We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

arizona or texas

europe
5 posts
Save Topic
arizona or texas

I'm looking to move to the U.S. from Europe, I'm torn between Texas or Arizona but I think I'd prefer the heat and dryness of AZ as opposed to humidity in TX. From what I'm reading via internet I get the impression Phoenix would be the safer (we were looking into the Austin area in TX). The downside is housing is soooo much more expensive in AZ. I've never been to either place but I'm tired of attached housing, detached houses are not affordable where we currently live ( a basic bungalow starts at about $400,000) and I'm tired of not feeling safe. I've been dealing with increasing vandalism and increasing costs for too long. I'm flexible on work (administrative along with accounting) so the main factors are cost of living, weather and safety. No children, my husband and I are both mid 40's looking for some privacy and peace of mind. Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated. Has anyone moved from one place to the other, have you visited both places, what's your experience or preference. Which would you recommend and why? Thanks for any input in this life changing decision.

Washington, DC
1 post
Save Reply
1. Re: arizona or texas

Austin and Phoenix are two completely different regions. So you might want to first determine in what environment you would prefer living. Phoenix is desert, and it's hot, as you know. And yes, it's a dry heat, but if you've not experienced a summer in Phoenix, you might want to visit during that time. For some people, the concept of a "dry heat" is lost when it's 120 degrees F in the shade.

Austin can be equally as hot (I lived there for years), and yes, it is a bit more humid. But you might find the weather more interesting because of its somewhat distinct seasons and occasional intense and exciting storms that roll in. You will get cold snaps in the winter, but they are short-lived.

I lived in Austin for 17 years and enjoyed my time there. People are friendly, well educated, progressive, and have a real passion for the city. But, the cost of living isn't cheap. Property taxes are high and housing is the highest in the state.

Regarding crime, Phoenix and Austin are both large cities and have their share of problems. Neither are going to be entirely safe havens. But you can find great areas in both cities where you will feel perfectly safe taking evening walks.

I would suggest you do some research on your own, since many people will provide you biased opinions. You might want to visit: http://www.bestplaces.net/

Sperlings provides solid statistical information about the largest US metropolitan regions. I think you'll find it especially useful.

Bolton UK
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: arizona or texas

is this turnip for in thyre stews?

South Padre Island...
Level Contributor
122 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: arizona or texas

Usais,

Hi and welcome to tripadvisor. I have never been to Arizona, but I would like to visit someday. If you're into the "Wild West" type environment, that is the state to do it at. After all, they got the Minuteman project going on over there--not to mention that the crime rate is one of the highest in the nation.

Think of Austin as the high-tech businessman on a horse wearing a cowboy hat. That sums up Austin. I've lived there for 4 years, and while it may not be enough to make a good all-around judgement, I can say that the city lives up to its potential as one of my favorite cities in Texas. However, the traffic is among the worst I've ever experienced--anywhere. Growth has expanded so fast that construction can not keep up. It's the price you pay for the quality of life in Austin. Is it worth it to you? To me, it wasn't because I lived near downtown and it took me 45 minutes to drive 10 miles. Maybe if I lived in one of the smaller cities outside of Austin (Plugerville, Wimberley, etc) it would have been worth it.

A suggestion: You talk about cost of living, weather and safety. Do you know what region of Texas fits that bill 100%? The "Rio Grande Valley". I live there now for those very reasons. The average weather temp is in the high 70s, winters are low 50s and there is a beach that has consistently ranked #3 in the US. Want to know what is currently the best town in Texas, and, perhaps the nation? South Padre Island. It was recently ranked #2 by escapehomes.com.

Look into it. Also check out the south padre island website at: www.spireviews.com

good luck!

Sun City West
Destination Expert
for Rosarito
Level Contributor
4,497 posts
134 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: arizona or texas

Check out the site

www.realtor.com

It works for the entire U.S. I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised at housing prices all across the U.S. Look at the sq. footage of the houses; they are much larger than Europe. For Phoenix, look at areas other than Scottsdale; you'll find there are many very nice, very affordable houses.

Pat

Sun City West
Destination Expert
for Rosarito
Level Contributor
4,497 posts
134 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: arizona or texas

I forgot to say that when we were considering a move to Texas (before we bought in Arizona), we were stunned at the property taxes in Texas. It is true that Texas has no state income tax,but the property taxes on the house we were looking at were twice what my property tax and Colorado state income tax were when they were combined. Homeowner's insurance is also VERY expensive in Texas because of the "killer mold" problem. There are soooo many factors to consider in making such a big decision.

Pat

europe
5 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: arizona or texas

Thank you so much for your responses. You're right about the property taxes. I did one of those online searches to see what I could afford mortgagewise (estimating from internet searches about how much I could earn there and how much taxes would be in Texas) the results were depressing. I wouldn't even be able to get a home then in Texas. It sounds like you're familiar with european housing, then you can understand why I'm hoping for a detached house as opposed to an apartment. This attached rowhouse is getting to me, it's nonstop noise. It's really sad to think so many peoples homes are burgled while they're upstairs and often times they heard the noise but assumed it was the neighbors because in these houses, there's always noise. Doors slamming, people talking, we hear it all; I can even tell when the neighbors have smoked a lot because then I start to smell it through the ventilation system. It's so not fun. I'm longing for some peace and quiet. Although homes are bigger in Texas, the property taxes wouldn't allow me to have a home so it looks more and more like Phoenix is the answer I need to do a serious cost of living comparision. I know car insurance, groceries and utilities are higher in AZ but I don't think that difference would make up for the difference in taxes. Thanks again for everyones input!

Roswell, New Mexico
Level Contributor
718 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: arizona or texas

The nice thing about both Texas and Arizona is that you and the neighbors will have guns in the house to prevent burglaries!

On a more serious note, check out epodunk, bestplaces, etc... and I bet you'll find that the Texas proprty tax burden isn't that onerous when compared to AZ housing costs. Austin will undoubtedly be expensive, but if you look an hour away, you might get lucky. We recently moved from Texas, and when doing our research found out that TX property taxes weren't all that awful. You might also find that the homestead exemption varies from place to place.

Sun City West
Destination Expert
for Rosarito
Level Contributor
4,497 posts
134 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: arizona or texas

I don't know about the car insurance; it's definitely cheaper in Arizona than it was in Colorado......I guess it's all relative.

Both my daughters live in Houston (an hour of freeway driving apart), and I see them often. I also grocery shop with them. I see no differences in groceries from Texas to Arizona (or in Colorado for that matter).

Again, look outside the Phoenix area; look at Surprise, Anthem, Glendale, Tempe,--in short, everywhere but Scotsdale. Look at the homes on www.realtor.com I bet you'll be surprised. The site should list property taxes on each home you click on also--and the site works for all over the U.S.

You can get information on the various states income taxes by doing a search on www.google.com using "ranking of state income tax". You should also be able to find each state's sales tax that way. Still, your tax burden will be less than in Europe. The very top U.S. bracket is far below the european average, and you'll probably be paying less than 30% .

Living is definitely less expensive here; come on over; you'll like it. :)

Pat

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
83 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: arizona or texas

Have you considered San Antonio? It's more affordable than Austin, slower-paced, and wonderfully multicultural.