Rest of the Story:
Like any good Real Estate Agency, we strive to always put the needs of our clients first, and that includes being truthful and honest in all we do. In that, while we LOVE our town, here are a few of the growing pains we are experiencing here in Prescott, Arizona as our town continues to expand.
Not enough laborers for building:
The first big issue with not having enough laborers in town is that with so many people moving to Prescott, the new build companies are finding it hard to keep up. There is a severe lack of trade workman to do the work on homes in a timely manner. Electrical, dry walling, plumbing, painting… you name it, and we could use more workers who specialize in it! The larger subdivisions in town with higher end homes can be as far as two years out until your home is finished. Home companies in town who are working on new more middle-ground price subdivisions in the area, such as Dorn and Mandalay, are six months to a year out in finishing a home for their buyers. The problem this presents is if you’re looking to move to Prescott and need to move into a home right away. This automatically removes this as an option for you unless you are able to get into one that is already built. If there were more laborers and tradesman in town, perhaps the speed in which these homes are built could be expedited.
The second issue that comes up with not having enough laborers in town is when people opt to buy an older home. Many people decide to buy an older home in Prescott due to location, or being able to move in faster, and plan to renovate once they move in. However, if you are looking to do this, get ready for a waiting list depending on who you choose to do the work. Some of the more well known renovators in town (i.e. they have good reputations and do good work) are booked out solid for months at a time. There are a decent amount of older homes being sold in the Prescott market that need work. They are homes with character and potential, but homes that need some updating nonetheless. While the HGTV channel romanticizes finding a fixer upper and makes the process look smooth, the time it takes to get those home renovations started and completed in Prescott might be a speed bump you hit right off the bat here.
Lack of jobs for families that try to relocate here:
As alluring as Prescott is with the amazing things it has to offer – beautiful scenery, four mild seasons, great outdoor living, and that cute small-town feel – the reality is it can be hard on the job market front. According to the City of Prescott’s website, the top four industries in Prescott are Healthcare, Education, Tradesman, and Accommodation and Food Industry (Link here). Within the education industry, you can work at one of the many schools in Prescott, both at the grade school level, and collegiate level. There are multiple grade schools to choose from, both private and public, as well as two colleges and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, all of whom take good care of their employees. There are two hospitals, Yavapai Regional Medical centers in Prescott and Prescott Valley, as well as many doctors’ offices and specialty doctors in town for those in healthcare. As stated above, the need for tradesman is great, causing that industry to grown here and the pay to be good. And then of course, with the many restaurants we have here and the constant events (the world’s oldest rodeo, summer art shows, Christmas events, and more), the accommodation and food industry is doing well. Aside from those industries, the job market can be tough and not the most accommodating for those relocating here with careers that don’t fall under any of those categories.
Higher living expenses:
The biggest way we have seen living expenses rise is in the housing market. Home values have skyrocketed across the board and rental prices right along with them. This is an obvious way that living expense have gone up – in mortgages and rental rates. With the higher values of homes comes the higher price tag on them when they go up for sale. With mortgages going up in price, that often means that rentals are going up as well. This is because people maybe bought the home to use as an investment property and they need to charge more than the mortgage in order to make a profit, which often times makes buying a home cheaper than renting because your mortgage will be cheaper than paying rent depending on the price of the home you buy. Rents have also risen for this reason because those who’ve had rentals for a while can now charge more because the market is in such high demand.
Roads and Parking
It’s not a secret that our town has grown exponentially in the last decade and continues to do so today (for more information on why we are growing, read our previous article on the topic here). The problem with so much growth is that originally, we were a small town. What does that mean? It means that our roads are small and our parking is limited, and there isn’t a ton of room for expansion in that. Though many of our roads are two lanes each direction, with so many stop lights, they seem to back up in an instant. It can take 30 minutes to drive the 8 miles to and from Prescott to Prescott Valley. If you’re commuting to work in the morning or evening, or going out to eat on your lunch hour, prepare for the roads to be busy. While it hasn’t reached the point where it takes time of your day in order to get places (most of the time), the roads feel packed and a bit hectic at these peak times – just like any other city or town – we just never had an issue with this before our population began rising. An issue that accompanies high traffic count is limited parking. While the downtown area doesn’t have the most abundant parking spaces to begin with, the problem is magnified with more people moving here and therefore more cars that need to be parked so that residents can enjoy downtown for a bite to eat, a cup of coffee, or one of the many other things to do downtown.
These are just a few of the growing pains that we have noticed in Prescott as our population expands and our town along with it. While all these things can be frustrating and irritating, we still wouldn’t want to live anywhere else! Prescott is full of charm and character, beauty and vitality. The weather is mild and gorgeous, the scenery and landscape is jaw-dropping like no other, and the community is friendly and caring. It is a true gem and we feel blessed to get to live here. For more information on why Prescott is so great, read our article about it here.