Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

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Topic Author
poker27
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Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by poker27 »

Hi all, wanted to get the opinion of the greater group, as I feel most locale forums are very biased. Mid/late 30s, have lived in Chicago my whole life, and feel the need to make a change. I LOVE the city of Chicago, and consider it a great value compared to other cities. However the cold dreary winter months get to me, and I would like to have a more active life outdoors.

My SO could take a job in scottsdale, and I in Chandler (in addition to some WFH for me), both with our current companies. Both jobs would likely be a downgrade in both responsibility and pay, but similar to what we do now.

I know tons of midwesterners (and now Californians) have flocked to AZ for several reasons. I’ve visited several times (including during the summer), but it’s been a few years.

Has anyone made a similar move? What’s your feelings?
What is the COL like these days? I would likely rent at first, are there ‘deals’ to be had anywhere? It seems even with the recent surge in home prices, buying is a much better ‘deal’, mostly due to low taxes
How is the outdoor life? I feel like there are countless drivable destinations compared to the Midwest (SD, Vegas, Flagstaff, Sedona, etc).
Overall quality of life?
Anything else I’m missing?

Appreciate any insight! I just had the conversation with my boss today about the opportunity, so I’m thinking through 200 different things.
manatee2005
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by manatee2005 »

poker27 wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:38 pm Hi all, wanted to get the opinion of the greater group, as I feel most locale forums are very biased. Mid/late 30s, have lived in Chicago my whole life, and feel the need to make a change. I LOVE the city of Chicago, and consider it a great value compared to other cities. However the cold dreary winter months get to me, and I would like to have a more active life outdoors.

My SO could take a job in scottsdale, and I in Chandler (in addition to some WFH for me), both with our current companies. Both jobs would likely be a downgrade in both responsibility and pay, but similar to what we do now.

I know tons of midwesterners (and now Californians) have flocked to AZ for several reasons. I’ve visited several times (including during the summer), but it’s been a few years.

Has anyone made a similar move? What’s your feelings?
What is the COL like these days? I would likely rent at first, are there ‘deals’ to be had anywhere? It seems even with the recent surge in home prices, buying is a much better ‘deal’, mostly due to low taxes
How is the outdoor life? I feel like there are countless drivable destinations compared to the Midwest (SD, Vegas, Flagstaff, Sedona, etc).
Overall quality of life?
Anything else I’m missing?

Appreciate any insight! I just had the conversation with my boss today about the opportunity, so I’m thinking through 200 different things.
If you LOVE the city of Chicago, I'd say don't move. You'll miss it immensely. If cities would clothes I would compare Chicago to a 3 piece suit and Phoenix to polyester pants.
If the thought of spending another winter in Chicago is turning you into Jack Nicholson from the Shining, I'd say look into the west coast.
Sam_78
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Sam_78 »

House prices are crazy here - good time to rent perhaps. Gained 20% in the last 3 months. If you’re a morning person summers are fine here to get outside - we are going paddle boarding this morning. Lots of great hiking and mountain biking. Amazing winter weather except it gets dark too early. I’d try to optimize for short commutes which would mean living in scottsdale perhaps, which is priced at a premium. I’ve been to Chicago but never in the winter. It’s seemed pretty great with some old walkable neighborhoods and charm. Phoenix is pretty different with 1 Mile grid system and half the population driving a turbocharged race truck.
FeesR-BullNotBullish
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish »

I'm from Phoenix. You'll be in good company because there are so many Chicagoans as well as Chicago themed restaurants and bars. I feel like Phoenix is on par with Chicago in many respects, but you can't replicate the urban feel and museums. And while the desert vegetation is beautiful, many people miss green.

Phoenix outdoor life is great. Within the city, Scottsdale has the greenbelt and there are quiet a few hikes you can enjoy in the winter and early summer mornings. You're right about drive able destinations outside the city. I'll add New Mexico and Southern Arizona to your list.

A note about the weather. When I left Phoenix, it was a trip to go from dreading summer to anticipating summer. I know July in Chicago is no picnic, but the Phoenix summers are downright cruel thanks to the duration and ceaseless heat.
rich126
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by rich126 »

"Love the city. hate the weather" seemed to be a common comment when I talk to people from Chicago. My manager moved many years ago (35+) and many others moved to AZ.

Housing is a mess right now, whether you want to rent or buy. Something $500K pre-pandemic is likely to be $700K+.

You also have a rather diverse set of people politically which is something to be aware of.

Commutes can be tough depending on your location. If you are going the wrong way you may be stuck in a lot of traffic, commuting the other direction is much easier.

Long term water is likely to be a problem but most will ignore it for now.

Personally I really like the weather. It would be great if summer was a couple of months shorter since July/Aug/Sept can be brutal with the increase in humidity from the sub 10% numbers in June. We are getting toasty this coming week with temps around 114-117F. And even with low humidity, in the sun that is rough, and really nasty getting in/out of parked cars.

I'm contemplating moving back east until I retire and then return in a couple of years. Not really looking forward to moving twice in ~4 years but that is life.

As to cost of living. That can be dependent on where you live. Right now housing everywhere is crazy and I think AZ is near the front in craziness. So if things do correct, they will likely lead the downfall as well. Scottsdale/Paradise Valley is very high end. Nice areas although some come with serious attitudes (I lived in Scottsdale for a long time). For example one shopping center I would go to, I would be surprised if I didn't see a Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini or McLaren in the parking lot somewhere.

Also HOAs are very hard to avoid and some are very difficult so be aware. Also some are quite expensive. The airport (PHX) is nice and usually things move quickly. Personally, unlike Chicago and other major cities, Phoenix isn't really a city IMO. You have the baseball and basketball teams down there as well as some shows but more of the nice restaurants are in various parts of Scottsdale. Other sports stuff is on the west side (football/hockey). Jan-Apr are peak tourist/snowbird season and things get quite crowded. Peak is probably March with baseball spring training going on and clubs are spread around around the area. Creates a lot more traffic.

I think the million dollar question right now is housing. As you are finding out, pay in Arizona is not high end so I don't think housing can stay high. And a lot of the jobs are in real estate so once things slow down a lot of people living here will lose income, if not jobs as they did back in 2008-2011. Pre-2008 it seemed like 1/4 of the people I met was in real estate (brokers, lenders, etc.) and then things fell apart and they lost jobs.
The tech jobs here pay less in most cases.

I do like it here but no place is perfect.
psteinx
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by psteinx »

I live in StL, but I'm also quite familiar with Scottsdale and Chicago.

If you're outdoors-y, Scottsdale is VERY different from the midwest. The Sonoran desert - cactuses, etc. is different from the wooded hills near me (in StL). Chicago is less wooded than StL, but still... Preference for the desert vs. greener spaces is personal taste. My M-I-L said she loved the desert. I'm personally not a fan, and prefer trees and greenery.

Scottsdale itself is REALLY sprawling, and relatively low density. I haven't spent as much time in downtown Phoenix, but it seems like it has much less of a downtown than Chicago. Chicago has the loop, the magnificent mile, all the museums and just general greenspace by the lake. Phoenix doesn't. I also think Chicago has a sense of history and place, to a much greater extent than Phoenix. Phoenix has boomed in recent decades, so many residents didn't grow up there, and cultural roots are shallower.

As for the weather, again it's a tradeoff, to taste. Personally, I like a 4 season climate, but Chicago can be REALLY cold, and I see how that can grate on one's senses. Would you rather have 2-3 terrible months in the winter, plus a couple of bad shoulder months, or the same thing in the summer?
Last edited by psteinx on Fri Jun 11, 2021 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Watty
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Watty »

poker27 wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:38 pm Anything else I’m missing?
With a big move like that an additional reason to rent at first is so that you can make sure that you do not have bad allergies to something in the new location.

I have heard of people making a big move like that only to find out that their allergies were so bad that they gave up and moved somewhere else. They had visited the area many times before but were never there for long enough for the allergies to be a problem.
Topic Author
poker27
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by poker27 »

Thanks everybody for the thought out replies, really appreciate it.

I’m not expecting PHX to replace Chicago by any means. I can probably walk to 30+ bars, restaurants, coffee shops within a couple blocks. However I do that 1-2 times a week, so it has less of an appeal now. The idea of eating dinner on my patio year round, and explore a new area has me excited.

I originally expected it to be much less expensive, even with the recent run up, is likely not correct (apparently AC bills are no joke).

AZ isn’t first on my list, but it seems to fit, at least for a few years. Hearing about some of the major corporations (Intel) move to the area is also exciting. I get the appeal.
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gwe67
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by gwe67 »

PHX pizza sucks.
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HueyLD
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by HueyLD »

poker27 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:50 pmI’m not expecting PHX to replace Chicago by any means. I can probably walk to 30+ bars, restaurants, coffee shops within a couple blocks. However I do that 1-2 times a week, so it has less of an appeal now. The idea of eating dinner on my patio year round, and explore a new area has me excited.”
You cannot eat dinner on the patio when it is 110+F almost every day for several months at a time. In order to do that, you have to enclose the patio and install a very powerful AC in the patio. Your AC bill will go thru the roof.
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

gwe67 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:53 pm PHX pizza sucks.
So do the bagels! :P

PHX in the summer months will make you yearn for Chicago. Dreadful is an understatement.

Before you contemplate a move anywhere - go visit and go when your intelligence searches say the conditions are not one to yearn for. It will be a real wake-up call to experience it. That said if you will be in an A/C environment most of the time and off the I-10 mid-day when traffic abounds then you shouldn’t have an issue.

I’ve been through PHX several times and each subsequent visit showed a building boom and more insane traffic (not even during prime rush hour time either). The heat is the heat, no escaping it.
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Independent George
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Independent George »

poker27 wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:38 pm Hi all, wanted to get the opinion of the greater group, as I feel most locale forums are very biased. Mid/late 30s, have lived in Chicago my whole life, and feel the need to make a change. I LOVE the city of Chicago, and consider it a great value compared to other cities. However the cold dreary winter months get to me, and I would like to have a more active life outdoors.

My SO could take a job in scottsdale, and I in Chandler (in addition to some WFH for me), both with our current companies. Both jobs would likely be a downgrade in both responsibility and pay, but similar to what we do now.

I know tons of midwesterners (and now Californians) have flocked to AZ for several reasons. I’ve visited several times (including during the summer), but it’s been a few years.

Has anyone made a similar move? What’s your feelings?
What is the COL like these days? I would likely rent at first, are there ‘deals’ to be had anywhere? It seems even with the recent surge in home prices, buying is a much better ‘deal’, mostly due to low taxes
How is the outdoor life? I feel like there are countless drivable destinations compared to the Midwest (SD, Vegas, Flagstaff, Sedona, etc).
Overall quality of life?
Anything else I’m missing?

Appreciate any insight! I just had the conversation with my boss today about the opportunity, so I’m thinking through 200 different things.
I'm a Chicagoan who's been considering a Vegas move for several years now (and now, with the housing price surge, it'll probably a few years more). My biggest advice to you is to go on vacation there - a minimum of two weeks, and preferably more - and really get to know the place. Not just the restaurants and golf courses - get a feel for what traffic is like, where the grocery stores, hospitals, gyms, and other amenities you might need are, etc.
gwe67 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:53 pm PHX pizza sucks.
Disagree; Phoenix has some amazing pizza.
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Watty
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Watty »

HueyLD wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:58 pm
poker27 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:50 pmI’m not expecting PHX to replace Chicago by any means. I can probably walk to 30+ bars, restaurants, coffee shops within a couple blocks. However I do that 1-2 times a week, so it has less of an appeal now. The idea of eating dinner on my patio year round, and explore a new area has me excited.”
You cannot eat dinner on the patio when it is 110+F almost every day for several months at a time. In order to do that, you have to enclose the patio and install a very powerful AC in the patio. Your AC bill will go thru the roof.
I have never lived there but I have seen comments about how important it is there to have a house that faces the right direction, read up about that and pay a lot of attention to that when you are house hunting. It makes a huge difference if you patio will be in the shade at four in the afternoon during the summer time.
Last edited by Watty on Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Marmot
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Marmot »

Going to be 117 here this week. Just saying.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Sandtrap »

Perhaps consider somewhere North of Phoenix?
Higher altitude = more moderate temperatures.
Out of the heavy traffic and congestion in Phoenix I-17, etc.
Etc.

But, as you mention corporations, Phoenix and the valley area is mostly where the big money/big business is.
Has anyone made a similar move? What’s your feelings?
What is the COL like these days? I would likely rent at first, are there ‘deals’ to be had anywhere? It seems even with the recent surge in home prices, buying is a much better ‘deal’, mostly due to low taxes
How is the outdoor life? I feel like there are countless drivable destinations compared to the Midwest (SD, Vegas, Flagstaff, Sedona, etc).
Overall quality of life?
Anything else I’m missing?
Rent lst to see if you like things.

We moved to Prescott, Arizona 40 years ago and stayed for 4 years, fell in love with it's "Mayberry" small town ways and traditions and the mountain lakes and National Forests, and lifestyle. Eventually retired and moved back to Prescott.
(Prescott is a mile high so does not have the Phoenix/valley "heat" where one feels like a roast chicken under a heat lamp. :shock: :shock:

COL depends on relative to wherever you are coming from or who's comparing what to what.
We moved from Very High Ultra Ultra COL Hawaii, I think the multiplier was at one time 1.87 but it seems even more once things add up.

Outdoor life in Arizona is incredible. It's been said that in many states, most of the land is not for public use, whereas AZ is the opposite. (depends on what you compare it to and where you are from).
National Parks, Lakes, vasts tracts of BLM, Fed, State, land to play in all year round.

Quality of life depends on your income, what housing you can afford, where in Phoenix/valley/AZ you choose to live. Again, relative to where and what you compare it to, and who's comparing it.

Other factors: cultural and demographic adaptability, budget, neighborhood, expectations, lifestyle had and want, etc.

PM me as you wish on this. :D
j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Marseille07
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Marseille07 »

Marmot wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:46 pm Going to be 117 here this week. Just saying.
How do people survive the heat? Run AC like crazy? I've never lived anywhere that hot.
rich126
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by rich126 »

Marseille07 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:58 pm
Marmot wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:46 pm Going to be 117 here this week. Just saying.
How do people survive the heat? Run AC like crazy? I've never lived anywhere that hot.
It really isn't as scary as you may think. I'm someone who grew up in central Maryland, hated summers there due to the humidity and my favorite weather is a snow storm but the dry heat is nice. Anything over 105 or so is hot, no doubt about it. And you don't want to spend time in the sun and don't want to get in/out of a care frequently but in the shade it is hot but tolerable.

The strangest thing to me was getting used to walking outside late at night and feeling like I was sticking my head in the over. I mean it was still quite hot. In my younger days (40s) I would play golf mid-day in 110+ temperatures. Just moved slowly, drank water/gatorade and didn't have any issues.

I think if you ask most people here what they would like most is for one of the summer months to disappear (August?) because when the humidity picks up a bit then you tend to start sweating a bit.

I once spent 3 weeks in Bahrain and that was the most brutal weather I've ever experienced because you had AZ heat along with extreme humidity since you are surrounded by the water. I literally would brake out in a huge sweat just walking from building to building. In AZ you just don't sweat as much unless you are doing some form of exercise outside or standing out in a sun.
Mr.BB
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Mr.BB »

Independent George wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:19 pm
poker27 wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:38 pm Hi all, wanted to get the opinion of the greater group, as I feel most locale forums are very biased. Mid/late 30s, have lived in Chicago my whole life, and feel the need to make a change. I LOVE the city of Chicago, and consider it a great value compared to other cities. However the cold dreary winter months get to me, and I would like to have a more active life outdoors.

My SO could take a job in scottsdale, and I in Chandler (in addition to some WFH for me), both with our current companies. Both jobs would likely be a downgrade in both responsibility and pay, but similar to what we do now.

I know tons of midwesterners (and now Californians) have flocked to AZ for several reasons. I’ve visited several times (including during the summer), but it’s been a few years.

Has anyone made a similar move? What’s your feelings?
What is the COL like these days? I would likely rent at first, are there ‘deals’ to be had anywhere? It seems even with the recent surge in home prices, buying is a much better ‘deal’, mostly due to low taxes
How is the outdoor life? I feel like there are countless drivable destinations compared to the Midwest (SD, Vegas, Flagstaff, Sedona, etc).
Overall quality of life?
Anything else I’m missing?

Appreciate any insight! I just had the conversation with my boss today about the opportunity, so I’m thinking through 200 different things.
I'm a Chicagoan who's been considering a Vegas move for several years now (and now, with the housing price surge, it'll probably a few years more). My biggest advice to you is to go on vacation there - a minimum of two weeks, and preferably more - and really get to know the place. Not just the restaurants and golf courses - get a feel for what traffic is like, where the grocery stores, hospitals, gyms, and other amenities you might need are, etc.
gwe67 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:53 pm PHX pizza sucks.
Disagree; Phoenix has some amazing pizza.
If you go there for a week or two to get a feel for the area, do not stay at a hotel. Rent an house in a neighborhood so you get the real feel of any area you want to move too.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
MichaelAZ
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by MichaelAZ »

I moved from Detroit to Phoenix in 2019. The biggest difference in terms of economy is the lack of large, publicly traded headquarters here in AZ. Detroit had publicly traded auto company HQs on every corner. The economy here has smaller companies, often private. I found Detroit to pay better for my field (salaried professional w/ MBA). The weather change is great though. But I do miss the big-company economy of cities like Chicago/Detroit/etc.
Marseille07
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Marseille07 »

rich126 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:06 pm
Marseille07 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:58 pm
Marmot wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:46 pm Going to be 117 here this week. Just saying.
How do people survive the heat? Run AC like crazy? I've never lived anywhere that hot.
It really isn't as scary as you may think. I'm someone who grew up in central Maryland, hated summers there due to the humidity and my favorite weather is a snow storm but the dry heat is nice. Anything over 105 or so is hot, no doubt about it. And you don't want to spend time in the sun and don't want to get in/out of a care frequently but in the shade it is hot but tolerable.

The strangest thing to me was getting used to walking outside late at night and feeling like I was sticking my head in the over. I mean it was still quite hot. In my younger days (40s) I would play golf mid-day in 110+ temperatures. Just moved slowly, drank water/gatorade and didn't have any issues.

I think if you ask most people here what they would like most is for one of the summer months to disappear (August?) because when the humidity picks up a bit then you tend to start sweating a bit.

I once spent 3 weeks in Bahrain and that was the most brutal weather I've ever experienced because you had AZ heat along with extreme humidity since you are surrounded by the water. I literally would brake out in a huge sweat just walking from building to building. In AZ you just don't sweat as much unless you are doing some form of exercise outside or standing out in a sun.
That's a good point, humidity plays a huge role. I wasn't aware the humidity picks up a bit in August in Phoenix. It's one of those places I'd like to visit, especially during the summer, for the experience :-)
Xrayman69
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Xrayman69 »

Marmot wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:46 pm Going to be 117 here this week. Just saying.
“But it’s a dry heat” they kept telling me.

We had a space in Phoenix area for several years. We thought the dreariness of seattle during winter was getting to us. The space was great the 4-5 weekends during winter (November - February). Staring in March it was already regularly getting near 100 (mid 90s) which was too early. The energy bills from May - September were generous , had to keep the unit at least in the 80s.

We also have spent much time in Chicago and Midwest. I can take cold and snow with proper dress. Couldn’t handle the heat that consumed every thought and aspect of living from May - September. It was a reverse 6 month of “winter”.

Mornings were OK but 5 am - 8 am is no way for me to live life.
theplayer11
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by theplayer11 »

Xrayman69 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:36 pm
Marmot wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:46 pm Going to be 117 here this week. Just saying.
“But it’s a dry heat” they kept telling me.

We had a space in Phoenix area for several years. We thought the dreariness of seattle during winter was getting to us. The space was great the 4-5 weekends during winter (November - February). Staring in March it was already regularly getting near 100 (mid 90s) which was too early. The energy bills from May - September were generous , had to keep the unit at least in the 80s.

We also have spent much time in Chicago and Midwest. I can take cold and snow with proper dress. Couldn’t handle the heat that consumed every thought and aspect of living from May - September. It was a reverse 6 month of “winter”.

Mornings were OK but 5 am - 8 am is no way for me to live life.
much rather have a cold winter than 90 degree+ summers. Over 100?..forget it. Too hot for me at 80 actually.
mudphudder
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by mudphudder »

Personally, I like living in a place where there isn't a non-zero percent chance of me dying of heat exhaustion by accident. I grew up in the upper midwest and have the wardrobe for a bitterly cold winter but nothing prepares you for the scorching heat which on occasion is lethal without A/C.
Xrayman69
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Xrayman69 »

theplayer11 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:43 pm
Xrayman69 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:36 pm
Marmot wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:46 pm Going to be 117 here this week. Just saying.
“But it’s a dry heat” they kept telling me.

We had a space in Phoenix area for several years. We thought the dreariness of seattle during winter was getting to us. The space was great the 4-5 weekends during winter (November - February). Staring in March it was already regularly getting near 100 (mid 90s) which was too early. The energy bills from May - September were generous , had to keep the unit at least in the 80s.

We also have spent much time in Chicago and Midwest. I can take cold and snow with proper dress. Couldn’t handle the heat that consumed every thought and aspect of living from May - September. It was a reverse 6 month of “winter”.

Mornings were OK but 5 am - 8 am is no way for me to live life.
much rather have a cold winter than 90 degree+ summers. Over 100?..forget it. Too hot for me at 80 actually.
The outdoor swimming pool was frequently not helpful.
Blue456
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Blue456 »

poker27 wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:38 pm Hi all, wanted to get the opinion of the greater group, as I feel most locale forums are very biased. Mid/late 30s, have lived in Chicago my whole life, and feel the need to make a change. I LOVE the city of Chicago, and consider it a great value compared to other cities. However the cold dreary winter months get to me, and I would like to have a more active life outdoors.

My SO could take a job in scottsdale, and I in Chandler (in addition to some WFH for me), both with our current companies. Both jobs would likely be a downgrade in both responsibility and pay, but similar to what we do now.

I know tons of midwesterners (and now Californians) have flocked to AZ for several reasons. I’ve visited several times (including during the summer), but it’s been a few years.

Has anyone made a similar move? What’s your feelings?
What is the COL like these days? I would likely rent at first, are there ‘deals’ to be had anywhere? It seems even with the recent surge in home prices, buying is a much better ‘deal’, mostly due to low taxes
How is the outdoor life? I feel like there are countless drivable destinations compared to the Midwest (SD, Vegas, Flagstaff, Sedona, etc).
Overall quality of life?
Anything else I’m missing?

Appreciate any insight! I just had the conversation with my boss today about the opportunity, so I’m thinking through 200 different things.
Phoenix and Chicago are two completely different worlds. I advise you spend some time there first before you make the move. Personally, I would do such move in an instant without even blink but then again I am someone from the West who got stuck in New York.
littlebird
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by littlebird »

HueyLD wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:58 pm
poker27 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:50 pmI’m not expecting PHX to replace Chicago by any means. I can probably walk to 30+ bars, restaurants, coffee shops within a couple blocks. However I do that 1-2 times a week, so it has less of an appeal now. The idea of eating dinner on my patio year round, and explore a new area has me excited.”
You cannot eat dinner on the patio when it is 110+F almost every day for several months at a time. In order to do that, you have to enclose the patio and install a very powerful AC in the patio. Your AC bill will go thru the roof.
In the summer, I eat breakfast on the patio. You need 2 patios here, to give you access to outdoor space at some time of day in every season. Mine are east and west, but north and south work, too.
quantAndHold
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by quantAndHold »

You’re just trading one type of bad weather for another type of bad weather. With super high summer electric bills as an added bonus.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
IfIOnlyKnew
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by IfIOnlyKnew »

I go to Phx a few times a year for my job. One time I parked my dark colored rental car with black interior in the direct sun on a 115 degree day. At the end of my work day I got in the car and put my hands on the steering wheel... let’s just say that was a mistake I hope to never repeat. :oops:
RickyAZ
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by RickyAZ »

It’s like a reverse winter, June to September. You’ll become an early riser, do everything you want outdoors by 10 am, learn to nap during the day and wait until the sun sets to take the dog out. Seems like 1/3 of the state is from Chicago anyway. Much more relaxed lifestyle than back east.
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HomerJ
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by HomerJ »

HueyLD wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:58 pm
poker27 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:50 pmI’m not expecting PHX to replace Chicago by any means. I can probably walk to 30+ bars, restaurants, coffee shops within a couple blocks. However I do that 1-2 times a week, so it has less of an appeal now. The idea of eating dinner on my patio year round, and explore a new area has me excited.”
You cannot eat dinner on the patio when it is 110+F almost every day for several months at a time. In order to do that, you have to enclose the patio and install a very powerful AC in the patio. Your AC bill will go thru the roof.
If you eat late enough you can. And since AZ doesn't do Daylight Savings time ("who wants another hour of sun?" we say here in AZ), the sun goes down earlier than the rest of the country.

Once you get to sunset, it's perfectly pleasant.

But yes, during the summer days, you're stuck inside.

Just like you're stuck inside during the winter days in Chicago.

But the difference is... during the days you're stuck inside in Phoenix, at least it's bright and sunny and blue sky outside your window instead of grey and dreary and dark. And every evening in Phoenix you get a reprieve and can go outside. That doesn't work at night in Chicago during the winter.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
littlebird
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by littlebird »

quantAndHold wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:07 pm You’re just trading one type of bad weather for another type of bad weather. With super high summer electric bills as an added bonus.
While I’d be perfectly happy if not one more person moved to the already heavily populated PHX metro, I can’t resist pointing out that our “bad” weather involves looking out the window to usually bright sunshine when staying indoors; does not require bundling up and putting on galoshes to protect against the heat - in and out with the same light clothes; not needing to shovel the sunshine off the driveway, or to scrape the heat off the windshield; not risking sliding on the heat into a pile of heat on the side of the road.

No lawns, little leaf blowing,

As to a high month or two of electric bills: it’s about the same as several months of Northeast heating bills. We don’t have to crank our a.c. way down low to combat humidity; I and most older folks I know are comfortable at 80 degrees. That also has the virtue of cutting down on the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures.

But it’s getting mighty crowded here - from 14th to 5th largest metro during my retirement, so I recommend looking around for something better, please. :sharebeer
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HomerJ
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by HomerJ »

theplayer11 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:43 pm
Xrayman69 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:36 pm
Marmot wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:46 pm Going to be 117 here this week. Just saying.
“But it’s a dry heat” they kept telling me.

We had a space in Phoenix area for several years. We thought the dreariness of seattle during winter was getting to us. The space was great the 4-5 weekends during winter (November - February). Staring in March it was already regularly getting near 100 (mid 90s) which was too early. The energy bills from May - September were generous , had to keep the unit at least in the 80s.

We also have spent much time in Chicago and Midwest. I can take cold and snow with proper dress. Couldn’t handle the heat that consumed every thought and aspect of living from May - September. It was a reverse 6 month of “winter”.

Mornings were OK but 5 am - 8 am is no way for me to live life.
much rather have a cold winter than 90 degree+ summers. Over 100?..forget it. Too hot for me at 80 actually.
I just moved here from Kansas City... It's been over 100 during the day for the past 3-4 weeks. It's PERFECT in the evenings. Feels like 75 even though the weather channel says it's still 95.

Maybe because I'm out in the suburbs away from the city concrete, maybe it's because I have a pool, and I'm sitting by it when I'm out there watching the sunset. All I know is, so far, Phoenix, even in May and June with highs in the low 100s, is a lot more comfortable than humid KC in the high 80s or low 90s.

But I haven't done August yet... I understand the monsoon season is still coming. If humidity rises, it might get uncomfortable at night.

But right now, it's very pleasant. "Dry heat" is a real thing. It makes a huge difference. My shirt used to stick to me in Kansas City during the hot months. None of that here.

100, in the sun, is hot.

100, in the shade, feels fine because you're not sweating.
Last edited by HomerJ on Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
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HomerJ
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by HomerJ »

Oh, and our utility bills are FAR lower here in Phoenix than they were in Kansas City...

Because we had to cool our KC home in the summer (same as Phoenix), AND heat the KC home in winter (we had the heat on for maybe two days this winter in Phoenix).

But, that's also because we went from heating and cooling a 4500 square foot three-story home to just cooling a 2400 square foot ranch.

So it's not really a fair comparison :)
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
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telemark
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by telemark »

poker27 wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:38 pm Anything else I’m missing?
You might try a Google search on southwest+drought.
johnsmithsf
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by johnsmithsf »

poker27 wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:38 pm Hi all, wanted to get the opinion of the greater group, as I feel most locale forums are very biased. Mid/late 30s, have lived in Chicago my whole life, and feel the need to make a change. I LOVE the city of Chicago, and consider it a great value compared to other cities. However the cold dreary winter months get to me, and I would like to have a more active life outdoors.

My SO could take a job in scottsdale, and I in Chandler (in addition to some WFH for me), both with our current companies. Both jobs would likely be a downgrade in both responsibility and pay, but similar to what we do now.

I know tons of midwesterners (and now Californians) have flocked to AZ for several reasons. I’ve visited several times (including during the summer), but it’s been a few years.

Has anyone made a similar move? What’s your feelings?
What is the COL like these days? I would likely rent at first, are there ‘deals’ to be had anywhere? It seems even with the recent surge in home prices, buying is a much better ‘deal’, mostly due to low taxes
How is the outdoor life? I feel like there are countless drivable destinations compared to the Midwest (SD, Vegas, Flagstaff, Sedona, etc).
Overall quality of life?
Anything else I’m missing?

Appreciate any insight! I just had the conversation with my boss today about the opportunity, so I’m thinking through 200 different things.
if you LOVE Chicago, you will hate Phoenix
If you HATE Chicago, you will love Phoenix
Phoenix is the opposite of Chicago

Advantages of Phoenix vs Chicago
- Excellent wide roads/highways/parking. Chicago roads/highways are terrible and their cops/leaders seem to hate car drivers with a vengeance. Speed/Greed cameras are everywhere on badly designed poorly maintained roads.
- Much less crime
- Can drive to anyplace in the city. Parking is not a problem
- No snow in town, but can ski in nearby Flagstaff if you love snow
- excellent nearby national parks
- It is a growing city (unlike stagnant Chicago). Many Tech companies including Intel are here. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is planning a > $ 10 Billion Phoenix manufacturing plant
- No more winter depression. Chicago winters are terrible. You may not see the sun during the weekdays (you may go to work before sunrise and come back home after sunset)
- Phoenix/AZ are not bankrupt (unlike Chicago/IL)

Disadvantages of Phoenix vs Chicago
- Everything is beige in color
- You will miss green vegetation
- You will miss snow on Christmas
- Chicago has better Restaurants and nightlife
- Scorpions
- Lack of a beach (lake beach)
- Must have a car. Chicago has better public infrastructure


Other points:
- Water shortage concerns are overblown. Phoenix knows how to manage its water resources well (as opposed to California)
- Traffic is reasonable (when compared to other big cities).
- 3.5 months are bad everywhere in the US (except San Diego and Hawaii). Pick heat vs Cold. Dry heat is much more comfortable. less than 95 is comfortable in Phoenix. June 1st to September 15th is the summer season here
- Scottsdale is very expensive. Chandler is much more affordable.

Quality of Life depends upon the person. I guess majority thinks Phoenix has better quality of life as people move to Phoenix all the time form Chicago
lawman3966
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by lawman3966 »

Consider the health risks of haboobs before moving.
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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

telemark wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 12:20 am
poker27 wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:38 pm Anything else I’m missing?
You might try a Google search on southwest+drought.
The NY Times just posted a big article on the western drought, June 11, 2021:

"How Severe Is the Western Drought? See For Yourself."

By Nadja Popovich

"An intense drought is gripping the American West. Extreme conditions are more widespread than at any point in at least 20 years, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the government’s official drought-tracking service.

And the hottest months of summer are still to come. "

Behind a paywall although I think you can get a limited number of free articles per month.
Blue456
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Blue456 »

johnsmithsf wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:00 am if you LOVE Chicago, you will hate Phoenix
If you HATE Chicago, you will love Phoenix
Phoenix is the opposite of Chicago
You really couldn't summarize it any better. I love Phoenix and always really disliked Chicago, NYC, Boston, etc. Especially Chicago...
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poker27
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by poker27 »

Blue456 wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 9:36 am
johnsmithsf wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:00 am if you LOVE Chicago, you will hate Phoenix
If you HATE Chicago, you will love Phoenix
Phoenix is the opposite of Chicago
You really couldn't summarize it any better. I love Phoenix and always really disliked Chicago, NYC, Boston, etc. Especially Chicago...
Ha, this made me laugh. All valid points, however to clarify...

Last night we walked a few blocks to a Costa Rican place for dinner. After dinner we walked another block to a roof top with incredible views for cocktails. That’s great. However the other 5-6 days a week I sit on my small patio or balcony and enjoy coffee/beer at home. Now what if instead of a small patio I had a backyard with a pool? And what if I could do this 12 months a year instead of 6ish.

Agreed on the heat, I’ve been to PHX in the summer, and it’s not ideal, but I also didn’t hate it (of course this is on vacation and not wearing slacks to work).

Reviewing everyone’s comments I think my biggest dislike would be driving everywhere. I sold my car last week since it was never being used, so we are down to one.

Maybe I’m having a midlife crisis before 40, but seriously considering it
Carefreeap
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Carefreeap »

Marseille07 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:26 pm
rich126 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:06 pm
Marseille07 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:58 pm
Marmot wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:46 pm Going to be 117 here this week. Just saying.
How do people survive the heat? Run AC like crazy? I've never lived anywhere that hot.
It really isn't as scary as you may think. I'm someone who grew up in central Maryland, hated summers there due to the humidity and my favorite weather is a snow storm but the dry heat is nice. Anything over 105 or so is hot, no doubt about it. And you don't want to spend time in the sun and don't want to get in/out of a care frequently but in the shade it is hot but tolerable.

The strangest thing to me was getting used to walking outside late at night and feeling like I was sticking my head in the over. I mean it was still quite hot. In my younger days (40s) I would play golf mid-day in 110+ temperatures. Just moved slowly, drank water/gatorade and didn't have any issues.

I think if you ask most people here what they would like most is for one of the summer months to disappear (August?) because when the humidity picks up a bit then you tend to start sweating a bit.

I once spent 3 weeks in Bahrain and that was the most brutal weather I've ever experienced because you had AZ heat along with extreme humidity since you are surrounded by the water. I literally would brake out in a huge sweat just walking from building to building. In AZ you just don't sweat as much unless you are doing some form of exercise outside or standing out in a sun.
That's a good point, humidity plays a huge role. I wasn't aware the humidity picks up a bit in August in Phoenix. It's one of those places I'd like to visit, especially during the summer, for the experience :-)
Unlike Coastal California, PHX gets summer storms which blow up through the Gulf of Mexico. They call it a monsoon because the winds blow in a different direction from the winter storms which blow from the Pacific. PHX gets between a third and a quarter of its of its rainfall during this period of time. My least favorite month was July when the monsoon builds. Once it starts I find it (literaly) cool and fascinating. In Coastal CA its rare to get thunder and lightening so it was quite the show!

To respond to your earlier comment, the body is an amazing thing. I'm a wimpy Coastal creature. Grew up and/or lived within 5 miles of the Pacific Ocean in So. CA and the SF Bay Area. I moved to the greater PHX area in August of 2003 (nothing like ripping the band-aid off!) and was off doing my hiking treks within weeks. You do need to be mindful and take care. During the hottest days we would start hiking at 6am and made sure to finish by 9am. Evenings could be really nice where we were; northern part of the valley at about 2,500'.

A lot of people decamp to So. CA in July. I made sure my two rental properties in San Diego came up for lease July 1 :beer and would spend about two weeks at my coastal rentals. Almost everyone I knew had a second home somewhere; Prescott was a favorite but also Flagstaff or a condo in Rocky Pt.

My husband is driving from our So. CA cabin to our AZ house today. He loves it even during the summer. He feels that he gets "his" town back during the summer. No waits for restaurants and he can hang out with the locals. I'm manning the fort here in the Coastal Bay Area. It's a beautiful almost summer day and the hords will be decending from SF and the East Bay. I'll shelter in place, avoid the highway, enjoy my ocean view and give gratitude that we found these wonderful places.

Cheers!
Every day I can hike is a good day.
Marseille07
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Marseille07 »

Carefreeap wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 11:17 am Unlike Coastal California, PHX gets summer storms which blow up through the Gulf of Mexico. They call it a monsoon because the winds blow in a different direction from the winter storms which blow from the Pacific. PHX gets between a third and a quarter of its of its rainfall during this period of time. My least favorite month was July when the monsoon builds. Once it starts I find it (literaly) cool and fascinating. In Coastal CA its rare to get thunder and lightening so it was quite the show!

To respond to your earlier comment, the body is an amazing thing. I'm a wimpy Coastal creature. Grew up and/or lived within 5 miles of the Pacific Ocean in So. CA and the SF Bay Area. I moved to the greater PHX area in August of 2003 (nothing like ripping the band-aid off!) and was off doing my hiking treks within weeks. You do need to be mindful and take care. During the hottest days we would start hiking at 6am and made sure to finish by 9am. Evenings could be really nice where we were; northern part of the valley at about 2,500'.

A lot of people decamp to So. CA in July. I made sure my two rental properties in San Diego came up for lease July 1 :beer and would spend about two weeks at my coastal rentals. Almost everyone I knew had a second home somewhere; Prescott was a favorite but also Flagstaff or a condo in Rocky Pt.

My husband is driving from our So. CA cabin to our AZ house today. He loves it even during the summer. He feels that he gets "his" town back during the summer. No waits for restaurants and he can hang out with the locals. I'm manning the fort here in the Coastal Bay Area. It's a beautiful almost summer day and the hords will be decending from SF and the East Bay. I'll shelter in place, avoid the highway, enjoy my ocean view and give gratitude that we found these wonderful places.

Cheers!
Sounds like you're having a great life :beer
I wasn't aware of monsoons and thunderstorms in Phoenix. Looks beautiful on videos but if I were underneath them I am not sure how I feel :D

I'm also from the Bay Area and now in PNW, definitely missing the weather already.
Searching4Acorns
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Searching4Acorns »

I'd only go if you can bring lake Michigan with you :)

Honestly, it isn't looking good for water in that region long term.
ballons
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by ballons »

Marseille07 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:58 pm
Marmot wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:46 pm Going to be 117 here this week. Just saying.
How do people survive the heat? Run AC like crazy? I've never lived anywhere that hot.
Wet bulb temp is what matters. For those moving to Phoenix should look up what the wet bulb temps are predicted to be going forward.
Carefreeap
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Re: Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Post by Carefreeap »

Marseille07 wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 11:40 am
Carefreeap wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 11:17 am Unlike Coastal California, PHX gets summer storms which blow up through the Gulf of Mexico. They call it a monsoon because the winds blow in a different direction from the winter storms which blow from the Pacific. PHX gets between a third and a quarter of its of its rainfall during this period of time. My least favorite month was July when the monsoon builds. Once it starts I find it (literaly) cool and fascinating. In Coastal CA its rare to get thunder and lightening so it was quite the show!

To respond to your earlier comment, the body is an amazing thing. I'm a wimpy Coastal creature. Grew up and/or lived within 5 miles of the Pacific Ocean in So. CA and the SF Bay Area. I moved to the greater PHX area in August of 2003 (nothing like ripping the band-aid off!) and was off doing my hiking treks within weeks. You do need to be mindful and take care. During the hottest days we would start hiking at 6am and made sure to finish by 9am. Evenings could be really nice where we were; northern part of the valley at about 2,500'.

A lot of people decamp to So. CA in July. I made sure my two rental properties in San Diego came up for lease July 1 :beer and would spend about two weeks at my coastal rentals. Almost everyone I knew had a second home somewhere; Prescott was a favorite but also Flagstaff or a condo in Rocky Pt.

My husband is driving from our So. CA cabin to our AZ house today. He loves it even during the summer. He feels that he gets "his" town back during the summer. No waits for restaurants and he can hang out with the locals. I'm manning the fort here in the Coastal Bay Area. It's a beautiful almost summer day and the hords will be decending from SF and the East Bay. I'll shelter in place, avoid the highway, enjoy my ocean view and give gratitude that we found these wonderful places.

Cheers!
Sounds like you're having a great life :beer
I wasn't aware of monsoons and thunderstorms in Phoenix. Looks beautiful on videos but if I were underneath them I am not sure how I feel :D

I'm also from the Bay Area and now in PNW, definitely missing the weather already.
I am very thankful.

There were a lot of people in a subdivision close to our house called Terravita (across from the Boulders Resort) who were from WA. That's part of a joke about AZ; how do tell the change of seasons in PHX? By the color of the license plates. :wink: Our little town attracted a lot of people from Chicago for some reason. It wouldn't work for the OP since their jobs are further south.
Every day I can hike is a good day.
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