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Should I stay or should I go?

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Should I stay or should I go?

Hello, I am 30 years old and live in Nassau County, Long Island, New York. I received an offer to take a job in Glendale with the exact same pay and similar benefits. I know housing costs are less in the Phoenix area, and that there are many advantages to relocating there, however, all my family and friends live here and I've always loved New York. Has anyone out there had to make this tough decision, and do you regret in any way what you chose?

phoenix arizona
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1. Re: Should I stay or should I go?

I'm from Long Island (Patchogue) and I absolutely love it out here. Usually you will either love it or hate it. If you can get the same pay out here as your getting in NY, that's great. Most other costs are about the same here, except housing. Glendale is a pretty decent area. The Phoenix area is a much newer city compared to the NY area. Newer buildings, freeways etc... And it's much cleaner.

Let me tell you a little about Arizona culture. You'll be in for a culture shock. There's not a lot of culture as far as Art, Theatre, and Music. Things are a bit slower. People talk slower, move slower. But not as slow as in the deep south. And its normal to see cowboy hats and cowboy boots. And a lot of people own guns. That's just how it is here. The work ethic isn't as good out here. So, if you're like a typical New Yorker, your employer will probably think you have a great work ethic. You can't find really good pizza here. But the mexican food is pretty good. There are a lot of Native Americans here. Several Indian reservations right here in the Phoenix area. People drive like nuts here, not letting you merge, driving very fast on the freeway ( 80 miles per hour sometimes) I rather drive in NYC. A lot of red light running. The highest car insurance state in the country. But, your car doesn't rust out here cause there's no salt water and no snow. There is snow when you go up to Northern Arizona.

I love AZ cause it's a beautiful state. Lots of daytrips you can make if you like to travel. Grand Canyon is only 4 hours away. Sedona (beautiful red rock country) is only 2 hours away. There are a few man made lakes, but no beaches for obvious reasons. Many people have pools. Pheonix is in a valley so it's surrounded by rugged mountains. There's some great hiking.

There's a lot of open space. The Glendale area is pretty much like Suffolk County. It's not what you would consider a city. Definitely not as populated as say, Long Beach. No skyscrapers, except in downtown Phoenix. Glendale doesn't feel like a city at all to me. It' more like a town, like Patchogue or Islip. But more spread out. And there are more nice areas. There are some millionaires that live in Glendale.

It's very different then NY. If you are a die hard New Yorker, you may not like it here. Also, summer temperatures are almost always over 100 degrees. But no humidity so it's not sticky. But it is very hot. Winters are great averaging around 60 degrees during the day. No more shoveling snow.

I hope this helps. I love it out here, but you'll have to decide for yourself.

Good Luck

Phoenix, Arizona
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2. Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Johan - what a terrific post - i echo your comments exactly. relocating out here from Philadelphia 5 years ago has proven the best thing we could have ever done.. the kids are enjoying a better quality of life, WE are enjoying a better quality of life - it's just superb.. you ever love it or hate it - is a very accurate statement. I relo'd here for work also -- as did a couple other co-workers. we came out as a group. and we did 'family' things together as we got our feet wet.. long story short - his wife HATED it here. hated the heat - hated the fact she couldn't get a lot of property (just depends on the area).. so they moved back.. very sad :(

cost of living is WAYYY less out here. property taxes ?? forget it - you can spend more on a weekend @ the Hyatt Regency in NY than you would for a years worth of property taxes out here (translation - CHEAP taxes) the money you save alone on taxes will boost your home selection tenfold.

we still have friends and family back east also.. but they visit every so often.

when it comes down to it, this is a better move for our family, so we're staying put. no regrets at all , and we will not move back to the east coast.

you come out here though, you WILL slow down. it's just the way of the west i suppose.

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3. Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Johann and Nickles,

Thanks for your replies. It is really proving to be a tough decision! I am surprised that there are many bad drivers - I thought nothing could compare to the LIE or Northern State parkway! I visited Glendale a few weeks ago but didn't get to see much - just the airport, place of employment, and freeway in between. Are there beautiful locales within the Phoenix and Glendale areas, or just outside (i.e., in the country)? It seemed very strip-mall-y to me, even by Long Island standards. I lived in Philly for a while, too, and absolutely loved it as well as NY, so I wonder if I will pine for the East coast once I'm out in Phoenix. Do you find that, because of the lower cost of living, you can get lots more than you would back east? I picture myself with two cars, plasma TV, etc, things that are totally inaccessible in my current situation. This one is keeping me up nights, it seems too close to call! Thanks again for your replies.

Phoenix, Arizona
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4. Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Yes there are things that I can enjoy here that no way would we have if we were still back east.. this is due to the extreme lower cost of living out here as well as 80% lower property taxes..

the outlying areas of any community here are very nice.. I like the seclusion I have (living in the Ahwatukee Foothills).. but rest assured whereever you pick to live, the landscape will look drastically different within 5 years. this entire area is booming.. the downtown city life is a joke. it is NOTHING like New York or Philly. Downtown Tempe (mill ave.) is about as close as you'll get to what your used to (and even thats only about a 25% experience)...

thats exactly what happened to our friends - they found themselves pining for back east - the change of seasons, the solidified school districts for their kids, the hertiage and culture of Valley Forge and other parts of Northeastern PA...

I don't know if you have kids - but what cements the deal for us out here is their quality of life.. it's great weather 85% of the time.. they are always involved in activities with the parks, the schools, etc... every weekend affords us swimming, zoos, and so on.. i can rememebr back in NJ coming to work on a Monday and it was the talk of the office if we had a weekend nice enough to get in the pool.. here ? it's an EVERYDAY occurence.... I also like it out here because everything is new new new.. new malls, new places to go, new stores, restaurants, etc... there is nothing 'run down' (except of course in some of the older established areas) - but it's just a matter of what area you pick to live in..

Many young people are flocking to Maricopa (Pinal county).. there, and Buckeye are probably the 2 biggest growth spots.. I needed to be IN the mountains however.. if i was going to pick up the family and move them cross country, i wanted to wake up every morning and KNOW that we live in AZ... so for me, i had my location pegged. I needed to be in and around the mountains - NOT on a concrete flat land (had enough of that in NJ)...

but living, eating and playing out here is a world of difference.. granted, you lose a lot of culture (sorry, no Phila.Museum of Art out here- or the Franklin Institute etc..) - but they ARE trying.. there are some decent area attractions - they have a ballet, a symphony, a sceince center etc..... but it just doesn't POP like back east.. but thats just a personal preference..

i hear you about the strip malls - thats one of the first things i noticed (and didn't particularly like) .. every other corner there is a stupid little mall - and they have DENTIST and chiropractors in them.. who goes to a strip mall to see a DENTIST ?? WEIRD !!!! but you get used to is (like anything.. )

value for the money is hands down, better out here. if you enjoy your toys (which sounds like you do) - you'll score big time. you can grab yourself a brand spanking new house, live in a brand spanking new neighborhood, and still have plenty of cash left over for play.. do that in NY ?? i think not..

i know this is a hard choice for you - - my advise would be to try to squeeze out a few more trips (as many as you can) on your employers dime, to scout out the area.. they should allow you at least 7 or 10 days to check things out... hook up with a realtor, and have them show you the lay of your land.. but get your priorities in order.. make a list of pros and cons.. have things you won't budge on, and have things that you can go either way..

sorry for the long post.. feel free to email me with any questions or concerns -- nickles96(at)gmail.com

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5. Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Yeah, I can see why it is a fantastic place to raise kids. My gf and I don't have any kids and we still like to go out for a little bit of nightlife and culture (although we are starting to outgrow the former). I have tried what you said about another trip but they won't pay for it; besides, I should be able to make this decision from here. Worst case scenario is we don't like it and move back. I guess people do it all the time but it just seems so huge and daunting for me right now. Thanks for the advice!

Phoenix, AZ
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6. Re: Should I stay or should I go?

synapsid - i am 28 years old and married and agree with your last post how you still like the nightlife but are growing tired of it...on top of that I grew up in new Jersey (Warren/Bridgewater area about 25 miles west of NYC), moved out to Phx when I was 18, and then husband and I decided to move to St. Louis 6 months ago, for a job. i spent the last 10 years of my life in Phoenix, and Jake is from there, and we are moving back once the lease is up here. And we're staying for good. It is a totally different experience than living back east or here in STL, which even here in STL is a lot like NJ or LI, as far as environment, types of houses/neighborhoods, ethnic diversity, but not pace of life ��� things get here SLOWLY. There is nothing like living in Phoenix. It is so true - you will either love it or hate, there is no middle ground. There is a HUGE east coast population in Phoenix (in fact i had an entire group of friends where we were all from NJ, Long Island, and Staten), so if it works for them, could work for you. But I still have a couple friends back in NJ that I could NEVER see living here. This town is great for young people and young families, so if you want to raise a family in Phx, it's great. if you still like the nightlife, it's fantastic. It's so incrediblly affordable compared to NJ/NY so you can actually own a house, a car, a boat even! Traveling to San Diego, LA, or Las Vegas is a car trip away or a short 45 minute flight. Thank god for Southwest Airlines! Mexico is a hop skip and a jump ��� I���ve driven in there many times. It���s worth taking a shot, and you can always go back if you decide it���s not for you. I am doing the same thing right now, I went with the idea in mind that I give it a year and if it���s not for us, we go back to AZ. I���ve lived in AZ for so long that I will never love anything as much. I mean, you really give up some things for other things you have there that you are use to ��� you���re in your comfort zone there though, I know how that is. In Phoenix you get ��� slower pace of life, lots of outdoor activities, GREAT local music scene, a lot of close and interesting places to visit, affordable housing, incredible weather in the winter, a pool for practically every house, and up and coming local art scene, and there���s more, but I can���t remember it all right now. Oh, and an incredibly easy place to make friends, everyone is a transplant and are open to meeting new people. People are just so open-minded here, and much more health/fitness conscious. A lot of spirit in Phoenix that I have never found anywhere else, and maybe that has something to do with the largest portion of the pop. Being around 30 years old (avg age is 31). You���re still young, no kids, might as well do it now rather than looking back 10 years from now and say, darn, I wish I had atleast tried it out. Atleast that���s my perspective. It���s definitely a difficult decision to make and you want to be sure, but AZ is a great place. Good luck, and if you decide to make the move, I���ll be back there end of January, look me up! And if you have any questions about anything specific, let me know. Heather.pierce@sbcglobal.net

Take care.

Oro VAlley Arizona
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7. Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Hi. If you move out to Arizona and you don't like it, can you move back & still keep your job with the company? If so, then you really have nothing to lose? Do you have a house/condo to sell? That would be a big consideration.

Also if you own a house/condo in Long Island, then you could rent it out, come out to Arizona and rent a house/apt to try it out for 6 months to a year before deciding.

If you will be working for the same company, then most likely you will become friends with people at work.

In my humble opinion, the people who seem the happiest with the move from the east coast and other area's are the ones who go back "home" on a regular basis and have family and friends who visit them out here. But if you see your family say on an almost daily basis, you may have a hard time adjusting

Is your girlfriend moving out here with you, that also would be a consideration, it makes it easier to move with someone else rather then alone.

Also everybody out here is from all over the country that also can be an adjustment say if you just deal with NY/NJ people, I know it was for me.

Good idea to come out here in the summer,August say, just to see if you can stand the summer out here. YOu know that dry heat they talk about well it gives way to heat and humdity in our monsoon season, some out here really like it, I don't I will take the 100+ days with the low humidity over the monsoon.

If you are an outdoor person, this is the place to live. The Tucson area is even more casual then the Phoenix area.

The only thing I miss back east is Pizza, and Italian food and people, not necessarily in that order. Oh and once in a while I miss that NY/NJ sarcastic humor!!! lol

Lots to consider, but I can't imagine living in the same state my whole live.

Phoenix
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8. Re: Should I stay or should I go?

If you like:

* Walking to the corner grocery store

* Chatting with neighbors along the way

* Strolling down main street, window shopping

Stay where you are.

Phoenix is built around the automobile, you never leave your car and therefore never interact with your neighbors or anyone else for that matter.

Phoenix, AZ
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9. Re: Should I stay or should I go?

In response to azwarking's post - absolutely right about the driving thing, no doubt about that! but I have to disagree with the part about not talkign to anyone. I had GREAT neighbors everywhere, all of which i am still friends with. And this was in two totally different neighborhoods, different people, different economic, different ethnicities, for that matter. I think Phoenix is a very friendly city just for the fact that it is essentially so new and everyone is new there so there are always drones of people lookign to make friends and meet people...just because we are in our cars often doesn't mean we don't talk to each other. There are other ways, so please don't let that scare you from moving to Phx. I'm movign back to Phoenix because I miss all the great people I met during my 10 years there, and love how great it was to meet people so easily, unlike where I live now in St. Louis.

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10. Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Thanks for the new replies - we have no house right now, we rent a tiny, overpriced apartment in the upstairs of a house. We can probably afford to buy a home in the Phoenix area for $250,000 or so. But here in our area there is nothing less than $500,000 for a decent sized house built in this half-century. We are not really outdoorsy people (well, I am, she isn't) and we do like to shop. But we usually take the car everywhere around here too. We have some bad interactions with rude people on the trains and on the roads here, we were hoping that might be better in AZ.

As for the job, I work in a University, so I could probably not get my job back after a year. But I could get a similar job if I really wanted to move back to NY. We feel that we need to stay in AZ for at least 3 - 4 years to really give it a chance and see what works for us. Besides, we like the idea of a cross-country adventure, being in our early 30s - a few more years and we won't likely feel so adventurous!!

I guess what we would really like, in order, is (1) affordable housing, (2) friendly neighbors, (3) some stuff to do on weekend nights in an urban setting (we like a good, non-threatening bar setting), and (4) to not really feel cut off from our friends back home. We also like the idea of having a house where we can entertain guests for a week at a time, and have them stay over.

I have been looking at the relocation guides and literature a lot and I know I could adapt - for example, I thought I would have to give up fishing, which I only do twice a year anyway. Then I found out that there are 50 pound bass in Lake Havasu! It seems like all the activities are available, it's just a minor change of mind set.