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Old 06-23-2009, 12:17 AM
 
31 posts, read 67,654 times
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Default Estrella Mountain Ranch

OK, so we are having a new house built in Estrella....we're excited and cant wait! We really enjoy the scenery there and the fact that it's set a little ways from all the hustle and bustle.
They are part of the Liberty Elementary School District...Weststar Elementary and Estrella Mountain Elementary. Their H.S. is Estrella Foothills.
We currently dont have kids but with a general inquiry into those shcools, they seem fine.
Can anyone tell me any details about them or if you have kids that attend there can you comment regarding your experience?
Also, does anyone have any general comments about Estrella?
We're fairly new to Phoenix but have had a few months already to get familiar with the city and the general suburbs...we really like Estrella (we're needing to stick to the west valley for commute purposes) of all the places we've seen.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:33 AM
 
Location: Phoenix
3,995 posts, read 6,030,583 times
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Beautiful area in which one feels secluded but just a hill over from civilization, LOL! I have family that live on the foothills of Estrella and in Estrella Mountain Ranch "proper." All of their kids have gone to the schools in the development, and thanks to their great teachers and focus on education (and involved parents) many of my younger cousins are/were intelligent enough and inspired to be driven (by their educators) that they took it upon themselves to apply to and be accepted into Brophy Prep/Xavier; the oldest are now at various universities. Their parent's do credit the teachers at Weststar or Estrella Mountain Elementaries with their kid's genuine interest in pursuing their educational goals. But, from hearsay, I would say your future children will be in great hands.

Estrella Foothills High School is an Excelling school, meaning it is a top notch institution. That is the highest ranking a school can earn based on academic achievement and scholarly attention to continually improving the education of the students and to not just be satisfied with the status quo. In order for a school to achieve an excelling rating they must not only show they are currently deserving of the ranking, but they must continue to prove that they are looking for ways to improve teaching methods and enhancing the learning environment. My younger cousin(s) who opted to stay at Estrella Foothills are just as brilliant and successful. My little cousin was actually a member of the Wolf Pack's, the school's mascot is the Wolf, 2009 Girls' Soccer State Champions!!!

Estrella Mountain Ranch homes are actually a rarity in regards to how little home values have fallen, relatively speaking, compared to other areas of the Valley. I myself, would not live so far. I love downtown; HOWEVER, if I wanted to live in a suburban area, EMR would definitely be on the list with the upper echelon of suburban living. The amenities, views, and neighborhood feeling alone are top notch. You say you are having your home built so I take it you will be an EMR foothills resident? I love the housing anywhere in EMR no matter the location; even if they are, for all intents and purposes, a little cookie-cutter. Saying that, they are well planned, well built, and nicely appointed "cookie-cutter" homes! You made a wise choice in my opinion.

Last edited by fcorrales80; 06-23-2009 at 01:00 AM..
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:48 AM
 
31 posts, read 67,654 times
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That's great to hear...and yes, we're building new - in the Montecito area (Taylor Morrison). It's definitely "cookie cutter" but of all the different types of neighborhoods that are cookie cutter, this has to be one of the better looking ones - at least the immediate neighborhood where we'll be looks like it has a variety of homes, different colors, etc. If I had the money, I'd do a custom home but...well...that's not the case, LOL.
Looks like a couple of years ago that location would have been way out of our price range but with the market the way it is, developers having to give large amounts in incentives to keep sales coming, it looks like it was either now or never. It truly fits our budget perfectly and were able to pick out all the important upgrades we needed...we're really excited.
Now I just hope that the market doesnt continue to sink...nothing worse knowing your house is worth $30k less than it was 4 months ago! Lol...
Well, we wouldnt be closing till Oct/Nov so there's time...hopefully rates dont go up substantially.
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:33 PM
 
1,483 posts, read 1,202,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorrales80 View Post
Beautiful area in which one feels secluded but just a hill over from civilization, LOL! I have family that live on the foothills of Estrella and in Estrella Mountain Ranch "proper." All of their kids have gone to the schools in the development, and thanks to their great teachers and focus on education (and involved parents) many of my younger cousins are/were intelligent enough and inspired to be driven (by their educators) that they took it upon themselves to apply to and be accepted into Brophy Prep/Xavier; the oldest are now at various universities. Their parent's do credit the teachers at Weststar or Estrella Mountain Elementaries with their kid's genuine interest in pursuing their educational goals. But, from hearsay, I would say your future children will be in great hands.

Estrella Foothills High School is an Excelling school, meaning it is a top notch institution. That is the highest ranking a school can earn based on academic achievement and scholarly attention to continually improving the education of the students and to not just be satisfied with the status quo. In order for a school to achieve an excelling rating they must not only show they are currently deserving of the ranking, but they must continue to prove that they are looking for ways to improve teaching methods and enhancing the learning environment. My younger cousin(s) who opted to stay at Estrella Foothills are just as brilliant and successful. My little cousin was actually a member of the Wolf Pack's, the school's mascot is the Wolf, 2009 Girls' Soccer State Champions!!!

Estrella Mountain Ranch homes are actually a rarity in regards to how little home values have fallen, relatively speaking, compared to other areas of the Valley. I myself, would not live so far. I love downtown; HOWEVER, if I wanted to live in a suburban area, EMR would definitely be on the list with the upper echelon of suburban living. The amenities, views, and neighborhood feeling alone are top notch. You say you are having your home built so I take it you will be an EMR foothills resident? I love the housing anywhere in EMR no matter the location; even if they are, for all intents and purposes, a little cookie-cutter. Saying that, they are well planned, well built, and nicely appointed "cookie-cutter" homes! You made a wise choice in my opinion.

You always have great info to share. I didn't know anything about that area, other than it was far away. I did drive by once and it did look very nice...but I couldn't figure out how so many people could live that far out. Guess there are plenty.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:06 PM
 
31 posts, read 67,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omle View Post
You always have great info to share. I didn't know anything about that area, other than it was far away. I did drive by once and it did look very nice...but I couldn't figure out how so many people could live that far out. Guess there are plenty.
Interestingly enough it's not that far....we currently live in Gilbert and with traffic it takes about an hour to get to work (just west of downtown phoenix). When we've made the trip from Estrella, it's roughly 40 minutes with traffic, otherwise it's 30 minutes top.
It takes 15 minutes to get from the top of the mountain (well, the development that is taking place farthest south on Estrella) to I-10.
I guess considering we have to pick a suburb to live in, as we wouldnt be buying in the actual city, I see it closer than many other suburbs people rave about....and honestly, I'm here in Gilbert and I dont see why prices are higher here. Not to bash Gilbert because it's certainly not ugly or bad, but there's nothing to set it apart.
With that said, I know due to employment, schools, etc there are some people that find some areas more desirable than others...I guess that's where the perceived value lies.
For us, we'd rather be west valley due to the fact that my husband works just to the west of downtown....and in looking at the west side, Estrella seems to me a bargain right now, and their schools are top notch.
I guess in seeing how far people drive/live away from their jobs or city center, it doesnt seem to make sense that Estrella would be thought of as "too far out there." Maybe cuz it's a mountain....
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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i think it has to do with the slower development of the region in general

i live in goodyear of estrella and the I-10, which is even shorter as we don't have to go in and out of the mountain and my coworkers would talk about how far out I was ...... then drive in from mesa, chandler and gilbert

yeah, our places were far from each other, but getting into central phoenix wasn't much different for either of us ............ 20-25 miles is 20-25 miles, doesn't matter if you are coming from the east or west
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Rogers, AR
481 posts, read 504,132 times
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I am living in Montecito right now and we love it. My daughter goes to Westar elem. and I think the principal is just fabulous. The curriculum is pretty good and I love how they give options for kids who might be a little advanced and they try an work in extras so kids of all levels will get something valuable from the homework. I don't have anything but good to say about them. I will say though that I do liek the older houses in EMR only because La Mirada (where we are now) is so quiet and still very new so my kids are finding it hard to find friend nearby. Plus I ahve a few friends who live closer to the fire station (copper ridge II ?) and they have so much more land and yard space. I do love Bouganvilla park though.

I will say though if I could do it all again, I might look closer at Verrado which is like EMR but a little farther west and closer to the I-10 (no 20 minute drive just to get out of the community).
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:10 PM
 
31 posts, read 67,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by culturedmom View Post
I am living in Montecito right now and we love it. My daughter goes to Westar elem. and I think the principal is just fabulous. The curriculum is pretty good and I love how they give options for kids who might be a little advanced and they try an work in extras so kids of all levels will get something valuable from the homework. I don't have anything but good to say about them. I will say though that I do liek the older houses in EMR only because La Mirada (where we are now) is so quiet and still very new so my kids are finding it hard to find friend nearby. Plus I ahve a few friends who live closer to the fire station (copper ridge II ?) and they have so much more land and yard space. I do love Bouganvilla park though.

I will say though if I could do it all again, I might look closer at Verrado which is like EMR but a little farther west and closer to the I-10 (no 20 minute drive just to get out of the community).
HI CulturedMom:

That's exactly where we'll be living - La Mirada at Montecito.
We actually like the remoteness of it....that's one reason why we decided on Estrella Mountain vs other areas in Goodyear we were looking into (we dont have kids though).
We didnt look into Verrado because it was already further west of Estrella and we were trying to keep our commute time as low as possible. Figured the further west we keep looking, the further our commute will be (even if it is just another 15 minutes)...also, once we saw Estrella Mountain, we loved the feel of it, the amenities, the remoteness...we figured we found our spot so why keep looking.

Arent average lot sizes there (in Verrado) less than 7,500sf? We went with a lot size close to 10,000sf because we wanted to have as large as a backyard as possible without going over our budget. A few people had mentioned to me that at Verrado they tend to have smaller lots (the average lot size there may even be in the high 600 - low 700 range)....and that was a negative for us. I dont know if it's true or not though...

I would hate to see a lot of shopping on the mountain but it would be nice to eventually have a pharmacy, grocery store (I know Bashas is coming soon), and a couple of take out places (a delivery pizza place will be in soon as well) with a video rental store. Other than that, I'd gladly drive down the mountain to get to all the typical suburbia shops - Walmart, the mall, Best Buy...restaurants....

How long have you been living there?
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:01 PM
 
157 posts, read 257,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunLuver View Post
Interestingly enough it's not that far....we currently live in Gilbert and with traffic it takes about an hour to get to work (just west of downtown phoenix). When we've made the trip from Estrella, it's roughly 40 minutes with traffic, otherwise it's 30 minutes top.
It takes 15 minutes to get from the top of the mountain (well, the development that is taking place farthest south on Estrella) to I-10.
I guess considering we have to pick a suburb to live in, as we wouldnt be buying in the actual city, I see it closer than many other suburbs people rave about....and honestly, I'm here in Gilbert and I dont see why prices are higher here. Not to bash Gilbert because it's certainly not ugly or bad, but there's nothing to set it apart.
With that said, I know due to employment, schools, etc there are some people that find some areas more desirable than others...I guess that's where the perceived value lies.
For us, we'd rather be west valley due to the fact that my husband works just to the west of downtown....and in looking at the west side, Estrella seems to me a bargain right now, and their schools are top notch.
I guess in seeing how far people drive/live away from their jobs or city center, it doesnt seem to make sense that Estrella would be thought of as "too far out there." Maybe cuz it's a mountain....
Fully agree I will take Estrella over anything that Gilbert has to offer.

The one thing that Estrella doesnt have yet it grocery store (they are working on it)
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Rogers, AR
481 posts, read 504,132 times
Reputation: 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunLuver View Post
HI CulturedMom:

That's exactly where we'll be living - La Mirada at Montecito.
We actually like the remoteness of it....that's one reason why we decided on Estrella Mountain vs other areas in Goodyear we were looking into (we dont have kids though).
We didnt look into Verrado because it was already further west of Estrella and we were trying to keep our commute time as low as possible. Figured the further west we keep looking, the further our commute will be (even if it is just another 15 minutes)...also, once we saw Estrella Mountain, we loved the feel of it, the amenities, the remoteness...we figured we found our spot so why keep looking.

Arent average lot sizes there (in Verrado) less than 7,500sf? We went with a lot size close to 10,000sf because we wanted to have as large as a backyard as possible without going over our budget. A few people had mentioned to me that at Verrado they tend to have smaller lots (the average lot size there may even be in the high 600 - low 700 range)....and that was a negative for us. I dont know if it's true or not though...

I would hate to see a lot of shopping on the mountain but it would be nice to eventually have a pharmacy, grocery store (I know Bashas is coming soon), and a couple of take out places (a delivery pizza place will be in soon as well) with a video rental store. Other than that, I'd gladly drive down the mountain to get to all the typical suburbia shops - Walmart, the mall, Best Buy...restaurants....

How long have you been living there?
Sorry, it took me a while to respond. We've lived here for 6 months actually but we are now moving back to Florida. I liked Verrado a lot and yes, some of the houses did have small lots, but I thought it was a trade off for the diversity in housing plans. I'm not saying I liek it better then EMR, though, it was just a thought.

I've loved Estrella from day one and I hate that we are leaving. You'll love it. There are some really great people here and once they start coming out of their homes (you know, summer hibernation) you'll really enjoy the neighborhood.
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