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Old 06-13-2012, 02:52 PM
 
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Hello all. I'm seeking some advice about where to live. My husband and I are moving to the Phoenix area later this summer. We are considering renting a home in the Dobson Ranch or Papago park areas. Can anyone tell me more about these areas?

We are early 30's and looking to start a family soon. We're not much into the party scene, but do like to be able to easily go out for a nice dinner or glass of wine. We are most interested in a SAFE area (i.e., little chance of robberies, car thefts, etc.).

Any help is appreciated!
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Southeast Valley
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One source to check out crime statistics is here: Arizona Crime Search - Crime In Arizona - Phoenix Crime Search - azcentral.com=

The main zip code for Dobson Ranch in Mesa is 85202, and the zip code for Papago Park in Tempe is 85281.
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Metro Phoenix, AZ USA
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The crime statistics by ZIP code for 85281 will be skewed somewhat by the area surrounding the University, where property crime, particularly, will be somewhat higher. The Papago Park area would not be a high crime area, I don't think.
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:12 PM
 
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The crime statistics for Dobson Ranch in ZIP Code 85202 would also be skewed. The area north of Southern Avenue is in the same ZIP Code, and the police sub-station in Dobson Ranch reports activity processed there such as warrant arrests.


Note that barely any crime in ZIP Code 85281 is reported on azcentral.com (i.e., crimes in the last month ha ha ha... riiiiigght). I'm not sure where you can get an accurate map of "pinned" crimes for Tempe, but there is this. There is also this from Tempe itself (scroll down and see the thematic map).


North Tempe on average is a bit older than Dobson Ranch, but of course there are newer builds in each area. Both places are "old" by Phoenix standards, though I'm quite happy with my cement block and real plywood home. If you are in North Tempe, you'd be close to Papago Park, Tempe Town Lake, Old Town Scottsdale, and ASU. If you were in Dobson Ranch, you'd be a bit further away from those places, but IMO not enough to matter. You however might want to be closer to those things, but if so then you should know that you'll have more airport noise too.

Planes takeoff and land east-west along the Salt River. You can find a noise contour map here but note that those are 1992/1999 maps. While there are some planes over Dobson Ranch per day, you will hear more airplane noise in North Tempe than in Dobson Ranch. Some people are not bothered by airplane noise, and I'm not sure if it'd bother you either. But speaking of noise, if you are noise sensitive, don't rent a house that backs up to a major street or highway. Again some people are not bothered by such things, but if you are noise sensitive, it's been noted.

If you like nice dinners and wine, you can do that anywhere you live assuming you'll have a vehicle, so that would mean crime is your bigger concern from what you've written. While I'm not really familiar with North Tempe, I am quite familiar with Dobson Ranch. Here is a video (not mine, not affiliated with whoever made it) with a quick summary of Dobson Ranch:

http://www.youtube.com/v/92RNjdO1jzA

A list of Dobson Ranch amenities I posted is here and there is a post I made about Dobson Ranch back in early 2010 here that you might find interesting. All in all Dobson Ranch is a great place to live, and North Tempe is probably an okay place too.

Not sure that helped, but good luck in your search.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:15 PM
 
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Thank you for your replies! They are very helpful. My husband was able to look at two of the houses that we are interested in early today. We were most concerned because the Dobson Ranch/Shores home that he saw was the same price as the other home in Papago Park but MUCH nicer. We also looked up the Dobson Ranch/Shores home and noted that it recently sold for under 200K (and it doesn't look like an under 200K home). This in turn led us to be concerned about the safety of the neighborhood.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:18 PM
 
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If you PM me the location, I could probably tell you more about the area.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Tempe
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Just remember the Dobson Ranch are and the Fiesta mall area in general are on the decline. The Papago Park area if you are referring to Washington there are some newer apartments due to the light rail, but is mostly industrial area.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:24 PM
 
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Dobson Ranch itself is not on the decline. There are some strip malls on the major intersections surrounding Dobson Ranch that have seen better days. Some office fronts in these malls are empty (like where Big Lots used to be on the NEC on Dobson and Baseline) and that gives the impression of being run-down, but the Dobson Ranch community itself is a nice "older" by Phoenix metro standards place.

There are those strip malls and stores around Fiesta Mall that are closed, but the Fiesta Mall area is IMO fine. I'm often at Fiesta Mall or Target or In-N-Out Burger or who knows what other store, and I find the people to be nothing but friendly and helpful. The thing is... every place in the metro area is going to be 30 to 40 years old some day... it's all in "decline" right now, everything ages and changes.

Heck... Val Vista Lakes is only a decade some behind, their builds starting in the 80s, and once Ocotillo gets to be 30 to 40 years old, is it going to be in "decline" too? BTW I like both Val Vista Lakes and Ocotillo. I'm just using them for comparison purposes. Like I said, it's all in "decline" right now, everything ages and changes. How far out can you move to get your new stick build before you start moving back in?

I'm not familiar enough with North Tempe to comment other than to say that area is on average older than Dobson Ranch, as in single stall car ports older. The first areas of Dobson Ranch have car ports but then there are two and three stall closed garages. It took ten some years for Dobson Ranch to get built out, and to this day it is still one of the larger MPC in the metro area. And don't forget our lakes.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:31 AM
 
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Thanks for your advice, everyone! I think that we're deciding on the Dobson Ranch home. The house itself is very modern and the commute to ASU for work seems relatively short. Moving to the desert from the coast, I'm looking forward to having a body of water nearby. Fingers crossed that we have a good experience with the home and neighborhood!
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