Moving To AZ

We’ve talked a lot this month about decision making. A couple weeks ago, I shared my tips on how to go about making great decisions…from information gathering to intuitive thinking. I stressed the importance of looking at both external and internal information.  But what happens when the decision is not a solo decision, but a couples decision? How do you do that?  That is a whole different thing. A decision with a partner requires a whole lot more synergy, compromise and communication. It’s like going from freestyle dancing to ballroom dancing. You can’t each be flailing all over the place. You’ve got to be in sync.


Some of you may know that Jeff and I have made the big, bold, and kind of bad-ass decision to uproot and move to Arizona! Neither one of us has ever moved to another state, so this decision is a biggie. I want to share with you how we got to this decision, what our process was, and how we navigated this as a couple. Hopefully it will shed some light on decision making as a duo.


About 1 ½ years ago, I could see that Jeff was getting really dissatisfied about where we live, the changes happening in California, the ever-increasing traffic, and the overall quality of life that California was offering us. Now, this was kind of a big deal since he has always absolutely loved Redondo Beach. He grew up in the South Bay and has said he would never leave!


So you can imagine my surprise…

Especially when I had just sold my home in Huntington Beach, and made the move to the South Bay, and we had designed and built our new home which we absolutely loved. I had thought this would be our “forever home,” so I had never even contemplated the idea of moving, let alone to another state.


But when you are in a relationship, your partner’s needs matter, and so I wanted to explore the idea with him. At first, Jeff suggested places that were just too far away, like Belize. And while that sounded like  tropical bliss, I just couldn’t move so far away from my grown up kids, and from my California office which I am NOT planning to shut down.


Then, on a weekend getaway to Palm Desert for my birthday, the topic came up again. We were floating in the pool when I suddenly thought and said, “How about Arizona?” To be perfectly honest, I have no idea how that thought even entered my mind. It kind of surprised us both!


We both love hot sunny weather, it was a quick 1 hour flight or a do-able car ride. And just like that, the minute I said it, Jeff went running with it! Within 2 weeks he had researched lots, had discovered that Fountain Hills (just outside Scottsdale) had the hillside lots we wanted and the small town feel.


So the day after Thanksgiving, we drove out to Arizona for our “fact-finding mission.” We wanted a lot instead of a house that was already built, because we figured that we would design and build it, like we had with our Redondo Beach home.


And after 2 days looking at about 30 lots, we picked the one on Keota Drive. It had a view of the golf course, 4 peaks, and even the Fountain Hills 500’ fountain! We celebrated our decision by going back to the lot at sunset, sitting on the tailgate of Jeff’s truck, and sharing a bottle of wine. And so it began…


We made an offer, bought the land, and I started designing! Once the home was designed and construction drawings were completed (by me and my team), we drove back out to Arizona, and set up a pop-up tent for interviews with 8 different local contractors. We literally created a makeshift office right there on our dirt site.




Unfortunately when we put the bid sets out, we were in for a huge shock! Maybe because these contractors didn’t realize that we are so well-versed in construction (me with my architecture background, and Jeff as a general contractor years ago), they came back with outrageous numbers. Even though Jeff and I are VERY familiar with building costs (in California it is about $300/sf and less expensive in Arizona) these guys were charging in excess of $500/sf! Crazy!

 I suddenly knew that we really needed to wait to build this project until I had established good connections and a solid rapport with builders.


But the saga does not stop there…there is more to this story..


Jump over to the podcast to hear it firsthand…




And remember…


Your life story is written by the decisions you make each and every day