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My wife just accepted a job in Phoenix, and we're trying find a home to
rent. We're 43 and 42, and we have 4 kids under 10. We're looking for
a friendly neighborhood where the adults and children are friendly with
each other. My wife will be working right near the airport, and I'll be
working out of the house.
Our priorities are:
Community amenities - this isn't essential, but would be nice.
I'm thinking pools and parks, not golf.
Commute to airport under 40 minutes, preferably under 30.
Short Drive to Desert Ridge(intersect of 101 and 51), where a friend lives
Any help on which neighborhoods we should look at would be very much
One other thing. I don't want this to sound offensive, but I've heard that
some communities are predominantly Mormon. I'd be happy to
live with people of any religion(we live in a very diverse neighborhood in
NY), but as a practical matter, we might make more friends if we are
not the one Catholic family in a predominantly Mormon neighborhood.
Also, we're social drinkers, and I know that as a rule, Mormons don't drink.
That's not a problem for me, but I don't want to offend my neighbors if I
decide to sit outside on a Friday night and have a drink. And I don't want
my kids to have trouble mingling with the other kids in the neighborhood,
because the other parents think we might be bad influences. I wouldn't
blame them for believing that, by the way - it's part of their religion. I'd
just rather avoid that situation.
So my question is - are there certain areas which are almost exclusively
Mormon? Many people have told us that Gilbert and Chandler are very
family-oriented, nice areas, and we've also heard that many Mormons live
in those two areas. Are there any neighborhoods in either of those
two places or other areas that are exclusively Mormon? Are there any that
I hope that political correctness doesn't cause people to get offended by
my question or cause this message to be deleted from the forum. I'm not
making any kind of judgement about Mormon people. I'm just asking a
practical question. Maybe I'm being naive, and it's not an issue at all.
I just don't have any experience with living with Mormon people, and I
don't want to move into an area where my family might feel
uncomfortable, and just as importantly, be offending our neighbors
without meaning to. We have areas near me in NY that are exclusively
Hasidic Jewish. A Catholic family would never move there, not because of
anti-Semitism, but because they would be violating the rules that the
Hasidics live by every minute of the day.
Live in Ahwatukee (Chandler or Phoenix parts). The schools are good and the people are all drunks and sinners. Seriously, I would focus on Ahwatukee. NOTE: Ahwatukee (parts aka Mountain Park Ranch) is not a town, it is an area west of I-10 and generally south of Eliott Road. Some is Phoenix, some is Chandler - same school district - Kyrene.
Well, as a "Ex-Mormon", I don't find your questions offensive. Gilbert and Mesa have high percentages of Mormons, Chandler I would think less so. There are no "exclusively Mormon" neighborhoods, so far as I know. That said, I really don't think anyone will care what you are drinking on your back patio, regardless of their religion. Many here describe Mormons as good neighbors who are friendly, take good care of their property, have well behaved children, etc. From what I have read about Hasidic neighborhoods in New York, a neighborhood here with a majority or higher Mormon population wouldn't necessarily be anything like that. The influence of religion on the culture of Hasidic neighborhoods would be much stronger. You might want to do a search here, on the Arizona forums, on "Mormon" -- you should find some other discussions on this same sort of topic.
Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler are not particularly close to the Desert Ridge area, as well. Actually, areas near Desert Ridge might work for you. There are some very nice areas along Tatum Blvd south of the 101.
I think you'd also be happy in Tempe. It's close to the airport, more diverse in terms of religion, politics, ethnicity, than some of the other suburbs. It would be VERY close to the airport, has good schools, parks, (lots of good classes/activities through its Parks and Rec dept). The drive to Desert Ridge area from my house in South Tempe is still about 30 minutes in normal traffic, not rush hours. virtually all freeway as I live off the 101. I guess it depends on what you mean by "close".
EDIT: It's also adjacent to the Ahwatukee and Foothills areas mentioned by Ponderosa, which are also good suggestions.
With 4 kids under the age of 10, a neighborhood that has Mormons might actually be nice for you guys! Lots of kids to play with. I'm not saying you should focus on neighborhoods with LDS families, but I wouldn't include that as a + or - in your search for a neighborhood. It is NOTHING like living around Hacidic Jews.
I am Mormon, currently living in NY (Long Island!) and moving back to Phoenix in 2 months (lived there for 4 years). Hope you enjoy your time in the valley!
I'm sure there are some exclusive Mormon neighborhoods but it would be difficult to identify those. If you are apprehensive about living near Mormons, I would stay away from Gilbert. Gilbert has a high percentage of Mormons. Like Ponderosa said, I think Ahwautukee is a great bet. And if Ahwautukee is too expensive, I would look at west Chandler or south Tempe.
In general, I understand your example about Hasidics but Mormons are more mainstream than them. Sure, they are conservative but its not like that show Big Love. They are just conservative Americans similar to Southern Baptists. Maybe your expectations are different than mine but when I move into a neighborhood I don't expect my social life to revolve around my neighbors. I have a lot of friends who live all over the valley so it doesn't really matter to me if my neighbors are Mormon, Jewish, Baptist etc. I just want responsible and polite neighbors. I'm not Mormon. Gilbert has a lot of nice houses that are very well priced. It's a clean city and it would be a place I would consider. My only issue with Gilbert isn't Mormons but it's location. I like to live near downtown and the "central corridor" of the Valley and depending where you live in Gilbert, it can be quite far from that. In my experience, Mormons are polite and well educated and I would think they would be great neighbors. I don't live in Gilbert and my neighbors are not Mormon so I have no first hand knowledge other than working alongside Mormons.
That being said, to be fair and provide a balanced perspective, some families who have lived in Gilbert have complained that their children have been unintentionally and non-maliciously ostracized. Mormons' lives revolve around their church and church-sponsored activities and that includes their children of course. As adults, it doesn't really impact us but for children, I can see how it can be difficult if all the Mormon kids are engaged in some church activity and your kids are unable to participate (or you don't feel comfortable letting your kids participate)
Last edited by azriverfan.; 04-24-2009 at 12:25 PM..
Thanks very much for all the great feedback everyone.
We've had several people recommend Ahwatukee, and my wife just went to Phoenix
for a visit and liked McDowell Mountain Ranch and Grayhawk.
One thing I forgot to mention is our rent budget - we'd like to get a 4 or 5 bedroom,
either with a pool(I'm a little scared of this because we have a 1 1/2 yr old) or a
community pool. We can definitely fit in a 4 bedroom, and I don't mind an older
or smaller house if we can get in a great neighborhood. We'd like to spend $2,000/month
or less, but could probably go as high as $2,300. Does anyone know if Ahwatukee is out of
our price range? What about Foothills, Scottsdale, North Scottsdale, McDowell Mountain, and
Grayhawk. Anyone know? I'm going to be checking listings in all those areas, but just wondering
if we should just not even bother looking in any of those areas because they're out of our range.
I would think that Ahwatukee and Foothills are certainly within your range. Foothills, which is further south and to the west, around the back of South Mountain, will have more newer and larger homes than the old portion of Ahwatukee. Scottsdale has a lot of nice areas even before you get to the far north part. Try looking in McCormick Ranch. North Scottsdale, including Grayhawk/McDowell Mountain is newer and pricier, but it's a buyer's and renter's market these days.
And there are some LOVELY neighborhoods in South Tempe (and northwest Chandler), both of which are just east of the Ahwatukee/Foothills areas, that would fit your needs as well. Definitely worth a look.
I think you could rent a house in Scottsdale in your budget. It's a great area to live.
When I think Mormon, the first city I think of is Mesa.
We moved to Scottsdale from NJ and love it. I know a lot of the adjustments you will be making, and I now write an online column to help "transplants" like yourself. Coming from NY, I think you will recognize a lot of these things dead on. I have been told by other New Yorkers that they definitely related and the columns helped them.
The link is: Transplants To Phoenix Examiner
From there you can navigate to any of the topics.
Hi! If your priorities are being near the friend at Desert Ridge and commute to the airport, I second the recommendation for the area around Desert Ridge. Commute to the airport of course depends on traffic but I can get to the airport about 20 maybe 25 minutes in light traffic (I am near Grayhawk). Basically anywhere is NE Phoenix/North Scottsdale.
I live generally in the area around Desert Ridge and Kierland and near Grayhawk. (Grayhawk is just north of me, Kierland is just south, and Desert Ridge is just west). Grayhawk is nice, so is McDowell (just a tad east)! If you can find a rental at your budget (which I dont think should be a problem), go for any of these areas. You also should be able to find some good deals in Desert Ridge and Kierland area.
The trip from Ahwatukee to Desert Ridge is about 32 miles or so. I know first-hand because my niece lives in Ahwatukee. So if this will be a frequent trip, keep that in mind. I wouldnt want to do it during a weekday.
Other possibilities: McCormick Ranch (say 5 miles south of Grayhawk to give you an idea) or basically anywhere in North Scottsdale/NE Phoenix. Except far far north Scottsdale where you get into areas like Troon (say about 4-5 miles north of Grayhawk generally) and tend to be a bit on the pricier side.
The areas around McCormick Ranch have more of an "east coast" kind of feel-ie more grass and trees and so on. The further north you go, the more desert landscaping you see.
If you decide on this part of town, draw a boundary basically the 101 or slightly north of 101 (ie around Grayhawk and McDowell areas), west out to Tatum or so give or take, south to about Shea or maybe even a bit further like Chaparral. It is all a nice neighborhood. As far as the religious aspect, this part of town appears to be fairly blended.
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