Exploring a Sun City Move

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by Lanakila, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. Lanakila

    Lanakila New Member

    Hi,
    I've been considering moving to Sun City in a couple of years and want to start doing my due diligence. I'm hoping some of you could help answer some of my questions which mostly have to do with the various costs of living. I have been looking at both condos and houses. My first question has to do with the difference in HOAs.
    Most condos seem to have an HOA in $200 range while the homes are in the $40-50 range. I understand that the condos get maintenance, roof, water sewer and sometimes basic cable while the houses don't. Does the savings you get from what is covered in the condos pencil out as compared to what you would spend monthly in a house? The difference in what you would spend over a 10 year period is significant.
    Also, could you tell me what kind of monthly expenses you have such as electric, cell phone, internet, auto insurance, home owner insurance and anything else you can think of. I am moving from Seattle and I think the cost of living would be somewhat different.
    I know it is a lot but currently my spouse takes care of paying all our bills and when I move to Sun City I may not be married so any insight to your monthly cost of living would be helpful.
    One last question; does anyone know if there is much AA fellowship in the Sun City area.
    Thank you for any help you can offer,
    Lanakila
     
  2. SCR

    SCR Member

    I don't really know much about the condos and their HOA's (as there are many). But I can tell you that I personally would not move to a condo and be subject
    to their rules and regulations. Yes, there is an HOA for single family homes, and they can and do have an influence on how your property is maintained.

    As for costs, I prefer to handle my own costs for maintenance. I want to pick the vendor who will replace my roof, replace my garage door, maintain my
    yard and landscaping.

    As for expenses
    Cellphone - prices to my knowledge are not based upon where you live. They are universal. What you pay in Seattle is what you pay in Arizona.
    Electric - it depends on how energy efficient you are. In the winter months my electric is about 35.00. In the summer with air conditioning running
    all day my monthly bill averages about 140.00. I just recently added solar to my roof, and my October bill was -33.00 (that is 33.00 that APS owes me).
    Internet is another cost that is pretty much universal. Cox internet is about 89.00 a month. You can get cheaper internet services. Internet service
    is something that each of us has to determine for ourselves. How fast an internet service do you need?
    Auto insurance o me seems pretty inexpensive compared to what I was paying on the East coast.
    Home owner insurance is also less here than it was back East.
    Car registration however may be higher initially based upon the value of your vehicle, but it decreases each year as your vehicle gets older.
    I do believe the cost of living is probably lower in AZ then in Seattle. I know for a fact that is lower than the East coast.
    Natural gas costs for me are averaging about 20 dollars a month.
    Land line is 30 a month. Yeah, I know - you;re gonna ask why do I need a land line. Well, I don't give out my cell number and I rarely
    get a nuisance call on my cell. All that junk goes to my land line. I even have a way to discourage telemarketers on my land line
    by using SIT tones.
    Restaurants - in my view, there aren't any really good restaurants in Sun City (very few or none). If you want variety, you have to get out of Sun City.
    Sun City is fast becoming the Medicare capital of the world. We probably have more medical facilities than anywhere else. They should
    consider changing the name to Medicare City.
    Entertainment - outside Sun City is your best bet. Sun City does have free concerts in the fall and spring and some are good, but if you want
    to experience different and ever changing entertainment you have to get out of Sun City.
    Water bill - currently around 45 a month, but probably will go up (as everything) considerably in the very near future.
    Medical facilities - lots to choose from. Cost - no cheaper or more expensive than anywhere else.

    I'd like to give you a figure of my monthly expenses, but I'm not the average consumer. I tend to conserve on all my utilities and in fact all my
    utilities owe me money. How you ask? Well, I set my own budget for every utility and I tend to pay more than my current bill and I end up creating
    a nice credit balance for each. That insures that should I get Ill and unable to pay my bills, the credit balance will take care of them for at least
    6 months.

    What you may have to consider is whether you can afford to maintain a single family home on your own, or whether the somewhat all inclusive
    condo fees are more to your situation.

    In any event, good luck on your decision making process.
     
  3. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Good answers SCR, though i suspect you are more frugal than some. Utility costs in the summer can get expensive if you are not. My guess is Lana your over-all living costs will be a fraction of what it is in Seattle. Most of us moving here from the Midwest have found it to be less expensive by far and both the coasts (East and West) often are stunned by how much cheaper it is. The biggest single difference will be regarding property taxes. A $200,000 property will run you somewhere around $1000 per year.

    The choices in living accommodations is a whole other discussion. Your monthly costs when living in an attached home (duplex, twin, quad or garden court apt) will be higher than a single family detached home; especially if you do your own yard maintenance. You are paying the associated fees with a home owners association which tends to be higher due to following state laws, legal and accounting fees and hired property maintenance. It gets crazy too because many of them have green spaces that costs are spiraling out of control on with watering them. The upside is you can leave any time and feel fairly secure in locking it and going.

    We moved to Sun City in 2003. I was 55 and sober then for almost 30 years. I went to some AA meetings in Sun City but found they were a bunch of old guys (average age of maybe 75) that said the same thing every week. I understand how and why the program works, but i wanted more than that so i went to several meetings just outside Sun City and found better variety. There are clubs all around us as i suspect you know, not every club is right for every person. It really is a matter of personal preference and what your expectations are.

    You will not find a better value for your retirement dollar than Sun City. Whether you are still married or not, the community is suited to an active lifestyle. The costs of living here are reasonable. As SCR said, some things are better by going outside the walls but that again is more personal preference. We are pretty contented to staying within the walls. There's enough of everything we need/want so our trips out are more shopping based than food/entertainment. Doing your research is the right first step, the second is to visit and see if it fits what you are looking for.
     
  4. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    Do a quick search here for condos on this website. We had a couple of really good threads a few months ago. Good luck!
     
  5. Lanakila

    Lanakila New Member

    Thanks for your information and suggestions. All very much appreciated.
     

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