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Old 05-28-2007, 09:37 AM
647 posts, read 3,161,385 times
Reputation: 251


Chandler, at least the southeast area (looking at a map, I mean the area to the east of the 10 and south of the 202), is pretty similar to Gilbert. It's newer, safe and a great place to raise kids. The rest of Chandler is older - mostly still nice but I'm not very familiar with it, so I'll speak to southeast Chandler.

Schools in this area are good, and mostly get ratings of 9 and 10 on greatschools.net, at least all the elementary schools I've researched. They're all in Chandler Unified School District. There is also Chandler Traditional Academy, a charter school that's included in CUSD so they use all the district's rules for hiring, etc.

Many people commute to Phoenix, but also many work at Intel, Orbital and various other high tech employers in Chandler. Intel has a very strong presence here. I remember reading recently that the average salary was around 75K. I think it was slightly lower then Gilbert, as was the average housing cost. Just by a tiny bit though - the two cities are really very similar.

I think the average cost of a house in Chandler is close to 400K, but there are MANY houses available that are cheaper and of course a grea deal available that are much more expensive. Ocotillo is a very nice community with lakes and a great location, convenient to the 10, 202, and Intel. Houses tend to cost more for those reasons and also b/c it's a very pretty area. Fulton Homes is also building Fulton Ranch which will be very nice when finished, but pretty expensive, starting in the 600's. A few more reasonable subdivions off the top of my head include Sun Groves, Cooper Commons, Lantana Ranch and Lagos Vistoso. There are MANY others.

Chandler has the Chandler Fashion Center, a nice mall, and your basic Target strip malls, and of course typical chain restaurants. It's your basic American suburb. It's also close to the new mall they're building in Gilbert, San Tan Village Mall. And it's close to the highways so it's pretty easy to get into Phoenix for baseball games, etc.

I can't think of much in the way of recreation for Chandler, aside from typical parks, restaurants and movie theaters. They're building a big new park on Chandler Heights and Lindsay that will have fishing lakes, horse paths, a skate park, etc., and they're also building a big park on Riggs next to Basha High School that'll have a big aquatic center. Construction has started on the Chandler Heights park, but not the Riggs park.

The Chandler downtown historic area, around Arizona Ave between Pecos and maybe Ray, is pretty sketchy - very obvious so you wouldn't accidentally buy a house there without noticing. However, the city is currently rebuilding the area and has really exciting plans, including new shopping, lofts, etc. It'll be neat in the next couple years.

The southeast portion of Chandler is really a nice area and a great place to raise a family.
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:57 AM
551 posts, read 2,569,374 times
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Originally Posted by Chococat889 View Post
I am trying to find out more information about Tempe, beside ASU. Anyone can help? Mahalo (Thank You )
I can do a little on Tempe, at least until someone else can fill in the blanks.

General: Tempe is landlocked by Mesa, Chandler and Phoenix, and is the home to ASU - Arizona State University. Most of Tempe is older and well established, relatively speaking (for the Phoenix area). Most houses will be 30 or more years old. There is very little new build areas, if that is something that might be important to you.

Weather: Same as the general Phoenix area.

Schools: The Kyrene School District is one of the best for Maricopa County (Phoenix area). Not sure about any other's.

Commute: Pretty good, except for the areas close to ASU. Also, the 60 Fwy runs through part of Tempe and is one of the more crowded freeways during rush hours for commuting into/out of Phx. Otherwise, it is generally closer to downtown PHX than the outer/newer areas.

Economy/Shopping: Stable to growing. Tempe has been around for a while, as have most of the commercial areas. There are a few malls, including Tempe Mills, and lots of strip malls with major anchors/chains, lots of good places to eat, etc. The areas around ASU provide an interesting college atmosphere, as well as a good night-life in "Old Town" Tempe. There are also some light industrial/manufacturing areas.

Housing: Housing prices are higher than in the outer/newer areas. A 3-bedroom house in a nice older neighborhood probably goes for $300,000 and up. There are also many apartments, especially around the ASU area.

Recreation: Tempe Town Lake has various boating and water activities year round.
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Old 05-31-2007, 05:41 PM
Location: Arizona, The American Southwest
52,937 posts, read 31,353,767 times
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Central Northwest Phoenix, Shaw Butte and Metro-Center area

Weather: Typically about 2 to 5 degrees cooler than Sky Harbor's official temp because of the mountains/hills in the area.

Schools: Lots of grade schools that are local to each neighborhood, plus Thunderbird and Cortez High School are close by.

Commute: If you work in downtown Phoenix, morning I-17 and I-10 into downtown commute is easy, depending on what time you leave, but afternoon commute is a nightmare. It takes a long time to get out of downtown and get on I-10, and once you do, you'll have to deal with the parking lot on I-10. You'll be better off taking 7th Street or 7th Avenue, since they have the reversable lanes. My morning commute takes 20 minutes, afternoon commute can take up to 45 minutes if I take the freeway. 30 minutes if I take 7th Street.

Housing Prices: The area has a lot of new neighborhoods that were built recently within established areas that have been around since the early 1960's. Home prices vary between 200,000 and up to 450,000 in certain areas. probably because of the close proximity to downtown Phoenix. Good and clean apartment complexes in the Metro Center area are also plentiful and their rents are reasonable.

Air Quality: It depends on the wind. If there's a 10 MPH wind, air quality is usually good. But on some days, it can get pretty bad.

Food: Many good restaurants are around the Metro Center area, The Outback Steakhouse, Sweet Tomatoes, El-Torritos, Fajita's, The Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Black Angus, Mimi's Cafe, Papa Deaux, Macayo's, plus the usual fast food places.

Shopping: Metro Center has been the icon shopping center in that area for almost 34 years now, Fry's Electronics, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe's are all on Thunderbird and I-17, plus several grocery stores, including Fry's, Albertson's, many drug stores, including Osco, Walgreen's and CVS. There aren't any Walmarts in the area though.

Crime: Depending on the area, it's usually acceptable, but when you get into Sunnyslope, it goes up higher. A burgler alarm will add a little more comfort when you're away from the house. I've been living in the area for 9 years now, and I have only seen one burglery in the neighborhood.

Good Neighborhoods: They are located between Northern and Dunlap, then north of Peoria to Bell Road, between 7th and 19th Avenues. If you go a little further north, there are a number of houses located on the northside of Shaw Butte and on the hills just north of Thunderbird High School. The immediate area just south and west of Metro Center was a good neighborhood at one time, but it has gone down in the past few years.

Recreation and Leisure: Plenty of places in and around Metro Center, including Harkins Movie Theater. North Mountain and Shaw Butte hiking trails are a good exercise, several parks are also in the area, Cortez park on 34th Ave & Dunlap, Alicia park is on Alice just west of 19th Ave, and there's a park on 15th Ave and Butler, and not to mention Squaw Peak park is only about 6 miles souteast of Metro Center.
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:39 AM
Location: in my home
111 posts, read 395,263 times
Reputation: 110
Default Flagstaff!

I'll take Flagstaff, since I live here!

Weather: Usually 30 degrees cooler than Phoenix. Summer highs in the upper 80’s, winter highs can be in the 20’s at times. We used to get a lot more snow but are in a drought. About 300 days of sunshine per year. July and August afternoon monsoons.

Schools: Good elementary but squeezed in the middle schools. High schools are average. FUSD does promote the academics AND the arts so the schools here are better than many that are going back to basics with dropping arts and PE. FUSD makes it a point to keep PE and arts. NAU has excellent forestry, teachers and dental programs.

Commute: Early morning, after school and evening rush hours can be crowded but the rest of the day and weekends the streets are remarkably uncrowded. Flagstaff is only about 11 miles across at its longest so getting where you need to be is very easy.

Shopping: There is a mall, Walmart, Kohl’s, Barnes and Noble, Target, lots of smaller stores and Bookmans, a trade and buy bookstore. Restaurants run from Thai and Indian food to Mexican, Italian and Chinese. There’s a couple of Japanese restaurants and sushi bars.

Air quality: Excellent except during control burns. Lowell Observatory is in the city limits because of the low pollution and low lighting.

Economy: Low paying jobs, few jobs, high cost of living and high housing costs. Main employers are NAU, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Joy cone company, Purina, the tissue company, FUSD, City of Flagstaff, Walgreens warehouse and Gore.

Housing: Single family homes go for around $350,000 to 400,000. Condos for $200,000 and up though there are some for less than $200,000. Custom homes from $500,000 to well over a million. Manufactured homes for the $170,000’s to 200,000 and up. Rents are high, too. The cost of housing got so bad, NAU had to consider building housing for their teaching staff because they couldn’t attract professors because of the prohibitive cost of housing. Leases are high, many physicians are closing their practices and contracting with the hospital to save the cost of overhead.

Crime: Very low but there are areas where it can be bad. Overall for over 60,000 people population, there’s maybe 1-3 murders a year. The I-17 and I 40 corridors do have drug transports, but the crime element these usually bring seem to be in transit, not coming into town as much as Phoenix. There is some gang activity in the Sunnyside, Greenlaw, and Christmas Tree areas.

Good neighborhoods: Behind the Hospital, Cheshire, Coconino Estates off Hwy 180, Doney Park off Hwy 89, University heights, and some of the newer areas but these are more expensive. The country club area is nice but pricey. For friendliness, don’t go to the country club area or the area called Fox Glenn. Sunnyside is a bad area for crime as are the older part near Thorpe Park and Christmas tree and Greenlaw areas.

Culture: Educated, environmentally conscientious, university town people all over. Education is a focus in this town so there’s a lot for kids to do. There is a good hospital here and Urban trails and outdoor activities are big. The big reservations next door with their Hopi and Navajo people add the quiet, kind, non-consumptive attitudes of the Natives and their friendliness. Flagstaff people are for the most part (the snobby ones being the exceptions) very polite, friendly, considerate, and helpful. Compared to the nasty attitudes one gets off the seniors in other areas of Arizona, seniors here (and all people here) don’t have nasty attitudes or entitlement attitudes. There are the haves and have-nots, but overall Flagstaff is an ideal place if you are Democrat, liberal, pro-education, pro-kids, pro-family, open minded, pro-conservation and pro-environment. The city works to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. A train runs through the city about 60-80 times a day. Everyone recycles, most businesses do and the schools do. Water IS an issue so there are some restrictions.

What to do: Hike urban trails, ski when there’s snow, visit Cameron for excellent Native American food and arts, see and climb around the Wupatki Native Ruins AND visit Sunset volcano crater (both with educational centers) for the price of one park fee. Visit Walnut Canyon native ruins, see Lowell Observatory where Pluto was discovered, come to the Deer Park where you can feed and pet deer and other wild animals, get to see the rare White Buffalo, visit the Museum of Northern Arizona for all things geological, historical and cultural of the Colorado Plateau, come to the annual Science Fair, take a ski-lift ride in the summer and fall to see the peaks in all their splendor, ride ATV’s in the cinder pits, camp in local campgrounds, and do day trips to Sedona, Jerome, Grand Canyon Caverns and the Grand Canyon. Take the Grand Canyon Railway. Watch fireworks at the Fourth of July at Mormon Lake. Boat on Lake Mary, fish at some of the local lakes. See the free thousands of lights at Little America at Christmas time. Visit Los Abrigados in nearby Sedona for their astounding Christmas lights displays that change eaxh year and that take about an hour to walk through. Flagstaff has so much to do and see! (No, I don’t work for the chamber. )

If you have a selfish, nasty, entitlement, attitude, stay away! If you are retired and hate kids, stay away! If you don't care about the environment, stay away!
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:41 AM
1 posts, read 34,482 times
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Default Payson

Originally Posted by whowants2know View Post
I'd like to read information about Payson. Can someone shed light on that town for me? Thanks!
I'll handle that, I grew up there and still visit on an almost weekly basis.


Population: Fluctuating 15,000 to 25,000 people depending on season.

Traffic: Very little to speak of, only becomes an issue during summer weekends or major holidays.

Weather: Altitude 5000, occasional snow during winter, heavy rain during monsoon season. Otherwise mild temperatures. Perfect balance between phoenix and flagstaff weather-wise.

Schools: 3 Elementary schools (300 students per school, k-5th), 1 middle school (6-8th grade) and a high school (1000 students, 9-12th). Overall good quality.

Commute: 70 miles from Phoenix via Highway 87, depending on route (country club for loop 202/west phoenix or bush highway for east mesa.)

Economy: Service based economy supporting the large retired and wealthy population. Few specialized jobs.

Who you bump into in the grocery store: People are very nice and friendly, with several celebrities and important business people living in the gated golf communities here.

Shopping: Walmart, Home Depot, Safeway, Bashas, and mom & pop shops. It is a small town after all.

Food: The usual fast food chains (McDonalds, Taco Bell, ect), chain restaurants like Chilies or Denny's, and a very good selection of local-owned restaurants.

Housing: Everything from cheap apartments to million dollar housing. Most available houses run around $150-200k. Horse-zoned property is somewhat common.

Recreation: Public parks, casino, movie theater, public and private golf courses. A lot of forest to hike or ride in.

Crime: Low, occasional vandalism from bored teens and a very small drug trade. Good, responsive law enforcement.

Payson is a great retirement town, but may be to small or boring for any teenagers or young adults. Cost of living is somewhat high relative to the below-average jobs available. Local newspaper only runs 2 full editions a week. Good cable/DSL access within town, otherwise spotty at best. The bulk of the population lives within the city limits, but several small towns lie near its borders including Strawberry, Pine, and recently founded Star Valley.
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:30 PM
Location: Tucson, AZ, USA
28 posts, read 208,946 times
Reputation: 29
Default Tucson

Originally Posted by leavingcali View Post
Great thread! Will someone do Tucson? (I live in CA, and have never been there, so it won't be me, but I would LOVE it if someone else would).

Thanks in advance.


Weather: HOT, long summers. Tucson heats up around April and doesn't really cool off too much until about the last week in October. While the temperatures can easily reach the triple digits, we look foward to the monsoons every summer that provide some relief from the heat. Winters are very mild (we have "snow birds" that come to Tucson for the winter from the midwest). We rarely have snow.

Schools: It's a real mix. Arizona is not known for their outstanding schools, but I believe that Tucson has some of the best options for education in the state. I would recommend Wilson K-8 and Ironwood Ridge High School or Canyon Del Oro High School, which are all in the NW side of town/ Oro Valley.

Commute:Depends on what part of Tucson you live in. It can be anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour. Unfortunately, Tucson has hardly any public transport to speak of (with the exception of a few busses downtown). Also, parts of the freeway will be closed for the next few years, which can get to be very frusterating for some commuters.

Food: Because of Tucson's close proximity to the border, the food that we are known for is Mexican! Great enchiladas, burritos, tamales, beans, rice, etc... I think you'll be able to find almost any type of food you're looking for- we have some great asian and Italian resteraunts and good pizza places. Of course, we have all of the typical chain resteraunts as well: Olive Garden, Mimi's Cafe, Subway, Outback Steakhouse, etc...

Shopping:No Nordstroms. We have several malls that have all of the typical stores (American Eagle, Dillards, Sears, Barnes and Noble, Ross, Victoria's Secret etc...) and one high end shopping center- La Encantada- that has Anthropologie, Bebe, Lucky, Coach, Tiffany's, Crate and Barrel, William's Sonoma, BCBG, etc...

Air Quality: Pretty good. It can get a little smoggy in central Tucson, but it's not bad. The plants that bloom here in the spring can give some people pretty bad allergies, but I think you can find that almost anywhere.

Economy: Growing. Arizona is a popular spot to retire, so there is a lot of work in the healthcare field.

Crime:Personally, I have had no problems with the crime here. Because we live so close to the border, cars do run the risk of being stolen and hacked apart at a chop shop. But overall, I think that Tucson probably has about the same amount of crime as any other city.

Housing Prices:The market for houses in Tucson was really hot a couple of years ago, which drove the prices up significantly. Now we've slowed down a bit, and there is a wide range of prices for houses. A lot of it has to do with which part of Tucson you live in. If you're moving from California though, I think that you'll find even some of the most expensive houses quite reasonable.

Good Neighborhoods: NW/ Oro Valley. The center of Tucson is a bit dicey- you can find a really nice renovated house right next to a horrible, ugly dump of a house.

Culture: As I mentioned before, living so close to Mexico has a strong influence on our culture.

Hope this was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions!
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:18 PM
Location: The Black Hills, South Dakota
412 posts, read 880,863 times
Reputation: 681
Here's Show Low and surrounding environs:

Weather: Four season climate with snow in the winter and fairly mild summers compared to most of Arizona. Areas at lower elevation such as Snowflake get hotter in the summer and see less snow. Moving toward Pinetop-Lakeside, your snow shovel will get a real workout in the winter. Highs in July are generally in the low to mid 90s, lows in January are typically in the teens and occasionally single digits.

Schools: Not very familiar with the Show Low school district. There aren't any 4-year colleges nearby, but Northland Pioneer Community College has locations in Show Low and Snowflake.

Commute: During the winter, usually pretty good (weather notwithstanding). During the summer, the roads are choked with tourists. It's still not anything like big-city traffic, but the roads here are not designed to handle a lot of cars and the speed limits are very low... so don't expect to get around quickly.

Food: Not a lot of big chain restaurants except for fast food, but there are some good locally owned places. RT's Black Bull does steak and burgers very well, Grumpy Jake's is renowned for its BBQ pork, Charlie Clark's Steakhouse gets good reviews. There are some hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants, a so-so Chinese food place... everything else is beef, BBQ or fast food.

Shopping: There's Super Wal-Mart and Safeway. That's about it. There is a strip mall with a Sears, Radio Shack, Bealls and JC Penney. Nature's Realm is a natural food/health store in Show Low, with a smaller location in Pinetop. Everything else is either a discount store such as Dollar General or a mom-and-pop shop. There are some interesting craft, hobby and souvenir stores such as quilting stores, rock shops and locally crafted rustic furniture.

Air Quality: Generally great unless there's a wildfire or prescribed burn nearby. Very low humidity. Pine pollen can be bad in the spring. Little or no smog.

Economy: High unemployment. Wages are generally low. The area is growing and there is work to be had in construction and in service industries. It's much easier to live here if you're retired or have a secondary source of income.

Crime: The area is struggling with a meth problem and the level of property crimes and drug-related offenses reflect that. A lot of DUI, which makes driving at night a little scary. Not a whole lot of violent crime.

Housing Prices: Very good compared to most of Arizona. Steadily going up. Right now you can get a decent 3 BD house for $250-$300k. Toward Snowflake or Vernon property is less pricey, around Pinetop-Lakeside and also Linden or Pinedale you'll pay more. More trees = more expensive.

Good Neighborhoods: It's kind of a crap shoot. There are some very nice houses right next to some real dumps. Do your homework, visit the neighborhood several times and chat with your potential neighbors before you buy. Pay attention to the police logs and notice places that keep popping up. The police logs are posted in the local newspaper, the White Mountain Independent, which is published twice weekly and is available online.

Culture: Show Low and Snowflake are mostly cowboy towns, with a lot of ranchers and blue-collar workers. Snowflake is a strongly Mormon community. Pinetop-Lakeside tends to be more retirees, wealthier people and tourists. There is also the White Mountain Apache reservation nearby. You'll find a lot of rodeos, cowboy museums and the like around Show Low. The Apaches have an annual pow wow on the reservation, to which everyone is invited. They are willing to share their culture with respectful non-Indians and have a museum and cultural center which is open to the general public. All told, this is a very conservative area and its citizens are not always amenable to new ideas, though with the influx of people from other areas this is (slowly) beginning to change.

Recreation: Lots of wilderness and places to go hiking, hunting or camping. The Sunrise Ski Resort is nearby. If you like the great outdoors, you will find plenty to do. If you don't, you will have to look a little harder for entertainment.
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Old 07-14-2007, 09:47 AM
Location: Tempe, Arizona
14 posts, read 80,352 times
Reputation: 11
Default Ahwatukee (Phoenix, AZ)

Weather: Similar to Chandler. We seem to be a little cooler since we are south of the city of Phoenix. We get the front of storms, they tend to break-up a bit as they move towards the city of Phoenix.

Schools: Schools are great. I went to a Tempe High School, but its about the same here.

Commute: We are tucked back in the Southwest Part of Maricopa County. From Phoenix, take I-10 East towards Tucson. For North Ahwatukee, exit Elliot or Warner and go west. For South Ahwatukee, Take either Ray Rd., Chandler Blvd., or the 202/Pecos Rd West to South Ahwatukee.

Economy: This is a smaller community west of Chandler that has few jobs or industries. Most people commute to Scottsdale, Phx or Mesa for jobs. There quite a bit of service industries - restaurants, few hotels in the area, etc.

Health Facilities: Closest hospitals are Chandler Medical Center on Dobson and Frye Rd. (About 10 mins from Ahwatukee).

Shopping: Has a few small shops. Most travel to the Chandler Fashion Mall about 10 minutes away. There are plans for a Wal-Mart in the South Ahwatukee part.

Housing: Housing really depends on how far into Ahwatukee you go. Homes start in the Mid-High 200's in North Ahwatukee and can go from 300 up to a couple million in the Foothills Area.

Recreation: Saguaro Lake is not too far away, most travel outside of Ahwatukee for recreation.

Crime: Low Crime.

Any other questions about Ahwatukee, Chandler, or Tempe... Let me know.

Ryan Melville
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Old 07-19-2007, 02:33 PM
Location: La Jolla, CA
7,285 posts, read 14,744,225 times
Reputation: 11624
I'll go for North Scottsdale, Shea to the 101 loop.

Weather: A few degrees cooler than Phoenix but not much.

Schools: No kids, so cannot comment meaningfully

Commute: Fortunately I work 100% from home, no commute. S.O. works in Chandler and reports moderate traffic, mostly Fridays, but few show-stoppers.

Food: Somewhat short on unique restaurants, but big on chains. Chains aren't my thing, but there are a huge variety of them to choose from so you're not going to go hungry in this area. Basically you can eat at a different place every night for months. I enjoy cocktails and dining, and have found many opportunities for that, probably because of the large tourist and event population. A few good places for sushi, and some European fare as well. Ample grocery stores, but I am eagerly awaiting the North Scottsdale Whole Foods location. Currently the nearest is not as convenient as twhe new one will be.

Shopping: Kierland Commons is very nice, plus some good restaurant choices. Mostly upscale shopping, but there is good availability of other retailers in the near area, specifically loop 101 and FLW Blvd, and in the triangle between Greenway-Hayden, FLW, and Scottsdale Road.

Economy: Like other areas, expanding. I have noticed a lot of real estate vacancies in the Scottsdale Airpark, but there's also a ton of new construction up here. I think one figure I heard put the count of jobs at 45,000 in the Scottsdale Airpark area. Please understand that this is merely anecdotal and I'm not looking at any factual information to support this, but the figures are out there.

Crime: Not bad from what I can tell. Car break-ins seem to be the big thing... however, a lot of cars up here are fairly ostentatious, so that isn't much of a surprise either. Statistically I believe that crime is low, but I don't have figures to support that. Violent crime is minimal.
Housing prices: Varies from moderately affordable to quite expensive, but not Paradise Valley expensive, for example.

Good neighborhoods: The area surrounding the Kierland Commons area is very nice. I'm not a Master Planned Community guy because they are a little too homogenized for my taste, but that doesn't mean that they aren't nice or that they don't offer nice surroundings. These areas aren't actually within the Scottsdale border, but they take advantage of a Scottsdale mailing address so I usually hear of them referred to as Scottsdale by just about everyone. Plus those areas are very walkable and offer surrounding amenities. A little bit farther south and east there are some nice single family homes that were built before the gated community craze started. These neighborhoods have a nicer feel to them (my opinion again). Still a few areas where people have horses.

Culture: Nightlife is OK, not my thing but there are ample opportunities. As far as theater and live jazz, symphony, etc, I haven't found that to be the strong point of the entire valley; North Scottsdale is not any different. Not much compared with the opportunities in New York and Chicago, but the area is much newer so it doesn't surprise me. More current day culture than anything, also driven heavily by tourism in this area, so many out of town people visit.
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:06 PM
4 posts, read 39,282 times
Reputation: 12
Originally Posted by victoria5933 View Post
please how about queen creek?
[quote=jco;537811]Let's each take a city in AZ that we're very familiar with and list specifics about them for the newbies. I guess there are a lot of questions about schools, crime, housing prices, economy, culture, air quality, good food, shopping, commute time, and good neighborhoods. I guess the success relies on objective posts!

I'll take Queen Creek, since I live here!

Weather: We're often a few degrees cooler than Phoenix. Probably get a little more rain. Many of th Haboob's blow through that don't reach Phoenix, coming up from southern Arizona.
Schools: Unsure of schools since my kids are in college.

Commute: Anyone that has to go into the phoenix area to work will encounter long drive and traffic. If you work on the SE side of Phoenix it's not as bad.

Food: Not much here right now, but growing. Still has the small town diner in middle of town.
Shopping: Currently there is a Walmart and odd and end shopping. In December of 07 there will be a new mall close to town and other strip malls coming in as well.

Air quality:Better than Phoenix, but it still gets very dusty.
Economy: Growing and strong! Lots of healthcare and retail jobs right now.
Crime: Very low crime, near, has a lot of crime associated with Hispanic communities. I haven't heard of any real issues though.

Housing prices: Comparing to Phoenix, they're very low since we are so far from the city. I think it takes about 45 minutes to drive into downtown Phoenix --without traffic. Resale houses are going for really cheap because the market is saturated. Many people have homes on an acre+. Lot's of horse property out here. So I would say that an average 2000 sqft home goes for around $230. Homes with a nice view of the mountains will cost more.

Good neighborhoods: Scneff farms is close and has a lot of different activities. Most of the property here, being horse property, does not have the big block fences...everything is open, which I love after living in Tempe, Chandler, and Gilbert over the last 10 years. From here you can see the San Tan mountains and the Superstitions.

Culture: Amazingly the town has a theater group and there are plays and shows are brought in pretty regularly. But for the real stuff you need to go into Phoenix.

Stuff to Do
A lot of horseback riding. We are involved in 4-wheeling/off roading. Florence Junction is about 15 minutes away and there is a lot of challenging trails. We also enjoy hiking and the Superstitions offer great trails and aren't far away. It also about a 30 minute drive to the NE side of Tucson/Oro valley with Mt Lemon skiing/hiking...etc. Lot's of small towns to go visit and do site seeing...Bisbee/Tombstone, etc.

Overall though...you really need to love the heat to live in this part of Arizona. I've lived here 10 years, from Ohio, and miss the change of seasons terribly. But, it is an easier lifestyle...not having to plan for "weather" all of the time.
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