Florence, Arizona is one of the slower-growing cities in Arizona and could be considered idyllic and comfortable for some, but for those who live there, it’s an area filled with flaws. Its linear growth rate has made this place home to nearly 27,035 people as of 2022. So, with all the individuals and families residing in this city, what are some reasons they should have considered before moving here?
There are often many different factors that are considered when deciding what you should move into. Here are 17 reasons not to move to Florence, Arizona.
17. No Variety in Demographic
Several cities in Arizona are very similar in the sense that the residents are usually white, conservative, and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Though it has a bit of diversity, being close to the Mexico border, the majority of Florence follows this trend as well. Not that every community must have vast ranges of ethnicities, races, and sexual orientations, but it is easy to notice the lack of variety in the demographic, which could be a potential dealbreaker for some people.
16. Small Population
Different surveys have shown that economic conditions are much worse in small towns than in bigger cities. With Florence’s population only growing by a couple hundred every few years, the economic benefits aren’t as accessible as they would be in a more established area.
Unfortunately, given this city’s lack of industrial growth, there aren’t many options for places to go out to eat nearby the housing developments. The choices come down to what you’re willing to commute for, and if you’re able to drive to Queen Creek, there are some places there to enjoy.
At the end of the day, living in this area requires you to stock up on groceries whenever you’re able to do so and just eat at home. This would save on gas and be more cost-effective, but it isn’t exactly helpful if you have an extremely busy life and don’t have time to make food regularly.
If you are going to live anywhere in Arizona, you may need to rely on public transportation at some point. This goes for Florence, and unfortunately, there aren’t many options. There are very sparse bus stops that aren’t often nearby residential neighborhoods.
Once you are able to find the bus stations and where the stops are, it’s likely you’ll find that the buses don’t go to a lot of places. They stop in popular places, but you’ll find that you may have to take a bus or two to get to the more obscure places in Arizona.
If you are an animal lover, Florence could be the place for you, but beware that everyone else here is as well. Almost every household has some kind of pet, with the most popular pet being dogs. I can almost always guarantee a dog will bark right as you’re trying to go to sleep and continue to do so sporadically throughout the night until it’s almost time for you to get up in the morning.
On top of that, you will always be able to find some kind of bug or animal that could kill you if you aren’t knowledgeable and careful about what’s out there. Florence is quite a ways south of any busy, manicured city, so creepy crawlies are very much at home in the area and are willing to defend it if you give them a reason.
Scorpions, spiders, snakes, as well as the state-renowned “Gila Monster“, a very venomous lizard, centipedes, kissing bugs, and more, can be found almost everywhere you go, whether it be inside your house, your yard, or simply walking down the street. Not to mention the mountain lions and bears that are never too far away.
Hiking may be something that you enjoy doing in your free time. If that’s the case, Florence is not the place for you to move to. The nearest area to do any decent hiking is a good drive away, and even then, there are only a handful of decent hikes available.
If you were to travel to go hiking, you would have to wake up extremely early or travel the day before you go hiking and stay at a hotel overnight so you can go hiking early in the morning and avoid the scorching sun.
An annoyance that many Arizonans have to deal with is the “snowbirds”. A snowbird is someone that only lives in Arizona during the winter and then moves away during the super hot months of the summer.
When snowbirds are only in the area for some parts of the year, their neighbors don’t get as much time to become familiar with them, which can cause some tension in the community.
Snowbirds also can influence the housing market because they purchase homes in the area that other people who live in the city year-round could potentially purchase, making the housing market more competitive.
10. Desert Problems
There are a few catches that come with living in the desert that a lot of people don’t have to worry about, but those in Florence do. Every year, they have to watch out for several environmental changes that could cause issues if the proper precautions aren’t taken.
One such issue is dust storms. These come about when the summer sun has dried up the dirt and soil enough so that any wind storm can come along, pick it up, and thrash it around in what the locals call a “haboob”. These storms can range from mild, to very dangerous, and cause problems in cars, homes, and even give people “valley fever” if too much of the dust is inhaled.
Another issue is the monsoons that come around close to the winter months. Rain pours down everywhere and can cause lots of water damage, uproot plants, and harm individuals if they are outside at the wrong time.
9. No Basements
There aren’t basements in most Florence, Arizona homes, which is disappointing because basements better isolate cool air on hot days. Though they are not impossible to add to Arizona homes, they are usually cost-restrictive, partly due to the presence of the caliche found in the soil.
8. The Sun
This is a problem that isn’t limited to just one city in Arizona, but the whole state. The only seasons they have are summer and slightly cooler summer. Since there’s nothing but year-round heat, it never truly feels like it cools down fully.
Everyone knows that extreme heat and sunlight are terrible, but they never really know just how dangerous they can be. The sun can cause burns, dehydration, and heat stroke, which can at times be fatal if the situation is bad enough. Not to mention how harmful it can be to property and foliage if they aren’t sufficiently taken care of.
However, it can feel worse in Florence because there aren’t many trees that provide shade from the blistering heat. The sun also heats the roads all day long, so it’s still hot overnight and even hotter the next day, causing extra wear on tires and shoes.
7. Barren Wasteland
Though deserts are some people’s cup of tea, a good number of people would probably disagree. If that’s the case, Florence would likely not be the place you should move to. It’s very much Southern Arizona, and it doesn’t have a lot of infrastructure or buildings, so there’s hardly anything to look at. Miles of dirt, cacti, and rocks as far as the eye can see could be maddening for people to have to see day after day.
6. Unpaved Walkways
Florence, Arizona doesn’t have a lot of paved sidewalks, so the available walking paths often have potholes, rocks, and sticks that can make it difficult for you to walk in the area. The lack of paved sidewalks next to busy roads is worrisome because if you are walking along the road, a car could potentially hit and severely injure you.
Traveling long distances can be expensive, but you can save on gas if you can get on the freeway quickly. However, if you live in Florence, you won’t be able to do so. The nearest entrance to the 202 freeway is about 45 minutes away in Gilbert.
Though it can be nice living so far away from a large amount of traffic, the distance is definitely a blessing and a curse.
Florence doesn’t have many roads, and the ones it does have are very frustrating to everyone that isn’t familiar with the area. Some of the roads will go from paved to dirt in just one simple turn. This can be rough on the cars and annoying to the driver.
Road signs in Florence can often be misleading or confusing, and there isn’t consistent street lighting. When I lived here, I was mainly walking and biking around, so the lighting and switch between paved and dirt roads made it really hard to travel effectively and stay safe while walking at night.
3. Gross Water
Arizona in general has bad-tasting tap water, but Florence’s is on a different level. The water is notoriously hard, as it contains high amounts of calcium and magnesium. Though the water isn’t dangerous to drink, the dissolved minerals make the water taste bitter or salty.
Someone had told me once while living in Florence that the water is especially worse in the city because of the water’s inability to cool and freeze in the pipes underground because of the heat. Hence, the water is just always running and gathering minerals. I’m not sure how true that is, but it made sense to me at the time.
I have tried several times to endure the taste of the water, but it was hard enough to even get past the smell, let alone the taste. The only way to combat this is to use a water filter or buy bottled water. This is rough on the environment, and with water already being fairly scarce in the desert, it would be better if the tap water in the city was simply consumable.
If you are not prepared to regularly purchase bottled water or use a water filter, you should not move to Florence, Arizona.
2. Gender Imbalance
There is a significant gender ratio imbalance in the city of Florence, 77.6% of the population is male. Though this may not be a disadvantage to many, it is still something that should be taken into account while looking for cities to move into.
When there aren’t many busy roads bringing consistently flowing traffic through a city, it makes it harder for people to have the desire to move there. It also becomes challenging for current residents to enjoy what the city offers. This is the case in Florence, Arizona. Also, Florence doesn’t have anything that is being built to draw visitors to the area, so the odds of it getting busier are not great.
There aren’t any movie theaters or other forms of entertainment nearby, and even the nearest gas station is a good drive away from most residential neighborhoods. However, Florence has always had a steady increase in population, so maybe the more people that find out about and move to this little city, the more options will become available. However, it will take a long time for improvements to the city to be completed, so if you want to go to the movie theater regularly, you don’t want to move to Florence, Arizona anytime soon.
Overall, Florence, Arizona is a very small city that isn’t very developed yet. It is expected to grow and become more developed over time, but it will likely take at least 10 years for the city to complete the improvements necessary to make the city appealing to potential new residents. Before you choose to move to this city, visit it and determine whether or not it is a good place for you to move to.