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Old 01-04-2010, 08:22 AM
13 posts, read 36,304 times
Reputation: 17


I have read this forum up and down and can't find my answers yet. So maybe you can help.

I just relocated from Boston with my husband and 3 kids (5, 3 and 5 months). I work as a health professional and am going to make a very decent living for the first time so we are excited to leave our $300,000 crappy old fixer-upper 1450 sq ft house with the $5000 taxes behind and move into a new or remodelled spacious gorgeous home in the mid to high 400,000's range. That I know I can achieve in this market. The only problem is I also want a short commute, diversity of population, lots of kids, good shopping/cheap eats (bonus if you can walk to), fitness center preferably the big kind that you can hang out all day at with the kids, obviously excelling schools, and perhaps the hardest of all-- neighbors who are not entitled. Oh and I have friends that are like family that moved to Chandler this year and would like to see them somewhat regularly.

Hubby works from home. I will work in several areas: Scottsdale northern areas mostly, but also once a week in Payson (I know). If it werent for the impossible commute, we would live in Gilbert. Chandler is too far for me to also b/c of my little kids I need to be around as much as possible!

Scottsdale would give me the shortest commute but I'm not so interested in the kids attending schools of 88% Caucasian (we are but I want them to realize we are not the only people in the universe) and the snob factor. But otherwise I love Scottsdale and I do want the kids in the best possible academic schools, coming from MA where my education was first rate. I would be most interested in the North Frank Lloyd Blvd area to live with its proximity to East Shea/ Rte 87 to Payson.

North Phoenix PV mall area is a consideration but I didn't find many nice homes there and its farther from Payson.

I love Fountain Hills aesthetically and there are some affordable homes there now, plus my husband and I are artsy so it appeals to me a lot. Plus the commute to Payson would be the best from FH. Population is too homogeneous and maybe too old?? perhaps. I did find Mission Montessori Academy though so I could send them there to solve my school problems as far as Scottsdale and FH (if there are spots). I LOVE the mountain views. What about living in these areas with young kids and looking for down-to-earth neighbors?

Finally, Tempe. It appeals to me because I could see my friends in Chandler and it has good schools, shopping/eats, diversity. The problem is, I can only find housing south of Rte 60 which is at least 30 min commute to Scottsdale and an even longer commute to Payson. And I can find NOTHING in the forums about living there with young kids. To see my friends in Chandler and get to Scottsdale ideally I would want to live in south Scottsdale or north Tempe but I can not find many decent large, light-filled houses listed. Most seem to be small and older.

Is there anything I'm missing or have got wrong?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:11 AM
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
2,153 posts, read 5,173,480 times
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I am very much a fan of Fountain Hills, especially when you consider the factors that you have listed. Low crime, good schools, easy access to Rte 87 (to Payson), close enough to Scottsdale for dining, shopping, night life, etc.

The rap on Fountain Hills has always been the difficult commute to other parts of the Valley. Shea Blvd, Rte 87 or north through Rio Verde are the only ways in or out. But, if you do not have to commute every day, or you stay in the Northeast it will not be a problem.

Fountain Hills has always been a family community and it is quickly becoming a very popular area.
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:24 AM
Location: Metro Phoenix, AZ USA
17,914 posts, read 43,401,736 times
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Tempe is great for young kids. Excellent schools, particularly in Kyrene District, excellent parks, recreation and library dept with lots of kid activities and classes, sports activities, etc. Much better than Fountain Hills--- although it's very pretty out there, it will not be diverse (Tempe is the most diverse area of the Valley), and tends to be a somewhat older population, although there are families with kids there, of course. The commute into Phoenix or any other part of the Valley is long from FH, as well. Much less choices in terns of shopping, entertainment, etc.

Getting to Payson from Tempe once a week would not be a big deal. You can go into south Tempe, where there are lots of nice homes, and get to Payson easily from the 101 to the 60 to Country Club Dr to Hwy 87. No problem. You'd find much less "entitled" neighbors in that area than in north Scottsdale.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:29 PM
149 posts, read 533,343 times
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Mission Montessori Academy is an excellent school but I am pretty sure the percentage of students from Caucasian families is higher than 88%. When my son attended the school two years ago, out of 32 students there were only 2-3 non-Caucasian students in his class and he was one of them .

Fountain Hills is gorgeous btw .

Last edited by SpaceNeedle; 01-04-2010 at 09:18 PM..
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:11 PM
13 posts, read 36,304 times
Reputation: 17
It does say on the great schools website that it is 79% caucasian. I wonder if its skewed somehow?
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:09 PM
5 posts, read 20,752 times
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Hi! I don't have any location advice for you but just wanted to comment on our similarities. My husband and I (we're in healthcare also) will be moving to the Scottsdale/N. Phoenix area in June from south of Boston (walpole) with our two boys, ages 5 and 7.

We were shown a lot of homes in Cave Creek which also seems to have pretty good schools. The elementary school at DC Ranch, Copper Ridge is highly regarded as well. I agree, our schools in the northeast are tops but I will not miss this weather one bit - 26 degrees today and feels a lot colder. Good luck with your search!
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:19 PM
Location: Massachusetts
124 posts, read 233,070 times
Reputation: 107
Tempe is sounding better and better as I keep reading about it. I hope within the next year or two my soon to be hubby, 2 yr old and I will be living out there. I am so sick of the cold weather in Massachusetts. Oh and dermjess I am also in healthcare as well! Not a nurse though. More like on the administrative side.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:09 PM
15 posts, read 38,113 times
Reputation: 11
Lightbulb doing MUCH research on Tempe too

I've raised my 5 beautiful children to be prosperous young adults now MoM is starting a new life for myself...LoL..my bestfriend has been in glendale for 13yrs now so thats what turned my attention to arizona however her 3young adult sons still pretty much reside with her, my thing is how safe would it be for me to move in my own place pretty close to her and feel comfortable, safe and get a job while attending college part time?

Now on the other hand my brothers girlfriends' bestfriend lives in Tempe and we had a 3way conversation over the telephone and both HIGHLY prefer I move to Tempe where she has been for years and boasts its MUCH better than Glendale safety-wise, job-wise, great apartment-wise and so on....so this weekend I'm getting things in gear by starting to search on craigslist and having her check out the apartments for me in Tempe.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:39 AM
1 posts, read 8,169 times
Reputation: 11
Personally I would do everything in my power to keep my children away from Fountain Hills. Not only are the teenagers spoiled and entitled they generally lack direction and motivation from the school. Less than 50% of my husbands graduating class continued on to college, about 25% still live with their parents 10 years after high school. I'm originally from upstate NY and concidered my education to be decent....by the time I graduated I knew how to cook, sew, play the violin, balance my checkbook, work with heavy tools, CAD, and change my oil. My husband had NONE of these electives...not even the options! Drugs are a MAJOR issue, and I'm not talking about mary jane......Its normal from 16 year olds to be sneaking out for heroin, yes HEROIN, meth and cocaine. I am not out of touch on this issue, I have met multiple familys that drugs have been a major issue for their teens. STAY AWAY FROM FOUNTAIN HILLS if you have children! Although as you said with the views it would be perfect for older couples.

I live in the North Phoenix/Moon Valley area, you might want to look around there. Its the 'scottsdale of the 80's' so the neighborhoods and houses are still pretty nice without being snotty and very affordable. It takes us 35 minutes to get to FH (his parents still live there). Central Phoenix, Glendale and North Scottsdale are 20 minutes away. For 10 minutes extra you could check out Arrowhead which is very much like Gilbert or Chandler....a little older (like early 90's). For 300K you could probably get a beautiful 5 bedroom home with pool and a view right now!

I have friends in Chandler and Mesa and they both love it, especially for families although everything is a commute for them. I would love to live in chandler but I HATE traffic.

Last edited by Kolacka; 02-01-2010 at 08:50 AM..
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:27 AM
725 posts, read 2,321,830 times
Reputation: 607

N. Phx.


Fountain Hills
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/73/Fountainhill_az_fountain.jpg (broken link)

All are beautiful cities!!!!!!
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