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Arizona or Minnesota? Land or weather? Ugh...can't decide.

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frigidfire86 posted 4/13/2013 12:48 PM

I grew up in Minnesota and moved to Arizona when I was 18. My husband has visited both states, but never spent an extended period of time in either. I dream of working at Mayo Clinic and the two locations I would consider is either Arizona or Minnesota. So, we're trying to list the pros and cons to figure out where we want to live.

We love the weather in AZ; no snow is a huge plus and the lack of humidity is amazing. We also love city life, the mountains, hiking, Jeep trails, etc. Basically it's perfect.....except for two things: we cannot afford to buy land, at least, nothing more than a large lot, and it just generally costs more to live there. It's also no where near either of our families (not a huge deal, but a consideration).

Minnesota is gorgeous. It's lush and green and the rolling hills I grew up with are beautiful. Our families are both close by, but not too close. It has a very walkable downtown that I love, hunting, fishing, etc. We could afford to buy land, and not just a big lot in town, but a lot of land. The cost of living is a lot cheaper there. BUT, we hate winter. The cold, wet, snow, ice, shoveling, scraping windows, wearing several layers...we HATE it. It's also humid as hell, another major downfall.

So for us it basically comes down to do we want a lot of land to do with as we please OR do we want the gorgeous weather year round. They both mean so much to us. Ugh. Opinions? Thoughts?

Sad in AZ posted 4/13/2013 13:08 PM

Want to hear from Sad in AZ?

I wasn't sad because I lived there I love AZ; the area you are considering is probably Scottsdale--most people can't afford to live there, but there are lots of other alternatives. Yes, you would have to contend with traffic, but it's no where near as bad as some other places (Houston in particular )

I've only visiting Minnesota, and only in the summer. It is a beautiful place.

If you want to PM me, I can fill you in on more details about AZ.

frigidfire86 posted 4/13/2013 13:13 PM

We're looking at Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Carefree, North Phoenix..... anywhere up there since that's where Mayo is located. I've seen a few homes with a few acres, but nothing like the 40+ acres we could get in MN.

Sad in AZ posted 4/13/2013 13:15 PM

If you want land, you'll have to go much further north. And, as you know, it looks NOTHING like MN

Would you consider buying a house in the Phoenix metro area and land up near Flagstaff/Payson/White Mtns/etc. for the weekends?

gma56 posted 4/13/2013 13:15 PM

I'm a northern Iowa girl and after my divorce I also had to decide to buy in Iowa, SF bay area California where I've lived for last 33 yrs, or somewhere else. I have family in Iowa but like you, I don't want to live through the winters. CA is too expensive, so I bought a house in south central Texas where I knew no one. The kicker is I ended up working and renting in CA.

With what you wrote it sounds as if AZ is where you are happy. If you bought in MN then you will probably be ready to move away in less than 5 yrs. It gets too much cold,ice and snow.

SisterMilkshake posted 4/13/2013 13:18 PM

I live in Minnesota, but I am not a native Minnesotan. Twin Cities. We just had another snowstorm here on April 11th & 12th. Ugh! I f**king hate the weather. I hate the icy roads in winter. So many get hurt and die trying to just get to their jobs.

Yes, Minnesota is beautiful, in the Spring ,no spring yet, we have about 3-4 inches of snow on the ground, and it is going to be here for awhile. They are saying more snow next week. It is 35 degrees right now.

Summer is awesome. I live for the 12 weeks of summer. Unfortunately, last year it rained every 2 out of 4 weekends last year. Actually, though, the humidity isn't that bad. I have lived in Houston and Southern Florida, that is HUMIDITY!

The Fall. Gorgeous! Breathtaking. When your kids can't go Trick or Treating because we had a blizzard and ice storm that shut everything down, and puts you instantly into winter, not so great. The years they can go trick or treating but you have to try to get their costume over a snowsuits/thermal clothing is somewhat problematic. So, 8 weeks of Fall is nice, but leaves one wanting.

Winter, freaking hate it. I don't care if I never have a fucking white Christmas ever again. What is the deal with wanting a white Christmas? I don't think Jesus had a white Christmas! How about a sunny, warm Christmas where you know all your relatives are going to be able to make it to your home for the celebration because the roads aren't icy and hellish!

Lets not forget about the tornados, either. My middle son had extreme anxiety and panic attacks from tornadoes. Probably some form of PTSD. He was at a Boy Scout camp when one hit. They had to hide in an underground shelter for a couple of hours, in very close quarters with many smelly, sweaty pre-teen boys scared out of their heads. When they emerged the vehicle he had rode in to the camp had a canoe stuck in the windshield and about halfway into the vehicle.

But, hey, Minnesota is nice. Have you heard the saying "Minnesota Nice"? Don't fucking believe it.

Sad in AZ posted 4/13/2013 13:18 PM

Actually, it's too bad this is all contingent on getting a position with Mayo. Tucson is much nicer than Phoenix and land is less expensive. You'd find much prettier vistas in Tucson for a much more affordable price than you would find anywhere in Phoenix.

Sad in AZ posted 4/13/2013 13:20 PM

Another consideration is mosquitos--MN is awful. AZ does have West Nile, but most municipalities are good about mosquito control--and there are not anywhere near as many as MN.

SisterMilkshake posted 4/13/2013 13:22 PM

Another consideration is mosquitos--MN is awful.
Oh, yeah, Sad, forgot about that. The mosquito is the Minnesota State Bird!

frigidfire86 posted 4/13/2013 13:34 PM

SisterMilkshake, do you not like Minnesota? I laughed hysterically through your first post and wondered why in the world you live there.

k94ever posted 4/13/2013 13:46 PM

Because we are tougher than all the rest of you.

Plus when the apocolypse happens and the world changes it's tilt, WI and MN are going to be the new CA.

And if the Zombie Apocolypse happens.....hell we'll just shoot them or sharpen up some tree branches and poke 'em through the eyeball.


nowiknow23 posted 4/13/2013 14:12 PM

You guys are YOUNG. You've got years and years ahead of you before you have to get crotchety about the weather.

Where do you want to raise your daughter? What are the schools like in each place? Crime levels? What would your day to day living with her be like in each place?

Sad in AZ posted 4/13/2013 14:58 PM

NIK has a point; my DS always hated AZ-he was only 6 when we moved there, and he never forgave us

The schools in Tucson were hit or miss; one year good/one year awful. I love public education, so I resisted the urge to put him in a private school, but they are always an option. I don't know about the schools in Phoenix; I only lived there for the last 2 years in AZ.

The seasons are treated differently--kids play indoors in the summer (unless they're in the pool) and outdoors (hopefully) in the winter.

As you know, the weather is HOT. Phoenix can hit 125 in the summer--it's rare, but it happens. Usually the temps are in the 100 & teens in June, cooling slightly in July & Aug if there are monsoons, then going back up in September when it dries out.

I love hot weather; 85 and above are my temps. You have to decide for yourselves.

alphakitte posted 4/13/2013 16:30 PM

If you hate the weather 5 or more months each year you stand the chance of being miserable even longer just anticipating it. A bare 40 acres within 10 miles of Rochester will run you about $400,000 and that's on a gravel road and requires septic and well.

GrievingMommy posted 4/13/2013 19:31 PM

MN girl here - born and raised....and I work at Mayo Clinic. What's the big pull to work at MC? Just curious. The job market is competitive (I'm not sure what your profession is though) and getting a job immediately isn't a guarentee of course. I do agree it is beautiful and I love the lush green, hills, lakes, rivers and bluffs along the Mississippi river, etc.

But it sounds like AZ may be a better match. I just did a quick search and didn't find any 40 acres under $250K in the county that MC is in. Obviously you would want something close to town. If you do a few searches for cost of living comparison calculators, the MN location overall is more expensive than AZ location.

And if you hate winter - DO NOT MOVE TO MINNESNOWTA! Winter sucks and I hate it and I live here. lol

I would love to move to AZ. I'd rather deal with the heat of AZ for a few months (and still be able to be outside) and then have 8-9 months of beautiful weather, than be stuck inside for 6+ months due to snow, below zero temps, ice, dangerous travel conditions, etc and the other months have humidity and bugs.

So other than family and Mayo, I think AZ would definitely be the better fit. Although it would be cool to have you move to my city!

[This message edited by GrievingMommy at 7:32 PM, April 13th (Saturday)]

hurtbs posted 4/13/2013 19:45 PM

freeefrigid, I think you're doing a little cart/horse here. I would wait to make this decision until you have an offer in hand. I think that may drastically impact your decision - unless you know that you'll be hired regardless (which would be a nice way to live).

[This message edited by hurtbs at 10:28 PM, April 13th (Saturday)]

Amazonia posted 4/13/2013 20:49 PM

Yeah, I took was going to suggest applying for jobs and not moving until you get one.

tired girl posted 4/13/2013 21:04 PM

I'm just gonna say AZ rocks

My kids love it here, but of course it is all they have ever known.

When you want cooler weather and trees it is only a few hour drive away, that is what I love about this state.

newlysingle posted 4/13/2013 21:24 PM

I am also a native Minnesota girl that has lived in Phoenix for the past 8 years. It's a tough choice. I hated AZ for so many years, but have finally grown accustomed to it. The things I don't like about it are the miserable summers, the pollution, the schools, the politics, and the lack of culture.

I never lived in Rochester, only in Minneapolis, but I really miss the arts scene up there. It is really lacking here in Phoenix. I also miss the beautiful summers, however I will be spending this summer up there! The harsh winters would be hard to get used to again for sure. My mom is here visiting right now from MN and she was happy to miss the most recent snow storm.

kernel posted 4/13/2013 21:41 PM

I think if you hate winter weather, moving to Minnesota would be a huge mistake. What good is having all that land if you spend all your time indoors because you hate the weather?

Personally, I like the change of seasons and I don't mind winter until the end of March. After that, I've had enough.

[This message edited by kernel at 9:41 PM, April 13th (Saturday)]

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