Need Advice About Situations with Moving to AZ

Updated on March 07, 2009
M.E. asks from Algonquin, IL
8 answers

Hello, I have asked for advice/help with a situation I was going through a couple months ago, and got great responses back so I thought I would try again.

My fiance and I are getting married in 6 months and we are really thinking about moving from IL to AZ, after our wedding. We found a couple houses in our price range of $130,000.00 on a couple real estate websites. A couple of weeks (2)after we get married we are planning on going to AZ to look at some houses in person.

One of my situations that I am having is with my sister and my mother. My sister and I are close we go out every thursday for lunch (she lives 10 minutes from us) and I brought up that we are thinking about moving to AZ and she goes no your not! I told her yes we are. When I told her this she got all pissed off and said your not going to have any family around when you have your kids, then I was going to respond to her statement and before I could she said I don't want to hear about it, your not moving!

My other situation is when I told my mother who lives in MS she got all pissed off as well and said that she does not want us moving to AZ and why do we want to move? Then she said the same thing as my sister I don't want to hear about it!

There are a few reasons why we want to move: 1)nice weather (no snow!),2) we have two of our best friends who live there, 3) the houses there we can afford, not like here, 3) I have lived in IL my whole life except for 6 months when I lived in MS, my fiance has also lived here his whole life and we want to move somewhere we have never lived before. 4) we want to be by our best friends who we have been friends with for 12 years. My soon to be in-laws are planning on moving to AZ in about two to three years to retire.

I think the reasons why my sister does not want us to move is because we go out a lot and our father has been talking about retiring in the bahamas in a couple of years, plus when my fiance and I do try to have another kid she wont be able to see him/her every week.

I am a little scared about moving somewhere I have never lived before and reading about all the scorpions, snakes and killer bees is freaking me out a bit, but talking to our best friends they said that yes you see the scorpions but they are afraid of people, the snakes they don't see, and the killer bees once in awhile.

So my questions are:
What would you do in my situation?
Have you ever moved somewhere you have never visited? How was the experience?
Our credit is bad, and I was wondering if anyone has been able to get a mortgage or has known someone who was able to?
Has anyone ever lived in AZ?

I am sorry this is so long :(.


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answers from Chicago on

Hi M.,
I have lived in 3 different states for 12 years. I was fine with that until I had my first Child. I also lived only 6 hours away by car. (another thing to concider) B4 kids you can jump in the car and just go. With kids, not so much! I had my hubby's fam in one of the states (for 10 years), 5 siblings of them. All grown adults, but they really did not help much. One family did, but they moved, then once again, there was nobody. They were not mean or selfish, they just had thier own kids in sports and other activities. They also did not live all that close. If money is tight, you will not just be able to run home for holidays, or things you want to be there for. You also have to concider work and all. Try getting the holidays off. It was not possible with my job! Also, have fun fighting over the holidays.. That was an annual event in our house. Do not put all your eggs in one basket that these friends will be there for you when ever you may need them to help you. They may, but thier family will have to come first. With out family around, you will have to pay all of your babysitters. Not to mention find them!
I am only telling you all of this because, all I wanted after my 1st child was born was to COME BACK TO CHICAGO!
I joined all the "mommy groups" and that is nice, but it does not replace your family and people that will help you because they love you and your kids. I still have friends from all the places I have lived, and cherish those friendships. I am glad to be home and I will never leave again.
I was terribly home sick. Family definatley trumps weather!
I hate winter as well, and take meds for Seasonal Affective disorder.
My lil sis lives in Southern Cali, and she is also homesick. She lOVES the weather, but she also says, people are not the same. She is still there for school, but is moving home in a year. She also feels the same as I do after her own experience. I hope you make a decicion that makes you happy.
As for homes, See a mortgage broker and they will tell you what you need to do to get a mortgage. You will have to fix the credit first. You can also get a town house for the low 100's at least in the NW burbs.
Good luck, but do take to heart what your family says. I was like you when I first moved. I was so excited and I did not understand why they were so upset. I get it now, and I hate to admit, they were right (and I HATE admitting that). I ended up seeing a therapist and on depression meds back when I lived away. Just keep all this in mind. AZ is a 24+ hour drive. Traveling 6 hours with a small child (or 2)
takes 8-10 hours, and is very hard. Just think about what is importaint to you, and if you can live seeing your family only once or twice a year. And realistically, you will be lucky to get that. My heart goes out to you!
I am sorry if I sound one sided. That is not my intention. You are not me (and be thankful..LOL) and you need to do what will make you happy. I just did not know all the troubles moving away would bring me. Some people relocate and LOVE IT. You just need to weigh your pros and cons..
Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

Interesting situation…

Is there anyway, that you can rent a house for a year or live in an apartment,
until you are sure you want to live there? Do you already have jobs lined up
in Arizona?

I guess the question is, Why do you want to go there? Are you going for something better, or are you running away? It sounds like you have really good relationships with your family. I understand that they will miss you. If they can not afford to visit you, will you be able to fly back at least once a year to visit them?

There is a possibility that you may move there now, and decide to move back later
after having kids. It is good to have family around that you can count on, especially when you have kids.

Are you sure that your in-laws will be moving out to AZ in a couple years? Anything can happen to make them change their minds. Illness, loss of money, etc.

Moving to be with your friends doesn't seem to be a good reason. Why not just plan on visiting them more often?

Or, are you actually being smothered by your family? Do they count on you too much?
Do you have a hard time saying no? Does your sister need to grow up?

Sorry, I don't have an answer for you. But, here are some questions to think about when making your decision. Good Luck, and congratulations on your wedding!!!

P.S. If you go, make sure it's for the right reasons. Moving to AZ isn't going to make your
bad credit go away! And if anything goes wrong, will your friends take you in or lend you money? Probably not. But, I'm thinking your family probably would.




answers from Chicago on

I say go for it! Once you have a family the odds of you moving are much smaller. You're young, and this is the time to try something new. My suggestion though is to visit out there first, check out the area, the homes, the job market, etc. It may require more than one visit. I would also consider renting first before you buy a house, just in case you get out there and it's not what you thought it would be. Plus, it will be very difficult to get a mortgage right away without having any length of time at your job and bad credit. Don't bring it up to your family anymore right now. It's just going to upset both of you. Wait until you have made a decision and then don't let them guilt you out of it. I have pretty much lived in the same town all my life and I get envious when I talk to former classmates who have moved to other regions of the country. Now I have a family and can't go because my son needs to be close to his dad for visitation, among other reasons. And yes, you have to watch for the critters, especially if you're out hiking in the desert, but we have snakes and bees here (I got stung 3 times last summer!!) but I don't think there's any mosquitos out there so that's a HUGE plus! Don't rush into this, think it through carefully, but if it's what you both want then I wish you all the best on your new adventure!!



answers from Chicago on

I feel like I am reading my life when I was getting married. My hubby and I moved to arizona right after we got engaged. Had the wedding in IL.. but our life was out there now. My sister lived in AZ, my brother in CA, and my parents and all in law family here in IL. We LOVED living in Arizona when we had no kids. The weather was great, w/ the exception of the summers (after 2 summers you will know how bad it is).. the first 2 you won't complain. The people there are soo friendly.. but drivers suck out be careful. I would recommend you go visit before you just move there.. the weather is nice.. but there don't have the seasons, the green, and family. I will just tell you that after 4 years of living in Arizona.. we moved back to be near most of the family. Having a kid and not having the grandparents around and support.. was very hard for me. I wanted my children to have grandparents in their life. Plus..when I would get sick and it was hard to take care of my son... I had nobody to come over and take care of him. Our neighbors became family... but not in that kind of way. I think you two need to do what is best for you two. You can always move back to IL. My sister and I are extremely close and her kids..they lived about 40 min. from where we lived in Arizona. I will have to say.. it is very hard for me not to have my sister.. but we go to arizona often to visit.. and talk all the time. Good luck and if you need any advice on where to look for homes..let me know. I could give you some names of realitors.



answers from Chicago on

I know EXACTLY what you are going through, M.! My advice to you is that you need to do what is right for your family and your family is you and your finace, and child(not sure if you have one yet or if that is in the future) My husband and I both grew up our whole lives in IL and we moved to TX in 2004. We lived there for 3 years. My parents moved down there also, but then my dad was never able to transfer so they moved back here. After my daughter was born and after my husband battling cancer we decedied to move back to IL. Lets just say that we should have stayed where we were in TX. We have been back in IL for almost 2 years and now we are planning on moving back to TX this summer. It has not been an easy decision and my parents won't even talk to me about it, they are in denial, but my husband and I feel that this is what we need to do for our family at this time. I have not illusions that it won't be difficult to leave my parents and other family memeber especially taking my daughter away from them, but I cannot stay here in IL just becuase it would be easier. When we moved down to Dallas the first time we didn't know anyone! Now our best friends are a couple that we met there. We LOVED it there and can't wait to move back. I wish you luck. You just have to do what is right for you and your family. Hopefully your mom and sisiter will understand that and get over it!



answers from Chicago on

I lived in AZ for two years, and ditto on the summers--they are NOT fun! (Seriously, they baked cookies in a car on a news broadcast to show how hot it is, and if you have vinyl seats--get covers--and if you don't, well, get a good car shade) And it's not green. I loved living in AZ because of the people I was with, but I was single and far from family. And you have to know that you're going to love it. The housing market down there is horrible right now--yeah, you can buy a house for cheap, but you can't sell a house. Traffic is horrible no matter what way you go in the morning from 6:30 till 9:00 and from 2:30 till 6:30. And what about jobs? Do you have something lined up that you know is going to be good and you're going to love or like and not just tolerate? And yes, you do have to be careful of scorpions and big spiders and other things you don't see here--and just because they're afraid of people doesn't mean they won't be around. You just have to be careful. I would wait and get married and settle a bit before you make a big jump. I'm not saying don't move, but just really think about a big move. And if your in-laws really are moving down in a couple years, well, maybe then is the time--you can share on moving costs and find out where they're going to move and then base your relocation on that, on how close to them you may want to be. It's just a thought.



answers from Chicago on

Make sure that where you move really is cheaper. Places like Tucson and Phoenix are not cheaper for the most part. Tucson is a burn-out town...lots of drugs, gangs, and so forth.

It is beautiful there and there is so much to appreciate. AS long as you have jobs lined up before you leave, then go for it. REgrets are a terrible thing to live with.

Family is important, but doesn't sound like there will be much outside of your sister....then with your in-laws there it will better. I believe family is very important, but your situation will allow for that soon.

You and your hubby have to make your own decisions in the end after listening to the best advice everyone has to offer. "you aren't moving" is not advice or a reason. You need something a little better than I'm going to miss you and I'm too selfish to let you go.

Do your research thoroughly and get those jobs lined up before you go. Make sure the property taxes, cost of living, and real housing costs are something you can handle.



answers from Chicago on

Great advice offered here already about getting a job lined up etc, so I won't repeat what they've said. My family just moved here from Phoenix a year and a half ago. We were SO happy to get out of the desert!! Please, PLEASE do not move there without visiting first! When I tell people here in IL that I moved from AZ some of them can't believe we'd leave the "warm" weather of AZ for the cold here in IL. But they don't know what they're talking about. My advice would be to visit AZ in July or August when the heat is most intense. Now granted visiting is way different than living in it, but it will still give you an idea of what it's really like. And yes, as another poster said, it's far from green there. If you enjoy the lush green of IL-- say goodbye to that forever. It's brown, brown, brown! Anyways, enough AZ bashing. It's just not for me-- but my best friend still lives there and loves it!

More importantly though I'd stress to you that your priorities definitely change when you have kids. Like other posters have said, when you don't have kids, you can live wherever, but once you have kids you crave to live by family. I can definitely identify with wanting to live somewhere else to try it-- I've done that. Just know that you may want to come back once kids come in the picture.

Good luck with your decision. Oh, and you can most definitely get a nice house there for $130k in the far suburbs of Phoenix (I know because we own a home there still). But getting a mortgage is going to be another issue...from what I've heard it's really hard to get a loan if your credit is bad. :(

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