Thinking of relocating to the Scottsdale area? You will certainly be in good company. Most of the people you meet in Scottsdale have come here from some other (generally colder) place, and you will likely find the community to be very welcoming. At Pennewell Simpson Partners we know what relocating to Scottsdale is like – we both relocated here from quite a distance. While there are things about this area that we found to be a bit foreign (like those giant garbage trucks with the mechanical arms that sweep your pails into the air!) we generally found it quite easy to get acclimated. It didn’t take long for us to call this beautiful place home!
State flower: Saguaro Cactus Blossom
State tree: Palo Verde
State bird: Cactus Wren
State gem: Turquoise
Arizona is located in the Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST) – but unlike almost every other state, we don’t have daylight savings time here. During April through October Arizona is on Pacific Daylight Time. This can be very confusing. If your family is on the east coast, you will be 2 hours behind them in the winter but 3 hours behind them in the summer. This can take some getting used to. You will find that the sun comes up very early in the summer making it a great time for outdoor activities before the day heats up.
If you are bringing a car with you from another state, you are required to register it in Arizona as soon as you become a resident. AZ law requires that new residents obtain an Arizona drivers license immediately. This includes part-time residents who reside in Arizona for 7 months or more during any calendar year, regardless of permanent residence. Young adults can obtain an Arizona drivers license at the age of 16, but restrictions apply. Try to look your best for your drivers license photo – in Arizona your license doesn’t need to be renewed until you turn 65 years old.
The AZ Dept of Transportation (AZDOT) has an excellent website that can provide you with more information and guide you in the process of obtaining an Arizona drivers license and registering your car. Visit them at http://www.azdot.gov/ and click on Motor Vehicle Division and then the New to Arizona? Tab. Your car may require emissions testing. For more information on emissions testing you can visit http://www.myazcar.com/
In Arizona, the school year generally starts in mid-August and ends in late May. The public schools in Maricopa County serve over 625,000 students, and there are many others who are served by about 130 private, parochial, charter and pre-college boarding schools. Please visit the Schools section of our Pennewell Simpson Partners website for more information about schools in the Scottsdale area and be sure to check out the Arizona Dept. of Education website at www.ade.state.az.us.
Don’t forget about your furry friends. You may need to make special arrangements for them to travel if they will be coming by plane. Check with your airline for details. Licensing your dog is required in AZ. For more information you can visit www.pets.Maricopa.gov.
It’s a Dry Heat
As the saying goes, Arizona has a “dry heat”. You are likely to find that you need to drink a lot more water than you may be used to, even in the cooler months. Be sure to keep some water handy, especially in the beginning when you are still getting used to the dryness. Some people find they need to use more hand and body lotion and lip balm than they had been use to also.
While planning a move you will likely have a lot going on so it will be easy to overlook things. Don’t forget to get copies of your medical and dental records to bring with you, and vet records for your pet(s) too. If you are relocating with children, be sure to get copies of their school records to take with you. You may want to check with your child’s new school to see what is required. It is a great idea to bring along local phone directories from your “old” home town – you will be surprised how often you will refer to them.
Don’t forget to empty your safe deposit box and to pick up your dry cleaning or other items you may have ordered. You would be surprised how many people don’t remember these until they are on the plane!
Remember to take your automatic garage door opener out of your car before you move, and to collect your “spare keys” from friends, relatives, and vendors.
Buying a home in Arizona
You may come from an area of the country where lawyers handle the closing of real estate transactions. The buyer and the seller are each represented by a lawyer who handles the details like finalizing the contract, arranging for the title search and negotiating repair items. Things are different in Arizona where realtors are held to a high level of responsibility, which includes completing the contract and handling contract negotiations. In Arizona, Escrow Officers at Title Companies handle most of the closing arrangements, making sure that everything is done in accordance with the executed contract. Instead of having a closing with the buyer and the seller and each of their lawyers sitting across from each other at a table, you will likely complete all your closing paperwork in your Escrow Officer’s office, and you may not even meet the seller.
The way property is described is also different in Arizona than it is in some other parts of the country. In some areas of the country, particularly the east, a property is usually described based on its relationship to street intersections or landmarks. This method of property description is called Metes and Bounds. When you buy property in Arizona your property will probably be located on what is called a “Plat Map”, especially if it is in a subdivision. The Plat shows the location of individual properties, streets, parks, etc. In most cases the property is described using lot number, tract name, map book reference, county and state.
The City of Scottsdale provides its residents with a wealth of information on its website www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Residents. It is a great resource to help new residents with things like setting up utility services and requesting a pick-up for all those boxes you will have lying around after you move in. You may also want to visit to the Greater Phoenix on-line relocation guide, this web site is full of helpful area information and tips, www.sunraydirect.com/Phoenix1/OnlineGuide/FirstAmericanTitle/.
Pennewell Simpson Partners would be delighted to help you learn more about relocating to the Scottsdale area, and to help you ease your transition to the beautiful Sonoran Desert.