April 2019 we made the big move from Seattle, Washington to Scottsdale, Arizona. We’ve met a ton of people who’ve been willing to impart their knowledge on us – which we’ve been really grateful for!

Here is what I learned in my first month living in Arizona:

  • The water tastes awful – plan on purchasing water (whether that’s gallons, bottles, or a filtration system).
  • Don’t stay completely out of the sun – it’s helpful to acclimate your body. Just get out in small doses so as not to increase your risk of heat/uv related medical issues (heat stroke, sunburns, skin cancer, etc).
  • You’ll probably need to adjust your hygiene routine – like moisturizing more frequently, using moisturizing face masks weekly, and changing up your conditioner. The air is dry. I’m loving this face mask.
  • The electricity companies in Phoenix metro are like two competing monopolies… APS is bad (more expensive), SRP is good.
  • For those who have gas for only their heating, most Arizonian’s opp out of turning on their gas during summer months. They contact the providers in November to come to turn it on, then turn it off around March.
  • The main tv/internet providers in the Phoenix metro area are COX, DirectTV, and CenturyLink.
  • Only keep your windows and doors open until about 10:00 am. After that, you’re just letting hot air in.
  • Pets
    • Buy your dog booties for the hot pavement, or be willing to look like a dork while you carry them to grassy patches.
    • They make a rattlesnake vaccine that slows down your pet’s response to a bite, and hopefully lessens the impact from the bite. This is great for people who are going to be out hiking with their pet. More info here.
    • Apparently, animal abuse and neglect are major issues in the area. Animal control was in our neighborhood three times the first two weeks I moved in. That being said, there are so many dogs looking for forever homes in the area.
  • Licensing
    • You don’t need an emissions test on your car if it’s less than 5 years old – otherwise, an emissions test is required to get licensed.
    • You’ll want to fill out a form online ahead of time and make an appointment before going to the DMV to transfer your license.
  • Pests and Animals
    • Invest in pest control – say no to scorpions.
    • Scorpion stings aren’t likely to kill you here – they are just going to hurt like a bee sting, and make you feel sick for 48 hours or so.
    • Wear shoes outside so if you step on a scorpion, you won’t regret it.
    • If you get stung by multiple bees in short succession, RUN! It could be Africanized honey bees, a.k.a. killer bees. They’re called killer bees because they’re more aggressive, and tend to attack in large swarms… not because one sting will kill you.
  • When looking for a home:
    • Look for signs of rust/water damage.
    • Make sure the home sits on the higher portion of the property.
    • Look for double paned windows.
    • Make sure the AC functions.
    • Opt for covered parking, if available.
    • Find somewhere with a pool.
    • if your home is near a water source / green area, you are more likely to have scorpions.
  • Driving
    • Everyone drives 5-8mph over the speed limit. Anything above that, I’ve been told you’re more likely to get a ticket.
    • If you’re going to get a ticket, it’s likely for not making a complete stop at a stop sign, going even just one mph over in a speed zone, or trying to make it through a yellow light.
    • Know what a “HAWK” crosswalk is.
    • The heat will melt the paint on your car, wash and wax your car on a regular basis.
    • No one knows how to use a turn signal.
    • There are major accidents that shut down freeways on a daily basis. Follow some sort of news source to get updates on when these closures happen.
    • There is zero tolerance for drinking and driving – get a ride, peeps!
    • Car insurance is really expensive – too many uninsured drives, and too many accidents.
    • Add window replacement to your insurance. It’s not a question of IF you will get a chipped or cracked window, but WHEN.