Friday, March 2, 2012

Escape at Last!



This is the place in the Phoenix area that we're renting for the months of January, February, March and April 2013. Can't show you photos of the interior because it was occupied and we couldn't get in, but the rental agent showed us photos and it appeared to be nicely furnished.

Skies were blue and temperatures were in the low 70s the five days we were in Phoenix. The locals apologized, said they were having a cold snap; normally, they said, temperatures would be in the upper 70s to low 80s at this time of year.

When we returned to Bend yesterday we found six inches of snow on the ground, with a temperature of 34 and a wind that made it feel more like 4.

Do you have to ask why we're getting the hell out of this frigid "paradise"?

19 comments:

I B Long said...

Hope that you'll be happy. A quick question... what is your definition of comfortable, tolerable and cold days that you use for your summaries of Bend's weather?

Unknown said...

Hope you will enjoy it down here. A quick question... what do you use as definitions for the comfortable, tolerable and cold days for your reports on Bend weather?

H. Bruce Miller said...

Comfortable means a high of 70 or above; tolerable means a high in the 60s; cold is anything below that. I base this on how warm it has to be to feel comfortable or tolerable outdoors without a coat or sweater. It's purely my own subjective standard.

Unknown said...

You may need to add another category covering too hot for your time in Phoenix if you keep track when you are down there. It can get pretty warm down there even in the winter months.

H. Bruce Miller said...

The average high in April is 85. That's far from being too hot for me, although I understand some Bendians might consider it to be.

Rich Ray, Speaking Soley for himself said...

Too each his own I guess, but I find the greater Phoenix area quite ugly visually. I do like Sedona though. Last April we took a trip to Phoenix, Sedona, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon. Several of the days in Phoenix it was 95F+. One area was a complete eye sore. It was Mesa. It was one liquor store, pawn shop, check cashing, strip club after another, Oddly enough the street was Country Club Drive. My wife said one visit to AZ was enough.

Marshall_Will said...

Great solution Bruce, hitting all the right ( or wrong ) months with the perfect scratch! Not to throw a fly in the ointment but whether it's looking on CL or the sheer desperation of those hip deep in their real estate investments but... I've found short term rentals for a single family home to be a bit difficult?

Most landlords want -you- to make -their- problems go away! I.e you'll rent it for eternity and a day, effectively putting salve on their self-inflicted economic wounds? So typically NO they are NOT interested in a short term arrangement that doesn't provide a long term solution.

Even modestly furnished, they're talking $1,200, $1,500 and HIGHER per month! Without getting nosy, care to share some of the deposit, etc. details?

Unknown said...

Bruce,

Curious as to the cost per month to rent a place like this and whether they do shorter term rentals like a week or month? While we're a few years from retiring fully and really love our winter sports at this point in life, we do like to get away for some warmth at times. Down the road if we're less able to xcountry ski and feeling the need to get outdoors, something like this might work for a month away. Also curious as to the quality of the surrounding area. I'm sure Phoenix has its good and bad areas. We've enjoyed visiting Tuscon a couple of times but have not stayed near Phoenix. Thanks

H. Bruce Miller said...

Marshall: There are quite a lot of short-term rentals available in the Phoenix area; people make a business out of buying homes and renting them out to "sunbirds." It's a greater challenge to find a nice one that will accept pets.

Without going into details, I will agree that rentals in the Phoenix area are pretty expensive. Home rentals, that is -- apartments are pretty cheap.

H. Bruce Miller said...

Unknown: You can find rentals for anywhere from under $1,000 to over $3,000 per month depending on whether you want an apartment or condo or house, and on location, furnishings, amenities etc. It might be possible to find something to rent for one month, but the owners prefer to rent for at least three months during the height of the season (winter). There's a lot of demand for rentals then. You might be able to rent an apartment or condo for a week; we didn't really look into that possibility.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "quality" of the area. Phoenix is a big place, very sprawling, with many different neighborhoods offering different attractions. (Actually the Phoenix area includes about eight or nine different cities that have all run together, much like Silicon Valley.) We intend to use our four months to scout out the area and find the best place to rent for the following season.

What were your impressions of Tucson? We were told by friends that it's a very pleasant place.

Marshall_Will said...

Bruce,

Good point, and regardless of my over leveraged situation, as a LL I'd prefer tenants take the whole season. Filling it for odd periods would be a pain.

Given we're younger and our house isn't paid off yet, we're going at this from a very cost-conscious perspective. Paying (2) mortgages/rents at the $1,500 to 3k level wouldn't be as much a strain as it would be counter productive going into the home stretch of retirement.

Boils down to values question I suppose? For every month you elect to take a PASS on friggin' OR winters ( it may translate to another month you'll have to delay fully retiring ) Taking advantage of Sunbirds isn't exactly something 'new'?

H. Bruce Miller said...

"For every month you elect to take a PASS on friggin' OR winters ( it may translate to another month you'll have to delay fully retiring )"

I'm fully retired already, and my wife will be at the end of September.

To rent or buy is the question. It would be cheaper in the long run to buy, but Bend is a pretty pleasant place in the summer and fall and I would rather spend those seasons here than someplace that's hot as hell. It may be possible to own a home or condo in both Bend and someplace else -- another option we need to explore.

Carl said...

We do the 1/2 here 1/2 there. Winter in the SW is much nice than Bend or Boise. Boise is very nice in the spring and summer. You can get two houses,smaller-but still very nice, for the price of one larger in Bend (or was b4 the nose dive).

We don't rent the one that is not being used, too much hassle. Besides the SW home is in a Sun City and they don't allow leases under a full year. Many homes are leased here though.Amazing how many of these oldsters got upside down in Sun Cities after buying in 2004 or 2005. You would think they were brighter than doing the big 100% loan at their age.

It is nice to have friends in both places who stay year around and look in the empty house occasionally. Definately look at the lock and leave suitability if you decide to do the 2 house thingee.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"the SW home is in a Sun City and they don't allow leases under a full year"

Not true of the Sun Cities in the Phoenix area. We leased a place in Sun City West for four months, and there were lots of other homes available for lease there and in Sun City Grand (the newest one).

Carl said...

Thanks. True here in Las Vegas. The HOA watches things like a Hawk on a bunny, even making sure at least one person renting is over 55 and they want to see the rental agreement and documentation of the age of the rentor-leasor.No one under 18 allowed to stay in the house for more than 90 days/yr.

You can find a nice 2 BR for ~$100K, maybe a little higher.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"Amazing how many of these oldsters got upside down in Sun Cities after buying in 2004 or 2005."

Wonder how many of them were "investors" (i.e., flippers)?

James said...

We've lived here for over 11 years. Came from Colorado. This is the first winter where the sun truly showed itself just as much as it would in Colorado. We'd move the heck out of here if we could but our house wouldn't sell if we TRIED!!!! UGH!!!!

300 days of sun my EYE!!!!!!! Getting bent!

H. Bruce Miller said...

James: This is the sunniest winter I have EVER experienced here in 27 years. Bend might even legitimately hit 300 days of sunshine this year -- unless (as I fear) the weather turns sucky and stays that way through June.

James said...

I fear next winter being suckier than 2010. The worst I'd ever seen it! Thankfully we are heading to the southwest the end of this month for a week!!