Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Arizona Help

So... This is where I hope that by some serendipitous coincidence, I have a reader out there who can offer the perfect bit of advice in this situation.

See, my sister is moving to Arizona. I will, for a moment, put aside the fact that I have no idea how I'm going to deal with her living so far away. We're only 18 months apart, have always been very close, and have never gone any real length of time without seeing one another. But this isn't about me...

In any case, this is where I'm hoping for a little help. She will be working in the Tempe area, but is looking into living in either Tempe, Scottsdale or Phoenix. She will be renting an apartment, preferably a loft, and is at a bit of a loss as to where she wants to be. She will be flying down sometime in the next week to look at places and hopefully decide on a place. Anyone out there who has any advice, connections, recommendations PLEASE feel free to offer them. She could use all the help she can get.

Here's what we know so far:
  • Phoenix - Great selection of loft spaces at great prices, but more of an up and coming area. May not be the ideal location for her.
  • Tempe - College town. Will this single 27-year-old end up living near a bunch of drunken frat boys?
  • Scottsdale - Biggest drawback is probably price for what she wants and the fact that it's known for being a bit "uppity". May be the best in terms of "to do's" around town.

What she's looking for:

  • Location - Needs to be in a fun, safe area. She's is moving to Arizona not knowing anyone and would love to be in the middle of all the action.
  • Amentities - A community/high rise that includes a pool, possible a gym, etc. Once again, she's going to be meeting a lot of new people so an environment that facilitates that is a plus.
  • Preferably a loft style space with updates - granite countertops, newer fixtures, etc.

She has recently aquired the help of a local "apartment finder" if you will, and I think they've zoned in on North Scottsdale. Anyone have anything good or bad to say about the area? Other places to look? Recommendations for shopping, eating, etc?? And, if you just so happen to live in the area and are interested in making a new friend, let me know :).


Jennelle said...

No advice, but good luck to your sister!

Sarah @ Hennessey House said...

wow, your sister is a brave one!
i don't have any personal advice on arizona, but having moved across the country to a new apartment, sight unseen, i do have a few tips.

google the crap out of whatever city she's moving to. type in search words like "best place to live in tempe for young adult" etc.
hopefully sites like these will come in handy:

second, if she goes with an apartment complex, check to see if it's on there, but more importantly, to see if it's rated. i avoided several disaster apartments in philly by checking that site first. google the complex for reviews out there, maybe even run the company through the better business bureau's website to make sure there are no complaints.
it's stressful enough to move to a city where you know no one, having to deal with a crappy living situation is something you definitely want to avoid. hopefully she'll find some place great and then you'll just have to go visit :)

Amber said...

Well my parents were living in Glendale [right outside of Phoenix] and they LOVED it. I have also heard that Surprise, AZ is very nice as well. From what I know of their experience, everything you already know about Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe are pretty true.

Phoenix is a little "rough" and probably not the best place for a single female to be when she doesn't know anyone in the area--just maybe want to be somewhere a little smaller.

Scottsdale is wonderful and very nice but like you pointed out, VERY pricey [as far as everything not just housing]and definitely more 'uppity' than she would probably like or be used to coming from the midwest.

How soon is she moving? My parents are actually moving back to the area in July so I can ask my mom if she has anymore advice about good areas to look. Good luck to your sister!

Ashley said...

Used to live in Scottsdale - family still does. Consider South Scottsdale instead of North Scottsdale - slightly nicer than Tempe, less costly and uppity than North Scottsdale. Phoenix is a little dicey for a single female. That's just off the top of my head. If there are more specific questions, I know Scottsdale/Tempe somewhat well, and I can answer them!

Lisa said...

Oh, Ashley - I actually have a ton of questions for you then. The gentleman she's working with suggested North Scottsdale for what she wants. Should I be steering her the other direction?

Ashley said...

Well, so Scottsdale is a big skinny strip right on the eastern edge of the Phoenix metro area. It's all kind of relative... Northern Scottsdale is definitely nicer and newer than south Scottsdale - a bit further from Tempe, but not by much (freeways are convenient in AZ)! Is her job near the university? I would say based on the criteria you listed that N. Scottsdale is probably best.

As far as nightlife goes, any of the malls are popular, with lots of restaurants and entertainment in open plazas. Also popular: old town Scottsdale.

If it helps at all, mapwise, my sister works near 90th St. and Shea, my mom works near Raintree and the 101, and my family lives near Hayden at Thomas. I've been away for a few years, but I visit often and any questions I can refer to my mom/sister on up-to-date info. If you'd like more details, we can discuss by email as well! :) I can't say I enjoyed the heat in AZ, but there are many good things to say for the state and I'm sure your sister will enjoy it!

N. said...

My stepdad and stepsister used to live in a few different areas of AZ, and my stepdad is actually about to move back... so I will ask them your questions. Not sure if they'll be any help, since it's been awhile since they've lived there, but they have family still there, so I'll try.

Good luck to your sister!! And how exciting! I can only imagine how much you'll miss her, though.

mrs.leah.maria said...

I'm of no help for AZ, but I just wanted to respond to your comment. I react much the same as you to most blog causes, because there is just too much pain! I just wanted to let you know that I completely understand where you're coming from.

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