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Old 03-07-2009, 06:57 PM
 
1,194 posts, read 1,281,763 times
Reputation: 1935
Default Planning a move to the Phoenix area.

I know this has been asked before but I wanted to add my particular twist.
I'm almost 50, I'm widowed and I have a wonderful 15 year old daughter. She truly is a stepford child. In all her scholastic life, she has never got anything less than an A... 4.0 GPA and she is just plain a considerate and respectful person.
I grew up in So. Cal and moved to Oregon 20 years ago but as a kid, I spent my summers in Wickenburg and before I moved to Oregon, I lived in the high desert near Apple Valley so the heat is no stranger to me. I look forward to it after my time in cold, rainy Oregon. My daughter has lived on the Oregon coast all her life. Her entire high school has a total of 46 kids in all grades. Her sophmore class is 16 students. She also is big into sports. Track, basketball, etc. She really is a great kid and I'm proud of her.
So with that said, we have grown tired of the way of life here in Oregon and ALL THE RAIN!!!! We average 119 inches of rain per year. More than Phoenix gets in 16 YEARS. It rains constantly here and it's very depressing, not to mention the LONG AND COLD WINTERS.
We live in a small town of about 500 souls. We are a 35 minute drive to the closest town of 8000 people and about 60 miles to a larger city of about 300,000. We live in the sticks.
I also take care of my 81 year old mother which lives on the same property but in her own house. She is in good shape but I do want her closer to services.
So with all this said, I did a lot of searching for different areas that would suit our needs. I was looking for an area that was central to a lot of things, where home prices weren't out of sight, where there are a few lakes around to satisfy my need to fishing and waterskiing among a few other things.
Anyway, the more I researched, the only place that fit the bill was the Phoenix area. It's close to everything I need and want. It's close to lakes and rivers, it's not far from So. Cal, Vegas, Grand Canyon, mountains, Lake Powell, and it's close to Tucson. I will be traveling there a few times a month or more for business. I'll be running a business from my house.
I spent my Christmas in the phoenix area and I looked at several cities that I could afford. Glendale, Suprise, Mesa, Chandler among others. I was particularly impressed with the Queen Creek area but I was only there for a few days.
One of my biggest concerns is the school system. I don't want to hinder my daughters education in any way and from what I hear, the schools aren't that great in those areas. I do have the option of allowing my daughter to stay with family in Oregon to finish her schooling in the same school but I'm not sure that's the thing to do although the more I read about the schools, the better the idea of having her finish her school here in Oregon.
I wanted your opinions about the different areas. I liked the Queen Creek area because of the newer homes, the prices, the area was clean, it's close to the lakes and just a short drive to Tucson compared with living in the west valley. I also liked the rural feel to the place.
I'm just looking to find a place that suits me.
I plan on spending the summer renting a house and looking for the perfect place rather than buying right off the bat so I can make absolutely sure that's the move I want to make.
So now you know my story. Let's here what you think about the area and how that relates to my situation.
Thanks for you help in advance.

Last edited by maverick974; 03-07-2009 at 08:25 PM.. Reason: Grammar
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:35 AM
 
78 posts, read 206,697 times
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I hear you! As the board's resident fanatic about PHX-area school systems, I'll chime in. The good news is that Oregon Coast schools are not any better than most of Arizona's--they are both sub-par, in terms of test scores and national rankings. But like Oregon, Arizona has pockets of, while not excellent, very good schools.

Queen Creek schools suffer only in that they are relatively new. Many educated people, serious about education and who who are NOT Mormans (there are a LOT of Mormons in the far East Valley, which may work well with your Stepford child) might bring their children into Chandler area where there are more established high schools and excellent charter schools. Just depends on where you stand in education--are you up for excellence and demand it? Is an okay school that is close to you preferred to an excellent school further away?

Cave Creek schools, to date, do not really break any ground in test scores for kids--so your daughter could get bored easily...or not. But google charter schools (pubically funded and free) in your area and you might find a school that fits. What does your daughter want?
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:36 AM
 
1,194 posts, read 1,281,763 times
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My daughter wants to stay here in Oregon and finish school. The school here is rated very well scholastically and since she does so well here, she feels like a big fish in a small pond. She is into sports, she was the sophmore homecoming princess, etc. When she has a problem, she gets a lot of attention from the staff with any help she might need so in a larger school, I don't know if she would do as well in a larger school.
She is planning on going to ASU when she graduates so she wants to maintain that 4.0 GPA.
We are very excited about moving to Arizona but it seems there is a price to pay for whatever we do.
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
17,042 posts, read 20,104,160 times
Reputation: 8930
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick974 View Post
My daughter wants to stay here in Oregon and finish school. The school here is rated very well scholastically and since she does so well here, she feels like a big fish in a small pond. She is into sports, she was the sophmore homecoming princess, etc. When she has a problem, she gets a lot of attention from the staff with any help she might need so in a larger school, I don't know if she would do as well in a larger school.
She is planning on going to ASU when she graduates so she wants to maintain that 4.0 GPA.
We are very excited about moving to Arizona but it seems there is a price to pay for whatever we do.
Sounds like she is well-adjusted and happy. Why mess with it? It is hard work and a good deal of luck to get kids to do well in school and be happy with themselves and their peer status. Why mess with that? For the weather? Queen Creek is just a boring suburb of an overgrown metropolis with a lifestyle shockingly different from what you describe as your current situation. My 2 cents: Give your girl what she wants and stay put for a couple more years.
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:40 AM
 
1,194 posts, read 1,281,763 times
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Well, the move is going to happen, the only question is if she stays here with family and finishes high school or makes the move with me and goes to school there. Whatever happens, she wants to go to ASU when she graduates high school.
For my business, it would be much better to be on the west side of the valley so I've been looking at Mesa, Queen Creek, Gilbert, etc.
Leaving her here in Oregon isn't my first choice but if that's what's best for her, then that's what will happen. She would be staying with my son in his home until she gets out of school and then would be living with me while she goes to college.
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Old 03-08-2009, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Casa Grande, AZ (May 08)
1,147 posts, read 1,867,289 times
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All of those towns you listed were on the EAST side of the valley....Im assuming that is what you meant...after that, your choice is really how often will you go into town and how much house do you want for your money? All of those areas will have reasonable rentals and homes for sale right now, but as always, the further out you go, the more house you ll get for your money.

I also work from home so commute wasnt an issue and for a variety of reasons I ve posted on here before about, I ended up here in Casa Grande. Plus since you said you may make the drive to Tucson frequently, CG may be a consideration. Its an hour to Tucson and 45 mins to downtown PHX or ASU from CG.

Again, nice thing about CG is it sort of the "center" of the area, so we have the hospital, mall, etc etc. but home prices are still extremely reasonable. Not so sure about CG high schools (we have one now and a 2nd opening this fall) though so cant help you with that.

One other thing you may want to think about is state residency as far as your daughters ASU attendance. Im no expert so Im not sure whether its the residency of the parent or the student that helps as far as costs go, so you may do well to get here early enough to establish that residency.

All I can offer for now.
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:06 PM
 
1,194 posts, read 1,281,763 times
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Yes, I meant the EAST side. Sorry about that.
I've thought about Casa Grande but I will need to go to downtown Phoenix almost as much as I will Tucson so that why I was looking at the cities I've previously mentioned.
Next time I'm in the Phoenix area, I was going to look at Casa Grande as well as a few other areas on the east side that I haven't looked into as much as I would like to.
Once my place sells here in Oregon, I'll probably rent a place for a few months just to make sure I can handle the summers and also I want to take my time in finding the home I want. At that point, I'll have plenty of time to find exactly what I'm looking for. I don't think housing prices are going to skyrocket anytime soon.
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Casa Grande, AZ (May 08)
1,147 posts, read 1,867,289 times
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Just rememnber that the drive from QC to downtown is AT LEAST as far as from CG (google maps puts them at exactly same drive time) and that is from the Maricopa county QC, not the Pinal County portion, because CG is right on the I 10 whereas for now, QC has two lane roads in and out to the 60. Also, again the drive from QC to Tucson is alot worse that from CG.

Now, if you can get what you like at the price you want in Mesa/Gilbert as you suggested, then those drives into Phoenix are much better....
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:40 AM
 
1,194 posts, read 1,281,763 times
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I'm not really locked into any area. I would just like to find the right home in the right place with the right amenities for the right price. I realize I probably won't be able to find the "perfect" place but something close to what I want.
Actually I did find a perfect place in Queen Creek when I made the trip at Christmas. Both my daughter and I fell in love with the place at first sight. I would have bought it on the spot had my place in Oregon been sold. Unfortunately, that isn't the case yet but I have time to look. I'll rent for a time.
Mesa would probably be my unltimate choice. Queen Creek, Casa Grande, Chandler, etc. Any of those areas would work fine for my needs.
In a perfect world, I'd have to make the trip to Tucson twice a month and the trip to downtown Phoenix twice a month. I'm guessing I'll make the trip to Tucson more than that. I'll be working mostly from my home, wherever that might be. Since those trips won't be all that often, it doesn't really matter as long as I'm on the east side someplace.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Gilbert - Val Vista Lakes
6,066 posts, read 8,204,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick974 View Post
I'm not really locked into any area. I would just like to find the right home in the right place with the right amenities for the right price. I realize I probably won't be able to find the "perfect" place but something close to what I want.
Actually I did find a perfect place in Queen Creek when I made the trip at Christmas. Both my daughter and I fell in love with the place at first sight. I would have bought it on the spot had my place in Oregon been sold. Unfortunately, that isn't the case yet but I have time to look. I'll rent for a time.
Mesa would probably be my unltimate choice. Queen Creek, Casa Grande, Chandler, etc. Any of those areas would work fine for my needs.
In a perfect world, I'd have to make the trip to Tucson twice a month and the trip to downtown Phoenix twice a month. I'm guessing I'll make the trip to Tucson more than that. I'll be working mostly from my home, wherever that might be. Since those trips won't be all that often, it doesn't really matter as long as I'm on the east side someplace.
Gilbert, Chandler, and certain areas of Mesa sounds like it may be a fit for you. There are areas of Mesa that you would want to avoid because of the higher crime rates. Chandler is closer to ASU than some of the better areas of Mesa. Housing in Chandler usually costs a little more than in Gilbert.

If you daughter lives at home and goes to ASU, then Queen Creeek and Casa Grande are out of the question because of the commute distance and time.
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