Arizona retirement land? What do you think?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by birdnutz, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. birdnutz

    birdnutz Songster

    Mar 6, 2007
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2008

  2. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    I don't think they're allowed to develop land in AZ without knowing there will be water for around 20 years. But eventually I'll bet water is an issue.
  3. birdnutz

    birdnutz Songster

    Mar 6, 2007
    20 years would be plenty of time for that would put us at 85 after retirement. Unless of course they're talking at time of purchase,then we would be in trouble.(and kinda thirsty) thanks for the reply,I'll look into that.
  4. andehens

    andehens Songster

    Aug 25, 2008
    Scenic Sierra Nevadas
    Grew up in AZ, loved it and miss it, that said, think in terms name Arizona is a corruption of Arid Zone. (learned that in school) What are other people doing in that area? Are there other people in that area? Hauling water is a bad option! There are places on the desert with good wells, higher elevations not so much, so ........... lots of homework!
  5. birdnutz

    birdnutz Songster

    Mar 6, 2007
    The closest town is Willcox and they say it's an agricultural area. They even have a pick your own veggie farms. Grape growing is becoming big there also. I figured that the higher elevations would be a little cooler in the summers. I wouldn't mind the arid,been living in Wyoming drought now for 14 years or so. But the bitter winters are really getting to me. Anything that grows in arid,winter kills here. I love the low humidity and intense sunshine. Can't see myself where it rains or is cloud covered all the time. I go visit family in Iowa and get clausterphobic from being hemmed in by all the foilage. I love being able to see for miles and miles etc.
  6. conny63malies

    conny63malies Crowing

    Mar 22, 2008
    Annetta Kentucky
    Google up the "the villages" in Florida. Ah here is the link :
    I used to live near there. They have EVERYTHING. incl. half of the over 60's that live in Ohio and Michigan. It is near Wildwood close to I75 , but you are in Orlando, Tampa or either side on the beach in a jiffy.

    And the best is no water problems!!! Ya dig a few feet and there is water.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2008

  7. NMbirds

    NMbirds Songster

    Aug 17, 2008
    Abiquiu, New Mexico
    Yes, water is an issue in AZ, NM and many other places for that matter. Be sure you check out ALL the details including utilities, costs, distances, costs, transportayion, costs, supplies, costs, building codes, restrictions, covenants, costs, and oh yes, did I mention costs? IF you do it, think about how you might be independent energy producer for yourself via wind and sun.
    The purchase price is but the beginning as large tracts of land out west are being carved up into these "ranchettes" and there are some hidden costs that are only discovered later so be sure to do ALL your homework thoroughly.
    And good luck. I would not trade living in New Mexico for anywhere else but we are at 6000 feet in the foothills of the Rockies.
  8. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    Birdnutz - I hear ya on the seeing for miles! I miss it, and would be there in a heartbeat if I could.

    You've got some experience with arid conditions up there in WY, but there will be some differences as well.

    Best advice I can give you is go rent a place for a whole year. SEE for yourself if the climate and community suits you. Or at least talk to a LOT of people - especially the Seniors, and other retirees. They'll not hesitate to give you the "real low-down" on daily life and any challenges there.

    Pay close attention to what they have to say regarding the quality and availability of good Medical Care. Even if you're the picture of health today, you may need regular or emergency attention, and if it isn't up to your needs or expectations, look elsewhere.

    Here's a few points to ponder, and get answers to BEFORE you buy -

    Water in the desert is ALWAYS an issue. I grew up in the High Desert of Southern California, and alot of the issues are the same.

    How deep is the water table?
    What is the cost per foot for drilling?
    What extra expenses are involved in getting YEAR ROUND water for your site?
    Are there any regulations or limits on private well use in the area you are considering? Some properties come with NO water rights, even for private owner use, and are for recreational / seasonal / "dry camping" use only.
    What is the average yearly rainfall?
    Does the rain all come in the winter months?
    or are there Summer Storms that need to be planned for? (usually there are, it pours for 15 - 30 minutes, then stops, and everything is dry again an hour later. Flash Flooding DOES occur, frequently, and any homesite needs to be placed out of the probable drainage routes. You'll be able to spot them on the ground if it has stormed in the last couple years.)

    Is the road access to your property privately maintained?
    What are the fees associated with that?
    How much road will YOU have to maintain to access your chosen homesite?
    How far do you need to drive before you hit pavement?
    Is your access for a common car, or does it require 4WD, etc.

    How often does it snow?
    Once every 5 years, two weeks every winter, once in a blue moon?
    What are the Night-time temps in Winter?
    Day-time Highs in the height of Summer? We would frequently have day-times in the 60's and 70's in winter, and as soon as the sun went down, it would drop below freezing within 1/2 hour. It wouldn't snow often, a couple weeks span in winter, and not every winter, but when it did, it was usually only a light dusting, and wouldn't last long. The temps at night were the real hazard.

    Are you planning on building a home, or buying modular?
    or will you be SnowBirding, and only spending winters there, and summers elsewhere?
    Will you be able to have easy access for any crews coming onto your site?

    Take a page from the locals, and build with adobe, or cement in the adobe style. It stays much cooler in summer, and is easier to keep heated in winter, if you need it. Another option to consider is building underground(bermed). The homes are very energy efficient, well adapted for the climate there, and not much more expensive to build than conventional construction. Some of the Passive Solar designs require little or no additional heat sources in winter.
    (holler if you want more info, I have quite a bit of research on it)

    Will you be using propane, or wood for heat?
    how available is your fuel choice? how much does it cost?
    Since you'll be Off-Grid - are you able to change your lifestyle to accomodate the differences in electric usages? How much comfort is enough? Will you be "roughin it", or do you want all the modern conveniences? Will you be putting in solar arrays, or using a generator? Budget for those expenses as well. (we lived on a generator for 10 years, and quickly learned what we could and couldn't do without)(1960's & 70's - no solar then)

    Does anyone have seasonal allergies? ragweed blooms in spring, and can drive some people completely bonkers.
    Dust is another major factor. Dust seems to just permeate into everything, especially during the windier months. Some people have no trouble with it, others are seriously affected.

    With a few precautions, winter gardening is MUCH easier than in the summer on the desert. Plants don't burn in just an afternoon, and fresh produce from your own garden in the middle of January is a Real Treat!

    Just like Wyoming, the County Extension Agent will be a wealth of information for you. They'll give you much better and truer information than a Sales Company who will tell you what they think you want to hear in order to make the sale.

    Sorry this is so very long, but I'd hate to see you sink your money into someplace, THEN find out that it isn't what you wanted.

    Best of Luck!

  9. poltroon

    poltroon Songster

    Feb 28, 2008
    California (North Coast)
    Arizona is a beautiful place, but when you come across bare land that's cheap, it's cheap for a reason, which is usually some combination of expensive water, no water at all, and/or a long way from utilities.

    Southeastern Arizona really is quite far from anywhere and Very Very Very hot.

    In general, any land with water on it will command a significant price and/or will already be developed.

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