each of those locations will likely be a lot more expensive in Scottsdale. Sun City is mostly a +55 community built around golf courses, most homes from what I've seen look cookie cutter built from the same mold. There were a lot of new homes being built in the northern part of Peoria the last time I was there, definitely growing out. The housing market in Phoenix is pretty hot, they were hit hard by the 2007 bubble but have recovered.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:18 AM   #4
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Prices are going sky high (real estate) as Californians flee. There have been several articles in newspapers in Tucson and Phoenix regarding this.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:50 AM   #5
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We live in Tucson and follow these issues closely. Here's the latest article by a highly-respected local journalist who's chronicled the water issues in AZ for many years:

https://tucson.com/news/local/colora...b8e69920e.html

The short summary is the situation is going to become dire without major changes and the history (and current trend) in the Phoenix area in particular is to ignore things and just keep building.

It's also worth bearing in mind (and it's fresh in mind for those of us who lived through last summer's record-breaking heat) that "feels like" daily highs of 105 degrees or more for 5+ months of the year are forecast to be the "new normal" going forward (and Phoenix/Maricopa are 5-8 degrees hotter than we are in Tucson). It's not the highs per se that get to you - it's waking up a 5 a.m. and having it already be 80-85 degrees. So depending on your tolerance and outdoor activities you may need to factor in the costs of being somewhere else for up to half of each year.

Real estate is indeed booming here as most other places anywhere near California.
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Arizona relo
Old 02-24-2021, 12:32 PM   #6
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Arizona relo

I grew up in Southern Arizona, Cochise County. Cooler there than Tucson or Phoenix. All I wanted when I was a kid was to leave, too hot! Most kids are into some degree of adventure. As for me, left when I was 17 and Iíve never been back for more than a week at a time even though all my family is there.
Think about this, my father had a row crop farm and went broke in 1970 because energy to pump water was too expensive. Now there is a water scarcity.

Itís really hard to be outside June-September
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Old 02-24-2021, 12:52 PM   #7
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I grew up in Southern Arizona, Cochise County. Cooler there than Tucson or Phoenix. All I wanted when I was a kid was to leave, too hot! Most kids are into some degree of adventure. As for me, left when I was 17 and I’ve never been back for more than a week at a time even though all my family is there.
Think about this, my father had a row crop farm and went broke in 1970 because energy to pump water was too expensive. Now there is a water scarcity.

It’s really hard to be outside June-September
Where did you relocate to? 4 seasons?

We hiked Piestewa Peak in June and it was 105. Carried a water container and wore a sun hat. Was beautiful.

I've been at a Diamondbacks game when it was night, 86F and breezy and was chilly. Had to put on my long sleeve.

"Somewhere Else" is usually part of the issue for people that grew up in AZ. Or anyone really. We just want to be "somewhere else".

I could never be in snow/cold/-25F again and would survive just fine.

We love the summer heat. Can you be cold getting out of the pool when it is 115F? Sure you can. Low humidity, water rushing away from your skin.

100F where I am with miserable humidity and dew points 75 to 80F are much less tolerable than 115F with 5% humidity.

When we visit AZ, I love getting up and it is 78 already for my morning run. Do you want to run at 3pm in the summer? Probably not. But, most people go from their AC house to AC car to AC work and repeat backwards. We set the AC for 78-80F in the summer. Feels plenty cool in the house and going out to the pool feels great.

Anthem, Fountain Hills, Scottsdale, East areas, every one is a bit different. Best to rent for 12 months and explore or go where your friends/familiarity are.
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Old 02-24-2021, 01:34 PM   #8
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When I think about zero energy footprint houses and green building options, the first thing that comes to my mind is being too hot in Summer and trying to sleep nights that way.

Good luck to you on your new odyssey.
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by PoorOldCountryBoy View Post
DW and I are considering a relocation to AZ after many visits there. We have relatives in Sun City and Peoria, but also enjoy Scottsdale, at least as tourists. We've travelled through most of the state and keep coming back to Maricopa county.

Can any locals describe the difference a new resident might experience in those towns? How fragile is the water supply for the next few decades?

Also, we're considering zero energy footprint houses and green building options. If anyone has specific recommendations on local builders there or developments, please suggest. We'd consider other cities if the right development was out there.

We're in Tucson and we don't worry too much about water for the "next few decades". The local utility claims that they believe they are good through about 2050. Then, things get more interesting. I doubt DW and I have 3 decades of healthy life left, so there will be more pressing concerns sooner.

In Tucson, the Colorado River supplies most of the water (CAP). We are currently "banking" water by recharging underground aquifers that feed our well water system. In other words, we "save" lots of water because we don't use our full CAP allocation.

Conservation is reasonably important down here. Water is expensive compared to say northern Great Lakes states, maybe 2-3x more costly. Tiered pricing takes a big bite when you go above "typical" usage. Lawns aren't that common, especially in public areas. Many HOA's forbid them, at least out front. Desert-scape or just plan dirt is common.

On the other hand, a number of people try to live like this is Florida. Pools and irrigated citrus trees are somewhat common. This still more common in Phoenix, which draws water from the Salt River systems as well as CAP. So there is some level of denial that we live in a desert, but then again, more opportunities, "low hanging fruit", for water conservation.

All this being said, I read that most AZ water goes to agriculture. There's a pumpkin farm down the road, Walmart sells AZ-grown watermelon, and I've seen cotton fields (yes, cotton!) along I-10. Given the $$$ pouring into the major metro areas, I suspect agriculture to be priced out over time before the cities dry out.

In any event, I think this a gradual, longer term problem. No sense of panic among the locals. I'll take water issues in AZ over forest fires & electric grid issues in CA, hurricanes on the coastal SE, or cold darkness for half the year up north. Life it too short, so pick your poison
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:35 AM   #10
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We have family and friends in Tucson and have always enjoyed our visits (winter, yearly except this year). Being from the south, I will say the dry air wears me out though. I assume I would get used to it if we ever moved there, but I the dryness just gives me all sorts of challenges (allergies seem to be an issue as well).

That being said, the sunsets are incredible and the constant blue sky and sunshine is to die for. I could live near sabino canyon and do daily walks there, then go jump in the pool for the rest of my days!
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:29 PM   #11
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All this being said, I read that most AZ water goes to agriculture. There's a pumpkin farm down the road, Walmart sells AZ-grown watermelon, and I've seen cotton fields (yes, cotton!) along I-10. Given the $$$ pouring into the major metro areas, I suspect agriculture to be priced out over time before the cities dry out.
I did some w*rk (associated with the Ag industry) in AZ many years ago. One of our local folks helping out told me that water was sold for Ag in "acre feet." IOW using enough irrigation water to fill one acre of your field with one foot of water was one acre foot of water. IIRC this guy was using numbers like 8 to 10 acre feet/year for some farms. That just astounded me. I could have a bad memory, but that's how I remember it. One could take a LOT of showers and flush a lot of toilets using an acre foot of Colorado River water. I agree that AG will probably get "repriced" out of the market. YMMV
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:14 PM   #12
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We live in North Scottsdale and have been homeowners since 2012 and full time since 2015. Every area of the state is different and even the Phoenix area is different depending on whether you are north, south, east or west.

We love that there is some seasonality yet it is still sunny year round. Yes it is very hot in the summer but that is when we escape to much cooler climes. So Cal beaches about an eight hour drive and you can be in the Colorado mountains in about the same amount of time.

Housing in North Scottsdale is pretty steep but there are a number of very nice areas not so spendy. I agree, rent for a couple of years and figure out what is best for you.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:47 PM   #13
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I lived in Phoenix for over 30 years and saw a lot of change. Two years ago we moved north to Sedona and don't regret it. Certainly a more moderate climate. When I first moved to Phoenix in the late 80s it would make news in the summer if the nighttime temperature didn't drop below 90F. Now it's commonplace. In the decades to come, Phoenix may become almost unlivable due both to climate change and the heat island effect. If you move to Arizona, you might want to look outside the Valley of the Sun at cooler/higher elevations.
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:30 AM   #14
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We lived in Scottsdale for several years in the 90s and return there frequently.

We always found the heat issue was overblown. We dined al fresco with temps at 95. Misting systems common.

As another poster mentioned, it is easy to feel cold in the 80s. And when I would get out of the pool I often felt chilly even in hot weather.

Now anything metal will get super hot. So you have to be careful when you park your car in the sun. And the sun IS intense..Have to think about skin protection more than in other climates.

When we visit now we lament the air quality and sprawl in Phoenix. But it is still beautiful. If we move back we might try to be somewhere other than Phoenix.

And depending on where you move from these issues might not be noticable or problematic.
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Old 02-27-2021, 06:58 AM   #15
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We always found the heat issue was overblown. We dined al fresco with temps at 95. Misting systems common.
People that live in Phoenix start putting sweaters on when the temperatures drop into the 90's. Yes, even golf carts have misters but there were a record 144 days of 100+ temperatures last year and it's not likely to get any better. If you don't need the big city amenities there are plenty of milder climate options in AZ.
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Old 02-27-2021, 07:04 AM   #16
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100f in early May is lovely when the humidity is super low. What they don't tell you is in July/August, it's 120 and there is some humidity. So it can get steamy for a few weeks there. Don't touch the buckle on your seatbelt!

I love Scottsdale, but if I were moving to AZ I'd go a bit north to Flagstaff or even Sedona for views and a milder climate.
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:51 AM   #17
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When I think about zero energy footprint houses and green building options, the first thing that comes to my mind is being too hot in Summer and trying to sleep nights that way.

Good luck to you on your new odyssey.

Not true anymore - things have changed a lot. Most places now you can get an efficient home for 5-10% more than conventional, with zero energy bills. It's not a camping trip we're aiming for, more like a luxury hotel. Call us ugly Americans
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:07 PM   #18
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The more I read of these weather extremes the more I think I’ll stay in CT or New England. We have water everywhere, higher cost of living for sure, but we’ll downsize to some shed or something...lol
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Arizona relo
Old 02-28-2021, 07:05 PM   #19
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Arizona relo

We had a snowbird condo in Scottsdale for 17 years. We sold it 2 years ago and are still thinking about moving full time to Az.

Iíve done a little research on the water issue. Lots of info online about the valleyís future water woes. I remember reading some articles that areas served by Salt River water are better prepared than those areas getting water solely from the Colorado river.

And Scottsdale has been recycling water for a while.

If we move to Arizona, Iíd like to move somewhere north- maybe Sedona, wickenburg, Prescott. I donít like the hazy look of Phoenix seen from higher ground away from the city. I suspect that Phoenix will have air quality issues in addition to water issues.
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:51 AM   #20
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We had a snowbird condo in Scottsdale for 17 years. We sold it 2 years ago and are still thinking about moving full time to Az.

Iíve done a little research on the water issue. Lots of info online about the valleyís future water woes. I remember reading some articles that areas served by Salt River water are better prepared than those areas getting water solely from the Colorado river.

And Scottsdale has been recycling water for a while.

If we move to Arizona, Iíd like to move somewhere north- maybe Sedona, wickenburg, Prescott. I donít like the hazy look of Phoenix seen from higher ground away from the city. I suspect that Phoenix will have air quality issues in addition to water issues.
To be honest, Prescott seems like the best possible choice
I've been hearing only good about this town
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