Moving to Tucson?

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Joined
May 24, 2005
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Bonsall, California
I thought I had posted this before but I see nothing so if I did then apologies. In June I will move from California and I am close to deciding on Tucson. I need warmth, a town with hospitals and colleges, and my wife's family was originally from Tombstone so it looks to be right, but I don't know the town.

I have two questions:

Where is the best wheelin' nearby?
What areas of town are considered the best neighborhoods to live in?

Thanks, and if you guys have a meet soon I may just drive out and look for myself!

Thanks
 
Welcome to AZ you are going to love it - not sure about warmth in the winter - I was in South AZ end of Jan and it was cold :)

click Here for a place that has cataloged some trails in AZ - I am up north - the other locals will chime in
 
wheelin', there are a couple harder things east and northwest of town, and long "tours" (like rug road) which leave from Mammoth on the north side of the Catalinas.

Tucson thoughts (from a guy who has liked Tucson more than other parts of AZ since 1984, who moved away three times and moved back)

You can't make as much money as you can in Phoenix (aka Kleenex), but we are closer to the border (a good thing), we have all the same services, we have an airport that has southwest flights, and we have better x4 mountains than Phoenix (catalinas, rincons, santa ritas, tucson).

and we have tim hill and bill lee....

for real estate areas, I'd find the best residential agent you can (I work in land-big land). I have a strong ref if you drop me a pm, a pair o agents who rank #39/40 @ Long
(1,000+ agents). average home price is $245K, in town brick will run $200K, nothing anywhere below $150K, and can go into millions ($2M is avg max).

We have charter schools which can wash the "district 16" (catalina foothills district) factor, and is you have dough there is private ranging from Sal Pt to St. Gregory's.

Personally, I don't like new HOA's and the NW or new development areas, frame stucco housing is garbage. I live north central and can get most places fairly easily (1st/river).

anyway, good luck

rick d
 
Here is my earlier response https://forum.ih8mud.com/showpost.php?p=951043&postcount=4.

It is hard to tell you where to live, because it depends on what you need. There are lots of trails throughout the area, though in the NW you will be closer to the Phoenix people who are very active. Others can give you better info on this.

You mentioned being closer to medical care or just the presence of hospitals? UMC and TMC are the "better" hospitals and they are in central Tucson. The NW area has a good hospital too, but the bulk of the medicos/specialists are in central Tucson. You mentioned colleges, the UofA is in central Tucson. It is amazing that for a metro-region approaching 1 million people, we do not have a freeway system. The result of this is relying on surface streets and its traffic/long commutes.

There are 'good' neighborhoods all over. Just decide what is important to you. Do you mind traffic? If you don't then you can pick anywhere you like based on how much you want to spend. How big of a lot do you want. Do you mind HOA's? Personally, I hate driving in town and so let that guide where I chose to live in order to prevent spending extra time/money commuting. In addition to the NW (Marana/Oro Valley) and central Tucson, consider the Foothills (northern Tucson), Sabino Canyon/Tanque Verdre area (NE Tucson), Vail (SE Tucson). Lots of areas to look into and each have their own pros/cons.

Again, I would suggest a visit/rental first. Nothing better than getting first hand info. I will say that Tucson is very 'quirky'. Our city/county gov't is absolutely goofy. It seems that the large portion of the people/gov't are still trying to pretend that we are a small cowtown. We have the highest assessed property taxes in the state. I get annoyed alot.

If you have any specific questions, post them up and we (the guys down here) will do our best. Good luck on your move what ever you do.

Ross
 
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Someone should start a thread to compare the wheeling benefits of living in Tucson vs. Phoenix. Since Mr. Stevens obviously isn't interested in living in Phoenix, I'll just leave this thread with a quote: "There are lots of trails throughout the area, though in the NW you will be closer to the Phoenix people who are very active." and add that you'll also be closer to the northern part of the state, which offers cool pines and kickass wheeling opportunities.

Just curious: What benefits are there to living closer to the border? This is not an arguement, nor sarcastic, I'm truly curious.

-Spike
 
living close to the border allows wheeling south of the border. for those who don't get out much you should try the road from Huachinera over to Mesa Tres Rios. It has pines, and remote country.

I am little boas since I was partners in a ranching operation in the "El Gato" range of the Sierra Madre since 1998.

I lived in Phoenix 1983-1990 and sorry never liked the place and it's worse now than ever.

but I am more of an old school Udall fan.
 
-Spike- said:
Someone should start a thread to compare the wheeling benefits of living in Tucson vs. Phoenix. Since Mr. Stevens obviously isn't interested in living in Phoenix, I'll just leave this thread with a quote: "There are lots of trails throughout the area, though in the NW you will be closer to the Phoenix people who are very active." and add that you'll also be closer to the northern part of the state, which offers cool pines and kickass wheeling opportunities.

Just curious: What benefits are there to living closer to the border? This is not an arguement, nor sarcastic, I'm truly curious.

-Spike

Doesn't compare. Phoenix wins. BOOO! Closer to a boatload more trails and National Forests. Tucson does have 2 of the best in AZ...Chiva Falls and Charouleau Gap. IF closures take a hold of the Florence Jct area then Tucson will really hurt. Tucson does have the snorkel trails after snowfall and rain.

There's more history and terrain variety down here than by Phoenix, HOWEVER the difficulty factors are lesser overall down here. :mad: (Perfectly suited for a 100-series :D )

I get SO tired of traveling through Phoenix to get to a run. :mad:

I will say this...we played around for the first time in and around the CNForest NW of Nogales and found some really sweet trails/places. I was also given the skinny on 3 difficult ones in this area by a ranger. We'll scout soon and lead a run. Some of the area is shown here (not the 3 tough ones): http://shottscruisers.smugmug.com/gallery/1181591
 
-Spike- said:
Just curious: What benefits are there to living closer to the border? This is not an arguement, nor sarcastic, I'm truly curious.

-Spike

Oh, and on that CNF run I just spoke of......we seen MANY illegals on the trail as well as Border Control catches in 2 other places.
 
well as a phx resident i'll add my 2 cents. i dont like living in Phx. there i said it, i hate the population, i hate the attitudes, i hate the crowded everything and i am really starting to hate the price. but Phx does have its pluses, i suppose, and i only live here cause of my wife.
i do have to disagree with rick on one point he made, wheelin, plain and simple you cannot beat Phx as a starting point for any kind of wheelin you want simply because it is pretty central in the state. i suppose if the majority of your wheelin consisted of mexico or baja like rick may be, then tucson would look like the better place for proximity.
as a non tucson resident i will give props for a better way of life, as in any smaller city over a big one.
 
RHINO said:
well as a phx resident i'll add my 2 cents. i dont like living in Phx. there i said it, i hate the population, i hate the attitudes, i hate the crowded everything and i am really starting to hate the price. but Phx does have its pluses, i suppose, and i only live here cause of my wife.
i do have to disagree with rick on one point he made, wheelin, plain and simple you cannot beat Phx as a starting point for any kind of wheelin you want simply because it is pretty central in the state. i suppose if the majority of your wheelin consisted of mexico or baja like rick may be, then tucson would look like the better place for proximity.
as a non tucson resident i will give props for a better way of life, as in any smaller city over a big one.

Have to agree there. After growing up in Phx and now living in Tucson for the past 9 years, I'd NEVER EVER move to Phx again....for ANYTHING.

It might not seem so but the weather here is FAR nicer and in the summer it's far cooler. About 2-4* less during the day though 8-15* cooler at night. It actually cools down here.
 
OK Guys. I have discovered the difference between this "AZ-Copper State Cruisers" and "AZ-Land Cruiser Association." so I'll limit my posts to here on out.

Some great help and you ask more on my needs so let me summarize what I'm doing.

I was a CPA but I got real sick with coronary artery disease when I was 30. I'm real luck to be alive - my treatments have always taken place just before they were needed and not a day after which with these heart things is too late. I have had two open heart surgeries and eleven angioplasty catherizations. Now I don't want you to feel sorry for me because my life improved after my first major sickness. I was the hyper workaholic type and I smoked back then. That was in 16 years ago and since then I have pleased myself what I do only occasionally getting involved in a few minor ventures to pay for food. For ten years I "ranched" in Texas dealing standing timber, had a couple of years developing some land and wheelin' in the snow in Taos, and in 1998 I moved to California to take advantage of the depressed housing market, got a lot and built a house . The house finished and that market being recovered (even though over the top a bit) I have listed my house here and am about to get the hell out of Dodge.

So what I do I do from home so being in a good commute area isd not important. getting to grocery and basic living stores on foot is very important because I need walk to keep alive. I have two bright middle school children so schools are important.

My condition prohibits me from a home loan (which I could not afford anyway) so regarding real estate I don't know exactly what I will have after I sell here - probably about $400K. Now I know most houses on realtor.com and I do not think I can get whast i want for under $550 but I'm betting on a real estate decline to take up the slack. This of course means I will rent for a while.

Desertdude says southern AZ is cold in winter. I know - I've been in snow in Tombstone but so is everywhere north of Cabo San Lucas. To Rick_d I have to say you have the advantage over me as I am not familiar with the Tim and Bill you refer too. I thank Rick for his offer of help with realtors and I have his mail save for when I get to make a move. Thank you Rick. I also agree with what Rich say about the new stick homes. I prefer old homes (When I lived with my parents I lived in a house built in 1591-really!) and would love a old fixer upper or a historic home but they seem rare and expensive.

GeoRoss askes some specific questions. I hate traffic but I did say I wanted to be near shops. I have lots of "stuff" and would like enough space to park a trailer or RV and grow a few veggies so I guess 3/2, maybe 1/2 acre would be ideal, and I know all new homes in Tucson usually are on .2 acre lots at best. HOA's are OK IF you value for your assesment. Geo sugests a vist and a rental firat and I think this will be the way. Renta in about June and vist as soon as finish cleaning up the yard in the house I'm trying to sell!

I was interested to see rick had participated in some Mexican agriculture. I have been looking (from a distance) at a small ranch in San Ignatio - with a Spanish speaking partner I'd go for that too.

I'm not going to get into the Tucson vs, Phoenix discussion except to say I hate Phoenix. I woul'nt take John McCains's house even if he dropped the price again. Rhino does not like the population, the attitudes and the crowded everything - but I have news on that score -it's everywgere (except Baja - but that's a differnet story).

Now for the important bit. Thanks for all the scattered wheelin' geography - I can't wait. to sign off I will tell you that i do have one wheelin' place of my own in AZ. My wife great-grandfather had a copper mine in the Whetstone hills, in which incidentiall he lost his legs, and it has been bequethed sown now to my children. @0 acres in the middle of the national Forest - There's wheelin' in them there hills!

Michael
 
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Stevens, Tucson, I've grown up here, left for some years to do Desert storm then came back and have been here ever since. I love this whole valley but especially the east side. Its where I grew up. I get a good vibe on the east. I can be in awesome wheeling in less than 1 hour and less than 2 hours from Tombstone.
If you are artsy green type then somewhere near downtown may suit you. If you like a little space and no HOA bullcrap then old neighborhood eastside is good.
I would suggest maybe finding a house in central Tucson to rent for a while and explore the city to get a good idea where you feel comfortable.
PHX is more central in the state but there is a ton of wheeling to be had in Southern AZ as well and you don't have the metropolis BS of those people in PHX.
You can shoot me an email if you want some specifics or my # maddbaggins@mac.com
 
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Gotta clear up some confusion about southern AZ being cold in the winter. Not exactly correct (sorry DUDE :D ). The nights in S AZ are usually cooler than Phx because we don't have the heat island Phx does plus we're 1200' higher altitude. When the sun begins to set the temp drops. It's only a few degrees on avg below Phx's LOW temps.

The high temps are another story. Tucson is often as warm or WARMER than Phx during the winter during the daytime. This is because we're further south and we get less effect from the cold fronts passing through the state along the jet stream to our north. Phx gets effected by these far more often than Tucson...again, because they're further north. If and when one dips far enough south THEN we get a bit colder because of our other topographical settings (altitude, nearby mountains...that make their own weather, etc.).
 
Glad you're healthy now Michael. I do have one last thing to say about lifestyles in AZ:

Tucson atmosphere is EXTREMELY laid back. This might bid well for you. Hell, the whole city closes this Thurs and Fri for RODEO DAYS. All my customers are off.

Maybe some day I'll get smart and move to Prescott, Sonoita, or Greer. For now I'm a happy camper though as fate has it....I just got a private invite to a wheeling trip NORTH of Phx. :mad: :D
 
Hey Michael,
Good for you. Just a couple of points. It will be difficult to find a place in your price range that is 1/2-3/2 acres and within walking distance to stores (1/3 mile). There are some places in central Tucson w/ large lots, but it will be difficult to find and maybe a bit pricey. Renting first and being able to jump on a property if/when it appears will be a good tactic.

Schools. Tucson area schools (TUSD) leave alot to be desired, especially the middle school years. The TUSD schools will require alot of leg work and research. My oldest is starting kindergarten this fall. We are awaiting the lottery results to see if she got into one of the two schools we applied to. I don't have much specific info on middle schools except which to avoid at all costs if possible. I would look into Amphi school district (NW area only), Tanque Verde (NW) and Vail (SE). The Catalina Foothills School District is good, but the problem w/ their students is they have too much money. They also have some of the worst drug problems of all the school districts in the Tucson Metro area. The good news/bad news is there are tons of charter schools. It is a bit difficult to weed through them all though, but they do offer some very good alternatives. There are also a number of private schools as well.

I cannot speak for 1/2 acre stuff in the NW, but you could be able to find something in Vail, Tanque Verde, or the River Road area (base of the foothills) that maybe in your price range.

Seeing how you have kids, that will probably dictate to a certain extent what your options are. Good luck.

Ross
 
i wasnt trying to start a phx vs tucson thread, didnt mean it to sounds that way. and your right about the pop, crowds and blah blah being everywhere, but it sure seems easier to tolerate and generally less of it in a smaller city or town.
i think tucson is a good choice.
 
Guys: I need apologise about my five star rating of my own thread. I was not trying to blow my own horn as it were, but I was playing with this forum software that I have not used before and the system will not let me delete the stars. If a moderator can do that, then please do.
 
MH_Stevens said:
Guys: I need apologise about my five star rating of my own thread. I was not trying to blow my own horn as it were, but I was playing with this forum software that I have not used before and the system will not let me delete the stars. If a moderator can do that, then please do.

Oh no. Another egomaniac coming to AZ. Kidding! :D I've never even played with ratings or anything. I think most of the threads I start would be -stars IF there was that option. :D
 

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