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Planning a Move to Phoenix? Things to Do and Know Before You Go.

Is Arizona calling? Maybe you've found a job or are being transferred. Maybe you've decided to retire in the Southwestern Sunbelt. Whatever draws you to the Grand Canyon State, you're going to love it here. A few words to the wise are in order to help you have a smooth relocation.

Don't sell your stuff in haste. Even if you're moving into temporary housing or a smaller space than you're used to, renting a self storage unit in Arizona will give you time to decide what you really want to hang on to. In the long run, mini storage can be a lot cheaper than dumping good items for a few cents on the dollar. You may think you won't need your down-filled parka in Phoenix, only to learn that you're just a couple hours' drive from some awesome ski resorts.

Do your homework. The folks at Move to Arizona Homes suggest you take a few preliminary steps to make finding a new place to live easier:

  • Contact a local real estate or rental agent to establish a relationship. He or she can help steer you in the right direction.
  • If you plan to buy, get pre-qualified for a home loan so you know how much home you can afford.
  • Do a little online home hunting. That way, you'll have a more realistic idea of what's out there.
  • Plan a scouting trip. Give your agent some advance notice so he or she can schedule a consultation and set up appointments to see available homes that suit your needs. This will give you an even better idea of what kind of temporary self storage you'll need in Arizona.

Attend to the details. My Arizona Living recommends that you create your personal Moving to Arizona notebook and calendar. That way you'll have everything from moving company quotes to important phone numbers, info about jobs and schools, and a checklist of necessary tasks organized in one place. This is a huge time-saver.

Get a job. University of Arizona research professor George W. Hammond noted in December 2012, "The Arizona economy is growing, with jobs, income, retail sales and population on the rise. Even the unemployment rate has begun to descend." However, he cautions that growth remains slow "compared to historical averages."

Move to Arizona's website notes, "Continued growth has put Phoenix and Maricopa County into the national spotlight, giving the region influence and economic clout not traditionally seen in the southwest." As a result, Arizona supports a range of industries - mining and handicrafts, to tech jobs in computer manufacturing, biotech and consumer electronics, as well as jobs in the financial sector. Whatever type of job you're seeking, in Arizona, as anywhere else these days, the better prepared and connected you are, the more likely you are to find work. So, as part of your move-to-Arizona plan, polish up your resume and get your references in order. You might also want to join local Arizona organizations in your trade or industry, which will give you a networking base.

Arizona FAQs

Whether you're working, retired or attending school in Arizona, chances are good you'll be living in Maricopa County. Half of Arizona's population does. The nation's fourth most populous county includes Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale and Tempe, as well as many smaller communities.

Compared to many other of the nation's states, Arizona's tax situation is extremely attractive. According to Move to Arizona, property taxes are the nation's seventh lowest at 0.6696 percent. The website also notes that state sales taxes are a relatively low 5 percent, however each municipality also levies its own additional tax - usually around 3 percent. Arizona's personal income tax ranges from 3.8 percent to 7 percent on taxable income, with no municipality earnings tax on top of state income tax.

RealEstate.com writes that, "Recent trends in Arizona real estate indicate that prices have evened out as buyers and sellers negotiate a new understanding of the value of property in the modern economic climate." Reporting on the period between the end of 2011 and mid-2012, they noted that buyers "still expect to get great value for their money. Over the past five months, the average sale price of a single family home [was] 54 percent below the average list price." Condominiums selling in the same period were almost 13 percent below asking prices. However, as available inventory dries up and demand continues to be high, don't expect those bargains to last much longer.

Start Packing

You've got a game plan for a smooth move and a realistic picture of Arizona's housing and job market. You're ready to start packing. Remember, don't be too aggressive about purging your possessions before your move. You can always place your things in an Arizona self storage unit until you have a better grip on what you'll need in your new hometown.

Sources

Arizona Relocation Process http://www.movetoarizonahomes.com/relocation-process.php

"Arizona Growth: Better, But Not Very Good", George W. Hammond, PhD., EBR Associate Director and Research Professor http://ebr.eller.arizona.edu/forecasting/Arizona_Economic_Outlook_01_13.asp

Move to Arizona http://www.my-arizona-desert-living.com/Move-to-Arizona.html

Living in Arizona Information http://www.movetoarizonahomes.com/area-information.php

Arizona Real Estate Trends - A New Way to Look at Arizona Realty http://www.realestate.com/state/AZ

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