Relocating to Arizona
Are you considering a move to Arizona? Relocating to Arizona is the best decision I made for myself and my family over 20 years ago.
Here are 8 things you need to know if you are planning to relocate to Arizona.
1. You’re not alone
Arizona is growing. About 200 people a day move to Arizona. Most newcomers to Arizona come from California and Illinois. There are also people moving to Arizona from midwest states such as Ohio and Oklahoma. New York is also a popular state from which people relocate to Arizona.
Affordability, weather and job opportunities are three of the reasons people move to Arizona.
2. Arizona has low property taxes
It’s no surprise that the main states people relocate from (California and Illinois) are also notorious for high taxes. The average Arizona homeowner pays about $2,500 a year in property taxes. In contrast, the average homeowner in California pays over $5,000 a year in property taxes.
Property taxes are paid as part of your monthly mortgage payment. Lower property taxes means increased buying power. For example, the $200 per month you’d save on property taxes in the example above could be an extra $40,000 in purchasing power.
3. You have a lot of lifestyle options
If you’re from Illinois (like me), you may want to live near Chicago restaurants and bars. The Cubs have a spring training stadium in Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix.
If you enjoy fine dining, you might want to consider Scottsdale. Scottsdale is a culinary hotspot and home to Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
Phoenix is one of the best places to retire and has many 55+ Active Adult communities.
Tempe is home to Arizona State University and is very pedestrian and bike-friendly.
4. Arizona offers “school of choice” and charter schools
Schools are important to many Arizona home buyers. Arizona has public, private and charter schools. Arizona also offers “school of choice”. School of choice allows parents to enroll their children in any public school, regardless of where they live (as long as there is room).
Arizona also has a thriving charter school network. Charter schools are free for students. BASIS has over 20 charter schools in Arizona.
5. Home prices vary by area
In the Phoenix metropolitan area, location matters. A newer-built 3 bedroom home with a pool can range from $250,000 to over $700,000, depending on area.
If you want to look at homes in all areas that are within your budget, you can search by price range.
6. You need a car
Some areas of Arizona are more walkable than others. However, the vast majority (87%) of Arizona residents drive to work and recreation.
7. Arizona investment properties do well
Scottsdale, Arizona, was recently ranked the top city to own a vacation rental in the United States. Strong tourism makes vacation rentals a good investment in Arizona. Long-term rental properties also do well in Arizona. Increased job growth and an influx of new residents keep rental prices strong.
Most homes built after 2000 are in HOAs (Homeowners Associations). HOAs charge a monthly or annual fee to their residents. It is important to know what the HOA allows when purchasing an investment property. Many HOAs in Arizona have a minimum of 30 days for rental properties. You can search for Arizona homes with no HOA.
8. You need a good Realtor®
There is competition among Arizona home buyers for the best homes on the market. Having an experienced Arizona real estate agent will ensure you are able to buy the home you want.
The average Arizona home buyer searches for 3 months before they find a home. Plan to work with a Realtor® that is accessible, knowledgeable, and trustworthy.
Arizona requires proof of funds (if you’re paying cash) or a prequalification letter (from a reputable lender) in order to make an offer on a property. If you need a great lender, an experienced Realtor® can make introductions.