If Arizona Is So Bad, Why Not Just Move?

Feeling trapped in the Arizona desertWhy Stay?

I often see comments come through from people who say we should just move out of Arizona since we dislike it so much. If it were that easy, it would be done. In this article, I will hopefully provide an explanation on that subject. For those who can empathize and also feel trapped in the desert, I appreciate your understanding.

NoArizona Comments

I really enjoy reading the comments people post on NoArizona. The comments posted on NoArizona are moderated to prevent harsh language, personal attacks and political rants. Whether the comments are positive or negative toward the viewpoints on this website, I do not censor them unless the comments cross the line. I’m honored someone would even take the time to share their thoughts, so THANK YOU!

If Arizona Is So Bad, Why Not Just Move??

It is a simple and innocent question, much like the inquisitive child: “Daddy, if your car breaks down so much, why don’t you buy a new one?”, “Mommy, if you don’t want to go to work, why don’t you just find a new job?”

What needs to be done is obvious to the child. However, the parent’s understanding of the world is much more complicated. The “Daddy” needs to get a loan, fix his credit if it’s bad, get a down payment, sell the car, shop for a new one without being ripped off and so on. The “Mommy” has a retirement account that she is not yet vested in, the job market is terrible in her profession, she has to get her resume together, apply for jobs, interview and so on.

For those who ask “why not just move?”, I’m not saying you’re childish or simplistic in your thinking. I don’t know you, and you don’ t know me.

Those comments really made me ponder. Why can’t I just move? Like an onion, I peeled away the layers to reveal different reasons of remaining trapped in Arizona. Keep in mind, whatever is keeping YOU in Arizona can be overcome! It can be done, and for me it will be done.


The Housing Market

In the early-to-mid 2000’s, the Arizona real estate market was booming. As a result, home values became artificially inflated causing homes to be worth more than they really were. Many out-of-state investors swooped in and bought income rental properties and controlled most of the market. When the economy tanked, investors backed out and even abandoned their properties. The homeowners who stayed behind were left to deal with the aftermath. Their property values significantly decreased and neighborhoods were filled with vacant homes and unkempt yards.

As a result, many homeowners are “underwater” with their mortgages. Basically, they owe more than their house is worth. This article states  50% of Arizona homeowners are underwater with their mortgages. It’s a staggering number, and it can be seen in just about every neighborhood.

Simply put, you can’t sell a house for more than it’s worth. You can’t move…you’re stuck. The only option is to walk away from the property and mortgage, but it will wreak havoc on your credit rating.


The National Job Market

In order to move out of Arizona, you need a job to go to. The downfall of the economy had a devastating effect on the job market. According to this article,  if the economy were to produce 88,000 jobs every month, as it did in March 2013, the labor market would never return to pre-recession employment levels.

With a weak job market, finding a new job anywhere in the country is difficult. You must also factor in travel expenses just to interview for an out-of-state  job.



Moving across the country is very strenuous on a family. I speak from experience, because I’ve made the move twice. With children in the picture, you have to find good schools in a new area and help them cope with leaving their friends. Children are resilient and can handle it, but it is a stressful situation nonetheless.

If you have family in Arizona, it is difficult to leave them as well. Family issues offer varying degrees of complexity when it comes to move it. Some family members may take it personal and believe you are moving away from them (maybe you are!). For me, family matters outside of my nuclear family are inconsequential.



Perhaps you’ve made a lot of friends in Arizona, and leaving them would be difficult. For me, I have more friends in my native state than in Arizona. Getting to know people in Arizona is difficult. For more information, read about Arizona People.



Another layer to this dilemma is your standing at your job. After working with the same people for a while, you gain respect and (hopefully) a good reputation. Starting over in a new workplace can be difficult. But, it can be done because you’ve done it before. I sometimes consider staying in Arizona until retirement, but then I’m reminded of those who retired before me. Once retired employees are gone, they are quickly forgotten. You even forget their names and their contributions! It’s a shame, but it’s the simple truth.



A parent often tells the child, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

What binds many people to Arizona is money. The root of all evil, perhaps, but a necessary commodity in today’s world. Packing up and moving could cost at least $20,000. If you’re looking to stay in the western United States, your costs may not be as high. For me, I want to move back to the Southeast and it’s incredibly expensive. Unfortunately, playing the lottery is not a wise investment plan.


What Keeps YOU In Arizona?

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, I really do enjoy reading your comments! Please, share your thoughts!

  • Do the aforementioned reasons for staying in Arizona apply to you?
  • What other reasons are there keeping you in Arizona?
  • Do you stay in Arizona because you truly love it?
  • Did you leave Arizona? Share your experiences!



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44 thoughts on “If Arizona Is So Bad, Why Not Just Move?

  1. daveom71 says:

    I escaped, I mean moved from the Phoenix area in 2011. Most people there are trust fund brats, have no real problems and therefore say stupid shallow shit like this, I heard it too. If you don’t come there with money, you get a shitty job and watch your savings get depleted. Either that or they have the aforementioned trust fund, or job connections. The city is nothing more than a playground for ASU students, richies or people older than Methuselah. Natives by far are the biggest unfriendly assholes & bitches too. What a nightmare that place is.

      • daveom71 says:

        Thanks, believe me I could go on and on. One more thing, I also despise how they came up with the name “CenPho” for downtown Phoenix and the stupid train, already a money hole for the state (big surprise!) and how it’s infested with hipsters! This is their idea of culture I guess. I do love the nature and scenery in AZ as a whole, it can’t be beat.

      • DonewithAZ says:

        I am leaving. Been here since 2000 and I knew after that first summer I wanted out. FINALLY I am leaving at the end of July!! Going back to my home town of Seattle, that has culture, breathtaking beauty. The people there are amazing. Who do I talk to every week?? My friends in Seattle. I have always disliked it here. Always!!

    • DonewithAZ says:

      I agree

    • I lived there thirty years and hated every minute of it. It is no place for the creative or working class. I love my folks, and they love AZ. But they are real estate developers and LOVE it because they golf, etc.. I cant stand that place. They piss on art and culture. IT’S INSANE.

      I took pre-foreclosure and BURGLARY as a sign of blessing – NOT A CURSE!

      It was God blessing me by giving me NO OPTION but to leave and build a REAL life outside AZ.

  2. 2ndTimer says:

    …I must love abuse as this is my second stay in this hell-hole. I thought it was bad 20 years ago and fled…only to let my husband convince me to try again. I feel like divorcing the schmuck for buying into the “it’ll be better this time around” bullshit. Worst of all, is we moved our child here, too….who is slowly turning into a self-deserving punk. I feel so trapped and agree: trust me – if it were that easy to leave, you’d have no one left here. I am depressed every day…and just lock myself away. All I deal with on the outside are shady, self-absorbed, arrogant, shallow assholes who care nothing about anyone other than themselves or what big, obnoxious gas-guzzling eye-sore they can drive (in a horrific manner, I might add). But, you know, hey – who cares?! It ain’t their kids dying overseas for the petrol…
    There are no original thoughts or concepts in this place, no culture and no history. People can’t think for themselves: they need HOA’s or their neighbors to dictate what color their home should be and what shrub can be planted in their yards. Everything is bland, boring and “chain-esq.” They have killed the natural beauty of the desert by paving over it and placing a Target or Walmart every mile or so. Just look around: where the hell did all the Saguaro’s go???
    Yes – exactly like you said: I’D LOVE TO LEAVE. I’d love to be rid of this place and the people as much as they’d like me to go…problem is – it’s NOT that easy to get out. Only someone with half a brain can grasp that…but, who’s the asshole?! I knew this all 20 years ago….and I came back – guess I deserve the kick in the teeth I’m getting…

    • daveom71 says:

      Don’t feel so bad, I did the same thing but in my case it was a 3 year period of leaving and coming back in 2006. I wanted to leave within the first year of returning, but I must admit it’s the hatred of the climate where I’m from that kept me there. All I’ll say is that it’s a large Midwestern city and the weather is unbearably cold, or hot and humid during the summer. To me, anything under 60 degrees is cold and it gets worse from there. The only disagreement I have with this blogger is, I love sunshine and warmth and couldn’t get enough of it in AZ. 110 degree days never bothered me, other than the fact I get sunburned like a lobster. The air pollution, wealthy Mormons, arrogant trust fund brats straight out of Cali, the dumb rednecks and the self absorbed religious psychos (Evangelicals and Mormons) make it a cultural vacuum and judgmental cesspool of shit and crime. What really did it for me is the twenty something conceited CenPho crowd, many of whom are linked with a certain restaurant review / social networking website I won’t mention here. This is their idea of culture and an attempt to urbanize a cow town? Not in this economy, Everyone has something to hate here, it’s your tolerance level that will eventually guide your actions. Sounds to me like your time is coming very shortly.

  3. Robert Gehl says:

    I’m really confused. It’s strange that there are so many comments about “escaping Arizona to where it’s cool … ” like San Diego or the Northwest, yet Flagstaff, where it’s 30 degrees cooler than Phoenix, is only a two-hour drive away. I’ve lived in Alaska, New Mexico, Utah, Illinois, California and Washington DC. Yes, Phoenix is almost unbearably hot for 4-5 months out of the year, traffic can be a nightmare and there’s a distinctive lack of “culture,” but I still like it here.
    As far as lumping the entire state together, if you’ve spent any time exploring Arizona, you’ll find the state has everything from snow-covered college towns, to arts communities, to ghost towns … My family has explored all over this state and by far, there are more interesting and diverse things to see and do here than anywhere else I’ve lived.
    Life is what you make it. Hatred begets hatred. Find the good about your situation and you’ll discover there’s much more to Arizona than July in a downtown Phoenix parking lot.

    • daveom71 says:

      I’ve always differentiated Phoenix metro with the rest of the state. The owner of this blog feels that she is owed something, whether it be sympathy or regress of some sort. The problem is there are hundreds of thousands of people living there that think exactly like she does. She’s part of the problem and if she did move, and all the other leeches who hate hot weather (I love it) did so as well, that city would improve dramatically.

      • Robert Gehl says:

        I most certainly do *not* like the hot weather (what’s today’s high going to be? 119? Yuk. But rather than move, perhaps they could use their passion to promote things like reducing the “heat island” effect and sustainable ways to stay cooler. I complain about the heat too (it’s a hobby here, as you know from June-September), but unlike Chicago (hot AND humid) or Seattle (f***king rain all the time), you don’t have to travel far for an escape. How far do you have to travel from Seattle to escape the rain?

      • daveom71 says:

        Nobody likes 118 degrees! What I mean is that people should be properly educated about how intense the summer heat is. It’s not like this is a conspiracy to keep anyone in the dark about this. It’s very hot in the summer, even oppressively so. Well, 5 degrees in January is oppressively cold! Do you hear people bitch and moan about it as much as Phoenix heat? Get over it, move on and consider it a tradeoff for the mild winters. Or just STFU and move. As for getaway trips, when I lived there my pay was terrible (rates for IT jobs are much lower than average) or I was too stressed to take trips that I could barely afford anyway. I acknowledge that a person can get stuck in Phoenix metro but if you can fly back to the east coast to visit, you can save up a little more and move. Bottom line.

      • Thank GOD I dont live near you

    • Rvgirl42 says:

      Ok – let’s break this “It’s only hot for 4-5 months” myth FOREVER. It’s hot for 6 and a half months – period. It’s not just hot – it’s boiling hot. It starts in mid-April and it ends by late October. And you can’t just go up to Flagstaff every weekend unless you have the money to leave every weekend, which 99% of normal people don’t have, nor do they have the time.

      I lived in cold Midwestern climates where the sun came out regularly and you could take a walk with your dogs. In Phoenix, you can’t take a walk for those 6-7 months unless you like wandering around at midnight when the concrete won’t burn the skin off your dog’s paws. I can’t stand being locked inside for as long as I am here. It’s unbearable to me. I can deal with winter better than this.

      People need to stop justifying the harsh, incredibly hot and dangerous weather here that is lasting longer every year. It’s not going away and it’s not getting shorter and no, you can’t escape it if you have a normal working life. Let’s get real.

      • daveom71 says:

        Gotta call bullshit here. It never heats up on a normal spring year until mid June at the earliest. This issue is not black and white and relies heavily on the individual. This fall in the Shitcago Hellinois area, where people constantly judge you solely based upon income and looks, it was unusually warm up until late October and then within a week it went straight into late fall type of weather. To me, 40s damp and overcast all day is f***ing hell. I feel like I have the flu and consistently have sinus infections. For the rest of fall, winter and most of spring it bounces up and down like a ping pong ball, which makes me feel even worse. This kind of cold and much worse doesn’t let up until mid to late MAY every single year, when Shitcago finally gets some consistent warmth. Some years that is. The summer of 2012 was searing hot, high humidity and almost no rain until August and then it was a deluge for about a month straight. I was going home and locking myself indoors for almost 3 months! This summer was also a dud but at least June was somewhat nice. It’s a yearly roll of the dice and why I hate Shitcago the most.

        AZ is not for everyone, as I’ve commented the people are total flakes, cost of living has skyrocketed and pay hasn’t budge. Some years the heat does start early, 2013 being a great example (I visited in late May this year, it sucked) but for people with my genetic background which is southern German and not tolerant of extended cold spells and hatred of pore clogging humidity, it is a great choice.

      • Rvgirl42 says:

        Daveom71 – What are you talking about? It was over 100 degrees this year in mid-April and last year! I live here – you live in Illinois and you are telling me what the weather was here? Please. If you all like AZ, then leave this website because there are tons of places you can sing the praises online. For those of us who really can’t stand it, let us moan in peace. Just go someplace else. You aren’t changing anyone’s mind here, trust me.

      • daveom71 says:

        I lived there for over 11 years and you’re full of shit. End of story.

    • True. North of the golden triangle is pretty nice TO VISIT.

  4. Mark says:

    Sorry you don’t like Arizona. I’ve been here for 7 years after moving from one of your “normal areas” and won’t even consider going back. I wouldn’t say *people* shouldn’t live in Arizona. More like *some people* aren’t as adaptable to the heat. And $20,000 to move? Who are you getting quotes from? It cost me less than $7k to move my family across the country. Suck it up, pack it all up yourself and rent a self-driven truck. If you really want to leave, then leave. NOTHING is keeping you here except lack of motivation and willpower. My ex-wife worked in a freakin’ retail store for veritable peanuts and she managed to save up enough to move back east.

    @2ndTimer: Don’t blame Arizona for your kid turning into a jerk. In the end the development of our children is our responsibility and ours alone. My kids are normal, appreciative and loving. Instead of pointing fingers, figure out what YOU are doing wrong.

  5. Steven Miller says:

    Ok so I moved to Phoenix from cold cloudy England 2 years ago. I LOVE it here. It seems like people are spoilt/stupid/don’t know how good they have it. If you have the ability to live in the USA, then you have every climate and environment available. If you don’t like the desert, why the hell did you move to the desert? Saying that you “cant” move is, to be honest, embarrassing. I moved to this country, all alone with nothing more than a backpack, a suitcase and some cash at the age of 25. So moving to a different part of your country should be a piece of piss right? Seriously, stop telling the world how bad Arizona is just because you do not have the intelligence/motivation to find somewhere cold and crappy to live instead. Yeah the winters get a little chilly here, but apart from that its a fantastic place to call home.

    • No Arizona says:

      Whatever, mate. You’re ignorant of my circumstances. If you love Arizona, this website is not for you. Move along.

    • Rvgirl42 says:

      Who in the world would leave England to live in this cultural wasteland anyway? Also, places that are cold aren’t crappy. That’s an incredibly ignorant statement in and of itself. You think a warm climate warrants intelligence? Yeah, a strip mall is a far better cultural experience than the British Museum. Phoenix is well suited to that kind of mediocre mentality – which is why I’m leaving and you are staying.

      • Steven Miller says:

        That’s the problem with you people. You watch tv. You see England and just assume its waaaay better than where you are at now. How would you love to start paying $12 for a gallon of gas? How about handing over 40% of your paycheck every month, just so you can pay for a family of Muslims to live in your country because they would rather spend all day preaching hate to your people, rather than work? How about not being able to go anywhere without a gang of pricks wanting to rob you because you cannot protect yourself??? And lets not start on that disgusting weather. Arizona is an amazing place to live. ONLY if you have the right enthusiasm and mind set to make it work. NOBODY wants to live in England. Yes, some of the people here are incredibly dumb, the education is questionable, as is the healthcare, but it is 100 times better living here than there. And this is coming from someone who has actually lived in both places.

      • Rvgirl42 says:

        Actually Steven, I’ve been to England 6 times in my life. Your attitudes about people put you exactly in the right place in Arizona – narrow minded, bigoted, generalizing, uneducated. You fit in just fine here.

      • Steven Miller says:

        LOL!! Youv been to England 6 times?? So tell me how many years you have LIVED there then? Seriously you Americans would crumble away there. Want to drive that RV over there? Wouldn’t happen unless you are stinking rich and don’t mind roads so skinny only a bike will fit down. Seriously though, unless you have personally lived somewhere, you have no idea what the place is like. The quality of life is so much better in Arizona. Just ask anyone who is from England and now lives here. I would really hate to live somewhere I hated, life is too short for that. Not saying its perfect here but it is a hell of a lot better than there.

      • No Arizona says:

        “You Americans”? That’s a tad rude and elitist. Maybe Arizona is rubbing off on you. Besides, where else in our country have you lived? There are many other nicer places in America to live.

      • Steven Miller says:

        I don’t see why anywhere else would be better than AZ? Maybe Florida, but I have never been there so cant comment. Im not being rude, im just saying it seems like so many Americans live in a “bubble” and don’t realize how good they really have it here. Im saying that it would be extremely hard for an American to leave this country and be able to deal with life overseas. I do love this country and this state in particular, because I know what life is like elsewhere. Hence why I have had my say on this site.

      • No Arizona says:

        But why, Steve? Why defend a state you’re not from in a country you’re a guest of? And why leave your mark on a site not meant for you? Please read the “About” section for the purpose of this blog. It is simply for like-minded people, and not a debate platform.

      • No doubt. I’ll take London; you can have Phoenix!!!

    • Steven Miller says:

      Why? Because I would just like to highlight the fact that there are a lot of people who have never left this place in their lifetime, and yet they find it necessary to tell the entire world how bad it is here, when these people obviously do not know any better. So as someone who is not from here and came alone for a new life, I would just like to add my opinion and experience to it. In your own opinion, where would you say is a much better place to live?

  6. Steven Miller says:

    Hey im just voicing my opinion from someone who has lived in a shitty country and has now made a fantastic life for himself in AZ. I agree that some people are rude and not very smart, some areas are very ghetto and shabby, but in all honesty this is a place that has every opportunity to be fantastic, if you make it work that is. Theres not many places where you can sunbathe by the pool on Christmas day, the huge Saguaro cacti are awesome, the women are beautiful, nothing rusts out here, its extremely cheap to live, the desert scenery is amazing, the sunsets…….. The monsoons… Theres a great deal to love about this unique place. Im not even from this country but I will stick up for this state anyhow, because I know how bad life is outside of it! Its not perfect, but its a lot better than so many other places 🙂

    • Robert Gehl says:

      Unfortunately, I think “No Arizona” is right, Steven. Angry, bitter people are going to be angry and bitter. Don’t try to sympathize or understand, just let them be. What is it the kids say? “Haters gonna hate.”

      • daveom71 says:

        Unfortunately, your attitudes are a reflection of why this state/city is so reviled. Unmerciful neocon assholes and bitches who convince themselves “thinking positive” will fix everything. The middle class assuming it exists in AZ is long gone, as a result you have people who got it made which is about 5% of the population, and all the rest. I love the AZ climate but until a superstorm comes in and sweeps out all the white trash, riches and 20 somethings out of Phoenix metro, I’m never coming back. Yeah I got the fuck out in November of 2011! I agree about externally beautiful women but most of them are stuck up spoiled c**ts.

      • Robert Gehl says:

        My Goodness… sounds like Arizona would be a *great* place if everyone thought like you.

      • daveom71 says:

        There’s a lot of pain and sorrow behind my words. I have moved on and have no desire to ever live there again. I hope it changes for the better some day.

    • No Arizona says:

      Steven, I respect your opinion. Arizona is a new and unique place for you. I’m sure it was very gloomy and cold where you’re from, and now you’re enjoying warmth and sunshine. For me, the heat and constant sunshine got old and I missed experiencing four distinct seasons.

      Yes, there are positives to Arizona. For me, personally, the cons outweigh the pros. It’s just not for me. After years and years of trying to convince myself, I just can’t do it.

      Again, I can’t just pick up and move. There are family issues involved, jobs, houses, etc. Please do not assume your life situation is the same as mine. It’s very complicated…and believe me, I would love nothing more than to just pick up and leave!

      You seem to be an intelligent and reasonable person, and I appreciate your feedback. But, I respectfully disagree with you. I do appreciate you writing in a very clear manner to state your case. Often, the comments come in with foul language and utter rudeness.

      I really do hope Arizona works out for you, but it’s simply not for me.

  7. Steven Miller says:

    Yeah I have to say I was amazed when I first moved here and saw that were people who actually disliked this place. Im an exterminator so I talk to ALOT of people every day. But I guess for me, it is paradise. I am used to having to fill up a car for $10-$12 a gallon, waking up to disgusting gloomy weather every day, not being able to walk through my town without having to worry about being stabbed, always getting stuff stolen by the Gypsys while the police just watched because they are too scared, being surrounded by depressing people, getting taxed to death for everything while getting a crappy wage and the list goes on. But now, I wake up to a blue sky. I jump in my 68′ Impala and don’t have to worry about the cost of gas/stupid taxes/rust etc., I go to work and have a fantastic day. I get home and jump straight in my pool with a beer. I can only do this because I live here. But this is me, personally AZ has been superb to me, and I understand fully that not everyone shares my views or opinions. I really hope you find happiness soon though, because I have lived somewhere that I truly hated also, and it is the best feeling ever when you find somewhere that feels right for you.

    • daveom71 says:

      You describe this lifestyle as if this is everyone’s choice who lives in AZ. For every one person who can live like this, at least 5 others are living paycheck to paycheck and are lucky to be able to have enough cash left over to do a day trip every other month. This lack of consideration, egocentricity and selfishness is a big part of what makes this metro area the hellish experience it is for most people.

  8. Steven Miller says:

    I guess what im trying to say is, I DONT have a lot of money, I am always struggling, but I can still have nice things like a pool and big old musclecar and whatnot, which I could simply not have if I lived elsewhere with my paychecks. I mean if I was in California I would be living in a small shack if I was on $13/hour. If I was living in say, Wisconsin or somewhere boringly similar, I couldn’t own a nice pool house and actually use it. To me, personally, it seems like you get a lot more for your money and have more options on life as opposed to anywhere else in the country, or in the world for that matter. Im just throwing this in there from personal experiences from someone who has lived around the world and chooses to live in AZ out of anywhere else.

  9. Rich says:

    I moved my family to Arizona in 1997. We got out of here once in 2009 after an Arizona slumlord pocketed my rent and let the house my family was living in go back to the bank. I was stupid to come back here in 2011 for family who missed us and for a job. We’re leaving for good in a couple months. Can’t take it any longer. Screw the family and the job wasn’t worth it. This place sucks so bad. Things we hate (I mean dislike) most are the heat (my wife and I both have a thyroid condition and can’t tolerate heat), the aggressive drivers (we are nearly killed at least 5 times every day), the unkind people, the small jail-cell back yards, the pollution, traffic, lack of seasons, and so much more. We spent 16 years in AZ and can’t stand another moment.

  10. John McGilvray says:

    AZ is a despicable disgusting place full of the worst type and quality of people in the entire nation. Clueless ignorant ill-mannered soulless human waste is what inhabits that godforsaken desolate dry desert wasteland. If your stuck there so sorry for you if you got out of the poverty stricken hot hellhole congrats your life will most likely improve immediately

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