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Moving to Phoenix!

Hello! My name is Courtney and I'm coming over here to ask for relocation advice. I see that this board is pretty dead, but hopefully I will get some replies. My DH, DD, DS, and I currently live in WI. We have our house for sale and are hoping that it will sell sometime soon. We are planning a move to the Phoenix area soon as our house sells.

I have family in both the Surprise and Litchfield Park areas. I am thinking that Litchfield would be the best place out of the two for our family to move. However, since I have never lived in AZ I am basing all of my information off of what my family says and from what I have witnessed while on vacations down there. I need some insight from some AZ residents. Where would be the best place for a young family to move in the west valley? DH has a very versitile career and I am a SAHM so employment will not determine where we move. We would like to be in close proximity (within an hour or so) to everything, but not right in the middle. A safe area and good schools are a must! My nieces and nephews go to charter schools down there, so that may be an option as well.

I know that this question is very subjective, but does anyone have any advice on a good gymnastics center and dance academy near phoenix? My DD is very involved in dance and gymnastics and this move is going to be stressful on her, so I would like to find her a gymnastics center and dance center right away.

Any and all advice and information you can give me regarding Phoenix would be appreciated! TIA!

 

imageimage
Paityn 01/09/09 & Nolan 06/23/11

Re: Moving to Phoenix!

  • I think both areas are very nice truth be told. I live in Surprise and absolutely love it out here, but we also looked in LP and it was nice there as well. We just went with Surprise because I loved the feel of the community we live in. When we moved here, we rented first as we came from the Boston area and I wanted to make sure I liked where we were, before we purchased a house. A year and a half later we actually purchased our home in the same community we rented in. The schools out this way are pretty good as well. I don't know much about LP but there are some ladies on the board who do live there who might know more about them.

    I don't know anything about gymnastics / dance out this way as I have boys and they aren't interested in that but I'm hoping someone will be able to help you.

    Tips I have found about AZ... The property tax is LOW (well, compaired to where I came from) but the sales tax is nuts (upwards of 9.5% in some areas...).

    Adventures of a Mom


    image

    Where is time going??
  • image cnj050607:

    I think both areas are very nice truth be told. I live in Surprise and absolutely love it out here, but we also looked in LP and it was nice there as well. We just went with Surprise because I loved the feel of the community we live in. When we moved here, we rented first as we came from the Boston area and I wanted to make sure I liked where we were, before we purchased a house. A year and a half later we actually purchased our home in the same community we rented in. The schools out this way are pretty good as well. I don't know much about LP but there are some ladies on the board who do live there who might know more about them.

    I don't know anything about gymnastics / dance out this way as I have boys and they aren't interested in that but I'm hoping someone will be able to help you.

    Tips I have found about AZ... The property tax is LOW (well, compaired to where I came from) but the sales tax is nuts (upwards of 9.5% in some areas...).

    Thank you for the reply! We will be looking into all of the areas the next trip we talk out there, but I wanted to get a better idea of areas to focus on. Roughly how long does it take you to get into phoenix on a normal day with traffic? The last time I was out there parts of Surprise were still "up and coming" is it a little more established now? We are definitely planning on renting for a little while so we can get use to the area, however, we have a dog and a cat so we need to find a place that is pet friendly. 9.5% sales tax is super high, a lot of online shopping may be in my near future! Thank you for your advice!

    Hopefully some ladies from Litchfield Park will chime in and give me some insight on that area as well!

    imageimage
    Paityn 01/09/09 & Nolan 06/23/11
  • image courtneyjean7:
    image cnj050607:

    Thank you for the reply! We will be looking into all of the areas the next trip we talk out there, but I wanted to get a better idea of areas to focus on. Roughly how long does it take you to get into phoenix on a normal day with traffic? The last time I was out there parts of Surprise were still "up and coming" is it a little more established now? We are definitely planning on renting for a little while so we can get use to the area, however, we have a dog and a cat so we need to find a place that is pet friendly. 9.5% sales tax is super high, a lot of online shopping may be in my near future! Thank you for your advice!

    Hopefully some ladies from Litchfield Park will chime in and give me some insight on that area as well!

    How long ago were you out here? It has developed quite a bit even since I've been here (August of 2009). We have a new Walmart off of Waddell and the 303. They just added this cool place that reminds me of dave and busters but cheaper over by the movie theater off of Litchfield and Waddell. The Target out here is more of a super target now.

    There are areas of Surprise that I wouldn't go near with a 10ft pole (near grand really) but where I am it is really safe and developed. The frys by our house just opened the summer that we moved here and there are other shops going in there as well. I find it to be nice. Not to much, but I can get to whatever I need really quickly.

    Carl drives to Phoenix and on a bad day it can take him about an hour to an hour 15 minutes. On a good day it only takes him about 45 minutes. The construction on the 303 has been holding him up a bit lately though. To us that is amazing as he used to commute 30 miles into Boston and it would take 90-120 minutes each way so he enjoys this commute. We are far enough from the city to not be in the middle of it all, but we can get there quickly when we want to on the weekends. On a Saturday we can be downtown in 30 mins or less for the most part.

    Adventures of a Mom


    image

    Where is time going??
  • My family and I live in Litchfield Park.  We live in "Old Litchfield" which is the area right around the Wigwam Resort.  We LOVE the neighborhood we live in.  There are churches, restaurants, parks, a recreation center, a library and an elementary school right within a small area.  Outside of "Old Litchfield" are tons of restaurants, bars etc. 

    I work in Tempe and my DH works in Downtown Phoenix.  My commute is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and DH's is about 20 minutes every morning.  It takes about 25 minutes to get to Central Phoenix without traffic.  There are tons of things to do within a ten to 15 minute drive of us.  

    The school system is very good and there are a couple of highly recommended private schools near us as well.  My son goes to one of those for daycare and preschool and we are very pleased with our experience.  

    What I love most about living here is the small town community feel.  My DS plays sports right within our neighborhood through the recreation department and there are TONS of young families near us.  It's a very safe place to live and so peaceful.  

    Lastly - we pay only a fraction of our property taxes because the Wigwam Resort picks up the rest.  It's a perk in addition to low housing prices. The City of Litchfield Park is very proactive and well organized.  They keep things very clean and running well.  There is a big push to add additional commercial relationships as well which will only improve the community.  

    Feel free to ask additional questions if you want.  

  • image cnj050607:
    image courtneyjean7:
    image cnj050607:

    Thank you for the reply! We will be looking into all of the areas the next trip we talk out there, but I wanted to get a better idea of areas to focus on. Roughly how long does it take you to get into phoenix on a normal day with traffic? The last time I was out there parts of Surprise were still "up and coming" is it a little more established now? We are definitely planning on renting for a little while so we can get use to the area, however, we have a dog and a cat so we need to find a place that is pet friendly. 9.5% sales tax is super high, a lot of online shopping may be in my near future! Thank you for your advice!

    Hopefully some ladies from Litchfield Park will chime in and give me some insight on that area as well!

    How long ago were you out here? It has developed quite a bit even since I've been here (August of 2009). We have a new Walmart off of Waddell and the 303. They just added this cool place that reminds me of dave and busters but cheaper over by the movie theater off of Litchfield and Waddell. The Target out here is more of a super target now.

    There are areas of Surprise that I wouldn't go near with a 10ft pole (near grand really) but where I am it is really safe and developed. The frys by our house just opened the summer that we moved here and there are other shops going in there as well. I find it to be nice. Not to much, but I can get to whatever I need really quickly.

    Carl drives to Phoenix and on a bad day it can take him about an hour to an hour 15 minutes. On a good day it only takes him about 45 minutes. The construction on the 303 has been holding him up a bit lately though. To us that is amazing as he used to commute 30 miles into Boston and it would take 90-120 minutes each way so he enjoys this commute. We are far enough from the city to not be in the middle of it all, but we can get there quickly when we want to on the weekends. On a Saturday we can be downtown in 30 mins or less for the most part.

    The last time I was out there was June of 2009, so almost exactly 2 years ago. I'm glad things are more developed, and I definitely know what you are talking about when you mention the the places to avoid from the last time I was out there. 30 minutes to downtown isn't bad at all, as long as traffic is avoidable. We will have to reconsider Surprise, we originally thought Litchfield Park would be better mainly because of the commute, but 30 minutes isn't that big of a deal.

    It's so hard to plan ahead when we live so far away! I can't wait until this is all over and done with!

    imageimage
    Paityn 01/09/09 & Nolan 06/23/11
  • image sandipluschris:

    My family and I live in Litchfield Park.  We live in "Old Litchfield" which is the area right around the Wigwam Resort.  We LOVE the neighborhood we live in.  There are churches, restaurants, parks, a recreation center, a library and an elementary school right within a small area.  Outside of "Old Litchfield" are tons of restaurants, bars etc. 

    I work in Tempe and my DH works in Downtown Phoenix.  My commute is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and DH's is about 20 minutes every morning.  It takes about 25 minutes to get to Central Phoenix without traffic.  There are tons of things to do within a ten to 15 minute drive of us.  

    The school system is very good and there are a couple of highly recommended private schools near us as well.  My son goes to one of those for daycare and preschool and we are very pleased with our experience.  

    What I love most about living here is the small town community feel.  My DS plays sports right within our neighborhood through the recreation department and there are TONS of young families near us.  It's a very safe place to live and so peaceful.  

    Lastly - we pay only a fraction of our property taxes because the Wigwam Resort picks up the rest.  It's a perk in addition to low housing prices. The City of Litchfield Park is very proactive and well organized.  They keep things very clean and running well.  There is a big push to add additional commercial relationships as well which will only improve the community.  

    Feel free to ask additional questions if you want.  

    Thank you so much for this information! Everything that you said sounds exactly like everything I've heard! I was told that when were are looking at houses in Old Litchfield we should look for houses with 3 number addresses such as "123" as opposed to "12345" is that correct? Are there any areas in Litchfield Park that aren't as great as others? What about the areas around Litchfield Park that aren't technically in the city limits, but they have Litchfield Park mailing addresses, are they acceptable places to raise a family? Thanks for your information!

    imageimage
    Paityn 01/09/09 & Nolan 06/23/11
  • image courtneyjean7:

    Thank you for the reply! We will be looking into all of the areas the next trip we talk out there, but I wanted to get a better idea of areas to focus on. Roughly how long does it take you to get into phoenix on a normal day with traffic? The last time I was out there parts of Surprise were still "up and coming" is it a little more established now? We are definitely planning on renting for a little while so we can get use to the area, however, we have a dog and a cat so we need to find a place that is pet friendly. 9.5% sales tax is super high, a lot of online shopping may be in my near future! Thank you for your advice!

    Hopefully some ladies from Litchfield Park will chime in and give me some insight on that area as well!

    I don't actually have anything to add on LP or Surprise, as I live more central, and maybe it's only because I'm a rule follower, but Arizona (like many other states) has a law that any online purchases must be claimed on your income tax forms and sales tax will then be calculated and paid on all online purchases.  While many states have this law, Arizona is actually heavily enforcing it now, so I wouldn't advise "depending" on online shopping to skirt sales tax.

  • jasnemjasnem
    Ninth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    member

    Hi and welcome!

    I have lived in both Surprise and Litchfield Park (not Old LP, though). I have to say that I prefer Litchfield Park simply because it is closer to the freeway and a much faster commute to everything. I find that we drive a lot in AZ compared to MI where I'm from, and that extra half an hour really starts to add up.

    When we moved to our new house, I made sure that we were in the Litchfield Park school district because they have very good schools. We actually live in Avondale now, but it is still within the LP school district so that's something to consider as well.

    As for the dance academy, I know there is one pretty close to where we live called the Take 5 Dance Academy. I don't know too much about it, but I was hoping to start my DD there when she is old enough.

     Hope this helps and GL with your move!!! 

  • Welcome to Phoenix.  How heavily into gymnastics is your daughter? I was an elite gymnast up until 1999 and am pretty familiar with many of the clubs around the valley.  There aren't too many out that way if you are looking for competetive teams.  Many of the teams are central, north and east valley based. 
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  • image Jenn is Silly:
    image courtneyjean7:

    Thank you for the reply! We will be looking into all of the areas the next trip we talk out there, but I wanted to get a better idea of areas to focus on. Roughly how long does it take you to get into phoenix on a normal day with traffic? The last time I was out there parts of Surprise were still "up and coming" is it a little more established now? We are definitely planning on renting for a little while so we can get use to the area, however, we have a dog and a cat so we need to find a place that is pet friendly. 9.5% sales tax is super high, a lot of online shopping may be in my near future! Thank you for your advice!

    Hopefully some ladies from Litchfield Park will chime in and give me some insight on that area as well!

    I don't actually have anything to add on LP or Surprise, as I live more central, and maybe it's only because I'm a rule follower, but Arizona (like many other states) has a law that any online purchases must be claimed on your income tax forms and sales tax will then be calculated and paid on all online purchases.  While many states have this law, Arizona is actually heavily enforcing it now, so I wouldn't advise "depending" on online shopping to skirt sales tax.

    Thank you for making me aware of this! I am definitely a rule follower too, but as long as I keep reciepts for everything I buy (which I am very good at) I think I will be okay! While the high tax stinks, the low housing cost definitely still makes AZ worth living in!

    imageimage
    Paityn 01/09/09 & Nolan 06/23/11
  • image jasnem:

    Hi and welcome!

    I have lived in both Surprise and Litchfield Park (not Old LP, though). I have to say that I prefer Litchfield Park simply because it is closer to the freeway and a much faster commute to everything. I find that we drive a lot in AZ compared to MI where I'm from, and that extra half an hour really starts to add up.

    When we moved to our new house, I made sure that we were in the Litchfield Park school district because they have very good schools. We actually live in Avondale now, but it is still within the LP school district so that's something to consider as well.

    As for the dance academy, I know there is one pretty close to where we live called the Take 5 Dance Academy. I don't know too much about it, but I was hoping to start my DD there when she is old enough.

     Hope this helps and GL with your move!!! 

    Thank you for your information on the dance academy, I will have to do some research on it!

    If you don't mind me asking, when did you move from MI to to AZ? We are from WI so it will be essentially the same move. The thought of long commutes is one of our main reasons for prefering Litchfiel Park over Surprise. Here in WI we travel no more that 15 minutes to get to anything! Do you have any advice you could give me on making this long distance move run smoothly? Thank you!

    imageimage
    Paityn 01/09/09 & Nolan 06/23/11
  • image bhead81:
    Welcome to Phoenix.  How heavily into gymnastics is your daughter? I was an elite gymnast up until 1999 and am pretty familiar with many of the clubs around the valley.  There aren't too many out that way if you are looking for competetive teams.  Many of the teams are central, north and east valley based. 

    My DD is only 3.5, but she is pretty good! She is on an advanced team called "gym stars" here in WI. She is so dedicated and she really enjoys it! We would definitely be looking for a gym that has a competitive team.

    Right now we live across the street from my parents and my DD has seen them just about everyday since she was born, so she is extremely attached to them. I'm nervous about how she is going to do when we move across the country and when she will only get to see them 1 or 2 times a year. That is why I want to make sure she stays in dance and gymnastics, so she doesn't have to give up everything she's ever known. I'm hoping she will make new friends rather quickly to take her mind off of all of her friends here in WI.

    If you could give me the names of some of the competitive gyms in the area I would appreciate it!

    imageimage
    Paityn 01/09/09 & Nolan 06/23/11
  • jasnemjasnem
    Ninth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    member
    image courtneyjean7:
    image jasnem:

    Hi and welcome!

    I have lived in both Surprise and Litchfield Park (not Old LP, though). I have to say that I prefer Litchfield Park simply because it is closer to the freeway and a much faster commute to everything. I find that we drive a lot in AZ compared to MI where I'm from, and that extra half an hour really starts to add up.

    When we moved to our new house, I made sure that we were in the Litchfield Park school district because they have very good schools. We actually live in Avondale now, but it is still within the LP school district so that's something to consider as well.

    As for the dance academy, I know there is one pretty close to where we live called the Take 5 Dance Academy. I don't know too much about it, but I was hoping to start my DD there when she is old enough.

     Hope this helps and GL with your move!!! 

    Thank you for your information on the dance academy, I will have to do some research on it!

    If you don't mind me asking, when did you move from MI to to AZ? We are from WI so it will be essentially the same move. The thought of long commutes is one of our main reasons for prefering Litchfiel Park over Surprise. Here in WI we travel no more that 15 minutes to get to anything! Do you have any advice you could give me on making this long distance move run smoothly? Thank you!

     

    We moved 7 years ago. (Wow,can't believe it's been that long!)

    When I moved out, it was just me and all my stuff crammed in my car. lol

    My advice is to give it time to adjust when you get out here. I'm not gonna lie it was tough being away from family and friends at first, but AZ truly feels like home to us now, and we have learned to love it.

    I would get involved in things with the kids right away too so you can feel connected. I know both Surprise and Litchfield Park libraries have things for babies and kids throughout the week. I'm sure you'll make a lot more connections with your little girl being in dance and gymnastics too. There are tons of transplants here in PHX, so you'll find a lot of people who can relate to you!

  • image courtneyjean7:
    image sandipluschris:

    My family and I live in Litchfield Park.  We live in "Old Litchfield" which is the area right around the Wigwam Resort.  We LOVE the neighborhood we live in.  There are churches, restaurants, parks, a recreation center, a library and an elementary school right within a small area.  Outside of "Old Litchfield" are tons of restaurants, bars etc. 

    I work in Tempe and my DH works in Downtown Phoenix.  My commute is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and DH's is about 20 minutes every morning.  It takes about 25 minutes to get to Central Phoenix without traffic.  There are tons of things to do within a ten to 15 minute drive of us.  

    The school system is very good and there are a couple of highly recommended private schools near us as well.  My son goes to one of those for daycare and preschool and we are very pleased with our experience.  

    What I love most about living here is the small town community feel.  My DS plays sports right within our neighborhood through the recreation department and there are TONS of young families near us.  It's a very safe place to live and so peaceful.  

    Lastly - we pay only a fraction of our property taxes because the Wigwam Resort picks up the rest.  It's a perk in addition to low housing prices. The City of Litchfield Park is very proactive and well organized.  They keep things very clean and running well.  There is a big push to add additional commercial relationships as well which will only improve the community.  

    Feel free to ask additional questions if you want.  

    Thank you so much for this information! Everything that you said sounds exactly like everything I've heard! I was told that when were are looking at houses in Old Litchfield we should look for houses with 3 number addresses such as "123" as opposed to "12345" is that correct? Are there any areas in Litchfield Park that aren't as great as others? What about the areas around Litchfield Park that aren't technically in the city limits, but they have Litchfield Park mailing addresses, are they acceptable places to raise a family? Thanks for your information!

    There are other developments out here that are nice but I LOVE the feel of Old Litchfield.  It just feels like a small community to me.  The three number address is right.  

     

  • I don't have any info for you since I'm an East Valley girl, but welcome (almost) and hope you have a safe move!
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  • Best of luck to you on your upcoming move.  I am also a WI transplant, but I'm an East Valley girl so I don't have much advice on the West Valley.  And yeah, while sales tax does suck here, your property taxes are about 1/3rd of what they would be in WI and the state income tax is also quite a bit lower.  I'm not a big shopper anyway so the tax structure here makes a big difference to me!  Personally I found the adjustment to AZ living really easy, but I also spent a few years in Florida before I came here.

     Anyway, WELCOME! (in advance)  

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