The secret is out.
Prescott is a great place to live.
Looking at more than 40,000 requests for long-distance moving services (50 miles or more), Thumbtack, a consumer service website, determined what areas, cities and towns Americans said they are most commonly moving to and from.
Just behind Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina, Prescott ranks as No. 3 on the list for places Americans said they are moving to.
I like Prescott. Of the places I have lived: Bronx, NY; Rock Hill and New Paltz, NY; Phoenix and Glendale, AZ; Prescott, AZ it is by far the best.
I have to say that the Phoenix area was very nice in the 1970’s. I had just graduated from college, was a young adult on my own for the first time, so I think I would have enjoyed any reasonable place at that point in my life. Over the years Phoenix metastasized into a copy of Los Angles “open spaces separated by traffic jams” and then those open spaces filled in with cookie cutter subdivisions and strip malls. Automobile based suburbia writ large.
About the time of the Rodney King race riots in Los Angles waves of escapees from California moved to the Phoenix area. I can’t blame them. When we meet people who moved to AZ from CA we often greet them with “welcome to America!”. Anyway that’s when I decided it was time to move to a smaller community.
Arizona places like Prescott, Flagstaff, towns in the White mountains (northeast Az) have little industry compared to the Phoenix area. I was able to find work in Prescott in the tech field but the pay was significantly less than I was making in Phoenix for a comparable job. We call this the “pine tree penalty” or “high altitude tax”. Oh, and the cost of living in Prescott and Flagstaff is higher than it is in Phoenix too. I needed a change and the California wave bid up the price of houses where I was living. Off to Prescott.
My timing was pretty good, I bought an older home in town rather close to where I worked. Long ago I learned that I really dislike commuting. A year or so after I bought the house I ran into the realtor I used and he told me I bought just before prices went up.
These days Prescott is starting to feel crowded. We have heavy traffic at what used to be off-peak times. So I’m not happy to see that this is the 3rd favorite place for people to move to.