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Old 04-22-2017, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Western Asia
3,182 posts, read 2,027,501 times
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Wife and I are planning a visit to the Tucson area to look at possibly retiring in the area. We are active, approaching age 60, enjoy biking, swimming, and yoga, as well as nice healthy food restaurants. Our house budget would be in the $500K-650K range. We prefer something with views and a larger lot. We are set financially and don't need jobs. We are relatively healthy but are in that age where you will need hospitals and health access so that is a consideration as well.


I would like some opinions from the locals or knowledgeable about these 3 locations based on our situation as mentioned above.


Thanks!

Last edited by American Expat; 04-22-2017 at 11:04 PM.. Reason: Added the Hospital.
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Western Asia
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Follow up question. Given that Tucson leans left, does it follow that Catalina Foothills, Marana, and OV also lean left/Democrat?
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Oro Valley AZ.
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The three areas are totally different, all have a different "feel" to them. When you visit tour all three areas and you will get a feel for what I mean. When you talk about Marana, in that price range you would probably mainly be looking in the Dove Mountain development. A beautiful subdivision that has a tremendous variety in the individual HOA's there. Prices can run from the higher 200's to $3 million + homes in some of the more exclusive development. Dove Mountain is home to the Ritz Carlton, a very high end development as well as a fabulous hotel, high end luxury golf which until last year hosted the PGA match play Championship. Another $1million + development called the Gallery which also has 36 holes of luxury golf. It hosted the PGA tour prior to the Ritz. Many others developments that are in your price range. When I was in real estate I worked at the Real Estate office at the entrance into Dove Mountain so I have spent a lot of time there. For me the biggest negative, in spite of the size of Dove Mountain it is still a bit too remote for my taste. A bit of a drive to get to the grocery store, hardware store, limited restaurants in the immediate area etc. Major road project going on right now that will take several years. When finished more retail and restaurants will start popping up. All in all a beautiful area with some beautiful home lots.

Oro Valley and The Foothills are pretty much/almost contiguous to each other. The Foothills is a massive area that sits on the southern side of the Catalina Mountains, Oro Valley sits on the west side. The Foothills are a higher end area. Homes per square foot in the Foothills will be higher than Oro Valley. Very nice choices in both areas in your price range. Foothills is predominantly homes on larger lots,(with no sidewalks) with some of the more typical subdivisions. Oro Valley is predominately traditional subdivisions,(with sidewalks) still lots of custom homes on custom lots however, but not to the level of The Foothills. Shopping and restaurants in the Foothills tends to be more of the higher end and boutique type stores, (Crate and Barrel, Apple Store etc.) in corner shopping centers. Oro Valley is more Targets, Kohls, Best Buy etc. that most tend to be on the main drag (Oracle Rd) through Oro Valley. Definitely a much higher density of multi million dollar homes in The Foothills. You can get a great home with fabulous views in either area just depends on what you are looking for. Oro Valley and The Foothills definitely have a different "vibe" to them. Both areas are great for hiking, biking etc. A lot may depend on what amenities are important to you. For myself, access to the Phoenix airport is important. So Oro Valley works better for me than the Foothills.

Oro Valley has it's own hospital with fairly quick access from anywhere in Oro Valley. The Foothills you would most likely use Tucson Medical Center or University Medical Center which is now part of the Banner Hospital group. These two are the main hospital they serve the general Tucson city population. Then there is Northwest Hospital which serves some of the populations of Oro Valley, the Foothills, Marana and other areas of Pima County.

As for politics. Pima county is a massive area. Like any larger city with a major university, within the Tucson city limits things are definitely more left leaning. And like most large city the suburbs tend to be more conservative than within the city itself. I live in Oro Valley and in this last election, as divisive as it was, I only saw ONE yard sign for president in the entire election cycle. My perception is "most" have a live and let live philosophy. If you disagree politically you can still sit down and have a beer together.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by RickTucsonHomes; 04-24-2017 at 11:56 AM..
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Old 04-24-2017, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Western Asia
3,182 posts, read 2,027,501 times
Reputation: 2558
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickTucsonHomes View Post
The three areas are totally different, all have a different "feel" to them. When you visit tour all three areas and you will get a feel for what I mean. When you talk about Marana, in that price range you would probably mainly be looking in the Dove Mountain development. A beautiful subdivision that has a tremendous variety in the individual HOA's there. Prices can run from the higher 200's to $3 million + homes in some of the more exclusive development. Dove Mountain is home to the Ritz Carlton, a very high end development as well as a fabulous hotel, high end luxury golf which until last year hosted the PGA match play Championship. Another $1million + development called the Gallery which also has 36 holes of luxury golf. It hosted the PGA tour prior to the Ritz. Many others developments that are in your price range. When I was in real estate I worked at the Real Estate office at the entrance into Dove Mountain so I have spent a lot of time there. For me the biggest negative, in spite of the size of Dove Mountain it is still a bit too remote for my taste. A bit of a drive to get to the grocery store, hardware store, limited restaurants in the immediate area etc. Major road project going on right now that will take several years. When finished more retail and restaurants will start popping up. All in all a beautiful area with some beautiful home lots.

Oro Valley and The Foothills are pretty much/almost contiguous to each other. The Foothills is a massive area that sits on the southern side of the Catalina Mountains, Oro Valley sits on the west side. The Foothills are a higher end area. Homes per square foot in the Foothills will be higher than Oro Valley. Very nice choices in both areas in your price range. Foothills is predominantly homes on larger lots,(with no sidewalks) with some of the more typical subdivisions. Oro Valley is predominately traditional subdivisions,(with sidewalks) still lots of custom homes on custom lots however, but not to the level of The Foothills. Shopping and restaurants in the Foothills tends to be more of the higher end and boutique type stores, (Crate and Barrel, Apple Store etc.) in corner shopping centers. Oro Valley is more Targets, Kohls, Best Buy etc. that most tend to be on the main drag (Oracle Rd) through Oro Valley. Definitely a much higher density of multi million dollar homes in The Foothills. You can get a great home with fabulous views in either area just depends on what you are looking for. Oro Valley and The Foothills definitely have a different "vibe" to them. Both areas are great for hiking, biking etc. A lot may depend on what amenities are important to you. For myself, access to the Phoenix airport is important. So Oro Valley works better for me than the Foothills.

Oro Valley has it's own hospital with fairly quick access from anywhere in Oro Valley. The Foothills you would most likely use Tucson Medical Center or University Medical Center which is now part of the Banner Hospital group. These two are the main hospital they serve the general Tucson city population. Then there is Northwest Hospital which serves some of the populations of Oro Valley, the Foothills, Marana and other areas of Pima County.

As for politics. Pima county is a massive area. Like any larger city with a major university, within the Tucson city limits things are definitely more left leaning. And like most large city the suburbs tend to be more conservative than within the city itself. I live in Oro Valley and in this last election, as divisive as it was, I only saw ONE yard sign for president in the entire election cycle. My perception is "most" have a live and let live philosophy. If you disagree politically you can still sit down and have a beer together.

Hope this helps.

I have seen some of the homes at Dove Mountain and it looks like a beautiful area with views. CF and OV both seem like excellent options. So additional questions would be is their a differentiation in the 3 areas in:

  • Amount of wind and resulting dust
  • Utilities and rates - water rights and prices and electricity
  • Is there any noticeable climate differences in temp or rain
  • Level of Snobbery - For example, we lived in a planned golf community with high snobbery (which we didn't like) and then to an upscale downtown neighborhood (which we enjoyed)

Thanks!
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