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Tell me about Scottsdale. . .

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have an opportunity to move to Scottsdale but I'm unsure about how much I would like it. I'd be on my own there with two little ones. I know it is a pretty non-crunchy, conservative city but is it possible to find any alternative community there at all? It does have to be Scottsdale an not another suburb as the house I'd be moving to belongs to someone in my family. I'm coming from a very liberal, progressive town but really cannot afford to live here on my own. Anyone have opinions they'd care to share about Scottsdale, positive or otherwise? I have visited before and it seemed like a lot of, well, golf courses and shopping malls. The weather sure is nice though.
post #2 of 15
I have family in OLY and used to live in Salem. I'll just say, anywhere is what you can make of it. There are som good resources like farms on the outskirts and even a cloth diaper store in Scottsdale (www.wildflowerdiapers.com). The baby-wearing, crunchy crowd is not hard to find at all. I mean, I've met up with no less that TWO moms from MDC who's LO's have almost the same birthday as my son!

You'll probably get a lot of *looks* about babywearing, but it's not as uncommon as it was even three years ago.

Just be prepared for a lot of blue sky. I might be the only one who thinks it can be as oppressive as a year of clouds!
post #3 of 15
I think it depends on where in scottsdale you will be living, there is north scottsdale, there is old town, there are parts of phoenix that are called scottsdale that really are just phoneix. Contrary to popular belief there are even parts of scottsdale that are impoverished. So it al just depends on the location.

For me, no, i would not be happy in scottsdale, we live in north peoria on a 'large' lot with no HOA. Im not exactly 'happy' here either but then again i dont really like arizona that much. The smallish lots, the brick walls, the congestion, traffic, etc its not for me anymore but we are stuck for now so we are making the best of it.
post #4 of 15
I'm in NW/Central Phoenix (near wildflower diapers, actually) and I teach in a school district that serves part of north Scottsdale. There are good things about my area. Scottsdale itself lacks a lot of those things. Like public transportation. Public transportation in Phoenix is pretty poor, despite the new light rail system that just opened up. There is public transportation in my neighborhood - it's 20 feet from my front door to a bus stop. Scottsdale, as far as I know, doesn't have public transportation. Maybe I just haven't looked hard enough - I've never seen a Scottsdale city bus.

Scottsdale is large and diverse, and what it's like will depend on what part of it you move to. North Scottsdale is expensive. There are LOTS of HOAs that limit what you can do with your property (or the property you are renting). Sales tax is high in AZ. I believe that Scottsdale still requires residents to subscribe to fire and ambulance services, rather than paying for them out of municipal tax revenues. You should check with the property owner and see what this costs and who will be paying for it.

The cost of paying for utilities when you need to crank the AC in the summer (and when it is 115 degrees out, you have no choice - you cannot just suck it up, especially with children) is more significant than many people realize before moving here.

As a teacher, I hate to say this, but I am not impressed with the general state of public education in this state. I spend a lot of time and energy finding ways to supplement my dd's education because I am concerned that the schools aren't preparing her to challenge herself academically.

In short, I think that moving here wouldn't help you financially as much as you would like it to. I imagine that your moving would help your relatives a lot - it's hard to sell property here right now and if you took on a bunch of the expenses of ownership and/or paid rent on their property, they would be making something off it that would offset the costs of keeping the property. I imagine their alternative is to sell at a significant loss.

So that's my extremely negative two cents. Those concerns may or may not apply to you. But in your shoes, I'd stay put and look for another way to defray living expenses.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the responses. It's pretty hard to make a decision like this so any input helps a lot.

For a little more insight into the situation, I am pregnant and trying to get out of a relationship that is going downhill fast (dp is an alcoholic) and pretty much the only way for me to do it is to move into my mother's vacation home in Scottsdale. I wouldn't be paying any rent and minimal utilities so that factor doesn't come into it. I am just worried that I will really not like Scottsdale and I'm trying to figure out whether it is a good idea to move to a place where I might be more miserable than if I put my dc in childcare and stayed here in WA. So. . . I'm really undecided about what to do. Okay this is starting to sound like it belongs in the Single Parenting forum so perhaps I should start a thread over there.

But please, if anyone has more to say about the Scottsdale area, please chime in with your insight. Thanks mamas.
post #6 of 15
i live in chandler, i'm fairly liberal and come from new england... az is very different. i love the weather, and people seem nicer. i do feel isolated some times, mostly because i'm a new mom and my friends dont have kids. i like scottsdale for the art galleries. that's really all i can say.
post #7 of 15
Childcare in AZ.... it can be excellent or horrid.... places like tutor-time and kindercare cost a fortune, i think newborn/infant care runs 150+ a week.
You can find in-home care for less but that takes a bit of work as many many moms are doing inhome care to supplement income and are not state monitored.

I dont know what your employment options are but thats not pretty here either. Thats just the honest truth. jobs are few are far between, pay is low, employers like to say 'we pay you with sunshine'

Valleymetro.org will give you bus schedules, the city bus does run into scottsdale however its not best run system and can take forever to get anywhere.

If you mom has a condo there are going to be HOA restrictions on what you can and can not do.

I dont want to sound negative but Phx isnt exactly a financially happy place to be for most people.

Do you have just the newborn or other kids too?

And yes snottsdale has ALOT of golfcourses and shopping malls. FYI when i go to sdale i notice that gas is about 20c a gal more expensive then in my area.
post #8 of 15
I may be in the minority not having lived in a super liberal, progressive place, but I think like a pp said, it is what you make of it. I live in Gilbert and work in downtown Scottsdale and although there are a lot of shopping developments, resorts, etc, Scottsdale is a very nice city.

Approx 1/3 of the city is preserved open space (The MCdowell Sonoran Preserve) and if you're into hiking, biking, and appreciating the Sonoran Desert, this is pretty impressive.

And of course, there are meetup groups that are more crunchy and I believe there's one in Scottsdale too. I babywear a lot and no one has ever looked at me funny.

There's a great railroad park - McCormick-Stillman - which is inexpensive and fun for kids of all ages. There are lots and lots of art festivals that take place in the downtown area and most of them have really neat kids areas that are free or very inexpensive.

Seasonally, there are cool performances with Native American Tribes (it's called Native Trails) and the performances take place at the Civic Center Mall - another great outdoor space in the downtown area. I have taken the kids there a lot just to let them run around and play while I enjoy the great weather.

You are more likely to find Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa more family oriented overall, but I wouldn't knock Scottsdale too much.

Now if you are the kind of person that notices every mall, every luxury car, every golf course, etc and the materialism bugs you, it might not be the best choice, but if you aren't afraid to reach out to other moms in the area, other crunchy moms online who are there, and even visit the Visitors Bureau to get more local info, I think you can certainly make the best of it.

My little ones aren't in school yet so education-wise I don't have firsthand experience although Arizona is often looked down upon as far as that goes.

Anyway, feel free to pm me if you want other info. And if you move here, I'm always up for a get together
post #9 of 15
If you move, even if you don't like scottsdale, you're within a 30 minute drive to any other city. The weather is great, if you've got free rent, I see no reason not to try, but that's me. I moved to AZ back in 94 with now dh and I'd never set foot in the state before. I moved from IL and can't imagine movign back, though I do miss seeing my family more.

There are lots of MDC moms here in Az and many groups that you can meet up with. You can find people like you, even if not in the immediate neighborhood.

Good luck with your decision.
post #10 of 15
I adore Scottsdale. Everything around here is 30 minutes away. You can leave Scottsdale and go to two or three other "downtown"s if you don't like it. The birth community and the AP community here is strong and there are resources everywhere waiting to be tapped.
post #11 of 15
I'm in agreement with Bella Mia and other posters who have had overall positive things to say about Scottsdale. No, Scottsdale isn't going to "out-crunchy" many other cities in the US, but if you think about general quality of life, it's pretty nice here. And I say this as a mom without many friends around. The weather is great much of the year, and there are children's museums, parks, and all sorts of great activities for kids within a 25 minute drive. As a pp said, it is what you make of it.

It sounds as though you are in a challenging situation and moving to Scottsdale could be a tremendous financial help and new beginning for you and your LO. It's not so hellish and horrible here that it's worth it to give up your opportunity for a new start, IMO. PM me if you have other questions.

And on a slightly different note---all you Scottsdale mamas replying on this thread...where are you? Do you ever do any get-togethers? So much of the action in this tribal area seems to be in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa. Please Scottsdale mamas, give me a holler! I'm in need of mama friends.
post #12 of 15
we'll come play with you!
post #13 of 15
There is no perfect place. Scottsdale has its positives and negatives - just like any other place you may be considering.

Personally, if I were looking to get out of a relationship and had the opportunity you're describing, I would jump at it.

Even if you hate it, use it as a stepping stone. Get on your feet and then you can move if you need to down the road but, it seems like it would be an ideal location given your current needs.

That being said, I'm in Mesa - right on the Southeast Scottsdale border. And, I was raised in Phoenix, right on the Southwest Scottsdale border and honestly, I really like Scottsdale and spent a ton of time there growing up. Downtown has tons of cute shops and restaurants, you're close to a couple great malls, you're close to hiking and biking trails, good doctors - really, Scottsdale has just about anything you could want or need. It's clean and safe, fairly older so you don't get as much of the cookie cutter homes like you do newer places.

I really can't think of much not to like about Scottsdale. But, if you give us the general vicinity, we could probably give you a lot more information. Like the PP said, Scottsdale is pretty big and a lot of opinions will depend upon which part of Scottsdale you would be living in.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the information here. I'm feeling pretty positive about the whole thing now. If I decide to go, it won't be until after the baby is born in April. So everything is kind of on the back burner until then. I know I'm very lucky to have such an escape if I need it, and after thinking about this for a few weeks, I'm pretty sure I'd do just fine in Arizona. It actually sounds great. Thank you so much for all your replies.
post #15 of 15
April will be a lovely time to arrive. Really get out and enjoy it and get your bearings before the heat hits. That way you'll know where the good air-conditioned spots are!
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