from those two choices...my vote is for: Mesa, AZ
Congratulations and good luck!
I happen to live in Mesa, AZ. I was checking out the posts on California while planning a roadtrip when I came across your post.
I agree that Mesa is probably better. I have passed through Bakersfield and couldn't really see myself living there. You can go to cityofmesa.org or something like that (google it) and check out "living here". I work in downtown Phoenix and commute each day.
I live in Northeast Mesa which is a very nice area that is fairly new and quiet. It is about 10 minutes from a lake (although I have to admit I rarely go there) and from where people go to float down the Salt River (still haven't done that either).
The great thing about this area is that you can live in a number of suburbs and work in any other suburb. The whole area is called "the valley" and there are numerous freeways to get around. The bad thing is that this may mean you can live as far as 50 miles from your friends, even though you work at the same place! Houses are still very affordable, but the pay competitive.
Check out the Arizona message boards for more info. Good luck and congratulations! Do you know what hospital yet?
Mesa gets my vote too!!! It is a nice suburb of a nice city, Phoenix. Bakersfield is a city kind of in the middle of NOT MUCH!! Good luck.
Greetings and congratulations on your husbands pending graduation. Well, I have lived in both of these places and here is my take on it. Like others have stated, housing is still affordable in the Mesa Area. The heat really got me and I grew up in Florida so that is saying something. If you like hot weather and a big city feel than Mesa is possibly the best choice. On the other hand Baskersfield has a lot to offer. I moved there kicking and screeming about going to a little cow town but boy was I wrong. One big plus is the lack of a commute. You can get almost any where in 10 minutes. If you add that up for a week of hour commutes both direction think of the savings in gas plus your time. It is nice to get off work at 5 PM and be home at 5:15 PM. The weather is Bakersfield also gets hot but not for as much of the year though I will admit that August is pretty bad. As for shopping there are plenty of store you are familiar with. I think the biggest plus for Bakersfield is the location. You have a state university right there for any continuing education. You are 2 hours from LA, 4 hours from San Diego, 5 hours from Las Vegas, and a little over 4 hours from the San Francisco Bay Area which can make for great weekend getaways at a reasonable price. Housing is still affordable but going up. Rent will run you around $1000 to $1400 for a 3 bedroom 2 bath house in a good area. If you consider Bakersfield look for housing in either the Southwest area or the Northwest area. Stay out of the Southeast and there are pockets of the Northeast that are OK. To purchase a home figure 250K for starting point. This is not a fixer upper but a 3/2 in a decent neighborhood. On the cultural front Bakersfield has a wonderful symphony and the University brings in many special events and artist throughout the year at a reasonable price. There is also an arena which showcases big name entertainment and sporting events. Good luck with your move.
Hands Down.... BAKERSFIELD.... Geeze... I wouldn't give it a second thought. Now, if we were talking Scottsdale.... that's a different story... but Mesa... NO. My sister use to live at Red Mountain Ranch/Las Sendas area. (one of the best parts of Mesa) and she couldn't wait to get out of that town.
Between the heat, the CRIME, the terrible schools and the bad air quality... and try driving down Main Street Mesa... oh my goodness.
Then take a trip to CALIFORNIA... please the name California alone should say enough.
Bakersfield is a great central location in the state. You can reach more of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Malibu... etc etc etc in under two hours... Disney about three hours... And under 4 hours you can reach Yosemite, San Francisco and the state capital.
Sure... bakersfield might have a few drawback as probably any town, but hands down... BAKERSFIELD.
Check out... Seven Oaks area, Also the new McMillan Ranch where 6000 homes are being built.
The secret of Bakersfield is OUT and thousands upon thouands of homes are being built.
But again... If we were talking.... North Scottsdale over Bakersfield... I would take North Scottsdale... prefer the 101 loop north... towards DC Ranch, but if were talking MESA over BAKERSFIELD??? Please.... a NO BRAINER... it would be Bakersfield any day of the week. ANYDAY!!!
P.S. I live in Thousand Oaks, CA (but would live in Bakersfield without a second thought if I was able to work there)
Check out this website... http://www.sevenoaksrealestate.com/points.htm
Depends on if you want a bigger city feel or a smaller town feel. For my family, we left the big city and moved to the Central Valley (Fresno) to get away from too many people. Everyone I know that has moved to Bakersfield really likes it. The people are very friendly and are happy with the schools (if that's a concern now or in the future) They have a great arena, and get quite a few good shows during the year. As someone pointed out previously, you can get to alot of places easily-central coast, LA, and 3 national parks. On a day to day basis, it has everything you need, unless you frequent high end dining establishments and are a constant at cultural events. I have noted to my friends in big cities that my life everyday is the same as theirs, just more affordable. If we want to do theatre or something like that, we leave, do it, and come back to our corner of the world.
First congratulations to both of you on your graduation. It is quite an achievement.
The Bakersfield paper has a pretty good section for people considering moving to Bakersfield. Their web site is http://www.bakersfield.com/ . In the top middle of the front page is a box titled "Picks to Click". In it is a title "New to Bakersfield". Click on that and you will be on your way to learning quite a bit about this city.
We know nothing about Mesa, Ariz. so we can't comment on that, but Bakersfield is one of the fastest growing cities in California and has a lot to offer.
In any case congratulations again and whatever decision you make may you both have a wonderful life and success in you chosen profession.
My vote would be Bakersfield. There are great hospitals here to work at, like Mercy southwest and the heart hospital. The people here are very friendly and slower paced. It has grown here a lot recently and is good for housing appreciation. Many people are moving here from LA. Its called the Nashville of the west . For buying a home here I would stay in the Northwest or Southwest. For an established area try Seven Oaks and River Oaks. Near the central section, is an older area called Westchester, which is nice for older craftsman styles. A lot of new homes going up also. The heat is bad in July and August, ranges 90 to 104, its a dry heat , without a lot of humidity. A great bike path, paved that runs for about 35 miles. People jog and ride bikes, its great.