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Old 03-25-2014, 02:02 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,152 times
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Hello all!

I've read a ton of information on this site (clicked through titles through all of 2014/2013 and some other searching...need some advice from locals since I have about 10 days to figure out where to live once I move to Tucson, and I'm currently overseas so I can't take a scouting trip. Also, I hope this captures a lot of info I've gathered for others to build off of in their own searches...

Desired House: Rent a house w/3+ BR, 2+ car garage, fairly new (e.g. energy efficient and nice), personal or neighborhood pool great but not required. Gated community a bonus but not likely in my price range (I've had my house robbed and it sucks). Maybe $1300-$1600 but budget isn't the primary driving force.

Lifestyle: Married couple in our 30's, no kids (don't care about schools), love going on 5k runs (it'd be great to run from the house), mountain biking (short drive ok), rock climbing (medium drive ok). Besides that, grabbing Pei Wei, Sushi, Thai, Craft Beer, Trader Joes, or happy hour a couple times a week and maybe swing by a mall/Best Buy/Barnes and Noble on weekends. I used to live in Phx and I liked the middle-class shopping/food choices in Westgate and Arrowhead area but I also appreciated the cheap happy hours in Scottsdale but I'm far from a socialite or nightclubber.

Work Location: I'll be working on Davis Monthan AFB (DMAFB). Not sure where the wife can find work but she might try to get her Master's and UA while we're there.

Locations I've read about/my interpretation of the area:
S/SE - Rancho Sahuarita, La Joya Verde, Corona De Tucson, Vail, Rancho Del Lago (85629/85641)
-- Pros: neighborhood amenities, less crime, lots of choices
-- Cons: minimal food/bar/shopping, longish commute
E - Rita Ranch, Civano, Sierra Morado (85747)
-- Pros: closer to work, new homes, lots of choices
-- Cons: few food/bar/shopping/lifestyle options
N - Indian Ridge, Catalina Foothills (85718, 85750, 85749, N 85719, N 85716, 85712, 85715)
-- Pros: views, closer to mountain activities, more rest/bars/shopping
-- Cons: commute, cost
NW - Cortaro, Marana, Tortolita, Oro Valley (85743, 85741, 85742, 85704, 85737)
-- Pros: nicest homes, closer to mountain activities, more rest/bars/shopping
-- Cons: commute, cost

I'm leaning towards "N" (Catalina Foothills) for the neighborhood jogging and nearby food/shopping (?) but I can't find a lot of availability. I've almost ruled out "S/SE" for the lack of rest/shopping and almost ruled out "NW" because of the commute, unless there's something relatively south and accessible to I-10. "E" would be the boring safe choice that splits the difference, I think.

Bottom Line: Any recommendations to meet the above criteria? Am I missing anything in my area assessment? Any guesstimates on commute time? Zip codes or neighborhoods to focus on? Is there a community like Rancho Sahaurita (parks, pool, trails, etc) but where there's restaurants/shopping available--that'd be perfect? Just tell me exactly where to live already!!!

Thank in advance for as much input as possible--hopefully this info will help others too!

Last edited by TucsonArizonaBound; 03-25-2014 at 02:12 PM..
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:38 PM
 
16,052 posts, read 28,343,126 times
Reputation: 24557
Quote:
Originally Posted by TucsonArizonaBound View Post

Work Location: I'll be working on Davis Monthan AFB (DMAFB). Not sure where the wife can find work but she might try to get her Master's and UA while we're there.

Locations I've read about/my interpretation of the area:
S/SE - Rancho Sahuarita, La Joya Verde, Corona De Tucson, Vail, Rancho Del Lago (85629/85641)
-- Pros: neighborhood amenities, less crime, lots of choices
-- Cons: minimal food/bar/shopping, longish commute

Bottom Line: Any recommendations to meet the above criteria? Am I missing anything in my area assessment? Any guesstimates on commute time? Zip codes or neighborhoods to focus on? Is there a community like Rancho Sahaurita (parks, pool, trails, etc) but where there's restaurants/shopping available--that'd be perfect? Just tell me exactly where to live already!!!

Thank in advance for as much input as possible--hopefully this info will help others too!

I will address Sahuarita as that is the area that I am most familiar with.

It is a newer community with some pretty good housing options in the area. I have seen perhaps 20 houses in the area and they are well constructed and quite attractive.

The neighborhoods are very attractive as there are some pretty strong HOAs and there are some good parks and walking trails. It appeals to a lot of families and younger people. The area has a limited opportunity to grow as Green Valley is 55+ and the area north of town is part of the Tohono Oodham reservation.

The commute to the AFB is NOT bad if you avoid I-19 and head up Haughton Rd. There is little traffic in that area.

The restaurant situation is NOT GOOD. Tucson as a whole is below average BUT Suhuarita/ Green Valley restaurants are all forgettable. I do not think that I had a decent meal ion the three months that I was there this winter. Even the number of chain restaurants in the area is minimal.

As for crime, I have encountered no problems. People tend to be very happy with the job that the Pima Co. Sheriff and the SPD are doing.

====================

I would NOT make a commitment to renting in Tucson without commuting 2-3 days from your potential new apartment to the AFB. Some SHORT COMMUTES take forever; some longer ones are pretty easy.

For example, I can make it from the University of Arizona to Suhuarita at rush hour faster than heading out to eastern part of the city On Speedway during rush hour.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:33 AM
 
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Check out Sierra Morado, It is a newer development off of Houghton/Drexel Rd, which is located on the SE side. It is about a 15minute commute to the Wilmot gate of DMAFB.

Saguaro National Park is right behind the neighborhood and has great mountain views of the Rincon. The area also has many internal trails. Shopping and restaurants are about 15-20mins away though.

I currently reside in the neighborhood and do not regret it one bit. The homes have solar panels and are very energy efficient. You can find 3-4br 3car garage for about 1600/month. The place has a community center, parks, and a swimming pool. Crime is very low.

Downfalls...distance to most amenities. I must admit that Oro Valley/Foothills have nicer establishments and restaurants. But the commute can be up to 30-40minutes.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Arizona
3,610 posts, read 1,133,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TucsonArizonaBound View Post
Desired House: Rent a house w/3+ BR, 2+ car garage, fairly new (e.g. energy efficient and nice), personal or neighborhood pool great but not required. Gated community a bonus but not likely in my price range (I've had my house robbed and it sucks). Maybe $1300-$1600 but budget isn't the primary driving force.
I live in 85715; you can probably forget about this price range in Indian Ridge Estates. Does age of home matter to you? If not, there are a lot of choices in your Desired House range inside of the city limits.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:49 AM
 
2 posts, read 4,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
I will address Sahuarita...The restaurant situation is NOT GOOD. Tucson as a whole is below average BUT Suhuarita/ Green Valley restaurants are all forgettable. I do not think that I had a decent meal ion the three months that I was there this winter. Even the number of chain restaurants in the area is minimal.
...
I would NOT make a commitment to renting in Tucson without commuting 2-3 days from your potential new apartment to the AFB. Some SHORT COMMUTES take forever; some longer ones are pretty easy.
Bummer about Sahuarita...I certainly don't eat out every night but it's nice to be able to have those amenities nearby, sometimes after a long day a quick dinner out or Cold Stone hits the spot.

As far as the commute, sounds like great advice that I'll definitely take. City driving vs interstate can be drastically different. I assume winter season has more traffic which slows everything down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodcmfr View Post
Check out Sierra Morado, It is a newer development off of Houghton/Drexel Rd, which is located on the SE side. It is about a 15minute commute to the Wilmot gate of DMAFB.

Saguaro National Park is right behind the neighborhood and has great mountain views of the Rincon. The area also has many internal trails. Shopping and restaurants are about 15-20mins away though.
I'll check it out...it sounds like it has a lot going for it, and the commute to work everyday might make up for longer drives to other places. The thought of walking out of the house for a scenic run or bike ride sounds great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tumamoc View Post
I live in 85715; you can probably forget about this price range in Indian Ridge Estates. Does age of home matter to you? If not, there are a lot of choices in your Desired House range inside of the city limits.
Is Indian Ridge Estates just one of the more expensive developers/subdivisions within 80915? Just casual browsing I found a 3 br, 2.5 ba, 3 car garage, and pool off of Penstemon Dr for $1550/mo but could be a meth house for all I know, is this the exception for the zip code? or is Indian Ridge a smaller pocket of luxury?

I'd like to have something built since the 2000's maybe just because (I am assuming) it'd be in better shape and more energy efficient. I'm sure there are plenty of rush-jobs in the mid-2000's building boom.


Thanks to all for the inputs, they help...anyone else have inputs? Keep 'em coming!
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:44 PM
 
16,052 posts, read 28,343,126 times
Reputation: 24557
Quote:
Originally Posted by TucsonArizonaBound View Post
Bummer about Sahuarita...I certainly don't eat out every night but it's nice to be able to have those amenities nearby, sometimes after a long day a quick dinner out or Cold Stone hits the spot.

As far as the commute, sounds like great advice that I'll definitely take. City driving vs interstate can be drastically different. I assume winter season has more traffic which slows everything down.
If you are working at the AFB, I-19 is NOT bad heading north until you hit Valencia. It is pretty much 75 mph. However, the W->E portion of the trip would be a PITA.

On that commute, my observations are January - March when the population is at its peak. It should be better in the summer.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Arizona
461 posts, read 1,254,044 times
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I've lived in Sahuarita for years and you hit the nail on the head for pros and cons. There are a couple of restaurants, but nothing like what you have listed as your favs. It's very small town living. If you can deal with lack of amenities, it is a great place. If you really love your amenities, I wouldn't even consider Sahuarita. I work in Tucson, so I get to enjoy the amenities while I'm up there. I've also lived in the Foothills and Oro Valley and really enjoyed those places as well. Your commute from those areas would be worse than a 15-20 min commute from Sahuarita to the AFB but it may be worth it to enjoy the restaurants, shopping, etc. I personally don't mind up to a 45 min commute, so those places were fine for me too. And if you do choose Sahuarita, you wouldn't take I-19 to the base. You would take the "back route" which consists of Nogales Hwy to Hughes Access Rd, which eventually takes you straight to the base. Houghton is MANY miles to the east and you definitely wouldn't want to go that far out just to backtrack. Good luck to you!
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:30 AM
 
Location: West of the Catalinas East of the Tortolitas
4,922 posts, read 8,150,520 times
Reputation: 8036
I live in Oro Valley (85737), and while it probably has everything on your list and more, the commute would be a bear in my opinion. There's no quick access to I-10, and the main road, Oracle, is 45 mph and lots of stop lights. On the other hand, in my condo complex, we have two DMAFB employees, so it's really what works for you. If you're fine with a longer commute so that you can have the amenities, then I'd consider it, but if the commute is important, I'd suggest somewhere closer to the base.
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