This post sat in my drafts titled “We’re Moving to Arizona” for about six weeks. But when I finally got the chance to finish writing it, it was already past tense because we moved to Arizona!
If you’ve been following along on Instagram, this news comes as no surprise. But if you’re new here, I go a bit more in-depth about our decision to leave Utah.
Skylar and I had been residents of Salt Lake City for over eight and a half years. We always loved SLC, but we knew we’d eventually move somewhere else. We didn’t have any family there, and neither of us was from there. Other than work nothing was rooting us there, except a house we owned.
Around the six-year mark of living there, we started thinking more seriously about where we wanted to go next. And over the next two years, we explored a few different options: Seattle, back to San Francisco, maybe Southern California. Perhaps somewhere else that wasn’t out West. But nothing stood out. Then in 2017, he started to travel to Phoenix frequently for work, and would always stay in the Scottsdale area.
After spending a few days in Scottsdale every month, he started to develop a routine and find his usual spots. He had his favorite coffee shop, his favorite sushi restaurant at (where he’s now been a regular for two years), his favorite hotel (W Scottsdale). It became so routine that we realized it was a completely viable and realistic option compared to all of the other places we considered.
Requirements For Our Next City
As we explored options of places to move to, we had a list of criteria that needed to (mostly) be met.
- Realistic cost of living – When I say realistic I mean that if it’s a higher-end area such as Scottsdale, we know we are going to be paying more than where we lived in Salt Lake, but the value should feel proportionate to the type of home you buy and in what neighborhood.
- International airport – With a hub for a major airline and within a reasonable driving distance
- Warmer/milder weather – Utah’s winters can last long. We’ve seen snow as early as September, and as late as May. And for someone who gets sick of the winter dreariness of colder climates, this became tiring and even caused me a good bit of SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
- Proximity to outdoor life – The outdoor culture in Utah was incredible. The good thing about winter there was that you could spend most of it outdoors if you love skiing, etc. So we wanted a place where we could have accessibility to hikes, biking, lakes, or something of the like.
- Potentially close to family – Between the two of us we have family in Missouri, Minnesota, Florida, and California. While we didn’t want to live in three of these four states, we liked the idea of being closer to them (ideally closer to California).
- Quality of life/ease of living – this should be important to everyone! We live in such a stressful world, and we didn’t want to move to a place that added unnecessary stress. I’ll never forget when my Mom’s brother told me the most important thing is your quality of life. If you don’t have that, what do you have? Those words have stuck with me for the past nine years.
These were just a few of the primary considerations for our next chapter. While we would love to live back in California, after considerations of both Los Angeles (where Skylar is from) and the Bay Area, we realized it just didn’t make sense. Between the cost of living, congestion, taxes, and stress, we realized it wasn’t going to help with the items from the above list. This time around, we were strongly considering Los Angeles, and of things 1-6, it only offered 2, 3, and 5. And depending on where we lived, LAX could easily be a two-hour drive.
Seattle was a consideration in past years, but in the past year, I realized the Pacific Northwest was out because of the prolonged gray skies. Even when Utah weather was milder, I noticed an increase in the number of overcast days, and I learned that was another factor in what bothered me. We both realized we needed to live in a place with more sun, not less!
And so we arrived at Scottsdale.
Why Scottsdale Was The Best Choice
Scottsdale checked off almost every single box:
- Realistic cost of living – Scottsdale is definitely a bit higher, but it’s beautiful, well planned/developed, and more of a luxury area, so even though the cost was higher, we felt it was fair for what we were getting.
- International airport – anywhere from 15-30 minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl airport depending on what part of Scottsdale you live in.
- Warmer weather – not just warmer weather, MUCH warmer winters! 299 days of sun. And we’re thankful for it!
- Proximity to outdoor life – Scottsdale has a few lakes nearby (Bartlett and Pleasant for boating), and Sedona and Flagstaff are just a couple of hours away.
- Potentially close to family – LA is a shorter drive from Scottsdale than it is from Salt Lake, making it easier to go on road trips with the pups.
- Quality of life – after spending a lot of time here, we realized we would have the quality of life we wanted. Since it checked off all the items above, and we already had friends here, we knew it would be the best option.
The Moving Timeline
We decided to move to Scottsdale on Thanksgiving day in 2018. I remember it vividly. We were sitting around the dinner table at Skylar’s parents’ house in Florida eating our Thanksgiving meal. We were almost having this side conversation on our own discussing Arizona, but something was different this time. Instead of waiting for a reason to move, we decided we were going to plan our life this way and make a move happen. We knew it would be a lot of work, and certain things needed to happen first, but we essentially committed to the plan to move. This was just ten days after our most recent trip to Arizona together where we went to look at it as a place to move to, rather than just for a fun weekend away.
So after arriving at that decision, we decided to put this one out in the universe. A few weeks later at some holiday parties, we started telling friends we’ve decided to move to Arizona sometime in the coming months. I remember when they asked when the move would happen, we would answer, “March would be nice.” Sure enough, time just passed so quickly, and there was a lot we had to do (cough cough, sell our house). March came and went, and so did multiple trips to AZ during the winter and spring months. I think I traveled there a total of eight or nine times between November and our June move.
We spent the month of May prepping our house to put it on the market (I’ll write another blog post on the work we did because it was beneficial in the end). We listed our house on my birthday, May 29th, with the hope of some birthday luck. And by Sunday, June 2nd, we were under contract. We received a total of three offers with two over asking. Our buyers wanted to close on June 25th, but we knew we wouldn’t have enough time to pack up the house. I had travel plans to Arizona and California in June, which kept me away from June 5th to June 19th! We agreed upon a July 1st close date, which gave us until the 30th to pack up and leave. We purged a lot, and got rid of a lot of unnecessary things, and left with our belongings on June 30th, and arrived in Scottsdale in July 1st after a quick stop in Las Vegas overnight.
So it’s official, we live here now, but we’re renting short term for a few months while we shop for a house. This was our third out-of-state move together, We’ve learned a lot over the past decade of big moves like this. I have some tips and recommendations so I will save those for another blog post!
Thanks for reading!