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Old 08-14-2012, 11:29 AM
 
44 posts, read 127,640 times
Reputation: 62

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Greetings folks...

Thanks for any help or guidance. I've been poking around the forum looking for info on the area. I've been to the Tuscon/Pheonix area a few times including trips in August and February so weather wise I think I'm good...though that August trip to Chandler was gruling!!

I currently work for an international company and am based in the mid atlantic but travel extensively across the US and Canada, which I am sick of. I have been offered a position with one of our distributors that would give me the Arizona territory. A big state to cover I understand but it's smaller than my current territory of North America, lol. I should be able to pull down somewhere in the 100-150K range the first few years. I would likely be looking to settle somewhere between Pheonix and Tuscon as my industry finds its focus in more metroplitan settings. I, however, do NOT wwant to live in the cities but will be commuting between them.

All that said I would be moving out with my two daughters, 14 and 17, my girlfriend and her 9 year old son...so schools are a concern. I know this sounds ridiculous but living on or near water big enough for boating would be spectacular! Escpecially if it would accomodate my 22" center console because I'm gonna lose my ass if I gotta sell her to move...lol. For at least the first year I'll be renting, hoping to find 4 bedrooms for 1600/mo or so. I've been looking in Casa Grande and Chandler because I've been in both of those neighborhoods before but only for a few days at a time.

My interests include boating (I know, I know), SHOOTING, hunting, harleys, and weekends playing doing family things. Is there much to hunt in AZ? I know it to be a firearm friendly state as I already hold a non resident CCW there. Are the lakes much good for fishing, water skiing, tubing? I'm comfortable in the desert environment, not thrilled at the monotinous scenery of the desert but I like the prospect of NOT cutting the grass . The mountains/hills would be a little more comfortable for me but from doing mapquest searches they seem to put commutes to the two big cities at a long stretch.

Basically I'm looking for guidance on good, peaceful neighborhoods with decent schools hopefully somewhere near water big enough to play on.

Thanks for any help...future neighbors(?)

-BunnMan
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Metro Phoenix, AZ USA
17,876 posts, read 41,075,785 times
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Casa Grande or Chandler would be among the choices for "in between", but any map will tell you there's no lake to put your boat in between Phoenix and Tucson. Closest lakes are north of Phoenix. But, if you live in Chandler, taking a boat to Saguaro or Bartlett or Lake Pleasant on a weekend would be doable.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:03 PM
 
13 posts, read 29,664 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by observer53 View Post
Casa Grande or Chandler would be among the choices for "in between", but any map will tell you there's no lake to put your boat in between Phoenix and Tucson. Closest lakes are north of Phoenix. But, if you live in Chandler, taking a boat to Saguaro or Bartlett or Lake Pleasant on a weekend would be doable.
Casa grande was poor advice, IMO...I would check out North Peoria since its near lake pleasant.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:37 PM
 
131 posts, read 328,937 times
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I would say if you want to be in between Phoenix and Tucson and have good schools then Awatukee or South Chandler. Both have pretty good schools and you can take the 202 up and around and in 45 minutes go to Saguaro lake. Know people that lived in Maricopa and Casa Grande and they did not like the schools, actually took them out and did the long drive to Chandler to get them in a better school.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Casa Grande, AZ (May 08)
1,707 posts, read 4,082,552 times
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Casa Grande is the obvious middle ground choice, but as others have said - no water for boating nearby! Would be a couple of hour haul....as for schools....yep, better choices up in Ahwatukee/Chandler/Gilbert, BUT there are a couple new charter schools in town now that seem to have very happy parents as they are expanding very quickly with new buildings etc....(Legacy Charter and Mission Height Prep HS).

The other thing is that Chandler etc. are definetely suburbs of downtown, they ARE in the Phoenix Grid and once I get there I feel like Im in Phoenix from the Gila River Casino north... but thats just me.

Also, for your 1600 bucks you can get A LOT of house to rent in CG vs the closer to Phoenix suburbs....and if wanted could live in a more "rural" setting with a large lot on the outskirts of town....

I understand I lean towards CG, but I do try to be realistic and the school situation is starting to improve here in CG....both public and Charter...

Oh, also with the water - its a straight shot about 3 hours down to the river along I 8 from CG....

Best to you....
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:12 AM
 
44 posts, read 127,640 times
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Thanks for the guidance...some very good stuff here. Yes, I noticed there isn't any water in the direct corridor between Phoenix and Tucson, google earth points that out quite clearly. What google is not helpful for is determining local travel routes and times and the accesibility of those few lakes. It appears that living on or near any of them would certainly create a tough commute to Tucson and all but Saguaro or Lake Pleasant would be tough getting into Phoenix in a reasonable time frame.

As far as the rural areas on the outskirts of town...which have decent schools and are the best compromise for access to both cities and water. Is South Chandler still urban-ish or does it open up at all? What about Apatche Junction? If I wanted to bite the bullet and suck up the long commute to Tucson are there lakefront homes on Saguaro and Canyon Lakes?
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Casa Grande, AZ (May 08)
1,707 posts, read 4,082,552 times
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Well, the problem is going to be having all your "hopes" converge - if the good schools is the highest priority, than you likely will end up in the more suburban areas of Chandler/Gilbert. There are some more rural areas in those areas that are probably still in the good school districts, but then your 1600 rent is not going to get you much.

AJ definetely has some more "country living" areas that are within your budget, but then you dont have any better schools (or maybe even not as good) as Casa Grande, so why put the added drives on yourself when you can get the rural feel in CG for the same money..(since you ll be more conveniently located for work).

I cant tell you anything about the lakes north of Phoenix/Peoria as far as housing or schools...
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:42 AM
 
44 posts, read 127,640 times
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Yep...that is the chore, sifting through the best compromise of desires...lol. Does anyone know of a web site that offers public school rankings? I can find plenty for crime rates. Another potential option for me in this offer is a more limitted territory of north LA up to San Luis Obsipo. When I was lookig into that real hard I kept coming up with what I figured to be unfavorable crime ratings/risk. Then I ran my current hometown and alot of those palces didn't look so bad anymore...hahaha. Is there a similar engine somewhere to compare schools?
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:04 PM
 
Location: In the hot spot!
3,899 posts, read 6,177,555 times
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I'd say Chandler or Gilbert hands down. You won't be too far from the lakes, Salt River or the I-10 when you need to travel to Tucson. Good communities and schools as well.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:19 PM
 
131 posts, read 328,937 times
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www.greatschools.org/ is about the only website I know of that list school info and a few reviews.

Also there aren't any homes on pretty much any of the lakes around here so if you want to be close to some and have good schools and close access to the highways and don't mind the communte I would say Red Mountain area would be ideal. My son goes to Red Mountain High and likes it and my daughter goes to Freemont Middle. I am only about 5 minutes from the Salt River to do some duck hunting, 5 minutes from Usery Pass gun range and about 15 minutes from Saguaro Lake. I live in Las Sendas in a gated community and like it, granted I am moving to Scottsdale to be closer to work. Las Sendas has community pools and walking trails..Not to shabby of a place but I sure would hate that drive to Tucson.
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