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Old 08-13-2010, 02:30 PM   #1
SD33
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Arizona residents, I need advice!

Hey everyone,

My wife and I will be vacationing in Scottsdale in September. The reason for the trip is two-fold. One is to relax and to take in the beauty of the surrounding area. The other is to explore other cities and look for homes as we are considering moving to the Phoenix area for an internship I have for school.

I know this isn't www.city-data.com but I thought I would try my luck here since the DIS boards haven't let me down yet. Where should we look?

A little about ourselves and what we are looking for. We are both in our late twenties and are looking to start a family soon. We don't care about a vibrant nightlife or anything that you might think a normal twenty-something would want. We just want a safe community where we could buy a 2000 or so sq. ft. home with a swimming pool for around 250k to 300k. I will be working as a school psychologist and she is a dental hygienist so we aren't super confined on jobs. I am planning on looking at Gilbert and Chandler, but that is as far as I have gotten for now. Not even sure if I am on the right track.

Any advice you AZ residents, or former residents, have would be welcome. Thanks!!!
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:25 PM   #2
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We have lived in the Mesa/Gilbert area for 12 years now and (other than this time of year's heat) really like AZ. I was just reading an article in the AZ Republic recently about how the falling home prices have helped more people buy in more established areas on the Valley like Gilbert or Chandler rather than having to go out to the very edges.

I have my kids in Gilbert public schools and my sister has hers in Chandler schools and we are both very happy with them. There are also lots of charter schools. And it seems like there is a dentist on every corner around here!

I think one of the nicest things about the area is that you can be out of town within half an hour to open desert for recreation, or less than two hours up to the mountains for cooler weather, snow, etc. And it's only about 6 hours from Southern California (and DLR of course).

Just my .02,

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Old 08-13-2010, 03:28 PM   #3
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I'm about to run out the door right now, and will be back later to provide more info, but, I have lived in Chandler for 10 years now and I love it. I'm happy with the schools, the shopping, the city parks, etc.

This is a good time to buy right now. We had a huge housing boom, and then the bubble burst. It should have, the houses here were way overpriced. Now, I'm seeing very nice houses going for much less than $100 per square foot. I just saw something from a local realtor, I think the average was around $80 - 85 per sq foot. Really affordable right now.

I'll get some links to you later that might be of interest. I hope you get some other input, but for me, I can really recommend Chandler.

**************

No one else has posted, so I'll just edit to add:

I found an MLS listing for Chandler - not recommending the realtor per se, just to give to an example of what you get for the money.

http://www.easymooselisting.com/cont...&pageclicked=1


Here's another realtor.

http://www.billryanchandler.com/Feat...ge_163204.html

Here is a link to the city website with a story about Chandler being picked as an All-American City.

http://www.chandleraz.gov/default.aspx?pageid=40

Chandler has grown a lot in the last 10-15 years. Many of the residents are transplants from other areas of the country, so you should find it welcoming to new residents. It's a young population, not me, of course, but the average age is around 35, so you should find many people in the same stage of life as yourself.

If you have any specific questions about Chandler, or Scottsdale for your vacation, I can try to answer or ask around for you.

Last edited by Desert Dwellers; 08-13-2010 at 05:03 PM. Reason: For more info --
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:58 AM   #4
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Thank you both so much for the information, and especially the links! I am looking at them with my wife right now. Most helpful!

And loving these home prices
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:23 AM   #5
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I have lived in AZ since I was about 3 months old. I was raised in Tempe as my dad was a professor at ASU for 37 years. I have lived in Chandler for about 20 years now. I am partial to the East Valley. Chandler and Gilbert seem to be the places that are still growing and offer a great family environment with parks, schools, etc. Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:57 PM   #6
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One more question...how long does it take to truly acclimate to the summer heat? Or does everyone just hide out in air conditioned homes? I'm from the Seattle area so we hide out pretty much all winter. Who likes 35 degree weather with rain? Terrible stuff. Anyway, I don't mind hanging out indoors for the better part of three months, and having a pool to sit by sounds nice. I know it gets excruciatingly hot down there so what do most people do to cope?
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:30 PM   #7
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Hey, I've been here all my life and I still hide out in the A/C in the summer. Seriously, if you like the outdoors, you get used to it. As mentioned, the great thing about the valley is you can drive a couple of hours out of town and get into cooler areas like Flagstaff, Show Low or Mt. Lemmon outside of Tucson. You have to remember too that except for during Monsoon, it is a dry heat!
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:35 PM   #8
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I lived in Indiana and Wisconsin before moving to AZ. And for three months during winter, we're stuck inside. So we're stuck inside for three months during summer, same thing. But it's so much better here.

When it's 10 degrees and the roads are snowy and icy, I still had to go to work. When it's 110 degrees, it's uncomfortable, but at least my car won't slide off the road. And when a big blizzard was coming, we would all run to the grocery store and stock up on milk and bread and be stuck in the house until the snow plow came to dig us out. Today, it's 110, but we're not stuck inside. The malls and restaurants are air conditioned. The movies are a great place to be. This morning, my daughter had ice skating lessons, and I was very comfortable at the ice rink.

Here is a link to the Arizona Republic's website so you can get a sense of the Phoenix metro area.

http://www.azcentral.com/

Here's a link to the Things to Do section. It might of help when planning your Sept. trip, plus give you an idea of how we spend our summers.

http://www.azcentral.com/thingstodo/
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:19 AM   #9
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Thanks again for the info! From what you guys have said, it sounds like we would be able to hold up just fine. I checked out the things-to-do site. Very helpful!
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:49 PM   #10
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It took me a couple summer to adjust to the heat, but I was usually more worried about my small kids in the heat. Everywhere is air-conditioned (sometimes overly so) and there are waterparks, pools, splash pads, etc. galore.

People avoid doing much outside during the heat of the day unless it's in the water, but the mornings and the evenings are fairly pleasant once you get over the shock of going out to pick up the newspaper and it's already warmer outside!

If the heat is the only thing you are worried about, don't fret. It all sounds insane until you're having Christmas dinner outside on the patio bragging to the snowed-in relatives. Unless you have medical issues that are a problem in the heat, I'd say go for it!

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Old 09-10-2010, 11:14 AM   #11
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Its not a bad area I just don't like it here much at all. I've lived in the east valley the majority of the last 17 years or so. The times I haven't lived here I had brief residency in Florida. My biggest problems with the area is the dust and allergies I face here. To me coming back to the valley from clean fresh air I can tell the difference and I definitely notice the dust I'm inhaling. Overall its a decent place to live. House prices are pretty great right now and we do have lots of decent free charter schools in most the cities. My dd goes to a charter after a bad experience with the Mesa public schools. Tempe and Chandler were better schools when I was attending school those many many years ago. I went to Tempe high school and it was much better than the Mesa school in my zone.

It is nice to not worry about warming cars up in the winter(may have 1-2 freeze nights you may need to scrap a thin layer of ice off window unless you want to wait for your defroster, I've found a credit card works well ) and everything is in close reach. And some very cool day trip options and even weekenders(to California, Vegas etc). But I prefer Florida to here even humid. After only one summer in Florida last year I was dying this year with the oven dry heat. And its still going strong sticking in the 100s this month too. UGH. We have had two cooler mornings but its raising back up for the weekend.
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:33 PM   #12
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You will love Scottsdale, and Arizona! I'm a came from Southern California in the early 80s for work, and never went back. We used to live on South Mountain, now we live in Avondale (bit closer to Disneyland and CA!). For me, the only time I found it hot was in 1990, or 1991 when the official weather was 122 and the airplanes were grounded because of it! Swimming in the pool that day didn't cool us off even with the aerator! I guess I have acclimated well, or the Good Lord is preparing me for somewhere else when I die! LOL
The Valley has some great spots, and not so great spots, just like the rest of the country. The West Valley includes Peoria, Glendale, Surprise, Avondale, Goodyear, Tolleson, Buckeye, just to name a few. If you are a sports fan,you will love it! We have the major sports teams, plenty of golf, shopping, and zoos! There is so much! The biggest thing for me was all the cacti! I was used to regular trees.
Have a wonderful visit to AZ!
ps If you decide to get wallpaper for your home, I am married to the Best Paperhanger in Az!
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:26 PM   #13
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Don't discount the NE Valley. Especially if you want to grow roots for your family! The Paradise Valley area is worth taking a look at. I say this as a lifetime resident of the west side of town. I personally like the Arrowhead area, but again, I'm partial because I'm a native and it's what I know best
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:31 PM   #14
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I have many friends in their late 20s who live in and LOVE the gilbert area. There are a bunch of new homes in your price range and they are absolutely stunning with granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, open floor plans, nice fixtures, giant tile floors. The area is definitely growing with lots of people that are starting families and many of the retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues cater to that lifestyle. I think you'll enjoy it very much as the heat continues to cool down.

Welcome to AZ!
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:06 PM   #15
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I have lived in the Mesa/Gilbert area since 1995, and I am an office manager for a dental office. This is a fantastic area to raise kids. My daughter just graduated from the Gilbert School system, and I was completely satisfied with her educators and her group of friends. This is a great time to buy a home, too. Home prices are SOOOO much lower than they were a few years ago, and you will be able to purchase a lot for your money!

For your wife, though, heads up... it is a tough job market for the dental field right now, and hygienists are having a really hard time finding anything more than part time. It seems to be that way for the whole dental field. People would rather pay their house payment than have a deep cleaning or agree to a crown, so offices are suffering. It's probably that way nationwide, but I can just give you a view of this area.

Good luck with your move. Hope you find all that you are looking for!

Amy
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