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Old 05-26-2013, 11:17 AM
Location: Portland
61 posts, read 99,119 times
Reputation: 65


Like I said in other treads we would like to consider relocating to Tucsan area
in the future. Will be active adults and will consider the gated communities but
trying to focus on some towns for now. When we do on the ground research it
will make it easier for us and not a overwheling process as we may spend a few
days to a week looking around on our first visit. Looking at a few area's but would
like to hear thoughts on Marana and Sahurita both good and bad..

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Old 05-26-2013, 12:03 PM
344 posts, read 511,638 times
Reputation: 422
Do you want to be closer to Phoenix or Mexico?

Would you rather shop in NW Tucson or Drexel Heights?

Does the nearby mining and agriculture in Sahuarita bother you?

There are some parallels between those two. And some great differences. Right now prices are probably better in Sahuarita.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:33 PM
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,873 posts, read 15,589,126 times
Reputation: 29200
This answer is going to be windy and complicated.

To me, it's hard to make a strict comparison, because it's difficult to know exactly what you mean when you say "Sahuarita." Many people use that term when they are actually discussing real estate that's in Green Valley. Take the development called Madera Highlands, for example. Its address is "Sahuarita" but it's physically closer to the other developments with the address "Green Valley" than it is to Rancho Sahuarita, the major development in the town of Sahuarita. Some people, including Pima County officials, use the term "The Green Valley" in it's geographic sense, rather than as simply the name of the specific town, and when that's the case, both the towns of Sahuarita and Green Valley are in The Green Valley.

If you were to consider relatively new-construction homes in Sahuarita, the largest development is Rancho Sahuarita. If you include all of "The Green Valley," there would be many more choices. Also, there are multiple developments specifically for the "active adult" in Green Valley. I believe there is only one age-restricted community in Rancho Sahuarita, the one developed by Del Webb. The town of Green Valley has a much greater preponderance of retirees than does the town of Sahuarita.

Both Marana and The Green Valley still have a great deal of agricultural. The Green Valley area also has active mining. That creates employment, but some people have a negative reaction to its impact. Just for the record, the Border Patrol is also a major source of employment for people living in Rancho Sahuarita.

I think the biggest fear prospective residents have about The Green Valley stems from a water report that was ordered by Pima County a few years ago. Currently, water usage (i.e., pumped groundwater) in that area is designated as 85% directed to agriculture and mining, with the remaining 15% directed to golf course, other commercial, and residential use. The report stated that if that usage continued unabated, it could not be sustained for more than 10 years. Needless to say, this freaked out people planning to buy homes in, particularly, Rancho Sahuarita where residents are likely to be raising families. This bad news was coupled with the economic downturn, which hit Sahuarita much harder than Green Valley, where residents are more likely to be living off retirement incomes. I have no hard statistics to bear this out but I hear many Tucsonans observe that foreclosures hit Rancho Sahuarita harder than they did the developments in Marana. The upside of the foreclosures is, of course, the availability of nice homes for much lower prices than the original purchasers paid. The downside is the many varied negatives of economic insecurity.

There seems to be a little less confusion about where and what is meant by the word "Marana." While much of the land usage in Marana is still agricultural, a lot of new development has taken place there (160% growth from 2000 to now). There are 12 neighborhoods of newish and brand-new homes in Marana, two of which (Sunflower in Continental Ranch and Heritage Highlands in Dove Mountain) are designated as 55+. Marana required home developers to contribute a lot of "give-backs" to the town and as a result Marana has a new and beautiful Town Hall, a huge new fire department facility, and a state-of-the-art building for the Marana Health Center, among other things that make the town an attractive place to live. Developer donations in Rancho Sahuarita include an elaborate club house with an excellent fitness center and the beautiful man-made lake that is the highlight of the development.

While Seedy's question, "Do you want to be closer to Phoenix or Mexico?" sounds facetious, it has merit. Marana has broader access to urban life than the Green Valley does. The second question, "Would you rather shop in NW Tucson or Drexel Heights?" has a major impact on day-to-day life. In The Green Valley, shopping and dining (outside the casinos) is done in the malls of Drexel Heights, with the predictable offerings (Target, Kohls, Walmart, HD/Lowes, chain restauants). These same predictable offerings can be found in Marana's Arizona Pavilions Mall, but residents also have quick access to vast selections in Tucson's NW suburb and they also aren't far from the town of Oro Valley. Just take two examples: you want to join a church and a fitness center. You'd have MANY more choices living in Marana. And no matter what one's age, I think a good school district and the close availability of extensive medical care play a large part in real estate value. That's another way in which Marana leads.

So I guess my short answer is: if you want the best house for the least money, you'll find it in The Green Valley, specifically Rancho Sahuarita. If you want reasonably priced real estate that will continue to rise in value, you'd be more likely to find it in Marana. If you want quiet relaxation, you'll find it in The Green Valley, which abuts tribal lands that will rarely be developed. If you would like better and more amenities, choose Marana.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:14 PM
Location: Portland
61 posts, read 99,119 times
Reputation: 65
Default Drexel & Water Sustainablity

Originally Posted by seedy View Post
Do you want to be closer to Phoenix or Mexico?

Would you rather shop in NW Tucson or Drexel Heights?

Does the nearby mining and agriculture in Sahuarita bother you?

There are some parallels between those two. And some great differences. Right now prices are probably better in Sahuarita.
Thank You for your reply..

After looking up some information regarding Drexel Heights I may prefer NW T.
Also saw the report on sustainable water supply and the issues it may have on
the future in Sahuarita/Green Valley area's. Little stuff like this will help out over
time in our decision process..
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:39 PM
Location: Tucson
205 posts, read 704,964 times
Reputation: 376
We were in the same position as you exactly one year ago so we came to Tucson for ten days, found a really good realtor and started looking. Actually, the way we do it is my wife goes out daily, looks at 5-6 houses and then picks the ones she thinks I'd like and, truth be told, it's FAR more important for my wife to like the house than me although it's ideal if we both do.

She actually started out in Green Valley and was finished with it in a day. Didn't like some of the neighborhoods, thought they were a little sketchy and of course we read the information on the water supply and didn't like that either.

She progressed from there to the foothills area and although thought it was beautiful, didn't like the access to I-10 and the rest of Tucson. That led her to Marana and ultimately the both of us to Sunflower (if you do a search under my username, you'll find some of my pimping of Sunflower). At that point in our searching, we had decided on a 55+ community for a variety of reasons but it was more the area that drew us.

Jukesgrrl covered it very well in her summary of the two areas. Plus, the new interchange at Twin Peaks makes access to just about anywhere pretty quick. I can cut up I-10 to Tangerine, take it over to the Oro Valley area in twenty minutes, airport in thirty, the Pavillions in 10 and the Costco/Home Depot/Lowes/Harbor Freights of the world in fifteen. We can be downtown for a performance at the TSO in thirty minutes including parking.

The only disadvantage is if you're still working and don't have flex time, then you'll be in the I-10 rush hour heading into the city. Nothing like rush hours where I'm from (DC) but still does slow and create additional travel time. Also, getting to the NE side of shopping, off of Oracle, can be frustrating at times due to traffic but for me, I see no need to go there but my wife likes to shop and there are stores there that she likes. She also doesn't mind driving surface streets in traffic so no big deal for her. I've heard that rush hour is MUCH better coming up from the south but no personal experience.

FWIW, travel times in the summer are greatly reduced due to snowbirds leaving and the U of A being far less populated for summer sessions.

Finally, if you're into biking at all, Marana has The Loop bike trail which literally goes all the way to downtown Tucson and hooks up with other trails that can take you east. I've become an avid amateur biker because of it and find myself running a lot of "errands" on two wheels instead of four. Tucson overall is very bike friendly but to my knowledge, the trails and paths do not extend south of town.

If you're looking for a 55+ community (not gated though, didn't see much of that in Tucson personally), and decide on the Marana area, take a serious look at Sunflower, don't think you'll be disappointed.
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